This Old Colonial Home

Filling our house with love and a lot of DIY


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Happy New Year!

Well hello, old friends! It certainly has been awhile. I’ve been wanting to get back to blogging, but I haven’t had time to write and honestly I didn’t have anything to write about. The baby has kept us both pretty busy these past few months. Our home projects have been traded in for diaper changes, feedings, baths, sleepless nights, and snuggles.children-distraction-001I’m certainly not complaining. Our little one truly is a blessing. But I do miss decorating and DIYing and sharing it with you on this little blog.

So for now I figured I’d play catch up and share some of my favorite Fall and Christmas decor that I managed to put together this year. (My apologies if you’ve already seen some of these on Instagram.)fall-living-room-decor fall-vignette-coffee-table fall-mantel-displaychristmas-tree-chalkboard christmas-stockings-staircase christmas-pillows-and-signs christmas-tree-reflection christmas-tree-presentsAlso, I just had to share some gifts I received for Christmas. Check out this crafting apron!crafting-apron party-craft-apronAnd how cute are these chalkboard mugs?!chalkboard-mugs(Thanks, family. You get me!)

Hopefully in 2016 we’ll get back to some more projects. On my wish list: new carpet and couch for our family room, a DIY coffee table with storage, and maybe a new front door. Hey, a girl can daydream!

Wishing you a prosperous, productive, and peaceful New Year!

 

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No Sew Placemat Pillow

When it comes to sewing, my skills are pretty limited. I can reattach buttons and … nope, that’s it. I hope to change this one day and actually learn how to use a sewing machine. But until that day comes I’ll be using no sew methods that I come across. Exhibit A:No sew placemat pillow You guys, I actually made this little pillow! (Patting myself on the back.) Can you believe these are actually placemats from the dollar store? This was such an easy and inexpensive project.

Let me start at the beginning.

I had originally bought this placemat at our local dollar store thinking it would look cute in a frame for Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving placemat with turkey and pie Then I came across this lovely pillow that Collette over at Through the Front Door had made from a kitchen towel. Light bulb! I figured I could do something similar using the placemat and without using a needle and thread (because like I said I’m not that talented … yet). I just needed to pick up another mat for the back. But, of course, by the time I got around to it there weren’t any left. So I just picked up two new placements that were autumn-y.Thanksgiving cornucopia placemat Thanksgiving pumpkins placematI chose to use two different ones that way the pillow can be displayed on either side. (In reality it was because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. Haha!)

The only other supplies I needed were stitch witchery and pillow filler, which I picked up at Michaels.

To make the pillow, I started by laying the placemat face down and cutting strips of the stitch witchery for along the edges.Line stitch witchery around edges of placematI then lined up the other placemat laying it face up.Lining up fabricTo get the tape to adhere to the placemats you cover the fabric with a damp press cloth and use a steam iron on the wool setting and press for about 10 seconds on each side. I didn’t have a press cloth so I just used an old kitchen towel, which worked fine.Use damp cloth when pressing stitch witcheryI went around three sides and let it cool before adding the pillow filler. Once my filler was in place, I tried ironing the last seam, but had a little difficulty getting it to stick. So I pinned it down just above the stitch witchery to help keep it in place.Hold fabric in place with straight pin That definitely worked better. And after just a few more presses, my pillow was complete!Easy no sew pillow using a placematReversible no sew pillow DIY no sew placemat pillowI probably could have stuffed it a little more, but hey, not bad for my first try I’d say. I have a lot left over, so I’ll definitely be making more of these. Maybe as Christmas gifts? Hmm.

As for the original placemat … I ended up making it into a banner for our mantel.DIY Thanksgiving banner for mantel All I did was cut out the squares and attach it to twine with some clothes pins – items I already had on hand. Easy peasy!

What do you think? What no sew items have you made?

 

 

 

 

 

Linking up with Home Remedies | DIY on the Cheap | Bless’er House


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Halloween House Tour

Our house always gets decked out for fall. Halloween not so much. But when Stephanie over at Sandpaper and Glue invited me to take part in a Halloween House Tour, I couldn’t say no. I knew it’d be a fun challenge so I graciously accepted.

