Archive | Home Decor

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable

Hey guys! Today I’m super excited to share a quick and easy DIY that you can do after work this evening (and still have time to make pasta for dinner… mmmm pasta). It’s a cute tabletop menu that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, or really any get together where food is involved (aka, the best type of get togethers). It could also be used as an easily changeable display for art, photos, even a mini calendar printout for your desk! Here it is:

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

As you know from our post about how we prepped for our pop up shop, we made various pieces of signage for the event. I’m a big fan of creating multiple uses from our DIY projects, so rather than letting it collect dust in between pop ups, I put this piece to work. The piece I’m talking about is our little pricing sign.

In the photo below, it’s the shorter wood sign (with E&K at the top). It’s a simple piece made of wood, glue, and a few magnets. AKA it’s super easy y’all.

dscf1956

It’s a nice size – big enough to stand out, but not so big that it will overpower the rest of your tablescape. I created a menu design and swapped out the price sheet for the menu sheet, and it looks right at home on our little sign.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

First off, you can download the free printable menu by clicking here. It’s already sized for this stand so it’s easy peasy. And no, the download does not include my amazing sample menu already on it… although a meal involving tacos, donuts, and bacon sounds like my idea of a good time.

So let’s get onto the DIY shall we! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • About 11 inches of 1×6 wood
    (you’ll cut this into 2 pieces, it doesn’t need to be exact)
  • Super glue or wood glue
    (we looooove the super glue we linked to because it comes with an accelerant: you put the glue on side A, spray accelerant on side B, pop em together, and it sets pretty much instantly – aka no clamping required)
  • 8 cylindrical 1/4″ Neodymium magnets
    (if you already have other magnets they might work, but we like these 1/4″ ones because it’s easy to drill an exactly 1/4″ hole)

Tools used:

  • Miter saw
    (but you could get the pieces cut at Hone Depot or Lowes, or use a jig saw or hand saw if you did it carefully)
  • Power drill
  • 1/4″ drill bit used to get the circles for the embedded magnets
    (Evan recommends getting a 29 piece set like this one instead of buying individual bits)

So we took our piece of 1×6 wood and cut it into two pieces: a 3″ long piece for the horizontal base, and a 8″ long piece for the vertical display. Your pieces don’t have to be exactly the same lengths as ours; the final product just has to not topple over (which might happen if you made the vertical piece too tall or the horizontal base too skinny).

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Before we attached the two pieces of wood, we created recessed holes for the magnets. The magnets are what hold your printed menu onto the stand. We bought these 1/4″ magnets and Evan used his 1/4″ bit to make holes the exact size of the magnets.

In order to not drill too deep, we use a white paint pen to mark on the drill bit itself what depth we want to go to. You can place your magnet next to your bit and make a mark on the bit that’s the same height as your magnet. Another alternative is using a drill stop, which is a little bit more fool proof. You don’t want to drill too far; it’s better to have to go back and drill a little more.

Before gluing, do a test fit by dropping the magnets in your holes. They should fit perfectly flush with the wood (so satisfying!). If they fit, put a drop of super glue in each hole and popped in the magnets. If they don’t fit, drill a little more out.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Then we placed our menu so that the corners were over the four magnets, and we took the other four magnets and popped them into place over the menu. Technically it’s probably better to add your print out later, but we are impatient. Plus, magnets are fun :)

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Next up is gluing your two boards together. You can place the vertical piece on the horizontal piece (without glue) to get it centered, and then lightly mark on either side of the vertical piece so you know where to glue it. Next, apply super glue or wood glue to the bottom of the vertical piece and place back on the horizontal piece using your guide lines.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

We did super glue (+ the accelerant) so after holding it on for a few seconds, the glue was set. If you use wood glue, you’ll need to clamp it and leave it drying for the time specified on your bottle of wood glue.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

And there you have it! I love that this DIY isn’t holiday specific – really it could be used to display any menu, photo, art, mini calendar… so many things you could do with it!

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Free calendar printable graphic from LollyJane blog.

