Hello, blogland! I’m not even going to try to explain my 1.5 year hiatus…there’s really no great reason! But here I am feeling crafty so figured I should fire up the rusty ol’ blog again. I can’t make any promises as to how often I’ll be posting, but hopefully more often than every 18 months :)
In our dining room we have a sliver of wall space between the china hutch and doorway to the kitchen. I’ve always wanted to place something there, but nothing felt quite right. While browsing Pinterest, I happened upon this photo that I had pinned years ago. Plates! I could hang plates there. All I needed was…plates. And a way to hang them without them crashing down. So I started slowly collecting plates here and there. Most of them came from a local thrift store called Abbots and others from Goodwill. I don’t think I spent more than $2 on any of them!
The final thing to figure out was how to hang these things. I’ve never loved the plate hanger things that clamp on to the plate, so I started searching for a way to hang them without any visible hardware. I found these adhesive plate hangers, but at about $3.50 each, I figured I could come up with something a bit cheaper. We visited Josh’s parents a few months ago and my mother-in-law had just finished a plate wall in their dining room and it looked great! Lo and behold, she had figured out how to hang them without the visible hardware and didn’t spend a small fortune doing it. All credit goes to Debbie for this one :)
I started by washing my plates in warm, soapy water. Mostly to get the thrift store gunk and grime off of them, but also to ensure that the glue had a clean surface to stick to. Next, I traced all of my plates out on paper, cut them out, and taped them up on the wall to get an idea of the placement I wanted.
Once I had my arrangement down, I took a dry erase marker and marked the center top of each plate (making sure that the design on the front lined up). This gave me a mark to line my hanger up to.
You may be able to find adhesive hangers that don’t have the little hook on them, but rather only an eyelet. Mine had the hook, so I simply took some tin snips and cut it off of each hanger. Easy fix!
Once I had my plates prepped, I took the E6000 and got to gluing! This stuff is SUPER sticky, but pretty forgiving for a while. On a few of my plates I didn’t get the hanger lined up on the first try, but it was really easy to slide it into the right spot. Be sure to get your eyelet above the rib or edge of your plate so that when it hangs, it lays flat. I let the adhesive dry for at least 24 hrs.
After my hangers were really dry, I placed each plate on our copier and printed off a picture of the back side. Once cut out, I taped them up on to the wall over the other cutouts. This let me figure out the exact spot to place my nail. I hammered the nail right through the paper.
Once all the nails were in, I pulled the paper down and hung up the actual plates. And (unless you look REALLY closely at an angle) you can’t see any hardware!
I think this projected turned out really well! It was SUPER easy and affordable! We already had the glue, so buying the plates and the hangers…I think I came in under $15!
I think this adds the right look to that awkward spot next to the hutch. I may keep my eyes out for a few more plates to add a couple to the top of the arrangement!
I’m not sure what it is about my Mom, but she has the BEST luck finding things for free on the side of the road. I hope to someday inherit her roadside-freebie-snatching skills. For about a year I’ve been keeping my eyes open for metal chairs to revamp. Ideally, I wanted ones with a cushioned seat, but any old metal chairs (that were less than $10/chair) would do. I wasn’t having any luck finding anything within my price range. Lo and behold, my Mom found 4 folding metal chairs WITH cushioned seats along the side of the road in my hometown. Score!
The problem was, they were in desperate need of some lovin’. Cue angels singing and my name being called from the craft store. For about $30 I was able to breathe some new life into these roadside freebies. Here’s how I did it!
Step 1: I began by removing the seat of each chair. One thing that I didn’t do but would definitely do next time is number each chair and seat as well as separate the screws according to which chair they came from. I ran into some issues getting the seats to fit back onto the chairs because I got them all mixed up. This may not be an issue with newer chairs, but you’ll be thankful if you do it with old used ones!
Step 2: I removed all of the staples and took off the old vinyl. Thankfully, the foam was in great shape (although a terrible color of neon yellow!) so I was able to reuse it. If you need new foam, now is the time to trace your seat base and cut out your foam and/or batting.
Step 3: I cut my fabric into 17″ x 18″ pieces. I probably could have cut them a bit smaller, but I found it helpful to have a little extra to pull snugly and then to trim off the excess.
Step 4: I lined up my fabric so that the pattern went in the direction I wanted it to face. I laid my fabric right side down, centered my foam and then lined up my chair seat. Once everything was lined up, I began stapling my way around the seat. I found it easiest to begin on one corner and work my way around the entire seat. It’ll probably take you a bit to find your groove, but once you do it should go pretty quickly! I thought the corners would be tricky, but they actually ended up being pretty easy! (See photos below for how I folded the fabric around the corners so that it would lay flat.) Once you get your fabric stapled down, trim off the excess.
Step 5: I repeated steps 3 & 4 with my vinyl. I ended up using a ton of staples to get it to fit snugly but hey, nobody will see them!
I should point out that my husband picked out the seat fabric. Great choice, huh?!
Next it was time to paint the metal chairs! It was too breezy to paint outdoors, so I moved my chairs into a well ventilated workshop. Please be sure to work in a well ventilated space, spray paint fumes are not good for your brain cells and future offsprings.
Step 6: I pulled/cut off the old rubber feet and sanded the entire chair with 220 grit sand paper. Basically, I wanted to remove any rust spots and rough up the entire surface. Once I sanded down the surface, I went back over the chairs with a damp cloth to remove the dust & dirt.
Step 7: Paint. I chose Krylon indoor/outdoor gloss spray paint in “Bright Idea.” I ran out midway through the project, and had a heckova time finding more since I had bought the last can at our local hardware store. Thankfully, Walmart ended up being the ONE place within 50 miles that carried the brand/color. Word of advice, make sure you have enough paint to start off with! I used about 1 can per chair.
Also, I HIGHLY recommend using this fancy contraption called the Can Gun. My hubby got it for me for Christmas and this was the first time I broke it out. It makes spray painting a dream! No finger cramps or over-spray on your hands. Seriously, go buy one right now!
The essential to spray painting is to do multiple thin coats. Seriously, take your time and wait the manufacturers recommended time between coats. You’ll regret going too quickly because you’ll instantly get drips and splatters. I ended up doing about 3 coats on each chair and they turned out pretty well! I do have a few drips here and there, but nothing that I am going to lose sleep over.
This is what my chairs looked like after one coat of paint:
And after the third coat of paint:
Step 8: I reattached the cushions and voila! New chairs! (See my note above about numbering the cushions/bases/screws).
I still need to get new rubber feet for the chairs. I bought some but accidentally got the wrong size (mental note – measure twice, buy once!). Overall, I’m ecstatic with how these free roadside chairs turned out! They will work really well as additional outdoor seating for our next BBQ or indoor seating for our next movie night. The best part is that if I ever get tired of the fabric, I can easily pop off the seats and change it out! Yay for free chairs that turned out fabulous :)
Since we’re only about 1 day from Christmas, I figured it was high time that I shared about our Christmas decorations! The past few years we’ve had a tree, some garland, and wreath on the door. I’d say my efforts were a mediocre 3 on the scale of Christmas cheer. But this year, gosh. This year is a solid 8. We upped our game and brought the Christmas cheer in full force this year!
Thanks to Josh’s awesome handiwork, we added this amazing backlit star this year. We were inspired by this one on Beyond The Picket Fence and couldn’t wait to create our own. Because we had a big open space to work with, we made ours a bit larger and added some sweet backlighting. The wood is from a reclaimed picket fence that Josh found and cleaned up. After Christmas, we’re thinking of repurposing the boards into another art project. Promise I’ll share those details when it’s time!
The star is a simple square that Josh fastened onto 2″ x 2″ pieces behind. It’s backlit with a strand of leftover Christmas lights. The only thing we purchased for this project was a $3 spool of ribbon! A pretty great project if you ask me! :)
I’ve been seeing a ton of fun chalkboard ideas all over, but since my chalk hand writing leaves a lot to be desired, I cheated a bit and used this transfer trick to write the Christmassy message below. If you doubt your writing skills, I highly recommend this transfer technique! The only thing I did differently was use a chalk pen to fill in my lines instead of regular chalk. My finished product may not look as rustic as it could, but I was lacking the patience and steady hand necessary to trace over the whole thing in smear-able chalk. I may re-do this again with real chalk someday, but I’m perfectly happy with the way this version turned out!
Last year I made this fun Christmas card wreath out of a pack of Dollar Tree clothes pins, a little green spray paint, some red beads, some bailing wire, and red ribbon. One of the easiest projects ever! I’m happy to say that since this photo was taken we’ve filled up the entire wreath with fun cards from family and friends!
Among other fine qualities, our house has a really odd living room with multiple doors on each wall. The only place that our TV fits is right in front of a coat closet that we don’t really use. I got tired of people asking why our TV was in front of a door, so earlier this year I made a curtain to hang in front of the door. This was also the point in which I got fed up with our dark redwood walls and decided to cover 2 walls in burlap. Thankfully both projects turned out great and we no longer receive weird comments or looks when someone comes into our house!
Thanks to some scissor wielding friends who were over one night, we ended up with a stack of beautiful paper snowflakes that were just begging to be displayed. It only made sense to hang them in front of the curtain that’s in front of the coat closet door. Duh, right? Thankfully, that experiment turned out great too!
