DIY Hot Glue Book Binding with Video Tutorial

Making your own book at home couldn’t be easier when you use a DIY Hot Glue Book Binding. I try this technique today in my video and I am impressed with how easily (and quickly!) this book comes together!

DIY Hot Glue Book Binding

Hello Friends! Today I am making and sharing a really fun tutorial. I am calling it “My Happy project”- I saw this post on instagram and was inspired to write down one thing that made me happy each day. And of course, me being me decided to make a book of it! I made a handmade book from scratch and a DIY Hot Glue Book Binding that is so easy and quick!

This book has already proved to be such a success in my house! It started out as a book where I wrote down something from each day that made me happy. But quickly, within a few days this became a family project. Now every day, before bedtime, one of us – My husband, my daughters or I write about what made him/her happy that day. And I cannot tell you how happy that makes my heart.


If you are a visual learner like me, you will enjoy the video tutorial more than anything I can type here. Click on the video box below to watch or click here to watch it on Youtube in HD. If you like my videos, please Subscribe to my channel!


Below is a grid of supplies I actually use in the video. But really, this is a super simple book to make and as a paper crafter you might already have everything needed on hand. Just use what you have.


I chose to make the inside pages of this book all colorful and rainbow like. But you could make this book in any color of your choice! I would recommend that you use cardstock for the pages – the ones I use are of a 65lb quality here. You want to trim all of your pages to the same size and then fold them in half each.

rainbow book

Hold all the pages together with a few strong binder clips and then go to town with the hot glue! Slowly and carefully apply an even amount of hot glue all along the book spine. The slower you apply the glue the better. And make sure to keep your fingers safe and don’t burn them! See my hot glue gun in action in this video. Go ahead, click on the video!

DIY Hot Glue Book BindingThe final result is a joyful little book. The DIY Hot Glue Book Binding comes together so quickly and that makes this a super satisfying book to make. I had so much fun making this book and then decorating the cover.

hot glue book

My happy project

I think the idea of writing down something you are thankful for each day is a great practise. I have done this before, but usually jsut for the month of November and it always brought so much positivity into my life. This project is a great way to focus on the small things in life that make us happy but we take for granted. And you need not go and make a book of it- you can write down a thought on a piece of paper each day and fill a jar, or you could write it down on your phone or jot down something in your planner each day. Make this project yours and enjoy it!

Printable coloring calendar 2017: January

A Free Printable coloring calendar 2017 for you to enjoy! Simply download, print and enjoy the coloring. Feel free to print as many times as you need!

Happy new year to you my friends! I have fun new printable for you today- It’s a Printable coloring calendar 2017 that you can color in. But if you aren’t in the mood to be coloring, these calendars have a clean and minimalistic look as is too.

The Printable coloring calendar 2017 is sized 8.5 by 11 inches and will fit neatly on a regular A4 size sheet of paper. I usually print my printables on Matte photo paper (because I love how white the paper is) but really you could print this calendar on regular typing paper and then stick it to your fridge with a magnet.

I will be posting the February Calendar at the end of this month, so do come back and check in then.

In the meantime here are a few more of my earlier posts you might enjoy:


Printable coloring calendar 2017

Simply click on the download button below and it will then open a high resolution image in a new browser window that you can then right click and select “Save image as” to save it on your computer.
Printable coloring calendar 2017


As a bonus today, I also have a set of printable all occasion gift tags with alphabets on them. I had a lot of fun choosing colors for this one!




If you are interested in more FREE Printables, I have many more Adult Coloring pages and you can check out my earlier ones by clicking here.


DIY Whimsical Paper House

If you love paper as much as I do, a DIY Whimsical Paper House will be right up your alley! They are so delicate, pretty and detailed and so much fun to make!


Hello Friends! Today I am creating a paper village of my own,with pretty pastel colored houses and green ombre’ trees. My daughter and I had so much creating our own DIY Whimsical Paper House- we laughed, we giggled, we went ooh aah and finally had so much fun arranging the scene. We sprinkled some glittery snow around it to make it look snowy, because well we live in Minnesota and boy is it snowy here.

