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DIY: Fun Frames

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to a new week on decor8. I’m finishing up on the edits for my next book and working on the upcoming Blogging Your Way e-class, in addition to prepping the baby’s room and enjoying the fact that today I am officially SIX months pregnant, so I’m a bit bonkers right now! Though I’m a relatively happy bonkers so that’s okay I guess. But I do have some bad news…

DIY: Fun Frames

With the start of my 6th month ALL of my nausea is back and oh my, it’s not too fun. Eeeeeek! This is such bad news because I thought I was over it and was ready to do SO MUCH to my home to prep for my baby boy. I had extreme nausea until week 18 (remember when I told you I was severely dehydrated and lost 20 lbs?!) and then poof! It was gone. Like a beautiful miracle. I felt like the happiest person alive. But now, only 6 weeks later, it’s back and I’m not so pleased at all. I’m trying so hard to stay positive and focused on the good things and to simply endure it with a smile but it is SO HARD. One thing that helps though is to focus on what I love in life – like decorating and being with my friends – and how much fun it can be to try new things at home. Which leads me to a DIY project that I want to share that I’m calling Fun Frames because really, these were a lot of fun to pull together.

I was feeling bored with having only a mirror above my gray wooden cabinet where I stash all of my fabrics and notions, so I thought I’d bring some pattern and color to the corner through frames and pieces of wallpaper by Abigail Ryan. I think this is a really cute look for a crafty space. Do you remember this post where I debuted her hand-illustrated wallpapers? Well I found a sweet spot for her patterns – inside of simple wooden frames that I painted Arsenic by Farrow & Ball. I’m a huge fan of Farrow & Ball paints, in fact I want to paint the baby’s room in one of their gray tones. They cover so well and the matte finish is gorgeous.

DIY: Fun Frames

Here’s what I did:

Step one: I cleaned (soap and water) some frames that I had laying around that were basically collecting dust in my cabinet — and removed the glass and painted them in Arsenic. I used two coats to make them extra bright and pretty. I let them dry for a day.

Step two: I cut pieces of wallpaper by Abigail Ryan in Cosmo Margarita to fit the frame and taped each piece on the reverse side of the frame. I tried to center the pretty parts of the pattern – you may want to hold them up and mark with a pencil as I did to make sure you are showing the part of the pattern that you want to show.

Step three: Next, I cut some vintage illustrations from a botanicals book that was falling apart and added a few cutouts to the frames – one directly on the pattern in the larger frame and two tiny cut outs on the border of the smallest frame. I wanted to keep the theme of flowers for this look to work with the cosmo print on the papers and the green frames.

Step four: Marking the walls, I decided where to hang my frames and hung them – and I taped a pretty illo to the wall with some Liberty-patterned tape, also in a floral.

DIY: Fun Frames

Step five: I decided to add a little vial to the frame border of the medium frame (lower right) that could hold a few drops of water so that I could display a flower – so I popped in a yellow tulip. The vial weighs so little and has stayed on all summer with only a tiny drop of blue tack (which should be in every decorator’s tool kit!).

DIY: Fun Frames

Step six: I made a colorful flower arrangement, which is always a welcome and beautiful touch to every space. I made this one using an assortment of pretty things from the local flower shop that I gathered together that made me happy. Roses, craspedia (aka billy buttons), poppies, tulips, lime hydrangea and sweet peas are among the bunch.

DIY: Fun Frames

Step seven: The final bit is to always stand back, admire, tweak and then admire again. I added some of my fabrics to the top since the cabinet is stuffed with them, a pair of old scissors from my grandmother and a birdy postcard from Emily. Barb gave me the most adorable ceramic white houses so I put them on the frames since they are chunky enough to double as shelves. Funny thing is, since I shot this – I’ve already completely changed up this nook (I am rotating things around every 3 months or so), but I still wanted you to see it because it’s such a sweet idea. This would work in so many rooms – including a craft room, baby’s room, kid’s room, etc.

I hope that you enjoyed my little DIY today. I will do more again soon, I love putting them together for you to show you how EASY it is to change up your little corners. Decorating should be fun. Also a big thanks to Leslie for being my model (she is holding the flowers above in her striped shirt). xo

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in DIY on October 07, 2013

8 Fave DIY Ideas for July

Hello friends! I hope that you are doing good this week! I was thinking lately about how much we all love a good DIY project so why not round up some of my favorite here once a month that I find elsewhere online. Here are my 10 favorite DIY projects of the moment for July. To find complete how-to instructions and more photos for that project, click on the link below each photo. And you have a great DIY project from your blog that you made yourself, please share the link in the comments section below so that I can check it out and maybe feature it in the future.

