The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, where I’ve spent virtually every free moment making crafts, homemade Christmas gifts, and gathering ideas for wedding do-it-yourself projects for some upcoming weddings and receptions I’m helping plan.
Thank goodness for Pinterest, and their many categories of DIY crafts of every kind imaginable, links to how-to tutorials with step-by-step instructions, pictures and videos on making homemade stuff I hadn’t ever thought of making myself before.
While Pinterest has been my go-to place for ideas and make-it-yourself projects, I also follow quite a few craft/DIY blogs and websites that provide detailed instructions, craft “recipes” for stuff to make as gifts for holidays or other special occasions that have been a tremendous help.
I used to think “I could never do that”, or “I could never make that myself and have it turn out looking great”. I don’t think that way anymore, and I’ve surprised myself with how well the many crafts and gifts I’ve made have turned out. There is something about making homemade gifts for others that just makes me smile.
The time and focused attention necessary to complete craft projects, finish them on time prior to giving as Christmas gifts, birthdays or whatever other special occasion is coming up, has been a lot of fun. I’ve been putting my still-new sewing machine to work, making a variety of homemade sewing crafts like one seam pajama pants with elastic waistbands and drawstrings, without so much as having to buy a sewing pattern for pj’s!
I found (on Pinterest of course) an easy way of making your own sewing pattern from clothes you already have, like making pajama bottoms, and tracing the clothes on the back of wrapping paper that’s just laying around not being used. Finding helpful hints like that on Pinterest makes me shake my head and think, “Now why didn’t I think of that?!” haha! Now that I’ve gotten heavily into making stuff myself, improving my sewing skills and actually being able to sew a straight line finally, whenever I see an idea for a homemade craft that initially appears to be too difficult or too advanced, I now say to myself and firmly believe “I CAN DO THAT!”
A few years ago I tried my hand at making some homemade silk flower arrangements that actually turned out quite nice, thankfully. With all the pre-wedding planning going on, I’m not at all intimidated at the prospect and likelihood of making flower arrangements, wedding bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, wedding reception table decorations, etc to help keep the wedding/reception costs within their chosen budgets.
Pinterest addiction? Me? Perhaps, but it’s an “addiction” that brings good results for others, not just myself. If I’m Pinterest addicted, then the very long list of Do-It-Yourself blogs and websites I follow closely on Facebook and elsewhere pales in comparison to my activities on Pinterest. A great example of that is when I saw a blog post link appear in my Facebook stream about how to make your own pure vanilla extract from one of my favorite DIY blogs, written by Matt and Betsy Jabs, called DIYNatural.com. Make your own vanilla extract? Really? Only two ingredients, really? Vodka and vanilla beans, and that’s it?! I had no idea!
Closely following Matt and Betsy’s do-it-yourself natural website has not only been inspirational for crafts-making, but a big money saver too. I made some homemade bath salts using a recipe from their DIY blog, and included some in the gift baskets I made as Christmas gifts. Make your own laundry detergent for a fraction of the cost of store-bought detergents? How about making your own homemade toothpaste, without the added fluoride found in many commercial brands? Yep, you sure can, and the recipes with instructions can be found on their website. DIY Natural is on Pinterest and Facebook and Google Plus, so there is no way that I’ll ever miss a post from them.
If being busy continuing on with my reading and research of a host of health-related topics, making lots of crafts, sewing projects, gift making and pre-wedding planning isn’t enough to make my head spin over the last few months, we’ve also been having a great time experimenting with the new breadmaker machine I received as a much-wanted Christmas gift. Hands down, bar none, there is NOTHING that compares to homemade breads made from your very own breadmaking machine. With your own breadmaker, you decide what ingredients go into making bread for your family to eat, and perhaps even more importantly, you decide what commonly used chemical preservatives and “flavor additives and enhancers” do NOT go into the breads your family consumes.
Follow along with me on Pinterest and see some the stuff I’ve made, since I have a tendency to forget to grab the camera for pictures for Pinterest pinning. See you on Pinterest!