7 Easy Chalkboard Paint Crafts

The back-to-school season is in full swing and to honor that oh-so-wonderful time of year, I thought we could talk about fun chalkboard paint crafts today on Goodwill Tips. What could be more fun than chalkboard paint projects and what better time to tackle a project like this then when the kids return to school?

Before I begin, I must disclose that I am absolutely obsessed with chalkboard paint and chalkboard paint projects. Don’t believe me? Check out our outdoor chalkboard door, our chalkboard lunchbox station, our chalkboard pumpkin people,  our chalkboard cookie jars, even our homework stations are adorned with chalkboards. I, basically, have chalkboard paint under my nails almost every day and I have even accidentally spray painted my feet a time or two with chalkboard spray paint. Whoops! It just goes to show that the possibilities are absolutely ENDLESS with chalkboard paint and how much fun these projects are.

Today I wanted to show you all of the fun DIY chalkboard paint projects you could try in your home with items that are commonly found at your local Goodwill store. Just doing this gathering of ideas is quite dangerous for me because I am already planning my next trip out there to do these fun projects! You won’t believe how fun or how easy the projects are that we are featuring today!

Personalize a Mug

Plain white mugs can often be found at Goodwill, but I am particularly in love with this chalkboard paint mug because it can also be a great way to cover up a mug that has a company logo on it. I am madly in love with this adorable mug from Craft-Werk because it can be personalized to its recipient or even personalized just for yourself. Check out the tutorial to find out how to create & cut your silhouette for your very own “moi mug.”  (@ Craft-Werk)

Organize Your Family

‘Tis the season for getting organized so why not do it with a magnetic chalkboard calendar that can be personalized just for your family. To create this craft, head to your Goodwill to find the perfect frame in the size you need for your wall. Spray paint the frame a color to match your home and then, utilizing some cut-to-order sheet metal, create a surface to jot down all of your families activities. Visit PSA Stamp Camp to find the tutorial for this magnetic chalkboard calendar. (@ PSA Stamp Camp)

Organize a Junk Drawer

One trip down the housewares aisle and I am sure you will spot many a jar that could use a good home. Open one drawer in my home and you will quickly see that creating a chalkboard jar organization system would be a lot better than the exploding drawers that are currently residing in my office. I love this fun and easy chalkboard mason jar storage from It All Started With Paint. Have no fear if you only find yourself with jars and no lids. Lids and bands can be purchased separately at just about any superstore that sells canning supplies  (@ It All Started With Paint)

Create a Chalkboard Labeled Cabinet

Goodwill is a wonderful resource for gently-loved furniture and just about any piece could be transformed into useful and organized storage with the addition of a little chalkboard paint. I love the functionality of this beautiful  chalkboard-painted piece featured on homelife for one clear reason…it showcases the beauty of chalkboard paint in other colors. Don’t feel like you have to be limited to just the black chalkboard paint. This piece is not only eye-catching, but it also offers smart functionality for kitchen storage. (@ homelife)

Personalize Your Stemware

Anything to prevent ending up with the wrong glass at parties is a win for me and I have fallen in love with this idea to add a chalkboard stem to a wine glass from Always Order Dessert. If you head to Goodwill you will find a lot of beautiful stemware that just might not match together. Adding a chalkboard stem to each wineglass adds a little cohesiveness to a mismatched set and makes for a fun addition to your entertaining supplies. (@ Always Order Dessert)

Make Dining Fun Again

Do you have a worn table in need of a face-lift? Maybe you have spotted a table at Goodwill that could use a little personal touch to it?  Look no further than this amazing chalkboard table transformation for making dining as a family, fun again. I love the idea of adding this touch to both dining tables or to craft tables. Consider adding a thought-starter question to the table, adding the evening’s menu, or simply labeling the food that is laid out for the meal. Check out this fun table makeover from design sponge for some inspiration for your thrift store purchase (@ design sponge)

Add Food Labels to the Buffet

Is a chalkboard table too big of a commitment? No worries! Consider visiting the housewares section of the store for simple small frames instead and give them a new look with chalkboard paint. Did you know that chalkboard paint can be applied to glass? Using a little chalkboard spray paint, you can transform any frame at Goodwill into a mini chalkboard to add a label to your dishes at holiday or large gathering meals. To make mismatched frames feel part of a set, spray paint them all in one color like this cheery yellow! (@ MomAdvice)

Have you tried any chalkboard paint projects in your home? Share your success stories here! 

