Pin-spired: DIY Country Chic Window Treatments

branch curtain rod

Are you a Pinterest addict like me? I love that there is a simple place to go for inspiration and store it all in neat little categories. This weekend, I finally turned one of those pins into reality, and I am beyond excited to be sharing it with you today.

This project was "pin"-spired by Jennifer over at Town and Country Living. I am a little bit obsessed with burlap. I love its natural, earthy color and the relaxed, country vibe it gives off. I really loved the idea of pairing it with a tree branch for an extra punch of rustic charm.

I started this project by dumpster diving over at my brother-in-law's house after he had a long day of pruning his trees. I measured my window and searched the pile for a branch that was long enough and fairly straight. I had to cut off lots of excess branches, but I found two sticks that worked really well for me. If you don't have trees yourself or a relative or friend that you can use to "branch hunt," take a drive around town. Right now, people will be pruning to prepare for spring. If you see a pile of wood in someone's yard, go knock on their door and see if they are okay with you taking a stick or two off their hands.

branch curtain rod

You will need to debug your branches before you bring them in your home. I washed mine down with a bleach and water solution and a scrubbing brush. After a quick rinse with the hose, I let them dry in the hot sun for an hour or two. If your sticks are smaller, you can place them in a garbage bag and put a bug bomb in there. Most of us don't have a spare kiln or oven big enough to bake these suckers, so those are the best suggestions I have for killing any critters on them.

For hanging the sticks, I used some steel corner brackets. As I have told you before, my hubby likes to use his drill, so he helped me hang the branch. I do know how to use the drill, but doesn't he look so hot using power tools? After we figured out where the stick would be flush with the wall (your stick will not be straight so don't panic) we marked those two spots and hung the brackets there. Then, hubby drilled a screw straight into the stick. Leave enough space between the branch and the wall to weave the fabric through.

hand branch on wall

Per Jennifer's suggestion, I bought landscaping burlap to swag on my branch. I work with burlap a lot and normally get it from the craft or fabric store, but this is a lot lighter and flexible- perfect for swaging. I tied it off at one end and looped it around the branch a couple of times. Then, cut it to the length I wanted and tied off the other end. No sewing. Super simple. 

burlap curtain

burlap valance

burlap branch valance

I just love it, and cannot believe how cheap it was to make this project a reality. Thank you again to Jennifer at Town and Country Living for the "pin"-spiration. Does this "pin"-spire you to take a pin a make it come to life in your home?

Linking up at: photo TheHappyHousiebuttonfeb2_zpsbc362976.png

Simple Easter Decor

I hate to admit it, but I really don't enjoy decorating for holidays. The thought of storing all that extra stuff that I only use for a couple weeks kind of gives me hives, but after a long, gloomy winter I decided a little spring decor would be good for the soul.

I love this really simple Easter banner and my reclaimed wood cross paired together on my recently refinished dining room hutch. Easter is pretty important around this house and not because of our love for chocolate, but because of the love for our Savior.

This shabby little bunting banner is from Target's Threshold line. A special thank you goes out to my sister-in-law who gifted me this super cute decoration. They currently don't sell it online, so you would have to take a trip to your local store to see if they stock it. If not, I think it would be really easy to make a DIY version with jute, leftover fabric, some fabric paint and stencils versus stitching the letters on.    

My reclaimed wood cross is by artist, Susan Hamner, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I picked this up in a little local shop in my hometown, Brentwood, Tenn. when I was there for a visit in February. I love the fact that it is made from old historical southern buildings. Makes me feel like I still have a little country in me even though I have completely lost my accent.

So there you go- a breath of spring without feeling overwhelmed by seasonal decor. Does the thought of seasonal decor make you shudder like me or do you embrace it?

Cane You Dig It - Dining Set Sneak Peek

I know I promised you my last post on the kitchen today, but I thought I would take a break from all the kitchen fanfare and give you a sneak peek at my latest painting project.

I am currently in the process of refinishing my husband's grandma's dining table, chairs and hutch. This set just fell into my lap after a cousin needed to downsize. I have been working on this for a couple of weeks now. I am no where near being done, but I did manage to finish one of the chairs this weekend.

painted furniture

This is my first time painting with cane, and it went a lot easier than I was expecting. Again, I turned to Christen Bensten at Blue Egg Brown Nest for another great tutorial.

I chose an Oyster colored burlap to cover the chairs and my favorite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White with some light distressing for the frame. I was inspired by this chair I saw at Hobby Lobby that was priced at $97.99. My fabric only cost me around $8 to cover all four chairs. 

My inspiration for my chair makeover.

I am going for an all white dining room, but I also saw some beautiful two toned cane chairs on Downtown Abbey recently. I think this would look really classy in a dining room or living room. If it is good enough for Lady Mary, it is good enough for me.

Downton Abbey airs on PBS.

I hope to be able to show you the completed dining set soon. Visit me on Thursday for the final kitchen post with all the details on the products and vendors used in our remodel.

Frenchy Country Wall Collage

While I tend to lean more toward country than french country in my decorating taste these days, this project definitely has some French influence so I am dubbing it Frenchy Country. 

