DIY Decoupage Pumpkins

September 28th, 2012

So a few weeks ago I was browsing pinterest and came across these adorable decoupaged Christmas tree ornaments. This is definitely a project right up my alley and I decided to try it early on pumpkins!

(source)

So I went to my local Michaels and picked up a variety of pumpkins. I definitely recommend the white ones because you can have a few missing spots and they won’t show up. I’m not sure how the orange pumpkins do yet, but I’ll find out tomorrow!

This is what the final product looks like. I love the scrappiness of it, and its perfect for my more earthy halloween decor.

So the first step is to get your paper. I just grabbed a book that I was planning on donating and cut out a handful of sheets. For the big pumpkin I used about 20 sheets, for the small pumpkin about 4.  I cut the sheets out of the book and then trimmed the margins.

Then I cut vertical strips of varied widths.

Then I cut some of those into shorter strips.

Once I had everything cut and ready to go, I grabbed my Mod Podge and a small sponge brush and went at it.

I recommend using more glue than less. Glue before you put a strip down and then after the strip is on. In my opinion you can’t have too much glue.

This is pretty much how my progress went. I worked on the pumpkin about a quarter at a time and then finished up the bottom quarter after I went all the way around.

I recommend doing it this way because you can keep the smaller area that you’re working on wet and it makes the whole process easier.  Here’s the final big pumpkin again:

I also decoupaged a small pumpkin. This one was much harder because of all the small heavy creases. I used 3/8″ x 2″ strips on this one so it used probably just as many strips as the big pumpkin… just much smaller and harder to handle strips!

I also added a dusting of clear glitter on this one:

And here is the final product mixed with that gilded pumpkin!

I’ve got to do a few more of these (maybe go pick up another big pumpkin), and then I’ll be ready to do all my Halloween decor!

Front Room Re-do

September 26th, 2012

I recently updated that we were working on our “room divider” in the living room. I needed Mr. Project to finish it really fast because I was hosting a bunco party. So he kicked it into high gear and start to finish he had the room divider and all the wall trim up and painted in less than two weeks.

Now I’m going to show you this before picture, but I do have to warn you that this is like SUPER before. This was what it looked like when we bought it:

Everything about this before is terrible, and let me tell you that if you had smell-o-vision that picture would stink to high heaven because of the 30 year old carpet and probably the 30 year old paint job. Let me point out some very special things about the before just in case you miss the subtleties. 1. Popcorn ceilings, 2. hideous 30-year old orange peal textured walls (like really bad bad texture, not new slightly bad texture). 3. old stinky carpet, 4. 1-inch stained pine baseboards & pine doors, 5. creamy old switches and plugs, 6. wall blocking the kitchen, 7. rickety metal railing (we tried to salvage the wood beam, but the stink had permeated it so we had to toss it).  Basically the whole space was repugnant and have I mentioned that everyone tried to talk us out of buying this house?

Well that was more than a year ago. Before we moved in, most of the work was done in this space – though I don’t have a good progress picture. So Imagine the space with the pretty stairs, hardwood floors, smooth white ceilings and walls painted gray. It was a nice space, but really boring and other than the stairs lacked architectural detail.  And for me, the biggest issue was that there was no clear division of space. I’m all for open concept, but I want spaces to feel like they have a beginning and end. Here’s my first progress photo to show about where we were at when we got started + the cabinets, beam, and columns:

So for the first part of this project, we decided the specs on the cabinets – we didn’t want them to feel too big and bulky, but yet they still needed to have some weight to them. We went with 12″ deep on the inside of the cabinets (standard size for an upper cabinet), 34″ tall (standard height for a base cabinet), and then 22″ wide (just a good size for the space).

Mr. Project built the cabinets – the face frames and doors are maple, the boxes and shelves are pre-finished melamine  board.  The outsides of the boxes are trimmed with 1/4″ MDF to create the paneling on the sides and backs. The cabinets are topped with a solid chunk of Black Walnut that we got from a friend who had cut down and milled some walnut trees on his land several years ago (whenever using solid wood, make sure that is is properly dried to avoid warping and splitting). It’s really gorgeous and Mr. Project was thrilled to get some solid pieces big enough to use without having to glue anything. Initially I had planned for the whole thing to be white, but I’m so glad that Mr. Project suggested walnut – it’s expensive, but in the end it brings some much-needed contrast to the very white space.

Once the cabinets were done, he installed them to the walls and bolted them to the floors. Nothing’s moving these suckers. Next he installed a 2×4 to the ceiling (screwing it into the beams above) and then built the beam out of 3/4″ MDF like a big U and screwed nailed and glued it onto the 2×4. The columns are built out of 3/4″ cabinet-grade plywood cut and mitered and affixed to one small square screwed into the beam and one small square screwed into the cabinet top.

Once all the main pieces were assembled and installed, trim work could begin:

Mr. Project continued the crown molding along the beam, and then trimmed out the columns and put baseboard on the cabinets. Then he started on the board and batten that we did all around the front room, one wall in the dining room, and then up the stairs.

Once all the trim was done the real work began… putting, caulking, sanding, priming, sanding, and painting. Mr. Project and nearly the entire house was covered in a fine white dust for a good 4 days. It was pretty awful. And all I wanted to do was keep cleaning and vacuuming because I couldn’t handle the dust. but in the end it was worth all of the hard work!

Here is the room divider all finished (missing the doors). It’s so so so so gorgeous, and just the perfect thing for the space. You would never know that it wasn’t always there either. It really is just a great focal point for the room. Especially since this is what you see first when you walk in the house.

And here from further back, you can see the expansiveness of the board and batten.

And head on with furniture in place, a peak of the stairs to your left.

And now the full stair shot – I loved my stairs before, but now I super duper love them with the trim.

And then a few days later Mr. Project installed the inset doors and shiny latches. This matches our kitchen cabinets & hardware to tie the spaces together.

And the over-all shot. Bestill my heart! Such a beautiful space, and completely unbelievable that it’s the same space that we started with over a year ago!

Stella & Rose Card Set

November 25th, 2011

Hi everyone!!! Happy Thanksgiving week! I hope your holiday was as fun and relaxing as mine. Right now I am on vacation in Taos, New Mexico. My husband and I travel every year over Thanksgiving and decided this year we would travel to Taos to see family. Our past trips have been to England, France, Italy, Mexico, and Jamaica. We love traveling internationally over Thanksgiving because to every other country, it’s just another day!

As I said, we are visiting family, my aunt and uncle and a couple cousins. This particular part of the family has always lived far from me, but they are amazing people and I love spending time with them. My cousin and I text MANY times a day. I decided to make my aunt some cards as a thank you for hosting us for dinner. I used several of Jen’s MME papers!

Gathering my supplies:

White cards, kraft cards, a few pieces of patterned paper, Papertrey Ink’s Botanical Silhouettes set (for the sentiments), and my Memento Tuxedo Black. Of course you’ll need adhesive and pop dots as well.

The paper pads I used: MME Stella & Rose Gertie, Stella & Rose Hattie, and Lost & Found 2.

The patterned papers that I chose. I love the 6×6 size for card making!

And here are the cards! I ended up using some matching cardstock behind the patterned paper to make it a little more substantial on the base. I also used the other side of each paper along the bottom of the sentiment to ground it.

(this sentiment comes from Congrats All Ways)

And the card I plan to send to my aunt and uncle is made with paper from MME Stella & Rose Hattie and a tag from MME Stella & Rose Mabel.

I hope everyone has had some lovely family time this week! Not to mention delicious food! Happy Thanksgiving.