Give lingerie a hamper that befits its beauty — and separates delicates from the rest of the laundry. Gather a pretty patterned pillowcase, an embroidery hoop (we used a 12-inch ring), and 10 inches of ribbon to hang. Clamp the case into the hoop, tie on a loop of ribbon to the hoop’s clamp and hang near where you disrobe.
Begin by painting a blank basswood plaque with two coats of semigloss, allowing one hour of drying time between coats (from left: Valspar paint in Schooner, Mystified, and Montpelier Wedgewood, $2.98 for 8 oz.; lowes.com). Let dry overnight.
Step 5: Remove the tape. If any pen marks are visible, wipe them away with a damp cotton swab. Trim any excess fabric at the back of the hoop. Repeat to make a wall’s worth of memories.
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YOU HAVE: Plain cylindrical lampshade (if you don’t have one, try the White Swag Style Plug-In Chandelier, $99.99, lampsplus.com)Twine Drop cloth Clothespins Hot glue
Step 1: Tightly cover the outside of your bowl with plastic wrap, securing it on the inside with painter’s tape, and turn upside down. In another bowl, mix equal parts Elmer’s white school glue and water. Dip shredded paper into the mixture, evenly coating each piece; then lay the strips atop the plastic-wrapped bowl so they overlap, until the bowl’s exterior is completely covered. Let dry for three hours.
Step 3: Have a professional cut safety glass sized to either the same diameter as your frame’s bottom or up to four inches wider; this typically costs from $50 to $70 for an 18- to 24-inch diameter piece. Apply a layer of strong-bonding clear epoxy along the top edge of the lampshade frame, following package instructions (Beacon’s Glass, Metal & More glue,$6.19 for 2 oz.; amazon.com). Carefully center the glass atop the frame. Let dry for 24 hours before resting anything atop your repurposed masterpiece.
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Blogger Camilla Fabbri gives used paintbrushes a new lease on life with this fanciful centerpiece. “I love the way the colorful bristles look,” says Fabbri, an Evanston, Illinois, artist, “and the whole thing takes just minutes.” Simply space two rows of plain rubber bands around a tall, cylindrical vase, then tuck brushes (Fabbri used about 40) inside the bands until the tools completely surround the vessel.
To make this sham, you’ll need an 18-inch square pillow insert and a large sweater, cut into two 19-inch squares. Sew the right sides of the wool together along the edges, leaving the bottom open. Turn right side out and insert the pillow form, then stitch the bottom closed. For the flower, cover a two-inch circle of card stock with a piece of a thin sweater; hot-glue to the circle’s back. Next, fold a 3- by 20-inch strip of another sweater in half lengthwise. Glue the edges together, then sew a running stitch down the strip lengthwise along the glued seam. Once you’ve stitched the entire length, pull the thread to gather the fabric and knot. Hot-glue the gathered edge in a circle to the back of the card stock, then hot-glue a pin-back in the center and affix to the pillow.
Repurpose the classic Mason jar as a soap or lotion dispenser in your bathroom.
Step 2: We recommend numbering and lettering the stencil’s edges with a Sharpie, as indicated here. To replicate section I on the guide, align the stencil so that its right side is flush against the uppermost portion of your vertical line. Attach the stencil to your wall with painter’s tape and use a pencil to lightly trace crosses in each box where paint is called for; then pencil in the corresponding initials for each box’s paint color in the center of the cross.
What you’ll need: wood skewers, $5 for a 100-pack, amazon.com
Stack popsicle sticks in an animal shape for a charming piece of art for your home or kid’s room.
Step 2: Flip the bowl right side up and trim away any excess paper along the rim with scissors. Then, loosen and separate your paper bowl from the plastic-wrapped bowl.
Step 3: Place your lampshade upside down on a flat surface. Apply a line of hot glue along the length of one stick’s back side, and adhere it to the lampshade, placing the notched handle end flush against the top edge (the ends of the sticks may extend past your shade’s bottom edge). Repeat with remaining sticks, placing them side by side until the lampshade is covered. Finally, flip it over and position your shade on a pendant- or table-lamp base to really brighten a room.
