Egg Cups + Wheat Grass = Easy Spring Decor

I have been picking up these adorable vintage egg cups  throughout the year at yard sales and thrift stores and now have a collection in varying sizes.

image

 I couldn’t envision ever using  them for their intended purpose of holding a soft-boiled egg but I could  envision using  them for decorative purposes, especially for Spring.  I am drawn to the very plain ones and really like how they look when grouped.

image

Recently, I planted them with my go to “fresh flowers” … wheat grass.  Wheat grass is so easy and fast to grow (about 1 week)  and I love how it brings a pop of Spring color into my home.

image

image

For my Easter table, I set a couple on some wood rounds and covered them with a glass globe.  This gave them a bigger presence and also helped to deter our cats from jumping up on the table and chewing on the grass (cats love wheat grass).

image

image

I also weaved a few egg cups into my mantle display to refresh it for Spring and continue the theme.  It’s nice to see an element repeated.

image

Here’s a few other cute ideas for using egg cups that I found on the internet:

DIY Easter egg candles. Doubles as a table decoration and a cute Easter party favor.

source

Make sweet card place settings with this tutorial.  AND 45 BEST Spring Party & Decor Tutorials EVER with their LINKS!!! GIFT, PARTY, EVENT, SPRING, WEDDING DECOR. Blog & Photos from MrsPollyRogers.com

source

nice for someone with an egg cup collection. Daughter of mine...

source

juniper sprigs in small containers to create "trees" at place settings...fill base w/berries & tiny pinecones

source

I have amassed more than I need of these egg cups, so if you would like an instant collection I will be listing a few sets in our etsy store in the coming days.

Happy Spring!

Debrra

Graphic Tile for Our New Master Bathroom

Have you noticed all the graphic ceramic floor and wall tiles popping up lately on Pinterest and in decorating magazines?  Here’s a few that have caught my eye:

source

This one is from the 2013 Country Living House of the Year, designed by HGTV Design Star Emily Henderson and features Granada cement tiles:

The Country Living House of the Year, designed by Emily Henderson, features blue geometric tiles from Granada Tile. Really like this ♡

source

Both of these remind me of quilt patterns which I am naturally drawn to.  This one below has a more spanish look.

 

source

Did you notice a theme in these photos?  Yes, it is the presence of white and the absence of textiles – no curtains, rugs  towels (other than white ones)   Nothing to compete with the tile floor. And that is basically how our new master bathroom will be. No rugs because  the radiant heat installed in  the concrete floor needs to radiate and not be blocked by a rug.   No window treatment because there’s no window.  And because of its fairly small size, there just isn’t a lot of  space available to decorate.

Normally, I tend to stay pretty neutral in color for all major purchases – floors, walls, and large upholstered  pieces – these are high ticket items and costly to change.  And I also like to stay neutral for resale purposes.   In my home, color and pattern are reserved for pillow covers, throws and small accessories which are relatively inexpensive to switch up as my tastes  and seasons change.

But I have to admit I am smitten with the idea of a bold graphic floor.  We are presently finishing an area of our basement for our new master bedroom and bath.  Yes, it is odd to have a master in the basement.  But changes in our family have necessitated our move from the first floor master suite to the basement.  Thankfully, it is a walkout basement so the bedroom portion will have a good amount of natural light.  Anyway, more about that in another post!

I have looked at a lot of tile for the bathroom floor but I keep coming back to these graphic ones.  Because this is a basement bathroom, I feel I don’t need to be quite so concerned about resale.  And because this bathroom is small with no natural light, I think  a bold floor will help liven up the space and make the absence of a window less apparent.

 So I am going way out on a limb here by choosing this bright gold graphic pattern:

graphic pattern cement tiles

These 8×8 handmade cement and granite tiles are from Overstock.com.

 This is a bold step for an all-neutral gal like me.  I hope I can handle it!  Stay tuned.

 

 

Women’s Retreat Booth and A Burlap Upholstered Chair

I had a great time at the annual women’s retreat a couple weekends ago  I led a couple of  paper craft workshops where the women learned how to make a vintage hymnal cross ornament .  It was nice to see their creative juices flowing and their satisfaction with their finished crosses!

image

For our display , we kept it fairly neutral in shades of creams and tans ,but brought in lots of texture with our burlap pillows and banners, our chunky upcycled sweater pillows  and our paper wreaths and pompom wreaths.

image

image

IMG_6571

image

We added a few pops of green with wood boxes filled with wheat grass. I was worried  that the booth might look too wintry but with it being so frigid outside that weekend, it actually felt cozy and warm.

image

image

The chair that is piled with pillows started out looking like this:

image

I spotted it out for the garage while I drove my son to school.  It was  structurally sound except that it was missing the seat cushion.  Incidentally, I always give an upholstered piece a good sniff to be sure that it is free of any offensive odors before hauling home.  This one passed the sniff test!

I really liked the shape of this chair, particularly the heart shaped back.

image

I am new to upholstery and I admit that I don’t really enjoy the process … but  I sure do enjoy the finished product.  The most time consuming part is removing all of the staples that hold the fabric on.  I use an upholstery staple remover along with pliers for this task.

image

This chair had obviously been reupholstered before but I decided to keep the under fabric and apply my new fabric over it.  The batting was also still in tact and in good shape so I didn’t remove that either.

It is important to save each piece fabric as these become the templates for cutting the new fabric pieces.  Also, taking pictures as you dissassemble the chair is really helpful when it comes time to put it back together!

image

Once I had all the fabric off, I worked on the frame of the chair.  I painted it using Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in “grain sack”.  After it did its amazing chippy thing (which milk paint is known for), I lightly sanded it and finished up with two coats of polyacrylic to keep it from chipping any further.

For the fabric, I used burlap  for the back and and new seat cushion.   I used a heavy duty canvas drop cloth for the front.  Both burlap and canvas are inexpensive fabrics and until I feel more confident in my upholstery skills, I am staying away from pricey fabrics.

 I also was inspired by this photo I saw on Pinterest ( the fabric may actually be linen but it has the look of burlap),  Aren’t these chairs amazing!

Burlap chairs...hmmm!  When I slipcover my Living Room Chairs in White Denim...I should do the backs of them in Burlap!!!

source

My “go to” blogger  for upholstery projects is Miss Mustard Seed.  She has a good series of video tutorials on how to upholster a chair here.

The process went fairly well although I did learn that you need to use a fabric that has some stretch to it.  The burlap worked fine but the heavy weight canvas didn’t stretch well.  This made it difficult to get the little ripples and wrinkles out.  A pneumatic upholstery gun is a must for stapling the fabric to the frame. I purchased my Porter + Cable gun a few years ago for about $90 and it works great.

100_7109

100_7119

100_7118

100_7117

To cover all the staples I used gimp trim that I purchased here.  A hot glue gun is all that is needed to apply the trim.

100_7115

The chair was piled high with pillows in the booth so it didn’t get much attention.  It made a great prop though  and I will be using it for some photo shoots until it sells.

100_7106

  One more day to Spring…

hard to believe as the snow is falling once again!

Debra

Mini Paper Hymnal Cross DIY

I have been working on a smaller version of the vintage hymnal cross I made last week.  I plan to  teach how to make this mini hymnal cross  at a craft workshop during the upcoming Women’s Retreat  so I needed to get it down to a science!   An  hour and a cup of coffee later, I came up with this:

image

Here’s how to make this smaller version:

Supplies:

2 large popcicle sticks glued together in a cross formation

pages from an old church hymnal, sized as follows:

one 1/4 page

five 1/8 page

eight 1/16 page

one full page for the rosette

glitter (optional)

image

You will need to make 14 “cones”  in total.  Here is a link to how we make the cones.

image

Before beginning, you will want to glue on a simple hangar or magnet to the back of your cross.  I used some threads of burlap.

image

Then glue the largest cone on the bottom part of the cross.  Overhang it a bit to be sure to cover up the popcicle stick.

image

Then glue on the five 1/8 page cones: 2 on each arm of the cross, 1 on the top of the cross, and 2 on each side of the bottom cone.  Again, be sure to extend them a bit beyond the popcicle stick.

image

 The eight 1/16 page cones will now be used to fill in the gaps and add texture and depth to the cross.

image

You will glue 2 on each side of the arms and the top.  The remaining 2 cones get glued to the bottom of the cross, on top of the existing cones.

Using a paper rosette in the center is nice way to cover up any imperfections in the ends of the cones.

image

Here is link to making a rosette.  If you want to glitter it, “dip” the face of the rosette in some white glue and then dip it again in some glitter.  Then glue the rosette to the center of your cross.

That is  the science of how to make the mini hymnal cross.  The “art” part comes when you do your own thing from here, adding more cones in more sizes until you achieve a look that pleases you.  Have fun and hope to see you at the Retreat!

 

 

A Vintage Hymnal Paper Cross and the 2015 Women’s Retreat

We are getting ready for the upcoming Women’s Retreat which is held annually at the end of February at the Tuscarora Conference Center in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania.  Each year we like to create a new focal point for our booth — something that will inspire creativity and generate excitement for the women as they check in.  So this past Sunday while we all were enjoying the Super Bowl, a warm fire and nachos, I worked on a prototype for a cross wall hanging made from old hymnal pages.

image

I started with a template cut from cardboard.  I made  it 24 inches  long by 12 inches across.

image

image

Then I made the paper cones from old hymnal pages in 3 different sizes: whole page, half page and quarter page.  Over the years we’ve tried different techniques for making these cones.  But the technique I like the best is the one we used here for our map wreaths.

image

I like to see gradations in color so I used pages from two different hymnals.

Making a paper cross or wreath is as much art as it is science so each one will be different depending on how you choose to place the cones  and  how much layering  you do.  As a starting point, I placed 3 large cones on the top and arms of the cross.

image

Then  I started layering on additional cones in a pattern that was pleasing to my eye and  keeping in mind the need for symmetry.

image

After I had the top of the cross fairly filled in, I felt the need to work up from the bottom.  Again I started by gluing on three large cones first and then worked my way up the cross.

image

The hard part for me is knowing when to stop.   The more cones you layer on, the more textural it becomes.  If you have any bare spots it is easy to slip in the right size cone to fill in the gap.

image

image

This week I am working on a prototype for a mini version of this cross to do for a craft workshop at the retreat.  I need to get it down to a “science” so that it can be accomplished within one hour!  I’ll post a tutorial as soon as I have it worked out.

Union Jack DIY Footstool

The Union Jack British flag design has been really popular in home decor over the past several years.  We have done our share of Union Jack pillows in the traditional colors.

image

We’ve even used it on a sweet ring bearer pillow that was custom made for a bride.

image

I love how it turned out and can’t wait to see the photos from her wedding!

           Recently, we took a more subtle approach with the Union Jack motif on a footstool makeover.

image

Believe it or not this sturdy Ethan Allen footstool was out for the garbage.   I don’t have a before picture but it had a torn vinyl cover and the wood stained frame was faded and scratched.  After sanding and painting the frame black and distessing it a bit, I cut a square of burlap fabric about six inches larger all the way around than the footstool cushion.  Then I sewed  the diagonal pieces onto the burlap using jute webbing that I cut down to  about half the width of the actual webbing.   I sewed on the perpendicular pieces using the full width of the webbing.   I used a zigzag stitch and went over all of the edges twice to be sure they wouldn’t fray.

 image

After securing the cover to the cushion using staples, I  detailed the edge with  a burlap covered cord and used hot glue to secure it to the edge of the cushion.  I showed how to make a corded edge here.

image

Then I secured  the cushion to the frame using the original screws.

There you have it – a fresh take on a traditional design.  This footstool is currently for sale in our etsy shop.

Side Table Makeover

Today I thought I’d share a recent makeover we completed of two matching side tables.

image

 These babies are the real deal – solid pine through and through and super sturdy with count ’em – 6 legs!  They are most likely from the 70’s and were in good condition when we found them… other than needing to be revived with a more current aesthetic.

image

So for this project, I striped the table tops using stripping gel and then went over them with an orbital sander to remove any residue.

image

I used Minwax dark walnut stain and then applied several coats of polyacrylic for a smooth, hard-wearing surface.

image

For the  legs and frame I did a very light hand sanding and then applied  Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in “grain sack”.   I added bonding agent (also from Miss Mustard Seed) to the paint to get a  stronger adhesion.

Here’s what they looked like after the first coat of milk paint (Yes, I painted them on my kitchen island).  One of the great things about milk paint is it is completely natural so ventilation is not an issue.

image

After the second coat, I lightly sanded them where ever  I wanted a chippy finish – this is what Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint is  known for.  If you want a lot of chippy, then you don’t need to add the bonding agent.  I finished up with two coats of polyacrylic for a smooth, durable finish.

image

These tables would look great in a living room or even in a bedroom as bedside tables.  For added height next to a tall bed, they can be layered with books.

image

I love how the milk paint brought out the detail in each of the legs.

image

We are selling the set for $165 if anyone needs a great pair of side tables!  They are currently listed in our etsy store and are available for local pickup.

image