DIY Wall Decor Tutorial

I made this board thingy for my wreath above my mantel. Most people are smart and make them for free out of pallets. But since I am hanging onto my pallets for an outdoor project I decided to use something else.

I was walking around Lowes and decided on cedar fence boards. I decided on a length and cut them with my miter saw.

I then took one of the boards and cut two pieces just shy of the width of the boards and screwed them to the back. Cedar wood is so soft and easy to work with.

I wanted it to look like "found" wood that's been laying on the ground for 52 years that fell off an old barn in a corn field. The boards are uneven and one is chipped on it's side and they have knots.

I drew an arch on the top using an old arched mirror as my guide. You could use lots of things for your guide. Just play around with it. I cut out the arch and little curves at the top with a jig saw. I just drew a curve on a piece of crusty old sandpaper and used that as my guide for the curves.

My initial idea was to do a white wash where the wood and knots still showed through. But I looked at too many ASCP pictures that day and ended up painting French Linen over the cedar. Eh? That's exactly what my husband said. After painting on the French Linen I did a white wash with ASCP Old White, added some blue paint, and then sanded to show all of the layers of paint and a little of the cedar. And that's all folks!

Spring Mantel with a Little DIY Wall Decor

I finally have my spring mantel finished! For some reason I just couldn't get it together this year. I'm tired of the old mirror I have had on my mantel for so long. I like to hang wreaths on my mirror but I just didn't want to look at it anymore. So I made something to hang wreaths or mirrors on. I like to lean things against the wall instead of hang above the mantel so I can easily change things out whenever I want.

I wanted to keep things light, simple, and fresh looking.
I bought the twig wreath from Hobby Lobby and attached a garland of flowers on it.
The white pitchers are PB, Target, TJ Maxx. Bet you can't tell which is which. :)
The pillars are PB that I found on clearance this weekend. 
And the little nest painting is one of my own.

I absolutely love boxwood.  These are snips from my yard.  A touch of green in a room just feels good and gives a sense of freshness. Forgive me, I sound like a Glade commercial. 

And there you have it folks. Just a little bit of Spring sweetness for ya!
 To read how I made the wall decor go here.

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A Beautiful Green Plant or Monster?

I know I haven't done any posts on gardening but I'd rather blab about gardening more than anything. I love it. I am obsessed with it. I wish I could garden all year round. Since we have had an early spring I'm getting my hands dirty a lot earlier than usual.

I've been to Lowe's and Home Depot no less than 3 times this week scoping everything out and planning my raid. Well it paid off because I scored big time today at Home Depot. They have ground covers on sale for $.99 for 1 liter pot. I bought two flats of Creeping Jenny for the side of my yard where I am working on a garden path. I needed something that would take some shade and brighten the place up.

Feast your eyes on these pics I found!

Here it is growing among hostas! Gorgeous!
source: via Pinterest

Look at that chartruese color!
source:  via Pinterest

Creeping Jenny flowing from containers.

source:  via Pinterest

It is described as a low-growing evergreen groundcover. Actually, a rampant groundcover. I've read some some bad things about it being too invasive but I've also read many wonderful things as well.  I think it is all about planting it in the right location and being prepared for it to spread like crazy. I, myself like the word rampant when it comes to flowers. Ummm... it can spread 30 ft? It grows over everything in it's path? (gulp) That's okay to me. 

Before you go out and buy this do your research. Don't buy it because it is a lush over-flowing sea of chartruese that spreads it's loveliness all over your garden path, followed by your rose bushes, then your grass, and whoops! then your neighbors grass... Buy it because you did your research and know it's the perfect vigorous plant for you.

Happy Gardening! Do you have any ground covers? Anyone have this lovely Creeping Jenny?

Painting Birds and Nests!

What do you do when it is absolutely gorgeous outside? You go outside and paint pictures of birds and nests with your little girl!      

We've been watching a robin build her nest on top of our arbor.  This is the first time I've ever actually watched a bird building a nest. Let's just say this is a hard-working mama.  Every time we see her she has twigs and long pieces of grass in her beak. I even saw some gift wrap string. This is a repurposing bird I tell ya!

I decided we should go outside for a little art lesson. I took my oil paints and my daughter took her acrylics. We set up our little spaces and got busy.  She painted the birds and I painted the nest.

Working to get it just right. Not sure what species of bird this is...

But that's okay. She was happy and so was I.

My little bitty 4X6 bird nest painting with her sweet masterpiece.

Please don't critique I have no formal art training. You couldn't tell? Really? 

My little bitty nest painting's new home.

This was my "pallet". Uhhh...I'll be studying the color wheel before the next art lesson.

What a sweet day! Do you paint like me or are you a "real painter"?

Breakfast Room Chairs Slipcover Tutorial

 I am so into slip covers with pleats.  I made a slipcover/tablecloth for my dining room table with pleats you can find here.  I need to redo the tablecloth pics. Let's just say I have learned a lot about using my DSLR since starting this blog!  I made a slipcover with pleats for my ottoman here.  I love pleats!  It's kind of like the new modern ruffle if you know what I mean.

My breakfast room chair cushions are a mess!  I have recovered them so many times I have lost count.  So I decided to do a little slipcover that can be easily taken off and washed.

I used a dropcloth from Lowe's as my fabric.  It is a very pretty oatmeal color.  I washed it in hot water with bleach and dried it on high.  It came out with a very nubby texture.

I started by laying my chair cushion on top of the fabric and traced around it making the base of the slipcover.

I left a little extra on the sides, about a 2 in. overhang.  

Because of the way the cushion and the back of the chair meet I had to make the slipcovers with a little space to tuck in there that didn't have pleats so it wouldn't be too thick and the cushion would still go on the chair.  I placed the 'base' of the slipcover on the chair and tucked in the back so I could see where I needed to place the pleats.

I then measured for the piece of fabric that would be the pleats in the back.  I think I have my ruler upside down.  Oh well, moving along, I measured the perimeter of the rest of the cushion since that would be all one piece.  I doubled these measurements to ensure I had enough fabric to make all of the pleats.  Got that?  I had to make two different strips of pleats because of my chair.  If your chair is not like this you can just cut one strip that is twice the length of the perimeter of your chair.

I cut strips of fabric 5 1/2 in. wide by the doubled measurements for the perimeter.  I zig zagged one of the edges and folded it over to finish the edge.  I then folded the strips in half to self line the pleats.  This makes it so much easier than hemming and makes the pleats fuller and lay better.  I always self line any pleats or ruffles I make.  That way there's no hemming!  Who wants to hem anyway?

I was moving from table to table doing this project.  Forgive the pics.  I am working on it.

To make the pleats I folded the fabric over 2in.  You can make yours however wide you want them.  I wanted a more casual look and I think the small pleats look better for my breakfast room. After measuring the first one I just eyeballed the rest.

And this is what a row of pleats looks like! Love!

I then took my row of pleats and pinned them right sides together to the 'base' of the slipcover.

I sewed the pleats all the way around on three sides and then sewed the strip for the back. Note again: the way my cushion fits into my chair I had to leave space on two corners in order to fit the fabric on the cushion and slide it into place on the chair.  If your chair cushion is not like this you can sew one piece completely around and it will make it much easier.

I zig zagged all of the edges and then pressed everything to make it nice and neat.

I made these slipcovers to help change the look of my breakfast room.  I am lovin' the new look!  You can see my breakfast room here.

Pleats here, there, everywhere! I'm already planning my next slip covers...mmmm...

Have you made any slipcovers with pleats?

Breakfast Room Reveal!

I have been working on a little breakfast redo.  My breakfast room was painted Tobacco Road.  The table and chairs were dark brown.  And I had a toile valance above the window.  I did like it for a while but decided I needed to lighten up the room. 

These are the before pics... They were taken before I knew how to work my SLR :)

And this is the after...

The walls got a fresh coat of Cream Fleece by Benjamin Moore  I love this color!  It's light but still warm.  

My valance is gone that took only about 20 hours to sew.  My windows now have crisp blue and white panels hanging.  BUT I'm rethinking the panels because the print is a little too modern and it's just not me.  Although the colors are beautiful.  I think I am still going to stick with blue and white just something a little more traditional.  I haven't changed out the light fixture. That's definitely next on  my list.

My poor table that has at least 15 coats of paint on it in various colors that I'd like to forget was transformed with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint with a little distressing. It looks really white in the pics but actually it's a soft beautiful antique or heirloom white.

The wall, which had nothing on it, now has a blue painted plate shelf filled with old tarnished silver, pewter, and china.  I really love the mix of old and new.

My chairs even received a little sprucing up with some pleated slip covers.  This is my favorite thing in the room.  I love them! 

And in my pitcher are white irises.  The first cut flowers from my garden! They are extra special flowers because they once were growing in my mother's garden.  

What do you think of the changes?  Are you more of a warm or cool color person? Traditional or more modern?  I fall somewhere in the middle. I will be sharing the tutorial on the slipcovers very soon.  

 Linking to  Between Naps on the Porch   Nutmeg Place   The Girl Creative   

Mercury Glass Bottle Lamp Tutorial

I bought this clear glass lamp at Target.  These lamps look as if they have a glass bottle for the base. It sat on my desk for weeks before I could decide what to do with it.  At first, I wanted to paint/stain the glass and make it look like a demijohn lamp.  Then I thought about doing the mercury glass thing that everyone has done except for me.  I know there are a lot of mercury glass lamps out there right now.  But I wanted a lamp in the shape of a bottle and everything I found was so expensive!  So I settled on the mercury glass.  I'm so glad I did!

I read several tutorials on spraying glass with Krylon Looking Glass paint and just went for it.  I sprayed the inside of the lamp with the paint.  I let it dry for a couple of minutes.  This is the really neat part.  You can literally watch it dry and turn into a mirror finish.  It does this fast!

I then sprayed the inside with a solution of vinegar and water. After waiting about a minute I used a napkin and carefully wiped away the paint in random places.  And that was it!

It really is that simple! I made some flowers out of fabric and added them to the shade.  You can find that tutorial here.  I love the way it turned out!

Have you 'made' any mercury glass? 

 I have completely made over my breakfast room.  I went from Tobacco Road to Benjamin Moore Cream Fleece.  I will post about that tomorrow!

Linking to the Following Parties
It's Overflowing
DIY Home Sweet Home
Blue Cricket Design
Savvy Southern Style
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Home Stories A to Z
Uncommon Designs
Creatively Living
The NYMelrose Family
Home Happy Home
The Not So Functional Housewife
The Rooster and the Hen
Our Delightful Home

Fabric Flower Tutorial for My Lamp Shade

There are fabric flowers everywhere!  I finally made some to go on a lamp shade.  I know there are one hundred tutorials out there on how to make these.  I'd like to add one little more.

Hot glue gun
Fabric of your choice (I used muslin and burlap)
Pearls (optional)

Cut your fabric into two inch wide strips.  Mine were 2 in. wide and around 54 in. long. The length really depends on how large you want the flowers to be.  How tightly you wind the fabric will also factor into the size.  I like mine loose.  I ended up using only one strip of fabric per flower. The muslin was easy to make loose flowers with but the burlap turned out a tighter flower.

Start by tying a knot at one end of your strip of fabric.

 Then, twist the fabric and glue it.  Keep going around and around twisting and gluing until you're happy with the size of the flower.

 Glue the pearls to the center and that's it!  There are so many ways to use these.  I attached mine to a lamp shade.  Didn't it turn out pretty? Love!!

This shade is on a mercury glass bottle lamp. The tutorial for the lamp is here.

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