Crafty Ways to Help the Planet!

Earth Day is almost here! (It’s on April 22.) Want to show the planet some lovin'? We’ve come up with things you can reuse in cool ways instead of sending them off to hang out in a landfill. Who knew being green could be so much fun?

Adorable Jewelry Organizer

All you need for a bling holder you’ll love? An old frame, liquid glue, pushpins and some cork sheets (get these for cheap at a craft store). Just take the glass and back off the frame, cut the cork so it’s the same size as a photo that would fit in the frame, and glue it in place in the opening. Once it’s dry, stick colorful pushpins in the front to hang your jewelry on. We love the way the finished product looks hanging on the wall -- and you’ll never need to hunt for an earring again!

Wacky Wire Ring

Betcha didn’t know you could make something this cool out of boring old paper clips! Grab a bunch of the colorful ones -- stick with your favorite hue or mix up a bunch if you’re feeling really artsy. Unfold them so each one is straight, then reshape them into a swirling pattern, bending each clip around the clump of paper clips as you go. Once you’ve made the bauble as big as you want, attach one more paper clip to the back and shape it into a ring so it fits your finger.

Crazy-cute Locker Magnets

These are about to become your new favorite locker accessory. Collect a few bottle caps from old-fashioned glass bottles, fill them with liquid glue, and then pour in some glitter. Once they’re dry, stick a magnet on the back -- either use self-adhesive magnets from the craft store or cut off a piece from a magnet sheet and attach it with a dab of glue. Love it!

Personalized Journal

Does anyone else have a serious hoarding problem when it comes to old greeting cards? We feel guilty throwing them out, but they’re not exactly doing any good just taking up space in your junk drawer. Get some use out of ’em by turning them into notebook covers. Here’s how: Open up a card, and then trace the outline onto 10 sheets of paper. Cut along the guidelines, staple the pages to the card at its crease, then fold everything together. Now get writing!

Chic Vases

Keep an eye out for any pretty jars or bottles in the pantry that are almost empty. Before Mom throws them away, ask if you can have them instead. Rinse them out, stick a flower or two inside, and you’ve got an instant set of bud vases! Display a few grouped together for a pretty effect.

Awesome Slumber Party Ideas

Looking to wow your friends at your next big sleepover? We have some slumber party tricks that definitely will have your pals going, “ooh” and “aah.” You are getting sleepy now -- yeah, right!

Mind Over Matter
Do you know your thoughts can create pure energy? Demonstrate this wondrous fact to your party guests by swinging a charm necklace around ... with your mind!

Hold the necklace at the clasp with your thumb and index finger so it’s hanging straight down. Steadying your elbow on a table, hold perfectly still and tell the chain to swing clockwise. Or back and forth. Now tell it to reverse directions, then to stop. Let your friends try it. (If you establish that clockwise stands for “yes” and counterclockwise mean “no,” you can use this as a sort of lie detector during your game of Truth or Dare!)

Bending Toothbrushes

Hand out brand-new toothbrushes (go for sparkly ones or those with cartoon characters) as party favors ... but these aren’t for brushing. Instead, turn ’em into bracelets!

Here’s how: Use tweezers or pliers to pluck the bristles out of each brush. Boil a large pot of water, and drop the toothbrushes in for about five minutes. Have a parent use tongs to remove each one. Careful, they’re hot! Use oven mitts to bend them so they fit inside a large coffee mug. Pour cold water in the mug to cool them. When they’re done, you’ll have a cool cuff bracelet.

Light as a Feather
No one is quite sure why this works, but it does -- and it has for generations. In fact, your mother and grandmother probably did this trick at their slumber parties back in the day.

Have one guest sit on a chair, facing west or north, with her hands in her lap and feet flat on the floor. Have four other girls, two on each side, stand beside the chair. Place your hand, palm down, on top of the sitter’s head, and then have the other girls stack their hands on top of yours. Count to 10 before quickly removing your hands from her head and placing two fingers under her knees and two fingers under her armpits -- and lift her up! Slowly lower her back to the chair. Amazing, right?

Quantum Pajama Leap
While your friends are all in the kitchen making toothbrush bracelets, send someone to the party room to scramble everybody’s pajamas. Take them all out of their overnight bags, and place them in someone else’s. When it’s time for your girls to slip into their PJs, they’ll be all ... huh?


Valentine’s Day Fun for the Single Gal!

Being single on Valentine’s Day can make a girl a little green with envy when her coupled-up friends keep talking about how psyched they are for the big day. But we’ve got suggestions for awesome V-Day plans that are so crazy-fun that they might make your taken friends jealous of you. Heck, the attached girls might even ditch their BFs so they can get in on the excitement!

Organize a Single-girl Swap
No need to feel left out when all the couples exchange heart-shaped gifts. Get a bunch of your single friends to draw names out of a hat for a present swap. Set a $5 price limit, then pick out cool prezzies, like costume jewelry or an artsy thrift-store vase.

Hold a Candy-tasting Bash
The fun in getting a box of chocolates is sampling all the different flavors. So invite a few of your besties over to your house and tell each guest to bring along her favorite confections. Then eat up!

Go on a Double Friend-date
Ask one of your single guy friends to grab dinner with you on V-Day, and have your BFF do the same. You can have fun scoping out all the couples at the restaurant and guessing which ones will actually last, based on how much fun each pair seems to be having.

Make up New Makeup
Create totally new lip colors without spending a cent. Just put a dime-size amount of lip gloss on the back of your hand, dip your finger in your favorite shade of eye shadow, and mix it in with the gloss. Even funky combos, like purple eye shadow with orange-y gloss, look really cool -- we’ve tried it! Bonus: This one’s just as fun with friends as it is solo.

Dance the Night Away
Dance, dance parties -- where you go into a dimly lit room with tons of girls and dance your butt off to the hottest new music -- are really trendy these days. Host your own by making a playlist full of upbeat tunes (we heart tracks by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Pink). Then have the girls over to get your dance on.

Create Your Own Candy Hearts
Conversation heart candies are a must on Valentine’s Day. Messages like “Tweet Me” are cute and all, but we know you can come up with something way better. Pick up a pack of the candies and a food-decorating pen (available at baking supply stores), then write your own phrases on the blank side of each candy. Your ladies will love getting personalized messages instead of the played-out premade ones!

11 Fab Goals to Reach in 2011!

Go-to resolutions -- like stepping up your fitness routine or getting better grades --- are cool and all, but you’re gonna have to get a little more creative if you want to make 2011 your best year yet. Print this list out and tape it to your bedroom wall, then watch your year get more and more awesome as you check each one off!

1. Learn the Constellations
Stargazing just got a whole lot easier thanks to a super-cool app called Star Walk ($2.99 for iPhones and Androids). Just hold your phone up to the night sky and the app’ll find all the constellations for you. 

2. Shoot a Music Video

Gather a few of your girls and rock out to your favorite tunes -- while a digital camera records the results. (Just switch it to movie mode first.) Voila! You have an MTV-worthy vid that’ll make Lady Gaga look lame.

3. Meet a Real-life Author
Since writers do book tours whenever they come out with a new read, it’s actually really easy to meet one. Just check the events calendar at your local bookstore or public library to see when one of your faves is going to be in town. Then take your favorite book of theirs along so you can get a personalized autograph!

4. Start Your Novel
Now that you’ve met an author, you can start working on your own book. Think of each chapter as a new short story and feel free to write them out of order -- it'll make the process that much easier, and it’s what tons of pros do.

5. Update Your Playlist
The coolest (and cheapest) way to stock up on tunes? Host a playlist swap. Invite your girls over and ask them to bring their CD collections. Then lay them all out in your living room and have fun chatting as you figure out who gets to borrow which ones to upload to their computers at home that night. Or, you can all bring your laptops to swap then and there!

6. Host a Wicked-cool Outdoor Movie Night
Pick a theme (say, Harry Potter movies or RPattz flix). Rent a couple of DVDs that work with it, take a laptop and a few blankets outside on a warm night, and prepare to have one very awesome movie marathon with a few of your girls.

7. Form a Club
Whether you want to get an anti-bullying group going or find a place to play Rock Band every Wednesday, talk to your guidance counselor to get it started. You can also chat with your parents about having meetings in your basement.

8. Feng Shui Your Room
According to this Eastern philosophy, you can boost your positive vibes just by rearranging your furniture. Get started by taking all electronics -- including your TV, computer and cell phone -- out of your room. Then, move your bed to a spot that’s not in line with any doors. (That creates a negative energy-flow.)

9. Discover the Best Takeout in Town
Instead of ordering in from the same spot every week (bo-ring!), ask the fam if you can switch things up. Create scorecards so you can grade each new restaurant on each dish you order. Soon, you’ll find the hands-down best spot. 

10. Hear “Love That Bag!” All the Time
How? By creating your own! Just buy a blank canvas tote and iron-on transfer paper from an art supply store. Then create a black and white design on your computer, print it out on a transfer sheet and have Mom or Dad help you iron it onto the bag. So cute!

11. Be Your BFF's Stylist
And let her be yours! Go shopping together, and then pick out a few outfits for each other that are way diff than what you two would normally wear. Then hit the dressing rooms and have fun modeling all of your new looks for each other.