I’m Kathy of Merriment Design: maker of things and Chicago mom who collaborates with top brands and appears in popular DIY books, magazines, and publications. I like simple and clever DIY projects, birthdays and holidays that look handmade, not homemade.
Merriment Design projects are featured at DIY Network, HGTV, Rachael Ray Everyday Magazine, design*sponge, Apartment Therapy, Kitchn, Cool Mom Picks, Huff Post, Make:, CountrySampler Magazine, Red Tricycle, Daily Candy Kids, Style Me Pretty, Parents, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, lifehacker, WeTV’s “Amazing Wedding Cakes” reality episode for Cakegirls, The Knot Magazine, Time Out Magazine, and more. Top brands collaborations include VELCRO® Brand, Disney, Martha Stewart Crafts, HP, LEGO, Elmer’s, Plaid (Mod Podge), minted, Procter & Gamble, Michael’s, Keebler, AirWick, WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, and ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers. Merriment Design was named one of the Top 50 Mom Craft Blogs by Babble.com and 10 Crafty Chicago Moms You Need To Know by Red Tricycle. Book contributions include Washi Tape Crafts, Little One Yard Wonders, Wedding Planning Made Easy, and the 2010 Sewing Day-To-Day Desk Calendar. My work also appears on retail product packaging for VELCRO® Brand sold nationwide at stores including Target, Jo-Ann, Home Depot, Michael’s and Amazon.
Here are five things about me and Merriment Design:
1. My mantra is handmade, not homemade.
I try my best to make things that look handmade, not homemade. It’s a subtle but important difference. I think that when you spend the time to make something yourself then it should be special. Do I always get it right? Ha ha yeah no, not always, but I still try.
2. I like making All The Things.
Since my old 4-H days I’ve always liked making a variety of things from cookies to clothes, embroidery to Shrinky Dinks, Mod Podge to latch hook. My top projects are sewing projects, printables, birthdays & parties, DIY gifts and easy cakes. Here are some of my very favorite DIY projects:
- Watercolor Paint Box Halloween Costume for DIY Network
- Kid’s pillowcase with secret pocket for nighttime treasures
- Mermaid cake for Elise’s 9th birthday
- Felt no-sew flower bracelets (and easy Halloween bracelets, I have a thing for bracelets)
- Spiderweb trick-or-treat bowls for Halloween candy for Martha Stewart Crafts
- Festive holiday cookie lid decoration for VELCRO® Brand
- Geometric dinosaur birthday party for ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers
- Winnie The Pooh and friends printable popcorn boxes for Disney
3. I’m a city girl with a country core.
My design aesthetic mixes my small-town roots with big city inspirations. I grew up in Indiana, went to design school in Sydney, Australia on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and built an international career in digital user experience strategy and design for clients like United Airlines and Craftsman. I’ve lived in Chicago the past 20 or so years, and my kids and husband and I live in condo building with a skyline view.
4. I like to combine materials in playful, unexpected ways.
I have a knack for creating clever crafts that combine materials in unexpected, special ways. I’ll think, what can I do with this roll of VELCRO® Brand fasteners or this egg carton or extra chopsticks or whatever? Most of my ideas come from need and my projects have a purpose. I’m not really one for knickknacks — that’s just too much stuff.
5. My kids inspire my best DIYs.
Most of my best DIYs are for my kids. My daughter Elise is my best girl and frequent crafting assistant. Liam is my smiley daredevil bull-in-a-china-shop who likes to draw with his momma. I sell personalized birthday printables from my kid’s parties and other goodies at my Etsy shop. I love my family to bits.
I started Merriment Design after The Knot Magazine printed a two-page national spread about our handmade wedding including my sewn fabric invitations, sewn programs, bathroom guest towels, bridesmaid’s handbags and table numbers. I decided to start sharing crafts as a nighttime creative outlet from my day job.