Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

A picture of the rack

As an avid magazine reader (who says print is dead?), I amass a lot of magazines – making my coffee table cluttered and making me look like a slob when company comes over. I also never really want to part with them; reading an article I had skipped previously, or referring back to them later on. An Ikea trip soon gave me a bit of needed inspiration to put together this super simple wall-mounted magazine rack.

What you’ll need:
– RIBBA picture ledge
– GRUNDTAL rail, stainless steel
– Drill
– Pencil

Step 1: Place the Picture Ledge

You’ll want to place the RIBBA picture ledge where you want it and make sure it’s level. Once you have it how you want it, take a pencil and use it to mark where the screw-holes are. Remove the ledge and take your drill and drill holes on your markings to make it easier for the drill to put the screw in the wall. You can now re-place the ledge and use the drill to put in your screws, keeping the picture ledge in place.

Step 2: Place the Rail

You’ll want to do the same thing you did with the picture ledge with the rail. Again you’re going to have to place it (I used one of my magazines to stage it to see how it’d look), mark the screw holes with your pencil, and use your drill to make the holes to make the screws go in easier. Screw in the rail, and you’re done!

This is a simple, 20-minute job that makes a big difference! Gotta love when something has style AND function. Did you give it a shot? Did things a little differently? Sound off in the comments and let us know how it turned out.

Have the DYI bug? Look at our archives for more great projects!


March 5, 2014 7:30 am

DIY: Make Your Own Wedding Programs!

DIY Wedding Programs

The cost of wedding stationery can really add up! Just think, not only do you have the wedding invitations, but there’s also save-the-dates, programs, place cards, menus, and table cards. And, some brides choose to print custom bridal shower and bachelorette party invites too! Depending on the size of the wedding and the type of printing, stationery alone can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to over $1000!

For my destination wedding last year, this is an area that I knew I could easily save some dough on by harnessing my inner DIY-goddess. So along came my DIY wedding programs!

What you’ll need:

Materials for DIY Wedding Programs– Cardstock for the cover

– Another color of cardstock for the base (try to match your wedding colors)

– Paper in different colors (go with lighter colors here)

– Raffia ribbon

– Hole punch

– Guillotine or ruler and scissors

– Charms (optional)

– Bone folder (optional)


Cover and booklet pages:   5″ H x 4.25″ W

Base:   7.25″ H x 5” W

NB: You can make your programs smaller or larger, or choose an entirely different shape altogether. Just make sure that your base is larger so your border is visible.

Step 1: Design the cover page

Using the dimensions above, I created a simple starfish design on Word that went along with my overall theme. Next, I printed out copies on opalescent cardstock and cut them to size using my guillotine. I decided to make enough programs so that each couple and family got one, plus a few extras.

Step 2: Design booklet pages

I had three pages in my booklet. This is how I organized my content.

Page 1- The Wedding Party

Page 2- Thank You

Page 3- Thinking of You

When I was finished refining my text, I printed out copies of each page and cut them down to size. The booklet pages are the same size as the cover page.

Step 3: Create your base

I used the dimensions above to create my base. I decided to use multiple shades of pink cardstock just to keep things interesting. And again, the colors matched my theme.

Optional Step 4: Score the base

I decided to do this because it creates a nice smooth crease where the base lip folds over the booklet pages. I switched out my blade on my guillotine for the plastic scorer to do this, but you can also use a bone folder and ruler.

Step 5:  Assemble pages and punch holes

Assemble your book and then place the pages on top of your base. Fold the lip over the pages and punch two holes through every page of your program. My holes were about an inch out from each side.

DIY Wedding Programs - Assembly

Step 6: Tie pages together

I used raffia ribbon to tie my pages together. Raffia worked really well for me because it went along with my beachy theme. To top off the bow in the middle, I added a starfish charm. If you use a charm, you’ll want to thread it onto one end of the raffia, position it in the middle, and then tie off a bow.


