cabin crafts

photo 2(1)I took today off work to run some errands and get organized for a long weekend up north. My goal is to spend loads of time there this summer/fall, so to make all the back-and-forth as easy as possible, I’m bringing some essentials to leave up there, allowing me to pack light week-in, week-out. Since it’s such an inspiring, beautiful place, of course I had to assemble a little craft kit, so if a rainy day hits, or I find myself up too early (or late), I’ll be able to work on some projects.

Here are a few crafts I’ve been eying that require a minimal number of supplies and that can rely on, or benefit from, the abundance of natural materials surrounding the cabin. The best part is most of them would be handy to keep up there!

cabin craftsClockwise from top: birch bark canoe by Lil Fish Studios // god’s eye DIY via Free People // twisted turban headband via eHow // spray-painted lids via Yadira’s Craft Adventures // pine cone garland via I’m Not Sure Where

If you have ideas for projects that’d be good to tote up north, please do let me know. Now, back to packing!

xoxo,

Meghan

pinned it, made it: watercolor thank-you notes

Pinned this

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and then tried my hand at making my own! (One of my personal betterment resolutions for 2014 is to be better at getting thank-you notes out in a timely way. I’m super embarrassed of how terribly I’ve fallen out of the practice, but I’ve promised myself “no more!”)

thank you cards 3 thank you cards 2 thank you cards 1

My lettering skills leave quite a bit to be desired, but I am OK with that. Plus, I found all the supplies in my basement! (#bonus) Props to Scout’s Honor Co.’s delightful blog for heaps of inspiration. Have you been inspired to create from Pinterest lately? If so, I’d love to know what you’re making!

xoxo,

Meghan

how to: make reed diffusers using thrifted vases

Come mid-winter, I straight-up yearn for open-window weather. I love the sounds of my neighborhood, but more than anything, I crave fresh air. Since we have at least a couple months to go before it’s warm enough to crack the windows, I’ve been keeping things fresh at home with these easy-to-make reed diffusers. Crafted out of with Goodwill vases and few ingredients—including a few you probably already have on hand!—this project comes together in about 15 minutes, and costs a mere fraction of store-bought air fresheners.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 2 thrifted vases — I looked for vases with narrow necks that were no more than five inches tall
  • Mineral oil — available at your local pharmacy and/or hardware store
  • Vodka
  • Carrier oil — sweet almond, jojoba and safflower oils will all work great
  • Essential oils — single-note oils or blends are both great options
  • Wooden reeds — I found mine at Michael’s

HOW TO MAKE

1. Start by gathering up your supplies.
diffusers step 1
2. Measure ½ cup of mineral oil into a glass measuring spout.
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3. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vodka. It’s naturally going to separate, so give it a good whisk to ensure it’s emulsified.
diffusers step 3
4. Now it’s time to mix up your scents. To keep it simple, I used two of my favorite essential oil blends: Veriditas Botanicals’ Good Samaritan blend and Aura Cacia’s Creative Juice. The sky’s the limit when it comes to essential oil combos, so feel free to play around! As long as you’re stay around 20-30 drops per ¼-cup carrier oil, you should be in good shape.
diffusers step 4
5. Using a small funnel, pour the carrier-oil blend into a vase, followed by half the mineral oil-vodka mixture. Repeat with your second vase.
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6. Insert a handful of the reeds into each vase, stirring the oil around. After a few hours pass, flip the sticks over, so the end that hasn’t been dipped gets a turn in the oil. For the most fragrant results, flip your sticks every few days. Depending on the size of your vases, these diffusers should stay fragrant for at least a month or two.
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Are you a fan of homemade air fresheners? If you have a good method or recipe up your sleeve, please do let me know!
xo,
Meghan
A version of this post first appeared on the Goodwill / Easter Seals Minnesota blog.

pinned it, made it: bejewelled beanie

Pinned this

Bejewelled Beanie

and then made my own!

high plains thrifter // diy bejewelled beanie

It was seriously so easy. Plus, all the supplies (except the needle and thread) were thrifted! The never-worn hat was found at the new Nicollet Avenue Goodwill for $1.99. The necklace turned beanie bling is from the Salvation Army Family Store, also on Nicollet, and cost $2.99. Staying glitzy (and warm) in the midst of this never-ending polar vortex? Priceless. Many, many thanks to Fran of Fall for DIY for the inspiration!

