My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Long-lasting cut flowers, Part 1-2, originally published July & November 2007.
I have a love-hate relationship with cut flowers. I love how beautiful they look and smell the first couple days. Shortly thereafter, love turns to hate. That’s when the wilting and stinking phase kicks in.
Worse, my former roommates never changed the water, and they kept the poor, dying blooms around long past their prime. Inevitably, I faced droopy flowers in mucky, reeking water on the dining table while I ate my morning oatmeal. Not appetizing.
Then I discovered that some flowers last much longer than others. I received a mixed bouquet for my birthday. Over the next few days, I removed each dead flower and changed the water. Soon, all that was left were a bunch of lavender mums. I checked them day after day, and they continued to look beautiful. After I had them for a month, I took the picture above.
That got me thinking. What other flowers are long lasting?
Tips and photos after the jump. Read more »
This checkerboard is made from two free carpet samples. By the way, if you can’t find carpet samples to make any of these crafts, FLOR modular carpet tiles work just as well, and they come in better colors.
I’m excited that my DIY checkerboard rug idea actually worked. I was a little trepidatious about cutting carpet. I thought it would be difficult and require special tools. I was wrong on both counts. Cutting the carpets was the easiest part of making this checkers set.
Sure, a black and ivory checkerboard would be more classic and classy, but I already have plans for those carpet samples. Plus, the blue and green is fun and unexpected.
A carpet checkerboard and felt checkers makes for the quietest checkers game you’ve ever heard. And it’s transportable because the felt doesn’t slide off of the carpet. If you’re more of a chess person, you can buy chess pieces or make your own.
I made the entire game from supplies I already had on hand. I love it when it works out that way. And it only took half a day to make.
Click here for carpet-sample craft number one. Five more carpet crafts coming soon.
Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »
This stack of carpet samples has been hanging around my apartment for three years. I picked them up for free on Craigslist. My original plan was to let the girls at camp paint them to make fun prayer rugs. The problem was that cheap craft paint didn’t work, and we didn’t have the budget to spring for something better. Plus, many of the carpet samples are puke-ugly colors (at least to young girls).
So I hung on to the little carpets—planning to create area rugs out of them. And they sat. And sat. And then I moved. And the carpets came with me. I finally got tired of storing them, so I broke them out of the closet last week and started planning. This is the first of seven projects I have planned for these rugs. And I can’t wait for you to see them!
These soft wool carpet samples made excellent placemats. The size was perfect, but the colors were a little drab and mismatched. I fixed that with bright-colored pom-pom fringe. Then I made matching pom-pom napkin rings, which, of course, meant that I had to make napkins for them. Luckily, I had the perfect fabric on hand. (Mitered-corner napkin tutorial coming soon.)
Then I noticed that my brown eggs looked gorgeous with the colors of these placemats, so I decided to create an Easter centerpiece. A footed bowl, candlesticks, and several more pom poms scattered and glued onto eggs finished the fuzzy tablescape. Happy Easter, everyone!
Tutorials and photos after the jump. Read more »
Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry for my long absence. One of my New Year Resolutions is to blog more often, so here it goes. This is a project I finished more than two years ago. I finally got around to blogging about it. I hope you like it.
A reader, Josie, emailed me quite a while ago asking for uses for leftover tiles. Subway tile nameplates was the first idea that came to mind, but I also thought 4-inch tiles would make excellent house numbers.
The idea was inspired by the house number tiles (at left) that Sarah from Sunset magazine found at a salvage yard years ago. She described them as “sunny and Parisian,” which is the look I tried to achieve with my Santiago numbers (above).
I had so much fun creating DIY house numbers that I got a little carried away. I finally stopped at 10 different sets. I based my Santiago house numbers on Karen Barbé’s gorgeous handcrafted textiles. I designed Stanford for the university town in which I used to live. Apple is a tribute to the late Steve Jobs, modeled after the classic keys of an Macintosh computer keyboard. Treehugger is for all you folks who love natural wood. New York is based on the actual colors and numbers of the NYC subway lines (except, of course, that an 8 line and 0 line don’t actually exist). Any guesses on what Squirrel is based?
Download all these designs below after the jump. Read more »
My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Dressing up a boring bookshelf, Part 1-3, originally published August 2007.
This small unfinished pine bookshelf was shuffled from room to room. I planned to paint it, but never did. I was on the verge of kicking it to the curb. Then, after unsuccessfully searching for a china cabinet for my tiny dining room, I decided to dress this bookshelf up as a china cabinet.
I started with a sketch (see below). I wanted to lift the shelves off the ground, hence the legs. I also added crown molding and trim boards on each shelf. After a friend cut and routered all the salvaged wood I had piled in my car, I was ready to start building.
I bought the molding and other pieces of wood (for trim and reinforcement) at a nearby salvage yard. I love salvage yards (two others that I frequent are Urban Ore and Omega Salvage). But beware: Most salvage yards are for-profit businesses, and they often aren’t cheaper than buying brand new, so compare prices first.
Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »
I tend to hoard craft supplies. Glue, duct tape, wood, carpet samples, lamp parts—you name it. I keep all of it neatly stored in labeled boxes and bins so I can access everything easily and often.
I’m also kind of anti plastic bins. Partly because they look cheap. Partly because they’re see-through, which makes visual clutter. Partly because plastic storage boxes tend to not be square. They have ridges or are angled on the sides to make them stronger but that diminish the effective storage space.
Instead I use wooden crates, galvanized metal bins, fancy cardboard boxes, etc. But accessing my supplies regularly means wear and tear. Some pretty boxes don’t hold weight or last long. So, when Rubbermaid asked me to review their Bento™ Boxes and Toppers, I agreed because they looked handsome and strong. I tested them in the living room, office, and guest room and found handy uses for every size box.
Watch the video and read the review after the jump! Read more »
My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Making the perfect ottoman, Part 1-5, originally published May-June 2007.
Lately I’ve been coveting a coffee-table ottoman. You know: one of those oversized ottomans that you can kick your feet on from nearly any seat in the room and use as a coffee table. I loved Pottery Barn’s Alexandria Ottoman, but $700 was more than I wanted to pay.
Then I found this ottoman on Craigslist, and bought it for $60. The only thing it had going for it is its size and sturdy frame, so I gave it a makeover. I had never attempted reupholstering anything before, so with a little trepidation, I forged ahead.
After several weeks and copious amounts of stray threads strewn about my apartment, the ottoman was finished. People asked me if it was worth all the work. The answer is yes. The total cost (including the price of the original ottoman) was only $137.
And now, five years later, I concede that white fabric is impractical—even for a single gal with no kids. So this footstool needs to be recovered again. Someday. Next time, I’m thinking slipcover.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »