Friday, September 15, 2017

DIY Striped Wall

I jumped on the bandwagon and striped a wall in my home and I'm so glad I did!  This small wall is in the nursery.  I was turning a guest room into a nursery and wanted to do it for less than $500 (see that post here).  Since my budget was so small I had little money to spend on details but I wanted the nursery to stand out.  I decided to paint stripes on one of the walls and it turned out great.

This is such an easy DIY project that you can complete in a day!

This is the boring before picture.  This is the smallest bedroom in our house and was being used as the guestroom so I never put much work into it.

I wanted the stripes to be the same size as the baseboard so I measured that first.  Then I used painters tape to block off the sections I wanted to paint white.

I put Press and Seal along the ground under the wall so that any drips of paint wouldn't get on the tile.  This keeps me from having unnecessary cleanups from drips or spills.  I also use the area to put my paint can and brushes on.

This is the end result and I love it!  It took me a few hours from start to finish including setup and cleanup.  I already had brushes, painters tape and the latex paint on hand so it didn't cost me any money!

Please comment with any tips or suggestions you may have about painting a striped wall!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Totally Doable Backyard Wedding Ideas

Are you planning a backyard wedding? 

If so, you have to check out these amazing backyard wedding ideas from a wedding we hosted at our farm!

Can you believe this cake was homemade by the bride's friend who had little experience making cakes?

Me neither!  It turned out so beautiful and looked professionally made.  Opt to make your own cake or have a friend make it.  You could even turn it into a girls evening with friends and relatives where you all help make the cake.  They are much easier to make than you would think and you can save a TON of money by doing it yourself. 

Is that a water trough?

You bet it is!  When having a backyard wedding you need to put the drinks in ice to keep them cold.  Water troughs are a perfect solution to keeping a large number of drinks cold and they are easy to come by.  We had this one that we use for cows sometimes but you could always borrow one or even check your local Craigslist for someone selling a used one.

Looking for alternative seating?

The bride and groom used straw bales as seating.  You have to check out the post all about these here.

Make your arch or gazebo memorable!

Decorate arches or gazebos with sheer curtains from IKEA.  These extra long sheer curtains were $4 each from IKEA however I already had them on hand from an old bed canopy I made (see a picture of that canopy here).

Create coordinating custom labels and signs!

Unify all of your design elements by creating your own coordinating custom labels and signs.  This bride used the same fonts throughout as well a shimmering gold paper on top of black paper.  From the invitations that were sent out to the labels for the food to the sign about how to share pics, all of it matched and it was all DIY.  It's small details like this that add to the wow factor of your wedding!

Wondering how to serve your guests food without breaking the bank?

You can wow your guests with a nacho bar!  This nacho bar had all the toppings you could want.  What I loved the most about it was that I could go back for seconds!  There was such a variety of toppings that your second plate could be completely different than your first!

Who doesn't love a popcorn bar at weddings?

Provide your guests with not just popcorn but lots of goodies they can mix in to customize their bag of popcorn.  From candies to seasonings guests love creating their own mix.

Don't forget the bags!  The bride bought white bags and just sent them through the printer to be customized with the coordinating font.  This was little work and minimal cost with another wow detail!

The bride decorated the concrete ground by spreading rose petals.  These gave for a nice effect all evening long.

Don't forget the lights!

The lighting is everything when it starts to get dark out.  String lights are simple to hang and are budget friendly.  Check out our post about using Christmas lights at your wedding here.

You may have enough Christmas lights in your attic so that you don't have to buy any.  If you don't already have some try borrowing them from friends and relatives but make sure they label them with their names.  If you are planning long enough in advance you may even be able to buy them right after Christmas when they are significantly discounted.

Having a backyard wedding is totally doable and you don't have to sacrifice on style to have the wedding of your dreams!

Homemade Butter and Buttermilk

Making homemade butter and buttermilk is so easy!

I get 5 sticks of butter and 2 cups of buttermilk anytime I use this recipe.

All you need is heavy whipping cream and an electric mixer.  I buy the larger cartons at Walmart for about $4.50 each.  I pour the heavy whipping cream in the electric mixer and cover it with a towel.  You definitely want to cover it or it will splatter EVERYWHERE!  Trust me on this one!

I slowly move the speed up to high then I let it mix for right about 15 minutes, sometimes a minute less or a minute more.  You know it's done when the butter is completely separated from the buttermilk.

At this point you start shaping the butter into sticks.  Once they are the shape you want them run them quickly under very cold water as to help them keep their shape. 

This is also the time you can choose to make a flavored butter.  My son likes for me to take about a sticks amount and put into a small glass bowl and mix in Splenda and cinnamon.  He calls it "dessert butter" and spreads it on toast.  I put a lid on it and store it in the refrigerator.

The liquid at the bottom of the bowl is the buttermilk.  It is so great to use in recipes.  I substitute buttermilk for milk often in recipes.

I store the buttermilk in a mason jar in the refrigerator and I put the sticks of butter in glass butter dishes or cover them in aluminum foil and keep them in the refrigerator.

To buy 4 sticks of unsalted butter at Walmart costs $4.  This recipe costs $4.50 for 5 sticks of butter plus 2 cups of buttermilk.

Not only is it cheaper to make your own butter but it is fresh, you can flavor it however you want and you get fresh buttermilk!

Give this a try and comment to let me know if you love making homemade butter and buttermilk as much as I do! 

Decorating Straw Bales For Your Wedding

We hosted a beautiful wedding at our farm this summer.  The bride did an outstanding job using and decorating the straw bales.  Straw bales are an affordable seating option for your guests.  Since we live on a farm we use straw bales on a regular basis.  We bought these for $2 per bale from a Craigslist ad.

The bride put white linens over the bales and arranged them as seating and a table.  She situated the bales in a such a way that they created a U shape and that space was used as a dance floor.

Each bale that was used for seating was covered in a white linen.  These linens were obtained for free by just calling local hotels and asking them if they had any white sheets that they were getting rid of.  You can't beat free!  I doubt anyone could tell they were hotel sheets because they looked great covering the bales. 

The bales that were used as tables had a scrap piece of the sheets run across it and had a decorated tray placed on top.  The trays were just trays that the bride and her friends had at home already.  They were filled with greenery, vases, candlesticks, candles and other decorative items.

Having not sat on these one would think they were not comfortable but surprisingly they were!  They were a great height and the sheets kept the straw from being scratchy or uncomfortable.

The arrangement of the bales was key.  She made each set of 5 bales to be an intimate setting for a group of people while at the same time putting the sets in the shape of a U so that they lined the dance floor.  There was no actual dance floor, just grass, but that didn't matter because the placement of the bales made it clear where the dance floor was.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

DIY Faux Floating Shelves

After living in our home for about a year now I decided to start working on smaller projects for the kids' rooms. One of those projects was hanging shelves in my daughter's room. I didn't want to use the usual metal shelf brackets because I don't like that look so I decided to use L brackets. 

This is what the wall looked like before the shelves. We just used screws that were already there when we moved in to hang stuff and it just doesn't look good.

I painted a few pieces of wood that my husband cut to size. It took two coats of white. You could get wood that is thicker and make the shelves look a bit more grand but we didn't want to spend the extra money for thicker wood because our daughter doesn't care about that. 

I meticulously measured where I wanted the shelves and the L brackets. Then my husband hung them. He screwed the brackets into the shelves themselves for added support. 

Now the way my daughter decorated the shelves is not my taste but it frees up so much space because her trinkets are displayed and off her dresser and end table.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Use a Gutter as a Window Box

You all know how excited I get about a cheap DIY project.  I wanted window boxes under the windows that are in the front of the house.  Originally I was going to have my other half build them out of wood but then they would be heavy.  I wanted a lighter option that didn't require too much drilling into the vinyl siding.  This was the best option I came up with.  I bought a 16ft piece of gutter. two left caps and two right caps, as well as 4 gutter brackets.  These were all found in the same aisle at Menards.

My husband cut the gutter to the size of the window.  He used two of the brackets above for each gutter to connect it to the house.  He put the caps on each end of the gutter.

I filled each gutter with expanding insulating foam.  Each one took a whole bottle of it.  Once it dried I stuck fake flowers in it.

The whole project cost about $75 with $48 of that being the fake flowers.  I could have saved money had I bought the fake flowers from Dollar Tree however I bought them from Hobby Lobby and they were kind of expensive now that I think about it.  Oh well!  I think the end result is pretty.  You don't even notice they are gutters!