Environmentally Friendly Outdoor Pillows DIY♥

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Hello, friends!

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Ah, Summer! Tis the season for air conditioning BBQ’s, picnics, beach days and  more air conditioning relaxing in the luxurious sunshine! Since I live in the Seattle area, I really do look forward all year to summer. I love making my porch extra inviting so I am more inclined to sit outside and enjoy all that vitamin D!

This pillow idea has been a constant DIY since my very first apartment, and I since I’m sure the summer decorating is starting in your own home, I thought I would share!

I recently re-sparked this idea of mine when I came across this really astounding article from National Geographic about wax worms learning to eat plastic bags! It gave me hope, inspired me, and made me proud that here in Seattle we have decided to nix harmful plastic bags altogether. I myself have been using canvas reusable bags for years, and it is a good feeling knowing those little steps towards being more environmentally conscious make a big impact on our planet in the long run. Even though I try really hard to not use plastic bags, they still somehow creep into my house and land in “that drawer.” Don’t judge me, you have “that drawer,” too!

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This DIY is probably the most simple DIY you will ever do, and it is 100% no fail!

All you need are pillow covers and old plastic grocery bags!

Pillow covers are very inexpensive and come in so many cute varieties!

Check out some of these:

Home Sweet Home 

Bohemian Vibes

Floral Print

All you have to do is select your pillow cover of choice and start stuffing away! I stuff the pillow until it is rigid, but still soft enough to be comfortable. For one 18×18 pillow cover, you should need about 30 to 40 plastic bags to fill it to completion. They are so inexpensive that I don’t mind if they fade a little in the sun, or get an occasional shower. The best part is that the insides are plastic, so they will never mold! They look darling on the porch and you will get the satisfaction of knowing that you saved so many plastic bags from never decomposing in the landfill!

Hooray for recycling!

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Love and Hugs,

Shelby♥

DIY Faux Fern Hanging Tin Basket♥

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Hello!

I am starting to feel desperate ready for spring! I miss the warmth and I miss gardening so much!

The sunshine has started to peek through the grey and snow, which has been a wonderful, welcome change, since we had snow last week.

…and If you know me at all, you know that I hate with a passion immensely dislike snow.

I only like snow on one condition: I don’t have to go anywhere and I can just watch it through my window while drinking hot coffee, while simultaneously cranking the heat to 85 degrees…

…then I guess snow is okay… 

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My last post was a really fun haul from Goodwill, and I found so many awesome treasures that I was eager to decorate my home with!

I found this galvanized hanging tin for a few bucks and I was in LOVE! My back door needed some decor to liven it up, and I knew this would be perfect!

The tin already had some dusty, gross, moldy, foul, daisies in it when I picked it up, and I threw them away in checkout.

No shame!

My vision for the tin was starting to emerge once I cleaned it up!

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I first wanted to remove the graphic all together, but it wasn’t coming off super well so I conceded.

I instead decided I wanted to age the graphic a bit by burning the edges and use a tea stain method.

( Tea staining is very easy! Fill a mug with only a few tablespoons of boiling water and add any black tea bag, once it is steeped you can use the tea bag to create a stain on most paper and fabric surfaces).

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I let the tea dry for a few minuets (a hairdryer helps speed up the drying process), and then I proceeded to char the edges of the paper a bit with a lighter.

I picked up a big bundle of faux fern leaves for .99 at Goodwill on a separate trip. They were in great condition and looked very lifelike!

I stuffed a few medium sized balls of newspaper into the hollow tin, this way I could hot glue the stems to the paper to create an anchor, (you could also use Oasis or Floral Foam but I didn’t have any).

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I didn’t have a method of gluing them in the tin, but I did try to use the largest ferns in the back and then the more whispy, smaller ones in the front.

Before I knew it, I had the cutest little fern arrangement for my back door!

Voila!

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I think it’s really sweet, simple and cheerful!

I love how it brightens up my back door!

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Until next time,

♥Shelby

DIY Autumn Cinnamon-Vanilla Soy Candle♥

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Autumn is here in the Pacific North West!

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The leaves are falling (and I should be raking them), The pumpkins are ready for carving (but I am lazy)…

…and every single edible thing on earth is injected with pumpkin and cinnamon.

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I saw Pumpkin Spice Hummus earlier this week, people.

