Category: DIY & Crafting

Small Business Weekend Shopping Giveaway

Small Business Weekend shopping starts now! Small Business Weekend is a time to discover and support small shops, locally made items, and handcrafted art. In the flurry of Black Friday and holiday sales, Small Business Weekend shopping reminds us about the unique items we may be overlooking!

Here are some of my favorite vendors that offer fun handmade gift ideas this year. And keep reading–there’s a giveaway exclusively for Pink Paperdoll readers, with the chance to win every item from these shops pictured below! Talk about getting a head start on your shopping.


starfelts on Etsy: Small Business Weekend ShoppingThese felt plushies are handmade by a real mermaid! Stasia Higgins plays Starla the Mermaid and sews felties and plush toys. She runs the Etsy shop StarFelts and loves making custom orders! (Mermaid Starla is also available for events and parties.)

Perfect for: kids, mermaid lovers, anyone on your list who needs a good luck charm or a happiness boost.

Silver Lining Designs

Small business Saturday jewelry designsThis Canadian-based jewelry designer uses a combination of stainless steel wire and beads to make keepsake creations.

Here’s what she says about her line: “Jewelry says a lot about a person, I love connecting with people through the fun, quirky, colorful and the classy jewelry that I make, sell, wear and give as gifts. And now you can too!

Perfect for: Moms, Grandmas, Co-workers, Cousins, Friends, Aunties or any favorite who loves unique keepsake jewelry. Also check out her Tree of Life design on Etsy for nature-loving ladies.

Are you shopping at any small, local or handmade stores this year?  Comment to share your suggestions for where to do small business weekend shopping!

Small Business Weekend Shopping Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Sometimes you want a costume that you can put together yourself. No one will have the same costume as you, you won’t be limited to what’s available in the store, and you can get it in a hurry if you’ve procrastinated. Stylish, a little humorous, and fun to portray, these are my top choices for creative and easy DIY Halloween costumes this year. No sewing required (unless you want to!). Now, which one to go as…easy DIY halloween costumes

1. Chanel #3 from FOX’s “Scream Queens.”

This quirky, campy show may not be that well known, but it’s heading toward cult classic status partly due to its well-dressed cast of characters. Your group of friends could go as all the Chanels, but call dibs on Chanel #3 because earmuffs, obvi!

The costume: Chanel #3 wears the same pastel, fur and pearl-heavy outfits as the other Chanels, but her signature omnipresent earmuffs set her apart. This Brooks Brothers skirt is the same one she wore in an episode.

Props: Chanel #3 usually can be seen with a sparkly beverage in hand.

Attitude: Speak in a low monotone. Nonchalantly work into conversation that your father is serial killer Charles Manson.

2. Eloise

Easy DIY Halloween CostumesThis childhood literary favorite is mischievous, bilingual, and extremely rich. Spoiled she may be, but luckily her outfit is incredibly simple to recreate.

The costume: Start with the basics of a white blouse, short black skirt, and white knee socks. Add black suspenders or straps made out of black ribbon. Then finish it off with black Mary Jane’s and a pink hair bow. I wanted to re-purpose and upcycle as much as I could while making this costume, so I made the suspenders out of an old pair of tights.

Props: All you need is someone who saved their Beanie Baby collection and voila! “Pugsly” becomes Eloise’s dog “Weenie.” If you have a real pet pug, you’d better be dressing up as Eloise. No excuses.

Attitude: Have fun telling people, “I am Eloise. I am a city child. I live at the plaza.” If you can pose against pink striped wallpaper, that is ideal. Bonus: accidental vandalism or destruction of property is very much within character for Eloise.

3. Tinkerbell

A classic costume that you can’t go wrong with. Can also easily be turned into a couple’s costume with a Peter or a Hook, or a group costume with all your besties dressed up as Tink’s fairy entourage.

The costume: A short green dress is item number one. If you don’t need to re-wear the dress, cut a a petal pattern in the skirt for a true fairy look. Hair up in a bun. A pair of wings, which you can DIY if you don’t have a pair.

Props: A little bottle of “fairy dust” to sprinkle around. Your party hosts would probably prefer that this is imaginary versus real glitter.

Attitude: Out of your favorite candy? Spilled your drink? You have license to pout about anything that doesn’t go your way.

Happy Halloween, readers! Who are you going as this year?

DIY Wedding Favors for Every Bride

The Pink Paperdoll welcomes Sarah Landrum as a guest poster this week. She tells us her best DIY wedding favors ideas for every wedding style, including Vintage, Rustic Country Chic, Romantic, Beach, or Quirky.

DIY Wedding Favors Ideas

Planning your dream wedding can become expensive quickly. You want every detail to be perfect, even down to the favors. Equally as important, you’ll want to find items that your guests would actually like to have, but still match the theme of your wedding. While little bottles of bubbles might be traditional, they’re not exactly something your guests will hold onto after you’ve said your goodbyes for the night.

Instead of spending a fortune on run-of-the-mill gifts for your guests, use a little elbow grease to make these unique DIY favors specific to your theme.


Vintage tea cup candles: If you’re looking for a touch of vintage flair, transform delicate teacups into candles with wax and a wick. Add a touch of lavender essential oil to add to the throwback feel.

Country Chic/Rustic

Succulents: These little plants are fairly hardy against even the blackest thumb. Put a few different varieties in small little pots that will allow for easy transport. Include a cute tag with a quote about watching your love grow and your guests will enjoy the romance of it all.

 Succulent Favors

Sweet Spreads: Spread the love with a homemade jam or honey jar. Dress it up with a vintage sign, or customize to make it fit any wedding theme.

Mason jar treats: Mason jars are the epitome of country chic and are essentially required for any country theme. You can use a traditional Mason jar or select a jar with a snap lid depending on what you choose to put in the containers. Some favorites include mini pies, a tasty drink or homemade jam.


Pumpkins: If you’re planning a fall wedding, grow your own tiny pumpkins. The harvest will be abundant and will go a long way in making you feel like Cinderella. Hopefully they’ll also inspire your guests to make it safely home by midnight!

Book of Poems: Exchanging love poems with a special someone is reminiscent of a time gone by. Create your own book of poems that represent you and your new husband with craft paper. The key is to bind the book with a few carefully placed stitches.

Macarons: These sweet treats are synonymous with the romance of Paris and are sure to elicit daydreams of meeting a lover by the Eiffel tower. If you decide to make these cookies yourself, make sure to do a few practice runs because the delicate balance of egg whites and almond flower can take several tries to perfect.

DIY wedding favors ideas


Paper fan: Sitting out in the heat to watch your beautiful ceremony might leave your guests a bit sweaty and ripe. Help them stay cool with a handmade paper fan. You can choose anywhere from a flat card with a handle to the traditional folded variety. You can also buy a DIY kit for customizable fans for a pretty great price.

Fan wedding favor-this would be PERFECT for outdoor summer weddingsFound on The Knot Wedding Shop

Found on

Sea shell candles: Everyone hopes to come home from the beach with a seashell. Make the search easier by providing your own. Better yet, put melted wax and wick into your shell to make a charming candle for your guest to burn later. (If you’re short on time or shells, these little favors are only $3.50 at Amazon.)


Popcorn: Build upon your fun-loving atmosphere with this favorite movie theater or carnival treat. Select a bag that coordinates with your theme or pick the traditional red and white box. You can even set up a station with popcorn options for your guests to create their own poppin’ favor.

Popcorn for weddingsCoasters: When you’re a bride who likes to think outside the box, choosing the right favor can be slightly challenging. Transform your Instagram photos or favorite quotes into coasters for your guests. Think of them as picture frames, only with a more practical use. As an added bonus, you might boost your Instagram following as a result.

Donations: In lieu of favors, make a charitable donation. You can DIY a donation board where guests can choose which charity they’d like to give to.

With these tips, you’ll be able to not only stay within your budget and theme, but also provide your guests with a memento they’ll treasure after you’ve left for your honeymoon.

Sarah LandrumSarah Landrum is a freelance writer, career and lifestyle blogger, and founder of Punched Clocks, sharing advice on having a happy and successful career. Follow Sarah on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest and subscribe to her blog for more great advice.

Free Stock Image Trial for DIYs (& a Giveaway)

I love designing with graphics, but I don’t always have the skills to make what I want from scratch. I found a wonderful compromise: a stock image site that lets me download images and designs, which I can then customize in any editing program. I took advantage of my week-long free trial to make this midsummer party decoration. The circle of flowers was too perfect, reminiscent of Kirsten Larson the American Girl doll and the midsummer flower crowns at the American Swedish Institute.

Free stock image trial

I printed it out and made a tag to attach to a bouquet of daisies and peonies.

photo (12)

Here’s what I like so far about the free stock image trial

You can save your favorite images to your “project bin” and find them later for easy downloading. GraphicStock has a great range of photographs, graphics and design elements so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. The 7-day trial gives you full access to download away!

In addition to plenty of stock photos that would be perfect for using on my blog posts, GraphicStock offers design graphics that are perfect for scrap booking, card making, invitations and wedding DIYs. The interface is easy to use to search by category.

free stock image trial

How to get started using stock images

Try it: Check out the free 7-day trial. Once you download the images they are yours to keep. Download up to 20 images a day over 25,000 images. Just be sure to cancel so you don’t get charged if you decide not to continue with GraphicStock–set a reminder for yourself!

Buy it: Ready to get started right away? GraphicStock has a limited time deal: $99 for a whole year ($588 value–85% off). 

Win it: GraphicStock is giving away a one year subscription to one lucky reader. Enter this easy giveaway below.

One Year Membership Giveaway

This is a comment only giveaway. To enter:

1. Click here

2. Let me know in the comments below what project you’d use GraphicStock images for!

Many thanks to GraphicStock for sponsoring today’s post on the free stock image trial and inspiring me to create my own midsummer party DIY.

Tassel Necklace DIY

Tassel Necklace DIY Tassels, tassels, tassels. They’re hard to miss. Right now, it seems like they are dangling off of every purse and necklace on the street. While it’s easy to find them in stores adorning your favorite accessories, they’re actually really easy to make! Embarking on a tassel necklace DIY project will save cash and let you customize the perfect tassel.

Tassel Necklace DIY Instructions

The secret to the star necklace with the silver tassel is that it was an existing necklace that I added a tassel onto with wire. Super easy! The gold tassel necklace I added a bead onto before making the final wire loop that goes onto the chain. The tassels themselves, though. are made the same easy way.

Here are the supplies used: metallic string, jewelry wire, wire clippers, needle nose pliers, scissors, large bead, and a chain.

Need pliers? This cute set has everything you need for under $12 at amazon!

Start by wrapping the thread around your fingers. When you get the desired thickness of the tassel, clip the thread. You should now have a round loop of thread, which will become the tassel.

DIY TasselThen take the wire, put it through the loop, and twist it to secure one end of the loop. This is now the top of your tassel.

About half an inch below the top of the tassel, tie a piece of the thread to make the bulb of the tassel. Knot this thread securely, then trim the ends. This is similar to making yarn dolls, if you remember doing that when you were young!

Cut the loop at very bottom. Magically, a tassel appears!

Next, return to the wire at the top of the tassel. Now it’s time to attach the tassel to the chain. If attaching it to an existing necklace, twist the wire onto it and clip. Otherwise, add a bead if you have one, and then twist the wire into a loop for hanging. Slide it onto the chain. You’re done!

Now go enjoy how much money you saved on jewelry and impress people with your professional-looking tassel necklace DIY! What will you wear your pretty tassels with?

DIY Tassel Necklace