Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Custom Pillowcases

Urban Cholita: PillowcasesA few years ago, my mom bought me a pair of down pillows from the Hutterites. The pillows are great, but they’re an odd size. As a result, our standard pillowcases don’t quite fit. The end of the pillow pokes out like a chubby man’s midriff in a too-small T-shirt. This sliver of exposed pillow shouldn’t matter. After all, other people have Real Problems. But it bothers me. It seems . . . unseemly.

Here’s one solution that didn’t occur to me over the many months that naked wedge of pillow tormented me: DIY. Yes, that’s right. You can sew pillowcases. It’s super simple. I’ll show you how. Continue reading

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Lamps, Blinds, and Beaches

A couple of weekends ago, I spotted a pair of green ceramic lamps at a yard sale. Such a lovely green. Such a lovely shape. So so perfect for my green, green dining room. “How much for the lamps?” I asked. The woman wanted $60, I offered $30. To my surprise, she accepted. (Reason #45 to hit yard sales late in the afternoon).

The lamps weren’t a steal. Both needed to be rewired, and they were shadeless. But I assumed I could rewire the lamps myself and save some money. Besides, I loved them. What’s $30 bucks when you’re in love? Continue reading

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Office Makeover

I am an incredibly lucky freelancer. Although I live in New York City — a place notorious for cramped apartments and ridiculous rents — I have my very own home office. It’s not big, but it’s all mine. And it used to be a pretty sad space.

Sad, sad junk yard

You can’t tell from the photo, but this tiny room held two desks, two bookshelves, two filing cabinets, and a bunch of other random crap (that black thing sticking up behind the ‘before’ is Soren’s guitar case). Cramming all that in was quite a feat when you consider that I had to work around the room’s three doors (two entrances and a closet), two windows, and one radiator. In the above photo, you’re looking in from the hallway. I should have taken a few more shots of the old office, but you can’t blame me for not being inspired. My office needed a major overhaul. And FINALLY it got one.  Continue reading


Filed under design, DIY

How to Make a Hanging Lamp Almost from Scratch

A couple of months ago, I got really excited about an old hanging lamp I found on Ebay. I had been looking for something to replace the ceiling lamp we had hung above our television, and this seemed like just the thing — a nubby, yellowish-pinkish glass globe suspended by an ornate cast metal holder and a long chain. The cord, I knew, would have to be replaced, but I figured that would be easy. I hemmed and hawed, and finally bid and won.

The lamp arrived exactly as described, except for one major detail. The metal holder was broken. One of the set screws that keeps the globe in the holder had ripped clean through the metal. So the lamp was pretty much useless.  The only salvageable piece was the glass globe. I was heartbroken. Continue reading


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Dog Dopp Kit

Dopp kit. What a funny name. According to Wikipedia, “Dopp kits were once a common gift given to adolescent males as they ascended from boyhood to adulthood.” Instead, I gave my father one as he ascends into … late middle age? Happy birthday, Dad! I also made him a throw pillow using the same Premier Prints fabric. He likes dogs.

To create this fabulous Dog Dopp kit, I followed these instructions from the Purl Bee blog.

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