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DIY paper lanterns — flowers and pom-poms

I planned to make a flower-covered paper lantern for months. Not until I found a white poinsettia garland at a Michael’s after-Christmas clearance did it become a reality. Normally, I’m not a fan of artificial flowers, but I think this is a great way to use them. After making the floral paper lantern, I had some leftover pom-pom fringe, so I festooned the second lantern with pom poms. Now I can’t decide which one I like best. I bought these white 12-inch paper lanterns at Ikea years ago. Raise your hand if you don’t like the cheap white paper lanterns that Ikea and World Market sell these days. Me too. Read more »

DIY reusable gift canisters

Chocolate canisters - before

Here’s a last-minute idea for us last-minute gift wrappers. I felt guilty about discarding those round, sturdy cardboard canisters that hold nuts, cocoa, and other foods. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think they can be recycled (aluminum + cardboard?). But they definitely can be reused! Here, I covered them in gift wrap and tied on ribbon—and they can be reused year after year to hold anything from cookies to socks. Or you could wrap them in everyday decorative paper and use them as pencil holders or storage containers. I just thought they were too cute to toss. (The blue and green is for you, Carolyn!) Read more »

Craft stick advent calendar with origami boxes

I had a box of 1000 craft sticks and no idea what to do with them. I wasn’t about to start building 1980s Popsicle stick jewelry boxes. I eventually came up with some Christmas ideas. This advent calendar is my first craft stick project. I’ll post my other ideas next week. The advent calendar is easy but time consuming. I suggest you enlist some helpers to fold the “origami” boxes and tie ribbons and string. Technically, the boxes aren’t origami because they involve a few cuts, but they are assembled without tape or glue. Each box holds a piece of chocolate. The beauty is, you don’t have to remove the ribbon to open each box, so the calendar is reusable. Read more »

Framed botanicals

I know: Monica, you need to get your seasons straight, right? I’m celebrating Spring in November because I couldn’t wait four months to share these beauties. Besides, red and green makes it almost Christmasy. I’m sure you recognize this window that used to be a mirror. I decided I had too many mirrors in my apartment and not enough art. And one can never have too much white paint, I say. The botanical illustrations are from Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen, a four-volume German book published in 1887. Botanicus.org scanned the nearly 300 drawings and made them available to download for free! © 1995-2009 Missouri Botanical Garden. Read more »

Framed silhouette words - HOPE

My friend Julie inspired this idea. She framed some fall leaves in a large clear acrylic frame. I loved its simplicity. These Coach picture frames that I received as a gift years ago were perfect for spelling out a word. I had five frames, but I was set on spelling hope, so I added a dove to the fifth frame. (I know: Doves are the universal symbol for peace, but to me a dove with an olive branch—from the story of Noah’s Ark—symbolizes hope.) You could also frame other obvious words such as peace, faith, and love—or your name or the initials of the members of your family. Read more »

DIY faux capiz shell lampshade

Capiz shell table lamp

Inspired by West Elm's capiz shell table lamp

Some of you may remember my first faux capiz shell lampshade that I made for Sunset magazine. It was originally inspired by West Elm’s popular capiz shell table lamp. I was going for the mod look, but I didn’t quite pull it off. Plus I discovered, after two years of use, that the colored rice paper fades badly. The white circles still look beautiful, however, so I decided to redo it in all white. I used a different type of thread this time (white polyester instead of clear nylon thread), which made all the difference. Overall this new lampshade is easier, cheaper, and classier than my first attempt—if I do say so myself. Read more »

Stencils & silhouettes - Aspen's room

Stencils & silhouettes - wall paint

Stencils & silhouettes - pom poms

My new friend, Heika DeHart, shared these images of her daughter Aspen’s adorable bedroom. Nearly every decoration in the room was created from scratch by Heika herself. My favorite project is the stunning dresser. I loved the result so much, I asked her to share her instructions. She tells how she made her own stencils, how she cut silhouettes of her daughter, and more. Thanks, Heika! Read more »

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