Photos, posters, artwork… Some things lend themselves to framing and mounting—but what about houseplants? Epiphytes, like the popular staghorn fern, are perfectly suited to the framing treatment as they draw water and nutrients from the surrounding air (read: no soil required!). Store-bought mounted ferns can be costly, but you can easily create your own at home with a few supplies and a little elbow grease. Here's how:
1) For this project, you'll need a mounting surface, typically a wood board or plaque or a shallow crate. You'll also need clear fishing line, a picture-hanging kit, sphagnum moss, nails, and, of course, a staghorn fern.
2) Lay your mounting surface on a table, then hammer four nails into its front, in the shape of a square.
3) Wet your moss, then wring out extra moisture. Create a moss "bed" for your fern in the area between the four nails. Position your fern upon the moss, then wrap fishing wire around the nails and across the fern to affix it to the board.
For the rest of the tutorial, click though to How To Mount a Staghorn Fern on Apartment Therapy.
You want to fill your home's walls with art, but anyone who has ever tried to get something framed knows just how pricey it can be. Luckily, there are a number of great alternatives to professional framing that will still help you to show off your art in an attractive way. Here are just a few smart tips for framing art on the cheap.
- Use an online framing service. Nowadays you can do just about anything online, including framing your art. Browse the web for online framing services like Framebridge and in just a few business days, you'll receive a beautifully framed art print in the mail — often for less than $50!
- Stock up on frames. If you prefer to frame your art on your own, stock up on affordable frames at craft stores or thrift shops. You'll often find secondhand, mass-produced frames backed with craft paper and foam, but don't worry; those can be easily removed.
- Remove the backing. If you do happen to find a great deal on a secondhand frame with built-in backing, remove the layer of craft paper by pulling out the staples or simply cutting it out. Next, remove the inner layer of foam or cardboard by again removing any nails or staples.
- Add a mat. Whether you disassembled your own secondhand frame or bought one new, at this point you'll want to add a mat to create a professional look. You can purchase a mat at any craft store, so long as you carefully measure both the size of your frame (for the mat's outer edge) and the size of the print (for the mat's inside edge).
- Clean the glass. Finally, clean the glass thoroughly and let it dry before placing it back in the frame. If you removed the backing, add your own backing with more craft paper and either glue or staples.
Frugal Living: How To Frame Your Art on the Cheap [Apartment Therapy]
Don't have a traditional dining room table? You'll be happy to know that there are still a number of other ways to have your friends over for dinner. Here are a few smart tips for hosting a dinner party even without a dining room.
- Think buffet-style. Avoid the sit-down feel right from the beginning by serving your food buffet style. This not only embraces the lack of a traditional dining room, it even makes it more fun.
- Plan the menu accordingly. Since you don't have a large table, you'll want to avoid a really formal meal. This isn't the time for prime rib and multiple sides; rather, it's the perfect opportunity for a taco bar, a heaping bowl of pasta or dress-them-yourself burgers.
- Embrace your outdoor space. If your rental comes equipped with its own private outdoor space (or even a shared outdoor area), it's the perfect opportunity to take your meal al fresco. Bring along a tablecloth, a few candles for ambiance and some recyclable plates that don't require much clean-up.
- Take it to the floor. Toss some comfortable throw pillows around your living room and instruct your friends to gather around the coffee table.
- Turn it into a theme night. If you're worried about the informal feel of eating on your couch with guests, turn your dinner party into a cozy theme. Pop in a movie for a laid-back movie night, or grab some board games for a dinner-party-turned-game-night.
If you think you need to venture to the bar to find a unique, tasty cocktail, think again. You can easily mix up your own creative cocktails and mocktails in the comfort of your own home. The most important part of a great drink is how long the flavor lingers in your mouth. You want to intrigue your taste buds and mind after the sip goes down. These tips are sure to leave a unique, lasting flavor on your tongue.
- Choose a good quality base liquor or flavor of your cocktail.
- Use a generous amount of the base spirit.
- Mix in a tart or sweet ingredient such as lime juice, simple syrup, or liqueur. Remember to keep it simple and balanced, as this will make the flavors last in your mouth.
- Add a few drops of bitters or a hydrosol, such as rosewater, to add aromatics to your drink.
- A cocktail that contains delicate flavors or ingredients should be stirred. Be sure to shake any cocktail containing juice or egg whites.
- To avoid diluting your drink, use larger ice cubes that will melt at a slower pace. In your glass, the ice should be visible about the alcohol line.
- Take some time to make your cocktail look presentable. A simple lemon twist can add a touch of elegance to your drink.
From A Genius Mixologist: The Only Ratio You Need For Perfect Cocktails [Fast Company]
How to make cocktails: follow these 10 golden rules [The Guardian]
How to Make Perfect Cocktails [Williams-Sonoma Taste]
While the idea of adding houseplants in your home seems nice, it can sometimes be more difficult than it seems. If you’re ready to throw in the towel (or, rather, the gardening gloves) and accept your non-green thumb, don’t quit just yet: these low-maintenance plants are perfect for people just like you.
- Pothos. Perhaps the most common indoor houseplant, the hearty pothos plant is almost impossible to kill. It thrives in almost any type of light, and it will even grow in long, trailing stems from the ceiling all the way to the floor.
- Spider plant. This plant gets it name because it is shaped like the legs of a spider, and because it works best in medium lighting, it’s ideal for just about any room in your apartment home at Windemere at Tallgrass.
- Areca palm. If you’re looking for a large plant that will make a bit more of an impact, the Areca palm is a great choice. It's very large and vibrant, but it doesn’t require much care.
- English ivy. For something with a classic look, English ivy is just as beautiful as it is low-maintenance. This is an especially great choice for homes with air conditioning, because it prefers lower temperatures.
- Jade plant. If you love succulents (and going weeks between waterings), the thick, sturdy jade plant is for you.
The 15 easiest indoor house plants that won't die on you [Today]
The 13 Houseplants You Can't Kill [Good Housekeeping]
7 Easy-to-Care-for Houseplants [Woman’s Day]
If you’re having a hard time getting a handle on your finances, you might like to get a bit more insight into exactly what type of person you are when it comes to your money. Do you prefer saving your money for a rainy day, or are you the type of person to splurge on an investment item? These fun online quizzes will help you find out!
Spender or Saver?
This straightforward quiz from 7th Mind asks questions about your payday behavior, your credit cards, and your debt in order to determine your spending (and saving) habits. It’s a psychology-based quiz, so expect to gain some insight into how your habits reflect on your personality.
What Kind of Spender Are You?
The Mint’s spending and saving quiz is a bit more in-depth, asking more specific questions and offering a wider variety of answers to really gauge your spending behavior. Because this site is all about financial planning, it also offers some resources that you might find useful once you get your results.
Are You a Spender or a Saver?
Get your finances under control with a bit of help from Money Matters to Me’s spending and saving quiz. If you’re interested in how your own spending habits affect your household and how you might be able to save a bit more here and there, this is the quiz for you!
If you’re looking for a way to add extra storage space to your current freezer, these smart tips may be of service.
- Know what to freeze. Start streamlining what you freeze in the first place by knowing what will last and what won’t. In general, leafy vegetables, dairy products, and fried foods are not meant to freeze.
- Separate items into portions. If you’re freezing something that would otherwise stick together after freezing, such as chicken breasts or soup, separate it into serving-sized portions so that you can easily thaw only the part that you need.
- Use containers. Instead of piling all of your food into one large pile in the freezer, invest in freezer-safe storage containers from the local home goods store.
- Use labels. Label everything in the freezer, from individual food items (unless they’re still in the original packaging) to your storage containers.
- Mind the door. The door of the freezer is the warmest part, so don’t store things that can easily melt on its shelves. Save this space for less delicate foods, such as nuts, alcohol, or frozen fruits.
