Personalized Product Spiral Notebooks

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Need a quick and easy project?  Make some notebooks (big or little) a bit more fun.  We have all seen the notebooks that you can dress up with scrapbook paper and a little bit of Mod Podge…why not reuse some cardboard from the boxes of some of you and your families favorite products?  Anything will work…cereal boxes, soda can boxes, or twinkee and hostess cupcake boxes or even some of the movie sized candy boxes! 

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Take some spiral bound notebooks, which should be easy to find this time of year with the back to school sales going on.

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Unbend one end of the wire spiral so that it is smooth and flat on the end and gently untwist it from the top of the notebook.  This turned out to be pretty easy.  Just be sure to firmly hold the notebook papers with your other hand so they stay lined up nicely so you can add the wire again when finished.

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Remove wire completely and set aside.  Take the old notebook cover and place it over your cardboard box and determine exactly what you would like your new cover to be.  Trace around it with a pen or marker.  Cut out the cardboard piece.  Place the old cover on top of the new cutout cover and mark with your pen where to make the holes.  Then take a large sewing needle and gently punch a hold through each of the marked dots.

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Place your new cover over the top and hold all the papers so that they are lined up.  Insert the spiral wire back into the holes and gently twist the wire so that it encompasses all the papers and works over to the other end of the notebook.  Gently bend the two end pieces of wire back in.

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And that is it!  Such an easy 5 minute project.  I think these would be a fun gift for your kids friends or for your kids themselves.  It is so easy that most kids could help make them too.  And who doesn’t like to make something that is unique and fun and represents something that they enjoy?

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What kind of notebook would you make for yourself and/or kids?

Linking up here:

Thirty Hand Made Days

Tidy Mom

DIY Soda Can Coasters

Well, Summer is in full swing here now.  Kids are home all day and we are enjoying the more relaxed schedules.  I am heading out tomorrow to attend the annual MDA Summer Camp I have been involved with for several years.  I shared a little bit of my experience with the camp last year here.  I have been a volunteer camp counselor (group leader) over a group of kids with Muscular Dystrophy and their volunteer helpers.  We basically are there to get them where they need to be and doing what they should be doing while having fun the entire week.  I LOVE it!  So I am busy getting my family ready for Grandma to come and spend the week with them and watch them while I am at camp!  I am hoping to pop in occasionally and share some pictures with you from the camp.

But today I have a new little project for those of you who drink your beverages out of a can or know someone who does.  These will also be a great gift idea for Father’s Day…Soda Can Coasters.

soda can coasters

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Yes…that is my favorite drink of choice…that I no longer drink…Boo!  Getting to old to be drinking my calories!  But I can still enjoy looking at it when I place my ice water on my lovely new coasters!

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Simply empty out some cans of your choice and rinse them out with water.  Then take some tin snips and very carefully cut off the top and bottom of the can.  This can be a bit tricky.  **But be very careful as these cans are super sharp!!!!  I suggest wearing garden gloves while cutting to help give you extra protection.  I reenacted these photos because the gloves were not so pretty in the pictures…cause we all know how important that it!  Be sure to save as much of the flat part of the side of the can so that you can get a nice size square for your coasters.  Then cut down the seam of the can.  Most cans will have a definite seam on the side…usually by the ingredient list.

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Then I took some Silicone and put a good amount on the back of the square.  I then attached them to some simple white tiles that measured 4 by 4 inches.  I found them at Home Depot in the tile aisle and I believe they were 16 cents a piece.  Flatten and rub the tin square so that it is securely attached.  Wipe any excess Silicone off the top of the tile with a damp warm cloth. 

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Then I set a paper towel on the top of it and laid a pile of books on it and let them dry over night!  The next day I took a small paint brush and painted some glossy varnish over the top of it to seal it all off so that the edges would not peel up and to protect the edges from poking or scratching any users of the coasters.

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Then simply place some felt pads on the bottom of the coasters to protect your table top from getting scratched!

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Aren’t they fun?  I think they would be great to have in your TV room or game room.

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And did I mention how inexpensive they are to make?  Pennies per coaster!  Really!  And you are recycling with a purpose!

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So go ahead and whip some of these bad boys up!  One of the perks of this recent project was that I HAD to have one last drink.  Really!  There were no empty cans to be found!  And I enjoyed every last drop.  Who knows, I just may HAVE to make a LOT more of these coasters to give to ALL my friends and family!

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What do you think?  If you were to make some, what aluminum cans would you use?

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Teacher Appreciation gift

Okay…since this week is teacher appreciation week, I thought I would share a quick,

easy and inexpensive gift that you can make if you need a last minute idea.

