DIY washi tape holiday mantel

holiday tape mantel step 1 and 2 DIY washi tape holiday mantel


I’ve always wanted an apartment with a fire place. In reality, it actually seems like a pretty terrible idea–I mean me, unsupervised around flames? Not a great combo. Still, I grew up with one glowing in my house every winter and they exude a coziness that I just love. Plus, they give you the perfect space to hang your Christmas stockings.


Our apartment now has very little wall space that hasn’t already been taken up–we have an unused stair banister, but for some reason, hanging stocking on there just didn’t look right. So what’s a girl to do besides create a fake mantel, right? Right.


First things first: get your tape. Washi tape is expensive, so I recommend going with a fun colored painters tape for most of the big stuff–I love the bright yellow we found, and we didn’t even end up using a whole roll. Next? Pick your wall space. The unused space at the top of our stairwell was perfect. Now, we’re going to go step-by-step, but no worries…it’s super easy. You just need someone to help you eyeball if it’s straight or not!


holiday tape matel step 3 and 4 DIY washi tape holiday mantel

Step 1 (left): Tape two horizontal lines on top of each other, with about an inch and a half between the two. The bottom should be a few inches shorter on each end than the top. Connect with a diagonal piece of tape on each end.


Step 2 (right): Starting at the ends of the bottom horizontal piece, run two vertical pieces of tape down on each side.


holiday tape mantel step 5 and 6 DIY washi tape holiday mantel


Step 3 (left): Create the center detailing. You’ll need to find the center of your faux mantel and put a short piece of tape horizontally below that about 12 inches. Then, work your way up with two pieces diagonally to connect with the bottom of your mantel’s “ledge.”


Step 4 (right): Create the “hearth.” You’ll  need to run two pieces of tape horizontally from the right and left sides of your center detailing, each ending about a foot from the outer edges. Run a piece of tape vertically from the edge of each to the ground, parallel to the outer edges.


holiday tape mantel step 7 and 8 DIY washi tape holiday mantel

Steps 5 and 6: Now is the time to add some detailing! I used tape to create things that look like the panels of wood that you would find in a traditional fireplace, but really, you can do whatever you want! For these, I did cut the width of the tape in half–using the normal width just looked like too much.


washi tape mantel DIY washi tape holiday mantel


Finish it off with a few fun add ons, like the washi tape candle sticks I made. We love the way it turned out (we’re considering keeping it up all year ’round!), and we can’t wait to hang our stockings. Not a bad fix for a NYC apartment, huh?



a glossy charming twist: nautical frame DIY

nautical frame DIY a glossy charming twist: nautical frame DIY


Remember that fun DIY-off I did in May with the fab Emily from Isn’t That Charming and talented Brynn from Chartreuse & a Twist? Well, we’re back again–this time with a nautical theme!


I’ve been heavily into decorating lately, so I wanted to make something my beach-y obsessed roommate could use in her room. I saw this wooden frame at the craft store and it was pretty much a (very easy) no-brainer!


paint a nautical frame a glossy charming twist: nautical frame DIY


To make this, tape off stripes on the frame using painters tape (because really, what screams nautical more than stripes?!). Keeping with the theme, I chose navy and white paint, and slapped them on the frame, alternating the stripes.


nautical frame DIY 21 a glossy charming twist: nautical frame DIY


Once dried, remove the tape. To accent the frame (and cover up the little ‘oops’ you see on the righthand corner), I spray painted a few shells I picked up at the beach last summer gold, and glued them to the corner. Plop in a favorite beach-y picture (I chose one of Avalon, a favorite summer spot for our group of friends!) and there you have it: nautical-themed decor!


Check out Emily’s project here, and Brynn’s here! These ladies are so creative, you know you want to!


p.s. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments about our apartment yesterday. It was so fun to decorate, and hearing that you liked it made it even more special. If you asked a question about where we got something, hang tight–I’m hoping to answer them all at some point today! xo



a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms

floralmonogram5 a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms


It’s no secret that I love crafting up DIYs, so when the fab Emily from Isn’t That Charming suggested we pull together a monthy DIY-off (that’s now a thing, by the way) with Brynn from Chartreuse & a Twist, I was so game. Each month will have a theme and a budge–May’s theme was flowers, naturally!


floralmonogram2 a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms


I’m really into decorative monograms lately, and I wanted to create a bright, summer-y option that varied from the usual tin ones. This project is super simple, and easy to customize–you could do the letters in all one shade or flower (white would be super pretty for a wedding or party!). Simply buy cardboard 3D letters and cut off the tops using a exacto knife (but please, be careful with your fingers!). You can paint the other sides of the letters if you’d like, or leave them the brown cardboard shade.


floralmonogram3 a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms


Purchase a large block of floral foam, and cut pieces to fit within the letters–you might need to trim some of the thickness as well, because you don’t want the foam showing above the end of the cardboard.


floralmonogram4 a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms


Do your best to fill all spaces of the letter–you’re going to want to make it as snug as possible! It should stay in letter by itself, but if not, you can use a little hot glue gun action to attached the foam to the inside of the letter.


floralmonogram1 a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms


Next up? Grab your big bushel of flowers! Obviously, you’ll want them to be faux–fresh ones will not last more than a day. Pull or cut each bloom off of their stems–you’re going to want to leave about a half an inch of stem below the bloom to stick into the foam. Spreading out the flowers, poke each into the floral foam until the letters are completely filled.


floralmonogram6 a glossy charming twist: faux flower monograms


These make me so happy every time I look at them–so fun, right?



Check out Emily’s project here, and Brynn’s here! These ladies are so creative, you know you want to!


p.s. The sweet Luci featured me on her blog this past weekend. Pay her a visit and check it out!




DIY ombre serving spoons

spoons1 DIY ombre serving spoons


Often times, I’m inspired to create a DIY from something I see out on the world wide web. In this case, Etsy. I first caught a glimpse of these ombre serving spoons almost a year ago, and I’ve been smitten with them ever since. Eventually, I found a plain jane serving spoon set at Crate and Barrel and the makings of this DIY was born.


spoons2 DIY ombre serving spoons


Besides the spoons, you’ll need a few bottles of acrylic paint in descending colors–I chose variations of teal, yellow and coral (colors that go with my current kitchen chairs!)–and a few sponge brushes.


spoons3 DIY ombre serving spoons


It’s super easy to personalize the gradation of the ombre–you could do blocks of color, or more of a faded effect, like I went for. To achieve it, simply hap-hazardly paint on the darkest color on, ending in a jagged line, and immediately continuing with the second-lightest color–you want to do this all while the previous colors are still wet, so it’s as easy as possible to blend the shades together.


spoons4 DIY ombre serving spoons



DIY chalkboard cheese platter

IMG 2497 DIY chalkboard cheese platter


I mean, cheese. Do I really need to say more? I’m obsessed–and I’m pretty sure most of you probably are too. Cheese platters stole my heart when I was studying abroad in Florence (they. were. everywhere), and it’s been a torrid love affair ever since. I love pulling a quick one together when we have a few people over for drinks–everyone likes a good chunk of cheese (and for those that don’t, there are other options).


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I’ve been wanting to create my own chalkboard cheese platter for a while–I love the ease (and charm!) of labeling the cheese with chalk. I found this little chunk of wood at Lee’s Artshop for super cheap ($5 dolla!) and already had some chalkboard paint laying around, so this project came together perfectly. Simply paint on two coats, “cure” with a stick of chalk (basically scribble all over the whole thing, then wipe clean with a damp cloth) and you’re good to go!


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Now it’s time to choose the cheese! I typically go with four different types of cheese that vary in flavor and texture. For this platter, I used parmesan cheese, gouda, herbed goat cheese and cheddar. You’re going to want to include a few fruits, breads and meats on the platter as well to add variety–I went with grapes, sopressata and bread, but other great additions include figs, dried fruit, nuts and chutneys.


IMG 2488 DIY chalkboard cheese platter



You’re also going to need some dippers! I went with a thick balsamic syrup, extra virgin olive oil and a sweet honey. All of them compliment the various cheeses amazingly!


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Chalk in the cheese types and your good to go. Finger food at it’s most delicious!




jeweled lace collar DIY

IMG 0727 jeweled lace collar DIY


I love the style accent that peter pan collars lend anything and I’ve been searching a while for a necklace that I could add to blouses, sweaters and jackets that would mimic the look. Forever21 had a few cute options, but most of them seemed really flimsy and didn’t have the fabric base I was envisioning.


IMG 0675 jeweled lace collar DIY


Luckily, Etsy had some crazy-affordable versions that I didn’t feel guilty adding a few jewels to. Once mine came in the mail, I picked up an assortment of gems and studs from Michael’s (a.k.a my home-away-from-home), loaded up my glue gun and got to work.


IMG 0686 jeweled lace collar DIY

IMG 0689 jeweled lace collar DIY


I wanted a mix of colored and clear jewels, so painting half a pretty burgundy with nail polish was an easy solution. If you’ve never tried this with crystal jewelry before, you must! It’s so simple and only takes about fifteen minutes to transform a piece of jewelry into something that pops (I’ve done it with a lot of my Forever21 pieces)!


IMG 0697 jeweled lace collar DIY

IMG 0709 jeweled lace collar DIY

IMG 0710 jeweled lace collar DIY


Once the painted jewels dried, it was time to glue them on to the collar with the rest of the pieces. I used a glue gun (you could also use fabric glue), however I cannot stress this enough: always put something under your work surface. Otherwise, you’ll risk ruining your table, especially in with this project, where the glue might seep through the lace!


IMG 0721 jeweled lace collar DIY


It’s a little bling-y and maybe not for everyone, but I love the way it turned out. I’m looking forward to trying it out with a few outfits, so keep an eye out!


glitter ombre champagne glasses

IMG 0733 glitter ombre champagne glasses

Full disclosure: I totally had this post pegged for holiday time, but  I couldn’t fit it in. Then I realized, what better time than the new year for a little glittery DIY? I saw these champagne glasses on Pinterest, and they were so easy to make–all it took was a little Martha Stewart glitter craft paint, a sponge brush and a little patience.

IMG 0763 glitter ombre champagne glasses

IMG 0772 glitter ombre champagne glasses

Sponge the glitter onto the champagne glasses, concentrating the most at the bottom and slowly working your way up. A good ombre look will take two thick coats, but make sure you wait at least 20 minutes in between.

IMG 0779 glitter ombre champagne glasses

To set the paint on the champagne glass, place them in a cool* oven and then warm to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off, letting the glasses cool inside the oven. *This is important! Otherwise, they’ll crack!

IMG 0789 glitter ombre champagne glasses

I happen to think this is the perfect time for sparkly champagne glasses–I plan on having a lot to toast to in 2013.

present wrapping 101

IMG 0893 Version 2 present wrapping 101

One of the best part of the holidays is gifting. I don’t know about you guys, but there is no better feeling than finding that perfect present for someone on your list. And better yet, wrapping it so that it’s almost too pretty to open. Almost.

I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert but I love making things pretty and I did run a neighborhood wrapping service around age 13. I think I made about $12 dollars, so there’s always that. I’ve whipped up a few ways to make your packages pretty under the tree this year.

go natural present wrapping 101

IMG 0902 present wrapping 101

Turns out, Anthro has some really great specialty paper around the holiday season. To go natural, pick a simple color with an interesting texture–this one is a pretty silver with a mesh look. Tie on a simple burlap twine bow and let the simplicity speak for itself.

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IMG 0909 present wrapping 101


goneon present wrapping 101

IMG 0898 present wrapping 101

IMG 0900 present wrapping 101

There are no rules during the holidays, and that includes forgoing a “traditional” color palate. As you could see from my DIY decorations, I’m all about neon this Christmas, so this wrapping paper was a natural extension. If you buy one thing this year, buy kraft paper! You can use it for so many things, including polka dot wrapping paper. Simply buy the paint color of your choice, and stamp different sized polka dots onto the kraft paper. Let dry, then use on your packages.

IMG 0924 present wrapping 101

With smaller packages, use a little burlap and neon string to tie a cute package that will be the perfect accent to your polka dot paper.

IMG 0920 present wrapping 101

IMG 0923 present wrapping 101


go festive present wrapping 101

IMG 0916 present wrapping 101

Red, green, white and any combo of the three are a perfect choice for holiday packages, but the key to pretty presents is texture and dimension. Washi tape is so cute–it’s the perfect situation where you want your tape to be visible.

IMG 0911 present wrapping 101

For a cute, festive “flower,” use cupcake wrappers! Simply cut into wrappers of alternating colors and stack into one another, gluing the bases together.


Happy wrapping!


p.s. I’m over on the fab Mossypants spilling my beauty must-haves. Check it out here!


neon holiday

IMG 0616 Version 21 neon holiday

Forget a white Christmas…or even a red and green one. Neon is where it’s at this year.

I mentioned my love of decorating for Thanksgiving here, so naturally when Christmas hit, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and turn my place into a winter wonderland. Because our apartment is girly and bright, a red and green Christmas just didn’t really seem to suit our decor. Instead, I hit up Michaels (aka Dreamland) and picked up some cheapie supplies to make neon snowflake garland.

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The original plan was to cut intricate snowflakes out of poster board, but I soon realized I was not at all good enough to do that (ha) and instead bought these pretty wood ones. They ended up working out great!

IMG 0782 Version 2 neon holiday

IMG 0794 Version 2 neon holiday

Simply paint the snowflakes with your desired colored and let dry. I hung them with silver sparkly garland over one of our couches. It’s so simple, but I kind of love it!

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How do you guys decorate for the holidays? Are you traditional, or do you mix it up?

give thanks

nolightswitch2 give thanks

There’s something exciting about having your first holiday season in a new home. You get to decide how you want to decorate, where you want to decorate, if you want to decorate. Christmas is my balls-to-the-walls holiday (I cannot wait!), but that doesn’t mean I ignore Thanksgiving when the time to decorate rolls around. My roommate and I have pulled a few organic-inspired fall touches into our home (including gold spray-painted pinecones), and I completed this easy DIY banner this past weekend in order to welcome my second favorite holiday.

IMG 0380 Version 2 give thanks

To make this, simply head to your local craft store and pick up a bit of burlap. I was lucky enough to find a large roll that was already the width I was looking for–this saved SO much time and made the project far less messy (in case you’re not aware, cutting burlap is pretty much gross). If you can’t find a similar roll, you’ll need to buy about a yard of fabric.

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Cut the burlap into rectangles (approximately 6×5 inches). If you want your banner to read “Give Thanks” like mine, you’ll need 13 rectangles (counting three “space” rectangles. One in the front, one at the end, and one between the words).

IMG 0417 Version 2 give thanks

Seal the edges of the burlap pieces with a lighter. This will ensure that they’ll fray less than normal (no matter what, there will be a bit of fraying!).

Paint letters on the burlap with your desired script. I recommend lightly sketching out your letters with black sharpie, then painting over them with craft paint. Definitely be sure to do this on a paper towel or newspaper-covered surface, as the paint will certainly bleed through the holes in the fabric!

IMG 0418 Version 2 give thanks

Once dried, it’s time to weave the burlap letters onto string. I chose to use a piece of burlap string, but you could also use ribbon if you’d like. Simply separate the burlap slightly to push the string through both sides of the sign.

noswitch give thanks

IMG 0443 Version 2 give thanks

Happy almost-Thanksgiving! How are you guys decorating?