Birthdays Make Me Crafty

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you already know how I feel about birthdays. To sum up for the new kids: I like them a lot. (example, example, example)

I had a string of birthdays recently, and it brought out the craftier side of me that apparently had been napping for the past couple of months. I love a good craft project so I sort of ran with it. It started with my gal L’s birthday. I had planned a specific project for her birthday since it was a milestone year and I was going to visit her in San Fran (read about it here). My plan was to make a scrapbook of her birthday weekend. I prepped the book prior to leaving for the trip and the plan was that I would run to the store, print out the pics, glue’em in (I brought some supplies with me) and I would give it to the birthday girl just before we all left. It was a flawed plan. We were jamming in super fun activities until the moment we left for the airport. So I had to finish it when I got home and mail it instead.

A book to remember our magical weekend gallivanting all over San Fran together and celebrating birthdays.

A book to remember our magical weekend gallivanting all over San Fran together and celebrating birthdays.

Not too long after that came two back to back birthdays. First was one of my best buds C. Second came my co-worker R. I attempted to try something cool for C that I had seen on the internet, and Pinterest, a millions times. An ombre layer cake in a mason jar. All I can say about this endeavor is that it was horrible lol. EPIC PINTEREST FAIL.

UGH...started off decently with the ombre cupcakes. But look at this shizzzz. HORRIBLE.

UGH…started off decently with the ombre cupcakes. But look at this shizzzz. HORRIBLE.

Ugh. Just looking at the picture annoys me. I couldn’t possibly give this monstrosity to C. It ended up in a mushed pile on my counter that was later eaten by my roommate.

I ended up admitting defeat on the whole ombre thing and making a mason jar cake instead. I filled it with some nutella as an added perk. To make it extra special (and because I turned into an unstoppable craft machine for like 2 weeks) I printed out tiny pics of us from our years of friendship and made a little photo-tree topper for the cake.

Apparently we are incapable of making attractive faces.

Apparently we are incapable of making attractive faces.

As you know, I love a good theme. As it happens, my coworker R shares my love of Doctor Who…so it struck me with the idea of making her some Doctor Who cupcakes for her special day. Basically it gave me an excuse to craft and indulge my nerdiness.

The Doctor Who Gang

The Doctor Who Gang

I printed small pictures of each of major characters from the new reboot of the series, including a 3D Tardis so that I could use them as cupcake toppers.

I used my awesome little cupcake screw thingy and filled them with some Tardis blue buttercream icing (recipe from my Gram…thanks Gram).

I got this little tool from some weird Chinese overstock website I found 2 Christmases ago

I got this little tool from some weird Chinese overstock website I found 2 Christmases ago. Icing piped in with my super sophisticated ziplock bag.

Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and blue buttercream filling

Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and blue buttercream filling

All in all, the birthday crafting went over really well. Everyone seemed pretty pleased with their birthday surprises.

Also, if you’re interested in making the white cake the recipe is super simple:

-1.5 c flour
-1 c sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 c milk
-1 3/4 tsp baking powder
-vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add everything else. Bake for 20-30 mins at 350.

 

DIY Dry Erase Calendar

The weather recently has been insane. FREEZING. Gross. Silver lining being that it is ideal ‘let’s-stay-inside-all-day-and-do-crafts’ weather. Which is exactly what I did last weekend.

In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that this is not some original idea that I had. I actually saw it on a few sites (Pinterest, Wanelo, Craft Gawker…).

I liked it instantly because 1. it looks real cool and 2. its SUPER CHEAP to make. What other reasons do you need, right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

-paint swatches (FREE at hardware stores…boom)
-glue
-some fun paper (wrapping paper can work well)
-a frame (Michael’s has some amazing sales)

Got these guys for free at Home Depot

Got these guys for free at Home Depot

I got the paint swatches in order…they are numbered on the top…so I just grabbed a sequence in order. (HINT: grab extras in case you mess up!).

calendar1

Ok so I cut off the top and bottom squares and used the middle ones for the calendar days. I kept the bottom ones though and used them as the days of the week. I had an 11×14 frame…so I had to cut the swatches. I measured them at 1 and 5 8ths (aka 2 lines past 1.52 inches).  I lined the back of my frame with cool wrapping paper for the background.

Glue'em Down

 

Once you cut’em down to size, line them up and glue them down. I cut the very bottom squares that I had saved in half and used them as day of the week markers. I have a bunch of scrap booking materials so I used some stickers I have to write Month. NOTE: the glue makes the card-boardish paint swatches curl a little…so I actually put something heavy on it until it was dry to flatten it.

All Done!

All Done!

 

Once its all dry, I used a silver sharpie to write the days of the week. Then I just put it in the frame ($9.99 at Michael’s). You use the dry erase markers on the glass and BOOM you’re done! Super simple and easy. And you never have to buy a calendar again!

You can alter this project by not using paint swatches and simply making your own fancy/awesome looking white board.

 

Happy Crafting!