Nov 30, 2010

DIY Gift Bags

Okay, okay, I know these adorable DIY gift boxes were originally intended for Father's Day...but they would be so much fun to use for the holidays! There's a template involved so you can make it completely custom...but I think you could also make these from a store-bought gift bag, right? Just cut off the handle, snip a "V" shape into the top on either side and fold over to create the shirt part. Then add a bowtie. Ta-da!

Found via PaperCrave

Nov 29, 2010

Cute winter craft: Felt pinecones!

I found this pretty little project in the pages of Family Circle's December issue. I originally wasn't going to post it, because I thought that each individual bract was cut out--way too time consuming! But actually, the pinecone is made from little felt flowers, threaded onto a cut skewer. So much easier than I thought! I love the aqua/brown combo...Instructions (and template) are here.

Image via Family Circle

Nov 28, 2010

Wonder Woman-Inspired Apron Take 2

I forgot to show you this new version of my popular Wonder Woman-inspired apron, when I added to my Etsy shop. This one was actually the first version I designed, before I got carried away with sassy sweetheart necklines (which I still love, by the way). This one has more of a traditional baker's apron look, and quite frankly, looks alot like a dress when it's on. And it can be yours for $26. Hope you like!


Nov 24, 2010

A new twist on leaf votives

I had an idea to do a few votive candle cups wrapped in pretty autumn leaves (like this idea from Better Homes & Gardens, via CasaSugar) for my Thanksgiving table, but a glance outside tells me that I missed the boat on that whole "pretty autumn leaves" thing. The trees have nothing to offer up by pathetic little wisps of what used to be leaves. So, I pretty much forgot about that idea...until I saw this neat take on candle and leaf centerpieces, from Sunset Magazine. Though they used skeleton leaves (available here), I could see this working with the "exhausted" leaves that are currently available from the aforementioned trees.

Now, how to get them to stand up? You could secure each leaf to a skewer using a tiny bit of tape, then insert into a piece of Styrofoam. But then you'd have a big hunk of Styrofoam on your table. To cover that up, you can either paint it and cover the exposed sides with ribbon. Or, you can cover the foam (before you insert the leaves with something else), like artificial moss.

Image via Sunset Magazine

Nov 16, 2010

Inspiration: Cozy Rustic Kitchen

It's been raining for about two days straight now. Actually, raining isn't the right word...It's more like a dreary blanket of mist that envelopes everything, yet magically lifts at night, only to return right when I wake up. But anyway, this sort of weather has me longing to be curled up in a cozy kitchen, like the one above from Coastal Living. I usually don't go for a strong rustic look, but what I like here is the way the architects gave the kitchen island re-interpreted cabriole legs, painted white. It offers a jolt of modern style that lightens up the entire room. And it would be so easy to adapt this look to your home--just paint the legs of a table in a contrasting color. I'd even do it to a pedestal table, like Ikea's Liatorp model.

Image via Coastal Living

Nov 10, 2010

How to fix up a paper lantern lamp

This is such a great idea, courtesy of the lovely gals at Hambly Screenprints. They have the most adorable online shop filled with designer papers, overlays and other pretty little things. Here, they used a bunch of overlays to customize one of those ubiquitous Ikea paper lantern lamps. Just cut each sheet (I could imagine using tissue or any other sheer paper) to fit each side of the lamp, using glue dots to attach. More complete directions are here.

Image via the Hambly Screenprints Blog

Nov 9, 2010

For your Thanksgiving table: Leaf Placemats

Watching Martha Stewart's show always makes me feel a bit nervous (I think it's because of the newish format, with her trying to "learn" crafts from bloggers, or teach stars how to craft, too much tension there!) but occasionally she has a really simple idea that wins me over. Like these free-form leaf placemats. She simply cuts them from ultrasuede, which won't fray on you (so you won't have to fuss with hemming), but I'd use felt instead. It's also no-fray and much cheaper, so I wouldn't feel as bad throwing them out if they get stained. Expanded directions are here.

Image via Martha Stewart

Nov 8, 2010

Meet Miss November: The Apron

Here's the newest apron available in my etsy shop, which is from my Women of the Year line. Each month brings a new color combination along with a hand-embroidered award ribbon brooch. This month, of course, is Miss November! The design is handmade in chocolate and white broadcloth, accented with a gold silk ribbon sash. Each apron also comes with a surprise vintage cocktail recipe.

Nov 4, 2010

DIY Lattice Wall

Do you remember that lattice wall craze that had a moment in the early 90's? I distinctly remember this on the only two home shows that were on back then, the Christopher Lowell show and the Lynette Jennings show. The backing wall would almost always be painted hunter green and the lattice would be either left natural (if wood) or painted white (or they'd use that plastic version). Extra decor points would be added for an...artful...flourish of fake ivy at the end. Ooh, or stenciled ivy somewhere, that was also pretty big.

But anyway, here's a way, way more modern take on the lattice wall treatment, courtesy of Real Living magazine. (It's an Australian publication that looks a bit like Domino and has tons of ideas.) Here's the DIY instructions. It looks so nice when you paint the wall and lattice the same color, don't you think?

Despite all appearances, it's pretty easy to do. You'd just need a buddy to hold the thing up while you screw it into your wall, but everything else can be cut to your specifications at the Home Depot or whatever home center you frequent. I'd love to see this in an entryway--mostly because it would dramatically increase the storage space in that dump-and-go zone.

Photo via Real Living magazine's MSN page.

Nov 3, 2010

How to use pumpkins past Halloween

Found while I was searching for more ribbon crafts (I have way too many spools lying around my work area and need something to do with them, they're too pretty to throw out, but of course they take up much-needed space), this cute centerpiece idea from Good Housekeeping.

Some people get a little narrow-minded about pumpkins and completely associate them with Halloween. But come on, nothing says autumn like cute little pumpkins! These ribbon-trimmed pumpkins would be perfect right now and into Thanksgiving.

Image via Good Housekeeping.

Nov 2, 2010

Election Day Rosettes

I get unusually excited about performing my civic duty during November elections and end up lining up at the polls before they open. (Not easy for someone who usually has to be bribed with baked goods to wake up at daybreak.) And yes, I do decorate for the occasion if I have people over to watch the results. I mostly enjoy being able to use the red/white/blue colors during Autumn, which allows me to forget the dreary winter that is looming. These retro rosettes, via the Paper Source blog, would be perfect for this evening's festivities. They'd be nice hanging in a window, cinched around napkins or attached directly to the wall (as if you were hanging plates, if that makes any sense). Directions are here.

Image from Paper Source blog