budget_decor   11

Bunk Bed Hideout
Remember my initial mood board for the boys’ shared bedroom? Let me jog your memory…

You can read more about it here. Or you could save your time and forget it. Because things have changed. I loved the mood board. Really. I did. But there was a problem. Layne and Everett didn’t approve. They said it was okay but too boring. Since I want the boys to have a room they’re excited about, I asked them how I could make it better.

“I want it to feel like a hideout.” – Layne

“I want it to be colorful.” – Everett

So, now I have the task of creating a colorful hideout that still looks like it belongs in our house. I’m working on it. Recently, we repainted the boys’ bedroom switching out the light blue-gray walls for taupe. {It’s Valspar’s dry riverbed in case you’re wondering. It was the color of the front living room in our previous house.} Then we hung floor-to-ceiling curtains around the bunk. Take a peek – don’t mind the messy beds and non-ironed everything. These are by no means ‘afters.’ This is real life. Be happy there’s not a naked four-year-old photobombing every picture.

The curtains are four LENDA panels in the bleached color. The ceiling track is KVARTAL with coordinating glides. I cut the top loops off the curtains and sewed RIKTIG gathering tape onto the backs at the top so I could hang the curtains from the glides. {Everything I’m referencing here hails from IKEA.}

I tried the RIKTIG clips {seen on the right above} but thought they looked unfinished.

I’m all for casual but the clips weren’t cutting it.

Ahhhh. Much better. One curtain hangs at the foot of the bunk and three panels hang along the side.

The boys don’t like their enclosed bunks. They love them. I love that they love them. And I like the way the curtains soften the metal bunk but I have to admit…the floor-to-ceiling curtains remind me of the triage units at the hospital. I tried to make them feel more posh by hemming them so they pool on the floor.

Fun fact: This time last year, I was watching the Super Bowl from a similar curtained bed in the labor & delivery triage unit. I was in pre-term labor with Mabrey.

I’m still wishing the boys would have chosen a wooden bunk bed. But, whatever. It’s their room.

Each boy has their own book light and ledge.

Sometimes I’ll walk into the room to find the boys camping out on their beds with the curtains closed, lights on and a pile of books at their disposal. It makes my day.

So, I think I’ve got the hideout thing covered.

I’ve got work to do on the colorful part. I’m not good with lots of color. Now, pops of color I can do. Hopefully, they’ll appease Everett.

I’m thinking that ladder {it’s separate and removable} would look cool if it were different from the rest of the white bed. Spray-painted yellow? Wrapped in rope?

If you’re looking for an easy way to DIY a freestanding hideout bunk…

My boys love it and I can live with it. More to come as the room evolves!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
budget_decor  DIY  kid-friendly  mood_board  bed  Bedroom  boy  bunk  ceiling  curtain  floor-to-ceiling  hideaway  hideout  shared  track  GR-starred  from google
february 2013 by lacurieuse
The Peshtemal Plunge
One of you spied a minor new addition to our bathroom in this as-is house tour post. Do you see it?

Hint: it’s not the lone toilet paper roll. Or the baby bath seat.

Yep. The towels. You may remember that we were having trouble with our regular ol’ bath towels drying out completely since we’re all sharing the same bathroom and, um Ihatetoadmitit, the same towels. Not ideal, I know. But it’s what we’re doing until we can find a good chunk of time to attack the other {currently gutted} bathroom.

Adding a few more towel hooks to another wall or the door would have been another solution but, since the kids will eventually have their own bathroom, we decided to try something that would work now and in the future when extra towels aren’t necessary.

Luckily, the rise of the peshtemal coincided with our bath towel conundrum. If you haven’t heard of the peshtemal {where have you been?} it’s actually one of those ‘what’s old is new again’ comebacks. Peshtemals have been used for centuries in Anatolian steam baths. They’re made of 100% cotton and known to be highly absorbent, lightweight and fast-drying. These properties make them ideal for bathrooms, traveling, the gym and the beach.

