DIY Burlap Trees: A Quick Christmas Decor Project

Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner?! It’s such an exciting, yet busy time of year. Now, I don’t know about you, but I still have a bit of decorating to do. Ok, I still actually have a lot of decorating to do. It’s been a busy couple of weeks! So, if you still have a little decorating to do, or even if you don’t, you might enjoy this quick and easy Christmas DIY!

Materials not shown in the picture:

  • hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • red beads (or other decorations you may want to use)

Wrap the burlap strip around the capped -tree top-

Steps not show:

  1. I cut down two of the cones with a serrated kitchen knife, so the trees would be 3 different sizes.
  2. The cap for the tree was two squares of burlap glued on the top, overlapping.

Wrap the burlap strip around the capped -tree top- (1)

Wrap the burlap strip around the capped -tree top- (2)

Step not shown: Trim off any frayed parts that are sticking out more than you want them to. It’s burlap, so it’s going to have “unraveled” bits either way, but you can clean it up some once the tree is completely covered.

Wrap the burlap strip around the capped -tree top- (3)

After I had put on the silver garland, I decided I wasn’t a big fan of the ribbons I had originally thought to use. Instead, I added some red beads to imitate ornaments. I love how this turned out!

And that’s it! This project didn’t take much time at all to finish and is the perfect addition to my snowman collection!

Have you made any new decorations for Christmas? Are you all done decorating, or do you still have some left to do? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Sara (1)

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DIY Dessert Bowls

Are you hosting a meal this holiday season? Or maybe just would like some unique dessert bowls for a special dinner? Then these dessert bowls might be the perfect DIY to add to the tablescape!

These were inspired by this post by Jenna over at The Painted Apron and really got me thinking about something similar I could do to dress up my next special dinner! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you really should! She has some fantastic projects and so much more!

Draz (Formerly known as Boyfriend) doesn’t drink wine, so we didn’t really have a need for the wine glasses that were done in the inspiration post. But I do love making special desserts! So I pulled out my plain glass dessert bowls! (I have a set of 4)

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They are pretty, but also kinda plain. Now, I don’t have any golf leaf like in the other post, but I do have silver liquid leaf! I decided to basically allow it to drip as it would, creating a more organic design. My original idea involved putting dots on the bowl too, hence the sponge. I ended up decided those would be too much and I liked it the way it was, so the sponge wasn’t needed. Also, use a cheap paintbrush for this; it will be ruined when you are done!

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To get these drips, I loaded up the paint brush and ran it around the base in a thick line. Each bowl took at least 5-6 times reloading the paintbrush to get this effect.

After the drips dried in this direction, I turned over bowls and did drips the other direction as well.

And then they were done! Excluding drying time, this project takes less than 20 minutes of active work….perfect for a quick DIY before the holidays arrive!

I didn’t have any desserts on hand, but I did have this delicious post-workout smoothie! I love how the drips look around the food and can’t wait to see how they look with some mousse!

Do you like doing DIYs for the holidays? If so, are you making anything this year?

Sara (1)

 

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Creating a Craft Room: DIY Upcycled Cabinets and Using What You Have

I’m sure you have all seen beautiful, light-filled craft rooms on Pinterest and blogs, colorful and just waiting to inspire creativity. I have this dream craft room…second-story room, windows with a beautiful view, waist high island with lots of cubbies for storage, colorful and organized. Sadly that room is still a far off dream, but sometimes you have to make due with what you have!

For years I have hidden away materials, only dragging things out to the living room when I had a project (or five) that I was working on. I had a card table permanently overflowing with those materials…it was an eyesore. Finally, a few months back, I decided that was enough!

Now, our basement is not nice, or pretty. But it definitely will work for a craft space.

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I started off clearing out most of the stuff out of the back room and painting the walls. While these are not drywall or anything, the paint helped a lot! Then I upcycled a dresser for some extra storage. If you are interested in what I did for that and missed it, check out this post.

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I moved around some of the furniture and then started on these cabinets! My goal for this room was to use storage items that I already had around the house. Saving extra money is definitely something I’m aiming towards!

These cabinets have been hanging around the basement for YEARS….they were an ugly yellow color, beat up, stained and just overall icky.

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I wiped them down with a cleaning solution, lightly sanded them and painted them with primer. Then started on the white paint.

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Once these were all painted white, doors included, I started on the design I wanted on the top cabinet doors. This is where I had….a bit of a learning experience.

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See these doors? These almost done doors with the pretty fleur de lis? These doors were a learning experience. When painting a design on cabinet doors, it is very important to check which way is up! These doors are upside down. I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment when I went to hang my finished doors and realized I painted them upside down. So on went the primer and the white paint again, followed by repainting the fleur de lis the CORRECT way! I may have triple checked that they were the right way before I started repainting them.