  1. The guillotine (paper cutter) will be your best friend for the duration of this project. If you don’t have one, take advantage of Michael’s weekly 40% off coupons and go get yourself one!
  2. For my hole-punching, I started with a cutesy heart-shaped punch from Michaels. They don’t cut properly and will leave you screaming for your fiancé’s help. Use a proper hole-punch from an office supply store and save yourself from early-onset arthritis.
  3. Check out ebay for charms. I got 200 starfish charms for $2 with free shipping.


DIY Wedding Program - Completed Version

Planning a wedding?

Whether you’re a budding wedding planner or are just looking for a bit of help planning your own special day, QC Event School’s Wedding Planning Course might be just what you need to help you get started!  Check out the course outline or request a free brochure!


February 13, 2014 1:33 pm

DIY Paint Chip Valentine’s Cards

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time of year that gives me a reason to display the happiest shades of reds and pinks, and show the people dearest to me how much I love them. This year I decided to say “I Love You” with paint chips!

If you’re anything like me you like to take a leisurely stroll down the paint aisle every time you find yourself in a home improvement or paint store. And if you’re like me, you probably always walk away with a small stack of paint chips just in case you ever find the time to repaint… Good news! Today you can finally put some of them to use to create these adorable little love notes!

Let me show you how it’s done.

Paint Chip Valentine's Cards

Grab your paint chips! Any color will do, but I decided to go with the obvious pinks and reds. I also used some scissors, a glue stick, colorful markers and letter stencils. If you don’t already have all of these items, you can most likely find everything you need at the dollar store. And now it’s as simple as unleashing your inner cupid and getting a little creative. Here are a few of my finished paint chip Valentine’s cards:

Paint Chip Valentine's Cards

Try cutting out hearts and other shapes from your paint chips and gluing them on as accents on your cards. It really adds an extra level of adorable!

Tip: As the paint chips are somewhat glossy the marker ink can smear quite easily. Though it may take a bit longer to complete the project, I recommend waiting for each letter to dry before beginning the next.

Paint Chip Valentine's Cards

My favorite thing about this project is that it’s almost completely free to create. The majority of the materials needed are probably already lying around your home, and most hardware and paint stores have stacks of paint chips simply for customers to browse through and take home free of charge. It’s also a great way to get crafty with the kids, especially if they plan on handing our Valentine’s cards to all their classmates!

I’d love to see your crafty Valentine’s creations! Tweet a picture of yours to @QCCareerSchool OR share them with us on Instagram!


January 3, 2014 8:23 am

DIY Art using Thread and Wood

This idea came straight from one of our Student Support Specialists, Ana (she’s so crafty!). She made this beautiful, feminine, original wall art, and we just had to try it out. The best part is that since the holidays are over, you can keep this DIY all for yourself. Give it a try!

Here’s what you’ll need:

DIY wall art for your home

1. A piece of wood. You don’t have to cut down a tree! You can find some really beautiful pieces at many craft stores. A nice piece can be a bit on the pricey side (ours cost $30), but for the look we wanted, it was totally worth it.

2. Sewing pins. Depending on your wood, you can also use nails. Our wood was very soft, and nails would have damaged it.

3. Embroidery thread. Regular thread will not be thick enough for this project – it will keep slipping off the pins. (Believe us, we tried…)

4. Hammer, pencil, and scissors. We didn’t use a thimble, but our sore little fingers regretted it the whole time.

Step 1

Draw your word onto the piece of wood. Cursive writing works the best, because you can use one strand of thread for the whole word. If you like, you can create a stencil beforehand – this way you can play around with shapes and sizes.

DIY wall art

Step 2

Place the pins along the edges of your word, roughly half an inch apart. This step is a bit tedious, and will definitely hurt your fingers. That’s why we used a hammer at times to give our fingertips a break and make sure the pins were secure. A thimble would work, too.

Step 3

Tie a solid knot around the first pin and start wrapping! Don’t worry about wrapping in any particular order; you’ll have to wrap each pin a few times to make the word show up against the wood.

DIY wall art

Step 4

Once you’re happy with the thread and you can clearly see the word, tie another tight knot and cut off the excess string!

DIY wall art

And there you have it! DIY wall art that you can customize to suit your home. Give it a try, and show us how you did on the Facebook page!


December 11, 2013 12:00 am

Have a Crafty Christmas with DIY Ornaments!

DIY ornaments

This is for all the crafters out there! Today we’re bringing you a tutorial for DIY ornaments from a member of the QC staff. She crafted up these festive little string and pine cone ornaments, and we loved them so much we just had to share.

It’s a little time consuming, but so worth the effort. So go throw on some cheerful Christmas tunes (we’re loving A Very She & Him Christmas), grab yourself a mug of hot cocoa, and let’s get started!

DIY Christmas Ornaments

Before you get started you’ll want to round up the following materials:

– different colors of string to use for your ball ornaments

– pine cones (optional)

– string for garland (we used twine)

– white craft glue

– scissors

– sponge craft brush

– small plastic cups

– small, round balloons

– water

Alright, let’s dive right in!

DIY ornaments

Step 1: Inflate your balloons, but not all the way. You want to try and make the balloons as perfectly round as possible.

Step 2: Hold down the end of the string to the balloon while you wrap the string around, and be sure to overlap the strand. Once the end of the string is secured under the layers of string it should stay in place.

Step 3: Always check to make sure the string is tight all the way around. If it is loose anywhere your ornaments will look lumpy!

DIY Ornaments

Step 4: Continue to wrap the string randomly around the balloon, making sure to overlap the string as much as possible.

Step 5: Once you’re happy with the coverage (remember, you want there to be some holes) it’s time to begin gluing!

Step 6: Mix your glue and water in one of the plastic cups. To create the mix, combine two parts glue with one part water.

DIY Ornaments

Step 7: Dab your gluey mixture all over the ball, making sure to coat everything well.

Step 8: Once you’ve completely covered the ball, let it rest on the top of a plastic cup until dry.

*TIP: For best results, be somewhat generous with the glue mixture and let dry completely overnight. For those of you who are a bit impatient (we hear ya!), give the drying process a kick-start with a hair dryer. Just be sure to let it completely dry before moving on to the next step).

Step 9: Once completely dry, cut the end of the balloon to deflate it – if you didn’t leave enough room by the knot of the balloon to pull it through the hole, let the deflated balloon fall into the ball and find a bigger hole to pull the balloon out of. We recommend using tweezers to do this bit. 

DIY Ornaments

Step 10: You’re all done your first string ball ornament! Now all you have to do is repeat it about 20 more times to create enough for a garland. Once you’ve made enough, move on to step 11.

*TIP: If doing just one has tuckered you out, simply slip an ornament hook into it, hang it on your tree and call it a day!

Step 11: Cut a length of string to tie your ornaments and pine cones to. If you’re not a huge fan of pine cones, swap them out for something else! Try using other ornaments, Christmas cards, paper snowflakes, etc. Be sure to tie a secure knot around each ornament so they stay in place once the garland is hung up.

Step 12: Hang it up! As this does have a bit of weight to it when finished, we found thumbtacks were best to keep it hanging in place. 

Et voila! You now have a beautiful, easy and affordable Christmas decoration. Try it out and let us know what you think in a comment below.

Loved this DIY? Click the links below to share it!


November 1, 2013 12:00 am

Get Creative with Wedding Favors!

It can be tricky to decide on the perfect memento for guests of your special day. Depending on how many people are attending your wedding and reception, it can soon become expensive. An idea that seemed affordable in the beginning may end up stretching the budget to extremes once it is created in large numbers. Even if you manage to keep costs down, creating your own wedding favors can be very time consuming.

That being said it can be very rewarding seeing guests’ reactions to something you have spent time creating.


Here are some ideas if you’re a little stuck:

– Homemade masks or photo booth props: Venetian-style eye masks or mustaches on sticks make for interesting wedding photos for you and your guests

– If you’re having an outdoor wedding, seasonal favors can work well as part of the theme: For example, pashminas in your color scheme to keep away the chill, or sunglasses to keep the sunshine out of people’s eyes. Umbrellas or parasols can also be a useful gift and helpful if the weather takes a turn for the worse

– If you and your spouse are particularly passionate about music, a customized CD with tracks from your wedding can be special. You could also use USB sticks for a more techy touch and include some photos from the engagement and a small thank you note

– Pint, wine or shot glasses are all useful mementos that can be personalized for your day with etchings. It also minimizes clean up after the reception is over

– Coasters with a photo of you as a couple on the front, and a chalkboard on the back can act as a place setting and favor in one. They are also relatively inexpensive if you make them yourself

– Temporary tattoos can provide entertainment for guests, as well as adding a touch of originality and fun. This would be ideal if you or your spouse are into tattoo culture. Matching sets to symbolize the wedding such as infinity symbols or wedding rings can also be cute!

