fall pillow vignette

I didn’t put up an additional post yesterday announcing my participation in Nester’s 31 Days, because I decided not to participate. Really, the only thing I could come up with to write about for 31 straight days was de-cluttering which I desperately need to do. But I’m not ready to blog about it. I have no plan of action and I envisioned lots of posts showing you piles of clutter. Now there are other bloggers who DO have a plan of action to tackle their messes and I may follow along with them and post some of that here. The link above takes you to a list of all the people participating in the challenge. It isn’t just about de-cluttering. The 31 Days can be about ANYTHING.

What I did do yesterday was make some fall pillows.  I have never in my life enjoyed sewing but I have to say that I love making envelope pillows. They are quick, easy, and the reward is great! I’m not sure about the trend for using drop cloth material, though. I found it a bit frustrating because of the plastic backing. I really had to pull my material along to keep it from getting stuck in one place.

Here’s what I started with — drop cloth material left over from the sailboat craft:


I wanted a 16 inch pillow so I cut two pieces of fabric: one piece that was 17″ x 17″ and one piece that was 17″ x 22″. I cut the bigger piece in half and hemmed one side of each.

Next, I looked around for a quote to stencil on the front. Basically, I typed “fall quotes” into Swagbucks and found one I liked by Percy Shelley:

[T]here is a harmony
In Autumn, and a luster in its sky…

Obviously, I didn’t want to stencil that much on the pillow (I don’t have a cricut so I cut stencils out by hand with an X-Acto knife.) So I shortened it to say, “Harmony in Autumn.” My family seemed to think it was a little weird, but I like it!

fall pillow with stencil

fall pillow

I liked the pillow with a burlap pumpkin on my rustic bench:

fall pillow with pumpkin

But it needed some color, so I also whipped up an orange pillow with a white owl stencil.

owl pillow stencil

owl pillow

When I planned it in my head I didn’t know I’d have that cute stuffed owl (dollar spot at Target) so stenciling an owl on the orange pillow was probably unnecessary. But I’m going with it.

fall pillow vignette

The school system around here had a half day yesterday for some reason. We decided to join them and I got a little DIY done while the kids played outside.

The rustic shelves were pretty easy to pull off. The wood was totally free as it was wood left over from the kids doing board breaking at Tae Kwon Do! I think they all kept the first board they ever broke, but now the wood just piles up. I’m glad I thought of something to do with part of it!

I knew I wanted the shelves to be no deeper than 3 inches as the space I wanted them for is right by a mirror. I looked at all the home improvement stores, Walmart, Target, Michaels, Hob Lob. No one had shelves that were only 3 inches deep. Plus I wanted them to be only about a foot long. Lucky for me, the extra wood I had was already a foot long. I saw the idea for the rustic shelves from Ana White in John and Sherry Petersik’s book, Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love. I measured three inches and pulled out my new friend, the jigsaw!

And yes, I let ds15 try it out this time.  He was so funny. He cut one of the boards for me and said, “OK. What’s the big deal?”

After the wood was cut and sanded, I painted them with a white wash and then sanded again and applied one coat of antique glaze. I bought a couple of packs of “L” brackets at Lowes (the only thing I had to buy for this project) and got to work with my power drill. First, I put the bracket where I wanted it and then marked the holes with a pencil.

Then I drilled a small hole in each marked spot, put the bracket back on, and screwed the screws in by hand. (I didn’t use the power drill to screw in the screws because I didn’t really have anything to stabilize the shelves at this point, and it would have been hard to drill in the screws closest to the brackets.)

I did the same thing to put the brackets on the wall: mark the holes, drill, screw in by hand. In no time at all, I had very stable shelves. (photos are a little crazy because the mirror kept reflecting right on the shelves.)

And that, folks, completes the master bathroom. Whoo hoo!! I’m so excited to have a room completely done. Let’s take a tour!

