DIY: Urban Outfitter Knock-Off Rugs

The work schedule has been a little cray cray with the final push to end of the quarter, so to relieve some stress I have been DIY-ing a lot again for the apartment. I hadn’t realized that Urban Outfitters had a pretty snazzy Apartment decoration section online, until fellow blogger Kristina blogged about it. I had always associated Urban with cute yet pricey clothes based on the store located on UPenn’s campus (that particular Urban never had any good sales).

Anyways, this DIY is a copy cat project! I had been eyeing the following Urban Outfitters, but sadly, I didn’t buy them in time and they are no longer for purchase on the website. 

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Figure. The original Urban Outfitter rugs that inspired this DIY.

Edit: The rug on the right “Plum & Bow Apartment Sweet Apartment Mat” is still for sale for $24! [Urban Outfitters Link to Rug]

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Figure. The versions I yielded after a bit of planning and work. Sorry for the slightly anemic colors; I swear it looks even better in person haha.

Intrigued? Keep reading for steps to make your own!


Here is what I used for this DIY to make 2 rugs. I listed the price and places for items I specifically bought for this project.

  • 2 placemats (Dollar Tree, $1/mat)
  • 1/2 yard of burlap fabric (Walmart @ $3/yard)
  • Non-slip shelf liner OR rug grip pad (Dollar Tree, $1/roll)
  • 3M painter’s tape
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Heavy books
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint pen (optional)
  • Stencils


Figure. Your weapon of choice for this particular project.


Step 1. First I took this unattractive placement and covered it in two layers of fabric, attaching it with hot glue.

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Step 1 Tips: Alternatively, you could paint the placemat first or use a solid colored one to use only one layer of fabric. Since the texture of burlap has tiny holes in it, you can see through it easily. Also, while you want the fabric to snuggly fit over the placement, do not pull too tightly when gluing or else you might warp the fabric’s pretty texture.

Step 2. After gluing, the mat might look a little puffy, so what I did was iron down the rug and then left it overnight under some heavy textbooks to flatten it out. Haha, this is how college graduates make their old books useful!

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Step 3A. Painting time! I used fabric paint, 3M painter’s tape to make borders, and stencils for the lettering.

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Step 3 Tips: You might have noticed one of my rugs ended up having a messy border. While I liked it for that particular rug’s style, I would suggest not using  sponge to apply fabric paint. Use a normal paintbrush to decrease the chance of paint bleeding through your tape and stencils! Also, highly suggest using 3M brand because it’s the only one that has given me such crisp lines! I freehand painted the comb.


Step 3B. For the “Apartment Sweet Apartment” rug, I actually opted to freehand it completely. I used the paint pen to write the words in script and a paint brush to make the designs. Surprisingly neat considering how horrific my normal penmanship is (just leaf through my work NB).

Final Step. Cut your liner or non-slip mat to fit the back of your new DIY rug so that it stays in place on the floor! I simply hot glued it to the back, making sure to cover the raw edges of the burlap to prevent fraying.


I’m not entirely sure of the longevity of these DIY rugs, but I’m really happy with it. I was able to make two of these rugs for super cheap, using many materials I already had in my craft supply. Also, I think they kind of look true to the originals 🙂

BONUS PIC. Engineering in progress on the right! I tried imitating the “Apartment Sweet Apartment” more closely, but it ended in tragedy. Which is how I ended making the one on the left the way I did. I would suggest concentrating on centering the script first rather than making the borders and being concerned about fitting in all the hearts. Also, as you can tell from the prototype on the right, using a paintbrush to write script is super hard. Haha.



The KEY to a dressed up Ikea dresser…

Remember this lovely transformation?

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Figure. Malm dresser 2.0 – The fabric Mod Podge project.

Well, I wasn’t satisfied! The color scheme and fabric print seemed too young and childish for someone my age, as much as I enjoyed decorating it. I wanted something a little more toned down to still be a showcase piece without clashing with my nightstand I loved DIY-ing together.


