Friday, September 19, 2014

6 Simple Fall Craft Ideas

Simple fall craft ideas you can make for under $15! || Design Improvised blog

Based on my Instagram feed, it looks like fall crafting is in full swing (I happen to follow a lot of DIY bloggers!). Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to decorate our home with things I've made. I wanted to share a few of my favorite fall projects from years past in case you are in the mood to do some fall crafting this weekend!

1. Yarn pumpkin garland - these simple pumpkins are just involve wrapping yarn around your fingers and tying to some twine with a pipe cleaner stem.

2. Yarn wrapped candles - a little yarn gives LED candles a cozy fall makeover.

3. Stenciled cinder block vases - show off some fall foliage in these vases stenciled in oranges and browns.

4. Corn husk wreath - an eye-catching wreath that you can keep on your door through Thanksgiving!

5. Wine cork wreaths - are you a wine cork collector? Then this is the project for you!

6. Stovetop potpourri - once you make a pot of this, you'll want to have some simmering on your stove until spring.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Halloween Spider Web Wreath

You can make this Halloween wreath in 5 minutes for under $10! || Design Improvised blog

I'm officially kicking off Halloween crafting with one of my favorite things to make - a wreath! 

You can make this Halloween wreath in 5 minutes for under $10! || Design Improvised blog

I'm telling you, it doesn't get much easier than this wreath. If you'd like to make something handmade to decorate your house this Halloween, but don't want to spend more than 5 minutes doing it, this is the project for you. Read on!

You can make this Halloween wreath in 5 minutes for under $10! || Design Improvised blog

Supplies for Spider Web Wreath


  • Grapevine wreath form
  • Faux spider web
  • Plastic spiders
  • Large felt spiders (I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby in the Halloween aisle, but you could also trace a template onto black felt and cut out!)
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors

You can make this Halloween wreath in 5 minutes for under $10! || Design Improvised blog

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kids' Room Art with Minted

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

Hanging a few pieces of art on the wall is often what makes a room complete, however it can be the most daunting decision to make. Kids rooms offer a special challenge because you're not only trying to please them, but find something you like to look at too! 

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

I recently furnished Stella and Hazel's bedroom with the help of Hayneedle and thanks to the amazing selection of kids art at Minted found just the pieces to be the icing on the cake in their new room!

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog


Wanting to add some new art to your child's room but don't know where to start? Here are a few simple tips to help you find just what you're looking for!

1. Think whimsical, but not childish - avoid choosing art that is too "themey" or character based. It is likely that your child will outgrow these and be on to the next thing before you know it. This is a hard one because kids love characters - Stella loves Barbie and Hazel loves Curious George, but rather than put them on the walls, they each have a pair of sheets in their favorite character, which can be hidden under their pretty white quilts during the day. ;)

2. Reflect your child's interests - incorporate something your child loves in one of the pieces of art whether it is sports, bugs, reading, space, etc. This Be a Bookworm art was the perfect piece for my girls who love their weekly trip to the library. The extra personalization makes it super sweet!

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

3. Get your kids' input - make sure to ask them what things they would like on their walls, and share your ideas with them. Even at age 3 and 4 my girls have opinions about what they like in their room. I involved them in the process while carefully guiding them towards the pieces I liked most. ;)

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

4. Go bold with color - Kids' rooms allow you to add color in ways you might be scared to in the rest of your home! A set of these Pop Art Flowers prints in Bubblegum and Orange Blast add the perfect dose of color on the walls and complement the bright colors in their rug.

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

5. Make it cohesive - I love an eclectic, curated look when it comes to art in a room, however I like to tie them all together through a similar color palette or matching frames. For the girls room, I created a cohesive collection by using the same white composite frames from Minted.

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

6. Add some inspiration - I love the idea of a incorporating a special saying or quote into a kids'  room. It can spark a conversation with them and have different meaning as they get older. This Do What You Love print was perfect because it is easy enough for Stella to read now, and a simple message that I hope she and Hazel take to heart as they grow!

7. Educate - kids' art offers a great opportunity for introducing them to new things - it could be a map of the United States, the alphabet, a picture of the solar system, you name it. You can find pieces for kids rooms that are both super stylish and educational.

8. Show off their names - what kid doesn't like to see their name? Especially in a shared bedroom it is a nice way to help them carve out their own special spot. A piece of personalized art is a great addition to a kids' room.

9.  Incorporate their masterpieces - I love incorporating my girls' art throughout our home, but there is no better place to show it off than in their own room! For some ideas, check out this kids' art gallery wall and hanging art display.

10. Make a grand entrance - adding a sign to their bedroom door to state the room belongs to them makes it feel like a particularly special place in the house that they can call their own. Minted has a variety of gorgeous personalized door signs for only $16. If you feel like getting crafty you can make your own:

10 simple tips for choosing the perfect art for your child's room! || Design Improvised blog

Read on to see how you can make your own yarn room sign!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIY Painted Kids Teepee

DIY Decorated Teepee - just add pom-pom trim and colorful shapes to make it your own! || Design Improvised blog

Teepees and play tents are having their moment in kids' decor right now - and I can see why. Not only do they make a fun addition to a room, kids love a special place to hide away!

DIY Decorated Teepee - just add pom-pom trim and colorful shapes to make it your own! || Design Improvised blog

While you can find teepees in a variety of designs, I was drawn to these high-quality Dexton teepees from Hayneedle because they offer a blank canvas. Better yet, the manufacturer even encourages you to decorate it to make it your own! It wasn't long before I was dreaming up a teepee covered in pink pom-pom trim. ;)

DIY Decorated Teepee - just add pom-pom trim and colorful shapes to make it your own! || Design Improvised blog

Even the poles were begging to be given a bright shot of pink!

DIY Decorated Teepee - just add pom-pom trim and colorful shapes to make it your own! || Design Improvised blog

I chose pinks and oranges to match the colors in Stella and Hazel's new bedroom and created the geometric pattern using circle sponge brushes and a couple of the girls' toy blocks!

The teepee was the perfect size to fit in this bare alcove in the girls' room. A little sheepskin rug on the bottom and a DIY yarn garland draped across the top make it complete.

DIY Decorated Teepee - just add pom-pom trim and colorful shapes to make it your own! || Design Improvised blog


If you want a teepee for your child's room and can't find one that is a great match with their decor - or if you just want to get crafty - this is the project for you! The options are endless when it comes to making it your own. This is a longer project than I usually attempt - expect 3-4 hours to complete:

Supplies for Painted Teepee


  • Dexton canvas teepee (High-quality 6 ft. teepees that come in a range of sizes)
    •  For a less expensive alternative, you could make your own. Here's a simple A-frame play tent from my friends at Handmade Mood, or a more ambious DIY teepee using drop cloths.
  • Martha Stewart multi-surface craft paints
  • Circular sponge brushes
  • Triangular sponges or blocks
  • Small paint brush
  • Pom-pom trim (I used around 30 yards - this is a perfect opportunity to use a 50% off coupon at your local craft store to save on costs!)
  • Hot glue gun

DIY Decorated Teepee - just add pom-pom trim and colorful shapes to make it your own! || Design Improvised blog

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Simple Yarn Garlands

 DIY yarn garlands - so simple and sweet! || Design Improvised blog

If you spend any time on Pinterest, you know that woven yarn tapestries like these are all the rage. I love this modern take on a retro craft, however they look intimidating to me. My friend Jeran made this yarn wall art, which is more achievable and oh SO gorgeous (those colors!). These yarn garlands are another simple take on the yarn decor trend:

DIY yarn garlands - so simple and sweet! || Design Improvised blog

I love working with yarn, and have a particular affinity for using variegated yarn in my crafts. When I saw this super soft chunky yarn at Hobby Lobby I thought it would add some feminine texture to the girls room. I decided to make a few garlands to hang on the end of their twin beds: 

DIY yarn garlands - so simple and sweet! || Design Improvised blog

Making the garland is about as easy as it gets - just cut a bunch of yarn roughly the same size and tie each piece around a length of twine. A great mindless project while watching TV!

Supplies for Yarn Garlands



How to make a yarn garland || Design Improvised blog

Monday, September 8, 2014

Stella and Hazel's Shared Bedroom with Hayneedle

A sibling shared bedroom full of colorful details with Hayneedle.com || Design Improvised blog

I've been excited to share a big transition we made in our home last month – Hazel turned 3 and said goodbye to her crib and hello to her first big girl bed. The timing was right for us to move Stella (almost 5) from her toddler bed to a larger twin. After leaving their room untouched since we moved in a year ago, I was anxious for a refresh. With the help of Hayneedle, we were able to give the girls’ shared bedroom a big kid makeover!

A sibling shared bedroom full of colorful details with Hayneedle.com || Design Improvised blog

The girls had been begging for more pink in their room (this rug did the trick!). After the past year spent reading bedtime stories on the floor, I had been dreaming up turning one of the nooks in their room into a cozy reading spot. Most importantly I wanted pieces of furniture that could grow with the girls and be repurposed in multiple ways.

We opted for this white bunkbed set with trundle bed. We loved the versatility the set offers – the ability to keep the beds as separate twins now, transition into a bunk bed when the girls are a few years older, and a trundle bed for cousin visits and friend sleepovers.

No surprise, the girls had a blast testing out the bunk bed for the photo shoot. ;)

A sibling shared bedroom full of colorful details with Hayneedle.com || Design Improvised blog

The two alcoves in the girls room add a lot of character, but can be tricky to decorate. For the past year, they were unused space. However, I found the perfect sized loveseat to transition one of the alcoves into a cozy reading nook where we can snuggle up together!

A sibling shared bedroom full of colorful details with Hayneedle.com || Design Improvised blog

The other alcove is all about fun – when I saw this customizable teepee I knew Stella and Hazel would go nuts over one in their room. I of course went nuts decorating with stencils and pom-pom trim. More on that to come. ;)

A sibling shared bedroom full of colorful details with Hayneedle.com || Design Improvised blog

I'll be sharing tutorials for the DIY accents in the room throughout the week. In the meantime, be sure to head over to the Hayneedle blog for more photos! 

This post is sponsored by Hayneedle. All content and opinions are my own. 

Photos by Candice Stringham.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thrifted Serving Tray Makeover!

Thrifted Serving Tray Makeover! || Design Improvised blog

In my mind, you can never have too many serving trays. I have a tower of them in my kitchen cabinet and pull them out daily. They are perfect for taking some snacks outside or treating the girls to lunch in their playroom on a particularly lazy day. They are also great for corralling items on a counter or holding a few candles or a vase of flowers in the center of your table.

One of my favorite places to find unique serving trays is my local Goodwill. I almost always pick up a new one when I'm in the store for $1-$2 a piece. On my latest visit, I scored a pair of these vintage wicker trays:

Thrifted Serving Tray Makeover! || Design Improvised blog

Adding some kitschy sayings in bold letters turned these from plain jane to modern and fresh. They remind me of something you might find at Anthropologie or CB2.

Thrifted Serving Tray Makeover! || Design Improvised blog

I frequently see these wicker trays at the Goodwill, so you are bound to find them at a thrift store near you. If not, you can apply this technique to any basic tray. Here's all you'll need:


Supplies for Stenciled Serving Trays


  • Wicker serving tray
  • Large letter stencils
  • Martha Stewart acrylic multi-surface craft paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Foam brushes


Thrifted Serving Tray Makeover! || Design Improvised blog

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Custom Lollipops Giveaway with LolliPics!

 

I’m excited to share a very cool product with you guys today. If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate a birthday, holiday, wedding, or shower, these custom printed lollipops called LolliPics are such a fun idea. Today I’m giving away 12 of them to a Design Improvised reader!


And they’re not just for parties. I thought LolliPics would be the perfect way to make an impression at the Alt Summit blogging conference this summer. I handed out these #itssweettobeablogger LolliPics along with my business card to bloggers I met during the conference such as these lucky ladies. ;)


I mean who doesn’t love getting a lollipop? Having a Design Improvised custom graphic on the front made for a one-of-a-kind marketing tool:


LolliPics are individually handcrafted lollipops made in the USA - they come in 19 different flavors ranging from tutti frutti, to root beer, to toasted marshmallow. Yum!

Designing your LolliPics is simple - you can either upload your own photograph or image, or choose from a variety of artist designed images on the LolliPics website. Lollipics then prints it on your choice of lollipop (it is all edible!). Check out some of the fun ways to use LolliPics:

Photo by Simply Designing


Photo by LolliPics

Photo by LolliPics




LolliPics Giveaway


Have a birthday coming up? What about a school party or a Halloween party? Then don't miss this opportunity to win 12 free LolliPics (a $45 value)! Just enter using the Rafflecopter below by this Sunday, September 7th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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