DIY Silhouette Pillow

diy silhouette pillowdiy-silhouette-pillowdiy silhouette pillowdiy silhouette pillowdiy silhouette pillowdiy silhouette pillow

Having me write a Photoshop tutorial is a bit like saying the Jabberwocky is a researched piece of scientific literature. It’s really rather silly. Photoshop and I have a very suspicious relationship. Photoshop is certain I really know nothing about it and I am certain photoshop delights in closing its windows, laughs in my face when my efforts turn out pixelated, and giggles like a high school mean girl when I can’t remember which layer is which. We’re both sort of right.

Despite all of that though, I’m doin’ it people, I’m giving all of you a photoshop tutorial and you may laugh, you may cry (I do…frequently), but the end product is pretty cute and I think that’s all that matters:

DIY silhouette pillow

  1. Take a profile picture of yourself (not for Facebook, of your actual profile) and upload into photoshop.

  2. Choose quick selection tool, select your profile (not the background) and then cut and paste the image onto a blank, white background.

  3. For the layer that contains your profile, choose layer style: color overlay: and choose black. **you may have to do a few touch-ups with the eraser tool at this point to get a clean profile. I also add a little line by the eye to create an eyelash**

  4. Print your image, cut out the black profile outline, then pin this cut-out onto your fabric and stitch around the outline of your face.

I use embroidery thread to do my stitching by hand. It seems like it would take an eternity but actually if you do a simple stitch, once you get the hang of it, it really goes rather quickly. Stitch your image on the fabric before you make it into a pillow though, once its stuffed and fluffed you wont be able to do it! I made four of these guys for my four best ladies at our annual Christmas party and, unless they were just being sweet, they loved them. The best part about them is honestly how much it really looks like the person!

– <3 A. 

DIY Hand-Stitched Animal Pillow

diy hand-stitched animal pillowdiy animal pillows

  1. Template. I used this image, but just do a simple google search of “fox outline” and you’ll get a bunch to choose from. The simpler the better.
  2. Fabric. I used a thicker, almost felt-like grey fabric. You need something a little thick so your stitching won’t wrinkle and pucker the fabric, but color is your choice, a cranberry would be super cute for December.
  3. Embroidery needle.
  4. Pins.
  5. Embroidery thread. Color is your choice!
  6. Stuffing. It’s not pictured but you’ll need this or a pillow form to fill up your pillow!

diy animal pillow

  • Cut out your fabric into two rectangles (mine are 18″ wide by 22″ long).
  • Cut out whatever animal outline you chose and pin it to the center of one piece of your fabric.
  • Using the embroidery thread, stitch around the outline of the template. After I pulled my template off, I went back and added a few details like the tail, eye, and ear.

diy hand-stitched animal pillows

  • After you’ve finished outlining your animal, put the right sides of the fabric together and stitch around the edges to make your pillow. **Don’t forget to leave a little opening on one side to turn it right side out and stuff!**
  • Turn the pillow right side out, iron the edges to make it lay nicely, stuff it, sew up the open hole and you’re done!

diy hand stitched animal pillowdiy hand stitched animal pillowdiy hand stitched animal pillow

 I’m planning on doing a moose/reindeer on cranberry felt for December, maybe an owl for Winter and perhaps a bunny for Spring? You get the idea…they’re so easy and it actually turned out better than I imagined in my head. I was worried stitching around the paper outline would be difficult, but just make sure you pin your template down so it doesn’t move around and it will be super simple.

Happy Friday everyone! I can’t believe we’re two weeks from Thanksgiving. I’m planning Christmas posts so I’m already in the mood and I can’t wait for you to see them! I’m also planning on revealing my rather exciting news that I’ve been hinting at for a few weeks in December so get excited!!!

 – <3 A. 

Nevermore Halloween Raven Wreath

Halloween Raven Wreathnevermore halloween raven wreath

  1. Silver-dollar Oleander tree leaves painted black. Any roundish leaf would probably work but these turned out looking so much like feathers I don’t know if I would try another kind. I kept the leaves on the branches I trimmed until after I spray-painted and dried the leaves. Then, just pluck them off!
  2. Using straight-pins, start overlapping and pinning the leaves onto a foam wreath also painted black. Initially, I wasn’t going to use the ripped/broken leaves but they actually looked more like real feathers so I alternated them in with the more solid leaves.
  3. Attach your raven to the center of the wreath with some wire and add a ribbon for hanging and you’re done!

nevermore halloween raven wreathdiy halloween ravel wreathhalloween raven wreathdiy halloween wreath

I’m so in love with this wreath. It’s spooky without being creepy/cheesy and as far as Halloween goes, I’d go as far as to say my raven in his wreath is quite chic! If you can find the oleander leaves, the whole thing only cost me about $10.00 for a can of black spray paint, the raven and the Styrofoam frame. Nevermore will I say this –after this– but this is honestly honestly my new favorite project.

– <3 A.

DIY Framed Leaf Fossil

diy framed leaf fossil diy framed leaf fossil

diy framed leaf fossil

  • Place: the leaves (ferns, Japanese maples, and geraniums work best, leaves that have detail that you will see once it’s hammered on the fabric) face-down on your fabric with a piece of wax-paper underneath the fabric.
  • Hammer: the leaf into the fabric by first placing another folded piece of wax paper over the leaf and then hammer across the leaf evenly. The folded paper gives a buffer so you don’t destroy the fabric as you hammer.
  • Peel: off the top piece of wax paper, the leaf should peel off as well, leaving behind it’s imprint in your fabric.
  • Dry: the leaves and then pick off any leaf-pieces left behind on the fabric with some tweezers. The older your fabric gets the darker the leaf imprint will appear, I have some from 10+ years ago and they still look fab.

diy framed leaf fossil

  • Sew: if you want, the name of the leaf you imprinted.
  • Frame: or you could also sew the whole panel into a pillow!

diy framed leaf fossil diy framed leaf fossil diy framed leaf fossil

 I have quickly realized that when post-bac school and work get added to blogs, blogging gets more creative about time-management and my solution is simpler DIY’s. This only takes a few minutes and you get the cutest imprints you can frame, sew into a pillow, or use for (gasp) Thanksgiving napkins (it’s only about a month away, better be thinkin’!).

Happy hump day everyone. Yesterday kinda felt like Thursday and I’d be much happier if today was Friday but at least it’s now officially October!

-<3 A. 

Autumn Makeover: 6 Ways to Use DIY Garland

autumn garlandautumn garlandwrapwindwrap hanglayfall moodboardautumn picture board

  1. Drape it: over a bust, around some Autumn fruit, and over a Fall vignette
  2. Wrap it: make a smaller braided length just like I showed you and add one flower for a sweet, Fall wrapping “bow.”
  3. Wind it: around a plain, white lampshade! It added an instant cozy feeling to the everyday, boring, white shade.
  4. Hang it: along with some Japanese lanterns, it looks so cute and festive! Use it once for a party or leave it up through the season.
  5. Lay it: as a runner down your table–on top of burlap or all by itself.
  6. Pin it: attach to the back of a black frame and use clothespins to attach whatever is inspiring you to the garland for a Fall design board.

See what I was talking about!?? 8 feet of braided twine and colored twine-flowers and I got six, bold design-statements. Every one I tried made the entire room instantly feel different. The first day of autumn is Sunday: It’s not cool enough in Cali to break out the pumpkins  for some hard-core fall decorating, but this garland gives just enough of a nod to a new season.

 – <3 A.

DIY Autumn Twine Garland

autumn twine garland

you will need:

  • twine
  • acrylic paint (yellow)
  • black spray paint (optional in case your seeds need to be painted)
  • elmers glue
  • straight pins, dowel, and styrofoam
  • large, black seeds (I used Wisteria seeds)

part onediy autumn garlanddiy-autumn-garland

  1. Put two straight pins about 2 inches apart in a piece of Styrofoam. Holding one end of the twine, start winding the other end around the pins.
  2. Wind about four times around the pin. This is going to give the “flower” its “petals.” However many times you wind is the number of “petals” you’ll have.
  3. Cut off your twine and bring the two ends across the center of the “petals.”
  4. Tie a secure knot.
  5. Pull the loops off the pin and spread the loops out. This is only one half of your flower: repeat steps 1 through 4.
  6. Place your two flower-halves perpendicular across each other and glue together with a dab of glue.
  7. Paint: I mixed white, yellow, orange and brown to get the color I wanted. **The easiest way I figured out to coat the flowers in paint was to simply dip my fingers in the bowl and apply the paint with my fingers. Dipping the twine got it too saturated with paint, and “painting” it on with a brush took too long so, get messy and use your fingers!**
  8. Glue large seeds to the center of the flower.  **I used wisteria vine seeds. They started out green because the pods weren’t dry yet so I ended up spray-painting them black. Any large seed would work though if you don’t have a wisteria vine. You could even do felt or paper but I wanted to keep the garland all-autumn-natural.**

part twoautumn garland

autumn garland

  1. Tie three pieces of twine each 9 feet long to a dowel stuck in the styrofoam.
  2. Braid. **this is the trickiest part–keeping the long pieces untangled to get a tight braid! Go slow though, if your braid is messy, the garland won’t turn out as cute.
  3. Secure both ends with a knot. The nine feet will give you about 8 feet of garland.
  4. Sew the flowers onto the braided twine about every 8 inches. You’ll need about 12 flowers.

Done! It seems like there’s lots of steps but the flowers really whip up in no time once you get the method down. You could just glue the flowers onto the braided twine as well if you’re not much of a sewer, but I wanted to make sure they were super secure so I opted for a needle and thread: autumn garlandThe hardest part for me about this DIY was getting the wisteria seed-pods away from Lola:

vmmv photography

She very specifically mentioned she didn’t want any plucked from her vine, and if anyone was going to pluck them, she would be the one to do it.vmmv photographyOnce she saw how cute it was going to turn out though, she was ok with it…vmmv photography …and it really did turn out so, so cute. I figured out six ways to use the garland so stay tuned because I’m going to share later this week…it was just too much cuteness to squeeze into one post.

– <3 A. 

Succulent Monogram DIY

diy succulent monogram

you will need:

  • A letter for the “base”
  • Floral wire
  • Scissors
  • Succulents (I used “Sedum Sod”)
  • Plastic crate or chicken wire for the “frame”
  • Cut flowers
  • Burlap strips

succulent monogram diysucculent monogram diysucculent monogram diydiy succulent monogram

This DIY sort of turned into a saga. My initial intention was to get the typical, small, rosette-style succulents, but when I saw this Sedum Sod, in my mind it seemed like it would be easier to carve out the letter outline from the sod–Yeah, not so easy. I didn’t want to destroy all the little roots by just carving from the whole flat, so I pulled off individual plant-chunks and placed them on my flat letter. The end result turned out a little, uh, hairier than I wanted–but it’s still super organic and cute. The second issue was the frame: Once I got the succulents wired to the letter, I wanted to fill in some bald spots but I needed a thicker “wall” around the letter outline to hold extra plants. **Innovation!** (or maybe more like desperation) I just used the plastic tray that comes with the flat to cut out and wire together another “L” to drop the flat letter and succulents into. I think chicken wire might be a better option though to shape around the “L” and bring up on all the sides to create a more see-through “wall” than the plastic did.

This monogram isn’t made for longevity, so don’t get any crazy ideas about having it up for days and days, but, for a big event? A baby or bridal shower? This monogram would be so cute! You could even do pink or blue flowers for a gender-specific baby shower or the new last name initial for a bridal shower.

– <3 A.  

How Does Your Garden Grow?

diy paper vegetables

How does your garden grow…such big lettuces?? With paper and masking tape, paint and wire of course:

You will Need:

  • newspaper
  • poster-board
  • masking tape
  • wire
  • acrylic and watercolor paint
  • 5 inch embroidery hoop
  • straight pins
  • hot-glue

for the headdiy paper vegetablespaper veggiespaper vegetables

For the Head

  1. For the head, crumple newspaper into a ball and cover the entire ball with masking tape.
  2. Make four, differing sized leaf-shapes from the paper and wrap those in tape as well.
  3. Paint the ball and leaves with acrylic paint (the watercolor paint won’t adhere to the masking tape) in different shades of green, cream, and yellow to give some depth.
  4. Once the paint is dry, attach the four newspaper/masking tape leaves to the ball using straight pins. **this is a little tricky but the “leaves” are pliable so you just have to work with it until the formation looks like a lettuce**

