Fall Centerpiece + Free Banner Printable

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I love decorating my house, especially for the holidays. I haven’t done very much of it until recently though because decorations are so expensive and I’m cheap. I’ve found my crafty side recently though and I love it. A year ago I would have never considered using a vase for anything other flowers. Today, I have a vase filled with popcorn kernels as part of my Fall Centerpiece. Hopefully, some of you will relate to that so that you aren’t all laughing at me.

Fall is by far my favorite season of the year, with October being my favorite month and Thanksgiving being my favorite holiday and all.  I love the colors of Fall! Do you think it would be bad to decorate my house for Fall and leave it that way all year long?

I love this centerpiece. It’s fun and original and worked really well for Halloween with my felt bats and my chalkboard BOO! sign. And then I just so easily switched out the bats for an Autumn banner and the BOO! for a cornucopia.

Fall Halloween Centerpiece

The cornucopia was a Garage Sale $0.50 find. The vase is just filled with plain popcorn kernels and I made the printable Autumn banner myself and hot glued it around a piece of twine.

Here’s the link for the banner if you would like it for your personal use. The print size can be adjusted so it can be printed larger than my banner. Instructions are included in the file.

The pumpkin took some work though.

For my book pumpkin, I used a thin book (about ½ inch thick) we had that had a thin paperback spine. I opened it up, traced what I thought would be a good half pumpkin shape and used my Xacto knife to cut through as many pages as possible. Then, I would pull out the paper I wasn’t using, use the cut out I had just made to trace the pattern on the top of the next page and cut again. Sorry, I don’t have pictures of this part. Here’s the basic shape I used below. I did have to go back and cut the bottom at more of an angle. I angled it in toward the center, which helped the pages rest on the table.

Once I was done I pulled the cover, including the spine, off of my pumpkin. Then I used a hot glue gun to glue the spine in half on itself. Here’s a picture:

Pumpkin Shape Cut Out Fall Centerpiece

My book really wasn’t thick enough, so it was hard to get it to fold over on itself. Once the glue was dry, I set the pumpkin up and started to fan out the pages. If you didn’t cut the bottom of the pumpkin at the right angle, you’ll be able to notice it now because the pages won’t stay opened right.

I had to glue some pages together where natural gaps would form. In the process of fanning the pages out, I ripped off my stem. So I took a piece of string I had laying around and wrapped it around it to make it look like I had done it on purpose and hot glued it back in place. 😉

Stem of Pumpkin

Once I was happy with what I had, I added some paint. I didn’t want the paint to be too bright since I was going for more of a rustic look, so I diluted it with water hoping it would look more subtle:

Orange Acrylic Paint with Water

Then, I used a dry paintbrush and just pressed it along the edges of the book in sections. Once you have them all painted, fan the sections out again or they will dry stuck together and you may rip the pages pulling them apart.

Applying Acrylic Paint to Pumpkin

When I brought my pumpkin inside I noticed a piece of green wire on the counter and wrapped it around a pencil and made vines for my pumpkin. I still have no idea where that wire came from.

Fall Centerpiece with Autumn Banner

I’ve never seen anything like it, so I’m pretty thrilled with this pumpkin. If I make another one and when you make yours, use a thicker book. Probably something close to an inch think would fill in much better.

Do you decorate for the Seasons? Do you buy readymade decorations or are you cheap like me do you enjoy to make them yourself?

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DiY Chalkboard Refrigerator

DiY Chalkboard Refrigerator Feature
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I love love love Chalkboard Paint! Now, instead of cluttering up the refrigerator with grocery lists and reminders for this and that, I can just write it straight on our DiY’ed Chalkboard Refrigerator. Amazing!

I’ve heard that Chalkboard Paint can be pretty expensive though, so I decided to DiY it. I already had black paint anyway, which is the color I wanted to paint the fridge. All you need are paint and Non-Sanded Grout. I’ve been told that it HAS to be Non-Sanded, so pay attention when you’re buying it. I think this container was around $5, but it will go a long way. You only need 2 Tablespoons of grout for every cup of paint.

Non-Sanded Grout Chalkboard Paint

This is how I did mine, although if I were to do it again, I’d change a few things. I’ll include those notes towards the bottom of the post.

Refrigerator Before CHalkboard Paint

 First, I had Clint take the handle off of the fridge for me. Then, I cleaned the entire area that I would be painting, really good. Then, I sanded it with an orbital hand sander with fine grit sandpaper. I was just trying to rough it up to make sure the paint would stick.

Sanded Refrigerator for Chalkboard Paint

Next, I taped off all of the stuff I didn’t want painted. Then, I rolled the paint on. I used a small foam roller. It went on really easy, sort of too easy. The roller would slide to the sides through the paint if I didn’t pay close attention. The first coat chalkboard paint looks really bad. Don’t get scared like I did. I let that dry for about an hour (probably should’ve waited longer) and did a second coat.

Second Coat of Chalkboard Paint Going On

It still wasn’t perfect, so I came back and did a third coat.

I got caught up with life and didn’t get back around to the fridge for a few weeks. So it had a while to cure waiting on me. Before we used it, we rubbed chalk all over it and let it sit for a day. Then I used a damp rag to wipe it of. It isn’t going to wipe super clean like the chalkboards in Elementary School, but that’s part of the look, in my opinion.

DiY Chalkboard Refrigerator Finished

THE MISTAKES I MADE:

 

First of all, when I make up another batch of the paint I’m going to sift the grout. The grout chunks up like flour would and the chunks stayed in the paint even once it was rolled on. If you wiped your hand across the surface they would break down and peel the paint.

Secondly, I will prime the entire surface and sand a little better. The paint is staying on relatively well now that it has had a week or two to harden up, but at first it would come off pretty easily. Just to be safe, I would prime the surface first. I will probably be redoing mine shortly, with primer. This is why:

Peeling DiY Chalkboard Refrigerator Paint

Paint around logos or handles or whatever else first and then pull off the painter’s tape I guess. Our painters tape pulled paint off, which was still wet, from around the logo. I had to go back and fill it in with a small paintbrush.

Peeling Chalkboard Paint on Refrigerator

 

TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN USING DIY CHALKBOARD PAINT:

 

A little bit went a very long way on this fridge.

The first coat is always going to look horrible.

Sift the grout.

Sand with fine grit sandpaper between coats, if needed.

Leftovers can be saved in a mason or other airtight jar.

Do not use chalk pens. You should only use real pieces of chalk on DiY Chalkboard Paint.

Use a damp rag to wipe off chalk.

Have you ever used Chalkboard Paint, DiY’ed or store bought? What projects will you/have you done with it? 

Linked up:

Thank you so much to Jennifer Blissfully Ever After for featuring me!

Pastor Appreciation Month & A Gift Idea

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Timothy 5-17

Did you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month? October 13 was also Pastor Appreciation Day. Have you done anything special for your pastor to show your appreciation?

We are extremely thankful that we have a Pastor at our church that is definitely “worthy of double honor”. Clint and I went through a rough patch a few years ago and he helped us through it and we will be eternally grateful to God for placing him in our lives when he did. Sometimes I wonder, what if he hadn’t been the pastor at our church at that time?

Besides that though, he and his wife are great friends to us. We both know that if we have something we are struggling with we can pick up our phones and call or text them and they’ll be there for us.

We’ve always wanted to do something special for him but have sort of never gotten around to it. We’ve thrown ideas around and that’s been the end of it. Recently, since he is human, I felt like maybe he needed a little encouragement and to know how much our family appreciates all that he does. I decided I was going to make him…something. I just wasn’t sure what. I headed to Mr. Google and searched Pastor Appreciation Day and to my surprise it was October 13. What perfect timing, right?

So I started brainstorming and knew I wanted to make something out of wood. I know he used to be some kind of Forestry guy, so it just seemed fitting. I thought a wall plaque or maybe something he could put on his bookshelf in his office would be best. I text his wife and asked her what some of his favorite verses were and she thought it was a great idea.

I hadn’t thought of anything besides that something planked would be cool. I had planned to make a trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s closer to time and pick up some wood for Clint to cut down for me. Then, I was driving home one day and saw a crib all busted up outside of a storage unit. I jumped out and took a side of it–perfect sized slats! Clint sanded the finish off of the next day and then cut them off.

Slats Collage

Then I mixed up some different paint colors I liked and added some water to thin it out and put it on each slat. I didn’t like the first color, but I did like that each slat was a little different.

Slats Painted

So I mixed up more paint and went over them again. I really don’t think it was possible to mess this up, just keep painting over it until you kind of like what you have. Here’s the consistency with the water added.

Paint Consistency

After they were dry, I laid them out the way I wanted (upside down) and glued 3 staggered slats onto the back. Sorry– I forgot to take pics of that part. Hopefully you understand what I’m saying. I didn’t have any screws short enough so we were going to just glue it and get some screws later. I left that over night to dry.

The next day, I grabbed an ugly old paint brush and barely dabbed the bristles in white paint and brushed them across the front of the slats, parallel to them. I loved the way it looked so I kept going. Here is the design I made for the verse we chose of his favorites:

Verse Design

I printed that out on transparency paper and used an overhead projector to project the design onto the plaque on the wall. Impatiently, I used a pencil and traced the outline of every single letter.

