Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Mantel {and no-sew pennant tutorial}

I'm excited to be linking up to the It's Fall Y'all party over at Layla's today.... You have to go check out all the beautiful mantels that have linked so far.

When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my fall mantel, I scanned Pinterest and some of my fav blogs for inspiration. I kept being drawn to the same elements... simple, symmetrical designs, and apples! When I think about fall, I think of some of my favorite memories & past experiences. When my hubby and I were first married, I always looked forward to a drive up the canyon to see the beauty of the trees changing color. Cool crisp air, white aspens/quakies everywhere, and the bright hues of red, orange and yellow dancing across the branches...

My inspiration translated to this simple, bright fall mantel scape:

I had fun making my first triangle pennant thingy.... OK, does anyone know the offical name for these things? If so, please share :) I wanted to keep it super simple, so I went through my fabric stash and found this cool nubby, two-sided material. One side is sort of a natural color, the other is a pretty teal blue. I grabbed some paper and made a pattern for my "kite" shape. I wanted to utilize both sides of the material, so I thought it would be cute to have a small little triangle on top (folded over the main piece for the pennant.) Hence, the kite shape:

I cut out 9 kite pieces and then folded them over to see which color combo I liked better, the blue won for the little flap on top, and natural for the bottom :) Sorry I don't have a picture of these, but here are a few other supplies I used to complete my banner:
  • 9 small buttons (I used some brown and orange ones from JoAnns)
  • 1 roll of jute twisted twine (I only used about 2 yards for the banner)
  • hot glue (there was no way I was going to take time to sew this baby!)
I simply ironed all of the triangle flaps in place, then added a button (hot glue), cut my twine to the desired length for my mantel, then strung the triangles on and added a dab of hot glue to secure the fabric onto the twine! It worked like a charm. I was pretty happy with my first pennant/banner/thingy project :)

Once the banner was hung, I created my candlestick "trees" by cutting a few sections of these gorgeous mini maple leaf swags I found at Tuesday Morning {in the Clearance section I might add!} I twisted the ends together and stuck them directly into my candlestick opening. The branches are wired, so they held in place quite nicely. No glue necessary :)

This was a productive trip to Tuesday Morning for me... I also found these quaint "Preserves" jars with a beautiful wired handle for only $3.99! I was thinking of making my own, but these were too great a deal to pass up.

I had an idea to hang them as a rustic "lantern" with a white candle in each jar. I couldn't find any standard pillar candles that would fit inside the opening, so I ended up using a smaller candle and filled in the space with a mix of cinnamon and bambi sticks {from Target, $4.99}. I have plenty of sticks left for another fall project too :)

In order to hang my new lanterns, I rummaged through my hubby's toolbox and found these handy-dandy hooks. They were gold, so I gave them a quick coat of primer and white spray paint so they would blend into the molding above my mantel.

I am not a power tool woman (not YET anyway... I plan to conquer that fear very soon!) so this project was very doable for me :) I just marked where I wanted the hooks to go on my ceiling, and screwed them in -- by hand! Easy peezy! Then I tied a piece of thin twine around the jars and through the wire handle, tied a knot in one end, and hooked them up. Seriously, a less than 5 minute project. I'm liking how they turned out... what do you think?

So my final touch is the pop of color... hahaha, well there is already a pretty big pop of color with the turquoise wall, huh? But I like bright colors, so I just had to include the granny smith apples... love the green! I think the simplicity of the apples is actually my favorite part of the new mantel.

I hope you guys enjoyed my take on Fall!

Now get out and enjoy that gorgeous weather before it gets too cold :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Smell My Feet! (Free Printable / Halloween Gift)

It seems like Halloween candy fills the store aisles earlier and earlier every year. And without fail, every year I buy our candy early so we can eat it all and have to buy more the good kinds won't be sold out the day before Halloween! Candy is fine for the kids, the school parties, the trick-or-treaters. But what about the grown-ups? As much as I'd like to show my appreciation with a bag of Pixy Stix and Dubble Bubble, that may not be the best gift idea for an adult.

So here's a quick and easy little Halloween gift idea for anyone who needs a little pick-me-up. (Because who do you know that doesn't?)

