DIY

eighty two

DIY Corkboard Jewelry (+more) Display

As I’m sure many of you know, a huge struggle with dorm living is storage, so this year I’ve tackled that problem by really embracing vertical space while also working on disguising my dorm’s boring layout. I started with one of the room’s biggest eyesores: the giant rolling wooden closet doors. They’re attached pretty simply, so I removed one from its track and sneakily hid it behind one of my colorful wall tapestries, but I knew I needed to keep the other one on (because really, what’s more stressful than staring at an exposed messy cluttered closet?!) I figured I’d take a whack at two challenges with one project: cover ugly closet door with corkboard accessories display! So easy and so pretty! I was actually really surprised with how much character it adds to my room. It also encourages me to stay organized- If something’s missing from its place on the board (and therefore likely tossed on my desk/bed/floor) there’s a weird void on the board that bothers me so much I have to fix it immediately. It’s the same pressure of someone telling you to clean your room without all the yelling!

Board

– Piece of corkboard (I got this one at Target at the end of the summer and it’s great, but boy do I wish I knew this one existed at the time!)

– Things in dire need of organization (necklaces, headbands, flower crowns, barrettes, sunglasses, collars, hats, etc.)

– Thumbtacks

– Heavy-duty hanging strips (these work great!)

Creation/installation is so simple: hang the board wherever floats your boat, add thumbtacks, then hang items! Boom! If you want to get really crazy, it might be fun to add vintage postcards, dried flowers, or other fancy details to the board as well! The best thing about this is how easy it is to change if you start adding new pieces to your accessories routine.

Spotted: DIY Flower crowns and Glittery Sunglasses (y’know, if you’re into this project but don’t already have enough stuff to display..)

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seventy nine

DIY Decorative Resin Antlers

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of the DIY projects I’ll be posting here are going to be dedicated to making semi-permanent spaces more special. I spent a lot of this past summer looking at interior decorating magazines/blog posts, focusing on “renter-friendly” projects and pieces. I prepared some things beforehand, others I’ve been making when I find some spare time in between classes and homework and my job and designing costumes for a show (opening tomorrow night! #help) and sleeping and cooking. Wow, who else is ready for this semester to be over? Sheesh.

I got the idea for these antlers from White Faux Taxidermy -a truly cool (not to mention totally animal friendly and affordable) way to make your room look like a hunting lodge on psychedelics- and this image from A Beautiful Mess.

Antlers

– Resin antlers (or skull)

– Fun spray paint (I had some bronze left over from a previous project, but I think a pastel or electric blue/pink/green could be super cool. Resin bone project part 2 coming soon?)

Simply place the antlers on newspaper and spray away! When hanging, I recommend using nails if you can. These came with handy hooks on the back, but since the spot where I hung them in my dorm is probably an air duct covered by thin plaster I went for the renter-friendly heavy duty Command Hooks (be sure to stick the hooks to the wall and let them set for a few hours before hanging the antlers!)

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I wish you could see how lovely the color turned out in my room, but alas, low-watt institutional lightning strikes again!

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seventy four

Tooling Foil Plaque

At this point in my life, most of my friends are either living in dorms or renting apartments. One of the biggest problems with these living spaces is decoration. For some reason, it seems like everything made specifically for a dorm is not only miniature, but also super colorful, and in a weird way. It’s almost as though people think if something is made with gaudy colors that it will look good in a bland dorm. I don’t know about you, but I never ever find this to be the case. With apartments, decoration would seem to be an easier task what with the normal amount of space to call your own, but if you’re not allowed to paint (or even nail things onto) the walls, again it becomes pretty tricky. So I hope in the future to share a bunch of DIY projects here that make semi-permanent living spaces seem a little happier, in terms of easy art (click here and here to see ones I’ve shared already!), decor tips, and even spacial usage (What? You’ll see.)

Now for the plaque: This project is super simple. Really all you need is the tooling foil and a writing utensil, both of which are very easily obtained. The foil itself can be purchased in lots of different colors, but I went with the “brass” option, because it’s basically gold and I’m really into gold right now. Read on and enjoy!

Plaques

– Tooling foil (I used this. So cheap!!)

– Wooden dowels, dull pencil, or pen (for marking)

– Sheet of foam large enough to place your foil on

– Sharpie

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Cut a piece of foil into any size that pleases you.

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Pressing lightly with a Sharpie , draw anything you’d like on the foil (I know the picture is deceiving, but after some experimenting I realized you should not lean on the foam for this step). I went with a cute cat illustration (it is National Cat Day, if anyone noticed/cared, so this is very appropriate). Remember that the gold side of the foil is really shiny, making it hard to read detail on the image from far away. Keep your drawing relatively simple!

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With the wooden dowel, pen, or pencil (or all of them to get varied line thickness), trace over your Sharpie sketch (this time you should use the foam, it helps make a deeper imprint on the foil!)

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Flip it over and admire your handiwork! How cool is that?! I was so pleased with the end result here I made another (much simpler, but just as fancy looking) one:

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(Remember to write letters in backwards on the sketching side if you’re including text!)

Happy decorating!

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forty six

Poetry (or Song Lyric or Random Words) Wall Art

 

This project is inspired by this one from A Beautiful Mess. Art is so much fun to put on walls, and it really is too freaking awesome to have someone compliment it and ask if you bought it in the apartment section of some hip store. (Your answer should always be something along the lines of “oh this? Lol it only took me a few hours, I was just bored!” for maximum impressiveness). Being a relatively crafty person, I had everything needed for this project just lying around, so it was FREE. FREE. Had to say it twice because in my book, thriftiness is next to Godliness. Wanna make one? I thought so!

 

Wall Art

– small canvas

– old map

– white acrylic paint

– mod podge

– alphabet template/stencils (I didn’t have any, so I used this)

– matte paper Mod Podge (which is basically really rad craft glue/sealant that dries clear quickly)

 

First, paint your canvas (and sides if you’re using a thick one like I did) white. It may seem unnecessary, but if you don’t you’ll realize the canvas may look a little unfinished without it. Feel free to use another color if that’s your thang.

Next, decide what words you’ll be using. I went for the e.e. cummings poem “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” because I just love how silly it is. Cut out the letters you’ll be using from the stencil sheet and tape them to the map.

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Cut every letter out and then set them up on the canvas

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Using the Mod Podge, one at a time carefully cover the back of each letter and then paste it onto the canvas, making sure to paint a thin layer over the top of the letter to smooth it down.

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Next, cut long strips of the map to cover every side of the map to make it look more put together and neat. Paint a thin layer over the top of the strips to smooth it down. Don’t be afraid to really use your fingers here!photo 4

Finally, touch up the white paint in any areas that have begun to look messy due to excessive touching/Mod Podge squishing. And you’re done! Woo!

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