Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)       I'm a bit of a newbie to the soap game. I love the idea of making my own soaps (especially for gift giving and hostess gifts), but since I haven't had much experience in the soap world yet, I thought I'd start off with a simpler idea for my first try. If you're also a newbie but have been wanting to make your own, let's do this one together!

Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-white melt-and-pour soap
-microwave safe container
-body-safe soap fragrance oil of your choice
-soap dye
-soap thermometer
-plastic soap mold
-popsicle sticks for stirring
-spray bottle with rubbing alcohol 

Cut your melt-and-pour soap with a sharp knife into 1/2" cubes and place 2 cups of soap in a pourable microwave safe container. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring at the end of each interval. Once the soap is completely smooth and melted, allow the soap to cool a bit until it reaches 145° (use the soap thermometer to track the temperature). Once the soap has cooled, add the desired amount of fragrance and stir until combined.

Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial) Use the dye droppers to drop dots of dye onto your empty soap molds, spreading out the colors if using more than one. 

Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)   Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)   Pour the soap into the molds. Stop pouring when the mold is halfway full and spray some alcohol on the soap to spread the color. Repeat with another spray of alcohol once the mold is full and use your popsicle stick to move the color around the mold.

Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)    Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)    Keep swirling until you like the pattern you have, and then let your soap harden.  Once it's set, pop the soap out of the mold, and you're done!

Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)         Easy tie dye soap! (click through for tutorial)         I will say that marbling and tie dye can be a bit of a hit or miss process (even though you may do the same exact thing both times). You may have a dud soap that just doesn't spread the color like you want, but keep making them! You'll still get several good ones in, I promise!

I like to cut the sides of the soap with a knife after popping them out of the mold to give them even more of that handmade look. I love marbled/tie dye look on just about anything, so I'm excited to add these to my bathroom and give a few out as gifts too. Hope you'll jump into soap making with this project if you haven't already! xo. Laura

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

Easy diy clock from a cutting board (via abeautifulmess.com) Recently I bought this Missouri cutting board from Amazon. I guess I didn't really pay attention to the listing that well because it turned out to be a little bit smaller than I thought. It would make a decent cheese plate cutting board, but shortly after receiving this in the mail, I got my heart set on turning it into some kind of wall decor.

Easy diy clock from a cutting board (via abeautifulmess.com)I just thought the state shape was too cute not to show off! I decided on turning it into a clock to go above our coffee cart area (which you can see in my home tour here). 

This is about the easiest project ever! This would make a fun gift. Or if you are jet-setter type, I could see getting a New York, Missouri (or other middle state, I'm just partial to Missouri myself!), and California and setting them to the three different time zones. Not that it's super hard to figure out, just would make a fun display. :)

How to make a clock from a cutting boardSupplies:
-state cutting board
-paint and brushes
-clock hardware (can be purchased at most craft stores)
-power drill and drill bit (I needed a 5/16 bit for my particular clock kit hardware.)

First, paint any part of the clock you want. I chose to paint just the edges. Neon colors tend to show up better with a layer of white paint (primer) underneath. So I did that first and then added my pink.

Adding clock hardware to a cutting boardThen you drill your hole in the center of the state (measure and just do your best, as each state shape is different). Also, if you are unsure what size drill bit you need for your clock hardware, I recommend starting smaller and working your way up through the sizes, checking each until it fits. Once you drill the hole too big, you can't really go back. But if it's too small, you can always drill it a little bigger. Just FYI.

Easy diy clock from a cutting board (via abeautifulmess.com)  Once you add your hardware, you're ready to display! Easy, right? My cutting board already came with a pre-cut hole in the center top so I had the option to hang my clock from that hole or from the clock hardware which comes with it's own built-in hanger. I like the little pop of color this adds to our space! Thanks for letting me share. xo. Emma

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

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)                    In my world, cute is king. I am totally one of those suckers that will pay extra or spend more time making something that is a cuter version of an everyday object. I’ve been in love with a few cactus pincushions I’ve seen online, and while I wanted to make one for myself, I couldn’t just choose one type to make! Solution? Make them all! This way you can pick your favorite and make just one, or make a few different types and have your own cactus garden for all your pincushion needs. Thankfully they are so easy to make, you really don’t have to choose just one! 