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Finally, the cabinets are finished!

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As for the rest of the room, here is how the dresser is looking now.

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Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of work to do in this room. But it is so much better than it was! I have a space that I can work in, all my materials easily accessible, and now that I’m in the basement I don’t have to worry about glass shards and puppy paws!

Where do you do your crafting? Do you have a dedicated space for it? If so, how did you put it together? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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DIY Fall Decor: “Thankful” Flag Banner

How many of you love to decorate for the seasons, but don’t have much extra to spend on decor? Or maybe would just rather add that personal touch and make them yourself? I know I definitely fall into the first category, and usually into the second as well. I would love to have that wonderfully decorated, Pintrest-ready home, but I definitely don’t have the funds for that!

I try to get inspiration from a lot of places, and I’ve seen DIY burlap banners many times. When I wanted to make a fall banner like the ones I had seen, I didn’t have any burlap, but those are definitely what inspired this piece.

Continue on to see how I created a beautiful fall banner with only materials I had on hand!

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On the top, I measured out a dot every 4 inches. On the bottom, I first measured 2 inches in, then followed by measuring every 4 inches again. This allowed for roughly the same size and nice looking triangles.
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My 8 triangles after I cut them!
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Using a hot glue gun, I stretched deep purple fabric over the triangles. I glued down the long sides first and finished with the top. trimming the backs once I was done.
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Stencils were used to create the letters in bright red scrapbooking paper. I found another piece of scrapping paper that had a fall-colored lined design for the circles. I think they look pretty nice together! I was thrilled when I refound that circle cutter in my scrapbooking supplies too! I had completely forgot about it and it made cutting the circles so much easier!
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After lining them all up, I glued each set one by one. It took me a bit to figure out how to make sure the lines stayed where I wanted. I ended up holding the paper steady, turning them over and then tracing the triangle on the back of the circle. This allowed me to glue along the drawn lines, which kept the lines where I wanted them on the triangles!
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After tying a loop on the end of the twine, I glued it on to each corner of the triangle. This was probably the quickest part of this process!

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The finished product!

I really like how this turned out! I think I’m going to make a smaller one for the doorway, but I’m not sure what I want it to say yet. Any ideas?

Have you made any of your decor this year? Tried any new projects?

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Spray Painted Tray: Adding a Pop of Color to Your Decor!

Hey everyone! Do you like having a pretty display tray for your perfume, jewelry, or other such items? I know I do! I’ve had one tray for years for just that. I don’t remember where I got it, but I ended up putting it on top of my jewelry armoire and used it to corral my then-larger perfume collection. I’ve since pared that down quite a bit, but I still love that tray!

Well, mostly love that tray. I do love having a decorative glass tray, and the design of the tray is pretty. What I don’t love so much: the color. It’s this kinda off-gold, weird metal color.

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See!? Not the prettiest color, or at least not my preferred color. It looks silver-ish in some light, off-gold in others, but never very pretty. Anyone have any idea what color I could call this?

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Not only am I not fond of the color, but it definitely doesn’t go with the planned colors for our closet remodel (currently underway)!

Enter spray paint! I seriously have a new-found love for spray paint and all of the awesome things it can do. In this case, purple spray paint! DSCN0860_picmonkeyed But I’m getting ahead of myself…

So before painting, it’s important to tape off any areas that you don’t want the spray paint to, well, paint. I wanted to make sure that I got a good seal on the glass right up to the edge, so I started off with the tape actually over the edge and pressed it into the edge.

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I then took an Exacto knife and cut off the excess tape.

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And we are caught back up! Ok, so now that both glass and base (not pictured) are taped off, it’s time to spray paint with that lovely purple color!

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Since the sides of the tray are angled outwards, I sprayed the inside edge first and let it dry. Then I flipped the tray over and painted the outer edge. And it’s done! This really is a quick and simple fix that made such a big impact!

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I love it! The color is so fun and really adds that pop of color that I’m looking for! I can’t wait til I can show you the whole closet remodel, but I think it is going to look great!

What do you think? Have you used spray paint to change a liked item into a loved item? I would love to hear what neat projects you have used it on!

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DIY Glass Etching: Personalizing Glass Candle Holders

Decorating the home can be difficult, trying to balance between bringing in your own personality and managing costs. One way I have found to do this is buying things that are basic and inexpensive and then adding my own personality to the item.

Now I am by no means a decorating guru! I am still feeling my way through this journey as my dad and I remodel this house, and this project is just one of the many steps on that journey!

This is not the first time I have done glass etching, but this is the first time that I have made my own stencils for it. At least, it’s the first time I have made them successfully 🙂 I am thrilled with the results!

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I couldn’t seem to get a very good picture of this, but hopefully you get the idea! I have actually had this candle holder for quite a long time, but I finally decided to play with it some and make it my own. I knew I wanted to do glass etching, but there are very few style options in pre-made stencils. So I decided to make my own! Using a roll of Magic Cover Clear Transparent vinyl (like this one), I sketched out a few designs. It took a few practice attempts before I had any success at transferring a stencil to glass, but it’s all part of the learning process! I will detail out some of the difficulties as we go.

As for the designs, I really like the flowing feeling of the scrollwork and wanted to mimic that in my designs for the glass holders. And you may have noticed that I enjoy floral, henna-inspired designs.

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I only took pictures of two out of the five while they were in progress, but they all looked pretty similar. This is the part that I had some difficulty with is earlier practice pieces.

The first attempt was one a spare wine glass. After sketching out a simple floral design, I cut out the design and then tried to transfer it to the glass. It would not line up, no matter what I did! I figured it was the curve of the wine glass, called it a learning experience and moved on. I then tried another practice design on a straight glass and had the same problem.

Overall, both of these practice attempts showed that to successfully transfer the design, I had to apply the vinyl to the glass after I sketched it but before cutting it out. Once I learned this lesson, it worked much better!

After cutting out the design, I applied a coat of the Armour Etch with the paintbrush. While the directions on the bottle say 5 minutes for custom stencils, I found that leaving the Armour Etch for closer to 7 minutes seemed to work a little better.

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Once the 7 minutes was up, I washed the Armour Etch off, removed the vinyl and wiped down the glass with a paper towel.

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I am really happy with how they turned out! I love being able to personalize the decor in our home!

What do you do to bring your personality into your home? Do you like adding your own touches and DIY decor projects?

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DIY Painted Dresser: My First Time Painting Furniture!

Hey everyone! I am really excited to bring you this DIY project: a painted dresser for my basement art studio! I am currently working to pull together different pieces of furniture (mostly stored in my basement) and making them nicer for my in-progress studio. These pieces are mostly left over from old roommates and a lot of them were originally from thrift stores.

I could go on, but basically what I am trying to impress upon you is that these are not nice pieces of furniture 😛

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Beautiful, am I right?! 🙂

One of the reasons I picked this dresser is that I am trying to get my studio set up and need more storage. But probably the main reason I picked this for my first project learning to paint furniture is that it’s a pretty simple dresser. No carvings, straight lines, etc. It’s a good piece to learn on!

I started out by taking out the drawers and removing the handles. (What of the handles were left to be removed) As you can see, I have plenty of projects to work on after these are done too!

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I sanded down all of the surfaces I planned on painting, then moved on to filling in the original handle holes with wood filler.

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Once the wood filler was set, I sanded the filled areas down, wiped down the dresser with a clean cloth and then painted it with primer.

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The day after the primer was painted, I painted the dresser a deep grey. I ended up putting on two layers, using a fine paint roller, with a paintbrush for the few tricky spots.

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While it still needs hardware, it ended up looking pretty nice! Not bad for my first project trying to paint furniture! It’s pretty plain, so I’m trying to find some colorful, fun hardware to install. Maybe a trip to Hobby Lobby is in order? 🙂

Do you have any projects you are thinking about trying that are new for you? Have you ever painted furniture? I still have a lot to learn about this and would love to hear some tips and tricks!

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DIY Painted Lamps: Adventures in Spray Painting and Budget Remodels

Hey everyone! This week is the first of hopefully many (but at least 4) weeks of DIY projects for the home! While I have always loved doing DIY projects, I have never taken much time to develop any real skills at them. At least ones that aren’t art-related.

Now I find myself really getting into them and wanted to learn some new skills as well. We have been working on remodeling our house for a few years now and I have started to get a little frustrated at the lack of cohesion in the decor. Most rooms are a mash-up of items from my childhood, ones given to me or left by past roommates, some art projects I’ve made and a few art pieces I’ve collected.

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Family Time with Kil’n Time Studio!

Family traditions can come from just about anything, and in this case it started over 10 years ago at a (different) paint-your-own pottery studio in Des Moines, Iowa. One of my cousins was getting married and the women on my mom’s side of the family decided that we would go have a pottery painting party as a different style of “bachelorette” party. Except instead of painting for ourselves, we painted things for the happy couple! It was so much fun! And when the next cousin was getting married, we decided to do it again. Voila, a family tradition was born!

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Learning Henna

Henna is something that I had seen before, but hadn’t had any personal exposure to until around a year ago, when I went to a small gathering teaching about henna. I didn’t do any myself, but was shown how to and had a design done on my hand. I was hooked! I immediately went home and started researching, reading as much as I could. I ordered some from Henna Caravan shortly after that and started practicing. I honestly haven’t done much yet, but I am slowly working to build my confidence.

Here is some designs I did last summer. Read More

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