First, the rug that started it all. The beachy theme for the bathroom grew out of this rug I found on clearance at Target:

Above the tub, I have turquoise and white towels, a small round mirror, the boat craftand a Monet print I’ve had since high school:

master bath tub side

master bath towel side

I love the little shell set up by the faucet:

master bath shells

And here is the other side of the room:

master bath sink side

master bath medicine cabinet mirror

To the left is the medicine cabinet and toilet with the framed seashell photos

master bath toilet side

And the little stool I distressed…

master bath anchor stool

My seagull with the turquoise wing and a candle holder from Michaels grace the top of the medicine cabinet:

master bath seagull

To the right is the sink with the new rustic shelving!

master bath sink side close up

Again, the shelves were hard to photograph due to the mirror, but here they are decked out with a few fun and functional things:

master bath shelves

A ship in the bottle lives on the top shelf,

master bath ship in a bottle

and little buckets (from the dollar bin at Target) and a rope ball live on the bottom shelf. The buckets hold cotton balls and q-tips.

master bath cotton balls and qtips

The “Life’s a Beach” sign makes me smile every time I look at it. I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby ages ago and paid about $5 for it.

lifes a beach sign

I’m so happy with how it all turned out!! It was a lot of work and a lot of details, but it was so. much. fun to pull it all together! I wish the rest of the house was as clean as the master bathroom!

*This post contains an affiliate link. If you click on the link, I will get a small percentage of the profit. Or you can go directly to the site to order.

Daffodil’s Weekend Links

Happy weekend everyone! Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of fall? The leaves are turning in upstate New York and it is beautiful. We are all going to the annual Farm Festival today in our area to have a hay ride, pick apples and eat hot cider doughnuts. Tomorrow is my second son’s 13th birthday. Two teenagers in the house now!

Here are some wonderful projects and ideas I noticed on the net this week. Remember to please pin from the source so the author gets the credit!

I found this easy pumpkin art tutorial while visiting linky parties last week. It’s so easy even an 8 year old can do it! I know because we all did it for a homeschool art class this week. Well, we did the first part anyway. We’ll finish them up next week. They are so beautiful and classy.

I’ve been especially noticing painted antique dressers and cedar chests now that I’m trying to decide what to do with mine. This blue painted one with a stenciled top turned out beautiful.

painted cedar chest Now that I’m finished decorating my fall porch, I’m looking for ideas for my mantel. My mother-in-law would love this one:

I’m not sure what dh would think if I came home with an old goat cart, but I love this display so much I just might do it if I ever saw one for cheap. She mentioned that it gets dressed up for Christmas, too.

goat cart
That’s it for this weekend. Go have some fall fun, everyone!! I’ll pick an apple for ya.

All the projects I’ve attempted lately have taken longer than I thought they would. This one is no exception. It isn’t hard, but it takes a few steps. Also, this project has infinite possibilities. I’ll give you a list of the materials I used, but I’d encourage you to scrounge around and use whatever you have laying around.


Plank of wood – 1 used a 5/8″ thick piece of plywood I had on hand
Paint in four fall colors – I mixed to get what I needed but basically I used brown, red, orange and yellow
Letter stencils (you can make your own!)
Stencil bonding spray
Antique glaze (optional)


Jigsaw (or get Home Depot to cut for you)
Power drill

Step 1:
Mark and cut the plywood into 7 squares. (mine are 4 1/2″ inch squares)

You may have guessed from my previous post this week that I was just a little bit excited to finally learn to use my jigsaw. It was easy peasy to cut up the wood with the jigsaw!!

After handsawing one tiny little boat (with the help of two big strong boys), I’m totally in awe of people from ages past like Pa Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie that built houses with just a few hand tools!! Actually, incredulous might be a better word!

Step 2:

Drill a hole in the top center and the bottom center of each square, about 1/2 an inch from the top. Use a drill bit large enough to accommodate your twine folded in half but small enough that if you knot your twine, it won’t go through the hole.

Step 3:
Roughly sand the squares so you don’t get splinters in your fingers. This is supposed to look rustic so don’t spend huge amounts of time sanding.

Step 4:
Paint your squares. I wanted to alternate colors, so I painted 2 oranges, 2 reds and 3 browns. You can use any color combination you want! You probably want to allow these to dry overnight so your stencils won’t stick to them. I only used one coat of paint on each square.

