{DIY} Fun Fall Decor

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Well, it’s hard to believe, but fall is just around the corner. As much as I love summer, I’m excited for fall. It’s probably my favorite season- everything gets that crisp, fresh feeling, pumpkins and mums are everywhere, kids dress up in costumes for Halloween, CANDY (especially the mellowcreme pumpkins- YUM) is in high supply. Plus, October is my baby boy’s birthday month (is he really going to be THREE already?!). So, clearly, there’s a lot to love about this season.

I also love the FOOD of the season. We love pumpkin, so we make it a point to make pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin pie. I also try to find at least one new pumpkin recipe to try- last year it was a pumpkin crunch cake, and it was awesome! I haven’t decided what it will be this year, but I’m sure Pinterest is just brimming with good ideas. Or maybe you guys can suggest something??

Of course, you can’t fully appreciate fall without dressing up your house a bit. And what better way than with some fun decorations you can make on your own? A few years ago I made a wreath for the front door and some mumkins! They have adorned our house ever since and are much loved, so I thought I’d share the tutorials with you all so you can make your own!

First, the wreath:
Fall Wreath
What you need:
– Straw Wreath (mine is 12″, but any size will do. Pretty sure I got mine at Michaels, but they can be found at just about any craft store)
– Fake fall-colored leaves (I actually bought a leaf garland and pulled the leaves off it)
– Fake fall flowers (such as mums)
– Floral pins/staples (these are the ones I used)
– A cute owl (or other fall-ish critter)

Technique:
Place your first leaf slightly to the left of the center top of the wreath. Pin the leaf using a floral pin/staple (make sure you pin at the bottom of the leaf so the pin is hidden!). Layer another leaf on top of the first leaf, staggered and offset a bit, and pin in place. Repeat until you get to the middle/bottom of the wreath. Now, pick the ending point on the right side of wreath, maybe 1/3 of the way up, and pin a leaf there. Working backwards, towards the bottom middle of the wreath, layer another leaf on top, staggered and offset, and pin in place. Repeat until you meet up where you left off with the previous leaves. You may need to tweak a few leaves to get things to line up well and look “natural”. Once you have the leaves the way you want them, remove a few of your fake flowers from their stems/bouquets and attach to the wreath with a pin.  You can also leave the flowers on the stems, cut the stem shorter, and stick the stems through the wreath to hold the flowers in place.  Arrange to suit your preference.  Next, attach the owl (or other critter) by threading a floral pin/staple through the back of the critter to keep the pin hidden. Secure with additional pins if required. Ta-da! You have a wreath!

The great thing about this wreath is that you CANNOT go wrong! The design is completely up to you, and you can change things around if you don’t like how it turned out. The first time I did this wreath, I used hot glue. It held together perfectly…. until one day the sun came beating down on the wreath, melted the glue, and everything fell apart. So I went out to the store and got some floral pins instead- THEY WORK WONDERFULLY! And if you stagger the leaves, you can’t see the pins at all.

Now, the mumkin (aka- pumpkin covered in mums):
mumkin
I love how this turned out- and it was SO EASY

What you need:
– A foam pumpkin (any size)
– A few bouquets of fake mums

Technique:
Cut the individual mums off the bouquets, leaving a 2-4″ stem. Poke the stem into the pumpkin and push all the way in until just the flower is showing. You may need to pre-poke a small hole. Most of the mums went in for me without any problem- for the ones where I couldn’t get it poked, I used a knitting needle! Continue until the entire pumpkin is covered with mums!

Again, this is a project that really can’t go wrong.  Arrange the mums however you’d like until you’re satisfied.  Since nothing is glued or stapled in place, you can rearrange as often as you need to get your perfect mumkin!

How do you like to decorate for fall?

Stringtown Home

{DIY} Hazel’s Nursery Name Art

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You might remember that I was making things to personalize Hazel’s nursery. It used to belong to Ian, so I switched out a few things (the navy blue colors with deep purple) and added a few unique touches just for Hazel.

One of those is the name art I put on the wall. For Ian, I designed his in photoshop, printed it out at the Walmart photo center, and had it custom matted in a stock frame I picked up. I absolutely adored how it turned out, and it moved with him when he got his “big boy” room.

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I was planning to do pretty much the same thing for Hazel. But then, I was on Pinterest (dangerous, I know!), and I saw something that caught my eye. It was wall art for a nursery- not even name art- but I got an idea that I could use that as inspiration for Hazel’s name art!