Step 3: Double-knot the loose end of a spool of 0.035-inch waxed cord ($5.97 for 210 feet; mainethread.com) to the bottommost nail. Working clockwise, stretch the cord to the next nail, loop around once, and pull taut; repeat for all nails to form the animal’s outline. After you return to the initial nail, continue stretching and looping, working across and diagonally at random points, to fill the outlined shape. Once you are satisfied with your critter, tie a double knot to the nearest nail and cut the cord.
Step 3: Just left of each line that crosses the strip, and working in numerical order, center a six-inch-high number stencil ($14.62 for set; stencilsonline.com). Affix with stencil adhesive ($4.65 for 4.4 ounces; misterart.com).
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What you’ll need: cleaning wipes, $8 for a 2-pack, amazon.com
When this blogger fell in love with an Anthropologie lamp shade, she decided to make her own for a fraction of the cost using linen fabric and a hot glue gun.
For your next dinner party, try this trick to mark guests’ seats: Spear place cards onto wooden skewers atop lemon slices, then park them in glasses as you set the table. Simply snip card stock into two-inch squares, write names, slice lemon and assemble on skewers. Hint: Remind guests to remove them before drinking.
What to do with a worn-out sweater? Or one you accidentally washed in hot water? Don’t sweat it; this simple craft turns your tattered cardigans, shrunken V-necks or the kids’ castoffs into cool coasters. Wash 100% wool in hot water, then dry with an agitator like jeans. After three rounds, sweaters should feel taut and felt-like. Use a pencil and a large-mouthed glass to trace circles onto the fabric, then snip out a set.
Step 4: Using black satin thread, and working from the ends of each “L” to its corner, stitch from side to side, within the lines, to create a triangle. Take care not to sew through your photo.
Step 1: First, measure and mark the center of the jar’s lid.
The upholstery tack isn’t just for sofas anymore. This fabric finisher is back in fashion — and makes an inexpensive way to add pizzazz to plain pieces of wood furniture. Buy tacks from a hardware or fabric store for about $10 a pack (we used two packs in two sizes); push or tap them in along the lines of a table, bench or chair for an eye-catching accent.
Step 5: Apply neutral-toned Liberon Wax to the interior of the bowl with a soft cloth ($16.99 for 150 ml; caromalcolours.com). Allow the wax to set for an hour, then gently buff to a shine with a clean soft cloth. Finally, remove the tape and wax paper, and display a few treasures in your lustrous vessel.
All you need to turn battery-operated pillars into the very epitome of a bright idea: our free filament-bulb illustrations and waterslide decal paper ($5.95 for 3 8½”W x 11″L sheets; amazon.com). Download the images of your choice and resize them, as necessary, to fit your candles. Print each image onto a sheet of decal paper and cut out. Following the package instructions for the paper, transfer the image to your candle; let set for 30 minutes. Apply a coat of protective sealant (Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray, $6.61 for 6 oz.; amazon.com), and allow five minutes of drying time before flicking the candle on.
Skip the professional decorator and whip up your own homemade decor instead. With only a few supplies, these easy craft projects will spruce up the place in no time.
Measure the surface you want to cover, and mark those dimensions atop the desired section of your painting. Score the marked lines with a craft knife, then cut along the scored marks with sharp scissors. Secure the image to your object’s surface with a strong adhesive, like Magna-Tac 809 ($6.98 for eight ounces; mjtrim.com), and let dry for an hour. Protect the image with two coats of Plaid Clear Acrylic Matte Sealer ($3.93 for six ounces; sears.com), allowing 15 minutes of drying time after each coat. Table: For most tabletops, you’ll need to use a larger than average painting.
Step 2: Using a 1/2″ high-speed steel drill bit (about $10; local hardware store), drill a hole to fit the width of a soap dispenser pump. We used pumps from old lotion bottles.
Step 3: Carefully cut out the letters with an X-Acto knife, then use hem tape to affix a patterned piece of fabric to the poster board. Flip the poster board over to reveal the finished artwork, then frame.
Vintage luggage adds both retro flair and clever storage to your home in three easy steps. Use them for stashing blankets or books at the foot of the bed.
Spruce up every room in your home with these creative and simple DIY projects.
