DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

Candy-Hearts-for-Valentines-DayThat time of the year is coming again, the time where you walk in to the stores and you see pink, red, and white all over the place, stuffed animals of all sizes and chocolates, but everything is the same; it’s time to create something special and unique!

The Scavenger Hunt:

You’ll need balloons, paper and markers, sticky notes, and helium. Write tiny clues in a piece of paper, fold it in very small and put it inside the balloon before you fill it up with helium, you can write anything that lead to the big prize, for example “It’s in something you use daily.” Then, place these clues in different locations you know that person is on a daily basis so that they get surprised when they see it. Once you fill up the balloon with helium write on the balloon with a marker “Pop for clue” and they would have to pop the balloon to see your clue. It’s a fun, playful gift! Once they get all of the balloons popped (you can make as many as you want), lead them to where the big prize is, for example: you can fill their car or bedroom with sticky notes with memories and inside jokes of you guys, make it colorful, make it original, make it unique!

If you want to go with a simple, but cheesy gift, go with this one:

The Candy vase:

All you need is a small glass vase of any size, a sharpie marker, m&m’s and skittles. It’s a candy fun activity! Pour half of the chocolates into the jar, open the skittles and only put one. Then, pour the rest of the chocolates into the jar and you can enjoy eating  the rest of the left-over skittles! Once you’re done pouring the candy, write “You’re one in a million” on the vase. If the person likes skittles more than chocolate, you can do the same but vice versa!

The Scratch off:

All you need is a nice piece of paper, white Crayola crayon, paint (any kind), a pen, and a quarter. First, you fold the paper in half so you can make two “scratch-offs,” write “scratch to reveal,” draw three hearts, and write what you would like to give them inside of the hearts.  For example, you can write “pay for the movies,” “make you dinner,” a hug, etc. Be creative! Once you write on all of them, color the heart with the white crayon.

Tip: You will need color it in over and over.

After you finish coloring it in, you paint the hearts and let it dry. Finally, when you give it to them you can tell them only to scratch only one or, if you’re feeling generous, have them scratch off all of them. You can make your own rules for the scratch-off game.  Next, give them the quarter to use to scratch off the pain, and voila!

Similar to the cheesy, but cute, vase gift is the “Open When….” Envelopes

“Open When….”  Envelopes:

This is a smart and sweet idea to make someone’s day. To make it work you will need to get as many envelopes as possible. On each envelope put “Open when…”  to indicate when the person should open the envelope. For example “Open when you feel sad,” or “Open when you want to laugh” and inside you put something that will cheer them up or make them laugh, pictures of you guys, funny/inside jokes, anything that will make them not feel sad anymore or laugh like crazy. The point to these envelopes is to make the connection with the person stronger, whether it is a friend, family, or your special someone. When you’re done making the envelopes, put them in a pretty hardcover box and label it “Open when…” You can make an envelope out of any occasion or situation. Have fun with the envelopes; make the other person feel loved on this special day!

DIY gifts are cute and fun ways to show off your creativity. Most importantly have fun doing these gifts; picture their face when you give them your home-made present. It’s going to be even more important and valuable because you didn’t buy it at a store and no one else has the exact same thing, it’s unique.

Last Minute DIY Gifts

Looking for a last minute gift? Avoid the crowded malls and give a loved one something extra special this holiday season. Here are some easy and quick DIY gifts you can give a loved one this holiday season.

Photo Credit: Silver Gardens Boutique

Photo Credit: Silver Gardens Boutique

Toss the boring gift card packaging away and make your own gift card holder. 

Materials:

-       Scissors

-       Duct tape

-       Ruler

-       Old or new gift card

Step 1:

Gather materials and cut four strips (7 inches long) of duct tape. Lay them down so the sticky part is facing up.

Step 2:

This part can be a little tricky. Select one duct tape strip and gently parallel the strips with one another by overlapping the first piece onto a second strip (about 1/8 of an inch). The sticky parts for both pieces are still facing you.

Step 3:

Repeat Step 2 for the remaining two duct tape strips. You should have two separate larger pieces, like duct tape fabric, instead of four.

Step 4:

Gently place one piece (sticky side) over the second piece (sticky side). After connecting the sticky sides together, cut off any excess tape from the corners. Voila! You’re almost done!

Step 5:

This part is like wrapping a present. Grab an old gift card, or a new one, and place the card onto the duct tape. Fold the bottom and top part at desired length – as if you were creating a sleeve for the gift card. Trim any excess tape.

Step 6:

Cut a new duct tape strip (4 inches), and cut 1inch strips from it. The strips will add the final touch. After you are done cutting the trips, tape each side of the gift card holder, and you’re done! You can add a bow to it for an extra touch, or use different colored duct tape to make it more snazzy.

Photo Credit: Elaine Craig

Photo Credit: Elaine Craig

Make Your Own Photo Snowglobe:

  • Photo
  • Packaging tape
  • Empty jar
  • (optional) Figurines (avoid metal figurines)
  • Glitter
  • Distilled water
  • Glycerin

Step 1:

Gather materials and select a treasured photo of a memory between you and your loved one. Next, prep the photo and jar.

Step 2: Remove any label residue from the jar.

Step 3:

Depending on the size of the jar, Elaine Craig, crafter at Wonder How To, states “You’ll want to print it in a size that is half an inch smaller than your bottle or jar’s width/diameter and height.” Waterproof the photo by laminating the front and back with packaging tape.

Step 4:

Roll up the photo, insert in jar, and adjust the position. Make sure that when you are inserting the photo you are aware of how you will display the snow globe. For example, if you are displaying the snow globe with the lid at the bottom then you will need to insert the photo upside down.

Step 5:

Fill up jar with water almost to the top, add a spoonful of glycerin, glitter, sequins, beads, and/or figurines or ornaments.

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Photo Credit: creativejewishmom.com

Wrapped Vase

This super easy craft will make your mamá, abuelita, or tía smile. Who says flowers are only for mother’s day? Adding flowers will make this super cute vase even more special.

Materials:
- Yarn
- Empty glass bottle (wine bottle, mason jar, etc.)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Here is one of my favorite easy craft projects! All you need is a little hot glue, an empty glass bottle, and some yarn. Starting at the bottom, wrap the yarn around the bottle, securing every few inches or so with a dab of glue. Once you have reached the top, you’re done! You can use buttons, jewels, or felt flowers to embellish your vase if you like.

Step 1:

Gather materials and remove label residue from the jar.

Step 2:

Wrap yarn around the bottle. The process will work best/go smoother if you start from the bottom. As you are wrapping yarn, place a drop of glue every few inches to secure the yarn. Be careful! You only need a small drop to hold it in place.

Step 3:

Don’t be afraid to be creative! Spice it up with different colored yarn or adding a few jewels or sequins to add a little oomph to the design. Adding flowers will make the special woman in your life smile.

Tip: If you want to use a plastic bottle instead of a glass bottle, follow the same steps but instead of hot glue use super glue.

 

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Frame for Dad

Give your papá something to display on his desk at work  or in his office.

-       Two sheets of Cardstock

-       Photos of your papá

-       Frame

-       Scissors

-       Glue stick

Step 1:

Gather materials and cut out the word “DAD” in the cardstock. Set the cardstock with the word “DAD” aside.

Step 2:

Select and print out photos of him, your family, or both of you! Using 2-3 photos per letter will work best, because you can place them side by side or on top of one another.

Step 3:

You can either trim the parts where the photo is not visible through the letter before gluing them to the second sheet of cardstock, or only glue them onto the cardstock. You will need to make sure the photos are visible through each letter.

Step 4:

Let the glue dry, place the cardstock with the word “DAD” cut out on top of the pictures, and insert/adjust when placing into the frame.

Tip: If you are feeling adventurous, you can print several pictures and cut them out to fit in each letter, like a collage.

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Artsy Gift for Grandma

Give your abuelita your own version of a family tree. This gift is twice as valuable if it is made with her other grandchildren.

Materials:

-       Paint

-       Paint brush (optional)

-       Paper

-       Frame

Step 1:

Gather materials and prep the area. You will need to wash your hands before you move on to the next color.

Step 2:

You can either use a paint brush or your finger to paint the trunk of the tree and branches.

Step 3:

After you are done creating the trunk and branches, use your handprint to create the leaves of the tree.

Step 4:

Wait until it is dry, write a holiday message, and insert into the frame. Pretty simple, right?

DIY Room Organization

Tired of all the clutter around your room? Try these simple DIY tips to spice and organize your room on a budget. Let your creativity flow and if you love them so much, you can even give one as a gift to your friend.

Magazine storage

Photo from http://www.thesitsgirls.com/diy/diy-home-decor/

Photo from http://www.thesitsgirls.com/diy/diy-home-decor/

Magazines can pile up and take space in your room.To solve the problem you will need a large empty cereal box. First, you need to carefully cut the top lids of the box. Then, on the larger side of the box you need to start cutting from the top of the box to the bottom and leave 5 inches from the bottom up. You need to repeat the same thing on the other side. Then cut the side of the box that is alone, and leave 5 inches of the box from the bottom up. Finally, you can decorate your box with wrapping paper by adding stickers of your choice.

Storage Box

You can use this box to store and organize your makeup, pencils, etc. First, you will need a shoebox and about 7 carton toilet paper rolls. Then, you need to decorate your box by using gift-wrapping paper, markers or stickers. Using a glue gun glue the carton rolls vertically and try to fit as many carton rolls as you can — depending on the size of your box. Now you can store your lip gloss, eye liners or pencils!

Necklace Organizer

Renovate your old frames by using them as a necklace display that will also decorate your room. You can spray paint or use acrylic paint to color the frame. Using thumbtacks, place them on the carton board and hang your necklaces on the thumbtacks. Now you have a glamorous frame that will keep all of your precious necklaces in order.

Cotton and Q-tips Holder

This is a perfect way to keep your cotton balls and your q-tips in an accessible order.  First, you need a big empty candle jar. Then, to add some color you will need to paint an empty toilet paper roll. Use your creativity to paint patterns with different colors. Once the paint dries you can glue the toilet paper roll to the bottom of the candle jar. Now you can add the Q-tips inside the toilet paper roll and the cotton balls around the roll. 

 

Have a DIY project you want to share on Latinitas Mag? Send an e-mail to mylatinitas@yahoo.com

DIY Room Decor & Organization

Have you ever felt the necessity to organize your room and to make it look pretty at the same time? Recycling is important and also an affordable way to create decorations for your bedroom. As teenagers we tend to leave stuff everywhere around our rooms, but there’s a way to combine creativity, organization, and our cute chic items that we leave lying around. Here are some easy eco-friendly ideas to spice up your room:

Makeup brush holder

This is a really simple organizational project that you can make with minimal tools. You will need a big empty candle jar or a jam jar. First you need to clean the jar and remove the left over product and any labels on the jar. Once the jar is clean you can fill it with coffee beans, rice or beads. Fill up about ¼ of the jar with the content of your choice. This will keep your make up brushes in place. To decorate the jar you can add a colorful bow to the front of the jar. Then insert your makeup brushes into the jar and enjoy your accessible makeup brush holder!

 

 

Makeup palette organization storage

If you are a makeup junkie and you do not know how to store your make up palettes, here is a simple and reusable project. Everybody has a plastic CD or DVD holder which can also turn into makeup palette storage. You can spray paint the plastic CD holder so that it will match your room and to make it more unique.

 

 

Ring and Earring Storage

A simple and inexpensive way to keep your jewelry organized by using plastic ice cube trays. You can paint the tray with different colors and patterns to make it look more colorful. In each slot you can put a pair of earrings or rings. Another way you can organize your earrings and rings is by using an egg carton that you can easily paint with watercolors or acrylic paint. It is an easy way to reuse objects that you have at home.

 

 

 

Jewelry Holder

To organize your jewelry you will need two cups and two plates that you will never use again. First you need to place a plate on a flat surface and with a hot glue gun you can glue the bottom of the cup to the plate. Next you need to glue the second plate to the top of the cup. Finally you glue the last cup to the top of the plate. Now you can enjoy your cute jewelry holder and if you will like to glam it up you can glue rhinestones or stickers to the cups.

Tasty & Heathy Snacks

Here are some tips for making healthy after-school snacks that are tasty and good for you.

Veggie Wrap

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Mushroom
  • Tomato
  • Ham

Procedure:
Place ham, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes inside a whole wheat tortilla. Put the shredded cheese and avocado on it. Put as many ingredients as you wish. 

 

Celery & Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Peanut butter
  • Raisins or dried cranberries

Procedure:
Spread peanut butter on celery and top with raisins or dried cranberries.


Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • Plain yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Almonds
  • Granola  

Procedure:
In a cup (16 oz.), fill plain yogurt, add granola, almonds and as much fruit as you wish.


Learn Spanish

It is an experience to be able to listen to a grandma, aunt, or mother tell a famous “cuento” (story) like” caperucita roja” or red riding hood in Spanish. Often through literal translation much of the beauty that is Spanish is lost. It seems today that more and more Latinos and Latinas are not being taught Spanish or do not want to learn Spanish. This kind of attitude from both parents and children could be detrimental to the language and our culture. There are a few simple ways to learn a bit of Spanish every day.

Find a Buddy
It is much easier to learn and really stick to something you when you have a partner learning with you. Find a friend who wants to learn Spanish too. Partners can provide support for each other, because sometimes learning something new can be frustrating.

Try Spanish hour with friends
If you have friends who speak Spanish, ask them to once a day only speak Spanish to you for an hour or at least thirty minutes. Constantly carrying an English to Spanish dictionary could come in handy during Spanish hour. The bilingual dictionary is especially helpful if you don’t have friends who speak Spanish fluently. If your phone can download apps, there is also a free Dictionary.com app that works as a translator as well.

Take a class at your local community college
Most community colleges offer courses in languages that are open to the public and are not expensive. They are more common during the summer and could also be a great way to make new friends!

Watch a Telenovela
Getting involved in a melodramatic television show could help give you motivation to learn Spanish. Below is a link to Univision, a television station, and the lineup of novelas. http://novelasyseries.univision.com/novelas-y-series-a-z/novelas-del-momento

Challenge yourself
Read a novel in Spanish. This may seem a bit difficult, but could be a truly rewarding accomplishment. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a very good book and could make your first reading experience a bit easier. It is a very short novel and has pictures almost like a children’s book for adults. It will be much easier to read a novel you already know and love.

Learning Spanish could also benefit you by making you much more of an asset to the business world. More and more employers are hiring bilingual applicants. Spanish could give you an extra edge over the competition. You can also communicate with older generations of your family that may only speak Spanish or speak to members of your community that only speak Spanish. Spanish is a large part of our heritage and could help you feel more connected to your roots. It is important to learn Spanish and with our many traditions keep our culture alive.

February 2011

DIY: Jack ’O Lantern Mania

My favorite part of Halloween is getting all of my friends and family together for a pumpkin carving night! I love to see all of the simple and intricate designs that everyone comes up with. It is something that you can do to have a good time, and it is a fun bonding experience. Here are the materials that you need and a few easy steps to follow:

Materials:
Pumpkin
Paper/Stencil (it can be something printed off the Internet or get creative and design it yourself!)
Pumpkin poker or small nail
Pumpkin saw or serrated knife
Pumpkin scoop or a spoon
Tea light or artificial lights (i.e. battery operated light or glow sticks)

Instructions:
Step 1: Carve a hole at the top of the pumpkin around the stem. Make sure you carve it at an angle so that the top doesn’t fall into the pumpkin.

Step 2: Clean out your pumpkin! This is the fun part, but it can also be really messy. Use the pumpkin scoop or a large spoon to scoop out the seeds inside the pumpkin. Make sure that you lay out newspaper under your pumpkin so that you can clean up easily.

Step 3: Mark your design. Tape or pin the paper with your design on it to the pumpkin. Make point marks using the pumpkin poker, or small nail, to outline your design on your pumpkin.

Step 4: Cut out your design. Use the pumpkin saw or knife to carve out your design. Be careful that you carve out what you want to see when you light your pumpkin. Everything that you don’t cut out will remain unlit.

Step 5: Light your pumpkin! You can place a tea light in your pumpkin, but just make sure that you never leave a lit candle unsupervised. Using artificial lights such as battery-operated pumpkin lights or glow sticks are safer options to consider.

Once all of the pumpkins are lit, it’s always fun to turn off the lights in the room and look at all of the neat designs. Happy Halloween!

October 2009

 

DIY: Update Your style

As the summer gets closer to ending, you’re probably already thinking about what outfit you’ll wear on the first day of school. If this is the year you plan to sport a new look, you don’t need to go back to school shopping to find something that fits your own personal style. Update the clothing or accessories you already have by decorating with bleach pens. It will save you money, and it’ll be super fun to do, too. Just make sure to get your parents’ permission to add art to your clothes!

What you’ll need:

  • An article of clothing/accessory you want to decorate. (We recommend you first experiment with an old T-shirt before working on your first item.)You might want to think about updating:
    • a pair of older jeans (best to decorate the pockets)
    • a cotton/jean purse or bag
    • an old pair of tennis shoes (like AllStars)
    • a colored T-shirt
    • an old backpack
    • a beanie
    • an old jacket/pullover
    Jeans decorated with bleach pens
  • A bleach pen. You can buy these at any grocery store for about $4
  • A piece of cardboard to place under the material you wish to bleach
  • Newspaper to cover your work area
  • Paper towels

Optional:

  • A stencil or an image to look at and copy onto your clothes. Some examples of images that you could draw easily are hearts, polka dots, flowers, stars, faces, or any words and numbers.

Instructions:

  1. Make sure you are wearing clothes you wouldn’t mind getting bleach on.
  2. Gather all materials and clear a large workspace (best if it’s outside) and cover the area with newspaper.
  3. Take the item you’ll add the bleach design to and place a piece of cardboard under the fabric. Make sure it’s large enough to fit underneath the whole image you’re about to draw.
  4. Optional: Place stencil on the part of your item you want to bleach.
  5. Carefully unscrew the pen (the skinniest side works best) and begin to draw the image onto your fabric. Make sure not to squeeze the pen too hard or a bunch of bleach will come out right away!
  6. After you’ve drawn everything onto the image, let it sit for about 10 to15 minutes. Then, use a paper towel to dab off as much of the bleach as you can.
  7. Rinse the area in the sink with cold water and let it air dry. IMPORTANT: The first time you wash this item, remember to wash it alone, so it will not get bleach on any other clothes.
Girl wearing a t-shirt made with bleach pens.

By Kathryn Gonzales

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