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2016 Halloween Decor

I love Halloween you guys. If it was socially acceptable to Trick-Or-Treat at the age of 29, I would. But it’s not, so I make up for it with for it with creepy movies, our annual Scare for a Cure adventure, dressing up, and decking our house out with pumpkins, ghosts, and skulls :)

To get a bigger decor bang for our buck, we like to do all the decorating in the main areas of our house instead of thinning it out over the entire square footage. Side note, you’re not going to find any Martha-Stewart-level stuff going on here. More like Target-post-Halloween-sale level stuff with a healthy dose of DIY, but we make it work y’all emoji-deal-with-it  So why don’t we jump right in!

Our 2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

Our dining table got a handful of pumpkins that we painted and fixed up (tutorials here and here) to go along with our usual IKEA planters. I also used some of the felt from our old pumpkin placemats and cut out little bats to sprinkle around. I like that after Halloween, I can remove the bats but keep everything else the same for fall (until Christmas takes over!) The warm tones of our new butcher block table top give everything a cozy vibe.

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

We also added a little hint of Halloween to our built ins with my Z-Gallerie bling skull. My mom got him for me back when I was in my first apartment and he’s one of the coolest dudes I know (aside from my husband, who is definitely THE coolest).

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

In the living room, our L.O.V.E. letters are now home to a felt pumpkin like you saw last week. He’s still standing up on his own in the O, which makes me pretty happy :)

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

Our coffee table got a little dose of fall with this target pumpkin and my favorite World Market raven. Also, Evan made the small copper wire ball out of some wire we got at Michael’s.

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

You might see a little Jack and Sally peeking out from our media center on the left side of the photo above. These two are actually on our shelf all the time, so they’re not technically Halloween decor, but they sure fit in this time of year #grownupscanhavetoystoo.

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

My Tim Burton art book is also always on display, but the addition of another pumpkin makes it that much more Halloween-y :)

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

The fireplace got our spray painted hurricanes, my favorite little ghost candle holder from, you guessed it, Target, and our West Elm constellation hurricanes/candleholders (they look like they’re dotted with stars!). These all work well with our DIY’d silver branch, which we still love.

Side note: the whole deal is made even better by these awesome LED candles we have with built in timers…they come on every evening and stay on for 5-6 hours. Not gonna lie, I feel pretty freakin fancy coming home to a house with lit candles everywhere.

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

Our carved Jack Skellington and Domo funkins live near our faux ficus. (they’re sporting more of our LED candles too but they weren’t lit for the photo). You can read here how we painted Jack to look more realistic and gave Domo a metallic ombre look.

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

Our entry is home to the DIY felt pumpkin garland I threw together along with a few other Halloween faves. I love Jack and Sally, obvs, so they have a spot here as well, along with a couple black glittery Target pumpkins.

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

2016 Halloween Decor - evanandkatelyn.com

Well this about sums up our Halloween decor this year! Now to go scope out everyone else’s… :D

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Feeling Batty – DIY Felt Bats

Hey guys! The quickest of quick Halloween post today. Here’s the story: Girl meets felt placemats. Girl cuts out pumpkins from placemats and turns them into a garland. Girl is getting ready to throw out the remaining felt scraps when a lightbulb goes off/her cheapness takes over and she thinks “I can make something out of this felt!” And hence, 36 tiny bats were born.

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

Before I started cutting, I made myself a bat template. If you want you can grab my cutesy simple bat below (just right click and save the image to your desktop, then print at whatever size you want) or you can google “bat outline” and find just about any type of bat you can imagine.

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

I cut out my template and used it as a guide for cutting the felt. Because I was doing teeny tiny bats, it was easiest to use a little binder clip to hold the template in place while I cut (when my cut made it around to the clip, I’d just move the clip).

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

On a side note, I started this project with the Fiskars I’ve had in my drawer for a few years. Ended up with carpal tunnel (not really, but oh the hand cramps!). Then Evan busted out his favorite pair of scissors (yes, we’re the types of people that have favorite pairs of scissors) and they were soooooooo much better. I’m converted. Bonus: they are only $8.73 on Amazon.

