BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

12 Inexpensive Handmade Gift Ideas

Gift giving doesn’t have to break the bank. Why not try to make some thoughtful gifts for your friends and family? It could save you a bit of money, plus handmade gifts are fun to receive. Check out these 12 inexpensive handmade Gift Ideas below to get some inspiration.

1) This “gimme some sugar” towel is so cute and would be fun to give to your significant other with some nice cookware! A free file to make this at home is on Persia Lou.

This Gimme Some Sugar towel is so cute and would be fun to give to your significant other with some nice cookware! A free file to make this at home is on Persia Lou.

2) I love a nice sugar scrub, but they can be pretty pricey. This year I’m going to try to make my own; it would also make a great gift. Found on A Pumpkin and a Princess.

I love a nice sugar scrub, but they can be pretty spendy. This year I'm going to try and make my own and it could also make a great gift. Found on A Pumpkin and a Princess.

3) I’m 99 percent sure these socks were made for me. Find the DIY on Tried and True.

 I'm 99% sure these socks were made for me. Find the DIY on Tried and True.

4) These hanging leather-wrapped utensils are a great gift for the chef in your life. Found on Carolyn’s Homework.

These hanging leather wrapped utensils are a great gift for the chef in your life. Found on Carolyn's Homework.

5) I made these little gem soaps with my daughter a couple of months ago, and I think they would make a cute little stocking stuffer. Find the DIY on The Paper Mama.

I made these little gem soaps with my daughter a couple of months ago and I think they would make a cute little stocking stuffer. Find the DIY on The Paper Mama.

6) Do you know someone that needs a little help organizing their jewelry? This hexagon vanity tray is perfect. Found on Sugar and Cloth.

Do you know someone that needs a little help organizing their jewelry? This hexagon vanity tray is perfect. Found on Sugar and Cloth.

7) Just add a bag of coffee to this gift and you’re all set. Find the free printables to make these mugs on the Better Homes and Gardens blog.

Just add a bag of coffee to this gift and you're all set. Free printables to make these mugs on the Better Homes and Gardens blog.

8) Pretty much every person has keys, so these DIY key fobs are the perfect little gift. Found on Lil Luna.

Pretty much every person has keys, so these DIY key fobs are the perfect little gift. Found on Lil Luna.

9) This is the perfect gift for every mom: a spa in a jar. Get the directions and printable labels on The Gunny Sack.

I feel like this is the perfect gift for my mom: a spa in a jar. Get the directions and printable labels on The Gunny Sack.

10) This little trinket dish is so quick and easy to make. Check it out on Maritza Lisa.

This little trinket dish is so quick and easy to make. Check it out on Maritza Lisa.

11) Create these personalized coasters for the party planner in your life. Found on Martha Stewart.

Create these personalized coasters for the party planner in your life. Found on Martha Stewart.

12) Do you know someone who is always drinking coffee? Make them a funny travel mug for when they are on the go. Found on Studio DIY.

Do you know someone that is always drinking coffee? Maybe you can make them a funny travel mug for when they are on the go. Found on Studio DIY.

Do you plan on making any gifts this year?

We want to see what you’re crafting! You can share a link to what you’ve made in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram with a photo (my user name is @thepapermama).

– Chelsey, The Paper Mama


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It’s finally the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas decorating is my favorite part of the holiday season, and this year I’m feeling particularly inspired by Scandinavian design. Simplicity, texture, crisp whites, natural elements like evergreen boughs andrustic wood, and pops of contrasting color (in small doses) feel refreshing and modern right now.

I’ve pulled together some of my favorite inspirational images, so let’s take a look at each room’s Scandinavian elements to help you get the look.

A neutral white backdrop is key to minimalistic Scandinavian decor, and there’s something so charming about rustic wood accents like the Christmas trees on this mantel and piles of logs in the hearth. Red felt cushions with a reindeer motif parallel the design of the stockings and felt wool garland.

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Shiplap is the perfect backdrop to this simple Christmas tree potted in an old wood crate. An evergreen garland surrounds the window that’s left bare to allow all the light to come in.

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Scandinavian style is all about an attitude of “less is more” and maximizing the use of everyday items. A basket that might otherwise be used for holding kids’ toys or throw blankets is a perfect pot for this simply-decorated Christmas tree.

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Don’t feel like you need to embellish your garlands too heavily. Instead, experiment with repetition, whether it be with mismatched candlesticks, a selection of wreaths, or stacks of wood in the fireplace.

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Texture adds depth and interest to monochromatic interiors, such as the stacked stone in this fireplace. Again, natural elements like warm woods, burlap, and kraft paper are simple additions that bring festive flair.

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Clip a few evergreen boughs from your trees outside and layer in some candles for a simple and festive holiday tablescape. Red berries and pinecones round out the look with a pop of color and texture.

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I think the main reason I’m attracted to the Scandinavian aesthetic is that it’s a simple and calming response to an extremely busy season. It doesn’t feel overdone or overwhelming; it visually suggests peace, don’t you think? And that feels so right these days.

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A beautiful rustic mantel holds a simple and lush display of citrus fruits and evergreen boughs, while the brick fireplace surround provides texture. Throw in a few pillar candles for a warm glow on a chilly evening.

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Keep a few cozy throws nearby to provide color and warmth as we head into the colder months; red is the perfect hue to remind you of the season and it’s so cheerful against the deep forest green of wreaths and garlands.

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The Scandinavians definitely know how to do simple with high style. Are you into the minimalist Christmas decor trend? I’d love to hear how you’re decorating this year!


If you plan to host events between now and Christmas, there’s no better way to greet your guests than with a splash of holiday spirit. Take a tour of stylish ideas for sidewalks, front doors, and entryways; then get inspired to create a holiday look of your own!

1. Decorative Facade

You won’t doubt you’ve found the right house with Susan’s outdoor holiday decor. Those not invited will want to park their cars out front and enjoy the view too! On her blog, Between Naps on the Porch, Susan explains how she created this dazzling look and provides plenty of tips on how to mix pine trees with magnolia leaves for the perfect touch. Don’t forget to add lights!

Image Via: Between Naps on the Porch

2. Light the Way

This project is only for snowy regions — sorry, southern states! Guide guests to your door with ice luminaries on either side of a walkway. Debbie has a couple of great tricks for this fun (and cheap!) DIY project. It involves water, balloons, and snowbanks, so you can see how much fun these frozen lanterns are to create. See how she does it here!

Image Via: One Little Project

3. Toppling Topiary

Stacy’s cute collection of packages is a bright and cheery way to display your holiday spirit. This quick and easy project can easily be done in an hour. You may even have all the tools you need at home already. Be sure to read the comments at the end of Stacy’s blog for some great ideas, including using a vinyl tablecloth in place of wrapping paper to prevent weather damage.

Image Via: Crafting on a Budget

4. Marquee Countdown

Make sure even your neighbors know how excited you are for the big day. The DIY Dreamer, Christine, built this beautiful project for her family (and passersby) to enjoy. She used plywood, paint, glue, lights, and hardware to create this marquee Christmas countdown. See how she created it, plus a lightless version, here.

Image Via: The DIY Dreamer

5. Decorative Doormat

Not wanting to settle on a store-bought holiday doormat, A Beautiful Mess writer Rachel decided to create her own stylish version. Start by choosing a coir doormat in any color (you’ll paint it anyway). Coat your mat with metallic gold spray paint, then paint trees in white. Cut out a few different triangle stencils and spray-paint, or you can freehand them with acrylic paint and a paintbrush as Rachel did here.

Image Via: A Beautiful Mess

6. Ribbon-Wrapped Door

Decor doesn’t stop at the door! Wrap your home’s entrance like a gift for all who enter. Liz chose this festive alternative to the traditional door wreath. Scissors, tape, fabric, and a bow are all you need for this project. Just be sure to open this “present” door to an entryway full of Christmas spirit!

Image Via: Naptime Decorator

7. Entryway Bliss

Bliss at Home creator Kristin styled her entryway with chic and shiny holiday decor. She left her  decor — an art deco mirror, white candelabras, and an orchid-filled vase — in its place year-round and simply added to her home’s beauty with Christmas baubles and decorative trees. The pops of pink and blue, though not traditional Christmas colors, add to the celebratory feeling of the season.

Image Via: Bliss at Home

8. Christmas Card Center

Missy’s entry table has more than a little holiday cheer! Over at her blog, Lookie What I Did, she’ll show you how to make the yarn trees, ornaments, and letters, as well as the window shutter Christmas card holder. Guests will love looking at your cards from family and friends, as well as finding their own in a special spot!

Image Via: Lookie What I Did

The personal greeting an entryway gives can say a lot about the holiday event you’re hosting. Did any of these ideas inspire your Christmas spirit? Let me know how you greet your guests at Christmastime.

Until then,

~Bri


Awkward spaces can often result in dead space, or worse, clutter collections (I see you, stacks of paper and dirty clothes). Instead of letting valuable real estate go to waste, take control. Start by looking at an obvious offender: the space beneath your stairs. Take cues from these incredible homes and transform this area into a space at which you can’t stop staring.

Making Your Space Work

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a spare room for your home office, it can be quite difficult to find a work space that flows with your home’s layout. The space under your stairs just might be the perfect solution! Because the area is sectioned off, you’ll have a set space to tackle your to-do list.

Via Neville Johnson

Raising the Bar (Wine Not?)

Whether you prefer a personal wet bar or your own wine cellar, both look amazing under a staircase.

Via Cortney Bishop

Via Brandon Architects

Reading and Relaxation

Curling up with a good book and a cup of hot tea has to be one of most relaxing things ever, and it’s essential to have a go-to place to unwind.  I often end up taking a quick cat nap as well, and I love the idea of the space beneath a staircase fulfilling that role!

Via JWT Associates

Room to Play and Grow

I love that this little nook is perfect for kids to play in when they’re little, but it would also be so easy to update when they’re older! Add a few pillows and a soft throw blanket, and you’ve transformed the space into a cozy getaway that kids of any age will love.

Via CplusC

This is another functional stair space I absolutely love. Right now it’s a playroom, but it could just as easily be a cozy family room or a lovely living area.

Via Lay Baby Lay

And (of course) … Storage!

This space is commonly used for storage, but that doesn’t mean your storage has to be standard stacked boxes coated in dust. This tiny home totally gets it right with smart storage options that keep essentials organized. Plus, the little space to tuck in a few novels is a beautiful detail.

Via Wind River Tiny Homes

There are so many innovative ways to make the space beneath your stairs incredible. Take a look under your staircase, and if you’re not impressed, don’t be afraid to change things up!


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It is time to bring out the Christmas tree and your holiday decorations! ‘Tis the season: let’s deck the halls and jingle some bells! Do you get as excited about the holidays as I do? By now you may be armed with plenty of decorating ideas from Pinterest and wooed by the current seasonal style trends at your favorite home stores. But just in case you are still on the fence as to which color scheme to go with, I have some ideas for you!

I have been full-on decorating my home for the holidays for about six years now. I decorate every room, even areas no one will visit. When you blog, holiday decorating becomes a must. With that being said, I have good experience in trying different themes and color schemes. Last year I gave my boys a Colorful Cabin Christmas, and I let them have free rein over the Christmas tree and decorations. Let me say, it was a refreshing change. But this year I am back to neutrals. There is something peaceful about layering your home in rich textures, soft hues, a little glitz, and organic details. I still let them decorate and help with the tree; it’s actually funny how much they get into it. Not to worry though, they will get their color on the outside of the house this year as promised.

Here are some simple ideas for creating a soft, festive palette with Christmas neutrals.

Layering your holiday home with cozy textures is a great way to highlight a neutral palette. Using faux fur, knits, velvet, chenille, and linen together in one space gives balance, adds personality, and lends itself to a welcoming atmosphere.

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Look how perfect gold, gray and cream can be together. Throw in a little brown and some yummy texture and you have a palette that is not only holiday-worthy but can seamlessly transition into winter décor.

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Any greenery is considered a neutral, especially during the holidays. Mixing in soft colors and natural elements with your garland, wreaths, and Christmas trees adds a simple touch that is classic and never overdone.

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Christmas neutrals also apply to ornaments, DIY projects, and holiday wrapping. Less color can be more when crafting and creating swoonworthy holiday details.

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Let’s not forget holiday recipes. They look pretty stunning in neutrals too. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the styling and garnishing of your Christmas desserts.

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Happy holiday decorating!

Jen-City Farmhouse


When we first moved into our house, which was just a little more than two years ago, we had lots of rooms already planned out. We knew which beds would go in which bedrooms, where to put the couch and love seat in the family room, and who got each dresser. But there were a few odds and ends with nowhere to go, and because the living room had nothing in it besides the piano, all of those mismatched pieces of furniture went in the living room. And never left. For the past two years, our living room has been home to our ancient upright piano, two glass-front book cases, a refinished black and gold end table from my mother-in-law, and not much else.

A few months ago, my husband and I decided that we finally needed to turn the living space into a room worth spending some time in. We ordered a new love seat, bought some new artwork for the walls, and figured out what we wanted to do with the space. After what felt like forever, the couch was finally delivered this week, and we’ve been shuffling things around, framing pictures, and making plans. We’ve decided to go with a naturalist decor theme in the room: neutral tones, some black and gold, and lots of greenery. I’ve always loved science and nature, and over the years I’ve collected lots of pretty things that will work beautifully in the room. I’m excited to get it all put together, and I’ve enjoyed finding lots of inspirational photos to help. A lot of the photos I’ve found tend to swing a little to the steam punk side of things, but I’m determined that we can make our living room light, bright, and beautiful. Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos.

naturalist decor inspiration

naturalist decor inspiration

I’ve had my eye on vintage botanical prints for years and finally ordered some. Ours are a lot smaller than these and are reproductions, but the style is similar. If I could find authentic, vintage botanical charts, I’d be over the moon! [photos from Vibeke Design]

naturalist decor inspiration

Instead of a few huge botanical illustrations, we’re going with a grid, similar to this one. Except ours are matted and framed, and don’t look like they were torn from a textbook. These are amazing and so is the large-scale subway tile on the right wall! [photo from Sanna & Sania]

naturalist decor inspiration

This bold gallery wall is stunning, thanks to black paint and an eclectic mix of vintage prints, neutral artwork, and a few specimens. [photo from Ginny Branch]

naturalist decor inspiration

This drawer display from Melbourne shop owner The Naturalist makes me swoon! The feathers, butterflies, vintage tins, and reference book pages create a beautiful collection.

naturalist decor inspiration

It took me forever to hunt down the original source for this amazing photo of terrariums, but it was worth it! This collection is spectacular! [photo from Amy Merrick]

naturalist decor inspiration

I love how simple and chic this room is. It has natural elements, but is still clean and classy. The framed specimens really pop against black backgrounds, and the terrariums on the bookcase bring in some life and color. [photo from Ethan Allen]

naturalist decor inspiration

In addition to the smattering of furniture we’ve had in the living room for the past two years, we’ve also kept most of our houseplants in there. And that’s where they’ll stay. I love a room filled with green! [photo from Haarkon via My Unfinished Home]

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So there you go! A little naturalist decor inspiration for you, and for me as well. I think I have a bit of a challenge ahead of me to keep the room from going too gothic (no animal skeletons or skulls!), but giving it a lovely, Victorian collector vibe. Cross your fingers for me!


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