Week 2 Journal: Ripping Out the First Floor Ceilings

Always wear your respirator, Luke!This week we really got into it on the Curbly House. We turned a pretty normal looking old house into a mostly gutted mess in just a few days, and loved every minute of it (well … except the rats). Read on to watch my week two video journal, and find out all the details.



Ok, if you’re just joining us, check out last week’s video journal, and Alicia’s introduction and house tour first so you get an idea of what we’re up to.  Continue Reading

Week 1 Journal: Getting Ready for Demolition

Curbly House Week 1 Video Journal - Preparation for Demolition
I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally start real work on the Curbly House. Even if the first week was just me spending a few hours a day over there getting protection down on the floors, walls, and windows, it felt great to actually be doing something.

Week 1 was about getting ready for week 2. We decided to tear out the first floor ceilings; they were covered in foam tile and the plaster under that was crumbling. Continue Reading

Furniture Designer Legally Employs Young Sons to Add Imperfect Finishing Touches

created at: 01/10/2012

Dutch industrial designer Lucas Maassen painstakingly creates smooth, straight-lined designs, flawless and contemporary in their construction, then pays his kids to mess it up.

“Thijme (9 years old), Julian and Maris (both 7 years old) work in compliance with Dutch child labor laws. This means, they’re limited to working only three hours per week. The three sons work every Tuesday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a 15-minute break in between. They receive €1 per furniture piece completed and have employee benefits such as 12 vacation days per year and receive a 5% salary vacation allowance per annum.” Continue Reading

How To: Make Your Own Colorful Baker’s Twine for Cheap!

created at: 07/14/2011

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with wrapping paper and ribbon (Remember my closet? And yes, it still looks the same, only now it has even more wrapping paper… and about three times as much ribbon!).  One of my favorite go-to, wrap-it-in-a-pinch, easy peasy gift wrapping strategies is the no-fail “brown paper package tied up with string” approach.  The best string to use in such a case?  Baker’s twine.  It’s got just enough pizazz to keep things looking pulled together and charming.   Continue Reading

How-To: Make Your Own Modern Gift Tags

created at: 12/07/2010

You found the ultimate gift, it’s deserving of some special treatment, right?  Handmade, modern, and easy, these gifts tags will be just the right touch to top things off and show how much you care.  A well-wrapped gift is a thoughtful gift, so let’s see what we’ll need to take our presentation to the next level!  

created at: 12/07/2010

These gift tags come from master paper crafter/artist Patricia Zapata of A Little Hut, who explains:

“Working on tags is fun because they are small and quick to make. Continue Reading

Curbly Video: How to Make a Planter from a Recycled Book

created at: 07/28/2010



For many, books, as physical objects, can be central to one’s home decor. While some store their collections in spare rooms, offices, and spaces out of sight for company; many of us proudly display our libraries as focal points, providing the opportunity to start conversations with guests, family, and friends. Often, looking at one’s bookshelves, like peering into one’s home, can teach us a lot about who someone is and the things they love. We’ve grown used to seeing books on coffee tables, night stands, and even in bathrooms. Continue Reading

Curbly Video Podcast: How to Make a Mod Paper Snowflake Garland

created at: 2009/11/30

There’s something about elegantly cut white paper that simply captures the holidays.

So this season, grab your scissors and hang up some comfort and joy with this retro-inspired, mod paper snowflake garland. You could wrap it around your tree, drape across your mantle, or simple let it flow on a wall or from the ceiling. In the spirit of giving, we’re offering a free, downloadable and infinitely printable pattern to enable you to keep whipping these up all season long. Continue Reading

How To Upholster a Round Stool

I’ve done it. Kicking and screaming I’ve made a How To video. (shudder) Even though I upholstered this stool on a previous post, I had to re-do the boxing. Someone bought it from my Etsy shop and it’s being shipped to Brooklyn today. Nothing shows technique like an actual demonstration. What I want you take away from this tutorial is how to work the fabric in order to get the fabric attached to a circular base smoothly and evenly with no bumps, lumps or puckers.  Continue Reading