Garlands are a Winter-holiday-decor classic, but they don’t always have to be made out of fir or popcorn! Here are some creative garland ideas that are totally DIYable to get you inspired for your holiday decorating.
Cut up some old paper bags in holiday shapes and string them on yarn. Recycled and festive!
Ball ornaments strung together with wire makes for a glittery and glamourous look. Try using floral wire for easy wrapping or just hang them simply on a wire.
Bells! So festive and metallic. Get bags of bells and a roll of wire from the crafts store and get to stringing!
Lace garlands for your winter wonderland decor. Check your local fabric store in the lace trim section, cut and hang!
Pine cones and acorns strung on twine gives an earthy look to any interior.
Upcycle old spools with some glued-on sheet music and string them on yarn with wooden beads.
Buttons! Love this simple idea for an eclectic look. These are held together with wire hooks but you could easily use twine or embroidery thread.
Felt shapes cut out using a stencil or free-hand and attach them to twine.
Cut white paper or sheet music in snowflake or triangle shapes for a lightweight and monochromatic garland.
When you have so many fingers, Why Not represent as many different winter holiday traditions as possible?! That’s what I set out to do with this manicure and thus I’m calling it, DIY Non-Denominational Nail Art!
Watch the video above to see DIYs for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and Atheist… I know there is probably more but I only have five fingers! Well, I have ten, but I wanted my hands to match!
Various nail polish colors of your choice – thing about colors for both the background and designs
Paint your base colors, I chose blue for Hanukkah, white for Christmas and Atheist, yellow for Winter Solstice and green and red for Kwanza – let dry
Winter white-out (Atheist) nail: paint another coat of white polish and sprinkle flocking powder over the wet polish. Press the flocking into the polish with your finger and let dry. Brush or blow off the excess when the nail is fully dry.
Hanukkah nail: use a thin nail art brush in white polish to make the menorah candle stem, base and horse-shoe shaped candle holders. Top off with tear drop shaped gems to look like candle flames. Use nail glue to hold the gems in place and use your tweezers for easy application.
Christmas nail: I chose to do Rudolph using my striper (thin/long) nail art brush in a taupe color to make his head, ears and antlers. I gave him a red nose using a mini pom pom attached with nail glue.
Kwanza nail: to symbolize the red, green and one black candle, I painted a black stripe down the center of my nail where the red and green base coat meet. I topped off the tip of my nail with a gold studs to look like a candle flame.
Winter Solstice nail: to symbolize the celebration of light, I used nail glue to attach a piece of foil to the center of my nail then I added gold studs and a rhinestone for more sparkle.
Maria asks:Hi Mr Kate! I was wondering if you have any money saving tips towards buying gifts for the holidays? I am trying to save my money but still would like to give this holiday instead of receive!
My Answer: Hi Maria! One of the easiest ways to save money on gifts is to DIY them! I like to also DIY gifts in bulk so you can have them on hand to give to your entire gift list. Here’s a roundup of some fun DIY present ideas that hopefully inspire you to get creative while saving moola at the same time! Happy holidays and I hope you get some good gifts too!
An adorable combo of hot cocoa and marshmallows in a mason jar with a mini Baileys tied on the side is a perfect! Leave off the Baileys and this could make a great kid’s gift too!
Sharpie mugs! Love these as a set to give to a couple. The options are endless because you draw whatever you want! See the fail-safe way to do them in this video.
DIY snow globes! I’ve always wondered how these magical things are made and it’s not that hard and a great gift for kids!
For the chef, baker, food enthusiast in your life, this is an adorable way to DIY-wrap cooking utensils in an oven mitt for a festive gift.
Totally DIY-able! Cut green card stock paper in the shape of a christmas tree, staple it to the string of a teabag, and there you have it.. Christmas tea!
Another DIY-able gift, make a scrabble ornament for your tree and beyond!
Acid washed denim and fishnets? #whynot! I like fishnets because you can layer them over thicker tights and still get the look while keeping warm. I’m so in love with the Thorn Midi Ring it’s the perfect mix of delicate and edgy, I’ve been wearing two every day. This dress is a great combo of acid washed 80′s in a current skater silhouette and the beret hat brings a vintage vibe….oh, and the motorcycle? Not mine, I was just fondling it for the photos and thankfully didn’t kick it over with my giant shoes!
Twinkle lights are one of the best parts of the holiday season. I love seeing them light up the winter darkness in people’s homes and out on the streets. But you don’t have to just string up a plain strand of lights! Similar to what we did with the DIY Flower Twinkle Lights last spring, we added some organic starburst shaped paper cut-outs - similar to my Starburst jewelry pieces – to a store-bought strand of twinkle lights. Using glitter paper is the sparkle on the cake because it reflects the light so nicely, but you could use regular printer paper for a more transparent effect.
draw a starburst shape on the back of your glitter or plain paper
cut out the stars shapes with your scissor
use the scissors to poke a hole in the middle of each star shape, large enough for a twinkle light bulb
push the light bulb through the hole so it’s nestled around the plastic base of the bulb and not the bulb itself
As you probably already know, the word weird is a good word in my book. To me, weird means anything unique, unusual and delightfully different from the norm. I celebrate #weird every day with my Weird Necklace and Bracelet and today we’re celebrating weird christmas/holiday/winter solstice trees…I know it’s that time of year again. I just made a weird xmas tree in my video this past Sunday by drawing one with chalk and lights on the wall! See it in DIY Winter Wall Decor!
Ohhh Cindy Lou Who, where are you!? While Cindy was out, wandering the world, I helped create a winter holiday scene on her wall! Watch the video above to see the full DIY and meet Cindy.
This is a great DIY for a small space if you want to think vertically with your decor. I used chalkboard paint on a patch of wall but if you don’t want to go as dark, you could use a lighter shade of chalkboard paint (it comes in a tint-able option) or use whiteboard paint and do the reverse with black and colored markers – see DIY Whiteboard Wall. If paint just isn’t your thing, create a winter wall using tape and twine to make your shapes instead of drawing them or use the strand of lights to create the outline… so many options!
chalk board paint (see alternate options in paragraph above)
twinkle lights – I used white and red
optional: to create a straight line for the painter’s tape use string/twine, a weight and a pencil
Optional: if you are painting only a patch of wall and need a straight tape line, use a piece of twine tied to a weight (I used a roll of tape) and let it dangle from the ceiling to the ground showing you a straight line. Line the line of the twine with a pencil and tape along the straight pencil line.
Tape off the area you want to paint with painter’s tape
Paint your wall with chalkboard paint using your tray and paint roller
Let dry for a few hours, then add another coat
Let dry for 2 days before you draw with chalk!
Draw your own christmas tree, fire place, menorah, or whatever festive things you want!
Hammer in small nails where you want to hang the lights and stretch the lights across the tree like you would lacing shoe laces. I used a bundle of battery powered LED lights to create a burst on the top of the tree.
Hang any practical items on your wall like glitter leaves, mistletoe, stockings, etc!
Whenever I wear dark lipstick I’m reminded of 90′s style, so when also paired with plaid and crushed velvet, I’m ready for a Nirvana concert! I’m totally never one to let go of a particular style if it’s something I still like, especially because every style cycles around again so you’ll find yourself at the beginning or tail end of all kinds of trends so #whynot!? I did an ombre thing with my dark lipstick by applying it more heavily on the outer edges of my lips and a lighter lipgloss in the center, more deets below. These shoe lips were sent to my by a company called Shwings and are a delightful way to jazz up any shoes with laces.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and if you need any last minute recipe ideas, check out the Food section! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, travel safe and eat well!
Holy sugar mushrooms! Everything in these photos is edible…and sweet! Andie’s Specialty Sweets specializes in creating made-to-order edible art, otherwise known as candy – but this candy looks unlike any I’ve ever seen! Everything is handmade, poured, molded etc. in the old fashioned way of making candy. Andie’s Specialty Sweets was awarded Martha Stewart’s top D.I.Y. resource for Edible Art and I can see why! These little goodies would be such a decadent gift or stocking stuffer this holiday season.
I love bohemian interiors and decor and the cozy, nature-inspired and effortless style applies to well to the Thanksgiving vibe. Thus, I DIYed a bohemian Thanksgiving centerpiece using elements like dried flowers, leaves and wheat stalks, crystals and feathers. For an eclectic touch, I used an inexpensive plate charger in blue for the candles, a patterned vase for the bouquet and a vintage Indian fabric as the table runner. Use these tips to get your own bohemian look for this Thanksgiving and for other ideas see DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece with Grocery Store Items, and DIY Thanksgiving Placecards
candles in varying heights
plate, tray or charger to hold candles
fun vase or pitcher for dried bouquet – the printed one I used is by Jonathan Adler
vintage or patterned fabric for table runner
bundles of dried flowers, leaves, wheat, etc. – we got all of these at the crafts store
anything else that makes you feel bohemian!
If your piece of fabric is too wide, fold it in a creative way to make it more narrow to act as a table runner down the center of your table.
Dried flowers, leaves, wheat stalks, foxtails, twigs, etc. are great for a loose bouquet that won’t require water and last as long as you like! We found all of these dried bundles at Michael’s craft store.
My fav five things for this Fall/Autumn were hard to narrow down – I like a lot of things – but it’s a fun challenge to name 5 different favorites in 5 different categories for my Autumn must haves. Watch the video above to see why I genuinely like and use all of these things and comment below with your top 5 for Fall!
BTdubstep, don’t miss our Black Friday Sale coming up, duuuh, this Black Friday! Stay tuned for more info!
The Nespresso Essenza and Milk Frother is like something from the alien land of genius Italian coffee makers (you know that land?) – anyways, I was on a green tea kick for a couple years but recently got back into drinking coffee thanks to this little bugger. It’s so crazy easy to use, fast and ummm, delish! Forgettabout Starbucks, this stuff is faster and better and the milk frother gives you the option to make your own cappuccinos and lattes in a flash. I use soy milk or creamer in the frother and it whispers it into a luxurious froth. The pods are easy to order on Amazon and I keep them in a little jar on the kitchen counter because they’re cute!
Music is so important for vibes and when I get stressed I love oldies and specifically 60′s doo-wop station on Pandora because it is impossible to feel mad when you listen to harmonies and doo doo doos.
One of my favorites from the new Winter Rose collection these Mr. Kate Icicle Convertible Earrings I designed to be the DIY of earrings because you can wear them with as many icicle charms as you like! They are lightweight and I always love to mix metals.
I bought this Fedora with raw cut edges at Zara but it is such a great DIY inspiration for any felt hat you may have or find at a thrift store or flea market. Simply use a pair of scissors to cut a raw edge on the hat for a funky, updated look!
I seriously use this Lorac Pro to-go Pallet every day. It’s a great way to pack light for a trip, etc. and I love the mix of cream, brown and black eyeshadows in both metallics and mattes plus the blush and bronzer colors on the other side and at $38 it’s a total steal!
Those are my Fav Five must-haves for Fall! What are yours?
Don’t forget the Black Friday SALE is happening this Friday!
Everyone’s “basics” are different. Some people like jeans and a white tee, others consider a black blazer their go-to uniform and some can’t leave without their red lipstick – whatever is an instinctive part of your personal style could be considered your basics. My basics can vary depending on my mood but I always love flare leg pants, a loose fitting, extremely soft shirt and loads of jewelry. This Tencel shirt by Velvet Heart is so soft and I love that it looks like dark denim, without the stiffness. These lace bellbottoms were the ‘it’ thing a couple years ago but I kept them because I consider them one of my basics and are a great silhouette for a petite peep like myself. The crown, well, that I got in the kid’s section of H&M because #whynot!? And the jewelry is mostly from my new Winter Rose collection which is so easy to layer for every day snazz.
Like most holidays, Thanksgiving has a lot of traditions and most of them center around food. The traditional Thanksgiving menu usually consists of Turkey (or in my case Tofurky – see Thanksgiving menu), mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, pie, etc. – all delicious things, deserving of their place on the menu. However, in true Mr. Kate form, I thought it would be fun to think beyond the turkey this Thanksgiving and do a roundup of some creatively untraditional dishes that still have some hints of Thanksgiving staples…. can you say nachos and doughnuts!?!?
What is a girl to do when she likes the look of animal busts but also likes animals to be able to keep their heads!? Go faux faux sure! I found this amazing faux gazelle head at Home Goods (rad store to get inexpensive decor items) and I loved the metallic finish! Faux taxidermy is perfect to get that bohemian/eclectic decorating style while staying animal friendly. Mr. gazelle also makes a great jewelry holder!
Asia asks: ”what’s shakin’, mr. kate? i’ve been wondering about how to style skirts & dresses for the fall/winter. i’ve been getting really tired of the whole jeans & boots combo, but i don’t want to sacrifice the warmth factor. what ever am i to do?”
My Answer: Hi Asia! I’m shakin, it’s shakin, everything is shashashakin! And my answer for you is knee high or thigh high socks! I think they are a great way to insulate your legs while wearing skirts and dresses in the cold months. Below, I styled two looks with over the knee socks without tights – but these looks would look equally rad with nylons or tights underneath, if you live in climates that require your whole leg to be covered… I live in LA so I can usually get away with a little bare thigh-ness.
Outfit #1 I went for a kind of 80′s vibe with a vintage tee and ruched, thigh-high socks that I wore scrunched down a little and my hair in a tippy-top pony tail. I layered the mini skirt over a pair of lace bike shorts – see full outfit details below.
Outfit #2 I made more girly with a ribbon in my hair and school/work appropriate by layering a sweater dress over a long sleeved body-con dress and over the knee socks paired with tall boots. I usually like to wear my knee high socks with boots. I think the proportions look better with ankle to tall boots but you could also try a Socks and Sandals angle with knee highs if they’re more sheer and lacy.
It’s Monday, but I wish I was still in bed and frankly, I wish my bed looked like one of these! Here are some dreamy bed inspirations with some dissection of the elements so you can take notes for your own fantasy bed!
Four poster and canopy beds are probably the dreamiest around. Elevating the presence of the bed higher with the four poster and/or canopy above make the bed a statement piece that almost looks like a cozy room within the room. Re-create some of these looks by draping your canopy bed with yards of sheer fabric, hanging a mosquito net above – see more in Decorating with Mosquito Nets. Add lighting like a chandelier above for more romance.
Traditional beds with a large light or window above.
Hanging beds! You need a support beam and some hefty ropes or cords but if you can swing it (ha), hanging beds are pretty dreamy.
Futons can be dreamy too! If part of an amazing room with a patterned comforter on top.
Metal bed frames can look dreamy as well. Try painting one a fun color – See how I painted a metal toddler’s bed lime green in Whimsical and Bright Girl’s Room Design. Metal headboards are in my opinion the only acceptable ones to put in front of a window because of the openings for the light to shine through.
My mom is a great cook, very instinctive and skilled at making healthy things taste great. As a result, I never had an aversion to vegetables growing up because my mom always made them super delish! Thus was the challenge in this video, to take brussel sprouts – a “much maligned vegetable” as my mom put it – and make them taste amazing, not one, but two ways! Both of these dishes are perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. I would suggest serving the savory Brussel Sprout Bruschetta as an appetizer and the Sweet Maple Cranberry Brussel Sprouts as a side dish. I promise you will convert brussel sprout haters to instant fans!
Watch the video above to see the recipes take shape and my mom and I be #weird.
Fresh parsley from mom’s patio garden…
Sweet Maple Brussel Sprouts (serves 8)
about 2 pounds of brussel sprouts
1/3 cup of maple sugar or syrup – depending on how sweet to taste
4 or more tablespoons of vegan butter or real butter – depending on how juicy
3/4 to 1 cup of pine nuts – or almonds or pecans
3/4 cup of dried cranberries or currents, raisins etc. – whatever you prefer!
cut your brussel sprouts in half and parboil them in a pot with about 3 inches of water until they are bright green but still firm (not mushy!) about 3 minutes (add lemon juice to preserve green color) – strain and set aside
toast your nuts in a dry pan until brown but not burned
brown your brussel sprouts in a pan (medium heat) with 1 tbs of vegan butter then add more vegan butter with your maple sugar, toasted nuts and cranberries and mix together and let caramelize but not overcook – keep tasting!
serve in a bowl as a delicious side dish or eat them as a sweet snack on movie night!
Savory Brussel Sprouts Bruschetta with Capers and Anchovies
(make this dish vegan with no anchovies and extra capers)
about 2 pounds of brussel sprouts
olive oil (and butter – optional, use vegan butter to keep vegan)
half jar of capers
1 can of anchovies in olive oil – chopped – (vegan optional, use more capers to add salt if going without the anchovies)
5 or more cloves of garlic – minced
1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
half cup of fresh parsley – roughly chopped
loaf of crusty bread or rolls
cut your brussel sprouts in half and parboil them in a pot with about 3 inches of water until they are bright green but still firm (not mushy!) about 3 minutes (add lemon juice to preserve green color) - strain and set aside
pre-heat oven to 400
in a saucepan, over low/medium heat add a good sploosh of olive oil (about two tablespoons or more to make it nice and saucy – until you feel guilty!) and a stick of butter or equal amount of vegan butter
start your brussel sprouts browning in the oven for a few minutes, add a little drizzle of olive oil to make them brown better
mix your capers, chopped garlic and anchovies into your olive oil/butter mixture and let simmer to release flavor for a couple minutes, then add a tablespoon or two of balsamic at the end
toast your bread in the oven or toaster oven
pull your brussel sprouts pan out from the oven and drizzle the olive oil, caper, etc. mixture over the top and mix it in, then sprinkle about half a cup of your chopped parsley and squeeze half a lemon over the top – pop the pan back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes to brown and glaze more, depending on how brown and crispy you want it!
serve the salty, delicious brussel sprouts over the toasted bread like a bruschetta and enjoy!
Beanies or hats in general are essential in Winter to keep your cabeza (head) warm. As my mom says, “all your heat escapes from your head“… so let’s put a lid on that sucker but keep it stylin!
I like to shop for beanies in the mens/guys section of stores because I often find them more slouchy and I’m able to cram my big-ass head of hair more easily in the knitted tube. Below, I’ve styled two looks with beanies to show how versatile they are for your warmth/style needs. I live in LA, so I get off easy with the cold factor but these looks would look equally cool, errr warm, with tights and a fun coat and scarf, for those of you in colder areas. With the grey hat look I used a wooden hair accessory and jewelry that is hand carved by my friend Sophie Monet, who makes all of her amazing pieces in her radical studio in Venice Beach, CA – check out her website here!
This wood amazingness is by Sophie Monet – see the deets below!