Say goodbye to summer in style by throwing a late-summer soiree. Think about it: One last chance to show off your tan and catch up on some much-needed girl time before the temperature drops and the kids go back to school. Let’s get this party (pardon me, soiree) started, shall we?
First thing’s first. Decor. Decorations are a key component to throwing a successful summer soiree. Summer-inspired centerpieces, floral decor, colorful tabletops and elegant place settings will set your soiree apart from other sunny season extravaganzas. I’ve put together 10 easy decor ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
photos courtesy of Studio DIY
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I love baskets. They can help turn a messy storage spot into well organized and pretty space. Baskets can be expensive if you buy them new at the store, so I typically buy mine at thrift shops (I never spend more than $10 on a basket). I’ve been on the search for a lovely little tabletop basket that could hold any items that I am using that day for a project. I had no luck finding exactly what I needed, so I made my own. This easy woven rope basket DIY is exactly what I needed, plus it’s cute.
- 1/4 inch x 100 feet natural sisal rope
- a lot of embroidery thread (white, black, and any other color you want)
- large embroidery needle
- a small amount of yarn
1) Let’s get started on the base of the basket. Thread about a yard of embroidery floss onto the needle and tie a knot at the end. Important note: don’t cut the sisal rope. It will work out much better if the rope is one continuous piece.
- a. Grab the sisal rope and twist it into a little roll (about 1.5 inches wide).
- b. Push the embroidery floss through the side of the rope roll a couple of times to secure the roll.
- c. Wrap a stitch around one section of rope, and instead of pushing the stitch through the gap in the rope, catch a bit of the rope section next to the piece you’re wrapping the stitch around. Note: catching a bit of rope will make the basket stronger.
- d. Continue stitching along the rope and adding more coiling to the roll as you stitch. Note: if you’re planning on putting heavy items in this basket, I suggest randomly stitching over TWO sections of rope instead of the one as you go along.
2) How to end and add a new piece of embroidery floss.
- e. When you reach the end of a piece of embroidery floss, thread the needle through the side stitch and knot it onto another stitch.
- f. Thread the tail from the knot through the side stitches.
- g. To add another piece of embroidery floss, thread the needle through the side stitches and knot it onto another stitch.
- h. Continue stitching along with your new embroidery floss piece.
3) Continue on with the rope coil. It’s time to stop when you reach the width you’d like your basket to be (since this is the base of your basket). My width is 9.5 inches wide.
4) How to create the sides of the basket.
- j & k. When you’re happy with the width of the base, stack the rope on top of the outside piece of rope and continue with your stitching.
5) Add some pops of color with little sections of yarn.
- l. When you’re ready to add some color, knot a bit of yarn over some rope (before you stitch it onto the basket). Wrap that yarn tightly around the rope until it’s about 1.5 inches wide. Tie the end of that yarn to the rope piece, then continue stitching along the rope OVER the yarn. Keep adding rows of rope until you’re happy with the height of the basket. I stopped at 4 inches (and I used about 75% of the rope I purchased). Note: I created a little pattern with my yarn. I spaced the yarn by 6 stitches, and left a space of one rope coil in between.
6) How to add the basket handles and end secure the end of the rope to the basket.
- m. To add the handle, stitch about 4 wraps of embroidery floss over the rope and secure onto the rope section below.
- n. Push out the rope a bit to create the handle shape, then secure that end as you did to start the handle. Repeat the handle steps on the opposite side. To secure the end of the rope, roll it into a tiny roll and stitch onto the inside of the basket.
Total cost: $9 (the only thing I had to buy for this project was the rope, since I had all the other materials).
If you create this DIY, I’d love to see it! You can share a link in the comments below, or tag me in Instagram with a photo (my username is @thepapermama).
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Hey all, I am Corey from Sawdust 2 Stitches, and I have a serious problem. I cannot leave well enough alone. Have you ever started a seemingly simple afternoon project only to end up to your elbows in sawdust three days later? Well, I do often! My kids play space was no exception.
When moving into our home, there was a decent size closet under the stairs that presumably was intended as a storage closet. I absolutely intended to use it for storage! I planned for it to contain every single toy, book, action figure, car, and lego! Although it did solve the problem of where the toys would be stored, it still begged the question, “What about when they are in use?”
Thus, the playroom under the stairs. I knew full well that there was not nearly enough space for the kids to play and store their toys, but with some careful planning, anything is possible!
Luckily, in my adolescence my dad was a contractor and my mom was an artistic DIYer. In no time, I was wielding power tools and paintbrushes. In fact, my shop is my favorite room in the house! So instead of making do with the stair space, I decided to create more! I built a platform that would make it a split-level play area.
I had a general idea of the layout, but I was still a little foggy on the overall appearance. My sons happen to be infatuated with all things firefighting. So much so that when I asked my oldest son what he wanted for Christmas, he responded, “A fire alarm!” Yes, he wanted a fire alarm! “Are you sure you don’t want a drum, or an electric guitar?” I wondered. Coincidentally, a few weeks later I was at a garage sale and happened upon an old school alarm bell! How could I pass it up? I am so glad I snagged it because it became the inspiration for the entire playroom.
