The Gallery Wall: 5 rules to remember for a smashing wall display

Today I’m sharing some actionable tips on hanging a beautiful gallery wall. Do not let your favorite pictures remain un-hung, my friends. Hang those pictures on your walls, and add a pop of your own personality, and family memories with a gallery!

Do you have an empty wall, or a room that needs some attention, and warmth? This post is for YOU.

Jen’s Gallery Wall Story:

Jen wanted to hang all her special family photos on her dining room wall. She wasn’t sure how to get started, and so she entrusted Novo Decor to the task! It was a pleasure seeing all her beautiful photos, and pulling them together in such a fun display of memories:

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Upon first glance, the task of hanging all these pictures might seem daunting, but it’s really not!

Once Jen chose her photos, we decided which ones needed enlarging. She wanted an “antique” look, and we agreed that having all her photos printed in black and white would accomplish that goal. Then, I took all her photos, and began the search for mats and frames.

Jen has this great antique buffet just below her gallery. I added a few touches to the buffet surface. It totally to completes the look!

Jen has this great antique buffet just below her gallery. I added a few touches to the buffet surface. It totally to completes the look!

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Beginner Gallery Wall Hanger? Use these strategies!

If you are a beginner gallery wall hanger, you may want a specific plan for how your photos will be laid out on your wall. Use your floor, and practice arranging the photos in an arrangement you like. Once you find an arrangement you like, take a picture of it! This will guide you as you hang your pictures.

Wait, what? Hang a whole gallery with just a picture to refer to?

If the strategy above freaks you out a little (or a lot) check out these step-by-step guides I’ve created for you!

My fool-proof no-measure method for hanging a gallery wall

A Simple Method for hanging a Gallery Wall

I have a gallery wall hanging method, but now what?

Intermediate or Advanced Gallery Wall Hanger? Use caution!

If you’ve done this before, you might be comfortable “eye-balling” your wall as you start hanging your pictures. This is a bit risky. If you do it this way, make sure you measure your wall, and know the size of wall space you are working with/will be covering with your gallery.

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Even if you are not measuring specifically between pictures and are “eye-balling” those distances as you hang your pictures, you will still want to ensure that your gallery is centered on your wall. To ensure that it is centered, start by marking the center of your wall space. Then determine how far out, left/right, top/bottom, your gallery pictures will be hung.

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When I am hanging a gallery, I look at the wall space, and determine how high/low, and how far to the left/right my gallery will span on the wall. I always start from the center of that space, and work my way out, making sure to maintain the same distances (distance between pictures, distance from the left boundary of wall to the far left picture, distance from the right boundary of the wall to the picture farthest on the right, etc.)

If you don’t start with a general idea of the size of your space, and how high/far out to left/right you want your pictures to hang, you may end up with a lopsided picture gallery.

In the picture below, you can see I started with four 8x10 frames in the center. I worked off of those, making my way to the sides, and up/down. You can also see that the distance between the far left picture, and the far right picture, to the door trim, is the same.

It’s OK that the floral arrangement is in front of a couple photos. Plants and floral arrangements add so much warmth and depth to any space. The vase is sitting far enough away from the wall, that it does not entirely block anyone’s view of those pictures behind it. This makes people stand close to view the photos!

It’s OK that the floral arrangement is in front of a couple photos. Plants and floral arrangements add so much warmth and depth to any space. The vase is sitting far enough away from the wall, that it does not entirely block anyone’s view of those pictures behind it. This makes people stand close to view the photos!

When you are ready to begin hanging your gallery, remember these basic tips to get off to a strong start!

5 RULES TO REMEMBER FOR YOUR SMASHING GALLERY WALL

  1. Use pictures of different sizes, frames of different sizes, and mats of different sizes.

    In this gallery, I used a number of 8x10 frames with and without mats, 5x7 frames with and without mats, and some 4x6 frames with and without mats. I also used some GREAT smaller frames with beautifully intricate frames for Jen’s smaller photos.

  2. Scatter the different size frames all over your wall.

    Don’t worry about keeping the same size photos near each other, though you can certainly do this if you wish. In this gallery, I hung the four 8x10 frames at the center. These served as my starting point to work off of. From that point, I didn’t have a system as to what sizes were hung next. I did always make sure to keep the distances between pictures the same (see above rule!)

