10 Minute Fringe Infinity T-Shirt Scarf

10 Minute Fringe Infinity T-Shirt Scarf - - one of the quickest, easiest, and most fun DIY projects you'll ever do! Oh, and the best part? Supplies are FREE if you raid your closet for an old t-shirt to upcycle! Just another inspiring tutorial from Scarf Week 2015! Stop by to check out all 7 DIY T-Shirt Scarves.

Did you hear the oh-so-exciting news?  While Shark Week takes over your TV screens this week, Scarf Week will be taking over blogland.  That's right: you've got 5 fun-filled days of scarf-tastic inspiration ahead of you, and it all kicks off today!Today's theme? T-Shirt Scarves! And I'm joined by 6 other bloggers who are all sharing t-shirt scarf tutorials today, so be sure to stick around to the end of this post and explore their killer projects!  (And oh-my-gills, are they Read more

Scarf Week 2015: A Week of Killer Inspiration

Welcome to Scarf Week 2015! Bigger, better, scarfy-er. July 6 - 10, 2015. We've got t-shirt scarves, dyed-painted-stamped scarves, scarves for sewists, knitted & crocheted scarves, and scarf re-fashions! It's going to be a killer week of inspiration, no fish-bones about it.

We live in a crazy world.  So, it can be a relief to know there are a few constants we can rely on.After winter, must come spring.What goes up must come down.And when Shark Week comes back with a vengeance every summer, so does Scarf Week return!  That's right.  Today at 10 a.m. eastern, we are kicking off the Second Annual Scarf Week here in blogland, and this time it really is bigger...better...scarfy-er.  That's because I'm joined by not one, not two, but a whole gaggle of Read more

Flip-Through Video Tour of My Journaling Bible

Flip-Through Video Tour of My Journaling Bible | Join me on this fun lil' video tour of the first 10 entries of my E.S.V. Journaling Bible in which I share tips, tricks, favorite supplies, techniques I've been exploring, and why this has been such a meaningful way for me to study the Bible these past 3 months. I hope it's an encouragement to you wherever you find yourself in your journey.

It has been a little over three months since I first started pouring my heART into the margins of my *Crossway E.S.V. Journaling Bible...and to say it has revolutionized my Bible study experience is an understatement.My introductory blog posts this spring were met with such enthusiasm and some great questions, so I thought it might be worthwhile to do a lil' flip through video tour of my first 10 entries.  My hope is that this might serve as inspiration for some of you who are also at the Read more

Reader Showcase: A Look Back at Winter & Spring 2015

Winter & Spring 2015 Reader Showcase at The Thinking Closet | Prepare to be amazed at the creativity and inspiration in the craft and DIY tutorials found in this round-up! Reason #597 why The Thinking Closet readers are the best readers in blogland!

Happy weekend, friends.  And better yet, happy summer!You know what that means...school's out......the grills are heating up......and in between those thrilling summer thunderstorms......the beach is calling your name!Well, when the seasons change, I like to do a little event here at The Thinking Closet called The Reader Showcase.  What's it all about?Well, some of my favorite emails to receive are the ones where you send me photos of creations y'all Read more

How to Build a Loyal Blog Following Through Storytelling & A Giveaway

How to Build a Loyal Blog Following Through Storytelling | Blogging tips by Lauren Lanker from The Thinking Closet. How can we craft opening sentences that rise above the noise? Through storytelling. It's one of the most effective ways to build a long-term relationship with loyal blog followers. Here are some practical exercises to help bloggers draw out their own stories and find their voice through writing killer hooks!

In kindergarten, my friends and I would crouch down on the big black rocks and dedicate our recess hour to scraping the shiny mica with our fingernails.  It came off in small, thin sheets that we collected in our jacket pockets.  To the teacher looking on, we were just kids being kids.  That mica wasn't worth much.But to us, it was worth a lot.It was pirate's booty for our treasure chest.  It was currency for our game of house.  It was magical fairy dust that could make us fly.And Read more

DIY Burlap Chair Signs for the Bride & Groom

DIY Burlap Chair Signs for the Bride & Groom | Step by step freezer paper stenciling tutorial including FREE Silhouette cut file! These "his beloved" and "her beloved" chair banners are the perfect addition to a rustic wedding!

