DIY

Five on Friday - DIY Fall Decor

I'm finally giving in to the fact that fall is here, and summer is gone. =( So, to boost my spirits about that, and hopefully yours too, today's Five on Friday is do-it-yourself fall decor ideas that you can do relatively easily and inexpensively!

5 DIY Fall Decor Ideas!

  1. Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin. This sweet little DIY pumpkin is made simply of mason jar lids tied together to form a ring.. with a few cinnamon sticks as a stem and cut burlap as leaves. I love the subtle natural color variation in the lids. Super easy and super chic!


  1. Leaf Bowl. This little project may be a tad bit less than simple, but the lovely bright autumn colors of this decorative bowl really bring fall into your space and make this DIY project worth it! And the organic shape that the leaves give the bowl's edge is both delicate and beautiful.


  1. Burlap Table Runner. Now this DIY project is super simple, and a great way to dress up your fall feasts. Pretty much all you need is a couple yards of burlap and some sort of decorative accent. The tasseled edge is a really simple and totally cute detail here, but I've also seen other accents like monograms, lace, etc. In my opinion, burlap is just the perfect rustic fall texture!


  1. Painted Patterned Pumpkins. If you're not very skilled at carving a pumpkin, or a fan of the mess involved, try this simple alternative. These particular pumpkins are super trendy with their chevron pattern, but you could paint any pattern (or even a simple solid color). Either way, half the fun of this DIY project is doing it, since the pumpkin won't last past the season. So, go for it.. get creative!


  1. Acorn Filled Votives. And one last really easy DIY decor idea - votive candle holders with fall-inspired filler. Personally, I love the acorns, but obviously you could use corn kernels, mini pumpkin pods, etc. as shown. The simplicity of this project is two fold. It's super easy to do and looks super stylish too.

Well, there you go - just a few simple DIY Fall decor ideas for you. If you aren't busy this weekend picking pumpkins or raking leaves, give one of these DIY projects a try!

Happy Fall Weekend everybody!

Four(teen) Years Later

Today, September 19, 2013, marks our 4th wedding anniversary! And, as the title of this post suggests, four years of marriage also means that we've been together for fourteen years, and that's something we're very proud of. So, to reflect and reminisce, I thought I'd share this little gem. Aren't we cute? Logan and Valerie on their wedding day.

If you read my previous Thankful Thursday post, it'll come as no surprise to you that I feel that the life Valerie and I share is pretty awesome. We have a lot to be thankful for, and our love is definitely at the top of the list, which is why we tend to make a big-ish deal out of our anniversaries.. though plans for celebrating this year haven't been completely hashed out just yet. I guess that's what happens when a certain baby is keeping us both pretty busy :)

Anyway, as you can imagine, planning our wedding (and all details involved) provided the perfect opportunity for Valerie and I to use our creativity to make our special day.. well, special. It was designed to be down-to-earth, yet sophisticated, with a mix of rustic, vintage, and do-it-yourself elements, and to us, it was perfect!

From the weather to the beautiful outdoor ceremony location, from the self-made bride's dress to the DIY bouquets and boutonnieres, from the guest photo shoot area to the bride and groom choreographed first dance, every detail helped to pull together and create our wedding - the day we chose to honor and celebrate our love. So, with that said, we invite you to celebrate with us and check out more pictures from our DIY Wedding!

Skeleton keys around the floral centerpiece.

Happy 4th Anniversary to my one.. and here's to many more!

More Powder to You!

It has been oh so long since we have updated our readers on the progress of any projects around our house. With busy summer schedules (and the pregnancy) unfortunately we hadn't been tackling too many of our own projects. However, lately we've been taking some time to focus on some of our ongoing design projects around the house. Personally, I think it's a little bit of the "nesting" bug that is starting to hit us, hehe! So anyway, we wanted to share with you the progress of our tiny powder room design. With the first few layers complete.. including the flooring, the paint color, and our DIY paneling project, it was finally on to some fun fixtures, accessories and art projects. In today's post, we'll share a few of the tasks we tackled in the design of our powder room and, of course, show off the final result!

Our Powder Room Reveal

Powder room left side

Powder room sink and accessories below

Final powder room shot.

Since it's a super small space, it's hard to get a good overall shot! So, below are some detail shots!

As you scroll down, you'll notice that for this space we DIYed some projects, accessorized with a few new decorative accents (that we picked up at some of our favorite local stores) and, of course, added some personality with some of our already owned decorative items. Check 'em out!

A fun, and functional, step stool!

Milk stool

While painting a portion of our wall in our design studio with chalkboard paint to create a handy and cute daily to-do list area, we got inspired to try another creative project with the fun, and super simple, chalkboard paint. So, here in the powder room, we decided to take a boring old milk stool (that we envision our child using someday to wash their hands.. how cute?) and give it a fun and functional finish.

"Wash your hands"


A small floor basket for much needed storage!

Toiletries basket


A cute, and personal, decorative wooden accent!

Powder room right side.

A mini wooden cityscape of NYC sits atop the paneling ledge to the right of our mirror. This little vignette serves as a nod to our first place in NYC and the time we spent there. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, and well, now in the powder room!

Wooden cityscape.


A custom wall art installation!

The yarn bird art installation.

We'd been meaning to create a custom art piece somewhere in our home, and what a more unique place than the powder room, right? Haha. So, with some miniature flat-head nails and a ball of yarn, we created a few flying birds as a whimsical yet modern art installation. We like it, do you?

Yarn ball close up.


Some added architectural detail!

Yarn bird and crown molding.

After the paneling project, we still wanted to add one more layer of architectural detail, which was the crown molding. It was a simple upgrade that made the space feel larger and more sophisticated, and tied together the paneling!


Personalized, and changeable, artwork!

Elephant mosaic.

This ledge over the toilet serves as an art ledge! So, instead of hanging art on the wall, we can simply prop a piece of art here and change it out whenever we want. I know, I know.. the elephant with the birds don't quite mesh, but both are personal and meaningful and that's what matters most in any space!


A necessary accessory, yet in a unique style!

Waste basket.


A space saving switcheroo!

Powder room pedestal sink.

Before we started designing the powder room, the space was pretty blah! And the faucet fixture was pretty run-of-the-mill! So, we knew we wanted to switch it out, and with a tiny space like this, we need all the space we can get! So, we replaced the old faucet with a single handle faucet to allow more room on the pedestal sink!

Faucet.


Bringing in some texture, some quirk and some vintage!

