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finished change jar

A lot of people have a change jar.

And a lot of people have an ugly change jar.

One of those people was my boyfriend.

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Because sometimes, your little sister gets engaged and you want to make sure her engagement party is as goddamn adorable as possible.

Because sometimes you need to buy 30 vintage plates at a time from Urban Ore.

Because buying crazy industrial glue is fun.

Because, look how pretty.

finished tray

Keep reading for the full How To. Read More

When it comes to wrapping presents, I stick to brown paper and baker’s twine. It’s classic and a little rustic and simple and basically the lumberjack of present wrapping. And holy hell, do I like lumberjacks.

Sometimes though, you might want to add a little whimsy to the wrap job. AND HERE IS HOW YOU DO THAT.

Step 1: Make sure you have sculpey, a rolling pin, the cutest goddamn cookie cutters, parchment paper, a straw, and a functioning oven.

tag materials

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Yarn dolls, as they are known in our family, are a favorite craft project. Mom came up with the original,  and my sisters and I have been making them ever since. They’re small, bendy, and endlessly customizable  We’ve made flower fairies, knights, ballerinas, native americans, pilgrims…

And Christmas gnomes.

Materials: 

2 pipe cleaners
1 wooden bead, 1/2 inch diameter
Yarn (one color for the doll body, one color for the hair)
Felt
Scissors
Glue gun

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What’s sexier than an IKEA bag?

Not much.

So strap on your meatballs and get to IKEA. Here’s what you need:

One IKEA bag
Blue tights
White T-shirt
Iron-on fabric transfer paper
Iron
Scissors
Tape
Optional: Empty IKEA meatball bags, IKEA measuring tape

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There’s a store strange, magical place in Berkeley called Urban Ore. Basically, you donate your old…anything…and Urban Ore will sell it. It’s like Goodwill, but on a larger, wilder scale. You can find treasure there, but because it is in Berkeley and because it is an “Ecopark,” you can also find rat shit and old batteries. If you love scavenging and maybe finding rad old things, or if you need a new toilet tank lid, you should definitely go.

I found this chair there:

And I loved it. But I wanted to use it, and I wanted to use it without needing to get a tetanus shot. So then I did this:

Keep reading for how I did it. Please don’t ask how long and how many trips to the hardware store it took me, because the answer is embarrassing.

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Things you will need to make your towel rack / terrifically-unsafe rope ladder:

  • Rope
  • Wooden dowels (the number of dowels should equal the number of rungs you want on your rack)
  • (if the above dowels are uncut to your desired length) A handsaw
  • (if the above handsaw doesn’t leave your dowels with perfectly smooth ends) Sandpaper
  • Two screw hooks or eyes that will fit around your dowels
  • Slightly smaller screw hooks
  • Scissors
  • A lighter (only necessary if you use a nylon rope – the ends can be melted to prevent fraying)
  • Measuring tape and pencil

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