Fall Table Decor: Mason Jar Firefly Lanterns

Easy Fall Table Decor: Mason Jar Lantern Lights using LEDs #wedding #fall #entertaining #masonjar

 

This month’s theme for Michaels Makers is fall decor.  Fall is always hard for me because I rarely buy anything orange, yellow or red…all classic fall colors. But…I love acorns and barn wood and moss….so I made these cute little “firefly” inspired lanterns using mason jars and Michaels’ LED string lights (found in the floral section of the store):

diy firefly mason jar lanterns

I also made the barn wood tray and the small rustic twig balls but I’ll follow up with a tutorial on those. The acorns were collected on the Hemlock Inn driveway tonight:

fall table decor ideas and wedding table decor #wedding #falltabledecor #entertaining

To make the lanterns I used a mason jar and a battery operated set of LED string lights from Michaels.  Each set of lights takes 3 batteries and the pack can be tucked nicely into the back of the jar.  I used dried moss to give the inside of the jar an earthy rustic look. The great thing about the lights is that you can leave them on “timer” and they will come on at the same time each night.

diy mason jar lanterns using LED string lights #diy #masonjar #wedding

 

An easy way to decorate a table for fall entertaining:

fall entertaining decor ideas using mason jars #masonjar #fall

 

[Read more…]

Recent Reclaimed and Upcycled Wood Projects

Brett’s been enjoying a new hobby of making stuff.  I look outside and he has headphones on, his shirt off….the chop saw and nail gun spread all over the driveway. He says it’s therapeutic. He’s constantly picking up discarded wood and old pallets to take apart to make containers, furniture and wood canvases.  A resourceful hobby/hubby:

DIY Upcycled Wood Projects - Rustic home decor ideas

I came home the other day and he had made us some new furniture from a few old wood pallets. He has since added arm rests but I’m too lazy to walk outside and take a new photo:

diy pallet furniture - furniture made from pallets

They are really comfortable! Here’s Boo watching the sunset from her new chair:

diy pallet furniture - pallet patio furniture

 

The signs and posts at the inn were in need of a fresh coat of paint so he spent some of the week working on those to help the innkeepers out a bit as they prepare for their son’s wedding.

Before:

woodysignbefore

After:

woodysign

The rocking chairs are also looking a little tired and are in need of paint.  This little chair is over 35 years old:

chair

I know that because of the photo my mother took of me in it when I was around 3:

chair1982

Inspired by a bench at the Biltmore, he made me this:

bench

These are just cows. Nothing to see here except that Brett took the photo. And I love these cows.

cows

He found an old table and some barn wood and used it to make…..

rustic home decor ideas - reclaimed table to computer desk

This awesome skinny computer desk for me:

DIY rustic home decor ideas - reclaimed old table to computer desk

The desk today:

rustic flea market style computer desk - DIY project

He’s cut me lots and lots of wood to make things with. Like this “Mountain Dew” painting:

How to make a hand painted rustic sign

 

And these “Mr and Mrs” signs for the inn’s wedding coming up:

mr and mrs handpainted barn wood signs for rustic wedding

And just one more for today….this old sign was rotting on one side and ready for the dump.  I saw a little potential in it:

oldsign

Brett cut it off and secured the remaining top pieces and now it hangs above our fireplace:

rustic industrial home decor

It feels good to get creative again.  I’ve been itching to do some painting again too and Brett has made me a ton of small wood pieces that are just sitting there waiting for me.  Now I just need the inspiration to hit.

Turn Children’s Artwork into Gifts

 

Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas: Turn Children's Artwork into meaningful handmade gifts with these ideas via lilblueboo.com #gifts #diy #tutorial

Looking for some special gift ideas for the holidays?  I’ve come up with a few ways to turn your child’s artwork into amazing gifts this year.  Boo has a new “how to draw cats” book that she’s so excited about. I asked her to draw me a cat that we could make into some handmade gifts:

Gifts from kid artwork via lilblueboo.com

So impressed by her cute little cat:

turn children's artwork into gifts via lilblueboo.com

Here’s what we made with that one simple drawing:

1. Printed Paper

screen print paper bags and paper via lilblueboo.com

 

2. Printed Pillow

turn kids artwork into stuffies and stuffed animals via lilblueboo.com

3. A Rustic Piece of Artwork

preserve children's artwork making meaningful gifts via lilblueboo.com

4. T-shirts with Matching Packaging

how to make your own t-shirts and print your own boxes via lilblueboo.com

Materials Needed: (click for source info)
Adhesive Shelf Paper or Contact Paper
Double Sided Tape or Glue Stick
Razor blade or Exacto Knife
Speedball Screen (reusable)
Screen Printing Ink for Fabric and Paper
Small Squeegee or use an old credit card

Things to Print:
T-shirt
Wood Cradled Panel Canvas
(use Minwax Driftwood Stain to make rustic)
Kraft Paper