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I whipped up some personalized erasers that you can give to your kids teachers to let them know how much you appreciate them. 

The fun part with these is that they are practical too.  Who doesn’t need an eraser?

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I purchased these erasers from Target. 

Then simply came up with some synonyms for the word “mistake” and printed them out on some vinyl to make a stencil. 

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Painted them with some acrylic paints.

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If you have any paint smudges they can simply be erased with another eraser.

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Then I simply covered the eraser cover with scrapbook paper.

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Then I simply took a cardboard box (that you can find at most craft stores) and painted the bottom half black. 

Then I covered the top half with scrapbook paper and secured it with Mod Podge.

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Then I typed up an insert for the bottom of the box on my computer and made sure it fit perfectly into the box, by measuring the box. 

Then simply stuck the eraser into the box with a glue dot.  Wrap it up fancy and give it to your favorite teacher!

What do you think?

  eraser teacher gift     


DIY Hand Carved Monogrammed Soaps

Okay…I love giveaways, but it is going to be nice to get back to some regular posting.  What about you?  As you know, I have a love for all things MONOGRAMMED!  I have been wanting to make some monogrammed soap for quite a while now, but have been unsure about how to go about it.  So the other day, I just thought I would do a test run and see what happened.

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Overall, I am happy with the turnout.  I practiced on one bar of soap first to get my preferred carving technique down.  I highly recommend a practice run before making an attempt if you would like to try to make some for yourself.


Then I let my 3 year old carve my practice soap while I worked on one of “the real things”.  I actually really enjoyed working with the soap.   Here is what I did:

monogrammed soaps


Lever Soap 2000 (I liked how soft and easy this soap was to carve and work with)

glue dots

length of ribbon

scrapbook paper

vegetable peeler

standard screwdriver (smaller the better)


monogram pattern

non-permanent marker

straightened paper clip

monogrammed soap supplies

First I started with the vegetable grater and gently shaved off the Lever 2000 logo that was imprinted in the soap.  I did this by laying the vegetable peeler flat and gently curling the soap off layer by layer.  This will take a little practice to get it smooth and flat.  I made sure to catch all my soap shavings in a container and saved them to reuse.

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As soon as the logo is almost completely gone you can finish and just smooth any uneven areas.  You can do this on both sides of the soap if you would like. 

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Then I took my circled monogram and printed it out.  The circle measured 1.5 inches square.  The font I used was Times New Roman in bold and just stretched it in my photo program till I was happy with how it filled up the circle.   Then I printed it out and cut out the circle.

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Center your monogram in place and hold it with your finger while you take a pencil lead or straightened paper clip (which I used) to mark around the edge of the circle.  Then I dug the circle out so that there was a nice deep groove.

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Now cut out the letter of your monogram but be sure to leave all of the white area.  Take a fine tip marker and trace the letter. 

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This will let you know where to stop when you begin to dig out the excess soap.

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Now, take your screwdriver and gently and carefully scrap out the soap on the inside of the circle.  You will want to keep the letter raised and untouched.  You will need to be really careful around the edges of the letter and the circle so that you don’t accidently scrape into an area you don’t want touched.

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When you scrape the bottom, be sure to pull the screwdriver so that is lays flat against the soap.  This will give you a nice smooth layer.  When you are happy with the monogram and have scraped out enough soap, you can take a Q-tip and smooth out areas that may be a bit rough.  Simply dip the Q-tip into hot water and gently rub on the rough surface.  The hot water will melt the soap and smooth any edges.  Do this very carefully and be sure your Q-tip is not dripping wet.  You can also gently remove the marker with the wet Q-tip.

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And that is it!  Done with the soap carving.  You can see my practice soap in the picture below (before it was carved up).  The practice soap is on the right hand side next to one of my better attempts.  I learned how to be extra careful around the letter to make sure it held it’s shape nicely.

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Now, you want to prettify your soap packaging.  I simply cut off the ends of the soap box leaving just an open rectangle.  Then I simply glued some cute scrapbook paper around the box.

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Then taking a long strip of ribbon, I forgot to measure it…Just wrap it around and eyeball it.  I fastened one end of the ribbon on the top of the box in the middle under the monogram (see top picture).  Then using another glue dot, I attached the monogram to the other end of the ribbon.  Then simply used a glue dot to place the two ends of the ribbon on top of one another.

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Print out another monogrammed circle on white cardstock and use that as the decorative top.  To open you will simply lift up the monogram and the soap will just slide out one end.

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I thought these would be fun to have in your guest bathroom for special guests.  Or they would be fun to give as a small little gift for a friend or a newlywed couple.  Or…carve up your mom’s favorite soap with her initial.  Monogrammed soaps are just a fun little gift idea that can help make someone feel a little extra special! 


And just in case you LOVE monogrammed items as much as I do, I pulled together a list of some of my past monogram projects:

Monogrammed Hand Towels

Monogrammed Mugs

Monogrammed Hand Soap Bottles

Moss Covered Initials

Decorative Initials

Linking up here:

Tidy Mom




Teacher Appreciation Gift and giveaway winner

Wow!  This has been a really cRaZY week around here.  I have had a busy family life and then the blog has been really crazy with Mother’s Day giveaways, SNAP! announcements and such.  But…I think I am mostly caught up at least here…my inbox is another story!  I also really enjoyed reading your specific challenges that you shared in the Kenmore Biggest Challenge post earlier in the week.  I could have written many of those myself.  Good to know we are alone in our struggles!

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I have a couple of fun Teacher Appreciation gift ideas that I would love to share with you due to the fact that next week is Teacher Appreciation week.  And I am guest posting over on Skip To My Lou  today with one of my ideas.  She has been having a bunch of guest posters for a couple of weeks now and there are some really great ideas that have been shared.  I would love for you to go over and check out what I shared with Cindy’s Skip To My Lou   readers in this wrapped box…and while you are there you will want to check out the other fun gift ideas for teachers.

And Skip To My Lou has an awesome giveaway going on right now for a Cricut if any of you are interested in trying to win one!  {click on the link above to be taken directly there}! 

*ALERT—Subject Change!!

The winner of the Signs by Andrea giveaway has been chosen. picked the number 253…



Congratulations Hannah R.  Send me an email and/or leave a comment and I will get you in contact with Andrea for your new Monogrammed sign!  Thanks so much Signs by Andrea for sponsoring this great giveaway. 

Andrea is also offering a $5 discount on any signs for Idea Room readers.  Upon checkout simply enter the coupon code IDEAROOM5  to get your $5 discount.  The coupon code is good through May 1. 2011.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Fabric Interfacing with Silhouette—Monogrammed Hand Towels


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I recently received some of the new ”Sewable” Fabric Interfacing from Silhouette America to test out in my Silhouette Machine.  I have been wanting to make some Monogrammed Hand Towels since making this stenciled hand towel for Valentine’s Day.  I was initially planning on stenciling them but immediately changed my mind when the sewable fabric interfacing arrived.  This project literally took me about 15 minutes to complete and I had all the products already on hand…Love it when that happens!


It was a really easy process.  First I simply made an “H” in my Silhouette program using Times New Roman font, 4 inches tall.

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Then I took a large rectangle of some black and white polka dot fabric that I had left-over from another projects {found at JoAnn’s a couple of years ago}, and ironed it directly onto the fabric interfacing {on the opposite side of the paper}.  Make sure the right side of your fabric is facing up.

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Then I took my scissors and cut out around the material and folded up the unused fabric interfacing and saved it for future projects.

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Peel away the paper layer from the back of the material.

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Then for the best part.  Cut out your fabric with your Silhouette Machine.  This is seriously so awesome!  I think it has to be one of my favorite features of the Silhouette America machine.


To cut the fabric, simply place the fabric and the interfacing onto the Silhouette cutting mat.  I cut mine with settings at a speed of 3 and a thickness of 33 and it  cut the fabric perfectly!  Oh man!  I LOVE this feature!  Where was this when I was cutting all those circles for The Heartfelt Wreath??

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Simply peel away the outside fabric so that you are left with your letter.

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Carefully peel your letter from the Silhouette Mat.  Then I took a white hand towel that I found in a two Pack from Wal-Mart.  I folded the hand towel in half lengthwise so that I would know where the exact middle of the towel was.  Then I gently folded my letter in half and placed it on the lower half of the towel to get a good centered placement.

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Hold your letter carefully in place and unfold your towel and you should have a good centered placement of your monogrammed letter.  Iron the letter into place on the towel.  This is a temporary hold so that you can sew it into place.

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I sewed around all of the edges with some white thread so that the stitching would stand out a bit and made sure to back stitch to keep it on the towel permanently and securely. 


And that is it!  Super simple right?  If you don’t sew on a sewing machine, this would be just as easy to do with some simple hand stitching!  And if you don’t have a silhouette machine, you could simply stencil them with fabric paint or cut out your own letter by tracing onto your fabric and cutting it out with a pair of scissors.  Because it is one letter it shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming.  These would be great wedding, shower, Christmas or even birthday gifts! 

