10 posts categorized "I Try It"

May 1, 2016

DIY: Dresser Makeover

DIY Dresser A

When it comes to your baby’s room, it may seem to be the easiest room to decorate. There are, after all few design opinions coming from the tiny occupant, and as the parent, you get to design the room to your exact specifications. While for many, this ensures a no-brainer, done-deal project, there are those who need more information about the occupant in order to personalize their space.

I am in the latter group. For three years, Zoe’s room sat bare with the only décor being a coat of paint, a hand-me-down crib, a pink-and-white area rug and a ubiquitous white 6-drawer dresser. From the start, I was hesitant to impose my personal decorating ideas and essentially force her to live in a room that may not suit her personality.

After a handful of years, I know her much better and despite the fact she hasn’t exhibited any of her own color preferences, I can no longer starve her - or myself - of the visual delights of decorating.

First up, heading to Spoonflower for one-of-a-kind selection of wallpaper. Be forewarned, there are thousands of patterns and colors to choose from. The best strategy: find a favorite designer and stick with them.

DIY Dresser B

(Above) I chose Holli Zollinger and ordered five samples. Choose from smooth or woven texture, and water-activated or peel-and-stick. I ordered the samples in all the forms to feel the weight of the paper, and to determine which would be easier to apply.

DIY Dresser C

(Above) Holli Zollinger’s “Atrium Veranda Garden” woven wallpaper, #3856775 from Spoonflower. It comes in 2’ x 12’ rolls. The dresser was less than 5’ tall but you’ll need wiggle room for correct placement and any mistakes. The materials: cutting mat, Exacto knife, pencil, ruler and measuring tape. The roll comes with a squeegee to push out any air bubbles as you apply the paper.

DIY Dresser D

(Above) I chose the woven texture peel-and-stick. The paper has a heavier hand, rougher surface and is repositionable.

DIY Dresser E

(Above) Here, half the dresser is completed. Wipe down the dresser face and remove knobs. Measure the face of the dresser face down on the paper underside. I left an extra inch on the top and bottom because it’s better to cut too long than too short. Trim off the extra or curve it under the drawer.

DIY Dresser F

(Above) A 2’ width roll will get you only half way across the dresser front. Now begins the lining up and meticulous matching up of the seams. Once you’ve identified the general area of the perfect seaming, leave about 2” extra to begin slicing off thin strips until your pattern matches up.

DIY Dresser G

(Above) Here: tiny slice by tiny slice until it’s a perfect seam.

DIY Dresser H

(Above) Perfect!

DIY Dresser I

(Above) We’re on our way!

DIY Dresser J

(Above) After all the paper was applied, the next step was to give the dresser a finish worthy of an antique-y look. Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint is a decorative paint that is applied without the need to sand or prime the surface. A little goes a long way. I painted the top, sides and front frame in two coats with this sample pot. I bought her brush and clear wax finish. The wax was suppose to dry clear but it dried slightly darker, so I stopped because that wasn’t what I wanted.

DIY Dresser K

(Above) The sides of the drawers also got a little lipstick. The material was raw wood, however so I applied a coat of shellac first. Here, Annie Sloan’s Scandinavian Pink.

DIY Dresser L

(Above) The Distorted Faceted clear knobs from Anthropologie were the finishing touch!

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March 19, 2014

I Try It: Chocolate Kiwi Lollipops



I love this week’s “I Try It!”  This recipe of chocolate-covered kiwi lollipops spoke to me on several levels: kiwi {healthy and yum}, chocolate-covered anything {uh, yum}, lollipops {kiwis can be turned into lollipops, so brilliant}.  I looked forward to skewering the fruit into lollies, melting the chocolate using the pot-in-pan method, and peeling the kiwis.  I found a godsend for this last one!  I’ve spent many a time mangling my kiwis trying to peel them with a peeler.  This way is so smart! 

I tried the recipe, and it was really fun to make.  What a fantastic treat.

Chocolate-covered Kiwi Lollipops


  • 4-6 large kiwis
  • 1 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • lollipop sticks


  • Slice kiwis into ½” slices, and insert lollipop sticks into each one
  • Line a tray with wax or parchment paper
  • Freeze at least 4 hours up to 48 hours
  • Combine chocolate and coconut oil to melt.  Use a double-boiler or I used a pot sitting in a pan filled with water.  Make sure the water doesn’t boil, and add small amounts of chips as you go.
  • Dip each frozen kiwi into the melted chocolate.  If you hold it for a few seconds, the chocolate will harden pretty quickly. 
  • Serve immediately or re-freeze. 




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December 31, 2013

Reminiscing TISLstyle 2013


For the creative blogger, you always leave some little part of you in every blog post.  It's always fun to take a trip down memory lane.  Perhaps you remember some of these, or maybe they'll be a good read for you now.  Here’s a look back on a few things that happened on TISLstyle during 2013.  Whichever the case, thanks for spending time with me, happy new year, and see you in 2014!


Who: The Tinsel Trading Company, New York City

What: Manhattan’s historic 1930s millinery and trim shop is the best there is

Why: Tinsel Trading is full of nostalgic charm selling vintage and new notions, dressmaker’s details and embellishments.



What: Streamlined and minimalist approach to baby gear

Why: Muted modern silhouettes and colorways makes both baby and adult happy



What: DIY how-to paper pom-poms 

Why: They add a light festivity to a party, a home office, child’s room or any corner needing some luster



What: Greige is a shade with varying degrees of gray and beige

Why: It’s the best neutral that isn’t white or tan, and is at once masculine and feminine.



What: After running my two favorite bags into the ground, I went on a shopping bag spree, and splurged on four new ones.

Why: Bags are personal.  Featured here are four that make my life a little easier and whole lot more fun.



What: Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth

Why: This cloth can be twisted, folded or tied to make a shoulder bag, to gift wrap or bundle items.

Virtual glasses


Who: Flutter Eyewear

What: Upload a photo of yourself and try on as many different eyeglasses

Why: Imagine the ease of trying on frames from the comfort of home

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October 22, 2013

I Try It ...washi tape decorates iPhone



This week on I Try It, I decorate my iPhone with washi tape.  I spied this DIY from Morning Creativity, and decided I needed to do this.  I have yet to find a really pretty case that has assuring reviews.  I don’t particularly like using my current bulky case but I also don’t want a cracked phone {read: 17-month-old}.  I loved this idea of taping pretty Japanese washi tape to the back of my phone.  Luckily, my bulky case is clear, so even when it's on, you can still see the design!

{Materials} washi tape, scissors, X-Acto knife or razor blade, a ruler or credit card

{What I did} I chose a tape pattern that helped me cut a straight line like these vertical dots.  Obviously, this isn't necessary.  For each row, I lined the straight edge of the tape on the left side and allowed a 1/2” excess to overhang on the right side.  After the last row is applied, use a blade against a straight hard edge and run down the right side cutting off all the excess tape. 

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September 30, 2013

I Try It: Gluten-free madeleines recipe



I pulled out my BabyCakes: Covers the Classics recipe book, and turned to a dog-eared page for madeleines.  All of BabyCakes' baked goods are gluten and vegan free.  On their scale of 1-5 with 1 being an easy recipe, madeleines scores 1!  At first, reading the list of ingredients was intimidating, and a few I’d never imagined could be an ingredient: arrowroot, xanthan gum, to name a couple.  It’s a commitment and a lifestyle choice if one moves over to the gluten-free side.  Once we purchased everything on the ingredients list, however, we pretty much have the foundations for every other recipe in the book.  

I put some dark chocolate chips in mine for some variation.  The madeleines tasted great for a cookie that contains no flour, butter or egg, as their three bakery locations and two cookbooks can attest!

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September 24, 2013

Furoshiki - It's a tie




I love a piece a fabric that can do more than one thing.  I came across furoshiki, a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that can be folded, twisted and tied into gift wrapping, a handbag or bundling linens to name a few.  

I decided to practice the art of folding some items as a gift furoshiki-style with a few vintage square scarves that I collect.


To fill my bathroom hutch, instead of stacking linens as per usual, I plan to organize my linens into pretty, neat packets.  




Uguisu is the go-to site for great furoshiki.  {Not to mention the array of Japanese stationery.  You will fall over from all the cuteness and good design.}  I see how many things I can tie into with one square cloth but I doubt I’ll be stopping at just one!  For example, check out the shoulder bag above.  The link to the leather bag straps here.  You can see more how-to's here.

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July 3, 2013

I Try It: Fruit ice cubes


This post doesn’t even need text.  It’s so self-explanatory.  I really think guests would appreciate how pretty and festive these ice cubes look.  Some things never change, and the ice cube is one of them.  Clear and boring for 100 years.  I’ve seen these fruit cubes in several magazines over the years, and decided to try it.  I used raspberries, blueberries and mint leaves.  

Here is the recipe: 

Step 1: Fill ice tray with water to desired level.

Step 2: Drop in fruit.

Step 3: Freeze. 

And, yes, I’m laughing as I write this.  Have a great day entertaining!

{Photo by TISLstyle}

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January 28, 2013

I Try It: Gift Bow Flowers




With all the beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons you could choose from, it’s easy to let them do all the pretty presenting.  However, if you’ve got the creative bug, I personally love thinking of unexpected color combinations or adding bits of trim here and there straight out of my craft box.

I was going through a stack of tearsheets I filed away some time ago, and came upon this cute gift-bow-turn-flower-bloom DIY craft project.  The original instructions called for two gift bows of the same color, one larger than the other.  I chose two different shades to give emphasis to the “bloom.” They use a same-colored snippet of ribbon for the center of the smaller bloom.  I opted for natural color tissue paper.

{Materials} Two gift bows – one larger, the other smaller to fit inside the larger; approx. 3” of ribbon to fit inside the smaller bow OR tissue paper; glue.

{What I Did} Snip all the loops of both gift bows.  Fit the smaller into the center of the larger bow.  If the bow doesn’t come with a self-adhesive, apply glue.  For the smaller center, you can choose to roll a bit of ribbon or tissue paper to finish off the bloom.  

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December 31, 2012

I Try It: Orange-Cinnamon Lassi Recipe



Welcome to my second, “I Try It,” where I select particular easy projects from magazines, blogs or the Internet, and take a crack at them.  If you have ever had lassi from a favorite Indian restaurant, then you already know the best part of this healthy drink is that it has the consistency of a smoothie or milkshake.  Yum!  This Orange-Cinnamon Lassi recipe is from Martha Stewart Living’s December 2013 issue.  I’d serve this at my next dinner party presented in a margarita glass for a festive flair.

{Ingredients} 2 cups of low-fat yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 cups of ice cubes, ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting, 2 navel oranges

{What I Did} Place yogurt, honey, ice cubes and cinnamon in blender.  Cut away peel and pith from oranges, and remove membrane from orange pieces.  Add to blender.  Puree for 1 minute until smooth.  Transfer to glasses, dust with cinnamon, and serve.

P.S. Click to see my first "I Try It" for thank you cards!

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December 17, 2012

I Try It: Thank You Cards





In recent months, I would think back to my mid-20s, and recall how I was such an avid doer and crafter.  I do and craft much less often nowadays because such activities require time and space, both of which I wish I had more of.  I remember making paper out of pulp in my mother’s kitchen, taking book-binding classes at Cooper Union or signing up for a pattern-making class at FIT.  I miss working with my hands, and decided I’d reclaim a shade of my former self.

I recently subscribed to Martha Stewart Living magazine for her colors, ideas and pure page-flipping inspiration.  While the majority of her articles require more time and tools (and sometimes a small team) than I can manage at the moment, I decided to pick ones I could do easily.  In this new column called, “I Try It,” I will share a few that I’ve chosen from magazines, blogs and other sources!  Maybe it will inspire you to get your craft on too!

From Martha Stewart Living’s “Good Things” section (December 2012 issue), we are using party favor bags as mailing envelopes, which I think is super fun to receive in the mailbox.  She is putting photo cards in them but I’m writing thank you cards for mine instead. 

{MATERIALS} Paper bags, 25/$6.95; 4.5”x6.25” bracket cards, 25/$9; Pattern Japanese masking tape, $4.50: from Paper Presentation.  Labels, $2.00 - $3.99: from Martha Stewart Home Office collection at Staples

{WHAT I DID} The paper bags measure 5x7, and to dress it up a little, I chose a festive flat bracket-shaped card that was perfect for the holidays.  To seal the envelope, I used decorative Japanese masking tape that comes in about 40 colors and patterns, in addition to a glue stick for extra mailing security.  Adhered a stamp, and off I went to mail my custom-made thank you card.

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