Curbly Original
Styling 101: How to Get That Scandinavian Look in Your Living Room

by Lidy Dipert

Styling 101: How to Get That Scandinavian Look in Your Living Room

For as long as I can remember, I have gravitated toward Scandinavian design. Seeing images of homes that had that clean aesthetic made me want to transform my entire house into a peaceful and airy retreat. It's easy to believe that Scandinavian design means you have to be a purest: black, white, and grey spaces with very little clutter and furniture. But that's not necessarily true. There are all kinds of amazing styles that can mix well with...

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Take a Tour of Trenton + Cambria's Minimalist Home and Learn Some Amazing Tips for Staying Organized

by Lidy Dipert

A Minimalist Home Tour and Tips For Staying Organized

Today is an exciting day! Let's take a peek inside the charming townhouse of an equally charming Canadian couple, Trenton and Cambria. Located in a quaint town just 20 minutes outside of Calgary, Alberta, you will find this darling and minimal home, full of bright light, airy spaces and crisp white walls that really allow their handmade furniture pieces to shine. Plus, they share some tips and tricks into how they live this perfectly simple and minimal life. Enjoy!    

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How To: Make a Modern Dip-Dyed Rope Dog Leash

by Capree K

DIY - how to make a dog leash

Colorful rope dog leads have been all the rage in the pet accessories world lately -- and I am obsessed! But, with prices ranging anywhere from $70 to over $150, they're a little outside most people's "dog stuff" budgets. If you'd still like to get your paws on a stylish leash for your pooch (in whatever color your heart desires) without breaking the bank, give this easy DIY rope leash project a whirl! You'll learn how to make a dog leash that perfectly fits your fido's taste (and yours!). 

I am head-over-heels for the rope leash look. As a visual reference, here are a few awesome shops and brands that make them.

Rope Dog Leash Options to Buy

Rope dog leash

1. Mungo & Maud 2. RESQ/CO 3. Found 4. Grey Paw (at $35, definitely the most affordable option)

Many of these use traditional nautical splicing and whipping techniques, but today we're going to employ a bit of a shortcut! (If you want to learn how to splice rope, there are tons of video tutorials on YouTube, FYI.) So, are you ready to make your own rope dog leash? Awesome. Pawesome. Here's what you'll need!

 

Materials for DIY Rope Dog Leash Project

Rope dog leash materials

 

Materials

  • 2 to 2 1/4 yards 3/8" thick cotton rope
  • Fabric Dye
  • (2) Rope Clamps
  • (1) Snap Hook
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Large Cooking Pot

The rope clamps and snap hook can be found in the rope section of your local hardware store. Finding 100% cotton rope can be a little tricky, though. I ended up finding the braided style at JoAnn's in the trim section. You can order the 3-strand style from Knot & Rope Supply for pretty cheap. (I happened to have some on hand prior to this project.)

 

How to make a dog leash

1. Determine about how long you want your leash to be (anywhere from 4-6 feet is pretty standard) and cut it accordingly. Be sure to tape or tie off the ends so your rope doesn't unravel.

2. Soak your rope in some warm water. Meanwhile, prepare your dye according to the instructions on the bottle. You won't need very much! A bottle of RIT Liquid Dye will go a long, long way.

3. Now for the fun part! For an ombré/gradient/dip-dyed effect, quickly dip and remove your rope from the dye. Then, re-dip at different heights/levels, until you're happy with the gradation. Want your rope all one color? Submerge the whole rope in the dye, stirring constantly, until the desired color is reached.

Note: I made two versions of this leash using different kinds of rope and found that the 3-strand variety creates a smoother, more subtle ombré effect.

4. Remove your rope and hang it up (outside or in the garage), dark end at the top, to allow the dye to creep down the rope. You can help it along by squeezing the excess dye/water down the length of the rope.

5. Once you're happy with the way the gradient is looking, rinse the rope in cold water until the water runs clear -- or -- use some RIT Dye Fixative before you rinse out the rope if you want to super-seal the color.

6. Allow the rope to dry thoroughly. This may take up to 24 hours.

7. Now that your rope is dry, it's time to attach the clamps and snap hook. Decide which end you want to place the hook. Feed the end of the rope through the ring then fold the rope over, creating a small loop.

8. Place the clamp on a flat surface with the prongs facing up. Lay the base of the rope loop inside the clamp, between the prongs. With a hammer or rubber mallet, hammer all four prongs securely over the rope.

9. On the other end, fold the rope over to create a 6-7" loop (bigger or smaller depending on how big your hands are and what feels comfortable to you). Then, repeat step 8.

Now, after you've attached the rope clamps, you could call it a day -- you have a perfectly functional leash at this point. (Heck, you could skip the dyeing altogether and just attach the clamps and snap hook and -- BAM -- you'd have a leash.) If you really want to take this project into über-stylish territory, though, you'll want to add some finishing touches and cover those ugly clamps up!

There are multiple ways to cover the clamps: you could wrap them in twine/yarn/string/leather cording/etc. etc. I chose to use up some leftover leather (from this project) and create a sleeve with some colorful stitching. If you'd like to do the same, read on!

 

Materials for Creating a Leather Clamp Cover:

 

  • Leather
  • Craft Knife
  • Embroidery Floss
  • #18 Darning Needle
  • Ruler
  • Hammer
  • Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Rope Dog Leash: How to Make a Leather Clamp Cover

1. Cut a strip of leather about 2.25" wide, or wide enough to cover the length of the clamp.

2. From this strip, cut two pieces of leather, both about 2.5" long or long enough to wrap around the clamp.

3. Soak one of the leather pieces in warm water until it becomes soft and malleable. Stretch it out a bit then pat dry.

4. Fold the leather over. Take a hammer and your darning needle and create some small stitch guides/holes anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart. You only need a few light taps from the hammer, don't go crazy.

5. Lay the leather on a flat surface, then position and place the clamp on top. Cut a length of embroidery floss and tie a knot at the end. Anchor the floss to the rope itself by looping and tying the thread a few times.

6. Stitch the two ends of the leather together with a simple whip stitch, pulling tightly. When you reach the end, anchor the floss to the rope as before. Cut the thread.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 for the other clamp. Allow the leather to dry out completely (it'll tighten up around the clamp as it dries) and you're done!

Now for some pretty, pretty pictures!

And, of course, obligatory photos of my dogs:

Happy leash making!

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How to: Make a DIY Calder-Inspired Mid-Century Modern Mobile (for under $10.00)

by Chris Gardner

DIY Calder mobile sculpture project

Iconic mid-century designer Alexander Calder’s background in engineering and mathematics inspired him to make art that was three-dimensional and kinetic. But you don’t need a degree to make your own DIY Calder mobile! It just takes a little imagination and a lot of balance. In this project, you’ll learn how basic shapes can come together to create a spinning, swaying, stunning work of art for any room. For less than $10.00, you'll have your own version of this sculpture, inspired by the great Alexander Calder.

DIY Calder Mobile Materials

  • 20” x 32” sheet matte board
  • 3-4 3?32” x 3’ brass or copper coated steel rods
  • Spray paint or decorative paper and spray adhesive

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Electrical drill and 3/32” drill bit
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Lineman’s pliers (optional)

Note: Brass or copper-coated steel wire is available at welding supply shops or hobby stores that sell model trains and airplanes.The goal is to find something sturdy but soft enough to bend.The raw steel in the weldable section of the hardware store is too tough to manipulate by hand.When looking for supplies ask for piano wire or coat hanger wire.

Let's make a Calder Mobile!

Step 1

Taking inspiration from Alexander Calder’s mobile and sculptural work, draw a series of organic shapes (amoebas, boomerangs, teardrops, etc.) on the matte board, with each getting a little bigger in size. Cut these out and paint them or cover with decorative paper and spray adhesive.

. Cut these out and paint them or cover with decorative paper and spray adhesive.

Step 2

Drill two 3/32” holes near the end of each shape, about 3/4” apart.

Drill two 3?32” holes near the end of each shape, about 3?4” apart.

Step 3

Insert a rod into the hole nearest the edge of the smallest shape. Using the needle nose pliers, make a 90° bend about 3/4” of the way down, then make a second bend the distance between the two holes.

Insert a rod into the hole nearest the edge of the smallest shape.

Step 4

Place the end of the rod through the second hole. Use either the needle nose or the lineman’s pliers to crush the end of the rod, securing it to the shape. Bend the rod back in line with the shape.

Use either the needle nose or the lineman’s pliers to crush the end of the rod, securing it to the shape.

