Curbly Original
5 Ways To Wrap Gifts Using Office Supplies

by Faith Provencher
5 Ways To Wrap Gifts Using Office Supplies | For Curbly by Faith Towers Provencher #creative #gift #wrapping #holiday
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

 Sometimes I get sick of using the same old gift wrapping supplies every year - they just never seem to run out! So this year I decided to get a little creative with my Christmas gift wrap by using office supplies to decorate plain brown kraft paper packages. And it was surprisingly easy! Click through to see five different ways to wrap gifts using office supplies.      

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10 Online Interior Style Quizzes That Are Actually Worth Your Time

by Jennifer Farley

10 Online Interior Design Style Quizzes

At some point, everybody finds themselves wondering, "What is my design style?" Pinterest can sometimes be like putting your face in front of a fire hydrant gushing with design styles. TMI, and not very helpful! Online style quizzes can help you navigate your style and figure out why you like certain Pinterest pins. Since online e-design has come into its own, there are loads of design style quizzes to choose from. To help you decide which ones to take (and to selfishly feed my design style quiz addiction), I took a lot of them. I'm here to let you know which ones are worth your time, and share my favorites!      

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The Days After Christmas Should Be the Best Week of the Year - Here's How

by Rachel Jacks

And breathe

You've decked the halls, hung the stockings with care, wrapped and unwrapped the presents, and it's no wonder if you're all tired out. Hopefully now that Christmas is over you finally have a bit of time to relax. Maybe you already know exactly how you want to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's, but here are 10 ideas for how to unwind in case you've forgotten how.       

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Curbly Original
Do This: Make Cookie Cutter Ice Cubes!

by M.E. Gray

Make These: Holiday cocktail ice cubes!

Sometimes I'll have an idea in my head for something I want to try, and that idea will just never leave. It was last Christmas that I wondered to myself, "Can one make ice cubes in cookie cutters??" The previous holiday season got busy fast, so I never got around to testing that hypothesis out. This go round, as I dusted off my holiday cookie cutters, I decided it was time. I tested my theory. The results? Success! Holiday ice cubes - oh yeah!           

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Holiday Gifting 101: How to Finish Your Christmas Shopping Without Losing Your Mind in the Process

by M.E. Gray
Christmas Gifts: A Complete Guide
Shutterstock /  WeStudio

A lot of us (myself included) are dealing with extra emotions during the holidays. Whether it's stress, anxiety, or sheer panic, the gift-giving deadlines that creep up at Christmastime can bring up all sorts of feelings. Maybe it's your nieces and nephews that are stressing you out because you have no idea what kids are even into anymore! Or maybe it's your mother-in-law who who already has everything she could ever want. Or maybe your husband, when asked what he'd like for Christmas, only answers with the not-so-helpful phrase, "Whatever you'd like to get me." 

Fortunately, you're not alone. We're all in this together, and we're going to make it through another Christmas season. So let's take deep dive into Christmas gifts: what people like, where to find it, and how to stay calm until the 25th gets here.          

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

by Capree K

DIY - how to make a dog leash

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

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

Rope Dog Leash Options to Buy

Rope dog leash

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

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

 

Materials for DIY Rope Dog Leash Project

Rope dog leash materials

 

Materials

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

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

 

How to make a dog leash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Materials for Creating a Leather Clamp Cover:

 

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

Rope Dog Leash: How to Make a Leather Clamp Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for some pretty, pretty pictures!

And, of course, obligatory photos of my dogs:

Happy leash making!

 

 

 

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The Internet is Magic, and You Can Buy All Your Houseplants Online

by M.E. Gray

Where to Buy Houseplants Online - 10 online retailers

The internet is a beautiful thing. Anything and everything exists there, including online shops that will sell and ship houseplants to your home. It's basically an introverted millennial's dream (that's me, btw). I am fortunate enough to have a lot of nurseries and plant shops in my area, which is where most of my greens come from. I'd never considered that I could buy houseplants online, but after discovering how easy/cheap/non-confrontational it is, I have several green babies bookmarked on my computer. If you're looking for new places to find greenery, here are 10 great sources for you to buy houseplants online.           

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Curbly Original
How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a Tropical Palm Tray

by Stephanie Lee

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

There's so many brilliant DIY techniques in this world that I probably shouldn't be surprised when one comes along that I haven't yet attempted. 

And yet here I am, gobsmacked that I hadn't thought to try transferring images to wood before. This super easy and very versatile technique is one of the best ways I've seen to get patterns onto timber, and you needn't draw the line at shapes - you can also transfer photos or text so there's lots of room to experiment and have fun!

 

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

If you haven't had the chance to give this method a go, you should definitely try it out... I've even got a nice, easy printable to get you started. What are you waiting for, find yourself a wood tray and let's get making!

Materials

  • Wood tray or box
  • Palm frond file
  • Laser printer
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic gel medium
  • Foam sponge or paintbrush
  • Cloth
  • Mod podge or varnish

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Print the palm frond file onto white copy paper using a laser printer. The laser printer part is important - if you use an inkjet, the image you're transferring might bleed.

Once you've printed the file, cut out each of the palm fronds with a pair of scissors.

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Make sure your wood box is nice and clean, then start to lay out your palm fronds on one of the sides. Keep playing around with the arrangement of your fronds until you're happy with how the final pattern looks. 

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Lift up one of the palm fronds in your arrangement and apply gel medium to the area where you'd like to stick it down. Then place it back, this time face down so that the printed side sticks to the gel medium.

Smooth out any air bubbles with your fingers.

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the whole tray is covered in printed palm fronds.

When you're covering your tray, it's best to work in small sections - this way, you'll have enough time to nicely smooth out each palm frond as you go. If you apply gel medium to your whole box at once you'll be racing against the clock to stick all your palm fronds down before the gel dries!

Once all your palm fronds are in place, leave the box to dry overnight (or for at least 8 hours).

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

When the gel medium has dried completely, place a damp washcloth on top of the dried-on palm fronds. The cloth will dampen the paper.

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Once the paper is sufficiently damp, use your fingers to gently rub off the white areas. As you rub in circular motions, you'll start see your print appear underneath.

Don't rush this step! It pays to go slow and steady so that you don't rub off the print while you're removing the excess paper.

Step

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

When all the paper has been rubbed off, give your wood box a coat of varnish or mod podge to protect the print. 


How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Job done! Pretty easy hey? Now that you've mastered this technique, don't forget you can use it in a variety of ways for whole range of projects. For example, try experimenting with other kinds of wooden objects (like wood containers or chopping boards) and use different images like photos or printed quotes in your favourite fonts to decorate the wood.

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

Also, this is a great project to get the kids involved with - they can choose the images to transfer and help rub the paper off to reveal the finished print. Fun for the whole family! 

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

 

 

How To: Transfer Images to Wood and Make a  Tropical Palm Tray

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Curbly Original
No More Blank Walls! 4 Super Simple DIY Wall Art Ideas for Those Who Can't Draw

by Stephanie Lee

4 Super Simple DIY Wall Art Ideas

I know I say this a lot (I think I've mentioned it at least two times on Curbly before), but that's only because it's true; wall art is SO easy to DIY that there's really no excuse not to have a go at making your own.

 

4 Super Simple DIY Wall Art Ideas

And when I say easy, I mean you don't need any artistic skills to create something that's really nice (and is guaranteed to fit in with your interior decor because you'll be the one choosing the colour palette!).

Don't believe me? See below for four super simple ways to dress up your walls that require no drawing skills and that you'll be able to complete in under half an hour!

GEOMETRIC shapes

 

Materials

  • A large sheet of coloured card
  • Smaller pieces of coloured card (I used dark grey and white paint chips)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Mini shape cookie cutters
  • Glue or double-sided tape

Materials needed for geometric shapes art project

Step

Geometric shapes wall art step 1

Flip over your paint chips and trace shapes onto the back using your cookie cutters as a guide. I worked with three shapes - a triangle, a circle and a small rectangle.

Step

Geometric shapes wall art step 2

Cut out each of the shapes you traced with a pair of scissors.

Step

Geometric shapes wall art step 3

If your large sheet of coloured card isn't yet cut to size (mine came in a big roll), trim it so that it'll fit the frame you'll be using to show off your artwork.

Then place your shapes on the coloured card in whichever arrangement you like best.

I used paint chips in black and white against purple card, but you can go nuts with as many coloured paint chips as you like!

Step

 

Geometric shapes wall art step 4

Once you're happy with your arrangement, flip one of the shapes over, apply double-sided tape or glue to the back, then stick it back down. Repeat this with all the shapes in your artwork until they're safely stuck in place.

Step

Geometric shapes wall art step 5

If some of your shapes were stuck down with edges that came off the coloured card, trim off the excess with a pair of scissors.


Voila! Easy peasy right? :)

Geometric shapes wall art

Dress this one up with a nice frame and hang on your wall for a very modern, fun looking art piece.

Geometric shapes wall art

Color Block

Materials

  • Primed canvas
  • Acrylic paint in various colours
  • Painter's tape
  • Paintbrush

Materials needed for colour block wall art

Step

Colour block wall art step 1

Place strips of painter's tape on your canvas in whichever arrangment takes your fancy. There are no rules here - I went for a very straight striped look, but you can put the tape at angles, in shapes or whatever you prefer.  

Step

Colour block wall art step 2

Make sure the tape is well stuck down, then paint in the segments with acrylic paint. Don't be afraid to get creative - the number of colors you choose and the order they go in is entirely up to you and can totally change the look of the finished piece!

Colour block wall art step 3

Step

Colour block wall art step 4

Once you've painted in all the sections and the paint has completely dried, remove the painter's tape to reveal your finished artwork.


This method of creating wall art is so simple that you could easily knock over several of these in an afternoon. And having three or more of these little color-blocked canvases hung in a row would look really good don't you think?

Colour block wall art DIY

Colour block DIY wall art

Ombre

Materials

  • Primed canvas
  • Spray paint in two colours
  • Circle stickers

Materials needed for ombre wall art project

Step

Ombre wall art step 1

Place your circle stickers in random spots over your canvas. I started sticking them at the bottom in clumps and then placed them more sparingly at the top for that 'floating bubbles' kind of look.

Step

Ombre wall art step 2

Choose one colour of spray paint and completely coat your canvas in that colour. When spraying, make sure you use multiple, light, even coats rather than one heavy coat - this way, the paint won't pool and drip.

Step

Ombre wall art step 3

Once your first colour of spray paint is dry, start spraying the second colour on. The trick to getting a gradient look is to start from the bottom of the canvas and work your way upwards. Make sure you spray from further away so that the second colour is a light mist rather than a heavy coat.

Step

Ombre wall art step 4

When the second spray paint colour has dried, peel off the circle stickers to reveal white dots underneath.


I love how airy and light the pastel colours and the white 'bubbles' look together, but don't be restricted by this example - I think this concept would look just as good or even better with different shapes (diamonds perhaps?) and heavier colours like black and gold!

Ombre wall art DIY

Ombre wall art DIY

Stamped pattern

Materials

  • White card
  • Foam sheet
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Stamp mount (you can use a jar lid or small cardboard box lid as a substitute if you don't have a proper mount)
  • Craft glue
  • Acrylic paint in various colours
  • Foam paint brush

Materials needed for stamped wall art project

Step

Stamped wall art step 1

Measure and cut a small square out of your foam sheet. Mine measured 5cm x 5cm but you can make it pretty much any size you like, depending on how you'd like your final artwork to look.

Step

Stamped wall art step 2

Cut your foam square in half diagonally to form two triangles.

Step

Stamped wall art step 3

Cut one of the triangles into strips (you can draw the strips out in pencil first like I did if you want to make sure they're even).

Step

Stamped wall art step 4

Place a bit of craft glue on the back of each foam strip and attach it to your stamp mount to recreate your triangle shape. Leave a gap between each strip so your triangle has a 'cut-apart' jagged sort of appearance. 

Stamped wall art step 4

You can buy proper wood stamp mounts from craft stores but don't worry if you can't find one - just use something that you can easily hold and stamp with instead, like a small cardboard box lid or a jar lid. 

Step

Stamped wall art step 5

With a foam paintbrush, apply acrylic paint to your foam stamp.

Step

Stamped wall art step 6

When the stamp is evenly covered with paint, place it face down on your piece of paper and apply even pressure to the back. Then lift it up to reveal your print! 

Stamped wall art step 6

Randomly stamp triangles all over your sheet of paper. I found it easiest to complete one colour before moving onto the next - it saves having to clean the foam brush so frequently!

 

Stamped wall art step 6


Once you've stamped triangles in all your paint colours, your artwork is complete! Simply let it dry and then pop it in a nice frame.

Stamped wall art DIY

Stamped wall art DIY

4 Super Simple DIY Wall Art Ideas

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