Friday, September 27, 2013

DIY Fall Banner/Pottery Barn Hack! {Special Guest Tutorial}

Ok, ladies (and our two male readers)... It's confession time!

Raise your hand if you've had a Pumpkin Spice Latte in the past week? It's ok... No one's keeping, counting calories--except maybe your skinny jeans.

You're not alone. Now that Fall is officially upon us, we're all itching to wear our favorite boots, taste all things pumpkin and  drooling over the abundance of fall decor, too. Have you seen the cute banners on Pinterest and Etsy? 

Now you can have one of your very own. My sister, Kelley, is guest blogging with us today to tell us how she made her cute fall banner pictured below. Take it away, Kelley.

Hey there and thanks for having me!

A couple of years ago, I was cruising through Pottery Barn admiring all their festive decor. I particularly loved their Trick or Treat banner but really wanted something that would last throughout the fall season (I guess I'm kinda like my sis when it comes to seasonal decorating).

So, I went home and channeled my crafty side. When I made this sweet little banner I never thought I would love displaying it so much year after year. With this simple tutorial, even the least crafty nester (like myself) will be well on her way to a cute banner in minutes.

So, here's what you'll need:

  • Microsoft Word, or similar word processing or design software
  • Color printer
  • Scissors
  • White, 8.5 x 11 card stock
  • Ribbon
  • Exacto or craft knife or small hole punch
First, launch Microsoft Word and create a new document. Start by inserting a text box.

In the text box, enter the first letter for your banner. Next, highlight and format the letter. You may center it, change the font, the color, etc. {Note: If you want some cool free fonts, checkout this website.}

Next, right click on the text box border. Then, click on format shape and select the line style you would like to use for the border. You don’t have to have a border but it makes cutting a little easier.

When you have your first letter ready, print it. I like to print mine on white card stock so they are a little more durable. Once you print it, then cut it out and make sure it is the size you want. If it isn't the right size, just go back into Word and tweak it until you get the desired look.

Next, using an Exacto or craft knife, cut two small slits in the top for the ribbon to weave through. Be sure to cut these to the size of your ribbon. You may choose to use a small hole punch to make the holes instead. Just remember you only want the holes or slits large enough to accommodate your ribbon. 

To keep it simple, I like to get the first letter formatted and sized properly before creating the next letters. Once one letter is done, you can print, cut, create the holes and then repeat using the same text box and font with the new letter. That way your document is already formatted and you don’t have to recreate/format the text box, font, color, etc. You only have to change the letter each time.

The fun of this is in the creativity so feel free to freestyle it! Try some triangles. Or go without ribbon and just glue the overlapping triangles. Most importantly, have fun and make it yours.


I hope you love your banner as much as I love mine! Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Play Room loft

We moved in about six weeks ago and slowly but surely the place is becoming a home! 

Last week I showed you my tween daughter's room and the Pottery Barn dream rocker makeover

Jacki and I had such a fun time doing Ruby's playroom this summer and since we were moving, I knew I had an opportunity to do a fun room for my kiddos too. 

Here's my very blank canvas:
Even while under construction I knew it had cute potential!

It all started with a little paint--Benjamin Moore's majestic blue.

I've said it before, if you can do nothing else, paint!
The space we have to use is just an open area at the top of the stairs. There is no closet to hide legos, beyblades and the like so I was definitely interested in clever storage. Enter the Ikea trofast system. We discovered it when we did Ruby's room and it was awesome. Not that expensive, easy to access (for kids) and super cute--win, win, win! 

You may recall that Jacki is the crafty part of our duo so my kids are--ahem!--a bit deprived of arts and crafts. However, I've been inspired by Jacki and Ruby and wanted to offer a little creativity to my children. 

While near the Ikea in Charlotte, I texted my hubby a list. Before you ask, yes we're still married. He managed to get the craft table in his sub-compact rental car. Obviously, he loves me a lot!

Yes, that's a craft table over his head and the legs of 2 wicker chairs next to his ear! Doesn't he look thrilled?
We got this table 

and 4 of these stools. 

At $6 each, you can't beat them!

Since we didn't end up taking the doors off the closet in Ruby's playroom, we had a set of Janette curtains (proudly modeled by Jacki below!) leftover. Using what we had...we topped off the space with a set of funky, fab curtains!

We're not finished yet! We will add the Ikea by-gel rails above the table to corral art supplies with little hanging cups. 
We actually had the large green chair from my daughter's room in our last house. Can you believe how perfect it is?

And the space needs art on the wall badly. No worries,  I have plenty of kid art I can't wait to display. But, mama needed the legos, et al off the floor or somebody was gonna get hurt. Seriously, have you ever stepped on a lego in the middle of the night? My c-sections weren't that painful!

Have a great day and remember to make the most out of every space you have available!

Memories By The Mile

Friday, September 20, 2013

Easy DIY Pumpkin Topiary Tutorial

Easy Pumpkin Topiary Tutorial
Fall decorating is in full swing.

Step 1: Gather your materials!

I started with three pumpkins of varying sizes, some fall picks, leaf garland and grapevine garland.

This urn was lying around the backyard, so I tossed out the dirt and the dead plants to up-cycle it for its new purpose; my base.

These are the three pumpkins I chose, mostly because that's all that was left at A.C. Moore. Geez, do I have to start my fall decorating in July? The fall section was almost wiped out already.

 Some natural burlap-y ribbon for my bow on top.

 My garland was on sale for about $4 a strand. I used two.

Step 2: 
After combining the leaves and the grapevine, use your hot glue gun to adhere it to the urn. This was super-frustrating because my gun was leaking all over the place. OOOH! Doesn't Craftsman have a guarantee? Hang on while I go get it out of the trash can. I WILL drive 11 miles across town to Sears for a new one, just not today.

Ok, I'm back. Hmmm, I still have some holes where you can see the dark abyss of the bottom of the concrete pot. 

 Solution: Stuff the holes with random fall picks, twigs and berries.

Do you recognize this wagon? So multi-purpose!
Step 3:
After you get your base looking full and festive, the next step is to add a medium pumpkin to your totem pole. 

Well, now that the hot glue gun is out of commission, I had to get creative and come up with a way to affix the pumpkins so they'd withstand some fall breezes and rowdy trick-or-treat'rs. 

Continue adding pumpkins until you are happy with the height of your topiary.

Step 4: Skewer!
This makes me hungry. But it did the trick! The foam (or whatever these things are made of) was just soft enough that it was easy to poke the wooden skewers through without using any tools.

Now, you repeat Steps 2-4 until you have the desired number of layers. If you go higher than three I would suggest adding a dowel to the center for support.

Step 5: Add a bow!
This is a gift for Catherine. I'll be taking it over to her house tonight after we study for a Geography test (6th grade is really hard btw).

Hers is a little more "embellished" than mine. I promised last week I would show you how I made my pumpkin topiaries, so here they are.......

This is what my front porch pots look like most of the year. I add spring flowers and Christmas lights, so these planters are very versatile. 

I kept mine fairly simple since there are two planters and they are four pumpkins tall. 
 About every two or three years, I have to give my pumpkins a fresh coat of spray paint because they fade in the sunlight. The initial investment was well worth it though, because I can add a bunch of real ones to the mix without breaking the bank.

 I used a dowel rod on my topiaries for support. 

This year I added some grapevine to my pumpkins to give them a little more texture.

This is what my front porch has looked like for the past three fall seasons. The bucket arrangements were a tad tired so they got benched. Don't worry, I plan to use those Southern Living Door Buckets to make some cute spring door-adorables.

Here's how I replaced the faded flower buckets! For $25 I couldn't pass them up!

To sum it up, this year, I added a fresh coat of spray paint, a new fall garland and some grapevine. I have some Halloween bat lights that I'll bring out in October along with whatever kind of crazy jack-o-lanterns the kids carve. 

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. We'd love to see what you create with artificial pumpkins!

For more fall decorating ideas check out
Blissful and Domestic
The Shabby Nest
One Artsy Mama Serenity Now
Practically Functional Link Party
Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
The Inspired Room div align="center">Made in a Day
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