Rustic Stick Snowflake Wreath {& other Christmas Photos to Melt Your Heart}

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

Christmas has been pretty low-key around these parts.  I mean, I’m sure Evelyn is singing Jingle Bells at the top of her fetal lungs, but we have been so busy and wrapped up with getting ready.  This project was so fast, so easy, and most importantly FREE.

I walked around my back yard and gathered an armful of sticks, like a crafting  pioneer woman.  Except those poor ladies didn’t have hot glue.  How terribly unfortunate for them.  Nor did they have Netflix.  2 of the things I needed for this short little craft.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

My good buddy Reggie suggested that I watch a documentary called Children Underground.  Sounded great.  Here’s the description:
“…a profoundly intimate and heart-wrenching drama about homeless children struggling for survival on the streets and in the subways of Bucharest, Romania”

A very eye-opening film, however, might I suggest not watching something that will make you cry whilst hot-gluing.  Because you will forget you have hot glue on your fingers… and you will wipe your eyes.  And then you will cry more, because HOT DANG, it burns.  But as suggested by Reggie: follow it up with this on Netflix to feel better.

Back to the wreath.  It was easy.  I drew out a snowflake on a piece of paper and laid out the sticks accordingly.  Some of them I broke or bent to make the shape.  Then I hot glued it, and wrapped the middle with some twine to hold it together extra good.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

When I finished gluing the stick snowflake wreath together, I actually thought it looked REALLY dumb.  Kinda like an elementary school Christmas craft.  It was uneven and just kind of janky looking.  It didn’t look AS bad when I hung it from the light to take pictures, but on the front door I was like “K, this CANNOT stay.  GET OUT!”  But newsflash: It stayed.  And it has grown on me.  And when people come over, they like it.  So I guess it doesn’t suck as much as I thought.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

I think one of the things throwing me off about the door, is that the wreath is right over the window.  I dunno, it just is “off.”

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

My very un-festive and small front porch.  One of these times I’ll paint the door, and put up a garland on the railing.  But not this time.  We’re just lucky to have a snowflake on the door this year.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

I finished it just in time to match the weather.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

And since I’m so behind on blogging, I’m going to dump all our other Christmas photos into this post.  I don’t go crazy with holiday decor.  We put up a Christmas tree, a garland, and stockings.  But it’s enough to feel our home with Christmas cheer and warmth.

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Art

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Art

Happy Monday-of-a-short-week to you all (the best kind of Monday that exists)!  I’ve got some really great posts lined up for this week, but right now, I’m coming an you with this short little Thanksgiving Chalk-Art project.

I’m linking up with the Dare To DIY party at Primitive & Proper (one of my favorite blogs!).  A group of my favorite bloggers is hosting this series, and you should definitely join in.

If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that I am NOT a holiday decorator, outside of putting up a Christmas tree and stockings.  I have a really hard time spending money on seasonal crafts and such.  I don’t like storing them all year long.  It just feels cluttered to me.

The great thing about painting a chalkboard on my back door is that I can make holiday art all year long, and not spend money or have to deal with storage issues.

I found this free printable from A Night Owl Blog, and used it as a basic template for my door.  I changed a few fonts, for easy-sake.  I’m still trying to work on my typography skills.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Typography

The goal is to fill the door with hearts and write all the things we’re thankful for.  I hope that we have hearts squishing everywhere by Thanksgiving.  On the top, on the sides, between banners… we have SO much to be grateful for.

I may have gotten carried away with drawing empty hearts to fill in, but it made me excited for our gratitude-project this week.

Ways to show gratitude at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Projects - Chalkboard

See you tomorrow with a BACK SPLASH!  Laterz.

Painting A Chalkboard Door

I’m about to show you a project NEVER BEFORE SEEN in blogland.  I know because I’ve googled it, searched it on Pinterest, looked on my friends’ blogs… Okay.  That’s a lie.  A really big one.  Chalkboard projects are everywhere.  Walls, doors, wood slices, jars, wall art, inside of pantries, coffee tables and so on.

I’ll be honest.  I’ve resisted.  I said I would NEVER do it.  But it got to me.  Maybe in 10 years we’ll look back and roll our eyes at our crazy obsession with chalkboard paint.  However, today I’ll celebrate my official jumping on board the chalkboard bandwagon.

We have 2 back doors.  One goes to the back yard, and one goes to the garage.  The one that goes to the garage is pretty hideous, and that’s giving it a compliment.  It’s hidden from pictures most of the time, just because of its location.  This ugly old thing is about to get ambushed.

Painting Chalkboard on a back door

This project cost less than $20.  WHAT?!  Yeah.  I figured chalkboard paint would be a little pricey, but it is definitely not.  $9 for the can.  I also picked up a Hi-Density Foam roller kit made for doors to keep things smooth.  You guys, the door took less than half a can.  Imagine all the things I can chalkboard attack with all the left overs.  It’s dangerous.  It’s an illness now that I’ve given in.  The chalkboard plague has struck.

Chalkboard paint supplies

Like always, I only use FrogTape.  Bleeds are not something to be risked.

How to paint Chalkboard

After one coat, it looked like this.

Painting a Chalkboard Door

After 2 coats (we probably would have been fine, but I wanted a solid 3).

How to paint a chalkboard

Awww, and the beautiful 3rd coat.  I followed the instructions on the box to a tee, and waited 4 hours between each coat.  It was ridiculously hard to wait because after about 30 mins the paint is dry to the touch.

Painting a Chalkboard

When painting a chalkboard surface the most important thing to remember is to season it.

The reason seasoning a chalkboard is so important is because chalkboards are very porous.  If you don’t season it properly, the first thing you write may get “burned” into the chalkboard.

You season it by first rubbing the side of a piece of chalk vertical, and then horizontal.  This will fill in all the porous holes that may exist in the surface.

How To Season A Chalkboard

Seasoning a Chalkboard

After that you can erase it using a felt eraser, or a damp cloth.  I wouldn’t recommend paper towels.  They leave behind lots of shreds.

Then you’re game for writing whatever comes to your creative mind.

Of course my lopsided free-hand typography could use some work.

DIY Painted Chalkboard Back Door

Now at least our back garage door can hide in style and on trend.

How To Paint a Chalkboard Door

How To Paint Curtains

I’m breaking away from nursery posts today to bring you a living room update!  Our big projects are coming to a close (more on that soon!), which means I have been focusing on decorating details.

One thing we’ve been living without since demo (late July) is curtains.  It’s like living naked for the world to see.  So exposed.  I mean, cool, if that’s what you’re into.  But um, I dig privacy.

Since we have so much neutral happening in our grand room, I wanted some curtains with a punch.  As it would turn out, punchy curtains are really hard to find unless you want to pay $50+ per panel from a fancy store or custom order on Etsy.  Pretty much all other curtains are simple and neutral.

For a good long while, probably since Avatar was the cool thing… I’ve been wanting to try making fabric paint with textile medium.  Painting curtains was the perfect experiment.

I started with a plain white set of IKEA LENDA curtains, drew out a design on a scrap paper, got some votes, then started taping.  Nothing is trustier than FrogTape for crisp lines.

How To Paint Curtains

I mixed regular latex paint with the textile medium in an old mixing bowl that I was planning on tossing.

How To Paint Curtains

The ratio is 2:1.  2 parts paint to 1 part textile medium.  The handle broke off my measuring cup, so I used this old one to measure out 2 cups of paint.

How To Paint Curtains

I was so worried that the textile medium would change the color of the paint, but it didn’t.

How To Paint Curtains

My preferred color of mustard was Sherwin Williams Kingdom Gold (6698).

How To Paint Curtains

I rolled on the paint to cover the curtains nice and saturated-ly.

How To Paint Curtains

I let it dry over night for good measure.  The next day, Buster watched while I joyfully peeled the tape off.

How To Paint Curtains

However, I made a HUGE mistake.  Michael, I’ve made a huge mistake…  Normally when I paint, I use these old sheets as a drop cloth, and it’s fine.  But I REALLY should have been wise enough to use a heavier drop cloth, or a tarp.  The curtains were completely fused to these sheets.  Peeling them apart was akin to what I imagine an exorcism would be like.  Very gripping.

How To Paint Curtains

But the trouble didn’t stop there.  Because it majorly bled through onto my floors.  It was like a school bus died all over my front room.  For anyone wanting to know how to get paint off floors, warm water with a little Dawn and some elbow grease does the job.

How To Paint Curtains

Luckily the only mishaps were with my supplies.  The painted curtains were more than perfect.  It’s the love affair of the century.  Move aside William and Kate, we have new things to gawk over.

How To Paint Curtains

The final step is to heat set the fabric paint.  You can iron, or tumble dry.  I tumbled of course.

I used this tip to hang the curtain rod.  Please disregard my swollen pregnant hand and robe sleeve.  Take some cardboard and make a template to mark the holes.  Flip the template, and use it on the other side of the window for a perfect match.

How To Paint Curtains

The curtains need to be hemmed, but I’m not sweating that chore until after Thanksgiving.  We have people to entertain!

How To Paint Curtains

They are extra beautiful at night.

How To Paint Curtains

And extraordinarily magical from the outside.  I’m sure all my neighbors think I’m the coolest 🙂

How To Paint Curtains

And for pinning convenience, here you are!

How To Paint Curtains

Now that you’ve read my adventures in painting curtains, are you going to paint some fabric of your own?

Mistakes: Knocking Off a Pottery Barn Mia Faceted-Crystal Pendant

Forgive me, Blogland, for I have sinned.  It has been exactly 15 days since my last blog post.

Being pregnant is the greatest miracle I’ve experienced in my life.  I do my best not to complain.  But you can safely assume that when I go significant amounts of times without writing, it’s because things are a little rough.

But I’m writing today!  So that means things are okay.

Except… I’m in a funk.  Do you ever get in a DIY funk where everything you do seems wrong?  And all I have to say about it is this:
I’m so grateful my blog isn’t big enough to be on GOMI, because they’d for sure be hatin’ on this junk-fest.

I used to not share my major failures on my blog.  1- I was too embarrassed.  2- I didn’t think most people cared.

But at Haven, I was in a class taught by Mandi of VR, Lindsay of Makely School for Girls, and Ashley from The Handmade Home.  They each shared their worst DIY failure stories, and then had the room go around and share theirs.  Hearing some of my big blog idols talk about things not going as they planned made me feel SO much better.  It happens.  Things suck sometimes.  But we were all in tears laughing with each other.  Because it happens to everyone.  DIY bloggers are risk takers.  Sometimes it’s more amazing than you can imagine.  And sometimes it’s poo.

Here’s my poo.

I fell in love with this light fixture from Pottery Barn.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendent Pottery Barn Knock Off

 

The price is $250.  Which isn’t horribly unrealistic for a light fixture.  In fact, I bought a more expensive light to hang over our Restoration Hardware table.  (It hasn’t been hung up yet though, so you don’t know what it is!)  But I like to play the high/low game.  I feel like at times it’s worth being spendy on the things that need to last, and things in high traffic areas.  But… this was just for a nursery.  So I wasn’t really keen on the price tag.

I had every intention to knock it off and make my own version.  I scored this beauty at Habitat for Humanity for $1.  ONE DOLLAR.  I spray painted it “Antiqued Brass” (which I am positive will be the new ORB… just wait and see!).  I had the highest of hopes.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendant Pottery Barn Knock Off

I started hot gluing some beads to the fixture… and it quickly turned into a tacky mardi gras necklace holder.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendant Pottery Barn Knock Off

And then, all the tears happened.  Because I was sad.  And frustrated.  And bummed.  Honestly, if it wasn’t such a weird shape, I would have drop kicked it in my back yard… like I’ve been known to do with other failures.  In my head, this was going to be the PERFECT knock off.  Just like the glorious wingback rocker.  The good news is, I was only out a few dollars.  The bad news: we still needed a light fixture and I didn’t want to pay $250.

I ended up finding this light at Home Depot for $60 (it’s cheaper in store than online), and thought it was close enough to the same style without breaking the bank.  And flush mount really was a better option for this room.  Keep in mind that Aaron and I are VERY tall people.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendant Pottery Barn Knock Off

Here it is, on the ceiling… proud and appealing.  (Look out Dr. Seuss)

Still pretty.  Definitely not as lush and divine as the Pottery Barn light.  But I don’t think Evelyn will mind.

Pottery Barn knock off mia faceted crytal flush mount

And if you think I’m done sharing my mistakes, you’re wrong.  There is a part 2, which will be the next post I write.  Lucky you!  I get to make you feel better about yourself 2 posts in a row!

Now, would anyone like to step forward and tell me about a DIY flop?

Pumpkin Parade Feature

Y’all, I get so sad when parades are over.  Every time I’m at Disneyland and the last float in the parade passes by and the crowd starts to scatter, there’s a hole in my heart, because I’m always left wanting more.  I need more Mickey-in-sequins in my life.

I love how pumpkin crafts take over the blog-o-sphere this time of year, because really they are such inexpensive and fun crafts.  The possibilities of what you can do with a pumpkin are limited.

It’s only a matter of time until a blogger comes up with a way to fly a pumpkin to the moon.

One of my favorites from the parade was this pumpkin by Crab+Fish:

Fishnet Pumpkin

 

If you happened to miss the parade, don’t worry, you can go back in time and see all hundred pumpkin creations here.

But if it’s features you are interested in, check out these blogs for their faves.

Bliss at Home

Shift Ctrl Art

Primitive & Proper

Decor and the Dog

A Little Bite of Everything

Cuckoo4Design

Newly Woodwards

Boxy Colonial

A Swell Place to Dwell

WillsCasa

Go Haus Go

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel {Fall Project}

You guys, I am SO fired up for today’s post!  This is such an easy fall project (or anytime of year project!) that anyone of any skill level can do.  I know, because it was my first time ever.  This is a tale of how I lost Dremel-ginity.

I was contacted by Coupons.com and asked if I’d like to participate in a fall project extravaganza.  I said HECK TO THE YES!  I LOVE Coupons.com.  I’ve been using the site forever.  As any true DIYer, I’m always focused on saving money.  And Coupons.com has coupons for everything from groceries to home improvement supplies.  Did you know they even have coupons for POWER TOOLS?!  My favorite ever.  Go look around and I guarantee you’ll find something worth saving money on.

I was able to find a coupon for a Dremel, and I’ve been wanting one FOREVER.  It was like the stars aligned.  What’s so great about a Dremel you ask?  It is the Swiss army knife of power tools.  It’s a multi-tool with interchangeable bits.  To name a few functions, it can etch glass, etch wood, carve wood, burn wood, drill, polish, sand, route and so much more.

I have never used a Dremel before, so when I picked it up, I made sure practice on a block of wood first so I could get the feel for it.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

For my fall project I wanted to etch a piece of subway art.  I picked up a piece of craft wood 2’X4′ in the hobby section of Home Depot for $6.  I got to staining it right away.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

I taped the template to the board and lightly traced the outline with the Dremel.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

The Dremel came with a few standard bits, and I used one of them to etch/carve it out.  For your reference, I used a 192.  It looks like this:

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

After the board was roughed in, I buckled down and started etching.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Except, I forgot one MAJOR thing.  I have carpel tunnel.  And using a Dremel kills after about 45 mins.  One thing I’ve learned in all my projects is that you have to be adaptable and change plans sometimes.  I just had to accept that there was no way in the world I would finish the entire board.  To give you an idea of the scale, here it is on the mantle.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Yeah.  Not happening.  Dremel, I love you, but I can’t handle that much of you.  So I found a way to change it up and shorten it.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

It was a shift in gears, but I thought it came together nicely.  It could be an inside sign, but I decided to drill a couple holes and thread some twine through, to hang it on the front door.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

I would like to thank Coupons.com for providing me with a gift card to Home Depot to get my supplies for this project.  And I encourage you to check out the site so you can score sweet discounts on the same supplies.

But I have extra good news for you!  They are giving away a $200 gift card to a lucky reader!  The give away will be open for a week.  It’s open for US residents only.

These other awesome bloggers are also involved in the Fall Project Extravaganza, and you should definitely check out their awesome fall projects!

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Emma – Broke Ass Home
Gretchen – Boxy Colonial 
Fall Projects
So how do you enter for this sweeter than life deal?  Easy, you have 10 entry options.  You can enter up to TEN TIMES!  Follow Coupons.com on Google+, follow the above listed blogs on social media (listed below in the Rafflecopter widget).  Easy.

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