Archive for the ‘home decor’ Category

07/22/14

Summer DIY // Clay Drink Stirrers Tutorial

Today, I’m excited to be partnering with CreativeLive one more time (see the first set of DIYs here) to put together the last set of summer entertaining DIYs.

The first of the two is this clay drink stirrers DIY. I really love these…They’re easy, look cool, and have some practicality to them as well for stirring drinks (or does everyone just use drink stirrers as decoration?).

And the second project can be found over on CreativeLive –, for a colorful DIY summer tray. Peek at that project in the image below, in all of it’s green glory.

Make Clay Drink Stirrers for Summer Parties

Clay Drink Stirrers Tutorial

I was inspired by one of my favorite necklaces that I bought from Poketo a while back, by Emily Green. She creates these crazy awesome necklaces with big, colorful clay beads. They’re super fun.

So, I thought, why not translate that playful vibe into summer drink stirrers. I love playing around with clay anyway, and it gave me an excuse to buy this clay sampler pack (it has 30 different colors of clay) too. Win-win!

Want to make your own clay drink stirrers? Here’s how…

Supplies:

oven bake clay in various colors (I bought mine from Amazon)// drinks stirrers (these are the ones I used) // bamboo skewer // glue

How to make colorful clay drink stirrers

How-To:

1. Break off small chunks of clay (anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch in size) and form round balls in the palms of your hands.

2. Next, create a hole large enough to fit onto the drink stirrer (the ones I used are a little bit thick) through the center of each ball. You can do this by poking a bamboo skewer through each ball and then wiggling it around to make the hole larger. Or you can use a leftover drink stirrer to poke through the clay balls instead. Either way, it’s super easy.

3. Once the balls have been formed and the center holes have been created, you can change the form of these beads to something more oval or square shaped if you prefer. Squish the clay together more for a squatty oval shape. Or press a round bead against a hard service and rotate to create a more squared-off shape.

4. Next, it’s time to add designs to the clay beads. Using a bamboo skewer you can create all the designs that you see in the photos – small stipples, larger indented polka dots, small hash marks, etc.

5. Once the designs are done, bake the clay pieces in the oven according to the instructions on the clay packaging.

6. Once the clay has baked and cooled, attach the beads to drink stirrers with glue. Let them dry completely and enjoy.

Colorful DIY Drink Stirrers

Summer Entertaining DIY // Clay Drink Stirrers

Summer Party Snack // Cherries

DIY Serving Tray + DIY Drink Stirrers

I was thinking about creating a new set of these for each season. Each in a different season-specific color scheme, since they’re so easy. One set for summer, one for fall, one for winter, one for spring. What do you think?

And if drink stirrers aren’t your thing, you could easily modify this tutorial and make cool wine markers instead…or reusable cupcake toppers.

Summer Entertaining DIYs // Serving Tray + Drink Stirrers Tutorial

DIY Drink Stirrers for Summer Parties

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

How do you celebrate summer? Any tips, tricks, or DIY ideas you want to share? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to visit CreativeLive for the corresponding DIY tutorial to today’s post: how to transform a store bought serving tray.

P.S. You may recognize those DIY watercolor in the photos from this tutorial I shared a couple of weeks ago.

07/10/14

Black + White Rug in an Office / Studio

When we moved into our house last year, I had grand plans. We both did, actually. We were going to paint almost every room, remove the old curtains, add wood blinds, etc, etc. But then we moved in and life kind of got in the way. We managed to remove the old curtains and install blinds, which was great, but the painting? Not so much. I still have high hopes for a few rooms, but with this being a rental, we decided we don’t want to go too crazy, since we won’t be here forever.

Which means, I focused the majority of my decorating efforts on styling what we already have, and investing in a few new pieces that we can take with us wherever we go. And right now, my focus is whole-heartedly set on finding two perfect rugs. One for the bedroom and one for the living room.