Making use of items I already had and picking some things up along the way, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Let’s start in the living room.Halloween mantel with bannerOriginally I was only going to do a banner on the mantel, but when I went to Michaels the other day for ribbon they were having an awesome 50 to 60% off sale. So of course I bought some stuff. (I think I’m addicted to sales! The first step is admitting it.)Orange black and white mantelThe pumpkins, crow, and cage were part of that deep discount, so in my basket they went. I then managed to put this display together at the last minute. I think it adds a nice, subtle Halloween touch.Pumpkins, flowers and candle on mantel Crow and bird cage with gold pumpkinAs for the banner, it was super easy to make. I just cut out flags using leftover scrapbook paper I had and used double-sided tape to attach it to the ribbon. (Yes, I did actually buy ribbon too when I was at Michaels.)  I also made the bats, but there’s more where that came from … as you’ll see in a moment.Banne made with scrapbook paper and ribbonNext, let’s move over to the dining room. I had some fun in here. First, I made a centerpiece using a witch’s hat.Fun DIY Halloween centerpiece I stuffed the hat with grocery bags to keep it from flopping over. Then I just laid a leaf garland around it, added a little black bird, some faux black roses and this adorable spiral pumpkin that I found in the dollar bins at Target. (I wish I could say I made it, but I didn’t. Boo. <— No pun intended!) I also added two gold candles and put a spider on one of them.Halloween centerpiece spiral pumpkinCrow and leaves centerpieceHalloween candles with spider(Source list in case you’re wondering: hat, bird, spider – dollar store; roses, candles – Michaels; garland, candlesticks – already had.)

Second, I put together this fun display.Halloween dining room The wooden chest I had picked up at an estate sale over the summer. I filled it with blankets and then used a leaf tablecloth we had to cover them. I put sticks, pinecones, leaf garland, and a pumpkin on top of that. I then added cobwebs and spiders from the dollar store.Halloween chestPumpkin and spiderwebsAs for those bats – they were really easy to make. I printed a template I found online (I can’t draw to save my life), traced it onto black cardstock and cut them out. I then bent their wings just a little to give them some dimension and so they look like they’re flying.Bats flying out of crate Last, but certainly not least, let’s walk through our back hallway where I dressed up a bookshelf. I had the most Halloween fun with this!Spooky Halloween shelvesI started by lining the back of the bookcase with green wrapping paper. Then I added cobwebs and different pieces that I had collected. Here’s a closer look at each shelf.Happy Halloween Scrabble tilesI love using Scrabble tiles to spell out things for holiday décor. I also love using empty wine bottles. The black and orange label on this one was perfect. You could also use them as candle holders!Pumpkins and boo sign shelf I love the Boo sign. It was a free download here and even prints with that aged look. Another free trick I used was taking a wine glass, filling it with popcorn kernels and inserting a votive candle. Easy, yet festive.Skulls shelf I used another wine bottle with a cool label here. I also used a cake stand for the pumpkin to sit on. And I found a skull and bones template online and traced it onto my DIY chalkboard platter.Harry Potter books as Halloween decorI could have bought fake spell books, but being a Harry Potter nerd fan I knew these books sans dust jacket would be perfect for Halloween. Brilliant!

And there you have it. That’s my Halloween House Tour. Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to swing by the other bloggers’ homes to see their spooktacular décor!

 
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Stephanie – Sandpaper and Glue

 

 

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Gretchen – Boxy Colonial

 

 

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Lory – Designthusiasm

 

 

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Kim – The Kim Six Fix

 

 

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Kat & Cam – Our Nerd Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partying with Bless’er House | DIY on the Cheap | The Shabby Nest | Live Laugh Rowe | Living Well Spending Less


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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Halloween often gets overlooked in our house. While I am a huge lover of fall (it’s the best time of year in my opinion), I usually focus my décor on leaves, pumpkins and mums, and incorporating oranges, yellows, and reds. You’ve probably already seen some of my fall posts here, here or maybe here.

But this year I’m not going to let All Hallows’ Eve just slip by. I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers for a Halloween house tour!halloween house tours - option 2It sounded like fun, and I was up for the challenge of bringing some spookiness to my fall décor. I’ll even show you how I was able to do so without spending a lot!

Here’s a little preview of what I’ve been working on.Halloween centerpieceSpooky Halloween decor Wine bottle Halloween decor Be sure to swing by on Monday, October 20 for the whole reveal. You’ll also want to check out the other bloggers to see their creations. It’s sure to be a (trick or) treat for all!

Stephanie | Sandpaper and Glue

Gretchen | Boxy Colonial

Lory | Designthusiasm

Kim | The Kim Six Fix

Kat & Cam | Our Nerd Home


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Fall in a Bucket

A few weeks ago I snagged a rusty, metal bucket at a garage sale. (Where else?) It has this cool German and English writing on the side.Rusty bucket with German writing I don’t know its history, but I loved it too much to pass it up, so I bought it even though I didn’t know what to do with it. (Story of my life.) I took to Hometalk to get some ideas. A few dozen people offered up some great suggestions. Danke schon!

My original thought was to turn it into a planter, and I decided to stick with that. It would be a great addition to my fall décor! So this weekend I finally tackled the project.

I started by giving the bucket a good cleaning – using the hose and bar keepers friend. Jamie then drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage.Drill holes in bucket for planterDrill holes for drainage The bucket is kind of deep and I didn’t want to use a lot of potting soil (I had a limited supply), so I put some milk jugs in the bottom.Plastic milk jugs as fillerGardening is not really my thing, but since I don’t know what this container used to hold, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to use a plastic bag as a liner. I cut holes in the bottom of that too and then put the soil in it.Potting soil in liner bag for bucketOnce I had enough soil in place, I inserted potted mums that I had bought and then filled in more soil around it.Cut away remaining visible bag Afterwards I cut off the remainder of the bag that was visible. And that’s it! This was such a quick and easy project! That’s so rare. I just hope it works out for the flowers!

So — for now at least — we have this fun, new piece on our front steps among a few other mums and pumpkins. What do you think?Pumpkins and mums on front steps Rusty bucket turned fall planterFall front stoopYellow mums and planter Metal planter and pumpkinWhat would you have done with this rusty piece?


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DIY Pumpkin Sign

Somehow I got it in my head that I wanted to make a wooden sign for fall. I’ve never made a sign before. But isn’t that kinda what DIY is all about? Winging it? Learning as you go?

I envisioned a rustic, vertical ‘PUMPKINS’ sign — thinking it could be a fun element to add to our decor.  Luckily Jamie is usually on board with the ideas I dream up because more often than not I end up needing his help. His only request was that I didn’t put the finished sign on our front steps. (“People will think we’re selling pumpkins.”) Haha, I suppose that’s possible!

We started by taking two scrap pieces of board and lining them up vertically leaving a slight space between them.Scrap pieces of wood for DIY signWe then screwed the backs of the boards to another scrap piece at the top and bottom.Boards screwed together using scrap piece of wood Back of boards screwed togetherBefore staining the wood, I did a little sanding to get some markings off. Then I decided to try Minwax Weathered Oak for, you guessed it, that weathered look.Weathered oak stain by MinwaxThe first coat came out pretty light even after leaving it on for 15 minutes. I did a second coat, again leaving it on for 15 minutes, which helped. A third coat probably would’ve been just the ticket. Oh well. Weather oak stain applied to woodAs for the letters, I decided to save some cash by printing my own. In Microsoft Word I picked the font Franklin Gothic at size 630. You’ll want to measure how big to make your letters. My boards were about 52″ long and I had 8 letters, so I figured around 6″ per letter, allowing room for spacing. (Yay guesstimated math!) I printed each letter on cardstock paper. To save on ink, just print the outline of the letters.Letters printed for DIY sign After I cut out each letter, I used two-sided tape to attach them to the boards.Cut out letters laid out on woodThis turned out to not be the best idea because the tape stuck to the wood more than the paper. After I traced the letters there was a lot of prying up with my fingernails.

For painting the letters I used Pure Pumpkin craft paint (that’s the actual color name) from Michael’s and used a small art brush to apply it.Pure pumpkin craft paint from Michael's I probably could’ve used a slightly bigger brush, but I worked with what I had. And then I realized — while trying to stay in the lines and getting visible brush strokes — I probably should’ve cut the letters as a stencil instead. (Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Learning as I go!)Pumpkin letters painted in orangeOnce the letters were dry, I did a little light hand sanding using 220-grit sandpaper to dull the orange.

And here it is on display in our dining room (and safe from pumpkin-buying passersby).Weathered oak and orange pumpkin signRustic wooded sign for fallDIY wood pumpkin sign fall decor Wood sign with orange pumpkin letters So all in all this project didn’t go quite as smoothly as I figured (does it ever?!) But I’m pretty happy with the end result and will now know better for the next time. Because let’s face it, there will be a next time!

 

 

 

 

Linking up with Bless’er House

 

 


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Thrifty Fall Decor

I love decorating for fall. The colors of the season bring such a sense of warmth and coziness. I’m a little late to the party this year thanks to a late summer getaway the hubby and I took. (Not that I’m complaining because it was nice to relax). But I couldn’t focus on fall until just this past weekend.

I finally dug out our box of decorations and started embracing the new season. I took my time going through different rooms adding pieces here and rearranging there. I found myself decorating the house completely differently from last year. I suppose it makes sense since I’ve added to our collection. But what I really wanted to share was how I found some easy and inexpensive ways to decorate using yard sales finds and, of course, a little DIY!Fall mantel and wreath and coffee tableIn the living room, I added a berry garland to the mantel that I had picked up for 75 cents at an estate sale. At the time I bought it, I didn’t know where it would go, but knew I’d find a place for it eventually. Some of the berries were broken, exposing its white foam center, but that was nothing a little red nail polish couldn’t fix! I also switched out the blue bowl on the coffee table with a brown one I had in the kitchen. (Never underestimate the value of shopping your own house!)Decorate a mason jar with burlap for fallI changed the faux flowers on the coffee table from summery to more festive ones. I had found these at a yard sale last year for 50 cents. I also added a strip of burlap to the mason jar. I picked up a spool of 6″ burlap at Michael’s on sale for around $2. It’s such a great texture for fall and handy for hanging wreaths! I did just that for the wreath I added to our window mirror as seen above.Fall shelf scape using pops of orangeThe newly installed shelf in our entryway needed some updating. I removed some of the items and rearranged the layout, adding a strip of burlap as a little runner. The pumpkin candle was 25 cents at a garage sale. The lantern was $1 at an estate sale. I filled it using leaf garland and pine cones I already had. The orange flowers were a splurge at $3.50 found at Michael’s.Mason jar with acorn filler and mumsOur mason jar sconce also needed a seasonal change. I switched out the hydrangea for mums that I bought at Michael’s for only 80 cents a piece. I also took out the clear stone filler and replaced them with acorns from our backyard.Make your own wreath with flowers and berries I made two fall wreaths. This was something I had never attempted before. (If I can do it, so can you!) I bought a grapevine wreath from Michael’s for $4.99 and hot glued faux flowers and berries onto it. It’s simple, but serves its purpose.Easy DIY straw wreath This straw wreath I picked up a yard sale for 50 cents. I took garland I already had and pinned it on. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to make!Wooden bookcase with fall decor Remember that bookcase I scored a few months back? It’s currently making a home in our kitchen and is turning out to be a great spot for decor. Everything on the shelves is thrifted, minus the towels and the metal bucket. One of my favorite “new to me” items is that basket. I grabbed it for 25 cents just this weekend!Purple fall decor And I don’t like to let our bathroom go without a little something seasonal. I love incorporating purple for fall. So I took some faux flowers and put them in a cute milk jar (only 10 cents!) to sit on our vanity. And the little brown box is actually a favor from our wedding!

I still have a little more decorating to do. Look for a DIY pumpkin sign soon!

What kind of decorator are you? Are you thrifty or like to splurge? Do you like to switch things up from year to year? I’d love to hear some of your favorite tips and tricks.