A Window Never Forgets

The great Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.”  With the passing of time we often find that the shadow of our past becomes faint.  It becomes more and more difficult to remember when that shadow was first cast.  It is then that we become thankful for the tangible items we have that represent those years.  What better way to embrace and remember those times than by making a beautiful, decorative piece for your home.

Old windows are one of my favorite things…and hot dogs.  I really love hot dogs.  I digress!

I’m always in search of windows.  I most frequently find them at yard sales or junk stores, but due to the recent increase in popularity they are often priced a little too rich for my blood.  So when I find them for cheap, I snatch them up for future projects.  One such project that will add to your wall decor is this beautiful and personalized memory window.

This particular project was done for a family friend and highlighted their children and grandchildren.  In today’s times of social media, this is even a project you can do as a surprise by canvasing Facebook and other outlets to find great pictures of a friend’s family.

Simply begin by cleaning the glass of the window and deciding how many pictures you would like to showcase.

By cutting the pages out of a photo album found at almost any store, you can secure them to the glass with double sided tape allowing the opportunity for pictures to be changed out in the future.

Photo Album Pages

The pages of an affordable photo album will house and protect the photos

The particular window used in this project was not your traditional, six paned window.  With four column panes, the last name of the family was painted on the first pane with some decorative accents.  By using slick paint that can be purchased at any craft store, you are able to add dimension to your design.  A modified leaf and vine design was used on this window.

Name Panel A Window Never Forgets

While the “name panel” was drying, the photo sleeves were placed onto window using double sided tape.  Space out the photos as you see fit and allow room for any painted designs that you would like to add.

Picture Placement A Window Never Forgets

Word and Pic Close Up A Window Never Forgets

Customize your window by adding words that reflect the style of your photos

Photo Cluster A Window Never Forgets

In addition to words, add personality by inserting scroll work, leaves, or decorative accents with slick paint

Corner Detail A Window Never Forgets

With a light brush stroke you can easily create accents that add to your design

Once you have completed all your photo placement and painted accents you are ready to add your fixtures to hang your window.

Eye Hook Hanger A Window Never Forgets

By inserting a basic eye hook, you can attach a heavy gauge wire from which to hang your window

Now you are ready to hang your beautiful wall decor!  The weight of the window can possibly be an issue so make sure you use a fixture that is sturdy enough to support your Memory Window.  I recommend something like a Hercules Hook.  They are great for anchoring large items, but do not damage your wall.

Completed Window A Window Never Forgets

Even though our minds fail us and the memories may fade, you can always remember the past with a beautiful item like this displayed in your home.  Have confidence in your work and add your own style and flair to this piece and enjoy it for years to come.  Your creativity and little DIY know-how is sometimes all you need to stay stylish!

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A Stylish Steed Christmas – Day 10

Can you believe that it is already Day 10?!?!  The Twelve Days of Christmas are almost complete.  I hope that you have found some awesome things that you can incorporate into your holiday season.

With so much family time approaching, you are bound to have some quality gatherings around the dinner table.  Amidst the wonderful food and the seasoned conversations, what better way to bring in holiday cheer than with a beautiful tablescape display.  Creating a gorgeous spread on your dining room table gives beauty to your home, even when dinner is not the main event.

On the tenth day of Christmas The Stylish Steed gave to me, decor for my guests when dining.

I have created three different designs to fit the many needs of all of you out there.  You may find some pieces from each design that you would like to incorporate together.  Make sure that your design is congruent with your colors in the dining room.  Your tablescape will look best if all the color compliment one another.

The Rustic Look
Now you know I couldn’t create a tablescape without designing one in my favorite look.  The rustic tablescape goes perfect with my dining room colors and preexisting decor.

rustic table full

Beginning with a burlap feed sack as my foundation, I insert some boxes underneath to create different heights for my display.  Just like clothes hide a multitude of sins, your table covering will also hide your display secrets.

I decided to create a custom focal point this year from my holiday display.  I am in love with this rustic tree made from all things that are truly southern: magnolia cones, magnolia leaves, and cotton.

rustic tree

This piece was so easy to create!  I simply hot glued the magnolia cones to a purchased cone tree.  Because of the irregular shape of the magnolia cones, I inserted some leaves to fill in the holes.  Lastly, I adorned the top of the tree with cotton.  To bring in height and style, I placed this homemade creation on an old piece of luggage.

This piece could easily be duplicated using pine cones.  It is adaptable to fit your creative needs.

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Another great piece in this design is an old coke crate.  These are pretty easy to find at flea markets and antique malls.  They can serve a multitude of purposes and have such history.

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Inside the coke crate I placed a lighting element, some purchased ornaments, on old vintage inspired bell from At West End, and some rustic pears created by wrapping old light bulbs in jute.  Scatter some natural elements like the magnolia leaves and pine cones around and your table is complete.  I know I’m a little partial, but I absolutely love this display.  I can’t wait to put it out for real in a few weeks!

The Traditional Look
Some people are traditionalists at heart.  They can’t help it.  It’s nothing but turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving, cake and ice cream on your birthday, and RED and GREEN at Christmas.  If you are one of those, it’s fine.  I’m not mad at it.  I think it’s great to have those people in your life.  So this ones for you, traditionalists!

traditional table full

This tablescape screams CHRISTMAS!  Nothing but red, green, white, and an abundance of holiday elements.

traditional table close up 1

I decided that glass pieces would serve as my centerpiece.  After placing a beautiful tall red vase with a vibrant green jar, I filled a clear glass vase with mini marshmallows to add to the texture of the design.  I brought all three pieces together by tying a bow on the marshmallow vase.

traditional table close up 2

I balanced the large vase full of ornaments on the right with a great golden tree with jeweled details.  This gem of a find was less than $10 at Pier1 after Christmas last year.  Take advantage of those “after Christmas” bargains!  You can find great items like ribbon, decor, and wrapping paper for a fraction of the price.  Put it away in storage for next year…it’s not like it’s going to spoil.

After the placement of some ornaments and fresh greenery, I am ready for those reindeer to pause on my roof!

The Whimsical Look
This look is so much fun.  It’s vibrant colors and whimsical look makes me smile when I see it!

*Remember earlier when I told you to bring in colors that matched your dining room?  This is why!  Please disregard the clashing of color in this photo.  Concentrate only on the table design.  I repeat, focus only on the table design!

whimsical table 1

After draping my pink fabric over a white tablecloth, I was ready to build my display.  I opted to flank the centerpiece with matching over-sized wine glasses.  I filled the glasses with ornaments and allowed them to be statement pieces on their own.

whimsical table 2

The centerpiece trees are handmade and cost less than $10 combined.  The same tree that was used above was used on these.  After painting a solid coat of paint on each cone, I secured the glistening glitter with spray adhesive.  Elevating one of the trees on a clear candlestick holder keeps the table interesting.

Last but not least, I draped two different ribbons around the tablescape to add dimension and color.  A great printed pink and an iridescent silver were the perfect combination for this design.

Now that your table is ready for guests all you need is a dinner fit for a king!  I hope you enjoy creating a tablescape that will bring your family and friends together during the holidays.  I had such a fun time creating these and hope you will too.  Please don’t hesitate to share photos of your own creations!  I would love to see your Christmas creativity in action!  Until next time, stay stylish, my little elves!

Also….if you need some great ideas for that dinner, check out my awesome friend Rebekah Faulk.  She has the perfect herb roasted pork that will have all your guests asking for seconds.

A Stylish Steed Christmas – Day 9

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the most expensive time of the year.  With parties, gifts, charities, and more, the bills can sure add up quickly.  With the impending debt that you see adding up before you, let’s look at some décor for our home that won’t break the bank.  In fact, these impressive additions to your home might not cost you anything at all.

On the ninth day of Christmas The Stylish Steed gave to me, décor for the penny pincher in me.

We all have things lying around the house or garage that we don’t use.  In many cases, it is leftover items from a weekend project or an activity from the warmer months.  What better way to save money than make some beautiful display pieces from items that are doing nothing but collecting dust.

Stacked Tree
If you’re like me, I always over-estimate when it comes to purchasing supplies for a project, and then, in turn, am left with tons of leftovers.  That scenario was what brought me to create this great stacked Christmas tree.  Using leftover lumber, I am able to bring a personalized piece to my home décor for Christmas.  I had some extra scrap pieces of 2×4’s from a weekend project.  You can do the same with your scraps.  You will need six pieces of wood in the following lengths:

(2) 2 ½”
16”
12”
8”
4”

After cutting the pieces to the appropriate lengths I painted the two short pieces brown and the remaining pieces in a leaf green.

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After the paint was dry I added an aged look to the wood by painting black on the edges and smearing it with a wet paper towel.  Always remember to rub the paint with the grain of the wood.  This wet rubbing will also give you the opportunity to take off some of the green paint to add to the weathered look.

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When the distressing was dry I measured and centered the boards atop one another and secured them with hot glue.

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Now you could leave this tree just as it is, but I decided I needed a little more personality.  I decided to write a holiday message on mine.  After painting my words and some details of dots and stars, I hot glued a star cookie cutter to the top.   It was now ready to display.

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The only cost I had in this project was my cookie cutter, which was less than $1.00!  You can’t beat that with a stick…or a scrap piece of 2×4.

Tomato Tree
This summer I decided to try my hand at gardening.  For the first time ever I grew tomatoes, banana peppers, and bell peppers.  For the most part it was a huge success.  My one little tomato plant produced enough tomatoes to feed a third world country for at least 6 months.  Needless to say, I spent my summer giving away tomatoes to anyone who passed by.  However, now that the first frost has come what do I have left?

tomato cage

A great way to re-purpose out of your garden is by creating this tomato cage tree.  By using that old tomato cage, you can transform your gardening garbage into holiday works of art.

The first step in your creation is securing the top pieces together with wire to form the point of the tree.

tomato cage top secured

Next, I chose a fabric that would best coordinate with my decor.  I went with an inexpensive muslin material because you know I love my rustic looks.  Beginning at the top of the tree, I attached four long strips of fabric to the top of the tree with jute.  I made sure that each strip was lined up with the vertical support of the cage.

tomato cage cloth top

Allowing the fabric to billow, you will work your way down the cage, attaching the fabric along the way to create a billowing effect that will look like snow laden branches.

tomato cage billowing

(Pardon the blue glow.  I was watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta while I worked on this.)

When you have reached the bottom of the tree, cut off any excess fabric to insert later for filler.

tomato cage billowing complete

When all four vertical pieces have been secured, you then use the same process to fill in the gaps with the excess fabric.  When the filler pieces are inserted, you have yourself a finished tree!

tomato tree completed

To give your tree a more natural look, consider inserting branches or leaves to the design.  Something like pine branches or magnolia leaves would be a great addition.  I think inserting pine branches in a tree wrapped in light fabric would give the look of a snow cover pine tree.  You can even choose to wrap the cage in lights before adding the fabric to give your tree a glow!

If you are placing this outside, you may find it useful to insert it into a large pot to avoid any wind from blowing it over.

I am sure that you have seen a similar process done with tomato cages before.  Most always, these trees are done with deco mesh ribbon.  I, personally, am not a fan of the mesh ribbon because EVERYONE uses it for wreaths and decorating.  I chose to go with the fabric and also used a technique that I have not seen before.  I love the outcome of this tree.  I am sure it will look great on my front porch.  Who knows…you might get to see it later!

O Christmas Tray
(You sound like a true southern when you read that out loud)
Another great recycled project is this tiered tray tree.  I am sure that all of you have a similar display pieces stowed away in a closet somewhere.  Maybe you have used it to display cupcakes at a party.  By adding a few little touches of Christmas cheer to this tiered tray, you create an instant centerpiece for your dining room or a great addition to your coffee table. 

This project is super easy and only requires a few items.  I chose to tie strips of muslin and burlap to the edges of my trays.  Next, I simply placed pine cones and Christmas ornaments in each of the trays.  Your finished product greatly resembles a beautiful Christmas tree.

tiered tray tree1 tiered tray tree2 tiered tray tree3

Of course mine is a little rustic.  You could easily create yours to fit your decor.  A little spray paint and glitter on the pine cones would completely soften the look of the entire display.  Add some beautiful blue and white ornaments and attach some snowflakes or glittered ribbon, and you’ll be walking in a winter wonderland all season long.

Three great ideas that are high impact and low-cost.  I love all of these pieces in my home for the holidays and hope you enjoy them as well.  Look around your garage and basement and see what “junk” you can use to recreate an awesome piece for your holiday home.  Until next time, stay stylish!

A Stylish Steed Christmas – Day 8

Don’t you just love Christmas? And by Christmas, of course I mean gifts!  Gift giving (and receiving) is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.   Whether it’s a small token from a coworker or huge gift from a loved one, receiving gifts always makes us feel good.  Even more than the gift itself, I enjoy seeing the creativity that people have when wrapping gifts.  That enjoyment was probably instilled in me by my mother who ALWAYS has elaborately wrapped gifts with huge decorative bows and colorful paper.

When giving gifts to special people in our life, an ordinary wrapping job doesn’t always seem adequate.  There are some people for which we feel the need to go above and beyond.  In those certain situations, I like to incorporate things that are tailored specifically to that person, maybe something associated with a hobby or interest they have.

Here are some unique ideas that will get your creative juices flowing as you prepare to get wrapped up in the gift giving season.  These options, of course, are not for all your gifts under the tree, just those extra important people that you have on your list.

Bling in the Season
This option would be a great idea for that glamor girl in your life.  I know my mother would be someone who would love to receive a gift wrapped like this.  That one person that always has a little glisten or is (no offense, Mom) a little over the top!  Including eye catching jewelry in your wrapping is sure to set your gift apart.

I think that a bright, solid color paper works best for this wrapping.  I chose a bright red and a vintage gold for my two gifts.  An elaborate ribbon is the best thing to frame the jewelry that you will use.  This piece of jewelry may be a vintage piece that you want to pass down to a family member or just a flashy piece of costume jewelry that your gift recipient would enjoy wearing.  After the bow is tied just pin the broach to the center and expect a great reaction as soon as they see it.

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I also incorporated a vintage pendant on a gift bag.  Using the same ribbon that secures the handles, I simply tied the pendant to one side of the handle.  It’s a great addition to an otherwise boring wrap job.

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A Natural Decision
I love the rustic feel of this wrapping.  This would be great for any guy on your nice list or that special friend who is a lover of nature, or enjoys the primitive, vintage styling.  After wrapping your gift in brown craft paper (you can purchase it for $1.00 at The Dollar Tree), secure an element from nature with a strand of jute.  Great ideas for this would be an herb like sage or rosemary, a piece a pine branch with a pine cone attached, eucalyptus, or a flowering plant from your yard that dries well, like the lavender pictured below.  To add an extra pop of interest, consider tying a simple ornament that can hang from the closure.  I really love old keys.  I chose to hang a vintage skeleton key from my ribbon.  This might be might favorite package ever!

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To this cotton package, I added a few pieces of red and green ribbon to give it a little more color.

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Stamp It Out
Feeling the need for my DIY spirit to be satisfied, I went to my craft closet for my acrylic paint.  After digging around in the kitchen I found this star cookie cutter.  After cutting my wrapping paper to the appropriate size, I stamped the cookie cutter design onto the paper using the paint.

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After the paint dried, I tied a flashy bow and it was ready for delivery.

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You can really go wild with this and make unique geometric shapes by overlapping your prints.  Something as simple as a round biscuit cutter would make a beautiful design.  You can use any paper for this, but a solid color will work best.  You could even use the craft paper from above to create a one of a kind piece.

There are also some awesome online companies that create custom wrapping for you.  You can upload an image and customize Christmas with your favorite family photo or holiday design.  These can be a little pricy, but are really neat to have under the tree.  You can search these online, but a cool site with other customizable items is Zazzle.  They have tons of products that you can create.

So there you have it!  White boys can wrap!  I’m living proof.  I hope you are able to incorporate these and other ideas into your holiday wrapping this season.  It is sure to be impressive to your friends and family, and tons of fun for you!  Never miss an opportunity to stay stylish…even in your wrapping!

A Stylish Steed Christmas – Day 7

Entertaining is such a big deal at The Stylish Steed’s home, especially during the holiday season.  When having guests over, I always try to think of unique ways to add conversation pieces to my décor while still maintaining functionality.  One way that I successfully create this is with lighting.

At a party or event, I always feel that overhead lighting is such a killer.  I am a believer that soft, mood lighting is more appropriate for intimate gatherings during seasonal times like Christmas.  To increase the WOW factor of your soft lighting, I have come up with some ideas that are cheap and each to achieve.

On the seventh day of Christmas The Stylish Steed gave to me, unique displays for holiday lighting.

Just The Right Angle
To create an eye catching display, consider grouping random pieces of glassware together.  By painting this easy design on your glassware, candlelight with flicker and illuminate your artwork.

I was able to find an assortment of glass votives and vases at the local dollar store.  Next I placed rubber bands at different angles around the glass pieces.  Keep in mind that anywhere there is a rubber band will create an unobstructed view of the candlelight.

Banded - Step 1

After placing the rubber bands, simply spray paint the piece with your choice of color.  I chose to use white, but any color that would accentuate your décor can be used.

Banded - Step 2

After the paint dries, remove the rubber bands from the glassware, revealing the clear, unpainted glass.

Banded - Final

Cluster your painted glassware together and create a dynamic lighting display for you and your guests to enjoy.  I use the flameless flickering candles in my glass pieces.  It gives the look of a real candle without the worry of burning your house down.

Frosted To The Rim
Another beautiful display that would be great on a mantle are the frosted vases that glow from within.  This design is the most simple of the three, but that doesn’t mean that you lose any dramatic effect.  I feel that this concept works best with cylinder containers.

All you have to do is mist these containers with white spray paint.  This frosted look will allow more light to show through rather than the opaque paint from the above project.

After the paint is dry, secure a decorative ribbon around the base of the container with glue.  Something like E6000 may work better than a hot glue gun since the heat might not be compatible with the glass.

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Making sure the seam of the ribbon is in the back, place them on your mantle and drop a battery operated strand of lights inside. The battery operated lights will remedy the problem of exposed cords that can oftentimes ruin the effect of a display.  Group varied size cylinders together to create a more dramatic show.

Illuminated Reindeer
This little holiday creature is wonderful for a table centerpiece. You will begin with a clear glass cylinder.

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Using white paper, make a cylinder that is slightly smaller than the opening of your container, securing it with tape.  Next, attach a strand of battery operated lights on the inside of the paper cylinder in spiral formation with tape.  Insert the paper cylinder inside the container.  When the paper is in place, fill the area between the paper and the container with fake snow or snow beads.  You may find it best to make a paper funnel to assist you in pouring.

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To create “antlers” for your friend, you will need two thin branches and spray paint them white to add to the snowy effect.

After inserting the antlers inside the paper cylinder, all that’s left to do is thread a small red ornament onto a long strand of jute or twine.  Centering the ornament in the middle of the strand, begin wrapping it around the center of the glass cylinder.  Make sure you wrap this tight so your nose won’t end up around his neck.  Secure the twine with a double knot in the back and cut off any excess.

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You now have the finished product that is ready to display.

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Hopefully you have been inspired by these three ideas that will help you glow this holiday season.  You probably even have most of the supplies stashed away in a closet somewhere.  Take these ideas and use some of your own to make the season BRIGHT!  As you work to get your home shining this season, always remember to stay stylish!