Merry Brides


Posts tagged diy

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Homemade White Hot Chocolate


This homemade white hot chocolate recipe from Gimmie Some Oven will be a welcome treat as the temperatures drop and the days grow shorter.



  • 4 cups of milk of your choice (or you can substitute heavy cream or half and half, or do a mixture)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or white chocolate chips)
  • whipped cream or marshmallows for topping


Stir together milk, vanilla and chopped white chocolate in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer. (Do not let it come to a boil.) Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.


Filed under Hot chocolate fall drinks white chocolate fall autumn drinks beverages recipe diy chocolate

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DIY Confetti Dipped Balloons





  • Balloons*
  • Gold Foil Confetti 
  • Decoupage Glue or Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush or Foam Brush

* If you are filling your balloons with helium, so they float, you’ll need to make sure you do not add too much confetti to the balloons or they won’t be able to stay up! It’s best to sacrifice one balloon as a tester so you can see how much confetti it can handle. If you’re just filling these guys with air and letting them bounce around on the floor, then the more confetti the better!


Take your inflated balloon and paint on the decoupage glue to the bottom of it. You need a thin but even layer. You can either paint a straight line around so you have a very defined confetti “dip” or you can make the top edge of your decoupage area rough so it looks a little less perfect. Either way, once you have your glue on there, go ahead and start dipping and sprinkling confetti on. I found the best way to do this was to hold a balloon over a large bowl of confetti and pick up a handful at a time and press it onto the balloon. Shake the balloon so all the excess confetti falls off, then let it dry.


The confetti stays on pretty well with just those steps, but for extra security you can also add another layer of the decoupage glue overtop of your confetti and let it dry. (It will dry clear.) If you do this, make sure you factor the extra bit of wait from that second layer in so you don’t end up weighing down your balloons!



Aren’t they just so sparkly and fun!? As I always say, confetti makes everything better.


*** Special Thank You to DIY Studio for sharing this fun tutorial. All photos courtesy of DIY Studio.

Filed under DIY Balloons Party Decor confetti gold party bridal shower new years

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DIY Beauty: 10 Ingredients To Avoid


Homemade beauty treatments can be a lot of a fun and a great way to save time and money. However, you have to be very careful about the ingredients you choose. Some ingredients are safe for the body, but not for the face. Others are dangerous when exposed to sun, and yet more are best to be left to the professionals!


Lemon has many benefits from antibacterial to lightening, however, it is very acidic and can become phototoxic which means it can cause blisters or sunburns when exposed to light.


Toothpaste and Milk of Magnesia are often thought of as home remedies to zap a zit. These generally cause skin irritation, an allergic reaction and clog pores.


While tomatoes are commonly used as a lemon substitute in popular sugar exfoliating scrubs, adding a tomato will do more damage than good because it contains high levels of lycopene. When exposed to longer durations of sunlight or UV light, excessive lycopene can cause collagen breakdown, which is not what you want. Use alternatives like Jojoba Beans in your scrubs instead.


Lavender is likely to cause hyper-pigmentation because it contains Coumarin. If darkening your skin was not what you were looking for, steer clear of lavender oil in your homemade skincare mix.


This is a well-known ingredient for lightening and as an antibacterial ingredient, however it is very harsh on both hair and skin as it is photo toxic and can lead to blisters and sunburns. If used on skin daily it will prevent healing of the skin if repeatedly applied.


Sugar is a favorite exfoliant but it is much better for our bodies than our face because it is too aggressive and harsh of a scrub to use on our sensitive facial skin. A better alternative is jojoba beads for the face.


Some think that Preparation H will help cure bags under the eyes, wrinkles on the body, and even cellulite. This is simply not true. Preparation H is an inflammatory that is used to shrink hemorrhoids and any claim that it can shrink puffiness in or under the skin is not medically based.


