3 Free Digital DIY Magazines to Inspire Your Handmade Holiday

diyholidaymagazines Hello lovelies! Have you noticed that as of late there have been some FABULOUS DIY-themed crafty digital magazines to peruse while getting into the holiday spirit? No? Well, here are a couple of my favorites – I just can’t stop flipping through them (you may see some of your favorite DIY’ers and their projects featured)…and best of all, they’re completely FREE! Clicky click through the links to read…

Damask Lovetoile_damasklove

Toile: A DamaskLove Holiday Publication

PapernStitchhappyholidays_papernstitch

The Happy Holidays Guide to DIY

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Ruchehomemadeholiday_ruche

A Homemade Holiday

Hope you have a Happy Handmade Holiday!

xo
Carly

DIY Simple Wrap Skirt

outfit2.14.13_handbagOn the Spring/Summer 2013 runways, wrap skirts (a.k.a “split skirts”) showed up repeatedly in collections such as those from Rag & Bone, Tommy Hilfiger, and Proenza Schouler.

luckymagazineskirt Lucky Magazine also did a short feature on the wrap skirt (calling it the “Envelope Skirt” in their February 2013 issue), and I was immediately taken with how easy it seemed to make.
diywrapskirt_done2outfit2.14.13_skirtThis type of wrap skirt is hardly different from a single piece of fabric, wrapped around your waist like a simple toga-cloth, but you can add a few details to make it looked more finished and less like a scrap from the fabric store.  Add a small bit of tailoring so it sits better, and an adjustable closure to allow movement, and you have a versatile bottom that is ready to usher in Spring.  Here’s how:

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DIY Room Styling and Cheap Decoration Ideas from The Land of Nod

LandOfNod

Image source

I’ve been embroiled in a room makeover that seems to be taking up all my spare time lately – and though I’m re-decorating my home office (at long last!) I can’t help but be inspired by any DIY decorations and ideas around.  One particularly inspirational source I’ve found is The Land of Nod – and though I’ve never bought anything from the company, each issue of the magazine transports me away to a lovely, whimsical location, filled with bright, fun things that any child (or even adult!) would be thrilled to lose themselves in.  Here are some great, inexpensive ideas for your child’s room – easily adaptable to other rooms in your home:

room1

Add a lacy texture to a wall with doilies (some painted with silver glitter) – which could also be a stand-in for a headboard.  Christmas lights can become a makeshift curtain, and drawers in a side table can be replaced with glitter-sprayed cardboard boxes.

room2

A fabric bunting is a colorful and easy way to add some whimsy to a room – as well as your favorite fabric filling up a large frame on the wall instead of a standard picture.  Add some colored paper cutouts to a lampshade for a fun and personalized light.

room3

A sweet little woodland vignette can be made in the corner of a room with some painted corrugated cardboard mushrooms and grass.

room4

Instead of a large mirror on the wall, mount smaller gilt hand mirrors.

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A wall can be made unique with a number of mirrors of varying sizes and shapes.

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A room can be made lively with origami sailboats (or something else!) strung from the ceiling.  Also: colored boxes mounted to the wall to hold trinkets and treasures.

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An ingenious use for old skateboards: strung together to made a ladder bookshelf.

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Make a unique and playful wall shelf using just a tree branch…and a handful of colored sticky dots and paper trees.

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When painting you don’t have to do the whole wall: masking off large stripes and leaving areas unpainted can look really modern too.

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Speaking of not painting walls, you can also do a unique decoration by painting Contact Paper, cutting out circles, and adhering to the wall.  (I did this for Lil Tot’s nursery/bedroom in our old condo – and everyone who visited asked me where I bought the beautiful blue dots that were on the wall!  …Which I just peeled off once we moved – and was left with the unharmed white wall beneath.)

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Make a faux chandelier swag with colored paper cut into triangles and circles, strung across the room.

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I think someone enterprising could DIY this twig mirror with a few branches, some strong glue or nails, and some gold paint…for a lot less than $219, don’t you think?

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And likely an intermediate knitter could knit a cover for a lampshade…or anyone could repurpose a sweater to the same effect!

Happy DIY’ing!
xoxo

Carly

Images scanned by me from Land of Nod Holiday Collection 2012 catalog, and online from the February 2013 catalog.

From the Archives: Magazine Clippings DIY Inspiration #1

I’m such a hoarder.

Ever since the year 1998 or so, I have kept every magazine I ever bought/received/got in a subscription…to some degree or another.  As I read each glossy I turn down the corner of each page where I see something I like – either something as a piece of design inspiration, a possible “I’m gonna make this!” for the future, or simply because I just want to buy it.  I may re-read a favorite magazine again soon after the first reading, but usually I let it sit for a month or so.  Then in one afternoon of feverish scissoring, I cut out every picture I marked or page I dogeared, stack them together, insert the stack into a manila envelope, and write on the envelope what magazine, and from what month and year, is broken down in there.  Then I recycle the rest of mag.