Step 5

For the first level of the mobile, both sides will have a secured edge. Cut the wire about three times the length of the smallest shape. Repeat the stapling process with the second smallest shape at the other end.

To balance the connected shapes, place them on the tip of the needle nose pliers and udjust until you find the balance point. Move the pliers just a bit towards the shorter side. Bend the rod and shape 180° towards the long end, making a loop in the center of the rod. Place the loop on your pliers, and look! It’s balanced!

Bend the rod and shape 180° towards the long end, making a loop in the center of the rod.

Step 6

For the second tier, place the third smallest shape on your table and evenly space it with the first two. Cut a second piece of metal rod a bit longer (enough to compensate for three more loops), and attach one end to the shape (as in Step 4). Holding the connected rod and shape so the shape’s face is perpendicular to the floor, make an open-ended hook at the opposite end, bending the wire towards you. Orient the hook toward the face of the shape, rather than the ceiling (see photo).

 Holding the connected rod and shape so the shape’s face is perpendicular to the floor, make an open-ended hook at the opposite end, bending the wire towards you .

Step 7

Now place the hook through the loop of the first tier and find the balance point between the unit of shapes 1&2 and shape 3. Remove shapes 1&2, move a bit towards the shorter end, and make a loop as in step 5.

Insert the loop of tier one into the hook of tier two. Check the balance by placing the loop of tier two on the pliers. If it balances, crimp the hook of tier two closed.

Now place the hook through the loop of the first tier and find the balance point between the unit of shapes 1&2 and shape 3.

Step 8

Finish the mobile by repeating Steps 6 and 7 for the rest of the shapes.

Finish the mobile by repeating Steps 6 and 7 for the rest of the shapes.

created at: 06/17/2010

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
A Small Hallway Gets a Minimal Makeover

by Lidy Dipert

A Small Hallway Gets a Minimal Makeover

Hallways can often be the spaces in the home that get overlooked and definitely taken for granted. They seem to just be a pointless area that allows transportation from one room to the next. And really, they deserve just as much attention to detail than any other space in the house. It might just be an area that feels aimless and wayward, but maybe it just needs a little love and attention. 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Taco Tuesday: Easy DIY Wooden Taco Holder

by Faith Provencher
Taco Tuesday: Easy DIY Wooden Taco Holder
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

I don't know about you, but once summer hits I'm constantly craving tacos. Taco Tuesday, sure... but also taco Wednesday, taco Thursday and taco every-day-of-the-week.  The only thing that bugs me is how difficult it is to handle them. How can you serve them without them flopping all over the place? So I decided to craft a simple taco holder out of wood to solve the problem. Keep reading to check out my full photo tutorial!    

Continue Reading

17 Ways to Introduce this Trending Pattern into Your Home

by M.E. Gray
Selection from the Unmagic Eye Exhibition by Spencer Harrison and Billie Justice Thomson; Photo by Bri Hammond
Selection from the Unmagic Eye Exhibition by Spencer Harrison and Billie Justice Thomson; Photo by Bri Hammond

The home decor world is operating mostly in throwback-mode right now. What used to be tacky is now tasteful, and looking dated doesn't matter as much. Walk into any big box store like Target, West Elm, or CB2, and you'll see interpretations of designs and color schemes that originally surfaced over 30-40 years ago. From the resurgence of treatments like terrazzo to the re-introduction of wicker, what's old is new again. If you're like me, you've noticed a familiar pattern pop up. And if you're like me, it's making you gleefully reminiscent. I'm talking about the bold and bright world of Memphis design, and its colorful impact on the 80s and 90s.                 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Crazy Easy DIY Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack

by Faith Provencher
Crazy Easy DIY Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Dish drying racks that sit on your counter can be bulky and unattractive and if you have a dishwasher, you probably don't use it on a daily basis. So I got to thinking... why not create something that can be pulled out of the cabinet when you need it, but rolled up and stashed away when you don't? Enter the over-the-sink dish draining rack.   

Continue Reading

How to Build a Cozy Radiator Cat Bed

by M.E. Gray

From the new book, "DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs." A tutorial on how to make a radiator cat bed.

If you're a cat owner, you know two things about kitties: #1, They like heights, and #2, they like warmth. I can always count on finding my own cat in a handful of different places around my apartment, including either right up against the radiator, or high up on my bedroom dresser. If your feline is anything like mine, she'd flip over a DIY radiator cat bed like this one.       

This project comes straight from the soon-to-be-published book DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs. The book was created for those who love good design, and value the DIY over an expensive buy. DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs offers 20 easy-to-build projects, from a dog-friendly bike basket, to a fancy rolling litter box cabinet. All the projects are cheap, and all are easy to make. The book publishes on May 8th, but in the meantime, you can pre-order it from Amazon.

For a sneak peek into the kinds of stylish creations you can make from this book, here's a look at my favorite project from the collection: the DIY radiator cat bed. 

 

WARNING: This project is designed for hot-water radiators in homes heated by gas or oil (usually older houses and apartment buildings). Electric radiators can overheat and cause a fire if they come in contact with a combustible object.

MATERIALS

  • 1 sheet OSB (oriented strand board)

  • 2 furring strips, about 2 feet (60 cm) each

  • 2 shelf brackets, minimum about 8 inches (20 cm) on shortest arm

  • 4 corner braces, about 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm)

  • 2 nuts and bolts to fit the corner braces

  • About 12 screws

  • Fabric, foam, and a staple gun

  • Glue

Step

Step 1 | How to Make a Radiator Cat Bed

Cut the furring strips to the desired length, referring to the photo of the finished project - you determine the distance between the top of the radiator and the bed.

To prevent the wood from splitting when using screws, it's important to drill pilot holes first—don't just drill the screws straight into the wood.

Step

At the top of each furring strip, screw on a corner brace.

Step

Step 3 | How to Make a Radiator Cat Bed

At the bottom of each furring strip, on the side opposite the one with the corner brace, screw on a shelf bracket.

Choose your corner braces carefully—their shape will determine the success of your project. Use metal corner braces, which will hold up better under pressure, heat, and repeated use.

Step

Step 4 | How to Make a Radiator Cat Bed

At the top of each furring strip, use a nut and bolt to attach a second corner brace to the first corner brace to form a U-shape; this is what will fit over the radiator.

Step

Step 5 | How to Make a DIY Radiator Cat Bed

Screw the board to the shelf brackets as shown. Make sure you choose a screw that is short enough not to go through the top of the board. If the screws do slightly break through, use adhesive putty to cover the tips.

If you can find someone to help you, this step is easier with two people.

Step

Step 6 | How to Make a DIY Radiator Cat Bed

Glue the foam to the top of the board, cutting to foam to size as needed.

Step

Step 7 | How to Make a DIY Radiator Cat Bed

Lay the fabric over the foam, staple it to the underside of the board, and cut off any excess fabric.


In the end, this piece will have cost about $12, not counting the cost of heating—but who can put a price on keeping your cat warm and happy?

A cat bed that fits over your radiator - from the new book, "DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs"

If you enjoyed this DIY radiator cat bed project, you'll love the 19 other creations in this book! DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs will be available to purchase on May 8th. Pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Sew It! DIY Loopty Loop Outdoor Pillow

by Faith Provencher
Sew It! DIY Loopty Loop Outdoor Pillow
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

It's finally starting to look a bit more like spring here in the northeast, which is giving me major motivation to spruce up the deck. One place we were lacking, though, was in the pillow department... it can be difficult to find outdoor pillows with personality. So I made some, of course! Click through to check out the full tutorial for these fun loopty loop outdoor throw pillows.   

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Make It! Clay Terrazzo-Inspired Coasters

by Holly Wade

Make It! Clay Terrazzo-Inspired Coasters

Terrazzo has recently come back in style and I'm here for it! Because it's a very old flooring material, the newer versions of terrazzo appear more colorful and versatile. To recreate the speckled look of terrazzo for my home, I made a set of simple clay terrazzo-inspired coasters with a variety of colors that fit with the decor of my home. They're easy to make, and you can customize them with your favorite colors!

Continue Reading

Trend Alert: "All-Seeing Eye" Motif

by Faith Provencher
Trend Alert: "All-Seeing Eye" Motif
Photo: Sinnen Rausch

Eye spy a trend popping up all over the internet lately, on everything from textiles to phone cases to kitchen accessories... the all-seeing eye! Inspired by historical designs like the Eye of Providence and Olle Eksell's One Eye, it's a bold motif with a lot of fun variations so it really lends itself to DIY projects. So today I'm sharing ten of my favorite eye-covered products and DIYs... click through to check them out.   

