Mini accordion books - open

Mini accordion books - closed

Our first guest nesters! Jessie and Dee Lorimer gave me the instructions to make these adorable accordion-style books. They’re a little more complicated than my bound books, but they don’t require any specialized tools or supplies. Plus, they’re well worth the effort! Read more »

DIY bound books

DIY book binding - open book

Book binding can seem intimidating because it usually requires specialized tools and costly supplies. This is an easy and inexpensive way to bind books—and it requires minimal specialized tools. Plus you can make these books any size you want. Many thanks to Jessie for helping me refine the design! Read more »

Black ornate mirror - after

Ornate mirror - before

Ikea Ung Drill Frame

Inspired by Ikea's plastic "Ung Drill" picture frame

Ever since I saw it hanging on Vanessa’s wall in a photo of her home, I adored Ikea’s plastic “Ung Drill” picture frame ($25), but the cost of replacing the glass with an oval mirror was prohibitively expensive. Then I found this carved wood mirror on Craigslist for a steal—$20. The existing finish was much too multicolored for me, though. You can’t tell in this picture, but the mirror was painted gold, then highlighted with magenta, splattered with black, smeared with a gray wash, and finally sprinkled with silver glitter. I kid you not. I think it turned out quite fabulous painted solid black—which was an easy fix. By the way, I scored that fabulous lattice bowl at a thrift store. Read more »

Tray tables

I’ve seen many new tray tables on the market recently. They inspired me to make my own. Top row: Julian Chichester, Ralph Lauren Home, William-Wayne & Co. Middle row: Oly, Malin Westberg, CB2. Bottom row: Svenskt Tenn, Iron Accents, Target.

DIY tray table - after

Plant stand

My neighbor gave me this rusty old plant stand, and I knew it could make a perfect base for my round metal tray. All it took was a little elbow grease, paint, and fasteners. Read more »

Bulletin board closed

I found these shutters at a salvage yard. I loved their shape, but couldn’t decide what to do with them. Then it occurred to me that shutters were the perfect way to cover a bulletin board (which can look messy). It hangs right inside my entry—a great place for a message center—and I close the shutters whenever I want to hide the clutter. My favorite part: using red furniture nails as thumbtacks! Read more »

Fabric covered lampshade - after

Fabric covered lampshade - before

I got this lamp for free from two sweet ladies on Craigslist. I love the base, but the shade had seen better days. I couldn’t find the perfect replacement, so I made my own. And I’ve been obsessed with ball finials—which can be pricey. I figured out how to make one for 25¢ + paint! BTW: I hate gold. I detest gold jewelry, brass furnishings, gold lame…you get the picture. I planned to spray paint the bottom of this lamp a different color. Then I found this fabric, and suddenly the gold worked for me. Go figure. Read more »

Framed doilies - after

Framed doilies - before

My great-grandmother lived to be 93. And she loved to crochet. She made me dozens of doilies, collars, and hankies over the years. The doilies are so beautiful that I hated to see them packed away in a box in my closet. But I wasn’t about to scatter them over my furniture either. I decided to frame some, but the trick was finding square frames. I found these four mismatched frames at a thrift store that were the perfect sizes. A little paint, and voilà—a matching set. Read more »

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