Believe Big

I have to tell you about something I am really excited about being a part of it. I have to tell you on the blog, first, because when I tell you about it in person I end up with what my son calls “my cry voice” where I try to talk but really I’m crying. 

Happy crying, but crying nonetheless. 

Last week I was in Phoenix, seeing studio owners from all across the country. We learn from each other, and one of the things we learned about is a program called Believe Big. You can learn a lot about this program and the wonderful people here. But here’s a little bit about them:

Believe Big is a non-profit Christian organization founded by Ivelisse and Jimmy Page after her battle with Stage IV colon cancer. Established in 2011, Believe Big is bridging the gap between conventional and complementary medicine for fighting cancer. Believe Big provides patients with hope, help, and healing.

They are good people, who touched our hearts. It was amazing to meet Ivelisse and hear her story, and hear about how a mug her children painted with the word BELIEVE on it was so meaningful to her. 

The organization is doing so many things, obviously, but one of the things they do is distribute painted mugs to encourage other people going through cancer treatment to BELIEVE. This is where Do It Yourself Crafts, and you, come in. 

You can paint a mug that will end up with someone who is going through cancer treatment. We are at a pretty early stage of our partnership, but I’m too excited to not tell you about it. 

You, or your group or organization, can come in to DIYC and paint a mug for the Believe Mug program. The cost for each mug is $15, and 40% of this will be donated to a local charity. All of the mugs will end up with people in cancer treatment. 

You can come in any time to paint a mug – $15 per person. Or take a Tub of Mugs with you, to paint at your location. This is perfect for scouts, church groups or anyone who wants to spend time painting, and sharing with others. 

If you are interested, please email me at I’m so excited to be a part of this. And I will probably cry every time one is painted. 💗

Believe Big

Fundraising and Auction Projects

There are so many ways we have helped schools and nonprofit organizations raise money over the years! While we are no longer able to make donations to everyone who asks, we do offer discounts for any item done for a silent auction. 

If your school, group or organization is interested in working with us to do a fundraiser, we would love to chat with you. The best way to start the conversation is with an email to

What can we do? Lots of things! Items created by the people benefiting from your silent auction always do well. We discount your piece, and can send pottery and paint to your location to get the work done. We can also help you with the project – from start to finish. 

Would your school like to do a handprint fundraiser? We create the order form for parents, come to the school to get the handprints, and do the finish work. We then deliver the pieces back to you. This is great for Christmas and Mother’s Day! We’ve helped schools raise over $50,000 with these fundraisers! This is perfect for preschools and CDCs. 

If your school has more older kids, a pottery night at the school may be ideal. We will bring pottery, paint and all the supplies to your location, and families can enjoy a night of painting. This can work for school or churches, and is perfect for Christmas. 
There are so many great ideas for fundraising, but we know that our pottery always is a hit. Let us know how we can help your group raise money!

Fundraising and Auction Projects

Features Technique: Pottery Glazes

This month we’re going to get a little technical on you, and talk about the difference between pottery and ceramics and high fire and low fire.

First pottery and ceramics: There is no difference. It’s like asking if something is cow or beef. It’s the exact same thing, just different places call things different names. Doesn’t that help?

High fire versus low fire IS a thing though. It’s the difference between firing something to 2200°, where the clay body is vitrified and very hard – this is called stoneware, or high fire pottery – and low fire earthenware, where it is only fired to 1800°, the clay body is still porous, but you can decoratively paint. High fire stoneware is what you see most art shows. It is where the piece has been dipped in a glaze and whatever happens, happens. Here at DIYC, what we mainly do is low fire earthenware, which is the clay body that best accepts decorative painting.

But that’s not to say that we can’t get a high fire stoneware look on our low fire earthenware clay pottery. It just requires using special glazes, and being willing to not know exactly what it’s going to look like what it turns out. It’s like wrapping your own present!

All glazes begin with raw elements and they change in the kiln. Pottery glazes really change in the kiln. Like…. A lot!

One thing about pottery glazes is that they CANNOT be dipped in another clear glaze. You must paint three really good coats of a color to make it look how you want it to look. And a “coat” means that you paint and let it dry until it has lost its shine, and then you are ready for your next coat.

These glazes have the most amazing ability to be combined. You can layer and add something called “magic flow”. Different things, including the shape of the pottery you are painting, affects what the glazes will do.

We have these glazes sampled in a number of ways in the shop – on the owls you can see how each color reacts to the texture, having high points and low points to show the color changes. Across each middle is a swipe of the magic flow. Each color reacts differently.
The small bowls are each painted in the same way, and you can tell how the different pottery glazes react differently. In the insides of all, we have 3 coats of the glaze, with a black line to show you how the glaze reacts with black paint. Some colors have a rusty look, some colors stay more black. It’s so cool! One the outside, we painted one side with two coats of black and then painted three coats of pottery glaze on top. On the other side, we painted three coats of pottery glazes. Some colors really show a difference – others not so much.

Layering different glazes gives you so many possibilities of reactions. It’s like picking drink flavors at Sonic!

Some people refer to pottery glazes as “art in a jar” because you get such amazing results. This is really true – you can paint an item with pottery glazes and be guaranteed with a wonderful finished piece.

Features Technique: Pottery Glazes

Featured technique: rubber stamping

I say this all the time, but there is a big difference between being artistic and being creative. Being artistic means you can draw a dog. Being creative means you can imagine how to make something that people see and say “wow!”

I am not artistic. If I draw a picture of a dog, you might politely ask me if it’s a horse. You will try to spare my feelings, but you won’t be sure if it’s a horse or a dog you are looking at. 

But. I am creative. I can decide what I want a project to be like, and how to use tools to get what I want. I’m a big fan of stripes and dots for this reason. And I’m also a big fan of using rubber stamps to create fantastic finished projects. 

We have a lot of stamps at DIYC. In fact, when we redid the store back in March, consolidating the stamps to make it easier for customers was exciting. We have three drawers of stamps, ranging in size from large sheets that are great for backgrounds to tiny stamps on pegs that are perfect for detail work. 

Stamps have some limitations – just like any tool. One of the limitations is their size. What we have is what we have, and we can’t cut them to make them fit somewhere else (since we want to have them for future use, as well). Stamps work better on flatter surfaces, but can curve around some items. For instance, if a mug is fairly uniform top to bottom, you can use a stamp around it easily. But if it is tapered from top to bottom, a large stamp may not work. You just have to give them a dry run to see. 

You can use stamps to give your background a large overall repeating pattern, or use a single one as a focal point. After you have stamped, you can paint around details or fill in some, or you can add stamps over a painted background. 

Using stamps on pottery is a great way to add detail and design. Come give it a try!

Featured technique: rubber stamping


When I say “bubble painting” sometimes people go “huh?” Here’s a quick demo of how to do bubble painting! Come see us and make your own awesome bubble project. 

Find it on YouTube Here

And here’s how that plate looked once all the bubbles popped – you can see there are some big bubbles and then some smaller ones. The foamy bubbles are so fun!

True confession: I overtilted my cup and had a little spillage onto the plate. I covered it with more bubbles, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. 


Summer of Succulents

Announcing something totally new and awesome for Do It Yourself Crafts – the Summer of Succulents has begun!

We know it’s a thing – we’ve seen in on Insta and all over Pinterest and every where we go, there they are – these beautiful, interesting, cool plants. And, apparently, pretty hardy. Have we found a plant that even Julia can keep alive? Apparently so.
Because, to be honest – I love these. They are so interesting and seem to have personalities. Can a plant have a personality, or just when we make it have an interesting home?
We know this will be an evolution, but we think we’ve got it set up so that creating a fun planting for your home is as easy as one, two, three.
First, you’ll pick out your container. Now, this is pretty fun, because we have some fun shapes – but you can also use pottery that you’ve painted, too. (More on that in a bit.) After you pick out your shape, we’ll start planting.
For the containers with clear sides, where we’re going to decorate with sand and rocks, we’re going to plant down inside a small plastic cup. This makes things MUCH easier and I can’t even tell you how happy I was when one of my friends shared this idea with me. You have No Idea what a hot mess I was making of things before I learned this trick (let’s just say – it was a TOTAL MESS and made me reconsider why anyone would want to plant ANYTHING and this made me a happy woman, truly). You have to put rocks down in the bottom of the cup, because succulents DO NOT like to have wet roots. Looooots of drainage needed, so you want to have at least an inch of rocks. Then, you are going to add the soil – this is a good draining soil, too, perfect for succulents.
After that, you’ll pick out your plant (which to me is the most fun part because did I mention I feel like these have personalities? And that I have a tendency to name them? That’s normal, right?). Now, you don’t just pull the plant from the container and plop it down – you want to work the roots out a little, making them long and strong. And if they have leaves that are brown and not looking good, we’ll pull those off, too. We won’t leave* you hanging here either, if you have questions – ask!
(*see what I did there?)
So, now your plant is planted, and we need to decorate its new home. We’ll secure the cup down in the bottom of the container with a glue dot, and give it a little drink of water to help with the stress of replanting.
Decorating – this is where the fun can really show. We have all sorts of things you can use to decorate – rocks and sand and gravel, and all are cool to put between the glass and the plastic cup holding your plant. Some things don’t work well for layering – flat rocks just sort of disappear and well don’t ask how I know.
Before you start adding the fun stuff, we’ll show you how to use spoons or funnels as needed.
When it’s all finished, you’ll be ready to take it home. Cool thing? Doesn’t need constant attention. Water it once a week, maybe every other week. We will send you home with info to keep your plant happy!

Summer of Succulents