"Oh they say when you marry in June you're a bride all your life!" My dear younger sister Lisbeth is getting married this June.  And it only feels fitting to be humming along to a song from one of our favorite movie musicals, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, as I work on some of her reception decor items.Now, "chair signs" weren't originally on my "to make" list.  But when I discovered some burlap chair banners and signs in my Pinterest-perusing, I was gripped with an inspiration I just Read more

“Should It Stay or Should It Go?” | A Decor Date

"Should It Stay or Should It Go?" A Decor Date | Inspired by Free Decorating by Jackie Hernandez, my hubby and I dedicated an hour long decor date to assessing our furniture and accent pieces as items to stay or go - - keep or lose. Thanks to some handy dandy printables, it made what could have been an overwhelming process quite fun! Stop by the blog to hear the full run-down and download some free printables!

Here's a new first:This past Tuesday, Mark and I planned a date to discuss decor.Yes, you read that correctly: my dear hubby and I dedicated an entire hour to assessing each furniture item and accent piece in our living room and kitchen area, asking ourselves, "Should it stay or should it go?"And yes, it was a fun enough process to merit the title of "date."  I'm not kidding, we both left that decor date more excited and fired up than if we had gone go-cart racing.Now, I know Read more

Our Cash Budget Envelope System: 3 Month Update!

Our Cash Budget Envelope System: 3 Month Update! | They say it takes 90 days to form a new habit...well, here's the full run-down of our first 90 days of using our new cash budget envelope system, from the highlights to the challenges and adjustments we've made. We hope our story is an encouragement to you in your own journey toward financial peace. via thinkingcloset.com

They say it takes 90 days to form a new habit.Well, I'm proud to say that as of this May, Mark and I reached 90 days of using our new Cash Budget Envelope System.  And we are still goin' strong, people!Now, paying for our unfixed expenses with cash instead of plastic hasn't been easy breezy.  We've had to maneuver some bumps in the road and learn some hard lessons, but overall, these first three months have been a truly positive experience for us.  We're seeing the fruits of this new Read more

The Art of the Etched Casserole Dish: Your Questions Answered!

Glass Etched Casserole Dishes: Personalized Wedding Gift Idea - - Plus Your Questions Answered about The Art of Glass Etched Bakeware!

I'm giddy as a pig in mud when a project creates such a buzz, that it merits a follow-up post.Ever since first publishing my Personalized Etched Glass Bakeware Tutorial, I've encountered a slew of "frequently asked questions" about it.  I think that the strong chemicals and rubber gloves amp up the intimidation factor.  It kind of feels like you're doing a mini science experiment in your kitchen.But with each glass etching project I do, I'm continually amazed at how very do-able it is to Read more

50 Do-Able DIY Photo Backdrops

50 Do-Able DIY Photo Backdrops | An inspiring collection of inspiration from across blogland for bloggers and shop owners looking to shoot professional-looking photos using backdrops they already have or can easily and inexpensively make themselves! A goldmine of information!

There's a myth about blog photos - - those bright, crisp images on non-distracting backgrounds (you know the ones).The myth goes that those blog photos are shot in professional studios with expensive lighting equipment and fancy backdrops.  Oh, and the bloggers behind the cameras have about 20 different lenses to choose from for different effects and compositions.  And they most certainly all have spunky assistants with a non-descript accents (think Franck from Father of the Bride) who shout Read more

DIY Coastal Wood Plank Photo Backdrop

DIY Coastal Wood Plank Photo Backdrop | Here's the full step by step run-down for how to make your own set of pallets for a professional-looking photo backdrop inspired by a beachy lifeguard stand! Tutorial includes drawn-out plans, helpful photos, and of course, a curious kitty cat!

If you enjoy learning what goes on behind the scenes for a blogger or shop owner, you are in for a treat today!Because I'm going to show you what my new-and-improved photo shoots actually look like.{SPOILER ALERT: they involve two DIY pallets of white planked wood, and you're gonna get the full run-down for how to make them, too.  Cool?  Cool.}But it wouldn't be a true Thinking Closet post if we didn't start with a little backstory, now would it?It all started with a trip to the Read more

Permission Pages: A Perfectionist’s Approach to the Journaling Bible

Permission Pages: A Perfectionist's Approach to the Journaling Bible | Determined not to let my perfectionism get the best of me, I began the first pages of my new Journaling Bible with a set of what I call "Permission Pages" where I outline what this Bible is for and what it is not for. I even provide a disclaimer about what *may happen to these pages (spoiler: they won't stay "neat"). And with this bold decree under my belt, I can now venture forth to pour out my heART in the margins with the kind of artistic freedom every creative act should possess. Here's my story and my tips for other perfectionists about to begin their Journaling Bible journey!

