I didn’t take any before pictures of this bulletin board (bad blogger, I know!), but it was just your average cork-covered, wood-trimmed, basic office bulletin board. Now it looks like this:

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Less than a yard of fabric (home dec from Jo-Ann’s), some brass tacks (I used ones like this that I also bought at Jo-Ann’s), and a few staples in the back and voila! A much more sophisticated office bulletin board. Seriously though, this was a super easy project. Iron your fabric, cut it about 2 1/2 inches wider on each side than your bulletin board, lay flat, space out your tacks, push them in place (as you keep the fabric taut and the pattern aligned), then use your staple gun to staple the fabric around to the backside. Add your hanging hardware to the back and you are finished.

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I love the crisp look of the tacks and the fabric stretched all the way around the frame. A high-impact look for little money!

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It looks great here in my home office, but I actually made it for my work office. It adds a little bit of interest to my otherwise boring work office!


The bathroom makeover saga continues. I left off, here, where I shared the simple updates we did–art, accessories, and some updates with paint. The main thing left on our list was to find fabric that I could use to make an extra-long shower curtain. The shower curtain needed to be roughly 72×86 inches, so larger than normal widths of fabric. The only other option that I could think of was to find a flat sheet I liked to make it out of.

A trip or two to TJ Maxx gave us a few options. I couldn’t decide in the store, so we bought a few, brought them home to see them in the space, then returned the two we didn’t use.

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The gray/teal/green patterned one was actually a duvet cover, then we had the blue/white patterned one, and the gray one on top. They were all pretty solid options, but in the end we went with the gray one:

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That one beat out the others for a few reasons. I wanted this small room to stay pretty simple. My ideal curtain would have had a subtle pattern on it, but the simple patterned sheet set we found was light blue and it clashed with the mint blue ceiling we have in here. The more highly patterned grey/teal/green one I liked, but it was the most expensive, was a duvet cover, so it would have been a little added work to make into a shower curtain, and I was worried that it was just a little too busy for the space. The gray one, however, was simple, a great color that went well with the existing patterned hand towel, gray plant pot in the shower, and gave a nice neutral backdrop for the bright colored painting/accessories. As if those reasons weren’t enough, it was actually only a flat sheet (instead of a sheet set, where we were buying a fitted sheet and pillowcases as well that we didn’t need) and it was on clearance for $15:

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It was a super easy project to turn it into a shower curtain. I only had to trim a few inches off one side, sew that seam back up, then I cut the band off the top of the sheet, hemmed that, and sewed buttonholes to line up with the holes along the top of our shower curtain liner. Finished it up in one short afternoon.

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Even though the sheet made a thinner shower curtain than most ones you buy, I haven’t had any problems with it since we also have a liner on the inside.

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Showering is so much nicer now! When we only had the liner up, the air would blow the liner onto you while you were in the shower. Now, with the outside curtain up too, that doesn’t happen.

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Perhaps down the line, we’ll get a patterned rug to go in here to break  up all the solid areas of color, but for now, I’m happy with our little bathroom makeover and how little we’ve spent on it!

It had been a while since our living room had seen any love and it was in need of a little attention. The last time I posted about it on here was in our November House Tour, and although it had come a long way from these previous posts about it (getting our couch, getting our loveseat/rearranging/drop cloth drapes/adding a lamp & tv stand, adding a living room gallery wall, adding our painting) it was still a little lackluster, in my opinion.

Here it was then (as of November 2012):

There were just a few little things that bothered me that needed tweaking:

  • I was tired of the pink pillows on the couch (I love deeper raspberry pinks, but I’m kind-of over hot/Barbie-like pinks right now). Not that Drew really cares that much about what I put in the house (and I don’t think he ever gave a second thought to our couch pillows), but I wanted something that maybe he would be inspired by/excited about as well (and that wasn’t going to happen with the pink floral print). Overall, I thought our previous pillow situation just looked a little mis-matched and not all that inspiring together.
  • Decorating around our crazy green couches can be a little difficult (how I wish they were a warm grey linen color!) and the previous color scheme of the room altogether just wasn’t doing it for me. I wanted a little more specific color direction in here.
  • The bookshelves needed just a little tweaking, re-arranging of things and adding in a little more art and personality.
  • The coffee table! Our coffee table I’ve had since I was in high school, it used to be in my bedroom in my parents house. I found it for $15 at a used furniture store close to my hometown and it was probably my very first home related DIY project. I had my dad’s friend cut the legs down to make it a little shorter (I wanted to be able to sit on the floor and use it to work on art/school projects) and then I painted it black (don’t ask me why, I had questionable taste back then). After 6+ years, it was looking a little gross — the paint was chipped and it never fully cured correctly and always stayed a little tacky (anytime you put a magazine or anything on it, it would stick to the table!). It was in desperate need of a makeover, to say the least.

So, in short, that was the list of things that needed to be addressed. Drew and I are on Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover so we didn’t have much of a budget to spend on this room, so most of the above issues were addressed with a little DIY and elbow grease. I made some new pillows, brought in more of my own art for the bookshelves (fabric paintings from my BA Exhibition) and paint-stripped down our old coffee table. For just a little bit of money (on some pillow supplies and paint-stripper) we ended up with this:

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I love the pops of the pretty blues! Teal and turquoise are really trendy colors right now and I’m so in love with them! My favorite skinny jeans are teal and it is our branding color for our business. It is a color that works really well with a lot of the other rooms in our house (not that your whole house has to match exactly, but I think it is nice when rooms flow into each other and all have a cohesive feeling/design aesthetic), our laundry room has a blue tile floor and teal curtains (the same ones from my freshman college dorm room) and there are pops of it in our foyer (you can’t see it in the pictures, but that big plant in the corner is planted in a huge teal planter pot) and my office (painting taboret, bowl/books/yarn on the white cabinet) as well. Overall I think it gives the room a more clean, simple and fresh look. It just seems like such a happier room now!

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The two largest pillows (the turquoise velvet ones) are from World Market and the other two (the patterned ones and the smaller teal ones) I made out of World Market cloth napkins (these and these). Cloth napkins are a great way to find just the right amount of fabric for pillows like this! Usually they are pretty inexpensive and you can find some great patterns! I didn’t spend a ton of money on these pillows, but I think they really make a big difference in the room!

As for the coffee table, I paint stripped all the black paint off, then sanded it down. I decided to just use some coconut oil (I already had on hand) on it for now. I love how much brighter the wood tone feels in the room compared to the black! Eventually I’ll give it another sanding to get the rest of the paint out of the little cracks and then perhaps stain/oil/seal it better, but I wanted to live with it as is for now to get a better idea of exactly what I wanted to do with it. (My original thought was to leave the top wood and then paint the base gold, but after spending so much time getting the old paint off, I don’t want to put any more paint on it until I’m 100% sure about it!)

before after coffee table makeover

The overall changes in the room are pretty small, but I think they make a big difference! Here are some side-by-side comparisons:

before after looking into living room and foyer

before after living room couch

before after living room wide

What colors are you crushing on right now? I’m so into teal and gold!


Couch and loveseat are from Compass Furniture in New Orleans, television/media cabinet is from Target, coffee table was thrifted years ago (it used to be in my bedroom in my parent’s house when I was in high school), white bookcase is from IKEA, painting was a wedding gift from my sister and her husband (by New Orleans artist Adam Hall), gallery wall photos were taken by me, curtains I made out of drop-cloths, big turquoise velvet couch pillows are from World Market, teal and patterned pillows I made from World Market cloth napkins (these and these), light blue pedestal side table from Nadeau in New Orleans, cream and white damask throw, wire basket (filled with yarn on bookshelf), and wooden @ symbol from TJ Maxx, floor lamp is from Lowe’s, silver table lamp is from Compass Furniture (scored it for $15 with a Living Social Deal!),  8×10 area rug from Lowe’s (scored it for $15!), glass candy dish, basket (on the floor at the end of the loveseat), wooden ladder and quilts were thrifted, basket (with magazines in it behind the french doors) was a wedding gift, landscape painting on the bookshelf was a wedding gift (painted my Drew’s mom’s good friend and my 8th grade teacher!), globe was mine from when I was little bought for me by my Mamaw, the chalkboard message board was from our wedding (originally from here), and the two abstract paintings and ceramic artichoke were made by me.

Much of my time over the last few months of this past semester were spent here:

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This was my studio space in the Advanced Painting room at Tulane. I shared this room with several other pretty cool people (and pretty awesome artists). Our end goal was to produce a body of work for our end-of-the-year, Bachelor of Arts Exhibition. Our exhibition was up in the Carroll Gallery at Tulane from May 9th-May 17th.

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It was a really awesome experience to have my work shown in a gallery. Here is my final exhibition, a quilt series of twenty-four (I actually did more, these were just the ones I ended up showing) abstract landscape paintings, painted on cotton quilting fabric, some fabrics sewn together, and some including machine and hand embroidery.

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My artist statement:

I grew up in rural Southern Illinois on land that has been passed down through my family for generations. Before I started school, I spent every day with my grandmother, who encouraged my love of watercolor painting and being creative and who established the foundation for my personality and moral beliefs. My grandpa wrote stories, fished everyday, and grew a huge garden that I helped him harvest. I loved snapping off the ripe asparagus, helping my grandma cook, and laying in the hammock in their backyard. Just down the road was my own house, where I climbed trees and ran through the creek with my sisters and brother, helped my dad work in the yard and feed our chickens, and helped my mom plant flowers and herbs, cook and bake. Throughout my childhood, my mom imparted to me her creative knowledge – sewing, hand embroidery, cross-stitch, smocking, machine embroidery, knitting, crocheting, and basket weaving.

After moving to New Orleans for college, I started thinking more about my own childhood and the different backgrounds of those around me.  I began to really question the idea around our sense of place—how people live, where they live, why they live there—the spaces people create for themselves. How do these places impact our personalities and our interests? During this time, I also developed a love for interior design—a way to carve out a space for myself that felt comfortable and familiar, a place where I could mix my former and current worlds in a way that was also beautiful and intriguing.

My art aims to capture a sense of personal history, exploring both the past and the present, questioning the differences in the city and the country, and highlighting domestic pursuits and interior spaces and exploring their connection with the natural world. I’m interested in the juxtaposition of interior and exterior spaces—nature and domesticity, home and homestead, city and country—but also interested in how they work together and are innately connected. Because of my upbringing, I’m very interested in the use of sewing, embroidery, quilting, fabric and pattern and how those elements can intertwine with paint to create images. I’m also interested in the elements that make up interiors—paint, fabric and textiles, wood textures, natural elements, metal finishes—and how many of those elements find their roots in the natural—cotton, linen, wood, and minerals. One of my aesthetic and conceptual goals is to somehow marry interior and natural elements into a single image, developing a quilt of sorts, that evokes a feeling of comfort, sentiment, and history that an interior of a home or a familiar natural setting provides.

If you want to check out more of my artwork, you can visit my portfolio website, here.

To check out work from the other artists showing with me, visit our exhibition website, here.

The last week or so I’ve been in Southern Illinois visiting my family. Every time I’m back home, I try to squeeze in a trip to my favorite fabric store in the area — Hancock’s of Paducah (in Paducah, KY). I absolutely love fabric and could spend all day in a fabric store. I love all the prints, patterns and possibilities of things to make out of all the prettiness! I had several house projects in mind that I needed fabric for, so I was definitely in need of a trip to the fabric store while I was home! (New Orleans doesn’t have any great fabric stores.)

Hancock’s of Paducah is a completely different store than the Hancock’s chain of fabric stores that are found around the country. This one is so much bigger and better! They have a wonderful selection of cotton and home decor fabrics (I believe their main market is for quilters in the area). This isn’t your place to go for silk or apparel fabrics.

I love that they carry higher quality cotton fabrics, especially many by well-known fabric designers.

Here are some of Sandi Henderson‘s newest “Secret Garden” fabrics:

And by Amy Butler:

So many pretty fabrics to choose from!

I’m especially loving large-scale floral prints right now. I love this blue one below. I actually ended up buying some of the pink version of this fabric! Stay tuned to see where it ends up in my house! I’ve actually already been working with my mom on several fabric projects while I’m here!

Here is what my cart looked like once I had made several trips through the store:

Isn’t that champagne metallic dot fabric neat? I ended up buying some of several of these fabrics in my cart. I can’t wait to get back to New Orleans and get them incorporated into my home!

