Creating wall decor with fabric leaves (for just $6.41)

Around autumn (and holiday season) you would usually find me starting at leaves. I LOVE their colors, unique shapes, and beauty as they softly sway in the air falling so gently to the ground. I see them as little kisses from mother Earth. So for this holiday season (ahhhh, Thanksgiving is around the corner!!!) I decided to whip up (um, create) some leaf garlands … economically of course. I made 3 different ones, but today I’m sharing the ones I made using fabric (as I got to zoom out for a 2pm meeting soon). What I only invested in was the fabric.  Are you familiar with Fabric Quarters? They are 18″x21″ pre-cut fabrics individually packed …..


I purchased the above at JoAnn. They were originally $1.99, but with a 25% discount I scored them at $1.49 (woohooo!). The DIY ingredients: 

– 4 fabrics quarters $5.97 + tax ($.44) = $5.97
– real leaves (grabbed from outside, no didn’t climb tree))
– scissors (had at home, who doesn’t!) = $0.00
– clear cord (had at home) = $0.00
– glue (had at home) = $0.00
– iron (which I use it more for project than my clothing) if needed
– hooks / tape (had at home) = $0.00


total cost $6.41 


1. gather leaves
2. trace the leaf shape
3. cut leaf shape
4. make fabric stiff
5. cut slits into the stem
6. thread away
7. hang + admire

(1) Gather a variety of leaves from outside (if possible without neighbors seeing you so you don’t look like a weirdo) –> (2) use the leaves as your outline template placing them on top of the fabric (or on a cardboard for weight) to trace it’s shape –> (3) cut the fabric to make the leaf –> (4) spray fabric stiffner onto fabric leaf (or be a cheapo economical like me and use elmers glue (glue I had handy at home) –> (5) cut slits in the stem –> (6) thread a light weight clear cord (I used .012 weigh cord) –> (7) then hang (I like using removable hooks esp since I have a ton in my office). Other options (if you don’t have hooks) and want to be an economista like me, you can try using decorative tape … tiny nails … even masking tape BUT make the masking tape PRETTY by paint the masking tape to a similar color of one of the fabrics and instead of a strip cut the tape into a cute shape (ie: heart, dot).

Here’s the DIY walk through again … trace the leaf shape:

Iron out any annoying wrinkles (die wrinkles die !!! yes, I DO NOT LIKE IRONING!!!):

Add a stiffner (glue) to the fabric:  

Cut slits on the ‘stem” part of the fabric leaf … 

Once they are all threaded, you may want to even out  the steps like I did below (bec I am a NEAT FREAK … it muuuuust be aligned or I will toss and turn in my sleep): 

$0.00 cost options (in place of buying fabric pieces), go on the hunt around your home for:

- old clothing (shirts, pants, scarves, handkerchieves, thin towels, napkins, pillow covers, curtains) that you KNOW you have no plans to use, or are tired of seeing them it’s original state. Donate them to the world of craft, and remember that you can store these leaf garlands and re-use them year after year (or even gift them).

Then do a little happy dance, and admire . . . .

Lastly, share your creation with EVERYONE (whether they want to see it or not). Tsst, be proud that YOU created a cool DIY you genius you. Smart is creating a DIY, genius is doing it economically, wink! Just don’t ask me to solve a math problem. Stay tuned for 2 more DIY leaf garlands this week.

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Story board for Chairish

I was contacted by Chairish in hopes that I could create a storyboard (mood board) featuring one of their accent chairs. What did I say? … Yeah, of course! Are you familiar with Chairish? They sell pre-loved home items. Yep, instead of the word “used” or “vintage” they prefer the adorable word of pre-loved. You can even add your beloved furniture item to their store website if you want. Yeah, awesome! Here’s the chair I picked for my board design . . . .

It’s a mid-century high back lounge chair in emerald green. First, I started with the chair, then next came my design plan ….  I wanted to add pretty POPS of color for a bold (check-me-out) statement. Finally, I went frolicking around their store website to pick out other items to design a space. Remember these are all unique items so once it’s gone (sold!), it’s gone – so I had to frolic quickly! … skip, la la, skip to the next item, la la la, add to the design, lala etc. In the end, this is the what I designed . . .

