Originally I was just going to post a few photos from my latest Target trip to Instagram and be done with it, but I decided at the last minute that my latest Target finds deserved a post of their own. I got so many goodies for so CHEAP — cute stuff for my planner, plus a few random extras.
So I took a few months off from blogging because I had a lottt going on. I had computer issues towards the end of the summer, and then I started working a new job with crazy hours so as much as I tried, I still couldn’t sit down and write up the posts that I wanted to do. I hardly even did my makeup over the last few months — so I had boxes and boxes of new makeup piling up on the floor of my bedroom and I wasn’t even using any of it! But I am back now, with a MUCH better work schedule (yay) and I have sooooo much to blog about. I will definitely be making AT LEAST one blog post a day from now on.
Pop Sugar sent out their October Must Have boxes a little late this month, so I just received my box a few days ago. I usually like to get subscription box reviews up the day that I receive them but I figured that since I took so much time off from blogging that it really doesn’t matter this month! And this month’s Must Have box was pretty cool so I definitely wanted to review it.
Since Pop Sugar had some issues this month the Must Have boxes were shipped out pretty late and I received mine on Thursday, one day before Halloween. I got it just in time to try out these Halloween nail decals, which came with a sheet of four different designs, and each design has six decals. Only two of the designs are really Halloween-ish (the pumpkin and spiderwebs) so I’m definitely going to try out the other two throughout the month. They’re fall-ish colors, so they would be cute for Thanksgiving too.
Nailed Kit Halloween Nail Decals ($8 for a sheet of 24 decals; nailedkit.com) are non-toxic, “easy-to-apply” nail-art decals which were designed exclusively this month for Pop Sugar Must Have. I always have a hard time with things like this, which is probably mostly because I’m always super impatient and I never apply these things correctly … so my decals fell off within one hour of applying them. I’m going to try them again with the orange designs and actually take my time applying them — and then I’ll post some pics if it goes well!
Pop Sugar usually sends out a food/candy item in their monthly Must Have boxes, so this month everyone received these pumpkin spice malt balls from Dean & DeLuca. I love pumpkin spice anything, so I loved these!
Dean & DeLuca Pumpkin Spice Malt Balls ($5.75 for 5.50 oz.; deananddeluca.com) are gourmet malt balls that “capture the flavor of Fall,” made with real pumpkin spices and dipped in dark chocolate.
This next item was one of my favorites this month. It’s a super cool chalkboard candle that comes with a piece of chalk so you can write whatever you want. As you can see, I’m not the best at writing with chalk (I broke the piece of chalk already), but you can write (or draw!), erase, and then write something new!
Mine Design Chalkboard Candle ($24 for one candle; minedesignhome.com) is a reusable and rewritable chalkboard soy ceramic candle. It comes in the cute ceramic design that was in the October Must Have box, as well as a tin chalkboard design which is smaller and a little cheaper.
A good photo frame is always a great thing to have, and this is one product that I honestly don’t really buy for myself (and I don’t have an acrylic one like this, so yay!).
Isaac Jacobs International Acrylic Photo Frame ($36 for one frame; isaacjacobs.com) is described as a “durable and chic frame” that is “the perfect way to display your special memories for years to come.” You can even use this as a double-sided frame and display two photos in it — all you have to do is slip the photo in the center of the frame, and done! Super cute and easy (and no glass for klutzes like me to break!).
I loveeee fancy new soaps and shower gels so I was super happy to see this one by K. Hall Designs as a “Special Extra” item this month. Every time I am running low on soap/shower gel, I always find one in a monthly subscription box, it’s an awesome cycle 🙂 I don’t think I have actually went out and bought a soap or shower gel for myself in about a year now.
K. Hall Designs Shoreline Shea Butter/Olive Oil Bar Soap ($10 for 8 oz.; khalldesigns.com) is a pure vegetable, triple-milled soap enhanced with shea butter and olive oil to moisturize and protect the skin. The half pound oversized soap bar is “rich and creamy” and it will last longer than your average bar soap.
The next item was this cute pair of combed cotton socks in a leopard print design. I could always use a new pair of socks (somehow I end up losing mine all the time — and I have no idea how), so these are always great to have.
