Cheap, crafty, and trendy decorations for a designer on a budget

Are you trying to decorate your space with some trendy additions?

If you have ever walked into Crate &Barrel or Pier 1, you know that a little style retouching will cost quite a chunk of change.

Why not thrift your way to fabulous space?

       Colored vases add a great touch to your home.  A small display with a few vases and an ornate statue are a great accent that can give your hallway, living room, or bedroom a new feel.

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Vases & apothecary jars run anywhere from $20 – $200 dollars!

Check out this $35 tall vase

Which you can find for $3 !

To jazz it up, you can easily make your own colorful vase

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Start of by buying the vases you like. You can find these at dollar stores as well online discount flower shops providers.

Here are some nifty vases that are dirt cheap to buy : Tall Rectangle Vase , Apothecary VaseSquare Vase , Very Tall Skinny Vase , Bubble Vase , Decorative Shape Vase , Bubble Small-Neck Vase , Cylinder Vase

Next, pick up some acrylic paint at a local Jo-Ann’s, Michaels, or maybe even the dollar store you are at

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Start by mixing the color you want. Many stores will have cheap acrylic paints in basic colors (i.e. Blue Yellow Red and White)

Our 2nd grade teachers taught us that we could make virtually any color we want with these!

The trick to this look is to paint the INSIDE of the vase. Painting the inside will give it that professional Pier 1 Imports look, as opposed to a fourth grade arts and crafts project.

Here, we are going for a cool light blue by mixing a tad of blue into a big blob of white.

When you are mixing colors, you want to start with white and mix into it. Do not start with blue and mix in white- you will end up using all your white paint just trying to lighten up the blue. Instead – start with white and mix in a tad of the darker color. You can mix in more as you go to darken it.

Also- mix ALL the paint you need. You do not want to run out of paint and have 3 vases are 3 slightly different colors of light blue.

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So once you have your color – drip it into the bottom of the vase as shown. Drag the paint upwards with your brush delicately. You don’t want streaks showing

If you are feeling adventurous- you could paint a few streaks of a darker or lighter color on the inside and let that dry, before you drip the main paint color into the bottom

You could also mix your paint VERY lightly so that you will have sporadic white and darker blue appearances on the inside of your vase instead of one solid color

Let this dry. If you think the color is see through or not solid all the way through (cheaper acrylic paint could have that effect). You can paint the vase twice!

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Voila – chic and trendy for a few bucks!

Enjoyed the crafting? Have some ideas us?

Comment below!

-The Nesters

Light up your nest with some new decorative additions!

A small touch goes a long way in a small space! Jazz up the entrance into your home by adding two decorative lights to your ensemble.

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First, look for a long skinny table you can fit along a wall or behind a couch. Since apartment spaces are usually on the smaller side, you want the table as skinny as possible so it fits snugly against the wall or sofa.

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Keep it in an open space, a wall you may have that doesn’t have much along it.

Adding a mirror above the table also makes your space appear larger and better lit. Candles in decorative vases are also a great addition

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Add some baskets under for extra storage space for magazines or even shoes if you place the table near a door or hall

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Find two matching lamps that have a chic decor about them. This will add character to you space, so you want the lamps to match the style you have decorated your home with

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Enjoyed the advice? Have some more for us?

Comment below!

We would love to know how you feathered your nest into a homey chic space

-The Nesters

Fall in love with crafts this Valentine’s Day! For the marvelous men

We’ve been giving you ideas for Valentine’s Day this week and there is one more group of love birds you can’t ignore! 

 

So lastly, to keep your fellas chipper,

Make some Valentine’s Day Fudge to fill their bellies

This recipe is easy and delicious!

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You can find all of these in your local grocery store:

1 container Straberry Frosting (16 oz) 

1 bag of White Chocolate Chips (12 oz)

Heart shape sprinkles

 

Instructions:

Lightly grease/spray a 9×9 pan

(you can double your recipe and use bigger pans, or use smaller ones for thicker fudge)

Melt your white chocolate chips – either in the microwave (remember to do a few seconds, then stir, do a few more seconds, then stir again until you have a thick liquid) 

When your chocolate chips are melted, stir in your frosting evenly

Spread in your pan and sprinkle the hearts on top for festivity!

Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

Cut into squares or hearts

 

Now you can cut little squares of wax or parchment paper and stack your fudge 

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Lastly, place them in plastic baggies and tie with ribbon to beautify your gift!

 

Now that you’ve made your coworkers, girlfriends, and you best buddies happy

You can relax and reap in the love they will show you in return.

 

Love this recipe? Made a change? Let us know below !

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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Nesters!

Fall in love this Valentine’s Day! For the lovely ladies

As promised, here is part two of “Fall in love with Crafty Gifts this Valentine’s Day”

 – Crafty gifts for your gal pals –

Show them a little love with the cutest gift of all – a homemade pedicure kit!

Grab a mason jar from your local grocery store and fill it with all the pedicure necessities a girl needs.

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Decorate and personalize your gift to put a smile on your ladies’ faces (to go along with their new twinkle toes!)

All these necessities are available in travel form, so they are small enough to fit into a mason jar as well as cheap to buy!

Crafty, Affordable, Adorable, what’s there not to LOVE?

Some suggestions to fill your jar: 

A small pumice stone goes a long way

Curel offers travel size extreme moisture lotions

A cute pattern nail file

Nail clippers

Some loose cotton balls

Travel size nail polish remover

Cuticle Pushers (Your local drugstore will have these!)

Don’t forget toe separators!

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Lastly – Nail Polish!

Buy a red, pink, or purple color to keep the Cupid in your shuffle

Tip: the nail polish is where you want to splurge in this gift, get the most expensive nail polish you can afford — although Wet & Wild offers $2 nail polish, they chip and flake easily – and nothing dulls your sparkle more than a chipped nail the next morning!

Tip to the Tip : CVS always has buy one get one or buy one get on 50% off for decent quality nail polishes, so if you are making more than one jar- you can get a great deal! If you are feeling even more savings savvy – type in “Sally Hansen printable coupons” (or “Revlon” “Essie” or “OPI” or whatever brand you are looking at) into your search engine and see if they are offering a coupon online you can print & use

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After you have the contents of your jar – It’s time to decorate the Mason Jar itself!

Here are some ideas:

Get that modge podge out of your kiddie’s art supplies

If you don’t have modge podge, Elmer’s glue will do just fine

Print out some pictures of hearts and glue them around the jar. Cover the picture with Elmer’s glue using a small paint brush to get that glassy crafty look.

Glue some jewels / rhinestones around the jar

Write your honey bunch’s name in script using a acrylic paints or pen (or you can print it out and paste again using the Elmer’s glue technique

 Finish it off with a nice blow wrapped around the neck of the jar

Customize your design and tell us about it below!

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The best part!– I am always loosing my nail clippers, files, and nail polishes! To have a little kit in a jar that I can store on a shelf is the easiest way to keep your feet groomed and your beauty on a high.

Let us know what you think about this idea ! Did your friends love it? Did you add something to it?

Fall In Love with Crafty Gifts this Valentine’s Day

Lacy Frills, Sparkly Hearts, Cupid’s invaded every corner of our lives for Valentine’s Day

Why not give your friends a little love this year?

Even if you are tight on cash or just want to be a crafty Valentine, surprising your closest sweetie pies with a gift from the heart will surely brighten their day.

All this week, the Nesters will provide you with ideas for your coworkers and friends that are savings savvy and wonderfully crafty

What better way to arrive at work than bearing delicious snacks for your coworkers? Forget the fake chocolate hearts and high fructose candy bars that will have your dentist cashing in, make a healthier holiday snack plate instead! Add a little love in your design by shaping your treats into a heart.

