Tag Archives: DIY

Digitally. Integrate. Yourself

Adding Digital Tools to Your DIY Tool Belt

D.I.Y – Digitally.Integrate.Yourself a #topicof2020. Detroit Deco is adding digital DIY tools to its tool belt! With the opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop and a free Digital Slides Notebook to start the school year off with!

Dealing with the virus, quarantine, and distance learning, It seems that everyone has been forced to step outside of their digital comfort zone and become more web-savvy. I know my crash course on Google Drive and Classroom has opened up a whole new world for me!

The Opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop

Whether you are a fan of technology or not. Digital DIY tools are taking over and we will be forced to use them. As we have seen.

This started out as a downside for me, as a DIY-er hands-on type of person, but actually digital can add some very useful and interesting tools, to your DIY tool belt!

That’s why I figured now would be a great time to bring in the digital DIY tools to start Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop off with classroom resources for teachers and supplies for students!

In celebration of Back to School and the Digital Shop Opening, I made you a digital DIY tool of your own, a free digital notebook!

DIY Tools – Digital Notebooks

If you are not familiar with digital notebooks, don’t worry!

Digital notebooks are basically a collection of .pdf’s or files organized and formatted to look like and act like an actual binder or subject divided notebook. You could even consider the images, videos, files, etc. As items in the pockets of the binder, behind the tab of your choice, just as it would in a real binder.

What’s so Special About Digital Notebooks?

As you would probably guess, the benefits of digital DIY tools and digital notebooks are convenience, better for the environment, and cheaper than buying ink and paper. Which are all great!

…but the underlying excitement of all of that!…. Is that pages can be as pretty and colorful as you would like! AND you can actually save pages, articles, recipes, patterns, projects, videos, images, and links; that you (most likely) wouldn’t have been able to keep. If it had to be printed out or copied on a disk.

For instance when you are surfing the web (detroitdeco.com) and you find the perfect digital DIY Free Family Halloween Costume Planner. Decorated with pretty with orange pumpkins. A perfectly 😉 detailed list of things you would have forgotten!…. Well, now you can save it! You don’t have to miss out on the pretty graphics and you don’t have to feel guilty about wasting paper nor ink. Just save it in your digital notebook, under the tab of your choice. Then when October rolls around, you’re ready to go with your pretty checklist in hand! On your phone, ready to shop!

You can really make some useful pages which are always available to you. Very handy digital tool for planning DIY project instructions, cut lists, supplies, measurements, and even mood boards.

Here is Your Free Digital DIY Notebook Tool

The digital notebook is sized specifically for PowerPoint/Google Slides, for all the distant learners. Organized in appreciation of all our wonderful teachers, as a weekly agenda or lesson plan. You can grab your free digital slides notebook below.


Snapshot of free digital slides notebook

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At Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop

6 Styles of Digital Thinking Maps – Helo Design(Opens in a new browser tab)

Google Slides Superhero/Comic Book Themed Classroom Templates(Opens in a new browser tab)

Digital Tools in DIY

Okay, so let’s explore the digital DIY tools! First off I want to start by saying…There are many digital products out there! The list could go on and on. I want to get to some exciting finds, so I’m going to make it quick!

To start, Cricut and Etsy, both are at the top of the list for digital DIY tools. Cricut and other circuit cutter machines are number one, in digital DIY tools for utilizing all the .png, .svg, .dxf, and .bmp files. Second, is Etsy for selling all of your digital prints, patterns, planners, printables, scrapbook pages, and more. Not to leave out CreativeMarket and other digital product market places. Sites like Etsy, are not only the place where you can purchase the right digital tool but also a place where you can find other ways of using your digital files.

Digital DIY Tools Allow Circuit Cutter Machines to Really Make a Difference

HGTV has put together an extensive list of ways companies are giving back and stepping up to help out during the pandemic. Almost all of them include digital DIY tools. You can check that list out here.

Circuit Cutter Machines

Circuit cutter machines really should be in a whole, digital DIY tools category of their own! You can make a version of almost all of the most common DIY projects, with a circuit cutter machine. It may be your own unique version, but the versatility that a digital file adds to the machine. Allows you to cut any shape you want. Opening up a way to make just about anything.

Below you can see Cricut circuit cutter machines have been hard at work. DIY-ers have been working to #stopthespread. A big brand for DIY projects. They have made almost 2 million masks with circuit cutters. At just this one project.

Link to circuit cutter machine masks project

A challenge to make 2 million masks cut with circuit cutter machines. The project website you can find here, as of August 18, 2020, they were at 1,881,892 masks. If a Cricut machine is one of your digital DIY tools. Then, check out their project page and help them reach their goal!

You may join the project and get started by filling out their form and telling them how many masks you made that were cut by circuit cutter machines, to go towards the 2 million masks goal. Don’t have a Circuit cutter machine? You can still join if they are cut by hand. They two different forms listed and how to donate. They also encourage you to share your mask creations on their social media and have provided their digital DIY tool…face mask patterns!

Downloadable Craft Patterns

macrame dreamer patter how to article link

Or like this one that is both! From Collective Gen. “How-To Macrame Dreamer.” Which was featured at thesprucecrafts.com In their round-up of “20 Free Macrame Patterns for Making Wall Hangings, Plant Hangings, and Jewelry.” You can visit that post here to get those patterns.

Patterns! Other Digital DIY tools we source and download. No not circle, square, circle, square…, but patterns to follow for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. The recently popular macrame and dreamcatcher patterns.

diy macrame wall hanging

Downloadable Wall Hangings

Other very popular digital DIY tools are downloadable wall hangings. A.K.A digital prints, art prints, graphic designs, and drawings. Etsy is a popular place for digital prints. They can be purchased, downloaded, printed, and DIY-ed into your favorite frame. You can purchase a design or logo to DIY a gift or make merch for your channel. By printing on a transfer made to be ironed on a t-shirt or pressed on a mug. You can also print out photos for mod-podge projects. Design albums to be printed professionally or keep it hybrid and pick up digital scrapbooking!

