Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

A picture of the rack

As an avid magazine reader (who says print is dead?), I amass a lot of magazines – making my coffee table cluttered and making me look like a slob when company comes over. I also never really want to part with them; reading an article I had skipped previously, or referring back to them later on. An Ikea trip soon gave me a bit of needed inspiration to put together this super simple wall-mounted magazine rack.

What you’ll need:
– RIBBA picture ledge
– GRUNDTAL rail, stainless steel
– Drill
– Pencil

Step 1: Place the Picture Ledge

You’ll want to place the RIBBA picture ledge where you want it and make sure it’s level. Once you have it how you want it, take a pencil and use it to mark where the screw-holes are. Remove the ledge and take your drill and drill holes on your markings to make it easier for the drill to put the screw in the wall. You can now re-place the ledge and use the drill to put in your screws, keeping the picture ledge in place.

Step 2: Place the Rail

You’ll want to do the same thing you did with the picture ledge with the rail. Again you’re going to have to place it (I used one of my magazines to stage it to see how it’d look), mark the screw holes with your pencil, and use your drill to make the holes to make the screws go in easier. Screw in the rail, and you’re done!

This is a simple, 20-minute job that makes a big difference! Gotta love when something has style AND function. Did you give it a shot? Did things a little differently? Sound off in the comments and let us know how it turned out.

Have the DYI bug? Look at our archives for more great projects!


I have to say I admire my best friend’s determination to not let her wedding break the bank.  She and her fiancé have made a pact to not let each other go overboard with wedding plans, and to not be in debt by the time the wedding’s over this coming August.  Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s ready to sacrifice on style or glamour.

So… let the DIY begin!

Once the dress was picked and the venue was booked, we moved our attention over to flowers.  Professionally assembled bouquets can cost hundreds of dollars… and they only last a few days.  Instead, we decided to put our craft skills to the test and assemble brooch bouquets.  These stunning pieces last a lifetime, and cost as little as $20 to assemble.

A quick visit to the hardware store and a few ebay sprees later, we were ready to blossom.

Here’s what you’ll need:

brooch bouquets

–          Lots and lots of brooches. Make sure they match your wedding colors!

–          Faux fabric flowers (get them cheap at the dollar store). Again, colors are important. You want these to be subtle.

–          Spools of 0.8mm steel wire.

–          Fabric tape

–          A 12-inch ruler

–          Pliers

–          A power drill

–          Silk or lace fabric

Step 1: Measure it.

Measure about 24 inches of steel wire, cut it, and fold it in half. Do this two more times.

Note: The length here can vary. At 24 inches, it’ll give you a “stem” about 10-11 inches long once complete.  You can make these shorter or longer, depending on the person who’ll be carrying the bouquet.

Step 2: Thread it.

Thread the three steel wires through different locations on the brooch. Make sure you to this only in/on sturdy sections to prevent damaging the brooch! We broke a few brooches discovering this, so it might not be a bad idea to start off with the not-so-special brooches until you get the hang of it.

Note: for smaller brooches, two steel wires might be sufficient

Step 3: Do the twist!

Bunch up all the loose wires, and use pliers to trim them to exactly the same length. Then, tighten the wire tips through the drill and slowly twist the bunch until the wires form a solid, sturdy stem.

Alternative: If you don’t have a drill, this step can be done by hand.  Twist each (doubled-over) wire on its own, and then twist the three strands together.

Step 4: Tape it.

Use the pliers to flatten out any sharp edges that might be on the tip of the stem, then tape the entire length of the stem from the top down.

Ta-Da! You now have a brooch on a stem.

brooch bouquets

Step 5: Repeat!

Depending on the number of bouquets you’re assembling… you’ll be repeating the steps above anywhere from 20 to 100 times. Why not get the girls together for an arts & crafts night! Put on a movie, pour some wine, and assemble brooches together. Fun!

Step 6: Assemble it

brooch bouquets

Once all your brooches are done, it’s time to assemble the bouquet.  You’ll want to experiment here with what works best for you.  Since the colors for this wedding are white and blue, we decided to go with white felt roses as the base, with white/silver brooches and a hint of blue ones.

When you’re happy with your bouquet, tape the stems together and then wrap the lace fabric around the entire stem.


We purchased all the brooches for $1-$3 on ebay, shipping included.  Since we used varying amounts of brooches in each bouquet, prices varied but here’s a close estimate:

– Bride’s bouquet: 20 brooches, $35.00

– Maid of honor: 15 brooches, $25.00

– Bridesmaids (times 5): 5-10 brooches, $10-15

Flowers for the entire wedding party: under $200.00


– If your brooches are gold instead of silver, you’ll want to use gold-colored wire to make sure the colors blend!

– Try to purchase brooches that represent your ladies’ personalities! You can find brooches of different animals, hobbies, sports, or even movies and TV Shows! As long as they match your colors, this adds a personal touch that real flowers just can’t offer.

– For an added bit of glamour, try draping pearl necklaces, earrings, or sequins from the edges of the bouquet. (Of course this can also drive your costs up!)

– These are pretty heavy… so just keep that in mind if you’re planning on throwing the bouquet during the reception! You might want to have your guests wear safety glasses or be ready to duck!

Looking for more savings? Use these as centerpieces!

Ready to check another item off your to-do list without adding any extra cost? Brooch bouquets can double-up as centerpieces for the reception.

Simply have sturdy vases waiting on each guest table, and have your maids drop their bouquets in those vases as they enter the reception.  Job done!


February 13, 2014 1:33 pm

DIY Paint Chip Valentine’s Cards

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time of year that gives me a reason to display the happiest shades of reds and pinks, and show the people dearest to me how much I love them. This year I decided to say “I Love You” with paint chips!

If you’re anything like me you like to take a leisurely stroll down the paint aisle every time you find yourself in a home improvement or paint store. And if you’re like me, you probably always walk away with a small stack of paint chips just in case you ever find the time to repaint… Good news! Today you can finally put some of them to use to create these adorable little love notes!

Let me show you how it’s done.

Paint Chip Valentine's Cards

Grab your paint chips! Any color will do, but I decided to go with the obvious pinks and reds. I also used some scissors, a glue stick, colorful markers and letter stencils. If you don’t already have all of these items, you can most likely find everything you need at the dollar store. And now it’s as simple as unleashing your inner cupid and getting a little creative. Here are a few of my finished paint chip Valentine’s cards:

Paint Chip Valentine's Cards

Try cutting out hearts and other shapes from your paint chips and gluing them on as accents on your cards. It really adds an extra level of adorable!

Tip: As the paint chips are somewhat glossy the marker ink can smear quite easily. Though it may take a bit longer to complete the project, I recommend waiting for each letter to dry before beginning the next.

Paint Chip Valentine's Cards

My favorite thing about this project is that it’s almost completely free to create. The majority of the materials needed are probably already lying around your home, and most hardware and paint stores have stacks of paint chips simply for customers to browse through and take home free of charge. It’s also a great way to get crafty with the kids, especially if they plan on handing our Valentine’s cards to all their classmates!

I’d love to see your crafty Valentine’s creations! Tweet a picture of yours to @QCCareerSchool OR share them with us on Instagram!


January 3, 2014 8:23 am

DIY Art using Thread and Wood

This idea came straight from one of our Student Support Specialists, Ana (she’s so crafty!). She made this beautiful, feminine, original wall art, and we just had to try it out. The best part is that since the holidays are over, you can keep this DIY all for yourself. Give it a try!

Here’s what you’ll need:

DIY wall art for your home

1. A piece of wood. You don’t have to cut down a tree! You can find some really beautiful pieces at many craft stores. A nice piece can be a bit on the pricey side (ours cost $30), but for the look we wanted, it was totally worth it.

2. Sewing pins. Depending on your wood, you can also use nails. Our wood was very soft, and nails would have damaged it.

3. Embroidery thread. Regular thread will not be thick enough for this project – it will keep slipping off the pins. (Believe us, we tried…)

4. Hammer, pencil, and scissors. We didn’t use a thimble, but our sore little fingers regretted it the whole time.

Step 1

Draw your word onto the piece of wood. Cursive writing works the best, because you can use one strand of thread for the whole word. If you like, you can create a stencil beforehand – this way you can play around with shapes and sizes.

DIY wall art

Step 2

Place the pins along the edges of your word, roughly half an inch apart. This step is a bit tedious, and will definitely hurt your fingers. That’s why we used a hammer at times to give our fingertips a break and make sure the pins were secure. A thimble would work, too.

Step 3

Tie a solid knot around the first pin and start wrapping! Don’t worry about wrapping in any particular order; you’ll have to wrap each pin a few times to make the word show up against the wood.

DIY wall art

Step 4

Once you’re happy with the thread and you can clearly see the word, tie another tight knot and cut off the excess string!

DIY wall art

And there you have it! DIY wall art that you can customize to suit your home. Give it a try, and show us how you did on the Facebook page!


December 11, 2013 12:00 am

Have a Crafty Christmas with DIY Ornaments!

DIY ornaments

This is for all the crafters out there! Today we’re bringing you a tutorial for DIY ornaments from a member of the QC staff. She crafted up these festive little string and pine cone ornaments, and we loved them so much we just had to share.

It’s a little time consuming, but so worth the effort. So go throw on some cheerful Christmas tunes (we’re loving A Very She & Him Christmas), grab yourself a mug of hot cocoa, and let’s get started!

DIY Christmas Ornaments

Before you get started you’ll want to round up the following materials:

– different colors of string to use for your ball ornaments

– pine cones (optional)

– string for garland (we used twine)

– white craft glue

– scissors

– sponge craft brush

– small plastic cups

– small, round balloons

– water

Alright, let’s dive right in!

DIY ornaments

Step 1: Inflate your balloons, but not all the way. You want to try and make the balloons as perfectly round as possible.

Step 2: Hold down the end of the string to the balloon while you wrap the string around, and be sure to overlap the strand. Once the end of the string is secured under the layers of string it should stay in place.

Step 3: Always check to make sure the string is tight all the way around. If it is loose anywhere your ornaments will look lumpy!

DIY Ornaments

Step 4: Continue to wrap the string randomly around the balloon, making sure to overlap the string as much as possible.

Step 5: Once you’re happy with the coverage (remember, you want there to be some holes) it’s time to begin gluing!

Step 6: Mix your glue and water in one of the plastic cups. To create the mix, combine two parts glue with one part water.

DIY Ornaments

Step 7: Dab your gluey mixture all over the ball, making sure to coat everything well.

Step 8: Once you’ve completely covered the ball, let it rest on the top of a plastic cup until dry.

*TIP: For best results, be somewhat generous with the glue mixture and let dry completely overnight. For those of you who are a bit impatient (we hear ya!), give the drying process a kick-start with a hair dryer. Just be sure to let it completely dry before moving on to the next step).

Step 9: Once completely dry, cut the end of the balloon to deflate it – if you didn’t leave enough room by the knot of the balloon to pull it through the hole, let the deflated balloon fall into the ball and find a bigger hole to pull the balloon out of. We recommend using tweezers to do this bit. 

DIY Ornaments

Step 10: You’re all done your first string ball ornament! Now all you have to do is repeat it about 20 more times to create enough for a garland. Once you’ve made enough, move on to step 11.

*TIP: If doing just one has tuckered you out, simply slip an ornament hook into it, hang it on your tree and call it a day!

Step 11: Cut a length of string to tie your ornaments and pine cones to. If you’re not a huge fan of pine cones, swap them out for something else! Try using other ornaments, Christmas cards, paper snowflakes, etc. Be sure to tie a secure knot around each ornament so they stay in place once the garland is hung up.

Step 12: Hang it up! As this does have a bit of weight to it when finished, we found thumbtacks were best to keep it hanging in place. 

Et voila! You now have a beautiful, easy and affordable Christmas decoration. Try it out and let us know what you think in a comment below.

Loved this DIY? Click the links below to share it!


November 1, 2013 12:00 am

Get Creative with Wedding Favors!

It can be tricky to decide on the perfect memento for guests of your special day. Depending on how many people are attending your wedding and reception, it can soon become expensive. An idea that seemed affordable in the beginning may end up stretching the budget to extremes once it is created in large numbers. Even if you manage to keep costs down, creating your own wedding favors can be very time consuming.

That being said it can be very rewarding seeing guests’ reactions to something you have spent time creating.


Here are some ideas if you’re a little stuck:

– Homemade masks or photo booth props: Venetian-style eye masks or mustaches on sticks make for interesting wedding photos for you and your guests

– If you’re having an outdoor wedding, seasonal favors can work well as part of the theme: For example, pashminas in your color scheme to keep away the chill, or sunglasses to keep the sunshine out of people’s eyes. Umbrellas or parasols can also be a useful gift and helpful if the weather takes a turn for the worse

– If you and your spouse are particularly passionate about music, a customized CD with tracks from your wedding can be special. You could also use USB sticks for a more techy touch and include some photos from the engagement and a small thank you note

– Pint, wine or shot glasses are all useful mementos that can be personalized for your day with etchings. It also minimizes clean up after the reception is over

– Coasters with a photo of you as a couple on the front, and a chalkboard on the back can act as a place setting and favor in one. They are also relatively inexpensive if you make them yourself

– Temporary tattoos can provide entertainment for guests, as well as adding a touch of originality and fun. This would be ideal if you or your spouse are into tattoo culture. Matching sets to symbolize the wedding such as infinity symbols or wedding rings can also be cute!

– Edible gifts are always popular and are often consumed before the wedding is even over! You are also less likely to have them left over if guests forget them on leaving. Homemade treats can add a more personal touch, especially if a family recipe is used. You could also include this as part of the favor so your guests can recreate it at home

Wedding Favors

– Homemade chocolates can be fairly easy to master with a little practice. Molds such as the couple’s initials can be used for repeat batches and small bags or boxes can be quite cheap if ordered in bulk. Truffles wrapped in color coordinating paper are a classic choice

– Small bags of sweets such as M&Ms or Skittles matching your color theme can also be nice wedding favors. You can even have a picture of the bride and groom’s faces printed on some sweets!

– Personalized sticks of rock can give a funfair or seaside element to your wedding, with a personalized message in the center

– Old fashioned sweets such as licorice comfits and rhubarb and custard often go down well with guests and you can have the happy couple’s favorites to share

– Personalized fortune cookies have become popular in recent years and can be relatively low cost if ordered in a large quantity

– Cake or cookie mixes in jars can also make lovely presents for your guests as they get to keep a nice jar and make something yummy! This can be very sentimental if you include a family recipe or something you and your spouse make together

If you want to cut down on costs and reduce waste at the end of the night, having a small dessert buffet such as flavored popcorn or a selection of cookies can allow your guests a little more choice in what they would like. Large jars of homemade cookies and small boxes or containers to take away can be personalized with the names and dates from your wedding.

Sian is a keen freelance writer who has a passion for all things wedding related. Her favorite north east wedding band is Funk Conspiracy, who she has worked with on numerous occasions to make the happy couple’s day extra special.


October 30, 2013 12:00 am

How to: Make Your Own DIY Pumpkin Vase

Need some unique, last-minute fall decorations for your mantle or tablescape? Here at QC Design School, we turned an everyday pumpkin into a vase for an autumn bouquet. It’s an easy DIY that incorporates fresh fall materials and looks great! You could use any kind of floral arrangement (mums would look fabulous), but we love how vibrant the colors are in the bouquet below. Read on to do it yourself!


Materials for DIY pumpkin vase

  • One pumpkin. The rounder, the better
  • The floral arrangement of your choice
  • A Tupperware container, small vase, or glass
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • A pumpkin carving tool, like a serrated knife

Make your own pumpkin vase this fall

Step 1

Using your container, trace an outline on the top of your pumpkin around the stem. This will be the template for the mouth of your “vase”.

Step 2

Using your serrated knife, carefully carve around the top of your pumpkin.

Step 3

Remove the lid of the pumpkin. For those who are squeamish about pumpkin guts, don’t worry! You can leave them in (unless of course you’d like to roast the seeds!).

Step 4

Place the container inside the hole of the pumpkin. You might need to carve away a bit more of the pumpkin to get a secure fit.

DIY pumpkin vase

Step 5

Trim the ends of your flowers on an angle. This is a good opportunity to get rid of any dead leaves, and pick the best flowers to showcase in your pumpkin vase.

Step 6

Start arranging the flowers in your pumpkin. Play around with the bouquet until it looks good to you. We recommend you add some greenery to fill the gaps, and let some of the flowers hang over the pumpkin to cover the container, if it shows. Finally, add water to the container to give your flowers as long a life as possible!

Pumpkin Vase

There you have it! A homemade, funky pumpkin vase to add some autumn decor to your home or front porch. If you’d like to see our video tutorial, take a look below!

Give it a try, and let us know how you did on the Facebook page!


Wedding hangers have been trending for a few years now, especially since the popularity of DIY wedding decor. We’re talking about the hangers that say things in the wire, like “bride”, “groom”, or “bridesmaid”. They look great in the “getting ready” photos, and can be made for everyone in the bridal party, from the bride and groom to the mother of the bride. If you’re a wedding planner, they also make great gifts for your client; another way for you to add your personal touch. You can get them custom ordered, but they’re actually quite simple to DIY, and very inexpensive. If you want to learn about even more special wedding touches, take a look at QC Event School’s Wedding Planning course.


What You’ll Need:

14 gauge galvanized wire
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Wooden hangers
Drill (choose a drill bit the size of your wire)
Strong glue
Pencil and paper

Step 1

Cut your wire to size. On average, you’ll need at least 10 to 12 inches of wire per letter. For example, if you’re making the word “Bride”, you’ll need about 60 inches of wire. More is always better!

Step 2

Determine how you want your letters to look using a pencil and paper. Look online for some inspiration, especially on etsy or Pinterest.

Step 3

Use your template as a guide to begin forming your letters. You can use your hands and the pliers as needed. Here’s a tip: Cover the needle nose pliers in masking tape to prevent them from scratching the wire. It can take a bit of practise to get it right, but as you go you’ll find a method that works for you. If you make a mistake or get a kink in the wire, toss it and start over – it’s not worth the effort.

Step 4

Drill two holes on the inside of the hanger, about half an inch in. Don’t go all the way through. Trim your wire to fit, if necessary.

Step 5

Put some glue in the holes and on your wire, then stick the wire in and give it plenty of time to dry. Voila!


Have you tried out this DIY? Let us know how you did in a comment below!




March 25, 2013 9:12 pm

Make Your Own Wedding Playlist

When it comes to weddings, it might just be the end of the Macarena.

That’s because more and more couples are opting to save money on DJs by creating their own wedding playlists. They also feel like choosing from their own iTunes collection adds an extra personal touch that a DJ simply cannot give.

It seems relatively easy – go through your iPod, choose a few hours’ worth of your favorite tunes, and you’re good to go! But creating a good reception playlist takes quite a bit of thought and careful planning if you want to pull it off successfully. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

People love to dance

People especially love to dance at weddings. If no one’s on the dance floor, you can bet that your guests will not have a positive lasting impression of your special day. Your very favorite songs just may not be the most danceable. If that’s the case, you have to let them go and opt for more poppy numbers that will have your guests grooving. But don’t forget the slow songs as well!

What’s the age range of your guests?

Try to be considerate when putting together your playlist, and include songs that can appeal to every generation. Personally, my grandma loves a good polka, and I would absolutely love to see her cutting a rug to an old polka tune on my wedding day. That’s what memories are made of.

It’s all about the flow

It will feel really strange to your guests if you follow up a modern pop song with 1970s rock. Instead, group songs into categories (like oldies, slow songs, and hip-hop), and send them out a few at a time. It will feel more natural, and people will stay on the dance floor for longer.

Have people heard this song?

If you’re the type of person to want to make your own playlist, you’re also probably the type of person to have an eclectic taste in music. That’s great! But this is not the time to introduce your guests to a new, unknown band. Play a wide variety of music, and choose songs that most people are sure to know.

We want to know: what songs must be played at a wedding reception? Leave us a comment below with your top picks for wedding songs!

Image via

March 14, 2013 1:55 pm

Try These Do-It-Yourself Closet Doors

Do you have any of these closet doors in your house? You know, the flimsy, sliding kind? Well I do, and they happen to be in our master bedroom. They aren’t a total eyesore, but they definitely aren’t pretty either.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

My closet, pre-DIY

Well, I was ready to do something about these doors. I thought about just painting them a solid color, but then the idea for a pattern came to mind. I hummed and hawed about doing something intricate or colorful, but then realized that a simple rectangular box on each door in grey and white (so that it would blend with the walls) would be the way to go.

The first step was to wash down the doors to remove any residue or dust. I didn’t need to sand since these doors aren’t wood, but if you have wooden closet doors you would want to use sandpaper, first with a medium and then a fine grit to prep the surface for paint. To wash down the doors I just used some basic soap and water. If they had been glossy or had some other finish, a de-glosser might have been necessary.

Then I needed to measure out where I wanted the rectangular boxes to go. I started by measuring out the box and putting X’s where the corners would meet. I marked 3 inches in from the outer edges for each door.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

Next up I grabbed my painter’s tape (you want a high quality brand for no bleed through) and taped out the boxes. I cut the edges of the tape at the corners to make sure they were nice and crisp. Since I wanted to paint inside and outside of the tape (and then take off the tape to reveal a white box), I needed to make sure the corners were perfect.



Then it was paint time. I used my leftover paint from the walls (“Coventry Gray” by Benjamin Moore), my mini-roller, a paint mask, and got to work. Two coats of paint later and this is how things were looking. You couldn’t even really see the tape anymore.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

We’re almost there…

After some easy-peasy pealing off the tape, I was left with nice crisp white lines. The pattern totally looks like molding and makes the doors seem much more upscale than they are.

Do-it-yourself closet doors


Doesn’t it add a nice bit of pattern without being over the top? It’s simple, but feels classic and adds another layer of interest to the room. The bedroom is slowly getting closer to how I’d like it to look. I still don’t quite know what that final version will be, but it’s fun to add different elements over time and see how it comes together.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

Post-DIY. I’m so pleased with the results!

The doors just sort of blend in with the room now and actually make the space feel a bit bigger. It was such an easy and quick (half-day) project, with great results. Even if you don’t happen to have sliding closet doors like these, you could use the same technique and pattern on any other kind of door or even a piece of furniture to give it that two-toned/molding look. Have fun!

Gemma Bonham-CarterWritten by Gemma Bonham-Carter
The Sweetest Digs

Gemma Bonham-Carter has made it her mission to DIY her house into a stylishly decorated home, one project at a time. She believes that good design doesn’t have to break the bank. You’ll find her posts focus on reusing pre-loved items in surprising ways to create something new and exciting.