Towel holder

The vintage hat hook was found lying in one of my mom's old dressers, and it was just dying for a front row seat somewhere. And again, what better place then the powder room! I mean, let's face it, everyone who enters our home will likely visit this space, right?

Hat hook close up.

Oh, and since it's a bathroom, and it must be functional, we of course added the mustard yellow hand towels and grey-blue bath rug that you may have seen in the shots above!

And in addition to some of what is shown in these photos, we also tackled a few DIY projects like giving the old light fixture a new life with a fresh coat of paint! We may still replace it at some point, but for now (without spending more than a few dollars) we've made it work in the space!

Well, there you have it - a long overdue update on our tiny powder room. I suppose we'll call it complete.. for now! You know how these things go - I may feel the need to change something out in the near future, but it is good to feel like a space is complete.

The good news is that it is a world different from the powder room that you see below (from when we first moved in)!

The before shot.

Final powder room shot.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our new space! Let us know your thoughts.

Celebrating a New Addition!

I've got some exciting news with today's post (perhaps only exciting to me and my immediate family, but I thought I'd share anyway). My sister-in-law welcomed a new bundle of joy to the family last week - a beautiful baby girl, Sophia. She's super cute, happy and healthy! But, before I show you a photo of the beautiful newborn, let's go back a week or so. Today's blog topic was actually planned to be posted last week, before the baby arrived, but, as you can see, it didn't! So, even though the baby is already here, I wanted to share some of the fun that occurred before she arrived!

Logan and I had decided to throw his sister (and her husband and daughter) a little surprise baby party. Ok, so it was pretty much a baby shower, but since it is their second child (and showers aren't customary for a second child) we had been calling it a baby party! And, since they already have a lot of what they need for the newborn, we didn't intend to shower them with gifts, but instead just celebrate the new life that we would all be welcoming into the family very soon. And, because they had been trying for a second child for quite sometime, this new baby is such a blessing and worth celebrating!

So, a couple Saturdays ago, we hosted the little get together, and I thought I'd share some of the details from the event. As usual, we planned out everything from the menu, to the DIY decorations, to the games that we would play. Nonetheless, we kept it simple and inexpensive. Luckily, we have connections with the Country Club of Harrisburg, so we got to use the venue and furnishings for free - good deal! And no, the slip-covered chairs are not necessarily my style, but the atmosphere in person was quite nice - light and airy with a sense of formality! But, to bring in a little fun, we decided to DIY some cute tissue paper pom pom flowers for the centerpieces in gender neutral colors (since they didn't want to know the gender of the baby)!

Centerpieces

Other than the centerpieces, we didn't do too much in the way of decorations. The only other decoration was the sweet little DIY bunting flags hung on the fireplace.

Bunting on the fireplace.

A close-up on the bunting.

What's a baby party without games? Boring, haha. So, we, of course, planned a few fun little games for the guests to enjoy! Here's a peak at some of them.

What's your Prediction game.

Guess the Gerber game.

Measure of Love game.

Guess Who game.

An even more important part of any party is the food, right? We decided on a theme of small, or baby-sized, sweets and eats with cute baby names, of course. So, here are just a few of the goodies we had!

Baby sandwiches.

Deviled Eggs

She's ready to pop-corn.

Baby Muffins.

Sugar Cookies

Mini Whoopie Pies.

And, a party isn't a party without the guests! So, here are few snapshots of guests enjoying their time.

Guests playing games.

Guests mingling.

In lieu of gifts, we asked each guest to provide an anecdote, story, memory, advice, etc. regarding parenting or siblings. Then, we compiled each sentiment into a scrapbook for the parents-to-be.

[caption id="attachment_3698" align="aligncenter" width="324" caption="Here's a guest perusing the scrapbook.. and you can also see that, despite our request, lots of guests also brought gifts. How sweet!"]

Overall shot of the party.

And, here's a pic of the glowing mom-to-be with her mom, Grammy.

Mom-to-be and her mom, Grammy.

Maternity Photo.

It seemed that everyone had a great time! Congrats again to the family of little Sophia! And, here's the cute newborn photo I promised you.

Baby Sophia

Getting Some Exposure

Last week, I was contacted by the Patriot News, our local newspaper here in Harrisburg, for an interview on a story about Home Design Trends for the New Year. I, of course, was happy to help and therefore participated in a phone interview with a reporter from the Patriot. Well, today the article was published on the front page of the Life section of the newspaper! Yay! Check it out below. The images aren't the best, I know. I snapped them on my iphone (which is due for an upgrade)!

Front Page spread.

Close up of front page.

Second Page

Overall, I am really excited to be featured in such a big way and, of course, get some exposure for our design studio and hopefully reach out to people who may not know about us and our services. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% pleased with the article content, but that's just probably the perfectionist and control freak in me, ha. I think with the nature of interviews, and specifically phone interviews, things often get misunderstood, misquoted or taken out of context - which happened in this case. Bummer.

Nonetheless, I know it's an awesome opportunity, and I am grateful!

So, I've copied the article below (reformatted for the blog) for those of you who can't pick up the Patriot today. You'll also see that I've striked through the quotes that were misquoted or misunderstood.

This Year, Home Design is all About You!

Wondering what the hot home design trends will be for 2012? The answer, at least in some instances, is whatever you want it to be.

"2012 is going to be an eclectic mix. It's not going to be something that's very definable," said interior designer Valerie Betz of StudioVB, at 218 Verbeke St. in Harrisburg (studiovbdesign.com). "It's not going to be this style or this country a particular style or particular look. It's more about taking a deviation deviating from one particular style and being more eclectic."

Still, Betz did note a number of home trends appearing on the horizon.

Sustainable Design

Being green in the home was a big trend last year and will continue to stay popular in 2012 according to Betz.

"Green design crosses the entire gamut of products used in the home or in decorating your home," she said. "It's everything from how the flooring is laid out to how it's painted flooring to paint. It's huge, up and coming and hopefully will be here to stay."

Most green design involves using furniture or other products that produce less waste in the manufacturing process or use more rapidly renewable materials like bamboo or cork (instead of, say, mahogany, which doesn't grow back as quickly).

Part of this trend includes using "reclaimed" materials, such as wood from a salvage yard or an old building, which can then be incorporated into new furniture or accessories. "A lot of designers are making new furniture out of reclaimed wood to give their work a rustic charm," Betz said.

Cork flooring

Reclaimed Wood Headboard

Personalized Design

Instead of picking an item out of a catalog or buying factory made matching furniture set, more and more homeowners are selecting items that match their own unique personal tastes, Betz said.

"I think clients and homeowners are leaning toward wanting to express themselves and are less about what's hot right now or what's in the catalog," she said. "It's more, 'I like this unique piece' or 'I want to hang my own artwork' versus what's in stores."

That can take many different forms, from hand-painting a dresser or vase (a new coat of paint could revive an old piece of furniture) to making throw pillows out of fabric scraps.

Not everyone is going D.I.Y. though. Those less inclined to be crafty are simply purchasing handmade items that appeal to them on websites such as Etsy. It's more about finding a look that reflects your own individual tastes rather than being able to to make your own pottery. "It's about looking for that one of a kind thing piece," Betz said.

Painted Furniture

E-design

The continued growth of the Internet has expanded the reach of many designers, according to Betz, as they are now able to offer their services to clients that traditionally might not have been able to afford them felt that design services were available to them.

Using videoconferencing tools such as Skype, interior designers can provide concepts, plans and ideas to help homeowners get started on a project that they can then create on their own time and within their own budget. Because there's no travel involved and the designer isn't taking on the whole project, the cost for their services is much lower.

"It's making design more affordable and accessible," she said.

Sketch from E-Design Plan

Open Kitchens

Along with stainless steel appliances, open-area kitchens continue to be a trend, Betz said. More and more people are opening up their kitchens to the other areas of their house so they can visit and talk with their guests while cooking.

Open Kitchen

Gray is the New Beige

Beige was the big neutral color for a long time, but gray is starting to push it aside, particularly when it's paired with rich colors such as mustard, golden yellow, violet or turquoise. The idea is to use colors that pop out and provide a striking contrast when paired with gray.

Gray Color

New Seating Styles

Puffy, overstuffed, bulky chairs are out. In their place, Betz said, are lower and more streamlined or tailored seats. "It's more casual and comfortable clean lined and sophisticated," she said. (I'm sure I mentioned the casual and comfortable sentiment at some point, but it does not have a direct correlation to the seating style)

Streamlined Seating Styles

Wallpaper is Back

Decades of bad patterns have scared many homeowners away from it, but a wave of bold patterns and textures are pushing wallpaper back to the forefront. "It's taken awhile to convince clients, but definitely higher-end houses and designers are using wallpaper," Betz said.

Modern Graphic Wallpaper

Well, there you have it!

And, if you were inspired to update the design of your home utilizing some of the current design ideas and trends described in the article, feel free to contact us! Also, the article only included a handful of the design trends I discussed, so maybe I'll post about some others in the coming weeks.

Images from here and here.

Let's get our paneling on..

and by on, I mean, on the wall! Hehe. We are moving along with the progress of our powder room project, and since we've taken care of the first step, we are ready to add the next layer. In a previous post, we had mentioned a paneling project with a modern twist and that's what we've got in store. So, here's the design concept - a classic crisp white paneling on the lower portion of the powder room walls, but instead of a traditional panel design or a typical bead board design, we have designed a more modern style horizontal plank paneling. You know, how I love a good horizontal design.

As you also know, I'm a huge DIY fan and love the sense of adventure and accomplishment (hopefully) that every DIY project brings. Not to mention that I also have the maybe-a-little-overconfident belief that I can do anything I set my mind to! So, from the beginning, this project was something Logan and I were definitely gonna tackle ourselves. But (yep, here's where the 'but' comes in), I have to be honest and say that I am also a fan of hiring a professional to get a job done, and to get it done right. I've seen too many clients with a "whoops, guess I shoulda called a professional" mistake and, by the time they called me it was too late. So, as a little disclaimer, before you tackle this project, please know that it has some difficult steps, requires some special tools and takes a good amount of time and hard work. However, if you're up for the challenge.. the result is worth it!

But, before we show you the results, lets go back to where it all began!

To get started with this DIY paneling project, we headed to our local home improvement store to pick up some supplies. Fortunately, all we really needed to purchase was the wood, because our already acquired arsenal of DIY supplies will take care of the rest. But, so you can plan accordingly, here's a list of what you'll need.

Supplies:

  • paper and pencil (to plan out your design)
  • a tape measure
  • wood (specific to your panel design)
  • a saw (we used a jig saw, but a circular saw would probably be best)
  • laser level
  • nails, nail gun and compressor
  • wood putty or spackle
  • sand paper
  • drop cloth
  • painter's tape
  • paint
  • paint brushes

With all of these supplies on hand, follow these how-to instructions to create your own unique paneling for any space in your home.

DIY Wall Paneling How-to

  1. Determine Paneling Design. Decide on the look and feel you want and sketch it out. This will help you in the following steps. As you know, we decided on a horizontal wood paneling design. Our design incorporated wood planks of varying widths and depths for added texture. In this step, we determined the plank dimensions that were the most aesthetically pleasing and in what pattern they would look best - see our elevation drawings below. (Side note: I happen to love drafting and using AutoCAD, so don't mind me.. instead you could just as easily use pencil and paper, which I did first anyway).

AutoCad drawing showing paneling design.

  1. Measure and Plan. Determine the measurements and calculations of your paneling design and how it will fit in your space. This will include height, spacing, proportions, size, etc. Therefore, this is also when you'll determine how much material to buy. In this step, we determined the appropriate height of the paneling on the wall for our space, and also took the perimeter measurements of the space to determine how many of each plank size we would need to implement our design. You'll notice that we utilize the wall surface, as part of the panel design, to save on material.
  2. Cut the Wood. After (and only after) you have measured and checked your measurements, you can start to cut your pieces of wood. I suggest doing this step in combination with the next step - cutting each piece, then hanging it, before moving on to cutting the next. It is a lot less confusing than having 20 pieces of precisely cut wood, but not remembering which piece goes where. Not to mention, sometimes measurements change as you go, even just a tad - your saw blade can eat away about 1/8" of your wood as you cut, so remember to allow for that.

First stage of the paneling project.

  1. Hang the Paneling. Again, do this in combination with cutting, as you'll want to double check your measurements between each cut to ensure a perfect fit. Oh and by the way, in our case, this step was easiest when done with two people. One person to hold the laser level (to ensure that the horizontal plank was actually horizontal), while the other person lines up the wood plank on the wall. Then, the first person grabs the nail gun and nails the plank in, while the other person is holding the plank firmly against the wall (careful not to nail any fingers). And, if you get to choose which job is yours - I think the nail gun is the fun job. I love that thing! I do love a power tool every once and awhile. =)

Another progress shot.

