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Style Files: Simple Valentine’s Day Decor Idea

23 Jan

As Valentine’s Day draws near, I’m finding it harder and harder to resist adding little splashes of pink and red to every corner of the house. While I’ve definitely toned it down from my other holiday displays, I did add a little flavor of love to the window above our kitchen sink.

My latest project was recycling these old apothecary jars (which aren’t the cutest, I’ll admit) by adding a different candy to each one.

I was really surprised by the variety of Valentine candy offered at Wal-Mart, so I had plenty to choose from.

I placed a picture of Husband and I in a pink frame beside these candies for a cute little touch of love!


Style Files: A ‘Love’ For Decorating

9 Jan

You know that empty feeling you get once all the Christmas decorations are put away? Your house still looks the same as it does 11 months out of the year, but it feels like everything is so sparse. Well, I hate that feeling.

So, I decided to cheer up the entryway by getting a jump start on my Valentine’s decorating. Now, Husband and I don’t make that big a fuss about Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to decorate with my favorite color – pink. Or, as a true steel magnolia would put it – blush and bashful. So I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and there was no shortage of supplies in my hallowed hue.

I decided to make a Valentine’s swag to replace the Christmas and fall wreaths that I’ve hung over the entryway mirror for the past few months. It took me all of 20 minutes to make, and I’ve completely fallen in love with the result.

How to Make a Valentine’s Swag

Step 1: You’ll need a dried grapevine swag (or wreath).

Step 2: Purchase one large center flower, two smaller flowers for the sides, and some tiny floral sprays for accents. I chose a large hydrangea for the center and 2 ranunculus for the side flowers. Ranunculus are some of my favorite flowers – they were in all the bouquets at our wedding.

Step 3: Begin by hot gluing the tiny sprays at the center of the swag. Then, add the large center flower followed by the two side flowers.

Step 4:Finally, add a few leaves in there to provide some contrast and make the swag look more natural.

Step 5 (optional): I chose to hang a small silver pendant with an inscription about love on it. I used some 3/4 inch wire-edged ribbon and tied it to the bottom of the circle in the center of the swag.

Finally, I took a few vases I’d saved from past Valentine’s when Husband sent flowers and filled them with some fragrant roses. They are a cheerful greeting each time we enter the house!

Style Files: Making a Scripture Memory Board

31 Dec

Tomorrow marks the first day of 2012. A new year. A fresh start. Endless possibilities. I don’t know what this new year will bring, but I do know that I’m going to start it on the right foot. That’s why I’m joining Project Scripture.

In order to get started, though, I needed a scripture memory board. Using Mrs. Hargrave’s board as inspiration, I took a trip to Hobby Lobby yesterday to get my supplies. $8 and 5 minutes later, I had my memory board. Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: I needed a cute picture frame that could sit on my bathroom counter. I figured that was the best place to ensure that I would read it every day, and because I don’t have a TON of counter space, I chose to go with a smaller 5×7 frame. The frame I chose has an antique white finish with light pink filigree accents. It’s very feminine, but that’s exactly the look I wanted.

Step 2: I picked out a nice burlap fabric and purchased 1/8 yard (the smallest amount Hobby Lobby will let you purchase).

Step 3: Cut a piece of burlap to fit in the frame, then use the dry erase marker to write your verse each week.

If you’re interested in joining us, please do! I’ll keep you updated on my progress each week.

Style Files: DIY Christmas Ornament

12 Dec

I’m so excited to share my latest project. A friend and I had a Pinterest night last night, where we each brought a project we’ve been wanting to complete and drank hot chocolate as we crafted. It was such a fun idea for a girls’ night, and I plan on having another one soon. Now, for my project.

I had previously seen this cute little idea on Pinterest, and I’ve been waiting to give it a try. The only supplies you need are:

  • Clear glass ornaments
  • Print out of wedding invitation and/or what ever it is you want to put inside the ornament ( I also used the sheet music for Jingle Bells)
  • Pencil
Step 1: Begin by slicing the invitation line by line into thing strips.
Step 2: Then, carefully remove the top of the glass ornament.
Step 3: Curl each strip carefully around the pencil, and slide the paper off the end of the pencil without letting it uncoil (see video below).
Step 4: Repeat step 3 until all the strips have been added. You might also use the tip of the pencil to adjust the strips inside the ornament if there are certain words you want showing.
Step 5: Replace the top and find the perfect spot on your tree! See more pictures below the video.

Style Files: Create Your Own Christmas Card Holder

7 Dec

I love running to the mailbox this time of year and eagerly sifting through the catalogs, coupons, and junk mail for the thick envelopes with festive stamps that cannot be mistaken – Christmas cards! I shred through the envelopes and indulge in reading season’s greetings from friends and family while snuggled under a blanket. I can’t tell you why I love them so much, but I do.

