How to Fake a Fake Pumpkin (Faux Painting Tutorial)

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How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean, get real, everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and hopefully fool your friends.

Materials:

materials

  • Fake pumpkins
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (French Linen, Country Grey, Pure White, Versailles, Duck Egg)
  • Acrylic craft paint – Brown and Green
  • Sea sponge
  • Stencil brush
  • Medium round brush
  • Fan brush
  • Palette knife for mixing
  • Container or palette for mixing

(Ignore the extra paint tubes and brushes above, the listed ones are all I used.)

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with French Linen. Allow them to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

 

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins: [Read more...]

Easiest Fall Wreath EVER!

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Who’s too busy to spend more than 5 minutes creating a new wreath for Fall? {Raising my hand high!} Well, I’m about to give you the Easiest Fall Wreath tutorial…EVER!

Do you have one of these store bought wreaths? Pretty, but maybe a little lacking in color. Or maybe you’re just sick of looking at the same store bought wreath going on ohhhh six years now?

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Quick! Go grab these five things:

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial [Read more...]

I’ll Be LIVE! Google+ Hangout featuring Homemade Thanksgiving

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This is going to be an exciting week!  “A Homemade Thanksgiving” is happening!  In short, it’s a week long LIVE event filled with tips & tutorials from some of your favorite craft and décor bloggers.

Here’s the Line Up (All times are Pacific Standard Time):

Monday – November  5

12:00 pm - Five Printable Placecard Options - Kristi B  of Creative Kristi

2:00 pm - Using Natural Elements from Your Own Yard to Create Fall Displays - Barbara Garrett of The Everyday Home

 

Tuesday – November 6

11:00 am - Decorating on the Cheap - 5 Trending Hometalk Projects  - Hometalk.com  – with guest Heather Patterson (At The Picket Fence)

12:00 pm - Table Centerpieces - Aimee Lane of It’s Overflowing with guest  Emily Morgenstern (52 Mantels)

1:00 PM - Creating a Fall Mantel - Barbara Garrett of The Everyday Home

 

Wednesday – November 7

11:00 AM - Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids - Amanda Formaro of Crafts by Amanda

1:00 PM - Thanksgiving Crafts - Amber Price  of Crazy Little Projects

2:00 PM - Turkey Cookies with Your Kids - Natalie Dixon of A Turtle’s Life

4:00 PM - Embellish with Paint - Colleen Jorgensen of Just Paint It!

 

Thursday – November 8

10:00 AM – Fall Garden Flag from Dollar Store Items - Brittany Bailey of Pretty Handy Girl with guest +Sandra Powell (Sawdust & Paper Scraps)

11:00 AM - Hand Crafted Thanksgiving Home Decor - Shannon Fox of Fox Hollow Cottage with guest +Debbie Manno (Debbiedoo’s)

12:00 PM – Tips and Tricks for Hosting Your Family and Not Going Bonkers! - Nellie Bellie with guests Jessica Kielman (Mom4Real) & Jen Marrs (Four Marrs & One Venus)

1:00 PM – Creative Kids’ Thanksgiving Ideas - Amy Bell of Positively Splendid

3:00 PM - Decorating with Natural Elements - Sharon Hines of Mrs. Hines Class with guests Ann Drake (On Sutton Place), Colleen Jorgensen,(Just Paint It), & Jane Windham (Cottage at the Crossroads)

4:00 PM - Quick Thanksgiving Crafts - Angie of Country Chic Cottage& Carolina Moore of 30 Minute Crafts

 

Friday – November 9

11:00 AM – Thanksgiving Placecards - Karen Watson of The Graphics Fairy with guests +Gina Luker (Shabby Creek Cottage)

2:00 PM – Ways to Personalize Your Thanksgiving Table - Kim Demmon of Today’s Creative Blog

Are you excited? Did you happen to catch Thursday? At 10 AM PST? I’ll be sharing how to make a fall flag using materials from the dollar store with my friend, Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps. We’ll be doing the live video for you to view right here on the blog!

I’m used to creating solo videos, but I wanted to get y’all involved this time. I hope you’ll drop in for my first LIVE tutorial! I’m going to show you how to make this pretty fall flag:

If you want to be ready to craft, gather these materials beforehand:

Materials:

  • Dollar Store placemat
  • Brown, orange & red thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Silk leaves
  • Glitter paint or glitter glue
  • Stencils
  • Optional: hand sew or hot glue if you don’t have a sewing machine

If you can’t drop everything and make it Thursday at 10 AM PST, you can still watch later on my YouTube channel at your convenience. (That’s the really nice thing about Google+ Hangouts On Air – they’re recorded onto YouTube for viewers to watch at any time.)

What do you think? I know I’m really excited, not just for mine, but also to see some of my favorite bloggers too! This is really a landmark event – to have a group of bloggers broadcasting like this. I hope you’ll join me and Sandra. That girl cracks me up, so be prepared to pee your pants ;-D.

Make a Rustic Farm Crate Sign

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Last month, I was a little nervous to try a new power tool. I know…I know…shock and disbelief! But, y’all came to my rescue and helped share all your tutorials for using the Silhouette and other craft cutters. You really have to see all the wonderful projects that were linked up, like Atta Girl’s Tricycle Chair:

And Vintage Revival’s Wood Grain Lamp:

and I yelled “Stick a Fork in Me I’m Done Procrastinating!” when I laid eyes on All Things Thrifty’s Knife and Fork curtains:

After reading all your project tutorials, I was able to get a handle on my fear of the unknown and try out the Silhouette. [Read more...]

Fall Mantle and Autumn Décor

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You got a peek at my living room fall décor when I showed you how to make the book page oak leaf garland. As promised, I’ll let you see the rest of the room and how I decorated for Fall.

Before I invite you in, I have a confession to make. [Read more...]

Make Your Own Terrarium and Save Hundreds of Dollars

Tile Adhesives from Tile Depot

Terrariums are making a comeback in home décor. Gone are the octagonal mirrored terrariums. They have been replaced by sleak apothecary jars, tall cylinders and lidded glass vessels (to name just a few shapes.)

Twig Terrariums has an amazing array of beautiful ready made terrariums or DIY kits for sale! Some of them have stunning details, right down to a little miniature person inside the lush world. The terrarium below sells for $200.

If you want to create your own version that is a little more budget friendly, it isn’t hard to do. In fact you can get some plants from a local nursery or as close as your own backyard!

Materials:

  • Glass container (with or without a lid)
  • Small decorative pebbles or pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Live Moss
  • Terrarium plants (small shade loving plants)
  • Potting shovel
  • Water

1. Clean your glass container with soap and water and dry it.

2. Add a layer of gravel or decorative pebbles to the bottom of your glass container.

 

3. Add a layer of potting soil. No need to level it.

 

4. Collect your plants and think through the plant placement in your head.

 

5. Gently remove a plant from the pot.

If it is root bound (all the roots are wound tightly around the bottom) gently tease some of the roots free and break apart the roots at the bottom of the plant.

 

6. Insert your plants into the soil.

Put taller plants at the back and the shorter ones in the front so you can see all the plants.

 

7. Cover the soil with moss. You can cut or tear pieces to fit flush with the edge of the terrarium.

8. Fill your terrarium and let the water soak in. The water should reach the top of the rocks. Check the water level a few times a week and be sure to refill when the water gets low. If your terrarium has a lid you won’t have to water as often as a lidless variety.

 

9. Add any decorative embellishments like these faux mushrooms (tutorial HERE)…

…or my sons’ favorite, a little plastic dinosaur!

Terrariums make the perfect year round accessory. I have them prominently featured in my living room along with some other natural elements.

This version was made entirely with plants that I have growing in my shade bed. Small ferns, arugula and creeping ground covers. Plus, I added a few round pebbles for visual interest.

I might pick up a tiny person or two at a hobby shop next time I’m near one. Anyone seen any that look like the characters in “Land of the Lost” heh, heh, heh!


In the meantime, I’m loving my cost effective terrarium. Yes, terrarium singular, because the cylinder terrarium was a gift for our friends who dog sat for us.


I almost wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairy take up residence in one.

I’ve been busy working on some more projects to show you, so hang tight and check back soon! ;-) In the meantime, I hope you have a fabulous weekend and are enjoying Fall!

 

Fall Mantle Decor and Vignettes

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Fall is here, fall is here! Finally the cooler temps are near!

I’m not sure about your area of the world, but this summer seemed a little too hot for my liking. My husband told me about the term “Global Weirding“. It seems fitting for all this nonsense Mother Nature is throwing at us lately.

Luckily fall seems to have come just on time. Fall is my favorite time of year. Maybe it is the painter in me that loves all the colors. Or maybe it is the nature lover in me that longs to be outdoors in the fresh crisp air. Whatever it is, I love FALL!

I spent some time this past week putting out some autumn inspired décor. Although I’m definitely self conscious about my decorating skills, I tried to abide by my words from last year about not striving for perfection. So, now I’m taking a big breath and pressing the publish button to share my home looking warm and cozy (in my opinion.)

Antique books are my go-t0 decorating objects. I love books and I love those old linen covers. Even a torn and tattered book looks nice lassoed together with some friends.

Sometimes, even an open book can look warm and inviting.

I was so happy to bring my Ballard knock off painted pear out of storage. He really looks handsome with the autumn colors.

I love all the colors in this photo! I can’t imagine having a monotone autumn mantle.

Of course, Mr. Gourd looks handsome too. (Shhh. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I do love the pear more.)

Yes, I’m still switching things in and out like a high school football coach. I actually like the gourd, so he’s back in but the chicken wire basket is out. However, I wanted to show you the vintage map lampshade I made. The tutorial will be served up before you know it! Hopefully I’ll have a new lamp by then. This one is just a substitute for one on injured reserve.

You may have noticed this little terrarium on the side table. I was inspired by some insanely expensive versions here. Never fear, I will have a tutorial so you can make your own soon!

A full view of the mantle decorated. It is hard to believe that in a few months the stockings will need to be hung.

I had fun with this little vignette. A crow in an antique corn grinder? Now that is pretty silly. And another terrarium that makes me smile.

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

The acorn jar was an afterthought. It was just a quick little hot glue craft. Speaking of which, if you haven’t read my post about hot glue gun safety, it is a must! Your fingers will thank me.

It is fun having another surface to decorate. The top of our armoire (also known as the family command center) has some pretty purples and greens.

My Pottery Barn knockoff lantern makes a re-appearance.

Beautyberry and Orange Peel Cestrum from our yard.

The dining room has a simple centerpiece made with corn kernels and a candle.

But, I might be switching it out once I get this beauty back from my friends at the Habitat ReStore. Can you guess what it used to be? I’ll give you a hint: Hollywood glam never looked so good.

Make Your Own Fall Wreath from a Goodwill Sweater

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If you’ve been following me for long, you were witness to my one wreath with many different looks for one year. Well, I’m ready for a change. So, I decided to create something completely different.

When I think of fall, I think of cooler weather, sweaters, autumn leaves and flowers. This wreath encompasses all those elements.

Lucky for me I had all the materials on hand. Especially the XL cable knit sweater that I picked up at Goodwill thinking I could make sweater vases out of it.

Materials:

  • Wreath form
  • Old sweater
  • Fake flowers and leaves
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (or just needle and thread)

Instructions:

Start by cutting off the sleeve of the sweater.

Cut, the sleeve in half lengthwise. Then put the right sides together.

Stitch the ends together (try to line up the stripes or cable knitting.) Trim off any excess.

Open your sleeves up to give you one long length of sweater material.

Preheat the hot glue gun. Lay the wreath form on top of the sweater material.

Put a bead of hot glue on the back side of the wreath form and glue one edge of the sweater material to the wreath.

Squeeze out another bead of hot glue, wrap the other side of the sweater material up and glue it against the already glued piece.

Realistically, this is the backside of the wreath, but if you have a see through door like I do, you will want to roll under your raw edges to hide the seams.

Work in 3-4″ sections, adhering one side and then the other until you reach the end of your wreath. Cut your sweater material slightly longer than you need, then roll under the raw edge and glue it down.

Your wreath should resemble something like this:

Hot glue some leaves onto the wreath covering one of the seams.

Then add some flowers. And more leaves, and more flowers, until you have burned your fingers to smithereens!

Next tie one loop of ribbon to cover the top seam.

Tie more ribbon to the loop to give your wreath a more “substantial” bow.

And now you have a warm, cozy and colorful fall wreath! What do you think? I just want to snuggle up to it every time I walk through the door.

Have you started to decorate for fall? Do you have your wreath yet? I’d love to hear about your unique wreath project. And if you need more ideas, The Nester had a wreath link party last week!
Y’all have a fabulous weekend!

 

 

Sharing this craft with these fabulous ladies:

Addicted 2 Decorating

Home Stories A 2 Z

November – Dejá Vu a Month in Review

As a courtesy to any of you busy people out there (What?! There are busy people at this time of year? REALLY?!), I have a wrap up of all the posts here at Pretty Handy Girl for this month.

Create Your Own Storage Bin

 
That pretty much wraps up all of November. I’m looking forward to December and all the projects I have to share with you. I hope you will join me.

Fall Accessorizing, it’s Definitely Not Perfect!

I’ve had some time this week to catch up with some of my girlfriends. Sometimes this means it was a few minutes in the parking lot at preschool. Or a phone conversation. I definitely value their friendships and wish I had more time to spend with them (thankfully most of my girlfriends are mothers as well and recognize time is not something we have a lot of right now).

One of my good friends (who was also born a Cancer), and I were talking yesterday. It is really scary how similar our personalities are. She was naming off several traits that fit both of us to a tee. One of them was the ability to throw ourselves into something, not halfway but whole-heartedly!

I always thought this was a good trait (but certainly recognized how it can be all consuming sometimes). Then she stopped and said, “But there is one difference between you and I. When you see something new you want to learn, you throw yourself into it and revel in the challenge. Whereas, I am sometimes uncertain and afraid of failing.” I realize that we all have this fear of failure to a certain degree. Obviously some more than others.

 I have been skydiving once in my life. Was I scared? Yes!
But that emotion flew out the window, and then I loved it.
I will do it again someday, but not until my children are grown.

One of my challenges has been decorating. I wanted to share this with you because, decorating is not something that came naturally to me. In fact, I am somewhat tentative to even share some of these pictures with you. What I have learned has come from many designers and decorators (check out the list of “a few other sites you might like” on my sidebar) who have graciously shared their secrets and design tips with their readers through their blogs. One in particular has a motto that frees you from the “everything has to be perfect” mentality. The Nesting Place written by the Nester really forced me to forget perfection and “Just Do It!” (Sorry, Nike.) Her tagline says it all: “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” I encourage you to hop (no, make that LEAP) over to her blog and download this FREE eBook on “It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to be Beautiful.”

I read the eBook from cover screen to cover screen. And I have thrown away those “perfect” shackles and made my house MY home. And I did it without spending a lot of money.

I have finally embraced Autumn and am willing to share with you my fall vignettes and decorations. I want you to know that I purchased very little this month (thanks to a very special woman over at the T-shirt Diaries. She challenged fellow bloggers to forgo spending anything on crafts, etc. this September.)  If I purchased it this year, I’ll share with you where and how much I spent. If it isn’t listed, I already had it in my stash. But, it is likely that I found it, transformed it from junk, or got some amazing deal on it.

Without further ado, here is my imperfect and inexpensive decorating for fall:

Wreath $12 from Home Goods purchased over summer.

 Bowl & fruit $15 from Craig’s List.

 Vase $2 from Goodwill, beauty berries & nandina berries from our yard.
$3 Goodwill distressed chalkboard frame details HERE.
$5 Pottery Barn inspired lantern from Habitat ReStore. Details HERE.

 
$2.49 Goodwill gourd painted HERE.
Books, bird, and birdhouse I already had.
Birdhouse is perched on $6 clearance candlestick from Target. 

$2.49 Goodwill Pear turned Ballard Designs knockoff HERE.
Apple from Craig’s List bowl above.
 Two more black candlesticks from Target (forgot price).
Both on clearance. I spray painted them black.

 Pinecones from our yard, orange/red dishtowel from the kitchen.
Basket fillers were free with 3 card Hallmark purchase.
 
Plant & pot clearance at Kroger $3.50
Books & cowbell passed down from our grandparents.
Pinecones & acorns from our yard.
Another dishtowel from the kitchen.

 
Urn from tag sale $3. It is heavy cast iron! 
Copper canisters were passed down to me when my grandfather passed away last year.

Splurge wreath! $19 at Michael’s last year.
Added maroon raffia ribbon this year.
 
 Simple 5 minute magnolia wreath, details HERE.

 
 Two pie pumpkins used as post finials. $2.50 each from Kroger.

 Grocery store pumpkins made into topiary and fringed rope (already had).
My boys love to get into the decorating act. 
They love to put their touch on our kitchen window each new holiday. 

I encourage you all to throw away that “perfect” mentality and try something new this month! It is okay if it doesn’t come out perfect. Love it if it is a reflection of who you are. If you hate it throw it away and use it as a learning experience, but don’t give up. Try it again!

Let’s not forget how we all learned to ride a bike or even walk. Were we afraid to try it? Probably. But, we tried it anyway. Did we give up when we fell the first time? No!