Have you ever found yourself with a collection of clothing or knickknacks that you can’t throw away but have absolutely no use for? For me, that collection (one of many, actually) is a colorful assortment of men’s ties given to me by my grandfather. I couldn’t stand to see them go, but since you can only dress up as Avril Lavigne (circa 2002) for so many Halloweens, I was desperate to find a new use for them. Thanks to a brilliant reader suggestion, I began searching for new ways to use old ties. And man, did I find some goodies!
Most of my finds dealt with repurposing ties for jewelry or other accessories, but this imaginative tie wreath from Good Housekeeping would be the perfect craft for anyone (and any season!).
This useful tie clutch would be an ideal project for someone with a few extra ties and some skill with the sewing machine. What a great way to add a masculine print to a feminine look!
More Men’s Tie Crafts
There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than some delicious, cold ice cream. It just so happens the time we most want this decadent treat is also the time we most want to fit into our bathing suits. That poses a problem. Luckily, this fantastic Yonanas ice cream maker gives us the taste of ice cream without those pesky excess calories. Just put in frozen bananas or other frozen fruits, and it makes fresh, sweet soft serve. And it’s actually good for you!
WANT MORE COOL TREATS? CHECK OUT THESE YUMMY COCKTAIL RECIPES>>
The heat is up, the schools are out, and I am so ready for a trip to the beach. Unfortunately, my vacation is still weeks away. At least I can pretend I’m on an island getaway with this unique coastal driftwood spoon set. Maybe I was inspired by Allie’s Driftwood Crafts, but there is something about these spoons that I just adore.
What do you think? Are these sea-worthy spoons calling your name?
Last Wednesday, I spent all day moving everything I own into my new apartment. Although I loathe moving (my muscles still ache), there’s an air of excitement that comes with knowing you have a fresh, barren space to decorate however you please. As I looked around the blank walls in my new room, I decided I was definitely going to need some new artwork to spice things up. My inner MacGyver knew that with a little Pinterest research and a lot of patience, I could make my own wall art and save some serious moolah. Take a look at my favorite finds:
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely still a fan of the ombré trend when it’s done this beautifully. This quirky sign would make a bold statement on an otherwise boring wall, and Sarah of Sarah Hearts says it only took 15 minutes to make.
This DIY Gold Leaf Monogram is perfect because it’s just enough bling – it’s not overwhelmingly gaudy but it has enough pizzazz to make an impact. Check out Brittany’s quick and easy tutorial.
More DIY Wall Art
These light bulb vases are one of the more perfect decorations I’ve seen in a while. They would look absolutely phenomenal hanging in my kitchen window. I can already picture myself frolicking through the field and picking fresh wildflowers – or at least snipping a few buds from my front yard. Either way, I have no doubt these bulbs will find their way to my home.
It’s the year of the octopus, and I am fully on board. Octopus decor has become a bit of an obsession of mine. And why not? There is always one animal print that can be found on everything from doorknobs to dinnerware, and I’m glad it’s finally the octopus. I’m big on animal prints in general, but it’s time to give the birds a rest and let the octopus do its thing (and that thing is being one of the coolest creatures of the sea).
Want more oceanic inspiration?
If you saw my previous post, you know that outfitting my sister’s beach house with accessories with lots of coastal charm for small $$ was a must. Searching estate sales, flea markets and yard sales for beachy accessories that fit our budget wasn’t exactly easy — but it sure was fun! Here are a few more of our favorite thrifty finds:
Any Avon fans out there — recognize the green glass fish? Yep, that’s right, it’s actually an old Avon bottle which once held foaming bath oil. The bubble bath is long gone but the little jadeite koi’s charm remains — and for just $1 at a TN flea market? Wrap it up; I’ll take it!
Birdhouses are great — and not just for sheltering birds. We put this one, shaped like a lighthouse, to work as a bookend in our closet-turned-built-in bookcase. Like our other beachy bric-a-brac, this birdhouse has a storied past. My mom bought it at a prison. Yep, a prison — the Maine State Prison in Thomaston. Unique in the nation, the prisoners here are taught real-world skills in upholstery, woodworking and garment making. The money raised by this ingenious program goes toward reimbursing the state for the prisoner’s room and board as well as paying victims’ restitution and prisoners’ child support. Although you can’t shop their store online, you can check out the prisoners’ handiwork and if you’re ever in Maine, drop by.
I love zoological prints. They’ve been trending for quite a while … and, as with anything trendy, they can be expensive. Luckily, it’s the internet to the rescue — several sites offer printable scans of public domain prints for free — yes, FREE! Vintage Printable and Graphics Fairy are two of my faves. Just print the images onto a high-quality paper (aka not standard printer paper), add a mat, then pop them into a frame.
Getting crafty with items we already have is another way we save money while filling the beach house with accessories we love. My sister and I bought this wood-framed mirror at an estate sale thinking it would be a good fit for the hall bath. Unfortunately, it was too small. Then my 18-year-old nephew scored this great boat cleat for only 50 cents which inspired us to cover the mirror’s frame in rope then “tie it off” to the cleat. Want to make your own? Get my step-by-step instructions.
MORE BEACH HOUSE MAKEOVERS:
Budget Beach Cottage: Nautical Knick-Knacks
Budget Beach Cottage: Bedside Table Before and After
Budget Beach Cottage: Make a Nautical Rope Mirror
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Built-In Bookcase
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Kitchen
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Living Room
Adventures in Antiquing: Easy Beachy Candle Update
Are you looking for a way to add a little whimsy to your bedroom decor? I think I’ve found it. These sweet his and hers pillow covers are as cute as can be without being overly sentimental. Trust me – I can always tell these things. For example, when I look at them, I think, “Aww,” rather than my usual, “Oh, please.” It’s a fail-proof test, people!
PLUS: 10 PILLOW CRAFTS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF>>
Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? Yep, an entire month dedicated to summer’s arguably greatest treat. Maybe you’re a FroYo fan [wildly raising my hand over here]. Maybe you prefer full-flavored gelato [mmm, still craving that Pistachio gelato I had in Italy]. Or maybe you stand by the never-fail regulars like strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla [OK, I'm hungry]. No matter your favorite, now is the time to chill out with an ice cream sundae and bring a scoop of childlike sweetness into your summer.
These cool accessories will bring fun and color to an easy desert at your next outdoor party. Just add one thing: You guessed it — ice cream!
Sundae dishes | Pint holder + scoop | Shake maker | I Scream bowls | Chevron spoons | Paper party set | Faux waffle cone | Ice cream maker | Striped scoop
*Originally appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.
This lovely bag from Better Life Bags is not only gorgeous, it also changes lives. The bags are customizable, and a portion of the proceeds goes to help low income entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world. The company also hires women who would otherwise not be able to get a job. Pretty cool, right? I’m loving this striped laptop sleeve bag.