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14 posts tagged DIY

Ideas for Happy Hour Hosting

Just in time to factor in to your Friday night plans, we have some tips, tricks and products to help you host the perfect happy hour. Can you say, wine and cheese please?

Put together an incredible cheese plate. Nuts and Bolts provides some great tips: http://zuli.ly/YBjZsX

Use a slate serving board so you can label your appetizers (zulily.com)

Try serving a beer flight to accommodate a variety of tastes (zulily.com)

Pour a signature cocktail like this Pear and Thyme Fizz from Camille Styles: http://zuli.ly/1uy719V

Try stemless wine glasses instead of traditional stemware (zulily.com)

Leftover wine post-happy hour? Pour it into ice cube trays to save for cooking or just to keep your sangria cold. See more tips from Wine Ponder:http://zuli.ly/1qKZswu

5 Hacks to Make Travel with Little Ones Easier

Whether you’re traveling across the country or just taking a trip to the park, traveling with your little one is always an adventure. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite hacks, tips, ideas and products to make this adventure just a little easier for you. 

1. DIY Travel Chalk & Magnet Board  

Sunny with A Chance of Sprinkles shows us how you can use a basic cookie sheet, letter magnets and some chalk to create a canvas for your little one’s masterpiece. Added bonus, these magnetic pieces won’t end up on the floor of your car.  


2. Label Outfits in Baggies 

This great idea comes from Just a Girl and Her Blog. It’s an easy way to make getting dressed while traveling easy. You can label each bag with your child’s name and note any special occasions to avoid fashion fiascos while on vacation. 


3. A Stroller Fit for Flying 

We all know how frustrating it can be to have to check your stroller at the gate while flying.  Having a stroller that can fold up to fit in the overhead compartment…well that is just a dream come true. The Nano Protect Travel System from Mountain Buggy offers a lightweight stroller that does just that. Today, zulily will be the first to launch the Protect Infant Car Seat component of the travel system.


4. DIY Portable Lego Kit 

This DIY Lego Kit from Fun at Home With Kids is small enough to fit in your purse, and a great source of entertainment for your toddler while waiting at a restaurant or for a doctor’s appointment. The puzzles are simple and the combinations endless. It comes with 24 Free Printable Activity cards.


5. DIY Snack Containers 

Got extra liquid coffee containers? Stock Piling Moms show us that these are ideal for bringing snacks anywhere on the go. Whether they are keeping them in their backpacks or leaving them in the cup holders in the car, your kids will love pouring their favorite treats from these recycled bottles. 


6 Ways to Add Style to Your Back to School Supplies

No doubt your kids have put a lot of thought in to their back to school style, so no plain black and white composition book or yellow number 2 pencils will do. Add some style to those back to school supplies with these fun DIYs and products.

DIY chalkboard notebook from Warm Hot Chocolate:http://zuli.ly/1taWGkp

Add a little sparkle to note taking with these DIY glitter pencils from Brunch at Saks: http://zuli.ly/1uOj459

Make your notebook a fashion statement with this DIY book clutch from Caught on a Whim:http://zuli.ly/1Asr78j

A unique alternative to the spiral notebook.

Make these super-easy button bookmarks. Get the tutorial from I Heart Naptime: http://zuli.ly/1ldDPVb

Really simple pom pom bookmarks from Design Mom:http://zuli.ly/1pWuNdK

Our Favorite DIYs of the Week

Need some DIY inspiration for this weekend? Check out some of our favorite DIY projects from Pinterest. 


Easy DIY knot headbands from Girl Inspired:http://zuli.ly/1kbyWLs


Use old leggings to liven up a boring lampshade from Vintage Revivals: http://zuli.ly/1oWL0QY

An easy DIY to update an old pair of sandals from My So Called Crafty Life: http://zuli.ly/1qzw1dN

DIY mason jar sewing kit from Polka Dot Chair:http://zuli.ly/1kbyMUh

Step by Step DIY Sleepover Monster Masks

DIY Monster Masks are the perfect craft for your next big sleepover. They are easy to make, easy to clean up, and they’ll keep your kids entertained for hours. Here are some simple step by step instructions from our very own zulily stylist, Brenda B., on how to make these one-of-a-kind masks.

What you’ll need: Scissors, 2 Feet of Ribbon, Pins, Glue Gun (Elmer’s glue is fine too!), Green/Red/White/Black Felt 

Step 1: Get all your supplies ready and print our monster mask stencil kit from below. (Bonus! You can use these same shapes to make an adorable kitty mask too.) 



