As the holidays inch ever closer, I bet you’re ready for another crafty gift wrap idea, right? Well, I’ve got you covered with two (easy!) ideas for doily gift wrap that are oh-so-feminine to complement the dude-tastic gift wrap I shared last week.
BTW, if you haven’t already jumped on the brown-Kraft-paper-as-gift-wrap train, I recommend you hop on at the next station. Simply put, it is the bomb. Inexpensive and available year-round (I buy mine at the dollar store), the thick paper makes crisp corners and the neutral color works with any embellishments. For me, it’s the perfect year-round gift wrap and I always keep a few rolls on hand.
What are the holidays without a little sparkle? After wrapping the gift in Kraft paper, I glammed-up a paper doily by coating it with spray adhesive (like Super 77), then dusting the still-wet glue with glitter. Once the glue had dried, I attached the doily to the package with glue dots to prevent it from shifting when I added the ribbon. As a final touch, I tied on one of the glittery pinecones I made for my salvaged molding/evergreen bough and added a few self-adhesive rhinestones for extra glitz.
Or, you can skip the Kraft paper and just wrap a paper doily around a pretty box. I used glue dots to secure the doily’s edges then wrapped the box with yarn and tied on a pom-pom. These are soo cute and soo easy to make, learn how to craft one yourself below.
Step 1: Wrap yarn around your fingers a dozen or so times. The more times you wrap it, the fuller the pom-pom will be.
The holidays are sneaking up on us fast! Hanukkah began this weekend and Christmas will be here in less than 2 weeks. If you’re like me, you’re in gift wrapping crunch mode.
Honestly, wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays but wrapping guys’ gifts can be tough — the trick is to keep them seasonal and masculine. For my mens’ gifts this year, that means this awesome blue plaid ribbon (love!) and handy-dandy, works-with-anything Kraft paper.
Another Kraft paper bonus: Thanks to its thickness, you can paint it without rippling the paper. So for Grant’s gift, I painted on a chalkboard gift tag then topped it with a blue plaid ribbon rose (in honor of his bowtie obsession) and a sparkly snowflake ornament.
Step 1: I planned to add the ribbon rose on one side and have the chalkboard tag take up most of the remaining space so I first taped on a band of ribbon to determine the tag’s placement. Next I used a ruler to mark out a rectangle, leaving the corners unmarked. To round the tag’s corners, I sketched around a small tin then erased any pencil marks that wouldn’t be covered by the chalkboard paint.
As you guys know, I love a good estate sale. One of my favorite places to search for treasures is the garage — but I’m not looking for tools. I’m on a quest to find broken bits with potential — like drawers, keys or old knobs that have been separated from their original piece of furniture or vintage harps, finials or other electrical hardware — essentially anything with character that I think I can repurpose.
A few months ago, I discovered a 4-foot board with a carved detail along the top and beautiful raised acanthus leaves at either end. The seller found it in a barn and had no idea how old it was or whether it once framed an elaborate doorway or was part of a long piece of furniture, like a buffet. The white paint was crazed and chipping – just how I like it. The seller seemed shocked that I even wanted a beat-up old board so he priced it low – 2 whole dollars. Originally, my plan was to strip all the paint and stain it but once I had removed the chipped paint and sanded it smooth, I decided to leave it as-is.
Topped with glittered pinecones, blue Spruce and holly boughs, my found molding makes a beautiful, rustic swag above the entry to my kitchen:
Here you can see the acanthus leaf detail on the ends — pretty, right?! Totally worth a dusty, dirty scavenger hunt in the wood pile.
Etiquette experts agree that the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December are the best times for mailing Christmas cards — giving friends and family plenty of time to display and enjoy your thoughtful holiday greetings.
While I can’t say that I’m always that organized, I certainly do enjoy receiving cards — especially when they’re handmade.
I mean, who wouldn’t love opening this oh-so-trendy card with a three-dimensional effect? Just print out our attached templates to make assembling this card a snap:
What would the holidays be without a little snow? Send warm-climate friends and family an interactive holiday shaker card with a magical falling-snow effect:
Yep, it’s snuck up on you — tomorrow is the big day — Thanksgiving! Don’t panic, you can still put together a show-stopping centerpiece using materials you can pick up at the grocery store or find in your own backyard.
Soooo pretty, this arrangement gets its punch by contrasting colors. Hit the floral aisle to select blooms in complementary colors, like dark red and bright green. Here, we used burgundy cockscomb, dahlias and calla lilies paired with chartreuse spider mums and lotus seed pods:
No flowers needed; head outdoors to gather long bare branches for a sculptural statement:
It’s just 1 week till Thanksgiving — is your dining room ready for the big event? If not, don’t worry, there’s still time for a guest-impressing makeover. From disguising a past-its-prime dining table to an easy way to give stock white plates a high-end look — we’ve got you covered with five easy project ideas, each with complete step-by-step instructions.