Happy Socks Animal Socks ($12 for one pair; happysocks.com) are “crafted with the finest combed cotton” to “ensure that only the highest-quality material will hug the feet of men and women alike.” Happy Socks come in a bunch of different animal print colors and designs, and the pair that I received in this month’s Must Have box were dark grey with black and red leopard print spots. Not something I would necessarily buy for myself, but that’s what I love about subscription boxes — finding new and unique products that I don’t already own 🙂
This product was probably my favorite item this month — a super long-lasting eyeliner pencil from Butter London. I love Butter London polishes and I was super excited to see this pencil in my October Must Have box because I have never really tried any of their beauty products before (except for the manicure and pedicure products). I only tried this out once really quickly yesterday but I definitely loved the way it glided on so easily and the color (“Earl Grey”) is an awesome smoky grey.
butter LONDON WINK Eye Pencil ($18 for .04 oz.; butterlondon.com) is a blendable eye pencil that sets after 30 seconds, so it’s supposed to stay put all day. Pop Sugar sent out the color “Earl Grey” which is described as a “steel grey shimmer,” and they come in a bunch of other colors too.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
There were more products than usual in October’s Must Have box so that was a plus! This wasn’t my absolute favorite month for Pop Sugar Must Have, but I really liked most of the items and I will definitely be putting them all to use. I also forgot to add above that there was a second “Special Extra” in this month’s box: a $40-off coupon for an Express Box from Blue Jean Bar. It’s a monthly subscription box that sends out hand-picked clothing items based on your style preferences and size. I’m definitely trying this one out! I love getting discount coupons for new subscription boxes so I can try them out 🙂
Pricing & Availability:
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly beauty, fashion and lifestyle subscription service that costs about $40 per month (I am charged $43.39 per month, which includes tax and shipping to. To subscribe click here, or visit musthave.popsugar.com for more information!
I usually love my Pop Sugar Must Have box every month, well, I love pretty much all of the subscription boxes I receive, but the Pop Sugar box always has an awesome mix of all full-sized products and it’s probably the box I look forward to the most. It costs a bit more than a lot of the other boxes (at $39.95/month), but it’s definitely worth it because it isn’t a sampling service — you’re actually receiving all full-sized items (many of them are new), ranging from fashion to beauty to fitness, food, jewelry, etc.
This month’s Pop Sugar box wasn’t the most exciting, but there were still a bunch of products I really like and the best part, for me, is receiving products that I normally wouldn’t buy for myself (like the Citrus Zinger) and discovering new products (like the beachy-scented perfume spray).
First up is the Must Have Food item of the month — these crunchy, airy, multi-grain, sweet onion-flavored snack sticks. These are okay. I like healthy food but I don’t like healthy food when it tastes too healthy. These are good because you get that satisfying crunch that you normally would from a potato chip (with 40% less fat), but they still taste a little too …. healthy. The sweet onion taste is kind of blocked by the taste of the multi grain, in my humble opinion. You can still taste the sweet onion flavor, but the overall flavor that I got was the multi grain.
Hi I’m Skinny Sticks Multi-Grain Sweet Onion ($4 for 7-oz. bag or $35.88 for a case of 12; hiimskinny.com) are described as a “super tasty and healthy alternative to chips and cookies,” with 40 percent less fat than potato chips, 15g of whole grains per serving, and under four calories per stick. These all-natural snacks are packed with “all kinds of grains” including whole ground corn, rice, oat flour, and barley.
I’m definitely excited about this citrus zinger because I have been wanting to make my own drinks for a few summers now …. just never really got around to it (like so many other things). This zinger is a very simple little device, really. You just press lemons, limes, or any other citrus directly into your water and you have your own refreshing drink. I just bought a lemon-scented/flavored leaf plant for the garden (I forgot the name of it), and those leaves are going to infuse an awesome flavor into the drinks I make with this thing.
Zing Anything Citrus Zinger ($16.99 for one zinger; zinganything.com) is a simple, easy-to-use zinger specifically designed for citrus fruits like lemons, limes, clementines, and more. You can easily extract juice and flavor from citrus fruits to infuse them directly into your water bottle and create delicious lemonades, limeades, and orangeades. This zinger can be used with your on-the-go water bottle and enhance your water with vitamin C and flavonoids. The Zing Anything website has detailed instructions for how to use and wash the zinger, plus recipes to make a bunch of different drinks.