Summer Trends – hi/low dresses DIY

I am sure you’ve noticed the hi-low dress and skirt trend.  These are the cute little summer frocks that are notably shorter in the front than they are in the back.


For those that love the idea of a maxi dress, but aren’t tall enough to pull off that look, the hi-low is a great compromise

First, head to Goodwill and find a long skirt. To keep things easy, be sure the skirt fits you. Look for something in a fabric you love: a trendy floral, or maybe chevron.

I started playing around with the idea of a DIY hi-low skirt, and quickly became aware of my limited sewing and crafting abilities.  So I did what any fashion savvy woman would do…I turned to You Tube and Pinterest.

Here is a great pattern to follow when you start your hi-low project. Really, it is very simple! The great thing about this idea is when the trend is ‘so yesterday‘, you can continue to alter the item to become a short skirt/dress.

found on Pinterest
hi-low skirt tutorial found at: http://blog.freepeople.com/2011/10/guest-post-diy-fishtail-maxi/

Fun Book Page Crafts

One thing you will find a lot of at Goodwill are books of all shapes and sizes. I consider Goodwill my bargain resource (at a mere $.50- 2.00) for finding great reads as well as my number one resource for book page crafts.

You may not have looked at the books section as craft materials before, but book page crafts are a hot trend in magazines that you probably browse through when doing your ” window shopping,” like Anthropologie, West Elm, & Pottery Barn… just to name a few.

Today I wanted to showcase some fun crafts you could try with books found at your local Goodwill store. I have a feeling that once you see these ideas, you will run right out to find the perfect book to get started!

Adorn a Letter (Or Four!) 

Letters are always a fun trend to try in your home whether it is your family name, your child’s name, or a fun word like, “EAT,” in the kitchen. I love this idea for rolling book pages to create a letter or word that is special to you. Little Things Brings Smiles offers a great tutorial on how you can make these with just a few items from the craft store! (@ Little Things Brings Smiles)

Make a Unique Table Runner

As a bookworm, this table runner makes me swoon! This table runner would be perfect for an evening with your book club or as a creative party display. The best part about this is that it is just created from  book pages and a little craft glue. (@ Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Make a Gallery Wall Of Your Child’s Favorite Books

Making a gallery wall of photos can be an expensive project, but a gallery of book pages is a fun spin on the gallery wall that could be easily switched out and an inexpensive way to decorate a wall. This fun display was created from a Shel Silverstein book, a book that just happened to be one of my favorites when I was a kid. Use Washi tape to hang the book pages so you can add another fun color to your display and easily move or remove the pages when done.

If you want to try this on a smaller scale, consider framing the book cover jackets of your child’s favorite books or select a series of pages that can be hung gallery-style on a wall. To pull it all together, look for frames at Goodwill that can be spray painted in matching colors. (@ Rice Design)

Make a Fun Photo Backdrop

I do a lot photography with my job and buying photo backdrops are often out of my limited budget. I am so inspired though by the idea to create a book page photo backdrop, both for its inexpensiveness as well as for its beauty, that I can’t wait to create one of these of my own. This would be a fun backdrop behind your kids on their first day of school or for a fun backdrop to creatively display wares you might be selling on eBay or Etsy. (@ The Blue Eyed Owl)

Create an Eclectic Art Display

Kids shouldn’t have all the fun with book pages and this art display is easy to achieve by simply printing over your book pages with a creative image. For this craft, look for old encyclopedias or a similarly sized book that can can truly fill out your frame. I am so excited to see this fun tutorial from Crafted Niche for how to create a display like this of my own (@ Crafted Niche, image from Ruffles & Stuff)

Adorn a Door

One search on Google will yield a plethora of creative book page wreaths that can be made, but this wreath made from book pages rolled into little rosettes gets my win for both beauty and creativity. The best part is that this one could be personalized with other layers for the seasons. A felt flower in a fun pop of color or a different color of ribbon to hang it can change the look of the wreath for the changing seasons. I can’t wait to make one of these myself (@ Under the Table And Dreaming)