  1. Putty and Sand. Once the boards are all attached to the wall, and your paneling design looks complete, it's time to add a painted finish. But, like any painted finish, you want to prepare the surface. In this case, this includes puttying the nail gun holes and the seams where any wood planks meet. Once the putty dries (typically about 24 hours) go to town with some sandpaper to create a beautifully smooth finish. This process took us a few days with the drying time and my perfectionism. So, depending on your project this part may take the longest.

Puttying.

Valerie sanding the putty.

A close up of the top paneling trim.

  1. Paint and Enjoy. Lastly, you want to paint the paneling in whatever color you choose. We went with a warm crisp white in a semi-gloss finish. But first, make sure to use painters tape to trim out and protect any edges you do not want painted. In our case, we taped the blue-grey wall so that when we painted the top of the paneling we wouldn't damage the freshly painted wall. Then, we went ahead and painted the entire paneling area with a brush to ensure that every nook and cranny got covered.

Paneling with the first coat of paint.

So, that's it! Simple, right? Follow this how-to and you can add a personalized architectural feature to any of your spaces.

Below are a few photos of our finished DIY paneling project result. Check it out and let us know what you think!

The finished panel design!

Paneling behind toilet

Paneling from another angle.

A close up of the paneling texture.

The mirror layered over the paneling.

So there you have it - another step completed in our powder room project. But even with the paneling complete, this space is still a blank canvas, so we will, of course, be adding the next layer in the near future. Check back soon for progress!

Powder Room Plans

We've been focusing a bit more time on our own home when we get a free moment here and there. And most recently we've been working on the design plan for our tiny powder room on our first floor that needs lots of attention! It's a small rectangular cube with only the necessities - a toilet and a small pedestal sink, cause that's about all that fits! So our plan was to add some texture and some visual interest to bring this tiny box to life. We are thinking a cool crisp color palette of grey blues, light dusty browns and oil-rubbed bronze metallics contrasted against a clean fresh white and a pop of a muted yellow ochre. We want this space to feel sophisticated and refined, but, of course, with a little bit of fun and quirk!

Here are a few inspirational images from our pinboards that have hints of the look and feel that we are going for with the design of our powder room.

Color Inspiration

Bath room.

White powder room.

Blue-grey and gold bedroom.

We are really excited about this project because it's small (3' x 5' small, in fact) and easy to tackle one little step at a time and hopefully complete in no time! We've got lots of ideas in store, some of which include: a modern twist on classic paneling, a fun and simple DIY painting project, some low cost spicing up to the existing fixtures, and even a custom art installation to add some character.

So, before we make any progress.. check out a few before photos. Don't blink, you might miss it. Oh and you'll see that it is neutral, plain and sparse. So, forgive us that we have been living with this space untouched for quite some time now.

Toliet side of the powder room.

Sink side of the powder room.

Off to get started! Check back soon.

Inspirational images from today’s post were found here: Pinterest, DecorPad, Design-Seeds.

DIY Striped Wall

So, a few posts ago we showed you a sneak peak at our third floor stair hall wall and the striped painted wall treatment we created to give it a little style. Well, as promised, today's post will show you exactly how we did it with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. However, before we get started, let me say that this project and technique can be modified to fit almost any project and the possibilities are endless - different colors, different finishes, different patterns, etc. So get inspired, be creative and go for it!

If you have a space that needs a little texture or interest, this is a pretty simple, though a tad time heavy (a few days), project that will do the trick.

As with any project, first you need supplies. So, here is a list of what you'll need (what we used)!

Supplies:

  • paint (we used three different variations of the same color - grey, with two different finishes - satin and semi-gloss)
  • paint brushes (one for each color, of course)
  • drop cloth (to protect whatever is below)
  • painters tape (and if your project is anything like ours - possibly a lot of it)
  • a tape measure or ruler
  • pencil
  • laser level (make's the project so easy!)
  • post-its (this is what we used to plan out the color pattern, you'll see below)
  • ladder or step stool (depending on the height of the space - in our case, there was even a point where I was on Logan's shoulders on the stairs to reach a place our ladder just couldn't - I apologize for not having photos of this, it was quite funny, but even so I really don't recommend it, haha!)

Once you have all the supplies, follow the simple steps below to create a happy horizontal wall pattern!

Painted Striped Wall How-to

  1. Determine and Design the Pattern. This can be any pattern you'd like - striped, zig-zag, etc. Here is how we designed the horizontal striped pattern that we decided on. We wanted varied width stripes (some 1", 3", 4", 6", 9", etc.) that we could paint varied colors. So, after a few sketches of how it would look, we started at the top corner of the wall and used our ruler and pencil to start marking the increments down the wall. We like to keep things casual, so we determined the stripe sizes as we went, going with whatever we thought looked best and balanced, making sure not to mark a bunch of narrow or wide stripes in a row.

Blank stair wall

Photo showing the pencil markings.

  1. Tape out the Pattern. This is where you'll use the laser level and painter's tape and probably the ladder. This step did take two people - so for those solo do-it-yourselfers out there, you'll have to find a DIY buddy! One of us held the laser level flush against the wall lined up with the markings, while the other applied the tape in line with the laser! Start at the top of the wall and work your way the entire way down. This is probably the most time consuming part of the process, but once it is done the rest is pretty simple.

Photo showing the pattern taped out on the wall.

  1. Determine the Color Pattern. Once you have the pattern taped out, you have to decide what colors you want to use. In our case, we decided to alternate the three colors randomly but thoughtfully. We did this by assigning a paint color to a post-it color and placing a coordinating post-it tab on each stripe as we planned out the color pattern. This way, we could step back, and see how the color pattern looked based on the colors of the post-its. Sorta silly, but worked well for us!

Showing our post-it pattern method.

  1. Start Painting. Once you've decided on the color pattern, it's go time! You'll obviously need all the painting supplies for this step. It went pretty quickly for us because Logan and I each took a different paint color and worked together. We are such a great team! Anyway, during this step you will most likely have to let the first couple painted stripes dry and come back to the project to continue. Some of the tape lines will be covering portions of the stripes you want to paint. So, you can either use the tape to your advantage and let the taped line be a stripe, or in our case, we let the first paint color dry, then removed the tape, and then taped that painted line in order to paint a new color adjacent to it.

Photo of the painted stripes

Logan painting the stripes.

  1. Pull the tape and voila! Once you've painted your pattern to your liking, let it dry, then go ahead and pull the tape to reveal your masterpiece. At this point, your wall painting project is complete.

The finished wall.

Another angle of the finished stripes.

We went a step further to add a bit of interest (and to add a sense of entry into our studio) by hanging varied size framed art up the stair hall. The artwork is framed photos of urban signage letters that spell out StudioVB, since this stair hall is the entry to our interior design studio!

Hanging the framed art.

Close up of framed art.

Valerie getting ready to hang the last frame.

The finished stair wall!

So, there it is! What do you think? Let us know your thoughts on this project. Do you have any painted pattern projects you'd like to share?

Stairwall Stripes

It's been quite some time since we've published a blog post. But, it's because we've been really busy (which, in business, is always good news), so we don't feel too bad! =) Anyway, it's also been quite some time since we've brought you one of our DIY projects (like this one) that we've tackled for our own home. So, although we actually completed this project a little while ago, we haven't gotten to share it with you.. until now!

This one is a painting project, which is arguably one of the easiest and least expensive DIY projects anyone can do, whether it's freshening up a room with new wall paint, giving a tired old dresser a new life with a fresh splash of color or using paint to create inexpensive artwork! I love paint for that very reason. It's a great way to add interest, color and style to practically anything! But back to the project in today's post - of course, this wasn't just your average painting project. Nope.

We have this stair wall (as many people do), that was big, boring and blank! Check out our the before photo.

Blank stair wall

Anyway, so, it was time to get a little creative and find a solution. Our ideas ranged from a framed art wall to installing reclaimed brick veneer. But ultimately, we went with a less expensive idea and one we could do relatively simply! We decided on a painted wall treatment of horizontal stripes with subtle variation in each stripes width, color and finish. Here's a sneak peak at the result!

Close up of painted stripes.

Overall shot of painted stripes.

And, since we are busy, that's all you get for now! We'll have to save the how-to instructions for a post in the near future, so you too can turn your boring stair wall (or any other wall, or anything really) into something beautiful. Check back soon for our step-by-step guide!

Brochures, Pamphlets?

Brochure is kinda an ugly word! If you know me at all, you probably know that words (and names) are a big thing for me. Some are nice, pretty words, while others are, well, not so much. Some sound good rolling off the tongue and look nice when written, and some even taste good (if you can understand that), but then there are others that are really quite ugly. These words don't sound good, don't look good, and don't taste good and, therefore, make it really hard to say. Therefore, I try to find alternatives. Of course, this is all subjective, and most people have no problems with words! Unfortunately I 'suffer' from this problem, hehe! The funny part is that apparently it's contagious, because Logan has only developed this in the past few years - oops! Anyway, to me, brochure is one of those words. So, in thinking of an alternative word to use, I came up with pamphlet - which I can only say is a smidge better. It still has its issues, with the somewhat awkward spelling and the short cut pronunciation in speaking (ie. pan-flet), ugggh! So, I'm looking for an even better word. Anyone have suggestions?

Well, I admit I'm a bit quirky, but nonetheless, I'm only talking about these words because we've got good news! StudioVB has designed and printed new brochures, pamphlets, or whatever you want to call them, for our home staging services! It's spring time and it's that time of year when lots of people put their homes on the market, and lots more go house hunting. So, we are reaching out to realtors and homeowners both to offer our services. If you, or anyone you know, is thinking of putting their home on the market, call us first!

Anyway, thought we'd share a few pics of the new tri-fold informational advertisement (aka brochure).

Close-up of front of brochure

The front side of the brochure - unfolded.

Front of brochure

Inside back of the brochure.

View of the benefits of home staging

Imgae of me folding the brochures by hand

The final product.

DIY Window Cornice

Our last post showed the beginnings of a window cornice DIY project, but we hadn’t showed you the how-to or the result. So, that’s what we are blogging about today. If you’ve got a window that needs a little love, a quick and easy project, that will add some dynamic interest to your space, is just what the design doctor ordered. Okay, that was cheesy, I know!

Anyway, to get started on the project, first you need supplies, right? So, here is a list of what you need (what we used), most of which you probably have lying around the house somewhere.

Supplies:

  • a lovely fabric (we only used a yard and a half, bonus!)
  • batting (same length)
  • a few pieces of wood (you can even use scrap wood, we did!)
  • a tape measure
  • pencil
  • saw (we used a jig saw)
  • drill
  • screws
  • scissors
  • spray adhesive
  • staple gun and staples (light duty works fine)
  • and L-brackets

Once you have all the supplies, follow the simple steps below to cornice creation!

Upholstered Window Cornice How-to

  1. Determine the dimensions. This is a personal design choice and is totally up to you. But, here are a few tips! The cornice should be slightly wider than the window casing, as it will need to fit around it. It can be as tall as you’d like it to be, but just remember to conceal the unsightly window treatment mechanisms (after all, that’s the true purpose of a window cornice). And I would make the depth of the cornice at least 4 inches; again, it will need to allow room for the window casing and any window treatment mechanisms such as the brackets, blinds, rod, etc.

Diagram showing the size of the cornice.

  1. Construct the cornice frame. This is where you'll use the wood, tape measure, pencil, saw, drill and screws. Measure out the dimensions you’ve determined onto the wood and use an accurate saw to cut into four pieces – the face of the cornice (the biggest piece), two side pieces, and a top piece.

The constructed frame for the cornice.

Image showing that the constructed cornice fits into place.

  1. Cut and wrap the batting. Once you have the cornice constructed, lay out the batting and cut the appropriate amount to cover all three visible sides of the cornice.

Image showing cut batting.

Then, wrap it pretty snug the whole way around. The batting really only needs spray adhesive to attach it to the wood, but you can always use the staple gun just to be sure.

Image showing cornice frame wrapped in batting.

Image showing batting step finished.

  1. Upholster the cornice. Now that the frame and batting are ready, you can start the upholstery part. Yay! Measure twice and cut once the appropriate amount of fabric to cover all three visible sides of the cornice, just like you did with the batting. Quick tip – if your fabric has a pattern (like ours did), make sure you line up the fabric on the cornice to ensure that the finished product will show the portion of pattern you really want. And if it’s striped, you really need to pay attention to aligning it so that the stripes are straight!

Image showing the fabric being cut for the cornice.

Now, it's time for the best, and hardest, part. Start in the center of the cornice. Wrap the fabric and staple one staple on each side, pulling the fabric pretty tight. Work your way outward from there, alternating sides to ensure the face of the cornice is evenly smooth. Do this for the entire cornice. As you come to the sides of the cornice, you may want to cut some of the excess fabric as needed.

Image showing the upholstering of the cornice.

Detail shot of the rolled under edges and the staples.

Here's how it should look when you complete this step!

The finished cornice.

The face of the finished cornice.

