Customized Tote + Shuckers

Sorry I’ve been slacking on the DIY projects lately, but we’re getting ready for some renovations to our house!  And between preparing for that, work, and my shop, there’s been a lot going on at night.  But, here are two smaller projects that I recently made for myself (which is rare these days).

Customized Tote

What you’ll need:

It all started when I found this cute canvas-y material bag at Hobby Lobby one day.  It had a gold rope pattern on it that I liked, and it was big enough to hold lots of things (like pillows, wine glasses, and shells) so I decided to buy it and make a custom shop bag to tote my things around in.custom-bag-01I already had a ‘Coastal Kelder’ design file in Design Space from a previous project, so I made it bigger enough for the bag, and cut the design on white HTV.  I decided to cut some oyster shells too, because why not?

Like all my other Cricut projects, start by weeding the excess HTV away with the weeder tool.custom-bag-02Turn on your iron to the highest heat, and figure out where you want your design.  After playing around with it a lot, I opted for Coastal Kelder on one side, and the oyster shells on the other.

When the iron is hot, press it down on your design.  I hadn’t used HTV on this material before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  After some trial and error, I realized it adhered better when I used the tip of the iron and slowly went around the design, making sure every bit was pressed down and adhering to the bag well.
custom-bag-04custom-bag-03And here’s the finished product!  I’m excited for some upcoming events to use my new Coastal Kelder bag and carry my products.  And of course Cleo wanted to see what was in the bag..custom-bag-05custom-bag-06custom-bag-07

Customized Shuckers

What you’ll need:

This project came about right before our New Years Eve oyster roast.  I had ordered more wooden shuckers to have on hand and while I liked the wooden handles, I felt like they were a little plain.  I decided to cut our name in black vinyl and add it to the handles for a personal touch (and so we don’t lose them).

Cut the vinyl with your Cricut, weed out the excess and then apply the transfer paper on top.  Pull the backing away, and apply the letters to the shuckers.  Make sure the vinyl is on the wood well (especially on the curves) and slowly remove the transfer tape.



Both of these use different types of vinyl I’ve become familiar working with, and both add a lil personalization to basic items!  Not bad for a lil time & effort…

This post includes affiliate links, so I get a lil kickback if you buy from them.



Personalized Wedding Hangers made with Cricut Explore Air

It’s no surprise that I enjoy all of the DIY wedding projects that you can do to personalize your big day and now that our wedding is over, I’m channeling my crafty talents for friends! I love the photos with the bride’s gown and bridesmaid dresses hanging up on matching, personalized hangers before everyone gets dressed, but could never write all those names myself because I have terrible handwriting… So I decided to see what I could whip up for my friend’s wedding, and make some hangers using vinyl and my Cricut instead!

DIY Custom Wedding Hangers

What you’ll need:

First, I measured the top of the hanger area to see the area I was working with.  My hangers allowed the biggest name to be ~4″ wide, and 1.5″ tall.

Now I needed to work on the names.  Since I have Illustrator, it’s easy for me to create images in there and be able to take advantage of all of the flourishes and letter options that some fonts include.  I wrote out each of the bridesmaid names & ‘Bride’ in the font that was prominent from the Save the Dates, Carolyna Pro Black.

Once I played with all the letters to get them the way I wanted, I exported each name as a separate png file with a transparent background.


Open up Design Space and create a new project.  Now upload one of the files you just exported.  Click ‘Upload Images’ from the menu on the left.


Browse to find the file on your computer.cricut-wedding-hangers-03

After the image is imported to Design Space, choose the type of image it is.  With just the text, these are Simple images.  Next, click to erase any part of the design you don’t want on there to clear out the background.  If your image has a transparent background, then you can just click ‘Continue.’



Then choose how you want to save the image in Design Space: print then cut, or just cut image.  For this project, you’ll save it as a cut image.


Once saved, the image is ready to import to your project.  After you import the image, you’ll see it on the grid.  Resize the image to fit the dimensions of the middle hanger area, ~4″ wide, and 1.5″ tall.  You’ll want it to be as tall as it can, and the length can vary based on the name.


When the image is sized just right to fit on the hanger, it’t time to cut – click the ‘Go’ button.  Put the vinyl on your mat so it sticks, turn the Cricut machine knob to the vinyl setting, connect the machine to your computer, and click ‘Go.’cricut-wedding-hangers-09

Load the vinyl, then click the C when it blinks to start cutting the vinyl.  When it’s done cutting, unload the vinyl, remove it from the mat and cut out the shape of the name from the vinyl with your scissors.
cricut-wedding-hangers-10Using your weeder tool, weed the excess vinyl away from the design.cricut-wedding-hangers-11

Pull out your transfer tape and cut a piece big enough for the name.  Take off the backing, and place it on top of the vinyl you just cut & weeded, then use the scraper tool to make sure the transfer tape it on well.


Carefully pull off the white backing from the vinyl, so the vinyl stays adhered to the transfer tape.  Center it on the hanger and apply it to the hanger.  Use the scraper tool again to make sure the vinyl is adhered to the hanger well.cricut-wedding-hangers-13Carefully pull off the transfer tape from the vinyl / hanger.  Do this slowly so nothing stays attached to the transfer tape.  When the transfer tape is removed, you’re done with the hanger!

After I applied the silver vinyl to the hanger, I wasn’t sure if it was the best color to pop on the hangers.  Naturally, I wanted options and did the same thing in 2 other colors to figure out my favorite.cricut-wedding-hangers-15White definitely pops the most on the wooden hanger, so that was the winning color!  Then I repeated the steps above for the rest of the names on white vinyl.

When there was a hanger for each bridesmaid and bride, I was done!  The white really pops and looks great with the bridesmaid dress colors my friend chose. These look way better than anything I could write myself and I can’t wait to see these in action in April!cricut-wedding-hangers-18 cricut-wedding-hangers-17 cricut-wedding-hangers-21cricut-wedding-hangers-20

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


Hermosa Jewelry

Haley is one of Hunter’s friends from college and I had the privilege of meeting her a few years ago.  She makes beautiful jewelry and I’ve even been gifted some pieces by the Huz.  Haley was the perfect entrepreneur to finish my local gift spotlight for Valentine’s Day, and this one is for anyone looking for a special something for their lady.


What’s your company’s story?

I started making jewelry when I was 12 years old after inheriting a large box of costume jewelry.  I have always been intrigued with how things work and putting things together.  My mom started taking me to the local bead store to purchase beads and materials that I could combine with the vintage costume jewelry.  I began gifting my designs to my friends and as I got older, I caught the attention of the ladies at the law firm I worked at after school.  One of the lawyers had a jewelry show for me when I was 15 and that is where I realized that I could make money from a hobby that I thoroughly enjoyed.   I started working at a bead store and continued selling my designs through high school and college.  My senior year at the University of South Carolina, I won acceptance into the USC Technology Incubator, where I received funding and resources to grow my company.  That is when I knew, this was going to be my job after college.

I renamed my company from Designs by Haley to Hermosa Jewelry in 2009 after receiving my grant from USC.  I wanted to create a brand and it was time to upgrade my logo and name.  “Hermosa” means beautiful in Spanish which is just what you feel when you wear my unique designs.  I studied International Business, Marketing, and Spanish and studied abroad in Seville, Spain for a semester.  I wanted to incorporate my Spanish influences and Hermosa ended up being the perfect name and appropriate meaning.


What style of jewelry is your favorite?

My favorite styles that I make are the one of a kind large statement necklaces.  I don’t like to dress like everyone else, and so I use my jewelry to express my own individual style.  I also love my Convertible necklaces made with magnets that you can connect to wear different ways and lengths.  I love creating pieces that are versatile and multifunctional.

Where can people buy your jewelry?

I sell my products at my studio and showroom in Mt. Pleasant (1304 Erckmann Drive, Suite D Mt Pleasant, SC 29464), local and regional events and home shows, select boutiques and specialty shops, and online at  You can also find Hermosa Jewelry at these retailers or come to an upcoming event.


If you’re looking for the right piece, Haley has put together some suggestions for every woman…

For the classic girl: Pearls


For the minimalistic girl: Delicate necklaces


For the fun and outgoing girl: Tassels


For the outdoorsy girl: Horns

hermosa_hornWant to learn more? Find Hermosa Jewelry on Facebook, Instagram or email Haley!  Plus you can use the code KELDER15 for 15% off until midnight on February 13th!  Now you have no excuse not to spoil your lady…


Birdseye Bow Ties

It’s pretty clear that I love Charleston and all of the local shops and entrepreneurs in the area.  In the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, I wanted to spotlight 2 local companies that have created their own beautiful, handmade products.  Since women tend to think ahead, we’ll start with some gift ideas for men 😉

One of Hunter’s co-workers wore a Birdseye bow tie to their holiday party, and Hunter loved it, so I reached out to the owners to talk to them over beers at Hometeam and learn a little more about their unique, wooden bow ties!


What’s your company’s story?

Birdseye Bow ties is a 2 man operation run by Josh Zalabak and Jon Ivey. We are both passionate woodworkers who use any free time we have to build an array of furniture, frames, and of course, bow ties. My (Josh’s) wedding in October of 2016 prompted us to look into wooden bow ties as an representation of my interests, as well a cool and unique groomsmen gift.

What Jon and I found upon searching for wooden bow ties though, were numerous examples of bow ties that were flat pieces of wood, cut to shape, and then wrapped with a fabric knot. We thought these bow ties looked odd, as they had no dimension to them, and the knot was a different material than the rest of the tie. Unsatisfied, we decided to see what we could come up with ourselves. Luckily for us, we started about 10 months before the wedding, allowing us to work out A LOT of kinks. The response to the ties from everyone we showed them to was overwhelmingly positive, so we decided to run with it, and here we are!

How did you come up with the idea of wooden bow ties?

The idea of wooden bow ties was originally conceptualized by the desire to have the woodworker side of me (Josh) represented in my wedding. Little did we know, there were already a number of business out there who had thought of this! However, being the impossible-to-please woodworkers that we are, we had to find a way to make a better looking wooden bow tie!

We think we’ve been able to accomplish just that, by steaming and bending the wood. That allows us to create the loops that a tied, fabric bow tie would have, as well as a knot that is actually the same material as the rest of the tie. Both of those conditions were very important to us when we started making the ties. We used Jon’s experience with steaming and bending wood, that he gained working with a mentor of his, a world renowned canoe builder.


How many prototypes did you make before coming up with your process today?

It took us roughly 6 months to get to the process we currently use. In the course of that 6 months, we probably made and trashed over 100 bow ties as we determined the size and shape we liked, as well as the thickness of the wood, and the types of wood that would work best for us.

When was Birdseye Bowties officially launched?

We began making the bow ties in January/February of 2016. Our first opportunity to sell the ties came in late November however, at the West Ashley Holiday Farmer’s Market. After that, we had a booth at the Holiday Market in downtown Charleston throughout December 2016.


Which bowtie is your favorite?

We love them all! And we often find ourselves telling people that our favorite is the one they’re looking at. Since each piece of wood is so different from the next, they all have unique qualities to love. BUT if we had to choose…

Josh: Walnut Butterfly, because walnut is such a beautiful, dark wood, and the Butterfly is the classic Bow tie shape.

Jon: Birdseye Maple Batwing. A narrower bow tie style with our namesake wood, Birdseye Maple.


What’s your favorite place to eat in Charleston?

Josh:  My wife and I love Leon’s Oyster Shop on Upper King st. All of their food is amazing, but especially the chargrilled oysters and the fried chicken!

Jon: Pane E Vino. Great Italian food!

How would you spend a day off?

Josh:  These seem few and far between, but in the summer we can be found at the beach every opportunity we get! If it’s a day off alone though, chances are I’ll be doing some kind of woodworking.

Jon:  Spending time with his wife and twin, 2 ½ yr old daughters!


Want to learn more? Find Birdseye Bow tie on Etsy, Instagram, and Facebook, or email them!


DIY Fabric Printed Plate with Cricut Explore Air

I’ve gotten to know some pretty great people through Charleston Blog Society and it’s opened up some opportunities as well.  A few weeks ago Aimee, from Aimee Mars and member of CBS, reached out to me to work together on a DIY project she had in mind.  I was immediately intrigued and we started formulating our plan to make it happen.

DIY Fabric Printed Plate

What you’ll need:

  • 4 clear appetizer plates
  • Cotton fabric
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Cricut Explore Air
  • Gold HTV
  • Weeding tool
  • Iron
  • Mod podge
  • Sponge brush

First of all – materials…  You can find basic clear, glass plates at most home stores, but Aimee found the ones that we used on Amazon.  I found 2 cute patterns of fabric at Hobby Lobby, and just got 1 yard of each – and now we have lots leftover for future projects!

Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to craft.  Start by tracing out a template on your fabric.  Grab a plate, put it on the fabric where you want it (normal side up), and trace around the outside at an outward angle with your pencil.  This gives you enough fabric  to cover the bottom of the plate with some excess as well.  Next, cut the fabric circles out.

Now you’ll need to get the HTV (heat transfer vinyl) ready.  I created a ‘love’ and ‘merry’ design in Illustrator with Isabella and Jacques & Gilles fonts, exported them as png files, then imported them in Design Space.  Note: This is how I create 90% of my Cricut projects.  Next, I cut out 2 of each design on gold HTV using my Cricut Explore Air – make sure to mirror the design so it works correctly when ironed!

When I was at Aimee’s place, I weeded out the excess HTV from the design and they were ready to transfer onto the

Pull out your iron, and turn it on the cotton setting (high heat).  Place the HTV on your fabric so that it reads correctly, sticky side down.  Then use your iron to adhere the HTV to the fabric –  applying heat for a few seconds, lifting, and doing again until the design is attached to the fabric and you can remove the clear backing.

Note: Every iron is different, so some might take a little longer than others to heat & adhere.  Test it by slowly pulling away the clear piece and if the design is still attached, put it back down & apply more heat.
diy-fabric-plate-christmas-gifts-7Now you’ll add the fabric to the plates.  Use your sponge brush to apply Mod Podge to the top of the fabric circle (where the design & writing is).  Use enough so it’s covered, but not too thick.

Then place the fabric on the bottom of the plate, centered.  Slowly work your way around and make sure the fabric is attached to the plate.  Then use your hand to push out any air pockets so the fabric is flat on the plate.


When the air bubbles are gone and the fabric is staying attached to the plate, let them sit overnight to dry.

Once the plates are dry, trim the excess fabric around the outside of the plate, as close to the edge as you can.  Then apply 1-2 coats of Mod Podge to the bottom of the plates, on top of the fabric.  This will help seal the fabric in and protect it.

Finally, when the last of the Mod Podge is dry, your plates are done!




We got a seasonal fabric, and the more everyday fabric, but used gold lettering on both and they actually look kinda great together.  I can’t get over how much I love how they turned out!  Needless to say, Aimee and I will be collaborating on more projects in the future 🙂

You could seriously make these in whatever color & design you want – themed parties, gifts, etc. All of the ideas will be rolling in now!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.