3 Fun Summer Hacks From the BUST DIY Guide to Life

by Caelan

Take over 250 of the best crafts, beauty tips, career advice, recipes and more that Bust Magazine has ever published and put them into one handy volume, and you’ll have The Bust DIY Guide to Life. This colorful, illustrated guide to a craftier you has delighted Bust fans as a print edition, and we’re proud to share three projects in celebration of its ebook debut! Now, you can download all of these Bust favorites to your e-reader and have them handy in the kitchen, at your sewing table, in the garden or anywhere you want to DIY your life!

These Little Lights of Mine

Living Room String Lights

by Heidi Andrea Rhodes



4 cups water

Medium saucepan

Large bowl

Wooden spoon

1⁄2 cup flour

Strand of holiday lights

Water balloons or small balloons (one for every other bulb on your light strand)


Rubber gloves (optional)


White string (you can buy a ball of it for a couple bucks at any craft-supply store)


Ever wished you could live under the night sky but suspected you should leave those glow-in-the-dark star stickers to your eleven-year-old niece? These clever lanterns, made with little more than string and holiday lights, create a celestial ambience without the middle-school mood. The best part is that they’re super cheap to make, so you can save your money for a real trip to the city of romance.

1. Pour 2 cups of the water into the saucepan and place it over high heat. In the bowl, mix the flour with the remaining 2 cups water. When the water in the pan boils, add the flour mixture to it, stir and bring to a boil again. Pour the mixture into the bowl. You just made paste!

2. Let the paste cool a bit so you don’t burn your hands. Meanwhile, count every other bulb on your light strand and count out the same number of balloons. Blow up the balloons to the desired size (3 1⁄2″ to 4″ in diameter) and tie them. Spread out some old newspapers to protect your work surface. Put on gloves if you want to.

3. Cut a long piece of string (start with about an arm’s length; you can always add more) and dip it in the cooled paste. Run the string between your fingers to get rid of excess mix and then begin to wrap the string around a balloon. Do this until the balloon, minus its knot, is quite thickly covered in gooey string (figure 1)—cut and use another string if needed. Tie a separate dry string to the balloon knot and hang it where it won’t be disturbed. The paste will drip, so lay some more newspaper underneath to catch it (figure 2). Repeat until you have finished all the balloons.

4. Let the lanterns hang until they are completely dry—this may take up to 48 hours. If you continue with moist spots remaining, you may encounter problems. Once the string is dry, pop the balloons and remove the balloon carcasses with a pair of tweezers (figure 3). Slip every other bulb into a string ball. Hang the light strand from a wall or ceiling and voilà! Pour your drink of choice and imagine that you are, indeed, dancing under the moon in Paris.


Infuse Your Booze

Flavored Vodka

by Kelly Carámbula


When it comes to infusing, the flavor possibilities are endless—you can use anything from fruits to herbs to nuts, as long as they’re fresh and of the best quality. The result is a full-flavored vodka you can use to make cocktails or enjoy on the rocks. It’s a super-simple way to create your very own fancy concoctions without going broke. Cheers to that!



Flavor base, such as fresh lemons, limes, oranges, melons, berries, cucumbers, ginger, mint, basil, lemongrass, vanilla beans, or chiles

1 (750 ml) bottle good-quality vodka

1 large glass jar with a lid (a container with a spigot at the bottom or a regular canning jar)

Sieve and cheesecloth


Thoroughly wash your fruit, vegetables, or herbs. Citrus fruit, melons, cucumbers, and strawberries should be sliced to expose the flesh, while other berries (such as blueberries or raspberries) and herbs can be left whole. Place enough infusion ingredients in the jar to fill it about halfway, and cover with vodka to the top of the jar. Tighten the lid and put the jar in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or cupboard. Strong flavors like citrus can infuse in as little as three days, while subtler flavors, like cucumber, can take up to two weeks. It doesn’t hurt to do taste tests every now and then to see how the flavor is developing. Once you’ve arrived at your desired flavor (whether that’s just a light hint of your infusion base or the deeper taste of a longer steeping period), it’s time to strain the vodka. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth, place it over a large bowl, and pour your infusion through. Discard the solids (or eat them up) and pour the vodka back into the glass jar. Store your infused vodka in the freezer or whip up a tasty cocktail like the one below.

Oh, Honey!

Make up a batch of mandarin-orange-infused vodka. In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 1⁄2 ounces (45 ml) infused vodka, 1⁄2 ounce fresh-squeezed juice from a mandarin orange (about 1⁄2 an orange), and 1⁄2 ounce honey syrup. (To make syrup, heat water over low heat for about 1 minute, remove from the heat, and add an equal amount of honey and stir until smooth.) Add a handful of ice to the shaker and swirl for about 15 seconds. Pour into an old-fashioned glass and top off with 1 1⁄2 ounces (45 ml) club soda. Stir to combine and garnish with a slice of orange.



Run Baby Run

Tips to Help You Stop Hating Running

by Jenny Rose Ryan


If you hate running, it’s probably because (A) you think it’s boring, (B) it’s just too much work, (C) it makes you feel like you’re having a heart attack, or (D) all of the above. But it doesn’t have to be like that. If you take it easy at first, build your endurance gradually, and incorporate elements of fun (your dog, a special running-music mix, a shiny new sports bra), running can be more than just a fast way to get your workout done. Check out these tips on how to stop hating running and you’ll be ready to slip on some sneaks and hit the streets.

Start with Short Distances

If you’ve never run before, or you hated it too much to keep going, you need to start small. Run to the corner store first or take a jog to the coffee shop. Try alternating one block of running with one block of walking to ease you into the feeling. If you’re running on a treadmill, alternate a couple minutes of running with a couple minutes of walking. As you get stronger, increase the time you spend running and soon you won’t have to stop at all.

Running too much, too hard when you’re first starting out is a big reason people decide to hate running. Try running one day and walking the next. Give your body time to adjust to running’s unique sensations and challenges and you’ll be a whole lot happier (and less sore).

Don’t Try to be the Fastest

Sure, running is faster than walking, but you shouldn’t be sprinting. You’re not an Olympian (yet) and you don’t have to make your lungs and legs burn to feel the benefits. Pace yourself so you can have a conversation without getting breathless. A jaunt around the park shouldn’t feel like fight or flight.

Think About Your Breath

Being mindful of your breath will help keep you from panting. It also keeps your running efficient, which helps reduce stress on your joints. Just inhale for three steps and exhale for two, so you’re exhaling on alternating steps. It will take some getting used to, but it will become second nature once you get the hang of it.

Make It Fun

Sprint to a tree. Walk when you want. Skip or hop. Mix up your pacing to add variety and keep it interesting—this will also help you get faster. A special mix of running tunes can make all the difference when you work out. Craft a mix that follows the flow of your workout. If you need extra motivation in the beginning, start with some upbeat tunes. If you want to zone out and meditate, calm it down after that. And change the mix often so you can stay focused and interested. You can also take some time to map out routes you want to try. Make short ones for days you’re just not feeling it, and try a long run that’s on a transit route. That way, if your motivation exceeds your ability, you don’t have to hobble home or call a cab.

Staring at your feet as the blocks click on is exhausting and makes every step feel like a hundred miles. Keep your head up and watch the world around you. You might even get a smile or two from runners passing by or from that cutie in the gym.

Don’t Stress About Shoes

Sure, it’d be nice to spend a Benjamin on a killer pair of kicks, but you can run just as well with an old pair of Sauconys. Your pacing and breathing matter more. Once you get the basics down and realize you love it, head to a specialty store and get fit for the fancy ones.

Create a Schedule

When it comes to running, the key is to create a pattern that becomes so second nature, you’ll forget it’s a schedule at all. If you’re more of a morning person, slip on your shoes before breakfast. If you like to go at night, wear a reflective vest (and stay on populated trails or sidewalks). If you normally walk your dog at four p.m., try running Fido instead. (You can get special leashes that strap onto your waist so you don’t have to worry about carrying them—and remember, some dogs need to warm up to running, too, so go slow at first.) If you’re really lucky and have a place to shower at work, the noontime run is a great way to break up the day. Plus, then you can be lazy when you get home. Once you establish a running routine and keep it up for a few weeks, you might even feel weird if you skip a run.

Set a Goal

Have a neighborhood 5K you’ve always wanted to support? Sign up for the event, then start training. The Couch to 5K program is a good guide (www.c25k.com). Need some friends to motivate you? Get them to sign up too. Running might seem like a singular sport, but it’s even more fun with a group.

Mix It Up

Don’t feel like running one day? Don’t do it. No one is testing you. Go for a bike ride. Swim in a pool. Or spend the evening on the couch with a good book. Even hard-core marathoners take days off from their favorite sport, and you should too.

Reward Yourself

Think of yourself as the donkey in pursuit of the carrot, or the mouse after the cheese, and reward yourself after a run with something that makes you happy. It can be gluttonous or relaxing, but what matters is that it’s something you only do after you run.

Check back here soon for giveaways of the BUST DIY Guide to Life E-Book!


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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