Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall to Halloween Decorating Tips

Bonus Post: Decorating Tips for Fall to Halloween Transition

I want to share some simple tips with you today.

Tips for making the transition from Fall to Halloween in your decor.

I'm using a corner display in my bonus room to demonstrate.

Tip #1:
Use Buntings

Buntings can be displayed across a piece of furniture, as shown here, or stretched across a mantle or even a window.

They're easy to make, easy to store flat, and are just plain cute!

You can make one to say exactly what you want.

My handmade bunting was made by printing letters onto dictionary pages, cutting and gluing onto burlap, and adding orange polka dots. Simple. Yet so effective!

When Halloween rolls around, simply switch out your Fall bunting for a Halloween-themed one.

This one is just paper medallions with glittered chipboard letters.

Another burlap bunting with polka dots and letters painted onto it.

Tip #2:
Use Game Pieces in Your Decor

Games like Boggle and Scrabble are great because you can use the letters to spell out words. It's a simple and really easy way to add to your themed decor.

But don't stop there. By adding a set of black dominoes to a glass vase and putting an orange candle on top, I've created a unique display that can stay up all season and take me through Halloween. (remove the game pieces before lighting the candle and never leave a burning candle unattended).

Just don't be surprised if a spontaneous game breaks out!

Tip #3:
Use Pictures as Decor

Every year, I pull out these pictures of my kids when they were little. Going to the Pumpkin Patch was a big deal when they were small, and seeing these pictures brings back the fun memories for all of us! Weren't my kids adorable, lol!

One last little tip,

Tip #4
Think Outside the Box

You don't need to spend a lot of money on decor. Try to reuse what you have in ways that aren't permanent. For instance, I took a spool of cotton thread, wrapped a few torn strips from an old sheet around it and added some googly eyes to make a mummy. Cute. Free. And temporary. 

You could get the same look with toilet paper rolls or spaghetti jars.

Another easy idea: add dry beans or popcorn kernels to your glass candle  holders for touch of Fall.

Decorating doesn't have to be expensive, and the transition from Fall to Halloween can be seamless if you follow these tips around your home.

Have fun with it :)

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Bold Table Makeover (with Painted Antlers)

Table Makeover with Antlers

Bold Table Makeover with Antlers ~ full tutorial at

 What do Tennessee, Red Necks and a Canadian Girl have in common?

Um... normally not a lot...

...maybe flannel shirts? HA

But in this case it's antlers!

I don't hunt 'em, I paint 'em :)

Maybe I need a bumper sticker with that on it!

After seeing all the antlers in design for the last couple years, I finally took the plunge and jumped on the 'antler bandwagon'.

I didn't start out painting this table with the end design in mind...I was planning to paint some kind of French graphic on it....but I really wanted something bolder, to suit the sturdy table.

I wanted my design to be bold and edgy....different from my previous tables.

This is what I started with...dark, old and covered with the dings, scratches and gouges of its long history (it's a 'brother' to this old dresser than became a console table).

I was recently sent a sample of Southern Honey Chawk Paint and Wax and I decided to use the light grey color ('Stella') to paint my table.

If you're new to chalk paint, or painting furniture in general, that first coat will make you wonder if you've just committed a major blunder...because it looks really bad!

You haven't wrecked it, I promise!

Just wait until the second coat goes on...


See how much better that looks! All the streaks and ick just start to vanish. And the beauty of chalk paint is that your piece is generally ready to be re-coated in about 30 dries so fast!

I love how the Southern Honey Chawk Paint dried so smoothly and the brush strokes disappeared. It's like all the nicks, dings and gouges just vanish right before your eyes!

I just know the angels are singing the Halleluiah chorus! Another piece saved from the dumpster!

So the drawers that you can't see are propped up and each got a couple coats of the Stella grey color too.

Once everything dried, I lightly sanded it but I really didn't want to reveal the gouges so I didn't sand to distress, just to soften up the paint a bit.

I used Frog Tape to stripe off the drawers and painted them black.

Use Frog Tape for crisp, clean lines! It's perfect for painting stripes.

I reused the white/brass knobs and gave them a couple coats of black spray paint.

Spray paint knobs to save money! Just stick them into a piece of floral foam so you can easily paint all sides without having to touch them.

I was pondering design ideas for the top. I really wanted to paint antlers, but I wasn't sure if it was the right choice.

So what do you do when you need affirmation on design decisions?

Ask your 10-year old!

Little Diy's response was, "Mom, we live in Tennessee." 

Like it was a no-brainer!

Awesome! Design confirmed! (I'm sure Mr Diy would have given me a completely different he is not into painted furniture. I'm glad he was at work, hehe).

I found a pair of antlers online and printed them out. I transferred them to my table by rubbing gray chalk on the backside of the paper, flipping it over, taping it in place and tracing it with a pen. This is generally my favorite way to transfer images and/or words to furniture even though it means hand painting.

But here's my tip of the day...use a Sharpie to outline the design after you've traced it, and then just fill it in with black paint! Last winter I actually painted an entire design onto a tray using a Sharpie.

Sharpies are our friends :)

Use a Sharpie to outline a design on furniture, then fill in with paint!

I just used black acrylic craft paint and a small brush to fill in the antlers, like coloring, but with a paintbrush! I really like's soothing to me and it goes a lot quicker than you'd think.

Painting antlers on a table

If you make a mistake, you can always go back and touch it up with your base paint color.

I gave everything a day to dry and then waxed it using Howard's Paste Wax (sold by Southern Honey). Their wax is citrus smelling, and softer than some on the will actually liquify when it's warm outside. The texture makes it really easy to apply and it dries in just minutes so you can buff and be done! My table was waxed and buffed in about 15 minutes!

I was so excited to put the knobs on the drawers and the drawers back into the table and see how it all looked together.

Painted Table makeover with bold stripes and antlers ~ see tips and tutorial at

I wasn't disappointed. It's bold, bright, a little bit edgy (but not too crazy) and now it's ready to be enjoyed again for another couple decades!

It's such a sturdy table with its dovetailed joints. I'm so glad I gave it a new makeover!

It's heading to the Community Street Festival this Saturday where it will be looking for a new owner.

If you live in the Nashville area, check out Southern Honey Workshop, a storefront/workshop combo. You can read about Ashley and Kim and how they started up Southern Honey Chawk Paint here. I had the opportunity to meet them both at The Strawberry Patch Barn Sale last month and they are sweet gals with a great product that is both affordable and offers wonderful color options. Just look at this color chart! Here is a link to the stores that carry Southern Honey Chawk Paint products.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Coming up next week, I make over a candelabra for a cute Halloween display, and I reveal another painted table...this one with a completely different theme!

I'm so glad you are following!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pikachu Costume

DIY Pikachu Costume

DIY Halloween Costume ~ Pikachu ~ using Tulip Body Arts products. See my tutorial at

Face painting. Reminiscent of Carnivals, Parties, Festivals and other fun occasions. When my 10-year old daughter, known as Little DIY on this blog, asked for a Pikachu (Pokemon) costume for Halloween, I wasn't sure I could pull it off.  Luckily I had just received a box of goodies by Tulip Body Art and was able to accomplish this request.

The box of Tulip Body Art products contained Face & Body Stencils, Glitter and Glue, and two packages of Face and Body Paint, one of them being 'black light', glow in the dark! Each package came with its own set of brushes as well. Even if you're not naturally crafty, the Face & Body Stencils make it easy to get a professional look with little effort!

I set out to create Pikachu, using these kits to help me. I ended up using the Face and Body Paint, as well as the red and black glitter. Tulip Body Art paints and products are nontoxic and cosmetic grade, so I wasn't afraid of using them on Little DIY's face.

face painting at

Starting with a cute blank slate, I painted Pikachu's little round cheeks using the red paint. Like any dry paint, you  need a little water to get it flowing.

The black nose was next. We decided to try the neon yellow paint on Little DIY's face because who wouldn't want a glow-in-the-dark face on Halloween, right? However, it was difficult to spread the neon yellow and I knew the little brush was going to make the job difficult. So we washed the yellow off (easily, just soap and water), and started over.

Using the regular yellow, I applied it with a makeup sponge. It was easier to spread this way, and went on much smoother.

And even though Pikachu doesn't have black eyebrows or lashes, I decided Little DIY's face needed more detail and definition so I used the black paint to add those.

It's looking good...but needs a little more oomph.

Glitter makes everything better! I added red glitter to her cheeks which made them much brighter, and black glitter to the ends of her painted lashes, which made them sparkle.

A small thing, but it makes such a big difference!

Her ears were created by gluing yellow foam to a black headband. I added black felt to the tips.

Pikachu's body is a plain yellow t-shirt with black felt ovals glued to the sides.

DIY Pikachu Costume

Definitely cute instead of creepy!
I wonder what she'll want to be next week?

Interested in knowing more about Tulip Body Art?

