Father’s Day is this Sunday — are you armed with a gift for dad? No? Well then, we’ve got you covered — from his favorite recipes (hot beer cheese and homemade pretzels — yum!) to fun, free printables and handmade gift ideas like this easier-than-it-looks dresser-top leather valet; whip up a surprise for your dad just in time for Father’s Day celebrations.
Ready to make your own? Get the complete step-by-step instructions>>
Not only is this monogrammed leather valet easy to craft, you probably have most of the materials on hand like an old frame, some batting or foam and a spare bit of leather – this is a great project for upcycling a past-its-prime jacket or purse. The steps are simple, just disassemble the frame then use the backing as a template to cut out a small piece of leather and batting. Place the leather, suede side up, on top of the batting and secure it in the frame with strong tape.
I used an old trick from college printmaking classes to create removable registration marks on painter’s tape that would help me find the tray’s center before placing the adhesive stencils (these things are awesome, btw, you can find them with the glass-etching supplies at your local craft store). Fill in the stencils with a permanent marker and voila — a handy catch-all for dad to keep his keys, change, watch and anything else he needs to grab on his way out the door.
Crafting this handy DIY gift for dad is easy — but be sure to check out my complete step-by-step instructions for a materials list and lots of helpful tips first>>
When I say “budget beach cottage,” I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie. Upcycling is far from the latest trend in my family — if we can find a way to repurpose or reuse something, we will. Check out our beachy kitchen, living room, candles and built-in bookcase transformations to see what I mean.
Enter a plain-Jane, oak-framed mirror my sister and I bought at an estate sale intending it to serve as a vanity mirror for the hall bath. The rounded shape of the frame reminded us of a ship’s port hole and at just $5, the price was right. Sadly, the wood-framed mirror was too small for the bathroom — but it was just the right size for a narrow wall in the master bedroom. We hung it but the stained oak frame just wasn’t doing it for us. Luckily, my 18-year-old nephew found an old boat cleat at a yard sale for just 50 cents (clearly he’s been well instructed in the ways of the bargain-hunting force) and that was the inspiration we needed to wrap the frame in rope and “tie it off” to the cleat.
And … voila! Here’s our once plain-Jane mirror after its nautical makeover: Ready to make your own? Get the complete step-by-step instructions>>
Covering the frame is easy; the key is to start on the inside of the frame and really secure the first few rows with a super-strong epoxy (like Gorilla Glue) to prevent the remaining rows from shifting. Once you have a solid start, you can switch over to just tacking the rope with brads every few inches.
And … inevitably when you’re taking photos in a small beach house with 5 nosy little dogs around (2 are mine and 3 are my sister’s) you end up with quite a few shots featuring a cute pup in the pic. Everyone, meet my sister’s furry little shadow, her 6-lb rescued Yorkie, Gracie:
Giving a blah mirror a coastal makeover is easy — but be sure to check out my complete step-by-step instructions for a materials list and lots of helpful tips first>>
*Three years later, the beach house is still a work in progress, keep checking back for more thrifty transformations.
MORE BEACH HOUSE MAKEOVERS:
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
With the rocking sheep and paint treatment complete, the biggest projects for my nursery decor are complete. And it’s a good thing, we are closing in on my early June due date. This week, I’m waiting on a few things to be delivered, so I’m keeping busy washing teeny baby clothes and filling up my new dresser. I have some really cute stuff, but you can’t have too many onesies, so this week I’m printing off these adorable freezer paper stencils from The Alison Show to make a few myself (congrats to Alison on her newest arrival!).
I am so enamored with freezer paper, my mind is already spinning with a dozen ideas to use it (hello, Weekday Crafternoon!). What do you think of these homemade onesies?
Got baby fever? Catch up on all of The Nursery Files!
Cinco de Mayo is my favorite margarita-based holiday (make mine non-alcoholic). I, personally, love that this holiday gives us a reason to go color crazy with a table setting–it’s the perfect way to kick off all of those backyard barbeques coming up. Dress your table in style with these easy-to-make (and easy on the eyes!) confetti-dotted vases:
These pretty table toppers are even better in person. I can’t tell you how many people stopped by my crafting studio to coo over them; they are really adorable! Wouldn’t they be perfect paired with these piñata cookies?
Are you celebrating on Cinco de Mayo? Do you prefer a gathering at your casita or will you hit up your favorite Mexican restaurant? No matter what you’re planning, you can win one of these sweet dotty vases by leaving a comment below. Buena suerte (good luck)!
Watch all the episodes of Weekday Crafternoon right here.
You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 12:00 p.m. ET on April 16, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on April 22, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $25. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.
Congrats to Levieta, our winner!