– Edible gifts are always popular and are often consumed before the wedding is even over! You are also less likely to have them left over if guests forget them on leaving. Homemade treats can add a more personal touch, especially if a family recipe is used. You could also include this as part of the favor so your guests can recreate it at home

Wedding Favors

– Homemade chocolates can be fairly easy to master with a little practice. Molds such as the couple’s initials can be used for repeat batches and small bags or boxes can be quite cheap if ordered in bulk. Truffles wrapped in color coordinating paper are a classic choice

– Small bags of sweets such as M&Ms or Skittles matching your color theme can also be nice wedding favors. You can even have a picture of the bride and groom’s faces printed on some sweets!

– Personalized sticks of rock can give a funfair or seaside element to your wedding, with a personalized message in the center

– Old fashioned sweets such as licorice comfits and rhubarb and custard often go down well with guests and you can have the happy couple’s favorites to share

– Personalized fortune cookies have become popular in recent years and can be relatively low cost if ordered in a large quantity

– Cake or cookie mixes in jars can also make lovely presents for your guests as they get to keep a nice jar and make something yummy! This can be very sentimental if you include a family recipe or something you and your spouse make together

If you want to cut down on costs and reduce waste at the end of the night, having a small dessert buffet such as flavored popcorn or a selection of cookies can allow your guests a little more choice in what they would like. Large jars of homemade cookies and small boxes or containers to take away can be personalized with the names and dates from your wedding.

Sian is a keen freelance writer who has a passion for all things wedding related. Her favorite north east wedding band is Funk Conspiracy, who she has worked with on numerous occasions to make the happy couple’s day extra special.


October 30, 2013 12:00 am

How to: Make Your Own DIY Pumpkin Vase

Need some unique, last-minute fall decorations for your mantle or tablescape? Here at QC Design School, we turned an everyday pumpkin into a vase for an autumn bouquet. It’s an easy DIY that incorporates fresh fall materials and looks great! You could use any kind of floral arrangement (mums would look fabulous), but we love how vibrant the colors are in the bouquet below. Read on to do it yourself!


Materials for DIY pumpkin vase

  • One pumpkin. The rounder, the better
  • The floral arrangement of your choice
  • A Tupperware container, small vase, or glass
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • A pumpkin carving tool, like a serrated knife

Make your own pumpkin vase this fall

Step 1

Using your container, trace an outline on the top of your pumpkin around the stem. This will be the template for the mouth of your “vase”.

Step 2

Using your serrated knife, carefully carve around the top of your pumpkin.

Step 3

Remove the lid of the pumpkin. For those who are squeamish about pumpkin guts, don’t worry! You can leave them in (unless of course you’d like to roast the seeds!).

Step 4

Place the container inside the hole of the pumpkin. You might need to carve away a bit more of the pumpkin to get a secure fit.

DIY pumpkin vase

Step 5

Trim the ends of your flowers on an angle. This is a good opportunity to get rid of any dead leaves, and pick the best flowers to showcase in your pumpkin vase.

Step 6

Start arranging the flowers in your pumpkin. Play around with the bouquet until it looks good to you. We recommend you add some greenery to fill the gaps, and let some of the flowers hang over the pumpkin to cover the container, if it shows. Finally, add water to the container to give your flowers as long a life as possible!

Pumpkin Vase

There you have it! A homemade, funky pumpkin vase to add some autumn decor to your home or front porch. If you’d like to see our video tutorial, take a look below!

Give it a try, and let us know how you did on the Facebook page!


October 11, 2013 1:18 pm

MAKEUP CONTEST: Get Spooky with QC!


Congratulations to our winner Crystal Gray and runner-up Kylie-Elvis Schmoulianoff!

