How to Make a DIY Baby or Bridal Shower Banner That’s Intricate-Looking (But Actually Easy)

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Is it just me, or does it seem like baby fever is in the air? How did all of my weekend plans shift so suddenly from barhopping to baby showers? Despite the bittersweet feeling of my carefree years slipping away with each invitation I receive, I’ve actually been enjoying these joyous occasions and the opportunity to contribute to the festivities with some fun DIY decor. One of my favorite things to make for friends is a customized banner, and after making so many, I’ve come up with a basic banner “recipe” that can be modified to fit any color scheme or theme. If you’re looking to make an intricate-looking banner of your own, check out my latest DIYs with YY video tutorial showing you how above!

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DIY: How to Make a Cute Poncho Out of an Old Blanket

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Does anyone else remember a time when ponchos were right up there on the fashion-suicide list with socks + sandals and hammer pants? And now you see all of those things all over Vogue and Glamour! Such is the fashion machine, right? Well, the reason I mention ponchos is that for a long time, I had a bit of an aversion to these half-blanket, half-coat hybrids until I was tidying up my closet and came upon this cream-colored throw I received from Cindy Crawford (fine, I actually got it as a favor at a party she threw from one of her PR people who took one look at me and seemed reluctant to give it to me, but doesn’t it sound much better when I say she gave it to me herself?). It’s such a lovely and cozy throw, but I’m not really a throw person – is anyone, really? Anyways, not wanting it to sit around in my closet, I wondered what could be done with it and then it came to me – it’d make an excellent poncho! Read on to see how I transformed it into one with just a few easy steps and if you have a blanket that you think could serve you a lot better as a poncho, definitely give it a try.

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How to Make Over a Cheap Coffee Table into a Stylish Gem

After scouring the interwebs for weeks, I finally found the perfect secondhand coffee table at AptDeco (one of my favorite sites for preloved furniture). The glass top, 2-part nesting design and affordable pricetag were exactly what I was looking for. There was just one problem – it was the wrong color. Instead of the sleek silver I’d been searching for, it was a drab IKEA black/brown. But it wasn’t anything that a few coats of spray paint and some contact paper couldn’t solve! Check out the video DIY tutorial above to see how I took this table from ashy to classy (for less than $30).

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HOW TO: Make a Catastic Kitty-Eared Snood Out of an Old Sweatshirt

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My managing editor and friend Jasmin Chua‘s birthday was last month and with the frenzy of fashion week and other assorted fall events, I wasn’t able to give her a proper gift. Jasmin and I are both cat-o-phile’s so I really wanted to make something feline-related and then it dawned on me – cat-ears! I’d been working on sewing this snood for myself and realized that with a bit of alteration, I could pop some kitty ears on it and make it into a fun accessory as well as something that Jasmin could wear while accompanying her uber-cute daughter Zadie trick or treating. Read on for the instructions to make your own cat-ear snood (read this post first to make the actual snood part).

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HOW TO: Make a High End-Looking Coffee Table Out of $5 Worth of Wooden Pallets

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Isn’t it ironic that we design writers are frequently too poh’ to afford any of the high end pieces we write about?! Every time I come across a gorgeous worn wood coffee table, I just enter a state of depression because I know, I just know, that I won’t be able to buy it. Well, based on her latest project, it seems my homegirl (and fellow design writer) Bridgette laughs in the face of hoity toity, overly priced furniture and even punches it in the face. Last weekend, she just up and decided she wanted a new coffee table so she picked up some old shipping pallets from her local recycle center, banged a few nails and ended up with this stunner!

The craziest part? The whole thing cost her $5! Fi’ dollah! If you wanna be like her (I know I do), follow the link below to check out how she did it.

SEE THE DIY >

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HOW TO: Refashion a Too Large T-Shirt into a Reversible Dress

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Almost every girl has a few too-big T-shirts in her closet, but instead of just wearing them to bed at night how about refashioning one into a cute tunic dress? I love this fashion DIY because it’s really easy to do and the resulting A-line dress is so easy to just throw on – especially for summer. The other great thing about this DIY is that if you have a tee with a graphic on it, you can even make your dress reversible so that you can wear it with the image in front for days you feel cheeky or wear the plain side in front on days when you’re feeling more serious.

For the full recycled fashion tutorial steps click the pages below.

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DIY Confetti-Filled Wedding Programs

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Perhaps you’re a non-traditional bride looking for a unique way to present your wedding programs, or perhaps you’re a traditional bride hoping to incorporate a confetti toss at the end of your ceremony. Or perhaps you’re a groom. Whatever the case may be, these DIY confetti-filled glassine bags are a lovely way to shout out all of the VIPs in your wedding while also acting as a pretty receptacle for lavender, bird-safe rice hearts or biodegradable eco-confetti. Read on to see how you can make them!

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DIY: How to Turn Your Wallet into a Crossbody Purse

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Here’s a little DIY I came up with after running into a bit of a conundrum when trying to pack for a few upcoming bachelorette parties. Without making myself sound like too much of a fogie, I’m well past my clubbing phase, and I realized I no longer owned any Vegas or Cancun-appropriate tiny purses or pochettes. But I didn’t want to go out and purchase an entirely new bag that I knew would likely just get shoved in the back of my closet (at least until some of my other friends got engaged). After scouring Pinterest for an hour or so, I saw that the young whippersnappers were favoring teeny, colorful crossbody wallet-on-chain bags and then it hit me! A wallet-on-chain is not much more than what the moniker implies – a wallet on a chain. So I basically just took my Chanel wallet and popped a chain on it to turn it into a mini purse. The neat thing about this DIY is that when you’re done using your wallet-on-chain, you can simply convert it back to a regular wallet. Don’t you just love convertible accessories? Read on to see the full how-to tutorial.

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HOW TO: Make a Sad Old Pillow Case Into a Summery Tank Top

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Pillowcases, like earrings, shoes, and even some people, just don’t seem to function as well when they aren’t in a pair. So what do you do when you’re left with just one pillowcase after losing one to the laundry monster? Well, there’s no reason why you can’t just keep using it, but if you’re one of those people who is nitpicky about things matching, you can also turn your lone pillowcase into a cute summery top. Read on for the instructions.

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How to: Conveniently mount your foil and saran wrap for under $3

I used to just keep my foil and saran wrap in a drawer, but after moving to a new apartment with a smaller kitchen, I knew I wanted a more efficient and convenient solution. Sure, there are some decent foil storage rack options to be found online, but you know buying something pre-made is just not my style! If you’re like me and enjoy alternative solutions (read: cheap), here is a simple way to mount your foil and saran wrap to the inside of a cabinet to keep it out of sight but easily accessible. Plus, you’ll be using a lot less material than if you purchased a bulky new organizer rack.

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Easy, Free and Green Boot Storage Idea

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We’ve all experienced it – boot slump. When the weather warms up and you go to store your favorite pairs of boots only to have the tops flop over like Sad Sam’s ears, creating a messy situation in your closet and making your boots more likely to get fall into disrepair. I’ve seen products on the market like these blow up “boot keepers,” but who wants to spend more money on plastic when the solution to boot slump could already be right on your coffee table – back issues of your favorite magazines! They’re free (well, besides the money you originally dished out for your subscription), they keep your boots nice and crisp, and when you go to fetch them in the fall, you’ll get a blast of past fashion inspiration (because who wants to be a slave to the season’s latest trends anyway?).

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Could a Fridge Triage Box Help You Stop Wasting Food and Money?

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As a sustainable design writer, one question I get asked a lot is do I actually practice what I preach? The answer for the most part is yes: I recycle, I rarely buy stuff (and when I do, it’s usually secondhand), I sit in the sweltering heat instead of turning on my AC and I probably only drive five times a year. But there is one thing I do that probably negates a big chunk of all of my other eco efforts – I waste food like a mofo.

I don’t know when these horrible habits of mine began but I have identified some of the causes. First off, for some reason I can’t go to the grocery store without stocking up like Armageddon is near. I don’t feel that it’s acceptable to leave the store with just one type of cheese (you need the sliced kind for sammiches and the block kind for snacking), and anything that looks tasty in any way is going to end up in my cart whether it’s going to be physically possible for me to eat it all before it rots or not. And it’s not like I’m cooking for a large family. There are usually only two people eating and sometimes just one. So yeah, at the end of the week, there’s a lot of expired food that just gets tossed. For shame! If you read Inhabitat, you probably know that food waste is a huge problem, contributing to climate change and filling up our landfills, but it’s also just bad form and a huge waste of money. Cheese isn’t cheap, you know.

So after I spent a few days guilt-tripping myself worse than my own mother would about this situation, I decided to do something about it. But what? Well, certainly I could control myself a bit more at the market, but I also felt that the design of my fridge was part of the problem (blaming others is fun). Yes, the fridge is roomy and even has configurable shelves and nicely labeled compartments, but if you think about it, it actually has too many levels and food storage areas. So I’d have cheese in the cheese drawer, milk on the righthand middle shelf, veggies in their drawers and other perishable items scattered all over the place. Now I know that this is the way we’ve been taught that it should be – a place for everything and everything in its place – but that was before our lives got so crazy that we needed to hire virtual assistants in Asia to tweet things for us from our personal Twitter accounts. When I’m busy writing a story and it’s lunch time, I sprint over to the fridge and just grab whatever’s right in the middle. I don’t have time to look in multiple compartments for items that are sometimes hidden behind or under other items and I’m sure you don’t either.


Anyways, sorry for this extremely long-winded intro, but the point I’m getting at is that I decided to modify my behavior by essentially forcing myself to consume the things in my fridge that were in danger of going bad by gathering them in a central location that visually tells me to eat them – a fridge triage box. I’m (for the most part) not dumb, but I know that without this behavior-modifying “system” – it’s really just a shoe box with a sign on it – I wouldn’t be able to cut down my food waste as much as I have.

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DIY: How to Turn a Regular Tote Bag into a Wine Bottle Carrier

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While I’m certainly not one to scoff at free stuff, there is such a thing as too many totebags. A go-to “green” promotional item, these babies are now so ubiquitous that many people now own totebags filled with totebags (I know I’m not the only one). If you want to do something with your t-bags that isn’t as d-bag as just hoarding them in a hallway closet, here’s a really easy DIY to turn them into one of those trendy double wine bottle carrier bags you might have seen being sold in specialty shops for $20+. Once you’re done making yours, bring it with you on runs to the wine shop or give it as a gift (complete with two bottle of vino, of course).

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