Let’s do this AA style: “Hello, my name is Camille and I’m addicted to buying old boxes.” (Well, and jewelry too but that’s another matter). Old boxes are a great decorative way to stash unattractive, everyday stuff in plain sight. For instance, I have a little cane-covered box filled with crafting essentials in my living room so if the crafting bug strikes while I’m watching TV, a project is within easy reach.
I particularly love old boxes with drawers so I couldn’t pass up this cutlery box (AKA silverware chest) at an estate sale recently for just 9 bucks. The box’s blond or maple finish was popular in the 50s and 60s so it’s safe to assume that it’s more than 50 years old. Personally, I’m not a big fan of mid-century blond finishes and this one was in particularly rough shape with lots of scratches, dings and a big water stain on the lid so refinishing it with a more traditional, darker stain was definitely on the menu. If the felt liner had been in better shape, I might have considered leaving it as-is but the fabric was dirty, picked and even worn through in places so I decided to re-line the box as well.
Here’s what I started with, it truly is massive, easily double the size of most dresser-top jewelry boxes:
And here is my new upcycled jewelry box, fully refinished and re-lined:
Read On To Learn How I Did It
At six months pregnant, I am consumed with nursery decorating and preparations. My nesting instincts have kicked in, and I’m feeling a sense of urgency to hang up wall art and pick out rugs. We are expecting a little girl and the house has been taken over with crib-painting stations, frames full of floral prints and peach tassel garland scraps. Baby number two doesn’t have anything to wear yet, but I’ll be darned if she doesn’t have a polished nursery to come home to (wink!).
One element I really wanted to incorporate into the nursery was a handmade art piece as my gift to my little girl. I wanted it to be whimsical, simple and just a bit unexpected. So I took a hike — literally — and grabbed some sticks that could be transformed into log slice art. When I pull up to the house with sticks, my husband doesn’t even raise an eyebrow anymore; he just helps me pull out the power tools and we get to work. If you’re in the mood for some simple, yet impactful, DIY artwork, this log slice art is the craft for you.
Let’s Get Started
My parents are in the process of moving, so I’ve got real estate and curb appeal on the brain. Of course, house numbers can be an important part of amping up your home’s curb appeal, but did you know they can pack a visual punch inside the home as well? Take a look at these eye-catching ideas for house numbers and try not to be too tempted to pry yours off the side of your place for crafting purposes.
Photo: Björn Wallander/HGTV Magazine
On the Stairs
This example from Sarah Richardson’s cozy farmhouse retreat makes great use of an often overlooked area of the house: the stairs. Here, a trompe l’oeil stair runner adds some welcome color and the old house numbers feel kid-friendly and whimsical. Check out the rest of Sarah’s home in HGTV Magazine‘s spread.
MORE HOT IDEAS FOR HOUSE NUMBERS
When you begin searching for a new craft idea, it’s easy to be lured by two magical words: NO SEW. Sure, no-sew crafts generally seem less daunting and easier to put together in your spare crafting time. And of course, if you don’t own a sewing machine, no-sew crafts are the only way to go.
That said, yesterday marked 163 years since Isaac Singer patented the sewing machine, so in honor of this momentous day in crafting history, dust off your sewing machine (or borrow one from a friend), grab some thread and try some of these cute craft ideas! Trust me, they’re sew simple and fun, you definitely won’t regret giving one a try.
Fabric Pouf Ottoman
Creating a custom ottoman is an easy way to add a punch of color and personality to a room. Something to consider with the school year just around the corner: These poufs are a great option for college dorm rooms since they’re super versatile. You can use them as ottomans, extra seating, or even as a coffee table by placing a serving tray on top. SEWING INSTRUCTIONS HERE>>
SEW MUCH MORE
As crazy as it may seem, it’s already time to stock up on school supplies. There’s nothing quite like a fresh pack of ballpoint pens and a color-coded assortment of spiral notebooks to start the year out right. But for many, it’ll be more than just basic supplies on the shopping list. Some of our HGTV.com readers will be packing up and heading into the brand-new cramped quarters of a shared living space. Yay, college! The key to this new living adjustment is making the space feel as comfortable and homey as possible. And just like living in a rental, there are plenty of ways to add decorative charm to the walls, floors and doors of your temporary living space without breaking the bank.
Check out a few of my favorites:
Keep Your Desk Tidy: Make these custom desk accessories >>
Hang Custom Artwork: Make a corkboard map to showcase travel adventures >>
Top Dorm Room Decorating Ideas
By now, you’ve probably heard that our August “Color” of the Month is….Watercolor! This cool, organic technique is the perfect antidote to summer’s oppressive heat. It’s also a great technique to experiment with…in the comfort of air conditioning, of course. Here are five DIY projects that embrace the flowy, unpredictable look.
WATERCOLOR FLORAL PLATES
These stunning plates may look like something you’d buy at that expensive, boho-chic store we all love, but trust me, you can totally do this! With plain white plates, some brightly-colored porcelain paints and a few simple techniques, it’s easy to create your own custom set.
Get the step-by-step instructions here >>
SHARPIE-DYED WATERCOLOR PILLOWS
This project is too cool not to try. As Marianne demonstrated in a recent HGTV Crafternoon episode, you can easily create a watercolor effect on a cotton pillow cover using nothing more than colorful permanent markers and a spray bottle of alcohol.
Get step-by-step instructions here >>
Nail Polish-Marbled Votives by Chelsea Costa
NAIL POLISH-MARBLED VOTIVES
Marbling — mixing several colors of paint on top of water before dipping an object — creates a similar flowy effect. This technique can be used on paper or fabric, but one of the simplest ways to experiment? Nail polish! Choose the colors of your choice and see how simple it is to customize plain glass votives for your next party.
Get step-by-step instructions for the marbled votives here >>
MAKE YOUR OWN WATERCOLOR NOTE CARDS
Bring the look of blooming summer flowers inside with beautiful watercolor paintings to use as wall art or greeting cards. These step-by-step instructions make it simple to create professional-looking results.
Get the step-by-step watercolor note card instructions here >>
CREATE CUSTOM WATERCOLOR PARTY SUPPLIES
This is my favorite project of the bunch: Marianne started these fun party decorations by painting one herringbone design. Then, she scanned and printed the design to create one fun, cohesive set of party decor — all while doing the work just once.
Get step-by-step instructions for the watercolor party decor here >>
Have you tried watercolor techniques at home? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Did you like my post about musical instrument design ideas? Then I’m betting these sheet music crafts will be up your alley, too! If you’ve got old sheet music that hasn’t seen love since your childhood piano lessons, consider turning it into something you can enjoy and admire every day. (Of course, you could always keep an eye out for old sheet music at flea markets, too.) If you object to repurposing the original sheets for crafts, you can easily make copies on similarly-colored paper.
Design: Marian Parsons
Old Sheet Music –> New Decoupaged Dresser
This idea for old sheet music from Marian Parsons serves another purpose: hiding imperfections like gouges or water marks on furniture. The lovely aged color of the music looks totally at home in this shabby-chic style setting, too.
MORE CRAFTY USES FOR SHEET MUSIC
Baskets are something that mysteriously accumulate in my home. I think between flower arrangements and gifts of fruit, they just pile up in my hall closet, waiting for their time to shine again. If you can relate, take a look at these cool crafts and ideas for baskets and get inspired to use yours for something beyond bananas, pears and apples.
Design: Brian Patrick Flynn
Old Basket –> New Light Fixture
This idea from Brian Patrick Flynn is perfect for deeper baskets that already resemble lampshades. The rope adds a touch of coastal-cool to this nautical light fixture. Get the full tutorial on DIYNetwork.com.
MORE BRILLZ BASKET IDEAS
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