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DIY || #31 || Hasta la vista, baby!

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Alright, so this DIY was supposed to be a stocking stuffer but, alas, Christmas proved to be much more hectic than I planned! However, I bet there are some of you that forgot to gift something to that distant cousin who showed up unexpectedly for the holidays and now you're scrambling to put something together..or maybe, over Christmas, you became one of the lucky few to get a plane ticket present to welcome the New Year on a tropical and peaceful island. Regardless of what you'll need it for, I'm back with a DIY that is both classy and quick to make - a leather passport case with gold lettering! Read below for the easy step-by-step instructions...

What you'll need: Leather swatch (got mine in aqua color at Michael's), Letter stamps (purchased at Michael's), Gold Marker Pen, Permanent Glue, Scissors, and passport/pencil for sizing.

First, layout you passport on the inside of the leather swatch, drawing a light trace around it with a pencil. Next, trim the swatch so there is about 1" extra across all sides, with an extra .5" especially on the vertical sides in order to make flaps (this will make sense in the pictures). Afterwards, taking one side, fold the leather over the front cover of the passport, dotting glue on the corners. Repeat with back page of the passport. Be careful not to glue your passport to the leather! It should fit snug in the leather but also loose enough to take it out. Repeat adding glue if the leather doesn't stay down at first and lay under a stack of heavy books for a couple hours until it keeps its shape. Alternatively, for the sewing inclined, you can stitch the flaps under a sewing machine for a sure hold. Once that is set, simply take your rubber letter stamps and, one by one, coat a letter using the gold marker pen and press hard into the leather. Write whatever you wish! That's it! 

Follow my colorful mess on some of my newest social media accounts: instagram and twitter, and let me know what you think!


Blogging Boss 101 || #1 || Text Tutorial, Part I

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red dress image from Atlantic-Pacific

Hey everyone! Welcome to "Blogging Boss" - my new series of tutorials, tips, and advice on how to improve your blogging material! I constantly get asked how I create my graphic design elements and photography work, so I'm starting this series to help anyone get a solid understanding of the many creative mediums you can use to enhance your blog. I learned how to do everything on my own (including designing my blog and photoshop) and relied on many useful websites and blogs to do so. This series is simply me giving back to the internet world for the countless times I needed to take information from it. If you have any desired topics or tutorials you want me to talk about, just leave a note in the comment box or shoot me an email (!

Part I of this tutorial, "Having Fun with Text," teaches you how to put an image inside text. It is one of the first things I learned how to do in Photoshop and it's surprisingly super easy, trust me! Since so many of you love the 'golden' title on my blog, here is a quick tutorial showing you how I was able to create it in just a few steps: 

Come back next week for Part II of this tutorial, which will show you how to place text behind an element within a picture (for example, in the image above, how I placed the text behind the woman's head)!


Friday Faves || #23 || Holiday crush

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I know it's not friday, but I just couldn't resist posting this week's friday faves! My holiday splendor is bursting at the seams...and looking at all the beautiful projects, food, and gift ideas on the web is not helping. These are a handful of my many favorites - check them out for yourself!

Homemade Potpourri (by Half Baked Harvest) // DIY Leather Bow Bracelets (by A Pair and A Spare) // DIY Cake and Beverage Stencils (by A Beautiful Mess) // Wreath Gift Wrapping (by Odessa May Society - See more DIY Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas by Oh So Beautiful Paper) // Three Ingredient Chocolate Almond Clusters (by Le Creme de la Crumb


DIY || #30 || Stocking Stuffers - Leather Coffee Cup Sleeves

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Welcome to part one of a three-part series on affordable holiday stocking stuffers made with leather! It's been hard getting back to the blog after trying to sift through the mayhem that is applying to medical school. Yet, with the holidays in full blast I couldn't help but craft all the project ideas buzzing in my head!

