Cool Personal Stuff

Decorate your room or organize your desk with these hot items.

What You Need:

Give your room a hip new look when you decorate a plain lampshade with bright-colored paper designs, beads, and trims.
  • Smooth lampshades
  • Bright-colored tissue papers
  • Gold and blue vellum scrapbook paper
  • Beaded trim or ribbon trim
  • Paper punches: star, spiral, large circle, and 1/4-inch-diameter circle
  • Mod Podge decoupage medium
  • Small paintbrush
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks


1. Download the free patterns for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Funky Lampshade -- Flowers

Funky Lampshade -- Space

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Use the patterns as your guide to cut out tissue-paper shapes.

3. Punch the detail shapes on each piece before attaching them to the shades. The paper punch works better on heavyweight handmade tissue papers. If you want to punch regular tissue paper, stack four sheets and punch them together.

4. Carefully brush Mod Podge on the back of a tissue paper cutout; then gently apply it to the lampshade. Smooth out wrinkles and bubbles with your fingertips. Continue applying cutouts until you're pleased with all sides of the lampshade. Let it dry.

5. Brush a thin coat of Mod Podge over the tissue-paper designs to ensure that they're firmly anchored to the shade. Let it dry.

6. Ask a grownup for a helping hand with this step. Hot-glue beaded trim or ribbon trim along the bottom edge of the lampshade, allowing the beads or sequins to hang below the lampshade and reflect the light.

What You Need:

Organize your desk with a set of color-coordinated accessories made from wire and more.
  • Wireform modeling wire-mesh
  • Wire Art colored wire
  • Plastic animal and star beads
  • Small wire cutters
  • 1/4-inch-diameter craft stick or wood dowel (for making wire spirals)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Wire-Mesh Cutting Instructions:

  • For a thumbtack holder: cut a 4 x 5-inch piece
  • For a paper-clip holder: cut a 5 x 6-inch piece
  • For the notepaper holder: cut an 8 x 10-1/2-inch piece
  • For the tall upright pen/envelope/card holder: cut an 8 x 10-inch piece
  • For the smaller upright holder: cut a 10 x 16-inch piece


1. Download the free diagram for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Wire-Screen Desk Set diagram

Download Adobe Acrobat

For Trays:

2. Use scissors to cut the screen to the size of the desired accessory.

3. Working with one side at a time, make a 1/2-inch fold along each edge of the screen rectangle. This will ensure that the rough edges will be turned in and will not scratch.

4. To make the thumbtack, paper-clip, or notepaper trays, fold each edge of the rectangle up 1 inch to create the sides of your tray.

5. Pinch each corner together at the top edge. Cut a 12-inch length of colored wire for each corner of the tray. Thread a wire through the pinched corner, and then thread a bead onto one end of the wire. Spiral the wire around a wood dowel. Slip the dowel out of the coiled wire, and repeat the process with the other wire end. Repeat the process for each corner. If desired, thread additional contrasting colored wires on your trays. Repeat the coiling process with each new wire end.

For Tall Containers:

1. Follow step 3 of the Tray directions. Gently fold the length of the rectangle in half to determine the center of the base.

2. Flatten the piece, and then fold each side up 1 inch away from the predetermined centerline. You now should have a 2-inch center base. The sides of the tall container will be 6 inches high, and the sides of the short container will be 4 inches high.

3. To finish folding the container, follow the diagram. The completed holder resembles an upright paper bag.

4. Use a 12-inch length of wire to stitch the top edges of the overlapped container sides together. Spiral the wire ends following step 4 in the Tray directions. Add more decorative wires and beads around the top edge of the container.

What You Need:

Add lively fun to your homework when you mark your place with bookmarks made from shrink art, beads, and chenille stems.
  • Beads and buttons in assorted colors
  • DecoColor paint pens in assorted colors
  • Goop glue
  • 3/16-inch triangle-shape paper punch
  • Chenille stems in assorted colors
  • Ultra-fine-point black permanent marker
  • Scissors (sharp manicure scissors work best for intricate areas)
  • Transparent tape
  • Shrinky Dinks bright-white shrinkable plastic


1. Download the free patterns for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Cat Bookmark pattern

Sun and Flowers Bookmark pattern

Crown and Face Bookmark pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Ask a grownup for a helping hand with this project. Place Shrinky Dinks plastic on top of the pattern. Tape the plastic to the pattern.

3. Trace the pattern onto the plastic with an ultra-fine-point black permanent marker. Remove the pattern.

4. Color the pattern areas you have traced onto the plastic, using paint pens in colors you like.

5. Use scissors to cut out the plastic shapes. Using the pattern as a guide, punch holes in the plastic.

6. Bake the plastic pieces following the manufacturer's directions.

7. Cut three 6-inch lengths of chenille stem. Bend the pieces of chenille stem back and forth into zigzag shapes, or twist around a pencil to make a coil shape.

8. Thread one end of a piece of chenille stem through one hole of the bookmark bottom piece.

9. Twist the chenille stem together to secure the end. Thread beads or buttons onto it in a pattern you like.

10. Thread the top end of the chenille stem through one hole of the bookmark top piece. Twist the chenille stem together to secure the end.

11. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the other two chenille stems.

12. To finish the cat bookmark, add a 3-inch piece of coiled chenille stem for a tail.

What You Need:

Make personalized doorknob signs using foam shapes, jewels, fun key chains, and your imagination.
  • Crafts-foam door hangers
  • Precut crafts-foam shapes and letters
  • Small moveable eyes
  • Key chains (ones that make noise or tell time are especially fun)
  • Crafts-foam glue
  • Toothpick


1. Arrange the precut crafts-foam shapes and letters over the door hanger.

2. When you're pleased with the arrangement, use crafts-foam glue to adhere the pieces to the door hanger. Let the glue dry, and then flip the hanger over. Repeat the process to make a new message on the other side.

3. When the second set of glued letters and shapes have dried, poke a hole 1/2-inch up from the center bottom of the door hanger.

4. Thread the key chain through the hole. If you're using a split key ring, carefully slide one end of the ring through the hole, and then keep the ring separated while rotating it around the hole. Eventually the entire ring will slide freely in the hole. Do not tug on the key ring, as force will break the bottom edge of the crafts foam.


Be the first to comment!

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.