10 Quirky Jewelry Storage Ideas via www.abeautifulmess.comThere's a thing I call "decorating on auto mode", and for me, what that means is that I see a space in my home that needs a solution, and I go out and buy the most convenient or cheapest thing I see to fill that space. And that's not always a bad thing. Easy can be good. Cheap can be awesome. BUT if you fill your whole home with stuff you like just OK, it's pretty impossible to love your space. And that's not cool. 

With that said, today I'm excited to share ten random ideas for jewelry storage. Some of these items you might already have in your home. And like the ceramic giraffe in my space (above), these pieces can be even more interesting and fun than traditional jewelry storage. 

You don't have to spend a lot to fill your home with interesting pieces that fit your personality! Let's pinky swear to no more auto mode shopping. OK—let's go! 

10 Quirky Jewelry Storage Ideas1. Unique dishes! Like this Jonathan Adler horse tray. Search kitchen dishes, and you might be surprised by how many fun kitchen dishes you can repurpose for jewelry! 2. Glove forms! These make awesome displays for rings, necklaces and bracelets. I like to buy them on Etsy (vintage) and Fishs Eddy. 3. Brass Pineapples. These come in a pretty big variety of sizes and many of them open up for secret storage. You can find the best deals on eBay. Just search "brass pineapple" and try "brass cactus" too! 4. Marbled dishes. This inexpensive little beauty is from H&M. Did you know they have a lot of really great, inexpensive housewares online? Yep! 5. Dinosaurs and giraffes. Ceramic, plastic...whatever. Perfect bracelet holders! The one in my opening photo came from TJ Maxx. 6. Ceramic egg crates! This one is from Anthro. These are perfect for holding earrings and rings! 7. Hooks. I love this one especially. You can find cute hooks at every home decor store. They're perfect for hanging necklaces on your wall. 8. Mermaids! I love this Jonathan Adler piece. Perfect for draping necklaces or bracelets on. 9. Wall planters. The rhino and elephant are perfect for hanging a few favorite necklaces! 10. Brass elephants. Just do a quick eBay search and you'll find a ton for awesome prices. They're so pretty! Keep one by your bedside or makeup mirror!

10 Quirky Jewelry Storage Ideas  I hope you feel encouraged to reimagine the little spaces in your home, not just the big ones! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)
Hi, guys. LaTonya here! Apartment living in New York City is just like everyone describes—tight, challenging, and wonderful all at the same time. You've got to learn how to dream and plan beyond what's right in front of you—no matter how hard that may seem. ;) Truthfully, I'm really inspired by living in a small space.
Our kitchen is small. Actually, it's tiny, so we needed help in all forms of organization and storage. Because we have small kids, things like kid-friendly forks and spoons also had to be considered when developing this wooden utensil organizer. We love how incredibly easy and inexpensive it was to make this. (Our vintage box was $10 at our local flea market.) And of course, that wonderful feeling of reusing something old and making it useful, new, and pretty makes me feel amazing. 
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)
-vintage wood box—7 1/2" x 12" (It does not have to be vintage, but most "milk" boxes like this one
-wooden dowel
-two pieces of wood to be used as dividers (You can have as many dividers as you would like. We used two pieces, which created three sections. The size of the wood pieces depends on your wooden box.)
-copper pipe brackets with 8" extension
-L brackets (optional, to help stabilize wooden dividers)
-shelf liner
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)
Step One: 
Clean out and paint your wooden box. Because it's older wood, I noticed it needed a few more coats than usual. In the end, I used three. I also did some retouches on the finished product as well. When painting over wood, I highly suggest you avoid white, or colors that are super light, unless you want to give it a more distressed look.
  Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)           Step Two:
Once the paint is all dry, it's time to line the inside of your box. I measured my liner a little larger than the actual space, just to make sure it covered completely. I find it much easier to cut around the edges once the liner is laid all the way down. We chose a simple white liner, but I think it would've looked even better with some sort of floral design. 
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)   Step Three:
Paint the pieces of wood that will be used as dividers. Once they’re dry, place them inside your box creating a T. When you position them like that, you'll get three separate sections. You can use your L brackets to help the pieces stay stable. (Our wooden dividers were very stable without the brackets.)
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)
Step Four: 
Now it's time to screw in your copper pipe brackets. You want your brackets to be as centered as possible because this is where your handle will be. I suggest marking it with a black marker prior to drilling.
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)      Step Five:
Insert your wooden dowel inside your two brackets, creating a handle. You'll need to use your drill to screw in the top screws of the L brackets to secure the handle in place. 
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)
To help organize each section, we used mostly old Mason jars we purchased from our local flea. They cost us about a dollar or two a piece. Alternatively, you could purchase some small fabric baskets to put inside each divider to hold the utensils. Though, I am partial to the Mason jars. 
Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)         Utensil holder DIY (click through for tutorial)
I already have plans to carry this along on a few local picnic dates. I can see it working just as fantastically for organizing party utensils, crafts, and even plants in the garden! All of this is what really sold Peter and me on making it. If we happen to move to a home with a larger kitchen and no longer need it, we can always put it to work in another way. Lastly, this is completely portable and lightweight! I easily carried it by the handle around the house and outside to our backyard. I hope this helps bring a little more ease into your small space. xo. LaTonya
Credits // Author: LaTonya Staubs, Photograph: Peter Staubs. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Document plush pillow DIYDocument plush pillow DIY   Document plush pillow DIY Do you all remember when I said in my home tour video that I wanted to do some kind of project that involved my marriage license? Well, teaming up with Canon USA, I'm making good on that today. I decided I wanted to try and make a few small throw pillows for our living room couch that showcase some found papers. I used our marriage license, a movie ticket stub, a plane ticket stub and a hockey game ticket stub (my first hockey game!). I would rate these high on the quirky factor, and I seriously LOVE how they turned out.

Document plush pillow DIY via abeautifulmess.com This is a similar idea to making a photo plush (like this one). The main difference, other than the subject matter, is I didn't need a camera for this project. Weird, right?

Using my Canon printer to scan found papersInstead, I used my Canon PIXMA MG7520 to scan the documents before I put them into Photoshop. It's actually our primary scanner in the studio because it gets the best quality. I certainly could have just taken a photo of the documents instead, but I wanted to see if a blown up scanned version would give the prints a more paper document feel—if that makes any sense? I really like the results! 

-found papers (legal documents, old ticket stubs, any paper memorabilia will do)
-fabric transfer sheets
-cotton fabric
-sewing machine (or you could hand-stitch if you have the time)
-needle and thread
-Canon PIXMA MG7520 photo printer

For all four pillows, my cost for this project was around $28 (not including tools).

Step One: Scan and photoshop your documents. For me this meant enlarging some of the scans so I could turn them into small pillows for my couch. Enlarging will cause some distortion or pixelation in your images, especially if you make them WAY larger than they originally were. I personally liked this look as it makes the documents seem more authentic to me. 

In Photoshop be sure to "Flip Canvas Horizontal" as this will create a mirrored look. You want the images to print with the words backwards so that when you transfer them to your fabric, they will be the correct orientation.

Love my Canon printer!Step Two: Print and trim your scanned images. If you can trim your edges so they are slightly rounded, this usually helps your transfers stay flat once you iron them on. 

You might be thinking, "But what if I want to make a pillow/plush that is larger than my transfer paper (8.5x11)?" You can choose to tile your images and print two (or more) sheets.

How to mirror an image in photoshopHere you can see I tiled my marriage license and printed it on two different sheets so I could make a larger pillow. Try to divide your image in a space that is less busy. This will make it easier to line up.

Using ticket stubs to make throw pillowsStep Three: Follow your fabric transfer instructions to iron the images onto your fabric. Remember to leave plenty of seam allowance so you can easily sew with the fabric after. 

In the above photo, I wanted to show you how much I enlarged this plane ticket stub (from a trip Elsie and I went on this year). One thing I didn't notice before I printed this was how the ticket has subtle yellow and blue lines throughout, which became much more prominent when I printed.

Stitch up plushStep Four: Stitch up your pillow and fill with Poly-Fil. Since all of my documents/ticket stubs were square or rectangle in shape, they were extremely easy to quickly stitch together on my sewing machine. If you'd like a more in-depth tutorial on how to make a pillow, click here. If you're new to using a sewing machine and need a resource to get going, check out our latest e-course, Sew with Us

Document plush pillow DIY    Document plush pillow DIY  I just finished these up last week, and I can't wait to have guests over. I have a feeling these are going to be a conversation starter. :) Thanks for letting me share my project! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


Basil Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce (via abeautifulmess.com)    I have a theory, and I doubt I'm the first, that sweet and savory were meant to be enjoyed together as often as possible. It keeps things interesting and not too sweet, you know? I just love the balance of working with flavors that compliment each other. One thing I've been working on this month is a basil cheesecake to share with you all. 

Basil Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce (via abeautifulmess.com) The first attempt was too light on the basil flavor and ended up having large cracks in the final cheesecake surface. Boo! Although cracks aren't the end of the world, I prefer they not be there. But, I do have some tips if you are sometimes plagued by cheesecake cracks (or excessive sinkage). Also I changed up my method for incorporating the basil flavor, and the good news is it's even easier than my original attempt. 

Basically, if you like cheesecake, or interesting desserts, or basil, or all three, then you really need to make this. It's SO good!

Basil extractBasil Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce, makes one.

1 cup crushed chocolate wafers or graham crackers
3 tablespoons melted butter

(3) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Basil Extract
green food coloring (optional)

Use a food processor to crush the chocolate wafers into a fine powder. Mix with the melted butter and press into a greased springform pan so the crust covers the bottom completely. Bake at 325°F for 8-10 minutes.

Chocolate crumb crust

In a mixing bowl (or with a stand mixer), whip together the softened cream cheese, sugar, salt and greek yogurt until well combined. Our goal here is to get rid of any cream cheese lumps and really mix these ingredients together. 