If you’re on Pinterest, it’s very likely that you’ve seen tutorials on how to replicate mercury glass with mirrored spray paint and a spray bottle of vinegar/water. Well, I took a stab at it with some vases and candle holders and kind of failed. When they say that you MUST use the Krylon mirrored spray paint for it to turn out, they’re not kidding. I used some Rustoleum silver spray paint and my pieces turned out lacking some pizzaz (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word pizzaz…) I honestly really like how these vases and candle holders turned out, but they’re nothing like real or faux mercury glass. I think it has to do with the air temperature I was spray painting in and that I used the wrong type of spray paint. Oh well, ya win some, ya fail some.
I really like the arrangement and that I get to display it on some antique doilies from my Mom. The view below is my absolute favorite this year! It’s what I see every night sitting on the couch :)
Here are a few photos of the living room as a whole (this room is hard to photograph!)…
Although we spend the majority of our time in the living room, a little bit of Christmas cheer spilled over into the dining room too. On the china hutch I simply hung some paper garland that I made last year…
All it is is circle punches of scrap booking paper and Trader Joe’s bags sewed together…seriously, so simple.
The other thing I added is a Merry Christmas banner that we got at Target a few years back hanging on an old window from my parent’s house.
My favorite Christmas tradition so far has been buying a Christmas ornament from our travels throughout the year. Hopefully someday our tree will be filled with ornaments from around the country and world! These three are from our trips in 2012:
These ornaments and many others were placed on our tree with love and care while we donned our antler headbands and turned on a Christmas movie. Ahh, I love tradition!
So, did you up your decorating game in 2012? What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Can you believe that Christmas is TOMORROW?!
Singing loud for all to hear,
P.S. Here’s our 2012 Christmas Card! Designed by the one and only, Josh Edwards :)
On Monday of this week our outdoor thermometer hit 100 degrees. On Tuesday, I placed this wreath on our front door. And on Wednesday, our temperatures dipped back down into the low 70s. I’m absoulely sure that by placing this Fall Rosette Wreath on our front door I was solely responsible for this lovely fall weather that we’ve been experiencing the past few days. Yep, no problem. You’re welcome!
This wreath was so, so, easy to make. And cost less than $10.00! Want to try making one yourself?
Felt cut into 3″ x 3″ squares (I used 8 1/4 of the 9″ x 12″ sized sheets to make 100 squares total. I found this color at JoAnn’s)
Hot glue gun
First, begin by trimming the edges off of your squares to make a round piece. By no means does your circle need to be perfect, it just needs too be round-ish.
Next, cut your circle into a spiral, leaving a small tab in the center. This tab will become the bottom of your rosette.
Begin rolling your felt from the outside edge of circle inwards towards the center.
Once you have your piece rolled up, place a dab of glue on the bottom and fold the tab over.
Ta-dahh…you have a rosette!
Now just repeat this process until you have about 100 of these (depending on the size of your wreath). This is a great project to park yourself in front of the TV to work on. It’s pretty mindless and actually doesn’t take too long once you get a rhythm going.
Once you have all of your rosettes made, begin hot-gluing them to your wreath. There really isn’t any scientific way to do this. Just place a dollop of hot glue on the bottom of your rosette, stick it on, and hold it in place for a few seconds. I would, however, recommend placing newspaper underneath your wreath to prevent glue from dripping onto your work surface.
Continue placing the rosettes on your wreath until you have completely filled the front side. You can place them as tight or as spread apart as you prefer. I placed mine pretty close together and really like it!
Hang your wreath on your front door and enjoy! This is a great way to way to welcome fall to your home and neighborhood. Maybe your weather hasn’t quite caught on that it’s already October. I hope that once you place this on your front door you begin to experience cooler temperatures and the loveliness of fall :)
Lover of all things fall,
P.S. This project was inspired by this one by Stelabird :)
Growing up I spent hours upon hours playing in my Grandparents acre sized organic vegetable garden. Their garden yielded enough to sustain themselves throughout the year and share with others. They grew tons of crops (figuratively and literally): potatoes, corn, asparagus, squash, zucchini, peas, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, raspberries, apples, etc. I remember spending lots and lots of time with my Grandmother in their garden, learning to tend the plants, playing with earth worms, and picking flowers that probably weren’t supposed to be picked. One of my favorite things about their garden was their green bean tunnel. It was a wooden trellis tunnel that was about 7 feet tall, 8 feet wide and probably 20ish feet long (as a 5 year old, it seemed HUGE). The plants would grow up and over the top to create this fantastic tunnel with green beans hanging everywhere just begging to be picked. It was a curious child’s paradise. My Mom tells stories of when my Brother was little and she had him in the baby back-pack while she was in the tunnel picking beans. She says that she was picking along and my brother kept reaching out and pulling green beans off and eating them raw. To this day he still eats raw green beans. He probably has many more memories than I do of that garden, but I do know that we both learned a lot from our Grandparents there.
