Tag: Home Decor

Hanging a Lightweight Tapestry

A tapestry is technically defined as a thick piece of woven fabric, so a “lightweight” tapestry can’t really exist. I guess “wall hanging” would be more appropriate or maybe just “fabric I’m going to put on the wall”. I bought this batik dyed cotton wall hanging from Urban Outfitters:

Urban Outfitters

Possibly the dark colors were a mistake in the basement room I’m currently living in, but I loved the pattern, and it does feel cozy. I bought a 5 foot roll of adhesive backed Velcro similar to this stuff. If your tapestry is heavier weight or you want added security from pulling you could also buy sew-able Velcro and stitch it to the fabric. I took the easy route and just applied the Velcro tape to the top back of my fabric, after ironing all the creases out.

Read more

Thrift Store Round Up

I haven’t bought much at thrift stores lately. Working full-time has left me with minimal time to browse and space constraints means that even if I find something cool I don’t have anywhere to put it anyway! However, in the last 4 months or so I have still managed to find some things:

Overgrown Quarry by William Thon (1906-2000) an abstract lithograph, check out his biography from The Caldwell Gallery.

Lithograph Thon

I would love to re-frame it eventually, I don’t think the brown mat is doing much for it. It’s hanging across from my headboard, so I see it very often. The abstract-ness of the cracked leaf-vein like patterns have worn off and now I see very defined trees and the walls of the quarry, and the cuts into the rock.

Lithograph Thon 1


Read more

Room Tour: My Studio/Office/Closet

I’ve shown a couple of the projects in my back room/studio/closet/office (I have trouble labeling this room) before… The scarf wall, and my simple closet updates. However, I don’t think I’ve ever posted a look at the whole room. I happened to clean up all of my half finished projects today so it was the perfect time to show it off. Lets start with my favorite wall which is what you see when you walk in the door:

My Studio

Read more

Sewing a Simple Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial

As promised, here is my pillow cover tutorial. I made my first cover late at night and the pictures kinda suck so I made this pretty infograph to illustrate the process a bit clearer:

How to Sew a Pillow Cover

My pillow inserts were loosely measured at 17 x 14:

Sew a Pillow Cover

I cut the new fabric out of green velvet, that I either got from my grandma or possibly it was a remnant from Joanns.

Sew a Pillow Cover

Read more

Washing Down Pillow Inserts

As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on filling my sofa with throw pillows. The inspiration is this picture off a paint sample brochure:

Couch Inspiration

I love just about everything in these photos. I have a couple ugly pillows I want to cover but I will need some new ones too. I’ve been looking around online and there are hundreds and hundreds of throw pillow ideas floating around. So I created this board on Pinterest, which is all the tutorials for interesting pillow covers I could find/liked. I’m still adding to it so go check it out! I’m going to be doing a series on making different pillow covers. I also want to set myself the challenge to make all of the covers with supplies I already have.

First things first though: the inserts. I prefer down inserts, which can be expensive from craft stores, but very cheap from thrift stores. They are generally disguised in terrible pillow covers like these were:

Down Pillow Inserts

They were $2 a piece, and inside these hideous covers:

Ugly Pillow Covers

It’s easy to clean down pillows. First check to make sure the cover has no rips or tears, and is strong enough to take the machine. If the feathers can get out they will get everywhere and the insert will be ruined. If you aren’t sure wash the insert inside a larger zippered pillowcase to contain any feather explosions. Use a gentle cycle and mild detergent. To dry the inserts can take a couple of hours. They can be laid outside in the sun or put in the dryer. Adding some clean tennis balls to the dryer will help keep the pillows fluffy.

Get your inserts ready because the next post will be how to sew a simple cover! If you don’t do thrift stores or are impatient, check Target or Home Goods clearance section for cheap pillows with nice inserts.

Copper and Rope Hanging Planter Tutorial

I had these lovely Epipremnum aureums (Golden Pothos) in hanging pots but nowhere nice to hang them. The hook in the ceiling is too dated for my taste.

PothosSo I came up a copper and rope hanger for them! To make your own you will need:

Supplies for Copper Rope Planter Hanger

Rope, copper pipe, copper end caps, copper brackets, thin hemp rope to bind the ends of the large rope (that’s whats pictured but I ended up using heavy duty black thread for color contrast), screws and anchors for the ceiling, hooks to hang the pots from (or you could slide the hanging pot right onto the pipe), and the planted hanging pots you want to hang. Everything I used is from Home Depot, except the hooks and pots which are from IKEA.

Read more

Home Decor Trend: Birdcages

I’ve been seeing tons of birdcages all over the home decor world. Hobby Lobby has a whole aisle of non-functional shabby chic ones, Restoration Hardware has chandelier encased in birdcage lights ($2,600-$3,600):

From around the blog-sphere from left to right a DIY hanging plant holder birdcage from Curate and Display, a sweet little candle and birdcage combo from Crafts by Amanda, and a Restoration Hardware DIY look alike light fixture from All Things Thrifty.

 Glitter Candles in a Bird Cage @amandaformaro Crafts by Amanda mantle, sign, chandelier 078

I found this birdcage at my favorite ARC:Thrift Store BirdcageI think it might actually be a real birdcage, you know for birds. It has a working door, a perch and hinged bottom. I haven’t really got a place or project in mind yet, I love the look of the plant holder Curate and Display made, the color is lovely! Maybe a desktop lamp with an Edison bulb inside… I’ll have to wait for a greater surge of inspiration. What do you think? Do you love the birdcage look, think they’re fussy, or think they need a bird inside to be worth having in a home?

A New Sofa and a Fortuitous Wall Art Find

A while back I saw a crazy barrel shaped couch and love seat set on Craigslist. After taking a while to decide finally, that the reaction I had to them was love and not hate, we bought them. However they really weren’t cutting it in the new sitting room:

Old Sofa Set fix

Way too big and bulky, although a unique set and quite comfy for watching TV. Soooo we bought a much more proportional sofa a few days ago. Again I was browsing Craigslist, and this little mid century gem had just about everything on my wishlist, wood frame, light colored upholstery, and minimalist lines.

New Couch fix

Read more

Plywood Tulip Wall Art

Have you checked out Vintageprintable.com? It’s a very cool site full of images in the public domain. The moment I saw this tulip picture from “The Great Tulip Book” published in 1640:


I knew I had to use it as inspiration for some type of wall art. When we moved into our new house there was tons of scrap wood in the basement, I found a nice big piece of plywood, gave it an once over with some 220 sandpaper and started outlining my flower:

Tulip 1 finished

Read more

Scarf Storage Wall

I have tons of scarves and it’s always been hard storing them effectively. Folding results in creases and having them out of sight means I never remember to wear one anyway. For the past couple of years I have had them on my letterpress jewelry trayScarve OldBut the longer they hung on the hooks the more wrinkled they got. When I’m about to leave and decide to throw a scarf on there is no chance I’m going to take the time to steam the one I wanted. So on the empty wall of my project/dressing room I decided to make a hanging scarf storage system. Here is the wall before:

Scarve 1 fixed Read more

Brass Light Fixture Terrarium

Not so long ago I bought a Selaginella Emmeliana, even though I knew they were hard to care for. Here is a picture of one, looking deceptively low maintenance.

He lived in my bathroom where he would get plenty of humidity, and for a few weeks he looked fantastic. Then all the edges of those lush fronds began to turn brown and my research lead me to believe that he required even more humidity than I was providing. Which began my search for terrariums. Terrariums have been super popular in home decor lately. I love these geometric ones from Restoration Hardware:

Faceted Glass Terrarium

After some searching I found this post from Sugar Sugar House in which they created a terrarium out of an old brass light fixture. I went to a few local thrift stores and was lucky enough to find this one the same day:

Brass 1 fixed

Read more

In Progress: Kitchen Storage

Since Matt and I moved into our townhouse last August, we have been struggling to make the kitchen work. It’s small, it’s got exactly one, really useable conveniently placed cabinet, and it’s ugly. To stretch our poor cabinet space, I bought a server to sit in the kitchen and house appliances and little used dish-ware. Here it is right after I brought it home:

Even with the server, the storage in the kitchen still lacked. So we decided to put up some shelving. We used two 4 feet by 12 inch boards, stained them and hung them with utility brackets.

The storage jars are from IKEA, you can see my labeling project here. We also added hooks under the shelves for mug storage:

Here is the mugs on the upper shelf, which I added later:

For now seldom used glassware on the top shelf, dry goods in the middle with the glasses and baking goods in jars on top of the server. All the plates are in the server and the bowls are on top. I’d like to do some more rearranging to this system, but for now it works great. I love having dry goods out to see, so much easier to plan meals and snacks.

Another Round of…

I went to the thrift store today looking for some specific stuff for our new house, furniture, and some small stuff like jars and picture frames. I did find three jars that worked but no furniture. I am always shocked how much thrift stores want for picture frames, I think it would be cheaper/easier to buy them new. I did find a couple other items worth taking home:

A stack of what internet research tells me are Wildlife Treasury Cards.

When I was growing up there was something similar, little booklets about animals you could subscribe to. They would send you one for free with a bunch of information on collecting (paying) more, so I had the one about tigers. These cards were all printed in the late 70’s, and apparently there are over a thousand different cards to collect. (Source)


The stack I bought has over 200 cards, with no repeats (that I have found). I think they are going to look great hanging up covering a wall… pending a green light from my husband to geek up the house. I think it would be a high impact very low-cost display. My only question is: which side, picture or text?

On one hand showing the picture sides would be a colorful, eye-popping, attention-getting installation, but on the other hand I love reading the information on the back plus a large display of text would be easier to work into a room. At the whopping cost of a dollar fifty, whatever I do with them will certainly be cost-effective.

I also bought this very feminine shabby chic little mirror:

It was only three dollars and on the back someone wrote this:

When you look in this Mirror… Don’t ask for beauty, it is not truth. Don’t see what Dorian saw don’t cry out like Kurtz or shatter like Donne. Paint a picture like Leo, or Rembrandt or Rafael put Vasavi to shame You make Mic look like Ike.

I tried to google it to see if it was from something but I didn’t find anything… and I am not entirely sure what they were trying to say anyway.

Side note: It is very difficult to take a picture of a mirror without having the reflection ruin the shot. I took a hundred pictures trying to get just one that didn’t have part of my hand or the trash can reflected in it.

Soda Can Topped Box

One day after polishing off a delicious can of Dr. Pepper I got to thinking about the shiny metal it’s made of. So like anyone with time on their hands would do I cut one open. It resulted in the lovely box you see before you.

The easiest way I found to cut a soda can open is to:

1. drink it, rinse it out

2. slice into the top where the cylindrical body joins with the curved top with an expo knife

3. insert scissors into the hole and cut the top off

4. cut down the side in a straight line to the bottom curved section

5. cut off the bottom

6. flatten out the metal rectangle

For the top of the box I decided to use small squares that I could arrange. The metal varies in color slightly with each can so I cut up several to make a pleasing collage. To stick them to the box top I use satin pins (used for sewing). I started in the middle of the box and using pliers and a small hammer stuck the metal square to the box with a pin at each corner. To finish the edges I cut strips of thick cardboard, painted black and pinned them to the box as well.

To hide the pins on the inside of the box top I bent each pin flat and glued a piece of cardboard over it. Lastly I covered the inside with a cool patterned piece of scrapbook paper.

I love the texture the metal top gives to this otherwise plain box. Right now we use it as a catch all for cards, keys and change. To make it more functional one day I will add some dividers, and change out the lining (I don’t like the paper pattern, but I had it on hand and I really wanted to finish the project that day :))

Paper Roll Wall Art

I saw this great idea on Design Sponge, but they were featuring it off a very cool little blog called Growing Up Creative. This is such a pretty, organic looking piece of wall art you would never guess all you need to make it sitting in your bathroom right now (or I hope so.)Simple save your toilet paper, paper towel, or wrapping paper tubes until you have enough to begin. Cut them into equal sized pieces, arrange them however (I think these look best when glued together as to mimic a growing plant) and then glue them together.

For my version I used hot glue so I didn’t have to wait long for each section it to dry, and gave it a very light coat of black spray paint. I love how much texture this is gives to the wall, and will probably expand it once I decide where to tack it up permanently. I think it would look very cool as a large wall covering over a sofa or sideboard. Also with this project the possibility are endless just like they said on Growing Up Creative, you could staple one together with your kids a craft project or take it all the way to a permanent artistic fixture in your home like I did.

Calendar Art

Definitely not an original idea examples here, here and one that takes it to another level here, but this is my take on it. I loved this calendar when it was on the wall and at the end of the year I couldn’t throw it away. The picture frames are from Michaels, I bought frames that I thought were all a deep cherry color, but one was either another color or a severe discoloration. You would think I would notice that before purchasing but I didn’t and ended up painted all the frames black instead. The mats are just acid-free poster board, when we buy a house here in CO I think I might liven up the b&w prints with colored mats instead.

Faux Picture Frame Molding

I am stuck in stasis without a house, so I’ve been going through all the pictures of project I have on my computer instead of starting anything new. Here is a really simple but elegant wall treatment I did awhile back to our rental house in Portage, WI. A simple and cheap alternative to traditional picture frame molding done with paint.

Here is a good example of what you can do with the real deal. My version just uses painters tape, a yardstick, a pencil and two colors of paint. I painted the walls this pretty cream color then, I measured out three inches from the wall or window on all sides and marked with a pencil. I then taped the stripes out, coated again in the cream to take care of any bleed through and then painted the brown. The stripes look very dark in the picture but they are really a deep coffee brown.

Only thing I would have done differently is the top of the arch, you can barely see it on the top left of this picture. I didn’t attempt to create a curved line following the top of the arch, it ended up looking a bit unfinished with the rest of the room. Anyway it was a great look for our front room since we didn’t have much furniture… notice the empty shelf. Sophisticated, something to draw your eyes, inexpensive and since we were renting very easy to get ride of.