Bachelor of Arts

Find the best online Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees

Get Crafty With These 20 DIY Party Favors

We love a good party favor, but there’s no doubt that they can get pricey, especially if you have a hefty list of party guests. Luckily, bloggers are coming up with new ways to gift party-goers with trinkets and tasty treats for weddings, birthday parties and other get-togethers on your social calendar.

DIY Party Favors for Weddings

DIY weddings party favors have taken over the world of wedding blogs. That vintage touch is easy to achieve when you have the right materials, so read on for DIY ideas for wedding party favors.

    1. Charlotte’s Fancy – Creative Party Favors If your wedding will go into the wee hours of the night, this goodbye package of doughnuts and milk will be the perfect thing to hit the spot of guests who’ve danced the night away. It’s a fairly inexpensive project you can DIY with the help of a few friends and family members and takes minimal skill, so if you aren’t that crafty there’s no need to fret.

    2. Giver’s Log – DIY Hot Chocolate on a Stick Wedding Favors Keep your guests energized with a sugar fix. These DIY hot chocolate on a stick project is simple for those who know their way around the kitchen and can be made in large batches. It’s also a very cheap project that you can knock out within a few hours and then move on to other wedding plans.

    3. My DIY Wedding Favors – Tea Party Favors Give your wedding guests a few tea sachets to help them unwind after the big day. The tea bags can be bunched in a tulle sachet or simply tied together with a ribbon that coincides with the colors for the wedding.

    4. Do It Yourself Weddings – DIY Candles Wedding Favors If you’re looking for a DIY bonding experience for your family and bridesmaids, whipping up DIY candles will do the trick. Making your own candles is a lot easier than it sounds. You can choose the colors and scents and create DIY stick-on labels emblazoned with the bride and groom’s names or a love quote or quote from one of the couple’s favorite songs.

    5. DIY Wedding Planning – Sweets in a Jar If you need a simple, fast DIY party favor, look to these jars with sweets inside. You can fill jars with candy or baked goods and you instantly have a sleek, attractive DIY wedding favor that can be adorned a custom label and ribbons that coordinate with the wedding’s colors.

    6. Ruffled Blog – DIY Ribbon Wands Wedding Sendoff If you’re over the rice or bubbles for the sendoff at the end of a wedding, consider these DIY ribbon wands. This is a simple project that can be done months in advance so you aren’t scrambling to finish up at the last minute. A mix of colors works well for festive pictures.

    7. Whimsy Girl – Oreo Truffles Wedding guests will say yum to these delicious truffles. Making candy is very simple and when you have a lot of hands involved, the work goes by in a flash. The icing looks classic in white, but feel free to incorporate icing in the color of your wedding too. Truffles can be bundled in bags or put into small jars in conjunction with the DIY project mentioned in this article.

    8. My Cakies – DIY Cupcake in a Jar Guests will adore these jars of layered cakes and frosting. You can choose trendy flavors like red velvet or dark forest chocolate or go classic with vanilla. This is an easy project that anyone can do since it takes basic baking skills and no one says you have to make the cupcakes from scratch. If you aren’t good at baking, boxed baked goods are your friend and no one will mind once they’re digging in to these cute party favors.

    9. DIY Wedding Planning Guide – Glitterati of Cupcakes If you’re comfortable in the kitchen and looking for a major wow factor, these cupcakes are the perfect way to add bling to your wedding. These glitzy cupcakes can be handed out to guests as they leave or made available for noshing after the cake has been cut and folks are looking for something to munch on. They’re different from basic cupcakes because it’s all in the decorating details. The majority of the work comes in when decorating the cupcake wrapper.

    10. Green Wedding Shoes – DIY Cupcake Topping Bar What better way to get your guests in the DIY action than with a cupcake topping bar? You and your wedding party do the dirty work and create a slue of cupcakes with very little frosting on top. Then set out an array of fresh berries and syrups for guests to top their cupcakes with.

DIY Party Favors for Kid’s Birthday Parties

Kids birthday parties are now on another level. These DIY party favors are aimed at a kid’s birthday part, but you can create these favors for any party you throw.

    11. Hostess Blog – DIY Bubbles Every kid loves bubbles and these DIY canisters gives them a personal spin. You can print out custom labels to make the canisters coincide with the theme of the birthday party. This project does take a lot of work, but it’s worth it once you see the kids’ eyes light up at the sight of carefree fun.

    12. Party Tales – DIY Yummy Gummy Pots These cute gummy pots will make a great addition to any kid’s birthday party. We love this DIY party favor because even the most un-crafty among us can pull it off. Because this project involves skewers, make sure any kid that helps you is about 8 years old or older to refrain from any accidents.

    13. Etsy – Mustache Drink Topper Kids and adults alike will enjoy these cute party favors. The mustache has taken over for some reason and this DIY party favor is easy to do days before your event. Expect smiles and quirky pictures when you guests start sipping drinks from these funny straws.

    14. Tiny Prints – DIY S’mores Party Favos Everyone loves s’mores and parents will appreciate you taking the time to give their kids a treat to take home. This DIY project is simple because it can be done in an assembly line and only involves packing small bags. You can tie the bag with a ribbon coordinating with the party or go low key with a twist-tie.

    15. Pebbles in My Pocket – Magical Princess Wand Tutorial This DIY party favor takes some time and patience, but little girls will love the results. A magical princess wand can make an appearance at a princess-themed birthday party or done in the colors of a birthday party that doesn’t have a distinct theme.

DIY Party Favors for Baby Showers

Baby showers have become big events and it’s all in the details. Show off your craft savvy with these DIY baby shower party favors.

    16. The June Bride – Baby Shower Cookies If you can make cookies and cut them out with a cutter, you can make these baby shower cookies for a cute party favor. These cookies are shaped like a baby carriage and then decorated with colors that suit the sex of the baby. If you don’t know the sex of the baby, go with yellow. Colors for boys include baby blue and brown trim or pink and lavender for girls.

    17. Moms in Heels – Peas in a Pod This super cute idea is easy to do no matter what your craft skills. You can do this with Lindor truffles as suggested in the how-to or DIY when it comes to the truffles too (which is easy and cheap). Choose colors that work with the baby’s sex or mix lots of bright colors for an interesting presentation.

    18. Home Confetti – Bundle of Joy If you’re sending guests home with gifts, take a moment to wrap the gifts. This blogger created a “bundle of joy” for the small gifts given out at the baby shower. A mix of pastel colors looks beautiful for a baby shower or go bold with an array of primary colors.

    19. Twig and Thistle – DIY Favors Safety pins say baby shower, so it’s no wonder this blogger used them as the finishing touch for wrapping up cookies for guests with this DIY party favor. Minimal sewing skills, printed fabric and scalloped scissors create these darling little pockets to hold any party favors you choose.

    20. Fiskars – Lollipop Holder Even those working with a tiny budget can create this DIY baby shower party favor. Feel free to make these cute lollipop holders for any party, but the whimsical feel make them ideal for a baby shower.

Making a few DIY party favors is a great way to add your own personal touch to a party. It’s also a great way to stick to your budget and still give your guests a momento that will help them remember what a ball they had at your party. Remember to stick with colors that work with the theme of your party and add a little pizzaz with patterns in the same hues.

Bursting at the Seams: The Top 15 Dressmaking Blogs

There’s nothing like whipping up your very own dress. It gives a whole new spin to the age old question,”Who are you wearing?” For those who are just starting to hone their dressmaking skills, these blogs serve as a great starting point to teach you all about the art of measurements and how to choose fabric that will make your designs come to life.

    1. Patchwork Underground This quirky blog is packed with patterns, but we love it because it talks about different threads and fabrics. Things like these are essential for the knowledgeable dressmaker.

    2. Adventures in Dressmaking This blogger is all about retro and vintage-inspired dressmaking. If you’re looking for classic sheath dresses, this is the blog for you. These simple patterns are ideal for those who are just starting their own adventures in dressmaking.

    3. A Dress a Day This blog focuses on vintage dress patterns. If you’re thinking that means an array of shift dresses, think again! Remember all of the fabulous dresses worn by Lucille Ball? You can get the same look from the dress patterns at this site.

    4. Fashion Era – Fashion Dressmaking Learn the history of dressmaking from this fashion site. It goes into dressmaking patterns from the ‘50s and why certain silhouettes and fabrics were so popular.

    5. Vintage Sewing Starting out with vintage dressmaking patterns is the way to go because the styles are usually simple and sleek. This means you don’t end up wasting fabric on guesswork. This site shows you the art of tailoring and offers some info on millinery too.

    6. Free Needle This is the ultimate online directory for finding everything you need when dressmaking. You’ll find patterns galore at this site. There are even dress patterns for little girls. If you want go beyond dressmaking there are patterns for other items too like aprons and curtains.

    7. Dressmakers Dummy This blog is a must-read for those just starting out with the dressmaking ventures. It’s imperative to understand the feminine form before you start making dresses and this site explains the intricacies of measurements and getting a stellar fit for your dresses every time.

    8. The Magic Square Foundation This blog focuses on sewing of every type and has a substantial section over dressmaking that will benefit those in-the-know as well as beginners. It also delves into the details of a dress and how to make them count.

