This is a blog for Coastal Design Studio but there is a human behind it who has a life full of ups and downs like the rest of us.

I have been quiet with my business for the past several weeks and wanted to share why. My father was diagnosed with brain cancer back in February. Since I received that phone call, I have been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions - making focusing 100% of my time and energy on Coastal nearly impossible. Life seemed to go on for a while until it all started setting in. Cancer was never a thing in my family until now. And now that my Dad has cancer, it is like we all have cancer. We are all going to fight this horrible thing together!

Let me talk a little bit about my Dad. He is an amazing father of 3 (to Myself, my sister Corey and my brother Kyle). When I was born, my Dad joined the NYC fire department while also running his own construction company.

He is the most fearless, aligned, ridiculously smart and go-with-the-flow kind of dude out there. I know so many people call their father their hero, but how cool is it that my dad actually is a hero?! He is my go-to person when I need help with life and always knows that right thing to say to calm me down and help me through anything. My dad worked his way up to lieutenant in the fire department and his business was very successful. Life was picture perfect for me growing up. He truly made my childhood amazing.

On September 11th, 2001, my Dad’s and my whole families lives had changed forever. I don’t know much about his experiences that day and I don’t blame him for not wanting to tell me a single thing.

I’m taking about 9/11 because there is a strong correlation between my fathers type of cancer and the chemicals he breathed in during that day. He, along with hundreds of others have taken years to develop these horrendous cancers that are wreaking havoc on the lives of hundreds if not thousands of families who have endured the same as mine.

It is the last thing my father deserves. He has been through more than anyone ever should in their lifetime. My father has handled his situation with his same courage and grace that he does with any other issue in his life. Watching how he handles cancer has been nothing short of inspirational.

With all of this going on, I’m sure its easier to see why I have been quiet lately. Coastal Design Studio was a commitment I made to myself, and subconsciously may have been my way of showing my Dad that I want to be just like him - a self starter and a goal crusher.

At the end of the day, Coastal Design Studio is secondary to my family’s health and my own health. Moving forward, my Dad will be going through treatment and spending time with him will be my main priority. The business side of life does not have emotions and it will be a long and difficult road for me when it comes to meeting all of the needs and responsibilities I signed up for when I started this business.

I have faith that it will all work out, especially with the love and support from this amazing community!

Cara Bev
Dollar Store DIY

What’s up guys - today I want to share one of my big secrets / guilty pleasures - the DOLLAR STORE.

I am not slightly exaggerating when I say I go to the dollar store minimum 2 times a week. It is my go-to spot when I need basic art stuff. I feel like most people are unaware of the variety at dollar stores because they usually go there needing one specific thing and are in and out in a rush. But when you take the time to walk around the dollar store you’ll notice there is soooo much stuff you could use for so many projects!!!

If you know me personally you know I am always on the hunt for a bargain… I am a HUGE fan of going on craigslist’s free section / facebook marketplace or just driving around on trash day to see what furniture/things people are throwing out. That sounds kind of gross and creepy as I type it out but I promise you they weren’t lying when they said one mans trash is another man’s treasure… I will definitely make a blog post about how I flip thrift store/ garbage furniture one day because that is a HUGE thing in my life right now especially as I am trying to find furniture/ storage to fill my new studio with!

Back to my dollar store obsession… Wine glasses, mason jars, sandpaper, glue, t-shirts, paint brushes, rope, yarn… you can literally find anything at your local dollar store (as long as it is well managed and stocked). I’ve definitely been to some nasty dollar stores but I am blessed to have such a well organized one in my town. (shout out Dollar Tree in Gloucester).

What i’m saying is sometimes there is no need to fall victim to the expensive craft store traps. I love a good trip to Michaels but 75% of the time I can find what i’m looking for at Michaels right at the dollar store!!


So one of my favorite Dollar Store DIY’s right now is mason jar terrariums! And they literally cost me $4 to make!!! (disclaimer not all dollar stores carry the same supplies so if you don’t see one of these items at your dollar store then just hop over to another nearby one and i’m sure they will carry it!)


  1. Mason Jar ($1)

  2. Bag of Craft Rocks (yes… $1)

  3. Fake succulent (so surprised / excited to find these at the dollar store)

  4. Twine (you guessed it….$1)

A whopping grand total of $4


This may be the cutest / cheapest / easiest DIY project you ever do and I feel like I don’t even need to write out the steps because its pretty self explanatory..but here it is!