Stay warm, my dears!

xoxo,

Meghan

P.S. Do you save your DIY or craft ideas on Pinterest? If so, leave your board address in a comment so I can follow along. I’d love to see what’s inspiring you!

how to: make an air plant display

high plains thrifter // diy air plant display  Got a minute? If so, pop on over to the Goodwill/Easter Seals blog to learn how to make a display for air plants using thrifted picture frames. An ideal DIY for folks with short attention spans (like me!), this easy-peasy craft takes all of 10 minutes to complete. But don’t take my word for it, check out the full how-to here!

xoxo,

Meghan

the beauty thrifter is in!

high plains thrifter // How to Use Coconut Oil to Remove Your MakeupAs someone who has struggled with stinging eyes and burn-y sensations from even the most “sensitive” of drugstore eye-makeup removers, I’m so stoked to share a natural solution that’s as gentle on the eyes as it is on the wallet. Hop on over to Beauty Bets today to learn all about it!

xo,

Meghan

Photo credit: Julia McMahon // LB Jeffries Photography

holiday how-to: DIY mulling spice kits

mulling spice kit // high plains thrifterThere’s nothing more gratifying than giving a homemade gift. I know it sounds cheesy, but the heartfelt aspect of making and giving just can’t be matched buying store-bought presents. In order to save money, time and sanity during this busy holiday season, I’ve learned (the hard way, some years) how important it is to find ideas that can be made ahead, multiplied and don’t require a ton of expensive specialty supplies. Which is why I’m so stoked about these cute mulling spice kits I made for the craft swap.

mulling spice group // high plains thrifter

It’s seriously the easiest gift to make! Start by finding a mulling spice recipe you like (or make up your own, as I did!), and then figure out how to scale it to suit your gifting needs. (I needed to make about 40-50 gifts, so I sought out a big-batch recipe and followed those proportions.) The combination I came up with melded a couple recipes and included star anise, dried orange and lemon peels, broken cinnamon sticks, whole allspice berries, cloves, cardamom pods and some chopped crystallized ginger. Once you shop for your spices and get your orange or lemon peels dried, dump it all into a bowl, stir it up and take a big whiff.

Mulling Spice Mix // high plains thrifterAfter that, I divvied the yummy-smelling spice mixture up by the heaping 1/4-cup full into  muslin sachets. I found the sachets at my co-op for 15 cents a pop, but you can also get them in bulk here. Then I popped each sachet into a 3 x 3-inch white paper box found (on sale!) at The Container Store. Each box got topped with a sticker featuring directions on how to use the spices, a cute template I found here on 30 Pounds of Apples. (I had no idea craft-paper sticker paper was a thing!)

mulling spice kit // high plains thrifter

Then came my favorite part…making them cute! At first I thought about painting each box, an idea my boyfriend deemed “too much.” (He was, as usual, 100-percent right!) I decided instead to put my bags of thrifted pompoms to use and threaded them with a yarn needed onto leftover yarn. I go nuts if I have to do the same thing over and over and over, so I was happy to decorate each of these in a unique way. I think they turned out darling! Start to finish, including printing the labels, assembling the boxes, making the spice mix and decorating, it took about three episodes of McMillian & Wife (so about three-and-a-half hours). Not too shabby when you consider I now have 40+ gifts ready to go! Combined with my homemade Apple-Cinnamon Jameson, I have just about everyone on my list covered. (Just in the nick of time!)

finished kitsAre you finishing up your handmade holiday projects this weekend or am I the only one who waited ’til the last minute? Either way, I hope your pre-Christmas weekend is absolutely fabulous!

xo,

Meghan