Curbly Original
Make It! Simple + Stylish Leather Headphone Organizer

by Holly Wade

DIY Round Leather Headphone Organizer

I use my headphones every day, and I carry them to work in my purse, where, despite my best efforts to roll them up carefully, they inevitably intertwine into a balled-up mess. To prevent my headphone from becoming consistently tangled, I made this simple round leather headphone organizer that stores my lightly coiled headphones and slips easily into my purse or just as easily into a large pocket.  

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Curbly Original
Pack your Lunch in Style: Easy Reusable Fabric Lunch Bag

by Holly Wade

Pack your Lunch in Style: Easy Reusable Fabric Lunch Bag

Remembering to pack my lunch is a constant struggle. I don’t think I’ve even had an actual lunch bag for years, but it turned out that all I needed to get me motivated to pack my lunch again was a pretty lunch bag. This easy-to-sew stylish lunch bag is great for adults – I used fun fabric to make a lunch bag that I would want to remember to bring, and it didn’t take me long at all.

 I’m not an expert with a sewing machine, but luckily I didn’t need to be to make this lunch bag using two complimentary cotton fabrics. I loved the bright blue color with a minimal pattern for the outside of the bag, and the bright white fabric for the inside has a light polka dot pattern that matches well. Put together, the fabric has just enough stiffness to hold the bag together without feeling heavy or difficult to fold. Overall, the design is reminiscent of the classic brown bag but with a whole lot more color (and reusable, of course)!

MATERIALS:

  • ½ yard patterned cotton fabric*
  • ½ yard complimenting cotton fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron (optional, recommended)
  • Hand sewing needle (optional)

*For simpler sewing, avoid directional patterns that require the fabric stay facing one direction

Step

Unfolded, cut both pieces of fabric into 10 in x 20 in rectangles.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Along the 20-inch side, measure the middle. Cut out a 1 in x 3 in notch on either side, so that it looks like the above photo.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Take the patterned piece intended to be the outside of the bag and fold in half (inside out) with the notches at the bottom. Sew along each side.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Take the piece intended to be the inside of the bag, and fold in half (inside out) with the notches at the bottom. Sew along one side. Along the other, sew halfway, leave a 1-inch opening and sew the rest – you will need this opening for later.

Iron the seams open. This makes it less bulky later.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Pinch the bottom notches together and sew a straight line across to square off the bottom. Repeat on each side of both pieces of fabric.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Turn only the internal piece right side out. The outside piece should remain inside out. Both pieces should resemble bags with squared bottoms.

Step

Place the internal piece inside of the outside piece so that the patterned sides are facing each other. Sew a thin seam all the way around the top to secure the pieces together. 

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Trim excess threads and pull the entire bag right side out through the hole left in the internal piece.

Step

Using a hand sewing needle or your machine, sew the hole shut. Using your machine will not look as clean, but it is not necessary because it will be the inside lining of the bag.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Push the lining into the inside of the bag and iron as needed.

To use, place items inside and simply pinch the sides and roll the top of the bag. You can certainly adjust the measurements to make a larger or smaller bag, but I found that these measurements work best for fitting everything I needed. The rolled top makes it feel like I’m carrying a much classier version of an old school brown bag lunch, and I love it!

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Curbly Original
Make It: DIY Photographic Pillow With Light-Sensitive Dye (on the Cheap!)

by Jennifer Farley

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Who doesn't love a colorful pillow? Moreover, who doesn't love a bold, graphic colorful pillow with a personal touch? This simple technique allows you to print any image of your choosing onto fabric, then sew it up for a totally custom look. Right? Right. Let's make one!

 

MATERIALS

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 yard white or natural colored duck canvas fabric. Painters drop cloth could work as well.
  • Jacquard Solar Fast Light Sensitive Dye or Lumi Inkodye. (Both will work well, I chose the Solar Fast because it was cheaper)
  • Photograph printed on 11.5 X 17 transparency. You need two of the same print. (more on this below)
  • Straight pins
  • Glass from a large picture frame 
  • Foam brush or foam roller
  • 1/2 cup or water 
  • bowl  for mixing
  • Solid surface slightly bigger than your fabric, such as a piece of plywood. This is key for quickly transferring your work from inside to outside. You will want to do all the painting work on this surface.
Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye
Amazon

The key to this project is light-sensitive dye. There are many choices of color in this product, so go wild! 

I was excited to do this project, butthe more I read up on how to do it, the more expensive it got. Not only did I have to buy the dye, it looked like I needed to by the specific film, and the SolarFast wash for washing your dyed print. Don't get me wrong; I am sure all of these things are great products but a little pricey for just getting started. I decided to be a little bit rebellious to see if I could use light sensitive dye without all the accessories.  (Hint: it worked!)

 

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Take or find a photograph. The best photographs are going to be ones that are simple with lots of contrasts. You don't want a busy photo. I found my photo Gratisography, a site with free photos with no copyright restrictions. You want to take or use a photo that is simple with distinct areas of contrast. I used these tips for my guide.

Step

Turn your photo to black and white. You can do this on your phone or any basic photo editing application or website such as iPhoto or Canva.com. (My photo was already black and white, so I hopped right along.)

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Turn your photo into a negative. Here are a few ways you can do this:

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Photoshop: Upload your photo. On the top toolbar select Image, then select Adjustment, and then select Invert. Save to your computer. If you have another type of editing software just Google how to "invert a photo" or "create a negative" with that software and I am positive there will be instructions out there.

Phone: Download the free app Negative Me Free and follow the instructions.

Website: Lumi Inkodye has created an app for you to create negatives. Its free to use just upload your picture and follow the instructions. app.inkodye.com

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Print your photo on 11.5 X 17 transparency paper. Instead of buying a bunch of transparency paper I don't need I took mine to a Office Max and spent $2 to print the photo. You need two prints. This is important because you will need both to create the most contrast.

Step

Lay down your photo on your wooden board or transferrable solid surface. I used the backside of an old ceiling tile.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Prep your fabric. I washed and ironed my fabric first. Then, I taped around my negative to prep for painting. (You do not have to tape. I just wanted the picture to be framed on my pillow)

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Take the negative off the fabric and set aside.

Important: Due to the light sensitive nature of the dye, the next steps need to be done quickly. Make sure these steps are done in low light room with no direct sunlight.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Pour 1/2 a cup of a water into a bowl and pour about a tablespoon of dye into the bowl. Stir up the mixture with your paint brush.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Paint your fabric with the mixture. Do this quickly and make sure you cover the entire surface of the fabric well. It should be saturated with the dye in the area of the picture so the details will show up.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Layer both negatives on top of each other and place on top of your fabric. Don't skip the step of layering two negatives. It will work with one but there won't be much contrast in the picture.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Secure the negatives to the fabric. I did this with push pins. You can also do this with the glass from a photo frame. I had one ready but I didn't use it. I would have used the glass it was a windy day. Since it was not the pins worked fine.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Set your fabric out in the direct sun for 20-25 minutes.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Bring your fabric inside and voila!  You have a photo on your fabric!

Step

Hang dry your fabric dry in a dark area.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Wash your fabric by itself on a delicate cycle. I was really afraid of this step. I did not purchase the SolarWash. I simply used a tablespoon of detergent and crossed my fingers. It came out perfect.  No bleeding or running. The light sensitive dye is still activated until you wash it; washing the print is what stops the dye and makes it permanent. When making my pillow, I needed to iron the fabric, and that didn't present any problems either. The dye is on there for good.

Step

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

Make your pillow. I grabbed some scrap fabric and used this tutorial for making my pillow and used this tutorial for adding piping around the pillow.

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

I love the way it turned out. My husband and I met working at a summer camp. My son recently went to that summer camp and loved it. The three canoes are a nice little reference to this part of my family's story.

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

 

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye

 

Make It- DIY Pillow with light Sensitive Dye
Pin It and Share It: DIY pillow with light sensitive dye

 

I am already contemplating my next project with the light sensitive dye. What should I make?

I loved reading this post about all fun ways to decorate Easter eggs, and I am wondering I can use the light sensitive dye to decorate my Easter Eggs.

