DIY Wall Art Roundup

DIY Wall Art Roundup | Rourke Vintage

I love DIYing wall art. It lets you get big impact on a small budget. I have a few pieces of 'traditional' art in my home, but most of it is of a more traditional vibe (that's what happens when you buy it all at antique malls & thrift stores). I want a few pieces that bring a youthful pow. So I'm going to DIY some stuff. And I wanted to roundup a few of my favorites that have a great mix of ease, impact, and inexpensive-ness. And while these definitely bring that 'youthful pow', they definitely don't exude a 'teenage bedroom' or 'DIY Dorm Decor' vibe - they would be quite at home at a grown-up home (though I'm sure they would work for those teens & college kids).

These projects fall into 3 main categories: art canvas, wood, and fiber art. You can also use materials like paper, faux-flowers, mirrors, fabric, and tons more. It's all up to your imagination. Hopefully these ideas will get your creative juices flowing and you'll have something on your bare walls by tonight.

Art Canvas

The Suite Life Designs | Painted Navy & Gold Canvas

I love the simplicity of this DIY. There are tons of DIYs of this very nature (look on Pinterest for 'DIY abstract art' and you'll see), and if you get a canvas on sale it will be pretty cheap. It's also a very easy way to make sure your art goes with your color scheme.

Lolly Jane | DIY Abstract Art with a Golden Touch

Another abstract art, this one using gold flakes. It has texture and sheen.

Tara Dennis | Hexagon Wall Art

This DIY uses paper and canvas - you could probably use plywood for a cheaper backing. 

Mr Kate | DIY Finger Painting Wall Art

I love how simple this is, but it totally looks professional. But it's finger painting. So it's fun.

A Beautiful Mess | Song Lyric Wall Art DIY Project

Perfect for those cheesy, mass produced 'art pieces' you'll find in thrift stores.

Oh Happy Day | Potato Print Artwork DIY

This DIY uses a potato as a stamp, yet turns out pretty dang professional.

Natalme | Cross Stitch Wall Art Tutorial

Love how big this one is.

The Turquoise Home | How to Frame a Canvas for Cheap

This goes along with those DIY on canvas tutorials - sometimes it's just not complete without a frame.

 

Wood

A Beautiful Mess | Oversized Frame for Engineer Prints

Engineer prints are a wonderful, cheap way to get large art. You'll find a link in the article on the subject. This shows how to make a frame for said large prints. You can also use this for framing posters or any other large, flat piece.

Vintage Revivals | Striped Ripple Wall Art

This uses plywood and paint and I love it. It would probably cost about $8-12 using leftover stain + paint.

Vintage Revivals | DIY Honeycomb Hexagon Wall Treatment

This is less 'DIY Wall Art', but I wanted to include it. Definitely not for renters but it shows how simple materials can combine to make a huge impact.

 

Fiber Art

Shirley and Eadie | Crochet Wall Hanging

Almost Makes Perfect | DIY Gods Eyes

Throwback to childhood craft classes and summer camp - but in a grown-up way.

Oleander And Palm | Felt Holiday Banner

You could totally do this with any short word and it would look amazing. May I suggest any 'four-letter-word' for some particularly funny art.

Brittany Makes | DIY Modern Gold Wall Hanging with Tassels

Oh how I love this DIY. It's gorgeous without requiring crazy DIY skills, just some patience. It's definitely going on my DIY to do list. 

Homey Oh My | DIY Modern Yarn Hanging

Homey Oh My this DIY is fab (get it? ha.). Really simple but adds wonderful texture to a modern style. 

Brit + Co | Dip Dyed Wall Hangings

Texture AND color makes a big impact with this wall hanging.

Homey Oh My | DIY Modern Tassel Wall Hanging

Love the simplicity of this one. It would also look amazing rainbow.

Little Miss Momma | DIY Boho Yarn Wall Art

This one is super pretty and super simple.

Lauren Conrad | DIY Gold Ring Wall Hanging

Another pretty + simple DIY.

The Kitchy Kitchen | DIY Wall Hanging

Slightly different Ring + Yarn pattern.

The Good Times Homestore | Yarn Wall Hanging DIY

Simple but looks awesome and rustic.

Brit + Co | Macrame Wall Hanging

Basic macrame skills.

Honestly WTF | DIY Tassel Wall Hanging

I like that you can make this one HUGE without a huge budget, or even a big budget. 

Creative Bug | Yarn Banner DIY

So pretty and colorful!

Handmade Charlotte | DIY Threaded Heart Wall Art

If you'd like to make it more renter friendly you can do this on some wood & then hang that.

The Journey Junkie | How to Make a Dreamcatcher

Homesthetics | Dream Catcher Tutorial

Tons of Dreamcatcher inspiration and the history of dreamcatchers

Gathering Beauty | DIY Clipboard Loom Mini Weaving

Love the messy look of this one.

Fall for DIY | DIY Christmas Alternative Tassel Garland

Not just for Christmas!

 

Other

A Beautiful Mess | Ombre Gallery Wall

This is a great way to make a custom look with a bunch of cheap frames. Creating a grid of color makes a big impact.

Pennies For a Fortune | DIY Mint and Silver Tassel Garland

Tissue paper tassels are just adorable - perfect for over the bed or your desk.

How About Orange - DIY Postcard Wall Art

I love using postcards for art. I have a bunch framed. I buy them at museums when I don't want to drop money on the exhibit book. I love this  

We Are Scout | Geometric Paper Patchwork

I like how this DIY can be huge. It uses foam-core board, but you could also use plywood + seal it for a cool headboard.

Vintage Revivals | DIY Light Up Sign Tutorial

Definitely a more complex DIY but it would be very cool.

Love Maegan | Feather Wall Art DIY

Homemade Juju hat - very unique and I'm sure much cheaper than buying one.

Pizzazzerie | DIY How to Make Your Own Tassel Garland

Add in some metallics for a fun touch.

What DIY art do you have on your walls? Or which one will you be making this weekend? Comment below!

My 10 Favorite Bralettes

My Top 10 Bralettes | Rourke Vintage

It seems like bralettes are really in this year (do the kids still say that?). I recently discovered the brand Princesse Tam Tam, which has some seriously amazing underthings. Sadly, they don't ship to the US. So I decided to go on a hunt elsewhere & spend probably way too much time finding all my options. 

Bralettes are typically cheaper than regular underwire bras, which is good, because I want to collect them all like pokemon. So many colors, designs, and fits. With the weather warming up it's totally time to ditch the boring beige bras and go with something awesome. I've rounded up my top 10 below. Beware - human body parts follow. 

My Top 10 Bralettes | Rourke Vintage

10 Easy Ways to Go Green

10 Easy Ways to Go Green | Rourke Vintage

Happy Earth Day! For this Earth Day I wanted to share 10 easy ways I've gone 'green' and you can too. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the label that is 'green'. Because it sounds like a trend, like it's optional. It's not. We all have an environmental responsibility to maintain the planet and reduce our footprint as much as possible. And now I just threw a ton of guilt-weight on you. You're welcome (kidding). Fact is, no matter where we need to get, we have to start with small steps that will build momentum. Because these are habits & lifestyle and those things take time to change. By doing small things, we can inspire ourselves and others to be more conscious about our impact.

'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction' is not just applied to physics. It's applied to nature, the earth, and the universe. So let's be kind to this earth that provides us with so much good. So before I get all hippie-mother-earth on you, let's get to it!

1 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Did you know that those words are ordered in level of importance? We're always told to recycle, which of course is awesome, but more important is to REDUCE and REUSE. Stop buying things you don't need, and when you do purchase things, make sure they're quality goods that will last a long time. Reducing your footprint is the best thing you can do for the earth. Reduce the material goods & your energy intake. Reuse means to reuse things you already have into a new purpose, purchase second-hand, or sell/donate the item for second-hand use. Reuse glass jars for storage, an old dresser into a bar, an old t-shirt into a bag and a partner-less sock into a cleaning rag. I always donate goods I have no use for. You can find local thrift stores & charities to donate your goods to, along with nation-wide Goodwill & Salvation Army. Shop your local thrift to get great deals & support a good cause. And if you're doing any remodeling, take things apart carefully to maximize the amount of reusable materials (Habitat Restore will pick up or receive home goods/building materials/appliances and resell them to raise money for Habitat for Humanity - or you can put them up on Craigslist because that still counts as Reusing). Recycling, while great, requires lots of energy and sometimes pretty gross chemicals to get things back to 'raw material' state. You may actually be recycling things that can't be recycled, and not recycling some things you should be! Get to know your municipalities recycling rules by googling it. You might be surprised. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle also applies to food too - Reduce the amount of food you buy by meal planning. Reuse food by turning leftovers into another meal or freezing ingredients for later, and recycle by composting. Food waste is the #1 thing in our landfills (America throws away about 40% of its food, from producers to consumers - that all ends up in the landfill). Food that decomposes in a landfill - wrapped in plastic, in plastic bags, without oxygen - creates the green house gas methane, 20% more harmful to the ozone than CO2. Even if you live in an apartment, you can compost. And I don't think I even have to mention DON'T BUY BOTTLED WATER IT'S STUPID. I reuse glass bottles from tea & kombucha. It's great. And I use a Brita.

Resources

Craigslist, Thrift Stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, & Habitat Restore

Food Waste facts | Countertop Compost Bin | Another Compost Bin | John Oliver's wonderful clip on Food Waste in America

2 Use plant-based cleaners or make your own

Method, Seventh Generation, Honest Company, Mrs. Meyers, Better Life, the list goes on & on. These cleansers are much nicer to the planet and your body, working just as well (or better) than 'traditional' cleaners. Plus they usually have much nicer packaging, which I appreciate. You can also make your own cleaners. I use baking soda & vinegar to clear my drains & diluted vinegar for my all purpose cleaner (not recommended for stone counters, though). You can also use microfiber cloths to help clean without cleaners - one made for glass will give you a clean, streak-free mirror without ammonia wafting through your home. 

Resources

Environmental Working Groups Home Cleaners Rankings

3 Reduce Driving

Combine errands, walk where you can, & carpool. This one is... less easy than others. But totally worth it. If you have a car, use it the least amount possible. This extends the life of your tires, your car, and your wallet. I've found that while combining errands may be a time-suck for that day, it's so much more efficient in the long run. And try to avoid doing errands at peak times, because that just means traffic. If you live in a city (or small town) consider getting a bike for small errands. And please, if you're a parent, let your kid take the bus. This is said by a person who lost count the number of times there was a car double parked next to the school blocking traffic because they refused to get out of the car or have their kid walk 1 block to the car. I'm not annoyed at all.... moving on...

4 Eat More Plant-centric

Growing up in the Midwest, all meals were centered around meat. Veggies were just an afterthought. And that's really a shame. Because we buy frozen produce and produce that's been picked weeks ago, it never seems like it could be anything more than the necessary side we begrudgingly eat. But when you buy good produce, it's totally awesome. And mouth-watering. And CHEAPER. I'm not saying you have to go vegan or anything (that's a very long process that involves self-reflection and the realities of your current living situation), but start planning meals thinking of produce first and fill in around that. Because meat (especially factory farm meat), costs the planet a lot more than the sticker price you see on the plastic wrapper. A great way to start learning about produce is at the farmer's market (most farmers love talking about the produce they bring). I also love 'The French Market Cookbook' by Clotilde Dusoulier - It really got me started on my produce-centric cooking. PS the other day I made a whole wheat pita 'pizza' with garlic creamed feta, mint, radishes, green onions, kalamata olives & a poached egg and I couldn't stop eating it. SO GOOD!.   

Related to this - buy organic when you can, buy local when you can. Both are very important to the overhaul of the industrialized food system we have. This would take a whole book, let alone it's own blog post, to really dive into. Check out the articles below as well as the book 'Omnivore's Dilemma'.

Resources

Environmental Working Groups Food ScoresDirty Dozen / Clean FifteenEnvironmental Impact of High Meat ConsumptionTimes Article on the cost of Meat

5 Buy Second Hand

I find this difficult for clothing because of my style, but I love doing it for furniture & books. I even bought my DSLR refurbished. If you're thinking of buying something, look into buying it second hand first. You'll save money, and the planetary cost of using resources & shipping across seas. Plus you'll probably save things from the landfill. Win-Win-Win. 

6 Use Your Local Library

I love my local library. I go there about twice a month. Libraries have books, magazines, movies, CDs, CD audiobooks, e-books, audiobooks online, video games, documentaries, newspapers, and probably more. I'm constantly renting books to read and audiobook CDs for the car. So why is using your library green? Because sometimes you don't need to keep a book. Sometimes you just want to read (or listen) and you're done. And what if you buy a book and don't like it? I rent books and if I find I want to keep it around for reference, I put it on a list to buy second-hand. It helps keep my book hoarding at bay and ensures I only have books I use.

7 Buy in Bulk

No, I don't mean only shop at Costco. I mean shop the bulk bins at the grocery store. These bins have shelf-stable foods that don't have packaging. You fill a bag with however much you want and you pay. Some stores even let you bring your own containers, they'll weigh them ahead of time and subtract that weight when you check out. You'll find shopping from bulk bins is often cheaper than buying prepackaged items because you aren't paying for the package (or the brand). If you must buy items in packaging, look for items that you can reuse, mainly glass jars or resealable thick plastic bags. Half my pantry items are in reused glass jars. For the rest of your items, look for recyclable or compostable packaging. (Now we just have to get Trader Joe's on the bulk bin bandwagon and life will be wonderful)

8 Use Reusable Bags

Here in Chicago they banned single use bags in September 2014. I don't miss them. Most stores now offer thicker, multiple use plastic bags, but I don't want them. I'll still have more bags that I don't know what to do with. I use reusable bags. I have woven polypropylene bags that I got for free (thanks, auto show) and canvas bags that I purchased. If you buy any produce, you'll definitely want canvas bags. Reusable bags hold all the bacteria, dirt & grime (and E.Coli) from your purchases and you'll need to wash the bags - canvas holds up the best, and it does well in hot water if you feel the need. There are also reusable bags for produce/bulk bins! This also helps reduce the 'bag of bags' conundrum. You can also use a basket if you're feeling fancy. Or make your own bags from old T-Shirts (reusing for the win). 

And don't forget to store your food in reusable containers too. I use glass jars & pyrex mainly. You can also use beeswax wraps for things like sandwiches (in place of plastic wrap) & bento boxes for lunch.

Resources

On using reusable bagsCanvas BagsReusable Produce BagsBeeswax Wraps

9 Wash in Cold Water Only

Washing your clothes in cold water reduces energy usage, energy costs, prevents shrinking & extends the life of your clothes & their colors. New detergents don't need hot water to work their cleaning magic (see #2). If you'd like to go a step further, line dry your clothes as well. It saves even more money and energy (and keeps those jeans from getting so tight you can't get into them anymore). 

Resources

Smithsonian Article on Cold Washing

10 Go Paperless

Yea, we always hear this. Even from our utility companies and banks. But you know it's important. One of the most important things you should do is stop the junk mail. You can contact the company directly or go through an organization like Catalog Choice. For things like bill paying and banking do your research and make sure the digital alternatives are safe & secure. For home papers, if you print anything be sure to use recycled paper. And digitize what you can (for what does come in paper - this is more for organization but it's still nice). 

Resources

Stop Junk Mail : Catalog Choice & DMA Choice 

11 BONUS

Switch to all-natural body & makeup products - This one can be tough for makeup, and it's a switch I'm still trying to make. But things we put on our body are just as important as things we put it in (there's a joke there, somewhere). 

Resources

Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database | My Favorite DIY Body Blog - Humblebee & Me

FURTHER READING & VIEWING (get it from the library): 

Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanZero Waste Home by Bea JohnsonThe Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie KondoThe Waste Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana GundersEasy Green Living by Renee Loux | Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie TourlesThe French Market Cookbook by Clotilde DusoulierSilent Spring by Rachel CarsonMoral Ground by Kathleen Dean MooreFarm City by Novella Carpenter

What do you do for your environmental responsibility? Anything you found easy to switch over to 'green'? Share it below!

Favorite Eggs Benedicts

Favorite Eggs Benedicts | Rourke Vintage

Saturday (April 16th) was National Eggs Benedict Day, and while I totally missed it, I couldn't not post a roundup of my favorite Eggs Benedict. Because Eggs Benedict is delicious in so many forms. I found some that are gluten free, some are vegetarian, and some just go all out. Classic Eggs Benedict is as follows: English muffin + Canadian bacon + poached egg + hollandaise. These recipes all play off this formula to build a delicous breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).

Meatless Eggs Benedicts

California Style Eggs Benedict by Frugal Mom Eh

Tomato + Avocado make this Eggs Benedict totally healthy! (not really, but we'll continue thinking that)

Tomato + Avocado make this Eggs Benedict totally healthy! (not really, but we'll continue thinking that)

Homemade hash browns made into patties, used as the base of Eggs Benedict.

Homemade hash browns made into patties, used as the base of Eggs Benedict.

A meatless Eggs Benedict with a spinach twist.

A meatless Eggs Benedict with a spinach twist.

I love this recipe. All the veg in there plus a goat cheese sauce makes this a totally feel good during-and-after recipe. And I can never say no to goat cheese.

I love this recipe. All the veg in there plus a goat cheese sauce makes this a totally feel good during-and-after recipe. And I can never say no to goat cheese.

That basil hollandaise just looks heavenly.

That basil hollandaise just looks heavenly.

Grilled potato slabs and a black bean + corn relish make this one actually pretty healthy!

Grilled potato slabs and a black bean + corn relish make this one actually pretty healthy!

Vegan + Gluten Free, this Eggs Benedict inspired dish throws the rules out the window. I really want to try that vegan hollandaise.

Vegan + Gluten Free, this Eggs Benedict inspired dish throws the rules out the window. I really want to try that vegan hollandaise.

English Muffin + Goat Cheese + Bacon + Poached Egg + Hollandaise = my mouth is watering and I need to make this.

English Muffin + Goat Cheese + Bacon + Poached Egg + Hollandaise = my mouth is watering and I need to make this.

Dairy Free Eggs Benedict

Dairy Free Eggs Benedict

On a biscuit, with andouille sausage & hollandaise with a kick.

On a biscuit, with andouille sausage & hollandaise with a kick.

This smoked salmon version uses bread as the base and adds a layer of spinach to break up the fatty goodness of the smoked salmon + egg.

This smoked salmon version uses bread as the base and adds a layer of spinach to break up the fatty goodness of the smoked salmon + egg.

This version adds rich avocado to the salty salmon + bright hollandaise! (and how does she get the eggs so perfectly round?)

This version adds rich avocado to the salty salmon + bright hollandaise! (and how does she get the eggs so perfectly round?)

Paleo Eggs Benedict puts a poached egg on top of sausages + sweet potato hash (plus a paleo hollandaise)

Paleo Eggs Benedict puts a poached egg on top of sausages + sweet potato hash (plus a paleo hollandaise)

Chiles in waffles, chorizo, avocado & spinach flips this Eggs Benny on its head. And I can't wait to try it.

Chiles in waffles, chorizo, avocado & spinach flips this Eggs Benny on its head. And I can't wait to try it.

Chorizo biscuits + chipotle hollandaise... need I say more?

Chorizo biscuits + chipotle hollandaise... need I say more?

This recipe is super simple and all about that asparagus. Asparagus and eggs benedict are a natural pairing. 

This recipe is super simple and all about that asparagus. Asparagus and eggs benedict are a natural pairing. 

This eggs benedict is straight out of left field. Pita and a lamb patty? I'm intrigued.

This eggs benedict is straight out of left field. Pita and a lamb patty? I'm intrigued.

So technically this isn't a 'benedict', but add a little hollandaise (or the greek yogurt version found below to keep it healthy) and bam. Eggs Benedict.

So technically this isn't a 'benedict', but add a little hollandaise (or the greek yogurt version found below to keep it healthy) and bam. Eggs Benedict.

Easy, classic hollandaise.

Easy, classic hollandaise.

A greek yogurt version of hollandaise for when you're feeling a little sluggish.

A greek yogurt version of hollandaise for when you're feeling a little sluggish.

So what's your favorite kind of eggs benedict/which one will you make this weekend?

PS - my favorite kind of benedict.