Tag Archives: shabby chic

Fall Decorations!!!


IMG_1729.JPGDecorating for fall is the most satisfying season because it is so warm and cozy, comes at the beginning of a new season, and you get to leave it up for 2 or 3 solid months! Plus, fall is a great time to host gatherings and have friends over, so there are lots of opportunities to share the fun of fall decorations. Now that I share my seasonal decorating with Pen Elaine, I am more in tuned to how kids can be actively involved with making the house fun and inviting for each season or holiday. Growing up, I remember getting excited every October to decorate an orange pumpkin made of construction paper, giving it shape, a stem, and a jack-o-lantern face with black markers or crayons. Now, Pinterest has opened up so many more possibilities that I forget the simple joys of childhood only need “pen” and paper sometimes, but the important thing is to let my kiddo feel special and proud of her part in making our house a warm and whimsical home.

1. Scarecrow – we made a scarecrow with an old party sign, some little-used pants and top, a hat, gloves, and Pen Elaine’s super-cute contribution: a pinwheel! Items that needed to be tied down were secured with string. Since it’s on a wooden stand that can be easily moved, sometimes I’ll stick it in the garage if there’s a big rainstorm or we are going out of town.

2. Front door hanger: Instead of a fall wreath, I had seen this embroidered hoop idea on Pinterest and thought it looked really do-able and a nice changeup. Plus, I had bought a couple giant hoops for 3 bucks each at some junk store. I ended covering my letter with yarn because that is what I had on-hand, but next time, I would want to try something else.



3. I finally got around to painting a new scene/quote on my windowpane for fall. I saw so many fun quotes and verses for fall, I will have to put up a new one for November, ha! I always want to paint a pumpkin on the glass, but it never looks quite right to me…I’m just not sure what to replace it with…a tree?





Here’s a picture of the hoop art. I wrapped the letter in one layer of yarn using modge podge to secure it; then I attached it to the burlap with a second, more sparse covering of yarn. I hid the loose corners of burlap by taping them down to the back of the hoop with some masking tape.



4. Candle display tray: I had seen a candle display similar to this on Pinterest that looked straight out of Hogwarts…thus I had to try to replicate it. My collection of little glass jars/bottles finally got put to use for a spooky effect…








Easter week countdown: Jesus teaches the people




Palm Sunday

Monday: Jesus cleans out the temple

Tuesday: Jesus anointed with expensive oil/perfume

Wednesday: Jesus teaching people



I don’t know anything specific that Jesus did on Wednesday of Holy Week, other than that He was spending time with people and teaching them about the good news and the love of God. However, Wednesday night, I believe, is when Judas goes to the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus. What is amazing about this day, though, is that Jesus knew His time was coming to go to the cross, but He still spent time loving on people and reaching out to them at our human level. Having small children, I am frequently reminded of my humanity and my shortcomings and how easily my emotions are aroused or swayed. I was reminded of my own goofiness when attempting the above Easter craft to make sheep out of handprints and cotton balls…those are supposed to be sheep… that are cute and not creepy.

Isaiah 53:6:

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.




Painting Little side table for Chalk Play!



I had an old end table that I have been saving for a rainy day…for probably 10 years. Finally, I got around to painting it because I was struck with inspiration from my chalk paint to use it as a toddler “art” table.


1. First, I quickly painted the whole thing with Anne Sloan’s chalk paint (diluted with 10% water), just one coat.


2. After letting that dry, I made a square with painter’s tape along the edges of the table top.


3. Then, I painted the interior of the square with chalkboard paint (can be bought at Walmart or any paint supply store). I followed the can’s directions to apply 2 or 3 coats, depending on how thick you paint, and let that dry for at least 24 hours before usage.


Pen Elaine had fun with this novel idea to color on the table itself…just make sure you only have chalk available or you will end up cleaning up crayon!



DIY Custom Changing Pad



With the new baby, I recently got tired of looking at my old, gross, worn-out changing pads that I had saved from when Pen Elaine was a baby over 2 years ago. So, I finally realized I could easily cover one side of my waterproof changing pad things with fabric scraps and some forest-y ribbon that was a baby gift.

20140130-140445.jpgFirst, I pulled out the sewing machine for some quick hemming of straight lines. So, I hemmed the long sides. Then, I folded the corners over in a way to hem the short sides without exposing raw edges. Then, I sewed a straight line down a piece of felt ribbon that I had cut the exact length of the pad, to add a little finishing touch.

It was so fast and easy that I refurbished another one!

Now, I love changing diapers….jk.



Resale Dresser Makeover



We had been looking for the perfect piece of furniture to complete our baby boy’s room – one with storage and still at the right height to sit next to the rocking chair, to hold a lamp, burp cloths, etc. So, we went to a junk shop that has been a successful stop for cheap furniture in the past, and we found a dresser with three huge drawers (made to look like it’s really a lot more little drawers) that was in great condition, meaning all the drawers slid in and out easily and securely and nothing wobbled! Plus, it only set us back $100, which we were totally willing to pay for a piece of furniture that met all our needs, ha! We bought it in the morning, then during Pen Elaine’s naptime that afternoon, we quickly wiped it down, took the drawers out and removed their hardware, and gave it a coat of chalk paint (I think the shade is duck egg or something, it’s the only color I’ve bought so far). While that was drying, I lined the drawers with cute contact paper and then did some minimal rough and light sanding to give it a worn/shabby chic look. I added the wax coat to just the top and the front of the drawers, where it will get the most abuse/wear, and my honey put the hardware back where it belonged. Seriously, it was so fast, we had the newly improved dresser in the baby boy room by the end of the night!


Now, I’ve got the middle drawer full of sweet baby boy clothes that my Snuggly Man has yet to grow into 🙂


Baby boy room: Old Man & the Sea



Here’s our progress on the baby boy room with an “Old Man & the Sea” theme!

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.

Ephesians 4:14, NIV

A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.

Author Unknown


If you want to know how much I love you, count all the waves in the sea.

Author Unknown

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

James 1:6, NLT

Christmas Decorating!



The best way to spread Christmas is cheer singing loud for all to hear.

~Buddy the “Elf”

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

~Luke 2:10-11


Hooray that it’s time to pull out the Christmas décor – I actually got mine up before we left town for Thanksgiving, and it was such a happy to come home to all the warm and cozies. I wasn’t through enjoying my framed burlap on the mantel, so I switched out the plain wreath for a sparkly tinsel one I had in  the Christmas box and got my Honey to help me drape a “literary” garland along the top. I repurposed my fall banner to hang on top, by carefully removing leaves.


20131209-114518.jpgOur Christmas tree only has bird-themed ornaments, so one day I think we’ll get one of those mini, plant-sized real trees from the home improvement store to hang other sentimental ornaments, that are now growing since we have a kid 😉 I wanted to put Pen Elaine’s “first Christmas” ornament that we made with her handprint and footprint in a really visible spot, though, so I hung it with my “happy holidays” garland in the kitchen, and I love seeing it!

One of our advent countdowns is hanging over the kitchen/eating area curtains, and my little Christmas tree collection is arranged on top of the piano. Of course, the hand-me-down plastic Nativity sits under the tree. Our just-for-looks stockings are in their traditional spot, with birds, garland, and our silhouettes that I’ve made, waiting for this year’s updated one of Pen Elaine that I have yet to finish…







My favorite addition for this year is this gold-leafed garland that I bought on sale after last year’s Christmas season. I also enjoyed piling all the extra garlands to hang above a wide doorway, including yarn ornaments and a ribbon of kid and toddler mittens that I quick-sewed together many years ago.

It’s decorations for a party fit for a king – the birthday party for Jesus, Son of God. We are enjoying all the pre-party celebrations!