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)This is pretty much the perfect project to team up with our good friends and go-to craft store, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Here are the supplies:

-assorted colors of felt
-fabric scissors
-terra cotta pot

-floral foam cone
-hot glue gun
-pillow stuffing
-embroidery floss
-yarn needle


Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)               For your first cactus (kind of like a low-to-the-ground barrel cactus), cut a circle of wool felt about double the width you want your final cactus to be. Use a yarn needle and embroidery thread to sew all the way around the outer edge of the circle. Pull the thread tight to create a rounded pouch and stuff the pouch with some stuffing. Once you have it stuffed to your desired fullness, knot the thread to secure. Thread a long thread into your needle, knot the end, and come up through the middle of your puffy circle out through the top. Go around and down the sides and go back up through the middle again to create one of your sections. Keep repeating this motion, staggering the placement as you go until you have 8 evenly spaced sections. You’ll end up with your needle having just come up through the top to create your last section, so just go right back down again through the middle to knot your thread on the bottom out of sight.

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)         Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)         Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)           For this prickly pear type shape, make a quick sketch of the shape and size cactus you want on a piece of paper (remember to keep your openings big enough to stuff some stuffing through later). Cut out two layers of wool felt with the pattern and use your sewing machine (or sew by hand) all the way around your shape. Leaving the bottom open. Use a wooden skewer or crochet needle to push stuffing up into all the different compartments. You can also add some wires or pipe cleaners into the different branches if you want this cactus to be posed in different ways.

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)                For this extra 3D cactus look, make a rounded dome paper template that is a little bigger than you want your final cactus to be. You can use this technique to make a much taller cactus or a short and squatty one, so just resize the paper accordingly. Use the paper template to cut three sets of your dome shape from your wool felt. Sew all the way around the edge of each of the dome sets leaving the bottoms open. Stack the three sets on top of each other and sew a line down the middle of the fabric, sewing all the sets together. Stuff each section with the desired amount of stuffing until your cactus takes shape.

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial) Now that we have our cactus bodies, use a needle and thread to secure the bottom of the cactus onto the brown wool felt that you’ll use as the cactus dirt. Depending on the shape of your cactus, you may be able to get away with using fabric glue for this part instead of sewing (like for the rounded ball cactus). If your cactus is properly stuffed, you shouldn’t have a problem with it standing up properly once sewn onto the wool bottom.

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)  Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)    Cut a piece of floral foam with a bread knife or hand saw to fit into your tapered pot, use a hot glue gun to attach your cactus to the middle of the foam piece, and trim the wool to fit the foam circle. Glue the sides of the foam and press the cactus down into your pot to secure.

If you want to add a little more detail, you can use more embroidery floss to make knots and cut off the ends for a needle detail or use some colored felt to glue little flowers on top as well. Stick some pins in your new pincushion because this cactus is done!

Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)                 Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)                   Adorable! cactus pincushion DIY (click through for tutorial)                   Aren’t they just adorable?? I mean, I love a cute accessory for any type of crafting, but I know that having one of these sitting on my sewing desk is going to make me smile every time I see it. I was also thinking these would be great to give out as little favors if you ever had a sewing-themed party or crafting night event since they are so easy to make. I don’t know about you, but I think I would be a pretty happy party goer if someone “stuck” me with one of these…xo. Laura

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

At Home with Cat GreenwoodKitchenToday we are welcoming Cat Greenwood to the blog to share her gorgeous space with us!

