Tag Archives: diy

Holiday Crafting at RHW South

Last week we shared a holiday edition of DIYs to Try, and this past weekend try them I did!  I had one of those infrequent, blissful weekends where the days stretched long and my obligations were few – it was the perfect time to crank up the music and do some festive crafting.

I loved the simple wreath we shared and really wanted to create my own, but wasn’t sure where to find a lovely metal ring like the one they used.

I don’t know about your thrift stores, but ours are practically overrun with wreath forms this time of year – huge bins of them tangled among the innumerable broken tree stands.  I just unhooked the rings, pulled the smallest one off, then spray painted it copper.

Red House West || Holiday The form still had floral wire attached (bonus!) and I just eyeballed the placement of eucalyptus and baby’s breath from the grocery store supplemented with some greens and berries my dear aunt brought over.  I’m loving my new holiday wreath!

Red House West || Holiday I loved the advent village we shared last week, and it inspired me to make a couple little house-shaped votive holders.  Instead of the paper they used in their tutorial, I decided to try air-dry clay.  I did not want anything too complicated to interfere with my weekend of leisure and air-dry clay has much to recommend it: It’s cheap, very easy to use, and very easy to clean up.  I started by cutting out paper templates of the houses and, because I decided to make my them three-sided, I cut rectangle templates too.

Red House West || Holiday Cameron showed me a great trick for rolling out a uniform slab of clay – just put a couple strips of wood the same thickness you want your clay to be and set the rolling pin on top of them.

Red House West || HolidayI used a small utility knife to cut the clay around my house templates, and also used it to cut out windows and doors.  I used a teeny-tiny cookie cutter to make little stars in the houses’ sides.

Red House West || Holiday I didn’t worry about making things perfect or even symmetrical – whimsy is the name of this game!  I left the clay to dry on a piece of parchment paper for about 24 hours.

Red House West || Holiday To assemble the houses, I just glued the rectangles onto the sides.  I tried using a hot glue gun, but it didn’t work at all.  I ended up using Gorilla Glue (just something we already had around), and though it worked it didn’t dry completely clear, and I had to scrape some of it off.

Red House West || HolidayI used battery-operated LEDs so I can leave them lit without worrying about setting the booze hutch afire and I gotta say, I’m really liking the festive light they cast.  This would be a really, really easy project to do with little kids and if you used a square cookie cutter instead of the utility knife to make the windows, they could do almost all of it themselves.

Red House West || Holiday These are both easy, inexpensive projects that I definitely recommend trying!  Have a wonderful week!


Anthropologie-Inspired Geometric Table Top

My desire for crafting seems to be inversely proportional to the weather: for every degree that drops on the thermometer, my need to make something increases.  As the wind howled and the rain fell this last week, I decided to tackle a small project I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

I’ve had this metal table for a few years now, but I have zero recollection of where I got it.  The side of a road? The thrift store?  Your house?  Whatever its origin, it was cute enough to drag home (or steal, or however I got it), and we fashioned a top from a piece of scrap wood, stuck it in a corner with a lamp on it, and forgot about it.  Until a whisper carried on a late October wind reminded me.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired TableInspiration came, as it so often does, in the form of an Anthropologie catalog.  I like to think my style is unique, but the reality is that only financial constraint keeps me from a home and closet cloned straight from Anthropologie.  They, more than any other brand, create the fantasy life I’d like to live.  Soon after it appeared in my mailbox, I dogeared the pages with the new Sura collection, liking the geometric patterns and achromatic palette.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table Pretty sure I could pull something similar off for significantly less than the $1200 Anthro price tag, I gathered my supplies:

  • Four strips of 1/16″ thick Basswood (I can only find the packaged quantity online, but they were sold individually for less than $5 with a coupon at JoAnn’s)
  • Matte black paint
  • Paint brush and rag
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Wood glue (I used this)
  • Polyacrylic (or another clear topcoat)

To begin, I painted two of my boards with black chalkboard paint then used a rag to vigorously rub them so the grain would show through.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table I used a utility knife and straight edge to cut four-inch squares of both the natural and painted wood, then cut those into two halves, making triangles.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table

The thin wood cuts easily with just a utility knife.

I had fun playing around to see what layout I liked best.  I’m sorry for the photo quality: The hideous lighting and off-kilter framing can both be attributed to the late hour at which I was doing this.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table Once I had a design I liked, I put a thin layer of glue on the piece of wood we’d been using as a table top, attached half the tiles, then quickly put a board and a pile of heavy objects (a zillion-pound kitchen mixer among them) on top.  I then did the other half of tiles exactly the same way.  A thin, even layer of glue and a quick application of weight is essential (ESSENTIAL!) to keep the thin tiles from curling.  I let things dry overnight, then finished up with a coat of Polyacrylic.  Not counting dry time, the whole process took me less than two hours.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table A similar look could have maybe been achieved by taping and painting a single piece of wood, but I like the tiled effect and the way the grain goes in different directions.  I can totally imagine doing this again on a larger table surface, a cabinet front, or as a frame.  Maybe next time instead of painting, I’ll even try cerusing the wood using this tutorial from Little Green Notebook.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table

Red House West || Anthro Inspired Table I’m liking it so much that this morning I picked some of the hardy pink roses that are still blooming along our driveway, made a cup of tea, and just sat there appreciating my newest craft.

Red House West || Anthro Inspired TableAnyone else been bitten by the cold-weather crafting bug?

DIYs to Try

Hi everyone and welcome back from the long weekend!  We both took advantage of the break to get away from our computers and into the woods – it felt good to unplug and fun to do some daydreaming about the coming summer months.

It has been ages since we’ve done a round up of DIYs we’re inspired to try and, with long days and warm nights on the brain, we thought we’d share some fun outdoor-inspired tutorials from around the web.

From Katie:

There have been a lot of evenings spent around our backyard firepit recently, and we’re in dire need of some more seating.  I love this cheerful macrame update to old metal lawn chairs, and Scoops’ tutorial over on Deuce Cities Henhouse is awesomely detailed!

Red House West || DIYs to TryRed House West || DIYs to TryThese little paper lanterns are so charming!  They could definitely work for the winter holidays too, but I think they’d be perfect – perhaps with battery-powered candles – out on the picnic table for a warm summer dinner.

Red House West || DIYs to TryI can see these family-portrait-coloring-book pages being so fun for both kids and adults!  I love the thought of doing this with some awkward childhood photos, and can imagine they’d be a real hit as a party favor at a wedding or reunion too.

Red House West || DIYs to TryRed House West || DIYs to Try

From Mera:

Under my mother in law’s care, our backyard was a magical wonderland that delighted garden tour visitors.  I’m ashamed by how far it has fallen under my (lack of) care, but the beautiful weather we’ve been having has inspired me to work on making the yard special again.

I love Otomi, and this little garden table is a sweet way to bring the pattern outside.

This spray painted outdoor rug is a simple project and a good way to define an outdoor space without spending a bundle.

This table may not necessarily be a central part of backyard beautification, but it sure looks fun!

What outdoor DIY projects are on your list?