I love incorporating flowers into a Valentine’s Day table in unexpected ways. Freezing your florals into an ice bowl is definitely one way to do this! It’s surprisingly easy to create this elegant addition for your next soirée – the hardest thing about it is being patient. It’s better to be safe than sorry when putting a block of ice on your table, so making sure it’s frozen solid will ensure a longer lifespan out of the freezer. Other than that, all it takes is two bowls, a bouquet of flowers and/or greenery, and space in your freezer to make this eye-catching bowl. See the full directions after the jump! Read More
My family spends a lot of time in the kitchen – we love to cook (and eat), and my sisters and I help make dinner and clean up each night. It’s an important space for our family to be together in. One of my favorite activities is to play the “what would I change” game in a room – although sometimes far-fetched, it’s interesting to think of the simple solutions that could improve a room’s light, space, and efficiency. Of course, the kitchen often becomes subject to these daydreaming sessions, as it’s a room that’s central to the house and frequently used. Besides, I think kitchens are the most easily dated rooms, because they are expensive to upgrade. One of our old kitchens hadn’t been updated since the 50’s, so the blue linoleum floors and counter-top oven were all still in place. Compared to that, our current one really wasn’t a bad starting place. Everything was painted white, which made for a great blank slate for our rental kitchen makeover! Read More
As summer comes to a close, so does our fun DIY Summer School. I’ve so enjoyed linking up with this talented bunch of bloggers this summer, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the projects I’ve created over the course of the series. For our final project the theme was nature inspired, and I have to admit to a little cheating on my part. My project is not entirely new to the blog, but it fits so perfectly with the theme that I had to revisit it! I had fun restyling my “unexpectedly cobalt” stump table and giving it new context – I’ve been using this table as a bedside table, but it really looks fabulous in this modern living room setting as well. It’s a fun piece to move around because it injects so much color and personality in a room! I will review the directions below, but you can also hop over to the original project post here.
There are lots of DIY tree stump tutorials around, many of which have instructions on how to remove the bark and sand down the sides. Depending on the type of tree the stump comes from, the bark may crumble and drop dirt whenever the table is touched/moved/painted. If the bark is pretty sturdy, like in my case, you can just brush off the stump really thoroughly with a stiff brush to knock all the loose bark and dirt off. I also recommend leaving the stump in your basement/attic (whichever is drier) to air out so that you can get any remaining moisture out. For instructions on removing bark and sanding the stump smooth, check out this project from A Beautiful Mess. If you want to leave the bark on, I would still recommend sanding the top and bottom. If your stump is uneven you can either cut it and sand it down, or add plastic bumpers to even it out.
To paint the stump, I taped off the top edge and flipped it over (see picture here), so that I could paint it thoroughly without worrying about keeping the top edge clean. I would recommend painting one layer, then waiting for it to dry and flipping it over to paint the second layer, getting into all the cracks and crevices of the bark to get a solid covering. If you do get paint on the top, just sand it off.
I love it with a tray on top – I originally used this lucite tray, but I have recently been using a silver foil tray on top, with a couple of books and accessories, depending on where it is. Free tree stumps can be tricky to find depending on where you live, but you happen to find one, this is a fun way to make a bold, versatile statement piece!
When spring and summer came around, we wanted to enjoy the warmer weather and use our patio to eat more dinners alfresco, but we only had a small table to eat at that didn’t really fit four very comfortably. I was always begging to drag out one of our larger tables from inside, but it was too much work (even on my “entertaining adrenaline” rush). We finally figured out a way to make an easy and inexpensive dining table that would fit the family (or more) and could be easily dismantled during the winter to avoid extra weathering. The idea is simple – take a hollow core door and use two dining-table-height supports to substitute legs. I did some research for the perfect height (around 27-28 inches usually), and found these great zinc tapered planters to support the hollow-core door. To turn the door and planters into a passable table we stained the door and stabilized the planters with gravel. And voilà – this table is now one of our favorite parts of the patio. It’s a great size, and with the addition of string lights above, it has been the centerpiece of some beautiful evenings!
The tricky thing about hollow-core doors is that they are (as the name suggests), very hollow. Their wooden shell is very susceptible to water damage, so choosing a wood stain for the tabletop that was waterproof was super important to protect it from rain and our sticky southern air! We chose a semi-transparent stain and applied several coats (focusing on the seams) to ensure water couldn’t get in.
If you wanted to take this project a step further, an additional component that we have been thinking about adding is some anchors on the bottom of the tabletop to lock them into place on top of the planters. They would just have to be blocks of wood the size of the planter tops glued or nailed to the bottom of the tabletop to make it easy to pop on and off.
The idea behind this table can be replicated with any pair of objects the height of a table – columns, pedestals, statues, sawhorses, etc. Plus, this sort of set-up makes it easy to expand or shrink your dining table based on the number of guests. It’s modular, and super customizable!
What do you do with sweaters in the summer? Turn them into pillows, of course! It’s almost too hot outside to even touch a sweater but when they’re in pillow form it sure is comfortable (especially when its cashmere). Now I have to admit that only one of the sweaters we used is cashmere. Can you guess which one? (hint: it’s the fuchsia one). The tutorial is pretty simple, although when it comes to sewing I needed Momma’s help (still working on those sewing skills), but if you’re familiar with your sewing machine this is a breeze. All else you need is kilt pin and some red leather tassels to complete the look.
The tassels were fun for me to figure out: I just used red leather lace and this Martha Stewart tutorial, with a few changes. You need some super glue one you’re finished to hold it all together because the lace doesn’t tie and tuck as easily as the thread for a traditional tassel. Alternatively, you could make them with a solid rectangle of leather like in this tutorial. But before you get started – make sure to check out all of the fun projects for this week’s DIY Summer School session below!