DIY Todd Nest : Hymnal Banner {Come Thou Fount}

After we took down our Christmas decorations, the front entryway seemed so bland. 

Solution: Banner across the glass block wall (can you tell I'm really embracing it these days?)

I wanted to make a banner that would fill the entire wall so it needed to be a phrase with either three words of similar length or three phrases that could be made into one. 

Micah 6:8 stuck out to me. I could have one banner with "act justly", one with "love mercy" and one with "walk humbly with your God". I got super attached to this idea but it wouldn't work out the way I had planned. 

Next idea. Mama E sent us home with a box of old books and hymnals when we came back from our Christmas visit. "Come Thou Fount" had just about the same number of letters, it's one of our favorite hymns and it was the first hymn in sight when I opened up the book. It's a song of redemption and Christ seeking us out while we were but strangers.

It was the obvious choice. 

My original plan was to feed the hymnal pages through the printer but they looked like this (two examples on the left) when they came out. The color didn't hold well and the printer devoured the top of the page (see the wrinkled ink-blotted top). Instead, I decided to print each letter off on cardstock and trace the letters onto the hymn. Time-consuming, yes. But so worth it.

Supplies:

Hymnal Pages (I used 14 pages since I made a flower for one)

Pencil

Black Marker (or whatever color your heart desires)

Hole Punch

Jute

This is the pen and pencil I used...

I printed two letters to one page since the hymnal page is about half of an 8.5" x 11".

Then I went old school and traced the letter silhouette using a sunlit window.

After you have traced your letters, fill them in with a brush pen or marker.

I like to put a decorative paper on the back for more support and to give the banner a finished design. Hole punch the tops and string jute through. If you use only the hymn, be very gentle in stringing the jute!

The banner is a lovely complement to the three palette frames my dad made us!! I still need to put some photos in them but I'm also kind of okay with them being empty for now. 

I used the actual "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" hymn for the first flag and added a paper flower onto it.

What is your favorite hymn?

DIY : Antique Door Chalkboard and Inspiration Board Tutorial



There are TONS of tutorials on how to take an antique door and transform it into a chalkboard but I've had this baby tucked away for about a year now... and, well, it felt like it was finally time to piece it together and share it with y'all.

So grab your electric sander, paintin' pants and some good tunes.

Let's rock 'n roll. 


Supplies
electric sander
sand paper
several old rags
roller brush /  big-bristled paint brush
paint
antique glaze
[i also used the antique glaze from the Caromal Colours Reclaim line]
painter's tape
chalk


Step 1
Find an awesome antique door for a super low price.
Bring it home and set up shop.
My vision was to have a five panel door so that I could make four panels into chalkboards and create a cute design for the middle panel. My parents actually found this for me at an antique shop about an hour away from Huntsville.

Step 2
Paint the door the color of your choice.
I placed painter's tape over the door knob plate because it would add some contrast to the door.


Step 3
Break out a piece of sandpaper.
Sand the edges, corners and even brush along the surface in some falt areas to create the distressed look.
I love the rich brown of the original paint color that appears under the white.


Step 4
Wipe the debris of the sanded door away with an old, dry cloth.


Step 5
Paint antiquing glaze over the entire surface of the door and wipe away quickly with a damp cloth.
Paint the sanded areas more heavily if you'd like a deeper distressed look.
You can also use a flicking motion with a coarse-bristled brush to create splatters (see the example in the bottom three pics -- I blotted the the splatters so that they looked more natural and not so heavy).


Step 6
Place painter's tape around the edges of your panels.
Paint the magnetic primer on first if you'd like a magnetic chalkboard.
{I used the Rust-oleum Magnetic Primer but it doesn't hold magnets very well...}
Roll on the chalkboard paint (follow directions on the package for drying time and coats).


Step 7
Remove painter's tape after about a day of drying.
If you're lucky, the tape will remove some bits of the painted surface so that it gives even more of a distressed look - and you didn't even have to work for it!
Draw over entire chalkboard surface with a piece of chalk and erase.

Step 8
Nail some hooks and wire on the back, find the perfect place to hang it and...
voila! 




Hammer a decorative upholstery nail onto each side of the door and loop a string of twine around each one.
Hang inspiration pieces (such as buttons, ribbons, paint samples) and there ya have it: inspiration board, chalkboard and gorgeous piece all-in-one!


DIY Blog Design : How to Add a Social Media Bar to the Bottom of Posts {Step-by-Step Tutorial}



Would you like to add a social media bar to the end of every post?

Something that looks a little something like this:

Great news - we're going to show you how!!

Most of you probably won't need this entire step-by-step tutorial but we wanted to offer it up just in case.

First step: Go to Share This

http://sharethis.com/

This site offers several ways to add a toolbar but we'll show you how we created the one for our blog.

STEP 1: Get The Button
Click "Get it now" in the Multi Channel box


STEP 2: Pick Your Platform
If you use Blogger (or blogspot), click on this button.



STEP 3: Stylize It
You can pick whichever style you'd like but we went with the horizontal, simple look (no visual stats). The last choice is the vertical style that you may have seen on some blogs.


STEP 4: Customize
This is where you can pick your thumbnail size (we decided on the large icons).



STEP 5: Customize Your Icons
Scroll down and you can drag the social media buttons from the right side and add it to the "Selected Services" box on the left side. Put it in the order you prefer and click "FINISH: Get the Code".



STEP 6: Sharing Preference
You can choose between Multi Post or Direct Post. We like the Multi Post because it doesn't take our readers away from our site. Click your preference and hit "GO!"





STEP 7: Add Page Element
You're almost finished...
When you clicked "GO!", it should direct you to Import Page Element from your blog. Click on the Add Widget button and Share This does the rest. How easy is that!?



You're Awesome
Here is a screenshot of what our layout page looks like with the ShareThis element.







DIY Blog Design : How to Link Your Blog Buttons {Step-by-Step}

Yesterday we learned how to make blog buttons here

It's only fair to share the secrets of how to link the blog buttons, right?

Put your party hats on, people. It's time to learn...


Let's get started with a website to host your images.

Log into your account. 

If you don't have one, we suggest Flickr.

Hit the upload button (you'll find this at the top of the page).

Click "Choose photos and videos to upload" in the middle of the screen, select your blog button files and open those beauties.

Your page should look a little something like this: 


Now you're ready to rock 'n roll.

STEP 1: 
Because we don't like for our Flickr page to be filled with all of our bloggin' elements, we click the privacy button for these images. Hit "Only visible to you" and "Hidden from public searches" if you'd like to do the same.


Click the "Upload Photos" button at the top of the page and the buttons will begin publishing to your Flickr account. 


STEP 2:
Click on a blog button from your photostream. Hit the "Share" button and choose the "Grab the HTML/BB Code" tab. You will see your code as well as options for the image size. We went with the small size as it measures 200 x 200. Just the size we need for our sidebar.

Click on the code, right click and hit copy.

We're finished with Flickr for now. Let's move to your blogger dashboard. 


STEP 3:
Hit the Layout button on the sidebar menu.

Click "Add a Gadget".

P.S. Sorry for the overwhelming Layout template on the example. It's a little overcrowded...


STEP 4: 
Scroll down and click on the "HTML/JavaScript" button.


STEP 5:
A box will pop up like the above image. 

Paste your code from the Flickr account inside of the box.

We're going to mess around with code a little now...

STEP 6:
Replace the first link with the link to the page you would like the button to direct. For safe measures, delete only what is inside of the first set of quotation marks. (Although, I also like to delete the title gibberish too. If that's not too confusing, go for it!!)

For example, we want our France button to direct our readers to a page that shows all of our travels from France (which we haven't written about yet... note to self: need to get on that).

We replaced "http://www.flickr.com/photos/jitneysjourneys/8509521400/" title="CircleBlogButtonFrance by jitneysjourneys, on Flickr" with 
"http://jitneysjourneys.blogspot.com/search/label/France"

Leave the second link alone, as that is the link of the original image. 

Now we get something that looks a little like this:


Click "Save" on the HTML box.

Click "Save arrangement" on your dashboard.

Boo-yah.

You just linked up a blog button to a website.

You're awesome.

If everything went well for you, carry on, good friend! Otherwise, we've written up a couple of questions that we felt may be brought up among our readers and wrote the answers below. If we don't cover your question(s), write your question in the comment box of this post just in case others have similar inquiries and we will answer to the best of our abilities. :)

***

What is a label?

A label is a word you can use to identify a series of posts. You will find a box in which you can enter labels in the Post Settings toolbar. For example, we would write the word "tutorial" as a label for this post. Other labels could be "DIY" or "how to". On our sidebar, you will find a Tutorials button that will link you to all of our tutorials. The link for that is:
http://jitneysjourneys.blogspot.com/search/label/tutorial

If you have labels for a series of posts, you can use the same link format.
http://YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME-HERE/search/label/NAME-OF-LABEL

Use that link if you want to link a blog button to a series of posts.


***

Why does your new code have the dimensions of 170 x 170?

We decided that we wanted our sidebar to be smaller than 200 x 200 after seeing the finished product so we made the dimensions smaller to fit our ideal blog size. If this happens to you, you can change the dimensions in your code but be sure to keep the sizes consistent to the original dimensions (i.e. changing 200 x 150 would be 100 x 75 if you wanted to decrease the size by half).


DIY Blog Design : How to Make a Blog Button {Step-by-Step}

Today we're going over....



Are you pumped?

Let's do this.

**You can use any photo editing program but I believe Photoshop is the easiest - as well as the most convenient - tool when trying to make more than one blog button in the same format.

STEP 1: Getting Started
Open a new document in Photoshop. 
I made the dimensions 500 px x 500 px with a transparent background.
We will change the image size before posting the image but this size is much easier to work with.


STEP 2: Create an Ellipse
Click on the ellipse tool and create an ellipse by pulling from the top corner to the bottom corner, forming a perfect circle. Be sure to hold down the Shift button while creating the circle for perfect measurements on all sides.




STEP 3 : Place an Image
File  > Place 
Choose the main image you would like to use for your button.




STEP 4 : Size / Adjust the Image




STEP 5 : Grab & Pull
Grab and pull the ellipse shape into the same layer as the placed image. 

STEP 6 : Pioneer Woman Action
I use the "Seventies" action from the Pioneer Woman to add some vintage love on my blog button images. You can download her incredible group of Photoshop Actions here
If your actions window doesn't appear, click Window > Actions. After you download the actions, click the action you'd like to use and hit the Play button.





STEP 7 : Erase Background
Click on the Background Eraser Tool.
Select the Shape layer (unlike the screenshot below - whoops!).
Erase AWAY!! 



STEP 9 : Or Delete the Shape Entirely
I feel ridiculous after doing that step. You can delete the shape entirely and have the same outcome. 
But erasing is just so much fun...



STEP 9 : Add Banner
Find a banner image online and download (or you can make your own). 
File  > Place the banner. 



STEP 10 : Color Overlay
Pull up your color scheme in a different window so that you can still see the file you're working on AND the color palette. 
Double click on your banner layer.
Click on Color Overlay. 
Click on the color block to change the color of the banner.




STEP 11 : Change Banner Color
Click on the eyedropper tool.
Click a color of choice from your color palette with the eyedropper tool.
Click OK.
There's no need to copy the number. I'm not really sure why I put that there.



STEP 12 : Add Text
Click on the Type Tool.
Add text, change the size and have fun with font options.



STEP 13 : Align Layers
Maybe I don't know my way around PicMonkey enough yet, but this is a big reason I choose Photoshop over other photo editing programs.
Select the text and banner layers (hold down Command while clicking on the layers). 
Click Align Horizontal Centers. 
Boom. 
No eyeballin' here.

**Now is the best time to save this document. We will use this document as our Blog Button Template.
File > Save As > "Blog Button Template"
Save as a Photoshop (.psd) file. 


STEP 14 : Resize Image
Let's make this image the perfect size for your blog. 
I like 200 px x 200 px for a toolbar size. You may want to go smaller though. Just make sure that the width and height are the same sizes. 

Click OK. 
File > Save As > "Blog Button {Image Name}"
For example, I saved my image as "Blog Button France".
Save as a .png file.


STEP 15 : Create More Buttons
Guess what!? 
You don't have to start a new document in order to make more buttons. 
Open your Blog Button Template again.
File > Place a new button image.
This image should be a layer in between the first image and action. Your Layers box should look a little something like this: 


Pull the circle shape into the new image layer. Click the eye on the first image layer so that you won't be able to see that image any longer.
Hopefully you have the image sitting perfectly in the circle now.
Change the text in the banner.

File > Save As > "Blog Button {New Image Name}"
For example, I saved my image as "Blog Button Bungalow".
Save as a .png file.

Voila! 

You just made two blog buttons. 
Whoop whoop!
Now you have the ability to make as many as you'd like!!

Come back tomorrow to see how we will place the buttons onto our blog.


We hope you enjoyed this tutorial - and that is was super thorough and helpful!
We aren't professional designers by any means but I love playing around with our blog's appearance on a frequent basis. Please let us know if you have any questions and we will try our best to help!


DIY Blog Design : How to Pick a Color Palette


Ok. So neither JD nor myself are professional graphic designers, by any means. However, I looove learning how to spice up our blog design on a very consistent basis. 

Anytime JD is away on travel or when we're off traveling somewhere together for his job, I revamp our blog design in some way or another. Designing helps ease my anxiety and makes the time fly by as I wait to have my husband back in my arms.


[Side note: Can you tell from our new design that JD has been out of the country for three weeks!? Needless to say, I really really missed him. I spent the three weeks with my parents crafting, leather-working and helping to set up my mom's booth at The Cotton Depot. It was a beautiful time with our amazing friends and family in Georgia, but I still really missed my husband. He flew in Saturday where I greeted him with this painting at the airport. But more on that another day.]



It would be so much easier if I bought a template from one of the awesome professional designers on Etsy, but I'm a stubborn DIY-gal. 

A very stubborn DIY-gal... And I married a very stubborn DIY-guy. 

We're not stubborn in the sense of close-minded, rather in the sense of being frugal and wanting to do everything with our own hands.

So it only makes sense to try our hands at designing our own blog... right?

Now, let's get to chattin' about a main element of design.

Color.

It's crucial to design.
Absolutely crucial.
So choose wisely.
For our newly revamped blog design, I picked "Sparkled Hues" from Design Seeds.


I wanted a color palette that would incorporate the colors of spring but could possibly carry into summer, if needed. So we have Easter blues as well as a Fourth of July red, white and blue. I love the pop of red but only implement it in smaller places on our blog.

Color schemes are so wonderful and inspiring that I made a Pinterest board here. Color palettes are perfect for anything design... websites, home decor, sewing projects, weddings, you name it!

You want to choose a palette with four to six complementing colors to integrate into your design.

Here's a great tutorial from The Mother Huddle on how to create your own color palette using a photo with PicMonkey.

What do you think of this palette? 
What are your favorite colors to work with?




DIY : Exhilarating Bath Salt Soak


Need a quick last-minute gift idea? 

This bath salt recipe is easier than spreading peanut butter on crackers. 

Grab a carton of Epsom Salt, some food coloring and your favorite essential oils (use the ones from your sugar scrub or try a new scent).


I'll be using my go-to essential oils: Lavender and Eucalyptus.


These gel food colors from Wilton have lovely colors. I used the green (left box), and teal and purple (right box). You can use whichever colors you'd like though! Get creative. :)


Step 1: Measure out how much Epsom salt you will need in correlation to the jar you will be putting the bath salts into. I used these half pint jelly jars, so I filled one up to the lid and poured it into a big bowl. (I used three jars for the green food coloring, so I did this three times.)


Step 2: Add the food coloring. I started out with a few drops but thought it was too light green.... so then I added a few many more drops.


Step 3: Add a few drops of the essential oil...


Step 4: Mix the salts, food coloring and essential oil together.

Step 5: I decided the eucalyptus smelled too "VapoRubbish" for my liking, so I added some lavender to even out the aroma. 


Step 6: Smellin' awesome and lookin' good... but still too light green. So then I added some teal food coloring to the lime green salts to add depth. 


Step 7: Wipe out your bowl and repeat the steps with the lavender and purple food coloring. 



Step 8: Perfection. :) Put a lid on it and tie a pretty bow around the lid. 
Sprinkle a tablespoon of bath salts in a warm bath. Inhale. Exhale. Soak. :)

DIY : Sugar Suga' Scrub


So you wanna make some sugar scrub? 

Easy breezy, my friends.

This stuff will do wonders for your skin. Better yet, it will make you feel so fresh and so clean.

We made the scrub during the Life Skills class (per recommendation of my assistant for the class, Amy) and the girls LOVED it. In full disclosure, I became a bit obsessed with it. I couldn't stop rubbing my hands together because they felt so soft... And I may have washed my face with it that night. The next morning was the first day I have ever woken up with a glowing complexion. 

Enough enticing already....

Grab a few of your kitchen staples:
*Coconut Oil
*Brown Sugar
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
our EVOO is in a Mason Jar because our bottle was leaking all over our cabinet shelves. When all else fails, fill up the Masons...

And your favorite aromatherapy essential oils:
*Lavender (calming) and Eucalyptus (exhilarating) were our choices.



Step 1: Pack 1 cup of brown sugar into a measuring cup and put into a large bowl.


Step 2: Pour in 1/2 cup EVOO.


Step 3: Measure out 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil and add to the mixture.


Step 4: Mix the brown sugar, EVOO and coconut oil with your fingers. Add more ingredients as you see fit. I added more brown sugar to make the scrub more coarse rather than oily.

Step 5: Add a few drops of essential oils until it smells pleasantly aromatic. 


I mixed lavender and eucalyptus simply because they smell so good together, but you should definitely try out other ones. Jasmine would be rockin'! In fact, I'm going to get some today to experiment later. :)

Side Note: Keep a bottle of essential oil in your shower and sprinkle a couple of drops at the bottom of a hot shower for a super soothing sauna experience! 


Step 6: Continue grinding up the mixture with your hands until nice and coarse. Grab a few Mason Jars and fill them to the rim. *You may want to whisk the mixture to make it fluffy before putting the mixture into the jars. 

Step 7: Tie a pretty bow around the jar...


Step 8: Exfoliate with a jar for yourself and gift a jar to someone else! 
*These make awesome Mother's Day, birthday, Christmas or hostess gifts!! 

Which essential oil will you experiment with?

Tutorial : How to Replace and Sew a Button


Have you ever lost a button in the washing machine? Or have you ever wanted to simply add a cute button to an apron or shirt? Follow this step-by-step tutorial and you will want to sew buttons onto all of your fabrics... or at least save you some money by not having to throw away clothes because they're missing a button.

Ironically, the week before I had planned to post about sewing on a button, my husband just so happened to lose a button on one of his favorite shirts while we were in Hawaii. We'll use his shirt as an example...



Step 1: Grab your supplies: seam ripper, a button, a needle, matching thread, and a pair of scissors. If you will be replacing a button on a shirt or jacket, look for the replacement button inside of the shirt material, specifically along the seam around the bottom. Then use your seam ripper to release the button from the shirt (see below).

Step 2: Find the original spot for the button or decide on the place you want to add a new embellishment button. How do you find that spot? Glad you asked. There should be either some broken thread or a couple of itty-bitty holes from where the thread was before. Still not able to figure it out? Easy sauce. Fasten up the other buttons and pass a pin through the hole of the missing button. Whichever way you do it, make sure you mark the replacement button spot with chalk.



Step 3: Thread the needle. (See below for thorough photographic instructions.) Pull one end of the thread through the eye of the needle. Pull that end of thread to meet the other. Knot the ends together by making a loop and pulling the tails through. Knot once more, and trim off any excess.



Step 4: Let's get stitchin'. First, push your needle up through the back of the fabric to the front, pulling the thread all the way through. Slide your button on down the thread to meet the fabric. Are your holes lined up with the button in place? 

Perfect. 

Now you can push your needle down through the opposite hole and out the back of the fabric. Make sure your stitching matches the pattern of your other buttons. Repeat this four or five times per hole. The thread should be tight enough as to where the button doesn't dangle. At the same time, it should be loose enough as to where your fabric doesn't bunch up. Whew! 