Once I’ve read them, and oohed and aahed over the pictures of children that have somehow grown another year older in what seems like the blink of an eye, I always struggle with where to put them. I purchased one of those little trees that is meant to display them a few years ago, but I’ve been disappointed in its ability to hold the cards and it is difficult to see them all at once.

I decided I was going to fix that this year with an inspired idea that came to me while standing in the middle of a Hobby Lobby, and I was pretty pleased with the results! Now it’s time to wait by the mailbox…

I took one long piece of thick, wire-edged Christmas ribbon and duct-taped it to the back of our coat closet door.

Then, I sewed jingle bells on the bottom of the ribbon to add weight and keep the ribbon from swaying.

Finally, I took miniature pine cones and hot glued them onto small clothes pins. Just add cards, and voila!

Style Files: An Easy DIY Christmas Wreath

5 Dec

It’s that time of year when a decorating addict like me can really let her hair down. Chestnuts are roasting, silver bells are ringing, and it’s time to deck the halls! While I promised not to go overboard with decorations this year since we’ve spent enough fixing this place up, I’m lucky that Husband loves Christmas as much as I do. So, I have done a few things for the house like this simple wreath. And you know me, I found a way to do it for just a few bucks.

I saw this wreath at Hobby Lobby for $50. It was the look I wanted to recreate, but not the price I wanted to pay for it. I just love how festive cranberries are!

Hanging just below the wreath was this garland of cranberries for $15. I purchased it along with a dried grapevine wreath for $4.99.

With a little hot glue and some elbow grease, I was able to recreate the wreath for less than half the price! Simply cut groupings of cranberries from the garland using wire cutters. Then, bend them to curve along with the wreath. Hot glue, and you're done.

Read more about a simple fall wreath I made just a few weeks ago!

Style Files: How to Make a Simple Fall Wreath

22 Nov


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to squeeze in one more DIY craft project before the holiday arrived – a fall wreath.

This wreath, which was made with spare parts from the fall clearance section at Hobby Lobby, takes less than 1 hour to make and costs around $25, so I thought I’d share the how-to here:

Step 1: Begin with a dried grapevine wreath.

Step 2: Cut the leaves from a fall garland of your choice. For the size of wreath that I chose, 30 large oak leaves were plenty. Hot glue the leaves onto the wreath.

Step 3: Attach fall-colored berries on the left and right sides of what will be the center of the wreath using hot glue.

Step 4: Add a complementary accent to the wreath to accentuate what will become the centerpiece. I chose 2 plumes of bronze bird feathers that made a nice contrast with the bright colors of the leaves and berries. Then, place 2 leaves over the bases of the feathers.

Step 5: The final step is to add 2 large acorns (or whatever fall element you'd like) to the center of the wreath, and you're done!

Now, you just have to choose where you want to hang it! Because I already have a wreath for the front door, I chose to hang this one over the mirror in our entryway. A simple over-the-door hanger works well (although I need to paint this one brown).

Style Files: How to Create Custom Curtains with Little Cost

27 Oct

Window treatments certainly aren’t the cheapest part of decorating. And with a decorating style that my grandmother would describe as “champagne taste with a beer wallet,” I’ve certainly had to compromise on the cost of curtains. But I wasn’t willing to compromise on style. With a little creativity, some clearance bin digging, and my mother’s excellent seamstress skills, we were able to create a custom look without paying for it. Here’s how we did it:

Formal Dining Room Curtains

  • I found 2 beautiful faux-silk panels on clearance at BB&B for $29.99 a piece.
  • Then, I found a local fabric warehouse that carried a variety of trims, where I discovered the perfect accent for my new panels at $6/yard (I bought 3 yards). If you’re in the DFW area, the Fabric Yard can be a lifesaver for DIY projects.
  • Next, I made a quick trip to Marshall’s where you can find discounted home goods when you know what you’re looking for. In this case, I did. I picked up a curtain rod that matches the dining room furniture for $20.
  • Below are the pictures of the final product, which if you’re keeping track, cost a total of $68 – a steal for custom curtains that usually cost hundreds. Now, to be fair, I did get the labor for free (Mom refuses to let me pay), so that may be an extra expense you’d incur if doing this on your own.
Bedroom Curtains
  • I found some simple white linen panels at IKEA for $19 a piece (x4).
  • I purchased 2 extra yards of the fabric used for the comforter in the guest bedroom makeover at $7.99/yard to make a custom border at the base of the curtains.
  • Then, Mom found a tassled trim that matched the bedroom pillows for a steal at $5/yard – we needed 6 yards.
  • Finally, Mom worked her magic and I have custom curtains in the guest bedroom for a fraction of the price ($126)!

Style Files: How to Create a Leather Look with Paint

1 Oct

One of my favorite rooms in our house thus far is the study. While it’s not quite ready for the big before-and-after reveal, we have made significant progress. The room is used equally by Husband and me, but we agreed that we would give it a masculine look by creating a hunting/outdoors motif.

Like any true Texans, we began decorating by placing a cowhide rug in the center of the floor. This became our inspiration for the walls, and we’ve had several requests from visitors to our home on how to create this look. So here goes – below are detailed instructions if you get inspired to bring the great outdoors inside.

Creating a Leather Look with Paint

  1. Choose your paint colors. First, choose your base color, which should be the lighter color (we chose Behr Mushroom Bisque). Then choose a much darker shade in the same family, which you’ll use  for tinting the Behr Faux Glaze.
  2. Pick up painting supplies. You’ll need rollers, paint trays, painter’s tape, and a generous supply of medium-weight plastic sheeting.
  3. Prep the room. Tape off baseboards and the ceiling. Quick tip: To avoid accidentally brushing the ceiling with your roller, you can tape painter’s paper at the intersection of the ceiling and top of the wall.
  4. Paint your base. Use the lighter shade of paint to completely cover the walls of the room, and give it adequate time to dry. Generally, 24 hours is a good rule of thumb.
  5. Cut and hang plastic sheeting. You’ve already covered the floor in plastic sheeting, but now you’ll need it for creating the leather look. Cut the sheeting in 4-foot strips that run from floor to ceiling, and tape them at the intersection of the ceiling and the wall. Quick tip: Leave yourself a little extra slack at the bottom because pressing this plastic against the wall will quickly shorten the plastic. When you’re finished, the room should look like it’s wearing a plastic skirt.
  6. Tint the glaze. Take the darker paint shade and gradually mix it into the glaze in a paint tray. This step is a little subjective because you keep mixing until you feel the glaze is dark enough. However, keep track of how much tint you pour into the glaze because you’ll need the same ratio of you need to mix up more.
  7. Time to paint! Roll on your glaze evenly working from left to right and top to bottom. You have to work very quickly, immediately letting the plastic fall against the wall. This serves two purposes – it creates the leather look and keeps the paint from drying too quickly. Quick tip: Have a painting partner hold the plastic sheeting away from the wall while you paint. If you have tall ceilings, it may take 3 people – 2 painters and one to hold the plastic sheeting.
  8. Pat the plastic. Once you’ve completed one entire strip, gently pat the plastic with your finger tips and/or a rag. Don’t press against the plastic with your palms, or your hand prints will be the most noticeable feature in the room.
  9. Rinse and repeat. Keep this process going until you’ve covered all of the walls. Then, peel the plastic off and let dry.
  10. Enjoy!

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Style Files: Sconces on a Shoestring Budget

30 Jul

Today’s Tip: Creating your own sconces

Challenge: We had purchased a beautiful painting for the dining room and wanted sconces on either side to match. However, I couldn’t find anything remotely close to what I had pictured and had a tiny budget to make it happen.

Solution: Homemade sconces made possible by one fantastic 50% off Hobby Lobby sale! Here’s the result, and I’ll explain below how you can do something similar at home.

To get this look, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose the colors you’d like to focus on. In this case, I wanted to pull out the reds, pale yellows and greens in the painting.
  2. Visit Hobby Lobby when the floral stems are 50% off, and choose the elements of your arrangement. Be sure to include a few larger blooms and some greenery. I also love to include berries and sticks to give the arrangement height.
  3. You’ll also need some sort of container. I lucked out with these woven, pottery-shaped sconces. They were normally $40 a piece on clearance for $8.
  4. Be sure to grab some sort of moss (located near the Styrofoam) before leaving. It took me 1.5 bags for both sconces combined. Note: There are several different moss options, but I chose the greenest one because I wanted color and not the dry-looking Spanish moss.
  5. Now it’s time to put the arrangement together. Start by filling the base with the moss to a height of your liking. Note: It is hard to shove the stems through the moss, so don’t fill it too high.
  6. Trim your stems so that they aren’t too long, but the tips will slide into the top of the moss layer.
  7. Begin with the bigger blooms and sticks and then build in the smaller items (such as berries and leaves) after.
  8. While making the arrangement, I found that the leaves on the blooms got shoved down into the neck of the sconces, so I cut them off and moved them to different locations with some floral wire – It worked great!
  9. Because the arrangement will be placed against the wall, be sure to make it on a flat surface to give you a better idea of how the flowers will “bunch” once you hang it.
  10. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment!