Category Archives: DIY Projects

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

There are two things in life that I will never understand: first, how a car engine works, and second, why gift bags are so freaking expensive. Why, oh, why are these disposable paper gift containers so pricey? Of course, the plain ones are usually within budget, but the pretty patterned ones with the trendy quotes and cute layered colors always tend to cost just about as much as the thoughtfully chosen goodies that goes inside the bag itself.

The good news is that we’re all crafty and DIY-inclined, so a boring, solid-colored gift bag is really just the first step for you and me. To prove it this week, I’ve partnered with the fine folks over at Oriental Trading once again to share a step-by-step tutorial for creating your own DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers. These simple embellishments take barely any time to make, and ultimately allow you to transform affordable gift bags into one-of-a-kind works for art.

DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Hop over to Oriental Trading now to learn how to make your own DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers using scrapbook paper and layered stencils. When I say it couldn’t be easier, believe me…it couldn’t be easier! The possibilities are practically endless, and I can guarantee you’ll never show up to the party with the same gift bag as another guest ever again. Hallelujah!

DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

First, let’s rewind to a post I shared a couple of weeks ago, all about How I Manage To Get To “Inbox Zero” Every Day. One of the biggest time-saving tips I put to use every day in my office is the Gmail lab called Canned Responses. As promised, I’m back with a step-by-step guide that shows you how to turn Canned Responses on in your own Gmail inbox.

Now, I know a lot of you may already have this setting enabled, but for those of you who don’t, prepare to revolutionize your day. I’m also sharing a handful of the pre-drafted templates I use most often in case you want to get set up and started right this very second. Scroll on for all the techy DIY details!

How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Turn On Canned Responses In Gmail

  1. Open your Gmail inbox.
  2. Click on the gear icon in the top righthand corner.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Choose the “Labs” tab.
  5. Type “Canned Responses” into the “Search for a lab:” box.
  6. The Canned Responses Lab should show up as you finish typing into the search box.
  7. Choose to “Enable” the Lab, and then click “Save Changes.”

How To Create a Canned Response Template

  1. Click back over to your inbox, and open a new email.
  2. Place your cursor in the body of the email, and type your template into the body. Since the salutation and other details may change from email to email (ex. the brand’s particular name, the pay rate, post publish dates, etc.), I always leave open-ended blocks (ex. “_______”) so I can quickly customize the email before sending it.
  3. If your signature was automatically generated in the bottom of your email, go ahead and delete it since you won’t need it for the Canned Response template.
  4. When satisfied with your template, click the little downward arrow in the bottom righthand corner of the open email.
  5. Hover over “Canned Responses,” and choose the italicized “New canned response…” option in the list.
  6. Type in a general name for your Canned Response, and click OK. (NOTE: keep it short since you only have so many characters to work with—just a word or two)

Now the Canned Response has been saved, and you can close out of the email. When you need the template in the future, simply open a new email, put your cursor in the body, click the downward arrow to open your list of Canned Responses, and insert the appropriate template from there. Create as many Canned Responses as you’d like so that you can you avoid retyping the same types of emails over and over throughout your day.

I’ve included a handful of my favorite go-to email templates below in case you’re a fellow blogger looking to save time when responding to or drafting emails throughout the day, so feel free to scroll on and copy/paste to your heart’s content!

How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

In Response To A Brand:

Hi _____ – 

Thanks for your message! I love the concept you shared and would be happy to work the topic into my editorial calendar! Since this is technically a sponsored post with link placement, you can see my media kit here, which details rates and social stats. This would fall under Level _____ pricing. Please let me know if that’s within budget and if you’d be open to a reader giveaway, then we can go from there.

Thanks again!
Carrie

How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

After A Sponsored Post Has Published:

Hi _____ – 

Thanks again for working with me on this feature! You will find all of the campaign links below with tagged mentions to ______. I’m excited to watch engagement continue to grow throughout the next week or two. Let me know if you need anything else! 

