DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

DIY Friday~ $6 DIY Fall Wreath

What better way to start off the Fall season than hanging a Fall inspired wreath right on your own front door. I figured since today officially marks the beginning of September, it’s a perfect time to pull out those Fall decorations. Although as I write this to you, it’s 93 degrees outside! Definitely not “feeling” that Fall weather, but no worries I’m making my own vibes over here.

Fall is my absolute favorite season, it’s the time of year that I truly wish we were living back up in the Midwest. I miss the feeling of that crisp breeze, the smell of bonfires & burning leaves, and being able to see the “changing of colors”.  Oh yeah, don’t forget about the taste buds with pumpkin spice everything! 😉

You’re probably expecting the “Part 2” of my DIY Kids’ Table…well I sort of got side tracked and still have to write up the post along with finishing the top part (wood fill and another coat of chalkboard paint)…squirrel anyone…my mind is sometimes on a million things at once and I tend to be scattered brained, but that’s okay I’m enjoying all these projects so much!

Speaking of scattered brained…back to the actual post. You all know I’m a big fan of the Dollar Tree and you know what section is my absolute favorite? Their flower arrangements! There are so many great supplies at such a low price where you can make your own wreath. I have been wanting to make one for a while and what better way to start with a new season. By the way, I could totally see this for sale at your local Hobby Lobby. 🙂

$6 DIY Fall Wreath


{Supplies}

  • 4 of your favorite flowers/fall decor. (try to go within the same “hue” of colors)
  • wreath
  • small picture frame
  • hot glue gun

**NOTE: At a last minute decision I added burlap and adhesive letters to the supplies.

{Steps}

1.I actually used burlap to wrap the flower arrangements into a bouquet and then hot glued it to the wreath.

2. I pulled apart the pumpkins and cut off the excess stem.

3. Then I hot glued the pumpkin arrangement to the opposite side of the flower arrangement.

4. I used the small frame and letter adhesive stickers that I placed on the cardboard found within the frame. I chose to use the word “Fall”.

5. I used hot glue and attached the frame to the wreath.

That’s it! So easy and I love how I could personalize it to my own style! If you’re more of a “bling” person, the Dollar Tree has sunflowers with gems, which I thought would be beautiful on a wreath!

Happy Fall,friends! Hopefully it’s starting to cool off a bit where you are! If so, blow that breeze down to Florida…I can’t wait to share more fun Fall projects! Enjoy your labor day weekend!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor

DIY Friday~Coffee Filter Flowers

Two things that I’m pretty obsessed with lately (besides my son)…coffee spray paint (obviously not together). I have always enjoyed a hot cup of joe, and lately I’ve been going spray paint crazy. So, why not put my favorites together with a little DIY project. Recently we switched our big coffee maker to (going back in time…) a percolator. It takes up less room, and we actually like the taste of the coffee better. Well, that left me with a bunch of coffee filters that we didn’t need. So I took my all time favorite spray paint colors (rose gold & baby pink) and decided to turn them into pretty paper flowers. LADIES, this one is definitely a keeper and guess what? I did this all within Johnny’s naptime, PLUS I had time leftover to get other things done (naptime & crafting). It’s a 20 minutes or less kind of DIY project. If you haven’t tried one of my DIY projects, this one is just for you!

What inspired me? 

Well, a few months ago Johnny and I completed a craft called ‘ice painting” that I also used coffee filters for (basically it’s ice with food coloring mixed in). They turned out beautiful. So I decided why not just use spray paint.

My Color Pallete Inspiration 

(P.S. If I could do my wedding over again, THESE would be my colors! source: blush and bow ties )

{Supplies}

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{Steps}

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1.spray paint the coffee filters some with rose gold and some with pink.

2. Once the coffee filters are dried, roll them up so that they look like flowers. Follow the instructions in the picture below.

3. Take your hot glue gun and glue the coffee filter flowers onto a stick.

4.Then wrap the burlap ribbon around the bottom of the flowers.

That’s it! So many choices in how to display these beauties!

Here’s how I am using them in my home.

These also would be great for bridal showers, baby showers, weddings…basically any type of chic celebration!

Will you be creating this?

Happy DIY Friday! 

