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DIY Fabric Garland

Whenever a craft requires extensive sewing I start to get a little nervous. It’s true … I am driving blind behind the metaphorical wheel of a sewing machine. Every now and then, with meticulous planning, I work up the courage to take on a sewing craft, but if I can avoid stitching, I do. That is why I brainstormed ways to create home decor projects with all my scrap fabric without going to battle against a bobbin. Here is what I came up with: a ripped fabric garland! It is so easy and so simple that you could do it in your sleep. Okay, maybe not in your sleep (safety note: using scissors while sleeping is hazardous, in case you didn’t know), but you don’t have to be a DIY enthusiast to master this fabric garland.

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If there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that trends are cyclical. Just how frequently those trends cycle seems to be a matter of how often popular sentiment shifts back and forth between excess and simplicity. Following a period of excess, it’s only natural that people tend to seek a more organic and handmade aesthetic, along with a more minimal lifestyle. That is precisely what we seem to be experiencing in the world of design at the moment, as we recover from the glitz and glam that ran rampant during the previous years.

Potted Plants

As we nurse our shiny object hangovers we can revel in our hoarder tendencies and rejoice that we didn’t toss out our early attempts at ceramic crafting from school-aged art class. It just so happens that those oversized, bulbous and haphazardly glazed creations are trending like Justin Bieber’s mugshot pics.

Last seen in the years following the infamous Summer of Love and encompassing all that was both loved and hated about the 70s, this trend has definitely morphed over time to include some very modern takes on this relatively ancient craft. Yet, it appears as though this fabulously retro-inspired accessory seems to be enjoying a moment of almost exacting similarity to its original predecessor. Of course, this means those vintage versions, commonly overlooked during your visits to the local thrift stores, are now going to become something of a highly sought after addition to your decor. What is old becomes new again, inevitably, and this trend is no exception to the rule. The question is — are you ready to embrace this trend in its new form, that isn’t actually new at all? Or do you prefer to avoid anything that even remotely hints at lava rock and gold-flecked faux marble surfaces?

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It’s been snowing pretty much every other day here in NYC (or that’s what it feels like!), so I have been thinking a great deal about footwear. I’d been getting by with some cheap wellies and thick socks until one of the wellies sprung a leak. Now I’ve got proper snow boots (thank you, Sorel), but even though my old wellies aren’t made for walking anymore, they’re pretty perfect for fun projects. Take a look at these ideas for old shoes and achieve great crafting feats with things that used to go on your feet. (Oof, sorry. I think cabin fever makes me punnier than usual.)

Revive old shoes with these craft ideas on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Now here’s a wonderful way to give some new life to your old galoshes…literally! Grow a strawberry plant in boots with this tutorial on HGTVGardens. Sigh. This is definitely making me long for spring.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD SHOES

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Cross Stitch Painting

Last week I was chatting with my friend who pointed out that cross-stitch is kind of a dying art. These are the important things we contemplate.

“Maybe older women do cross-stitch a bunch?” I suggested as a feeble attempt to defend our beloved cross-stitch hobby.

“There’s lots of ‘hip’ cross-stitch art you can buy online I think?” she piped in.

The truth is, cross-stitch may not be our craft of choice when we think “hip”, “modern” or even relevant interior design. I refuse, however, to believe that cross-stitch doesn’t have something to offer when it comes to home decor.

I saw our little chat about cross-stitch as a challenge to be accepted! Here is what I came up with — (drumroll now) — A cross-stitch painting using a cross-stitch pattern! This tutorial will teach you how to take your old cross-stitch patterns and turn them into artwork for your home!

Cross-Stitch Painting
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East Tennessee (where HGTV Headquarters is located) got a jaw-dropping eight inches of snow in some areas. We haven’t gotten a snowfall like this in years. It started snowing yesterday afternoon and was still flurrying when I hit the hay. I woke up to a sparkling Winter Wonderland that will soon turn to slush. I know winter weather has been taking over for a few weeks in many parts of the country. You get snowed in, the kids are out of school and chaos ensues. Once snowmen are built, snow cream is made and sledding has become exhausting, frozen little ones will surely need something to keep them busy. Pull out the craft bin, whip up some hot cocoa and put on some tunes. [These are also perfect for rainy weekends come spring.]

