The Best of Pinterest

Best of Pinterest

Alright crafty friends, (and wannabe crafty friends). It’s a new year and the DIY possibilities are endless. So let’s talk about Pinterest. Pinterest offers an infinite abyss of clever DIYs, beautifully styled homes, delectable-looking recipes, insanely cute outfits and pretty much anything else your inner idealist could hope for. Let’s be honest, it’s fun to lay in bed, scrolling through images of ‘ideas’ (or ideals). In fact, one could even argue that it is like a virtual vision board, helping you to manifest a life you desire… Am I pushing it? Regardless, it is fun and a great place to get ideas for projects.

When I joined Pinterest a few years ago, I made a non-spoken agreement with myself, that if I was going to play in this perfect little fantasy-land, I had to at least attempt to execute some of these projects. Otherwise, it seemed like a huge waste of my time. Through a lot of trial and error, (and a few epic fails), I have selected what I believe to be the best DIY projects of Pinterest. Some I have recreated, and some are still on my to-do list.

My criteria for this are as follows:

  1. Easy to execute and emulate.
  2. Fun.
  3. Functional.
  4. Realistic.
  5. Within a reasonable budget.

Button Magnets

Hey you! Yeah you, the one with the pizza delivery and taxicab magnets (that you got for free in the mail), adorning your fridge; this one’s for you! It really doesn’t get much easier than this, and the finished product is nothing short of adorable. All you need is some buttons, magnets and your hot glue gun.


Scrabble Art

I am a bit of a self-admitted word-nerd, so obviously I love me some scrabble art. Wouldn’t this make for a cute gift? I made a piece of art like this, but I used an actual scrabble board as my canvas. It included my family’s names, with words like ‘family’, ‘love’ and ‘home’ woven in perpendicularly. It currently resides in our humble abode.

scrabble art

(We also used my scrabble creation as wedding decor)

(We also used my scrabble creation as wedding decor) Photo cred: Sarah Field Photo

Earring Holder

Here is another genius idea, and happens to be one of my very first successful Pinterest DIYs. I love a functional craft! To spruce things up, (and because I didn’t have chicken wire or screen on hand), I used black fishnet instead. I use my earring holder for my larger, dangly earrings.

earring holder earrings

Scrabble Coaster

Love. These. Coasters. These are on my to-do-someday list. The word possibilities are exciting and endless.

scrabble coaster

Mason Jar Chandelier

I think the proper words for this rustic chandelier are, “I die”. In fact, my super talented friend, Steph, has one of these puppies hanging over her dining room table, and I assure you, it is even better in person. Steph’s home is one of my absolute favorite design spaces, and if she lets me, I will be doing an upcoming blog post, spotlighting her beautiful home.


Memory Jar

Every year I say I want to start a memory jar–this is MY year. I am doing it, people. Come December 31, 2015, The McAllister family will have a jar full of memories to read!


Stencil Pillow

More crafts with more words. Seems easy enough, right? Plus who doesn’t love a throw pillow?


Ticket Keepsake

I am one of those sentimental people, that saves every show ticket I have ever been to, (even down to my very first concert; The Grateful Dead, Fall 1993 Tour.) When I stumbled upon this DIY, I knew it was fate and quickly proceeded to create my own ticket collage. If you’re a romantic (like me), these could make for a really cute anniversary gift.

ticket keeper


Animal Silhouette 

Craft paper, scissors, tape/glue and a frame. Quick and easy nursery, (or in my case, bathroom) art.

animal sil

Sharpie Mug

Really, the ideas for this one are never-ending. So easy. So cute.


Faux Zinc Letters

Remember my tutorial on these babies? I love my faux zinc letters. And you will love yours too! #pinterestdoesitagain

zinc zinc1zinc2

DIY Nightstand

A spray-painted trash can turned upside down. Definitely one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that’, moments.

night stand

$1 Chalk Sign

Easiest chalk signs ever. You can buy trays like this (and other various shapes), at your local dollar store. Slap some chalk board paint on them, and you have instant party decor. I have used these for many a party. (You can see an example in my gallery from Ayden’s 1st Birthday Party, here.) 

dollar chalk sign

Painted Table

I am in love with this whimsical, space-saving idea, aren’t you? You could even mount a mirror above it and make it in to a vanity. Ideas, ideas…

painted table

Menu Board

Need help meal planning and staying on top of your grocery list? Make a menu board. Game-changer, and pretty darn easy to make.


Revamped Folding Chair

I have two folding chairs just begging for a makeover. Stay tuned for a step-by-step in the near future.

folding chair

Glitter Shade

Sparkly is my favorite color. If it’s glittery and shiny, I like it. This one is a yet-to-do for me, but I am sure that I will find a lampshade (or two) to try this on.

glitter shade

Numbered Drawers

I gave our boring old dresser a super easy makeover, using this idea. It gave our dresser a whimsical, personalized touch.

nmber drawersdrawers

Painted Drawer Interior

Cute, cute, cute! I love a pop of color; so many options with this.

painted drawer int

Gold Mug DIY

This combines 2 of my favorite things; coffee mugs and gold. love how the gold sharpie turns metallic when baked in the oven! (I will be putting this to the test, asap).

gold mg

Gold Letter Magnets

I have a zillion of those multicolored, kiddie, letter-magnets. A coat or two of gold spray paint, and you have magic.

gold magnet

Gold Rock Book Ends

(Told ya I liked gold).

book ends

Fabric Garland

I love me a garland, a bunting, a banner and pretty much anything cute and hang-able. How darling are these? Don’t feel like making one? Buy one from my friend, Shanna.

Fabric garland

Available at: Neni & Co.

Available at: Neni & Co.

Jello Playdoh

I want to make this. The end.


Gold Dipped Feathers

You thought we were done with the gold, didn’t you? Wrong. I have a ar of my own sparkly, gilded feathers on my computer desk. They inspire me and they’re pretty. ‘Nuff said.

dipped eathers

I will continue to collect fabulous Pinterest DIYs for you guys, so keep an eye out for a sequel to this list. I’d love to see your creations, so pretty please show them off to me!

xo, Em

My Resolution to You


January 1, 2015. Nice ring to it, eh?

Happy New Year, you beautiful creatures, you.I am writing this as a sort of intention, or manifesto for the coming year, to my readers. I had a long conversation with my hero, (my big sister), yesterday, about vulnerability. About transparency. About authenticity. It became very clear to me that one of my hopes and intentions for this blog, was to open up a bit more, and let you in. 

I often talk about the power and the magic of truly relating to each other, and now it is time for me to walk that talk. I still plan to share fabulous and fun DIYs, events and recipes, but I am also hoping to incorporate some more #realtalk.

I am so excited and honored that you have decided to join me on my blogging journey thus far, and I can’t wait to bring you so much more; cue music, “We’ve only just begun…”

xo, Em

life is rad

Day 8: Raw Wreath Dream Catcher

raw wreath dream catcher diy

This craft came to be as an inspiration from an Instagram post by JL Desgins. I actually found the post through Wolf Camp Studios, of Costa Mesa, Ca, when they were having their Handcrafted Holiday Pop-up shop. I saw the wreath below going for $65. I wanted that wreath, but I had 2 problems: a.) I couldn’t make it to Costa Mesa that weekend, and b.) I didn’t have an extra $65 to spend on Holiday deco, (we run our ship on a budget!)

JL Designs

I already had all the crafts I would need to recreate my version and vision of this, (minus the raw wreath). I made a little trippy-poo to Hobby Lobby, snagged one for around $5 and the rest is history.

I am in love with the finished project–like, really in love. Here is my step-by-step how-to in photos, (of course incorporating my crafting motto – ‘use what you have’.)

raw wreath dream catcher

Raw wreath

raw wreath dream catcher

Feather tags I had, purchased from the $1 spot at Target


Lace twine back and forth (creating a star-like pattern), on the back side of your wreath.

Lace twine back and forth (creating a star-like pattern), on the back side of your wreath.


Beads I had in my craft supplies.

Beads I had in my craft supplies.


Tie feathers and twine to the bottom and back side of your wreath, adding beads as desired.

8 and 9 071

‘Borrow’ some greenery from a tree or garland, (real or fake).


Decorate the outer part of your wreath by tucking it under the little branches.

