Tips for Hosting a Clothing Swap Party

I know I’m not alone in starting this year with a real fire lit under me to start cleaning and de-cluttering our house. I first read Marie Kondo’s book a few years ago, but with her new show, she’s somehow getting even more popular, and I am on the wagon!

After doing a major closet cleaning, my friends and I decided that we would have a little clothing swap party to see if we could find some new items that “spark joy,” all without spending a penny! It was SO MUCH FUN!

I ended having a small get-together, which was just as much for the company as for anything else. A couple of my close friends from work and I are always admiring each other’s style and wear similar sizes, so this was an easy guest list to put together.

Admittedly, I would have fun doing just about anything with these girls, but the clothing swap was truly a blast! Of course, there was the excitement of getting something new for free! But on top of that, it was a great feeling to see things that I really liked but just didn’t work on me fit perfectly on my friends. Not to mention, there were some good stories behind some of these items!

A couple of my favorite “new” items are this leather tote bag and the little pendant necklace on the dresser.

Even though our party was small, I take party planning seriously, so I’ve gathered some of my best tips for a clothing swap of any size!

Before the party

  • Choose your guest list, considering people’s styles and sizes. Your guests don’t all have to have the same style or size, but it helps if everyone has at least one or two people who would be good matches
  • Choose the types of items to include – besides clothes, consider accessories, such as scarves, bags, jewelry, and shoes. Set guidelines about quality and condition of items, as well as how many items you want to include
  • Prepare your space with room to display clothes, as well as places to try things on and a mirror – since I invited just a couple of close friends, I actually hosted in my bedroom, which was the easiest place to find hanging space and mirrors!
  • Provide snacks, keeping in mind things that can be eaten while shopping
  • Consider adding signs and cute shopping bags as decorations

At the party

  • Arrange items neatly by category to make it easier to browse
  • Allow a window-shopping period, so everyone gets a chance to discover their favorite finds
  • Decide on an order for “shopping,” for example by drawing lots or based on how many items each person brought
  • In a larger group, allow one person or a small group to shop at a time, and decide on a limit for each group – either a maximum number of items or a fixed amount of time
  • Since there were just three of us, we just tried things on and checked in with each other before claiming an item – it was so easy and fun!

I’m a little sad it will take us years to accumulate enough stuff for another swap, but we’ll definitely find another excuse to get together and have fun soon!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Valentine’s Day Pennant Banner

I’m not usually a big Valentine’s Day person, but then again, a holiday built around chocolate can’t be all bad! Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, I got the urge to make something – anything! – and I put together … Continue reading

Recipe Tea Towels

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Shibori-Dyed Zipper Pouches

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DIY Hand-Painted Chinoiserie Christmas Ornaments

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

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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