Seriously, we have to stop this madness.

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This candle although not edible, it will certainly get you in the mood to embrace the new season!

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You will need:

Empty glass vessel (14oz) (I used an old B&BW Candle)

3 Cups Soy Flakes

Glass Measuring Cup

3 Cotton Wicks

Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil

Vanilla Essential Oil

Cinnamon 

Hot Glue Gun+ Glue

Toothpick

Scissors

Embellishments of choice  

Start by cleaning your glass vessel thoroughly and then set aside.

Measure out 3 cups of your wax flakes and either set over double boiler to melt or put in microwave for 6 minuets, (or until completely melted).

It will condense down considerably to almost half the volume it was before it was melted. Once poured in jar, it will leave 1 inch of head space.

While wax is melting, take your glass vessel and start hot gluing the wicks to the bottom of the jar. I find it helps to have a pencil with an eraser on hand to push the wicks securely into the glass.

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Once the wax is melted, slowly pour it into the center of the glass vessel.

Add 10 drops of each essential oil, and stir gently with toothpick to disperse the oils.

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Once this is done, put your vessel onto a plate and either place it in the fridge (if you want it to set quicker), or an undisturbed, cool part of the house.

I put mine in the fridge, and after about an hour it was 75% of the way set. Once it is at this stage, it is time to adorn the top with little sprinkles of cinnamon!

You must wait to do this step when the candle is almost solid, but still slightly a liquid near the top to keep the cinnamon from sinking to the bottom.

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I also had a bag of cinnamon sticks on hand, so I used a couple pieces of the bark slivers to add some extra texture.

Let the wax set completely, then cut the wicks down to 1/2 and inch tall.

There you have it! Burn this lovely candle at your leisure this Autumn or to give as a sweet gift to a loved one!

 Happy Autumn!

♥Shelby

DIY Teacup Bee & Bird Bath♥

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Hello!

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It has been HOT here in Tacoma and its only May. I am not prepared for this. I am not ready for boob sweat!

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I have been doing a lot of gardening recently and have been noticing that my yard is actually attracting a good amount of bees and butterflies!

I have seen this Teacup Bird Feeder floating around the internet, and it was such a cute idea I had to make one for all the thirsty critters visiting my yard!

I have a large collection of teacups and chose one I wasn’t too invested in, (but still liked obviously).

I also gathered some heavy duty super glue, white spray paint, and a round wooden stake from a banister I demolished when we remodeled our house. I’m all about recycling!

This project is super simple, It can be as easy as gluing three pieces together, or you can make it as fancy and custom as your heart desires.

I started out by painting the wooden stake, it was fine as a natural wood finish, but I really wanted it to stand out!

As that was drying, I Gorilla Glued the saucer to the teacup and let that dry for a few hours to make sure the glue was securely set. The Gorilla Glue doesn’t dry clear, so if that bothers you, you should definitely use another type of super glue. I’m probably going to put bird seed around the saucer in the future, so I was OK with the slightly yellow hue it left. The birds don’t judge!

After the paint and glue were dry, I glued the painted wooden stake to the bottom of the saucer.

I was a little overzealous with the glue when I attached the steak and saucer together, so the underside is a little ugly…but I really wanted to make sure it was on there for good!

You will have to prop this up to dry for at least 10 hours.

…and then voila!

Filled my little creation up with water and waited for some bees, butterflies, or birds to wet their whistles!

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Super cute!

Till next time!

♥Shelby

DIY Vintage Farmhouse Wood Sign♥

 

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I just love free crafts, don’t you?!


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This craft is so easy, it took me maybe an hour all together, (not including the billion times it took to console and feed my sweet, infant daughter!)

You Will Need: 

A scrap piece of wood (the more beat up the better!)

Sharpie

Paint

Small Paint Brush

A Word or Phrase

Stencil (Or the computer trace method I use)

Scissors

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Found this scrap piece of wood behind my shed, I just loved how beat up it was! You can see in the close up, its just so naturally aged, worn and mossy.

LOVE IT!

 I dusted it off with a rag until the yuckier debris fell off and I was left with a beautiful patina!

I decided I wanted to make a Vintage “farm stand” inspired sign. Since lemons are one of my favorite things in the world, I chose that word accompanied by a ten cent price. So cute!

