DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland

DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland

I got this idea after having a ton of leftover fabric from making my “Merry Christmas” Burlap Banner last year.  I loved the Christmas colors with non-traditional patterns, and couldn’t stand to see the extra fabric sit in storage all season. It was too cute!

I had been planning on doing a lot of Christmas DIY this season, but the idea of trashing my tiny apartment to do so did not sound fun to me. Then, I was shopping the Target Christmas decoration sale, and saw something super similar to this garland, but with tassels instead of fabric.  I didn’t have any yarn, but realized that I did have leftover fabric, and twine.  Easy-peasy.
You can obviously do this with any color scheme or theme. It doesn’t have to be Christmas, you could do blues for Hanukkah, or any colors for any sort of holiday.  I think this would even be cute for just daily decorations, especially in a kids room.  Customize it as you please!
DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland
To begin, cut your fabric into inch-wide strips.  You can make them as long as you like, just
keep in mind that after you tie them, they’ll be slightly shorter than half of their original length once they are hanging off the line.
I chose a mixture of 16 inch, 12 inch, 10 inch, and a few tiny bits to use up leftover scraps.  It’s going to be a mix-match no matter what, so as long as it is long enough to tie around and leave two little tails hanging off each side, it’ll fit in just fine.
It’s about 12 strips per every 12 inches, so keep that in mind when choosing the length you want your garland, and how much fabric you think you need.
Example: You want a 6-foot long garland? If 12 strips = 1 foot, then you need enough fabric to have at least 72 pieces of fabric.  12 x 6 = 72. #CraftingMath
This is assuming you want your fabric knots relatively close together, like I have pictured.  They are looped around the string, so you can adjust how far apart they are to the look you like, and to help decrease or increase the length.  Use your judgement here and arrange it the way you think is best.
On your twine, begin tying the fabric strips in a fold-over fashion, alternating colors and sizes.  If you want a more structured look, tie them so all the knots are facing the same direction.  I preferred a mis-matched look, so I tied them randomly.
DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland
Continue in this fashion until you have your desired length.  Fluff up your garland, and hang it where you please. Add some bows to each end, or hang a few ornaments. I hung a my tiny hand-knitted stocking from the middle of mine. I recommend getting those tiny clear Command strips to hang the garland, as it’s not too heavy. Works perfectly and super cheap without damaging your walls.
And voila, you have a gorgeous and cheap holiday garland.
If you make this, make sure to take a picture and tag me on social media– all my links are to the left! I’d love to see them all!
Got any other super easy DIY holiday decorations? Let me know!

 

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Low-Cost Ways to Decorate Your Rented Space

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If you live in a rental, or a sublet like me, then you know you have only a few options when it comes to decorating.  Not only am I living on someone else’s furniture right now (and someone else’s mattress… gross), but I’m in someone else’s home.  None of my decorations can be permanent, which makes personalizing my space a little tricky.

Luckily, I’m a creative thinker and determined to make my tiny apartment feel like my own little sanctuary, so I’ve found a few ways around it.

1.  Coffee beans.  Add them to anything and everything you can.  A big container of whole coffee beans is rather cheap, they smell good, and add some eclectic funk to your decor.  I’ve used them to hold make-up brushes in old jars, and at the bottom of a candle holder.

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2.  Get some funky lights.  Before moving, I got Rose Flower String Lights.  Unlit, they are white fabric, so they look pretty against the white curtains that came with my apartment.  And lit, they add a soft yellow glow to the room.  Drape them over some shelves, above your closet, or above your window, like I did.

3.  If your apartment is severely lacking in storage space, make the things that have to sit out look good.  I took some ceramic containers from a thrift shop, then added some $10 chalk board decals from Crate and Barrel to make fun labels.  Saved myself some cabinet space, but also added some decor to my kitchen.

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4.  Hang pictures and decorations with leaving a mark on the walls with velcro Command Picture and Frame Hanging Strips. I put up my entire gallery wall using just velcro strips.  Each hung-up piece means something to me, which really makes me feel like this is my home.

5.  Repurpose whatever you can.  I always save glass jars, no matter what.  I turned burned up candle into a wide-mouth coffee-bean-filled glass jar for my make-up brushes, and a old salsa jar holds cotton pads in my bathroom. Adding a shiny spray paint to old items can make them look expensive.  Gold, copper, silver, or whatever on cheap plastic decor can really make a difference.  I did some spray painting myself a a few months ago, and I’m still loving how it makes some of my cheaper finds look more expensive.

Got any other ideas to cheap ways to dress up your rental?  Let me know!

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Spring Cleaning Organizing Hacks

I’m not sure if it’s because all I’m seeing are Spring Cleaning articles, or if it’s just that unfortunate womanly instinct that requires us to nest whenever the weather gets warm, but I have been itching to do some reorganizing.

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I already had an organizing and closet clean-out a few weeks ago, but somehow my crap seems to have multiplied again.  Since I am about as good at organizing as a dog does calculus, I’ve been browsing Pinterest (follow me!) for some new DIY or cheap organizing hacks and thought I’d share a few that I am actually planning on doing in my own life.

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Using an old small bottle, like the prescription bottle, candy tin, whatever: decorate it and use it to hold small items in your purse.  Bobby pins, hair ties, stray earrings, or other important bits you don’t want floating around.  This pin actually comes from Jen at iHeart Organizing (the pin is from A Prescription to Organize), which has a lot of super cute and useful tips!
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The idea is originally for Guest Room Beauty Samples, but I think it’s super cute for the bathroom, or bedroom to store your own items.  Store nail polishes in a glass jar, or just cute looking products that you don’t use that often.  I have a glass jar I found for $8 at Walmart that looks just like this, except I use it to hold my bath bombs instead.  It’s functional and adorable.

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This one is the “Back to School Homework Caddy”, and I actually did something similar (but not nearly as pretty) with an old Amazon box and some masking tape to create a drawer organizer for my dressing table.  It cost nothing and I could cut it down to the exact size I needed for it to fit the drawer, and make the compartments big enough for exactly what I needed.

She used duct tape for decoration, but you could use fabric, paper and mod podge, or pretty much anything to make it cute if you want it to sit out and look cute.

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And this one is something I will be definitely doing! Currently, my scarves are hanging on a decorative rack behind my door, but it’s becoming a bit crowded.  Some shower rings from the dollar store and a hanger would be perfect for the overflow.  That pin also has some other great ideas for scarf organization as well.
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And finally, take a storage container you already have, make it a little cuter!  Small containers, as well as those bigger plastic drawer containers can be easily dolled up with a little spray paint or some decorative paper or tape. This is actually my make-up storage now, and sits atop my dressing table.  It’s cute and also very convenient.
Pro Tip:  If you have any plastic drawer sets in your house, even the larger ones for office supplies or clothes, create a more refined look with minimal effort: tape paper to the inside front of the drawer so you can’t see the contents of the drawer.  Even if it’s just white paper, it gives it a much more refined look than having all of your belongings on display.  It makes it look much less disheveled for no cost.
And that’s all I got at the moment.  I’m sure the urge to clean will fade quickly, but while I have it I figured I better go hog wild.  Got any other simple organizing hacks for me?  Let me know below!

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Got that Midas Touch

This weekend I went HAM with a can of gold spray paint, and a gold metallic Sharpie.  Nothing plain or out of date was off limits–including my nails, which will now probably be gold-painted for the next few weeks.  Not that I’m complaining.

Though I am in money-saving mode, I was also feeling a DIY itch I couldn’t quite shake, so when I popped out to pick up tooth paste, I picked up a bottle of gold spray paint (as one does).  I did a quick walk-through of my room and bathroom, and ended up with a small pile of unsuspecting goodies.

