Share the Love: DIY Stamped Tea Towel

Valentine's Day DIY Stamped Tea Towel Craft
Ever since my stint in the south, my heart gets just a little more excited about the holidays. Southerners love to celebrate special events with themed trinkets and decor. One decor trend I’m particularly fond of is the seasonal tea towel – Christmas trees in December, little American flags in July. I like it because it brings a little bit of flair to my kitchen, but is still useful. I’m not one for knick knacks, since counter space is too precious in the Malinowski household.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it’d be fun to create my own decorative tea or dish towels…a little throwback to my southern “roots.” While Nick and I don’t really do anything to celebrate, I love using Valentine’s Day as a reason to celebrate all the other loves in my life: friends, family, and great coworkers. This project is an easy and affordable gift that any girl in your life will love.

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DIY Stamped Tea Towel
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Supplies

Plain flour sack dishtowels
Sponge
Sharpie
Scissors
Acrylic paint
Small dish
Sheets of thick scrap paper
Optional: Hot glue gun, Rick rack
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Valentine's Day DIY Stamped Tea Towel Craft

Start by picking out your paint colors and gathering your materials. I went with the classic Valentine’s Day theme of pink and red, but you can roll with any color combo you want.

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Valentine's Day DIY stamped tea towel craft

Use your sharpie to sketch your stamp shapes onto the top of your sponge. Make sure you keep the comparative size of your dish towel in mind. Don’t over think it! Sponge stamps do not lend themselves to detail or perfection. Embrace that handmade look, y’all!

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Valentine's day DIY stamped tea towel craft

Once your stamps are cut, pour your paint into a small dish. Then cut and insert a thick piece of paper behind the front panel of the dishtowel to prevent the paint from seeping through. Alternatively you could spread the towel out, but I like being able to see how the final design will look. I suggest only stamping the front to keep the towel functional. Any section that’s painted won’t absorb water. Let your stamps absorb the paint for about 5 seconds before stamping them onto the fabric. Make sure to press down firmly and let the paint dry for at least 5 minutes before touching. 

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Valentine's Day DIY Stamped Tea Towel Craft

I had extra rick rack around the house that I simply hot glued to the bottom for some extra flare. I originally cut a piece to just lay across the front, but ended up gluing it along the bottom of the front side. Adding a strong of pom-poms would also be cute.

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Valentine's Day DIY stamped tea towel craft

Despite their imperfections, I think they’re just darling! I can’t wait to send a couple sets in the mail later this week as a little southern surprise for my friends.

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Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day this year? Last year Mil and I spent the day together. True love.
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XOXO,
Jules

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5 Fall Decorating DIYs

5 Fall decorating DIY projects do-it-yourself

This weekend I had big plans for a new DIY decorating project. I had empty wine bottles piling up in the kitchen, a bag of dollar store goodies, and cans of spray paint at the ready. And you know what, it just didn’t happen. Do you ever have one of those weekends where you start out with the greatest intentions and then slowly dial back to accommodate for a few extra hours of cuddles in bed? #worthit

So instead of sharing my own DIY project, I thought I’d do the next best thing and share a few of the fall projects catching my eye this season. Refresh your seasonal decor with these creative yet simple ideas.
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Mud-Cloth-Pumpkins-DIY decorating fall

Painted pumpkins are huge this year, which is great because they last so much longer than the carved variety. This mud cloth design idea from Homey oh My is an updated take on the typical fall color palette. 

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fall DIY wreath craft decorating

Living in the South, I developed a love for wreaths. They’re a homey touch that adds creates a sense of warmth from your guests first knock at the front door. This gold spray painted leaf wreath from Wild Ink Press is elegant but not outdated. 

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fall pumpkin craft diy thanksgiving

Love this idea to use painted pumpkins as a chalkboard to share your dinner party menu. Thank you Better Recipes! I don’t really want to host Thanksgiving at our house this year, but this DIY almost makes me want to.

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fall-wreath-DIY_project

This floral fall wreath project from A Night Owl looks slightly easier to execute than the leaf wreath and adds a nice punch of color to a plain Jane door.

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Fall-Pumpkin DIY project

Confession: I love succulents, but I struggle to keep even these durable guys alive. Enter the magic of faux flowers and plants. This pumpkin and succulent arrangement from I Heart Naptime is right up my alley. Plastic is impossible to kill.

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How do you decorate for fall? Do you recycle the same decorations or do you prefer to refresh every year with natural elements: winter squash, leaves, etc.? One of my friends in Arkansas has been hanging the same wreath on her front door for more than 20 years. It’s not Halloween in her ‘hood until the witch wreath comes out!
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XOXO,
Jules

Every Girl Boss Needs a Gold Clipboard (DIY)

clipboardI know, I know…for many, clipboards and office supplies are a thing of the past. Almost everyone takes meeting notes on a their phone or tablet. But I, for one, am a holdout. I am all about scribbling copious notes haphazardly across my yellow legal pad. If I need to remember it, it’s going on a piece of paper – although it will likely be eventually transcribed into an email or electronic document.

I recently changed to a new department within my company and have been a bit intimidated by my new coworkers. I’m now the only woman on a team of very strong and assertive men. I spent the last week feeling out my new professional relationships and establishing my place in things.
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In new situations, it’s often helpful to have a few specific thoughts and items from which to draw strength. As I set up my new desk, I found myself taking strength in creating a strong and feminine space for myself. I brought in a mug with a beautifully lettered “J” to hold my multicolored Le Pen pens, filled a small vase with sunflowers, and added a few statement gold office supplies. So far my favorite addition has been my gold-striped clipboard. Holding a clipboard full of to-do items has always made me feel in charge and in control. Important people still use clipboards, right? I particularly love bringing it to meetings. For me, it’s a small way of claiming my role as a “Girl Boss.”
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I actually made my gold clipboard myself and have liked it so much that I had to share! It took all of maybe 5 minutes to create and looks pretty chic, if I do say so myself.
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clipboard steps (2).
DIY Gold-Striped Clipboard

Supplies:
1 Plain clipboard
Painters tape (choose the width according to your preference)
Gold spray paint (I used Krylon Premium Metallic)
Newspaper
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Directions:
1. Start by placing strips of painters tape across the front side of your clipboard to create a striped pattern. I recommend starting from the top and working down. As you place your strips, remember that anything left exposed will be gold. You’ll want your clip at the top to be gold and I think it looks best when contrasted against a brown stripe. So start by taping your first stripe at the top, working around the clip to leave it exposed.
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You can make your stripes as big or small as you want (buy your painters tape accordingly), and can vary their width from top to bottom. If you’re picky, measure and mark the stripes, so your widths are precise (I am all about the eyeball). I liked the look of three thicker stripes of about the same width.
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2. Once your tape is securely in place, head outside with your spray paint and newspaper. Spread your newspaper and lay your clipboard on top. You’ll want to evenly apply the spray paint from about 10 inches away to avoid drips. Don’t try to get full coverage with the first coat. You’ll get a smooth end product if you do 2-3 light coats, making sure to let each coat dry for about 20 minutes.
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3. Once you’re satisfied with your paint coverage, let the last coat dry for about an hour before removing the tape and revealing your masterpiece. Now I only did the front of my clipboard, as that’s what I see and thus care the most about. But it would definitely look a little more polished to do both sides, so you could easily just repeat the process to the back. If you do this, make sure to match your stripes up, so they seamlessly flow from one side to the other.
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It’s a simple and fun project for a Saturday afternoon. If you still use pen and paper for your notes, bring your gold clipboard to work and see if you too feel like a Girl Boss.
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XOXO,
Jules

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