As trendy as mason jars and chevron, chalkboard walls are everywhere. Sometimes when things get super trendy and played out, they lose their appeal. You know what I mean? It seems more glamorous to be original than a trend follower. But that’s not the case with chalkboard walls. I’ll just go to the very back of the original line because I love me some chalkboard walls.
I wanted one in our first home, but I couldn’t commit to a spot. But this house? As soon as we moved in the chalkboard wall started calling my name. I knew exactly where it needed to go.
Enter: this big blank wall in our kitchen.
We gave a good chunk of our lives to the process of ripping off the floral wallpaper and the kitchen carpet. Then we painted and installed tile.
We have decided to go darker with the wall color and paint all the trim white, but that sounds like a job for someone besides me. Someone tell me, is painting trim as annoying as it sounds? Or is it something like childbirth where the end result makes you forget the pain? Does painting trim equal childbirth? Because I don’t think I’m ready for either.
Our walls have an odd texture. They aren’t textured, per se, but they’re not super smooth either. Maybe it has something to do with the type of dry wall used? So I taped off the area and sanded the walls a bit. It knocked off the larger bumpy patches, but still kept a bit of texture. Then I painted and painted and painted.
I decided to paint everything with a brush instead of using a wall roller. I hate wall rollers. But if you don’t, then I suggest using a roller. They’re speedy. For the brush I just painted on each coat in a different direction. I ended up doing four light coats, and at the end you couldn’t see any brush strokes. Score!
We then waited the requisite three days for it to cure. L o n g e s t three days of my life, those were. After the three days I rubbed chalk all over the wall to season it. My brand of chalkboard paint (I used Valspar) didn’t mention anything about seasoning the wall, but I’ve seen everyone else do it in the blog world. I figured it couldn’t hurt anything, and it was actually a lot of fun.
Then, chalking time!
We were preparing for a party for our church’s music ministry, so I chalked up a little welcome sign.
During school I detested the sound and feel of chalk on chalkboards, but it feels totally different on a wall. Maybe that added bit of texture keeps it from being slippery? All I know is that it is a blast to write on!
One night when Timothy had a bunch of guys over to watch a basketball game, one of them had the great idea to do a love note for his fiancee. He gave me the words, I chalked them up, and he posed for the picture. How sweet is that? Timothy and I are in their wedding in a few months, and we’re quite excited.
Currently the chalkboard wall is sporting a verse from my favorite hymn. I love having a reminder of God’s love being one of the first things I see when I get home.
This project is probably one of my favorite ones I’ve ever done. It’s not perfect, but it just makes me happy. Isn’t that the whole point of DIYing and decorating? Regardless of trends or originality, just doing what makes you happy? I’m going with yes. Now if I can just convince Timothy that more floral in our home would make us both happy. Wish me luck.
A couple of years ago I made a wreath to show our home some Valentines Day love. I used an old wreath form and a knit sweater from Goodwill for the base. Then I made an owl couple and the “XOXO” out of felt. I pinned the embellishments on with sewing pins in case I wanted to change them out over time.
In our old home we couldn’t hang a wreath on the front door due to the screen door, so I just hung the wreath up on the back of our door and called it a day.
When we moved into our new house, putting a wreath on that front door was one of my top priorities. Second only to taking down the mirrored wall. Ha! I spent days trying to decide what kind of fancy, intricate wreath I wanted to make. (Weirdo alert.) But the problem was that we moved in right before Christmas, and I didn’t have too much extra time on my hands.
Enter: the Valentine wreath. I pulled off the embellishments and grabbed some cranberry-colored yarn. I used this pattern to crochet up a bow. I just doubled the pattern to make the bow twice as big as it was supposed to be. And I’ve got to admit, I still wish I would have made it a bit bigger. You can never have too big of a bow.
This is the second time that I’ve used this pattern to make a bow, and I made a mistake both times. Somehow I got off on my rows and the bow comes out with a little lopsided twist. I have no idea what I’m doing or how not to do it, but I really like the effect it gives. So let’s just say the mistake was on purpose.
I used sewing pins to pin it into place, and voila! A happy little wreath for our front door. As soon as spring comes, I’m painting the front door. I can’t wait! Right now it’s some sort of tan color. I’m thinking celery green or eggplant purple or peacock blue? Can’t.wait.
As far as wreaths go, I think you either are or are not a wreath person. I think they make entrances look so homey. But a front door painted an amazing color without a wreath can look so modern. Where do you guys come in? Pro-wreath, anti-wreath, or it depends? Have you ever made your own wreath?
A dear friend recently asked me if I was ever going to post pictures of my Christmas decorations … from last year. Haha! Decorating for Christmas is one of my very favorite things.
Our first Christmas, Timothy and I had only been married a month and I wasn’t too sure of my aesthetic. So we had a hot pink, silver, and bright blue tree. All the ornaments were bought from Wal-Mart with a hoarded wedding gift card.
The next Christmas, armed with a new DIY attitude and zero money, I decked the house out in a candy theme. It was a lot of fun, cheap, colorful, and sticky. But none of the ornaments lasted.
So last year I decided to finally make some ornaments and decorations that we’d keep for a while. Felt was cheap, came in great colors, and can last as long as you take care of it, so I went that route.
There were felt ball ornaments.
A felt garland that was a lot easier than it looks.
And I sewed a felt tree topper. The Purl Bee’s version is so classy and gorgeous. And although this picture doesn’t look too bad, mine was (and still is) a train wreck. Just wait ’till you see it on the tree. Timothy and I just look at it and laugh so hard that I’m afraid I’m never going to replace it. And this year it looks even worse. Like two dying star fish, clinging to each other before they melt into our tree. Fa la la la la.
Oh, I also crocheted a garland. I wanted it to be 5x longer, but I ran out of time. It’s probably my favorite.
All together, it came out looking pretty festive. The colors and materials flowed with our normal decor, and I really liked the effect. I liked it enough that I kept everything up until the last few days of January. Timothy just loved that. Ha!
My plan was to add a few more decorations each year, but that plan got put on hold this year when we bought a house and decided to do some renovations whilst simultaneously moving in three weeks before Christmas. Best idea ever.
So what about you all? Do you do “themes” in your decorations? Do you get new ornaments each year? Do you go all traditional red, green, and white? Or are you one of those hot pink and silver people? I’d love to hear.
My husband is a tie connoisseur. He likes to remind me of this fact. Often. He’s pretty picky about his ties, and I still haven’t grasped what constitutes a good tie and what is a bad tie. Except diagonal stripes. He pretty much always likes those. But his favorite ties? They’re all skinny.
I basically did Timothy’s tie the same way, just tweaked a few of the steps. If you’d like to convert some fatty ties, here’s what you need:
A skinny tie to use as the template, a needle and thread, pins, scissors, and a seam ripper. The rotary cutter is optional but really speeds things up.
First, take the tag and the little tie flap catcher off the back of the tie. (Yes, tie flap catcher is the technical name. Ha!) Then start seam ripping away. I was amazed by how fast this went. These ties are barely tacked together! Rip the seam until you get to the skinniest part of the tie.
Oh, and see how the material on the right side of the tie is being overlapped by the material on the left? If your tie is the opposite, just take note of that.
Now you can trim the material on the right side of the tie (or whichever side was being overlapped when you ripped the seam). I trimmed mine about an inch and a half from the form and then tapered it to about an inch and a quarter as I got to the skinny part.
That was the easy part. Ha!
The next few steps are all about ironing and folding. Take your time on these steps, because they make or break the tie!
Next, line up your new skinny tie with your template tie to get the proper placement of the tie flap catcher. I threw away the tag, but next time I’m going to have to sew it on, too. My dear husband told me he needed that tag for extra tie flap catching. Or something like that.
Then slip stitch the mess out of your new skinny tie. I’m not sure if this is the correct way to slip stitch, but it worked for me. If your husband is anything like mine, he won’t notice your neat stitches. So this is a no pressure stitching situation.
And like I said, be sure to check out Design Mom’s original post. All kudos to this awesome idea go to her! I was inspired to do this project by the Pinterest Challenge. It was time to stop pinning and start doing!
And if any of you have any experience with converting fat ties to skinny ties, I’d love to hear about it! My mom actually told me that she did that for my dad when they were dating. It’s crazy how trends come and go!
Have you guys heard about the Pinterest challenge? I’m oh so excited! It’s a challenge to actually make something inspired by our pins on Pinterest, issued by my favorite bloggers Young House Love. You can check out their post here for more information.
I’ve participated in the challenge twice before. The first time I made a bow dress.
And for the fall Pinterest challenge, I made a lace cowl from an old curtain.
So as soon as I saw that it was challenge time again, my mind starting spinning. And, sadly, I threw myself a pity party. This summer has been kind of crazy for our finances, so we’re currently spending as little as we can. That means no extra money for supplies for a super awesome Pinterest diy.
I was being all grouchy, mourning the fact that I couldn’t go out and buy some zip ties and a lamp shade frame, when Timothy came in.
His first response was, “Don’t we have something around here that you can just take apart and make something out of it?” Ha! I love his definition of diy.
But that did knock a little bit more sense into me. Pretty much all of the diys I’ve di – done have been motivated by a lack of money and a surplus of inspiration. While I started thinking of things around the house I could tweak, Timothy’s brain was churning.
“Babe, could I find something I wanted and then pin it and then you pin it from me and then make it? Because that would be awesome.”
And then he proceeded to spit out a whole bunch of things he wanted me to make for him. Umm, where were all these ideas at Christmas time?
But little did he know, I’ve already pinned something along the lines of what he’s wanting. Muahahaha. So we’ll see how it goes. The challenge is over on Tuesday, so you can check back then to see the outcome.
Are any of you participating in this challenge? What are some pins that have been inspiring you lately?
I'm honored that you took time to stop by my blog! My name is Whitney, and I'm a diy loving, piano playing, sewing obsessed, thrifty, non-house cleaning, crafty newlywed. I love God, my husband, and life as a wife. If you'd like to know more, just check out my About Me page. Much love!
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