Gold Accessories, DIY, Cheap Home Updates

Step 1: Clean your crap (with soap).
(Secret Step 1.5— Properly prepare the surfaces you are painting.  Plastic, metal, etc. etc.  Some may need sanding or priming to promote longevity so that they won’t chip.   Google your object to double check!)
Step 2: Protect the parts you don’t want to be painted.  I used plastic grocery bags and masking tape to cover the important parts.
Step 3: Throw a paint party.
Step 4: Wait (24 hours– or 12, if you’re super impatient like me).
Step 5: Seal your masterpieces, with either spray enamel or Mod Podge.  Do not skip this step unless you want your hard work to chip off.

Originally, I had an old glass salsa jar, a plastic container leftover from college that was holding pens, gross, out-dated dresser knobs on an old dresser, and an old, stained mirror.

Instead, I now have cute new make-up storage drawers, a matching make-up brush holder, a glitzy stand mirror, and an slightly updated dresser.

Home Decor Updates with Spray Paint, Spray Painted Crafts

DIY Mini Home Make-over, Cheap DIY

And all for under $5. Suck it, Pottery Barn.

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ROOM TOUR + Urban Compass

Last week I was approached by Urban Compass, a New York City real estate platform that serves to match up prospective homeowners/renters with their perfect home.  As a group, they are all about finding both the perfect place and perfect neighborhood to fit your personality and style.  Their website not only features information on apartments in NYC, but a neighborhood tour option to take a virtual tour of the city before you visit.

At their request, today I’ve got a little room tour of my diggs at Chez Mom’s House.  In the spirit of promoting personality and taste through home decor, I thought I’d show how I’ve managed to take my mother’s guest room and turn it into my little home while I stay in Toledo.

Upon moving here, I put all my personal furniture into storage, or sold it while I was still at school.  This left me with the existing furniture and paint in Cathy’s spare room my room, with only my own accessories to try to personalize the space.

I’ve stuck with the gray/yellow/white/white-wash blue theme since moving into my first apartment in 2012.  I originally did a lot of DIY-ing to go with the duvet cover that I absolutely fell in love with (Target, duh), but most of those pieces were sold last year (or destroyed in the move.  RIP: my monogrammed canvas).  I still have my hand-painted chevron bulletin board though, which currently holds my high school graduation gift from my little cousin, her hand-drawn turtle canvas, and my bacon calendar.

The small bookshelf beneath my bulletin board is actually one of my favorite parts of my room, because it holds a lot of my favorite knick-nacks: my graduation cap, the “Wine: How Classy People Get Drunk” sign my best friend got me for Christmas last year, a few sentimental alcohol bottles (Can you tell I miss college?), some pictures, and other small things that all hold some meaning to me.

(Note: the “BACON MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER” book end holding up all of my nutrition and healthcare books.  I’m all about moderation.)

Another one of my favorite pieces that I will gladly keep borrowing from Mom while I am living here is this little antique dressing table.  Currently, it doubles as a desk/place-to-set-random-sh*t, as opposed to anything beauty-related.  I’ve added a few of my personal tastes here, like the gold pen holder (originally a candle holder, also Target), the jewelry tree, and “K” ring plate.  There is also the vase full of yarn balls, as I am a knitter– Shoutout to Mama on that idea.

And finally, the last interesting space I have in my room is my dresser, which holds the clothes I never wear, the TV that is used only for watching my Friends DVDs, and a few more sentimental things: my stoles from graduation, sorority paddles, a few pictures, some nametags from mannnnyyy years of sorority recruitment, and the giant “K” I got for Christmas in 2011, which used to be covered in a map pattern, but I had it sanded, painted and covered in rhinestones by the time Christmas dinner was served.

For having to consolidate an apartment’s worth of belongings into a small room, I’m happy with my little space.  Though I would very much love to not be so cluttered, this is the one room that truly feels mine in this borrowed home, and for that I am grateful.  I love the polished/eclectic/comfortable type of style, and I think this room kind of showcases that.

Or, at least it serves as a great in-between space until I move out of Toledo and into my own fabulous little city apartment.    But you’ll have to check my Pinterest boards to see how that will be decorated.

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