Re-purposing Old Window Treatments

If you recently purchased new blinds or shades from Blindster, you probably have a few sets of old window treatments on your hands. Instead of throwing them out, consider re-purposing them. There are several great uses for old blinds and shades that can liven up your home and help you bring out your artistic and creative sides. In some cases, old window treatments can be completely transformed into home décor or accent pieces that look nothing like their original shape or form, breathing new life into them and giving you the opportunity to place them throughout your home in a variety of uses or applications.

Decorating with Old Shutters

At Blindster, we’re proud to offer high-quality indoor faux wood plantation shutters. These window treatments are ideal for a wide variety of home décor styles and color schemes. But we also know that many homeowners are left wondering what they should do with their old shutters after they’ve replaced them. A few excellent ideas for re-purposing old shutters include:

  • Wall art – Distressed shutters add a beautiful and rustic look to any room in your home. Simply mount them to the walls of any room in your home to achieve the look. For greater visual variety, arrange shutters of different size and color together in interesting patterns or shapes. You can top the arrangement off with a wreath in the center or ivy along the length of the shutters.
  • Organizers – The slats on old shutters are perfect storage spaces for things like mail, invitations, greeting cards, bills, loose pieces of paper, and other documents that should be kept in a convenient, easy to reach place. This re-purposing idea requires no additional work—simply mount the shutter near your front door or another location where you open your mail and use it to store important items.
  • Vertical planters – Did you know that plants can thrive inside shutters? Potted plants can be attached to the slats on your old shutters to create a vertical garden anywhere inside or outside of your home. You can also place a backing on your shutters and fill them with fertile soil and allow plants to grow through the slats for an even more striking look.
  • Plate rack – An old shutter flipped horizontal with its slats facing up is an ideal dish rack. The notches between the slats make perfect spaces for dishes to be held in place. You can even attach hooks to the bottom of the shutter to hang bowls, cups, and other assorted dishware.

Decorating with Old Window Frames

Old shutters, blinds, and shades aren’t the only parts of windows that can be repurposed. Entire window frames themselves can also be put to good use. The only limit to repurposing old window frames is your imagination. At Blindster, we recommend the following projects and applications:

  • Picture frames – Converting window frames to picture frames is simple, as they’re already extremely similar. Simply adding backings and glass to the fronts of your window frames is a quick and easy way to transform them into beautiful, head-turning, and truly unique picture frames.
  • Mirrors – Window frames also have the perfect shape and size to be used as mirrors. Place individual mirrors cut to size in each section of your window frames for a striking look that will fit in any room in your home.
  • Mantel decoration – Decorating a fireplace mantel can be difficult, especially if you want to avoid cliché décor and accent pieces. Repurposed window frames provide a great opportunity to create a visual centerpiece on your mantel.
  • Front porch – The rustic look of an old window frame is ideal for front porches. Whether you hang yours without any accessories or complete the look with a vintage and distressed star, wreath, ivy, or plant, you’ll have a beautiful addition to your outside décor.

Need Ideas? Check Out These Links.

The internet is full of amazingly creative people who have a professional’s touch when it comes to re-purposing old furniture, décor, and home components. If you’re looking for ideas for your old window treatments, shutters, or window frames, look no further than some ideas presented in related Blindster blog resources:

Easy Ways to Make Your Furniture Look Brand New

Most furniture continues to be durable and strong long after it has stopped looking like it did when you took it home from the store. But drab, dull, and “worn” looking furniture can significantly detract from the appearance of a room. Thankfully, you don’t have to immediately toss your weathered furniture to the curb and shell out big bucks on an entire new suite for your living room, bedroom, or dining room.

There are plenty of easy ways to restore the appearance of faded furniture, and in most cases, it involves nothing more than a little cleaning, polishing, and waxing. There’s a huge market for furniture restoration, so you’ll have no trouble finding the right products to turn back the clock on your favorite couch, coffee table, or nightstand.

Check out some of the easiest ways to get your furniture looking brand new:

Shave your fabric-covered couch and chairs with a fabric shaver

The matte and clean appearance of fabric couches and chairs can quickly become drab and worn due to an unfortunate effect called pilling. This refers to small balls of fiber that form on fabrics and cloths.

Everything from blankets and pillows to your own clothing and pet hair can accumulate on fabric, resulting in major pilling that causes an unintentional “distressed” look on your couches and chairs. The easiest way to remove pilling is by shaving the fabric. Specially-designed fabric shavers can quickly and easily remove tiny layers of fabric, shedding the pilling in the process. If you want a quick and easy fix without spending extra money, a spare razor also works for removing pilling.