Transparency Trace

Last, I used a little brush like this and black paint to fill in all of the letters 2 or 3 times.

Paintbrush

It was EXTREMELY sturdy after we were done, so we decided against the screws. We were very pleased with the finished product and our Pastor seemed to be really pleased too. Here is the photo he posted to Facebook. 🙂

Robby's Picture of Plaque

Have you ever considered that your Pastor is human and probably needs encouragement, just like we do? Have you done anything special to make you Pastor feel appreciated this month? 

Fall Coffee Filter Wreath

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Happy Friday! This week has been a super busy week. We had our Fall Revival at church Sunday-Wednesday, and had a great speaker. We were kind of bummed that it ended. And Clint is still home because of the shutdown, so he and Lucas are spending a lot of quality time together (trying not to pull each other’s heads off).

I saw this wreath one day on Pinterest or in the blog world (can’t remember which) and immediately loved it. I love the versatility of it and I even kind of like that it isn’t burlap or deco mesh like every other wreath I see (around here, at least). I do like the burlap and deco mesh wreaths, by the way, my point is just that this one is different. So I recruited my little sister, Shaye, to come over and talk help me with this project.

You’ll Need:

A wreath form of some sort

Natural or white coffee filters (I used around 250)

Hot glue guns and several glue sticks

Ribbon/Decoration for the wreath

Let’s, get right to it. You remember the beautiful garland wrapped wreath I got last weekend?Before

First, we took off the garland. Step2

Better already,  huh?

This is the best method we found for folding and scrunching the coffee filters for the wreath, but you may find a better technique. This is just what worked for us.

First, you fold the coffee filter in half evenly.

Fold in Half

Then, while keeping your fingers pinched on the same spot, you flatten out the rest of the filter.

Pinch Flat

Then I would just make a circle around the filter and pull straight up, scrunching up the filter as I went. It’s really not technical, just sounds like it.

Scrunch

Here’s what it looked like after folding and scrunching. At first, we were folding it in half and then in half again, but I thought it looked too uniform.

Finished

Then, you just fold over the bottom and glue it to your wreath form.

Gluing

You want each filter right on top of the last. Otherwise, when you think you’re done, you’ll have lots of ‘holes’ to fill. I thought I did a pretty good job.

Mostly Done

But see all the bare spots around the inside?

Bare Spots

So, then I went back and filled in all of the bare spots. Have someone hold the wreath up and it’s much easier to notice the spots that need more filters. I also had to go back and add some around the outsides where it looked lopsided at first.

And that’s it! It took us a couple of hours to do, but if you don’t have an extremely talkative helper who can’t multi-task, it would probably only take an hour, tops. Here is my finished product:

After

Looks great doesn’t it? Too bad it doesn’t fit on my front door. My screen door won’t shut with it hanging on the front door. #fail For now, it’s hanging on the outside of the screen door, but I’m not sure how I like that. So now I’m trying to decide if I should gift it or hang it inside somewhere.

Do you hang wreaths throughout the year? Do you make them yourself or buy them? FYI: with the decorations, this cost me less than $9 to make.

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My Thrifty Finds aka Poppin’ Tags

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I love a good bargain! I guess some people think it’s beneath them to buy stuff other people once used, but I love nothing more than to pay a fraction of the cost for a gently used item. For instance, look at those mint condition furry disco platform shoes my little sister is modeling. Who wouldn’t want those? You know, I wasn’t even raised this way either, I’ve only gotten so cheap thrifty in the last 10 years or so.

But in all seriousness, I did a little shopping this weekend and got some stuff I’m really excited to do some DIY crafty stuff with so I wanted to share. 🙂 First off, here is everything.

Everything

Oh come on, where’s your vision? It may all be ugly, boring and dirty now, but you just wait.

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Fabulous garland wrapped wreath (See what I did with it here) – $2.99

Lovely pink bathroom art framed picture – $1.49

Pink lily soap dispenser – $0.99

White wood plaque – $0.99

Plaque shaped mirror – $1.99

Black wood frame – $0.50

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Busted and disgusted cookie sheet – $0.35

Black Nautical framed art – $0.79

Extremely neat candle lantern – $1.99

Clint thinks the lantern is hideous, but with a fresh coat of spray paint, I think it will be that thing everyone picks and says, “ooh this is neat.” Only time will tell.

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Pepto Bismol framed bathroom art – $5.00

Huge brassy lamp – $2.99

Large storage tupperwares – $1.50

I loved the large frame. At my Goodwill, a framed piece of art that big would run me about $30 so I snatched that up quick when I saw it at a church’s garage sale. The tupperwares aren’t going to actually be a craft project, but I’m just so excited to have more of these. I love those things!

