Pet guideA lot of our readers tend to share a love of crafts and food, but many of them also share a love of something else—pets! We certainly love our fur babies here at ABM, and we are always looking for cute ways to spoil our little pals (although, let's face it, we do it for ourselves too, right?!). That being said, here's a few ways to show your pro-pet spirit from the practical to the completely-unnecessary-but-really-cute...

1. If you're looking for a sleek feeder for your dog, this elevated side-by-side bowl system will easily fit in with any home decor scheme (the small size works for a cat too).

2. If your dog gives you longing looks every time you eat pizza in front of them, maybe it's time to get them their own slice (looks like supreme to me!)

3. Don't be shy about the real reason you cancel plans every Friday night, you crazy cat lady you...

4. These custom name tags can be made in lots of glitter color options, and it even glows in the dark!

5. This retro-style kitty camper is the perfect lounger and scratcher combo for your fur baby. 

6. Don't be fooled, these donuts are actually a yummy treat for your best puppy friend—so cute!

7. So true, right?! 

8. You'll love the cat shaped bowls on this feeder, and your kitty will love the side of greens that comes with every meal.

9. Keep your doggy treats accessible but discreet in this pretty white "treats" tin.

10. This cute and funky side table also doubles as a cat hideout/nap zone—everybody wins!

11.  Why should you be the only member of your family that gets to have some bling? Treat your dog to a bit of that gold life with this pretty collar.

12. You'll bring a whole new meaning to the term "sushi roll" when you throw these toys around the room with your cat!

13. Walk Fido in style with this colorful retractable leash...

14. ...and don't forget this adorable sweatshirt if it's a bit chilly outside!

15. How sweet would this little bamboo house be for your small dog (or cat) to curl up in? 

There you go—lots of ways to treat your best bud to something fun! I would swear those doggy donuts were real, so make sure to keep them out of sight of unknowing houseguests, or they may be in for a bit of a surprise! Make sure to check out all the pet projects that we've done to find more ways to display your pet pride! Have fun!

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe)       Who’s guilty of loving Lucky Charms Cereal when they were a kid? I have to raise my hand because I loved it so much my mother used to tell me I was going to turn into one of those little pastel marshmallows. She kind of wasn’t wrong when you take into account my wardrobe, hair, and choice of home decor, which is all mostly pastel. Thanks, Mom! The cereal milk trend was started in NYC by Momofuku Milk Bar, but I’ve created my own childhood-invoking treat with a boozy twist that is perfect for breakfast (I won’t judge), a brunch party, dessert, or upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. 

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe) Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch, serves 1

For the cereal milk:

3 cups Lucky Charms
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 oz teaspoon salt

For the punch:

3/4 oz. dark rum
3/4 oz. cognac or brandy
3 oz. cereal milk 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
nutmeg for garnish

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe)  For the cereal milk, add 3 cups of Lucky Charms to a pitcher or bowl, and then add 3 cups of cold whole milk. Let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature so that the cereal has a good amount of time to infuse the milk. I took this time to enjoy a bowl of Lucky Charms myself. It’s still as magically delicious as I remembered.

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe)   After 20 minutes, pour the cereal-milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard the cereal. I strained it into a mason jar to make storing easier. Add 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the milk and shake the jar or whisk in a bowl. This can be refrigerated and kept for up to one week. You can make these in single servings or make a large-format cocktail in a punch bowl if you’re making it for a party. As I said earlier, it's perfect for a brunch party and brunch is always a good idea!

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe)     To make the cocktail, add 3 oz. of cereal milk, 3/4 oz. dark rum, 3/4 oz. brandy and a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract into your cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a double rocks glass over an ice cube and garnish with a healthy grate of nutmeg, and maybe throw in some cereal while you’re at it.

