diy // marquee letter lights.

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Been wanting an unexpectedly fun and 'urban minimalist' decor to spruce up my current tiny kitchen situation. In comes these marquee lights. They're perfect for that future dream kitchen look I'm going for - all white palette, natural wood and silver tones, pops of mint and neon yellow accent colors. Clean lines and all that jazz. I feel these marquee lights are a step in the right direction. It only took me 3 years to actually get started on them, but hey, baby steps, baby steps. This dream kitchen will happen. Eventually. Far future [gotta get a house first] eventually.

Well, what I thought would be a simple DIY turned into quite a time-consuming effort spanning a few days! So much eye-balling and realigning and spacing and poking and cutting and taping. In other words, the OCD in me took over, leading me into some very mixed feelings about these DIY marquee lights. Perhaps they should be of metal material to give that clean industrial look? A bit on the unpolished side? Too DIYish looking? Can't have wonky lights in that future minimalist dream kitchen! So for now, they will do til the real thing.

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Materials // Paper Mache LettersString Lights. X-acto Knife. Gold Spray Paint. White Tissue Paper. Scissors. Pencil/Pen. Clear Packing Tape. Newspaper.

firstdoub
seconddoub
thirddoub
fourthdoub
fifthdoub
sixthdoub
seventhdoub
eighthdoub
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How-to // 1. Use X-acto knife to cut off the top portion of each letter. // 2. Take out stuffing. // 3. Go outside. Lay down newspaper sheets on the ground, plop each letter on top (with open-side facing the ground), and spray paint away. One layer spray paint is enough. // 4. Wait for spray paint to dry. Takes about 15-20 minutes. // 5. Using pen or pencil, mark spots inside the now dry paper mache letters of where you would want the lights to be. // 6. Use X-acto knife to cut through the marks. Cut in an 'X' fashion. // 7. With the X-acto knife or Pen (with a wide base), further widen the hole by sticking the pen through the hole. // 8. Turn the letters over and cut off the excess cardboard with X-acto knife. // 9. Now with white tissue paper, plop the letters on top of tissue paper and trace with a pencil. // 10. Cut the letters out. No need to cut along the trace exactly. I recommend slightly cutting outside the trace for a 'wider' version than the paper mache letters themselves. That way, the tissue paper letter will fit snuggly inside the paper mache. // 11. Fit tissue paper letters inside paper mache letters. // 12. With X-acto knife, puncture holes through the tissue paper straight through the existing holes on the paper mache. // 13. Unscrew light bulbs off the light string. // 14. Fit light bulbs in the holes you've made in the paper mache letters. // 15. Screw the light bulbs back on the light string, this time with paper mache between the bulb and string. // 16. Bundle the light strings to the backside of the paper mache letters and tape them down. Try to tape it down where you can't see the light strings at all when you flip the letters over.

Difficulty // 7.

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besos ... jin.

diy // tissue carnation ampersand.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.

A simple Spring prop for a quick Spring family photoshoot. That's how I roll. (Last-minute DIYers UNITE!) Initially, I had planned to get fancy with the paper flowers. Dahlias. Roses. Peonies. Daisies. Poppies. All of it. Upon making the first of many paper flowers, I've come to realize -- 'I'm running out of time already!!' -- and just stuck with the easiness of paper carnations. In a mere 15 minutes I was done making paper flowers and quickly filling up the Ampersand. (Lazy DIYers UNITE!)

So. It's not all bad changing up the game plan. Less time DIYing, more time playing outdoors. Yeah?

Besides, Spring has finally sprung!

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

Materials // Paper Mache Ampersand. X-Acto Knife. Gold Spray Paint. Tissue Paper. String. Scissors. Newspaper.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

How-To // 1. Using the X-Acto knife, cut out the front part of the Ampersand. // 2. Take out the 'stuffing' found inside the Ampersand. // 3. Go outside. Lay down a few newspaper sheets, plop the Ampersand on top (with the open-side facing the ground) and spray paint away. One layer of spray paint is enough. // 4. As the spray paint dries, make some simple paper carnations! Don't know how? Go here for an uber simple tutorial. I kinda just eyeballed the sizes of the paper flowers until I was satisfied. // 5. Fill the inside of you Ampersand with paper carnations.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

besos ... jin.

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

In the spirit of Fall, my patio is all kinds of pumpkin'd out. Which gots me thinking: A nice Fall wreath would tie it all together. But I didn't want just any normal wreath. Oh, no no no. Of course I had to do something different! So enter snazzy felt rosettes. I've always loved the idea of felt rosettes but never knew a classy way to use them without looking 'too cheesy crafty'. Although the idea of felt rosettes on grapevine wreaths are nothing new, so it's been challenging trying to figure out how to make it really unique from the pack. Here's what I came up with:

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

Materials // Grapevine wreath. 10-12 felt sheets of various colors (I've used 4 shades of orange). 6-8 flower stems. Scissors. Permanent Marker. Glue gun. CD case and/or Paper towel holder.

