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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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 kids decor projects that you can start today. From wall art to furniture, there's a handmade solution to all your home decor dilemmas.          
 

Where do you draw inspiration for kids decor? Let us know in the comments!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

WALL ART


Wall art idea from Apartment Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Bloesem Design via Apartment Therapy

1. You can do this! A row of hanging flashcards makes for cheap and doable wall art.

 

Wall art idea from Alice & Lois | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Alice & Lois

2. With a little felt, capture a child's initial on this colorful banner.

 

Wall art idea from Merry Pad | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Merry Pad

3. The hoard of kids' drawings is inevitable - this DIY helps you turn them into a collage to mount and frame.

Wall art idea from Liz Marie Blog | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Liz Marie Blog

4. This project is geared more towards advanced crafters, but who can resist wanting a sweet faux deer's head in their room?

 

Wall art idea from Lil Blue Boo | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Lil Blue Boo

5. This is a project the kids can help create. Make a paper mâché unicorn head (or you could just leave the horn off and have it be a regular old horse, but where's the fun in that?). 

 

Wall art idea from DIY Network | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: DIY Network

6. Practice a little pain-free taxidermy on some stuffed animals by mounting them to the wall.

 

Wall art idea from Pneumatic Addict | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Pneumatic Addict

7. This make-it-yourself light box could double as both DIY kids decor, and as a fun nightlight!

 

Wall art idea from Spot of Tea Designs | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Spot of Tea Designs

8. Let the kids decorate their own walls! This toddler art gallery allows you to switch out craft projects and drawings as the kids grow and advance. 

 

Wall art idea from Papery & Cakery | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Papery & Cakery

9. As long as you're prepared to get glitter everywhere (which, we'll admit, is sometimes kinda magical), this glitter animal wall art is bright, colorful, and kid-approved. 

 

Wall art idea from Alice & Lois | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Alice & Lois

10. Nurseries are the sweetest spaces to decorate. Learn how to paint a giant gold heart to display your love for baby. 

 

Wall art idea from Alice & Lois | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Alice & Lois

11. Animals, bright colors, and kids decor are an idyllic trio. Create this animal block art using the tried-and-true technique of decoupaging. 

 

Wall art idea from A Bubbly Life | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Bubbly Life

12. Okay, who doesn't want some tasty looking fruit slice shelving in their bedroom? This DIY kids decor project is easy enough with wood rounds and craft paint.

 

Wall art idea from A Bubbly Life | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Bubbly Life

13. Wall art doesn't just have to be contained in a frame. Kids' rooms are the perfect place to play with bright, happy murals, like this pretty pastel geometric design.

 

Wall art idea from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

14. Feeling a little more adventurous? Try your hand at this painted wallpaper art.

  

Wall art idea from The Sweetest Digs | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: The Sweetest Digs

15. Speaking of adventure, you don't have to be an artist to paint this on-trend mountain mural.

 

Wall art idea from Curbly | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Curbly

16. If you use magnetic paint for your mountain mural, you can invite an entire team of these DIY mountain climbers (on belay!). 

 

Wall art idea from The Sweetest Digs | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: The Sweetest Digs

17. Sometimes simple is best, as is the case with these Scandinavian-inspired wall decals.

STORAGE SOLUTIONS


Storage solution from Garden Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Garden Therapy

18. If a child has a lot of beloved stuffed animals, these tree branch swings are a cute way to store and display them. 

 

 

Storage solution from Apartment Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Apartment Therapy

19. Throw a shoe organizer on the bedroom door, and you've got yourself a perfect doll organizing system!

 

Storage solution from DIY Inspired | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: DIY Inspired

20. This DIY stuffed animal chandelier is clever comprised of beads, spray paint, and a hanging plant holder. 

 

Storage solution from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body

21. Storage solutions don't have to be pricey. Paint coffee cans and use chalk labels for small storage.  

 

Storage solution This Little Street | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: This Little Street

22. Everything's better on wheels, and that includes this rolling toy box

 

Storage solution from Rent.com | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Rent.com

23. Let's keep the storage solutions rolling! By combining the efficiency of casters with the unused space under the bed, this rolling storage solution utilizes every last inch of space. 

 

Storage solution from The Merry Thought | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: The Merry Thought

24. We love the look of these open, minimal wood storage bins. Get the plans to make your own at home.

 

Storage solution from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

25. These sew-it-yourself fabric bins show that storage solutions can be cute and modern. These are especially awesome because they are reversible!

 

Storage solution from I Heart Organizing | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: I Heart Organizing

26. Check out this book caddy idea created from a dish rack!

 

Storage solution from Apartment Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Kristen DeLap via Apartment Therapy

27. We're going to look at some more book organization DIY ideas, like these basket book holders.

 

Storage solution from Penny Carnival | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Penny Carnival

28. This one requires a little sewing, but how cool is this hanging book holder at toddler-height?

 

Storage solution from Balancing Home | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Balancing Home

29. If you're looking for a totally cheap DIY solution to displaying reading books, you can use rain gutters as shelving.

 

Storage solution from Dahlias and Dimes | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Dahlias and Dimes

30. For a more polished look, craft these wood ledges (don't they look so sweet in this nursery?).

 

Storage solution from The Sweetest Digs | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: The Sweetest Digs

31. One more book solution - these are spice racks! They make great shelves.

 

Storage solution from The Sunny Side Up Blog | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: The Sunny Side Up Blog

32. With a little forethought, you could be hiding all the kids' toys in the walls with these pull-out storage bins.

 

Storage solution from Apartment Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Tabitha Blue via Apartment Therapy

33. You can totally DIY this little clothing rack for a new baby.

 

Storage solution from Style Curator | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Style Curator

34. Or how about building this a-frame, free-standing clothing rack?

 

Storage solution from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

35. And finally, switch out the dress-up trunk for this adorably grown-up clothing rack made simply from wood and PVC pipe.

TEXTILES


Colorful pillow idea from Aww Sam | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Aww Sam

36. Who wouldn't want this yummy-looking cake pillow? Really brings meaning to the phrase "sweet dreams!"

 

Colorful pillow idea from See Kate Sew | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: See Kate Sew

37. Let's keep the tastiness going with an ice cream cone pillow sprinkled in cuteness.

 

Colorful pillow idea from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

38. Combine sewing and painting (the kids can help!) to make this loveable, pocketed dollhouse pillow.

 

Colorful pillow idea from My Cakies | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: My Cakies

39. Speaking of houses, we love this house block cushion as a cute DIY kids decor addition!

 

Colorful rug idea from Hello Giggles | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Hello Giggles

40. Okay, I really, really want one of these unicorn throw rugs for myself. So magical!!

 

Colorful rug idea from Say Yes | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Say Yes

41. DIY a soft space for little feet by making this pom pom rug.

 

Fun pouf idea from Living with Punks | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Living with Punks

42. Take a seat, tike! DIY them a mini floor pouf.

 

Fun pillow idea from Modern Textiles | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Modern Textiles

43. Bring the enchantement of the outdoors inside (where there are less bugs and bears) by sewing a fluffy campfire.

 

Fun pillow idea from Design Sponge | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Design Sponge

44. No adventure-themed room is complete without the classic mountain top pillow. Fortunately you can make this one, too.

 

Fun rug idea from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

45. You can DIY this, and we ain't "lion!" Learn how to make a cushy and cute animal mat.

 

Fun pillow idea from It's Always Autumn | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: It's Always Autumn

46. I could see spending hours on one of these DIY pillow beds (which are super simple to make - you just sew a few pillows together!).

 

Colorful pillow idea from kojodesigns | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: kojodesigns

47. A cute addition to any kids space, make your own pineapple pillow.

 

Fun pillow idea from Alice & Lois | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Alice & Lois

48. This DIY kids decor idea keeps the magic of childhood alive. Make a decorative pillow with a convenient pocket for the tooth fairy so she doesn't have to dig through all the covers for that missing molar. 

 

GARLANDS + MOBILES


Baby's mobile idea from The Sweetest Digs | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: The Sweetest Digs

49. Continuing on our DIY kids decor journey: Mobiles! Mobiles are as magical as they are mesmerizing. You can make this simple statement piece from feathers.

 

Baby's mobile idea from Vitamini Handmade | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Vitamini Handmade

50. Got a classy baby? DIY this Eames-inspired mobile.

 

Baby's mobile idea from Ceci Bean | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Ceci Bean

51. For a woodsy feel, you can create a woodland-creature mobile from cutouts and an embroidery hoop.

 

Baby's mobile idea from Look What I Made | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Look What I Made

52. If the mountains are calling, pay them homage with a super simple watercolor wall hanging.

 

Baby's mobile idea from A Burst of Beautiful | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Burst of Beautiful

53. Happy and very doable, this pom-pom mobile would make a cute addition to any nursery. 

 

Baby's mobile idea from Morning Creativity | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Morning Creativity

54. If you've never felted before, not only is it simple, but it's also relaxing (think voodoo doll). Make a felt ball mobile for that extra pop of primaries. 

 

Kids garland idea from DIYProjects.com | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: DIYProjects.com

55. If you're on a felting kick, you might as well make a felt ball garland while you're at it!

 

Baby's mobile idea from Make and Tell | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Make and Tell

56. This DIY fruit slice mobile looks just radiantly refreshing. 

 

Kids garland idea from Aww Sam | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Aww Sam

57. This project encorporates actual kids' toys! With lights and some toy food, you can make a tasty illuminated garland.

 

Kids garland idea from Curbly | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Curbly | Tutorial: Sweet Teal

58. Fake flowers never looked so lovely as they do in this DIY flower wall garland. This DIY kids decor project fills up a blank wall quickly and easily. 

 

Kids garland idea from girl. Inspired. | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: girl. Inspired.

59. How precious are these little dolls all holding hands on a garland?

 

Kids garland idea from Babsouk | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Babasouk

60. This cat garland is actually a premade kit! How easy is that??

 

Kids garland idea from Hipster Mum | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Hipster Mum

61. Go bold with a cactus garland... cacti garland? I always get confused over that prickly plural.

LARGE PIECES


Chair makeover idea from Alida Makes | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Alida Makes

62. Okay, this is the most fun chair we've ever seen. It's part chair frame, part exercise ball, part fur

 

Play tent idea from Style Curator | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Style Curator

63. Create an escape where kids can go to read, draw, or imagine in this DIY a-frame play tent.

 

Chair makeover idea from Houseologie | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Houseologie

64. Create big impact in a child's room by reimagining and reupholstering furniture pieces.

 

Lego table idea from Centsational Girl | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Centsational Girl

65. Legos are far too small to be disorganized. This Lego table solves that problem, and has a play area on top.

 

Tent idea from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

66. If you don't want to go full play tent, you can create a kid-sized oasis out of a hula hoop and some fabric.

 

Chalkboard paint idea from Beckham + Belle | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Beckham + Belle

67. It looks cute and it's functional - decorate the inside of shelving with chalkboard paint for a simple decor solution. 

 

Chalk paint idea from Apartment Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Apartment Therapy

68. Or cover an entire dresser in chalkboard paint to signal to kiddos that even though they're young, it's never too early to start organizing. 

 

Shelf idea from I Can Teach My Child | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: I Can Teach My Child

69. How sweet! This DIY kids decor project is a big more hands-on, but how can you beat a dollhouse shelf?

 

Storage idea from Apartment Therapy | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Apartment Therapy

70. By adding cushions to storage shelving, you can create mini bench seating

 

Dresser makeover from Spot of Tea Designs | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Spot of Tea Designs

71. By simply using white paint, you can decorate more grown-up furniture and turn it into pieces fit for a princess. 

 

Desk idea from A Beautiful Mess | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: A Beautiful Mess

72. Make a mini desk! This tutorial shows you how to create a child-sized work area from wood and copper pipe.

 

Desk idea from Reality Daydream | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Reality Daydream

73. If you want to save on space, this DIY kids decor project folds up! Learn how to make a mini Murphy desk.

 

Bed idea from Styled Curator | 75 DIY Kids Decor Ideas

Photo: Styled Curator

74. Feeling adventurous? Learn how to construc a toddler-sized day bed.

 

Bed idea from Jen Woodhouse

Photo: Jen Woodhouse

75. And finally - this project is for the real DIY experts. Learn how to build this dreamy, wooden toddler bed.


75 ways to decorate a kid's room - DIY style!

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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!              

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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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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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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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