Macrame Madness: A Simple Plant Hanger

Everything old is new again! I’m visiting my dad and fantasizing about magically unearthing some old macrame projects from the 70s. Meanwhile, I’m trying my hand at making some plant hangers. This macrame obsession pairs perfectly with my newfound love of plants!


Tying knots in string shouldn’t be that complicated, but I was nervous getting started, so I chose the simplest project I could. Using some heavy cotton rope leftover from hanging a birthday piñata, I based my plant hanger off of these instructions.

Because the rope was so thick, I chose to use a gathering knot in blue cotton yarn rather than tie a heavy knot with the rope at the top and bottom.

Being a busy mom, the first chance I had to work on this project was on a plane! Luckily, the tab that holds up the tray table works perfectly for attaching the loop at the top;)

Here’s how the plant hanger looks empty:

And here’s how it looks planted with Golden Pothos.

Stay groovy and green!

“Jewels”

DIY Ribbon Leis

It’s graduation season! Somehow (well, I guess we know how), I ended up with boys graduating from middle school, elementary school, and Kindergarten all in one year. This calls for some crafting. I decided to make graduation leis for the boys and their friends using ribbon.

I researched a ton of ideas, which you can browse on my Pinterest page.  Some of those ideas are definitely for the expert level lei-maker, and I am a humble beginner. However, I did find inspiration for something that is both easy and pretty over at Sakacon.com.  These spiral ribbon leis don’t require advanced skills, but they do take some time. I modified the method a little, and I love how you can mix and match so many ribbons for infinite ideas!

Materials:

  • wide ribbon 7/8″ to 1.5″ (8-10 yards). This is the ruffle-edge ribbon I used.
  • narrower accent ribbon(s) 3/16″ to 1/2″ (same yardage). This is the picot ribbon I used.
  • embroidery floss to match the accent ribbon
  • clear nail polish to finish the ends of the ribbon
  • needle, scissors

Instructions:

First, go to your local craft store and go crazy! I actually feel like I have accomplished a project just by getting supplies (…but I realize this isn’t quite true). Since the design of the leis is simple, you can add a lot of detail by picking interesting ribbons. You can see i found some ribbons with ruffled edges and picot ribbon (apparently this is what you call the ribbon with the little loops in the side) that really make your “flowers” look more realistic. For fun, I bought some rainbow stripe ribbon, and the possibilities are really endless.

To make the lei, thread three strands of embroidery floss onto your needle. I used about 18″ of floss at a time. Tie a secure knot at the end of your floss.

The Sakacon version has a long tail you can use to tie the lei on with a bow. I decided to make a continuous round lei, because I thought it would be more comfortable for the boys. I still staggered the length of the wide and narrow ribbons – ie left a long tail of the wide ribbon before starting my lei – so there would not be an obvious join in the lei.

I lined up the narrow ribbon to one side of the wide ribbon, folding under the edge to avoid fraying, and sewed a few stitches in place to secure it. I then started doing a long running stitch, with stitches every centimeter (3/8″) or so.

Once you have sewn a few stitches, pull the thread to make the ruffles and guide them into a spiral shape to look like a chain of flowers. This really feels like magic!

You basically continue this for a long, long time. To make the lei a continuous loop, I cut off the wide ribbon first, and picked up the section of wide ribbon I had left as a “tail” at the beginning, continuing I until I reached the start of the narrow ribbon.

I bought spools of craft ribbon, which comes in 3-6 yard sections, so there are several joins in the lei. These aren’t visible, because the ribbons are staggered, and there are so many ruffles. At the ends of the ribbon, I used clear nail polish on the wide ribbon and just folded under the ends of the narrow ribbon. I also changed embroidery floss a few times, being sure to tie secure knots and hide the ends.

Behold! Here are the finished leis. I’m still making more and will add the pictures when they are done, to give you more ideas for ribbon combinations. I can’t wait to share them with my boys and their friends in a few more weeks!

Aloha!

“Jewels”

DIY Kids’ Play Teepee

You’ve probably seen these adorable kids’ reading tents on Pinterest or your favorite blogs. I’ve had this project in the back of my mind for a while now and, with a little help with the boys, finally made it happen!


I browsed tons of pictures and tutorials to come up with the version I wanted for our family. Here’s what I know I wanted to include:

  • 4 poles with dip-painted tips
  • Rope at top and bottom to create the structure
  • Contrasting fabric for the door

There are lots of methods out there for making a play teepee. I decided to sew ours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my glue gun and staple gun, but since I can handle the sewing, I wanted to go with something more durable and removable for washing (not that my kids ever get anything dirty, but…).

I started with four poles made from 1″ x 2″x 8′ wood molding. These were only $0.91 each! Since we had all the other supplies already, this whole project cost us less than $4!!

Here are the steps to your new favorite hideout!

1. Lightly sand the wood

2. Paint the tips of the poles

3. Drill holes 8″ from the top and 1.5″ from the bottom of each pole. I did the pilot holes and the kids finished up. It was fun seeing them use the tools.

4. I threaded rope through the top holes and wound the rope around to create our structure. Next, I threaded rope through the bottom of the poles and knotted it to keep the poles evenly spaced. I didn’t put rope across the opening, to prevent tripping!

