Posts from the ‘DIY Projects’ Category

Flying Rainbow Unicorn Princess

What happens when your six-year-old daughter wants to be Bumblebee from Transformers for Halloween?

You do everything in your power to convince her to be something else.  Even if that something else happens to be a flying rainbow unicorn princess (a la Princess Celestia from My Little Ponies.)

But after many fruitless searches on Google for a cute child’s unicorn costume….I gave up and decided I would attempt to DIY one.   I wasn’t sure were to start…so I just kind of improvised as I went along.  I was in the midst of making a tutu skirt for Elle’s tea table, when I got the bright idea that I could make a half-skirt for the unicorn’s tail.  It then dawned on me that I could use the same technique for the unicorn mane, but around a headband.

While at Old Navy, I picked up a pair of white sweatpants and a white tank top on clearance, as well as some white flipflops.  Then I grabbed 3 yards of white felt and some yellow felt with an adhesive backing from JoAnn Fabrics.  I used the yellow felt to make the arm and leg cuffs, the necklace, and crown.  I also picked up some silver sequins and plastic jewels to embellish the wings, crown and necklace.

The unicorn horn took a little ingenuity.  At first I thought I could paper mache it, but in the end I just used poster board, white felt and some white yarn.  I attached it to the crown with velcro dots.

The wings took the most engineering.  I cut the shapes from a piece of white foam board and then attached them with a untwisted hanger and duct tape.  Let’s just say that method was an epic fail!  Next up I tried a wooden dowel cut in half and spraypainted white.  Success!  I covered the dowels and foamboard with 2 layers of the white felt and then traced the outline of the inner-wing with sequins.  I tied two ribbon loops for her arms to go through and the wings were done!

For a final touch, I cut out “hooves” from some extra white felt and glued them to the flip-flops (see above.)  And… I added a little facepaint…

There you go….princess celestia!  I think I can classify my first attempt at DIY’ing my child’s Halloween costume a success!


Halloween and Stuff…

I visit what seems like a gazillion design blogs and online shelter mags everyday.  I get email updates from Etsy and I waste countless hours perusing Pinterest. That being said, I’ve found some really wonderful and unique Halloween decor ideas as well as other autumn-ready inspiration for my home.  I know its been officially Fall for a month now, but in Florida it really just started to feel like it this week–a forcasted high of 67 here in Jacksonville on Wednesday!  I know if you live in Michigan, you are probably laughing at me right now.  Anyhoo…let’s get started with some fabulous pumpkin ideas:


Black and white pumpkins…part creepy, part chic! I like it!


and speaking of chic… about a sequin pumpkin?


 Mod pumpkins.  Looks like  tape and paint.  Easy peasey.



 Monogram pumpkins.  I did this last year…its a really simple technique that I plan to post about next week.


I’ve been coveting these yarn pumpkins for a while now.  I’m not really sure what I’m waiting for either…I’ve got yarn.  I’ve got styrofoam balls.  I’ve got natural fiber rope.  I think I’ll filnally have to make these this year.


I love spray paint just as much as the next right-brained artsy-crafty type…and these golden pumpkins and gourds would totally satisfy the need!   Chevron and checkerboard pattern…awesome.


And speaking of golden, how beautiful is this golden monogram and wreath from etsy?  I think the wreath has been sold, but you could achieve this look rather easily with baby’s breath, for example.


Felt is huge this year, it seams, and there are an endless number of crafts using the stuff….I am in love with this felt day of the dead skull garland.  Who knew skeletons could be so dang cute!


 And how about some felt ball garland…in an assortment of autumn colors?  Apartment Therapy just had a recent post on some unique fall colors….including navy and salmon….which would work well in this project.


And speaking of felt balls….how about these adorable acorns!  This would make for an interesting bowl/vase filler.


and felt leaves too.


I love this idea…a thankful tree!  Each day leading up to Thanksgiving, each family member writes down what they are thankful for on “leaf” paper and hangs it on the tree.  On Thanksgiving, all of the leaves can be read aloud.  LOVE IT!

from laclassedellamaestravalentina.

The Qtip painting project above was a winner at my house this weekend.  My daughter got creative with hers by adding a sky and grass, with a few random dots of an unexpected color.  These masterpieces were definitely fridge-worthy!  And even I got a little carried away with my own picture just trying to show Elle how this technique works.


This project was originally meant for a wedding idea (guests pressed their painted finger onto the tree.)  But I think this is a wonderful fall art project for kids and a beautiful keepsake.  It would even make a great placemat if laminated or done on fabric.  The picture actually links to the tree template.  Just print and you’re ready to go!

I wish I had time to attempt all of these projects, but since I’m making my daughter’s Halloween costume this year, my time is fairly consumed with that up until the 31st.  I will definitely post on the progress of her costume soon! So stay tuned! If any of you are planning on making decorations for fall, Halloween, etc….please share!

Two Maids a Milking

Since we moved into our house over six years ago, there was one thing (technically two things) that I had planned on replacing from the get-go:  the two blonde-wood, run-of-the-mill bar stools I purchased from Target when I was in college…

But, here they were, over half a decade later, still tucked beneath our kitchen island….putting a damper on my home’s overall now-we-live-in-a-real-home-not-a-college-apartment aesthetic.  That was until I saw these multi-colored paint-dipped milking stools in an email I received from 2modern a month ago.  My first thought was that I could do that same paint treatment to my bar stools.  My second thought was…how was I actually going to achieve that dipped-in-a-vat-of-paint look without actually dipping the stools in a vat of paint.  Here was my solution:

I measured an equal distance halfway down each leg of the bar stool and wrapped them with blue painter’s tape.  In an effort to not waste painter’s tape I conjured up the bright idea to use a shopping bag to block any wayward spraypaint from landing below my tape-line.  A long story short…that was not the easiest solution.  On the second bar stool, I ended up taping plastic bags around the bottom of each leg.  When they finished drying, I peeled the tape off and they looked a little something like this…

Adding a little bit of color and interest to our otherwise monotone kitchen…

Sheer Bliss

I decided to humor the left side of my brain yesterday by doing a project I’ve been planning for oooohhh…. about two years now:  a princess canopy for my daughter’s bed.  I’m not sure if I subconsciously remembered the method for this project from one of the many magazines/blogs/tv shows I’ve seen over the years, but I’d like to think its an original idea:

Its pretty simple, really.  All you need is approximately 6 yards of glittery sheer fabric (depending on how tall your ceiling is), a large quilting ring, 1 spool of 1-inch ribbon trim, 6 feet of 3-inch ribbon, an acrylic ring (like the ones used to hang scarves in a department store), and craft glue.

I first measured the distance around the quilting ring and then cut the 1-inch trim to that measurement.  Then I glued the ribbon trim to the outside of the outer part of the quilting ring.

Next, I cut the 3-inch ribbon into two equal 3-foot pieces and tied them to the acrylic ring so that there were four 1.5 feet pieces hanging from the ring.

I marked four points on the inside of the outer part of the quilting ring at equal distances with a pencil, and then stapled the ribbon ends at those points.

Next, I rolled out the sheer fabric, folded it in half lengthwise, and placed the inner part of the quilting ring under the center point so that there was just under 9 feet of fabric on either side of the ring.

I fit the outer part of the quilting ring on top of the fabric to hold it in place and tightened the screw on the outside of the ring.

Finally, I hung the acrylic ring from ceiling hook centered over my daughter’s bed and tucked the ends under her mattress, and voila!

I may eventually tie the ends back to the wall with the same pink 3-inch ribbon or possibly do something similar to this from Serena & Lily.  But for now, I think my daughter is enjoying her new princess canopy just the way it is.

Note:  this canopy is certainly not capable of supporting the weight of a child if said child should choose to use the canopy in a way other than its intended (purely decorative) use (i.e. as a rope swing.)  I would recommend securing the panels of fabric to the wall or the posters of a bed if you decide to make this for a child under 5 years old.


I love DIY Christmas decorations.  For the  last few years, I have made ornaments and decorations for my home and for gifts.  There have definitely been a few hits and misses.  My cone-shaped yarn christmas trees-a hit.  My green pipe cleaner monogram ornaments with stick-on jewels-a miss.  In all honesty, they were supposed to look like Christmas wreaths in the shape of letters, but ended up looking more like a green sparkly blob.

But the one I’m about to tell you about is almost too simple.  I came across the idea while browsing Apartment Therapy, an awesome interior design blog if you’ve never heard of it:

I already had the yarn (left over from the yarn christmas trees from two years ago) and, of course, sticks are free (just pulled a few dead ones off the tree in my front yard–where everything is dead now-a-days thanks to the record-breaking cold snap we had last week!)  A free project…that make-e me very happy!  Especially since my paycheck this time of year is spent before I even deposit it!

With no further ado, the instructions:

Step 1:  Wind the yarn around your hand 100 times.  This will give you approximately a baseball-sized pom-pom.  Wind it around two fingers (or your child’s hand) for a golfball-sized pom-pom.  Make sure not to wrap too tightly or else it will be difficult to remove it from your hand intact. For the smaller pom-poms, you can wrap the yarn around 75-80 times and still get the same fluffy effect.


Step 2:  Use another piece of yarn (of the same color) to tie the wound ball of yarn down the middle.  It is important to make sure that you tie it tight and exactly in the middle.  Now you should have loops on the top and bottom. 


Step 3:  Using scissors, cut the loops down the middle on both sides.  If you plan to hang the pom-pom, leave one loop un-cut.



Step 4:  Trim the pom-pom for a more uniform look.  You don’t have to do this step if you prefer the more disheveled look.

I decided to hang my pom-poms, of varying sizes and colors on my free twigs.  I grouped the twigs together in a vase so that they swayed in one direction.  I also used jingle bells (left over from yet another homemade Christmas decoration of yore) as filler for the bottom of the vase.

