Yearly Archives: 2009

Over the river and through the woods. . .

I have so many topics I want to blog about.  So many fun Christmas gifts and thoughts and ideas for the new year.  With that in mind, it’s killing me that I’m heading out tomorrow morning for a five-day New Years Eve camping extravaganza.  Me, my boyfriend, and (for the first few days) a few good friends in the woods, cozied up in a little old log cabin with no electricity and only a wood stove for heat.  I know it’s not everyone’s idea of the hottest way to ring in the new year, but for me it’s perfect.  It’s supposed to snow in Shenandoah, so that could be either pretty, or a pain-in-the-ass, as we’ll be hiking to the cabin after driving up a rough dirt road.

I only wish I’d had time to pre-write the blog posts I’m itching to share.  However, it will be great to have a relaxing set of days in the woods, reading, and writing in my journal, and catching up with good friends.  Plus, it’s always a joy to see the pups running freely and splashing in the freezing cold stream!

Here’s hoping that in 2010 I’ll be refreshed and better at writing more blog posts!

A Thrifted Christmas: DIY Coaster Gift Sets

I’m super stoked to share this little coaster-making tutorial with you all.

As hinted at in a previous post, once I figured out a foolproof way to create cheap and charming coaster gift sets, I really went on an obsessive coaster-making roll.

DIY Coasters

1. Start with a set of white, ceramic 4-inch tiles from the hardware store.  Cut decorative scrapbook paper, photos, fabric scraps, or old greeting cards into 3.75-inch squares to fit on the tiles.  Then brush a thin layer of Modge Podge onto one tile.


2. Lay a square of paper on top of the tile, smoothing the paper down from the middle to the edges and ensuring that it adheres to the tile with no bumps or wrinkles.  Brush a thin layer of mod podge over the paper, especially on the edges where the paper meets the tile.  Quickly wipe any drips off the sides of the tile, then set that tile aside to dry.

(Note for pet owners:  be sure to do this in the most hair-free area of your home; otherwise you’ll have to spend time picking tiny pet hairs out of the damp coasters.  Ick!)

DIY Coasters

3. Let the tiles dry for an hour and then apply another coat of Modge Podge.  Let dry overnight.

4. The next day, apply two coats of polyurethane sealant for waterproofing.  (Polyurethane sealant is found in the wood stain aisle of your hardware store.)

5. While the coasters are drying, cut 3.5″ squares of felt.  Once the tiles are dry, turn them upside down and use a hot glue gun to adhere the felt backing to the rough bottoms of the tiles.

6. Stack the finished coasters and tie with a string or some raffia. Ta-dah!

I got a bit more creative with my snowman coasters, cutting out white paper to look like snow, green paper like trees, and applying small die-cut snowmen to the scenes:

DIY Coasters

So that’s how I made some cheap and charming coaster gift sets.  For a peek at some of my other Thrifted Christmas projects, check out Part 3.  Another fun idea, the Felted Sweater Totes, did not get done, but I plan to make them later – because they’re always a handy gift.


A Thrifted Christmas: Decorative Scarf Holder

Now that the holiday has come and gone – (so quickly, don’t you think?) – and gifts have been given, I can finally share some of the thrifty Christmas gifts I handmade for friends and family.  Today I’ll show you how I created an inexpensive yet coordinated scarf holder for my mom’s closet door.

DIY Hanging Scarf Storage Solution | The Borrowed Abode

My mom initially requested this gift when I threw together a scarf storage solution for myself, using only ribbon and old shower curtain rings.  I saw room for improvement, however, and wanted to kick it up a notch for my mom.

I started with a single piece of red faux silk that I scored cheaply from the remnant pile at the fabric store.  I hemmed the edges to prevent fraying, then used a scrap of fabric to sew three matching fabric loops onto the top of the rectangle.  (It would hang, from those loops, on the closet door with the help of 3M Command Adhesive Wall Hooks.)

Hmm.  The top hem was a bit messy looking, so I found a scrap of decorative upholstery ribbon that I’d been saving since (gasp) college, because I just knew I’d find a use for it someday. . . well, I sewed it over the ugly top hem, covering the mess and adding a bit of glam in the process.

I then sewed 13 clear plastic shower curtain rings onto the fabric.  These would hold the scarves.  With that, I was done.  It was a bit tedious, but easy as pie!

On Christmas day my mom was quite pleased with the gift.   The hanging loops worked perfectly:

diy scarf holder

The scarves are looped through the curtain rings for storage.  Now my mom can easily glance at her scarf collection and grab whichever one suits her outfit that day.  No more pesky creases in the scarves, and no more digging through drawers in search of the right pattern.

DIY Hanging Scarf Storage Solution | The Borrowed Abode

While I love my ribbon-turned-scarf holder, I think this new and improved design offers much more storage space and better organization.


Snow Day!

Washington, DC’s December snowfall record has officially been  broken!  In my shared “front yard” the snow is definitely up to my knee, which – according to my measuring tape – means we have at least 21 inches. . . and it’s still snowing.  Ladies and gentlemen, I could not be more excited!  I looooove me a good snowstorm!

And so do the dogs:

So now it’s time to curl up with my fabulous boyfriend (who, btw, took me on a wonderful surprise date last night) and enjoy hot cocoa, watch a movie (or three) and do Christmas gift crafting.