Craft Projects

DIY Button Tray


Need a fun project for the upcoming weekend? Why not try making your own button tray?!

This tray takes a while, but the end result is totally worth it.


Step one: Prepare your tray for painting by doing a light sanding (if necessary).

Plain tray

Step two: Apply several coats of paint to your tray, allowing adequate dry time in between coats. I opted for an off-white color for my tray.

Step three: Once your tray is dry, start securing buttons to the bottom using glue. I used super glue until I ran out of it and switched to hot glue. Glue your buttons as close to one another as possible. Do not skip the gluing step because the buttons will rise when you pour on your super glaze.

Button Tray

Button TrayStep four: When all of your buttons are secure and the entire tray is filled, it is time for your super glaze. I buy mine from Home Depot. Mix up your super glaze according to the directions pon the box (1:1), then pour over the buttons. To get the best results, I poured my first layer and let it dry for the recommended 72 hours. Then I came back and poured a second layer to fill in any nook, crannies and buttonholes.

Step five: This is the hardest part — let your tray dry for the full 72 hours. I had to wait twice since I did mine in two layers! If you don’t, you will get fingerprints on the clear finish and it might be tacky. Also, let the tray dry in the warmest room in your house. I let mine dry in our office — the hubby’s computer makes it super warm. When I let it dry in our cool basement, the finish on the super glaze was tacky to the touch. Always place cardboard underneath in case anything leaks out (which is did because my tray cost $.50 and wasn’t the greatest work of construction known to man).


Step six: Admire your hard wok and patience by displaying your beautiful tray proudly in your home.


Button Tray square


Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday, Life

Hope Ornament: #BloggersforSandyHook

A week ago today, 26 lives were cut short by a senseless act of violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Today we blog for Sandy Hook.

As part of the #BloggersforSandyHook tribute I wanted to share an ornament I made for our tree this week.

In honor of the grieving community and the 26 people who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday in Newtown, CT., I made a “hope”ornament for our tree.


I really like the idea of having this on my tree each year to remind me to hug my loved ones extra tight, especially at Christmas.

If you want to make one too, here is what you’ll need:

  • Gold paint
  • Thin paint brush
  • Crystal beads or gems (26)
  • White ribbon
  • Christmas ball ornament (it can be any color)

Using Martha Stewart gold metallic paint and a thin paint brush, I painted the word “Hope” onto an ordinary glass Christmas ball. I chose to write the word in basic handwriting versus anything fancier — I like that it looks like something a kid could have written, plus I don’t trust my ability to paint in cursive. I then added 26 small dots all around the word “hope” to symbolize those who passed away at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lastly, I painted one gold star as a tribute the bravery exhibited that day.

After the paint was dry, I carefully went over it all a second time so it really popped on the ornament and on our tree.

Next, I removed the silver top of the ornament and placed 26 crystal beads inside, again, one for each life lost. They are super sparkly and look really pretty inside the ornament. The beads I picked are plastic and sort of chunky, and I’d imagine that little girls would have loved to make necklaces out of them.

As a last step, I put the silver cap back on and tied a white ribbon to the top of the ornament. I added a bow where the ribbon meets the ornament as the final touch.


I was having a heck of a time taking a decent picture of the ornament and didn’t do the best job. It is beautiful and because of all of the gold paint, crystals and white ribbon it looks rather ethereal — which seems very fitting.


To all those grieving in Connecticut: May your lives be filled with hope for a better future and your hearts be filled with the happiest of memories of the loved ones lost. You are in our thoughts this holiday season and inspire us each day to hug our loved ones a little bit tighter. 

I am truly sorry for your loss.


Craft Projects, Jewelry

Chandelier Bib Necklace

Are you ready to see the coolest project ever? I hope so, because I’m about to blow your mind.

My mother in law is awesome and loves to give me things she thinks I can craft into something awesome. Sometimes, I think she’s crazy. For example, she gave me this hot mess of chandelier crystals that were all tangled together and just a hot, hot mess. What the heck was I supposed to do with all of these crystals that I’d surely have to spend hours untangling?

Well, I’m me and I save pretty much anything that people suggest I craft into something — especially if it is sparkly — so I put the heap of chandelier remnants in a plastic bag in my craft room. When we moved, the crystals were upgraded to a glass bowl on a shelf, and that’s where they’ve been since we moved.

I was finally  inspired to create something out of the crystals, so I pulled the bowl off the shelf and got to destroying chain after chain of chandelier. The crystals are really old and were really dirty, so I scrubbed the recently freed crystals with some soap and got to creating.

My plan? To make a bib necklace for my coworker’s birthday! To start, I took a piece of cardboard and cut out half of the shape I wanted for my bib necklace. I placed it on a piece of black felt and then folded the felt in half and cut along the edge. Perfect.

Next, I tested hot gluing my crystals onto a scrap piece of felt. Good news: hot glue + crystals + felt = awesome. So, I started placing the crystals where I thought I’d like them to go. When I had them in a good arrangement, I started gluing them into place. I was extra careful to not let any hot glue get on the surrounding felt because it would be impossible to get it off.

With all of my crystals glued to the felt, I needed something extra for the necklace. I didn’t want to make it too heavy, and with almost 15 glass objects already on it I opted for a really light, silver bead cap. I very carefully glued these into place as well. Once I was finished with my necklace (yes, I’m skipping ahead) I decided it needed a little extra something, so I went and added some costume pearls to the bib as well. That’s what you’ll see on the final photo.

After I had everything glued into place, I took a bead reamer and pierced a small hole through the felt. It just so happened that my flower-like crystals had holes in them, which was the perfect place to thread ribbon through that couldn’t possibly tear through the felt over time! Coincidence? Pshhh, please ;p

The final step was to thread the ribbon through the hole, which I did by poking one end of the ribbon onto the bead reamer and re-poking the reamer through the hole. It worked rather well! I love when simple solutions are, well, simple! I tied knots in the ribbon at the edge of the felt, then trimmed the ribbon down to size.

What do you think? I love it and I know my coworker is going to die when she sees it.

Isn’t it amazing what you can create from something you originally thought was a hot mess? I’ll add a photo of my coworker wearing it later on, but her birthday isn’t until mid-November.

Until then, here’s me sporting the sweet bib (I sound like a baby…). You can tell my the look on my face that I really love to take photos of myself to put on the blog — but hey, sometimes you need a model…. and my hubby sure wasn’t gonna try it on!

And kuddos, Robin! You were totally right — the chandelier pieces were totally craft worthy 🙂

Update: Mill loved it!