Reader Showcase: A Look Back at Winter 2014

With the recent celebration of my 31st Birthday, winter gave us its farewell, and thus spring is here!  Or at least, for my friends up north, it’s running a little late, but it will surely be here soon.

Even for a Florida spring, it has been a little chilly here the past few days–chilly enough that I’ve actually turned on the space-heater in the mornings and at night.  Although, I know I’m such a wuss.  And even though I feel like this…

…to the rest of the world, we’re more like this:

But who wants to talk about the weather when we’ve got a Reader Showcase to get to!?

Reader Showcase: Winter 2014

Now, if this is your first Reader Showcase, here’s the quick run-down:

It has been established (on multiple occasions) that The Thinking Closet readers are the best readers in blogland.  And one of the many things that makes you all so great is that some of you actually follow my tutorials or find a spark of inspiration to get your craft on!  And this makes me feel…well…pretty much like the Scarecrow:

So, at the end of every season, I dedicate an entire post to showing off my readers and their creativity in a Reader Showcase.  And the best part is that the inspiration is cyclical.  Because looking through the collection of your creations from this past winter, well, I’m getting new ideas for projects myself.  It’s the circle of life creativity.

And it moves us all.

So, let’s get to it!

The Thinking Closet Reader Showcase: Winter 2014

Note: If you’d like to pin some of these projects, please click through to the blogs from whence they came to honor the original source (if there’s a post on it).  Also, I’ll link to the original tutorials in case others would like to give some of these a try, too.  Now, let the good times roll!


Our family friend Denice really took to my Menu Planner to Rule Them All…so much so that she routinely makes them as gifts, and now has 4 different planners of her own to swap out with the changing seasons!  Here’s her latest “winter” planner.  So blingtastic!

Menu Planner by Denice, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Menu Planner by Denice from Ten Thousand Beside

Skye sent me a photo of a glorious gold menagerie she created after reading my tutorial on how to make Animal Place-Card Holders.  And now, I’m wishing I had a giraffe to add to my collection!

Gold Animal Place-Card Holders by Skye, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Gold Animal Place-Card Holders by Skye

Cory guest posted over at My Grandpa’s House with a really smart wreath that you can use year-round; all you have to do is change out the velcro embellishments for each new season or holiday.  This St. Paddy’s Day, she was able to use my Fabric Spring Wreath Tutorial to create some darling fabric flowers.

Year-Round Wreath by My Grandpa's House, Featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Year-Round Wreath by Cory for My Grandpa’s House


I couldn’t believe the incredible reception to my 12 Months of Pre-Planned Date Nights this winter.  The FREE Printable I shared has been downloaded…wait for it…over 7,000 times!  How is that even possible?  Well, here are three readers’ mini-book creations that they gave to a significant other this past Valentine’s Day:

12 Pre-Planned Date Nights featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

1.  Emme M.  2.  Jennifer from Find My Inner Athlete  3. Katie M. via Instagram


I was really impressed by this unique take on the Pallet Headboard…and honored that Alison from Buggaluggs was able to use our So, You Want to Build a Pallet Headboard? post in the process!

Pallet Headboard by Alison, Featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Pallet Headboard by Buggaluggs


It has been fun to see my very first Silhouette creation, my A Thousand Thanks Card, inspire so many Silhouette users…especially beginners!  Here’s a collage of some cards created using that tutorial as a jumping off point:

"A Thousand Thanks" Cards, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

1.  Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts (Instagram)  2. Josephine M.
3.  Joyce from Peace, Love, & Joyce

And I love how Meredith from unOriginal Mom took the concept from that card and ran with it to create some classy looking return address labels.  These I’ve gotta make myself:

Return Address Labels by unOriginal Mom, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

DIY Return Address Labels by unOriginal Mom

Heather from The Frill of Life was one of my Silhouette Giveaway winners this past winter and she wasted no time diving into crafting with her Cameo.  She followed my Vinyl Labels Tutorial and made some eye-catching labels for her kitchen jars.  I love the contrast of the white on black, don’t you?

Vinyl Jar Labels by The Frill of Life, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Vinyl Kitchen Jar Labels by The Frill of Life

And the label-love continues over at Life After Laundry where Brenna was able to use my Sketch Pen Place-Card Tutorial to create some sketchy labels for her craft bins!  So lovely:

Craft Bin Labels by Life After Laundry, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Craft Bin Labels by Life After Laundry

My Burlap Love Banner made a comeback this winter for two different holidays!  First, Jenny Mattos created a gorgeous rendition with some bold red hearts in the mix:

Burlap Love Banner by Jenny M., featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Burlap Love Banner by Jenny Mattos

And then, Courtney from The Colorless Cottage did the cleverest thing and adapted the same concept into a St. Paddy’s Banner.  She even shares a free cut file in her blog post for those who want 8 “Lucky” languages on their mantel:

Burlap St. Paddy's Banner by The Colorless Cottage, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

St. Paddy’s Day Banner by The Colorless Cottage

It delights me to no end knowing I’ve been able to pass the Freezer Paper Stenciling bug onto a few others!  (Have you tried it yet?  You must!  Even if you don’t have a Silhouette machine.  An exacto knife will do!)

Freezer Paper Stenciling, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

1.  Lynda from Bloom, Bake, Create  2. Susan Pike (Pinterest)
3.  Amy from Mouse Ears Mom

Is not Tori from Lil Mrs. Tori the cutest thing ever?  I love how she used my Photo Booth Prop Tutorial & Free Cut File to whip up some fun props for a party…as well as for a photo shoot of one her Silhouette Blog projects.

Photo Booth Props by Lil Mrs. Tori, Featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Photo Booth Props by Lil Mrs. Tori (Instagram)

Camille was able to use my Personalized Insulated Mug Tutorial when creating her own “Crazy Aunt” mug.  (As a fellow “Crazy Aunt,” I’m thinking I might need to whip up one of these for myself!)

Insulated Travel Mug by Camille, Featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Travel Mug by Camille (Pinterest)

I’m simply drooling over the gorgeousness of the wrapping paper and paper flowers on this package by Elizabeth from L’Enfant Chéri.  If I were the recipient of such a wonder, I’d never want to open it!  And of course, I was flattered to hear that she found some initial inspiration in my Stamped Wrapping Paper Tutorial.

D.I.Y. Wrapping Paper by Elizabeth, Featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Baby Shower Gift Fun! by L’Enfant Chéri


My girl Mackenzie from Cheerios & Lattes recently had a baby girl (congrats!), and in anticipation of her little one’s arrival, Mackenzie used my Burp Cloth Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist to whip up some super cute burp cloths.  Don’t you love her fabric selections?

Burp Cloths by Cheerios & Lattes, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Easy Burp Cloths by Cheerios & Lattes

And nothing makes me swoon more than seeing neatly organized fabric…especially Filed Fabric!  Especially when cats are involved.

Filed Fabric, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

1.  Yvonne from Dress this Nest  2.  Emily from The E.M. Dash (Instagram)
3.  Allison from Dream a Little Bigger (Instagram)


Some of my absolute favorite “inspired” posts are the revamped “About Me” pages…which make we want to revamp mine all over again!  Check out the newly refreshed pages of the Fab 4 here who used my post on “How to Revamp Your ‘About’ Page & Paint a Clearer Picture of You” as a jumping off point:

Newly Revamped "About Me" Pages, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

1.  Emily from Two Purple Couches  2.  My own sister Lisbeth from squeeze it into little inkdrops
3.  Michelle from Mind of Meesh  4.  Amanda from Busy Mama 911

My Blogging Dreams & Goals for 2013 post inspired Tosin to do some dreaming and goaling at the gate of 2014…and reading her post gave me the shove I needed to finish up my 2014 installment!  (Look at us, inspiring each other.)

Tosin's Blogging Goals for 2014, featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

Blogging Goals for 2014 by My Style Pad

Melissa from Two it Yourself decided to design her own blogger business cards after reading my post on My New MOO Business Cards.  I love how she also used PicMonkey to design it all…and added a handy dandy Q.R. code, as well!

DIY Blogger Business Cards by Two It Yourself, Featured in The Thinking Closet's Winter 2014 Reader Showcase

DIY Blogger Business Cards by Melissa from Two It Yourself

And that concludes the Winter 2014 edition of The Reader Showcase.  Such a talented group of individuals and projects!

If You’ve Been Showcased…

…feel free to grab a featured button!

"I Was Featured" Button

Right click to copy the url & save as.

