DIY Envelopes

While at Marshall's a few weeks ago I came across some pretty wrapping paper for Christmas. Because what I'm giving some people can fit in a card, I decided to make envelopes out of the new wrapping paper. So I searched for a tutorial on how to do it and was able to do it pretty easily. I just used the tutorial, scissors, a ruler, printer paper, and glue. (To make the envelope a little less floppy, I glued the printer paper to the back of the wrapping paper before cutting it all out. That way it had a weight similar to wallpaper.)

Below is my finished product!

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Envelopes

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Envelopes

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Envelopes

So now the envelopes coordinate with the rest of the gifts under the tree and I put a little extra love into the project.

Have you made any Christmas DIY's recently?

Shoe Comfort Hacks

It's important to have comfortable shoes, but I also like to have cute shoes. Sadly these two don't often go together. But there are a few ways to make shoes more comfortable.

Northwest Pearls: Shoe Hacks

You can stretch leather shoes out with wool socks and a hair dryer. I found it better heat-wise, to wear two pairs of socks on each foot that I was using the blow-dryer on. The second pair protected my feet from the heat better and it probably helped stretch the shoes out a little bit extra.

What you do is put on a pair of socks, or two, and them put on your shoes. Take a hair dryer and blow hot air onto the areas of the shoes you want stretched out. Do this for a while and let the shoes cool back down before taking them off. I've done this and had success on widening out a pair of my sandals.

Northwest Pearls: Shoe Hacks

Something else that can make shoes more comfortable is an insert. Superfeet makes an insert for both high heels and for flats. I use their high heel insert and while it doesn't make heels as comfortable as flats, it does make them considerably better. My mom and sister both have the Superfeet flat dress shoe insert and they both really like it. I'm going to see if it'll fit in a pair of my boots and if it does, I'll probably get one for myself.

Even cheap inserts or padding can help. You can add it under the heel area, the forefoot area, or to the back of the shoe to prevent blisters or to take up space.

Do you have any suggestions on making shoes a little more comfortable?

Makeup Hack

Northwest Pearls: Makeup Hack

For the last few weeks I've been saving my almost empty container of bareMinerals Matte Foundation. I had a plan to try to somehow open the container to get the last of the foundation that I can't shake through the opening but hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I found this tutorial on how to get the last of the makeup out of the container. I tried it and it worked! I've now got my container open and about a week's worth of foundation to use that otherwise I would have thrown away.

Before I did the tutorial, I unscrewed the lid, shook all the makeup I could have reached back into the bottom, and then twisted shut the plastic lid that separates the foundation from the accessible foundation. Afterwards I screwed the main lid back on and turned the whole container upside down.

Then I took a penny and wedged the penny under the ridge at the bottom. I turned the container and wedged the penny under different areas and after about two turns of wedging, I popped it off!

Northwest Pearls: Makeup Hack

Do you have any makeup tips to share?

DIY Bleach Pen Shirts

Northwest Pearls: DIY Bleach Pen Shirts Another DIY we did for A's wedding was creating our own tank tops. We got light navy tank tops from Target and a bleach pen. We also had pieces of cardboard to put inside the shirts so that the bleach didn't soak through to the other side.

Armed with our pens we carefully wrote out what our tank top would say. A's said "Bride," mine said "Maid of Honor," and the other two said "Bridesmaid."

It was a little tricky to do this and I got an extra dot of bleach where I didn't want it, but overall the shirts turned out pretty good. We let them sit for a few hours before we washed off the dried and caked bleach in the sink and put the shirts in the wash. For us, where we used the bleach the shirts turned pink, not white, but it was still cool.

We wore the shirts the morning of the wedding when we went to Starbucks and when we were getting ready. These pictures aren't actually the finished product, we added some flourishes to balance the shirts out and fancy them up a bit.

Have you ever used a bleach pen on a shirt? What have you thought?

Northwest Pearls: DIY Bleach Pen Shirts

DIY Tissue Paper Flowers

Northwest Pearls: DIY Tissue Paper Flowers For the wedding I was apart of last week, we made tissue paper flowers for the head table.

The bride, A, bought three packs of colored tissue paper from Michael's. She found this tutorial on Pinterest from Hey, Let's Make Stuff and we followed it to make the flowers.

It didn't take long to get the hang of making the flowers. We made around 18 flowers that were then sewn onto a ribbon to span the length of the head table. Of the four possible petal styles that the original tutorial explained, we created the first two, the rounded one, and the shredded one. There was two of each color in each grouping on the table and we had one of each of those be one of those two petal styles. The only grouping of three was the white flowers in the center. They were arranged from dark blue at the outer ends of the table to white at the center in front of the bride and groom.

