Posts about my eco-friendly DIY projects, crafts and artwork.

Mason Jar "Snow" Globe

Mason Jar "Snow" Globe by Of Houses and Trees | Looking for winter craft ideas? How about foraged twigs for "trees," pieces of lace for "snow" and a reused mason jar "globe"? Kind of precious, right?Oh mason jars, will your versatility ever end? Years ago while searching for winter craft ideas I saw a project similar to this on Pinterest and knew I had to make my own version one day. I mean, miniature trees inside a jar? Kind of precious, right? Plus - you know I have to point out - that if you reuse old jars from things like homemade jam, pickles, etc, paired with foraged twigs, then what you have is an eco-friendly Christmas craft!

So, if you're on the lookout for winter art and craft activities - here's what you'll need to make your own mason jar "snow" globe.

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How to Make Legwarmers Out of Old Socks

DIY Leg Warmers by Of Houses and Trees | Leg warmers aren't just for dancers. They keep the legs toasty and also look kind of cute, no? Here are two ways to make DIY leg warmers out of old socks!Leg warmers - they're not just for dancers. True, I do wear them when I dance, because I've recently discovered the way to bypass my achey post-baby knees is to keep them super toasty.

But I also wear leg warmers when I'm not dancing because, dudes, winter be cold. And even though winter isn't here yet, I've already been sporting my leg warmer collection not just to keep my legs warm as the fall chill settles in, but also - they're kinda cute, no?

Although I do own a few pairs of store-bought legwarmers, I also have several pairs of DIY leg warmers I made out of old socks. There are two different ways to do this. The first is the super easy no-sew way. The second you can either sew by hand or with a sewing machine if you own or have access to one.

Check out my how-to video, where I demonstrate both ways to make DIY leg warmers out of old socks, or scroll down below for step by step instructions!

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Poetry Artwork with text from The Lorax

Poetry Art by Of Houses and Trees | Love literature as much as you love making creative things? Then this poetry art project - featuring a poem using text from The Lorax - is for you!

If you love literature as much as you love making creative things for you home then this poetry art project will tickle you pink green. (This is a blog about green living after all!) When I was in university I took a few poetry courses as part of my combined English and creative writing honours degree. One of the assignments - called erasure poetry - really stuck with me and I thought it would be a cool way to create some simple DIY artwork for my newly arranged shelf library.

This project actually combines two different poetry techniques - erasure and cut-up, which may seem similar but have an important distinction.

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Yellow and Grey Toddler Bedroom

April 19, 2017

Yellow Toddler Bedroom by Of Houses and Trees | Welcome to our yellow toddler bedroom. Featuring grey and white accents and an owl motif. This room is a super happy fun place for a cute and quirky kid!Here it is friends. The moment I've alluded to on several occasions - my eldest daughter's bedroom reveal. This room is like a vortex that continuously sucks me in. I mean, it's a super happy fun place that I never have to drag my three year old to as she flails about wildly. Nor visit on numerous occasions during what I refer to as "not so quiet time" because she needs help dressing ponies in their Grand Galloping Gala regalia or requires me to find a teeny doll shoe in the explosive mess of toys.

The thing is, this yellow toddler bedroom truly is a super happy fun place. Yet, much like the ups and downs of teaching a tiny human not to be an asshole, the process of creating this room was also filled with ups and downs.

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Yellow Tree Dresser

Yellow Tree Dresser by Of Houses and Trees | I have a thing for trees. And also tree dressers. Here's another tree dresser project I tackled. I think it looks pretty good if I say so myself!

Yes, I have a thing for trees. Obviously. And apparently I also have a thing for painting them on dressers, because this is my second tree dresser project. This is going to be more of a "teaser" post than a full-fledged one. (Meaning a few hundred words long and not a novella.) A much bigger and more detailed post that will feature the entire room this tree dresser resides in.

I wanted to share the before and after, but somehow the before photos that I am absolutely certain I took have vanished without a trace. I easily found the before photos of a cradle I also repainted with the dresser lurking in the background. But as for the photos of the dresser that I took on the exact same day? Nada.

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Baby Superhero Onesie

June 6, 2016

Baby Superhero Onesie by Of Houses and Trees | One-of-a-kind baby superhero onesie featuring baby Batman – hand drawn by the extremely talented Devin Patterson. Next up? A baby Catwoman toddler t-shirt!

Devin and I are nerds. If you know us, then you know this. We adore fantasy and sci-fi movies and have been known on occasion to pretend we are ninjas. We geek out over superheroes, routinely discussing them. Mostly it's me asking him extremely detailed questions about lesser-known characters and seeing what he can recall from his comic book collecting youth. We have both avoided ever playing Dungeons & Dragons for fear of falling into an obsessive vortex and never being able to climb back into the real world. So yeah... nerds.

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Love Arrow Sign

Love Arrow Sign by Of Houses and Trees | This love arrow sign was handpainted while I was in labour with my second child. Here's how you can make one too! Contractions not required...

All you need is love – or so the song goes. But in the case of this handpainted love arrow sign all I needed was 23 hours of slow labour and nothing to do with my time other than distract myself with online yoga and crafts.

I had started this DIY a couple of weeks before I had my second daughter (who is three weeks old today). I first had to paint the 1x4 with several coats of white paint before I could stencil on the letters. Once that task was completed all that was left was the actual painting of the letters, which I did by hand with an artist's brush whilst listening to my iTunes playlist "Relax" and trying to dance off contractions. There's nothing like the imminent arrival of an infant to get the creative – and motivational – juices flowing.

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Neutral Soft Green and Beige Baby Bedroom

Neutral Baby Bedroom by Of Houses and Trees | A neutral baby bedroom using soft green and beige creates a soothing, relaxing space for both the baby - and the parents!
Gender neutral nursery bedding with a similar colour scheme here, here and here.

Even though I finished this room going on three years ago, I've never posted photos of it in its entirety. But this particular space in my house has certainly been on my mind again as of late since bambino numero dos is only days away. I spent a lot of time in this room with my first baby. I slept the first six months of her life on a cot next to the crib. I've always said that's exactly why I designed it with myself in mind. Because I'm selfish like that. Which is totally fine with me.

As you can see, I definitely didn't go the pink versus blue route, which is pretty common nowadays I'd say. I think most people tend to lean towards a more neutral baby bedroom, aka "nursery." (I have such a hard time using that word. I don't know why, but for some reason it rubs me the wrong way. Like "panties" and "mancave."Le barf.)

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How to Make Vintage-Inspired Mounted Key Art

Key Artwork | A white porcelain key, burlap backing and lace all come together in this vintage-inspired mounted key artwork. A super easy DIY for a super cute decor item!I love when random items come into your life and inspire you to make something crafty. This white porcelain key was attached to a Christmas card my lovely sister-in-law made for my family. It had a piece of sisal twine on it and was meant to be a tree ornament, but I had another idea.

I thought some skeleton key wall art would be a nice addition to a gallery wall I'm currently working on (more on that project later) so I grabbed a few supplies from around the house and threw this mounted key artwork together. (I've taken liberties with the word "threw" as it actually took me a few days to make this. Not that it was difficult by any means, but work, toddler, cleaning, cooking, procrastination, blah, blah, blah.)

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Beautiful Grey and White Antique Chair with a Modern Vibe

Antique Painted Furniture by Of Houses and TreesThose of you who were my Facebook friends back in March 2014 may remember a little fabric survey I put up for an old chair that I had acquired and planned to refurbish. (Check out my friend Val's store Fabric For Less for beauties just like this one!) I had ordered the winning print promptly after the votes were tallied and then... nothing. Well, not nothing exactly as there has been child rearing, writing, teaching, dancing and many other around the home and yard projects tackled in the two years and nine months since.

But, alas, the chair is complete! And, as with many of my DIY projects of late, I cannot take all the credit because the lovely – albeit manly – Devin Patterson was of great assistance on this one.

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Tree Branch Mobile

Tree Branch Mobile by Of Houses and Trees | Super charming and whimsical DIY tree branch mobile made with a spray-painted poplar branch, stuffed birds and fishing line.

Along with catching up on blogging in general, I need to catch up on blogging about all the DIY projects I did before my daughter was born. True, I've done a few homey things since she came into my life that blessed September day, but for the most part it's been 16 months of laundry, dishes and more laundry (and of course playing!). The laundry sitch has been particularly hairy of late because our washing machine is on its way out (and BTW, this is our second laundry machine to futz out on us this year).

The first one was nearing that magical ten year mark that somehow in appliance years equals 90 human years, so that was that. Then, we got a replacement free of charge thanks to some lovely family members. Unfortunately, that one didn't belong to said members originally and thus we don't know how old it actually was. And now it's dying too. Sob.

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Blue and Orange Master Bedroom

Blue and Orange Bedroom | Love unusual colour combos like blue and orange? How about a blue and orange bedroom! Gorgeous orange curtains and pops of turquoise transform a blah space.Enough has been said about New Year’s resolutions. I’m not going to add to the cacophony. But I will say this – about myself. I make resolutions all the time. Spring resolutions. Birthday resolutions. Morning resolutions. Sometime I keep them. Sometimes I don’t.

One of my current resolutions is to blog more. Why? Because I like putting stuff out there. Perhaps the current state of social media will be the downfall of us all, but I like that we live in a Pinterest-y world where people share ideas and creativity flows from one home to another.

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How to Build a Simple Ottoman Toy Box

Ottoman Toy Box | Instructions on how to build a 36" wide x 36" wide x 18" ottoman toy box. Serves multiple functions as a storage box, a coffee table and a statement piece.I can't take all the credit for this DIY project as my most loveable and talented husband was the one who actually built this ottoman toy box combo, but we did design it together (amidst much ruler waving and pencil scribbling) and I selected the fabric and foam padding and wrapped this bad boy (girl?) up.

As is usually the case, the task at hand was not quite as easy as I initially imagined because we wanted as few seams as possible and I couldn't manage to wrestle all the fabric into my sewing machine facing in the correct direction. The answer? Hot glue gun. It's like the duct tape of DIYing... except duct tape is probably the duct tape of DIYing. So maybe it's the duct tape of more delicate DIYing? (And yes, eco-friendly hot glue and eco-friendly duct tape are actual things!)

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Handpainted Tree Dresser

Handpainted Tree Dresser by Of Houses and Trees | Before and after of a DIY furniture refinishing project featuring a dresser with a handpainted tree.

My most recent excuse from being away so long is I was cheating on this blog with another. But, we've patched it up and I've promised it will never happen again. (Though, we all know, once a cheater always a cheater...) Onwards!

I love old furniture. The lines. The detail. The character (and by character I mean, of course, sticky drawers). But sometimes it just looks, well... old. It's scratched. It's dented. Someone wrote on it with a black sharpie. The colour is all wrong. Good thing there's this newfangled invention called paint! Sure, there's the sanding, the priming, the first coat, the second coat, the roughing it up in just the right places so it once again looks old. To me, a DIY furniture refinishing project is all worth it in the end, because you get a 100% unique piece for your home that you don't look at and think "remember how I bought that dresser from Ikea and set it up?"

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Of House and Trees Blogger Archive

Featured Image (bloggerarchive-Wikimedia-freetoUSM)If you're looking for my older posts (or just trying to navigate away from this site and over to Pinterest... you know, where the real magic happens) they are currently still hanging out on my old Blogger site. After much trial and error, it turns out the best way to import my previous posts to my new site is to do so manually. As in reconstructing them one at a time. Good thing I wasn't a very prolific poster in those days as it is time consuming work! So the old posts will be gradually moseying their way over to their new home on the new and improved Of Houses and Trees site, but in the meantime try and drop by to say hello – even blog posts get lonely in their old age.

And while you're there don't forget to comment as your lovely and thoughtful words will be imported with each post...

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