Dye your own shibori napkins with this simple tutorial over at www.aBeautifulMess.comShibori is a much more exciting and ancient version of the tie-dye fun we all had at summer camp. It's the process of binding your fabric with twine, rope, clips, and clamps as well as cardboard, rocks, poles, etc. and hand-dyeing it for a beautiful dye-resist pattern. The end result is a unique, one-of-a-kind patterned textile that you can then turn into a beautiful bolster pillow for your bed, a light summer scarf, or some fun cloth napkins for your next gathering. That's exactly what we'll be making with this project, and I know you'll be just as thrilled with your end result as I was with mine!

Shibori style cloth napkins using pink tie dye will make any meal feel extra special. Get the step-by-step tutorial on www.aBeautifulMess.comShibori is traditionally used with indigo dye, but you can get a similarly lovely effect with a much simpler technique thanks to some pre-made dye packs on the market. I used a dye pack that can be mixed with cold water and squirted directly onto the fabric instead of having to boil water and submerge the cloth. Indigo dyeing is worth the effort, but if you're not comfortable with that process or don't have easy access to all of the supplies, this is a great alternative with stunningly similar results. 

There are a few things to consider when choosing fabric for your shibori tie-dye project. Anything that is 100% cotton will work best for absorbing and holding the dye. A cotton gauze (think a light summer scarf) is going to be just as lovely as a combed cotton fabric—it just depends on the texture you want. Linen is also an excellent choice because of its beautiful texture and drape. Be sure to pre-wash all of your fabrics before dyeing to make sure they're free of any factory chemicals.

Working on smaller cuts of cotton at a time will help you achieve smaller pattern designs because you won't have as much bulk between layers. If you want to work on a larger cut of cloth to make a tablecloth or picnic blanket, scale up the size of your cardboard for a larger pattern and you'll still get great results. You will learn the most from experimenting with the process, so think about cutting up a few more napkins than you'll need in order to get creative with a few of the designs and see which folding techniques you prefer. Below I've shared what kinds of patterns you can get using a set of triangles, a set of rectangles, and a set of squares. These are not the only folding techniques out there by any means, but I do love the bold shapes they produce. 

-pre-washed cotton fabric measuring about 18" x 18" per napkin
-cardboard to cut dye-resist shapes
-tie-dye powder and mixing bottle (must be cold water dye)
-twine or rubber bands
-something to keep your surface from getting stained 
-plastic wrap
-sewing machine (optional)

Step1-TriangleStep One: Cut your fabric down to 18" x 18". Pull out extra strings to leave a frayed edge. You can hem these or leave them as is. Cut a set of triangles that are about 3.5" long on two sides. Fold your fabric in half to get a rectangle shape. Step Two: Fold your rectangle shape into thirds lengthwise. Step Three: Fold the short end on the left down as shown to create a triangle. Step Four: Fold that triangle underneath to create a flat edge. Step Five: Fold the folded part back again as shown. Step Six: Fold back under again. Continue this until you get to the end of your fabric for a triangle sandwich. Step Seven: Place cardboard triangles on either side of the fabric sandwich like pieces of bread and tie tightly with twine or add a ton of rubber bands. The triangles will help create a barrier so the dye won't seep through. The larger your cardboard shape, the more white space you'll have in your design. 

2-RectangleStep One: Cut cardboard into a set of rectangles that measure about 1" x 3.5". Fold your cloth napkin square in half and then half again as shown to get a rectangular shape. Step Two: Fold your rectangle into thirds lengthwise. Step Three: Fold the left end back onto itself so that it's just slightly longer than the length of your cardboard. Keep folding back and forth until you get to the end. It doesn't have to be even. Step Four: Place the cardboard on each side and wrap with twine or rubber bands. 

3-SquareStep One: Cut your cardboard into a set of 2" x 2" squares. Fold your cloth napkin in half and then in half again lengthwise. Step Two: Fold in half from the right side. Step Three: Fold into thirds horizontally and then again. Step Four: Add cardboard squares and tie tightly with twine or rubber bands. 

TieYourClothUpRun each bound piece under the faucet until it's absorbed a little water. You don't want it dripping wet but enough for it to absorb the dye a little easier. Squeeze it out a bit.

Soak In DyePlace your bound napkins onto a safe surface such as a curtain liner, trash bag, or in a plastic tub so you won't ruin your surface. Prepare your dye according to manufacturer's directions. If you are using dye powder already in a bottle, just add water and shake carefully until stirred. If you're using dye from a packet, add to a bottle and fill with cold water. It'll disintegrate into your water as you shake it up. Make sure all of your fabric is prepared before you add water to your dye as your dye will only be good for a short amount of time. 

For a really defined pattern, soak your edges with dye so that there is no white showing at all. There will be plenty of white from the spaces that are covered and pushed tightly together, so this will make for a lovely contrast. If you want a splotchy look, drip it all over but don't fill it in completely.

WrapItUPWrap each piece in plastic wrap and let it sit for about eight hours to let the dye work its magic. Then unwrap and rinse in cold water until the water runs clear. Follow manufacturer's directions for washing in the washing machine so your dye doesn't bleed. 

How They LookAbove are the three different outcomes after they've been rinsed, dried, and ironed. The far left napkin is from the set of triangles, the center napkin is from the set of rectangles, and the right napkin is from the set of squares. Even if I folded another set with the same folds, it's not likely I'd get the same exact pattern each time, but this is the general idea on how your edges take the dye and how the insides that are pressed together resist the dye. It's kind of like putting your quarters in the sticker machine at the arcade. You generally know what you're getting, but it's still a surprise when you open it up!

Hem your edgesFeel free to hem your edges by ironing them over 1/4" and again 1/4" before stitching a line down the edge. Repeat on the next three sides. Otherwise, enjoy the slightly frayed look. 

  Shibori tie-dye dinner napkins give you that indigo effect without the big hastle. Get the full tutorial over at www.aBeautifulMess.comTie-dyeing your own cloth napkins is a really fun way to add more pattern and color to your table and is sure to make your mealtime or next party a little more special! -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Sister StyleSister StyleSister StyleSister StyleElsie's Wearing: Hat/Moorea Seal, Sunnies/ABMxBonlook, Leggings/American Apparel, Boots, Bag and Bracelet/Madewell. 

Elsie here! There's something about January that absolutely transforms me into a different person. I can't describe how motivated I am, at the moment, to clean, organize and decorate. I find myself looking forward to rearranging drawers, and then I think, "Wait?? Who AM I?" 

It's kind of a form of winter survival, I think. It's as if I'm bargaining with the world, "FINE, it's cold for... a while. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I'm at least gonna organize my shelves. You can't take THAT away from me!" 

So cleaning, that's really good right now. 

Other winter things I still like: 
bubble baths
hot tea
The Bachelor
shopping for swimsuits and shorts online
never going outside, ever  

What about you, Em? 

Emma Chapman from abeautifulmess.com  Emma Chapman from abeautifulmess.com   Emma Chapman from abeautifulmess.com    Boots in winter DetailsYep, I'm similar. I am highly motivated to do lots of stuff around my house... and I have ZERO motivation to go outside or run errands of any kind. Ha! But since Trey and I moved just a few months ago, my house still needs lots of work. So this works out well.

Plus, I'm trying out a new thing this year where I attempt to plan out my entire year with all the major work goals, work trips, and personal goals + trips that I want to accomplish. So far it's been both exciting and terrifying to see how full 2016 is probably going to be already! I'm hoping the extra planning now will help make things run smoothly. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Other things I'm really into right now:
hot tub nights
black coffee
attempting to stay informed on election stuff
planning and working on home renovations (mostly painting)

Emma Chapman from abeautifulmess.com Emma Chapman from abeautifulmess.com Emma Chapman from abeautifulmess.com     Emma's wearing: Jeans/Levi's, Blouse/H&M, Sweater/Thrifted, originally from The Limited, House of Harlow Necklace c/o Shop Bop, Coat/She In, Hat/My sister's, Purse/Moorea Seal (gift from my sister), Boots c/o Boden, and Sunnies c/o BonLook

Hope you're staying warm, safe, and motivated this season! xo. Emma + Elsie

Credits // Authors: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. 

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial)             You can call it a coping mechanism, but the colder it gets in winter, the more plants I add to my house. Adding tropical or desert plants into my space totally tricks my brain into thinking warm and happy thoughts. So I've been looking for any excuse to add more. We are getting pretty close to completing our front sitting room, but I had an area of open wall space that was too narrow to add furniture but really needed a little something-something. Since plants are making me so happy right now, I thought a tall narrow planter would be just the ticket to fill the space and add a little more greenery as well. Large planters can get crazy expensive, so of course a DIY version was in order!

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial)             Supplies:    
-36" window box
-window box insert
-36" square aluminum tube (x4)
-paint for window box (I used Baby Blush by Valspar)
-gold paint for legs
-drill and metal drill bits
-brass machine screws (1 1/2" long) and nuts
-peel and stick felt for bottom of legs
-clamps (optional but helpful)

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) Depending on how tall you want your planter to be, you can adjust where you mount your legs to the window box. It was helpful for me to use small clamps so I could stand back and see different heights, but I ended up having the bottom edge of the window box be 10" down from the top of the square tube leg.

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) Once I had the measurement of leg placement, I unclamped the legs and used a metal drill bit to drill two holes through the aluminum tube (just use a bit that's big enough to fit your machine screws through). It may sound complicated to drill through metal, but aluminum is really soft, so it's actually easier than drilling through some hardwoods.

