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Simple DIY Spring Ideas

Get ready for warmer weather with these easy and elegant crafts and recipes.

Easy Concrete Decor Crafts

You can make these easy, cheap yet modern home decor ideas. Nothing says forever like a little stone, right?

Stuck on decoupage.

Transform everyday items into something pretty and functional. Click here for tons of decoupage ideas!

Simple AND Yummy.

Need a quick and easy dessert idea? Click here for recipes and inspiration!

Click here for easy jewelry tutorials.

Dollar store and upcycled wearable crafts... Yes, you can make them!

April 24, 2014

Simple Doily Covered Vase (and other fun)

Madigan made… a project for Mod Podge Rocks!

You know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers.” One of my favorite things about the springtime is all of the flowers… ESPECIALLY the tulips!

Are you in need of a pretty way to display your favorite spring blooms inside? Or maybe you need an idea for a handmade gift for Mom this Mother’s Day? Well, grab a plain vase, a pretty paper doily and some decoupage and join me over on Amy’s blog this week to find out how to make this simple lace covered vase for the spring!


P.S. In other fun news, I’m in Utah this week to attend the SNAP! conference for creative bloggers. I went last year and enjoyed it so much. If you wanted a sneak peek, follow along with me on Twitter or Instagram as this pregnant chick (in a lot of stripes, since that is all I seemed to pack!) learns more about blogging, meets other fun DIY/craft bloggers, and maybe attends a pajama or 80’s themed party or two!

April 22, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Bites

Madigan made… an easy chocolate and raspberry dessert.

Simple Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Bites - these would be perfect for a brunch or bridal shower

Are there any foods that remind you of someone special? Or maybe you have foods that trigger a memory of a certain season or location?

I love raspberries. They remind me of summertime and my paternal grandma. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to have a huge vegetable garden. She had a row of raspberry plants along one side of it. When we would visit in the summer, I remember going out in the garden with her and picking (and eating!) raspberries right from the bush. They tasted so good! Now every time I eat those beautiful, ruby-like berries, I smile and think about my grandma, the summertime and her garden. 

I wanted to combine raspberries and chocolate recently in a little dessert (partly inspired by my chocolate fluff fruit dip and my fig and cheese appetizers). I made these little bite-sized treats for Easter this past weekend, but I think these simple dessert cups would be pretty and elegant to serve for a shower, brunch or even a wedding. Let me show you how to make them. 

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Cups - these would be perfect for a brunch or bridal shower

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Cups


  • 8 oz. container of frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Small box of chocolate instant pudding
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk
  • 24 – 30 pre-baked mini phyllo shells
  • Raspberry preserves
  • Raspberries
  • raspberry chocolate dessert ingredients


    In a large mixing bowl, mix the whipped topping and instant pudding together with an electric mixer. Slowly add and blend the chocolate milk into the mixture, until the fluff looks like a soft, whipped mousse consistency.

    chocolate fluff dessert

    Fill each fillo shell with the chocolate fluff mixture. You could use a spoon, but I found it was easier to put the chocolate fluff in a plastic bag, cut the corner off the bag and ‘pipe’ the mixture into each cup.

    chocolate fluff dessert

    Place a small dollop of raspberry preserves on top of the chocolate mixture in each cup. (This ingredient could be considered optional, but I think it helps add more raspberry flavor.) Then, add a raspberry on top of each one. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve and enjoy!

    chocolate raspberry fluff dessert

    You could try to use a regular chocolate mousse recipe in these little fillo shells, but I liked how the chocolate fluff had a light and airy texture and taste. It helped the raspberry flavor stand out. 

    Mini Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Bites - these would be perfect for a brunch or bridal shower

    These little chocolate, raspberry bites were a sweet reminder to me that summer is around the corner… and, of course, of my grandma. She still enjoys gardening, but my grandmother does not maintain a huge veggie garden anymore. My dad actually has some of my grandma’s old raspberry plants in their yard today. Some day (if we ever move and  have a bigger yard), I’d love to try and plant some raspberry bushes of our own around our house. I love the fruit and would love to have that memory close to home!

    April 19, 2014

    Happy Easter!

    Madigan made… an Easter wish.

    I just wanted to pop in today and wish all my readers that celebrate Easter and Passover a happy and blessed weekend.

    Easter seemed to creep up on me fast this year! Maybe it is because we had such a long winter… or more than likely it is because I have baby on the brain… but I did not do any Easter crafts or set out any décor this year. Not even an egg wreath. You are looking at my extent of spring décor so far… a white pitcher filled with tulips. Works for me!

    However you are decorating or celebrating this holiday, I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    April 17, 2014

    My Happy Home Office: Room Reveal

    Madigan made… fun, colorful and personal home office décor.

    fun, colorful and personal home office décor

    Thank you all for your kind words and warm wishes earlier this week about our collaborative DIY project… we can’t wait to meet our little one this summer!

    If you recall, we planned to make this yellow guest bedroom into our someday nursery when my husband and I moved into our house many years ago.

    But after years of dealing with infertility, we decided in 2012 to ‘live for today’ and use the room for an active purpose: my home office. After two years, I consider this space basically ‘done’ and wanted to show it to you today.

    Now that we are blessed with a little gift of life, we started to plan for the baby’s nursery (in our other bedroom) and have already shifted some things around in both rooms. So, I never got a chance to take another ‘tour’ of this office with my camera while it looked pretty, but I thought it would be fun to go over all of the details and projects I did in the room.

    If you recall, the color scheme for this office involved lots of white furniture, gold accents and pops of color with some green, aqua and orange accents. It was a bright and happy way to start planning for this room.

    I needed a place to work, first. So I used a basic IKEA desk and updated it with some gold bamboo accents and redid a thrift store chair with vintage fabric to use with the desk.

    I followed a few simple steps to make the windows looked bigger by hanging extra long curtains using DIY extra long curtain rods.

    A couple of frames and some wire made a great message/inspiration board.

    A piece of sari fabric (from my brother’s wedding) added some impact to one wall in the room by hanging it as art.

    An old side table received some new life with white and gold paint and pretty accessories on top.

    I sewed a simple white slipcover for my futon couch and added a few colorful DIY pillows. I think the changes help  that old college cast-off look a little more modern and fresh.

    Next to the futon sits two of my favorite DIY pieces… my wine cork lamp and my green glitter covered side table

    Above the couch I hung a gallery wall display using some thrift store and vintage inspired artwork and pieces.

    So, I think I’m done updating this room right now. For many reasons, I’m so glad I made the decision two years ago to ‘move on’ and decorate this room. The room has purpose and it is pretty now, too!

    I love all the fun color and sparkle in the space… but I especially love the personal touches I was able to add into the room… my grandmother’s illustrations in the gallery wall, personal and inspired wall art and the sari I wore for my brother’s wedding. It is so nice to look around the room and be reminded of these personal memories.

    I am a firm believer that your environment can affect your mood and outlook. This room is a happy place to work in now and changing the space had a positive impact on how I feel when I’m in the room. Do you feel the same way about your home? Is there a space that you’ve updated (or want to update) and it helped to change your mood?

    April 14, 2014

    My All-Time Favorite DIY Project

    Madigan made… a fav little project that is under construction.

    Gosh. I am a bursting with so many emotions as I write this post. Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much or been online a lot the past couple of months. There’s a good reason for that… I’m working on another little (soon to be big) project. Let me explain…

    Where do I start?

    Well, let’s begin at the beginning… do you know the very personal story of our one guest room? For many years, my husband and I had always pegged that room to be a nursery once we had children. Unfortunately, we had issues trying to conceive and we spent many years dealing with the sadness and frustration of that situation… and this boring, unfinished room was a reminder (to me) of that fact.

    I told you about this bedroom and our infertility struggles back in the spring of 2012. After several years of living our lives in ‘limbo’ and waiting, I knew at that time that I had to move on and ‘live’. So, I slowly transformed that bedroom and space into something we could actively use… my home office. I wanted it to be a light, happy space, filled with lots of color and personal touches.

    Living for ‘today’ was a goal I had moving forward as I started to work on that room in 2012.

    I have to say that in 2013, my husband and I took that mission to heart. We went on more vacations. Tim joined a club and golfed more. I did more with my blog, went to conferences and made more blogging friends that year. I curled and let my hair down more. I started to regularly exercise, watched what I ate and tried to live more healthy. Life was good… and very tentatively… my husband and I started to talk about a future that might not involve children in our lives. (not an easy discussion, mind you… we always had hope… but being in our late 30’s, we knew life without our own children was a possibility.)

    I’ve heard that prayers are often answered when you least expect it… and that is what happened late this past December. Tim commented to me offhandedly one day that I was taking a lot of naps and I blamed the holidays for my exhaustion. BUT… on a hunch, I took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE! We were floored, excited and slightly terrified all at the same time!

    I really don’t know how to express this in words… but we are so thrilled to be given a chance at this little gift of life… one that we weren’t sure we’d ever receive.

    This event is truly is my all-time favorite DIY project… and that is where my energy and focus has been lately… growing a tiny human being!

    This little collaborative ‘DIY project’ is due to be completed in late August!

    Now that I’m in the middle of my second trimester (I’m about 5 months along), I’m starting to feel better lately and hope to be able to share a little more here and elsewhere online. So, get ready for some baby related news, posts and projects here on Madigan Made and on my social media channels. I am so excited to prepare for and meet our little one… and share more about this wonderful gift with y’all!

    P.S. It’s a girl, too! (if you follow me on Instagram, you may be able to spot some of the nursery details I’ve been planning in my head and starting to work on. Stay tuned for more!)

    April 9, 2014

    DIY Jewelry Trinket Box

    Madigan made… a DIY trinket box with bow detail.

    DIY trinket box with bow detail

    I’m a sucker for cute little boxes and gift packages, aren’t you?

    I made this jewelry box last year for my husband’s niece and I just realized I never showed it to you. A sweet and simple storage box like this would be a nice little gift for any gal you know… like maybe for Mom this coming Mother’s Day?

    To make this container, I picked up a plain wooden box from the dollar store and decorated with paint and a metal bow detail. I found the bows in the jewelry section of the craft store on clearance.

    Want to see how to make one? It is pretty simple.

    Simple DIY jewelry box with bow detail

    DIY Jewelry Box

    Supplies used:

    • Wooden box
    • Drill
    • Metal bow (or other metal decorative piece)
    • Craft paint
    • Brush
    • Metallic wax rub
    • Strong adhesive glue (i.e.. E6000)

    Steps to make the jewelry box:

    Given that my metallic bow had a metal “loop’ in the back, I needed to make room for that obstruction. I drilled a small hole in the center of the lid’s front edge. This allowed for the ‘loop’ to fit inside and let the metal bow sit flush with the front of the lid.

    Then, I gave the entire box two coats of purple craft paint.

    For an added metallic detail, I carefully applied some silver metallic wax rub along the edges of the lid. A little goes a long way with this stuff!

    Finally, I glued my metal bow to the front of the box’s lid, over the hole I drilled and filled the box with a little gift for our niece.

     DIY trinket or jewelry box with bow detail.

    You can make these little boxes in any color you want. I love how the metal bow gave the box just enough detail to make it feel special. The bow also is a nice ‘handle’ one can grab to help open the lid. If you can’t find a metal bow, any pretty decorative metallic piece could look cute on the front of the box.

    Either way you make it, a gift always looks more special wrapped in a cute little box, right?(especially one that can be reused!)

    March 31, 2014

    A little spring cleaning for the blog.

    Madigan made… a few blog updates.

    This time of year many of us like to air out our houses, deep clean and spruce things up a bit. Well, that same principle can apply to our online spaces, too. I’ve been growing tired of my blog’s look and logo for some time now. I haven’t moved my site over to WordPress yet for a full update… but I wanted to make a few quick changes for the site this spring.

    The blog design is still the same layout… I just updated my logo, cleaned up my side bar and changed some of the colors to freshen up the site. Simple changes, but they make a big difference in how the site feels to me.

    I want to thank my youngest brother, Brian, for the logo design. It is simple, clean and classic – which is exactly the look I wanted. The logo kind of evokes an “American Made” vintage stamp, right? (That was the general inspiration for the design.) And the blue color is so pretty!

