Archive for the ‘Make it Yourself Decor Ideas’ Category

5 glittery gifts1. Removing sticky price tags and labels.

I wish that I had known this one when my kids were little. Removing labels or anything sticky from most surfaces is a cinch. Just spray the label residue or the label itself with WD40. Let it sink in and then rub the sticky stuff off with a rag or a plastic scrubby. There may be a little oily residue on cardboard but that is not important. Just don’t use it on fabric.

2. Wrapping multiple children’s gifts.

Colour code the paper. Use the same colours every year.  Child #1’s gifts are all wrapped in red paper. Child #2’s are wrapped in green. If there is a third and fourth, have one all gold and one all blue. This way kids know which gifts are theirs, even before they can read – and can spot their own from across the room, when they can read. You don’t even have to put gift tags on gifts from the big guy, if you use this system just for ‘those’ gifts.

3. Recycle, recycle, recycle

Use store gift boxes year after year until they are only good for starting the Christmas fire. Fold them back flat and store them in a large cardboard box. This way you always have gift boxes. The same goes for gift bags. Save and reuse until they are falling apart. Keep all your bows and ribbons, you rarely have to buy any after a year or two. Store them in large gift bags, so they don’t get crushed. I also save tissue paper that is not torn and even metallic wrapping paper and reuse until it no longer looks good.

These little pointers will reduce the expense and stress of christmas!


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An affordable answer for the kitchen cabinet refresh/replace dilemma

Kitchen cabinets are crazy expensive but can become tired and dated looking after only a few years. You can totally replace them, if you have the budget for it, but you don’t have to. If the layout works for you and the cabinets are still in good shape, you can paint them to refresh your look. The problem with painting them is that you really should strip the old finish, sand them down, which is hard work and prime with a high adhesion primer. You need a top quality paint and even then the paint will only look good for a few years. Regular paint scratches and marks easily.

I have found a really interesting product, Rust-Oleum Transformations. I haven’t used it yet, but it looks like a really good product that is DIY  friendly. Check out the link below to see all about the product!

There are a number of ‘transformation kits’. There is one to refinish your cabinets with paint colour and one for stain colours. There is a transformation kit for counter tops as well. They even offer a kit for wood floors, tiles and furniture!

If you are willing to put in the work, you could refinish the cabinets, counters, backs plash and floor, all with a Rust-Oleum kit!

As I said in the beginning, I have not used these products yet but they looked so interesting that I thought that I should pass on my DIY find. I will be trying it out for myself in the near future, I think.

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Easy Christmas tree to make

Easy Christmas tree to make

To me, Christmas crafts are one of the best things about this time of year. Get a bunch of kids together and have a Christmas tree making party. This little Christmas tree always comes out looking good and it costs almost nothing. It can be made in the traditional green or it could be white or pink or whatever suits your fancy.

If you want to make a more upscale version, you can buy a styrofoam cone and some thin green craft felt or fabric and cut it out into circles instead of squares and attach it to the cone with the sewing pins that have different coloured beads for heads or use a glue gun (I always manage burn my fingers and generally make messes with hot glue)

1. Materials needed

Materials needed


  • 1 small package of Dollar Store tissue paper
  • 1 sheet of construction paper, bristol board or cardstock
  • white glue
  • unsharpened pencil or pencil with unused eraser
  • ruler
  • pen
  • sissors
  • a bit of red and green coloured foil (I used foil Christmas wrap)

Choose a sheet of construction paper or some other heavy paper that is the same colour as the tissue paper that you have chosen. The size of the paper will dictate the size of the finished tree. The one shown was made from a 9×12 in sheet of construction paper from a pad of mixed colours. For a smaller tree just cut it off shorter, for a taller tree use a bigger sheet. Bristol board cut to an appropriate size would work best for a larger tree.

Make a cone

mark tissue for cutting

mark tissue for cutting

To make the cone, you take a sheet of construction paper from a standard pad and curl it into a cone. Tape the loose edge down and then cut off the bottom so that it stands up straight. (This is the hardest part of the whole project)

Next, take your package of tissue paper and unfold it so that it is about 6 tissues thick. With your pen, mark off a strip 4″ wide. Mark off three more strips beside the first one and then score across these strips every 4″ until you have a bunch of 4″ squares. Cut off a strip and cut the strip into squares. Repeat.

wrap the square over the pencil end

wrap the square over the pencil end

Now the fun begins. Take a small dish or a piece of plastic and squirt a small puddle of white glue on/in it.  Then take one of those squares and wrap it over the blunt end of the pencil, dip it lightly in the glue and press on the top of the cone. Place another folded square close to the first one. Go around the top, and then start moving down the cone, constantly filling in the gaps. Every so often wipe off the pencil as it starts to get sticky.

