DIY Classics: 3 Ways to Make Vintage Clothes Look New

Vintage clothes shopping is a fun way to look for unique items that can still be made fashionable today. But it’s not too often that an absolutely gorgeous, wearable-off-the-rack piece turns up. Fortunately, there are ways to make vintage clothes look new again while highlighting your love for classic elegance. Here are a few ideas:

update vintage clothes
By …love Maegan / flickr

 

1. Make It Your Size

Make it all about you! So start off with the size. Vintage finds look fashionable only when the garment fits you to a T.  Among the areas that typically need adjustment are the hem, sleeves, bust, and bias.

Remember: Shop for vintage clothes that are at least two to three sizes larger than yours. When it’s time to snip off a few inches here or tuck in a few inches there, you would still have enough of the fabric to work on.

2. Repair the Damage

Sure, there are stains and rips. But these little flaws don’t always render vintage treasures useless. Instead, examine the extent and type of damage to figure out a creative way of repairing, strengthening, and even embellishing your piece.

Cover holes and tears with pockets of a different pattern to make the outfit snazzy. Is the collar wilted? Change up the fabric or cut it off altogether. Replace buttons and zippers to add a more modern touch. You’ll be surprised that a good repair is all you need to make an old garment look fab again.

3.  Revamp the Style

Of course, some vintage pieces are fine just as they are, but refashioning them gives you the benefit of creating a completely unique piece. Snip off dated sleeves, remove those puffy shoulder pads, and change up that droopy neckline to give the piece new life.

One trick we love at Tree Classics is to put a new spin on old things. You can update a dress by having the skirt end just above the knee – a modern style that matches any pattern or material. A short dress with a classy and classic appeal is perfect for the summer!

Vintage clothes are gaining more popularity, thanks to hit period dramas like Mad Men and Pan Am. While not all finds are wearable instantly, a lot of these are great candidates for upcycling.

Create a Sprawling Garden: Summer Crops for Beginners

July is almost here! The warm weather is setting the stage for an amazing harvest. But are you having trouble jumpstarting your own summer garden? Even if you’re still figuring out how to till the soil and prep your seeds or seedlings, it’s not yet too late for you to create a sprawling summer garden that looks professionally made. Tree Classics recommends four hassle-free (well, relatively hassle-free) crops that flourish this season. So let’s get diggin’!

String Beans and Green Beans

Our favorite would have to be snap beans, otherwise known as string beans and green beans. They are best grown in warm soil as they decay easily in damp dirt. You need not dig deep when sowing them in since they have shallow roots. Growing them an inch deep and three inches apart is fine. Place them in a spot that gets a lot of sunshine. Water them once they start to sprout but don’t let the soil turn overly moist. Allow the plants to continue sprouting throughout the season by regularly picking the mature beans.

Eggplants

 

Another summer crop that loves the full sunlight is the eggplant. Our favorite would have to be the rich dark purple Asian variety because they add so much color to a summer garden. Grow this crop in a fertile area where you had not grown eggplants a year before. You can grow the seeds indoors first before planting them in containers outside when the weather starts to warm. Remember to water the eggplants generously.

Tomatoes

Always a favorite during the summer, tomatoes have different varieties to suit any dish this season. For beginning gardeners who love fresh salads, Tree Classics recommends growing cherry tomatoes. Unlike other varieties, cherry tomatoes enjoy just a moderate amount of sunshine and can be grown in containers. Water them generously at the base of the plant. Harvest your cherry tomatoes once they have turned bright red orange and firm.

Cucumbers

 

One summer crop that requires both full sunlight and constant moisture is the cucumber. Whether you’re growing slicers that are best served fresh or picklers that are best preserved, you will find cucumbers to be an essential part of a sprawling summer garden because of the beautiful way their vines grow. If you want them to crawl out gloriously, set up a trellis in your garden. If you’re more of a practical gardener, you can also plant them by making mounds or rows with drip irrigation. Water them well as cucumbers turn bitter when they lose moisture.

Summer is the best time to get your hands dirty even if you’re just starting out as a home gardener.

7 Creative Ideas for Your Kitchen Island

From simply being an extension of kitchen counters, kitchen islands have taken on a number of innovative and creative designs. No longer just an old block of wood sitting in the middle of the kitchen, the island has turned into a statement piece as well. If you have one installed but are looking to update its style, then you’ve come to the right place. Tree Classics presents you a slideshow of seven amazing designs for your culinary workstation.