This first project, DIY leather coffee cup sleeves, is a chic (and fairly hipster) project that looks and feels quite luxurious but only cost me around $6-7 to make. That's a steal! As a California gal living on the east coast, I don't do well in the cold. I also don't do well with wasting things. Although many paper coffee sleeves in cafes are recycled, why not just have a reusable one you can easily carry in your bag or wallet? Better yet - snag a reusable coffee mug and you'll essentially save the world (and look good while doing it).

Alright, here are the deets!

What you'll need: paper coffee cup, coffee cup sleeve (as template), leather (I got mine for $3.99; here is a similar one online at Michael's), permanent glue, scissors, and a pencil.

How to make it: trim the paper coffee cup sleeve on each end so it will fit nicely on your leather sheet. Flip the leather over and trace the outline of the paper sleeve lightly. Cut! You'll notice that the leather sleeve at this point won't wrap all the way around. Obviously, if you have a longer piece of leather this won't be a problem, but mine wasn't. So I saw it as an opportunity to keep being artistic with it. To fill this gap, use a piece of scrap leather, flip it over for an 'opposing' color/texture look, and glue to both ends of the sleeves. Trim excess as necessary. I then wrapped a bit of the excess around the top and bottom of the sleeve to complete the look. Wait at least 10 - 15 minutes for the glue to dry and harden before using. That's it! Happy sippin' folks! And come back next week for second DIY in this leather stocking stuffer series!   


DIY || #29 || Carrying Around My Mini Sunshine

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I know, I know...I'm just as obsessed with florals as I am with polka dots. Forgive me! I couldn't stray away from making this Daisy Floral clutch after walking through Michael's and seeing tons of summer floral bouquets on sale now that fall is approaching. This project is incredibly simple to make, and I was inspired by previous wonderful projects done by Chic Steals and Design Improvised. Definitely check them out for more ideas! There is so much creative flexibility with making a floral clutch so definitely tweak it to your own style and go crazy! See below for the easy step-by-step directions...

What you'll need: plastic flowers (I used daisies and yellow/green hydrangeas), plain clutch bag/purse, hot glue gun and glue sticks, and scissors. 

First, make sure to cut the stems of the flowers so they are very short and can be glued flat onto the bag. Next, place a few hydrangea flowers on the clutch to set a colorful base and then glue them on. Begin gluing daisies directly on top of the hydrangeas, then glue more daisies until you fill the rest of the open spaces on the bag. This particular bag had a long zipper that stuck out on the end, which I didn't like very much, so I simply tucked in the excess zipper and glued it to the inside of the clutch. That's it folks! Hope you like it, and let me know if you try it out yourself! 


DIY || #28 || I've Got Ya Spotted!

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So if you know anything about me, you know I'm addicted to polka dots. I'm not quite sure what it is about them, but they combine the perfect combination of spunk, color, and fun to an outfit, especially in the summer. This DIY project definitely indulges not only my love for polka dots, but also my love for pom poms (the 3D version of a polka dot). I first caught onto this style thanks to the fashions of Design Love Fest, with her fabulous polka dot sweater. I found this layered tulle skirt dress on sale at Forever 21 for $12 (here's the same one in black), grabbed a bag of pom poms at Michaels, some fabric glue, and went to town on it! Super easy and super fun way to jazz up any dress or skirt hanging in your closet. Give it a try!

Here's what you'll need: plain dress or skirt (got mine here), colored pom poms, and fabric glue (you could also sew them on by hand if you have the patience for it!).

Steps: simply dot the pom pom with the liquid stitch glue and carefully press it onto the dress fabric. Continue by adding various colors spread out across the skirt. Wait a couple hours for the glue to dry clear. If you're particular about keeping the pom poms secure, feel free to sew them on instead by hand!

Then...don a pair of vibrant, funky shoes (got these blue ones at ModCloth) and have fun!


DIY || #27 || Weaving...Aint nobody got time for that!