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Hang wreath dream catcher

Hang wreath dream catcher

What I love about this DIY, is that you can hang it all year around (just remove the greenery after the holidays.) I would love your feedback on this one! Please comment below, if you so desire. xo, Em

Mermade Market

mermadem We interrupt this DIY challenge to bring you an important word from our sponsors! OK, not really our–my sponsors, but I did want to write a post about an amazing event going on today and tomorrow. By now you should know that I love handmade, hand-crafted goods made by small business folk. I also love supporting other mamas. And perhaps even most, I love a good deal / sale / bargain / discount. (#frugalnotcheap) So what happens when you marry these three loves of mine? Mermade Market happens. And what’s even better is that it is in my own backyard, almost literally.

merm14.jpg merm15.jpg

Let’s start with the basics: Who: Fabulous Mompreneur Elise Capener, owns and operates this fantastic pop-up market, which hosts dozens of vendors at each of her events. Elise is a gorgeous mama to two adorable boys, devoted wife to her handsome hubby, film photographer, maker of beautiful things and all-around rad lady.


merm1.jpg merm3.jpg merm2.jpg

What: What is the Mermade Market, you ask? It is a seasonal bazaar, filled with beautiful, handmade goods. Many (if not most) of these shops are owned by other mamas. You can find original gifts, beautiful home decor, on-trend baby and kids clothing and much, much more. It is also a bit of a social event, so come prepared to laugh and gab.

merm17.jpg merm19.jpg

Where: This is my favorite part–Mermade Market is located in beautiful Dana Point, Ca. It is a walk down the street for me, which is über convenient for me. If you do not live walking distance, it is worth the drive. Make a day of it, and spend the day or morning in Dana Point–there is tons to see and do.

Dana Point Community House

24642 San Juan Ave

Dana Point, Ca 92629



Now! Official Dates and times:

December 11 – December 13

Friday hours: 10am – 6pm

Saturday hours: 9am – 4pm


Because you love unique, beautiful things and good company! Plus, you know you are not quite done with your holiday shopping. Find the perfect gift, stocking-stuffer or treat for yourself. Support local makers and meet some fabulous new friends. Plus Elise is running some fun giveaways, so be sure to follow @mermademarket on Instagram and Facebook.

xo, Em

Day 5 – Faux Taxidermy Ornaments

faux taxidermy ornament

Today’s DIY, I am proud to say, was my own idea. Thanks to The Shabby Creek Cottage blog, I found these amazing deer head–or moose head (there is a current debate over this), ornaments at Big Lots. All on their own, they are pretty epic, but then I had the idea to mount them.

I found mini wood slices and mini eyelets (to make them in to ornaments), on Then I ordered red and white baker’s twine from Pick Your Plum, during their killer Black Friday sale. The end result was magic, and I gifted them to my girlfriends at a girls-night holiday gathering I threw last night. Here’s the how-to:


Sparkly deer/moose head ornaments

Mini eyelets

Mini 3″-4″ wood slices

Red and white baker’s twine

Hot glue

**Before you begin, you will need to wipe off the wood slices as they will have wood dust and possibly some dirt on them. You will also need to cut the ornament string from the deer/moose heads.

1. Twist eyelets in to wood slices

deer10.jpg deer11.jpg

The eyelets have a pointed end, and are relatively easy to screw in to the wood slices. Tip: Hold your slice from different edges, to find the best spot for the top.

2. Hot glue heads to wood

deer1.jpg deer2.jpg deer4.jpg

Glue the heads to the center of the wood slice, with the eyelet centered at the top. Allow to completely dry. Tip: Apply glue to head, rather than the wood.

3. Personalize the wood slice

deer3.jpg deer6.jpg

I kept mine simple, and just put the year, but you could write or draw anything you like to personalize each ornament.

4. String ’em

deer7.jpg deer8.jpg

String the baker’s twine through the eyelet, and tie the ends in a double knot. (You can also tie ends in to a bow if you prefer.) Tip: cut twine at angle, and it will feed through the eyelet easier.

5. Use the extra


I have a confession. Originally I bought two boxes of these amazing deer/moose heads. When I purchased them, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them yet. When it occurred to me that I could make these fab faux taxidermy ornaments, I went back to Big Lots to buy up the rest. But to my dismay, they were all gone. Sadness. I had a bunch of extra wood slices, so I slapped some chalkboard paint on them, and made customized ornaments with chalkboard pen. I think these guys are pretty cute too.


Another confession: I kept one for myself. (:

My friend Jessie showing off her goodies.

My friend Jessie showing off her goodies.

xo, Em

Day 4 – Yarn Tapestry Installment (Land of Nod Hack)


I hope everyone had a fab weekend! I am kind of in love with this DIY, and I hope you will be too. 

I found my inspiration for this piece in my Instagram feed, (where else). The Land of Nod posted a photo of this yarn installation, created by their Interior Design Manager, Sara. It was based off of a tutorial by Jeran of @oleanderandpalm. I probably should have watched the tutorial, but I didn’t realize there was one. Ha (true story). I took a screen-shot of the post 2 weeks ago, and just knew I had to give it a go for my 12 Days of DIY challenge. And boy am I glad I did! 

The photo that started it all

The photo that started it all

Here is my step-by-step guide of how I recreated this yarn tapestry installment:


  • Yarn
  • wooden dowel
  • gold leaf paint
  • small, soft bristle paint brush

** I got my yarn, dowels and gold leaf paint from Hobby Lobby

1. Pick your colors

I drew inspiration from the Land of Nod post. I have been wanting to introduce brighter colors in to my living room. I knew I wanted my blue to be in the aqua/turquoise family. I love the brightness and richness of fuchsia/magenta, and I’ve also been looking for ways to add this color to this room. I chose the mustard color, because I love how it looks against both of these colors, and voila! I had my color pallet selected.

Nod 016 Nod 017

2. Measure your sections

Depending on the design you choose, measure out the sections in to equal parts (for each color). Factor in the ends.

3. Start tying and cutting

Starting with the aqua yarn, tie each strand to the dowel, directly from the spool of yarn. Cut each piece as you go, leaving extra room for shaping at the end. Make sure to tie the pieces as close together as possible, and in tight, double-knots.

nod2.jpg nod1.jpg nod3.jpgnod4.jpg

4. Cut the fray

Pull all of the loose tied ends to the back of the tapestry, so they are all lined up in a row. Then snip them down. Make sure to use good scissors, (I used or kitchen scissors that came with or Henckel knives).


5. Cut to shape

Originally I thought I would make my husband hold the tapestry whilst I cut the edges to shape, (he is 6’3″). Instead though, I used a small curtain rod holder that we have by our front door as my holder, (a much better idea). Then I started cutting.

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6. Paint dowel

I decided I wanted gold-dipped ends on my tapestry, because let’s be honest, gold-dipped anything is pretty fabulous. Enter gold leaf paint, my newest obsession in life.

$4.99 at Hobby Lobby

$4.99 at Hobby Lobby

I then painted each end with the gold leaf paint.


7. Tie and hang

I used twine to hang my tapestry, but you could use clear fishing line, or even a piece of yarn. Tie at each end, and hang from a nail or hook in the wall.

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8. Clean it up

Once the yarn installation is hung, you can clean up the edges with your scissors, and you’re done!


**If you like my DIY’s, please share them with a friend! (Sharing buttons are below)

xo, Emily

Day 3 – Disco Ball Garland: 12 Days of DIY

disco ball garland

The only good thing that came from disco, was its balls. Disco balls, that is; (get your mind out of the gutter). (:

If you haven’t noticed, I really really like sparkly things. So you can imagine my delight when I came across these amazing, mirrored, mini disco-ball ornaments. (I bought like three boxes of them!) I decided that I would make a disco ball garland, to spruce up an ordinary, old green garland that someone handed down to us.

The truth is, I didn’t want to post this DIY until I was finished with my armoir-makeover (paint-over) project. But alas, time has not been on my side this week. We had a washing machine malfunction, which forced me to take our laundry on tour. Not ideal, but we will rebuild.

Anyway, here’s what I got–perfectly imperfect. I hope it gives you some fun ideas.


  • Disco Ball ornaments
  • Fishing line (to string the ornaments)
  • A little bit of patience
  • Netflix (‘Sons of Anarchy’, in my case), to keep you company whilst you string your garland.

xo, Emily