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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

{seasonal style} Falling Leaf Garland

The leaves have just started changing here in Denver, but up in the mountains it's a different story. I am hoping that this weekend we might have a chance to take a drive to the foothills to enjoy all the gorgeous colors of fall.

While it will still be a while before the leaves start falling in our neighborhood, some colorful leaves are already falling inside are home thanks to a quick and easy fall leaf garland that I made for our kitchen window.


If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you probably know that our home has very modern architecture, including a lot of long, thin, horizontal windows. These windows pose some pretty big challenges when it comes to window coverings, but when it comes to seasonal decorating they are full of possibilities. In fact, I decorate the long window in our kitchen so frequently, that I now just leave a dozen small, clear Command hooks stuck to the top edge of the window casing all the time so that I can switch out my window decorations on a moments notice.


This fall, I decided to bring autumn's falling leaves inside by creating a vertically hanging garland in our kitchen window. I started by selecting scrapbook colors in shades of yellow, gold, teal and blue {the same papers that I used to create the fall canvas art that sits on the sideboard in the kitchen.


In order to make fast work of cutting out all of the leaf shapes, I borrowed my mom's Sizzix die cutting machine and her Jim Holtz Alterations leaf dies. It's really about time I get my own Sizzix, considering how I often I borrow my mom's and how much Beckett loves helping me use it!


Since I would be hanging the leaves in our window, I wanted the patterned paper to be visible from both sides, meaning that I needed to cut the leaves in pairs that could be placed back to back {white side of the paper in, colored side out}. Cutting pairs of leaves required that, for each paper pattern, I cut one set of leaves with the white side of the paper against the die template, followed by cutting a second set of leaves with the pattered side of the paper against the die template {as illustrated above}.

Once I had cut pairs of leaves from all of my pretty papers, I stacked them all up and prepared to assemble my garland.


To create the garland, I simply used some brown and white bakers twine, and an Elmer's scrapbooking glue stick.


I tied the baker's twine to one of the clear Command hooks in the kitchen window to measure the length of twine needed. Once I had cut one piece of twine, I then used that piece to measure and cut 11 more equal lengths of twine. Before moving on to the next step, I tied each piece of twine around a Command hook, creating a loop that I could easily slide off of the hook {and later slide back on}.


One by one, I laid the pieces of twine out on my kitchen table and selected four pairs of leaves {I decided to always start with a yellow leaf at the top, then gold, teal and blue}.

After laying out the leaves along the length of the twine, all I had to do was glue the pairs of leaves together with the twine in between. I applied glue to the back of one of the leaves, then laid the twine down the center of the leaf and pressed the other leaf on top {sandwiching the twine between the leaves}.


It didn't take long at all to glue leaves to all twelve pieces of twine.


With all of the strands of garland complete, I simply hung the garland up on the Command hooks using the loops that I had pre-tied.


With the garland hanging in the window, it really creates the feeling of falling autumn leaves.


The falling leaf garland is a subtle addition to the seasonal decor in our kitchen.


When the bright sunlight streams through the kitchen window in the late morning, the leaves are silhouetted against the trees outside. And at night, the leaves become beautifully backlit when viewed from outside.


I still had a lot of leaves left over after making my garland, so I decided to use the rest to decorate our kitchen table and sideboard. But when I laid the leaves out of the table, they just looked a little, well...flat. So I borrowed yet another fun tool from my mom - a small paper crimper.


My mom has had this paper crimper for probably 20 years, and it doesn't have a brand name anywhere on it, but you can find a similar Fiskars brand paper crimper at most craft stores or on Amazon. All I had to was place a stack of leaves {I did about 5-8 at a time} between the two rollers, then turn the handle until the leaves had passed all the way through.


Beckett wanted to get in on the action and ended up crimping almost all of my leaves for me.


He was so proud of himself when he saw the big pile of leaves that he helped me create! I love that this kids loves to help with my projects.


Crimping the leaves not only added texture, it also curled each leaf a bit, adding even more dimension.


