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Tutorial Archives - Go Haus Go - A DIY and Design Blog by Emily May

DIY to D.I.Why!?

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Not every DIY project is a smooth-sailing success story. I screw up—a lot. There’s many stories like these to tell but I’d thought I’d share my most recent because it is so hilariously bad!

I had it in my mind that I was going to create an abstract acrylic painting for the kitchen makeover. This was my inspiration. And by inspiration I mean I wanted to copy the composition entirely.

via sfgirlbybay

Here is my version.

DIY Fail Abstract Painting

LOL. Well at least I tried, right? This looks like a contest entry for a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper design. Aaron and I laughed hysterically about it all. I’m not ashamed to say I spent a good 24 hours trying to convince myself that it was good.

DIY Fail Abstract Painting

I’m missing some layers, I went too crazy with the drips and the colors are too neon… among other things!

I’m not sure I’m ready to give up the paint brush just yet. Danielle posted a great DIY abstract art tutorial on her blog a few weeks ago. I think I need step by step instructions. Better yet—a paint by number approach would be just perfect. :)

DIY Fail Abstract Painting

Has anyone tried the DIY abstract art? Any luck? I think the DIY approach is tricky because it still requires talent! A skill I have yet to develop!

Happy Monday everyone. I just got back from a weekend of camping and it was a blast! After the week of travel and events last week, I’m pumped to settle into a slower week and enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

xo,

emily

 

 

How to Hang Stuff on Brick

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I’ve drilled through the brick exterior of the house twice now to hang different stuff, so that makes me an expert right? Screwing anything into brick has always been one of those intimidation projects for me, but with the right drill, it’s really just as easy as drilling into wood or drywall. For this project, I’m going to use the installation of my American flag on the front porch as my example.

Installing on Brick

 

Materials:

Hammer Drill

Masonry Bit

Plastic Anchors and Screws

Gettysburg Flag Works American Flag

How To Do It:

1.) Mark your holes

Marking holes on brick is not easy. I highly suggest putting a bit of paint on a small brush to mark your spots. I tried to use the baby powder approach (blowing powder through the holes to mark the spots) but it was a huge mess. Don’t go that route! Paint or a paint pen will work just fine.

Installing on Brick

2.) It’s time to drill!

With your masonry bit and hammer drill, it’s time to drill those holes. Hammer drills work great on brick because they “hammer” and spin at the same time, creating the force you need to get through the extra hard surface. Most all of them come with a depth protector, to keep you from going too far into the brick. That’s what the crazy arm thing is on front. As far as size goes, that will depend on what you’re installing. The bit we used was 1/4″ as that was the size of the plastic anchors that came with the American flag kit. And from a heat perspective, just keep an eye on it. There’s no need to keep water on it while drilling, but if it gets super hot, give it some time to cool down. We just dipped our bit in water once or twice.

Installing on Brick

3.) Install your plastic anchors.

These are installed like all wall anchors—just hammer them (with a regular, ole hammer) into each hole. If you find they begin to bend under the hammer, make a slightly bigger hole.

Installing on Brick

4.) Time to install!

Now it’s just a matter of screwing the plate (or whatever you’re hanging) into the brick.

Installing on Brick

We actually used this same exact process to hang our modern house numbers, except instead of wall anchors we used construction adhesive. Those numbers weighed much less, which is why we felt OK skipping the anchors (plus we didn’t want the plastic anchors to be visible).

This flag-hanging project was done on the Fourth of July, with a parade going. I can’t think of anything more patriotic than that. There may have been some beer involved as well. 😉

Installing on Brick

Installing on Brick

A big thank you to Gettysburg Flag Works for sending this American flag to me. They got hit pretty hard by the Storm Arthur two weeks ago, so I’m hoping their hometown operation is back up and running. Thinking of you guys!

Installing on Brick

We are feeling so patriotic! This flag is fancy in that it doesn’t get all bunched up and wrapped up. It always looks so pretty and proud.

Installing on Brick

It feels SO good to be back to writing posts. I feel like I’ve been off topic for so long. Also, I am dying to get back to projects. I know I said I was going to take a break this summer to recover from the photo shoot madness, but I think I’m fully recovered lol. Now, just how to break this to Aaron…

xo,
emily

Disclaimer: This flag was provided to me by Gettysburg Flag Works. I was not required to write anything, but wanted to share the love! It’s a great product.

This post includes affiliate links. I make a small commission (pennies!!) if you click on the links listed in the materials section.

How to Hang Anything on Brick

DIY Upside-Down Shelving on Marble Tile

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DIY Upside-Down Shelving on Marble Tile

The shelving on the wall of marble was by far the most intimidating part of the kitchen renovation. The drilling alone! There was also the concern of installing the shelves in a way that would actually hold. Both of these projects are ones we had never tackled before and the unknown comes with a certain set of anxieties. It all turned out well though, and we certainly learned some stuff along the way, so wanted to recap all of that here.

A huge thanks to Vintage Revivals for her tutorial on upside-down shelving and to Bower Power Blog for her tutorial on hanging shelves on tile. My tutorial is essentially the combination of both of those projects and you’ll see I followed each of them pretty closely!

Materials Needed:

(4) 12″ x 8″ white brackets

(12) 1/4″ bolts (length will depend on the width of the shelf)

(12) 1/4″ bolt caps

(1) 1/2″ diamond hole saw

(8) 1/2″ wall toggles

(1) 3/16″ bit for pilot holes in shelves

(2) shelves (we used leftover butcherblock)

(1) spray bottle with water

(1) level

More On Upside-Down Shelving:

Because these brackets are being installed upside down, attaching the brackets to the shelf worked a little differently. In a normal installation, the bracket would carry the weight of the load. In this installation, the capped bolt takes the weight of the load… if that makes sense. Another way to explain it would be that the bracket sits on top of the shelf, not underneath. I chose this for two reasons: A) It’s a little more of an updated look and B) it allows for more real estate on the second shelf because the diagonal support piece isn’t in the way

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

The Process:

1.) Attach Brackets to Shelf

We started this step first so that we could use the installed bracket on the shelf to template out the holes on the wall. To attach the brackets on top of the shelf, we laid the brackets in their desired locations (about 3″ from both ends) and marked the holes. There were 12 holes total.  We first used a smaller bit to drill pilot holes (I was worried about splitting) and then used our 1/4″ bit to drill all the way through the hole. Here are the bolts and screws we used. Our bolt length was decided on per the width of the shelf. We needed about 1/4″ inch of screw past the width of the shelf to get the bolt caps to screw on securely.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

 

2.) Mark the Drill Holes On the Tile

With the brackets installed on both shelves, it was time to mark the drill holes  on the wall. These shelves were HEAVY butcherblock and we needed a creative way to “scaffold” the shelf so that it would hold while we figure out levelness and placement. Enter this adjustable IKEA stool. It was magic and made this part go so smoothly. So much of this work happened late at night so little wins like this were so rewarding. It seems so simple now but at the time we were so pleased with ourselves haha.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

3.) Drill Holes into the Tile

The dreaded drilling hole step. My advice here is to relax, take a deep breath and take comfort in the fact that you won’t break a thing. At least that’s the hope. 😉 I highly recommend this 1/2″ diamond hole saw (the 1/2″ size was dictated by the size of our wall anchors… more on that in a minute) for drilling into marble tile. It worked like a dream. It’s pricey (about $25) but its effectiveness was priceless.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

This was a 2-person job. Someone with the muscle to do the drilling and someone with less muscle to provide a constant spray of water on the cut. I bet you can guess who did what here. After doing 2-3 of these holes, Aaron found that the trick to getting the hole started, which was the hardest part, was to center his chest in front of the hole. This seems so weird but I swear, it was the trick. He started at a 45 degree angle to get the cut going. Once he had drilled out enough of a gouge to get a better footing, he leveled out the drill and kept drilling until he was all the way through. Throughout all of this, I was spraying the hole with my water bottle.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

It was so messy, but it worked. By the fourth or fifth one, we were feeling much more confident.

4.) Set Your Wall Anchors

We needed super heavy duty anchors to secure the shelves to the wall. The shelves alone were very heavy (maybe about 12 pounds each?) plus the additional weight of all the plates and glasses it had to hold. We used these, called Toggler Snaptoggles. Each of them is supposed to hold like 350 pounds, which is exactly what we needed to feel somewhat confident that these shelves would actually stay up on the walls.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

We ran into a little bit of a problem with the anchors closest to the door trim. Our holes were close enough to a stud that it was hindering the anchors from fully expanding behind the wall. After lots of cursing and broken anchors, we figured out that we just needed to place the metal part vertically versus horizontally. By placing it vertically, it made the stud issue null and void. Durr..

5.) Screw in the Shelves

With all of the anchors installed, it was time to screw in the shelves. This part was easy! Also, when your buying supplies, it’s wise to make sure the screws that come with the anchors fit in the bracket holes. We almost made that mistake…

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

Anyways, the shelves have been up and fully loaded for a couple of weeks now. They work great. I check them every once in a while to ensure nothing is pulling away from the wall, but I can guess I’ll ease up on that once I just chill out and accept the fact they’re there to stay. :)

The Kitchen: Chapter Six (Final Reveal!)

Open shelving has been really great so far. I was initially worried about dust settling on plates we eat on, but the reality is we go through plates and cups so quickly that nothing has a chance to build up! We love the access to everything and even more so we love that we get to display our favorite kitchen stuff.

xo,
emily

Master of Caulk

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Raise your hand if you think caulk is the hardest, most awkward word to say, ever. *raises hand*

Get a Perfect Caulk Line Every Time!

Anyways, I debated on whether or not to even write this post but sometimes I just have to embrace my inner nerd-dom and talk about the things I find really important. Caulk! Yes, this is one of my priorities in life.  A really straight, clean caulk line to be specific. No lie—I get really proud of them.

(Before I go any further, I can already tell I am going to use the word “caulk” way too many times in this post. Brace yourselves. And maybe drink every time you read it? That’s what I’m doing anyway…)

I used to lay down caulk the regular way. See a crack, grab the caulk gun, lay the caulk, lick your finger, run it along the line, freak out when it goops everywhere, lick your finger some more, spit because you have some caulk in your mouth (that’s what she said) and at the end of the ordeal pray it wipes up relatively decent.

Well I finally stopped that nonsense. Here is how I do it now. I suggest you buy stock in FrogTape or ScotchBlue or whatever painter’s tape you prefer because you’re going to need a lot of it.

I’m going to use the big crack where the marble kitchen tile meets the ceiling as an example for this post.

Step 1: Put down your painter’s tape on either side of the gap to be caulked. As far as the width of the gap to be caulked, that’s up to you. I base my width on the widest spot I’m trying to cover. In this case I went pretty wide to hide some not-so-pretty grout, etc.

2.) Grab your caulk gun and go to town. For basic applications (windows, trim, baseboards), my favorite caulk is the ALEX FAST DRY. It’s paintable, wipes up well, dries quickly and lasts a long time. For the actual caulk tube, I cut the tip diagonally, far enough down on the tip that a pencil-eraser width of caulk is able to come out. Pull the trigger to draw the bead and then pull the caulk line along, pressing on the gun trigger along the way.

3.) Once about 3′ to 4′ of caulk has been laid (or less, depending on the application), grab a wet paper towel (fully wet, but not dripping) and wrap it around your finger. I hate getting the caulk all over my fingers so I like this method better. Note: If you are using 100% silicone caulk, the paper towel method will NOT work. You’ll have to rely on your finger (or some other type of tool) for that one.

4.) Remove the tape immediately once all caulk lines have been smoothed by the wet paper towel.

5.) Enjoy your super-clean, beautiful caulk lines.

Here’s two more pictures of spots I’ve used this method. This countertop/tile line was done with 100% white silicone but the process, minus me using the paper towel, was the exact same.

Anyways, you may have either found this post helpful or have started to question the way I choose to spend my time. Maybe both. At any rate, happy Wednesday!!! I’ll be back Friday with a non-kitchen post (yes!)… there are two more posts to share but I needed a break!

Don’t forget to enter the BLACK+DECKER drill giveaway! Only a few days remaining to enter! Be sure to check out the product page too. (#sponsorlove)

xo,

emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Bear Silhouette Art

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DIY Modern Bear Silhouette Paper Art

I’m helping a friend design her nursery, so when her baby shower rolled around I jumped at the chance to DIY the bear print I used in her design. It also gave me an excuse to further indulge my newest fixation on tomato red.

Emily May

Materials:

  • Transparency film
  • Projector
  • X-acto knife
  • 18″ x 24″ tomato red construction paper (acid-free)
  • 18″ x 24″ white construction paper (acid-free)
  • 1/8″ thick adhesive dots (acid-free)
  • 18″ x 24″ white frame (I like the white ones at Hobby Lobby!)
  • Cutting mat (optional)

Bears not your thing? You can pick nearly any animal you want for this! I wanted the bear, so I googled “vector silhouette bear” and found this image. Want a fox, for example? Here you go.

I pulled the image up on my screen and used some transparency film to trace the outline of the bear.

Emily May

Funny story? On my first try I tried to use my iPad to trace the image on screen to transparency film. I quickly discovered trying to trace directly on a touch screen was the biggest ding dong move I’ve tried to pull in awhile. 😉 Anyways, tracing left me with a lovely bear outline. When tracing, I tried to pay special attention to the fur details and tried to capture the jagged outline as accurately as possible.

Emily May

Next came the projector. I got mine off of Craigslist for $15 from a local school a few years back, and they’re on Craigslist and eBay all of the time. I use this sucker often for different projects!

Emily May

I projected it directly on the tomato red construction paper I taped to the wall with painters’ tape. Once I was sure it was the size I wanted (I wanted the bear to reach very close to the edge, similar to the inspiration pic), I started tracing. IMPORTANT: Be sure to trace on the OPPOSITE side you want your bear to face to hide your pencil marks!

Emily May

Next came the cutting. I used a scissor on the long, round edges and an X-acto knife on the fur detail.

Emily May

Once I was done with all of my cuts, I did go back through and clean up any scraggly edges or tears.

Emily May

Once I was done cutting, it was time to put this bad boy on paper. I wanted the red bear to float above the paper, like this…

Emily May

So I used 1/8″ high adhesive dots to get that floating look. And to make sure none of the areas buckled (due to some spots with dots versus those with no dots), I put dots ALLLLL over the back of the bear. Also, it’s important that the adhesive dots are acid-free so that over time the glue doesn’t burn into the paper, leaving dark greasy circles everywhere. That would be no bueno.

Emily May

The next step is as easy as slipping it into its frame and it’s ready to go!

Emily May

Emily May

Emily May

At the party, everyone thought it was an Etsy purchase so I consider that a success. I want to make more!

xo,

emily

The good kind of stain.

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We feel like we’re gaining real momentum on the office and we are so excited. Last week I shared the newly painted closet doors and this week is all about the super-long desk.

Emily May

The desk is a Frankenstein’d desk, made up of numerous IKEA parts. I go into all of those details on this post. Anyways, the top is raw pine. We liked it as-is, but once the walls and closet doors went dark, the light table top seemed to make less sense. It also was pretty hard to wipe down (sort of rough) and showed stains pretty easily.

Thankfully, there is a super easy fix for that, as we all know. In about two hours, I had this:

Emily May

Emily May

Stain saved the day! The shade of stain came out so pretty and overall, it looks like a wee bit more expensive piece of furniture. My favorite part? It now matches with the oak floors in the surrounding rooms.

I used the trifecta of staining products to achieve this look: pre-stain conditioner (to ensure the pine soaks the stain evenly for an even finish), oil-based stain and polycrylic protective finish.

Emily May

The best part about staining is that it’s shorter dry times than paint. My general process was this:

  • Apply pre-stain conditioner and wait 15 minutes to soak in.
  • Apply stain and wait 30 minutes to completely dry. (I used a very thin coat of stain… any more would add to my wait time).
  • Apply protective finish (I used a water-based finish instead of oil-based because at this point my poor brain was done with all the fumes from the stain) and wait 24 hours to use.

Easy!

I especially like how the white window trims feels better as it’s no longer competing with the also-light pine wood.

Emily May

Next up is selecting the posters Aaron wants up on the walls. We have a few here we’d like to hang already, and we want to do 6-9 in total. Many of these posters are Aaron’s own creations (part of his daily job!) so he has total control in what goes up.

Emily May

Ok, here’s where we are with the to-do list:

  • Paint walls (That post here.)
  • Install carpet (More details here.)
  • Buy/DIY super long desk (Details here.)
  • Consider painting closet doors and trim the same color as the walls (Post here.)
  • DIY roman shades for the windows
  • Re-upholster the office chairs
  • Install brass finger pulls on the closet doors
  • Maybe a rug (??)
  • Hang poster art above the desk (I’m thinking of using a frameless approach with acrylic to make them appear like they’re floating on the wall)
  • Remove sofa and replace with pretty daybed
  • Consider staining the table top a few shades darker to match oak floors
  • Re-locate string art to a wall somewhere
  • Style the desk / find desk accessories

Happy Monday everyone! As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday night and raining very hard here in northern Kentucky. I’m trying to be productive but a blanket and old episodes of Arrested Development sound sooo appealing. :)

xo,

emily

Painting panel doors.

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As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I made the decision to paint the office doors (and trim!) the same color as the walls to make them disappear into the wall a bit. (The color is Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe, color matched to Behr paint at Home Depot.) I bought a new gallon of the same color in a semi-gloss, because there is some unspoken rule about ALWAYS using a semi-gloss finish on doors, trim and cabinets that I typically follow for fear my entire house will fall down.

Emily May

Painting panel doors for the closet to match the color of the office walls.

I think part of my indecisiveness on what to do with the doors (Let’s paint! No, let’s just hang a curtain! No, let’s just paint it up!) is due to the certain fact painting (especially doors and trim!) can be a total pain in the arse. Of course, I was done in 2 hours and it was no big deal. It’s sort of like deciding to go to the gym. Making the decision is the hardest part, and then when you’re actually there, it’s like “Oh duh, this is so manageable. What took me so long to get here?”

Ahh, life.

Anyways, panel doors are a pain in the astronaut to paint because of all the grooves (a drippy paint job just waiting to happen) plus getting that super-smooth surface.

Here is my process for non-drippy, super-smooth panel doors.

First up is getting the panels of the doors painted, with a paint brush. I used my favorite paint brush… the trim brush with the short blue-rubber handle. Oh, and I skipped primer on these doors. The current paint job wasn’t very slick, so I wasn’t worried about the new paint gripping to the surface.

Emily May

I put two thin coats on the panels, checking for any drips along the way, then I moved on to the larger surfaces with a 4″ foam roller (made for cabinets) to get that super-smooth surface.

Emily May

These doors have recessed finger pulls so I used the same method with painters’ tape that I used with this mirror project, which is basically:

I covered up the entire area with tape….

Emily May

And then used my X-acto to trim around the pull…

Emily May

Which left me with a little circle of tape to keep the brass safe while painting…

Emily May

The doors are curing for the next few days, while I work on getting the closet trim painted. I’ve opened up quite a can of worms here, because the rest of the room’s trim (and the other two doors in the room!) will need the same treatment!

Emily May

I’ll keep the tiny brass circle pulls for now (they look so good against the new dark color!) but eventually I’d like to replace them with a budget-friendly version of this:

Emily May

source: White Chapel, Ltd.

I’m rushing to get everything painted like TOMORROW so I’ll have something to show here, but I’m trying to remember that I have a full-time job (and then some) and a HUSBAND and some semblance of a social life that doesn’t involve a paint brush. Sigh. I also went to work the other day with paint on me. Noticed it in a meeting. So bear with me as I get this done…

Oh, and Jenny at MFAMB used a similar color on her walls AND trim in her bathroom. I think the look is so modern and newfangled, and especially useful when you don’t have the visual capacity for a bunch of whites and darks.

Two cheers for some decision-making!

xo,

emily

The Big Day: DIY Giant Balloons with Tassel Tails

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Emily May

Photo by Maddie Eisenhart of Hart & Sol West.

Photo by Maddie Eisenhart of Hart & Sol West

This project makes me so happy.

We received our sneak peek from our photographer it included some great shots of the balloons I created so I wanted to share the project with you!

I’ve mentioned my love for these balloons with the frilly tails for what seems like forever (I originally wanted to carry them down the aisle before learning it was a no-no at the church) and it’s crazy satisfying to see the end product. The wedding party carried these into the reception as a part of our grand entrance and they became the backdrop/centerpiece of the head table. It was perfect. :)

What’s great about these balloons is that you can DIY it… or not. I did a mix of both.