  • Whether you're going for cute or creepy, complete your Halloween look with Tulip® Body Art®!
  • Tulip® Body Art® offers an extensive variety of professional-quality paint, glitter, hair and even black light products for Halloween and so much more!
  • Not good at freehand? No problem! Stock up on Body Art Stencils and brushes that make it easy to create artful designs.

You can connect with Tulip Body Art here:

Tulip Body Art made it easy to complete this Halloween look and I'm sure I'll be pulling these kits out to use again and again.

(I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Tulip Body Art and Blueprint Social. All opinions (and the cute little subject) are my own!)

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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Friday, October 10, 2014

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Comfort Food 

Soups and stews rank up there as one of my favorite meals to make! Not only are they warm and comforting, but they're usually a one-pot cleanup is a breeze! Today I have an easy and delicious recipe to share with you. It is perfect for chilly evenings and it is really quick and simple to make.

Easy, economical and delicious White Bean Chicken Chlil Recipe! A family favorite. See the recipe at

This is a recipe that I've had for years and it's never failed me. All three of my kids and Mr DIY give it a thumbs up every time!

Here is the recipe:

2 Tbsp butter
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes (I used one)
1/2 cup chopped onion

In a large pan or skillet (something with high sides), cook the onions and the chicken in the butter over medium high heat, stirring often. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned and no longer pink.

Add the following:
3 16-oz cans of white beans, undrained (I used Navy, Northern and Cannelini)
1 cup chicken broth
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies (I had about a cup of green enchilada sauce left over from a previous meal, so I added that instead)
1 tsp ground cumin
black pepper to taste

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 10-15 minutes. At this point, I started my rice cooking, but the chili is good on its own too.

That's it. You can garnish it with the herb of your choice if you want (parsley and cilantro are both good).

Serve in big bowls over rice like I did, or on it's own.

White Bean Chicken Chili. Find the recipe at

Okay, true story...Mr DIY is the gardener in our family. He's been bringing his long red peppers into the house (they're sweet, he said), and for some reason they've wilted before I can use them., so they've gone uneaten. I thought I'd grab one from the garden and chop it up for garnish. I grabbed a piece and put it into my mouth. HOLY TOLEDO! It was blazing! My mouth was on fire! All evening I kept forgetting and rubbing my eyes or mouth...I'd get reminded as soon as the burn started. We're not sure what happened...they're supposed to be sweet. Anyone know?

After carefully removing the little pieces of hell from my bowl, I enjoyed  my meal and I hope you'll try this recipe too. The best part is how economical it is. One chicken breast fed my family (currently of 4, as my oldest son is a freshman at College) with leftovers!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Wood Slice Pumpkins

DIY Wood Slice Pumpkins

If you were driving down Gallatin Rd in middle TN about half past two on a steamy day this summer.....

DIY Wood Slice Pumpkins at may have noticed two gals rolling, lugging, huffing and straining to lift two large and heavy logs into the trunk of a silver Honda Accord Coupe.

Yup, that was me...and my friend Jessica!

We got a lot of strange looks and possibly a whistle or two! I know we looked bizarre! Those logs were heavy, awkward, and hosting a few tiny friends (hopefully the ants were all there were, lol).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Decorate for Less

Source for Great Decor

(Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking on a link from my site, I receive a small commission which helps me to maintain my blog and related expenses at no extra cost to you)

You know when you find a great new store and you tell all your friends about it? Well today I want to share with you a wonderful source for inexpensive table decor and party supplies. Because friends don't let friends buy ugly decorations, right? Or pay too much!

My 'secret source' is Luna Bazaar. I always thought they just sold paper lanterns. But they carry so much more! Here's a sampling of the awesome products they offer for your decorating pleasure that caught my eye recently. I could see these fitting perfectly with Fall, Thanksgiving and Halloween (but really, they'd work any time of the year!).

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Decor

Simplifying my Fall Decor

Fall Decor

Sometimes...I love going all out.

From big hair in the 80' tanning until I fried in the 90' amassing a large collection of thrifted items in the 00's (ask Mr DIY about the state of our home in FL...and the amount of furniture I accumulated from Goodwill!) Sometimes it's just AWESOME to go big or go home!

Sometimes though, sometimes simple is best.

This year I have felt overwhelmed with clutter and stuff', and along with decluttering my home a little at a time, I decided to keep my Fall decor to a minimum, with just the odd touch of orange. Most of my decor is still in boxes in the attic - I just desired a cleaner, simpler look this year!