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As I mentioned yesterday, I’m really in the mood to put together some Christmas crafts but my next opportunity to do it is the week of the 19th so I’m not sure that real Christmas crafts are worth my time. The crafts I have planned are mostly big projects that aren’t crafty at all: finishing the pantry, drywalling the reach-in closet, retiling the shower floor. BORING BUT REWARDING (I hope). So I probably need to plan for something that will outlast this Christmas and can stick around through Winter when the tree and the santas are gone.

Here are some of my favorite inspirations for this season:

Over at Bright.Bazaar, I’m loving his Three Ways To Festoon Your Living Room. I love all three which is probably a sign that I have interesting and diverging tastes right now because they’re super bright, really cozy, and super dark but I can’t pick a favorite most days.

Poppytalk’s Mini DIY Round-Up featured these junk-mail snowflakes. I’m so excited to have a way to reuse the junk mail that I’m so tired of… and really need to opt out of… and to turn it into something so colorful and pretty. Even better? You really can’t tell that it’s junk mail.

I love how simple these cone trees are. They’re such an easy way to add texture and color to a room while increasing it’s holiday spirit.

The coasters in Oh Joy!’s this & that… would be a really fun product do do your own DIY spin.

These Simply Silhouette stockings could be as elegant or whimsical as you wish. I like the tradition of the stocking with a more personalized (and less campy) spin on it! (via Scissors+Thread)

Well, I think that’s enough crafts to make my list way over-ambitious! Hopefully I’ll find the time to make some of these projects a priority during my Christmas decorating.

 

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Since this is my first year to put up a tree (yay!), I didn’t own a tree skirt. And, as I mentioned on Monday, I’m on a major budget for decorating this Christmas. So this got me to thinking about what I could do to make my own tree skirt. Enter Cable Knit sweater.

I knew I wanted white or cream to contrast with the wood floors and, let’s be honest, to not show dog hair. It shows up on EVERYTHING, right?! Ugh. Anyway…

I went to Goodwill and grabbed this XL cable knit men’s sweater for $6. I picked this one specifically for it’s size and that the cable knit was all over the sweater (meaning front, back, and arms).

This was surprisingly harder to capture a tutorial of than I realized. But, here goes anyway…let me know if you’ve got questions.

I cut straight up the side seams and up the under side of the arms.

Then I sewed the raw edges to the raw sides. Next, I cut straight up the front and cut out the mock turtleneck zipper.

Lastly, I just placed it around the tree and arranged it until it looked nicely. I might make some adjustments later, but I’m not the best seamstress.

It was a fun project and I don’t feel like you can even tell it was a sweater in it’s previous life. Or can you? Thoughts?

 

 

 

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DIY Skinny Jeans

I’ve been pining for some skinny jeans lately and the little bit of looking I have done just makes me frustrated. So when I came across this skinny jean conversion tutorial from Susan at Freshly Picked, I decided to take it on myself. I was so shocked at how surprisingly easy this was.

These Levi’s I was about to retire soon and so I thought I’d give them a shot. I’m a novice seamstress at best. Seriously, I’m only good at sewing a straight line, so I treaded lightly on this DIY.

I  followed Susan’s instructions and measured two inches in from the outward seam. Then I drew a line up the knee per her suggestion. I sewed along the line in a loose stich and tried the jeans on. That way I could make adjustments before I started cutting. I decided that I wanted them a little bit tighter so I went 1/4” in further. Then loose stitched again and tried them on once more. When I decided they were good, I went back over my loose stitch with a tighter stitch.

As Susan states, you have to be sure because there’s no going back once you make the cut! After I cut the excess fabric off, I did a zig-zag stitch all the way up the edge to finish it off. Then, I cut a little of the bottom and resewed the hem. Check out Susan’s tutorial if you don’t want to take off any length.

For my first attempt at altering my own clothing, I have to say I’m pretty pleased! I know it’s not a huge difference, but I’m now a proud owner of custom skinny jeans. Ha!

Have a great Monday, friends!!!

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Last week, my coworker and her son asked me if I had any ideas about how to display handkerchiefs. My coworker’s mother recently passed away and now they have a small collection of her hankies that they’d like to display in a sweet and sentimental way. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of ideas but I’ve rounded some up and think I’ll share them all with you too!

I’ll start with some of the more traditional ideas I found.

SweetPaul magazine had this tablerunner tutorial that can be made with glue if you’re not a handy with a needle and thread.

For another table runner tutorial, check out Country Living’s DIY It for Less tutorial.

If you are handy with a sewing machine, these handkerchief curtains at Jolly Goode Gal are beautiful! You should totally check out the link too because her house is gorgeous!

For a little bit simpler version of the handkerchief curtains, Martha Stewart has a tutorial for a valance. She uses tailored men’s handkerchiefs so it might be a little bit more math and creativity to make a balance out of women’s handkerchiefs that are different sizes, but I bet the final product would look even better!

Skip to My Lou has a tutorial for a hanky sachet which would be a really nice gift and might be more the style of my coworker and her son.

I think my favorite thing I found was from a photo at 100LayerCake. I’m guessing these hankies were given out as favors or used to direct people to their seat at the reception, but I love how they look all collected. This also wouldn’t require any altering of the hankies so you’d still have to them to use and enjoy if you had a brilliant new idea for displaying them in the future.

This wallhanging from a home tour at The R House would be a really easy way to collage the hankies and make an easy to move around display.

I absolutely love these handkerchief walls! They’re both beautiful and have such a different aesthetic. You could really take this project a bunch of different directions depending on your hankie collection.

If you want an unframed look, you could use your handkerchiefs in place of the fabric scraps and do this DIY from 2Modern’s blog. Plus, the tutorial uses shoeboxes which is an awesome opportunity to upcycle.

These handkerchief hanging vases at Once Wed are so beautiful and delicate. I suspect they’d look just as beautiful as year-round decor as they do at a wedding!

So that’s my roundup (so far). I started out looking for ideas for friends and now I have about 100 DIY ideas of my own! Better get started on my hanky collection!

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I love shipping pallet projects as much as the next blogger but every time I’m face to face with a real pallet I find them to be pretty gross. They’re splintery, usually a little greasy, and have strange caked on dirt. Where do people find such beautiful pallet for their projects? And, if you’re going to try to tell me they sand them, where do they get up the will to make a dirty pallet so clean? (via 2Modern Blog).

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I’m still really drawn to the birds on wire motif and I love the effect of the simple black on white design of this tea set. It makes this otherwise dainty tea set seem a lot more modern.

I recommend that you check out the full posting for this Painted Teacup Set 2 Birds on Wire by PrettyMyDrink on Etsy but don’t miss her prettymydrink’s shop. She has a variety of beautiful patterns on tea cups, coffee mugs, and even glasses. It would be great for a special occasion set or to add some excitement to your regular collection.

These look like they were made for open shelving!

This would also be a great DIY. I have a certain boring white tea pot I bought at a church garage sale that I think could really benefit from a little sprucing up. I’ll keep you updated if I decide to paint it!

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I’ve been tossing around the idea of featuring these on our Thursday Tea Time for a while, but, today, I just can’t resist. This Tub Teas by Martha Stewart Crafts are such a cute gift idea.

There are so many options to personalize them, too. You could make customized names for each tub tea that reminded the recipient of a memory you shared or make them with aphrodisiac scents for a partner and make each tag an offer for another relaxing, romantic good deed.

It’s also a really nice excuse to buy pretty boxes whenever you see one you like. I don’t know if I’m weird or not but I really like little decorative boxes but I always pass them up when I’m thrifting because I haven’t the slightest idea where they’d go or where I’d put them.

Unique Handpainted Iranian Wooden Box by missyrmom on Etsy

Vintage Retro Tartan Plaid Metal Recipe Box by TeamRuster on Etsy.

There are so many options to really reflect your or your friend/partner’s style with this gift.

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com