DIY Painted Thumbtacks

Thumb Tacks2I love incorporating color into ordinary, everyday items. These thumbtacks are no exception. This project is so quick and inexpensive; and it adds a fun pop of color to your memo board. These painted thumbtacks also make great gifts for teachers and coworkers. So grab a couple boxes of thumbtacks and let’s get to work! 

Nail polish
Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Thumbtacks
  • Nail polish
  • Cardboard

PaintedLet’s get started! Stick the thumbtacks into the cardboard. I used an old piece of foam board here. I’ve also used a cereal box before. You just need something that can hold the pins upright while you paint.

Painting ThumbtacksPaint the tops with your nail polish. Depending on the type of polish and the color you use, you may need a few coats. Let ’em dry between coats, obviously. 

Desktop copyWhen they’re dry, remove them from the cardboard and put them to work! 

That’s it! 

DIY Canvas Silhouettes

Canvas SilhouettesOne of my all-time favorite craft projects are these canvas silhouette paintings of my kids. I love to look back at them to see how those little profiles have changed over the years. I originally wrote that tutorial over on my old blog, so it’s time to bring it over here to my new online home. 

DIY Canvas Silhouettes

Here’s what you’ll need to make a silhouette canvas of your own:

  • blank canvas
  • two colors of acrylic paint
  • one adhesive vinyl sheet
  • foam paintbrush
  • a photo of your subject (in profile, obviously).
Let’s get to work!  
  1. Paint the canvas. This is the color that you want the actual silhouette to be. Even if you’re using white for the inside, I prefer to paint the whole canvas white (this seems silly considering the canvas is white to begin with. But if you need to touch up any blobby areas, painting the center white will ensure you don’t notice the touch-up paint. Give it PLENTY of time to dry. Maybe like overnight…just to be safe.
  2. Print the photo on regular printer paper.
  3. Trace around the silhouette with a black sharpie. This helps you see a clear outline of what to cut. And it makes it so you don’t get distracted by little wispy hairs or shadows, etc.
  4. Cut out the silhouette along the black sharpie line.
  5. Trace the outline of the image you just cut out onto the back side of the vinyl sheet. It’s a little annoying to trace it again, but using vinyl saves you a lot of touch-up painting in the end since it adheres firmly to the canvas. The first time I did this project, I used a label sheet. It started to slide around once it got wet with paint. It’s still doable with a label sheet; but your lines are way crisper with a vinyl sheet.
  6. Paint the canvas. This is the second color you’re using. In my case, this is always a bright, fun color. Wait till the paint dries.
  7. Paint a second coat (if desired). 
  8. Remove the vinyl.
  9. Admire your handiwork. And touch up any blobs if necessary. 

You can find step-by-step photos here. Someday, I’ll re-photograph the whole process…but for now, if you need visuals, enjoy a trip deep into my archives. 🙂

Get the Look: Banana Leaf Print

Banana Leaf print. It’s everywhere. This article from online interior designers Laurel & Wolf inspired me to give it a whirl. I don’t typically decorate with large patterns, so this was a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone. Just for fun, I challenged myself to style the pattern in three different rooms. I’m so excited with the results. Let’s start with the bedroom: Banana Leaf-02If we’re using banana leaf wallpaper, we need to start with the original. This pattern is the one used in the Beverly Hills Hotel; which is where it all began. I would do one focal wall with the wallpaper, and opt for a softer off-white paint for the rest of the room. I kept all the furniture and accessories really neutral and threw in some black and white pillows and a geometric chandelier to make it a little more playful. I think this would make an especially inviting guest room.

Shop this Look: Wallpaper | Painting | Chandelier | Nightstand | Stripe Pillow | Dalmation Pillow | Lamp | Bedding | Bed


Banana Leaf-01

And now we’re on to the dining room. Statement curtains are the main attraction here. I love the way the banana leaf print pairs with pinks and corals. I opted for a table with clean lines, some comfy chairs and added a glam chandelier for some extra sparkle. I’d keep the walls light and airy and throw in some gorgeous, colorful artwork and some casual vases to make it a little less formal.

Shop this Look: Curtains | Chandelier | Paint | Vases | Artwork | Chairs | Dining Table

Banana Leaf-03

This bathroom is my favorite. I love it so much, I may actually use it for my kids’ bathroom. The banana leaf print feels fresh and new in a large-scale watercolor. I’d keep the towels and accessories pretty simple here so there’s not too much going on in such a small space. A black claw-foot tub keeps the room from looking too theme-y; and some classic vintage-inspired hardware and wall sconces and a sparkling recycled glass countertop complete the look. 

Shop this Look: Shower Curtain | Towels | Countertop | Bath Fixtures | Basket | Wall Sconces | Bathtub

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 7.48.01 AM

If you’re not ready to go big with the banana leaves, you can always add a pop of the tropics here and there. I especially love the way Lulu & Georgia incorporated their banana leaf pillow with the other colors in this cheerful room. (image via Lulu & Georgia) Here are some other ways you can test-drive the leaf craze to see if it works for you: 
Banana Leaf-04

  1. Throw Blanket 
  2. Thank You Notes
  3. Art Print
  4. Throw Pillow
  5. Notebook
  6. Watercolor Art Print
  7. Vintage Side Chair

There you have it. I have to admit…I didn’t think I could pull off styling three rooms with tropical prints; but I actually really love them. I’m itching to grab a sledgehammer and get started on my kids’ bathroom. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. 

UPDATE: The nice folks over at Laurel & Wolf have offered all of my readers a 50% discount on their classic design package. Just use the code MEMDAY at checkout!

Coffee Table Styling

For today’s blog post, I’ve been inspired by Chairish to style one of their great coffee tables. This challenge comes with a few problems: 1. I can never pick just one coffee table. So I picked three.  2., Coffee table styling is hard. Seriously, just search it on Pinterest. You’ll see tons of articles entitled, “12 Simple Steps for Styling Your Coffee Table” or “10 Essential Items You Need on Your Coffee Table”.  You’ll even find different diagrams of where to place everything, etc. My approach to coffee tables is more simple and less organized than anything in the official guides. I personally like to keep a little cluster of items in the center of the coffee table, leaving plenty of room on the edges for guests to place their drinks (or feet). 

Coffee Table Styling-01

This style board reflects pretty closely what I have happening on my own coffee table at the moment. Start with a classic wood + metal coffee table. Add a stack of three beautiful books (I love Paris in Color, See San Francisco and The Perfectly Imperfect Home); throw in a couple novelty pots for your succulents and some sparkly coasters. There’s always room for fresh flowers in a pretty vase, and these hobnail candles are my current favorite…they come in so many fresh, springy scents and hobnail can do no wrong. I try to keep my little vignette interesting from every angle; so I’ll put one of the planters on top of the books, and the other one on the opposite side, directly on the table. I like this look because it’s pulled together without being too stuffy…which is perfect for my kid-filled lifestyle. 

Coffee Table Styling-02

This look one is more polished than the first, but with the same cluster-styling concept. I love this glamorous coffee table. Add to the drama by keeping accessories to classic black, white and brass with a little bit of sparkle. Simple black candlesticks, fresh peonies, naturally (is it peony season yet?!?) a gorgeous brass vase, and finish off the look with some beautiful coffee table books – you can’t go wrong with Chanel or Vanity Fair

Coffee Table Styling-03 This third look is the easiest of all. I love the clean lines and the grey wooden texture of this simple coffee table. Sometimes the best styling of all is the easiest. Top this gorgeous table with a trio of unique vases and some fresh greenery. I’m in a major spring cleaning mood right now, so this look fits my current craving for clean and simple spaces. 
And there you have it – three very different looks for your coffee table.

Have a great day!