ALL POSTS IN DIY

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Gallery walls are all the rage right now, and for good reason:  you can have completely unmatched pieces of art but make them work together with a common theme. Choosing a color, texture or pattern to be the inspiration for your wall lets you loosen the “rules.” The tough part about those galleries, though, is actually figuring out what works — and what doesn’t. To help you out, we’ve come up with our top tips for creating a gallery wall. Once you’re ready to test out your ideas, upload your pieces to Shutterfly’s Design-a-Wall virtual tool to see what they look like together before you poke a million holes in your wall.

Tip #1: Choose Any Wall

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be limited to a foyer or living room. Choose walls that are normally bare, such as a staircase wall. HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino hung knicknacks on a bold red wall for an instant upgrade.

Staircase Gallery Wall

Tip #2: Add Personal Touches

Create a custom look by arranging your favorite photographs or souvenirs from your travel experiences in shadow boxes . Bonus: This idea serves double duty as a storage solution.

Vintage Shadow Box Gallery Wall

Tip #3: Pick Unexpected Items

A gallery wall doesn’t just have to be framed pieces of art. This wall of hollowed out, cloth-covered books was hung with upholstery nails in each book’s four corners.

Book Gallery Wall

Tip #4: Placement, Placement, Placement

Once you’ve chosen all your pieces, it’s time to think of placement. This is especially important when you’re creating a gallery wall above furniture. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or high — a good rule of thumb is eight inches between the base of the frame and top of the furniture piece, according to Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200.

Gallery Wall

Tip #5: Be Fearless

A gallery wall is your opportunity to express your passions. So, have fun and don’t worry about going a little crazy. Mixing up your gallery wall with your personal treasures will make your house feel like home.

Electic Gallery Wall

What are some of your tips for creating the perfect gallery wall?

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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.

Decorated Teacher's Mug Gifts

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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Alix Adams

This summer we found ourselves outside under the moon and stars quite a bit. The warm summer nights were just too irresistible to pass up, especially with a cool fall just around the corner. So we hung out with the moon all summer and she is kind of a show-off, but in the best way. I love how the moon is always changing and each night sky is a bit of a surprise. Feeling very moved by our glowing friend, I wanted to create a craft that was inspired by the moon and her lunar calendar. That’s how I came up with this lunar-inspired necklace! It’s a simple nod to the moon’s cycles without screaming “I’m wearing a moon on my neck!” Making one of your own is easy peasy!

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Did you know it’s the perfect time to start thinking about birdhouses? Many birds won’t use a house until it has a weathered look, so some experts suggest getting birdhouses up by late summer or early fall in preparation for the spring. Even if you’re not an avian enthusiast, the charming little boxes can be used in so many other contexts. Take a look at these birdhouse decor ideas and get inspired to feather your nest with some of these structures.

5 Birdhouse Decor Ideas That Aren't for the Birds: Fence Flair

Credit: Janell Beals

Birdhouses –> Fence Flair
Give an old, drab fence some pizzazz by adding a collection of decorative birdhouses. This idea from Janell Beals works well with a mix of different colors, shapes and sizes. Check out her tutorial to see how you can copy the look.

MORE BEAUTIFUL IDEAS FOR BIRDHOUSES

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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:  Cutlery Box Before
And here is my new upcycled jewelry box, fully refinished and re-lined:
Silverware Chest That Has Been Turned Into a Jewelry Box
Read On To Learn How I Did It

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DIY Log Art

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.

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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.

5 Hot Ideas for House Numbers: On the Stairs

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

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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.

5 DIY Sewing Craft Ideas

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

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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:

DIY Desk Accessories

Keep Your Desk Tidy: Make these custom desk accessories >>

DIY Corkboard

Hang Custom Artwork: Make a corkboard map to showcase travel adventures >> 

Top Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

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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.

Make Your Own Watercolor Flower Plates - HGTV.com
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 >>

Make Your Own Watercolor Tie-Dye Pillows
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 >>

How to Make Your Own Marbled Votives With Nail Polish on HGTV.com

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 >>

Watercolor Floral Notecards - Make Your Own on HGTV.com

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 >>

Make Your Own Watercolor Party Supplies on HGTV.com

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.

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