Friday Links!

by @thecraftedlife on Instagram(via Instagram)

Oh heck yes, it’s Friday! The weather is supposed to be outstanding in Portland over the next few days, so my weekend goal is to take it all in… Well, at least in between projects. In the meantime, and as always, here are some links you don’t want to miss:

- No time to send letters? (or your handwriting sucks?)– check this out!

- I started a new column this week called Blogging 101. If you’re looking for more tips, my girl PJ has you covered. Plus Sarah is sharing some rad photo tips.

- Oh the things you can do with a shoe box!

- Can someone please buy me this? I am dying!

- I need to make a run to the bookstore to pick up this and this.

- Such a cute printable!

Have a lovely weekend!

xo
Rachel

Oh yes! If you’re looking for the unedited version of this blog, be sure to follow me on snapchat (username: thecraftedlife)!

Blogging 101: How to Buy a Domain Name

Blogging 101: How to Buy a Domain NameI am SO excited about this new series, y’all! When I first started blogging three years ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing or where to even begin. This column, Blogging 101, will share the ins and outs of the business side of blogging and how to get started. If there’s any particular topic you’d like to cover, please leave it in the comments! I am totally open to suggestions and want to make sure that I’m answering your commonly asked questions. So let’s do it to it!

For the first post, I thought it was only right that we start at the very beginning: how to buy a domain name.

1. What is your blog’s name? Believe it or not, but this is actually one of the hardest parts about getting started. And it’s something I wish I would have put more effort into with my first blog, 52 Weeks Project. The reason for that is simple. The first question people will ask you when you tell them you have a blog is, What’s your blog’s name? It’s going to be your first impression to brands and strangers and it will follow you and your work around as long as you’re publishing content. No pressure, right?

For my rebrand, it helped me to make a long list of names without judging any one too critically at first. Let me tell you, things got a little wacky. From there, you can start weeding out the ones that clearly aren’t a good fit or perhaps too similar to other sites already out there (you don’t want people to confuse you for someone else).

One of the biggest tips that I can give you is to call someone outside of your industry (I call my dad, which is why I call this my “dad test”) and tell them the name you have in mind. If they understand what you say and get it, you most likely have a great name. But you need to be sure that name isn’t taken, which leads me to my next point…

2. Is the domain available? When you’re narrowing down your list, it helps to see if the domain name is even available before you get your hopes up. A great resource for this is Domainr.  It’s essentially a domain search that checks to see if anyone owns it or not. If you also have ideas of what words you want in your domain, but aren’t 100% on the name, Lean Domain Search allows you to type in words you want in your name and tells you what domains are available.

3. Are the social media handles available? If the domain you want is available, it’s time to check social media. Almost as important as the domain are the social media handles. Check for each major platform, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll be using them or not. The last thing you want is for your blog to take off then realize that someone has your handle (and others can mistake them for you.)

4. How to Register a Domain. Name? Check. Social media handles? Check. Now you’re ready to commit. Yahoo! There are a few sites you can use to buy a domain, but I recommend Name Cheap and iwantmyname. Go Daddy may be the one you’ve probably heard of, but here are a few reasons I don’t support their service.

To purchase, you basically check out, just as you would when shopping for anything else online. You might also want to consider buying varations of your name if available for future use (ie craftedlife and thecraftedlife). Domains typically run ~$15/year. If you see a price like $2k, it’s most likely because someone else owns it and are trying to sell it. You also don’t need any extras or hosting when checking out (they’ll add them on), and if you ever do, you can add them later. If there’s an option to set up auto-renew, select yes. They will email and remind you, it’s just always good to have these things locked down.

So that’s it! Hopefully that wasn’t information overload. Next time I’ll cover what to do now that you have a domain, so stay tuned :)

**If you’d like to dig even deeper into blogging, I also now offer consulting as a service! Email me at hello@thecraftedlife.com for more details.

10 DIY Stamp Projects

10 DIY Stamp ProjectsOne of the reasons I love stamps is because you can create something beautiful with something so minimal. There really is a lot you can do with just the repetition of lines and color! The good news is that you can make these 10 beautiful diy stamp projects with anything from from an eraser to a potato. Because, let’s be honest, store bought stamps can cost a fortune, especially if you need 2-3 for one project. You may even have the materials on hand right now, so go on, get stamping!

10 DIY Stamp Projects1. Tag Shaped Stamps by Creature Comforts

10 DIY Stamp Projects2. DIY Stamped Pillow by Hello Lidy

 

10 DIY Stamp Projects3. DIY Watermelon Doormat by Carrie Waller for eHow

10 DIY Stamp Projects4. No Sew Stamped Scarf by Almost Makes Perfect Continue reading…

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder

Time: 30 minutes
Materials: wooden slab, acrylic paint, brush, vinyl or stickers, drill, hooks

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder, click through to see the full tutorial!So I originally ordered this wooden slab for this table I made, but it ended up being too thin and not right for the project at all. Instead of letting it just sit around, or pay for that return shipping, I decided to turn it into something equally as practical… a key holder!

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder, click through to see the full tutorial!If your slab is untreated, I would suggest that you seal the wood with polyurethane before starting this project to avoid pests in your home.

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder, click through to see the full tutorial!Start by taping off the sections then apply paint. Once dry, you can place your stickers.I made the stickers for this with my Silhouette, but you could easily just buy alphabet stickers if you don’t have a machine. I recommend using a ruler for a guide to help keep everything straight.

Pre-drill your holes with a bit (depending on how thick your hook screw is), screw in your hooks and then hang on the wall! You can used velcro or even hammer in a hook on the back, depending on how you’d like to display with your home.

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder, click through to see the full tutorial!Easy peasy, yeah?! And if you’re looking for a way to make your keyring look as colorful as this key holder, here’s a color blocking diy you won’t want to miss.

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder, click through to see the full tutorial!

DIY Wooden Slab Key Holder, click through to see the full tutorial!