DIY Sparkler Wreath


diy sparkler wreathdiy sparkler wreath

  • Cut different sized lengths of wire and attach to hoop by twisting one end to the hoop.
  • String with beads. (the larger the beads, the heavier it will make your wire so don’t use too big of beads otherwise your “sparkler” wires will get floppy instead of standing up straight. I mostly used seed beads, especially for the ones pointing up.)
  • Cut out a bunch of different sized feather-like shapes in three different shades of red. I needed three, 12×12 sheets of cardstock to make three layers of feathers for a 5 inch embroidery hoop.
  • Glue them on with hot glue one at a time.

diy sparkler wreath

  • Make three circles or layers of the red “feathers,” each circle using smaller pieces of paper.
  • Fill in the center of the sparkler with feathered circles.

diy sparkler wreath

  • For the sparkler tips, I cut out two, four-pointed star shapes and then overlapped them on an angle.
  • Glue the two together and then to the end of each bead strand to hide the wire.
  • Add one last wire to the back of the hoop for hanging and you’re done!

diy sparkler wreathdiy sparkler wreath

diy sparkler wreath

I debated for awhile about adding a stick to the bottom of the wreath to make it look more like a sparkler but decided against it because I didn’t want it to start looking too pin-wheel-y. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, my monthly wreath collection was lacking something worthy of July and I think this guy fits in just right.  Plus, it’s ridiculously cheap: a $2.00 hoop, a few pieces of $0.59 cent paper, wire, hot glue, and beads and that’s it! Of course if you’re in the humid south or if summer showers are a norm I’m not sure how stellar the cardstock would work out but for how cheap and quickly it goes together, even if it was a one-day wonder for the 4th it’d be worth it!

Most 4th of July wreaths looks pretty cheesy, there’s a strange 80’s vibe of overdone ribbon and dollar store tinsel among most of them–Google “fourth of July wreaths,” you’ll see what I mean–but this one I think is rather perfectly, vintage-ly modern.

– <3 A. 

Other VMMV DIY’s:

felt rose wreath  DSC_0561-001   DSC_0728

        Felt Roses                       Streamer Bouquet                Paper Topiary

DIY Drink Flags

diy drink flags


You Will Need:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Fabric spray adhesive
  • Skewers
  • Scissors

Fold a Fabric scrap in half and cut a 2 inch by 2 inch square. Cut a triangle through the non-folded side of the square. Unfold, place a skewer in the fold, spray completely with adhesive and then stick both sides together. For the “host” flag, I hand-stitched my word on before spraying the pieces together so the back-side of the stitching could be hidden. It’s a completely unnecessary step but it could be fun for a small party, stitching guest’s initials on each flag, perhaps “bride and groom” for a wedding, or a short message for a birthday. Whatever floats your flag!

diy drink flags

diy drink flagsHappy June and happy official summer month! New seasons always bring me so much optimism. I usually have some sort of mental picture of how I’m of course assuming that this new glorious season will go. My picture for summer? Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon.” Of course Cali is too hot and 2013 is too modern for bustles and long sleeves, Sunday afternoons are of course usually spent frantically catching up for Monday mornings–not lounging on river banks, but isn’t that painting just summer perfection in theory? And on June 3rd, theory is all we’re working off of.

And since I’m talking about ideals, something that is less than ideal and rather a pet peeve of mine is forgotten drinks at parties. I hate it. If there are 12 people at a party, why at the end of the night are there 34 cups? Why???? Of course you could do the sharpie next to the plastic cup stack as an age-old cup-saver but you could also DIY your own drink flags and save yourself the 34-cup-problem and keep your summer party snazzy not just in theory.

– <3 A. 

May-Day Streamer Bouquet: DIY


I have been itching to try the billions of crepe paper flower tutorials circumnavigating Pinterest. Flowers are so wonderfully cheerful and these little crepe ones have the added benefit of being well, wonderfully un-dying. I finally decided to try this version of the DIY flowers just in time for May Day except, instead of crepe paper, I used old rolls of leftover streamers.

you will need:

  • streamers
  • tape
  • wire
  • glue
  • seed-beads

I followed the directions over at The Bride’s Cafe pretty much exactly except that I didn’t use the floral tape because you can’t really see that part of the flower anyway if you’re planning on making a whole bouquet. So I cheated and just used regular scotch tape. Other than that and my streamers though, it’s pretty much the same:


  1. Cut a strip of streamer about 18″ long and fold in halves until you have a small square. 
  2. Cut one side of the folded streamer into a semi-circle.
  3. Unfold the streamer and refold it not quite in half so your cuts will be offset. Then cut the opposite side of the square into another semi-circle.
  4. Unfold the streamer and fold in half lengthwise then attach to the wire, looping the wire around one end of the streamer.



You have to play around a bit when you get to steps 5 and 6. Trust me, I had quite the pile of angrily torn streamers and hideous “flowers” before I was satisfied with my final ones. You can make different sizes by cutting the streamer length shorter, or, tape two strips of streamer together to get a wider streamer length and a larger flower.

If you want a little something more for your crepe flowers, add some beads to the center to make it look a bit more realistic:


And that’s it! I arranged mine in some floral styrofoam to keep them standing upright and added a few fabric leaves cut out of green seam-binding and hot-glued to more wire (an unnecessary but fun step) to make it look more like a real bouquet and add additional color. DSC_0548-001

diy streamer bouquet

diy may day crepe flowersMay Day is sort of a forgotten celebration of spring/summer. But I’m all for bringing it back. How fun are anonymously left baskets of candy and flowers dropped on a friends porch? And if you doorbell ditch this whimsical bouquet, you’ll leave a never-dying memory of this May behind. Happy DIY Friday and happy weekend! You’ve got four whole days to crepe-flower away until May 1st!

– <3 A. 

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felt roses       place cards

 Felt Roses Three Ways               DIY Place Cards

Fabric-Scrap Lampshade: DIY

DIY lampshade

 Remember the frames from a few weeks ago? I had the most random shapes left over from cutting out the squares from the fabric I used for that project, but it seemed a shame to just toss it. Add to that random pile SO MUCH leftover yarn from the yarn animal project and a sadly used-to-be-white lampshade and I had quite the recycle solution: A fabric scrap lampshade.

You Will Need:

  • fabric scraps (don’t forget to iron them!)
  • spray-adhesive
  • lamp-shade
  • yarn


Cut out the fabric pieces into squares and rectangles, iron them flat and spray with adhesive. Smooth the pieces over the lampshade until it’s completely covered. To make the edge where the fabric stops and the lampshade top and bottom edging begins a little more sleek, add three to four lengths of yarn, gluing the yarn as you wrap it around the shade. And that’s it! The scraps got used, the ugly shade got a new life, and a little more of my yarn found a purpose:

fabric scrap lampshade

diy lampshade

diy lampshadeI’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Plus, the scraps were SO easy to paste on. Have you ever tried covering a shade with one, big piece of fabric? The measuring and shaping to get the fabric not to pucker and bubble around the strangely shaped shade is too much for my mind to grasp. When haphazard DIY’s turn into a slick looking conclusion, I’m all over those.

– <3 A. 

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   Framin’ for the Man              DIY Cigar Box Tray 

Something about Six

vmmv top postsvmmv top posts

Beauty / style secrets / modern views / vintage muses / DIY / the clutch

It’s officially the 6th month-aversary of VMMV. I don’t quite know how that happened. I remember before launching the blog spending an embarrassingly long time just trying to figure out a title I wanted to give this little piece of internet-space and now 6 months later here we are. I have to say it’s been a more frustrating 6 months than I anticipated. There are many things I wish I could do with this space that I simply cannot do because of my lack of knowledge about necessary, blog-techy things that are too boring to write about. But, let’s just say, if I had the cash to drop on a brilliant, 19 year-old CSS-coder I wouldn’t think about it for more than 2 seconds, I would so drop that cash in an instant.

As it is, I don’t have that luxury and at the moment I’m going to patiently let this place evolve instead of pushing the limits of my anti-savy-ness before I’m ready because I’ve read enough articles to foresee a huge blog-crash-and-burn if I were to take that leap of faith. In cases such as these, I think it might be safer to lack a little faith.

In the meantime, it’s always kind of surprising the posts you all enjoy. I have to say I’m rather crestfallen sometimes when a particular, personal fave isn’t very popular. *sigh* its the ever-present writer-ego that is constantly battered and bruised. So to console myself, I’m posting the top six posts with the highest readership, and my own top picks…just because. As always, THANK-YOU for reading, commenting, and re-posting!

vmmv top 6 picks

Beauty / Recipes / modern views / vintage muses / diy / linen closet

– <3 A. 

Framin’ for the Man

Do you know how impossibly impossible it is to inexpensively decorate a man’s apartment? It’s impossibly impossible. Really. For us ladies, adorn the ceilings and walls with bunting, giant paper flowers, twinkle lights, cut outs from magazines arranged in a framed collage, and you’ve got wall-art for pennies. But a guy? Nope. To be masculine is really rather expensive. You have to have real wood, and metal, and other horrid things that make lots and lots of dollar signs…Untilllll I found this fabulous fabric that looks like architectural plans. I decided once framed it would look so sleek, classy, and masculine and I could deck a sad, blank, white wall in inexpensive  fabulous, manly glory. I didn’t have a chance to hang all the frames up because I was anxiously wanting to do this post, but you get the idea from this single guy, and I promise to send an update this way once they’re gracing the wall in full splendor:

vintage framed fabric

Goodwill is a mecca for inexpensive frames, I bought 12, 8″ by 10″ wooden frames at $2.00 each. With matting cut from $0.69 a sheet scrapbook paper, spray-paint, spray-adhesive, and half a yard of my fabric, I’m going to end up spending $3.90 per frame ($47 total) for each of the 12 frames andddd I get an entire wall of super chic, masculine wall art. diy wall art

diy framing

Framing is so absurdly expensive and it’s so easy to do it yourself I don’t know why more people don’t. I’m really happy with how they turned out. You’d never guess they had some rather humble beginnings in the fabric store and Goodwill. Now, they just look simply vintage and manly chic. That’s some pretty great framin’ for the man:
diy vintage framing


– <3 A. 

Other Manly Vintage Things: 

 DSC_0598  DSC_0521   bingley style

   DIY Cohiba Cigar Tray     Mr. Darcy Gunfire Cocktail      Vintage Muse: For Him

Felt Roses Three Ways

felt rose wreath, wrapping, tree

I’m sure you’ve seen the felt rose tutorial spreading across blog-world. But for the last day of heart-love, I thought I would put together three ways I figured out how to use these brilliant, simple, cheap DIY felt roses:

I got my inspiration here. She has a little bit different way of making her roses so you can decide which works best for you.

  1. Start by cutting out your squares
  2. Cut these squares into round “peels”
  3. Roll the “peel” back up, beginning at the center of the rose
  4. Dab some glue at the back to hold it together
  5. You’re done!

My inspiration blog also made a felt heart wreath, so check out her version here. My version only needed a piece of poster board and 30 roses: 27, 4 inch by 4 inch ones, and 3, 5 inch by 5 inch ones for the very bottom. I used 6 pieces of felt at $0.29 cents per sheet to get the 30 roses, and I already had the poster board so I’d say this is a pretty cheap wreath! The final product is 18 inches wide by 15 inches tall, a perfect size for your front door.


valentine felt rose wreath

felt rose wreath

diy wreath


valentines wrapping ideas DSC_0908

Attaching a felt rose to the top of your Valentine gift is such a cute, personal touch of love. If you don’t like the red, you can pretty much buy felt in any color you can imagine. White, pink, or even black would be super classy. Untitled-10

valentine rose tree

diy rose tree

diy rose valentine tree

diy rose valentine treeRemember the Twelve Days of Christmas Advent Tree I made back in December? Apparently this little tree has become my seasonal tree because I think it looks super cute for V-day as well. Just glue on a piece of string to the back of your felt-roses, attach the rose to your sticks and you’ve got a DIY rose bush! I had some hearts I added to mine, but covering it only with the felt roses would be just as cute. I didn’t have any white felt but I think white would be a good option to take this tree into Easter-time as well…keep following, perhaps you’ll see this seasonal tree pop up in another season…yes, I’m obsessed.

That’s it for my Valentines post-inspiration, I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas for DIY’s, recipes, and gift ideas because today is the day! Happy Valentines Day to all of you!

– <3 A. 

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 DSC_0768  DSC_0710 copy  Untitled-15

  DIY Place Cards       DIY Love Topiary     Valentines Gift Ideas

DIY Valentines Paper Topiary

diy valentine centerpieceLast February, the House That Lars Built blog did a DIY about a paper topiary for a handmade wedding and I instantly fell in love with the idea. Inspiration I suppose gives foundation for inspiration, and when I saw the wedding topiary, I thought how cute it would be to exchange the topiary leaves for paper-hearts and make it into a Valentines centerpiece. The steps are the same, the only differences are my “leaves” are paper-hearts and I added a little message to the topiary centers. It’s actually so much simpler than the end product looks, the project is super cheap, (yay! VMMV loves cheap!) and yet it looks oh-so Valentine classy without getting lovey-dovey-cheap-and-yucky:


diy valentine

DSC_0557-002 copy

And you will also need a little duct tape! I left it out of the picture but you’ll see it in the steps. So, I said earlier this was cheap, but how cheap was it? I already had the pots, the moss, wire, and tape, but none of those items are over about $2.00. The paper was $0.29 a piece, the embroidery hoops were $0.99 for the small size and $1.49 for the large size and, you get two topiarys per one hoop because I used both the inner and outer hoops. Not too pricey, yes?
Untitled-21diy valentine

For the pots, make sure you get ones that have skinny tops. The hoop needs to hit both sides of the pot without sinking too far in or else the topiary will look funny.


diy valentine centerpiece

This portion sounds time consuming but it’s really not. Once you have a heart cut out for each size you want, just save one heart from each size as a template. Once you get going, the cut-outs really only take a few minutes, but, if you’re pressed for time, just make the hearts bigger, it would still look cute. Untitled-21

personalized valentine

This part is really optional. In the original DIY by the House That Lars Built, she had two options for the topiary centers: silhouettes of the marrying couple, or, their initials. You could still do either of those for the Valentines topiary, but I thought the words were pretty cute. You could probably just buy some punch-out words  that would make this step a lot quicker but I had a particular font in mind that I wanted so I elected to cut it out myself.

And that’s it! Like I said, it may appear complicated but I surprised myself by how quickly it went and it has quite the chic, overall effect for a holiday that can quite easily venture into the cheesy category.

diy valentines heart paper topiary diy valentines topiary diy valentines decorations diy valentines centerpieces– <3 A.

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DIY Place Cards             DIY Hanging Bead Hearts      Valentine Gift Ideas

DIY Valentines Hand-stitched Placecards

diy valentines handstitched place cards

February has given me a serious DIY obsession, I really truly can’t help it. Behind Christmas preparations, Valentines-Day-decking is my holiday fave. I love it because it’s sort of an under-dog holiday, we all trundle off to work and school just like any other day, but its the only day of the year that everyone pauses a moment to put a little more thought into an everyday “I love you.” Sometimes though, there’s too much pressure for a Valentines, so, if you have nothing planned, or don’t have time to do a special dinner, why not a tea for two? These hand-stitched place-cards are the perfect thing to say “I think you’re pretty special” to whoever you’re spending your valentines with without leaving you nursing your wallet-wounds after all the love is over:

DIY Place-cards

valentines diy

You Will Need: batting, fabric scraps, embroidery thread, ribbon, thick-coated wire, embroidery needles.


valentines diy

  • Cut two 4 inch by 4 inch hearts out of whatever fabric you like (small prints are best for the monogram initial to show well)
  • Put the two RIGHT sides together and sew along the edge
  • Leave a little hole on one side so you can turn the heart right-side out again as well as a hole at the bottom for the wire to fit into later
  • Flip inside out (“right-sides” out) and iron flat

valentines diy

  • Add initials: this is the trickiest part. Only stitch through the FIRST layer of the heart otherwise you won’t be able to fill it with batting. If it’s easier for you, stitch the initial on one piece of fabric before sewing them together. I was worried I wouldn’t get my letter centered if I embroidered first though so that’s why I did it this way.

valentines diy

  • Stuff a little batting through the hole of the heart until it’s stiff
  • Stitch the side hole closed

valentines diy

  • Cut about ten inches of thick coated wire, shape into a heart and bring the long side up straight
  • Fit the long side of the wire into the heart until it looks like it will stand on it’s own

valentines diy place cards 

  • Secure the heart to the wire by adding a little ribbon tied in a bow and you’re done!

I’m pretty proud of this project. When DIY’s go well I feel so creatively charged and powerful.  I think this must be how Martha Stewart feels everyday: just popping out beautiful things all over the place. Must be nice Martha Stewart, must be nice. If you don’t feel like feeling a bit like Martha though, you can buy these place-cards over at my Etsy shop. They turned out so well I thought I should probably share my success with the masses so they’re now up for sale! Enjoy!

valentines diy place cardsvalentines-diy-place-cardsvalentines-diy-place-cards

valentines-diy-place-cards– <3 A. 

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     DSC_0681 copy

DIY Valentines Hanging Bead Hearts

DIY Valentines Hanging Bead Hearts

diy hanging valentines bead hearts

Untitled-14diy hanging valentines bead hearts

Untitled-14diy hanging valentines bead heartsSimple, yes? I love this DIY. It’s ridiculously easy but such a cute addition to a wall, a window, or a chandelier for a Valentine tablescape. Use any size, color, or type of bead in any sort of combination you can think of to get some variety in your hearts–you could even string these guys together and make a garland. This red heart was actually my biggest heart because I wanted it to show up well in pictures, but I actually prefer the smaller hearts and they hold their shape a bit better as well once they’re hanging. Just play around with the size and shape of your hearts. The wire makes it so easy to shape and re-shape until you get them to sit how you want. I added some crystals when I hung them in the window just in case I could catch the rare February sunlight when  it at last decides to shine.

diy hanging valentines bead hearts

diy hanging valentines bead heartsDIY hanging valentines bead hearts

Happy February! This is just the beginning of lots of Valentines-lovin’ I have planned so stay tuned! I’m chock-full of optimism for this month, I’m convinced that I’m a slow-starter and can’t really expect much of myself until at the very earliest the second month of the year. I think I’m coming out of my winter-motivation-hibernation. I think…maybe…well, maybe not…we’ll just wait and see.

– <3 A.

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