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.
Let’s Get Started
With less than a week left till Christmas, I’m betting that you — like me – are spending a fair amount of time wrapping gifts. Which, to be honest, I don’t mind. Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays; I like to come up with new ways to package them each year.
Here are a few of my gift wrap ideas from 2012 with links to instructions below:
* Left and bottom right: Easy doily gift wrap plus how to make a yarn pom-pom
and upper right: Menswear-inspired ribbon rose plus how to make a chalkboard gift tag
This year, I decided to shake things up a bit and use fabric trim instead of traditional ribbon for smaller gifts:
And cover reusible containers, like this mailing tube, in fabric for pretty packages that can be reused by the recipient as year-round decorative storage:
*The fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise – available at your local JoAnn store.
Here’s another view, I just added a wired bow to one of the mailing tube’s plastic caps to finish off the wrap:
Ready to make your own no-sew fabric gift wrap? It’s easy and your friends and family will thank you for the cute container they can use again and again. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>
Okay, first, I should come clean and confess that while I love all things crafty, sewing has never been my forte. My mom is a whiz and has tried to instruct me in the ways of the force many times (I even took Home Ec in high school and made an almost wearable drawstring-waist skirt) but all the math and measuring — ugh — too hard!
But, recently our friends at HGTV Home offered up their on-trend fabric from JoAnn if we wanted to do some holiday crafts and, of course, we jumped at the chance even though some of us, like me, are decidedly sewing challenged.
So, now I had yards of beautiful fabric and no way to magic it into a viable project. Enter fusible web, which is seriously one of the greatest inventions of all time. All you need is a hot iron to permanently join 2 pieces of fabric — no sewing machine required. It’s fabric magic which helps you create easy ornaments as cute as this:
*This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.
I’m in full-on handmade-gift-fabrication mode right now so I decided to use my ornaments as colorful gift toppers. The recipients can then hang them on their trees: *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Jigsaw” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.
Or use them to top another gift:*This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Turtle Shell” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.
Ready to make your own no-sew fabric ornaments? Our free printable templates make it a snap. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>
We’ve passed another spring-is-coming milestone this weekend: the switch to daylight savings time. (Don’t forget to set those clocks forward an hour!) I could not be more ready for days that are warm enough to throw the windows open, but I’m biding my time until then by filling up my Pinterest boards with project ideas to spruce up my home. The thought of sunshine even has me feeling a bit daring: As a non-seamstress, I’m trying my hand at these low-sew Roman shades. Fingers crossed!
Just in time to dress up whatever you have planned, HGTV HOME has launched a brand new fabric line exclusively for JoAnn Fabrics. The two collections include trendy cotton designs, upholstery fabrics and outdoor-ready prints. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the motifs I’m loving (starring, of course, emerald green):
There’s also a custom trim collection — great for anything from reviving a tired lampshade to creating your own spring table runner:
See more of the collection and get more DIY project ideas on the HGTV HOME Fabric @ JoAnn Pinterest Board.
Happy May Day everyone! I can’t believe it’s already the first day of May, crazy. The tradition of hanging May Day baskets on neighbors’ doors has faded in America, but I’m hoping to revive it with inspiration from sosorosey’s upcycled baskets. She uses fabric from old sheets and shirts to create these vibrant baskets and other goodies.
I may have to hang one of these on Channing Tatum’s door. Maybe he’ll chase me for a kiss…maybe.
The other day, I was shopping for fabric and came across something hideously wonderful. Almost a week later, I still cannot decide whether I hate it or kinda-sorta love it. Imagine a creamy, nubby, organic fabric. Got it? Okay, now imagine it printed with creepy drawings of nudists, muppets and pimps. Yep, that would be what I am talking about.
Some design-related inventions have so much wow factor that they force you to think outside the box. For example: anything Kelly Wearstler. Other times, conceptual designs are best categorized as crazypants suckmasters.
Here’s that fabric I was talking about, by the way. Wow? Or suckmaster?
When my graphic designer, Ashley Bothwell, created this Up Dog pattern as wallpaper for a yoga studio, I instantly fell in love with it.
At first, it reads as a simple, graphic pattern. But look a little bit closer and see that the shapes are made up by several figures of women in yoga poses. Perhaps what makes it so successful is its less-is-more approach.
Anyone else see anything that’s totally “out there” yet awesome? Or something that’s equally conceptual but terriby awful? Do tell.
Rainy days inside (there have been too many of them lately here in New York for my taste) always make me want to curl up in bed. The kid version of that feeling? Wanting to build a kick-butt fort. Usually fort-building involves tearing the couch apart, but this DIY table slipcover fort I spied on The Artful Parent is a much more elegant, mess-free solution.
The windows are genius additions, and it seems like it would be so cozy to read in there. Can someone please craft a grown-up version for me? Pretty please?
As a designer, I find that I’m more inspired by the past than hot, new trends. I love exploring designs that have stood the test of time. My job is to make them new again. Toile has always been a favorite for me. Painted scenes that tell a story are the essence of this 16th-century French decorating pattern. I did a deep dive into the history of toile in preparation for AphroChic’s Brooklyn Renaissance Collection, studying how today’s designers are updating these traditional treatments with contemporary stories and colors. Here are a few of my favorites. Designs that are completely reshaping the way we see and use toile in interiors.
The Parisian company Manuel Canovas has the most beautiful Toiles Collection of fabric and wallpaper. The designers at Manuel Canovas demonstrate just how beautiful toile prints in mod colors like fuchsia and paprika can be. It’s French design in a whole new light.
