[Make Your Own] Curtains and Drapes

One of the many perks to moving is – if you’re willing – you cancompletely revamp your surroundings in a unique way with just a dash of DIY. At my old apartment, my plastic faux-shade curtains were deemed more of a nuisance than a necessity, so one morning as I meandered through the living room I decided to rip them off, one by one. Which caused a very obvious issue for those out there that enjoy sleeping in; because, let’s face it, you couldn’t. Because I was so close to moving out, we didn’t want to invest too much in anything for my windows so as a quick fix we took some tacks and a few flowing tapestries and voila – instashade. After I moved a few weeks ago, we decided to go “one deeper” and really get into crafting some curtains and I have to say, the end result is absolutely awesome. 20140408-165722.jpgNow, I’ve got to admit that I can’t take complete credit for the idea; back when I first moved to LA, my stepmom crafted a small divider to separate my living room from the bedroom…and I’ve loved it so damn much that found a place for it at each apartment since then.

It’s worked exceptionally well as a room divider, but I’ve also had it over my closet and in a walkway through my apartment; each and every way I tried it, I fell back in love with the idea.  So, when it came time to get down to brass tax about our new room curtains, I was all too game.  Ever since I ventured to Hawaii on my 18th birthday, I’ve had an affinity for sarongs and other light, flowing materials – so I’ve kept a small collection that I can now proudly display with a delightful glimmer of sunlight behind them.

You can make this as simple or as complicated as you want; for more options than you needed – just hop over to your local JoAnne’s Fabrics and they’ll have literally any and every pattern you could think of.  Last time I checked, they also had drape clips, but if not head over to the home section of a WalMart or Target and you’ll find them; most likely right next to the curtain rods.

Soundtrack

At lunch today, I found myself completely lost and dancing by myself to the new mix from Aeroplane; it just sounds like Summer is enveloping your ears – so good!

 

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Window Rods and Drape Clips, so necessary!

 

 

Supplies

4+ x Festive and Flowing Fabric; and enough fabric per piece to cover the length of the window

– Tension Rod or Window Rod (measure your space!)

– 2-3 packs of Drape Clip Rings (7 a pack), or roughly 20 clips

I’d give out instructions for this one, but let’s face it – totally straight forward once the thought’s in your head, isn’t it? Here’s the end results from my new room – I’m absolutely in love!

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Regardless of your current projects, I totally encourage you to get up, get out and get your DIY on – it’s a beautiful day for creativity.

[Make Your Own] Soy Wax Candles

Final Product: Lavender Pearberry Soy Wax Candle

“A thousand candles can be lighted from the flame of one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness can be spread without diminishing that of yourself.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

 Somewhere between the warm, inviting aromas and the twinkles of light that haphazardly stretch across the room – I’ve fallen in love with candles of all sizes, shapes, colors and scents.  Being a natural pack-rat, I kept most of the empty glassware and converted them into useful, household items like storage for makeup brushes or loose granola or rice from the market.  A few months ago when the Holiday Season was hot on our tails, I got my D-I-Y on and turned some of the empty mason jars into sparkling candles to use with tea lights and I absolutely loved the effect it had on the ambiance of my apartment.  The other week as I was deep in the throws of another internet binge I had another ah-ha! moment for the mason jars.  Instead of using them to house candles, I could literally reuse old glass containers for new candles with handpicked aromas and unique colors; genius!

If you’re like me and you’re a candle fanatic that’s willing to spend over $10 for a gloriously scented Yankee candle.  From Cupcake to Pumpkin, Fresh Rain to Clean Laundry – I swear there’s a candle scent for literally everyone on this planet.  But then I got to thinking, why keep spending an absorbatent amount of money when I could simply make them myself from the old glassware! The great thing about homemade candles is that they make excellent giftables – from stocking stuffers to birthday presents right on down to personalized bridal shower favors; you name it, there’s a great occasion for candles.  And, to boot – it’s an incredibly fun, inexpensive hobby – especially if you have a healthy collection of reusable glassware that you don’t feel like drinking out of.  If not, pop your head into a flea market or vintage store and hunt through their glassware – old glass comes in beautifully opaque colors and all shapes and sizes, perfect for custom candles!

Candle Making Starter Kit from Country Lane

There are many ways to compile a complete candle-making set; my preferred method for most things employs the GTS attitude.  So, after some searching I found a few websites for the individual pieces that go into candle making (e.g. a wick, the metal clips that attach to the bottom of your container, soy wax, color chips  and fragrances).  Hands down, my favorite site to use is  Candle Science – they have any and everything you need to DIY your own candles, including a vast array of delicious scents; finally, aromas like Pumpkin Spice and Candy Cane can be within reach even during Summer!  Or, if you want to go down a little easier path for your first time to make sure you get the essentials,  hunt for a great starter package like this one I found on Amazon from Country Lane.

Soundtrack

Because I’ll be repurposing old objects tonight, I thought getting some Do Lab into my life would be an excellent move; they always inspire me to achieve greater, do more and become the best version of myself – which, with a stellar soundtrack, is more than possible.

So necessary: Pearberry Fragrance Oil + Reusable Glassware I’ve Been Collecting

Purple, Brown, Yellow, Cinnamon Red, Blue, Christmas Green – you name it, you can color it!

Supplies

– 5 Lbs of Soy Wax Flakes (they go fast!)

-Metal Pouring Pot or Coffee Canister

Wicks with metal bottom (individually or as a set)

Mason Jars or Reusable Glassware

-30 ml Candle Fragrance

Double Boiler System

Stirring stick or spoon

Color Dye Chips (Optional and Awesome)

Wick Stickum to set the wicks to the bottom of the glassware (Optional and Awesome)

Candle Thermometer (Optional and Awesome)

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Pre-Tabbed Candle Wicks – uber recommend

My Ghetto-Rig Double Boiler; hey, it works!

Instructions

-Last night, I got to try something new as I set up the double boiler system in my kitchen – but it’s easy as pie and such a good trick: take your large saucepan and fill it with water and set it on the stove; fill your metal can or pouring pot with a few pounds of wax flakes and turn the dial to medium heat. 

-A watched pot never boils, but watched soy wax melts pretty quick so make sure you have your stirring spoon handy.  Before you move on, you’ll want to have all the wax melted and at about 185°

-To add color, wait until the wax has completely melted then add one or two dye chips depending on how rich you prefer your color

-When was is all melted and at the appropriate temperature, add 4mL of fragrance and take off of double boiler – the fragrance will burn off it you heat it! 

Soy Wax as it melts and blends with the Lavender Dye Chip

– To ensure that the soy wax fills the glassware completely, submerge the glass for a minute or two in hot water and bring the temperature closer to that of the wax

– Get your wick out and attach it to the bottom of your glassware

– Once the wax has reached 125°, slowly pour into desired glass and let cool overnight

My first homemade candle!