Tag Archives: diy

Wednesday, September 11 2013

DIY: Decor without borders


Framing fine photography or artwork yourself is sometimes a major pain in the tool set.

Picking the colour, texture and material of the frame, the amount of ‘white’ space and colour of the mat board, the thickness of the mat board, the thickness of the frame — for some, it can all be a bit much.

The good news is framing isn’t the only option, as seen with this project from Liz Fourez of lovegrowswild.com. Fourez came up with the clipboard idea trying to find a more affordable alternative for displaying her photography.

Using clips and wooden boards, prints can be displayed easily and inexpensively, yet still allow for creativity because the board can be stained or painted in any colour, at any time.

Another obvious bonus is artwork can be effortlessly switched out every season, theme party, or change in mood. Happy clipping!

Note: Do you love the photos featured in this project? You can buy them from Fourez’s online shop here.


  • one-inch boards
  • hinge clips
  • wood stain
  • finishing wax
  • saw (optional)
  • sandpaper or sander

How-to: photo clipboards

For full directions on how to make these hang-tastic clipboards for fine are and photography, head to Fourez’s website here.

Contact Julia with comments, questions, DIY attempts or submissions by email julia.dilworth[at]sunmedia.ca or find her on Twitter @JuliaDilworth.

Thursday, August 29 2013

Protect and serve with DIY Mason jar straw lids


Summer is all about taking that afternoon beverage al fresco. And in the warm sun, as you sit back and relax with your drink in hand, life is pretty fantastic — until the bugs arrive.

The age-old battle between pest and man commences almost immediately. Swipes and blows are exchanged over your drink as it sits defenceless against curious wasps and kamikaze fruit flies.

However, your glass can be outfitted with the necessary armour to protect itself, as demonstrated with this enterprising project from Cheryl Spangenberg of thatswhatchesaid.net.

By altering Mason jar lids and adding a funky straw, the liquid goods are safe and your outdoor glassware is now kind of adorable.

Score two points for the humans!


  • Mason jar with lid
  • 5/16-inch rubber grommets
  • power drill with 3/8-inch drill bit
  • fun straws
  • scrap piece of wood

How-to: Mason jar straw lids

For full directions on how to get these sweet Mason jar straw lids head to Spangenberg’s website: thatswhatchesaid.net.

Do you DIY?

Have you dabbled in DIY and taken photos? Email submissions and attempts to julia.dilworth[at]sunmedia.ca or tweet her @JuliaDilworth

Thursday, August 15 2013

DIY: Shorts gone wild

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 4.30.53 PM

When life hands you lemons, you make leopard spots

Not every pair of shorts is born beautiful. Sometimes they need a little bleaching or distressing to get them to where you want.

This particular pair of rouge short shorts from BCBGeneration was near perfect, but famed L.A. fashion blogger Geri Hirsch of Becauseimaddicted.net must have sensed there was something missing.

To create the perfect summer concert bottoms, Hirsch enlisted the services of one black fabric pen. And the beauty of this project, (besides its obvious beauty), is that this is something you can easily replicate yourself no matter how bad you were at art class.

Whether you’re transforming an old pair that’s past its Maximus Prime, or like Hirsch, you want to upcycle a fabulous pair so they are even more fabulous — the visual evidence is undeniable — leopard spots are the answer.


  • shorts
  • X-Acto knife
  • leopard print stencil
  • fabric pen
How-to: leopard shorts

Find full directions and more photos of how to recreate these wild shorts on Hirsch’s website here.

Wednesday, August 7 2013

Summer scrub to the rescue


This dry skin saver might smell good enough to eat — but don’t.

Every summer feet across the country are evolving, right in their owners’ flippy floppies.

Just like creatures native to the desert and its sand dunes, exposed skin is hardening, drying and developing scary snake-like scales thanks to a gruelling season of backyard barbecues, water sports and beach days.

So, because hobbit feet don’t go well with your Essie pedicure, try a little hair of the dog that bit you — with Carlee Scanlon’s summer sea salt scrub.

It takes minutes to prepare and can be used on your entire sun-kissed (and dried-out) body to slough off the dead stuff and leave skin glowing.