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) I re-clamped the legs back in place on the planter and used the same drill bit to drill into the two holes and through the wood of the window box behind the metal tube (that way the holes would line up exactly). If you don't have clamps, you can just lay the box facing up on the floor and have someone help you hold the leg in place. The clamps make it easier to do it by yourself if needed.

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) I would normally use gold spray paint to paint the legs, but it's a high of 28 degrees today (too cold to spray paint outside). So I used my favorite gold paint instead. Just make sure to keep track of which leg goes on which spot on your planter so you know the holes will line up exactly when you go to put them back on (I put a post-it next to the legs to mark which was which). Once the paint is dry, cut to size 4 squares of peel and stick felt for the bottom of the tubes so the metal doesn't scratch your floors.

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) I painted the box with a pale pink called Baby Blush by Valspar (it's the same color as our pink dining room on the other side of the sitting room).

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial)      Use your machine screws and corresponding nuts to attach the legs back onto the planter. Make sure to tighten the nuts well on the inside so you don't have wobbly legs.

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) Add your plants to your window box insert and your planter is in business!

Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) Skinny Planter Stand DIY (click through for tutorial) It's such a simple shape, but I really love the clean lines of the long legs with the wide skinny planter box. The gold, pink, and shades of green feel really fresh together, and it's versatile in that you could also buy a bigger box and the next thickness of legs to make a bigger version if desired (a bunch of tall snake plants would look awesome in one of these!). No matter what the climate is where you are, I bet this planter is a good decision for your space too! xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Easy no heat curls, try this style overnight for beautiful curls in the morning (click-through for the tutorial) Like so many straight-haired ladies before me—I love curling my hair. I know my curling iron is *so bad* for my hair, but I can't resist using it. Thankfully, in addition to curling irons, there are a number of wet-set or no-heat methods that help you achieve full, luscious curls without damaging your hair. My favorite is a twist on a vintage rolled up do that dries overnight and gives me great, natural looking curls in the morning. 

Easy no heat curls, try this style overnight for beautiful curls in the morning (click-through for the tutorial)Step One: Start with damp (not soaking wet!) hair. Gently brush it free of tangles and place a headband on top of your hair. You can pin the headband in place with a few bobby pins towards the front to keep it from moving.

Step Two: Take a small section of hair and pull it up then down the inside of the headband; basically wrapping it around the headband. 

Step Three: Continue wrapping this section of hair around the headband to the ends.

Step Four: Repeat this step with the rest of your hair. Use a few bobby pins to hold things in place if any of your hair feels loose.

Step Five: Go to sleep! 

Step Six: Wake up! Your hair should look something like the bottom left picture above (a little disheveled but dry). Pull out the pins and start unwrapping your new curls.

Easy no heat curls, try this style overnight for beautiful curls in the morning (click-through for the tutorial)  So easy, right? I love this no-heat curl method because it doesn't damage your hair, the curls are pretty natural, and it looks cute while it's drying! You could even wear the wet style out during the day if your hair takes a long time to dry—although wait until it's warm where you live! Wet hair outside in the winter sounds like a pretty terrible idea... I hope you like trying out this curling style; you can also mix it up with thicker or thinner headbands for different curl widths. Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom. 

January Messy Box scrapbook Sunday postThis month's Messy Box has such great pastels! I loved the giant patterned chipboard alpha and the icon stickers. They're perfect for documenting my lack of enthusiasm over the coldest season of the year. I mean, we did just spend three years at 6,000 ft. elevation at the base of a 14k mountain so I shouldn't be complaining just yet, but this California girl will always be eager for spring to hurry! Also, this kit feels really versatile to use well into the spring season with its soft colors and mixable patterns. I am a fan!

January Messy Box PagesJanuary Messy Box scrapbook pages. Get the full post on www.aBeautifulMess.comJanuary Messy Box 1I used a few items from the A Beautiful Mess shop such as the blush felt wool and the dark coral plastic alpha as well as a random card from a previous Messy Box. 

Summer Come Quick!Scrapbook Sunday with the January Messy BoxI used the transparency page in this kit like you would a regular scrapbook page and just stapled and adhered paper without worrying about seeing through on the other side. For my album I may put it into a transparency page and add another page behind it, but I might just punch holes directly into the page and call it a day. I like to live on the wild side. 

Monday!MessyBox Page 2These two pages were brought to you by a cold winter's day and are my version of getting my complaining off my chest. Sometimes you just have to document how you really feel about winter and Mondays! We've got snow in the forecast for tomorrow, so I'm off to get my big girl pants on and see it as an excuse to bake cookies or have an extra two cups of coffee! Happy scrapbooking! -Rachel

Credits// Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions


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