DIY Typographic Mouse Pad

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

It’s such an honor to be participating in this back-to-school DIY series with some of my favorite bloggers! Since kids are doing so much work on computers these days, I opted for a tech-friendly DIY with a customizable mouse pad.

When James saw the plain white mouse pad sitting on our kitchen table, his reaction was, “Woah, old school!” But even though I use a cordless mouse that works on any surface, I’ve found that my desk (both at work and at home) are getting terribly scratched up. After lots of searching without finding one that felt quite right, I finally decided that the only option was to make one of my own.

You’ll Need:
  • 1 Single Blank White Mouse Pad (for some reason this listing has a heart shaped, patterned mouse pad where the white one should appear. I took a leap of faith and ordered anyway. Lo and behold, a white one showed up.)
  • 1 sheet heat transfer paper
  • Iron
  • Computer/Printer
Instructions

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

1. Create a design of your own or use the one that I’ve created here. In a design program, flip the image so that it’s the mirror image of what you want to appear on your mouse pad. Print it out on the heat transfer paper.

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

2. Lay your design on your mouse pad to ensure that it ends up where you want it.

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

3. Pre-heat your iron on high (no steam) for five minutes. Lay your mouse pad face up on a table or ironing board. Put your design face down on the mouse pad. (Some heat transfer sheets require you to lay a pillow case over the mouse pad/design.) Apply pressure as you move the iron slowly over the transfer sheet/pillow case. Use the instructions that came with the heat transfer paper for guidance on timing.

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

4. Allow everything to cool for at least 10 minutes. Trim the edges of the transfer paper. Slowly peel the backing off.

Your mouse pad is ready to use! I’m pretty sure I can already hear my desk thanking me for ending the mouse-scratching abuse.

Don’t miss all the other awesome back-to-school DIY posts this week, including MJ’s reusable lunchbox note board, which also goes live today! Here’s a complete listing for you:

Tan of Squirrelly Minds – Printable math game
Rachel of The Crafted Life – Color blocked pencils
Lidy of Hello Lidy – DIY sequin planter
Sara of Confetti Sunshine – Printable back-to-school poster
Lyndsay of Coco Cake LandApple pie donuts + apple toppers
MJ of Pars Caeli – DIY reusable lunchbox note board

Back to School Series

P.S. A special hello to Mrs. Oshiro, my second grade teacher, who I just learned is a Frock Files reader! Mrs. Oshiro, you taught me so much about kindness and creativity, and I am so thankful that you helped to shape my life.

DIY Berry Carton Wreath

I’ve been looking on with envy as friends on the West Coast have posted pictures of their flowers in bloom. Since I just can’t wait for the trees to begin budding here, I thought I’d conjure some springtime inspiration of my own.

This little piece of door/wall decor has already brightened up our home! Even though it’s still freezing here, the pop of color on my walls is a good reminder that spring will be here in just a matter of weeks.

Berry Box Wreath // Frock Files

Supplies:

1 berry carton
1 branch silk flowers (ranunculus)
18″ string or yarn (Chinese knotting cord)
Hot glue gun

Instructions:

Berry Box Wreath // Frock Files

1. Cut the flowers off of their stems, leaving about a half-inch of stem.

Berry Box Wreath // Frock Files

Berry Box Wreath // Frock Files

2. Poke a flower through one in the berry carton, starting with the middle. From the backside of the berry carton, create a foundation of hot glue around the base of the flower to hold the stem in place. Allow the flower to dry before moving on to the next one. Arrange as many flowers and leaves as you please!

Berry Box Wreath // Frock Files

3. Knot your string on one corner of the berry carton, leaving plenty of string to create another knot on the opposite corner. Hang up your little wreath and wait for spring!

DIY Light My Fire Valentine

Light My Fire 5 Minute Valentine's Day DIY // Frock Files

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a DIY project here, but they’re making a comeback as of today! This is a five minute project that will probably get a laugh from your love. If it doesn’t, your partner may have lost their sense of humor and you’ll have to help them find it.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

Supplies
  • Scissors
  • Jewelry sized box
  • Cardstock
  • Pen
  • Tape/glue
  • Birthday candle
  • Washi tape
  • Lighter

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

1. Trim the card stock so that it just fits over the lid.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

2. Write this note, or something similar that alludes to fire. “Burning for you,” “You make me hot” and other equally ridiculous and cheesy things are perfectly acceptable here.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

3. Tape (or glue) the card stock to the box, then use your washi tape to attach the candle to the card stock.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

4. Wrap the lighter with washi tape. To cover this blue lighter, I wrapped two layers of washi tape, trimmed, and then worked my way down.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

5. Present your handmade Valentine to your sweetie. Pretend it took you ages to think of and execute.

How to Make Fresh Stovetop Popcorn

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

There’s a little independent movie theater in Brookline, Massachusetts that makes the best popcorn. It’s made in an old-fashioned popper and served with a generous spoonful of real melted butter (even when you ask for just a little) and a sprinkling of salt. A small is actually small, and the popcorn itself is perfectly light and crunchy.

We were lamenting the fact that we rarely have a chance to go there when James suggested we try popping kernels on our stovetop. I didn’t have a lot of hope, but now that we’ve been doing it for several months I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s super easy and almost as quick as microwave popcorn but a thousand times better. I’d dare to say it’s just as good as the popcorn at the Coolidge Corner Cinema!

I photographed this in my studio, not in my kitchen, because we have terrible lighting in our kitchen. Let’s pretend it’s on a stovetop, okay?

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Canola oil
3 tablespoons popcorn kernels
Salt or other seasonings to taste

Instructions

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

1. Pour about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons canola oil into a deep, wide non-stick pan or pot (be sure to choose one with a lid!). Immediately plop four or five kernels into the oil and turn the heat to medium-high. While you wait, take out a big bowl!

How to Make Stovetop PopcornHow to Make Stovetop Popcorn

2. Once those kernels begin to pop, pour in the rest of the kernels and cover the pot. Shake it around vigorously to get all the kernels covered in a bit of oil. When you hear the kernels begin to slow their popping, with a second or two between pops, uncover the pot and transfer the popcorn to the bowl you took out earlier. The whole popping portion only takes about 30 seconds to a minute, so be on your toes!

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

3. Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cheese, nutritional yeast, rosemary, or any other flavor of your choosing. In Hawaii, we always eat our popcorn with kaki mochi, or rice crackers, as pictured here.

Easy, right? It’s also really economical. The big container of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn kernels from Costco cost us $10 for a whopping 62 (six-cup) bowls of popcorn! Compare that with the same brand’s microwave popcorn, which costs $13 and only 40 (four-cup) bowls of popcorn. And it tastes so much better! That, my friends, is a win-win situation.

Now if only I could figure out how to make a popcorn garland that Kona won’t try to eat…

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