These next two items were kind of … meh. The DVD is okay, and I’ll definitely be using it, but these get boring after awhile and I would really much rather go to my dance, yoga, and pilates classes to get fit. An eye mask is something I have never used and I have a feeling I probably won’t be using it because I usually pass out every night in my bed still half typing on my laptop. Hee.
Tone It Up One Day Fat Blast ($15 for one DVD; toneitup.com) contains two “fat-burning, calorie-smashing workouts” with the ladies from Bravo’s Toned Up. Each calorie-blasting workout is only 30 minutes long, so even the busiest of girls can fit in a quick workout sesh.
Kerry Cassill Eye Mask ($24 for one mask; kerrycassill.com) is made of soft voile cotton and comes in a bunch of different colors/patterns “so you can sleep peacefully.”
I was really excited about this next item because I needed a new, pretty, bright blue polish for the summer. I also haven’t used any polishes from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics before, so I was excited to try this one out. The smell kind of threw me off when I opened it up, and I thought that it was formulated with all the icky stuff that so many nail polish companies have been straying away from, but a quick reading of the bottle assured me that this polish is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without all the questionable ingredients.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer ($10 for 0.5 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “nail lacquer in a professional formulation and modern color palette.” These polishes come in over 40 different densely pigmented, quick-drying, and “super long-lasting” shades.
So the last item in this month’s Pop Sugar Must Have box ended up being my favorite. I am in LOVE with the beachy smell of this fragrance spray, and I have even been spritzing it around my room and car, essentially having this scent all over everything I own. My puppy even smells like this spray now since it rubs off on him after I cover him in hugs. I think this is the kind of scent that a lot of people might not really like — it’s like a mix of the beach, tanning lotion, some coconut, and jasmine — but I love it and I’m going to check out more fragrance sprays from Smell Bent to see what else they have to offer.
Smell Bent St. Tropez Dispenser ($45 for 1.7 oz.; smellbent.com) is described as having an “intoxicating blend of jasmine absolute and fresh coconut aromas” — it’s pretty much the beach in a bottle. This fragrance spray contains notes of jasmine, fresh coconut, aloe vera, and vintage musk. Like I said before — I don’t think this scent is for everyone, but I am certainly enjoying it.
This month wasn’t my favorite Pop Sugar Must Have box, but I really liked three of the items (the nail polish, the fragrance spray, and the citrus zinger). As far as value goes, this box definitely surpassed the $39.99 price (as do all Pop Sugar Must Have boxes). I’m just looking forward to what the June box has to offer; if one month is kind of meh, then the next month is usually a lot better.
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly beauty/fashion/lifestyle subscription box that costs $39.99 per month with the option of paying multiple months at a time for a discounted price. To subscribe click here, or visit musthave.popsugar.com for more information.
I always look forward to my Pop Sugar Must Have box every month because it’s always jam-packed with sweet stuff … all full-sized items ranging from makeup to fashion, home decor and even food. This month’s box was pretty cool, but nothing really blew me away, except for the Too Faced eyeshadow palette, which alone made the whole box worth it, especially value-wise (the box costs about $40/month and the Too Faced palette costs $36).
Every Pop Sugar Must Have box comes with a card detailing every item sent out that month and a message from Pop Sugar Founder and Editor-In-Chief LIsa Sugar.
The first item this month was a cute set of dish towels that I really don’t need … but I’m passing them along to my BFF and her awesome roommate because I know they will definitely put them to use.
Fresh Pastry Stand Totally Awesome Tea Towel Set ($18 for two dish towels; etsy.com/shop/freshpastrystand) are a set of dish towels that are handmade from a water-based ink and completely lint-free, each with a bold graphic print.
I couldn’t really get a good photo of these towels, but I did take a photo of the card that came with this month’s Pop Sugar box and it shows how these towels look when they are folded properly, showing the “Totally” and “Awesome” prints (above).
The next item was the “Must Have Food” item of the month: a trail mix from Nature Box created exclusively for Pop Sugar. Pop Sugar Must Have often includes healthy, good-for-you snacks in their monthly boxes and I usually enjoy them. This one was okay … It was kind of bland, but it’s great for extra nutrients and an energy boost mid-day. I think they should have added another fruity element, perhaps dried apricots or something, just to round it out. They kinda skimped on the dried cranberries in this bag and if they added more of them it really would have made the mix a lot yummier.
Nature Box Pop Sugar Must Have Mix ($5 for 4.5 oz.; naturebox.com/popsugar) is a custom trail mix created exclusively for Pop Sugar Must Have. This specific mix isn’t available online, but you can join Nature Box for $19.95/month and receive a bunch of healthy snacks each month. This mix was a “balanced medley” of almonds, soybeans, corn and cranberries and, like all Nature Box snacks, it contains no artificial colors or flavors, no corn syrup and no hydrogenated oils.
This super cute shopping bag, created by Lauren Conrad, conveniently folds up into a wallet-sized zipper pouch and then you can unzip it and it will fold out into a full-sized (rather large) shopper (below). The design is super cute and I am loving the mint green color for spring, so I will definitely put this item to use.
Blue Avocado (Eco) Shopper ($25; blueavocado.com) is a “collapsible tote” made from upcycled plastic bottles that is “perfect for carrying just about anything.” It’s really big .. so it can definitely carry a lot, and the design is super cute. Plus, it’s made from 50% post-consumer recycled bottles and 1% of profits goes to ocean research and conservation.
This palette from Too Faced is awesome and it totally made the whole April Pop Sugar Must Have Box worth it, especially value-wise. I actually was never really a big fan of Too Faced eyeshadows, but these are wonderful and the whole palette includes great shades that are perfect for day-to-night wear.
Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette ($36 for nine eyeshadows; toofaced.com) contains nine blendable, neutral eyeshadow shades for “every age and skin tone.” This palette comes with a “Glamour Guide” that shows you how to use the shadows for three different looks and three of the shadows are brand-new Too Faced shades. I was pretty impressed with this palette — pretty neutrals that blend really well and look great for any type of event, school, work, etc. for both day and night.
I’m a writer and I’m constantly taking notes and jotting things down everywhere I go so I love it when I receive a new notebook. I always get excited even buying new notebooks for myself since I’m such a nerd so it’s even more exciting when I get surprised by one in a subscription box. This little notebook is the perfect size for on-the-go note-taking and it has pretty little pages with a silver trim and a ribbon so that you can bookmark whatever page you like. This particular notebook was designed exclusively for Pop Sugar, but you can purchase the same size and personalize it with whatever word, initials or saying you want printed on the front.
Graphic Image Pocket Notes ($20-$36; graphicimage.com) is a take-anywhere notebook with silver edges, acid-free paper and a flexible cover to keep your life in order “the smart and stylish way.” Graphic Image’s notebooks are leather and they can be personalized.
The last product in the April Pop Sugar Must Have box was this beautifully scented hand soap by Caldrea. Caldrea Rosewater Driftwood Hand Soap ($10.50 for 10.8 oz.; caldrea.com) contains a combination of floral aromas and spicy cedar undertones that leaves hands feeling soft, clean and fragrant. This is a gentle yet hardworking soap free of any harmful chemicals. It contains aloe vera gel, olive oil and essential oils to cleanse and condition and it comes in seven different scents (including this “Rosewater Driftwood” scent).
All in all I think that this month’s Pop Sugar Must Have box was pretty good. I loved the Too Faced eyeshadow, which, at $36, is nearly the cost of the entire subscription box for the month, so the value alone is extremely worth it. I loved the gentle Caldrea soap, it smelled amazing, and I loved the little notebook and shopper. I’m passing the dish towels along to my BFF and her roommate because I know they will put them to use, and the Nature Box mix was okay … definitely packed with healthy, good-for-you stuff, but I just found it to be a little too bland for my taste.
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly lifestyle subscription service featuring beauty products, fashion, accessories, home decor, food and more. It costs $39.95 per month with the option of upgrading your subscription and pay every 3, 6 or 12 months for a lower cost. To subscribe click here or visit musthave.popsugar.com for more information!
1). Marc by Marc Jacobs Crossbody Classic Q Natasha Handbag ($368; bloomingdales.com): Super cute, crossbody bag. I cannot waittttt to get this for myself. I love Marc by Marc Jacobs handbags and this color is way too amazing to pass up.
2). Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner in 3D Pacific ($20 for 0.01 oz.; sephora.com): I actually don’t have this liner, but I need to pick it up. I love Smashbox’s Always Sharp 3D liners (they’re one of the best), and this color is the perfect mint green — It’s described as a “seafoam mint green.”
3). J. Crew Patent Narrow-Buckle Belt in Pale Mint ($34.50, on sale from $39.50; jcrew.com): A cute, skinny, leather belt that can add a sweet pop of color to an outfit.
4). Mint Green Ceramic Pottery Heart Dish by DarriellesClayArt Shop on Etsy ($14; etsy.com): The store Darrielle’s Clay Art on Etsy has some beautiful ceramic pottery dishes in mint green (as well as other colors) that can be used in a bunch of different ways. This one would be great for jewelry, candles or any other small items.
5). ZOYA Nail Polish in Dillon ($9 for 0.5 oz.; zoya.com): A pretty, full-coverage green mint metallic nail polish with silver shimmer in ZOYA’s wonderful “5-Free” formula.
6). Mint Scalloped Jar ($12.99; worldmarket.com): This super cute mint-colored jar would look great in the kitchen, bedroom and even the bathroom.
7). Kendra Scott Rosemary Floral Earrings in Mint ($77; laylagrayce.com): Beautiful gold metal earrings with natural seafoam magnesite gemstones.
Yayyy spring is here and, even though we still have had a few whacky, cold snow days here in New York, the weather has generally been getting warmer and yesterday was especially beautiful! I feel like springtime comes sooo slowly and when it’s finally here we only have about a month (sometimes even less) of actual “spring” weather before the hot days of summer arrive.
With the beautiful spring weather comes my birthday (yippeee!) in April, and, the best part, is a change in wardrobe with all the pretty spring colors that adorn everything from fashion and accessories to makeup, housewares and decorations. I love spring colors and one of my favorites is this pretty mint green.
The mint Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag (above) is what inspired this post, since that is exactly what I want for my birthday (from my wonderful mom). I tried to keep this post as short and sweet as possible — you can click any of the links next to the product names above for more information 🙂
Pop Sugar Must Have is usually the subscription box that I look forward to the most each month since it contains all full-sized items ranging from makeup to fashion to lifestyle and even food and the value of the items in the box always exceeds the $40/month price. Some months are better than others and I found this month’s box to be a little on the meh side, especially compared to February’s box (which I loved). Either way, this month enabled me to discover an awesome serum from Jurlique and a cute good luck charm necklace that I’ve been wearing a lot already.
Pop Sugar Must Have arrives with a larger-than-average box each month to hold all of the awesomely full-sized items and it comes with a card that details every product featured that month.
The “Must Have Fashion” item this month was this blue ikat print scarf from Brokedown. Brokedown Blue Ikat Scarf ($72; brokedownclothing.com) is a soft and lightweight “easy to wear” scarf that was originally designed exclusively for Pop Sugar subscribers (that’s what it said on the card). The Brokedown website has it available to buy right now so I guess it’s a newer item. I’m not really that crazy about this color, it’s a little too Civil War-y for my wardrobe, but, at $72, I’m really not going to complain. If I can’t make it work I’m sure my mom or one of my friends will find it useful.
The “Must Have Beauty” item this month, and my personal favorite item, was this awesome face serum from Jurlique. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum ($54 for 1 oz.; jurlique.com) is a “youth defense concentrate serum” that features a “propriety active complex” — Naturadiance PB18+ which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, helps increase elasticity, restores radiance and increases hydration.
This serum is also formulated with antioxidants to “create a natural defense shield to help protect against environmental aggressors” and leaves skin “visibly glowing, hydrated and younger-looking.” I have had the worst case of dry skin this winter and this serum does a great job at keeping my skin hydrated and all-around better looking all day.
The second “Must Have Fashion” item this month was a cute little lucky horseshoe necklace. Dogeared Lucky Horseshoe Make A Wish Necklace ($30; dogeared.com) is a gold-dipped horseshoe charm on a tobacco-colored silk thread. The idea is that the gold charm will “lock in any good luck that comes your way” and invites good fortune into your life. I’m all about lucky charms and this simple necklace goes with anything. I’ve been layering it with another gold charm necklace pretty much every other day since I got it.
The “Must Have Home” item this month was this funny little elephant ring tree. I actually just got a new jewelry/ring tree on sale at Target, but I have a lot of jewelry so I will definitely be putting this little guy to use. It’s also very sleek looking and pretty much goes with anything, so that’s a plus. BaubleBar Elephant Ring Tree ($12; baublebar.com) is described as a “charming BaubleBar accessory” that will make sure you always keep track of your rings and adds some “pizzazz” (funny word) to your side table or vanity.
This item is currently sold out on the BaubleBar website, but you can get on the wait list to score one. BaubleBar also makes a bunch of other cute little ring trees (the bunny rabbit is my favorite) — it seems like they are all sold out for now (maybe they’re new items?), but they all have a wait list option so they will definitely be available sometime soon.
Sometimes Pop Sugar includes a “Must Have Fitness” item in their monthly box and this month they sent out this hot pink mini fitness ball, perfect a bunch of different kinds of exercises. ActiveForever Fusion Exercise Ball ($9.95; activeforever.com) is described as a “lightweight and portable mini exercise ball,” the standard 7.5″ desired for Pilates and isometrics, abdominal work and “every other type of conditioning, balance training and relaxation exercise you can imagine.” This ball will allow you to achieve a full-body workout and improve your posture, and it provides “an unstable base of support, designed to activate your deepest stabilizing muscles and increase your workout productivity.”
The last two items in the March Pop Sugar Must Have box were these “Must Have Food” items. The Harvest Snaps Lightly Salted Snapea Crisps (~$2-4 for 3.3 oz.; harvestsnaps.com) are crunchy, baked green pea crisps with a little bit of salt to “bring out the flavor” that are a healthy alternative to the usual potato chips. They have less fat and sodium and more fiber than potato chips, higher levels of protein and vitamin B, a lower glycemic index and are gluten-free. They’re actually not that bad, they are super crunchy in a good way and even my dad, who hates “healthy” snacks, likes these.
Nature’s Bakery All-Natural Strawberry Fig Bars (~$2-3; naturesbakery.com) are all-natural, cholesterol-free, dairy-free and kosher fig bars made with minimally-processed ingredients. I can’t find this specific flavor on the Nature’s Bakery website, but it was definitely yummy and pretty filling, too. If I find these bars in the store I am definitely going to pick them up. I ate it as soon as I opened up the March Pop Sugar Must Have box (I was pretty hungry), so that’s why I could only take a photo of the wrapper. 🙂
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly beauty, fashion and lifestyle subscription box that costs $39.95 per month. To subscribe through my referral code and receive a discount on your first box click here, or, for more information, check out MustHave.PopSugar.com.
I’ve been so busy with classes the last two weeks that I’m a little late with this post, but I had to get it up anyway to show how awesome and easy these coasters were to make! I loved this project and, like all of the other Darby Smart boxes, I found that it was super easy and a complete DIY/craft-sy novice can easily create a beautiful project.
Darby Smart is one of my newer subscription services and I am loving it more and more with each box I receive. I have ordered a bunch of individual projects from the site and I have also received a few monthly boxes so far. You can sign up for a monthly subscription (which is a surprise box) or you can purchase a project you like from the huge list of craft boxes that the Darby Smart website has to offer.
Even though this particular box to create ink blot coasters is no longer available, Darby Smart does offer some similar projects (which I have listed below), or you can go to the craft store and purchase the supplies yourself to make this exact project — I have listed all of the supplies in this post. I am actually planning on buying more blank coasters and alcohol ink this week so that I can make even more coasters since I had so much fun with this project!
Each Darby Smart DIY box comes with a set of instructions and step-by-step photos, and then you can check out their website for more help and inspiration. The instructions didn’t come out that clear in the above photo, but I just wanted to give an idea as to what they look like on the card.
THE DARBY SMART FEBRUARY 2014 TO DIY BOX (INK BLOT COASTERS) CONTAINED:
- 4 blank ceramic tiles (under $2 per tile at most hardware stores)
- 1 Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Blending Solution (~$5 at most craft stores)
- 3 Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks (~$10 for a 3-pack at most craft stores)
- 1 foam craft brush (super cheap, less than $1 at most craft store and less than $5 for a pack of multiple brushes)
- 1 pack of cork stickers (~$5 at most craft stores)
- 1 bottle of Mod Podge (~$7-8 at most craft stores — I am looking for an alternative to this to seal in the alcohol ink because I didn’t really like how the Mod Podge worked with this particular project)
Okay, so, on to the fun! So, the first step is to take out a blank coaster. Okay, easy enough. This step probably didn’t need a whole photo but I always need a sense of completion with things like this, so here is “Step One“.
Oh, I forgot to mention — the best part about this project is that the ink is completely washable with soap and water and you can fix and re-do the coasters as often as you like to get a design you absolutely love. I lost count with how many times I washed and re-inked my coasters. And, although the ink takes a little longer coming off your fingers (it really seeped in after 20+ tile applications … -_-), it definitely comes off the tiles very easily which really makes this whole project completely fool-proof. I got super excited about this whole thing and never wanted it to end, but I had to choose my “finished project” at some point and I’m just going to go out and buy more coasters and ink to make more!
Step Two: Pour a few drops of the Alcohol Blending Solution onto the tile and spread it out evenly with the foam brush. The more blending solution you use, the more your inks will spread out and blend. I ran out of this stuff after like my 50th do-over and when I get more I think I’m going to use a little less blending solution on a few tiles to keep some of the inks in the circular pattern that you will see in the next two photos.
Step Three: Start dropping your ink on the tile and watch them spread out and do awesome, pretty visionary stuff. Like I said before, if you use less blending solution then the colors won’t spread out as much. You are basically making art out of complete messy chaos here, so anything goes, really. You can drop as many colors as you want, and make the drops as big or as small as you like. You can cover up the whole tile or leave some white space — it’s totally up to you. This project really takes zero crafty talent.
Step Four: Ooooh … pretty colors. Mix and match to your heart’s desire and watch all the colors combine and make new colors when you mix them together. They should totally do an alcohol ink project in elementary school art classes. This is the color wheel in action.
Step Five: Depending on how much blending solution you used, the finished product might look totally different than what it looked like when you were dropping the colors. I overdid it a bit on this tile (above), as all the colors mixed together way too much and formed into black … but it actually came out cool this way.
Step Six: After your ink is dry, turn the tile over and apply the cork stickers to prevent the tiles from scratching any surfaces. Then, flip the tile over and apply the Mod Podge with your foam brush over the whole thing. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Mod Podge in this project — I found that it streaked the tiles (even though it was supposed to prevent streaks) and it made the inks lose a lot of their shininess.
I’m going to find a better sealer in the store — one that seals the ink in place and keeps the colors vibrant and glossy-looking. I also re-did this tile multiple times so that’s why there is so much ink on the bottom of the tile. The first few tiles I made didn’t have any ink on the bottom so it looked a lot neater.
And here is my finished project! As you can see, there are a few white streaks in the top right tile because of the way it dried after applying the Mod Podge. Otherwise, I think these all came out pretty cool (after rinsing them off and re-doing them at least 20 times). I’m going to look for a better sealer for the inks that will preserve their color vibrancy and glossiness, so maybe I will do another post for my next set of ink blot tiles! Here are a few more photos of the finished tiles up close:
Overall, this project was super fun, SUPER easy and I love the fact that you can wash off the ink as many times as you want before you obtain a finished product that you absolutely love. The whole thing did become a bit messier after re-doing the tiles more than, say, three times (that’s how the ink dripped down to the bottom of the tile), but, overall, this project wasn’t that messy.
I would definitely recommend to put a towel down and not use these inks directly on any surfaces (obviously), and to use a towel that you don’t mind getting dirty. Some of the inks set into the towel that I used but that’s okay because I can use the towel again for the next DIY/craft project 🙂
This specific Darby Smart Ink Blot Coasters DIY kit was part of the February TO DIY FOR subscription box, so it is no longer available. If you want a coaster-making kit, Darby Smart offers a Malachite/Fabric Coasters box ($29), a Moroccan Tile Coasters box ($22) and a Monogram Coasters box ($29). There is also a multitude of other DIY craft boxes that comes complete with all the supplies you need for that specific project, or you can make these exact ink blot coasters by buying the supplies listed earlier on in this post.
For $19/month, you can also subscribe to the Darby Smart monthly TO DIY FOR subscription box, a new surprise DIY/craft box each month. There are also other pricing plans where you pay every three months ($47) or yearly ($199), that ends up being cheaper than the $19/month price. For more information, visit DarbySmart.com.