DIY || #35 || Sprinkles too, please!

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People...it's snowing buckets in Boston! I'm busy trying to make my life inside the apartment as colorful as possible because I was not built for this. First stop, the kitchen! Today's DIY Sprinkle Cake Top is a fun upcycle project I did after I found this cake stand at a thrift shop in Cambridge. The top had a thin crack on it, so I simply used spray paint to cover the blemish and added sprinkles with a paint brush! I think it's a cute way to add a lot of appeal to your baked goods (and just might make people believe your baked treats are way more legit!). Just don't forget to add the cherry on top! Simple instructions below...

What you'll need:

-Cake stand and top (bought mine for $6 at a thrift store)
-Spray paint 
-Variety of multi-surface paints
-foam brushes or paint brushes


Begin by thoroughly washing your cake stand! Once dried, prep an outside space with plastic or trash bags and spray paint the top (though you can do the bottom part too if you wish.. I just liked the contrast). Since my top was clear, I used about 3 coats of paint so it would be a stronger, solid pink color. I let it dry outside for a couple days so the smell would dissipate. 

The last bit is the fun part! First, paint the two leaves on top adjacent to the top handle. In reality, I did this part last and, luckily, it worked out. However, it is much better to space out the sprinkles knowing where the leaves are positioned. Once the painted leaves are dry, decide on a handful of colors you want your sprinkles to be and, using a foam brush, make thin rectangles around the top section. I found this easiest to do by coating one side of the foam brush and pressing it onto the platter. The last step is to paint the handle bar that bright red for a cherry look! It's definitely best to save this for last so that you can use the handle to turn the top when painting the sprinkles. I waited another day until everything was dry, though in reality it was dried after about 30 minutes! A couple fun alternatives to get this look is to cut sprinkles from thin, colored paper and glue it onto the platter like paper mache style. Another option is to buy sticker sheets, print out the sprinkle shapes, cut, and stick! 

Isn't this almost too tasty looking?! Have fun :)


DIY || #34 || Your Love is Magnetic

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In case all the Valentine's Day pink and candy hearts weren't enough for you already, here's a quick DIY to celebrate one of the sweetest holidays coming this weekend! I made these DIY Conversation Heart Magnets over the weekend and it literally took less than five minutes to put it together. It's so fun and versatile to use with loved ones, friends, roommates, at work, or to surprise strangers in a public bathroom if the door is magnetic! (Okay, maybe the last one is a bit creepy, but I'm sure you can think of plenty of fun places to stick these..)

Here is what you'll need:

-Foam Conversation Hearts (variety pack from Michael's)
-Magnet Squares with Foam Adhesive (I bought 2 packs of 6)
-Paper/pens/glue to make valentine notes (if desired!)

Alright, are you ready for this super complicated process? Grab a foam heart, unpeel the backing of the square foam magnet, stick it to the back of the heart and press. That's it! I know, I'm breaking a sweat too! Simply repeat this process for as many as you'd like to make. I also wrote out some quirky love notes using colorful pens and paper and stuck them to my fridge using the heart magnets. 

This is a super cute surprise gift for your roommates or loved ones when they wake up in the morning and go to the fridge! Hope you enjoyed this one - and that your Valentine's day is splendidly sweet!


DIY || #33 || Walking on Walls

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And I did it again - a DIY Woven Wall Art with less than half the effort! Clearly I really don't want to learn the beautiful art of weaving, but when you don't have much time after work it's nice to still create something similar in less time. Last year, I created this "No-Weave Wall Hanging" which introduced a new way to style tassels onto an embroidery sheet. Today's project is definitely one of my all time favorites that uses this technique and, thankfully, my roommates agree since it's now a new part of our apartment decor! I purchased this Plum & Bow Connected Stripe Rug from Urban Outfitters for $24 and bought about $20 of plastic spring flowers from Michael's Arts & Crafts Store (they were on sale!). Together, with some yarn and glue, I was able to create this wall art that adds a unique twist to the typical woven wall pieces. The main trick is to find a rug with texture and a hand woven-like pattern as a base. The way I created this piece allows for the flowers and 3D elements to be taken off and replaced if need be, so you can always change the look with the seasons or simply re-use the rug for its original purposes! Versatility and colorful creativity - that's what I'm talkin' about! Alrighty, here are the details below: 

What you'll need: a rug (ideally thin enough to pierce flora stems through or with strong weaving - I got this one at Urban Outfitters); flowers and greenery (from Michael's); yarn; string, plastic embroidery sheets, scissors; nails, glue gun.

