fall decorating projects

fall decorating projects

During the past few months, I have had a ridiculous need to be creative. It’s almost like I must be creative for a certain number of minutes per day or I get jittery. It’s like going all morning without caffeine or fighting a craving for chocolate. I have to sit down and make something.

My husband thinks it’s because all of the gluten has been cleared from my system, allowing my creative brain to work again. I have speculated it might be because I have more time on my hands because I stopped watching TV shows. Most likely, it has something to do with a shift in my responsibilities at work. I’ve been able to try some new things this year that involve working more with people, but less time being creative on the job. I love new challenges, and it’s kind of nice that I’m not expending all of my creative energy at work. Instead, I’ve been craving to do something creative at the end of the day.

Whatever the case, it’s rare that a day goes by without me spending at least a few minutes working on a craft. Most of my favorite projects involve using my Silhouette Portrait. I’ve had so many people ask me, “What the heck is a Silhouette?” So, here’s a little explanation.

The Silhouette is a die cut machine that connects to your computer like a printer. Whatever you can design on your computer screen, you can cut perfectly with the Silhouette. It can cut a range of material, from paper to vinyl to iron-on transfers to chipboard. I typically cut out my projects on adhesive vinyl, punch out the letters and then and use the vinyl as a template to paint words. I just love that I can paint in any font, as long as I can cut it on my Silhouette first. It makes me feel like a real artist to be able to paint with such neat hand lettering.

I’ve been painting words on canvas…

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and wood slices….

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and fake pumpkins…

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It takes some skill to measure the object you want to paint and plan out how you want to place the letters. My Silhouette is the smaller model so I can only use paper that is 8.5 inches wide. This often means I have to cut several strips of vinyl to paint something. For example, our family date canvas in the photo above is 24 inches by 30 inches. It took me several hours to cut each strip of words, line them up neatly on the canvas and then paint them. Once I’m done, I usually have several spots where the paint seeps under the canvas. I can usually just touch up my mistakes with whatever color I used for the background.

While summer is still my favorite season with its long days and warm evenings, I absolutely love decorating for fall. I love planting mums and buying little mini pumpkins. My fall projects have been a fun addition for the season.

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This weekend, the girls and I even attended a Fall Fairy Garden workshop at our local garden store. We had a blast picking out mini pinecones and brightly colored moss to fill our fairy garden.

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I’m not gonna lie. Fairy gardens are a new obsession. We are already looking forward to going back to make one for Christmas!

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So what about you? Do you enjoy creative projects? Do you like decorating for different seasons? What have you been creating lately?

 

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DIY winter mantel

DIY winter mantel

As much as I love coloring, doodling, photography and creating images on my computer, I’m really lacking in creative skills when it comes to decorating my house. So I always get excited when I complete a DIY decorating project that actually turns out well. This week, I’ve been working on a few DIY projects that I like enough to show you here on the blog.

I’m one of the few people in the world who really doesn’t enjoy Christmas decor. I’m not sure who convinced millions of Americans they should bring an entire TREE inside their homes in the winter, but this person should have really applied his or her genius to something with more lasting impact, like world peace. Almost as soon as we are done unwrapping gifts, I am ready to remove that big decoration from my living room.

But once the tree and ornaments are gone, I’m left with a sad, boring living room for the rest of January. So, I’ve been thinking about how I could decorate my mantel for “winter” without it looking totally “Christmas.” I’m also working on some projects to display some of the nature photos I’ve been taking the past few years. The two ideas combined to create this winter mantel.

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I enlarged this snowy farm scene photo that I took in November to 24 x 18 inches. I had thought about printing it on canvas or even trying to create my own canvas print. But then I saw some ideas to adhere a photo to a piece of wood, and I thought that would fit in well on the mantel of our big stone fireplace.

Once my husband cut the wood and sanded the edges, the rest was pretty simple. I applied one coat of dark stain to the wood. Then, I used Mod Podge to adhere the photo to the wood. I used a rolling pin to smooth out the photo, and then applied a second coat of Mod Podge to the top of the photo, going all the way to the edge of the wood.

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After it dried, I sanded the edges of the photo. I wanted it to look like the photo was really embedded in the wood, rather than a big photo just stuck on top. I sanded it hard to make the edges uneven, and in the process, I beat up the wood as well. I applied more stain to repair the wood and purposely tried to make it a little messy so it soaked into the photo. I then gave the whole thing one more coat of Mod Podge.

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I really love how it turned out. I’ve been wanting to start a collection of snow globes, so I thought this was the perfect time to start. I found a few on clearance that had a winter scene, rather than being totally Christmas.

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I also asked my husband to cut a smaller board that was 10 x 10. I stained it as well, and used my Silhouette to cut out the words “Let it Snow.” I added that to my little box of birch wood that I put together near the fireplace.

The weather cooperated perfectly with my new decor this morning. We were greeted by a light snowfall when we woke up. I guess my “Let it snow” sign really worked!

My project isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with how it turned out! And I love that I finally used one of my own photos in our home decor.

So tell me. Do you love to keep your Christmas tree up as long as possible? Or are you like me and you can’t wait to take it down? Do you do anything special for your winter decor?

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butterflies

butterflies

Our youngest daughter has been begging me to work on her room, so a few weeks ago, I finally started painting. At our old house, she shared a room with her older sister who got to choose the “theme” of their room. This time, I wanted to leave it all up to her to decide how we should decorate.

We went shopping for accessories and paint colors to go with her bedding, and we happened to see this butterfly bedding set. She immediately fell in love and decided her room HAD to be butterflies. We talked about paint colors and agreed on a plan, even though it was a little different than my usual approach.

After an afternoon of painting, my husband came in to check on my progress, and he was a little shocked.

“Are you OK?” he asked. This was my first time painting a room in our house this color. The first three walls were done, and they were WHITE!

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I assured him I had not lost my love for color. He felt a little better once I finished the ceiling.

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And finally the accent wall.

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One of her main requests for the room was that we would put flower stickers on the wall. I love how those turned out again the white.

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I added some hanging lanterns over the bed. I was hoping they would pop against the white, and I love how they turned out!

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We hung a string of rose lights above her bed. She loves turning them on as a nightlight when she goes to bed.

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And I made a DIY butterfly mobile.

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I used my Silhouette to cut out the butterflies, and then I simply used a glue gun to attach them to fishing wire.

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I have a few other accessories I would like to add, but for now the room is done. We all love it and feel like it really reflects her personality. The older kids say the room feels like bubblegum and happiness — a perfectly relaxing spot for our 5 year old!

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