Curbly Original
Tips to Style A Plain Jane Builder Grade Bathroom

by Jennifer Farley

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Here's a typical rental bathroom. Builder-grade materials; not offensive, but very plain and basic. It could be worse, of course, but a lot of rental bathrooms are devoid of style and character. But I like to look at this little room as a blank canvas just waiting for some personal touches. If you're a renter living with a plain bathroom like this one, or maybe you're heading off to college where a dull dorm bathroom awaits, here are some easy and affordable styling tips that will brighten your space.

 

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Start with some color

Much better right? These bathrooms tend to be super neutral. They need a big dose of color! The easiest way to get a color into the bathroom - without painting - is the shower curtain. If you're a pattern person, the kind of person who would cover a house in wall paper or textiles, your shower curtain is how you make your pattern statement.

To make this small room look taller I used a 84-inch shower curtain (that's a bit taller than standard 72-inch height). You can order taller shower curtains that are intended for a shower door opening, but they don't make any wide enough to cover a shower/tub combo. So my trick is to buy two curtain panels and sew them together. When your curtain is pulled back, no one's the wiser. When your curtain is pulled closed, no one should be in your bathroom with you!!!

Note: shower curtains aren't waterproof, so you'll also need to buy two tall shower liners (the cheap ones will do). I make sure the curtains I purchase are back tabbed. I attach the liner via the shower curtain ring to the back tab. Voila, your curtain is functional and waterproof.

I used these sweet little stitched edge curtains from Target.

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

If you choose to make a window curtain and liner curtain work together, you'll need an extra-sturdy curtain rod. Tension rods usually can't hold the weight, so you'll have to use a rod that screws into the wall.

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Add smart storage

This bathroom needed a little more storage, and the best place to put it was over the toilet. I love wall-mounted shelves over the toilet, but some of you won't be able to get permission to do that, so you can do free standing versions instead. Here's a trick: instead of buying a cabinet made to go over the toilet, use a tiered shelving unit and take off the bottom two drawers. I used an Ikea Lerberg shelf, which, sadly you no longer can get at U.S. IKEA stores.

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

 

 

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

 

The Ikea Hyllis is not tiered, so it would work well if you needed more towel storage. This white, tiered bookshelf from Overstock is great if you need even more storage. Since these are not made to go over toilets, they will not have a hidden bar that goes behind the toilet keeping the shelving unit from falling. Make sure you secure the unit to the wall.

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Baskets are perfect for storing extra toilet paper, makeup bags, and anything else overflows from the vanity.

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

It's easy to think that small photos or artwork will work well in a small space. Not always true! The reality is that small wall hangings can make a small room feel even smaller. Instead, go big and use the largest frame that will fit naturally in the space. It will fill up a blah wall with something personal while making your bathroom look bigger.

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Run around your house and grab little storage containers and bowls to use for all those little bathroom items you need to keep on hand. If you need to buy something, skip the bathroom section and head to the kitchen storage section to find little storage bins.

Use the opportunity to upgrade to more stylish bathroom storage. These make-up bags are super cute (from Target).

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Plants always bring a little color and life to a boring bathroom. Succulents are my favorites, especially for a bathroom that has no natural light.

Use space wisely

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

If you have an awkward space underneath your mirror there are lots of great ways to make it more functional. I headed to Target's office section and got a cute little marble dry-erase board. I like to write little reminders and quotes to keep in mind. It's nice to keep your family values top of mind while you brush your teeth, right?

By the way, my go-to hand towels are these cheap dish towels from Ikea. They wash well and are meant for drying so they're perfect hand towels. Embroider them and add some pom pom trim and you've got a cheap wedding gift!

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

 

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

 

Another way to fill the space between a countertop and bathroom mirror would be to install a small shelf. The shelf above is from Home Depot, and looks very easy to install. I also think a grid organizer like the one above from Target could be a fun way to clip on reminders, quotes, and pictures.

 

Have fun with your bath mat

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

Bathroom floor mats have come a long way in the last ten or fifteen years. In days past, bath mats were always soft and fluffy, but your rarely found inexpensive and stylish ones. I love the look of vintage rugs in the bathroom, but my slightly more messy reality requires one I can easily throw in the wash. That's why I like this rug from Target. 

Resist matching

One way to make bathroom decor look really stylish is to resist the urge to be too matchy. Just because the floor is black and grey doesn't mean you need a black or grey mat. The same is true for the shower curtain. Just because the shower curtain is dark blue doesn't mean the floor mat needs to match. 

Tips for Styling a Plain Builder Grade Bathroom

(On another note the floor is not tile, it's vinyl. This basket weave pattern from Mannington floors is seriously amazing. I think the bathroom floor cost less than $100 including install. Even better, it was installed in less than an hour!)

TIPS FOR STYLING A PLAIN BUILDER GRADE BATHROOM

Some other tips

There are many more things you can do to make a boring bathroom better. Here are some to consider:

 

  • Hang a Huge Gallery Wall 
  • Add Dark paint or removable wall paper.
  • Add hanging plants (if you have the correct lighting)
  • Install a metal shelf above the fiberglass tub/shower for more storage, like this one. Hanging it higher than your tub and showerhead so the towels don't get wet. 
  • Add a cute stool for sitting (especially if you are a parent who has to help with baths) or a storage basket for easily accessible towels.
  • Add new hardware to your cabinet
  • Swap in a new mirror. I love this mirror from Ikea because the frame of the mirror can serve as the shelf! 
TIPS FOR STYLING A PLAIN BUILDER GRADE BATHROOM
Pin It: Style a Builder Grade Bathroom

Now go out and make that boring bathroom stylish!

If you liked the idea of plants check out this Roundup of bathroom friendly plants.

 

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Curbly Original
Make a DIY Bathroom Rug in 1 Hour or Less

by Holly Wade

Make a DIY Bathroom Rug in 1 Hour or Less

Having a cushy rug under your feet is the coziest thing I can imagine, and it's nice to be greeted with a fluffy bathroom rug as soon as you get out of the shower or as you stand at the sink to brush your teeth. It just adds to the relaxing feeling of a well-designed bathroom! In order to bring that coziness into your home, you can make your own bathroom rug in just one hour or less using a simple technique for weaving yarn through netting. 

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10 Ways to Love Your Rental Bathroom

by M.E. Gray

Ugly apartment bathroom solutions: From moldy caulk lines to ugly shower doors, here's one renters take on how to deal with an unsightly restroom.

If you have ever leased a home, you know the struggles that can plague a rental bathroom. Unless it's a brand new building, the restroom is likely going to have a unique set of unfortunate details. I've been a renter for all of my adult life. I've seen my fair share of bizarre bathroom situations - from lime green walls to landline phone accessibility next to the tub (true story). My current apartment bathroom has it's own flaws that over time I've either figured out how to disguise or how to live with. Here's my advice on how to deal with an unsightly apartment bathroom, from one renter to another.      

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Curbly Original
IKEA Hack! Add Gemstones to Glass Storage Canisters

by Holly Wade

IKEA Hack! Add Gemstones to Glass Storage Canisters

My small bathroom leaves much to be desired, but we make the most of the space we have. When we moved in, we added two small glass shelves to hold perfumes, candles and bathroom essential stored in frosted glass canisters from IKEA. While its functional, the canisters just seemed a little boring for my taste, so I added gemstones to the storage canisters using agate slices. 

 

This was a simple way to upgrade simple glass canisters and bring a little more personality to a traditionally boring rental bathroom. I love the look of agate and used painted beads to give them height on the canister tops, so it's easy to use them as a handle. 

Materials:

  • IKEA glass canisters, flat topped 
  • Wooden beads, painted gold
  • Small agate slices, about 2 inches long
  • Hot glue gun

Step

Clean the tops of the canisters to ensure the glue will stick well to the surface.

Step

If desired, paint the beads gold or another color. Use the glue gun to attach the bead (hole facing down) in the middle of the top of the canister. 

Step

Then glue the agate slice to the top of the bead. Both holes in the bead should be covered now. 

The canisters are ready to be filled with bathroom supplies like cotton swabs and displayed on a shelf. Now your bathroom storage is a lot prettier!

 

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Curbly Original
Upgrade your Space with a Simple Beaded Fan Pull

by Holly Wade

Upgrade your Space with a Simple Beaded Fan Pull

Living in a rental means I'm stuck with a few things I don't like, including vertical blinds, ugly ceiling fans and popcorn ceiling. While some things are more difficult to swap out (whether you're renting or just on a budget), it doesn't have to completely limit you. Upgrade a fan or ceiling lamp with a simple beaded fan pull to replace an ugly, boring chain in about 10 minutes.

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Curbly Original
5-Minute DIY! Update any Pillow with Floral Patches

by Holly Wade

5-Minute DIY! Update any Pillow with Floral Patches

It's strange to see 90s styles coming back to life, but I'm loving the nostalgia it brings and how it's evolved. Patches are back in style but not just the novelty ones you iron onto jean jackets. Today's patches come in so many different styles, including intricate floral applique patches that are often used around clothing necklines. Instead of using those patches for their intended use, I thought they'd be perfect for outlining the corners of a pillow! This project was so easy to make that I finished in just 5 minutes.

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15 Solutions to Small Bathroom Organization Woes

by Holly Wade
How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products

Having lived in apartments for several years, I've learned how to optimize the storage in small spaces, especially in the bathroom. In our last apartment, we did not have a medicine cabinet, and the under-sink storage was very narrow. Nonetheless, there are so many great products out there for organizing small bathrooms, and these are the must-haves for optimizing your space!