I cut and cut, and cut some more. Not a bad way to spend some time when you’ve got Netflix on in the background and a fall candle burning within sniff-range.

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

My original intent was to turn these into a garland, but then seeing them strewn about the table I thought they actually looked pretty good as table top decor. I’ll do another post in a few days with lots more photos of where these and all of our other Halloween crafties live around the house. For now, here’s a round up of all the Halloween projects we’ve done so far:

Sprucing up faux pumpkins with puffy paint, a bit more realism, and metallic ombre.
Upgrading our Halloween hurricanes with metallic insides.
Turning felt pumpkin placements into a felt pumpkin garland.
Fixing some messed up gourds with Sugru and paint.
Bonus 1: our DIY floating outdoor ghosts from a few years ago.
Bonus 2: our Halloween decor from a few years ago.

Bonus 3: this silly video

6

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru

I’m back with more easy Halloween decor upgrades today! I’ve already posted about how we DIY’d pumpkins three different ways; with puffy paint, realistic paint, and metallic ombre. We also upgraded our black jack-o-lantern hurricanes by painting the insides copper. Then we turned felt pumpkin placements into a felt pumpkin garland.

Next my eyes turned to a couple heavily discounted gourds we got at Michaels that were just too cheap to pass up. This one is a texture-y ceramic pumpkin that was marked down from $20 to $4 because of a sale coupled with a damage discount.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

It’s nothing a little Sugru couldn’t fix! If you’re not familiar with Sugru, it’s a moldable glue. Think clay meets glue, kinda like sticky tack but with a much better hold (and it doesn’t leave oily smudges all over your dorm room walls). In the photo above, we’ve already filled the hole with it, using some scrap wood to poke at it ’til the texture matched the rest of the pumpkin.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

After letting it harden for 24 hours, I came back and blotted it with gold and copper acrylic paint. Good as new!

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

We also got this metallic gold and pearly white squash on sale for $2.50 (can you tell I’m digging the metallics this year?). It was meant to be in a bowl I guess because every one of them had this nub on the bottom that wouldn’t let it sit upright. Sugru to the rescue again! We molded it around the nub and created a little base that allowed the squash to sit upright.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

After it hardened for 24 hours, I used acrylics to paint it cream with gold spots so it would look like part of the squash itself.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

And now he can stand upright instead of toppling over. Plus the part I painted blends right in and looks like it’s part of the squash itself (unless you get super close)

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

Everything we used for these little makeovers we already had on hand (yay for free makeovers!). But even if you need to buy some of the materials, they are cheap and will last for many future projects. Hope these inspire you to take a second look on that tired decor you’re not loving anymore (I rhymed!).

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4

From Felt Placemats to DIY Pumpkin Garland

Hey guys! You may have seen Wednesday’s DIY decor post where I upgraded our black jack-o-lantern hurricanes with copper paint or last week’s DIY painted pumpkins. I’m here to continue the series of easy Halloween decor DIY’s with a story of placemats-turned-garland.

I had these four felt pumpkin placemats that I snagged from Target a few years ago. But they totally weren’t practical for two reasons: 1) who can use a felt placemat without messing it up?? 2) we have six table settings at our table and only four pumpkin placemats. That would just look silly.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

So I decided to cut out the pumpkins and use them as a garland! The first cut was a little scary, but after that it went quickly.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

To take the felt pumpkins and actually turn them into a garland (i.e. run a string through them), I cut out a tiny rectangle from the extra placement felt and glued the two ends of the rectangle to the back of the pumpkin, near the stem. I left the middle part of the rectangle unglued so I could thread through it.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

I actually cut out the border of one of the placemats and used that as the string to thread the pumpkins together! Then I hung it over some art in our entry way, securing it by using binder clips to attach each end to the hanging wire on the back of the canvas. Very easy, and much more practical than using them as placements.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

I could only fit three of the pumpkins across the art, so the fourth found its home in the middle of the “O” on our love letters. Luckily, he fit perfectly snug in there so he holds himself up, though if we needed to we could have suspended him using a little fishing line and tape.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

This project makes me think pretty much anything can be turned into a garland – black paper bats or tiny styrofoam pumpkins would be cute!

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

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2

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint

Are you guys still on a Halloween decor kick at your house? Because we are! But do you ever pull out decorations that you loved last year and think… meh? That’s the feeling that hit me, hence our three DIY pumpkin makeovers we posted earlier this week.

Aside from those pumpkins, there were a few more items in my Halloween decor bin that I had fallen out of love with.  So this is the first of a few quick and easy makeovers I did that will hopefully inspire you to take a second look at the decor you’re not crazy about any more.

First off, I had these black jack-o-lantern hurricanes I got at Target a few years ago that I honestly still really liked, but it was so hard to see their faces without a lit candle in there all the time. And with a kitty that likes to burn her whiskers on candles, that wasn’t an option for us. We also tried LED candles but they just weren’t bright/tall enough.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

So I taped off their faces and tops (anything open really) and spray painted the insides copper using Krylon metallic paint. It was really quick to tape them off since you don’t have to be super exact.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Then I taped around the rim and added a plastic bag around the whole deal (I attached the plastic bag with the tape at the top rim).

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Once they were fully protected, I sprayed away. Fun side note – when spraying spray paint into a cylinder, the spray floats out of the top like smoke. It was pretty cool looking, though damn near impossible to capture in a photo haha.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Now they look awesome! You can see their faces easily, and the copper + black combo is like a less in-your-face orange and black. Plus I love how the copper just barely got on the rim of the cut outs… it’s a nice little highlight.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

I think a similar technique could be applied to other halloween decor like ceramic jack-o-lanterns or any type of candle holder with cut outs. Soon I’ll be posting a few more quick Halloween decor makeovers so keep an eye out!

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

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2

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways: Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre

We’re officially a week+ into October, meaning it’s high time for a fall decor DIY post up in here! Our strategy this season? Paint. All. The Things. Specifically, the pumpkins. I’ll save you some scrolling. Here are the final products:

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

We have quite the collection of faux pumpkins…some are of the nicer/sturdier/more realistic variety, some are covered in glitter, some are cheap on-sale gourds I painted white years ago, and some are those “Funkins” you can carve.

Our nice/sturdy/realistic pumpkins were good. Love em, keepin’ em as is. The glitter pumpkins I’m not in love with but I dunno if painting over glitter would work… unless it’s with more glitter haha. But the little cheap guys and the Funkins needed some work, so our paint brushes/spray cans were aimed in their direction.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

I wanted the pumpkins to look coordinated but not too matchy matchy. We had a few painting methods in mind: 1) Spruce some up with gold puffy paint, 2) Make some look more realistic using watered down acrylic, and 3) Give some a metallic ombre with gold and copper spray paint.

1. PUFFY PAINT PUMPKINS

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins (real or faux)
  • puffy paint in a contrasting color (I used Tulip brand in gold)

Tiny white pumpkins: you sad little things. I painted you by hand with cheap craft paint for my first Halloween in my first apartment, but time has not done you well. Say high to my friend puffy paint.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Originally I was going to spray paint these gold after adding the puffy paint. But then I started applying it and I loved the contrast between the white and the gold dots.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

The paint was suuuuuper easy and quick to apply. I dotted it in lines down the crevices of the pumpkins to emphasize their shape.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

It was really forgiving to work with too. At one point we accidentally knocked one over before it was dry and I just wiped off the parts that got messed up. The paint fully sets after four hours.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

2. MORE REALISTIC PUMPKINS

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins (real or faux…. though if you’re trying to make real pumpkins look more realistic, maybe you need to stop and take a good look at your life)
  • acrylic paint in black and dark reddish-brown (white/cream too if you go overboard on the black like I did)
  • bowl with water (a plastic or styrofoam one you can toss later works well)
  • paint brush (I used one medium brush for most of it but did the tiny pumpkins and stems with a small brush. Probably could do it all with one brush though if you don’t want to buy two)
  • paper towels

Oh Funkins. Some of you we carved, some of you we didn’t, some of you we half-finished and we just turn you around so nobody sees. You shall meet my friend watered down acrylic paint.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

I started by of course finishing carving our Jack Skellington jack-o-lantern that has been half-carved for years. (Tip: use an X-acto knife on Funkins instead of typical carving tool sets. More effective, way better control. Tip 2: X-acto is how you spell it, not Exacto. Just Googled it. Who knew).

I combined black and dark brown paint with water until the mix was liquidy enough to drip down the pumpkin’s sides. I roughly brushed it on, concentrating on where I thought shadows would naturally be: around the stem, down the sides in the crevices, and at the bottom. This is by no means an exact art.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

After letting it set like that for 30 seconds or so, I took a dry paper towel and wiped it down. This took off most the paint but left a bit of a shadow behind.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Then it was rinse and repeat. I did this process a couple more times until it had the imperfections and depth I wanted. Interestingly enough, it almost looked like it was made of weathered wood.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Later I took it inside, and in the new lighting realized I made have gone a little overboard with the black. Watered down white+cream acrylic paint to the rescue! I brushed it where I thought light would naturally hit, on the raised parts of the pumpkin down the sides.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

I wish I used a little more brown and a little less black so it had a slightly warmer tone, but still overall I like him!

Lastly, I decided to paint the stem too. Because why put in 100% when you can put in 110%?? I used the same colors I already had out – black, brown, and cream. Below is how Jack’s stem was looking before. Then I used my three colors to mix a couple different shades or warmish gray tones and messily hand painted it on, following the same mental guides I used for painting the pumpkin itself: dark where shadows are (recessed areas), light where light hits (raised areas).

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Done! I’d say it was worth the extra couple of minutes, especially when you already have the brush and paint out anyway. Even if you didn’t worry about shading and highlighting, and simply colored the parts of the stem that weren’t fully painted (thanks Funkin-factory!), it would make a big difference.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end, it looks much more realistic instead of looking like a looming plastic imposter.

After doing this, I actually wished I had added some realistic shading to the two white pumpkins I puffy painted. So…. I went back and did it. You’ve already seen the finished result a few photos up in the “finished puffy paint pumpkins” picture, but here’s how it went.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Paint on, wipe off, repeat until you inevitable go too dark again and need to add some white+cream back in. I did use a slightly smaller brush than before, but really brush size isn’t a huge deal. Overall, pretty much the same process as before.

small-faux-white

Of course, I had to paint the stem on this one too. I used the same method and brush as before. Darker paint in recessed areas, lighter paints on raised areas.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

After seeing the first one done (on the left below) it made me extra glad I was doing the stems. The unfinished one (below right) just looks sad…)

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Done with both!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Lastly, I tested this realism-method with an orange Funkin.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

At first I tried using black+brown paint to add shadows, but it was way too graying on the orange. So instead I quickly wiped it off and switched to only dark reddish-brown, and this worked a lot better.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

This one ended up being way quicker and easier than the white pumpkins!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Finally, I painted this guy’s stem too. Same paint, same method, and same level of happiness that I went ahead and spent a couple extra minutes to do it. Before and after below:

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

All of these now look much better and have a lot more added depth. Real pumpkins aren’t flat, so adding a little color variation made a huge difference – especially in person. Also, even though it is several layers of paint, it was pretty hard to mess up!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

3. METALLIC OMBRE PUMPKINS

Here’s what you’ll need:

Last but not least, I planned on giving a couple pumpkins the metallic ombre treatment. I did one of our large Funkins, and one the last of my tiny cheap painted pumpkins.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Instead of doing a solid metallic, I thought fading from lighter gold on top to darker copper on bottom would give a little more depth and interest. So first I painted gold on the top, making sure to paint a little past the point where I wanted my fade to start, so that I could have some overlap. Well, on the little one I pretty much painted the whole thing since it was so small.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

This paint dries really fast so it wasn’t long until I could flip them over and paint the bottoms copper.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

To get a nice ombre fade, make sure to spray not too close and always keep your hand moving so that paint doesn’t get too concentrated in one area. Also, if you’re painting something carved like our big guy, make sure the paint hits the cut edge so that it’s not left white. And really that’s it! This was definitely the easiest paint method.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Well there you have it! Three different ways you can spruce up any tired/boring/fake looking pumpkins you have. Now these are officially added to our collection of “keepers”. Can’t wait to decorate our house for Halloween!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

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Patio Progress

It seems like most people get to enjoy their patios during the summer: backyard BBQs, pool parties, eating al fresco… This is not the case in Houston. We face temperatures in the upper 90’s most of the day, and when that sun finally goes down there are mosquitos galore. So unless you like being sweaty and/or bitten, summer down here is not prime patio time.

But fall. Fall is AMAZING. Fall is when we dust off the fire pit, bust out the projector (we use this one and LOVE it), and binge on Fixer Upper out in the crisp air. There’s nothing better.

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

So in honor of it finally starting to cool off in Texas, we’d like to walk through our patio updates, which we haven’t shared much of on the blog. When we first introduced it to our backyard, it looked a little something like this.

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

It’s come a long way, but we’ve still kept it pretty simple out here. The first thing was did was order some LED globe string lights (three sets to be exact, so you can see what that amount looks like on our 280 sqft patio as an example).

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

We hung them using quick links that we hooked into eye hooks on our house, and into zip lines on our trees. Using the links made it easier to take down the lights or move them if necessary (since you can just unlock the links instead of having to unscrew or detach anything). There are probably about a hundred different ways you could attach these lights, this is just how we did it. They’ve held up well for a year now!

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

The thing we love most about these lights, aside from the fact that they’re LEDs, is that the bulbs are plastic – meaning you don’t have to worry about them breaking if they get knocked around. This saved our butts when the storm ripped our gutter off the house and took the lights with it. It was a bad situation, but would have been way worse with broken glass everywhere.

We also got this timer for the lights. They come on automatically at dusk and you can set them to stay on for 4 hours, 6 hours, etc. Since they’re energy efficient, we love that we can have them light up every night. They’re pretty even from the inside.

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Even though they’re LEDs they have a pretty warm glow. Not straight up incandescent warm, but still very cozy :)

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Next up on our list was to create a secondary seating area. Spoiler alert: we found wicker lounge chairs and you can see them in the photo above. Even though we already had chairs to gather around the fire pit, space to chill and read sounded nice too. The problem is that outdoor lounge chairs can get expensive! Also, we didn’t want cushions because this space isn’t covered and it rains a lot – even outdoor cushions get gross. So we were limited to cushion-less chairs.

After lots of online shopping around we finally found these. Two wicker lounge chairs that looked nice, stored well, and were less than $350 for the pair?? Yes please (and thanks mom and dad!)

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

We also got a couple of these cute teal side tables from Target that add a nice bit of color to a mostly neutral patio. We have one between the lounge chairs, and the other in the fire pit seating area.

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Last we added some plants. Some have thrived. Some have… not thrived haha. The cement gray planter and taller black planter are from Target, the shorter black planter is from Home Depot (some of these aren’t showing up as available online anymore). FYI, these plants are plumeria, aka the plants lei flowers come from. Apparently they do well in Houston!

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Well there you have it! This is where we are on the patio so far. We know this may not be the fanciest patio… but darn it we love it. Can’t wait til it’s chilly enough to light a fire!

Simple Patio Inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

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How to use a mat cutter

Apparently a mat cutter is one of those things you don’t think you need ’til you have one, like an ad-free music subscription (so long Pandora ads!) or bath sheets instead of bath towels (they’re so big!…you’ll never go back). Yeah, it’s one of those things.

I held off on getting one for forever because it seemed… Intimidating? Time consuming? Instead we opted for wrapped canvases or frames that already had/didn’t need mats. But then I got one for my birthday and I feel like it’s gonna up my frame game big time. The best part is, it’s definitely not as intimidating or time consuming as I thought. And that’s saying something because I needed to cut a BIG mat.