Living roomCute collectibles"We moved to our two-bed flat in Camberwell in London last July, and I am so proud of what we’ve achieved with it. When I viewed the flat, it was the most horrendous thing I’d ever seen. It was in permanent darkness because light bulbs seemingly don’t exist in South London, even the “curtains” looked like a prop from the West End production of Oliver Twist (no exaggeration). It was a shell, and a dirty one at that. We moved in, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work.

Cat Greenwood"What attracted me to the flat, despite its dirtiness, was the fact that it's in a converted Victorian hospital. It’s a gorgeous building with vast ceilings, huge windows and genuine 1920s graffiti on the exterior walls! I knew that a good scrub down, a lick of paint and a bit of TLC was all that it needed to turn it into a home.

Turquoise tableKitchen detailsLove this cabinet"The cabinet once belonged to a pharmacy, and, I’m told, dates from around 1900. I just love the door knobs. It is the perfect place to display our favourite books and objects, and it even has a secret little shelf! I think our pharmacy cabinet works as a nice anchor, a centrepiece, to our living room, in place of a fire and mantelpiece. We already had the two white chairs and a tiny two-person table in our previous flat, but now that we have a bigger dining space, I felt ready to be a grownup and have people round for dinner. I bought our table from Ikea for 40 quid and spruced it up with some turquoise paint and a couple coats of clear varnish. 

ButterfliesBedroomVintage mirrorBedroom decor"I love my dressing table. I have spent 27 years doing my makeup and hair while sitting cross-legged on the floor, so it means a lot to finally have a space of my own! The pom pom trim hanging from my dressing table was a Christmas DIY which was too pretty to hide away until 1 December. The antique mirror was a car boot find, can you believe, and cost £7–total bargain.

Balcony
Flowers
At Home with via abeautifulmess.com
"Like the rest of our flat, our balcony was a right royal mess when we moved in—I don't think it had ever been swept before, let alone loved and cherished as it should be. Outside space is such a rare luxury in London, you've got to make the most of it if, like us, you're lucky enough to have a little slice. So that's exactly what I've tried to do—make the most of it—by treating the balcony like any other room in our flat, turning it from four square feet of concrete into a relaxed, colourful space."
 
Thanks so much for sharing! You can find more of Cat on her blog and on Instagram. xo.
 
Credits// Author and Photography: Cat Greenwood.

So pretty for summer! easy knotted scarf chignon (click through for tutorial) Summer is a great time for casual updo hairstyles. Whether you are going boating with friends or having a date night on a patio, having cute ways to get your hair up off your shoulders can be essential to beating the summer heat in style. This scarf/chignon combination is one of my go-to summer looks, and I love that it's easy and fast to put together. I like to use the long rectangular scarves for this style, but you can use any scarf that is long enough to wrap around your head and knot.

So pretty for summer! easy knotted scarf chignon (click through for tutorial)First, use a teasing brush to tease the roots under the top layers at the back of your head. This will give your hair a bit of height. Smooth out the top layer of the teased hair and gather your hair into a low ponytail. If you have bangs or shorter pieces at the front, it's up to you if you want to tuck those pieces in or leave them out. Twist your ponytail and then coil the twisted hair into a bun and secure in place with bobby pins. Fold your scarf lengthwise a few times so that it ends up being 3-4" wide. Place the middle of the scarf just under your bun and tie together on top of your head. Tie the ends into a knot, and then tie another knot on top of that knot. Tuck in the ends of your scarf, and you're ready to go!

So pretty for summer! easy knotted scarf chignon (click through for tutorial)    So pretty for summer! easy knotted scarf chignon (click through for tutorial)    So pretty for summer! easy knotted scarf chignon (click through for tutorial)    See, not too hard right? This is a great way to incorporate vintage scarves into a look as well (the one I'm wearing is a vintage find), so keep an eye out for those if you don't already have one. I wore this hairstyle a lot when we were in Costa Rica last summer because it's also a good pick for frizzy hair or humid climates—and it looks really cute with bathing suits! Go ahead, give it a try this summer! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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