Patterned paper is all you need to overhaul a wall clock (for similar, DecoMates, $34.99; 11 3/4″ diam.; amazon.com). This man-in-the-moon clip art is free from thegraphicsfairy.com—just download, resize as necessary, and print. We also put wallpaper samples to work (gray birds, $7; 21″ square; trustworth.com. Blue floral, $9; 11″W x 27″L; growhousegrow.com).
Step 2: Working in a well-ventilated area, apply two coats of white spray paint to the frame, allowing 30 minutes of drying time after each coat (Rust-Oleum All-Surface aerosol paint, $6.98 for 12 oz.; homedepot.com).
Step 1: Measure the circumference of your shade to determine how many paint sticks you’ll need. Each one is approximately 1″W, so for our 40″-circumference lampshade, we used 40 sticks.
Step 2: Embroider the words and images as desired, matching your embroidery floss to the bag’s colors. (For stitching tips and instructions, see dmc-usa.com/education.)
Dress up plain white dishes the easy way with ombre linens. The faded hues look fresh as napkins, but can double as placemats too.
Step 2: Center the shape on your plaque and tape it down. Following the marks indicated on the template, hammer 3/4-inch brass nails 1/4 inch deep into the plaque (you’ll need between 50 and 80 nails for each animal); then tear away the paper.
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Disposable tissue box designs tend to (pardon the pun) blow. Here’s how to DIY an attractive topper that’ll last: Pick up an unfinished wooden tissue box, X-acto knife, wood veneer, decoupage glue (like Mod Podge) and polyurethane from a crafts store. Coat the box with polyurethane three times (follow product instructions). Cut four two-inch-wide strips of veneer, one to fit each side of the box. Glue on strips (ours are an inch from the bottom), coating both sides of each strip with glue, as well as the entire box; let dry. For a smooth finish, add a last polyurethane coat.
You’d never know that these outgoing bowls are made from folded paper.
Choose some stray twigs from your yard and a few colors of paint to create this unique display.
Jessica Marquez gives black-and-whites extra charisma in this idea from her book, Stitched Gifts ($19.95; Chronicle).
Give your dining table a cheery face-lift for fall by making these custom, easy-care placemats. To start, gather fabric (heavier, “home decorating” weight works best), pinking shears and iron-on vinyl topping, which is available at most fabric stores. Cut fabric into 12″-by-17″ rectangles; iron. For each mat, cut two rectangles of the same size from the vinyl. Following package directions, iron a piece of vinyl onto each side of the place mat; use pinking shears to trim the edges of your mats. You’ll be able to sponge away any spills.
Step 1: Cut a strip from the drop cloth that measures 14¼”W × 8’1¼”L; press it to iron out any wrinkles. To hem all four edges: Turn each under ⅝”; press, then stitch in place using a ½-inch seam allowance. The fabric strip should now measure 13″W × 96″L.
Keep the clicker in easy reach of your armchair with this no-sew pillow pocket. You’ll need: a throw pillow with a removable cover, the pocket from a pair of jeans (men’s work best size-wise) and fusible webbing (found at fabric stores). Cut the whole pocket out of the pants. Sandwich the webbing between the cover and back of pocket edges; iron layers together. Put the cover back on, and settle in for the big game.
Step 2: Cut a square of pale-hued fabric (Marquez used linen) that’s two inches larger than your hoop’s diameter; cut a same-size square of fabric stabilizer (Pellon Stitch-N-Tear, $7.99; 12″ x 10-yard roll; nancysnotions.com). Stack the fabric atop the stabilizer, then center and mount both in the hoop.
“Stitch” up a colorful paper quilt—no sewing necessary! Inspired by a post on lindaandharriett.blogspot.com, this playful take on a folk-art staple offers a smart way to repurpose scraps of paper. (We used open stock: from 99 cents per 12-inch-square sheet; michaels.com for stores.) Select four different patterned papers; cut 20 two-inch squares from three of them and 21 two-inch squares from the fourth (the extra square will serve as the center of your quilt). Following our pattern template, adhere the squares to an 18-inch-square illustration board using a glue stick. Then, pop the quilt in a frame to show off your handiwork (similar 20-inch-square frame, $47.82; salinepictureframe.com).
Step 1: Download our rabbit, horse, or steer template, resizing as necessary to fit your plaque (from left: 12″W x 16″H, $12.99; 9″W x 12″H, $8.99; 13¾”W x 18″H, $15.99; woodcrafter.com). Print and cut out.
Step 4: Working one color at a time, and using a ¼-inch flat brush, paint all crosses in the corresponding shade indicated by our key. Let paint dry for 24 hours, then carefully erase any visible pencil lines.
Step 1: Use a seam ripper to open the bag along the seams, so you’re left with a flat piece of fabric. Hand-wash, and press with an iron.
Reward a great quote (we cribbed from The Wizard of Oz) with the gallery treatment, courtesy of this project adapted from Meg Mateo Ilasco’s Crafting a Meaningful Home ($24.95; STC Craft).
A set of nesting bowls can accessorize your shelf or illuminate the dinner table thanks to this bright idea. Bonus: You can make it in under an hour.
Existing curtains or pillows look extra luxe with new fringe. Another quick fix? Use leftover wall paint to refresh the frame of an old chair.
What you’ll need: nesting bowls ($35, amazon.com), nylon cord set ($29, westelm.com)
Want to teach wee ones that every penny counts? Make a coin bank — for free. Rinse an empty cleaning-wipe container; remove the label. Download and print a new label. Cut to fit; affix with tape. Change can be dropped right in through the top hole.
Swap a needle and thread for a brush and paint to re-create this oversize riff on an embroidered rose, by Dutch artist Eline Pellinkhof. Don’t worry: You won’t have to freehand it. Pellinkhof sells the basic cross-stitch stencil for $20 at bypetra.nl. And we’ve adapted her painting guide—divided into 16 sections, each the same size as the stencil—to make things even easier.
Step 3: Move the stencil to the other sections indicated by our guide and continue lightly marking crosses and initials.
Step 3: Paint the interior of your paper bowl with white acrylic paint and let it dry for one hour; then paint the exterior and let it dry for an hour.
Step 1: Using scissors or an X-Acto knife, remove and discard all the fabric from your lampshade.
And if you’d rather make your own photograph into a night-light? Wells’s new DIY kits, $30 at anotherdiamondday.etsy.com, include all the info and materials to construct one.
Skip painting and embrace a weathered finish for this tiny table. A set of rustic shutters provides the perfect base for a potted plant or a vase of blooms.
Hang a floating shelf in your kitchen or living room for a cool and simple decoration.
What truly elevates this idea from contributing editor Cathe Holden is the 3-D stitching that makes these graphics pop. (Just check out the close-up at right.) Create a masterpiece from your own sack, or nab a vintage one from eBay for about $10.
What you’ll need: wallpaper, $7 per square foot, wayfair.com
Step 2: String up a length of twine with a drop cloth underneath. Dunk the unnotched end of one stick into a can of semigloss paint (we used Benjamin Moore’s Cedar Grove). Secure the unpainted end to the twine with a clothespin. Repeat with remaining sticks, varying the heights of the paint lines. Let dry for four hours.
Step 4: Using a foam stencil brush, fill in the stencil with fabric paint ($2.19 for 1 ounce; createforless.com) . Let dry about four hours. Remove stencils; if needed, touch up the numbers with a paintbrush. To clean the runner, wash by hand and hang dry.
YOU’LL NEED: 40 stir sticks, 14″ ($0.37, amazon.com)Semigloss paint, 16 oz. ($6.99, benjaminmoore.com)
Designer Heather Wells of brightlights-littlecity.com turned us on to this brilliant idea for repurposing antique glass photo slides—readily available for $6 to $10 on eBay.
Step 1: Using a pencil, mark the spot on your wall where you’d like to center the design. Draw two 54-inch lines—one vertical and one horizontal—that intersect with the mark at their midpoints. (These are the blue lines noted on our guide.)
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To create these super-adorable mini cloches, raid your kitchen. We used (from left) a tumbler ($2.50; cb2.com), a stemless wineglass ($12.99 for four; libbey.com), and a canning jar ($21 for six; weckjars.com). Glue an iron lamp finial—like a tree (from $12.50; coloradodallas.com for stores)—to the bottom of each container with a thin coat of E6000 Multipurpose Adhesive ($3.99 for .5 ounces; joann.com). Let harden for an hour before enclosing tiny treasures underneath.
Those hardware-store stirrers can do more than just blend semigloss. Instead, use them to ring any cylindrical shade that’s up to 14 inches tall.
Step 2: Spell out the phrase backward, then flip the stencils over (you’ll be turning the board over when you’re done, and the words will then read correctly). Trace the letters onto the board with a pencil.
Step 3: Center your bag on a blank canvas board—choose a board that allows for at least two inches of the bag’s fabric to wrap around all sides (from $4.69 for 9″W x 12″H; cheapjoes.com). Apply Shurtape double-sided carpet tape to the board’s side and back edges ($4.98; 1⅜”W x 42’L; lowes.com).
Fashion these sturdy handles from two same-size serving pieces.
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Old cabinet door destined for the landfill? Don’t be so closed-minded! With paint and a pair of drawer pulls, a salvaged cabinet door makes a great tray for entertaining. Fill any holes in the board with wood filler from a hardware store; let dry at least two hours. Sand and paint the surface; pre-drill holes and screw in handles of about four inches, as shown.
This project, featured in Juliette Goggin and Stacy Sirk’s book Junk Genius ($29.95; Cico), offers a smart way to upcycle cast-off lampshades—usually no more than $10 to $20 apiece at flea markets.
The dinner table shines a little brighter with a few clever “lamps.” Just pop a LED tea light in a wineglass and top with a paper shade.
Step 1: Lay a piece of poster board on a flat surface. Use letter stencils ($7.69 for a set; staples.com) to spell out the phrase of your choice on the board, experimenting until you find a placement you like. (Use a ruler and pencil to mark horizontal lines for guidance.)
Step 2: At the serving end of the utensil, find the flattest point to glue on a second post (approximately two inches in from the end). Let dry, then repeat for second utensil.
Capture a Victorian cabinet-of-curiosities vibe—minus all the hunting and gathering—with faux butterflies. To create the vignette shown here, we applied a technique featured in the book Design*Sponge at Hometo a graceful glass dome. Using a serrated knife, cut a one-inch thick circle piece of Styrofoam into a five-inch circle. Next, cut a nine-inch circle from black velvet. Pull the fabric over the Styrofoam until taut and affix underneath with straight pins. Using our photo as a guide, cut pieces of 22-guage wire to various heights that fit within the dome. Place a dot of superglue on one wire end before sliding it into a butterfly’s body; hold in place until dry. Repeat for each butterfly. Finally, insert the wires into the Styrofoam base, then top with the glass.
Step 4: Cover the outside of your paper bowl with wax paper, securing it to the bowl’s outer rim with painter’s tape. Next, apply gold leaf to the bowl’s interior using our Artisans Collection Holiday Gilding Kit ($24.99; caromalcolours.com). Follow the package instructions, and let set overnight.
Refresh existing hardware with pretty fabric swatches. It’s a pop of color you’ll notice (and use!) every day.
What you’ll need: gold Sharpie ($4 for a 2-pack, [link href=”https://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Metallic-Permanent-Markers-Point/dp/B007SYUQ4Q/r” target=”_blank” 0=”data-tracking-id=”recirc-text-link”” link_updater_label=”external”]amazon.com), plywood ($8, [link href=”https://www.amazon.com/Plywood-Sheet-12-X12-X1-8/dp/B000KAH90O/” target=”_blank” 0=”data-tracking-id=”recirc-text-link”” link_updater_label=”external”]amazon.com)
Follow the steps below to do a number on a drab drop cloth ($10.98 for 6’W × 9’L; homedepot.com for stores).
Step 3: Center your photo atop the mounted fabric and secure in place with small pieces of Scotch tape along all four sides. Working 1/8 inch out from the photo, use a ruler and a water-soluble marker (Dritz marking pen, $4.99; joann.com) to draw a 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch “L” shape around each corner.
We’re positively glowing over this new use for an old globe, devised by contributing editor Andrea Greco. To create your own pendant, you’ll need a 12-inch-diameter cardboard globe (as little as $15 on Etsy or eBay), plus a pendant light cord kit ($15; pbteen.com). First, remove your globe from its base, if necessary. With a utility knife, carefully make a 3½-inch-diameter opening at the bottom of your globe, using its latitude lines as a guide (convenient, right?). Then, holding the light cord’s socket at the top of the globe, trace around it with a pencil, and cut out the resulting circle. Using a drill fitted with a ⅛ -inch bit, pierce small holes around the outline of each continent, leaving a quarter inch between holes. Insert the socket at the top, following the kit’s instructions; then screw in a 15-watt CFL bulb from the bottom, and hang.
Dress up bare walls with a trip to the photo shop. Get a favorite shot digitally enlarged and then add strips of wood along the top and bottom as a quick frame.
Step 1: For each of your prints, select an embroidery hoop that’s slightly larger than the photo: a seven-inch-diameter hoop for a 3×5; a nine-inch-diameter hoop for a 4×6 (for similar hoops, from $2.09 for 7″ diam.; createforless.com).
Spruce up an IKEA chest with new hardware, paint and wallpaper. Even sample swatches of your favorite print can get the job done.
To adorn an apron-sided table, determine how many clothespins you’ll need to trim each side. Then paint the table and pins. When dry, apply hot glue to the entire back side of each pin; hold vertically against the apron, with the closed end facing down, until a bond forms. Glue the next pin directly beside the first; continue this process until the space is filled. Repeat on the other three sides, then allow the table to dry for one hour.
Step 3: Fill the jar with liquid soap, screw the lid back on, and insert the pump. You may need to trim the bottom of the pump to fit your jar.
Make a side table pop with copper piping in a geometric pattern.
Step 2: Working on one of the strip’s long sides and starting at a short end, use a ruler and a pencil to measure and mark one inch at a time; continue until you reach the other end. Repeat on the opposite side of the strip. Next, using your ruler and our photo as a guide, draw a line at each mark, varying the line lengths. At each 16th mark, draw a line that crosses the entire strip. Trace over the lines using a black fabric marker ($2.99; createforless.com), which dries almost instantly.
It doesn’t have to be hard to make a statement wall in your bedroom. This blogger used plywood and mounting tape to create this envy-inducing decor moment.
Step 1: Flip one facedown, then following the package directions, apply bonding glue to the flat end of a one-inch aluminum screw post ($11.95 for box of 100; screwpost.com). Quickly press the post to the base of the flatware’s handle (approximately a half inch from the end), and hold until a bond forms. Let dry for 20 minutes.
Just apply a thin layer of E6000 adhesive to the center of the slide’s back bottom edge, then adhere it to the flat side of a mounting bracket for a standard night-light (adhesive, $7.99 for 3.7 oz.; amazon.com. Night-light base, $2.85; mounting bracket, 60 cents; nationalartcraft.com). Let dry overnight before clipping the mounting bracket onto the night-light base.
Furniture making doesn’t get easier than this. Attach hairpin legs to a piece of laminated shelf pine (available at lumber stores) for a simple shoe-tying spot.
Use a screwdriver to pop off the clock’s backing and battery, then lift out the face. Gently remove the hands, nut, and washer with pliers. Set aside all parts, noting their order for reassembly. Trace the shape of the clock face onto your wallpaper or printed art, then cut out the circle. Center the paper atop the face, patterned side facing out, and secure with double-sided tape. Use a T-pin to poke a hole through the paper for the clock hands; reassemble all parts and hang.
Salvage an old mirror with this beautiful project, cutting it up and giving it a refresh.
Step 3: Remove your existing cabinet hardware and drill new holes, if necessary, to correspond with the posts. Finish by screwing flatware into place from the inside of the doors.
Upcycle shredded paper into a set of gilded decorative bowls. First, choose a bowl (or multiple different-size bowls) to use as a mold. For each container you plan to create, follow these steps:
Step 4: Tightly wrap the bag around the board, pressing it firmly against the tape; then trim away any excess fabric along the back. Add picture-hanging hardware to the back of the board (if desired) and display.
For a delicate stenciled effect on a wall, stylist Paul Lowe took a digital snapshot of a Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Mega plate. After enlarging the pattern by several hundred percent, he printed the designs on standard printer paper and cut them out. To determine the best arrangement, he first taped the patterns to the wall with tiny pieces of tape. Then he applied wallpaper paste to the backs of the designs and attached them to the wall.
Perk up your pencil cup with a bud vase that adds some life to your office space. Remove the ink cartridge from a dried up pen (most snap out easily). Fill with water, cap the pen at the bottom and pop in a thin-stemmed bloom.
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