Motherhood, Uncategorized, Upcycled DIY

Thanksgiving Tradition: Gratitude Wine Corks

Thanksgiving never was my favorite holiday growing up, but as I get older I cherish that day where I can really reflect on what I am thankful for in the year passing. While pumpkin pies, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole,  and sweet potato casserole (my fav) are all enticing…it’s that question “What are you thankful for?” that is starting to become the tradition I look forward to. It’s our 2nd year of incorporating gratitude wine corks into our Thanksgiving tradition, and I’m already thinking about what I’ll put down this year!

We’re living in an age where much of our “happiness” through the eyes of society is starting to be defined by materialistic things, although it’s refreshing to see that the reality is… most of what we’re actually grateful for has to do with: family, loved ones, good health, and job security. Taking these moments at the Thanksgiving table of looking back on the past year and remembering what we have to be thankful for is sooooo good for our soul.

Last year was Little Johnny’s 1st Thanksgiving. We decided to stay here in Florida as a family and have the traditional meal just the 3 of us. I cooked my 1st turkey EVER (definitely a milestone for me) and I still wanted to “set the table pretty” along with making all the yummy side dishes. I’m a sucker for traditions and the cutesy things we all see on Pinterest. As I was searching online I did have one goal in mind…whatever traditions we were setting for our 1st Thanksgiving as a family of 3, I wanted it to be simple. We all know that if something is too complicated or there’s too much preparation, it probably won’t happen another time. Traditions are set to be simple so that we can carry them on throughout the years.

After doing a google search on “Thanksgiving Traditions’  I came across this image of wine corks with words of gratitude written on them. I wish I knew exactly where I got the idea from, but I can’t seem to remember (#mombrain). I placed 3 wine corks (yes, Little Johnny had one too) at our table along with a permanent marker. (bonus point is that wine corks add a fun decor item to your table setting as well). After we ate I posed the question to our little family…

“What are you thankful for?”

We wrote down one thing that we were most thankful for in the passing year along with our name and date. These gratitude wine corks have been displayed in a mason jar which sits right by our kitchen window for this past year! I love looking at it because it helps me to narrow in on the right perspective on life when things get tough.

I thought this was a great opportunity to share with my readers because it’s simple, but yet meaningful…which I know you all like! So, go ahead incorporate this idea into your family’s Thanksgiving traditions (It may require you to drink some wine too ;)) . I truly wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and I hope we can all take a moment to remember life is about having the right perspective.

So, I ask you… “What are you thankful for?”

P.S. If you want to view more Thanksgiving Traditions, visit my previous post about “25 Thanksgiving Traditions“.

Wishing you well,

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday: Mini Round Table Display Made From Mason Jar Lids

There is something about sorting through craft supplies when suddenly an idea pops into your head of a unique way to reuse them.  Recently Little Johnny and I were rummaging through my craft supplies when I came across some mason jar lids and clothespins. I started messing around with them trying to see if I could configure some type of home decor item. First of all, I have been wanting a round coffee table for a while, (don’t ask why, it’s just something that has been on my mind…) So, I guess with that fresh on my mind I thought why not make mini round tables with clothespins as the legs. YOU ALL! It totally worked! I now have 3 cute mini round tables displayed throughout my home which serve as multiple purposes. Don’t judge by my enthusiasm of this very small joy in my life, but it’s definitely the little things that give me excitement!

So I clipped on the clothespins to the mason jar lids for them to act as legs and… WAH…LAH! My very own round table! (One day I’ll get that round coffee table that I have my mind dead set on!)  It can hold tea lights, name cards for the Thanksgiving table, or simply just giving decor items that extra height. The possibilities are endless with these little guys! 🙂 Now, I’m not one to just leave something without that extra painted touch, so of course I went ahead and stained the “legs” and spray painted the “table top” to give a feel of warmth and distressed. Metallic gold with a brush of heirloom white along with dark stained “legs” will do the trick!

Tell me. what is something in your life that truly helps you to “unplug” from the world? What makes your mind just wonder off and not worry about the stress of life? We all have that “something”, and for me it’s definitely focusing on DIY projects. It’s a stress reliever and while I know it’s not for everyone I try to incorporate super easy projects that anyone can make! This is for sure on the top of my list for easy projects!

Mini Round Tables Made From Mason Jar Lids 


{Supplies}

For 3 sets

  • 3 mason jar lids
  • 9 clothespins
  • metallic gold spray paint
  • heirloom white spray paint
  • base primer (optional)
  • walnut wood stain
  • hot glue gun
  • paint brush (for the dry brush technique that makes the edges look “distressed”)

{Steps}

1.Spray paint the 2 parts of your mason jar lids the metallic gold color.

2.While the lids are drying, stain the clothespins (I just dipped it into the can and then used a rag to wipe off the access. It was just easier and it made sure to stain all parts of the clothespins.)