….. As you can see the list of digital DIY tools can go on and on. So out of my lack of patience and just so much to share, let’s move on.


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Digitally.Integrate with.Your Favorite Brands

Teachers and Homeschooling Parents, I have rounded up some big brands that have integrated digital tools in unique and useful ways recently. I’ll show you where to find them!

West Elm Zoom Backgrounds

Check out Better Homes & Gardens feature on West Elm and their FREE downloadable virtual Zoom backgrounds. With beautiful West Elm designed interior or exterior as a backdrop behind you.

Poolside backyard from west elm

You can even sit poolside and attend a meeting in the West Elm Designed Backyard.

Article snapshot from better homes and gardens

Minecraft for Education

Of course, as we know Minecraft is already a digital company. Though, they are making extra efforts and reaching out to help bridge the gap between our I and Z generation and teachers. Students’ familiarity in the digital world of Minecraft can be a helpful tool in making sure kids really “get” the material in class.

Teachers have had to deal with an unexpected emersion into the digital world. The effort from Minecraft to provide a familiar platform for students to learn is an awesome way of using digital DIY tools in the classroom! A huge help for educators to be as effective with their lessons online, as they are in the classroom.

If you are a teacher you have to check out Minecraft Education Edition! They have lessons, museum tours, you can even create challenges for your class and much more.


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Downloadable Coloring Pages

Downloadable coloring pages are a great tool to remember. For your kids, your class, an office, or waiting room. They are great digital DIY tools for teens and adults to relax and destress. You can find all sorts of free downloadable coloring pages on the web. To print out or download to open in a Paint or a Markup program and color digitally. Even more fun on your tablet or phone when you’re bored.

Below are two coloring page collections that I thought were interesting. The first, Color Our Collections are historical and scholarly coloring pages. They could be helpful for teachers and professors. The second it fun for tweens!

Galleries and Museums from all over the world have come together to create a gigantic FREE collection of downloadable coloring pages for students and adults. There are 117 participating museums, galleries, libraries, and universities contributing to #ColorOurCollection. The article from Better Homes and Gardens gives you more information about the program.

#ColorOurCollection invites you to share their image on Pinterest and Facebook. You may also click on the image to visit the Color Our Collections site, at the New York Academy of Medicine.

You have to check out this impressive collection!!

Tweens! Get in on the fun! I just couldn’t resist! The fun, funky, not to hard, good for fine tip markers, pet collection at Better Homes and Gardens! You can download them here. They have pretty cute pages!


Digital Time for Kids Magazine Library Subscription

Time for Kids is open for free subscriptions to their digital library of magazines. Helping to keep kids reading and exploring during the 2020-2021 school year. While they may not always have access to the library. You can sign up and log in to your digital library here at the Time for Kids website.


Digtal DIY Tools For A Virtual Field Trip

Another finding from Better Homes & Gardens is live videos of the animals at the zoo. Digital DIY tools you can use to make your kids a virtual field trip to the zoo! Visit six different zoos online for FREE! You can check that out here. You can also find many virtual field trips on YouTube and school designed trips with lesson plans on Pinterest!


Virtual Pre-School

Yes! You heard it! Virtual pre-school! Even the youngest group wants in on the digital DIY tools! Companies are tailoring digital tools to create interactive experiences for digital users as young as two! Getting as close to the real thing, as they can.

An article in Forbes Magazine led me to the discovery of BumoBrain. A newly launched virtual pre-school for those parents who work from home and need their 2-6-year-old to be digitally engaged. Just as they would be if they were at regular pre-school. Complete with a real live teacher, 1 on 5 class interaction, 1 on 1 online encouragement, and guidance for hands-on activities when they get off the web. Check it out! Pretty Interesting!


Digitally.Integrate.Yourself with Digital DIY Tools

I hope you have enjoyed a look at some of the tools you can add to your digital DIY toolbelt. Most of all I hope you grabbed your free digital slides notebook!

If you haven’t grabbed your free Hand Sanitizer Welcome Sign Sayings for #thenewnorm! You can find those here and in Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop.

Don’t Forget to check out Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop for Back to School Supplies! You’ll find downloadable templates, thinking maps, classroom posters, note-taking pages, whiteboard and jam board pdf’s, themed slides for digital classroom decor, agenda’s, checklist, and other fun accessories for your digital notebooks!

Subscribe for a monthly update to your inbox! Look forward to a growing collection of digital freebies and products to come! I will be adding graphic designs, DIY niche stock photography bundles, files for digital DIY tools for project how-to’s, and sayings for signs and decor to the shop! So Don’t Miss out! Subscribe Below.

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DIY Halloween Decorations

Save Books with These DIY Halloween Decorations

It’s my Favorite time of year!… Halloween, No better time to DIY some decorations! Get started with some DIY Halloween decorations that help you clear out some bookshelves and storage bins. These DIY Halloween decorations upcycle and help save the books!

Halloween Planning

Halloween! Hands down my favorite holiday! There are so many wonderful festivities to fall and so many fun things to plan for Halloween!

Get started planning those Trunk or Treat decorations and costumes. With my FREE Family Halloween Planner, I made for you, so you don’t miss a treat! It has shopping lists for your candy, party goodies, and decorations, a Calendar snapshot for planning Halloween events, and a Family Costume Planner for multiple costumes and their sizes, so you won’t forget a thing!

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DIY Halloween Decorations to Upcycle Damaged Books

Happen to have some damaged or unwanted, books taking up space!? Great! Pick the ones you dislike the most and let’s get started. I have two DIY Halloween decorations using old, damaged, or unwanted books.

Upcycle and Save Books

DIY Book Pumpkin Halloween Decorations

The first DIY Halloween decorations are book pumpkins! They look so nice when they’re finished. They fit right in with modern farmhouse decor. Book Pumpkins are a great way to use the books that you would trash, but can’t because they are books. I understand.

