I’m a recovering design blog addict. I say recovering because I’ve now weaned myself down to only two daily design blogs that I check, and I’m only a member of three members-only discounted design websites.
Alright, so maybe I’m not so much in recovery, but my blog post earlier this week about budgeting made me start thinking about ways to amp up your decor without spending a ton of money. I tend to like quirky sorts of things anyways, and there are plenty of great DIY blogs who share my passion. So, in honor of school getting into full swing, my love of housewares, and the fact that we’re soon going to fall back because of how little sunlight we’re getting in the Northern Hemisphere, here’s The Swell Life’s Letter Lighting.
All you need for the craft is a simple paper lantern with a cord set (like this simple lantern and cord set I found at Pier 1 Imports for less than 20 bucks) and a set of vinyl letter (or number) type stickers, which can be found at any hardware or craft store for a great price.
This craft is not only pretty easy on the wallet and a great design piece, but it also has a lot of learning potential. For kids who are learning letters, it’s a fun way to practice letters and to keep them as a very visible part of life. Your child can also get involved in sticking on the letters with a minimum of mess, as there’s no glue or sharp objects involved!
What are some of your favorite DIY projects?
My book collection has become rather sizable, and as I’m reaching the end of my university career and starting to think towards the future, I realize I’m going to have to start making some big decisions regarding my extensive book collection in the very near future. But what is the best way to organize books? When I was younger, books went on my single bookshelf in whatever order they ended up in. Throughout my undergrad and graduate degrees, I’ve organized my books by course. All the books for British Romanticism went in one section, and the books for Early Modern Love Poetry in another. Over summer holidays, I started arranging my books (which now span over two bookshelves) in alphabetical order by author’s last name. But what are some other choices?
My addiction to design blogs first introduced me to the concept of arranging books by color. Unfortunately, for the most part my books seem to be of similar colors, mostly consisting of blacks and dark blues and whites. While I love the way that this organizational choice looks, other than aesthetics it doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of organization.
Although the vast majority of my books are novels, choosing to organize by subject matter can be helpful if you have a broader collection. For an English major like me, I would break my books down by time period or genre.
My current system has worked well for a number of years, which involves going by author’s last name. The only problem I’ve found with this organizational system is that sometimes, when I get a collection of books that look beautiful together, I have to separate them out from the rest of the collection. For example, my Penguin Classic books with cover designs by Coralie Bickford-Smith now sit on the top shelf of my bookshelf because I can’t bear to separate them.
For people who are constantly using books for research or reference, sometimes it helps to keep the most significant books within easy reach from their work space. Rather than piling books up on the desk like I tend to do, why not bring over a smaller bookshelf where you can keep those volumes at hand? For books you use less often, try one of the other organizational styles.
What are some other ways you can think of to organize a book collection? Any input would be greatly appreciated!