Gap x Darby Smart Gift Wrapping Set

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung, and you've been humming Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" since you put away the Thanksgiving leftovers.  And while it is the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful.  Let's face it, there's not enough eggnog in the world that can help get you through that To-Do list, and the last thing you need to worry about is how you're going to wrap that tower of gifts that's been piling up in the spare bedroom.  Enter: Gap + Darby Smart Gift Wrapping Set!

To me, Gap represents style, accessibility, and ease and we all know that Darby Smart is my go-to spot for easy and chic DIYs!  The pairing of the two brands is the perfect marriage, and their collaborative kit is sure to impress anyone on your list--and make you feel like you've just won Christmas.

The set includes: bakers twine, silver glitter washi tape, a silver metallic pen, three wooden gift tags, black and white Darby Smart designer gift tags, and a roll of kraft wrapping paper (12in. x 7ft.)

To wrap the 'Just Labs' desk calendar that I get my dad every. single. year [don't worry, I've gotten him so many, that we're way past the element of surprise], I used the silver pen and drew little snowflakes on the kraft paper.  I don't claim to be an artist, so don't judge! But hey, no two snowflakes are alike, right?  To tape up my gift, I used the silver glitter washi tape and then tied it off with the red and white bakers twine.  I adore the little wooden tags and couldn't resist an opportunity to use my trusty ol' wood burner. You can snag a wood burner here, if you don't already have one in your crafting arsenal.  Bottle brush trees are one of my favorites around Christmas time, so I hot-glued a teeny tiny one to the twine as a final touch.  To give it a little extra shine, I used the silver metallic pen on the bristles so it looks like snow.  Ta-da!!!    

To snag a gift wrapping set for your own little workshop, head to your nearest Gap store, as they're launching today! If you're not close to a Gap, you can still pick up a set here.  And if you're feeling a little uninspired after all of the holiday hu-bub, head on over to Darby Smart for some quick and easy ideas on how to utilize your set.  And once you've wrapped the cutest little gift this side of the North Pole, be sure to share your idea here!

And if you don't have any gifts to wrap yet, I've designed some Darby Smart kits of my own that make awesome gifts...if I do say so ma'self ;)  Check out my stamped spoons, and ring dishes here.

Top Ten No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Earlier this week I was back at FOX 7's Good Day Austin to share this year's no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas. This annual segment has easily become my favorite because pumpkins prove themselves year after year to be the perfect canvas for any project--especially faux pumpkins! Whether it's paint, sequins, gild or glitter, the options are endless when it comes to no-carve decorating.  Click the video to find out my favorite ways to dress them up, and read below for full tutorials on each project featured!

Paint Pens
As I mentioned in the segment, "paint pens are your best friends!"  The options are really endless when it comes to paint pens, as they're great for embellishing literally anything.  This tribal design was inspired by the very talented Kara of A Kailo Chic Life. She has a ton of great Halloween entertaining ideas!

Chalky Paint Pumpkin
Last year I shared my Chalkboard Paint Pumpkin DIY, but this year's pumpkin is a little more muted using Krylon's Chalky Finish Paint in Misty Gray.  For the tribal design, I just used a trusty white paint pen, and voila!

Marbleized Pumpkin
Next to the Hobnail Milk Glass Pumpkin, this is another favorite way to decorate pumpkins!  First, I spray painted this pumpkin white, let it completely dry, and then went back over it with Krylon's Marbelizing Spray in Black Lava.  As I also mentioned in the segment, this paint takes a bit of getting used to, but it's super fun to play with and creates an awesome effect on your pumpkin.  I can't wait to try it out on other projects!

Hobnail Milk Glass Pumpkin
This one definitely is favorite for this year!!! I shared the full tutorial earlier this week, so be sure to check it out here.

Place Settings
Spray painted pumpkins or gourds are the perfect addition to any fall tablescape, and can also serve as favors for your guests to take home.  Check out my full tutorial from last Thanksgiving here.

Pumpkin Drink Dispenser
Just like my favored Watermelon Drink Dispenser from last summer, a pumpkin can serve the same purpose!  If you don't have a spigot for your pumpkin, fear not!  Simply take the bag out of a box of wine, and place it in your pumpkin! Plus, the bag keeps your wine or cocktail pumpkin-free.  Because let's face it, actual pumpkins don't taste like that PSL that you know and love...You can read the tutorial here.

Bat Pumpkins
I'm obsessed with this little guy!  Even though he looks pretty ticked off, he's just so cute!  While I used scrap book paper and a hot glue gun, here's a tutorial that's a little more 'kid-friendly' for your little ones! Oh! And while you can't very well tell in this photo, his little eyes glow in the dark, thanks to Krylon's Glowz spray paint! Spooooooky! 

