Sweet Summertime Reads: Crafts and Sips


Welcome to a live post coming to you straight from Texas! For the first time ever Magan and I are working across from each other at the same table! So so exciting. When we knew I was definitely coming to visit for a few days, we were so thrilled to come up with a project we could actually work on together.

So how about a little arts and crafts?

A few months back, blogger and artist Lauren Donaldson was kind enough to send us a copy of MASON JAR CRAFTS. It’s a neat little book filled with every day crafting ideas, as well as wedding and holiday projects too.

Since we’re a little rusty in the crafting department and wanted to make something with usability, we opted to create some mason jar drinking glasses inspired by one of Lauren’s projects.

Martha Stewart Paints – We purchased these for another project, but it turned out that we needed them for this one as well. You’ll notice we were using paint pens in a few of the photos, but we soon realized those weren’t working very well and we swapped to these guys.

The MASON JAR CRAFTS book and the stencils we chose for the lettering on our mason jars (also made by Martha Stewart).

More lettering and the arrow Magan ultimately chose to use in the end.

Our mason jars, two for each of us!

Estelle working on her jars, lining the vinyl stencils up perfectly. (Magan was terrible at this.)

Magan trying to use the paint marker backwards to demonstrate her terrible technique. (Again, the paint markers didn’t work well with the stencils.)

Estelle laughing as we worked through a few trial and error problems with cleaning the stencils after using the paint markers.

Another attempt before we began using the paint shown above.

Estelle demonstrating the “HIS” mason jar she was making.

Magan began stenciling her name on a mason jar, but when the markers failed, she swapped to the cute arrows included in the stencil set.

A completed arrow successfully created with the Martha Steward glass paints.

Estelle’s successfully completed “HERS” jar with the Martha Stewart paint.

Estelle’s completed “HIS” and “HERS” mason jars!

For a refreshing beverage option, we mixed up one of TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD’S (by Tim Federle) non-alcoholic goodies inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. (We were also wearing our pajamas when we first sampled them so we thought that was fitting!) The drink mixes pear juice, lemonade, and ginger ale on the rocks. We absolutely loved it.

The ingredients we needed to make our beverages. (Yes, we did use Gerber pear juice. We couldn’t find it anywhere else in Target. And it tasted great…!)

Estelle mixing the lemonade into the pear juice.

Our completed beverages, reading for drinking!

Estelle laughing as Magan awkwardly tried to get her initial reaction to the drink. Don’t worry, we fully approved.

Estelle’s completed, dried mason jar glasses.


For more Sweet Summertime Reads, check out the details of Ginger’s Chicago trip!

And, of course, Tara’s Fiction Folio will have some fun for you on Thursday!

DIY Bookish Gifts for Your Friends

The saying goes that Christmastime is the best time of the year… but it can also be one of the most expensive. I’m a girl who loves a good DIY project and the fact that I can customize the gift to my friend’s specific liking. My sister was thrilled last year when I made her a wreath for her first apartment as part of her gift. When she hung it on her door, she texted me a picture of it. When she later moved to a new apartment, I received another text from her showing me that she was still enjoying it in her new place.

It felt so, so great to know that my sister loved the gift I spent a few hours making for her. It was a way we stayed connected and it helped me (much to my husband’s surprise excitement) stay on budget.

I’ve pulled a few DIY bookish gifts you could make and gift your friends. If you’ve seen something that you love (and maybe have pinned on pinterest), please share the link below!

*Please note — all images taken of the projects are borrowed from the sites linked with the instructions below.

DIY Bookish Projects

01. Decorative Wreath Made Out of Book Pages — I need this in my life. I think I would flip a lid if someone gifted me with this. Lindsay, the blogger who posted this wreath tutorial, spent $2 making this wreath compared to the $40-50 she saw it being sold for. Ah-mazing! 

02. Vintage Book DIY Garland — I’m pretty sure I should make my Christmas tree book-themed next year. This would be spectacular. I love this garland because it could really be left out all year. I would love to have it draped over my bookshelves in my living room.

03. DIY Telephone Bookends — I don’t know about you guys, but bookends can sometimes be a little underwhelming. Finding an item your book-loving friend loves and turning it into a bookend is a fantastic idea. Love the vintage feel of these telephones. And the fact that I just said vintage and remember using them growing up makes me feel super old.

04. Yarn Ball (Pom) Bookmarks — Ok, so I always, always lose bookmarks. Always. If I received a bundle of these, I’d be a happy girl. A skein of yarn is a few dollars and will make tons and tons of these guys. I want some of these just to be cute and decorative in my books on the shelves.

gift ideas for book lovers

05. DIY Kindle or Nook Cover — Every e-reader owner I know (myself & E included) is always on the lookout for an adorable cover. It’s hard to find one that’s not overly priced and super chunky. Why not make one for your friend? You could have a field day with fun fabrics. I know if a friend made one for me, I’d be over the moon. That’s thoughtful, friends.

06. DIY Pillow with Stenciled Quote — I don’t think this project was originally suggested as a bookish project, but if you knew a quote from one of your friend’s favorite books, you could easily stencil it on burlap and whip together a custom pillow for him or her.

custom note cards and DIY magnet board with scrabble letters

07. Custom Watercolor Note Cards — This photograph is for cards that say “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” BUT I think they’d make awesome custom cards for a friend. Make a series of cards from one book or a set of random favorite quotes – any way you do it, this is awesome!

08. DIY Magnet Board with Scrabble Piece Letters — Is anyone else super obsessed with scrabble letters? This project seems so simple and so impactful. What a fun way to incorporate book pages and make it a useful gift too!