1. The Old Cottage Look

Modern kitchens often do away with the island. But if you feel you want to infuse this contemporary space with a bit of vintage charm, then an antique table placed in the middle of your kitchen instantly gives it that old cottage look. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the costs of having one built! This substitute for the permanent kitchen island is easy to incorporate: you no longer need to install it.

2. Creative Storage Spaces

One of the primary advantages of having a kitchen island is being able to maximize every nook and cranny as extra storage space. Most homeowners choose to have cabinets, drawers, and shelves added to a kitchen island for easy access.

3. A Statement of Style

Aside from its functionality, a kitchen island can also become an ideal showpiece. Surprise your friends and family with a repurposed item that shows off your creativity. An old sewing machine table, for instance, works as a sturdy island while exhibiting unique metal detailing.

4. Extra Seating

Some kitchen islands also serve as breakfast nooks. Adding a few stools helps maximize limited room, especially if you live in a small apartment. This also lets you interact with family or guests while you prepare meals.

5. Sleek and Sturdy

For a lustrous appeal that lasts, install a stainless steel kitchen island. The metallic finish exhibits a smooth and sophisticated profile. The durability of steel also means you won’t have to worry about wear and tear over the years.

6. Countryside Charm

If you’re not a fan of industrial home designs, opt for a wooden workstation instead. The natural texture and aroma of teak and cedar bring the wonders of the countryside into your kitchen.

7. Going Places

An island on caster wheels allows for easy mobility even within a very small kitchen. This space-saver is not only efficient, but it also creates a look of minimalist chic.

Create a one-of-a-kind look for your kitchen by upgrading your culinary workstation with these creative ideas.

Have a Fun Summer Potluck with the Neighbors

As the summer sunshine becomes too hard to resist, people are becoming more eager to get out of the house and mingle with each other. You, too, can take advantage of the fine weather to make new friends: spearhead a summer potluck! A neighborhood get-together gives you the chance to cultivate good relations with the members of your community. Here are four easy steps:


Tropical Patio by Milford Appliances Clarke

1. Gather Your Neighbors

A little morning chit-chat while you walk the dog or bring in the paper will do wonders when you are trying to get your neighbors on board. The best approach would be to hold a small afternoon tea at your porch or in your kitchen so you can begin asking them specific details, such as what day of the week they would be available for the event. In the process, you might even be able to learn a little more about them: what work do they do, or what recreational activities would they be interested in.

2. Plan the Menu as a Group

And since this is a potluck, you can take comfort in the fact that you do not have to prepare all the dishes. But as the party host, your job is to provide the venue, invite the people, and make sure everything goes according to plan. So how exactly does menu preparation foster good will among neighbors?

They begin to understand each other’s taste preferences. Not everyone may agree on the same choices. But the beauty of a potluck is that it allows everyone to contribute to the group what they themselves enjoy – from the food to the activities – while being able to take part in a community affair.

Create a general guide to give your guests more freedom to pitch ideas. Divide the menu into segments: 1) main dish 2) sides 3) beverage and 4) dessert.

If there are neighbors who would rather not cook up a dish, give them the chance to contribute by decorating the venue, organizing games, or coming up with party favors.

3. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

At the event, remember to relax and chat with your neighbors. Since summer potlucks are more of a collaborative effort, people are more laid-back than they would be at dinner or cocktail parties. No more fussing over dessert running out or having to wear fancy outfits (unless, of course, party guests are required to wear a costume!). By the time everyone has gotten a plate full of heartwarming treats, guests will begin chatting away. And once their tummies are happy, they will be ready to take part in all the festivities.

4. Give a Little Extra Treat

The best way to make friends with neighbors is to express some thoughtfulness. While others may volunteer to bring party favors, you can prepare your own set of giveaways. It can be anything from a souvenir photo of you and your guest to baskets of homemade treats. If you can, give it a personalized touch. Note the person’s favorites, such as sweets or trinkets, early on and hand them something they would truly appreciate and remember your summer potluck by.

Cultivating good relations with your neighbors through a summer potluck is a fun task in itself. At the end of all the festivities, the best part about fostering camaraderie with them would have to be witnessing your friendship grow.

At Home with Tree Classics: Creative Ways to Save Closet Space

Rummaging through your closet to dig up an item buried under clothes, blankets, and shoes is a tell-tale sign you’re running out of closet space. Chances are: the items crammed inside it may be better stored in another location. Use other areas of your home as creative storage spaces – and let your closet breathe.

1. Shoes

The bottom of the closet may be a convenient shoe storage space for some. However, shoes and shoe racks take up more room than you think. Free up the area for other items by storing your shoes in an under-stairs cupboard. Keeping them out of the bedroom will also prevent their dirt and grime from entering your personal space.


Contemporary Closet Organizers by London Closet & Home Storage Designers Clive Anderson Bespoke Furniture

 

You can also use shoe racks or cubbyholes in the mudroom to keep your footwear from tracking mud indoors. You can use the top part of this area to store your frequently used coats, jackets, and windbreakers.


Spaces

 

2. Pillows and Blankets

Use your closet space mainly for clothes and move your pillows and blankets to another area. A good place to keep these items in is an underbed drawer. Storing them under the bed allows you to keep them handy if you need to change sheets or add more pillows to the bed. If you don’t have a drawer, keep them in a storage chest or a slide suitcase under or by the foot of the bed.

3. Off-season Items

Clothes and accessories that are seldom used can be kept in stackable storage boxes and labeled according to the items they hold. The space underneath a window seat can double as a treasure trove for various odds and ends that may not have an immediate use but may hold sentimental value. Place hand-me-downs in this secure and convenient spot.


Eclectic Home Office by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Story & Space – Interior Design and Color Guidance

 

For vertical spaces that are often under-utilized as storage, hang bags, coats, or hats by using valet hooks and Velcro fasteners that can hold enough weight. Do prevent this area from becoming an eye sore by eliminating what looks like clutter. Hang only items that can also serve as decorative pieces when displayed.

Save closet space for the more valuable items. Scout other areas in your home that you can use as storage for other unique pieces.

Tree Classics Weekend Fun: 5 Benefits of Kite Flying

After a long and busy spring, it’s time that you unwind and take in the beautiful summer sunshine. What better way to de-stress than through a classic activity: kite flying. Tree Classics shares with you five great benefits of letting these colorful aerial wonders take flight.

Relieving Stress

In today’s fast-paced world of high-tech computers and complicated electronic gadgets, people get stressed out quickly. Spending hours working on and with devices can take a toll on the mind and body. To combat technostress, a simple hobby such as kite flying comes in handy. 

Kite flying may not depend on sophisticated technology. A sturdy thread, your kite, and the wind are all you need. But it allows you to forget the anxieties of the world. 

As you watch your kite while it is in the air, your mind focuses solely on making it stay in flight. When you end up ignoring the distractions in your environment, your mind enters into meditation. While you’re doing this, both your mind and body start to relax. 

a kite
Photo from Jonf728 via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Sharpening the Mind

Ever wondered how monks are able to stay calm even in the most challenging of situations? This is because they have reached a state called mindfulness, and it can also be achieved through kite flying.

But learning how to focus isn’t the only benefit of this activity. Because kite flying entails mastering maneuvers and performing them over and over, the whole process improves memory and learning, based on a research study by the American Psychological Association.

a man and his kite
Photo from heatheronhertravels via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Keeping the Body Fit

While most enthusiasts of kite flying will tell you that you don’t really need to run to make your kite fly, you’ll find it difficult not to. If you’re used to being confined in a four-cornered office all day, you’d want to soak up the freedom that the outdoors accord you.

Run around and break a sweat as you let your kite fly through the air. This will help improve the blood flow in your body as your heart rate begins to rise. Your breathing will become better as your lungs adjust to the oxygen intake while running.

Socializing with Others

One unique thing about kite flying is that it is a social activity as well. In countries, such as China, Japan, and the United States, hundreds of kite flying enthusiasts gather in festivals and competitions. Their common love for the sport allows them to bridge age and even cultural gaps.

A beautiful kite is also an excellent conversation starter. It’s a good reason to create fond memories with loved ones or strike up a friendship with a fellow kite flyer at the park or beach.

making a kite
Photo from stevendepolo via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Communing with Nature

Similar to fishing and camping, flying kites allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Working all day in an office exposes you to too much artificial sunlight from lamps and too much processed air from air conditioners. These weaken your body. It’s about time that you pull yourself away from work and reconnect with the earth.