Step 5: Shank and Snip... Push your needle up through the back of the fabric to the shank (which is the thread located between the fabric and button). See the needle in the top two photos below? Pull the button away from the fabric and wrap your thread tightly around the shank. Simply slip the needle through the shank twice and trim the leftover thread.



Step 6: Boo-yah. Congratulations... Wear and wash that shirt with pride! Nicely done.


With that being said, learn how to sew a button.
You Only Live Once...
Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMONDAYS.

Tutorial : Mason Jar / Pin Cushion / Sewing Kit


Aloha!!
JD and I are finally back from our three and a half week trip to Hawaii! This means I've been postponing my teaching duties for an entire month now. I'm so excited to get back to the homeschool co-op next week. We will be starting our two-week lesson on how to sew an apron. I'm so excited, in fact, that I put together these little pin cushion - mason jar - sewing kits for each student. These are super easy to make (I made 13 within a few hours). 

I hope they love them as much as I do!! 


Want to make one for yourself?

I've seen quite a few Mason Jar pin cushions on Pinterest. I've taken the best ideas from other blogs and came up with this step-by-step tutorial with a number of Jitney's Journeys bonus twists.

Here's what you will need for the kit:


Seam Ripper
Tailor's Chalk
Measuring Tape
Sharp Pair of Scissors 
Needles
Pins
Buttons
Spool of Thread (not pictured)

*Fortunately, Hobby Lobby is holding a 50% sale on all Sew-ology items this week. Whew!


And here's what you will need for the pin cushion mason jar:
Mason Jar
Scissors
Tag Punch (only if you have one laying around)
Cardstock
Hot Glue Gun
Super Cute piece of Fabric (measuring approx. 5.5" x 5.5")
Poly-fil (see image below)


Ready?

Let's do this...


Step 1: Punch out a circle from a piece of cardstock. You will glue this onto the back of the Mason Jar lid next. This tag punch measures 2.5" in diameter. If you do not have a tag punch around this size (should be 2.5" or smaller in diameter), you may freehand a circle with the approx. diameter or trace the lid and cut about 1/8" off. The tag punch is, by far, the quickest and easiest solution.


Step 2: Hot glue the circle to the back of the Mason Jar lid. The cardstock helps to adhere the fabric. 


Step 3: Cut a 5.5" x 5.5" square of fabric. 

Thank you, Hobby Lobby, for selling super cute fabric. 


Step 4: Lay the front of the Mason Jar lid onto the wrong side (or back) of the fabric. Place a dollop of hot glue one side and adhere. Don't glue anything else yet. 


Step 5: Grab a handful of Poly-fil. You can use as much as your heart desires, but a handful was sufficient.

I tried to take photos of every step but it got a little tough here, as I only had one hand to work with while the other was snapping photos. Multi-tasking at its best. ;) 

Step 6: Place the ring of the lid upside down on a flat surface. Stuff the Poly-fil in between the fabric and lid in as much as a puffy ball as possible. Push the stuffed fabric-Poly-fil through the ring and align the lid into the ring. You may want to add or subtract some of the Poly-fil here.

Step 7: Try to pull the fabric around the ring while holding the lid in securely, so that there are no cinches of fabric. Now your lid should look similar to the bottom right pic above.  


Step 8: Pull the fabric in small amounts (may need to be twisted or trimmed in some areas so it won't be too bulky) and begin hot gluing. Once you have almost finished a semi-circle, take the other side and glue it so that there is a straight line across of fabric. Take the bottom of the semi-circle and twist it just enough to a point where you can tuck it into the straight line going across. It should look like the bottom right picture. Hot glue that baby in.

Tip: Toothpicks are a great way to tuck in the fabric without getting the scolding hot glue all over your fingertips. 


Step 9: Admire your new pin cushion and get super pumped about sticking some pins in it! 


Step 10: Adorn it with lovely colored pins, fill it up with sewing essentials and get ready to host a sewing party!!


*You can use a thread and needle instead of hot glue, but I've found that the backside of the lid doesn't look so nice if you do it that way. No worries, we will not be using hot glue when sewing aprons for the Life Skills class. ;)