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

1. DIY striped rug pillows from Martha Stewart – great look for summer and this is such an easy project, too!

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

2. How to paint a concrete floor from Vintage Revivals. This is helpful – especially since so many people have concreate lurking below shag carpets and never really thought about the affordable options – like simply painting the concrete and adding throw rugs for warmth in the winter.

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

3. DIY painted paper flowers for a handmade flower tree from Oh Happy Day. Really sweet idea.

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

4. Make your own paper lanterns from AO at Home. These are cute for a summer party on the patio.

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

5. Modernize your china with neon spray paint (or any color that strikes your fancy!) from Shop Sweet Things. I’ve had this on my Pinterest board forever but never tried it though I went out and bought the spray paint and everything last year when I first saw it! ha ha!

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

6. DIY nail and wall art - spell your favorite words from Jen Loves Kev. This has been around for awhile but still a favorite.

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

7. How to make a giant confetti wall by Beco Orpin (taken from her book). This would be great for a party! You could also try it with different patterns or even wallpaper or leather pieces (silvered leather would be pretty).

8 Fave DIY Projects for July

8. DIY clay feathers from 100 Layer Cake. You can hang these in front of your window or tie them to napkins on the dinner table.

Would you try any of these at home? Which ones? I’d like to try the painted flowers – those look so pretty!

(images linked to their sources above.)

Posted in DIY on July 10, 2013

DIY: Paneled Surfaces For Photography

Today I thought I’d show you a DIY that will take you about a day but will be worth the time and effort if you’re a photographer and/or stylist who wants to shoot more interesting photos from your studios. This DIY isn’t that detailed (sorry) but what I show and tell will hopefully give you enough help to go out and do it yourself. You guys are pretty clever so I’m going to assume that you won’t really need details for this project anyway.

DIY: Paneled Surfaces For Photography

(This is not a white floor or table – it’s simply a white paneled surface I created that is 97 cm x 97 cm –  Fooled ya!)

Okay, so you know how you drool over all of the pretty food photos and other pictures online? Have you ever looked at the details? Particularly the surfaces and backgrounds in the photo? Do you really think people have cement tables, white wooden tables, wooden floors painted glossy white, black walls, gray walls, paneled walls, etc? In some cases, maybe they are shooting with what they have in their home or at a location, but after awhile, any photographer or stylist gets bored with using the same props and wants to add new texture and life to their work. They usually do this through prop rentals and swapping things out – BUT ALSO through creating their own custom backgrounds and surfaces to trick the viewer into thinking they are looking at a table or floor or wall surface that really doesn’t exist. Smoke and mirrors, people. Smoke and mirrors. And I love it.

So I decided to create some of my own smoke and mirrors using wood from the home store. I wanted to create cool backgrounds and surfaces for my photography and styling work out of wood that I could store behind my big cabinet in my studio and pull out on the fly to shoot things on or in front of. I recently wrapped up a major ad campaign for Canon Europe and these would have come in handy for the styling work I did at home. But hey, better late than never.

I love the look of wood so I thought that it was time to hit the local Home Depot, which over here the German equivalent is Toom, only they have a bakery and serve Bratwurst – ha ha! But yeah, so I hit Toom with my husband and looked through the lumber dept. when he told me how he had all of this experience in the past with paneling walls and ceilings and I was like, “Wha???”, because we’ve be together for eons and I never knew he could panel rooms. Holding back until the perfect time, I guess… So I asked him to tell me more. Then he walk over to these like 2 meter high pieces of wood with slots in packages and said, “We can buy a pack of these, have that guy over there cut them for us in any size we want, and then we’ll go home and fit them together, paint, etc.” Then he suggested the right dimensions to the wood guy, he fired up his mega cutting machine, cut them, and in the end we ended up with two gorgeous surfaces that I can use at home for my projects. ALL FOR $10!

DIY: Paneled Surfaces For Photography

I was all shades of happy. Wood with slots for sliding together to create paneling (not MDF but using 100% wood)? Really? I don’t need to use a thousand nails? This is fantastic! Above you can see what the surface looked like after we fit them together (which was easy and took maybe 5 minutes), and then you can see how we used a piece of wood (x 2) across the back to keep them in place so they don’t slide around. Make sure your pieces of wood are the exact width of your surface so it’s supportive and also doesn’t wobble in use. That’s annoying. I still have to decide what I’ll do to the wood surface above, but to the second surface we put together, I painted it white with two coats of wooden exterior home paint that I had left over from another project – you can see it below. I always try to use up all of my leftover paint before I buy new pints and gallons.

DIY: Paneled Surfaces For Photography

See the shot taken above on the right side?  Okay so that is what a shot looks like BEFORE smoke and mirrors is applied. A stylist would put the surface in place and then the photographer would ensure to not show that the surface is really only part of the prop. So they’d crop the image or simply zoom in as I’ve done below.

DIY: Paneled Surfaces For Photography

This is how it looks AFTER smoke and mirrors, in other words how it would look best to fool the eye and also give you the chance to change up how the walls look where you’re shooting. Brilliant, right?

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little stylists’ DIY. If you have any questions that don’t involve power tools, please ask me in the comments section below. And now when you see any white paneling in my photos I’m busted, right!?

Lots of love and happy decorating!

(images: holly becker for decor8 – All props are my own: pillow from Caravan, vases from House Doctor and Rice, gray cabinet from HKLiving and the La Volière table lamp)

Posted in DIY on June 21, 2013

Easy DIY: Lined Wicker Summer Market Tote

Hi there decor8 readers! My name is Holly Marder and I’m an Australian writer, interior design journalist and stylist based in the Netherlands, and I document all things style, interiors and lifestyle on my blog Avenue. I am so pleased to be sharing this quick little DIY project that is beyond easy! My good friend recently gave me a cute little book for my birthday called Home Made Vintage by Christina Strutt, the lady behind Cabbages & Roses. It’s all about creating a cosy home with homemade lovelies from cushion covers and lamp shades, to well…basket linings! After picking up an inexpensive woven tote from my local Dille & Kamille (they do the most gorgeous, simple kitchen and lifestyle wares), I though it was high time I whipped out the book and got cracking on one of the easy projects! Would you like to see what I’ve done so perhaps you can try this too?

Easy DIY: Lined Wicker Market Tote

You will need:
Cotton fabric
Wicker tote; I chose this one
Paper for making patterns
Sewing machine
Needle and thread
Tape measure

Easy DIY: Lined Wicker Market Tote

How To: Measure the depth and circumference of your basket and make a paper pattern, adding 5/8 in. (1.5cm) all around for seams and hems. Make an oval shaped paper pattern for the base of the basket in the same way. Lay your patterns on the fabric and cut out the correct number of pieces. You may need to join several pieces to get a piece large enough to fit around the circumference; if so, remember to allow for extra seams. I divided the circumference of the basket opening by four to end up with four pattern pieces.

Join the fabric pieces, right sides together, for the sides of the basket into a ring, taking in 5/8 in. (1.5cm) seams. Press seams open. With right sides facing, pin the base piece to the lower edge of the ring, snipping into the seam turnings on the lower edge of the ring to help fit around the curved edge. Stitch the pieces together, taking a 5/8 in. (1.5cm) seam.

Fold over and press a 1 in. (2.5cm) hem to the wrong side along the top raw edge of your lining.

Insert the lining into the basket and pin the top edge in place. Hand stitch the lining to the basket along the top pressed edge using a running stitch. Bear in mind that the color thread you choose to use will show through on the outside of the basket, so go for something neutral.

Easy DIY: Lined Wicker Market Tote

Hope this all made sense and it has inspired you to give this little project a try. I love the look of the tote now, and the best thing is when the bag starts to wear out (because trust me, I haven’t left the house without it), I won’t run the risk of losing things that might disappear through the tiny holes at the bottom of the bag. The lining also just throws in a little bit of personality and color, and I personally love the combination of the leather, wicker and fabric. While I love the graphic print and simplicity of this fabric, a delicate floral would also make a lovely fabric choice, as well as an earthy linen. But the best part has to be that it can be easily removed and inserted into a new bag when this one finally gives in. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Good luck trying this out yourself! Thanks so much, Holly, for having me on decor8 while you’re off shooting and styling for your next book! Have a great day everyone – Holly Marder

(images/text: holly marder)

Posted in DIY on June 20, 2013


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