5. When the poles were arranged the way we wanted, I measured for the panels. I measured the openings and added 2″ to all the measurements for hems and seams and finished everything with French seams, since you can see them from the inside.

When your tent is done, you can accessorize with pillows, blankets, bunting, lights, or anything else your heart desires!

“Jewels”

DIY Gold Feather Table Runner for Fall

Thanksgiving at our house has been pretty small the last few years. Most of our family is not in town, so we enjoy a quiet long weekend with just me, Steve, and the kids. Sometimes, however, I crave the hustle bustle madness of a big Thanksgiving celebration. I’m excited this year because we get to host one of my new coworkers!

To help make our Thanksgiving dinner this year extra festive, I have some new decorations planned. One of them is this simple linen table runner.

I sewed the runner and used gold craft paint to add this feather design inspired by a rubber stamp Creatiate on Etsy.

Up next, a “stenciled” runner for our dining table. Red wine included 🙂

Happy Turkey Day! May your hearts be full of thanks!

“Jewels”

Recipe for a Stylish Boy’s Room

We have two rooms for the three boys: one big shared room and a small bedroom that was J’s nursery and is now our tween’s.

The big room has been slow to come together. Little boys interests change so often, not to mention that they are tornadoes that leave a mess in their wake.

I’m now ready to make a push to polish their space. As I discussed in this post on my steps for designing a room, and inspired by the Design Cookbook, here’s my recipe for the little boys’ room.

  1. Main color palette of navy and light neutrals
  2. Natural materials like wood, metal, and leather
  3. Whimsical accents like bunting in red and other fun colors
  4. Eclectic gallery wall with elements like a paper mache bust, kids art, and quotes
  5. Hideout area
  6. An unexpected sophisticated touch such as wallpaper or a luxurious fabric

I developed this recipe by collecting my favorite images on a Pinterest board.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration rooms:

Photo by Julia Lynn design by Jenny Keenan

From Design Sponge

From New York Cottages and Gardens

And here’s a list of projects I’ve already done for our boys’ room:

I’m looking forward to showing you the latest updates soon!

“Jewels”

Hudson Bay Stripe Throw Cushions

I planned this project a while ago and got motivated to finish in time for our ex-pat Canada Day party.

While it was fun going a bit over-the-top with Canadiana for the party, I appreciate classic Hudson Bay stripes for providing a more sophisticated touch of Canadian culture. This iconic pattern has a great retro homey feel.

I used cloth napkins with Hudson Bay stripes for the front of the pillows and denim for the back. You can find my favorite throw pillow pattern back in this post.


Happy Canada Day, eh!

“Jewels”

Chinoiserie Chic Living Room

Our living room has evolved over the years. Here’s a look at some of our latest additions, including the color block drapes and these pretty turquoise chairs from Article (formerly Bryght). I have to admit I was pretty nervous when the intense color showed up in my living room, but I am so glad I took a risk!

Over on the other side of the room, I have a little bar set up next to the dining area:

I recently moved this painted Chinese screen over the bar area when I was rearranging our art. I really like how it brings the eye up and emphasizes the tall ceilings.

And here are two paintings by my mom that I recently added to the living room. These remind me of De Gournay wallpapers and add an authentic bit of Chinoiserie to our home.

Hope you enjoyed the details in our living room!

“Jewels”

Ideas for Handmade Romantic Gifts

So, it was just Valentine’s Day and we’re going to Steve’s sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I’ve been busy searching for the perfect romantic gifts with a handmade touch.

Here are my favorite ideas. I’ve tried some of them and can’t wait to try the rest!

1. Printed pillowcases

pillowcases

I love this and all the other whimsical designs from ZCreate on Etsy, and how perfect that this business is run by a couple!
2. “I love you” collage

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I made this collage for our family a few years ago. It took a lot of time and work, but it’s not technically difficult, and it’s almost free! You could customize this with a wedding date or other details.
3. A year of dates
This is what I actually ended up giving Steve for Valentine’s. One activity for each month, some at home and some out on the town, including some local adventures I have been waiting to try!

4. Personalized wine or bar glasses


I love these vintage monogrammed glasses I found for our Mad Men party a few years ago. You could also make your own with Glass Etching Cream.

5. Personalized wine labels

winelabels

What a fun way to personalize a gift of wine, with these milestone labels available from Label the Occasion and other sellers on Etsy. Or design your own and print on blank labels.

7. Message written with paper mosaic


I used Chinese characters (love, double happiness, and family), but you could do this with an English phrase, too. I printed out the template in reverse, glued one inch squares onto the back side of the paper, then cut out the template and glued it on a background.

8. String art heart

string art heart

You can buy this from Etsy or make your own with some wood, nails, and red embroidery floss. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while!

9. Personalized luggage tags

IMG_6234

I made these luggage tags and other art projects out of wedding invitations. I found the self-laminating tags here.

10. Framed wedding invitation art

IMG_6194
You could also do this with a birth announcement. It’s  special way to preserve your friends’ favorite images.

 

Hope you’re in the mood to create something special for the ones you love!

“Jewels”