Office desk before

Makeover bed before

Several weeks ago SYLVANIA asked me to make over one room using a $500 Lowe’s gift card and SYLVANIA’S new ULTRA ALine LED light bulbs. I knew which room I wanted to make over before I even said yes: my office/craft room/guest room. I already had some big plans for the room, and SYLVANIA helped me take it to the next level. My brother, Troy, and I have been too busy planning, building, painting, and sewing to even tell you about it. Now the makeover is nearly finished, and I can’t wait to show it to you.

I’m loving SYLVANIA’S dimmable LED light bulbs, my new giant magnet board, and new paint color. Yes, that’s right: I got to paint my white walls! I convinced the owner of my building (thanks Mr. Crocker!) to let me paint this room a color other than his mandated Benjamin Moore “Navajo White.” And it’s gorgeous.

I’ll post the reveal next week, complete with before-and-after photos and videos. (Can you believe it? Videos!) Then, over the next few weeks, I’ll post one tutorial at a time to tell you all how I made everything. Until then, here are a couple old “before” photos of the room at different stages.

Check out all the SYLVANIA blogger room makeovers over the coming weeks on their Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you can enter the daily sweeps to win your own SYLVANIA lighting products and Lowe’s gift cards so you can perform you own room makeover!


This post is sponsored by SYLVANIA. I received monetary compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

Drywall ruler

Drywall ruler with cardbaord

This quick fix was one of those aha! inspirations for me. Ever need a straight edge to measure and cut a large piece of fabric, cardboard, or paper? Forget cheap yardsticks (you’ll only slice slivers of wood off when cutting) or expensive T-squares (that for some reason are never really square) or fancy metal rulers (that usually aren’t long enough). Pick yourself up a Drywall T-Square. They’re four feet long, sturdy, and only about $12 at your local hardware store. I use it for cutting everything now. And the next time I cut drywall, it will come in especially handy. Read more »

Moss and log centerpieces

My friend Holly and I spent last week making centerpieces for our church women’s conference. What an undertaking! We had 20 round tables, 3 food tables, and 2 registration tables to decorate. Our theme was “In this life I shall have joy,” and the colors were magenta and yellow. I wanted to think beyond standard bouquets, so I searched the web for springtime centerpiece ideas. When I saw these moss centerpieces at The Handiwork Chronicles, I became obsessed with moss.

Two moss centerpieces

We wanted the centerpieces to be as natural and earthy as the inspiration photos, so we used a burlap fabric overlay, logs, and rocks. We added the “joy” flags and bright mums to bring in color. We wanted to use what Moss Mountain calls cupcake moss, also known as pillow moss or cushion moss. But heavy snow storms on the East Coast delayed its availability. So we bought the next best thing: a mixture of cupcake moss and mood moss, also known as bear fur moss, from Patrick’s Floral Studios. Mood moss grows in larger clumps than cupcake moss, but it worked well enough for our purposes.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

ReSew cover I am pleased to offer my first book review and giveaway here at Crafty Nest! And what a worthy title to start with: ReSew: Turn Thrift-Store Finds into Fabulous Designs by Jenny Wilding Cardon.

In her book, Jenny turns secondhand basics (i.e. sweatshirts, sheets, pants, etc.) into adorable new fashions and home decor. She offers 20 beginner-friendly projects, including tops, dresses, skirts, hats, bags, and a rug—all made from thrift-store cast-offs. You’ll never look at a boring sweatshirt on the rack at your local Goodwill the same again. BTW: Her projects remind me of my own thrift-store tank-top totes.

Jenny’s instructions are easy to follow (she hand-drew all the illustrations herself!), which makes any beginning sewer feel confident that s/he can tackle her projects with success. And she includes instructions for basic sewing techniques, such as shirring, along with helpful tips and tricks. Her designs are so inspiring that it makes you want to run to your nearest thrift store and start hunting. Here are some of my favorite projects from her book:

Shirred Sheet Dress

Shirred Sheet Dress

This dress makes me long for warm summer days. Sigh. Read more »

Purse kit

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. This year I made myself my own Valentine’s gift. I loved the feel of this reversible fabric scrap that I got from FabMo. It’s woven but soft and thick like knit. The beauty of this craft project is it takes very little fabric. I started with a 15-inch x 17-inch piece, and I still have leftovers.

This purse set solves three common handbag problems: 1) I hate stuff rattling around loosely in my purse, 2) Digging things out of myriad purse pockets makes switching purses a chore, and 3) I own handbags that are perfect but utterly lack pockets.

At first I set out to make just a soft eyeglass case because my hard case is too bulky and heavy, but then the project grew as I thought of more and more cases I could make. BTW: I don’t actually use the change purse for coins (my wallet has one of those). I fill it instead with travel essentials: lip gloss, hair elastics, nail clippers, etc.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Matchbook box - after

Match box open with matchbooks

Unfinished cigar box - before

When I discovered that my matchbooks fit perfectly into this old unfinished cigar box, I knew it was a DIY matchbox in the making. I wanted to step up the fancy in a subtle way, so I could leave the dingy box out in plain site. I’m all about pretty and practical—and simple—crafts these days. And this matchbox was definitely simple.

Ok, I admit covering each individual matchbook with colored paper is a little bit obsessive, but in my defense, I did that part of this project years ago when I must have had more time on my hands. The match box itself was a breeze. If you don’t want to cut and paste colored paper onto each matchbook—and let’s face it: who does?—you can buy these gloriously pure white matchbooks at Amazon.com.

In case you’re wondering, a friend of mine made that little Dutch couple kissing. She gave them to me expecting that I would paint them the traditional blue and white, but I like them plain white. (I know: You’re shocked.) And, yes, that is my bizarre kitchen counter from the 60s. Boomerangs must have been big then. Read more »

Paper lantern making

Fabric flower brooches

Duct tape wallets, cases, and purses

I’m excited to share the news that I’m teaching my first craft workshops next spring at Sharon Art Studio in San Francisco! I’ll be teaching three classes in February/March: 1) Paper Lantern Making, 2) Duct Tape Wallets, Cases, and Bags, and 3) Fabric Flower Brooches. Click here for more information on the workshops. So, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you want to learn these crafts, please sign up early. You can register for the classes here. By the way, craft classes make great Christmas gifts. I look forward to meeting some of you in person and making crafts together!

UPDATE 2/3: Unfortunately, these classes were canceled for health reasons. Not to worry, though. I will post my instructions to make the tissue paper lanterns (bottom three lanterns in the photo) and some of my duct tape crafts here on Crafty Nest.
See below for the rest of the tutorials:
Paper star lanterns (or you can buy gorgeous ones here)
Duct tape wallet
Wired ribbon flower pin (the pink one in the photo)
Felt dahlia corsage
(the red one in the photo)
Melted fabric flowers
(the white one in the photo)

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