And in case you missed some of my favorite no-carve ideas from last year, be sure to check them out at the links below!

Studded Pumpkin
See the full tutorial here.

Sequined Pumpkin
See the full tutorial here.

Duct Tape Pumpkin
See the full tutorial here.

Happy pumpkin decorating!!!

DIY: Hobnail Milk Glass Pumpkin

Monday, October 26, 2015

For years I've collected milk glass, particularly hobnail milk glass, so this year I decided to try my hand at creating a hobnail pumpkin!  Admittedly, once I started on the one million tiny dots, I thought to myself, "I've made a huge mistake!," thinking that I would never finish.  However, once I got in a rhythm, I finished this little DIY in less than 30 minutes, and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.  Read below to find out how you can recreate this vintage inspired pumpkin to add to your fall decor.
- Faux Pumpkin 
- Krylon Short Cuts Spray Paint [Gloss White]
- Tulip PUFFY Dimensional Fabric Paint [White]

In a well ventilated area, using Krylon's extremely easy to handle Short Cuts spray paint, paint your pumpkin a high gloss white.  I'm obsessed with these smaller cans, as they're perfect for small projects like this, and for some reason I almost feel like they have better coverage.  Dependent upon the color of your faux pumpkin, you might need two to three coats.  Make sure to let your pumpkin dry between coats to avoid drips.

After your pumpkin has completely dried, pick it up by the stem to move it to a work area.  I made sure to have some actual hobnail glass nearby so that I could properly mimic the pattern of the dots.  Using fabric paint, which has the perfect teeny-tiny tip for this project, I just started down the middle of the first 'panel.'  Once I had one vertical row of dots, I started filling them in on either side, until I completed one full panel.  While this definitely looks daunting, I promise this goes much quicker once you get the hang of it!

Once you've completed one panel, move on to the next.  It's important to hold your pumpkin by the stem, and be mindful that fabric paint takes an extra long time to dry.  But fear not, if you smudge anything, you can easily wipe off any mess-ups with a Q-tip and do it again.

I let my pumpkin dry for a full 24 hours before picking it up to ensure that all of the little dots had completely dried.  If you notice that the stem has paint rubbed off from handling, simply just go back with a small paint brush and white acrylic paint to touch it up.

Check out my live tutorial on KXAN's Studio512 by clicking the video below!

DIY: Glittered Pumpkin Place Card Holders

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ahhh!  Fall is in the air!  To me, fall signifies the beginning of the holiday season, which in my home, is synonymous with 'the entertaining season.'  With so many occasions to celebrate, it's easy to get overwhelmed with everything that hosting entails, but it doesn't have to be!  I've shared this project on Good Day Austin and other DIY sites, but I realized I've never shared it here! This simple and festive DIY is perfect for any autumnal gathering and is certain to wow your guests--and you get to use glitter [win!]  Additionally, when the party's over, everyone can take theirs home as a small keepsake for the season.  

- Small pumpkins
- Painter's Tape
- Gold craft paint
- Small paintbrush
- Gold glitter
- Beading wire
- Scissors
- White card stock (or heavy weight paper)

With painter's tape, tape off each pumpkin about halfway, making sure to firmly press down into all of the crevices, so that your paint won't bleed through.  You can make some pumpkins horizontal, others diagonal -- get creative! 

Once you've tape off your pumpkin, paint the bottom portion gold with craft paint.  This might require a couple of coats to fully cover your pumpkin.  

With the last layer of paint still wet, generously sprinkle gold glitter onto the painted portion.  I even rolled my pumpkin in the excess glitter to make sure it was good and sparkly!  The wet paint will act as glue and the glitter will securely adhere once the paint is dry.

After your pumpkin has fully dried, gently tap the pumpkin to knock off any excess glitter.   Using either the end of your paint brush or a pencil, tightly wrap beading wire around the end.  Wrap a section a little longer than the length of the pumpkin stem. 

The coiled wire should perfectly slip onto your stem, leaving a little extra wire for you to bend to hold your place card.  To make the place card, cut white card stock into 1 in. x 2 in.  rectangles. Write  (or print) the names of each of your guests on the cards, and place them into the holders.  And voila! You're done! Happy Fall, y'all!

Antiques Week Recap + Shop Chairish

Monday, October 12, 2015

[ SHOP MY LOOK  //  Hat  //  Bandana  //  Fanny Pack  //  Jeans ]

Texas Antiques Week has come and gone and what a great show it was!  I didn't get to spend as much time out there as usual, but I managed to squeeze in a couple of day trips and made it home with some goodies!  If you've never attended Antiques Week or haven't been Round Top -- GO!!! While it can be extremely overwhelming, due to the millions of antiques that stretch down miles and miles of Texas highway, it's so much fun to get out there and hunt for 'treasures'.  If you missed my post last fall, you can check it out here for my tips and tricks to have a stress-free, successful antiquing experience -- and go ahead and mark the Spring 2016 show on your calendar! 

This year was exceptionally fun, not only was I on the hunt for some new pieces for my home, but because I had such a great time curating pieces for my newly opened Chairish shop!!!  I mentioned Chairish in my previous post, and hail it to be one of the best go-to sites for all things vintage decor. So, if you weren't able to make it out to Antiques Week, fear not!  I did the scouring and salvaging for you!  Shop my finds below or head on over to Chairish and check out ALL of their amazing offerings. 

Antlers upon antlers at Marburger Farm.
I need him in my life. Real bad. Awkwardly pets.
That bar cart = rawr.
So much vintage goodness! 

Living Room Update

Monday, September 14, 2015

This November, I will have lived in my house for SIX years!  While it's definitely been through it's fair share of 'updates,' I can't seem to leave well enough alone, and feel like it's time for yet another mini-makeover -- starting with my living room.  I'm wanting a more minimalistic look, well, in comparison to what I have now!  I realize that my version of 'minimalistic' is most people's version of 'way too much stuff.'  And while I still love me some color, I'm wanting to tone it down a bit, with more subtle hues (i.e. swapping out my current teal chairs for these navy beauties).

Luckily, my itch to re-do everything comes at the perfect time, since Texas Antique Weekend kicks off this weekend.  I've done my research, and have my shopping list ready!  Here's hoping I have more luck at the fall show than in the spring!

If you're not able to hit up Antique Weekend this year, a great online resource for fabulous vintage finds is Chairish.  It's almost like you're at Round Top, but you don't have to drive, wander in the heat, or deal with masses of people--so basically, it's awesome.  Their selection ranges from furniture to home decor and art, and it's chock full of 'curator-approved' treasures--like those navy and chrome chairs and that darling little brass stool. One of the things I love best about Chairish, is that you can shop by location and pick-up local items for free!

All of this being said, stay tuned for more room updates.  And be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest to check my progress!  Hopefully by the end of the year, I'll be able to have a whole brand new Home Tour to show y'all.  Fingers crossed! 


My Favorite Gold Spray Paints

Friday, July 24, 2015

I get the question alot,  "What's your favorite gold spray paint?"  And while I like to think all spray paints are created equal, I definitely have my 'go-tos" for various projects.  Today I'm talking about my top-three favorites as well as sharing some helpful spray painting tips

Montana Gold by far has the best quality and and coverage of all spray paints I've tried, but I'll be 100% honest with you and say that their gold isn't my #1 favorite.  However, it's perfect for projects when you want a more muted, brassier gold.  I used 'Goldchrome' on this pig figurine, and it perfectly achieved the vintage brass effect I was looking for.  I've also used it on draw pulls and knobs for the same look.  Note that Montana Gold spray paints take a bit longer to completely dry than most paints.  I recommend letting your object sit for at least 24 hours before touching.  

A tried and true favorite that rarely lets me down, Krylon's Metallic spray paint is the perfect shade of gold (even though it says 'brass'!), goes on smoothly and dries quickly. I've used this for both my beloved bar cart, and this darling little peace-sign figurine.  With this paint, I recommend doing two coats, allowing for the first coat to dry completely before applying the second.

I love this spray paint!  It's a much brighter gold than others I've tried, and goes on like a champ.  Like Krylon's other products, it's smooth and has a quicker drying time than most.  I wanted the deer mount in my bedroom to be extra fabulous, so I used this when painting the antlers.


Friendly Spray Painting Tips & Reminders: 
  • ALWAYS spray paint in a well ventilated area.  
  • Be conscious of what's around you as your painting, as spray paint "dust" tends to travel [We won't talk about the time I spray painted a white shelf in too close of proximity to my black car.  Ok, well I just talked about it, and it was really dumb.  Thanks Mercedes Benz of Boerne for resolving that issue...That was a fun one to explain to the dealership!]
  • Spray paint takes longer to dry in colder temperatures.
  • Be patient and make sure your project is completely dry before you handle.  Otherwise, you risk fingerprints and smudges that are hard to cover up. 
What are some of your favorite spray paints to use? Share them along with your favorite spray painted projects in the comments below!  

AND don't forget to check out my home tour on Joss & Main and shop the looks.  There are some insanely adorable items at insanely affordable prices up for grabs!  My wish list is getting longer by the minute....The sale ends Tuesday, July 28th at 10:00am CST, so hurry hurry!