I just became a part of the Tonic Studio’s USA team and I shared my blog post over on their yesterday- showing you how to make these DIY Ombre Paper trees. These are super simple to make, so easy and bring a nice pop of color.



Watch the video tutorial of how I put these DIY Whimsical Paper houses together on my YouTube channel here or by clicking on the video box below.

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The video explains and demonstrates how to make these paper houses much better than anything I could type here. So go watch the video!

I used this Gingerbread house die set to cut out all of paper houses. This set comes with a many intricate designs and you can mix and match everything to make your own customized house.


All the score lines are marked for you, and assembling these houses are pretty simple. The first one takes a few minutes longer- till you figure out which piece goes where and then it all clicks into place.


The finished houses aren’t too large. They fit perfectly in your palm actually.


Everything you see here is made from plain card stock. That’s it. I had so much fun selecting the colors to use on each Whimsical paper house and creating a color palette of my own for this. There are endless color options that you can use and you can customize this to match your style.

Whimsical Paper HouseI used gold mirror cardstock for this house and this one turned out SO pretty! It is pretty tough to capture that shine on video or photo but if you like a glittery shiny look you must give this a try!

These little paper houses are versatile- you can make these to decorate your mantle, or maybe make them as tiny favor boxes. They could be an ornament or place settings. I went ahead and created a small paper holiday village with these whimsical houses. I chose to make my houses colorful but simple with just white details. And these look so cute on my holiday mantle!




Let me know in the comments below what you would create with these dies! Happy Crafting my friends!


free coloring holiday gift tags

A set of 4 free coloring holiday gift tags that you can download and print at home to use in your holiday gift giving! Perfect for both kids and adults

To print these free coloring holiday gift tags for yourself, simply click on the download here button below and it will then open a high resolution image in a new browser window that you can then right click and select “Save as” to save it on your computer.

Once you have saved the file, you can print these at home or at a local print shop. I personally like to print these on white cardstock sheets or matte photo paper sheets. I have more tips on printing such printables at home here.


I also have a quick video of how I put these tags + gift wrapping together. Click on the video box below to watch it.


I used the Irojiten Colored pencils to color in my tag today. In the video I show you a quick peek to the 3 color dictionaries these Irojiten colored pencils come in- Rainforest, Woodlands and Seascape. I love how each single volume (there are 9 all in total) have a different palette color range and are awesome on their own. Its the holiday season and these colored pencils would make an awesome gift.

free coloring holiday gift tags


I  used a little bit of adhesive to attach the tag and added yarn + a small ornament to finish off my gift wrapping. Like I said before, you can print these tags and have your kids color them in and they can use it for their teacher’s gift or for grandma’s gift!


And I actually used the rest of the tags as is- without coloring. I just cut the tags to size and added them on top of some colorful wrapping. Simple and easy. And I love the black and white contrast!


If you do print and color this please share the result with me- either by commenting below or by hashtagging it #theshinynest @theshinynest on social media. I would LOVE to see your colored versions of this

If you are interested in more FREE Printables, I have many more Adult Coloring pages and you can check out my earlier ones by clicking here.

Printable bookmarks with hand lettering

A set of Free Printable bookmarks with hand lettering for you to print and enjoy. After downloading, feel free to print these as many times as you want!

Pin these Printable bookmarks with hand lettering here

Today I am so excited to be sharing a new Coloring Calendar for 2017 and to go along with the planner enjoy these Free Printable bookmarks with hand lettering. Simply download and then trim the bookmarks to size and they are ready to use!
Free printable bookmarks

When Janice from the The Creative Girlfriends Press, reached out to see if I was interested to do another Coloring Calendar this year, I immediately said yes! Last years planner, the Coloring Calendar 2016  was such a fun collaboration, I was ready to draw few more illustrations.