I’ve been searching casually for months. Most of what I have found so far is too big, too small, or too expensive. But I do have my eye on a few rugs from this Etsy shop, so all is not lost. But anyway, for today’s Interior Obsessions, I thought I would round up some of the rug inspiration I’ve been hoarding lately.

1. Saw this black and white rug (above) on The Design Files and fell in love with the pattern.

Ikea B+ W Striped Rug

2. Have had this image on one of my inspiration boards forever (also from The Design Files). That black and rug is from IKEA!

Home Tour // Cup of Jo Living Room 6

3. This beautiful rug (and house tour) that I found on Cup of Jo.

Colorful Rug for a Guest Bedroom

4. Still a fan of Boucherouite rugs, like this one. What about you?

Stockholm home with a great rug

5. A black and white rug to go with a, mostly, black and white room on Fashion Squad. I like it.

Beautiful Rug on Wit and Delight

6. A dark rug with rich color, on Wit and Delight. (found via SF Girl By Bay)

Lena Corwin's Brooklyn Brownstone

7. A couple of smaller rugs would work too, like the ones in this house tour on Cup of Jo.

Cream + Black Dining Room Rug

8. A big Beni Ouarain rug like this would be good for a living room.

Beautiful Red Rug in the Bedroom

9. And a red rug in the bedroom (from The Design Files).

What rug style do you like most? Are you drawn to any of these?

06/18/14

DIY Ombre Bar Cart, Styled 3 Ways

Recently, I’ve been on the lookout for a small bookshelf that I can use to store a few things (not necessarily books) that were stashed away in my closet.  And after a couple of weeks of casual searching, I found it! Well, sort of.

What I actually found was a semi-sad looking 70s (?) television stand at a local thrift store for $22. I’ll be honest, the price is what initially got my attention, but I liked the shape and the fact that it was on casters too. And I figured I could put my own spin on it somehow.

So, I packed it up in my car and went straight to a home improvement store so I could get some supplies to fix up my neglected tv cart. Side Note: When I was in the car, I kept thinking about that old MTV show, Pimp My Ride, for some reason. The cart DOES have wheels and I was in a car at the time, so it almost makes sense, right?

Anyway, after picking up what I needed and cleaning the stand from head to toe, I started thinking about all of the ways I could use this thing. I swear the fact that it is on wheels opened up a whole new world for me.

So, I partnered with ASUS North America to share how I transformed a $22 thrift store find into a little gem on wheels. And in addition to the before and after tutorial, I’ll also share how you can use a cart, like this one, three different ways in your home.

Testing out the ASUS T100 Transformer Book

Before I jump into the makeover project though, and a nearly endless amount of photos, I wanted to share a little bit more about about the ASUS T100 Transformer Book, which was sent to me to use for this project. And you can win one too – more on that at the bottom of this post.

Believe it or not, I didn’t have a tablet before I got this one. I guess I just assumed I wouldn’t have much use for one. Now that I have one, though, I’ve been using it pretty much everyday.

You can use it as a laptop or a tablet – it’s both (hence the name, Transformer Book). So, you just click a little button on the keyboard, and the screen pops right off to use as a tablet. Which is beyond convenient for me, especially when I’m in the middle of a DIY project. I can do research on it at my desk, just as I would with any laptop, and then unclick the tablet screen, to reference things when I’m down on the floor crafting (and possibly covered in paint). My favorite feature is that it’s a touch screen, which is normal for a tablet, but when you’re using it as a laptop it completely changes the experience. I honestly love it.

It runs on Windows 8.1 and has Microsoft Office 2013. And there a bunch of great apps too – my favorites are Saveur, IKEA DIY and Hacks Hub, and Architectural Digest. You can read more about the T100 Transformer Book here and share the ways that you “Transform Everyday”, by posting photos or videos to Instagram with the hashtag #asustransformeveryday.

Okay! Ready to jump into the makeover process?

Here’s what this television stand looked like before…

Television Stand Makeover // From Ugly to Ombre

Not very cute, huh?

There were a lot of steps to get to the ‘after’ stage. Here are the supplies I used to complete the project:

Primer (I used Cover Stain Oil-Based Zinsser spray primer) // Interior Paint and Paint Brush // Super Glue // Wood Filler + Putty Knife // 220 Grit Sandpaper

How-To:

I cleaned the entire surface with a normal house cleaner to remove any dirt and grime. Then, I removed the metal pieces that were screwed into the top of the cart. There were some large holes that needed to be covered once the metal plates were removed. So, I used some wood filler to fill those and waited for that to set. While that was drying, I repaired a few areas where the vinyl was pulling away with superglue and taped it together until it was dry (this was not necessarily the ‘proper way’ to do it, but it worked, so hey).

Then I sanded the speckled areas, along with the entire surface of the cart and wiped it down to get everything clean of debris again. Next, I primed the entire cart (two coats) and then painted the bottom shelf and 3/4 of the legs with the teal paint (again, two coats). Once that way completely dry, I started spraying the top color to create the ombre effect.

I originally started with a neon yellow green, but after going through an entire can of it, I realized that white would look better. So, I primed the top again and, while the bottom teal areas were covered with paper to protect it from overspray, I lightly started spraying the white primer downward on the legs (starting at the top), to create the ombre look. It’s easier to do than it looks, as long as you start at the top and lightly work your way down. Getting further and further away from the legs while spraying, the lower down on the legs you get.

Once that was dry, I touched up a few areas on the teal lower portion that had been accidentally hit with the white paint. Then, I painted the wheels a lilac color (I’m obsessed with this color right now) and then sprayed the wheels and the entire surface of the cart with a matte finish sealant  Done!

How To Makeover a Bar Cart

With drying times included, this project took me one day to complete (about 8 hours). And now I can use it around the house for whatever mood strikes me.

Here’s the side-by-side before and after…

Before and After Bar Cart Makeover

And these are the three ways I’ve used my new rolling cart so far (let me know if you have any additional ideas for me):

1. Breakfast Bar and Coffee Cart

Okay, so this first option is fun for when you’re having people over. You can roll it over to the dining table for after dinner drinks or use it for coffee and donuts in the morning.

Bonus! You can store additional plates and glassware on the bottom shelf.

Ombre Bar Cart Makeover (after)

Sliced Oranges for Breakfast

Breakfast Bar Cart Makeover

Breakfast Bar Cart

Ombre Breakfast Bar Cart

2. Rolling Office Storage and Work Station

As you may have witnessed from my Behind the Scenes column, my workspace in the office is pretty much covered in supplies at all times. So I really needed a spot that I could catch up on emails (or Pinterest).

Needless to say, this is how the cart is set up right now in my office and it will probably be there for a while.

DIY Ombre Rolling Office Makeover

Stack of Colorful Design Books

Ombre Rolling Office Cart DIY

3. Plant Stand

I’ve been collecting a healthy number of succulents, cacti, and random house plants the last few months. And seeing the majority of them all in one place like this is fun.

This would be a good entryway piece to greet you when you walk in the front door too. Bonus! You can roll the cart over to the window to give the plants more sun, if needed.

DIY // Rolling Ombre Plant Stand

Lavender Close Up

Ombre Plant Stand DIY

Copper + Cacti

Purple Potted Plants

So now that I’ve shared my transformation, it’s only fair for you to share yours too. Right?

ASUS North America has put together weekly challenge themes so you can join in on the fun and win prizes of your own.

All you have to do is share a photo or video of how you “Transform Everyday” on Instagram, with the hashtag #asustransformeveryday for a chance to win a Transformer Book just like mine, along with other ASUS products (AND 15 Transformer books for charity as well). The challenge themes will change each week and you can check in here to see what the theme each week is. This week is transformative experiences.

And be sure to follow ASUS @asususa on Instagram as well – I’ll be taking over their Instagram feed starting tomorrow (June 19th) and will be over there through June 22nd, sharing some behind the scenes from this project, how I ‘transform everyday’, and more.

Photography by Sarah Eddy //  Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

This post is in partnership with ASUS North America. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Paper & Stitch possible.