Here's a little peak at how the leaves look on our fall table and sideboard. 



To see more of our fall kitchen decor, you can take our full fall home tour. You can also find the tutorials here for the metallic wine bottle vases and Fall In Love canvas art.

If you are looking for even more seasonal inspiration, you might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:




Sunday, September 28, 2014

{seasonal style} An Autumn Welcome: 35 Fall Home Tours In One Place

Happy Sunday, friends! This week I had the privilege of participating in a Fall Home Tour with a group of talented bloggers, giving you 35 chances to peak inside of gorgeous homes for some fall decor inspiration

I realize that during the work week, you probably didn't have time to enjoy each and every one of these fabulous tours, so I thought I'd pop in again this weekend to give you quick and easy access to all of the tours in one place.


I opened the doors to our house on Thursday and showed you how I incorporated fall colors into our teal and grey living room and kitchen. If you missed it, take a minute to tour my modern, vibrant version of fall decor.



Now grab up cup of hot cider and a cozy blanket, and put your feet up, because you have a lot more homes to tour. Simply follow the links below to visit each home. Enjoy!



Friday, September 26, 2014

{seasonal style} Football Brothers Halloween Costume + 88 More Handmade Costume Ideas!

Today I am teaming up with Jamie Dorobek and her handmade Halloween costume site, Really Awesome Costumes to bring you 88+ DIY Halloween Costumes for everyone, including your kids, your pets, family costumes, and even a "trunk or treat" idea!


Along with my boys' FOOTBALL BROTHERS HALLOWEEN COSTUME, with DIY football pads and DIY football onesie, I am also sharing 88 more really awesome handmade costume ideas from talented bloggers everywhere!

101+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things


We are football fans in this house. Broncos fans to be exact!

And not only are we Broncos fans, we are also "that family." The ones who like to dress up in family costumes for Halloween.

Last year, it was a football Halloween for us, but since our costumes weren't ready until the night prior, there was no time for me to post any details on the blog before the holiday. So with Halloween right around the corner again, it's now the perfect time for me to share the DIY details of my boy's costumes for all those other families with football on the brain.


Beckett already owned a Peyton Manning jersey, but I wanted to make his football player costume a bit more authentic with the addition of some football pads.  I did just a bit of Google searching and came across a mom that had created football pads for her three sons - the concept was pretty simple, but I couldn't find some of the materials that she used, so I adapted her idea to come up with my own, somewhat simpler, version. This is a DIY costume easy enough for anyone to tackle (bad pun totally intended).

I bought a yard of 1/2" foam from a fabric store, then laid Beckett's jersey on top to get a basic idea of the dimensions.  If you happen want to make football pads for an 18 month sized jersey - the dimension listed here will be just right.  For any other size, you'll just have to approximate your own measurements - but I'll give you some tips on how to do so.


I first spread the jersey out on the foam and marked the width of the shoulders (the width across the shoulders of this 18 month sized jersey was 11 inches), then the length from the shoulders to the bottom of the jersey (12 inches, although I ended up trimming off about a half inch in the front and back when I was done to prevent it from sticking out below the jersey).  

I knew the pads would need to narrow in at the torso, so I decided to make the bottom measurement just under half of the shoulder width (I went with 5 inches). I used a ruler to connect the shoulders to the waist with angled lines.

I again laid the jersey on the foam and sketched in the approximate shape of the neckline.  Then I added a cut line from the point of the v-neck to the bottom center of the pads so that the completed pads would fit on like a vest.

I printed out the shoulder pad template from this website, but since the template was for older little boys, after cutting it out at full size, I proceeded to trim off about a quarter of an inch off all the way around.  I traced the reduced template onto the foam twice {as illustrated above}.


After cutting out all of the pieces (the foam was easy to cut with just a regular pair of household scissors), I used my hot glue gun to glue the shoulder pads in place.  Note that I cut the front and back as one piece.  I did not cut along the shoulder line that I had drawn, I just used this line as a guide for where to attach the shoulder pads. 

The final step was finding a way to hold the pads in place. I used ribbon I already had around the house to create laces to tie the pads in place. I grabbed some ribbon out of gift wrapping closet and used an Exacto knife to cut slits in the foam down the front and at the corners.

I laced two long pieces of ribbon down the front, leaving them loose enough to easily slip the pads over Beckett's head, but allowing me to tighten the laces and tie them at the bottom once he was wearing them. Then I attached ribbons at each of the bottom corners so that the pads could be tied in place at Beckett's waist.

In each instance, I cut the slits just large enough to thread the ribbon through, but kept the slits small enough that I could double knot the ribbon on the back side of the pads and the knot would not pull through.


Beckett was not a big fan of the football pads when we first put them on him.  It was a two person job - Scott held his arms above his head to stop him from pulling them off while I tied them in place. You can see from this blurry photo that he wasn't thrilled to be wearing them.  But as soon as we put his jersey on over the pads, he completely forgot about them and didn't bug them once.

I did trim off some of the excess ribbon length once the pads were tied on so that the ribbons wouldn't dangle below the jersey.


I was pretty proud of the pads when I first made them, but I was even more excited to see how great they looked under Beckett's jersey.  They really looked like football pads!

We added a long-sleeved white onesie under Beckett's pads and jersey to keep him warm. To complete his football player costume, I paired his jersey and pads with an inexpensive pair of white cotton pants, which I rolled up to his knees, and Broncos colored, striped socks that we already owned.


The simple DIY foam football pads gave Beckett's costume a much more authentic football player feel.  He looked SO stinking cute running around outside in his jersey, pads and eye-black!

I especially loved the look of those shoulder pads from behind!


Once big brother's football player costume was complete, it was time to get the little brother in on the action. Since Cooper was only 5 months old last Halloween, we decided he was the perfect size to be the football!

I found a lot of football onesies online, but most were pretty pricey, so I decided to simply make my own.


I bought a solid brown, long-sleeved onesie and cut the football shape out of white iron on transfer paper. The key here is to make sure your transfer paper is made for use on dark colored fabric - like this Avery Dark T-Shirt Transfer Paper!


I sketched out the shape of the laces and the top and bottom white markings of a football on the back of the transfer paper. If you'd like to make your own football onesie, download my football template, which you can cut out and trace directly on to your iron on transfer paper. This template is sized for a 0-3 month sized onesie, but if you need a larger size, you can simply adjust the scale on your computer before printing, or you can print it and then enlarge it on a copy machine.

Do not print this image to use as a template - it is not to scale.
If you wish to use my template, download it here.

Then I cut the football shapes out of the transfer paper, and ironed them on to the brown shirt. Each brand of transfer paper has slightly different instructions for how long to iron, so be sure to carefully follow the packaging instructions.


Since Halloween in Denver can be quite cold, we paired Cooper's DIY football onesie with some cute football socks we had picked up at a local boutique and an adorable knitted football hat by juDanzy that I bought through Amazon. I also added some brown fleece pants for Trick-or-Treating after dark.


Now tell me he's not the cutest football you've ever seen!?

If your little football is a girl, you could instead add a cute brown tutu and a brown bow in her hair.

As I mentioned above, we are that family... so Scott and I dressed up with the boys. I purchased referee shirts from Amazon, which we paired with black pants that we already owned. If you are a parent to young kids, you know we are basically referees in real life, so these costumes weren't much of a stretch!


And now it's time for more DIY Halloween costume inspiration! A whopping 88 more DIY costume ideas, to be exact!

Join in on the BLOG HOP by clicking on the links below each collage to get the detailed instructions about how to make the costume pictured, just like mine above. And don't forget to follow the Handamde Halloween Costumes Pinterest Board for even more DIY costume greatness!