A Year of Reader Awesomeness

With the publishing of this post, my Reader Showcase has journeyed through all four seasons of the year.  Woot woot!  And I’d love for you to click the images below to check out some of the past showcases because they really are just as jaw-dropping as you might imagine:

Reader Showcase: Spring 2013 | The Thinking Closet

Reader Showcase: Summer 2013

Reader Showcase: Fall 2013 | The Thinking Closet

A Call

The Reader Showcase is officially a quarterly series, so at the end of each season, I’ll be posting more of your projects inspired by The Thinking Closet here for the world to see.  If you’ve ever created something in the past that was inspired by something you saw on this blog or if you do so in the future, I’d love it if you’d send me a photo or two of your creation to thethinkingcloset {at}  And if you have a blog or are on social media, I’ll be sure to link to it!  Promoting my beloved readers is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world; no exaggeration.

 Silhouette Schtuff

And before I bid you adieu, I did have a little Silhouette announcement to share.  Although some of you may have seen this on Facebook, it bears repeating!  The winner of my most recent Silhouette Giveaway as chosen by Rafflecopter and powered by is…


So delighted for you, Justine!  Thanks for your prompt response by email.  Hopefully that special new Silhouette is on its way to you soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered!  And just as a reminder, you still have three days left in the current Silhouette promotion, which you can read about in full HERE.  Basically, machine bundles are on mega-sale HERE (plus you get some nifty starter supplies that will keep you busy for quite some time). Basically machine bundles are on mega-sale and you can get 30% off all specialty media when using my affiliate code CLOSET at checkout.  Enjoy!

And have a fantastic weekend!


Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Wow! What a grouping and I have to tell you it is such an honor to not only be showcased with all these amazing creations, but for that showcase to be on The Thinking Closet!?!? I’m beside myself with glee! Thanks so much for the enormous compliment, Lauren! And a special congrats to Justine! You’re gonna love it, girl!

  2. says

    Ok, you have got to feel so great about inspiring so many people to make such great projects!! I think I wrote something similar after your last showcase, but it bears repeating – it is a true testament to how engaging, informative, and inspiring your blog is! I love that you devote an entire post to this, too…not only does it feature lots of folks, it shows how truly “do-able” your projects are! And thanks for featuring my return address labels…that “Thousand Thanks” text welding concept is such a great one!

  3. says

    Oh, it’s so nice seeing my kitty on your blog :) I totally forgot about that Instagram shot, but I gotta tell you… my filed fabric is even more awesome than I ever would have thought. I had just hoped to get it out of my huge plastic tubs but just opening that drawer and spying all of the pretty patterns has had such a positive influence on my creativity.

    It’s so lovely to see all of these projects you, creative lady, inspired. Amazing!

  4. Karen Lewis says

    @Allison – Love your kitty, quite the helper I bet!
    Thanks once again, Lauren, for refreshing my mind with some of these ideas. I buried myself once again in my sewing endeavors and my trunk is filled with fabric so when I saw the fabric filing, I slapped my head (slapping harder) and wondered how in the world could I forget such a neat trick. This will work perfect and I can do double duty by cleaning out that cabinet that I’ve been putting off for some time now.
    Way to get my creative juices flowing again.
    Love you kiddo!

  5. says

    What a surprise to get featured. My About page was seriously bland before your article helped me! There are still a few things I want to add (aren’t their always) but it’s so much more me now! Thank You So Much for thinking of me.

  6. says

    Lauren, I just wanted to let you know that I adore your reader showcase. It’s such an inspiration to know that you interact with us in all the awesome ways you do!

  7. says

    Awww, thanks so much for the feature my friend 😀 I seriously got so much inspiration from your post, and had so much fun making over my About page!! Thanks for taking the time to put together this awesome showcase! I love seeing how one person’s work inspires another :)

  8. says

    ….and yes. I am JUST seeing this:) Thank you, thank you, thank you for your awesome cut files for that photo booth. You totally saved me a TON of time:)

  9. Marmie says

    Wonderful creations and projects that YOU inspired and then you were likewise inspired by THEM! So kind and loving (truly) to collect and remember to recognize your readers in this way! (By the way, I did make another gift using an invitation to a quilt show cut in strips and curled inside a clear ornament which was inspired by you! Sadly I forgot to take a photo!)

    Congratulations to Justine on her win of the Silhouette Portrait!


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