5 DIY Projects to Try During Quarantine

I wish I could say that I'm an absolute whiz at power tools or a sewing machine, but to be honest, I am a reluctant DIYer. A lot of the DIY or craft projects I find look a little too homespun for my liking, or the effort required to make it look like the real deal is overwhelmingly tedious or calls for carpentry skills I just don't have. But this quarantine has me wanting to spruce up my home in a more resourceful, hands-on way, so I've rounded up five DIY projects for you that are simple, can be mostly done indoors (with the exception of sanding!) and actually look more high-end than you'd expect.

1. Plant Propagation Wall
This delightful wall of plant cuttings DIY is brought to you by Christine Higgs of @forthehome. It's the perfect project for those who've had extra time to mist, primp, sing to and propagate all your plant babies during this quarantine. 

Christine Higgs / @forthehome


2. Textured art
Here's another DIY from the very resourceful and productive Christine, who created some beautiful, dimensional pieces for her home with acrylic paint and modeling paste. She's got a video tutorial on her IGTV if you'd like to check it out! It's the perfect addition to a bare wall or corner that just needs the subtlest touch of texture that won't compete with its surroundings. 


Christine Higgs / @forthehome

Christine Higgs / @forthehome


3. Wireless Pleated Lamp
This is more of a hack than a DIY, but it's still very satisfying to the lazy DIYer! I've been wanting the right ceramic base for a pleated lampshade I found online and for now, settled on a ceramic vase I already owned. But since the lamp shops are closed, and I don't feel like drilling into the bottom of my vase (risky!) and wiring it myself, I was inspired by Lisa Danielle Smith to simply plunk the shade on top of the vase and call it good. But if you'd actually like a functional lamp rather than a decorative statement, there are also plenty of wireless bulb options, such as LED lights controlled by remote control that you can jimmy rig into the vase. Thanks, Janae for that last tip!


Lisa Danielle Smith




4. Trash to Terracotta
When Geneva Vanderzeil found a can of liquid terracotta at her local hardware store, she tried to find as many applications for it as possible. One of her projects was taking a motley bunch of thrift store vases and turning them into some of the lovely terracotta pieces you see here. While this specific liquid terracotta product isn't available everywhere, she's created a DIY chalk paint recipe to give you a similar, textured ceramic look. You can also check out the hashtag #trashtoterracotta on Instagram to see all the people who've been following her lead! 

Before



After
Geneva Vavanderzeil / DIY tutorial


This handy little tool can work wonders on old wooden furniture and decor items with a less than desirable stain (or paint job). If you're looking for a light, neutral, raw-looking finish, you might be surprised at the wood that could be lurking under a shiny, orange-hued layer of lacquer or a dark, mahogany stain. And if you do uncover a beautifully rustic and antiqued wood underneath but still want a protective top coat, I recommend using a water-based, matte polyurethane as it'll still look more raw plus the water-based poly's are less prone to yellowing than oil-based! Cynthia Harper is someone who is constantly making use of her orbital sander and going to town on anything from coffee tables to cheap, wooden bowls from her local thrift store that end up looking like chic, weathered, farmhouse bowls rather than .99 cent castaways. 


Cynthia Harper / Orbital Sander



It's been so fun to share these ideas with you. I hope you've discovered a DIY project you'd like to replicate in your own home! Are there any that stand out in particular?

It's a public holiday in Sweden today and Niki will be back on Sunday. She sends a 'stor kram' (big hug!).

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Ezz

Ezz Wilson is an interior and photo stylist and holistic home consultant based in Portland Oregon. You can find her over on instagram here

First picture by Christina Higgs / @forthehome

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7 Beautifully Simple Easter DIY Craft Ideas From Scandinavia

Easter is a few days away (here in Scandinavia it's one day earlier since they celebrate on Påskafton (Easter Saturday). This year, we may not be able to enjoy large family gatherings, and some traditions may need to be put on hold for another year, but we sure can decorate our homes and bring a pretty touch that will put a smile on our faces! So, if you feel like a little Påskpyssla (Easter crafting), here are 7 of my favourite beautifully simple DIY ideas from Scandinavia, with love: 


1. Eggs with crowns: Boiled eggs with happy faces and pretty crowns like these ones by Norwegian Engla Monica Strand are sure to light up everyone's faces come Easter Day morning! 

2. Naturally dyed eggs: Get creative with the contents of your food cupboard and dye your eggs all kinds of natural colours for a pretty display like Swedish stylist and florist Malin Björkholm. Check out this guide on how to make natural dye

3. Hang paper eggs from branches: Follow this YouTube guide to make pretty 3D paper eggs and hang them from branches like Elin Wallin

 4. Wire feathers to branches: channel a popular Swedish tradition and wire colourful feathers to birch branches for a pretty display like Swedish set designer Marianne Wikner!


5. Make an Easter wreath: Decorate your door or brighten up a corner of your home with a beautiful Easter wreath like this pretty one by Kristin Østebø. This YouTube tutorial offers a great step by step guide. 


6. Get crafting with leftover wallpaper: It's amazing what you can create with leftover wallpaper. Malin Mörner shares a lovely DIY here (remember her Christmas wallpaper DIY?!) and Frida Andersson has created pretty birds for a flight of fancy display! The original DIY for these birds is in the book Hidden Places - but if you haven't got time to pick up a copy, I reckon you could wing it (see what I did there?!) by using a bird template for the body and the DIY from Christmas Snöblomma for the wings. 

7. Brighten up your home with paper daffodils! Take a leaf (sorry!) out of Helen Lyth's book and make these pretty paper daffodils. You can find a step by step guide here (it's in Swedish but there's always good old google translate!). 


I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for your home this Easter. 

Are there any that caught your eye? 

You can find more Easter crafting ideas here: 


Wishing you a lovely day friends!

Niki

First picture by Anne Lemonfox and last picture by Malin Mörner

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Let it Glow: 5 Pretty Candle Displays You Can Make In An Instant!

The winter solstice 2019 will be at 05.19 this Sunday, 22nd December (counting down the seconds? You bet I am!). From then on, the days slowly get lighter - PHEW! Anyone else feeling a tiny bit relieved? In my mind, the only saving grace is that the darkness gives us an excuse to light candles, and lots of them, which makes for one very cosy home! On the dining table, in the window, by the sink. As long as there's nothing flammable nearby, there's no end to where you can add a little glow. Here are 5 of my favourite, simple DIY candle displays this winter! 

1. Swedish Advent ljusstake: two weeks ago, Per mentioned in this interview how much he loves the traditional Swedish 7-arm candelabra. I have to say, they do look very beautiful in the window (from the inside and out!). Sadly, they're not easy to find in all countries, but if you fancy something similar, why not make one yourself with different size vintage brass candleholders. So pretty! 

2. Jam jars and pine: everyone has a few jam jars lurking in a drawer - why not make use of them and create these simple tea light holders using garden twine and pine (if you don't feel like lopping them off your tree, ask for a few off cuts at your local Christmas tree market, I'm sure they'd be happy to help! 

3. Moss candleholders: no vintage brass candlesticks to hand? Fill glass jars with moss for an instant candleholder - twine and rosemary optional! Do keep an eye on them when lit though - especially if the moss is dry! 

4. Candles and pine in the window: you can't get more simple than white candles in jam jars and branches of pine laid across the windowsill - and it looks super cosy too! 

5. Simple DIY table wreath: A daily Something has shared this simple DIY candle wreath here. I love the idea of the delicate grey, tapered candles too - so elegant! Could this be something for your Christmas table?

Did anything catch your eye? I'm a big fan of moss and have already made a few candle holders with it at home (I also love to wrap moss around the bulb of hyacinths and amaryllis). 

A quick reminder to be really careful with candles - always blow them out when you leave the room and make sure your home is well ventilated! 

If you'd like a few more Christmas decorating ideas check out: 


There's also plenty of Scandinavian home tours all decked out for Christmas in the archive

Have a cosy day!

Niki

Credits: 1. Christina Strehlow 2. Linnea, Lovely Life 3. Source unknown - Pinterest (tips welcome!) 4. DIY Jewellery ideas (if this is not correct, please let me know!) 5. Pufik Homes 6. A Daily Something

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3 Beautiful Christmas Decorations You Can Make From Wallpaper!

If you've wallpapered your home in the last few years, the chances are, you'll have a few rolls left over - and its way too pretty to waste! Swedish photographer and stylist Malin Mörner (@poppyloveyou) and her daughter created these wonderful Christmas decorations using wallpaper from Boråstapeter. Think bunting, paper chains, and beautiful baubles that can be hung in the window or the branches of your Christmas tree! No wallpaper at home? Pick up some from Boråstapeter, vintage rolls*, or use heavyweight patterned paper instead! 

Bunting and paper chains


To make the bunting, gather wallpaper (Malin has used in Bloom 7203, Northern Stripes 6852, Graceful Stories 7274 and Northern stripes 6854 from Boråstapeter) scissors, string, paper, glue and clothes pegs - and then follow the step by step instructions here (in English!). 

For the paper chains you'll need wallpaper (as above), scissors, a stapler or sticky tape. The instructions can be found here

Paper baubles:


The kit required to make these baubles includes: wallpaper (these ones have been made using Thistle 7203, Harvest Stripe 6854, Rosenvinge 4501 and Dusk Green 7981 from Boråstapeter), wire, a hole punch, wire cutters, round-nose pliers, wooden beads, jute twine and scissors. Once gathered, hop over here to follow the step by step instructions (in English!).  



Aren't these pretty?!

I actually have a few rolls of wallpaper knocking about at home and might give these a whirl! Could be fun to do with the girls! 

Could you imagine making these?

See more pretty Christmas inspiration from Malin Mörner over on her instagram here - and check out the complete Boråstapeter wallpaper collection here

FYI this is not sponsored in anyway, I just loved the idea and thought you might feel inspired by it too! 

If you're in the mood for crafting, there are a load more Christmas decoration ideas here

Niki

Photography Malin Mörner for Boråstapeter

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10 Simple DIY Christmas Decorations Made From Nature!




FRIDAY friends, FRIDAY! And this weekend is going to be a cosy one - I can feel it! Not only did we have our first little flurry of snow in Malmö today (it didn't settle, but still...), the first Sunday of Advent is a hop, skip and a jump away which means we can start to decorate our homes for Christmas - OK, we all know I've already started but now it's official! This year I'm planning on making my own decorations. But there's a catch. I'm time poor and well.... I'm not super great at DIY. Also, it's still early in the game and I kind of like to start with subtle decorations - and then gradually build up to the big day. Sound familiar but on board? I've scoured the web for the prettiest, most simple Scandinavian DIY Christmas decorations I could find. Here are ten of my favourites - and they're all made from nature and super quick and easy to make! Ready to deck the halls with boughs of.... pinecones, fir tree branches and dried orange garlands?! Let's dive in!

1. These pretty fir tree stars / snowflakes look so pretty in the window. Use a little thread or thin wire to bind them together to form a star, add a little ribbon and they're ready to hang!

Beth Kirby
2. Sometimes it needn't be more complicated than a few sprigs from a fir tree and an old rope (beautiful rustic barn door optional!).

Bjørn Johan Stenersen
3. Little fir tree branches tied together with gardening twine - hang vertically or across wall to bring a wintery feel and a sweet smell of pine to your home!


4. I have pinecones all around my home at this time of the year - but I don't have any strung together as Christmas decorations. Time to get on the case, don't you think?


Weekday Carnival

5. A branch in a vase - why complicate things? (OK, you could throw in a candle and an ornament or two too).

Kelly Brown
6. Orang garlands are surprisingly easy to make, smell divine and if they look as pretty as the one in this picture, I'm all in! There's a great tutorial here


7. Got a few dried orange slices left over? Use them for pretty Christmas tree ornaments like A Clean Bee.

Louise Roe Copenhagen
8. I think I might have shared this one before, but hey, it's so pretty and so timely with the first Sunday of advent coming up that I couldn't resist including. A tray, 4 block candles and a load of cinnamon sticks, mini pinecones and eucalyptus branches is all that's needed!

Pomponetti
9. Moving one step on from number 2 - this fir tree branch has been spruced (sorry!) up with a garland of wooden stars (source similar here*) for a subtle, festive display.

The Merry Thought
10. This one is kind of like number 3 (OK, very alike!) - but slightly more formal arrangement and I like the way it's been hung. Pine needles at the ready... here's the tutorial.

I hope you found some of these ideas inspiring and it's given you a little inspiration for the weekend!

There's load more Christmas DIY, decorating and home tour inspiration in this archive! And here's the link to the Swedish Christmas snöblomma DIY again (in case you missed it!).

I'm so looking forward to a toasty few days here in Southern Sweden and rumour has it that the sun might come out for the first time in weeks.

Have a cosy weekend friends!

Niki

*This post contains one or two affiliate links which means if you click on an item and buy it, I might earn a very small amount of money - perhaps enough for a pepparkaka ginger snap biscuit with my tea!

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Simple Easter Table DIY: Bunny Ear Napkins




If you're looking to do something a little extra this Easter but don't have much time - these bunny ear napkins are so easy to make and look super cute on the table!
THE KIT

- Square napkin (any material - even paper works!)
- An egg (you may like to opt for different colours for each place setting). 
- String or ribbon
- Scissors (for cutting string)
- Baby's breath or other pretty flowers (optional!)

THE KNOW-HOW:


And that's it! Five minutes and you'll have an entire table of bunnies!

Here are mine in action on our Easter table.

Wishing you a lovely Easter break!


PS I'll be back here early next week. 

PS Don't forget to enter the spring give-away to win a TRIWA watch!


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Is Embroidery the New Avocado Toast?!

In my Lagom book I talk about the importance of swapping screen time for analogue activities such as reading, writing a diary and handiwork before bedtime in order to feel more relaxed, doze off quicker and enjoy an improved quality of sleep. So you can imagine how excited I was to see embroidery popping up more in the social media sphere! Pinterest, Instagram (6 million hits!), blogs, DIY magazines, you name it. For those of you shuddering as you cast your mind back to a cold classroom with pricked fingers - fear not, we're talking embroidery with a modern twist and a Swedish start-up has you covered! Founded by Sofia Magnusson, The Folklore Company combines the digital world with old school cross stitch embroidery, meaning that anyone who hasn't done a cross-stitch since primary school can still enjoy the mindful activity and create something wall-worthy too! How fab is that?!


When Marielle at The Folklore Company first approached me I was quick to notice you can buy ready made embroidery patterns too - the 'busy' person in me was incredibly tempted! But then I realised I'd be missing out on the whole relaxation side  plus I'd never find out if embroidery truly was the new avocado toast! I fired off a mail with my concerns and was assured: "it’s really not hard to embroider your own, it’s a little time consuming but a very soothing activity, which is made even more cozy with a cup of tea."

Being a Brit, she had me at the tea. Here's how I got on:

1.  Selecting the pattern. The Design Editor offers a large variety of patterns ranging from more traditional flowers and lace to swallows, hearts and even unicorns! I went for the The Malta pattern - which is one of their best sellers since it's a relative simple pattern (best not to run before I crawl!). 


2.  Selecting the colour: I opted for the pewter grey thread, which I'm really pleased with. On the home run I exchanged one of the birds for a pink thread which I found at home. I think it added a nice little twist do you?!
3. Adding your text, favourite quote or poem: (remember the longer it is the more hours it will take, but then again, the task is not meant to be rushed and March is one looong month!). 
4. Choosing the text style: I chose the Primus Script as I kind of wanted the juxtaposition of the modern quote with the traditional lettering.
5. Ordering the kit: The embroidery kit contains everything you need to get started right away including a needle, fabric, yarn and pattern but I kind of got carried away and ordered the pretty peacock scissors (was tempted with the Eiffel tower ones too), a wooden embroidery hoop, and a thimble!

6. The process: I was so grateful for the very straight forward instructions and the embroidery was truly therapeutic (it's a perfect activity for a long journey, wiling away a few hours at the weekend or simply kicking back in the evenings!).


Once finished I placed the fabric in a black frame and hung it on my bedroom wall! I have to say, I'm so happy with the result!


Keen to make your own? All the information you need to get started is right here
- and the fab team are offering you 15% discount with the code: 15%SCANDINAVIAN up until 31st March. You The Folklore Team girls rock!


Don't forget to share a picture of your masterpiece using the hashtag #folklorecompany, we'd love to see it!


Thank you to the fab girls at The Folklore Company for setting me on the embroidery path and sponsoring this post - I'm already wondering what pattern to create next. Something for my daughter's room perhaps?! Watch this space!


Photography credits: 1 (montage) & 2 courtesy of The Folklore Company / 3, 4 & 5: Niki Brantmark - My Scandinavian Home.

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