Sadly I don't have a picture of the final arrangement on the head table, but here's what the flowers looked like after we created them. The satin ribbon you see is what the flowers ended up being sewn onto.

Northwest Pearls: DIY Tissue Paper Flowers

Have you ever created paper flowers? What have you thought?

DIY Succulent Centerpieces

Northwest Pearls: Succulent Centerpieces Last week I went to Colorado Springs for the wedding of a college roommate. I was her maid of honor so I went down a few days early.

Another bridesmaid and I helped her with some of the DIY stuff for the wedding. We created the succulent centerpieces for the tables and the paper flowers for the head table.

Here's how we made the succulent centerpieces:

We had:

  • 15 glass bowls from Home Depot
  • 17 succulents
  • White sand from Michael's
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • A water dropper


Northwest Pearls: Succulent Centerpieces

Northwest Pearls: Succulent Centerpieces

We took the succulents out of their plastic containers and shook some of the dirt off. Then we took a square piece of plastic wrap and wrapped it around the rest of the roots and dirt so that it wouldn't transfer to the white sand. To keep the plastic wrap on, we took a piece of tape and taped around the bottom of the plant (the top of the dirt) to make sure that the plastic wrap wouldn't go anywhere.

We poured some sand into the bowls until it was where we wanted the bottom of that succulent to be. Then we placed that succulent into the bowl and carefully poured the white sand around it.

It was a pretty easy way to create some pretty centerpieces for A's wedding.

Northwest Pearls: Succulent Centerpieces

Have you ever created centerpieces? What have you thought?


Simple Gift Wrap

Northwest Pearls: Simple Gift WrapA friend's birthday was this week and I wanted to wrap his present, not just put it in a bag, but when I was at the store I couldn't find anything that was appropriate for him. All the wrapping paper was for children or it was a little more feminine than I wanted for him. So I got some plain brown wrapping paper and wrapped his presents in that. The plan was to decorate the paper myself but when I couldn't find the markers I wanted I just wrote "Happy Birthday" in large, pretty font on the presents. The bright side about plain paper is that you can decorate it however; you can write "Happy Birthday" multiple times on it, you can draw dinosaurs, you can personalize it with a message, you can do almost anything with it. Northwest Pearls: Simple Gift Wrap

Christmas Dinner

By taking inspiration from around the internet, and with permission from my mother, I decorated our dining room as I wanted. Here are the finished results. I cut cedar from a tree in our backyard, allowed it to dry a little (it had just rained) and then cut and placed it around the cabinets, chandelier, and table.

Northwest Pearls: Cedar and Display Cabinet

Northwest Pearls: Cedar and Cabinet

Northwest Pearls: Cedar and Chandelier

Northwest Pearls: Cedar and Chandelier

My dad cut cedar charger plates. I wanted them to be about 13' in diameter, but we couldn't find that so they're a bit wider than the standard charger plate. He washed them and we set them in the garage with a fan on them for about 48-72 hours so they could dry before Christmas dinner. It would have been less stressful for us to do this farther in advance, but now we know!

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Place Setting

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Tablescape

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Tablescape

Northwest Pearls: Christmas Tablescape

I'm incredibly happy with how it all turned out. It was beautiful.

Did you have a Christmas dinner? If so, what did you do?

DIY Friday: Necklace Display

Frame Display I wanted to make a necklace display for my room so when I came across an old frame, I bought it. The seller had glued it a bit to make sure it didn't fall apart. Here's a picture of the back of it.

Frame Display

And the front. It was incredibly dusty so I took a small brush vacuum attachment and vacuumed/brushed all the dust off.Frame Display

Here's a close-up of the frame.

Frame Display

I went to an antique store and bought one old drawer pull. I love the look of it and the bubbles in the glass.

Frame Display

They only had one old one, so I bought four new ones that matched. They don't have the same charm, but they are almost identical besides the lack of patina and imperfections/uniqueness.

Frame Display


My dad cut some wood for the backing. I went to a fabric store and bought velvet to cover it. This is a mock-up of what it would look like finished.

Frame Display

I cut the fabric and we took a staple gun to it. Then we drilled the pulls into the fabric. This was really tricky and the fabric would start to be caught up in the drill. The best way to do this was to cut a teeny tiny 'x' into the fabric where I wanted the bolt to go. Then we held the fabric apart and drilled through the 'x' and made sure it didn't touch the fabric by holding the fabric apart with two rulers. We put a washer and a nut on the back of each. Then we took picture hanging wire/hardware and attached that. We had to be careful to not drill the hardware through the frame. And finally, we took those metal tabs you use to keep the back of pictures and picture frames in place, and attached two of those to the frame so the backing wouldn't fall out.

Frame Display

And voila! We hung it up on the wall!

Frame Display