Fall Front Porch Update

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I've been paying so much attention to the interior of my home for the past year that I've admittedly left the exterior neglected--and it showed.  As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression," and I don't think anyone would have looked twice at my little front porch unless it was to point out the fact that all of my plants were dead.  Now that it's somewhat beginning to feel like fall in Texas, I took advantage of the cooler weather a couple of weekends ago and gave my front porch a mini-makeover--and don't think for a second that spray paint wasn't included! 

I've partnered again with my most beloved spray paint brand, Krylon® to give my front porch the update it so well deserved. 

- Large planter of your choice
Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Matte Paprika
Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Satin Ivory
- Painter's Tape
- Plastic trash bag

1. Make sure your planter is dry and clean of any dirt or debris. Before spray painting, be sure to read the product label for proper preparation, application and safety instructions. 

2. In a well-ventilated area, spray your planter with your first color--I used Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Satin Ivory --and let it dry.  Since I was painting a dark colored planter with a lighter colored paint, it required a couple of coats for complete coverage.  The Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer dries fairly quickly, so it should be safe to handle after about 20 minutes. 

3. To create a "dipped" effect, I covered the top portion of the planter in plastic and used painter's tape around it so that I got a straight line.  I also used a level to make sure that my tape was straight all the way around the planter. 

4. Using your second color, in my case Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Matte Paprika, spray the bottom portion of your planter.  Again, this required a couple of coats, but after 20 minutes, it was dry!  I let my planter sit for a day before I planted my fall mums, and then voila! 

I have a collection of random pots in my garage, so I pulled this off-white pot/sauce combination from the pile and played around with Krylon® Spray 'n Peel spray paint in Aztec Gold Metallic, which is their customizable, removable line of paint.

- Small pot of your choice
- Painter's tape
The Aztec Gold Metallic is so pretty and great for fall because it's a more muted gold with just the right amount of sparkle.  I'm tempted to cover everything with it!  Again, be sure to read the application directions closely, as different paint techniques can vary. Krylon® Spray 'n Peel requires one quick, light coat, followed by four to five heavier coats, letting the paint dry for five minutes in between coats. I did learn that its best not to paint a full design with Spray n' Peel, since the paint is formulated to peel off.  Instead, I simply taped off the rim of the pot and painted the bottom portion, and I couldn't be happier with the end result. I wanted to peel off a little piece on the back of the pot, so I could show you just how removable it is. The Krylon® Spray 'n Peel is perfect for projects like this, because in the spring I can easily peel off the Aztec Gold Metallic and spray it with a bright color, like Matte Blue Surge for a simple change.

With the addition of some coordinating outdoor pillows and a new door mat, I'm quite pleased with how my mini-front porch-make over turned out.  The whole process only took a couple of hours, and was the perfect reminder that a little bit of spray paint can really fix just about anything. Happy fall, y'all!

2016 No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Monday, October 24, 2016

Earlier this morning on Austin's FOX7, I shared my no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas for this year, and as I've said before, a couple of them are probably my most favorite pumpkins yet! (Well, in addition to last year's Hobnail Milk Glass Pumpkin and 2014's Studded Pumpkin and Duct Tape Pumpkin).  Read below for more information about each idea.  If you missed this morning's segment, or aren't in the Austin area, scroll to the bottom to watch!

//  clock-wise from top left // 

Golden Pineapple Pumpkin - Hands down, my most favorite.  I shared the full tutorial yesterday, so you can get all of the details here.

Ribbon Bats - I saw this idea in the most recent Good Housekeeping, and thought (a)  it's perfect for Austin! and (b) it's so easy!  I simply cut black ribbon into 5.5" pieces, tied them in knots, and used black-tipped straight pins to put them on the pumpkin.

Marbled Mini Pumpkins - Would you believe these are balloons?!  I found marbled balloons at Michaels, cut off the ends and stretched them around these little micro pumpkins.  These would be great to put at a place setting.

Cactus Pumpkin - Another favorite! I shared the full DIY earlier this month on the blog, and you can get all the details here.

Disco Ball Pumpkin - All of the sudden, I've got 'Stayin' Alive' stuck in my head.  For this 70's inspired gourd, I simply spray painted the pumpkin silver, and glued large, silver sequins all over.

Happy Hallo-Wine Pumpkin - Scrapbook letters are one of the best DIY supplies out there. They're so versatile, and can be used way beyond the scrapbook.

Tissue Paper Pumpkin - Taking a cue from Pinterest, these tissue paper pumpkins seem to be everywhere, and they're also extremely easy to make.  With your favorite tissue paper and some Mod-Podge, you can quickly create a super fab pumpkin in no-time. I used some darling Sugar Paper for Target tissue paper that I had leftover from Christmas and painted the stem with some gold paint to finish it off. So easy!

Mirrored Pumpkin - I call this my "Lady Gaga Pumpkin." For some reason it just reminds of me of her!  I spray painted the pumpkin black and adorned it with some self-adhesive mirrored triangles from Hobby Lobby.  Quick, easy, and super chic.

For more fun, fall decorating ideas be sure to check out my Pinterest board.

DIY: Golden Pineapple Pumpkin

Sunday, October 23, 2016

As  I mentioned in my previous pumpkin post, when coming up with new no-carve decorating ideas this year, my goal was just create my most favorite things--out of pumpkins.  Figuring out how to make Sauvignon Blanc or NoNo (my cat) out of a pumpkin seemed way too hard, so the next thing that came to mind was, duh, BRASS PINEAPPLES.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I'm more-than-slightly obsessed with them and that my collection has grown infinitely over the past year. Creating a 'brass' pineapple out of a pumpkin was the perfect way to add some "fall" to my decor, and it was super easy to make!...once I figured out how to make it...

- Faux pumpkin
- Poster board
- Scissors
- Hot glue gun + hot glue
- Gold spray paint

On  white poster board, I drew free-hand three different sized fronds: large, medium, and small.  Once I had the sizes drawn and cut, I used them as stencils to create the rest of the fronds.  I ended up using 3 large, 5 medium, and 6 small ones.  For reference, I made the tallest frond almost as tall as the actual pumpkin, and then scaled down from there to make the others.  The size of your fronds will depend on the size of your pumpkin.

Starting with the largest fronds, I hot glued them around the stem of the pumpkin, slightly overlaying them as I went.  Once all of the larger fronds were glued on, I followed with the medium, again overlaying them, and finished with the smaller ones.  After they were all glued on, and I felt that they were secure, I slightly bent each frond outward a bit to create the pineapple look.  Finish with a couple of coats of gold spray paint, and ta-da!  The golden pineapple of my fall dreams!  You might have to go back over the fronds a couple of times to make sure you've gotten in all of the crevices.  I couldn't be more pleased with the final outcome, and since it's a faux pumpkin, I look forward to setting it out for many falls to come!


Friday, October 14, 2016

One of the things I look forward to every year is, undoubtedly, decorating pumpkins.  However, after doing it for so many years, coming up with fresh ideas was proving itself to be more difficult!  So, I just thought to myself, "What are my favorite things, and how can I make that out of a pumpkin?" I can't seem to get enough of succulents and cacti right now, so immediately I thought "cactus pumpkin!" and here we are. 

I'm going to apologize in advance for not taking any 'progress pics,' but, admittedly, I kind of made this one up as I went along.  Sorry! 

- Small faux pumpkin 
- Small terracotta pot (or pot of your choice!)
- Light green acrylic paint
- Darker green acrylic paint
- Low-Temp Hot glue gun + glue sticks
- Hot pink felt 
- Straight pin

1. Plug in your glue gun.  Set aside.

2. Using the darker green paint, paint your pumpkin completely.  

3. With the lighter green paint (you can also just mix the darker green with white paint), highlight the ridges of the pumpkin to create a 'natural effect.'  If the two colors kind of blend together, that's fine! 

4. Once the pumpkin is completely dry, grab your glue gun to make the spines of the cactus.  Along the ridges that you painted the lighter color, squeeze a small dot or pearl of hot glue and pull away, so that there's a small peak in the glue.  Repeat all the way down the ridge of the pumpkin, and then repeat all the way around.  This took a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly. After all of the hot gluing, there will likely be "hot glue strings" everywhere, so just trim those off with a pair of scissors. 

5.  With the hot pink felt, cut a 1.5" diameter circle, and then cut small notches all the way around the edge of the circle, so that it looks like rays of a sun.  Fold the circle into quarters, and then using the straight pin, pin to the pumpkin near the stem. 

6.  Place your pumpkin in the terracotta pot, and you're done! 

If you have any questions--since I know these instructions are kind of tricky!--please feel free to contact me. And, stay tuned for my next pumpkin DIY, because it just might be my favorite pumpkin of all time...bold words, I know.  Any guesses?!?!

Easy Labor Day Entertaining Ideas

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Earlier this week on KXAN's lifestyle show, Studio512, I shared some of my recent DIYs that you can easily make this week with things you likely already have at home -- just in time for outdoor Labor Day celebrations!  Click the links below for more details and step-by-step instructions for all projects featured.  And for more DIY videos, be sure to head over to my YouTube channel!

- Ombré Drink Dispenser
- Dipped Basket Planter 
- Burlap Table Runner
- Wine Bottle Tiki Torches

Happy entertaining!

DIY: Giant Jenga Set

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pumpkin spice [fill-in-whatever-product-here] is starting to hit the shelves, so that means fall must be upon us! And in Texas, fall is synonymous with football, which means it's finally tailgate season again! If you're like me, I look forward to the tailgates as much as I do the games. OK, that's a lie.  Half the time I don't even know what team we're playing, but I do know that there will be good food, cold drinks, and lots of fun.

To kick this year's tailgates up a notch, I've partnered with my favorite spray paint brand, Krylon®, to create a few simple DIYs that will be sure to set your tailgate above the rest.

- 54 pieces of  wood (1.5" x 2.5" x 10")
- Krylon Shimmer Metallic Spray Paint in Candy Apple Red 
- Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint in 18 kt. Gold
- Krylon 18 kt. Gold Leafing Pen 
- Burlap
- Painter's Tape
- Twine
- Hot glue gun + glue

While I fancy myself a DIYer, I'll be the first to admit I'm no carpenter.  I had no idea that nominal sizes of lumber, weren't the actual sizes!  For example, a '2 x 3' is actually, '1.5" x 2.5"' -- which is the perfect size lumber for this particular project.  Standard lumber lengths, come in 6', 8', 10', etc...and for this project you'll need 45' of worth lumber.  The kind people at the hardware store should be able to cut it down to the size (1.5" x 2.5" x 10") you'll need and send you on your way!

Before painting, it's important to give each piece a quick sanding to make sure they're smooth and splinter free.  After sanding, give them a wipe down with a dry rag to remove any leftover dust.

I laid down a plastic drop cloth in my garage to ensure that I didn't turn my entire garage floor red & gold (it's been hot pink before...don't worry...).  I separated the blocks into two groups of 27 and started spraying the red first.  Don't forget, that when you're spray painting, be sure to always read the product label for proper preparation, application and safety instructions.

Originally, I painted the block long side-down with Krylon Shimmer Metallic in Candy Apple Red (as pictured), but then realized that took a bit longer to paint all six sides of each block.  For the blocks painted with Krylon Premium Metallic in 18 kt. Gold, I lined them up like rows of dominoes and that process was much quicker! Fortunately, spray paint dries extremely quick on wood, so by the time I finished painting all of the blocks, the blocks I started with would be dry, and I could touch them up and be done!

The steamy Texas heat also probably helped with their quick dry time.  Remember, that in cooler and damper weather, spray paint takes longer to dry.  I let all of the blocks completely dry, not touching each other, for a day in the garage, and then took to the red ones with one of my favorite DIY supplies: Krylon's 18 kt. Gold Leafing Pen.  For these, I wrote some of your typical tailgate sayings, but you could get creative with whatever you want!  "Truth," "Dare," "Take a Sip!," etc...

While you have the spray paint out, a quick and easy DIY you can add to your tailgate is a striped burlap table runner.  You can either cut plain burlap (12" x 6'), or purchase a pre-made runner at your local craft store for just a couple of dollars.  With my trusty blue painter's tape (I seriously buy this stuff in bulk...), I measured out two stripes and made sure the tape was tightly adhered to the burlap.

One quick coat of of Krylon's Shimmer Metallic in Candy Apple Red was enough for this project, and I was done!  Much like wood, burlap dries quickly, so there's not much waiting around time.  This project took less than 10 minutes, tops.  Aside from tailgates, a burlap table runner is the perfect addition to any back yard party or fall tablescape.

And, why stop at burlap table runners?!  A couple of years ago, I shared how to make the easiest painted burlap pennant banner, and these might be even easier!  You simply cut burlap into 6" - 8" triangles, and then hot glue them along the top to a piece (10') of twine.  Once assembled, I just alternated spray painting the flags red and gold, and voila!  You're tailgate ready!

Now that you have all of these darling DIYs to show off, it's time to tailgate!  The Jenga set, burlap runner and pennant banner are all easily transportable, so whether it's a home or an away game, your tailgate will be the talk of the parking lot!

DIY: Dipped Basket Planter

Giving things I already have lying around the house a new look with just a quick coat of spray paint is, without question, one of my favorite things to do.   With today's DIY, I did just that.  The entire project took less than10 minutes, and you likely already have everything you need to make it right at home! 

- Small basket (If you don't have one at home, you can easily find one at a thrift store for around $1!)

Simply cover the top 1/3 - 1/2 of your basket with painter's tape.  Be sure to cover the rim of the basket as well.  You don't need to worry about covering the inside. 

 As always, in a well-ventilated area, spray the exposed part of the basket with spray paint.  I did a couple of coats to ensure I got in as many of the nooks and crannies as possible.  For most projects, I would tell you let your paint dry in between coats, but this project doesn't require that, so you can immediately follow your first coat with another. 

Let your basket dry outside for about 30 minutes or so and then remove the tape.  Place your favorite real or faux plant in your new fancy planter, and enjoy!  If you're using a real plant, make sure you use a plastic plant liner so water doesn't seep through when you water it.