Step 2: Cut out the stencils and pin to the felt for easy cutting. 


Step 3: Cut out your patterns on the felt. You’ll need 1 mask, 1 horn, 3 teeth, 1 eyeball, 2 nostrils, and 2 eyelids (eyes) from the stencil. Feel free to mix and match your felt colors to make your monster mask one of a kind. 


Step 4: Glue the teeth and nose to the bottom of your mask and the horn to the top. Your mask should look something like this. 


Step 5: Glue on your monster’s eyes and nostrils. Your monster mask is almost complete! 


Step 6: Cut two 1ft pieces of ribbon. Glue each piece to the back of each side of your mask. Let the glue dry for a minute or two. (Wait for at least an hour if using Elmer’s glue.)


Step 7: Put on your mask and get ready for some sleepover fun! 


Behind the Scenes: DIY Balloon Sculpture

At zulily, we’re all about innovation. Shannon Cicle, our Editorial Prop Coordinator extraordinaire, turned wire and balloons into a fun goal-post structure. We used it for a sporty Halloween event, but it can be adapted to a number of different shapes—arches, hearts, letters and numbers. It’s fun for birthday parties, Halloween parties and all sorts of holiday celebrations. And because it’s so lightweight, it can be hung on the wall or even from the ceiling.


Here’s how we made ours!


  • 1/8-inch x 12 feet aluminum wire
  • Pliers
  • Balloons


  • Sandbag
  • Round plaque
  • Drill

1. Take two of the wires. While you’re holding them together, bend them in half with pliers. Then use the pliers to separate the wires midway to create a T shape. Take those bent wires and form them into a goal post shape. Set aside.

2. Start filling up balloons. We recommend a manual or electric pump so you don’t get too winded!


3. Tie the balloons together in sets of two, then wrap the balloons around the wire. Twist them gently against each other to make them fit snugly around the wire. If you’re having trouble with this step or your balloons are popping, simply tie them on with more string.


4. Take the plaque and drill a hole through it. Feed the wire through the hole and use the sandbag to weigh the sculpture down.

5. And that’s it! We can’t wait to see if any of you decide to do this too. 

Q&A with zulily Scenic Designer/Prop Coordinator, Shannon


Name: Shannon

Job Title: Scenic Designer/Prop Coordinator

Job Description: I build, paint, and purchase scenery and props to create the backgrounds for zulily’s photo shoots. In a short: I shop and drive a lot… salvage yards, thrift stores, estate sales, craigslist, ebay, you name it.

Once, I spent a weekend picking out a wedding cake for a photo shoot, which really confused my friends. They thought my boyfriend had proposed.

Much of my job is trying to produce themed sets on a pretty tight budget in a very short time frame.  Ideally, I like to find ready-to-photograph props, but about half the time I need to paint or alter them in some way. You might call me zulily’s resident do-it-yourselfer.

Favorite zulily moment: This week?  I’m lucky enough to work in a really interesting place – take really talented artists, add tons kid models running around and you’ll never have a dull moment. I’m currently hobbling around on a broken foot, so I’ve really been loving my coworkers getting me coffee… and snacks…and sometimes tools…and carrying heavy things for me. I really like when they do that.

Oh, and I love days when we’re taking photos of food!  We had a chocolate fountain a few months ago – that was amazing. Yep, that’s it, the fountain. My favorite Zulily moment.

Favorite DIY project you’ve ever created (at zulily or not):

That’s a tough question. My hands have always been rather busy since I was a kid.  I went to a performing arts high school for technical theatre, so I was trained in scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design (not to mention being raised by a carpenter/record collector/photographer/pro thrifter father).  


One of my favorite projects at zulily was a monster costume and five foot skyscraper model for a monster-themed shoot. I made everything out of cardboard packaging materials. I have 3 cats at home, so after the shoot, the skyscraper turned into a kitty condo.

I think my favorite project I’ve ever done was when I volunteered for what in Florida is called the Great American Teach-In. I showed a class of 5th graders how to make a backdrop, from start to finish. The kids all sketched illustrations of a book they had read as a class, voted on their favorite sketch, then I drew it out on an 8’ x 12’ muslin, and let the kids paint the backdrop with brushes I had taped to bamboo sticks and paint I had donated from the shop where I was working.  I couldn’t believe it, but they painted the entire surface of the drop in just a couple hours. And they all agreed on the color scheme and all worked together beautifully.  I was a bit worried about the kids sword fighting with paint brushes, but thankfully, my fears weren’t realized. That being said, I am always on the hunt for a new favorite project! 