I decided to give them a try. I bought two from this etsy shop to start. We liked them so much and they worked so well {i.e., they dry out completely in a short amount of time so no more mildewy-smelling towels!} that I ordered another five during a sale the shop was running a few weeks ago. I bought all different colors and patterns. I like mixing the towels. They add a little fun to our otherwise neutral bathroom. I get way too excited about them.

HH wasn’t sure about them the first time he tried one. I think his exact words were “I feel like I’m drying off with a bed sheet.” But much to his disbelief, the thin little towels do a better job of drying him off than our regular bath towels. They’re like the ShamWow of the bath towel world. They’re that good. Not to mention they look pretty darn amazing too.

As far as washing them goes, I just throw them in a cold wash cycle and dry them in the dryer on low-medium heat. Easy. Once warmer weather rolls around, I’ll probably hang them outside to dry. They just get better and softer with each wash.

The other advantage of the peshmetal is its petite size. They are thinner and smaller than your typical bath towel. The image above shows our seven peshtemals folded and stacked next to a pile of seven of our regular store bought bath towels. This space-saving characteristic is great for our downsized linen closet! All I have to do is donate our old towels. Oh yes, the Great Purge of 2013 is almost here.

Do you own a peshtemal? What’s been your experience with it? I was surprised to learn that peshtemals can also be worn as clothing. {Haven’t tried it yet.} Now isn’t that one multifunctional piece of cotton?!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
budget_decor  bath  Bathroom  cotton  peshtemal  small  towel  GR-starred  from google
december 2012 by lacurieuse
The Peshtemal Plunge
One of you spied a minor new addition to our bathroom in this as-is house tour post. Do you see it?

Hint: it’s not the lone toilet paper roll. Or the baby bath seat.

Yep. The towels. You may remember that we were having trouble with our regular ol’ bath towels drying out completely since we’re all sharing the same bathroom and, um Ihatetoadmitit, the same towels. Not ideal, I know. But it’s what we’re doing until we can find a good chunk of time to attack the other {currently gutted} bathroom.

Adding a few more towel hooks to another wall or the door would have been another solution but, since the kids will eventually have their own bathroom, we decided to try something that would work now and in the future when extra towels aren’t necessary.

Luckily, the rise of the peshtemal coincided with our bath towel conundrum. If you haven’t heard of the peshtemal {where have you been?} it’s actually one of those ‘what’s old is new again’ comebacks. Peshtemals have been used for centuries in Anatolian steam baths. They’re made of 100% cotton and known to be highly absorbent, lightweight and fast-drying. These properties make them ideal for bathrooms, traveling, the gym and the beach.

I decided to give them a try. I bought two from this etsy shop to start. We liked them so much and they worked so well {i.e., they dry out completely in a short amount of time so no more mildewy-smelling towels!} that I ordered another five during a sale the shop was running a few weeks ago. I bought all different colors and patterns. I like mixing the towels. They add a little fun to our otherwise neutral bathroom. I get way too excited about them.

HH wasn’t sure about them the first time he tried one. I think his exact words were “I feel like I’m drying off with a bed sheet.” But much to his disbelief, the thin little towels do a better job of drying him off than our regular bath towels. They’re like the ShamWow of the bath towel world. They’re that good. Not to mention they look pretty darn amazing too.

As far as washing them goes, I just throw them in a cold wash cycle and dry them in the dryer on low-medium heat. Easy. Once warmer weather rolls around, I’ll probably hang them outside to dry. They just get better and softer with each wash.

The other advantage of the peshmetal is its petite size. They are thinner and smaller than your typical bath towel. The image above shows our seven peshtemals folded and stacked next to a pile of seven of our regular store bought bath towels. This space-saving characteristic is great for our downsized linen closet! All I have to do is donate our old towels. Oh yes, the Great Purge of 2013 is almost here.

Do you own a peshtemal? What’s been your experience with it? I was surprised to learn that peshtemals can also be worn as clothing. {Haven’t tried it yet.} Now isn’t that one multifunctional piece of cotton?!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
budget_decor  bath  Bathroom  cotton  peshtemal  small  towel  from google
december 2012 by lizbuehler
Free-for-All: Flor
*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Bethany Winkler! Enjoy your new Flor!

