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Heather

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Paint Dipped DIY Round-Up

paint dip utensils kitchen diy

Paint-dipped furniture has been making the rounds as a subtle way to embrace the bold and bright color trend. But if you’re not willing to sacrifice a favourite wooden chair or stool for this trend, the technique can be adapted for inexpensive home accessories.

These DIYs prove how easy it is get a custom look with a designer vibe. If you have leftover cans of paint, these use-what-you-have projects are the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon: transforming unwanted clutter into something beautiful.

paint dip utensils kitchen diy

In The Kitchen

Wooden utensils and mismatched silverware are prime candidates for this technique. If you don’t have any kicking around your kitchen, look for inexpensive options in dollar stores or secondhand shops.

Don’t worry too much about coordinating shades – remember, the goal is to use up your painting leftovers – but try to keep similar tones together, as Erin from House of Earnest did with her wooden utensils. Even neutral shades look cool in a group.

Want to keep all eyes on the table at dinner? Try dipping the handles of a set of silverware in a mega-watt color. Creatively Christy used multiple colors for a fun effect, which is also a clever way to disguise a mismatched set. Planning your next dinner party? Stick with neutral linens and dishes, and use dip-dyed cutlery to dress things up, or coordinate them with your party palette.

paint dip bowl glasses diy

In The Dining Room

Speaking of dinner parties, if gold-rimmed china isn’t in your budget, this cool alternative adds a bit of gilded glam to your table. If you’re feeling super creative, you can make your own porcelain bowl before dipping it with this tutorial on Curbly, though these dishes are better suited for table styling than eating off of.

No one will care that your goblets aren’t crystal thanks to Liz from Say Yes to Hoboken’s creativity. She created this gold version for holiday dinner, but we’re imagining them in the metallic-of-the-moment, copper, or in a summery hue for outdoor entertaining.

paint dip diy flower vase candle holder

Around the House

It’s the little things that make a house a home, and it’s the trendy little accessories that keep your home out of a décor rut. We love these baby food jars-turned-mini vases from Oh Happy Day for a spring shower or birthday, and the way Design Love Fest gave these basic and boring vases an instant upgrade with a dip – make that a spray! – of colour.

wicker basket paint dip martha stewart

We all have more wicker baskets than we’d like to admit. Give these open storage essentials an update with a dip of colour, as shown on MarthaStewart.com. White paint freshens their look for a laundry room or bathroom, but they’re easy to imagine on a patio in a sunny yellow, or as toy storage in your child’s favourite colour.

Do you have paint just waiting to be put to use? Will you try this trend?

SOURCING:
+ Paint Dipped Wooden Utensils from House of Earnest
+ Colorful Silverware DIY from Creatively Christy
+ Gold-Dipped Bowl DIY from Curbly
+ Gold-Dipped Wine Glass DIY from Say Yes to Hoboken
+ Paint Dipped Mini Vases from Oh Happy Day
+ Color-Dipped Vase DIY from Design Love Fest
+ Dip-Dyed Baskets from Martha Stewart

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Vintage-Inspired MP3 Player for Kids

vintage mp3 player kids music

Most kids don’t have any difficulty finding their way around tech devices, yet we probably wouldn’t let them out of sight with our phones or tablets.

Handcrafted from non-toxic wood and materials in Germany, this modern music box – hörbert – has all the functionality of an MP3 player combined with the charm of a vintage toy, yet it’s tough enough to withstand life with kids.

vintage mp3 player kids music

Since small children can’t read, 9 buttons on the front encourage them to explore different sounds and content via color. Old school switch and volume controls are easy for small fingers to grasp.

A secure back panel houses a 2 GB memory card, batteries and any necessary wiring – no cords or cables for little hands to disconnect, or little mouths to chew on.

vintage mp3 player kids music buttons

hörbert can also be personalized for gift giving with custom wood engraving on the front, and is a lovely way to promote some music appreciation among the little ones in your life.

SOURCING:
+ hörbert MP3 Player, € 239.00

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

DIY Dollhouse with Ikea Expedit

diy modern dollhouse ikea expedit

diy modern dollhouse ikea expedit

They may have fallen somewhat out of fashion, but dollhouses are one of those sweet vintage-y children’s toys that always look at home in a little girl’s room. Unfortunately, old-fashioned dollhouses tend to be large and, when kids outgrow them, a pain to store and even pass on to others.

We loved this easy DIY version spotted on the Dutch blog 101 Woonideeen, which uses a small Ikea Expedit unit and wallpaper to create a modern version that doesn’t sacrifice charm. Not only is the unit sized perfectly for play, you can customize the look to coordinate with the décor in your child’s room with a vibrant wallpaper, removable decals or even just a different shade of paint on the wall. Best of all, the unit easily returns to its original purpose as a bookshelf or storage unit once your wee one outgrows her dollhouse.

The full instructions are written in Dutch, but the project is so straightforward you probably won’t need them. As we posted this, I noticed that their Website doesn’t respond today. It is good that you couldn’t read the instructions anyway. Let’s hope that their site will be back soon.

SOURCING:
+ DIY Modern Dollhouse from 101 Woonideeen
+ Ikea Expedit Unit, $39.99 USD/$49.99 CAD

ORGANIZING

New Uses for Old Things: Vintage Suitcases

vintage suitcases etsy photo

Easy spot to at second-hand stores and garage sales, vintage suiteases come with built-in charm (and, usually, a not-so-pleasant smell). Battered corners and silky linings tell tales of the suitcase’s travelled past, and you can instantly imagine the trips taken and memories made by previous owners.

vintage suitcases etsy photo

It’s just as easy to imagine taking one of those suitcases on a new trip, albeit one which tranforms it as creative storage, a cozy bed for Fifi, or a modern tech-savvy charging station.

Here are just a few of the most creative suitcase re-purposing projects we’ve spotted. (Look for links to full DIY in the Sourcing section below!)

It doesn’t matter if you’re a cat person or a dog lover, your furry family member will feel right at home with a stylish space of its own.

vintage suitcase pet bed diy

Of course, suitcases make lovely seats for your less furry family members too – just add legs, upholstery foam and pillows.

vintage suitcase chair diy

Did you see this colourful train case-cum-charging station on Design*Sponge last week? Most charging stations tend toward masculine styling, so we loved that the suitcase’s original girly colour was preserved, and the colourful feminine lining that was added.

diy suitcase charger device design sponge

Thinking outside the closet is the key to giving these suitcases a new lease on life. Create an organized and portable crafting station for kids (or mom!), or a picnic-party-in-a-box that will be ready to go when spring weather arrives.

vintage suitcase craft organizer diy

vintage suitcase picnic basket diy

Anyone who’s visited the home of a musician knows how instruments can take over the home. This guitar stand from the master Macgyver-ers at Readymade keeps things corralled, and folded up is easy to tote on stage or to band practice.

vintage suitcase guitar stand diy readymade

Of course, don’t overlook the suitcase’s original intent: storing clothes. Britsh artist James Plumb created custom chests and fitted suitcase fronts to the drawers for a one-of-a-kind look.

vintage suitcase chest of drawers james plumb

SOURCING:
+ “Journey in Blue” Vintage Suitcase Print, Simply Hue Designs on Etsy, $25 USD
+ Cat Bed DIY by Camilla Styles
+ Doggy Day Bed DIY by Covet Garden
+ Vintage Suitcase Chair DIY by See Kate Sew
+ Charging Station DIY by Design*Sponge
+ Craft Suitcase by Inspire Co.
+ Picnic Basket Suitcase DIY by Funkytime
+ Guitar Stand DIY by Readymade
+ Suitcase Chest of Drawers by James Plumb via Bless This Stuff

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Winter White Dessert Party in Gatherings Magazine

gatherings magazine white dessert table

gatherings magazine white dessert table

If spring is all about colour, winter is a study in white. Or at least it should be. Thanks to mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, for many of us this winter has been anything a white wonderland.

Looking for a little frosty inspiration? Check out the Winter 2012 issue of Gatherings magazine – the “white” issue. Gatherings is a newish digital magazine created by interior designer and blogger Heather Spriggs.