These Halloween projects can also be a great way for you to save books. Go out and look for books to save, ask friends or neighbors if they have any they don’t want. Though, the best places to find free books are garage sales. If you stop by when the person is closing up or on their last day of the sale. Ask them if they have any books. I’m sure they will be delighted to give all the books they are going to be throwing away or donating. You can also offer to come back when. It is their last day.

How Many Books Make a Pumpkin?

How many books it will take to make a pumpkin will depend on the size of the books. It can take anywhere from three to ten books, depending on the size of them. Ideally, I’d say five books per pumpkin, but I found it to be more like seven. Especially if they are thin chapter books. Sometimes they all run the same size and you need a couple more books to make the wider part in the middle.

You may need to use your imagination, but you’ll want to pre-stack your pumpkin to make sure it looks right. For a pumpkin, you want the smallest books on the top and bottom. Then work your way with three to seven more books. Stacking them to meet with the widest books in the middle. Kind of like a diamond.

If you are having trouble finding the right sized books, don’t worry. I found it harder than I thought it would be too. The next project only requires one book and I’m sure between these two projects you can come up with something creative for the remaining books!

Painting The Books

Once you have found your books, then you’ll want to start painting. It may take many light coats of paint depending on how well your paint covers the book. As always you want to make sure you leave enough dry time in between coats to not mess up your paint job.

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The cover

When it comes to these DIY Halloween decorations there is no right or wrong to painting the books, it will be different for everyone and every book. First, there are so many ways to get creative with your coverings. You could also use adhesive vinyl, mod podge, fabric, burlap, etc. Second, the material of the book’s cover and its pages are going to dictate what type of paint you use.

If you have a paperback or a hardback book with a shiny cover, you will probably want to use spray paint. It will stick better to the glossy cover. Do light coats and let it fully dry in between, so it doesn’t run. If you have a paper or matte finish cover, you should have no problem covering it with any type of paint.

Fabric Covered Books

Now, if you are using books like I did, on the big pumpkin (on the left). Hardcover with a cloth-like texture. Then you will need to find a combination of different paint types to cover to book evenly. The reason being, the thick cloth cover absorbs the paint and you get a splotchy effect where the paint soaked in more than other spots or you’re stuck with having to do many, many coats. To avoid that we can use two different types of paint.

On my books, the first two coats of spray paint absorbed quickly. That’s when I realized I needed two different types of paint. I brushed it with regular acrylic or craft paint in the same orange. This evened out the paint splotches and gave my spray paint a layer to sit on, so it did not get absorbed again on my final coat.

Learn from my trial and error process. Before painting test the paint on the book. Test it in an area that won’t be showing. So you can see how your paint will take to its’ surface; the color, and how long it will take to dry between layers. That way you can find your method and won’t waste your books or paint.

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The Pages

You can choose to paint around the book the edges of the pages and the spine or only the spine or not. It is up to you. (If you were making a candy corn book stack you would alter page colors!)You will want to decide if you want the pages to still look separated. You don’t want to accidentally paint them shut because then if you open the book it will crack the paint off.

What worked best for me was standing the book up with the pages fanned out and spraying very light coats of spray paint all around to stand and let dry. Once dry and before painting the next coat. Separate and move the pages around, to prevent too many sticking together, if you are looking for the pages to still look separated when you’re done.

Upcycled Books into Halloween Decorations

Next Layers

If you are using a combination of paints to cover your books. Then once that coat is dry you can do the next coat. If your brushing paint on; Go ahead and lay the book down, to get a proper paint job. You can save time by doing all the front covers first so they can dry while to paint the edges and spine. Then you’ll be able to go right into painting the back covers once you finished all the edges.

Continue layering the paint, one coat at a time, or until your book is covered to your liking. Let them dry completely before you start handling them. Once they are dry, you can stack them into a pumpkin!

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The Stem and Leaves

First, find pieces of scrap wood you want to use for the stem. You will drill three whole holes in the scrap wood piece toward the bottom of what you want the stem to be. Two holes for the twine to thread through and one hole to twist your curly wire stem through. Try to find scrap pieces you think will stand up better. You want the wood to stay standing after we run and tie the twine and wire stem through it.

The Stem

For the curly part of the stem, I used a wire hanger twisted into a spring-like shape. Then I twisted it through that third hole in the scrap wood. You can use floral wire or even bead a piece of wire for a little bling. If you are using a tough wire. I found it easier to twist the first half of the wire into the spring shape, then thread it through the stem hole, and twist the second half into a spring shape after the wood is on.

The Leaves

Now for the leaves. To make it look more like leaves I spray painted the twine with some green paint to mix in with the brown for better-looking leaves. Jute isn’t always the strongest, so I tripled and quadruple the twine around each side. I Tied the twine in a standard postmaster tie around all four sides. Threading the two groups of strings through the holes in the stem to help keep everything in place and our stem standing. I left large loops in the bow to look like leaves.

Make Your Book Pumpkin Easier to Store

You may glue the books together before tying them, just to be safe. This will make for easier storage and handling, especially if you think they will be attracting attention or you’re selling them! (mine sold for $8 a pumpkin at a local craft shop) There you have it a simple and beautiful way to save books and DIY your own Book Pumpkin Halloween Decoration.

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DIY An enchanted Halloween Spellbook Accent PIECE

UpCycle Damaged and Unwanted Books into Spellbook Decorations this Halloween

DIY A Halloween Decorative Accent An Enchanted Spellbook

The second Halloween decoration you can make while saving books. Is a magic spell book or enchanted looking book for a shelve or side table. This, like the first project, is made with an old, damaged, or books that are set for the trash.

First, you’ll want to paint the book. Just as we did in the first project. Either with a brush on paint or spray paint or a combination of the two. If your books cover has minimal graphics on it or you can cover them up with decorations, feel free to skip painting the cover. Other covering methods such as fabric or brown paper will work, just don’t use vinyl or anything that will melt with hot glue.

Decorating The Book

After you have painted or cover the books. Let them dry and you can begin to decorate them. My favorite Items that look the best on hardcover books. Are wooden appliques you can buy them at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores. For this project, you can use just about anything that fits the style you going for. It doesn’t even matter the color if you plan to spray paint over it in the end. You could use wooden decals, stick-on gems, fabric, leather, glue on buttons, beads, pipe cleaners, sequence, pins or plaques, and anything else you can think of!

In the photos above I cut a cut of faux leather and hot glued it to the sides of the gem and in between hot glue lines I already laid. Then I went back over the edges to give it a more sunk-in look.

With this book (below) I used a felt Doyle cut-out, that I painted at the same time as the book and glued it on with hot glue. Next, I layered hot glue over the top of the Doyle. Continuing the hot glue out from the middle, with “legs” of hot glue.

Once the glue dries, you can paint over the hot glue to make it match the rest of the book, like this one. You could also use a few colors or some metallic. With some gems, you could make a really cool one! The possibilities are endless with this project. If you would like to explore a version using mod-podge you can check out this tutorial on ehow.

Not Just for Halloween

You can create a decorative accent book for more than just Halloween. If you check out the Nautical Farmhouse page you will see a decorative accent book I chalk painted in blue and placed the same color anchor on it for decor at a Kayak and Marina establishment. At Christmas, I painted a book red and placed a wooden applique wreath in red on the front. Which turned out really nice on top of a couple of other books next to a Christmas candle. Once you start exploring you will come up with tons of ideas, trust me!

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In fact,… I bet you will not guess what these are?

They’re Baby Books!

Yep! Baby Books! Looking for a little less permanent book decor piece! Find some festive paper and some books you don’t plan on reading for a while and make book covers for them! Paper book covers as you did in school! I used baby books and scrapbook paper with fall designs to cover those books. with larger paper or taping a couple of pieces together, you can cover larger books. You never know maybe cone could cover all the books on the shelf in a pattern or ombre color scheme! In case you have forgotten how to make a book cover I have included visual instructions below.

The possibilities really are endless and I would love to see what you come up with. I hope you enjoyed these DIY Halloween Decorations that help save the books! Stop by and share your DIY decorations in the comments below!

In case you have forgotten…

HOW TO COVER A BOOK

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Detroit Deco’s Digital Store

Digitally. Integrate. Yourself

Adding Digital Tools to Your DIY Tool Belt

D.I.Y – Digitally.Integrate.Yourself a #topicof2020. Detroit Deco is adding digital DIY tools to its tool belt! With the opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop and a free Digital Slides Notebook to start the school year off with!

Dealing with the virus, quarantine, and distance learning, It seems that everyone has been forced to step outside of their digital comfort zone and become more web-savvy. I know my crash course on Google Drive and Classroom has opened up a whole new world for me!

The Opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop

Whether you are a fan of technology or not. Digital DIY tools are taking over and we will be forced to use them. As we have seen.

This started out as a downside for me, as a DIY-er hands-on type of person, but actually digital can add some very useful and interesting tools, to your DIY tool belt!

That’s why I figured now would be a great time to bring in the digital DIY tools to start Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop off with classroom resources for teachers and supplies for students!

In celebration of Back to School and the Digital Shop Opening, I made you a digital DIY tool of your own, a free digital notebook!

DIY Tools – Digital Notebooks

If you are not familiar with digital notebooks, don’t worry!

Digital notebooks are basically a collection of .pdf’s or files organized and formatted to look like and act like an actual binder or subject divided notebook. You could even consider the images, videos, files, etc. As items in the pockets of the binder, behind the tab of your choice, just as it would in a real binder.

What’s so Special About Digital Notebooks?

As you would probably guess, the benefits of digital DIY tools and digital notebooks are convenience, better for the environment, and cheaper than buying ink and paper. Which are all great!

…but the underlying excitement of all of that!…. Is that pages can be as pretty and colorful as you would like! AND you can actually save pages, articles, recipes, patterns, projects, videos, images, and links; that you (most likely) wouldn’t have been able to keep. If it had to be printed out or copied on a disk.

For instance when you are surfing the web (detroitdeco.com) and you find the perfect digital DIY Free Family Halloween Costume Planner. Decorated with pretty with orange pumpkins. A perfectly 😉 detailed list of things you would have forgotten!…. Well, now you can save it! You don’t have to miss out on the pretty graphics and you don’t have to feel guilty about wasting paper nor ink. Just save it in your digital notebook, under the tab of your choice. Then when October rolls around, you’re ready to go with your pretty checklist in hand! On your phone, ready to shop!

You can really make some useful pages which are always available to you. Very handy digital tool for planning DIY project instructions, cut lists, supplies, measurements, and even mood boards.

Here is Your Free Digital DIY Notebook Tool

The digital notebook is sized specifically for PowerPoint/Google Slides, for all the distant learners. Organized in appreciation of all our wonderful teachers, as a weekly agenda or lesson plan. You can grab your free digital slides notebook below.


Snapshot of free digital slides notebook

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Digital Tools in DIY

Okay, so let’s explore the digital DIY tools! First off I want to start by saying…There are many digital products out there! The list could go on and on. I want to get to some exciting finds, so I’m going to make it quick!

To start, Cricut and Etsy, both are at the top of the list for digital DIY tools. Cricut and other circuit cutter machines are number one, in digital DIY tools for utilizing all the .png, .svg, .dxf, and .bmp files. Second, is Etsy for selling all of your digital prints, patterns, planners, printables, scrapbook pages, and more. Not to leave out CreativeMarket and other digital product market places. Sites like Etsy, are not only the place where you can purchase the right digital tool but also a place where you can find other ways of using your digital files.

Digital DIY Tools Allow Circuit Cutter Machines to Really Make a Difference

HGTV has put together an extensive list of ways companies are giving back and stepping up to help out during the pandemic. Almost all of them include digital DIY tools. You can check that list out here.

Circuit Cutter Machines

Circuit cutter machines really should be in a whole, digital DIY tools category of their own! You can make a version of almost all of the most common DIY projects, with a circuit cutter machine. It may be your own unique version, but the versatility that a digital file adds to the machine. Allows you to cut any shape you want. Opening up a way to make just about anything.

Below you can see Cricut circuit cutter machines have been hard at work. DIY-ers have been working to #stopthespread. A big brand for DIY projects. They have made almost 2 million masks with circuit cutters. At just this one project.

Link to circuit cutter machine masks project

A challenge to make 2 million masks cut with circuit cutter machines. The project website you can find here, as of August 18, 2020, they were at 1,881,892 masks. If a Cricut machine is one of your digital DIY tools. Then, check out their project page and help them reach their goal!

You may join the project and get started by filling out their form and telling them how many masks you made that were cut by circuit cutter machines, to go towards the 2 million masks goal. Don’t have a Circuit cutter machine? You can still join if they are cut by hand. They two different forms listed and how to donate. They also encourage you to share your mask creations on their social media and have provided their digital DIY tool…face mask patterns!

Downloadable Craft Patterns

macrame dreamer patter how to article link

Or like this one that is both! From Collective Gen. “How-To Macrame Dreamer.” Which was featured at thesprucecrafts.com In their round-up of “20 Free Macrame Patterns for Making Wall Hangings, Plant Hangings, and Jewelry.” You can visit that post here to get those patterns.

Patterns! Other Digital DIY tools we source and download. No not circle, square, circle, square…, but patterns to follow for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. The recently popular macrame and dreamcatcher patterns.

diy macrame wall hanging

Downloadable Wall Hangings

Other very popular digital DIY tools are downloadable wall hangings. A.K.A digital prints, art prints, graphic designs, and drawings. Etsy is a popular place for digital prints. They can be purchased, downloaded, printed, and DIY-ed into your favorite frame. You can purchase a design or logo to DIY a gift or make merch for your channel. By printing on a transfer made to be ironed on a t-shirt or pressed on a mug. You can also print out photos for mod-podge projects. Design albums to be printed professionally or keep it hybrid and pick up digital scrapbooking!

….. As you can see the list of digital DIY tools can go on and on. So out of my lack of patience and just so much to share, let’s move on.


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Digitally.Integrate with.Your Favorite Brands

Teachers and Homeschooling Parents, I have rounded up some big brands that have integrated digital tools in unique and useful ways recently. I’ll show you where to find them!

West Elm Zoom Backgrounds

Check out Better Homes & Gardens feature on West Elm and their FREE downloadable virtual Zoom backgrounds. With beautiful West Elm designed interior or exterior as a backdrop behind you.

Poolside backyard from west elm

You can even sit poolside and attend a meeting in the West Elm Designed Backyard.

Article snapshot from better homes and gardens

Minecraft for Education

Of course, as we know Minecraft is already a digital company. Though, they are making extra efforts and reaching out to help bridge the gap between our I and Z generation and teachers. Students’ familiarity in the digital world of Minecraft can be a helpful tool in making sure kids really “get” the material in class.

Teachers have had to deal with an unexpected emersion into the digital world. The effort from Minecraft to provide a familiar platform for students to learn is an awesome way of using digital DIY tools in the classroom! A huge help for educators to be as effective with their lessons online, as they are in the classroom.

If you are a teacher you have to check out Minecraft Education Edition! They have lessons, museum tours, you can even create challenges for your class and much more.


Enjoying Detroit Deco?

Don’t Forget to Subscribe!

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Downloadable Coloring Pages

Downloadable coloring pages are a great tool to remember. For your kids, your class, an office, or waiting room. They are great digital DIY tools for teens and adults to relax and destress. You can find all sorts of free downloadable coloring pages on the web. To print out or download to open in a Paint or a Markup program and color digitally. Even more fun on your tablet or phone when you’re bored.

Below are two coloring page collections that I thought were interesting. The first, Color Our Collections are historical and scholarly coloring pages. They could be helpful for teachers and professors. The second it fun for tweens!

Galleries and Museums from all over the world have come together to create a gigantic FREE collection of downloadable coloring pages for students and adults. There are 117 participating museums, galleries, libraries, and universities contributing to #ColorOurCollection. The article from Better Homes and Gardens gives you more information about the program.

#ColorOurCollection invites you to share their image on Pinterest and Facebook. You may also click on the image to visit the Color Our Collections site, at the New York Academy of Medicine.

You have to check out this impressive collection!!

Tweens! Get in on the fun! I just couldn’t resist! The fun, funky, not to hard, good for fine tip markers, pet collection at Better Homes and Gardens! You can download them here. They have pretty cute pages!


Digital Time for Kids Magazine Library Subscription

Time for Kids is open for free subscriptions to their digital library of magazines. Helping to keep kids reading and exploring during the 2020-2021 school year. While they may not always have access to the library. You can sign up and log in to your digital library here at the Time for Kids website.


Digtal DIY Tools For A Virtual Field Trip

Another finding from Better Homes & Gardens is live videos of the animals at the zoo. Digital DIY tools you can use to make your kids a virtual field trip to the zoo! Visit six different zoos online for FREE! You can check that out here. You can also find many virtual field trips on YouTube and school designed trips with lesson plans on Pinterest!


Virtual Pre-School

Yes! You heard it! Virtual pre-school! Even the youngest group wants in on the digital DIY tools! Companies are tailoring digital tools to create interactive experiences for digital users as young as two! Getting as close to the real thing, as they can.

An article in Forbes Magazine led me to the discovery of BumoBrain. A newly launched virtual pre-school for those parents who work from home and need their 2-6-year-old to be digitally engaged. Just as they would be if they were at regular pre-school. Complete with a real live teacher, 1 on 5 class interaction, 1 on 1 online encouragement, and guidance for hands-on activities when they get off the web. Check it out! Pretty Interesting!


Digitally.Integrate.Yourself with Digital DIY Tools

I hope you have enjoyed a look at some of the tools you can add to your digital DIY toolbelt. Most of all I hope you grabbed your free digital slides notebook!

If you haven’t grabbed your free Hand Sanitizer Welcome Sign Sayings for #thenewnorm! You can find those here and in Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop.

Don’t Forget to check out Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop for Back to School Supplies! You’ll find downloadable templates, thinking maps, classroom posters, note-taking pages, whiteboard and jam board pdf’s, themed slides for digital classroom decor, agenda’s, checklist, and other fun accessories for your digital notebooks!

Subscribe for a monthly update to your inbox! Look forward to a growing collection of digital freebies and products to come! I will be adding graphic designs, DIY niche stock photography bundles, files for digital DIY tools for project how-to’s, and sayings for signs and decor to the shop! So Don’t Miss out! Subscribe Below.

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Creating an UpCycled D.I.Y Atmosphere at a Local Shop

DIY up cycled and repurposed design with pallet wood signs
DIY repurpose headboards and foot boards into couch-like bench seating. chalk painted with up cycled upholstery. Farmhouse rustic style for indoor or outdoors
D.I.Y Up Cycled, Repurposed and Reclaimed Furniture, Decor and Pallet Wood Signs

Repurposed and Reclaimed Style

Detroit Deco creating the atmosphere at Captain Jim’s Kayak and Marina in Gibraltar, MI. Their colors were already chosen and surrounded the exterior of the building. The owner knew he liked the rustic, farmhouse, industrial style, so that part was done! What they really needed was actual furniture and a design that broke up the large open space into appropriate sections for their entertainment.

Why a Kayak and Marina?

Gibraltar is a small boating community, southeast of Detroit on Lake Erie. People like the outdoors and most of them spend some leisure time at the lake or on the water. Community events are very popular, most people know each other and enjoy getting together and having a place they can mingle.

For the owners of Captain Jim’s, Gibraltar is their home. They live and grew up there, always heavily involved in the community. Enjoying the town’s social events as much as everybody else, the owners wanted their place to feel like Gibraltar’s living room. A place where they could grab a cup of coffee and watch the game or meet up with friends for a game of Scrabble, rent a kayak for the afternoon, dock their boat and even pick up one of Detroit Deco’s home decor signs from reclaimed wood as a souvenir! It’s such a large space with no need to hurry and push people out the door for turn over. They wanted the community to feel comfortable enough to literally just come hang out.

*This page may contain affiliate links which I may receive a small commission for at no cost to you. See privacy policies for more info.

Laying Out the Space

Did I mention it was a large space?! The first step was deciding which areas of entertainment or service to include. They already had the coffee bar with some counter seating; the only other furniture besides the kayaks, were two high top tables in front of the wall-mounted T.V.

The Layout

We wanted to create areas for a gift shop, communal studying, watching the big screen, enjoying a snack or refreshment, and a children’s corner. The goal is for our guests to stay awhile, so we wanted to bring in games, books, and activities for the kids to invite them to stay longer. We knew what we needed. So what’s the budget? “$0.”

That’s where I stepped in.

A zero dollar budget! My specialty! Still having some items in the garage from the last round of trash picking, I wasn’t worried, but I knew I needed reinforcements! I needed my wonderful husband and his expertise in helping me find the perfect trash to make treasure (plus his labor)! After surveying the garage and labeling the items I wanted to use, it was time to go trash picking!

Trash Pickin’

It may not sound the most appealing, especially depending on where you’re at, but we have found some of the best items in the trash! You don’t have to go sifting through banana peels or anything! My method is to drive around the neighborhood on trash night or large furniture night and see what items are sitting at the curb. People throw stuff in the trash when it is damaged or just because they don’t have the space or use for it. That doesn’t mean it’s trash! Start with some elbow grease for a good cleaning, add a little creativity, plus two handfuls of TLC and you’ve got a recipe to D.I.Y just about anything!

D.I.Y Atmosphere on a Budget

Besides items from your garage, house, or storage and the items you rescue from the trash, there are many other places you can find free or cheap materials for your D.I.Y projects. Check out this list I put together for you with more ideas on where you can find free or cheap supplies. This list I’m sure will grow as I find more and more items to repurpose. To get an update on all the fresh ideas and inspiration happening at Detroit Deco subscribe to the tribe and don’t miss out on all the new ideas!

After Trash Picking’ and Dumpster Drivin’

Moving on to more sophisticated sources such as; Craigslist, where you can find many posts on free pallets or wood scraps and curb alerts which move rather quickly. There’s LetGo, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace which I found are great for free furniture from people who are moving! I bought dollar hardware pieces for smaller accents, craft lots of fabrics and notations, and many chairs for cheap or free from these sites too.

My generous neighbor (who thankfully didn’t mind my loud noises) donated stencils, wooden boxes, and picture frames she didn’t use, and an elderly couple was downsizing and had multiple bookcases for free filled with books. Friends and family members went through their basements and donated board games. Once the word spread locals were stopping in to drop off items they thought fit the style we started.

Pallet wood signs and and reclaimed wood decor and repurposed furniture

Furniture and Seating

For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate all the seating; I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
DIY repurposed headboards and foot boards into couch-like bench seating. Upholstery is up cycled from a gazebo. This rustic farmhouse style seating can be made for indoor or outdoor

I made simple throw pillows in fun patterns to make it feel more like home. The pallet wood coffee tables made it the perfect spot to sit with your coffee.

Repurposed headboard and foot board into a couch-like bench. Painted in red chalk paint and upholstered with an up cycled tarp from the roof of a gazebo. Clear coated it can go indoors or outdoors.

Painted in Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Farmhouse Red, She was my favorite and turned out beautiful!

Farmhouse Table for Communal Studying and Children's Farmhouse Table for activities with redone old mix match chairs

Farmhouse table for communal work or study and a children’s farmhouse table for activities. Accompanied by redone mixed matched old chairs and a repurposed headboard and foot board bench for the children’s table.

In progress of finishing up sanding my DIY Farmhouse table from reclaimed wood. Simple modern farmhouse style, rustic and beautiful all finished!

Farmhouse table in progress


If you’re enjoying these ideas and want to see more, subscribe to receive a monthly update with the freshest ideas at Detroit Deco!


Gift Shop, Games and Home Decor

In the front section, after you walk in the door, we created a gift shop. Featuring Captain Jim’s merchandise, Detroit Deco’s home decor, embroidered hand towels and sweatshirts by TexAna Designs, hand-drawn postcards, and other homemade gifts from community artists.

To create the gift shop area, I used a bookshelf that came loaded with books as one retail display. Placed at the beginning of the gift shop area before a large wall of boater’s rope. The bookshelf signaled the start of the gift shop which led into the rope wall displaying home decor and wall art for sale. The rope met up with a short adjacent wall covered in pallet wood. We added a retail island for more gifts completing the gift shop corner. Each item had a craft paper price tags tied with twine, also indicating the items were for sale.

This free bookcase came loaded with books and we used it as a retail display for part of the gift shop. Displaying reclaimed wood wall art and home decor, Embroidered hand towels by TexAna Designs and Captain Jim's travel mugs and UV bracelets.
From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

Rustic and nautical pallet wood anchor sign Home decor

Rustic and nautical with a white chalk painted anchor, this pallet wood sign with an up cycled frame is painted in Crystal chalk paint from Home Decor. The pallet pieces are white washed, stained aqua and a natural wood, the finished piece made a wonderful piece of wall art.

Wall mounted coat or hat rack from reclaimed wood and repurposed cabinet knobs

Coat or hat racks made from reclaimed pallet wood and knobs from old cabinet doors. A little bit of chalk paint and its ready for your entry way or laundry room.

DIY Nautical Farmhouse hat hook! Made from a reclaimed piece of pallet wood, an anchor stencil, black chalk paint and an up cycled door knob from an old cabinet door and voila! You have a Nautical Farmhouse rustic hat or coat hook, perfect for any entryway, mud room or laundry room.

The seat of a broken wooden bar stool. I stenciled a white chalk paint anchor and rubbed a thin layer of aqua stain over it before clear coating. After it was dry, I roughed it up with a little sandpaper for a more worn look and to get the anchor to come through more. It made a awesome piece of wall art and I loved that it was circular.

Reclaimed Dock wood made into a planter. the wood was already stained, so I put a couple layers of protective brown wax over the entire planter for a uniformed finish, plus a clear coat that can withstand the water and soil.

Reclaimed wood from a dock being redone. The rescued pieces already had some colored stain on them, so I added a couple coats of dark brown glaze and polyherithian to bring it all together with the cut edges.

Pallet wood hanging shelf, rustic Home Decor

A decorative rustic hanging shelf made from pallet wood, with aqua and ebony stain and pieces from a white painted pallet that had spent its time outside. The turquoise “garden stone” is actually a lump of concrete I had left in a five gallon bucket, so I dumped it out and painted, stenciled and clear coated it!

Reclaimed Wood Stenciled Chalk Paint Signs

Reclaimed wood chalk painted signs were a big hit among customers, many loved them for above a door way or basement stairs. In case you’re wondering “poop deck” is the look out deck on a boat!

D.I.Y Adventure

Captain Jim’s was a fun D.I.Y adventure and really put my skills to the test. Many different trades and a lot of elbow grease went into this fabulous adventure. I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat! I would love to hear what you thought of the up-cycled D.I.Y style of Captain Jim’s! Please share!

On to more D.I.Y adventures, please join me and stay up to date by subscribing to receive an email update on the freshest ideas happening at Detroit Deco!

What Did you Think of The Kayak and Marina Style?

Comment down below!!!!

Check Out Some Other Pages

Creating an Up-Cycled D.I.Y Atmosphere at a Local Shop

Repurposed and Reclaimed Style

Detroit Deco creating the atmosphere at Captain Jim’s Kayak and Marina in Gibraltar, MI. Their colors where already chosen and surrounded the exterior of the building. The owner knew he liked the rustic, farmhouse, industrial style, so that part was done! What they really needed was actual furniture and a design that broke up the large open space into appropriate sections for their entertainment.

Why a Kayak and Marina?

Gibraltar is a small boating community, southeast of Detroit on Lake Erie. People like the outdoors and most of them spend some leisure time at the lake or on the water. Community events are very popular, most people know each other and enjoy getting together and having a place they can mingle.

For the owners of Captain Jim’s, Gibraltar is their home. They live and grew up there, always heavily involved in the community. Enjoying the town’s social events as much as everybody else, the owners wanted their place to feel like Gibraltar’s living room. A place where they could grab a cup of coffee and watch the game or meet up with friends for a game of Scrabble, rent a kayak for the afternoon, dock their boat and even pick up one of Detroit Deco’s home decor signs from reclaimed wood as a souvenir! It’s such a large space with no need to hurry and push people out the door for turn over. They wanted the community to feel comfortable enough to literally just come hang out.

Laying Out the Space

Did I mention it was a large space?! The first step was deciding which areas of entertainment or service to include. They already had the coffee bar with some counter seating; the only other furniture besides the kayaks, were two high top tables in front of the wall mounted T.V.

We wanted to create areas for a gift shop, communal studying, watching the big screen, enjoying a snack or refreshment and a children’s corner. The goal is for our guests to stay a while, so we wanted to bring in games, books and activities for the kids to invite them to stay longer. We knew what we needed. So what’s the budget? “$0.”

That’s where I stepped in.

A zero dollar budget! My specialty! Still having some items in the garage from the last round of trash picking, I wasn’t worried, but I knew I needed reinforcements! I needed my wonderful husband and his expertise in helping me find the perfect trash to make treasure (plus his labor)! After surveying the garage and labeling the items I wanted to use, it was time to go trash picking!

Trash Pickin’

It may not sound the most appealing, especially depending on where you’re at, but we have found some of the best items in the trash! You don’t have to go sifting through banana peels or anything! My method is to drive around the neighborhood on trash night or large furniture night and see what items are sitting at the curb. People throw stuff in the trash when it is damaged or just because they don’t have the space or use for it. That doesn’t mean it’s trash! Start with some elbow grease for a good cleaning, add a little creativity, plus two handfuls of TLC and you’ve got a recipe to D.I.Y just about anything!

Besides items from your garage, house or storage and the items you rescue from the trash, there are many other places you can find free or cheap materials for your D.I.Y projects. Check out this list I put together for you with more ideas on where you can find free or cheap supplies. This list I’m sure will grow as I find more and more items to repurpose. To get an update on all the fresh ideas and inspiration happening at Detroit Deco subscribe to the tribe and don’t miss out on all the new ideas!

After Trash Picking’ and Dumpster Drivin’

Moving on to more sophisticated sources such as; Craigslist, where you can find many posts on free pallets or wood scraps and curb alerts which move rather quickly. There’s LetGo, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace which I found are great for free furniture from people who are moving! I bought dollar hardware pieces for smaller accents, craft lots of fabrics and notations, and many chairs for cheap or free from these sites too.

My generous neighbor (who thankfully didn’t mind my noise) donated stencils, wooden boxes and picture frames she didn’t use, and an elderly couple was downsizing and had multiple bookcases for free filled with books. Friends and family members went through their basements and donated board games. Once the word spread locals were stopping in to drop off items they thought fit the style we started.

Pallet wood signs and and reclaimed wood decor and repurposed furniture

Furniture and Seating

For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
DIT Repurposed Head Board and Foot Boards into Couch Seating

I made simple throw pillows in fun patterns to make it feel more like home. The pallet wood coffee tables made it the perfect spot to sit with your coffee.

Painted in Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Farmhouse Red, She was my favorite and turned out beautiful!

Farmhouse Table for Communal Studying and Children's Farmhouse Table for activities with redone old mix match chairs

Farmhouse table for communal work or study and a children’s farmhouse table for activities. Accompanied by redone mixed matched old chairs and a repurposed headboard and foot board bench for the children’s table.

Farmhouse table in progress


If you’re enjoying these ideas and want to see more, subscribe to tribe to recieve a monthly update with the freshest ideas happening at Detroit Deco!


Gift Shop, Games and Home Decor

In the front section, after you walk in the door, we created a gift shop. Featuring Captain Jim’s merchandise, Detroit Deco’s home decor, embroidered hand towels and sweatshirts by TexAna Designs, hand drawn postcards and other homemade gifts from community artists.

To create the gift shop area, I used a bookshelf that came loaded with books as one retail display. Placed at the beginning of the gift shop area before a large wall of boater’s rope. The bookshelf signaled the start of the gift shop and led into the rope wall displaying home decor and wall art for sale. The rope met up with a short adjacent wall covered in pallet wood. We added a retail island for more gifts completing the gift shop corner. Each item had a craft paper price tags tied with twine, also indicating the items were for sale.

This free bookcase came loaded with books and we used it as a retail display for part of the gift shop. Displaying reclaimed wood wall art and home decor, Embroidered hand towels by TexAna Designs and Captain Jim's travel mugs and UV bracelets.
From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

Rustic and nautical pallet wood anchor sign Home decor

Rustic and nautical with a white chalk painted anchor, this pallet wood sign with an up cycled frame is painted in Crystal chalk paint from Home Decor. The pallet pieces are white washed, stained aqua and a natural wood, the finished piece made a wonderful piece of wall art.

wall mounted coat or hat rack from reclaimed wood and repurposed cabinet knobs

Coat or hat racks made from reclaimed pallet wood and knobs from old cabinet doors. A little bit of chalk paint and its ready for your entry way or laundry room.

White pallet wood nautical coat hook

The seat of a broken wooden bar stool. I stenciled a white chalk paint anchor and rubbed a thin layer of aqua stain over it before clear coating. After it was dry, I roughed it up with a little sandpaper for a more worn look and to get the anchor to come through more. It made a awesome piece of wall art and I loved that it was circular.

Reclaimed wood from a dock being redone. The rescued pieces already had some colored stain on them, so I added a couple coats of dark brown glaze and polyherithian to bring it all together with the cut edges.

Pallet wood hanging shelf, rustic Home Decor

A decorative rustic hanging shelf made from pallet wood, with aqua and ebony stain and pieces from a white painted pallet that had spent its time outside. The turquoise “garden stone” is actually a lump of concrete I had left in a five gallon bucket, so I dumped it out and painted, stenciled and clear coated it!

Reclaimed Wood Stenciled Chalk Paint Signs

Reclaimed wood chalk painted signs were a big hit among customers, many loved them for above a door way or basement stairs. In case you’re wondering “poop deck” is the look out deck on a boat!

D.I.Y Adventure

Captain Jim’s was a fun D.I.Y adventure and really put my skills to the test. Many different trades and alot of elbow grease went into this faboulous adventure. I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat! I would love to hear what you thought of the up-cycled D.I.Y style of Captain Jim’s! Please share!

On to more D.I.Y adventures, I cordially invite you to join me and stay up to date by subscribing to receive an email update on the freshest ideas happening at Detroit Deco!

What Did you Think of The Kayak and Marina Style?

  1. Great site, great ideas!

  2. Love all of the ideas!