DIY Arrow Picture Mobile

I am obsessed with using arrows in my home decorating right now. Maybe not as obsessed as I am with burlap (which made this arrow & burlap art from a couple weeks ago a double-win), but definitely feeling it. I think they are perfect for valentine’s day, but can be non-seasonal at the same time, which means I don’t have to pack something away after displaying it for just a few weeks. And this project combines my love for arrows with another unique way to display some of my favorite photos!

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Here are the supplies you need to make your own arrow picture mobile:

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Wooden Skewers (we use these to do veggies on the grill, so I’ve got a whole bunch in my pantry)

Feathers (mine are mixed earthy colors)

Twine

Felt

Wooden Beads

Pictures (I displayed some of my favorite new prints from a recent Social Print Studio order, as well as three more polaroid prints from Marianne Hope (they were in the same ‘love’ set that I used in this picture display).

Kraft Paper Heart Gift Tags (these are from the Target Dollar Spot!)

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To make the arrows, tie three feathers to one end of the wooden skewer with twine. Thread a bead or two onto the dowel, and hot glue triangles of felt to the other end to form the arrow head.

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Once I had three arrows made, I connected them with long pieces of twine – doing my best to keep everything even & well balanced. Then you’re ready to clip on your pictures!

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The little clothes pins are from the Target dollar spot, too.

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I tied the little kraft paper heart gift tags onto each arrow for the “cupid’s arrow” effect, and I could easily take them off after Valentine’s Day. The overall effect is not very Valentines-y, though, so I may very well just leave it as it is!

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And, by the way, Social Print Studio is the most amazing photo printing service ever! It is such an easy way to print your Instagram pics, or any other photos you have on your phone, straight from their iPhone app. I’ve ordered their beautiful, matte finish 4×4 prints several times (last year I made a bunch of prints from our wedding & put them in a fun little book). The quality & the price are amazing, and the shipping speed is awesome too!

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Right now this is hanging in our living room, though I have a feeling I am going to move it to the bedroom once we paint & redecorate (in a month or two). And of course, the pictures are completely interchangeable, too!

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Well, I hope you liked this fun project! Thanks for stopping by!

Burlap + Arrows Canvas

This was an incredibly easy project – and a great way to finally make use of the giant canvas I had in my closet for over a year. I bought it during a sale at Michael’s, but had a hard time committing to how I wanted to use it. Every time I saw it in my closet, I felt its blank whiteness staring back at me and begging me to put it to use! So here is how I made this campy burlap arrow art that I showed you yesterday in my wintry, sorta valentine-sy vignette.

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I started by covering the canvas with a big piece of burlap (which I cut free handed to fit inside the canvas – I wanted the rustic look of the rough & uneven edges). I used both spray adhesive and mod podge to secure it to the canvas.

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I started by applying a heavy coat of mod podge to one edge of the burlap with a foam brush – from about an inch from the burlap edge to the end of the canvas.

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Then I rolled the burlap up and covered the canvas with spray adhesive, and then stretched the burlap back out, smoothing it with the palms of my hands. I then applied mod podge around the other three edges.

Once everything dried, I used a black sharpie to draw the design.

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I went over the design a couple times to make it nice and dark.

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I am seriously lacking in the art department – but since this only required drawing a bunch of straight lines, I felt like I could manage. It’s so simple and handmade looking… which I kind of love.

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Do you have any blank canvases sitting in your closet just waiting to be turned into art? Well get cracking – it’s a new year & a perfect time to create some new original art for your home! And let me know what you’ve created lately, I’d love to see!

Burlap + Ribbon Tree Wall Hanging

Yup, you guessed it… more burlap!

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I made this wall hanging from my large assortment of Christmas ribbon. It took about 15 minutes to determine the layout, cut my ribbons, and hot glue them onto a rectangle of burlap.

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I only burnt myself twice on the hot glue gun, so I’ll go ahead and chalk this one up as an epic success.

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Our Christmas tree, as you can see, is burlap, gold + red, plus a whole assortment of woodland creatures. It’s rustic and glittery all at once, like this ribbon tree, and that makes my heart happy.

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I glued a strip of cardboard to the top of the burlap, and then glued on a piece of jute twine to hang the art. Easy as they come, folks – and if you’ve got a bunch of ribbon & burlap, like me, it will be completely free!

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I’m off to enjoy a weekend in NYC with the hubby – there will be lots of eating, drinking, window shopping, and jostling through crowds! I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Handmade Burlap Stockings

You may or may not have noticed (depending on how loyally you follow my Instagram newsfeed…) that I am utterly obsessed with all things Burlap this Christmas season. A month or so ago, I was scouring Etsy with the hope of purchasing some burlap stockings to hang this year. I was about to purchase some, when I was struck with the brilliant idea of convincing my mother – who has legitimate sewing skills, unlike myself – to “help” me make my own handmade stockings.

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In the interest of full transparency, I should tell you that by ‘help’, I pretty much mean that she did ALL of the work. I supervised, which worked well for me as I quite like being in charge of things.

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According to my mother, who did the sewing, this is a fairly simple sewing project – and the rustic & homey feel of burlap really takes the pressure off trying to create something “perfect”. The imperfections are the beauty of it, don’t you think?

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It was also very special to me to do this little mother-daughter project. My Mommom, who passed away this past winter, made beautiful hand-knitted stockings for her children, her children’s husbands, and her grandchildren over the years as her family grew. Even though these simple little burlap stockings will probably not become permanent fixtures in my family Christmases, I know that my mother and I both felt slightly closer to her as we worked together on this project. I am so grateful that the tradition of creating handmade items for our homes and family members is one that will continue in our family – in whatever form it takes.

Our process was not super technical, but if you’d like to create your own burlap stockings, here’s how:

First, collect your supplies:

Burlap (a few yards depending on how many you’ll be making)

Cotton or Muslin for the lining

Paper for creating a pattern

Fabric Scissors, straight pins & a sewing machine (or hand sew them w/ a needle and thread!)

To create our pattern, we just traced a random red stocking we had on hand onto a paper bag.

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We added a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. The pattern for the lining material had an extra 4 inches at the top, for the cuff fold over.

Using straight pins to secure the pattern, I cut two pieces at a time (you need two lining & two burlap shapes per stocking). I was really good at the cutting part, and that was pretty much all that I contributed to this project.

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Next, my mother sewed together the inner & outer pieces, including a small hem at the top of the liner that would fold over to create the cuff. Stanley, my parents’ Siamese cat, posed for a little photo shoot while my mother did the work.

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I chose not to attach the liner to the burlap stocking, since the cuff held both pieces together pretty well. This way I can always change the inner or outer material (in case I make myself completely sick of burlap sometime down the road… which is not likely!)

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I attached a jute twine loop with a safety pin (so it is also interchangeable), and pinned through both layers to add some extra security.

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I added some unpainted wooden letters with our initials (including Emma, of course – her stocking will be stuffed with bacon flavored treats and squeaky creatures).

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Then, I used my only-daughter-charm to convince my father to cut a branch off of one of the trees in my parent’s back yard. Since we do not have a mantle to hang our stockings from, I turned the donated branch into my stocking hanger!

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I’m totally smitten. And the best part is that I only spent around $10 on the white muslin and wooden letters, and had everything else that we needed on hand! (That cute felt garland, by the way, was an awesome Target grab a few weeks ago).

What kind of stockings did you hang this year? If you, like me, don’t have a mantle to hang them from, what creative ways do you find to display them in your house? Filling my husband’s stocking with goofy little things is one of my favorite Christmas activities, and I can’t wait to do it again this year!

Canning Jar Lid Christmas Garland

My three favorite things about this project are: 1) it is adorable, 2) it was SO easy to make, and 3) it did not cost me a dime!

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Unbelievably, I still had a collection of canning jar lids & rings even after making my canning jar ring pumpkin. I’ve also had a set of Martha Stewart Adhesive Alphabet Silk Screens sitting untested in my collection of craft supplies for over a year (picked up at Michael’s with a different project in mind, but never put to use).

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And yes, in case you are wondering, I DID want to make this garland with burlap at first. But after some experimenting, I found that the intricate design of the silkscreen letters was difficult to achieve in a crisp fashion on burlap. So instead I used some leftover white muslin.

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I covered each jar lid with fabric, hot gluing it into place on the back of the lid. Then I used some Habeñero (“spicy” red?) Martha Stewart craft paint (from my paint stash) and a foam pouncer to gently apply each silk screen stencil to the fabric.

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Once the paint dried, I secured the lid into the ring with a few dots of hot glue. Then I racked my brain to try to figure out how to hang my pretty jar lid letters in a garland. I did some thinking, got discouraged, ate a spoonful of Nutella right out of the jar (come on, like you haven’t done that?), and voilà, inspiration struck! Oh, the magical powers of Nutella.

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I hot glued some silver jingle bells to the top of each ring, and was then able to thread my red & white baker’s twine through the top of the bells to make my garland!

And then there was much rejoicing. And patting myself on the back for being so clever. And asking my husband if he thought I was so very clever. And rewarding myself with, yes, just one more spoonful of Nutella straight from the jar.

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Easy, cheap, and cute – just how I like ’em! (My crafts, that is, don’t get fresh). So why don’t you put your spare canning jar lids to use and make your own pretty garland? I think I may hang mine in my kitchen, since its semi food-related and all.

My Workspace // Progress

Last week, half of our bedroom looked like this:

messyroomThe desk was a hand-me-down from my husband’s parents, and is a super nice, sturdy piece of furniture that I just can’t bring myself to get rid of – even though it isn’t quite my style. But style or no, this desk has not been a usable workspace for a long, long time. It has pretty much been a dumping ground for anything and everything (although it doesn’t look quite this messy on a daily basis, this picture was taken after I unloaded & removed a big bookcase that just wasn’t working for me (it’s headed to our next garage sale) – so the desk is covered in some books & random items that had lived on that bookcase.

I wanted to re-work my desk area, to make it not only usable, but an attractive & inspirational workspace for me to sit and do school work, blogging, etc. I also wanted to create an inviting reading nook in the corner where I have my newly DIY-ed re-upholstered chair, since that space gets great sunlight.