BLOG
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
INSTAGRAM
PINTEREST

Sincerely,
Carrie

How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

When A Pitch Isn’t A Good Fit:

Hi _____ – 

Thanks so much for getting in touch! I personally love the concept, but unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a great fit for my blog. If I can think of a good way to work the piece into my editorial calendar, I’ll definitely let you know!

Sincerely,
Carrie

How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

Although those top three templates are geared specifically toward blogging, Canned Responses can be used for your personal messages, too. I actually have one in response to people who reply to my Craigslist ads: “Hi ____ – Yes, it is still available! Are you in Waynesboro? I’m happy to meet you at the Panera here in Waynesboro (right off of 64 at Exit 94) to drop it off to you. Just let me know! Thanks, Carrie” You can customize that template by replacing my city and typical meeting place with your own.

By having these types of professional and personal templates stored and ready to be popped into an email at a moment’s notice, I’m able to drastically cut down wasted time in my office. I would be positively lost without Canned Responses, and am hopeful that this tutorial and my templates will help save you time, too!

How To Set Up Canned Responses In Gmail | dreamgreendiy.com

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

How To Make And Style DIY Painted Wall Cubbies | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Before moving from our pint-sized townhouse in Lynchburg to our single family ranch here in Waynesboro, Virginia, John and I rarely entertained overnight guests. Both of our families lived in town, and most of our friends did, too, so we never really felt the fact that we lacked a proper guest room.

But now that we live “out of town,” an hour and a half’s drive from family, we’ve needed to rethink our guest accommodations. My parents have both come to stay, as has my sister, and we’ve even had the occasional friend drop by for a night or two. Happily, our new-to-us home has the perfect number of bedrooms to make my dream of a perfectly-outfitted guest room come to life.

How To Make And Style DIY Painted Wall Cubbies | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Our guest bedroom now sits across the hall from our own, and is just large enough for a double bed, nightstand, and a bookshelf that we use for extra sheets and towels. The room is maxed out with soft linen bedding, lots of table and floor lamp options for late-night reading, plus just the right amount of surfaces for playing host to overnight bags and travel accessories.

Since we never had a guest room before this house, I had to go through a bit of trial and error as we welcomed guests over. There was the time my friend Rachel came to stay when we found out the doors didn’t latch (a fact we discovered when our curious cat, Tonks, was able to nose her way into the guest room while poor Rachel was trying to change post-drive), and when my parents came to stay and both had to ask for towels. Turns out that hosting guests requires more than just simply offering a clean bed to sleep in.

How To Make And Style DIY Painted Wall Cubbies | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

So, to help make sure our guests are well-cared for and so their every need is considered, I partnered with Oriental Trading to create a set of guest room-inspired Wall Cubbies that serve as the perfect grab-and-go spot for all those little travel necessities that guests might have left back at home. Although I hate to spill the secret, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll never guess what these shelves are actually made from.

How To Make And Style DIY Painted Wall Cubbies | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Pop over to Oriental Trading now to find out How To Make And Style DIY Painted Wall Cubbies for your own guest room, and tell me in the comments: what are your favorite ways to make guests feel at home?

How To Make And Style DIY Painted Wall Cubbies | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Washi Tape Jewelry Box With Colorful Felt Lining | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Truthfully, I could go on and on and ON about my love for washi tape. There’s practically no limit to what you can use it for. In fact, just to prove it, you can see how I’ve put the craft supply to work in the past on napkin rings, mini trays, ornaments, place cards, gift tags and even pencils.

Probably my all-time favorite thing about patterned tape though is that you can customize it to any kind of aesthetic. For the last few years, I was all about a poppy color scheme, so I used tape that suited that look. But this year, I’m diving more into neutral décor, and happily, there’s a wealth of washi tape options for that look, too!

