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How to: Purrfectly Simple DIY Cat Bed

by M.E. Gray

Make It! DIY Cat Bed

I love my cat. I'm not shy about admitting that (I even mention it in my bio). I'm also not ashamed to say I think she's the best cat in the world. Her name is Donut, but I also refer to her as "Angel Face" or "Precious Baby Kitty" (which drives my fiancé crazy, I'm sure). The cat drinks filtered water and has a basket full of toys. She's one of the more spoiled cats out there, and leads a pretty cushy life (as evidenced by this plushy DIY cat bed I made especially for her).          

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Forget What You Know About Nautical Decor: The Complete Guide to Coastal Design

by Amber Dickson
Nautical Decor Design Guide
Photo: Chipper Hatter for CM Natural Design

The widespread appeal of nautical and coastal decor makes a lot of sense when you consider the primal and ancient connection humans have to the sea. Being attracted to the water is hardwired into our very cells. Scientific studies have proven what we already know anecdotally: spending time near, on, or in lakes and oceans make us happier and healthier. It's no wonder that so many of us respond to the colors, clean lines, and natural elements of coastal, beach, and nautical decor. It makes us feel good to be reminded of the sea.

If your initial reaction to the term "coastal decor" is negative, it's probably from witnessing too many cutesy and heavy-handed thematic rooms.  We are not advocating buying and displaying any and all items that have a sailboat or seahorse on them. Good decorating never grows out of an overly simplistic theme, and, "Put an anchor on it" is not a valid design philosophy!           

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$1 Holiday Decor: Make a Simple Typographic Folded Paper Banner

by Holly Wade

 

DIY Paper Holiday Accordion Banner

Even though holiday decorations are fun to shop for, the prices can add up quickly! Rather than purchase a sign or banner this year, I decided to make a simple accordion banner out of paper to display on my shelf for the Christmas season. Not only is it simple, but it’s very inexpensive to make and folds up for easy storage if you want to reuse it next year.

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How to Make Your Home Instantly Smell Like Christmas

by M.E. Gray

How to Make Your Home Instantly Smell Like Christmas

Time is flying by, and Christmas is already less than a week away! If the holidays have you stressed and you're looking for a way to relax, or if you want to fill your home with the rich aromas of winter, we have you covered! This quick recipe makes a warm batch of festive aromatherapy to fill your home - perfect for holiday parties or snuggling on the couch with a classic Christmas movie.   

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How to Make a Wooden Tabletop Christmas Tree in 4 Easy Steps

by Capree K

A DIY modern wooden tabletop Christmas tree

We love the festive season! It’s the perfect time to get creative. If you’ve already got your tree trimmed and you’re ready for a new and exciting holiday project — or even if you’re keeping your Christmas décor minimal this year — this DIY wooden tabletop Christmas tree will bring a little extra festive cheer to your home.

These trees are super easy to make and to personalize. What’s more, they’re so durable. Bring them out year after...

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DIY Custom Gift Bags from Wrapping Paper

by M.E. Gray
How to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper
How to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper
Photo: M.E. Russell

Don't you love the feeling when you wrap a present just right? All the corners fold in perfectly, the tape isn't wrinkled, and you successfully tie a bow without it being lopsided. It basically feels like a Christmas miracle. On the flip side, sometimes the gift you're trying to wrap is just too awkward or too weirdly shaped, and trying to wrap it turns into an existential crisis of tape and paper cuts. Sometimes it's best just to throw everything in a bag and call it a day. Here's how to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper, in three easy steps.

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How to: Make a Modern Wooden Christmas Tree Display Shelf

by Brittni Mehlhoff

How to: Make a Modern Wooden Christmas Tree Display Shelf

When the holidays roll around, I usually break out my glue gun and come up with a few easy winter projects to tackle. Today though, I'm branching out from the materials I almost always use and picking up a hand saw instead. With a bit of careful measuring and a handful of cuts, I made this hanging wood Christmas tree shelf perfect for storing small gifts and holiday odds and ends.   

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Make It! DIY Life-Sized Folded Paper Christmas Tree

by Alicia Lacy

Make this sweet and simple DIY folded paper Christmas tree!

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. They can be pricey when you're on a budget, tricky in a small apartment, and nearly impossible with pets. 

This year we came up with a super affordable, easy to assemble, clever tree that only requires a wall, a roll of tape, a stapler, dexterous fingers, and about an hour of your time. Right? Right! Let's make one.    

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How to Fold a Christmas Money Tree

by M.E. Gray

How to make a Money Tree for Christmas from a Dollar Bill

Giving cash this Christmas? (We still think it's better than a gift card.) Instead of just sticking the bills in a card, how about festively folding them into a Christmas money tree shape? With this simple technique, you’ll have the whole project done in less than five minutes. Here's how to make a money tree for the holidays this year...

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How to: Make a DIY Modern Planter Box for Under $40

by Lidy Dipert

DIY Modern Flower Box

It's that time of year again! The season to start thinking about our outdoor gardens and spaces! When we first moved into our home three years ago, the outdoor living space was...decent. But it wasn't quite our taste, and that made it a bit challenging to get over what we inherited and visualize an outdoor space that was meaningful to us.

But this year, we decided to take our first baby steps towards a more modern and clean outdoor space...

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How to Make a Leather Monogram Stocking

by Marlene Sauer
DIY Leather Monogram Stocking
Images by Marlene Sauer

Ahh, the stocking -- a staple of Christmas celebrations! Have your stockings been hung yet? If not, we've got a great modern idea for you today that you will love: DIY leather monogram stockings! They are simple to make and totally in keeping with a minimal holiday decor style

If you've never embroidered, don't worry -- you only need to one stitch, the blanket stitch. Keep reading to see how to make your own!       

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Ho-Ho-Holiday Wallpapers for Phone, Desktop, and iPhone Case!

by M.E. Gray

Christmas iPhone printable

When it comes to the holiday season, I like to start small. I'll start by introducing Christmas socks into my wardrobe, playing Sufjan Stevens' holiday records on Pandora, and I usually change the wallpaper on my smartphone. This year, I'm sharing a festive design in a few color schemes, depending on your holiday preference! You can download them as a wallpaper for your phone or desktop, or, keep reading to find out how to print and use as a festive iPhone case.             

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The Final Countdown: Make a Hanging Ornament Advent Calendar

by Holly Wade
DIY Advent calendar
Photo by Holly Wade

Are you ready to start the countdown?! Come December 1st, it's time to break out the advent calendars and find a little surprise every day as you count town toward Christmas. Advent calendars were a staple of my childhood, so I still try to make a DIY advent calendar every year to make the countdown more fun! This time, I used plastic fill-able ornaments to make a hanging ornament advent calendar that's easy to open and reveal a candy or small trinket inside (my parents often used to use give my pennies). With a variety of sizes and colors, you can use materials that fit your style and hang it anywhere in your home for a Christmas decoration that's functional and FUN!    

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Make This: DIY Palo Santo Holder

by M.E. Gray

Palo santo holder

As winter approaches, so does more required time indoors. All that time inside makes my home feel stuffy, cramped, and stale. In essence, my house feels like it's full of bad energy. I recently discovered palo santo, and I'm really enjoying the way it seems to cleanse the spaces around me, and even purify my own energies. Keep reading to find out more about this holy wood, and how to make a minimal palo santo holder.          
 

What is Palo Santo? 

If you're unfamiliar with palo santo (which, until recently, I was too!), it's a type of wood originating from Central and South America. Burning this wood is believed to promote healing because of its anti-bacterial properties. It's commonly burned in a ritual setting in order to purge bad energies, however, it also smells amazing. The scent is woody but fresh, and it's a great alternative if you don't care for the richer smells of incense. 

Where Can I Buy Palo Santo?

I picked up my pack of palo santo from a local plant shop, and I have also seen it for sale at some natural food stores and cooperatives. You can also buy palo santo on Amazon, at CB2, and  off of Etsy.

How to Make a Palo Santo Holder

Okay, you have your palo santo, now where to burn it? You want to set it in a non-flammable vessel like a dish or shallow bowl, as it will produce hot ash. Or, you can go one step further and make a simple palo santo holder like this one:

Materials

Materials

 

Step

Step 1 | Palo santo holder

Roll a ball of air-dry clay to about 1/4 inch thickness. Ultimately, you'll want a rectangular shape, three or four times the size of a piece of palo santo. 

How to make a palo santo holder from air-dry clay

Once you've rolled your clay into an even slab, cut out a rectangular shape using a craft knife or kitchen knife. Don't worry if the edges are jagged - we'll clean them up later.

Step

Step 2 | Palo santo holder

Cut a small piece of wire, about 4-5 inches long. Twist the bottom of the wire in a circle to create a stand, with the end of the wire sticking straight up.

Step 2 | How to make a palo santo stand

Press the circular end of the wire into the slab of clay, towards one end of the slab. Press it in until the base almost reaches the bottom, but doesn't show through. Next, use a little clay to cover the base of the wire. Smooth out with your fingers. 

Step

Step 3 | Palo santo holder

Clean up the clay with water. Use a dab of water on your fingertips to smooth over any rough edges. Then, bend the edges of the slab upward into a U-shape. 

Leave the clay in a dry or sunny spot to dry for 24 hours, or overnight.

Step

Step 4 | Palo santo holder

Once the clay is completely dry, you can do any final smoothing with a bit of fine-grit sandpaper. Be gentle as you sand, and don't apply any uneven pressure to the palo santo holder - you don't want it to crack!

Step

Step 5 | Palo santo holder

Use a bit of gold paint to decorate the edges of the palo santo holder. Let the paint dry completely, and your palo santo holder is ready!

Use the wire to wrap around the end of a stick of palo santo, and burn away.

DIY Holy Wood Holder made from air-dry clay


How Do I Burn Palo Santo? 

To light and burn a stick of palo santo, you'll need a constant flame, like a candle or a lighter. Hold a flame under one end of the palo santo stick, and allow it to catch on fire. Let it burn for 30 seconds to a minute, then extinguish it by blowing it out. It should continue to produce smoke long after the flame has gone out. 

Palo santo holder

Palo santo burner

DIY palo santo holder from air-dry clay and wire
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I am really enjoying the scent of this wood. Sometimes candles and incense can be overly aromatic for my tastes, but palo santo produces a clean, light smell unlike any other. And it's going to be a great way to purify my stuffy home in the dead of winter. 

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How To: Arm-Knit a Blanket in Just One Hour!

by M.E. Gray

Arm knit blanket

Do you ever wish you could make a blanket yourself, but don't feel like you have the time to? Then a DIY arm knit blanket might be just the project for you! A chunky knit blanket can be completed in about an hour, and it's PERFECT for beginners. But what is "arm knitting," you might ask? Basically, it's regular knitting, but instead of using needles, you use your arms. As you can imagine, arms in needle terms are big. Really big. And that's exactly why we can whip up a DIY giant knit blanket in under an hour.

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