Category Archives: DIY

Optimize your pictures for the web

how to optimize your pictures for the web / a thousand threads
Hey bloggers and creatives, do you optimize your pictures before putting them on the web? I’m guessing you do. But if you have no idea what I’m talking about (because until yesterday, I was with you…) then do I have some news that will blow your mind.

For months (years) now I’ve been struggling with an irritating grey tone… one that wouldn’t show up on my laptop, but damnit if it didn’t show up every single time I pinned something I’d posted. I thought it was something in my editing, maybe my screen (I needed a desktop, desktops are always better for photo editing!)… or what if it was the light, the shot itself? I was one step away from an asylum when I came across this article on the Alt Blog.

I thought, “Huh, what is this “save for the web” thing? Maybe I should try it out…”

And then, as Emeril would say

But tell me now, is this one of those super simple things I was already supposed to know? Or are you with me? Because I’m feeling a little silly for all of these years of un-optimized, sad, grey little photos like the one on the top left.


How to Paint Furniture // A DIY Cabinet Makeover

how to paint furniture / a thousand threads
I’m excited to finally share one of our garage sale finds — it’s about time!

Mark and I picked this cabinet up at an estate sale forever ago and have been working on it slowly since.  We had wanted a new piece for our bedroom, something to look pretty on the wall and hold a little of our closet overflow.  We knew we wanted to paint the piece a bright, reddish-orange, but beyond that we were only half sure what we wanted.

So, in this case, where one is open to lots of possibilities, you’d think that any sane person, upon coming across a cedar cabinet for just $25, would have known right then and there.

But then you’re assuming we’re sane…

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Current Obsessions // 1.30

current obsessions
Eye // This gorgeous home, and especially that chair.
Buy // This organic hand-crafted crimson salve.
Make // An easy DIY sweater for your iPad.
Bake // These lemon & vanilla cream sandwiches.


The stockings were hung…

diy stocking / a thousand threads
We’re all ready for Santa… and how could he resist such charming cold-weather gear?

I’m signing off for now, but I’ll see you back here in 2013. Have a happy holiday and an amazing new year!

And be sure to keep reading for what might have been the easiest diy stocking ever (just my kind of project).

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A DIY Wedding Keepsake Hanger from Erica

I blog over at Caught On A Whim.  I’m thrilled Laicie invited me over to share a project with you while she’s away saying her ‘I dos’.

Since Laicie is tying the knot, I thought it would be fun to do a DIY with a wedding theme.  Today’s tutorial is a wedding keepsake hanger, because a wedding gown deserves to hang on something extra special.

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6 Simple Rules for Planning a Destination Wedding

how to plan a destination wedding
When I tell people that my wedding is on the other side of the country, the first question they always ask is, “How the !!?# did you plan from here?” And I’m not gonna say it was easy, but here are a few things I did that made the process of planning from afar a whole lot easier…

1 // Get a coordinator. Oh my lord get a coordinator. You don’t have to go all the way, you can just get a day of, but having someone on the ground will make a world of difference. A coordinator can answer questions and provide recommendations for anything from the most kickass band to the place you want to have your dress steamed when you get into town.  Most importantly, just knowing you have that person backing you up will relieve a boatload of stress.

2 // Research, research, research. If you can, use yelp. And scour the vendor guides of your favorite blogs like a crazy person. I’m telling you, I can still rattle off who is and is not included in Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book… and whether they also appear on Green Wedding Shoes and Once Wed.  It’s a sickness.

If you’re going overseas use a reputable guide that you trust, like Frommers or Lonely Planet. We depended on these heavily on these for our honeymoon.

3 // Check out the average wedding cost where you’re headed… is it the highest in the country? The lowest? The truth might not change your mind, but it’s a good thing to know going in.

4 // Use Skype.  There is literally nothing better for planning from out of town.  You can still meet every one of your vendors face to face.

5 // If you can, take one trip there before the wedding. Hopefully you already know enough about the venue so that you don’t need to go early on in planning (if you don’t, I really recommend two trips. Don’t book a venue sight unseen… you never know what little surprises might pop up, and you don’t want to discover them after it’s too late).

On your main trip, try your food, cake, meet with your coordinator and officiant and, if you have time, get your engagement shots taken. Rentals, lights, and little details are easy to book from afar.

6 // Relax. This is a destination wedding, and I imagine that one of the reasons you chose this whole deal is that the place is beautiful… right? So here’s the thing. That beautiful place? It counts as big fat chunk of your decor. You might not be able to carry or ship quite as many little details as you’d like, but even with the most minimal personalization, your location will shine – and I’m pretty sure it will beat a 50′ long crepe paper garland any day of the week.

Trust that your wedding will be beautiful and special and yours.

And if there is any little piece of you that doubts me, watch this.

Photo: Jose Villa


Currently Obsessing Over

This napkin set, featuring correspondence written by the likes of Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson, would be the perfect addition to any registry.

Or maybe even an idea for a fun wedding day DIY?

Photos: Rylee Hitchner via Once Wed


Floral Inspiration: Ranunculus

floral inspiration
Native to Asia and celebrated for its bright beauty, the ranunculus is available in nearly every color, from white to pink, red, yellow, and orange.  Often considered as a cost-effective alternative to the rose and the peony, the lush, multipetaled bloom is actually a relative of the buttercup — that little flower you might have picked and held close to your chin as a child — and stands just as well on its own as it does as an accent.

Season: Late fall to early spring.

Meaning: You are radiant with charm, attractive.

Pros: The sturdy stem and hardy flower of the ranunculus make it a popular choice for wedding arrangements.  Once cut, ranunculus can last up to a week, making it an ideal pick for both bouquets and centerpieces.

Ranunculus comes in many colors, and is pretty in bouquets at all levels of openness, from a tight bloom to a fully open flower.

Cons: Because there is only one flower on each stem, and the flowers tend to be small, many stems will be needed in each bouquet.  Unless, that is, you use the ranunculus as an accent flower.

The ranunculus can be wire-wrapped, but prefers to be in water and may begin to droop by the end of the night without it.

Photo: Once Wed

1 Comment | |

Floral Inspiration: Poppies

Of all the temptation one suffers through planning a wedding, I’ve managed to resist, well, a little.

I love flowers more than I can say.  So believe me, my decision to DIY is not for lack of respect for incredible women like Kate and Kelly — whose bouquets I would gladly give my right arm for.  But a girl has to pinch a penny here and there… and flowers are one thing I’ve decided my limited crafting skills might allow.  So, research wonk that I am, I’ve set off to learn as much as I possibly can about the flowers I might be able to use.  And, along the way, I thought I might share a little of the information I learn.

Starting with one of my very favorites… poppies.

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Baby’s Breath

Baby’s Breath Poms / Chair Decor / Bouquet / Bouquet and Books / Burlap Cone

With a little help from my flower-savvy aunt, I think we’ve decided to DIY our flowers… so I’m on a mission to gather as much information and as many ideas as I can, and one thing I’m really loving is baby’s breath.

DIYing our flowers makes a lot of sense.  Mark and I spend a lot of time outdoors and I tend to be a little crunchy as it is, so it really wouldn’t be right for us to have anything that looks too manufactured… we want a natural look, and I think that’s something we can get on our own.

Of course, there are a million amazing florists who could also get that look for us.  What we’re really talking about here is money, and in my opinion, flowers are a great place to find savings.  If you’re like us and want a really natural look, not only can you probably get that look on your own, your flowers will be that much more personal because you did them yourself.  DIY projects can be really rewarding that way.

(… and speaking of money, baby’s breath is super cheap.)

Ultimately, I’d like to add some color in as well.  Mark would like to incorporate snapdragons and I love sweet peas.  I would also like for our flowers to be as local and in season as possible (and I have no idea if that applies to either snapdragons or sweet peas… or baby’s breath ack!).

Lots to learn!  But I really do like those big masses of baby’s breath.

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