Use colorants and fillers to restore leather

A brand-new leather couch or chair is a head-turner in any room. But like fabric furniture, leather can also wear out and become cracked, faded, and discolored over time. It may seem impossible to restore leather to its factory-appearance, but there are several products designed specifically to do just that.

It’s important to first prep leather by cleaning it with specially designed cleaning products or warm water with a mild cleaning solution. After the leather is clean, you can use a filler to repair fine cracks that naturally develop over time. After that dries, you can use a colorant to restore the original color of the leather and help protect it from future fading.

Sand, scrape, and strip worn wood to reveal the beauty underneath

Like fabric and leather furniture, tables, dressers, nightstands, chests, and other wood furniture is subject to wear and tear and the ravages of time. If you have a well-ventilated area, you can begin stripping off the worn outer layer of your wood furniture in minutes with an aerosol spray paint stripper, which quickly causes the finish to lift off the wood. Next, you’ll need to use a scraper to remove the finish. A quick cleaning and light sanding with 150-grit and then 200+ grit sandpaper will finish the job.

Once the unsightly outer layer has been removed, you can apply a fresh stain to the wood surface that will give the furniture a colorful and shiny appearance. Just make sure to wipe away any excess stain to avoid streaks or raised areas. After the stain dries, apply a layer of clear coat to seal the stain and protect the wood. One or two coats later, use your fine-grit sandpaper after the clear coat dries to smooth away any imperfections before applying a final coat.

The last step is to let the furniture cure and settle in a well-ventilated area for around 24 hours before you place it back inside your home.

Easy DIY Easter Decorations

Spring is almost here, and that means Easter is right around the corner. In addition to being a great time for spring cleaning, Easter is also a perfect opportunity to decorate your home for the holiday and warm weather. Spring/Easter decorations are an easy way to bring color into your living space without breaking the bank, as many projects and décor ideas are DIY and can be completed in just a few hours of your time.

Best of all, many Easter-related decorations can be left up throughout all of March, April, and May, which means you don’t have to rush to take them down after the holiday. So if you’re ready to begin creating your own Easter and spring décor, check out Blindster’s top tips for easy DIY projects that will get your home ready for the arrival of warm weather and outdoor fun:

  • Bring flowers indoors and plant flowers outdoors.

Spring Daffodils

Via Driven By Decor


The beautiful pastel colors associated with the Easter holiday are perfectly complemented by a variety of spring flowers like tulips, irises, and daffodils. Whether you display bouquets inside your home or plant outdoors, spring flowers are a beautiful and easy way to celebrate Easter and the arrival of warm weather. They also make excellent hiding spots for Easter eggs, but make sure you remember all the hiding spots you chose for the eggs—especially if your hunt takes place indoors!


  • Make Easter wreaths for your doors and windows.

DIY Easter Wreath

Via Stage Tecture


Although holiday wreaths are most commonly associated with Christmas, they also make great decorations for Easter and springtime. Making an Easter wreath at home is simple: start with an plain wreath made from natural or synthetic materials like vines or fir. Then, use a strong adhesive and attach colorful plastic Easter eggs throughout the wreath. You can also include other colorful elements like ribbons, bows, and plastic flowers to add more design elements.


  • Display Easter baskets throughout your home.

Easter Mason JArs

Via The Wow Style


Easter baskets are a perfect décor craft to do with the kids. To get started, find unused wicker or plastic baskets and stuff them with grass, pine, and other plants. Then fill them with Easter-related items and décor, including Easter eggs, ribbons, bows, and other colorful flourishes. You can also add small decorative rabbits and garden-related items to complete the look. If you’re looking to get especially creative, change your baskets from wicker to glass by using small mason jars filled with grass and Easter eggs.


  • Make Easter egg planters.

Easter Egg Planters

Via Yes Missy


Intact egg shells with only the top portion removed make adorable Easter planters and pots. To remove the top of an egg shell and create a tiny planter, use a sharp knife and carefully cut through the shell without cracking the areas around where you are cutting. With the inside of the shell emptied and rinsed out, stuff the egg with grass and flowers. Paint the shell a solid pastel color, or take the time to paint small intricate designs to make your Easter egg planters stand out when displayed around your home.


  • Fill your wheelbarrow with flowers and colorful plants.

