DIY Projects

Decor

The Christmas House

Give me all the Christmas things

I have never been a big Christmas decorator. But that’s not because I don’t want to be - oh my gosh, I would very seriously like to have my house look like a Christmas explosion, please - it’s because I never really had the space or the materials. When you grow up in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City, there’s not a ton of square footage to allow for high-volume decorating, and if you want to get all festive on the exterior of your place, what that means is stringing some lights from your fire escape.

Which is cool! But…you know. Definitely not the same as being a member of the McCallister family.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Homemade Halloween Costumes Win Forever and Always

This photograph was taken in 1988, in case the crimped hair didn't tip you off.

Every year when I was a little girl, my mom would start making my Halloween costume in September. I might want to be a can-can dancer, or a character from Little House on the Prairie, or Cher (oh yes)...whatever it was, my mother would somehow pull out confusingly professional sewing skills that she apparently reserved solely for Halloween, and whip up a masterpiece of glitter and ruffles and perfection.

I am simultaneously sad about and relieved by the fact that kids these days ("kids these days"!! I'm so old) don't want homemade Halloween costumes. There was something grand - even heroic - about the fact that despite having no particular interest in crafting and exactly zero time to spare, what with her whole "being a lawyer" thing, my mother just rustled up her reserves and knocked it out of the park, year after year. And even when she didn't - my Cher costume consisted of a stretchy tube of sparkly fabric and the most unfortunate wig you have ever seen...it was still the only costume of its kind out there. It was mine. Made by my mom. I loved that.

Before & After Renovations

10 Home Renovation Projects You Have To Try

blogger jordan reid of ramshackle glam

Remember back in 2009, when I decided that I was the kind of person who should write a website about cooking, DIY, and home decor, and that it should be called "Domestic Bliss"? Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking either - other than, perhaps, "fake it 'til you make it" - because for the first few years, "faking it" is exactly what I did. At the time, my idea of a homemade meal was store-bought pasta with jarred tomato sauce (to which I'd added onions and mushrooms - you know, to make it fancy), and was SO IMPRESSED with myself for completing "DIYs" such as...swapping out drawer pulls. Putting up a sticker decal was a feat worthy of a full video tutorial, and I thought that my idea of using teacups to serve soup during parties was the height of inspired entertaining.

I still think that serving soup in teacups is pretty neat, but a lot has changed since the halcyon days of wallpaper-wrapped lampshades and green chalkboard refrigerators. I'm still no Ty Pennington, but after renovating two homes and working on a home construction and design show, I now know about 20,000 times more than I ever thought I'd know about how to update a household on a budget. Below are ten of my all-time favorite house upgrades, all of which I promise you are more than capable of taking on yourself.

Decor

I Totally Made A Table

OK, so here's how this small miracle happened. First, I bought a kitchen island. Then the kitchen island arrived and I didn't like it, and it also didn't function the way I needed it to (meaning as a sort of counter/bar), because I had neglected to notice that there was a piece of metal right there in the spot where a person's legs were theoretically supposed to go.

So I looked everywhere online, and everything I found was either not my style or too expensive or too clunky or too something, until I happened upon a Pinterest photo of an Urban Outfitters counter-height table with legs that looked like plumbing pipes. It was about $80, and exactly what I wanted. It was also not available anywhere on the Internet at all, except for via one Etsy vendor who was pretending that it was vintage (it is not) and selling it for around $400. Nope.

Then I looked at the picture of the table more closely, and realized that the legs that "looked like plumbing pipes" were actually...plumbing pipes. Like, the kind that you can get at a hardware store. I started thinking that I might like to try making something like that myself, but couldn't figure out what to do for a tabletop...until I remembered that several months ago my friend Alisa had offered me a gorgeous quartz remnant - white, with sparkles - that I'd declined because I had no idea what I would do with it.


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