Archives for category: diy
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Coffee tables are a furniture staple that I’ve always bought exclusively from thrift stores. As long as the lines of the piece are attractive, you can easily refurbish a table for a fraction of the price you’d find in retail stores. For instance, I snagged this table for under $20 at Goodwill, and with some sandpaper and a few coats of paint, transformed it into a fresh white centerpiece for our living room.

DIY coffee tables are also a budget-friendly option, since most have plenty of character and style. Here are three of my favorites: an unfinished plank of wood with inexpensive legs, a concrete ikea table hack, as well as a table made from salvaged shipping crates.

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Since all you really need is a flat surface and four legs, the possibilities for creating a custom coffee table are truly boundless. Plus, a one-of-a-kind piece certainly trumps (almost) all mass-produced options!

Your place of work—be it an office, cubicle, or makeshift station—is more than likely an environment where you spend the majority of your day. Do you feel inspired by this space, or is it strictly business? Perhaps somewhere in between? I’ve found that the most productive spaces provide both: creative stimulation, as well as basic functionality. How this duality is achieved relies entirely on your personal taste. You could be drawn to…

{bold florals in a home office, via}

{a monochromatic, clean space, via}

{a vintage-inspired workspace, via}
{or the vibrant, spacious office of my dreams, via}

Regardless of your profession, taste, and literal amount space, here are a few essential components of a workspace that I believe achieve style with purpose:

Embellished bulletin boards. A staple of every office, patiently waiting for you to infuse it with some character. Simply tack or staple on some fabric, and voilà! it becomes a statement piece instead of a boring slab of cork.

{fabric-covered bulletin boards, shown here}
{multiple patterns & materials, via}
{diy inspiration using upholstery nails & fabric, via}

Clipboard organizers. Another great way to organize your work is to hang a cluster of clipboards on a wall. Better yet, cover the boards with fabric, paper, or any other material to add an additional layer of visual interest.

{diy clipboard wall, via}
{ various groupings, via}
{papered boards that add purpose to the wall,  via}

Photo strings. A quick and easy decorative element that will transform your workspace. Instead of jumbling all of your notes and pictures onto boards, consider stringing them up using wire and clips. Extra points for color-coordinated groupings like these!

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A stylish mouse pad. An office necessity that has boundless potential for personality. For a look that matches your taste, cover your existing mouse pad with a fabric remnant (tutorial here). Great affordable options are also available from online retailers.

{homemade with a scrap from an old purse, featured here}

{blue & white chevron, $9.50 sold here}

{coral ikat, $11.60 sold here}

{pricy, yet luxurious pink & gold leather, $35 here. I bet you could diy with a piece of leather & metallic paint!}

A unique calendar. Both decorative and functional calendars are available that put their standard-issued siblings to shame. Plus if you invest in a nice month-to-month set, you can frame your favorite prints when the year is over!

 {Top photo shown here, bottom row is on sale for $14 here)

Month-to-month prints are also available to download & print (for free!) from many graphic designers. I love this free calendar, featuring a rustic cabin scene that changes with each month’s weather. This is a great free option as well.

If you need additional space to organize your schedule, why not trade your staples-brand dry erase calendar for something a bit more unique? This one is available in pretty much any color under the rainbow, and can be used for years to come.

{dry erase wall calendar, $35 here)

A fun coffee cup. I don’t know about you guys, but in my world work+coffee go hand-in-hand. Accessorize your desk with a fun mug that you wouldn’t necessarily incorporate into your set at home…you only rock one cup at work, so you might as well make a statement with it!

{these West Elm mugs have been on sale for $6 for weeks, so get ‘em while you can}
{I love the gold detail on the lip of these mugs, $8 each here}
{as always, anthropologie has an adorable selection of mugs. At $12 a pop a whole set would be pricy, but it’s totally doable when only buying one}

PLANTS. The more the merrier. There’s nothing worse than feeling trapped inside a building, so bring a piece of the outdoors in with an (almost) death-proof variety here. Plants come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s bound to be a few that could call your workspace home…plus you can whisper sweet nothings to it when you’re stressing the eff out over your never-ending deadlines. They’ll listen, I swear.

{succulents & more from here, here, and here}

And finally, above all…

Kindness and hard work will get you much further than any chic inspiration board or flashy mouse pad….although no one’s saying we can’t have it all! Happy decorating,

Lately I’ve been daydreaming about wallpaper, yet its hefty price tag (and my rental situation) has kept such a project at bay. And what if I eventually grew tired of the bold look I thought I was obsessed with? This fear of commitment got me thinking–there must be a way to temporarily incorporate a print into my home décor.

When I stumbled upon this leopard-print fuzzy paper at the craft store last week, I knew I had found my solution. The lush, yet completely affordable pattern would be the perfect backdrop for my bookcase-turned-tv-stand I’ve been dying to revamp!

{Anna Griffin Peyton Collection- Flocked Leopard, $1/sheet at Michael’s}

I got this bookcase at the Christmas Tree Shop last year (I believe it was about $30? So cheap!), since I loved the lines of the piece. What I was not so enamored with, however, was its baby blue color. The eyesore recently moved to front-and-center of my living room, so it was time to perform a furniture facelift.

All I did was paint the shelf and attach 6 sheets of the leopard paper using double-stick tape. Such a huge difference, right?! I love how the animal print draws your eye down from the blackness of the television, plus creates contrast that emphasizes the great shape of the bookcase.

Lessons learned:

  1. Wallpaper does not have to be reserved for walls; instead, think outside of the box! Consider adding a print to a dresser, lining your closet/cabinets/drawers, framing a bit as art, or backing a shelf like I did.
  2. The application does not have to be permanent. There are tons of adhesives that will get the job done that are completely removable, so you can change your print with your mood/if you move. Renters rejoice!
  3. Finally, any sort of paper (or fabric) can do the trick. Traditional wallpapers are worth the investment if you’re a homeowner, yet smaller pieces can be transformed using any sort of paper, giftwrap, corkboard, fabric, ribbon….you’re only limited by your imagination.

I’m quite enamored with this transformation, especially considering its barely-there price (I spent about $10).  And the best part is that the commitment-phobe in me can relax knowing that the leopard can be swapped out as quickly as it was taped in.

I know animal prints aren’t for anyone, so here are a few more inspiring nontraditional uses of wallpaper.

{pink wallpaper unifies the bookcases & furniture,  via}

{wallpaper defines a home office space, via}

{closets get  pop of print, via}

{surprise! a mix of prints lining the bottom of a tall shelving unit, via}

I’m currently taking a few interior design courses, one of which assigned the task of measuring my entire apartment (in anticipation of creating a digital floor plan). Easy enough, right? Only problem was that I didn’t own a tape measure…err to Home Depot I go!

I walked in with high hopes of scoring a cheap, yet chic measuring tape, but instead found 1/2 an isle’s worth of industrial-strength, manly man tools. So I stood there, staring…scheming…..till (ding!) I remembered this croc-embossed black felt I recently bought.

{on sale here for only $.55 a sheet!}

With a makeover plan in mind, I settled on a 25-foot $3 tape. It most definitely does the trick for my assignment, yes, but for my style? Hell no. Who says everyday objects have to be mundane, anyways?

Supplies:

  • a measuring tape (duh!), preferably with plastic sides
  • felt (or fabric, or leather, or ribbon, or contact paper…)
  • sharpie
  • a piece of paper
  • spray adhesive (I used this), or any suitable craft glue
  • scissors
  • screw driver
  • (optional) chain or leather cord

I used these oh-so out of my price range Jimmy Choo wellington boots as my inspiration: crocodile-print, black, with gold hardware. (I know, I need to branch out of my black & gold-ness). Anyways, here we go…

  1. Remove side hardware. (I decided since I’m not a handyman by trade, I’d opt to keep the belt clip off)
  2. Create a pattern for your felt, covering as much plastic as you can.
  3. Measure twice, cut once! (doesn’t this look like a cute tape measure ear muff? tehe)
  4. Color in any exposed plastic bits with black sharpie, plus any edges that could peek out from behind the felt.
  5. Carefully adhere your felt to the plastic.
  6. If you’d like, cut off the plastic strap, yet keep the connecting loop intact. (I had some leftover chain from my diy camera strap, so I weaved some felt through it to make a new wrist strap)
  7. Attach your new strap, tie & trim your string as necessary. Now go measure something!

Every once in a while designers come out with limited editions of chic tapes, yet they’re usually expensive, hard to come by, and more stylish than fully functional (aka 8″ long). I’m surprised there aren’t more readily available for all the lady designers of the world!

{marc by marc jacobs}

{coach}

{cynthia rowley}

In all seriousness, I prefer my diy creation over all of these designer variations. And if you pick up some materials that speak to your style, I’m sure you could also become infatuated with a tasteful measuring tape of your very own!

Have a great weekend, and thanks to everyone for your overwhelming support and encouragement this past week ♥

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Lately my watch-clad wrists have been feeling rather lonely, so I’ve been searching (with little luck) for bracelets to keep them company. The hunt stops at honestly…wtf, a serious a goldmine for jewelry tutorials (and more!) that are cool as all hell.  First up? A quick & easy hex nut bracelet.

{tutorial here}

Nuts braided into string or leather?? So genius! Here a few more of my favorite diy ideas from honestly…wtf (♥ the name, btw).

{diy braided bead bracelet}

{diy chainmail necklace: I’d love to make this in a shorter version}

{Miu Miu-inspired heels: if only I had somewhere fab to wear these…}

I love how their jewelry (and glitzy shoes) look polished and store-bought, even when working with such basic supplies. Now off to the hardware store I go…

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