GIVE THE PERFECT BABY SHOWER GIFT

I am only recently becoming a baby shower expert {which is terrifying… as I feel nowhere near ready for children of my own}… with the slew of showers, I found the best route to go was to personalize the gift in the form of a DIY gift basket.  Buy a large basket in a gender appropriate color {here, pink for a little girl}… the basket can later serve to hold baby clothes or diapers.  Line the basket with a baby blanket {much more fun than the usual tissue paper or raffia lining} and fill it full of color coordinated items.  For this basket, I combined pink and green and floral and leopard prints.  Also, make sure to include a festive card!

HOW TO – DECORATE A BOOKCASE

My bookcase has been a constant saga of reorganization and frustration {see here and here for the journey}… it was cute, but it wasn’t quite right.  So I decided to take a day and revamp the shelving decor.  Read on and you can learn how to take some ordinary shelving and make it something all your own.

So, my bookcase was ooooookay {yawn}… but it wasn’t there yet.  I had already saved this bookcase from being sent to the dump {it used to be a horrible brown spotty wood color… I painted it glossy white and papered the back with a pink and white damask print}.  If it was worth saving, then it should be worth filling properly.  As I do with every design project for my company {if you’re curious about what I do, click here}, I start with an Inspiration Board {which is basically a collection of images that inspire me and helps collect my thoughts and direct my ultimate design vision}.


*images courtesy of elements of style, the zhush, all things chic, and favim

After looking at my Inspiration Board for design direction on my bookcase project, I started laying out all of my necessary decor items… namely books, framed photos, and miscellaneous knick-knacks/pretty things/sentimental items.

The final step in the process is arranging all of the items so that they are aesthetically pleasing.  This involves a bit of trial and error and a lot of walking back and forth {so you can see what your arrangement looks like from different areas in the room}.  My final product {I am in love with it} looks like this…

HOW TO – DECONSTRUCT & RECONSTRUCT A T-SHIRT

I was headed to the Big Four… basically a huge metal music festival where Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax would be playing… and I had no idea what to wear.  My man gave me one of his cherished Metallica T-Shirts and told me to do whatever I wanted with it.  Perfect.  With the assistance of an embroidery needle, a silver Sharpie, some awesomely sharp scissors, crimson ribbon, and a safety pin… I got exactly the Metallica shirt that I wanted.


1. Gather your supplies… T-shirt. Silver Sharpie pen. Scissors. Ribbon. Etc. 2. The beginning T-shirt… Cute, but not quite the look I was going for. 3. My “Aha!” moment when I thought… “I can make over this shirt.” 4. Using the silver Sharpie to mark where to make the cuts.  5. Close up of the Sharpie markings. 6. I like this much better… a tank top! 7. No… I don’t. I can make it even better! 8. Cut a slit down the middle… yeahhhhh. 9. Love it. 10. Only loved it for .5 seconds… decided to cut up the sides.  11. Decided to re-stich the sides with some satin ribbon.  12. Stitching myself back up. 13. Happy! That’s what I wanted. 14. The finished product. I even added a metal-esque safety pin. Love.

HOW TO – MAKE THE PERFECT GIFT BASKET

One of my childhood friends was having a tea for her bridal shower… after settling on a Betsey Johnson New York crocheted navy and pink frock and hot pink ruched pointed toe pumps, I decided to shop for her {coordinating} pink gift.  I figured that with Easter right around the corner… a bridal basket would be right on point.  What bride-to-be wouldn’t love some pink kitchen accessories, killer cupcake mix (with the perfect pearl topping!), and some gourmet truffles to eat while she bakes?  A simple gift basket how-to is below.


1. Gather all materials… basket, tissue paper, ribbon, any other accessories, and the gifts.  For the gifts, try to stick with some kind of a theme (here the theme was twofold: pink and cupcakes)… All these gorgeous goodies are from Williams-Sonoma. 2. The adorable edible sugar pearls that are ideal for chic cupcakes. 3. Yum. Chocolate + champagne + pink + gold leaf = p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n. 4. Tie your ribbon around the basket and line the bottom of the basket with coordinating tissue paper that is all bunched up. 5./6. The final basket… with tiny faux flowers in the corner for a sweet touch. ♥

HOW TO – 70s CLUB CHAIRS BEFORE & AFTER

I decided to continue on my DIY journey… and I took some 70’s club chairs (complete with chipped wood and torn fabric) from one of my friends who was going to just toss them {only aghast… because… as stated in an earlier post: “I see the best in people. And furniture.”}… I saw so much potential here.  Good bones… Just in need of a little TLC.  With the help of some fine grain sandpaper, clorox bleach wipes (always disinfect reclaimed furniture), hot pink high-gloss paint (Disney’s “Invitation to a Princess”… I died.), and some thick pink embroidery thread… my new “Cocktail Corner” (pics to come soon) was one step closer to completion.


1. The original chair. Cracked, torn… so much potential. 2. Putting in the work… First rub sandpaper over all wooden components and then paint (4 coats!) on all of it. 3. Bam! Hot pink! 4. Embroidery thread (it’s strong stuff) and very thick needles… They have to be able to pierce through the thick material… I had to use a hammer to get the nail through. 5. Cocktail Corner is coming along. 6./7. Detail shots. Love the brass studs and the perfectly imperfect stitching.

HOW TO – TABLE & CHAIRS BEFORE & AFTER

I am a firm believer in seeing the best in people. And furniture.  I took a look at my late grandmother’s rusted chairs and a reclaimed wrought iron coffee table and decided that they weren’t quite my style… yet.  Some high gloss cotton candy pink spray paint, chic fabric, and a little creativity helped get me a few pieces of furniture that I utterly adore.

1. The chair in its beginning state. Sad, I know. But so much potential! 2. The chair after being sanded, wiped down, and painted with a coat of primer. 3. The necessary tools. 4. Spray painting in action. 5. The beginning of quite a lovely little chair. 6. The fabric waiting to be adhered {with a staple gun} to the cushion. 7. Close up. 8. The adorable fabric. 9. Voila! The finished product.


1. A very cool, but not quite “me” coffee table. 2. Giving the table one of its three coats of high gloss spray paint. 3. Yummy. 4. Beveled glass panels cleaned and replaced and a fresh vase of flowers. 5/6. Detail shots of my new {old} coffee table. I’m in love.

HOW TO – MAKE YOUR OWN CARDS

I am a complete sucker when it comes to all things personalized.  I am also an utterly complete sucker for greeting cards.  Beyond this, I am an utterly completely ridiculous sucker for receiving a personalized (ie homemade) greeting card for no reason at all.  Those that know me know my obsession with one-of-a-kind gifts… accompany the gift with one of these one-of-a-kind-made-by-fabulous-little-you cards.


1. Layout all of your supplies.  I love to use things I already have. Some leftover paper from Valentine’s Day (seen here), linen paper used to make the menus for my sister’s surprise birthday party (seen here), stamps used to make place cards (seen here), and pearl details that were remnants from a wedding that I had designed (seen here).
2. Get a great tool with which to cut straight edges. I swear by my Martha Stewart Simple Paper Trimmer (buy it here).
3. Use your paper cutting handy dandy tool to trim your main paper (the card’s base) to the size that you want.
4. Fold your base paper in half.
5. Cut your secondary paper (use something flashy… you know you want to) to be a bit smaller than the folded portion of the front of your card.
6. Adhere the secondary paper to the base paper using double stick tape (if you don’t already own some… buy some. now.).  Cut your third piece of paper to a slightly smaller size than your secondary paper.  I used linen paper (you know, the fancy resume kind)… I love the texture. So posh.
7. Time for some stamping. Lay out the stamps on your paper before inking as a guide.  Don’t worry if you don’t stamp in a completely straight, perfectly spaced line. The charm is in the imperfections.
8. See? Imperfect, but still darling.
9. Add some of your own (charmingly imperfect) handwriting and a little embellishment if you feel like it. I did.
10. Double stick tape (ah, yes. again.) your third piece of paper to your secondary, glitzy paper. There you have it. An adorable, made-by-you card.
11. See again? Imperfections… crooked handwriting. Not every corner in place. Everything slightly off-center. That’s the best part.
12. Line the inside with more luxe linen paper. With such an adorable card just keep the message short and sweet. It’s more than enough.
13. Add a little more personalization on the back. You’re so crafty. And chic. And adorable. And perfect. That’s what the person that you give the card to will think. So, take a little time… let someone know they’re worth it to you.