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DIY Shibori Napkins and How to Keep Them Stain-Free

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WorryFreeMessFree #CollectiveBias

I looked on in horror as my young son wiped his spaghetti sauce mustache on his sleeve. Nooooo!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told him not to do that. Wait, I can. About 3489257489284920583092 times. Yep. I mean the napkin was within his grasp but I guess his sleeve was closer. I thought, it’s a good thing I don’t have nice napkins or I’d internally flip if he stained those. As I was washing the dishes I remembered a story I heard about a woman that had a beautiful pearl necklace. She put them in a safe place so they could never get lost or ruined. She never wore them for fear of something happening to them. She passed away never having worn that precious necklace she valued so much. While I don’t go to that extreme, we use our china several times a year, I realized my mistake. I CAN have nice things. Yeah some might get ruined because we are a young family. But, I can also take more steps to protect my “nice” things. Thank you Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector for existing!! I don’t want to be worrying about things getting ruined because they are being used. Helloooo!! Napkins are supposed to be used to wipe off spaghetti sauce mustaches. They are supposed to wipe off chocolate after a fun fondue night. That is their purpose. My logic was all wrong and I decided to do something about it. I finally bought myself some nice cloth napkins and wanted to personalize them by using the shibori method of dyeing. It’s just a glorified version of tie dyeing (throwback to summer camp). And it was fun to get all messy crafting up a storm. And you sure are bound to feel pretty awesome looking at your new creation and confidently saying to yourself, I freakin’ made these. So you wanna make some of these yourself?? After some trial and error and some more error, here is a way to make these. Take note that every dye is different and while your napkins will don the same hue, each method of tying results in something different. I like to think of it as unique and personal. I love when they are imperfect because well, we all are imperfect and beautiful. Alright, enough with the sappiness and bring on the mess.

100% Cotton Cloth Napkins
Navy Blue Dye
Disposable Gloves
1 Cup of Salt (optional)
Bucket (I lined mine with a trash bag so it wouldn’t dye it)
Tools: rubber bands of various sizes and widths, cardboard, string, paper towel tube, etc.
1 Cup of White Vinegar
Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector (coupon for $1 off here!)

What To Do:

  1. If you are using new napkins, make sure to wash them to remove any chemicals that might alter dye. Leave them damp.
  2. Using various tools like rubber bands, string, tubes, tie damp napkins using various methods. Or you could use the same method if you want them all similar. Here are a couple of links to help you with different tying methods.
  3. Every dye has slightly different methods so make sure to read their specific directions. I used a combination of colors: navy blue and royal blue dye. Then I filled a bucket with hot water. Add a cup of salt and mix really well. You could also just use a singular dye.
  4. Make sure your napkins are still damp. This helps to soak in the dye. Depending on how big your bucket is, place the napkins into it in sets. I did 6 an 6. Insert into dye and agitate the dye every 5 minutes. The amount of time you let it soak will determine the intensity of the color. I would recommend letting it sit for at least 30 minutes. I accidentally learned this haha! Dyeing is a unique technique because even if you use the same method all the results slightly vary.
  5. Once time is up, remove the napkins letting the excess dye drip off. I wouldn’t recommend using a white or porcelain sink to wash off dye or it could stain it. Without removing the ties, let cold water run through napkin until the water is clear-ish.
  6. Once the water isn’t an intense color, remove the ties and run under cold water until the water runs clear. Run the remaining napkins under cold water.
  7. Once they are all done, put into washing machine. Don’t mix with any other clothing. Wash it (no detergent) with 1 cup of vinegar in cold water.
  8. Wash again using detergent in cold water.
  9. Dry using low heat. Once dry, iron. Or not. Ironing really isn’t my jam but it makes it look crisper.
  10. Using Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector, shake bottle really well. I recommend using a test swatch to make sure color doesn’t rub off. Holding the can 6″ away, lightly spray one coat onto fabric, front and back. Make sure to be in a well ventilated area and cover your work space. (watch video here on how to apply)
  11. Reapply a second coat once first coat is dry.
  12. Once dry, it’s ready to use! Because napkins are frequently used, you’ll have to reapply every few months. But now you can use them without any worry! And they won’t change the feel or look so spray away.

So go take a stroll through Target and grab some supplies. Not gonna lie, my Target stroll not only included grabbing the Scotchgard™ product. A few other things jumped in my cart, too. #sorrynotsorry I finally found them in this aisle on the third shelf…not that I minded perusing every aisle to see what else I “needed.”

Now go spray your sofa, sofa pillows, other table linens…all the things. Actually first read on back what you can spray. And then stop worrying about it and just live your crazy awesome life.

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DIY Scallop Picture Frame

Raise your hand if you have been using the same picture frames forevvverrr. Raise your hands if your style has changed since getting said picture frames. Ok, me too guys. Frames can be so expensive and getting new ones is actually annoying. You can go to thrift stores and get pretty good ones but very rarely can you find a pair that match. I just want something simple with a tiny but of personality to it. Especially when you have something coming up and you just need to hang something up now.
I designed this simple frame that you can make as a place holder until you can find something sturdier and more long term…or you can use them until you change your style. Because for very little cost you can make some pretty cute frames.

Cricut Explore 2
5×7 scallop frame file
8.5×11 piece of thick sturdy chipboard + extra for back
paint and paint brush
glue/double sided tape
magnet tape
hot glue gun

What To Do:
1. Download image file onto your desktop and open Cricut Design Space
2. Open new file and insert image. Select layer and duplicate it.
3.Using the rulers on the screen, stretch the images so they are slightly larger than 5×7 but no larger that the inside of the frame is 5×7.4. Place chipboard on mat making sure to press down hard so chipboard doesn’t move around.
5. Insert into machine and set knob to “custom.”
6. Press continue on the computer screen and select drop down frame to “chipboard.”
7. Press the Cricut button to begin cutting.8. Using the spatula remove the chipboard without bending it. 9. Using double sided tape or glue, glue both frames together to make it even sturdier and thicker.10. Paint one side of the frame the color of your choosing. I painted 3 white coats.
11. Using the hot glue, glue a piece of string (I used a piece of chain from a broken necklace) onto the frame.
12. Cut a piece of chipboard slightly smaller than the frame to go on the back.13. Using the magnet tape, cut 4 pieces small enough to go on the corners of the scallop frame and tape one on each corner of the frame. Cut 4 more pieces and tape them onto the backside piece.
14. Place picture in between the frame and backside piece and you’ve got yourself an interchangeable frame. You amaze me DIY master.
I think my next one I will use really thick chipboard and a stronger magnet tape. While it works for now, it may not hold up another move. I think I will also get 12×12 chipboard that way I can make these frames big enough to hold the 8×10 artwork my kids bring home. You can personalize them by color or having the kids draw on their own frames. These will work until I can complete my gallery wall with thinner and lighter colored frames. Plus it is easy to change photos so I can change the prints as the holidays and seasons change.

What projects are you interested in learning to make with your Cricut? Let me know!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


Comments submitted may be displayed or featured on other websites owned by Cricut.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Gold Foil Lips Bobby Pins

Nothing like an upcoming holiday (that’s tomorrow) to get you in a frantic state of last minute crafting. I like being festive and decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas but the other holidays get a little left out. While I didn’t really decorate for Valentine’s Day this year, I did make some accessories for the girls and myself. I like subtly celebrating and these gold foil bobby pin lips can be worn for Valentine’s Day or any other day because they are just so dang cute. Continue reading DIY Valentine’s Day Gold Foil Lips Bobby Pins

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Introducing Cricut Air 2 + Easy Faux Stamped Gold Foil Art Print Tutorial

