An Easy Fall Wreath Project

Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer has already come and gone and I’m now thinking about decorating our house for fall, my favorite season. The other day, I came home and noticed that our neighbors were already decorated for Halloween (still a little early for that, maybe) so I decided to start our fall decorating frenzy by making a fun fall wreath.

In the spring, I made this monogram wreath for out front door. It was such a big hit, and I enjoyed seeing it on our door so much that I decided to make a fall version with a twist. Instead of a monogram letter, I decided to spell out “fall.”

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My fall hydrangea wreath is really easy to make and only requires a few supplies. If you would like to make your own version you will need:

1. A grapevine wreath
2. 5 or 6 hydrangea stems in your choice of colors
3. Wire cutters
4. Wood letters (I found ours at Michael’s)
5. Spray paint in your choice of color(s)
6. A glue gun
7. Ribbon to hang your finished wreath

Before you get started, cut off any tags from your wreath, flowers and letters.
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For our fall wreath, I chose gold, cream and green hydrangeas.

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First, I cut each hydrangea stem to about two inches. This is just enough so that the stems hang out of the back of the wreath, but not so far that they push the wreath away from the door.

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To cut each of the stems, I used wire cutters (and a whole lotta elbow grease!).IMG_7441

The letters I picked out came in a white-wash finish. I like the white letters, but since I chose cream flowers, I wanted to paint the letters something other than white.
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Since I only wanted to paint a few letters for my wreath, I bought this little can of spray paint in a maize color.
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Next, I took my letters outside and coated them with the maize spray paint.
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While the letters were drying, I attached my flowers using hot glue. You can also use floral wire, but I think hot glue is faster, and easier.

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Once my letters dried, I attached them using hot glue.

For the final touch, I added a ribbon loop to hang the wreath.
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And here the finished product!

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Enjoy!

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Easter Egg-tastic

Happy Easter!

Every Easter, I always look forward to spending time with family, celebrating the special reason for this season, and dying Easter eggs.

I love traditional dyed Easter eggs, but it’s also fun to see all the creative ways that people dye their own eggs. I searched around Pinterest for creative Easter egg ideas and below are a few of my favorites.

These eggs remind me of robin’s eggs. So pretty. Teal is one of my favorite colors.
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These eggs were dyed using blueberries.

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The design on these pastel eggs was made using rubber bands. Very clever!

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These speckled eggs look like they will hatch baby birds! You could easily make the speckles using a Sharpie.

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These are my favorite! Every designer needs some Pantone eggs!

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Here are our traditional Easter eggs. This year, they seemed to turn out extra bright. Maybe next year, we’ll mix it up and try one of the techniques above.

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Have a wonderful holiday!

Spring is in the air…


It seems that I’ve caught Spring Fever. No, it’s not the latest strand of the of flu, it’s more like the longing for warmer days and plentiful sunshine.

The weather this weekend, despite cooler temperatures, was beautiful. To celebrate the coming of spring and spring flowers, I put together two new wreaths for our front door.

My first wreath was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

DIY spring wreath

Here is my interpretation of the same wreath. I chose the peach, light green and white flowers because they go nicely with our cranberry front door and the white letter really pops against the darker background.

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This wreath was very quick and easy to make. To make a similar wreath, you will need the following:

  • 5 hydrangea stems
  • Grapevine wreath
  • Letter of your choice
  • Glue gun

First, I cut each of the stems down to one inch and arranged them into the wreath. Then, I turned the wreath over and used the hot glue to secure the stems sticking through the back of the wreath.

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Next, I put hot glue on the back of the part of the letter that touches the wreath and then held it in place on the wreath for a few minutes while the glue set up.

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Leave the wreath with the flowers and letter facing up for a few hours so the glue on the flower stems and letter can set completely.

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Once the glue is set up and dry, you can hang your wreath for display!

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I also made this next colorful wreath because I really like yellow, teal and green together and couldn’t pass up these flowers while I was at Michaels. These bright colors together make for a really fun color palette that works well for spring or summer. And who doesn’t love gerbera daisies? To quote Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail: “I love daisies… They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?”

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This wreath was more complicated to assemble than the first wreath. I first organized all the flowers and instead of using hot glue, I used floral wire. After I was finished, I realized that using hot glue would’ve been easier and faster. You can use hot glue like I showed on the wreath above and it will be easier.

Next, I wrapped the ribbon around the top half of the wreath and then I clipped on the butterflies. Not terribly complicated, but using the floral wire really slowed me down.

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While I was outside this weekend, I also spotted this little guy sneaking up. I hope he is not coming up too soon because they are still calling for some and ice coming our way in the next few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that he doesn’t freeze!

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Are you getting excited for spring? Have you made DIY projects to celebrate this bright and colorful season?

Chalkboard Fun

Pinterest boards seem to be covered with DIY chalkboard projects these days. While I have a plan for a DIY chalkboard, in the meantime, BJ and I found a wall mounted chalkboard photo frame on sale at Crate and Barrel.

The chalkboard came with four 4×4 photo frames. Because printed photos come in standard sizes like 4×6, this required photo cutting to achieve the 4×4 size. You could also use photo editing software to crop the photos on your computer and then print them to a desired size. I chose to cut a few 4×6 photos left over from another project.

To cut the 4×6 photos to 4×4, I removed the filler paper inside the frames. Then I placed the paper on the photo as a template. I used a piece of scotch tape to hold the paper in place while I cut the photo. Don’t worry about putting the tape on the photo because the part of the photo with the tape won’t be needed.

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After I finished cutting, I arranged the photos in the frames.

And, if you’re wondering, the third photo from the left is a squirrel hanging from a tree eating a nut. I snapped that photo a few years ago while visiting a park in Maryland. The squirrel was more interested in his or her lunch than me standing there taking pictures. The swans are in the same park but the photos were taken around six years apart. The heart is from our Christmas tree this year and the red flowers were taken at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

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I digress… back to the chalkboard. Next, BJ got out a few tools for hanging frames. We chose the open wall by our downstairs powder room to hang the chalkboard. It is easily visible from our kitchen and adds more character to our once boring back hallway.

The frame came with hardware for hanging, but we also added anchors to make sure the drywall could hold the weight of the frame. Our drywall is pretty soft, so adding anchors for extra support really helps.

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Now that our chalkboard is up, BJ and I can write fun messages to each other.

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We also use the chalkboard to write our dinner menu and wine pairing each evening.

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Do you have a chalkboard in your home? How do you use your chalkboard?

Pinterest Inspired Christmas Gift Project #2: Scrabble Tile Coasters

We hope everyone had a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We’ve enjoyed the last week by spending time with family and friends.

I wanted to circle back to one of the Pinterest-inspired Christmas gifts mentioned here. Our second Pinterest-inspired Christmas gift was a set of DIY Scrabble tile coasters.

Here’s the Pinterest pin that inspired our Scrabble coaster Christmas gift:

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To put our scrabble coasters together, I bought three Scrabble games. Two of which I bought on a Black Friday sale for $7, and the third game I bought on sale for $8, plus I had a $2 coupon, making it $6.

Before we started assembling the coasters, we spelled out beverage-related words with the tiles. The trick: words should be four letters to make sure your coasters are square.

Once we came up with the words, we started arranging related words together. We ended up only using two of the Scrabble games, but in order to make more four word coasters, it probably would’ve taken all three games.

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For some of the coasters we came up with four four-letter words, for the others, we arranged two four letter words that shared one common letter.

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To fill in the extra space on the two word tiles, we flipped the extra letter titles that were left over and used them as blank tiles.

Next, we super glued the tiles together and then sprayed them with a clear enamel like this one:

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We used cork as the backing for the tiles. I found this role of cork in the school supplies section of Target.

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We unrolled the cork and let it rest on the counter for a few days. We also placed bowls on the cork to help flatten it out.

Once the cork was flat enough to use and our tiles had a chance to dry, we measured the cork and cut it to fit each tile square.

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For the last step, we placed the cork backing on each tile with Scotch double-sided tape. You can also use glue.

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We stacked the coasters up and put something heavy (like a book or pot) on the tiles to ensure the tape had time to set up and achieve good contact to the tiles.

And there you have it.

Now for the finished product:

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It was a lot of fun to make our Pinterest-inspired gifts this year. Here is one of our mugs pictured with the completed coasters:

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Happy 2013! Here’s to more DIY adventures in the new year! How are you planning to DIY this year?

Pinterest Inspired Christmas Gift Project # 1: Christmas Word Mugs

Following my post on Christmas gift ideas and decorations, BJ and I started working on a few of the DIY gift ideas I mentioned.

First up: Christmas mugs! I found this pin on Pinterest and thought, why not?

DIY decorative or favorite sayings mugs

This project was really quick and simple and you only need a few supplies.

Here’s what you will need to complete your Christmas word mugs.

1. Two white ceramic mugs. I found two mugs like this one at Target.

And small confession, I was a little overly excited to start my project that I forgot to take a picture of the mugs before I wrote on them…

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2. Permanent markers. Also found at Target.

I chose red and green markers to go along with the Christmas word theme but you could use whatever colors you like. Before I started writing, I wiped down the outside of the mugs with rubbing alcohol so the ink would stick to the mug better. This is optional, but a good idea.

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3. An oven and cookie sheet.

After I finished decorating the mugs with fun Christmas words, I baked them on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. IMG_2650 IMG_2651

Once they were finished baking, I carefully removed the mugs from the oven and let them cool.

Here are the finished products!

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Are you making gifts for Christmas this year? If so, what kind of gifts are you making?