DIY: Succulent Table Piece

This has to be the simplest project I have ever done… it’s so simple, I almost feel badly calling it a DIY project! But really, aren’t the simplest DIY projects the best ones?

They are. :)

My sister (who writes a fabulous blog!) and I were walking along a “shopping street” that we have by our house here in Tokyo, getting last-minute groceries for our Passover seder, when we spotted the cutest little succulents outside of a flower shop. My sister, who is always trying to give everything a deeper meaning (love ya, sis!), thought they would make the perfect centerpiece for our seder table (you know, cause the Jews walked through the desert… succulents…desert). We bought a bunch of them and got to work making them look suitable for the table. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a bunch of extra pots to put them in, so we had to get creative. What we do best!

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All you need for a small succulent is two brown cone-shaped coffee filter and some string. Rip each coffee filter at the seam and flatten them out. Lay them on a flat surface with the bottoms facing each other, making them overlap slightly. Place the plant (we left it in the plastic wrapper we bought it in) directly in the middle of the “circle” you made. Gather up the sides of the coffee filter so that they fold and wrap snuggly around the plant. Secure with the string by tying it around the filters (having someone, like your sister, to help hold the string while you tie makes it much easier!)

See? So easy! This, of course, is not for long-term displaying as the succulent will need to be watered, making the paper get a bit soggy. For our purposes though (a one-time centerpiece) it was perfect!

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xoxo Mackenzie

DIY: Mouse Ear Headband

Last Monday I mentioned that my friend Natsumi and I made a trip to Tokyo Disneyland together. For two weeks leading up, I was so excited that all I could think about was Disney (OK… so I pretty much always think about Disney. Whatever.) I decided to put some of my excited energy into crafting, and this is what I came up with- Minnie Mouse ears! I know I totally could have just bought a super cute pair of ears at Disneyland, but honestly, making your own is so much better. We were the only two with unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind mouse ears… while everyone else was sporting the same mass-produced (albeit insanely adorable) ears. These ears aren’t just for trips to Disneyland, though. Oh no! They are great for costume parties, birthday parties, or make-believe sessions with your 3-year-old niece (just me?)! I also may or may not be planning on wearing these on just a regular old weekday.

What you will need:

  • Black felt
  • Black headband
  • Fabric of choice
  • Needle and thread

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First, cute two 8X5 inch pieces of felt. Fold one piece in half and cut into a circle, leaving about 1/2 inch at the bottom uncut so that when you unfold it it almost looks like a bow. Do the same to the other piece.

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Now cut two hearts out of your contrasting fabric so that they are a bit smaller that the felt.

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Using a whip-stitch, sew one heart onto the front of each felt ear, you want the bottom of the heart to be pointing at the connecting strip of felt.

Place the headband over the connecting strip of felt and fold the felt over so that the ear is wrapped around the headband. Position it so that the ear ends up on the upper left side of the headband (the other ear will be on the upper right side). Using black thread, stitch the two sides of the ear together, starting from the base of the headband and sewing all the way around until you reach the base on the other side.

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When you go all the way around the ear and get to the base again, pull the felt tight around the headband and push the needle through. Sew back and forth along the base of the ear so that it is secure. Tie the thread off and cut any extra away. Do the same to the other ear, positioning it at the upper right side of the headband.

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xoxo Mackenzie

Tutorial: Sakura Nail Art

Right now in Tokyo is sakura season… and I just can’t get over the clouds of pale pink cherry blossoms that line the streets and fill the parks. It’s so unreal! The thing to do this time of year is grab your picnic blankets and eat every meal that you possibly can under the sakura trees. Every park in the area is packed with people who all want to enjoy the beautiful flowers before they are replaced by leaves (within only a few days). It’s truly something to be surrounded by all sorts of people- playing children, cuddling couples, businessmen, teens, and the sweet elderly- everyone of them giddy with Spring Fever.

I am so inspired by my first hanami that I’ve been wearing floral prints all week- and I even painted my nails to match my surroundings. Nowhere near as beautiful as the real thing, but I hope you like it! This tutorial is super simple and perfect to celebrate Spring!

Please excuse my horrible chipped nail polish in the first picture… apparently I wasn’t inspired to re-do my nails until after all of the sakura sight-seeing. :)

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Instructions:

  1. Start by painting your nails with a white polish. I used two coats to get a nice, even coverage.
  2. Use a detailing brush and black or brown polish to make the branches. Start at one of the bottom corners of each nail and draw a slightly crooked line, going up towards the opposite upper corner. Make a smaller branch by drawing a connecting line about half-way up the first one.
  3. With light pink polish, make dots at the ends of each brands for the blossoms.
  4. Allow everything to dry really well before applying a shiny top coat.

xoxo Mackenzie

Currently Coveting: April 2014

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  • Medal Necklace- Marvelous Victory from Whimsey Milieu on Etsy $56.94- I love a good statement necklace and this one is so unique! I am really drawn to the mixed materials and textures, it gives the necklace so much depth and character! The artist hand-stitches everything together, making each necklace one-of-a-kind. There are other versions and styles available, too.
  • Mini Hanging Planter from HRUSKAA on Etsy $25- I’m not so good with plants… they all end up brown and dried up (also known as dead). Succulents, however, I can handle! This little planter is perfect housing for a succulent. I imagine having a few hanging up in my kitchen or bathroom. There are also more color options for the tassel so you can mix and match to go with any color scheme!
  • Keds for Kate Spade New York Corkie Sneakers $75- In Spring and Summer I pretty much live in my sneakers so I love to have a bunch of different cute choices. I love these cork ones because they go with everything! Cork is such a fun texture and so unexpected for shoes.
  • Outrageous Rag Rug from uncommongoods.com $35- Something about Spring (maybe the fresh air and warm sun, ahhh) makes me want to get all new cushions and rugs for my house. This rug is on my list because of all of the colors and because it’s shaggy. Anyone who says they don’t like shaggy rugs is lying. This one is handmade in India using remnants from clothing manufacturers, so it’s totes green.
  • Marshmallow Chicks Candle from Yankee Candle $27.99- OK, come on. This is freaking awesome. A candle that smells like Peeps- PEEPS! I need this for my life. Yankee Candle, you have taken my heart.
  • Vintage Camper Birdhouse by jumahl on Etsy $60- Well, all the little birdies are coming out, so I thought a cute house for them would be the perfect purchase this season. And, really- this one is amazing! So adorable. The aluminum even keeps squirrels away!

xoxo Mackenzie

Tutorial: Minnie Mouse Nail Art

This past week I went to Tokyo Disneyland with one of my good friends, Natsumi, whom I met two years ago on my last trip here in Japan. I’m pretty much obsessed with Disney, so this was a real treat! I spent two weeks preparing everything, buying everything and anything that was remotely “Disney-esque” that I could wear on the special day. I found these little stickers at my local 100 yen shop (it’s a Japanese dollar store… it’s pretty rad.) and immediately thought of a Minnie Mouse manicure that I could do to decorate my digits!

I hope you like!

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Instructions:

  1. Paint your nails a nice, bright red as the base. Allow to dry completely.
  2. On your fingers, paint a white tip using a detailing brush. Allow to dry before adding black dots right below it with a dotting tool.
  3. On your thumb, paint a small half-moon on the tip and add two circles for Minnie’s ears. I used a black fine tip acrylic paint pen for this, I find that I have better control. Using tweezers, carefully place a small bow nail sticker right between the ears. Press on with the tip of the tweezers.
  4. Once everything is nice and dry, apply a glossy top coat!

xoxo Mackenzie

DIY: Braided T-shirt Headband

I know it’s been a little while since I posted the DIY for my T-shirt Scarf, but I forgot to share what I did with the leftover fabric from the shirt! I figure better late than never, right? Anyway, it seems like a good time now that the weather should be warming up soon and a cute headband could come in handy!

What you will need:

  • The top half of the t-shirt leftover from making the T-shirt Scarf
  • Scissors

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Using the top part of the shirt, cut the arms off. Now, cut the shirt into strips, horizontally, until you get to the collar. My strips were about 1.5 inches thick.

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Pull the strips like you would a rubber band so that they curl into themselves.

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Take 3 of the strips and braid them, occasionally wrapping the braid around your head until you get the length that you need.

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Tie the ends together by taking one strip and tying it to one strip on the opposite end of the braid. Do to all of the ends (you will make a total of 3 knots.)

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xoxo Mackenzie

DIY: Washi Tape Note Set

This set is great to give as a gift for a friend- it’s functional and very useful… but also super cute. Plus, you can easily personalize it for whoever you are making it for. I would even include a little note on the first page of the notebook!

However, if you want to simply make a note set for yourself, that’s good too. You totally deserve it.

And a box of chocolates… you deserve those too.

What you will need:

  • 1 blank notebook
  • 1 pen
  • Small binder clips
  • Washi tape
  • Stickers
  • String or yarn
  • Scissors

First, make the little “banner” for the notebook cover. Measure how long you want the string to be by holding it up to where you want it on the notebook. Allow a few centimeters for you to “hang” it. Make the flags by cutting various lengths of washi tape and folding them in half around the string. Use scissors to cut a “V” into each one.

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Once you have all of the flags you want, fix the banner to the notebook using two small strips of washi tape. You may need to use a bit of glue to make sure it stays on securely.

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Using different shades of green washi tape, make the “grass”. I layered the strips in different lengths and thicknesses. To make grass-like pieces, just tear strips of washi tape length-wise.

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To decorate the pen, just wrap washi tape around it until it’s covered.

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For the binder clips, line up the edge of the washi tape with the edge of the clip just below the metal arm. Wrap the tape around the clip and trim so that it meets the edge on the opposite side. 20140227-午後041507.jpg

I had some cute sakura stickers that I added to the cover of the notebook- they just make me so happy! I also included some blank envelopes to complete the note set.

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xoxo Mackenzie