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So first off, there are a couple types you can get- one that has a “mouth” that you clamp your mat into to hold it steady while you cut, and one that you just use as a guide rail to cut along. I opted for the second type because it is smaller and actually allows you to cut bigger mats because your mat doesn’t have to fit into a mouth.

Here’s the one I have.

How to use a mat cutter - evanandkatelyn.com

It comes with an angled cutter for the inside of the mat, a rolling cutter for the outside of the mat (if you need to cut it down to size), and a long ruler/rail that the angled cutter fits into.

Most mat cutters come with some sample mat boards, and I definitely recommend doing a few test cuts on the samples before cutting your actual board. I got my board at Michaels but I hear sometimes your local art shops will have cheaper prices.

Before you do any cuts on your board, you’ll want to measure out where your opening will be. You’ll mark the opening on the back of the board and all your cutting will be done on the back as well. 

How to use a mat cutter - evanandkatelyn.com

Place the mat on a cutting mat and, place the long ruler/rail on top. One side has a ruler, the other has a rail that the cutter clicks into. Align the rail side with your cut line. Then, using your thumb push the blade down through the mat. While holding it down, push the cutter forward along the rail.

How to use a mat cutter - evanandkatelyn.com

It was really pretty easy. Reading the instructions + doing my test cut  took longer than actually cutting my mat. The main thing is make sure your movements are slow and controlled so that you don’t cut too far past your measured marks.

My mat was so big that I even had to do the long cuts in two runs: meaning I had to cut halfway down the length of my line, lift my cutter, realign everything, and cut the rest of my line. And even with that I consider it a quick and easy project (and you totally can’t tell that I cut the long parts in two runs!)

How to use a mat cutter - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end the actual measuring and cutting took me 5-10 minutes, and that was my first time. The first time of many I think! We have so much art around the house that I’ll have to resist matting ALL THE THINGS. For now, I’ll just admire my first one.

How to use a mat cutter - evanandkatelyn.com

Let me know if anyone has any questions!

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One man’s trash is another man’s new faux plant

Ever have those mornings where you’re already kinda late but as you’re pulling out of your driveway you see your neighbor has put a perfectly good indoor plant out by the curb and it’s starting to rain so you know you have to rescue it? Yeah neither do I. Which is why when it DID happen I immediately ran back inside and recruited Evan to help me drag it into the garage, where it would be safe for now and we could tend to it later.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

I didn’t get a photo of it out by the street or in the garage (you know, the whole already-late-for-work thing) but here it is once we brought it in later that day. Upon closer inspection, we realized what I thought was a real tree was a faux tree; it’s actually a natural wood trunk with faux leaves attached to it. Which made me even more excited because me + indoor plants = dead plants.

We did need to address that basket though. Even though we had turned a fan on it in the garage to help it dry out, it was still a little damp and gross (hence the clear mat under it in the photo above to protect our floors). Plus it was flimsy and starting to fall apart. I actually had a nightmare that night that the whole thing tipped over because the basket gave out.

So the next day, to target I went. And I found this steal:

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

I got it for even cheaper than it’s listed online, so I feel like I’m doing ok in life.

It’s a really nice sturdy basket. Sturdy was key if I wanted to stop my nightmares of plants toppling over. I swapped the baskets out and ta da! Instantly gives this guy new life (new faux life?):

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

When comparing them side by side, the new one looks especially solid and the old one looks especially sad. Sorry old planter.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

However, I still waned to make extra extra sure that this thing was not going to tip. There was some extra space at the base of the basket because it’s wider there. So I grabbed some Amazon boxes (which we allllllways have plenty of haha), folded them up, and stuffed them around the outside edges of the basket. Then I covered all the cardboard with some leaves that had fallen and called it good.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

I’m still trying to figure out how he’s going to live in relation to our chair and blanket basket (do I have too many large baskets? CAN you have too many large baskets?), but for now we are liking him.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

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