Fortunately, my husband and I recently finished a slew of home improvement projects, so we had a lot of leftover wood in the garage just taking up space. It’s like it was meant to be!

Armed with a vision in my head, I quickly took some measurements in the nursery and made a sketch. And then, since I’m a visual person, I drew my design on the computer (with the appropriate colors). That part was totally unnecessary, but I found it fun!

Anyway, next I had the fun job of selecting pieces of wood and using power tools!  Hooray for saws!  In the end, I had my 5 pieces of wood and 2 backing/support pieces all cut and ready to be primed and painted.  I admit, that painting is not my favorite, but I took my time with it, and everything turned out so well!

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Next, I had to make letter stencils. My freehand paint skills are non-existent…Silhouette Cameo to the rescue! I measured how tall I wanted each letter and then cut them out on craft vinyl. Then I stuck them to the pieces of wood.

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Next it was time to paint! I couldn’t find the exact shade of purple I wanted, so I mixed some purple and black together to get a nice, deep plum. Then I just kept adding coats until the white was sufficiently covered!

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After letting it dry, I peeled off the vinyl, and ta-da!! We have name art.

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I absolutely love how it turned out. And it was actually pretty simple! Time consuming, to make sure it ended up looking great, but not hard.

Do you have your child’s name displayed in their room/nursery? How did you chose to show it?

Moving on Up

Ian is now officially out of the nursery and in his new “big boy” room. We started the switch about three weeks ago, after his new twin bed arrived. The bed only took a few hours to put together (mainly, this was due to some issues with a few of the pieces), and I love how it looks. It’s a deep, dark wood with a bookcase headboard and under-bed drawers. We let him pick out the sheets for the bed (he chose sheets from Disney’s Planes), and then that first night we asked him if he wanted to sleep in his old bed (the crib-now-toddler-bed) or his new bed. He chose his new bed, but after we tucked him in, he changed his mind and moved to his old bed. But the next night, he chose his new bed and he’s been sleeping there ever since!

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We’ve slowly moved all of his stuff out of the nursery- his name art, his sound machine, his books, his stuffed animals, etc. We also added a toy organizer to his new room and started filling it with some of his toys from the living room and elsewhere in the house. He loves having toys in his room (the nursery was so small that he really didn’t have any toys in it), and often he’ll wander over to the toy organizer and start playing.

The room still needs a dresser… and some additional decorations, but it’s coming along nicely. I’m planning to do an airplane theme since he loves airplanes. I’m going to decorate the walls with a combination of airplane vinyl decals (which I’m going to cut using my Silhouette Cameo) and airplane artwork. I’ve started collecting ideas and inspiration from Pinterest:

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Decals

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Cute decal and propeller

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Artwork idea

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More artwork ideas

I can’t wait to get some of these projects done so that the room is put together and complete. And, of course, I’ll be sharing the final room with all of you! My goal is to get everything done by the end of March- let’s hope I can make it!

Even without it fully done up and decorated, Ian loves his new room. I wasn’t sure how well he’d take to adjusting to a new room and leaving all his old furniture and stuff behind, but he’s done great! He’ll even point to the crib (which has been changed back into a crib) and tell us “this is for baby sister”, which is so neat. We’re all getting very excited (if not a bit anxious) for this little girl to arrive, so having some projects will definitely help keep me busy and help take my mind off things!

Have you transitioned a kid to a new room (or new bed)? How did it go?

Christmas Lights

I love Christmas lights. They are just so beautiful, and they make the dark, dreary, cold nights just a bit more welcoming.

We started putting up our lights on November 30th- the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  We got back from visiting my sister and her kids on the 29th (see post), which meant we had Sunday to get the house prepped for Christmas decorations.  And, to top it off, the weather was lovely!  It was in the 50s, which is astounding. We knew we had to take advantage of that break from the cold.  So Jon climbed up on the roof and hung all the icicle lights.  By the time we finished on Sunday, the roofline was done- a MAJOR accomplishment!

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Over the next few days Jon tackled the small bushes in front of our house, and then we did our porch, our large bushes (for the record- I HATE NET LIGHTS), and our deer/spotlight.  Since we broke up the decorating over about a week, it wasn’t all that overwhelming and it was done before we even knew it!  And now the house is all lit up and just beautiful. 

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When did your lights go up?