11/21 Seasonal/Holiday

Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Table

This year will be my first time hosting a Thanksgiving dinner and it’s only right that I decorate for it!  I’m still going home to my mom’s on Thanksgiving day (mom’s food is the best food), but my friends and I organized a potluck dinner this weekend to celebrate thanks together.  Hence the “Friends-giving” sign you see on my table :).

I set up my dining table to be buffet-style with the decorations pushed to the back so that friends can place the dishes they bring at the front.

Table runner

I laid down some burlap with this polka dot kraft wrapping paper on top to serve as a runner.  I got the wrapping paper at Marshalls without knowing if I’d have a use for it and am so glad I did!  Can’t say no to polka dots.

Chalkboard

This chalkboard used to be a picture frame.  I got it at Marshalls (are you noticing a trend here?) to put some artwork in it, but the second I brought it home I dropped it on the floor and shattered the glass :(.  I kept the frame and it bothered me terribly, so I turned it into a chalkboard.  All I did was cut out a piece of poster board, apply a few layers of chalkboard paint, and place it in the frame that I spray painted gold.  And not going to lie… but that arrangement of marigolds is mostly there to help keep the chalkboard standing straight.  Resourceful, indeed!

Pumpkin stands

I made these display stands with dollar store candle holders!  You can find the tutorial at The Thinking Closet.  I love how Lauren used Looking Glass spray paint, which is what I was initially going to use as well, but I went with white spray paint instead since I think it fits better with the decor.

If you were wondering about that mini white pumpkin, it is the lone survivor from my gold dipped pumpkin vase centerpiece.  Still going strong!

Medallions

The paper medallions ended up being my favorite part.  I made them with card stock, which is a sturdier alternative to tissue paper.  That wall between the two windows in my kitchen has remained bare since the day I moved in and I haven’t been able to figure out what to put there.  For now, I like the idea of changing it out regularly with decorations (foreshadowing??????).

As for the centerpiece and candle holders on the table, I’ve already written posts about those so check them out if you’d like!

I hope you’re all inspired to add your own special touches to Thanksgiving this year!  Stay thankful, my friends (said in the voice of the most interesting man in the world.  I really hope y’all know what I’m talking about haha!)

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11/18 DIY Projects

DIY Gold Vinyl Coasters

DIY Gold Vinyl Coasters

Before getting these coasters, I had a set of six that would occasionally get outnumbered by the amount of people that came over.  With the holidays coming up, this dilemma is likely to occur more often, so I decided to prepare ahead of time and make sure that extra guests will have a cute and stylish coaster to place their drinks on top of.  Priorities, people!  ;)

Coasters and gold adhesive vinyl

I used adhesive gold vinyl, which you can get here (affiliate link), and cork coasters that I got from here (affiliate link).  The coasters are a bit on the thin side, but it doesn’t bother me.  For the price I think they’re great, and you can easily double up on the coasters by gluing them together if you want them to be thicker.  As for the vinyl, if  I didn’t already have it I would have just used some gold paper from the craft store and applied it with Mod Podge.  You can do the exact same steps I’m about to show you but with paper and Mod Podge instead if you’d like!

Using a pencil, I traced out one of the coasters on the backside of the adhesive vinyl and drew out my design.

Coaster design

Then I cut out the pieces with scissors and applied them to the coaster.

Gold vinyl coaster

How easy is that??  The hardest part is coming up with the designs, but that’s also the funnest part.  For the final step, I applied a layer of Mod Podge on top to seal in and protect the vinyl.

DIY Gold Vinyl Coasters 6

I used lever punches for the polka dots and the large scalloped circle, but everything else I drew by hand, which wasn’t difficult at all since I kept the designs simple.

May I also mention that these would make a fantastic gift??

Coasters gift wrapped

I tied the stack of coasters together with green ribbon and added a gift tag that I cut out from a scrap piece of cardboard.  At the end of the tag I applied a piece of black and white striped Washi tape.  Sometimes I wish I could keep things tied in bows all the time, as impractical as that is, but bows are just so cute.

Which coaster design is your favorite?  I’m curious to know!

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11/15 DIY Projects

A Handmade Holiday Link Party

 

It’s time to link up all of YOUR handmade holiday goodness! Yummy recipes, handmade gift ideas, gorgeous wrapping, ornaments, advents, decor and more – we want to see it all!

Your links will be shared across four blogs, and we will be pinning and sharing our favorite projects on our blogs and social media sites right up until Christmas. Follow our Handmade Holiday group boards for loads of festive inspiration.

We’d love if you used the links below to follow along with us so you don’t miss any highlights or features!


Amy at Delineate Your Dwelling
Corey at Tiny Sidekick
Amy at Homey Oh My!
Alexis at Persia Lou

 
And if you wanted to grab a button for your sidebar, it would be like an early Christmas gift! :)


 

Remember! This link party is staying open until December 22nd, so make sure to keep coming back to link up all your holiday projects! Now let’s get linking!



11/12 DIY Projects

DIY Fabric Lid Boxes

Fabric Lid Boxes

Something I love just as much as repurposing is upcycling- taking something old or disposable and making it new and beautiful.  Now these cardboard boxes I had are pretty nice, and far from being considered trash, but the one problem I had with them is the color.  There are very few instances where I prefer the color pink, and this isn’t one of them.

Boxes before

I love the simple design of the boxes and the quality is higher than most, but they just weren’t me.  So how do I make something more me?  I paint it gold, baby.

I spray painted the boxes with my favorite gold spray paint leaving the lids aside for later.

 Gold painted boxes

 Next I placed a box lid on top of my fabric and marked in pencil a larger rectangle around it.  I drew the lines at a distance of about ¾” longer than the height of the sides of the lids.  These are the fabric flaps that are going to wrap over the sides of the lid.

Fabric markings

 The above photo isn’t the most perfect angle to show this, but the red lines show where I made my pencil markings.  It’s better to refer to the left side of the photo since the lid is covering the right side of the fabric more.  An important thing to note is that I measured about a half inch of excess fabric on the longer sides of the fabric so that they can wrap around the corners (I’ll show you that in a bit).  The reason I did this is to ensure that the corners are completely covered without any exposure to the pink underneath it.

Below is my fabric piece with red markings again to show where I cut.  You’ll notice that the horizontal red lines on the left and right sides go in further to create little slits at the corners.

Fabric piece

I applied Mod Podge on the inner edges of the long sides of the lids and tightly wrapped the fabric flaps over.  I did the same thing on the short sides of the lids but did one extra step first.  Remember the excess fabric I measured out with the slit in the corners?  I applied Mod Podge under them and folded them over the lid corners as shown by the red arrows below.

Side flaps

After those were secure, I tightly wrapped and Mod Podged the remaining fabric flap over.  I repeated it on the other side and then repeated all steps with the second lid.  After letting the Mod Podge dry, I reunited the lids with their boxes.

Fabric lid boxes 2

Fabulous.  I’m in love with the fabric I picked too.  I think what made this project easier is that my fabric didn’t have any straight lines or patterns.  The random, confetti-like placements of the white dots allowed me the luxury of not having to care about how I laid out the fabric.

And lastly… How could I not mention the potential of this being a great gift idea?

Fabric lid boxes tied with ribbon

Empty boxes never looked so good to me!  Wrap around some ribbon and tie it into a bow and you’ve got yourself an insta-gift with whatever you want (or don’t want) to put inside of the boxes.  I’m SO giddy about the way the green ribbon looks with these boxes.

Did you know green is my favorite color?  You might be thinking, “Wait, I thought it was gold,” which I’m very grateful that you’ve been paying attention, but to me gold is in a category of its own.  It’s a lifestyle.  So if for some reason we are caught in a life or death situation that requires you to know what my favorite color is, it’s green :).

Thanks for stopping by!

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11/04 DIY Projects

DIY Monogrammed Cup

 Monogrammed cup

November is here!  This month is all about Thanksgiving frenzy but it’s also the time to start thinking about that other big holiday…  I’m talking about planning for Christmas gifts.  If you’re like me and want to avoid the mall at all costs during the month of December, now is the time to start figuring out those gifts.  This is especially important if you’re going the DIY route, because let’s be real- these projects don’t always turn out as planned, and if you have a lot gifts to make, it’s always better to start sooner to give yourself more wiggle room.

This monogrammed cup can be a really easy project if you use a pre-made adhesive stencil, but I’m going to show you how you can make your own stencil in case you want to go with a unique font or a design (or if you don’t feel like buying a pack of alphabet stencils).

