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Entries in DIY (23)

Friday
Feb032017

new foyer lamps + how to create a "zinc" finish

Three blog posts in one week, can you believe it?  I'm still behind on laundry by three loads, but I have to say, it feels soooooo good to be back to blogging on what I hope I can make a regular basis!  On the heels of Wednesday's post, I still have lighting on the brain, this time in the form of new pair of huge table lamps for my foyer!  If you follow me on Instagram (@bungalowblue) you may remember me posting a while back about how one of the lamps in my foyer mysteriously broke into one hundred pieces while we were watching Game of Thrones last season.  I've had such a hard time findinganother pair  that I like that are also big enough; the last set was 31 inches high which is perfect for us because both the hubby and I are tall and I hate walking by and being able to see over the lamp and seeing the bulb.  Coming off of the upstairs addition, I also didn't want to spend a fortune,either.  So, when a friend called from a trip to Pottery Barn a few weeks ago and said a pair of Estelle stacked glass table lamps were on clearance for more than half off, I couldn't say no!

These pictures just don't do the lamps justice, they are so beautiful.  And they are HUGE - 33 inches to the tip of the finial, to be exact.  When it comes to lighting, I tend to find bigger is better for a dramatic impact and these lamps definitely deliver.  And if you really want to dial up the drama, a large scale mirror will do the trick!

I found this one a few years back at HomeGoods but it had a yellowed finish that looked like it had spend half a century inside a chain smoker's house.  So, I gave it a little refreshing with a "zinc" paint treatment and I LOVE how it turned out.  Here are the step-by-step instructions on how I created the finish - it's so easy and one of my favorite paint treatments, mostly because the messier the better!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday
Oct172016

diy: mini pumpkin taper candle holders

Despite being more of a spring and summer girl, fall in the south is my favorite time of year to entertain.  There's no pollen or mosquitos so you can actually enjoy the cooler temps and beautiful evenings dining alfresco or even just sipping a cocktail or a cup of coffee on the porch under a cozy throw blanket (my fave).  Fall is also the one time of the year where I give myself carte blanche to go crazy with the slightly over-the-top tablescapes - pumpkins, bittersweet, wicker demijohns, lanterns, even foliage from my yard are some of my favorite ways to add a touch of the change in season (especially since I don't really decorate for it anywhere else in my house). 

A few years ago, I made some taper candle holders out of mini pumpkins and they're one of my favorite DIY's to date!  I originally posted the step-by-step tutorial here but I thought since the weather was finally feeling fall-ish right now in the south, it was the perfect time to re-post it for anyone who missed it the first time around!  This is one of the quickest and easiest DIY's - the most time consuming part is waiting for the paint to dry, so if do-it-yourself projects tend to intimidate you, this is definitely an easy one to try!

What you'll need:

mini pumpkins

cordless drill

3/4 inch spade drill bit (I used this one)

spray paint

Step 1: if there are any stems on the pumpkins, remove them with wire cutters.  Place your drill bit in the middle of the top of the pumpkin and, applying light pressure, drill slowly until about a half inch down into the pumpkin.  DO NOT PRESS HARD ON THE DRILL - it will crack your pumpkin!  Also, make sure the pumpkin is on the floor, not in your hand, when drilling:

Step 2:  Using a butter knife, scrape out the insides of the pumpkin and then spray them with your spray paint. 

Once dry, insert your taper candles and enjoy!  SO easy!

Hope everyone is off to a great start this Monday!

Wednesday
Aug172016

diy versailles planters

My super sweet hubby made me a pair of Versailles planters to flank my front door for Mother's Day this year and I absolutely LOVE how they turned out!  He's made me a lot of things over the years, but these are definitely my new favorites, hands down.  I finally got around to taking some pictures of them over the weekend so I could share the steps on how he made them, in case any of you were interested in making a pair of your own!  There are a ton of different plans online (you can see a few I posted here) but the hubby ended up winging it for mine and they couldn't have turned out better!  These bad boys are on the larger side, which is exactly what I wanted; I tend to think almost anything oversize makes for a much more dramatic impression and that's definitely what I got with these!

We got everything he needed at Lowe's - all the wood was plain old white pine, nothing fancy, because I was going to paint the planters once he built them.  My planters are 33 inches high (with the finals) and 25 inches wide; here is the cut list for ours:

What you'll need:

(2) 2 inch x 2 inch x 8 foot pieces, cut to 30 inches long, for the corner pieces (4 pieces per box)

(10) 1 inch x 6 inch x 8 foot boards, cut to 27 inch pieces.  We used 4 pieces per side of each box (so you'll need 16 pieces per box)

(5) 1 inch x 3 inch x 8 foot boards, cut to 22 inch pieces, for the top and bottom of each side of the box (you'll need 8 pieces per box).

One pack of 1 1/4 inch wood screws

One pack of 1 1/4 inch kreg jig screws

Kreg jig

Table saw

Drill

Decorative wood finials

Primer, paint, paint brush

To make the process a little more seamless, he cut all of the wood for each box at once:

Next, he assembled each of the sides, screwing each 27 inch board to the top and bottom pieces using an electric drill:

Using a kreg jig, he then attached the corners to each piece:

This is what each side will look like when you're done:

Next, attach each side to the other using your kreg jig; of course, I don't have a picture of this step, but you'd basically do the same as you did to attach the corner pieces to each side.  It will look like this when you're done:

Once each box was done, we drilled holes in the top of each corner and attached round wooden curtain finials.  I used these from Lowe's:

Next up, I gave them two coats of primer and three coats of glossy white exterior latex paint (I used Sherwin Williams Extra White), letting each coat dry completely before applying the next and that was it!

I usually have the biggest ferns I can find flanking my front door but this year it was too hot and I was way too pregnant to be gallivanting all over town looking for some, so I settled for two palms from Lowe's in each, instead.  I actually think I like them just as much as the ferns!  To keep them at the right height inside the boxes, my husband used some scrap wood to build a bottom inside, about a foot down from the top.

Every time I turn onto my street, I smile to myself at the impact these beauties make on our front porch.  The white is so crisp against the green palms and the size is so dramatic - the exact first impression I want to make when greeting guests to my house!

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Thursday
Jul212016

gold leaf oyster salt cellars

Summer is my favorite time to entertain but even though we haven't been hosting as much as we normally do this time of year (and while the rest of my house gets neglected due to all the fun we've been having) I've been making it a point to at least set out my favorite woven chargers, softest linen napkins and newly purchased bamboo flatware to make dinner for just the three of us a little more special every day.  I was so inspired by this gorgeous table setting I posted a couple weeks ago and, after noticing a fabulous pair of golden oyster salt cellars in the mix, I decided to bring a little of the sea to our table and make some myself.  I know lately I've proclaimed that every DIY I've done is the easiest in the history of ever, but this one seriously is!  And the best part is that these little beauties also make a wonderful hostess gift idea for summer barbeques and get togethers!  I know there's a ton of tutorials out there for this but here's how I did mine:

You'll need:

Oyster shells

Paint brush

Liquid gold leaf (I used Classic Gold)

Food safe top coat

SCRUB.  The most important and time consuming part is cleaning the shells.  If you get yours from a restaurant or the beach, you want to make sure you scrub the heck out of them.  I soaked mine in a bucket of 3 parts water and 1 part bleach overnight and then laid them out on the driveway for a few days in the sun.  I then used a scrub brush and some Seventh Generation dish soap to clean them again. 

PAINT. Once they're dry, use a stiff, flat paint brush to apply your liquid gold leaf, making sure to paint all the way to the edges.  I applied three coats, letting each one dry completely in between.

TOP COAT. Spray your food safe top coat and let dry overnight.

Aren't they pretty?

I found the porcelain caviar spoons at Sur La Table for $1 each (sorry, I couldn't find a link online!)

 Happy painting!!

Tuesday
Jul192016

4 easy steps to amazing window boxes

I'm dying for a trip to Charleston.....buuuuuut with the heat and humidity being as bad as it is, my very pregnant self is just going to have to wait for much cooler temps for a visit to the Holy City.  If you guys have been reading here for a while, you know I fell head over heels in love with Charleston the first time we ever set foot on its cobble stone streets years ago.  And even though we've been back more times than I can count, I still bring along my camera every time we go to snap pictures of my favorite houses, gardens and, of course, the window boxes. Oh, those beautiful window boxes...there isn't a house in sight that doesn't boast them, and every one is always spilling over with petunias, sweet potato vine, asparagus fern, ivy, lantana, verbena you name it.  I love walking by some of my favorite homes and seeing how they've changed up the blooms and plants for the season and I always go home with a ton of new ideas for flower and color combinations!  In fact, the very first thing I did before I even unpacked my bags the first time I ever visited Charleston was head out to Home Depot to buy two window boxes for the front of our last house! 

I posted my go-to tips for amazing pots earlier this spring (you can read about it here) and even though you've all seen my pictures of many gorgeous window boxes from past trips to Charleston, I thought I would share some of them again to accompany a few more tips that helped keep my window boxes in top form, too! 

Pick a complimentary color scheme.

I like to look for plants and flowers that compliment the color of my house, surrounding gardens and landscaping for the best impact. My house is gray with white trim, with a black front door and shutters and lots of pink blooms all over the rest of my landscaping, so I always look for blooms in different shades of pink as well as foliage in bright and lime green for the most drama and a cohesive look.

Mix it up. 

 I always follow the rule of three whenever I plant a pot or flower box: one taller, bushy plant or bloom for height (think liriope, geraniums or ferns), one trailing (lantana, ivy, sweet potato vine) and one medium-sized one to fill in the spaces between the two (like petunias, purple queen, impatiens).  Mixing in flowers and foliage add texture and interest, too!

Good drainage is key. 

My favorite window boxes are the wrought iron ones with a natural coco lining because they're available at every hardware store, they're much more budget-friendly (and prettier!) that some of the fake, composite versions and, the best part, is that you don't have to worry about drilling holes for drainage! (If there is no place for water to escape, the roots will rot and your plants will die).

Use a quality, organic potting mix + fertilizer. 

Good soil makes all the difference between big, beautiful blooms and sad, stringy plants.  Whenever I plant pots or window boxes, I like to mix in Jolly Gardener Soil Conditioner with Fertilome Azalea, Rhododenron and Camellia food and a handful of pelletized lime for extra oomph.  This trio has never failed me yet!