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brown paper packages: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

{barn door decor}

I had a lot of requests about how I incorporated the barn doors I made into my decor, and I promised I would post it after the weekend. After a very busy, but fun-filled week, things are finally quieting down around here. We loved having our family here, and we are going to miss them!

The red barn door went into my family room, which is decorated in red, chocolate brown, and cream. It really needed a pop of color, and this door was the perfect accent. This particular wall also really needed something, and I LOVE the clock hanging on it.

It was quite the scene, as my mom, sister, and I were trying to figure out whether or not to hang it vertically or horizontally. My poor dad, brother-in-law, and husband were troopers as they held up this heavy door a million different times as we continued to go back and forth. Eventually we decided on vertically, because of the size of the wall, the windows, and a few other factors.

The cream door was made specifically for my laundry room wall. I didn't have room for a full-sized door, so I made it square, to fit the the space. I hung the brown twig wreath on it for some depth, and it adds just the right touch to that big, blank wall.

With this big part of the room done, I think I can finally finish decorating in here!


Monday, November 29, 2010

{black friday canvas deal!}

I just received my free canvas in the mail this week, and I LOVE it. I decided on a black & white photo of my boys, to hang in their nursery, in the 11x14 size. It's perfect!

Right now, Canvas People is offering 50% everything, plus free shipping! This offer is good through December 3rd, and you need to use the coupon code "blackfriday".

Now I'm thinking our family picture would look great on a canvas...


Friday, November 26, 2010

{organized christmas planner} free printables

One of my favorite Christmas gifts ever was given to me by Angela---she knows me so well, and we share the same love of all things organized. It was "Kierste's Organized Christmas", and had everything I needed (and more) to keep things straight during the the busiest season of the year. From a pouch for receipts, to a spending ledger, budget spreadsheet, places for menus and favorite family traditions--I had it all in one convenient place. When Angela gave it to me, she gave me 5 copies, to last for 5 years, all separated with dividers for each year. LOVE it. I knew I wanted her to share it with you, so this is the story in her words...


Five years ago, I attended a class about organizing your Christmas. I really really like organization and organization tools, so this class was super exciting to me. After the class, I came home and created a binder called "Angela's Organized Christmas". I have a few people in my life that I thought would love to join in my crazy organized ways, so I made these for gifts. I did not expect the results to be so positive. I love when I see my mom and mother in law pull theirs out around Halloween and start making entries.

I was thrilled when Kierste asked me to share this with you on her blog. We decided to make a printable version for all of you!

The wonderfully talented and generous Stefanie at anna and blue paperie allowed us to use her holiday printables for this project. Check out their amazing website for ideas, and other printables that are perfect for all of your crafting and party needs.

Just print, slide into sheet protectors, and place into your binder!


Download Organized Christmas Planner HERE!
Download Cover HERE!


Merry Christmas!

Kierste & Angela


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

{DIY barn door}

You know those darling room makeovers that use fabulous old barn doors as part of the decor? I have been on the hunt FOREVER to find one, and despite living in the midst of barn country, I've had no luck. So, I decided to make one out of old wood, except that I was having a hard time finding that too. Well, a very smart friend of mine made one for her laundry room out of new wood, and I decided to follow her lead. My waiting was over! So, if you're lucky enough to have some old wood laying around, this is the perfect project for it, or you can head down to Home Depot like me!

You will not believe how fast and easy this is! I made 2 of them--one regular-sized red one, and a square cream one for my laundry room. LOVE them! You can make them any size, and use any thickness of wood you like. I wanted it to be chunky, so I used 2 inch thick wood.

DIY Barn Door


4 pieces of 2x8 board
3 pieces of 3/4 inch x 4 inch pine

2 inch nails

spray paint, or interior paint
stain (Minwax Dark Walnut)


1. Cut (or have the hardware store cut them for you) your 2x8 boards into the desired length. My red door is 5 feet, and the cream one is 3 feet.

2. Lay them out on a smooth, flat surface--one that you can use a nail gun or hammer on.

3. You will be using the 3/4 inch x 4 inch wood as your braces. You need two pieces, on for each side. Cut them to match the height of the barn door. To keep the pieces evenly separated, insert spacers (we used pieces of cardboard) between each board. Measure in on each side how far you want the braces to be, and then using a nail gun (a hammer & nails will work, too!) and 2 inch nails, nail your braces to the 2x8s..

4. The last piece of wood is the cross beam, made from the 3/4 inch x 4 inch wood. We used a miter saw, but you could also use a circular saw, or even a hand saw. Angle each end to fit against the wooden side braces, cut it, and nail it on. You can add another piece here, going the other direction, to form an "x", if desired. The key is to measure, measure, then measure again.

5. Paint your door! I used spray paint, which I think is easier and faster, but certainly you can use interior paint and brush it on.

6. A power sander is definitely a must for this sanding job, if you want it to be distressed. I used a coarse grit, and went to town! I took off a lot of the paint--hoping to make it look weathered.

7. After you've finished sanding, brush off all the dust, and wipe down the entire door. I applied the stain to the cream door to make it even more distressed.

Now you have an adorable barn door!

For pictures of these barn doors in my home, click HERE!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

{drab to fab hat & mittens}

It's getting chilly here, which means it's time for hat & mittens! This is a super simple way to give new or old winter wear a little makeover...drab to fab! The cost? I spent $1 on fabric, and used less than 1/4 yard, so 25 cents! Add in a glue stick, and about 4 inches of heat 'n bond, and we're talking a grand total of about 75 cents. Love it.

And trying to figure out which mittens go to what girl? Problem solved.

Drab to Fab Hat & Mittens

Hat: I made six rolled fabric flowers (click HERE for the tutorial)--three for each hat. I made two of them a little larger, with one smaller. The only thing I did differently was the way I folded the material in the beginning. Instead of taking my strip of fabric and rolling it up into a tube, I folded in in half, then ironed it flat. I did this because I wanted the frayed edges of the material to show on the flowers. Ironing it down makes a huge difference!

Mittens: I followed the directions on the heat 'n bond package to apply the "k" and "e" to each mitten. So easy, and SO darling!

Wintertime just got a little cuter. :)


P.S. My friend Lei, over at My Many Colored Days is having a super fun giveaway. Go check it out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

{quick & simple coat hooks}

Isn't there always a need for more hooks? Whether it's your mudroom, pantry, playroom, or kids' rooms, they add storage without taking up a lot of space.

Despite having fantastic lockers, hooks, and baskets in our mudroom, with five kids and their stuff, it just wasn't enough. Winter is quickly coming upon us, so in addition to the usual backpacks and school bags, they each have snow gear plus their usual coats.

This is a really quick and simple project, and you can go about it a couple of different ways. If you have access to tools to cut wood, I would use MDF, which you can purchase at any hardware store. It's less expensive, and you can use it for a variety of other projects as well. If not, then you can buy a piece of wood, as wide and as thick as you like, and they should cut it to length for you. I would suggest a 1 inch thick piece of pine, and you can decide the width. They come in 2 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch, 8 inch, and 10 inch width. Remember, that the actual width of the wood is about 1/2 smaller than it says it is. So, a 4 inch board is really about 3.5 inches. I would take a measuring tape with you, so you can get the exact measurement. There are usually two types of pine--a cheaper version, and a more expensive version. In this case, go for the cheap kind. This is not furniture--the quality doesn't matter in this case at all. It will be fine for the wall!

I found the hooks at Target, and I love the two-pronged kind, since they allow me to hang up twice as much stuff in the same space. They were less expensive than Home Depot, and I liked them a lot better. :) I also have had a harder time finding oil rubbed bronze hooks all the major hardware stores, so I was happy to find these.

Names above each hook not only makes it so cute, but it's extremely functional as well. Now everyone has a space, and there isn't any confusion as to where anything goes. I bought the vinyl from my long-time vinyl supplier, Writings on the Wall. Becky is fabulous to work with, and can customize vinyl for any space--large or small. Not sure what you want? She can walk you through it. Know exactly what you want? She can do that too. Their prices are very reasonable, which is always a plus!

Quick and Simple Coat Hooks

  • MDF, or pine board, cut to desired length
  • spray paint
  • sander, or sandpaper
  • vinyl
  • hooks

1. Paint your board, and let dry completely.
2. Sand edges, then stain if desired.
3. Screw in hooks.
4. Add vinyl.
5. Hang on the wall!

I told you it was easy! Really, this project can easily be accomplished in one afternoon, from start to finish, and you'll be so pleased with the result!


Now I need something cute to hang above them...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{window trash-to-treasure}

I have had about a million things hanging in one particular spot in my dining room, and one by one, they've all come down and been replaced by something else. Admittedly, I do change my mind a lot, and I like to switch things up, but usually once I find something that just "clicks", it tends to stay put.

Well, I think I've found the one! I discovered this old window on the side of the road one Sunday on my way home from church, and sacrificed my dress to haul it in my vehicle, along with a couple others. Worth it? Definitely. It didn't have any panes, but it was large (45x18), and I immediately knew what I wanted to do, and where it would go.

After painting it red, then sanding it to death, it has the weathered appearance that I love. I chose one of my most favorite quotes--one that's hung in my parents' home for a long time, and reminds me of my family, and added it in vinyl to the front of the window. I really, really love it, and it's the perfect complement to my red ticking curtains.

Do you love old windows too? Try looking at your local or nearest Habitat Re-Store. I also look up the heavy trash days in my town, and go out the night before to look for them. Focus on older neighborhoods, where the likelihood of window replacement is higher. Tell friends what you're looking for, and let them help too! Just last week I got a call from a friend that spotted some for me. Just look for ones that are wood, have a solid frame, and don't have cracked or broken glass.


Friday, November 12, 2010

{friday favorites}

I have been neck deep in Fabulous Friday stuff (our church's annual craft day) all week long, and I'm excited for it to all come together tonight. I have at least 3 projects down in the workshop that have been put on hold until it's over, so next week I'll have some fun things to share.

For today, I wanted to tell you about a new discovery. I was lucky enough to be the winner of a giveaway over at anna and blue paperie last week--a $20 gift certificate to Cherry Hill Designs. They only sell one of my favorite things in the whole world...labels! Seriously, I could label every item in my house and be happy. They have such darling things, how could I decide? In the end, I went with some holiday labels...

Gift Tags

Christmas Card labels

Aren't they SO cute? I can't wait to get them.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

{thanksgiving printables}

Looking for something fun to add to your Thanksgiving table? These free Thanksgiving printables by anna and blue paperie are DARLING. I love the she/he ate cute!

Download them HERE!