DIY Tomato Cage Holiday Card Holder in Redbook

Alrighty folks, so there are DIY’s like the dresser we repurposed in last month’s Redbook (complicated), and then there are “you don’t have to know the difference between a flathead and a phillips” DIY’s, like this one. You know how much I love a really simple project that is not only cheap but high impact. So with that said and drumroll please… I present to you ladies and gentlemen – the Holiday Card Tomato Cage Display. Get to it.

I love holiday cards (I’ve GOT to get on them!!) for the same reason we all love facebook – the ‘Ooh, I wonder what they are up to?’ syndrome, and we are just getting of the age where people actually send them to us. So this is a simple, fun, and totally useful project that you can make with your family. All you need is a few simple tools, some trim, and all of those cute christmas cards that you are already starting to receive in the mail. Is it just me or are they coming earlier and earlier this year? When do you all have the time????


So, here is how its done:

Redbook Emily Henderson DIY Holiday Card Holder Tomato Cage 2

Items Needed:

Tomato Cage – (we picked ours up from Lowes, but they can be sourced in many different sizes both online and at your local hardware store)

Spray Paint – (choose whatever color you want to go with your home decor – we used white)

Clothes Pins – (you can find mini ones at Michael’s, Target or JoAnn’s Fabrics – in lots of different colors, too)

Pom Pom – (we made ours use some yarn and one of the many tutorials that you can find online or you can purchase one here)

Ball Trim Fringe – (this could be substituted out for rope, twine, ribbon, fringe or any other decorative element that you want to add to your tree, we ended up using about 2 yards for our tree)

Hot Glue Gun


Redbook Emily Henderson DIY Holiday Card Holder Tomato Cage 4

1. Spray Paint: we spray painted our tomato cage white so that it would go with my holiday theme this year, but you can paint yours any color that you want so that it goes with your other decorations.

2. Wrap and Glue Trim: using a hot glue gun you will attach the ball fringe to the supports of the tomato cage. When you get back around to the beginning of where you started you can trim the excess with some good scissors, glue it down and move onto the next part of the tree.

Redbook Emily Henderson DIY Holiday Card Holder Tomato Cage 5

3. Attach Pom: We used one of the many online tutorials to make our the pom-pom that decorated the top of our tree. You could also use a bow, a tree topper, or anything else to hold the three open wires of the tree together.

4. Decorate with your Cards: now its time to actually have fun (as if you havent been having a ball already) and decorate out your new holiday card holder with all of your holiday cards. You could also pin-up photos, ornaments, or anything else to get this tree looking festive.  Redbook Emily Henderson DIY Holiday Card Holder Tomato Cage

Resources: White and Gold Pillar Candle Holder: Target | White and Gold Tree: Target | White Vase: Target | Wood and Brass Console: Vintage | Cards on Tree: Green White and Brown: Tiny Prints (no longer available) | Blue Stripe | Black and White Joy | Black and White Noel | New Years: | all others are custom

And just so you can see how much we obsess over every little detail in the pic we created a fun little GIF so that you can see our process.


One of our favorite things is when the issue finally comes out and we get to see all the photoshop changes that the editors decided to make after we sent them our final images. Here you can see some of those changes. I mean who knew that when you flip through the pages of a magazine even professionally styled and photographed images are then altered even further to fit the page, layout, and magazine better.

Redbook_Emily Henderson tomato cage side by side

This is what we noticed:

Pom Pom changed from gold to pink, ball trim changed from silvery lavender to pink, extra holiday cards added and saturated, wall color changed to blue, entire card holder made skinner! What did you catch that we might have missed?


Thanks to David Tsay for the beautiful after photography, and don’t forget to check out all of our other DIY projects below:

Side Table Ikea HackDIY Towel Ladder Embossed Velvet Heart PillowOffice Wall PocketsDIY Tree Slab Table, DIY Basket Pendant, Table Runner


Custom neon sign; Girls, Girls, Girls

We all know neon signs are trending right now – the 80’s are back, neon colors are still hot (in moderation), and neon signs make every room feel like a party. Since this project is actually called ‘The Party House’ it was more than obvious that I wouldn’t have done my job without a custom neon sign.

Two years ago I wanted to do one in my house – a big white cloud to go over my then unborn baby’s crib. Such a hilarious idea and only a fantasy that a mom without children would have because clearly no baby would sleep with it on and the thing about neon signs is that they are actually not so pretty when they are turned off. The magic happens when they are on.