As you can see, I haven’t exactly found a spot to put this little creation of mine.  For now it is sitting on our kitchen island. 

You could also use the pom-poms as Christmas ornaments, hair bows, key fobs, etc. 

Are any of you planning to make your own Christmas decorations this year?  I’d love to hear about it!

You can also find a more professional-looking tutorial on how to do the above project here.

My Style

For as long as I’ve enjoyed decorating I have tried to single-out a specific style that defines my own…flea market chic….yard sale ecclectic…the list goes on.  I certainly can appreciate any style, but I just can’t escape the one that gets my heart racing and gives me the itch to scour my local thrift store for “diamonds in the ruff.”  Its funny, because if you visit my house, I’m 99.9% sure “vintage modern” is not the first term that would come to the mind.  There is a vast and deep valley between what I would like my house to look like and what my house actually looks like.  But I’ve done (what I think atleast) the best with what I have to work with (which is mainly a bunch of hand-me-downs and the occasional garage-sale find.)  I love giving old furniture or accessories a new lease on life.  Maybe its the recycling, tree-hugger in me or maybe its the hoarder, either way, I get a little thrill when I repurpose something. 

So where do you find this old stuff?  Your grandma’s attic? Perhaps.  But in this cyber-age…you can hit the motherload just by visiting Craigslist.  Yes…I so jumped on that bandwagon a few years too late.  It kills me to think of all the great furniture I’ve missed out on during that time, too.  But I’m trying to catch up on lost time I guess–I’ve visited the site almost everyday since “discovering” it a few months ago.  There really is some great stuff (and a lot of hideous stuff) for sale. For instance, today I found this awesome armoire (for $45, I might add!)….


Which reminded me a lot of this beautiful redo on younghouselove a few months back….

Think of the possibilities!  Its nothing a bucket of white paint and some wallpaper can’t handle.

Or, how about this cabinet for just $40….

Which would look great as a storage cabinet for bathroom towels and toiletries or for storing linens and fine china (as in the picture below)…

Again, just a little bit of paint and some crown moulding will do it.  And…how about this cabinet and hutch set (only $50)…

Which I think would fit perfectly into this dining room (after a little refinishing in a honey/walnut shade, of course)….

So if you happen to live near Jacksonville….there are some serious deals out there today (if you are willing to add a little elbow grease!)

Our problem is that, from the start, we have just accumulated random furniture items, with no real design plan in place.  I always knew what I kinda-sorta-wanted (which has definitely changed as the years go on,)  but I  have always felt obligated to use what we had to try to get there.  There is a part of me that says, “let’s just sell it all and start again from scratch.”  But, as much as that would be such a liberating experience, I’m pretty sure my husband won’t live without a tv-watchin’ couch until we find one that fits my dream living room picture that I’ve conjured up in my head.  So, for now, I will stick to my magazine cut-outs and emails-to-myself-of-pictures-of-rooms-I-love-that-I -come-across-on-the-internet (my inbox is full of them) for inspiration.  But I will no longer be afraid to ditch the overstuffed, tan couch for something more sleek, possibly tufted, or maybe leather, and of course, somewhat inexpensive, that I may find on Craigslist.  Because sometimes you just can’t force style on a piece of furniture….its got to be born made with it.

A Topiary for all Seasons

So, today I decided to make a topiary.  Actually the idea hit me the instant I rested my eyes on this little beauty during my last trip to the Goodwill Store…

After a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics, I gathered together my supplies, and got to work…

This little project was ridiculously easy and crazy cheap…here’s the cost breakdown:

White, ceramic urn                           $.59

Bag of styrofoam balls                     2.49

Bag of Moss                                        2.99

Glue gun & glue                                Free (I already had this)

Stick                                                      Free (from my backyard)


Total                                                   $6.07 

(way cheaper than the $30 you’d pay for one at Ballard Designs or Pottery Barn, right?)

First, I shaved down the sides of one of the styrofoam balls so that it fit snuggly inside the urn…

Next, using the hot-glue gun, I adhered moss to the styrofoam, making sure to cover it up entirely…

Starting to look pretty good, right?  Next, I stuck the stick into the center of the moss and placed the second styrofoam ball on top.  I decided not to glue the second ball to the stick in order to make it easier to switch it out with the change of seasons (or holidays.)  For example, I could take the moss-ball off and replace it with a cranberry-covered ball for Christmas, a conversation-heart-covered ball for Valentine’s Day, or tiny, silk flowers for Spring…

The last step was to glue moss to the top ball, and….voila!

So…you might be wondering where do those little, yellow, pollen-spore-looking things (in the picture of supplies at the beginning of this post) fit in?  Well, originally, I attempted to glue those to the top styrofoam ball instead of the moss, but ran out of them just shy of finishing.  Instead, I opted for the moss (which I actually like better than the little yellow spore-thingy’s!)