36 ” / 3 ft. Round Latex Balloons

I found a great price/quality of these balloons on COD Wholesale. You can also find them at Party City, florists generally carry them and I just recently noticed purple ones in the wedding aisle at Michael’s. (I feel a big trend coming…) Now, there’s a helium shortage going on so it cost me $25ish EACH to inflate these suckers. But the impact / end photo was worth it to me so I spent the money.

Tissue Paper Garland with 6 ft. of Tassels (15-20 large tassels)

Emily May

source: TheFlairExchange // A balloon tail is just a tissue paper garland turned vertical.

The balloon tail looks more complicated than it actually is. It’s just tissue paper garland turned vertical (I won’t share how long it took for that to dawn on me!). You need to do a bit of fanagling to get each tassel to stay in place vertically, but I’ll share that in a minute. You can absolutely DIY these tassels (the tutorial I have used in the past is here) but to be honest, the process takes FOREVER so I bought (3) 6ft garlands (these) from The Flair Exchange on Etsy. It takes about a month for her to make them, so consider the lead time when purchasing!

Note: It looks like The Flair Exchange is also now making tassel balloon tails for purchase! They are quite a bit shorter (4 ft) so I would spend the extra $5 and buy the traditional horizontal garland and get the extra 2 feet. You’ll need the length!

The Tassel Rope

A strong (but pretty!) rope for the tassel tail is important because a 36″ balloon filled with helium has a mind of its own, especially on a windy day. You don’t want a weak string because it. will. break. I recommend using parachute cord in a fun color. I used a gold-threaded nylon white cord for mine. Really, anything besides cotton string will work. You want something thick! I had to replace the cord The Flair Exchange used for my garland but to no fault of theirs—I just wasn’t using the garland for hanging indoors.

Stringing the Tassels on the Rope

You will need to create a loop over each tassel in order to get the tassel to stay in place on the string vertically. I used the same method stringing ornaments for my ornament garland over the holidays. The close-up will look like this (see how I “looped” the string over the ornament hook and back through, versus simply threading the string through the tassel?):

Emily May

Logistics

I had these balloons blown up, the tails attached and delivered to our wedding venue by a vendor. If you’re able, consider doing the same. These balloons are BEASTS and are fragile. We found only one (maybe two!) can comfortably fit in the backseat of a sedan-size car. You will want to keep them away from super hot surfaces (leather seats), rough textures and pokey branches.

If you’re in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, the folks at Balloons Across the River in Fort Thomas, Kentucky will handle this for you. Tell them Emily sent you! They had never heard of something like this and thought I was crazy (sorta true!), so be sure to bring a photo with you of exactly what you’re looking for. They should be much more familiar now.

Emily May

Photo by Maddie Eisenhart of Hart & Sol West

I’ll be back on Wednesday!

xo,

emily

 

 

 

The Big Day: DIY Calligraphy Chalkboard Signs

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The wedding is 7 days away! Wee!!! I needed tons of signs for around the venue to make sure guests knew where all of the essentials (beer!) resided. Here’s my creative solution to creating signs that were more than just… signs.

This DIY calligraphy post is for people who know nothing about calligraphy (me!). As it turns out, it’s pretty easy to learn. My technique is terrible, but hey, it looks great in the end!

In about two hours, I had quite the plethora of wedding signage….

Emily Snuffer

Here’s what you need:

We’ve all seen this style of calligraphy – it’s all over Anthropologie, calligraphy sites and (of course) wedding invitations. I didn’t even attempt to try it for invitations because it just seemed out of reach. If you’re good at eyeballing (consider me an eagle eye), you’ll nail this. I wish I would have tried this sooner!

Here’s what I did. The font I used is called Jacques & Gilles, designed by Emily Lime. It’s available on myfont.com for $34. Best part of this DIY? Purchasing the font is completely unnecessary. (If you don’t like the calligraphy style I’m using, find a calligraphy font you love.)

Emily Snuffer

I used my computer heavily for this project, so keep it close by. While on the Jacques & Gilles page of myfont.com, I worked with their Preview window. I typed the word I wanted on the chalkboard sign into the Preview window.