I made my stencil from one of these mailing label stickers.

Mailing labels

The decision to use these was a spontaneous one.  I didn’t even know I had them when I came across them in my desk drawer, and the light shined down and I heard a voice say, “Use it to make a stencil.”

Print the monogram on a piece of paper in a font you like to your desired size and tape it with painters tape to one of the mailing labels.

Monogram taped

Working on top of a cutting mat, cut out the letter with an X-acto knife.  If your letter has a hole in it like the letter “A”, cut that piece out first and save it since you will need to apply it later.

Remove the paper and you should be left with the mailing label stencil with the letter cut out of it. Peel it off and apply it to your cup.

 Monogram stencil applied

As I mentioned earlier, if your letter has a hole in it, that piece you initially cut out will need to be applied free-handed since it’s a floating piece.  It took me several tries to apply it just right.

This next step is the most important part.  Use a dauber or any foam material that allows you to dab on the acrylic paint.  I used Martha Stewart Satin Acrylic Paint in Beetle Black , which has a slight sheen to its finish.

Paint dauber

There are two reasons for why daubing is important.  First, it helps minimize the paint from otherwise being brushed under the stencil edges, thus will help you achieve cleaner lines.  Secondly, paint slips and slides on a surface like this ceramic cup and if you use a bristle brush, you’ll find that the paint applies unevenly and will require multiple coats in order to get opaque coverage with even texture.  Not with a dauber.  I only needed to apply one coat to get the color opaque.

Remove the stencil while the paint is still wet.  The first time I tried this project, I applied two layers of paint and had to wait for it to dry in between layers, so when I removed the stencil, it stripped off some of the paint with it  .  So, it is super important that you apply one good coat of paint and remove the stencil immediately.  Lesson learned.

Finally, you can either cure the paint by air-drying for 21 days or by baking it.  The directions are to place the cup in the oven before turning it on to 350 degrees.  Once the oven reaches 350, bake the cup for 30 minutes before turning the oven off.  Leave the cup in the oven until it is completely cooled down before removing (This takes hours.  Go run errands or do this before you go to bed.)  Your monogrammed cup should now be dishwasher safe!

Monogrammed cup held

I’ll be honest- this cup is a gift to myself  .  If I were to gift it to someone else however, I think it would be cute to put in a small bag of baked goodies tied with a bow (yay bows!) or you could keep to the theme of the cup and put in packets of hot cocoa or coffee with cute stirrers. This could even be re-purposed as a pencil cup to place on your desk, which is how I might use mine.

Get working on those gifts!  And of course, don’t forget to get yourself a little something as a reward for all that hard work  .  Treat yo’self.

 

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10/31 Seasonal/Holiday

Fall Decorating with Liquidambar

Every fall, there comes a point where I unwillingly accept that I can’t wear just t-shirts anymore and need to start wearing a jacket.  I drag on this realization for days, freezing at work because I refused to wear layers or running errands without the use of my arms because they’re crossed together so tightly in the attempt to contain my warmth.  I’ve been spoiled by Cali weather.  It truly is the best, where “cold” is considered anything under 70 degrees.

This is the complete opposite of where I grew up.  Chicago, where I spent the first 18 years of my life, has the most unpredictable weather that goes to the extremes.  I don’t miss the snow storms or the intense humidity in the summers, but there is one thing I miss about the weather- how it shows the changing seasons.  In particular, I think about the leaves changing color in the fall.

Liquidambar arrangement

I saw these liquidambar branches at Trader Joe’s and an instant memory of the street I grew up on came to mind.  The neighborhood would be swimming in red and orange leaves every fall (leaves I would have to begrudgingly rake but it’s all good).  It was a beautiful sight, and it’s something I haven’t seen here on the west coast.  I just had to have these tree branches and bring a piece of traditional fall into my home.

Blue vase

I arranged the branches in this beautiful blue vase because I adore the way oranges and reds look with blue.  The vase was also on clearance at Michaels and I can’t say no to a gorgeous find on clearance.  *high-five*

Liquidambar styling

The arrangement is sitting pretty on my console table next to my H&M Candle Holders and it brings me warmth and joy at the sight of it.  It’s a much needed infusion of fall color in my home and makes the fall season feel more official to me in a nostalgic way  .

Have a spectacular Halloween and a merry fall.  Thank you so much for visiting me today!

 

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