I remember laying in the hospital, starving and watching infomercials. Infomercials are what kept me from going crazy from hunger. Because of an upcoming emergency surgery I wasn’t allowed to eat to get my pancreas related levels low. I remember seeing the Cricut Expression in action and knew I needed to have it. A cutting machine that could intricately cut paper for me? My creative soul could see so many projects I could make, especially since I love throwing parties. It’s a good thing Santa ended up getting it for me for Christmas. And as much as I loved the Expression, it lacked more customization which as a graphic designer I felt I needed. Continue reading Introducing Cricut Air 2 + Easy Faux Stamped Gold Foil Art Print Tutorial

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DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

“Mom, can we decorate for Halloween?” Has this been asked yet at your house? I think I have guilt from last year where I didn’t really do much….except have a baby. But really, I wanted to decorate more but I didn’t. This year I am decorating but not too much since for some reason having too much stuff makes my chest tighten up and makes me want to konmari my whole house. So, I am going for touches of Halloween without actually freaking myself out with fake spiders….in Seattle you can never tell if they are real or fake. It’s terrifying.

Since it has been a while since I’ve crafted I thought I’d give my hands a little project. I dusted off my Cricut and looked through my non konmari’d stash of supplies. Oops. Why do I have 1000 black stirrers? Who the crap knows. But this is what I made with them and I feel like a crafty ninja now.

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

Rather buy some cool stuff at Target than make your own? That’s cool. I did that, too. But since I like to craft and had some time (wha?? I know right?!) I thought I’d try my hand at making some decor that says “Hey, I’m a cool Mom that decorates for Halloween but not too much because I hate putting all this crap away…and I hate kitschy stuff…” or something along those lines. So, if you are like me then this is what you’ll need to make these super awesome halloween decorations. I guess it doesn’t need to be for Halloween- use it for Thanksgiving, too.

Black Stirrers
Washi Tape
SVG Cut Files
Black Card Stock
Cricut Explore One or Xacto Knife

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames


  1. Download svg cut files and using your Cricut or other cutter cut the files onto two pieces of black card stock
  2. Remove and set down.
  3. Start by cutting 8  straws in half.
  4. Thread six of the straws with one end of the wire and then wrap the end around the wire and tuck into the straw’s end.
  5. Repeat for the other side.
  6. Cut 4 pieces of wire about 1″ longer than the straw.
  7. Wrap one end of the wire on a corner of one of the hexagons and insert straw. Wrap around the end to the other hexagon’s corner connecting them.
  8. Repeat on the next corner over and the two top corners. 
  9. Using washi tape (or hot glue) tape the cut file to the bottom.
  10. For added stability, glue or tape a sipper to the paper and attach it to the paper on the other side.
  11. You may have to finagle it a little for it to stand upright.

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

Cool, right? And like I stated earlier, if you just switch out the pictures it can be used for anything. There is no limit to your creativity my friends.

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

What’s your favorite Halloween element? Spiders? Skeletons? Zombies?

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DIY Lightning Bolt Marquee Light

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero roomThis is the last part of the superhero room! You guys- it has taken me forevvvveeer to post this up. Partly because I can’t seem to find the dang pictures of the process….but I did draw up some illustrations for you and partly because I’m busy- haha!

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero room_2The marquee light trend caught my eye…as did this pricey lightning bolt one. Being the diy-er and frugal person that I am, I tried my hand at making it myself. I had just gotten a mattress so I had cardboard big enough to make my own. I know what you are thinking- get on with it, woman! Here is the tutorial:

What You Need:
LED Ball Lights
Cardboard (sturdy/thick is best)
Xacto Knife
Hot Glue
Yellow Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush

What To Do:DIY Lightning bolt marquee light directions

  1. Lightly draw your template. You can free hand it or trace one. I kept my lightning bolt at least 1.5″ from the edge length wise.
  2. Then you’ll redraw the template but extending at least an inch bigger on all sides.
  3. Cut the larger template using the xacto knife (where the dotted line is above)
  4. Then cut where the dotted lines are the connect the larger and smaller template.
  5. Fold them together to create a crease.
  6. Mark where you’d like the lights to go and slice “x’s ” with xacto knife.
  7. Using hot glue, glue sides to each other connecting the sides to each other.
  8. Paint 3-4 coats of yellow on all sides (except bottom).
  9. Once dried, gently pull the light bulb from the wire and insert into holes.
  10. There will be leftover string and lights so stuff them in and hold them on the inside with tape.
  11. Make holes on top of lightning bolt and tie string to it. Glue bottom of strings down for extra reinforcement.
  12. Turn on and hang. This makes an excellent night light. And because they are LED lights they don’t get hot.

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero room_1I seriously love how this turned out. I want to make more custom ones like a kitty for my daughter’s room. The possibilities are endless I tell you!

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero room

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DIY Modern Wall Hangers

Bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.After a long day of cleaning while the kids are in school, don’t you just love walking into the hallway and seeing shoes strewn on the floor besides the kids’ colorful coats and happily topped with their backpacks? It’s like a minefield!

Bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.When we first moved into the house we didn’t have a useful coat hanger or a mud room for the kids to hang up their belongings. Things just laid by the front door or were hung in one of our several closets making it really difficult to get ready quickly in the mornings. Sometimes the most simple things can relieve the biggest headaches! I thought these modern wall hangers/pegs really  brightened up the boys’ modern super hero room. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of materials or steps- it really is so simple even someone that isn’t super handy (me!) figured it out!

Bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.Bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.Materials:
Wood Dowel cut into 4 3″ pegs sanded down at ends
4 Double End Threaded Screws
Drill bit
Long Nose Pliers
Drywall Anchors
Acrylic paint (4 colors)
Paint brushes
Painter’s Tape
Jen Hadfield Paper (similar) c/o
Mod Podge

1. If the ends of the pegs aren’t sanded down make sure to sand them with any grit size sandpaper.
2. Depending on the size of your double ended screw, find a slightly smaller drill bit.
3. Using the double end screw, align the screw to the drill bit to see how deep it will go in. Tape where it reaches on the drill bit that way you don’t go further than necessary on both the wood and wall.
4. Drill into all the wood pegs as far as the tape goes.
Tutorial for bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.5. Using the pliers, screw the double end screws into the wood pegs.
6. Tape the pegs about 1″ from the end opposite of the screw.
7. Paint the tips with the acrylic paint. 1-2 coats should be fine.
8. Let dry about 5-10 minutes.
Tutorial for bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.9. Using the end of the peg as a template, draw a circle on the scrapbook paper.
10. Cut out circles from scrapbook paper.11. Paint Mod Podge on the end of the pegs and place cut out circle on the ends.
Tutorial for bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.12. Mark on the wall where you would like to hang up the pegs. I separated mine about 4″ apart.
13. Using a slightly smaller drill bit than the anchor screw, drill your first hole into the wall.
14. Push anchor in and hammer lightly in the rest.
15. Screw the screw side of the peg right into the anchor.
16. Repeat steps 13-15 for the rest of the pegs.

Bright colored modern wall hangers. Great for a boys shared room or superhero theme room.

So, now there is a place for the minefield traps (coats and backpacks!) to go. Do they always hang them up promptly? No. But at least it has a place to go and not just on the floor. It makes getting ready for school easy because everything is right there hanging up by the door. They each have 2 pegs that belong to them so they know where their things belong.

Coat hangers for boys room. Simple DIY great for modern super hero room.These 4 little pegs have saved my sanity. Really. What simple things have you implemented to help your kids put their things away? Please share in the comments!


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DIY Personalized Superhero Pillow

  A big thanks to and Expressions Vinyl  for providing materials for this post!

