Six-Step Picstructions – Map Scratch Off DIY

Going to start this post giving you a glimpse of my current state:

Meme - I haz excitement

So much excitement! Even though it’s a small little DIY project, I had this idea a LONG time ago and it kept jumping up in the back of my mind for me to do it, so I finally made it happen and now my brain is jumping for joy for checking this off my to-craft list 🙂

Long story short, ever since I opened my Etsy store I get massively excited with every new order, and I still can’t believe I’m doing this. When I first opened it, I told no one, listed two items, and just let the Etsy SEO do its thing, so picture my shock when I got my first order less than a week later! Then, orders slowly started coming in from all over the country and that’s when the idea struck: “I would love to have a cool way to check off every state from the US that I get orders from – and my ultimate goal is to cross off ALL of them! I need a scratch-off map!

I looked into scratch-off maps online, but I couldn’t find any that I liked, and the ones I did find were pretty expensive, so of course, I decided I wanted to do it myself. Which brings to mind this VERY accurate crafter reality:

why buy it

In my defense, I already owned everything I needed for this project and there was no additional expense incurred and no animals were harmed in the making of this craft 😀

So here we are, time to list the materials and Six-Step Picstructions to making your very own Scratch-Off Map!

Materials:

– Desired Image (I used this map of the US)

– Photo Paper (bought this HUGE Kodak ream off Amazon)

– Printer

– Laminating machine + pockets (I’ve owned this Purple Cows laminator for forever, also from Amazon)

– Fabric “puffy” paint (I used Tulip brand “Blazin Blue”)

– Silver acrylic paint + paint brush

– Dish Detergent

Six-Step Picstructions

I’m SUPER SUPER SUPER happy with how the map turned out, and so far I have 17 states scratched off (Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio – East Coast representing strong, but a lot of sales are coming from California so the West Coast has a great presence too!) PS: Hawaii and Alaska are in the back of the page, also ready to be scratched off!

I can’t wait to keep scratching off each state, plus it will make a nice addition to my craft room, and it also came with a bonus US geography refresher for me 🙂 This could also work great as a learning game for kids!

Here is the map with all of the current sales states scratched off as of today’s orders, can’t wait to see all the colors out in the open:

What DIY project has been in the back of your mind lately? What “push” do you need to make it happen?

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Six-Step Picstructions – Cake Pops

Confession: I am one of the biggest anti-kitchen people I know. If someone asks me about my cooking habits, my usual reply is “I burn water,” and that’s where the conversation ends from my side. I don’t know what it is, I just don’t enjoy cooking, and my small successes in the kitchen are not enough to turn it around.

HOWEVER – when it came to my birthday, I decided I needed to give baking a chance. I hate baking just a tad less than I hate cooking, because baking requires precise measurements and instructions, while many people cook by instinct, something that gives me massive anxiety.

From the millions of ideas I had pinned to my Mermaid Party Pinterest board, I really really wanted to make some pretty cake pops! So here are the ingredients and Six-Step Picstructions –

Ingredients/Materials:

  • Cake Mix + required eggs, oil/butter & water (or just bake a cake from scratch if you’re up for it!)
  • Frosting
  • Cake pop sticks
  • Candy Melts
  • Canola Oil
  • Styrofoam base

Six-Step Picstructions:

This YouTube video tutorial from Joy of Baking is very helpful to follow along.

These cake pops were delicious, which is awesome considering cake mix is $1.30, and what I really loved was the color contrast of these blue velvet against the purple frosting. Take a bite 😉

Cake Pops Inside WCB

Six-Step Picstructions – Chinese Lantern Jellyfish/Medusas

Jellyfish Medusa Feature PicFirst off, let me start by saying: Thank you Pinterest!

Many people have tried and humiliatingly failed at some projects seen on Pinterest, but thankfully, this was not the case for my Jellyfish/Medusa project that was part of my 25th birthday “Adult Ariel goes to Vegas” pool party extravaganza!

Now on to the action! Here are some super easy Six-Step Picstructions to guide you along –

Materials needed
1. Chinese Lanterns (I got these from amazon)
2. Plastic Table Covers (I got these from Party City)*
3. Scissors
4. Wire Cutter (for the Chinese Lanterns’ internal wire)
5. Hot Glue Gun + Sticks (I love my wireless gun!)

Picstructions (click on the image to enlarge)
Six Stepper 1 - Jellyfish Lanterns

And that’s it! This project was super easy and fun to do. My mom helped me stretch the strips while watching TV. I would say it took us about an hour to go through one whole table cover. The best part? This wasn’t too expensive, and it’s going to be a great piece of decor for my yard. Will post pictures of the party once it happens!

You can buy these from my Etsy shop here.

*Table Covers: I had the most random issue with the purple and lavender table covers. For some reason, the “Caribbean Blue” covers (pictured) are very stretchy and giving, so you can pull a lot. Oddly enough, both purple tones I bought were incredibly rigid and it kept snapping while I stretched so those took a little longer to make.

Update 10/30/14 – check out all the party details here!