Washing with alcohol cannot and will not remove blackheads. Using alcohol on your skin will result in excessive drying and may even increase blemishes. Try raw honey instead, it has endless skincare benefits.


Are you using olive oil as a cleansing oil? Stop. There is absolutely no benefit in adding this to your face, especially if you are prone to breakouts. A safer oil alternative is Grape Seed Oil.


Walnuts shells are often considered as a DIY skin exfoliator but this is a terrible idea because they may contain irregular shaped particles with sharp edges that can break capillaries in the delicate facial area.

Filed under beauty natural skincare diy

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DIY Printable Neon Stationery Set

Neon is a trend that’s still going strong. If it’s important that your life have more of it, consider printing your own neon DIY stationery set with this downloadable freebie. 

Jessica designed notepaper and a matching envelope in two patterns: scallops and stripes. They turned out a bit Kate Spade-y, no? You can mix them or match them. 

We printed the designs on sheets from a pack of Astrobright Neon paper I bought at Office Max. It’s a common brand available at most office stores. But if neon scalds your eyeballs or reminds you too painfully of junior high, use any paper you like. Brown kraft paper would be cool, too.

Download the free, printable PDF right here.

The document has four pages; print out the pages you need at 100%.

Trim out the notepaper sheets.

Cut out the envelope templates, score along the fold lines, and fold the flaps inward. Secure them with a glue stick. Mail a note to a friend. Or print up sets of these, tie them with black ribbon or neon twine (I spotted some at Paper Source the other day) and give them as small gifts or party favors.

Filed under paper neon printable cards stationery crafts diy

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Use your favorite ribbon and flowers to make the boutonnieres for your wedding day. You’ll be able to customize them how you want, plus you’ll save money.

Tools and Materials

You will need

  • Flowers (choose your favorites)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Floral tape
  • Ribbon
  • Floral pin

Cut flowers down to desired length, approximately 4” to 5” is recommended.

Arrange the flowers as desired, and bind the bottom stems together tightly with plastic wrap.

Wrap the bottom of the stems with floral tape, covering the plastic wrap. Start at the top of the stem, about 1/2” underneath the flowers and work your way down to the bottom. Make sure to cover the very bottom of the stems, as you do not want to stain the suit or tuxedo.

Cut one or two pieces of ribbon approximately 10” to 12” in length

Tie a bow around the flower stems; cut off excess ribbon ends. Use Fray Check to prevent ribbon from unraveling.

*** Credits:  Jess Abbott (Thank You)


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How To Have A Sophisticated Halloween Wedding / Party

1. Letterpress Invites: The first way to add a little fancy to your party is to create gorgeous invitations. Letterpress might be a little more involved than you like, but is sure to inspire. 

2. Lace Pumpkin: For a fancier pumpkin, wrap yours in lace! Simply lay fabric over the pumpkin, cut a hole for the stem, and secure at the bottom with glue or tape (if you’re looking for something more temporary). Love the idea of making mini lace pumpkins too!

3. Festive Name Cards: A great way of combining a little class with a more playful tone is to make whimsical name cards. So cute! 

4. DIY Glitter Pumpkin Candle: Love this glittery look! If orange is a little too loud for your soiree, glitter it up with gold and white. (Tutorial : Twig and Thistle)

5. Pumpkin Table Setting: You can achieve a more general fall vibe with a few Halloween touches by combining pumpkins with gorgeous red and orange leaves, twigs from outside, and other warm hues.

6. Dessert Table: An easy way to add a Halloween vibe to a fancier party is at the dessert table. No one can reason a festive collection of treats. 

7. Treat Bowls: For just a touch of Halloween class, decorate candy bowls using black tape or craft paper and turn them into clear jack-o-lanterns.

8. Baker’s Twine Pumpkins: More pumpkins! This time, wrap them up in twine for a soft, country vibe. For this project, cardboard pumpkins were used but you could definitely do this with regular ones. (Tutorial: Crafts Unleashed)

9. Silver Pumpkins: These couldn’t be simpler! Simply spray paint your pumpkins to create a silvery grayscale scene.

10. Sequined and Thumb Tacked Pumpkins: Or go even further and bling them out with sequins and thumbtacks!

11. Mason Jar Cocktails: You can always count on mason jars to bring your party drinks to a new cuteness level. Love this bright orange drinks with black and white paper straws.

12. Pumpkin Party Cooler or Punch Bowl: Could also use as a punch bowl for some mulled cider!

13. Ghostly Ceiling Decor: If you’re partying in the outdoors, create some mood lighting by filling a water balloon with water, a glowstick, and then putting it in a stocking. Soooo spooky!

14. Skeletal Ice Cubes: For your cocktails, be sure to mix up some spooky ice cubes. These ones have little plastic skulls and bones in them!

15. DIY Burlap Decor: For a rustic sort of bohemian vibe, try one or all of these  burlap decor projects. All you need is black paint, burlap, and a few spiders. (Tutorial : Brit + Co.)

16. Canning Jar Ring Pumpkin: If you’ve got a bunch of canning rings (mason jar lid rims) laying around the craft room or kitchen, put them to good use with this fun DIY pumpkin. (Tutorial: Simply Klassic)

17, DIY Spooky Fabric Art: For this project, you can print graphics directly onto fabric. Love the vintage look.(Tutorial: Graphics Fairy)

18. Spider Infested Flora: Finally, when in doubt, you can always add creepy crawly spiders! 

Filed under Halloween DIY Party Entertaining DIY Halloween crafts Halloween wedding Halloween decor crafts

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DIY Personalized Chalkboard Cork Coasters

What you will need:


Paint one side with of the coaster with black chalkboard paint - let dry.

Paint the other side of the coaster with an accent color - let dry.

Personalize with names using a chalk pen. Note: you can write names with regular chalk but I prefer a chalk pen for a crisper neater appearance. 

That’s it! Instant charm for your next party!

*** A very special thank you to Lia Griffith for sharing this fun tutorial with us

Filed under DIY entertaining chalkboard paint drink coasters coasters party ideas bridal shower wedding reception

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DIY: Wedding Welcome Bags

 The Bag

There are lots of container options for a welcome bag – anything from simple kraft paper bags to fancy gift boxes. My personal favorite is a customized canvas tote bag, because it doesn’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase, and it’s something your guests will be able to use again. I have a couple of these from weddings I’ve attended, and I use them at the grocery store on a regular basis – a fun reminder of a fun time!

Tip #1

Ask an artistic friend to create a fun wedding “logo” for you - or use some cool fonts to create your own – and use it to customize your welcome bag or other wedding swag (t-shirts, beer koozies, etc.). 

Tip #2

If you go with a reusable tote bag, don’t feel like you have to fill the whole thing - your guests don’t want to lug a bunch of extra stuff home with them anyway. Or, think bulky-but-cheap: full-size bags of popcorn or boxes of crackers take up space without breaking the bank, and people will likely polish them off while they’re hanging out between wedding weekend events.

The Snacks

Confession: I remember the welcome bag snacks from the past three weddings I attended. Homemade pretzel Hugs (seriously addictive), Garrett Popcorn’s Chicago mix (even more addictive), and chocolate dipped coconut patties. So my snack bias is probably showing, but I think if you’re only going to include one thing in your welcome bag, it should be something edible. Preferably something sweet and something salty. Bonus points for something made locally. For this San Francisco-inspired welcome bag we went with a couple locally made treats (479° Popcorn and Poco Dolce toffee squares) and yogurt-covered pretzels. For the popcorn and pretzels, we bought large bags and repackaged them in smaller glassine and kraft paper bags, then sealed them with a big round customized sticker.

Tip #3

If you plan on packaging things yourself, glassine or cello bags are best for anything remotely greasy (chips, popcorn, cookies); kraft paper will show grease spots, so use it for things like chocolate covered pretzels or hard candies.

