Thursday, May 28, 2015

DIY Tree Mobile for Twin Nursery

Here's the quick rundown on how we made our tree mobile.  (Inspired by this.)

We used a gold macrame ring, fishing line, and balsa wood.

We found a simple tree template and used it to trace and cut out three different sized trees.

Seth used a tiny drill bit to drill a small hole in the top of each tree.

Then, Seth left 1/3 of them natural, stained 1/3 with a light coat of Minwax's Special Walnut stain, and stained the remaining 1/3 with a heavy coat of Minwax's Special Walnut stain.

Then, I simply used fishing line and tied the trees onto the macrame ring in a random design.  I varied their heights and the different colors as I went along.

We tied three lengths of fishing line at even intervals around the top of the ring, brought them together, tied a knot, and hung the mobile on a white screw hook.

Simple as that.  :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Sconces for the Front Porch

Our old porch sconces were a bit too traditional and oversized for our taste (but they caught somebody's eye as they were snatched up the night we set them out at the curb).  

I ordered our new sconces back in December but they arrived with two broken pieces of glass.  Apparently, I snagged some of the last ones because when I called to exchange them, the sconces were backordered for months.  The customer service rep offered to send replacement glass pieces instead.  I told her that was fine.  Turns out those were backordered as well, but were due to come in before the sconces.

Well...four months later and we FINALLY received the glass pieces (which were thankfully well packaged and intact).  Seth replaced the broken panes and wired the new sconces.  

I love them.  They are a much better fit with our other outdoor updates and they give off more light than the old ones.

The glass panes are seeded glass, which I really like.

We potted some coleus and I'm calling our Spring/Summer porch done.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Plywood Mountain Accent Wall in Nursery

I'm back with the tutorial on our nursery's accent wall.

My inspiration:

1  //  2  //  3

Apparently, the painted mountain mural has become a thing lately.  I liked the idea of painting the mountains but I also wanted something a little different.  So, my idea of using 1/4" thick plywood and attaching it to the wall was born.


  • 1/4" thick plywood (we used three 4 x 8 sheets)
  • painters tape
  • measuring tape and pencil
  • jigsaw with fine tooth blade (to avoid splintering your wood)
  • drill with countersink bit
  • screws
  • wood filler
  • stain of your choice
  • polyurethane of your choice

We started by laying out our pieces of plywood side by side as they would be when mounted on the wall.

I used some scrap pieces of wood as a visual guide for where to tape off my peaks and valleys and used painter's tape to map out my design.

I just stepped back and played with it as I went.  I tried to alternate higher peaks with lower peaks and wider based mountains with more narrow ones.  

*TIP: Get plywood pieces that are the same base color (i.e. NOT what is pictured above).  It will make your life easier when trying to get a uniform look with stain later.

After I was satisfied with my design, I used a pencil to trace it out.  I just carefully followed along the inner line of the painters tape and found that I didn't need a straight edge.

It is probably difficult to see, but the board above has been marked with pencil.  We removed the painter's tape and Seth used our jigsaw to carefully cut out the design on all three boards.

Before moving them into the house for installation, he applied stain to the cut edges.  We figured it would be easier to do this now versus after installation so that we could avoid getting stain all over our wall.  

Then, we simply mounted them up piece by piece using our countersink drill bit and screws.

Next, Seth sanded the holes smooth, applied wood filler, waited for it to dry, and then sanded it down.  I believe he also did a second round of wood filler and sanding (it often shrinks down when it dried and requires a second application) before moving on to staining.

I chose Minwax's Special Walnut stain for him to use.  He applied it in sections, wiping the excess away before it dried completely.  He did one full coat of it and then applied two coats of Acrylacq in a satin finish.

I don't have any progress pictures since I was banned from the room during staining and sealing.  Seth left the window open and used a fan to pull the fumes from the room and direct them outside.

As for the clouds, I mostly followed this tutorial.  I used this wrapped wire from Jo-Ann's.  After forming my clouds, I used a small piece of masking tape to hold the ends together before spray painting them gold.

We used small finishing nails to hang the clouds.

I really love how the mountain wall turned out.  It brings in that natural, rustic, outdoorsy feel that I was hoping for.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Modern, Outdoorsy, Gender Neutral Nursery for Boy/Girl Twins

Is that a long enough post title for you?  Since there isn't an overwhelming theme to our nursery, it makes it a bit more difficult to describe.

I am super happy with how this room turned out.  It's gender neutral, contains my favorite colors (blue and green), incorporates some elements of the outdoors (oh how I miss the mountains of east Tennessee!), is modern, fresh, happy, and inviting.  At least I think so.  It's pretty much perfect for us.    And hopefully, the twins will agree.

So...without further is our nursery!

mountain accent wall & clouds - DIY, tutorial coming soon  |  alphabet print  |  leather chair - snatched up for half off from West Elm, no longer available  |  schumacher print pillow  |  green pillow  |  aqua pillow  |  mouse pillow  |  fox pillow  |  sleep bunny  | sleep sheep  |  cribs  |  chevron geo dot crib sheets  |  raccoon storage bin  |  rug

I think the Schumacher zimba print pillows are perfect for the room as they echo the lines of the mountain accent wall.

tree mobile - DIY, tutorial coming soon  |  swoop art  |  canoe paddle art  |  owl art  |  tripod floor lamp - DIY  |  changing pad  |  changing pad cover  |  changing pad tray - DIY  |  boon organizer  |  dresser - thrifted  |  glider (was on sale and got an additional discount, but still a splurge)  | lane side table - yard sale find refinished  |  brass swan - thrifted  |  brass owl - thrifted  |  dohm sound machine  |  wooden toys - yard sale  |  curtains

We decided to incorporate a chair for me and a chair for Seth since we are having two babies and might enjoy sitting in the nursery together while we each cuddle one.

picture ledges used as bookshelves  |  wooden train toy - yard sale find  |  campfire nightlight (a splurge - I couldn't help myself)  |  brass rocking horse - thrifted, gift  |  felt bins

My sister-in-law is making us one more piece of artwork to hang above the glider, but otherwise, the room is complete!  I can't wait to introduce our little ones to their special space.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

DIY Reversible Wooden Sign

You may have noticed my wooden "bloom" sign in our kitchen tile reveal.  I actually made it over a year ago after being inspired by this photo of Kate from Farmhouse 38's sign.

There isn't really a tutorial and I didn't take any pictures of the process (sorry).  You simply grab a piece of plywood, scrap wood, whatever you have on hand and cut it down to the size you want.  I liked the angled edge that Kate had on hers and so I replicated that.  I stained it with Minwax's dark walnut stain.

Once I settled on a word, I typed it up in a Word document in a fun font and printed it out as a mirror image.  I used a heavy hand to go over the outline of the letters with a pencil before flipping it over and positioning it on my sign.  I used some tape to hold the printout in place while I traced the letters to transfer the outline of them onto the wood.  (I hope that made sense.)

Then I simply used the pencil outlines to guide me as I painted the word with some bright blue acrylic paint.

When Fall rolled around, I decided that rather than remove the sign and find new decor for the season, I would paint a different word on the back to carry me through winter.

I opted for the word "cozy" in a different font and chose a fiery red-orange paint color.

Now, I've got a reversible sign that I can leave up year round!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Simple Summer Garden

Since we have twins on the way, we decided to keep it simple in the garden this year.  First, Seth weeded the beds and then he mixed in some garden soil with fertilizer.  We opted to stick mostly with what some might call a salsa garden (or maybe an Italian-themed garden).

One exception to that theme is our mint.  It came back with a vengeance in our front herb bed.

We literally did nothing and look at it!  I'm glad we have it in a raised bed because I'm pretty sure it would have taken over the entire yard.

I'm looking forward to some mint iced tea and mojitos.

In the other herb bed, we decided to stick with cilantro.  We will have to do a better job of harvesting it consistently to keep it from going to seed like last year.

It always looks really sad when you first plant it.  Don't worry - it has since perked back up.

This year the left bed is our "pepper bed".

In the back, we planted two bell peppers, a chili pepper, and some extremely hot pepper (I forgot the name) that Seth wanted to try.  The plant in the left foreground in the photo above is an eggplant and we also stuck our basil in this bed (across from the eggplant above).

On the right side, we were surprised to see multiple onions coming up this Spring.  Again, we did nothing for them.  They must be onions that didn't germinate last year for whatever reason.  I didn't realize they could survive freezing temperatures but they look great so far.

In front of the onions, we planted four tomato plants.

We chose two cherry tomatoes, one large red slicing tomato, and a purple heirloom tomato.

We set up the soaker hose system like last year and are hopeful that we will have better success.  I'll let you know what the results are.