Christmas Tree & Mantel Tweaks

On a whim, I decided to make a few tweaks to our Christmas tree and mantel.  I put it up early this year for the Home Depot Style Challenge.  I didn't really want to take it all down only to have to put it right back up a month or so later.  So, I was ready to change a few things after looking at it the same way for a while.  The basic setup and decor is the same, but I switched out a few of the accessories, added some black ribbon to the tree and wrapped a few more presents.  You can also see our new rug, details coming soon!

I added another Lindsay Letters piece to my small collection.  I just love her stuff.

My sister's mother in law found this neat storage ottoman and gave it to me a few weeks ago.  Isn't it great?

I have a fun holiday table setting I'm working on and a few other little areas to share over the next few days.  Can you believe Christmas is only a few weeks away?  It has totally snuck up on me this year!  


DIY heart garland

Sorry for the long silence over here.  We've had a crazy few weeks and are slowly getting back to normal.  I shared the room plan for my daughter's bedroom several weeks ago and I'm happy to report that it's almost finished!  I'm still tweaking and putting a few finishing touches on everything before I share it, but I wanted to give you a little peek at the Christmas decor going on in there. 

 I love decorating my daughter's tree each year because there's no limit on the amount of sparkle and girly-ness  I can include.  This years' tree is a combination of her first tree and last year's tree.  I couldn't resist using the pink vintage ornaments with her newly painted pink walls (Sherwin Williams Angelic), and the salt dough ornaments are some of favorites so I had to throw those in there too.  I wanted to add a new element in there too, so I made this simple felt heart garland, inspired by this one.  

This garland was super easy to make and can be used long after Christmas is gone.  I started with a few basic supplies: felt (the stiff kind, not floppy.  I found mine at Hobby Lobby), scissors, a heart template, string, and hot glue

I cut out the heart on card stock and used it as a template for my felt pieces.  After I cut all my hearts out, I hot glued them to some string.  I cut out several small squares of felt to place over the string and hold everything in place.

And you're done!  I used it on my daughter's tree, but when Christmas is over I think I'll hang it on her mirror or around her teepee.  It cost me less than $5 to make and I still have lots of felt leftover.  

Sadly several of the salt dough ornaments from last year didn't survive the move.  So I foresee another crafting day in our future!  

And I added some festiveness to the rest of the room as well.  Her antlers needed some holiday attire.

and this Oh Joy party banner from Target (affiliate link) was just too cute to pass up.

I didn't go crazy with holiday decor this year, but I'll be sharing a few more decorations over the next week.  My tree and mantle got a few minor tweaks after the Home Depot Style Challenge, so I'll be sharing those too! 


DIY sea fan art

Sorry for this silence over here this week.  We've had kind of a crazy week.  Today I want to share with you the details of the sea fan artwork in our master bedroom.  This is seriously so easy to make, it hardly deserves a tutorial, but here you go!

You can buy framed sea fans, but they are pretty pricey.  And there's really no need to buy them because they are so simple to DIY.  I started out with these shadowbox frames.  I bought two of them for such a steal when our Hobby Lobby was moving to a different location and having a huge sale.  Michaels also has some good shadow boxes and some great frame sales from time to time too.  And of course there's always the IKEA Ribba shadowbox frames.  Those are always great!  You can also keep an eye out at thrift stores or yard sales for ugly artwork in a shadowbox frame and just follow the steps like I did below.  

So, here's where I started with my frames.  I removed the existing artwork to create a blank backdrop for my sea fans.  The back of the frames were covered with craft paper so I just pulled that off and lifted up the tabs on the back and the art popped right out.  I wanted a white background, so I picked up some foam board from Hobby Lobby as well.  I tried using poster board at first, but it wasn't large enough to cover my frames and it kept getting dented and wrinkled, which drove me crazy!  

I found the sea fans for a great deal when were visiting Charleston.  I've also seen them at Homegoods from time to time and ebay has a good selection too.  I used them for this project way back.  I just gave them a fresh coat of black paint to make them tie in with our new bedroom.  After the paint was dry, I hot glued them to the foam board.  I put most of the glue at the base of the sea fan and then I added a few more drops to the ends for reassurance.  Then I popped the foam board into my frames and I had instant artwork!

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!

Gold Upholstered Bench Tutorial

One of my favorite elements from our master bedroom room makeover is this bench.  I wanted something with a metal base, preferably gold, but couldn't find anything that didn't cost a pretty penny.  I also needed it to be fairly long so it wouldn't look disproportional when placed at the foot of our king size bed.  I searched all my usual places (Craigslist, thrift stores, Goodwill), but came up empty handed.  Then, I happened to be at IKEA and checked the "as is" section.  You just never know what you'll find in there!  I saw this IKEA vittsjo TV unit and my first thought was, that would make a great bench!  The lines were perfect, the size was spot on, and the shape was exactly what I was looking for.  It was already put together which is a nice bonus when it comes to IKEA furniture.  And the price was great too.  

The only drawback was that the top was glass and the bottom shelf was solid.  I needed it to be the other way around so I could upholster the top.  That was an easy fix though.  I just removed the felt pads from the metal tabs on the top that were holding the glass in place and put the felt pads over the holes in the tabs on the bottom supports.  Then I drilled holes in the tabs on the top portion so I could screw the wood piece into place after I upholstered it.  Next, I painted the the metal base with Rustoleum Gold Metallic spray paint.    

The glass and the solid piece are the same size so you can easily interchange them.  I could have just switched them and had a bench with a solid top, but I wanted something upholstered.  I didn't want to spend a fortune on foam so I bought this mulit purpose foam pad from home depot.  It's 3" deep and was cheaper than most foam I could find.  

I cut it to size using an electric knife.  It's definitely the easiest way to cut it.  I've tried using a regular knife and scissors before and this way was so much easier.  It just cut right through it.  

Once my foam was cut to size, I used some spray adhesive to hold it in place on the board.  Then I covered the whole thing with batting and stapled that in place.  

Finally, I covered the batting with my fabric and stapled that in place.  I chose to use the Dalmation spot fabric from Tonic Living.  It's super affordable and it adds a nice graphic punch without competing with my leopard pillows.  It also gives me the opportunity to easily change up my color scheme down the road.  After I had the wood piece upholstered, I screwed it into place using the holes I drilled into the tabs at the beginning.  

I really like having the shelf below too.  I wanted to add a small punch of color because the rest of the room is neutral.  I found these vintage national geographic magazines at a thrift store and thought they would be a fun addition.


Homemade Caramel Corn Recipe

This is definitely not a food blog, but this recipe is too good not to share.  I made it the other day and realized I had never shared the recipe with you.  You seriously have to try it!  My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I remember.  It was always a special treat during the holidays and she even made it as a favor for our wedding guests.

The recipe is really simple and turns out great every time.  People always request the recipe whenever I take it somewhere.  So, here it is for you to enjoy!  I'll just go ahead and warn you that I took the step by step photos one handed with my phone, but I thought they might be helpful so I'm including them. :)

3/4 C. unpopped popcorn
1 C. butter
2 C. brown sugar (I like dark brown)
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Pop the popcorn using an air popper.  If you don't have one you can pop it on the stovetop, but I think it's best with the air popper.  I actually see them often at Goodwill so you can pick one up from there for a few dollars if you want to.  That's actually where I got mine and it works just fine.

I use a large roasting pan because it makes it easier, but if you don't have one you can also use two 13 x 9 inch pans.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  

Then cook it to the soft ball stage (235 degrees)  You'll need a candy thermometer for this step.  You can find them online or at pretty much any supermarket.

Once it reaches the soft ball stage, remove the mixture from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.  It will bubble up a bit when you add the baking soda so be careful!  Stir to combine and then pour the mixture over your popcorn.

Keep stirring until all the popcorn is evenly coated.

Bake it in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Once you take it out of the oven spread it out on a flat surface to cool.  Once it's cool, grab a handful and enjoy!  

Let me know if you have any questions.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Home Depot Style Challenge Reveal!

I'm so thrilled to share my Home Depot Holiday Style challenge with you all today over on the apron blog.  I went with a neutral theme, with a little animal print and a few earthy touches!  Here's a little sneak peak!

I'm still pinching myself that I got to be a part of such a wonderful project.  I had the best time creating my holiday mantel and I'm so thankful to the Home Depot for letting me be a part!  Head on over and check it out here!


A Simple Fall Party

We don't usually do a ton for Halloween, but this year we decided to have a little family get together.  I wanted to make it special so I rummaged through my cabinets to come up with a festive display.  

We planned on breaking in our outdoor fireplace with some s'mores, so I put together a quick S'mores bar.  I typed up this printable to make things a little more fun.  On a side note, have you ever had a s'mores made with Reese's?  You may never go back.  

Unfortunately the weather didn't really cooperate so we weren't able to break in the fireplace after all.  Thankfully all the components of s'mores are pretty tasty on their own.

I picked up these milk glass cups at a yard sale a few weeks ago and thought they would be perfect for some hot apple cider.

And these napkins were too pretty to pass up.  They are part of the Oh Joy for Target (affiliate link) collection from last season so I got them for a great deal.  Don't you just love her stuff?  I'm always so drawn to it.  Her holiday stuff this year does not disappoint!

And of course we had to have a carved pumpkin.  This was actually our first year doing this and I think we will definitely continue it every year.  Before you think I'm all fancy, just know that I used a template and that made this so easy!  My daughter is a bit princess obsessed these days so of course she loved it.  


Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  My Home Depot Style Challenge post is revealed on The Apron blog Monday so be sure to check back for the link and all the details!