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I like them so much I want to make one for the kitchen and some other bathrooms…and why not all my friends.  This project cost me a total of $1.25…or the price on one hand towel…Not too bad…ehhh?


And guess what?  As a Silhouette affiliate I am able to offer my readers a special promotion good only this week, March 21-27th! What is this great deal? Use the promo code IDEAROOM at checkout when you purchase a Silhouette SD, you will also receive one package of each fabric interfacing (clean cut & sewable) and a roll of white flocked heat transfer material for only $229. If you already have a Silhouette, use the promo code IDEAROOM at checkout to receive a 25% discount on fabric interfacing.  But hurry it is only good through March 27th. Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

 Click on button if you are interested in this promotion and it will take you right to Silhouette’s site.


 **I did not get paid any compensation for this post. I did however receive some Sewable Fabric Interfacing to keep for my own and review.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps

I actually have a St. Patrick’s Day craft coming.  I wanted to share it with you today and just had to take some pictures of it but the weather was not cooperating.  Too dark and dreary for a good photo.  So I will share it with you later this week.  But in the meantime I would like to share with you a fun edible easter craft…Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps!


Now…I am NOT a fan of Marshmallow Peeps.  But everyone else in my immediate family is.  So I thought it would be fun to spruce them up and make them into something that is extra fun to gift and eat.


Simply take some Marshmallow Peeps and stick a sucker stick into the bottom of it.  Dip them into melted white chocolate or Vanilla Candi-Quik.  Lay them down on wax or parchment paper.  Add some mini chocolate chips for eyes and a jelly bean for the bunny’s nose.  Let dry.


Super simple and easy!  These would be a fun gift for friends, neighbors, class mates, and family members for Easter.


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XO S’mores–Williams and Sonoma Knock-Off


I first saw the idea for making these fun XO S’mores over a Be Different, Act Normal when Lorie shared a link from Williams and Sonoma
I thought…”I NEED to make me some of these”…and so I did!


The original Williams and Sonoma s’mores look to me to be chocolate covered x and o shaped graham crackers that are covered in chocolate.  I took a different route.  I sandwiched a Nilla Wafer between 1/3 of a jumbo marshmallow and two chocolate letters.


I simply took some letter cookie cutters that my kids have in their play dough toys and of course washed them thoroughly.  I found them at my local thrift store a few years ago for $1.  I believe they were specifically made to go with Jell-O Jigglers??  But I am not sure.


Anyways, I melted some Chocolate CandiQuik that I received from Miss Candiquik!  {Thank You}.  This stuff melts so nice and thin and is perfect for dipping all sorts of things.  Then I filled the letter shapes half full and tapped the pan so the chocolate would lay and settle in a flat layer.  When they had cooled and hardened, I gently popped them out.


To ensure that the s’mores would hold together nicely, I just put a dab of melted chocolate between each layer and let it harden.  Worked like a charm.


These were pretty quick and easy to make.  Aren’t they so pretty too?


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Reindeer Treats


Today I want to share these Reindeer Treats with you…

These will make some yummy Christmas treats that would be fun for a family party, classroom treat, or small gift.  They would also be a fun Christmas cookie to take to a Christmas cookie exchange.


These were pretty easy to make. We tooks some Nutter Butter Cookies and separated the top and bottom cookies to reveal the peanut butter filling inside. Then we added a little more creamy peanut butter and stuck a new popsicle stick in the peanut butter.


Then we put the tops back on. We did this to several and then lined a cookie sheet with some wax paper to placed the reindeer pops on after we dip them in chocolate.


After dipping the cookies in chocolate we laid them onto the wax paper. Then before the chocolate hardens add your reindeer faces. We used white chocolate chips for the eyes and a dot of black icing for the pupil (if you want the eyes to sit flat, cut the pointy tip off the chocolate chip with kitchen scissors or a knife). We used red M&M’s for the nose and added some sprinkles to the cheeks. Then we used broken pretzels for the antlers.


The antlers can be a bit tricky to get to stick. We found the easiest way to get them to stay put was to place the end of one of the antlers (pretzel) on top of the head and then cover the end with melted chocolate. Repeat this for the other antler. Then we placed the reindeer into the freezer so they would harden. Make sure to lay your cookie sheet flat.

Easy-Christmas-Treats |

Once they have hardened, you will be able to wrap them up cute and give them away…or eat them! And since I love Peanut Butter and Chocolate…these were pretty tasty!

"Cookie Grams" in a Jar