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45 vinyl records used as frames for wall art

My DJ friend Chad creates free compilation music mixes for anyone who asks. Being the lucky recipient of many said mixes, I wanted to make Chad something to thank him for the tunes. Chad collects bird-related art and of course loves music so I thought that birds from vintage linen calendars framed by old 45 …

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DIY Halloween luminaries from recycled baby formula cans

Make these cute DIY Halloween luminaries out of recycled supplies that you probably already have in your home. These cute Halloween decorations riff off the traditional Halloween paper lanterns, luminary bags and mason jar luminaries — but mine recycle baby formula cans. It’s well-documented that I’m a pack rat when it comes to items I …

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DIY Chalkboard Baby Food Jars to Track Freshness

Elise is eating solid foods now so I’ve entered the Land of Frozen and Leftover Baby Food. With my brain still set on ‘sleep deprived,’ I put my chalkboard obsession to good use with these recycled, reusable baby food jar lids to help me track it all. Hooray for re-writable lids and Chalk Ink food-safe …

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Sparkless sparklers for kids for the Fourth of July using chopsticks, ribbon and party garland

This original Fourth of July craft was created for Daily Candy Kids. Welcome, Daily Candy readers! I mourn sparklers. The City of Chicago banned sparklers in 2007 joining most other ousted fireworks.  Yes, I understand that sparklers can be dangerous especially for small children yet my nostalgia for dancing sparks runs deep. What’s a Fourth …

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Grandma Beulah’s Rice Pancakes Recipe from Leftover Rice

Got leftover rice? Make delicious rice pancakes with this yummy Rice Pancakes Recipe! This is the original recipe that my Grandma Beulah used to make. Along with homemade egg noodles, chocolate pie and fresh-off-the-vine concord grape juice, rice pancakes were my Grandma Beulah’s specialty. My parents were in town to help us take care of …

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Retro Paris Photo Notecards and A2 Size Envelope Template

Recently I took part in the first inaugural Chicago Craft Social hosted by Amanda Edwards, Megan Hall, Megan Heep, and Jessica Jones. In addition to meeting tons of super cool crafty Chicago ladies, I made these fun retro Paris notecards out of old time-y black-and-white France vacation photos. Table leader Lisa Haskin of Faux Transformations …

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Covered Card Box for Weddings

Cristin Siegel made this sophisticated wedding card box covered in decorative paper to collect cards at her sister-in-law Mara’s wedding reception. Pretty crafty and much cuter than a most of the pre-made money boxes being sold out there, don’t you think? And it coordinated perfectly with Mara’s black-and-yellow wedding theme to boot. This craft would …

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Recycled Fabric Napkin Rings from Saran Wrap Tubes

I made this fabric napkin rings recycled craft from an empty Saran Wrap tube. A few months ago I was getting ready to throw away an empty Saran Wrap box and happened to notice how the cardboard tube inside was oh so strong and sturdy. What useful thing could I make with such a pretty?? …

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Urban wreath for fall using Polaroid photos

My friend Heather Crosby and I have creative chemistry. Whenever we get together we build on each other’s ideas until it becomes something totally original. Heather came over for dinner last week toting stacks of Polaroid pictures that she’d snapped that weekend – bright yellow mums, pumpkin patches, rows of individual pies, Indian corn, orange …

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Recycled wrapping paper sewn wedding card

My downstairs neighbor Susan gave us a beautifully wrapped wedding gift in thick, shiny silver and pearl-like white wrapping paper. Channeling my mom, I decided to fold up the shiny white and silver paper and store it until I found some use for it. Today I recycled the wrapping paper into a wedding card sewn …

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Phone Book Wrapping Paper for Gifts

AT&T delivered piles of telephone books to my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. Not needing ours but cringing at tossing the stack into the trash I decided to find some crafty uses for them. So I wrapped my sister Karin’s birthday gifts with birthday-themed yellow pages. Supplies: Telephone book (preferably yellow pages) Tape Scissors …

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Planting seeds and herbs for the garden

After a brutal Chicago winter I’m aching for spring. So today I planted vegetable, herb and flower seeds for our back deck garden. Now I’ve tried planting seeds many times before with mixed results …I’ve learned that using professional seed-starting germinating mix rather than regular soil makes a big difference. Give it a try. Supplies: …

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Whimisical wedding “altar” from strung flowers

One of the biggest challenges of getting married in a “non-traditional” space is that the backdrop might look a too plain or stark during your ceremony. We got married in a Chicago loft space with exposed brick, glass and steel. So we decided to add warmth and focus by creating an “altar” of our own. …

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Monogrammed coffee insulator wrap

So I was pretty excited about the success of the campfire coffee insulator wrap and decided to make a monogrammed coffee insulator wrap for my sister Krista. Perfect for coffee/tea/cocoa drinkers and the eco-friendly, monogrammed insulator wraps are personal and practical. And not only is it a great way to cut down on waste but …

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