Unique Headboards to Spruce up Your Bedroom

Our bedrooms can be our sanctuary giving us the much needed rest to rejuvenate our bodies. With these unique spins on how to craft a headboard to spruce up your bedroom, you can also have a unique space for which to call your haven.  Headboards created with items around your home can add whimsy, as much as, style. Pool noodles and sporting equipment can make a child’s room come alive with activity. Old shutters, reclaimed wood or rough two by fours can be cleaned, painted and mounted on the wall above your bed to showcase the old turned new for a simple change. Using an old cork board and layering satin ribbon across the board is another inexpensive way to create a unique style for your bedroom. Using baseboard pieces to create frames of mirrors, chalkboard paint and fabric can give the illusion of an expensive frame, but in reality a couple of pieces of wood painted and mounted together to create an elegant look. Draping a set of string or Christmas lights across any of these potential head boards can create ambiance at night.

Using reclaimed wood or two by fours to create a custom back drop for your room will add a down to earth feel.

headboard1

Choosing to add an old window frame to create wall art or fill the window areas with mirrors, artwork or photos that creates a designers feel to your room.

headboard2

Try using old doors or mantels to create an inspired and old style room.

headboard3

Incorporate your favorite sport as a reflection of your favorite team.

headboard-4

Try using a drapery rod to hang either simple drapers or your favorite quote to awaken you to inspired thoughts.

headboard-5

Posted on HomeZada in Remodeling Projects

5 Fresh Gift Wrapping Ideas

Tired of the basic gift wrap options offered in stores? Try these tips for getting creative with your holiday presents.

There’s something about a beautifully wrapped package that excites children and adults alike. Why not put a little extra thought into wrapping your holiday gifts, making each gift special and unique?

Follow these five tips below, and the joy in giving and receiving your presents won’t just come from the boxes’ contents.

1. Shy away from matching gifts

Instead of buying one roll of wrapping paper and the traditional red stick-on bows, think outside the box. Choose a color scheme for your wrapping that complements your Christmas decor, and buy a variety of ribbons, papers and gift tags in those colors.

Here, a color scheme of red, navy and teal creates a cohesive look for the pretty stack of gifts, but every package still has its own style.

2. Consider who is receiving the gift

After you choose a gift that you know each person will love, wrap the present to reflect their style.

For example, maybe the guy in your life would prefer wrapping in rustic plaids, and your sister-in-law would gush over something more feminine. You know your loved ones best. Choose ribbons and trimmings that fit their personality, and they will appreciate the extra effort.

3. Create custom wrapping paper

To really take your gifts to the next level, think about creating your own wrapping paper. Several sites can print custom paper for you, but for some quick unique packages, take your favorite family photos to an office supply store like Staples and have them printed at poster size. This large reindeer print cost less than $4.

4. Use a variety of ribbons

Thick satin ribbon, thin grosgrain ribbon, glitter ribbon, chunky yarn — the list goes on. See what you have around the house or pick up a few scraps from a craft or fabric store. Layer the ribbon in different combinations or let it stand alone. A variety of ribbons in your color scheme will make each package unique.

5. Craft gift tags from scrapbook paper

Rather than buying gift tags, choose scrapbook papers in different prints that coordinate with your color scheme. Cut rustic wood paper, plaid patterns and fun prints into different shapes to make fun, one-of-a-kind tags. Letter stickers or written words on the outside of the gift tags add a personalized touch.

You can use any extra scrapbook paper as an accent on your packages. Cut a thick strip to accent the center of a present and layer ribbon on top.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creative wrapping. What are your favorite ways to wrap holiday gifts?

This post was originally published by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow Blog.

How to Create a Standout Fall Centerpiece

Elements from nature and items you may already have on hand work together to create a beautiful fall centerpiece.

1

Fall encourages us to spend more time at home with friends and family — which undoubtedly leads to gatherings around the table. Luckily, a little fall foliage can make it easy to update your table’s centerpiece without investing in new dishes and linens.

Look to nature and items you may already have on hand. Here are some simple elements to create a standout seasonal centerpiece.

Collected

Shop in your own backyard or even on your next nature walk. Look for leaves, branches and acorns. Bare branches can be accented with small votives or air plants, as a more sculptural centerpiece for a rectangular table. Collected feathers can look striking in a simple glass vase while providing texture and interest to the tablescape, too.

Local

Visit your weekly local farmers market and look for more substantial items like persimmons, pomegranates, berries, squash and interesting foliage for an arrangement that will last for weeks. For a more modern aesthetic, grab a few pumpkins, spray paint them white and line them up down the center of the table. Fresh flowers are an expected centerpiece and last only a week, where these finds can last anywhere from one month to a whole season.

Unexpected

Embrace the season by making your seating the center of the show. Consider painting a single bench or the wooden head chairs of your table red, persimmon orange or yellow. If you have fabric chairs, consider a patterned slipcover or throw pillow reflecting a harvest palette. It’s easy to swap these items out at the end of the season.

In-house

Think beyond standard vases and planters for centerpieces. Pitchers, plate stands, mason jars, teacups, coffee mugs, serving platters, trays and soup terrines can all make wonderful containers for seasonal flowers, fruit and candles. You may even wrap some in burlap for a textural effect. Have some pretty herbs or flowers growing at home? Grab those, too.

Functional

Display silverware and monogrammed napkins in a galvanized bucket for a more functional and approachable centerpiece. Keep ready-to-eat fruit on a pedestal or cake stand when guests are visiting and kids are between activities. If the containers you choose don’t coordinate, give them a fresh look with a coat of seasonal paint to complement your decor.

This post was originally published by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow Blog. See it here. See dining room designs for all seasons on Zillow Digs.

How to Carve the Best Pumpkin on the Block

To ensure your jack-o’-lantern is primed for Halloween, follow these tips.

How to Carve the Best Pumpkin on the Block

It’s October. The air is getting crisp; the leaves are starting to turn. Football is in full swing. And all over America kiddies are planning costumes and candy-hauling strategies. When they arrive at your doorstep, you’ll want to be ready — with your Halloween spirit and the best jack-o’-lantern on the block. Before you head to the pumpkin patch for your sacrificial squash, check out these top tips for making a carv-tastic display.

Pumpkin selection

There are no rules for what size or shape makes a great jack-o’-lantern. Any pumpkin can rise to ghoulish greatness. Do look for a pumpkin that isn’t bruised and has no mold around the stem. Who wants to cut into a rotted pumpkin? Also, look for a pumpkin with a flat bottom that will sit firmly without rocking.

Tools

Every job is made easier by the right tools. A kitchen knife is not the best — or safest — thing to use for pumpkin carving. You can get a set of pumpkin carving tools at many hardware or drug stores around Halloween, but you can also use items already in your possession —power drills, awls, wood gouges or even cookie cutters. Don’t forget a big spoon to scoop out the guts!

Carving

Rather than giving your jack-o’-lantern a cap by cutting it at the top, draw a circle on the bottom of your pumpkin and cut your opening there, making sure to angle your blade toward the center to create a ledge for support of the finished cut area. Clean out the guts (save the seeds for your post-carving snack!) and scrape the insides of your pumpkin until they are about an inch thick in the areas you plan to carve. If you’re using a pattern, tape it on and transfer it by tracing with a poking tool. Then you’re ready to carve! If you’re using a pumpkin saw, it’s easiest to keep the pumpkin on your lap, holding the saw like a pencil and using a steady up-and-down motion. Saw at a 90-degree angle with gentle pressure.

Preservation

To extend the life of your jack-o’-lantern, spritz it with water and keep it in the refrigerator while it’s not on display. Spread some petroleum jelly on the cut edges to keep them from drying out. If your pumpkin starts to shrivel, submerge it in cold water for a couple of hours. It should come back to life. Just make sure to dry it well on the inside to avoid mold. You can also ward off mold and insects by spraying or soaking the pumpkin with a water-and-bleach solution.

Display

If you are using a candle, cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin toward the back to act as a chimney for smoke and heat. A candle will be more secure if you drill a hole for it. You can also use battery-operated LEDs, Christmas lights or even a nightlight to illuminate your pumpkin. If you carve a design in the back of your jack-o’-lantern, you’ll produce a shadowy effect on the wall behind it, making it extra spooky!

However you choose to carve your jack o’ lantern, use your creativity and have fun. It’s just a pumpkin, after all. The ghosts and goblins coming to your door will be excited about whatever you display — especially the stuff in your candy bowl.

This post was originally published by Jennifer Noonan of BobVila.com on Zillow Blog. See the original post here.

How to Hang a Hammock in Your Backyard

Laying in a hammock is the epitome of summertime relaxation. Getting the hammock set up, on the other hand, can be a frustrating endeavor. Consult the tips below to make quick and easy work of the process so that soon, you will have gone from hanging the hammock to hanging out in its comfy, swaying embrace.

Source: Minglewood Designs

Source: Minglewood Designs

Location

Choosing a location for your hammock is perhaps the most difficult part. While you probably don’t have the perfect pair (and ideally spaced) palm trees on your property, you might very well have two healthy oak, maple or beech trees that are strong enough to support your weight. Ideally, those hardwoods would be as far apart as the total length of your hammock, fully stretched out.

If the trees are too close together, the underside of the hammock is going to scrape along the ground. If the trees are too far apart, you’ll need to extend the reach of the hammock by means of an added-on rope or chain. While there’s a simple remedy for the latter problem, there’s unfortunately no fix for the former (other than to buy another, smaller hammock). Note, however, that it can be a mistake to extend a hammock any more than 18 inches at each end. Doing so leaves it vulnerable to ripping. So if you fully anticipate having to add extensions, only consider buying a hammock outfitted with a spreader bar to inhibit rips.

Suspension

For obvious reasons, it’s important to establish a secure connection at each end of the hammock. One option is to use tree-fastening straps (which may or may not be included with your purchase). These straps feature a loop on one end and a metal ring on the other. Simply wrap the strap around the tree, pass the loop through the metal ring, then attach the hammock to the ring with S-hook hardware. One virtue of tree-fastening straps is that while effective, they cause no harm to the trees involved.

Though there are countless hammocks on the market, most fall into one or two design categories. First, you have traditional hammocks, and then you have hammocks with spreader bars. Traditional hammocks are meant to hang loosely between two trees, with the center dipping down. Since they get attached to points that are 6 to 8-feet high on nearby trees, you can, in a pinch, consider using tree branches, not tree trunks — so long as the branches offer sufficient heft.

The other type of hammock involves spreader bars, which force the hammock to remain open, so the occupant never becomes wrapped up in a hammock burrito. Unlike the traditional design, hammocks with spreaders hang only 4 or 5 feet from the ground. Also, whereas a traditional hammock hangs loosely, these hammocks hang taut; when unoccupied, they are virtually parallel with the ground.

Remember that the wonderful thing about hanging a hammock is that once you’ve finished the job, your reward is right there in front you. Collapse into your new favorite spot — hey, you’ve earned a break!

This article was originally published by Bob Vila on Zillow Blog. See the original article here.

Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV’s This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at BobVila.com. His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content – practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.

How to Make DIY Wind Chimes

Wind chimes have long been used as a holistic method of natural mind and body healing. The gentle music they create as the breeze flows through them can provide a feeling of tranquility in your patio, garden or balcony.

How to Make DIY Wind Chimes

photo from realtor.com

Making your own wind chimes is a fun DIY project that’s great to share with children. Best of all, you don’t need to shop for expensive items for your wind chimes; you can use items already in your house!

Basic Design: Wind Chimes

The most common style of wind chime has a center-mounted wind catcher surrounded by various sound-producing items (such as metal pipes). The wind catcher will also feature a “banger”, which is an object hanging in the center, banging into the surrounding items as the wind catcher moves in the breeze.

This is what causes the chime effect.

Finding Items for DIY Wind Chimes

Since most wind chimes are circular, find a colorful plastic lid you can use as the top of the wind chime. If you don’t have a colorful lid, you can paint any lid the color of your choice.

The best thing about a homemade wind chime is you can use practically anything to make it: old silverware, bells, old keys, small decorative rocks, marbles, seashells, or even sticks. Collect an assortment of items and choose the ones that work best together.

Preparing the Lid

Find the center of the lid and punch or drill a tiny hole through it. Slide a piece of string or nylon thread through the hole and tie it in a knot on the top side of the lid. Measure out the string to your desired length and cut it.

Make additional holes along the outside edges of the lid, one for each chime. Keep the distance between the chimes as even as possible, so the chime will be balanced.

Hanging the Center Banger

Attach your chosen banger at the center point on the center string. The banger needs to be hard and large enough to make a noise when it bangs into the surrounding chimes—but not so heavy the wind catcher below it is unable to move with the breeze. If you choose something circular—like a small rock—wrap the nylon thread or string around it and tie it in a knot. Now apply a layer of non-toxic glue over the string to hold it in place.

At the base of the center string, attach your wind catcher. This can be anything with a large, flat or curved surface to catch the wind, like a smaller plastic lid or a large spoon.

Hanging Your Homemade Wind Chimes

Drill or punch holes through the tops of the chimes and the wind catcher before you attach them to the string so they will hang evenly when the job is complete.

When you hang the chimes, make sure the string is the right length for the banger to hit them all. You can make some strings longer than others in order to give your wind chime a unique look, but remember it must be balanced in order to work properly. If you make one chime short, make the chime directly across from it short as well.

Finishing the Wind Chime

Punch two more holes in the lid, evenly spaced apart. Slide thread through one side and tie it in a knot on the bottom side of the lid. Measure out how much thread you want for your hanging loop and cut the thread. Slide the other end of the thread through the second hole and tie it in a knot on the bottom side of the lid as well.

Find a low tree branch or hanging eave where you can hang your homemade wind chime.

Now, sit back and listen to its soothing music.

This story was rewritten from an earlier version by Dave Donovan. It was published on realtor.com. See it here.

6 Tips & Tools for Pumpkin Carving

Mix and match these tools to turn your regular pumpkins into Halloween masterpieces.

No. 1: Template transfer

Source: squidoo.com

Source: squidoo.com

You can easily draw your own template (or find one on the internet) to make sure your “Jack” comes out looking exactly as you planned. Use any sharp object you might already have — an awl, ice pick or even a ball point pen — to trace the pattern onto the pumpkin.

Source: flickr.com/indigoprime

Source: flickr.com/indigoprime


Once the outline of the template has been marked on the pumpkin, the rest is a matter of carving— rather than coloring — in the lines.

No. 2: Pumpkin saw

Source: about.com

Source: about.com

A pumpkin saw is a short, thin saw blade attached to a small handle that fits nicely in your hand. It’s much easier (and safer) to use than a kitchen knife when carving a pumpkin, and the tool will enable you to tackle far more intricate designs.

Source: hudsonweb.net

Source: hudsonweb.net

A classic saw for a classic “Jack.” The rounded curves and small cuts in these jack-o’-lanterns were made using a pumpkin saw. The compact blade gives you control to make your scariest squash dreams come true!

No. 3: Power drill

Source: builtbykids.com

Source: builtbykids.com

A power drill will make quick work of a jack-o’-lantern’s eyes, or you can attempt a more ambitious design by combining your drill with a variety of bits and attachments.

Source: hgtv.com

Source: hgtv.com

This freehand design of circles demonstrates the detail and precision afforded by a power drill. The look is crisp, and it’s quick and easy to produce.

No. 4: Dremel

Source: builtbykids.com

Source: builtbykids.com

A classic woodworking rotary tool, the Dremel can bring your pumpkin carving to the next level. In combination with different attachments (from drill bits to blades to sanders), the tool is able to cut, carve and even etch or engrave.

Source: carvingpumpkins.com

Source: carvingpumpkins.com

This intricate Celtic-knot design was achieved with a 1/32-inch drill bit and a Dremel, which is capable of far more detail than a regular power drill.

No. 5: Linoleum cutter

Source: designsponge.com

Linoleum cutters are used by artists in block printing, but they can also help you carve details into the surface of your jack-o’-lantern that “glow” once the pumpkin is lit.

Source: designsponge.com

Source: designsponge.com

The floral motifs on these pumpkins were carved with a linoleum cutter. The range of depth in the carving creates a shaded effect, enhancing the design’s 3-D quality.

No. 6: Cookie cutters

Source: modernparentsmessykids.com

Source: modernparentsmessykids.com

Cookie cutters aren’t just for cookies anymore. Pick a theme, get out a mallet and start pounding — you’ll have a truly original pumpkin before you know it. (And, they’re great for carving with kids!)

Source: designmom.com

Source: designmom.com

This jack-o’-lantern was created using just a few cookie cutters. Although it’s not the spookiest of themes, it is a magical lantern to light the night and amuse any child’s fancy.

This post was originally published by Jennifer Noonan on Zillow Blog. See the original post here