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Easy DIY: Paper Flowers & Painted Tacks

Hello everyone! How are you doing today? We have tons of sunshine and warmer temps so I’m feeling quite energized and ready to welcome in Spring. I thought today I would show a super easy project that I put together for you last month – I’ve been waiting to share it when it felt more appropriate for the season so now that March is here let’s think about Springtime decorating! This is a very quick and easy way to make paper flowers that you can tack all over your mood board or wall, or you can replace the thumb tack centers with a button or a badge or even a simple paper circle center in a complementary color and glue them to gifts instead of bows or you can make really large ones to put all over your walls for party decor. I’ve been excited lately about origami paper – no clue what brought that on – but I’m suddenly finding it gorgeous for the season so I’ve used sheets of it to make the flowers. Are you ready to see what I’ve come up with? I hope that you like it!

Flowers & Tacks DIY

Step 1: Grab some metal tacks and paint the tops with 2-3 coats of your favorite nail polish color – let dry – I left mine out overnight.
Step 2: Fold origami paper (or paper that is perfectly square) in half, then half again so you have a small square. Cut into the square to create your flower using scissors. Petals do not need to be perfect, have fun and experiment. You can also free hand flowers if you like or you can cut out some cardboard templates in various sizes, trace around them, and cut out your flowers. This works if you want to create larger blooms as well.
Step 3: Cut into the paper to create different sizes of petals and mix different papers and patterns, too. I use 4-5 layers to create my flowers. You can even mix up texture – try incorporating newspaper (I love the look of Japanese and Chinese newspapers), crepe paper and tissue paper for some layers along with paper.
Step 4: Stack your petals to see how they look and rearrange or cut new ones as needed.

Flowers & Tacks DIY

Step 5: Grab your thumb tack and stick it through the center! Now you can tack anywhere you’d like! You can also glue the petals in the center as you layer them and top it with a button or a circle you’ve cut using paper and add them to gifts, lamp shades or where you think you could add a little flower power in your home!

Flowers & Tacks project

Easy and beautiful! I hope that you try making them and let me know how yours came out!

xo, Holly

(photos: holly becker/decor8)

Posted in diy on March 05, 2013

Easy DIY: Taped Frames

I do lots of crazy stuff around my studio that I don’t always is that DIY story worthy if you know what I mean. Most bloggers put so much effort and hours into their DIY posts but me… Oh gosh, I wing it and hope it doesn’t flop! I know you guys must be thinking I’m nuts for posting this extra simple DIY stuff but I have to write about things that matter to me first, you know? I like it, it makes me happy. And then I just sorta hope they matter to you and give you some creative ideas, too.

Easy DIY

Today’s DIY is the perfect example. It’s not elaborate at ALL but maybe you’ve never thought of it or tried it so it may be a fun new idea to you. This idea came when I was looking at some artwork in neon lucite frames and thought that I would love to have neon frames in my studio… So I went out and bought some paint and was seriously all geared up to paint wooden frames when I thought – what if I paint the frames made for my original pieces of art (I collect lots from Jennifer Davis) and then, in 6 months, I hate the frames? It’s not easy to custom frame all over again or even affordably.

Easy DIY

Then I wondered if certain colors would even look good. Gosh, why was I so scared to paint a stupid frame? Again, I think it had to do with how these were custom made for my artwork by Jennifer herself and I really cherish the originals and don’t want to ruin them. Then I though, “Oh whatever, loosen up” and  pulled out my paint. Suddenly I thought WAIT. I walked over to my stacks and stacks of washi tape, grabbed a roll in the same color as my paint pot and taped up only the sides of my frame to see how the color looked before I committed to painting. BUT a cool thing happened. The tape works just fine. In fact, if you lay the tape on perfectly straight, cut it with scissors perfectly straight on each end and do two layers without any overlap AT ALL it actually looks like paint – even when you stand pretty close. A bit relieved, I put the paint away, hung the first piece and feel that sudden DIY glow – you know, when you do something that wasn’t an epic fail. Ha!

Easy DIY

I sometimes think my random little ideas don’t matter, that everyone else must be doing this stuff too, but then it dawned on me that often it’s the little easy things that we overlook and miss out on trying. This makes me want to keep sharing my mini projects. I hope that you enjoy them!

Tape on frames

Have you taped up the sides of frames before? Here are some I worked on and wrote about a million years ago (ok in 2009) on IKEA frames – check it out, you may like that easy idea too!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in diy on February 12, 2013

DIY: Dress Up Your Drum Pendant

I was working in my studio this morning when I realized that perhaps you’d be interested in a fun DIY idea for decorating a drum pendant. I decorated one in my workspace/dining room last April for a party and liked it so much that I left it “as is”. I’m planning to change it up soon so I thought that before I do, I’d share this idea that is both great for parties or for long term.

DIY: Dress Up Your Drum Pendant

Decorate Your Drum Pendant

Okay so first, you need (obviously) a drum pendant. I bought mine from Raumformplan, it was made by a German designer called Frau Maier (you can see this pendant also in my new German decorating workbook, Holly Beckers Wunderbar Wohnideen, coming out in March). I selected the largest size available since my space allowed for it. I wanted something with a nice silhouette but also with a bit of bling so I selected Big Lulu Gold – a white drum pendant with a slight size difference (it’s wider at the bottom than at the top) and a gorgeous gold interior. You can find them here – my friend Janin sells them in her online shop and she is happy to ship one to you. :)

After the pendant arrived, I decided to give it a more personal touch before installing it so I added a hot pink textile cord from House Doctor. I don’t think they carry pink anymore but you can always write to them to check or buy one from Rie Elise Larsen or, if you are in Hannover, ask my friend Daniela at Sommerfugl if she can get one for you since she sells Rie Elise stuff in her pretty shop.

DIY: Dress Up Your Drum Pendant

After you’ve installed your pendant and added a pretty textile cord, it’s time to decorate it for a party! I went through my ribbon stash to see what I already had and selected colors and patterns that I liked. Then I stood on a chair and held them up, accounting for about 3 inches extra that I’d need for each to tie them to the frame of the shade.

Decorate Your Drum Pendant

I cut the ribbons into different lengths and simply tied them to the frame. NOTE: Please make sure you tie them tightly so they do not “slide” towards the lightbulb and of course, common sense says to also not tie them near the bulb at all – make sure they do not touch it or even come close – go for at least 4-5″ away. Best to tie them closer to the shade than to the bulb! Also, make sure they are not too long – you don’t want your candlelight dinner turning into a house fire!

Decorate Your Drum Pendant

For a final decorative touch, I tied on a leaf banner that my friend, London-based stylist and author Sania Pell made and gave to me last year. It is a very special gift so I wanted it to be in a spot where I’d see it often because it gives me such a happy feeling. (Thank you Sania!).

So, there you have it – a super easy DIY that you can do in minutes if you already have a drum pendant – if not, I bet now you are considering to buy one, aren’t you? I actually love this light because I can hang things from it and since it goes with so many different room styles and color palettes – a wonderful piece is a versatile one!

I hope you enjoy my little DIY.  See you on Monday!

(photos: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in diy on February 09, 2013

DIY: Catalog To Wall

We always find it interesting to learn about how others gather inspiration – is it always from the usual places or, if we peer a bit beneath the surface, will a whole new world of ideas unfold? I think that is the case most of the time. Inspiration comes in corners and alleys, in many shapes and sizes and often hidden upon first glance though once found, you wonder how others don’t also see it? I wonder if you know what I mean?

Catalog DIY Project

Take for instance, catalogs. Lots of us get them and are often inspired by the color palettes and patterns found in clothing. It could also be the obvious location, like an Italian square around a fountain or in an English garden. In fashion, surroundings and backgrounds can be blurred or barely noticed simply because the focus is on the clothing. It is in these shots that I’d like for you to pay careful attention. Go beyond the obvious and consider what you could extract from an inspiration standpoint.

I recently tried this exercise with my new copy of the Boden catalog, a fashion brand that is colorful, happy and feminine. In some ways though, it was cheating because the location for the shoot (at least most of the indoor shots) was in the home of my friend, London-based photographer Debi Treloar. In fact, I recognized it in their video right away shown on their home page – at least that is where it was last week. When the catalog arrived today, I dug in quickly to check it out – I’ve been to Debi’s a few times so I wanted to play a game of spot Debi’s cool house. Like all good fashion catalogs, the eye should immediately fall upon the fashion upon opening it – and a good fashion photographer will make that happen – yet try to look at the surroundings a wee bit to take away some decorating inspiration. You can do this in any catalog – especially those shot indoors – cafes, homes, shops, etc. Here are 5 decorating ideas that I picked up on immediately from Boden, via Debi’s home.

Catalog DIY Project

Catalog DIY Project

Catalog DIY Project

Catalog DIY Project

Catalog DIY Project

Another fun exercise is, after you’ve shopped of course, to take the catalog apart at the seams (carefully) and display pages on your wall using washi tape and other elements you’d like to stick nearby for inspiration – a little hunt & gather. In the process, you may even find a pretty dress to order for Spring (oops!).

Catalog DIY Project

Catalog DIY Project

Now, what to do with the big mess on your table? Why not arrange everything on your wall in 10 minutes with washi tape? In fact, I thought to combine idea #1 and #2 above and use vintage wallpaper, maps and others misc. papers with pages from the catalog and look — now there is something fresh nearby my desk to inspire me until I’m ready for something new.

Catalog DIY Project

I’m loving fresh green right now combined with mint, hot pink, yellow and turquoise so this is the palette I went with. Not only did a simple (free) Boden catalog give me 5 good decorating ideas, also for free, but it gave me images to arrange on the wall, free again, with things I already had laying around and viola! something pretty for my workroom without spending a dime. Okay, the dime was spent on a dress but still… (smile).

What do you think?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in diy on January 31, 2013

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Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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