How to make your own personalized superhero pillow for that modern superhero room. One of the projects I did for the boys’ modern superhero room was personalized superhero pillows. Growing up, I was the only girl in my family so I never had to share a room but my brothers did. I could understand that sharing a room might be hard for several reasons and one might be individuality. I wanted the boys to have a common theme so they could feel a sort of unity but also use a few things to foster that individuality. Ashton really loves Batman and Oliver loves Superman so I decided to play off those.

2016-03-15_0003Using Adobe Illustrator, a design software I use for my graphic design business, I inserted their initials into the superhero logos. If you don’t have that software you could use picmonkey or canva. I have an affinity towards anything monogrammed so this was the masculine and minimalist version of it. Here’s a tutorial if you want to make one for your little superhero.

14×14 round pillow form
2/3 yard prewashed/ironed fabric (I used a white cotton twill)
Sewing machine or sewing needle/thread
Marking pencil
Fabric Scissors
Pins (these are adorable!)
Heat Transfer Vinyl
Craft Scissors or Cutting Machine
Template(s) for Vinyl measuring no more than 13″
envelope-round-pillow_tutorialDirections for Envelope Round Pillow:

I am terrible at sewing zippers so I decided to make this an envelope pillow. When you have kids you need removable covers for everything because everything gets dirty. Even things you didn’t think about. Every thing.

  1. You are going to start by cutting one piece of 14×14″ fabric. Then cut another piece measuring 14×10″ and another 14×12.” That should give it ample room to open and remove the pillow.
  2. Give both small pieces a 1/4″ hem length wise that way it remains 14x however many inches long. You are then going to take the smaller pieces and make them overlap. Have the formerly 12″ piece go below the 10″ one having them hems overlap each other.
  3. Sew or pin down the sides leaving 1/4″ seam allowance on the newly constructed piece.
  4. Place the new piece and the 14×14″ right sides together and pin them together.
  5. Then using the marking pencil roughly trace the pillow form onto the square piece. Or if you want to be  more precise you can use a protractor to draw a 14″ circle.
  6. Sew about 1/4″ in from the circle.
  7. Cut out the circle from the fabric.
  8. Turn fabric inside out.

DIY Iron on Vinyl Modern Superhero PillowPutting on Iron-On Vinyl

  1. Watch this video from Expressions Vinyl because it does a great job explaining on how to cut and apply vinyl. This is using a Cricut Expression but you can use your Cricut Explore by selecting your image on Design Space. Now that your pillow is made it is easier to place on the vinyl. I didn’t put it on before because then you have to be super careful about making sure that it stays centered!
  2. Once you have your pillow, make sure it has been ironed and prewashed at this point if you didn’t do it before you sewed it together. If you skip this step then the fabric will shrink BUT the vinyl won’t so it will bubble up. Trust me. Learn from my mistake!
  3. Place the vinyl (make sure it was cut mirror imaged) on the fabric and iron.
  4. Make sure to really have all the edges of the vinyl secured on the fabric or else it will peel off with use.
  5. Insert pillow form and throw on the bed.

Personalized Iron On Superhero PillowIt will be well loved and used so remember that this is the reason why you did the project in the first place. Sometimes I do something and want them to be so careful with it that I have to remind myself this is theirs and I want them to enjoy it not just look at it from afar. Let me know if you have any questions! If you want a custom template so you can make your own please email me and I’d be happy to help.

Personalized Iron On Superhero Pillow

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DIY Glow in the Dark Cityscape Wall Decor

  A big thanks to Expressions Vinyl  for providing materials for this post!

Remember this post? I know I said months ago I’d have a tutorial up but you know, life just got crazy and difficult. But I am here to finally share how I made this awesome glow in the dark vinyl cityscape for my son. He thinks he is so cool because he has his little city to watch over.


DIY Glow in the dark cityscape for a superhero room! I’d been coveting a Cricut Explore because as a designer I wanted the ability to design and cut my own creations. The Explore really worked out well for this project and my fingers and hands are so glad they didn’t have to cut out all these tiny squares. Want to make one for your little buddy? Note: I had to do things a little differently because I am renting so I needed something I could remove from the walls. Also, the glow in the dark vinyl is permanent so I stuck it on top of the removable vinyl to not damage the walls. I’d recommend doing it this way anyway even if you own the house. No one wants peeled paint. This also works best on non-textured walls. Vinyl slides on smoother. My walls are textured and it took a lot of elbow grease to get the vinyl to stick. But it made my little man happy so it is what it is.

Before the cityscape Materials:

4 12×12 Removable Indoor Black Vinyl Sheets

4 12×12 Glow in the Dark Vinyl Sheets

8 12×12 Clear Transfer Tape

Scraper or a credit card (ha!)

Cricut or Cutting Machine

Building + Lights SVG Files: (B1, B2, B3, B4, L1, L2, L3, L4) Open tab and right click on the image to save.

DIY Vinyl Glow in the Dark Cityscape for the Modern Superhero RoomDirections:

In order to use the Cricut Explore you have to have Design Space. If you are using a different cutter than use that software. Upload the SVG files I provided onto that software.

  1. Decide on the order you want and measure where you want to stick it. I found the middle of the bed and measured 24″ to the left and 24″ to the right. I made a very light line a couple of inches above the bed measuring 48″ along the wall. The final measurement isn’t actually 48″ wide because of the buildings don’t extend all the way to the end on each page.
  2. Place the vinyl with the backing on the sticky side of the mat so the black is on top.
  3. Put it through the cutter with the setting on Vinyl+. Expressions Vinyl has information on what settings to use for different materials here. Just to make sure, using the scraper or tweezers, check to see that it has cut just the vinyl and left the backing on the mat.
  4. Place the transfer tape on top of the black vinyl in a rolling motion. You want the tape to roll over your hands because if you just place on top you may get a lot of air bubbles. Once placed, eliminate any air bubbles with a scraper.
  5. Pull the transfer tape away at starting at one corner while holding mat and black vinyl down and continue all the way down. It doesn’t work well if you pull both sides down starting from the top. You should have just the city buildings outlines on the transfer paper. (Sorry must have missed taking pictures of what it should look like.
  6. Place it somewhere safe! Trust me. Your kids will want to pull off the little squares! I wrote B1 (for building 1) on that sheet so I remembered the order.
  7. Follow steps 2-6  for the next 3 buildings.
  8. Place the glow in the dark vinyl on the sticky side of the mat so the glow in the dark side is on top.
  9. Put it through the cutter with the setting on Posterboard. Just to make sure, using the scraper or tweezers, check to see that it has cut just the vinyl and left the backing on the mat.
  10. Place the transfer tape on top of the glow in the dark vinyl in a rolling motion. You want the tape to roll over your hands because if you just place on top you may get a lot of air bubbles. Once placed, eliminate any air bubbles with a scraper.
  11. Pull the transfer tape away at starting at one corner while holding mat and glow in the dark vinyl down and continue all the way down. It doesn’t work well if you pull both sides down starting from the top. You should have just the city “lights” outlines on the transfer paper. (Sorry don’t have pictures of that either!)
  12. Place in a safe place and I wrote L1 (for lights 1) on that sheet so I remembered the order.
  13. Follow steps 8-12  for the next 3 buildings.

Placing Vinyl on for Glow in the Dark Cityscape TutorialPlacing the Vinyl on the Wall:

  1. Find the center of the wall and find B3. Line up the sheet on your line.
  2. Using the scraper, push down the vinyl on the wall and gently pull away the transfer tape.
  3. Do the same with B4, B2 and B1.
  4. Repeat with the corresponding glow in the dark vinyl (L1 with B1 and so on).
  5. And then you are done! I know there are a lot of steps but it really isn’t that complicated. Once you do one you will get the hang of it. I just love how it turned out and it really adds character to his little area. Let me know how it goes for you!

Glow in the Dark Cityscape Tutorial