    You also may note the new tag line: Creative Living Made Simple.

    I think this statement summarizes my goals for Madigan Made succinctly… I hope to continue to bring you, my readers, simple and creative solutions for your life… be it home décor ideas to easy recipes.

    Someday soon I hope to move to WordPress, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying these small spring cleaning changes!

    Do you find yourself looking to make little changes around your spaces this time of year? Small updates can make a big difference, don’t you think?

    March 28, 2014

    How to Make a Lamp from a Bottle

    Madigan made… a DIY lamp from a vase.

    How to make a DIY lamp from a glass bottle or vase

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… when I can’t find what I’m looking for, sometimes the best solution is for me to make it myself. Today’s DIY lamp project is no exception.

    I had a specific idea in mind for what I needed in our family room next to our new sofa. I found a classic, marble topped table at the thrift store last year to serve as a small side table next to the couch (I liked how the grays in the marble complemented the color of the sofa). But I was not sure what kind of lighting to use on top of that table.

    DIY glass lamp on top of a marble topped table

    Lamps can vary in price and size depending on where you're looking.  I wanted a lamp that had a blue turquoise color to it that would pick up some of the blues from my vintage gallery wall. And, ideally, I wanted it to be made of glass to pick up some of the other glass elements in the room (like my DIY fishing floats). This is a small room and I did not need a huge, heavy lamp to dominate the space.

    I did not want a big lamp… but I did not desire a tiny lamp, either. I also hoped to find the lamp for a cheap price, too. Gosh, I’m asking a lot, aren’t I? Haha!

    Unfortunately, the lighting selection I found in the stores was either the wrong size, wrong color or too expensive. So, when I spotted this pretty blue bottle-like vase on clearance for a few dollars at the craft store, I snapped it up and brought it home. I thought its color and size would make a great table lamp base.

    With a few modifications, a carbide drill bit and some basic wiring tools/skills you can turn any glass bottle into a lamp. It's pretty cool and I was surprised at how easy it was to do.

    How to make a DIY lamp from  a glass bottle

    Let me show you how I made it:

    DIY Lamp from a Bottle

    Supplies used:

    (Note: The links in this list are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, off of purchases via those links.)

    how to make a lamp from a bottle - easy tutorial

    Steps taken:

    First, I cleaned out my vase. Then I picked a location for the wire to thread through at the bottom of the vase and marked it with a piece of painters tape.

    how to make a lamp from a glass bottle - be sure to protect yourself as you make it!

    Next, I made sure to protect myself with eyewear and a dust mask. I did not want to have any pieces of glass or glass dust fly into my eyes or mouth. I also wore gloves, just in case the bottle broke as I was drilling. I did not need a trip to the emergency room from a cut that day!

    how to make a lamp from a bottle - easy tutorial

    I secured the vase between two 10 pound hand weights and using the carbide drill bit, I very, very slowly drilled a hole through the painters tape and glass. I stopped frequently as I drilled to allow the bit to cool down and to clean out any dust that was gathering in the hole I drilled. My vase was rather thick, so it took me quite a long time (maybe 30 minutes or more) to drill through the whole vase. Thankfully, the bottle did not crack and the hole was pretty clean.

    how to make a lamp from a bottle - easy tutorial

    Once the hole was created, I ran the wire through that hole and up through the top of the vase. I used a rubber stopper from my lighting kit that fit into my bottle's opening. I then attached and wired the lamp assembly by following the instructions on the kit package.  I am not an electrician, so I won't go into great detail here about how to wire the assembly… but I will say that the package instructions were pretty clear and easy to follow.

    Once the lamp was wired, I attached the harp and a white lampshade that I picked up at IKEA. I also reused a decorative finial from an old lamp. I just gave it a coat of turquoise blue craft paint to match the rest of my new light.

    I love the way the lamp looks sitting on the marble side table next to our new gray sofa. The light shines through the blue glass and I don't even mind you can see the cord in the lamp.  A few accessories like milk glass, my concrete vase and a blue Mason jar look great sitting next to it.

    DIY lamp made from a glass vase

    After all my searching, I’m so glad I decided to make my own lighting. My new lamp was relatively inexpensive to create (compared to what I saw in the stores) and it works in our room the way I hoped it would! The lamp is a great size for the space.  I also love how the blue in the base picks up the turquoise colors in the couch pillow and some of the decorative plates in my vintage gallery wall art.

    I have to say that I am looking at old bottles and vases with fresh eyes now. Suddenly, I want to turn all the interesting ones I see into lamps!

    Want more DIY glass bottle lamp ideas? I found these three lamp projects at Inspired Room, House & Home and Pondered, Primed & Perfected as I investigated how to make my own.

    And if you like this DIY lamp project, be sure to check out a few of the others I’ve created in the past:

    DIY lamp project ideas

    March 25, 2014

    My Gallery Wall: Plates, Hoops & Medallions, Oh My!

    Madigan made… a gallery wall with plates, embroidery hoops and ceiling medallions.

    Simple and lovely DIY gallery wall art using vintage plates, fabric and ceiling medallions. Love this!

    Do you know what happens when a group of ceiling medallions, a vintage plate collection and an embroidery hoop gallery wall collides? You end up with a unique, fun and personal art display for your family room. My kinda wall décor!

    Our family room update is slowly… very slowly… coming together. I’ve shown you a few of my projects for this room. Do you remember the sad brown “before”? I’m trying to forget.

    room decor before updates

    This past year I repainted the room and made some accessories for the space (coasters, books, vases, and other décor) My goal for this room was to keep the wall paint and furniture neutral and bring in color with accessories using a CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black/gray) color scheme.

    After paint, the next big change we made in the room was to replace the furniture. We bought a large, boxy and modern sectional couch in a dark gray fabric last year to take the place of our old, ugly, orange-brown sofa. We loved the new gray couch but my dilemma was what to put on the wall above it. I wanted to hang something that was NOT modern or boxy looking. For me, the wall needed art of some kind that was a little more traditional/vintage and organic to contrast with the hard, modern lines of the couch.

    And this art project took over a year for me to complete from start to finish… But it was so worth the wait!

    DIY wall art made with vintage plates, fabric, hoops and ceiling medallions

    At first, I began to collect vintage handkerchiefs in CMYK colors. I thought they’d look neat hanging above the couch, maybe in embroidery hoops or decoupaged onto plates. Then, I started spotting (and buying) pretty vintage floral plates in those same colors at thrift stores. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use plates or hoops. Finally, when I was experimenting and arranging all of these items on the floor one day (to visualize what they may look like on the wall), I offhandedly set one of the plates on top of a ceiling medallion nearby. THAT is when I knew I needed to layer all of these items together. And that is also when my long hunt for more fabric, hankies, plates and medallions kicked off!

    If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I probably showed you a lot of my plate and fabric finds. After many, many months of antique and thrift store searching, I started to assemble and hang my gallery wall. Let me show you how I did that.

     Simple and lovely DIY gallery wall art using vintage plates, fabric and ceiling medallions. Love this!

    Warning: If you are someone that is easily upset when someone takes glue or scissors to an old or vintage item… I suggest you turn away now… because I did some major altering to my finds!

    DIY Vintage Plate, Hoop and Ceiling Medallion Gallery Wall

    Supplies used:

    • Bunches of vintage floral plates/bowls (Click here for my tips on sourcing your own vintage plates!)
    • Bunches of plain white plates with decorative edges, various sizes
    • Several ceiling medallions, in different shapes/sizes
    • Vintage floral fabric from old sheets and handkerchiefs
    • Embroidery hoops in various sizes
    • White craft paint
    • Brushes
    • E6000 adhesive
    • Hot glue gun
    • Balsa wood
    • Picture hanging strips
    • Nails
    • Hammer
    • Painter’s tape

    Steps to make my gallery wall:

    To make the layered vintage plates on top of plates:

    I cleaned all of my plate finds in the dishwasher first. Then, I used E6000 glue to attach a smaller, decorative plate to a larger, plain white one.

    To make the ceiling medallion and plate combination pieces:

    First I gave all of the ceiling medallions a coat of glossy white spray paint. (To mimic the look of white ceramics.) Then, I used more E6000 glue and attached a small, decorative plate to the center of each one.

    To make the layered embroidery hoops:

    I first painted the embroidery hoops white with craft paint. Then I slipped the fabric from the old sheets and handkerchiefs into the hoops, tightened the hoops and trimmed the excess fabric with scissors.  Finally, I glued down the hoops to larger, white plates using dollops of hot glue.

    To hang all of the pieces on the wall:

    I used small nails in the wall to hang all of the ceiling medallions. To hang the plates on the wall I used stick-on picture hanging strips to avoid putting a lot of holes my walls. Sometimes…  I needed to glue sections of balsa wood to the back of the plates to ‘raise’ the strips up so that the sticky strips were flush with the wall. For the smaller, dessert-sized plates I used one medium set of  picture hanging strips. But for the larger, heavier, dinner-sized plates, I needed to 2-3 sets of strips on each one.

    how to hang a vintage plate gallery wall

    I came up with the idea to hang the pieces randomly by starting from the top corner of the couch and working my way down and out towards the edges. I loosely ‘sketched’ the shape of the pattern I wanted on the wall first by using painter’s tape. Then, I started to hang everything. I did my best to keep the pieces close to each other as I worked… I think that helped the plates flow better on the wall and created a more organic look (versus if I spaced everything out evenly).

    Confession: This plate wall has been up and completed in our family room for about 5 months now… and I’m just showing it to you now. I know! But I waited to share this wall with you for a couple of reasons. First, I ended up rearranging a few of the plates… more than a few times! Second, I wanted to ensure that the plates would stay up on the wall using the picture hanging strips before I told you to consider doing it. Now, I never had a problem using the strips for plates next to my chalkboard in the kitchen, but those plates were smaller and fewer than this project. So far, I had only one plate fall and that was a large, heavy plate that needed more strips than the other plates. The strips seem to be holding the other plates up fine. BUT I will admit that if someone would bump against a plate, it has the chance to fall. I’ve warned guests that come over to be careful when they sit on the couch for that reason.

     DIY gallery wall with embroidery hoops, vintage plates and ceiling medallions

    ( Would I use the picture hanging strips to hang plates again? Maybe… but maybe not. They were expensive to use in a large scale like this project… and I’m not sure how well they will stay on the wall over a long period of time or if we have a rowdy crowd over, etc. (see above) If I were to do this wall again, I probably would accept the holes in the walls and use traditional plate hangers or glue paperclips to the back of the plates to use as a DIY plate hanger. But I’m enjoying the wall now and I’m happy I won’t have too many holes to patch if I want to change it around later. )


    It took a loooong to to source, arrange and create this wall display… but I am soooo in love with the end result!

    Sitting in that room – I can’t help but smile when I look at the gallery wall. Every time I examine it, I feel like I see something new. Each decorative plate and piece of fabric is so pretty on it’s own.

    DIY art made from vintage plates, fabric and ceiling medallions

    I can’t decide which piece I like best. I love how the white plate edges and medallions around each of the hoops and plates kinda looks like a glossy frame around each piece. The effect helps each pattern have their own little way to shine amidst all of this vintage goodness.

    DIY wall art using vintage plates, fabric and ceiling medallions

    I also like how the rounded shapes and vintage images are a nice contrast to the very modern sofa below. Arranged in this large, bold pattern on the wall, I think that the gallery wall still feels modern in a way, too.

    Since there was so much going on above the sofa, I kept the pillows on the couch pretty simple. I picked up these textured pillows at Target in blue, pink and yellow solid colors, plus a textured gray pillow, too. A simple oval, vintage platter sits on the bench/coffee table to serve as a tray.

    textured CMYK pillows and DIY gallery wall art

    Are you curious about the pretty blue glass lamp on the end table next to the couch? Stay tuned in the coming week… I’ll show you how to make your own lamp soon!

    The family room is starting to come together and I have just a few more things to finish up before I declare this room ‘done’.  In the meantime… I’m LOVING the mass collision of vintage plates, fabric and ceiling medallions on my wall!

    Simple and pretty wall art from vintage plates, hoops, fabric and ceiling medallions