So I’ve been busily working for days – filling garbage bags, re-thinking my desk & filing system, re-organizing books and binders full of music and school materials, crafting some solutions (like my drawer-organizers-turned-shelves), and hanging pretty artwork.

By Sunday, the room looked like this:

progressandnotesNearly completed, but still too cluttered. I also wanted a replacement for that very officey-looking filing cart. But I am IN LOVE with my newly decorated walls.

workspaceThe fun new ‘shelves’ are great for stashing craft & office supplies, and the white organizer is a collection of pieces from Martha Stewart’s Wall Manager office organization line. The interchangeable pieces are customizable for your office needs. I’ve got a magnetic white board (featuring my two-cute-for words nephew & my brother’s save the date!) and a file folder for pertinent items (like paperwork for all of my name-changing steps on credit cards, passport, etc.), a ‘clip & lock’ caddy and clips for coupons & reminders.

MSWallOrganizerAbove this organization-zone are some of my favorite pieces of art – both of which I’ve had since I was in college, traveling with me to all of my different homes. The cheerful flower arrangement is a Picasso print that makes me smile all day long, and the smaller print is one of my favorites – a Brian Andreas StoryPeople piece that reminds me to take pleasure in letting go every now and then.

BrianAndreasMy desk is sporting lots of fun desk-type stuff. (I am seriously in. love. with office supplies. As in, I dream about a Christmas stocking full of binder clips and post-it notes.)

WorkspaceProgress2I’ll show you what’s going on on the desktop in more detail later this week. But how amazing are those two watercolor prints hanging above my desk? I snagged those from Joss & Main a few weeks back – mostly because they made me think of springtime & happiness. They are by the super talented Laura Trevey of Bright, Bold and Beautiful, an amazing blog full of fantastic ideas for home decorating. You can add some of her beautiful work to your own home by checking out her Etsy shop! (I am particularly in love with this Essie nail polish painting & this seafoam green watercolor crab).

DeskWallI love the cheery colors of these beauties. They are just what I needed to make this space fresh & inviting. Adding to the inspiration are the photos and things pinned up to my bulletin board (the edge of which I covered in washi tape).

BulletinBoard2I love looking up from my desk to pictures of family, friends, and naturally, my hubba hubs. A little Audrey Hepburn doesn’t hurt when you’re in need of inspiration, either – and that is a square canvas print found at Michael’s for $1. Score. The Washi Tape Initial C was an easy project, and the map is a drawing of the historical grist mill turned B&B where the hubs & I tied the knot.

So progress has surely been made – and there’s even more to come! See you soon!

Repurposed Drawer Organizers as Shelves

I love finding new and creative uses for everyday things. One of my goals for the makeover of my bedroom workspace/reading nook was to put something up on my empty walls. I had loads of prints waiting to be framed and hung, but I was in the market for something that could serve a dual purpose – look pretty on my wall, but also provide some storage and/or organizational purpose. When I came across these bamboo drawer organizers at TJ Maxx – for under $15 for the pair – I knew I’d found what I was looking for!

DrawerOrganizersThe smaller piece is one of those ‘expandable’ drawer organizers – but I pulled off the two expandable pieces. I used some grey geometric patterned shelf paper that I had on hand to line the cubbies in the smaller one, and left the pretty wood finish untouched in the larger one. You could have loads of fun with paint, paper, etc. to personalize something like this for yourself. Both of these drawers have a small lip on the bottom/back – which was perfect for hanging them on two nails up on the wall – and boom! Just like that, I had fun little shelves!

ShelfPaperAt first I wasn’t sure I wanted to hang the two shelves together, so I experimented with the smaller one and filled it with some makeup products.

HangingOrganizerI loved how adorable this looked, but ultimately decided to use both of my new shelves in my desk/workspace area.

DrawerShelvesI’ve filled them up with a variety of office and craft supplies – like washi tape, ribbon, pencils and clothespins. The jar holding the flowered pencils is a spice jar – the perfect size for the shallow shelves in the utensil drawer. The two little baby jars with white lids were at one time filled with honey (leftover favors from my bridal shower), and now are redecorated with ribbon and filled with thumbtacks & tags. The row of bakers twine is my favorite part of the whole setup. I’ve had that collection of multi-colored string in my craft closet for months, and I was so excited to find a way to display/dispense it so that I can have easier access!
TrayDrilledUsing a 1/4 inch drill bit, the hubs & I drilled two holes into the bottom partition of the utensil organizer. You can see the pencil marking guides that I made, as I measured specific placement for the dowel to line up with the holes in the twine spools.

BakersTwineI can pull the dowel from either end to take out an individual color, or just dispense the string right from the wall.

LabledDrawerShelfIt took almost no time at all to update both of these shelves, and the possibilities are pretty much endless for storage & decorating options!

Shelf3Here’s how they fit into my workspace area – which I’ll be sharing more details from in the days to come!
Workspace1What have you been up to around the house lately? Spring cleaning fever has definitely hit for me – I’ve been so motivated to organize & redecorate these past few weeks!