Entries in DIY (27)


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!






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!








diy: "vintage" sign

A few weeks back, I posted a shot of a vintage-inspired sign I made for my aunt and I got so many emails about it, I thought a post was in order!  This was so much quicker and easier than I expected, which truly is ideal for someone with a toddler who wants to do everything Momma is doing, so if you're considering making one, I highly recommend (mostly because you can get it done in less than two nap times!)

Here is what you'll need:

-Plywood (I bought a piece of white pine from Lowe's that was 1.5 inches thick and 10 inches wide and had them cut it to five feet).

-Black latex paint

-Tracing paper and a sharp pencil

-White latex paint

-100 grit sand paper

First things first, I beat the crap out of the wood with anything I could quickly find - a hammer, a chisel (for the edges and corners), a flathead screwdriver and a wire with extra large bolts that I keep handy for distressing wood. 

Next, I slapped on some black paint.  I mixed a little water in with it so it wouldn't be too thick and also so it would be easier to sand down and look "distressed" at the end.  I applied two coats, letting each coat dry in between.

I used Word for my letters; nothing fancy, just Times New Roman in 100 size font.  I held tracing paper up to my computer screen, lightly tracing the letters and then, using a sharp pencil, laid the paper on top of my sign and traced again, leaving a pencil mark on the wood.  I used the stiffest, skinniest paint brush I could find (which happened to be one of the cheapos in a paint set of Lydia's!) for the outline of the letters and then filled it in with a thicker brush. I did three light coats of white paint, again letting each coat dry in between and then finally sanding the whole thing - letters and all - rubbing off the paint on the edges and scraping some off the letters, until I was satisfied. 

Here is a closeup of how it looked once I was done:

Easy peasy! Happy Hump Day!


obsessed: versailles planters

I've been pining for a pair of oversize Versailles planters to flank my front door ever since we built our house six years ago.  Their classic shape is so elegant and not only do they look amazing with a few coats of high gloss paint but they work in so many design styles, too.  Sadly, a pair of these babies (or at least the ones I've seen and fallen in love with) can run close to the same as a monthly mortgage payment so I've settled for zinc lookalike urns made of fiberglass, instead.  But oh, how these planters call to my ever loving heart:


Cote de Texas

House Beautiful

Howard Design Studio

Gil Schafer

Bruce Budd via Architectural Digest

Howard Design Studio

Andrew Skurman Architeccts


Traditional Home

I got a wild hair a few weeks ago to look online and see if I could find any decent plans to build my own and, much to my surprise, there were a bunch of pretty good ones!  Here are a few that caught my eye:

Love this tutorial for a more traditional (short but wide) planter:

Another great DIY for a Restoration Hardware-inspired pair (I LOVE the ball finials!):

Love the pair Centional Girl built for her back porch!  Her step-by-step instructions are so easy to follow:

I'm hoping to tackle a pair of these for my porch this weekend, so stay tuned to see which ones we go with!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


make your silver sparkle

I'm so excited about this post, I can hardly stand it!  I'm telling you, the older I get, it's the little things that make me the happiest!  If you guys follow me on Instagram, you know that I went on a bit of a cleaning spree this past weekend, starting with my collection of tarnished, crusty, silver footed Revere bowls.  I always buy them whenever I see them in thrift and antique stores; they're all over my house, holding everything from plants and matches to fruit and candy and they look amazing stacked in my glassfront kitchen cabinets. 

As much as I love them, I've never been able to get them gleaming - Wright's silver polish just wasn't cutting it and I even tried a mixture of hot water, table salt and baking soda that a blogger had sworn by (it didn't do a thing for me).  Then one day on Instagram, Melinda from House 214 posted a picture of her kitchen with large Revere bowls exactly like mine.  On a whim, I asked how she got them sparkling and she suggested trying Barkeeper's Helper Soft Cleanser.  The answer was literally underneath my sink!  I used a soft cloth (a paper towel scratched the silver) and went to town.  The tarnish literally melted away within minutes. 

 Here is a pretty good before and after.  Isn't it amazing?

Once I got started, there was no stopping me.  Salt and pepper shakers, water pitchers, anything and everything silver was up for transformation and it all just looks so, SO good:

Pretty impressive for less than $3 and a little elbow grease, wouldn't you say?

Happy Hump Day, friends!