Category Archives: DIY

Window Dressing With Paper Flowers

A Pretty Penny | Window Dressing With Paper Flowers

Inspiration: Flourish

Yesterday afternoon was rainy and quiet around the shop. It was the first mellow day since the first of the month, so after sending my staff home early for some much-deserved R&R, I searched out some happy music on Spotify and got to work springifying the place.

These paper flowers were so simple to make!

I used assorted scrapbook paper and cut out petal shapes of different sizes. I folded the petals accordion-style, and attached them* to a small square of cardboard for support. For each flower, I put the largest petals on the bottom, then layered the smaller petals on top of each other to build a 3-D bloom. I used textured craft paper (recycled shipping packaging from my Valentine’s vases) for the centers.

I hope to find time to make more for filling up the front window and scattering around the shop.

* A hot glue gun is probably ideal for this project. I didn’t want to fuss with the mess, so I used shipping tape and a heavy duty floral sticky-tack and they held up really well.

Check out my previous window projects: Paper Poms and Ribbon Curtain.

UPDATE: Remember how I said I put these together with shipping tape and sticky tack? Yeah, don’t do that. Especially if you’re putting them in a window; those particular adhesives just can’t hold up to the sunshine. I had to remake the largest flowers with a glue gun after an unfortunate petal-falling catastrophe. So just use a glue gun, k?

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show some love with these Valentine’s Day DIYs!

Valentine’s Day is coming in like a freight train, and as we prepare for the big day at the flower shop I’m thinking ahead for sweet homemade gifts for C and my friends.

Here are some of my favorites scoured from the internets…

There are few things that make my husband happier than a six pack. Dress up a case of your Valentine’s favorite brew (or soda!) with craft paper, ribbon, and a homemade tag.

Make a cute card with birthday candles and card stock for the person who lights up your life. (This version with a match book is adorable, too.)

Pen a love letter on a coffee cup with a Sharpie paint marker. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (F) to make it dishwasher safe!

Who can resist chocolate covered strawberries? Add white chocolate football laces to score major points with your sports fanatic.

For a naturally sweet Valentine, print cute stickers to add to different kinds of fresh fruit and arrange them together in a big basket.

I’m all about s’mores these days. {They’re the cupcake of 2014; you heard it here first.} Fill a mason jar with mini graham crackers, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips to make a s’mores snack mix. Top it off with a cute tag, like, “There’s no one I love s’more than you!

Turn a deck of playing cards into a book of “52 Reasons I Love You.” Or “Like You,” if it’s not that serious yet ;-)

If you’ve never made pots de creme, Valentine’s Day is a great time to start. It’s the easiest dessert to make, and so so good. Heart sprinkles and a dollop of fresh whipped cream are the cherry on top.

There’s plenty more inspiration where that came from! Peep my Be My Valentine board on Pinterest for other ideas.

Conversation hearts image via Dream a Little Bigger.

do it {yourself} again: my favorite DIY posts of yore

There are some shudder-worthy posts in the early pages of this here blog; but there are also a few hidden gems buried deep in the archives.

I have a big list of DIY inspirations I’m hoping to find time for when things slow down at the shop this summer. In the meantime, I thought I’d knock the dust off of my top five DIY posts from way back when, and give them a second shot at glory!

Here they are, in no particular order:

converse one star DIY DIY gradient manicure Easy No-Sew T-Shirt Necklace Tutorial Studded Clutch DIY with Brads Newsprint Manicure Tutorial

restyle: glittered-bow ballet flats

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I dropped about 10 bucks on these LC Lauren Conrad woven leather ballet flats at Kohl’s last season. A ten-spot well spent; I wore them nearly every day for weeks after scooping them off the clearance rack. After a while, the cute little leather bows that made me fall in love-at-first-sight started showing wear and tear, long before the shoes themselves wore out. Which is weird, because they’re perched safely on top of my feet… but I seem to remember many of my Sam & Libby’s meeting the same untimely fate (hashtag 90’s kid problems).

My friend, Anne, is the queen of bringing haggard shoes back to life, so I thought to myself, “what would WobiSobi do?” She’d cover those scuffs with a concealing coat of glitter, that’s what she’d do.

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I started by giving both bows a quick wipe-down with a wet paper towel to remove any dirt or dust that may interfere with adhesion. Once they were clean (and dry) I taped off the toes with blue painters tape.

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Then, using the same glitter glue technique I used to make my Kate Spade-inspired glitter pouch, I made a thick glitter “paint” with Mod Podge and stippled it onto the bows.

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I did a coat, then let it dry… did a coat, let it dry… until I reached the coverage I wanted. You could take a shortcut by sprinkling glitter on top of the glue mixture and sealing it with top coat of Mod Podge. In my mind, the coat-by-coat way is better because it’s easier to control the thickness and texture of the glitter, but to each her DIY-own.

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They turned out pretty cute and festive — perfect for running around during the holiday season. I’m happy I bought a little more time with these beloved flats of mine, and if this post can help save just one other weary pair of favorite footwear from the trash bin, my work here is done. ;-)

restyle: DIY studded wedge booties

Break out those old boring booties, ya’ll; it’s time for a super simple restyle.

Back in my early days of blogging, I remember a DIY project on another blog (sadly whose URL I cannot recall) in which the blogger transformed a pair of basic black platforms by covering the entire wedge base in brass thumbtacks. I ran out and bought a pack of thumbtacks immediately, only to have them sit in my supply stash for more than a year before finding the perfect pair of shoes to “stud”.

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I bought these N.Y.L.A. ruffled leather booties on Hautelook last year for ridiculously cheap — like around $20, I think — and haven’t worn them once since they arrived. They’re really cute, but a little… boring basic. {I don’t know what it is with me and black shoes/handbags; we just don’t jive.} They’ve been hiding in a dark corner of my closet for over a year now.

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Until this weekend, when I was searching for some crafty-majig or another and came across those thumbtacks of yore…

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Using the center seam as a guide, I started pushing the tacks into the wedge in a [semi] neat row. {Sidenote: if you’re a raging perfectionist like yours truly, you can remove the tacks and reposition them as you go to get the straightest line.}

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I repeated a row on each side, and once I was satisfied with the placement, I gave them a little tap-tap-tap with my tiny crafting hammer to get them as flat as possible.

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I kinda love how they turned out! Now if I could just get some cool weather to take them for a spin…

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play with your food: artichoke stamped tote

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Another fun project that Anne and I tackled during our crafting night, inspired by a recent fruit + veggie stamping post by A Beautiful Mess. I picked up a 3-pack of natural canvas tote bags a while ago to design some cute carry-alls. They were a bit smaller than I’d hoped, but they’re perfect as a lunch bag or for carrying my planner and a couple of notebooks back and forth from the shop.

For some reason, my artichoke didn’t look a thing like Elsie’s, but I really like the way the pattern turned out!

shop design files: quick & easy tissue poms

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I cannot believe summer’s drawing to a close already! It hit me early this week that it’s time to start thinking about bringing some autumn inspiration into the decor at the shop. With $5 worth of tissue paper from Wal-Mart and a little help from Martha Stewart, I whipped up these quick and easy tissue pom-poms for one of the three window vignettes we have in our storefront. I’d love to keep going and fill up the entire partition!

You can check out my other shop design project — a simple ribbon curtain window display — here.

 

shop design files: window dressing with ribbon

One of my favorite things about our new shop is how colorful and creative it is! It inspires me to think outside the box, and come up with fun design ideas for the space.

Summer is a slow season for us, and we had several big moving expenses — dismantling and relocating the walk-in cooler, for one — so we’re trying to be really smart about our spending, especially when it comes to decorating. Armed with Pinterest inspiration, some spray paint, a glue gun, and supplies we have hanging around the shop, we’re DIY-ing up a storm to make our new space feel like home. While you may not have a flower shop to decorate, I thought it would be fun to share some of the projects we’ve tackled that you may be able to use in your own spaces. Starting with a super easy ribbon curtain I used to jazz up one of our window displays.

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I have a slight obsession with window displays. I could spend all day perusing photos of Anthropologie storefronts {does anyone do it better?!} If the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul, a shop’s windows are equally compelling. They’re the first impression someone receives of your business, and set the tone for what a customer can expect to find inside. I want our windows to send a message that we’re creative, professional, approachable, and fun!

The inspiration for this project came from The Glamourai. When she posted photos of the window displays she styled for Cynthia Vincent earlier this season, I pinned this image immediately and made a mental note that I. must. have. ribbon. curtains. I finally got around to it today.

Source: theglamourai.com via Keira on Pinterest

Fortunately for me, ribbon is a well-stocked staple in a flower shop. We have a lot of it around here. In fact, I didn’t realize just how much until I hauled it all out of the boxes from the move. (This is one of two wall racks, and there’s more stored in the back.) I figured we wouldn’t miss a few yards…

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I started by measuring the space in the window I wanted to fill. I didn’t want all of the ribbons to be perfectly symmetrical, so I chose different colors, widths, and textures and cut them to various lengths that fit my measurements.

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I bought a yardstick last week that I planned to spray paint and use as the “curtain rod,” but later found this cardboard tube lying around that was even better. I’ll have to use that yardstick for something else.

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Here’s where things get tough. I wrapped one end of the ribbon around the tube. And secured it with a staple. Repeat. Whew!

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If you’re less lazy or impatient, you could probably glue the ribbons, or get fancy and secure them with cute colorful brads. I figured people wouldn’t notice the staples from a distance.

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We have great exposed ceilings in the new shop, with tracks that make suspending things super easy. I hung the lightweight ribbon curtain with clear fishing line, and once it was centered and straight, trimmed each ribbon to clean things up.

Voilà! 

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Side note: In case you ever wondered, our flower shop’s name is pronounced Lass-uh-ter. It was the last name of the family that originally started the business more than 50 years ago! In all those decades, it’s been owned by three families, the last of which is ours :)

saturday design school: seaside summer orchid

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I thought it would be fun to share a few easy floral design projects with you guys now and then; designs that you can create at home with just a little bit of time and a few supplies available at your local craft store or garden center. Display them in your home or give them as a gift, and wow your friends with your green-thumb-DIY skillz. Whatcha’ think?

{Photo step-by-step after the jump!}

Read more…

summer lovin' kris atomic

beauty on a budget: make-it-yourself beach spray

As my hair gets longer and longer, I’m really into texture and wave and curl. It’s mostly because I’m lazy, and when faced with the decision of an hour of blow-out/flat iron vs. quick easy waves, the latter wins every time.

Until recently, beachy tousled waves eluded me. All the magazines say I need to drop about $30 on a little bottle of surf spray from a-famous-brand-that-shall-go-unnamed to get the look I want, and they’ve almost convinced me to make the splurge…

Almost.

I hit The Internets to look for some kitchen beautician alternatives. My fellow bloggers never disappoint. There were several variations, but the basic recipe is super simple. You probably have all the ingredients right under your nose…

Ready?

Search your bathroom cabinets and find a spray bottle with a fine mist {I used an old body spray bottle}. Clean it really well to remove any traces of its former inhabitant. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with warm water, and add a couple healthy spoonfuls of sea salt. [Note: some bloggers suggest epsom salt, but I felt like this could leave a yucky film on your hair, and sea salt is probably as close as your going to get to er, the sea.]. Shake things up to dissolve the salt. Then fill the remaining space in the bottle with a water-based hair gel. Shake it again. Done and done

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Since mixing up my first batch last week, I’m a woman obsessed.

There are a couple of ways to use it. In the photo on the left, I washed my hair in the evening and towel-dried, then rubbed a nourishing oil into the ends — I love Shu Uemura Essence Absolue — and sprayed the beach spray generously throughout my damp tresses (avoiding the roots). I slept on it, woke up, and sprayed a little more through the ends. In the photo on the right, I did the same thing at night, but curled my hair with a large barreled curling iron and re-misted.

I haven’t tried the original, so I can’t give you an apples-to-apples comparison to the DIY version. But I will say that this is the closest thing I’ve found to spending a day at the beach to achieve easy surf hair. So it’s a win.

Cover photo: Summer lovin – Kris Atomic

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“steal the real”: make-it-yourself glitter pouch

Inspiration: this Kate Spade sparkler known as the Little Gia Pouch. She taunted me from Pinterest and the pages of my favorite magazines, and retailed for $75.

I first spotted this flashy number on Pinterest. My friend Anne pinned it, and soon after posted a simple DIY of her own version on her blog, WobiSobi. I wanted a glitter pouch to call my own!

Being the type A perfectionist I am, I had to find a gold pouch with a gold zipper to get as close as I could to the look and style of the original. When cleaning out my handbags last weekend, I found handfuls of long-lost lipgloss and the perfect gold pouch — the little forgotten travel pouch that came with my Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats.

Pouch in hand, I headed to the craft store for shimmer supplies. Up close, the Kate Spade pouches have a beautiful texture made up of several sizes and shapes of glitter, so I knew one bottle of sparkle just wouldn’t do. I picked a few different types: a traditional gold glitter made of circles, a confetti-style gold glitter that looked like tiny rectangles, and iridescent fairy dust with itty-bitty gold stars.

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I made a thick paste with the three types of glitter and Mod Podge, and — with my hand inside the pouch — painted the mixture on thickly with a brush on both sides. It took a couple of healthy coats to get the full coverage I wanted, but the entire project took 15 minutes, start-to-finish. I propped the pouch open over a water bottle to dry overnight. Easy peasy, and about $70 saved.

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If you want to recreate this project for yourself, look for cosmetic pouches with metallic or brightly colored zippers. Raid your bathroom cabinets for gift-with-purchase makeup bags from the department store. Mix things up with multi-colored glitter or trade the gold for silver. Happy sparkling!

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reincarnated

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restyled denim vest (originally this jacket) | Theory scoopneck tee (a pretty penny) | Blank ankle cords (m.marie) | Dollhouse sandals (Ross) | Jessica Simpson scarf | Olsenboye foldover tote c/o jcpenney

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Yesterday afternoon, while watching a marathon of the second season of America’s Next Top Model and recovering from a nasty stomach virus {hi stress, thanks for rendering my immune system completely useless} I gave my INC cropped denim jacket a new life as a denim vest.

I’ve worn this jacket to death and it’s gotten a little… stale. I went back and forth about putting it in the shop, but something made me rescue it from the sell pile time and again. Since a denim vest has been on my DIY list for over a year now and I haven’t found the “perfect” jacket to hack, I just decided to go for it.

Using a big sewing needle, a small pair of sewing scissors, and a whole lot of patience, I removed all of the seams from the sleeves while Yoanna rose to the top for the win. I’m super happy with the way it turned out!

Now I need a new denim jacket.

on second chances. and glitter!

Last month, my real-life BFF and DIY maven, Anne, revamped a pair of stilettos on her blog, Wobisobi. The shoes in question were in great condition, but had an unfortunate run-in with a parking grate resulting in a ravaged heel. [Collective sighs from readers as they fondly remember favorite heels that met a similar fate.] She covered the damaged heel with a clever coat of glitter that camouflaged all traces of the grate incident, and in turn, made a basic pair of heels pretty spectacular!

Shortly after seeing the post on her blog, I met Anne for dinner and drinks and she was wearing the sparkly spikes. And let me tell you, it looked like she picked them off the rack. I love a DIY that doesn’t look… well, DIY. And since that night, I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of stilettos to shimmer up myself.

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While putting away laundry over the weekend, I found these Jessica Simpson pumps hiding in a dark corner. I bought these when I  landed my first big corporate job out of college, and it was one of the only times I’ve paid full retail for a pair of shoes. I wore them all.the.time with pretty dresses and pencil skirts and Express Editors {all of which were later donated to various women’s charities and consignment stores}. I guess I’ve held on to them all this time because they remind me of a Keira that I hardly recognize these days. One that wanted to climb the corporate ladder and get her MBA and have a closet full of Calvin Klein suits. My, my, life can surprise you.

But I digress.  They’re still in decent shape considering how much biznass I did in them, but the heels were a little worse for the wear. I’m pretty sure Doak got his paws on the one shown above.

Armed with Anne’s easy tutorial, Mod Podge, painters tape, and dark copper glitter from a variety pack scooped up at Joann’s, I got to work on giving my classic corporate pumps a new life.

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Note: I think I made my glitter glue a little too thin. I had to do several coats to get the coverage I wanted, letting each coat dry a bit before applying the next.

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I read magazines and ate candy during the drying times. I suggest you do the same.

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Because I used so many coats, when I initially tried to remove the painters tape it wanted to take the glue and glitter with it. Yikes!! Easy fix: use an exacto knife and gently cut the glitter glue along the edge of the heel before removing the tape. And voilá! My once 9-5 pumps are ready for a night on the town.

Not a fan of glitter? Anne did a similar tutorial today using a pair of classic pumps and gold leaf!

gradient mani

manic[ure] monday: gradient effect

I fell in love with gradient manis last year, when photos of Lauren Conrad sporting them started popping up all over the style interwebs. The good news: you don’t need five different bottles of polish to pull this look off. Keep reading for a simple how-to!

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You’ll need:

– one nail polish in the color of your choice (I used O.P.I.’s Malaga Wine)

– white nail polish (I picked up a little bottle of nail art polish for $1.99 at the drugstore)

– a good base/top coat

– nail polish remover

– a clean polish brush (use one from an old bottle of polish or a sample, and clean with nail polish remover)

– a small orange stick or toothpick

– parchment paper

Step 1: Start with clean nails, and a thin coat of base. When the base is dry, paint both of your thumb nails with the original color.

Step 2: Drop a few large drops of the original color onto parchment paper…

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… And slowly add drops of white polish until you reach your desired gradient effect. The first color you make will be the color for your pointer fingers. For a more subtle gradient, use less white; for a more drastic gradient, add more white.

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Step 3: Using a small orange stick or toothpick, carefully mix the white into the original color. Do this gently, or you’ll get a lot of air bubbles in the polish.

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Step 4: Using a clean polish brush (I used one from an old sample bottle of O.P.I. top coat, and cleaned it with nail polish remover before I got started) apply the new color to both of your pointer fingers. While they dry, soak the polish brush in a capful of nail polish remover to remove the color and get it clean and ready for the next finger.

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Repeat steps 2-4 three more times for each set of fingers (left and right), adding more white each time to make lighter and lighter shades. Seal the entire manicure with a good top coat.