Monday, January 6, 2014

DIY Notebook Re-Covery

            Do you have a lot of old notebooks with plain, boring covers? Well, never fear, we have a solution to your problem! In this post, I'll show you how to create a cute, colorful cover that everyone will love.

What you need:
-1 plain notebook
- Several sheets coordinating patterned paper
-Several sheets of plain-colored paper
-Clear contact paper
-Glue stick
-Paper cutter

 Step 1:  Measure the paper that you want as your background cover, and cut it to fit your notebook. Glue down.

Step 2: Sketch your basic design on colored or patterned paper (we drew a tree and cut it out of brown paper). Next, cut out any details you want like leaves, petals, or feathers depending on your design choice.

Step 3:  Glue down all of the pieces and if you want, write a phrase or word, or add details in Sharpie. Take a piece of  contact paper, cut it so that it overlaps the top, bottom, and right sides of the notebook cover, and press it down firmly around the sides and top (if it still doesn't stick, you can fasten it down with clear plastic tape).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! 2013

 Merry Christmas to all! It's the time when Coral Reef Island is overrun by tiny penguins in Santa hats and candy canes galore. So, to celebrate the giving nature of Christmas, we have a Sweet Snowland design for cover photos...
... and for backgrounds as well.

Hopefully the sizes are correct. Anyway, you can find more Christmas posts to brighten your season below, including recipes, crafts, ideas, and more:

Merry Christmas from Coral Reef Island!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thelma Lou the Thanksgiving Turkey

How to celebrate Thanksgiving turkeys: Thelma Lou-style

What you will need:
  • Construction Paper
  • Cardboard (thin cardboard works best)
  • Scissors
  • Gluestick
  • Markers

 How to make it:
    1. First, cut a turkey shape out of the cardboard, but don't include the feathers.

    2. Cut a strip that is the same length as the base of the turkey, and  the height should be about an inch and a half. This will be the crossbeam that the turkey sits on to help it stand up.

    3. Draw a fun pattern on your turkey body and on the crossbeam strip. I used herring-bone on mine.

    4. Next, cut out a triangle for the beak and triangles for the feet, then glue them on.

    5. Draw on the eyes. You can also add a tuft of feathers on the chest.

    6. Now cut out six feathers (you can actually add more if you want) of different colors using the construction paper. Red, orange, and yellow are the traditional turkey feather colors. Glue them on the back of the turkey body.

    7. Cut a strip about an inch and a half tall up the turkey from the base, then insert the crossbeam.

    8. Add to a table for cute Thanksgiving decor!

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Ooh La La! DIY Magazine Holder

    Tired of your magazines getting ripped and wrinkled? Perhaps a cute magazine holder can keep them safe and organized!

    You Will Need:
    • A large cereal box
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • A clear plastic sleeve
    • Scrapbook Paper
    • Plain white paper
    Let's Get Started:
     1. Cut off the top of the box so that you can see the title of the magazine. You can slope it or straight-edge it
     2. Cut a rectangle down one of the sides to make it look more like a file box.
     3. Next, glue a sheet of plain paper onto the box to cover up the original face. Make sure all sides are covered.
     4. Glue the sides of the paper down on the inside for a cleaner-looking cut.
     5. Take the plastic sleeve and cut along the side to open it up. Once opened, wrap it around the front, back, and sides of the box and secure with tape. Also make sure the bottom of the sleeve is taped to the bottom of the box. Cut off the excess plastic at the top of the box, but do NOT tape the top down.
     6. Also cut plastic to fit the rectangle, but once again, do NOT tape down the top.

     7. Next, choose scrapbook paper to use on the box. I found this to be the hardest step. :)
     8. Cut the paper to fit the shape of the box (one for each side), then slide it between the plastic and the box. This ensures that the paper will remain clean and tidy, and it allows you to be able to change out the paper, too.

    9. Insert magazines and enjoy!

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Hello Jello Post #2: Pudding Pie 

    This is the next recipe in the Jello group. It’s almost the same recipe as on the side of the pudding box, but a modified version that takes less cooling time.

    -2 small boxes of any flavor pudding
    -4 oz. Cool Whip
    -1 graham cracker pie crust
    -1 ¾ c. milk

    -Whisk pudding and milk together in medium bowl until there aren’t any chunks.
    -Fold in Cool Whip. Mix well.
    -Pour into pie crust, and spread evenly.
    -Chill an hour, or until firm.

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Coral Reef Island Crafts Gift Exchange

    Ever thought it would be fun to take part in a craft exchange? Coral Reef Island is hosting a Craft Gift Exchange on Elfster- no purchase necessary! Simply sign up here:

    and get ready to sharpen your crafting skills! The sign-up deadline is Wednesday, July 10, and names will be drawn on July 12. We're looking forward to drawing your name!

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Happy Fourth of July!

    Happy Independence Day! It was this day in 1776 that a group of men declared independence for the future United States of America from Great Britain, by whom colonists were being governed. Because of their desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we are now able to live in a land of freedom over 250 years later. And in order to celebrate this day properly, Americans have sealed into tradition the observation of colorful fireworks, the barbequing of tasty dinners, and the parading of Independence-themed floats. So how are you celebrating today? Here's a few posts to get you started:

    (Find this on Pinterest!)

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Fourth of July Crafts

    With the Fourth just around the corner, everyone is already planning their cookouts, parties, parades, and firework watching. So to help you in freedom celebrating festivities, I'm here to show you a few simple, fun, and easy-to-do crafts to add to your red, white, and blue home decor! So let's start with a festive banner, perfect for hanging on a mantle or door. But before we begin, let me just note that I used specific colors for specific things, though you're welcome to choose whatever colors you want, and remember you can edit your supplies to suit whatever things you have at home!

    Freedom Pennant
    Ribbon or Twine
    Markers or Letter Stickers
    Hole Punch

    1. Begin by using your cardstock to cut seven even isocoles triangles (Or however many needed, depending on what you want your banner to say!) A good way to ensure that all the triangles are the same size is to make one triangle then use it as a pattern and trace and cut out more.

    2. Next, punch two holes in the top corners of each of the triangles. 

    3. Now use your markers or letter stickers to write out your phrase on the banner, writing one letter on each pennant. If you have an electronic cutting machine or punches, those could definitely come in handy as well. I also added some dots around each pennant to add a little more embellishment.

    4. Finally, feed your ribbon or twine through both holes of each pennant, placing your letters in the correct order. I added little bows at the ends of mine. 

    Yay! Your very own pennant banner! Now let’s move on to another craft... this one is a little more complicated but really cool! We’re going to be making patriotic (or just everyday) pinwheels! I’ve been seeing these little cuties all over the place, but generally they’re more than you want to pay for a paper and stick decoration, and turns out they're pretty easy to make when you get the hang of it! So without further ado... here’s how to make pinwheels:

    Patriotic Pinwheels
    Mini wooden rods/sticks (found at craft stores) or Straws
    Metal brads

    1. Begin with cutting your cardstock (if it isn’t already) into squares. Keep in mind the size of the actual pinwheel will be about the size of the square you have to begin with.

    2. If your paper isn’t already patterned/colored, now would be the time to break out the markers! Draw any design you want on both sides of the paper, or just one! Here, I did one side only. 

    3. Next, flip to the blank side of your cardstock (or if it’s patterned on both sides it doesn’t matter which side). Using a ruler, draw two diagonal lines from one corner to the other corner. (You can hopefully see here!)  

    4. Then, use your scissors to cut along the lines you just made. BUT DON’T CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Start from the tip of the paper and cut toward the middle, but when you get close the the center, stop around an inch away from it. When you’re finished it should look like this: (Notice the middle isn't cut through!)

    5. Now comes some holes. You’re going to punch/poke them in five places. In the center of the paper where the two diagonal lines meet, and on each of the corners of the square. Here's what it should look like: (So make sure you don't cut two holes in one triangle shape!)

    6. Now comes the awesome part! Watching the pinwheel form! Take the ends of the paper where a hole is punched and bring them toward the center. Use a brad (I happened to find some red star shaped ones, but any old office one will do), and put the it through each one of the holes, including the one in the center. Do you see it? It’s your pinwheel! Pull the brad completely through and fasten it securely on the back. 

    7. Finally, fasten your rod-shaped item to the back (whether it be a straw or wooden rod! :) ) with tape. If you want your pinwheel to actually spin, you’ll have to go the process of finding a rotating wheel and applying it.... but really they are perfect for some festive decoration just like this! :)

    And there you have it! Your pinwheels! Aren’t they cute? And so festive too! One more thing I wanted to mention was to check out this awesome tutorial about making paper plates into bowls! It’s super easy and perfect for keeping your firework-watching snacks in! You can find the link here:

    So have a happy Fourth of July! Enjoy the day celebrating freedom, and admiring your awesome new red, white, and blue decorations!

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Hello Jello Post #1: Pudding Pops

    I decided to do a group of posts about... Jello! There are so many things you can make with Jello: pie, fruit desserts, popsicles, etc. This first recipe is from Here is the recipe.

    -1 large box of any flavor Jello pudding (we used chocolate)
    -3 cups milk
    -2 cups Cool Whip (or any other whipped topping)

    -Mix milk and pudding for about 2 minutes, making sure to break up all of the chunks.
    -Add the Cool Whip, and whisk well.
    -Pour into popsicle molds (you can get them from mail order catalogs, possible Walmart), or recyclable plastic pudding containers.
    -Freeze until firm.

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Puppy Love

    I know I've probably said this before, but I really love this dog. It's kind of strange, being a cat person and everything, but it is so hard not to fall in love with the little guy. And look how photogenic he is!! Roland loves the camera, and the camera loves him. Unfortunately, we have to watch the Dog Whisperer a lot because this handsome doggy thinks he has to dominate the neighborhood on walks. Nobody likes having to drag a snarling, drooling beast away from a dog five times his size, especially when that dog looks like he's ready to charge us. But hopefully with training and Cesar Milan reruns, we'll get that barking in the bag.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    A Soggy Cookout and Some Duck- Shooting


    How was your Memorial Day? Mine was pretty memorable, between shooting senior pictures for my sister and helping my dad cookout in the rain. I don't much recommed cooking out in the rain, by the way. It's a bit wet.

     Anyway, the photoshoot went pretty well (considering the model doesn't like her picture taken) and we did get some pretty good shots.

    There were a few people there also to enjoy the views...

    I just thought the picnicking couple was too cute. Even if the ground was too wet to be sitting on. ;)

    All of this picture-taking took about an hour, which was pretty quick considering our normal track record.

              Also, you may want to check out her (my sister's) blog,
    Right now she's got a recipe for make-your-own chocolate syrup. Yum. :)

    Lastly, thank you to all of our current and former soldiers for their bravery and selflessness in the face of danger and potential death. It is because of them that we still live in a land where we can be free. It is the Land of the Free because of the Brave.