Page 1

idea notebook

Easy DIY, gorgeous herbs to plant now, and an instant living-room makeover

Get Crafty! Four clever projects that cost next to nothing


Ribbon bookmarks with real charm Jewelry designer Andrea Singarella (andrea fashioned these bibliophilic baubles for just a few bucks each. To assemble your own, cut velvet ribbon ($1.59 per yard; into nine-inch lengths. Purchase ribbon clamps the same width as your ribbon (from $1.50 per 10 pack;, then use flat-nose jewelry pliers to affix clamps to both ends of each ribbon. Finish by attaching charms, trinkets, or vintage earrings (from 25 cents each; to the clamps with jump rings ($4.12 per 100 pack;

Written by Jourdan Crouch

Continued on next page > MAY 2011


idea notebook

Reveal a lampshade’s inner beauty with this idea from Ellen Dyrop and Hanna Kristinsdottir’s new book, Rediscovered Treasures ($15.95; New Holland). STEP ONE To create a pattern, wrap kraft paper around your shade and use a pencil to mark its measurements. Lay the paper flat on a table, then follow your marks to draw and cut out the pattern. Place it atop pretty paper (such as wallpaper, gift wrap, or a map); trace the shape in pencil and cut out. Discard the pattern. STEP TWO Wipe the inside of the shade clean with a dry cloth, then use a sponge applicator to spread a thin layer of Hard Coat Mod Podge ($5.59 for eight ounces; onto the area. Carefully apply your paper and smooth to remove bubbles. Let dry for 20 minutes. STEP THREE Apply a layer of Mod Podge directly onto the paper; let dry for 20 minutes. Apply another layer, then let dry for a full day.

How to spice up wooden nesting dolls Make matryoshka dolls do more than sit pretty by turning a pair into fetching salt and pepper shakers. With a pushpin, pierce four to six small pilot holes in the top of each doll (from $8.95 for three; Then, using a 1/16-inch bit, carefully drill through each pilot hole. Fill the bottom half of one doll with salt, the other with pepper. Tightly twist on each top—and set about dolling up your dining table.

68 . COU N T RY L I V I N G.C O M . MAY 2011


Shine a light on découpage.

Put tea towels to work as a market tote. Adapted from Clare Youngs’s The Perfect Handmade Bag ($19.95; Cico), this cute carryall requires little more than a pair of small wooden spatulas and two tea towels ($15 each; STEP ONE Cut six strips of fabric from one towel. Two, measuring 3¾"W x 14¼"L each, will serve as the decorative horizontal bands at the top of the tote and should incorporate the towel’s graphics (as shown, left). The other four, measuring 3½"W x 8"L, will form tabs for the bag’s handles. Turn under the long sides of each strip and press a ¼" hem. STEP TWO To make a tab, topstitch one of the long sides of a 3½"W x 8"L strip near the edge. Then fold it in half so that the short sides meet, and topstitch the other, now folded, long side, sewing through both layers of fabric. Repeat with the other 3½"W x 8"L strips. STEP THREE Lay the second towel on a flat surface, right side up. Align the long side of one decorative 3¾"W x 14¼"L strip horizontally with a short end of the towel (as shown). Topstitch in place. Repeat on other short end. STEP FOUR Flip the towel right side down. To determine where to place the tabs, center a spatula atop one of the towel’s shorter ends, and use straight pins to mark the spatula’s width. Place a tab at each pinned point, slightly overlapping the tabs with the top of the towel. Make sure that each tab’s closed side lines up with the pins and that the open sides face each other. Remove the pins, then topstitch both tabs in place. Repeat on the towel’s other short end. STEP FIVE Fold the towel in half, wrong sides together. Pin, then stitch the sides closed using a 3/8" seam; backstitch at the tops for reinforcement. Insert spatulas into the tabs, then hand-sew closed to secure spatulas.