Weekly Planner and Coloring Book for Adults

Actually, I am always ready to draw illustrations, putting pen to paper is my way of relaxing (and I share all of these projects on my instagram handle @theshinynest. Make sure you follow me there too!) This years’ book is very similar to lasts years, but has ALL brand new illustrations. I love that this book doubles as a planner and as an adult coloring book. Win win!

color Lovers 2017

You will find about 10 or 11 of my handdrawn coloring pages in this new 2017 Color Lover’s Weekly Coloring Calendar and you can easily buy it online through (*affliate links used)

To go along with the planner/coloring calendar, last year I had a set of Free Printable Bookmarks to color that were so popular! (you can still grab them here or pin it here)

This year, to go along with the planner, I have another set of bookmarks, this time some Free Printable bookmarks with hand lettering. I love having positive words and motivational phrases around me and these bookmarks fit the bill.

Simply click on the download button below and it will then open a high resolution image in a new browser window that you can then right click and select “Save image as” to save it on your computer.

Printable bookmarks with hand lettering



All designs are for your personal use one and remain the copyright of Smitha Katti. Please do not resell or redistribute.

Once you have saved the file, you can print these at home or at a local print shop. I personally like to print these on white cardstock sheets or matte photo paper sheets. Trim the bookmarks to size and they are ready to use!


Find lots more Free Printables for your home in my FREE Printables board below,

Follow Smitha Katti’s board Free Printables for the Home on Pinterest.

Easy DIY Holiday Wall Decor

Celebrate the Holiday season with this Easy DIY Holiday wall decor JOY sign that is simple to make, inexpensive and takes less than an hour to complete! A free printable and video tutorial included.

Easy diy holiday wall decor
Easy diy holiday wall decor

It’s the season to be jolly, fa la la la la lalalala. I love the month of December, there is so much cheer and festivities, so much to do and so little time. But I still try to squeeze in some DIY Crafting time into it- simply because I love to brighten my house with pops of color everywhere. And a new season definitely calls for new decor right? Here is a an easy DIY holiday wall decor idea for you today.


Today I have quick video showing you how to use the Free Holiday Coloring Sheet Download I shared a few days ago to make some easy decor for your house. I’ll show you how to make two different versions of the JOY sign- One uses a simple coloring page and can be make easily by any beginner crafter. The other uses felt and is actually quicker to make but you will need a steady hand for the faux stitching.


Watch the video tutorial on my Youtube channel by clicking here or on the video box below.

If you stop by my Youtube channel do hit subscribe so you wont miss any future videos. I share some videos exclusively on my YouTube channel and not here on my blog 🙂


For the first version of the JOY sign, I used Tombow Dual brush pens to color in the image and I then cut and adhered it onto a blank canvas. Easy peasy.


For the felt version, I cut out the felt letters using the Free Holiday Coloring Sheet Download printable as a guide and then I adhered them onto a canvas too. I added some faux stitching to it too. It’s all in the details.


This is an easy technique that you can use to make any kind of decor- think nursery monograms, or making a wall art with your child’s name on it or fun seasonal holiday decor. 

Thank you so much for spending some crafty time with me today! I hope you are having a great DIY holiday season! Happy Crafting!

Free Holiday Coloring Sheet Download

A Free Holiday Coloring sheet download for you to print at home. Just add color.

Happy December friends! I have a Free Holiday Coloring Sheet download for you to enjoy and color today.

Simply click on the download here button below, save the pdf and enjoy.

Interested in more Free Printables? Click/Tap here

To see more of my Adult Coloring Pages – Click/Tap here

Affiliate links used below.

free holiday coloring sheet

I colored my coloring page with some Tombow Dual Brush pens today. I love how vibrant these colorful markers are. I also printed my image onto a glossy photo paper instead of regular cardstock to achieve a shiny look. I think a little shine is always good for the holiday season 🙂

See more of how this project came together on my instagram feed @theshinynestfree_printable_holiday_coloring_joy
free download


All designs are for your personal use one and remain the copyright of Smitha Katti. Please do not resell or redistribute.

Handmade Journal Gift

Make a cute and unique handmade journal that is perfect to jot down your notes and ideas. You can easily personalize these journals to make great gifts!

A handmade journal (that can be easily personalized!) would make a great gift for your family, friends or school teachers. I love making handmade books, they always make me smile. Make sure to scroll down this post for an awesome giveway with tons of prizes!

making a journal as a gift

Creating something unique and beautiful from just paper and twine always amazes me. So hopefully, the recipients of these handmade journals will feel special and loved as well.

I kept the binding on these handmade journals simple and clean and the best way to see them being made is in a video. So click on the video box below to watch the Handmade Journal tutorial or head over here to watch this video in HD on YouTube

To gift these, I simply added a big bow onto the handmade journal and I also made a matching personalized tag. You could easily add the gold embossed name onto the journal itself to make the gift even more special.

handmade journal
Handmade Journal Gift


Since the binding on these handmade journals is simplistic, I added colorful flowers and gold embossed words to decorate them. That Gold embossing has some sparkle to it that is so cool!


I really like how the hand lettered “ideas” word turned out here! I used a silver embossing powder which had some sparkle to it. You have to watch the video about to see the embossing powder melting in action. The blue color handmade journal minus the “ideas” label would make a perfect gift to a special guy in your life. Guy gifts that are handmade are hard to come by.

handmade journal
Book Binding

handmade journal

A fun option- add the recipients name on the front cover!

Personalized DIY gifts
Personalized DIY gifts

I will be sharing a BONUS VIDEO that on my YouTube Channel showing you how to make these hand painted hand cut flowers. It’s a super simple technique! And if you like my videos, please subscribe!



giveawayToday, I am part of a blog hop and there are giveaways! There are 11 prizes of $50+ value each. We will be choosing 11 winners – each will receive one prize. Winners will be randomly drawn from all contest entries on November 14, 2016. They will be displayed on the widget below. Make sure to enter your name in the Rafflecopter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, a big thank you to all the amazing sponsors of these prizes!



Here are the blog hop details with a list of participants. Hop along and visit these blogs- everyone will be sharing a Handmade Gift Idea! Enjoy the hop and be sure to leave a little love to all the participants 🙂


Bulky knit blanket free pattern

An easy Bulky Knit Blanket Free Pattern that uses three strands of yarn held together to quickly knit up an afghan/blanket.

Bulky knit blanket free pattern

Add this Bulky knit blanket free pattern to your Ravelry Queue

I have been seeing these chunky big knits all over the internet but most of them require a nice thick merino wool or some kind of wool roving. I wasn’t sure what I really needed, but meanwhile I had just bought a whole bunch of Hometown USA (not sponsored!) yarn online at a great sale. So, I thought to myself, why not try knitting a big bulky blanket with what I already own? It sure would make my husband happy if I didn’t go out and buy more yarn, ha!

I did end up needing a bigger knitting needle- I bought this Knitter’s Pride US 5o size needle on and thanks to the joys of Amazon Prime I had the needle in just 2 days and was ready to knit!

knittersprideneedles supplies


I wanted to make a lap blanket that was warm and cuddly and measured about 48 by 58 inches in size. After making a gauge swatch, I figured out I needed about 40 stitches and casted them on.

I used a basic ribbing pattern of K2 P2. Now even though I am using a a circular knitting needle, I am not knitting in the round. The circular needle just has more space to accommodate all the stitches I need. A regular straight pointed needle would not be able to hold all the 40 stitches.

If you aren’t comfortable knitting with a circular needle- an easier option would be to knit smaller rectangles that when joined would make the desired sized afghan like I did in my Easy Chunky Knit Blanket Pattern: 4 strands of yarn


Oh, I forgot to mention the most important part- you need to use 3 strands of yarn, from 3 different skeins of yarn held together as one to knit this blanket. So while counting your stitches, like seen below, each single stitch is made up of 3 loops of yarn. This is what creates the thick stitches with just regular yarn that you can buy at the craft store. I love how those big stitches look in the ribbing!


Multi strand knitting is something I do very often and I have many other blanket blog posts where I explain how I do this, like the: The HandKnit Color Blocked Afghan or the Knit Multi Colored Blanket or the Yarn stash busting projects: The 10 day quick knit

I also have video explaining in in this blog post: Rainbow Knit Blanket Pattern

Now back to our Bulky Knit Blanket pattern. Well there is not much to the pattern really, simply K2 P2 till the end of each row. Repeat till desired length is achieved.

Here is an easy pattern to follow along:

The entire project is knit with three strands of yarn held together as one (a triple strand if you may) to create the bulky stitches

  1. Cast on 40 stitches on the circular needle.
  2. Row 1: *K2, P2* repeat till end of row.
  3. Repeat Row 1 till desired length (my blanket measures about 58 inches)
  4. Create uneven stripes by changing yarn color when desired.
  5. Bind off loosely maintaining the ribbing pattern and tuck in stray yarn ends.

I ended up using about 12 skeins of yarn. Though I did end up with a lot of leftover cream and orange skeins. If you were to make this entire blanket in one color, I think you would need about 9 to 12 skeins of the yarn.


Bulky knit blanket free pattern
Bulky knit blanket free pattern

This blanket ended up being an unique, one of kind, colorful blanket that makes me smile on cold grey rainy day. Also, this blanket is a bit stretchy thanks to the ribbing and oh so very soft to snuggle under.

Bulky knit blanket free pattern
Bulky knit blanket free pattern

If you wish to make this blanket wider- simply increase the number of stitches you cast on, making sure that your total number of stitches is a multiple of 4 to maintain the ribbing pattern.

I initially had planned to make this a nice solid single grey colored blanket (and I still think this pattern would great in a single solid color)- and hence used the hashtag #bulkygreyblanket while sharing it’s progress on my instagram page. But after a few rows, I knew that I wanted this blanket to be colorful not just one solid grey color. Hence entered the pink, orange and white colored uneven stripes.

Bulky knit blanket free patternI love scoring yarn on and I bought a couple of these skeins of Hometown USA yarn for less than $2 a skein last year. Make sure to follow my FACEBOOK page here where I share yarn sales that make me happy.


Pin this pattern onto your Knitting board on Pinterest!


If you find this Bulky knit blanket free pattern useful and like this article, please share it with your friends and maybe leave me a comment below as to what you would like to see me knit next? A yarn stash buster blanket or another bulky blanket?




Halloween pencil sketch + Free Printable

Hello! I’m back today sharing a fun Halloween Pencil sketch I did and I will walk you through the steps I took to create it. Also, there is a free printable of this at the bottom of this post for you to grab!

I started my Halloween Pencil sketch, with a blank canvas. That is a blank page in my sketchbook. This one is a Canson XL Mixed Media book. I love the side wire binding!halloween_drawing

I started by sketching out my idea with a 6H Mono Drawing pencil (supplies linked below). You could use any H pencil, but I really love how easily I can erase the 6H.


Once I was happy with what I had drawn, I started adding bolder lines and shadows with a 2B pencil.

halloween_sketchI’m a pencil gal. I love the feel of graphite on paper. Which do you prefer- pen or pencil?


I add in some more depth and shadows by holding my pencil almost parallel to the paper. This adds really soft areas of graphite onto the paper.


Once I have added shadows with the darker MONO drawing pencils, I like to add highlights by erasing the pencil off of certain areas. The Mono Zero eraser is perfect for this! Yes, that’s an eraser I’m holding in my hand below, not a pen or pencil 👍


And here is a look at the finished sketch! I love drawing flowers, and now I added them to a pumpkin as well!

Halloween pencil sketch
Halloween pencil sketch



Grab this FREE printable card for yourself by clicking on the Download here button below. Please use them for your personal or gifting purposes only. Kindly do not claim as your own or resell.

Halloween pencil sketch


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