Tip #4

Don’t forget something to drink. Bottled water, soda, or sparkling juice are good options. Make sure you’re considering who your guests are before including booze in welcome bags – your college buddies might be excited to find something from a local microbrewery in their bag, but your fiancée’s grandparents might not. Or they might. Use your best judgment.

Welcome Letter & Itinerary

Send your greetings and gratitude in a little welcome note, and make sure to include an itinerary and transportation information – there’s nothing worse than traveling across the country for a wedding, only to realize you’ve left the invitation at home and have no idea what time the ceremony starts or how to get there! Depending on the location of your wedding, as well as how much of the weekend is scheduled, guests might have a little free time to explore the area. Give them a highlights tour with a list of your favorite things to see and do, and places to eat and shop.

Tip #5

Ask your guests to share their photos from the weekend on Instagram, and to make sure and tag them with a custom hashtag – we used #lizzieandjames for our imagined San Francisco couple. You might even set up Eventstagram at your reception to display all the pics!

Tip #6

Consider including the phone number of your wedding planner or a friend or family member who can answer any wedding-related questions. You probably won’t want guests calling you or your fiancé for directions while you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle.

Oops! Kit

Without fail, I forget to pack something important whenever I travel – usually toothpaste. If you want to go above and beyond snacks and a welcome letter, a little “Oops! Kit” is a thoughtful touch for your welcome bags. We used a fabric pen to draw a little red cross on small muslin bags for our kits (a rubber stamp would work well too), then filled them with trial size toiletries we think would be most useful: Kleenex, blister healing Band-Aids, Shout Wipes, Advil, TUMS, and mints.

(Note: Make sure to place a piece of cardboard or other liner inside the muslin bag before painting or stamping, otherwise the ink will bleed through to the other side.)

Tip #7

Drugstores should have travel size items, but they don’t always carry trial sizes. If you’re looking for a mini version of a specific toiletry, is a great resource.

Tip #8

Depending on your wedding destination, you might want to include location-appropriate items that guests will be glad to have, like sunscreen or bug spray.

Fun Extras

If your budget allows, it can be fun to include little tokens of the trip for guests to take home with them. Some ideas:

- souvenirs like a magnet, shot glass, landmark miniature
- postcards for your guests to scrapbook or send
- local treat to take home like a jar of honey, jam, or mustard
- playful, customized things like a deck of cards, beer koozie, temporary tattoo
- mix CD or thumb drive playlist of your favorite songs

Tip #9

If you include anything like local jam or honey, make sure it’s small enough for your guests to pack in a carry-on bag. It would be terrible to have your thoughtful gift get confiscated at airport security!

Tip #10

 Avoid scented candles or soaps; the fragrance can transfer to edibles, making your carefully planned snacks taste like perfume.

 So there you have it! Our tips for building an awesome welcome bag for your out-of-town wedding guests. Did we miss anything? If you’re doing welcome bags for your wedding, what are you including in them?

Filed under gifts welcome bags diy

40 notes

Cookie Favors: DIY Chocolate Chip Cookies in CD Sleeves - Printable

I love cookie favors! Especially when the cookies are homemade and delicious – like these chocolate chip cookies! I’ve made cookies from this recipe easily more than a dozen times. Everyone loves these soft, delicious cookies and I assure you that you will too! They would be perfect wedding favors and one of the highlights of your cookie table.

Not only am I giving you the recipe, but free downloadable labels for your cookie favors. All you will need to wrap these awesome favors are some white CD Sleevesfull sheet labels for printing out your free labels and scissors (scallop).

Chocolate Chip Cafe Cookies (These are like the big, fat, chewy cookies that you find in cafes – only better!)

Makes 18 big cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Cream together melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

Beat in vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy.

Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

Drop the cookies 1/4 cup at a time onto baking sheet. Cookies should be approximately three inches apart.

Bake for 21 minutes on non-stick pans or 15-17 minutes on regular cookie sheet. Cool on baking racks.

Print out your cookie favor labels on adhesive paper.

Cut out labels with scalloping scissors. Adhere to white CD sleeves. Voila! Your fabulous favors are good to go!

Filed under favors chocolate chip cookies recipe wedding favors cookie recipe party favor diy gift wrapping packaging printable

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Filled with rich earthy tones, this whimsical, free-spirited collection of florals is perfect for the unconventional bride.


  • Protea (1 stem)
  • Rose (2 stems)
  • Safari Sunset (3 stems)
  • Liatris (2 stems)
  • Succulent (1 stem)
  • Scabiousa Pod (3 stems)
  • Limonium (4 stems)
  • Assorted Greens

And your tools; a length of wire, an elastic band, a pin and some ribbons.


After your flowers are hydrated, organise and lay out the stems you will need in front of you. Be sure to wire your succulent prior to assembling your bouquet.


Create the base of your bouquet by combining the assorted greens with the limonium. For a more wild effect, keep some of the greenery longer than others.


Focal flowers are protea, rose, succulent and safari sunset. Tuck them in evenly inside the foundation you have built.


Accent pieces are the liatris and scabiosa pods. Keep the two stems of liatris at two different heights to avoid making it look like an antennae.


Bind your bouquet with a rubber band. Tip: use floral tape first to make it easier. Trim the stems according to your personal preference. We usually recommend 6”.


Wrap the bouquet with ribbon, covering the rubber band. Secure the ribbon with pins pointing upwards at a 45 degrees angle. Tie a bow with black and white ribbon and pin it into the bouquet.

Isn’t it gorgeous? And so blooming simple!

*** A special Thank You to Bloominous for sharing this great tutorial with us. 

Filed under DIY Bouquet Flowers Wedding Bouquet Bohemian floral designs hand tied bouquet

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DIY: Watercolor Wash Place Cards


These beautiful place cards will make a statement on any table. Each card has a unique watercolor wash background flecked with contrasting acrylic paint, and the possible color combinations of watercolor and calligraphy are endless. This project can be made over and over again and adapted to any occasion, whether it’s a wedding reception, holiday dinner, or birthday party.

Yield: 75 place cards
Time: 8 hours (including drying time)
Budget: $65.00

• 90 3.5×6-inch pieces pieces of heavy watercolor paper cut
• Pan of assorted watercolors
• 1 tbsp acrylic paint in an accent color for splattering
• 2 tbsp table salt
• Ink, watercolor or gouache of your choice for the calligraphy
• 1-inch-wide artist tape
• Wide paint brush
• Small paint brush for watercoloring
• Dish of water
• Paper towels
• Bone folder
• Calligraphy nib and holder
• Old toothbrush


1. Apply a strip of artist tape across the full width of each watercolor paper card, starting 1 inch up from the bottom short edge. Press the tape down firmly, especially along the edges, so that no watercolor will be able to seep underneath. There should now be 1 inch of paper exposed below the tape and 4 inches exposed above it.


2. Using the large paint brush, brush both the front and back of each card with water, then pat dry with a paper towel. (This prevents the paper fibers from expanding unevenly and warping.) Since there are so many cards, I recommend painting about twelve at a time so your workspace doesn’t get too cluttered.


3. Using the smaller paint brush, paint the cards with an abstract watercolor design in the colors of your choice. (I normally combine two to four watercolor shades per card, but play around with what you like best.) Don’t let this step scare you! This should be liberating because there is no wrong way to do it. You can fill up the entire paper with paint or leave portions of it unpainted. You can overlap the colors or keep them from touching. You can paint uneven blobs or perfect pinstripes or streaks fanning out in circles like fireworks. You can use light, similar shades for an elegant, understated look, or bright, contrasting ones for a bold, festive effect. Each card can be different – if you use the same colors, they will tie together in a series.


4. If your paper is soaking wet, blot off excess watercolor with a folded paper towel. Then sprinkle the cards with a pinch of table salt. The salt crystals create a unique pattern by absorbing the wet color they land on, producing slightly lighter spots when you brush off the salt later (see step 6).


5. With the old toothbrush, splatter acrylic paint randomly over the card. Choose a color that will really stand out from the background colors you chose. I really like using gold to add some sparkle. Lay flat and let dry.


6. Brush off the salt and carefully peel off the tape. If the cards aren’t flat (which can happen in humid weather), press them between a stack of books overnight.


7. Fold the cards in half and make a sharp crease with a bone folder.


8. Use ink, watercolor, or gouache to calligraph the guests’ names in the blank strip on each card. If you’re nervous about messing up, just practice each name on scrap paper a few times until you’re comfortable. Let dry completely.


*** Thanks so much to to Green Wedding  Shoes and Molly Suber Thorpe for sharing this lovely DIY with us today. For those interested in learning more about calligraphy, pick up Molly’s latest book Modern Calligraphy.

Filed under DIY paint place cards wedding reception seating escort cards paper art calligraphy

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DIY: Cassette Tape Escort Card Idea


If you’re like me, you probably have an old shoe box full of cassette tapes, and nary a cassette deck in sight. Instead of ditching your old tapes, you can recycle them into escort or place cards.

To make an escort card simply place washi tape over the cassette and label them with a sharpie. Instead of table numbers you can name the tables after your favorite bands.


This idea is perfect for rock ‘n’ roll weddings and music geeks of all kinds.

*** A special Thank you to Halleluja Weddings for inspiring this blog post.

Filed under escort cards recycle music cassette tapes upcycle diy

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DIY: Natural Bath Salts

DIY bath salts are probably the easiest and most economical DIY favors known to man, er woman – especially with this bath salts recipe. Talk about bang for your buck! Which of your female guests wouldn’t love a luxurious soak in a tub filled with gorgeous aromas and pure, skin-softening salts?

Bath Salts Recipe 

  • 3/4 cup Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 8 drops essential oil
  • food coloring


Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl.

If there are lumps, crush them. Add food coloring and essential oil.

Using a whisk, mix in the essential oil and food coloring.

Scoop bath salts into airtight containers.


*** A special Thank You to Intimate Weddings for sharing this fun tutorial with us. 

Filed under beauty Bath Salts DIY

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DIY: Printing On Burlap


Are you ready to have your life changed? I promise you when you start printing on burlap you will NEVER go back to stenciling, painting, or your cut machine for simple little projects like monograms. Of course, you can also use the print on burlap technique for more complex projects too.


What you need:

  • Freezer Paper (found near the wax paper in the grocery store)
  • Burlap
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Hot Iron
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors

Step 1: Get a piece of printer paper to use as your guide.

Step 2: Cut out a piece of burlap and a piece of freezer paper the exact size as your piece of printer paper.


Step 3: Iron the piece of burlap so it’s nice and flat.

Step 4: With the burlap on the ironing board, place the shiny side of the freezer paper down onto the burlap.

Step 5:  Take your hot iron and run it all over the top of the freezer paper.  The freezer paper will start to get all crinkly as it adheres to the burlap.  Be sure all edges and corners have ‘stuck’ to the burlap.


Step 6: If you have any overhang from the burlap, trim it.  You don’t want burlap strands getting stuck in your printer.

Step 7: Remove all other paper from your printer tray.

Step 8:  Position the burlap with freezer paper in the printer tray so that the printing will be on the burlap side.


Step 9: Print

Step 10: Starting at the corner, remove  the freezer paper.  (You can reuse the same piece of freezer paper several times until it no longer sticks to the burlap.)

A few examples of Printed Burlap Projects….



**** A very special Thank You to 2IY for sharing this fun tutorial. 

Filed under burlap printing diy design decor