Maker Takes: Catching up with For The Makers

Maker Takes Bali Hai feature via @poorandpretty

You guys. I haven’t posted a Maker Takes recap since September — yikes!! My For The Makers monthly DIY boxes have been stacking up, and while I’ve cracked a few of them open to make Christmas gifts, I’m sad to say they’ve mostly collected dust. Over the past few weeks, I’ve opened them up and created at least one project from each box. We’ll start with the most recent collection: Bali Hai.

Maker Takes Bali Hai supplies via @poorandpretty

The tropical-inspired Bali Hai collection is full of bright colors and dazzling fake gemstones, so it felt like a warm ray of sunshine — a light at the end of the New England winter tunnel.

For the Makers - Bali Hai

Even though I love the theme, I deviated quite a bit from the Bali Hai tutorials. I chose not to use rhinestones on my Oyster Bay Ring (above left is FTM’s version), and used supplies from the Sugarcane Necklace and Nui Pocket Mirror to make a small string bracelet instead:

Maker Takes Bali Hai via @poorandpretty

I also glitterized my Nui Pocket Mirror instead of gluing giant gemstones to it.

For the Makers Bali Hai - Glitter Pocket Mirror via @poorandpretty

It was pretty simple: lay the open pocket mirror flat on a piece of paper, spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over the lid, sprinkle glitter over it and let it dry. Once dry, shake off the excess glitter, then spread another later of Mod Podge over it to seal it in. Pour the excess glitter back into its container. :)

Maker Takes Bali Hai finished projects via @poorandpretty

The only project I wasn’t thrilled about was the Kora Kona Blush. I used all of the hibiscus and beet root powder and it barely gives me any color. Maybe I mixed it with too much of the white arrowroot powder? I don’t know. It looks pretty dark in the bottle, but it doesn’t function well as a blush. I’ll save it for tinting lip balms or something!

Maker Takes catching up via @poorandpretty

As for my catch-up crafts, I made the Clique Shoe Clips from the High Gloss Collection (you might remember them from my Monarch outfit), a modified version of the Velvetine Headband from the Havisham Collection, the Noma Bracelet and Jensen Necklace (hey, that’s my last name!) from the Leif Collection. I totally deviated from the from The Stargazer Collection‘s Stellar Embroidery, but there weren’t very many ways of making the simple Miró Necklace from the Untitled Collection.

Sauder Cottage Road Bench as photography backdrop closeup  via @poorandpretty

I really love the pastel and neutral hues of the Scandinavian-inspired Leif Collection. I’ve been rocking my Jensen Necklace and Noma Bracelet all spring, willing sunny skies and warmer weather.

Maker Takes Havisham - Velvetine Headband  via @poorandpretty

I used a few fake gems from previous projects to bedazzle my Velvetine Headband. It’s very pretty, but becomes uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing it. I suspect this is because the velvet is only on the outside of the headband, not wrapped around the inside, so the metal is resting right against my head. My handmade yarn-wrapped headbands are much more comfortable.

Maker Takes Love Embroidery via @poorandpretty

I reeeally love how my embroidery came out. I taught myself how to do a heavy chain stitch from this Needle n’ Thread article, and used the hoop and fabric from The Stargazer Collection and leftover thread from the Brit + Co. and Timex watch embroidery kit. Very simple, very pretty. It will hang nicely in our bedroom when we finally get around to painting and finishing it!

What projects have you been working on lately? Need a monthly reminder to craft? Sign up for a For the Makers subscription here.

Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored by For the Makers, but if you sign up for a subscription using the link above, I will receive a small discount off of my next box. (Second image is from For the Makers.)


Celebrate Spring with 23 Floral DIYs

23 floral DIYs

Happy first day of spring!! It doesn’t quite feel like it here in Connecticut just yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve found a few ways to fill our home with flowers, even if they aren’t blooming yet.

1. Botanical Napkin Rings via Terrain. Brighten up your tablescape with these easy to make floral napkin rings. This tutorial uses real flowers, but you can substitute fake ones if, like me, you live in what has apparently become the arctic zone.

2. Floral Wall Backdrop via I Spy DIY. I love the floral backdrop trend! I know the blooms will only last a few days before they wilt, but aren’t they so pretty?

3. DIY kate spade Floral Necklace via Bromeliad. Hmm… pay $300 for a necklace or make it yourself for under $20? ;)

Timex Brit + Co ParDIY - tissue paper pompoms

4. Tissue Paper Pom-Poms via Poor & Pretty. These have become a permanent fixture in our kitchen, and I always get compliments when we have people over. My response? “They’re so easy to make! Don’t ever buy them!” Seriously. Buying them is a rip-off, and you’re far too crafty and clever for that.

