Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall: Which is Our Favorite IKEA Hack of them All?

by M.E. Gray
IKEA Mirrors round-up - Hacked!
Photo via IKEA Hackers

Hanging a mirror is a painless way to add depth and interest to a wall. Mirrors reflect light and movement in a room, they're eye-catching, and they can make a space appear bigger than it is. If you know us here at Curbly, you know we LOVE a good IKEA hack. Today we're reflecting (sorry!) on some of our favorite IKEA mirror hacks and transformations, all in uniquely awesome ways. Keep reading!        

Continue Reading

How to Clean Tile Grout

by Chris Gardner

 How To Clean Dirty Grout

Dirty grout is a common problem. But with so many cleaning tips floating around on the internet, it's hard to know what to believe. So I decided to take the guess work out of it by testing a few methods and reporting back to you. Read on to see what I discovered...  

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Home Decor Hack: How to Transform Any Vase into a Savings Bank

by M.E. Gray

 

Transform any vase or jar into a coin bank.

 

On my New Year's Resolutions list, there are always some standards: Drink more water, eat out less, exercise more, and save money. I have gotten pretty good at most of these things (with the exception of eating out less - does ordering more takeout count?), but I could always stand to save more money. Holding onto loose change is my go-to method for putting a little bit of dough away every day, but there's always the question of what to keep all those loose pennies in. If you don't feel like buying a porcelain piggy, you can turn any vase, jar, or container into a DIY savings bank in a few quick steps.    

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How to: Make Gorgeous and Glam DIY Amethyst Bookends

by Marwa Hayat

How To: Make Amethyst Bookends under $60

I'm not sure about the healing power of crystals, but I am sure enchanted by their beauty. Thanks to their weight, these shining amethyst crystals are a natural fit for great bookends. Purchased from a high-end boutique, you're in for $300+ for a pair. But crafted at home, you can make a beautiful set for around $50, and a couple hours of your time.

Add them to your shelf, or wrap them up as a holiday gift. Either way, they'll bring some serious style to any bookshelf.  

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
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!           

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Make This: DIY Incense Holder, Plus the Lowdown on Aromatherapy

DIY clay incense holder

One of my favorite things about the autumn months is coming home at night and snuggling by the heater under warm blankets with candles or incense burning in the background. The heavenly scents help me to unwind after a long day at work, and incense holders are so easy to make that there's no excuse not to have a stick or two burning away while you cozy up and get stuck into that good book. Click through to learn how to make your own DIY incense holder, and head to the bottom of the post for more information about the benefits of incense!        

Alternative shot of DIY incense holder

Watch our video to see how easy it is to make this DIY incense holder, and keep reading for all the details.


  DIY Clay Incense Holder

Clay incense holder - Materials

Materials: 

Step

Clay incense holder - rolling clay

 Roll your clay out until it's around 1/4 inch thick.

 

Step

Clay incense holder - cutting out clay circle

 Place a small bowl face down on the clay and using a scalpel, cut around it to create a clay circle. Then place the circle into your bowl, pressing down lightly to mold it into a bowl shape.

shaping bowl

 

Step

neatening edges

Use a knife to neaten the edges of your incense holder, and then dip your fingers in a bit of water and smooth out the surface so it's free of cracks and ditches.

smoothing surface

 

Step

rolling small ball

skewering

 Leave your bowl to air dry according to the clay manufacturer's instructions. While you're waiting for that to happen, roll some of your leftover clay into a small ball. 

Use a skewer to poke a hole in the top of the ball. Get one of your incense sticks and make sure it fits in the hole you created. Then leave the clay ball to air dry, preferably overnight.

 

Step

gluing ball to bowl

gluing ball to bowl

 Once your clay bowl and ball have both air dried, use strong craft glue or super glue to affix the ball to the bowl. 

 

Step

paint splattering

Dip a paintbrush in black acrylic paint and start splattering your incense holder by flinging downwards with your brush over the clay. I didn't want my splatter drops to be too big, so I didn't put too much paint on my brush and I tried to splatter from up high so the drops were smaller. This gets messy so its best to do this outdoors or somewhere where you don't mind getting paint everywhere!

Step

varnishing

Once the paint has dried, give your incense holder a couple of coats of varnish to protect the paint work and give it a gloss shine. 

DIY clay incense holder

DIY clay incense holder

DIY paint-splattered incense holder
Share this project on Pinterest!

Benefits of Burning Incense

There are lots of reasons to make an incense holder to burn some incense in. Your sense of smell is closely related to the part of your brain that stores memories. As such, different aromas and scents can trigger some pretty comforting, happy thoughts. Specific smells can even encourage relaxation, increase motivation, and stimulate creativity

How Different Scents Can Affect Mood

Instructables incense holder
Source:  Instructables

Incense comes in a variety of scents and blends. Of course, you can burn incense for the pleasant odor and aesthetic -- however, if you're looking to reap specific benefits from your incense, here's what to seek out:

  • Sandalwood, frankincense, and cedarwood | Warm and woody, these scents are great for meditation, as they have a calming aroma.
  • Nag Champa | It's the kind in the blue box that we all know well, and it's actually a combination of ingredients. Sandalwood mixed with frangipani (a type of flower) will help you relax and find clarity.
  • Lavender, chamomile, and vetiver | These three aromas provide relief for those with insomnia or problems resting, as they are relaxing and can make you drowsy.
  • Rosemary | This sharp, woodsy scent also aids in relaxation, but additionally can help with muscle tension as it increases circulation.
  • Citrus, lemongrass, and ylang-ylang | These bright scents are uplifting, bringing focus and clarity while inspiring creativity.
  • Rose and patchouli | These two heavy scents have been known to raise serotonin levels in the brain, which causes feelings of happiness and lessens depression and anxiety.

 Our Favorite DIY Incense Holders

If you are on the hunt for a heartfelt gift to give a friend or family member, or if you want to burn incense in your own home, a handmade incense stick display is a great option. Here are some of our favorites:

Sugar & Cloth | DIY Incense Holder
Source: Sugar & Cloth
The Merrythought wooden incense holder
Source: The Merrythought

And, if you're interested in making your own unique incense sticks, check out this article from Wild Turmeric.


Where to Buy Incense

So, are you ready to hop on board the aromatherapy-train? If so, you'll have to start by getting your hands on some incense sticks! There are plenty of big box stores that will likely have them in stock: Walgreens, Whole Foods, The Dollar Store, Fred Meyer, and Wal-Mart, to name a few.

If you're looking for unique scents and lots of options, try your local food cooperative, natural foods store, or gift boutique.

Of course, the internet is going to provide your biggest selection of options. Check Etsy for every scent you could ever imagine, and even create your own combination packs. P.F. Candle Co., known for their outstanding and one-of-a-kind scents, also offers their fragrances incense-stick form.

And finally, stores like Urban Outfitters and Free People have joined in on the incense bandwagon, offering lots of scents in their stores and online.

Incense holder

Continue Reading

10 Beautiful & Creative DIY Planter Projects

by Faith Provencher
10 Gorgeous DIY Planters
Photo: paulsvera

Now that summer is in full swing, I can't stop thinking about plants... and my indoor garden needs a bit of sprucing up. So I did a little Pinterest searching, and came up with tons of great DIY ideas to add some character to my succulents, cacti and other greenery. And today I'm sharing them with you. Find out how to dress up your plant babies with these ten gorgeous DIY planter ideas.   

Continue Reading

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects

by Faith Provencher
23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Sugar and Charm

Summer is right around the corner, which means it's time to step up our patio game... and lighting is one of the most important elements of a functional outdoor space. So today we're sharing 23 of our very favorite outdoor lighting projects. Click through to check 'em out!   

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Build-Basic

1. Upgrade any solar light with some wood to create this gorgeous path light. Get the how-to here. [Photo: Build-Basic]

 

23 Super Fun DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Bob Vila

2. Give string lights a colorful makeover using water bottles and spray paint! Get the tutorial here. [Photo: Bob Vila]

 

23 Super Fun DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Grow Creative Blog

3. Transform tin cans into beautiful luminaries using this simple tutorial. [Photo: Grow Creative Blog]

 

23 Super Fun DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: In My Own Style

4. Gather up some glass globes and chain to create a few of these pretty hanging lights. Learn more here. [Photo: In My Own Style]

 

23 Super Fun DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: The Flair Exchange

5. For a fun twist on #4, give this macramé idea a try. Just grab some cord and head over here to check out the instructions. [Photo: The Flair Exchange]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Christmas Lights Etc.

6. Put rope lighting on pathways for a simple and attractive addition to the yard. Learn more here. [Photo: Christmas Lights Etc.]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo:  Creme de la Craft

7. Add some pizzazz to plain old string lights with this easy DIY. [Photo:  Creme de la Craft]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Sunset

8. Create the look of a fire pit without, well, the fire. Check it out here. [Photo: Sunset]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Hey Gorgeous

9. Here's another easy way to dress up a set of string lights... head over here for the instructions. [Photo: Hey Gorgeous]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: City Farmhouse

10. No place to attach bistro lights? Try this easy planter solution. [Photo: City Farmhouse]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: The Frugal Homemaker

11. Learn how to turn mason jars into rustic style tiki torches with this great tutorial. [Photo: The Frugal Homemaker]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Woon Blog

12. You can also transform mason jars into real electric outdoor lights with edison bulbs using this tutorial. [Photo: Woon Blog]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo:  Brit + Co.