Last year I designed one for the Moby Airbnb pop-up house (up there on the left) so it gave us a little bit of experience on how to do that. Moby gave me that drawing and I gave it to Cosmo’s sign company. It’s actually way more simple than I thought it would be. You give them a drawing with dimensions and color and they give you a price with a mockup of how it will look, etc. The turn around for that one was a week, but we live in LA where turn around time is fast because of the entertainment industry (aka, set designers and production designers rarely design months out so companies are used to it).

For the party house Jen (the founder/creative director) wanted one that felt simple and modern but, you know, with a bit of wink to it. She watched the movie, “Neighbors” and saw the neon sign that Zac Efron had in the house, which was just ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and she thought it was perfect. Totally classic and iconic (old-school seedy strip clubs) but with a new modern twist in this new ultra-feminine women’s accessory design house full of a bunch of hot girly girls. It’s all about the double entendre – she also liked ‘Get Out’ which is both bad ass and kinda hilarious in a valley girl kinda way, too, but ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ won out.

girls girls girls

At first we wanted it to be big because we thought it would go in the hallway, so we sent Los Angeles Sign Co our reference image with the dimensions that each letter is 8″ and the overall is 32″ x 34″. Below is our back and forth with the mockups. The first one they sent back was way too chunky and clunky. We decided to go smaller and thinner.

girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls

The last one is the one that we finally settled on. We wanted the G to be more round, like the reference photo on the right so we had to have a custom font (no font to match, they just matched the reference photo) and then that says ‘no acrylic backing’ but we did have it mounted on acrylic after all. The final price was $627, and it would have been $750 for hard wire, but didn’t want to pay an electrician to put in a J box.

We put it in the bar area and it’s just totally magical. We need to still figure out what to do with the cord  – we might wrap it, hide it in a conduit cover, paint it or change it out for a gold cord (which sounds more simple than it is). But either way it’s VERY exciting.




It makes the entire room hot pink, which is undeniably a fantastic thing. Ginny and Brady installed it and sent me these photos afterwards.


Basically you can make any design into a neon sign. It could be a drawing, graphic or words and the price depends on the size. They can also mount it on wood like we did for Moby’s or acrylic like we did for It can be hard-wired or with a chord like ours. And they can do any neon color. Clearly lots of options. We used Los Angeles Sign Co, but most cities have a few different places that make signage for stores/restaurants, etc. Don’t be intimidated. It’s not like they teach you how custom neon signs work in design school – you just call and ask exactly how it works and they’ll walk you through it. Just make sure you ask about every option. This place didn’t have cord options or chain options, but I’m sure if I had brought in a gold cord and gold chain they might have done that for a fee – meanwhile we’ll just address it on our end now. If you don’t want to see the black part in between the letters then you need to mount it like we did for Moby – on a solid surface where that part is hidden behind the wood and all you see is the design. We have a lot of black in the house so it strangely doesn’t bother us at all. Probably because we are too distracted to how wonderful it is.

We are waiting to show you the real ‘afters’ til its shot for a magazine, (pitching out this week!) so stay tuned there.  Happy Monday and Veterans day, y’all.

Click here to read about the beginning of the party house design and here for a sneak peek into the final project.

Any other questions? Do you also have neon sign fantasies?

*Last photo by Kelsey Tucker for EHD.

DIY Dresser Kitchen Island Cart in Redbook

Some DIYs are crazy easy (like thess: crate shelf, slab table, table runner and ladder towel holder), and some are a little more complicated. This one is one is more on the latter side, but all the individual ideas are simple. Check it out:

Redbook DIY Dresser Kitchen Island


I’m actually only into Ikea hacks if they are really simple, cheap and fast because it doesn’t make sense to me to put hours (or days) of work into a piece of furniture that may not last too long. So when we started this project we thought that it was super simple and cheap, but full disclosure, it was kinda a lot of work and took more time, money (and troubleshooting) than we thought. I actually LOVE every idea here and I really like how it turned out but if I were to do it again I would use a vintage dresser, something more unique, or something that I already had because there are a lot of kitchen carts out there that cost less than this one ended up being. At the same time sometimes these DIY’s are more about the ideas that you get from them and less about actually following this exact recipe with these exact ingredients. I just don’t want you guys to think that ‘this is a fast, cheap dresser turned kitchen cart’ because it kinda wasn’t. But had it been an awesome vintage dresser that wasn’t being used, that was higher quality, I would totally do this. At the same time for readers sake (of the magazine as well as the blog) we wanted everything to be easily sourced and to choose something really simple to start with, so this Ikea dresser worked well for this purpose.

Here is what you will need:

2_DIY Kitchen Island Dresser Ikea Hack_Ingredients

-Organization Accessories: Towel Bar, Paper Towel Holder, Spice Racks (we ended up painting all of ours to look like brass with some gold spray paint). But just buy the simplest ones.

-Leather Belts: We used some large mens leather belts which can be purchased from your local goodwill or anywhere that sells cheap leather belts. I think we bought from H and M, go thrifting, folks.

-Brass Nuts and Bolts: You will use these to fasten the leather handles to the dressers

-Brass Casters – We bought like 10 options and of course went with these which were the most expensive castors at 11 a piece (we got them from Koontz Hardware in LA).

-Leather Hole Punch

-Drill and Drill Bit

-Screwdriver and Screws: to attach the accessories to the side of the unit


1. Prep a Dresser:

First of all you can either start with the Koppang 3 drawer dresser that we did from Ikea for $99.00 or source your own vintage dresser or reuse an old piece that you have. It is totally up to how large you want it to be, where you want to use it, and the style of dresser that you want to use. It’s just important that it is roughly waist-high so that you can use it as a work top if you want.

1_DIY Kitchen Island Dresser Ikea Hack_Dresser


2. Replace the Handles:

We reused the pre drilled holes that were already in the dresser and swapped the knobs out for a leather pull that we made out of common brass nuts and bolts that can be found at your hardware store and an old mens leather belt. Here is how we did it:

Measure the distance between the two holes and then add a few inches onto that length. That will determine how long your total handle is. Once you have that number you will then add a couple more inches to each end of that length so that you can fold the belt over itself to create the clean edge at each end of the handle. Then using a hole punch you will pierce the ends of those belts where the holes will go.

We then used brass nuts and bolts to fasten the leather belt to the drawer front. We threaded the bolt through the drawer first then through the belt and then used a ball nut rather than a traditional nut so that we would have a clean rounded edge on the outside of the drawer. Ball nuts are the tits.

3_DIY Kitchen Island Dresser Ikea Hack_Leather Handles

3. Add Casters

We wanted to add casters to this to make it completely mobile. Then you can pull it into your dining room when you need an extra bar, or you can roll it into your kitchen if you need some extra prep space.

We found our casters at our local hardware store for around $12.00 a piece, but the type that we used is made by Bassick and can be sourced online.

Do secure the caster to the dresser you will flip it over then drill a hole into each of the legs that is the same size as the T-nut (which is the hollow sleeve that the caster slides into) then you slide and snap each caster into place.

4_DIY Kitchen Dresser Island Ikea Hack_Brass Castors

4. Add Accessories

You can go as mild or as wild as you want with the accessories for the side of your unit. We decided to get a few accessories for each side that made the piece a lot more useful. We got a couple small spice racks, a towel bar, and a paper towel holder. We grabbed all of these at our local hardware store as well. We didn’t really pay attention to color as we ended up spray painting everything with gold spray paint so that it looked uniform (and I mean you already know my love of all things brass)

5_DIY Kitchen Island Dresser Ikea Hack Brass Accessories

DIY Kitchen Island Dresser Ikea Hack Accessories


We love this guy so much we actually use it in our studio kitchen and everyone comments on it.

And then you have to style it out for a shoot which takes 2 stylist, 2 assistants, a photographer and 2 photo assistant. Please enjoy my gif about it.

DIY Redbook Dresser Island GIF

Meanwhile this is what the room around it looked like:

We were shooting both the crate shelf and this one at the same time and it was crazy.

redbook DIY

Also yes, we laid down a roll of linoleum so it would look like a kitchen. Fakey-fakey.

So, here’s a finished shot.

DIY Kitchen Dresser Ikea Hack Emily Henderson

Photos by David Tsay, styling by Scott Horne. Thanks, Brady for putting this bad boy together.

Meanwhile check out all the other Redbook DIYS here: Side Table Ikea HackDIY Towel Ladder Embossed Velvet Heart PillowOffice Wall PocketsDIY Tree Slab Table, DIY Basket Pendant, Table Runner.

How to Make the Hanging Wallpaper Panels

As you might have read for the new studio we decided to not paint the walls or do anything permanent to anything, partly because of my commitment issues, partly because we had 2 weeks to finish and there was NO way I was going to be able to decide the perfect wallpaper in that short of time, but mainly because we wanted the flexibility of white walls for shoots. So for the party I wanted it to be really exciting and colorful – with lots of wild patterns – for real life I think we are going to pair back to just a few of the colors/patterns to keep it a bit quieter.

Anyway, so we hung a ton of wallpaper panels on gator boards and hung them on different levels from the ceiling. Now this isn’t normally something that you’d do at your home, but enough of you asked how we did it that we figured a post about it couldn’t hurt.



Panels_wallpaper-wall emily henderson studio

Here is a breakdown of how to make those wallpaper panels. To see them in action you can check them out in the studio tour that Domaine did, or at our Tiny Prints party!

DIY Wallaper Panels_header

The ingredients:

DIY Wallpaper Panels Ingredients

1. Hammer

2. Grommet Kit: We picked ours up from JoAnn’s Fabric but they can be picked up at any craft store or online. Ours were brass (obviously) and 7/16″ in size.

3. Hooks: These are just standard ceiling hooks that we picked up from Home Depot, again we went with brass color.

4. S-Hooks: We looked for these in brass as well but could not find them, but as they hang behind the panel you don’t see much of the silver color.

5. Drill Bit: You will need a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your grommet kit so we used a 3/8″ drill bit.

6.  Chain: We picked up our brass chain from a local hardware store, but it is also sold at larger home improvement stores and even some craft stores.

7. Drill

8. Wallpaper: This is the most important and funnest part of it all. We used a bunch of different patterns and colors and then mixed them around to see what we loved best next to each other. You can also use fabric, contact paper, veneer, or whatever else you come up with!

9. Gatorboard: (this is what everything is sitting on in the above picture) Basically it is the same as foam core but much more rigid and more strong (and more expensive). We decided to go with Gatorboard because it does not warp as much as foam core would and it is still very light. We sourced ours online but it can be picked up in large sheets from your local craft or arts store.

Now that you know what you need, here is how its done. Once you have adhered your wallpaper, contact paper, fabric, or veneer to your panels here is how you will attach grommets, chain and hang them to the ceiling.

DIY Wallpaper Panel Template

Make Template: Trust me when I say that making this cheap little template will save you tons of time measuring. You can use any scrap piece of paper or cardboard and then measure in 1″ from both the top corner and the side corner, then cut out a hole approximately the size of your drill bit. Once you have made the template you can use it for each corner and just flip it over when you use it for the opposite corner. It saves you time from measuring out each hole and makes things much quicker if you are doing lots of panels like we did.

DIY Wallpaper Panel_Template Mark

Trace Template Hole: Just make sure that you line up the corner of your template with the corner of your panel and then trace the hole. When you go to trace the other corner of the panel just flip over the template and repeat the same process. Its not rocket science but you’ll be glad you did it.

DIY Wallpaper Panel_Drill

Drill Hole: Using the right size drill bit, drill right through the gatorboard. It will drill through very easy so don’t apply too much pressure and then end up drilling right through your floor, or finger, or leg. (PS. don’t every use your leg to prop up the gatorboard – it won’t be a pretty picture)

DIY Wallpaper Panel_Grommet Ingredients

Assemble Grommet Kit: When you buy your grommets you have two options: 1. A grommet kit, or 2. grommets. You will only need to purchase one grommet kit which includes the tools you see above for attaching the grommets together. You can then purchase the rest of the amount of grommets you need and use the grommet kit to attach them together.

DIY Wallpaper Panel_Hammer Grommet

Hammer Pieces Together: There are very easy instructions on the back of your kit but basically you will sandwich your gatorboard between the anvil, eyelet, washer, setter, and hammer. (and yes I did have to look on the back of the box to give you all those fancy names in the correct order. Once they are all lined up you have to give it a few good strikes and then your grommet will attach itself to the gatorboard and you are good to go.

DIY Wallpaper Panel_Attach Chain Combined

Attach Chain:

Once you have your pretty brass grommets in all of the corners of your panels, you will attach an S-hook to each of the corners and then whatever length of chain you need to each of those S-hooks.

The last and final step is attaching your panels to the ceiling. You will do this by screwing in your ceiling hooks and then attaching each of the panels up in whatever order you want. We decided to overlap our panels, and hang them at different heights and depths from the wall and ceiling.


Oh, and while I rarely recommend wallpapering things yourself in this case it’s actually pretty easy because its such a simple surface and a lot of these wallpapers came wide enough that we only had to lay them flat and not even worry about matching the pattern. You lay them flat, paint the paste on the gator board, get a friend to help (it’s easier with two people), and then roll out/lay the paper or fabric on top and then smooth it out. You can even use decopauge.

Other options – maybe you want to paint chalkboard paint or magnetic paint onto a panel and hang it on the wall in your family room – less commitment than painting on the wall. And this works with fabric as well – not wood, I don’t think but fabric, cardboard, foam core and gator board.

Any questions, folks?

‘After’ photos by Chris Patey C/O Domaine, all instructional photos by Jayme Burrows.

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.