BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Posts by Bri Levandowski

Novels, picture books, dictionaries, biographies, chapter books: they can be found sitting on coffee tables, tossed on end tables, strewn on sofa cushions, and hiding under desks, and they can totally overwhelm your living space. The addition of a bookshelf can tame your book piles and provide more space in your home. We’ve gathered a sample of stylish bookcases you can make yourself. Which one will you try?

 1. DIY Pipes and Planks Shelving

If you’re ready to house all your books in one place, this is the DIY project for you! Tina and her husband built this 13-by-10-foot bookshelf to fill the blank space in their living room and to serve as a gathering space for all their reading materials. You can adjust the size and supplies to fit your space as needed. Check out the full tutorial at her blog, Dusty Coyote.

Image Via: Dusty Coyote

2. Easy DIY Rope Shelf

Perhaps a bookshelf that spans an entire room is more than you had in mind. If that’s the case, then this DIY hanging rope shelf is just the ticket! It’s perfect for any room in your home. Build one in the kitchen for cookbooks, in the bedroom for nighttime reading, or in the living room for guests to peruse. Caroline has an awesome tutorial over at her blog, Burkatron.

Image Via: Burkatron

3. Concrete Block Bookshelf

Another  simple bookcase comes from The Crazy Craft Lady, Aimee. When all the books, papers, and law school supplies pushed her to her breaking point, Aimee built the perfect landing zone to keep everything organized. This project mostly consists of staining and stacking. Gather some pine boards and stone pavers of your choice, and you’re halfway done!

Image Via: The Crazy Craft Lady

4. Mounted Shelving Units

Molly made these mounted shelving units to flank either side of her wood-burning fireplace. The shelves were completely custom so Molly and her boyfriend took care to create a look exactly to their liking. Because everything is bracket-mounted, it can be changed with any new decor placed in the room. See their planning process here!

Image Via: Almost Makes Perfect

5. Multipurpose Crate Bookshelf

Not able to build a permanent bookshelf solution? Jamie’s got the perfect project for you instead! Head over to her blog, C.R.A.F.T., and see this awesome guide on how to style crates as shelving — four different ways! Place it, customize it, move it, add to it; the options are endless. Here is our favorite version. Which is yours?

How to make a bookshelf out of crates!

Image Via: Creating Really Awesome Fun Things

6. DIY Industrial Bookcase

This Pottery Barn-inspired bookcase cost just under $300—a steal compared to the retail price of $1,900! Jamison and his wife Jamie worked together to create an industrial-chic bookshelf to dress up their new living room. Jamison’s plans are so detailed you don’t need to have any previous woodworking experience to build a shelf just like this one. See for yourself; head over to his blog Rogue Engineer.

DIY-Industrial-Bookcase-Plans---Rogue-Engineer-3

Image Via: Rogue Engineer

7. DIY Tree Bookshelf

Patrick, contributor to the build-and-share website Instructables, DIYed his way to this trendy tree bookshelf. His instructions will help you breeze through the priming, painting, and construction of the project, but if you do get confused, he included a handy video tutorial of the entire process. The project cost around $150, and the whole thing can be completed in one weekend.

Image Via: Instructables

8. DIY Floating Bookshelves

If you’re looking for a subtler book storage statement, Mandi from Vintage Revivals has a fabulous tutorial on how to build your own floating shelves. A bit modern while still industrial, these magical shelves are ideal for any blank wall in your home. Stack them like Mandi did, or place them staggered along a larger wall to fill the space.

How To Build Shelves

Image Via: Vintage Revivals

All books need a loving home. Do yours have one?

Happy reading! Until next time,

~Bri


It has been surfacing on social media for some time now. So why is everyone using chalk paint? Not having to prep or prime your surface (beyond cleaning or smoothing out peeling surfaces) is a major bonus. We’ve gathered a sample of furniture projects and a sweet DIY chalk paint guide for you to see for yourself why the paint is so popular.

1. Chalk Paint Piano

Leigh Anne inherited this piano when she and her husband purchased their family home in 1986. Once her children grew up, it no longer served as much purpose and became a dark spot in her living room. A fun chalk paint update was just the cure! The piano is now a statement piece everyone can gather around during the holidays. See how she did it over at her blog, Your Home Based Mom.

brittany-lauren-photography-caitlin-wilson-31

Image Via: Your Home Based Mom

2. Vintage Buffet

Pairing a vintage mirror and buffet table is a fun project in itself, but Beth took it one step further with a quick sanding and an application of chalk paint. In her tutorial, Beth adds the optional step of glazing. If you’re looking to add more dimension to your work, you don’t want to skip this step!

Gray painted buffet

Image Via: Home Stories A to Z

3. Baroque Makeover
This once sun-bleached writing desk achieved new life! Metallic gold accents and fiery red chalk paint work together to master this shiny/matte combination. Clear and dark wax finishes highlight the smooth surface. Stephanie’s review of the Southside Furniture Revival revival is witty and full of helpful hints.

Image Via: Furniture Flippin

4. Perfect Patina

With an original plan for a more nautical look, Nancy was inspired by a metallic furniture challenge and decided on a chalk paint and gold finish look instead. Head over to her blog Artsy Chicks Rule for the full tutorial. She explains how to overcome the struggles of painting with metallics, the process for her patinaed hardware, and the easy nature of painting with turquoise chalk paint.

Turquoise Chalk Paint & Gold Metallic Side Table - Angle Shot - artsychicksrule.com #chalkpaint #goldmetallic #metallicfurniture #turquoise

Image Via: Artsy Chicks Rule

5. Distressed Fridge

There’s a lot of things we like about this fridge. It’s integrated, it delivers ice without opening the door, and it’s distressed with chalk paint. Chalkboard Fridge has an awesome tutorial on how to do this and similar projects. Learn how to make door panels, the distressed paint technique, and tricks for dry brushing.

Distress-Painted Fridge: How to Distress Paint

Image Via: Chalkboard Fridge

6. Custom Velvet Color

This pair of Victorian chairs started out with pale-green velvet. The cushions were in great condition, so rather than reupholstering them, Amy of Maison Decor decided to give the seats a chalk paint update. Tip: Multiple light layers of paint are better than a few heavy ones. Because of velvet’s nap, a light sanding needs to be done between each coat. When all the coats are dry, be sure to finish the project with a light waxing. It will leave the surface feeling like leather and looking like new!

Image Via: Maison Decor

7. Hitchhiking Headboard

Heather picked up this hitchhiking bed frame from the side of the road and got to work on a fun DIY project. She redid the cutout on the headboard and fixed a few other minor repairs. A few coats of green chalk paint, a layer of wax, and a good sanding led to this beautifully distressed bed frame. Check out how she did it here!

DIY chalk paint poster bed makeover from www.heatherednest.com

Image Via: The Heathered Nest

8. Techniques for Carved Surfaces

Paint and Pattern blogger Melanie Royals wrote a fab tutorial on four different ways to chalk paint those fancy carved surfaces on you vintage furniture. She’ll teach you how to dry brush, sandpaper distress, gold leaf, and highlight with metallic creams. Added bonus: Melanie has two pages worth of chalk paint color recipes. Check out Part 1 and Part 2!

Image Via: Paint and Pattern

9. DIY Paint Recipes

If you’ve made it this far in the post, it’s clear you’re interested in chalk paint projects. But perhaps you’re sitting like me thinking, “I’ve already got so much paint at home! Now I have to buy another?” Honest answer? No, you don’t. You can still achieve a similar look with the paint you already have plus a few additional ingredients you might have laying around! Salvaged Inspirations creator Denise gathered the most popular DIY chalk paint recipes and gave them all a try. See her four favorites — and how to make them — here!

Image Via: Salvaged Inspirations

The stylish, matte finish of chalk paint is calling, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s not too late to get in on the hot trend. Do a furniture flip, or even coat small decor items with chalk paint, and let us know some of your favorite finishes.

Until then,

~Bri


As temperatures drop, snow is on the minds of those of us in colder climates. It can decrease visibility, shut down roads, and keep kids home from school. When that happens, they’re inside all day long. But don’t panic! We’ve rounded up a list of snow day crafts and activities to keep them from going stir-crazy and keep you from losing your sanity.

1. Easy Tissue Transfer Art

Easy art doesn’t always equal beautiful art, but this project is definitely an exception. Using just water, canvas, and colored tissue paper, Autumn’s 5-year-old daughter made this art piece all by herself. Your kids can do the same too; see how it’s done over at her blog.

Tissue transfer art is not only gorgeous, it's totally easy enough for kids to make! Fun kid's art project - perfect indoor activity for rainy days.

Image Via: It’s Always Autumn

2. Peg Doll Templates

The creatives behind Mr. Printables have some great FREE templates you can download for your kids. A great (and inexpensive) snow day craft, this cute snowscape comes with templates for people, trees, and critters; you can make it all out of cardboard! After crafting, your children can play with these fun creations or set them in a special place to display.

Image Via: Mr. Printables

3. String Art for Kids

String art has been steadily growing in popularity, but kids with nails and hammers isn’t always the best idea! Blogger mom Sarah came up with an awesome, kid-friendly way to create string art designs. Canvas and thumbtacks work just as well as wood and nails. Help your child align his or her desired shape then let them do the rest!

Image Via: Repeat Crafter Me

4. Ultimate DIY Fort

Building a fort was the stuff of dreams when I was a kid! Alida, the creator of The Realistic Mama, gathered a list of her 15 favorite forts from around the Internet. They all have varying scales of difficulty, so leave the decision up to the ambitions of your children.

Image Via: The Realistic Mama

5. Snowflake Snack

The perfect treat on a snow day? A cinnamon-sugar snowflake! Happy Hooligans blogger Jackie shows us how to make her favorite wintry treat. Your kids will have a blast folding and cutting tortilla shells into beautiful snowflake creations. See the tutorial here!

Image Via: Happy Hooligans

6. Snow Day Movie Marathon

After a sweet treat, settle in for a movie marathon. Reel Mama, Lauren, gathered up a list of her favorite movies to watch with her children when the snow blows outside. She gives a brief description of each movie as well as where you can stream or order it online. Perhaps the kids can watch these from inside their fort!

Image Via: Reel Mama

7. Build a City

This is a great activity for those who have building toys. Simply line the floor with painters tape — you can do it like blogger Amanda did, so that all your streets and blocks are square, or you can create a city with curves and diagonals. Once you’ve lined up your city, let your kids go to work building the entire town. Check out how it’s done here!

Image Via: Dirt and Boogers

8. DIY Sparkle Slime

Amy Mascott pulled out all the stops on finding things for her children to do on a snowy  day. She showed her kids how to make homemade sparkle slime — and they loved it! She has a video, some great pictures, and a tutorial for creating your own snow day slime.

Image Via: Teach Mama

A snow day is a gift to your kids, and, now, you too! What project are you going to tackle? Do you have a favorite thing to do on a snow day? Let me know!

Until then,

~Bri

 


Stylish home accents don’t need to cost a pretty penny. You can achieve your desired look with a little bit of time and one craft supply that is easily attained. Although paper isn’t always considered for DIY projects, you may just change your tune after looking at some of our trendy examples of paper home decor.

1. DIY Geometric Bowls

Who says organizers can’t be pretty? And what’s prettier than pattern scrapbook paper? If you want some cute geometric bowls to hold your odds and ends, all you need is some glue and a few folding skills. Jennifer shows us all the tips and tricks over at her blog, The Craft Patch.

Image Via: The Craft Patch

2. Ombre Paint Chip Wreath

An inexpensive project, this wreath is perfect for year-round decor and is so easy to make. The Hipster Mum has a great tutorial on how to use free paint chips and a few common craft supplies to make your own ombre wreath. If you don’t own a cutting machine, don’t worry. You’ll just need to cut the leaves by hand instead.

Image Via: Hipster Mum

3. Gold-Tipped Feathers

Lia Griffith’s gold-tipped feathers have so many uses: holiday ornaments, fall garlands, and year-round works of art. Lia supplies you with three downloadable feather templates for both a cutting machine and scissors. Cut up a variety of your favorite color feathers, then take a gold paint pen, or acrylic gold paint, and color the tips with metallic magic, string them up from a fun branch or bar and hang for all to enjoy!

Image Via: Lia Griffith

4. Crepe Paper Petals

Oh Happy Day contributor Ashley created this beautiful faux flower wall art inspired by traditional Indian flower torans. A quick trip to your local crafts supply or hardware store should land you with everything you need for this pretty crepe paper project. She provides a template for the petal shapes as well as tips and tricks on how to create the art quickly and beautifully. See the tutorial here!

Crepe Paper Petals Wall Hanging | Oh Happy Day!

Image Via: Oh Happy Day

5. Hexagon Wall Art

Geometrics and metallics: hot and hotter. Combining both into wall art is the best decision you can make. This project is easiest with a large hexagonal paper punch but can also be done by hand. Use a combination of glitter, foil, and heavyweight paper or cardstock to cut your hexagons, then use craft glue to stick your shapes in place on a stretched canvas. Wall-safe tape can be used to scatter any extra shapes along the wall.

Image Via: Tara Dennis

6. Rainbow Paint-Chip Wall

Here’s another project from the world of free. Don’t bother with a gallon of paint! Pick up a variety of paint swatches and use them to color your wall instead. Blue painters tape adheres these paint chips to the wall. You might even have a roll laying around so this project won’t cost you anything but time.

Image Via: Poppytalk

7. DIY Paper Dahlias

Beautiful paper flowers have never been easier — or larger! 100 Layer Cake has lovely images of these fun paper dahlias as well as a step-by-step tutorial. Where will you put this simple and elegant DIY paper decoration?

Image Via: 100 Layer Cake

8. Contact Paper Accent Wall

This is the perfect home accent for apartment dwellers. When no paint or nail holes are allowed, how do you make the beige walls of your home more interesting? Katie of Mountain Modern Life has the solution for you. Although it might look like geometric stamps of cream-color paint, this funky accent wall is actually designed with contact paper. It doesn’t leave a residue behind, and you can complete an entire wall for under $3.

