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Tess Trotter

Crafty DIY Activities For Men

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Everyone can get crafty, including men! I receive a lot of product requests from men who are looking to get creative. So whether you are a man looking for a new hobby, or are brainstorming gift ideas for the special guy in your life, I thought I’d share my top DIY activities for men! 

Clack Sticks

Clack sticks are a musical instrument made out of wooden dowels. They are banged together to create a rhythmic beat. My client, Eric Thorpe-Moscon, recently reached out to request my birch wooden dowels to use in making these clack sticks. This is such a clever idea, and would make a wonderful and creative gift for any man in your life! Check out Eric’s store here.

My wooden dowels also serve other crafting purposes. Use them as sticks for photo props, make your own flag, create pinwheels and more! As I always say, the crafting possibilities are endless.

Engraved Signs

There’s nothing like personalized décor. So how about sprucing up your man cave? My wooden rectangles and circles make the perfect signs. Crafting is an artistic way to express yourself, so engrave or write a custom message that speaks to you. It’s the perfect finishing touch to any room.


Love nature and the outdoors? Birdhouses have been around for centuries, and are here to stay. They make the ultimate outdoorsy crafting activity. Buy a premade one to paint, or build one from scratch. One of my clients purchased my circular shapes to use as the base of his custom made birdhouse. Get creative with it!

Pick up a new hobby! Create more personalized gifts and décor! Whatever the reason, DIY activities can be enjoyed by both men and women. Happy Crafting!


My Wooden Stamps Used For Lemony Snicket Book

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What a wonderful opportunity! I had the pleasure of working with the incredibly talented Rilla Alexander, a famous children’s book illustrator. She needed a custom stamp for her latest event celebrating her book with Lemony Snicket, Swarm of Bees. I made her a custom wooden stamp and she added her own rubber design to it.

Rilla Alexandra and Daniel Hander (aka Lemony Snicket)

Just take a look at the cover! The book is full of bees and tomatoes.

I ended up buying a copy of her book that she personally signed to my sweet niece Tayliah Bridgeman.

Lemony Snicket is responsible for numerous children’s books, including Swarm of Bees illustrated by Rilla Alexander. His books have sold more than 70 million copies, been translated into 40 languages and have been adapted for the screen and stage. You can purchase Swarm of Bees here.

Such A Great Month For My Donut Stands!

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Remember my previous blog on how my donut stands ended up at J-Lo’s? Well, the good news keeps on coming!

I recently returned from a Vegas trip and have never experienced such great service! Pastry Chef Sara Steele uses donut stands from yours truly for her famous churro towers.

And just look at how she incorporated both my husband’s and my company logo on the dessert!

Not only that, but my stands were featured alongside Chef Lorena Garcia on CBS’s The Talk. Churros never looked so good!

This year has been incredible in so many ways, and I could not be more grateful.

If you are an event planner or chef, I have just the supplies you need to take your business to the next level. Message me for bulk pricing.


Redecorating Your Home… DIY Style

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It’s crazy how expensive it can be to decorate your home. Skip the overpriced décor and craft your own DIY accent pieces to give your home a more personal feel. Plus, just imagine how great it’ll feel when guests ask where your homemade items are from… they’re from you, by the way. Happy Crafting!

Small Wood Finials

A must for any redecorating venture, my small finials are very versatile and fit a variety of your decorating and embellishing needs. Options include adding them to…

  • the end of a small curtain rod
  • the top of a small box or jar
  • shelves

and more!

Wood Pillar Candlestick Holders

My tall wood pillar candlestick holders make a beautiful addition to your fireplace, tables or dining room table. Each candlestick is ready to be stained, spray painted or painted with acrylic in a color that matches your décor. This set can make a room go from drab to fab!

Wooden Bowls

Ready to really use your crafty side? Get ready to paint, burn, stamp or decoupage these wooden bowls to match your décor. Or leave them as is! They make a great addition to your kitchen, or can be used as jewelry bowls.

Cake Stands/Candlestick Holders

These wooden items have two different uses… candlestick holders or cake stands! They are a great way to decorate your home. Simply add your ideal color to them by staining, painting or spray painting. They are sure to complete the look of any room in your home.

Whether you’re looking to freshen up the look of your home with a couple pieces, or are trying to completely change up your current décor, DIY projects will help add that personal touch to your redecorating.


Have A DIY-Themed Staycay This Spring Break

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Spring Break is a time for relaxation and a retreat from the stresses of everyday life. However, you don’t always have to travel far to have a good time. DIY projects are the perfect way to make the most of your Spring Break in the comfort of your home, while also saving money. Not to mention they will be a huge hit with kids who are out of school for the week! Here are a few DIY ideas for the ultimate staycay.

Plant Flowers

Spring is a season known for blooming flowers and plants, so what better way to celebrate than by planting your own flowers? Use my tall wooden flower pots to plant several different kinds of flowers, and enjoy watching them bloom. These unfinished wooden pots are also great for painting! Use your creativity to add a personal touch. Order them today!

Decorate Bird Houses

As the season approaches, the birds will as well. What better way to support the environment than by making a pleasant home for earth’s winged creatures? My unfinished wooden birdhouses come ready-to-decorate and paint. Check them out today!

Create Toothy Fairy Boxes

The Tooth Fairy keeps busy during the Spring too! What better way to hold those baby teeth than with a personalized box? Whether your kids want to keep their teeth in the box until the Tooth Fairy comes, or you want to use them as keepsake boxes, these unfinished wooden boxes are the perfect craft idea. Order yours today!

Whether you choose to travel or stay home, you can always find fun activities for Spring Break. Just enjoy yourself and have fun!  



Crafting: A Stress-Relieving Activity

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Unfortunately, stress is an all to common phenomenon for many of us. However, did you know that DIY projects and crafting are super beneficial to your happiness? Here are a few reasons why crafting is deemed a stress-relieving activity.

Your mood will improve.

Studies show a correlation between crafting and our moods. In fact, the use of crafting to bring people together dates way back! Thousands of years ago, quilting offered women an escape from isolation. In addition, clay work has been shown to reduce adverse behavior.

Creativity allows people express themselves in a unique way and encourages a different outlook on life. This alternative perspective helps turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

Crafting helps relieve stress and anxiety.

Crafters experience a sense of satisfaction when finishing up their creation, which results in reduced stress. A study titled The Influence of Art Making on Anxiety: A Pilot Study, found that even minimal exposure to art can greatly reduce a person’s anxiety levels. Crafting also serves as an escape, allowing crafters to focus on the positives.

Experience more happiness.

DIY crafting is an activity that naturally triggers dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for happiness and bliss. In a study with 3,500 knitters, 81% of participants reported feeling happier and more at ease.
Picking up a hobby is fun and fulfilling. It gives us a necessary outlet to express ourselves and find joy. Feel free to browse through the HobKnobin site to find the perfect craft items!  

The Ultimate Wedding Décor

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Happy National Wedding Month! To commemorate this special time, I thought I’d share my favorite wedding décor ideas.

A wedding is one of the most momentous times in a person’s life, and ensuring the wedding décor is unique and personalized can really help the day feel that much more special.

No matter what essence or theme you are trying to bring to your wedding, I have options for you!

Sign Holders

These wedding sign holders are carefully handmade out of hard maple wood. Each wooden circle is sanded and smooth to the touch, ready to be painted or stained with your color of choice to match your theme. These holders are a great way to display your wedding signs or table numbers!

Cupcake Stands

My wooden cake stands allow you to feature your cake and/or your cupcakesall while saving you valuable table space! They make an eye-catching centerpiece for any wedding. I left them unfinished, so you can paint or stain them in a color that matches the rest of your décor!

Napkin Rings

My hand-painted, napkin ring holders will add a finishing touch to your rustic-themed wedding. Set your wedding reception tables in style!

These wedding décor items are sure to add a personal touch to your wedding. Want some more craft and décor ideas? Browse my shop today!

How My Donut Stands Ended Up At J-Lo’s House!

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2019 is already off to a great start! The Executive Pastry Chef of the Chica has been using my stands to display her renowned Churro Towers. The chef herself, Sara Mae, sent me the sweetest note about how much of a hit the stands are! 

“Hello Shyla and Happy New Year! I purchased some adorable doughnut stands from you about 2 months ago and absolutely love them!!! I am The Executive Pastry Chef at Chica inside the Venetian, and I am using them to display my Churro Tower which has become such a huge hit! I even have guests asking about the stands!” 

In addition to her amazing praise and feedback, Sara let me in on a fun fact. She recently sent some of my stands to Chef Lorena Garcia to use for Christmas Brunch at Jennifer Lopez’s home. Lorena ended up leaving them there, which means something I hand crafted is at J-Lo’s home right now! The year has already brought so many delightful surprises, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Check out these mouth watering photos of Sara’s Churro Towers. If you are visiting Las Vegas soon, be sure to dine at Chica! Make a reservation here. 

Birthday Wooden Party Favor Ideas For Your Kiddos

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Kid birthday parties can be so much fun! Deciding on the theme, decorations and activities make the days leading up to the event seem like part of the celebration itself.

However, even the simplest party requires planning. The sooner you start organizing, the earlier the excitement begins and the fewer details you’ll have to work out on the day itself.

No matter what theme you choose, all kids love taking party favors home as a keepsake from the festivities. Here are a few wooden party favors that can be gifted as-is, or decorated with your finishing touch to commemorate the special occasion.


Yo-yo’s are a traditional toy that never goes out of style. Choose from an assorted variety of themed yo-yo’s, including character-based and monogrammed, or select all of the same theme so kids don’t have to compete with each other.

I also offer unfinished wooden yo yos. You can paint these and adorn with your own party theme. You can even use the unfinished wooden yo-yos to create a party craft activity for the kids to paint and take home as a souvenir.

Rolling Pins

If you want to host a crafty-themed party to entertain the little ones, these 7″ unfinished wooden rolling pins make for a great paint-and-take party favor.



Flip Flop Tops

These red flip flop tops are a fun toy to play with at the party, and the children will surely want to take one home. Use as part of the party theme for children to play with during the day, and gift one to each guest as a party favor to play with later.

Finishing Supplies

Kids love to have their own bag of goodies as a keepsake souvenir. If you are giving small items as favors, our small organza bags come in various colors to match your party theme. Our wooden tags are perfect for handwriting the birthday child’s name, date or any other special message to remember. Choose from our wood circle birthday tags or wood heart-shaped tags to write a message to your guests.

These fun, yet simple party favors are sure to please a young crowd — and no batteries or tech are required!

Endless Possibilities with These Multipurpose Wooden Bowls

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These small wooden bowls are versatile, and with a bit of creativity, you can use them all over the house. Each unfinished bowl is 2-1/2″ wide x 1-1/8″ tall, and bulk pricing options are available. Whether you want to buy one for a specific use, or stock up to design matching décor throughout your home, there are a variety of uses for these simple, wooden bowls.


Do you like to set your ingredients and spices out before you start cooking? Use your wooden spice bowls to get ready to cook your yummy recipe. Do you have a blog where you take pictures of your ingredients? These are a great way to display your spices or condiments. These unfinished wood bowls are chemical free, and best for dry ingredients. If you do need to clean your mini bowls, you can do so by wiping them out with a damp cloth. You can also seal your bowl with a food grade oil.

For the Kids

Add these mini wooden bowls to your child’s kitchen play set for imaginative play. These small wooden bowls are also great for teaching instruction and sorting games. Finish each bowl in a specific color and teach kids how to sort colors, shapes and sizes.

Around the House

These are the perfect little bowls for sorting a rainbow of handheld items, such as:

  • Flowers
  • Wooden acorns
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Loose change
  • Candy
  • Earbuds

Crafting Corner

Last but not least, these wooden bowls can hold endless supplies that you would want to keep within easy reach as you work on your craft projects, including:

  • Beads
  • Buttons
  • Gemstones
  • Rhinestones
  • Sewing notions

Your DIY wooden bowls will arrive unfinished and ready for your creative touch. Use your crafty side by either painting your wood bowl, stamping them or burning them. In this video, Martha Stewart shows you how to transform wooden bowls into beautiful gifts.

Use your imagination to explore your own decorative ideas!