A Fun Summer DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ

            So I actually did this DIY almost a month ago and I have been considering it for several months I was just looking for the perfect container to put it all in. Here I am with another almost quarterly DIY because I enjoy making things and sometimes I can’t find the thing that I want, so I have to make it myself. 

            I meant to write this post pretty much right after I finished the DIY, I did not. Oops my bad. 

            I love those beautiful terrariums with succulents in them, I cannot keep a succulent alive to save my life. It’s a problem and I can’t seem to fix it, so I figured, I’ll just use fake ones and roll with it. 

            This DIY isn’t even in my apartment, it’s still at my parents’ house because I haven’t figured out how to transport it safely, I should have thought of that before, but your girl is kinda of dumb sometimes. Then my dad told me that he really liked it so I am going to have to make another one just to leave there when I get a chance to get more succulents. He’s not a huge fan of art, but apparently he likes tiny succulents. I arrange flowers for my mom all the time so at least he likes something that I do creatively. I am going to tell you a short story about my father, this was a few years ago when he found out that I like to write books in my spare time and he asked me if I had any of them published. I looked over like I was looking at a camera on The Office and said no, but it’s a goal. You think that he would realize that if I published a book I would have told him!? I love my dad though and this is for sure a very story time moment at the beginning of this post. My bad.

            Back to the DIY because I rambled! 

Materials (what you gonna need): 

            Succulents: I got mine at Michael’s in like March, you can get them from Amazon or your fave craft retailor. Pick ones that you like, I stuck with a bagged package and one that my mom liked (I had to cut that one down off its stem so if you do this, make sure to have pliers, pretty much whenever you are working with flowers. pro tip: have pliers.)

            Moss: or some kind of ground cover. I used floral foam for my base and covering it in moss was the best option for me. You may recognize this moss from one of my Halloween DIY’s last fall. Next time I need moss I will actually have to go and buy more because I used the rest of it. Also this stuff gets messy to be prepared to have dust and particles of moss everywhere. 

            Floral Foam: It’s a good idea to have a base on these kinds of projects especially with the terrarium I chose. I got small blocks instead of big blocks and cutting them with a serrated knife tends to be the easiest. I used my mom’s bread knife, sorry mom. I cleaned it right away though. 

            Terrarium or container: I got this one at HomeGoods and I was so excited because it was only like $15. I wanted a glass and gold terrarium and this one just happened to be there so I grabbed it. You can find these pretty much anywhere anymore, I have seen them at Hobby Lobby and on Amazon. The completed ones in terrariums like this were what really inspired this project but I never liked any of them, so I made it myself. 

            Tiny Rocks: I was actually going to use rocks straight up out of the rock beds that are landscaping at my parent’s house, my mom said no. Luckily we had these river rocks that you usually use for vases in flower arranging and these were extras so I grabs a bunch dropped them on hot glue and that was how I did the little clusters.

            Time: This project start to finish probably took me 30-45 minutes, give yourself time to make it how you want it. 

Steps (procedure, directions, whatever you want to call it):

            -Gather your materials, that should always be your first step. Also get your hot glue gun on like right now. It’s going to take a few minutes to heat up.

            -Next step really is hot glue, get a good base of hot glue in whatever shape you want on a sheet of parchment paper (do not do it directly on any surface that it could burn, stain, or stick to) and drop rocks on it, do not put the rocks down and put the hot glue on top, it doesn’t work they just fall out of the hot glue when you turn it over. Putting them firmly in the hot glue seals them in. Make sure that you give them time to dry, they look like little islands and I wanted to have more substantial rocks and not just sprinkle them around. 

            -Now, get your terrarium and cut your floral foam to fit, you will probably need multiple pieces, I didn’t want mine all at one level so I cut them a little different for height. Some advice from me though, try and keep it as even with the opening of the terrarium as possible. 

This is the mess you can expect!

            -Cover that in your moss or ground cover, I am not here to tell you how to live your life if you don’t like moss, you could use all stones. Yes, I know that succulents grow in rocks and things, I like moss. It’s whatever makes you happy and looks good in the terrarium. 

            -Grab your rock formations and slip them in wherever you feel like it, use your heart. There is no formula for this, it is personal preference on how many rocks you put in or don’t put in. I would suggest at least some though. 