 

3.After the mason jar lids have dried a bit (I probably waited about 30 minutes) take the heirloom white spray paint and lightly spray the paint brush. You don’t need very much paint on it, just enough to apply the dry brush technique to the outer rim part of the mason jar lid. Simply take the brush and lightly brush the edges. You don’t want the whole rim to be painted the heirloom white, just enough so that the metallic gold still pops out. I left the inner part the smooth metallic gold finish. The contrast of the two colors look great! 

4. Take the hot glue gun and attach the two pieces of the mason jar lid.

5. Make sure your clothespins are dried and then simply clip then onto the mason jar lids.

That’s it! You now have a mini round table! I hope you can find a place for these little guys in your own home. While they seem so simple they truly add just the simplest  unique touch to your home decor!

P.S. If you want to view another way I upcycled mason jar lids, check out my >>DIY pumpkin<<

Wishing you well! 

 

DIY Seasonal Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~Distressed Pumpkins Made From Mason Jar Lids

Many people have asked me: Where do you get your inspiration from? I have three answers..

1. Pinterest

2. Craft Stores

 3. Magazines

But let’s face it…Pinterest being the absolute #1!

Even as a DIY blogger I “pin” items to boards and dream about all the creativity that is within this wonderful world of Pinterest. (I mean come on, people plan their weddings from it…so it has to be great!) I’ve come to the realization that I actually do have a “creative side” in me, but the reality is sometimes even creative people need some inspiration. I love trying fun (and easy) DIY projects that I come across. While the world of bloggers is very wide and vastly growing I always want to give credit to ones that have inspired me. I have linked below some blogs I came across that inspired me to create this beautiful mason jar lid pumpkin! The great thing about blogging is we all put our own twist to things, which I came up with a few added details myself to make the process a little easier.

Shout Out to These Blogs! 

thecountrycook.com

craftsbyamanda.com (great name too! 😉 )

Now, onto all things pumpkin! 🙂

Distressed Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin


First off, let’s talk about how easy it is to make anything related to pumpkins! The good news about these beauties is that not one of them looks the same! Every pumpkin has it’s own unique shape, lines, and distinct characteristics (hence why you probably see so many things made into pumpkins!) Mason jar lids are perfect because they have that round shape, along with allowing that “distressed”  feature to stand out. You all know how much I love the shabby chic/distressed look, so this was a perfect opportunity to go ahead and attempt just that! Plus, I found a new love of spray paint color! (Antique Gold is my new fav!)

{Supplies} 

  • 15-20 mason jar lids (the outer ring part)
  • 1 center part of the mason jar lid
  • hot glue gun
  • lace, ribbon, or string (your preference)
  • Antique Rose Gold spray paint
  • sand paper
  • two wine corks
  • optional (decorative leaves)

{Steps}

1. Start off by spray painting all the mason jar lids with the Antique Gold finish!

2. Wait about 15 minutes to let it dry and use sand paper to lightly sand off the edges to reveal the “two tone” look.

3. Grab your lace, string, or yarn and thred all the lids through

*****NOTE: Make sure all mason jar lids are aligned the same way.*****

4. Pull tight and tie a double knot.

5. Take 1 wine cork  and place it into the middle so that the lids are sitting upright.

6. Use the center part and hot glue it to the bottom so that it acts as a base.

7. Once the base is dried, flip it over and hot glue the 2nd wine cork in the middle, which will act as the “stem”.

8. Either cut the excess string/lace off OR use it as a decoration on top.

9. OPTIONAL: Add decorative leaves on top to give it a pop of color!

Here’s another video I did with a tutorial of all the steps! 

How cute are these?! You can use them all over your home AND they can easily transition into your Thankgiving decor, maybe even as a table centerpiece! I hope you all enjoyed this fun project and it inspires you to get your creative juices flowing!

Cheers to the weekend!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Wood Frame

Not sure if it’s the release of Hearth & Hand by Magnolia that will be coming to Target soon, OR just the simple fact that I love upcycling items. (especially when they’re free) Recently I created my now favorite upcycled DIY project. Much of the inspiration came from Joanna Gaines. (gosh, I love this lady, anyone else?) I needed to find out how I could make my own wood frame wreath decor, but at a low cost (because have you gone to the store lately and seen the prices?!)

My inspiration

(source: https://www.etsy.com/market/birch_bark)

I have been on the search for rustic wooden frames (or old wood window frames), but I haven’t had any luck (mainly because I’m looking for them to either be free or at a very budget friendly cost!) A few weeks ago I was at Ace Hardware picking up primer and I spotted the paint stir sticks sitting in the corner. Here’s the great thing about stir sticks….

1. They’re FREE

2. They’re WOOD

I had this notion that somehow I could turn these into a decor project for my small home. So…I asked the cashier if I could take as many as I wanted and her response was “Of course, they’re free aren’t they!” (My kind of cashier!) 😉 I honestly didn’t know what type of project I was going to create at the moment, but I knew something great could be made out of these simple stir sticks. I saw the p o t e n t i a l.

It was the week after Hurricane Irma when our power was still out and I was getting restless. Little Johnny was napping, my house was dirty, and starting to smell, but it was impossible to clean in the FL heat…so, I decided I needed to release my tension by getting my creative juices flowing. I went outside and stared at these stir sticks for a while, then it hit me (probably because I’ve been watching Fixer Upper lately…) these sticks can be used as a frame! I pulled out my stain, wood glue, paint brush, and away I went in creating a wooden frame!

So much joy I found the moment I brought this frame inside of my house where it hung perfectly in my kitchen. I honestly felt the release of some stress flow away from me…We all have our “things” that help us to feel better and I finally have found mine. I focus so hard on these DIY projects, which for those moments, the fear, anxiety, and overall life problems seem to just drift away…

seriously gloat over this beautiful frame every morning when I drink my coffee and remind myself of that “stress free” moment I had when creating it. (I know, “it’s just a frame”, but to me it was the actual experience in making it.) If you’ve been wondering about the name of my blog (capturing life’s gifts) much of it has to do with the fact that I have finally “captured” my own personal gifts that life has to offer…one of them is pulling out my inner creativity…

Upcycled Wood Frame: Using Stir Sticks 


{Supplies}

  • 4 wood stir sticks
  • wood glue (or a hot glue gun)
  • stain
  • very accent paint color (I went with a slate blue)
  • paint brush

{Steps} 

This time I created a video that includes the steps, since it was such an easy project. If you like the video, let me know so I can plan on doing more videos on easy DIY Home Decor projects!

Thanks for following along and I hope this inspired your creativity!

Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Items for Little Ones, Upcycled DIY

Weekend Recap & Part 2 of DIY Kids’ Chalkboard Table

Sometimes you need a good Sunday outing to get yourself back into high spirits. With the passing of Hurricane Irma life has been chaotic and nerve-racking. The built up of anticipation and preparation drained everything out of us (especially me). I am thankful that we didn’t endure any significant damage as I know so many people have (continually praying for them everyday). We were without power for a few days, but that was nothing compared to what other went through.

Now we are s l o w l y  trying to get our lives back into the groove of things. This past Sunday was a much needed time to get away for a bit. Little Johnny just got over being sick and he was restless (as was I). While Big John was at work for most of the day I decided to treat Little Johnny and myself to a day out in Mount Dora, FL (the cutest little town I have yet to come across here in FL).

My intention was to attend an event held by Renninger’s Florida Twin Markets, although it ended up getting cancelled due to the damage from the hurricane. So, instead I discovered the best Antique Market and spent some time strolling down the Marketplace and soaking in all the beauty from the old treasures. I did not end up buying anything, but I sure wanted to! 🙂

After a while Little Johnny was getting antsy, which what better way to fix that than ice cream, right?! 😉 So, we ventured over to an ice cream shop and found an amazing park for him to play at. In my terms that was a Sunday Funday  for us! We even found time in the evening when Big John got off work to fish over at Lake Ivanhoe. Little Johnny is becoming a pro as casting! I loved seeing his little hands “reel” in the fish (lots of support by daddy). 🙂 It’s truly the small joys in life that help to lift up your spirits up nowadays.

Onto the DIY Kids’ Chalkboard Table…

A while back I started this project and all that needed to be done was painting the pallets (which are used for the legs) along with attaching the table top. Well..it’s been a few weeks now and I have yet to post about my “part 2”. (Here’s the link for “part 1” if you missed reading it!) They say that completing a project in “mom time” takes you double the time, I can attest to this! Most days it’s hard to find moments for my DIY projects, but I’m not letting that stop me from actually completing them. I have come to terms that it’s just going to take me a bit longer, and that’s okay.

Here’s a secret…I’m still not actually done, but it’s “done enough” where Little Johnny can use it and I can share with you all about it. What’s missing is I need to fill the holes on the table top where Big John helped me attach it to the pallets. Not sure why I’m holding off on this, but eventually it will get done.

On my social media accounts I had people vote for the paint color of the pallets, which butterfly wings was the winner! I’m glad it was because I was leaning toward that choice too! This paint was leftover from Little Johnny’s nursery, which painting the pallets with a traditional brush  would have taken much longer (and like I said I’m in “mom time” mode), so instead I was given this amazing gift by my Aunt…a paint sprayer! Best thing out there, hands down! If you’re a DIYer like me, please but this on your list of tools to purchase (no, this is not sponsored…I just really like it!)

What do you think? Is this something you could see yourself making?

Here’s to the week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Vertical Shelving Made From A Pallet

We have all seen the many different projects you can create from a pallet, specifically shelving. A few months back I found an old pallet on the side of the road that was calling my name! I hauled it home and it’s been sitting under my car port waiting for me to transform it into home decor projects! So far I have made a mail box organizer for inside, and now I added my second item from the scraps of a pallet…vertical shelves! These shelves are narrow, so items like small pots or jars are the perfect items to display on there.

This pallet that I found has so much character, as it’s older and more run down. (which is the best!) The boards are no where near straight, they have more of a curve appeal to the wood, which I LOVE. It adds the simplest details and naturally stands out.

You seriously should have seen me working with this pallet! I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to create, so I just kept cutting away with my jigsaw until I came across this simple masterpiece! 🙂 Finally I turned one of my cut out pieces vertical and saw the end result! I didn’t have to screw anything else into this piece. I simply stained it and had my husband (because I’m terrible at drilling…) screw it into our wall. I decided to go ahead and display this piece outside, as it truly makes a statement when plants are added to it.

Side note-My work area is outside under our car port, which faces the front of the house. It’s always a sight to see me working out there and when people walk by I definitely sense them viewing in on what I’m up to…Hello, I’m the DIY gal in the neighborhood. HAHA! If you’re in the neighborhood stop by on Wednesdays/Thursdays as I’m usually creating things outside!

There are not many steps to this project. It requires cutting, staining, and screwing into the wall. I have to make this post short and sweet because currently Little Johnny is up and pretty much destroying the house, haha. He’s playing in the Tupperware cabinet right now, but who knows how long that will last! Might I add too that it’s 7:30am in the morning and this little guy woke up at 5:30am! WHAT is that about, huh?!  MOTHERHOOD…Anyways onto my DIY project!

Vertical Shelving Made From A Pallet 


 

I could see this displayed inside a home as well. You could also create more than one to add more to the look. Where could you see yourself hanging this?

Enjoy the 4th of July weekend!

Happy DIYing! 

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Hook Hanger (DIY Fail turned into a SUCCESS!)

Here’s the honest truth about DIYing…it can be messy and does not always go as planned, which is probably why many people shy away from it, am I right?! Although, call me crazy I actually have fun problem solving and figuring out a way to fix what I screwed up in the first place. 🙂 This Friday I’m presenting a DIY FAIL that actually turned out to be a successful project. I was the lady running around my house literally rummaging through everything to see what I can upcycle as “hooks” for my wall hanger. It paid off because I found the perfect solution! Tiki torches…YES, that’s right!

I’m not any different from anyone else and let me just say…I have many fails, but the good news is I learn from them and they help me to grow in my hobby of DIYing. Why would I write about a failed project? Because it shows the real life side of things behind blogging (especially when you blog about DIY projects). I have always made it my goal to be honest & real with my followers. If you want to read another one of my fails, check out my DIY Fail photo wood transfer.

Let’s move onto the project, shall we?!

My original plan was to use wine corks and rocks as the “hooks”, well long story short it definitely wasn’t strong enough to hold objects like bathroom towels, which was the whole purpose of me creating this! I used gorilla glue to attach to the corks and rocks. They were attached securely (or at least I thought) to the wood, but as soon as I went to hang a towel on…the cork fell off…:( So obviously, gorilla glue wasn’t the trick. I had to find something that I could actually screw into the wood.

^^As you can see in the above pictures, it does hold things that are very light, but nothing that is heavy.

Let’s back up for a second and talk about the wood I used…this was a cut off section of a pallet I found a few weeks ago! It was perfect for this project.

I decided I wanted to go with a “white wash” look. I have been watching Fixer Upper lately (I just found out that the new season is on hulu! YES!) and recently they had an episode where “white wash” was a topic of discussion (you know the episode?) I have learned a lot about the process and event though I’m not loving the end result it’s something I can live with. The problem with my wood is it’s too light. I should have stained it a darker color so the white would appear brighter.

Here’s how I accomplished a “somewhat” white wash look:

  • I mixed 1 part white paint with 2 parts water (helps to thin out the paint)
  • paint the wood going with the grain
  • use an old rag to wipe off any access paint and bring out the character of the wood

Here’s a great blog I found while researching with more details on creating a “white wash” look.

homestead128.com

Are you ready for the big reveal of what worked for my “hooks”???

The cover for the top of a tiki torch! Yes, that’s right!

It adds so much character and they’re so simple. I attached them with screws (I just “hand” screwed it in.) so this time I’m not left with my hooks falling off, haha… As for attaching the actual wood piece to the wall, I chose to use a very strong double sided tape that holds up to 30lbs. It works well, but you can definitely screw it into the wall!

Here’s to DIY fails! We learn from them, and create even better things!

P.S. Wish all the wonderful dads out there a Happy Father’s Day from me! Enjoy your weekend!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda