Brighten Things Up With DIY Neon Napkins and Tea Towels
We’ve noticed that the holiday season seems to be starting earlier and earlier each year. Don’t be surprised if you hear “Jingle Bells” at the mall BEFORE Halloween. As part of jump-starting the holidays, we decided to make some fluorescent Tumble-dyed napkins which are great for any time of the year. And they’ll add a great punch of neon to your holiday dining table. And they’d look pretty darn cute alongside our Neon Stitched Tea Towels!
– painter’s tape
– alphabet stickers
Tumble Dye is easy to use. Unlike other material-dying techniques, there’s no need for boiling water and you won’t have blue stained hands for the next week. Hooray! This dye sprays right on, dries quickly, and washes off your hands (though not out of the material, don’t worry about that).
1. The Biker Napkin: We love bikes. We love fluorescent colors. This napkin is the best of both.
1. Place the bike stencil on top of the napkin.
2. Cover exposed part of the napkin with paper towels (or other scrap material).
3. Spray vertically with yellow Tumble Dye covering a third of the napkin.
4. Add a column of green covering the second third.
5. Move the stencil over .
6. Line up the last column of bikes with the first on the stencil .
7. Spray the last third with teal paint.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 until the napkin is covered in bikes.
When you place the stencil on the napkin, it can be helpful to tape it down so it doesn’t shift. Also, make sure you cover up the exposed parts of the napkin or you’ll wind up with a nice line from the edge of the stencil. You don’t want that! While spraying the dye, try to keep your hand at a consistent angle so that the dye doesn’t creep under the sides.
The dye will pool on the stencil, so be sure to blot it with a paper towel before moving the it. Continue to move the stencil around and spray the dye evenly.
Don’t the colors look awesome all mixed together? We think so.
2. The Plaid Napkin: Preppy patterns and neon? It’s like the ’80s exploded!
1. Line the napkin with painters tape in a plaid pattern.
2. Spray Tumble Dye filling each square with a color (we used three).
3. Let dye dry.
4. Peel tape!
We decided to coat these napkins with a lot of dye so that some of it would seep under the tape to achieve the look we wanted. Alternatively, you can lightly spray the dye which will create more of a spray painted look with more defined lines.
Really secure the tape onto the napkin before you start spraying. Then have at it with your colors. Since we are making a set, we stuck with fluorescent yellow, green, and teal. Then peel!
The most satisfying part is peeling the tape off of these babies. Don’t they look great?
3. The Lettered Napkin: We made two napkins; one that says “EAT” and one that says “YUM.” You know, just in case your guests don’t know what to do or think at the dinner table.
1. Decide which word you’d like to put on your napkin
2. Place letters making sure you put them where they’ll be seen when you fold the napkin
3. Spray around the letters with Tumble Dye
4. Let dry
5. Carefully peel off the letters
These are our favorite napkins – so cute with their single words and bursts of dye. You could easily cover the napkin in words, but we wanted to keep it simple.
Make sure you don’t spray too much dye on these guys or else the color will seep under the stickers. It’s important to have clean lines so that the words are legible.
Now that you’re a pro with the Tumble Dye, you can make tea towels, table runners or an apron. The possibilities are endless.
What will you try dyeing with Tumble Dye? Or any other dyes? Talk to us in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com