Case in point, my DIY Washi Tape Jewelry Boxes for Oriental Trading. These tiny boxes started off looking pretty darn plain, but by adding lengths of coordinated tape, I was able to up the sophistication factor ten-fold without sacrificing tons of time or money. A bit of matching felt lining was the perfect finishing touch, and now my bits and baubles have a sweet spot to sit when not flouncing around with me close at hand during the day.

DIY Washi Tape Jewelry Box With Colorful Felt Lining | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Hop over to the Oriental Trading blog now for the full tutorial, and don’t forget to check out the other projects in this “Supply Of The Month” roundup: DIY Washi Tape Wooden BangleDIY Washi Tape Gallery Wall Frames, and Washi Tape Decorated Storage Crates. What would you make with this type of tape? Leave your creative ideas in the comments below.

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How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

You know me—I love discovering DIY shortcuts to designer home goods any chance I get! So, when a stack of free leather samples ended up in my craft supplies box thanks to inventory turn-over at a local furniture store, you better believe the wheels were spinning in my head. How could I put these pretty, high quality textiles to work in our home?

In the end, I decided to test my tracing skills in order to create my own set of free-to-make leather coasters. The process hardly warrants a step-by-step guide, but just in case you want all the details, scroll on for the 3-step tutorial.

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Leather sample
  • Scissors
  • Something wide and round to trace
  • Permanent marker

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

Step One

Lay your leather sample down on a flat surface, suede-side-up. Place your wide, round object on top. For this, I used an extra large coffee mug, but you could try a bowl or even a round coaster you already have on hand. Trace the round shape onto your leather using a permanent marker.

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

Step Two

Use scissors to carefully and slowly cut out the round coaster shape. Since leather is a pretty thick material, you’ll definitely want to take things slow during this step in order to achieve that perfectly even, round edge.

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

Step Three

Repeat the first two steps however many times you’d like, and then toss your coasters, leather-side-up, on your coffee or dining table. It’s really as simple as that!

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

Since the under-side of leather samples typically is suede, you won’t even need to line them. The naturally grippy texture on the bottom of these free-to-make DIY leather coasters keeps them in place, no matter what surface you lay them on. So, what do you think? Would you try this tutorial on for size? Let me know what color leather you would use in the comments below.

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make DIY Leather Coasters For Free | dreamgreendiy.com

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Need I say more than that letter board message above?! As soon as spring officially kicks off (and by “officially,” I mean that first flowery breath of fresh air), I can’t help but get excited about Easter. It’s such a sweet and happy holiday, two qualities that we could use more and more of these days, plus it typically comes with copious amounts of candy. Sign me up!

To make sure that your own Easter Egg Hunt is as sweet as it can be, I teamed up with Oriental Trading to design a tutorial for DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags that will practically double your candy haul this season. How? By turning canvas totes into an up-sized version of the little plastic eggs we all know and love. A bigger container equals lots more room for sugar.

DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

To pull it all off, grab the free printable template and craft tutorial over on Oriental Trading, fill your finished bags with candy, and hide the “eggs” around your home, yard, or church lobby just as you always have with the tiny plastic variety. Are you game to give this upgrade a try at your own Easter celebration? Get all the DIY details here and tell me in the comments below what your favorite springtime candy is.

DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading.

DIY Floating Butterfly Burlap Wreath For Spring | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

I envy butterflies…They are one of the most quintessential symbols of spring, and that’s one role I wouldn’t mind proudly shouting from the rooftops. As soon as you see their winged silhouettes popping up in the craft and home decor aisles of your favorite stores, you know the season is on its way in. Sure, we’ve got at least a month or two before we start to physically feel the effects of spring’s arrival, but it’ll still be here before we know it.

This April, I’ll be turning 31 years old. It’s honestly a little odd to say that out loud. My 30th birthday was welcomed with excitement and even a little bit of newfound pride. Thirty-one though is an age where I feel like I should officially have my s&!# together. Do I feel like I’m mature enough to handle my thirties? Not one bit (especially since John and I recently remarked how fun it would be to play Hide & Seek sometime). But I’m still excited to embrace my new year and this new season in 2017.