5. Fresh Flower Love Sign via Sugar & Cloth. I can’t get over how lovely this simple little sign is!

6. DIY Pressed Flower iPhone Case via The Etsy Blog. These remind me of the pressed flower bookmarks Suzi and I used to make with our Nana when we were little. :)

7. DIY Fresh Flower Framed Mirror via Paper & Stitch. How perfect would these be as a wedding day photography prop?! If I were putting this in my house, I’d want to use fake flowers because it would be such a shame to see them wilt after all that hard work!

8. Floral Spring Wreath via Dwell Beautiful. Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas, you know!

9. Tissue Paper Flower Garland via A Subtle Revelry. Here’s another pretty way to string up tissue paper pom-poms.

10. Magnetic Fridge Vases via Woods of Bell Trees. Leftover nail polish bottles + magnets = awesome new fridge decorations.

11. Sugared Blooms via Terrain. These would be so pretty on top of homemade cupcakes or pies! Just make sure to use edible, (and pesticide-free) flowers like roses or violas.

12. DIY Spring Flower Crowns via Green Wedding Shoes. Be the queen of spring in these ranunculusly gorgeous floral crowns. (See what I did there?)

13. Fitzgerald Floral Embroidery Kit via For The Makers. I love my monthly For The Makers kits and this one evokes springtime year-round.

14. DIY Floral Letters via Honestly YUM. I would like to X and O Erica of HonestlyWTF for this beautiful floral arrangement tutorial.

15. Giant Fresh Flower Ampersand via Paper & Stitch. I see your floral X and O and I raise you an &!

16. Flowers & Bees Paper Garlands via Highwalls. Here’s another great garland, made from wrapping paper!

17. Tulip Pens via Muslin & Merlot. Remember having all sorts of crazy pens in middle school? Heidi of Muslin & Merlot is totally bringing ‘em back with her tulip pen tutorial.

18. Giant Wall Flowers via You Are My Fave. Stan might start seeing these bloom all over the house soon…

19. Fresh Flower Hair Bows via I Spy DIY. The perfect garden party hair accessory? I think so.

20. Iron-Transfer Floral Duvet Cover via Design*Sponge. I know this tutorial is meant for college living, but I think this duvet cover would look beautiful in any bedroom.

21. Floral Stamp Greeting Card via Deb Duty. I’m not much of a paper crafter, but this handmade greeting card is just too pretty!

22. DIY Floral Necklace via Green Wedding Shoes. Another beautiful (fresh) take on floral necklaces.

23. Paper Cut Inspired Wall Hanging via Poppy Talk. A daily reminder to love what you do — and if you don’t, it’s time to do what you love.

What are some of your favorite springtime crafts?


Color Love: Lucite Green

Color Love - Lucite Green feat

One of PANTONE’s color trends for this spring is Lucite Green ~ a pretty color that looks like the lovechild of seafoam and aqua. I loved putting this inspiration board together because it reminded me that spring is coming (eventually) and that there are actual colors in this world (not just white, brown, and gray). Here are a few of my favorite Lucite Green things:

Color Love - Lucite Green via @poorandpretty

1. Peekaboo Clutch by // 2. Door Knob Curtain Tie-Back via Urban Outfitters. // 3. Cheer I Go Top in Mint via ModCloth. // 4. Make Love Not War Print by Patti Murphy. // 5. 3″ Chino Short in Seamist via J.Crew. // 6. Mossimo Bikini Top & Bikini Bottom via Target. // 7. Copper and Dipped Enamel Arrow Ring by miju. // 8. 2015 Mint & Gold Confetti Planner via Paper Source. // 9. Seafoam Nail Polish by 100% Pure.


Poor & Pretty’s 5th Blogiversary Giveaway Bash!

P&P Blogiversary Giveaway Bash-feature

(Photo by Jillian Farrell)

Five years ago, my friend Mish and I began Poor & Pretty as a way to share our frugal DIYs, beauty tips, thrifted outfits, and favorite places to shop, eat, and play in our great/tiny state of Connecticut. I took the reigns solo a few months in and have continued to pour my heart and soul into this blog. Other than my relationship with Stan, it’s the longest commitment I’ve ever had! This blog pushes me to be creative and live passionately every day. It led me to meeting some of the most inspiring people I know call friends, and empowered me to make the leap into entrepreneurship. And I could not have done it without all of you amazing readers!

To thank all of you for sticking with me these last five years (and hopefully many more!), I’ve got some fantastic goodies for you. I’ve partnered with a few of my favorite Connecticut-based small businesses and lady entrepreneurs to bring you the biggest giveaway bash I’ve ever hosted. These businesses embody everything Poor & Pretty readers hold dear: creativity, a sense of place, a reverence for quality handcrafted goods, and a zest for life. Let’s meet the makers:

Blogiversary Giveaway - cinder and salt

Remember Rachel DeCavage of sugarplumUSA? She’s transitioned most of her designs over to her new company, Cinder + Salt. Her focus remains on creating eco-friendly, sustainable clothing and accessories for men and women. The new brand is inspired by the residue of a weekend well spent; the scent of campfire on your clothes and the taste of salt water on your skin. Through Rachel’s hand drawn designs, she always aims to capture her appreciation for nature, whole living and authenticity.

Blogiversary Giveaway - cinder and salt gift card

Cinder + Salt is giving away a $20 gift card to their shop, so you can use it on any of Rachel’s hand-drawn designs — whether it’s on a tee, a comfy slouchy pullover, an overnight bag, skinny tie, or even ornaments! Check out her shop here. Details on how to win the $20 gift card is at the end of this post.

5th Blogiversary Giveaway - the confetti bar

The Confetti Bar’s Jessica Serra Huizenga is on a mission to “spread happiness & confetti all around.” She’s doing a great job of it, too, with over 40 unique handcrafted confetti mixes, including biodegradable and plantable options. She does customization for weddings, birthdays, or other fun events, and has worked with kate spade new york and West Elm. She’s one of my favorite inspiring Instagrammers.

Blogiversary Giveaway confetti bar - cup of confetti

Jessica has been sweet enough to donate one cup of confetti to the Poor & Pretty Blogiversary Giveaway Bash, so go look at all of her pretty mixes! I’m especially fond of Reindeer Food (made with real oats!) and Unicorn Dandruff (pictured above). Details on how to win is at the end of this post.

Blogiversary Giveaway - Hartford Prints

Meet the Gale sisters! From left to right: Rory (younger sister), Callie (middle sister), and Addy (older sister), founders of Hartford Prints!, a boutique letterpress shop right in the hart of Connecticut. From stunning wedding invitations to offbeat greeting cards, Addy’s printing prowess, Callie’s killer style, and Rory’s graphic genius work together to make effortlessly beautiful designs. They just celebrated one year in their retail space on Pratt Street, and if you’re in the area and haven’t popped in, you should definitely visit the bright turquoise shop.

Blogiversary Giveaway Hartford Prints - punny holiday greeting cards

They’re giving away a 6 pack of their punny holiday greeting cards – 2 each of the above designs. A few of my friends can expect to see these from Stan and I this year. ;) Details on how to win the greeting card pack is at the end of this post.

Blogiversary Giveaway - kate stephen jewelry

Like her unique, handcrafted jewelry, Kate Stephen is a total gem. She creates beautiful, sculptural adornments with natural and upcycled materials. Some of her favorite materials are copper, brass, handpicked seashells, sea glass, stones and vintage beads. She made me the lovely copper necklace and wire-wrapped quartz ring I wore in my Something Wicked outfit post. As a fully self-employed entrepreneur, Kate works tirelessly to inspire and foster community within the Connecticut maker community, which is why she co-founded State of Makers. Details on how to win is at the end of this post.

Blogiversary Giveaway Kate Stephen Jewelry - half moon brass necklace

Kate has contributed one of her half moon brass necklaces as a giveaway item. It features a sculpted and hammered brass half moon on a brass chain. Kate would like you to know that copper and brass naturally oxidize over time and develop a patina. Some people love that look and some prefer to keep it shiny. Here are some suggestions for how to shine up your copper or brass jewelry using common household supplies like lemon juice or ketchup.

Blogiversary Giveaway NoRA Cupcake Co

Who bakes the best cupcakes (and sometimes s’mores) in Connecticut? Carrie Carella, founder of NoRA Cupcake Company, nestled North of Rapallo Avenue in downtown Middletown. With over 100 flavors, I can’t say I’ve tried them all, but believe me I’m working on it! So far, I’m all about the Bananas Foster, Irish Car Bomb, and Raspberry Lemonade.

Blogiversary Giveaway NoRA Cupcake Co - cupcake 6 pack

Carrie is giving one lucky Poor & Pretty reader a coupon good for any 6 cupcakes from her bakery. You can bring ‘em to your next holiday party (they’re big enough to share), or you can keep them all to yourself while muttering “my precious” under your breath. We won’t judge you either way. ;) And if you’re nearby this Thursday, stop in for NoRA’s First Thursday to stroll, shop, eat and drink in the local vibe! I’ll be there with my Apothecary products. Details on how to win the NoRA Cupcake Company 6-pack coupon is at the end of this post.

Blogiversary Giveaway - Northeast Nutmeg

Northeast Nutmeg is the new kid on the block, having just launched last month. Founders Erin and Allie have a knack for inventing deliciously creative handmade candles that both smell and look incredible. Each candle is made using soy wax from soy grown right here in the USA and feature lots of local Connecticut small business ingredients.

Blogiversary Giveaway northeast nutmeg - soy candle

Erin and Allie are giving away one of their hand-poured candles! All of their scents are wonderful — I just bought a bunch of them and haven’t decided if I’m going to keep them all to myself or give them as gifts. It’s been that kind of holiday shopping season for me! They will also be at NoRA’s First Thursday this week. (I’ll have to control myself.) They’re also hosting a candle-making demonstration at the Haven Collective on December 14th. Want to win the Northeast Nutmeg soy candle? Details below.

OMG How do I win?! I know, it’s a little overwhelming. What do you choose? So many awesome things! Here’s the deal: Scroll through the items in the Rafflecopter box below until you’ve selected the item you’d like to win and enter your email address. Then, leave a comment on this blog post about what you entered to win (and if you’re going to keep it or gift it ;) You can score extra entries by sharing this giveaway with your friends or following any of these wonderful companies on Twitter. Please only enter once, and for one item. We want to spread the joy around by letting lots of people win this holiday season. If we catch you using alter egos or different email addresses, we’ll sadly have to disqualify your entries. :( The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only until 11:59 pm Monday, December 8th. Good luck!!! This contest is closed – thank you for entering! Congrats to the winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Cinder + Salt Gift Card: Laura M.
  • The Confetti Bar Confetti: Suzi J.
  • Hartford Prints! Holiday Greeting Cards: Jessica B.
  • Half Moon Necklace by Kate Stephen Jewelry: Brittany D.
  • NoRA Cupcake Co. 6-Pack of Cupcakes: Anne M. C.
  • Northeast Nutmeg Candle: Sue V.

If I have not contacted you yet, I will shortly. Thank you again for participating!


Maker Takes: Veritas

For the Makers Veritas feature

For the Makers - Veritas

Veritas, the latest For the Makers collection, is all about back-to-school marbling. But I have to be honest: I’m not really into the marbled look. I think it’s a beautiful art form, but it’s not really my thing. So, I color-blocked everything in my kit instead.

For the Makers Veritas - finished projects via @poorandpretty

This may come as a shock to you, but I’m more into pink than blue. (Who knew?! ;) So I did a lot of color substitution.

For the Makers Veritas - color block honor society notebook supplies via @poorandpretty

For the Honor Society Notebook, I mixed together magenta and white acrylic paints (actually, I think the magenta is a fabric paint) for a lighter pink color.

For the Makers Veritas - color block honor society notebook painting via @poorandpretty

I taped off the section I wanted to paint with washi tape and used a foam brush to slather on the pink. Don’t forget the spine!

For the Makers Veritas - cork stamp via @poorandpretty

While I waited for the paint to dry, I made a heart cork stamp using leftover supplies from the Toketee Collection.

For the Makers Veritas - color block honor society notebook via @poorandpretty

After affixing my label, I dipped my stamp in the paint and stamped little hearts all over the front of the notebook. Cute! Here’s a tip for stamping: it’s better to apply the paint to the stamp with a brush, rather than dipping it in the paint. As you can see, I have a few half circles from the cork getting into the paint.

For the Makers Veritas - color block pencils via @poorandpretty

I liked the pink color so much, I decided to color block the pencils with it! I also used the gold fabric paint that came with my tote bag Brit Kit I picked up during my road trip! I did 3-4 layers of gold because it was a bit more translucent.

For the Makers Veritas - color block aurelian locket supplies via @poorandpretty

Occasionally, For the Makers will share an alternative way to make one of their projects on their blog, The Source. They suggested painting their Aurelian Lockets with nail polish for an enameled look. So I grabbed a hot pink OPI color and painted away! You can see the finished locket below:

For the Makers Veritas - Dalton Pennant Create via @poorandpretty

I squeezed the word “CREATE” on my Dalton Pennant, which of course is also very pink. I love how it came out! So inspiring. :)

For the Makers Veritas - finished projects via @poorandpretty

I went a bit outside the box, but I really love how everything came out. Yay creativity!

What was your latest DIY project? Need a monthly reminder to craft? Sign up for a For the Makers subscription here.

Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored by For the Makers, but if you sign up for a subscription using the link above, I will receive a small discount off of my next box. (Lead image is from For the Makers.)