  3. Different frames, similar mats (Or, similar frames, different (or similiar) mats)

    In this gallery, you can see the frames are very different. They are gold, silver, wooden, and painted. One or two even have subtle pattern on them. The mats are all cream, or light colored.

    Having different frames is a good thing, and creates a fun eclectic look. To achieve this look successfully, try to pull in colors from your room, and also add some metallic frames as well. Frames that are “chunky” are best for galleries simply because they are pretty to look at, and create visual interest.

    If you do this, the mats should be similar so as not to “confuse” the eye.

    If you prefer a more uniform look, you can choose to have all the same frames. If this is the route you choose, I would suggest using similar color mats across all your pictures. Another option with frames that are the same, would be to incorporate 3-4 different color mats, or even 1-2 colors. Using mat colors that coincide with the current color scheme of the room is suggested, but not always necessary!

  4. Hang pictures at different heights, and configurations, and hang them the same distance from each other

    Keep your pictures within the same distance from each other, so there are no random larger gaps between pictures. Random larger gaps make it appear as if there is a picture missing. In this gallery I hung the pictures about 2 to 2.5 inches apart from one another. If the distance between your pictures isn’t exactly the same, i wouldn’t worry about that. A few millimeters off isn’t a big deal to the human eye.

    Can you tell that not all these pictures in the photo above are hung EXACTLY the same distance from each other? Spoiler: they aren’t! Lol. Again, same general ballpark distance is what you’re going for.

  5. Add non-photo pieces to your wall

    These non-photo items might include a wall sconce, clock, signage, metal accent piece, or even a special napkin, or hanker-chief that you can frame, or put in a shadow box. In this gallery, I added a fun red metal flower, which ties in with the red rug in the room. I also added a “family” sign (in a frame!) at the very top. Making it was a challenge…..I made it by printing the word “family” on my computer in a plain font, and simply framed it. Easy, right?

    Gallery walls are wonderful for so many reasons! They are definitely conversation pieces in any home, and they showcase all the people (and things!) you love. Get out those old photos and think about how you might display them with other wall accessories in your home. You’d be surprised how your room will instantly change vibes once you’ve got your “smashing” gallery wall hung.

If you’re like Jen, and would love a gallery but don’t want to tackle it yourself, I’d love to help. Contact me below, and I’ll get back to you!!! Don’t keep the memories in boxes…..display them!!!




























DIY rustic wall letters

If you like the rustic, farmhouse style, then you'll LOVE this tutorial.   And, you don't have to be a wood working expert to make this happen!  

The letter I made happens to be "L", which only required two, simple straight boards. I used a circular saw to cut my pine boards for this project.   Not all letters are this easy to make using wood boards......

Letters that have curves and points, CAN still be made using straight cuts.  You just have to experiment a bit with how you can make it work.   If you have a saw that can cut curves (jig saw), that's an even easier solution. 

The easiest letters to make using simple, straight wood cuts include:  L, T, E, F, H, I

For this project, you can use any type of wood board.  Pine wood works great for this type of project.  Pine takes stain well, and it is very low cost. I like the simplicity of pine, and how it looks when stained.  

Below is what plain pine boards look like right off the shelf at Menard's. 

Letter Size

Your letter can be ANY size you want!  Using wider boards will result in a bigger letter. My boards were 1x6 inch.   You can go narrower than that (1x4inch), or wider (1x8 inch, 1x10 inch, and so on).    To make an "L", like you see in the picture here, I only needed to cut two pieces of wood.  One longer piece, and one shorter piece (I eye-balled that part).  

Once you have your boards cut, then it's time to stain them.  I used "Dark Walnut" by MinWax: 

There is no need to stain both side of your boards! Just stain the side that will be exposed when hung.      

Hanging your Giant Letter

I took the easy way out and pounded two nails through each board, right into the wall.  You could attach hooks on the back of your letter for easy hanging.  Or, don't hang your letter at all; set it on a buffet, or dresser and lean it against the wall.  

And that is one easy tutorial on how to make a giant rustic letter for any wall in the house.  The "L" in these pictures hangs in our son Luke's room.  He likes it  We like it!  

Browse the blog and see more home decorating tutorials......

5 Steps to an easy DIY Family Command Center: For summer time too!

I don't know about you, but trying to keep papers organized at home has always been a challenge.  Before our DIY command center,  we'd been using our kitchen counter tops as a "paper collector", and it was highly ineffective.  Papers would get lost, throw out by accident, or buried.  (out of sight out of mind).   I knew we needed a solution. 

After browsing Pinterest, I decided to try a very simple version of a command center, that I knew I could keep up with.   

Here's what I used: 

1.  Two large bulletin (cork) boards measuring 2x3 feet.  They were not identical, as you can see, but that's OK because I covered them!

first.jpg

I wanted to utilize a narrow wall/corner in our kitchen for the command center. It's a wall I walk past everyday, and we can all see it easily.   My thought process was, if I could somehow attach these two boards, I could create one long, narrow board that would fit perfectly on that narrow wall.  

The boards, when placed vertically next to eachother, fit JUST RIGHT onto that wall. 

second.jpg

2.  Fabric:  Next I needed to find some fabric large enough to wrap around both of these boards. I found a tablecloth with a neutral color and pattern.  While I don't love it, I already had it on hand, and it works great for now; big enough to cover both boards nicely.  

3. Staple gun:  I used a staple gun to attach the edges of the fabric around the backside of the boards, all around the back edges.  Worked great.   If you don't have a staple gun you can use a glue gun, or a strong adhesive glue.  (sorry I totally forgot to take pictures of this step) 

"Wrapping" the boards was pretty easy ( and I didn't even attach the boards first!)  I placed my fabric face down on the  floor (sorry no picture!), and then put the boards face down, onto the fabric.  Then I pulled the fabric tight around the edges and stapled away.   

4.  Upholstery pins:  To give the board a more "finished" look, I used upholstery pins along the boarder.  I liked the result:

third.jpg
pins 2.jpg

5. Labels:  I made labels using typing paper, black paper, and the computer.  Why labels?  This is where the organization comes in....and my sanity...... 

I made labels for each child, and things like school, and events.  For now, I'm starting simple. I may add a category at some point, but so far this works.   Now, instead of piling up papers on our kitchen counters, I can stick them under the category they belong to.  They are easy to find, and I don't get confused with what papers belong to what kid! It's a win-win!  

paper.jpg

Command Center: Effective, CHEAP! 

The boards were $1.99 a piece (Goodwill, of course!), and the fabric was $3.99 (also Goodwill).  For a giant command center that fits my wall perfectly, I'll pay $7.97 any day!  The upholstery pins came in a box of 30 and I bought them so long ago I do not remember what I paid! (Hobby Lobby).  

Feel the love

Here is what I love about this system:

1. . It was cheap to make

2. It was easy to make

3. It is easy to see and use

4. I can change it if I get sick of the fabric! I also have the flexibility to re-position the boards the horizontal way, creating a fatter, wider command center.   Nothing is permanent, in DIY world!!!

Do I run out of room on this board? 

Nope. And here's why:   The papers that do not absolutely have to be seen at all times go in labeled file folders, or, I pin a folder right to the board and put those papers inside.   By doing this, I save space, and still keep important papers close by.   

paper side view.jpg

And that's it!  So easy, and time-saving!  Our kitchen table and counter tops stay clear (most of the time) and I we can see what we need to at all times!!!

Do you have a family command center that works great for you??  If not, give this one a try!  

Have a fabulous weekend!!!

See more tutorials below.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I turned this dated home accessory into a chic, fresh accessory

Greetings.  If you've seen my posts, even just a few of them, you know I'm a thrifting addict. This means I LOVE going to second hand stores anywhere I see one, and finding the diamonds in the rough nobody wants!  Turning them into awesomely cool and fresh home decor is the icing on the cake.  I use this strategy with our home, and every room design job I work on.  Every single one. 

Today I'm sharing how a simple home accessory can be re-created into something fresh and current.    

I started with this giant tub '0 something at Goodwill.   I liked it's size, shape, potential function, and the fact that it only set me back $3.99: 

before.jpg

I certainly wasn't loving the ducks (and they even had scarves on), nor the stenciled border along the bottom.  But these things are no big deal....with a vision, and some paint. 

I decided to keep it simple with just three colors.  I ran painter's tape along the top of the duck's heads, and along the bottom, below their "feet".  Then I covered the ducks right up by painting that section black: 

step 1.jpg

In the picture above, I had already removed the painter's tape.  The ducks were still showing through the black paint, but before I dealt with that, I wanted to cover up the bottom border that was previously stenciled on.  You can see that below. 

I used cream paint, and again, placed my painter's tape for a clean edge all the way around. 

step 2.jpg
step 3.jpg

It was time to cover those ducks once and for all.  Once the black paint was dry, I applied painter's tape in a simple triangular fashion.  I kept it simple, doing this all the way around the piece.  

step 4.jpg

I eye-balled it while taping the triangles, making sure that I placed the tape equally distant from the previously painted triangle (I removed the painter's tape as soon as a triangle was painted) 

after.jpg

And that's it!  This took me 30 minutes or less.  I am planning to use this piece for an upcoming customer design job I'll be installing later this month.  I think it will serve its purpose well. 

Now that it's done, I am debating adding a fourth color, and perhaps a few more triangles.  Sometimes when I glance at it, I feel like I see a monster's mouth (the mustard yellow triangles are the teeth, and the black is the darkness of the mouth).  What do you think? 

Here's a look at the piece in a styled situation, which gives you an idea of how it could potentially be used: 

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There you have it. This is a simple way to update an old, tired piece of home decor.  The best part, is that you can customize finds like this in any way, to fit your style/colors.  That's a win-win all around don't you think? 

Thanks for reading!

Kate

See more DIY "stuff" from Novo Decor below.....

 

 

 

 

 

Festive holiday bookcase DIY: Try it this weekend!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have lots of left-overs to eat today!  Today I am sharing a trick that you can implement this weekend; just in time for holiday decorating!  Here you'll see how I turned our antique "secretary"/hutch into a fresh and festive piece of furniture without paint, or glue!  

SUPPLIES:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Bookshelf or bookcase of some kind
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Adhesive spray
  • Foam board
supplies.jpg

After a few preparations, you're on your way to turning your bookcase, (even your built-in bookcase) into a fun holiday accent! 

Preparations first....

1. Empty those shelves!  Now you are ready to get your measurements.....

If you have a piece of furniture that you cannot remove the shelves from, (like mine below) you will need to measure the space between each shelf.  Since I couldn't remove my shelves,  I had four spaces to measure  (I had three shelves).  

One great thing about this idea, is that it's temporary!  If you don't want to paint your piece, or glue fabric/paper to it, this is a great option.  You can remove your foam boards anytime, or, make a change to your boards with each changing season (or mood!) 

One great thing about this idea, is that it's temporary!  If you don't want to paint your piece, or glue fabric/paper to it, this is a great option.  You can remove your foam boards anytime, or, make a change to your boards with each changing season (or mood!) 

If your shelves CAN be removed, this step just got easier for you!  Remove all your shelves, and get one measurement of the back of your piece.  It will be a big rectangle or square once all your shelves are removed (You'll have a width and height measurement) 

2.  Cut your foam board according to your measurement(s).  I ended up with 4 pieces of cut foam board (each of mine were a different measurement because my shelves were not equal distance from each other).  I labeled the back of each board (left side/right) so I would remember how to place the board into the spaces once the fabric was on each board! 

3.  Place your fabric face down on a flat surface.  Set your foam board (s) onto the fabric, making sure to place it according to your label on each board.  The, using a permanent marker, trace each board onto your fabric. 

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Continue lying your boards onto your fabric.  I placed mine right next to each other (so they were touching) in order to ensure that the plaid fabric was lined up properly once all the boards were placed into the shelving unit.  

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4. Once you're done tracing your board(s) then you are ready to cut your fabric.  Use a fabric scissors for smooth, easy cuts! 

my original board already had contact paper on it from the last time I used this idea. I applied spray adhesive right over that contact paper, and the fabric stuck to it fine. 

my original board already had contact paper on it from the last time I used this idea. I applied spray adhesive right over that contact paper, and the fabric stuck to it fine. 

5.  Spray small sections onto your board(s) at a time. That way you are working with smaller pieces of fabric, making it much easier to smooth your fabric onto the board.   (see photo above) 

Once all your pieces are covered in fabric, you are ready to place them into your book case/hutch....

Horrible picture, but now you can see all the fabric covered boards have been placed into this piece

Horrible picture, but now you can see all the fabric covered boards have been placed into this piece

Now you've got a fun and festive backdrop to work with for your holiday decorating.  Or,  keep what you had in the unit before!  The festive backing alone is all you need for that added holiday feel!  

plaid shelves.jpg

What do you think? Easy peasy, right?  RIGHT.  This project will take you 30 minutes or less!  I love my plaid shelves, and when the holiday season is over, I can simply remove my boards and go back to a plain gray background.  

Ahhhh another horrible picture.  Sorry!  It looks so much prettier in person. Lol. 