  1. Attach L-brackets to the wall. While you are marveling at the beauty of the cornice you’ve just created, prepare the wall for it to be hung. About ¼ of the way in from the outsides of the window casing, screw in two L-brackets that your cornice will rest on.

Logan screwing in the L-brackets.

Image showing the L-bracket placement.

  1. Attach the top frame piece. The top board of the cornice does not need to be upholstered since it will not be visible when hung. Slide the top piece in about ¾ inch down from the top. Make sure you know which is top and bottom, you don’t want to end up hanging the cornice upside-down. Once the top piece is in place, attach it to the upholstered cornice with very small screws (that won’t reach through to the pretty face of the cornice) with small L-brackets (we actually used the same size ones we attached to the wall to hang the cornice).

Logan screwing in the L-brackets on the top piece of the cornice.

Image showing the attached top piece of the cornice.

The finished cornice, before it is hung on the wall.

  1. Hang the cornice, and voila! Slide the cornice into place above the window and reach up under the cornice (it will probably be a tight squeeze) to screw in small screws through the L-brackets that are on the wall, into the top piece of the cornice. That's it!

The finished product hung on the wall.

Image showing the cornice in the space.

So, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts on this project. Does it seem easy enough? Did it improve the look and style of the window?

Well, what really matters is that we love it. And we do! It added that extra layer that was missing. Now, we only have to add a few (or more.. haha) layers - we're thinking backsplash, lighting, etc. We'll be bringing you more DIY projects soon!

Fabric Find

So, I mentioned in a recent post that I had picked up a great fabric that I just happened to find (while not looking for it.. bonus!). But I hadn’t told you much more than that. So, this post will fill you in! First, here are few pics of the lovely fabric!

Image of fabric.

Close-up of fabric.

Even closer close-up of fabric.

While I would probably say my style is more modern than traditional, I would rather say I’m eclectic! To me, it doesn’t necessarily matter the style of something, but more so if you like it and/or if it works within your space. And, that’s where this fabric comes in. It’s sort of a modern take on a traditional pattern – so it’s very crisp and clean but has a bit of whimsy. Also, the color palette is quite current/modern and, while it has many colors, it reads very subtle, and that’s just what I love about it.

Anyway, as soon as I saw the fabric hanging from the store rack, I envisioned it in our kitchen. Every color in this fabric feels like it belongs in our muted blue-green and light ivory kitchen. And although I wasn’t sure how I was going to bring this fabric into the space at that moment, I knew I’d find a purpose. Fabrics can be used in endless ways to layer a room!

Here are a few pics of the fabric in the space. See how seamlessly it works with the kitchen color scheme and how it starts to pull the space together. Love it!

Fabric shown laying on the counter.

Fabric shown next to wall color and counter top.

Close-up photo of the fabric and wall color.

Fabric shown next to vintage tins.

Anyway, after tossing around a few ideas for this fabric in this space (ie. upholstered cork board, upholstered window cornice, café-style window treatments, table runner, etc.), we decided that while we already have the white wooden blinds for privacy on the window above our kitchen sink, it definitely needed another layer!

Here’s a few shots of the window with just the blinds!

Window over the sink with white wooden blinds.

Close-up of white wooden blinds.

Needs some interest right? So, we decided to go with the cornice idea! It’s an easy DIY project, yet it will add a ton of sophistication and style!

Check back soon for our handy how-to and the final result!

Layered Spaces

As an interior designer, I tell people that a well-designed space should have many layers, and it’s the layers that really make a space feel dynamic, aesthetically pleasing and complete. But as a busy business owner, wife and homeowner, it’s the layers that I just haven’t found the time (or the right items) to add to my own spaces. Shame on me! However, this past weekend I was out and about, and since I always have my eyes open for any great design finds to add to our home (or for client projects, of course), I happened to stumble across a beautiful fabric that, as soon as I saw it, I knew would be perfect for a certain DIY project for our home and I just had to have it!

But, before I tell you any more about that, I thought I should clarify what I mean when I say ‘layers’ when referring to designing spaces. This post is for those of you with spaces that you’re pretty happy with, yet still feel there is just something missing – it’s probably in the layers!

Just like any art form, the design of an interior space involves layering.

With oil painting, the first layer might be the ground (surface coating), then the underdrawing/sketch, then the underpainting, then the overpainting, and finally a glaze/varnish to complete the work of art.

In sculpture, the first layer might be an armature, then an overlay of clay, then adding specific textures, and ultimately finishing it with a glaze or a coating.

And, even in music there are layers, starting perhaps with the drum beat, adding in the guitar and other instruments, then layering in the vocals, and maybe even finishing it off with some effects.

Okay, so I’m probably going overboard with the examples of layering - I think you get it! But in interior spaces, it works the same way. Check out my visual explanation below on how I layer a space (I apologize for not including color in these quick sketches - because color does play a huge part in the layering process – but I think you’ll still get the idea!)

Most often the first layer is the 6 planes that create a space – in most cases that’s 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor. So this layer would include the flooring material, the wall color/texture, the ceiling color/material, etc.

Sketch of walls, ceiling and floor.

The next layer often involves adding textiles and surfaces that soften that 6 sided box - things like rugs and window treatments. In these two layers you are setting the stage (or the backdrop) for the space.

Sketch showing walls, ceiling, floor with window treatments and rug.

Now, the next layer usually includes the large furnishings of the room. This might be a sofa, coffee table, desk, etc.

Sketch showing room with sofa and coffee table.

Many times people stop here, with this layer, and that can be why those spaces are leaving something to be desired. But these next two layers are where the space comes alive!

The next layer should include decorative items such as lighting, artwork and design accents like toss pillows, occasional tables, etc.

Sketch of a room with sofa, coffee table, lighting and artwork.

And lastly, all spaces need a little bit of life and personality, and this comes by way of additional décor and accessories.

Sketch of a fully layered room with furnishings, decor and accessories.

So, there you have it! Each new layer builds upon the last and each layer should bring in, and balance, different colors, textures, patterns, etc. resulting in a dynamic, aesthetically pleasing and finished looking space! Hopefully you will find this helpful when pulling together your space.

For now, I’ve run outta time, so check back soon and I’ll be sure to let you in on my great design find (that I mentioned at the beginning of the post) and find out what DIY project we created to add a little layering to one of our rooms! Stay tuned…

Versatile Veggies

Like many of you, I’m sure, Valerie and I attended a Super Bowl get together on Sunday. We went to my mom and stepdad’s house where we enjoyed good food and good company, emphasis on the food, of course.. haha : ) As with most of our family shindigs we all pitch in and bring something to share. This time, Valerie and I were assigned veggies. So, instead of just bringing your normal veggie tray (which we did for those who don’t like change), we also stole a delicious idea from one of our friends and made this:

Football shaped dinner rolls with dip and vegetables on top.


You might recall seeing something similar from our previous post about our potluck just before the holidays. We used the same recipe (available at pillsbury.com) as our friends did, however, we just changed the shape of the rolls to look like a football. It was as delicious as I remember it and quite a crowd pleaser!

See our process below:

Chopped vegetables on cutting board.

Baked dinner rolls in the shape of a football.

Mixing bowl of spreadable vegetable dip.

Dinner rolls with vegetable dip on top.

Vegetables placed on dinner rolls to look like a football.

Football shaped dinner rolls with vegetables on top.

Football shaped dinner rolls with dip and vegetables on top.

Close up of veggies.

So, as you can see, this is an easy and fun way to mix things up, and can be created for any event by simply changing the shape. For example, with Valentine’s Day coming up, you lovebirds who want to show your sweetie how you really feel, try making this in the shape of a heart!

Let’s hear about some of the tasty foods you shared at your Super Bowl parties!

And, for those Packers fans out there, congrats! For the Steelers fans, good try and good game! And, for the fans of any other teams, well, better luck next year : )

Staging Tips!

So, last post I talked about home staging and the incredible benefits homeowners get from taking just a few simple home staging steps. Well, I also mentioned that I might list some tips to get you DIYers started. So, that’s what I’ve got in store for you this post. Check it out below! A sold sign in front of a home

Key Tips to Staging your Home for Sale:

De-clutter – With a staged home, it’s likely to sell fast - so you might as well start packing early! Remove all items that are cluttering your spaces (even donate some to charity). Homebuyers want to see the house, not your things. In this case, as with many things, less is more.

De-personalize – Homebuyers want to envision themselves in your home, so let them do so by taking down personal photographs, personal religious icons, personal style décor, etc. You want any buyer that walks through your door to feel at home!

Make Repairs – You know that broken door hinge you’ve been meaning to fix – do it! And also fix any other tiny dents, dings and broken things around the house. These will be big distractions for homebuyers.

Update – Most homebuyers are looking to buy a new home that is move-in ready. But, they are not looking to buy your old carpet and lighting fixtures with it. So, go ahead and do the little bit of work to update any fixtures and finishes that are out-of-date. These outdated aspects of the home scream “lots of work to be done”. And don’t worry, you’ll definitely see a good return on this!

Clean – Wash, scrub and dust all parts of the home until it sparkles. Think about it, this might be the last time you have to. A super clean house makes a great impression, and tells buyers that the home was well kept!

Stage – Lastly, stage the home to be tasteful, beautiful, and appealing to almost anyone. Buyers want to see functionality and how they can use the space, so give them hints of that through-out. Here is where you’ll definitely need professional help. Stagers know what the trends are, what buyers are currently looking for, and what has been proven to show best. So, let us help. Contact us today!

To Stage or Not to Stage?

Thinking back (over some of these past few posts) on our house hunting journey, I am recalling some of the really horrible houses we viewed during our hunt. I should clarify, they weren’t horrible homes; they were just poorly shown. No prospective buyer would have made an offer on them simply because of how the homes presented. This fact inspired me to write a post on one of the many aspects of interior design - home staging. Home staging, for anyone who might be unfamiliar with the term, is the art of preparing, designing and staging a home for sale to show the home in its best light and to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. This is done quite simply in just a few key steps and has been proven to sell the home faster and for more money! It’s a win-win situation for everyone. So, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s a mystery to me why there are still lots of home sellers that don’t get this simple concept.

Check out a couple before and after shots to see for yourself. Which photo attracts you more?

Before and after shots of a home office that has been staged.

Before and after shots of a bedroom that has been staged.

Before and after shots of a laundry room that has been staged.

Before and after shots of a dining room that have been staged.

But, I’ll give these home sellers the benefit of the doubt and assume that it’s not because they don’t get the concept or see the value in it, but maybe that they are just unaware. So, I decided to post a quick list of the major benefits of home staging, and maybe if you are lucky we’ll even give some tips for the do-it-yourselfers in an upcoming post.

But I must say, while I totally appreciate D-I-Y techniques, you really can’t beat the services and expertise of a trained professional home stager that can help you through the process during what is often a very busy and stressful time. That’s where I come in! So, if you are looking to sell your home in the near future definitely contact us here at StudioVB.

But, in the meantime, here is just a taste of some inspiring benefits of home staging.

Faster Sale – Home staging has been proven to reduce the time a home stays on the market – averaging 1 month or less, as compared to un-staged homes at 161 days on the market, ouch!

Higher Sales Price - Staged homes sell for an average of 7% more money than un-staged homes, which means an extra $14,000 on the purchase price of a $200,000 home. That’s worth it, if you ask me, and a great return for a fraction of staging costs!

Wide Range of Buyers – A home stager will help you eliminate the potential of turning away certain buyers based specific tastes, lifestyle preferences, etc. Resulting in a home that appeals to a wide range of buyers.

Visualized Potential – 10% of buyers cannot visualize the potential of a home. A staged home will show the potential and without this, the potential of the home is only left to a buyer’s imagination, which is often very limited. Plus, showing the home to its fullest potential also makes for beautiful listing photographs attracting interested buyers right from the start!

Objective Perspective – As the homeowner, it’s hard to step back and look at your home objectively. A home stager is trained to do just that and provide you with insight into the point of view of the buyer.

So, even with just those benefits, you can see why it’s a must-do when planning to sell your home!

Our Happy Home

So, I’ve mentioned before that on our blog we hope to share with you our design ideas, projects, etc. Well, we will definitely be sharing what we can of our client projects, but we’re also happy to share the design journey of our own home. So, we thought we’d give you some background, or point of reference, on our happy little home before we would delve into any details in the future. So, here goes. Logan and I bought our first house here in midtown Harrisburg about a year and a half ago (wow, seems like just yesterday - time flies!). Like many house hunting stories, we saw the home listed for sale and called the seller to schedule a time to view it. We were told it was in mid-renovation, but we could definitely come check it out. Being the DIYers that we are, and knowing that we could see the potential in anything, we decided to go see the home. Here is what we walked into that day - an over 100 year old city home that had just begun a much needed renovation (forgive the picture quality, it was dusty and dark in some areas).

