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How to Make a Leather Monogram Stocking

by Marlene Sauer
DIY Leather Monogram Stocking
Images by Marlene Sauer

Ahh, the stocking -- a staple of Christmas celebrations! Have your stockings been hung yet? If not, we've got a great modern idea for you today that you will love: DIY leather monogram stockings! They are simple to make and totally in keeping with a minimal holiday decor style

If you've never embroidered, don't worry -- you only need to one stitch, the blanket stitch. Keep reading to see how to make your own!       

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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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Curbly Original
Show off your Holiday Cards in Style with this DIY Branch Holiday Card Display

by Marlene Sauer

 

DIY Branch Holiday Card Display
Images by Marlene Sauer

Every winter, it's the same story. I get a handful of thoughtfully selected, lovingly written cards for the holidays...and, I have nowhere to put them.

Tacked on the fridge with the grocery lists and unpaid parking tickets? Jammed on a shelf between the dusty knick-knacks and piles of unopened mail? Ok, my house isn't THAT disorganized (most of the time), but I'm sure you feel the pain of receiving beautiful mail and having nowhere to display it.

This year, I decided to take matters into my craft-loving hands and make a simple, pretty DIY branch holiday card display. It only requires a few basic supplies to make, can be made as small or as large as you want, and will make your home smell like a pine tree, which is obviously the best reason to make your own. Keep reading to see how to make a DIY branch holiday card display!

DIY branch holiday card display

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How to Make a Self-Care Gift Basket for your S.O.S. (Stressed-Out Spouse)

by Marlene Sauer

 

How to Make a Self-Care Gift Basket for your Stressed-Out Spouse
Images by Marlene Sauer

 

It's the holidays and, SURPRISE! Everyone is stressed.

Be it the in-laws, end of year deadlines, travel, or all the shopping, this is a time of year that just makes us crazy. And as hard as it is suffering from burnout ourselves, it's even harder watching it in someone you care about.

There are two little words that can help: self-care! (The Oxford Dictionaries just declared "toxic" the word of the year, but they must not spend much time on Pinterest. The word of the year is clearly self-care).

Today's gift idea is for that special someone, your S.O.S., Stressed-Out Spouse (or Partner, or Bestie, or Sibling, or Other Significant Person who needs help). This self-care gift basket will help remind them to slow down and be good to themselves. 

 

How to Make a Self-Care Gift Basket for your Stressed Out Spouse

 

I've broken this gift basket concept down into four different elements that are important for centering: sleep, stress reduction, mindfulness, and me-time. The best thing about putting together your own gift basket is that you can scout your local shops for unique, handmade items and support those small businesses.

Boston locals, I purchased everything for this self-care gift basket at Cambridge Naturals in Porter Square, my favorite source for organic and natural products. And of course, I'm including online sources for the rest of you!

Ready to see how you can put together your own epic self-care gift basket for the holidays? Don't worry, I won't judge if you end up wanting to keep it all to yourself! 

 

Keep reading for our tips to make the most relaxing gift ever! 

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Everything You Need to Know About Scandinavian Design

by Marlene Sauer

 

Scandinavian design 101
Image bia Bellevue

There is something about bright and airy Scandinavian design that just calls to the senses.

The soothing use of color and light; the negative space that allows the gaze to wander and breathe; the layers of cozy, natural textures that invite you to curl up with a good book; it's no surprise that Nordic style is so popular. If you're thinking about a Scandinavian-inspired room makeover, want to know what the heck "hygge" is all about, or are curious about where Scandinavian design comes from, this is the post for you!

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Curbly Original
DIY Some Self-Care: How to Make a Soothing Chai Spice Tub Tea

by Marlene Sauer
How to Make Chai Spice Tub Tea
Images by Marlene Sauer

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

No, I don't mean the Big C. My absolute favorite time of year is -- fall!

Every year when autumn hits here in New England, my senses come to life. Crisp, clear air; leaves to crunch through; snuggly scarves; cozy lit windows on dark, chill nights; there are so many little daily luxuries to savor.

And this year I'm adding another one, which will also help in my goal of better self-care: DIY chai spice tub tea!

Keep reading to see how easy it is to make your own chai spice tub tea!          

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Renter-Friendly Backsplash Ideas that Look like a Million Bucks

by Marlene Sauer

Hunting for a rental apartment is just about the worst thing about modern urban life. Not only do you have to contend with application fees and sketchy brokers, compete with other prospective tenants, and traipse through one messy, half-packed living room after another; but once you finally find a place that you can afford and that doesn't have literal holes in the walls --- you have to move in and actually LIVE WITH all the ugly, outdated apartment features that you tried desperately to ignore as you signed the lease and handed over your entire month's income.

Unless, of course, you are a DIYer. 

The only thing we DIYers have to live with is our penchant for hoarding supplies (politely known as "being prepared").

So roll up your sleeves, guys, because today we are going to tackle one often-ignored rental eyesore: the kitchen backsplash. Keep reading to see how these temporary and removable backsplash ideas will make you love your apartment kitchen, without sacrificing your security deposit.          

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Everything You Need to Know to Design the IKEA Closet of Your Dreams

by Marlene Sauer

Those Swedes sure do love to organize. Flip through any edition of the IKEA catalog, and the first impression you'll likely get is: a place for everything, and everything in its place. But don't our cluttered, modern, go-go-go lifestyles make it seem impossible to live up to this standard? Most especially in that most dreaded place in our homes --- the closet. Chances are, if you're a Curbly reader, you love organization just as much as we do. And you may need a little help figuring out how to make your closet system work for you. That's why today we are talking all about how to design the closet of your dreams using IKEA closets.                

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If You Make These DIY Cat Toys, You'll Make Yours the Happiest Kitty on the Planet

by Marlene Sauer
How to make easy DIY cat toys
Image by Marlene Sauer

It's pretty clear by now that cats are taking over the world. From global Instagram cat celebrities, to cat cafes, to enough cat-themed accessories to clothe an army, our feline friends have us wrapped around their paws. My own cat, Jax, is no exception --- he is definitely the boss in our household. Now he's even got me making DIY cat toys!          

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How to Make a Rattan Jewelry Organizer

by Marlene Sauer
DIY rattan necklace and earring organizer
Photo: Marlene Sauer

It happens every morning.

I pull on my shoes, search around for my keys, and realize I didn't put on my earrings yet. And as surely as I know that the bus is always running late, I know that I can't find the pair of earrings I want to wear.

Is it just me, or is jewelry one of the hardest things to keep organized??

Click through to see how I made this necklace and earring organizer!

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