Speaking of the home, they have a great selection of heavier weight home decor fabrics as well. I would love to buy some of these for my home! It is so hard to choose between them though! I kept envisioning beautiful curtains made out of many of these:

Love this green quatrefoil pattern:

I am really, really in love with the combination of this warm grey floral and this rasperry ikat dot fabric. I think they would be lovely to make into layered curtain panels like in this picture here.

So many great options! I just made new curtains for my office (I still need to share pictures), but seeing all these gorgeous fabrics is making me regret choosing the fabric I did!

They also have a few great bargain bin areas where they have fabric remnants for discounted prices. I found a great white and cream check fabric in that pile, enough to make a throw pillow out of for $2.50. Can’t beat a pretty couch pillow for $2.50!

Of all the wonderful options, this is what I left the store with:

Can’t wait to show you what I end up doing with these!

If you live in the Southern Illinois (IN-KY-MO) area, you should definitely check out Hancock’s of Paducah! I’m always a little sad if I make a trip home and don’t get a chance to go! They even sell a lot of fabrics and quilt kits online as well.

We received lots of lovely wedding gifts. I thought this gift, made by my brother and his girlfriend, was too cute an idea not to share with you all.

They gave us two glass jars filled with Popsicle sticks. On the sticks in one of the jars, they had written out different date night ideas and the other was full of blank sticks for us to come up with our own ideas and write them down.

I love the things they put on them. Most are cute, simple, inexpensive (or even free) date night ideas. Things like “Go on a picnic!,” “Go get ice cream,” “Cook together,” & “Drive out into the country and stargaze.” I love that they even personalized some specifically to New Orleans, like “Take a cemetery tour,” “Visit The Chart Room,” & “Do something touristy.” I love that we can set aside specific date nights and then just pull out one of the sticks to figure out what to do!

I’m not sure if it was planned or not, but the color they painted the jar lids and the ribbons even matched my wedding color scheme. How sweet!

Such a sweet gift and a cute project to do for a friend, give as an engagement or wedding gift, or even a gift to someone already married. It is always important, especially after being in a relationship for a while, to still remember to have date nights. It would be a fun bridal shower activity, having each of the guests write down date night ideas for the couple. It would even be fun to do this project with kids for family trip ideas. There are lots of fun activities to do with kids and I’m sure they would love helping to color on the Popsicle sticks!

Thank you guys for our sweet gift! 🙂

Today is an exciting day! It is reveal day of the Summer Pinterest Challenge! If you aren’t in the loop about it — it is a challenge dreamed up by two pretty amazing bloggers, Sherry of Young House Love, and Katie of Bower Power (two of my favorite blogs!) to get people to start creating amazing things based on all the million things we are always pinning on Pinterest. It isn’t sponsored by Pinterest or anything, but it is a pretty cool idea to make yourself get to working on some actual projects from all the inspiration you can find on Pinterest.

Each season, Sherry and Katie host a Pinterest Challenge and team up with a couple other big bloggers to do so. If you want to check out what each of the challenge team created this time around, you can check out Sherry’s project here, Katie’s project here, Michelle from Ten June’s project here, and Kate from Centsational Girl’s project here.

Now on to mine! I decided to play along with the challenge as well! I had the perfect project already in mind. I originally saw this idea on one of the blogs I read, pinned it from there, and it has been sitting open in a tab on my computer waiting for the day when I would actually complete a project like it. Here was my inspiration — a tutorial on fabric covered photo mats from the blog, A Bit of Sunshine.

I had the perfect frame mat in need of a little help:

Please excuse the awkwardness of the current state of this frame gallery. I told you it needed some help! This is in the hallway that runs down almost the entire side of our apartment and we are trying to brighten it up with some of our art in bright white frames. (the rectangle painting on the left side is a painting I did in one of my painting classes in school, the streetcar art is a framed cross-stitch my mother-in-law made, the small square painting on top is a country barn scene painting that was done by my 8th grade math teacher, who is also one of my mother-in-law’s best friends, and the last two frames on the right hold prints by Katie Daisy of The Wheatfield on Etsy.) We still have a few spots that we haven’t filled in yet and a couple of the frames fell down when we were hammering into the other side of this wall to hang things and we haven’t quite gotten them back up yet. Sorry that the lighting is also bad here — this hallway doesn’t receive much natural light!

Anyway, this is the art that I really wanted to address. This print is the only piece of artwork that Drew has shown his own interest in. He bought it online and the day it came in, he was so excited to have picked out something for our house. I like the subject matter of the print, but I wish they had used a brighter color ink for the outline of Louisiana. It is too light, in my opinion. We placed it in this frame (leftover from the frame gallery in the living room) because it was the right size, but I didn’t like how the mat was more of a cream color that didn’t look great with the crisp whites of the frame and the print. It also didn’t help the print to pop any more either. I had tried looking at Michael’s for a pre-cut mat in this size in a brighter color, but I had no luck finding any that I liked or that were this size (it is a 10×13 frame matted to an 8×10).

Then came in this fabric to save the day. I have a huge collection of fabric, so making anything with fabric is a project that I love. This particular fabric I had leftover from an apron I made years ago and it seemed to have the right colors in it to go along with other art in the hallway and it had some greens in it to hopefully pull the green outline out of the Louisiana print a little more. This fabric is by Amy Butler and you can still buy it here.

This project is really easy! These are all the supplies you need — frame mat, fabric, fabric cutting scissors, spray glue adhesive, an iron and ironing board.

I started by laying out my fabric, ironing it, and setting my mat on there to make sure that the fabric scrap would be big enough. You only need an overhang of an inch or so outside the mat.

Once I had made sure that the pattern on my fabric was lined up straight, I trimmed the fabric to about an inch all the way around the outside of the mat.

Then make sure to turn your fabric over, so that the wrong side is facing up. (I forgot this step and totally did it backwards at first! Luckily the spray adhesive wasn’t set yet and it peeled off!) You will spray the spray adhesive on the right side of the mat and place in face down on the wrong side of the fabric and smooth it down. Once you’ve smoothed the mat to the fabric, cut out the center part of the fabric inside the mat like shown above. make a cut into the corners of the mat. Also trim off the outside corners of the fabric like shown above.

Then spray the adhesive on the back side of the mat and neatly fold over and press down the fabric overhang. Be careful when you are working with the spray adhesive, it is super sticky and will get all over your hands and on whatever else is around where you are spraying it. You might want to spray it outside and even use rubber gloves to keep your hands from getting sticky.

Cutting the outside corner of your fabric off and making the cut towards the mat inside the fabric should make your fabric fold over and lay really neatly.

Then you are left with a finished fabric covered mat! Make sure to let the rest of the exposed mat with spray adhesive on the back dry completely before you reassemble it back into your frame.

It makes the print look so much better! Fabric covered mats can really add a lot of interest to a frame. It also helps to showcase some of your favorite fabrics.

All framed back up!

Here it is back in the hallway. Although this frame gallery is far from finished, I think this does really add a lot of interest to the collection of art here.

I love the pretty pop of color this adds! I think it would be great paired with a black and white photo or another colorful print. This would also be great in a kids room. I will definitely be doing this again to show off more of my fabric stash!

To save you from having to scroll up again to see the before and then the after, here is the before again:

And the after:

So that was my first Pinterest Challenge Project! (although I’ve made quite a few recipes and other things inspired from Pinterest pins before). Be sure to check out the original inspiration post this was inspired from, here. You should also make sure to check out the other Pinterest projects going on! It is a big link party so there are lots of projects to check out. See Sherry’s project here, Katie’s project here, Michelle from Ten June’s project here, and Kate from Centsational Girl’s project here. 🙂

One of the biggest decor-related projects that I did for the wedding was decorate tons of glass jars for candles to be placed in on tables around the winery for the wedding reception.

This was a big impact project, but was actually really inexpensive. It would have been pretty to use mason jars, but those can get kind-of pricey when you are talking about 150+ of them. So what we did was have all of our closest family and friends collect used glass jars for us– jelly jars, pickle jars, spaghetti sauce jars, peanut butter jars, applesauce jars, etc… (Jars that most people would just be throwing out or recycling anyway!) Once these were cleaned, the labels were taken off and the remaining glue from the labels was scraped off (plan to use lots of GooGone!) they are really pretty and you can’t even tell what their previous life was:

I definitely recruited the help from two of my best friends and bridesmaids, Tonya and Jessica, to help me clean and decorate them. I also really loved how different the shapes and sizes of all of them were. I think it made the project look even better than if we had just bought mason jars. Plus it was really sweet that my they were all collected and given to me by my friends, my friend’s roommates, my cousins, my sister, my mom, my mother-in-law, my mother-in-law’s friends, etc. It was definitely a group project. (Plus, my friend Tonya is reusing them in her wedding next summer!)

The next part was fun and it was a nice time I got to spend with my close friends/bridesmaids the week before the wedding. I had a big collection of different types of ribbons, laces, trims, burlap ribbon, jute twine, etc and a few hot glue guns and we just glued and decorated to our hearts content.

Since we had over 150 of them to decorate, we just kept it simple and didn’t worry about having them perfect or anything. We did make sure that if the jar had a logo or name or anything printed on it that we covered that up with ribbon or something. I think they turned out really pretty!

On the morning of the wedding, once we had them all out at the venue, we filled them with a couple inches of sand and then placed 2×3 inch ivory pillar candles (ordered from here) in them. We scattered them randomly all along the tables inside and out and they looked so, so pretty lighting up the evening.

I was running all around the day of the wedding, so I didn’t take any pictures of that part. I still haven’t gotten our pictures back from the photographer to show you those either. Until I get those to show you, here are a couple from my friend’s Facebook wall (thank you Jaclyn!) of pictures she took at the wedding:

Not the clearest picture to show you how they looked, but you can see how they let off a beautiful glow both inside and out.

We also used a couple of the decorated jars to hold bookmark favors, pens, and ribbon streamers on the guest sign-in table (pictures of that from the photographer too hopefully!) I loved the way they turned out and the best part is that a few of them are great to display around the house with candles or something else in them as a memento from the wedding!

Even if you aren’t getting married anytime soon, this would still be a cute project to do a few to decorate a porch, sunroom or deck for an outdoor summer party or to use to put candles inside the house too. A great way to re-use all those leftover glass food jars!

One of the DIY projects that I worked on before the wedding was making wedding activity books for the kids. Drew has 14 nieces and nephews and I have 3. We also have several family friends with small children, so we knew we wanted to have something to entertain the 20+ kids that would be running around the wedding venue.

I had seen several ideas online for wedding coloring/activity books, but all of them seemed short, (just a couple pages), so I combined together ones that I liked and added our own stuff in as well.

Sorry that the pages of these are so wrinkly in these shots. I didn’t take any good pictures of them before the wedding, so these pictures are of two we had leftover after the wedding!

The back said “made with love.” I loved adding the little touches to coordinate with our wedding invitations!

I didn’t take pictures of all the inside pages, but here are a few:

The inside pages included a page with a pretty frame that asked the kiddos to draw a picture of what their wedding day would look like, a crossword puzzle with wedding words, a blank tiered cake for them to decorate, a couple games of tic-tac-toe, a blank page for them to color on or draw a picture of the bride and groom, a bouquet for them to color in, a maze for them to match the bride and groom up with a wedding ring, and the last page included a picture for them to color in of the bride and groom driving away to their honeymoon!

I think they turned out really cute! I just printed them all out on my home printer, used brown kraft paper for the covers (that I ordered from here), and then poked two holes through the spines and all the pages and tied them together in little bows with the same brown hemp jewelry twine (from Wal-Mart) that I used on our wedding invitations.

I wish I had gotten some pictures of the kids coloring in them! Maybe the photographer did though, we are still waiting on our pictures back from her, then I’ll share those with you.

We placed these on the same table as all the guest sign-in stuff and I had a couple of Drew’s nieces there to hand them out to the kids as they came in, that way the really little kids could color during the ceremony as well as during the reception. We also gave them little packets of crayons too. (I don’t think I got any pictures of those, but we just bought a couple huge boxes of crayons and little clear zip bags from Hobby Lobby and fit 8 crayons perfectly in each little bag.)

