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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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.