Ahhhh another horrible picture.  Sorry!  It looks so much prettier in person. Lol. 

Do you have any great holiday decorating tricks???

If you try today's DIY,  I'd love to see your finished product!  Post your photo on Novo's Facebook Page HERE! 

Enjoy your weekend! 

See more of my tutorials below

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to an easy DIY Family Command Center: For summer time too!

I don't know about you, but trying to keep papers organized at home has always been a challenge.  Before our DIY command center,  we'd been using our kitchen counter tops as a "paper collector", and it was highly ineffective.  Papers would get lost, throw out by accident, or buried.  (out of sight out of mind).   I knew we needed a solution. 

After browsing Pinterest, I decided to try a very simple version of a command center, that I knew I could keep up with.   

Here's what I used: 

1.  Two large bulletin (cork) boards measuring 2x3 feet.  They were not identical, as you can see, but that's OK because I covered them!

first.jpg

I wanted to utilize a narrow wall/corner in our kitchen for the command center. It's a wall I walk past everyday, and we can all see it easily.   My thought process was, if I could somehow attach these two boards, I could create one long, narrow board that would fit perfectly on that narrow wall.  

The boards, when placed vertically next to eachother, fit JUST RIGHT onto that wall. 

second.jpg

2.  Fabric:  Next I needed to find some fabric large enough to wrap around both of these boards. I found a tablecloth with a neutral color and pattern.  While I don't love it, I already had it on hand, and it works great for now; big enough to cover both boards nicely.  

3. Staple gun:  I used a staple gun to attach the edges of the fabric around the backside of the boards, all around the back edges.  Worked great.   If you don't have a staple gun you can use a glue gun, or a strong adhesive glue.  (sorry I totally forgot to take pictures of this step) 

"Wrapping" the boards was pretty easy ( and I didn't even attach the boards first!)  I placed my fabric face down on the  floor (sorry no picture!), and then put the boards face down, onto the fabric.  Then I pulled the fabric tight around the edges and stapled away.   

4.  Upholstery pins:  To give the board a more "finished" look, I used upholstery pins along the boarder.  I liked the result:

third.jpg
pins 2.jpg

5. Labels:  I made labels using typing paper, black paper, and the computer.  Why labels?  This is where the organization comes in....and my sanity...... 

I made labels for each child, and things like school, and events.  For now, I'm starting simple. I may add a category at some point, but so far this works.   Now, instead of piling up papers on our kitchen counters, I can stick them under the category they belong to.  They are easy to find, and I don't get confused with what papers belong to what kid! It's a win-win!  

paper.jpg

Command Center: Effective, CHEAP! 

The boards were $1.99 a piece (Goodwill, of course!), and the fabric was $3.99 (also Goodwill).  For a giant command center that fits my wall perfectly, I'll pay $7.97 any day!  The upholstery pins came in a box of 30 and I bought them so long ago I do not remember what I paid! (Hobby Lobby).  

Feel the love

Here is what I love about this system:

1. . It was cheap to make

2. It was easy to make

3. It is easy to see and use

4. I can change it if I get sick of the fabric! I also have the flexibility to re-position the boards the horizontal way, creating a fatter, wider command center.   Nothing is permanent, in DIY world!!!

Do I run out of room on this board? 

Nope. And here's why:   The papers that do not absolutely have to be seen at all times go in labeled file folders, or, I pin a folder right to the board and put those papers inside.   By doing this, I save space, and still keep important papers close by.   

paper side view.jpg

And that's it!  So easy, and time-saving!  Our kitchen table and counter tops stay clear (most of the time) and I we can see what we need to at all times!!!

Do you have a family command center that works great for you??  If not, give this one a try!  

Have a fabulous weekend!!!

See more tutorials below.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-upholstering benches: Make one, or place your custom order!

Today I'm re-posting a tutorial I shared one year ago, almost to the day!  I get questions about upholstering every couple months, and while I do not do large pieces like sofas, and arm chairs, I DO simple pieces.....like stools and benches.  Here is a simple step by step tutorial for you, if you are so inclined to tackle a little bench of your own!  If you don't want to do your own, I am happy to help......contact me! 

Stools and benches are EVERYWHERE in second hand stores.  They are one of the most versatile and easy to update pieces, but often they are quite ugly upon first sight.  If you can look past the ugliness, however, you are one step ahead....and on your way to having an awesome accent piece for your home. 

Don't let upholstering scare you!  It's easier than it looks.  This is a simple tutorial on what you can do with your bench/stool! 

Here is what you'll need:

  • Staple gun
  • Fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • screw driver
  • Foam cushion (or pillow "stuffing" sometimes works) You can find these at Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics, or Michael's. 
  • Stool or bench (old piano benches are great for this)

 

Consider using fabric with bold patterns and colors that accentuate or compliment your home interior.  

 

 

 

 

 

TIP: fabric scissors work best. If your scissors is even slightly dull, cutting fabric will become a strongly disliked task! Trust me! 

 

 

 

TIP:  foam cushions work best and provide a firmer surface for your bench, but "stuffing" or batting can also work.  Batting that comes in sheets is easier to work with than batting bunched up in a ball.  

The photo to the left shows a sheet of batting. You can double up your layers to create a thicker seat cushion. 

Here's how:

1.  Flip the bench on its back.  You'll see screws in each corner.  Unscrew those using a screw driver.  Once all screws are out, the top of the bench should pop right off.

2.  Remove the old foam and fabric from the wood base.  You will see staples securing the old fabric to the wood base.  To remove the staples use a flat screw driver and try to wiggle your way under the staple. Then pry it up. Sometimes you'll pry off only one end of a taple. If that happens you can use a pliers to pull the other end out. 

3.  Now you have your bare bench/stool frame.  Painting the base is optional but remember to paint before adding the new fabric/upholstery! 

Below is the bench base right after the cushion/seat was removed.    On the right the bench base has been painted green! Just more fun, don't you think?

4.  Cut your foam piece to size.  Your foam or batting layer should be slightly larger (a centimeter or less) than the seat of the bench, on all four sides.  This is necessary so that the hard/wood edges of the bench base are fully covered.   In the picture below, two layers of batting are used instead of a foam cushion.  Either works. 

5.  Once your foam/batting is cut. Cut your fabric.  I usually leave about 2 inhes of extra fabric all the way around the bench base. Having a little more fabric around the edges makes "wrapping" it to the bench a little easier.  In the above picture you can see the fabric extends a couple more inches beyond the batting/base of bench.  

So, this will be the order of your pieces:  1. fabric lying flat, 2. cushion or batting layers laying on top the fabric, 3. bench base (usually made of wood)

6.  Start "wrapping" your base/foam layers like a present.  Start with the corners and work your way around the wood base, pulling tightly and stapling as you go.  Tip: when pulling the fabric, be careful not to pull too hard. You don't want to use up all the fabric on one side, and not have enough left on the other side to pull over your wood base.  

Below the fabric is wrapped around the entire bench base and cushion. Staples secure it to the bottom of the wood base: 

Tip:  When you are wrapping the fabric, do not cover up  the original screw holes with your fabric!  You will need these holes to be easily accessible when it's time to put the screws back in to the base.  You can see in the photo above I cut little half circles of fabric where the screw holes are. 

7.  Attach your newly upholstered seat cushion to the base of the stool/bench.  Just lay the seat cushion on its back, and place the base over it making sure to line up holes on the base, with the screw holes in the bottom of the seat. See photo below. 

TIP:  Sometimes old screws are rusty or just need replacing.  If you are using new screws,  consider these tips:  1.  make sure they are the same length as the old ones 2. Make sure they are long enough to go through the wood base and bench seat, and 3. Make sure the screws aren't so long that they go through your cushion!  That would be a huge bummer. That is why I included tip #1 above: use screws the same size as the old ones were! That way you can be sure they won't go through the cushion. 

Once all screwed in, your little bench is DONE! 

Then you can make more and more of these cute benches.....

These little benches work great for kids' or adult desk seats. They can also stand alone with the only purpose of adding a fun punch of color anywhere in the home! Longer benches are also great for the foot of the bed, an entry-way, or porch. 

Hopefully today's tips will inspire you and take the  "scary" away!  Always start small.  And if doing this on your own sounds awful, just ask me! I'm happy to go bench hunting for, paint it and re-upholster with a fabric of your choice! 

Happy upholstering!  

See related posts below: 

Questions?  contact me! 

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Source: www.novodecorco.com

My minimalist 15 minute Fall DIY (do-it-yourself) home decor item. Try it today!

