Make: A Leather Scarf Organizer

April 10, 2015

untitled-35I don’t know about you, but my scarf collection is a little out of control. I’ve tried several frustrating ways to store them, and despite my best efforts, I’m always left with a mountain of scarves piled on my chair in the bedroom.

I came up with a solution to this problem by making this simple leather chain to hang by the door for guests or in our closet. It was easy to make and only requires a few materials:

untitled-3I used two straps of leather (the kind you can buy to make a belt), post & cap rivets, and a rivet setter. You will also need a hammer or rubber mallot, and a pair of scissors. Start by cutting the leather straps into equal** lengths.


A leather hole punch would be a helpful tool for this project, but I don’t have one so I just used my trusty ol’ shears.


Use your scissors to make a hole in each end of a strap. Place the post rivet into one end and make a cuff, putting the post through the other end as well. Place your cap rivet on top of the post.



Use your rivet setter and rubber mallot to hammer the rivet into place. Also, please don’t judge my “manicure”.

untitled-21You should have a cuff that is set together like so. Go ahead and repeat this step as many times as you like, but cuff each strap around the last one to make a chain.

untitled-22 untitled-23This is, like, kindergarten art class easy.

untitled-30I used leathet twine to hang it. I’m sure there’s a more sophisticated solution for hanging, but I was being resourceful, so this works.

untitled-35 untitled-36 untitled-40I was hoping that this method of hanging would cut down on bulk in my closet. It’s definitely a little bulky, but not wide like many scarf organizers, so I like that aspect. What do you think? Do you have any closet organizing secrets??


**you and I both know I’m basically incapable of making anything “equal” in length.

Make: A No-Sew, Fabric Storage Bin.

March 9, 2015


The quest for home organization continues. After moving twice with the same bin of thriftstore fabrics, I finally decided to put some to use. I will occasionally see something like this bin at a store I like or online, and I always resist the urge to buy them because they usually seem too expensive. Storage is one of those things I always need, but HATE spending money on. Kind of the same way I feel about socks. Inevitably, I always keep thinking about them and when I finally decide to pull the trigger and purchase them, they are no longer to be found. So if the mountain won’t come to you, you must go to it. The “mountain”, in this case, being a fabric storage bin.


This project was so easy and quick, save for a little wait time for the glue to dry. And if you are like me, “No-sew” is always a plus when it comes to projects because I am LA-ZY. And i don’t have a sewing machine here in Paris, so there’s that.

For this project, you need:
- 1 thick fabric (like canvas) and one thin fabric (cotton). The amount you need varies on the size or amount of bins you want to make.
-Fabric glue
-Grommets and grommet fastening tool (optional)

Slouchy BinSidebar: If you want a more structured bin, use interfacing between the two fabric layers to make it more sturdy. I was going for a “slouchy” look, so I didn’t use interfacing. Cut 5 identical rectangles (or squares) out of each of your fabrics, making 10 rectangles total. Starting with one fabric, place a rectangle on the table. Place the remaining four rectangles around the center one, making a cross shape. Line up the edges so that they are even. With two fingers, pinch together the two edges of two pieces of fabric, like the photo above. Glue the edges together. Do this for all four edges, making the base of your bin. Next, fold the corners in on the inside and glue the remaining edges together. Make sure the “seams” are facing inward, so you have a nice clean seemless look on the outside of the bin. Repeat this same process for your second fabric. At the end, you should have two bag-like pieces that look like this:

untitled-9 untitled-10For your exterior fabric, turn it right side out so that the seems are on the inside. For the interior fabric, or the thinner fabric that you will use as your lining, keep it turned inside out. Put the inside out fabric inside your exterior piece.

untitled-16From here, form the bin by making sure the fabrics are lined up seem to seem.



