November 24, 2020

A Magical Inspired Christmas Tree

I'm typically a one-tree type of person. We've always had our one big family tree in the living room covered with handmade and collected ornaments. I add a few things to 'pretty' it up a bit but it's always been the family tree. 

This year, I had it in my head to create a stand alone, pretty tree separate from our family one so I could get creative with it! And my mind immediately jumped to Harry Potter & Hogwarts. If you know me in real life at all, you know my love of the magical world of Harry Potter is big. I thought it would be so fun to channel that love into a creative and magical tree. 

I've been planning it out in my head all year so it's been so fun collecting the right pieces & seeing it come to life! I'll add details below and won't make you wait. But here is my 2020 Harry Potter inspired magical tree!!

First things first, the tree itself. 

I knew from the start that it needed to be flocked. Hogwarts in the snow, yes please. 

It took me a minute to decide where to put it. We don't have a huge open floor plan and I didn't want it overtaking the main tree. So the foyer won. In order for it to fit and not take over, it needed to be a skinny little tree. I ended up purchasing the Ashland Slim Flocked Tree (7 ft) from Michaels when it went on sale and it is the PERFECT magical, snowy tree. It fluffs out gorgeously and was the perfect size to fill, but not overwhelm, the space. 

Next, I went round & round about what to put around the base. 

I realllllyy wanted it to be unique & magical. My first thought was a Hogwarts trunk! It took me a bit to figure out how I wanted it to look. At first, I was thinking it needed to be chunky & square, reaching all the way up the bottom of the tree. Almost like it was growing from it. But then I realized that I wanted to add some of my DIY pieces that I love so much and have it more of a 'spilling out' effect. Kind of like the tree was emerging from the trunk, along with a bunch of other Hogwart-y items you might find in a trunk. 

Hubby brought my vision to life by building me a low, rectangular box with a lid. He based the design around an old ammo box I already had and loved. I alllmooosstt painted it burgundy (Gryffindor colors) But decided it worked best with the gorgeous stain on it so the items could stand out a bit more. Plus it doesn't lock me in on a color. We made sure to build it based off the measurement of the tree stand so it would sit in there perfectly. 

While trying to figure out the perfect way to enhance the trunk just a little more, I played with the idea of adding lettering or faded wording to it with 'property of Hogwarts', etc on it. While building the box, I rummaged in my stash of old hardware pieces and managed to find an old brass backing plate from a dresser pull and this amazing iron piece that strongly resembled a curvy "H". (For Harry? Hogwarts? Who knows? But it works in every single way). 

I painted them both gold, glued them together and then we screwed them onto the trunk after it was built & stained. Couldn't have been more perfect if we tried. 

Once we had it placed where I wanted in they foyer, we settled the tree base in and then added the tree. After fluffing it out in all it's glory, I added all the items around the base that I wanted to be 'spilling out' of the trunk. 

I included a Hogwarts robe (made & gifted to us years ago), a Gryffindor scarf from Universal Studios, handmade spell books, DIY potion bottles/Floo Powder. There were a few worn tags from HP parties in the past and my crown DIY jewel, a beautifully replicated Marauders Map I made years ago, tea dyed paper and all. I just settled them in and arranged them until they made me happy. 

We used an old leather belt of hubby's to create handles on either side of our trunk. After cutting the belt to size, we both stapled them in place and added an oversized brass nailhead detail to give it a little more character.

For the body of the tree, I added all kinds of collected, magical inspired things. 

I had to make ornaments with each of the houses. I used silver (slytherin) or gold (the rest of them) for a more timeless look rather than using their brighter colors. 

I had oversized gold ornament balls that I had added vinyl to years ago. They made an appearance with various spells or sayings on them. 

Hubby surprised me with this gorgeous strand of Snitch lights from Pottery Barn this year. They hung across my HP mantle for fall & they were the perfect thing to drape around the tree too. 

