Painted Glass Lamp DIY

Alright, remember that glass lamp from my guest room makeover post we? Well, today is the breakdown of how/why we did it. Off we go.

First off, I found these simple glass lamps at Target and chose the tall one for scale:


I really liked the simple shape, midcentury wood top and pretty warm lampshade, but the glass was getting lost in the room so I figured I’d try to give it more of a presence by painting the inside of it a color. These lamps are ‘fillable’ meaning that they top screws off so you can fill them with stuff. I didn’t really know what I would put in them (I mean, I really wanted to make it a terrarium with a bonsai tree, but it would have died immediately due to lack of air, obviously). But I did have experience painting the inside of glass jars before when I did this art installation with mason jars (full post HERE) so I figured why not do that?:


This time, though, i’d make it a bit more interesting than just a solid color since it was just one lamp.

Target Painted Lamp Items Needed

Whats so great about this DIY is a. how easy it is, and b. how customizable it is. You can choose ANY COLOR IN THE WORLD, which makes getting it perfect and exactly how you like it really easy.

Heres What you Need:

1. Paint Tray – you will need one for each color- you could use paper plates or bowls, too.

2. Paint Brush

3. Glass Lamp – ours is from Target and has a wide mouth which made it easy to get our hand inside of it and paint it.

4. Paint – You can use any latex house paint. We wanted to do a pink and blue option so this one is Dutch Boy’s ‘Pink Passion’.  Also if you don’t like getting paint on your hands then wear gloves.

Then I asked Brady to play with some patterns/strokes. We used a glass casserole dish that we had to sample, that way you could see how the outside of it would look.

So he played around …

Target Painted Lamp_paint options

1. More of a weave. I like this one but once you are trying to do it inside a jar with a small mouth you have less mobility and control so it was more of a risk (although secretly I might REALLY like this one).

2. I then tried it with a larger weave pattern and more blended strokes – Closer to what we were going for but not perfect.

3. My last attempt was with just straight strokes and blending the colors together – This was our favorite and the one that we thought looked best for the application. This sample was too ‘stripe-y’ and we wanted it to be a little more organic and random, but the general idea worked and was easy to implement.


DIY Crate Shelf in Redbook

I know I’ve said this before but this one may REALLY be the easiest DIY  we’ve done. You just stack crates, clip them together and if you like to go a little bit beyond that (we did) you can paint the insides of them. CRAZY easy, very customizable and super affordable. I mean, it pretty much made itself.


1. Decorate your Crates:

I bought ours at JoAnn’s and they were $12.99 a piece when we purchased (now on sale for $9.99), but they often have sales and discount codes which could be applied. We then painted the insides of some of the crates in a fun color palate which I put together. I also thought about possibly wallpapering the back and sides of the crates, doing some sort of contact paper treatment or even using fabric to cover the crates. The options are really endless and vary depending on where you intend to use them and how much ware and tear they might take. For example wallpapering your crates and then using them to store dirty shoes, garden supplies and hoses might not be the best idea where as paint will hold up well over time.

crate color palatte

Ginny decided it was best to put on her painting knickers whilst Brady just opted for his blue leopard smock.

crate painting

We used regular latex house paint and didn’t prime.

2. Spraypaint your Binder Clips:

I purchased large generic binder clips from staples and spray painted them gold. I also spray painted a version in white but later decided that the gold popped off of the crates and colors we used better so I used them.


3. Clip it Together:

This is where the fun begins. I tried quite a few different layouts before I decided to stick with tis more organic layout. Play around with the crates stacking and restocking them until you find your perfect configuration. You could arrange them horizontally and then use it as a TV console or behind a sofa or more vertically to fit in a small corner. Once you are happy with a layout then you can start clipping together the crates with your binder clips.


4. Fill with Items:

You know me and you know how much I like my “stuff” so creating something to actually store it all and keep it off the floor in an attractive way was a win-win situation.

emily styling crates

Also Brady you are fired for posting that photo. Please collect your things and leave the office. Don’t worry, i’ll give you a good recommendation!!

scott styling

To say that things were a bit crowded that day was an understatement. We had quite a few people crammed into one room and were photographing two projects for Redbook during the same day. That involved two separate room scenarios that we had to set up, and two totally different sets of props.


I had what I like to call ‘clutter body’ where your entire body is so encased in clutter that you want to cut off all your limbs and set them outside in hopes that they’ll feel some air and space.

Scott styled the shoot (while I art directed in my clutter body pose) and Brady and Ginny assisted. Look at them go!

Crate Organizer Gif Styling

It ended up feeling like a mud room which was the intention, obviously.


Sources: Crates: JoAnn’s Fabric and Crafts | Binder Clips: Office Supply Store (spraypainted gold) | Bird Feeder | Gray stools | Folded Pink Rug

The after shots are photographed by always amazing David Tsay, and styling was done by none other than Scott Horne. And yes, they changed the wall color in post! We think it looks better dark gray, too.

You can check out our other DIY projects we did for Redbook by clicking through these links: Side Table Ikea HackDIY Towel Ladder Embossed Velvet Heart PillowOffice Wall PocketsDIY Tree Slab Table, DIY Basket Pendant, Table Runner

Orlando’s Dining Room Comes Full Circle


This post was written by Mr. Orlando Soria, himself. Please check his blog for general hilarity and good design.


Dear Emily,

I’m sitting here, writing on my computer, thinking about all the things you taught me, all the things we learned together, and all the things I learned from ogling all your beautiful designs. One thing I learned from you (in addition to looking happily into the camera as I pretend to type this post), is to always be adventurous and inventive when designing a space. This is what gave me the idea to paint a big ol’ circle on my dining room wall.

My dining room was actually kind of okay before, but I was getting bored of the black metal bookcases and the art I had in there so I decided it was time to pep things up a bit. Add some color. I’ve always been a fan of wall graphics but I thought my style was too simple and paired back to use one in my own space. Which is exactly why I decided to do it. Sometimes, when you’re scared of doing something the best thing you can do for your own sanity is just to do it and see what happens. I mean, like don’t go trying crystal meth or heroin or anything, but if you’re just painting something, HELLO YOU CAN ALWAYS REPAINT IT CALM DOWN.


So that’s what the dining room looked like before, and now it’s all:


How’d I get from Point A to Point B, you ask? Paint. Like basically all I did was paint everything. Which is kind of a testament to how awesome paint is and how transformative it can be. Also, I studied painting in college (HAY PRACTICAL MAJOR!) and so my first instinct is to just paint everything. Like if I could paint over that one time my aunt told me Santa wasn’t coming because I opened a gift on Christmas eve I totally would. Oh my god, Christmas is coming in like three months I am like so excited. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, paint. Here’s what it looked like when I repainted my shockingly well-priced Ikea bookcases:


Don’t let these pictures fool you. Painting these things took like five hours and burned off the top 13 layers of my skin. Just kidding not really, but it did take way longer than I expected. Going from black to white with spray paint takes lots of layers and LOTS of patience. So put on a Cranberries album, drink a Snapple, and get into the groove of spray painting because QUALITY TAKES TIME PEOPLE.

And now it’s time to trace your mega graphic onto the wall:



To trace the giant circle shape onto the wall, I hammered a nail into the center of the wall and attached a string with a pencil tied onto it at the radius I had determined beforehand. This sounds confusing but it’s not. Basically tie a pencil onto the wall on a piece of string half the length of the diameter. Do you get what I mean? WHY IS THIS CONCEPT SO HARD TO EXPLAIN I CAN’T TELL IF I’M MAKING ANY SENSE!!! HELP ME.


Once I’d repainted everything, I did a little shelf styling and kept it lighter and airier than it was previously. When placing bookcases in front of a hyper graphic, you have to keep the background shape in mind when composing the shelves.


So there you go. Now go out there and paint some big ass shapes on your wall and it they look like garbage paint over them and start again because you only live once and a life without shape is a life without purpose!



PS: For more pics, tips from Orlando on shelf styling, and full before/after shots read more of the story on  Homepolish Magazine!

Photographs by Sean Gin courtesy Homepolish

DIY Towel Ladder in Redbook

I have a thing for ladders. Not ‘standing on ladders’ but instead ‘looking at ladders’ and ‘hanging things on’ ladders. I feel like there is always a narrow vertical space in a house that needs to be filled with something shallow – either a really tall piece of art or … a ladder.

Redbook July DIY Towel Ladder

So we made this one with just rope, wood and a little bit of paint. We styled it to be like your outdoor shower house … you know …. by your lagoon like pool. If it had been for a winter issue we would have styled it with blankets and put it in a living room or bedroom. And last option, friends, is to put it in a reading nook with magazines over it (although i’d recommend a round dowel).  Other options to think about: you can do a really, really long one, play with the lengths and widths of the wood, you could put brass or copper sheeting at the end (that was our original plan but the paint was more approachable).

The uses of a vintage wood ladder – or in this case your very own rope and wood dowel ladder is pretty much endless. Put a ladder on it.

*photos by David Tsay, Styling by me and Scott Horne and project assisted by Stephanie Todaro

DIY Gold and Marble Cheese Plate

I rarely take reader submissions mostly because I think i’m a control freak and want my blog to be mine, MINE, MINE but when Morgan from PepperDesignBlog sent this to me, I thought, “This is so simple, cheap and cute that America just must see it”. The whole project costs $6 and would be great for a party. You could even paint wood blocks and stack them (like they are tiered) OR paint the wood on the outside many different colors colors (or a black and white stripe?). So here you go, and thanks Morgan for the submission:

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

Marble cheese plates perched atop kitchen countertops or set out casually for an outdoor party make pretty appetizer stations. Here’s a diy project to make your own for about $6. The tile options that could be used for a project like this are really endless, but we chose a marble today because, paired with gold, the combination is so classic and pretty.

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

Materials needed include a 12×12 piece of sample marble tile from your local home improvement store, two 1/4″ x 36″ long wooden square dowels (found right next to the round ones in the lumber & finials aisle), gold spray paint, a hand saw, sanding block and wood glue.

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

To prep your dowels, cut them into to four 12 1/4″ lengths. The dowels are so thin that a hand saw is all you should need. Sand the edges with your sanding block until smooth and spray paint gold in a well ventilated area.

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

Once dowel lengths are dry, apply wood glue along one edge of one piece and firmly press to the side of the marble tile. One end of the dowel should be flush with the tile, the other should overhang the tile by 1/4″ so that the next dowel has something to butt up against.

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

Repeat on all four sides and allow to dry.

Serve with your favorite cheese, fruit and crackers. Create multiples to build tiers or to stagger down a long table for a full spread of yummy appetizers. Enjoy!

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

DIY Marble & Gold Cheese Plate | Emily Henderson & Pepper Design Blog

And you are done. I know that there are a lot of cheeseboards out there and I also know that this one will not last for years, but I love that for a party you could make a lot of these and have the decor be consistent – you could even have 6 in a grid with different cheeses on each of them.

Thanks, Morgan!