Add Book Page Fun to a Mantle

Decorating a mantle can be expensive and require switching with the changing seasons. I love decor that is timeless and can be enjoyed all year long. This beautiful book page flower would look beautiful propped up on a mantle and is made from just a few inexpensive items from the craft store. While you are at the store picking up your books, be sure to take a peek at all of the other lovely housewares you can find at Goodwill!  (@ Whimsical Perspective)

Have you tried any crafts with book pages before? I would love to hear what you have done with old books in your home! 

TREND ALERT: walking shorts

One of the hottest trends this season is the walking short. I’ve been looking all over for the perfect walking short (that won’t break my very-limited budget) and have fallen short.

While organizing my closet this week I came across a pair of trouser pants that I never wear. They are a loose fitting linen that would be perfect for shorts. But alas, they are a baggy pant.
My instinct was to set them aside in the Goodwill pile, but then I thought twice. Maybe I could make these into the perfect walking short!

Well…long story short, I really messed up my first attempt (or two) at this DIY project (let’s just say I am NO Amy Clark!).

After several trips to Goodwill to get other “perfect trousers that will become perfect walking shorts” I stumbled upon some ideas and tips that will help you not make the same mistakes I did.

line everything up and mark your pattern

To create the pattern, I found a pair of shorts in my closet that I like.  The length of these old shorts seems to be perfect, so I used those as a pattern for my DIY ones.

Lie the shorts on top of the pants.  Line up the rise of both pants. This will insure that the length of both sorts is about the same.  **NOTE this is a step I did not take the first few times around, and found that it is in fact a critical part of the equation! 

Measure twice…cut once

Mark the pants with alteration chalk and a ruler **NOTE yet another step I left out the first time or two around. 

The ruler is critical.  Although I can cut a straight line on wrapping paper, apparently I can not cut a straight line on fabric.

(Photo Credit: http://www.refinery29.com check out this blog for great How To, Entertainment, Fashion Beauty and more!)

Time to cut

I made sure to make my cut an inch longer than I needed.  This allowed for some ‘slop’ (and by ‘slop’ I mean my inability to cut a straight line).

Stitch it down

Since I don’t own a sewing machine, I try to use Stitch Witchery or hand mend things that need a needle and thread.

(photo from http://adoremore.blogspot.com – check out her blog and see how she made some denim DIY shorts)

Be the envy of your friends 

One of the best things about projects like this is when people ask you where you got those super cute shorts, you can say “They are a one of a kind, and I got them from Goodwill for just a few dollars and made them into shorts myself”…it’s a real bargain for up-to-the-minute style… that is unless you mess up as many times as I did (*wink*).

Gearing up for the Holidays

I’m all wrapped up in the holiday spirit, aren’t you?  Even when I go out on the weekends, I am searching my closet for something with a little sparkle or shine. One of the HOT pieces this holiday season is the sequin skirt.

I had this outfit idea in my head that requires a gold sequin skirt.  Seemed when I wasn’t searching for one, I saw gold sequins EVERYWHERE.  Of course now, I can’t find one anywhere.  So I got busy looking online.  The one I found that seemed to be the right gold was well over $70.  This Mom’s budget can’t afford $70 for a skirt she’ll wear a few times!  Then I wondered, could I make one?

Again, back to the Google searching, and voila! Why didn’t I think of this weeks ago?  Of course…find the perfect fit in a skirt at Goodwill, and simply sequin it! 

Here are the quick and easy steps:

Go to Goodwill and find that perfect little skirt.  The color doesn’t matter, just make sure that the fit is exactly what you want.

Head to the craft store (or if you find something that is sequined at Goodwill, that might work too…rework what is already done?).  Choose a perfect color sequin fabric.  Make sure the sequin fabric has some stretch. Sequined fabric can be a little pricey, so before you hit the stores, look online for a coupon.  I found a 40% off coupon and used that…making my “holiday gold” MUCH less expensive!