 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by IKEA

1. No drawers? Use containers like these stackable bins from IKEA to create easy-to-access organization.

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by IKEA

2. See-through glass shelves like these thin ones from IKEA are great for adding shelf space while keeping the small space feeling open. 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by Amazon

3. Sometimes the biggest space is under the sink, but what do you do with such a wide, seemingly unusable space? These under sink shelves are adjustable and perfect for making the most of that weird space.

4. Again, if you don't have drawers, you can make them! Add these mesh drawers in any cabinet to create drawer space. 

5. When you have too much makeup and not enough space, using a makeup organizer can help you organize the clutter. This clear acrylic one helps organize your makeup and keep the space feeling clean and open. Plus, it comes in multiple sizes! 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by Amazon

6. Take advantage of the empty space above a toilet by inserting an over-the-toilet shelving unit to hold extra towels, toiletries, etc. 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by IKEA

7. When you have a lot of stuff but no space, it can be difficult to store the main items you use every day. Try storing bathroom items on a rolling cart like this thin one from IKEA to easily move your must-have bathroom items in and out from your bedroom or hallway. 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by Amazon

8. Hang one of these over-the-cabinet baskets to create a little extra space inside of a cabinet, perfect for holding cleaning supplies and anything else you need to grab conveniently. 

9. For bulky items like hair dryers, curling irons and hair straighteners, store them in a caddy that hangs over a cabinet. This way, they're easy to access and don't need to stay on your countertop. 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo via Amazon

10. Command Hooks are great for multiple areas of your home, and the bathroom is no different! Use heavy duty Command Hooks to hang towels on the wall or on doors, so there's no need to drill in shelving or hooks. 

11. Instead of using Command Hooks, you can simply use over-the-door hooks to add storage without having to drill anything. These are easily removable and add several hooks for towels, robes, etc. 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo via Amazon

12. Save valuable counter space by hanging a suction cup toothbrush holder on the bathroom mirror. Now that's one less thing cluttering the counter!

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo via Amazon

13. You can also create even more storage with small suction cup shelves! Available in multiple colors, these will stick to your mirror as well as shower tiles to create extra shelf space. 

How to Organize a Small Bathroom with these 15 Must-Have Products
Photo by Target

14. When your shower doesn't have enough space for your toiletry bottles, create more with a tension rod corner shower caddy. Tension rods hold it in place and create 4 extra shelves to store all of the necessities. 

15. Keep even the smallest drawers organized with small containers so that every item has a place. You can move them around as needed to fit the drawers in your bathroom.

And there you have it! Hopefully you can get past the small bathroom woes and use these tips to create the space you need and live a comfortable life. 

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Curbly Original
Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room in your Home

by Holly Wade

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

Mobiles have recently made a comeback, and I see them not just in children's rooms but in other areas of the home. Mobiles are a unique way to add color and decor to an empty area of a room or above a child's crib for something interesting to watch. This simple floral mobile is the perfect piece of decor to fill empty corners of a room or as a beautiful piece of decor for a little girl's room. 

 Faux flowers never go out of style (in my opinion). Choose colors that match the look you're going for in your home and hang them on clear fishing line to achieve the look of floating flowers. If placed above a bed or crib, it's also something cute to wake up to every morning. 

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

Materials:

  • 6-inch macramé hoop
  • Clear fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Faux flowers
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle
  • Twine
  • E6000 glue or hot glue gun

How to Make a Floral Mobile for Any Room

Step

Cut 2 long pieces of fishing line, about 8-10 inches. Tie one end to the macramé hoop with double or triple knots to secure. Tie the opposite end of the fishing line to the opposite end of the hoop. The pieces should cross each other. This will be what the mobile will hang from. 

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

Step

Use the wire cutters to cut faux flowers from the stems. Repeat with multiple types and sizes of flowers. 

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

Step

Thread the needle with a long piece of fishing line, about 12 inches (or however long you want the mobile to be). Poke through a flower, starting from the bottom, and pull the line most of the way through. Tie the end of the fishing line (bottom side of the flower) to the hoop.

Note, the bottom of the flowers will be facing up to the ceiling when hung.

Step

Continue threading various flowers onto the same piece of fishing line several inches apart. Some flowers may not stay in place when hung. In that case, loop a knot into the fishing line so that the flower does not fall. After 4-5 flowers are threaded on the same line, cut and tie a double or triple knot to secure.

Step

Repeat with 4-5 strands of fishing line hung on the hoop with a variety of flowers on each. No need to follow a specific pattern. Spread the lines equal distances apart so that the mobile will hang evenly. 

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

Step

Once all lines have been hung, begin wrapping and gluing the twine around the macramé hoop. This step helps to secure the fishing line in place on the hoop so that they do not shift over time and make the mobile lopsided. 

How to Make A Floral Mobile for Any Room

Once the glue has dried, the mobile is ready to hang! Use the crossed pieces of fishing line at the top of the hoop to hang the mobile from a hook, or secure to the ceiling with a simple thumb tack. It's lightweight, so it doesn't require any additional ceiling support. 

Now this pretty floral mobile is perfect for decorating for the season or just because!  

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IKEA Hack! Make a 10-Minute Side Table

by Holly Wade

IKEA Hack! Make a 10-Minute Side Table

I'm a big-time IKEA fan, but I like to put my own individual spin on their products. One of the best (and easiest) ways to update IKEA furniture is by swapping out the legs. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes! In this case, you can use an IKEA tabletop of any size to make a 10-minute side table that looks beautiful, and no one would even know it's IKEA. 

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18 Gallery Wall Ideas and How to Steal Them

by Holly Wade

18 Gallery Wall Ideas and How to Steal Them

I recently hung a gallery wall in my dining room using a combination of various frames and a couple other items, but first I scoured the internet for inspiration and a variety of gallery wall ideas to bring my boring white wall to life. Gallery walls add so much personality to a space, and you can customize them so many ways using new pieces, pieces you already own or a combination of the two. 

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Curbly Original
Here's How to Start Your Gallery Wall Today, Even if Your Art Collection Isn't Complete

by Jennifer Farley

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

I don't know about you, but I swoon over a good, curated art gallery wall. My Pinterest boards are filled with gallery walls created by designers and really talented stylists/bloggers, and these inspire me to display my own pieces. But what do you do when you only have one or two vintage pieces in your collection? Unless you're a designer or stylist who makes a living out of finding treasures, it can take a while to curate a collection of art you love. And it's hard know when you have enough pieces to complete your collection. 

This week I helped a friend tackle her eclectic art filled gallery wall. I'm sharing my process so you can follow along and get your art out of storage and onto the wall, Plus, I'll show you how to style the gallery in a flexible way, so you can add in more collected treasures later. 

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

 

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

 

Here are my go-to tools for hanging an eclectic gallery wall:

 

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall
Photo: Little Green Notebook

Find some inspiration

The style of art in Jenny Komenda's living room gallery wall is a little different than the look we were going for, but we loved that it wasn't "matchy-matchy" and my friend loved that there was a table underneath. We also loved that every gap didn't need to be filled. 

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall
Photo: Design Love Fest

The above photo from Design Love Fest had the look and feel we were going for with this gallery wall, since my friend's art was mostly painted landscapes and portraits.

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

Put everything out

Set out the art, pictures, and collectibles you'd like to include in your gallery. Don't over-think this, don't edit anything, just get all your pieces out of boxes and storage.

For reference, the above photo is the left side of my friend's living room. The space we wanted to fill exists on both sides of her fireplace and she wanted a gallery wall to flank both sides of the hearth. Most of what you see did not end up on the wall, but it was good to evaluate it all. 

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

Find a cohesive element or two

Here is my trick for how to find the cohesive element: lay out every piece of art on the floor, gallery wall style. Don't worry about making it look like it will on the wall, just lay it out loosely starting with the largest or most important piece.

Once we laid everything out on the floor we were quickly able to see which pieces felt cohesive. Color, theme, frame type, texture, and even style of art help determine the cohesion of a gallery wall. I know it might seem overwhelming, but I promise setting everything up on the floor will help you visualize your layout. For this gallery wall, we quickly found a nature theme: We live in Kansas. My friend's granddad was a painter who loved nature. Her husband grew up on a farm. Boom! Cohesion! 

Not every piece had to have a "nature" vibe, but any non-nature artwork or object needed to fit the color palette of the landscape scenes. Her grandfather's art was so detailed and colorful we were able to determine easily that any "mass production art" was out.

I believe that carefully-selected photos can fit in an art gallery wall, and my friend immediately recognized that she wanted family photos elsewhere. There are no hard rules or absolutes here, but sometimes you just need to get it out in front of you to make your own personal rules. Every time I've laid out pieces for a gallery wall on the floor, I've watched indecisive homeowners quickly become decisive.

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

Create a template with your frames

Once you've arranged the art on the floor and you're happy with the look of the gallery, I recommend creating a template with paper and taping it to the wall. Depending on the size and scale of your gallery, this process isn't always necessary. I've found that if I can figure out the central pieces of the gallery and get them on the wall, the others fall into place without the template step. For this wall, we decided the central three pieces would be the larger paintings.  

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

It's time to hang your art!

My go-to gallery wall tip is to not use nails at all (or at least, at first). I use Command Strips for all items less than 16 lbs. If the item is over 16 lbs. I make a template. In this case of my friend's wall, we didn't have artwork over this weight, so I didn't need to make a template. 

After the full gallery wall is in place I lightly mark where the frames will go with a pencil, take the frames down, install the nails, and re-hang the frame.

Tip: To make my Command Strips last longer I cut the strip in half on the smaller frames like I did in the picture above. Just make sure the bottom part that pulls down is the part that is attached to the wall.

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

For an non-symmetrical gallery wall, first hang the pieces that you want to anchor the entire space.

When art/photos have matched frames or are the same size, I tend to like symmetrical and centered gallery walls. When the gallery wall is more eclectic, I embrace the quirk by adding flexibility in how it's hung. These pieces were not created to be displayed together, so why should I subscribe to the rules of symmetry in hanging them? Logically, I should center the largest piece on the wall with the center being eye level. I added movement to this quirky wall by hanging the largest piece a little low (but not too low), and a little off center. Once that piece was set, I organically started to hang the other two.

Tip: Use your inspiration photos to help you get ideas for how or where to place things. Don't be afraid to use the genius of talented designers to help you out!

Step

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

Add in the rest of your pieces

This is where two sets of eyes are helpful. One person holds the art in place, while the other tweaks it. Then you switch to confirm or tweak some more.  To me, the two-person system helps the wall feel more organic.

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

Once you've found an item's perfect place, mark where the top of the frame should go, and place your Command Strips on the back of the frame. Before you take the backing of the command strip, place the frame back up on the wall and use your level to straighten it. Once it's right, use a pencil to lightly trace the top corners of the frame on the wall. Pull the backing off, line up the frame's top corners and adhere it to the wall.


Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

As I stated above, we needed to use some of the art on the opposite side of the fireplace. After editing it all out we didn't really have enough. My friend plans to find two longer benches or lower console tables and add art all around. To fill in the gaps while the wall is in progress we added in a bench, a plant, and a leaning chalkboard.

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

The leaning chalkboard doesn't fit, but it looks cute and is a good placeholder until my friend finds something taller to hang on the wall. 

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

My friend is excited to find something to hang under the 'D' to help fill in the narrow space. I've found that not having enough art is a common problem for most people who want to create a gallery wall. But it doesn't mean you can't start with the few treasures that you already have on hand. If you patiently wait, you will end up with a wall of meaningful, truly collected things ... and I promise you will love it so much more!

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

I love how the blue pillow from Target pulls out the blue in the painted lady above.

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall

Rustic Eclectic Gallery Wall
Pin It: Hang an eclectic gallery wall

Now it's time for you to grab your collection ... even if it's not complete ... and start hanging!

Add a little DIY art to your gallery wall with this colorful wall art project.

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Elegant DIY Wood and Glass Trough Vase

by Faith Provencher
Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

As a borderline obsessive flower lover, I'm always on the hunt for new vases and centerpiece ideas. So when I ran across a beautiful rectangular glass container on Amazon, I knew I had to have it (and make something out of it, of course). Click through to check out the resulting trough-style vase that I came up with.   

 

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

It has space for four stems, and all four draw from the trough of water below. The wooden top is removable, and keeps the stems securely in place. And it's really quite simple to make! So let's get started.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Here's what you'll need for your trough vase:

 

  • Rectangular Centerpiece Vase
  • Two pieces of wood, size 10x4" and 9.5 x 3.5"
  • Wood glue
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Drill with 1/2" drill bit (or similar)
  • Foam brush
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Sandpaper
Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Before you begin, make sure that the larger piece of wood has the exact same measurements as the outside of the glass centerpiece vase and that the smaller piece fits snugly in the interior of the top of the glass vase. If not, sand it down so that it fits nicely. Apply a healthy dose of glue to the larger piece of wood, leaving about a 1/2 inch glue-less around the edges.  

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Place the smaller piece of wood on top of the larger one, pressing down firmly. Make sure it is centered. Let it dry for a minute or two until it is quite tacky but not completely adhered.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Place it on top of the glass centerpiece vase to make sure that the wood pieces are aligned so that they fit perfectly into the top of the glass vase. Remove it and let it dry for a couple of hours.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Next, find the horizontal center line of the wood and place four dots along that line as shown above. They should be evenly spaced, with two inches between each dot. Drill a hole down through each mark. Don't forget to place a piece of scrap wood underneath. Sand any rough edges.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Mask off a 3/4 inch perimeter around the top using painter's tape. Press firmly around the edges so that they form a strong bond to the wood.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Paint inside this taped-off rectangle with acrylic craft paint in the color of your choice.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

Remove the tape, let the paint dry, and you're finished! Fill the glass vase with water and insert four stems for a unique centerpiece for your dinner table, kitchen island or accent table.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

This is sure to be a conversation starter, thanks to its unusual design and contemporary vibe. You can change the look of it by trying different types of flowers... calla lilies would lend a modern feel, while daisies would give it a more rustic sensibility.

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

You might also consider a different color or even a different finish for the top part - a dark stain would be beautiful, or a metallic rose gold would look super glam. 

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

 

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Photo: Faith Towers

While this project looks like it would be difficult to complete, it's actually surprisingly simple and quick to finish. You should be able to do it in an hour or two (not including drying time), depending on how quickly you work. Feel free to post questions or links to your own versions in the comments section below!

Elegant DIY Glass Trough Vase
Share this post on Pinterest! [Photo: Faith Towers]

 

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Step Up Your #Shelfie Game With This DIY Wooden Shelf Organizer

by Faith Towers
Colorful DIY Wooden Shelf Organizer
Photo: Faith Towers

Don't you hate it when your kitchen cabinets don't have a shelf inside, so you end up using only the bottom half? All that wasted space could be used, if only you had an extra level.... so today we're sharing an easy DIY that will help you take advantage of it - in style of course. No boring store-bought shelf risers here!   

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IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set

by Faith Towers
IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

I'm a plant lover through and through. Plants add visual interest to a space, and they clean the air too. So when I saw the Fryken baskets at IKEA, I knew I had to turn them into a hanging planter set. Not only does it look cool, but it also keeps the plants away from the curious nose of my mischievous dog. So read on find out how you can make your own hanging planter basket set.   

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

The final product is a nice combination of rustic and contemporary, with the bright colored cord paired with the natural sea grass. And it's surprisingly easy to make! Let's get started.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Here's what you'll need for your planter:

 

  • IKEA Fryken basket set
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • 10' of parachute cord
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery needle
  • 4" piece of thin wire (not pictured)
IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Begin by painting the bottom of each basket. I mixed up a dark turquoise color, and painted on an angle so that the color would be visible from the side when the baskets were hanging.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Here's a look at the side of the basket. Feel free to use a piece of painters tape to help create a straight line. Let the baskets dry thoroughly.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Now it's time to connect the baskets using parachute cord. You can buy the cord on Amazon or at most craft stores (I bought mine at Michaels). You most likely won't be able to thread your cord through the embroidery needle, so you'll need to fashion a little loop out of wire. To do this, thread the wire through the needle, create a 1 inch opening and then twist the ends together as shown above.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Cut 6 pieces of parachute cord that are 12 inches long each. Thread one piece of cord through your wire loop and push the needle through the top of the largest basket, as shown above. If you have trouble getting the cord through, pull everything back out and use a flat head screwdriver to gently wiggle a small hole in that spot and then try threading it through again.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Once it comes through, pull one end all the way through and tie a knot at the end. Then pull the outside end back out so the knot is positioned on the inside of the basket. Do this for three of the pieces of cord, evenly spacing them around the top of the basket.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Next, use the same process to pull the top of one of the cords through the bottom of the medium sized basket. Tie a knot at the top of that cord. Do the same for the other two cords. 

Now repeat the exact same process for the medium basket and attach it to the smallest basket. Adjust the knots slightly if the baskets aren't sitting flat.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

Then cut three pieces of cord that are 15 inches long each, and attach those to the top of the smallest basket. Knot the three pieces together at the top as shown above, and hang it from a hook. Your planter set is finished!

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

You'll want to use plants that are already in plastic containers so you can take them out to water them... if the sea grass baskets get wet repeatedly, they may start to get a bit moldy. For the bottom basket, I used cuttings from another Pothos plant and put them in a plastic container that I found in my recycling bin. I did the same for the Jade plant in the middle, and the top one is an air plant - so no soil needed!

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

You can customize these to your liking, using colors that match your decor - or you might even consider using different colors for each section if you like a multi-color look.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

You could fill the entire thing with air plants, for a lower maintenance option. Just don't forget to water them like I did last time! Spritz them thoroughly in the sink every week or two to keep them looking good.

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Photo: Faith Towers

If you try this project, feel free to share a link to it in the comments section below. Happy crafting everyone!

 

IKEA Hack: Clever Hanging Planter Basket Set
Share this post on Pinterest! [Photo: Faith Towers]

 

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Curbly Original
How to: Repurpose an Old Drying Rack into a Stylish Magazine Rack

by Jennifer Farley

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

I love to read magazine and so does my family. Long live the paper subscription! So, I wanted magazine storage for our living room to keep them all in one place. So, let's get to it: how to make a simple and stylish wood and leather magazine rack. 

 First the research: I am really drawn leather and brass/gold magazine racks like this one.

DIY Leather Luggage Rack
AEMCateer.com

I was originally going to attempt this with a vintage folding tray table but realized quickly a folding tray table is too tall for magazine rack. My second thought was a luggage rack, but they also weren't the right height or width.

But then! I pulled into a garage sale and found the below clothes drying rack and thought, hmm.... this thing actually might work.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

The funny thing is this drying rack (I think) is the cheapest one you can by at a discount store. I got lucky with a garage sale price but I will link to a new option in the materials list.

materials

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Here is what you need:

  • Wooden clothes drying rack. Here is a great one from Amazon
  • leather, vinyl, or upholstery fabric. I chose this faux leather from Joann's
  • hot glue gun or sewing machine
  • gold spray paint
  • hand saw or multi tool
  • chain or string
  • cutting pliers (optional)
  • thumbtacks
  • scissors (not pictured)
  • ruler 

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Take apart your drying rack and set the aside the dowels. Now, we need to cut it up. There are many ways to do this, but through trial and error (and a few mistakes) this is how I did it:

The bottom half of the rack would become the side pieces of the rack. It is hard to tell in pictures but we cut underneath the grommet at a 90 degree angle. To truly get a 90 degree angle we needed a little more freedom of movement from the accordion rack. To get this we FIRST cut the rack where you see the pink Xs. 

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

After you have made the cuts to give the rack freedom you can adjust the piece of wood you are cutting of to make a nice clean 90 degree cut under the grommet. Cut one side, then flip it over and cut the other side.

 I originally tried to keep the grommets since the dowel rods where made to fit in them, but it was hard because the grommets went through both pieces of wood. The dowel rods are made to be smaller where they are to be inserted. I decided I could drill holes in faster time than to figure out how to remove/cut the grommet and sand down the freshly cut dowel rods to fit.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Here is what one side should look like when it is cut. You will need two of these. The middle grommet is your connecting point. Since we cut of the top grommets the distance from the grommet to the end of the wood is not the same on this side. This was actually better for the structure of the magazine rack. Use the longer side to be the base of the magazine rack and the shorter side to be the top. This will allow the leather/fabric of the magazine rack to hang down a little more.

Step

Repeat Steps 1-2 on the opposite side of the drying rack. Make sure both sides are the same length.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

You now have two Xs which are the two sides of your magazine rack. Drill holes in each end of one side of the magazine rack. To make sure they match, stack them and drill both at the same time.  Then lay the side with drilled holes on top of the side with no holes and mark where the holes should be drilled (not pictured). Drill the holes on the second side of the magazine rack.  It is important to measure well so your dowel rods will be level when inserted.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Now it is time to measure the dowel rods. I used a magazine to estimate my length. I wanted it to be a bit larger than the magazine just in case I wanted to store big coffee table books as well. 

The length is up to you, but I wanted my magazine rack (the exposed part) to be 17 inches wide. In measuring, I had to take into consideration that I would cut off the sanded ends.  I cut off the grommets in Step 2 so I needed both sides of the dowel to be the same thickness. Before measured, I cut these off. (not pictured)

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Your two dowel rods will be different lengths due to one being inserted into the inside of the rack and one being inserted into the outside of the rack. I wanted my dowel rods to be inserted all the way through the wood to be flush with the outside of the rack. The depth of my wood was 1/4 inch. The bottom dowel was easy. I needed to cut the dowel 17.5 inches.

The top dowel had to be 1 inch longer because it had to extend the length of two of the .25 inch deep pieces on each side totaling .5 inches more on each side.  I cut it 18 inches. [17inches + .5 + .5 = 18 inches]

Summary: Whatever your measurement cut one dowel 1/2 inch longer than the other.

 

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Cut your dowel rods. The picture shows me cutting three rods, but I learned later that you only need to cut two. Use a clamp to tighten them down. I used my multi-tool to cut them down. You could use a hacksaw or chop saw.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

To keep the magazine rack from closing you need to secure the sides. I used my snippers to cut an old necklace I had.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

I used thumb tacks to secure the chain. Any chain would work or you could also use a small strip of your leather/fabric or string.

To make sure each side opens the same measure where you place the thumb tacks from the grommet.

Step

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

Insert your dowel rods and secure them with glue. I squeezed a little hot glue in the hole before I inserted the dowel rod. 

I added thumbtacks to the outside of my rack where the dowel was showing to get it a more finished look.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Spray paint your magazine rack.

Note: You can spray paint your parts separately and install the finished rack after the leather/fabric part is sewn.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Now, it is time to cut your leather.  I couldn't find a large enough piece of cognac leather in the remnant pile at our local leather store so I chose to use vinyl faux leather in a caramel color. I am always amazed at how far vinyl has come in looking like leather. I found mine at Joann Fabric.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Cut the fabric into two pieces. I noticed my inspiration piece had the finished side of the leather on both sides of the magazine rack. If you are using real leather this step is optional. You might like the look of your magazine rack to have the softer side of the leather on the inside. If you want the finished side seen on the outside and inside then cut two pieces. I had to use two pieces because the unfinished side of faux leather is not pretty. Your measurements will depend on the size of your magazine rack. Here are the sizes of the two pieces I cut.

The exposed part of my inserted dowel is 17 inches. I wanted the dowel to have 1/4 inch on each side of exposed dowel. The smaller piece will be cut the exact width of the finished product. You will fold the sizes of the larger piece over this smaller piece.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Place the the two "wrong sides" of the fabric/leather together. Place the smaller piece in the middle. There should be two inches of leather to fold on the top and the bottom. There should be one inch to fold on each side.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

Fold the sides in 1/2 inch and sew or glue.

For these next steps you can sew or you can use glue. If you are going to put heavy books in the rack I would suggest sewing. Mine will only hold 3-5 magazines and hot glue/super glue is sturdy enough for this.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Fold the folded side another 1/2 inch to finish off the sides.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Take the top and fold the top side over the dowel rod and glue. I made sure I cut straight lines on my vinyl so I didn't have to fold over twice on the top.

Note: If you have not assembled your magazine rack then this would be where you would place the fabric on the dowel rods and assemble your stand.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

You are done! All you need are some magazines.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

The magazine rack is quite sturdy and can hold more magazines than shown.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

I love how this little project turned out. Who knew it came from an old drying rack!

DIY Leather Magazine Rack
Pin It: DIY Faux Leather Magazine Rack

 

I love a good repurpose. The drying rack has enough parts to make a couple of these, so I think I'll do a few more!

 

Want another fun DIY project? Check out his adorable kitchen utensil wall art here on Curbly.

 

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Curbly Original
How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

by Holly Wade

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

As the warm weather continues to emerge, I'm looking forward to spending more time outdoors and enjoying our front porch. Last summer, we purchased inexpensive metal chairs, but since metal is not very comfortable to sit on, I finally got around to making a set of leave printed chair cushions. The best part is you can sew outdoor chair cushions in 30 minutes or less with a few specific materials and this envelope style pillow case. 

 How long it takes you will depend on your skill level, but as someone who is not an expert, I can assure you this should not take more than 30 minutes to make, so it's a perfect "quick" project or a perfect project for beginners. This envelope style pillow case is very simple to make because it does not require zippers or stuffing, and you can easily remove the covers for washing anytime. 

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

The key materials I suggest for this project are outdoor fabric (more durable, thick) and densified polyester pad in your desired size. I used a brand called NuFoam in size 15 x 17, 2 inches thick and simply trimmed it to my desired size because they did not sell the exact size. I found this to be the best material because it's very light, washable and water will run right through it (as opposed to solid foam). 

I ended up with size 15 x 16 cushions, so make sure you adjust your sizes accordingly. The materials below are per cushion. 

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

Materials:

  • NuFoam densified polyester pad, size 15 x 17, 2 inches thick
  • 1 yard outdoor fabric
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

Step

First, cut the pad to the size of the chair. In my case, I cut about 1 inch off to create a 15 x 16 pad. Because the pads have layers, it's easiest to cut only a little bit at a time. 

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

Step

Then cut one piece of fabric that is about 2 inches wider around than the pad (17 x 18 inches in this case), one piece that is 18 x 10 inches and one more that is 18 x 12 inches. These two pieces will create an envelope flap, so one should be slightly larger than the other.

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

Step

On the larger flap (18 x 12), pin a thin seam along the 18-inch side and sew. 

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

Step

Pin all of the pieces together with patterned sides facing in and the sewn edge as the inner-most piece. This will be the one you see when the pillowcase is complete (see above).

Step

Sew a thin seam all the way around the pillowcase without stopping, back stitching at each end. Trim loose threads. 

How to Sew Outdoor Chair Cushions in 30 Minutes or Less

Step

Turn the pillowcase right side out and insert the foam piece. Place the cushion envelope-side down on a chair and lounge comfortably! 

When it's time to wash them, simply remove the foam piece and wash all pieces. They're super easy to make and take care of, and they're just as stylish as store-bought cushions!

 

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Curbly Original
Simple Spring Decor: DIY Pastel Gold Splatted Bud Vases

by Holly Wade

DIY Pastel Gold Leaf Bud Vases

Spring is in the air! To me, spring is always, first and foremost, about color. It's also my favorite time of year to keep flowers in the house, but this can be a very expensive habit. Instead, I've committed to getting my flower fix by picking one or two flowers from my daily walks to display in small bud vases. To honor each bloom, I wanted to whip some special bud vases to give them just-the-right place to live.


 

I found these...

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Curbly Original
Charming Paper Flowers for Your Spring Mantel Decor

by Faith Towers

Curbly Original: Charming Paper Flower Easter Mantel

Photo: Faith Towers

Now that springtime has officially arrived, that means that those of us who celebrate Easter are probably starting to think about decorating our homes for the holiday. My mantel has been empty since I removed my winter décor, so it was begging for some festive embellishments. So I whipped up a few paper flowers to add some beautiful pastels to the room. Click through to find out how to make your own paper flower Easter...

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