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DIY Golden Urchin

If you’ve been coming around THIHM for a year or so now, you might recall that last year, our house was on a local Holiday Tour of Homes. It was one of the highlights of our year, so I eagerly agreed to be on the tour again this year. For the past few weeks, I have been slowly putting away some of our regular decor and reluctantly pulling out our holiday stuff. (I only say “reluctantly” because I personally don’t like to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving but have to since the Home Tour is the first weekend in December.) Anyway, in an effort to pull together this year’s holiday look, I’ve also been out doing some Christmas craft supply shopping. While I’m supposed to be focusing on Christmas decor, I couldn’t help but snag up a few Christmas decor items to make a “regular” home accessory that I’ve been dying to find/create myself: an urchin!

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These are nothing new and have been popping up in gorgeous home photos all around the blog-o-sphere. Every time I see one, I want to splurge and buy one myself or figure out a way to make one. Seriously, I have been wanting one in our home for.forever. They are just the coolest home accessory!

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Left / Right

Well my friends, inspiration hit in the Christmas decor aisle at Michaels and look what I now have in our home office!

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I know, I know. Mine doesn’t look nearly as chic or as the fancy-dancy expensive ones; but it was quick, easy and super inexpensive…and it still gives me the look I was after! I picked up three of these sparkler clusters at Michaels for $1 each (50% off) in the Christmas decor and grabbed some flat head plugs from Lowes. All told, this cost me less than $5!

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I started by drilling three holes into the flat head plug with a drill and 3/16 drill bit. I had to play around with size a bit because I wanted my clusters to fit snugly. I started with a smaller bit and worked my way up. Once my holes were the right size, I spray painted my plug gold.

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Next, I “strung” my sparkler clusters through my holes and marked with a pencil where each wire stick needed to be trimmed. I used a strong wire cutters to clip the wires off of each cluster.

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With the plug dry and my clusters trimmed, all that was left to do was insert the clusters into the holes on the plug.

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Two of my three clusters fit snuggly, but the third was quite loose. I went ahead and secured all three with some hot glue on the bottom. I tried to wipe off some excess so that the plug would sit flat once dry.

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And that’s pretty much it! Since the clusters are on wire, I can spread and split and adjust them as needed.

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It’s certainly festive for the holidays, but will absolutely be a permanent decor fixture in our office year round!

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Before I get into some Christmas crafting and decor, I have one more “golden” project from the office to show you. See you Wednesdays with those details!

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San Diego – Guest Bedroom

Inspiration.  Again, I wanted to use Liz Claiborne’s Extrovert Peach Blossom fabric to coordinate with the rest of the house, but this time I chose to accentuate the green and blue.  I ended up introducing a blue and green stripe, as well as some pink geometric fabric to try and bring it all together.  I really struggled to bring this room together, and don’t think I was ever quite successful.  But, like with so many of my projects, I learned a lot!

This is where we started: a blue room, with lots of junk, mis-matched furniture, random odds and ends, and no real vision. 
 Here is where we ended up:

Curtains.  The windows in this room made positioning the furniture quite a challenge.  Admittedly, we were probably trying to squeeze too many pieces in.  Nonetheless, there was no great place to put the “headboard” so I made a small, useless window the focal point of the bed.  I found these curtain panels at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  They were way too short, so I knew I wouldn’t use them as curtains.  Instead, they worked perfectly behind the bed to soften the room and serve as a faux headboard.
Bedding.  I found another white quilt (just like my C&B one!) at Marshals (Love!).  It was a queen size, but I just tucked and tucked and tucked it under this twin mattress and box spring!  The sheets were a splurge: Amy Butler bedding.  The quilt at the foot of the bed was also bought at Linen’N’Things Going-Out-Of-Business clearance sale!
Pillows Sham.  I made the pillow sham using my striped fabric to tie all the greens to the blue wall.  I cut out two shams, but because it was a twin bed, I only made one.  (The other is still cut out and ready to be assembled in my “to-do” box!)  I followed this pattern to make it:  XXXX.

Bedskirt.  I thought this was one of my more clever ideas (if I do say so myself!).  I bought a cheep taupe bedskirt with clean lines and simple pleats at the corners and in the middle.  I then cut scraps of my Liz Claiborne theme fabric to fit the insides of the pleats.  Using fusible webbing, I ironed the fabric into the pleat for a pop of unexpected pattern and color!

Window Valence.  The window valence was a very simple rectangle sewn out of cheep white fabric.  I added green borders to three sides and left openings on the top/sides for the rod to go through.  Then I constructed simple “tie backs” (essentially, big loops) out of my striped fabric to coordinate with the bedding.

Lamp shades.  Here is where I started to loose my focus – maybe?  I added in the pink geometric fabric.  I did it because I was in love with the pattern and I thought the green/blue was a little flat.  Although I loved the pink, I think this is where the room began to derail!  Regardless though, I learned how to cover lamp shades and fabric boxes!  The lamp shades were covered using my accent fabric with a glue gun.  Should have definately trimmed the tops and bottoms (on both the in and outside) with a trim to cover the rough edges – especially when the light is on! Duh!

Fabric Boxes.  These fabric boxes were bought in Okinawa.  I chose to keep the white ones plain, but covered the dark brown ones in my accent fabric.  These were messily done with scraps of fabric and a glue gun (hence why they are up high!)  I did love the look of the pattern up high!

Message Board.  To tie the patterns together, I needed to bring in my main flowered fabric.  I chose to do so in a message board.  This is a huge piece of painter’s canvas, covered in fabric.  I then used a glue gun to adhere a clip board (decoupaged with scrapbook paper), a magnetic wipe board, and a cork board.  Note – hot glue was NOT strong enough and I was constantly putting this board back together.  Hurumph! But it sure looked cute!

Chair Cushion.  I also brought in the theme fabric with the chair cushion on the desk.  I simply used the cushion that came with the chair as a pattern.  The top was my flowered fabric, the underside was my accent pink fabric, and the middle band was my plain green.  I used ribbons in the corners to keep the cushion tied to the chair!

Other Accents.  Lastly, to bring in my pinks and flowers some more, I made a simple throw pillow for the bed and applied these flowered decals to the wall.  Note – these are NOT a good idea for a frequent mover.  These flowers specifically went up in one easy step, but to take them down, I had to remove petal after petal after stem after stem.  They were, therefor, NOT re-usable.  Ugg – not only did they not have the desired effect I was hoping for, but they were a waste of money since I couldn’t reuse them!

Craft Closet.  Since this apartment was a small, two-bedroom unit, this room had to serve as office, guest room, and craft room.  The closet, therefor, became my craft storage space.  We used the modular shelves (also seen here) and stacked them in the side and back of the closet.  My Y100 bins came in handy again, allowing me quick access to my supplies as I needed them!

Guest Bath Towels.  Our guest bathroom was blah – I never really “decorated” it, but I did spruce up some plain towels for our guests to use.  The blue and taupe towels were trimmed with a coordinating ribbon, and the plain white towels were given a strip of my flowered theme fabric.