DIY Wall Art: Easy, Recycled, Fabulous

This DIY wall art project meets all those criteria. Also customizable, requires NO talent, adjustable in size – probably free – I mean, this is a total win-win.

Okay, not entirely free. You’ll need a backing / canvas – whether it’s cardboard, posterboard, foam core, or even a real stretched canvas. A cabinet door. Whatever you’re using to as a base for your artwork. And then, some tape. And paper. Leftover paint.

And you come up with your own version of this!

Tape and Color Wall Art

You see what I mean? The link takes you to Pinterest, which takes you to the original source. But honestly, for technique anyway, you’re looking at it. Play with tape and geometric shapes, then fill in the spaces with color – whether it’s recycled magazine pages, or bits of leftover paint, or fabric, or, well, whatever you come up with.

Or start with a collage of color – magazine pages, old telephone book pages, you name it – then tape over it and create your “painting” that way.

You choose the colors, the theme if you want – the style – the whole thing. It’s entirely original – and you don’t have to be able to draw a straight line.

This is a great idea!

Tutorial – Make Gift Bags – DIY

This is such a useful tutorial! I found it over at How About Orange Blogfrom Jessica Jones. She’s got tons of useful ideas over there. With her super clear pics and instructions, she teaches us how to make gift bags – from newspaper!

Tutorial - gift bag from newspaper - DIY
Gift Bag from Newspaper – Tutorial
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And of course one of the nice things is that you can use any paper (no, it doesn’t matter if there are folds or creases). Talk about saving money – and giving a gift where even the wrapping is special!

and did I say “saving money”? Hallmark will have to manage without our $$, thank you very much.

Valentine’s Day crafts – Plate Decoration Revisited

Remember the white plate (with a recipe!) I blogged about recently? It’s here. The idea was to write a recipe on the plate, bake it, and voila! Permanent decoration. Well I have been seeing this idea more and more lately – and I wanted to share one more example because it’s so charming – and timely :-)

Decorate a Plate - Valentine's Day DIY Craft

What a darling idea for a Valentine’s Day craft that everyone will love! I found it at It’s Overflowing – overflowing with creativity, that is!

You might want to check out her Tips pages, too – she’s got some really useful ideas there. “How to remove sticky stuff” and “An easy way to hang art” and “DIY Microwave popcorn” (you know that one’s going to be used!)

Very cool blog. And I do love that plate idea!

Decorative Paper Bowl – DIY Inspiration Project

This is a super easy do-it-yourself project – and an inspiration for more ideas, too. I found this over on Pinterest. And if you think I am totally in love with Pinterest, you are right! I’ve linked to Liina O’s “Homemade” page and she has found tons of good ideas, go peek!

As shown here, this is a fun, decorative bowl:

DIY project Decorative Paper Bowl from magazine pages

This cute bowl would be a great accent in the family room, and a fun project to do with the kids. But, I do have to add, it could be a little time-consuming. Rolling up the magazine pages (gluing them maybe?), then cutting them – that could take a bit of patience.

So what I’m proposing is adopting the idea. Blow a balloon up to a nice chubby round shape. Use thinned glue or wallpaper paste, to apply torn strips of magazine pages, old brown paper bags, or newspaper pages, onto the surface. Keep layering them. (Note: the wallpaper paste could be flour-and-water, super cheap and non toxic).

Keep layering the torn strips. When the surface looks good to you, and there are enough strips of paper on there to be fairly sturdy, I’d apply polyurethane to make it waterproof. Add a couple layers.

Then bust the balloon. Voila! A strong-ish container that could be a vase (if you’ve waterproofed the inside, too) – or a toy holder (make the opening at the top really big, for that one) – or a place for the kids to keep all their pens and markers (make that one small) – and, well, you get the idea.

The colors that work in your house, a shape you like, a project that you and the kids can do together – and a way for them to see that THEY can make things that work. Love it!

Stencil or Wallpaper? DIY Goodness!

I found this idea recently and I just love it. This could be wallpaper, carefully applied – but it’s not. It’s a stencil. And you can do it yourself :-)

do it yourself wall decoration.... stencils in your color

To make it even better, the stencil pattern is FREE! It’s from All Things Thrifty – a do-it-yourself and thrifty blog with tons of good ideas, tutorials, how-tos, and pics. Scroll down the page I’ve linked, to see this particular wall pic – but read the whole page to get lots of inspiration and ideas. AND she has a tutorial on how to make the stencil!

Now, I happen to love the one she shows in this pic – that it’s asymetrical, that it’s turquoise, just because that’s a great color, and it’s in a mostly white room – but those are details that appeal to me. Of course it could be in exactly the color you need – in whatever configuration works for you.

Yes, you could use wallpaper to achieve this look, especially if the background color of the wallpaper matched your own wall color. But you’d have to buy a whole roll of wallpaper (probably), in the exact right color, and, well, think how much better to just Do it Yourself.

Especially with a free stencil pattern. And a tutorial. And spending practically nothing. How cool is that?

More DIY – Turkey Feather Place Cards

I’ve got to say: there are so many imaginative and talented people out there, it’s amazing. Case in point – these adorable place cards that cost practically nothing, are easy to make, and they are so cute!

do it yourself turkey feather place cards

I found the idea at Almost Makes Perfect – a blog from Molly Madfis that’s new to me and is full of wonderfulness. Did I say creative? Yes. Affordable, fun, lovely ideas – you will thank me for pointing you toward her blog.

Molly shares her tutorial – great, clear, easy to understand pics too – for how to make these easy place cards. If you have a few corks saved up you could even make these in time for Thanksgiving dinner (okay, if you’re serving take-out!) Also – just a thought – instead of “feathers”, how about red paper hearts for Valentine’s Day – or bubble shapes of any color, for, well, any party? Or – snowmen. Or candy canes.

You get the idea. Totally adaptable, totally terrific for any party.

Think how your kids will adore them for the Big Birthday – whichever one is coming up next :-)

P.S. When you go over to Almost Makes Perfect to read the tutorial for these place cards, check out her gold leaf cocktail napkins. Insanely easy and cute and you will love!

DIY – Do It Yourself Gift Wrap Ideas

So today I’m talking paper again – and a couple home-made gift wrap ideas I think will offer you some inspiration.


do it yourself gift wrap ideas - number one
Do It yourself Gift Wrap Idea Number One

I love this one! You could use a store-bought doily, and that would be lovely over kraft paper, or fabric, or a plain box. Or instead of a doily, cut out a snowflake like you used to do when you were a kid (basically fold a piece of paper over and over and then cut out various shapes, and then unfold). Use a piece of colored or patterned paper and you’ll have wonderful homemade ‘lace’ like this one. It looks wonderful, and it doesn’t cost much (or anything, if you use old magazine pages or whatever you have around the house) – and it’s fun and individual.

and

do it yourself gift wrap ideas - second version
Do It yourself Gift Wrap Idea Second Version

Now that is fun! Take any gift box, or a cereal box turned inside out, or a recycled box rescued from your local UPS store or printer. Find some markers or sharpies or paint brushes in your craft cupboard – and draw some pictures! If you have to paint or draw over some printing already on the box, so what? That could make it even more fun. If you’re not a great artist – so what? Draw circles or stars or just add scribbles with lots of colors. Ask your kids to draw their favorite pictures. (Okay, maybe put newspapers down on the kitchen table first.)

I’m sorry, Hallmark Corporation or whatever company it is these days that manufactures wrapping paper – but these are much better. They’re ecologically smart, they don’t cost much – and who has bunches of extra cash these days? – and even more important, they’re made with love and they’re PERSONAL.

Isn’t that what gift-giving is supposed to be about?

P.S. Oh! I must give credit where it’s due. I found both of these wrapping ideas – and more yummy ones to explore – over at Going Home to Roost, a wonderful blog full of do it yourself ideas, and recipes, and gentleness and healthy ideas and, well, it’s a lovely blog you ought to read.

New Technique – New Kanji Necklace

This is going to be exciting. I’ve been experimenting with a new technique – and some super affordable Paper Jewels.

One of the reasons Paper Jewels are expensive to make is because they are incredibly time-consuming. There are approximately 30 steps – and hours of work, in small increments, to complete each piece. So I thought, there ought to be a way to make a more inexpensive Paper Jewels line that incorporates some fun kanji designs – and takes less time – and, well, costs less too!

Well there is, and here’s a sample:

Paper Jewels kanji necklace that says Bijin, or Beautiful Woman

The kanji says Bijin, or Beautiful Woman (or hot babe!)

It makes a great gift for your sweetie. The paper design is behind a sheer glass cabochon – replacing layers of (time consuming) lacquer. The chain is an 18″ faceted ball chain, silver plated over brass – both easy to use and easy to trim to size if you like.

She’ll love it – and it costs way less than “traditional” Paper Jewels. Like, $25 versus $55 or so.

If you and she are on a budget, she’ll love the price thing, too :-)

DIY Paper Flowers – Recycled of course!

Do it yourself paper flowers – take a look at how wonderful these are!

do it yourself paper flowers with how-to instructions

These lovely blossoms are made from maps, or old book pages, or (I would think) any colorful paper / pages that need a new life. I found this wonderful idea over at Apartment Therapy which you know is one of my absolute favorite ideas-source. The article there even links to a tutorial!

And even better – if you love these flowers but don’t want to make them yourself – they also give the source of this yummy recycled goodness: and it’s an Etsy shop!

The shop is Greencycle Designs and she has wonderful work over there. Whether or not you decide to tackle making your own flowers (remember to use recycled pages!) you definitely want to go check out her shop, her prices are very reasonable and her work is gorgeous.

This is a win-win all the way around. Paper (which of course I love) and recycled – and Etsy – and do it yourself – wow!

Cute Shoes – and they’re Vintage!

I found these totally adorable shoes today on Etsy:

Cute Vintage Shoes

They’re available from Tbone4Life and they’re only $12.00 (plus shipping)! If they were my size I would be buying them today. But they’re not, so you have a shot at them :-)

If they’re gone when you see this, go look at her shop anyway – she’s got some super cute goodies at great prices. And they’re vintage, so you’re being eco-friendly and fashion conscious all at the same time.

Comfy and cute shoes – totally of the good!