  88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things1. Handmade Baby Hamburger Costume 2. DIY Baby Game Boy Costume 3. DIY Minecraft Steve Costume 4. Football Brothers Halloween Costumes with DIY Pads and Onesie {YOU ARE HERE} 5. Star Trek Halloween Costume for Kids 6. A Bee and Her Keeper 7. No Sew Magician Costume 8. Flint Lockwood Costume 9. Pinocchio 10. Marty McFly 11. Princess Wedding Dress Costume 12. Handmade Lalaloopsy Doll Costume 13. Homemade Toothless Costume 14. DIY Mermaid For Less Than $20 (No-Sew Option) 15. Easy Tinker Bell Costume 16. Mario and Luigi Go Kart Costumes 17. Dog The Bounty Hunter and Beth 18. Family Monsters University Costumes 19. Scooby Doo family costumes 20. DIY Storm Cloud Costume  
88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things 21. Cheap and Easy DIY Spider Costume 22. Easy Tin Man Costume 23. No Sew Bee Costume 24. Planet Halloween Costumes 25. DIY Cheshire Cat Costume 26. DIY Instagram Board 27. Elsa crown 28. Dog Collar Ruffles 29. DIY Pineapple Baby Costume 30. DIY Lego Movie Costume 31. Weeping Angel Costume 32. Disney Planes Costume: Dipper 33. Easy Pirate Costume 34. Easy Costume Idea - Renaissance Girl 35. 10 Minute Homemade Jellyfish Costume 36. DIY Cat Costume 37. Lucy And Ricky Costumes 38. Easy Frozen Costumes (Carrisa!!) 39. Easy Greek Goddess Costume 40. DIY Family Willy Wonka Costumes 101+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things 41. DIY No Sew Maleficent Costume 42. No Sew Pineapple Halloween Costume 43. Graveyard Bean Bag Toss: Trunk or Treat Car Costume 44. DIY Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Costumes 45. DIY Raccoon Costume with Printable Mask 46. Easy WildStyle Lego Movie Costume 47. Simple Hello Kitty Costume 48. No Sew Minnie Mouse Costume 49. DIY Inspector Gadget and Penny Costumes 50. DIY Frozen Elsa Dress Baby Edition 51. Fairy Princess Dog Costume 52. DIY Hashtag Halloween Costume 53. Toddler or Baby Egg Costume 54. Easy No Sew Olaf Costume 55. DIY Baymax Costume 56. DIY Tooth Fairy Costume 57. Baby Short Stack Pancake Costume 58. Elephant and Piggie Halloween Costumes 59. Instagram Halloween Costume 60. Peter Pan & Mr. Smee Halloween Costume     88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at ReallyAwesomeCostumes.com 61. Wildstyle Costume from the Lego Movie 62. Fred and Wilma Couples Costume 63. Viking Family Costumes 64. DIY Cruella de Vil Costume for a child 65. Disney Frozen Olaf Halloween Treat Bucket 66. How to Make a Minecraft Steve Head 67. DIY Harry Potter Costume 68. DIY Duck Dynasty Costumes 69. No Sew Cupcake Baker Halloween Costume 70. DIY Skunk Mask 71. Ghostbusters Proton Pack DIY 72. Frozen Anna Costume Tutorial 73. Candy Corn Costume 74. Paw 75. No Sew Toothless Dragon Costume 76. DIY Robot Costume 77. Wonder Woman Costume 78. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Costume 79. Thrifted Gentleman Spy DIY Halloween Costume 80. DIY Boy Garden Gnome Costume 81. Group Costume: Bob Ross, Happy Tree, & Squirrel 82. DIY Blues Brothers Costumes 83. Snow White Costume 84. Peacock Princess Costume 85. Scarecrow Costume 86. Easy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costume 87. Handmade Teddy Bear Costume 88. Princess Elsa and the Spy Kid 89. DIY Baby Koala costume

What handmade costume ideas did you love the most?! Be sure to click over to get the costume instructions, pin the costumes, and let the bloggers know you love them! Also, follow Jamie Dorobek {C.R.A.F.T.}'s "Handmade Halloween Costumes” board on Pinterest.

If you are looking for even more seasonal inspiration, you might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:




Thursday, September 25, 2014

{seasonal style} Fall Home Tour

Today I am so excited to be participating in a fall home tour with more than 35 other super talented bloggers, each with a unique style.


If you are visiting from one of the other blogs participating in the An Autumn Welcome Home Tour - WELCOME! I am thrilled to have you here and I hope that, if you like what you see, you'll follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and also consider signing up for email updates {using the sign up box in the top right of your screen}.


Before we dive in to the tour photos, I have a confession. This is the first year that I've really decorated our home for fall. I used to think that in order to decorate for each season, a home needed to have a fairly neutral color palette. And since our home is far from neutral, I didn't think that my style lent itself to seasonal decor.

Our modern living room and kitchen are in shades of grey and teal {my favorite colors}, and throughout most of the year, the living room features pops of bright pink. I love this color combo, but last autumn, I noticed that, when the leaves outside changed to shades of orange and gold, the contrast between outside and inside felt a bit jarring. I really enjoy walking around our neighborhood in the crisp air with the fall colors all around, but then I would walk through the front door to bright pink pillows and summery flowers. It just didn't feel right. That got me thinking...

When I told my husband that I wanted to switch out pink accents for fall colors, I think he initially envisioned a very traditional autumn color scheme, which would explain why he looked at me like I was crazy! And while shades of brown, rust and burnt orange might not look good with our teal and grey decor, I knew that I could find other colors that would look great!

A few weeks ago, I posted 10 non-traditional fall color palettes, and I used two of these color palettes as inspiration for our fall decor this year. But rather than telling you about it, why don't I just show you?!

I didn't go all out in decoratating our front porch for fall, but I did want to add a little something, so I purchased two peacock feather wreaths on sale at Michaels and hung them from orange ribbon.


The contrast of the teal feathers against the orange ribbon gives a hint at the color scheme inside.


So let's go in, shall we?



Inside the front door, you are greeted by a long entry table.



I swapped out my pink, summery flowers for fall leaves in one of the three tall vases on the right side of the table.


On the other end of the entry table is a new lamp that I purchased just a couple of weeks ago {on sale at Target}. I've been on the lookout for a lamp for some time, but just couldn't make up my mind. That is, until I found this fabulous fillable lamp!


I filled the lamp with wine corks for a natural and neutral fall look, but it will be fun to find creative ways to fill and refill the lamp base season after season.


Next to the lamp sits a simple white pumpkin and my favorite silver and orange bowl {which normally lives in our basement family room}. I finished off the simple entry table display with a handful of edge colored burlap leaves {tutorial coming soon}.


The entry area is open to our living room, so let's take a look in there next.


My style is modern and somewhat minimalist, so I kept the fall updates in the living room pretty simple. I swapped out the black, white and pink pillows on the couch for teal, orange and gold. The teal and orange pillows I already owned {I just shopped the house}, and the gold pillow I picked up on sale at Target.


For the chairs opposite the couch, fall decorating finally gave me an excuse the by the gold, white and grey felt patches pillows from Target that I've had my eye on for a long time!


A simple white vase full of vibrant orange blooms sits on the mirrored table between the two Barcelona chairs.


Since we have two toddlers, I have to keep the coffee table stying to a minimum, and anything that does sit on the coffee table has to be kid friendly. A few years ago I purchased a fun tic tac toe board with white and teal "x's" and "o's" that my boys really enjoy playing with. Rather than putting the game board away for the fall season, I decided to instead replace the "x's" and "o's with pumpkins.


The pumpkins are extremely lightweight, so they are safe for my little boys to play with. I purchased them from Hobby Lobby, and they were originally bright orange before I gave them the metallic treatment. You can read the full Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe tutorial here.


I wanted to add something else to the coffee table to give it some height, so I picked up three tall candle holders at Hobby Lobby. They were originally bright yellow and lime green, but I grabbed some left over paint from our utility room paint supply stash and quickly repainted them in three shades of teal. Paired with orange, gold and grey candles, they pull together the entire color scheme of the room.


Two more orange and gold candles on the floating photo shelves add a pop of fall color to that corner of the room.


If you noticed that the framed painting on the wall above the chairs perfectly coordinates with the fall color scheme of the room - well, it's not actually a framed painting at all. It's a television on which we often play a DVD of 50 of the most famous paintings from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). When taking these photos, I simply paused the screen on the painting that best matched the room. Tricky, tricky!


Since the kitchen is separated from the living room, there was nothing dictating that I use the same fall color scheme when decorating in there. Like the living room, the kitchen also has teal and grey walls, but unlike the living room, the kitchen has some navy blue accents. Rather than adding orange to the kitchen decor for fall, I decided to go with a peacock feather color palette by adding a few pops of golden yellow to the existing teals and blues.


I don't normally set a fancy table {unless I am hosting book club}, but since I was having some many guests over today {all of you}, I decided to go all out!


But before we take a closer look at the fall table setting, let's talk about the bar display in the corner of the kitchen.


In case you are wondering what those white straps are on the front of each of the sideboard doors... they are child proof locks - this is real life, people! :) Just pretend that they don't distract from the decor while I rest easy knowing that all of the glass serving ware behind those doors won't get smashed on the floor {not today, anyway}.

But, back to the bar display. I love our collection of blue glasses on those cool curved shelves. The sideboard below provides a nice surface for serving during parties, and it also provides a great place for decorating. When thinking about what kind of fall decor I wanted in this space, I decided to keep it pretty simple and tie it in to the bar theme.

I started by turning three empty wine bottles in to shiny, metallic vases. {Make sure to read the full tutorial on these vases for a super helpful tip on removing wine bottle labels.} I filled two of the vases with cotton branches, and the third with small peacock feathers.



Continuing the bar theme, I used three wine glasses as candle holders by filling them with popcorn kernels and votive candles. The popcorn adds a nice pop of golden yellow, and brings a natural element to the modern display.


I also relocated my silver bowl full of wine corks and match books to be a part of this fall bar vignette.


Finally, my very favorite part of this display is the DIY "Fall In Love" canvas art that I created using scrapbook paper and spray paint. This is the piece that really sets the stage for my fall kitchen color palette, and it was so much fun to make!


All of the fall leaves on the top of the sideboard are cut from the same scrapbook papers that I used in my canvas art. Even more of these leaves hang in the long, thin window above our dining table, creating the appearance of falling leaves. {A tutorial on this falling leaf window garland will be coming soon.}


Ok, now let's turn our attention back to the kitchen table. The centerpiece features two dark blue glass pumpkins that I bought on clearance at the end of the season last year. I love the way they look contrasted against the gorgeous golden sunflowers from my favorite neighborhood flower shop, The Ruffly Rose.


The teal placemats and square, blue plates are our standard dinner fare, but the yellow and grey paisley napkins are a new addition for the fall.


Those cute place cards are another simple DIY project {because I just can't get enough of peacock feathers}, and I'll share that tutorial soon as well.


Before you go, I have one last quick spot to show you. In our upstairs hall we have a fun display of black and white prints in brightly colored frames that hang above a small black and white striped chest {in which we store items that don't fit in the boys' small adjacent bathroom}. Throughout most of the year, two white vases with pink gerbera daisies sit on this cabinet, but for fall, it seemed the perfect place to display a collection of black and white pumpkins that I purchased at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago.


This is the only place outside of our main floor where I added any fall decor, but I just love the way the black and white pumpkins play off of all of the other black and white patterns.


Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my fall home tour! If you want to see even more of our home, I invite you to take the full tour of our first and second floor. Tours of the basement and third floor master bedroom are coming soon, so sign up for email updates if you don't want to miss those.

Still wanting more fall decorating inspiration? You're in luck, because below you'll find the links to more than 35 other amazing home tours spanning every decorating style.

An Autumn Welcome ~ Monday, September 22, 2014

An Autumn Welcome ~ Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Autumn Welcome ~ Wednesday, September, 24, 2014
If you are looking for even more seasonal inspiration, you might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:




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