Pick up a few black paint pens at your local craft store. Draw geometric designs onto solid white ornaments. Try polka dots, stripes and even hearts. This is a great project to get the kids involved too. They’ll love to see their creations hang on the tree. Black and white ribbon is an easy way to add some personality and texture to the tree. Instead of wrapping it our the tree in a traditional manner, cut small sections of the ribbon and drape it over single branches here and there.
“We opted for a durable, solid wood dining table from Crate & Barrel for this casual eat-in kitchen nook. It’s perfect for family meals and works equally well for homework or crafts,” says the designer of this project. When matching table and chairs, she says, “always consider the leg finish of your dining chairs: They should be in the same tone family as your dining table. A few shades lighter or darker is fine, as long as the underlying hue is similar.”
To try this idea in your home, measure the space and figure out what size bins you will need to fill the space. Visit a local department store or craft store to find storage bins and baskets in various sizes. Then, label your baskets. This home features "His," "Hers" and "Ours" baskets so that everyone have a designated place to store winter goods but also a place for mixed-use items. Using chalkboard tags and chalk is a great way to label each basket without making it permanent.
Be creative as you design a trellis for your pea plants. Traditionally gardeners use fruit tree and shrub trimmings to craft a twig trellis. You can do the same thing with twigs that winter has tossed onto your lawn. Simply stick pencil-thick twigs into soil beside peas as you plant them. Another option is to string netting between stakes. This easy trellis (above) supports pea plants with a double row of twine that runs alongside plants. Insert stakes at either end of your pea plant (or every 4 to 5 feet for long rows), and wrap the twine around stakes to create a tight support. The plants will grab one another and the twine for support.
Give arachnophobes the heebie-jeebies with a spider's nest wreath made with bunched gauze, ribbon and plastic spiders. First, loosely wrap a spool of pure white medical gauze (or cheesecloth) around a foam wreath form until completely covered. Next, attach a few plastic spiders to one side of the wreath with craft or hot glue. Hang the wreath with a black velvet bow looped through the top. For an added gruesome touch, glue on a pair of skeletal hands.
It’s hard to imagine now, but this charming living space was once an unassuming commercial garage. To make the most of the compact, 1,260-square-foot space (including an upstairs loft area), Frazier Associates minimized the number of walls within. Exposed brick walls and concrete flooring on the first floor were retained and a new staircase, crafted of reclaimed wood and metal railing, was designed for access to the second floor. "Providing more natural light was the biggest design challenge," say the designers. "A new recessed patio was designed behind the historic garage doors to allow for more light on the first floor, as well as to create a front entrance and a small exterior seating area."
Everyone loves cupcakes. Bake your favorite recipe at home or buy from the store and dress them up with paper cupcake toppers and wrappers. Print the cupcake topper template and use a craft punch or scissors to cut them into rounds. Then, attach the paper shape to a four-inch lollipop stick using tape or a one-inch white circle label. Cupcake wrappers are easy to make from decorative paper to match the theme. Displayed on a pretty cake stand, these cupcakes are hard to resist.
Cater to all of your senses as you craft your retreat. By including fragrant flowers and herbs in the mix, you’ll discover the joy of breathing in rich floral aromas or spicy tones, which enhances the whole outdoor relaxation experience. Container gardens don’t have to be boring. Tuck plants into crates, baskets, buckets or your old garden boots. Plantings give you a chance to express your creativity and give your retreat a true signature style. This scented retreat includes two types of English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Blue Spear and Avignon Early Blue. Other herbs that offer a nose-pleasing bouquet include mint, basil, rosemary and thyme. For fragrant flowers, try dame’s rocket (Hesperis), Oriental lily, moonflower vine, rose or daphne.
A cluster of breweries (Monday Night Brewing, Wild Heaven Beer) and distilleries (ASW Distillery) have opened right on the BeltLine and the gastropub Boxcar, above the wine and beer bar and shop Hop City West End, offers elevated fare (don't miss the Kara-age Fried Chicken, the Vagabond buttermilk-fried chicken with pimento cheese, the Beefcake Cheesesteak), to the mix. If curated cocktails and an extensive local craft beer scene are on your bucket list, then Boxcar and Hop City West End and this vibrant, booming neighborhood should be on your route.
As much as we all love the beautifully smooth appearance of rolled fondant, buttercream is arguably more delicious. This technique uses buttercream in various hues to achieve a dreamy watercolor effect. For a large cake, you’ll need 3 cups of vanilla buttercream fondant, food colors in your favorite hues, an offset spatula, and a bench scraper or other frosting smoothing tool. Frosting smoothers can be found at most cake supply shops or in the baking aisle at your local crafts store.
Welcome Halloween guests with a friendly, furry monster wreath. To craft it, you'll need one yard of black faux fur, small balls in assorted colors and 8-10 sets of plastic vampire teeth. Cover a foam wreath form with the faux fur, securing the ends with strong tape or T-pins. Attach the balls and vampire teeth to the fur with hot glue. Finally, use black and white paint pens to add a slit pupil to each of the eyes.
Party favors are a great way to leave an impression on your guests. You don’t have to—nor should you—blow the budget on them. For instance, these custom oyster napkin rings can be replicated by going to your local beach and picking up shells. If the beach is not an option, you can opt for your local craft store or even your backyard where stones or rocks painted with silver spray paint can create a similar, DIY-chic effect. Feeling extra festive? Use paint or a marker to add a monogram of your guests' initials.
Use mint with fruit to create memorable desserts, salads and salsas. Combine it with honey and lemon juice for a go-to dressing that blends well with summer’s best fruits, from peaches, to watermelon, to berries. Whip up delectable fruit salsas like cherry nectarine (shown), featuring chopped mint for a zingy bite. In the salsa department, craft your own one-of-a-kind dip like roasted tomato-mint salsa, mango mint salsa with ginger, or pineapple mint salsa with red onion. Mint helps cool any spicy peppers in a salsa, which gives your tastebuds a hot-cooling sensation that’s delightful.
The stunning master bath’s story begins with its materials. “To achieve that quintessential Cali vibe, we used calm colorways and focused our attention on bringing nature into the design,” says Cydney Mitchell. The hand-crafted and hand-glazed terracotta tile from Morocco and the dramatic onyx slabs were inspired by the rocky cliffs and seas of earth tones of the California coast.”
That all sounds quite logical, but the execution was tricky. “The biggest factor in the symmetrical space is that we wanted to draw your eye to the beautiful iron window with a tub set in the center,” Mitchell explains. “We then added the four book-matched slabs, and from there felt it would only work if both sides were also consistently symmetrical, leaving no distractions for the eye. Funny enough, we explored close to 25 various layouts and revisions to the plans before we settled on the final design.”
For colorful leaves that thrive in shade, it’s tough to beat caladium. This variety, Artful Fire and Ice, unfurls leaves that look like a painter crafted them with splashes of green, pink, rose and white. Give caladiums a spot in full to part shade, although in northern gardens, plants can withstand more sun. Keep soil consistently moist for best growth and color. You’ll know you’re failing if leaves turn yellow and drop. Fire and Ice caladium grows 18 to 30 inches tall and12 to 18 inches wide. The other annuals in this container thrive in part shade: Diamond Frost euphorbia and Black Cherry Supertunia.
You don’t have to wait for a custom-made island to enjoy the style and functionality of a stone countertop. The Bluestone Kitchen Island, $1,999, from Crate & Barrel is crafted with reclaimed pine from old buildings and doors and topped with a lustrous slab of bluestone for a high-end look. Inside, two roomy drawers open with antiqued iron pulls, while spacious open shelves and two iron towel bars provide additional storage. The top slab of bluestone is wet sanded and waxed to a smooth finish that reveals its organic character. Two counter-height stools can be tucked inside for casual, in-kitchen dining.
“I love modern design and bright color, so I really wanted to keep my Christmas tablescape colorful, but with simple lines,” says Angela Neese Rathbun of Blue i Style. Using papier mache cones found on sale at a craft store and striking paint colors, Rathbun got to work. The resulting centerpiece is certainly eye-catching.
“I have always wanted something taller and more dramatic for the center of our Christmas table, and these painted cones provide just the right height while still keeping a simple, modern style,” Rathbun says.
Just 10 miles from Panacea, the town of Sopchoppy has an area of just 1.5 square miles and a population of nearly 500 people. Have you ever seen worm grunting? If you attend their annual Worm Gruntin’ Festival, you can. In addition to the worm grunting demonstration from a professional baiter, the festival includes a 5K race, games, food, live music and arts and crafts. If worms aren’t your thing, and you’re just looking for a place to eat, visit the Sopchoppy Pizza Company for a slice of the “Sopchoppy Supreme,” a local favorite. Their pizza crusts feature a special, not-so-secret ingredient: Tupelo Honey made in Wakulla County.