I can usually fit the clippings of around 15-25 magazines in one envelope, depending on how inspirational and covetable their products seem to me at the time (Lucky Magazine and Vivi Magazine are my biggest bang-for-the-buck glossies, providing me thick piles of clippings ripe with possible DIYs and design inspiration, amazing trends and items I just can’t live without…Vogue offers up only the occasional “I could make that!” photo, for instance).

Over the years the clippings have increased in number, the manila envelopes multiplied…and now I have an entire banker’s box filled to the brim with manila envelopes bursting with clippings (and if the truth be known, I bust out of that box with my envelopes 2 years or so ago).  These manila envelopes (well, a singular envelope in the beginning) have traveled with me from Japan to Vermont to Virginia to Philadelphia to Honolulu and now here to Oregon.  I call them “the archives.”

And yes, I do often go back to them to find new DIY ideas, re-examine a trend, or in search of an item I suddenly want RIGHT NOW but can’t remember exactly where I saw it.  And I have enough of a system so that I can usually find a tiny 1″ clipping inside that huge pile of paper – exactly where it should be.

So to share with all of you some ideas I’ve pulled out lately (and to kick off a running article series here on my blog), I’d like to introduce you to:

FROM THE ARCHIVES

<The photos are not arranged according to any theme, date, or trend – just how they come.>

1. Check out that double layered cardigan from Anthropologie (I believe)…just stitch together two thrifted cardigans at the seams!

2. A furry Rebecca Taylor coat is an easy DIY adding some faux fur to the sleeves.  In fact, I think Lipglossandblack shared a tutorial on how to do that.

3. This pretty army jacket from Anthropologie may only be $79.95, but you could easily save yourself most of that by cutting out the back of the jacket and adding a sweater back instead.

4. This Erickson Beamon + Bauble Bar Dirty Glam Necklace is no longer available, so you might as well just hook together 3 vintage brooches, and hang your homemade bauble from black silk rattail cord.

5. At $798, this James Nares for Coach Tote could be had for a steal with a little white paint, a wide paintbrush, and a fearless hand.

6. Hand-paint your colored suede ballet flats like these Taika Flats from Anthropologie…and yup, there’s a tutorial for that too (I know I’ve seen it…or linked to it on my blog…but can’t remember where…)

7. Stamp or stencil a pair of nude tights or pantyhose in card suits (like in my tutorial here!)

8. Create some colorblocking like on these J. Crew Heels with some Angelus leather paint.

9. This cute take on the smiley-face tee by UNIF is totally do-able with some metallic foil transfer sheets (available at Jo-Ann’s, Michael’s, or other craft stores).

10.  How cute is this pearl-studded bow-tie necklace from Japanese brand MIIA?  Find a man’s bow-tie, and some chain to the sides, hand-stitch some pearls on, and voila!  A sweet little accessory.

Hope they provide some great ideas for DIY for all of you!

xoxo
Carly

Kiddie Craft: DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Parents Magazine

A few of you asked for the instructions for making the milk carton bird feeder I featured in this post, so I scanned the original instructions from Parents Magazine to share with all of you.

How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder Out of an Upcycled Milk Carton

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Tips They Didn’t Include:

*Although it doesn’t mention this in the instructions, it is extremely difficult to paint over a milk carton with acrylic paint.  It took me 5 coats to even get to the opacity shown above!!  (I swear, I studied that photo for near to 15 minutes trying to figure out how they got it that opaque-looking.)  I’d highly recommend either lightly sanding the surface, or ideally, applying a coat of primer first and then doing your acrylic paint.  That way it should be much easier to get a solid color to the feeder.

*Although this isn’t mentioned in the instructions either, since this bird feeder is probably going to be used outside (right?) a good coating of spray sealant is highly recommended.  Once my sprinklers hit it that acrylic paint cracked up completely.

How to Get Birds to Come to Your DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder:

*place it slightly at or above (an adult’s) eye level, in a sheltered area

*place it away from squirrels, cats, or other predators that may scare away the birds

*make the opening only large enough for the type of bird you’re looking to feed (not large enough for squirrels or crows, etc)

*essentially it’s not the color of the feeder that attracts the birds, it’s more the location, accessibility, and food.  (Except for hummingbirds, who are attracted to the color red.)

*place something shiny, like a piece of metal, on the feeder.  Birds love shiny objects!

Source

Hope that works for you guys!  It’s a super-fun craft to do with your kids (or even by yourself for your garden, deck, or patio!) – so definitely try it out.  Ours is drawing a number of birds to it every morning!

Happy DIY’ing!

xoxox
Carly

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