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Michaels Makers

Maker Monday: Jen & Shannon from eat.sleep.MAKE.

What’s even better than a Maker Monday? A double Maker Monday! We got the scoop from two Michaels Makers today. That’s right, two sets of creative ideas, craft fails and proud craft moments – from the sisters-in-law who together created eat.sleep.MAKE. Enjoy! Jen & ShannonFrom Jen and Shannon:

We’re Jen and Shannon, and we blog at eat.sleep.MAKE. We’re sisters-in-law who both have a chronic crafting problem, so we combined creative forces to come up with projects that are fun and on-trend using both old and found materials. We love to share the things that inspire us, and are constantly trying new mediums to grow ourselves creatively.

1. When did you start crafting?

Shannon:

I’ve been crafting since I can remember! My mom used to make beautiful dried flower arrangements and work various craft shows throughout Pittsburgh. I remember being 7 or 8 years old and setting up a roadside craft stand with my cousin, selling our own dried flower creations!

Jen:

I’ve always been drawn to different creative mediums from music to art, but crafting has always been my favorite hobby. When I was young, maybe 6 or 7, my best friend and I taught ourselves how to make plastic lanyards, and we would go door to door trying to sell them to our neighbors for a quarter. I was also a master of puffy paint t-shirts at that age – ha!

2. Describe your ideal environment to create a craft project.

Shannon:

I work best in overly organized and clean spaces with lots of natural light! I swoon over designer Emma Robertson’s studio space! Dream Studio SpaceJen:

My ideal crafting environment is one that I don’t get very often with two young kids, ages 5 and 3! When I can, I like to work in a sunny, quiet space where I can concentrate. That usually means crafting while the kids nap (if they nap!) or after bedtime. It helps me unwind at the end of a busy day and helps me to clear my head.

3. What is your favorite type of craft?

Shannon:

I absolutely love crafting for my plants and my animals! I don’t have kids, so these are the little guys that get most of my attention. I like working with natural products and trying to be sustainable.

Jen:

I love projects involving fabric – sewing is my passion. Most days you can find me by my sewing machine creating clothes for my kids, though recently I’ve gotten braver and started making more things for myself. I also love making jewelry, and especially love working with raw brass, clay and leather.

4. What craft tool can you not live without?

Shannon:

I think one of the most fun crafting tools that I own and use often is my wood burner! It’s such a great way to add a little pizazz to wood without taking away from the natural beauty of it. The one I use is from Michael’s, the Creative Versa-Tool. Creative Versa ToolJen:

My Silhouette Cameo. It has so many uses! I’ve made appliques, stamps, party decorations and even faux-stamped jewelry with it. What started out as a fun crafting purchase has turned into an essential every day tool.

5. What inspires your blog posts?

Shannon:

Everything. I see lots of things and think, “Hey, I can make that.” I mean, what crafter doesn’t? I love creating things that look high quality, but cost close to nothing. And I love sharing that with all of our readers.

Jen:

I get inspired at the most random times! I keep a running list of projects I want to make on my phone so I can add to it whenever inspiration hits – while running, showering or shopping to name a few. My kids inspire me on a daily basis, but, like Shannon, I also get inspired from seeing something I like or want. I’m always pushing myself to learn different techniques so that I can try new things.

6. What project have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t tackled yet?

Shannon:

A chandelier/lighting fixture for my kitchen! It’s been on my list for over year – I just can’t work up the courage to tackle it!

Jen:

I’d love to finally try large-scale wood working, like making a table or bookcase. I’m very lucky to have several talented men in my family who have the skills to help me with a project like that, but It just seems so intimidating. I really love the kind of projects that I can make in a day or two.

7. What project are you most proud of?

Shannon:

The Dino Phone Tripod – Jen and I never expected this to take off the way it did! It’s the perfect example of high quality feel for next to nothing cost! Dino iPhone TripodJen:

I’d have to say I’m most proud of the high-low racer back tunic that I made from fabric I found in the mystery bin at a discount store. When I first found the fabric, I immediately put it back. But as I continued to shop, that mystery fabric kept popping into my mind and eventually evolved into an idea for a women’s top. It was a challenge to turn that poor, unloved little bolt into something beautiful and fun. That top is still one of my favorites. PHOTO-5

8. What project was your biggest craft fail?

Shannon:

Let me just say OMG! I attempted to make a furry coffee sleeve. The idea seemed awesome… until I attempted to execute it. It ended up looking like Gizmo had crossbred with a paper cup – disastrous. Unfortunately, all evidence of this epic failure has been destroyed.

Jen:

Craft Fail

Oh gosh…we have to pick just one? I had this idea to make a canvas of my daughter using tissue paper. The colors were off when I printed it out (whether it was the way I edited it or the printer, I’m not sure) but I powered ahead anyway and glued it on the canvas. The end result was a picture of my daughter looking unnaturally bright and zombie-like. That was about 3 years ago. I want to eventually take another shot at that project – I think I could do a much better job now!

9. Describe your craft style.

Shannon:

Edgy, but natural.

Jen:

Trendy and practical. I like to follow the current trends, but I don’t like making anything that I don’t think I will use often, or that may be too expensive to make. I think most people appreciate projects that are on-trend, but simple and inexpensive.

10. What is your favorite craft trend right now?

Shannon:

I am so digging macramé! I haven’t attempted it myself, yet, but I plan on doing so very soon!

Jen:

I’ve been really inspired by all the different, creative ways people have incorporated embroidery that stems outside of traditional hand sewing. I’ve seen embroidery used on furniture, pictures, jewelry, you name it. I’m a beginner, but I’d love to try some new applications.

11. Who is your favorite person to craft with?

Shannon:

Jen! We’re crafting soul mates… and here’s us jamming out in our robes from Michaels!eat.sleep.MAKE.

But, I also love crafting with my mom, of course. She makes me feel like everything I make is the best thing ever. And that’s never a bad thing. Unless it’s really something hideous – in that case, I’d say she’s doing me a disservice.

Jen:

Shannon of course! She’s actually the one who inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and share my creations in the first place. She also inspired me to sew and create jewelry, and now I’m addicted.

Creative Holiday Gift Challenge

Michaels Makers December Challenge: Creative Holiday Gifts

Bellies are full with turkey, ornaments are hung on the tree and Michael Bublé Holiday Pandora is on… it must be Christmas! Holiday parties and gift giving make for a favorite time of year for most, but oftentimes you get stuck when it comes to the gift-giving part. You want to deliver the perfect present to the special people in your life. Well, we do too. So, we asked our Michaels Makers to present 30 creative, DIY gift and gift wrapping (we all know the wrapping is just as important as the present) ideas for the holiday season. Check out all of the fun gifts they are giving, tweak them, personalize them, and make them your own this year!

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Share what creative holiday gift ideas you’ve been working on! Creative holiday gifts aren’t in the cards this year? Make sure you see Michaels gift guide before you start shopping.

Creative Holiday Gifts

Michaels Makers

Maker Monday: Kristyn from Lil’ Luna

It is always fun to see which Michaels Maker we get to talk to each week, and today it’s Kristyn Merkley from Lil’ Luna. She’s a mother of five who is passing along her love of crafting and cooking to her brood. How does she do it? Let’s find out!

Kristyn is a mom to five who loves spending time with her kids and husband. When she’s not busy with them she likes to make pretty creations for her home as well as delicious recipes to enjoy. She finds joy in sharing inexpensive and creative ideas, going on family adventures, watching movies and organizing. Head to her blog for great ideas for any and all occasions.

Lil Luna1. When did you start crafting?

I started crafting around 3 or 4 years old. My mom, aunts, siblings and cousins have all had that “creative itch” for a long time, and because of that we’ve been making things ever since. Whether it’s recipes, crafts, home decor or holiday projects, we’ve always enjoyed creating.  I’m grateful my mom and the rest of the family encouraged our creativity ever since I was really young!

 2. Describe your ideal environment to create a craft project.

I’m not sure if there is any real “ideal” environment for me, but I love a big table, my laptop and all my supplies spread around me while I create. I also love having at least one of the older kids sitting right next to me creating while I do the same thing!

 3. What is your favorite type of craft?

My favorite type is craft is always the unique, inexpensive and quick kind!

4. What craft tool can you not live without?

While creating, it’s hard to stay away from my paper cutter, Mod Podge, and scissors … they’re almost always a must with any project I’m working on.

 5. What inspires your blog posts?

So many different things inspire my blog content. From magazines to little things I spot at the store, or even dreams, I like to use inspiration all around and take bits and pieces from all over to create one-of-a-kind projects for the site.

6. What project have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t tackled yet?

One day I’d like build a custom bunk bed for the kiddos with the help of the hubby. We’ve seen so many fun ones that we think it would be so fun to build one big bunk bed for the kids one day!