Next, you will glue your interior fabric to your exterior fabric. I made sure to glue around the perimeter of the top edges thoroughly.

untitled-20Then, fold the top edges like a cuff to hide the raw edges and to expose the interioir fabric a little:


Last, I added a couple of grommets which are a super easy way to make any fabric item look finished.

untitled untitled-3I’m using this right now to hold all of our mail. Incoming mail is always such an issue for us – we let it pile up all over our dining room table. Hopefully this will help us keep things a little more tidy!

untitled-10 untitled-21


Make: A Eucalyptus Wreath

March 4, 2015

untitled-30Ever find yourself with a bundle of month old, dried out eucalyptus branches? Ever pluck the dried leaves off and stare at the pile for a couple of days pondering how your life came to be that you are the type of person to save dead, dried leaves of a plant to repurpose? No? Well, just in case it ever happens, here is what you do: make a wreath.

Eucalyptus has been abundant at the corner flower shops here in Paris, and it’s one of my favorite plants, so I have been treating myself to a bundle here and there. It smells amazing, even when it’s old and dead, and it lasts fooooooorreeeeeevvvveeerrrr (#sandlotreference)

Also, our walls are pretty bare because we are still figuring out how exactly to curate the photographs we have and are wanting to add some actual art eventually. So for now, it’s nice to have small and temporary pops of color to brighten up our apartment during the winter.

All you need is:

untitled-16Some dried-out-ole eucalyptus, scissors, a cross-stitch frame, and a hot glue gun.


Gently pluck the leaves off of the branch – they tend to snap pretty easily when they are dry.

untitled-15Glue the leaves to the cross stitch frame in descending order, big to small.


Disclaimer: The hot glue left permanent spots on the leaves. I tried this project with super glue and fabric glue, and neither took.

untitled-32 untitled-31And there you go.

Happy wreathing, everybody =)

Make: A Scarf into a Kimono in under 5 mins

February 23, 2015

untitled-105I don’t know if it’s the sunny days that have been peeking through or if I’m just tired of wearing bulky, gray and black layers, but I could not be more ready for spring. I’ve started planning my Spring Wardrobe on Pinterest , and I keep stumbling across lots of beautiful, flowy, springy looking kimono-style pieces. I’ve been on the hunt for a perfect one and, while there are so many choose from, I just can’t make my mind up. I remembered this scarf I got on sale from Zara a while back that is truly the softest thing I have ever touched. It’s also a HUUUUUGE rectangle of fabric, and while I loves me a big ole scarf, this particular piece of fabric is just too pretty to be wrapped and twisted into unrecognition – this pattern is seriously so beautiful. It deserved to be seen!

untitled-124All you need to make a quick kimono is a scarf or a large square or rectangular piece of fabric of your choosing, and some needle and thread. Simply fold the top section over onto the scarf (the size of the fold depends on how long you want the kimono to be/how drapy you want the arms to be). I wanted my kimono to be longer, so I folded over about an 12 inch section. I simple sewed the two sections together, about a 5 inch stitch, leaving plenty of room open at the end to keep it nice and flowy. How many times can I use the adjective “flowy” in one blog post, you ask? A lot, apparently. Leave the big section in the middle unstitched – that will drape around your shoulders. Repeat the same 5 inch stitch on the other side to create the other “sleeve”, and then…

Kimono… you’ve got yourself a kimono of sorts! I can totally see this being a perfect around the house piece of clothing or a beachy coverup.

untitled-109 untitled-116Another plus to this simple DIY is that, if you are careful with your stitching, you can easily pull the thread out and wear your scarf for its original use!

***Also, please forgive the terrible photos of me “modeling” this thing. I haven’t exactly mastered the art of self portraits.

Come on spring!

(Here are a few tutorials I found on making your own kimono, if you are feeling adventurous!)
Kimono Tutorial – by Irene
Kimono Tutorial – by cottonandcurls
Kimono Tutorial – by Francois et Moi


5 Tips on Visiting/Moving to Paris

February 19, 2015

untitled-47While I love to babble on all day about home design and obsess over other design/DIY blogs, I also love the pragmatic posts here and again, when applicable. When I found out we were moving overseas, I relied on the kindness of other bloggers’ willingness to share their experiences on travel and moving to a new country. So this post is, in a way, my version of paying it forward.

I know many of my friends, family and readers are planning to travel abroad, and some of you newbies might be think of doing so, too. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your time in Paris more:

untitled-51.) What’s the plan, man?
If you are like me, you love to plan. I still make little lists for the day (don’t confuse “planning” with “organization” – these are two very different things). No matter the day, I always have the greatest intentions to scratch things off of my list. In Paris, however, you might be dissappointed from time to time. One thing I love about Paris culture is how laid back everyone is about almost everything. The downside to that is that things take tiiiiimmmmmmeeee here. Seriously. Like real time. And if something is under construction (like the Pantheon in Paris, pictured above), expect that it will be for a bit. This can interfere with site-seeing plans if you are visiting, so be sure to research ahead of time and buy tickets to as much as you can in advance! You might pay a little extra but, hey, you’re in Paris! Also, Parisians exercise their right to strike very often – the trains, the busses, the hospitals. It’s kind of a common thing here, and while I kind of love the moxy behind it, it can be a little daunting.

Luxembourg Gardens-1222.) Taking the metro:
While a bit confusing at first, the metro is an incredible efficient and intuitive way to get around Paris. I’ve ridden the subway in New York several times and, by comparison, the metro in Paris is much easier to figure out. However, if you have a baby stroller (like yours truly) or are handicapped in any way, the metro is almost a no go. Paris is an old, old city, and is not completely retrofitted to meet modern day handicapped standards. Some metro stops have escalators and elevators, but most do not. And trying to make connections to the stops that are accessible can put you completely out of the way of where you are trying to go. The bus system is a much more accessible route for anyone with babies or handicapped needs. While a little bit slower, you can still get a much broader view of the city is transit. And people like to talk on the bus! It’s fun and feels a little more coloquial. The metro is all business – for the most part- like any other subway line. Headphones on, no chatting.

Luxembourg Gardens-116

3.) Get your shoes on!
I could probably talk for hours about shoe culture in Paris (what does that say about me?). This is one area where you need to be sure to be comfortable at all times. I think because Paris is such a huge hub for fashion that we, as foreigners, all asume that women and men walk around in incredibly chic, outrageously uncomfortable shoes all day. At least, that was my assumption before I moved here. That is definitely not the case – most people wear comfortable shoes, or at least, moderately comfortable, meaning lots of trendy tennis shoes and low heeled boots. Another shoe point (<PUN!) is that your nice shoes will get DESTROYED within the first few days here, and that is NOT an exaggeration. The streets are cobbled and bumby and going up and down stairs and running in and out of shops is hard on the feet. So don’t bring that super expensive pair of shoes you have been saving just for Paris unless you plan to wear them door to door via a car.

Luxembourg Gardens-1174.) Push it!
There are over 2 million people living in Paris proper, which is about 40 square miles big. That’s a lot of people in a condensed amount of space. Most people here use public transportation of some kind. Like any pedestrian city, be prepared to hustle through the streets on almost any given day. Parisians, much like New Yorkers, are in a hurry, and will not get our of your way. It feels a little dog-eat-dog at times, but it’s really just a result of a long history of relying on foot to get you around. Be prepared to get shoved and pushed a little, and don’t take it personally.

untitled-325.) Utilize apps!
A lot of buildings look the same here, and the city is based on a “snail system”, not a grid. So, take it from me, it is very, very easy to get lost here if you don’t know the city very well. Paris is compartmentalized into 20 districts, or, “arrondissements”, and anytime a local asks where you live or are staying or where a certain place is, they are referring to the district. Locals call each district by number – the 11th is a cool part of town, the 3rd is where The Marais is, which is a really awesome part of town…and so on. The districts are planned out like a snail, starting at the center of Paris at the 1st. There are lots of good apps to help you navigate the city –  CityMapper is a great one, as well as SNFC if you are feeling adventurous. Goole Maps is great, but I’ve learned the hard way that even trusty ole Google can get it wrong from time to time.

Lastly is not so much a tip as it is a myth debunction (is that a word?): Parisians are friendly! Don’t believe the rumors! People in Paris are definitely not in your face with politness, but they are very warm and friendly people. I can’t tell you how many times someone has helped me lift Colin’s stroller up a flight of stairs or pinched his cheeks.

We love Paris and hope that any of you visitors do, too! Bon voyage!