In addition to the coloring books, we also had a few tables at the reception set aside specifically for the kiddos. Instead of having flowers and candles on their tables for centerpieces, the centerpieces were jars of colored pencils and we had blank paper sitting around for them to color on. My original plan was to get large sheets of white paper and have paper tablecloths on their tables to color on, but I never got around to buying that!

These jars were perfect for holding the colored pencils! They are leftover glass frappuccino jars.

I’m sure there are lots of other ideas and activities for incorporating kids into your wedding plans, but that is what we did! My dad is an ordained minister, so I went to lots of weddings as a kid and I always had fun running around, meeting other kids, and dancing, but something like this would have been so much fun back then!

This past weekend was my 21st birthday! (May 13th) Last year on my birthday we were moving into our apartment, so this year it was definitely nice and relaxing weekend compared to that. Drew and I went to a local bakery for breakfast, went to the park and watercolor painted, went downtown for an early dinner and walked around the French Quarter, went to an organist concert in St. Louis Cathedral, visited with Drew’s cousin, Howell, at his house in the quarter, and made sure to stop and buy a drink in honor of my 21st! It really was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. Totally fun, relaxing and I had a wonderful day spending it with my soon-to-be husband! (The wedding is 2 1/2 weeks away!!) If you want to see some pics from it all, check out my Instagram pics, here.

This weekend was definitely the break I needed after all the wedding and school stresses lately. It was a refreshing and rejuvenating weekend that has helped me to tackle finishing several wedding projects and getting the house all cleaned before we have family in town tomorrow for Drew’s graduation this weekend!

This week we finally finished a project that we’ve literally been working on for months. Ribbon streamer wands for guests to shake as we walk back down the aisle as husband and wife!

My mom and I made these for my older sister’s wedding a few years ago as well. You can see some of them being shaken in the background of this picture.

Here are all 200 of ours now finally finished:

To make these, you need:

-wooden dowel rods (we used 1/4″ x 48″ Birch Dowels, cut into fourths to make 12in long dowels)
-lots and lots of ribbon (cut into 15-16in lengths)
-hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
-wood stain (if you want to stain yours)
-sandpaper (if you cut your dowels)

For our dowel rods, we ordered them online here. We ordered fifty 1/4″ x 48″ Birch Dowels, and then cut each of them into 12in lengths, to give us 200 wooden streamer sticks.

Since we cut these with a little hand saw, there were some little splintery edges on them, so we took some sandpaper and lightly sanded the ends. (This part takes a while, so enlist help from your fiance and bridesmaids!)

You can leave them like this if you want, or you can choose to paint or stain them. For ours, I wanted them to be stained a little darker to coordinate better with my tastes and other wedding stuff. I already had stain on hand from my office desk, so I used that. It really didn’t take that long to coat them all with a rag with some stain on it.

I don’t remember exactly how many spools of ribbon we bought for this, but it was a lot. We got most of ours from Walmart and a sale bin at Michaels, but you could also look online and see if you could find some bulk discounts on it. The ribbon part of this project can make it kind-of pricey.

Since our spools of ribbon were different lengths (3 yards, 6 yards, 10 yards, etc.) we calculated up what length would be best to cut each into, to make sure we weren’t left with any short end pieces. All of our lengths ended up being around 15 or 16 inches. Much shorter than that wouldn’t be as flowy and much longer than that might get all tangled up.

Here are piles of all our cut ribbons. We used a mixture of pinks, greens, oranges, whites, golds, and neutrals. I wanted more salmon/coral colors, but I couldn’t find any ribbons in those colors at Walmart or Michaels.

After the paint or stain on your wooden dowels has dried, it’s time to start gluing on ribbons! We decided to use 3 or 4 ribbons on each streamer.

For ours, we stuck the ribbons on with hot glue like this:

Then we wrapped a piece of wider pink ribbon around it to cover up those ends. In the end, they looked like this:

Here is one finished streamer:

Then repeat the process 200 times! It was definitely a time-consuming activity, but I’m really pleased with how they turned out. I think they will make for some fun pictures of us walking back down the aisle with them all flowing in the air.

I really like the various ribbons we chose:

I love the mixture of the burlap ribbons, the lace, the colors, and the patterns. So pretty.

I can’t wait for the wedding!! Only 2 1/2 weeks away! Getting exciting! 🙂