Sunburst Mirrors

24 Jun

If you’re into home décor, then chances are you’ve seen sunburst mirrors displayed in every type of room, from bathrooms to dining rooms to bedrooms. I’ve seen them range from $40-150 bucks a pop when you buy them from a home décor store. However, you can make your own!

Supplies- round mirror, 2 different sized grilling skewers, hot glue gun, and spray paint

First, take your mirror, (your not going to want a huge one. Stick with one from 7″-10″) and lay it flat on top of some old newspapers, mirror side down.

Then you are going to take the skewers and begin gluing them to the back of the mirror, alternating between the two sizes. After you have glued all the skewers around the back and the hot glue has dried, flip the project over.

Next begin spray painting the skewers. You are going to want to cover the mirror with newspaper to avoid getting any paint on it. The best color to use on this part is either silver or gold, depending on your color palate.

Finally, let dry and hang on your wall! Easy peazy.


How to find pieces to refurbish for your DIY project

23 Jun

The first place to look for a piece of furniture to reupholster or a frame to paint or a table to refinish is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Goodwill. Goodwill is always loaded with great finds for DIY projects. Now it is possible, you will not always find exactly what your looking for, but the idea of a DIY project is to take something old and reconfigure it into something new. This is where creativity comes into play. Sometimes it might take a few trips to find the perfect piece to refurbish for your project.

Another great place to look is at garage sales. Most people who throw garage sales are looking to remove clutter from their homes, so the items you can find are for a steal. The less it costs you to get the piece the more you can put into the materials to complete your DIY project.

If you’ve never visited Craigslist before, I suggest going straight to the furniture section for items that can be bought to refurbish. Many people will sell there items online in the same way they would at garage sales. But this gives you the opportunity to see the items (furniture, frames, etc.) before driving out to get them. Saves a little bit of energy, but has an extremely high pay off when you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Pinterest used for DIY inspiration

23 Jun

For young women interested in do-your-self projects the first site I’d recommend for inspiration would be Pinterest. Pinterest is a social image bookmarking system that allows you to upload images to thumbnails and post them to different boards (which are categorized). The boards provide users an easier navigating system to get to their selected ‘pins’ faster without having to research the images.

I’ve found that Pinterest is full of ideas for young women interested in crafting. The tutorials provided make it easier for even the newest of DIYers. Most tutorials are provided with step by step instructions that are easy to understand. Typically, bloggers use images to accompany the instructions so that visual learners will understand better as well. The images associated with these tutorials are usually the ones found on Pinterest.

The top blogs featured on Pinterest for DIY projects include (but are certainly not limited to) Apartment Therapy, Centsational Girl, Décor8, and Craft Zine. If none of these sites help you find your inspiration, the DIY blogosphere is ever increasing, and Pinterest can help you locate it.

College senior Mallory Colby uses DIY projects for crafting

22 Feb
Kelsey: What types of crafts or DIY projects do you do?
Mallory: Canvas paintings, refinishing old furniture, jewelry holders, and wine bottle projects.
K: What do you think interests college girls into DIY decorating projects or crafting?
M: I think it gives us a chance to express our creativeness and find a style that matches our personality. I also think it let’s us relieve stress out of our usually hectic lifestyles.
K: Where do you get your inspiration for your crafts?
M: Usually, I find all my crafts on pinterest or the DIY and HGTV channel.
K: Do you feel that it is cheaper to make your own furniture, art, or crafts? Why or Why not?
M: Sometimes it can be. You can find good deals on old furniture at antique stores, and you refinish them yourself by staining them a different color or buying different hardware for the knobs and handles.
K: What interests you most about crafting and DIY projects?
M: My favorite thing about crafting is putting my own touches on it to make it more of my own style. I also enjoy seeing the outcome and posting pictures to see if others like it too.
K: Do you find them time consuming or are they relatively easy to accomplish? Do you ever get discouraged? Do you find them relaxing or fun to do?
M: Most of the projects I do can be done in one night, depending on if something has to dry over night or not. I’ve never gotten so upset with a project that I felt like it couldn’t be fixed or I had to start over with. Most of the time, I pick the ones that I know will be easy for me. I always refer to my crafting time as “me time.” I find it very relaxing, and it gives me time to think about things and relieve some stress.

Mallory Colby

“I think it gives us a chance to express our creativeness

and find a style that matches our personality. I also think it

let’s us relieve stress out of our usually hectic lifestyles.”


14 Dec


Find an old lamp that you don’t mind repurposing. If you don’t have one handy, visit your local Goodwill or other thrift shops/ garage sales. I got this lamp for under $5 by buying it in separate pieces.

See! It's a perfectly good lamp. It just needs some TLC!

Next, you're going to need a fair amount of fabric. Make sure to get enough. I had about 2 yards of white fabric from Hancock's.


Lay out your fabric and begin cutting 2" wide strips of fabric.


For the size of my lamp shade, I cut 10 3 ft long strips.


This is the tricky part. Take a needle and thread and sew a long strip down each strip of fabric. Then, pull the end of the thread to create the ruffled strips.


Next, take a glue gun and hot glue the ruffled fabric strips to the lamp shade.


Here's all the ruffled strips glued to the lamp shade.


And here's the finished product!

DIY Decorating for College Girls

14 Dec

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–Open those books and turn on the coffee machines. You’re in for at least a few all-nighters. Adjusting to college life can be stressful. You’re relearning your study habits, fending for yourself and, for the first time, living on your own. But moving into your first place, whether a dorm, apartment, or a house, doesn’t have to add any extra stress when it comes to decorating.

Sandra--Sawdust and Paper Scraps

As women, most of you want your place to be a sanctuary, a place you love to live. Why should you settle for the blah walls and the uniform furniture and the stereotypical design?

Trust me girls, your place can be beautiful, even on a limited budget. All it takes is a little creativity and effort and you too can have a room worthy of design super star status.

According to Sandra from the DIY blog Sawdust and Paper Scraps, “One of the easiest ways to transform a space is through paint. If you are in a rented space that doesn’t allow you to paint the walls, paint your furniture. If you don’t have furniture, go to a thrift store or yard sale and find some ugly piece that is just right for your space and needs some TLC and paint it.”

Moving into your first place can be scary for some. However, if your looking to decorate your place, its perfect because it’s a blank canvas. A great place to start is by painting the walls or furniture. Starting with simple projects helps alleviate some of the trepidation that may come when considering using do-it-yourself decorating techniques.

Joey and Lana Make A House A Home

Lana Migliore of the DIY blog, Making a House a Home, said, “Renters and owners should defiantly give it a try. You can DIY lamps, which are easy and gratifying, small furniture, frames, decor, and other things that don’t take up too much time or money. I think it would be a great mental exercise for college students.”

In terms of the advantages of using do-it-yourself techniques, Migliore said, “It makes you think in new ways. Each object can play a variety of rolls. You start seeing objects in a new light.”

According to another blogger, Jessica Fediw of Happy Together Creates, “when you are in college or just out of college, it’s the perfect time to try out some DIY projects. You are looking to have a nice place, but usually are on a budget. Plus, you might have more time on your hands and energy for DIY projects.”

Also, DIY projects can help college girls on a budget save money by decorating their places themselves. According to Migliore, it helps save her and her husband money. “Even when we mess up, we save. I would say we save at least 75 percent on everything we do.”

DIY blogger Kelly Marzca from A View Along The Way said “Doing projects ourselves saves lots of cash, but even better, we are able to create exactly what we envision. We’re limited only by what we can imagine and what we’re willing to take the time to learn. Not to mention that once you finish a project, there’s nothing like enjoying it every day with the knowledge that your hard work made it happen.

“My favorite part is that I’m investing as little money as possible, so if I don’t like something or it doesn’t turn out well, I can change it,” said Marzca.

Sandra’s favorite part about DIY projects is “knowing that I can do just about anything I set my mind to.”

Migliore said, “We can customize anything we want, when we want, and how we want. I love the problem solving aspect of dreaming something up and making it happen. It feels amazing to have something in your mind and then see it in your home.

So you may be wondering where to begin. The answer is simple; the Internet. The Web is full of DIY blogs, and Google can be your best friend when researching certain projects. Pinterest can also be a huge asset when looking for inspiration or tutorials on DIY projects. Home décor magazines and websites like HGTV also provide ideas for home improvement and decorating.

So you’ve done some research and have been inspired. Some projects are obviously going to be much harder, while others will be easier to tackle and can serve an equally appealing decorating purpose. For college girls who want to use DIY decorating techniques, starting small and working up to bigger projects is the route to take.

Migliore said, “I would suggest sewing curtains, making pillows, and refinishing and painting furniture. You can find cheap furniture at good will and even if the finish is bad, it’s easy to sand and paint and will look great if the structure has good lines.”

“If a person wants a certain look, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to create it. Often times, that means thinking outside the box,” said Sandra.

Kelly Marzca--A View Along The Way

“I’d say almost anything you want to create can be done if you’re willing to invest the time in Googling around to learn how to do it, and it helps if you know someone with access to tools. Start out small, with little art projects or simple projects that don’t require lots of time and energy. Build up some confidence and don’t be afraid to take risks or try things that fail,” said Marzca.

Decorating your first place should be a rewarding learning experience. DIY projects can help you save money and help you develop your style. Decorating is a process. You sense of style changes, and so can your home décor.

“For me, it’s taken me years to refine my style and my taste, and I’m still doing so today, so it just doesn’t make sense to invest lots of money in decorating. Doing projects yourself gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation for how things are made, and allows you to save money while exploring your personal style,” said Marzca.

Arlington Christmas Parade Craft Fair 2011

14 Dec


Arlington, TENN.–The Christmas Parade Crafts Fair brought craft vendors and local businesses together from the growing town of Arlington, Tenn., on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. 

Eight vendors from the Arlington, Bartlett, and Cordova areas hosted the third annual Crafts Fair in the historic Arlington Depot Square. 

Sandy Brewer and Maurice Gaines have been holding the craft fairs in Arlington since 2008.

Brewer’s daughter, Alex, 20, ran the Five Paw Barkery booth. Her booth sells all natural dog treats and dog ornaments for Christmas. 

Her family started the Five Paws Barkery because “we all have dogs, and all the dog treats in the store have preservations, and we all like baking, so that where we started.” Five Paw Barkery is also online at


According to Alex, her mother started the craft fair, “to mostly get people to the Depot because she owns a business down here.” Sandy is the owner of the Travel Agency in downtown Arlington. 

Alex said her mother also holds other craft fairs every third Saturday during the summer, the Harvest Gathering during the weekend after Thanksgiving and the crafts fair for the annual Christmas parade.  During the summer, they also hold a farmers market. 

Since 2008, Sandy has rented the space next door to S.Y. Wilson for her craft fairs and farmer’s markets. S.Y. Wilson and Co.,  is the antiques and artisan market located in the Depot as well. 


S.Y. Wilson was founded in 1893 as the general store for the town. It now operates as an antiques and artisan market and is a historic landmark in Arlington. 

On the day of the holiday craft fair, “Wilson’s Store” is complete with original and repurposed furniture and antiques, knick knacks, and a Mr. and Mrs. Claus picture-taking set up for the kids. It is also full of artwork, hand painted and crafted by local artists. 

S.Y. Wilson is currently operated by fourth-generation descendants of founder Samuel Young Wilson, Mark and Susan Wilson Hoggard. The market was converted from a general store to the antique market on Aug. 5, 2011 complete with 37 vendors. 

Susan Hoggard said, “We restructured because of big box stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart. It was too hard to stay in business as a general store.”