Chairish - green  lounge chair - design mood boar - styleboard All the items are from their store (minus the roses). The beauty of it being pre-loved is that it doesn’t look like it came from one store, bec .. well .. it didn’t, it’s a collection from items used (ehem, pre-loved). People can get a bit intimidated adding pops of color within their home, so they stick with neutrals so I wanted to show you how you can add solid colors, and neutral colors, and marry them joyfully with pretty pops of colors .. POP POP OH PRETTY POPS!

This is a i-love-Chairish post, to introduce you to them if you haven’t heard of them before. Enjoy!!

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What we (interior decorators) do, and u can too!

One of the cardinal rules in decorating that I aim to follow is …. always bring samples to your home! Sometimes? No! Always, aim for always (when you can!) to bring home samples to see them in their “true light”. Store and showroom lights remind me of clothing store dressing room lights and mirrors … making all my outfits look good, but when I get home I usually discover a “what the heck was I thinking” item. Has that ever happened to you? This can happen when buying items for your home too, eek!

1_Ada Gonzalez _ new york interior decorator _ mood board_floors

I received a “help” email from Maria. She was in the midst of a kitchen renovation. She and her husband picked out the color of custom kitchen cabinet at the showroom, but when it arrived the color didn’t look as white as in the showroom. Eeeekkk. No panicking. Breath in and out. It’s all a lesson. All renovations pass (eventually). The cabinets were already paid for, delivered, and in the midst of install. I was invited to come over to provide (decorator’s tylenol relief) direction on the backsplash since they felt stuck. She also emailed me photos of what they already had (kitchen cabinets, countertop, floor), and what they were considering for the backsplash. Below was my immediate analysis:

their options

Before I drove to my clients home, I stopped by one of my local tile shops and picked out several tiles –  to see which one may fit best with what they currently had (cabinets, and countertop) in their “natural” kitchen light. Then I arrived . . . .


… see the kitchen and back-splash tiles in ‘reality’. Above is a peek at her kitchen with her contractors in action. Isn’t it looking AMAZING!!!! We narrowed down which tiles didn’t go well (and the whys!) … too light, too busy, etc… and narrowed it down to top 2 that made the heart go pitter patter from love not a stress stroke:

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Styling a nursery room ECONOMICALLY with just a few items!

I was contacted to finish decorating a nursery that had already been furnished and painted blue, but was still felt incomplete.  It had artwork spread throughout the room, shelves filled with toys and books (all organized!), but my clients felt that it was still incomplete. And they were right. So my mission, add a few something somethings (economically) to make it feel warm, cozy, and so the blue walls don’t smack them in the face when they walk into the room. I’ve published some of these pics already, but decided to add several more (never seen before) pics and show more of the design process. Here’s the before photo: 

FIRST STEP: Fix what was currently “off”.
* the artwork looked too scattered, and un-cohesive
*furniture too close to the wall

SECOND STEP: Add items to balance the room + “tame” the blue walls
* added tree decal with monkeys (client – baby Jacob loves Curious George, so I added adorable monkeys) to give visual height to dark furniture and distract from the
* add clouds (same reason above, balance the top with the bottom)
* add soft FUN pillows (to the plain loveseat)
* add artwork that POP with color (tame the blue walls!)
* add 3D butterflies (visual POP of color!)

Below’s a highlight (more photos yaaay!) of all the items we added. One of my design tricks in saving money is buying a huge tree decal with monkeys and spreading the design throughout the room (NOT JUST IN ONE WALL). Tsst, other walls wanna party too! I had the tree branches extend to the ceiling, and adjacent walls, even placed some leaves on the radiator, light switch.  I also “trimmed” a branch from the tree decal and added it to the bookshelves – for a dab of ADORABLENESS!

The palm tree artpieces were scattered, so we aligned them for a sleek look. In a room that already has lots of toys scattered, it is MEGA IMPORTANT to have artwork feel more calm and not add more visual clutterness … hence the straight line mounting of the artwork .. plus .. the artwork mounted side to side ‘tell a story’. Do we want story telling in a nursery room. Heck yeaaaahh!

