Category Archives: DIY

House Warming Gift

I have two close friends who have just bought their first house together and are having a party tonight. Since we are in full swing of the holiday season a pair of homemade stockings seemed fitting. I recycled 2 great sweaters and added matching red wool loops. I hope Santa stuffs these full!



have yourself a very…

here is a snap shot from the pumpkin carving party I hosted last week! Top to bottom: gold fish, kitty, moustache, squirrel, ms. pumpkin head, anchors away!

I hope you have fun and sugar filled holiday!

Swans Island

Sheep in dory. Peter Ralston Photo

Once a delicate layer of frost covers the landscape I unearth my wool blankets and quilts for cozy reading on the couch and toasty nights in bed. I have loved the incredible blankets from Swans Island for years and when the mercury dips it calls to mind their beautiful hand-woven collections. Handcrafted on the coast of Maine, Swans Island has been creating heirloom blankets since the early 1990’s. Their selection of blankets, throws, scarves and more make the crisp weather truly enjoyable. They also offer naturally dyed skeins of organic yarn for your own crafting purposes. Which is your favorite?

All photos from Swans Island website.

DIY Party Garland

I love making decorations for any occasion and this past weekend I had the pleasure of crafting 55 feet of silver garland with a friend for a restaurant’s silver anniversary celebration! Below you will find a DIY tutorial on how to make your very own garland.


Materials: Tissue and Mylar paper, twine, rotary cutter, scissors, ruler, cutting mat, thread & sewing machine.

1. Select your desired tissue paper colors. Consider adding some metallic Mylar paper for extra shimmer!

2. First decide how full you want the garland. I layer 4 pieces of tissue folded in half for mine (so the end product is 8 sheets thick), but you can do more or less. Next take your layers of tissue folded in half and with a ruler, cut your desired widths perpendicular from the fold. I vary the widths for visual interest. Continue until you have all your pieces ready to sew into your garland.

3. Now take one of your sections and place the twine against the fold in the middle of the tissue sheets. Measure about 12 inches in from the end of the twine and tie a knot to keep the paper from sliding; this will also leave enough twine to hang the garland. Set your first tissue section next to the knot and begin to sew your garland.  Keep the needle set just to the left of the paper edge to allow enough space for the twine to fit. I also find it helpful to set my stitch size to the largest setting.

4. When you have completed your first section, make sure your needle is in the down position and lift your foot to add your next tissue paper section. You will repeat this process until your garland is the desired length. While sewing, think about alternating paper colors and maybe switching between tissue and Mylar. Note: I keep the ball of twine in my lap so I do not run out while I am sewing. I cut it after I have finished the garland.

5. This is what your garland will start to look like as you add more sections of folded tissue to your twine.

6. Once you have finished attaching all of your tissue sections to the twine use a ruler and rotary cutter to make the tassels. Make sure you leave a inch or so at the top so that you do not cut your twine. The rotary cutter makes this process a breeze! The first garland I made I used scissors and it took much longer to cut out, but it still works.

7. Depending on your chosen length, the cut portion may need to run onto the floor as you move through to the end. Despite being made of tissue paper, the garland is stronger than you might think. It will hold together!

8. Abbie shows off our progress!

9. Go forth and decorate happily!


Over the last few days I have indulged in some of the things that make me happy. Art, food, Maine and friends! Here is what I’ve been up to…

1. Earlier this week I was browsing Etsy and on a whim searched for “paint by numbers”. I’ve had a love of paint by numbers for some time, so when I found this lovely set of lighthouse paintings from Johnny Vintage I splurged and bought it. I am thrilled every time I walk through my dinning room! Picture via Johnny Vintage

2. Is there anything better than a warm, homemade ginger snap cookie? I know it’s hard to envision, but yes there is! I just baked off a batch of my grandmother’s classic ginger snaps and got just a little creative with some ice cream. A scoop of French vanilla ice cream between two cookies makes for a share-worthy sandwich. My boyfriend and I polished off our ginger snap ice cream sandwich in record time with an accompanying glass of milk. What a marvelous way to enjoy warm homemade cookies!

3. Enjoying the seasonal foliage in the rain.

4. One night after work when all the shops and boutiques in Portland, ME were closed and sleeping, I popped into the city for a stroll and some window-shopping. I especially love the old cobblestone streets around the city, and here on Wharf Street.

5. That same night I grabbed a bite to eat with some friends at Portland Lobster Co. Despite the cold, rainy October evening we thoroughly enjoyed our heated tent on the wharf overlooking the waterfront.

Sweater season is here!

With the crisp Autumn air and turning leaves it is finally time to bring out my sweaters, but not to wear! I’ve upcycled old sweaters to cozy accents that compliment the season. My first project was turning a gray cable sweater into a pillow case that adds texture and interest to any sofa. I’ve also started a sweater quilt- the ultimate snuggly throw. It isn’t complete just yet but I’ve included a sneak peek below.


I love repurposing an old wardrobe and creating space for the new!

DIY Card Design

As you can see here + here, I love handmade cards. So, this past weekend when I attended a birthday celebration I of course brought a Hayley original! Before starting, I sat down at my desk to brainstorm exactly what I wanted to make. While looking though the drawers and materials, I found my collection of old catalogues and inspiration struck! Here are the simple steps to creating your own fun, one of a kind card.

Materials you will need: Piece of folded paper for card, magazine or old catalogue, double-sided tape, thread or string, needle (optional), a fun pen + scissors.

Scroll down for directions.

1. I selected an old J.Crew book and cut out patterned swatches and background scenes from the colorful photo shoots.

2. Next I chose my preferred balloon size (a jar lid) and started tracing and cutting out my shapes. Cut out small triangles to form the balloon knots, too!

3. To secure the balloons to the card I used a couple of pieces of double-sided tape per circle. If your paper edges curl up you can add more tape.

4. Now balloons and triangle knots are all taped down.

5. I used gold thread and a needle to sew around the balloon tails. After I went through the front of the card and back I knotted off the thread and cut it to my desired length. If you do not want to use this method you can attach the thread underneath your balloons as you are taping them down.

6. Finally, hand letter your message. I used a gold metallic pen for a little glam!

Happy creating!