Beautiful design: a chat with elli’s Creative Director, Lia Griffiths

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like sending a gorgeous card to a friend or family member. The creative team at elli knows this as well as anyone, and have spent years building a following that loves the timeless designs they produce. 

They’re on zulily today—you can find the event here—and elli’s ever-talented Creative Director, Lia Griffith was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. 

Below, Lia touches on the inspiration behind her creations, her favorite holiday to design for, and what makes elli’s offerings so perfect for zulily members. Enjoy the read, and make sure to take us up on today’s great deal here!

zulily: Thank you for joining us Lia! Will you tell us a little about your role at elli and how you arrived there?


I am the Creative Director at elli. I started with the parent company almost 4 years ago, leading creative development for the DIY wedding site. Though I do love designing for weddings, it is creating for kids and holidays that I find myself gravitating towards. The opportunity to combine the best of all in our new elli shop has been a dream come true for me.

z: What are the most important characteristics that elli’s design team share?

We love what we do! We are incredibly focused on creating really beautiful, clever and original designs. Each of us bring a different look and perspective to the site which rounds out our collection very nicely. What is the very first thing you do when starting the design process on a new project? Research. I always want to know what is trending in apparel, interior and print design.

z: Which holiday is the most fun to design for?

Christmas. I say that confidently despite the fact the team just spent the last 4 months with our heads in Christmasland. I love the traditional colors and themes for Christmas, and adding the unexpected non-traditional brings additional fun to designing for this season.

z: Do you follow the work of other designers? Who are your design role models?

I do follow the work of other designers. I have a long list of blogs that I follow and at least half of them are designer blogs. Most of my role models are people in the apparel and interior realm. I love Cynthia Rowley, Jonathan Adler and Alexander McQueen to name a few. Random, huh? 

z: elli is based in Portland, Oregon. Does working in the Pacific Northwest affect your design taste?

Other than putting a bird on it… just kidding… In some ways I think it does though, we intentionally look internationally for inspiration. One perfect example of our Northwest perspective is that we all designed “Happy Holiday” cards for the first two months of our current collection. We then realized the traditional “Merry Christmas” might be what some customers would be looking for, so we all jumped in and rounded out our designs to include Christmas.

z: The blog at ellinee.com features a variety of great DIY projects. Do you have a kid-friendly favorite that moms can do with their little ones?

We do have a lot of kid themed crafts, and though I am targeting the moms and teachers, I have had some wonderful reports of children being involved on many of my DIY projects. I aspire to create my tutorials so all levels of ability can craft. One of the favorites, and perfect for the season, is the paper snowflake. Gorgeous and easy to make!

z: Any easy DIY Halloween costume ideas you can share with our readers?

DIY Wolf Costume

I did do a post for a fun and simple DIY Halloween wolf hoodie. I made the pattern in adult, kids and baby size. This costume is super easy and oh so cute. I would love to make a whole series of animal hoodies… maybe next Halloween? So much of your work is paper based.

z: Where does Elli fit in as more people use digital devices to communicate.

I feel that printed invitations and photo card have become even more precious and a very impactful way to add that much needed personal touch in the era of digital white noise.

z: How can parents spark their little ones’ interest in art & design?

This I can speak to on a very personal level as I have a daughter who has recently bloomed as an artist. Here is my list: 1) Do art and crafts with your kids. Starting when they are young is ideal but it is never too late. Kids are natural artists. 2) Display their creations and encourage them to gift their projects to grandparents and other family members. 3) Make art and crafts accessible by keeping the tools and materials at their finger tips. One last note … I think we all can find joy in crafting and creating no matter what our age. So the craft night you set up for your kids, could be equally fun for the adults too!

z: What makes elli’s offering so perfect for zulily’s members and moms?

We offer a wonderful collection of holiday photo cards and kid’s holiday party invites as well as a nice selection of new born baby and kid’s birthday sets.

We are in LOVE with elli’s offering and encourage all you design-minded zulily moms out there to take advantage of today’s event.

Again, a big thank you to Lia for joining joining us. We’re fans for life!

Readers, who or where do you look to for design inspiration? Reblog and let us know!

Holiday from elli