Feel free to mix your paint colors to achieve the look you want. The only orange I had on hand was too bright for fall, so I mixed some yellow acrylic paint (Basics brand Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue) with a free sample pot of paint from Lowes dyed to Pantone Bossa Nova.

Step 5:
Stencil your letters onto your squares. You can hand paint you letter on if you wish. I just wanted the project to go a little faster so I made stencils (I realize that probably didn’t make things go faster!). I used a font called AR JULIAN and blew it up to 300. Each letter was printed on card stock and cut out with an X-Acto knife. I used Elmer’s bonding spray to adhere the stencils to the squares.

The best thing to do is spray a very light coat and wait five minutes before sticking it to the wood. Press it on very well around the edges of the letters to prevent bleeding. It should peel right off when you’re done. (Don’t wait for the paint to dry. Peel it off as soon as you finish painting.)

Step 6:
After the paint dries, distress the squares a bit with sandpaper.

Step 7:
This step is totally optional, but you can cover each square with antique glaze if you have some on hand. I painted it on and then wiped most of it off. It didn’t change much — just softened the brightness a bit.

Step 8:
Lay all of your squares out in a row and stretch your twine across them. Double the twine and give yourself a good 5 – 10 inches or more extra on each end for good measure.

Step 9:
With your twine folded in half, stick it down through the bottom hole of the bottom letter (from the top down because you want the twine to stretch across the back of each letter). Pull it nearly all the way through, leaving about 8 inches or so loose on the bottom. Make a knot right by the hole.

Now pull the twine up through the top hole of the same letter and knot.

Make another knot about 1 1/4″ from the previous knot and put the twine down through the bottom hole of the next letter.

Repeat until all the letters are strung and you have a loop at the top. I pulled my loop through the twine on the back of the top letter and tied an extra knot at the on the very top for a little extra durability.

Step 10:
Tie double knots on the loose pieces of twine at the bottom and hang your Welcome craft by the front door. I also took a double piece of twine and tied a bow at the top of the sign.

bow at top

And there you have it. A homemade rustic Welcome sign for your front porch or entryway.

antique desk full view

If you’ve been following along for a while, you may have picked up on the fact that I love desks. ;) I didn’t realize it until my college roommate pointed it out about a year ago when I bought an antique desk at a yard sale for no reason other than I loved it. And it was $35. I’m a sucker for a good bargain, too.

I remember the day I bought it. We were on our way out of town to go to Bennington, Vermont, on a homeschool field trip. The yard sale was across the street so I ran over to look while dh packed the kids in the car. He came over for a minute, too, and while we both liked the desk, we didn’t buy it. Instead, we drove 5 minutes down the road to the library to return some books before leaving. While I waited for him to run the books into the library, I realized we should have bought the desk!! When he got back to the car, I told him to race back to the yard sale before it was too late.

Thankfully, it was still there. We bought it, stuck it right inside the front door of the house, and left for the field trip.

I tried to use it as my personal desk for a while, but I like to spread out and it isn’t a very large desk. Eventually, it came to rest at the top of the stairs. It seems the perfect spot for it. During the holidays, I love to create a little vignette on it. Most of the time, however, it remains plain with just a table runner.

antique desk full view

antique desk straightened

It’s actually a writing desk and the top lifts up to reveal little cubbies…

antique desk with top open

antique desk top open front view

And a panel pulls forward to give more surface area for writing…

antique desk pull out

I knew all about these cool features when I bought the desk. What I discovered after I returned home from my trip, however, is that the scallops actually pull forward to reveal a drawer!

antique desk drawer

This is not a DIY post. I have no intention of ever painting or even re-finishing this beautiful piece of furniture. I love it just the way it is!

tulip basket before

I mentioned on Monday that I wanted to go beachy with the bathroom, and I knew that would involve some turquoise because of the rug. I had a cute little basket that someone gave me years ago on the back of the toilet for extra toilet paper. I don’t have a picture of it in the bathroom but here’s a pic I snapped right before I changed it:

tulip basket before

It was cute and fine on it’s own but it was showing some wear and I was tired of it. Time for a little DIY love! First, it got a very light coat of primer to cover up the tulips.

tulip basket with primer

Only a very light coat because I ran out of primer. Thankfully, a light coat was enough. Then I turned it upside down on a brick and sprayed it with Krylon spray paint in Blue Ocean Breeze.

tulip basket one coat

Looking good…

tulip basket two coats

Then I left it outside and ran out of the house to run an errand. I meant to bring it in before I left but was in a hurry and forgot. I called dh from the road and asked him to run out and get it before it rained. He sent ds14 out who returned and said that it wasn’t out there. What!? I immediately had visions of the neighbor’s dogs feasting on my cute little basket. Dh finally went out himself to see if ds14 was just blind and he found the basket on the patio table. Apparently the mowers had come to cut the grass and had moved it. Whew!

When I got back home, I grabbed a roll of rope from a project that never happened and a bag of shells I found at a thrift store for 99 cents.

bag of shells


I laid out all the shells and decided which ones I wanted to use for the front and sides of the basket.

shells laid out

Next, I glued a row of rope to the top of the basket. I was hoping and praying the glue in my glue gun would hold out because I couldn’t find my extra glue sticks! I think a craft supplies organization project might be in order!

gluing rope

When I glued on the shells, I alternated from one side of the basket to the other to evenly space them.

three shells on

It looked pretty good with the shells glued on but it didn’t seem quite finished.

basket top done

Ds14 suggested a bigger shell in the middle but we didn’t like it when we tried it. Maybe another row of rope along the bottom?

2nd row of rope

Yes. That looks better! Here is the finished basket being put to use:

shell basket

At first dh said it was cheesy, but he later admitted he thought it turned out pretty cool.Dd10 was my photographer for this project.

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Reveal — Painted Vanity Chair!

I finished the vanity chair in just one week. And I love how it turned out!! I know I’ve given you lots of chair pictures this week, but just as a reminder, here it is right after I found it on the side of the road:

I couldn’t live with it like that and covered the seat with some fabric I had on hand. (I did the quick re-do about a year ago. Sheesh, it took me a long time to decide whether to paint or stain!)

I did two coats of Behr Premium paint in Cracked Wheat over two days. Yesterday afternoon, I went searching for new fabric for the seat that would coordinate with the teal/coral/yellow thing I’ve got going on in the bedroom. I found nothing I liked at Hobby Lobby. I found something that would do at JoAnn but wasn’t super excited about it. Then I noticed they had fabric to use for quilts in a separate section. I looked through it and found one that was just right!! I spread it out on the bed to see how it worked. I am so in love with this fabric. It’s perfect. I bought enough to make a couple of throw pillows for the bed to tie it all together.

To cover the seat, I first removed the old fabric.

As you can see, I was super professional removing the old staples with a flat head screwdriver. 😉 I then laid the old seat on the fabric and cut around it leaving a couple of inches all the way around to fold over. (The old seat desperately needs to be completely re-built, but I’m not brave enough for that yet. Dh got me a jigsaw for my birthday. It’s still sitting new in it’s box. I can do it. Right? Right. Maybe later…)

From Drop Box
I saw a tutorial (I’d link if I could remember where I saw it!) where you fold the corner in first to make the seat look nice and tailored. I liked the look better than what I had done before, so I tried it.

It worked beautifully and in just a few minutes (seriously!) I had a beautiful new seat cover!

Here’s a close-up of the finished corner. Doesn’t it look nice and neat?

I couldn’t wait to put the seat together with the chair. The chair color matches wonderfully with the ivory background of the fabric.

I had been really worried about how the design on the back of the chair would look after I painted it with my limited knowledge of painting. I got even more worried as I was painting because I put a third coat on the front of the design before the second coat was completely dry and had a little bit of dragging. But this morning it all looked smooth and beautiful.

Here’s one more picture of that scrumptious fabric up close:

And a picture of the whole side of the room with the chair:

Of course, most of the time the chair won’t be turned facing out. It will be tucked under the vanity.

Just for fun, here’s the before and after:

This project was fairly inexpensive. The chair was free and I already had the paint. The new paintbrush was $10 and the fabric was $20. I only used about 1/3 of the fabric, though, so about $6.67. I would count the whole $20, but since I plan to make pillows, I’ll put the rest of the cost on the pillows. 😉 Total cost for the vanity chair re-do: