Monday, July 30, 2012

6 DIY Autumn Decorations Under $6!

I really wanted to participate in the Autumn talent scouting contest over at Whisperwood Cottage, but I didn't really have very many Fall decorations.

So I came up with 6 fun projects for under $6 a piece!

The first project is this big, fun "Pumpkins Apples Hayrides" sign. Believe it or not, this baby was FREE! I already had the paint and paintbrushes on hand from other projects, and the board/ cabinet door/ not sure what it is... was Free at a yard sale! I really loved the frame and the grooves in it, and I knew right when I saw it that I wanted to make a sign out of it.
{Update: Tutorial Here}

I actually have a tutorial in the works for this sign including a free copy of the design if anyone is interested in making it. I will be posting it soon.

{Update: Tutorial Here}

I have also had a few people ask for a tutorial of how I paint/distress wood to make it look like it is really old {like my lamp project here}. I love it when it looks like it has layers and layers of worn paint! That will be included in the sign tutorial as well.

My second Autumn decor idea was {of course-- I love them!} one of my vintage book page pinwheel banners. This time, I made it out of a book I already had in my stash with a really great patina, which I thought was perfect for fall decor {I just remembered that the guy gave this book to me for free because it was "ruined" haha...}. Did you know that a lot of the books that were published during WWII here in the United States have this patina? I heard that the quality of paper had something to do with the ration on paper at the time.

I already had all of these supplies on hand so this project was free for me as well. But, you can pick up books like this at thrift stores for a couple of dollars if you keep an eye out. So, if you are looking to make a banner with a lot of character and charm, you can find one of those fun WWII era books with a great patina and follow my tutorial here.

My third project was two of these vintage napkin pennant banners {tutorial here}. I made one out of a set of beautiful vintage white cut work napkins I found for $1 at a thrift store. The other one, I made out of another set of vintage napkins that I found at the same thrift store, for $1, with cute embroidered Autumn-colored flowers. The seam binding cost $1.88 a piece which put the project's total cost at $5.76. I tea dyed the seam binding for the embroidered napkins and it matched perfectly with the aged color of the napkins.

Here are a few pictures of my dining room in all of its Autumn glory :). I replaced some of the more summer-colored things with items that had more of a fall feel including the basket, pretzel tin, gourds, and my last three projects.  

For my fourth project, I made this luminary out of some old wood I had in the backyard. {tutorial here} Lucky for me, my husband hadn't hauled it to the dump yet! Our neighbor's dog keeps eating holes in our fence and we keep replacing boards, so there was quite a nice little stash to choose from!

I have a tutorial in the works for this luminary as well. It is super simple to make if you have the drill bit to make the holes. My cost on this: Again, Free since I already had the supplies. But if you don't already have this drill bit, it only costs under $4 at Lowes.  

It is actually has a really great ambiance in person, which I think Fall decor is all about: warmth. Warm colors, warm rich textures, warm lighting, etc.
{Disclaimer: if anyone makes this, be sure to use enclosed glass, or battery operated, candles only under supervision so you don't burn your house down. I put my candle jars in the middle, and I had no problems}

My fifth project was refinishing this old tray that my fabulous friend found for me at a yard sale for $3. I used the same book pages as above so it would have that nice rich coloring.

First, I painted the tray with some paint I had on hand, and then I just Mod Podged the book pages right on. I recommend using two coats of Mod Podge, allowing time to dry in between.

My 6th and final project was actually one I made last fall when I got the urge to add warmth and natural textures to my home. I loved this burlap table runner so much, I have kept it on the table ever since! You can see the tutorial here.  The funny thing it that after I made it, I walked into Pottery Barn and saw the same exact thing selling for $50! Mine only cost me about $6 with a coupon at JoAnn Fabrics.

There you have it! 6 Autumn decor projects for under $6 a piece! I think it is so fun to add seasonal decor without spending a lot of money. A little creativity {and sometimes some junk from the backyard} goes a long way!

Thank you for reading!

Linking up:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Does This Look Like Dog Bedding to You?

The funniest thing happened the other day!

I went in to a local thrift store to look for some fun vintage linens for Ella's birthday party. When I finished making my purchases and left the building, something caught my eye in a bin outside.

Usually I avoid this bin. It is full of blankets that are too old and gross to be sold in the store. There is even a sign on it that says. "Great for Dog Bedding!"

Well, on top of the pile of blankets, rolled up in a wad with packing tape and a tag for $1.99 sat an adorable VINTAGE QUILT!

The condition was really, pretty good, it was clean and smelled good, and the hodge podge of vintage fabrics is so fun!

I don't know about your dogs, but my 120 pound Lab doesn't require any fancy bedding... as a matter of fact he demolishes any bedding he gets!

Who on earth thought this was meant for the throw away bin!?
(When my husband reads this, he will probably agree with that person...hahaha)

This is actually the 2nd time this has happened to me with vintage quilts (at two completely different thrift stores)!

My friends always shake their heads at me when I tell them stories like this.
They think I am some kind of human thrifting good luck charm.
I'm okay with that. If I could choose, I would rather have a beautiful singing voice or really nice legs, but hey, I will take it (:

This will not be our new dog bedding.... {shaking my head and smiling}
No, she will be our new picnic quilt. Ella and I love to have picnics {see one here}.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Scones with Fresh Picked Raspberries

I made my hubby scones this morning for breakfast.
With fresh, homemade whipped cream.
And fresh picked raspberries.


We picked a bunch of raspberries while we were visiting my in-laws a couple of days ago.
My mother in law has the most amazing garden and the raspberry bushes were just dripping with raspberries. I think I ate as many as I ended up putting in my bucket. Yes, straight off of the vine.

My hubby, Ella and I have been eating them ever since.

One of the many tastes of summer.

Just like Peonies, I look forward to when raspberries are in season. Isn't it funny how the things I look forward to the most are so fleeting? In a way, I think it is a good thing. It makes me stop, take a deep breath, and really admire the beauty of this life I have been blessed with.

Thank you to Knock Off Decor for featuring my Chalkboard Art Tutorial!
Also, have you seen the amazing giveaway over at Dreamy Whites? If only...
I hope you have a wonderful week!
I have so many projects in the works and I hope to share them soon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Isn't She Lovely?

Isn't she lovely?
This little mama (due very soon, by the way) was smiling at me as I took her picture.

We just returned from a little trip to my in-laws house where I took a bazillion pictures.
I love the country. Love it.

I hope to share some of my pictures with you this weekend.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ideas/ Opinions/ Fun Things for Ella's Big Day??

I am getting so excited for Ella's birthday party!
I have been planning here and there and even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it.
We are going to have an evening picnic in one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. I will definitely be taking a lot of pictures.
Of course her party will be full of vintage charm, and overall I just want it to be laid back and fun.
Here are a couple ideas that I love, love, love:

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So, here is a question for you, my blog friends! Have you seen anything on Pinterest/other blogs, along these lines, that you think my Ella would love for her birthday party?
Also, I will be taking her first year pictures here in the next week or so. Have you seen any picture inspiration that is to-die-for cute?
If so, would you mind leaving a comment with a link?
You all are the best!

Which reminds me, Thank you all so much for all of your sweet support with my new little blog. I have felt so much love and support that I am completely overwhelmed (in a good way!).

Thank you to Knock Off Decor for featuring my Burlap Table Runner {here}
and also a big thank you to the sweet Brenda from Cozy Little House for featuring my blog {here}!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{Simplified} Chalkboard Drawing Tutorial

How to Draw on a Chalkboard. How to create chalkboard art.

I have long admired the AMAZING chalkboard artwork by Dana Tanamachi. It is absolutely incredible what she can do with chalk! Well, I am far from being an artist of her caliber, so I have figured out how to {easily} create a simplified knock off version using a trick I learned in middle school. The first time I ever used this grid method was with a picture of charlie brown playing baseball. How do I remember that, when I can't ever remember where I put with my keys?

Anyhow, I thought I would share how I transferred my image into chalkboard art. If anyone is interested in using the one I designed using a fun Audrey Hepburn quote, you can copy and paste the one below into your own document. It is my gift to you : ).

First, I printed my image onto a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Then I folded it in half and half and half again in both directions to make my 8x8 grid marks. I took my ruler and went over the lines with a pencil just to make the lines a little easier to see.

OK, this is the only kind of tricky part of the whole process, but it really isn't too bad. Chances are, your chalkboard is not the same dimensions {or ratio} as your sheet of paper. In order to make sure my drawing area had the same exact ratio as my paper, you can see in the picture below that I had to cut 1 1/2 inches off of each side. In order to figure that out, I used this equation.

So once I marked my outside lines on my board, I was ready to fill in my grid lines. In the picture below, you can see that my rectangle has two sides that are marked with chalk and the other 2 sides are the frame itself. Then I just divided my box into evenly spaced lines, creating boxes 8 wide by 8 tall.

The hard part is over!

Next, I just kept looking at my sheet of paper that I had folded up and, box by box, began to fill in my drawing. The grid lines help you to tackle your drawing little by little, ensuring you keep a good scale. On some of the areas that are a little trickier, I outlined it in dots before I filled it in with a good chalk line. This is a magical trick! It works so well!

I continued to fill in the rest of my drawing.

Now this part is REALLY important....
I had to ignore all of those little perfectionist voices in my head and just draw the darn thing.
Trust me, you are your worst critic. Your drawing won't be perfect when you are done, but it isn't supposed to be. It is a chalkboard drawing, and you are not Dana Tanamachi, so don't look at it too much.... just draw! :)

When it came to the more detailed lettering, I outlined it first to get my spacing right and then added the details later. That is the beauty of chalk, you can tweak it as much as you need to.

When I filled in my letters, I just drew a little with the chalk and then smudged it, nice and evenly.

After I finished with all of my lettering, I went back and tweaked everything a little to get it the way I wanted.... And then I cut myself off after a while... I kept saying to myself, "It doesn't have to be perfect!"

I finished by finishing off my scrolling, tweaking it a little as well. Again, I used the dotting technique.

When I was happy with my drawing, I went back through and used baby wipes to erase my grid lines. You could use whatever you want here... wet Q-Tips, wet rag, etc.  

Once I was done erasing my grid lines, I added a quick border. I felt like it made my drawing a little more complete. At this point, have as much fun as you want with it! 

Finished! It really wasn't that hard, I promise!

If you want to keep it from getting smudged, just lightly spray it with hairspray. It will help your drawing resist smudging and washes right off with a little soapy water!

I hung it back on my wall in the entry way.

Is it perfect? Definitely not.
Could I have spent a little more time to make it better? Absolutely!
Will I? Nope.
I will enjoy her until the next season when she will get a new look!

If you would like to see a lot of fun chalkboard eye candy/ chalkboard inspiration, you can visit my Pinterest board here.

You may also enjoy these free templates {click on the picture to be taken to the post}:

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for reading!

P.S. I was trying to take pictures of the chalkboard without the glare, and Ella came running in her little walker right in front of me! This girl makes me laugh every day!