Make a DIY Fire Pit this Weekend With One of These 61 Fire Pit Ideas

by Rachel Jacks

A DIY fire pit is just what your backyard needs this summer, and here are 15 ways to build your own. #firepit #diyfirepit

Does the need to sit around a fire outside go back to our days as cave-dwellers? Probably, but we have way better stuff to roast over the fire now, and beer to drink with it. Just like our pre-historic ancestors (except with access to hardware stores, and power tools, and computers), you can make your own DIY backyard fire ring with these tutorials on how to build a DIY fire pit.       

If you've ever tried to make s'mores in the...

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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!        

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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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Real Christmas Tree 101: Everything You Need to Know About Tree Care

by Rachel Jacks

Real Christmas tree maintenance

The other day a friend told me about her family's tradition of getting their Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. While other people are feverishly chasing Black Friday deals, they spend the morning at a nearly-empty Christmas tree farm, cutting down fresh Christmas trees. Sounds pretty ideal, doesn't it? With proper Christmas tree maintenance, they don't have any trouble keeping them looking good for a whole month, so here's what you need to know to buy a real Christmas tree, and keep it in tip-top shape throughout the holidays.    

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Curbly Original
How to Repaint Furniture | The Painted Dresser Project

by M.E. Gray

How to repaint a dresser

Ready for a fun before-and-after project? A boring Craigslist dresser is transformed into a vision of blue beauty, in just 10 steps! There is a right way to to achieve a great finish on a painted dresser, and there is certainly a wrong way, too. Sure, you could just slap on a coat of paint and call it a day, but impatience and rushing through the repainting process means sloppy results. However, we're here to share our careful step-by-step process, and to make sure you get it right the first time around so your Craigslist finds can shine!            

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3 Tutorials That Will Have You Lettering Chalkboards Like a PRO

by DIY Maven
Chalkboard lettering made easy
Background by Mateusz Liberra / Shutterstock

Okay, show of hands... How many of us have sat down with chalk in hand in front of our new DIY chalkboards, ready to start lettering, only to realize that our chalkboard lettering skills stink? This morning at about 4:30am while I was surfing the webs --because that's what I do when I wake up waaaay too early and I don't want to get out of bed and my iPhone is within reach--I spotted a genius tutorial on Indie Craft Parade that shows how to letter like a total pro. Inspired, I started digging - and today I'm sharing three great tutorial for chalkboard lettering that'll make it seem like you went to calligraphy school.              

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75 Kids' Decor Ideas You Can Totally DIY

by M.E. Gray

75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas You Can Totally Do!

Decorating a child's room is such a fun experience. You can go crazy with color, pick animated and adorable elements, and all the furniture is just so tiny. However, these small spaces do come with their own set of unique challenges. As kids grow and change, so do their interests and needs. If you're looking to save money, or are just looking for ways to add your own unique stamp to a room, why not do-it-yourself? We've rounded up 75 fun DIY...

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Cushy, Comfy, and Definitely Not Lumpy: Our Favorite DIY Pillows from the Curbly Archives

by M.E. Gray

Curbly's favorite pillow projects from the archives

If you're ever looking to change up a room in a way that doesn't cost a lot of money and doesn't require a lot of commitment, then pillows are certainly the way to go. They're interchangeable, they immediately add something to the room (whether it's color, texture, or both), and they're snuggly. So what's not to love? We're looking back at some of our own favorite pillow projects from the archives; because while store-bought is fine, it doesn't require a lot of effort or previous experience to create a one-of-a-kind cushy masterpiece. Now, on with the pillow talk!              

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Shibori-dyed pillowcases
Photo: Brittni Mehlhoff

1. Shibori-dyed pillows: These beautiful blues are going to start off our pillow projects countdown. Shibori-dyeing has been in the spotlight for a few years now, and we're not sick of it. It's kind of like tie-dying, but without all the patchouli vibes. Plus if you were to rest your head on one of these pillows, it would kind of be like sleeping on a cloud.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Eyeball pillow
Photo: Lidy Dipert

2. Eyeball pillow: What a looker! The best part about this stuffed cushion is definitely the fringe eyelashes. 

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Botanical leaf pillow
Photo: Jeran McConnel

3. Botanical leaf pillow: The Monstera plant with its Swiss-cheese leaves is a home decor hit. In this tutorial, the pillow itself isn't square, which makes it a nice way to break up an overly-symmetrical couch.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Macrame pillow
Photo: Faith Provencher

4. Macrame pillow cover: The 70s are back, baby! And with them they bring macrame. It's not just for wall-hangings and plant holders, as seen in this most knot-y of pillow projects.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Stenciled pillow
Photo: Holly Wade

5. Stenciled pillow cover: If you're looking for a truly unique way to decorate, then stenciling is the method for you. This tutorial breaks down this classic crafting technique.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Geometric pillows
Photo: Jeran McConnel

6. Geometric pillows: Sometimes simple is best in the land of pillows. These minimal grids were achieved using ribbon.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Recycled Bolster Pillow
Photo: Shelly Leer

7. Bolster pillow from old towels: This one is clever - while it might be difficult to fill a regular square cushion with old bits of laundry, this bolster is filled with a rolled up towel! 

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Bleached landscape pillow
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

8. Bleached landscape pillow: The lines on this cushion were created using a bleach pen. Nifty!

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Thrift store clothes pillow
Photo: Jennifer Farley

9. Thrift store clothes pillow: This has maybe happened to you: You're at Goodwill and you find a shirt with a cute pattern in the fabric, but the size is way too big! Buy it anyway, because you can transform it into a pillow cover with this tutorial.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Abstract pattern pillows
Photo: Holly Wade

10. Abstract pattern pillows: These unique iron-on decals take this pillow from "blah" to "bazinga!" 

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Button pillow
Photo: Shelly Leer

11. Button pillow: This pillow is cute as a button! Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Typographic pillow
Photo: Jeran McConnel

12. Cozy typography pillow: This cozy cushion is calling our name. The lettering was easily created via stenciling, and the fabric is flannel for extra cuddle points.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Geometric glitter pillow
Photo: Holly Wade

13. Geometric glitter pillow: Wow! This stunner is definitely the most glam on this pillow projects' list, and it kind of channeling some Wizard of Oz vibes.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Cyanotype pillow
Photo: Jennifer Farley

14. Cyanotype pillow: Through this tutorial, you can learn how to use the sun to transfer beautiful cyan photographs onto fabric - perfect for making a pillow cover.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Ampersand pillow
Photo: Faith Provencher

15.  Ampersand pillow: And... and... and?? And wouldn't you like to know.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Floral patches pillow
Photo: Holly Wade

16. Floral patches pillow: Got an iron? Then you can do this project! While we might normally consider denim jackets as the primary destination for iron-on patches, this tutorial disagrees.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Mock French-linen pillow
Photo: Shelly Leer

17. Mock French-linen pillows: This pillow with its trim and tufting seems complicated, but thanks to some clever DIY tricks, it's not!

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Embroidered pillow
Photo: Faith Provencher

18. Embroidered pillow: This tutorial just goes to show that with the right combination of fabric and floss, the timeless art of embroidery can make for a pretty and modern pillow.

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Outdoor pillow
Photo: Shelly Leer

19. Outdoor pillow: Learn how to make pillows that stand up to the elements!

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Vintage Button Pillow
Photo: JoAnn Moser

20. Toile buttoned pillowcase: This pillow is perfect for our vintage-lovers out there. Plus, this tutorial demonstrates how to make matching covered buttons!

 

Our Favorite Pillow Projects from the Curbly Archives | Envelope pillow
Photo: JoAnn Moser

21. Envelope pillow case tutorial: And finally, a classic: How to make an envelope pillow cover. After that, you're all on your own!


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Now that we've had a look at our own tutorials, let's check out more of our favorite pillow projects from across the internet!

Pillow projects roundup

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Conquer Clutter with 44 DIY Jewelry Organizers and Displays You Can Make Yourself

by Rachel Jacks

Display your jewelry with these DIY jewelry organizers and storage ideas you can make yourself. #DIY #jewelry #jewelrystorage #organization

As fun as jewelry is to collect and wear, it can be tricky to figure out how to store all your pieces. If you're not careful, it can too easily turn into clutter. Home organization stores would love to convince you to run out and spend tons of money on jewelry organizers and storage. But if you're willing to get a bit crafty, you can easily make your own DIY jewelry organizer or holder to store your jewelry in style.               

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67 Furniture "Before and Afters" That'll Totally Inspire You

by M.E. Gray

The ultimate roundup of furniture "Before & Afters" to inspire you!

I love a good before-and-after, don't you? There's so much satisfaction in taking a sad roadside find or cheap garage sale rescue and totally transforming it into something new and different. We've rounded up some of our favorite furniture makeovers to inspire you to either start that upholstery project, get out the spray paint, or hit up this weekend's local yard sale scene. From dressers to dining tables, here are some of our favorite furniture makeovers.           

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You Can Totally Make These: Hand-Painted Scandinavian Stockings

by M.E. Gray

Make These: Hand-painted Scandinavian-inspired stockings

Guess what? Christmas is almost here! I'm super excited, and grateful that I can finally start to decorate my home for the holidays. Last year I went for a Scandinavian-theme with my holiday decor, and this year I'm continuing the motif. I love the care and simplicity of the Nordic patterns that pop up during this season, and I decided I wanted to replicate those patterns on some hand-painted Scandinavian stockings. It was easier than it looks - keep reading to see how it works!               

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Curbly Original
How to Decorate Your Tree in the Scandinavian Style with DIY Minimal Ornaments

by Marlene Sauer

 

DIY Scandinavian Ornaments
Images by Marlene Sauer

Finding minimal holiday decorations isn't always the easiest. Let's face it, this is not a season known for restraint! 

As my own decorating tastes are turning ever more minimal, I decided to take a cue from my favorite design style and make a few DIY Scandinavian-inspired ornaments. I just love how simple and natural this look is, while still being festive.

Keep reading to see how to make all three decorations so you can style your own minimal holiday tree!       

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Curbly Original
What I Learned About Interior Design from Living with a Video Game Designer

by Rachel Jacks
What I learned about interior design from living with a video game designer
Photo: Chris Liverani

My husband designs video games for a living, and over the years, I've realized that video game design and interior design actually have a surprising amount of overlap. Room designers and game designers are both designing experiences for people to interact with, and though they may have very different end goals, some of the principles are the same.                 

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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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