Category Archives: Accessories

The Nursery: DIY Fabric Hoop Art Tutorial

Are you tired of decorating your walls with factory art or framed posters from big box stores and looking for something a little different? Perhaps you want to DIY some art but you’re not exactly a talented painter. Here’s an easy way to add a personal and customized touch to your space with fabric hoop art.

Fabric Hoop Art chair wall viewTo achieve this effect, you stretch fabric pieces in wooden embroidery hoops to create a look to suit your style. First, you can choose any fabrics that complement your décor — whether it’s for a modern space, a traditional one or a more unique space, such as a kids’ room. Second, you can leave the hoops in their natural wood tone, or you can paint them a coordinating color.

The best part is that this project is totally customizable to your budget, too. The hoops cost less than $3 each and can be found on Etsy or at your local craft store.

Fabric Hoop Art finished hoops wallI recently put together a small collection for my baby’s nursery using a set of animal print fabrics that I absolutely love.

Supplies Needed:

  • Several complementary fabrics matching your décor scheme
  • Wooden embroidery hoops (assorted sizes)
  • Glue gun
  • Felt fabric or craft sheets

When choosing hoop sizes, keep in mind the scale of your space and the scale of your fabrics. For example, a very large scale pattern will look best in a large hoop, while a smaller pattern will shine in a smaller hoop.

How to Assemble:

Trace the hoops onto some felt fabric and cut out felt circles for each hoop. These will serve as the backings for your completed hoops.

Fabric Hoop Art choosing layoutLay out the fabrics, and place the hoops over them to figure out pattern placement.

Fabric Hoop Art embroidery frameTake the hoop apart by loosening the top screw, and place the inner ring under the part of the fabric you want to frame. Place the outer hoop over the fabric, and press down so the fabric is stretched between the inner and outer hoops.

Pull around the edges of the hoop until the fabric is tight in the hoop frame, then tighten the hoop using the top screw.

Fabric Hoop Art trimmed fabric in framesCut out the fabric around the edges of the hoop, leaving about 1/2“ excess fabric around the edges.

Fabric Hoop Art glue hoop felt backingUsing your glue gun, attach the round felt circle to the back of the hoop, tucking the excess fabric inside the felt circle before gluing. The felt backing will protect the wall while keeping the back of the frame nice and tidy.

There are several ways to hang the fabric hoop art. You can use push pins, small nails, removable adhesive hooks or adhesive Velcro. Because the frames are nice and light, it doesn’t take much power to hang them up.

Fabric Hoop Art hanging hoops wallWhen I was planning the placement of the hoops on my wall, I taped them to the wall with painter’s tape. This way, I was able to adjust the layout several times before committing. Once I had settled on the exact layout, I then put the small nails in the wall and hung the hoops on them.

Fabric Hoop Art finished hoop detailThis project took less than an hour from start to finish, didn’t require fancy DIY skills and can easily be hung without damaging your apartment walls — a triple win in my book!

I originally wrote this post for the Apartment Living Blog at!

American Frame Review

I finally found an affordable solution for custom framing, and I’m so happy with it that I wanted to share. Please note this is not a sponsored review of any sort.

Custom Framing Art Nursery

For years I’ve had art prints waiting to be framed, but I’ve never done it because I wasn’t sure how to find affordable custom frames. I got a quote at Michael’s once about 6 years ago, and it was so expensive that it scared me off.  It turns out that any craft store with a constant 60% off sale is overpriced, even during the sale.

However, when I was completing the gallery wall for Maple’s nursery, I had a small painting from Italy that I wanted to hang, and a custom frame was the only option.

Since sponsored blog posts and Facebook ads had been popping up for Framebridge, I measured my art and checked to see what a 6” x 16” white wooden frame with glass and mat would cost: $90. I know that custom frames can’t be dirt cheap, but that’s a lot for a $10 painting you bought on the streets of Italy!

Then I remembered that my artist friend, Rachel, had recommended AmericanFrame. An artist has to know what she’s talking about, right?

Sure enough, the quote I got on the American Frame website was $38. So much better!

I ordered the frame for the $10 Italy painting as a test-run with American Frame. It arrived about a week later and it was fairly easy to assemble. The frame, mat board, backer board, and acrylic front came neatly packaged in a flat cardboard box and I had the painting framed in under 15 minutes.

ordering Affordable Custom Frame from American Frame

L to R: Opening the box. Putting acrylic in frame and taping painting to mat. Inserting matted painting into frame and adding the backer board.

I’m very happy with my framing experience and will be using American Frame for all the other paintings that have been awaiting frames for . . . oh, some as long as 8 years.

Framing a Custom Painting American Frame

The Nursery: A Meaningful Gallery Art Wall

When I set about planning the baby’s nursery, I immediately knew I wanted a gallery wall of fun art prints hanging over the changing table. I look forward to holding her up and talking to her about the art, pointing things out in the different prints. My mom did a lot of this with me, and I think it’s fun for a young child to have lots of interesting things to look at in their room.

Nursery Gallery Wall

I made some very intentional choices with the art prints I framed; nothing was bought just to fill the space. The overall goal? Have the wall filled with art by creative people I know and/or pieces with meaning.  Here’s a look at the individual pieces I chose, and the reasons behind them.Funnelcloud Studio Giclee Art Prints Jellfyish Fish

The Jellyfish and the You Big Fish prints are both by my good friend Rachel of Funnelcloud Studio. If you love them, act now – because Rachel is phasing them out to make way for a new collection in her art shop. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Casey D Sibley Out Came the Sun

Out Came the Sun is a fine art print by Casey D Sibley, another artist and handmade business owner who I met through blogging. She’s awesome and her shop has some amazing one-of-a-kind designs!LauraAmiss Art Paris Stockholm Netherlands

I know nothing about Laura Amiss, the Dutch artist behind these three whimsical prints, but the towns in them have meaning. I stumbled upon her work on Etsy years ago and fell in love with it. The Windmills print represents my family’s Netherlands heritage, Stockholm Sweden is for Ryan’s family roots . . . and Paris Montmartre is just because I love the idea of Paris.Gallery Art Wall Assorted

These three pieces are not for sale online. The painting is a tiny original that Ryan and I bought for the baby’s room when we were in Florence, Italy.

The photo of the giraffe is actually a note card that came in a purchase from The Pet Shop / Yellow Brick Home.   Kim sells amazing photography and custom pet portraits.

The bottom painting is of a beach in La Jolla, CA – bought for the nursery on my last business trip to San Diego, a city that I love.

Finally, I have my favorite photo of me and Ryan during the pregnancy. We took this on a hike in New Hampshire when I was in my 3rd trimester, just when we were getting oh-so-excited to meet the baby.

Nursery Gallery Wall Mid-Century Dresser 2

I do hope that Maple will love looking at her art wall just as much as I loved putting it together for her.  Next I’d like to add a few family photos to another wall, but that’s a project I haven’t tackled yet.


7 DIY Rug Options for Renters Or the Noncommittal

When you’re decorating a room, rugs are a fantastic way to make a huge impact on a space – the bigger, the better.  However, the prices of large rugs can intimidate a renter who’s decorating a temporary space, or a homeowner who is on a tight budget.

Now that I’m trying to finally decorate our basement TV room, I’m on the hunt for an inexpensive, large rug.  I’m happy to invest in a beautiful piece of furniture, but since we are renting, now is not the time to splurge on a fancy, over-sized rug.  That led me to search for DIY and budget options – and I was thrilled by the many results I found.

7 DIY Rug Options for Renters

1.  Painted Cloth Rugs – This option seems to be a popular one with DIY bloggers.  You find an inexpensive, plain rug, then either tape off a pattern or use a stencil when you paint it.  I haven’t found much info on how well a painted rug holds up to foot traffic, but it sure looks like a fun project that could yield great results if done well.

This painted rug by Sarah M Dorsey Designs is my absolute favorite:

Sarah of Diddle Dumpling painted her white Ikea rug using a DIY stencil. It looks fantastic!

2.  Painted Jute or Sisal Rugs – Jute Rugs are another great candidate for the paint treatment.  Below, Marian of Mustard Seed Interiors gave a simple jute rug a classy upgrade with a simple white border.

3.  Sharpie Sketched Rug – This is a newer twist on the painted rug concept.   Katie of Upcycled Treasures created a great West Elm knockoff for only $25 by using a sharpie to create the rug’s pattern.

4. Fabric Scrap Floorcloth – This funky rug is essentially a small quilt!  The blogger at Craftapple turned it into into a sturdy rug with a few simple supplies.  Skeptical? I was too, until I read how she did it.

5. DIY Fabric Yardage Rug – Camila of Effortless Style sewed a chevron rug out of fabric and rug backing.  I think this is a great option for renters who are stuck with dingy wall-to-wall carpet in living rooms or bedrooms.  A simple DIY rug like this would pull the room together if placed under or a bed or coffee table, and you don’t have to worry about heavy wear since it would sit over carpeting.

6. Remnant Cutout Rug – Finally, you could get an inexpensive remnant from a wall-to-wall carpet store and have it bound.  But why do that when you could cut out a fun shape instead, like they did at Offbeat Home?  A simple wavy edge could kick things up a notch.

7.  Overdyed Vintage Rug – I’ve saved my favorite DIY rug option for last.  To transform an old, unfashionable rug, you dye it a rich jewel or dark tone.  The former pattern peeks through, but the wash of bold color helps overcome the outdated pattern.  Be sure to use a natural fiber rug (cotton or wool)  to ensure it drinks up the dye evenly.

This rug at Paperblog is my inspiration – and you’ll never believe what it looked like in the “before” image!

I also love how this one by Kristen F Davis Designs turned out:

For our basement solution, I’m leaning towards that last option – overdying a vintage rug.  Now it’s time to hit the thrift store in search of an old, unloved rug!  In the mean time, you can find more rug and floor covering ideas on my Rugs & Floors Pinterest Board.