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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DIY Home Decor, Dollar Store DIY

DIY Friday~Monogram Succulent Decor

If I could live in a house filled with succulents and rose gold everything I would be a very happy gal. =) I know I go a little over board with the rose gold, but seriously it’s such a beautiful color, and the best part is it can go with everything and anything (it’s my neutral color). Succulents are very trendy right now mainly because they’re such an exotic plant that draws your attention and makes quite the statement if you ask me.They’re also super easy to take care of. So I definitely have reasons as to why these are my current favs. This Friday I’m tying together my two favorites into a gorgeous monogram decor to display within the home.

I’ve said this before in previous posts, but just to clarify, I’m a proud Dollar Tree shopper.=) It makes DIY projects affordable and you never know what you may spot while walking down the aisles. Guess what I found? Ladies, one of my favs…succulents! They are the cutest! These beauties come in this little pot, which there are quite a few to choose. (I actually took them out of the pot, but will definitely use the pots for another project.)

To all my mid-western friends & family (and really any of my followers who haven’t seen sun within a few days, weeks, or months… theses little beauties will definitely put some cheer within your home. So, I took these succulents and used them within my DIY project.

The only item that wasn’t purchased at the Dollar Tree was the wooden letter (which was bought at JoAnn’s). This project cost me around $12. (I really need to get better at documenting the cost of my DIY projects.)

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Monogram Succulent Decor


{Supplies}

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  • artificial succulents (Dollar Tree)
  • floral moss (Dollar Tree)
  • wooden monogram letter (JoAnn’s- don’t forget to use their 40% off coupon)
  • hot glue gun
  • rose gold spray paint (optional step) 

{Steps}

897d22d2-a247-42c3-9ea7-6282337ea72d1.This step is completely OPTIONAL  Lightly spray paint the floral moss making sure to scoop it up and mix it around so you can apply more coverage.

**Side Note: I did this step so that it would add an elegant glam to the final look (I’m loving the end result!)

2. Once the moss is dried (if you chose to spray paint it) use your hot glue gun to attach the moss to the front and sides of the wooden letter. WARNING: the moss is messy, so make sure to have a flat cardboard underneath. I also used an empty box to place the moss in.

TIP: When attaching the moss make sure to press down firmly so the moss sticks to the wood. I shook off any access moss that wasn’t sticking. (think of it like glitter and glue, wherever there isn’t glue obviously it won’t stick) I also went back and filled in any empty areas.

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3. remove the succulents from their pots

4. cut the stem off so there is a flat surface on the back

5. cut the top piece of the rose succulent to make it smaller (optional- I had to do this because my wooden letter was too small to fit this succulent on there.) 

6. arrange the succulents to your liking before hot gluing them on

TIP: Something I learned from my Nana, flower arrangements/any home decor item always looks better with an odd number. I have 7 on my arrangement)

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7. cut your desired length of burlap (honestly I didn’t measure, I just cut to my liking)

8. hot glue a generous amount on the back and make sure to let it glue before hanging it

That’s it! You now have a beautiful monogram succulent decor for your home! I’m seriously loving this!

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I displayed mine in a little corner nook within my home. You can also use it as your front door decor.

Can you see this decor within your home? (of course it’ll be personalized with your own monogram) Will you be creating one for yourself?

Happy Creating! 

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DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY FRIDAY- Inspirational & Decorative Magnets (using baby food jar lids)

So here we are again, it’s a Friday! I know I’m posting this late, but motherhood called today. Moving on…when I was a teacher I always had a Fun Friday activity planned, I mean why not?! It’s the best part of the week! 😉 So I thought since becoming a SAHM how about a FUN FRIDAY for myself and Johnny, we just named it DIY FRIDAY. So here is what we did on this rainy Friday #hurricanehermine (don’t worry we’re completely safe, just windy and LOTS of rain).

For this small DIY project I was able to use most items that I already had around my house. The only item I had to buy was the spray paint, and guess what!? I had a $5 reward that I used on it.(I love Ace Hardwares’s reward program!)  I only had to pay $1.06 for this DIY project! That’s a fun Friday in itself! 🙂

Continue reading “DIY FRIDAY- Inspirational & Decorative Magnets (using baby food jar lids)”

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY FRIDAY-coffee table center piece (using baby food jars)

Sorry hubby, but the house chores are going to have to wait…it’s DIY FRIDAY time!

This is probably the simplest DIY project I have ever done. No joke, I didn’t have to ask my husband to come and intervene once! (I usually do with just a few projects).  You only need 7 items to make this.  (8 if you include the adult beverage, but really it’s a must when doing projects).

So here is a quick thing about me…I love any type of jar or glass bottle (just ask my husband). I literally have a collection from mason jars, wine bottles, baby food jars. If they had a bumper sticker that said I LOVE JARS, you would see it on my car. (I think you get the point). Anyone else with me?!

So…with that said… I decided to complete a pottery barn inspired coffee table decor with a little shabby chic twist. Below are the directions and pictures of the steps to complete this DIY. Most things that were used I had lying around in my house. The only items I had to buy for this project were the votive candles, flowers, and little acorns  (Dollar Store purchases). So all together this DIY project cost me $6.39  . SCORE!!!!!! (we all know DIY can get expensive at times)

—Side Note— by the way, I had the wood lying around my house because my husband had a brilliant idea to build a boat…YES, you read that right…yeah, well… the story ends with us having a ton of wood lying around…I think you get the point, so why not use it to complete DIY projects. Thanks for the inspiration, husband!

STEP 1– Gather supplies:

  • long piece of plywood (measurements depend on the size of your table), paint sponge/brush, sand paper, a roll of twine, 4 large baby food jars, 2 small baby food jars, 1 taller glass jar (I saved mine from a pressed juice I received at a juice bar), acrylic glue, American Decor chalk paint, votive candles, and a flower or two
    Amanda Morehouse's photo.

    I LOVE the Dollar Store!!! Especially for DIY projects!

 Step 2: Wipe down the wood and sand any rough edges

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 Step 3: Paint the wood using American Decor chalky paint (I only used one coat)

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 Step 4: Once the paint is dry use the sand paper to give it that shabby chic look 

 Step 5: Start wrapping the baby food jars with twine

Quick Tips:

  • do not use glue, it doesn’t stick and it’s so messy
  • take the twin and fold the cut piece in half
  • take the middle of the folded piece and wrap it around the jar
  • tie a knot
  • continue this process until the whole twine piece is used
  • double knot at the end, and cut off any excess pieces

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For the larger jar I just tied a bow of twine

around the rim of it.

Step 6: Arrange the jars to your liking on the wood piece

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Step 7: Use the arcrylic glue and place a small amount on the bottom of each jar

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Step 8: Place decorative items in the jars: flamless votives, acorns, and flowers

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There you go! You’re DONE! (Even Johnny loves it!)img_4941

Happy DIY FRIDAY!!!!! Now it’s your turn!

DIY Photography

DIY Friday- taking your own portraits using a smartphone camera

Who knew how amazing pictures can be by simply just using your “handy dandy” smartphone camera! Here’s the story….

It all started because I really wanted to capture the moments of my son with those “pinterest” cute portraits, but my husband and I are really watching our pennies since cutting down to just one income (that way I can stay at home with our son! best decision btw). We can’t afford a photographer right now…so what’s a mama got to do, but take out her “handy dandy” smartphone camera and start learning portrait techniques herself.

I currently have an iPhone 6 and I am by no means a tech-savvy person, but I love to learn! After doing a little research and following just these five adjustments I have captured some pretty astounding pictures. I can’t believe the changes in the photographs I take! If you gain anything from this blog just remember these five techniques:

  1. Use your focus/exposure control (visit my previous blog iPhone 6 camera features  to understand how to use this feature)
  2. Find the right lighting 
  3. DO NOT ZOOM IN 
  4. Change the perception of your photos 
  5. Be steady

Follow along as I go into more detail about these techniques. I’ll post some before and after photos to show you what a difference they make. Join me in my learning experience about diy portraits.

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That’s me just pulling up my camera app! I swear this is a very informative blog post. Sometimes humor just helps along the way!

Learning from your mistakes and studying from your photos is the best way to learn.

Johnny was such a trooper with my diy portraits. I’m still learning and I have a long way to go, but I’m having so much fun doing it!

Here are my results:


“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart,

I’ll stay there forever.”

-Winnie the Pooh

“People let me tell you ’bout my best friend” -Harry Nilsson

Exposure Control

I used the exposure control to focus and increased the lighting on the book so it would stand out more. My perception did change a bit as well.

This feature in simple terms means how light or dark an image will appear when captured. It helps for certain features/objects to stand out in your photographs. To get more advanced there are three items that work in conjunction to express exposure. It’s called “the exposure triangle”these three variables: aperture, shutter speed, and IOS are never separate. If you want to learn more about “the exposure triangle” click on the link above. After researching I have found this page to be the most valuable in explaining the meaning of the “exposure triangle”. 

I found this image while researching on google, which helped me to understand the terminology and how these three variables work together.