Next stir in the basil extract. Make sure to read the package directions as sometimes they will suggest a certain number of "drops" as an equivalent measurement to a teaspoon. Taste and adjust as you like here. 

Fold the eggs into the batter one at a time. Fold just enough to incorporate but do not over mix. You don't want to incorporate air into the eggs or the batter at this point as this is what can cause your cheesecake to rise while baking and then deflate (often cracking) as it cools. If you want your cheesecake to be tinted a little more green, then you can also fold in a little food coloring here as well.

Cheesecake batterPour the batter over the baked crust. Before popping the cheesecake into the 325°F oven, add an aluminum baking pan filled half or two thirds full of water to the bottom rack of your oven. This is an alternative to baking in a water bath and helps ensure your oven is an even temperature throughout. 

Bake the cheesecake for 50 minutes. Try not to open the oven door while it bakes. (It's hard! I know!) Turn the oven off, crack the door just slightly and allow the cheesecake to cool in the still warm oven for an hour. Then allow to cool on the countertop until it's at room temperature. Then refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.

Basil Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce (via abeautifulmess.com)  For the chocolate sauce, I simply melted 2/3 cup chocolate chips with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in the microwave in 30 second increments (stirring in between) just until melted. Drizzle over the top of the chilled cheesecake.

Basil Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce (via abeautifulmess.com)For a fancy touch, you can dip a few basil leaves in sugar and place on top of your cheesecake. This is a fun garnish, but I also think it's a nice touch because otherwise this cheesecake could easily get mistaken for key lime (in looks...NOT taste). Don't want to disappoint anyone. :) Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)           I love craft projects that can also double as wall art once you're done—you get your craft time in for the day, learn a new artistic skill, and hang a cute finished piece on your wall to admire at the end. If the idea of watercoloring your own art scared you in the post title, don't worry. You only need a minimal amount of watercolor skill for this, and if you're a total beginner, this is a great project to learn on and play around with. I consider my watercolor skills to be pretty sub-par, but this was fun even for me to complete. And the tricky looking phrase in the middle of the watercolor? You're going to trace it, dude, so don't let that get you down either.

Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)              We're working with our friends at Pentel and using their awesome watercolor set on this project, which is all the more appropriate on Earth Day! Many of Pentel’s products use recycled materials and are designed with the environment in mind. You can see on the packaging exactly how much of each item is recycled. Anyway, it's always fun to learn a company you love is doing its part. You can read more about their Recycology commitment here

-watercolor paper
-Pentel Watercolors, set of 24
-masking tape and board (or flat surface)
-light box or access to a window for tracing
-art masking fluid 

Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)           First you want to choose a phrase for your wall art. Print out your phrase in a font that you like and in the size you want it to appear on your paper. I would choose a more cursive/handwritten looking font because the more the letters connect, the easier it is to pull off the masking fluid when you're done (this font is a great choice). Put your printed phrase under your watercolor paper and use a light box or hold it up to a window during daylight to see your phrase through the watercolor paper. If your final print size will be smaller than the watercolor paper (like an 8x10" size), draw a box the size of your final print first, and then center the phrase in the middle of that area. If you are using a light box and have your paper flat, you can skip the tracing step and just use your paintbrush to paint in the phrase with the art masking fluid. If you're using the window, use a pencil to first lightly trace your phrase onto the watercolor paper, then fill in the traced phrase with the masking fluid. Allow the masking fluid to dry until it feels only slightly tacky.

Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)   Tape your paper down onto a flat surface like a clipboard or piece of wood to keep it flat while it dries and use a brush, cup of water, and watercolors to create splashes of color over and around the phrase. I find it works best to wet the area you want to color first with plain water. Then dip your brush in water again and pick up some color on the palette to transfer to the paper. I basically just chose a few colors that I liked together (that also make pretty colors when they mix with each other) and painted five splashy corners around the phrase in different colors. Then I let them mix together at some point in the middle. Add a more concentrated paint (use less water on your brush) to increase the color and use plain water on a brush to help two colors blend together where they meet up. It's actually a pretty easy look to accomplish once you play around for a few minutes. Just work on blending the colors with more or less water and push and pull the color where you want it to go.

Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)   Allow the watercolor to fully dry, and then rub the masking fluid near the beginning of the phrase to start to pull it away from the paper. It's a lot like rubber cement glue, so just roll it into a little ball that you can pick up and start to pull on. It should pull up really easily and reveal a perfectly white phrase underneath. So cool! I did love the warm tone colors in the first one I tried above, but the yellow was a bit too light of a shade to really show the phrase once it was revealed. So I redid it again with some darker cool tones so the white would stand out more.

Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)
Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)
Watercolor Phrase Wall Art DIY (click through for tutorial)   I love the freeform watercolor look that surrounds the phrase, and I extra love that it's so easy to create. This is a great project to do with a phrase or saying that's special to you or as a gift for someone else too! I love things that are really customizable as far as color choice and size are concerned. This would be a great project to do on a really large scale as well for a big impact. The masking fluid is such a fun tool to play with, and I can't wait to think of lots more projects to use it for soon! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions



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