Emily Snuffer

Thank you preview window! This was my reference as I was writing. I tried to think of the words not as letters in the alphabet but shapes. Notice which letters are higher (“t”) and which ones are lowest (“b”) on the line. Notice how the slanted connectors are nearly parallel to one another. Oh, and if the words were too long for the preview window, I typed as many letters as the window allowed, wrote out that portion, then repeat.

Emily Snuffer

As far as my technique goes, I totally faked it. Calligraphers roll and position the angled tip just so to create the variance in width. I didn’t have the patience (or time to learn) for that. For me, I positioned the tip to do the fat downstrokes first, then came back and added the skinny loops and connectors.

Emily Snuffer

It won’t be identical to the actual font, but it will still look great! Plus, it feels a little more artistic and original than just straight-up copying with a piece of transparency.

For about two seconds I actually considered writing out the escort cards (which are already done and put away) because I love this look so much but I think the practical side of my brain ruled that crazy thought out. Maybe…

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the chalkboard tags are from the Martha Stewart Home Office Avery line at Staples.

xo,

emily

p/s: Do you see my crazy seating chart in the first image? I saw that in Martha Stewart Weddings. Each guest gets written on a skinny Post-It, which made guests super easy to move around as I was figuring out table arrangements. It also ensured I wouldn’t forget anyone. It made the dreaded seating chart task tolerable. :) 

 

 

DIY: Sewing two rugs together

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I shared the living room update on Monday, so today I want to get into the details of the layered rugs. Specifically, how I sewed two jute rugs together to create a larger rug.

Emily Snuffer

I’m a huge fan of Jenny Komenda over at Little Green Notebook. Awhile back, she had posted this tutorial on sewing two woven rugs together to create a larger rug. Her situation was similar to minethe room that needed the rug was a strange size and buying a single rug to fit the space would have cost a fortune. I’ve been combining two small rugs to create a large one for a long time now, but her added step of actually binding them together piqued my interest.

I’ve had her project in the back of my mind for awhile, but could never find two rugs I liked to join together. I finally came across a 5′ x 7′ jute cotton rug at Home Goods for $50. I was excited because the price was right and the size was dead on – two 5′ x 7′ rugs together meant a 7′ x 10′ rug which is exactly what I needed.

Emily Snuffer

The “cotton blended” piece is important – that means it won’t be nearly as scratchy and hard on the feet as a 100% jute rug.

A little more searching in the store and I found its partner. This means I was able to get a 7′ x 10′ rug for a little over $100 with tax. I thought that was a pretty good deal!

Emily Snuffer

Binding/Sewing the two rugs together was easy. I am the owner of two giant spools of carpet thread (what actually creates the “loop” pile on loop texture carpets) thanks to Aaron, who brought them home after a factory tour of a carpet manufacturer (work stuff). This could also be easily done with upholstery thread, which is just a few bucks at Michael’s or Joann’s. I also used a upholstery needle, which really is just a big honkin’ needle with a large eye for the bulky thread.

Emily Snuffer

I did a whip stitch (?) both ways – to the left and right – which created the “X” pattern down the joined seam of the two rugs. When I ran out of string, I just tied a secure knot and re-loaded my needle. It took maybe an hour to do the 7′ width?

Emily Snuffer

Sewing is necessary for pairing two natural fiber rugs, as none of them never really match in size (as you can see above) and all of them bow and pull at the edges as the woven natural fibers stretch and contract.

Emily Snuffer

From ESaleRugs.com

Once the rug was done, I was ready to pull the trigger on a Persian rug in a tribal-y pattern. I needed a specific length (sort of between a 3′ x 5′ and a skinnier runner) to span the length of both couches so I typed that size into eSaleRugs and purchased my favorite one. I spent $67 after one of their ongoing 50% off sales. Persian rugs are often oddly sized, which is why they are so great if you’re wanting to address a certain area. The rug arrived 48 hours later with a free rug pad in tow (gotta love eSaleRugs!).

Emily Snuffer

Not only does it help hide the seam a little bit more, the Persian helps make sense of the coffee table placement, adds color (thank goodness!) and helps break up the neutral-ness of the jute.

Next up for this room is addressing those bare windows. I love the idea of doing a relaxed roman shade with some fun, vibrant trim that mimics the colors in the rug.

Gosh, this is fun stuff.

xo, emily