My Parents and Brother all have fantastically green thumbs. I’m still doing my best to find mine…and the project below is a testament to that. Since we moved into this house I’ve been wanting to plant some sort of vegetable garden in our side yard. Neither Josh or I have had the time (or money) to invest into one in the past 2 years, but this year we made some time (and budgeted for it)! This isn’t anything like my Grandparents magical oasis, but it’s something. And something is better than nothing! Our first attempt at a garden is in the form of two raised garden beds. We absolutely didn’t have the budget to go out and spend upwards of $250 on new redwood lumber to build two 3′ x 6′ boxes, so we improvised and used some awesome reclaimed redwood lumber. Not only was this wood free, but it has some cool history to it. We are blessed to work and live at a Christian Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Josh works on the Maintenance Team and recently helped a group of volunteers replace a portion of Victory Circle, our outdoor amphitheater. The portion of wood that they removed was about 30 years old and was not sturdy enough for people to sit or walk on anymore, so it was just going to be tossed. My brilliant husband swooped on the stuff he could salvage and brought it home to build the boxes. How cool is it to think that our vegetable gardens are built out of wood that people have been sitting on for 30 years, sharing how their lives have been transformed by Jesus in this place! That gives me chills every time I go out to tend our garden. God is good to remind me of Himself in the small things!
We started out with a hilly portion of our side yard that was overgrown with weeds that were waist high. It didn’t start as much, but it’s the sunniest area of our place! It gets about 6-7 hours of sun per day, which for being in a redwood forest is like finding Narnia.
Josh did a number on the area with the weed whacker, and it turned out looking something like this (that’s my cute Mom helping us clean up the junk!):
We worked on removing the weeds and leveling two spots for the boxes (that’s our neighbors house next door):
Once we got the space cleared out, we went to work on the boxes themselves. My handy hubby whipped up a few boxes pretty quickly out of our lumber. Because portions of the wood were beginning to dry rot, we had to be selective in which pieces we used. Thankfully, we had just enough good pieces to patch together two 3′ x 6′ boxes. We built the boxes out of 2″ x 6″ lumber.
We began by laying chicken wire down first to combat any unwanted moles or gophers. We actually laid two layers that were offset because those sneaky pests can weasel their way through a standard chicken wire opening. Once we got the wire laid, we placed the 6 ft. pieces at the back of our leveled out area and pounded stakes into each corner to give it some stability. The corner stakes were about 3 ft. long; we pounded them into the ground about 2 feet and then stacked two 2″ x 6″ boards to create a 12″ deep bed.
Because we were building on a hill we ended up with the uphill side having two 2″ x 6″ planks stacked and the downhill side with three planks to keep the dirt from sliding out from the bottom (not sure if that makes sense, you’ll see it in the other pictures). We tried our hardest to keep everything level and square, but I’m sure it’s not perfect. It holds dirt and that’s all that really matters, right?! :)
Once we had the boxes put together I laid weed fabric in the bottom and stapled it in. We hope that with the combination of chicken wire and weed fabric we won’t have to deal with too many digging pests or weeds. Here’s to hoping!
After a few hours of hard work, this is what we had to show! Pretty awesome if I do say so myself!
We visited our local landscaping supply store and picked up a yard of top soil. We then mixed in two bags of manure, one steer and one chicken.
My brother-in-law introduced me to a concept called Square Foot Gardening. It’s exactly what it sounds like- growing plants within a square foot! This is a pretty simple concept that is user friendly, very efficient, and pretty productive. Depending on the crop, you can plant 1, 2, 3, 4+ plants in each square foot. There are various recommendations on how to section off your box, but we chose the option of using 1″ish slats of wood (Josh cut them from a piece of scrap wood, so their size is approximate) and attached them directly to the box.
We chose to plant a variety of things to see what grows best here. We currently have pole beans, bush beans, corn, cilantro, basil, and lemon thyme in one box and yellow squash, broccoli, carrots, and peas in the other. I started the broccoli, peas, and corn indoors in peat pellets about a week before I planted them in the ground.
Fast forward about 3 weeks and this is what we have now…
Pretty good, right!? We had bird netting over the boxes until today when we put the stakes in for the beans and peas to climb up (the shorter stakes in the corners of the boxes were to hold up the netting). I’m crossing my fingers that the birds and squirrels don’t get curious now that we’ve taken the netting off…we’ll see!
We still have quite a bit of work to do in the side yard, but its slowly getting there. We want to build some stairs down to the boxes and spread some woodchips around the area to keep the dust down. Hopefully we’ll get to that within the next few weeks. Although it’s still a work in progress and we haven’t actually harvested anything from it yet, our garden brings me so much joy! There is so much to be said about doing hard work with someone you love and literally seeing the fruits of your labor in just a few weeks. I’m thankful that my Grandparents, Parents and Brother have all continued the tradition of home-growing and that I’m getting to enjoy this process, too. I’ll keep you updated on how this garden does over the next few months! :)