[Read more…]

A Pumpkin House Number

*Sorry for the lack of posting the last two weeks! I moved to a new server and that took a few days to get all the glitches out. Then I was locked out of WordPress and couldn’t update anything. Finally back on track! Hopefully you find the website a little faster now.  -Ashley

Carving a House Number into a Pumpkin via lilblueboo.com #pumpkins #mpumpkins #halloween

I usually buy pumpkins that we can use year after year. Sometimes we end up with a fresh one too. Here is a selection from Michaels this year:

Foam Craft Pumpkins via lilblueboo.com

To carve the foam pumpkin it’s helpful to have a heated craft knife. It cuts it like a knife through butter:

 

First I cut the lid off:

Pumpkin Carving Tips via lilblueboo.com #halloween

For this pumpkin I decided to go with our house numbers since we don’t have an illuminated sign at night. I printed out some numbers onto regular paper (just using Powerpoint).

Pumpkin Carving Ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

I used a ball point pen to trace them.  A little bit of pressure leaves enough indentation to use as a guide:

Transferring a Design to a Pumpkin via lilblueboo.com

 

Then using the heated craft knife I carved the numbers out:

Halloween Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com #pumpkincarving #halloween

Add a flameless candle and ready to go!

The great part is that I can re-use it year after year:

Decorating for Halloween Idea via lilblueboo.com

 

*This post is in partnership with Michaels Craft Stores. If you would like more information read the disclaimer policy please go here.

Make sure to share your carved pumpkins with the hashtag #MPumpkins.  Tag me too @lilblueboo so I can see what you made!

 

The Casita Office Makeover

DIY office makeover ideas via lilblueboo.com #decor #office #diy #homedecor #organization #thrifting

I’d never heard of a “casita” before I moved to California. It’s a little detached guest room off the house.  Nice because if you don’t use it you can leave the air conditioning off and save money!  We turned ours into a sewing studio a few years ago but then we outgrew it and now it’s the official Lil Blue Boo office.

Here’s the before:

Office Makeover Re-decorating BEFORE via lilblueboo.com #decor #office #diy #homedecor #organization #thrifting

Office Makeover Re-decorating AFTER via lilblueboo.com #decor #office #diy #homedecor #organization #thrifting

 

I love how the neutral palette turned out.  I am still trying to figure out what kind of chairs I want to use….but they have to be comfortable!  This is my side of the office. It doesn’t get used a lot right now because I have my “dining room” office too: [Read more…]

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art via lilblueboo.com

 

There’s nothing I love more than scooping up something that someone else doesn’t want anymore….and making it my own.  My friend was selling this HUGE dinosaur at her yard sale and I couldn’t resist.  I knew I’d either paint over it to reuse the canvas….or maybe change it up a bit.  Mr. LBB loved the dino but Boo thought it was too scary.  So I changed him up a bit to be more of a pop art dino!

Here’s the before:

thrift store painting BEFORE via lilblueboo.com #upcycled

 

The first thing I did was use a pencil and some acrylic paint to add polka dots….or pixelate the dino: [Read more…]

Make a Large Lightweight Chalkboard

Chalkboard Art: Make a Large Lightweight Portable Chalkboard via lilblueboo.com #diy #tutorial #chalkboard

 

You can make an oversized chalkboard for your home, business or school using this easy tutorial. It’s so lightweight almost anyone can lift it and move it around.  I wanted to make this large piece for a large blank wall in my studio…. it doubles as artwork and a photo prop.  I added two quotes to mine to fill up the space.   Total cost of materials was $35. [Read more…]

Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents

 

Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents via lilblueboo.com #recycle #organization #organizing #diy

I can’t stand clutter around the house….so my junk drawers can tend to get out of control.  I also have more than one. They are located around the house.

 

The first thing I do is consolidate all the drawers in one place…..with a large work area.   I use paper plates to sort through everything.  Then I split the items up by drawer and return everything else to it’s right place.  Anything I’m not quite sure what to do with goes in the JUNK JAR. (see the junk jar tutorial here)

steps to organize a kitchen junk drawer via lilblueboo.com #organization #organizing

 

I like for the containers to match the insides of the drawer if possible (makes the drawer look less cluttered)….so I use spray paint to paint various boxes and containers that will fit well:

how to make drawer organizers via lilblueboo.com

 

My newly organized junk drawers:

how to organize your junk drawer via lilblueboo.com #organization #organizing

 

I went through every single marker, pen, highlighter etc to see which were working and then sorted them into bins within these large wood caddies:

organizing art supplies via lilblueboo.com

 

The hardest part about my junk drawers is that I don’t like to throw anything away because I know it will end up in a landfill.  I found everything under the kitchen sink: medications, over 50 dried up pens, tons of old batteries. These are things I don’t want to throw in the trash because:

:: Over 10 billion writing instruments are sent to landfills every year.