13. If you prefer candlelight (or if you don't have an outdoor outlet), try this project which uses jute string to hang jars from trees. [Photo:  Brit + Co.]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo:  Design*Sponge

14. Turn a wine bottle into a gorgeous wall-mounted torch using  this tutorial. [Photo:  Design*Sponge]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Emmaline Bride

15. Mason jars are so versatile, aren't they? This project uses floating candles to create a beautiful centerpiece. Get the how-to here. [Photo: Emmaline Bride]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Don't Waste The Crumbs

16. Keep the pesky mosquitos away by making your own citronella candles.  Here's the tutorial. [Photo: Don't Waste The Crumbs]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: My Home My Style

17. Turn copper piping into beautiful tiki torches with this clever tutorial. [Photo: My Home My Style]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Running With Scissors

18. Add some serious style to the perimeter of your yard with these pretty little solar lights that are mounted on decorative hooks. Get all the details  here. [Photo: Running With Scissors]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Interiors Designed

19. Adorn a planter with some solar tiki lights... find out how here. [Photo: Interiors Designed]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Sugar and Charm

20. Turn those empty liquor bottles into tabletop torches using this great tutorial. [Photo: Sugar and Charm]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Tatertots & Jello

21. Add some personalized charm to your outdoor space with a fun marquee light. Get the how-to here. [Photo: Tatertots & Jello]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: In My Own Style

22. Turn a tuna can into a pretty lantern using this genius how-to. [Photo: In My Own Style]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Photo: Hey There Home

23. Transform an old chandelier into a beautiful outdoor candelabra using this quick and easy tutorial. [Photo: Hey There Home]

 

23 Clever DIY Outdoor Lighting Projects
Share this post on Pinterest! [Photo: Woon Blog]

 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
60 Unique DIY Hostess Gifts For Every Occasion

by Faith Provencher
60 Unique DIY Hostess Gifts For Every Occasion | By Curbly #diy #hostess #gifts
Photo: Ruffled Blog

Although it's hard to believe, it's almost that time of year when holiday parties start occupying most weekends. Most people's go-to gift for these kinds of events is usually a bottle of wine, but sometimes it's nice to surprise your hostess with something different. Here are 60 fantastic DIY hostess gifts that you can start thinking about ahead of time to avoid excessive holiday stress.   

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How to Make a Sweet Modern Advent Calendar Village

by Alicia Lacy
Wood Block & Test Tube DIY Advent Calendar Village
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

It's advent calendar time! As I write this post, the Midwest is being walloped by a snow storm. Nothing inspires holiday decorating like many inches of snow, and to stave off decking all the halls, I created a little diy advent calendar village for our children. Read on for the full tutorial.

Using blocks of wood and test tubes, I assembled a village full of tiny treasures to help our family celebrate the season...

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
3 Ways to Give Plain Ornaments a Stylish, Scandi Makeover

by Rachel Jacks
Scandi Christmas ornament makeover
Photo: Rachel Jacks

If you've ever been inspired by try a whole new color scheme or style in your Christmas decor, you may have been deterred by the fact that you'd have to replace all of the ornaments you already have. But with a little paint, you can give your ornaments a makeover, saving cash and keeping your old decor out of the landfill. Here's how I gave some glass bulbs a new look, three different ways. 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How-To: Simple 3-Tiered Jewelry Organizer

by Faith Provencher
How-To: Simple 3-Tiered Jewelry Organizer
Photo: Faith Towers

 

I'm a big collector of costume jewelry, so I'm always trying to find great ways to store it. A while back, I did this project so I have plenty of space for my necklaces and most of my dangly earrings. But I was still left wondering where to put all of my stud earrings, bracelets and other accessories. Until now. Keep reading to check out my incredibly easy, functional solution.    

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
What's the Best Bottle Cutter on the Market? We Find Out

by DIY Maven
We review the top five glass bottle cutters to find out which is best.
Photo: DIY Maven

Four years ago, I threw out the question: "What is the best bottle cutter on the market?" A lot of readers weighed in. Some gave recommendations for their favorite glass bottle cutter, others just wanted a definitive answer, which is what I wanted. Finally, FINALLY, we decided to get to the bottom of the bottle cutter question and have a product shoot out between four popular models. Our competition has not been without a...

Continue Reading