Welcome to day #4 of Fall Countdown; preparing you and your home for the beautiful new season that starts TOMORROW!   Today I am sharing a common scenario I seem to face when I I'm out looking for the perfect fall arrangement....and my solution.   This solution entails one of the most simple seasonal decorating DIY tutorials in existence (which is why even you non DIY'ers out there will like it too!)

The problem

When it comes to any sort of seasonal floral arrangement, simple can be the most beautiful. When I'm out looking around at arrangements I either find one I love, (but don't love the price tag) or, nothing jumps out at me at all.  I knew there had to be a solution. 

Light bulb moment

A few years ago I was rummaging around our boxes in the basement and happened upon some "stray" artificial leaves.  They must have fallen off some other decor I used in the past, and were left in the box. There was a handful of these leaves; not enough for a full arrangement, but just enough for something very simple.  So, here's what I did:

I made my own "minimalist" arrangement, using a single branch from the yard, and the handful of leaves I found; eleven to be exact.  The leaves were a variety of colors and sizes. Bonus. 

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Here is what I used to pull this 15 minute seasonal DIY project together....

Materials: 

1. Artificial leaves (you could use real ones, but they will become crunchy and brown, and no one wants crunchy brown leaves in their house)  A handful of leaves is all you need. I used eleven leaves. 

2.  Glue gun. If you don't have one, super glue, or even regular school glue would work

3.  Tree branch, or large twig with several "arms" (looks more tree-like)

4. Vase, jar, or wine bottle

Here's how: 

1. Find a branch with a decent stem, about 6-8 inches long. You'll need a long enough stem to place in your vase or jar. I used a glass bottle with a narrow opening which helped secure my large, akward branch in place. 

2. Decide where you want each each leaf.  Apply glue to those areas on the branch, and stick your leaves on.

3. Place the stem in your bottle, and admire your new fall foliage arrangement, "minimalist" style! 

AND THAT IS IT.  

What do you think?  Was I right?  One of the simplest seasonal DIY projects in human existance!   This arrangement has made an appearance in our house over the last three fall seasons.   This year it's going back up on the mantle.....

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Got leaves?

If you don't already have any old fall arrangements with leaves, or stray leaves (like I had hiding at the bottom of a box) you can find them many places:

  • Dollar store.   Remove a handful of leaves from the arrangement, and use them for your awesome new "minimalist" fall accessory!  The leaves will look less fake once they are glued to your authentic branch.  Trust me. 
  • Second hand stores. Rummage around through their "floral" section. You're bound find some fall leaves in that pile! 
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Whether you are a DIY-er or not, if you're looking to dress your home up with a little more "fall" this season, (and don't want to spend money or time) why not give this super simple fall leaf "arrangement" a try?!  I don't think you'll regret it! 

Happy Fall and happy branch hunting! 

Kate

Like SIMPLE DIY projects?  Check out more tutorials from my blog below... 

 

DIY rustic wall letters

If you like the rustic, farmhouse style, then you'll LOVE this tutorial.   And, you don't have to be a wood working expert to make this happen!  

The letter I made happens to be "L", which only required two, simple straight boards. I used a circular saw to cut my pine boards for this project.   Not all letters are this easy to make using wood boards......

Letters that have curves and points, CAN still be made using straight cuts.  You just have to experiment a bit with how you can make it work.   If you have a saw that can cut curves (jig saw), that's an even easier solution. 

The easiest letters to make using simple, straight wood cuts include:  L, T, E, F, H, I

For this project, you can use any type of wood board.  Pine wood works great for this type of project.  Pine takes stain well, and it is very low cost. I like the simplicity of pine, and how it looks when stained.  

Below is what plain pine boards look like right off the shelf at Menard's. 

Letter Size

Your letter can be ANY size you want!  Using wider boards will result in a bigger letter. My boards were 1x6 inch.   You can go narrower than that (1x4inch), or wider (1x8 inch, 1x10 inch, and so on).    To make an "L", like you see in the picture here, I only needed to cut two pieces of wood.  One longer piece, and one shorter piece (I eye-balled that part).  

Once you have your boards cut, then it's time to stain them.  I used "Dark Walnut" by MinWax: 

There is no need to stain both side of your boards! Just stain the side that will be exposed when hung.      

Hanging your Giant Letter

I took the easy way out and pounded two nails through each board, right into the wall.  You could attach hooks on the back of your letter for easy hanging.  Or, don't hang your letter at all; set it on a buffet, or dresser and lean it against the wall.  

And that is one easy tutorial on how to make a giant rustic letter for any wall in the house.  The "L" in these pictures hangs in our son Luke's room.  He likes it  We like it!  

Browse the blog and see more home decorating tutorials......

Make monogrammed wall art with this simple tutorial

It's time for Flashback Friday!  Today I'm taking us back to a tutorial I did last spring: "How to make easy monogrammed wall art".   I was inspired to complete this project then, and once again I am inspired to take another look at it.  In fact, I might have to make another one this weekend!  

The idea

The idea struck when I was re-arranging our living room. I needed something large to cover a bare wall that I had just removed a mirror from.  

The solution

I had a picture hanging elsewhere in that same room that was the perfect frame size for the wall.  The frame was great as is, so I didn't have to do a thing to it (like paint it).  But, I didn't like the picture inside that frame anymore.  It was a no-brainer.  I could use the frame for my monogrammed wall art idea. 

 Here is the bare wall before: 

Supplies Needed:  

  • fabric scissor

  • paint/paintbrush or small sponge for applying paint

  • wooden letter (any type of large letter, doesn't have to be wood)

  • adhesive spray

  • thin cardboard (already in the frame)

  • old lampshade

  • hanging wire

How to make your monogrammed wall art:

1.  Get a photo frame that has a cardboard backing in it (eliminates the need to find cardboard, and cut it to size!). Most photo frames have these boards in them.   

2.  Remove the old picture and cardboard backing from the frame.  Use the cardboard backing to measure and cut your fabric.  The photo below shows my fabric already cut and lying over the cardboard backing: 

 3.  Spray your cardboard piece with spray adhesive.  Spray along borders of all four sides, as well as the center (similar to applying glue on a piece of paper).  This will adhere your fabric to the cardboard. You don't have to cover the whole board with spray, a little goes a long way.  Plus, by applying the spray conservatively, it will be easier to remove your fabric and re-position it if needed (to remove creases). 

4.  Place your fabric on the cardboard and press it flat, removing any wrinkles or creases as you go.  If you didn't apply too much adhesive spray, you should be able to remove corners pretty easily to "re-do" if you have too many creases.   

5.  Now you are ready to apply your magic!  With a little paint on your sponge or brush, dab the bottom rim of the lampshade so it's completely covered.  Use enough paint on the rim, so it transfers onto your fabric. Be careful not to glob the paint on, or your circle shape might not appear as a nice circle! 

6.  Center your lampshade over your fabric board (tip: you might want to make a pencil mark in the center of the fabric before placing your lampshade).  Once your lampshade base is on your fabric, press down around the lampshade rim so the paint can transfer onto the fabric.  The result won't be a perfect line, but that's what makes this project great!  It doesn't have to be a perfect to look great!

7.  Get out your wooden letter (any material letter is fine. It's purpose is to prevent you from having to make your own letter, free-hand). But if you are so inclined to create your own letter, go for it.  Paint the back of your letter (plenty of paint but not a ton, because you will be pressing the painted side onto your fabric. If you have too much paint on the letter, the excess paint will gush beyond the boundaries of your letter while you are pressing it down.  

8.  Once your letter is painted, center it inside the circle you just made with your lampshade. You can eyeball it, or use your pencil mark (if you made one in the center of your circle). Gently press your letter onto your fabric.  Make sure you press down on all surfaces of your letter so the paint transfers onto the fabric

 

9.  Once the paint is dry, you are ready to place your new monogrammed art into your frame! This is the fun part.  Secure the back of your frame so your cardboard stays in place (usually backs of frames will have little metal tabs you can simply bend over your board).  

Lastly, if your frame already has hooks for hanging, you're ready to hang that thing up!  But if not, you can try this:

Simple hook and wire hanging:     I measured 5 inches down from the top of the frame on each side of the frame. I made a hole on each side (centered), using a small nail so I could screw in hooks on both sides.  After hammering in the nail to create the holes, I removed the nails, and placed a screw hook in each hole, turning the screw to the right (righty-tighty!) until tight.  Then, I added hanging wire, looping each end into the hooks, and winding around the wire to secure.  

AND THAT"S IT!  Your new monogrammed art for any wall in the house!  Fill that dead space on your wall! 

I was happy with the outcome. And the fact that this project was simple made it even better! Wall art doesn't have to be complicated or pricey!  With just a few materials, you can create a great monogrammed piece of art for that bare wall! 

Like this tutorial?  See more below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: www.novodecorco.com