I'm not perfect.  But sometimes I try to be.And that is one futile battle.  Salvador Dali said it best: Have no fear of perfection.  You'll never reach it.Yet even though I know that in my head, oftentimes my actions and heart-attitude reflect otherwise.And perfectionism can be paralyzing, lemmetellya.It can stifle creativity.  Confuse our motives.  Prevent us from ever beginning.So, when my brand spankin' new Journaling Bible arrived on my doorstep two weeks ago, I Read more

Welcome to My Journaling Bible: heART in the margins

Welcome to My Journaling Bible: heART in the margins | Here's a closer look at my first pages! Check out the full post for the inside scoop Q & A style about this new movement sweeping the margins of Bibles everywhere...and how you can use art to engage with scripture in a new and exciting way!

There's an artistic movement sweeping the margins of Bibles everywhere.  And I'm joining in. Honesty Moment Now, before we go any further, I wanted to acknowledge that some of you may find the Bible offensive.  Or maybe you have an aversion to it for whatever reason.  Or maybe you want to get into reading it, but it's a struggle to understand or even believe.That's okay.We're all unique people at different points in our life journey, and I won't judge you for that.  That's not what Read more

10 Inspiring Instagramers to Spark Your Creativity

10 Inspiring Instagramers to Spark Your Creativity | We've got Color Queens, Painting Parties, Journal Fests, and Lettering Lovies, so check out thinkingcloset.com for the full round-up and prepare to experience your own creative renaissance as a result!

Okay, this post is totally impromptu (literally, just decided this afternoon to write it), but I've got a burst of energy thanks to my signature Starbucks drink and a fresh new haircut, so I'm riding this wave of spontaneous inspiration! Let's Talk Instagram I've always enjoyed Instagram.  But the past month that enjoyment has transformed into a slight mega-obsession. Why? Well, it's in part because of the Inspiring Instagramers I want to introduce you to today.You see, I've started Read more

Bride and Groom Baseball Shirts with FREE Cut File

Bride & Groom Baseball T-Shirts with Free Cut File | Such a creative engagement or wedding gift idea...so fitting as two become one team! Silhouette tutorial includes FREE cut file to make this project easy peasy with a Silhouette machine and some heat transfer vinyl. So, what are you waiting for? This is a gift the recipients will treasure for always.

The engagement.I had an inkling of an idea that it might happen this Christmas.  And on that inkling, I fired up *the 'ole Silhouette machine and set to work to make some Bride & Groom gear for my lil' sis and her beau.My inspiration?  Baseball t-shirts.  Because that's the thing about marriage.  Together, you become a team!  (Plus, my father instilled a love of baseball at a young age.  My baseball card album sat on the same shelf as my sticker book.  Don Mattingly, Read more

Fancy Dancy Mason Jar Upcycle

Fancy Dancy Mason Jar Upcycle for Swap It Like It's Hot! | Watch what happens when bloggers send each other thrifted finds and exercise their DIY powers! I got a trinket box with pretty knobs and transformed it into pretty craft supply storage. Tutorial includes links to all of the bloggers in Swap It Like It's Hot 3.0, so check out the wealth of inspiration. You'll never look at a thrifted find the same way again.

Welcome to Swap It Like It's Hot!  (More formally known as the Flea Market Swap.) The Gist Lauren (ahem...that's me) goes thrifting for treasures with potential.  Treasures to be given a fresh coat of paint or disassembled and reimagined into something completely new.She can spend $10 max.Then, she packages up said treasures and sends them to Meagan.  It's up to Meagan now to transform them or use them however she likes!Meanwhile, Jessica goes thrifting for treasures with Read more

1980s Fashion Plate Greeting Cards: FREE Printable

Fashion Plate Greeting Cards: A Retro-Inspired Craft Project | Here's a fun one for anyone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s - - and this step by step tutorial includes free printable and cut file so you can make your own and relive your youth! These fab cards are guaranteed to bring a smile (and wave of nostalgia) to your recipient. Like totally! Fer sure! {Smile.}

First, a little poem to set the stage.  Feel free to lower the lights, put on your beatnik cap, and get your snaps ready. I am from Annie and Peter Pan on the old record player, which skipped every time we went "flying." From homemade scrunchies and wrist-bruising slap-on bracelets. I am from open upstairs windows on hot summer nights and sticker books ripe for the trading. I am from mint leaves we collected for Mom in a small tin bucket, the scent that flavored our fingertips all day Read more