Heading off to a park or beach to fly kites will not only allow you to bask under the sun and take in natural air, but it will also let you enjoy the sight of clear blue skies and lush green trees. According to a study by the Oxford Journals, communing with nature helps promote a positive outlook in life which eventually leads to a healthier mind and body.

kite festival
Photo from New Brunswick Tourism | Tourisme Nouveau-Brunswick via flickr. CC BY 2.0

The simplicity of this activity and the carefree attitude it fosters make kite flying the definition of sheer summer fun.

 

3 Heartwarming Ways to Celebrate Fathers’ Day

Remember when your dad first took you out to the lake to fish? When he took you to your very first ball game? Or when he taught you how to ride your bike without training wheels? These were the good old days when it didn’t matter if you didn’t catch a fish, your team lost, or you fell from your bike more times than you could count. Spending time with your dad was all that mattered.

This year, it’s your turn to let Dad know how much he means to you. Tree Classics looks back at timeless father-and-child activities that you can still enjoy as you celebrate Fathers’ Day.

Father and Child
Image by Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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4 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Curtains

Window curtains can either make or break the style of a room. While their main function is to provide protection from the harsh light of the sun, curtains also frame windows to highlight the view outside or accent the overall look of the room inside. Tree Classics gives you a list of things to consider when selecting draperies.


Modern Living Room by London Architects & Designers SHH – Spence, Harris, Hogan Associates Continue reading

Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: A New Take on the Applesauce Cake

There is more to eating apples than just keeping the doctor away. For one, they make delectable desserts. Applesauce, the sweet puree from the fruit, makes a fine ingredient when creating one of America’s classic baked goods. Tree Classics features four recipes that add a new twist to the all-time favorite applesauce cake.

apple and cinnamon
by Apolonia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Joy to the Tree: Meet the Winners of our Photo Contest

Tree Classics Joy to the Tree Photo Contest

Celebrate once more the joy of decorating your Christmas tree and take inspiration from the winners of our Tree Classics Joy to the Tree Photo Contest.

Before you put away your Christmas décor and store your beloved tree back into the box this spring, take one more look back at the holiday’s most memorable trees from the winners of our Tree Classics Joy to the Tree Photo Contest.

On our Facebook page, Tree Classics proudly shared with everyone the Christmas tree masterpieces that showcased family tradition as well as cherished memories of the past season. The winners of the contest captured on camera the delight that only a Tree Classics Christmas tree can bring.

Love for Tree Classics

“The tree surpassed my expectations,” says Christine Young, this year’s top winner. The photo of her 12-foot fir garnered 39 votes from Facebook fans.

Christine was amazed at how her holiday centerpiece turned out. “I absolutely love our new tree this year.” The stunner was “the fullest, [most] beautiful, most lifelike tree” she had ever seen.

But Christine wasn’t the only one expressing love for her evergreen. Mindy Johnston, whose entry garnered 20 votes, shared her passion for decorating this classic work of art.

Mindy dedicated her Michigan Pine masterpiece to “Marine” who was home for Christmas for the first time in three years. A classic example of how a Tree Classics Christmas tree brings the family together.

A Different Kind of Ornament

Tree Classics Christmas trees have sturdy branches that can easily hold your Christmas tree decorations firmly in place. Diane Auger, whose entry bagged 13 votes, says her Scarlet Fir was “just the right size.”

Diane needed an evergreen that could house about 340 of her ornaments. Each detail added to the uniqueness of her Christmas tree, thus every ornament had to be tucked safely between the branches in order to bring out the vibrancy of the evergreen. Diane’s Tree Classics stunner delivered on its promise.

While traditional holiday trimmings may add character to a tree, a different kind of ornament took center stage in Lori Magelky’s entry.

“Just lights, no ornaments,” Lori says of Our Christmas tree, whose photo garnered eight votes. “We learned last year, after our cat climbed the tree, that we shouldn’t put ornaments,” Lori adds.

What makes this winning entry extra special?

The only ornament it did have: “The cat who likes to sleep in the branches.”

Each winner will receive a Sedona Fir Christmas Wreath. Tree Classics thanks everyone who participated in the Joy to the Tree Photo Contest.