How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkinHow to Fake 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 fool your friends.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with Chalk Paint (use gray, white, green and blue paint.) Allow the pumpkins to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

 

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins:

It helps to look up some pictures of real pumpkins to refer to.

pure-white-country-grey

Using the stencil brush, paint a mixture of grey and white on one of the pumpkins.

paint-white-mixture

Before the paint dries, dab some of it off with the sea sponge. (Keep your sea sponge dry, not wet during the process.)

sponge-off-white

Dip the stencil brush into the white paint and add paint on the outer most bumps on the pumpkins. This is adding highlights.

highlights_on-white-pumpkin

Dab the highlights gently with the sea sponge to blend.

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Use the fan brush dipped in a small amount of green paint inside the pumpkin ridges. Dab the ridges with the sea sponge to blend.

white-gourd-pumpkin

Have you ever seen a truly unblemished pumpkin? I think not. It’s time to add some spots or marks on the pumpkin to truly fool your friends. Dip the end of the paint brush into brown paint and dot it onto the pumpkin. Blot the spot with a sea sponge and maybe even transfer a few new spots with the sponge.

add-blemishes

Paint grey around the base of the stem and into the grooves with the round paint brush.

add-dark-depth-around-stem

Paint brown and green paint onto the pumpkin stem. Blend slightly with the sea sponge.

paint-sponge-stem

Can you spot my fake white pumpkin? Well, of course you can because I just showed you how to paint it. But, it will definitely fool your friends!

grouping_left_pumpkins

Painting Realistic Blue Pumpkins:

Painting blue pumpkins uses the same technique as painting the white pumpkins, only using a few different colors.

Use the stencil brush to paint blue onto another pumpkin. Dab the blue paint while it’s still wet with the sea sponge.

add-duck-egg-blue-sponge

Use the fan brush dipped in gray and brown craft paint to fill in the ridges.

darken-crevices

Dab the paint with the dry sea sponge to blend.

sponge-crevices

Add some highlights with a mixture of grey and white. This serves two purposes. 1) It adds dimension. 2) It tones down the excess blue on the pumpkin.

add-highlights

Paint the stem the same way you learned above.

To truly fool people, set up your fake pumpkins with some real pumpkins and real gourds. Sooo, can you spot the fakes?

guess-the-fakes

How many did you get right? The metallic gourd is simply spray-painted with copper spray paint. But, I did try my hand at faking a green and yellow gourd using the same technique as the pumpkins, but adding green to the top and yellow to the bottom.

the_fakes

Okay, I’ll give you a second shot. Guess the fakes:

vertical-fall-vignette

How did you do this time? Ha, you can now apply for a job as an art forgery detective ;-).

truth_fake_gourds
Now seriously, how many people will be viewing your pumpkins that close? Umm, next to no one. Normally they’ll view them from afar.

full-living-room-shot

Get your paints and palette out and go fake some fakes! It will be our little secret.

fall-vignette-grouping

PHGFancySignDid you like this painting post? Ahhh, then I know you’ll like this Ballard Pear painting tutorial:

Or if you’re feeling like taking on a larger scale project…how about Faux painted bricks!

Or perhaps you’d like to perform some faux zinc painting magic:

You can do it! I know you can.

Cotton Fall Wreath and Décor for the Entryway

Cotton Fall Wreath

Every morning for the past few weeks I woke up and looked out the window. A few leaves have turned color, but as soon as I look at the weather report — the heat and humidity has yet to leave North Carolina. Will fall ever arrive? I want to wear flannel shirts and boots. I want cooler temperatures so I can stop sweating the minute I step outside. To usher fall into our area, I decided to make a super simple Cotton Fall Wreath. You won’t believe how easy this wreath was to make!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials for Cotton Fall Wreath

Instructions:

This wreath was so simple to create, I didn’t take step-by-step photos. Gasp!

Really, it’s so simple, all you have to do is tuck preserved leaves into the cotton wreath. Yup, just tucked, no glue or anything!

Cotton Fall Wreath and Décor for the Entryway

Then loop a strip of burlap (or ribbon of your choice) through the top and pin it to the top of your door using a flat thumbtack.

Cotton Fall Wreath and Décor for the Entryway

See, wasn’t that super simple?

Cotton Fall Wreath and Décor for the Entryway

A red ribbon would also look beautiful with this wreath.

Pretty Handy Girl's Colorful Fall Home Tour

To give my entry a little extra decor, I added a few colorful items.

Fall Décor for the Entryway

A little step ladder with a pumpkin and some silk flowers.

Fall Décor for Home Entrance | Pretty Handy Girl

The chalkboard painted pail from my fall mantle a few years ago.

Fall Décor for Home Entrance

A faked blue gourd sits on the bottom step, tempting people to touch it to see if it’s real.

Fall Décor for Home Entrance

My favorite décor item is this light up grapevine sphere. It adds a beautiful warm glow after dark.

Fall Décor for Home Entrance | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you decorated for fall yet? Have cooler temperatures arrived where you are? If so, please mail me some of your fall weather!

PHGFancySign

Want more Fall Wreath inspiration? Enjoy these 24 more Fall wreath ideas:

24 Creative Fall Wreaths

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl

When I got back from my extended stay in Houston (after my sinus surgery), I was so anxious to decorate for fall. All those magazines I’d been perusing and all the beautiful Instagram photos had me craving some beautiful autumn decor. It took me a few days to get my energy back after I got home. In fact, I was still feeling a little worn out when I spotted this post on Facebook about a local multi-family yard sale that ran Monday – Saturday.

Rustic Yard Sale

I thought it was a joke or a dream. But, something told me (more like fifty of my fans on Facebook) that I should get off the couch and high tail it to this sale. My sweet friend Candace from Rusted Roots Blog was easily persuaded to meet me there, so I wouldn’t be the only fool who fell for a yard sale mid-week.

We both filled our cars with some great finds! I got home and quickly put together a little pumpkin and rustic relics display by our side door.

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl Read more

12 Tips to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

When you Don’t Love It, a room in your home can become a place to avoid. Last week I hung our TV on the wall in our living room, but was cringing because that big fat TV was screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” It was killing the cozy vibe I wanted to create in our room. This is the place that my family likes to chillax. It’s the room where wrestling matches happen and the room where we curl up by the fire. We watch movies and sports in this spot.  But, frankly, I didn’t love it. When I looked in the living room all I could see was a giant black elephant in the room.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I agreed to let Pretty Handsome Guy pick out a big flat screen TV. But, I secretly devised a plan to keep me happy and let Handsome Guy have his big honkin’ TV.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

And I Created a Perfect Gallery Wall around the TV to de-emphasize its size and dominance in the room.

15 Tips for Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall:

#1 Start with a Level Line

Determine the area you want to install your gallery wall. Measure down from your crown molding or ceiling to the top of the gallery area.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Insert a thumbtack or pin at that height. Run a piece of string from the thumbtack along the width of your gallery wall space. (It helps to have a friend hold the free end of the string, but you can use a piece of painter’s tape to hold it temporarily.)

Level the string and secure the opposite end with a thumbtack.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#2 Create Paper Templates

Pull together all your frames and art. Create a paper template for each object. (Craft paper, butcher block paper or old dot matrix printer paper works perfect for this task.)

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Use painter’s tape to secure the templates to the wall. Step back and look at the wall from across the room. Take a picture of the wall with your mobile device and look at the picture to see if you see any issues. Or face away from the wall and look at it in the mirror to look at the arrangement from another angle. Play with the templates until you Love It! I will be honest with you, this process takes a while. In the long run, you’ll love your gallery wall if you live with the arrangement for a few days before the final installation.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#3 Pick a Color Palette

Choosing a color palette of 2-3 colors will help you create a cohesive look and make it easy to create a visually pleasing gallery wall. The easiest palette to work with is black and white, because you can use black, white and a variety of grays.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

You can also add a bold color to the mix and know that everything works with black and white!

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#4 Use a Variety of Shapes and Sizes

For more visual interest, use a variety of shapes and sizes. Gallery walls that use the same frame for the entire collection can look stunning and orderly. But, for a more organic and eclectic gallery wall, feel free to play with many shapes and sizes. Your color palette of 2-3 colors will keep it looking unified.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#5 Balance Larger and Smaller Objects

When working with several shapes and sizes, it’s important to balance your arrangement. Space larger items away from each other and preferably on opposite sides. Pay attention to collections of smaller objects as well. Your wall would look unbalanced if all the large objects were on one side and all the small art on the other.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

While spacing the object templates, use the trick in #2 by taking a photo or using a mirror while playing with placement.

#6 Use Consistent Spacing and Align Edges

Use consistent spacing between your art. Smaller collections can visually work as one large object if you space them closer together. But, use a larger space outside the collection that equal to the rest. Try to align horizontal or vertical edges with adjacent art. They don’t have to be hung in a uniform grid, but creating a shared horizontal or vertical line can help create a pleasing installation.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#7 Group Like Objects

As mentioned in #6, you can group smaller objects together to fill a larger space. Use objects of the same color, material or shape together as a collection.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#8 Mix Textures

For lots of visual interest, introduce several different materials and textures into your gallery wall. Break up black frames with wooden art, metal signs and even natural elements like feathers, branches, found objects, etc. The sky wall is the limit (ha, ha). Have fun using your imagination.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#9 Use Good Wall Anchors, Hangers, and Bumpers

While hanging artwork, be sure to use picture hangers or anchors strong enough to hold your artwork. It’s so important to use a hanging hook or anchor that is designed to hold more than your art weighs. Watch the video on “Testing Drywall Anchors” to see why this is so important:

video-screen-shot-buildcom

Way to go Build.com for performing this test!

#10 Mark Hanging Hardware on Templates

This trick will save you time and save your walls from turning into swiss cheese! Set your template on the back of your art (the back side should be up) and poke a hole with a pencil where the hanging hooks, holes or wires are. Hang your template back on the wall.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#11 Hanging Your Art Perfectly

Ready to hang your art perfectly the first time? Grab your picture hanging hardware, nails and a hammer.

Make sure that each template is level. For art that has visible holes, line up the art on top of the template. Hammer the nail or hook through the hole.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Then simply pull and rip the template off the wall from beneath the art.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

For hanging hardware that is hidden. Hammer your picture hardware through the template lining up the hook or nail with the hole you poked through in tip #10.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Tear the template off after you have your hangers installed. Hang your art on the hooks perfectly the first time!

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#12 Make it Personal

Make your gallery wall a reflection of you! Use vacation photos, messages and art that has meaning to you and your family.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I smile every time I walk into our living room. It is filled with memories and art that makes me happy.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: Thank you to Build.com for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to discover my #LoveItMoment 

Pin for later!

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

My blogging friend Melissa Michaels just published a wonderful new book to help you “Love the Home You Have.” She focuses on simple things you can do to embrace the home you live in. With easy suggestions and achievable goals, she breaks down all the barriers you have when it comes to truly loving your home.

Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels

To help Melissa promote the book, I agreed to take on a quick little Love Your Home Challenge. Her book has 31 Small Challenges to help you love your home again. Each one is simple, quick and easy.

Love Your Home Challenge | Pretty Handy Girl

I decided to focus my efforts on our foyer. I still loved the little rustic IKEA hack chest, but the mirror was a little to drab. I’d been staring at the pussy willows all winter and needed an infusion of color.

foyer-before

Originally, I chose to work with the Day 30 suggestion to Paint Something. I removed the mirror and within 30 minutes I painted the wood slats with white chalk paint. Then I used some patina Rub ‘n Buff to give the edges an aged metal look.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

Much better.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

To continue adding some cheer to the foyer, I incorporated the Day 11 Challenge by Adding Fresh Flowers.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

I didn’t spend a dime on my flowers or vase. The red bud branches were clipped from our tree. And I slipped a mason jar into the boot for a fun and quirky vase. I think it’s a nod to the saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

A small collected birds nest and feathers add an additional nod to springtime.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

I also painted an old frame with blue chalk paint and popped a piece of scrapbook paper into the frame for instant art.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

My total cost was $0! I can honestly say that seeing this springtime foyer vignette has made me happy.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

Within an hour, I was able to love this corner again. What can you do for $0 in your home? Read more