The Grand Reveal of my eBook Title, Cover, & Launch Date!

Thinking Outside the Gift Box: 21 Money-Saving & Meaningful Gift Ideas | eBook by Lauren Lanker | coming November 17, 2014 to thinkingcloset.com!

G’day, mateys!  And a very good day it is.  I am biting my nails at a higher rate than usual because of some very exciting eBook updates I get to spill today. As most of you know, one of my biggest bloggy dreams for this year was to write and publish my first eBook.  And after loads of brainstorming, I settled on the topic of gift-giving, and have spent the past few months doing research, writing rough drafts, and {read more…}

30 D.I.Y. Coaster Gifts

30 DIY Coaster Gifts | A round-up of coaster gift ideas galore, brought to you by thinkingcloset.com. A slew of inspiration for coasters made from tile, cork, leather, fabric, and unconventional materials.

Balance has been my word of the year this year.  And in the words of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof, “How do we keep our balance?  That I can tell you in one word: tradition!” The last two Novembers, I’ve made it a tradition to make a few sets of D.I.Y. coasters: a set to keep, and the rest to give away as gifts! In 2012, I discovered how to get my hands on free {read more…}

“Keep Calm” T-Shirt Gift for Teachers with FREE Cut File

"Keep Calm & Always Return My Pencils": Creative T-Shirt Gift Idea for Teachers. Step by step tutorial includes tips n' tricks for working with heat transfer vinyl on your Silhouette machine!

Apparently, lending out pencils as a teacher is akin to giving them away.  Because the second one of my students left the threshold of my classroom with a pencil in hand, I was essentially saying farewell to that writing utensil forever.  Au revoir.  Adios.  Have a nice life.  Teachers in the house, can I witness? When I taught freshman English in Ohio, the disappearing-pencil-problem was a serious one.  Initially, I refused to lend out pencils and {read more…}

“Sew Easy” Turban Headband: Video Tutorial

"Sew Easy" Turban Headband: This video tutorial walks you through every step, making it a fun and easy beginner sewist project! Love how versatile these headbands are...and what great gifts they'd make!

Welcome back to Scarf Week!  Can you believe we’re on our final day of tutorials?  Me neither!  What a fun and wild ride it has been. Welp, we’re changing things up today, friends.  Yes, we are!  After three no-sew scarves (1, 2, 3), I decided to throw in one with some sewing…but don’t get all verklempt!  It’s a fantastic project for beginners (like myself!) since it involves just three straight-ish stitches. In fact, I’d go so {read more…}

Stamped “Word Search” Scarf: Video Tutorial

With a stamped "Word Search" scarf or bandana, you can create a gift of great significance for any person of any age In this video tutorial, learn how to transform any acrylic paint into fabric paint; and pick up a handy dandy method for stamping straight(ish) lines on a square scarf. Happy Scarf Week!

Of the four scarf tutorials I’m sharing during Scarf Week this week, this one started in a completely different part of my brain than it ended up (ah, the creative process…).  Does that happen to you, too?  But the scarf I ended up creating was far better and far more meaningful than any of my initial ideas.  And it allowed me to shower some belated anniversary love upon my hubby because this scarf was stamped just for him.  (Awwwwww.) I {read more…}

15 Minute T-Shirt Yarn Infinity Scarf: Video Tutorial

15 Minute T-Shirt Yarn Infinity Scarf. Upcycle an old t-shirt into a chic infinity scarf. The video tutorial will walk you through every step in the process. This is one of those rare projects that really only takes 15 minutes. On your first try!

Well, I’m on a kick with the infinity t-shirt scarves, it seems…because this is my second one in two days.  I guess I’m just too lazy to make a craft store run when I can just raid my closet for supplies. Have t-shirt?  Will-upcycle-it-into-a-scarf.  A No-Sew T-Shirt Yarn Infinity Scarf…to be exact. Oh, and you know how involved my craft projects usually are?  Well, I’m going to blow your minds, friends, because this one only {read more…}

Tie-Dye Infinity Scarf: Video Tutorial

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Did you catch the grand announcement yesterday?  It’s not only Shark Week in TV-land, but it’s Scarf Week in blogland!  Myself and three of my favorite bloggers are going to each be sharing a scarf tutorial a day for the next four days.  So, if you do the math, that’s 16 inspirational projects.  Go big or go home, right? Today kicks off the first of my four scarf tutorials, and I am as giddy as a schoolgirl over how it turned {read more…}

The Actor’s Survival Kit & Silhouette Promotion

The Actor's Survival Kit: A fun idea for an opening night gift that is both thoughtful and practical! The actors will be bound to break a leg or two.

Another op’nin’, another show In Philly, Boston, or Baltimo’, A chance for stage folks to say hello, Another op’nin’ of another show. –”Another Op’nin’, Another Show” from Kiss Me Kate Perhaps the only thing that thrills me more than feeling the stage lights hot on my face as I bring a character to life before a live audience…is directing a show in which my actors feel the stage lights hot on their faces as they bring their characters to life before a live {read more…}

My Haven Business Card SWAG: Temporary Tattoos!

DIY Temporary Tattoos! Such a fun addition to business cards, especially for crafters and DIYers. Tutorial includes FREE cut files!

G’day mates!  Just got back from my sophomore year at Haven Blog Conference in Atlanta, and boy did I have fun!  The kind of fun that plum tuckered me out (I actually went to bed last night before the sun went down, which is a rarity for this night owl).  Looking forward to sharing a recap of my experience later in the week {UPDATE: it’s HERE!}…but you’re going to get a sneak peek at my business {read more…}

Personalized Milk Bottles & Silhouette Promotion!

Personalized Plastic Milk Bottles: such a fun throw-back to the days of the vintage milk bottle. These would make such great shower gifts or hostess gifts (for the kids!). Super easy to customize, too!

Sigh….  I remember the good old days when we’d hear the clink of milk bottles arriving on the front doorstep.  The glass bottles would be icy to the touch.  For once, I actually wanted to drink my milk. No, I didn’t grow up in the early 1900s.  When I was in middle school, my Mom signed up for a service that would deliver milk in glass bottles to our doorstep each week.  Like magic.  We’d leave the {read more…}

30 D.I.Y. Baby Onesies

Holy cuteness, Batman! This collection of 30 baby onesies is my one-stop-shop for inspiration! No more wracking my brain for shower gift ideas.

One of your 31 amazing questions for my Birthday Video this year was, “What is your favorite craft to do?”  And do you remember my answer? “Baby onesies!” Of course. You’ve seen a slew of them here on The Thinking Closet in the past, and you’re about to see a whole bunch more. I’ve reached out to my friends over at The Silhouette Challenge Facebook Group I coordinate to give me their onesie best…and boy {read more…}

Dishwasher Magnets: FREE Cut File & Printable

Now, I will never mix up the clean and dirty dishes again! This tutorial includes both a Silhouette cut file and a FREE printable for those who want to cut out the magnets the old-fashioned way: with scissors! These would make great shower, housewarming, or hostess gifts!

Let me play out a little scenario of our dishwasher woes.  Perhaps you can relate? Person A sees the dishwasher is getting pretty full and decides to run it.  After its cycle, person A pops it open to grab a clean spoon.  The green “clean” light is deactivated. Hours later, person B finishes her bowl of ice cream and decides to be proactive and load it in the dishwasher.  Plus, she spies a few used cups {read more…}

How to Make a Gift Box Out of Paper & $100 Jewelry Giveaway

Create your own Flower Tab Gift Boxes out of paper! Perfect for Mother's Day jewelry. FREE printable template by thinkingcloset.com

One of the first Mother’s Day gifts I remember giving to my mom was a circular pin I painted for her in my kindergarten class.  I remember thinking it looked fierce…until it dried.  Then, the pink paint took on an orangey hue and my brushstrokes looked more splotchy than artful.  And yet, you know what silenced my perfectionist insecurities?  The fact that my mom wore that pin like it was her most prized possession.  That’s {read more…}

Baby Shower Gift Package & Printable

Baby Shower Gift Package: DIY Burp Cloths that any beginner can sew! via thinkingcloset.com

There’s something about scrubbing bathroom floors together while belting out angst-filled Alanis Morissette songs that bonds you.  Amidst giggles and soap suds and “you oughta knows,” a friendship can be born.  A friendship strong enough to span 14 years and counting.  This truth is one Gianna and I know firsthand. And to think, it’s all thanks to bathroom-cleaning duty for having the messiest campsite at mission trip training camp. Since then, we’ve journeyed together through {read more…}

3 MORE Gender-Neutral Onesies & Silhouette Giveaway

Gender Neutral Onesies: 3 NEW Silhouette cut files from thinkingcloset.com

Around this time last year, I had just tackled my first heat transfer vinyl project with my new-ish Silhouette machine: some cutie-patootie onesies of the gender-neutral variety. Well, a whole new set of my friends are about to give birth, so it’s time for a brand new batch of gender neutral onesies!  {Cheers!} Oh, and in addition to some FREE cut files I have for you lovelies today, we also have a Silhouette Portrait to give {read more…}

“Together Since” T-Shirts: Creative Anniversary Gift Idea

"Together Since" T-Shirts - Such a great idea for an anniversary gift! via thinkingcloset.com

On April 12th, 1980, my beloved parents, Carolyn and Jay, got hitched!  That was 34 years ago.  Ten years plus ten years plus ten years plus four!  (Sometimes I need to break numbers down like that so their value really sinks in.)  Now that’s not nothin’! Fun facts: It rained on their wedding day.  My mom wore her mother’s handmade wedding dress.  Baby’s breath decorated the church and her veil.  And my father successfully calmed down {read more…}

Chill Pills Gag Gift & Silhouette Giveaway

Chill Pills! A great gag gift idea and all you need is a glass jar, some candies, and the FREE printable labels from this Silhouette tutorial via thinkingcloset.com!

There is power in playing pretend.  Let me explain. This winter, when Mark and I started jokingly talking about needing “chill pills” when were feeling stressed out, I seized the opportunity to make a gag gift for Mark this Christmas: an actual glass bottle of Reese’s Pieces “Chill Pills” in a glass jar, old-timey drugstore labels and all. The front label reads: “Take two or more for instantaneous relief of stress and anxiety.  Side effects {read more…}

Ombre Paint Chip Earrings & Free Cut File

Ombre Paint Chip Earrings with FREE Silhouette cut file! Such an easy, inexpensive gift idea via thinkingcloset.com

For some women, their signature fashion piece is shoes.  For others, it’s bags.  And for me, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s big n’ bold earrings. And what do I love even more than big n’ bold earrings?  Well, big n’ bold earrings I made myself out of materials I got for free, of course!  Does it get much better than that?  I think not. I had been inspired by the paper earrings I’ve {read more…}

Team Betty Tote Bag & Silhouette Winner!

DIY "Team Betty" Tote Bag: A Silhouette Tutorial via thinkingcloset.com

I can’t even begin to catalog the number of hours in my childhood that were devoted to reading Archie comic books.  Countless!  At bedtime, my parents allowed us to crack open the door of our bedroom, so just enough hall light could spill in to read by. With my sister Lisbeth on the top bunk and me on the bottom, we would stay up reading page after page of the exploits of the perpetual teenagers {read more…}

30 Last Minute DIY Gifts for Your Valentine

30 Last Minute DIY Gifts for Your Valentine! via thinkingcloset.com

We’ve all been there.  You’re reading your favorite book in bed, cool as a cucumber, when suddenly you remember something that catapults you out of Pemberley and into vivid reality. It has dawned on you that tomorrow is not just tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!  (Dun dun dun….)  And you have nothing to show for it. Well, panic no more my fellow procrastinators!  I’ve scoured the interwebs high and low for the best of the best, {read more…}

Oh Baby, It’s a Washi Card & Silhouette Giveaway!

New Baby Congrats Card with Washi Sheets! Tutorial and FREE Silhouette cut file via thinkingcloset.com

Okay, crafters, if you weren’t already obsessed with washi tape, you’re about to be. Did you know there exists a magical material known as Washi Sheets?  Pretty much no surface is safe around me now because I want to plaster this stuff ev-er-y-where.  It’s essentially washi tape in 12″ x 12″ adhesive sheets that you can cut with your Silhouette machine, similar to the look I was going for with my Washi Tape Gift Tags this past {read more…}

101 Creative Date Nights on a Dime!

101 Creative Date Nights on a Dime! via thinkingcloset.com

I have been truly amazed by the overwhelming response to my 12 Months of Pre-Planned Date Nights Gift.  Since that post went live last Tuesday, the FREE printable has been downloaded a whopping 1393 times!  That’s a lot of date nights.  Which is super duper exciting. And it got me thinking…for those of you plotting out your 12 months of date nights, I’d love to offer some inspiration for you. Because I believe in dating {read more…}

12 Months of Date Nights Gift & Free Printable!

12 Months of Pre-Planned Date Nights: Creative Gift Idea with FREE Printable from thinkingcloset.com

Mark planned some pretty sweet date nights in 2013.  I mean, the guy feels constricted in most t-shirts, so you know that’s love when he willingly suggests we get dolled up to go out to eat, he in a tux, I in my black sequined jacket.  Everyone at the Mexican restaurant asked us where we were going.  To which we replied,  “Here!” Our server was sweet enough to offer to take some photos of us to remember {read more…}

Personalized Insulated Mug Tutorial & Silhouette Winner

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For Christmas this year, we had a Secret Santa gift exchange among the adults in Mark’s family.  I drew my SIL Ashlee’s name, and one of the items on her wish-list was an insulated travel mug.  Naturally, I snatched up one of Pick Your Plum’s daily deals on stainless steal mugs and immediately started scheming how I might decorate it.  (They’re the nifty kind of mugs where the bottom unscrews so you can insert a {read more…}