Wheel Barrow Planter

If you’re looking for a creative way to add color and beauty to your outdoor area, the solution may be in your garage or toolshed. Wheelbarrows are great to have around when you need to move soil or heavy items, but when they’re not in use, they can take up large amounts of space. If you’re not planning on using your wheelbarrow anytime soon, put it to work by turning it into an improvised planter. Fill it with soil and beautiful flowers then place it in a prominent location in your outdoor area.


  • Stuff your old rain boots with flowers and hang up your umbrellas.

Rain Boot Planter

Via Twelve Oaks Manner


Although the warm weather of spring can be a major relief, but frequent rain showers and thunderstorms can drive you back indoors. Because there’s a strong association between spring and rain, you can take advantage of that fact with your décor by utilizing an old pair of rain boots and an unused umbrella. Stuff your rain boots (preferably ones that are brightly colored) full of grasses and flowers for a quirky and creative display, and hang up old umbrellas complete with Easter adornments like flowers, bows, and ribbons as substitute wreaths or just as general wall hangings.


  • Paint Mason jars Easter/spring colors and display them in your kitchen.

Spring Mason Jars

Via Mason Jar Crafts Love


It can be tough to incorporate an Easter/spring theme in your kitchen, but if you have a handful of old Mason jars in your cupboards, you’re just a few coats of paint away from having a beautiful display. Make sure that your jars are thoroughly cleaned and dried—then, apply a few coats of pastel paint across every square inch of the surfaces of the jars. Make sure the paint you use is completely dry and nonflammable, because when you’re done, you can place small tea candles inside of the jars to create a beautiful glowing Easter display in your kitchen or anywhere else in your home.

Upcycling Project Ideas

Most of the furniture we use and display in our homes is simple in its design and purpose, but many of the core items range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars in price at furniture stores. If you’re sick of paying an arm and a leg for new furniture, upcycling may be the answer to your problems. Many homeowners may already have several items in their homes that, with a little refurbishing and elbow grease, can be used to replace old, worn-out furniture and save them a ton of money.

Objects that would ordinarily be discarded can be upcycled in ways that increases their value, either monetarily or functionally. In addition to potentially saving you money, upcycling can also give you a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Not only is it great for the environment by reducing trash from your home, it also gives a second life to objects that may need only a few minor alterations.

To start working your upcycling magic and learn the joys of creating your own furniture, check out Blindster’s tips below:

  • Use old lockers as storage.

Upcycled Lockers

Via Caught In Grace



As it turns out, old lockers have many more uses than holding heavy high school textbooks. With their metallic and rustic appearance, old lockers fit perfectly with contemporary furniture and home décor. They’re also excellent for storing clothing, shoes, and anything else that you need quick access to throughout your home. You can even turn a single vertical locker on its side and use it as a coffee table or an ottoman.


  • Convert an old-fashioned wood grain television into a retro shelf.

Vintage T.V. Upcycle

Via Hauspanther

Wood grain tube-style televisions are relics of the past, but it’s wasteful to relegate them to a landfill—especially when you see the intricate wood carvings and finishes of these former living room centerpieces. If you’re handy with electronics, it’s a simply process to remove the “tube” and other inner workings of an old television set and create a beautiful and highly vintage shelving unit in the empty space. Just make sure you leave the original knobs and switches intact—they’re essential for maximizing the nostalgia factor.

  • Turn an old sewing table into a serving table.

Sewing Table Upcycle

Via The Weekend Country Girl


If you have an old sewing table that doesn’t get much use, don’t throw it out—instead, convert it into a serving table. Remove all of the electronic and mechanical components and place a waterproof lining inside the empty space. You can use that space to store drinks and the flip-top to showcase mixers, cups, and snacks for your guests.


  • Create spool tables.

Spool Table Upcycle

Via Maison De Pax


Large construction-sized spools are used to store wiring, cables, and other industrial components. Their shape also makes them a natural fit for being upcycled into furniture. A spool that’s turned vertically instantly becomes a rustic table. If you prefer a more traditional look, a few hours of sandpapering and staining can turn even the most neglected spool into a statement piece in your home. An extra-large spool combined with smaller ones can easily create an entire seating area, or a spool with dividers installed around its circumference works great as bookshelf.


  • Stack old pieces of luggage for décor and storage.

Luggage Upcycle

Via DIY Ready


Modern luggage is typically stored at the back of people’s closets until it’s ready to be used, for good reason, as it’s designed primarily for function over form. Luggage from the past was much more elegantly designed. Despite being outdated in 2016, old luggage still has a place in modern homes as beautiful vintage décor. Cleaned-up and restored suitcases and travel bags can be stacked as accent pieces or to create small tables or shelves, and best of all, they can also be used to store lots of household items.


  • Use pallets to create coffee tables, outdoor sectional couches, and shelves.

Pallet Upcycle

Via 101 Pallet Ideas


Used in almost every warehouse to quickly transport goods, pallets are inexpensive and can be an extremely useful material for upcycling. Convert pallets into make great coffee tables that also feature convenient built-in storage nooks. For outdoor seating, stack and combine them with cushions to create small chairs or even entire sectional seating arrangements. Finally, shelving and displays are the natural result of hanging a pallet vertically on your wall. The gaps between the large pieces of wood make excellent places to store or display books, photos, trophies, and other items.

  • Use barrels to create tables, seats, storage spaces, and ottomans.

Barrel Upcycle

Via Mom 4 Real


Old barrels are just as versatile as pallets when it comes to upcycling furniture. Full-size barrels are the perfect height to use as tables. In fact, a barrel with no alterations whatsoever creates a perfectly functional end table. If you need more space, it’s easy to adhere a glass or metal top to expand it and turn it into a wine table, breakfast table, or card table. Barrels can also be used to create comfortable seats with just a cushion, or cut shorter to be an ottoman. And even if you don’t use a barrel as furniture, a polished and stained barrel can serve as a beautiful accent piece that’s also handy for storage purposes.

Geek Chic: 8 Nerdy Home Décor Ideas

During the past decade, nerd culture has moved from being a small niche market, to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Movies, music, books, television shows, and even conventions are now dominated by all things nerd. More people than ever connect with the themes presented in traditional “nerd” media, whether it’s science fiction, high fantasy, or time traveling doctors. The appeal of such genres isn’t just limited to popular media in 2016—it’s now crossing over into the way people decorate their homes.

With DIY websites also becoming more and more popular in recent years, adding a touch of nerd culture to your home—or completely transforming your home into a nerd paradise—is easier than ever. Best of all, many of the tips involve inexpensive projects that can be completed in just one day. To get started on creating your own nerdy home décor, check out Blindster’s list of tips below:


1. Frame some of your favorite comic books.


Framed Comics

Via Youseph

Many comic book collections end up tucked away on shelves, in binders, or stashed at the back of closets in boxes. While those are great options for safekeeping, they do nothing to showcase your collection or just a few of your favorite issues. Comic book covers are bright, colorful, and eye-catching, and they always look great when framed and displayed prominently. Framing and displaying your comic books keeps them protected from the elements and adds a huge splash of your color and character (no pun intended) to your home. Up, up, and not away (pun completely intended)!

2. Create shadowboxes of your favorite hobbies and interests.

Star Wars Shadowbox

Via Somewhere On The Ice Planet

If you’re a diehard fan of a particular video game console, author, television series, or movie trilogy, hanging posters of your obsession in your home may seem a bit too cliché past a certain age. But if you’re dead-set on showing your love for your favorite nerdy franchise to the world, you can’t go wrong with creating a shadowbox. Throw in a collection of both classic and modern video game controllers, some iconic books by your favorite author, or DVD/Blu-ray cases of your favorite television/movie series and secure them behind the glass to create an homage that’s both sophisticated and delightfully nerdy.

3. Make your own music Wall of Fame.

Vinyl ARt

Via Records on Walls

If music—particularly hits from the 60s and 70s—is more your thing, you know that it’s tough to beat the audio quality of the original vinyl pressings of classic albums. But vinyl albums aren’t just great for their sound quality—they’re also great for the beauty of the album covers themselves. Like comic books, vinyl album covers feature iconic artwork that’s often reproduced on posters and t-shirts, but there’s nothing like the real thing. Buy some replacement protective sleeves for your vinyl records and frame the album covers to be displayed on your wall to create a beautiful homage to your some of your favorite music. Totally groovy, man.

4. Paint your staircase risers to represent your favorite books and authors.

Book Staircase

Via Etsy

If you have an artistic flair—or if you’re feeling bold about your décor ideas—bust out your paintbrush, paint, and some multi-surface tape and start studying the designs on the spines of your favorite books. If you’ve got the creative chops to transfer those designs to the risers of each step, you can transform your staircase into an oversized “library” of classic novels and timeless literature. You can also use your risers to paint inspirational quotes from your favorite books, music, movies, and video games. Just be careful not to trip over your own words.

5. Create classic video game scenes on your walls.

Pac-Man Wall Decals

Via Geek Alert

Classic video games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and even Tetris all take place on solid colored backgrounds. That makes scenes from these iconic games easy to create on your walls. A few coats of solid black or blue paint and some pre-made or homemade pixelated decals strategically adhered to the wall can turn an ordinary room into an oversized display of an 8-bit classic. These large displays are the perfect touches for game rooms, man caves, home offices, and media rooms. But, you might want to avoid putting Pac-Man and Ghosts in the same room!

6. Use test tubes, beakers, and other scientific glassware for storage.

Test Tube Spice Rack

Via Instructables

There’s never been a better time to love all things science. But short of hanging up a large periodic table of the elements in your home, it can be hard to show your appreciation for it. One creative way to display your love for all things chemistry, biology, and physics is to bring the “lab” into your home with scientific glassware. Test tubes, beakers, flasks, and cylinders aren’t just great for decorative purposes—they’re also great for actually storing things. Use them in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room to store everything from soap, detergent, and even spices and oils. Want extra nerd points? Put household items in containers that are labeled by their chemical name, ex.: jewelry in a container that says Au, bananas in a bowl labeled K or a salt shaker with NaCl on the front.

7. Build a “nerd shrine” to display your favorite items.

Tardis Wardrobe

Via Scrappy Jedi

If you love the idea of showing off your nerdy interests, but you’re a little reluctant to spread the décor throughout your home, a nerd shrine may be the perfect option. Whether it’s a prominently located shelf, bookcase, or even your fireplace mantle, choose one spot in your home and dedicate it to all of your favorite hobbies, interests, and pop culture items. Having everything in one space will go a long way towards filling your nerd décor “quota” will still giving you room for more traditional décor throughout the rest of your home.

8. Build your own classic arcade game cabinet.

DIY Arcade

Via Intructables

This tip requires some technical know-how (or a willingness to follow some pretty extensive online guides), but it’s a great way to display your love for classic 80s arcade games without breaking the bank and buying an original arcade cabinet. An LCD screen, an inexpensive computer, and an empty arcade cabinet can be transformed into iconic games from the past at a fraction of the price of buying the real thing.

Top Gardening Tips and Trends for 2016

Having the space and the available land to grow your own garden is one of the greatest perks of being a homeowner. It’s hard to beat the sense of satisfaction that comes from preparing meals with fruits and vegetables that were grown in your own backyard. Like all aspects of homeownership, gardening is constantly changing, and new ideas for maximizing the beauty and yield of gardens are in no short supply thanks to social media and other lifestyle-sharing websites.

So whether gardening is your passion, your hobby, or just a way for you to be more eco-friendly, there’s always room to make your garden more effective, efficient, and enticing. To transform your garden this spring and truly harness its potential for your family, check out Blindster’s list of the top gardening trends of 2016:

Go natural and go “wild”

Garden Wild

Via Judy’s Cottage Garden


One of the top trends in gardening in 2016 is to take a more hands-off approach when it comes to flowers, grasses, shrubs, and other decorative plants. Creating a perfectly manicured garden where not even a single blade of grass is out of place can be difficult work—especially if you’re short on time or energy after a long week at work. Instead of fussing with a never-ending quest to keep Mother Nature under control, many gardeners prefer to allow nature to take its course—within reason, obviously. Densely packed and free-growing plants can create a beautiful assortments of colors, shapes, and textures, even without the constant trimming, pulling, and fertilizing that many gardens require.

Buy and plant local

Buy and Plant local

Many of the plants you see at your local nursery or flower shop may be from parts unknown. In fact, it’s not uncommon for many plants to require a heavy dose of chemical preparation and a plane ride that costs thousands of dollars in fuel before they arrive at a store where they can be purchased by local homeowners. Instead of relying on exotic plants that require a huge amount of resources and specialized care and attention to survive in your backyard, consider filling your garden with plants that are indigenous to your area instead. They’ll thrive in their ideal climate and help your garden be a more eco-friendly space that showcases the variety of the local flora.

Make it dog and pet friendly

Pet Friendly Garden

Pets are a huge part of our lives, but many homeowners cringe at the sight of their dogs and cats running wild through their gardens. The result is often dug up or damaged plants, dirt kicked up everywhere, and the early death of plants that were just beginning to bloom. In addition, many homeowners also worry about their pets’ health if they happen to eat something that was treated with pesticides or other dangerous chemicals. These concerns are a big reason why many gardens are going pet-friendly, and that means creative fencing, hardy plants that can withstand pet damage, and instituting a strict rule that keeps toxic chemicals and plants far away from the garden itself.

Concentrate on herbs


Home gardens are often associated with traditional fruits and vegetables that are staples of the modern diet, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini, and for good reason—they’re delicious and easy to grow. But one overlooked perk of having a home garden is the ability to grow a wide variety of herbs that can take your home cooking to another level. Herbs are being incorporated into more and more popular dishes—especially at farm-to-table restaurants—and having your own supply in your garden can encourage you to experiment more in the kitchen and truly unleash the flavors that you’re capable of creating.

Turn your garden into a showcase for all things art

Succulent Art


Via Better Homes and Gardens


Homemade art pieces have exploded in popularity during the past half-decade due to project sharing websites. What better place to show off your artistic side and share it with the world than your own garden? Combining the beauty of nature with the beauty of art—whether it’s created, found, or salvaged—can create a stunning result and transform your garden into a true outdoor paradise. A garden is all about expressing yourself through your own living creations, and taking advantage of that creative atmosphere with collected or created artwork can be a highly satisfying experience.

Pay close attention to the soil

Pay attention to soil

The key to having a healthy and productive garden is having high-quality and highly fertile soil. But over the years, soil can lose its natural nutrients and ability to produce harvests for your family to enjoy. Paying extra attention to your soil and its quality—or lack thereof—can make gardening a breeze and your plants grow much more easily than they ever have in the past. There’s no magic bullet for creating the ultimate garden soil, so experiment with things like wood chips, leaves, compost, mulch, and other natural soil enhancers to find what works for your outdoor space. The sooner you begin prepping your soil, the better your results will be when trying to grow new things in the future.

Incorporate your gadgets into your gardening experience

Gardening App


Via Seasoned Homemaker


Gardening and smartphone apps may seem like the most unrelated phrases in the English language, but there’s actually a huge variety of helpful apps related to gardening. Whether you want to more easily identify plants and potential plant diseases, set and maintain a schedule for watering and fertilizing, plan out your garden months or even years in advance, and easily record your garden’s progress with pictures and notes, look no further than your smartphone or tablet’s app marketplace. In addition, there are countless online gardening communities where you can share your creation and seek help and advice from others.

Give a gnome a home

Gnome Home

The humble gnome has made a slow and steady climb back to the top of the list of garden adornments, and now they’re on pace to dethrone fairies, frogs, and other small animal figures from home gardens. With their colorful clothing, gnomes can provide a splash of color to your garden and even an “Easter egg hunt” activity for small children. Place them in hard to find spots—hiding behind mushrooms, peering out from flower pots—and continue adding to your collection over the years. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that gnomes scare away pests or unwanted insects, but it can’t hurt to try.

DIY Cup Cozy

This easy cup cozy is adorable and will keep your hand safe when drinking your morning coffee. Our sample shades fabrics work perfectly for small DIY sewing projects like this one. We found this cute striped pattern in a thick fabric that will hold up to close contact with heat and continued use, just like our shades! You could also use any durable pieces of scrap fabric that are big enough.

This is a perfect project to bring the kids in on. It takes less than an hour to complete and is a great way to teach kids basic sewing skills. They can use their cozy for a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. To get started, gather up all the materials you will need.

You will need:

  • Two 5-1/2” by 12” fabric pieces
  • One 5-1/2” by 12” piece of batting
  • Button
  • Hair Elastic (without metal)
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Needle

Step 1


Cut your fabric pieces and batting to fit around your cup or use a template like this one. Make sure all of the pieces are the same size.

Step 2


Place the fabric you intend to have showing wrong side down on top of the batting, matching up all the edges.


Squeeze two sides of the hair elastic together to make an 8, then, pin it in place to the center of one straight edge of the fabric at the middle of the 8.

Step 3


Place the second piece of fabric, right side down, on top of the elastic and first fabric piece. Make sure all the edges match and then pin it all together. Leave some space at the edge for sewing.

Step 4


Using the coordinating thread, sew along the edges of the rectangle with a 1/4” seam, leaving a 2” gap for turning.


Make sure to backstitch over the elastic several times for security.


Step 5


Turn the cozy right side out using the gap and push out all the corners. Turn under the unsewn edges and topstitch around the entire cozy.


Step 6


Sew the button the opposite right side of the cozy. Check that both the elastic and button are securely fastened. Then your cozy is ready to be wrapped around your to-go cup!




How to Dress Up Your Windows for Halloween

Decorating your home both inside and out is a fun way to celebrate Halloween. Whether you’re planning a Halloween party, preparing your home for trick-or-treaters, or you just want to have the most impressive-looking “haunted house” in your neighborhood, a few well-placed decorations can make a big difference.

However, one key aspect of completely transforming your home into a true haunted house is decorating and dressing up your windows. While you can’t leave out the all-important spider webs in trees, fake headstones on your lawn, and spooky Jack-o-Lanterns on your porch, choosing the right props for your windows is an easy way to take your Halloween décor from good to great.


  • Cover your windows with spider webs.

Fake spider webs make a great Halloween decoration for your trees and the eaves in your front porch, but they’re also perfect for windows as well. Most fake spider webs are sold in large rolls, which means you’ll have plenty to spare after you’ve decorated the rest of your home. After you’ve attached the webs to your windows, be sure to add a few fake spiders for the finishing touches.


  • Smear “bloody” handprints on the window glass.

Every cheesy horror movie includes at least one scene involving a bloody handprint, so why not incorporate that tried-and-true cliché into your own Halloween decorations? Just buy a small amount of fake blood and pour a quarter-sized amount into your palm. Place your hand against the window and move it back and forth until the liquid makes a distinct red hand print on the glass. If you’re wary of using fake blood on your windows, you can also purchase window clings that accomplish the same effect.


  • Place black lights or strobe lights in your windows.

Lighting has a huge effect on the appearance of your home from the street—especially at night when all the windows are lit up. Take advantage of that fact by placing black lights just inside each window. The eerie blue, green, or orange glow produced by the lights will give your home a unique appearance and make your other outdoor decorations stand out even more. You can also use strobe lights just behind your windows to achieve a true horror-film inspired look that will draw the attention of everyone who passes your home.


  • Hang caution tape across your windows.

Like fake spider webs, novelty caution tape is an inexpensive purchase that can create a dramatic effect on your home’s Halloween décor. Nothing says “gory crime scene” quite like the infamous yellow plastic tape, and stringing it up across your home, including your windows, can make your home look like it’s straight out of a classic zombie or slasher horror film.


  • Play classic horror films in your windows.

If you have a few spare TVs in your home, put them to good use this Halloween season. Place them facing outward in your windows and play classic horror films on repeat. Alternatively, you can purchase special DVDs that play creepy animations of everything ghosts and monsters to zombies and giant spiders.

boarded windows

  • “Board up” your windows.

No, you don’t have to actually board up your windows to accomplish this effect. Fake window boards are available at many Halloween stores, but you can also make your own at home if you have some spare cardboard or Styrofoam. First, cut the pieces into traditional 2×4’ planks that will cover your windows. Then, use a brown paint or wood stain to get a realistic wood look, and then use a heavy-duty double sided-tape to attach each plank to your windows. For an added effect, wrap them in fake spider webs or place bloody handprints on a few planks.


  • Add ghostly faces to your windows.

What’s a haunted house without menacing ghosts flying around inside? To make your home look truly spooky, buy a few “ghost” masks at your local Halloween store or supermarket. Then, wrap them cheesecloth to create a long “tail” that falls several feet below the mask itself. When you hang them in your window, it will look like your home has been taken over by flying apparitions.


  • Create a flame or blood effect with orange or red tissue paper.

If you want your windows to merely enhance your décor rather than be the center of attention, this tip may be perfect for your home. Tape several layers of orange or red tissue paper in your windows, and make sure you cover up all gaps to prevent light leaks. Then, place lights directly behind each window to create a striking colorful display. You can also glue black construction paper to the tissue paper in the shapes of eyes and mouths to create a Jack-o-Lantern effect in your windows.


  • Create your own spooky silhouettes and place them in your windows.

One of the most inexpensive ways to dress up your windows for Halloween is to create silhouettes and place them directly against the glass. This tip requires nothing more than a large roll of black paper, which you can find at most arts and crafts stores, a white pen or pencil, scissors, and any of the countless silhouette templates you can find online.


After you’ve found the silhouettes you want to display in your windows, do your best to sketch them on the paper using the white pen or chalk. Don’t worry about drawing perfectly, as the silhouettes are meant to represent shadows. Once you’re satisfied with the drawings, cut out the silhouettes and tape them to the insides of your windows.

DIY Wooden Slat Pumpkins

With Halloween just around, the corner fall decorations are everywhere. Carving pumpkins is a big part of a lot of family’s Halloween traditions, but the mess that goes along with it is often a huge headache. Although seasoned and baked pumpkin seeds are amazing, digging through pumpkin guts is not. This little pumpkin project allows you and your family to get that jack o’ lantern feel without the huge gooey mess.

You will need:

  • 19 6” Wooden Slat Samples
  • Orange and Black Paint
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Two Wine Corks
  • Rustic Rope

This project makes three pumpkins, two small and one large. Start by gathering your wooden slats together and getting your glue gun hot. Make sure you have more glue sticks nearby because you will need them! For each of the small pumpkins, you will need five slats. Place two of the slats on a flat surface side-by-side. Take a third slat and cover the bottom side with hot glue. Working quickly, place it flat in the middle if the first two slats. Then, cover the top side of the third slat with hot glue and place two slats on top, lining them up with the first two slats to make a thicker rectangle. Do the same thing with 5 other slats and place the two rectangles aside.

small side

For the large pumpkin, you will need nine slats. Place three of the slats on a flat surface side-by-side to create a rectangle. Then, take three more slats and place them side-by-side, connected to the other three slats at the ends. This will look like an even larger rectangle. Grab one more slat and cover the bottom side with hot glue. Place in over the connecting ends of the previously laid slats to keep them all together. Do the same at the bottom of the connecting slats to keep them from separating. When you flip in over, it should look like a cohesive rectangle. To give the illusion of a top hat, hot glue another slat over the connecting edges at a slight angle.


Paint both sides of the small pumpkin rectangle lightly with orange paint. Make sure to let one side dry before you paint the other.

small pumpkin

Paint the bottom half of the big pumpkin orange, leaving the “hat” part as is.

big pumpkin

Once the paint in fully dry, glue a wine cork at the top of both small pumpkins so that it looks like a stem. Take your rope, tie it in a bow and then hot glue it where the cork and the pumpkin meet. Put the small pumpkins aside.


To decorate the larger pumpkin’s hat, glue a piece of rope around the top.


Cut a two-inch piece of rope and pull apart the threads. Layer the threads at the base of the pumpkin’s hat to create a rustic flower.


For a finishing touch, paint a little jack o’ lantern face on the large pumpkin and you’re done!


Line your pumpkins up on your mantle or spread them out around the house. These little guys will brighten up your fall decor and you won’t have to worry about any rotting pumpkins!



How to Fix a Cordless Cellular Shade

Cordless cellular shades are highly effective at blocking out light, protecting your family’s privacy, and complementing your home’s décor, but like all items with moving parts, they may need repairs and maintenance from time to time. If you have experienced issues with your cordless cellular shades recently, you don’t have to throw them out or hire a professional to fix them. Chances are, you can repair them yourself with just a few household tools and the following information.

Check out Blindster’s guide below to fix some of the most common and annoying problems that can occur with cordless cellular shades:

  • Problem: Hitches in movement when raising or lowering the shade

Solution: If you notice the shade’s movement seems impeded in some way, check the spring motor inside the headrail. If you see friction clips, trying removing them to see if that improves the shade’s movement and operation.


  • Problem: Shade doesn’t lift or is stuck in a drawn position

Solution: If your shade seems stuck and you want to fully retract it, the springs inside the headrail may have become set in their current position due to a prolonged period of being set to a certain level. To reset the springs, pull down on the bottom rail until the shade begins moving again. Then, lift up until the shade is in the desired position.


  • Problem: Shade brushes up against the wall or window when raising or lowering it

Solution: Shades that come into contact with your wall or window are likely mounted too close to the surface that’s being touched. If that’s case, you may need an extension bracket that will provide extra clearance for your shade.


  • Problem: Shade moves too much due to air drafts or open windows

Solution: If your shade is getting blown around by your air conditioner, fan, the wind from the outside, or doors being opened and closed frequently, you can use hold-down brackets to keep it in place. Hold-down brackets are easily installed near the bottom rail of the shade and will prevent it from moving in almost all situations.


  • Problem: Shade hangs unevenly at the bottom

Solution: Eventually, you may notice that your shade no longer rests in an even and symmetrical position. If that’s the case, you may need to simply pull your shade down completely and then lift it back the desired position. This can help reset the position of the lift mechanisms and cords inside the headrail. To prevent this from happening in the future, always lift the shade from the middle instead of the sides. That helps balance the tension and avoids overloading one side of the lift mechanism.


  • Problem: Shade looks like it is beginning to sag

Solution: Over time, your shade may begin to take on an appearance of sagging. This may be due to the friction clips inside breaking or losing their effectiveness. If your shade isn’t equipped with friction clips, the friction clips are broken, or you need to replace ones that you lost, contact Blindster or the manufacturer for replacements.

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