A home remodeling catalog came in the mail the other day. I was astounded at how thick it was & felt a little guilty for all the trees that it had used. I’ve been tossing all catalogs for quite a while now. That has saved us money over my old habit of looking carefully to see if there was anything I want to buy! This one I kept because it was so artistic. It has the honor of being bathroom reading material.
This catalog from Restoration Hardware is very arty and their merchandise is rather expensive. I am thinking some of the pages could be used to wrap small gifts, though the entire catalog is done in neutral colors. That might make me feel a little better about so much paper being used for this catalog.
1. Linen, usually in an oatmeal color, and burlap looks just about anywhere. You can buy linen-like fabric for not too much money at your local fabric store. Often you can buy one cut of a fabric (any length) with a 40% off coupon. Make linen pillow covers. Recover a lampshade in linen. Make linen drapes or find them at a good price. Sometimes they showed pillow covers in almost a burlap color with black stenciled words of place names, like Paris 1920. You could use burlap for this look, but burlap isn’t very comfortable on the skin. I prefer plain linen, but you might find ways to make this work for you. A burlap bulletin board with stenciled words to look like a coffee sack would be nice. Or just go to a coffee shop and ask for some coffee bags. Even if you have to pay for them, they are probably cheap. Magazine holder? Use them to cover a box for storage? Lamp shade? An easy way to get the burlap touch is to buy wide burlap “ribbon.” It is similar to the mesh decorating ribbon but in a burlap texture. Or cut burlap to that width. Burlap ribbon can be used to wrap candles or add a stripe to pillows. You can probably think of more ways to use it. I’ve seen burlap table cloths edged with thick fringe, sometimes called mop fringe. You could even glue on the fringe for a no-sew project.
2. Wicker. Any kind of wicker works, but they are showing a lot of the old-fashioned thin reed wicker that’s unvarnished. You can find wicker baskets pretty cheaply and are great for organizing. You might find some good pieces at a garage sale or resale shop.
|Saw these elsewhere, but love them!|
|They show some much bigger too.|
3. Large wine bottles used as lighting. You can buy bottles of all sizes at craft stores. These can be hanging lamps or table lamps. A wine jug always looks nice with a few twigs in it. I just cut a few branches from my shrubs & strip the leaves off to get the look that continues to be popular. They also use black metal classic birdcages as shades for pendant lamps. That could look cool if you have a big enough space for it. I was lucky enough to rescue a classic wicker birdcage left on the street for trash. I might spray paint it a pewter color and use it in my dining room. Can’t beat free!
4. Decorative spheres of all sizes. You can easily take styrofoam balls from a craft shop and cover them in whatever you like. This look has been around for a while, but the new look is neutral colors.. If you cover them with decoupaged strips the texture would be perfect. If the kids decide to throw them, they can’t damage much with these! Come to think of it, many of the pages in this catalog would be the perfect color to use to decoupage these! Many pages could be framed for very nice contemporary art as well.
5. Pottery. I’ve always loved hand-made pottery and have a few pieces collected over the years. Generally, kids can’t break pottery, a big positive in my experience. We had a beautiful photo blown up to a large size that the neighbor kids put a big hole through one day. Yes, pottery lasts longer. The catalog showed mainly large spheres in pottery vases. They showed them without any flowers in them. I like that look a lot and it shows off the pottery better in most cases. It shows the form of the pot more and is more pleasing to the eye. You can probably find similar looking pots at discount home decor places like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. Or make your own at your local pottery shop. I find good prices on handmade pottery at street fairs and sometimes at shopping mall kiosks. Add any pots the kids have made. None? Get them busy on them with you this summer!
6. Rope. Rough thick rope used many ways. I’d be careful to not overdo it in any one room or you will feel you have been dropped into a pirate movie. An easy DIY project is gluing rope to the front of a mirror frame. Use hot glue, gluing a little at a time. Finish each row at the bottom and cover that area with whipping twine as you see in the photo. Just don’t glue the loose ends until you have wrapped them together. I do like lamp bases wrapped in a smaller rope. Use a dab of hot glue to start and to finish. That way you can easily remove it later if you get tired of the look. You can wrap an old simple builder’s grade chandelier with rough rope to get a very trendy look for little money. I’ve seen this look in other catalogs too. You can find a lighting fixture like this for a couple of dollars at a garage sale. They covered what looked like intersecting hula-hoops in rope, but that might best outdoors. You might make this work outdoors somehow. Cheap and dramatic. Even easier, they show coils of rope on a table as decor. Not my style, but it does add texture. I do like a tablescape of pillar candles with rope coiled around them. Add a seashell or two for a beautiful casual look for indoors or outdoors. I might cover our dining room fixture in rope as it is, yes, a cheap builder’s grade “chandelier.” And rope chandeliers can be pricey. A good project! Don’t overlook using rough twine for smaller projects. It’s cheap and won’t add as much bulk as rope does. I could see it used on picture frames the way you’d use rope on a mirror. Regular white glue would probably work for this.
Just a caution if you have kids. Don’t allow them around any piece of loose rope either as a decor element or while you are working on a project. Don’t even think of using rope as curtain tiebacks if you have kids. Kids being kids, there is a danger of strangulation no matter what you’ve told them. Better be safe than really sorry. I’m a mom of 4 and grandmother of 2, and I know kids. On a positive note, they might like helping you decoupage styrofoam balls to transform them into decorative spheres.
I like these natural looks for a calming influence that also add warmth to a room. They go with just about any decorating style and should work for you for many years to come. Well, the rope will probably look dated before anything else here. I’d add rope to inexpensive items or things you already have. In some cases, like table lamps, you can just remove the rope when you get tired of it. Linen is classic and should not really go out of style. Burlap is more trendy and will look dated eventually. Fortunately, it’s very inexpensive, so it’s not a big deal. Pottery never goes out of style; you can add to your collection over the years. The spheres will fall out of fashion after a while, but if you made them from styrofoam and decoupage you are not out much. The kids will enjoy throwing them even if they are no longer an art form!
Click the tag “decoupage glue” below this post for an easy, cheaper DIY recipe that is a clone of Mod Podge.