Headphones are my mode of survival on crowded T commutes – if I can ever find them in my oversized tote, that is. But this DIY is a game changer. Bright, easy to find, and tangle-free, this boho-chic headphone upgrade actually has me looking forward to that subway ride. Well… kind of.

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August 7, 2013

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1. These DIY bracelet how-tos are enough to keep us busy (and stylish) for months.

2. We can’t wait to try out these nail-art looks. It’s high time we stocked up on some polish…

3. Because a homemade card always takes the cake.

4. Now we have (many) reasons to use all those bottles and mason jars we’ve been saving.

5. Next day off? We’re attempting a whole bunch of these DIYs.

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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March 19, 2013

BLG-1320--Suitcases-as-Coffee-Tables

This spring, I’m all about repurposing what I have lying around my apartment. My current obsession? Suitcases that act as more than just travel accessories. Vintage or antique luggage can double as eye-catching coffee tables (and more). Here are some of the best ways to incorporate these pieces into your design scheme:

Front and center: With only a beginner-level know-how when it comes to using a power drill, a suitcase can be easily transformed into a statement-making piece of furniture. Check out this stylish DIY and put the finished product somewhere where guests can ooh and ahh over it (in the living room or at the foot of your bed).

Shelf it: Smaller pieces of luggage can act as mounted wall shelves, simultaneously livening up an entryway or home office and creating extra storage space (an added bonus when you can walk the length of your apartment in 30 seconds or less).

Dress(er) it up: I adore the mix-and-match look of these dresser drawers, though it definitely qualifies as a weekend project and then some. Actually, I might need some vacation days for this one. (Worth it.)

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

Would you transform your old suitcases into furniture? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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March 7, 2013

1. Things Organized Neatly
This is one way to get us motivated to clean up.

2. deliciously organized
Part organizational tips and part lifestyle, this blog has us admiring all the pretty things.

3. IHeart Organizing
Our goal for the new year? To put these DIY tips to good use.

4. Thrifty Decor Chick
Décor ideas that won’t break the budget? Sign us up.

Who are we missing? Tell us on Twitter at @ruelala #bloggerswelove. 

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December 20, 2012

 

From velvet minidresses (1990s-inspired, of course) to velvet leggings (in a bevy of hues), this rich fabric is on my holiday must list. But even if you’re not quite ready to go all-out with velvet, it’s easy to incorporate this plush, seasonal fabric in a subtler way – just check out the Ciaté “Berry Poncho” manicure below.

 

The polish is available at Sephora and includes step-by-step directions. But, if you ask me, this tutorial on Ciaté’s website is even better.

A few tips:

1. Paint each nail with two coats of polish. Immediately after adding the second coat, powder on the
velvet – it will hold to the polish much longer.
2. Put some velvet powder in the “catch-all” tray provided and roll each nail in it, making sure to coat the nail completely.
3. Place some paper towels underneath your manicure station, because that velvet dust will wander.
4. DO NOT DO YOUR MANI NEAR A FAN! (See wandering velvet dust, above.)
5. Get used to friends asking to pet your nails – it’s going to happen more than you’d think.

By Carolyn Schultz, Staff Writer

What’s your go-to holiday manicure? Share it in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 17, 2012

It’s a fact: I don’t have room for a Christmas tree in my tiny studio. So, I thought I’d compensate by making a tree-oriented home decoration. Supplies are somewhat hard to come by in the city, so I was forced to go foraging through the park. Apparently, scouring the ground and carrying a bundle of twigs in your arms warrants strangers looking at you like you’re the pigeon lady from Home Alone 2, so after I found a few good ones, I called it quits and retreated to my apartment to see what I could make of my findings.

With the help of fishing line, some paint, and the Glee Christmas soundtrack, I created my holiday twig mobile. Here’s how:

What you’ll need:
• 3 – 6 twigs in varying sizes
• Acrylic paint (metallic or colored)
• Paintbrush
• Fishing line

Directions:
1.
Collect an array of twigs in varied sizes. I suggest choosing ones with several small branches for a more interesting visual effect.
2. Paint each twig the color of your choice and allow to dry. (I used an off-white base then finished the tips with gold spray paint.) Paint them all a different color, or go the enchanting metallic route.
3. Lay them out on the floor as you would like them positioned in the mobile, descending in size from top to bottom.
4. Cut a piece of fishing line and tie to both ends of the top stick. Make sure it’s long enough to have a little slack to use as a hanger.
5. For convenience and to achieve the right balance, hang this section up before you continue.
6. Decide whether you want your mobile to hang down straight or to spin (mine hangs straight). Then, start by tying one piece of line to each end of the first stick.
6A. Straight mobile: Connect the loose ends to the lower sticks like rungs of a ladder.
6B. Spinning mobile: Tie the loose ends around the mid-section of the stick below.
7. Continue to connect your sticks in this fashion, adding as many sticks as you like (as long as the mobile stays balanced).

By Grace Romanowsky of Valenki By ACE, Staff Writer

How did your road test fare? Share it in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 6, 2012

 

You know how, as a child, you never believed your parents when they told you that good things come in small packages? Well, here’s some evidence that could have been handy back when you were nine years old. Use these homemade holiday crackers to decorate each place setting at your next dinner party, and send each guest home with a little memento of the night.

What you’ll need:
– Decorative wrapping paper
– A cardboard paper towel roll
– A surprise to hide inside
– Tape
– Curling ribbon
– Scissors

Directions:
1. Cut wrapping paper into 7″ x 14″ strips.
2. Split cardboard paper towel roll evenly in half (this will make two crackers).
3. Fill the tube with a small trinket like nail polish, a piece of costume jewelry, a lottery ticket, or a few chocolates.
4. Roll the wrapping paper around the tube and secure it with a piece of tape in the middle.
5. Gather the excess wrapping paper on both ends of the tube, pinch, and tie a double knot with curling ribbon.
6. Curl the ribbon ends using a pair of scissors.

To open, pull one end while a friend pulls the other until the tube bursts and reveals the surprise inside!

By Grace Romanowsky of Valenki By ACE, Staff Writer

How did your road test fare? Share it in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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November 29, 2012

 

 

Snowflakes, twinkle lights, seasonal lattes. Sigh. Let’s face it: this time of year, we’re all just a little bit enchanted by the holiday magic unfolding around us – for about a day. Then comes the stress of finding the perfect gift, the sleep deprivation (courtesy of a surplus of eggnog martinis at the office party), the holiday-specific weight gain…

Before you have a ho-ho-holiday meltdown, try one of these stress-busting remedies to keep your sanity (and festive cheer) intact.

Opt for a specialty pedicure. Be honest. After a long day of shopping, what sounds better than an indulgent pedi? A hot-chocolate pedicure, that’s what. Not only is this a great way to unwind, it’s also more or less the only way to satisfy dessert cravings, sans guilt.

Try a DIY hair treatment. All of that blow-drying and styling may make for a pretty holiday photo, but the end result could be perpetually frazzled locks. Instead of trying to consolidate all of your Thanksgiving leftovers into a potluck casserole, turn them into a rejuvenating beauty treatment for your scalp instead. Pumpkin hair mask? Please and thank you.

Switch up your workout routine. When your endless to-dos stretch longer than Santa’s naughty-or-nice list, exercising can seem less than appealing. Make your holiday workout more fun than obligatory this season. Been meaning to try hip-hop yoga? Zumba? Go for it. Exercise is so much better when it treads into dance party territory.

Cut corners. Stress eating runs rampant during the holidays – so employ little tricks to avoid putting on additional pounds this season. At your next dinner party, fill a small plate with food instead of indulging in larger portions. Skip your morning latte and opt for a cup of black coffee with half-and-half instead. If you feel a sugar craving coming on, pick up a mini-sized desert – they’re cuter anyway.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

What are your tips for keeping calm during the holidays? Share them in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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November 29, 2012

Photo Credit: Handle the Heat

For years, Mason jars have been used to preserve food – but this holiday season, they’re adding gifting to their resume. Filled with sweet mixes, these old-fashioned, glass containers (which can be found at your local craft store) make for the perfect party favors and Yankee swap presents – just add a gift tag.

Spa Jars
Fact: the holidays can be stressful, so give tired coworkers and shopped-out friends (who knew there was such a thing?), a little rest and relaxation with these homemade candy cane bath salts and oatmeal cookie scrubs.

A Mason Jar Manicure
Filled to the brim with nail polish, cotton balls, and sparkles, this Mason jar has everything needed for an at-home manicure – and what young girl wouldn’t want that?

Contained Cocoa
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate during the winter? With all the fixings for a perfect cup of cocoa (from sugar and marshmallows to a jar to drink it out of), this gift is always a hit.

The Mini Sewing Kit
With a built-in pincushion, this Mason-jar-turned-sewing-kit has aspiring designer written all over it.

Candle-in-a-Jar
Candles have always been a gifting go-to for me, and these Mason jar versions give the holiday staple a thoughtful DIY spin. Plus, you get to choose a personalized scent the recipient is sure to love.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

How are you gifting Mason jars this holiday season? Share your ideas in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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November 28, 2012

Easy, trendy, and cheap – I’m so on board. Cue some music, get your creative DIY juices flowing, and follow these step-by-step instructions to make this of-the-moment look all yours.

 



Necessities:

10 standard silver cone-shaped studs (I bought a 50-pack of these little beauties at studsandspikes.com for less then $3 before tax. What? That’s right.)

1 collared shirt (ideally one with a bit of sturdiness to it – that way the collar will keep its shape under the added weight of the studs)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare a flat working space.
  2. Place a pincushion or washcloth (or anything plush you don’t mind poking holes in – in my case, an oven mitt) underneath the collar.
  3. Position the first stud on the corner of the collar and push it through the fabric, pressing the stud arms into the cushion. The difficulty here will depend on the thickness of the fabric – but those little arms are pretty sharp, so you’ll get the hang of it either way.
  4. Now, take the blunt end of a kitchen knife (or pliers if you want to get fancy) and push the stud arms down, locking the stud into place like a staple. And voilà, your first stud is in.
  5. Repeat this process as desired. Use a measuring tape in between studs for precision.

 

Studs vary in size, shape, and color. So, depending on how much of that angsty youth you’re interested in channeling – from flat gold studs on black smoking flats to severe spikes on the shoulders of a leather jacket – you can make up for lost time for under three bucks. Just know, there’s no going back.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Have a great DIY idea? Share it in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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November 16, 2012