Stamped Initial Bracelet DIY

Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial) I am a total sucker for personalized items. As I type this, I'm drinking coffee out of a mug with a big gold "G" printed across it—I just can't help it. Personalizing potential is one reason that I love doing projects with stamped jewelry. I made these hand-stamped necklaces a few months ago, and I still wear them all the time. So I thought it would be fun to make an initial bracelet as well. The other thing I love about stamped jewelry is that it looks really professional, so unless you confess your little DIY secret, everyone will think you special ordered it from somewhere. Sneaky.

Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)       Supplies:
- gold coin discs (with holes already punched)
- gold chain
- jump rings
- lobster claw closure
- jeweler's bench block
letter or number punch stamps (I used 6mm size stamps)
- hammer

- tape
- needle nose pliers
- jewelry wire cutters
- rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol) and black marker (optional) 

Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)        First you'll want to tape the very top and bottom edge of your coin onto your jeweler's block. This will keep your coin from sliding as you stamp and will give you a guide of where to place your stamp (so make the gap just taller than your letter will be). You technically don't have to have a jeweler's block, but I highly recommend it since you will get a much cleaner impression with the extremely hard surface under the coin.

Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)    Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)     Next, select your letter punch stamp and place it stamp-side down onto the middle of your coin. Use your hammer to stamp your first letter (see this stamping post for technique tips). If you want to make your letter more visible, take your black marker and color in the lines of the letter. Put a small dab of the rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or cotton ball and wipe off the excess marker. That step should remove the marker from the top of the coin, but leave the ink in the letter indent.

Repeat process with each letter until you have all your initials stamped.

Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)      Use the jump rings and needle nose pliers to connect your initial letters to each other. Take the wire cutters and cut your two pieces of chain to the desired length. Attach each side to your initial grouping with two more jump rings. Connect your chain ends to the lobster claw closure with two additional jump rings, and you're done!

Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)  Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)Need to make one of these! Stamped Initial Bracelet (click through for tutorial)   For any stamping project, I definitely suggest stamping some inexpensive practice blanks first, so you get into the stamping rhythm and know how hard to hit the stamping punch (and buying a multipack of discs so you have a few extra is also a good idea). I did one bracelet with my guy's initials, but you can also do your own initials or a combination of two names (like the "M & C" one for my kitties), or even a series of numbers that represent an important date. This bracelet makes the perfect personalized gift as well, and it would be extra cute for a group of people to all have one (like best friends or a bridesmaid's gift). Happy stamping! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Hearts on our Sleeves

Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess  Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful MessEmma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess Emma ChapmanElsie and I didn't really mean to be so matchy-matchy. We laughed when we realized we were both wearing heart prints (mine on my jacket, hers on her blouse). We are too cool. Obviously.

Coats and jacketsElsie and Emma  Looking over the city  Looking over the city    Looking over the city Looking over the cityElsie and Emma You guys, is it just me or is this the best time of year? Jackets, boots, layers, crisp breezes, hot coffee always being appropriate any time of day—it's just the best, right? And I don't know if it's the anticipation of the busy holiday season or the release from finally seeing new adventures come to life, but this season seems to always be filled with a constant and exciting buzz.

Or maybe it's all that hot coffee that's making that constant buzz. Hmm.

Red scarfPony tails foreverHigh heelsHearts on our sleevesWe worked with our long-time friends and supporters at ModCloth for this autumn-y Sister Style.
Emma: Jacket / Shirt / Skirt / Purse / Boots
Elsie: Coat / Scarf / Shirt / Skirt / Shoes

Emma and Elsie Emma and ElsieWhat about you? Do you have any new adventures happening in your life this season? xo. Emma (and Elsie)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Merit, India, and Magnolia from the Signature Collection; and Bella and Light Leak 1 from the Folk Collection.

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Warm Cabbage & Noodle Salad

Cabbage + Ramen NoodlesRamen noodles is one of those grocery items that we pretty much always have on hand at my house. Maybe I shouldn't admit that, I don't know. But hot (overly salty) noodle soup is the perfect quick comfort food during these cold months, especially if you happen to have a runny nose.

I sometimes like using just the noodles in salad or stir fry dishes. Then when I place that over-sized plastic "box" of ramen in my shopping cart I can think, "Oh that's for a salad I'm making and not for lazy week night dinners."

The lies we tell ourselves. :)

Cabbage + Ramen Noodles.  What's fun about this dish is that we are going to use an entire cabbage! It might look like a plate full of noodles, but it's actually a pretty decent sized serving of vegetables too. Spicy, salty, super flavorful veggies alongside warm noodles—yum! 

Stir fry cabbage and noodlesWarm Cabbage & Noodle Salad, serves two as a meal or four as a side.

1 cabbage
2 carrots
2 packages of ramen noodles (any flavor since we won't be using the seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice from 2 limes
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, place the noodles (do not add the seasoning packets). Pour enough hot water (almost boiling) over the noodles so they are fully submerged. Allow those to soak for 2-3 minutes until well softened.

Secret sauceIn a small bowl or cup, combine the minced ginger, minced garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to combine. Set aside.

Chop up the cabbage and carrots. I like to cut the carrots into thin matchsticks or use a vegetable peeler to cut into thin strips. 

Cabbage stir fry dinnerIn a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium/high heat. Add in the cabbage and carrots and cook until just beginning to soften. Add in the noodles (drained from the water). Then pour the soy sauce mixture over everything. At this point the cabbage will begin to cook quickly, releasing some additional moisture. Cook just until everything is hot, then remove to a platter or plates.

Cabbage + Ramen Noodles. Top with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Taste, and if needed, sprinkle on a little more salt. I like to serve this along with a fresh lime wedge too, as I'm a citrus freak. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Try This: Skull Succulent Planter

Succulent skull planter idea! If you like the thought of decorating for Halloween but don't feel very crafty (or don't have a lot of time to devote to decor), then this skull with succulent eyes is a quick idea to add a bit of spooky fun around the house. When you love growing things as much as we do, it's hard not to see the planter potential in most objects, and the abundance of plaster skulls in the craft stores seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a Halloween-themed planter.

I gave my skull a coat of semi-gloss spray paint to add a bit of luster to the surface, and then cut fresh stems off a larger succulent plant and added them into the eye sockets. Since these particular succulents are a bit top heavy, I used a drop of super glue to keep them in place so they wouldn't fall out. You can use real succulents if you'd like, or, if you want to keep the look for much longer, you can use fake succulents instead. Air plants would also be good for this project because you can just pull them out to water every so often and put them back in. 

Succulent skull planter idea!   Succulent skull planter idea!   Succulent skull planter idea! Besides the fact that I find this little guy visually adorable, I also like the contrast of a living thing (the plant) coupled with something dead (the skull). It kind of adds a poetic depth to it that you can totally pretend you did on purpose to be a super-duper smarty pants. Isn't that how highly intelligent people refer to themselves? That's what I thought. Now go plant some skulls! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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