DIY Abstract Clock

I brought home so many fun things from Haven conference! One of my favorite parts of this conference was all the hands on activities. Many of the booths were set up with fun crafts and DIYs. I was so excited to go by the DecoArt booth and meet the awesome ladies there. We made DIY clocks and I thought I would share the one I made: a DIY abstract clock! We used DecoArt paint and Walnut Hollow hardware to create this fun DIY Abstract clock.

Materials-Needed---Black

Walnut Hollow Paneled Wood Clock

Walnut Hollow Clock Movement

Painter’s Tape

DecoArt Paint (I used: Americana Decor Outdoor Living Paint 8 oz- Wildflower, Succulent, and Poolside along with  Americana Decor Color Stains 8oz-Fuchsia)

Instructions logo---blackSet up your clock panel.
DIY Abstract Clock

Use painter’s tape to tape off the surface. Alternate the tape around to make different sections. DIY Abstract Clock

Fill in the sections with alternating paint colors. I love how the Americana Decor Color Stains 8oz-Fuchsia looks on the wood!
DIY Clock Tutorial

Remove the painter’s tape after your paint has dried.diy clock tutorial - DIY Abstract Clock

At this point, I initially planned to fill in the lines with white or silver paint, but after seeing the raw wood lines I loved it this way! DIY Clock Tutorial

Attach the Walnut Hollow clock face according to the package instructions. It’s super simple – they give you a diagram on the back!DIY Clock Idea

Install a single AA battery and set your clock! I opted to leave the numbers off, but you could easily add numbers with a stencil or with vinyl. While I did an abstract design on mine, you could use these materials and come up with your own unique idea!

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DIY Plant Markers

Clay is one of the few craft mediums I’d never worked with. I had a few good years with play dough (around years 4, 5, and 6…) but now that I’m a little older I thought I would try grown up play dough – oven bake clay! I’ve seen tons of tutorials on creating a marbled look with clay (which is totally on my to-do list) but I wanted a simple project to start with so I can get the feel of working with this product. This tutorial for DIY plant markers is perfect for someone (like me) who has never used oven bake clay before.

This post contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep crafting! Please refer to my disclaimer page for more information.

DIY Plant Makers made from oven-bake clay \\ by Amber OliverDIY Plant Makers made from oven-bake clay \\ by Amber Oliver

DIY Plant Markers

Materials-Needed---Black

Oven bake clay

Nonstick Rolling Pin

Xacto Knife

Stamps

Silicon Baking Mat

DecoArt Patio Paint and Paint Brush

Instructions logo---black

Begin by rolling out your clay. It’s much more firm than playdough but same general idea. You can roll it into a ball with your hands, then use a nonstick rolling pin to roll it out flat until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. I created these DIY plant markers with one package of blue oven bake clay.

After you’ve rolled the clay flat use the xacto knife to cut out a long rectangle with a pointed end. You could measure this out to make sure the size is exact, but there’s no reason to. I just eyeballed it and mine were fine. If for some reason you mess up, just roll it back into a ball and start over! I cut mine on the silicon baking mat, but that’s not recommended on the mat’s package. What can I say, I’m a rebel 🙂 Just be careful if you do this not to cut your mat.

After you’ve got your makers cut, you are ready to stamp them! I put the names of herbs on the ones I made. I used small alphabet stamps.

DIY Garden Stakes

Next up, it’s time to bake. Follow the baking instructions on your clay package. I put mine on a silicon baking mat so they’d be easy to remove. Side note: does anyone have a clean oven? Is that a thing? Because mine is never clean.

DIY Plant Markers

After they’ve “cooked” let them cool before handling them. Then you’re ready to add paint. I added paint to fill in the indents from the stamps on each of the letters and wiped off the excess with a paper towel. This made it much easier to read! I used DecoArt patio paint since these will be outside!

DIY Garden MarkersDIY Garden Markers

Your last step is to put them in your garden and enjoy! I gave these as a gift and they would be a perfect housewarming or hostess present!

DIY Plant Markers by Amber Oliver

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DIY Pen Organizer

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PilotYourLife #CollectiveBias

DIY Pen Organizer

I’ve always loved August because it meant back to school time and back to school means new SCHOOL SUPPLIES! Stores are full of new notebooks, planners, and pens. I always loved perusing the back to school sections of the store. I’m a Type A person and love a handwritten to do list.  I’ve started to color code my calendar and to do list so I can stay better organized. I’ve shared a lot lately about how I organize my newly finished home office and craft room and I’m adding another DIY to the long list of projects completed for that room. I used PVC, scrap wood, and a little spray paint to create a fun DIY pen organizer!

Materials-Needed---Black

2 inch PVC Pipe (You can get 2 foot sections)

Wood (I used scrap wood)

Spray Paint (I used Krylon Ballet Slipper)

Glue (I used Liquid Nails)

Painter’s Tape

Sandpaper

tools-needed--black

Miter Saw

Instructions logo---black

Cut your PVC pipe. I didn’t use exact measurements, just divided the 2 foot pipe into 5 uneven sections. I set the miter saw to cut at a 20 degree angle. Remember to cut so that each section has a flat bottom; you’ll have to alternate where you make the angled cuts. Sand off any rough edges.

DIY Pen Holder

I was lucky enough to have scrap wood in the exact size I needed! You really only need the base piece, but my scrap wood was already glued together so I used it as is. Measure your wood so the PVC fits and cut to size. Sand the wood before attaching the PVC.

Next, you’ll adhere the PVC to the wood. I used liquid nails and let it dry over night.

Before painting, I taped off the interior of the pipes since I wanted them to stay white. I also stuffed in old newspaper to block any paint from getting in.

taped off pvc

Lastly, spray your DIY pen organizer with spray paint and allow time to dry.

Pen Organizer Pen HolderPen Holder

I’m using the Pilot G2 Metallics to organize my August schedule. I use the G2 Premium at work all the time in classic blue and black, but for my personal use I love all the fun a vibrant colors (these pens come in 15 different colors!). I use different colors to color code my schedule in my written planner. Pilot G2 pens come in 4 different point sizes so you can further customize your writing style. The Metallics are my new favorite but with multiple collections to choose from there’s a pen for everyone – and they are proven to write longer than all other gel brands! Pick up a pack on your next Target run and fill up your new DIY Pen Organizer! Here’s a coupon to save $0.75 on any one 4-pack (or larger) of G2 Gel Ink Pens.

pens in target

DIY Pen Holder for DeskDesk Organizer

Do you love back to school time as much as I do? What’s your favorite thing to buy?

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DIY Crafty T Shirts

I am spending the weekend at Haven Blog Conference! Haven is for those who are passionate about blogging, DIY projects, and creating beauty in the home. I wanted a custom t shirt to wear around the people who would really get it – Haven Mavens are MY kinda people. I got a whole roll of heat transfer vinyl from Expressions Vinyl when I was creating my knock off Kate Spade placemats and had plenty left over for this project. I created the design in the Silhouette Studio and the design is available below as a free download! I’m linking up with Lura from Domesticability where you can get her design for the Craft-yonce shirt! We had so much fun making this custom DIY Crafty T Shirts and hope our fellow DIY lovers will enjoy them as well!

DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber OliverDIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber OliverDIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver Crafty T Shirts 6

Materials-Needed---Black

T-Shirt

Heat Transfer Vinyl

Silhouette Machine

Iron

Scrap Fabric

Instructions logo---blackCut your phrase out of the Heat Transfer Vinyl. Be sure to cut with the shiny side down. If you use my cut file, I’ve mirrored the text for you. If you are using your own design, be sure you mirror your text!

To cut, I had to put my blade on 10 and still had a bit of trouble. I went through several test cuts before I got it to work. I had to select FLOCKED Heat Transfer Vinyl for it to cut. (I honestly had no idea what that means but it worked!)

Once the design is cut, carefully weed the vinyl (remove any of the excess vinyl) and you’ll be left with your backwards text on a clear sheet.

Position the text on the tshirt and apply.

Put the scrap fabric over the design and use the hot iron to press down firmly. Try to limit the movement of the iron but be careful not to leave more than 20-30 seconds. You may singe the scrap fabric a bit but your design should be fine.

Before pulling up the clear sheet, test the corner and make sure the words stay down. If they don’t, re-apply heat and pressure until it’s properly adhered.

Click the link below to get the Crafty AF Silhouette cut file!

Download Button

DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber OliverDIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver DIY Crafty T Shirts using heat transfer vinyl! // Amber Oliver

I hope you enjoy these crafty creations! Be sure to visit Lura at Domesticability for her design and let us know if you re-create one for yourself!

Amber signature //amber-oliver.com

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Managing Your Side Hustle

This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias

I’m a multi-tasker. I’m pretty good at working on multiple things at once and if you work multiple jobs this is a necessity. I have my degree in Management Information Systems and have worked full time in IT since I graduated college. I actually worked 2 jobs in college – including one for the on-campus tech support! So it should come as no surprise that I work 2 jobs now – my full time job in IT and my part time job as a blogger and small business owner!

Managing Your Side Hustle // HP Deskjet 3752 // #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias #AD

When I explain to people what all goes into blogging, they are surprised to find that I am running a small business. Many people don’t realize the amount of time and effort that goes into running a blog. I have the job of content creator, photographer, stylist, project manager, accountant, and social media maven. Since my blog focuses on DIY and home projects, you also have to factor in the time it takes to plan out projects, purchase materials, coordinate with brands, and then actually MAKE the darn thing. Don’t get me wrong, I do this because I LOVE IT. I have so much fun and if I could do this all day long I would in a heartbeat! But it is a LOT of work. I usually plan 4 hours minimum for each and every post I create for my blog. (I usually end up spending way more time than this!) And that’s just photographing, writing, and editing! Don’t forget the countless hours spent engaging with readers and followers, planning content, and managing expenses and bills! (Yep, we pay taxes!) Most of my nights and weekends are spent working on my “side hustle”. Because this is valuable time I also want to use to spend with friends and family or go to the gym, etc. I try to streamline my process as much as possible.

Tips for Managing Your Side Hustle

Have a dedicated workspace // I am SO happy to have a beautiful home office/craft room to work in. I spent a lot of time and effort getting this room organized and optimized for me to work in. Having a dedicated workspace is essential to me for productivity.

Office Makeover - Amber Oliver. Bright and cheerful office space with floral fabric wall. Photo by thinkelysian.com

Make an editorial calendar // One of the most important things I do to keep my business on the right track, is making and keeping an editorial calendar. I’m the queen of to-do list and make lists everyday in my DayDesigner. But in order to see long term goals, I made a huge wall calendar for my home office. I love that I can see my projects and goals weeks in advance quickly and easily. This helps me keep track of posts and plan projects.

Office Makeover - Amber Oliver. Bright and cheerful office space with floral fabric wall. Photo by thinkelysian.com

Track your growth // If you asked me what my favorite app was I would tell you Instagram. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to grow my Instagram following. While this is one of my favorite ways to connect with other bloggers and entrepreneurs, it’s not what is most helpful for my business. A huge following on Instagram does not mean you have a successful blog. In fact, Instagram is one of my lowest referers for traffic to my blog. When I realized that, I was able to focus my efforts elsewhere. I utilize analytics and see where I’m seeing the most engagement to my site and focus there. It also helps to see my growth rate. I track my followers with this spreadsheet. This helps me see what methods are working with blog. I’m providing it as a free download!

