OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      If you are a savvy ABM reader, you may have seen this one coming. We love making light up marquee signs (like here, here, and here), and we also love emoji themed projects (like here and here), so it was only a matter of time before we combined the two for the ultimate project of sheer cuteness and fun!! This is definitely the easiest light up sign we've made so far. So if you've wanted to make one before but weren't sure you had the skills, well, this is a great one for you to start with!

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      Supplies:
-round wood top (they sell different sizes)
-drill with various drill bits
-battery-operated globe string lights (use LED lights since they don't get hot)
-acrylic paint
emoji template (right click to download and then reduce or enlarge image when printing depending on the size circle you choose)
-duct tape or gaff tape
-picture hangers and wire for mounting
-dowel rods (optional)

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      Paint your wood with a few coats of bright yellow acrylic paint and allow the paint to dry.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      Use the template to print and cut out the hearts and mouth for the emoji. Then trace them onto your yellow circle with a pencil. Paint in the mouth and heart eyes with black and pink paint and let dry.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      Tape your eye template over the painted eye and drill a hole in the middle of each white dot with a 5/8" drill bit (or whatever size of hole your LED lights would need). I started out with a much smaller bit to first make each hole, then went back through with a medium size bit, and then did the larger 5/8" bit. You'll get a much cleaner hole if you do it that way.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      Gently wiggle off the bulb caps on the lights. Then push the light through from the backside of the face and put the bulb back on from the front. Push the base of the light bulb snugly into the hole.

Use duct tape or gaff tape to secure the extra wires and battery pack onto the back of your circle, but make sure to place the battery pack switch near an edge so you can get to it easily to turn it on and off. Attach picture mounting hardware and wire on the back so you can hang your light. Remember, since it's battery powered, you don't have to hang it near an outlet—nice!

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)      I also drilled four evenly spaced holes about 1/2" deep near the top, bottom, and each side of the marquee on the back, and glued in 1 1/2" long pieces of dowel rods the same size. That way, the posts stuck out a little further than the battery pack and all the wires on the back and the four posts rest evenly on the wall. Optional move, but I think it hangs much better since it doesn't have a "lumpy" back with all the cords, etc.

OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)       OMG YES! Emoji marquee DIY (click through for tutorial)        How fun is that!! Also, these lights have a blinking mode, so you can imagine how cool that looks when they blink. I think it looks adorable above the coffee cart here at the studio, but I have a feeling that it's going to get snagged and put up at my house instead in the near future. Of course, you can do whatever face you like, but I felt like the heart eyes were just made to have lights installed in them, and I think I was right! xo. Laura

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

SAFETY TIPS: We spoke with our local fire department to double check the safety of this type of project. It's no less safe than a lit Christmas tree, as you'd probably guess. Just be sure to follow these guidelines:

-Before purchasing your lights, check for a label of an independent testing laboratory (most commercially sold Christmas lights will have this). Some lights are specially made for indoor or outdoor use. Be sure to use lights made for indoor use.

-Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose/broken lights. 

-Just as you would with your house decorations or your Christmas tree, always turn off lights before leaving your home or going to bed.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsSometimes finding the perfect stamp can be quite a pain. Often I have an idea of what I'd like to use for a project, but I just can't find anything like it at the store. So I figured—why not try making my own stamps? It's not as difficult as I thought it would be, and now that I have my own set, I can mass produce cards with a special handmade touch. And the control freak inside me is satisfied.

Check out the instructions below to learn how you can turn your own handwriting or doodles into stamps for your crafting needs. And be sure to check out the ink pad selection at the A Beautiful Mess shop! 

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsSupplies:
-stamp carving kit
-static cling foam mounting sheet
-acrylic stamping blocks
-wax paper
-pens (a variety of thick and thin is nice)
-white paper (scrap pieces are fine)
-X-Acto blade and scissors (scissors are optional with the use of a blade)
-cutting mat
-ink jet printer with copying capabilities (I used this Canon printer)
-clear tape (optional)

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep One: Create your doodles on white paper. The thicker the lettering, the easier it will be to carve out. I had a difficult time with the "Happy Day" lettering, so I gave up carving it out. Lesson learned.

Step Two: Cut out your doodles and arrange them to fit on your piece of rubber. (My rubber was leftover from an earlier project, so I was working with less space.) Tape them together so they'll stay in this arrangement when you copy them later.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep Three: Cut out a piece of static cling mounting foam to fit to your piece of rubber. Then peel off the sticky side and attach it to the rubber. The other static cling side, when peeled off, will temporarily mount to acrylic blocks for stamping use, but when unmounted they'll lay flat for easy storage too!

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep Four: Copy your doodles onto wax paper. To do this, just trim out a piece of wax paper to the size of your printer paper and place it in your printer's tray. The ink will not be set onto the paper, so be careful when handling it. The wet ink will transfer easily to the rubber, so be precise when arranging the wax paper onto the rubber. I swiped the back of the wax paper with a card to transfer the ink to the rubber.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep Five: Cut out the pieces of rubber and carve away the negative space from each design. For the more detailed areas, like the cursive "hello," I had trouble using the stamp carving tools that came with my kit, so I carefully used my X-Acto blade to cut out the islands in the letters.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsAfter your stamps are carved, you can mount them onto acrylic blocks for stamping use. The static cling side of the mounting foam will make the rubber infinitely repositionable, so when you're not stamping, they can be removed from the blocks and stored flat. Much easier than storing permanently mounted stamps!

Acrylic stamping blocks are also really great because you can easily see the outline of the design through the clear acrylic, which allows you to accurately position the stamps.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsI must say, this was actually my first time using the messy ink pads, and I was really happy with how saturated the colors turned out. I'm looking forward to using them again soon!

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsThis is my first hand-carved stamp project! Not too bad for my first try, but I can't wait to make some larger, more complex stamps for homemade greeting cards and gift tags. -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial)Everybody has their "go-to" hairstyle that they do when they need a quick look that says, "I put some effort into my hair today," and this simple chignon bun is that hairstyle for me. I wear it for all sorts of events, and I love it because it's easy to pull off and doesn't look too fussy when it's done. You also don't need a lot of fancy tools to create it either, which is nice if you need to make your hair behave in a pinch.

Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial)     Step One: Take a teasing brush and tease a few layers of hair at the back of the crown of your head. Smooth the top layers of your hair with the brush.

Step Two: Gather your hair into a low ponytail. I have long bangs in the front, so I like to keep a few pieces out in the front. You can do that too if you like that look or just include all your hair in the ponytail.

Step Three: Twist your ponytail and wrap the twist around the base of your ponytail to create a bun. You can also tease your ponytail before you twist it to create a bigger bun if you want.

Step Four: Use bobby pins to pin the bun into place and give your hair a quick spray of hairspray to set the look and help contain flyaways. That's it!

Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial)
Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial) So simple right? This is great for a date night, dinner with friends, or even for bridesmaid duties, and I like that it creates a soft wave look when I take out my hair at the end of the night. If you need a classy look that doesn't take much time to do, you'll want to give this one a try for sure! xo. Laura

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

Don't miss this free stamp setHey, friends! If you haven't heard, we have a new e-Course out called Scrapbook in a Week! In this course you are guided through a plan to complete a big scrapbook in just one week! The experience taught me how to get super organized, and I was surprised how much more I could accomplish with Rachel's plan. We both share our full scrapbooks that we made in just one week. Rachel did her son's first year of life and I did my wedding. There is a video tour of our books included in the class! 

If you're thinking about signing up, don't hesitate because right now you can get this free stamp set with purchase while supplies last! 

Here are a few peeks of our projects from the class... 

1111Sign up here. Happy Sunday. xx! Elsie 

Denton Little's Death dateJust wanted to share a recent (good) read with you. Over the course of three days earlier this month, I tore through Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin. It's a quick read, and even quicker for me because I was on vacation. So I had more time to read than I normally do. But I absolutely loved this book, so I wanted to share it with you. The basic premise (no spoilers) is that everyone in the world now knows when they will die. They call it your deathdate, and you live most of your life knowing when it will be. Weird, right? This changes SO much about how we would go about life, or at least it would for me. So it was fascinating to watch a teenage boy approach his own deathdate with his friends and family. Which might sound dark or depressing, but it was just the opposite. This book is really funny! And it reminded me to enjoy the 'right now'. 

If you're looking for a fun and quick summer read this season, I highly recommend checking this out. Happy weekend! xo. Emma

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

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