DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Apron @themerrythoughtI got my sewing machine out for the first time in a while this week and put the waxed canvas that I made last week to good use! Since I’m out in my dad’s garage making things for the blog all the time, I thought it’d be a good idea to make myself a tool apron to add a bit of style out there 😉 – and so I have a pencil and hammer within reach at all times instead of having to search everywhere to find one.
DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Apron @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Waxed Canvas (Make your own here.)
-Straight Pins
-Sewing Machine (With a heavy duty needle.)

How to make it:
-Measure and cut a rectangular piece of waxed canvas that goes almost all the way around your waist.
-Take the top of the canvas and fold down 1/2″, fold again 1/2″ (so the raw edge is hidden) and pin in place. Repeat the same steps with the bottom of the large piece of canvas. Straight stitch about 1/4″ in along both seams to hold in place.
-Repeat these steps with the sides of the canvas.
-Cut a smaller piece of waxed canvas. (Mine was 17″ x 9″ – change this based on the size of your apron.)
-Fold down 1/2″, fold again 1/2″ (so the raw edge is hidden) and pin in place.Straight stitch along top seam.
-Fold each of the other three sides the same way but pin to the larger piece of canvas before sewing.
-Stitch 1/4″ in along these three sides to attach it to the larger piece of canvas – make sure you do not stitch the top closed!
-You can add separate pockets by stitching from the bottom seam up to the top of the canvas pocket.
-Add a small strip of leather to the side large enough to slide a hammer handle into. Make sure you stitch over the leather several times to secure it.
-I used leftover cotton rope as the ties. I cut two 18″ pieces and laid each one across the backside of the top of the apron. I stitched over the rope several times in three places to secure it.

***Make sure you give your sewing machine a thorough cleaning after sewing with waxed canvas.
DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Apron @themerrythoughtDIY Waxed Canvas Tool Apron @themerrythoughtDIY Waxed Canvas Tool Apron @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin

  • Saturday, February 6, 2016 - 1:20 pm

    Maize - Cute! I’m also interested in where you found your boots!ReplyCancel

    • Monday, February 8, 2016 - 4:38 pm

      Caitlin McGrath - Thank you! They are from UO!ReplyCancel

  • Monday, February 8, 2016 - 11:24 am

    Annelise - Wow, I love this! I have a lot of DIY projects planned for the next year (thanks in part to you guys, 2016 is the year of ‘make your apartment somewhere you like living’) so it’ll definitely come in handy!

    (Also, I love your outfit. Those boots are great.)ReplyCancel


Frozen Greek Yogurt & Fruit Bark @themerrythoughtIn case you missed it, I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year. One of the things that I need to make sure I have on hand are quick, easy, on-the-go, healthy foods. Otherwise, it’s often my downfall for grabbing something that I shouldn’t be eating. Or the cause of me getting very hangry! 😉 So while this little frozen treat seems quite summery (and looks like it should be showing up at a 4th of July party!), it’s a lifesaver for those I need something right now but I’m running out the door and don’t have time to make anything moments! I grab a few pieces of this bark, throw them in a container, and can munch on the go! (You do need to eat them immediately or they will melt and turn back into regular yogurt!) A little protein, a little fruit and a bit of sweetness – perfect! Frozen Greek Yogurt & Fruit Bark @themerrythoughtFrozen Greek Yogurt & Fruit Bark @themerrythoughtFrozen Greek Yogurt & Fruit Bark

2 cups plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
fruit of choice (sliced if necessary)

Line a small baking sheet (I used a 9×13) with parchment paper. Mix together the yogurt and honey. Pour yogurt into the prepared pan. Add fruit to top. Freeze for a few hours. Once frozen, break bark into pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.Frozen Greek Yogurt & Fruit Bark @themerrythoughtAny favorite healthy, on-the-go breakfasts or snacks you’ve been loving lately? This Natural Peanut Butter Fudge has also been a lifesaver the last month if you’re looking for another easy, healthy snack option!



Get Active Challenge @themerrythoughtI made it through the month – wahoo!! And no-sugar January is over!! Yesterday I allowed myself a “cheat day” to indulge in some of the sweets I had been craving over the month. It didn’t go quite as planned. I couldn’t eat too much and I ended up feeling sick all night long after the little indulgence I did have – ha! Guess I did pretty good weaning myself off of sugar and unhealthy foods! I plan to keep it up throughout February – the healthy eating that is, not the indulging! 😉 I will however have some sweets from time to time, it is really hard for a baker/food blogger to completely eliminate things from my diet. I just plan on keeping those limited to very small intakes, especially as I know my body just gets so sick if I eat too much carbs/sugar/greasy foods. Blah, I know it’s for the best to be eating healthy, but sometimes it’s just such a bummer for this food-loving girl to have a body that hates certain foods so much! 😭  So here’s how my last week of the January Challenge went:

Weight Loss: 1.8 pounds

Eating: Did just okay with this – and still managed to do alright with my weight loss! I felt like I had three “bad” eating days; just eating a bit more than normal and eating more carbs than normal. I stayed strong with the no-sugar January till the end!

Active: Had another good week with this, maybe not quite as great as the previous week  (no 5 mile runs!), but I’m still running, exercising and keeping active pretty much every day!

I would say overall, I had a great month and stuck to all my goals each week! I’ve actually lost 9.5 pounds since Christmas and that feels really great! I’ve also discovered that when I’m eating healthier, I’m a lot more diligent in helping my boys to make healthier eating choices too, which is always a plus!
I feel like the things that helped keep me on track the most were these weekly check in’s on the blog – knowing I’d have to report here kept me very accountable! And then having my nieces doing similar eating/exercising plans and being able to check in with them was super helpful/fun. My husband, Mike, has also been on board with healthier eating, which made things a whole lot easier for me. It’s hard to be a lonely healthy eater!

As I mentioned above, I plan on keeping up with pretty much the same eating/activity plan, just dropping the no-sugar part. I’m a little nervous I won’t do as well without these weekly check-ins! So I may have to check in from time to time so I don’t give up! Caitlin & I are also planning on doing a Positive February Challenge with some of our family – no negative talking! Whether it’s about yourself, others, things, whatever it may be – no negative thoughts or words! In some ways, this seems almost harder than the January Challenge! 😳 (I can be pretty down on myself, not good!)  “The elimination diet: Remove anger, regret, resentment, guilt, blame, and worry. Then watch your health, and life, improve.” ― Charles F. Glassman

How about you? Did you make it through January? Anyone trying something new in February – or hoping to stick with new changes you made in January?


The Challenge | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

  • Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 3:14 pm

    Kristin - Good for you! That’s quite an accomplishment. It’s hard to be active in the winter, but keep at it. You’ve got this!ReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 10:45 pm

    mary-clay | the open oven - congrats on a happy, healthy month! you deserved a bit of indulgence. best of luck heading into February!ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 9:41 am

    Beth - This sounds like a wonderful idea! I can’t believe you cut out sugar for the whole of January! I wouldn’t be strong enough, but to be fair I don’t really indulge on sugary or unhealthy things that often, although I have been logging what I’m eating and drinking and sometimes it says I’m eating way too much and way too little so who knows whether my eating is actually healthy!
    I love the idea of Positive February Challenge and would definitely like to take part if you do it as I’ve definitely been way to hard on myself recently and really down in the dumps!
    I also think you should continue tracking it all a little as I’m sure others like me would like to see how you’re doing!


DIY House Photo Display @themerrythought #michaelsmakersThis month’s Michael’s challenge was to put a personal spin on something from their new product line. Doesn’t get much more personal than a photo of your face displayed on a shelf, right? 😉 But really, this project is so simple and looks amazing added to any shelf! Plus it’s a great way to display those photos that you finally get around to printing!
DIY House Photo Display @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Wooden Block Houses from Michael’s

How to make it:
-All you have to do is cut across the center of the house until you’ve cut through the top triangle part of the house and then you’re ready to slide a photo in!
DIY House Photo Display @themerrythought #michaelsmakersDIY House Photo Display @themerrythought #michaelsmakersYou can see more of the projects here or on The Glue String blog.


DIY Waxed Canvas @themerrythoughtI’ve had a few waxed canvas projects on the back burner for a while. I kept telling myself to order some so I could get started but never got around to it. The other day I was thinking about one of the projects and decided to try to make my own canvas! I did a bit of research and found Otter Wax – a few other crafters had recommended it and I decided to give it a try. I’ll be sharing a tutorial using the finished canvas next week so I thought I would share this in case you want to get some canvas ready for that!DIY Waxed Canvas @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
Otter Wax Fabric Wax

How to make it:
-Rub fabric wax into the canvas. Work in small sections if you’re using a big section of fabric. (If your wax is really hard or cold, you can use a blow dryer to warm it up. It wasn’t necessary for mine.)
-Use your finger to smooth out wax across canvas.
-Let cure for a few days, until it looses tackiness.
DIY Waxed Canvas @themerrythoughtOkay! I’ll be back with more tips and a waxed canvas project tutorial next week! For now, I’m off to the mountains!

xo. Caitlin

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  • Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 3:14 pm

    kari - This is probably a really silly question, but will this “melt” if it gets warm? If so, is store-bought waxed canvas sometimes treated with something additional to prevent this? Curious.ReplyCancel

    • Monday, February 8, 2016 - 4:46 pm

      Caitlin McGrath - The wax won’t ever completely melt off of the canvas because it soaks into the fabric but if it’s exposed to a lottt of heat, the wax in the fabric can start to melt and the canvas will become soft and warm rather than firm. I’m not sure how different this is with store-bought canvas – but most of the store-bought canvas will use petroleum by-product waxes rather than natural waxes.ReplyCancel