How-to // 1. Using a permanent marker, trace circles onto the felt sheet using a CD case and/or Paper towel holder. I used both 'cause I like the idea of varying rosette sizes. Two (maaaybe 3) is the max number of circles that can fit onto a felt sheet. // 2. Cut out circles. Don't cut along the black permanent pen trace, instead cut inside the pen trace. That way, no black markings will be seen on your rosettes. // 3. Now with your newly acquired felt circle, cut a wonky imperfect spiral all the way to the middle. The wonkier, the better! It adds a bit of character to the rosette! // 4. Starting from the outside edge, roll up the spiral. Make sure the bottom of the rosette is flat as you roll along. // 5. When done rolling, glue gun the remaining piece of felt onto the rosette. // 6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 until you have the desired number of rosettes in need. // 7. Start playing around with a design in mind! Then commit by sticking the flower stems in and glue gunning the rosettes onto the wreath.

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

In hindsight, I probably should've scaled back on the glittery flower stems. Kinda takes away from the felt rosettes and grapevine wreath itself, 'cause that wreath looks like it's on fiy-ah a la Hunger Games style. Perhaps, place the the flower stems behind the wreath? Or go minimalist next time and let the felt rosettes do all the talking. But overall, I am diggin' the different textures on this wreath. Now on the hunt for a mini stuffed fox to place inside of it!

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

besos ... jin.

diy // hanging vases.

diy // hanging vases.

I had it all planned out when I first saw these hanging vases from ModCloth. Go to Hobby Lobby, check out the selection of mini vases, buy the mini vases, tie them up with hemp, hang all off a nail, fill with water, decorate with purdy spring flowers. Sounds easy enough, right? Really nothing to it. Now I just have to wait for the glass sale to pop up at Hob to the Lob and master plan is a go-go. So just when I was about to purchase, A Beautiful Mess posted their version of the ModCloth Hanging Vase Display. And zang. Everything about it is so much better than what I had in mind. Particularly the mini vases they snagged from CB2. I must have them! Style, size, weight - they're absolutely perfect. So what if they were $30 more than what I would have spent at Hobby Lobby? When they're the ones - they're the ones.

diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.

Materials //

Short

and

Long

neck mini vases. Hemp. Long nail. Hammer.

diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.

I'm diggin' the dual functionality of the hanging display. A mini garden and unique home decor all in one. And oh-so-classy! I hate to say it, but the clean lines and minimalist appearance gives a grown up sense in my living room. Me! A grown up! Hah! (Guess it had to happen one of these days. =/)

besos ... jin.

diy // l-o-v-e ombre yarn letters.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

One evening, a hubster's help and a lil vino will get ya through this deceivingly easy DIY. That's right. Deceivingly easy. I must admit, at first glance the thought of constantly wrapping and weaving seemed a little intimidating, thinking it would take forevers. But I went for it anyways 'cause I'm irrational like that. Oh the things we do to have that certain unique decor that just clicks with your own aesthestic style, no matter how time-consuming it seems. 4 hours later and ... I'm done??

(I'm sure switching out the B and S of the original planned B-E-S-O with L and V might have something to do with cutting the time in half.) But hey, what a pleasant surprise to find a 'challenging' project to be notsobad. Even more of a reason to L-O-V-E this project. Huzzah.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

Materials // Paper Mache Letters. Yarn. Scissors. Mod Podge.

How To // My Sister's Suitcase Love Yarn Letters Tutorial.

Note: Besides the obvious use of different yarn colors from the tutorial, I've opted to use Mod Podge instead of a glue gun. It's been almost a week since finishing this yarn project and so far so good with the Mod Podge.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

besos ... jin.

diy // thread heart wall art.

diy // thread heart wall art.

For some reason this DIY project had looked better in my head than in real life. Maybe it's the poorly executed DIYness or misjudged placement above the (oh so green) couch, but these hearts needed a better styled vignette to give it justice. Fa sho. (In hindsight the space between the living room and the kitchen, underneath the branch art, is suddenly looking more of an appropriate spot.) Nevertheless, it needed minimal materials and anything that needs so little to make must be uber easy! (It was.)

diy // thread heart wall art.

Materials // Yarn. Push pins. Scissors.

The hardest part was actually deciding where to place the push pins. *Cue in major OCD* There was a lot of eye-balling and semi-measuring and re-adjusting. Many minutes (and tiny holes) later, came the fun part. Yarn crazy! I circled the heart about 3 times before zigzaging aimlessly all across. My only regret: it obviously needed more yarn. Thicker the better, I've came to realize, to really make the wall art stand out as a bold statement.

diy // thread heart wall art.
diy // thread heart wall art.

Next time, changing things up. Ombre, perhaps. (Always in hindsight. D'oh.) And a better vignette! (Again, this hindsight thing.)