  1. Fill your mason jar with your craft rocks (about halfway)

  2. place fake succulent(s) in the jar

  3. Wrap the twine around the lip of the mason jar a few times and finish with a bow (you can lock it in place with some hot glue if you stink at tying neat bows like me)

  4. Done! easy peasy!

(FYI this is not my photo… I am just on vacation right now and not home to take pictures of mine.. oops sorry guys).

(not my photo)

(not my photo)

So that mason jar terrarium is obviously a little more complex… but honestly I have occasionally seen fake moss at the dollar store. You could even run to the beach and add some sand if you wanted to get that layered look like the ones in the picture!

When it comes to the dollar store its all about the thrill in finding cheap stuff to make expensive-looking crafts! These little mason jar terrariums are just one of the thousands of ideas you can come up with by just walking through a few aisles and opening a couple bucks!

Hope this inspires you to go check out your local dollar store and save some money on craft supplies. Can’t wait to so another dollar store DIY blog and show up what I craft up next!



Cara Bev
Creating with Cricut

Hey everyone!

While any Cricut machine is an investment, there is an endless world of crafting possibilities that opens up when you buy one! Getting my first Cricut machine is what really started my journey with Coastal Design Studio. For those who are not familiar with Cricut- they create die-cutting machines that work with Cricut software allowing you to cut/print out any shape, image or text you desire! You can cut a wide variety of materials- from card stock to vinyl to leather!

If you are into crafting, I highly suggest checking out what Cricut has to offer- Click Here to visit their website!

Here are some things I created using my Cricut machine:

As you can probably notice… wood signs, t-shirts and decals are my top 3 favorite things to make lately. I am hoping the future brings me some more free time in which I can explore other possibilities using my Cricut!

It is so fun to think of all of the things you could make- and the best part is that Cricut even has their own design space software which comes fully loaded with all types of designs and step-by-step craft ideas for you to follow along with!

I am always posting my latest Cricut creations on my instagram page! Follow me to check out what i’ve been up to.

When the studio opens up in June, I will be scheduling classes that involve the use of my Cricut machine- such as custom t-shirt classes, wood sign classes and much more! Check out what we will offer on the website.

Thanks for reading guys - keep crafting!



Cara Bev
Intro to Coastal ~

Hey! Welcome to Coastal Design Studio’s blog!

First of all- I am SO EXCITED to announce I will be opening a studio in downtown Gloucester, MA this JUNE! I will be planning an opening day event so stay tuned!

I am hoping to use this blog every week to share my inspiration and the latest trends in the crafting world and also as a way to document the in’s and out’s of what goes down at Coastal Design Studio.

Hi! My name is Cara Bevilacqua- I am 23 years old and just moved from New York to Gloucester, MA this passed October. I graduated a year ago with a degree in Art Education. I went down the path to become an art teacher, but something was driving me to do my own thing. So, against all of my family’s advice (sorry mom), I quit my job, started nannying and hosting paint nights at a local restaurant in town.

An entrepreneurial spirit runs in my family so I guess it was natural that I decided to step it up from here. Just a couple paint nights here and there wasn't really cutting it for me so I went ahead and signed a lease for an art studio right in the heart of this beautiful town. Starting a business is always a risk, but its a risk I am willing to take in order to pursue my dream and share the joy of crafting with with community!

I dream to use this space as a place for the community to gather and make great memories and crafts that they will actually love and use. (Not just crappy paintings you make while drinking cheap wine and just end up taking up space in your closet.) ((No judgement - I am never one to say no to a good paint night here and there.)) What I am saying is there’s so much more to being crafty that just paint on a canvas!! And I know it is intimidating to take on DIY crafts on your own… which is why I am going to make it so easy (and affordable!) for you!

The studio will be a space for friends to have a fun night out, for kids to have birthday parties, for mothers and daughters to craft their wedding decorations together, for experienced artists to showcase their skills and SO much more. The possibilities are truly endless and I am always open for suggestions along the way. A little something for everyone will be offered at Coastal.

Coastal Design Studio is different because I am always striving to stay on top of the latest trends in crafting. It’s not just a job to me- it’s my lifestyle, and what I would be doing even if this business did not exist! I wake up every day and think to myself- what can I make today that I didn’t make yesterday. Or what can I make today that sparks joy in my life. That joy is the driving force behind this business.

I can not WAIT to share that with you.