We’ve had container herb gardens in the past at other rental houses, but this year we’ve built a fun little shed in our backyard that has the perfect space for a vertical herb garden. There’s not much sunshine in our mature yard with its 100-year-old walnut trees, so I needed to be smart with how I used my space. Since we’re also putting in a veggie and a dye garden (more on this soon), I decided to go vertical with some herbs. It’s the perfect project for anyone else with a limited amount of yard space, or no yard at all! Also, renter-friendly!

Since this project requires a few more yards of weed barrier than I have room to shoot in my studio, I’m going to show you a miniature version using a not-to-scale, scaled down size. Or, if you’re into dollhouses, a regular size? This will show you all of the steps but will be providing you the correct measurements in the instructions below. In the end, you’ll end up with a 2′ x 4′ hanging herb garden and all of the knowledge you need to adjust your measurements in case you need a different size.

–one 3’x50′ roll of weed barrier
-1″ x 2′ copper pipe
-sewing machine
-straight pins
–5′ cotton rope
-herbs of your choice
-potting soil

Cut 11 feet from your landscape fabric roll and set the rest aside. Fold it in half lengthwise and add straight pins every 6″ where your two edges meet. It will feel like a lot of fabric to wrestle, so I suggest doing this part on a clean floor.

Stitch down the side with the straight pins so that you leave about 1/4″ of room from the edge. Remove your pins when you’re done. Measure 16″ inches down from one of the short edges of your fabric. Then fold your fabric up to create a pleat that hits at the 8″ mark. In this photo it hits at the 4″ mark. This creates your first of five pockets. Make sure your pleat is evenly folded all the way across and stick a straight pin on either side of the top of the pocket so that it goes through all three layers of fabric. Stick two more straight pins just above the bottom of the pocket so that it goes through all three layers of fabric. You’ll be able to feel this from the top side of the fabric. Remove your ruler and measure 16″ down from the top of the pocket you just made. Fold another pleat up to just under the 8″ mark on your ruler. In this photo it hits around the 4″ mark. Repeat the process of adding straight pins to the top and bottom of this second pocket.

Continue these steps of measuring 16″ down from the top of the previous pocket and folding back up to the 8″ mark until you have 5 pockets or have nearly run out of fabric. Fold the excess fabric under the bottom of your last pocket and pin in place. This image shows two pockets but you should have five.

Carefully place your entire fabric piece under your needle and stitch down one of the long sides from the bottom up to the top. Back stitch where each pocket corner begins and ends for extra support. Then remove your pins and fold or roll the long side in towards the center. Starting from the bottom of your fabric piece again, stitch all the way up the other long side. Back stitch where each pocket corner begins and ends again.

Find the center of your fabric piece and mark that spot with a straight pin or chalk. Place the entire piece of fabric under your sewing machine again. Starting from the bottom again, stitch up the center of your fabric piece. Remove all of your pins. Now you have ten pockets!

Fold the top of your fabric piece to the back side 1/2″ and then again 2″ and pin in place. Stitch on the back so you can follow along the 1/2″ fold. This will create a pocket hem. Slide your copper pipe through your hem. It should be about 1″ wider than your new plant hanger on each side. Cut your rope and slide it through your copper pipe. Tie a knot and hide the knot inside the pipe.

If you’d like to make a shorter and wider panel, measure about 8′ of liner but don’t fold it vertically. Instead, fold it in half so that the two short ends meet up and give you a double-sided panel that measures 4′ long. Then mark about 20″ down from the fold and then pleat it back up about 6″ and pin. Measure down 12″ from the top of the pleat and back up 6″ and pin again. Do this a third time and then tuck under any remaining fabric. Stitch everything up, add a pocket hem at the fold for your copper pipe, and you’re golden!

Find the perfect spot in your yard or balcony for your new hanging herb garden(s) and add your potting soil and herbs! No one will be mad if you add in a beautiful, flowering plant to compliment all of that green.

Your herb garden will need regular watering. If you live in an especially dry climate, you might try wrapping the root of each plant in coco liner to help retain more water. I made sure to add herbs I know I’ll use to flavor both summer and fall dishes so that I can have fresh herbs all summer and then start drying them once the temperatures turn chilly. Fresh rosemary for grilled chicken and potatoes now, and then dried rosemary for soups and stews this winter! What are the herbs you use most? 


Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY) Hi, friends! As you know I am in full on nesting mode. I’ve become quite good at inventing new projects that are absolutely essential to complete as we are in the waiting period for our adoption. Keeping busy and inspired has been key my key to happiness these past few months!

Today I am excited to share our mid-century modern play set that I designed and Collin built! I wanted to add something to our yard with swings and a slide, but I wanted to do it in a customized way that matched the style of our home. With this project we were able to create a custom play set for the same price (ballpark) as other pre-made sets with a similar size and features. I am SO EXCITED about this project, and I know you are as well because I have NEVER received so many DMs about a project (ever!) as I have this past week after I posted some stories with the playhouse.

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY)
Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY) For this post we partnered with Ace Hardware. Once we were ready to paint we went to our local Ace and were sure to ask what paint and stains were the best for outdoors, and the team at Ace was really knowledgeable and great to work with! We knew we wanted a bright, sunny yellow and a crisp white that would pop against the natural wood. Based on their recommendation we used their Clark+Kensington Paint and Primer in One collection and the Cabot Clear Wood Protector on this playhouse. It’s so important to make sure each wood piece is painted or stained properly so that the wood will be OK through all the seasons. Also, through July 4th Ace is having a sale on gallons of Clark+Kensington and Valspar exterior and interior paint, so if you have some summer painting projects it’s a great time to go check it out!

In this post we will outline every detail of the cost, tools needed and DIY steps, but if there is anything you are confused about, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments! But before we get into all the DIY details, I’ll share more about the design!

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY)I had the vision to make an A-frame playhouse (which we are still doing right “next door” to this one), but midway through the design, I realized that I would love to add something that had more of an active play set (slide, swings, etc…). So I started brainstorming ideas to incorporate more play set features into a mid-century design.

Some of my favorite memories from growing up are playing with my cousins in a pretty similar playhouse at my grandma’s house. It kept us busy for hours upon hours, and my niece is still enjoying it to this day. So with my crazy nesting hormones going off, the idea of creating some outdoor spaces for kiddo memories is just about the most magical thing I can imagine!

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY)Here’s a view from the slide side! When I was shopping for a slide, the color options were a little slim, so I ended up going with yellow, matching the swings and handles to it, and then keeping the rest of the design really natural and neutral! The stain was perfect because it didn’t change the color of the wood and we wanted to keep it light. I also used Clark+Kensington’s Designer White as a clean, crisp accent color to pair with the wood.

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY) Here’s a view from behind the swing set. I picked this side of the yard for a lot of reasons, but most of all because I didn’t want to obstruct the view from our sunroom. As it is, you can see the play set, but barely. It’s also located right next to the deck that we are planning to build in the next year or two.

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY) The little flower box under the circle window is my favorite detail! I love how painting it with the Clark&Kensington (we used the color The Bright Side) helped tie together the colors from the slide and swings, and I LOVE how it mimics this project from the front of our home. This play set is like a tiny version of my own dream home!

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY)
Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY) Here are some more detail photos.

Mid-Century Play Set (click though for full DIY) We have been having a lot of guests this month, and we have already gotten a LOT of use out of this play set. So don’t think it’s going to be sad and empty while we wait for our adoption- it’s BUSY over here! Our nieces and friends’ children (and adults!) are having so much fun playing with it.

OK… on to the DIY! 

-four 4″ x 4″ x 6′ pressure treated posts ($26.48)
-two 4″ x 4″ x 10′ pressure treated posts ($24.84)
-two 4″ x 4″ x 8′ posts ($23.96)
-one 4″ x 6″ x 12′ pressure treated board ($23.27)
-six 50-lb bags of fast setting concrete ($32.76)
-one piece of 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ pressure treated plywood ($33.79)
-two 3/4″ x 6″ x 8′ pressure treated boards ($12.16)
-ten 2″ x 3″ x 8′ boards aka “stud” boards ($21.05)
-ten 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards ($33.04)
-three 2″ x 2″ x 3′ boards ($18.66)
-eight 1″ x 12″ x 8′ boards ($117.72)
-three clear 26″ x 8′ corrugated polycarbonate roof panels ($62.91)
-four 5/8″ x 8″ lag bolts and washers ($13.96)
-4 10″ eye bolts ($27.88)
-eight 3″ L braces ($31.84)
-one 2-lb box of 2 1/5″ self drilling star head screws ($9.37)
-2 swings ($75.16)
-1 slide ($102.16)
-one gallon of Cabot Clear Wood Protector ($31.99)
-one gallon of Clark & Kensington semi gloss exterior paint (in Designer White)($36.99)
-one quart of Clark &Kensington semi gloss exterior paint (in The Bright Side)($17.99)
-two yellow handles ($14.95)
-yard flags (optional)
total: $791.84

-post hole diggers
-compound miter saw
-4′ level
-ratchet with 1/2″ socket (for 5/8″ lag bolts)
-1/2″ x 16″ drill bit
-tape measure
-two 8′ ladders (1 optional)
-nail gun
– igsaw
-sandpaper (optional)
-two paint brushes

Mid Century Play Set (click through for tutorial!) First, measure out a 4′ x 4′ square in the space where you want your play set to be and mark all 4 corners. With your post hole diggers, dig your first hole in one of the corners of your 4′ square about 2′ deep. Take one of your 4″ x 4″ x 6′ pressure treated posts and place it in the hole. With a measuring tape, make sure that from the top of the post to the top of the hole is 4′. Once you have it at the right height, take a bag of your fast setting concrete and pour about half of the bag in around the base of your post. Grab a nearby water hose or a simple bucket of water and pour some water in your hole, saturating all of your concrete using a small stick or old screwdriver, and mix your concrete in the hole (it’s really that easy!). Take your 4′ level and make sure your post is perfectly straight up and down. Once you get it into place, check the post every few minutes (for about 15 min) to make sure it hasn’t moved at all. Repeat this step with the other 3 corners of your 4′ square, making sure all 4 posts are exactly 4′ apart and all perfectly level with one another.

Mid Century Play Set (click through for tutorial!) Have the store you buy your lumber from cut your 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ pressure treated plywood into two 4′ x 4′ pieces. Take the two pieces and lay them both on top of your 4 posts. Line them up perfectly and screw them into the posts, ideally 4 screws per post for extra security! Then take your 3/4″ x 6″ x 8′ boards and cut them into 4′ pieces using your compound miter saw, making sure to cut the ends at 45° angles so they line up really nice, as shown above! These boards are for extra stability but are mainly aesthetic. Next, take your two 4″ x 4″ x 8′ posts and cut one in half to make two 4′ pieces and the other one into two 3’6″ pieces. Attach the two 4′ pieces to the front side of your play set using L braces and the 3′ 6″ pieces to the back side the same way.

StepUse extreme caution while doing this next step because you will be working with very heavy pieces of wood! With the help of a friend (or 2), very carefully take your 4″ x 6″ x 12′ pressure treated board and place one end on the back two posts of your play set (the 3′ 6″ side) and prop the other side up on a ladder as shown above. Temporarily take some small pieces of wood and screw them to the two posts holding the 12′ board to secure it to keep it from falling in the meantime until you can properly secure it. I would recommend having another person on a different ladder on the end now hanging off the play set to hold it from going anywhere while the next step is completed. Set your level on top of the board now propped up on the ladder and put some shims (thin pieces of wood, or just scrap wood lying around) underneath it on top of the ladder until it is level. Once it is perfectly level and you have someone holding the board propped up on the ladder in place, take your two 4″ x 4″ x 10′ posts and assemble them into a simple A-frame with two supports on either side right under it for support. You can assemble it laying down on the ground. You’ll have to cut the tops of the posts with your compound miter saw at whatever angles necessary to make this work for your space. I used some temporary wood screws to hold the pieces together until I was ready to bolt them together with the heavy duty lag bolts.

Mid Century Play Set (click through for tutorial!) Stand your A-frame up and line it up perfectly with the suspended board and mark the ground where the bottom of each post of your A-frame touches the ground. Lay the A-frame down out of the way for now. Now since your A-frame is 10′ and your suspended board will probably only be around 8′, you will have to adjust where you dig your post holes appropriately because the holes will need to be closer together than where you marked them originally. To be honest, there isn’t an exact way to explain this step because your space will not be perfectly level. So you will have to adjust everything to work for you. It will probably be trial and error until you get it perfect, but don’t be discouraged! You can do it! Once you have figured out where your post holes need to be so that your A-frame is the right height to support your suspended board, set the A-frame in the two holes and repeat the concrete pouring process you did earlier, making sure everything is perfectly level! Now that your A-frame is in place, use your 1/2″ drill bit and pre-drill where your lag bolts will go. Once pre-drilled, ratchet your lag bolts in very tightly as shown above. Now you can take off those temporary pieces of wood holding your 4″ x 4″ x 12′ board in place on your 3’6″ posts. Make sure your 3’6″ support posts are level straight up and down and pre drill for your lag bolts with your 1/2″ drill bit, one in each post. Ratchet your bolts down super tight, as tight as you possibly can! Now you have the swing set portion done! Next take two 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards and cut them into 4′ pieces and cut the ends at 45° angles and attach them to the top of all 4 posts on your play set, as shown below.

Mid Century Play Set (click through for tutorial!) Next, attach your slide to whichever side you want (we chose the opposite side of the swings) and frame out your front entrance and your slide side exit to whichever height and width you want. Brace the other two blank walls into x braces as shown above. You can do all of this with your 2″x 3″ boards. This doesn’t need to be precise or perfect, just enough to brace everything and keep it secure.

Mid Century Play Set (click through for tutorial!) Next, the roof! Take 4 of your 2″ x 4″ x  8′ boards and on the ground make a 6′ x 6′ square, using your compound miter saw to make 45° cuts at all ends, and then screw it all together. Now take 3 more boards and cut them the appropriate length and place them equal distances apart inside the 6′ square and screw them in. This is the base for your roof. Now take your 2″ x 2″ x 3′ boards and cut 3 of them at 2′ (or your desired height) and a 15° angle on one side of each. Do the same but with 3 smaller 6″ pieces, these will all be the support posts for your roof. Fasten your 6 posts on the top of your play set, 4 at each corner and two in the middle on opposite sides. Now take your 6′ x 6′ roof and place it on top of all 6 posts and level everything up perfectly. Screw it all down. Now take your three 26″ x 8′ corrugated polycarbonate roof panels and lay them on top of your roof. Once you’ve got them all lined up and spaced evenly, use some screws to fasten all of the roof panels. You can take a razor knife or some scissors and cut off the extra. You can also wait to add the roof panels until after you paint, if you are painting your roof base! I made the mistake of adding them before and ended up having to climb back up a ladder and temporarily remove them to paint the roof base. Avoid that headache if you can!

Mid Century Play Set (click through for tutorial!) Now, you can take a measuring tape and space out your swings however far apart you want. Mark where your holes will be and pre drill your holes for your eye bolts. Once those are all screwed in, you can clip on your swings! For the ladder, just take some 2″ x 4″ boards and cut them to the desired length and height and screw them all together. Pretty easy! Next, grab your 1″ x 12″ x 8′ boards and start cutting them to the correct size. Two sides should be an even 4′ across and the other sides will be smaller cuts based on how you framed out your openings. Now take your nail gun and start fastening them to the sides of your play set, starting from the bottom and moving up. Once you have them all nailed on, grab a piece of cardboard or piece of paper and draw out your desired size circle for your window. Trace the circle wherever you want your window to be. Then grab a drill bit and drill a pilot hole along the line of the circle. Take your jigsaw and cut out your circle window! Now, before you paint, I would recommend grabbing some sandpaper and smoothing out all of your outside edges just a tad including your window. It’s entirely optional, but I think it adds that little extra finishing touch to really make it look nice!

Next, for the final and fun part! Take your Cabot Clear Wood Protector and simply paint it on whatever wood will be left natural. I recommend 2-3 coats for extra protection. This also gives it a really nice finished look! Once dry, tape off the edges of all of the natural wood and paint all of the trim and posts and the inside walls with your Clark+Kensington exterior paint in your desired color. (The Ace Paint Studio has a ton of color options that you can pick from!) Take your handles and screw them on with the supplied bolts and washers. If you want to add a planter under the window, follow these steps from this project. That’s it, you’re done! Time to get swinging!

Kiddos PlayingHere’s a snapshot of my nieces from last week! Thanks so much for reading!!! I love and appreciate you all. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to hit me up in the comments. xx -Elsie


It’s not always easy to find cute sleeping bags for the occasional glamping trip or a weekend sleepover. Lucky for you, it’s easier than it looks to make your own for yourself or someone in your family! I made two sleeping bags for my two older kids as they may soon be spending a little more time at Grandma and Big Papi’s house, but I may also made myself one to match because I’m pretty jealous that they get to sleep in these.

Making your own sleeping bag is very similar to making a duvet cover only you are sewing all the way around the perimeter, folding it in half, and attaching a special zipper. You can easily adjust the length depending on whether you’re making this for an adult or a child, and the fabric options are only really limited by your imagination.

Adult Sleeping Bag Supplies:
-4 yards outer fabric
-4 yards inner fabric
–queen size high loft batting (prepackaged) or 4 yards of cut batting
–48″ dual separating zipper

Child Sleeping Bag Supplies:
-3 yards outer fabric
-3 yards inner fabric
-3 yards of cut batting (high loft)
-48″ dual separating zipper

Optional Supplies:
-If you want to hand-tie your sleeping bag, you’ll also need 1-2 skeins of embroidery thread and a tapestry needle
-fabric safe paint
-cardboard or similar surface to protect your paint from bleeding through

Step One: Before cutting my canvas, I randomly hand-painted neon polka dots all over with fabric safe paint. I didn’t want it to feel too precise, so I just eyeballed it. I then allowed it to dry all afternoon before moving on to the next step.

Step Two: I made two child-sized sleeping bags so I had three yards of my outer fabric. I cut that precisely in half to get two equal lengths. Then I faced them with right sides together, lined them up along one of the long seams and pinned my straight pins every 6″ or so. I followed this by stitching down the length of that pinned side and then removing the pins. This created a squarish shape when unfolded.

Step Three: I basically repeated steps one and two with the inner fabric. I cut my three yards into two equal lengths measuring 1.5 yards each. I then faced the right sides together and pinned along one of the long edges. Finally, I stitched along that long edge and removed my pins.

Step Four: Next, place your outer fabric on the ground with the right side facing up. If you have non-carpeted floors, you can tape this piece down for a less wrinkled process. Then lay your unfolded inner fabric on top of the outer fabric so the right sides are facing each other. Be sure to line up your edges as best you can. Finally, lay your batting on top of the inner fabric and line up your edges. Smooth out your batting and pin all three layers together every 8″ or so along the perimeter where all three layers meet. If you have extra batting that hangs off two sides, trim it off.

Take this beast to your sewing machine and stitch along the perimeter of your fabric sandwich. Don’t start at the corner as you’ll want to leave about 8″ unstitched so you can turn it right side out. Trim your corners and remove any remaining pins when you’re done stitching.

Step Five: Turn your fabric sandwich right side out and be sure to poke out those corners.

Step Six: Iron your open edge so that it folds into itself nicely and pin it closed as shown. You can hand-stitch this shut when you’re making a quilt or something similar, but we’re sewing a zipper over this part so you can stitch it shut with your machine. Just be sure to sew it a bit closer to the edge than normal. Remove your pins.

Step Seven: Place your sleeping bag on the floor so the middle seam runs vertically. I rolled mine so you could see it better in the photo, but it’s not necessary. If you’re going to hand-tie your bag, you can skip this step. Otherwise, use yardsticks to split your panel into three or more equal sections. Use straight pins to mark where your stitched lines will be. You’ll want to do this all the way across your sleeping bag to make it even. This will help your batting to stay in place when it’s washed and adds some texture as well. If you have a light colored chalk on hand, it may help to draw your chalk line before pinning.

Step Eight: This is the necessary rolling part. With your sleeping bag completely flat, roll the bottom edge up to your first row of pins. This will help you fit your bag under your machine.

Step Nine: Stitch carefully along the line your pins created and remove them when you’re done. Remove your sleeping bag from under your machine each time you finish a row and then roll it up to the next row until you’re finished.

Step Ten: Place your zipper near the top of the right edge of your sleeping bag so that the right side of the zipper is facing the right side of your fabric. This will look upside down but it’ll create a more finished look once we’re done. Line up the edges and pin every 4″. It won’t be as long as the length of your sleeping bag but that’s okay.

Step Eleven: Unzip your zipper about 4″ to get started. If you’re using a zipper foot, this won’t be necessary, but if you’re using your standard presser foot, this is how we work around the fact that the zipper head is in the way. I wanted to show you this alternative method in case you are ever in that situation where you just can NOT find your zipper foot, or if you don’t have one. But, if you do have one, it makes life a little easier, so feel free to use it here.

Start with a back stitch and then stitch down to the zipper head, making sure to stitch about 1/4″ from the edge.

Lift your presser foot and pull your sleeping bag away from the machine about an inch to get yourself some wiggle room with the thread. Slide that zipper head back in place at the top, and then place your sleeping bag back under your presser foot where you left off. Continue stitching to the bottom.

Step Twelve: Do the same thing with the bottom zipper head by stitching until you get to it, lifting your presser foot, getting the zipper head out of the way, and resuming your stitching.

Step Thirteen: Back stitch a few times near the end.

Step Fourteen: Fold your sleeping bag in half like a taco with the right sides facing together and pin the other edge of your zipper to the other edge of the bag. The right sides should be facing each other and the long edges lined up. Pin every 4″ again. This is the bottom of the zipper.

Step Fifteen: This is the top corner of the zipper. Be sure your top edges are even before you start pinning and sewing!

Step Sixteen: Once you’ve sewn your zipper in, you’re going to want to enclose the bottom of your bag. Starting near the bottom of your zipper, pin along the bag so that the edges are lined up.

Step Seventeen: Place your bag under your presser foot so that you start sewing about 1/2″ over the long ends of your zipper. Back stitch and sew about 1/2″ in diagonally as shown. Then pivot and sew down to the corner of your bag.

Step Eighteen: Pivot your bag and continue stitching along that last length of your sleeping bag. Back stitch about 1″ from the fold in the middle of your bag as it may be too much fabric to try and stitch through it. Remove your pins.

Step Nineteen: Turn your bag right side out and make sure to poke out the bottom two corners.

Hooray! You’ve successfully made your own sleeping bag and Anthropologie is officially jealous! Your sleeping bags will be about 40″ wide and between 4.5′ and 6′ long depending on who you are making it for and how much fabric you’ve purchased. Once you’ve done one, you’ll speed through your second and/or third in no time. These can be washed in cold water and tumble dried on low, but I might also suggest line drying them to keep them lasting longer. They surely aren’t the kind of sleeping bags you want to take with you if you’re sleeping on the ground out in the woods, but they’d cozy up a tent or camper in the best way. 


Who else is always bringing new plants home and later realizing they didn’t pick up a cute planter to place it in? It’s a thing. I decided it was time to repurpose some canvas from my fabric stash and make a few coiled planters to add even more color and texture to our space. It’s been a great way to make sure not all 34 plants I own are plopped into white planters, too! I was able to make a trio of fabric planters that fit over the containers of three of my favorite plants and made sure to use colors that would work well by themselves or as a group to give me more styling options. Or in case I kill one of them. It’s a thing.

We’ve teamed up with Fiskars to celebrate their Orange Handled Scissors’ 50th anniversary and to share how their scissors help you easily cut through all kinds of fabric, even a few layers at a time! As a lady with a large collection of pretty scissors that aren’t always functional, I truly appreciate how these Fiskars scissors stay sharp and cut all the way to the end of the blade. No more thumb blisters for me! Keep scrolling to find out how to make your own fabric planters and sort of justify all of those trips to the plant store. Ha!

– two yards of cotton canvas fabric for the coils (large basket)
– one yard of gauzy cotton fabric to wrap coils (large basket) or 20 yards of cotton yarn
– plastic tapestry needle
– Fiskars Orange-handled Scissors

This is a smaller scale sample of how to cut your fabric. In order to get a rope-like effect from a yard of fabric, you’ll want to make cuts from one long side almost all the way through with cuts about 3″ apart. Then cut in from the opposite long side in between so that you cut almost all the way up. Once you pull this apart, it’ll expand into a fabric rope with awkward angles. When you twist it, those angles will get twisted in and disappear.

After you’ve cut all of your fabric, wrap it into a loose coil to keep it from getting tangled up. Then twist up your canvas fabric for about 3 feet.

Step One: Cut 3 ft of gauzy cotton and tie it around the end of three strips of canvas cotton (make one longer than the others by 1 ft).

Step Two: Place the tail end of the knotted cotton onto the canvas cotton and wrap around both with the long end to cover it up.

Step Three: Fold your wrapped end in like you’re making a circle and use the gauzy cotton to wrap around where they meet one time.

Step Four: Wrap two more times around the canvas cotton and then thread your gauzy cotton with your needle. Stitch through the center of your coil and pull tight.

Step Five: Continue wrapping twice around the canvas cotton only and then stitch around both the outer layer of canvas cotton and the one underneath it. Keep twisting your cotton canvas as you go. This gives it shape as well as strength.

Step Six: When you run out of gauzy cotton, tie a new 3 ft. strip to the end and tie a knot. Open up the canvas cotton and place the tail ends of your gauzy cotton inside.

Step Seven: Twist the canvas cotton up again to help hide the tail ends and then keep wrapping and stitching.

Step Eight: Once your diameter is wide enough for your liking, start stitching your next layer of canvas cotton directly above your last one to build up the sides of your planter. You’ll continue wrapping twice around one layer of canvas cotton and then once around two layers of canvas cotton.

Step Nine: Whenever you’re about to run out of canvas cotton, cut another two strips and place them near the ends of the canvas cotton that is running out.

Step Ten: Use the longer piece of canvas cotton to keep wrapping around that section to help hide the ending and beginning.

Step Eleven: Continue coiling, wrapping, and stitching until your pot is as high as you’d like. Hide the tail end of your canvas cotton by wrapping around it 4-5 times with your gauzy cotton and then stitching through all five of those. Pull through, cut off the end of your gauzy cotton, and tuck back under.

You can see how using only one thick strand of fabric in your coil will give you a completely different look than twisting up four strands of wider fabric. I made another thinly coiled planter below for a smaller plant and then made my third one with thicker coils. I finished it much quicker but still love having a variety of thin, medium, and thick coils in this trio.

If you’re not a plant lady and don’t share in the burden of always needing another cute pot, you can use these for cute baskets in any room of your house. Place a few on a side table to stash remotes and charging cords or make a large one to gather items that need to be put away as you pick up around the house. Three cheers for pretty baskets that you made yourself! 


make your own fresh mandarin wreathLately, I’ve really been enjoying using more natural elements in my home decor, so when it came time to decorate for the holidays, I decided this would be the year I would actually make wreaths using fresh greenery—and fresh citrus too! I love the look of dried citrus ornaments strung on a garland or hung on a tree, but I saved myself a step this time and used whole mandarins, straight from their crate.

We’ve partnered with Wonderful Halos mandarins to bring you this holiday craft idea that’s simple, sweet (literally), and will fill your home and hands with the most delightful seasonal scents. If you’re looking for a fun and easy craft night idea, this is it! Invite a few friends over to share in the fun, snack on some mandarins, and even mix up a few citrus cocktails along the way.

make your own fresh mandarin wreathSupplies:
–Wonderful Halos mandarins
-fresh winter greenery (I used cedar and eucalyptus sourced from a local florist.)
–green wire (I used 22 gauge.)
–wire cutters
-scissors for cutting greenery
–wire wreath 

make your own fresh mandarin wreathStep One: Cut your greenery into lengths that are easy to work with and attach them with wire to the wreath base. You can use longer lengths if they’re able to bend how you like. If you want to save time, you can attach large bunches of greenery at a time, but if you want a more delicate looking wreath, you’ll want to take the time to carefully attach just enough smaller pieces to cover the wire base.

make your own fresh mandarin wreathStep Two: Keep each bunch of greenery going in the same direction as you completely cover the wire wreath. After I created a base of cedar, I added a few sprigs of fresh eucalyptus.

At this point, you’ll want to test out your mandarins to ensure they’re as delicious as they look. (They will be.) This was my favorite step of the process, and my kiddos’ too! My 5-year-old was creating her own mini greenery arrangements while I made my big wreath, snacking away as she crafted. We ended up using an entire crate of Wonderful Halos mandarins, but funny enough, more of them made it into our bellies than onto the wreath. It was nice to be able to say yes when my girls asked if they could have another. To their shock, I even said, “You may have as many as you’d like.” Mandarins are a much smarter choice for a holiday snack than a Christmas cookie, but the girls still get excited about eating them just the same.

make your own fresh mandarin wreathOnce you have your wreath as full as you’d like, then you’re ready to actually do something with the mandarins—other than eating them, that is.

make your own fresh mandarin wreathStep Three: To attach the mandarins, simply pierce their skin through with the 22 gauge wire, and twist the wire onto the wreath base the same as you did with the greenery. If you have trouble with one flopping about when you move the wreath, you can pierce it with another strand of wire in another spot to make the mandarin more secure.

make your own fresh mandarin wreathI was aiming for a somewhat random placement of the mandarins, while still keeping a sense of balance, but after the wreath was finished I realized that I had ended up following a pattern. I basically alternated between placing one mandarin closer to the outer edge of the wreath and the next one closer to the center.

When you’re making the wreath, feel free to get creative by adding as many or as little mandarins as you place. I think this wreath would look great in an asymmetrical arrangement as well, but keep in mind that the mandarins add quite a bit of weight, so you’ll have to secure the wreath to your hanging hardware to keep the heavy side from rotating downward. (Thanks, gravity!) I’m thinking using wire to attach the wreath to a hook should do the trick just fine.

Tip: Keep in mind that the more mandarins you add, the heavier your wreath will be. This means you will probably have to use something more substantial than an adhesive hook. If you’re nailing into drywall, you may need to use an anchor.

make your own fresh mandarin wreathmake your own fresh mandarin wreathI greatly overestimated how much greenery I would need for one wreath, so I have a bunch of cedar leftover, as well as plenty of mandarins. Looks like I might be hosting a craft night with friends before Christmas! Now I have an example wreath decking out my bar cart, and plenty of cocktail making supplies. Who’s up for a mandarin old fashioned? – 

10 clever small space living hacks that will transform your home

Habitat and Topology Interiors - small space living

 Are you in need of some achievable, cost-effective ideas for making small spaces look bigger? Whether you’ve got a tiny living room or bedroom, or you’re living in a shoebox sized flat in the city, there are lots of clever ways to enhance the space.

Interior design gurus, Athina Bluff and Amy Brandhorst of Topology Interiors, have teamed up with home furnishings brand Habitat for a new small space living campaign to help you get the most out of your space.

Topology Interiors


Hang a mirror opposite a window. Whilst this is a simple hack, it’s extremely effective in terms of cost and visual impact. ‘The mirror will reflect natural light and instantly brighten up your space, as well as making the room appear more spacious,’ explains Topology Interiors. ‘If you’re feeling creative, play around with different shapes or multiples to reflect as much light as possible. More light equals more sense of space.’

Habitat - small space living with Topology Interiors - bedroom mirror



When it comes to floors, create an unbroken flow of space. Topology’s top trick is to continue the hallway flooring into your small room. This will ‘make it appear as though it’s one big area and it also creates the illusion that the floor is expanding’.

Flooring - hallway - Habitat - small space living with Topology Interiors



Get the paint brushes out! The interior designers suggest painting walls, skirting boards and door frames all the same colour. But why? ‘Painting them different colours can actually break up the space and emphasise the shape and (small) size of the room,’ Topology explain. ‘If they’re all the same colour, they will blend in and make the room appear bigger.’

Habitat - small space living with Topology Interiors  - living room



This is one for the brave, but don’t be afraid of going dark in small spaces.’ It may sound daunting but dark shades – navies, greys – can actually disguise the perimeters of a room, blurring boundaries which can make a room appear bigger than it is,’ say Bluff and Brandhorst. ‘So, don’t feel like you have to “Brilliant White” absolutely everything to achieve a sense of more space – trust us, it works.’

Habitat - small space living with Topology Interiors - dining room



Go for multipurpose furniture that can be folded or expanded as and when you need them. ‘If there’s only two of you most evenings, opt for a folding table by weekday which can be turned into a four-person dining table by weekend,’ they suggest. ‘Same for when you invest in a sofa – check to see whether there is a sofa bed option which will turn the sitting room into a bedroom for guests to stay. And always think about storage – storage ottomans, pouffes, attractive looking trunks, coffee tables etc. If there’s a design that also hides clutter(the enemy of small spaces), then do it!’

Orange sofa living room design - Habitat and Topology Interiors - small space living



When you’re considering furniture for a small living space opt for ‘weightless’ or transparent furniture. ‘The more you can see around the object (or through the object) the bigger the room will look as you’re allowing light to flow through the room and maximising the sense of space,’ explains Topology. ‘Glass furniture, sofas raised on legs, skinny framed shelving – these will all help.’

Habitat - small space living with Topology Interiors



Maximise light at night with multiple light sources. Topology says you should ‘aim to have around six light sources around the room which will “replace” natural daylight and flow through the space, as well as being reflected from mirrored and metallic surfaces’. Metallics are also great to reflect warm light, and again, creating a sense of space.

Habitat - small space living with Topology Interiors



Bedrooms can be tricky if you don’t have any built-in storage and your bed seems to take up most of the space. But, Topology says you should follow the ‘weightless’ idea. They advise: ‘Avoid bulky, heavy furniture. Instead of a wardrobe how about a clothes rail for a lighter, more compact look? For bedside tables look for wire mesh, Perspex or floor lamps that have a shelving element to them.’

Habitat and Topology Interiors - bedroom - small space living



Sliding doors are a great alternative to traditional doors in places where you’re short on space and can’t install a 90-degree open door. Bluff and Brandhorst say it’s particularly great for en-suites and small bedrooms which just fit a double bed, and also for wardrobes – if you don’t go down the clothes rail route. ‘Sliding doors mean you won’t have to fight for space with other pieces of furniture (or people when you’re trying to get ready!)’

Habitat and Topology Interiors - small space living - sliding doors


HACK #10

‘As you don’t have a lot of floor space to play with, think upwards and make use of walls instead,’ advise the experts. ‘Think floating shelves, wall lights, clothes hooks, wall mounted magazine racks and bike hooks.’ This will allow you to store folding chairs or display belongings without taking up valuable square floor footage. And don’t forget to make use of dead space such as corners – adding wall mounted shelves into corners is a great way of maximising storage space.

Habitat and Topology Interiors - small space living


8 modern oriental decorating ideas for your home

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber


1Relaxed approach

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Cushions in golden hues and sky blue shades look stunning piled on a grey sofa. Furniture with clean lines allows light to circulate around the room.

2Quiet spot

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Striking black wire furniture balances beautifully with soft seating and light oak pieces.

3Wood pile

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Soften white walls with artworks featuring gentle patterns and ceramics in a variety of shapes. Add wood for natural colour.


4Tea ceremony

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Take inspiration from traditional Japanese rituals, and add modern touches with this season’s new colours – ochre and indigo.


5Soft light

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Create a sense of calm with a striking textured pendant lantern in a natural colour, surrounded by soft tones and textiles.

6Casual eating

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Dark wood and glossy cabinets get a lift with a serene teal hue above the work surface and on the rattan bar stools.


7Captivating layers

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Contrasting patterns in muted tones create a restful bedroom, while wall-mounted lights keep the bedside clear.


8Cosy corner

Modern Oriental decorating ideas - style inspiration
Styling by Marisa Daley. Styling Assistant: Amy Neason. Photography: Carolyn Barber.


Turn a small space into a quiet reading area with a simple bench. Install your own dark panelling or use wood-effect wallpaper. 


12 really useful Ultra Violet decorating tips from interior designers and style experts

Ultra Violet

 Whether you lean towards lavender, soft iris or aubergine, purple is indeed a versatile colour – one that symbolises elements of confidence, counterculture, unconventionality, mindfulness and mystical and spiritual qualities.

Late musical icons David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Prince brought shades of purple to the forefront of pop culture, whilst expressing their own personality. Prince was even honoured with his own purple colour ‘Love Symbol #2’ in 2017, which bears a striking resemblance to Ultra Violet.

Hillarys and Sophie Robinson team up to style a home with Pantone's Ultra Violet


Ultra Violet is a bold, vivid shade, that on the one sense evokes a sense of creativity and fantasy, and on the other, a sense of balance and harmony.

Speaking to Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, offers a friendly reminder: Context is always a major issue when it comes to colour – it’s where and how you’re using it.’

So how can we effectively use this shade in our home? ‘Violets can be stimulating and sexy, while blue violets can be cooling and spiritual,’ says Anna Starmer in The Colour Scheme Bible. ‘Shades of violet can work well together, but may be too overpowering for most.

‘Violets also look great with greens. Blue violets work well with cool blues, and red violets look beautiful with soft pinks.’

Sheridan Australia - plum accessories


Interior designer, Sophie Robinson, adds: ‘The great thing about Ultra Violet is that it can hold its own with a diverse range of colours. It can act as a dark foil for acid brights, a cool partner for hot hues and a safe anchor for delicate pastels.

‘Leave behind all thoughts of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, Barney the Dinosaur and Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen in all his purple suited glory and embrace the new power of purple.’

On that note, get some Ultra Violet decorating tips from the experts below and find out what they really think about the colour of the year:

1. ‘Pantone’s electrifying colour of the year sent shockwaves through a nation acclimatised to neutral and natural colour codes. It signifies a seismic movement in the way we decorate our homes; grounded tones will still be in demand in 2018 but artificial shades that embrace technology are set to lead the way to a brighter future.’ – Lorna McAleer, Interiors Expert at Style Studio

FARO kitchen in matt aubergine finish by ARAN Cucine


2. ‘A welcome change from Pantone’s 2017 nature-hued colour of the year, Ultra Violet is the perfect shade to inject life and a dramatic pop of colour into your home. If you’re feeling bold, create a focal point in your room with a stunning ultra violet sofa. Not quite ready to go all-out purple? This statement shade works well when introduced through soft furnishings like cushions and throws. Balance out the look with gold metallics and add some vibrant plant life to give any room a fresh, contemporary style.’ – Shelby Pearson-Hendry, Interior Stylist at Sofology

3. ‘Purple is made up of warm and cool elements, both blue and red. Red being very exciting and blue very relaxing and tranquillising, but when you put the two together, you create a really interesting colour and this particular purple leans a little bit more to the blue side. It’s a very creative, exciting a colour, but there’s a little drama attached to it too. I think for other colours, it’s a matter of working your way around the colour wheel. Ultra violet across greys of any variation – from the lightest to the darkest – is spectacular. It’s a wonderful punch of colour to use across neutral tones.’ – Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute

Debenhams bedroom - J by Jasper Conran


4. ‘This exciting choice for colour of the year works brilliantly in many different ways, for all different interior schemes. For the brave, go hard on block colours and mix this vibrant hue with other visceral and stimulating colours in your home in a Mondrian style. This will give your space a stylish edge – a heady cocktail of punkish rebellion and regal opulence. Alternatively, the intoxicating purple sits wonderfully with the popular grey, earthy tones of 2017’s interior trends. Alongside these greys and ochres, the tones are softened and are much more seamlessly introduced to pre-existing interiors. Another great way to introduce a softer version of Ultra Violet is to opt for cashmere or wool soft furnishings in the punchy tone. For splashes of Ultra Violet, add a silk or satin piping to cushions, curtains or armchairs.’ – Brian Woulfe, Founder and Managing Director of Designed by Woulfe

5. ‘For 2018, purple and the spectrum that Pantone’s Ultra Violet encompasses will be dominating sales. It is both a warm and cool tone, depending on the rest of your interior scheme. Pair with ochres and warm oranges for warmth, or with greys for a cooler décor.’ – Natalie Littlehales, Consumer Marketing Manager at Brintons

Damson carpet from the Bell Twist range, Brintons


6. ‘The great thing about Ultra Violet is that it can hold its own with a diverse range of colours. It can act as a dark foil for acid brights, a cool partner for hot hues and a safe anchor for delicate pastels. Don’t be tempted to simply paint a feature wall in Ultra Violet and leave it at that. Instead, keep your walls neutral and let the soft furnishings do the design work for you. Avoid going all matchy matchy and instead mix florals with geometrics to give a more interesting look.’ – Sophie Robinson, Interior Designer

Hillarys and Sophie Robinson team up to style a home with Pantone's Ultra Violet


7. ‘Inspired by the night sky, Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2018 is full of possibilities. We love pairing Ultra Violet with serene shades of blue for an ethereal effect. For a luxurious take on the trend, we recommend sofas and armchairs in inky navy and midnight black, with amethyst cushions and throws throughout the space to provide subtle pops of colour from the same palette. Finally, try a pendant light or a table lamp in soft copper to catch the light and add brightness to the overall look.’ – Hannah Thistlethwaite, Textiles Buyer at Heal’s

8. ‘Lots of people are rather daunted by the colour purple. But used with confidence, Ultra Violet can help you create an exciting and original interior. From a design perspective Ultra Violet offers a whole spectrum of opportunities – from highly original interiors full of texture and contrast to blended shades that subtly express one’s own design personality.’ – Susan White, Marketing Director, Hillarys

Original Style - Odyssey Collection - tiles - Alhambra - Indigo and dark Blue on Dover White


9. ‘Pantone’s 2018 colour choice speaks to the growing popularity over the past year of bold jewel tones, and the shift away from the softer pastels that have recently dominated the world of design,. While many may think a deep violet is melancholy, it can also be playful in its references to science and space travel. For example, pair ultra violet with metallics to elicit a whimsical and celestial atmosphere.’ – Eleonora Valle, Art Director at Onefinestay


10. ‘Ultra Violet looks spectacular on window blinds, especially when backlit with the sun shining through the blind. Experiment with Ultra Violet as solid blocks colour on blinds and other key pieces around the room. Alternatively incorporate with a bohemian design that reflect the colour’s spiritual/creative nature.’ – Mike Stephen, Design Director at Apollo Blinds.

Eco-friendly paints from Lakeland Paints


11. ‘I just love this intense and insightful colour – it’s bursting with curiosity and optimism for the future. 2017’s colour palettes were characterised by grounded colour choices that connected with the natural world – this bright, sparky shade flips that idea on its head, crashing through boundaries, celebrating creativity and revelling in the unchartered realms of technological advances.’ – Alex Whitecroft, Head of Design at I Want Wallpaper

12. ‘Strong purples certainly give a room a feeling of uniqueness, and this year’s colour of the year, Ultra Violet, sees the darker blues of 2017 move on to reveal a warmth and richness for 2018. As this shade evokes different responses from different people, there are a number of ways it can be interpreted and used too. For some, purple adds a feeling of energy, whereas for others, their perception of purple is more luxurious and in some aspects quite regal. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, the shade gives you the freedom to use as much or as little colour as you want.’ – Lucy Shore, Creative Designer at Swish

Highgate and Kensington Ultra Violet Dining Set


The 5 golden rules for choosing a sofa

Stocksund two seat sofa - Ikea


The average sofa has a seat depth of at least 60cm, which gives plenty of room to manoeuvre if you have long legs, and allows you to tuck them under if you’re shorter. But seat depths do vary, so try out different styles to ensure you get good back support. When it comes to seat height most designs are between 45cm and 50cm high. There’s no right or wrong height so try before you buy to make sure it suits the whole family. Finally, check the total width, excluding armrests, if you like to stretch out.



House Beautiful DFS Cassidy sofa


Spend as much as you can afford on a quality frame – it will see you through many years of lounging. Take note of the guarantee before you commit, some manufacturers are so confident about their frames that they offer a lifetime guarantee. A solid hardwood frame is a good option, but be wary of a particleboard or metal construction.


Remember that what’s inside a sofa is just as important as what’s used on the outside. Feather-filled cushions are high on comfort but they will need regular plumping, while foam or fibre fillings may flatten out and lose their shape over time. The team at Sofa.comrecommends choosing a combination of feather and foam as ‘feathers give the squish while the foam provides structure’. A good combination is back cushions filled with feathers and seat cushions filled with foam or fibre.


Yellow and grey colour scheme living room - styling by Kiera Buckley-Jones, photography by Rachel Whiting


Whether you go for a bold colour, pattern or a neutral, your choice of upholstery fabric will have a huge impact on the room, so choose carefully to ensure it fits with your scheme. Natural materials may fade in strong sunlight so go for a synthetic fabric if the sofa will be near a window. It’s particularly important in a busy family home, and if you have a dog or cat, opt for a fabric that’s easy to spot clean. Loose covers are worth investigating, as they can be removed for cleaning and some are washable.


Get out the tape measure and make sure you’re certain of the maximum sofa dimensions that will fit, and suit, your space. Also, check the dimensions of any doors and stairways the sofa will have to pass through on delivery. If access is limited, you may need to opt for a low-back style, one with removable legs or even a modular design that can be delivered in sections.

How to make gilded gold vases

Gilded gold vase
 Gold vases add a touch of glamour to any celebration. Whether for a wedding or lunch on Mother’s Day, create the perfect table setting for with this easy DIY that looks far grander than it is.

You can be as messy or as adventurous as you like with this make. Create clean lines with masking tape or simply apply the glue to where you’d like, for a more natural look – you can even seal it so it will last a long time too.

gold leaf vase


We love the vintage style that bridal blog The Nuptial has gone for, but Sas and Rose’s version is just as fancy.

This tutorial uses a simple vase or jar and some gold leaf to create a dip-dyed look. It’s inexpensive and you can use any type of vase with liquid gold leaf or gold leaf sheets to spruce it up ready for your Mother’s Day lunch – it’s as easy as that. Here’s how to make it.

You will need:

  • Vase (clean jars will work for this, too)
  • Gold leaf (either liquid gold leaf or gold leaf sheets)
  • Metal leaf adhesive
  • Sealer or varnish to seal
  • Paintbrushes
  • Masking tape (optional)

To make:

1. Mark out where you’d like to place your gold leaf. We liked the dip dyed look as it’s simple to make and looks great. If you’d like clear edges, mark this out with masking tape. Apply the adhesive to the bottom of the vase and wait for it to become tacky. It should change from white to clear in colour and this should take at least 15-20 minutes.

Turn jar into a vase


2. Apply the gold leaf either by using your fingers to place small pieces onto the vase, painting it on with a paintbrush or by placing the gold leaf sheet with the shiny side facing up directly onto the vase. Since the gold leaf is delicate, it’s best to work with small pieces and keep adding to your vase as you go along, covering all the empty spaces.

How to apply gold leaf


3. Once you’re happy with the positioning of your design, smooth it down with a clean, soft paintbrush. It doesn’t matter if your vase doesn’t look quite perfect – the imperfect edges and finish will give it a rustic look.

4. Apply a sealer to secure your gold leaf design and allow your vase to dry fully before using it. Once it is dry, fill your vase with water and fresh flowers to make a beautiful table centrepiece for your Mother’s Day lunch.