:: Over 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

:: 3 billion batteries are bought a year…and contain harmful metals that leak into our water and soil.

 

It takes a little more work to recycle and donate….but it’s worth it.  I created a little recycling station in our laundry room to make it easy on the rest of the family. I painted large coffee tins and added a simple paper label:

create a recycling station for batteries and other items via lilblueboo.com #recycle #tutorial #DIY

 

This can is for random items that need sorting: writing instruments, old blades, medications etc:

 

 

Here’s where you can easily recycle items from your junk drawer….the links are below the images.  For office supplies that are still working and in good condition consider finding a local non-profit to donate them to!

 

[Read more…]

DIY Subway Art Pillows

Subway Art Pillows: DIY Subway Sign inspired pillows via lilblueboo.com

 

I’ve been doing some redecorating recently.  I’m taking photos as I go so I can share the before and after with you.  I’m going from beige/beige/beige to grey/white/black…..crazy right? Ha.  My friend Paul came over to give me some ideas and his first suggestion was to carry over the subway art sign I made a few years ago.  Here’s the sign in our breakfast area:

DIY Subway Art Canvas via lilblueboo.com

 

When I first made this I was inspired by the black and white vintage subway signs from Restoration Hardware (original tutorial here):

Make Your Own Subway Art via lilblueboo.com

 

I loved Paul’s idea of taking it to a pillow as a similar accent.  I picked a few street names that were important to Mr. LBB and I and here’s the result:

Make Your Own Subway Art Pillows via lilblueboo.com

Diesel uses them as a ramp to get up to his perch:

how to make subway art pillows via lilblueboo.com

 

I found a pillow cover with a nice thick upholstery fabric from Ikea….and added the white canvas letters.  They are just slightly frayed on the edges giving kind of a vintage feel:

subway art pillow tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

 

You could use freezer paper to paint your letters onto a pillow or cut out fabric letters to make your own.  I have a Silhouette machine so it was so much easier to use that to design and cut out the letters….but cutting by hand would work too.  First, I ironed fabric interfacing/fusible web to the back of my white canvas. Any fusible web should work….but if you are using the Silhouette make sure to use the kind that has the shiny clear look to it so it sticks to your cutting mat well:

 

Designing my pillow on the Silhouette machine software (see fonts at the bottom of this post!):

The cutting machine:

 

My canvas was so thick the machine didn’t cut all the way through in places but it was easy to trim:

Silhouette Fabric project via lilblueboo.com

If you don’t have a cutting machine just trace your letters onto the fabric with a disappearing fabric marker and cut them out:

Here my letters are placed onto the pillow cover:

I ironed the letters to adhere them into place (the fusible web on the back is what does this):

Then I carefully stitched each letter with a straight stitch:

 

It’s easiest to sew the letters all at once and then trim the thread in between as the last step:

 

Subway Art Pillows via lilblueboo.com

 

Material & Sources:

Ikea Karlstad pillows in Dark Gray

Silhouette Cutting Machine

Fusible Web

White Cotton Canvas by the Yard


 

 

Looking for vintage subway fonts?  Here’s a list of a few I love!  Links are at the bottom of the image:

 

Subway Art Sign Fonts via lilblueboo.com (links in post) #fonts #subwayart #diy #tutorial #typography

 

amble / underground nf / helvetica / franchise / lane – narrow / copperplate / bebas neue

Yearly Photo Book Ideas

Creative Yearly Photo Book Ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

In addition to our yearly family photo albums, I make a photo book for Boo stocked full of memories. I just finished 2011:

How to make a yearly photo book via lilblueboo.com

My method/thoughts on photo books:

1. I complete the books about 10 months after a year has ended. I like for them to be January 1st through December 31st. It’s an OCD thing. The delay also allows time for missing photos to show up.

2. I compile memories, quotes, etc by going through blog posts, Facebook posts, and even just browsing photos. I usually cut and paste snippets into a word document in order of date.

3. I organize my photos, artwork, etc by month before starting my project. I work on the book by month….sometimes skipping around to the easy months first and then coming back to the hard ones.

4. I never feel bad about going overboard on pages. The bigger the better and I don’t think there is a price I can put on family memories. My books (through iPhoto/apple.com) usually cost about $75 to $100 each. It seems like a lot (especially when ordering multiple copies) but I would rather have a photo book over a few trips to a restaurant!

5. I  save the photo book as a PDF (“Print” as a PDF in iPhoto) and back it up to a hard drive or CD and store in a safe place.

 

Here are a few things I added into this years book:

Boo’s Self Portraits:
Boo asked for a mini tripod a few years ago and she had so much fun taking self portraits. When I would look at the camera I would be surprised by hilarious snapshots she’d taken of herself. I made them into a collage (using PicMonkey.com) and then loaded that collage as one photo into the book template:

Photo book ideas: Self Portraits via lilblueboo.com

[Read more…]

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