Tag Archives: accessories

Ombre Vase Fillers

A few years ago I put together these ombre vase fillers for a quick spring project. With spring coming soon I thought it would be a good time to re-post this project that was originally a part of my Girls Want Pearls series. It was a lot of fun choosing the colors to use and creating a custom look using my own shading.

Are you as ready for spring as I am? I’m done with winter and to prove it I’ve got a fresh new pearl project to welcome in warmer weather when it finally gets here. Welcome to Girls Want Pearls #29!
I want to show you a super easy project with high visual impact.

You’ll need:
3 straight skinny clear vases (you can find them at most dollar stores), pearls and beads in various colors, water, and 3 flower stems.
I love ombre shading! I knew I wanted to create an ombre effect with dark to light colored pearls / beads. I went to shop for the perfect combination of colors but wasn’t quite coming up with what I needed. What do you do when you can’t find what you’re looking for? You make it!
I did some paint mixing with my craft paints to create 4 of the colors in my design: the cocoa brown, the bright green, and the two lighter shades of pink. I would have much prefered to buy what I needed, and I’m sure you can find the exact right colors online, but in case you can’t, or you like to dabble in paint mixing, here’s the solution I came up with. I placed a dollup of the mixed color in a small plastic container with a lid (butter tub, coffee can, etc.). I dropped in the desired amount of white pearls, put the lid on and shook them up. Then I poured them out on waxed paper and let them dry, jiggling them periodically to keep them from sticking. If you want a more translucent color, add a little water to the paint.


Once the pearls are dry, place them in the vase, add water and flowers. BTW, I did get lucky when it came to my flower purchase. I knew I wanted light pink tulips for this project. Any color would be lovely but that’s what I pictured. I went to Walmart and they had them! Exactly what I needed at the first place I looked! Bam!
So there you have it, an inexpensive way to bring a good dose of spring to your home using pearls.

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Love Your Clothes Again + Shopping Checklist Printable

I posted this a couple of years ago but it is still relevant and I thought it could bear repeating. At the end of the post you can find two free Shopping Checklist Printables.

Everyone gets tired of their wardrobe from time to time. Clothing options can sometimes become boring for me even after it seems like I just shopped the mother lode. Right now I have other things I have to spend money on. Sigh. But if I had extra money to spend right now, and I were going to do some clothes shopping, here are two outfits I would put right in my closet.



If you’re in the same boat ~ tired of your wardrobe, getting the itch to buy some new clothes but it’s not in the budget ~ allow me to share a tip I have used to reignite my enthusiasm for the clothing and accessories I have to work with. This is a great winter weekend project. You’ll need to allow about two hours (give or take) to do this exercise but it will be so worth it.

1. Pull out 4 or 5 of your favorite layering tops (underneath layer). Choose tops that have some kind of detail front and center like lace, shirring, cutouts, etc.

2. Pull out 4 or 5 top layer pieces > jackets, see-through tops, button-down shirts, low-cut tops, etc.

3. Decide if you want to put together dressy outfits or casual (or both) and choose 4 or 5 bottom pieces accordingly (pants, skirts, shorts, jeans).

4. Now comes the fun part. Take each top layer piece and pair it with any of the under layer pieces that coordinate in color or style, keeping them on the hangers or laying them down in sets.

5. Add a bottom layer piece to each paired combo.

6. This step is crucial and I urge you not to skip it: Try them on! Yes it will take time but think of it as a shopping trip. Combinations that look good on the hangers might not look great on you, and vice versa. Things like length of top, cling factor, fullness and structure dictate how they will fall and mesh together. This is where it takes patience but once you find a combo that works you’ll have an outfit that flatters and you will feel great in it.

7. In my experience, some pieces go with everything and some don’t work with anything. Those in the second category (I call them loners) are pieces that I either get rid of or, if it’s something I really love, make a note to find something to pair it with next time I go shopping.

8. This might be my favorite part of the whole process. Once you have decided what works together, lay out your winning outfits and go to your jewelry stash. Play around with different pieces, try out-of-the-box color combinations, layer up on necklaces and bracelets. Take a fresh look at your cache and use it to the fullest to bling up your outfit.

9. At this point in the process, it may be a good idea to take pictures of your outfits, because if you’re like me, once everything is back in the closet you’re likely to forget (or not see) the exact combinations you put together.

10. You will be amazed at the new outfits you discover if you think outside the box. Now you can look forward to the next event in your life, be it coffee with the girls, date night or Sunday church, knowing you will feel pulled together and polished.

Just because you don’t have any immediate plans to go on a shopping spree, that doesn’t mean you’ll never buy anything new again. With the eventual shopping splurge in mind, I created two shopping checklists ~ one for your clothing and one for your accessories ~ for you to print and keep handy to stay tuned in to your closet and accessory “inventory”.

Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what CLOTHING to buy.


Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what ACCESSORIES to buy.

Do you have any tips for overcoming boredom with your wardrobe? Do share!


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DIY Heart Garland

My favorite kind of crafty project are the ones that are quick and easy and inexpensive. And if I have most or all the supplies on hand already, even better. Whether you already have the supplies for this project or not, there are very few things needed. With Valentine’s Day coming up (and being a lover of seasonal decorating) I went to work thinking up a simple project to celebrate the holiday. This DIY heart garland is what I came up with.


Actually I came up with two different DIY heart garlands. It’s difficult to see the second, smaller one in this picture so I will show it again later in the post.


Along with wanting it to be simple, I wanted it to have an organic feel. So I dug around in my craft supplies, found a bunch of leather strips and knew they would be the perfect material to use.



And like any good hoarder crafter, I also had a bunch of neutral fabric scraps and lace that would complement the leather and soften the design.


For the smaller garland I cut heart shapes out of an old leather belt. It was a little bit more work than the first one but I like the way it turned out.


The belt I used had grommets which added a nice texture and also gave me a good place to string the skinny piece of leather for the garland.

You could easily change up the design with whatever colors you like. It’s a fun project to complete in an afternoon.

All you need to make your very own DIY heart garland is leather strips that can be found at your craft store, fabric and lace scraps, and for the smaller garland you’ll need a leather belt or leather scraps that can also be found at craft stores. You’ll also need glue (I used Loctite), scissors and a pair of pliers.

…….diy_heart_garland_supplies_leather_strips diy_heart_garland_supplies_fabric_lace

Now to create. The process for the larger garland:

STEP 1: For each heart, cut two strips of leather, 7 3/8″ in length for the outer strip and 6 1/2″ in length for the inner strip. The width of my leather ranged from 1/8-3/8″.

……………….diy_heart_garland_step_leather diy_heart_garland_step_strips

STEP 2:Cut strips of fabric (and leather lace if desired) to desired length for the “tails”. They will be doubled over so you will want them to be twice the length to allow for that. My cut strips ranged in length from 12-20″ and in width from 1/8-1/2″. I used 2-3 per heart.


STEP 3: Find the center of each piece of leather and using your pliers pinch it to form the bottom point of the heart.

………………diy_heart_garland_step_glue_heart_1 diy_heart_garland_step_glue_heart_2 diy_heart_garland_step_glue_heart_3

STEP 4: Fold over one end of the heart and glue a little further than halfway down on the other side.

STEP 5: Allow to dry then overlap and fold over the other piece, gluing in place as shown in center picture above.

STEP 6: Once that has dried glue one end of the second (outer) strip to the first heart at the top, center.

STEP 7: Allow to dry then glue the other end in the same manner.

……………………………………….diy_heart_garland_step_slipnot2 diy_heart_garland_step_slipnot

STEP 8: Take the strips of fabric and/or leather lacing and attach each to the bottom of the heart with a slipknot.

STEP 9: For the final step, thread them onto the length of leather to complete the garland. I used 1/8 inch deerskin lace leather for the garland length, cut to approx. 5 ft. and I used the extra for some of the hearts’ “tails”.


To make the smaller garland:


STEP 1: Draw or print a heart shape in desired size (mine is approx. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″). Using the paper heart as a template, draw around it onto the leather to make five hearts.

STEP 2: Cut them out using heavy duty scissors or a razor knife. Don’t worry if the edges are ragged and uneven, the lace will cover that up.


STEP 3: Decorate each heart with lace, covering entire heart or using it as a trim around the edges. Glue lace in place and trim.

STEP 4: Cut a leather lace or strip 2-3 feet long. This will be your garland base.

STEP 5: Unless you happen to have grommets in your leather hearts, you will want to attach them by punching a hole at the top of each heart. You can use a nail and hammer to do this or a leather punch. After punching a hole in each heart, attach them to the leather garland base, tying them on with small fabric strips.


Love is in the air!

As always, feel free to ask questions and please let me know if you need clarification on my instructions. :)

Be sure to check back in a few days for more Valentine-themed fun.

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DIY Candle Holders from Everyday Objects

The ice storm that hit several areas of the map this past weekend and was supposed to hit us missed us. We’ve been in them before, losing power, tree wreckage all over the yard and streets. It’s no fun and my thoughts go out to those who were affected.

With the thought of losing electricity in mind, today I’m reposting an issue from my long-running series Girls Want Pearls where I show you how to turn ordinary objects into pearl dripping candle holders. I gathered up some of my ironstone collection, spools of string, and some glass bobeches.
I decided to keep it all neutral, so I used off white candles. The bobeches come in handy to both bridge the gap at the top of vessels and to hold the candles in place. They also keep hot wax from dripping onto your vessels. I added stick tack to some of them to keep them even more stable. Swags can be made by hooking the pearls to the bobeches if they have holes/wire for that. Some of mine don’t so I just wrapped pearls around the candle base, then intertwined, swagged and dripped to get the desired effect.
Here’s a view from the top.
You can see how I added pedestals to bring the height up on some of the pieces.
Almost anything can be turned into a candle holder ~ clear glass vases, mason jars, silver or tin pieces, teapots, the only limit is your imagination. Experiment and have fun!
You could place an arrangement like this inside of a non-working fireplace. Be sure to exercise caution when lighting the candles.

Stay warm!

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Soft Goods ~ The Fabric of Our Lives

One of my favorite key components of interior design is soft goods. This is due, I’m sure, to my love for fabric. Although I don’t love to sew, the enjoyment I get from shopping for and choosing just the right fabric and playing with patterns has compelled me to sew things like curtains and pillows when it’s time to change up my décor. I often can’t find what I’m looking for “off the rack” when it comes to these soft goods.


I have also done a small amount of reupholstering, only when it is a simple job like this chair.


An upholstered chair is just right in this space, softening the otherwise harshness of the brick and wood tones. Placing a pillow on a wooden chair would achieve similar results.


Frequently when a space feels like it’s cold or lacking interest, adding textiles and goods made from them is just what it needs to make it feel warm and cozy. Something as simple as a vintage umbrella or hat on a hook can do the trick.

I don’t know about you but all of the sudden I got an itch to go play at the fabric store…


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I Went to the Flea Market and All I Spent Was $9

It has to be a record for me. I went to the semi annual flea market in our area last week. The flea market that I look forward to every spring and every fall. It’s a must-do event. But this year was very different for a few reasons.

For one, my friend that I have gone with every single time for umpteen years was sick and couldn’t go. I knew it wouldn’t be the same without her but I would go it alone. Another hindrance to my shopfest was the fact that I had just purged a LOT of stuff in my garage sale and the thought of bringing a bunch of stuff back in when I don’t sell anymore put a damper on grabbing up finds.

And then there was the heat. And humidity. There have been plenty of times that we’ve gone and shopped in scorching weather. But without my buddy, a record short time of three hours shopping in 90+ weather was all I had in me.

I only spent $9! But I did bring home three items I love.

A uniquely shaped, tall skinny birdcage.

A monogrammed, footed silver tray. I love its long, thin shape.

And a snakeskin box purse. The straps are worn worse than the rest of the purse so I will replace them with black or dark brown leather straps. I might touch up a few worn spots on the purse with shoe polish. Then I will put it in my rotation of vintage purses that I actually carry on occasion.

I’m starting a new series this fall that I think will be fun. It just may show up in my very next post. Here’s a little tease…

Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon!


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