Ada Gonzalez_Nursery_monkey decal and shelves Ada Gonzalez_Nursery_monkey tree decal

Ada Gonzalez_Nursery_wall shelf

Ada Gonzalez_Nursery_o

The blue chair that my client has in the room seemed to disappear against the blue walls, so we added an oooh sooo cute pillow of a little boy holding a truck. Did you see how the yellow/blonde hair of the boy matched the yellow color of the LOVE art … yep, all ‘designed that way’ my friends!

To see the monkey-ing around decal installation mosey on over to -> here. And I recently posted some more pics of the butterfly installation here (with resources on where I go to order these 3D butterflies). I have to go flutter away now (tippy toe tippy toe, flap flap to create another design).

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Making adorable Mummy Frankfurters on Halloween

Ada Gonzalez - DIY mummy frankfurter - food styling _ Halloween _1 What better way from overloading on candy consumption than getting slightly stuffed first before going trick-a-treating. And who has time to cook when you have candy to hunt down (with  from house to house. So, I propose … making adorable (can’t resist eating) Mummy Frankfurters (also known as hot dogs and franks around here).

Ada Gonzalez - DIY mummy frankfurter - food styling _ Halloween _2

1. packaged croissants
2. franks
3. baking pan
4. foil / oil spray for pan
5. mustard or ketchup for glowing eyes
6. oven (bake for about 20 minutes)

Autumn mood board _ Ada Gonzalez_ adas interior design_nature

1. stretch the croissants
2. wrap it around the hot dog
3. cut some frankfurters half way to create legs
4. place them in the oven for about 20 min
5. stare at them (as if you are Dr Frankenstein) in a creepy way through your oven’s window
6. take photos to show off your creation
7. enjoy!

Ada Gonzalez - DIY mummy frankfurter - food styling _ Halloween _3
Ada Gonzalez - DIY mummy frankfurter - food styling _ Halloween _4

Ada Gonzalez - DIY mummy frankfurter - food styling _ Halloween _6 Autumn mood board _ Ada Gonzalez_ adas interior design Ada Gonzalez - DIY mummy frankfurter - food styling _ Halloween _7

This is what the Mummy Frankfurter above is saying …… “look into my eyes, you know you want to make me, muahahaha”. So, this Halloween before venturing out with the kiddies or even if you are just staying indoors, ‘treat’ yourself to making this fun Mummy Frankfurter. Have a happy Halloween!!!!

Autumn mood board _ Ada Gonzalez_ adas interior design_leaves

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Cool poison apple recipe as your home decor

It’s not too late to decorate for Halloween. How about displaying a brewed poison apple! All you need is: an apple, jello (strawberry/red), water, alka-seltzer, and a vase. Here are photos of the concocted home decor with and without the extra poison (the fizz!):

Ada Gonzalez- DIY halloween apple

Have it look like it’s actually brewing by adding alka-selter:

3_Ada Gonzalez - DIY halloween decor ideas_poison apple potion

Recipe recap:
– 1 medium size apple
– 1 pack of jello
– water
– alka-seltzer
– a clear vase (to show off your brew!)

Is it edible? OF COURSE NOT! It’s a home decor. You wouldn’t eat a pillow, right! Wink! Enjoy spreading some fun within your home.

This was a fun collabo post with Additik featuring their Halloween labels. To see how I created witch fingers and vampire fangs out of candy with more removable labels go here.


DIY witches fingers, vampire fangs, and spider legs

Welcome to my lair, where I concoct my potions this time of the year muahahahaha. I partnered up with Additik to create some unigue (and economical) ghoulishly fun decor using 5 of their re-positionable Halloween potions labels. I used their WITCH FINGERS, VAMPIRE FANGS, BEETLE JUICE, POISON, and SPIDER LEGS labels and attached them to jars, then it was time to hunt down some ingredients …. here spider spider, come a little closer! For the spider legs I used black licorice (the real spiders were too fast, plus that’s gross!). For the rest, well, let me give you a tour.

Welcome to my laboratory! What would you like to get for your potion? Shall I start you off with a poisonous drink?

How about a potion for having fun no matter how tired you may be? I need a dose of that, don’t we all:

1/2 lb of witch fingers (nails included for extra flavor)
1 cup of spider legs
1 tablespoon of vampire fangs

(low calorie not) INGREDIENTS:
1. WITCH FINGERS – used circus peanuts candy for fingers & tootie rolls candy for nails
2. VAMPIRE FANGS – used small marshmallows cut in 1/2
3. BEETLE JUICE – used green jello
4. POISON – used apple dipped into red jello
5. SPIDER LEGS – used black licorice candy
6. labels – from Additik

Witch fingers using tootsie rolls for deliciooooous nails:

Vampire fangs out of marshmallows then dipped in red dye:

7_Ada gonzalez - DIY Halloween craft - candy marshmallow vampire fangs Want some?

Poisoned apple – dipped in red jello, tapped with water then alka seltzer for the fizz . . . .

 Wanna yummy Beetle juice? . . . used tossed green jello.

 I’ve seen potion labels at my local crafts stores, but once it’s attached (used) it becomes a throw away, unlike Additiks label – they are awesomely re-positionable so once my potion shop closes for the season, I can store them for next year. They do work best on flat surfaces, round jars is totally fine but best if it doesn’t have a raised surface so it can adhere better. For this shoot below I simply added red dye into plain water. Easy (ghoulishly) breezy, right?! I bet you can find something in your pantry or fridge to set out as decor for this Halloween.

 Want some worms for lunch?

At this time I would like to thank Sergio the spider for all his help in recruiting this peeps for this photo shoot, Wilma and Wonka for bringing their sliminess onto the set, Additik for creating cool labels and offering this DIY project, and my hubby for helping me zoom everywhere to get the ingredients.  No real beetles were hurt in this post. This is a collaboration post, everything except for the labels were sourced/concocted for this post by me. I hope you enjoyed it. Ooooooooh, stay tuned tomorrow where I will show you how I created the poison apple. This week I will also show you how to create mummy franks for Halloween day (they turned out adorable!) // Post in partnership with Additik, all potions concocted by me (muahaha).

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Adding adorable 3D paper butterflies to walls

How did Friday pop up so quickly! I’ve been meaning to post this cutie-pie nursery design element since Tuesday. Then, blink. It’s Friday. Ok, here it is – in this nursery design, I ordered 3D butterflies for adorable Jacob (cutest baby client ever!) for the bathroom wall/door that you immediately see when you enter the room to give it a sprinkle of visual FUN. The playful set of butterflies arrived and were ready to flutter onto the walls (3D wall art awesomeness!).

 (Thanks Carmen for the illustrations of me, great collabo!) The 3D butterflies arrive with adhesive dots on the back so all you have to do is remove the adhesive protective film and place the cute butterfly on the wall (door, shelf, lamp, desk, window frame, mirror, someone’s back hehehehe). Oh, did I mention how economical they are? Wall art DOES NOT have to come in a frame, wink!  Here’s a closer photo.

On the entry door of Jacob’s room, I also added a fabric giraffe height chart with cute photo frames (so Jacob’s growth is awesomely documented). You can see the chart installation here and see which one we originally received by error. Oooh, those shipping errors are annoying but sometimes funny.

And here I am super tired styling the rest of the home – as I prep it for the final reveal and photoshoot (see how this hallway design turned out here). “Huh, what, you’re taking a photo of me now, looking like this, err okay. smile ” . . . 

You can check out more of Jacob’s room here. Oh, back to the 3D butterflies, they are very economical for a WHOLE LOAD of them, and they come in different colors, styles, textures, and are easy to install. Wanna see a larger variety of 3D butterflies? … mosey on over here. Have a great day. I’m heading out …. need cooooooooffee.

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How to create a Manny the Mummy bags!

Looks who’s eye balling you with all it’s cuteness!

I produced (created/styled/photographed) this mummy Boo Bag for Sheknows. It is soooooo easy to do (and economical, ya’know how I roll). It’s meant to be a Boo Bag, but I think it’s also great as a trick a treating bag (a creatively stylish one). Head over to Sheknows to get the STEP BY STEP instructions on how I easily / quickly / and economically made this adorable mummy bag. Oh, did I tell u that I named it – he’s Manny, Manny the Mummy. He’s shy so feel free to comment on how cute he is to help him get more confidence. And did you spot Barry the Bat Boo Bag from last week?

Ada Gonzalez _mummy boo bags for DIY halloween_2


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How to level a floor for hardwood, vinyl, laminate (see my kitchen progress)

Below is a peek at how our kitchen looks now. Which is waaaaay different then how it looked before hubs and I moved in (yucky green vinyl square tiles, emphasize on yuck). After we settled in we did a  “quick fix” of slapping on (installing) white click-locking-floor system on top of the yuck green tiles without taking the appliances out or leveling the floor. It was a quick fix so I couldn’t use the ‘it’s too ugly to cook in there” excuse. But the time finally came, that I made “us” my client and tackled the kitchen (economically, of course!).


So, the mission – wrestle the floor! Add new floors not the wimpy cheater-pants way of piling floor on top of floor, but removing the current floor, and leveling the uneven floor for a smooth finish. Little did we know that beyond our temporary white floors and the ewww green tiles there were 3 OTHER LAYERS OF EEEEW tiles. Here they are in chronological order … I think the first one was around 520 BC:


Here are the 5 MAIN STEPS to level a floor for hardwood, vinyl, laminate; and below are photos of our DIY flooring a-d-v-e-n-t-u-r-e:

(1) REMOVE current flooring(sssssss)
(2) apply PRIMER (we used this)
(3) apply leveling MORTAR (we used this)
(4) add PADDING
Yes, that is me above in my Ninja black outfit kung-fu-ing … rolling (mopping) the primer onto the floor. Hubs was in charge of mixing the mortar (see pic below). 

As the mortar was drying, hubby added our initials onto the floor (isn’t it adorable!). 


Once the floor is leveled, its time to add the floor padding and the beautiful new floors. Living in a co-op we had to finish the floors (cutting the ends to size) before 5pm , so tick tock tick tock …4:55pm tick tock tick tock … we ran out of time.

We were soooo close to finish (just had only 4 more rows to install!!!!) But our saw machine was too loud to “pretend” it was a vacuum, wink wink! Oh well, that’s installation craziness for you. Expected! But that’s ok, we had more energy in the morning. This is how the day ended …. zzzzzzzz (before we finally finished the installation the following day):

tercero I gave you the 5 MAIN STEPS to leveling a floor for hardwood, vinyl, laminate. But then there’s the BIGGER PICTURE, the “WHAT’S INVOLVED IN REPLACING YOUR NEW FLOORS”. Ya know, the nitty gritty details needed when changing your floors. But warning, the following is a bit tedious and lil boring so you can leave the (movie) blog and skip the (credits) details below if you want or (keep eating your popcorn) bookmark it for when you WRESTLE your own floor to EMPOWER YOURSELF (and avoid the “Oops, I forgot about that” moment like the sneak coming attraction peeks at Marvel comics movies):

WHAT’S INVOLVED IN REPLACING YOUR NEW FLOORS (just a tad few gazillion things):

(1) measure your room so you know the amount of flooring that you need
(2) decide which floors you want (this one, no that one, but this one is nice too, etc etc … make a decision). IMPORTANT, bring samples to your home so you can view in your natural light
(3)  buy flooring (padding, base molding, rent a saw if needed) and any (every!) other item you may need so you don’t have to interrupt installation to buy “this” or that” and avoid #@$%. Like if you need to level the floor you need: primer, mortar, mop, big bucket, patience, small cup, etc.
(4) stretch before your work out! Instead of lifting weights you will be  removing appliances / furniture / etc from the room, then again when you replace them all
(5) if hiring someone to do any added work (electrical etc.) make sure they are licensed. For NY contractors, I verify the status of their license here.
(6) if you live in a Co-op, confirm the working hours allowed (usually 8am – 5pm) and they are sticklers for the deadline … and by “they” it’s usually a neighbor that may complain if they hear a noise and report your “wild installation party” to management.
(7) give your  neighbors (cookies) notice of the work (noise) to come
(8) have a take-out food menus handy (pizza to the rescuuuuuue!)
(9) finally, enjoy your hard work … realizing that YOU brought your idea of more comfort, more style, more of your personality into your home. And isn’t that what all our homes should be? Us, who we are.

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