Sure, crafting is fun, but can it be good for your health? Social network and online class service Craftsy is hosting a webinar this Monday on the benefits of crafting for wellness. Check out the panel of experts, and Craftsy's member survey results on the topic:FULL ENTRY
Unless you're dolling up in your red carpet best for the annual Ellie Fund party this Sunday night, chances are you'll be watching the Oscars at home in front of the television with a few of your nearest and dearest. That doesn't mean that you can't still channel some of the glitz & glamour of Old Hollywood with these seven DIY projects we made for last year's #OscarUp party, which instantly transformed our South End co-working space into (well, nearly into) the Chinese Theatre. Add some thrifted black tie duds, et voila! Pure silver screen magic.FULL ENTRY
With a new house and a new baby on the way, Erika Buckley found herself excited for the future, yet worried how parenthood would affect her sense of self. "It seemed like all the things had I kept putting off (writing more, trying to make a career in something more creative...) were suddenly in danger of evaporating before they ever had a chance to start," she says. But after a realization that many of the bloggers she follows and loves are moms, she decided to start Yay For Handmade! while awaiting the arrival of Baby Boy Buckley in June.FULL ENTRY
The 8th Annual National Soup Swap Day was January 26, but even if you missed out on that tasty tradition, you can reap the benefits. The groundhog says it'll still be soup weather for some time, so we tapped the experts at America's Test Kitchen for their top soup-making tips. Plus, a totally swappable recipe for vegan chili from the Boston Food Swap will warm you up, inside and out.FULL ENTRY
Photo: The Grommet
If, like the rest of the world, you were captivated by the tear-jerking transformational story of Arthur Boorman, the disabled ex-paratrooper and Gulf War veteran who used self-taught yoga to learn to walk again, you're going to love the story of Yoga by Numbers — a teach yourself yoga mat designed right here in Boston and currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter.FULL ENTRY
When I was 14, I had the distinct honor of representing my country on the first ever Team USA for synchronized skating, traveling to Helsinki, Finland with Lexington's Ice Mates & Haydenettes, where we took home the international gold. There's nothing quite like standing center ice with your teammates, medal draped around your neck, watching your country's flag raised while the arena fills with your national anthem. I still get goosebumps & leaky eyes whenever I think about that moment, the pinnacle achievement of my athletic career, especially when I watch it happen for others.
Which is probably why, in the (cough, cough) 20 years since, I'm so passionate about hosting epic Olympics viewing parties. My friends know that, for the 17 days from opening to closing ceremonies, I will be glued to the TV or my laptop or both, cheering on every major and minor sport, rocking my best red, white & blue getups and recruiting others to do the same with me.
If you've also got Olympic fever, here are nine awesome DIY projects that feel authentic to the timeless athlete experience & that you can easily make at home in time for Opening Ceremonies tonight.
Want your creation to go down in history with products like Cuppow? The Grommet wants to help you launch your product. They're looking for hacks and problem solvers that have household name potential. Could yours be next?FULL ENTRY
Frozen to the core? Sick to death of winter? Warm up from snow shoveling with this super easy, from-scratch recipe for authentic Mexican hot cocoa using Somerville's handmade source: Taza stone ground chocolate.FULL ENTRY
Photo: Kate Bowler/DomestikatedLife
Hallmark usually gets all the credit when it comes to Valentine's Day, but — rather than focus on commercialization — local lifestyle blogger Kate Bowler of DomestiKated Life instead celebrates all things handmade: the giddiness we all experienced as schoolchildren, trading homemade cards in paper desk-side mailboxes; the sweetness of spontaneous romance and friendship and all things pink and heart-shaped.
So, when we found out that Kate was co-hosting a "Girls Night In" DIY workshop this Saturday with west elm Fenway, we just had to sit down with her to pick her brain for this week's Maker Moment. Read on to find out how Kate earned her glitter-glued stripes in all things crafting, as well as how to grab a spot at her event — where she’ll be teaching the sewing technique for created stitched felt hearts for pins, sachets, etc. (shown above) while lucky students nosh on complimentary Valentine’s Day cupcakes from Boston bakery Sweet.FULL ENTRY
Photo: HollyDolly Blog
There may be a big game this week (and for that, we got you covered), but don't let that put you off your game with your guy or gal. Valentine's Day is a week from Friday, and there's still plenty of time to make your special someone something special. So put down those grocery store roses and drugstore chocolates and get creative, no glitter required.FULL ENTRY
Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring
In these penny-pinching times, cleverly using whatever you have on hand for project materials has become more popular than ever — including using actual pennies as the unorthodox base for everything from kitchen countertops to subway tile-style bathroom floors, DIY jewelry to tap shoes.
As of 2011, it costs the U.S. Mint more than 2.41 cents to produce each 1 cent penny thanks to the rising cost of metals used to make pennies (such as copper and zinc), creating an interesting crafting conundrum: Keep the pennies in circulation, thereby decreasing the need to mint more coins (to the tune of 4.3 billion pennies at a cost of $100 million dollars per year), or use them as a project supply more valuable for the metal they contain than as currency?
If you choose the latter, here are my 9 favorite penny projects — with dozens more on my Pinterest board: Pennies for Thought.FULL ENTRY
East coast chefs seem to be having a love affair with all things Southern at the moment, and one dish has popped up repeatedly on the Instagram feeds of some notable Boston culinary tastemakers: Frito Pie.
Kind of like the "white trash sundae" of appetizers, Frito Pie is a beloved Southwestern tradition dating back to the founding of the Frito-Lay company in 1932 — some say the dish may even have been dreamed up by Fritos first lady, Mrs. Elmer Doolin, herself — that combines corn chips, chili, cheese (or queso), sour cream, and onions with all the down-home decadence appropriate for a playoff party.
With the Patriots set to face off against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, it's high time we reach across the 50-yard line to see how the other half celebrates game day and embrace this crowd-pleasing Southwestern snack. Whether you pile high a platter or set up a buffet, here's everything you need to make Frito Pie or "walking tacos" at home.FULL ENTRY
Lynn Quinlivan Photography
Tons of awesome events come across our desks each week. Make It Boston is how we'll share our favorite ways to get out, get crafty, and make things in and around Boston.
Love is in the air! With our Facebook feeds still reeling from the holiday engagements and Valentine's Day less than a month away, here are ways to get planning, whether it's a wedding or a V-Day to remember.
Do you have a resolution to learn something new? Grab your tickets for the 4th Annual Ignite Craft Boston, sponsored by the Common Cod Fiber Guild.FULL ENTRY
How to host a Dowager Countess-approved Downton Abbey party, complete with authentic upstairs & downstairs dishes
From Downton Abbey costume contests to Downton Abbey quilt-alongs, Downton Abbey wine to Downton Abbey nail polishes, no BBC family has inspired more channeling — and more theme parties at which to showcase it — than the Granthams and the Crawleys.
One of the easiest ways to personify the world's favorite fictional aristocrats and their household service is to host a viewing party for Sunday's fourth season premiere complete with authentic Downton cuisine, now made easier thanks to Emily Ansara Baines and her Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook (Adams Media).
Coupled with your own ideas for thrift store or handmade period costumes and Downton-inspired serveware, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook provides historically accurate dish pairings, etiquette lessons & show trivia from everyone's favorite costume drama, like these two cocktail-appropriate recipes. Download free printable Downton Abbey Bingo (Paste) and Downton Abbey paper dolls (Vulture) and you have the makings for a truly Dowager Countess-approved affair.FULL ENTRY
Even if you dropped the ball for the ball drop, you still have time to throw together a fantastic New Year's Eve celebration. We scoured Pinterest for the tastiest, trendiest, sparkliest DIY decor, food, and cocktails for a fabulous end to 2013 and a festive hello to 2014!FULL ENTRY
Photo: Duck tape ribbon, The Sweetest Occasion
It's Christmas Eve and all your presents are purchased, but suddenly you realize nothing is wrapped. No reason to run to the store when these 20 elegantly modern and eco-friendly gift wrap ideas cleverly use paper grocery bags (aka kraft paper) and other household items in festive designs, spreading holiday cheer without spending a cent — or leaving the house!
Christmas may be in 2 days, but you still have time to make these homemade gifts, brush up your holiday table, and even put your feet up for a few minutes before everyone arrives. We rounded up our best 5 minute DIYs and tips to get you through the last minute rush:
Photo: Christine Koh
Master multitasker takes on a whole new meaning when talking about Christine Koh of Medford, a violinist and brain scientist turned graphic designer, blogger, and author. Not only is this mother of two girls one of the top ranked "mom bloggers" on the Internet, through her popular local parenting blog BostonMamas.com (as well as a sought-after consultant to some of the biggest consumer brands in the country), she continuously inspires her friends and followers by finding the time to keep fit and craft — even during the holidays! — on top of her successful career. If you're hunting for that elusive work-life balance, Koh seems to have the roadmap.
With her new book Minimalist Parenting, co-authored with Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks, now on shelves, we sat down with the force of nature herself to find out what drives her to make stuff and make time for it all — including how she manages to take Thursday afternoons completely off from work for quality DIY time with her older daughter, Laurel — in this week's Maker Moment.FULL ENTRY
Photos: Melissa Massello/Shoestring
As more and more Americans turn to Nooks and Kindles and iPads to read their favorite novels, paperbacks are turning into little more than craft paper — to the tune of tens of millions of books donated to Goodwill each year, much to the delight of resourceful holiday makers.FULL ENTRY
If you're like us, you had grand plans of holiday entertaining and homemade gifts looking like a spread from Martha Stewart Living. Now, it's down to the wire and you've been alternately shoveling snow and attending parties every night for the past three weeks. There's still time to salvage your seasonal plans — make a few jars of Central Bottle Wine + Provisions Chef Stacey Daley's marinated feta tonight and next week, you'll have an easy appetizer or chic hostess gifts to bring 'round for Christmas!FULL ENTRY
We clearly support DIYing holiday gifts and shopping small with local makers. So when we can combine the two into a fun, fast, and festive food gift that anyone can whip up, we're happier than kids on Christmas morning.
Here we have two options for seasonally sweet "in a jar" gift trends using BNTO, the latest innovation from Somerville-based Cuppow that turns a mason jar into separated compartments. We came up with a cozy hot cocoa mug and a twist on the Pinterest-popular baking-mix-in-a-jar gift. Here's how to make them in under 5 minutes:FULL ENTRY
Photo: Farm & Fable
Whether you prefer shopping in person to online or are just gathering gifts at the last minute this holiday season, these Boston stores make shopping for an abundance of made-in-New-England wares as easy as a day trip by T.
Here's how to celebrate New England's centuries-old arts & crafts traditions as well as modern makers with these stylish gift ideas for everyone on your list.FULL ENTRY
Photos: Melissa Massello/ShoestringLike many children, the first crafts I remember making with my mom were around Christmastime — specifically, dough ornaments and these clothespin reindeer ornaments, which I broke out en masse for nostalgic adults at last year's Cookie Swap for a Cause hosted by the Boston Food Swap. The reaction blew me away. Dozens of 20- and 30-somethings gathered around the activity table to make their own clothespin reindeers, cooing at tiny pom-poms and recounting their own holiday memories of crafting these and other ornaments with parents and grandparents.
If you're looking for a snow day activity for kids of all ages, or just a nostalgic nod to Christmases past to add to your tree this year, here's how to make an army of clothespin reindeers in virtually no time at all.FULL ENTRY
About the Authors
Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out
|Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »|