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Preserving your summer garden - a pressed plant diy




Preserve summer with dried botanicals from your garden displayed in a diy version of brass specimen frames to create simple and beautiful d├ęcor for your home.

I used document clip-style frames that you can find at the dollar store. Simply remove the backing and clips and use the glass panes. You will need two pieces of glass for each framed botanical. Be sure to clean each piece of glass with glass cleaner and a lint free cloth.


You'll need:
  • collected plants or flowers
  • glass
  • tape - we used Japanese Washi tape, 2 cm wide, other options include black electrical tape or copper foil tape
  • glue
  • scissors
  • paper towel or waxed paper
  • heavy books

 Step 1: Press the plants between paper towels. 



Collect the specimens you want to preserve and pat them dry with paper towel. Carefully place them between two sheets of paper towel or waxed paper and place inside a heavy book. Ensure the book is large enough to cover the plant. You may want to stack a couple of books together for added weight. Leave to dry for about a week. When dry, carefully remove the plant from the paper.



Step 2: Place the botanicals between the glass





Position the plant on the glass. Once you decide where you want the plant, apply a tiny bit of glue to the underside of the plant and leave to dry on the glass. Carefully place the second piece of glass on top.


Step 3: Tape the glass perimeter to create a frame




Working on one edge of glass at a time, cut the tape to the length of the edge, leaving approximately 1cm extra at each end. Carefully align the tape along the edge to create a frame on the glass. Gently press down, smoothing the tape along the edge. It may be helpful to burnish the edge using a bone folder or the back of a spoon. Holding the glass together, carefully turn it over and press the tape to seal this side. Continue this process for the remaining three edges. Trim the end pieces of tape with scissors.

Display and enjoy!







These images were originally created for and published in a diy column I wrote for The Toronto Star.

Set an easy Autumn table with a trip to the farmer's market


A simple and modern Autumn inspired table is as easy as a trip to your local grocery store. Once you’ve shopped for all your dinner ingredients, fill your cart with everything you need to create a centerpiece and a fragrant place setting.  A trail of pink apples, purple turnips, multi-colour squash, and mini white pumpkins create an eye-catching centerpiece that also makes for a great post holiday fete meal.

Layer your table with casual linens and then add the fruit and veggies.

From the market to the tabletop ...


There really isn't any rules when it comes to laying out the centrepiece. Just layer on the veggies, playing with size and colour to achieve the look that works for you.

Add texture to your table.

Create a custom fringed table runner, no sewing required. Cut unwashed linen to desired size leaving approximately a ½” around the fabric, for your fringe. Starting on one side, pull threads. You will find that the thread unravels in one continuous length. Repeat until you achieve the look you want.



Fresh herbs create a fragrant place setting.

White linen napkins always look smart but fresh new cotton tea towels will have your guests covered and make for easy care. Gather a bunch of herbs together and tie with twine. Add a handmade tag to personalize.





Mix it up.

Don’t be afraid to mix vintage and new china on your table. It keeps your table relaxed, adds character and adding layers of china adds a bit of whimsy to your table. You can often find orphaned vintage pieces of china at thrift shops or antique markets.

These images were originally created for and published in a DIY column I wrote for The Toronto Star.

Create a fresh and modern DIY paper leaf wreath using old books



I have a bit of an obsession with vintage books. Whether it's the linen covers, the yellowed pages or the pretty illustrations, it never fails to charm me. I scour thrift stores, antique markets, estate sales and sometimes I get lucky and come across one of those boxes of old books that are chucked at the curb.   Tell me, do you collect old books too?

Several years ago we were renting a cottage in the Ottawa Valley when I came across a pop-up book store full of old books that they were selling for about a dollar each. Score!  


I love incorporating old books into my decor, but not just in stacks on a shelf or table. Sometimes they have loose pages or are just literally falling apart. So, instead of tossing it into the recycling bin I like using the old, yellowed pages to make something new, like this pretty paper wreath, inspired by autumn leaves. 
 

Gather up leaves made from vintage books to create this easy leaf wreath, no raking required.  

 

Simply cut out leaf shapes from old books and glue to a DIY wire wreath form.




 You'll need:

  • Jewelry wire, 20 gage, antique gold
  • Vintage paper from old books, maps, newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun and glue sticks

  

 Step 1: Make wire wreath form

  
Decide on the size of your wreath. Cut a length of wire three times the length of your wreath so it can be wrapped around in three strands. Form the wire into a circle and twist the end piece around the form to secure it. 

Step 2: Cut out leaf shapes 


Use your scissors to cut squares of paper.  Stack the squares, fold them in half and cut out your leaf shape. 
 


 Step 3: Glue paper leaves to wire wreath form.



 Heat up your glue gun and attach the paper leaves to your wreath form. I kept the number of leaves fairly sparse for a more modern look. 
 

 These look so pretty on a wall.  Several small ones strung together would make a pretty garland for a on a wall or a mantel.


If you hang it outside don't forget to hang it in a protected area away, such as a covered porch so it is protected from the elements.


    
Sources: Jewelry wire, Michaels 
Vintage book paper 

These images were originally created for and published in a DIY column I wrote for The Toronto Star.