I was scrolling through Pinterest when I picture of this planter by Deuce Cities Hen House stopped me in my tracks. I loved the lines of it and the look of the raw wood so I figured I would try to make a version of it myself.
Like a lot of people who DIY, I wanted to modify to use mostly things I had on hand or that would fit my budget.
As is often the case when I tackle projects like this, one of the things I missed the most was my Dad’s workshop. I don’t have any fancy saws – just a cheap jig saw – and since I don’t have space for things like a workbench I end up standing outside in the flowers working off the side of my deck because it is just the right height, and sawdust friendly.
This is what you do in your 20s, right?
Either way, I really liked the results.
The wood I used is a little flimsier and the cuts aren’t quite as crisp so you can see I made a few modifications. Instead of the ring for the planter, I made a flat shelf because there was no way I was going to get the ring cut with the jigsaw. I then used a bit of strong to help balance the planter.
But overall, I really like the look of it and what’s the point of DIY if not to find ways to make things work for you?
With Pinterest seemingly becoming less and less relevant (is anyone else having an issue where no matter who you follow or what you do your feed feels like it is all ads and no good crafts?) I have taken to scrolling Urban Outfitters apartment section when I need a dose of inspiration.
It’s perfect because it’s always too expensive to consider buying no matter how much I like (#journalismpay) but usually capable of being DIY-ed with a little bit of thought.
I have this beautiful set of French doors into my dining room, and I needed something to flank either side of them. I had some antlers but really they were too small, and I wanted something different (and cheaper to make) than a weaving.
That’s when I spotted these guys.
I love them. They’re textural but not fuzzy, so they won’t collect dirt the way a macrame I made seems too. I haven’t seen them everywhere yet. And they are just beautiful.
The second one I deemed too hard to DIY well.
The first one however was perfect. The Urban version uses metal, clay and and stone, but I used sculpey oven bake clay, gold foil, chain and a dowel. This is how it came out.
Here’s the step by step.
1. A rolled out the sculpey clay using a marble rolling pin, I like because it’s heavy and then used a cup as a cutter to cut out the circles. They’re about three inches across. I made three “flesh colored circles, 4 white colored ones, 4 all while half circles and three ‘marbled’ half circles.
2. I used a toothpick to cut out the holes and then on the “flesh” colored ones, I used a popsicle stick to add a bit of texture.
3. Bake per package instructions.
4. While baking, screw in eyelets to the dowel. Two on top for the chin it will hang from, and three off the bottom for the different strand to hang from.
5. Cut the chain. To make sure everything hangs evenly, the chain has to be cut pretty precisely. I counted links, but essentially I did 2 in, 2in, 2 1/2in, 1 1/2 in and 1 in for the two sides and and 2in, 2in, 1 1/2 in, 1 1/2 in and 2in for the middle strand.
4. When the clay gets out of the oven and cools, gold foil the four white circles to add a bit of interest.
5. Lay them out in the pattern seen above. Attached a jump ring to each hole and use that to attach the chain to the disks.
6. String them all together, attach the chain across the top and hang them up.
I love how they turned out. It fills the space and it cost me under $20 to make the pair.
For literally as long as I can remember, I have had acne. I am pretty sure I got my first zit in second grade.
My skin is OILY. The kind of oil where there is residue on the screen after I talk on the phone or where if I touch my face and then a polished desk I leave perfect oil fingerprints. Clearly, a career as a thief is not in my future.
But anyways, recently I feel like I have been hearing about the magic of facial oils on the time. Bloggers rave about them. They sell them in such pretty bottles at the store. And the prevailing belief seems to be even if you have oily skin adding more oils is a good idea. It seems that by adding oil, you can get your own oil glands to stop making so much oil. Plus, some of the other oils in the serum, tea tree and frankincense most notably, will serve as acne fighting machines.
Admittedly, I’m skeptical. Skeptical enough I don’t want to pay $80 for a tiny bottle of oil. But not so skeptical, I won’t pay $30 to make my own version to try.
Here’s what you need:
1. A brown jar (helps preserves the oils better) with a dropper
2. Jojoba Oil – a dryer carrier oil and therefore better for oily skin
3. Tea tree oil – An acne fighting machine as he helps dry it out and is antibacterial
3. Frankincense oil – decreases pore size; helps with scarring
Note: There are many other essential oils out there that people (and some studies) say are good for acne, such as juniper berry or clary sage. These are just the ones I went with.
Pour all the jojoba oil in the bottle. Then I added about 20 drops to tea tree, 40 drops of frankincense (because my oil was diluted with jojoba oil to keep the cost down), 10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of lemongrass. Shake it and use one to two drops on our face after showering.
I’ve been using it for about a week, so not long enough to know if it’s working or not. But it does smell good in the mornings and it can’t hurt to try.
So last year, if you remember, I had a May Day Brunch and it was so MUCH. FUN.
I can’t even.
So if you would like to have your own May Day Party this year, I though I would tell you really quickly how I put that pole together.
It was actually really easy.
Here’s what you need:
Crepe Paper in a bunch of colors ($1 at the Dollar Store)
10 ft copper pole from Home Depot (about $10)
Drill and Bit
Tiki Torch holder
The whole thing ended up costing me about $15 to make, which I think is pretty reasonable.
Okay, so the here’s how you do it.
Drill a hole through the top of your copper pipe. The metal is pretty soft so just apply a slow steady pressure and it went right through for me.
Bend you wire into a crown like shape, the same way you would to make a flower crown. Then using the same length of wire create a cross section the can go through the hole and attach to the opposite side of the pole.
Measure out pieces of crepe paper that are about twice the size of the pole (20 ft) and start taping to the wire. Until you have as many streamers as you want. I did 10 because five people were coming.
Store the pole inside until day of. It’s only crepe paper so you don’t want it to get wet or spend too much time out in the wind. Then move it outside.
To stake it into the ground, you are going to want to have your tiki torch holder already in place, and then put the pole into it. I put about 6 inches of the pole into the ground and that was good enough to hold it.
And that’s it! You are ready to twirl and feel a little bit like a pagan or a fairy. It took about an hour to get everything together. Have fun!
Recently, I was looking through my pins and realized I was pinning a lot of pictures of shelves over beds. Mostly, I think I liked the addition of plants.
The area over my bed has been basically a blank wall since I moved in last November. I don’t even use a head board.So when I saw the theme, I thought I could do that. My first trip was to Target, but all of the shelves were about $30 and not quite what I was looking for.
So, of course, I decided to DIY it. This shelf took less than a half hour to make and cost only about $12, plus you’ll have some extra materials.
Here’s what you need:
A 1 by 6 board (I went with pine and had the guy at Home Depot cut it in half)
Suede lacing (or different rope, as long as it can hold the weight)
Sewing needle + a bit of thread.
So here’s what you do:
1. Measure where you want the holes to be. Mine are 2 inches in from the sides, 3/4 inches from the front, and a half inch from the back.
2. Drill your holes. You want them to be as close to the size of the lace you are using as possible.
3. Put your lacing through the holes. To make it easier, I used the needle and thread. I put a stitch into the suede lacing and then let the remaining needle and thread hang off. I used this lead to make it easier to squeeze the lacing through the holes. Tie a basic knot to secure it.
While I was on the road trip last fall, one of the places we stopped was a thrift store in Nashville called Old Made Good. It’s a super cool store, where the people are giving their old things, new life my giving them a little tweak. Check out their store here.
One of the things I loved the most was the art. They were taking old school painting and collaging over them to give them a modern edge. I bought one, but I also left thinking “hey, I could totally do that.”
Which brings me to today. I was at this big estate sale with Eryn (the house hadn’t been opened since the 1980s) and she spotted this painting.
Being a fall baby, she fell head over heels for it, but was wondering if I could update it. So I instantly flashed back to the Old Made Good painting and said I could make it cool.
Because I wanted to make sure it actually looked nice, I opted to print out a template “wander” and then very carefully cut it out. I then traced it right onto the canvas, and filled it in with black craft paint.
So, this one is an oldie, from my first apartment.
DIY hanging ladder shelf. Takes less than two hours to make.
I needed a shelving unit for my porch, so I can up with this easy ladder shelf.
To make it, you need need 1 by 4 boards cut to the width you want (have the people at the store cut it to size for you if you don’t have a saw), clothes line, an o shaped ring that is fit to hold weight, a hook for the ceiling that can hold weight and a drill.
First, paint or stain the wood the color you want. If you are going to keep it outside, I recommend treating the wood in some ways.
Then, at the corners — one inch from each edge — drill a hole that is slightly smaller than the clothes line you are using. You want to be able to still get the line through, but you want it to be tight so there is friction to help keep everything in place later.