When I came up with idea for the modern toile for our Brooklyn Renaissance collection, I knew I wanted something completely out of the box. My husband and I worked with Brooklyn-based artist Samantha Hahn to create the Brooklyn Life Indoor toile that tells the story of young women living in Brooklyn on a really fun and fantastic (if I do say so myself) pillow.
A particular design by Sheila Bridges greatly influenced my Brooklyn Life toile. Her Harlem Toile de Jouy Wallpaper is so unique, presenting baroque scenes of “Afro-French” people. It comes in a range of hues like yellow, robin’s egg blue and cherry, and it is certain to brighten any interior.
You know the frustration of not being able to find a pen or paper anywhere in the house and instead having to scribble something important down on the back of a piece of mail with a carrot or lipstick, right? That’s how I felt a few months ago while trying to source pinstripe fabric to upholster a client’s master bedroom walls. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a decent pinstripe to save my life. What the hell is wrong with the world when a guy can’t find a decent pinstripe ANYTHING? Did Joan Crawford buy every damn yard of pinstripe in her heyday for her famous power suits? But I digress. As pinstriped products started to surface after some serious sourcing, I promised myself I’d try and make life easier for any other design lovers looking for menswear-centric materials. From discount fabric to ready-made window cornices, here’s a half dozen doozies sporting pinstriped perfection. Now that all is fine and dandy with my menswear quest, I’m currently sourcing pear, white and tangerine geometric wallpaper fit for a nursery. Guess how that’s going? Let’s just say there will be another post in a few months just like this one.
The Stretch Pinstripe Short Dining Room Chair Cover in black from Sure Fit is a cost-effective way (only $14.99) to add a menswear touch to existing dining chairs. Although available in several colors, the black color way looks the most chic.
As far as what I ended up using for the aforementioned master bedroom walls, I came across this insanely affordable 1/4 Pinstripe Suiting Fabric in Navy/Black from fabric.com for $6.98 per yard. When using fabric on walls, you can go two different routes: have an upholsterer add batting to the walls, then fully upholster them, or drop the fabric bolt off to be backed with acrylic. To budget appropriately, keep in mind that decent backing runs about $10 per yard.
Hands down, the best pinstripe fabric out there is British fashion designer Paul Smith‘s “Bespoke” line for Maharam. The Shade Store carries customizable cornices sure to give any window a tailored, menswear-inspired look. I will tell you what will not give a window a tailored look: plastic mini-blinds. Blech, I feel like those monsters sit perched in windows, peering at me just waiting to steal my soul.
American designer Thomas O’Brien is known for his classic, masculine style. Luckily for us, that style is available to all quite affordably through Target. The Menswear Duvet – Espresso looks like custom bedding; however, it’s mass-produced and less than a hundred smackeroos. Considering the fact that dudes can’t even get a decent pair of jeans for less than $100, I’d say this deal is superb.
As a decorator, I admit to being a major fabric snob, and when I say snob, I mean addict. For years, I’ve enabled my high-end fabric addiction by shopping solely at to-the-trade-only showrooms which non-professional decorators or designers can’t get into. Since this is all part of how I make my living, there’s no need for a 12 Step Program even though my reasoning is somewhat out of whack. I’d rather spend $12 on a chair, then use a $50 per yard fabric to recover its seat cushion than the other way around.
My to-the-trade-only situation recently changed—thanks to my amazing project manager, Dayka. She brought me to a magical place where everyone is welcome to purchase designer fabrics without enormous designer price tags, Calico Corners. Of all their offerings, I fell in love mostly with those from Thom Filicia and Iman. While I go pick up custom pillows and tableskirts made from them, you go scroll down and take a look-sie.
Iman’s “Punjab Peacock” is $39.19 per yard shown in Radicchio.
Check Out More Budget-Chic Fabrics
Last fall, major designers debuted a range of purples for both tabletop and home. Any of my favorites below would make a gorgeous statement on your holiday table, sofa or bed. Pair purple with silver or gold, and say a chic farewell to 2010. Happy New Year everyone!
Bedroom needing a winter’s lift that will carry you right into spring? Check out Vera Wang’s new line of bedding, available at Bloomingdales. Super chic, and with a great mix of patterns and prints, so it looks like you culled many stores, instead of buying a set. Perfect!
Purple for 2011
While many of us may gravitate toward neutral colors when choosing furniture…
Maybe it’s because my own handwriting resembles that of my internist. Or maybe it’s because it’s been years since I’ve received a handwritten letter. Whatever the reason, I’m enchanted over and over again by decor that incorporates scripted text. The loops and curlicues speak of romance and lost traditions. The vintage sources suggest lengthy journeys by train and by boat. And perhaps most appealing, the collages of prose and poetry, postmarks and Lepidoptera look perfect whether in a study, bedroom, sitting room or porch.
DBL Collection by Vicente Wolf
Schumacher announced today their exclusive agreement with Bonnee Sharp’s textile company, Studio Bon. Bonnee designs high-end, hand-crafted textiles that are colorful and chic. I love the nature-inspired Wired, Grass and Oompa. (Check out her textile-filled home, thanks to design *sponge.)
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You don’t have to be a decorating pro to make your space gorgeous. From color theory and fabric basics, to displaying art and using area rugs, we’ve got you covered.
First things first – what’s your design style? Browse through our Design Glossary and discover the style that best suits you. Are you sleek and contemporary or funky and eclectic?
These color palettes are a perfect team for any space. Colors do more than just appeal to the eye. Learn how they affect your mood.
Take a course in fabricology. Discover the best places for cotton and silk in your home.
Create balance (and a stunning display) with your artwork.
The perfect rug can make a bold statement.
For more decorating basics check out the Design 101 guide.