Tag Archives: home

Pumpkin Succulent Planter

DSC_0563To celebrate the beginning of fall and to autumn-ify my apartment, I picked up a miniature pumpkin, along with several small succulents to fill it with for a fall centerpiece. While I don’t enjoy pumpkin foods, I still really enjoy the smell and aesthetic of them this time of year.

To make this centerpiece planter, you’ll need a miniature pumpkin, approximately 5 inches, and a knife, spoon and three of the smallest succulents you can find. If you prefer, you could even paint your pumpkin or coat it with glitter for a different feel.DSC_0554 DSC_0550Cut a hole in the small pumpkin, about 3-3 1/2 inches wide, and hollow it out with a spoon, scraping everything out that you can. Use your knife to clean up the sides of the hole as best you can. Then carefully place your succulents inside. You will probably need to loosen the soil around the roots and let it fall to the bottom of the pumpkin in order to fit all three of the plants insides and still have soil on the bottom.

Depending on your pumpkin, you might find that you need more soil, but I didn’t need any more than what came in my small succulent pots. Clean up the sides with a paper towel once the plants are inside and your planter is complete. DSC_0565Put it on a table, shelf or mantle for beautiful autumn decor that will brighten the room. Just remember, a carved pumpkin won’t last forever, so when it begins to spoil, you’ll want to move out your succulents and discard the pumpkin.

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Chalkboard Clipboard

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Now that Andrew and I officially share a grocery list, among other things, I wanted an easy way for us to keep track of what we needed for our next trip to the store. I have a million of those notepads that stick to the fridge, but the need for a pen always deters me from actually using them. Instead, I found a way to keep track that also hides easily – a chalkboard clipboard.

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To make a chalkboard clipboard, you’ll need:

  • A clipboard (duh)
  • Chalkboard paint (duh)
  • Chalk (duh)
  • Masking or painters tape
  • Medium-sized paint brush
  • String
  • Liquid glue

Start off by taping a line across the top of the clipboard. I did this because trying to paint underneath/behind the clip would have been an unnecessary hassle. Start painting the bottom part with well-mixed chalkboard paint, including the sides. I find that chalkboard paint can be a little streaky, so take that into consideration when choosing a paint brush. Paint a couple coats until the bottom portion of the clipboard is covered. Once dry, remove the tape.

Before you start using your clipboard, you’re supposed to slate it. Run the side of a piece of chalk down the entirety of your chalkboard and then use a damp paper towel to wipe it clean. This acts as a setting for the paint.

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Next,  cut a piece of string about 12 inches long and use a small amount of glue to wrap the string around the end of a piece of chalk. Once wrapped, tie around and in a knot to hold it. Then tie the opposite end to the top of the clipboard and set your chalk on the clip as you would a pen – this way, you’ll never lose the chalk.

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You can also add a piece of patterned washi tape at the top and write on it with Sharpie for your title. I dubbed mine “the list,” so that whenever we say we need something, we can just say, “Put it on the list!”

Use a nail or, in my case, push pin to hang the clipboard inside a cupboard or on your wall. I love having it inside the cupboard so it’s mostly out of sight but comes in handy when I need it. In a matter of minutes, I turned a ratty old clipboard I never used into a very useful chalkboard.

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DIY Lamp Makeover

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One person’s trash is another’s treasure. In my life, this is always true. A friend of mine picked up this cute old fashioned lamp at a garage sale and passed it on to me. Recently, I finally got around to making it over with a new color and a new shade.

For a project like this, you’ll need:

  • Spray paint that works on multiple surfaces (I recommend Rust-Oleum)
  • Clear or sealant spray
  • Fabric
  • Wrapping paper (any)
  • Spray adhesive (I recommend Elmer’s Craft Bond)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

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Above is the original. First, I cleaned the base of the lamp because it was pretty dusty and the paint needs something to hold on to, so the cleaner the better. I removed the shade and took the base outside to spray paint it yellow to match the new fabric I chose for the lampshade. I covered the cord and top with masking tape and spray painted a coat of sun yellow on the base. After that dried for a while, I sprayed it with a second coat. My favorite brand of spray paint in Rust-Oleum, which you can buy at Home Depot for fairly cheap. It works on just about any surface. When it’s dry, spray a coat of clear sealant over it to provide some extra shine and seal the paint.

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While the base was drying, I got started on the lampshade. You may want to iron your fabric first. I always do!

Start by tracing your lampshade onto the backside of a piece of wrapping paper. I recommend using wrapping paper because it will likely be long enough and thin enough to trace, cut and move easily. Place your lampshade at the corner of the paper and roll it upward, keeping track of where you started and using your pencil to trace one side of it. Put it back at the corner and trace along the other side. Depending on the shade, it may go straight or it may curve like mine did.

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Cut out the piece of paper. Lay it around the lampshade to make sure the size is appropriate. Then trace this shape onto the backside of your fabric. Use the scissors to cut approximately a half inch outside of the shape you made on all sides. You’ll want this extra space to fold over the top and bottom and to fold a seam at the end of the fabric. When the shape is cut, once again lay it over the lampshade to see how it will fit. Spray the piece of fabric with a thin layer of adhesive and carefully begin laying it around the lampshade. I recommend Elmer’s Craft Bond for spray adhesive because it is the only one that I have tried so far that truly works for fabric projects.  Ignore the one in the photo. I learned this was not the correct choice for this project. Go slowly, smoothing the fabric out as you go. My lampshade wasn’t flat, which made it more difficult. This project is easier with a flat lampshade.

When you get to the end, fold the fabric over and glue it down. Carefully use the adhesive glue or even a small amount fabric glue to fold the top and bottom edges down into the shade.

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Once the shade felt secure and the base was dry, I put the two together for a cute addition to my desk! Personally, I like yellow in small doses rather than large, and I love the way this lamp turned out with the grey contrast of the lampshade.

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Add Color with Unique Side Tables

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This is a quick, easy tutorial for making personalized side tables that reflect your home. I came up with this idea when my roommate and I picked out pillows at IKEA that have a doodle-like design on them. She found some old haggard-looking stools, so I came up with the idea to paint them to match our new pillows.

You can recreate an old table or stool from your home or pick one up at a garage sale for next-to-nothing. To begin making your personalized side tables, you will need some basic acrylic paint. Choose several of your favorite colors at Michael’s, which offers a wide variety at a low price. Because you will be going over the paint with a Sharpie, remember to choose colors light enough for the Sharpie to be visible over the paint later.

At Michael’s or Home Depot, you may also want to pick up a can of clear spray paint to use as a sealant. The only other items you will need are a couple of medium sized paintbrushes, a regular-sized Sharpie, and some everyday paper towels.

Depending on the stool or table you’re painting, you may also want to buy primer, which is inexpensive at your local Home Depot. Unfortunately, I don’t have a before picture of these stools because I didn’t plan on this blog a year ago, but I used primer in my case because the original stain on the stools didn’t look very nice. If the piece is  a dark color, primer would be a wise choice.

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If you feel the need to use primer, first prime the section of the piece that you plan to paint. Once the primer is dry, begin painting large chunks with your colored acrylic paint. It does not need to follow any pattern. Follow it with a second coat. Give this plenty of time to dry before moving on to the stenciling.

If you are unsure what to draw, outline it first in pencil. It should erase easily and will be visible enough to see over the paint. Next, trace your doodles in Sharpie. If you mess up, simply paint over your mistakes, but it may take a few coats.

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Take your time and draw whatever reflects your home. If the Sharpie appears light, trace over it a second time as you see fit. Once the ink is dry, take it outside and generously spray the clear spray paint over the top. This will keep the marker from wearing away easily.

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For only a few dollars, you’ve revamped an old piece of furniture that once blended into the background. I get compliments on mine all the time, and it’s nice to know my stools are one of a kind.