Friday, April 10, 2015

7 Quick and Easy Projects!

Linking up for 7 QT's this week with Kelly!

Today I'm going to share seven quick and/or easy projects that just about anyone can do at home! I'm either in the middle of these projects, or have finished them. I'm not a particularly productive or crafty person, so really... anyone can do these!

1. Homemade Ranch Dressing

I'm always coming across delicious looking recipes that only call for a little bit of ranch dressing. We aren't terrific about eating salads around here (shhhhh), so dressings usually get wasted or just sit in the fridge for years.... Also, I have a friend who is allergic to MSG, or autolyzed yeast extract, and it's found in most Ranch Dressings. Therefore I was super excited when I came across this recipe to make my own homemade ranch dressing with spices already in my closet! You can make as little as you need for the specific recipe. Plus, it's delicious and creamy (not low fat- sorry y'all). I store the premixed spices in a little container and just add a tablespoon to 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayo and a splash of milk

2. Paint a Ceramic Figurine

This was so ridiculously easy, it really shouldn't qualify as a "project". We have been very slowly putting together Teacup's bedroom (so sad... it's only taken us 12+ months). She has a little elephant theme going on, so I wanted to find a small elephant I could paint pink and put up on the shelves we just installed. My mom recommended searching thrift and antique stores, but it's kind of hard bringing a toddler to one of those places. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I found a ceramic elephant at Target! I cleaned him off with rubbing alcohol, found the perfect, acrylic, pink paint, and did two coats over two nights. Took about ten minutes each night. Bam, Done! Perfect, easy decor.

3. Learn to Crochet
Learning to crochet has been on my to do list for a really long time. I have some really talented friends that have offered to teach me, but it's just hard to find the time. Crocheting is perfect when you have little ones because it's easy to pick up and put down and you don't have to worry about any sharp little pins lying around like you do when sewing. I have a sewing machine, and I still intend on using it, but the production of taking it out, cutting and ironing all the pieces, and clean up is a several hours long affair. Also, crocheting is cheap, cheap, cheap compared to investing in a sewing machine.

I'm not very good at crocheting yet, but I plan on doing lots of practicing. I used Pinterest to find a couple tutorials. Here is the one I'm mainly using. All I'm aiming to start with are a few washcloths, and then eventually I'd like to move onto a blanket, scarf for hubby, and maybe someday figure out hats, mittens, and booties :)

Single Crochet: After practicing! Look, it looks like a square! 

Single Crochet: First attempt at a swatch. It's growing and growing ;) 

Double Crochet: I'm still working on figuring this one out...They keep curving into a rainbow shape. 

4. DIY Abstract Herringbone Artwork

Once again, supplies for something like this are really affordable. I found a 2 pack of canvas at Walmart for under $5, and paints for $0.50 to $1.50. I followed this blog's tutorial. I will note that you should probably follow their advice and use white spray paint for the top layer. The acrylic was a bit thick and got under the tape, so that is why my edges aren't as crisp. Although, for a first attempt, I'm pretty happy with it and I had a lot of fun painting!

5. Make a Paper Banner

And then use it for multiple things! I didn't spend anything on this project because I already had all the supplies in my craft stock (although I am a bit of a craft hoarder). Twine, scrapbook paper, ruler, scissors, and a stapler are all you need.

I've also seen people sew the paper onto thread and that looks a bit more finished, but once again, I'm a little too lazy to drag the sewing machine out for that one.

We used this little banner at Teacup's birthday party and then I used it in her birthday photo shoot I did in our basement.

6. Bake Some Cookies

This recipe is the bomb! Plus, I already had all the ingredients in my pantry. I make the recommended amount and then freeze half of the dough before cooking. Take it out and let thaw for about a day before scooping out the dough. Also, cook cookies until they look barely done, take out and let sit. They will be the perfect chewiness!

7. Photo Book

There are lots of sites to do this, but I use Shutterfly. It's a good idea to make a book ahead of time and then wait around for a really good coupon. Sometimes they even offer free books on the small size! If you do want a larger book though, it does not convert to a smaller size easily without altering all your pictures. So just keep that in mind. I did an 8x11 book for Teacup's first year, but I think I'll do the 8x8 sizes for family vacations and watch out for those coupons ;) For Teacup's larger hardcover book, I used a $20 off coupon, free shipping, and waited till the books were 40% off.

So there you have seven easy projects anyone can try! What projects are you currently working on?


  1. Good work on the crocheting! I like to knit, but I can't make my crocheting come out square for anything...
    I love making homemade salad dressing. The store-bought stuff just tastes weird to me now half the time! (It's probably the real fat, huh?)

  2. Such great projects, Rachel! I just re-learned how to crochet recently. I am darn proud of my two dishcloths! :-)