Next, cut the clothes line into two lengths that are double the height you want the shelf to be plus two feet. Use a larks head knot to tie center of the string to the o-ring. You should have four strings hanging down from it. From there, thread them through the four holes on what will become your highest shelf. When the shelf is at the height you want, tie and overhand knot under it to keep the shelf in place. Repeat until all the shelves are in place. Then cut away the excess string or leave it. Your choice.
A few weeks ago, I was out on assignment at a road striping business (you never know where aa day in job will take you) when I spied this giant pile of pallets out back.
Now, Eryn and I had been scheming the about the past way to get out hands on pallets for about a week. We tried Home Depot, that didn’t work out. We had scoped out the parking lot at the newspaper, they were all plastic or broken. So, when I saw them sitting by a dumpster I got excited.
At the end of the interview, I casually asked the owner if I could have some pallets. Well, he, the News Herald photographer and a crew member ended up going through the whole pile of pallets to pick out the best ones for me, and then loaded them into my car for me.
Now, that’s Southern hospitality.
At the end of the table project, which I will should you later, Eryn and I had a lot of extra boards from the pallet, and we worked hard to pry every board off the pallet. Pro tip: buy a crow bar. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you can do it with a hammer. There’s no efficient way to do it with a hammer. There just isn’t. Invest.
Once we got the boards off, we quickly stained them a deep brown to match Eryn’s table.
Then, we measured out enough room for nine hooks on the two pieces of wood we took, and drilled pilots holes … in my dining room. No workshop for us.
After that we screwed in some hooks I had picked up at Walmart.
Then a quick test to make sure everything was fitting okay at my place. It’s not actually on the wall hence the crookedness of it.
Then at Eryn’s we attached it to the wall with just two screws. I think the dark wood looks really nice against the light blue wall. She had wanted to paint her kitchen almost a navy blue, but I talked her into a lighter (and I think more liveable) color.
I think it helps to elevate what is otherwise a pretty ordinary kitchen.
It’s weird celebrating the holidays in a place the air never gets that nip in the air. No matter how many Christmas carols I listen to in the car, it still feels more like mid may. Yesterday, I wore shorts and a tank top to an evening event. Whatever happened to mittens and hot chocolate?
Inside though, I have a fireplace adorned with pinecones, holiday scented cameras and my woodsy Christmas tree covered in DIY ornaments and some vintage baubles that used to my grandparents.
Here are a look at some of the ones I made this year.
1. Balsa Wood Cut Out Creatures
For these, I would look up an animal outline online and then draw it the best I could onto the balsa wood. Then I would lightly score the wood with an exacto knife.
From there you just deepen the cut, until the balsa wood breaks away. It easier to break it up into little pieces than it is to try to separate it as two big pieces.
2. Balsa Wood Animal Portraits
These guys are my fav. You just cut out an oval and then draw a silly little animal onto the wood. I then framed them with a little bit of extra pom pom ribbon I had lying around.
3. Balsa Wood Trees
These are just decorate triangles of balsa wood. Nothing too fancy, but the raw wood just added a nice balance to the tree decorations.
4. Paint Pen Baubles
I had gotten the DecoColor pens for another project (painted mugs) and as it turns out they also worked really well on some glass ornaments from michaels. Eryn and I drew little trees on them as well as geometric patterns.
5. Gold leaf baubles
As you can see in one of the above photos, we also covered some of the ornaments in gold leaf. We just used Modge Podge to get it to stick
6. Contact Paper Designs
I still have a lot of contact paper from that DIY statement wall I did, and I wanted to try using some of it on ornaments. It creates starker lines than painting and you can move it around if you want to adjust the look. It is however tricky to lay things on the curve of the sphere.
And there you have it, 6 different easy DIY ornaments.
Eryn brought me some wonderful flowers to decorate the table for our Florida Thanksgiving feast with some people from work. However, the bouquet wasn’t very “holiday-esque” so I thought I would try this tip from Paper and Stitch and add some berries.
Paper and Stitch recommended pepper berries. But earlier in the day I discovered the palm tree in my back yard had berries handing from it. Who knew that was a thing? So I decided to substitute them in, and I think it looks just as good. Check out all the arrangements I made. My whole apartment is done up.
For a little extra spark, I used some extra ferns and berries to make crowns that we wore during dinner. So fun! It felt sort of like a Charles Dickens novel, but with less sadness. When we weren’t wearing them, my home decor got a turn.