More Paper Flowers

Creating paper flowers using scrapbooking paper, old book pages, and embellishments is an easy fun project to whip up in an afternoon. It’s so simple that the kids can join in too. I don’t have any tutorials on here today, but google is your friend and will help you out. Or dream up your own pattern. If you have plenty of paper, there’s no wrong way and nothing to be afraid of.

Here are some tissue paper flowers I did last Christmas. I wired them onto wreaths and they’re now a permanent part of the living room decor.

And here’s an ornament I did last year. The paper flower concept is the same: simply switch out the ribbon hanger for a stem.

Hope this gets you inspired to put a few old books to some fun new uses!


Old Shutters = Linen Pinboards

This isn’t a full tutorial, because I didn’t take pictures as I went. It’s mostly pictures of the finished product: a shutter-turned-pinboard.


Shutter, with wooden slats ripped out (shutter!)

White paint, sandpaper, watercolor

Linen (I used an old wrap skirt from Goodwill)

Foam board

Hardware for hanging

Take your shutter, paint it white, and then sand the edges for a distressed look. Fill in the sanded areas with brown watercolor paint, rubbing it in the cracks. Let dry.

Measure your inner area, then trace and cut a piece of foamboard to fit into the shutter hole. Wrap the material around the shutter and staple in place. Duct tape the pinboard part into the shutter. Nail hanging hardware into place. Then decorate your finished board!

This is how I decorate mine, a set that hangs above our bed in the master bedroom. The butterflies are vintage images that I had printed, then cut out each butterfly with scissors. The postcards and images were collected from antique stores in my younger days. 🙂



Pottery Barn Book Bundle Look-Alike

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know that the only thing I love more than pouring over Pottery Barn catalogs is recreating PB style on the cheap. These book bundles caught my eye . . .

. . . as well as the price. $39 a bundle, for four books with the covers ripped off, pages glued, and tied with twine. I could so go into this business.

And you know, I love the wire baskets I see scattered throughout the pages of the catalog. And hmmm, the price, $24. Closer to the realm of reasonable.

And here we have my look-alike. I wanted to use twine like PB but Walmart was out of stock, so I used rag string that complements the color of the pages.

Rag string: $1, Goodwill

Books: 10 cents each, library sale (I go an hour before they close on the last day. They’re practically giving away books then.)

Wire basket: $2, junk yard

I’m really happy with the way the display turned out!

Necklace Makeover: Vintage Jewelry Edition

I’ve been wanting to try this ever since seeing a jewelry booth at a craft fair filled with pieces like this: contemporary bases with vintage bits added for pretty mixed-media pieces. I ordered a basic brass-and-ribbon necklace and when it arrived, I dug into my fabric flowers and vintage jewelry tin and found some wonderful pieces to add. Here’s the result—it turned out better than I originally envisioned. Pieces added: flower (made from an old tshirt I had), stick pin, two buttons, a clip-on earring, and a brooch. The scrapbook element brass-colored key isn’t vintage, just something I thought would contribute to the look.

Thinking Outside the Box About Household Products

Here are somethings that started out as desperate substitutions, but which I now treat as standard uses.

Lubriderm. I use it as facial lotion. My dry, sensitive skin reacts to a lot of the lotions out there. Before buying a formula that hopefully would work with my skin, I tried Lubriderm because I had two giant bottles of it. And I’ve actually stuck with it, because it works! Never would have thought that a lotion would work that wasn’t labeled as a facial lotion.

Mary Kay Satin Hands Set. Although I never use it on my hands, this is about the sexiest leg treatment I’ve ever tried. Rub cleansing gel into legs and create a lather. Shave. Scrub legs with buffing scrub. Finish with light lotion. Awesome. I use the buffing cream for my face (mixing a little of the buffing scrub into my regular foam facial wash works great). The nighttime cream works great for my heels. I slather it on and then put on a pair of old socks. When I take them off, my feel feel sooo good! So ladies, dust off those kits and use them!

Free print offers. I love, love, love these. Snapfish, Shutterfly, Walgreens, CVS, and other print services offer these from time to time. But I don’t actually often print regular pictures. I often use the credits to print handouts, advertisements, and reminders for events at church; text like quotes to frame and display; or vintage prints to use in craft projects. Photo printing is not limited to pictures you take with your camera.

Men’s Razors. Ok, ladies, I’m letting out a little secret here. I use guys’ Gillette razors with guy names like “Fusion Gamer” and guy colors like black. But honestly that is where the “guy-ness” stops. These are super nice razors and do a great job. Why do I use them? Because they seem to go on sale and manufacturers hand out coupons for these a lot more often than they do ladies’ razors. I guess cause they know that we ladies will drop the bucks in a heartbeat to get a good shave. Or maybe because the “unshaven” look is in for guys and they aren’t shaving as much? Anyway, I figure why spend $10 on a Venus Embrace or Divine or whatever it’s called when I can get men’s razors that are just as nice for $1 or $2 with a coupon during a drugstore sale?

Purses and Bags: I use one for my coupon binder that I tote to the grocery store, I use one for my camera (and camera accessories). And I do use one for my wallet and keys as well. 🙂

Spaghetti-O’s: Served in large white teacups with mozzarella cheese on top, this was once a date dinner. Do not laugh—it’s true.

Cards, Advertisements, Calendar Pics, Book Pages: If you like it well enough to save it, why not frame it? Instant art that you already like.

Mugs: Pencil holders, toothbrush holders—anywhere where I can have them out and see them. I especially like my Life Is Good mugs.

Book pages. Ah, if you know me by now you know that I love a book page not just for what it says but for the shade of paper and the typography. From furniture refabbing to wreaths to coasters to framed art, the possibilities are absolutely endless.

What are some of your favorite “outside-the-box” substitutions?