My step 3 is a bit different than the inspiration (link below). Cut your sequined piece of fabric about1-1.5″ bigger than the “pattern skirt”.

I then used a fabric glue to seam the sides of the sequin fabric together.  I stitched the sequins at the waistband of the skirt, and only about 2″ down the sides.  This allowed the Goodwill skirt to act as a sort of slip for the sequins.


Here is a ‘how to’:
(from: http://toothfairyfashiontale.blogspot.com/p/diy-sequined-skirt.html)

Fun Ways to Celebrate the Olympics

Are you as excited as I am for the Olympic games to start? In our family, the Olympics is something to watch and celebrate together. It is an opportunity to learn about other countries, to admire amazing athletes, and a time of celebration for our country.

The Olympic games are just a week away and I am so excited to share a few fun ideas for craft and activities you can do to celebrate this exciting time.  Today I wanted to share with you seven fun activities you can try together as a family to make the Olympics extra special for your kids.

1. Olympic Medal Cookies– What could be sweeter than receiving an Olympic medal? How about an Olympic Medal filled with a cookie? AlphaMom offers this sweet little Olympic craft to do with your little ones. Stumped for a cookie idea?  I highly recommend an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Cookie for your medal filling!

2. Olympic T-Shirts– Visit Goodwill to find the perfect white t-shirt to dress up for the Olympic games. with a simple painted ring pattern on an inexpensive thrift store shirt, this is a craft that is easy enough to do with kids of all ages. Kate’s Creative Space offers this fun craft idea to her readers and we think it pairs perfectly with a great t-shirt from Goodwill!

3. DIY Olympic Torch– What child doesn’t dream of carrying around their very own Olympic torch. Hoosier Homemade showcases a fun craft that you can do to create your very own Olympic torch made from some commonly found items at your local craft store.

4. Olympics Party Fun– Why not throw a party for your family or for a group of families to celebrate the Olympics? A Small Snippet has you covered with everything from patriotic foods to great Olympic game ideas to play together, to fun ideas for decorations that don’t cost a lot. Before heading to your local superstore, check Goodwill for creative games and prop ideas for your very own mini-Olympics.

5. Olympic Torches Made From Recyclables– If hitting your craft store for supplies to make an Olympic torch isn’t in your budget, this Olympic Torch from The Idea Room is made from common items you have in your home and recyclables. These torches are made from a paper plate, a paper towel roll, and red & gold tissue paper. This is one that even the smallest child can do. Be sure to lift these high and participate in your own round of fun family Olympic games.

6. Olympic Rings Necklace– Even moms can jump in on the Olympic excitement with this cute craft, from Remarkably Domestic, for an Olympic Rings Necklace. This necklace is made from simple rings covered in Chinese knotting cord to create those Olympic rings everyone loves so much. This would be a fun craft to do while watching your favorite games this year!

7. Discus Throw Frisbee– Are your kids excited about the Discus Throw? This craft from My Sister’s Suitcase is a fun one for kids of all ages. Print a design for the front of your Frisbee and then have your child decorate it to their heart’s delight.

What are some ideas you have for celebrating the Olympic games with your family?

10 Unique Ideas for Projects to Do With Goodwill T-Shirts

Goodwill is one of my favorite places to visit for craft supplies and to find ideas for upcycling donated items. If you have ever been in a Goodwill store, one thing you will notice is that there is an abundance and plethora of donated t-shirts in every size, style, variety, and color.

The next time you visit your local Goodwill store, don’t just visit the t-shirts in your own size for ideas. Look in the Men’s section and in the larger sizes to find t-shirts that will offer you extra and a generous amount of craft material for the same amount of money as your smaller t-shirts. Try to select t-shirts that are not as faded or that have fabric pills on them for optimal material for your projects.

Today I wanted to share with you ten of my favorite projects that I have found to do with old t-shirts from your Goodwill store from some very amazing bloggers. I love that all of these ideas are extremely unique and that most require no sewing skills at all.

1. T-Shirt Scarves– I have seen lots of varieties of t-shirt scarves on many different blogs, but I absolutely love this DIY Dish episode you can watch to discover three different varieties of scarves you can make from an old t-shirt. My favorite is the one, pictured above, with a bright pom-pom trim.