For the Leaves and Stem 

  1. Cut out squiggly shaped diamonds in different sizes out of poster board.
  2. Paint with different shades of blue, yellow, and green.
  3. For the stem, wrap more masking tape around strips of wire.
  4. Hot-glue the taped wire pieces onto the painted poster board leaves and paint the stem with acrylic paint. **the stems make the leaves look more realistic,and the wire helps the leaves to bend and stay in any direction you want so don’t skip this step!**

diy vegetables

Putting it all together:

After you’ve made the head, leaves, and stem, start hot-gluing the poster-board leaves to the head. Start in the center with the smallest, lightest-colored leaves and work outward. Bend the wire stems until the leaves are cupping the head like a real lettuce. This part is probably the most difficult, and it helps if you have another pair of hands to help you shape everything together! It takes some trial and error to place all the poster-board leaves, but the end result is hilariously realistic looking.

If you want to turn your lettuce-head into a door adornment (who wouldn’t want a giant lettuce on your door??) hot-glue a 5 inch embroidery hoop to the base of your lettuce. Wind a piece of wire around the base and leave one end long for hanging and you’re done!diy paper vegetablesdiy-paper-vegetablesdiy paper vegetablepaper vegetables

Eccentric, unexpected, humorous, completely unique and possibly my favorite DIY of all time. It was a little time-consuming because of all the different little pieces but it was so worth it and if you’re not a lettuce fan, other veggies might be a little easier. Check out the radishes and carrots Anthropologie magazine made in a similar way here. Pumpkins would be fun for October, or apples for November, but nothing says summer like a garden of paper veggies and giant lettuces and I’m in love with this DIY. 

**This is blog launch week btw, so, get excited, because I am all a-tingle!!!** 

– <3 A. 

Party with Pinwheels

paper pinwheels


vintage fourth of july

diy pinwheels
You will need:
  • wire
  • skewers
  • paper
  • hot-glue
  • jars
  • sand

Cut out a paper rectangle and fold accordion style along the longest side of the rectangle. Hold the folded accordion strip and staple through the accordion in the center of the strip. It will look kind of like a bow-tie. Fold open the two sides you created with the staple to create a wheel (you may need a little tape to keep the wheel together). Cut out paper stars and glue one to each side of one end of the craft wire. Curl the other end of the wire and wind around skewer. Hot-glue the pinwheel to a skewer and push into sand-filled jars.

Two days before the Fourth and centerpiece-less? Eh, not a problem: Those silver pinwheels? made from an old Christmas bag. Those skewers? left-over kabob sticks. Containers? a few empty mason jars. The point? This centerpiece is so, so adorable and can be pulled together in an afternoon with pretty much scraps around your house. This year I seem to be runnin’ with a sparkler theme and it’s definitely working for me!

– <3 A. 

DIY One-Seam Tie

one seam tie



one seam tieOk, so maybe ties are the #1 cliched Fathers Day gift and maybe your dad has 5000 hanging in his closet out of which 5 may be worn at random intervals throughout the year but there’s also five very good reasons why this tie is better than those other 5000:

  1. This will probably be the only skinny tie not made of wool he’s had since the 70’s
  2. You made it soooo…automatically you win
  3. Its ONE seam!!
  4. It can be turned into a wrapping 
  5. You have control over the fabric choice and tie width which =’s a much needed dad update

The dimensions I have are for a 1.5 inch skinny tie: the skinniest of skinny ties. If you want a wider cut, just double the cut of your original strip. Whatever size your original cut is, the actual tie will be half as wide after a seam allowance, and turning it right-sides out again. When you’re cutting the strip, start at the wide end and about halfway along the strip, begin to taper your cut down, ending at the narrowest side. Also, DON’T sew the end seams together until you’ve ironed the long seam into the proper place, otherwise it won’t lay right. I had a very wonky looking tie my first go-around when I sewed everything up before ironing!

– <3 A.