And we’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated! We were overwhelmed by the number of entries we received, and are wildly impressed with the level of skill and creativity shown. We wish you all a very happy Halloween!

Makeup Contest


Show us your very best Halloween makeup for a chance to win an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette and personalized audio feedback from celebrity makeup artist Nathan Johnson!

To enter this makeup contest, simply create a Halloween makeup look on yourself or a friend. Then head on over to QC Makeup Academy’s Facebook page, “like” this post, and message us with a photo of your spooky creation!

Nathan will be selecting the top 2 looks himself, and providing audio critique for both. The winner will receive the Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette, and the runner up will receive the Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow Palette. Check out the image below to see exactly what’s up for grabs.

Contest begins today and runs until October 30th. The winners will be announced on Halloween. Good luck!

Halloween Makeup Contest with QC Makeup Academy


Wedding hangers have been trending for a few years now, especially since the popularity of DIY wedding decor. We’re talking about the hangers that say things in the wire, like “bride”, “groom”, or “bridesmaid”. They look great in the “getting ready” photos, and can be made for everyone in the bridal party, from the bride and groom to the mother of the bride. If you’re a wedding planner, they also make great gifts for your client; another way for you to add your personal touch. You can get them custom ordered, but they’re actually quite simple to DIY, and very inexpensive. If you want to learn about even more special wedding touches, take a look at QC Event School’s Wedding Planning course.


What You’ll Need:

14 gauge galvanized wire
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Wooden hangers
Drill (choose a drill bit the size of your wire)
Strong glue
Pencil and paper

Step 1

Cut your wire to size. On average, you’ll need at least 10 to 12 inches of wire per letter. For example, if you’re making the word “Bride”, you’ll need about 60 inches of wire. More is always better!

Step 2

Determine how you want your letters to look using a pencil and paper. Look online for some inspiration, especially on etsy or Pinterest.

Step 3

Use your template as a guide to begin forming your letters. You can use your hands and the pliers as needed. Here’s a tip: Cover the needle nose pliers in masking tape to prevent them from scratching the wire. It can take a bit of practise to get it right, but as you go you’ll find a method that works for you. If you make a mistake or get a kink in the wire, toss it and start over – it’s not worth the effort.

Step 4

Drill two holes on the inside of the hanger, about half an inch in. Don’t go all the way through. Trim your wire to fit, if necessary.

Step 5

Put some glue in the holes and on your wire, then stick the wire in and give it plenty of time to dry. Voila!


Have you tried out this DIY? Let us know how you did in a comment below!




Make your outdoor parties special with some backyard games

Whether you’re hosting a child’s birthday party, family reunion, or neighborhood barbeque, any outdoor party is better with games. We’ve even seen them trending at outdoor weddings recently! They give guests something to do while they’re waiting for the hamburgers to cook, and they can make for some good memories and great photos. Take a look at a few creative game ideas for your next backyard party.

Lawn Jenga

The classic coffee table game can easily be made for the outdoors by making the pieces bigger. This DIY might take some skill with a table saw, but it requires virtually no materials other than wood. Guests could probably spend hours on a giant Jenga tournament…after all, the stakes have never been higher!

Homemade dunk bucket

A dunk bucket would be the perfect activity for some laughs on a hot day. With this game, one guest sits under a bucket of water, that’s triggered by a bulls-eye. Friends and family take aim with the goal of spilling the bucket on his head! Setup is a little more involved than the other games on this list (check out a tutorial here), but the results would be well worth it.

Water gun shoot-out

Bottles, ping pong balls, and water guns are all you need to create this Wild West-inspired outdoor game. Guests have to squirt their water guns from a few feet away from their target, trying to knock a ping pong ball off the top of a bottle. It’s an activity that both children and adults can enjoy, and the host could arrange for prizes to be given to the winners of certain categories. Cowboy hats optional, but would be an added bit of fun.

Ring toss

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned ring toss, and the party planner will love it even more because it’s so easy to DIY. You can make it fit with practically any theme, but it works great at a rustic chic party.

What’s your favorite backyard game? Let us know in a comment below!