Fresh ideas to elevate the everyday: Here are some clever ways to display your scarves, organize your desk and more.
DIY DECOR: INSTANT ART
Scarves may not be the easiest accessory to pull off, but as graphic visuals in your home, they’re a no-brainer. Whatever style you love — Liberty prints; iconic Hermès designers; or retro, like these midcentury ones by Vera Neumann — simply frame and hang them individually or grouped by color or pattern (three behind a sofa looks nice). Then switch scarves with the seasons, or whenever you want to refresh your walls.
Highland Hardware acrylic frame kit, from $73, highlandhardware.etsy.com.
PERSONALIZE IT: WORK WONDERS
You graduated more than a few years ago, but who’s counting? Don’t miss out on the best part of the back-to-school season: buying pristine supplies and customizing them so everyone knows that awesome notebook is, in fact, yours. Here are four easy, creative ways to spruce up the tools of your trade, organize your desktop and get that hopeful brand-new-binder feeling all over again.
Marbleize them with two shades of craft paint and a technique that’s pre-K easy but AP-art impressive.
Craft paint, in 2 different shades
Number 2 pencils
Washi or clear tape
1. Squeeze paints in 2 parallel, pencil-length strips on a piece of foil.
2. Cover pencil erasers with tape to protect them.
3. Place pencils parallel to paint strips, then roll through paint.
4. Place pencils on top of plastic cups to dry. (This ensures that they won’t stick to foil once completely dry.)
5. Remove tape from erasers.
Color-code notebooks with washi tape. Use different hues to indicate subjects (recipes, brilliant ideas), or write directly on the strips.
If your stapler or scissors tends to walk away, borrow this art-student idea and paint matching icons that whisper, “Mine!” Use tape for clean lines.
Martha Stewart Crafts multisurface satin acrylic paint, in Lilac Cloud, $2.50 for 2 ounces, michaels.com.
To instantly identify notebooks on a shelf — and keep bindings sturdy for the long haul — run different tape designs along the spines.
Recycled-paper binders, from $5 each, muji.us. MT Casa Moegi washi tape, $9, cutetape.com.
PROVISIONS: TWO-WAY SWEETS
These snacks will satisfy any craving, whether you want a nutritious nosh or an over-the-top indulgence.
Slice an apple into four layers and spread on cream cheese drizzled with honey and granola, almond butter, and cream cheese mixed with shredded cheddar. Stack and serve. Eat in layers.
Dip the rim of a tall glass in caramel sauce; put in freezer. In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, 1/3 cup whole milk and 1⁄2 banana; pulse. Sprinkle other 1⁄2 banana with sugar; brulée with a torch. Pour caramel down two sides of frosted glass; add a scoop of coffee ice cream. Drizzle with more caramel; crumble 2 pretzels on top. Pour shake into glass, leaving some room; pipe whipped cream on top. Finish with more caramel, bruléed banana and 2 pretzels dipped in caramel.
CLUTTER CONTROL: WORLDLY POSSESSIONS
To corral all the ticket stubs, sand dollars and souvenirs carefully collected from your last vacation, consider these two options: If you want to display your treasures, line the bottom of a shadow box with a map of the place you went and arrange the items on top.
If you’d rather stow them, wrap the map around the lid of an acid-free box. Either way, your mementos will be protected, organized by location and easy to find on your next trip down memory lane.
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