DIY Floating Butterfly Burlap Wreath For Spring | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

So, you’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with a DIY Butterfly Wreath. Well, in honor of my favorite season and upcoming birthday, I worked with the team over at Oriental Trading to design a spring-themed wreath that’s just teaming with the season’s friendliest mascot: butterflies, of course!

Go ahead and slide your mouse on over to this link right here in order to visit the Oriental Trading blog where I’m sharing the full step-by-step guide for making your own DIY Floating Butterfly Burlap Wreath for Spring. Are you a diehard fan of this upcoming season, too? And are you also officially living out your 30’s? I’d love to know how you guys make the most of every season and each birthday as they come, so leave your stories and bucket list items in the comments below.

DIY Floating Butterfly Burlap Wreath For Spring | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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*This post was a collaboration with Delta Faucet

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

Guess what…I have a brand new before and after reveal to share with you! I am so head-over-heels in love with our newly decked out bathroom and can’t wait to spill all of the beans. In truth, this project started way back in November of last year. A chance email exchange with one of the editors from Delta Faucet’s Inspired Living blog ultimately resulted in a creative partnership that has since given our dated bathroom a new lease on life.

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, You probably recall just how far our main floor bathroom has come. We’ve removed dated floral (Thomas-Kincaid-like) wallpaper, refreshed our tile grout using a paint pen (a makeover that’s still going strong!), repainted the room a soft bright white, and added white linens to the space to make it feel more spa-like. All of these things have given the room a modern vibe, but we were in desperate need of a fixture makeover in the bathtub, as you’ll see in all its unedited glory below.

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

As I’m sure you can imagine, I was honestly mortified to subject our overnight guests to the existing leaky, squeaky shower fixtures, and I despised dealing with them myself on a daily basis. So, after chatting with Delta, I decided that now was the time to kick off a full-scale makeover that would take place one “Champagne Bronze” piece at a time.

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

Could we afford to switch all of the bathroom fixtures over to brass this go-around? Unfortunately, no…But the good news is that it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things as long as we keep our long-term plan on track. Hop over to Delta Faucet’s Inspired Living blog to find out what went into the project (including a DIY project that saved us over $350), plus you’ll learn how we’re making the collection of mis-matched metals work for us as we tackle the 3-part makeover. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Modernizing Our Mid-Century Bath With Brass Fixtures | dreamgreendiy.com + @deltafaucet

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How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that winter is one of the hardest times to sell a home. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that people aren’t venturing outside as often in the cold weather, but for whatever reason, real estate seems to slow way down this time of year. The good news if you’re looking to sell (or buy!) is that things are likely to pick way back up in just a handful of weeks as spring descends.

All this to say, housewarming party season is about to take over. Be prepared to receive invitations to your friends’ or family member’s new homes or, at the very least, plan to spot a custom “Change of Address” notice or two in the mail. Of course, the next tradition to follow is a basket of custom-curated goodies to hand over in celebration! Read on for a few theme ideas to inspire a housewarming gift box that they’ll actually appreciate this upcoming moving season.

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

8 Housewarming Gift Box Ideas To Try:

  1. Kitchen accessories: Tea towel, measuring spoons, glass coasters, kitchen timer, bottle opener, dish soap, all packaged in a wire basket
  2. New address celebration: Box of custom-ordered notecards with their monogram, a reusable stamp with their new address imprinted on it, packaged in a pretty antique mailbox
  3. Post-move spa day: soaps, an organic natural sponge, matching robes, all wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in a drawstring linen laundry bag
  4. Book nook starter kit: Brochure to the local library, extra large knit blanket, stack of bestselling books, candle and matches
  5. Organization motivation: A set of nesting Tupperware containers with fun colored box tops, a label maker, peel-and-stick chalkboard labels, chalkboard marker, all packaged in one extra large see-through Tupperware tote
  6. Need-to-have necessities: Fresh fabric shower liners and cool shower curtains like this, heavy-duty trash bags, box cutter, set of uncut keys and a gift card to Lowe’s for making copies, lightbulbs, all wrapped up in a reusable grocery bag
  7. Newcommers’ to-do list: Manila folder filled with brochures and directions to local attractions and museums, 2-3 small gift cards to local restaurants to encourage trying out new places, tickets to the local movie theater or symphony
  8. First night meal package: Hand-written recipe for a hearty, easy-to-make meal, all of the ingredients to go with it, placemats and napkins, packaged in a pot or pan.

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

What are your go-to housewarming gift box themes or ideas? I’d love to learn from your creative traditions, so please do share them below. And, before I sign off for the day, a big THANK YOU goes out to my friend Bethany for her help with modeling and bringing this story to life in-store!

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

*My promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

When I announced at the kick off to the new year that I was going to take a major departure from my old ways here at Dream Green DIY (including a completely new look for my Instagram feed—scroll down a little ways to see the shift in action!), I don’t think I had a real concept of just how freeing it would be. Apparently, I had tethered myself to the bright white and colorful branding I had adopted over the past couple of years, and I didn’t even realize what it was taking out of me creatively to keep it up.

Now though, I’m able to pick up my camera without any hesitation as soon as inspiration strikes, and I don’t have to fuss with a lot of set-up and styling props. These days, if I feel suddenly active and motivated by a spur-of-the-moment project, I can just plop myself down and take the damn pictures to share my ideas or projects with you guys. It’s such a relief, and it makes authentic blog posts a reality here again. That’s not to say that my content had been contrived over the last two years, but it certainly took a lot more effort to get things looking so controlled.

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

Anyway, this mini lightbulb moment was the result of a spontaneous activity I settled on a couple of weekends ago, and I just had to share. It all started while John was washing our cars. While he was outside, I began flipping through a free take-away catalog that I had stuffed in my bag from the register while shopping the week before (see?! I’m still reaping free rewards from my retail therapy day!).

As I was perusing the pages, I realized that the colors, patterns, and even the photography and styling were speaking to me. I started tearing pages out, with the intent of putting them in a folder in my desk drawer for future shoot and decorating inspiration, but then I noticed that the collection of images was starting to look pretty darn cool while laid out together.

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

I quickly ran out of room on the couch, and moved down to the floor in the living room, taking my magazine and scissors along with me. In a matter of minutes, I was literally surrounded by pages that hinted at the lifestyle and design direction I’m hoping to move in this year.

When I was done, my eyes darted around to each image in turn, and it was like looking into my future—or at least what I hope my future will look like in 2017. Think: evergreen details, fresh mint green and hints of navy, lots of natural neutral textiles, plants, simple dinners, and plenty of time spent outdoors enjoying the fresh air in loose dresses and sweaters.

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

I felt calmer and more at peace just looking at my newfound inspiration, and after asking John to snap a couple photos of my mess on the living room floor, I ran into my office and taped those sheets of torn paper right on the wall behind my desk so that I could look at them everyday as I plan things—both for work and our personal lives.

This random art project turned out to be the simplest, most inspiring decor update I’ve tackled in a while, and I wanted to share in the hopes that you, too, can turn something unassuming (and free!) into a beautiful art project of your own.

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

What kinds of colors, textures, and patterns have you excited this year? And, while I’ve got you, I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me as I find my footing with this new intentional style. I know it’s different than what you’re used to here on Dream Green DIY, but it’s more “me” and I couldn’t be more honored to have you along for the ride. I think 2017 has the potential to be the prettiest, most inspired one yet—thank you for following along!

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Make A Free DIY Catalog Mood Board | dreamgreendiy.com

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