DIY Paper Bow

It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts. Right?

It’s cliche, but I tend to think that the answer is yes. Some of the things that mean the most to me are gifts given from the heart.

It’s probably because I enjoy RECEIVING those thoughtful gifts so much, that I also like to GIVE and PACKAGE them too.

One way to really personalize a package is with special handmade wrap. Today I am going to share a super-easy tutorial for creating a DIY paper bow. You can use any paper to make these bows, so really the possibilities for customization are completely endless…

DIY Paper Bow Tutorial 1

Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project:

  • 12×12 patterned scrapbook paper any weight (I used heavy weight, double-sided paper from Studio Calico)
  • paper trimmer
  • brads
  • mini hole punch
  • adhesive or double sided tape (optional)

DIY Paper Bow Supplies

Start this project by trimming the 12×12 scrapbook paper into 3/4 inch strips.

DIY Paper Bow

You should end up with 15-16 different strips (depending on how carefully you trim).

DIY Paper Bow 2

Next, trim about four of strips of paper to 11 inches, four strips of paper to 10 inches and one strip of paper to five inches.

DIY Paper Bow 3

Crease all but the five inch strip in the middle to mark your center point.

DIY Paper Bow 4

With your mini punch, or a substitute (I have even used a tack), punch a hole through all but the five inch paper strip in the middle at the crease at toward each end. Each papers trip should have three holes.

DIY Paper Bow 5

Slip a brad through the center of one of the longest strips of paper. An alternate would be to use tape, but I don’t find that it works as well for me.

DIY Paper Bow 6

Twist the end of the paper to the brad and secure. You should see the same side of the paper facing up in both the middle and on the end.

DIY Paper Bow 7

Repeat on the other end.

DIY Paper Bow 8

Allow your loops to be fairly loose, if they are to tight the bow just wont work.

Repeat, layering the paper loops on the brad.

I find that every time I create a bow, I use a different number of paper strips. I just sort of play with it until it looks right. In the case of this bow, I only ended up using three of the 12 inch paper strips before moving on.

DIY Paper Bow 9

Don’t worry about perfection. As you can see in the photo above I even had a tiny tear in this bow, but it will not show in the end…

Layer until you feel the bow has just the right amount of fluffy.

DIY Paper Bow 11

Once you have filled the bow with loops, take your five inch paper strip and loop it into a circle. Push it through the brad and then secure the brad flat.

DIY Paper Bow 10That’s it. It’s ready to go!

DIY paper Bow tutorial 3


Upcycled Kids Art Station

Each season, we have at least one contestant that consistently produces great work, places in the top three each week and wins a number of challenged along the way. This season Crystal, from Stitched by Crystal, definitely earned that spot.

Stitched by Crystal Quote


Today, Crystal is sharing a tutorial for the project she entered in our final round – an upcycled kids art station.

Upcycled Kids Art Station

I want to say a huge thanks to Tauni for hosting SYTYC! It has been so fun competing in this season and congratulations to Lynda on her big win!

This little art station was so fun to make!  It took me a pretty solid 2 weeks to finish it with all the painting and painting and painting, but it was worth all the effort.  My kids have really been enjoying it and it is so fun to watch them create!

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial Upcycled Art Station Tutorial - 5

To make this art station I used an old end table that I have had for years but don’t use anymore, a large frame I picked up at the thrift store, and some chairs I bought on craigslist.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I tried to pick a fun kid friendly color palate, but wanted colors with a bit of a vintage feel to them.  All these colors came from Lowes.  They turned out just like I pictured them in my head and I think they look perfect with the green walls in my dining room!

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

My favorite part of the whole project is the desk!  It was too low for the chair I found so I made it some new legs.  The old legs were used as a template to taper the new legs so they looked a bit fancier.  Then some more scrap wood was used to add the drawing paper to the side.  The table ended up being the perfect width for my 18” roll of paper so the wood just got bolted on the sides.  There is a hole drilled part way through the front piece and all the way through the back piece so a large wooden dowel can be inserted to hold the paper.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

After the wood working was done, the table got a few coats of paint.  Then the top was taped off for the chalkboard paint to be added.  Finally I added some new hardware for the drawer and a little handle to the side to hold the chalk.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I cut some peg board t fit the frame and painted both the frame and the board.  Painted peg board is a bit of a pain to paint, all those little holes plug up with paint.  After paint I used a screwdriver to clear the paint out of any plugged holes.  I bought some assorted peg board hooks at the hardware store and played around with hanging everything until I got a layout I liked. 

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

The spice rack at the top is from IKEA, it got screwed on through the peg board holes.  I used some old baby food jars and screwed the lids to the bottom, I learned the hard way that you really need you used 2 screws for that!  To hang the sketch pad I strung a rope through the holes and tied it at the back, the pad can be hung over the rope and easily taken down for drawing.  I also used some old tin cans for markers and pencils.  I cut paper to fit the outside and stuck it on the cans with Mod Podge.  Then I drilled a hole near the top of the can and they hang on hooks.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I cut a piece of wood to about the same length as the frame.  Added some hooks and hung the board from the bottom of the frame.  The hooks hold some buckets I picked up for $1 at Target to keep crayons,play-doh, and stamps.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I wanted to create a little art gallery for my kids work so I painted three clip boards yellow.  Then I taped off the clips and spray painted them black.  I used some Command Strip picture hangers to hang them on the wall.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

Finally, I sanded, primed, and painted the chairs and my little art station was done!

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial - 11What a great project! Thanks Crystal!

Upcycled Girl’s Vanity

Were you as excited about this season’s amazing projects as I was? Seriously. The competition was stiff!

Lynda Oh So ShabbyToday Lynda, from Oh So Shabby, is here to share her final project. This upcycled girl’s vanity is the project that won the competition for her!

Upcycled Girl’s Vanity Tutorial

Super excited and a bit shocked that I made it all the way to the end!  There were so many great crafters I was honored to have competed with all of them and glad to have made some new friends along the way!

If you have been following along this season, you’ve probably noticed that most of my projects were some sort of furniture repurpose. It’s my true passion!! I have dabbled in many creative projects, but working with furniture is what makes my heart go pitter patter. The feeling of accomplishment when I see the before and after is like no other.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this little gem on Craig’s List for $25. This cute little old couple was moving and I almost felt bad only paying $25.

Here she is before….

Upcycled Girls VanityAnd, here she is after….

Upcycled Girls VanityThis last project wasn’t one of those, “Ok, I think I am going to do this and that” type projects. I stared at her (I always call my furniture pieces HER) forever. I knew I wanted her to be really pretty.

I stared and stared, but it just wasn’t coming to me. I knew I wanted the piece to have some sort of metallic – either gold or silver – finish,  but I wasn’t sold on one over the other.

So, off to Hobby Lobby to walk the isles in search of some inspiration! While in the fabric isles, I came across a fabric I have ALWAYS wanted to use but never had that “right” project for it. There is was staring at me. My inspiration!

I didn’t take a before pic of the fabric, but here it is…

Upcycled Girl's Desk

Once I had my inspiration set, I cleaned the vanity and chair completely then I primed the entire piece with Kilz primer.

After that I painted it with a combo of American Accents Heirloom White and Blossom White.

I painted all the accents with gold metallic paint. This was the first time I had used this type of metallic paint – it was so awesome to use. It went on like butter

GOLD1The top of the vanity looked so lonely and needed some jazzing up! I taped a stencil on the top of the vanity and with a Sharpie marker colored on pink polka dots. Voila! Personality!

Upcycled Girl's DeskAnd, with that she was done and the finale project was finally finished. Bitter Sweet for sure!!!

Upcycled Girl's Desk

Thanks again to everyone that voted for me this entire 10 weeks, I had so much fun!

Hopefully you’ll come visit me sometime at Oh So Shabby!

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bags

Our two final contestants – Crystal and Lynda – are crazy busy getting their final round projects put together this week. We will be back on Monday ready to roll with their “project of choice.” I hope you will come back to vote!

In the meantime, I am excited to share Lynda’s latest win.

Oh So Shabby Quote

This is Lynda’s fourth win of the season.

Lynda Highlights

She picked up her very first win in the back-to-school audition round with her kids organizational station, followed-up by this awesome first birthday highchair and then this Rapunzel pumpkin tutorial.

This week, we’re showcasing her fun themed trick-or-treat bag tutorial just in time for Halloween!

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bags

Totally shocked that I won this round…. so excited to be in the finale!!!

The bags were actually pretty simple to make.  Time consuming? Well, only because I made three…

Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

The instructions are the same for all three bags, but today I am going to show you how to make the bag on the far right.


  • Canvas Bag (mine is from Hobby Lobby)
  • 2 Rolls of coordinating tulle
  • Coordinating fabric or ribbon
  • Embellishments
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sewing machine

First draw a line on your bag all the way around 7 inches from the bottom.  I used a silver Sharpie.

Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Cut approximately 28 pieces of tulle – 14 of each color. They pieces should be 14″ long, or twice as long as the point from where you drew your line to the bottom of the bag.

Take your tulle, loop it over and pin them onto the line facing down toward the bottom of the bag (use one of each color or two of the same color).

Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Sew a straight line right over where you pinned the tulle. Do NOT sew all the way through both sides of the bag. Only sew through the layer you pinned on!!!!

Halloween Trick or Treat BagRemove all the pins. If you want you can trim the very top of the tulle where you removed the pins just so it isn’t so bulky.

After your tulle is secured, sew or hot glue on a coordinating fabric or ribbon all the way around the bag. (I only put the tulle on the front.) It may be challenging to sew the tulle if you went all the way around. It was a bit challenging to sew even with only one side done.

Once your trim is set, hot glue on bows or embellishments.

Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Waaallaaah- you are done!  Thank you again to everyone that voted, can’t wait for the finale!!

pic 6

Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower Tutorial

Each and every week I look forward to opening my email and checking out our contestants amazing projects – they are all so creative!

Lynda, from Oh So Shabby, has really outdone herself every single week. I’ve no doubt its why she’s done so well in the competition. Lynda’s Pumpkin Challenge win is her third win of the season and I am excited to share her Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower tutorial with you today!

Oh So Shabby QuoteLynda’s first win came in the Back-to-School Challenge with her kids back-to-school station in the first week of the competition.

Kids Back to School Station via Oh So ShabbyHer second win came during our Birthday Challenge. If you missed her awesome first birthday highchair tutorial, be sure to check it out.

First Birthday Highchair


Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower Tutorial

I am still in shock that I took the first place in this round!  I was afraid I wouldn’t even make it through.  Sometimes I feel like my projects are too wacky for people to relate to.  Thank you so much to everyone that voted!!

I had soooo much fun with this Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower!!

Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower Tutorial #Halloween #PumpkinI initially wanted to do a Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin. I was hoping when I went on Pinterest I wouldn’t find much however, the Cinderella Pumpkin was sooooooooooooo overdone… So I decided to go with Rapunzel and lo and behold – ZERO Pinterest projects. Yeah I had a winner!

Rapunzel PumpkinSo, where to start… The roof. I thought I had a great idea to hot glue pumpkin seeds on to this old tin man hat I bought for my hubby a few years ago that he refused to wear. Great idea right like a shingle roof??? Yeah, well 3 hours later, 348 hot glued pumpkin seeds using 15 glue sticks she was finally done!

After the roof was done I cut out the windows on the pumpkin and sprayed the whole thing with silver metallic spray paint.

Rapunzel PumpkinThe shutters are actually really thin Balsa Wood that I got from Hobby Lobby.

rapunzel Pumpkin TowerI cut it into “shutter shapes” then stained them.  It was actually very easy.

Rapunzel Pumpkin To make the log I found look like a “tower” I drew bricks on it with a pencil.

Rapunzel Pumpkin Tutorial Then I added some vines and flowers…..

Rapunzel Pumpkin TutorialLast I added a part of a Christmas Ornament to the top of the roof.

Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower TutorialUnfortunately, two days after the project was done the pumpkin was full of mold!!  If you decide to make a Rapunzel Pumpkin Tower, make sure you use a styrofoam pumpkin you can pick up at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

DIY Halloween Candy Dispenser Tutorial

Wow. Thank you for voting in our weekly challenges. Each week I am dying to learn which project you will select to be showcased on the site. The results continue to be spectacular. I am so proud of the contestants.

Today Areian, from One Krieger Chick, is sharing her winning DIY Halloween candy dispenser tutorial. This is Ariean’s second feature.

One Krieger Chick QuoteA strong contender in this season’s competition, Ariean won our upcycle challenge earlier this season with her amazing bathtub to sofa project.

Bathtub to Sofa TutorialIf you missed it, be sure to head over and check it out. It’s one of my favorite SYTYC contestant projects yet.

And now, on with the fun…

DIY Halloween Candy Dispenser

Hello So You Think You’re Crafty Readers! I am so excited to share how I created Halloween Candy Dispensers for the Fall Crafts For Kids Challenge.

DIY Halloween candy dispenserSupplies: 

  • Postal mailing tubes
  • Round ball ornaments
  • Embellishments: festive scrapbook paper, washi tape, ribbon, etc.
  • Adhesives: glue gun and a liquid adhesive or glue stick
  • A good child-size helper
  • A little patience

Let’s get started…

First, decide what topper you would like to create…a pumpkin, ghost, Frankenstein, bat, witch, etc. My son chose a witch, bat and jack-o-lantern. I prepped all supplies and had them ready to go when my son and I started crafting…There is a bit of drying time if you create these exactly the way I did. I’ll share a few shortcuts to save you some of these extra steps!

Prep work

  • I cut the mailing tube(s) to a desired length using a serrated knife {because it was handy.}
  • I recommend purchasing/using colored Ball ornaments in the colors you desire, but I could not find the correct colors or sizes. If you have the same problem or want to use what you already have on hand, paint Christmas ornaments with a coat of spray primer followed with a coat or two of your color of choice. (I used spray paint for the witch and black and orange acrylic paint from Poppy Seed Projects for the bat and jack-o-lantern.)
  • You could have all the paper cut and embellishments ready too. I find it helpful so my boys don’t burn out on the project too quickly.


  • Measure and cut the paper to fit all the way around the mailing tube.
  • Embellish as desired. My boys love washi tape and this project was no exception!
  • Cut the paper below the ornament in a fringe and adhere to the inside of the tube using a glue gun.

Candy dispensers {2}

Halloween Candy Dispensers {3}Once that was dry, it was time to add personality! This is what we did, but the fun of this project is that you can personalize these however you like!

Witch: Paper stars for eyes, hole punched dot for wart, folded piece of paper for nose, paper smile for mouth. Hat is a piece of paper rolled to resemble a hat with an orange pom-pom glued to the top.
Halloween Candy Dispenser {4}Bat: Eyes cut from white cardstock with a hole punched circle. glitter paint squiggle for a mouth, wings cut from black cardstock and hot glued in place.
Halloween Candy Dispenser {5}Jack-o-lantern: Facial shapes cut from black cardstock, stem a cone twisted out of black cardstock and hot glued in place with a piece of ribbon as the vine.
Halloween Candy Dispenser {6}Fill with candy for an extra special treat!DIY Halloween candy dispenserMake them to keep at home or to share with friends. Either way, they are so stinkin’ cute…and FUN to make!

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Thanks to those of you who voted in our last challenge. We continue to have record numbers voting in our weekly challenges and I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have our competitors projects seen by so many…

For those of you who are visiting from Pinterest today, welcome. SYTYC is a craft and DIY competition. Each Monday we feature themed projects created by our competitors. Please help us out and cast your vote…

The winner of our scraps challenge is Crystal.

Crystal Quote
Crystal’s on something of a roll having picked up our In the Kitchen Challenge with her chalkboard serving tray

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

And then picked up our Fall Challenge with her reversible fall pillow

Reversible Pillow Case

Today Crystal is sharing her rainbow baby quilt tutorial.

Scrap Rainbow Baby Quilt

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

I am so excited I get the opportunity to share another tutorial with you! Thank you so much for voting for my scrappy quilt!

I really enjoy quilting. I made my first quilt when I was 17, it was a king size quilt for my bed at college, not something I would recommend for your first quilt! These days I mostly stick to baby quilts.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

This quilt would be a great project for a beginner, it is easy to make and the end result is stunning. I know some people are a bit intimidated by the idea of making a quilt, but trust me, if you can sew a straight line, you can make this quilt!

Scrap Baby Quilt

For the front of the quilt and the chevron on the back you will need some 5” x 5” squares. The easiest way to cut squares of fabric is with a rotary cutter, a self healing mat, and a quilting square. The number of squares of each color you will need is listed below:

White: 56

Red: 5

Orange: 9

Yellow: 14

Green: 14

Blue: 9

Purple: 5

You will also need two rectangle for the back, one that is 35” x 7” and one that is 35” x 26”, and a piece of quilt batting about 36” x 40”.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Once you have all your squares cut, draw a diagonal line across all of your white squares.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Lay one white square on top of a color square with right sides together. Sew on both sides of the line you drew, ¼” from the line. Repeat with all your squares.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Cut along the line between the 2 seams so you end up with 2 squares.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Press the seam away from the white side. Repeat with all the squares.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Next you will sew the squares into 10 rows of 9 squares. To sew the squares together, place 2 squares right sides together with the color side of one square lined up with the white side of the other. Sew along the side; continue adding squares until all nine are sewn in a row. Press the seams open. Refer to the drawing below for the color order of each row.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Once you have all the squares sewn into rows, sew the rows together. Press the seams to one side.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Take the remaining squares and line them up to create the chevron pattern using three squares of each color. Sew them into two rows like the ones shown in the drawing below. Then sew the two rows together. Sew your large rectangles for the back on either side of the chevron.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Next you will sandwich the batting between the 2 quilt layers. I like to use a basting spray to hold everything in place while I quilt. You can find basting sprays in the quilting section of any fabric store.

Lay your quilt top out face down on the floor. Spray the back of it with a basting spray. Spread the quilt batting over the quilt top. Spray more quilt basting spray on the batting then spread the quilt back face up over the batting.

Quilt all three layers together by sewing straight lines along the vertical and diagonal seams of the quilt. I find that a walking foot is really helpful for this step, it helps move all the fabric under your sewing machine foot.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

After you finish quilting, bind the edges of the quilt. I used a double fold binding that is machine sewn to the front and hand stitched to the back. You can find more tips on quilt binding on my blog HERE.

Rainbow Baby Quilt Tutorial

Reversible Fall Leaves Pillowcase Tutorial

I am seriously blown away by the talent this season. Every week there are several tutorials that I am interested in seeing and I’d have a hard time selecting my favorite…It makes it kind of nice to know that you get to pick more than one “favorite” up until nearly the end.

Fall Decor Challenge

This week, I am excited to share Crystal’s fantastic reversible fall leaves pillowcase tutorial.

Crystal QuoteCrystal’s projects have always ranked high, but you’ll probably remember her for week one win and chalkboard serving tray tutorial.

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

In any event, she’s back with another great tutorial for her week four win!

Reversible Fall Leaves Pillowcase Tutorial

I am so excited to be here sharing the tutorial for my reversible fall leaves pillow with you! I have to admit, I was a bit shocked when I opened the email from Tauni informing me I had won. Every project in the fall décor line up was so great, I feel really honored you chose mine!

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

I have seen reversible pillows before, but they always have one design on the front and one on the back. I wanted this reversible pillow to have the second design hiding on the inside. That way if the pillow falls off my couch or somehow gets flipped over, I don’t end up with a Christmas pillow in September.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

This same concept could be used to create a pillow for any holiday. Or you could even just pick two different fabrics. Then when you get tired of one look, flip to the other.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

To make this pillow, I used an off white home décor fabric and some craft felt to make the leaves and holly. You can choose any fabric for the front; I recommend something with a bit of weight so it holds up better. The envelope closure on the back is the same for both sides so if you choose two different fabrics for the front, make sure you choose something that coordinates with both for the back. The fabric for the back also needs to be one without a right or wrong side, meaning both sides of the fabrics look the same. Solid home décor fabrics are a good choice for the back.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

The first step is to determine the size your case needs to be. I had a pillow from Ikea for my insert, the tag says 20” x 20” but when I measured from seam to seam it was really more like 19”. So I ended up making my case for a 19” x 19” pillow.

Cut 2 squares of fabric that are 1” bigger than your pillow and 2 rectangles for the back that are 1” bigger than the pillow in length and half that plus 3” in width. For a 19” x 19” pillow I used two 20” squares and two rectangles that are 20” x 13”

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Cut your leaves from felt. I first sketched a leaf on paper to use as a template when cutting. My leaves are about 1.5” wide and 2.5” long. To cut the holly berries, I traced a nickel on a piece of paper you use as a template. Pin your leaves in three rows on one of the pillow fronts, and then sew them on with a contrasting thread.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Repeat with the holly leaves on the other pillow front.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Finish one long edge of the rectangle by folding the edge over ¼” and then another 1” and topstitching along the folded edge.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Lay your fall leaves front face up and place one of the rectangles on top with the folded edge up. Line up the three unfinished sides with the edge of the pillow front. Lay the other rectangle on the other side with the folded side down. Line up the raw edges with the edge of the pillow front, the finished edges of the rectangles will overlap in the middle. Pin around the edges and baste stitch all the way around the pillow ½” from the edge.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Lay the Christmas side of the pillow case face down on top of the pillow backs. You should have the fall leaves on the bottom, the Christmas leaves on top, and the back pieces sandwiched in the middle. Pin around the edges and sew with ½” seam allowance leaving a 3” opening. Make sure the opening is not right where the leaves are. Clip the corners close to the seam to reduce the bulk. Turn the pillow through the hole you left open. Fold the raw edge in and hand stitch the opening closed.

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Your pillow is done! You should have fall leaves on one side and holly leaves on the other. Thanks again for voting for my fall leaves pillow!

Reversible Pillow Case Tutorial

Thanks for sharing your awesome project Crystal! 

P.S. If you’ve got a little boy, you can’t miss Crystal’s shark trick-or-treat bag. My boys think it’s “totally cool.”