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Have the right tools // To be as productive as possible, it’s essential I have all the right tools. I shared in this post how to take better photos for you blog or business.  I also had to make sure my office is outfitted with the latest tech tools so my workflow is optimized. I have a 26 inch monitor so I can work easily in photoshop. I’ve made sure my laptop is up-to-date and running 16GB of ram. I also needed an all in one printer that was affordable, wifi enabled, and didn’t take up half my desk. I found the perfect printer for my home office: the HP DeskJet 3752 All-in-One. It’s the world’s smallest all in one printer! My favorite feature is that it’s wifi enabled so I don’t have cables strung all over my desk. We were able to map my laptop and Eric’s computer down the hall to this printer and he can print from the other room! No need to set up as a network printer – just follow the quick setup guide: connect to your home wifi network and install the drivers. It prints more than twice as many pages with original HP high-yield ink cartridges. Did I mention I can print from my iPhone? I take notes on my phone a lot and can easily print them out when I’m in my office working.

Managing Your Side Hustle // HP Deskjet 3752 // #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias #ADManaging Your Side Hustle // HP Deskjet 3752 // #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias #AD

I got my new HP printer from the electronics section at Walmart. Look for the Office Printing aisle and you’ll see the HP DeskJet 3752 – the box is pretty small since the printer itself is so small.

Managing Your Side Hustle // HP Deskjet 3752 // #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias #AD

BONUS // Having a cute office assistant is also essential for productivity!

Managing Your Side Hustle // HP Deskjet 3752 // #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias #AD

More and more millennials are seeking work that aligns with their purpose and passion. That’s exactly why I’m creating this side business. Do you have big dreams? What do you do to keep your hustle going?

Amber signature //amber-oliver.com

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5 Ways To Save Money This Summer

This post is sponsored by Groupon Coupons. All opinions are mine.

Ways to Save Money / Amber Oliver

Saving money is a never ending cycle. You have to constantly evaluate your expenditures, check your budgets consistently, and come up with new ways to save money. Have you ever had a recurring payment you’d forgotten about? I had a friend who’d paid a $10 monthly membership fee to a gym they hadn’t gone to in 3 years! That’s more than $350 for NOTHING! There are tons of ways to save money; I’ve shared some of our tips in my post about debt and how we paid off more than $30,000 in our first year of marriage. During the summer, you can feel like you’re hemorrhaging money. Here are 5 ways to save money that you can start doing right now!
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No Sew Clutch

This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine. #WardrobeSolutions #CollectiveBias

No Sew Clutch using Scotch Essentials by Amber Oliver

Sewing is one skill I haven’t mastered. I’m self taught on the basics: pillow cases, curtains, and pretty much anything that goes in a straight line! I never took Home Economics in school and so wish I’d had the opportunity. I wanted a new clutch for summer and knew I could DIY one. I used a few Scotch™Essentials products from Target to put together a DIY No Sew Clutch!
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DIY Pom Pom Sun Hat

One of my favorite stores is the Dollar Tree. They have a lot of items I pick up frequently like cleaning products, gift wrap, and greeting cards. I almost always find a $1 item I can use for a craft project. On my last trip, I found a whole section of sun hats! I grabbed one and took it home to dress it up. With the upcoming 4th of July holiday, I decided to add some fireworks in the form of pom poms! It took all of 15 minutes to put this DIY pom pom sun hat together and now I’m ready for the holiday weekend!

DIY Pom Pom Sun Hat
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DIY Cornhole Boards

To me, summer has always meant more time outdoors. The days are long (and hot) but more daylight = more time for fun! We like to play backyard jenga at my bud Lura’s, so I wanted a fun backyard game for our house as well. In college, we used to play cornhole (also known as “bags”). I thought it’d be fun to have a set of cornhole boards for our backyard! I found several different tutorials for making your own, but all of them seemed too big and bulky. We needed a set that was wood so it’d be sturdy, but I didn’t want it too heavy to lug around. We made a set of cornhole boards that are lightweight and compact for easy carrying and easy storage!

DIY Cornhole boards that are collapsable and lightweight! // Amber-Oliver.com

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