View of living room and front door during renovation

View of Valerie in kitchen with tape measure during renovation

View of 100 year old painted stairway during renovation

View of hallway during renovation

View of Logan pretending to wash his hands in our bathroom sink

View of office/studio during renovation

View of Logan and Valerie pretending to lay in their master bedroom during renovation

So, as you can see, we had to use our imaginations quite well to envision this as our home. But, we did, and the ideas were already swarming. I remember standing in what is now our master bedroom whispering to Logan, “I think this is the one!” After months of house hunting, and coming oh-so-close to deciding on another home, we were extremely excited about finding this place. It was in the perfect location, the perfect price and being a blank slate only made the deal more perfect. So we made an offer while there were only studs for walls, it was accepted and we bought the house! We were so excited to finally own our home and have the opportunity to make it ours.

So, over the following 2 months or so, we would travel back and forth from NYC to visit the house, make design decisions and see its renovation progress - so much fun! Eventually, we moved into the house, and began the seemingly never ending journey of designing the spaces, choosing color schemes, finding the right pieces, and working on projects to make this house our home. Well, I’m sad to say that we have unfortunately only made baby steps (in my opinion), okay maybe toddler steps, with so many other things going on and little time and budget allotted for our own home. But, I suppose since I claimed I hadn’t made a New Years resolution, focusing on finishing the design of our home would be a good one. We'll be sure to post any progress!

Un-decorating for the Holidays

Over the past month, we have decorated everything from the tree to table tops and even sugar cookies. Look below to see some of the creative and artful projects we’ve done here at our home. Christmas tablescape with peppermint bowls

Close-up of Christmas centerpiece.

Stockings hanging by the tree

Close-up of name tag on Logan's stocking

Close-up of ornaments on the Christmas tree

Decorated sugar cookies

But after all that fun and beautiful holiday décor, it’s now the first week of January and the holiday season is pretty much over. Therefore, it’s time to un-decorate. I thought I’d post a few tips for this often not-so-fun task that (for us) make the process simpler, practical and fun.

    Un-decorating Tips!

  • Break the un-decorating process into two stages – Instead of spending a whole day tearing down the entire house, after the holidays, first remove and put away only the holiday specific décor. Other winter related décor can remain up throughout the season and be enjoyed for another few weeks!
  • Donate old or unused décor items – Less is often more, and we are always up for cleaning out and simplifying. There is no need to store décor that you never use or don’t intend to use next year. But, don’t simply throw it away! Donate it or reinvent a new purpose for it – think art project!
  • Get organized – Perhaps when you unboxed all the decorations this year, you found that last year they had been tossed in boxes, tangled together and maybe even broken. Well, take the extra couple seconds this year to organize like items together, carefully wrap and box décor items and, of course, (if you know me at all) label, label, label. This will make both the decorating and un-decorating process a piece of cake for years to come.
  • Redesign your space – At Christmas, we often move aside furnishings and other décor to make room for the Christmas tree and all the other holiday décor! Well, when it’s time to put it all back, don’t just go back to the old layout, put your creativity hat on and change things up a bit. This will also give your home a fresh look for the New Year!
  • Bring in Spring – While the warmer weather is still many weeks away, get excited about the new season and lightening and brightening your space for spring! I don’t know about you, but winter weather puts a damper on my productivity and creativity, among other things. So, here is my opportunity to fight back! Design shops everywhere are launching their spring goods – go out and get inspired… maybe even snag a great find!

Well, I promise I won’t be posting anymore on the topic of Christmas, but we hope that our little look back over the holiday season, that we didn’t get to share while we were busy finalizing the launch of this blog, has perhaps inspired some ideas and Christmas cheer for next year! Now it’s back to work on a few client projects, and as always, more design and DIY fun here at our own home and studio!

Sending Handmade (and eco-friendly)

It’s been several days since Christmas, but here on our blog, we’re still catching you up on all the pre-holiday fun we had. Another staple of the holidays are the Christmas wishes sent to family and friends; whether it be an email, a mailed card, a family update letter, or what have you, many people dig out their address book (or iPhone in our case) and gather a list of all those they hope to wish season’s greetings to. I must admit, I do love the idea of shooting someone a little note to say hello or simply that you’re thinking of them, but sending Christmas cards can often be overwhelming, and for us, this year was no different! Logan and I were feeling crafty one night in December and he says to me, “Why don’t we make our Christmas cards?” which, I should mention, is not unusual as we have done this several times before, and so, I happily agree. But, I’m not sure we knew what we were getting into this time.

As an artist, I had recently been interested in mosaics, having been inspired by my aunt who has been creating beautiful credit card mosaics for the past several years. Anyway, I had been saving all cardboard packaging from products we buy at the grocery store (cereal boxes, tissue boxes, etc.) in hopes of cutting them into tiny squares and reusing them as my medium to create recycled mosaic artwork. So, with the huge stack of these broken down boxes staring us in the face, Logan suggests this method for creating our Christmas cards. So, off we began and let the holiday spirit inspire us! Check out some of the results and our easy instructions below.

How-to: Recycled Mosaic Cards

  1. Gather supplies - card stock, scissors, craft glue and post-consumer cardboard packaging.

Post-consumer recycled cardboard packaging

  1. Cut and fold card stock to desired size and orientation to create the actual card.
  2. Cut lots of small shapes (squares, triangles, etc.) from the cardboard packages - these are the mosaic pieces.

Handmade recycled mosaic present card in progress

  1. Organize the mosaic pieces into colors and patterns for ease of creative flow. =)
  2. Layout mosaic pieces to form simple seasonal imagery (presents, snowmen, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc.)

Handmade recycled mosaic snowman card in progress

  1. After you're happy with your design - glue the mosaic pieces down. We use scrapbooking tweezers, which help this go smoothly!
  2. Write your message inside the card and sign, seal and send! That's it!

Handmade recycled mosaic Christmas tree card

Now, as I write this, I must be clear – this DIY project is really super simple, inexpensive and a lot of fun, and for many great reasons (recycling materials, being crafty, and giving handmade gifts – just to name a few), I hugely encourage you to create your own greeting cards. But, on the other hand (the logical one), at the volume of nearly 50 cards, you can imagine the huge undertaking this became and the smidge of regret we had for taking on such a project. =) But on the bright side, Logan and I got to spend a good deal of quality “craft time” together and when all was said and done, they turned out very sweet and the best part is the lovely and very complimentary feedback we’ve received from our recipients; making it all well worth it! And before you say, “well, thanks for the idea, but Christmas is over.” This handmade recycled mosaic card project works for any occasion… so get crafty!