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe)      Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Punch (click through for recipe)        I really loved how simple this cocktail was to make and how delicious it turned out. I was inspired by a classic brandy milk punch, but the cereal element really took this drink to the next level. I split the base spirit and decided to add rum in addition to brandy to make the drink a little more complex and to compliment the sweet flavors of the marshmallows, but feel free to use one or the other as well. I really can’t wait to make this again, and I hope you have fun trying this one at home.

Cheers everyone! xo. Natalie

Credits // Author and Photography: Natalie Jacob. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)        Simple, yet pretty are the types of manicures that I tend to gravitate towards the most. I saw a pic of someone with unpolished nails and teeny tiny gold star decorations and thought it was such a simple yet elegant way to add a little bling to your normal nail routine. Really easy and really pretty? Where do I sign up!? 

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)Supplies:
-gold star confetti
-wax pencil
-clear topcoat (I love this 8-free topcoat!)

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!) Start with clean nails that have been trimmed and shaped to your liking (this is a great all-purpose manicure set to have around).

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)        Spread out a few of your star confetti so they are easy to get to. Put a moderately thick coat of clear polish on one finger.

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)        Quickly use your wax pencil to pick up stars one at a time and place them on the wet polish. Keep placing stars until you like the overall pattern. You may need to sharpen your wax pencil first to have a finer point to pick up the small stars more easily.

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)
Repeat the process with each nail until all your nails have stars. Allow the clear coat to totally dry, and then use two more coats of polish overtop to seal in the design with dry time between each coat. Once your nails are dry, add a coat of cuticle oil (I love this one) to keep your nails healthy, and you're ready to hit the town!

So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)        So pretty! Gold star manicure DIY (click through for more!)        So pretty! This would be really cute for an event (or even a summer festival nail idea), and as you can see, it's really easy to do. You can also paint your nails a color first if you want a bolder look, but I do think there's something about the stars on nude nails that gives it a really clean look. The thinner the confetti, the lower profile your mani will have and the longer it will last as well, so if you find a different confetti you want to use, just keep that in mind. Have fun! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

DIY Camera Strap (via Easy camera strap DIYJust sharing a little DIY camera strap I made recently. You can make one in just three easy steps, and you only need to have the ability to sew a straight line. Ha! But my favorite part is that I added my own little camera setting "cheat sheets" to one side. Yes, it's practical, but I also just thought it kind of spoke to my love of photography. Me and photography, we go way back. Although the first few years I resisted learning to set my camera, so this cheat sheet would have made ZERO sense to me back then. :)

How to make your own camera strapFor this project, we are working with our long-time partners at Canon USA. I used my new PIXMA TS9020 to print the camera setting "cheat sheets" that I added to my camera straps. But you could change up this project to print any kind of design you love for your camera straps! It could be a photo or something you love (landscapes, donuts, you know—the pretty stuff of life), or you could print your name or a fun quote in a favorite font. The possibilities are endless, and I love that my Canon printer is so great with printing on different materials like the fabric transfers in this project.

How to make a camera strapSupplies: 
-sturdy fabric for the straps (two 35x2.5 inch pieces is what I liked for the length)
-sturdy fabric for the end pieces (that's the denim thick-looking "I"s you see pictured)
-2 big clasps or swivel snap hooks (the hardware to attach the strap to the camera)
-fabric transfer sheets
-Canon PIXMA TS9020 inkjet printer
-fabric and non-fabric scissors (you know you're a crafter when you require both)
-sewing machine
-iron + ironing board

Step One: Cut out and stitch together the main strap. Then turn it inside out, hiding your stitches, and press with the iron. See the video below to watch this and the entire tutorial from start to finish. 

Step Two: Sew on the end pieces with the hardware attached. I experimented with a couple ways on how to do this, and my favorite is the one you can see in the video. Also, this is the area where you want to use sturdy fabric, so a thicker denim or even a thinner (could still sew with a machine) leather would be good here. 

Canon Pixma TS9020Step Three: Print your design or image to the fabric transfer paper. Cut out and iron on to your strap (check the paper instructions for tips on how to iron on properly). 

