Biodegradable Leaf Wreath

I don’t know about you, but come autumn I’m always itching for some new home decor. It’s not like Christmas, where I want to collect objects for nostalgia’s sake. I want something new each fall and I’m also always eager to concoct a new visage in my nest. But then the flower child within convicts me. How can I justify buying or making something new to add to the pile of stuff already cluttering my apartment, my life, and the planet?

What to do, what to do? Ah-ha! The solution! A biodegradable craft!

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Fall foliage. It’s the thing that makes it a thing, is it not? Without the changing leaves, the sweet smell of decay filling the air, we might as well be approaching spring. Seeing the changing canopies of the city’s trees is what makes me feel electric, feel renewed, feel distracted from the foreboding threat of winter. So why not capture that feeling by collecting the very thing that gives the season its mark: leaves.

For this project all you’ll need is some non-toxic glue, a pair of scissors, recycled cardboard, and some freshly pressed leaves. A pair of hyper helper hands, should you have a toddler waddling about, is good too!

First things first, you’ll need to cut a semi-accurate circle out of your cardboard. This is the part best saved for those of us old enough to wield a sharp object. Once the main circle has been cut out, shave out an inner circle so you’re left with a big “o.” That’s your wreath. Now, dab on glue around the cardboard, placing your first layer of leaves around the perimeter. Next, you’ll repeat this step, but pop the glue on the leaves. I find that three layers works best.

If you’re a strategic sort you can place the bigger leaves at the base and alternate colors so you have a more aesthetically appealing display. Once complete, allow your wreath at least 24 hours to dry before hanging it up. We took our little creation and hung it on August’s bedroom door using some doubled up washi tape. That lasted all of a single afternoon as he insisted that the door remain as-is. Oh toddlers. So we’re now enjoying it as part of our table centerpiece.

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There you have it! A simple, festively fall, biodegradable wreath that’s easy enough that even a kid, or an overly exuberant pumpkin-spice-latted-up adult, can do it.

Enjoy!

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Color Blocked Vintage Bookcase

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pre-owned goods. Not only does buying second hand mean that I’m diverting an item from the waste stream, and therefore preventing another from being made, it also means I’m inheriting something with a history. An object with a soul, if you will.

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When we moved into our current place I found that something major was lacking from the living room: a bookcase. My previous apartment had built-ins, and the place before that did too. That’s why I ventured to one of my favorite vintage furniture shops, Good Deal Garage, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Jam packed with loads of pre-loved furniture and decor, this is my go-to place whenever I need something with character for my little nest. So off I went to GDG and I found it. A very simple, but sturdy, wooden bookcase toward the back of the shop. It was filled with all manner of tchotchke but I could visualize it all cleaned up. Sold!

Fast forward half a year later. This wooden addition to my living room was doing its job, but feeling a bit too heavy for my current mood. An easy solution? Whitewash it! And I don’t mean the sociological use of the term, I mean good ‘ole grab a paint brush and get moving!

I was torn on whether or not to douse the whole piece in paint, if I should just clean up the interior, or if color blocking was the way to go. Because I have a variety of white and dark toned goodies to display, I went with the latter. So with a paintbrush in one hand, and my handy dandy masking tape in the other, I spent a toddler nap period painting the shelving unit. That equals 3 hours for two coats of paint, some time spent snacking and doing laundry, and then sitting and reading. So a very loose 3 hours indeed.

And the result? Awesome says I! I love how the white brought some life to the piece while allowing me to still showcase the rich woodsy material in one small strip. It ended up making my entire living room feel more airy and put together.

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Is there a furniture piece in your home that you think could do with a bit of freshening up? Or is there a recent project you finished to add some nuance to your space? If so, share below!

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DIY Gilded Baby Print Ornament

We are so excited about August’s first Christmas! How will he regard the feast, the presents, the stockings, the caroling?!

This important milestone is one that we’ll probably remember more than him, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t pull out all the stops for our little merry jelly belly. For this first baby-centric-Christmas we’ll be continuing some long-standing family traditions, while throwing in some new ones just for August. The first – an annual handmade Christmas ornament.

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To help inspire this sentimental tree trimming  I sifted through pin after pin on Pinterest but quickly found the tutorials lacking. Many of the handmade ornaments were too crafty looking (I know – there is such a thing I swear!). I wanted August’s first ornament to capture this important milestone while still retaining a modern classy feel. I really liked the idea of capturing a hand or foot print but instead of the traditional pressing method I opted for a different technique: embossing. This way I could capture his tiny digits without creating something too cliche. Continue reading

DIY: Baby Gnome Hat

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Little baby August was born this past Valentine’s day at a hearty 7 pounds and 6 ounces. But despite his ample weight, this long and lean baby has the tiniest of craniums, causing any and every hat we have for him to slide down over his eyes. The result: one fussy baby! So what’s a mama to do? Make some DIY hats of course!

To ensure our little guy’s noggin was staying nice and toasty in our home and beyond I whipped up a simple yet chic hat design that I could create using various fabric scraps. Using printed fabrics on a bias instead of elastic, and solid t-shirt fabric for the top, August’s “krasnoludek” hats have become an instant hit! Keeping his head warm while adding a pop of color to his ensembles, making these little gnome hats in different color combos is becoming my new pass time, in between feedings and naps at least.

So without further adieu, I bring you a quick photo tutorial on how to make a baby gnome hat (or two or three!) for your own little bundle. Enjoy!

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DIY: Eco-Friendly Handmade Gifts

DIY upcycled sweater stockings

Are your fingers feeling itchy to craft? Then get those digits to work!

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve assembled my all-time most popular DIY tutorials for you to peruse through. Click on any of the photos below to read the full set of instructions on how to make these practical and design-savvy eco-friendly gifts for the holidays.

After all, nothing’s more festive and heartfelt than something that’s handmade with love!

dit printed eco gift wrap

diy orange spice face scrub face scrub

diy upcylced sweater leg warmers

homemade cheek and lip stain

embellished heart elbow patch sweater

diy sweater bracelets

DIY: Festive Fall Garland

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Pumpkins deep jewel tones and warm hues, spicy candles and cozy fabrics all of these things are what make autumn my favorite season. So when dreaming up a new look for our fireplace mantle, I knew I wanted to combine all my favorite elements of fall into the spread. Pumpkins. Check. Wine colored mums. Check. Now for the finishing touch: a fun upcycled garland.

Pom poms, those delightfully little fluffy balls of yarn, are one of my secret obsessions. I will use any excuse to make a fresh batch – affixing them to gifts, headbands, art prints and more. So when choosing the texture of my festive fall garland the choice was easy.

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Now when choosing the colors and textures – that’s where a bit of experimentation came into play. Digging through my drawer of varying fabric scraps, I settled on a warm cream linen, rich pumpkin velvet, and grey and lilac t-shirt cottons. I then grabbed a ball of white yarn that had been sitting untouched after a summer project. Cutting, wrapping and slicing I found that the linen frayed too much and didn’t have the fluffy outcome I wanted. The velvet and cottons, however, worked out perfectly!

So without further adieu, I now bring you an tutorial on how you too can make one of these festive pieces for the season. Play with a variety of colors, textures and pom pom sizes to give your garland a twist of your very own.


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  1. Lay out your chosen fabric
  2. Cut the fabric into 1/2″ strips
  3. You’ll need 4 strips of fabric per pom pom
  4. Tug both ends of each strip to stretch and fluff them out
  5. Wrap the first strip around four fingers
  6. Wrap each of the remaining strips around the first
  7. Using a shorter excess strip, place the string between the center of your fingers and tie a knot
  8. Pull the pom off your fingers and cut the looped ends
  9. Fluff and trim your pom so all the ends are similar in length
  10. Cut a long piece of yarn onto which you’ll tie your poms
  11. Center each pom along the yarn mapping out the spacing
  12. Tie the yarn across the center of each pom and pull into place

And there you have it! In fifteen minutes or less you can be on your way toward making a festive fall garland of your very own! Should you give the project a try – be sure to share pictures of your final creation with us on Facebook or Instagram!

handmade fabric scrap pom pom garland

DIY: Peppermint Mocha Body Scrub

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It’s the time of year when we turn off the air, bust open the windows, and let the cool breeze of autumn whip through our homes. Forget spring cleaning – fall is when I want things to be light and fresh – which is exactly what has inspired my classic homemade Peppermint Mocha Body Scrub.

Made with ingredients from the kitchen, the exfoliating texture and delicious smell of this DIY treatment will transform your bathroom into a foodie spa extravaganza. Unlike the fattening espresso drink of the same name at Starbucks – this luxurious scrub is actually good for you! Made with olive oil, coffee grounds and effervescent peppermint, it will awaken your senses while sloughing off dry dull skin.

Follow the recipe to see how easy it is to indulge!

Ingredients:1 cup used coffee grounds, 1/2 cup raw sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, 1 teaspoon cocoa

To make, combine the coffee grounds and sugar in a small bowl and stir together. Next, add the two oils to the coffee sugar brew. Once you have thoroughly mixed the oils in, add the teaspoon of cocoa to give it an extra kick of scent. Pour your concoction into a cleaned out jam jar. For gifting purposes, wrap a string of ribbon or raffia around the base and tie in a bow. Will stay good in open air for two weeks – or you can refrigerate it to extend the shelf life.

Enjoy!