Recycled Crayons

How to Make Recycled Crayons >>

Easy Pencil Pinwheel

Easy Paper Pencil Pinwheels >>

Say that three times fast.

Duct Tape Crafts

DIY Washi Tape + Duct Tape Decorations for Kids’ Rooms >>

More Crafts Kids Will Love

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Doilies are a bit fancy and frilly, but that’s part of their charm, am I right? If you’ve got leftover paper doilies from celebrations or other crafting endeavors, there are plenty of adorable things you can do with them for Valentine’s Day…or anytime you want to add a little sweetness to your life. Take a peek at these paper doily crafts that are so darling, they just may sway the doily-haters. (I’m looking at you, Troy from Reality Bites.)

Make adorable treat cups out of paper doilies! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Making treats for your sweetheart? (Like say, these Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes?) Add an extra special touch with these doily treat cups from our own Camille Smith.

MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DOILIES

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Of course, there’s the “big game” coming up this Sunday, but if you’re like me, you’re more into board games, card games and puzzles. I have quite the collection at this point, but some of them have been with me since I was a kid and are missing crucial pieces or are just looking shabby. Fortunately, there are a bunch of nifty craft ideas for old game boards, cards and pieces so I can turn my old amusements into something equally diverting.

Make valentines and more crafts with game pieces from HGTV's Design Happens blog!
Give your valentine a piece of your heart and a few pieces of your games with these card ideas from Camille Styles. Old Bingo cards adorned with hearts have a vintage charm and Scrabble tiles are great for spelling out your sweet nothings.

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I remember my dad tucking fold-up maps and road atlases in the car before road trips when I was a kid. These days, in-dash navigational systems are becoming standard and smartphones can call up directions with a few finger taps and swipes. Paper maps may be falling out of favor when it comes to travel, but they’re hotter than ever in the home. Take a look at these cool vintage map crafts and get ready to raid your car’s backseat pockets and glove compartments for supplies!

Like these chairs? See 4 more cool map crafts you can make on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Plain wooden chairs for little explorers are a lot more appealing after a decoupage map makeover! Follow Brian Patrick Flynn’s tutorial and jazz up your kids’ bedrooms or playrooms on the cheap.

MORE EYE-CATCHING MAP CRAFTS

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I live in the land of subways and taxis here in NYC, so while I rarely get a chance to drive anymore, I still appreciate the look of license plates. I particularly love vanity plates and the designs on plates that support worthwhile causes. While I may not be behind the wheel anytime soon, these eye-catching license plate crafts mean I can surround myself with road-tested style. Check out my finds and get inspired to snatch up vintage plates the next time you’re thrifting or browsing an online auction site!

Learn how to make this license plate divider and more license plate crafts on HGTV's Design Happens blog
This license plate room divider by Brian Patrick Flynn provides a jolt of color and a little privacy to boot. It looks super cool in this outdoor room, adding a bit of art where it’s usually hard to find.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD LICENSE PLATES

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It’s been a while since we featured projects specifically for oenophiles, but if you’ve crafted with all of your corks and are still looking for more raw materials, look no further than the wooden wine crate. Like milk crates, these sturdy boxes are surprisingly simple to transform and have a certain rustic flair. (Not big on wine? Fruit or soda crates may work for many of these makeovers, or you can head to your local craft supply store for plain crates.) Drink in these clever ideas and when you find one you like, try the tutorial!

6 Crafty Ways to Update Wood Crates: Toy Box
Keep kid clutter to a minimum with these mobile wooden crate toy boxes from Brian Patrick Flynn. Names spelled out with stencils are a cute, personal touch.

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