Monthly Archives: March 2014

Camouflage Your Unsightly Tech Gear

Easy (And Cute!) Way to Hide Your Tech Gear!

I am 33 weeks pregnant, which means I have less than 2 months until my due date (although between you and me I think probably less!). Hubbo and I have been working on getting Baby #2’s room finished and preparing ourselves mentally for the sleepless nights and zombie-like days ahead.

Unsightly Tech Gear

Unsightly Tech Gear

In order to make room for #2 (sorry, we STILL haven’t picked a name – we probably won’t until wee SEE him!), I had to give up my office/craft/junk room. In that room resides all of our techie stuff — including the cable modem and wireless router. Now, being the geeky girl that I am, I love that stuff, I mean I really do – I totally geeked out when I got to go pick out a new one. However, I don’t think the baby will appreciate the black plastic and green flashing lights. Well, maybe he will, but it is unsightly, especially in an infant’s bedroom!

Unfortunately I have to leave them where they are, so that left me with the challenge of figuring out a way to hide them. This post has the masterpiece (ha) that I came up with: I took a cardboard box, cut it, slapped some pretties on it, and called it a day.

Hiding the unsightly tech gear!

Hiding the unsightly tech gear!

But it’s cute! I will use it as a frame to hold the baby’s announcement card — right now it holds my PERFECT baby shower invite in just the right colors that my thoughtful sister in law picked out. 🙂 The great thing about this is you can make it however you like — you can just make a pretty facade or put a frame on it to hold a picture. Anything is better than the black plastic and blinking lights!

I’ve made the tutorial pretty self explanatory with the pictures, but here is the supply list! Obviously you can customize the “shield” with any type of style/decor that suits the room in which you’re needing to camouflage your tech gear.

TECH GEAR HIDER SUPPLIES:IMG_6931

  • Box – width and height large enough to cover the gadget(s). You can use cereal boxes taped together if you want!
  • Scissors
  • Pretty Paper – I used two 12×12 pieces since that was the size of my box, and a few smaller pieces for the insets/frame portion. It’s just like making a scrapbook page!
  • Clothespin (mine is a mini)
  • Tape runner or other scrapbook glue
  • Foam Sticky Dot
  • Tape

1. Take your box and cut two opposing sides off of it:IMG_6937IMG_6939

 

 

 

 

 

2. Use your tape to reinforce the back of it (depends on the type of box you are using)IMG_6943

3. Flip your box over and cut and glue your scrapbook paper to the sides of the box. My box was 12x12x6 so this was easy for me to do – just had to cut one piece of paper in half for the sides. IMG_6944IMG_6945

4. Glue and place your front scrapbook piece(s) to make it pretty!IMG_6947

5. Use your sticky dots to glue your clothespin to the top center of your “frame”

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6. I decided to cut a circle to cover my clothespin — I used the tape runner to stick the circle to the top of the clothespinIMG_6953

7. Reinforce the front edges with tape, so that the paper doesn’t curl after time. This isn’t necessary if you properly glue the paper down, and a matted tape would look better, but I used what I had! I didn’t want the red of the box showing through between the papersIMG_6957IMG_69598. Add the final touch – in this case it is my shower invite. But I will switch it out with the birth announcement once baby arrives!

Pretty!

Pretty!

And that’s it! It reminds me of elementary school, when we sat at tables and took tests, they put those big shields at our seat so we couldn’t look over at our neighbor’s work. It does the trick and alleviates my hubbo’s concern that anything I made would be a potential fire hazard if it touched the gadgets underneath or covered them on top.

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How do you hide your tech gear? I’ve never had the need to hide it before since it was in the office!

XOXO, D

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Last Minute Irish Mantle

St. Patrick’s Day in the Stickelberry House

Framed and ready for display!

Framed and ready for display!

 

As I mentioned before, St. Patrick’s Day has never been a big “To Do” in my house, but I wanted to at least do a little something for my little man. I shared with you a Free Printable that I created – I’ve framed that and found a few other items to put up on the mantle to make it festive.

Everything came from Michaels – gotta love that store! And right now, all of the St. Patrick’s Day decor is 50% off, so if you’re looking for some last minute items, go there first! This frame was 40% off and I had a coupon for an additional 25% off of all frames. Love my Michaels app with instant coupons!

 

 

I made a simple mini-bunting using scrapbook paper – you know I love my sparkles! I found this great gold piece and a muted polka dotted green piece.. I cut out a few triangles by hand (nothing fancy!).

Pretty Papers... Pretty Ribbon...

Pretty Papers… Pretty Ribbon…

I punched some holes and strung them on a bright glittery green ribbon that I found in the $1 ribbon bin near the door (score!).IMG_7098

I’m often working right next to or even ON my laptop.

Workspace.. or lack thereof

Workspace.. or lack thereof

I found this awesome little chalkboard in the dollar bin too (double score!).

Lucky to Find This Guy for $1

Lucky to Find This Guy for $1

The greenery in the vase is from the St. Patrick’s Day decor section – they are clovers on stems, and they sparkle too!mantle1

…and that’s it. Nothing major, but it gives the house a little bit of cuteness and makes it festive for Monday’s Corned Beef & Cabbage meal. :o)

Our Irish Mantle

Our Irish Mantle

Looking for that Free Printable? Look no further!

St Patricks Day Printable

 

 

 

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A Little Bit of Luck & A Free Printable!

Irish Toast

I will be honest with you… St. Patrick’s Day has never really been that big of a deal for me. Maybe because I don’t drink beer? At least in my area, in my circles, St. Patty’s day is about wearing green, going to a bar and getting drunk. But alas, I never went out and binged on green fizzy in my pre-k years. However, one thing that I do ALWAYS do, is cook up a mean corned beef and cabbage meal – because for me, even if I’m not THAT in to the holiday itself, I’m always in to the FOOD!

 

I normally don’t decorate for this holiday either… I think I am even part Irish (that remains a mystery!), but I never felt the need to put green stuff up all over the house. This year, however, I am feeling very crafty and I have a 2 year old son that loves it when the decorations on the fireplace change. Not to mention, right now I am pretty much stuck inside the house most of the time (pregnancy woes), so it does me some good to change things up a bit too — even if it is only temporary.

I did a flyer for a friend’s bar for their St. Patrick’s Day bash and it got me in design mode, so I whipped up something fun for the mantle that I thought you might enjoy too.

Framed and ready for display!

Framed and ready for display!

That’s right folks – another free printable! Woo hoo!

St Patricks Day Printable!

Click for your free download!

In the weeks, months, years to come – in the spirit of the Irish – I say:clover

Wherever You Go and Whatever You Do, May the Luck of the Irish Be there with You! 

After all, we can always use a Little Bit of Luck!

You can find some more wonderful Irish toasts and blessings at Island Ireland!

XOXO, D

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DIY Nursery Mobile

DIY Paper Nursery Mobile

An affordable and easy project for baby’s room!

What would Baby #2’s room be without some crafty goodness from Mama? Due in early May, I have less than 10 weeks to go, so the pressure is ON! I have to get his room ready for him so it’s nice and cute and Stickelberry-like.

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I made a mobile for Logan’s room the last time I was pregnant following this tutorial here that I found in Parents magazine, and while it did turn out cute, I found the process very awkward and had to re-do it several times to get it to hang right. Even still to this day the center hoop is off center and the whole thing is just slightly imbalanced. That bugs. The strands also fell off several times (thank goodness I didn’t hang it above the crib), so I ultimately re-attached each one using thick sticky dots. Here is a picture of Logan’s mobile – his room theme is Sock Monkeys!

So, I decided to come up with my own plan… for Baby #2’s room, the theme is a little more contemporary and simple, so I wanted a simplified mobile. Fewer stands, fewer circles…

Simplified Mobile

Simplified Mobile

I hit my local Michaels for the supplies and decided that instead of using the embroidery hoops, I would use a squared wooden dowel — well, two dowels, criss-crossed (I cut a long one in half).

Squared Wooden Dowel..err...Stick?

Squared Wooden Dowel..err…Stick?

I picked out the paper I wanted to use in my nursery room’s colors (White, Grey, Navy, Orange), and some jump rings and went home and got to work. Since I do have a decent selection of craft tools and had made one of these mobiles before, I already had some of the other basic supplies: 2″ hole punch, keychain ring, thin wire, exacto knife, thread, mini pliers.

Supplies

Supplies

Of course I had to throw in some bling — I just adore the silver glittered checkerboard card stock I found in the scrapbook paper aisle! The Navy has a nice sheen to it too – it’s quite beautiful.

Paper and Card stock in Baby's Color Scheme

Paper and Card stock in Baby’s Color Scheme

I started typing up a summary of how I made this ting, but it was a little wordy…. so it’s better to explain with pictures! 🙂

I hope baby likes it!

DIY: Paper Mobile Tutorial

Supplies:IMG_6691

  • Scrapbook Paper or Card stock — I used 1 12×12 piece for each color except the orange scrapbook paper and the silver glittery card stock. I used 2 pieces for those because they are not double sided. Depending on the colors/paper you choose, plan accordingly as you’ll need to punch out extra circles and glue them to the backs of the ones that aren’t double sided.IMG_6731
  • Jump Rings — found in the jewelry aisle. Mine are 9mm and came in a package of 85 pieces. I have many leftover but I couldn’t find a smaller package.
  • 1 Key Chain Ring — also in the jewelry aisle. I had a pack of them from other projects.
  • Tape Runner– I used my favorite one, Elmers! You could also use regular glue, sticky dots or your other paper adhesive of choice.
  • 36″ Squared wooden dowel/stick — these come in a variety of sizes. Choose one that suits your style!IMG_6694
  • Thin Wire, Thread, Yarn, Shoelace… whatever you want to use to attached the dowels together, attach the strands to the dowels, and to hang from the center. This isn’t an exact science – be creative and use what works for you!
  • Tools — 2″ hole punch, Exacto knife, pliers, hole punch (mine is 1/8″); again you don’t have to use the EXACT same tools as I do!

I measured the dowel and marked the halfway point (18″), then measured and marked where I wanted to hang the strands (every 3″), marking an ‘x’ where the two dowels would cross each other.

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Measure out where you will cut the dowel, where the two pieces will cross, and where you will hang the strands

I used the exacto knife to cut the dowel (the wood is very thin and pliable).

IMG_6692

Nice, clean cut from the exacto knife

Nice, clean cut from the exacto knife

I then used the exacto knife to notch out the center of the dowels where they would cross so they fit together like a puzzle piece.

IMG_6698IMG_6700I made a groove at each marking for the strands as well so that the wire I used to secure them would sit nicely and not move.

IMG_6696Next, I put the dowels together and used a piece of the wire to secure the two pieces …my piece was about 8″.IMG_6701

Dowel pieces secured using notch and wire.

Dowel pieces secured using notch and wire.

Now on to the fun part — punching circles!

Punch Therapy

Punch Therapy

Woops – be careful not to do this 🙂IMG_6737

*ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: If you use scrapbook paper or single-sided card stock, depending on your color scheme or preference, you may want to punch two circles for each one that isn’t double sided — otherwise it will be white. That may or may not matter to you… it did to me so I used a tape runner (Elmer’s is my favorite) to glue two circles together for the orange and silver circles.

 

Glue two circles together to make them double sided if needed

Glue two circles together to make them double sided if needed

Once you have all your circles punched out, play around with your pattern or sequence for your strands. You can have them all the same (important if you’re doing a rainbow or ombre theme!), but I decided to have one dowel with one pattern, and the other with a different pattern, so it was mixed up a little.

IMG_6716 IMG_6717

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now for some more fun… punching holes!

More Punch Therapy

More Punch Therapy

My hole punch is 1/8″ – you can use whatever size you like, but make sure not to go too far in to the circle, otherwise your jump ring won’t have enough room. I went in about 1/8″ from each end of the circle. IMG_6730Have I mentioned I LOVE anything that glitters?

So pretty...

So pretty…

*CRAFT BONUS: Confetti!IMG_6727

Now comes the labor intensive part. Attaching the jump rings. It isn’t difficult, it just takes time. You can use pliers if you need to, but I found it was quicker and easier to just use my fingers – I found the jump rings pretty easy to bend and put that together.

IMG_6735Link up all of your strands – be sure to put one at the very top of each strand, and no need to put one at the bottom!

IMG_6733

All linked up

Now, to attach the strands to the mobile – cut a piece of wire for each strand. I cut mine about 1/2″ in length.

IMG_6739Next, simply loop the wire through the top jump ring, and wrap it around the dowel, nesting it into the groove that you carved for it earlier. Repeat for each strand.

IMG_6742

Loop the wire through the jump ring and wrap it around the dowel

Loop the wire through the jump ring and wrap it around the dowel, nesting it into the groove

Almost finished! This part I forgot to take a picture of (sorry!) but you can see how it is put together in the next picture…

IMG_6780Take the keychain ring and connect it to the crossed wire in the center of the two dowels. Then connect a jump ring to the keychain ring, so you have the dowels hanging from the two rings. Take your string or ribbon or fishing line or shoelace (whatever you’re using) and loop it through the jump ring. This will allow your mobile to spin nicely and keep it from turning lopsided.

IMG_6779

Connect keychain ring to crossed wire, then connect a jump ring to the keychain ring and loop your hanging material of choice through it

I tied my string in a knot and hung it from one of these bad boys..IMG_6764And here it is, hanging in the nursery (to be revealed later!)

Finished!

Finished!

That’s it! Not too bad, right? Definitely worth the effort for a super cute homemade mobile for your little one..

XOXO, D

 

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