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.

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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. 

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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!    

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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.                 

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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.   

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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

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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.   

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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!

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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.   

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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! 

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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!            

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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.   

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How to Make Fabulous Floral Arrangements with Grocery Store Bouquets

by Holly Wade

How to Make Fabulous Floral Arrangements with Grocery Store Bouquets

Having fresh flowers on my dining room table makes my whole day better, but I can't always afford to have an amazing arrangement from my local florist. Instead, I've found ways to make standard grocery store bouquets look like unique floral arrangements made just for me! If you enjoy playing with flowers (who doesn't?!) then you'll love this simple way to make fabulous floral arrangements with the bouquets you find in your local grocery stores. 

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Move Over, Air Plants - There's a New Trend in Town

by M.E. Gray

Move over, Air Plants. You've got competition. (Marimo Moss Balls 101)

We are toe-deep in this air plant trend (I say only toe deep because they are very teeny plants). Also known as tillandsia, air plants are are everywhere you look. If you're like me and you're always on the hunt for an easy-to-care-for plant, chances are you owned at least one. Air plants are cool because they require no dirt, but what if I told you there was a plant that requires no watering because it lives in water?? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the coolest plants on the block: Marimo moss balls.       

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