 

 

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Curbly Original
Decorate with Green: Make a Wood Succulent Planter Centerpiece

by Holly Wade

DIY Wood Succulent Centerpiece

As someone with a brown thumb, the only plants I can keep alive are succulents and cacti. Luckily, there are so many beautiful succulents to choose from, and they range from small to large and are very easy to maintain, making them the perfect plants for DIY projects. This simple wood succulent centerpiece allows you to bring the plants indoors in a way that will beautifully display plants on your table.

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Curbly Original
IKEA Hack: Make a Spinning Tiered Serving Tray

by Faith Towers
IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

We love a good IKEA hack around here, and today we have something extra special for you - a double IKEA hack! This tiered serving tray spins, so guests can easily reach that brie that they're so desperate to eat. It uses up less surface area on the table too, by taking advantage of vertical space. Click through to check out the full tutorial.   

 

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

Fun, right? You can customize the colors too. So let's get started!

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

Here's what you'll need for your spinning tiered serving tray:

 

  • IKEA Snudda
  • IKEA Vildapel (you won't need the accompanying casters)
  • (2) 1" diameter dowel rods, 4.5" long each
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood Glue
IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

Begin by painting the dowel rods your desired color. You may need two coats - let the first coat dry thoroughly before starting the second one.

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

Next, find the center of the IKEA Snudda Lazy Susan. Place a dollop of wood glue there and place the bottom dowel rod in the glue. Let it dry for a couple of hours so it is secure. Then, find the center of the underside of the Vilapel and glue that to the top of that same dowel rod.

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

Next, find the center of the top of the Vilapel and glue the top dowel rod to it. Let everything dry overnight. And that's it! One of the easiest double IKEA hacks ever.

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

A note: I wouldn't recommend putting a big heavy bowl of salsa on the top tier of this serving tray - stick to lighter items just to be safe.

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Photo: Faith Towers

You can get creative with the colors too - metallic might be fun, or even a colorful pattern. Have fun with it!

IKEA Hack: Spinning Tiered Serving Tray
Share this project on Pinterest! [Photo: Faith Towers]

 

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Curbly Original
Make It: DIY Metallic Geometric Planters in 5 Minutes

by Brittni Mehlhoff

Make It: DIY Metallic Geometric Planters in 5 Minutes

 

Save money on expensive pots and planters with this quick and easy project that will conceal any ugly plastic container in about five minutes, for less than $1 a piece.   

Using some leftover contact paper, you can whip up some faux metal containers to hide the ugly plastic ones your store-bought houseplants came in. 

Materials
  • Scrap Cardboard
  • Copper Contact Paper
  • Small Plants or succulents
Tools
  • Scis...

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Curbly Original
4 Home Decor DIYs Salvaged from the Recycling Bin

by Faith Towers
4 Home Decor DIYs Salvaged from the Recycling Bin
Photo: Faith Towers

I've been making a concerted effort lately to remember to recycle as much as possible, and it's been working... we have double the amount of recycling as we do trash lately. And then I got to thinking - there must be all kinds of fun DIYs that I could do using all those empty vessels. Keep reading to check out four easy ones that I tried out.   

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How To: 'Dye' Clear Glass Any Color (We Test Two Techniques)

by DIY Maven

 

Looking for a way to create colored glass bottles and mason jars? Why tested two techniques to see which one works best. 

Colored glass bottles
Photo: DIY Maven

 

A few years back, we profiled a new technique to 'dye' clear glass any color. The original maker included instructions that called for mixing acetone (nail polish remover) with Vitrail glass paint. Since posting the profile of the technique, the original how-to has vanished from the internets. We decided to take our own stab at the technique to see if we could replicate the outcome and devise our own how-to.

With some trial and error, we were able to do it...but not without some surprises. 


Before we begin, let's talk about those surprises. The original materials list consisted of clear jars, acetone, and Vitrail glass paint. We tried that glass coloring technique – and we'll reveal the results. However, another option for dying clear glass is using Vitrail Lightening Medium instead of acetone. In the material list listed below, we've included both acetone and the lightening medium. You can decide, after seeing the effect, which you'd rather use to dye glass:

MATERIALS

  • Clear glass mason jars or bottles to paint
  • Plastic straws
  • Vitrail glass paint
  • Acetone (nail polish remover)
  • Vitrail Lightening Medium 
Dying glass supplies
Photo: DIY Maven

Step

 

adding Vitrail to jar
Photo: DIY Maven

We'll start with the original technique, which utilized acetone.

To begin, make sure your jar is completely clean and dry, both inside and outside. Shake the Vitrail paint to mix well. Dip a plastic straw into the paint and dribble paint inside the jar so it touches only the bottom--NOT the sides of the jar. (The amount of paint you put inside the jar will depend upon the size of the jar, of course, but it's better to error on the side of a little too much than too little.)

Step

 

adding acetone to jar
Photo: DIY Maven

Using another clean straw, draw up some acetone using the finger-over-the-end-of-the-straw trick. Put in about 1/2 as much acetone as paint. Again, ONLY put the acetone at the very bottom of the jar--not on the sides of the jar.

 

Don't forget to read Curbly's Bottle Cutter Shoot-Out to find the perfect cutter for your painted bottles and jars!

bottle cutter review

 

Looking for more great ideas? We like this book:

Step

Mixing acetone and paint
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Use another straw to mix the acetone and paint. Mix it WELL. 

Step

 

swirling the acetone and paint
Photo: DIY Maven

When the paint and acetone are completely mixed, rotate the jar on its side to swirl the paint, thereby painting the inside of the jar. 

First surprise. Acetone does NOT mix with the Vitrail. Now, although this was a complete fail, the outcome is really cool. It looks kind of like a static lava lamp.


Now let's try the other technique, this time using the Vitrail Lightening Medium.

Step

adding Vitrail to jar
Photo: DIY Maven

 

 

Again, make sure your jar is completely clean and dry inside. Shake the Vitrail paint to mix well. Dip a plastic straw into the paint and dribble inside the jar so it touches only the bottom--NOT the sides--of the jar. (To repeate: the amount of paint you put inside the jar will depend upon the size of the jar, but it's better to error on the side of a little too much than too little.)

Step

Vitrail Lightening Medium close up
Photo: DIY Maven

Using another clean straw, dribble lightening medium into the paint. Remember, ONLY put the lightening medium at the very bottom of the jar--not on the sides of the jar.

adding Vitrail Lightening Medium
Photo: DIY Maven
Using the finger-over-the-end-of-the-straw trick works for the lightening medium as well. 

Step

Mixing paint and medium
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Use a straw to mix the lightening medium and paint. Mix it WELL. 

Step

 

Rotating Vitrail and Lightening Medium mix
Photo: DIY Maven

 

When the paint and lightening medium are properly mixed, rotate the jar on its side to swirl the paint, thereby painting the inside of the jar. As you can see from the picture, the lightening medium and paint mix perfectly, as expected. (They are meant to mix after all.) The mixture is much more viscous than the paint/acetone mix, which means the paint will flow slowly, meaning you'll have to rotate slowly to coat the entire inside of the jar.

Step

Jar on straws
Photo: DIY Maven

 

When the jar is completely coated with paint, prop it up on a couple of straws so the paint will drip out of the jar completely and help it dry faster. 


Colored Glass Techniques - Results

Now let's do a side-by-side comparison of the techniques. Acetone technique is on the left and lightening medium technique is on the right. Notice the mottled effect of the of the paint/lightening medium? It's cool, but it's a far cry from the liquid-y finish of the original post. (How the maker achieved the effect, I have no clue. Mineral spirits, maybe? That will require further investigation best saved for a future how-to.) 

jar comparison
Photo: DIY Maven

 

OKAY, now for the final test. The original tutorial claimed the Vitrail and acetone combo was waterproof. Sadly, it is not. After letting a jar dry for 48 hours, I poured water into it and let it sit for about an hour--a much shorter time than you'd keep flowers in a vase. 

When I poured out the water, this is what happened:

ruined jar after subjecting it to water
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Oops. Now, before we dismiss the fixative property of Vitrail, keep in mind that Vitrail glass paint is WATER-RESISTANT, which, technically speaking, means it's "able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely."  That means NO jars that are painted on the INSIDE with either of these techniques using Vitrail glass paint can be used as vases. Sorry folks. 

That being said, they'd be lovely for candle holders or simply objets d'art.

Vitrail Glass Paint + Vitrail Lightening Medium=

Vitrail Glass Paint + Lightening Medium
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Vitrail Glass Paint + Acetone=

Vitrail Glass Paint + Acetone
Photo: DIY Maven
How to Dye Glass Pinterest Image
Photo: DIY Maven

So there it is. Although we've busted a few myths, we still love the options both these techniques provide. (My favorite...the groovy lava lamp effect!)

 

 

 

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Curbly Original
How to: Make a Simple Spring Candleholder (Using Free Materials!)

by Lidy Dipert

 

How to: Make a Simple Spring Candleholder

I'm always on the hunt for fresh tabletop decor. With spring around the corner, I'm looking for something unique and elegant, and I'm ready to bring the outdoors in. This simple spring candleholder combines all sorts of fun elements like fresh greenery and upcycled glass. I played around with different design options to add a bit more personality to each candle. It's so easy, you can make a few in no time to spruce up your home for any...

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5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog

by Faith Provencher
5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Photo: Studio DIY

So your fur baby has been bugging you incessantly to go outside, but it's still freezing cold out. I hear ya. Well, why not treat him or her to a fun new toy? Or bed? Or bow tie? Today we have five quick and easy DIYs that Fido is sure to love. Click through to check 'em out .   

 

5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Photo: Mama In A Stitch

1. Make one of these impossibly adorable bow ties with some leftover yarn. Here's the super simple tutorial. [Photo: Mama In A Stitch]

 

5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Photo:  Cooking With Janica

2. Your pup is bound to love these easy peanut butter banana frozen treats. Head over here to check out the recipe. [Photo:  Cooking With Janica]

 

5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Photo: Hands Occupied

3. Turn some extra rope into this fun ball toy using just a series of knots (and there's a treat hidden inside!). Get the how-to here. [Photo: Hands Occupied]

 

5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Photo: Dog Under My Desk

4. Pamper your pet with a cozy new fleece dog bed, using this incredibly easy sewing tutorial. [Photo: Dog Under My Desk]

 

5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Photo: Studio DIY

5. Step up Rover's leash game with this gorgeous technicolor leash project. All you'll need is some rope and a tie dye kit. Check out the tutorial here. [Photo: Studio DIY]

 

5 Quick and Easy DIYs For Your Dog
Share this post on Pinterest! [Photo: Mama In A Stitch]

 

 

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20 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter... Even When Your House is NOT

by Jennifer Farley

How to Keep Warm This Winter

It's cold outside... well, at least it is in most of the country. If you live in one of those places where the weather is 80 degrees all year you might want to skip this post.  Better yet, read it so you can survive when the weather drops to 65 degrees. 

We kid, warm weather dwellers. Believe me, all of us want to be you right now (and all year long). My own bitterness probably comes from having to avoid frost bite just going to get my mail everyday. Okay, that was a little dramatic. Seriously though, those of us who live in cold weather environments know the challenge of staying cozy without having to pay astronomical bills in the winter. Yes, there are a thousands ways you can renovate your home to help make your heating more efficient, but that doesn't help you right now. This post is about practical tips and small purchases that can help you stay warm today with out a renovation.   

 

1. Wrap up in a heated blanket

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

I am always cold so my family purchased me the above heated blanket for Christmas. I use it every day. Modern day heated blankets have shutoff timers and overheat limits so they are totally safe. I use my heated blanket to keep warm while I am snuggled up on the sofa or sitting at my desk. The heated blanket keeps you from knowing really your furnace is turned down.

$28 at Amazon

2. Shut doors in your house to create zone heating

Make sure you keep the doors shut to rooms you do not use during the day or night. This will help your heating source focus on the areas where you are spending time. This is called zone heating. Zoned heating is your friend in the winter because it maximizes the heat where you are.

Maybe while your doors are shut you can contemplate painting them a fun color like Nicole from Making it Lovely did in her hallway.
How to Keep Warm This Winter
Lowes

3. Shut vents in unused rooms

There is no need to heat your guest bedroom or unfinished basement if the rooms are not being used. This will force all the heat into the rooms that you do use.

If you really want to be proactive, shut the vents to your bedroom during the day and open it back up about an hour before you go to bed. At bedtime, shut your living and kitchen area vents.

For extra coverage, magnetic vent covers can work well to cover floor vents. Ceiling and wall vent covers tend to come off but do work better if the vent is closed.
How to Keep Warm This Winter
Amazon

4. Use an oil-filled space heater

Oil-filled heaters are the safer version of space heaters to use in your home. They do take a little while to heat up but they do warm up a space effectively, especially if you shut doors to maximize the space. Even though they are the "safer version," you still need to be careful. Make sure you spend a little extra money for one with a timer and an overheat shutoff for safety reasons. You do not want to leave them on overnight or while you are away from home. They can be warm to touch so like any space heater, it may not be good with little kids.

$68 at Amazon

These type of heaters are really great for helping your pipes not freeze under a sink. Open your sink cabinet doors and place it next to the cabinet periodically throughout the day when its below freezing.

How to Keep Warm This Winter

 

How to Keep Warm This Winter

 

5. Purchase a portable electric fireplace

An electric fireplace with high BTUs can really warm up a space. These are more expensive than space heaters, but most are safe to touch for the littles in your home. They are also very safe and efficient to run for long periods of time. I am getting impressed with the stylish options available these days.

$60 at Amazon

$180 at Amazon

If you have a non working fireplace you can tuck one of these into your fireplace like Megan Pflug did in her basement makeover.

How to Keep Warm This Winter

 

How to Keep Warm This Winter

 

6. Switch out window treatments for thermal curtains / add thermal curtain liners

Switch out curtains with thermal curtains or attach thermal curtain liners to your existing curtains. Windows can be the largest source of cold air entering into your home. Thermal curtains can help keep the cold air insulated.

$78 at Overstock

$25 at Ikea

7. Hang curtains over your front door

Hanging a curtain over your exterior doors can be stylish and help your house feel warmer in the winter.

8. Open curtains during the day and close them at night

During a sunny winter day, let the sun in to warm your home. When the sun is down, shut them to insulate the cold air.

How to Keep Warm This Winter
Dandelion Discoveries

9. Hang a curtain at the top of your stairwell

If you have a two story home use a thermal curtain and tension rod at the top of your stairs. Close the curtain the times of the day when you spend most of your time downstairs. Why? It is simple, hot air rises and the closed curtain can keep the hot air downstairs. 

The top of my stairwell is a doorway sized opening so I can use a shower curtain tension rod to hang a thermal curtain. The above stairway curtain "how to" is over at Dandelion Discoveries.

10. After using your oven, keep the door open while it cools down

Maximize the usage of your oven as long as you can. After you use your oven, keep the door open while the oven cools down. Of course, not the best thing to do if you have little kiddos hanging around.

How to Keep Warm This Winter
Fellow Fellow

11. Place rice heating pads under your sheets at the bottom of your bed

Warm up a heated rice bag in the microwave and place it under your sheets. This is a safe way to keep your toes warm at night.

Check out this DIY rice heating pad tutorial with essential oils over at Fellow Fellow.

How to Keep Warm This Winter

 

How to Keep Warm This Winter

 

12. Add insulated covers to your outlets and light sockets

Your outlets and light switches can be a source for cold air to get into your home. This is true especially if you live in an old home where the walls are not insulated. If you live in an old home with original plaster walls...this applies to you. This fix requires no rewiring or electrician skills.  You just need a screwdriver to take off the face plate.

$3 at Walmart

13. Cover your home with window sill and door draft stoppers

Use rice and fabric remnants to create a cute insulated window sill or door draft stopper

Check out these fun DIY tutorials for window sill and door draft stoppers from The Good Stuff

14. Lay down a rug or two

If you have hardwood floors, rugs can help with cold floors. Check your local carpet store for remnants if you are on a budget. If there is no room in the budget for a rug, lay a blanket on the floor while you are hanging out in your living room.

15. Wear a winter hat around the house

Heat exits your body from your head so keep yourself warm by keeping a cute winter hat on your head while you are home.

16. Wear warm slippers

Like your head, heat exits your body from your feet so keep them insulated.

How to Keep Warm This Winter
Bed Bath and Beyond

17. Warm your towels with a towel warmer

Fight the cold in the bathroom by warming up your towels while you shower. They also work for bathrobes. 

$80 at Bed Bath and Beyond 

18. Rearrange furniture away from windows

Give your living room a fresh look by rearranging your furniture away from your windows. If the furniture in front of your window only fits one way, move your seating away from the window a least 6 inches and execute tips 6, 8, 13, and 20.

19. Unblock heater vents

Don't sacrifice your coziness for a piece of furniture over a vent. Rearrange your furniture to unblock the vent. Not possible? Purchase a vent attachment or extender.

How to Keep Warm This Winter
Amazon

20. Install plastic window insulators

These plastic window insulators can help your windows feel like a more expensive window. If done well, the insulator really isn't super noticeable. They are easy to install and remove. All you need is scissors and a hair dryer. Most of the instructions tell you to install the plastic over your outer trim. I was able to install the plastic on the inside of the window trim behind my window treatments. These are a great solution for large windows with no window treatments.

$12 at Amazon

 

How to Keep Warm This Winter
Pin It: Keep Warm At Home This Winter

 

Sometimes just thinking warmer thoughts can get you feeling cozier. Cuddle up and get some inspiration for you outdoor spaces this summer and tell yourself you are almost there!

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10 IKEA Products I Couldn't Live Without

by Faith Towers
10 IKEA Products I Couldn't Live Without
IKEA Tejn

When I really sat down and thought about all the IKEA products in my house, I realized that I had accumulated way more than I thought. And I also realized that many of them are indispensable in our daily lives. So today I thought I'd share ten of my favorites, so that maybe you'll discover something new. I mean... who knew that IKEA sells milk frothers?!    

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5 DIYs To Help You Get Organized Using Things You Already Have

by Faith Provencher
5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Photo: Faith Towers

One of the (many) things that deters me from super getting organized is not wanting to spend a ton of money on storage containers and other organizational items. But then it dawned on me - why don't I use things that I already have make some storage containers? So today I'm sharing five of my favorite upcycled organizational DIYs that you can make from things you probably already have lying around the house.   

 

5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Photo: Faith Towers

1. Egg Carton Jewelry Storage - For this project, simply spray paint the outside of the plastic type of egg carton. I cut mine into two pieces and painted each one a different color. Easy peasy!

 

5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Photo: Faith Towers

2. Plastic Bag Dispenser - This one is made out of a disinfecting wipe container. Cut the label off, spray paint the top, wrap contact paper around the outside and then stuff your plastic bags inside. You'll never have a mess of bags again!

 

5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Photo: Faith Towers

3. Salsa Jar Canisters - For these apothecary style jars, I spray painted the tops of empty salsa jars and then glued knobs to the top using E6000 glue. These are great for holding bathroom items like I've done, or also things like beads or other crafting supplies.

 

5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Photo: Faith Towers

4. Contact Paper Storage Box - This catch-all storage box is simply a shoe box covered with marble contact paper. You could also cover it in wrapping paper, gluing it to the box with Mod Podge.

 

5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Photo: Faith Towers

5. Mason Jar String Organizer - For this one, remove the inside part of the mason jar cap and replace it with decorative card stock of the same size and shape. Punch a hold in the center before you screw it on, and thread the string through the hole. No more runaway string or yarn!

 

5 DIYs To Help Get Organized Using Things You Already Have
Share this post on Pinterest! [Photo: Faith Towers]

 

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4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear

by M.E. Gray

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it's easy to feel like you're stuck in a rut. The parties are over, the celebrations are done. The winter has you feeling all "bleghh," but it doesn't have to be that way. If you have the mid-winter blues, a great place to start is by mixing things up. It's still cold outside, but that's no excuse to be blah. We have four quick and easy ways for you to perk up your winter accessories!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Give you hat and gloves a little something extra by adding pom poms.

With Christmas and New Year's long gone, I'm itching for a holiday to get excited about. I picked hearts and shades of red for my winter accessories because I'm already excited about Valentine's Day!

Watch the video for a quick walk through, or follow the steps below to see exactly how we jazzed up our winter accessories.


PROJECT #1

You'll need: 

  • A pair of gloves that need more razzle-dazzle
  • Some yarn
  • Scissors
  • Two cardboard circles, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter
  • A pen
  • Needle and thread

Materials needed to jazz up your winter wardrobe

 

Step

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make pom poms

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make a pom pom

In the middle of one of the cardboard circles, draw a smaller circle. Then draw a line from the smaller circle to the edge of the cardboard. Stack both pieces of cardboard together. With scissors, cut up the drawn line, and cut out the inner circles.

Step

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make pom poms

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make a pom pom

Begin wrapping yarn around the cardboard circles. Wrap about 175-200 times, holding the opening of the cardboard to keep the yarn in place. Next, use the scissors to cut the yarn in between the two pieces of cardboard. 

Step

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make pom poms

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make a pom pom

Grab another piece of yarn (about 5-6 inches in length), and double-knot in place between the two cardboard circles. Remove the cardboard, and trim the pom pom.

Step

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: Pom poms + gloves = new look!

After making four pom poms, knot them together by twos. Sew each pair in place under the cuff of the gloves. Happy gloves!


PROJECT #2

You'll need: 

  • A boring hat
  • Yarn
  • Two cardboard circles, 4-5 inches in diameter
  • Scissors
  • A pen
  • Needle and thread 

What you'll need to give an old hat new life

Step 1

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: How to make pom poms

Like in project one, use the cardboard and yarn to make a pom pom. Because the diameter of this pom pom is bigger, wrap the cardboard 250-300 times.  

Step 2 

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: Add a pom pom to your cap!

Sew the pom pom to the top of your hat. Done!


Project #3

You'll need: 

  • A sad pair of gloves
  • Vinyl or felt fabric (it can be any fabric that doesn't fray)
  • Large needle and embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • A pen or pencil

Materials needed to jazz up a pair of boring gloves

Step 1 

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: Add hearts to your gloves in time for Valentine's Day

On the back of the fabric, trace a heart shape. Cut the heart out, and use it to trace a second heart. Cut that one out as well. 

Step 2 

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: Stitch vinyl shapes to gloves

Stitch one of the hearts into a glove using embroidery thread. When you're finished, knot the thread on the inside of the glove so it doesn't show. Do the same for the second glove. Lovely!


Project #4

You'll need: 

  • A hat that's missing that extra "something"
  • A piece of felt measuring 2.5 x 4 inches
  • Vinyl or felt fabric (it can be any fabric that doesn't fray)
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • A pen or pencil
  • A small piece of cardboard

Materials needed to add appliqué to a hat

Step 1 

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: Add a strip of felt to a cap for a new look

Place a small piece of cardboard or paper in between the front and back of the hat to protect the back from glue. Attach the felt with fabric glue to the bottom corner of the hat, wrapping underneath the cuff.

Step 2 

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear: Add fabric shapes to a hat for a new look

As in the previous project, trace two hearts out of vinyl. Glue them to the felt, and let dry before wearing. Ta-da!


Learn how to throw a big fuzzy pom pom on a boring beanie.

Learn how to add tassels to a pair of gloves.

Change up your winter look in time for Valentine's Day

4 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter Wear
Share these DIY fashion tricks on Pinterest!

 

 

Looking for tips on organizing all your winter accessories? Check out these genius closet hacks

 

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Five New Year's Commitments that Will Make Your Home a Happy Place

by Lidy Dipert

New Year's Resolutions for the Home

When I think of "home," I always start with a visual picture: the layout, the colors, and all the "stuff" that makes it so unique. But, of course, my real concept of home doesn't have anything to do with the physical structure or the things that sit inside it.  Home is a sense of peace and rest I experience by myself and with my family. And it's the place where I nurture relationships, and build community. And if I'm doing things right, it's the place that helps me stay sane. So this year, I'm giving my home a new commitment, and all my 2017 commitments are actually New Year's resolutions for the home. 

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