    9. The Sewing Divas This blogger loves fashion and shares historical info with readers. She talks about the best pins for draping and basic information such as how to stitch a hemline with ease. This blogger has been going at it for years, so be sure to check out the archives for loads of dressmaking content.

    10. Sew Mama Sew This blog focuses on sewing items for the little ones. If you’re a parent who wants to make their own items for the kids, consider this blog your new BFF. There are patterns for little girls’ dresses as well as bibs and drawstring bags.

    11. Gigi Sews This sewing blog is for those who are more advanced because Gigi isn’t one to toy around with a simple sheath pattern. There are more complex dress projects at this site, as well as coats and thorough explanations on creating collars and sleeves.

    12. Sewing Fanatic Diary This seamstress sews a little bit of everything, making this a hot spot for those who want to take their dressmaking skills to the next level. There are cardigans, various skirts and plenty of dresses for the seasoned seamstress to choose from.

    13. A Little Sewing This blog is fabulous for the advanced seamstresses out there. It discusses more complex dress patterns such as vintage Guy Laroche pieces. You also get the scoop on big dressmaking conferences for those who want to meet and greet with others interested in the subject.

    14. Sharon News At a tender age, this blogger was introduced to sewing and has been hooked ever since. She walks you through creating everything from kid’s clothes to dresses for Barbies, plus adult goods too. Learn draping, how to measure and what shapes work best for different body shapes.

    15. The Stitchery This seamstress is practically a professional and has plenty of patterns and sewing tips to share with readers. There’s also patterns for vests, blouses and pants for those who master dressmaking and want to round out the rest of their wardrobe.

Get the 101 on dressmaking from these bloggers who know their way around a sewing machine. For those who have more experience, these dressmaking blogs can show you how to ad the extras onto a dress that will take it from beginner’s piece to something folks may want to buy from you.

10 Painting Tips and Tricks for DIY Enthusiasts

There’s something about DIY that gets your enthusiasm flowing and your adrenaline running; there’s a great deal of pride in getting things done around your home with your own hands, and you feel an immense sense of satisfaction when you get the job done right because you’ve reduced your expenses and contributed handsomely by way of effort. However, for DIY projects to get done without any major hitches or hurdles, you need to know what you’re doing, have a plan, and work according to it. Success in DIY depends on taking all the precautions necessary, avoiding giving in to cockiness and know-it-all behavior, and listening to words of wisdom if they’re offered by professionals and others who have been there, done that before you.

So if you’re thinking of taking on the simple task (or so you think) of painting the walls of your home, here are a few tips to help you get the job done successfully and without any hiccups:

  • Set a schedule before you do anything else – if you’re an amateur, allow extra time for unforeseen circumstances and for just starting out slowly and steadily.
  • Tackle one room at a time – push all the furniture to the center, remove all the paintings and photographs and other paraphernalia from the walls, and cover them all with a tarp so that you don’t get paint all over your stuff. Also spread cloth over the floor because that’s where most of your paint is going to spill or spatter.
  • Spend the first few hours buying all that you will need and setting up your workspace – paints, brushes, rollers, paint rags, thinners, spackle, sanders, can openers, hammers, screwdrivers, and any other tool you think you may need. You may not want to walk around the house with paint all over you.
  • Ensure that you’ve covered yourself with overalls to avoid getting paint all over your clothes. And if you’re painting the ceiling, cover your hair and wear protective eye-gear.
  • Clean the walls with a damp cloth before you paint over them; also remove peeling and cracked paint and then sand the walls before applying a new coat of paint.
  • You may have to fill in holes or cracks in the wall with spackle before applying a new coat of paint. Get this done first instead of stopping midway and having to wait for the spackle to dry before you can paint over it.
  • If there are wall or ceiling fixtures that cannot be removed, cover them with large plastic bags so that you don’t get paint drops on them.
  • If possible, remove door knobs and handles other fixtures before you start painting, or at least cover them with plastic sheets.
  • Stir the paint after you open a new can, and pour it into another smaller container instead of dipping the brush directly into the paint can.
  • Talk to a professional painter before you begin, and find out how you can go about the task for the best results. Ask if you will need to use a primer, what kind of brushes will work best, and how you can get the job done faster and more efficiently.

You may encounter a few hurdles along the way, but if you figure out where you’ve gone wrong and how to correct your mistakes, you soon have a freshly painted room.

24 DIY Cleaning Remedies That Will Make Your House Sparkle

Whipping up a DIY cleaning recipe is easy, safe for the environment and great for your bank account. If you’re a clean freak or just into your own apartment and not sure how to make housework manageable, read on for tips that will make your house spic and span without any serious elbow grease. It may even make cleaning fun (no promises)!

DIY Cleaning Recipes

Instead of stocking up on chemical-laden cleaning products, create your own cleaning products in your own kitchen. Here are a few recipes that will come in handy for different parts of your home.

    1. All purpose cleaner. For a simple all purpose cleaner, mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of warm water. Give it a quick mix and use it on everything from kitchen counters to toilets.

    2. Glass cleaner. Good ol’ vinegar does the trick for any windows or glass surfaces. Use a newspaper to clean the area for a sparkling finish that doesn’t leave any residue or lint behind.

    3. Toilet cleaner. Spritz the inside of the toilet with vinegar and then sprinkle on a little baking soda. This will create a paste that disinfects and cleans the toilet as thoroughly as any pricey pre-packaged product.

    4. Oven cleaner. Mix two tablespoons of borax and two tablespoons of vegetable-based liquid soap in a spray bottle, along with water. Spritzz the bottom of the oven and let it sit for about 20 minutes before scrubbing it down with ease.

    5. Pots and pans. Drop a tablespoon of baking soda into water and let it dissolve the hard-to-remove grime on pots and pans that have been used for years. You can also use a combination of coarse salt and lemon juice on copper pans.

    6. Dishwasher solution. For spot-free dishes right out of the dishwasher, drop a tablespoon of vinegar into the rinse compartment.

    7. Citrus rinds and ice. This will dissolve any disgusting odors in your garbage disposal, freshening up the area around the disposal in the process.

    8. Dry table salt. For dried and caked-on messes that make you want to throw a dish out, try dry table salt. Use it with a damp sponge and watch the mess easily come off the surface of your dish.

    9. Tub cleaner. Make the interior of your tub glisten by applying kosher salt to the inner half of a grapefruit and scrubbing away. The result is a sparkling tub with a light citrus scent.

    10. DIY wood polish. Combine the juice from one lemon, olive oil and water in a bottle. Shake to emulsify the concoction and then pour a small amount on the area you wish you clean. From there, you can wipe it down with a microfiber rag or just a standard cloth.

DIY Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Make cleaning your home just a little easier by implementing these simple tricks.

    11. Use vodka to clean mold and mildew. Spray caulking that has accumulated mold and mildew with vodka. Allow it to saturate the area for about 10-20 minutes and then wipe clean.

    12. Clean hardwood floors with tea. Boil a pot of hot water and steep two tea bags. Mop floors as usual and end up with shiny, clean hardwood floors that glow.

    13. Go over floors every other day. If you have the time, go over hardwood or ceramic floors every other day to prevent them from getting filthy. Do this with a micro-fiber mop, which can be purchased at any superstore.

    14. Rent a steam cleaner. This is a fantastic way to get your carpets super clean. Rent a steam cleaner once a year and keep your carpet in stellar condition. Be sure to go over the carpeted area twice for a deep clean.

    15. Add essential oils or lemon juice to DIY cleaners. For a kick of freshness and to outdo the vinegar smell in many DIY cleaners, add a few drops of essential oils or lemon juice to the mix for a pleasant fragrance.

    16. Make use of herbs for added fragrance. You can also use sprigs of herbs to add fragrance to vinegar-infused DIY cleaners. This is especially useful when you have a bunch of herbs left from cooking and won’t be using them anytime soon.

    17. Spray lime scale away. Spray undiluted white vinegar on lime scale and then take a shower. The steam will instantly lift away lime scale. This won’t be the most pleasant smell, but it is an effective way to .

    18. Spray away the ants. If summertime means ant city in your house, spray crevices and window sills with vinegar to keep they out.

    19. Fight a stinky drain. Pour a mixture of part baking soda, part vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 10 minutes before flushing away the paste (and the smell).

    20. Go nuts! Get rid of minor surface scratches on your furniture by rubbing the area with a shelled walnut. The oils will buff the scratch right out and you’ll have a “new” piece.

    21. Get glass sparkling. To make glass dishes shine like never before, use salt and lemon juice. Simply pour it on or in the dish and swirl it around for a streak-free clean.

    22. Banish sticky surfaces. When trying to remove anything sticky such as spilled candle wax or old melted crayons, use any oil or mayonnaise to lift the goo right up.

    23. Remove stubborn stains. Use vegetable shortening to remove stubborn stains from your couch or carpet. Rub the vegetable shortening on the area and then wipe clean with a clean rag.

    24. Get rid of grease on wallpaper. Do this by applying baby powder to a clean powder puff. Pat the greasy area and allow the powder to soak up the oil or grease. The powder will disappear on its own and any leftover can be dusted away.

Having a spotless home is fun, even if you can’t keep up with it all of the time. Implementing these simple tricks will help you keep your housecleaning in check and make it easier to spot clean your home on a regular basis. Remember that consistency is key. It’s better to tend to small things around your house as they get dirty than to do a deep cleaning once every few months.