It’s no secret: when it comes to weather, I am all about the heat. Give me a warm summer day poolside and you won’t hear a peep from me. All of that said, I have to admit I’m a *little* bit envious of all the snow that winter storm Juno just dumped on our northern neighbors. As much as I love the sun, a cozy snow day sounds kind of fun. For a day or two.
But there’s one thing I can’t stand about winter weather, and that’s the puddles of salt and grime drug in by hard-working snow and rain boots. Nothing puts me in a mood faster than a wet, soggy entryway and a messy pile of discarded footwear. My solution is both simple and stylish: turn a tired cookie sheet and a river rock tile into a chic and practical boot tray. Not only does it dress up your entryway, you’ll be relieved of that unsightly boot meltoff.
Keep reading to see how to make your own.
MAKE YOUR OWN DIY BOOT TRAY
In the spirit of the new year, I’m coming clean: I have a dirty little secret. My counters and tabletops might look pretty tidy, but what lurks beneath is my secret shame. That’s right, folks — I’m talking junk drawers. It’s a sickness, and this year I’m tackling my drawers of shame one by one. Up first, my vanity. I love fun makeup and jewelry as much as the next girl, but I can’t even see to the bottom of these drawers (you’ll see…). Luckily, we’ve come up with some super simple and inexpensive ideas to trick out even the most disastrous drawers.
If you can’t find a clean cotton swab among the makeup compacts and piles of nail polish bottles, look no further. If you hoard hair accessories, we’ve got you covered there, too. Watch the video for easy DIY solutions to keep everyday items organized and within reach.
Tips to Keep Everyday Items Cute & Contained
The mail shows up every day, but it’s usually not anything to, ahem, write home about. That every-once-in-awhile handwritten card, however? Priceless. This year, my resolution is to send more of that “fun mail” to family and friends. To make it easy, I dreamed up six simple cards you can make using easy-to-find 3-D objects. This “Thank You” card is one of my favorites:
Start with some kraft paper cards, an alphabet stamp and strong glue, then get creative. Watch the video to see how to make all 6 cards.
Easy Cards to Send All Year Long
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day tends to be a week of recovery from the hectic holiday season. But if you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner party or New Year’s Day brunch, it’s a time for one final push. That’s why these geometric plate chargers are the perfect decorating solution: They’re a snap to make while you catch up on the best shows of 2014, and they make a huge visual impact.
To make these simple table accents, just tape off different sizes of triangles on a wooden charger plate (available at your local craft store.) We used bright hues of acrylic paint to create this fun design, but black and gold would be an elegant twist for New Year’s Eve. Add two coats of paint, then peel off the tape. Place under dishes at each place setting or underneath plain appetizer plates for a more casual party.
GET FULL HOW-TO INSTRUCTIONS HERE >>
How do you keep it simple when decorating for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day? Tell us your tips in the comments below.
You guys, it was SO FUN seeing your response to our last few videos. Whether it was pattern mixing, party planning, or gallery gazing, each video really seemed to make an impact. Judging by the awesome comments, it looks like you guys want to know more, and so over the next few weeks we will be breaking down some of the individual projects. First up: Remember this centerpiece?
This structural, modern showpiece is made up of Finnish himmeli ornaments. We used plastic drinking straws and yarn to create these simple shapes. Click through to watch the video and discover how simple it is to make your own.
Learn How to Make Himmeli Ornaments
You guys. I need to tell you something, lean in close. Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK. Somehow the holiday season is upon us. I know! I was a little bit shocked as well.
Whether I’m entertaining the masses or just planning for a quiet family celebration, I love to set a pretty and festive table this time of year. In today’s video I’m covering all of your bases, whether your style is more retro-traditional or glam-meets-modern.
These versatile table settings will dress up your dining room straight through to New Year’s Eve. Click through to watch how I created each look. Plus, enter for a chance to win some of the chic items featured on these tables!
2 Step-By-Step Party Themes
When it comes to fall pumpkin decor, do you favor real or fake? I love the look of a real-life decorative gourd for an outdoor display, but if I’m putting in serious crafting time, I’m all about the foam pumpkin. Why? I can decorate once and have a one-of-a-kind pumpkin for years to come.
This week, I present three faux pumpkin crafts that pull double duty. These look as good on your front porch come trick-or-treating time as they do as part of your Thanksgiving tablescape. To get started, you’ll need two things: A foam pumpkin and a big box of dressmakers’ pins. (Glitter optional, but highly recommended.) Take a look at this simple-yet-stunning technique:
Check out all three finished versions:
Are you a real or faux pumpkin fan? Tell me in the comments below. As always, if you’ve missed any past episodes of HGTV Crafternoon you can find them all right here.
String art used to be straight out of the ’70s, but new, graphic versions are still going strong. (Did you see my girl Meg’s geometric string art bear?! So cute.) This version uses a rustic slice of wood (available at your local crafts store) to juxtapose the modern, metallic monogram. See how it’s done in just a few steps:
What do you think? I love the graphic impact of the finished piece, and it adds texture and dimension to a ho-hum gallery wall. See what I mean?
Want to make your own piece of custom string art? You can download the letter template here and get step-by-step instructions and materials here. As always, if you’ve missed any past episodes of HGTV Crafternoon you can find them all right here.
Casual summer weekends are a great time to break out vintage scarves to create a fun hairstyle with virtually no effort. But now that the days are getting cooler, here’s another scarf use to consider: year-round gift wrap.
Furoshiki is a Japanese fabric-wrapping technique to add reusable, eco-friendly style to everything from packaged gifts to vases to food. Techniques can get pretty intricate, but today I’m showing you some of the basics. Take a look:
You can find traditional furoshiki-style wraps online, but the thrift store is a great place to stock up on vintage scarves for those last-minute gifts. Bonus: Your friend can reuse the scarf to wrap another gift or spice up her wardrobe.
What do you think? Would you ditch rolls of paper in favor of pretty fabric this year? Tell us in the comments below.
Like all good craft projects, this one started with a problem: It can be difficult to find phone cases that are both attractive and affordable. The solution: An inexpensive clear plastic phone case, a scanner and some flowers. Watch and see how it’s done:
Kind of amazing, isn’t it? Turning down the lights while scanning the flowers makes the colors more vibrant and creates a dramatic black background. We used a bouquet of grocery store flowers, but you could forage in the yard (or around the craft room) for your own mix of materials. Ferns, feathers, pompoms, yarn, sequins — the possibilities are endless. Just scan, cut and install inside your clear case, then switch to a new design when the mood strikes.
What materials would you use to create your own scanned phone case? Tell us in the comments below.
Can you believe it’s already time for kids to head back to school? I feel like summer just started! Whether your family is already in the swing of early mornings and after-school homework or you’re preparing for the first day, this cute, inexpensive teacher gift is worth a look. Check it out:
Stuff the mugs with anything you think your child’s teacher might like: think candy, art supplies or a coffee shop gift card.
Even if you don’t have kids in school, these porcelain pens are really fun to use and a great way to dress up plain mugs and plates for gift items or your own kitchen. Tell us: Have you played around with porcelain pens?
Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.
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data-gallery-caption="10 of our favorite ways to keep your home running smoothly."
Hello, my name is Marianne, and I am a paper craft addict. Whether it’s colorful paper flower wreaths or a 3-dimensional cloud mobile, there is something so satisfying about taking an inexpensive stack of paper and turning it into a show stopping craft. With that confession out of the way, let’s get to this week’s project because y’all? It’s one of my favorites. Just one of these giant paper dahlias would make an elegant wreath on your front door, but the real impact comes from grouping several of them together.
Doesn’t that make you want to bust out the paper cutter? These abundant paper flowers would also make great decorations for an early fall wedding or even adorning the walls of a dorm room. The possibilities are endless!
Do you love paper crafts? What’s your favorite thing to make?
Catch all the episodes of HGTV Crafternoon, and more projects from Marianne, right here.
We’re in the dog days of summer here, and sometimes you just want to get inside, out of the heat and into the blissful air conditioning. If your kids are in need of a project to occupy their time, I have just the thing for you. These sandpaper transfers are as fun to make as the resulting t-shirts are to wear.
I love that in two simple steps you can turn your kid’s work of art into a t-shirt. Make sure you put the finished t-shirt in the dryer on high to set the color, and wash it alone the first time.
What’s your favorite way to beat the late-summer heat?
Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.
Summer may be winding down, but we have a few more weeks to enjoy warm weather and, if you’re lucky, the beach. But, if your family is living landlocked this summer, there’s another fun way to entertain little ones: These sea-inspired finger puppets. Turn up the volume and take a look:
We worked with illustrator Kori Clark to design this exclusive set of finger puppets just for, well, you! The coolest part of the designs? They wrap around your fingers, making them easy to animate. Kids will love setting up a mini puppet stage and sending these little guys on an adventure.
Or, if you’re really headed to the ocean, cut and assemble these pint-sized puppets before you leave to keep kids occupied in the car.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE OCEAN FINGER PUPPET TEMPLATE RIGHT HERE >>
Sometimes the simplest crafts are the most fun. This week we’re taking cheap cork coasters, dressing them up with paint pens, and turning them into adorable party favors and hostess gifts. Check it out:
I was able to make a dozen of these coasters in minutes, and they have me in the mood to throw one last end-of-summer party.
Missed an episode of Weekday Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.
You know the saying: nothing says party like a piñata. Isn’t that a saying? It is now! I had so much fun making this adorable beehive piñata that I can’t bear to break it. I think I might hang it in my daughter’s room instead.
Pretty cute, eh? Those puffy bumblebees are the perfect touch. This would make any summer party one to remember, don’t you think?
I haven’t done paper mache since I was a kid, and it was good, goopy fun. Have you ever attempted a homemade piñata?
Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? See them all, and more from Marianne, right here.
I’m once again suggesting you take the party outside — Crafternoon style this time! My good friend Whitney threw a wonderful crafting party in Washington Square Park last week. The event was a hit and I highly recommend throwing your own crafting party in the park, or any outdoor venue you prefer. After staking out a perfect spot in the shade, the afternoon was comprised of great friends, delicious food, adorable puppies, lots of pictures and beautiful paper flowers. While bringing craft supplies outdoors may seem counter-intuitive, the open setting gives you ample space to create. (Plus it’s so nice to be out in the fresh air during these hot summer days.)
Whether you host a big crafting event or just a get-together with a few close friends, this summer party idea is great for guests of all ages. Here are a few tips to make your own Crafternoon a success:
Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Penn
Pick a Convenient Craft
Make sure you pick a DIY project that is nature-friendly — in other words, nothing that requires excessive materials, cleanliness, or, of course, electricity. Whitney cleverly chose paper flowers for her party craft, which fit both thematically and logistically. The craft itself was simple and the components were easy to transport. Plus, if the petals got a little crumpled or dirty, it just made them seem more realistic.
More paper flower crafts: Fourth of July Wreath, Wedding Bouquet
Other easy outdoor crafts: Coiled Wire Ring, Felt Bowls, Friendship Bracelets
MORE PARTY TIPS
It’s no secret that I’m kind of obsessed with freezer paper stencils. So far, I’ve created a nautical, anchor-stenciled boat bag and some adorable onesies, but I’m not done yet. This week, I’m turning this cute cloud-and-raindrop stencil into a sweet summer dress.
If you’re new to this adaptable technique, prepare to be smitten. To get started, simply print or cut out the design of your choice, then affix it to fabric or clothing with an iron. Then, paint on fabric paint, let dry and peel away the stencil. The result? The look of a custom screen print in a fraction of the time. Watch this week’s video to learn more about the process:
Pretty cute, eh? I used a patterned cotton dress for this project, but it would look equally cute on a shirt, table runner or set of white cotton napkins. Download the stencil here to get started with your own design! If you’d like a longer pattern, pair the cloud and raindrop stencil with this extra set of raindrops.
Tell me, have you tried freezer paper stencils? Where would you use this cute cloud-and-raindrop design?
The Fourth of July is upon us, and that means lots of backyard barbecues in celebration of America’s birthday. In between burgers, ice pops and fireworks, your July 4th guests are going to have some down time. Keep the party going with this easy-to-make ring toss game that’s fun for guests of all ages. A few clear bottles, some paint and a fruit crate are all you need! Watch the video to learn how:
This game is a great way to upcycle items you’d likely otherwise toss in the recycling bin. If you don’t have a fruit crate handy, you can also pick up an inexpensive wooden crate at your local craft store. The crate doubles as storage, making it easy to keep this fun summer game ready to play all summer long.
How are you celebrating July 4th? Tell us in the comments below.
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Even for those of us who make crafts for a living, furnishing an entire party with handmade decor can be a bit of a challenge. Meanwhile, cute store-bought decorations tend to be pricey. The compromise? This summer, simplify your party decor (while still adding a handmade touch) with one simple watercolor technique and your printer.
Watch this week’s video to see how to turn one design into all of these (adorable!) printable party decorations:
This herringbone design is a fun twist on the trendy pattern, but the sky’s the limit for your template: Try polka dots, stripes, zig zags or an abstract, drippy design. The good news for you? Even if you don’t have time to create your own custom pattern, you still can download our ready-made party supply templates right here…for free!
Download the Party Supply Templates Now