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DIY | Manolo for the Home - Part 2
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Still Discombobulated, Have a Tutorial Link!

No sewing machine required!

True story: I can sew. I can even sew big stuff on my sewing machine that was absolutely not designed to make anything bigger than a dress or wee baby blanket. BUT I’d rather not sew big stuff because it is a big pain in the rear. That’s why I was so jazzed to find THIS, a simple no-sew fabric blinds tutorial by Regina Morrison, owner of Acute Designs. Check it out, give it a try, and if you do, share it! Also, while you’re still here, tell me:

Can you sew the big stuff? Do you like to?

Make It! A DIY Cushion Ottoman

Box cushions and wood and some casters equal fabulosity

Right now, I am resting my tired dogs on my old nursing stool, so I get no points for style. But I wood would get points for style if I took it upon myself to whip up a rolling DIY ottoman with these sweet cushions and just the tiniest bit of elbow grease using the instructions originally found in the sadly dead Blueprint and then later on in Martha’s blog and then even later on in Casa Sugar. Looks easy enough, though I think if I were making one of these DIY ottomans I’d sew the pillows together tightly (and as invisibly as possible) and then attach them to the base.

What do you think – is the end result worth the time and effort when a cute cube ottoman will not break the bank?

Don’t Get Bogged Down In How Furniture Ought to Be Used!

It’s so easy to get stuck when it comes to furniture. As in, ‘I don’t need a sideboard because I don’t have a dining room’ or ‘What could we possible use a bench for in our house?’ It’s especially easy when you have a chance to acquire a free piece of quality furniture.

But wait! Maybe you don’t need another dresser, but you’ve been looking for an amazing and different bathroom vanity. Or what you really want is a bookshelf by you keep finding bench after bench. Kitchen tables abound, but no desks… chairs, but no side tables… coffee tables but no desk and hutch combos. That sort of thing. My question is: Why get so focused on what a piece of furniture is? Why not focus instead on what is might be?

I know that repurposing furniture isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but who says you have to do it yourself? Maybe you have a friend who loves that sort of thing and will hook you up with your new shelves, vanity, or whatever for the price of materials plus a little extra. Or maybe there’s a pro in your area looking for some extra work. I mean, come on, check out this sweet repurposed furniture!

Inspired by Holly Golightly's bachelorette pad?

Two different shelving options, two different seats!

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A Sweet Play On the Traditional Starburst Mirror

I should say first of all that this particular sunburst mirror was a cheap and relatively easy DIY project undertaken by Monica Ewing, Sunset Home senior designer. Okay, okay, so she’s got some home decorating cred that most of us don’t have, but the posted instructions seem pretty simple. And it obviously came out gorgeous, so there’s no reason we can’t try it.

Amazing what a little paint can do, no?

But this totally fun play on the traditional starburst mirror started out its life in plain white, and that wasn’t thrilling Ms. Ewing. A few coats of a trip of blues by Benjamin Moore, and this was the end result. Love it! Isn’t it cool what just a little paint (and a steady hand) can do?

Tree Stump Side Tables

There’s not much to say about tree stump tables, other than the fact that they exist, they can look pretty awesome, and if you’re so inclined, creating a DIY tree stump side table isn’t that difficult (as demonstrated beautifully over at Nesting Place last month). The look pretty good painted:

Spotted on http://www.raenovate.com

But many people chose to leave them au natural, and rightly so:

Better Homes and Gardens is down with the stump

In a pinch, you can even use a tree stump side table as a seat:

Great for... unrolling your blood-spattered parchment paper?

For the DIY tree stump side table, you could do like the author of Nesting Place and just grab something left behind by the tree services guys, but I’d worry about the possibility of creepy crawlies riding in along with the stump. Plus, you want something a little drier than a fresh cut log, so I’d recommend opting for something found at the firewood depot, like Karen at the Art of Doing Stuff did.

Sure, it’s a little rustic, but I really like this kind of thing when paired with other furniture that’s decidedly non-rustic. Whatdya think… too outdoorsy? Or just right?

DIY Terrariums: The Jam Jar Terrarium, the Salt Shaker Terrarium, and More

This is going to be kind of a light week here at Manolo for the Home. As you read this, I’m probably actually on an airplane flying somewhere over the east coast. I’m not actually heading anywhere – I’ve been out of town for my dad’s fifth wedding and traveling with a toddler requires some sort of post-travel breather. A vacation from a vacation? Trust me, traveling with a toddler (and said toddler’s gear) is no vacation! So with that in mind, here are some pictures of oh-so-awesome DIY terrariums in jam jars, salt shakers, and even light bulbs!

Sweet miniature terrariums in salt shakers from Etsy seller Jo2SF

A mason jar terrarium from Craftzine, complete with little nibbler!

DIY terrarium wedding favors... I die.

You can put tiny DIY terrariums in so many things. I’ve seen them in coffee pots and cookie jars, among other things. Basically, any old glass container will do, so you don’t have to be particularly picky when choosing a receptacle for your moss, rocks, and wee plants.

  • Light bulb terrarium instructions can be found here
  • Jam jar terrarium instructions can be found here
  • Basic DIY terrarium instructions can be found here

Just have fun with it! Get some mini dinos or a deer in there, howsabout?

Make It: A Framed Heart Mosaic

All you need to replicate this cool heart mosaic photographed by Goode Green Photography is your choice of original 3″ X 3 1/8″ Polaroids (or something similar in a non-Polaroid format) and a picture frame or canvas. If you opt for the former, you can paste down your photos on the matting, and if you opt for the latter, just paste your pics directly onto the canvas. Which you can’t paint first or not, as you like it. Easy! And doubly good since it’s yet another way to deal with all those pesky snapshots taking up space.

Everything Old (Can Be) New Again!

When it comes to amazing couch reupholstery, you can’t beat Susan’s primo DIY job! The hip chick from Freshly Picked managed to turn this:

Into this:

And apparently she learned to do it as part of a class she took with her husband. Lucky? I would SO like to take my boring little family room loveseat and turn it into something amazing. Want a little peek into how it was done, then look no further. Here’s a sweet time-lapse video of the couch during nine two-hour classes:

Have you ever tackled a DIY project on such a massive scale? Because I’m pretty sure I haven’t.

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