Fridge and Freezer Organization [The Container Store]
The Best Way to Organize Your Freezer [The Kitchn]
8 Better Ways to Keep Your Freezer Super-Organized [Good Housekeeping]
Do you have a well-made but outdated piece of furniture in your home that you hate to throw away? Luckily, it’s easy to transform that ugly wooden chair or banged-up dresser into something fresh and modern with only a simple coat of paint. Here are a few tips that will save you money on new furniture by showing you how to re-vamp your existing pieces.
- Sand it thoroughly. One of the most important steps when painting furniture is to completely remove the old stain or paint first. Sand the entire piece with a medium-grit sandpaper on an electric sander, or if you don’t own one, get to sanding by hand—just make sure you don’t sand too much and damage the wood underneath.
- Wipe off the residue. After sanding, wipe the entire surface using a tack cloth designed specifically to remove sawdust.
- Prime the piece. Some people say that you don’t need to prime a piece of furniture, but if there’s a chance that the wood might be laminate, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Purchase a primer designed for your specific needs and smooth it on with a foam roller.
- Paint. Apply at least three coats of paint using a different foam roller, allowing at least eight hours of drying time between coats. Once the third coat dries, your furniture will look like new!
The 5 Biggest Mistakes You Make When Painting Furniture [Country Living]
Paint Makeovers: An Expert Tells All [Bob Villa]
Quick Furniture Makeovers for Fashionable Results [Benjamin Moore]
From the refrigerator to the shower, it seems like there’s nothing that baking soda can’t freshen up. Here are just three great ways to incorporate baking soda into your cleaning routine.
- Freshen the fridge. This is by far the easiest way to clean with baking soda, as it really doesn’t involve any cleaning at all. Simply place an opened container of baking soda in the refrigerator, and it will naturally absorb odors and help keep your fridge smelling fresh.
- Unclog a drain. Measure 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar, then pour each down the drain separately. They will immediately create a bubbling effect and help clear up a clogged drain.
- Remove spots on your walls. If you have scratches and marks on your light-colored walls, mix baking soda and water to create a solution that will remove them with ease. Simply soak up the solution with a soft cloth and get to scrubbing.
21 Cleaning Problems You Can Solve With Baking Soda [Good Housekeeping]
Clean Your Whole House with Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon [Earth 911]
Top 10 Cleaning Uses for Baking Soda! [Clean My Space]
Want to get in on the industrial-chic trend? You can inject the cool, hip home decor style into your space at Windemere at Tallgrass with help from these popular retailers. A bit of distressed metal here, a dash of reclaimed wood there, and your cozy rental will take on the big-city loft vibe that you’ve always wanted!
Dot & Bo
Although this popular online home goods retailer is best known for its affordable selection of mid-century modern furnishings, it’s also a great resource for finding industrial furniture pieces that look like they came straight from a converted warehouse. Browse metal pendant lights, concrete planters, and even Parsons desks with perfectly weathered wood tops.
This affordable, eclectic housewares store offers an impressive selection of industrial-inspired furniture items that includes wooden beds, coffee tables on rolling casters, and metal bar carts perfect for entertaining.
The name says it all at this popular online retailer. Industrial Home carries what it describes as “a vintage twist on modern industrial living,” which includes a great selection of antique-inspired light fixtures, warm leather sofas and rugged, wooden dining tables that offer that signature loft feel.
You’re not exactly a pack rat, but you definitely have more than a few items in the back of your closet that you haven’t looked at in a few years. Most people would say that their homes could benefit from a bit of de-cluttering, and these helpful tips will show you just how to do it.
- Keep papers within reach. By keeping papers within eyesight, you’ll be more likely to deal with your paper mess before it accumulates into something much more difficult to manage.
- Ask a few questions. When you’re going through the items in your home, ask yourself questions like: Have I used this in the past year? Does this benefit my life? Is it broken? If, so can I fix it? If you say no to most of these questions, put it in the donation pile.
- Create a donation pile. Speaking of that donation pile, start one! You’ll feel a lot less guilty about getting rid of your unused items if you know they’re going to someone who will really appreciate them.
- Clear off surfaces. After you clean out hidden spaces like closets and under the bed, make a rule that you’ll always keep surfaces like counters and desks free of clutter. Not only will your home feel more organized, this will ensure that it looks more organized, as well.
18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess [Zen Habits]
25 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter [Good Housekeeping]
Keep or Toss: Questions & Tips to Help You Declutter [Apartment Therapy]
Some of the best bargains on unique, beautiful fabrics can be found online. Here are just three of the best online resources for designer fabrics for all of your craft projects.
With an easy-to-navigate website that’s almost as beautiful as its large inventory of designer fabrics, it’s easy to see why Spoonflower is one of the most popular online fabric retailers. Designed by indie artists, fabrics are available in designs like tribal prints, geometric patterns, and minimalist flowers, as well as children’s prints perfect for the little ones.
The go-to online hub of anything crafty and handmade, Etsy is also a great resource for designer fabrics. Because the site contains so many individual sellers, you’ll find something for just about any style or project.
Fabric.com sells a wide selection of name brand designers like Liberty of London, Kaufman, and Minky, as well as quilting fabrics and unique textures that may be difficult to find anywhere else. Browse the site by brand name, type of fabric, or even pattern and color, and be sure to check out the impressive clearance section if you’re on a budget.
Tossing some throw pillows onto your sofa seems like a no-brainer, but if you want to create a designer-worthy look, it requires a little effort. Here are a few genius ways to choose the right pillows and arrange them on your couch in the most flattering way.
- Create symmetry. Begin by choosing two anchor pillows in a pattern or shade that matches the rest of your sofa. These will go on either end to create a balanced effect.
- Mix and match. To avoid a drab look, choose a few more pillows in varying shapes, sizes and patterns, keeping in mind the main color that ties it all together.
- Add texture. Add at least one textured pillow in a fabric like faux fur, cable knit, or velvet.
- Use odd numbers. Most designers agree that using an odd number of pillows is usually best, as it helps you to create a lived-in look that is easy to rearrange again and again. Line them up across the whole sofa, or add more on one side and less on the other.
- Think of the sofa’s usage. If your sofa has to accommodate a large number of people, choose smaller pillows or use less of them. If it’s more for show, feel free to go wild with pillows.
9 Pointers for Perfectly Styled Pillows [Houzz]
Throw Pillows: 4 Tips to Style Your Sofa [HuffPost Home]
Tips On Choosing Throw Pillows [DécorLove]
Incorporating throw pillows into your bedroom or living room is a cheap and easy way to update a home’s decor, but with the overwhelming number of options, it may be intimidating to choose the perfect ones. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best throw pillows for your space.
- Consider the size. Are you purchasing throw pillows for a standard-sized couch or your king-sized bed? The size of the space makes a big difference when choosing the perfect pillows, so be sure to consider sizes before purchasing. Eighteen-inch square pillows are best suited for a bed or sofa, while oversized pillows of 24 inches or larger create a more lounge-style feel in a living room.
- Choose a color scheme. Black and white throw pillows create a mod effect, while bright shades of pink, green, or blue liven up a drab space. Even if you plan on purchasing patterned pillows, stick with one singular color scheme for a designer-worthy look.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Get creative by mixing and matching different sizes, shapes, and patterns. If you stick to your chosen color scheme, it’s easy to pull off a more eclectic look.
- Add pillows in unexpected places. Toss some large, cushion-style pillows on the floor, add some in a window nook, or place one on a desk chair for a cozy feel.
Decorating With Throw Pillows [Real Simple]
Tips On Choosing Throw Pillows [Décor Love]
How to Choose Decorative Pillows for the Living Room [Overstock]