Step-by-step Instructions: First, layout your flowers and yarn and try to sketch or visually imagine a design you want to create on your rug. Next, to create the yarn tassels, I wrap the yarn around the palm of my hand a few times (around 7-10 times). Carefully slide this off your hand and, with a thin string, make a knot on one side of the yarn loop. Use scissors to cut the other end of the loop so the bottom yarn hangs freely. Depending on the design you want to create, tie these string tassels to the plastic embroidery sheet. I easily attached the plastic embroidery sheets to the rug using bobby pins - just slid them into the string wrapping throughout the rug (this is why it's helpful to have a rug like this as your base with woven-like details!). To attach flowers to the rug, I cut the stems so there was at least 2-3 inches from the petals/leaves. Carefully, I slid the stems in between the woven parts of the rug. On the back side of the rug, I bent the floral stems so they would not move. An alternative thing that can be done (and that I did in some cases when the stems were too short), is to use a glue gun and attach the flower directly to the rug surface. 

To prepare the rug for hanging: I bought a thing wood dowel for less than $1 at Michael's. Fold one end of your rug over this wooden dowl (how much you fold over depends on how long you want your wall tapestry...I did about 3- inches). Sneaky little trick I did here! Since the rug is quite thick and heavy, I knew that glue or sewing wouldn't hold very well. SO I took some long, thick metal nails (yes, nails!) and wove them through the string on the rug as if I was threading them shut. I used three nails in total (sides and middle). Lastly, wrap string or twine around the edges of the dowel to create a line of the rug to hang on a nail. If you haven't put a nail in the wall yet - you should do that too! That's it! Super fun craft to brighten up your home decor! Give it a try or let me know what you think! 


DIY || #32 || Laughing My Ears Off

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First DIY of the new year and it involves two of my favorite things: staying warm and emoticons! This super simple project was inspired by Studio DIY's Emoji Ornaments she  made over the holidays. Given how much I love to use emoticons with my friends every day, I figured, why not share them with the rest of the world? Scroll below for the deets on how to make these interchangeable DIY Emoticon Earmuffs!

Here is what you will need: solid color earmuffs (yellow or white works best!), large clear plastic buttons (with pin backing - like these), colored paper, markers, scissors and glue. All these supplies I got at Michael's!

To start, open up a plastic button. Remove the sample paper inside and use that circle as a template. Trace 4 circles on the sheet of yellow paper; these will be the bases of your emoticons. Depending on which smiley you wish to re-create, you can cut and glue more shapes using different colored pieces of paper. for example, to make the 'tongue sticking out' emoticon, I cut a small circle out of white paper for the open eye and then I made the tongue by cutting out the shape on pink paper. Glue everything in place if you add pieces like these. Next, finish the emoticon with black marker to do the eyes, eyebrows and mouth. Once the emoticon is complete, simply place it back into the plastic button case with the emoticon facing outwards. Gently, pin the button to the outside of the earmuff so that it is firmly attached. Make sure you don't do this while the earmuffs are on your head (which would be both quite dangerous and quite difficult)!

Continue making as many other faces or emoticons as you wish! The joy of using plastic pin buttons is that you can switch them up anytime! Feeling happy one day - pin on some laughing emoticons. Feeling sad it's so cold you need to wear earmuffs in the first place? Pin on some grumpy ones! When it warms up outside, you can easily pin these to anything else - clothes, backpacks, purses, or notebooks. Have fun and feel free to share what you think or made!


DIY || #31 || Hasta la vista, baby!

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Alright, so this DIY was supposed to be a stocking stuffer but, alas, Christmas proved to be much more hectic than I planned! However, I bet there are some of you that forgot to gift something to that distant cousin who showed up unexpectedly for the holidays and now you're scrambling to put something together..or maybe, over Christmas, you became one of the lucky few to get a plane ticket present to welcome the New Year on a tropical and peaceful island. Regardless of what you'll need it for, I'm back with a DIY that is both classy and quick to make - a leather passport case with gold lettering! Read below for the easy step-by-step instructions...

What you'll need: Leather swatch (got mine in aqua color at Michael's), Letter stamps (purchased at Michael's), Gold Marker Pen, Permanent Glue, Scissors, and passport/pencil for sizing.