I don’t know if you’ve caught on from my other posts, but I’m expecting a little boy in early summer, and nursery preparations are in full swing. Being a do-it-myself kind of girl, I’ve been thinking up craft projects for the nursery for weeks. I wanted to do something with the baby’s monogram that was a little unusual, and I finally thought of the perfect thing. Why not take straight-from-the-70′s string art and make it modern? I just love how it turned out:
What do you think? I love the graphic impact and can’t wait to hang it in the little guys room. It gives great texture and interest to a gallery wall and is definitely not just for a nursery.
Want to make your own piece of custom string art? You can download the letter template here. And as always, if you’ve missed any past episodes of Weekday Crafternoon you can find them all right here.
I first fell in love with marbleized paper on a college trip to Italy — the swirl of rainbow colors just seemed so magical. In Florence, a local artist showed us how it was done. It’s an amazingly simple process: You mix olive oil with watercolor or gouache paints then drop the mixture into a shallow pan filled with water, swirl the floating paint to create patterns then lay paper on the water’s surface. Because oil and water don’t mix, the paint isn’t diluted and floats on the surface, creating a swirling multicolored pattern on the paper. I loved the process for its ingenious simplicity and the fact that the results couldn’t be controlled.
With Easter on the horizon, I thought I’d try a twist on the Italian marbleizing technique when dyeing eggs by adding olive oil to the food coloring dye solutions. Here are my results:
I have to admit the polka-dotted effect was unexpected but I really like it so I left several eggs as-is after a single dip in the dye bath. Others I dipped in a second color for a more traditional marbleized effect. Ready to get started? Here are the step-by-step instructions>>
Proudly display your finished eggs in a handmade nest or bed of excelsior: MORE EASTER IDEAS:
15 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Our Favorite Easter Decorating Ideas
Easter Kids’ Craft: (Cute!) Painted Pail With Ribbon Roses
Weekday Crafternoon: Easter Wreath With Paper Flowers
Printable Bunny Ears — Free Printable PDF
Hatching Chick Egg
Kids’ Craft: Dyed Easter Egg Animals — Free Printable PDFs
How to Make Cascarone Confetti Eggs
Welcome back, spring — I’ve missed you so! The weather here in Knoxville has (thankfully!) warmed, birds are singing and flowers are popping up everywhere. My backyard is abloom with crocuses, daffodils, tulips, forsythia and lenten roses putting on a colorful show. I’m a flower picker from way back. There’s hardly a photo of a preschool me where I don’t have a bunch of wildflowers (and honestly, sometimes just plain weeds) clutched tightly in my chubby fist. So when my yard breaks into bloom, I break out the scissors and head outside to claim some spring color to brighten up the indoors.
I’ve also always been fascinated by that other harbinger of spring: bird’s nests, eggs and baby birds hopping about. Obviously, I’ve no plans to bring those inside — but – in under an hour I can turn aluminum foil, moss and hot glue into a realistic looking bird’s nest that adds a sweet spring touch:
Pretty, huh? It was actually easy to make – get the complete step-by-step instructions here>> The tiny robin’s eggs are easy to craft too, my instructions include how to paint and speckle them.
You can make your nest any size you like. I made this one large enough to work as an Easter basket of sorts:
Easter celebrations are right around the corner — time to banish winter blahs and freshen up indoors and out with a few springy touches. We’ve gathered 25 of our favorite Easter decorating ideas to inspire you. From quick-and-easy centerpiece ideas to a clever way to glam up your Easter eggs to a free, printable Easter banner — we’ve got you covered.
All 25 ideas have the official Easter Bunny stamp of approval (seriously!) but here are my 5 favorites:
Delight Easter guests with this creative place setting idea featuring cute (and oh-so-fluffy!) feathered chicks and candy eggs:
Weather permitting, bring your dining table and chairs outside and enjoy Easter dinner al fresco surrounded by Mother Nature’s changing scenery.
St. Patrick’s day is such a fun holiday, it’s a little bit cheeky and heavy on the eating and celebrating. But there is a darker side to St. Patty: as a child I lived in fear of getting pinched. Yes, I was the kid who worked up a lather that somehow, in spite of my mounting anxiety, I would forget to wear green on March 17th, inviting perfect strangers to pinch me to their hearts content.
Maybe I was a weird kid. Whether that’s the case or not, I can tell you one thing: I’ll be wearing my green this St. Patricks Day. And here is an easy and adorable way for you to get your green on as well: These simple felt shamrocks take just minutes to make, cost only pennies, and can adorn everything from hair clips to pins and more. Frankly, once you start making them, you might find it hard to stop.
How will you wear your green this St. Patrick’s Day? Or will you hole up in your house, hiding from those rogue pinchers?
With just one week till V-Day, it’s time for some quick-and-easy printables to put the finishing touches on your celebrations. From valentines you can print then embellish, to lettered tags perfect for topping gifts or treats, we’ve got you covered.
These charming printable tags can be cut into any shape to top their favorite sweets:
If an old-school valentine is more your speed, print one of our cute valentines onto card stock then embellish them with self-adhesive rhinestones and ribbon: