Recipe Tea Towels

If you’re already familiar with Spoonflower, then you know how amazing their site is. If you haven’t been introduced to them yet, be prepared to be completely addicted! They can custom print anything on fabric, and you can design your … Continue reading

Shibori-Dyed Zipper Pouches

Every year, I make a handmade holiday gift for my coworkers and our kids’ teachers. I love bringing them into school and the office and spreading joy! I’ll list all the past ones at the bottom, so you have more … Continue reading

DIY Hand-Painted Chinoiserie Christmas Ornaments

For this year’s Chinoiserie Christmas, I mostly used decorations I already had from our “white and woodsy Christmas,” with the addition of these hand-drawn ornaments! This post is coming late, because it took me all month to finish these ornaments, … Continue reading

I’m dreaming of a (Blue and) White Chinoiserie Chic Christmas

It has been a busy few months here, but I’m sitting by the fire and finally have a minute to share our Christmas decorations – just under the wire this Christmas Eve. If there were a graph showing how many … Continue reading

DIY Decoupaged Tile Coasters

I have a lot of craft projects “incubating” – I get excited, I buy supplies, and then… I wait for the perfect moment to create them! We could also call this hoarding of craft supplies, but that’s not in the spirit of the season!

We’ve got an enthusiastic new social committee at work, and they organized a “Secret Snowflake” exchange for the holidays. “Handmade is encouraged,” they instructed. Now that’s my kind of challenge. My gift recipient loves to host dinner parties, so I found her a cute serving bowl, some holiday dish towels, and I am finishing off the package with these DIY coasters!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White 4″ square tiles – very inexpensive at the hardware store, or you can order online
  • Decorative paper – choose thinner paper that absorbs the adhesive and molds to the tile
  • Mod Podge
  • Water-based varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Silicon bumpers

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut paper to fit tiles
  • Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on tile
  • Lay down paper and smooth out
  • Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge over paper
  • Letting dry between layers, add one or two more coats of Mod Podge
  • Add three or more coats of varnish, for a more durable finish
  • Add silicon bumpers to bottom

Here they are in my home and getting ready to go spread cheer in my friend’s home!

Next time, I’d like to try making these coasters, with the paper sandwiched between glass, because I think they’ll hold up even better. Next year’s teacher and coworker gift? Maybe!

Hope you are having fun sharing treats and gifts this season!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Unique DIY Lighting for a Loft-Inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 3

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s bedroom. His new space is inspired by an industrial loft, with an exposed brick wall and other great features! Thanks for following along!

Recap:

  • In week one, I shared my favorite inspiration spaces and mood board
  • In week two, I added a (faux) exposed brick wall

This week, I’m so excited to show you the lighting projects for this space. These are both moderately easy DIYs, and that’s exactly what I need right now with everything else going on at home and work!

Macrame Cord Hanging Lamp:

TOTALLY in love with this project. More details, including materials and instructions, in this post. For now, just enjoy the pictures!

Stenciled Drum Pendant Lamp Shade:

This is actually one of the first projects I did, when I started blogging. The detailed instructions are in the original post. This room used to be my craft room, so I gave myself some license to use more feminine touches. Kai’s not picky, but I did want to update this lamp for him. I originally thought I might be able to just change the shade, but it was fixed in place.  While changing out the light bulbs, I realized that the room looked a lot brighter – and the light looked a bit less feminine – without the bottom glass and finial, so I left it that way for a little update.

Here’s an earlier before-and-after of the light.

And here’s how it looks without the bottom finial and with some fun Edison-style bulbs inside.

Oh, and one more look at my friend the macrame cord light…

Not sure what I’ll tackle this coming week. The answer might be nothing, because I’m co-hosting a big crazy birthday party this weekend…

A huge thank you to Linda for creating the One Room Challenge community, and high fives to all my fellow bloggers whose hard work and creativity were great inspirations! Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge page to check out all the other projects!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Macrame Cord Hanging Light

You might know that I caught the macrame bug last summer. There is just something so magical about transforming a simple piece of rope! Once I figured out the basics, I wanted to be able to create some more original designs as well. Here are my posts on macrame plant hangers:

Even with my love of plants and hanging planters, I was running low on things to make with rope, so I was very excited to see this I discovered macrame pendant lights. I first caught sight of Windy Chien’s Helix light in the Apartment 34’s One Room Challenge:

And then, I began spotting it everywhere, like in this beautiful bedroom from Katie Monkhouse:

Mandi Gruber (my idol!) also has a funky version of this simple and gorgeous idea, as does Holly Wade on Curbly.

I was looking for bedside lamps for our guest room and teen’s room, and I knew that I just had to try my own version of these lights!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Light bulb: looks great with an LED Edison bulb or G40 frosted LED bulb
  • For the hanger, I used my favorite Ikea Ekby Valter brackets (I’ve used them as plant hangers, as well as, as intended, shelf brackets). I stained the unfinished brackets with walnut stain. The 9mm rope light is hanging from the larger size bracket, and the 5mm rope light is hanging from the smaller bracket.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Test your light kit! It’s probably fine, but you’ll be spending several hours on it, so you want to make sure you didn’t get a lemon
  • find the midpoint of your rope and lay it behind your cord, next to the light fixture. With the two long ends of rope, start tying a wave knot
  • Tips: it can get unwieldy working with so much rope. I used a kitchen scale to help me divide the rope in half. I also used rubber bands to hold together the balls of rope, so they would not unravel.

  • Keep going
  • (Turn on a movie or podcast)
  • Keep going
  • When you get to the switch, neatly line the rope along the sides of the switch and then resume your wave knot
  • When you’ve almost reached the plug, use a gathering knot to finish off the ends

Here are some pictures of the hanging lights – the navy cord was made with 5mm cord and the denim cord with 9mm rope.

I don’t know about you, but I want to make another one (or ten) soon.

Happy knotting!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Faux Brick Wall for a Loft-inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 2

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s … Continue reading

Trick or Tote – Monogrammed Tote Bags

These cute monogrammed bags are perfect for party favors, trick-or-treating, and toting snacks and toys!

I got the idea from my creative sister and adapted it as party favors for J’s last birthday, which falls a couple of weeks before Halloween, so the bags can do double-duty.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

You can add a custom luggage tag to go with the bags!

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Hope you are tote-ally inspired (terrible! ignore me!)

“Jewels”

Mood Board for a Loft-Inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 1

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s bedroom. His new space is inspired by an industrial loft, with an exposed brick wall and other great features! Thanks for following along!

Kai is a quiet kid who doesn’t share much or ask for much. When the boys wanted their own rooms last fall, he ended up in my former craft room, and I made very few changes when I moved him in, other than adding a bed. Although he does not ask for much, he does show his appreciation, and I was excited to do something special for him, before he goes off to college in a few more years – sniff, wah!

I know how fast they grow, so I wanted an adult space, where we could add a few personal touches. I also imagine that some day, I’ll gain this room back as a craft studio, so I kept all that in mind in choosing a simple loft-inspired design scheme. There are vintage, industrial, and hand-made touches that will allow this space to endure and adapt to our family in the years to come.

ORC Mood Board

Image sources:

Are you as excited as I am?!

I created my design plan the way I usually do, looking for inspiration spaces and then identifying the elements and themes that I want to incorporate into our home. The Design Cookbook has more details on how you can use this approach to create spaces you love!

Here are two of my inspiration spaces for this project. I could not find an original source for the first picture, so please let me know if you find it, so I can give credit!

This second room was featured on the Street Easy blog.

bedroom image

The features I loved in both of these spaces – and that I knew I wanted to recreate – are:

  • exposed brick!
  • light, neutral walls
  • warm natural wood
  • grey bedding and Roman shades

I’ve done a little bit of sourcing and preparation already, but there is a lot of work left to do in the next five weeks! I can’t wait to share all the projects and see the final space!

A huge thank you to Linda for creating the One Room Challenge community, and high fives to all my fellow bloggers whose hard work and creativity were great inspirations! Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge blog and check out all the other projects!

Julie aka “Jewels”