{DIY} Fun Fall Decor


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)

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):
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

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

Bathroom Remodel

Ever since we remodeled our kitchen (Jan 2010), we have been talking about remodeling the adjacent bathroom.  We put it off at the time because we just didn’t feel like doing it.  And we have majorly regretted it ever since.

We finally had enough and decided to just go for it.  So sometime in November, Jon decided to go into Tasmanian-devil demo mode and rip the bathroom apart.  We figured this would be the push we’d need to actually get started.

Well… then holidays came and insert any other number of excuses here.  And the bathroom remodel is still not finished.  But we’re at least making progress!

First we took everything out (including the toilet… not fun having to trek up 2 flights of stairs to go to the bathroom if you happen to be in the basement.  Or, worse, rush a toddler up the 2 flights of stairs so he can get to the potty on time).  That also included the light fixture (which we always hated) and the linoleum floor.  So we were essentially left with a little, dark box.  Ooh lovely.


No light!


Bye-Bye toilet!

It didn’t sit that way for too terribly long.  We soon got to work sanding and spackling walls so that we could repaint the bathroom.  It needed fresh paint desperately!  That took a few days since we did a few coats, but all in all wasn’t too difficult.  It was easily managed after Ian went to bed each night.


Doesn’t everyone just LOVE painting?

Next we installed the new light fixture.  It was pretty easy, and it was SO NICE having a light source in “the box” again.


We have LIGHT!

Then we moved on to the tile floor.  We wanted it to match the kitchen tile…FORTUNATELY it was still available- and not discontinued.  We had to do quite a bit of prep-work before we could finally lay the tile.  But, a few weeks later and the floor was installed, grouted, cleaned, and sealed!  Woo!


Tile dry fit


Grouted! Ready for a good clean and some sealer!

Now we’re working on installing the baseboard molding.  Once that’s in, we’ll be able to install the toilet and the new vanity- and we’ll be so close to having a complete bathroom again!  I’m so excited!

What’s the latest DIY remodel project you’ve started (or completed)?

Shed Building Update (Day One Progress)

The weekend was beyond busy, so I’m just now getting to this post, but here’s a shed progress update from day one!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early (mostly thanks to Ian), and took care of all our “morning” stuff (feeding pets, eating breakfast, etc) before heading outside to get down to business!  We started by cutting the floor joists and trying to determine the best way to “frame” the floor to ensure it stays level. We eventually decided to just build it on our cinderblock foundation (which we prepared a while ago).

The foundation

The foundation

Doing the floor actually wasn’t nearly as difficult as we had feared. Probably the hardest thing was keeping Ian occupied. We set up a picnic blanket with some toys, books, coloring books, and crayons. He was able to entertain himself for about 20 minutes before he came running to us, ready to play. Eventually, however, we did get the floor framed and the plywood sheeting attached.


The floor joists assembled, and Ian’s space



The shed has a floor!


And it's level!

And it’s level!

Next, it was time to start the walls.  Again, this wasn’t too terrible… we were feeling like we might have this shed building stuff down! We had to carry a lot of 2x4s to the backyard, and of course right about this time Ian started getting very clingy, so we had to come up with some way to get him out of our hair. Finally, inspiration struck! Ian LOVES to help. So we decided to give him a “very important” task to keep him busy and out of the way- carrying small pieces of wood from the driveway to the backyard. He was thrilled to be involved and helping, and he took his job very seriously… we had 12 pieces of wood in the backyard by the end of the day.

Carrying pieces of wood

Carrying pieces of wood

Fortunately this allowed us to get all the walls built. Clever mommy and daddy!

Walls built

Walls built


And starting to go p!

And starting to go up!

Putting up the walls went pretty smoothly. Ian “helped” by doling out nails. He also found the pen and started decorating the floor before we realized what was happening. I quickly took the pen away, but the floor will remain forever market by our son…oh well. I suppose it could be worse!

Ian's contribution to the aesthetics

Ian’s contribution to the aesthetics

It was an absolutely exhausting day, but we did manage to get a substantial amount of work done. All in all, I’m extremely pleased with our progress and our work. Here’s our end-of-day-one picture!

End of day one

End of day one


So what do you think? How’s it looking? Do you think we’re a little crazy to be tackling this project with a toddler underfoot (it’s ok if you do…we’re questioning our mental state, too)?

The shed kit is here!!!

The shed kit is here!! The shed kit is here!!!

When the husband ordered the shed, they told him it would take about 3 weeks to be delivered.  We were pretty bummed, but accepted it since there really wasn’t anything we could do about it.

Well… someone obviously can’t figure out a calendar because 3 days later, we got a call telling us the shed was in! Hooray!

It was delivered to our driveway and we spent that evening taking inventory and reading through the plans (which, by the way, are a joke).  We also managed to cut a few pieces of wood (the kit came with all the materials, but nothing was pre-cut) so we would have that much less to do later.  With any luck we’ll have a shed in our backyard soon!!  Our plan is to get started on Saturday and just keep at it all weekend until we’re done 🙂

Wish us luck!


Let’s build a shed… how hard can it be?

My husband and I have decided to build a shed in our backyard!  We’ve been talking about building/buying a shed for close to three years now.  Yes, THREE.  Every year we complain about the lack of space in the garage- due to his car hobby (fixing/rebuilding cars) and our ever growing pile of tools and lawn/garden supplies.  But every year we come up with good (and even not-so-good) excuses to not take the plunge.

Finally, after the winter-that-would-NEVER-end and my constant complaining about having to scrape ice off my car and walk through snow, we have decided it is time to stop talking about getting a shed and actually just get a shed.  We had done price comparing over the past three years and knew that we’d pretty much have to build it ourselves if we didn’t want to spend a fortune.  We have some home remodel/improvement experience under our belt from our previous projects (kitchen, floors, etc… I’ll talk about those in posts later), so we feel reasonably confident that building a shed just can’t  be all that hard…

After exhaustive searching and comparing, we decided to buy a DIY shed kit from 84 Lumber.  They provide all the materials and the plans- you provide the muscle and the money.  Jon ordered the kit, and now we just have to wait for it to be delivered! So exciting 🙂

Stick around because I’ll be posting progress updates, and I know you won’t want to miss that 😉



Hi there, and welcome to my blog! My name is Beth, and I’m the Mrs of the Frankenfield family. My husband, Jon, and I have been married nearly 5 years (we got married August 29, 2009).  We have a 13 year old dog-Scout, a 4 year old cat-Igby, a 3 year old cat-Ducky, and an 18 month old son-Ian. To find out more about our family, hop over to the About page.  Or you can just learn as you go, through my posts. I’m so glad you are here, and can’t wait to get to know you!

…not a baby any more!

Last night was quite a momentous occasion at the Frankenfield house. We took down the side rail on Ian’s crib and converted the crib to a toddler bed. My little baby is growing up!

We didn’t want to buy the toddler conversion kit from the manufacturer because they are pretty pricey! So instead we bought a “universal” toddler bed rail from Amazon, made by Dexbaby. It was extremely easy to assemble, but a decent pain to attach to the crib. Maybe it’s just because our crib has a drawer underneath or maybe I’m just not destined to agree with wingnuts, but it probably took a good 30 minutes to get it on the bed. All the while, l was being watched very carefully by a toddler who was getting increasingly bored and tired (ok- maybe I shouldn’t have waited until it was almost bedtime to attempt this, but I honestly didn’t expect it to take so long!!). Even with my struggles I’m still really pleased with my choice.


The converted crib into toddler bed!

The rail is really sturdy, and at $27 was a great value! The only downside is I had to remove the bed skirt. . . but all things considered, that’s not a big deal.

And the absolute BEST part? Ian LOVES his “new” bed! He was so excited to crawl up into the bed that he tried to go to sleep before I even had a chance to put him in pajamas! He stayed in it all night, and naptime today went just as well.

It’s pretty bittersweet that he’s big enough to say goodbye to the crib. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital, and now he’s 18 months and sleeping in a (almost) bed. My how time flies!

Any mommies (or daddies) out there recently experience a new milestone or transition recently? How did you handle it? With excitement, trepidation, tears, or all of the above?