While shopping this year, I kept an eye out for anything that caught my eye as 'magical'. 

I snagged these beautiful glittery feathers from Hobby Lobby along with a little wooden owl, stag ornament & a couple strands of pinecone/gold garland to add texture and dimension to the tree. I tucked them in throughout. 

I found the gorgeous gold 'antler'-eque picks in the floral section at Michaels along with some whispy, feather picks that I cut apart and stuck throughout the tree. 

I had a few DIY snitches from styrofoam balls & feathers leftover from my sons party years ago. They looked cute soaring through several branches of the tree. 

A smattering of glittery, vintage inspired gold balls, mercury-glass burgundy balls and regular red/gold balls are littered throughout the tree too. 

A Hogwarts crest was a must. As well as adding in the DIY wands we made years ago too. I love seeing them stick out through the branches! 

And you can't have a magical tree without a magical topper. 

My sorting hat was a handmade (can you believe that?!?) gift from a friend and it actually talks. It has a little Build a Bear recording in it that has the Sorting Hat's voice when you push it. It perches perfectly on top of my little tree. 

And tucked near the back of the tree, nestled in the snowy branches, is the letter that started it all. It wouldn't be a Harry Potter tree without it, now would it? 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing me tree as much as I enjoyed creating it. I am a little in love with it and am soaking up the magic it gives off every evening. Sometimes, in a chaotic world, a little magic can do you some good. I'm thankful, oh so thankful, for the Christmas season and the miracle of my Savior's birth. That is not lost on me this year at all. I wish all the magic & all the miracles on you this Christmas season too. Happy almost December :) 

August 11, 2020

Bohemian Teen Bedroom Makeover

So last I shared was our back porch makeover and, little did you know. we've done SO many makeovers to various rooms in the house in the past few months.

Both of my teens asked to have a room revamp and with momma needing projects, I gave in. 

Emily was the first to request a room makeover during our extended break and I was so sad to transform her room at first because it was the first room we had redone when we moved in. She had outgrown the bright colors and younger decor and wanted something a bit more grown up. She had a hard time putting into words what she wanted so I took her to Hobby Lobby to start pointing out things that she liked. Immediately, she gravitated towards all things boho, earthy and plant-related.

We found a piece of pottery that she LOVED and our entire room design became inspired by it. She chose a periwinkle purple for the feature wall based on the colors from the pottery and we are obsessed! I'm pretty sure it's now my most favorite room in the house. I was so hesitant about redoing a room that we already loved but I'm so glad she talked me into it. 

You may remember her coral room from the post a few years about it. You can read about it here

The piece of pottery that inspired the room is this pretty little guy from Hobby Lobby: 

July 05, 2020

Black & White Patio Transformation

I'm so excited to finally get this post up because it's been a long time coming!

We started working on our back patio about two  years ago when we decided we needed to make it a place that we actually enjoyed being. 

We had several issues going against us and it's taken us some time to come up with solutions for all of them and cultivate our dream space. 

The main issues: 

1. Our patio area isn't completely covered. Meaning parts of it still gets rain/full sun and the full impact of Arkansas weather. We needed things that could 'weather' all of that pretty well. 
2. We have two outdoor dogs that were constantly bringing mud, dirt, hair and all that fun stuff up into that area. It was constantly dirty & dusty and it made my head spin. 
3. We live on a sloped lot. BONUS with there being virtually no trees so leaves weren't a huge issue. But water, dust, and any yard debris inevitably ends up on the patio. Cue head spinning again. 

So. We had to come up with some creative solutions. The main one being how to create a more closed off space without spending wayyy too much money and still keeping it aesthetically pleasing. 

I don't have the best before/after photos because I was a horrible blogger during the process but let's use this one to show the crazy transformation it went through: 

I'm sure I purposefully didn't take pictures of the yard side before because it was such a disaster but the top gives you a good idea of what we were working with. 

June 22, 2020

Faux Canvas & Floral Door Hanging

If you're anything like me, you tire quickly of having the same things hanging day to day.

I tend to have areas in the house that I don't rearrange very often but our front door is certainly not one of them. 

My wreath styles have changed a LOT in the past years and this spring I decided to go with something a bit more non-traditional than a typical round wreath. Although my wreath from last summer was round, I still consider it a bit non-traditional too. You can see my cute snow-cone wreath from last year here

This year, I went with something a bit more neutral that could withstand spring & summer if I wanted it too. And my choice of flowers tend to nod towards Fall too which was a happy accident. 

I actually created the fabric/wood hanging last fall for my fall mantle but decided it was lightweight enough to hang on the door as well! 

May 16, 2020

DIY Ombre Wooden Spring Sign

Is ombre still even a thing?? 
It seemed like it was all the rage last year. 

I love the subtle light to dark that ombre provides and thought it would be fun to do it with my favorite aqua color. 

This super easy sign is the perfect thing if you don't like to commit to one thing (like me) and change your decor up constantly. 

This thing is sturdy enough that it can stand on it's own or prop against other items for a layered look. 

I created the actually wooden base of the sign a couple years ago and it's floated around to various set-ups and parties. 
I originally created it to be left blank and just added a simple nail to the middle to hang wreaths & smaller signs from. 
You can see it being used as a 'wreath' holder of sorts in my valentine mantle here

I decided to risk it a bit and added my letters on this one with a touch of hot glue. But it'll be easy enough to pop them off and sand it down a bit to use as a blank canvas again if I want. 

It's easy enough to create. Here's what you need: 

*1x4s (cut these to your desired width)
*Trim pieces (or more 1x4x or even 1x2s)
-Nail gun/screws
-Blank letters (mine are here
-Pom garland (mine is here
-Scrap Burlap

First, create your base. 
I cut my boards to my desired width and used other scrap pieces to screw along the backs to hold them together. I had some scrap thin pieces of trim left from a roadside haul and used those to trim out around my sign using my nail gun and a few screws. Imperfect is ok here :) 

I painted my inside boards white & distressed. 

For the letters, my sweet 13 year old painted them in an ombre blue finish and I'm obsessed with how they turned out. I used a touch of hot glue to fix them to the sign. 

The 'hello' banner was made with scrap burlap cut into triangles and ironed and then glued to twine. I used white vinyl for my wording. 

For some added fun, I strung a cute felt ball garland above the banner. I love the texture & interest it gives it! 

I wasn't going for a seaside vibe but I'm definitely getting hints of it with this little project. I'm loving having some beach-inspire hues & texture to welcome spring in. I'm actually kinda sad that it'll be coming down soon for summer. 

I'll show you the whole spring mantle in just a couple days. I went full force with a gathered/beachy vibe and it's been so calming to have up during these crazy quarantine days. 

Have a wonderful weekend, I'll be back with the full set-up soon!!! 

February 10, 2020

Winter to Valentine Mantle Update

After Christmas ended and decor started filtering back to 'normal', I decided I wanted to keep my mantle still on the cozy/winter side of things. 

Since most of the Christmas mantle, (you can see more about it here) was filled with neutrals and then pops of Christmas trees & red, I figured it would be somewhat easy to add a few pieces to transform it from festive to cozy. 

And since I'm terrible at blogging lately, I full on forgot to take a photo of the 'winter' version but really only one thing changed. 
So let's chat a cozy, wintery, Valentine mantle, shall we? 

So for a Valentin-y, cozy feel, the two sides of the mantle were changed. 
Down came the reindeer & trees and up went stacks of aged books, brass candlesticks and a few metallic pieces. 

February 09, 2020

DIY Preschool Valentines {You Color My Heart Happy}

How is it time to already be talking about Valentines?! 

I wanted to pop on and share our DIY valentines for this year, preschool version :)