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Entries in DIY (25)

Thursday
Jul212016

gold leaf oyster salt cellars

Summer is my favorite time to entertain but even though we haven't been hosting as much as we normally do this time of year (and while the rest of my house gets neglected due to all the fun we've been having) I've been making it a point to at least set out my favorite woven chargers, softest linen napkins and newly purchased bamboo flatware to make dinner for just the three of us a little more special every day.  I was so inspired by this gorgeous table setting I posted a couple weeks ago and, after noticing a fabulous pair of golden oyster salt cellars in the mix, I decided to bring a little of the sea to our table and make some myself.  I know lately I've proclaimed that every DIY I've done is the easiest in the history of ever, but this one seriously is!  And the best part is that these little beauties also make a wonderful hostess gift idea for summer barbeques and get togethers!  I know there's a ton of tutorials out there for this but here's how I did mine:

You'll need:

Oyster shells

Paint brush

Liquid gold leaf (I used Classic Gold)

Food safe top coat

SCRUB.  The most important and time consuming part is cleaning the shells.  If you get yours from a restaurant or the beach, you want to make sure you scrub the heck out of them.  I soaked mine in a bucket of 3 parts water and 1 part bleach overnight and then laid them out on the driveway for a few days in the sun.  I then used a scrub brush and some Seventh Generation dish soap to clean them again. 

PAINT. Once they're dry, use a stiff, flat paint brush to apply your liquid gold leaf, making sure to paint all the way to the edges.  I applied three coats, letting each one dry completely in between.

TOP COAT. Spray your food safe top coat and let dry overnight.

Aren't they pretty?

I found the porcelain caviar spoons at Sur La Table for $1 each (sorry, I couldn't find a link online!)

 Happy painting!!

Tuesday
Jul192016

4 easy steps to amazing window boxes

I'm dying for a trip to Charleston.....buuuuuut with the heat and humidity being as bad as it is, my very pregnant self is just going to have to wait for much cooler temps for a visit to the Holy City.  If you guys have been reading here for a while, you know I fell head over heels in love with Charleston the first time we ever set foot on its cobble stone streets years ago.  And even though we've been back more times than I can count, I still bring along my camera every time we go to snap pictures of my favorite houses, gardens and, of course, the window boxes. Oh, those beautiful window boxes...there isn't a house in sight that doesn't boast them, and every one is always spilling over with petunias, sweet potato vine, asparagus fern, ivy, lantana, verbena you name it.  I love walking by some of my favorite homes and seeing how they've changed up the blooms and plants for the season and I always go home with a ton of new ideas for flower and color combinations!  In fact, the very first thing I did before I even unpacked my bags the first time I ever visited Charleston was head out to Home Depot to buy two window boxes for the front of our last house! 

I posted my go-to tips for amazing pots earlier this spring (you can read about it here) and even though you've all seen my pictures of many gorgeous window boxes from past trips to Charleston, I thought I would share some of them again to accompany a few more tips that helped keep my window boxes in top form, too! 

Pick a complimentary color scheme.

I like to look for plants and flowers that compliment the color of my house, surrounding gardens and landscaping for the best impact. My house is gray with white trim, with a black front door and shutters and lots of pink blooms all over the rest of my landscaping, so I always look for blooms in different shades of pink as well as foliage in bright and lime green for the most drama and a cohesive look.

Mix it up. 

 I always follow the rule of three whenever I plant a pot or flower box: one taller, bushy plant or bloom for height (think liriope, geraniums or ferns), one trailing (lantana, ivy, sweet potato vine) and one medium-sized one to fill in the spaces between the two (like petunias, purple queen, impatiens).  Mixing in flowers and foliage add texture and interest, too!

Good drainage is key. 

My favorite window boxes are the wrought iron ones with a natural coco lining because they're available at every hardware store, they're much more budget-friendly (and prettier!) that some of the fake, composite versions and, the best part, is that you don't have to worry about drilling holes for drainage! (If there is no place for water to escape, the roots will rot and your plants will die).

Use a quality, organic potting mix + fertilizer. 

Good soil makes all the difference between big, beautiful blooms and sad, stringy plants.  Whenever I plant pots or window boxes, I like to mix in Jolly Gardener Soil Conditioner with Fertilome Azalea, Rhododenron and Camellia food and a handful of pelletized lime for extra oomph.  This trio has never failed me yet!

 

 

 

 

Monday
Jul042016

american flag wreath

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you're all celebrating right now with a cocktail in one hand and a burger in the other!  Baby girl and I whipped up a little Independence Day wreath last week and even though no one is going to be doing any last minute diy's right about now, I still thought it appropriate to share because it's so easy!  

Before I had Lydia, I never decorated my house for a holiday except for Christmas, but now I'm having a blast making each one special for my little miss and it just so happens that the 4th of July is one of my favorites!  I've had this image of an American flag wreath pinned for a while and thought it would look beautiful, hung by a navy striped grosgrain ribbon, on my plate hutch for Independence Day.  This is the easiest DIY I've ever done and it probably only would have taken me twenty minutes to do it but my sidekick wanted to help so I let her stick them wherever she wanted and then I went back after she went down for a nap and re-did it!  The best part is that I can use this for plenty of holidays throughout the year - Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, when Daddy gets home from deployment or even just a last-minute barbeque in the backyard!  

What you'll need:

Styrofoam wreath (I used a 10 inch round)

About a million toothpick flags (I ordered this set of 500 from Amazon and used every one!)

Navy and white striped grosgrain ribbon

To make:

I just started on the outer edge of my wreath form and stuck one toothpick in after another.  I wanted it to look a little more uniform so after I'd finish a round of toothpicks around the edge, I'd follow with another one right in front of it.  I just kept going, working my way toward the center of the wreath from.  And that's it! 

Happy Independence Day!

Monday
Jun272016

how to make your hydrangeas last for weeks

Like every other decor-obsessed blogger, I've got a major softspot for fresh cut hydrangeas.  Those big, billowy blooms get me every time I walk into the grocery store but I've had such a hard time getting them to last longer than two or three days lately that I stopped buying them altogether the last couple of months.  I reached out on Instagram a while ago to see if there were any surefire tricks I was missing and when one reader shared her tried and true secret and how it extends her hydrangea bouquets by sometimes THREE WEEKS (!?) I just had to try it!  It worked SO well that I had to share it with you guys, too!  It's so simple you just won't believe it!

These blue and white hydrangeas from my baby shower were looking a little sad, so I decided to give it a try over the weekend and see if I couldn't bring them back to life again:

All you need is a large bucket; fill it with cold water and a bunch of ice:

Next, submerge your blooms, heads first, completely under water, keep them in a cool place (I left mine in the sink in my laundry room) and forget about them.  That's it!  I usually do this at the end of the day and let them sit in the ice water overnight:

Look how much they've plumped up by the next morning!

I hope you're all off to a great start this week!

 

 

 

 

Friday
Jun102016

5 favorite (and easy!) summer-inspired diy's

My idea of the perfect DIY is one that is easy, inexpensive, relatively quick to execute and doesn't look like something you actually made yourself.  (Had to add that last part because it's so true!!)  If you're in the mood for some easy, summer-inspired DIY's to try over the weekend, I've got a few for you that fit my aforementioned prerequisites and will have your friends and guests wanting to know your secrets!  In place of my unregularly scheduled Friday Five post (despite my best efforts!), I thought it would be fun to re-post five of my favorites for summer! 

This rope-wrapped vase is one of my favorite diy's, as much for the fact that it's INCREDIBLY easy as it is because it looks so beautiful with simple summer blooms! I'm making a bunch of these for the centerpieces at my cousin's wedding this Fall in Newport, Rhode Island - how amazing will they look filled to the brim with blue and white hydrangea?!

Turn 12 feet of rope from Lowe's or Home Depot into a nautical addition to a bookshelf or coffee table in minutes, or, impress your friends with mini versions of these monkey's fist knots to take home as favors from your next barbeque or get together!  I made a few of these to give away as prizes for the games at my baby shower a few years ago and I'm still getting compliments and comments on them!

Give your walls a little refresh and add softness and texture to your favorite photos and artwork by gluing linen fabric to plain white mats.  For even more drama, spray paint your frames a glossy white for a light and airy feel.  These were the perfect addition to a few favorite pieces of art on the gallery wall in Lydia's nursery:

 Whitewashing inexpensive terra cotta pots is a quick and easy alternative to waiting years for them to age naturally on their own.  A cheap bag of powdered lime, some sandpaper and spray sealer and you've got chalky perfection!

And if you're feeling especially adventurous, grab some white paint and breathe some new life into that old piece of furniture you've been wanting to get rid of forever.  Whitewashing and dry brushing some  white paint is a great way to transform an old piece and it's a lot easier than you think!  I've listed each step to make it even easier!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and happy DIY-ing!