My Epic Return, and Gift To You: Free Printable Recipe Binder Dividers

Hey there, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year, and Happy Almost February already! I know you probably thought I’d never blog again, but alas! I have returned! I won’t go into all the details, but unfortunately life got just too … Continue reading

Three DIY Fabric Organization Ideas

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe November is already almost half way over? Time is flying! Here is a compiled group of fabric organization strategies I used to finally organize my sewing cabinet. Because I only sew occasionaly, and often use … Continue reading

Quick Post: To Decorate or Not To Decorate?

I decided early on this year that I wasn’t going to decorate for Christmas. My boyfriend and I will both be traveling in separate places, and I won’t be home until mid-January, which I’d say it pushing it for taking down the majority of Christmas decorations. Needless to say, who wants to come home after traveling for almost a month to a chore like putting away the holiday season, literally? Not only is putting it away not near as much fun as putting it up, but it usually takes up a weekend to do it right. I decided instead, probably back in September, that I would take the energy I would normally put into taking out all the decorations and putting everything up, into making handmade gifts and working on unfinished Christmas crafts that I can enjoy next year. I also decided if it I skip it this year, maybe somehow that will make it even better next year.

I additionally vowed I didn’t want to buy lots of new Christmas decorations, since I wouldn’t get to enjoy them for another year– but that’s working out less than perfectly. Some things are just so perfect for your Christmas decor that you can’t pass them up. But more on that another time.

However, as I lack to make progress on the medical problems I took time off from school to fix (here I am 8 months later, having made little progress), and with some even worsening for the time being, I’m drawn more and more to the idea of decorating. Somehow decorating for Christmas makes the house feel even more warm, inviting, and just overall full. It’s as if the house is overflowing with cute things and sparkle, way more than what is normally acceptable. Somehow I’m not in the mood for the delayed gratification that might come from skipping the decorations this year.

In the end, I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist decorating. It will be only my second time decorating this house, and I know I still have lots of kinks to figure out. Maybe the extra effort is worth it in the end just to satisfy myself, even if there won’t be a family gathering or a party for everyone to see it.

What’s your take? Do you decorate for Christmas even if you’ll be gone? Is it worth the effort? I’d love to hear what you think!

Look forward to tomorrow’s post about more ways to organize your fabric and some other organization tips!

Until next time,
|The Creative Physician|

DIY Custom Fabric Covered Vinyl Roller Shades

I know, I know, I got behind again. I’m doing my best to keep up while traveling but it’s sort of challenging. Custom roller shades can cost upwards of $2000 (for our four windows including a french door), and after … Continue reading

DIY Fabric File Folders

I’ve seen a lot of people use whole or half hanging file folders in order to store fabric.  I didn’t have any on hand, not to mention file folders can be pretty pricey, so I decided to come up with … Continue reading

DIY Large Cardboard Letters: Part 1

Sorry for my extended absence! We’ve been having internet problems, not to mention my parents are in town visiting from Australia for the first time since last Christmas, so things are a little hectic! I’m going to do my best … Continue reading

Five DIY Fall and Halloween Wreaths

Happy Friday! I decided to do my own pretend link party and link you guys to some tutorials for unique and awesome Halloween and fall wreaths. You can consider it a project I plan to do in the future! I tried my best to only pick five, but it’s difficult with all the cool designs out there.

Wicked Apple Wreath. *Photo courtesy of Flamingo Toes

Wicked Apple Wreath. *Photo courtesy of Flamingo Toes

1. First up, we have this wicked cool Wicked Apple Wreath by Flamingo Toes. You can check out the step-by-step tutorial here. Another way you might simplify this is by using lace stockings. I love the little bit of Spanish moss at the bottom!

Bat Wreath Inspired by Tatertots and Jello *Photo is not my property but the source is unknown.

Bat Wreath Inspired by Tatertots and Jello *Photo is not my property but the source is unknown.

2. So the picture is unfortunately one of those lost images on Pinterest that just kind of floats around not attached to anything. But fortunately, I found the original tutorial that inspired this at Tatertots and Jello found here. Just change up the scale of the bats and the color of the chevron ribbon and you’re golden! Here’s a cute bat template from Martha Stewart that I’ve used in the past.

wreath3

3. Here’s a picture of my current wreath. I used Martha Stewart’s tutorial found here. I added “BOO” in white lettering to give it some interest from far away. Most of my snakes came from The Dollar Tree, and others I ordered on Amazon to keep the cost down.

Fall Wreath *Photo courtesy of The Ruffled Stitch

Fall Wreath *Photo courtesy of The Ruffled Stitch

4. I know all of these so far have been for Halloween, but here’s a simple fall wreath. I love the little banner. I’m all for hanging letters in the center of the wreath and I love the feel of the burlap triangles. You could dress this up with all sorts of things on the traditional grapevine wreath to make it your own. This tutorial can be found here on The Ruffled Stitch.

Felt Ghost Wreath. *Photo courtesy of Tatertots and Jello

Felt Ghost Wreath. *Photo courtesy of Tatertots and Jello

5. Once again from Tatertots and Jello we have my favorite, that I definitely want to make in the near future: Felt Ghost Wreath. I have a pretty big weakness and love for felt, so this is right up my alley. I love the details in this wreath, like how the ghosts are all different sizes and asymmetrically placed.

Well that wraps up this post about great Halloween and Fall Wreath Tutorials! Hope you found some inspiration to create your own wreath!

Until Monday,

|The Creative Physician|

DIY Rain Gutter Ribbon Organization

It’s officially hump day. Hope this neat organizational product helps you get over the middle of the week. I saw a picture of this somewhere on the Internet, but was never able to find a tutorial, so I figured I’d … Continue reading

DIY Beautified and Renewed Cat Scratching Post

Think you need to go out and buy a whole new scratching post once your kitties have ripped it to shreds? Think again! Growing up, my mom always re-wrapped our scratching posts with sisal rope, which can be purchased at your local hardware store! It’s an easier job than you think, and much better than paying tons of money for a new cardboard tube and ugly carpet-covered plywood base.  I decided to also give the post a makeover while I was re-wrapping it, since it would already be disassembled.

Here are the materials you need:

»Staple gun and staples
»Sisal rope (I bought 100 ft of ¼ inch natural twisted sisal for $6.48 at Lowe’s.  Depending on the size of your post, you may need more or less.  I have plenty left over but I believe it’s less than half.)

Additional Materials:

»Fabric square large enough to cover the base of the scratching post (approximately 21” x 21”)
»Fabric for the top cap of the post (approximately 6” x 6”)

Materials Cost: $6.48 (will be more if you don’t own a staple gun or don’t have any fabric on hand)

1. Disassemble your scratching post.  This will vary from post to post, but for my basic post (I think it came from Petsmart), I simply had to unscrew the bolt on the bottom to remove the base and pop off the plastic cap on the top.

Disassembled and ready to go!

Disassembled and ready to go!

2. Remove the old rope from the tube or base. The rope on most scratching posts is held on by staples which can be easily removed with pliers.  I recommend wedging the pliers under botht the staple and rope to help loosen the staple and then removing it from the front.  There is generally a row of staples along the top and bottom, with a few in between.  If the rope is glued down, it may take a little more legwork to get it off.

Post with the end of the rope removed to start unwrapping.

Post with the end of the rope removed to start unwrapping.

3. Wrap the post with new sisal rope.  Mimic the original staple pattern or staple as you feel necessary.  I did miss the edge a few times at the top and bottom, but you can simply pull the staples back out with pliers.  It’s important to pull somewhat tight and also push down the rope as you move up the post to ensure the layers are compact.  I recommend wearing gloves since sisal is rough on your hands. Be sure to staple down each end to prevent fraying.  I even left the tape on the end of the rope to help prevent this from happening.

4. If all you want to do is re-wrap the post, then viola! You’re finished! Let your kitties enjoy their fresh post.  If they seem put off by the smell, try spraying some catnip spray or enticing them to use the post with a toy.

Now, on to the fun part!

1. Cut a piece of fabric for the base of the scratching post with a fabric of your choice.  I happened to have a ¼ of a yard of botanical pattern which I was looking at as curtain material and decided to use that since it matched the room.  You simple have to have a square big enough to wrap around the bottom edges of the base.  Mine was approximately 21” x 21”.  Most scratching posts are covered in ugly carpet.  I went ahead and left the carpet underneath to help cushion the base.  Ensure that you cut a hole where the bolt of the post or other fastener passes through the base.  I went ahead and made a large hole to help the post sit down in the carpet, but it’s up to you.

Fabric square cut and ready to be attached.

Fabric square cut and ready to be attached.

2. Lucky for you, you already have your trusty staple gun handy!  Attach the fabric to the bottom of the base as you would if you were recovering a chair cushion.  Start on one side, pull taught, then staple the opposite side.  Fold in the corners for the remaining two sides as if you were wrapping a gift package.  Staple down the folded corners, ensuring the fabric is taught, and then the center of the remaining sides.  Remember this is a cat scratching post, after all, so don’t be too hard on yourself about perfecting the corners, especially if you’ve never upholstered anything before!
CatScratchingPost4
3. My scratching post has a plastic cap that just pops into the top of the tube.  I decided to cover it with matching fabric and used a glue gun to hold the fabric down.  The top of your scratching post may vary but feel free to contact me for suggestions.

4. Reassemble and you’re finished!
CatScratchingPost6

Additionally it would be very easy to build your own scratching post using a base made of wood, such as plywood, and a cardboard tube, such as a packing tube or even an old carpet tube.  The only challenge will be finding the best way to attach the base to the post.  If you purchased a packing tube, it should come with plastic caps for both ends.  Drill a hole large enough for a bolt through one plastic cap and in the wooden base.  Then thread the bolt up from the base through the plastic cap and secure with a washer and nut on the inside of the tube.  Then cover the other plastic end with fabric if desired.  You can also cover the base with a scrap of fabric, or batting and fabric of your choice.

Have a great weekend. And until next time,

|The Creative Physician|

DIY Put-It-Anywhere Inspiration Wire

This quick DIY will help you stay both inspired and organized! If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly clipping beautiful pictures and ideas out of magazines, and regularly collecting fabric samples you know you don’t really need. Rather than stuffing them in a drawer, box, or even a notebook, why not put them on display? My inspiration wire has really helped to motivate me by constantly placing beautiful and energizing images, colors, textures, and ideas right in front my eyes. I was lucky enough to have an empty spot right behind my computer screens above my desk. This was ideal as all I need to do is look up to get inspired, and the inspiration wire helps fill an otherwise awkward and not really usable space!

A view of my entire inspiration wire.

A view of my entire inspiration wire.

Here are the materials you need:

» Ribbon (I chose a thin 1/8” aqua grosgrain for mine—it’s sturdy but colorful but feel free to use a wire of your choice)
» Hooks or other attachment method (I used some left over small clear command hooks like these )
» Clips such as minicloths pins, variety of neat paperclips, and in this case I used some clips and cord from an old Ikea photo rail I don’t use anymore, featured in this blog post.
» Your inspiration! (Magazine clippings, photographs, fabric scraps or samples, whatever inspires you!)

Materials Cost: $0 (At most, I think this would cost you $7-8 if you didn’t have any of the materials on hand.)

1. Measure the length of ribbon required for your inspiration wire. Be sure to add some slack so that the wire will hang in a nice curve (unless you want it taught, though with ribbon it won’t necessarily stay that way). I also left quite a bit on the ends for some cute dangling tails at each end of my wire.

2. Attach hook (or method of your choice) to the back of the surface on each side. Make sure the hook is right-side up; otherwise your ribbon will slip off with weight. If you’re doing this into a wall, I recommend using something simple like pushpins (I often use them to hang things I’m worried I’ll move later, like very light pictures/clocks, as they leave a much smaller hole than a nail)

3. Tie your ribbon onto your hooks (or attach it another way). Be sure to tie some good knots. Test the wire to ensure it can bear weight by pushing down from the top with your hand. You should be reasonable but also test it more than the weight you plan to hang on it. As you can see from the photos, mine holds quite a bit of stuff just using two command hooks and their respective command strips.

4. And viola! Add your inspiration! Get inspired! And create some beautiful things! I try to change mine at least a little bit each month, as I clip from magazines. I usually do a more drastic change for the season.

A close up of some of my inspiration.

A close up of some of my inspiration.

Another close up of inspiration.

Another close up of inspiration.

If you’re limited on space, an alternative to the inspiration wire is an inspiration board. It can be anything from cork board to a shutter, like the one below. This shutter fit perfectly in an awkward wall space between two doors and adds some interest to an otherwise strange strip of sheet rock. I found the shutter at an antique store in Austin for $5 dollars, gave it a little white wash, and added a picture hanging wire to the back. Don’t limit yourself! The shutter could just as easily be hung sideways, or be of a much large scale. Not to mention there are so many alternative uses to shutters, such as a Christmas card display found on Courtney’s blog “Diamond in the Stuff” or a mail organizer complete with key hooks like the one pictured on “Ivy in the Bay”!

An alternative to the inspiration wire, an inspiration wire. Perfect for small spaces!

An alternative to the inspiration wire, an inspiration wire. Perfect for small spaces!

Until next time!

|The Creative Physician|