Greetings, friends!  I propose that it's time to start thinking about handmade gifts.  This recycled necklace gift can charm nearly anyone: a simple matchbox turned into a secret-compartment pendant.

The awesomeness is threefold.  1.) It's simple and eco friendly.  2.) Customize the art to your loved one's style and interest.  3.) Because there's a tiny secret compartment, you can include an additional mini-gift inside!  Here's the secret drawer:

Aren't they fun?  Want to make one?  Here's how.

Check out my latest little brainwave!  A cool metallic dreamcatcher that looks it's woven with wire.

I've always loved dreamcatchers, but never tried one before.  Probably because I didn't want to figure out the knotwork involved.  (Q: is there an award for laziest crafter?)

So I came up with a simple five minute hack for the 'web' part of the dreamcatcher.  After that, it was all embellishment - the part of crafting I really enjoy.

Here's the DIY.

Here's a five minute craft for summer!  Something fun and creative from the brain of my husband.  A psychedelic painted sun hat!

The story: for 4 years, he has been wearing the same mesh sun hat for working outside.  Even though it went through the washing machine regularly, it was stained and unsightly and, well, take a look at what I mean...

Ew, right?

A few days ago I spotted him heading for the back yard, clutching three cans of spray paint and the hat.  I grabbed my camera and followed.

Hi, all!   This week I made two jewels from hardware store ball chain.  I did it using a fun trick with a finding meant for a different purpose.

First the jewels, then the trick!

I started with this beautiful multicolored ball chain, isn't it the prettiest stuff?

I found it at a local Ace Hardware.  (If anybody knows an online source, leave it for us in the comments, eh?)

The finding in question is a type of bead tip (typically used for adding clasps to ball chain or strung beads).

Well hi!  Today I thought I'd show you the quickest, simplest beaded home decor project evah.  It's practical, it's pretty, it's economical - heck, there's even a little element of upcycling in there for good measure.

It's a scarf hanger system, for storage and display.

The DIY takes about a minute.  You will need:

-a buncha big beads

-an old shoelace

Ready?  Go!

Thread 16-20 inches of big beads onto an old shoelace (or any bit of cord or ribbon you happen to have handy).

Hello again!  I used some kids' air dry clay (mine was Crayola brand from the drugstore) to make a fun and weird little creature skull pendant.  Take a look!

Want to try something like this?  Well, here's what I did.  First, using my nearly-non-existent sculpting skillz, I molded the plain white clay into these vaguely reptilian skull beads...

I'm still not sure if they are tiny dragons, baby gators, or lizards of an identified species.  As you can see, pretty much anyone could whip these up.

Hi!  Today I have a frugal and easy makeover for you.  First let me show you the end result: these pearly, coppery little necklaces.

I've been wearing them a lot lately - they are subtle, so simple and go with everything.

Here's another design, this one a bit more shmancy:

The makeover began with this (sorta, maybe, kinda) cute elastic bracelet...

...which I probably would never wear in real life.  Not that it was awful, just not my personal style.   But I do love the individual segments.

Hi, all!  Check out these flittery, fluttery butterfly earrings.

This design is really at its best when worn - the true effect is a little hard to capture in a photo.  That's because they have lots of movement and, when hanging free, tend to cascade in almost a spiral.  This pic shows it a bit better:

I know it looks complex, but it's not really so difficult, I promise.  Tutorial begins now!

Put four butterfly beads on headpins, with one pin a little shorter than the other three.

Hey, here's something I've been meaning to show you for a while.  I have a lot of these ranged around my studio.  Penny-pinching, earth friendly, practical jewelry displays...and they do brighten everything up!

Can you picture the top of the tissue box and how I used it?  Got 5 minutes, scissors and a stapler?  Here's the ridiculously simple DIY.

Cut the top and sides from a square tissue box, like so:

Cut a piece of scrap cardboard to cover the opening.

Today's craft: a DIY ring made from scraps of fleece and felt.

A five minute craft for any age and skill level.  I like it plain...

And I like it patterned.

Aw heck, I just like it.

The How-To is particularly fun, and involves a dog biscuit.  So now you have to try it, right?  Ready?  Here goes!

You will need some floppy scrap fleece (the green stuff) and some slightly-stiffer felt. You will also need scissors and a tiny piece of string.

Cut a fleece leaf and a felt petal.