Category Archives: DIY Projects

Indian Inspired Thanksgiving – DIY Projects, Recipes and More!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, Luxemi’s here to help you infuse some ethnic flavor into your Turkey Day celebration. Try these recipes and DIY projects to spice up your Thanksgiving dinner!

Madhur Jaffrey’s Bengali-Style Tomato Chutney (makes 2 ½ cups)

 best indian chutney recipes

This Thanksgiving, ditch the canned cranberry sauce and opt for this delicious tomato chutney! It’s an easy way to add flavor to that roasted turkey, and will be just as tasty on Black Friday when you’re eating all those leftovers.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive, canola, or peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
2 cups tomato puree, canned or homemade
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)

Directions

1. Pour the oil into a medium-size pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (it should only take a few seconds), add the fennel seeds.

2. A few seconds later, add the tomato puree, ginger, vinegar, sugar, pepper flakes and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. Once bubbling, turn heat down to low and cook, uncovered, stirring now and then, for about 50 minutes.

3. Add the raisins and cook another 10 minutes. The chutney should be thick and have a glazed appearance. Put the chutney into a jar, allow to cool, and refrigerate.

Madhur Jaffrey’s Sweet and Sour Pumpkin (makes 4-5 servings)

best indian recipes for fall and winter

We love the idea of swapping mashed potatoes for this flavorful, soulful sweet and sour pumpkin dish. It’s got all the essential Indian spices, plus that comfort food feel that we associate with Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons mustard oil or olive oil
A generous pinch of ground asafetida
1/2 teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds
4 cups (1 1/4 pounds) peeled and seeded pumpkin, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces (can also substitute butternut squash)
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions

1. Pour the oil into a frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, add the asafetida and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop (it should only take a few sconds), add the squash. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the squash pieces just start to brown.

2. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover, turn heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

3. Add the salt, sugar, cayenne and yogurt. Stir and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the yogurt is absorbed and no longer visible. Sprinkle in the cilantro and stir a few times.

DIY Lotus Origami Placeholders

indian inspired diy craft projects

Remember making origami fortune tellers when you were a kid? This simple origami project is a lot like that, except you’ll end up with super cute lotus flowers. Use these as table decorations, or write your guest’s name on one of the leaves to make personalized place cards.

Check out the entire tutorial, courtesy of Paint Me Plaid. It’s really easy — we promise!

DIY Saree Table Runner

new uses for old sarees saris

Have a saree you’ve worn a few too many times but can’t bear to part ways with? Try making it into a festive table runner to give your Thanksgiving table the Indian treatment. Just make sure the table runner is a few feet more narrow and a few feet longer than your table dimensions.

Luxemi is so thankful for all our Luxe fans. And just to show our love and gratitude, we’re offering free shipping the entire week of Thanksgiving!

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Bridesmaid DIY Wedding Projects – Give Back To The Bride

As a bridesmaid, you want the bride’s big day to be as special as possible. Want a unique, easy way to make her wedding day worth remembering? Try these DIY wedding projects to put a sentimental spin on her reception.

DIY Tissue Paper Pomanders (courtesy of Event Jubilee)

art project ideas inspiration for wedding reception decorations

Luxemi loves how these pretty pomanders add an instant pop of color to your wedding reception décor. And what makes this project even better is that it only requires four materials — no messy glues or paints required! To put an Indian spin on these pomanders, use yellow and orange tissue papers to emulate festive marigold garlands.

mairgold themed craft DIY projects India inspired weddings

What you’ll need

  • Tissue paper
  • Floral wire
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Ribbon

Instructions

  1. Cut down the tissue paper into rectangles. (The larger the rectangle, the larger your flowers will be.)
  2. Layer a few pieces of tissue paper and fold them in an accordion style.
  3. Once in accordion style, fold the stack of paper in half.
  4. Wrap a piece of your floral wire around the tissue paper at the fold you just made.
  5. Unfold and separate the tissue paper layers to make the flower shape.
  6. After you’ve made 45-50 of these flowers, attach a loop of ribbon to your Styrofoam ball with floral wire. This will allow you to hang the pomander once you’re finished.
  7. Attach the flowers you’ve made by sticking their center wires into the Styrofoam. You’re finished once you can’t see any Styrofoam peeking through.

You can hang these pomanders above each table at the reception, or at focal points such as the main entranceway, to give the celebration a festive touch.

DIY Lace Candle Centerpieces (courtesy of Bridesmaid.com)

homemade arts and craft projects for weddings India

No reception table is complete without a centerpiece, right? Rather than an elaborate, expensive centerpiece, try making these lace-wrapped candles. They’ll bring instant elegance, and if you choose red, fuchsia or gold lace, will create an opulent Indian vibe!

vibrant lace for craft DIY wedding projects

What you’ll need

  • Candles – votive sized, in glass jars
  • Wide lace in any color
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions

  1. Cut your lace into strips about an inch longer than the circumference of your candle jars.
  2. With the smooth edge of your lace pointing down, wrap a piece of lace tightly around each candle.
  3. At the spot where the two ends of the lace overlap, apply a few small dots of hot glue, holding down the lace for a few seconds to make sure it’s glued securely.
  4. Let the candle sit for 10 minutes to allow the glue to cool and dry.

Place one candle in the middle of each table, or group candles wrapped with different colored laces to create a more vibrant atmosphere.

gorgeous saree sari indian wedding trends 2012

Luxemi knows how overwhelming wedding planning can be for brides, and that’s why we love the idea of bridesmaids giving back with these DIY décor projects. Are you looking for another way to help minimize the bride’s stress levels? Check out Luxemi’s Bridesmaid Saree Collection, which makes coordinating matching bridesmaids outfits a snap.

Here’s how it works: Simply select your favorite of our eight bridesmaid saree styles, chose the color you love, pick the blouse cut that reflects your bridesmaids’ individual style, and let Luxemi handle the rest. We’ll send a saree, custom tailored blouse and petticoat and a Luxe Pack (including a beautiful garment bag, bindis and safety pins) for each bridesmaid.

Want to know more about Luxemi’s Bridesmaid Collection? Contact us at bridesmaids@luxemi.com for all the details!

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Fall 2012 Runway Trends – Interior Design Inspired by Indian Fashion

For Luxemi, interior design is a lot like fashion: both reflect your personality through color, texture, pattern and, of course, eclectic accents. Want your style to transition seamlessly from your closet to the rest of your home or apartment? Here are five rooms inspired by our favorite Luxemi sarees and salwars!

Fall 2012 collections and matching interior design

Given that Tangerine Tango is Pantone’s 2012 Color of the Year, this Modern Striped Leheriya Saree is a great transition piece to wear between summer and fall. For a vibrant living room that mimics this saree’s texture and gold embellishments, we love pairing funky red-orange chairs with metallic accent pieces like a gold ottoman and bronze candlesticks. The room’s off-white molding against a tangerine-colored wall is a detail just as eye-catching as this saree’s gota border with buttas.

interior design inspired by fall 2012 fashion trends cool colors orange

Want to pair your favorite orange hue with a cooler accent color? Luxemi’s Tangerine Salwar with Aqua Embellishments is festive, funky, and hits just the right Bohemian notes. Stick with the same chic color palate for a bedroom that reflects your quirky style. The orange and crème print curtain channels the salwar’s floral bodice embellishments, and the turquoise focal wall and leather chair offer the same stunning contrast as the look’s churridar pants. And did we mention that the white branches act as one of the cutest headboards we’ve seen in awhile?

interior design inspired by fall 2012 runway fashion lilac lavender purple

If your style is super sweet, this Lilac Salwar with Silk Leheriya Border is the perfect starting point for a space that makes you feel lively as soon as you step foot in it. This living room’s lilac rug and magenta pillows recreate this salwar’s light yet sophisticated color palate and hit the same interesting textural notes. The finishing touch? Long, airy lavender curtains that emulate the flow and grace of this sweet salwar.

interior decorating design inspired by fall 2012 runway indian fashion blue and white color palate

The beauty in this Blue and White Moon Jacquard Saree by Satya Paul is its ebb and flow between blue hues. You can add the same artful touch to a living room through patterns and accent pieces. Luxemi loves the contrasting blue patterns on this modern armchair, especially when paired with a glossy blue lamp and white wall art. But our favorite accent is definitely the blue and white patterned pillow, which swirls and curls just like the intricate pattern on this hand-painted designer saree, all the while evoking thoughts of the night.

interior decorating ideas based on fall 2012 fashion trends celebrity black and gold

We can’t think of many color pairings more classic than gold and black, and with a few twists, this quintessential combo transitions perfectly into a 21st Century wardrobe and interior design. Luxemi’s Tribal Saree with Brocade Border has rich brocade work and modern black stripes to make it simultaneously elegant and updated. What keeps this gold, black and white room so fresh is the same attention to patterns and shades. The gold frames and charcoal striped rug pick up this saree’s gorgeous border detailing and tribal vibe, and keep the room looking as light and effortless as you are.

Whether you’re incorporating your favorite Indian pattern into an outfit or an interior design, Luxemi loves how fashion brings together color and texture in an artful way. For more eclectic ideas, check out our apparel and accessory collections — they’re filled with gorgeous motifs, patterns and textiles to inspire your inner designer!

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Luxemi’s Loves: Five Faves for 02 | 17 | 12

We’re back on this beautiful Friday with some of our favorite things from this week, and what a week it’s been! MBNY Fashion Week, Valentine’s Day, Wills Lifestyle Fashion week in Delhi and so much more! We’ve picked out 5 things that caught our eye amidst all of that (and we promise, a more in-depth look at the Fashion Weeks next week).

First up, while we’re on the subject of Fashion Week, we could help but notice the splashes of Neon that punctuated designers’ collections this week, and we absolutely love it. Nanette Lepore went all out with a full-on Neon collection, and this photo really captures her show.  Luxemi loves Neon for 2012, and this collection reminded us of a Laila Motwane Lehenga from our new collection (take a sneak peek at what we’re releasing next week!).

Neon looks from Nanette Lepore's Fall 2012 Collection brighten the runway.

The Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week just started in Delhi, but already, we’ve seen some truly inspired looks. Luxemi darling Kavita Bhartia showed this fantastic light-weight saree which created sleek lines and a clean silhouette, but still showcased great prints and embroidery on the border. We love the “club pallu” look, with the applique on the shoulder. We’re also digging the skin-tight patterned sleeves on the blouse, somewhat reminiscent of David Koma’s futuristic-meets-tribal look (especially with the earrings).

This next inspiration is something we repinned the other day and it got a ton of love. We’re a big proponent of sustainability and reusability (check out our post on Eco-Friendly fashion), and thought this DIY home decor project was great. Just cut up an old saree, salwar or dupatta fabric, mount it, and frame it for a cool, ethnic-feeling wall piece. PS: Are you following Luxemi on Pinterest yet?

Dupatta Art Inspiration from Luxemi

Easy, beautiful, and depending on what piece you use, meaningful art!

If you’re an avid reader of The Luxe Report, you know that Luxemi was founded by a couple of Louisana girls, and we couldn’t go this Friday without paying homage to a King Cake in honor of Fat Tuesday! Speaking of neon…Can’t wait to dig into this one…

Can't. Wait.

And finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t pay tribute to the great Whitney Houston. Her music and contribution to pop culture most definitely touched our lives, and we hope you can rock out to this brilliant Robyn/Whitney mash-up in her honor this weekend. “Dancing in Houston” by Zooash.

Dancing in Houston (Robyn vs Whitney Houston)

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5 Ways To Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day

DIY Vday cards

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to show your loved ones you care. But at Luxemi, we’re not satisfied with typical gifts like chocolates and a bouquet of roses. Nor do we want to spend Valentine’s Day having an overpriced prix fixe dinner at a restaurant surrounded by other couples. So we’ve come up with some alternatives for you this V-Day.

 These five alternative Valentine’s Day ideas from Luxemi are sure to spice things up for you and your loves this year.

 Crafty Valentine's Day Cards

Make Your Own Card

Remember how fun it was to make DIY Valentine’s Day cards as a child? This year, ditch Hallmark in favor of a super-personalized, handmade card. It’s a simple, heartfelt gift that’s easy to create and guaranteed to make your loved one smile. So go ahead: Grab some card stock, scissors, ribbon, glue and markers, and let your creativity shine!

Remember Your Friends

parks and recreation valentine's day

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers; it’s the perfect day to show your single girlfriends some love by throwing a killer party. So why not combine the two by holding a get-together with all of your single friends?  Amy Poehler’s character on Parks and Recreation has the right idea: Her hilarious Galentine’s Day tradition combines Valentine’s Day festivity with quality gal-pal time. When you throw your own “Galentine’s Day” party, you’ll not only get to spend time with the people who make you happy; you’ll also be showing your friends some much-deserved gratitude.

Give The Gift Of Blood

donate blood for valentine's day

There’s no better, more immediate way to show you care this Valentine’s Day than donating blood. Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, and in India, blood shortages are so severe that hospitals often have to postpone lifesaving surgeries until supplies increase. Doing your part is easy. Visit The Red Cross website for a list of donation sites in your neck of the woods.

Treat Yourself To Spicy Sweets

spicy truffles valentine's

Yes, we all love Godiva, but this year, let’s spice things up a bit, shall we? Luxemi’s Spicy Chocolate Truffles will certainly do the trick. The subtle spices in these decadent treats will transport your taste buds to India and leave you wondering why you’ve never made your own truffles before.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup heavy cream
12 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated
Zest from one orange
One cinnamon stick
1/3 cup best-quality cocoa powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preparation:

1. Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Place the orange rind, cinnamon stick and cream in a medium-sized saucepan, simmering just until the cream starts to boil. Remove from heat.

3. Strain the zest and cinnamon from the cream. Pour the cream over the chocolate.

4. Let the hot cream and chocolate stand for a minute, then whisk the mixture steadily — you want to do so just vigorously enough that the mixture is well-combined and without air bubbles. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. This is your ganache.

5. Cover the ganache with plastic wrap. Allow the ganache to set at room temperature for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. The ganache should not be refrigerated.

6. When your ganache is firm enough to shape, scoop teaspoonfuls of ganache and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the truffles in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

7. Combine the cocoa powder and the cayenne in a bowl. Once the truffles are firm, roll them in the cocoa-cayenne mixture. Place the truffles on a baking sheet.

8. The truffles can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container for up to a week. They are best served at room temperature, but be careful not to let them get warm enough to start melting.

From a Galentine’s Day party to homemade spicy chocolates, we hope our tips will help you have the most love-filled Valentine’s Day ever!

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DIY Headbands: Sabyasachi Mukherjee Lakme Fashion Week A/W 2011

Sabyasachi - Lakme Fashion Week A/W 2011

When you hear the name Sabyasachi Muckherjee, you know you’re about to experience the work of a powerhouse. One of India’s most prominent and revered designers, Sabyasachi doesn’t follow trends: he instead designs transcendent ensembles that transform the entire fashion landscape. His presentation at Lake Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011 was a study in richness.

Now you can add some Sabyasachi flair to your own Autumn/Winter personal collection by emulating the laurel-inspired headbands that adorned his models.

Sabyasachi Chic

LUXEMI’S DIY HEADBAND

What you’ll need:

1. Headband

2. Trip/Applique

3. Scissors

4. Glue Gun

We Love A Glue Gun In Luxemi's Signature Colors!

Although Sabyasachi’s headbands make a major impact, lucky for us, they actually aren’t that hard to make. First, pick up a headband from a department store or even online.

Pick A Wide Headband To Get Sabyasachi's Look

Next, visit a local craft store (or online store) to pick out the perfect piece of trim, also known as applique. You can find it in all colors, with sequins, crystals or rhinestones. This is where you get to flex your creativity muscles and pick a piece that is expressly you. Measure the trim against your headband, making sure to cover the headband in applique until at least your ears. Use scissors to trim excess trim.

Shimmering Sequin Applique

Once you select your trim, apply a small, evenly distributed layer of glue from your hot glue gun to the trim (making sure not to have loose pieces of trim floating or putting too much glue in one place). Quickly apply the trim to the headband. Press down for one minute.

Voila! You’ve got a Sabyasachi-inspired piece that’ll crown your look this season.

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