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!

20161030_150700

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.

20161016_091229

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!

20161030_150654

August’s Nursery: First Edition

It’s been exactly a year since we converted our bedroom into a nursery for our little jelly belly. I was three weeks away from my due date and a maddening urge to nest hit me. I had made a plan for the space but hadn’t done much beyond having David put up the crib and pop some art on the wall. One year later his space has undergone a multitude of changes, which is when it occurred to me, I never shared the first edition!

Photo by Megan Saul Photography

Photo by Megan Saul Photography

We live in a vintage one bedroom in Chicago’s populous and energetic Lakeview neighborhood. Our flat is sizable for the area – we have a sun room, formal dining room, large kitchen and a living room with built-ins and a fireplace (just for show though!). When we found out we were pregnant in May of 2014 we decided we’d work with the space we have rather than moving into a larger apartment. We love the character and location of our current place and knew that to find a two bedroom even remotely as cute in such a good neighborhood would be a long shot. So we decided to stay!

 

Continue reading

DIY: Festive Fall Garland

diy upcycled pom pom garland

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.

pom poms

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.


diy recycled fabric pom pom garland

  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: Newspaper Party Streamers

DIY: Eco-Friendly Party Decor - recycled newspaper streamers

This past month I found myself in a dilemma. David’s birthday was suddenly at hand, we had a party planned, and I totally forgot to consider decorations! With just an hour before the first guests’ arrival, I devised a quick and resourceful way to get my apartment into the party spirit: Upcycled paper streamers!

Sneaking a few sheets of newspaper away from my bunny’s stash, I concocted a simple banner design that only required a few strategic cuts and less than 10 minutes of sewing. The result? A transformed festive space that’s eco-friendly and ready for fun!

Should you be on the lookout for a simple and design-savvy way to deck out your place for an upcoming get-together, give this easy four step tutorial a try!

upcycled party streamers tutorial

1) Cut your newspaper into one inch slices.

2) Gather a stack of your sliced paper and cut each strip in half.

3) Align your strips to ensure they’re all the same length. Don’t worry about the width of each being exact.

4) Use a simple stitch and same plain thread to connect the strips together, sewing about a half inch from the tops. Sew approximately 30-40 slips per streamer.

And that’s it! To hang your streamers all you need to do is grab some washi or marking tape and affix them to your ceiling at varying lengths and spaces. You’ll find that the more streamers you hang, the fuller the installation’s look, so don’t be afraid to go nuts and make ten or more pieces!

Do you have a secret last-minute party decor idea that’s easy to make and eco-friendly? Share your tips with us!

Pierogi Picnic: Handmade Party Streamer Tutorial

A Touch of Spring

I love love love playing up each season in my home using knick knacks and materials that are already strewn about our place.

So when  curating the look of my home for Easter and spring, I thought it would be fun to put a creative twist on the traditional symbols of the season.

Can you spot the themes?

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (3)

For this fun and vivid display I collected all the bird-like objects that I had dispersed throughout our apartment and brought them together on a runner of bright green moss.  Compiling items with a similar shape, theme, color, texture or size is a great way to make an  “instant collection” with pieces you already own. Not a dime spent here!

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (6)

I’ve been obsessed with brass vintage figurines this past year. Having found a set of bunny statues a couple years back – I have found myself moving them around the apartment at the shift of each season. But with it being spring – they are front and center on my side tables.

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (5)Feathers feathers feathers! They’re so easy to find and there are endless ways of using them! Whether collected in vases or strewn across the fireplace mantle with twine and washi tape – these natural (and trendy!) wonders add an airy texture to any space.

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (4)

These pillows! I just couldn’t stop myself when they appeared in an email newsletter from fab.com. These unique animal plushies are created when artist Kristin Loffer Theiss draws out the image using thread. She then scans and prints the design onto the fabric and stuffs each with filling and love! The result is a collection of unbearably adorable pillows! Here I’ve collected several of the more spring-like animals together to sit upon my re-upholstered vintage chair. Continue reading

Finds: Monochromes + Mint

grey, white and mint etsy finds

Perhaps it’s the recent snow dump that’s rubbing off on me – but I have been so drawn to monochromatic color schemes of late. I’ve found myself pinning and hearting things that are black, white and grey for weeks! Thank goodness spring is on the horizon – and as it nears – I’m hoping more pops of color will creep into my creative landscape.

  1. Animal Fox original painting by Celine
  2. Mint Green earring studs by Dariami
  3. Insect Specimen No. 1 by Tina Tarnoff
  4. At the Window Garden Ledge pillow cover by Linda McMaster
  5. Large Mountain necklace by Meghann Rader
  6. Sitting Deer statue by Mahzer & Vee

Bringing the Outdoors In

Plant in a bird cage by Lydia Krupinski

As a contributor to the Eco Etsy blog – I’ve had the opportunity to write on a wide range of topics. From eco-tutorials to sustainable inspirations – I’ve covered a range of topics on the site. Most recently I gathered up some ideas on how you can bring a hint of Spring indoors with creative curating using plants.

If you’re getting antsy like me to welcome the new season, check out the article for some suggestions on how you can bring the great outdoors in this month.