Lisa Leonard Designs

Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

let’s sew together!

May 27th | blog friends, DIY

Oh friends! Rubyellen of the adorable blog My Cakies has just released a book! And it’s beautiful! The photos are so inspiring and her voice comes through in the pages. If you sew or want to learn more about sewing, this book will spark ideas!

Ruby and her husband have four girls: Brave, True, Soul and Glow.

I want to make the robot for David’s birthday! And below, how AMAZING is that world map quilt?

Ruby has some no-sew projects like this bunting hanging on my mantle.

I’m thrilled for Ruby and her book. It’s simply lovely and sure to inspire you creatively!

Make sure to watch her trailer–it’s BEAUTIFUL!

Read Ruby’s blog here and shop her new book here!

decorating with branches {diy}

May 13th | decorating, DIY

Lately I’ve been so inspired by branches!

I love their texture, and if you live near trees, they’re free and plentiful!

Last week I created this heart out of branches and hung it in our family room. {DIY instructions further down}

I love how it makes an impact visually but isn’t overpowering because of the negative space.

Texture–look at all that beautiful texture!

I hiked up the hill near our home and gathered some stray branches.

All you need is some wire and cutters for this project. I used 22 gauge wire from Michael’s.

First, I laid out the branches to create the heart shape I wanted. If a branch was too long I just broke it to the desired length with my hands.

Then I started wrapping wire to connect the branches.

Those branches that go across the center of the heart give it a lot more stability and structure.

It’s simple, organic and messy. Just like real love, right?

hand-stamped jewelry care

May 1st | DIY, jewelry

Hello friends! I think this post might be overdue. I get a lot of questions about how to care for hand-stamped jewelry. I’ve got some easy tips to keep your jewelry looking brand new and absolutely beautiful!

1. Keep your jewelry organized. I’m not going to let you peek at my dressing area {hint, it’s a mess; organization is not my strength} but I try to keep my jewelry orderly so I can find things easily and keep them from tangling. If you can’t find it, you can’t wear it. I’m talking to myself right now!

2. Ziploc baggies are your friend. Especially with sterling jewelry, you’ll want to keep it away from air and dust if you aren’t wearing it regularly. Snack size ziploc baggies are a great way to store jewelry {one in each bag} to keep them from tangling and tarnishing.

3. The more you wear it, the better! Sterling will stay shiny if you wear it regularly. Same with pewter! Just polish sterling silver with a polish cloth and see details for fine pewter below.

4. Both pewter and sterling can be polished with triple zero steel wool. Don’t use a sterling polish cloth on pewter–it just smudges and dulls. Triple zero steel wool gentle buffs the metal to a soft shine. If the piece needs to be re-antiqued, color in the hand-stamped letters with a marks-a-lot marker and then polish with steel wool. We use chemicals in the workshop to antique, but marks-a-lot markers a great, non-toxic way to keep your jewelry looking brand new!

Color in the letters completely, then buff with triple zero steel wool.

Rings loose their antiquing faster than other pieces because hands get washed so much. I re-antique my rings every month or two.

You might already have a marker and steel wool at home, but if you don’t you can purchase a polish set here.

And if you just need a new chain, you can find one here.

And that’s how to keep your jewelry looking BEAUTIFUL! Have any questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them there.

funky wall collage DIY

April 29th | decorating, DIY

I found the cutest/funniest/sweetest plaque at a thrift store last week. I really like the reminder of the golden rule–it’s a simple way to love others, right? And I liked how funky it was for my wall collage.

I invested $1.49 into this project. Not bad!

First, I spray painted the plaque yellow.

Then I covered the plaque with a black, water-based paint. Once the plaque was covered, I used a damp paper towel to wipe off all the excess black paint. This leaves the letters darker and antiqued.

That’s the finished product below. Doesn’t it look EXACTLY LIKE THE ORIGINAL? I had to laugh. It’s slightly more yellow and less gold but the difference is not much at all. Oh well!

The collage wall is above our dining room table.

It’s a little bit random and I’m fine with that.

Below is a simple centerpiece on the dining room table. You can see the plaque in the background.

This is the room we hang in when we have company or bible study. Wanna come over for dinner?

diy: turn a rug into a bag!

April 17th | DIY

Hello friends! I have a fun EASY diy today. I found this rug at Ikea for $3 and I thought it would make a cute bag. It doesn’t require a sewing machine–check it out. 

How to make a tote out of a rug!


– 2×3′ rug (I got mine from Ikea for $3!)

– leather or faux leather core {to hand sew the sides}

– 4 yards of thick fabric or trim (for the handles)

– fabric glue

– knife or tool to make holes in the rug


– Fold the rug in half  and poke holes along the sides, going through both layers. Space them about an inch apart {or closer if you want a tighter seam}

– Thread the cord through the holes and leave a little room at the top if you would like your bag to fold over like mine. I just knotted the cord at both ends

– Glue the trim to the bag starting at the bottom. When you get to the fold, cut a slit in the rug to feed the trim through. Repeat on the other side.

It’s that simple! Fill yours with all of the necessities for a day at the beach or a fun picnic in the park!

Seriously fun, right?!

diy: painted candy bowls

February 6th | DIY

Remember puffy paints? I was the puffy paint QUEEN back in junior high. Good memories!

I have a fun DIY for you today!

This project is so simple and is perfect to do with kiddos!

Supplies Needed:

– Plain bowls ($1 at dollar tree)

– Variety of colored enamel paint (we used Americana 3D Gloss Enamels)

Than let the fun begin! We free handed the bowls and came up with some fun designs. Having a tip on the end of the paint will make it easier to decorate the bowl but, a paintbrush can work as well.

Fill the bowls with valentine’s candy–yum!

So fun, so easy!

I’m helping the boys get all their valentines ready to exchange at school. Did you see these adorable printables from last year?

I think I may plan a fun valentine’s breakfast for my family. Do you celebrate valentine’s day with your family or friends?

DIY: lace teepee

January 21st | decorating, DIY, thrifting

Today I have such a fun and adorable lace teepee DIY! We used this DIY for my most recent Valentines collection photo shoot and it turned out great! I am excited to share this with you and hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Supplies needed:

– (4) 6 foot dowels, with a hole drilled in 3-4″ from the top (you can get this at any hardware store)

– Twine

– Lace tablecloths/sheets

– Ribbon

The first step is to arrange the poles how you would like them to stand. Than take the twine and string it through one of the drilled holes in the dowel and tie it. Continue doing this so that you connect all the poles together. Wrapping the twine around multiple times will allow for the teepee to be stable.

Next wrap the lace tablecloths/sheets around the dowels, arranging them to hang nicely. (If the lace tablecloths/sheets are slipping off the pole you can use fishing line and tie them to the poles)

For some extra flare we tied a variety of ribbon to a string and placed it around the top of the teepee, to give it a more whimsical look.

This is an easy and cute way to spice up any outdoor seating area or kids room. The possibilities are endless! Kids and adults will love this! Where would you put your whimsical teepee?

Also, with any purchase today, get a free I love you tote!!


hello being together

December 23rd | DIY, hello monday

The cousins are here from England and we’ve been having a blast. We still have a week and a half together. We are soaking up the time and loving it! Last week the we spent a couple days in San Francisco, a day in Avila Beach and two days at Disneyland.

A couple days ago the kids painted air dry clay with gold paint and decoupage covered in glitter. How about some hellos for a brand new week?

Hello glitter! {And hello finding glitter even after days of trying to clean it up.}

Hello air dry clay and cookie cutters. I love getting creative with the kiddos.

Hello sunset at the beach. We’re having unseasonably warm weather and taking advantage of it.

Hello lazy mornings and coffee. My favorite kind of morning.

Hello cousins laughing. And laughing some more!

Hello video games and DVDs. Hello cozy blankets and long evenings.

Hello ornaments that will bring back memories in years to come. Such sweet memories!

Hello Christmas! It’s only a few days away.

Hello presents to wrap.

Hello meal to finish planning and stockings to hang.

Hello Monday! This is a BIG week! Are you ready?

What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments section or link up your own hello monday post there.

diy hostess gift

December 20th | christmas, decorating, DIY

Hi friends! I have another super fun and cute DIY today! Do you remember my post about hand stamped dishtowels? Well here is another fun and functional holiday version!

There are so so many fun holiday gatherings and dinner parties around this time of year and I love the idea of bringing a thoughtful hostess gift. Bring a bottle of wine  wrapped in these adorable hand printed tea towels to your next gathering! Such a simple, fun, and thoughtful gift!

We used holiday stencils and painted organic polka dots with gold paint. So fun!

After the towels dried, we just wrapped them around the bottles with some ribbon and topped it off with a custom ‘my holly’ ornament.

What is your favorite thing to bring to a holiday party?

diy golden feather garland

December 12th | christmas, decorating, DIY

I have another super fun, super easy DIY for you today! Paint dipped feathers are such a fun accessory for a holiday table setting or the perfect addition to your holiday wrapping. We created a fun garland with them that can be used all year around!

Supplies needed:

– feathers

– gold paint

– gold glitter

– gold string or wire

– sparkly garland

With a foam brush pain the top half of the feathers (pretty simple right?!).

While the paint is still wet, sprinkle them with glitter to your heart’s content. Once they are dry, you can flip them over and do the same on the backs, or just leave them as is! We tied them on to a garland and hung it on a cute outdoor table. How would you use dipped feathers in your holiday decorating?