Camera strap proto typeIn my first prototype, I experimented with different ways to sew the end pieces on as well as a few other things. But then I decided, after I had already ironed on my design, that I wanted the colored area a little bigger. Oops. Luckily this project is so easy and inexpensive that it was super simple to make another one anyway. But, live and learn. 

Also, if you're wondering where I got my camera setting "cheat sheets," they are downloads that come with our DSLR Basics e-Course. The ones I used are for f-stops and shutter speed, but there is also one for ISO in the course as well. 

DIY Camera Strap (via I made the backside of my straps denim so I can either show off the "cheat sheets" or I can hide them, and it just looks like a denim camera strap. Pretty fun and easy! You should totally make your own! Thanks for letting me share, and don't forget to tag us on Instagram with #ABMcrafty when you make your own! -Emma.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions


Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Being 7 months pregnant I am allll into the things that make me feel cozy and relaxed at the moment. Every preggo has her list of ailments, so anything that can add a few moments to the "self-care" routine are much appreciated. Sore back and neck muscles are certainly not limited to pregnant ladies though, and I've always wanted to have one of those rice heating pads around the house. So now seemed like the perfect time to make that wish appear! If you haven't seen or made one before, it's basically a pouch filled with uncooked rice (and usually something that smells good too), and you can stick them in the microwave for a moist heating pad that lasts a good while. I also figured if I'm going to make something, why make it regular when it can be a kitty, right? Much cuter to have around the house and just makes me smile to look at too. 

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Supplies:
-1 yard cotton fabric (don't use any fabric with metal or metallic decorative threads in it)
-3-4 pounds of uncooked rice (Don't use instant rice, it might cook itself!)
-essential oil of choice (optional)
-embroidery thread in pink and black
-heat erasable pen (optional)
-kitty rice warmer template (right click to download)

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial) Download and print out your kitty template for your rice pack. Fold your fabric over so it's doubled up and use your templates to cut out your body and head shapes.

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Pin the layers together, and then sew the body with a 1/2" seam allowance and the head with a 1/8" seam allowance. Make sure to leave an opening of a few inches to turn them back right side out again.

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)    Cut some "v" shapes into the curved ends on your head and body to help the seams lay flat, and turn your shapes right side out through the openings you left. Press your shapes flat with an iron and sew up the head opening with a hidden stitch.

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)     Use your embroidery thread to add a nose, mouth, eyes, ears, or whiskers to your face (I used an iron-erasable pen to get my face right and then the iron heat removed the marks when done). Use a needle and thread to tack your head onto your body right above the front paws. I also added some paw lines to the paws at this point, but if you want the thread to not come through on the underside of the paws, then embroider these on your top layer before sewing the two body cutouts together and you won't see them on the bottom side. I didn't add a tail to my kitty, but you could definitely do that as well with embroidery thread before sewing your layers together too.

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)        Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)        Once your kitty is ready to be stuffed, pour 3 pounds of rice into a bowl and add in 5-10 drops of essential oils (on the lower side for stronger scents and the higher for lighter scents), mix together, and spoon or pour into your body opening (try a funnel if you have one). Fill it to your liking, adding more or less as needed, and then sew up your opening with a hidden stitch when done. Heat in the microwave for 60 seconds or so until warm, and relaaaaaax!

Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)          Kitty Rice Heat Pack DIY! (click through for tutorial)          I mean, I love any time I can make a kitty version of something, but this is definitely a product that's just plain useful as well as just plain cute. You can use whatever essential oil you want, or I've seen people make these with dried herbs and flowers for the scent too. This shape is great for your neck and shoulders, but you could make a larger rectangle "fat cat" version for a back or belly heating pad as well. Actually, all this work making the pillow has got me a little tense in the shoulders, so if you'll excuse me, I think I've got just the remedy for that... xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.


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