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Okay, so I stand corrected. Some people do have time to learn weaving and continue on to produce beautiful products. This is one I have been admiring a bunch lately, in addition to this, this, and this. For those of us who have more admiration than free time, a little shortcut doesn't sound so bad, right? I tried a couple of ways and finally settled on this tutorial to create a non-woven but still 'woven-like' trendy wall hanging. The best part is that it took an insignificant amount of time (1-2 hours), can be easily customized even after it is completed, and cost me less than $25 for all the materials. Boo yah! So let's get started...

The items you will need: yarn (variety of colors/sizes/types), stiff plastic canvas, thread (the slightly thicker the better), scissors, stick (I used an old paint roller), and leather string for hanging. Keep in mind that you can add any other type of detail to your piece such as wooden beads, fabric scraps, etc. depending on the look you are going for. I spent about $16 on yarn. $0.50 on the canvas, $4.00 on thread/leather string, and $0 on the stick = a total of $20.50!

Basic steps: First start by sketching a rough template of what the final piece will look like. It doesn't have to be exact and does not have to be followed once you get going. Just gives you a nice visual to have before getting started and to refer back to if needed. Next, start making the yarn tufts. For the longer length pieces, I wrapped the yarn around the length of my arm, tied a piece of thread to each side of the loop, and cut across the loop in the middle to yield two tufts each tied together by thread. The more you wrap the yarn around your arm, the thicker your tufts will be and the less you will have to make to go across the width of the board. For this top gray layer I made 6 tufts, each created after wrapping the yarn around my arm about 20 times. For smaller tufts, I simply wrapped the yarn around the palm of my hand. Once you have created your tufts tied to string, you can start attaching them to the plastic canvas. For the very top layer, make sure to leave the first row of boxes open so you attach the board to the stick to be hung up. So starting in the second row, simply slide the strings through the boxes in the plastic canvas and tie them together into a knot on the back of the canvas, making sure the tuft is pulled up close to the board as much as possible. Now just repeat! Space the yarn tufts out so they overlap enough not to show the canvas underneath. Once all set, trim off any excess edges or cut the yarn as desired to get the look you want.

The last step is to attach the plastic canvas to a wooden stick. I used an old paint roller we had laying our the apartment which ended up being the perfect size. First I looped leather string through a couple holes in the top corners of the canvas then loop them numerous times around the ends of the stick. Bring the two strings together at the top and tie them together with several knots. Hammer a nail into the wall and hang. All set!

Feel free to experiment with various styles/colors! At one point I wrapped yarn around the board itself rather than creating tufts. I made a cascading effect by cutting the yarn at different lengths or tying the yarn tufts in a diagonal rather than straight across the canvas. Share if you do create one - I'd love to see!


DIY || #26 || Out on a limb

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Keeping with the theme of my apartment decor, such as my botanical wall and jewelry holder, I've done it again with my window treatments using the most basic materials! It is such a unique addition to the room and surprisingly only took an hour from start to finish to complete. The hardest part about this project is finding the branches, which was surprisingly a breeze for me after discovering a pile of branches in my previous apartment building's back lot. The goal is to find evenly sized-length branches if you are doing more than one window, and also that they are medium weight - not so thin they will snap but not so heavy they won't stay up. I wanted my branches to blend with my wall so I spray painted them white and let them dry overnight. Here's what you''ll need: branch(es), spray paint (if you want to color them), measuring tape, screw-in bicycle storage hooks, nail (or screwdriver), hammer, and curtains. 

Measure how high you want your branches based off the length of curtains you have, then measure perpendicularly across the window top and make two light marks with a pencil - one where each hook will be. Because I don't have a screwdriver to drill holes in the wall, I simply used a thin nail to hammer a small hole, pulled it out, then screwed in the bike hooks (using some muscle!). Once the hooks are secure simply place the branch across them and check that it is even. If your curtains have loops, you can slide them across the branches. Since mine did not, I cut small holes along the top of the curtain and tied them to the branch using twine ribbon. I found this works better because I could adjust the curtain length based off how tight or loose I tied the ribbons (this helps if the branch is curved and would result in uneven curtain length at the bottom). Alright, that's it! 

Just so you can see what it looks like before the curtains - another great idea just for general decor!


DIY || #25 || Natural Wallpaper in 3D

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Despite the many downsides to moving, there also quite a handful of joys. For starters, you get to rid of stuff you somehow managed to hide away for months. And the best part is planning an entirely new decor theme for your space. As always, I got my eye on keeping a low budget all the while finding unique ways to style my space. Thus, I present to you, the Framed 3D Botanical Wall! Some of you may have seen a twist to this DIY from before when I was in college, but now that I've 'upgraded' to real-world adult life, I've transformed this decor into something more refined, polished, and sophisticated. As always, super easy and super affordable! Here's the break down:

You'll need: empty frames (bought a whole bunch of different sizes at Goodwill for $2 each!), fake flowers, cream colored masking tape, scissors, nails, and a hammer. 

I first started out by organizing the frames and flowers on the floor to get an idea of a pattern. Then, simply hammer nails into the wall where desired, hang your frames, and tape the flowers into an organized and neat pattern. Easy breezy!

I kept my decor just to a diagonal, but you could easily fill up a whole wall with this decor. Hope y'all like it!


DIY || #24 || Homemade Creamy Coconut Popsicles

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Despite being someone who isn't all too crazy about eating coconut or coconut flavored things, I am madly in love with coconut popsicles. I think it originates with the many afternoons my pops and I would get coconut popsicles at the mexican food stands during the summer. It was always a father-daughter afternoon treat. With father's day upcoming, I thought it was quite fitting for this DIY treat! Besides, these are ridiculously easy to make, taste like gourmet (seriously), and require few ingredients! I used this recipe as a template to go off of - it's great for creating that creamy yet not overpowering flavor.

You'll need (for 6 popsicles): 1 can of pure coconut milk, 1/4 can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (feel free to add more), sugar to taste (I barely added any), and a couple dashes of cinnamon. The instructions from here are beyond easy: mix everything up in a large bowl, add the coconut flakes last, do a quick taste check, pour into popsicle molds, add sticks, then pop those babies in the freezer! They froze fairly quickly, but I just waited until the next day to enjoy them. Honestly, these turn out just as good, if not better, than the store-bought ones. Bon appetit!

Some other great ideas you might try: add a little rum flavor for a pina colada type of taste, mix with other fruit juices such as pineapple or mango, or make them as ice cubes and toss them into a summer cocktail! Enjoy!



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I think it might be too obvious that spring time influenced this DIY project! Grab those plastic bags (or make your own like I did) and add that extra pop with one thing most people have in their house...nail polish! Here's what you'll need if you're doing it from scratch: nail polish, gold chain, gold clasps, scissors, 1/4 yard of polyurethane material, and a needle & thread.

So let's get started, shall we? First start by cutting the polyurethane into a square, then folding it into a neat envelope shape. Once, set sew the edges together, trim the excess with scissors and attach the golden clasps to the front. Then, the fun part! I first dotted the bag with white nail polish and then painted floral leaves with quick brush strokes in various other colors.

Lastly, punch two holes in the top corners of the bag with a hole punch or with scissors, clip the golden chains through the holes, and voila!



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Marjorie is back!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The time has come. Marjorie is officially back and ready to kick up some wicked sweet DIY projects again! I know many of you must be wondering where I have been over the past few months, and to be honest, it's nothing too exciting. Mostly it was a combination of starting this so-called 'real-life', working my first full-time job, studying for the MCAT exam (it is a life dominator), taking classes on the side, helping my parents with selling and starting a new venture, and blah blah blah. Essentially, I was stuck trying to get my life together. But let's get 'un-stuck', shall we? The summer sun is beginning to glow, the world's colors are poignant again, and the creative energy in me is dying to get out. Can't wait to share with you all the exciting projects to come! Now...what did I miss?