Aperture= depth of motion

shutter speed=motion blur

IOS=image noise

Lighting

One of the most valuable things I learned so far is the importance of lighting. I mean that simply is what photography is about, right?  It truly is a learning process in how to “train your eye” to understand how the lighting will affect the photos. If you click the lighting link above it will take you to a more detailed blog that focuses on tips for proper use of lighting.

What I found most valuable about lighting is that it’s easy to adjust by simply just playing with it in your photos. You can use certain aspects of the lighting to incorporate highlighted features. If you speak to any photographer I’m sure that they would recommend to take outside portraits during the golden hour (first hour and last hour of sunlight), but as a mom sometimes that doesn’t always work out. So, I make do with the light that I have and try to incorporate it in different ways. The way your subjects are positioned play a big part in this.

Zooming In

You know that “zoom in” option on your camera app…yeah well try not to use it. This is a tip that came across multiple websites when I was researching photography with iPhones. The reason behind this is that anytime you “zoom in” it causes the pixels to become more visable and in that case becoming a blurred image.

Instead, get closer and try out different angles. You can always go back and make little tweaks by editing anything you do not want in the photo.

I use to zoom in all the time, instead of just getting closer to the image I wanted to capture. Since learning about this I have not touched my zoom button, and it has made a huge difference.

Perception


When you change the way things are looked at sometimes there is a whole new beauty to it. This has been my favorite learning experience with photography. I really enjoy getting in the moment and giving others a different view of something that is such a familiar object. When I was photographing Johnny, I was literally laying on my stomach trying to get ta great picture. I’m sure it was hilarious to view as a bystander. When taking pictures it’s our natural instict to take that straight shot, so when we see photos with a different perception it makes just a good picture into a really good picture.

 Here’s how you can be creative with exploring different perceptions.

  1. get high and and get low with your images
  2. use a stool or ladder to get the “top views”
  3. explore different angles
  4. tilt your camera ever so slightly either up or down
  5. lay on the ground to take pictures
  6. take “upside down pictures”

Be Steady

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Johnny said “be like me, don’t move a muscle”

We all know that the more steady you are the less blurry and the better quality you will have with your photographs. It can be pretty tricky though at times. Here are a few tips I learned that have helped me to capture better photos.

  • keep your elbows in
  • lay down if you have an opportunity to
  • use your knee as a tripod

Printing Your Photos

I usually print from either Shutterfly or upload them to my Walgreens photo app and send them off to the store. The convenience about Shutterfly is that they will mail it right to you, unlike Walgreens you have to go yourself to pick them up. Always google coupons for these two stores, they always have some available. Gosh…I love google! Here is another helpful website that really goes in-depth explaining the process of printing your photos from your iPhone. 

If you are printing very large images, you’ll have to understand that it may be a little grainy due to the tiny pixels that are used to capture the colors of the image. Also, the iPhone is a jpeg file, unlike a raw file. Meaning that the camera is already processing the features in the jpeg file and it is more difficult to edit certain attributes. I cam across a great video that explains the difference between a jpeg file and raw file. You may want to view it just to understand what type of file you will be shooting in and the advantages and disadvantage of it.

Congrats! You made it to the end…

I hope this information was useful! I know I have learned so much, and with just following the 5 tips I have captured some great photos! I love learning about photography! There is so much to understand, but when you take it slow and focus on just a few features at a time, you’ll start to understand just how it works. Don’t forget to keep practicing! I listened to a podcast that stated once you get into photography you won’t truly get any better until you start taking your first “10,000 photos”! Well, I sure am on my way to that!

Now, go capture those great moments…

Happy Photographing!

P.S. If you have any other tips you would like to share, please comment below. I would love to hear about them!

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Bonus Tips!

  • find anything with a textured look (the outdoors works great for this:trees, grass, flowers, fences, stone, brick, walkways, basically anything with a type of pattern)
  • make sure to look at your captured shots every now and then to see if any adjustments need to be made with positions, perception, or angles
  • take multiple photos in one session
  • DO NOT edit until you’re done capturing the photos
  • DO NOT focus on perfection (sometimes the best photos turn out to be the ones you thought would be put in the “trash bin”)
  • LESS IS MORE- sometimes just one simple prop makes for a great picture. Don’t over load your picture with too many things.
  • change the scenery up if you can
  • HAVE FUN doing this! There is no right or wrong way, you may even surprise yourself! I know I sure did!