Christmas Gift Wrap Station

At this busy time of year, having all your wrapping supplies organized and handy is so helpful. At our recent Christmas styled shoot at The Vintage Round Top, we turned an old repurposed bed spring and table into a gift wrap station for wrapping up pretty packages, vintage style.

Owner, Paige Hull, is an avid collector of vintage textiles, ribbons and unique small objects that were easily repurposed for this project. The galvanized bucket that holds the wrapping paper nearby was originally used as a harvesting bucket, worn backpack style, to gather grapes.

Sprigs of holly clipped to the bed frame can easily be snipped and tucked into the wrapping and vintage seaming tape makes perfect easy loose bows in soft colors.

If you’re looking for unique one of a kind gifts, pop over to the the online shop at The Vintage Round Top. They’re always adding interesting antique finds from their travels, so take a look!

Paper Star Tutorial

This paper star tutorial is as easy and magical as it looks and it only takes a few supplies. Watch this simple video tutorial then gather up a few basic supplies and you’re on your way. Detailed instructions below.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 7 paper bags per star

  • glue gun and glue sticks

  • scissors

Glue three bags together then cut to a point and set aside.
Next, glue four bags together and cut to a point.
Doing this in two small batches makes it easier to cut. They don’t have to match perfectly, mine never do and the results are beautiful.
Next, glue the two stacks of bags together and unfold.

That, my friends, is Christmas magic!
Glue the ends together.
Punch a small hole in one of the star tips to hang with string or wire.

I used two different sizes of brown paper lunch bags I purchased at the grocery store and small white craft bags from the craft store. Use any color you like. Printed bags would be pretty as well. Mix it up!

These stars are perfect for the holiday season. I brought some with me on my most recent photo shoot at The Vintage Round Top last week. The styling for the shoot told the story of owner, Paige Hull’s, Swedish heritage and the stars were the perfect fit.

How To Patch Your Jeans in 5 Minutes

I have a pair of cropped jeans that I absolutely love. They're perfectly broken in, soft and so comfy. When I bought them they had a few trendy holes already in them. But over the years the holes have ripped and gotten bigger and there's just so much thigh I'm willing to expose to the world.

A bit of scrap fabric and 5 minutes later and I had given my old favorites a new life. I originally patched them last summer, but recently added another patch. I'm asked about them often so I'm sharing my "holey moley that was fast" patch tutorial with you. 

Supplies you'll need:



Crafters Pick Fabric Glue

 (found at craft stores)

*Fabric for Patch

1. Cut a piece of fabric just a little bigger than the rip or hole.

2. Squeeze a line of glue around the edge of your fabric and apply it to your inside out jeans, right over the hole you want covered.

Press down on the edges of the fabric as you're applying to make sure you've got good contact, then let the glue dry.  You're done!

This fabric glue is super strong and has held up under many washings. I originally bought two pairs of these jeans and cut the other pair off for shorts and patched those as well.  

I don't sew.  At all. So I'm not one to have lots fabric on hand.  I used fabric from table cloths that I cut had up and used for another project.  You could use a bandana, a vintage hanky or napkin, or if you're cleaning out your closet, cut a scrap from an old favorite shirt. 

How easy was that?

Photo Styling, The Not So Big Picture

I love beautifully framed and displayed photographs.  I'm such a fan of gallery walls I have three, with one more in the works, in my home (is that allowed)? 

But what do we do with all those beautiful little images that are tucked away in keepsake boxes and drawers, or even worse, parked on our iPhones never to see the light of day? 

Beyond the gallery wall and photo book, I love living with my pictures as little art shows or installations throughout my home. Because they are rotated often, I see these little styling moments as temporary, which frees up my creativity and that simply makes it more fun for me.  

Grab a handful of your long lost favorite pictures and add some of these ideas to your arsenal of styling options. 

Folded book art becomes a rolodex of old family photos. 

Heirloom photos are protected under glass cloches and grouped together with a glass lab beaker.  

Glass curio boxes are an artful way of displaying images in a mixed media style. These Hipstamatic prints, made with my iPhone,  are layered on top of a blank vintage book page.  Add a special artifact or two to the display to personalize it even further. 

One of the easiest ways to view your photographs also invites everyone to enjoy them. A bowl of colorful vacation pics on a coffee table is hard to resist. 

Oh my.  Baby birds in their natural habitat.  These little boys are now big teenagers.  How did that happen? (photo by Lori Vrba)

I hope you'll bring your buried treasures and memories out into your home where you can appreciate them every day in creative ways. 

Easy to Make Shade Arbor

This post will show you how to make a simple shade arbor. Or, as I like to call it, my love letter to Steve Giannetti.

Steve and Brooke Giannetti are a California design duo building their dream house, Patina Farm, in Ojai.  While following the building progress of their beautiful home on Brooke's blog, this built-in trellis above the window caught my eye and got my DIY wheels turning.


The space where we needed shade is narrow and there is no room for vertical supports. We were able to apply Steve's design using galvanized plumbing pipe to achieve a casual poolside shade arbor and it took less than two hours. It was so easy!

Here's how we did it with materials from Home Depot and some sheer cotton drapes that were no longer being used in the house:

Galvanized floor flanges were attached with wood screws to the top piece of trim board above the siding. Then we simply threaded 48" galvanized plumbing pipe into the flanges. The pipes are available in several lengths. Use the size that works best for you. 

I put a sheer panel on each of the outside pipes and one in the middle that we cut and swagged over in a random pattern.

Really, we just made it up as we went and love the results.

Then we measured and cut a length of reed fencing that we laid on top of the pipe. This was tied to the pipe with some jute thread that we had on hand.

Backyard X-Scapes 6 ft. H. x 16 ft. L Reed Fencing
1 in. x 48 in. Galvanized Steel Pipe
3/4 in. Galvanized Malleable Iron Floor Flange
8 in. x 2-1/2 in. Coarse Zinc-Plated Steel Flat-Head Combination Multi-Material Wood Screws 133 per Box

Here's what it looks like from the underside:

Lightweight hooks were screwed into the siding and the panels were pulled back with string.

I've always loved the idea of a little boho, casual, colorful shade area. Adding a collection of mirrors under the arbor really brightened up the wall space and extends the garden element.

This was such a fun and fast project for us. I think the options are almost limitless as to how you could change it up to suit your style. Such as:

~paint the pipe

~use painter's dropcloths or sheets in place of sheers

~spray paint the reed fencing

~add planters to the wall space

Many thanks (or apologies:) to Steve Giannetti for the inspiration. We love it!