Image Via: Mountain Modern Life

With just a sampling of paper decor projects, I can tell I’ll have enough DIYs to last me awhile. Share some of your favorites with me! In the meantime, I’ll be comparing prices on cutting machines, scissors, and paper varieties.

Until next time,

~Bri


Skip the expensive rolls of wrapping paper this year. We found some awesome DIY ways to personalize your gift wrap, boxes, and bags. How many will you try?

1. Glitter Gift Box

Wrapping isn’t easy for everyone. Sometimes a nice gift box is a better option for those of us who aren’t wrapping-inclined. Distract from the lack of paper with a glittery gift box — tutorial courtesy of For the Makers. To assemble, use your favorite color of holiday glitter (or a combination), kraft paper boxes, and glue. Finish off your box with twine and a coordinating gift tag; a sprig of pine polishes the look!

Image Via: Style Caster

2. Chalkboard Wrap and Instagram Tags

Black kraft paper and white paint pens give the effect of chalkboard mesasges. Bonnie from Going Home to Roost made a collection of sample “chalk” doodles you can print and try on your own chalkboard-esque packages. She’ll also let you download her photos to make Instagram-inspired gift tags. Just print on sticker paper, and you’re ready to go!

Image Via: Going Home to Roost

3. Glitter Wrapping Paper

Sarah Dorsey contributed this idea to C.R.A.F.T.S. Following her step-by-step tutorial, you’ll use painters tape, adhesive spray, glitter, glue dots, and pom-pom yarn to master this gift wrap. Feel free to add a layer of decoupage medium or acrylic finishing spray to hold the glitter down!

Image Via: C.R.A.F.T. (Creating Really Awesome Fun Things)

4. Confetti Gift Bags

Stop buying expensive, decorative bags. This simple project is perfect for small presents, hostess gifts, and cookie-exchange treats. On plain white paper bags, apply a thick stripe of decoupage medium across the middle — like blogger Shannon did here — or create a favorite pattern or shape. Sprinkle on confetti, and let dry. Apply a second coat of decoupage, and let that dry, too. Your confetti gift bag is now ready for use!

Image Via: Mod Podge Rocks

5. Marbled Gift Wrap

Love marble crafts and decor? Here’s a new one for you: Marbleize your wrapping paper! Pick a few colors of nail polish (designer Kathryn suggests the cheaper the better), white kraft paper, water, a large container, plastic gloves, a coffee stirrer, and gift wrapping essentials like scissors, tape, and ribbon. Pour, dip, dry, and wrap!

Image Via: Ruffled

6. Chic, Simple Style

Almost Makes Perfect creator Molly brings us four different looks to personalize your gift-wrap style. If you plan to go simple and chic, these looks are for you. Choose one design and paint the entire roll of wrapping paper at once, or wrap each of your gifts individually, then paint, label, and twine with your own unique touch. See Molly’s tutorials here.

Image Via: Almost Makes Perfect

7. Santa Pillow Box

Pillow boxes are perfect for small office presents, such as candy, treats, and gift cards, and for family gifts, like stocking stuffers, jewelry, or makeup. Whatever you’re gifting, it’s always better to use a stylish gift box. Rachel has a great downloadable pattern for your pillow boxes this year; give everyone the gift of Santa along with your present.

 

Image Via: Let’s Wrap Stuff

8. Holiday Stitches

Jazz up basic wrapping paper with embroidery floss. Laura, creator of Made Peachy, shows us how to add cute detail to photopaper gift wrap. Using tracing paper, black-and-white photos, her templates, and an embroidery needle,and thread, you can give a reindeer a scarf, a polar bear a bowtie, or a penguin a snowy background. See her tutorial here.

Image Via: Made Peachy

9. Map Wrap

In the age of digital media, paper maps and atlas’ have less purpose. Although some are special mementos or keepsakes, an atlas book from 1998 probably doesn’t hold too many near and dear memories. But don’t let these old books and maps gather dust! Use them as unconventional wrapping paper. Friends and family will love the unique touch added to their gifts. Check it out here! Plus Elsie and Emma will show you how to DIY a pipe-cleaner bow.

Image Via: A Beautiful Mess

10. DIY Gift Bag

Don’t bother with store-bought decorative gift bags. Make your own with leftover wrapping paper, kraft paper, or even an envelope! Ebony Bizys, the mind behind Hello Sandwich, shows you how to fold and tape your way to a personalized gift bag. See her tutorial here!

Image Via: Hello Sandwich

With even just one of these DIY gift wrap ideas, you’ll be sure to impress your loved ones this holiday season. The best part? You can change up the colors and patterns as you please to use for gifting thoughout the year! Happy birthday, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and, of course, merry Christmas!

Until next time,

~Bri


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


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