more about: DIY

What Tools Do You Really Need?

I was reading the The New York Times last weekend, and I came across an article (the first in a series) about home improvement/D.I.Y. that piqued my interest. It was all about the tools that you really need to maintain your home. Part of the reason I was so intrigued is that I’d spent the past two weekends in heavy D.I.Y./nesting mode—doing projects around my apartment and spending a considerable amount of time at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and my local hardware store. (I will hopefully be able to show you some of those projects next week.)




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DIY Project from Sweet Paul: Easy Hanging Bench

My apartment has a roof deck that we share with our neighbors in the building, and while there are some assorted chairs and tables out there, they aren’t really comfortable enough to spend a lot of time in them. Essentially I just want something that’s comfortable enough that I can spend some time in it reading.


We do have a tree that hangs over the deck, so for a while I considered a hammock, but I came across this DIY project on Sweet Paul’s blog, and it might just be my Labor Day weekend project.




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Design & Make Your Own Lampshade Kit

Looking to match your shade to the drapes? Or the wallpaper? Or are you simply looking to have a lampshade that no one else has? Well you’re in luck. I was on the Duffy website earlier and noticed a clever and affordable DIY self assembly lampshade kit that I have to share because It’s fantastic. The kit is called Stick It (great name!) and it allows you to create your own lampshade design in minutes. You can stick your own designs onto the sticky outside layer using wallpaper, papers, fabric, whatever you would like! The shade kit is under $20 and can be used for either a floor light or pendant lamp so it’s both affordable and versatile (available in 30 or 45 cm).

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Do You Know How to Sew?

My answer to that question would be: sort of. I took the requisite home ec/sewing classes back in 8th grade, but that was, we’ll say, several years ago. I’ve dabbled since then, but I haven’t done anything really complicated—my crafty tendencies have veered more toward knitting, embroidery, screen printing, etc.


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The Search for the Perfect Ceiling Fans

It seems like the most consistent advice I’ve gotten when trying to figure out how to make my window air conditioners more effective is to invest in ceiling fans. It makes sense: they help cool in the summer, warm in the winter (with just a flip of a switch). And they help prevent stale air (one of my biggest pet peeves about not having a central heating/cooling system).

So, now the problem is finding the right fans for my apartment—and finding someone to install them. (I’m now accepting applications.)

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St. Jude’s Prints

You may or may not have heard, but I’m writing a book for Chronicle Books (to also be published in the UK by Jacqui Small) about decorating. My job was to scout and book locations, conduct interviews, write portions of the book, choose a photographer, travel to locations, style homes and build out the resource section in the book as well. No small feat for a first time author! Along with my work…

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Have You Ever Painted Your Home’s Exterior?

I know what you’re thinking–I’m an apartment dweller, what do I know about painting the outside of a house. But I will actually be traveling home next week, for a little working vacation to help my dad paint the house I grew up in, and where my parents still live. This will be the second time I’ve helped paint the house, but I’m guessing I’ll be more useful this time since I’m an adult. 


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Round Up: Adorable Aprons

I love aprons. They have the perfect mix of functionality and style, and there’s something very 1950s about the ones with full skirts. And whenever I’m doing more than just making pasta or heating up leftovers I make sure to wear one. I don’t think I’m that messy, but I prefer not to take the risk when it comes to staining my clothes.

Here are a few of my faves available right now:


Baker’s Delight Apron from Anthropologie, $32

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Two New D.I.Y. Blog Faves

I love a good D.I.Y. project. So when I find a blog that consistently has inventive and inspiring projects, I subscribe to their RSS feed ASAP. I’ve found two new favorites recently, Dollar Store Crafts and P.S. I Made This. They both have projects that are easy to do no matter your skill level and inexpensive to make (double bonus!).

Here are two recent projects that caught my eye:

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Do You Send Moving Announcements?

When I moved from Kansas City to New York, I sent moving announcements. But I'm debating whether I should this time or not. I do love sending and receiving mail, but I'm torn over whether they are worth sending this time. Supposing I do decide to send them, I'll probably make my own, but I've been looking for inspiration, and […]

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