Marianne Canada

"I keep my glue gun in a holster."

Marianne is the Special Projects Editor for HGTV.com. She was the girl in college who saved her waitressing tips to buy a Knoll chair and the perfect vintage couch. All these years later, she still has both, and she's ever on the hunt for unique pieces to add to her home. Marianne's style is almost always vintage, rarely ever mass-produced, but still leaves room for the occasional trip to Ikea. She's not afraid to be patient, it took her 7 years to find the right rug for her living room and she's been hunting for a vintage leather chair for longer than that. Her greatest design fear? Her home looking like everyone else’s. Clean but eclectic and always, always livable.

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POSTS BY Marianne Canada

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Like all good craft projects, this one started with a problem: It can be difficult to find phone cases that are both attractive and affordable. The solution: An inexpensive clear plastic phone case, a scanner and some flowers. Watch and see how it’s done:

Kind of amazing, isn’t it? Turning down the lights while scanning the flowers makes the colors more vibrant and creates a dramatic black background. We used a bouquet of grocery store flowers, but you could forage in the yard (or around the craft room) for your own mix of materials. Ferns, feathers, pompoms, yarn, sequins — the possibilities are endless. Just scan, cut and install inside your clear case, then switch to a new design when the mood strikes.

DIY Scanned Flower iPhone Cases -- HGTV Crafternoon on Design Happens

What materials would you use to create your own scanned phone case? Tell us in the comments below.

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Can you believe it’s already time for kids to head back to school? I feel like summer just started! Whether your family is already in the swing of early mornings and after-school homework or you’re preparing for the first day, this cute, inexpensive teacher gift is worth a look. Check it out:

Stuff the mugs with anything you think your child’s teacher might like: think candy, art supplies or a coffee shop gift card.

Decorated Teacher's Mug Gifts

Even if you don’t have kids in school, these porcelain pens are really fun to use and a great way to dress up plain mugs and plates for gift items or your own kitchen. Tell us: Have you played around with porcelain pens?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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Hello, my name is Marianne, and I am a paper craft addict. Whether it’s colorful paper flower wreaths or a 3-dimensional cloud mobile, there is something so satisfying about taking an inexpensive stack of paper and turning it into a show stopping craft. With that confession out of the way, let’s get to this week’s project because y’all? It’s one of my favorites. Just one of these giant paper dahlias would make an elegant wreath on your front door, but the real impact comes from grouping several of them together.

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Doesn’t that make you want to bust out the paper cutter? These abundant paper flowers would also make great decorations for an early fall wedding or even adorning the walls of a dorm room. The possibilities are endless!

Giant Paper Dahlias

Do you love paper crafts? What’s your favorite thing to make?

How to Make Your Own Giant Paper Dahlias

Catch all the episodes of HGTV Crafternoon, and more projects from Marianne, right here.

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We’re in the dog days of summer here, and sometimes you just want to get inside, out of the heat and into the blissful air conditioning. If your kids are in need of a project to occupy their time, I have just the thing for you. These sandpaper transfers are as fun to make as the resulting t-shirts are to wear.

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I love that in two simple steps you can turn your kid’s work of art into a t-shirt. Make sure you put the finished t-shirt in the dryer on high to set the color, and wash it alone the first time.

Crayon Shirt

What’s your favorite way to beat the late-summer heat?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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Summer may be winding down, but we have a few more weeks to enjoy warm weather and, if you’re lucky, the beach. But, if your family is living landlocked this summer, there’s another fun way to entertain little ones: These sea-inspired finger puppets. Turn up the volume and take a look:

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We worked with illustrator Kori Clark to design this exclusive set of finger puppets just for, well, you! The coolest part of the designs? They wrap around your fingers, making them easy to animate. Kids will love setting up a mini puppet stage and sending these little guys on an adventure.

Or, if you’re really headed to the ocean, cut and assemble these pint-sized puppets before you leave to keep kids occupied in the car.

Make Your Own Ocean Finger Puppets

DOWNLOAD THE FREE OCEAN FINGER PUPPET TEMPLATE RIGHT HERE >>

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Sometimes the simplest crafts are the most fun. This week we’re taking cheap cork coasters, dressing them up with paint pens, and turning them into adorable party favors and hostess gifts. Check it out:

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I was able to make a dozen of these coasters in minutes, and they have me in the mood to throw one last end-of-summer party.

Decorated Cork Coasters

Missed an episode of Weekday Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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You know the saying: nothing says party like a piñata. Isn’t that a saying? It is now! I had so much fun making this adorable beehive piñata that I can’t bear to break it. I think I might hang it in my daughter’s room instead.

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Pretty cute, eh? Those puffy bumblebees are the perfect touch. This would make any summer party one to remember, don’t you think?

Bumblebee Pinata

I haven’t done paper mache since I was a kid, and it was good, goopy fun. Have you ever attempted a homemade piñata?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? See them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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It’s no secret that I’m kind of obsessed with freezer paper stencils. So far, I’ve created a nautical, anchor-stenciled boat bag and some adorable onesies, but I’m not done yet. This week, I’m turning this cute cloud-and-raindrop stencil into a sweet summer dress.

Make Your Own Freezer Paper Stenciled Dress - HGTV Crafternoon on Design Happens

If you’re new to this adaptable technique, prepare to be smitten.  To get started, simply print or cut out the design of your choice, then affix it to fabric or clothing with an iron. Then, paint on fabric paint, let dry and peel away the stencil. The result? The look of a custom screen print in a fraction of the time. Watch this week’s video to learn more about the process:

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Pretty cute, eh? I used a patterned cotton dress for this project, but it would look equally cute on a shirt, table runner or set of white cotton napkins. Download the stencil here to get started with your own design! If you’d like a longer pattern, pair the cloud and raindrop stencil with this extra set of raindrops.

Tell me, have you tried freezer paper stencils? Where would you use this cute cloud-and-raindrop design?

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The Fourth of July is upon us, and that means lots of backyard barbecues in celebration of America’s birthday. In between burgers, ice pops and fireworks, your July 4th guests are going to have some down time. Keep the party going with this easy-to-make ring toss game that’s fun for guests of all ages. A few clear bottles, some paint and a fruit crate are all you need! Watch the video to learn how:

This game is a great way to upcycle items you’d likely otherwise toss in the recycling bin. If you don’t have a fruit crate handy, you can also pick up an inexpensive wooden crate at your local craft store. The crate doubles as storage, making it easy to keep this fun summer game ready to play all summer long.

4th of July Ring Toss - HGTV Crafternoon on Design Happens

How are you celebrating July 4th? Tell us in the comments below.

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Even for those of us who make crafts for a living, furnishing an entire party with handmade decor can be a bit of a challenge. Meanwhile, cute store-bought decorations tend to be pricey. The compromise? This summer, simplify your party decor (while still adding a handmade touch) with one simple watercolor technique and your printer.

Make Your Own (Adorable!) Watercolor Party Supplies - HGTV Crafternoon on Design Happen

Watch this week’s video to see how to turn one design into all of these (adorable!) printable party decorations:

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This herringbone design is a fun twist on the trendy pattern, but the sky’s the limit for your template: Try polka dots, stripes, zig zags or an abstract, drippy design. The good news for you? Even if you don’t have time to create your own custom pattern, you still can download our ready-made party supply templates right here…for free!

Download the Party Supply Templates Now

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My daughter Lulu just turned five, and since you don’t turn five every day I decided to throw a blowout. However, it was my birthday too (y’all know we have the same birthday, right?), so I didn’t want to create a ton of extra work for myself. So I did two things: first I made a bunch of custom birthday candles to decorate a plain white sheet cake. Then, I made a custom rubber stamp that I could use on everything from invitations to party decorations. Watch the video to see just how easy it was to make!

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Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Speedy Cut Block (or you can use an eraser to make a small stamp!)
  • Stamp Pad
  • Linoleum Carving Set
  • Hot Glue
  • Wood Block
  • Scissors
  • Washi or Paper Tape
  • Plain White Paper
  • Pencil

Armed with my horseshoe stamp and a stack of brown card stock, I was able to make all kinds of party signage and inexpensive invitations in just a couple of hours.

How To Make A Custom Rubber Stamp

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Cake decorating is an art (I mean, truly), but let’s be honest…sometimes the idea of all those piping bags of frosting (or wrestling with fondant) can be a bit overwhelming. With this in mind, I set out to make colorful candles that dress up even the most basic grocery store sheet cake. They are easy to make and can be customized for any occasion (make the patriotic star candles now and stash them away for your Fourth of July barbecue!). Watch the video to learn how, it’s a real toe-tapper:

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I started off making these candles for my daughter Lulu’s birthday but then I couldn’t stop. They are seriously fun to make. What shape would you make?

DIY Monogram Birthday Candles

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If I’m throwing a summer party, I’m not about to blow my budget on a tiny strand of decorative string lights (I’d much rather splash out on the food!). With this in mind, I set out to make some custom lantern string lights out of simple paper bags. The results, if I do say so myself, are pretty adorable. Watch the video to learn how:

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These lanterns make a cute centerpiece as well. They scream summer to me! Just the thing to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

DIY Paper Bag Lantern String Lights

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Watercolor prints have been rising in popularity for a few months now — HGTV Home’s Nancy Fire even named them as one of the top design trends to watch this spring. I personally love these hazy, colorful designs — but you know what I don’t love? That designer price tag. So, how excited was I to discover that you can make your own watercolor-esque pillow covers with basic rubbing alcohol and a handful of Sharpies? Pretty darned excited. Watch the video to learn how:

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Fair warning: These pillows are kind of addicting to make, and I’m itching to use the technique on table linens and maybe even a t-shirt. The possibilities are endless!

Sharpie Tie-Dye Watercolor Pillows

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I feel like this post should have a #ThrowbackThursday hashtag, because today we are taking something straight out of the ’80′s and making it oh-so-modern. That’s right y’all, we are making Shrinky Dinks. Ditch your memories of pre-fab cartoon characters and check out these modern designs made with blank Shrinky Dink sheets and permanent markers. Karen Kavett, one of my HGTV Handmade collaborators (and graphic design genius!), is along for the ride. Watch the video to see what we came up with:

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While the necklaces Karen and I made are SO super cute, I really loved the charms I made out of my kid’s drawings (seems I can’t resist a gift made by my kids!). What a fun Mother’s Day gift that would be, am I right? What would you doodle on a Shrinky Dink?

Make Your Own Shrinky Dink Necklaces - HGTV Crafternoon on HGTV's Design Happens Blog

 Get loads more Mother’s Day gift ideas right over here. And make sure to check out all of the great DIYs on the HGTV Handmade YouTube channel.

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Mother’s Day is coming up, and while presents and breakfast in bed sounds nice, all I really want this year? Time with my kids. So, I’m super excited to share this cute Mother’s Day art project. Using household items like a cardboard egg carton and a shoebox lid, your kiddo can create a sweet keepsake to give mom, grandma, or just hang on their bedroom wall. Watch the video to see Lulu in action:

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You know, I didn’t think I could top last year’s Mother’s Day (which fell on mine and Lulu’s birthdays). However this year, with two awesome kids to celebrate with, I’m feeling very lucky indeed. Egg Carton Mother's Day Kid's Art DIY

Check out what Marianne and some other HGTV stars have to say about Mother’s Day (and see some adorable pictures too!).

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We woke up to a dreary, rainy spring day here at HGTV Headquarters. Sigh. But you know what they say about those April Showers! In honor of this hard-won spring, I made a quick and easy (and frankly adorable) cloud and raindrop magnet set. Watch the video to learn how:

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You can make your own set of magnets in about 10 minutes, plus some drying time, and it’s just the thing to dress up your fridge, locker, or message board. I’m all about a sunny day but I can’t help but smile at this happy little guy.

Cloud and Raindrop Magnets

Thirsty for more DIY projects? Check out the HGTV Crafternoon page!

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Easter is this Sunday, and if you celebrate it I would bet you have plans to do some egg decorating this week. Vibrant dyes make quite an impact, but did you know you can get amazing colors with fruit and vegetables? Head to the crisper and put a pot of water on to boil, it’s time to make some natural Easter egg dyes. Watch the video to see our favorite colors:

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I still can’t get over the deep teal color that boiling red cabbage gives you. Who knew that Easter egg dye doesn’t have to come from a bottle or a tablet?

DIY Natural-Dye Easter Eggs

Want even more great egg-decorating ideas? Learn how to make Baker’s Twine-Wrapped Eggs, or check out how your favorite HGTV Stars decorated eggs this year!

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I’m almost scared to say it, but I think Spring is finally here for good (cross your fingers!). Flowers are blooming and Easter is just a few weeks away. So why not get your hands dirty making some lovely and inexpensive concrete planters? These bad boys would make a gorgeous centerpiece for your Easter or other Spring celebrations, then you can use them to dress up your deck or patio straight through to fall. Watch the video to see how to make your own:

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If you don’t have interesting shaped bowls or pans in your cabinets you can always hit up a thrift store to find some inspiration. Who knew that old gelatin molds could make beautiful planters? What would you use as a mold?

How to Make a DIY Concrete Planter

Want more Spring decorating ideas? Check out the HGTV Spring House. And as always, you can find more episodes of HGTV Crafternoon right here.

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“Marianne, you make it all look so easy!”

“Marianne, you’re so good at making things!”

All I’ll say is…watch this, y’all.

Happy April Fool’s Day from all of us here at Design Happens! Playing any pranks today? Dish in the comments below.

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