Entries Tagged as 'DIY projects'

Ombre Pillow Talk



Target Stripe Ombre Pillows

On Saturday we went for a quick stop at Target to pick up birthday present for Nikolas’ three year old cousin. We eventually found a present but on the way to the toy aisle I found myself veering off the intended path (as I often do) and spotting the most fantastic coral and orange striped ombre pillows.

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows 2

Ombre and stripes…need I say more? I nearly died in the aisle at the gorgeousness of these pillows and they were on sale for $12.99 (unfortunately they’re not sold online or I’d give you a link 😉 ). Score. I thought about it for a quick second, eyed them up again, looked over my shoulder to see if anyone else had spotted them…stalking me about to fly in and snatch them up right under my nose.

Of course, I couldn’t let that happen so in the cart they went and I never looked back.

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows 4

They’re not advertised as outdoor pillows but I think that’s more about what they’re stuffed with rather than the fabric outside. It’s a durable feeling cotton canvas material and because I love them so much I’ve decided they are worth it to keep outside for the summer and bring them in at night and during chance of rain.

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows 3

Did I mentioned they also had a coordinating drink tray? The ex-waitress in me is jumping for joy. The added bit of color is just what I was looking for in this space. I’m loving them so far.

Anyone else make any recent awesome purchases lately. Do you get paranoid at someone might snatch it out of your hands when you find something you really love?  Have you been to Target recently? They had so many amazing things this past weekend I could have brought the whole store home with me.

Well that’s it for me today, talk to you all tomorrow 🙂

DIY Project: Deck Planter Boxes



Deck Boxes 1

Yup we’re on a mission to makeover our deck space into a great outdoor living space complete with new custom cushions, potted plants and now we are building a few deck planter boxes. But the plan to build didn’t always start out that way.

Deck Boxes 2

First we did a little research in the Planter box aisle of Home Depot. We found a couple nice options here and here, but at the potential cost of either $99 or $159 for each box (we need three) we were convinced we could build them more affordably.


1 x 6 pine boards
1 x 2 flat stock pine trim
Finishing nails
Paintable caulk
Exterior semi-gloss paint
Sand Paper

Miter saw
Finish Nail Gun
Electric Sander

The design is nothing more than a pine box with a a few trim pieces added to dress it up. Each board was cut straight across with the miter saw to the desired length, width and 1 board for the bottom of the box.

Deck Boxes 3

As Bryan was building he dry fit them together to make sure they all aligned evenly and scrap piece was placed inside to keep every nice and square while it was nailed together.

Deck Boxes 4

Then using the nail gun Bryan made made quick work of assembling the boxes together by first assembling the sides then attaching the bottom.

Deck Boxes 5

Once the boxes were all assembled we moved onto the top corner trim on three sides. Leaving the trim off the back side will allow the box to mounted tight to the deck rails. Carefully measuring and cutting a 45 degree angle to ensure a tight finished seam helps to dress up the end and cover any unfinished edges.

Deck Boxes 8

After trimming the tops and bottoms we finished it up with three square cut pieces nailed to the front of the box and one on each side.

Deck Boxes 9

Then we sanded the whole thing for a smooth painting surface, caulked the joints with a paintable exterior caulk and finished out the whole thing with a couple coats of Behr Ultra White Exterior paint in Semi-Gloss.

Deck Boxes 10

Finally we drilled a few drainage holes in the bottom of each box.  Now we just need to wait for the final coat of paint to dry, hang the boxes and plant some flowers. All in all it was a relatively easy project and came in around $70 for three boxes as opposed to the $300 minimum price for the same look.

Deck Rail Flower Boxes

Seriously, I love them and I can’t get enough of them. I even enjoy watering them in the morning as I leisurely sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.

The geraniums have been growing like little sun loving monsters on steroids. By the time I’m done typing this sentence I’m sure they will have grown 3 more feet ;-) If you would like to see all the details of how we built these guys click here.

I anxious to finish painting the deck rails white. Although, not so anxious to do it while it’s 100 degrees and sunny. At this rate it will probably be September before we get rolling (pun intended) on the painting again.

Enter the Hornbeams



It’s time to fill you in a bit on what’s been happening around here on the garden front. Back in March I shared some of our Summer Yard Plans. We’ve been working slowly but surely filling in the gardens here and there; sprucing up our outdoor space. I’ve been waiting for things to bloom a bit so you can really see how it’s all coming together. With the tree’s finally in full bloom what better time to share what we’ve been up to than now.

Backyard plans with notes copy

But let’s quickly recap for a moment with a plan and a drawing. Because you know I love a good illustrated plan. Here’s a quick look at our long term plans for the yard. We were thinking about relocating the vegetable gardens and adding a garden in front of the above ground pool towards the lake side. One of the other things on the we really want to do someday list is to add a boardwalk type deck along the lake wall and a new floating dock. We also want to add some grass around the pool some hedges and finish it off with a path.

Hornbeam Image via

Of course one of the first things we decided to do wasn’t even on that list but it’s been something we’ve been talking about for a while. While browsing at the garden center of Home Depot in March my Mom spied a few Hornbeam trees. My mom and I talk about trees and shrubs just like we talk about the Pottery Barn catalog and the until now we haven’t been able to find them ANYWERE. These trees are pretty cool because you can let them grow naturally, like the image above. Or you can keep trimmed into to all different shapes, you can even keep them as a tall hedge.

Needless to say she snagged a few of them faster then you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. For a while now we’ve felt that the yard needed some vertical elements to break up the long horizontal line of the privacy fence while adding a smidge more privacy from the neighboring houses.

At the time they didn’t have any leaves on them but we planted them anyway knowing they’d soon be full and lush.

Hornbeam trees

That’s my Dad below, he is always digging and planting trees and shrubs, as long as I can remember my Dad has had a shovel in his hand digging up or moving something or other, usually under the direction of my Mom who happens to mysteriously absent from this shot.

Hornbeam Planting

Now just a few weeks later they’ve bloomed and have filled in nicely. Over time we plan to keep them trimmed to avoid them encroaching on the yard too much.


It’s certainly an improvement over how bare the fence was looking just a few short months ago.

Winter View

Now it’s lush and green and has filled in nicely.

Outdoor view 2

Hornbeam trees 2

So excited to see them fill in over time.

How To Make a Simple Terrarium



Well hello there, I’ve missed you all. I have a great little bedroom update to share today. Yes we’re still moving slowly along in that room. I’ve never really had any space that I could call done so I’m determined to keep on chugging along one little piece at a time until I get it where I’m content to move along.

Bedroom Lamp

Do you remember when I mentioned that I had purchased a lamp to place on the dresser and I couldn’t decide if it was a right for the space? Well I decided I agreed with some of the comments I received and back it went to the store, I liked the lamp well enough but just not in that spot. I’ve learned if I’m not loving it 100% then to just return it and try something else. I always end up happier than if I kept it and tried to make it work.

Bedroom Lamp 1

The lamp covered up some of the wall gallery and the neutral colors weren’t balancing against the other colorful elements of the room. On the trip back to Home Goods to return the lamp I found a great apothecary jar and at $19 I grabbed it and ran, especially considering I’ve seen ones for three times that amount in other places. It was the right shape and scale for the top of the dresser and I liked the light air feel of the glass, but it was still missing some color.

Apothecary Jars

I contemplated a few different options to fill it, including glass fishing floats or colorful stones but in the end I decided it was the perfect spot to add a little life to the area in the form of a small terrarium . I had some small square glass vases stashed in the closet so I added those to the mix as well. I like how the square vases contrasted against the curvy lines of the Apothecary jar.

I was hoping that it would be a quick and easy project and it was. Once I had the supplies (which took 2 trips to the store because I couldn’t make up my mind)  it took less than an hour to put together. The most difficult part was lowering the plant into the jar, which took a little careful maneuvering to settle it in there.

Terrarium Supplies

On the second trip to Home Depot I bought my supplies. I already had my Apothecary Jar from Home Goods and two other glass containers I’d use as pots. I purchased a few African Violets and a Parlor Palm which are great indoor houseplants, thrive in low to medium light conditions and don’t mind being a little bit humid which can happen in a closed glass jar. Side Note, I bought way too many plants. I only ended up needing 3, one for each pot. I also picked up some potting soil and decorative stones. Most people also recommend using activated charcoal but I couldn’t find it so I skipped that step. We’ll see if I live to regret it.

Apothecary Jars 3

After that I added a small amount of the decorative stones to the bottom. Since there aren’t any drainage holes I wanted to leave the water a place to gather at the bottom in case I overwatered. I actually had too many in the photo above and ended up taking some out, but you get the idea.

I placed a small amount of soil then lowered the African Violet carefully into place. At some point I may have wondered aloud how the #$*@ can I get this plant into that jar. After a little trial and error I found adding just a small amount of soil and then filling in around it was the best method. I ended up having to brush some of the soil off of the leaves this way but it all turned out good in the end.

It got a little messy so be sure to work outside or cover your work services to keep the clean up easy.

Apothecary Jars 4

I planted another African Violet into one of the smaller square planters and the Parlor Palm into the larger vase, this time without the #$#^&.  That was it, easy peasy.

I’m loving how simple this was and the color and sparkly touch it adds to this side of the room.

Apothecary Jars 1

Also the clear containers that allow the pebbles to show through are super cute.

Apothecary Jars 2 copy

So what do you think? Anyone else tried sticking a plant in a jar lately?  Did you love the results, or were you thinking how the *#*&$% am I going to get this plant stuffed into this jar.

DIY Handmade Paper Flower Bouquet



DIY Handmade Paper Flower Bouquet

With Spring a mere 7 days away, I’m more in the mood for colorful blooms then cozy knits. My paper flower love affair all started with this pin of some fantastic Coffee Filter Flowers via the always inspirational Design Sponge and led me down the rabbit hole of paper flower pinning all of which you can see on my aptly named Stuff to DIY board.

image via

So I started with the coffee filter flowers but I did a few things a little differently. I felt like I wanted to do something different than using paint to to dye the coffee filters, I thought about it for a moment and decided food coloring would probably work wonderfully instead of paint. It totally worked, I think my dyed version turn out pretty darn well.

DIY Paper Flower Bouquet 4

There’s 3 different types of paper flowers in my bouquet, Paper Peonies original tutorial here, Rolled Rosebuds original tutorial here and Poppies my own take on some of the general tutorials I found. I’ll detail each one below so you can see what I did similarly to the original tutorials and what I found worked for me that’s different. Shall we get crafting our own paper flowers?


  • 60 coffee filters
  • Yellow and red concentrated gel food coloring
  • 3 bowls
  • Wood floral picks
  • Green floral wire
  • Green Floral Tape
  • Scissors
  • Brightly colored tissue paper
  • Black tissue paper


The paper peonies are gorgeous on their own and probably the most time consuming of the three that I tried. If you get an assembly line going they’ll go quicker. The results are stunning and worth the time.

To start dying your coffee filters you’ll need a whole boatload of coffee filters, 60 to be exact, 3 bowls and food coloring in yellow and orange. I used the concentrated gel kind which I found in the cake decorating section of Michaels craft store.

Coffee Filter Flower Tutorial 11

In each of the three bowls place 1 cup of warm water. In the first bowl add equal parts yellow and red food coloring until you get a nice deep orange color. In the second bowl of water add 2 parts yellow to 1 part red food coloring. In the third bowl add only yellow food coloring.

Following the original instructions via Design Sponge I placed 10 coffee filters in the darkest color, 20 in the mid-range color and 30 in the yellow. Let them set for a few minutes, the longer they sit in the dye bath the more vibrant each of the colors will be.

Once I was satisfied with the color I removed the coffee filters and wrung out the excess water. Then I separated each filter and left them out to dry. Just FYI they’re pretty slopping and ugly looking when wet.

Tip: to speed drying you could use a hair dryer set on low or hang them in front of a fan.

Coffee Filter Flower Tutorial 13

Once they were all dry I sorted the stacks by color then separated 10 to a stack. You should have 1 stack of the deepest color, 2 stacks of the medium color and 3 stacks of the lightest color. Next fold them in half and then in quarters, into a pie shape. Cut the rounded edges, more jagged cuts into the deepest color graduating to shallow almost rounded cuts into the lightest color coffee filters. Finally make a small snip in the pointed end so that there will be a small whole the center of your filter.

Here’s where my version differed a little again, I used wooden flower picks instead of straw for the stems of my flowers. I liked how the picks had floral wire at the top of each pick which made attaching the petals to the stem easier than using the masking tape and straws method suggest in the tutorial.

I selected 1 of the darkest dyed coffee filters folded it up in the middle twisted the based and attached it directly to the wood pick, winding the wire tightly to secure it to the wood pick.

Coffee Filter Flower Tutorial 12

Then I placed 1 of the medium dyed filters, sliding it onto the pick through the hole I cut in the center, then crimp around the wooden stick and attach with floral wire. Then I repeated for 1 more medium dyed filter and 3 of the lightest dyed filters.

In total I had 1 dark filter, 2 medium filters, and 3 of the lightest filters wired to your wooden pick. Then I wrapped the whole stick in green floral tape to cover the wires and entire wooden stick. Repeat for each paper peony, when I was done I had 10 full flowers.

Coffee Filter Flowers 2

The paper peonies were gorgeous, I almost want to kiss the original person who though of this because they’re that pretty and addicting to make.

Once the peonies were complete I decided some pops color in the bouquet would be a nice touch. The hot pink flowers are cut and rolled to make small rosebud flowers. They were so simple and far less time consuming than the peonies. I think the combination is stunning.

Paper Flower Bouquet


The rolled rosebuds are infinitely more simple when compared to the paper peonies, but none the less gorgeous.

DIY Paper Rosebud Tutorial 1

Start by cutting a strip of tissue paper about 3 inches wide from the short side of your piece of tissue paper. Roll the long end in approximately 2 inch segments the entire length of your tissue paper. Cut one end of the paper rounded and unfold

Start crimping back and forth accordion style scrunching up the center of your flower to form the tight bud, then continue to roll the entire length

DIY Paper Rosebud Tutorial 2

Attach to a floral wood pick with wire, wrap the entire base of the rose bud and stem with green floral tape to secure and finish.


The poppies are a hybrid version of the  paper peonies it’s similar principle but different materials and much different results. I think they play nicely in combination with the other flowers.

DIY Poppy Flower 3

For the petals, start by tracing and cutting out 3 circles onto your sheet of tissue paper. Stack the circles together and fold into quarters creating a pie shape. Cut the rounded end of the pie shape so that the ends are wavy. Snip just the tip of the point to create a hole in the center of your tissue paper circle.

Cut a small square out of your black piece of tissue paper. Place a small ball of tin foil in the center, wrap around the top of your floral pick and secure with wire.

Place 1 piece of your now cut petal rounds onto the wood floral pick through the center hole you snipped in the first step.

DIY Poppy Flower 1

Crimp your tissue paper petal onto the floral pick securing with green floral wire, repeat for 2 more petals. Wrap the entire wood stick including the wired base of the petals in green floral tape to secure tightly.

DIY Paper Flower Bouquet 5

I have to say these turned out soooo much better than I expected. I’ve had to explain to everyone who has walked in the house that they were made from scratch by me and not flowers stems I bought and put in the vase. I’m a little stupid giddy over them and I’m tempted to pet them lovingly each time I walk into the room.

There’s so many possibilities for these paper flowers, like create a few and set them into everyone’s glass for a dinner party or create a fun center piece, decorate for a party and even make them into napkin holders with a little modification. The possibilities are endless.


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