Felt Christmas Stockings

Of course, I ALWAYS love this time of year. But there is definitely something special about our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs., especially being in a new home in a new city. We have really made our house feel like home over the last several months, and Christmas is no exception. This week, I will share with you my favorite Christmas decorations, starting with these simple felt stockings I whipped up over Thanksgiving weekend. I used a patter I still had from my sweet friend Julia, and after a little experimenting with the cuff, finally sewed the pieces together to get a few simple stockings for our fire place!

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I hand stitched each of the letters on for a little extra homemade look (as if they weren’t already obviously homemade), and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! They may not hold up more than a couple of years, but I think they are just right for our home right now.stockings2 stockings3

Check back tomorrow for some snowflake Christmas cookies!

Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

I am not sure if napkin rings are really still a “thing” or not, but I couldn’t find any I liked over the weekend. SO, who needs ’em? Using a little twine and lace, I tied up my new gold-accented napkins with a little love. I can’t wait to finish setting the table for Thanksgiving, and sharing the end result with you guys!

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Do you do anything special to set your table? Any yearly traditions?

Happy Fall, Y’all!

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Hiiiii…

So, I’ve kept my computer shut the last couple of weeks. And honestly, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. Two weeks ago, we traveled to Nashville for my 5th year college reunion. It was a blast, in spite of a pretty brutal Commodore loss. And the next weekend, my mom traveled to visit us from Wisconsin. We spent the weekend doing tons and tons a perfectly acceptable amount of shopping, eating, Packer-watching, and decorating. In fact, a trip to Michael’s with mom resulted in a fabulous decorated home. It seems so much more like fall now! And that’s what moms are for 🙂

house 1 And this weekend? Well, we celebrated a big Commodore WIN and some gorgeous fall weather in Columbus. porch

And this is what happens when you are too lazy to carve your pumpkin…

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And here is one of many Michael’s purchases. I mean, how can you deny a 70% off sale??scarecrow

Argyle Autumn Wreath

This weekend was autumn perfection. We tailgated in the sunshine. We saw Ohio State beat Wisconsin in the Shoe. We went to church, the grocery, and made chili in the crock pot, and ate it while we watched football. And last night, I made a new little wreath for autumn, out of materials and fabrics I already had. Freebie project, for the win.

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I had some autmumn-toned fabric on hand from Jonathan’s grandmother, and I thought this might be a sweet way to use it. If you’d like to make your own, simply wrap a styrofoam wreath form in fabric (I used burlap, which I have sooo much of). Lay out your little fabric squares corner to corner, and use a stick pin to secure each one. I slowly wrapped the twine, securing it with a few stick pins at the beginning and end. I then tacked town the outer corners of each fabric square with a little dot of glue. I used as little glue as possible, overall, so that if I want to change it out at some point, and reuse the fabric and wreath form, I can.photo 2

Yes, these are iPhone photos. Hopefully I can take some nice ones this week, but when you make a project at night, and want to post about it right away, this is what you get. 

Happy crafting, and more importantly, happy Autumn!!photo 5

Piano Bench Upgrade

I’ve been perusing craigslist lately in hopes of finding an inexpensive bench that I could upgrade into a sweet and function piece for our home. Finally, I found the perfect thing… a piano bench that someone gave up stripping part way through. Because it was so unfinished, it was incredibly cheap. BUT, it wasn’t pretty…

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However, I love its charm and I knew I could work with it. And here’s what I upgraded it to:

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Now, it’s a cushioned bench that still opens for a little extra storage space. It’s far from perfect, but it really only took a few hours total, and I love it!! Want to do something similar? Here’s what I did.

You’ll Need…

For painting:
A bench (obviously)
Sanding block
Primer + paint
Roller brush and detail brush

For the cushion:
Foam Padding (I used 2″ thick)
Fabric of your choice
Staple Gun

First things first. Whip out your screwdrivers (sorry I didn’t include that on your equipment list) and undo the hardware on the top of the bench. It’s so much easier to work with when you’ve removed the lid.

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Painting time. I thought about experimenting with chalk paint and whatever other stylish paints are out there, but at the end of the day, it’s just simplest to sand, prime, paint. Trust me, it’s tried and true. So unless you’re just messing around for fun, stick with what you know. I did a quick sanding job, but thankfully my bench was pretty much already stripped to its bones. I used a spray paint primer in a gray color, since my final color was a gray-blue. After letting this dry, I moved my project inside due to weather, where I laid down my tarp and got painting.

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I recommend a roller brush simply because you can cover a lot of ground more smoothly than with a bristle brush (is there a technical name for traditional brushes?). Then take your touch up brush and get into all the crevices and hard to reach places. Give your bench a solid two coats until you are 100% happy with how it looks. I also painted the inside of the lid.

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For the cushion top. I am a homegrown DIY girl, and most things I just figure out as I go (truth). I’m sure I could have made a very fancy cushion somehow, but that’s not how I role. Instead, measure out your padding and cut it down to size (you can use an exacto knife, or even a scissors). I used two 2″ thick pieces of foam.

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Next, lay your fabric face down, and center your padding on it.

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Then lay your bench top on it, so the “inside” of the bench top is facing up. Now, go steal your husband’s staple gun. It is just so, so much easier than any other cushion-making method I can think of. Wrap your bench top like a present, securing with staples along the way. Make sure you don’t cover up the holes for your hardware, which you will need to put back on next. Make sure you know which pieces of hardware go where! This is important, obviously.

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Time to put it all together. This is the best part! Attach the bench top back to your bench, being sure to put the right hardware in the right places. Voila! Are you thrilled?? I’m thrilled. You did a great job.

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Paint Job Makeover

Sometimes, you need a little pop of color. But you are renting your house and you might not be allowed to paint some of your walls with bright, fun colors. In our new home, we have a small bedroom that is being used as an office. To use it as an office, we seriously needed some shelving. So, I bought a really inexpensive bookcase off of craigslist, and some $4 spray paint from Lowes, and VOILA!

Before:

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After:

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Because it’s a cheap, laminated board, I used a fine sandpaper block to rough up all the surfaces first. I’m honestly not sure how much it helped, but it definitely didn’t hurt. You’ll also notice I pulled the little sliding doors out of the bottom shelf as well. I bought a spray paint that was primer and paint in one – this helps the paint adhere to a challenging surface. When all is said and done, it’s far from perfect, but it will definitely add some color to our little office space. Happy projecting!

House Craftings

I had a great weekend of getting little projects done around the house. I hung a few more things on the walls, worked on organizing the office aka “room where I have thrown everything I didn’t know what to do with.” You may recognize a few things here…and please forgive the iPhone photos. (Let’s be honest…in the age of the iPhone, it’s just so much EASIER than getting out the heavy equipment!)

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Like my window pane, which doubled as a seating chart at our wedding. I decided it needed a pop of color but I’m not ready to commit to painting the frame itself, so over the weekend, I made a little trip to JoAnn’s and picked out some pretty little teal and white fabric. And then I broke in Jonathan’s new staple gun.

IMG_1177 IMG_1176 IMG_1179 I have to admit, it was kind of fun. And now my window pane is so much more colorful!

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I also added a little (matching) color to a small mirror and chalkboard I hung in our breakfast nook. I’ve really felt like the kitchen needed some color, so this is just one step in that direction.

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For now, I sort of love having little wedding memories around the house. This chalkboard is one of those memories…I will wipe it off eventually, but for now, it’s a very happy reminder of a fabulous day 🙂