Succulents and Tea Cups and Sharpie Art, Oh My!

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Sharpie Art on Tea Cup Planters

  • Items Used: Ceramic tea cups (washed and dried), regular sharpies, stencils or other helfpul drawing apparati depending on what you want on your mugs.
  • Time Spent: Finished in two evenings.

One of the exciting things about owning a house is the ability to nail/drill/tape whatever the hell you want to your walls. So much open wall real estate, so many possibilities! After moving in, we bought some decorative shelves from Target to adorn our stairways. Putting up shelves is easy. Figuring out what to put on them was decidedly more difficult. Transitioning from a college/young adult existence to something slightly older yields hesitations about displaying your college shot glass collection or the random bandana you got that one time you and your buddies went to that one event.

I came up with the idea of putting in some succulents. Being new to plants at the time, I was drawn to the proclaimed hardiness of succulents. Unfortunately,I had a hard time finding the right vessel to plant them in. It needed to be rather shallow to fit comfortably on the shelving, which unfortunately eliminates most standard vases and plant pots. In a stroke of good luck, I came across two separate ideas that to produce a my genius love child of an idea: First, I saw pins for repurposed tea cups and mugs being used as planters, and second, people who decorated their own ceramic mugs with sharpies. BOOM. A Sharpie Art Tea Cup Planter.

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I picked up some plain white tea cups at my local Goodwill for a mere $1.99 a piece and got to work. A thorough lit review of sharpie art on the internet revealed that regular sharpies would easily write on ceramic, however, it would likely be washed off in the dishwasher. As I didn’t plan to wash my plants anytime soon, I was in good shape.

I used regular sharpies (Use oil-based sharpies if you want them to be washable) and a collection of stencils I already owned. It was painstaking work. It was easy to draw on the mug but to do it cleanly, was very challenging. I ended up using a wooden skewer dipped in rubbing alcohol to go back and clean up the sharpie lines so they would be super crisp.

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For the Double Happiness Mug, I had purchased a double happiness paper punch to use during the wedding. I punched it through a white sticker sheet and carefully applied the sticker to the mug. Then I dotted the outline of the sticker with various colored sharpies, and removed the sticker.

Here’s a view of the finished product in it’s new home. I managed to get a “two” theme going on with the two baseballs, the wooden bird cake topper from our wedding, and the “double” happiness mug.
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DIY Double-sided Table Napkins – Version 2.0

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Double-Sided Table Napkins, Version 2.0

  • Fabric Used: 1 yard of 100% cotton twill (Doodles Collection at Jo-Ann Fabrics) and 1 yard of quilter’s cotton
  • Product Dimensions: 13″ x 13
  • Quantity: 6 napkins total, 3 from each cut of fabric

My sister requested a set of cloth table napkins for her kids to use, as a way to encourage them to actually wipe their mouths during/after meals. Who knew kids were so filthy? (Filthy cute, that is.) She chose two patterns, a cotton twill from the Doodles Collection at Joann’s, and a quilter’s cotton. They were one-sided, meaning there is an obvious front and back to the fabric. Uh oh, this was venturing into new territory…challenge accepted.

The mitered version I had previously made wasn’t going to work because you’d see the backside of the pattern. I took two square pieces, sewed them right side together leaving an 1.5-2 inch opening, turned it right side out, then topstitched the edges and the opening where I turned it. These were way easier to construct than the mitered version because it requires much less precision pressing. However, it requires twice the amount of fabric. As I did last time, I only purchased one yard of each fabric. I opted to make these napkins slightly smaller, since they were meant for 5-year old hands and laps, with the final dimensions being 13″x13″.

I got the brilliant idea to take pictures of steps, except this stroke of genius happened when I was midway through the process. I’m probably going to make some more of these so I may try to put together a more comprehensive how-to.

If I could go back and change something, I wish I did a better job of turning the corners so they are more pointy, but I didn’t have a good tool at the time. Thanks to Amazon, that problem has been fixed. Amazon Prime is the best.

Sewing 101: Pillowcases


Envelope Pillow Cases

  • Fabric Used: 100% cotton flannel
  • Dimensions: Small pillow-13″x13″, Big pillow-16″x20″
  • Quantity: 2 total, 1 of each size

The newest activity I’ve added to my hobby collection is sewing. To say I have never sewed before is a lie. Years ago, I made a t-shirt blanket in a frenzied two day sprint, using my mom’s sewing machine. Fast forward to today, I’ve been re-inspired to pick up sewing for a few reasons. First, I think sewing is a legit life skill to have. Us shorties know the pain (and cost) of having to get new pants hemmed up every time. Second, I want to  make items I want/need like pillowcases, curtains, pot holders, and other home decor. Third, I’m due for a new hobby. I’m determined to do this right, instead of hoping that I don’t have to do anything more than straight seams. I took a beginner’s sewing class at Joann’s and while it was pretty basic, it provided a good foundation to start building skills.

For my first sewing project, I took the teacher’s advice and decided to do the classic envelope-style pillowcase. Using this super helpful tutorial from Craftaholic’s Anonymous, I was able to produce two rather decent pillowcases to adorn our couch pillows.