Category Archives: Do it Yourself

DIY: Make a Mug

-Rache’ll Brown

I grew up in a craft store. My mother was the manager of our local Craft Warehouse, and I used to spend every day after school painting, drawing, and creating random things from models my mother had made herself. Crafting is just a part of who I am—my first job was even at a craft store. Now, as a member of a sorority, I am constantly surrounded by DIY projects and craft ideas of every variety, which I love. A few weeks ago on a run to Michael’s, a sister of mine bought a plain white mug and permanent markers. This to me seemed like an odd combination, but after she explained to me a DIY Mug she saw on Pinterest, I saw the appeal. And after I broke my favorite coffee mug (clumsy me), I wanted to make my own, also.


All that is needed is a plain mug, an oven, and some permanent markers. The mug and markers can be purchased at Michael’s, Target, Walmart, wherever. Just make sure it is a microwave/oven-safe mug. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then get ready to design a pattern. I had a hard time deciding between a quote or a design, but I eventually decided to go with one of my favorite quotes (Shakespeare typically trumps all) to make it more personal for me. I recommend drawing it out on paper a few times before doing it on the mug, just to avoid possible mistakes. Once the mug is decorated to perfection, place it in the oven on a baking sheet for thirty minutes to seal in the design.

Voilà, a customized mug! Whether you’ve been crafting your whole life or are just a beginner, this is something that anyone can do with ease. It would make a great gift (and you know it’ll get a lot of use), or could be a cute way to enjoy your perfect morning cup of coffee.

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On Trend: Smoldering Eyes

-Rache’ll Brown

Nothing is worse than a girl in a beautiful outfit with terrible makeup. It’s like baking a cake without adding the frosting: just wrong. Without well-done hair and makeup, a look is nothing. A beautiful outfit is just that if every aspect of the overall image isn’t polished. The right makeup adds a necessary touch that makes the biggest difference. When I wear a smoldering eye on a night out, I feel invincible: I know I look good from head to toe, and my confidence shows. This look is something I struggled with because I was afraid of messing it up, but with some practice I’ve finally gotten it down.

First of all, gather all needed products: eye primer, black gel eyeliner, pencil eyeliner or cream shadow, black powder eye shadow (matte or shimmer, whichever suits the occasion), a dark brown matte eye shadow (or any other desired shade, preferably dark and matte), a highlighting shade, eyeliner (I prefer gel with dark looks), and mascara. As for tools, I recommend a flat shader brush, a pencil brush, two blending brushes (one to apply crease color, one strictly for blending), and an angled eyeliner brush (but this only applies if using gel liner).

I always start by applying moisturizer and foundation, but I hold off on concealer and other face products until the eyes are done because darker colors tend to fall off the skin and create a shadow under the eyes. Next, apply primer all over the lids and smooth out evenly. Take the dark matte shadow (I prefer brown) and blend it into the crease for a transitioning tone.

Then, with a clean finger, press the gel liner, pencil or cream shadow from your lash line to the crease, but don’t bring it all the way into the brown. It’s perfectly normal for this to look messy because it will be blended out later. Take a flat shader brush packed with the black shadow, tap off the excess, then cover the black base entirely—it should be darkest near the lash line, fading up to a less intense color meeting the brown.

Finally, take a clean blending brush and make windshield wiper motions in the crease to create a gradient with the brown and the black. Clean up the fall-out under the eyes, apply concealer, and set with translucent powder. Apply black eye shadow with a pencil brush on the bottom lash line, then apply eyeliner to the upper waterline and lash line. To finish off, highlight with a light shadow under the brows and in the inner corner, and apply a thick coat of mascara—for some extra fun, add glitter or false lashes! Keep the rest of the face simple and neutral to emphasize the eyes, and voilá! A beautiful smoldering eye look for a fun night out.

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Five Ways to Celebrate YOU on Valentine’s Day

-Rache’ll Brown

Valentine’s Day is here, and for those of us without a significant other, it can be a bit of a bummer. Everywhere you turn, couples are looking longingly into each others’ eyes and being adorable. The affection overload may remind you of how alone you are, but this year, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, do something just for you! Celebrate your awesomeness by relaxing and having a good time doing things you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started.

#5 Hike

Grab your North Face and head out for a solo hike. The fresh air and exercise will make you feel great, and a beautiful trek will help you clear your head. I love Spencer’s Butte (shown above)—the hike isn’t too grueling and the view is unbelievable.

#4 Shop

The endorphins you feel while shopping will help you forget about everything else in the world. If you really can’t afford to buy anything, head to Gateway and amuse yourself at one of the tacky dress shops. You won’t regret it.

#3 Spa Day

Break out all of your best beauty tools and spend some time just pampering yourself. Paint your nails, exfoliate your skin, light some candles, and blast some Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean.

#2 Bake

Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, whatever; get your Laura Vitale on, and dirty up your kitchen. Baking is a fun way to relax, and there’s no more enjoyable way to celebrate yourself than with a giant cake in honor of YOU.

#1 Movie Marathon in Bed

Cuddle up in your comfiest clothes and enter a committed relationship with your bed. Break out all of your favorite movies, turn off your phone, and spend the day in total relaxation.

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DIY Matchbox Advent Calendar

-Whitney Menefee

During Thanksgiving break, I decided to get creative and make an advent calendar for the month of December. The project was inexpensive, easy, and a fun afternoon do-it-yourself craft project. There are many different traditions during the holiday season and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are one way to get into the holiday spirit. The total cost of the project was $6—not bad for a fun, festive craft! The Dollar Store has great deals and is a great place to buy supplies for the project. Here are the instructions on how to make it:

What you’ll need:
– 25 matchboxes
– Hot glue gun
– Double-sided tape
– Festive wrapping paper
– Number stickers or markers
– Candy
– Scissors

Step by step:

First, take the matches out of the matchboxes and make sure they are all empty before starting the project. Once the matchboxes are empty use, double-sided tape to attach a row of nine matchboxes together. Follow the same directions for a row of seven matchboxes, five matchboxes, and three matchboxes.

Then, measure each row and wrap the sides of the matchboxes with strips of wrapping paper. Once the matchbox rows are wrapped, fill each individual slot with a piece of candy.
Once the matchboxes are filled with candy, stack the rows from largest to smallest with the row of nine matchboxes on the bottom and the single matchbox on the very top. Then, use a hot glue gun to glue the bottoms of the rows into place.

Use number stickers or markers to label each of the boxes from 1-25. Make sure to jumble the order of the numbers so you have to hunt for each day.

Lastly, use a festive decoration to place on top of the calendar.

In my family, it’s a tradition that the day after Thanksgiving is a time to prepare for the Christmas holiday. I hope this DIY craft inspires you to create your own holiday traditions!

Decorating on a College Budget – Jewelry Board

-Sara Bianchetti

Let’s be honest.  As college students, we don’t have the luxuries (or the banks) to support lavish lifestyles—we can barely afford to buy groceries.  So, when we need to furnish an entire apartment or decorate bare walls, utilizing our creativity can be our greatest advocate.

When I moved into my apartment this year I had a vision but I didn’t have an unlimited budget to support it.  I needed to be innovative, resourceful and inspired, so I turned to Pinterest – a forum for social photo sharing of ideas, interests, and hobbies.  It was here that I officially became inspired to begin decorating my shabby chic room—on a budget, of course.

Fortunately for me, I started out with a solid basis of furniture from my sister’s old apartment: a bed, dresser, mirror, and vanity.  Anything that was in decent shape and could either be altered, painted, or reconstructed saved me both time and money.

One of my favorite pieces that I created and was Pinterest-inspired was my jewelry board.  It is simple to craft yet aesthetically pleasing and it fits in with the shabby-chic decor effortlessly.  Here’s a tutorial on how to make it:

First, start out with a corkboard of your preference. I recycled one that had a grayish blue border to coordinate with my room. Take out the corkboard and cover it with burlap using spray glue to attach it.

Burlap is popularly used today and gives the board a rustic feel while adding texture.

Once the board is completely covered, reattach the board to the frame and secure it with duct tape.  Most college students have duct tape.  It’s a basic necessity!

To display the jewelry, I went to a home improvement store and purchased an assortment of doorknobs and handles.  I placed them on the board, marked where I wanted them to go, drilled holes, and screwed them in.  Hang your jewelry and you’re ready to go. Simple. As. That.

To check out more ideas about decorating on a college budget, visit my blog.


Get Zombified With Easy Costuming

-Rache’ll Brown

Halloween is around the corner, which means costume parties and spooky delights. This year, I have no idea what I want to be. Cute? Funny? Scary? I don’t know. The only thing I can say for sure is that I need something fast and cost-efficient that looks like I put effort into it, when in reality I will probably throw something together thirty minutes before I go out. Fortunately, I was a drama nerd in high school, which means I have a ton of experience with costume makeup. I know how to bruise, burn and decay skin easily, and if I can do it, you can too. Adding some zombified skin to a plain outfit gives you a little Halloween flare without a ton of thought. Dress as a princess, football player, doctor, or whatever Pinterest tells you to. Heck, you could even dress as yourself if you want, but adding some decayed flesh to your face, arms or other exposed skin creates an instant costume.

First, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Get some two-ply toilet paper, washable white school glue and costume paint or eye shadow (you’ll need dark colors like green, brown, black, and red).

Optional: fake blood and cover-up or concealer.

To get started, add a squirt of glue onto the desired area (I used my wrist). Next, place a jagged piece of two-ply toilet paper over the glue. If you are doing a large area or your entire face, then break it up into sections made from one square of toilet paper, that way you can blend and tear easily.

You will then want to take some glue and smooth down the edges. I also like to use some cheap cover-up around the toilet paper to blend it into my skin, but if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it – you’ll be putting shadow or paint over it anyways.

Finally, take your shadows or paint and dab it all over the toilet paper; there really isn’t a specific way to do this, I literally just take my fingers and dab it on random spots. I like to use dark, earthy tones like brown, green, and black to make it look rotten. You could also add red for a more bloody appearance. Since the toilet paper is two-ply, the first layer might come up and create the illusion of peeling skin. You could also add some fake blood into those crevices to create an oozing effect.

So, this Halloween don’t stress about coming up with a costume or the price of a fancy outfit. Just add some sick patches of skin to your face and you are set!

More Than DIY: How One Woman Took “Do It Yourself” to a New Level

-Whitney Barton

Spring term is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare for the new season than to take “spring cleaning” to the next level with a few home décor projects?  At least that’s what DIY guru Dianne Kelley would say.  Now a featured artist/designer for Anthropologie’s local spring fashion show, she has been “doing it herself” since birth.  I sat down with Dianne to take a peek into her world as a crafter and see what tips she has for those looking to do it themselves.

Whitney: Have you always been into crafts and DIY projects?

Dianne: Yes, for as long as I can remember.  When I was young, I was sewing Barbie clothes by hand, crocheting, painting, you name it – I always prefer to make it myself versus buying it.

WB: How often do you have a project that you’re working on?

DK: I am pretty much in the midst of a project (or two) all the time.  It’s my way of relaxing, believe it or not.  I can forget about whatever is stressing me out and just throw myself into the project.

WB: Where do you draw your design inspirations?

DK: I’m inspired by so many things: color, fashion, trends, magazines – but I am constantly finding ideas – to jump start my own version on Pinterest.  I see great ideas on there and change them to suit my style and vision.

WB: What are some ways pursuing this passion has impacted your life?

DK: My passion for crafting and DIY-ing has given me an outlet to express myself and to relax.  I am a Type-A person, and sometimes find it hard to relax, but when I am creating something, all my cares and worries go on the back burner and I am able to completely engross myself with it.

WB: You started a blog and a small online shop to share and showcase your work. How and when did you decide to do this?

DK: I created my jewelry shop online, back in 2009.  I originally just began making jewelry for myself, but when I was out in public, I was constantly being asked, “Where did you buy your necklace?”  So I thought launching a site was the answer. I started the blog as a way to show my family and friends my creations and now I have regular readers and my blog gets thousands of hits each month.

WB: What is it about DIY projects that you love most?

DK: My favorite thing about DIY projects is the satisfaction I get from a job well done.  I love to know the items in my home are made by me and are one of a kind.

WB: What advice would you give someone interesting in taking on some DIY projects or pursuing a similar hobby?

DK: My advice to newbie DIY-er would be to try, try again.  Your first attempt may not be what you hoped for, but with each mistake, you learn how to perfect your craft.

WB: Do you think you’ll always be a “Do-It-Yourself-er?”

DK: Yes, I will always be a DIY-er.  For me, it’s not a hobby, it’s part of who I am.

To be inspired by more of her DIY creations, check out Dianne’s jewelry line at, and her blog at

Rainy Day Arts & Crafts: Melted Crayon Art

-Jessica Ridgway

Shut the windows and bring out your flannel sheets because winter has arrived in Eugene! Some students can brave the wet and cold, but if you’re like me many of your winter weekends are spent indoors. Thankfully, I’ve stumbled upon some cheap and easy crafts projects to keep me cooped up for the season.

What You’ll Need:

Crayons, a canvas, a hot glue gun, and a hairdryer. I spent less than $8 and about two hours on this project.


First, pick out your crayons. I chose a wide array of green and yellow.

This is an optional step, but I removed the labels from the crayons. I scavenged for my crayons and bought a ton of them from Goodwill and didn’t like that the labels didn’t match.

The next step is to glue the crayons to the canvas. For my first attempt at this project I laid a long strip of hot glue down and quickly placed the crayons down. This worked, but some of the crayons were not glued down and slid off once the canvas was tilted. I recommend gluing and melting the crayons down one-by-one for a cleaner, straighter look.

Another optional tip! Insert a picture in the background. You can leave it on (like I did) or peel it off afterwards for a cool crayon outline.

The final step is to melt the crayons. Tilt the canvas and use the hairdryer to melt them. I varied between low-to-high heats and speeds; it all depends on the look you want.

Et voila! Sophisticated crayon art for those bare walls!

Happy crafting!