First, layout you passport on the inside of the leather swatch, drawing a light trace around it with a pencil. Next, trim the swatch so there is about 1" extra across all sides, with an extra .5" especially on the vertical sides in order to make flaps (this will make sense in the pictures). Afterwards, taking one side, fold the leather over the front cover of the passport, dotting glue on the corners. Repeat with back page of the passport. Be careful not to glue your passport to the leather! It should fit snug in the leather but also loose enough to take it out. Repeat adding glue if the leather doesn't stay down at first and lay under a stack of heavy books for a couple hours until it keeps its shape. Alternatively, for the sewing inclined, you can stitch the flaps under a sewing machine for a sure hold. Once that is set, simply take your rubber letter stamps and, one by one, coat a letter using the gold marker pen and press hard into the leather. Write whatever you wish! That's it! 

Follow my colorful mess on some of my newest social media accounts: instagram and twitter, and let me know what you think!


Blogging Boss 101 || #1 || Text Tutorial, Part I

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red dress image from Atlantic-Pacific

Hey everyone! Welcome to "Blogging Boss" - my new series of tutorials, tips, and advice on how to improve your blogging material! I constantly get asked how I create my graphic design elements and photography work, so I'm starting this series to help anyone get a solid understanding of the many creative mediums you can use to enhance your blog. I learned how to do everything on my own (including designing my blog and photoshop) and relied on many useful websites and blogs to do so. This series is simply me giving back to the internet world for the countless times I needed to take information from it. If you have any desired topics or tutorials you want me to talk about, just leave a note in the comment box or shoot me an email (thekipiblog@gmail.com)!

Part I of this tutorial, "Having Fun with Text," teaches you how to put an image inside text. It is one of the first things I learned how to do in Photoshop and it's surprisingly super easy, trust me! Since so many of you love the 'golden' title on my blog, here is a quick tutorial showing you how I was able to create it in just a few steps: 

Come back next week for Part II of this tutorial, which will show you how to place text behind an element within a picture (for example, in the image above, how I placed the text behind the woman's head)!


Friday Faves || #23 || Holiday crush

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I know it's not friday, but I just couldn't resist posting this week's friday faves! My holiday splendor is bursting at the seams...and looking at all the beautiful projects, food, and gift ideas on the web is not helping. These are a handful of my many favorites - check them out for yourself!

Homemade Potpourri (by Half Baked Harvest) // DIY Leather Bow Bracelets (by A Pair and A Spare) // DIY Cake and Beverage Stencils (by A Beautiful Mess) // Wreath Gift Wrapping (by Odessa May Society - See more DIY Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas by Oh So Beautiful Paper) // Three Ingredient Chocolate Almond Clusters (by Le Creme de la Crumb


DIY || #30 || Stocking Stuffers - Leather Coffee Cup Sleeves

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Welcome to part one of a three-part series on affordable holiday stocking stuffers made with leather! It's been hard getting back to the blog after trying to sift through the mayhem that is applying to medical school. Yet, with the holidays in full blast I couldn't help but craft all the project ideas buzzing in my head!

This first project, DIY leather coffee cup sleeves, is a chic (and fairly hipster) project that looks and feels quite luxurious but only cost me around $6-7 to make. That's a steal! As a California gal living on the east coast, I don't do well in the cold. I also don't do well with wasting things. Although many paper coffee sleeves in cafes are recycled, why not just have a reusable one you can easily carry in your bag or wallet? Better yet - snag a reusable coffee mug and you'll essentially save the world (and look good while doing it).

Alright, here are the deets!

What you'll need: paper coffee cup, coffee cup sleeve (as template), leather (I got mine for $3.99; here is a similar one online at Michael's), permanent glue, scissors, and a pencil.

How to make it: trim the paper coffee cup sleeve on each end so it will fit nicely on your leather sheet. Flip the leather over and trace the outline of the paper sleeve lightly. Cut! You'll notice that the leather sleeve at this point won't wrap all the way around. Obviously, if you have a longer piece of leather this won't be a problem, but mine wasn't. So I saw it as an opportunity to keep being artistic with it. To fill this gap, use a piece of scrap leather, flip it over for an 'opposing' color/texture look, and glue to both ends of the sleeves. Trim excess as necessary. I then wrapped a bit of the excess around the top and bottom of the sleeve to complete the look. Wait at least 10 - 15 minutes for the glue to dry and harden before using. That's it! Happy sippin' folks! And come back next week for second DIY in this leather stocking stuffer series!