Hope y'alls came out better! 

besos ... jin.

diy // gold glitter xo.

diy // gold glitter xo

Starting off the slew of Valentine DIYs with something so easy, it doesn't even need directions. (Mod Podge first then glitter away, if you're really that clueless!) So that way, I'll really blow your socks off when Valentine DIY decor #3478539 makes it's blog debut next week. Like what I did there? Eh? Eh? Oh the power of teasers!

diy // gold glitter xo

Materials // XO Wood Letters. Mod Podge. Paintbrush. Glitter.

diy // gold glitter xo
diy // gold glitter xo

It never ceases to amaze me how something so insanely simple to make can instantly change the home mood. Oh yes. Things are starting to feel very swoon festive around here!

besos ... jin.

diy // feather garland.

diy // feather garland.

Think it maaay be time to finally take down those Christmas decorations still bedazzling my humble condo abode. Didn't realize we're nearing the end of January! Seriously. 2014 is already blurring by too fast! (No? Just me?) So in an effort to move forward into this new year on the right foot, I've spent the weekend slowly taking down the Christmas Past while oh-so-slowly brainstorming Valentine decor. Good news: I've replaced my DIY Gold Pine Cone Garland that's been making my living room window look good with another DIY garland. Valentine's related. Woot. Impressed that I've got something Valentine's up this early? Think I've impressed myself!

But because it's so freakin' easy to make, it kinda feels like I've cheated a little bit. So easy, I'm not even gonna bother writing up the how-to!

diy // feather garland.

Materials // Feathers. String. Mini Clothespins. 

diy // feather garland.
diy // feather garland.

With these feathers up, feels like Spring is just around the corner. 'Cause, Winter. I'm so over you.

besos ... jin.

pumpkin tree branches.

mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.

I saw these pumpkin branch lovelies at Whole Foods and immediately picked up a 'bouquet' without hesitation. Anything with an unexpected twist - I'm on it! Actually, those aren't really mini pumpkins on a stick. They're really ornamental eggplants, or edible eggplants, if ya bravely curious enough to stir-fry away. Def gonna give that a go one day! But purely on the ornamental side, I'm in love with how these branches are utterly simple, yet adds a quiet whimsical-fall-foliage-in-the-forest statement piece in a classy way. Stick them in wine and Perrier bottles. Boom. Good to go. Festive autumn merriments, à la country chic meets city coffee shop, in just a couple of steps. Happy Friday!

besos ... jin.

[diy] gold leaf terra cotta pot.

diy // gold leaf terra cotta pot.
diy // gold leaf terra cotta pot.
diy // gold leaf terra cotta pot.

Papa Chu recently gave me a basil-in-a-terra-cotta-pot (which is awesome considering all my other herbs just died =X) and I thought the pot itself needed some sprucing up. In need of a lil Jin treatment, ya know? It just looked so so naked and normal and ... blah, for lack of a better term. In comes this tutorial to solve that conundrum of normalcy.

First off - I couldn't justify getting the individual materials and so opted for a Gold Leaf Starter Kit to test the waters out. I wasn't quite ready to gild my lil heart out and ... what if it turned out to be uber hard? Well, it didn't. Just a lil messy at first, with the sticky fingers and the breezy conditions. Then I found this technique to be a life saver and it was smooth sailing from there on out. Done-zo in no time.

Verdict? I love how my patio has that touch of Old World vibe. A little bit of whimsy, a little bit of pretty, a little bit of unexpected, but not wholly pristine. Perfectly imperfect. Totally diggin' the mix of luxe and rustic!

besos ... jin.

3 days, 3 DIY projects.

Took a break from all the pic editing to do a few uber simple DIY projects in some of my favorite color combos. Got red, pink + gold hues on my mind!

DIY: february 2013 paint chip calender.

1 -- DIY February 2013 Paint Chip Calendar.

Other than using them as various gift tags, I finally found another use for all those extra paint chips I've collected. So diggin' this idea. It's simple (took 5 minutes), inexpensive (free!) and adds a pop of color to my inspiration mood board (pow!). Now if only they were Pantone! Le sigh!

Tip: It's all about the Glue Dots. Double-sided tape won't cut it!

DIY: valentine cards.
DIY: valentine cards.

2 -- DIY Valentine Cards.

For my closest gal pals in my life. =) This is what loads of brown cards, extra glittery gold birds from my wedding, leftover pink acrylic paint, a wine cork and a lil Mod Podge can do. It's as easy and straightforward as it looks!

DIY: birthday gift wrapping.

3 -- DIY Birthday Gift Wrapping.

I love the idea of buying a roll of brown paper (which has lasted me for years and shows no sign of running out anytime soon) and creating any design for any occasion at any time. For Liz's Birthday, an empty tube of toilet paper and pink acrylic paint was all I needed to guzzy up this brown paper. Red ombre nylon string to finish it off and voila! Only 10 minutes of my life came and went. =)

Til next DIY adventure, crafting homies!

besos ... jin.

{Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.}