Steph Makes Stuff

My journey through Pinterest

2014 in review

Thank you all for an amazing year!



The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 230,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 10 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Vintage Magnets

When I was much younger and we visited Florida, my mom taught me how to make magnets out of seashells. I was fascinated. I was able to bring one of my favorite things from my favorite places home and use it in a functional way.

Recently, my grandfather passed away and I wanted a way to preserve his memory. I went through his house looking for something that was small enough to be a magnet yet absolutely reminded me of him. I was digging through a drawer of knick-knacks and came across these gems. They are little inserts you can put into cigarettes. When the fire hits the insert, it makes a loud cartoon-ish punching sound that makes you duck your head. They crack me up. Perfect! Grandpa was quite a jokester. (To see a video of the prank in progress, click here.)

This is a super easy craft. Really, you could make a magnet out of almost anything. I certainly needed them! My poor fridge was bare. The first step is to clean your future magnet very well. If you are using vintage items, be careful. You don’t want to ruin the integrity of the piece. Just clean it enough that glue will stick to it.

photo 1

Next, glue the magnet on. I bought a pack of 50 magnets for $8. Get the strongest you can find. Many magnets have a strength scale of 1-10 at the bottom. I dug around until I found a 6. If you are using it for decoration only, you could use one that wasn’t as strong. I need mine to hold multiple papers.

photo 2

Once the glue is set, put them to use!

photo 3

After I saw how cute these were, I had to make more so I made a trip to Hobby Lobby. My favorite one is the fabric flower. The hubby’s favorite is the wine cork. I still have a ton of magnets left so I think it’s time to make another trip to Hobby Lobby! Especially since I need some at work now!


If you make some, let me know! I’d love to hear how you preserved memories or created new ones!

[Pin this blog here.]


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Upcycled Clock

I’ve had my eye on this craft for a while, but finally decided to do it now that I am in a spring cleaning frenzy.  We’ve had this blah white clock hanging in our bathroom for a while, just barely ticking, battery dying. I despised the clock so I never even bothered changing the battery. It ticked once every few seconds – trying to move – but worthless. It’s functional, yes, but ugly. Surely something could be done.

Here’s the before picture.

photo 1

Blah, right?

You’ll need to start by painting the rim of the clock. This is done best when it is all taken apart. I tried taping off the clear cover but it was inconvenient and you’ll have to take it apart anyway if you want to change the background. Here’s a few steps to help with that.

First, remove the screws and plastic washers on the back.

Removing screws and washers

Next, take off the black cover to reveal the battery and inner structure of the clock. You’ll also need to take off the battery pack. Mine was just snapped in on the sides. When you pull it out, it will be a little difficult. It is attached to the hands on the front of the clock so those will be popping off at the same time inside the plexiglass.

photo 3

Next, you’ll need to remove the plexiglass cover. There are little notches where these fit in. You’ll want to move them just enough to where they slip through the slots. I used a flat head screwdriver. Once you are through the slots, the cover wiggles off easily.

photo 5


Next, pop off the clock face. I found this was easiest by gently pushing it from the back. The tape on the clock face is super sticky!

photo 3

Clean, clean, clean the clock. You’ll have to clean the inside of the clock (where the tape was), the outside of the clock (so the paint will stick), and the plexiglass. I used fingernail polish remover to get all the sticky tape off the inside, rubbing alcohol to clean the outside rim, and window cleaner to clean the plexiglass. Absolutely do not skip this step.

After the rim is pretty and clean, spray paint ($3.27) in the color of your choice. I was originally going to do a cute aqua color but it didn’t work on plastic. Note to future self!! It beaded up and looked awful. I fixed it by buying a cute yellow color. I did a few coats to the color was solid and bold. Your number of coats will vary depending on the color of paint you chose. When mine was dry, I chose to sand the back edges with fine sandpaper so it would have a finish look. This step is easily skipped.

Next, prep the background of the clock. I used some cheap scrapbook paper from a craft store. It was probably less than 30 cents! So cute! I put the original clock face number side down on my scrapbook paper and traced then traced and cut it out. Cut just inside the line so the new face will sit inside the same space and not ripple. You’ll need to make sure to cut the hole in the middle of the clock face too. This is where the hands will attach to the battery pack. My hubby’s knife is sharper than my Xacto knife so he did that part for me. Swoon.

photo 5

Attach it to your clock. I started to use mod podge but worried it would mess up the paper (since mine is a homemade version). I chose to attach with tape on the back. Easy enough, and no one will see except you and me. Shhhh.

photo 1

Finally, on to the fun parts! You need numbers on your clock! I couldn’t find any inexpensive 1-2″ numbers that I liked. If you have a craft store nearby, I bet they’d have some. I’m an hour and a half away from one so I just settled with jewels. (100 pcs for $3.25.) I LOVE them. This may be the hardest part of the craft. The hubby helped me line up the old clock face so we could place each hour. Get as close as you can so your clock is accurate. It’s not hard but it requires some effort. There are clock faces online but I couldn’t find one that didn’t look “teacher-y.” I’m satisfied with how the jewels came out.

photo 2


I added a bird to decorate the clock a little more. This was a flat gift tag from the card section of Walmart ($1.77). I might or might not be a bird junkie.

Here’s the finished product!  I’m so happy with it!

photo (1)


Awww! Yay! I’m so happy with it. My hubby keeps telling me that this is favorite of all the crafts I’ve done. And you know what? It keeps perfect time! I decided to give it to a friend to hang at her job. She has some other cute decorations that go fabulous with it. So glad I finally acted on this creative idea. I’ll be doing it again!

[Pin this blog here.]


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Easiest way to cut burlap

Not too long ago, I decided I wanted to make my friend a pink burlap and camo wreath. The only problem was I couldn’t find pink burlap strips! I knew I should have bought those adorable pink burlap strips during the Valentine’s Day sales. But I didn’t. Ugh. Thank goodness I came across a pin showing how to cut long strips of burlap fabric. I found this watermelon colored burlap in Hobby Lobby and bought 2 yards. (For the record, that was a tight squeeze. Buy closer to 2.5 yards.)

I don’t know about y’all but I can’t cut a straight line for anything. Apparently, the saleslady in the fabric section of Hobby Lobby couldn’t either – at least on burlap. And she had a straight edge to follow! It’s just super tough to do. This is the edge I got from the store.

How to cut burlap into strips for a wreath | Steph Makes StuffYou can see how it’s angled and frayed. I’m actually really impressed, though. I had to cut a different section at home and mine came out zigzagged. I’m telling you, it’s tough to do. Thank goodness I came across an easier way. Here’s how.

Choose how wide you want your strips to be.  (Please note: the following pictures are a more accurate representation of the burlap’s color than the picture above.)

How to cut burlap into strips for a wreath | Steph Makes StuffI didn’t measure. I just eyeballed it then compared every other strip to it to be consistent. It was probably close to 8 inches.

Next, find a thread going the direction you want to cut. and pull it out. I used a seam ripper to get it started.

How to cut burlap into strips for a wreath | Steph Makes StuffPull, pull, pull. Your material will cinch up and you’ll have to work it through. You can feel when it releases on the other end then the thread comes right out.

How to cut burlap into strips for a wreath | Steph Makes Stuff

When the string comes out, you can see a clearly defined gap. This is where you will cut.

How to cut burlap into strips for a wreath | Steph Makes StuffSlow and steady wins the race. If you get too close to the other threads, you could start the running problem all over again. Easy peasy!

I ended up with nine strips. I think. Ha. I counted 8 but somehow ended up with extra right when I needed it. So 8 or 9.  I’m real precise on this blog. Can’t you tell!?!?

Here’s the finished wreath using the burlap strips. Success!!How to cut burlap into strips for a wreath | Steph Makes Stuff

Overall, I’m pleased and think it was worth it. It got the job done. However, I was under the impression that the burlap wouldn’t run when you did it this way. That’s not the case. It wasn’t too much of a problem, but don’t be surprised if it happens. It’s not terrible about running because you’ve cut such straight lines. It can probably be stopped completely if you put clear nail polish on each edge. Can’t even see the runs on the wreath, can you? Success!

I hope my friend likes her wreath as much as I enjoyed making it. I’m sure pleased with the results. The solution was wonderful. It made the craft possible! Now just to find a fancy cursive wooden letter to paint and hang in the center of it…….

[Pin this blog post here.]


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Mississippi Roast

I lived in Mississippi for 7 years, but I didn’t hear about this roast until this year… 15 years after moving back to Texas. Ironic! Mississippi isn’t known for its health food and this roast certainly fits the stereotype. I don’t mind.

IMG_6824Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Roast
1 pkg Au Jus mix
1 pkg Ranch mix
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
5 Pepperoncini peppers (slightly more spicy than banana peppers)

IMG_6825Throw down your roast first. Sprinkle the packs Au Jus and Ranch over the top of the roast. Place the butter on top of the powder, then put your peppers on the very top. My peppers were a little small so I added a few extra. Any jarred peppers would really work here. Cook it on low for 6-8 hours.

Do not add water. The roast will make it’s own juice. See?

IMG_6838Yeah, I’m just as shocked as you. I was seriously worried about it drying out. The fork is in the picture to show how deep the juices are. It’s about 1/3 up the way of the tines. This is how it looked when it was done cooking.  Don’t worry, it’s done. The meat was actually brown but the seasonings settled on top and make it look almost burned.

I decided to put it on  my new fancy plate!


Would you believe it was so tender it just fell apart?! Man, it was tender. BUT, it was suuuppper salty. I’ll absolutely make this again but with changes. I will use half a pack of Au Jus and cut the butter down to 3/4 of a stick. Also, I’m going to try to flip the roast half way through so the spices are more evenly distributed. I think it’d be fun to try the roast with banana peppers or jalapenos. Overall, worth it!

All I know is that I’m glad I wasn’t counting calories the day I made this!!! At least we served it with salad. That cancels it out, right? Right?


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Eggplant Pizza. What?!

I thought I hated eggplant. I was so wrong. This is my new favorite way to eat pizza. And it’s gluten free!! BONUS! It was fairly easy to make too! On top of it all, this is a Julia Child recipe I found on Pinterest. Ooo! Good reputation! You can pin it here.

Ingredients including my adjustments

Olive oil
Salt (about 1 T.)
Italian seasoning
Pizza sauce (I used about 1/2 of a jar)
Parmesan (about 1/4 cup)
Mozzarella (about 1/2 cup)
Toppings of choice


1. Slice the eggplant into 1 inch slices. I got 7 good slices out of my eggplant. (If you need more so you can serve more people, just up all the ingredients except the pizza sauce. I didn’t use near all of it!)

Sprinkle the eggplant slices on both sides with salt to pull out the juices. You can just set these on thick paper towels. Mine took about 35 minutes.

photo 13.  While they eggplants are “juicing,” start your sauce. The original recipe had a way to make it from scratch. I didn’t feel like doing that so I seasoned up a store bought pizza sauce. I can’t get enough garlic!! I added organic garlic a couple times at a couple different temps during the heating process. This doesn’t take very long to cook.

photo 24.  Also prep your pizza toppings while you are waiting on the eggplants to dry. I used pepperoni, organic mushrooms, organic tomatoes, organic bell pepper, organic onion, black olives, and mozzarella. Now keep this is mind: use fresh mozzarella or pre-shredded mozzarella. I had some extra cheese sticks that needed to be used. They worked, but they don’t melt quite right.

photo 35.  By the time you finish prepping the other ingredients, the eggplant should be juiced. Wipe the slices to remove the excess salt and mess. Lay the wiped slices on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake at 375 for approximately 25 – 30 minutes.

photo 46.  After the eggplant has roasted, remove them from the oven and turn the oven all the way up to broil.

7.  Spread your sauce over the eggplant slices. It’s a messy job!

photo 58. Add the rest of the toppings of your choice. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

9.  Place back in oven to melt and slightly brown the cheese. Ugh. You can see how poorly the cheese sticks worked for this part. Mine took 8 minutes.

photo 2Thank goodness they tasted AMAZING!!!! This is absolutely the BEST pizza I have ever eaten in my life. No pizza has ever come close the the spectacular flavor of this recipe. I was (still am) blown away. I can only imagine how good this will be when I use the right cheese. This recipe is so worth repinning. It’s already on my meal plan for this next week!


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Banana Bread French Toast

I went to the Texas State Fair with a friend a few weekends ago. It was my first time and we lived it up.  We ate fried foods galore, watched a marionette show, and went to a “Celebrity Chef” show. I had never heard of the guy but he made something that sounded amazing: Banana Bread French Toast. At the end of the show, he gave a sample to everyone who sat in and watched him cook. It was AWFUL. And I’m not even picky! The bread was too dry and dense. I knew I could improve upon it.

I’ve tried quite a few banana bread recipes. Some were too moist, some too dry, some not the right flavor, but this one is perfect.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Banana Bread
– 1 whole egg
– 1 T heavy whipping cream
*Any toppings you can imagine putting on French toast.

photo 1

Whip your egg and cream together. Cut your banana bread in approximately 1 inch wide slices and soak in your egg wash.

photo 2

Fry in a buttered skillet on medium-low until lightly golden brown.

photo 3Our toast was slightly eggy. We like it that way. If you want it thinner, just add slightly more cream to your egg wash. This doesn’t take very much time at all. Maybe 1 minute each side.

Build your French toast! We added homemade caramel, powdered sugar, fresh fruit and homemade pumpkin spiced whipped cream.  (Approx 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream, 1 T powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.)  I wish we had added a few pecans on top too. Yummmm!

photo! It was so delicious! I liked mine wayyyy better than the one at the fair. There was a lot of work involved but it could all be simplified if you bought pre-made ingredients.  Now if I could get it to look pretty. Ha! At least it tasted pretty! This was so worth the work involved. The hubby told me I had to make this every morning for breakfast for the rest of his life. Guess he liked it! We will definitely make it again.


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Chevron Coasters

I’m super excited about this post!! My friend, Becky, from Becky’s Photo, took my photos and they look a million times better than the ones I do with my iPhone. I was really, really, REALLY grateful to have her do this for me. She’s such a pro. Please go like her Facebook page here, read her blog here, or buy her art pieces here. You’d be doing me a personal favor! She spoiled me.

Now, are you ready for Chevron coasters? :)

4up-StephmakesstuffBecky is actually the one who sent me the link to this pin. Funny how that worked out!

You’ll need:

Painters tape with Edge Lock (very important!)
Xacto Knife
Tiles (approx $0.12 each at Home Depot)
Acrylic Paint
Sponge Brush (easiest for application)
Felt dots

It is acceptable to replace the painters tape with Frog Tape (they have a Chevron pattern) or if you have a Cricut, make your own. I couldn’t find the Frog Tape and don’t own a Cricut so I was stuck with Painters tape. I also sealed the edges. I knew I couldn’t freehand chevron so I found this pin on Pinterest. It made it simple! Essentially, it’s making a cross pattern then shows you where to cut. Someone out there is a smarty pants.

Double check your edges. You absolutely need the edges to be flat against your tiles.

Once secure, paint a solid coat on. Depending on the paint you choose, you’ll need to make it heavier or lighter. I had to make mine a little thick. AS SOON AS the paint is on, remove your tape. This part was tricky. Crossed tape is messy to remove. Do your best. It works out okay. I even smudged some of mine but it was pretty easy to dab more paint on for a spot repair. If you had any paint drop on the unpainted areas of your tiles, they come off well with a q-tip. Then let them dry completely.


After it dried, I sealed it with puzzle glue. You could follow that up with a clear coat of spray paint. I didn’t and it’s fine. But it couldn’t hurt either. Finish the tiles off with felt pads on the bottom corners so it doesn’t scratch your furniture.  And done! Easy huh!

Though this one was a little tricky, if you have the right materials, this craft is absolutely worth it! Becky kept the few that we made. I have tons of coasters around my house because of this other blog post here. Yep. I like this craft! Do it!


Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. And don’t forget to check out Becky’s Photo’s page. She really is talented. You guys rock!

Alice Springs Chicken: The Delicious Homemade Version

When we travel to a bigger town with yummy restaurants, we have to figure out what to eat. Some people would want to try a new place. I just want Alice Springs Chicken at Outback. Talk about mouth watering! Just writing this short tidbit has already made me want some! And it’s paired so perfectly with their fries….. Mmm! There was no way I was passing up the pin for the recipe!  You can repin it here. Please click the link and visit the original blog site. I’m sure grateful they shared this recipe!

There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, but many of them are things you probably already have. And just a heads up: allow a few hours – overnight to completely prepare this meal. I promise, it’s worth it.

Honey Mustard Dressing
*Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT buy a store bought dressing for this. My husband hates honey mustard but couldn’t get enough of this recipe.*

1 c. mayonnaise (They recommend Duke’s brand. I always use Hellman’s.)
4 T. sugar
4 T. apple cider vinegar
6 T. honey
2 T. mustard (I used regular old yellow mustard. Any kind should work.)
2 T. soy sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for AT LEAST 1 hour.  According to the original blog, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I don’t know how they managed to let any last that long. It wasn’t even in our house for 48 hours including prep time!

As soon as this is ready, please start soaking your chicken (from the following portion of the recipe) in 1/3 of the mixture of honey mustard for at least 2 hours. I soaked overnight.

photo 1Ingredients for Alice Springs Chicken:

1/3 of the Honey Mustard mixture (1/3 of the total mixture)
4 split chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 T. oil
2 c. sliced mushrooms
2 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste
paprika (I eliminated this)
12 strips of bacon, fully cooked
2 c. cheese (I used Colby Jack)

If you have already soaked your chicken in your 1/3 mixture of honey mustard, your chicken should look like this. If you haven’t soaked them yet, start and you can finish prepping in 2-24 hours.

photo 2When you are ready to begin cooking, preheat the oven to 375F. Also heat your oil up in a skillet and sear each chicken breast for about 4 minutes per side until they look golden.

photo 3Gosh! That looks yummy already! Move each piece of chicken over to an oven safe dish and smoother it with honey mustard. At least a tablespoon per piece. More if you can get it on there! **Obvious note, try not to cross-contaminate.** Salt and pepper the breasts.

photo 2Back in your empty skillet, add butter and start sauteing your mushrooms. Drool!!

Layer your mushrooms and precooked bacon strips on top of the chicken.

photo 5If that’s not the most delicious looking protein in a pan, I don’t know what is!

Add about 1/2 c of cheese to each chicken breast. If you used smaller pieces of chicken, just spread your 2 cups around evenly. I use “homemade” shredded cheese. I buy a big block of hormone free cheese, shred it, and place it in a freezer safe bag with just enough corn starch to keep it from sticking together. (Shake well before freezing). It’s better for you, tastes better, and is much less expensive!

photo 4Cover your oven safe dish with foil and bake for 7-10 minutes to melt the cheese. If you were adding the paprika, this is where you would sprinkle it on.

Serve with a GENEROUS amount of honey mustard. Trust me, you’ll use it. In fact, you’ll wish you made a double batch.

photo 2Super duper, cheesy, amazing, mouth watering piece of food art. I’m looking forward to making this again!! So totally worth it!!

Thanks for reading my blog! If you’d like to keep up with me, please follow me on Pinterest here or like my Facebook page here. You guys rock!

Lemonade Pie

I love sour things! My sister and I used to have War Head candy battles. We would put the sourest flavor we could find in our mouths and stare each other down to see who would make a sour face first. Lots of times, we would make it all the way to the sweet part and never make a face! My mouth still waters when I see War Heads.

Lemonade Pie is a different kind of sour though. It’s much sweeter but still has a strong tang. I first had it at a friends house and fell in love. When I came across the recipe on Pinterest, I was ecstatic!  I used the recipe in the picture/pin because the link only went to a page that showed the picture a little larger. You can see it pinned on my page here.


1 graham cracker crust
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz container Cool Whip
1 6 oz container frozen lemonade (or other flavor)


Whip the first 3 ingredients together until well blended.
Pour into graham cracker crust
Place in freezer until set.
Serve very cold.

Makes 8-10 servings

I have made this recipe a few times in a few variations and discovered:

1. I did not notice a difference between blending with a whisk vs a blender.
2. Different favors of juice didn’t throw anything off.
3. The brands of the ingredients didn’t change the texture.

So, let me show you how it all went…….

Ingredients all together. Big ol’ plop!!

photo 1-001Blended together and fluffed…

photo 2Poured into crust…

photo 3And “sliced.”

photoHmm… That “slice” of pie is a little liquid. Even after being in the freezer for 24 hours. Yes, it’s semi-pink instead of yellow. I forgot to take a picture of the sliced pie with regular lemon flavor so this is pink lemonade.

I wonder what I could have done to make this pie work. Obviously, it has for my friend, but I don’t have her recipe. Could I have whipped it a little more? It was perfectly blended and fluffed up quite a bit. It was so strange to “cut.”

As for the taste, it was good but VERY acidic. I liked the sour/sweet flavor but it almost burned my throat on it’s way down. Flavor didn’t seem to change this much. I tried a couple different flavors but all of them were intense. I liked it, but there has to be room for improvement.

Overall, the recipe is acceptable. I can’t say I recommend it, but it wasn’t bad. If I absolutely had to make a decision, I’d say skip this one.

If you liked this post or website, please take a moment to go *Like* my new Facebook fan page here. I will be sharing a lot of the new posts on there as well as my Pinterest page here.

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