2. T-Shirt Bibs– If you are looking for a fast sewing project that would make a fun baby gift, then these t-shirt bibs are the project for you. For little boys, you could look for their dad’s favorite sports teams and for little girls you could look for a fun t-shirt with sparkly letters or flowers. Don’t forget that these could also be embellished with rick-rack, ribbon trim, or an easy t-shirt rolled rosette flower.

3. T-Shirt Bracelets– There are many varieties of cute bracelets that I have seen using t-shirt materials, but this one has to be one of my favorites. This twisted knot bracelet can be made from just a single t-shirt or it could be made with a mix of prints or a mix of solid colors. I can’t wait to make some of these for myself and my daughter this summer. Nothing could be cozier than a gently worn t-shirt bracelet on your arm!

4. T-Shirt Produce Bag– Nothing could be greener than carrying your groceries in a cloth grocery bag…until you start using recycled materials for your bag. Even if you are a beginning sewer, this simple produce bag can easily be created for a visit to the grocery store of your local farmer’s market. I think these would be fun to make in a variety of pastel colors or to give as a gift to someone special in your life.

5. T-Shirt Pom Poms– Looking for a fun way to dress up your home for the warmer months? I absolutely love these adorable t-shirt pom poms for a fun way to add a pop of color to your mantle, as a fun adornment to a wreath, or hung in a gathering on a door handle or front door. The best part about this project is that no sewing skills are required for this one!

6. Petal Tees– I have seen many, many refashions of old t-shirts, but I think this Petal Tee is simply genius because the petal trim on this t-shirt is made from a variety of t-shirts, adding a cute pop of color for the Spring. Visit Goodwill on their half off days and stock-up on a fun mixture of colors for a fun addition of color to your wardrobe. If you are looking to add a little of the fluorescent color trend to your wardrobe, this would be a great way to do it without having to commit to an entire fluorescent piece!

7. T-Shirt Yarn– My favorite craft in the world is knitting and I love the idea of using Goodwill t-shirts to create fun yarn for my projects. This would be a fun gift to give to a friend that knits or crochets. If you can use a pair of scissors and cut in a relatively straight line, then you can do this craft and use this yarn for a variety of projects!

8. T-Shirt Aprons– I have a true affection for aprons and have a little collection of my own thrifted aprons that I have acquired from Goodwill and other antique shops. I had never thought to use t-shirts to create aprons, but I think this t-shirt apron is the cutest thing I have ever seen. This would be a cute craft to make for yourself or for your helpers in the kitchen. The best part? No ironing required and it can handle the messes that you might make in the kitchen.

9. T-Shirt Necklaces– I love t-shirt necklaces for adding a splash of color to your neckline. This rolled rosette t-shirt necklace is a fun way to add some feminine details to your outfit very inexpensively. I think it would be cute to make the t-shirt bracelet in a coordinating color and one Goodwill t-shirt should more than cover both of these cute projects.

Our tenth project is actually a fun t-shirt project we did here on the Goodwill blog. Be sure to visit my tutorial on creating a cute t-shirt flower pin made from an old t-shirt and spray painted clip-on earrings. This is so cute and would be a fun addition to a Spring top or jacket.

What are your favorite craft projects to do with old t-shirts?

All photos featured in our collage were gathered from the blogs that were featured. Please visit these blogs for tutorials and instructions on completing these projects!

Pinterest – great for Goodwill repurposing ideas!

Have you heard of Pinterest? http://pinterest.com? According to the website:

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.

It is addicting.

As I was poking around on the site the other day, I found this: http://pinterest.com/goodwillindy/goodwill-for-the-holidays/

Some GREAT ideas on snazzing up Goodwill finds for the holidays! Check this out:

Glitter holiday shoes!

I am in love with this shirt, and desperately searching for someone who can sew to help me recreate this look for the holidays. Picture it with an oversized chunky fishermans sweater, sweater knit tights and boots. SO CUTE!

And finally – don’t you LOVE LOVE this? A t-shirt quilt! What a great gift idea!

Thanks GoodwillIndy for posting such GREAT things on Pinterest!