7. What project are you most proud of?

Lil Luna

There are a few projects I am very proud of, and simply because they were completely original. One of those includes our Beverage Station we made last year. Best of all, it was really east to make!

8. What project was your biggest craft fail?

I’ve had too many craft fails to count!! Fortunately, none were projects we spent much money on.

9. Describe your craft style.

I like to think of my craft style as original, colorful and inexpensive.

10. What is your favorite craft trend right now?

My favorite craft trend right now would have to be the use of Mason jars in so many projects. I’m completely obsessed with them and like to have a nice stock of jars on hand for all my craft ideas.

11. Who is your favorite person to craft with?  Lil Luna's Family

My favorite person to craft with is either my husband (I feel like together we can tackle ANY project) or my oldest daughter, Lily. They both love helping and provide loads of inspiration!

Michaels Makers

Maker Monday: Jennifer from The Project Girl

Something to make Monday a little brighter is a Maker Monday, and that is just what we have for you today! Jennifer Nugent from The Project Girl is one of our Michaels Makers that has been furiously working on all of the fun, holiday hoopla that we’ve had for her this month. We know you’ve seen their Dream Tree Reveal and we know you’ve read their expert Tree Decorating Tips, but we have to tell you one more time – they are awesome! Today we get to talk to Jennifer and hear all about her scrapbooking dreams (and expertise!), her antique crafting style and more.

From Jennifer:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been artistic and crafty. I love working in any medium and creating a wide variety of projects from making handmade cards to decorating big party tables and everything in between. My craft room is my sanctuary and I try to get in there several times a week to just create. In addition to crafting, I design paper and scrapbooking products for My Mind’s Eye, and quilting fabric for Riley Blake Designs. I also am married to an artist, and have two little boys that keep me on my toes. To see my projects and what keeps me busy, visit my blog The Project Girl.

The Project Girl

1. When did you start crafting?

I think I’ve always been crafting. I remember at age 4 cutting up paper to make butterflies and cards with. My mother is a great seamstress, so I was always watching, wanting to be just like her.  My parents were always taking me to Michaels and buying me craft supplies and art supplies, I still remember the day, 40% off coupon in hand, that I bought my first big set of Prismacolor pencils.

2. Describe your ideal environment to create a craft project.

A big, big work surface with very organized supplies. I also need lots of light and pretty inspiration around me.

3. What is your favorite type of craft?

I seriously love all crafting. My favorite crafting of all time is creating holiday décor. I definitely love quilting, but I just don’t have the time right now to do any major piecing.

4. What craft tool can you not live without?

Cricut Explore

I couldn’t live without my craft cutter. I have both a Silhouette Cameo AND a Cricut Explore.

5. What inspires your blog posts?

Whatever is going on in my life at the moment. I’m a very authentic blogger, I don’t have months of editorial calendars, I just live my life and try to post about what I’m creating at the moment.

6. What project have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t tackled yet?

The Project Girl

A year ago I created a hand-painted wall for a craft trade-show booth using gold foil paint. I really want to replicate the same idea in my craft room to showcase all my scrapbook layouts, photos, and crafts.

7. What project are you most proud of?

Halloween Mantle

I absolutely love my Halloween mantle. I wanted an apothecary type feel and created graphics for apothecary jars, a custom chalkboard sign, a layered spooky banner, and even a lit tree full of crows!

8. What project was your biggest craft fail?

I don’t really have a craft fail! I do have to say that I have a lot of works in progress that just never get finished. I love instant gratification and am not terribly great at follow through on more detailed projects!

9. Describe your craft style.

I tend to like antiqued things, inked, glazed etc. to make projects look older than they are.

10. What is your favorite craft trend right now?

I love the hand-written/hand-lettered look that is going on right now. I also love all the raw products – burlap, cork, and wood. And I can’t leave out gold, gold everything is fabulous. I’m even currently gold-leafing my office desk!

11. Who is your favorite person to craft with?

The Project Girl & her son

I had a really great group of crafting buddies where we used to live. I’m slowly gathering a group of crafty ladies around me where we live now, but what usually happens is that I craft with my little buddy – my 3 year-old Ollie. He sits at my big craft table drawing or organizing pins, while I craft away.

Tree Decorating Tips

Michaels Makers Dream Tree Decorating Tips

Did you all hear about the 30 amazing holiday trees our Michaels Makers created this month? Well, if you have been hiding out from this crazy cold weather and did not get a chance to look at them you must do so now! They were given just two short weeks to complete the Third Annual Dream Tree Challenge, and they are truly dreamy. Today the Michaels Makers are sharing with us a closer look at all of the work that went into creating their trees this year. They are also providing some insight on how to decorate our trees in new, creative ways without the stress that comes with it. Check out their tree decorating tips below. We’ve got everything from a countdown-to-Christmas advent tree to an ABC kids Christmas tree and much more!

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How are you going to decorate your dream tree this year?

Tree Decorating Tips

Michaels Makers

Maker Monday: Mariah from Giggles Galore

It has been a big week for the Michaels Makers – to kick off the holiday season, they revealed their dream holiday trees on Saturday in honor of Michaels’ Third Annual Dream Tree Challenge and they are fabulous! The dream tree reveal gets better and better every year and you have to check it out! One of those dream trees belongs to Mariah Leeson, the blogger behind Giggles Galore. We’re excited to introduce her, her favorite crafts and even her crafty kids!

With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She believes in making the ordinary extraordinary, one creative project at a time and focuses on sharing party inspiration, DIY crafts, as well as tips and hints for creating memorable occasions filled with giggles galore. Mariah’s work has been featured in Parents Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Tattle, Yum Food & Fun for Kids and she can also be seen regularly on KTXD TV.

Mariah from Giggles Galore

1. When did you start crafting?

I can’t remember not crafting! My mother is a very creative woman, who was always creating crafts, sewing or doing DIY projects before it was cool.  She fostered my love for crafts and helped me embrace my creative side as a child, something I am extremely grateful for. I can’t imagine a life without crafting!

2. Describe your ideal environment to create a craft project.

My ideal environment to create craft projects would be a big room with white walls, lots of natural light, tons of space for storage and organization, bright pops of color and pretty quotes and photos to provide tons of inspiration.  But for now, I’ll have to settle with creating projects in my small home office or on my kitchen island, which is where lots of my projects come together.

3. What is your favorite type of craft?

I love repurposing old things and turning ordinary items into something extraordinary.  To me extraordinary doesn’t have to be extravagant or complicated. Sometimes it’s the simplest projects that are the best, and most importantly I like making crafts that serve a purpose, like my Tattle Monster.

4. What craft tool can you not live without?

Cricut Explore

That’s a tough one, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite.  But, since I have to I’m going to go with one of my most versatile craft tools, my Cricut Explore.  This machine lets me design, create, cut and draw with just a few clicks of a button.  I can create projects for sewing, home décor, party decorations, gifts and my favorite…I can cut vinyl and put it on everything!

5. What inspires your blog posts?

I’m inspired by my children, my childhood memories, traveling, thrift stores and nature. I find inspiration in lots of things and my goal for each blog post is to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas.

6. What project have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t tackled yet?

I have lots of “to-do” projects on my list and it’s constantly changing, just ask my husband! But, right now most of those dream projects have to do with redecorating our new home. From laundry room storage and playroom makeovers to hard wood floors and an outdoor patio update – I have a feeling it’s going to be a busy year.

7. What project are you most proud of?

Family Rules Subway Art

I love them all, but my Family Rules Subway Art is one of my favorites.  I took an old painting and gave it new life.  It was a challenging project to get everything perfect, but it is so satisfying to see if proudly displayed in my home.  It’s one of those things I always get complimented on when people visit our house, which makes all the work worth it!

8. What project was your biggest craft fail?

Donut Necklace

Not every project turns out perfect, but I always say “fake it till’ you make it!”  These donut necklaces I made for my daughters Donuts & PJ party are a great example of that.  They look so fun and pretty, but in reality all of the “real sprinkles” I thought would be way more fun than painted on sprinkles ended up coming off the first time my daughter wore it.  And by the time I figured it out, it was too late. We’d already given them to her friends as party favors…oops!

9. Describe your craft style.

Eclectic, thrifty and fun.

10. What is your favorite craft trend right now?

I’m still a big fan of the gold trend and I’m loving the new focus on simple and stylish projects.

11. Who is your favorite person to craft with?

Giggles Galore

My mom is a huge source of inspiration for me and I love getting together with her to create things.  But, I would have to say that my kids are my favorite people to craft with.  I love their creativity and the joy they get out of making their own special projects – spending time with them crafting definitely makes me happy!