9. Work your way down the cone

Work your way to the bottom all at once or a bit at a time, like I did. (That gives the glue a chance to dry too)

Check it over carefully and fill in any gaps with a folded square.

Put two or three folded squares at the top to finish it nicely

You can enjoy your tree with or without decorations as shown below.

Finished tree (not decorated)

Finished tree (not decorated)

Easy Christmas tree to make

Easy Christmas tree to make

To decorate the tree, crumple up small bits of coloured foil or even coloured tissue paper and glue them randomly around the tree. For a more polished effect, use small coloured beads or little coloured baby’s buttons or anything that is the right size for your tree.

You could even make 3 in graduated sizes to make a pretty grouping.

Now you have a beautiful Christmas tree that you can use year after year.

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Blue and silver tree trimmings and coordinating gift wrappings

Blue and silver tree trimmings and coordinating gift wrappings

A tip to help you get that decorator look to your Christmas tree. Add something unexpected. Look around your collections of this and that for something that would add interest to your tree.

I like to stuff flowers in my trees. One year it was filled with artificial white poinsettias. Another year I filled it with red ones. One year I took tiny puffs of pillow stuffing and put it on the tips of many of the branches so that it looked like snow had just fallen. This year I used sprigs of glittery white berries with leaves and some baby’s breath. I also inserted large silver snowflakes inside the larger ‘holes’ in the branches. I also curled curling ribbon and draped it in long curls randomly down the tree. It all adds up to one very pretty and rather elegant Christmas tree this year.

Blue and silver ornaments augmented with white flowers

Blue and silver ornaments augmented with white flowers

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I did a whole new colour scheme for my Christmas decorations this year. After endlessly changing up red, gold, white, crystal and a touch of pink, into various themes and combinations, I went out and bought a tree full of blue and silver decorations for next to nothing at my favourite discount store, XS Cargo. Once the tree was up, I realized that the gold chunk of fabric that I have always wrapped around the base, since I started having an artificial tree, would not do at all. After going out specifically to get a hunk of suitable fabric, I got home and realized that I had forgotten to do that in the midst of all the other things that I decided to do once I was out.

So, rather than go back out, I got to thinking “What can I use?” and realized that I had a great source of nice fabrics, right in the dining room. I rooted around in my collection of tablecloths, (most of which, I never use) and found the perfect silver blue tablecloth and tossed it around the base of the tree. Voila, one very elegant and free tree skirt.

I think it looks pretty good!

For another low cost DIY Christmas decoration see Christmas Mantle Decoration under the category “Make it Yourself Decor Ideas”



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Stop the presses! I just found a new kind of wallpaper that doesn’t use glue, it is a peel and stick that comes off as easy as pie without harming the paint. There is no glue, no mess and no damage to the wall. Every order is custom sized to fit your wall, so it is sure to fit properly. It comes in strips just like wallpaper and you hang it the same way, making sure it is perpendicular and the air bubbles are worked out. You still have to match the edges of the strips, but that is the end of the similarity. Removing it is a breeze too, just peel it off. There is no backing to stay firmly adhered to the wall and no glue to rip chunks of paint off, leaving you with a ghastly mess to fill and sand, or worse.

The company is Inkshuffle. You choose your wall covering design and order it online. You can also design your own wallpaper.  Here is the link for you. http://www.inkshuffle.com

There are tons of designs to choose from and some really interesting Murals — not like those ‘grandma murals’ either. There are some fabulous graphics too. These won’t appeal to everyone, but the pictures of the murals in real settings that scroll continuously on the home page, will give you a much better idea of what they will look like in real life. This is such an improvement over having to picture it in your mind’s eye while staring at rolls of wallpaper in a store.

Needless to say, you would only do one wall, or they would be overwhelming but you can really make a statement!

You can even have your own photo or design made up into a design to fit your specific wall. The price is quite reasonable too.

They also do Canvas Wraps and Posters.

So go and have a look for yourself. You can even chat online with a staff member.

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Easy DIY Blinds

for Your

Front Porch

These roll up blinds make your south or west facing porch a lot more comfortable to sit on on hot summer afternoons. They add shade to the front wall of your house too, which helps reduce the heat inside your home and your (scary) air conditioning electric bill!!

Here is what you need:

  1. enough polyester fabric or outdoor decor fabric to make your blinds (cotton will fade and rot) (yarn died is better than printed on one side only)
  2. 1/2″ thick dowel for the top and bottom pockets
  3. two eye hooks
  4. 4 m length of 1″ to 1-1/2″w twill tape for the top ties
  5. 4 m length of 1/2″ twill tape for the bottom ties
  6. two cup hooks to put in the top  dowel to hook the blind to the eye hooks in the upper framing of the porch.

It is pretty simple to make these blinds, cut the fabric to fit the space. Hem the side seams. Make a pocket top and bottom (with ties sewn in). Slip a 1/2″ dowel in each pocket. Add 2 cup hooks to the top dowel. Screw two eye hooks in the top of the porch frame to correspond with the cup hooks and hang. Roll the blind by hand and tie it to whatever height you want with the twill tape ties. When you lower it, tie the bottom of it to the porch railing with the twill ties sewn into the bottom seam, so that it does not blow all over the place in a breeze. Note: do not leave them down in a strong wind as you could ruin them. They are fine otherwise and will last for many years, especially if you have used polyester fabric which will not rot or fade and does not rip easily either.

Here are some more detailed instructions for the less confident DIYer!

To establish how much fabric, first decide how long you want them. The ones in the picture just go to just over the top railing. You could have them full length if you wish. Measure from the top to where you want them to end and add 13 cm (5″) — which is 6.5 cm (2-1/2 “) each to the top and bottom to make the pockets to hold the dowels.

Width. — This depends on your porch and how far apart the posts are. You do not want the blinds to be any wider than 6′ because that is the widest the dowels come in and also, the wider they are, they become really awkward to handle. Also, most fabric is 54″ wide, although you can find extra wide fabric. If your blinds are going to be any wider than 50”, you will have to buy two lengths of fabric for the blind and have  french seams in the blind (seams that are finished on both sides)  or hunt for extra wide drapery fabric. The fabric shown in the picture was double wide drapery fabric and so there was no problem with the width.Measure how wide it needs to be and then add 8 cm (3 “), that is 4cm or 1-1/2 inches for each side seam.


Lay out the fabric on the floor and cut it to the desired length. Then measure how wide it needs to be and add the extra amount for the seam. Cut it out. Sew up the side seams with a full double fold over so it won’t fray in the wind. (Fold it 3/4″ and then fold it again) Press the seam in place before sewing, then sew. Now the sides are made.  Measure and be sure that the width is right before your final sewing of the second side seam.

Top pocket:

Fold down the top edge   .6cm (1/2″) press, then fold 3.7cm (1-1/2”) press. The next step is optional. Measure in along the second fold (which will be the top edge of your blind) about 30cm (1 ft) and make a small button hole on the fold. This is to make a place to screw in the eye hook to be screwed into the dowel which will be placed in this pocket for your top support. . Another way would be to place a small grommet  there to make a hole for the eye hook. You can screw the eye hook right through the fabric if you don’t want to struggle with making a hole in the pocket, but you are risking creating a ‘pull’ in the fabric, if the screw catches a thread awkwardly.

After making the holes, fold the pocket down. Cut 2 m of the wide twill tape and fold in half. Place the fold inside the seam if the upper pocket, a little bit farther in than the hole for the hook is. Do this at either end. Stitch the fold down. Now you have the upper dowel pocket and the ties for the blind made,

To make the bottom dowel pocket, you do it exactly the same as the top pocket, minus the holes for hooks. The other difference is that you substitute the narrow twill tape for the wide twill tape to make the bottom ties.

Now hang your blind.

Roll it up by hand and tie it in place with the wide twill tape (flip one of the two parts of each tie over the top of the blind) Tuck the bottom ties in while you are rolling. You can let it part way down and retie the wide ties if there is no wind or let it all the way down for shade or privacy.


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