In my last post, you got a sneak peek of the new rug in the boys’ bedroom. Previously, I bought an inexpensive cotton flat weave from IKEA to give the kids a soft place to play. I knew when I bought it that it wasn’t the rug. {But that’s okay. I was thinking ahead and planned to use it elsewhere once I found the right rug for the boys’ room.}

It was too light to survive in a boys’ bedroom {hello, dirt} and the size was all wrong. It was roughly 6′x8′ but I needed it about 3′ longer on the longest side to optimize play space. That meant I was looking for a 6′x11′ rug. Basically, a fat runner. If you’ve ever done any rug shopping, you know that 6′x11′ is not anywhere close to a standard rug size. I would find rugs long enough but they were too wide. {Eventually, two desks are going in on the right wall shown above so I didn’t want a rug that would extend into the desk area.} When I found rugs narrow enough, they were too short to run the length of the room. That’s when I realized I was wasting my time searching for the perfectly sized rug. The only way I was going to get a ~6′x11′ rug was to have one custom made or make one myself.

I went as far as to special order a custom cut rug via Home Depot. But when it arrived {six weeks later!} it was damaged and hadn’t even been cut to the size I specified. I had such a horrible experience that I swore off the whole custom cut rug idea. {In Home Depot’s defense, they hire out for the custom cutting of rugs and I did get a full refund because the product I received wasn’t what had been ordered – wrong size & damaged. Still, it was not a pleasant experience.}

That’s when I looked to Flor. Well, now. Here was a huge selection of rug tiles that I could position any way I wanted to nearly any size my house-lovin’ heart desired. Bingo. After I did the math, I discovered that if I made a rug 4 tiles wide and 7 tiles long it would produce a ~6’6″x11’6″ rug. Faaaantastic.

I chose 30 tiles of the sweater weather in grey. It has a cable knit texture I love in a color that will hide just about anything my boys can throw, drop, squish, mark or smear on it. For particularly awful messes, I can remove the affected tiles, wash them off in the sink or outside then put them back. Like nothing ever happened. Shhhhhhh. If one the tiles is ever beyond washing or repairing, I have two replacement tiles to use.

I was leery of the ‘heavy traffic’ description, afraid that the tiles would feel like the abrasive indoor-outdoor carpeting from the 70′s. But they don’t feel that way at all. They feel more like yarn than carpet or wool.

{Nevermind the sliver of sunlight blowing out the middle of the rug.}

The other great thing is that the rug has a super low profile. I can easily pull out the trundle bed of the bunk onto the rug without having to move anything first. The tile backs are slip-resistant so the rug doesn’t shift or wrinkle when the trundle rolls onto them. No need for a rug pad.

Putting the rug together was a cinch.

I laid out my 28 tiles in the rectangular shape I wanted, using the quarter-turn installation. Then we lived with them like that – floating freely – for a week or so to make sure it was the rug. It was! The only thing left to do was adhere the tiles to each other.

The tiles came with a slew of stickers.

At the intersection of four tiles, I placed one sticker – sticky side up – underneath and lined up the seams of the tiles with the guide lines on the sticker. {Picture the sticker above laying under the tiles.}

At the intersection of two end tiles, I placed one sticker – sticky side up – underneath the seam and lined up the seam with the guide lines on the sticker. {Picture the sticker above laying under the top tile as well.} I just went row by row, sticking the tiles together until they were all one big rug. It took me a total of 20 minutes.

This is the view from the top bunk. You can better see the size of the rug in relation to the room. It’s perfect.

I’m Flor’s newest fan. For several reasons:

*The tiles can be made into rugs of hard-to-come-by shapes and sizes.

*The low profile makes it ideal near moving doors, desk chairs and trundle beds.

*The slip-resistant backing makes a rug pad unnecessary.

*Tiles can be removed and replaced easily for cleaning.

*Tile facing is made from 100% recycled fibers.

I would highly recommend Flor for your floor-covering needs. To help you out, Flor is graciously sponsoring this week’s giveaway! See entry details below.