            -Put in your succulents! Arrange them how you want, I started in the center with the biggest one I had and then put the rest around it, I don’t know if I would start in the center again, I think I would start at the back and move forward because it did get hard to put things in. Every mistake is a learning experience right?

            -Take a billion pictures of it at every angle because you love it so much. Display it where you want, I have a spot for mine on the garden table in my living room window. I just have to get it home first. 

            I really enjoyed doing this project because while yes, I could have bought this from a store completely finished; that takes the fun out of it. I like crafting and having tactile crafts keeps my hands busy when I am not writing. If you want to buy something like this premade, cool, you do you. 

            Well I think that’s it for this one, I will be back mid-week with another post. I think it’s going to be my favorite comics, I have no idea how I am going to write that post; we’ll figure it out. I hope that everyone has a great start to the week. Stay safe, happy, and healthy. I’ll see y’all with the next one! 

            -MJ

A Cute Spring DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I love décor, that is literally not a secret if you have read my blog for any length of time. I enjoy making DIY projects and I love and I mean really love arranging flowers. I have done a number of arrangements for my mother, my grandmother when she was still alive, and myself as well. Some of my craftiness started in college, when you are in a sorority you just learn that you have to be crafty and creative. Though I feel like that just expanded my want and ability to craft, to be honest. 

            Like I said, I really enjoy flower arranging and I have done that for years now. The last one I did was for my mom at Christmas and I am super proud of that one. This project isn’t a flower arrangement though, it’s a door decoration. I have been seeing premade flower arrangements on floral hoops a lot lately and a lot of them are expensive. All and all I think mine was about $20 considering all of the flowers I bought but didn’t actually use. (I got them 40% or 50% off at Hobby Lobby) That’s the secret to buying flowers to make any sort of arrangement, wait until you can get them on sale at a craft store. The hoops I bought in a four pack from Amazon, I’ll link that here, it’s not affiliate coded or anything it’s just general information. 

            Let’s get into the DIY though:

Materials: 

            Flowers of your choice (pick colors or flowers that will look cool together, just walk around the fake flower aisles holding all of them, it’s fun.)

            Floral hoop (can be any metal or size, mine are 14” but you can do bigger or smaller depending on your space and desired use)

            Floral wire (I stole mine from my mom but you can buy it at pretty much any craft store)

            Pilers (just in general, own pliers) 

            Time (this took me probably 45 minutes to do so give yourself some time, listen to a podcast or some music and hang out.)

Steps (procedure, directions, whatever you want to call it):

1.   My first tip is usually, gather all the materials and that’s pretty much what it is. Make sure that you have everything that you need to make this project. It’s not like cooking so it’s not time sensitive but if you want to just get it done then you need to make sure you have all of your materials. 

2. I cut all of the flowers off that I think I wanted to use with my pliers, most fake flowers have a wire through them under the plastic and to get a nice clean cut you need to snip them. 

3. I stripped all of the ends down to the wire and this for sure was what took me the longest because with thicker stems you have to take a portion of the plastic and then strip them in sections. Give yourself the time to do this carefully so you don’t accidently nip through the wire because then you may not be able to use that bloom.

4. This is the fun part, after you strip them then you just go to town putting them onto the hoop. It’s a lot of floral wire and thinking about what would look good where and trying to get everything secured to the hoop. I didn’t take any pictures of this portion because I was in the zone and when I get in the zone I forget that I should be taking pictures for the post. 

5. When you are happy with it, stop. I am serious, once you are happy with it and it looks good to you don’t add any more. I know that seems odd but don’t overdo it. I love a simple design on things like this. You can add more than I did, it is to your level of how you like it. If I make another one (which I plan to) I want to do more flowers and brighter colors but for a first attempt kind of thing I am really happy with it. 

6. Find a place to hang it, you can hang it on a ribbon or cord or you can just hang the hoop on a command strip. Mine at the moment is hanging on a command strip but I want to get it on a ribbon so I can change the positioning of the flowers. 

7. Enjoy. That’s it, just enjoy what you created. 

            It’s not a hard craft, it’s just gathering the materials and having the time to do it. You can buy stuff like this, I see that stuff everywhere but if you do it yourself you have control over the placement and the flowers that you want on it. I know that for some people they don’t want to do it themselves, they just want to buy it and that’s fine, roll with it. I personally like having control over things like this and now I have a cool thing to hang up in my apartment. 

            I will see y’all later in the week with another post. By the time this comes out it will be my last day of spring break so back to work tomorrow and I am excited to get back. I hope that everyone has a good start to the week though, stay happy and healthy and I’ll be back soon with another post! 

            -MJ

A Christmas Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            This is probably the easiest Christmas DIY I have ever done and I have done a couple now. A while back I was looking in the dollar section at Target, you know at the front when you walk in with all the cute cheap things well it sucked me in and I found two things that gave me an idea, a chalkboard sled and a vinyl cut decal that said ‘dashing through the snow’ and it gave me a cute little idea. 

            I thought this was going to take me five minutes tops but I had to pull out all the little pieces in the cursive so it took me a little longer than expected but I did it! 

            So what do you need for a project like this, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same but for a cute little DIY that is something like this you are gonna need some things. 

            Materials:  

            A backdrop (you can use wood, a piece of glass or whatever that you want to put words on)

            Vinyl die cut words (you can usually buy individual letters at most craft stores or if you have a circuit like go crazy!)

            A quote you like (I bought one that was already done)

            A paint pen (I used a Sharpie paint pen)

            Some paint (because I couldn’t find another paint pen or if you don’t want to use a paint pen you can use this.)

            The actual DIY: 

1.  Okay with this one, first of course gather your materials, this one is a little different than my Halloween ones because it was a lot of premade materials. 

2. I had to pick apart all of the die cut letters which I thought would take me like seconds, it took like ten minutes so if you can I would get individual letters but that would also present challenges. The reason I found this so challenging was the cursive lettering and the little pieces you don’t need were really hard to get out because I didn’t want to rip the letters.

3. I drew a straight line in pencil on my sled where I wanted the letters to go and with the words that worked out great, the letter’s not so much but it looks okay.

4. Put on some snowflakes, I did mine in gold because that was the pen I had at the time and I did add the white and silver snowflakes later (I seriously had it up in my house for a few weeks and it wasn’t actually finished.

5. Display, I have mine sitting in my office but you could hang it on a wall (depending on what it is and your quote) or display it however you want, it’s your craft. 

            Guys, let’s be honest with ourselves I am not great at writing DIY posts, I was better at making small DIY videos but I don’t feel like doing that at the moment, but sometimes it’s just the simple things that can help you get inspiration for a DIY. The Target dollar section is really good at that around holiday times. 

            This post isn’t long and to be honest I have been sitting on this one for a while half-finished because I have been focusing on other things, like decorating my apartment, helping my parents decorate their house, and work so this has kind of been taking a back burner; a lot of DIY and craft ideas are at the moment and that is alright.

            So it’s a cute little craft when it’s finished, that I can say because I have been staring at mine for a few weeks now and it’s not hard to do just to have a simple DIY somewhere in your holiday décor. 

            I hope everyone has a great start to the week, we are off this week from school because it’s Thanksgiving Break so I plan on writing several posts but I will see y’all on Wednesday with my actual updating Holiday Décor post, fingers crossed. 

            Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

            -MJ 

Another Halloween Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I had a lot of fun with the first one so I figured why not make another. I had this image of what I wanted to make in my head because I made some “snow globes” a few years ago for Christmas and I love the idea of a scene in a small space, this is not new it’s not revolutionary like if you looked it up on Pinterest there would be thousands of them but I needed more Halloween décor not just fall décor. 

            Well here’s my problem, I went to Michael’s the closest on is an hour away which isn’t a big deal but I expected to find Halloween decorations and décor and apparently October is too late to buy Halloween things because their section was slim and they already we getting the Christmas decorations out, I sighed a lot. But I made it work! You could make something like this for really any season or holiday or just for fun. A fairy garden, a miniature scene of something that means something to you, or foe any holiday where you can get themed miniature figurines. I wanted to make a graveyard maybe that’ll be next year’s project I’ll just buy them early.

            What you need:

            Miniatures: Mine were kind of slim pickings so I got ghosts, a skeleton king/queen, I don’t know which it’s probably a king but still (I also had to hot glue it’s foot back on so that was fun), some kind of tree (The picture I took was blurry because I am an idiot and I didn’t realize it until much later), and pumpkins. 

            A hot glue gun: A DIY/crafters best friend, let’s be real.

            A container: I got a lantern, you can do it in a glass jar or anything that you want to put a scene in. Like those shoe box dioramas we did in elementary school. 

            Ground covering: I used moss like you would put in a flower arrangement, it’s messy and it got everywhere but it looks super cool. 

            Mono filament or fishing line and a 1/8 inch dowel rod: if you plan on hanging anything, I had to get a dowel rod from my dad and I used a pair of pliers with a crimper in them to cut the dowel the length I thought that I needed it. 

            Method: 

            1. Make sure everything is unwrapped, your hot glue gun is on, and you have some kind of vision in your head on what you want this to look like, I would suggest laying everything out in the space before putting the moss own to see about how much space you have to work with.

            2. Hot glue in the moss, I layered mine up a little bit on one side so it looked less flat but I think it still looks a little flat but giving that effect of a forest floor layering is important. 

            3. The first thing I glued in was the tree, I used one first and then the skeleton and then I decided I wanted the second one, start at the back of your scene whatever that may be work forward; especially if you are working in a closed space.

            4. I had to prop the second tree up with some moss between the two trees just so it would stay in place but as long as it still looks natural it doesn’t really matter, do what you have to do to make it look nice. 

            5. I glued in a few pumpkins and forgot to take any pictures because I am really bad at DIY’s for blog post purposes, I will get better I promise. I figured a haunted forest pumpkin patch with a skeleton king care taker would be a good scene since I couldn’t do a graveyard this year. 

            6. I hung the ghosts, well first I got the monofilament around their necks and knotted a bunch of times, I checked the height with the dowel rod and tied them to that as well before slipping the dowel rod into the space at the top of the lantern where it’s open between the glass and the top, the ghosts move and spin so that’s both cool and frustrating because they are on strings, though I taped their strings to the dowel rod and the weight of them keeps the dowel rod in place if it’s just sitting on a table, I will probably take them out when I store it because then they won’t swing around into the glass. 

            7. Display, I put mine because it is heavy on my entry table, I want to have a new place to put it but I haven’t built the table yet, that’s a winter project. Lights would be cool in here too I just don’t know how I would have put them in so for now it is what it is. 

            Hope you liked another foray into MJ tries DIY because I had fun with this one. I plan on doing a few Christmas ones because finding Christmas decorations is easy apparently. 

            I hope everyone has a good start to the week and I will be back mid-week with another post! 

            -MJ 

A Fun Little Halloween Decor DIY

            Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

So we are now in this time of year where decorating your house is a revolving door and I love it so much. I love Halloween and fall so here I am telling you about a little DIY I decided to do recently. I have no idea if it’s already been done, it may not be super original but it’s here anyway. I was trying to figure something out and I was rearranging my closet and I found a shadow box that matches a Christmas one I did a few years ago and thought, hmm, I have the perfect idea for it. So I got to work finding all of the items I needed.

            So what do you need for this project, I have never written a DIY out before so bear with me. 

            What you need:

A shadow box, I found this at Michaels awhile back and I had put the words on it before I took the picture so if you buy one like this it will be plain black.

Paint pen (I used an oil based sharpie paint pen which works really well)

Spider web (I used some I found at Home Depot)

Fake spiders (I used ones from Target and I love them)

Hot glue gun and hot glue

The steps you take!

  1. I did all of my writing with the paint pen first and I found a quote I liked and put it on the front of the shadow box frame and put some little accents around it because it was a little plain with just the words, I also put another phrase on top because it seemed like I needed it there.

2. Take the back of the shadow box off and pull out the insert, I kept the pins because I used them to secure the spider web in, it has worked really well so far so if you have pins in the frame keep them, if not get a few pins to put in because it will keep the webbing in place.

3. Stretch out your web, I had to cut mine off the rest of the length of the webbing I bought because a little goes a long way when you are stretching it, use less if you want a more wispy web use more if you want a more full web. 

4, Pin the web in so it stays put.

5. Now arrange your spiders, I tried to just put them in but they were too heavy to be supported by the web alone so I had to hot glue them. 

6. I put a spot of hot glue underneath the web and underneath the spider so they had a good anchor to hang onto on the back of the shadow box frame. Let the glue dry and put the back of the shadow box back in and there you have it. A cute little décor DIY for this spookiest of seasons. 

I am hoping to do another DIY later in the spooky season but I don’t know yet because getting Halloween decorations right now is a little difficult, I know I was in Hobby Lobby and they told me that they got no Halloween decorations which shocked me so I had to search high and low for the decorations that I needed to make this. 

Any fun DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Have a good week and I will see y’all later with another post! 

      -MJ