Repurpose Mardi Gras Beads with These DIY Crafts

Sure, you have your costume picked out, but is your home decorated for Mardi Gras? We’ll show you two different ways to jazz up your space just in time for Fat Tuesday. For both crafts, you’ll need Mardi Gras beads. Speaking of…

Whether you’re in need of beads or need to get rid of some, Beads by the Pound program – the Arc recycling center in Metairie not only saves you money but also provides green jobs and helps save the planet.

OK, do you have your beads ready? Here we go!

mardi-gras-coasters

Make these Mardi Gras coasters using leftover beads and felt. (Photo courtesy DollarStoreCrafts.com)

Mardi Gras Coasters

Materials

  • Beads
  • Felt cut into 3- or 4-inch circles (see How-To)
  • Fabric glue
  • Thread

Method

First, measure your beads. Necklaces that are 24-inches long correspond perfectly with 4-inch felt rounds; necklaces that are 16-inches long fit with 3-inch felt circles. Find the point where the string of beads joins together (usually a deformed bead) and cut it off to make one long string rather than a necklace. Remove any medallions or pendants using pliers.

Place a dot of fabric glue in the center of the felt round. Attach one end of the bead string to the center dot, then wind around in a spiral motion, adhering with fabric glue as you go around. Continue until you run out of beads, then let dry overnight.

For a complete tutorial, visit Rust & Sunshine.

Mardi Gras Centerpieces

Materials

  • Beads
  • Glass containers
  • Tea lights

Method

Simply place the beads in the bottom of the glass vessel, and place a tea light on top. Remember to never leave a lit candle unattended!

For color ideas and a complete how-to, visit Bustle.

 

How to Decorate with Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone’s annual “Color of the Year” is always a source of inspiration, and while some of the hues have been fun (like 2014’s Radiant Orchid), they haven’t exactly been easy to work into our design scheme. That’s why we’re thrilled with Pantone’s 2015 choice.

Marsala is a color that’s bold, but easy to incorporate into interior designs. Whether you use it sparingly or let it color an entire room, the cherry-chocolate hue is universally flattering, versatile for both men and women, and, with its rich hue and warm undertones, is especially appropriate for the winter months.

Check out our guide to incorporating marsala into any room of the house – we’ve provided online links, but all these shops are nearby for those who prefer in-store shopping.

For the Kitchen

Red Hobnail Ramekins – You can’t beat the price on these cute, textured ramekins from World Market. Use the set of four for snacks like nuts and chips. Their true purpose (souffles!) is a bit more challenging, but you can try this easy recipe for a savory version.

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

Garnet Enamel-on-Steel Tea Kettle – Also from World Market is this tea kettle in a slightly cooler shade of marsala. A cheery addition to the stovetop, the kettle quickly has a sleek shine and is of high-quality construction.

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

For the Living Areas

Mansfield Print Pillow Cover – The intricate pattern of this Pottery Barn pillow cover pulls in neutral hues like khaki and sage. Pantone’s own color pairings suggest that marsala plays well with such shades – their number 5 palette includes similar hues like Fennel Seed and Silver Fern.

(Photo: potterbarn.com)

(Photo: potterbarn.com)

Love Marquee Lights – A message of love in a bold color is welcome any time of year. From World Market, these lights add visual interest to a wall and also serve as a light installation with their warm, ambient glow.

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

For the Bedroom

rose-bisque

(Photo: westelm.com)

Organic Cotton Pintuck Bedding – The romantic tucks and ruffles of this organic bedding underscore its sultry hue. In fact, all of the “Rose Bisque” color choices from West Elm offer a softer version of marsala that works as well in spring and summer as it does in fall and winter.

For the Bathroom

Quilted Velvet & Silk Cosmetic Bags – Irresistibly soft and textural, these cosmetic bags from Pottery Barn (in a set of two) are a beautiful accent for bathroom storage. Even better, you can take them with you on trips – they’ll double as a clutch on nights out. Optional monogramming adds even more personalization.

(Photo: potterybarn.com)

(Photo: potterybarn.com)

 

 

Holiday Decorating for a Small Space

‘Tis the season to liven up your decor, but sometimes a small space can present challenges you may not face in a traditional house. Check out our dos and don’ts for decorating a small space for the winter holidays.

Celebrate Christmas in New Orleans

Do think miniature. A 20-foot tree works for the White House, but a grandiose fir can be unrealistic when decorating a small space. Stores like Whole Foods and The Home Depot offer fresh, beautiful mini trees that have the look, feel, and smell of their larger counterparts. The trees might be small, but their benefits are enormous: they’re easier to transport (both to your home and out to the dumpster after the season), they’re cheaper to purchase, and they only have room for your most special ornaments.

Don’t let your festive dishware stay hidden. You probably have some fun holiday dishware at the back of your cupboard – maybe a themed mug or a set of dessert plates. Why not let these dishes take center stage during the holiday season? Fill a festive mug with fresh, white flowers for a wintry look for your desk or kitchen counter, or use holiday dessert plates as a tray for simple ornaments to create a festive display.

Don’t wait to wrap gifts. The winter season is often a time of giving, but we are quick to consider gift wrapping a chore. Instead, make a plan to wrap presents early, then place them around your apartment for a fun and festive look.

Do dress up your dining chairs. Whether you’re using them in the dining room or a non-traditional space like the bedroom or bathroom, dining chairs can benefit from a bit of holiday pizzazz. Tie wide ribbons to the backs of the chairs and suspend small, lightweight ornaments at the bottom. You can also hang pinecones from the back using this tutorial.

holiday-presents

Wrap your presents in advance and place them around your apartment for a festive atmosphere. (Photo courtesy JD Hancock on Flickr)

Don’t forget about easy decorating opportunities. Coat racks, doorknobs, towel hooks, and any other hanging place can become a home for a wreath, festive scarf, ornaments, or other holiday items as part of your décor.

Do consider old-school crafts. Remember when you made paper snowflakes as a kid? Believe it or not, they can look incredibly chic and take up very little space. Place them in windows where they’ll catch the light and cast dancing shadows. Other space-friendly favorites include cranberry garlands (use dental floss!), tinsel stars, and fragrant citrus pomanders.

Don’t get hung up on what the holidays “should” look like. Who says you need a real tree or decorations galore? Displaying sentimental pieces or even a simple strand of lights over your doorway can bring festive cheer when decorating a small space. Plus, the fewer items you put out, the less there is to clean up after the holidays!

 

Beautify Your Space with Bathroom De-Cluttering Tips

The bathroom is a great place to relax with a soothing bath or steaming hot shower, but it’s also one of the biggest hubs for clutter. Bathrooms often lack ample storage, and with so many bottles (medicine, shampoo, body wash) requiring designated space, it’s easy for clutter to take hold. Read on for pretty, easy bathroom de-cluttering tips you can take to make your bathroom a place of respite, not mess.

Folding towels properly is an easy way to maximize space. (Photo courtesy missmac on Flickr)

Folding towels properly is an easy way to maximize space. (Photo courtesy missmac on Flickr)

  1. Divide and conquer. Bathroom drawers are often as jam-packed as junk drawers, and as messy, too. Insert drawer dividers, available in a variety of sizes, to create instant order. Use them for makeup and accessories, or create an organized drawer for your most-used toiletries like toothpaste, floss, and face wash.
  2. Think vertically. Wall space is a viable yet underused storage option. Placing towel racks and hooks (3M Command hooks are especially good for renters) on the wall creates instant storage for towels and robes. You can even create a DIY caddy to hang for extra storage.
  3. Fold on. Big, fluffy bath towels can take up precious real estate in the bathroom closet. Use this technique to fold them neatly, which will maximize your space. If the bathroom also doubles as a linen closet, try bundling your blankets and sheets together.
  4. Brush up your brush display. With a bit of decorating finesse, you can transform your makeup brushes into a centerpiece for the bathroom counter: like a floral display, but functional! Use a pretty glass container and fill it with clear or colored glass beads to hold your brushes in place. You can even transform a gelato container – the perfect excuse to buy ice cream.

Bathroom Design Ideas

Just like the kitchen, there are many great bathroom décor options to implement in your apartment. There’s always a need for more hooks in the bathroom for towels, robes, etc. and damage-free hooks, like those sold by Command, are perfect for adding more hanging options. Wire mesh organizers are excellent bathroom design solutions for the vanity, as are caddies for the shower to neatly consolidate all of your toiletries.

Bathroom Furniture Essentials

Towels – This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when furnishing the bathroom. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of hand towels and larger shower towels. Before you make your purchase, think about what color or design would complement the look of your bathroom and the other elements, including the shower curtain and bath mat. Find something that matches your personality, whether it’s a funky pattern, solid subdued color or bright multi-toned color scheme.

Bath mats – When shopping for your bathroom suite, make sure to get a bath mat to lay down in front of the shower to absorb excess moisture. Think about the rest of your bathroom design and pick a color or pattern that meshes well for a cohesive bathroom design.

Storage caddies – These toiletry containers come in handy for organizing shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, sponges, etc. all in one place so it’s easily found and accessible.

Toothbrush holder – This is an essential vanity item to store your toothbrush in a place where you won’t lose it.

Soap – This is a no-brainer, but hand soap has really reached a new level over the past few years. Brands like Mrs Meyer’s offer incredibly fresh fragrances like basil.

Shower Curtain – Here’s another chance to showcase your own design aesthetic and personality. No matter if you prefer a basic shower curtain or a creative, whimsical design, there are plenty of patterns out there to choose from.

Flair – Don’t be shy with your bathroom design! Add flowers, pictures, art, and anything else to put the finishing touches on this room in your apartment!

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Related posts: Must Know Refrigerator Organization TipsApartment Spring Cleaning ChecklistHow to Clean a Refrigerator: 5 All-Natural Fridge Cleaning Hacks

 

Cozy Up to Fall Mantel Décor

Your pumpkin is carved, and your seasonal wreath is on the door. But what about your mantel? Several of our 1st Lake Properties feature wood-burning fireplaces, like Sawmill Creek and Willow Creek. The fireplace mantel is a natural focal point of a room, drawing the eye upward and providing an opportunity to flex your decorating muscle.

If you don’t have a fireplace, don’t worry! These fall mantel décor items work just as well anywhere else in the home, whether at the front door or in the living room.

thumbtack pumpkin

Thumbtack pumpkins are as customizable as they are easy to make. (Photo courtesy Crafthubs.com)

Thumbtack Gourds

Gourds and pumpkins are an obvious choice for the mantel, but the addition of metallic thumbtacks can transform a natural design-scape into a totally glamorous one. Add gold or silver thumbtacks to plain gourds, or paint the gourds to match your existing interior design before you add the thumbtacks. Let these awesome designs lead the way for pattern inspiration.

Elegant Upcycling

An easy, cost-effective way to decorate for fall is to use items you already have on hand. Cut paper bags into petal shapes, crease them, and use a bit of hot glue to hold them together. The result is a paper flower that pulls in fall colors and makes a major impact above the mantel, whether alone or in clusters.

An Everlasting Pumpkin

Cinderella’s coach turned into a pumpkin at midnight, but these cute fall decorations won’t turn into a rotten mess after Halloween. Leave these Mason jar pumpkins on the mantel through Thanksgiving, and save them for years to come. The addition of a cinnamon stick lends a fragrant, autumnal touch.

Borrow from Other Seasons

Another way to save on fall décor is to repurpose decorations from previous holidays. Fourth of July bandanas lend a harvest vibe when draped across the mantel, especially in shades of red, rust, and orange. Mardi Gras beads can create a quick garland, and winter holiday decorations like pinecones and acorns look just as appropriate in fall.

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