PRIZE: 20 Flor tiles of your choice!! {This will make a ~5′x8′ rug. You may purchase additional tiles for a larger rug.}

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. shipping address {no P.O. boxes please} to enter. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: ‘Like’ Flor on facebook then come back here and leave a comment on this post proclaiming “FLOR ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before noon on Friday, October 19th. One random winner will be announced that same day.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Since we’re talking custom-sized rugs…what’s your favorite custom item in your home? Maybe you have custom built kitchen cabinets or commissioned artwork that was created just for you. I’ll go first. We had an engineered ridge beam custom built for the great room. It allowed us to vault the once 8′ ceilings to >12′. It’s definitely a custom touch that goes a long way in making our kitchen and family room feel bigger and brighter. We’d do it over again in a heartbeat.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Ever wonder what happened to the IKEA rug I took out of the boys’ room? Check back tomorrow to see where it ended up.

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
budget_decor  DIY  kid-friendly  Bedroom  boy  custom  floor  flor  giveaway  gray  rug  sweater_weather  tile  GR-starred  from google
october 2012 by lacurieuse
The Making of a Mood Board (Part IV)
By now you should have a draft mood board of items. To polish it up and make it presentable for a blog post or client, you can add embellishments such as titles, text, arrows and decoration. This step can be likened to taking a loose photo and making it into a scrapbook page. It’s all about dressing it up and being creative.

Log into polyvore, click ‘create’, click the ‘my sets’ tab, click ‘drafts.’ Select the draft board you want to embellish and click ‘edit this draft.’

This should bring up the draft board that you saved previously. To add text to your board, click the ‘all items’ tab. Under the ‘embellishments’ category, select ‘text.’

This will bring up a text box. Select a font and type in your desired text. Click ‘update’ to see it appear on your board. You can enlarge, shrink and pivot your text box the same way you would an item. Change the font or color of your text by using the drop-down menus in the text bar.

I widen my text box by dragging the right line of the box to get my title all in one line. I shrink my text and use a teal color to go along with my mood board’s color palette. I center the title above the board. Then I save my draft.

Sometimes it’s useful to number items in your mood board. This is helpful when you’ll be discussing each item in depth within a blog post or with a client. You can simply add lone numbers like you did with the title and then position them next to each item OR polyvore gives you the option of using ready made numbers that have a more professional appearance. To access the ready made numbers, click the ‘all items’ link in blue to the right of your board. Select ’123♥→.’

This will bring up pages of arrows, numbers and other decorative labeling aides. Select the label you want and ‘add to set.’ You can change the color via the drop-down menu in the box. You can also lighten or darken the color using the fade feature. I use the round number stickers in orange and fade them so that they mimic the coral in my mood board.

When numbering, I like to layer the numbers slightly over the items so there’s no question which number goes with which item. I also try to stagger the placement of the numbers so your eye moves around the board in a flowing manner. With my mood board titled and numbered, I give it a once-over and save my draft.

For fun and to show you a little more of what you can do, I play around with my title’s color and give it some flair. {“I don’t really like talking about my flair.” Name that movie.}

To highlight the title, I add double arrowheads to each end of the title. I decide the teal font and coral arrows work best. I save my draft.

If you’re wondering, I use the ‘text’, ’123♥→’, ‘effects & textures’ and ‘patterns & overlays’ embellishments most frequently. My best advice here is to practice playing around with the embellishments. Try layering text over patterns and using different extras to amp up the wow factor on your boards. It’s just like cropping…you’ll get better with practice. That being said, if I’m making a mood board for personal use, I usually don’t add embellishments. I just want a feel for how certain items will look all together in one space.

Ta-dah! Wait…how’d I get my board onto my blog you ask?

Once you complete a mood board you have two options: 1) save it as a draft to view personally OR 2) publish it to share with others.

If you want to post your mood board to a blog or email it to a client, you will need to publish it. Click ‘publish’ in the upper left hand corner of your  board.

Populate the fields as directed. I don’t spend a whole lot of time or thought on this part since I don’t target my boards toward the polyvore audience. Click ‘publish.’

You are able to quick share via different social media sites but I click ‘done’ here. My boards are usually going into a blog post that I haven’t written yet or to a client via email.

Congrats! You just published a mood board! Feels good, doesn’t it?