I recently made a jute letter and wanted to incorporate it into a collage for our family room. We have two huge blank walls on either side of our massive television (thank you dear husband) and, I wanted something unique to hang there besides another picture. I was inspired by different arrangements I have seen on Pinterest and in a recent friend's home. After hours of wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby, I came up with this.

Frenchy Country Wall Collage

This door handle I found in the cabinet hardware/pulls section. Honestly, I love this more than my jute "M." The best part- 50% off. Cost: $5.99

This fleur-de-lis I had in my last home. Like my jute letter, it needed to be lightened up. I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, mildly distressed it and used both clear and dark wax to finish it off. I have two of these and originally purchased them from Hobby Lobby.

I found this key on a table they had set up with "Spring Collection" items. All priced at 30% off. This table was a jackpot. I also got two glass jars and a metal basket. I can't wait to show you how I use those. Cost:  $4.49

I found the frames back in the frame section if you can believe it. These unfortunately were not on sale and were the most expensive items in the collage. However, I always have my trusty Hobby Lobby app which normally always offers a 40% coupon for one full price item. Cost: $17.99 (oval frame after coupon) $14.99 (square)

The cross I found in the cross section (yes, they have a whole section of crosses). I don't think this piece is particular Frenchy, but I liked it. It is rustic and is a symbol of my family's deep love for Jesus. It will be a daily reminder of his redeeming love, so I went for it. I can be very eclectic at times, and that is okay. I don't claim to be an expert. I just do what I like. Another bargain at 50% off. Cost: $4.99

Here is a before and after just for fun so you can see how far we have come in this room. Still more work to do, but not too shabby.


Disclaimer: This blog and post was not sponsored by Hobby Lobby. I hope maybe one day it will be. Wink, wink.

Jute- There It Is

Happy New Year! While I believe New Year's resolutions are a waste of time, I do believe in goals, and my new goal for 2014 is to start blogging all the creating, crafting and decorating I have been doing around our home. So here is my first tutorial- the jute letter.

I am a huge believer in "upcycling" these days. Reimagining things you already have is a great way to save money and keep clutter out of your home and landfills. We moved into a new home in September, and I have completely changed gears from our last home's style. I recently repainted our entire first floor in shades of gray and really wanted a lot of white and and natural wood toned pieces to really pop against the cool shades. The problem- all my accent pieces and furniture are dark from my contemporary/Arts and Crafts phase. The answer- paint and burlap.

Jute Letter

Items needed:
Letter (wood, plastic, cardboard, etc.)
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks

I had this black "M" (for our last name), and I knew I wanted it to be the star of a collage in our family room. My initial thought was to paint it white, but I thought that was a little boring. I wanted it to have some texture and depth, so I decided to wrap it in jute.

If you don't have a letter, you can find them for pretty cheap at a craft store such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or JoAnne's. Since you will be covering it up you don't have to worry about buying one that is already finished. Mine just happened to be. Raw wood or a paper mache would actually work really well for this project.   

I bought a spool of 135ft and 4 ply natural jute at Hobby Lobby for around $3 after using a coupon. (Tip: Download the apps for all the major craft stores. Most of them have a 40% off coupon for a full price item. They also give you current sale price info.) Jute comes in different lengths and plies so pick the one that works best for your project. You can find jute in the string or yarn section of any craft store. I have heard they even sell jute at some hardware stores.

To start off, keep the wrapper on your spool and just find the loose end in the middle and pull. The string will pull out from the center and keep your spool of jute in tact which makes it a lot neater. Next, I covered up all the ends that I wouldn't be able to cover as I wrapped the jute around my letter. I cut pieces to length and glued them directly to the letter. 

Here is a picture of my letter after I covered all the non-wrappable (yes, I just made this word up) sides. Each letter will be different so make sure you plan before you start wrapping.

Now, it is time to wrap. Go across your letter with a single straight line of hot glue just thick enough for one string. Hot glue dries fast so only do one row at a time. Simply place your jute right on top of the letter and make sure to push it down well until it touches the row below. Flip it over, do the back side and keep repeating.

Keep wrapping...

 and wrapping...

You will use a LOT of glue so have plenty of sticks handy. I have heard there is a process where you can make a paste mixture and dip the jute in there. I opted for the glue gun because is seemed less messy and easier to control. I also wanted the jute to look raw. I thought the paste dip might make it look shellacked.

At some point you might need to make a cut and start a new row. Just make sure you hide your cuts on the back of the letter. Keep wrapping, and you will end up with this.  

I was really happy with how this turned out. It took a little longer than expected (around 4 hours) but I can be really meticulous about things like this. A normal person might be able to blow through it in a couple hours. I am going to hang mine on the wall as a part of a collage, but it would also work on the top of a dresser or shelf. Mine has holes to hang it. If your letter doesn't, you can drill your own or even glue a cute ribbon to the top to hang it. Be creative. Making a project your own is the best part of being crafty.


Stay tuned to see my finished wall collage starring my jute "M."