We fell for the Snowy Sweet Sensations white dessert party – with its refined palette of white, cream and cocoa-coloured neutrals, and pretty vintage touches, it’s sophisticated enough for a winter bridal shower or an evening with your most stylish girlfriends, and yet homey and kid-friendly enough for a relaxed Sunday afternoon gathering with family.

gatherings magazine hot chocolate marshmallow stir sticks

The creamy white serving pieces look glamorous next to glass-domed cake stands, and we love how simple mugs of hot chocolate get dressed up with the addition of beribboned marshmallow stir sticks. The display could have fallen flat with such a limited palette, but contributor and food stylist Jessie Senese smartly used dark chocolate brown for contrast and tone-on-tone textured food items – a cake with white chocolate shavings, powdered sugar donuts, white-chocolate dipped pretzels – to add visual interest to the display.

gatherings magazine white dessert table

Other must-read sections in this issue include tips on how to pick the perfect white paint (it can be more challenging than you think) and a collection of yummy white winter side dishes.

SOURCING:
+ Winter 2012 issue of Gatherings Magazine

ENTERTAINING Gift WRAP

Corinna Wraps Spring Flower Workshops

gift wrapping workshop

paper and petals gift wrapping workshop

Though we’re in store for a few more weeks of winter, spring flowers are already showing up at markets and in stores – we’re already thinking about spring decorating!

If you’re eager to brighten things up with a bunch of blooms, and want to learn how to transform potted plants and bulbs into something spectacular, don’t miss two new workshops at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto this spring with writer, stylist and creative wrapping pro Corinna vanGerwen.

gift wrapping workshop

Known for her genius wrapping ideas that have been featured in Canadian Living and Style At Home, Corinna is pairing her love of paper with petals for two one-day workshops.

On April 21, you can learn how to create a spring wreath from Japanese watermark tissue , or join her on May 12 to learn how to “wrap” daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers for gift-giving, party favours and other decorations. Learn more about the workshops and register at the Harbourfront Centre website.

Do not forget to check out the Corinna Wraps blog for more creative wrapping ideas. An idea to steal is her yellow striped suit gift wrap.

gift wrapping workshop

SOURCING:
+ Corinna Wraps Blog
+ Harbourfront Centre Spring Workshops

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Easy Valentine’s Day Breakfast Ideas

valentine's breakfast eggs hearts

Scrambling to come up with a Valentine’s dinner plan? Both Kim and I agree that staying in is the way to go, but if you really want to surprise your loved ones, create a special start to their day by putting a little love into the most important meal of the day.

Although Tuesday mornings don’t usually afford a lot of time for a leisurely meal, these quick Valentine’s day fixes will send them off with a smile without having to set your alarm for 5 a.m. wake-up-call.

Bacon and Eggs
A match made in heaven if ever we’ve tasted one, this classic breakfast combo gets a couple of creative tweaks to make it V-Day appropriate.

paper mama valentine's breakfast bacon heart

  • The Paper Mama cleverly twists strips of bacon into the shape du jour

valentine's breakfast eggs hearts

  • A heart-shaped cookie cutter turns easy-to-make egg-in-the-nest into something to remember (we love the cute ketchup hearts too!)
  • If hardboiled eggs are your family’s preference, try this heart-shaped version – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make. (Tuck this idea away for Easter brunch.)

Hot Drinks for Valentine’s Day
For those who prefer a liquid breakfast, these creative ideas put a Valentine’s spin on their favourite warm-me-up drink – whether coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

valentine's tea wrapper printable creature comforts

adore magazine valentine's tea printable

  • Make their tea simply sublime with free printable teabag wrappers from Creature Comforts or Australia’s Adore Magazine. If a mid-afternoon cuppa is your love’s thing, stash one in their work bag or notebook for a surprise.
valentine's day drinks hot chocolate printable
  • What could be more fitting for Valentine’s Day than a steaming cup of hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows? All if takes is a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter (or a warm knife and a steady hand) to make these.
  • If they’re taking their bevvie to go, wrap their travel mug (or ask for an extra cup when you stop at your favourite café today) in this adorable printable sleeve from Eat Drink Chic.

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? How will you celebrate this year?

SOURCING:
+ Bacon Hearts How-To from The Paper Mama
+ Heart-Shaped Egg-in-the-Nest How-To from Cute Food For Kids
+ Heart-Shaped Hard Boiled Egg How-To from Anna The Red
+ Free Printable Valentine’s Tea Bag Wrapper from Adore Magazine
+ Free Printable Valentine’s Tea Bag Wrapper from Creature Comforts
+ Heart-Shaped Marshmallow How-To from MarthaStewart.com
+ Free Printable Je T’aime Coffee Cup Wrappers from Eat Drink Chic

ENTERTAINING EVERYDAY entertaining

Create Cork Creatures with Pins

corkers wine bottle pin animal

corkers wine bottle pin animal

Planning to take a bottle of wine to that dinner party this weekend? Though your host probably won’t turn it away, a favorite bottle of red (or white) is a somewhat conventional take along.

Pretty packaging may be one way to dress it up, but Corkers – a new creation by Reddish Studio – offer something unexpected.

corkers wine bottle tag moose animal

Smartly packaged in a wine bottle hang tag are push pin sets that bring bottle corks to life as adorable animals. Available in six creatures – monkey, deer, buffalo, bear, bunny and crow – each pack includes the body parts for one creature.

wine bottle pin cork animals corkers

Corkers are sure to add some interesting conversation, creativity, and whimsy around the dinner table. We’ll drink to that!

SOURCING:
+ Corkers, $8, Monkey Business
+ Reddish Studio
+ Via Not Cot

FAMILY KIDS rooms

DIY Kid’s Climbing Wall

diy climbing wall kids indoor

diy climbing wall kids indoor

If cabin fever has your kids climbing the walls, this cool DIY might be just what they need to make it through another six weeks of winter.

Nikkala at the Crafting Chicks embraced her son’s climbing instinct by building an indoor rock climbing wall for their small playroom. All it takes is a sheet of plywood, colorful climbing holds and basic tools to make this afternoon project.

Best of all, the holds can be rearranged to keep things interesting (and challenging) for kids.

Get complete instructions on the Crafting Chicks blog.

SOURCING:
+ DIY Kids Climbing Wall Instructions
+ Climbing Holds, Atomik Climbing Holds, from $19.99 (pack of 10)
+ Via Apartment Therapy

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Modern Mobiles from Puka Puka

mobile modern nursery colorful

mobile modern nursery colorful

Art doesn’t need to hang on the wall to impact your space, and these handcrafted mobiles from Australia’s Puka Puka Design are a perfect example.

Handmade from ethically sourced, high quality materials, each mobile is unique and designed to bring a bit of nature into your space, with designs inspired by the sky and sea.

We love the organic shapes and contemporary color pairings, and that the mobiles add visual interest without adding visual clutter. We can see these in almost any room of the home – from the corner of the living room to an entryway or office – so think beyond the nursery (though they’d look lovely there, too).

SOURCING:

+ Puka Puka Modern Mobiles, $80 and up

 

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Outdoor Valentine’s Day Decoration: Ice Hearts from Poppytalk

poppytalk diy winter valentine's day heart

poppytalk diy winter valentine's day heart

We may not think of decorating our outdoor spaces for Valentine’s Day, but this uncomplicated idea by Poppytalk contributor Margie Oomen of Resurrection Fern has us reconsidering our options.

The combination of colorful natural elements frozen in heart-shaped ice is a beautiful contrast to what can be a rather gray month overall.

poppytalk diy winter outdoor decoration heart

Make a few to hang in spots where they’re sure to surprise and delight. We love them strung along a clothesline (shown above), but they’d look just as lovely as a winter wreath alternative on your front door or on barren tree branches in your backyard or neighbourhood park.

It’s a quick, simple project kids will love too. Check out Poppytalk for full instructions.

SOURCING:
+ Hearts of Ice DIY on Poppytalk