01/10/14

Make This: 7 DIY Organizational Projects to Try

Before I head out for the weekend, I have a few DIYs to share. Naturally. And to get you inspired to organize and create in the new year, this roundup is a themed one – focused on projects to either a) get you organized or b) get your creative juices flowing. Hope you’re able to knock a couple of these out over the weekend.

1. Give your bookshelf a uniform look with DIY trick from Chloe Moore Photography.

2. Make gilded mini notebooks with Eat Sleep Cuddle.

3. Construct a leather handle box for supplies with Melissa Esplin for WhimseyBox.

4. Cut a cork cloud bulletin board with me on Paper & Stitch.

5. Create a cool wood chalkboard to do list with Sugar & Cloth.

6. Make a cork letter tack board with Bliss Bloom.

7. Build and organize a corner shelving unit with Mandi Johnson for A Beautiful Mess.

That will d it for me this week. Hope you have a great weekend!

-Brittni

01/09/14

the Paper & Stitch office

As we are getting settled into our place and finally starting to tackle makeover projects (yep, it’s taken us almost three months to even start thinking about this stuff), I’m finding inspiration all around me. This is especially true right now because of the new year. I always seem to get a spurt of energy/ inspiration when a new year hits.

I decided to tackle my office/ studio first because I spend a lot of time in there, taking photos, coming up with new DIY projects, etc. I am nowhere near ready to show how things are coming along as a whole (I plan to share the entire process from start to finish in a new series soon though), but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give you a little looksie at my current set up. Especially since it will most likely change four or five times before it’s finally ‘finished’. What can I say, I’m a little indecisive.

But honestly, I like the idea of having a workspace that is constantly changing. The things that I am inspired by today might not be the things that I’m inspired by tomorrow. Right? So I’m okay with my workspace unfolding over time. And today, it is filled with color…which was actually inspired by a recent partnership with StickyGram.

Brittni Mehlhoff from Paper & Stitch

love these StickyGram magnets

Do you know about StickyGram already? I’ve talked about it before here, but basically the site allows you to easily turn your Instagram photos into magnets, iPhone case, and iPad covers. Then they ship it right to your door. You can customize ‘em pretty much anyway you want too (a grid of photos, one photo over the entire surface, etc). So fun! More info about StickyGram here.

So anyway, I customized aStickyGram iPad cover and a set of magnets with some of my fav Instagram photos from the year, and when they both arrived I was in the midst of pulling together my desk area. The iPad cover, especially, is super colorful and even though I’m going through a black and white phase, I couldn’t help but pull in some color for my desk. Bonus: It’s easy to switch out when I want a change, since I just attached the wall art with washi tape.

a corner of the P&S office

Use magnets to pin notes to a metal canister

this is what happens when i get bored

office inspiration / organization ideas

My mom bought me that striped basket from Far & Wide Collective, which has been the best catchall for me lately, and that little metal canister too (which is from West Elm). I’ve been sticking little notes to the canister with magnets and they hold surprisingly well. Of course, they look good on the fridge too, but I don’t have a fridge in my office (or I’d probably never leave), so onto the metal canister they go.

So, that was a very longwinded way of explaining the inspiration for this tiny nook. But I’m definitely loving the pops of color against my white walls.

What kinds of things inspire you in your workspace? Would love to hear what has been inspiring you lately.

This post is brought to you by StickyGram. All opinions and ideas are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. *Visit this page to learn more about partnering with Paper & Stitch on a future campaign.

01/08/14

bouquet on a budget //  costs $2

It’s not exactly a secret that I have a love affair of sorts with flowers.

The only downside, really, is that it can get expensive fast. And I happen to be most drawn to flowers that are pricey, for some reason. So I can break the bank without even trying. And I do on the regular.

But I do like a budget challenge as much as the next DIY girl, so I try to come up with affordable flower projects as often as possible. You know, when I’m not covering a three foot tall ampersand in piano garden roses or creating a hanging pendant light covered in calla lilies and dahlias.

Which is why, I’m happy to report that today’s flower DIY pretty much takes the cake on the budget scale. It costs $2 to make! And the flowers are store bought, not picked from my imaginary garden. The trick is using filler flowers, instead of larger blooms, and keeping it small. Super small.

DIY Flowers // secret message bouquet

My favorite part about these little bouquets though, aside from the price, is the secret message. It’s a nice surprise for whomever you decide to give these little bundles to. Once the newspaper is unwrapped from the bouquet, the message is revealed. Surprise!

I think these bouquets would be cool alternatives to standard thank you cards, Valentine’s Day gifts/ greeting cards, weddings, etc.