The “upstairs” has a fairly open play area, but it also had a small nook. It was the perfect space for lockers for the kids’ turnout gear and all of the necessary firefighting gear!
A fire station would not be complete without a pole! There is a pole and a ladder that serves as access to both upper and lower floors. The lower level contains most of the toys. I used our original storage bins and built a table top that would prevent the bins from toppling as well as provide a sturdy play surface.
My husband and I also discovered some additional dead space under the stairs that was not being utilized. So we utilized it! I created a door frame, put up drywall, and laid down carpet. This space was shaped a little awkward, but it was PERFECT for laying down and watching a movie! I mounted a television above the door frame, so the kids could lay back and easily see the television without fearing they would knock it over.
There was only one small area of dead space remaining. It wasn’t very big, but it was perfect size for a firetruck dashboard! As often as the kids pretended to respond to 911 calls, a “firetruck” seemed necessary. I do have more detailed plans showing how I made the fire truck dashboard.
Overall, I walked away from this project feeling like I successfully utilized and maximized every square inch of space. Once it was complete, I put it to the ultimate test … my kids. The verdict? They love it! They spend hours in there, the toys stay contained, and it is set up in a way that is easy for them to keep it clean! A win-win-win.
This entire project was so much fun, and having the great folks from Better Homes and Gardens come out and do a photo shoot was a total dream come true! I can’t say it enough, it was one of the funnest experiences ever! See the entire tour of the play area here!
Treat yourself to a spa day without spending beaucoup bucks! These 10 easy-to-make beauty fixes prove you don’t have to go over budget to be kind to your skin
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Trend: 14 Amazing Office Makeovers
School is right around the corner and it might be time to makeover that old office. If you don’t already have an office, maybe you need to make space for one? Below you’ll find 14 inspiring office spaces from around the blog world. Some are complete room makeovers, and the others are office spaces for small spaces (that would be my category).
Amazing home office room makeovers:
1) This home office makeover is so amazing! I love how it turned out, from Centsational Girl.
2) I love everything about this office makeover, on Oh, I Design.
3) The change in the paint color really made a difference in this makeover, from Style Girlfriend.
4) A catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.
5) A colorful makeover turned this office into a beautiful and inspiring space, from The Crafted Life.
6) This room really needed some love and storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.
7) A total office makeover might be what you need. This one is pretty darn amazing, from Curbly.
Are you lacking space to actually put an office? Check out these small space office makeovers:
8) I love the idea of turning a tiny closet into the perfect mini office, from Sew Dang Cute Crafts.
9) Give a gloomy computer armoire a makeover and you’ll have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.
10) Another amazing closet turned beautiful tiny office. I love that they kept the door on this closet office, from Design Sponge.
11) All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.
12) If you’re really short on space, this wall mounted desk could be for you, from A Beautiful Mess.
13) This might just look like a wall mirror, but it will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.
14) I’m really inspired by this small closet space turned office, it has seating! Found on Remodelaholic.
I hope you are very inspired by all the offices I shared. Have a wonderful Thursday!
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Our poor chickens! We bought 6 sweet, day-old chicks earlier this year and kept them in a huge box in our garage until the weather outside warmed up. Now that the chickens are full-grown, fully feathered hens, they’ve been moved to our empty rabbit hutch. It’s quite roomy for a rabbit hutch, but with 6 plump hens living in it, I imagine things are getting a little tense. I think our dear chickies are probably rather tired of each other at this point, and would undoubtedly appreciate some room to roam and spread their wings. Luckily, we have a beautiful, new coop being built for them, and it should be ready any day! My husband is always meeting people who want to trade work and happen to be in the construction business; I feel like our house was largely built on favors and paybacks! And that’s exactly how we’re getting our chicken coop. It is built and painted and ready to go. We just have to figure out how to get it here.
If you’ve ever peeked at my “Someday House” board on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed lots of darling chicken coops. All of those pictures came in handy when we needed to choose a chicken coop design. Here are some of the super cute chicken coops we used for inspiration. Now we just need a name!
Tilly’s Nest is a sweet blog about gardening and keeping chickens, and it won a Better Homes & Gardens Blogger Award last year! You can find lots of details and photos, inside and out, about this cute coop on the blog.
I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous chicken coop from Heather Bullard for years–I first spotted it long before we bought our land or started building The Dream House. It is so lovely. And you can even buy a set of plans to make your own!
This adorable (yes, adorable!) cedar coop from Williams-Sonoma features the coop and nesting box on top, an enclosed chicken run below, and a really, really cute attached garden box!
One of the very first things I ever pinned on Pinterest was this lovely black chicken coop from The Art of Doing Stuff. With it’s dark, moody paint and hanging lanterns, it reminds me of La Belle Epoque.
This chicken coop from Better Homes & Gardens makes ME want to pull a chair inside and read for a while under that leafy canopy!
I can’t wait to show you our chicken coop; I can’t wait to see it myself. And I’m sure our chickens can’t wait to get out from under each other and have a little more space and some fresh farm air. Stay tuned!