Hello beach goddess, goodbye lizard lady!

Check out more scrubs from Scanlon at deliciouslyorganized.com.


  • sea salt
  • raw sugar
  • coconut oil
  • sweet orange essential oil

How-to summer sea salt scrub:

Make this energizing scrub for yourself or present it as a gift for any August babies on your list.

For more on how to make it, check out Scanlon’s post here.


Saturday, August 3 2013

Towels to dye for

diy beach towel

Turn old or mismatched towels into a new set with one wash cycle (see my purple ones right) to use in the bathroom or take to the beach!

We’ve all got ’em: old discoloured towels that have seen better days (five years ago when you first bought them).

Especially if they are a lighter colour, they seem to pick up every mystery mark possible from rusty hook stains to bleach accidents.

However, you can erase this patchy history and make bath towels look new again using a reasonably priced dye kit or dye packet from your local art or craft store. With a quick dye job, unsightly towels (or mismatched ones you’ve inherited) turn into a fresh new set, once again worthy of hanging up in your bathroom (I am thoroughly enjoying my new lilac set, seen above).

Choose a bright colour like yellow, pink or orange (left plain or tie-dyed) and you can even use them as beach towels this summer.


  • fabric dye ($5 a packet iDye is my favourite! Available in Vancouver at Opus Art Supplies or Canada-wide at Amazon.ca.)
  • non-iodozied salt
  • washing machine or basin
  • gloves

How-to towel dye:

Directions vary depending on which iDye method you use (washing machine or stove top). If you want tie-dye towels, I do not recommend the washing machine method as elastics can’t stand up to the spin cycle.

1. Pre-wet towels.

2. Fill up your washing machine (or a large basin) with hot water and stir in the iDye packet until it dissolves. Add non-iodized salt (measurements change depending on the method).

3. Next add your towels and leave in according to directions.

4. Wash towels afterwards on cool (this extra wash is also important to keep any leftover dye from ruining your next laundry load) and enjoy your freshly dyed set!

5. Note: The iDye packets recommend washing machine or stove top methods, but you could also fill up a large basin and follow the same stove top method pouring in boiled water instead of heating on the stove.

6. Tip: wear gloves!

Thursday, July 18 2013

Bringing sexy seating back

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To modify a chair’s aesthetics, typically one’s options are limited to upholstering (a bit tedious) or accessorizing with cushions (the go-to), but it is useful to know there is a third, fantastically simple alternative demonstrated for us here by Catherine Keller.

Wrapping the back mid-rails with fabric is an ingenious way to personalize the common chair and make it fit the style of your apartment.

Fabric is inexpensive and the dexterity required is on par with third-grade braiding techniques. The wrapped backs don’t even have to match (see mismatched fabric quilting squares), where the eclectic mix of familial patterns gives the chairs a more rustic, handmade vibe.


  • chairs
  • quilting squares, $4 each
  • needle and thread

How-to: fabric chair wrap

Note: This project will take some trial and error. Test your wrapping technique before trimming your fabric.

  1. Find quilting squares at any fabric shop. Most stores will cut up the ends of fabric rolls into 10×10-inch squares and sell them as quilting squares. (Keller prefers this over buying a huge swatch off the roll, because it means you can have different patterns on each chair).
  2. Cut squares into strips about two-inches wide. Sew the ends of the strips together until you have a longer strip measuring about five inches. (Optional: Iron down the edges of fabric strips so that frayed edges don’t show when wrapped.)
  3. Starting at one side of the chair back, hold the end and wrap the strip of fabric around on itself. This allows you to anchor the strip at one side without having to tie a knot. Make sure you wrap the end tightly so that it doesn’t come loose.
  4. Continue wrapping and adjusting as needed until the entire back is covered all the way across. Then similar to how you first started, wrap the strip of fabric around and then tuck it back under itself. Make sure it’s pulled taut and that the entire wrapping holds.
  5. Using a pair of scissors, you can trim the excess fabric and tuck the end back underneath. This may take a few tries to get it exactly right before you cut the extra fabric.