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
25 Fake Plants with Real Potential (Put These in Your House... Seriously!)

by Holly Wade
25 Fake Plants with Real Potential (Put These in Your House... Seriously!)
Photo: Urban Outfitters

I'd love to be a plant lady (I hear this is the new cat lady!) but there's one problem...I can't seem to keep my plants alive. No matter how hard I try, I was not blessed with the gift of a green thumb. Instead, my house is filled with fake plants so that I can enjoy the greenery without the constant fear of killing them. I also have cats, and it's difficult to find plants that are nontoxic to pets, and they generally leave the fake plants alone. Fake plants can be really beautiful, so I've rounded up a variety of fake plants with the potential to make your home look like it's part of the outdoors! 

Continue Reading

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home

by Faith Provencher
10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Jennifer Farley

It's a problem that a lot of homes suffer from, whether their owners know it or not - boringness. Does your house lack personality? Or maybe it has plenty and you want to add even more? Well today we have ten easy ways to add serious personality to your home. Click through to check 'em out.   

 

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: M.E. Russell

1. Make some typographical wall art. 

Adding letters, words and phrases is a super easy way to give your walls some serious pizzazz... get the tutorial for this DIY wall decal here.

  

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Jennifer Farley

2. Add peel-and-stick floor tiles. 

This floor started out in bad shape. But with the addition of cheap peel and stick floor tiles arranged in a stripe pattern, the new look is beautiful - and completely memorable. Get the full tutorial here. 

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: M.E. Russell

3. Add a faux backsplash. 

Does your kitchen backsplash leave something to be desired? Well even if you're a renter, there is hope... just grab a few sheets of removable wallpaper in a backsplash-style pattern and follow these instructions.

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

4. Give a piece of furniture a makeover. 

There are so many great ways to upgrade an existing piece of furniture... this one started out as a black IKEA Malm, and now it's a white and wood campaign style dresser. Get the how-to here.

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Jennifer Farley

5. Transform your throw pillows.

Give your existing throw pillows a makeover with new fabric and some unique trim. This pom pom pillow was made using a shirt from the thrift store! Get the how-to here.

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Alicia Lacy

6. Paint your front door a fun color.

Ah, the power of paint. Grab a pint or two of exterior paint in a bright color and you'll have a personality-filled entrance which will set the tone for the rest of your home. Get the instructions here. 

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Stephanie Lee

7. Make a set of colorful coasters.

Add some character to your tabletop with these fun patterned cork coasters. Get the tutorial here.

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Lidy Dipert

8. DIY your way to new lighting.

Who says you can't make your own sconces? Find out how to make this fantastic hanging pulley bulb lamp here.

  

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

9. Put some textiles on the wall.

Do you have leftover yarn from old knitting projects lying around? Make yourself a piece of wall art out of the remnants. Get the simple tutorial here. 

 

10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

10. Add an accent wall.

If you're not ready to commit to a unique wall treatment throughout an entire room, try it as an accent wall! This peel and stick wooden accent wall is a great option, or you might also consider a bright paint color or a fun wallpaper pattern. Get the tutorial for this wooden accent wall here.

As you can see, there are so many great ways to add character to your space without spending a huge amount of money or time... Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below!


10 Easy Ways To Add Serious Personality To Your Home
Share this post on Pinterest! Photo: Alicia Lacy

 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How To: Make Mud Cloth Paper Lanterns

by Marlene Sauer
DIY Mud Cloth Paper Lanterns
Photo: Marlene Sauer

 

There may still be snow on the ground in some places (I’m looking at you, Boston), but spring will be here before you know it. And that means -- patio season!

New England winters have trained me to take advantage of every available moment of spring and summer weather, so I am always looking for easy ways to make my tiny driveway patio cuter. That’s where these DIY Mud Cloth Paper Lanterns come in. They’re on-trend, inexpensive, and wicked easy. Keep reading to see how to make them for yourself!            

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Easy DIY Snowy Mountain Napkin Holder

by Faith Provencher
Easy DIY Snowy Mountain Napkin Holder
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

A napkin holder is one of those (usually) mundane dining items that you never think about until you need it. And typically, napkin holders aren't exactly visually exciting. Unless you make one yourself! Today I have a fun, super simple project that will up your napkin game exponentially. Click through to find out how to make this trendy snowy mountain motif napkin holder.   

Continue Reading