And last but not least, my second most favorite thing (the lantern is my first), my new entertainment center/TV stand.

buffet

It’s not exactly cute right now, but I am thrilled with this purchase. I’ve been searching around for a dresser or buffet to serve as our new TV stand. Everything that I’ve been able to find is about $150-$200 though, which is out of my budget for an ugly piece of furniture that I have to put blood, sweat and tears into. This buffet was at Goodwill for $50! It also had a glass hutch to go on top. I didn’t want it so I re-donated it back to them, I guess you could say. It’s not all real wood, but Lucas’ dresser was less real wood than this and is holding up great from me painting it, so I’m really excited. Here’s another shot of the doors..

detail

I love it! Now I just have to decide on a paint color. Our walls are tan, couches are cream and I plan to incorporate a Robin’s Egg Blue and Muted Yellow in the room. Our floors are pretty close to the color of the buffet now, but a little more red, since they’re Cherry. Color ideas? Clint said blue and then a coat of white chalk paint on top and rough it up. Whatever we decide, I’ll definitely show you when we redo it.

Lucas was sick the end of last week and we were prepared to get some weather from Hurricane Tropical Storm leftovers of Karen.

My Boys

As you can see, there wasn’t much to it and Pumpkin is feeling better.

How was your weekend? Do any shopping of your own? 

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Lucas’ 1st Birthday Party: Mickey Mouse Themed

Lucas' Birthday Cutie
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Lucas’ Mickey Mouse themed 1st Birthday Party was a big hit! I made the majority of decorations and desserts and had lots of fun. But most important, my little boy seemed to really enjoy himself. I’m glad, because I really thought at only 1 year old, that he wouldn’t be as into it as he was.

I have never hosted a birthday party, and quite frankly, am pretty uncomfortable being the host of anything. Nineteen of our family and friends came to celebrate Lucas’ Big Day with us. I was so pleased that so many of them came.

Right before the party, I was still running around trying to put decorations up and get dressed and screaming out instructions to various family members who were there helping. It was absolute chaos. I started putting things together for this party 2 months ago, and still was not completely prepared. I made the “Happy Birthday Lucas” banner, the Newborn-11 month picture banner, the “I AM 1” banner, the Mickey Balloon Wreath, the Birthday Subway Art, and the Mickey Ears for the kids. Lucas' Birthday Decor

We planned to set things up on our covered Back Patio and the Kitchen and Living Room but it rained that morning and the patio was wet so we moved chairs and the grill to the carport. I think it worked out great.

I set the start time for the party at 5 o’clock, since it’s still so hot here, especially during midday. As people were arriving, everyone visited for a little while and then we ate. I made a Coke Roast and shredded it so it could be put on dinner rolls. We also had Ribs, Hot Dogs, Pasta Salad, and Potato Salad. Everyone loved my Dad’s Ribs!

On the dessert table I had Puppy Chow, Mickey Oreo Pops, and a cupcake stand with Mickey Cupcakes and Lucas’ Smash Cake, which were all made by me with the assistance of various helpers. All of the cake was Strawberry, tinted with red food coloring, and topped with homemade Buttercream Icing. Lucas' Birthday Dessert

Once everyone finished eating, we opened gifts. Our pastor’s son helped Lucas and I open gifts, and did a great job! With Lucas in my lap, it was really helpful for him to unwrap gifts and hand them to Lucas to look at. Lucas paid attention really well to the gifts as we were opening them. I was completely surprised. There was only a time or two that he seemed more interested in the box or the wrapping paper. 🙂Lucas' Birthday Gifts

After we opened gifts, everyone headed outside to the Carport for Cake time. We lit Lucas’ candles and sang him Happy Birthday. I was worried that he may get upset or nervous with everyone staring at him and singing, but he didn’t seem to mind. Clint and I blew out his candles and I let him tear into his cake. At first, he was a little unsure and would only stick a finger or two in the icing and have a taste. Then, he started getting a handful of icing for each bite. Finally, I grabbed a fork and cut into the cake for him and he went to town. A couple of tim    es, he tried to lean over and just get a bite of the cake with his mouth. Silly boy! Once he started to burn out, he would just put his hand in the cake and squish the cake in his hands and fling it. I really think he loved all that sugar! Lucas' Birthday Eating Cake

After he lost interest, he headed for a post-cake bath and our friends Zack and Sarah served cupcakes and ice cream to everyone. Slowly, everyone left and we were left with a hyped-up-on-sugar baby. Surprisingly, he did sleep pretty well that night though. Lucas' Birthday Sillyness

I think all 3 of us really enjoyed Lucas’ birthday party and I’m already looking forward to planning next years. Although, I do wish he would stop growing up. Kids can really make you emotional!

Do you enjoy planning/hosting parties? Are you interested to know how I made any of the decorations/food?