A plain white tablecloth is great for covering up a scratched or discolored tabletop. For a sophisticated look, stitch on a row or two of ruffled burlap or linen:
Enlist help from the kids to glue real or silk fall leaves onto fishing line to create a magical falling-leaf effect over the dining table or buffet:
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of finding new uses for old things. I’m the person you see huddled in a corner at an estate sale turning an object this way and that, brow furrowed, envisioning what it could be used for. Take this old wooden toolbox. It was filthy – as all great estate sale finds are — filled with rusty, old screws and nails and only partially painted yellow. A thick layer of dust covered both the box and its contents so it definitely had some age and looked to be sturdily hand-constructed.
I knew it would make a great magazine rack and I knew I had to have it:
Other uses I considered: Filling the 3 compartments with potted herbs in my kitchen; using it to hold rolled towels in a bathroom; or as a caddy for organizing craft or gift wrap supplies.
The $8 price tag seemed fair for its condition — dust, rusty nails and all. Once home, I dumped out the metal bits then gave it a good once-over with the vacuum. I then sanded all the surfaces to remove loose bits of peeling yellow paint and smooth the rough areas. Then, I stained it with an oil-based wood stain (Minwax Early American). BTW, I only use oil-based stains. I know some people swear by water-based because there are less fumes and the dry time is much quicker, but I’ve found that wood better accepts oil-based stains resulting in a richer, deeper color and less streaking.
Upon closer inspection, the toolbox is a mishmash of materials: the end pieces are pine, the sides are beadboard and the handle – I think — once belonged on a broom. You can see in the photo below how the mismatched woods took the stain differently, which for me, just adds to its vintage charm:
So, tell us in the comments below, how have you repurposed items in your home?
Okay, so I know today is Halloween — and believe me, I thought about sharing more Halloween craftiness; but unless you’re looking for pumpkin-carving templates (here and here) or cocktail recipes, the All-Hallows ship has pretty much sailed.
But, in just three weeks (yes, only 3 weeks!) friends and family will be ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, if you haven’t started working on your Turkey Day decorations yet, now’s the time.
Start by putting leftover Halloween decorations to good use. Give faux pumpkins a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with trendy upholstery fabrics:
Turn a canvas dropcloth into a custom-fitted dining chair slipcover, perfect if you need to visually unify mismatched chairs:
Halloween is sneaking up on you fast (only 1 week left!) but don’t worry, we’ve got 23 printable (and free!) templates to make throwing a party, spooking up your front yard, treating your favorite ghouls and ghosties and perfecting your pumpkin relatively painless.
Start with our templates and instructions for creepy outdoor cut-outs:
Get the party started with our printable party favors, like this princess crown:
The HGTV.com team recently visited High Point Furniture Market to rub elbows with the design world’s movers-and-shakers and take the pulse of what’s to come. After several days of (blissful!) interior design saturation, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that antiques are HOT! Think mid-day-sun-baking-asphalt-in-the-middle-of-the-Mojave-desert hot. To capitalize on the trend, most showrooms had a curated, collected-over-time look that mixed their newly-manufactured products with a few vintage-inspired pieces.
Traditional furniture and accessories have always been a Market mainstay. Reproductions of everything from heavily ornamented Louis XVI settees to pale Gustavian commodes have never really gone out of style; but at this Market they were joined by the real deal: centuries-old case goods, lighting, classical sculpture, architectural salvage and quirky, one-of-a-kind accessories.
Here are just a few of the goodies I spied at Market; unfortunately, most of these gems are available only to the trade so I couldn’t include links — hit local antique shops or online sites like V&M, 1stdibs or Ruby Lane to search for similar items.
*burled wood chest: Luisana Designs *early American ship’s compass: Design Legacy
*iron basket pendants: Bobo Intriguing Objects *carnival chick: Design Legacy
When it comes to Halloween pumpkins, I think many of you out there will agree with me when I say that faux can be fabulous. Oh, I know, there are always pumpkin purists who like the squishy sensation of pumpkin innards oozing through their fingertips (You know who you are!) or prefer the look of a real pumpkin or choose real so they can roast the seeds — tasty recipe here, btw — but my personal choice is faux.
Why, you ask? Because, quite honestly, I am a project-aholic. At any given time, I have too many projects started and not enough time to finish them all, so when I buckle down and take the time to bling out a pumpkin, I want my hard work to be displayable for many years to come.
If you’re like me, our Halloween feature is hooking you up with lots of creative ideas for faux pumpkins. Here are 5 of my faves:
For a sophisticated look, add a trendy silhouette:
Coordinate your Halloween decorations to your decor by using scraps of leftover fabric for these decoupage pumpkins:
Shorter days and a crisp chill in the air certify that summer truly has come to an end. Now’s a great time to break out the cozy throws and warm up your home’s decor with a few fall touches.
Take a cue from designer Sarah Richardson and fill vintage vases with autumn-hued flowers:
For many of us, fall also signals the beginning of the holiday entertaining season — Halloween
celebrations are coming up fast. Get ready for the impending arrival of holiday guests by sprucing up areas of your home where guests gather, like the foyer
Image courtesy of Thibaut.
Three weeks ago, I shared ideas for outdoor Halloween decorations. With just a month till the big day, it’s time to move it inside. I’ve gathered 4 spooktacular projects to get you started, and best of all these are projects you can knock out this weekend.
Get the kids to help create these cute mini bat pumpkins:
Whip up a spider web pillow:
If you’ve been checking out the other photos of my house (here, here and here), then you’ve noticed that my style is pretty traditional. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it suits me to, well, a T.
For years, as I hit estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores looking for traditional items to fill my first home, a classical bust was at the top of my wishlist, but their high price tags meant I always went home bust-less. So I was thrilled to find this one at an estate sale for the bargain-basement price of….wait for it….50 cents! Yep, that’s right, it was tagged $1 and, as this was the sale’s last day, they had marked everything half price. Best of all, she represents my favorite Greco/Roman deity: Artemis (aka Diana), mythology’s original wild woman — goddess of the hunt, chastity, childbirth, the moon and protector of women.
My bust is plaster and therefore very fragile, hence the long (character-adding) crack across her cheek:
A plaster bust is the least expensive option. My friend and fellow traditionalist, Grant, one-upped me last weekend and scored this lovely pair of bisque (or unglazed) porcelain busts at an estate sale for only $20:
One of the really great things about my job is the chance to preview new products before they make it to stores. Usually it’s a candle or pillow but every now and again it’s something unexpected but totally fun — like these pet costumes from Target!
While I don’t exactly plan on taking my pups trick-or-treating, I couldn’t resist dressing them up for fun. Target’s expanded their already (super!) adorable selection for 2012 so if you haven’t considered decking out your dog before – this may be the year.
Here’s my little girl, Sophie, modeling one of the new costumes that just hit the shelves. She’s a 3-year old Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle) and, as you can tell, she’s pretty jazzed to be mommy’s little piggy:
Not to be outdone, Madeline, my 9-year-old Bichon Frise, strutted her stuff as a cheerleader:
Alright, it’s countdown time people. Just 8 weeks until Halloween; it’s time to get a jump on making outdoor decorations. You’re in luck because I’ve gathered 4 killer projects, with accompanying printable templates, so you can haunt your home in style.
You could let your yard go to the birds with our Giant Raven Cut-Out:
Or give trick-or-treaters a fright with our Life-Size (Well, at least Afterlife-Size) Gauzy Ghost:
As I’ve mentioned before: I love antiques but, in particular, my heart skips a beat when I see European antiques — French finds in particular. Years ago, I discovered a gilt Rococo-inspired wall clock at a flea market. The clock face looked to be from the ’60s but the surrounding frame was hand-carved wood with applied gold leaf and appeared to be much older. At the time, I lived in Los Angeles and really had no use for it so it languished, forgotten, in my parents’ North Carolina basement for a decade until I rediscovered it. And, let me tell you, it was a very happy reunion indeed. I had recently purchased a round needlepoint of violets at an estate sale without a frame. Once I popped out the ’60s clock, I thought the Rococo frame and sweet, little needlepoint would make a happy pair.
And so they did:
Let me start by saying that I have the best daddy in the world. Yes, I said “daddy.” I’m a Southerner through-and-through and that’s what we call our fathers — especially the doting, do-anything-for-their-kids type. There’s no home-improvement project he can’t conquer and I’m proud to say that I inherited my can-do gene from him.
My 1950′s kitchen has seen quite a few upgrades in the five years I’ve owned my home but the backsplash has always seemed lacking. So this summer, I decided the time had finally come to install a tile backsplash. Because I like to go big, I chose marble subway tile — fragile, costly, moisture-sensitive Carrara marble. Probably not the best choice for my first tiling project, but that’s how I roll.
My parents made the drive from North Carolina so my Dad could teach me the ways of the force while I did my research and sourced all the materials we’d need so we could knock it out in a long weekend.
Before: Not bad but it could be better. The paint color is Valspar Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, if you’re wondering:
See The After Shots
When searching for my current home (my first!), I had a pretty long list of must-haves: a fireplace, crown molding, hardwood floors, a fenced-in yard for my pups and an en-suite bath for myself. I also wanted a foyer — a separate antechamber with enough room for an entry table and a few decorations plus a closet for hidden storage. Well, as is true of many first-time homebuyers, I got most of the things on my list but something had to give. You guessed it: I didn’t get a foyer; the front door opens directly into my living room. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.
Luckily my living room is pretty big (15′ x 21′) so I just designated a 6′ x 10′ area to use as a foyer:
All over the country, kids are headed back to school — a reminder that fall and then the holidays are coming up fast. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start your Christmas crafting. To help you deck the halls with handmade goodies, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite Christmas crafts.
French for shadow or shade, ombré continues to top the must-try trends for both fashion and interior design. Which is good news because these Ombré Felt Trees are too cute to miss: