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.
See, my wife and I just bought our first home, and while we were...
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!
It's hard to believe, but a new year (and decade!) are here... which means that it's time for new calendars! There are tons of gorgeous, free printable calendar downloads available online, so we've rounded up our favorites in a variety of different styles. Click through to check them out and download your favorite.
While I like to dream about becoming a skilled gardener someday, the reality is I have a terrible brown thumb and I kill most plants I touch. I think a lot of my garden woes have to do with inattentiveness though - I forget to water my leafy friends, fertilise them, or do anything that might come close to caring for them. Terrible right?
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.
Storage. We all need more of it. No matter how much room you have, an organized system will always top square footage.
Recently, I was looking for a way to clean up all the bottles in our liquor cabinet. It's not that we drink too much; in fact, it's the opposite. We buy specific products to try a new cocktail recipe. And we'll make it once, and end up with all this extra liquid to store in perpetuity until we can figure out what to do with it.
Everyone likes a smooth, sanded surface on a project, but no one (and I mean absolutely no one) like the tedious process of getting it done. Motorized sanding machines speed up the process greatly, but many of them can be hard to control, or wind up leave swirl marks in the finished surface.
Not so with the random-orbit sander. As the name suggests, its pad follows an entirely random pattern, so you can control the amount of wood removed, and leave your surface free of spirals.
They're great for all kinds of DIY projects, and the only handheld sander I'd recommend for your toolbox.
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!
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.
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!).
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.
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!
A few years ago, when my wife and I moved across the country, we had absolutely no idea if anyone would ever come visit us. Sure, we had strong relationships with family and friends, and we moved to a city with plenty of attractions for visitors, but the truth is: we just didn't know. We were far outside of driving distance, and cross-country air travel is an expensive investment. Both of our families had generations of firm roots in the Midwest, so it wasn’t just a location shift; it was a conceptual one too.
Good news: people came. They came for summer trips, for holidays, to spend time with us, and as a free launching pad for their own Pacific Northwest vacations. A few years later, they’re still coming. This summer alone, we’ve had no fewer than thirteen guests, with four more scheduled before the end of the year. We've become a little haven for folks exploring the mountains, the ocean, the waterfalls, the ancient forests, and the exceptional food and culture that Portland has to offer.
Getting locked out of your house is a real pain. In our house, it happens almost weekly to a certain member of our family (his name begins with a 'B' and ends with a 'runo'). And while it's a great hassle to him, it unfailingly becomes an even greater hassle to everyone in his sphere. I have lost count of the number of times I've had to leave the gym, a restaurant, a glorious champagne tasting with friends to bail him out. Because it always...
This tutorial will guide you through all the steps to making your own, large scale DIY concrete planters at home.
This summer, we moved into a new studio space on a bustling avenue that cuts right through the heart of St. Paul and Minneapolis. We love it; our huge floor-to-ceiling-windows look out into the sun-filled street and sidewalks where we can watch the light-rail trains go rolling by. But the people looking back at us don't have as much to look at; our storefront is still looking a little shabby and unloved. So we decided to start out office transformation from the outside in: with a few large-scale DIY concrete planters.
Ahh... concrete. It's kind of a miracle substance. Look around, and you'll start to notice that practically everything is made of concrete. It's strong, durable, infinitely moldable, easy to work with, and looks oh so sharp!
For this project, we wanted to build some planters that were large and impressive. They're going to go out on the street in front of our office, where lots of people will see them. And we didn't want to just go to the big box hardware store and buy a few faux Tuscan jobs; where's the fun in that?! This is a DIY site, and it wouldn't do to have some generic store-bought planters sitting in front of our HQ.
So we came up with the idea of using concrete footing tubes ... you know, those cardboard concrete tube forms you can use to make fence post footings? They're perfect because they come in lots of sizes, and are easy to cut down to length. They make perfect concrete planter molds. We went with a basic cylinder-shaped planter; simple but stylish. Here's how we did it:
- 3 - 80-lb. bags of Quikrete® Countertop Mix
- 3 Quikrete Quik-tube® building forms (16", 12" and 8" diameters)
- 2 PVC drain caps (2" diameter)
- 3 sheets of corrugated plastic, smooth-top
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Duct tape
- Silicone caulk
- 1 length 2" PVC (we actually didn't end up needing this)
- 1 roll of wire mesh
- Plastic garbage bag or sheeting
- A large concrete mixing tray
- A shovel (for mixing)
- Caulking gun
- A utility knife (or circular saw, optional)
- A tape measure
How to Make Your Own DIY Concrete Planters
Decide how tall you want your planter to be. We made our first one 24" tall. Then mark that on the tube (in our case, I started with the 12" diameter tube), and cut the tube at that length. You can use a sharp utility knife, or, to go faster, use a circular saw to carefully make the cut.
To make the inside part of the form, mark your smaller tube at a length 1.75" shorter than the first (this will account for the height of the PVC drain cap and also makes up the base of the planter. For example:
Now place the smaller tube (the one that will end up inside the larger one) on your plastic sheet and trace it. Then cut out that circle with a utility knife. This will be the base of the smaller tube.
Tape the plastic circle you just cut out to the bottom of the smaller tube, taping it neatly all the way around so that it won't let concrete through. Then wrap the whole cylinder in plastic, taping it on. This isn't strictly necessary, but it'll make the form easier to pull away from the concrete later.
Now place the PVC drain cap in the center of the cylinder's plastic 'lid', and screw it in place. Now your interior form is ready to go.
Place the smaller tube on top of a clean sheet of the corrugated plastic, with the 'cap' side up. You'll adhere it to the plastic using the silicone caulk.
Don't do this!
Believe it or not, we often make mistakes when doing DIY projects! Here's something we tried that you shouldn't: putting a wire mesh into the mold.
I thought this would add strength to the planter. It probably would've, but it also made it really hard to get the concrete distributed evenly within the mold, and, honestly, it's a planter ... it's not like anyone's going to be standing on it. So, if I were you, I'd leave the wire mesh out ... the planters will be plenty strong without it.
Here's how the whole mold comes together:
After spraying the interior tube with cooking spray, set the outside tube down around it and adhere it to the base with silicone caulk. Once the caulk has dried, your form is ready for concrete.
Open a bag of Quikrete and mix it according to the directions on the back! I can't stress this enough; unless you're an expert concrete-mixer-guy/gal, just swallow your pride and follow the directions. Things will turn out much better. For a project like this, where a nice, even, smooth finish is most important, you want the concrete to be pretty wet (wetter even than it looks in my photos below). A wetter mix will flow into the form better and give a smoother, more even surface finish.
Fill the form all the way to the top, making sure to pack the material in well (you can use a dowel to make sure it all gets in there).
At this point, you'll want to vibrate the form with a rubber mallet, an orbital sander, or even a reciprocating saw (with the blade taken out). Vibration helps the concrete compact, eliminating air bubbles in within the mix.
The 'top' here will actually be the base of the planter. Smooth it out with a trowel or rubber concrete float, making sure not to cover the drain (this face won't be visible, so don't worry about making it too perfect).
After letting your planters dry for 48 hours, take them out of the molds! You can cut the cardboard away with a utility knife, and then the mold should just peel off pretty easily by hand.
We love how our planters turned out. They're crazy heavy, which makes them hard to move around, but perfect for an outdoor, public location. Once we get them into place, we'll be ready to move on to our next office transformation DIY project: custom-printed window signage!
This post was sponsored by Quikrete, but all opinions are mine alone. Thanks for supporting the brands help that make Curbly possible.
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.
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!
- A large sheet of coloured card
- Smaller pieces of coloured card (I used dark grey and white paint chips)
- Mini shape cookie cutters
- Glue or double-sided tape
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.
Cut out each of the shapes you traced with a pair of scissors.
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.
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.
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? :)
Dress this one up with a nice frame and hang on your wall for a very modern, fun looking art piece.
- Primed canvas
- Acrylic paint in various colours
- Painter's tape
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.
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!
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?
- Primed canvas
- Spray paint in two colours
- Circle stickers
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.
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.
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.
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!
- White card
- Foam sheet
- 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
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.
Cut your foam square in half diagonally to form two triangles.
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).
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.
With a foam paintbrush, apply acrylic paint to your foam stamp.
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!
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!
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.
Bar carts are super trendy right now, but they can also be super expensive. If you're looking for a cheap and minimal option, this easy DIY is definitely for you. And who doesn't like taking pre-existing pieces and transforming them into something new? Simply turn an outdated and bland TV tray into a minimalistic bar cart!