A great feature about a completed mood board is that you can hover over any of the items and it will bring up links to the items. Super convenient. There are share buttons for twitter, tumblr, email, pinterest and facebook. I use the email button to email mood boards to clients. The email includes links to all the items in the mood board which is another convenient feature. I also send a separate email to clients from my personal email account giving more details about the board – this is where those numbers come in handy. I specify furniture arrangements, each item’s placement, my thoughts on why I chose each item and other pertinent info. It’s easier for me to discuss one item at a time and I’m sure it’s easier for the client to see the mood board broken down into smaller bits.

To post my mood board to House*Tweaking I click ‘post to blog.’ This brings up a box giving me appearance options. I always choose the last option in the first row which basically means I don’t want a list of all the items included with the mood board…I just want the mood board itself to appear on my blog. I set the image size to 600 pixels wide because that’s how wide my post column is on H*T. I skip the ‘choose your blog’ option and instead opt to copy the HTML code for my board. I paste the HTML code within the blog post I write pertaining to the mood board.

With the board in my blog post, I’m able to refer to each item via its labeled number. Voilà!

I’ll bet you would have never guessed all that went on behind the scenes when you’re reading a mood board post on H*T. No one is ever going to ask how I create anything tech-y again! Ha!

Sorry if this week was a total wash and you have no interest in mood boards. I’m happy if I inspire just one person to create their own. Playing around with mood boards is my idea of fun. I wish a step-by-step tutorial for polyvore had been around years ago when I started using it, so this is my way of paying it forward. Another reason I wanted to share this tutorial now is that NEXT WEEK I will begin offering mood board services for a fee. I know not everyone will be able/want to shell out the moolah for a custom mood board, so I thought sharing my process would give those readers the chance to DIY their own.

Happy embellishing! And I apologize in advance to the husbands, boyfriends, wives?, girlfriends?, children and pets of any polyvore monsters I created this week. SORRY. I would love for readers to link to their polyvore mood boards in the comments section below so I can see what lovely sets you’ve created.

Please feel free to ask any questions about polyvore and mood boards in the comments section below. Refer to Parts I, II and III of this tutorial if you’re just tuning in.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
budget_decor  collage  custom  DIY  embellishment  how_to  idea  Inspiration  interior_design  mood_board  number  polyvore  text  tutorial  from google
september 2012 by lizbuehler
Free-for-All: Nena Von
*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Kellie who has five naked windows in her new place that could use some TLC and who saw her last live performance waaaaay too long ago {like me!} back in December. Here’s to making live performance viewings less rare!

I’ve got another fabulous etsy shop to share with you today! Nena Von specializes in custom drapery and designer pillows.

I’ve purchased many a pillow cover {Imagine that. Me. Buying pillow covers. Crazy.} from this shop and they are wonderful. With all the different prints, colors and sizes available, there’s sure to be one that suits your home inside or out.

This week the shop’s owner, Summer, is graciously offering up a pair of custom drapery panels. Do you have a window in need of some flair? Great! See entry details below.

PRIZE: a pair of Nena Von custom drapery panels. Choose from one of the five drapery fabrics above. Each panel will be 50″ wide and lined. The winner will specify the desired length and choice of finished top: brushed nickel grommet top, flat panel (for clip rings) or rod top. Because this prize will be custom made, please allow 2-3 weeks for shipping.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old to enter. One entry per email address. International entries are welcome!

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “CURTAIN CALL!”

DEADLINE: Enter before Thursday, July 26th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One random winner will be announced Friday, July 27th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Since we’re talking curtain calls…what was the last live performance you went to see? A concert? A Broadway show? The ballet? I’ll go first. The last live performance I saw was Layne’s music performance at his school back in February. I know. Waaaaay too long ago. It was a singing performance that his class and a few other first grade classes put on for a local retirement community. They did such a great job that the directors decided to have a concert for parents and families as well. The theme was ‘We Can Make a Difference’ and I was so surprised by the performance {the kids were on key and smiling, you could actually hear what they were saying, videos of the kids helping out around the school and community were playing, Layne was in the tallest back row and kept putting one hand above his eyes bill-style trying to find us in the audience, and they were delivering a great message} that I cried the entire time. And I’m usually not a crier! Oh, how kids can pull at your heartstrings sometimes.

Don’t forget to like Nena Von on Facebook to get in on exclusive giveaways and discounts!

Click here to see who won the Del Mar Designs giveaway.

images: Nena Von
budget_decor  curtain  custom  designer  drape  drapery  etsy  fabric  free  free_for_all  giveaway  handmade  nena_von  panel  pillow  shop  win  from google
july 2012 by lizbuehler
Free-for-All: Studio Ei8ht
*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Hanna! She loves spring time for the fact that she can open her windows without running the A/C or heat. Who doesn’t love weather that is eco-friendly?!

I can’t stay away from pillow posts too long…

Lara, the lovely Studio Ei8ht etsy shop owner, contacted me about offering a giveaway exclusive to House*Tweaking readers. Lara offers handmade pillow covers in designer fabrics. With 50+ options, there’s a color, pattern or print for every style. Most of the covers include an invisible zipper for a tailored fit.

At the moment, I’m particularly drawn to all the brightly colored designs. That must mean spring is in the air. Living in the midwest where we get a taste of every season, I find myself drawn to different colors and textures depending on the weather. Do you do this too? Needless to say, springtime has me aching for punches of bold color.

Well, lucky for us, removable pillow covers are an easy, temporary way to shake things up from season to season. And, double lucky for you, a store credit to Studio Ei8ht is up for grabs to H*T readers this week! Here are all the details…

PRIZE: $45 store credit redeemable at Studio Ei8ht
RULES: You must be at least 18 years old to enter. One entry per email address. International entries are welcome but please be aware that items cannot be shipped to Italy, Mexico, Africa, India, Romania, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philipines, and Vietnam due to tracking issues.
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “8 IS GREAT!”
DEADLINE: Enter before Thursday, April 19th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One winner will be chosen via random.org and announced Friday, April 20th.
WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Tell me which season suits your home best and why. I’ll go first. Well, since we don’t technically live in the Underdog yet, I can’t say for sure which season I’m going to enjoy most. {I’d take any season in a house at this point! Ha!} What I can tell you is that I have enjoyed springtime there from afar, watching all the different bulbs and perennials planted by the previous owner pop up. In our last house, I think I would have said I enjoyed fall most. The sunroom afforded us never ending views of the mature trees in our backyard which would turn glorious shades of red, orange and gold in autumn. With windows on three sides, I left the sunroom decor mostly white and let the colors of nature take center stage. It was an easy room to ‘decorate.’

images: collage by Dana Miller using Studio Ei8ht images
budget_decor  giveaway  cover  decor  easy  etsy  free  pillow  studio_ei8ht  temporary  win  from google
april 2012 by lizbuehler
Keep The Home Fires Burnin’
I saw this vintage apothecary matchstick bottle in the most recent issue of House Beautiful and thought, “I should try DIYing that!”  It was simply a small glass bottle filled with matchsticks and etched on the bottom for lighting the matches.  I already had a perfect little glass vase that I had found at Goodwill for $1 but had trouble scoring long {think 4″-6″} matchsticks to fit inside.  I finally found these 4″ matchsticks on Amazon.

They come in a set of three.  They were expensive for matches, but I planned on making two more of these matchstick bottles {for Mom and MIL for Mother’s Day} if the first one turned out okay so I figured ‘what the heck?’ and ordered ‘em.  One matchstick bottle for myself and two Mother’s Day gifts for less than $20 total is actually a steal, right?  I tried etching the bottom of the glass vase like my House Beautiful inspiration had on it, but the etching turned out not to be coarse enough for lighting the matches.  Scratch Plan A and onto Plan B which consisted of me cutting out the lighting strip from the matchbox, cutting it down to size, and adhering it to the exterior bottom of the vase with scrapbooking mounting squares.

I didn’t like the way the lighting strip showed through the glass when the vase was upright.

I cut out a circle of scrap fabric {from some leftover kitchen curtain material} and placed a folded piece of painter’s tape to hold it in place into the bottom of the vase.  {I wanted to be able to remove the fabric easily if I ever need to clean out the vase.}

I filled the vase with matchsticks and tied a small tag {another scrapbooking product that I already hand on hand} around the lip of the vase with twine.

Yes, that’s computer text added to the tag.  I didn’t want to write something on it just yet since I plan on gifting two matchstick holders to my mom and MIL for Mother’s Day.  I don’t have the other two vases {which I plan on buying at Goodwill} yet and want to make ‘em personal after I decide which one stays with me, which goes to my mom, and which goes to MIL.  I might even switch up the phrasing to something else but I like this one for my own home.

The lighting strip really works, too!  You just grab a match, hold the open mouth of the vase with one hand, and swipe the match across the bottom with your other hand.  Oh, and it doesn’t budge at all with those super sticky mounting squares holding it in place.  Just remember to keep it out of reach of little ones!

With the vase full of matches, you can’t see the fabric-covered bottom.  But as the match supply begins to dwindle, it will be revealed…instead of the lighting strip’s ugly backside.

I’ll have to keep you posted on how I tweak this DIY project into a Mother’s Day gift when that time approaches.  Wouldn’t it be nice to gift it along with a yummy-smelling candle? And to think that I’ll get 3 matchstick holders for the same price {$20!!} as the one in House Beautiful is pretty sweet. Nothing like taking inspiration from high-end products and dumbing it down into something affordable!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
Budget_Decor  DIY  Inspiration  bottle  budget-friendly  candle  cheap  craft  easy  fabric  gift  glass  holder  house_beautiful  idea  matches  matchsticks  vase  from google
march 2011 by lizbuehler
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I thought I’d share a little handmade gift that my boys received for Christmas a few weeks ago. Handy Hubby’s artsy sister crafted it for them.  {Thanks Aunt Amy!}  She’s also the master mind behind our framed “Miller” wall art in the mini mudroom.  Here’s the auto mobile {Get it?  auto…mobile?  I thought I was so clever with that one.} she made for Layne and Everett.

An embroidery hoop wrapped in ribbon holds everything together nicely.

Two pieces of wire attached perpendicular to each other on the hoop give support for the ribbon hanger.

Various vehicle silhouettes cut from card stock hang from the hoop via filament.  {Fishing line would suffice also.}

There are even little road signs made from map scrapbooking paper.

The cut-outs are attached to the filament with Sticky Dots {or Glue Dots}.  The small circles that were punched out for the headlights disguise the Sticky Dots.

Isn’t that just adorable?  Layne and Everett love it…even though I haven’t had a chance to hang it in their room properly.  It’ll look great with the navy and olive color scheme they already have going on in there.

The possibilities for inexpensive mobiles like this are endless.  Couldn’t you see one dangling above a crib in a nursery?  Or above a reading chair in a corner?  You could feature anything from animals to flowers to snowflakes to shapes…really…anything.  Does this give you any ideas or inspiration?  I just love handmade gifts.

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
Budget_Decor  DIY  Kid-friendly  art  craft  easy  gift  handmade  idea  inexpensive  Kids  mobile  paper  from google
january 2011 by sophisticatedmisfits
Our Holiday Mantle {& DIY Paper Garland}
Our decor is mostly simple and light, so it should come as no surprise that I decorated our holiday mantle as such.

And I only spent about $8.

The metal star, green ribbon, 2 ceramic pillars, woven balls, leafy {faux} branches, silver icicle garland, clear and ceramic votives, rippled wood pillar {actually a back massager I think?} and silver bells are all things I’ve had for many years.  The only things I spent money on were the 3 mercury votives and paper garland.  The mercury votives were 99¢ each from Target.

The DIY paper garland was an idea I *borrowed* from Belinda over at The Happy Home.  {I’m telling you.  She’s great.} It ran me about $5.

The silver bells are Handy Hubby’s from when he was little.  {They really need polished.}  He got one each Christmas as a child.  I sat them atop clear glass votives to keep them from rolling around and to give them some height.

To keep things from feeling too stark, I tried a little layering:  the star/ribbon over the mirror, the green leafy branches & icicle garland in the background, the pillars & votives & paper garland in the foreground. Notice how a few of the leaves reach up to the mirror, curve around the white ceramic pillar and brush the paper garland.  I also like how just at the right angle the metal star rests atop the mirrored reflection of our Christmas tree {across the room}.  A happy accident.

So do you want a DIY paper garland tutorial?  If so, keep reading.  If not, stop reading.

DIY PAPER GARLAND TUTORIAL

There are several versions of paper garland tutorials out there in the blog world.  I used Belinda’s and tweaked it a little.  Staying true to my celery, lavender and eggplant color scheme, I bought 10 sheets of scrapbooking paper. {5 sheets of lavendar polka dot and 5 sheets of celery polka dot} This cost me roughly $5.  As far as paper goes, that’s expensive.  But as far as garland goes, that’s cheap.  Then I used a 2″ circle cutting tool {try Fiskars} to cut out a buh-zillion 2″ paper circles. {You could do this by hand but I wouldn’t recommend it.} I used up all 10 sheets of paper.

With all my circles cut out, I took 2 of each color to make 1 paper bauble.

I folded each circle in half, wrong side out.

I applied glue just to the outer edge of 1 circle, wrong side out.  {Be sure to leave the folded edge free of glue…this comes in handy later when stringing the baubles together.}

I attached a folded circle of the opposite color to the glued circle.

I continued gluing and adding the folded circles, alternating colors, until all 4 circles were glued together.  {Layne said the baubles looked like little Saturn planets.}

Then I repeated this over and over and over…

…or to be exact 75 times.  It does take a while {hence the change in lighting – from natural daylight to artificial evening light} but it’s very easy and I found it quite calming.  I let the baubles dry completely.  I threaded a needle onto my trusty spool of twine.  You could use string, thread, yarn, etc.

Then I pulled the twine through the center of each bauble.  {That’s why you only use glue on the outer edges of the circles.} I did have to gently pull some of the baubles to open up the middle and make way for the needle.  I could have used a longer needle but I didn’t have one.

I knotted each end of twine to reveal a very pretty garland.

It’s playful, colorful, even a little textural.  I taped mine to the mantle but it could be just as great on the Christmas tree, around doorways, on a dining table or traipsing along a wall.  Oh, and what about a party decoration?!

I’m definitely saving this paper garland after the holiday season is over.  Who knows where it’ll end up next?  What about you?  Are you making any Christmas decorations?  Do you prefer store bought or handmade seasonal decor?  I like both.  Obviously.

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
Budget_Decor  DIY  Inspiration  cheap  Christmas  easy  fireplace  garland  green  handmade  holiday  holiday_decor  homemade  lavender  mantle  paper  tutorial  from google
december 2010 by sophisticatedmisfits
Pretty Scary
Call me a party-pooper, Scrooge or cold.  But, I’m sorry, I really don’t like blatant holiday decor. That being said, I have 2 kiddos that I don’t want to deprive of holiday fun.  So with Halloween right around the corner, we worked together on spookifying our living room…for FREE.

NON-SCARY LIVING ROOM

I asked my boys to tell me a few things they thought were scary.  I got spiders, BOO! and bats out of them.  So, I sketched out a picture of each onto a scrap piece of poster board we already had on hand and them cut them out.  {I also drew the boys their own things to cut out while I worked on mine…a good distraction!}

I used a small, folded-over piece on tape on each cut-out and stuck them to the insides of our living room lampshades.

LIGHTS OFF

The shapes aren’t noticeable with the lights off, but when you switch them on they cast nice shadows on the shades.

LIGHTS ON

My boys think this is just about the coolest project we’ve done.  And they don’t seem to mind that our scary lampshade spiders only have 6 legs.  {For the life of me, I can’t draw a non-freakish looking 8-legged spider.  Plus, 6 legs were plenty to cut…my hands were starting to cramp.}  I’ve found the living room lamps on during daylight hours just about every day since the spooky silhouettes made an appearance.  Oh well, it’s gotta cost less than powering one of those outdoor blow-up jack-o’-lanterns.
Budget_Decor  DIY  Kid-friendly  cheap  free  Halloween  Halloween_decorations  holiday  inexpensive  Kids  from google
october 2010 by sophisticatedmisfits

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