Grab a few cute things that go with the theme. We're always up for a good gift theme :)
  • pumice stone
  • foot scrub
  • toe separators
  • cute nail file
  • nail polish (in a fun Fall color)
  • yummy travel size lotion (Hello, Bath & Body Works fall scents!)
Print your choice of tag. They are sized to fit inside a small cellophane bag (Walmart or craft store) or to use as a smaller gift tag. Just click "download" on the right side of the page when you link to the Scribd page. All printables are in PDF format, ready to go! Email us if you need a different size/or format! (Downloads at end of post.)
Stuff them in a little bag, add the free printable, tie it up with some cute ribbon and you're good to go! Or print the smaller size and tie that on to a bigger bottle of lotion or foot scrub.

And there you have it! An easy way to let someone know they deserve a break. Now go make someone's day!

Small gift tags (6 per page)
Gray (2 per page)
Orange (2 per page)
Green (2 per page)

Baby Girl's Closet Makeover {easy-1-day-project}

Happy Friday! It has been about a week since our last post... I tell ya, this blogging stuff is not for the faint of heart :) Update on the last 2 posts: 1. I didn't make it in the final 12 for Crafting With the Stars, but there are some pretty cool projects so you should definitely follow the competition. I can't wait to see what they do! 2. I DID win the Krylon Glitter contest with my DIY glitter crown (Whoo-hoo!!) and it made my entire week. Seriously, couldn't believe it when I read my name on the list with the other 4 winners. My first link party ever and I won something -- not too shabby :) I can't wait to try out my Glitter Blast... I am sure to have a few cool Glitter projects coming your way in the next month.

On to the subject at hand -- baby girl's closet. I was bloghopping this past weekend and saw that this week's topic for the CSI Project was closets and pantries. I've never done CSI, but I thought it looked fun PLUS when I saw that Emily was the guest judge, that sealed the deal for me. {Emily is one of my fav bloggers, and I love her design style!}

So I decided to give it a go. These were my ground rules: 1. Spend no more than one day on the project 2. Spend zilch money (haha, my 3 yr. old is going though a phase where he always says "zilch" for zero, zip, nada, etc.)

In my baby girl's room we have a big dresser that fits most of her clothes, blankets, etc. so her little closet wasn't even getting much use. Other than the bar for hanging clothes, it was mostly wasted space:

I wanted to utilize the bottom portion of the closet, but didn't really need more storage space for her. So, I thought, what a perfect spot for a little vanity area! A place where she can sit at her tiny table, see herself in the mirror, and just be a girly girl :)

But how can I cover up those clothes and make her new space more glam? And how can I do all of this without spending any money?

I remembered some fabric that had been sitting around in my craft room waiting to become curtains for her room... I also had a small tension rod that worked perfectly to create this:

Now all the hanging clothes are hidden from view, but still easliy accessible. It also gives the closet a finished look, since there is no closet door. {Update: I actually just slide the entire tension rod & curtain down every time I need to access her clothes, and then slide it right back into place. It is working out great!}

This curtain was super easy to make -- I cut my fabric, hemmed the edges and left space for the curtain rod to be inserted at the top. Then I added small pieces of velcro to the bottom corners, and about 18 inches up on each side. (You'll see why in a minute!)

I wanted the fabric to gather up in two sections of the curtain, to create a nice shape and frame out her vanity area. So I used some white ribbon to tie around each section of fabric where I wanted it gathered up. I just tied the ribbon at my desired height, and voila! I liked it, but the sides were still hanging down and looked kinda weird. Plus some of the hanging clothes were sticking out at the bottom. Enter velcro -- I attached the bottom tab to the backside of the curtain, about 9-10 inches higher and tucked the clothes inside. Problem solved :)

Now, I couldn't go any further in this makeover without doing something about the wood trim around the closet. It sticks out like a sore thumb in her room -- all the other trim is white. I have been meaning to paint it for a while now and I guess this gives me a good excuse. {3 hours and one baby nap later....}

I organized the needed items on the top shelf and added a few accessories, storage boxes and tags. I "shopped" her room, and my craft room for everything I used on this shelf.

I really love how the tags turned out:

The bottom part of the closet was the easiest to complete because I already had the table and chair, and I'd recently re-done this thiftstore mirror: {it used to be gold and ugly}

I used Krylon Watermelon spray paint for the mirror frame, and then added a glaze medium to bring out the detail. Super easy afternoon project. $10 mirror turned fabulous!

I added a gray rug I found on clearance at Target for $4, (nice and soft for my baby girl's toes!) and accessorized with the pink glitter teapot I made for her birthday party.

And finally, the last item, what no girl can do without -- shoe storage!!! This is the only thing I broke down and spent money on. I found these cute boxes at Target in the dollar spot. So, $4 for much needed shoe storage/display -- that is money well-spent :)

A successful makeover!

Finally, I tested it out on baby girl. I sat her down in her plush pink chair, and as soon as she saw herself in the mirror, she was loving it! She played with her brush, pulled all the roses out of her teapot, and made some really cute faces. It was worth all the work!

And one last look... Before and After :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Completely Awesome Word Art (how to upcycle an old framed canvas)

Crafting with the Stars. Oh my. I'm trying to audition to get one of 12 spots in this season. I hope you guys enjoy this project.... I got the idea this week when my friend brought back a piece of framed art (a HUGE piece of art, I might add) that I had given her when we moved. You see, the reason I gave it to her is that it no longer fit in our house. Literally. It was too big. Well, and design-wise too. I got it several years ago on clearance at Tai Pan, and it worked beautifully in our Tuscan style home in St. George, but now my style and my living space have changed quite a bit.

I just have to give that disclaimer before you see what I did to it :) Anyway, apparently said piece of art was too BIG for her house also and she was bringing it back for me to enjoy. I was about to post it on Craigslist when I had an idea...

I've been trying to think of a project that would justify a little trip to Michaels to browse the new Martha Stewart line of craft paints... When I found out that they offer specialty paints like Magnetic and Chalkboard paints, my wheels started to spin :)

So, if I can't find a space to fit a piece of art that I don't really like anymore, could I find a spot for a sweet new project that is functional, fun for the kids, and looks cool? Of course I can.

With the help of the Martha Stewart craft paints, my old Tuscan artwork was transformed to this:

I hope no one out there is wincing at the thought of me painting over this countryside scene with black magnetic paint :) It was SO worth it! Did I mention this baby is a chalkboard AND it's magnetic??? And it is a pretty gray color to match my decor, instead of the plain ol' black chalkboard paint everyone has seen. My kids already love playing with all the letters to spell words and I haven't even told them it's a chalkboard yet... Maybe I'll just keep that between us :)

I'm so excited for the possibilites of this GINORMUS Word Art Board in our house. I can change it out for holidays, inspirational quotes, messages for the kiddos, and more. A Menu board would be fitting, since it will reside above our table.... and I can't wait to Spookify it for Halloween. Stay tuned for more ideas of what I'll do with this new masterpiece :)

If any of you have an old crappy canvas piece of "art" lying around.... you know, the kind you can get at the thrift store for $5? Try it. My only cost was the paint from Michaels (which I got at 40% off), and a few rolls of magnet tape. I had all the chipboard letters downstairs in my scrapbooking supplies. (Finally, they are getting some use! Ha!)

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Paint for the canvas: Martha Stewart Craft Paint - Gray Chalkboard Paint (1 bottle) and Magnetic Paint (I used a little less than 2 of these because my canvas was so huge, but for most projects, one would be plenty.) 
  • Paint for the frame: My standbys for any spraypaint project - Kilz primer, and Krylon Gloss in White :)
  • For the stencil design: I added a stencil to the mat with Martha Stewart Metallic craft paint in Sterling. I also used her new Arabesque stencil set, which I love!
  • For the magnet letters: I used supplies I had on hand, including this set of chipboard letters from Cosmo Cricket and some plain wooden letters. I painted these letters white and added a glaze for fun :)
  • Additional items: I added a cute 4"x4" white scrollwork picture frame I found at Walmart for $4. I took out the glass and adhered it to the canvas with velcro because it was a little too heavy. (In the picture, I have written the date inside.)

Of course, I had to give a shout out to CWTS :) I was busting my backside to get this posted before the linky party closed... Cross your fingers for me. And make sure to to follow this year's season of Crafting With the Stars (hopefully you'll be hearing more from me on this subject!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Glittericious Birthday Crown :)

My baby girl's 1st birthday party was on Sunday night, and we had such a fun tea party for our little miss! This weekend, I was reading about a contest and a chance to win not one -- SIX-- cans of Glitter Blast and $50 to a craft mecca of my choice. I'd be crazy not to try for that, right?? I decided that I might as well jump in with both feet and enter... (Even though this is only the 2nd post on our blog!)

This is the glitterfied birthday crown I made for Anna's birthday this weekend... Super simple, and it turned out so cute!
Supplies you'll need:
  • 1 sheet of glitter craft foam (adhesive backed) - I got mine at Michaels for $1.49
  • 1 piece of felt in desired color - I had tons of turquoise, so mine was free :)
  • plastic headband
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • optional: decorative bling sticker - I found this number "1" sticker at Michaels on clearance for 49 cents!
Start with your foam sheet and cut out the shape of your crown. I totally freehanded this part :) Here's what I ended up with:

Then I took full advantage of the sticky back of the foam, peeled off the backing paper, and stuck it onto my sheet of felt. Just trim around the shape of your crown and voila! The inside of your crown is done.

I cut away part of the felt so a corner of the sticky part was showing inside the crown, and then I just stuck both ends together to form my crown.

The final step is to simply glue the headband inside the front of the crown, and you are done! If you want to add any embellishements, there are tons of extras you could use to personalize your crown. I wanted to keep it simple, so I just added the "1" sticker to the front.

I loved doing this project... 10 minutes, less than 3 bucks, and it totally completed her "look" for the big day! This would also be a cute "dress up" accessory -- a great homemade gift for the princess in your house :)

Happy Birthday sweet girl, I love you!

*I'm linking this post to the Krylon Glitter Blast Linky Party at Vintage Revivals.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Blog. New Life. (for a sad old table)

So, I guess this is it. My first official post on our blog. I am so excited to be starting on this new adventure with my sis, Nat. I'm not really sure where to begin, so I am just going to get right to it and post my first DIY project... When I first dicovered the world of blogging in January, I'm pretty sure I spent 2 consectutive days in my pajamas & slippers, glued to my laptop screen :) Relate much?? Some of the blogs that first caught my eye were House of Smiths (everyone knows of Shelley's amazing pantry makeover!) and Vintage Revivals... hello, Mandi? She is so completely original. I loved everything about her blog, and after I saw how she could completely transform something blah to beautiful, I wanted to try it in my own house. It took me a few months to actually get up the guts to jump into this project...

We were in the middle of a move. I know, I know, I am hearing my husband's voice in my head right now asking me why I decided to start a huge project one week before we were scheduled to move. Well, logically because I couldn't bear the thought of moving our ugly table ONE MORE TIME.

This is a before picture of the table in our old house:

It is a "classic" early 2000's cherry wood and black table with the wavy backed chairs. I think everyone who was married in that decade has owned one of these. And really, it's not that bad I guess. But I was so sick of everything in my house being dark... stained wood, brown walls, tan tile, brown granite, etc. I needed something light and refreshing.

(Hence the move... we were moving from one rental - a gorgeous custom home, where we weren't allowed to change anything - to a smaller, older home that we can paint!!!) I wanted our table to be the first step towards a brighter, lighter space in the new house.

Anyway, before this becomes the longest post in the history of blogland, here is the result of many hours of labor (and 11 cans of spray paint!)

I love how it brightens up our kitchen and dining space... and the neutral palette gives me the option to add a punch of color wherever I'd like :)

Once I had the base coat of white finished, I knew I wanted to add something special to the table top. One of my favorite trendy patterns right now is... Chevron! I wanted it kind of subtle though, so I did a very large zig-zag (9 inches wide) and used a light gray paint.

With the leaf in my table, I have 3 lovely equal sections to work with... perect for creating my chevron design! I used the seams in the table as the center for each zig zag :)

{1} I measured and marked the edges of the table and seams at 9" intervals. Then I used a pencil to "connect the dots" and create the lines of the pattern. {2} I taped off all the lines with masking tape, and {3} painted every other section with my gray paint. (The color is Tempered Gray - Valspar)

To add a more aged look, I sanded the edges of my table and chairs, then added a dark gray glaze to everything! Here's one more look at the before & after:

I hope this inspires someone to give their ugly brown table a second chance at life :)