$2 mini DIY bouquet

making a mini bouquet for $2

make a two dollar budget bouquet

You can see the full tutorial and more photos on Project Wedding.

Think you’ll make some of these little guys? What messages can you think of that would be fun to unveil?

01/07/14

I'm coming for you 2014

Thank you all so much for the positivity and support on yesterday’s post. It still feels a little weird to have let go of something that I spent so much time on.. Going to bed last night without having to pick my daily favorites and shop of the day for the exhibition site was bizarre. I’ll get used to it though. Really looking forward to what this year will bring.

And on that note, I thought it would be good to share four words for 2014. They’re not necessarily goals as much as they are things that I’m thinking about/ focused on this year, professionally anyway. Side note: Choosing words for the new year is a lot less intimidating than creating uber specific goals, for those that haven’t jumped on that resolutions bandwagon yet. Just sayin’.

Here are my words for the year…

1. Styling. One of most positive things to come out of 2013 for me, professionally, was the realization that I really, REALLY enjoy styling. After creating nearly 100 DIYs last year, for this blog and the other sites I write for (and styling every single one of those DIYs) AND working on a handful of home makeover stories for inclusion in an upcoming book, I’ve learned a lot.

I want to get more serious this year about prop styling. And treat it as a job in itself, not just something I do to make my DIY projects look good. So I’ll be taking on freelance clients this year, for styling jobs and alike. Want to work together? Shoot me an email ( brittni@papernstitch.com ) and we can talk about it.

I’ll still be doing plenty of DIYs this year by the way – those aren’t going anywhere.

2. Workshops. Even though I’m a total introvert, I like meeting new people and teaching in some form or another is on my list for 2014. Remember I was a high school teacher way back when? Me either. That was so long ago.

And alongside workshops, I plan to host some events this year. Two of which, are already on the books so I’m off to a good start. 1) The Glimmer, Shimmer, and Shake party at Alt later this month, that I’m co-hosting 2) And a special event (that’s still kind of top secret) which involves Palm Springs. FYI: If you have any suggestions for workshops/events you’d be interesting in attended (topics or location wise), I’m listening.

3. Travel. I have three trips planned between now and April, and hope to keep adding to that list as the year goes on. Every time I travel some place new, or somewhere I haven’t been in a while, I get a burst of energy and inspiration. Breaking out of my normal routine and environment every so often really does wonders for my creativity. Do you find that to be true for you?

4. Me. So this probably sounds like a weird one, but I’m promise I’m not a self-centered freak. I just want to make things more personal around here. Sharing more of myself, getting in front of the camera a little more often, doing a better job of showing what I’m up to on Instagram, etc.

So those are my words. For now at least.

And because I shared my words with you, I was hoping that you would want to share a few words with me. What words (or word) are you focused on for 2014?

01/06/14

Do Something Today for a Better Tomorrow

If I’m being honest, I’m a little nervous to write this post. But it also comes with a big sigh of relief, so I guess it’s a trade off. Here it goes…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the next year. And I mean a lot. Long before January 1st hit. And with those hopes for the future and dreams for the next 12 months, for both myself and Paper & Stitch, also comes some realizations.

In order to let some things in, other things must go.

As hard as it is to let go at times, there really is only room for so much. Only 24 hours in a day. Only seven days in the week. Only 12 months in the year. And I want to spend the next twelve months focused on the things that I am most passionate about.

Needless to say, this realization had me re-evaluating some things in my life. Well, one thing in particular, actually. So, after five years of showcasing the work of artists and makers on the exhibition site, I’ve decided to close up shop there (starting today) and instead focus all of my efforts on this blog.

In the last couple of years, my style has evolved and so have my interests. I’ve grown leaps and bounds. Personally and professionally. And I’m ready to move on from that side of things and pursue my other passions, like styling, crafting, and photography, more fully.

I have really enjoyed showcasing the work of artists and makers for all these years. And truly appreciate all the support many of you have brought to that space. But I’m also looking forward to all of the new things I have planned for this year.

So what does that mean for this blog?

I’ll still be posting daily with original DIYs, cool fashion finds, interiors, etc. So as far as that goes, nothing will change. And actually, I’ll be able to dedicate more time to writing and creating content around here now. Maybe even add a new column or two. Anything in particular you’d love to see around here? Let me know.

I am so, so excited to see what this year will bring.

If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer ‘em in the comments below. I must have re-written and condensed this post 15 times. There was so much I wanted to say, but I didn’t want to be too long winded.

-Brittni

*image credit Zachary Smith (found via Kelli Murray)