Easy Wire Place Card Holder DIY

Try these easy wire placecard holders for your next holiday gathering. Get the tutorial on www.ABeautifulMess.com todayI'm convinced hosting a great dinner party is made up of 80% natural talent and 20% memorable details. There's something special about having a spot at the table reserved just for you, and it's even more exciting when it's shiny! These metallic place card holders are a quick way to add a little more charm to your tablescape without worrying about whether your guests will have anything interesting to talk about with each other. Shiny things help keep awkward pauses at bay, didn't you know?

IMG_3918I played around with a few shapes before landing on something simple and something holiday specific. You could easily do each guest's first initial, an easy icon such as an arrow, or maybe another short word such as 'hi'. I experimented with the shape of a hand pointing to their name, but it was over before it really even started. Pro tip: Don't over think your design.

Supplies for Wire Name CardsSupplies:
-20 gauge metallic wire
-3 in 1 jewelry making pliers

Step OneCut a length of wire that is about 15" long so that you can maneuver it easily. I curled up my sharp end and then gently started bending my wire in the shape of a 'J' using the widest round part of my pliers. Then I made an 'O' a little more round by using the handle of the pliers themselves.

Step TwoNext, I created a 'Y' and pinched the wire together where it doubled back on itself. Then I finished the tail of my 'Y' and bent it back up and behind the word in the shape of a mountain. This provides your card with something to get pinched in between or lean back on.

Step ThreeYou'll need to finish with a flat length that ends in another curl to help stabilize your shape. You can see how the finished design only shows the word and not the stand behind it. 

IMG_3903I suggest experimenting on a piece of wire to get comfortable with how your pliers work so you don't bend or scratch anything you're wanting to use for a place setting. 

IMG_3893IMG_3908Choose a different shape for each guest or make a handful of the same. They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness and compliment you on your natural talent! -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

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12 Days of Giveaways: Win a Leather Mason Jar Sleeve! (CLOSED)

Leather mason jar sleeve giveawayWe have another handmade giveaway for you today. Five lucky readers are going to win a leather mason jar sleeve! You can see the full tutorial to make your own here, in case you have a few more people on your holiday gift list this year. Josh customized each of these to be just a little bit different (see more in the photo below). We'll be shipping these from the ABM studio without the mason jars since shipping glass just isn't that fun. But you can easily add your own, a few different sizes will fit easily!

Leather mason jars sleeves!!!!!Ready to enter to win? Sign up below, and you'll also see that you can submit more than one entry by following us or signing up for our newsletter. If you already follow us or have already signed up for the newsletter or follow us on Twitter/Pinterest, simply do it again below to receive the extra entries (it won't cause you to receive duplicate newsletters or anything; it's just so we can verify your entry). Good luck! xo. Emma + Elsie

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Thank you so much for all your support! We'll be contacting the winners directly shortly. If you missed out this time, be sure to keep checking back! :)

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Make a Wearable Phrase with Resin Gemstones!

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)  I love things that are a little over the top. There are certainly times when I prefer a minimalist approach to decor or clothing, but I'm usually wishing it was a little sparklier/bigger/brighter/goldier (is that a word?) than it already is. I love dresses and tops that are adorned with sequins and gemstones, but they can feel a bit too dressy for everyday life. I thought it would be fun to use those giant neon gemstones on a sweatshirt to dress them down a little bit and shape them into a cheerful phrase instead of just having them around the collar. The process is similar to the DIY sequin phrase top I did earlier this year, but the gemstones make an even bolder (and more colorful!) statement.

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)       Supplies:
- plain sweatshirt
- large sewable resin gemstones (mine are 13 x 18mm)
- jewel glue or fabric glue
- X-Acto knife or scissors
- straight pins
- needle and thread (optional)

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)          I first laid out my gemstones to see how many rows wide and deep I wanted each letter to be. I figured out that 9 gems tall and 3 gems across was a good height and width for the lines of the letters. So I printed out a font that would match that height and width (I used Function Pro Bold). The "H" was a little too wide for me, so I made a small fold in the middle of the letter to bring the two sides closer together.

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)         Once my phrase was printed and taped the correct width apart, I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the phrase, and I pinned it to the front of my sweatshirt.

I would choose a fabric top that's a little thicker like a sweatshirt or something else with a small, tight knit if possible. Most gemstones have settings with little prongs that could catch on delicate fabric, so choose something with a little more weight to avoid that happening.

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)          Next I simply began to glue the gems into the empty space by starting at the bottom and building each row up from there. I used three different colors of gems to create an ombre effect.

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)     Once the paper form was filled in, I let the glue completely dry, and then used a needle and thread to sew each gemstone onto the sweatshirt as well. Gluing the gemstones down first makes them much easier to sew later. If you feel confident in your jewel glue, you may not have to do the sewing step, but since I plan on machine washing the sweatshirt in the gentle cycle, I wanted the extra stability of the thread.

Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)
Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)     Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)     Love this! make a phrase with resin jewels (click through for tutorial)     So fun, right?! I think this idea would also be great with one big monogram letter (like just a "G" for my last name) or other characters like a hashtag, ampersand, exclamation point, or even a heart! I think it looks so cute with a skirt, but I've also been wearing it with just jeans and a pom-pom hat, so it's pretty versatile. This top makes a big statement for how easy it is to complete. What would you put on yours? xo. Laura

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

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Eggnog French Toast

Easy eggnog french toastConfession: I hated eggnog growing up. Do most kids like eggnog? It's sort of weird, right? It's super thick milk that tastes kind of egg-y. Not really kid-friendly.

Plus, lots of eggnogs tend to be spiked. Just for the record, that's not what I tried as a kid. I had the non-spiked version. But either way, I just didn't care for it. 

Easy eggnog french toast Honestly, it wasn't until I tried my first eggnog latte about three years ago that I got hooked. I try to keep the eggnog consumption to a minimum-ish during this season (mainly because there are too many good things to eat during the holidays). But every December I get in the mood to make something with eggnog.

Last year I made eggnog cinnamon rolls. Those are delicious, but they take a little while to make as the dough has yeast. So, I thought I'd make something easier this year. And french toast just sounded right. :)

How to make perfect french toastEggnog French Toast, serves 2-3.

6-8 thick pieces of (day old) bread
2 cups eggnog
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons butter or oil

I'm not joking about day old bread. In my opinion that is the number one trick to making great french toast. Slice your bread thick and then leave it covered or in an open bag overnight (so it gets a little stale). If you just have stale bread on hand, then you're already there!

In a large bowl whisk together the eggnog, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Dip the bread in the mixture so it becomes complete submerged (if you're mixture is too shallow, flip the bread so both sides get coated.

How to make eggnog french toastHeat a pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of butter or oil. I actually use a little bit of both because I prefer the taste of the butter but I like how the oil produces more crispy edges. You can choose your own adventure here. 

Cook the bread on each side for 3-4 minutes (or less depending on the thickness of your bread). Once the egg mixture looks cooked on both sides, remove to a plate and brush with a little melted butter (optional, but just do it).

Easy eggnog french toast  Continue until you have cooked all the bread into french toast. To keep the first pieces warm while you cook the rest, you can place them in a warm (200°F) oven. If you have a big, fancy griddle, then you won't have this issue. So... good for you (she said begrudgingly).

Just kidding. Make some french toast this week or weekend—tis the season! xo. Emma

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

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12 Days of Giveaways: Win a Photoshop E-Course (CLOSED)

Photoshop for bloggers giveawayToday is an extra special day for our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway series because 6 lucky readers are going to win our Photoshop for Bloggers E-Course! This course teaches all the basics (and more!) for using and feeling successful in Adobe Photoshop. You will learn everything from the basics of saving and editing, to creating your very own actions! If you want to take your photography to the next level in 2015, this course is for you. You can read more about the course here.

Photoshop for bloggers giveaway  Ready to enter to win? Sign up below, and you'll also see that you can submit more than one entry by following us or signing up for our newsletter. If you already follow us or have already signed up for the newsletter or follow us on Twitter/Pinterest, simply do it again below to receive the extra entries (it won't cause you to receive duplicate newsletters or anything; it's just so we can verify your entry). Good luck! xo. Emma + Elsie

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Thank you so much for all your support! We'll be contacting the winners directly shortly. If you missed out this time, be sure to keep checking back!

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