Now, I don’t have a printer, so my way of making a stencil is a little ghetto unique.

I open a new Word.doc and choose a font. Then, I take a plain piece of paper and place it on the monitor. After that, I just lightly trace the letter with a pencil.

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Hey, a girl has to do what she has to!  It works for me!

Of course, just print out the silly letters if you have a printer!

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I cut out the letters and place them to my liking onto the plank.

Next, simply trace with a sharpie. This is the part that takes the longest, so turn on some music if you haven’t already and focus!

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(Sorry, it’s kind of hard to see since the plank is so dark.)

After you are finished with that step, brush on some paint inside the letter. I used sort of a blotting and wiping technique to give the paint an inconsistent, worn look. Using a older, stiffer brush worked well for me! I used Valspar satin paint in Feathered Fern to fill in the words, just had it laying around!

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Finished!

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Pretty awesome for a free project! I am really happy with how it came out! I think it goes well next to my big, chippy, white window!

I have to hunt for more of these wood pieces, maybe there are more hiding around the shed!?

Till next time!

♥Shelby

Practically Free Upcycled Organizers♥

20140126_134743-2Crafting? For free?! In under 30min? When and where do we start!? 
Just grab a cardboard box (or whatever kind you have around the house), some hot glue, leftover fabric, pretty ribbon or embellishments, a large needle or medium nail, and scissors! Together, we will create these cute storage boxes! 
This Sunday morning, while making some delicious blueberry buttermilk pancakes (which you can find here), I noticed that my baking cupboard was a disaster less than organized. I had been planning on organizing it for some time, but with a new job promotion, (shameless self promotion, did you see that?!) I figured today was as good a day as any to get to work! 
Now, first find a medium sized box. Shoe box, Amazon box, anything you want! 
After I cut off the cardboard wings I cut the box down a few inches in height until I found something that would work for me. 
Depending on how big your box is (my “large” one was only 10 inches long), the fabric should be able to cover the four parts of the outside of the box plus the underside. 
Grab your fabric, and you should be able to eyeball how much you will need. For a box that is 10×7 I used a piece of scrap canvas that was no bigger than 2ftx2ft. Plenty left over, but use a little more fabric than you think you’ll need just to be on the safe side. 
Lay the box in the middle of the fabric. With the box’s long side facing you (in my case, the 10 inch side), hot glue the fabric to the front of box, leave and inch of fabric above the lip of the 10″ side and fold it over to the inside of the box. Repeat on other side. Now for the 7″ sides, this is the way I do it, because its easy and I like the way it looks! It’s like wrapping a present. 

20140126_123714Make a triangle with the fabric, and fold it over the lip of the cardboard box. Glue the point of the triangle, and secure it on the inside of the box. It should look like this:
20140126_130312-1The inside part is easy. Cut strips of fabric that fit onto each side of the box and glue them accordingly. So in my case I needed two 6″ strips of fabric and two 10″ strips of fabric that were about 2″ high. The point is to eliminate the unsightly cardboard. Then, cut out a square/rectangle of fabric that will fit perfectly on the inside bottom of the box and place it inside. Glue the corners so it doesn’t slide!
The embellishment part is totally up to you! Get creative! These are going in my pantry and I just wanted to do some cute bows. I poked holes in the box and fabric using a large needle, you can also use a nail.
20140126_131249Thread your ribbon through using the needle and tie your cute bow! Organize your items as you see fit!

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Easy, and practically free! Hooray!

clap!
♥Shelby

Thrifty Spring Wreath DIY♥

IMAG1305-1Happy New Year!
I just got done taking down all my festive Christmas decor, which left me feeling a little woeful, since my 2013 holidays were all fabulous!
However, I do love bringing out all of my normal decor and setting it up in a fun, fresh way for the new year.
I am crazy about wreaths, and thought I would make a new spring wreath that would cheerfully greet the warming weather. My husband and I are trying very hard to save up for our first house quickly, so my penny pinching has recently put a bit of a damper on my Joann Fabrics shopping sprees  excursions.  It will all be worth it one day soon!  I am very excited to be a home owner!
Since every available dollar goes right into the savings account, I had to use my super thrifting skills to make this wreath for under $10.
…and I totally accomplished it!

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It was  a bumpy ride at first.
I went to Joanns to first buy the grapevine wreath for $3, but they were all out due to the holiday, (I think that was the reason, the lady who “helped” me didn’t seem to enjoy conversing with other people).
After that awkwardness I ventured down the street to Michael’s Crafts to see if they also had grapevine wreaths… and they were wiped out as well!

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In my frustration and momentary homicidal rage disappointment, I was about ready to give up and just call it quits on this daily project.
At that moment, I remembered that my favorite store was only mere blocks away! No, not you Victoria’s Secret, (not this time).
Goodwill!
What I really needed was the grapevine wreath. Even if the stuff on the existing wreath was ugly, I knew I could strip all the flowers off of it and replace them with silk flowers that I could buy somewhere else.
I found an 18″ wreath with a bunch of dusty old pansy’s on it for $3.99. Not bad. The wreath skeleton still looked perfect.
What was even more exciting, was that I found a bunch of silk flowers that looked recently donated that were in great shape! I found little spray roses, regular roses, peonies and great, big hydrangea! Most of the flowers were .99 or $1.99 for the pair. I decided to do an all pink wreath, since it is my favorite color, it’s fresh and it will work well with Valentines Day without being too in your face.
I was a little naughty and also bought a hobnail milk glass vase that I found tucked away in the home decor section. I couldn’t resist, I never find milk glass at Goodwill! My collection needed it! Once in a lifetime opportunity! Don’t tattle on me!
Once I was home, I went straight to work dusting off the wreath and stripping it of all the yucky pansies I didn’t like.

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Once I stripped them all off I started to add my new flowers to the mix in a random, yet neat fashion. I like my wreaths to look a little wild and unruly.
I talk about wreath making more in this tutorial here as well if you need a little more guidance.
I used hot glue to secure all my flowers and leaves into place. Make sure that the stems of the flowers are anchored well in the wreath.

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Once there is a plan of execution the process goes very fast, and before you know it, It’s finished!

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I hope you make a wreath for spring as well! The possibilities are endless, it is cost effective when you know where to look, and if you have a little patience!
Have fun with it and create something beautiful!
♥Shelby

Simple Hand Embroidered and Stenciled Tea Towels♥

Hello, all you beautiful people! IMAG1263

Have you been going crazy trying to decide what to give holiday party hosts this year!?

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Well, there is that I guess! Maybe we can try something a little more unexpected?
This time of year is so wonderful, but it’s hard to not feel the pressures of finding the perfect gift for each and every person in your life. I really miss the popularity of the hostess gift, it seems that it is not an expected courtesy in today’s society, which I don’t approve of. It is always a wonderful idea to bring something thoughtful to the party host to ensure that they are rewarded for their hard work and preparations. With that being said, I am going to show you how to make a simple embroidered and stenciled tea towel so you can bring a little something to show your appreciation.

Alright, let’s get started!

This is a very basic project. All it takes is knowing how to do a basic stitch and some stenciling abilities. Start by picking out your pre-made tea towels. I chose these, because they were good quality and 100% cotton. You can buy flour sack towels at Walmart and Target.  The price point should be $3-$5 for 4-5 towel pack.
IMAG1258-1Grab a bowl that will fill up one of the corners of the towel nicely. Mine was a small to medium size, but choose whatever you would like! Lightly trace the shape of the bowl onto the towel using a pencil or pen.
IMAG1259-1Once that is complete, pick out what color of thread you think the host will like. If you remember their kitchen colors, that is a great way to choose!  If this is your first time meeting the person, or attending their home, you can never go wrong with black and white! Sew a basic stitch all around the circle you traced, try to make all the stitches uniform.
IMAG1260Next, find a stencil that you would like to put on the towel. I chose a monogram, because I love monogrammed things! I find them very elegant and personal.
IMAG1261-1I chose the Martha Stewart calligraphy letter stencil and her multi purpose paint in the “Sea Glass” color. Tape the stencil on the towel so it is secure in the placement you want and “pounce” with your brush to create the stencil.
IMAG1262-1Doesn’t that look wonderfully elegant?
IMAG1263The possibilities are endless with these, they can be as simple or as ornate and detailed as you like! Wonderful hostess gift! Give them as they are, or pair them with a jar of homemade jam or a beautiful bottle of organic vanilla.

Happy Hosting!

♥Shelby