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Start out with: 

  – 1 small package of dried cranberries –

 – 1 package of large truffles –

                           ( tip: you unwrap and use Ferrero rocher chocolates,                             easily found in CVS or your local grocery stores)

 – 1 pouch of microwavable popcorn –

(tip: use butter popcorn to have that sweet and salty taste)

–  1 large tray –

Have a little extra cash?

Tip – instead of popcorn, substitute in almonds around the heart. It healthier and more filling, and will go perfectly with those dried cranberries.

You can even go all out with your craft and add a layer of raisins around the chocolates to add an extra burst of color

 The best part about this tray is the endless possibilities! If you don’t want to spend the cash on truffles, you can try substituting in M&M’s, which are available in pink and red colors for Valentine’s day. Just a warning: the M&M’s will be harder to shape and move around when you are trying to maintain your heart shape

Instructions:

1. Start out lining a big heart with your truffles. You will need the shape already made so that you can fill it with the cranberries. Since most truffles will be round, you can shave off a little bit of chocolate on the bottom for a flat base that will stay in place on your tray

Try making the heart fill up about 75% of your tray, so that you have enough room to fit the popcorn.

2. Fill in your cranberries carefully, you do not want to have to start over due to the blob that the cranberries made instead of a stenciled heart.

3. Pop your popcorn in the microwave and fill in the outside

 Cover with plastic wrap and take to work!

Check back in tomorrow for a thrifty and crafty ideas for your girl friends!

In the mean time – did you surprise your Valentine with this yummy idea? 

Did you make any modifications? 

The Nesters would love to hear about it below !

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Nest for Best!

Hi Friends!

If you haven’t noticed, we all love our jobs here at Nest 🙂

It’s no coincidence that Nest rhymes with BEST! We’re setting a “best of” example by donating to charities as part of our DC City Paper “best of” campaign. Last year we gave away almost $3,000. This year, we’re hoping you all can offer your favorite charity for us to consider.

Throw out an idea (and a vote:) and we’ll send you a Nest DC special edition tote bag. It’s true. We’re obsessed with winning. And being generous. We think the two things go hand in hand!

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Holiday “Cheers!”

It’s the holiday season, and that can only mean one thing: holiday parties! And a holiday party isn’t a party unless you’ve got some festive drinks to serve. Even if you don’t have the space (or cash) for a full in-home bar, you can still show off your wares when you’re the host. Your guests will love the display, and also love what’s inside!

 

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 If we only knew in college that books and drinking could coexist so peacefully! Stock an empty (or even partially empty) bookshelf with glasses and bottles. This is great for the party season because you can clear out the books on a shelf that you already use, and replace it with alcohol just for the night of the party. No extra space needed!

 

 

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Alright, this one takes up space, but look how pretty it is! An armoire can be a great permanent addition to a studio space or a living room, and (bonus!) you can close the doors when you don’t want to own up to what’s inside.

 

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This option is cheap, portable, and doesn’t take up space. The classic bar cart is a great way to show your guests everything you have on tap.

 

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So simple! Jazz up any countertop with a rustic, antique wooden box. Space effective and easy to find, this bar alternative is low-commitment and stylish. 

 

Do you have a favorite holiday-hosting tip (or a favorite holiday cocktail recipe?!)? Let us know!

Happy Halloween, Nesters!!

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Our actual Nest office! Check out the Nest decal on the side

Halloween may be our favorite holiday here at Nest– we’ve been waiting for this day all month. We’ve decked our office out with Halloween decals, pumpkins, tubs of candy, and tons of spirit. Personally, we feel totally comfortable wearing cat ears and witches hats around the office, but we understand that some of you need a more understated way to get festive. Here are some tips to transform any space (including an office!) into an instant Halloween party.

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Cook up some Halloween treats. For readers of our Nestletter, we’ve already shared with you some of our favorite Halloween recipes. If you’ve already tried out apple pies and Halloween shots at home, make something you can bring in for everyone at the office. Consider some easy-to-make cupcakes, but jazz them up with these Reeses pieces designs! You’re sure to get a serious “thank-you” from your coworkers.

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Quick and easy ambiance is all it takes to lighten the mood. Bowls of candy corn, a decal spider web on a window, or anything in black and orange will do the trick. At home, consider anchoring some lit candles in a tub of candy corn for a festive yet spooky look.

Music! It’s easy to get anyone excited by letting a little Halloween music float among the cubicles. We’ve compiled a playlist of guaranteed hits from your childhood that are sure to get everyone excited. Happy Halloween!!!

  1. Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
  2. Thriller by Michael Jackson
  3. Purple People Eater by Shep Wooley
  4. Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
  5. Love Potion No. 9 by the Searchers (my personal favorite)
  6. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker, Jr.
  7. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach– Listen to this one, I swear you’ll recognize it!
  8. Addams Family theme song
  9. This is Halloween by The Citizens of Halloween — Nightmare Before Christmas
  10. Superstition by Stevie Wonder
  11. The Harry Potter theme song
  12. The Twilight Zone theme song
  13. Any background track of creaking doors and whooshing wind!Image

Happy Halloween, Nesters!!!

No-Cost Decorating: Furnishings you didn’t know you had!

What better way can you think of to give your home some of your personality than by using your own stuff! Collect your own things from around the house and put them on display. We guarantee you have some of these things lying around just waiting to be showcased. And the best part is, there’s no cost to these projects–you own the materials already!

An old magazine

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This idea is perfect for a temporary space because it’s cheap, replicable, and compact. All you need is one magazine and you can reproduce this design a few different times. Just tear out every page with a full-page picture (ads are great), trim the edges, and adhere with double-sided tape! 
 
Records
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Sadly, your record collection today might be more useful as art than as music. Pick your favorite albums (or just your favorite album art) and arrange them into a grid to jazz up an empty wall. Frame them if desired, but frames will cost about $10-15 each. (For a cheaper frame effect, snag some black card-stock and mount the albums against that before adhering to the wall.)
 
 
Old hotel keys/credit cards/baseball cards OR, pennies!
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Time to clean out your wallet! These tables can be made by gluing the elements to the surface of a table, or for a less permanent approach, keep them in place by laying a clear cover on top of the whole design
 
Leftover Wallpaper
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Do you have any wallpaper left over from the last time you decorated? If so, here is a bonus! Bring that wallpaper to a different room and use it as a makeshift headboard to add color at no cost. Here are some templates and step-by-step instructions. 
 

Show Mom some love for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so there’s still a little time to do some last minute shopping for the hard working woman in your life. We have rounded up some thoughtful ideas for showing her just how much you appreciate all she does.

Flowers aren’t the most original Mother’s Day gift but placing them in a gorgeous vase like this one from a DC local Elodie Holmes of Liquid Light Glass, is sure to make a statement with this years presentation!

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E. Holmes vase from Artglass.com

For moms that don’t have a green thumb of their own, how about some of these plantable paper flowers that will grow to fill her garden! No garden? No problem.  They’re great for an urban Mom too.  Make one – or a dozen – depending on how much room she has!

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Plantable flowers from HowDoesShe.com

Food is love and it looks even better served on a colorful cake stand. We love these sweet 1950’s style cake stands from ShatterBoxx.  Toss a few cupcakes from CakeLove or Baked + Wired on top and Mom is sure to enjoy!

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Cake Stands via Shatterboxx.com

Give the busy mom in your life something she probably has in short supply – Time. Fill a classic canvas tote like this one from Nest DC with everything she needs for a day in the District.

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Already have your gifts purchased and just need a place to take your deserving mother? Check out our post in the Nestletter yesterday! If you would like to receive the weekly newsletter just shoot an email over to info@nest-dc.com.

Happy Mothers Day!