So what did I do?

  1. Repainted: I threw on the complimentary color of my blue nightstand, a nice Harvest Pumpkin Orange using acrylic paint.
  2. Lines: I used 3M Painter’s Tape to create bold, black lines to outline and add a a little decor accent to the plain face of the drawers. I was pleasantly surprised how well the tape kept the paint from leaking under, which yielded very crisp lines.

    Figure. Can you believe all you need is tape to make these beautiful lines? A great technique/artist tip from 2D art class from high school!

  3. Mod Podge: While Mod Podge plays a less critical role in this project, it was still my choice of sealer since I had it on hand at home.
  4. Feature Pieces: KEYS! I found this beautiful over-sized and ornate keys at Michaels’s craft store for $1.50 a piece. Of course the key designs that I liked the most and seemed to be able to lie flat the best were originally colored white. Luckily, I had some Liquitex acrylic black paint that easily covered these metal keys in about 3 coats.


    Figure. I think that these antique looking keys have the potential to spice up a very clean and modern looking piece of furniture!

  5. GLUE! My trusty E600 industrial glue did the trick to hold up these heavy keys onto the drawers faces. The trick is to apply glue onto the key, wait 2 minutes to dry a little, and then hold down onto the surface of the drawer. Allow to dry over night.

The results?


And up close!


TADAAAAAA! Just goes to show that you can make Ikea furniture appear a little more grown up or at the very least a little more trendy with a bit of creativity.

While I think my color scheme was largely influenced by the fall and oncoming of Halloween, I think subconsciously my old video game loving self keeps creeping into my designs for DIY (sorta like my Yuna inspired key!). This dresser feels inspired by May from Guilty Gear, what do you think?


Figure. Adorable and deadly! Would love to cosplay as her one day.

Ikea Hackers:

Special thanks to Ikea Hackers for featuring my project again on their website!

If you want to learn more about Ikea Hackers, you can read my blog post about it here:

DIY Beauty: The Side Swept Bang & Flower Crown

As you can see, I’ve had a lot of time to do some projects I have always wanted to ever since moving. Though I miss my family, friends, and familiar places, I’m really enjoying myself making things, especially to personalize my new home.

This entry, however, is a two-for-one DIY devoted to beauty!

I had gotten a haircut yesterday that was okay, but I wished I had made an appointment else. The layers turned out fine, she also put in these odd bangs that awkwardly part in the middle where my natural part is.


Figure 1. Me looks rather unhappy with my new haircut. Looks like it is in the awkward growing out phase after having blunt bangs.

The stylist said that my hair would not be able to do a bang properly, but I had to interally disagree since I have done it previously. When I got home I was feeling adventurous, I took task in my own hands to give myself a side swept bang.



Figure 2a. and 2b. Risk rewarded! Side swept bangs achieved

Not bad considering my hair cut gave me a disadvantage! A part of my hair I sectioned off to do the bang was actually a half inch too short, but I proceeded anyway. I think after a few weeks of growing out a bit, I think I will really enjoy these bangs.

All thanks to this awesome hair tutorial from SecretLifeofaBioNerd. I’m thinking of checking out her hair layering tutorial in a few weeks, too, depending on how complicated it is.

Inspired by my new hair, I finally made this next DIY.

I have wanted to make a flower crown ever since Megan showed me the video by Charismastar and after I found a Threadbangers segment on flower crowns (both links are below at the end of this post).  I really wanted one made before the summer ended so I can feel like a princess haha.


Figure 3. Some flower crown motivation: Thumbelina & Rapunzel from “Tangled.”


To make a groovy crown adorned with angiosperms (trying to keep the science-y up in this blog, but failing hard) aka flowers, this is what you will need:

  • At least 2-4 varieties of fake/plastic flowers (Dollar Store or Craft store)
  • Wire (the thinner the size, the easier it is to bend and wrap)
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun


First things first, it’s good to gather round your materials!

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Figure 4a and 4b. Craft supplies make me happy.

Next, pop off the flowers and leaves from the stems.

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Figure 5a. and 5b. Piles of pretty flowers and their respective leaves.

Go a head and take some of those stems and tape  to make a ring that can rest a top your head. I just used regular Scott tape, but would recommend something stickier like duck tape or floral tape. Remember to leave some wiggle room for the size of the crown.

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Figure 6a and 6b. The beginnings of a crown.

Use a hot glue to attach a stray leaf to a wire. Use that newly made leaf wire to wrap around your circle stem and reinforce it’s shape a bit. Make sure to wrap a good amount of wire tightly around the taped parts to secure it.




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Figure 7a and 7b. Wrapping along nicely. I made about 6 leaf wires for my crown.

Next, arrange your free flower pieces the way you want it on your crown. Make sure to snip off the little plastic bit on the back so that the flowers can lay flat (but don’t snip off too much or else the flower may fall a part!).

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Figure 8. Arrange, snip, and hot glue!


Fire up your glue gun and start gluing flowers to your crown. Use left over stray leaves to fill in blank spaces and for the inside of the crown to act as some cushion.



Figure 9. TAAADAAAAA!!!

All done! I just want to throw on a flowy dress and run through a field or something. I think they are super cute and fun, although I don’t know how I would ever incorporate it to everyday fashion. I feel like it’s appropriate for a picnic or an outdoor music festival haha.

And of course, no project is complete without the source (or sources) of inspiration. I used a combo of these two YouTube videos to make my crown.

Enjoy and good luck!

Mod Podge Magic: The Dresser

Still trying to find ways to transform my old college furniture into colorful and fun pieces for my new apartment, Mod Podge comes to the rescue again.

Similar steps were taken as when I constructed my nightstand, except I used fabric instead of scrapbook paper pieces. I used waaaayy more layers of Mod Podge for this project versus the nightstand since fabric is much thicker than paper.

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Figure 1. Before pic! This is my Malm dresser from Ikea that my family bought for me when I moved out to my first Philly apartment.

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Figure 2. I wanted my dresser to look more youthful, so I picked up this fabric from Walmart clearance section. It’s colorful and fun without looking too kid-like.

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Figure 3a. and 3b. I primed and painted the dresser a minty/sorbet apple green. I also mod podged the fabric onto each drawer.

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Figure 4a. and 4b. I found these cool knobs on sale at Michael’s for only $1.20 a piece. They kinda look like Ring-pop candies!

A side note here, I sort of recalculated and thought that the screw from the knob was long enough to extend through the width of the dresser’s drawer. However, after painstakingly nailing a hole and boring it out manually with a screw, I found out I was wrong. I used some E600 glue to attach the knobs onto the drawer, and so far so good! They haven’t fallen off yet, though these knobs are primarily for decoration not for functional use (aka being used to open the drawer).

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Figure 5. TADAAAA!

Another couple of working notes, I measured out and marked where the knobs should be on each drawer, but for some reason the right side turned out crooked 😦 Also, I put a black bow to block one of the holes I made when I originally tried screwing in the knobs.

Overall, very pleased with this project! I originally didn’t like it after I mod podged it and painted it. The crystal-looking knobs really helped bring it together, and the bow makes it look quirky and “jaunty,” as my sister remarked.

References & Inspiration:

A link to  some Mod Podge fabric inspiration (the first link has a tutorial):

Ikea Hackers:

Thanks to Ikea Hackers for posting my project here:

If you want to learn more about Ikea Hackers, you can read my blog post about it here:

Easy, Cheap, & Fast DIY: Display Stand

Another quick DIY project by the power of E600 glue and a few items I got for about $1 a piece. I have this wonderful bathroom vanity in my apartment, and I wanted to make the space functional without looking cluttered. So I thought displaying my wonderful collection of colorful nail polishes on a display would be a good start. Here’s how it turned out!

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Figure 1. Tadaa! My display stand made of plates and glass candle holders held together with E600 glue. A no paint project!

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Figure 2. Display stand in action! Doesn’t it look lovely in its corner?

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Figure 3. My vanity work in progress 🙂

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Figure 4. Yes that’s a Thor cup! I got it from Walmart just in case you are curious.

Since the stand is by my bathroom sink, I didn’t want to paint any part of it. Plus, I think keeping the glass candlestands transparent lets some light bounce off of it and elongates the entire piece. I got the candlestands from the Dollar Store and the plates on sale from Michael’s . Full of whimsy and functional!

This DIY was inspired by the following YouTube video. Enjoy!

DIY Jewelry Stand

Remember this groovy nightstand I reworked? Well, I had some leftover supplies, so I  made a custom jewelry stand. I really wanted something that was brightly colored, but simple and able to hold my bracelets and larger rings that don’t fit in my jewelry box. Here’s how it turned out!

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Figure 1. Tadaaaa! My bracelet/ring jewelry stand!

So what did I need to gather and do to make the following? It was really simple and cheap actually!

  • Hot dog holder (Target, $1.49)
  • Glass candlestand holder (Dollar Tree, $1)
  • Small plate (Dollar Tree, $1)
  • Primer paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes

Aaaand to bind it all together I used E600 industrial glue, which I got at Walmart for about $3. This stuff is heavy duty!


Figure 2. E600 visual. Image from Amazon.

What was surprisingly hardest for me to find was a plain wooden dowel thick enough and correct in length to hold my bracelets. I ended up not finding a wooden stick, but decided to use a hot dog holder I randomly found at Target. Not only can it stably attach to the candlestand, it has a cool edge design and has space for me to put tinier bracelets inside!

This DIY was inspired by the following YouTube video. Enjoy!

Mod Podge Magic: The Nightstand

So, it’s been about a month since I moved to my new apartment in Virginia! I still can’t afford to splurge on furniture because of bills and trying to adjust to the working life, but I have been trying to think of ways to be resourceful and my new space cheery. One way is to creatively revamp and fix a few pieces from my old Philly apartment.

First one up is a stand we used to put our cable box and remote controls on. I was using it as a temporary night stand, but it look so drab and boring, I couldn’t take it anymore!


Figure 1. A pretty close representation of a “before” work picture. I would have taken an actual before picture, but when I do that to projects, they tend to not work out in the end. Superstitious? You bet!

With a little paint and stuff around the house, this finished project only cost me 88 cents for the acrylic blue paint from Walmart!


Figure 2. Tadaaaa! The finished project!

So, what do you need to get this look for your room?

This is what I needed:

  • An old furniture piece
  • Sand paper
  • Paint brushes
  • Sponge brushes
  • Primer paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Scrapbook paper

This is what I did, which took me about 4 days to complete since I took my time:

  1. I prepped the nightstand by sanding it down with sandpaper to smooth out the surface and wipe away the dust.
  2. I used a paintbrush to apply 2 coats of primer paint to the table, allowing each layer to dry overnight. The purpose of this step to allow the color paint coat a surface to easily grab onto. I had this primer around the house for another project, but you can get at Walmart for about $6.

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  3. I added 2 coats of this Turquoise acrylic paint by Apple Barrel, allowing each layer to dry overnight (though this paint dries quickly and can probably be layered after an hour or two depending on humidity).

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  4. I tried using a spray on glossy coat, but it failed and left splotches of discoloration on my newly painted table 😦 So I coated the entire thing in two layers of Mod Podge with a sponge brush for a shiny finish!

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  5. For the little drawer, first I removed the knob that I primed, painted, and glossed like the table.
  6. For the little drawer design, I cut about 1 inch strips of scrapbook paper. I then painted 1 layer of Mod Podge on the entire surface of the drawer face and applied each strip one by one, coating each strip with Mod Podge after. After drying, I put the entire thing back together!

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Figure 3. Action shot!

Hope this gives you some DIY inspiration 🙂 Here’s the link to mine!

Source of inspiration: