5 DIY Gifts for a Creative (and Inexpensive!) Holiday Season

Do you love crafting? Are you looking to save money on gifts this holiday season? Well, now is your time to shine!

Homemade gifts are a great way to flex your creative muscles and save a little money — plus, the effort they involve can really mean a lot to your recipients. In fact, even if you aren’t much of a crafter, you can find plenty of homemade gifts that require little artistic ability, but still make a big impression.

Here are some ideas to get your holiday DIY inspiration flowing:

Homemade sugar scrub

Give the gift of self-care with this easy-to-make sugar scrub where you can customize the scent. If you’re feeling festive, add in some peppermint essential oils for a light, wintery smell. Then package it up in a cute container, tie on a ribbon and you’re all set.

DIY coasters

Pick up some white square tiles and gather together some scraps of festive wrapping paper. Then, all you need is a little Mod-Podge to adhere the wrapping paper to the tile and — wa-la! — you’ll have a set of custom holiday coasters perfect for gifting.

Homemade granola

Easy to make in a big batch, granola makes a great gift that recipients can enjoy in a variety of ways. Plus, once you mix your ingredients together, it’s just a matter of baking it up, then finding cute bags or containers to gift in. Try this recipe for a holiday spice granola.

DIY wreath

Everyone loves decorating for the holidays, and there are countless different styles and ideas for easy-to-make wreaths. Stop at your nearest craft store to find wreath forms and endless inspiration.

Decorative mirror or picture frame

If you have a bland mirror or picture frame, spice it up with some custom holiday decorations, some pretty mosaicked tile or a nice coat of paint. Now you have an inexpensive, completely customizable gift!

These ideas are just the beginning — the inspiration for DIY holiday gifting is endless!

Not much of a crafter? Shop our framed and beautiful mirrors for a ready-made gift. 

 

 

Find the Right Balance Between Decor and Clutter

If you’re someone who loves stuff, you might sometimes wonder if you’ve gone too far. After all, what’s the difference between having plenty of decor…and having too much clutter?

The truth is, it’s a slippery slope — and in order to avoid falling down it, you need to carefully cultivate your own decor style against a little self-editing. Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out all on your own. We have three great tips to help you find balance and avoid the clutter trap.

Work with white space

If you’re staging shelves or a mantle, make sure the decor items you select also have room to breathe. By over-stacking or filling the entire space, you can easily overwhelm the items you want to shine. Instead, insert some space and stick to decor elements that you really want noticed. Another way to achieve this is to choose items of varying heights and sizes to allow you to play with both vertical and horizontal white space.

Accent with pieces that expand, not shrink 

There’s a reason that a cluttered room often feels smaller than it actually is. When you weigh your space down with stuff, you make your entire area feel heavy. Instead, look for airy furniture, like glass top tables or couches that sit up higher on legs. Accenting with lighter-colored items and mirrors will also make a room feel more open and bright, which will help to counteract any clutter concerns.

Stick with what you love

It may seem like simplistic advice, but decor for decor’s sake will get old quick. Instead, invest in decorations that you really love so they won’t feel like clutter. By choosing items that only “spark joy” (a la Marie Kondo), you won’t have to worry about feeling overwhelmed by items that take up space in your home, but not in your heart.

When in doubt? Always go with the concept of “less is more.” Adding new decor items slowly as you feel inspired is an easier path to take than getting rid of things that never made you happy after months of feeling overwhelmed.

Find your perfect mirror.

5 DIY Projects You Can Tackle This Weekend

Are you someone who has big home renovation ambitions, but little time to achieve them? Well, take a deep breath and step away from your to-do list. We have a different list for you to try out — a list of DIY projects you can knock out in one weekend.

Picture it: No more lengthy, dragged out projects. No more mess and upheaval lasting for weeks on end. Just a job well done and a sense of accomplishment, all over the course of a weekend at home.

Feeling inspired? Try these suggestions.

Paint your baseboards 

Baseboards are notorious for getting dinged and neglected. A fresh layer of paint can make the whole room feel brighter and more pulled together — and all you’ll need is a little tape to make it happen.

Hang a gallery wall

Gallery walls add visual intrigue to a room and allow you to personalize your space with favorite photos, memorabilia, art and practical items (like mirrors!). With just a little planning, measuring and a careful eye, you can have an entirely new focal point in your living room, all within a few hours.

Increase your curb appeal

Allow your home to give the best first impression by updating your landscaping, slapping a fresh coat of paint on your front door and placing new pavers to make a walkway. You’ll be surprised to see what a big difference some potted plants and paint can make.

Hang new shelving

Floating shelves are easy to hang and offer plenty of decor opportunities to help you reduce clutter and express your style. Looking for something more practical? Hang hooks and shelving by the door to make your own entryway storage.

Recaulk your bathroom

Stay with us, here — this may seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually fairly quick and can be incredibly satisfying. Plus, fresh caulk can help rid your bathroom of mildew and prevent future leaks. Simply remove the old caulk, clean underneath and allow the space to dry, then add a new layer. Good as new!

And there you have it! Your weekend to-do list is set. Now, get to work.

Need a mirror for your gallery wall?

 

Should Your Fixtures Match?

Short answer: maybe?

As with all design choices you make in your home, the answer to this question certainly comes down to personal preference. If you want crazy, mix-matched fixtures all over your home…well, you do you. However, if you’re here for some legitimate design advice, we can also help with that.

For most homes, you don’t have to worry about matching finishes from room to room. For instance, if you have silver kitchen fixtures, it’s perfectly fine to have a bronze faucet in your upstairs bathroom.

But what about mixing the finishes of your fixtures in just your bathroom or just your kitchen? While conventional advice would be to tie a room together as best you can with matching finishes, it’s not a hard and fast rule. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to change it up with finishes that don’t match.

Perhaps you’re renovating your bathroom, but you can’t find fixtures that match. This is a common problem if you’re redoing a portion of a room with older fixtures. Let’s say you really like the drawer pulls on your bathroom cabinet, but they don’t match the new faucet you’re dying to have. If you think the two different finishes look good together — well, then there’s no reason to not go with what you want!

Here’s a handy list of questions you can ask yourself to determine if mixing fixture finishes is the right choice for you:

  • How does the big picture work? Avoid zeroing in on the individual pieces and consider the sum of all the parts.
  • Do the finishes you’ve chosen complement each other? In many cases, it’s better to choose two completely different finishes than two that are close, but don’t quite match.
  • Do you like it? This is the most important question of them all. You’re the one who has to live there, so your satisfaction is key.

Luckily, when it comes to the finish of your mirror frame, you can find options to suit all kinds of bathroom styles — whether matching or mismatching is your thing.

See your options in our Add A Frame® collection. 

 

 

5 Tricks for Brightening a Dark Room

Not only can a darker room affect your mood, but it can also actually make your space feel smaller than it is. But don’t worry: if you have a dark room in your home, all is not lost. With just a few small tweaks, you can brighten it up and enjoy a lighter, happier space.

Here are our five best tips for bringing light into a dark room:

Update your paint

Dark paint colors weigh down a room and don’t do you any favors when it comes to bouncing light off the walls. Instead, stick to light shades that brighten or limit dark paint to an accent wall.

Hang a mirror

We all know mirrors reflect light — and in a room with lots of windows, that’s an instant brightness maker. In this case, the bigger the better. By hanging a statement mirror, you can get the most out of a room’s natural light.

Avoid bulky furniture

Ideally, you want furniture that can offer both form and function. However, heavy and bulky furniture can weigh down the feel of a room, making your space feel cluttered and dark. Instead, invest in furniture that also creates space and light in your room — like glass top tables or couches that don’t rest entirely on the ground.

Get strategic with light fixtures 

While natural light is obviously best for organically brightening up a room, don’t underestimate the effect of a strategically-placed light fixture. Aim for indirect light pointed at the ceiling to get the most natural brightness feel.

Go metallic

Just light mirrors, shiny surfaces reflect light and create added brightness. Embrace metallic accents (like a gold or silver mirror frame, perhaps?) that will add a little shine to your space.

So, next time you’re lamenting the darkness of a particular room, try a few of these fixes and see what a difference it makes.

And if you’re not prepared to break out the paint brushes or buy new furniture, might we suggest starting with a mirror