Metro-East Living

IKEA needs kid toy designers, plus fall ‘leather’ for all sizes, ages

If you have a child who likes to populate his world with imaginary creatures, IKEA wants his designs. Through Oct. 30, children ages 12 and under can enter the third annual Soft Toy Drawing Competition to help create the retailer’s next toy collection. Last year, IKEA received more than 52,000 entries from around the globe, and the 10 most fantastic creatures, including “Frog/pig/monkey” and “Bacterium/monster,” now make up the limited-edition collection, which will be available in IKEA U.S. stores starting in mid-November.

You need to be a member of IKEA Family, which is a free rewards program you can sign up for at stores or online. Submit drawings from young artists online or at the returns desk at an IKEA store. To see the official rules for the Soft Toy Drawing Competition or to enter, visit

Pleasure of leather

On Monday, Lane Bryant and Glamour magazine unveiled Glamour X Lane Bryant, a collaborative apparel collection featuring modern pieces for women sizes 14 and up. A new collection of pieces will be featured each month online and in stores, including the one at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights. This month’s silhouette includes a cropped leather jacket, crisp white shirt, red high-waisted pleated skirt, red striped shirt dress and black sleeveless jumpsuit.

If you just want to add a faux leather or velvet accessory to your fall wardrobe for under $14, check out the pretty chokers (a big trend now) at Charming Charlie in the Shoppes at St. Clair in front of the mall. You’ll find pretty beading, tiny little black pom pom charms and more, all with leather or velvet bands. Also available are wraparound faux leather strands that are easily adjusted to suit the neckline you want.

Online, check out blogger Jance Staten, of O’Fallon, who will show you how to wear this fall’s trendy leather, whether you’re 20 (great DKNY leggings for $25) or 50 (so-classy pencil skirt from Forever 21 for $29).

Do a trade-in and save

It’s time for Dillard’s Handbag and Watch Trade-In now through Sunday at the St. Clair Square store. Bring a clean, gently used handbag and get a discount on any regularly priced bag, wallet or watch worth $75 or more. Discounts can range from $25 to $75 depending on the price of the new item. The used items you bring in will be donated to a local charity.

Here’s another trade-in deal: Wild Birds Unlimited in Swansea is offering 20 percent off any new bird feeder when you bring in your old one. Offer is good through Sunday.

Plant yourself (a sale)

Now’s the time to check your local nursery or garden center for sales on perennials. For example, Sandy’s Back Porch in Belleville has gallon-size perennials for $5 and quart-size ones for $3.

Mark your calendar

Get ready for Witches Night Out from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 30 in downtown Lebanon. Ladies, come dressed for an awesome costume contest, enjoy live music and browse the shops that will remain open late. Expect to find specials and more. No children, please.