Want to make sure you are invited back to next year’s Holiday Party? Be sure to arrive with a thoughtful hostess gift. Sure I could go with a bottle of wine, I especially like the botle dipped in gold I featured in my stylish, budget friendly Holiday Gift Guide, but this year, I wanted to do something that felt a little more personal. And, nothing says personal like a DIY Monogram gift.
I seem to be on a bit of a Monogram kick at the moment, all my gifts are wrapped and labelled with my Chalkboard Monogram printables. Enter the Easy DIY Monogram Mug. My inspiration for this project came from here and here, but I wanted to give my initial mugs my own twist and my own aesthetic. The mug pictured at top is what I came up with. I like how it came out, particularly the two toned effect.
If you would like to replicate this easy, modern DIY project you will need:
1) Plain white mugs – you can find inexpensive one at your local thrift store or local dollar store
2) Sharpie pens – I chose silver and gold for a more festive look. There’s a lot of debate about whether to use plain old sharpie pens or specialized porcelain pens for projects of this sort. I used the plain old sharpie pens because that’s what I had on hand, but I’m certain the results would be more permanent with a more expensive porcelain pen.
3) Alphabet Stickers – My stickers were just $1, but I’m pretty sure that if you got more expensive labels with stronger adhesion, you will likely get less paint bleed. My paint bled a little under the labels, the down side of stickier labels is that they may not be as easy to peel off.
The photos below provide an illustrated tutorial on what to do. I baked my mugs for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then let them cool down slowly in the oven turned off. So technically they were still baking for a while longer, however, I’m not convinced that the heat created the necessary bond between with mug’s glaze and the pen’s ink. That said, I had the foresight to write ”Handwash” at the base of each mug. Many of the DIY sharpie mug tutorials out there say that they are dishwasher safe. Personally, I’m not convinced.
If you go here, there’s an interesting article about the use of sharpies vs. oil-based pen, baking temperatures, etc. The author sounds like she’s really explored the limits of this kind of project and provides tips based on her experience. Of course, I read it after the fact.
Since it is the Holidays I decided to dress up my mugs for giving. I found gorgeous gourmet chocolate squares by a local new American chocolatier named Tcho. The packaging makes the chocolate bars look like modern coasters, so I thought they would be perfectly paired with my DIY Monogram Mugs. I then packaged in a little cellophane bag and topped them off with a little ornament.
I think little effort goes a long way with this project and I’m very pleased with the overall results. Let’s hope the recipients like them as much as I do!
Finally, if you like this DIY project but just don’t have the time to pull it off, Anthropologie has a great selection of ready made Initial Mugs.
I like to keep things simple and manageable, so I put something together to make both your life and my life a little easier this Holiday season. It’s nothing fancy, just a free printable Holiday Chalkboard Initial labels.
I’ve kind of been into the chalkboard thing since trying out some freehand designs on our pumpkins this past Halloween. I wanted to bring the spirit of that simplicity to my holiday wrapping. Just print and punch out. I recommend printing on card stock and using a 2″ punch for best results. Hope you enjoy this chic, modern label that you can use to dress up your Holiday gifts, or gifts for any occasion really.
Personally, I think there’s nothing quite like a brown paper package tied up with string. Every time I tie one up, I can hear Julie Andrews singing. I didn’t watch the NBC remake that recently aired live, so my memories are still intact. Anyway, I’m sure not many presents can sing in your head like a brown paper package.
To download the files for the Chalkboard Initials printable click here for A-L:
Here for M-X:
And, her for Y-0:
BTW- While I’m pretty good at freehand drawing, I’m not quite there on freehand digital drawing, so I must give credit where credit is due. The delicate circle border I used is courtesy of We Lived Happily Ever After, and the link to the original circle PNG can be found here.
I’ve put together a list of 15 cool, hip, stylish gift ideas that are super budget friendly. I know that sometimes in the frenzy of Holiday shopping, we feel like we just have to get something in order to cross someone off our list and but that’s not the best decision.
I rarely get myself anything gold. It feels very indulgent. But when getting a gift for someone else, getting something golden will make it feel extra special, so this gift guide is all about adding a little sparkle to the Holiday season.
First up, there is nothing that feels quite as thoughtful as a handmade gift. But not all DIY gifts are created equal, i.e. not all DIY gifts hit the high style marks, but the 5 DIY projects below are high on design. So, if you have a little extra time, why not make one of these? They are sure to get rave reviews.
1. DIY Stacked Candle Holder from here, 2. DIY Coasters from here, 3. Polka dot mugs image is actually for a set you can purchase here, but instructions to achieve a similar effect can be found here., 4. DIY Kitchen Towels from here, 5. DIY Gold Dipped Wine bottle from here.
At $25 dollars or less, the gifts below are not going to break the bank, yet they are sure to evoke feelings of delight. Sure, you can always get a gift card, but how personal is that?
6. Brass wine rack from here, 7. Horizon Zipper pouch from here, 8. Brass pocket change holder from here, 9. Honeycomb beverage tub from here, 10. Succulent Sculpture from here.
At $50 or less, the next 5 gift ideas will take a few more bucks out of your bank account, but they deliver the sort of style and originality that make them worth every penny.
11. Last Snow Drop Earrings from here, 12. Baby milestones from here, 13. Gaggle of Geese measuring cups from here, 14. Camel stripped Ragcuffs from here, 15. ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’ print from here.
Hope this gives you some ideas to make this year’s holiday shopping more fun.
p.s. I handpicked every single item. None are sponsored choices.
A few people who have come to the house have asked me about my paint color selection. I think to many people choosing a paint color can be a little daunting with the whole rainbow of paint chips to choose from. So, I thought it might be worthwhile to write about my paint selection.
For the exterior of the house, I took inspiration from the midcentury modern paint palette here. Hubby wanted a stronger darker color on the body of the house, which I agreed would be nice. My immediate thought went to slate gray, something gray but with a good amount of blue. I decided on Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Gray. Initially I thought the whole house would be this color, but then I found out that the stucco had to be redone in some places. Our contractor mentioned that it would be more cost effective to have the stucco pre-tinted, but warned me that the tinting may result in a different color to the one that would then be painted on to the siding. So, I decided rather than risk a potentially slight mismatch, why not choose an entirely different paint color for the siding. I chose Silver Spring, which is literally the color one up on the same paint chip. I was determined to have a yellow front door, but finding the right yellow was not easy. None of the yellows I found at Benjamin Moore were quite what I wanted, but I found Nugget at Sherwin Williams and it was perfect. Everyday I get greeted by my yellow front door it makes me happy. If you look at my profile pic in the upper right corner, you will see me with my family in front of our happy yellow door and dark gray exterior.
For the interior of the house I wanted clean, modern paint colors that were somewhat neutral. I decided to stay in the grays in most areas, Benjamin Moore’s Cement gray is was my clear choice for the upper level bedrooms. It’s a nice true gray that doesn’t go purple or green depending on the light. For the main and lower level of the house, I chose Calm, which our painters thought looked like white. In truth it is the subtlest of grays, but still gray and when it’s up against white, you can see there is some color. The laundry room and bathroom colors were really dictate by my tile selection. I spent a long time agonizing over my tile selection, because I know that replacing tiles is painful and expensive. Picking the paint colors to go with them was super easy. One of my favorites is the Woodlawn Blue, it’s such a calming color and using it in the laundry room felt right because it’s a color that also feels very clean. The Woodland White is a super subtle green that hints at the greens in the Ming Green tile I used in the guest bathroom. Guntmetal was a bold, dark choice but works perfectly in our half bath (see Before & After here). Our painters thought that Sidewalk Gray in the masterbath looked just like the Cement Gray in the master bedroom, but Sidewalk Gray is a lot more blue. It’s a cooler gray, that works nicely with the honed carrara marble tile. It’s funny though how our painters, all guys, couldn’t really see the subtle differences in hue. It’s a guy/girl thing, I promise, here‘s the research that explains it. For the boy’s bathroom, I went with Smoke Embers which brings out the grays in the Marmar tile.
Special Note: All our trim is Benjamin Moore’s Super white, but when it came to the bathrooms I told them to hold off. Much of the white tiles I used are the standard white Daltile available off the shelf at Home Depot and I could tell the white in the tile has a little more warmth. I chose Steam white for the trim in the bathrooms so that the white of the tile and the white of the trim would match better. I didn’t want a bright cool white trim, next to a warm white, it would have looked funny.
Seeing all the colors together like this makes me happy. I put a lot of thought in how they would work together and am very pleased at the outcome.
I’ve been eyeing a few cool, modern diy advent calendars, here and here, but wanted to come up with something uniquely mine for my boys. So, I went on a short trip to Michael’s to see what I could find. I’ve been on a bit of a Black & White kick lately see here and here, so the one thing that really drew my attention were these little black goodie bags. Once I set my sights on those, everything else fell into place.
What you will need: 24 x mini black goodie bags Sheets of white sticker numbers (N.B. you will need a lot of of #1) 24 x round labels – I had these left over already Step One: stick the numbers on. I chose to justify to the right, but you can place your stickers where ever you want. Step Two: Fill your little bags with goodies. Step Three: Stick to the wall using round labels. Depending on how heavy your packages are, you may need to add tape to keep the packages up. I placed my mini bags in four rows, but you could stick them into a triangle shape like here, to reference a Christmas tree. Placement can also be more haphazard like here, but I wanted a more linear approach.
This DIY project is super easy, and will probably take you only 10-30 minutes depending on how long it takes you to fill each bag. Are you going to make your own advent calendar this year? When it can be this stylish and this easy, why not!