SHOP WITH US! HANDMADE SIGNS AND DECOR FOR YOUR HOME.

THE BLOG | WHERE HOME DECOR AND DIYS COME TOGETHER.

Check out the latest posts from the blog, a sweet little corner of The Junq Drawer created to share all the lovely home decor, DIY and other lifestyle things!
Subway Tile Backsplash
I've told y'all before that our kitchen is a continual work in progress. I've painted the kitchen cabinets twice now (not even joking), and I'm about to paint them again because I'm struggling to find the right shade of white. Finally, though, I've settled on the same white we used on the board and batten in the nursery and throughout the rest of the house and, since I'm not pregnant anymore, I can actually use the enamel paint like I want instead of a clear coat like last time. All DIYs are a learning process, am I right? To the point, though, we finally added a subway tile backsplash in the kitchen! I couldn't be happier. This is another thing I struggled with for awhile -- do you use the small tiles or the large ones? Light gray grout, dark gray grout or white grout? Tile sheets or individual pieces? There was a lot to take in, but I finally got brave after watching that episode of Fixer Upper (I know, I'm sad it's gone, too...) where Chip lets their little girl help him tile a client's kitchen backsplash. If they can do it, surely I can figure this out, right? I grouted the floor and tile in our hall bath early last year, so since I wasn't a total novice I worked up some courage, got my super pregnant belly up, enlisted my husband's help and made some decisions. Here's the before. It's definitely bright, but didn't have that extra charm I was hoping for (or a new light fixture, or countertops or shaker cabinets... I could go on). And here's the after! That subway tile makes a big statement and for some crazy reason actually makes the kitchen seem bigger. I can't explain that one since it's busier, but hey. I'll take it! My biggest struggle in doing the backsplash myself was I was afraid to cut the tiles. We did not rent a wet saw for these little guys because it seemed silly (even though a rotary saw is relatively inexpensive). I was pregnant, so I decided to take a different route and hope it worked It did, thank goodness! If we'd had some curves, I would absolutely have had to rent one, but all the cuts were straight and we even managed to make our way around the outlets with this method (I only wasted about 10 pieces which I consider a win considering it was my first time). Here's what I used to backsplash the kitchen -- and bear in mind, this entire project cost around $90.
  • 3" x 6" white subway tiles (non-beveled)
  • 1 small tub of mastic/tile adhesive
  • 1 tub of premixed pewter gray nonsanded grout
  • A rubber spreader
  • Tile cutters (handheld)
  • Straight edge tile scorer/cutter
  • White kitchen & bath silicone caulk
  • Tile dividers (the size is up to you, but I would go 1/8" or smaller)
It starts out easy. Make sure your wall is clean and free of grease. Then scoop and spread the tile adhesive on the back of a tile, and stick it to the wall. Bam. Most of it goes really fast, which is great because you can see your progress and you feel really good about yourself. I started on the edge closest to the stairs because it's the one you can see the best, and I wanted to make sure it was perfectly lined up. I thought I might regret that, but I don't. It was a good choice. The most visible part you want to be pristine. I would also recommend using a level if you live in an old house like ours where the countertops may or may not be level (ours aren't, go figure). Because we wanted to stagger our tiles, we had to cut a few in half to get started. Cue the tile cutting, which was so easy. Measure the halfway point on your tile, mark it with a ballpoint (it wipes off, don't worry), score it with the straight edge and then apply pressure to pop it in half. If for some reason you have rough edges, you can always use a sanding block to smooth it out. I was making great time until I got to an outlet and freaked a little. My best advice when cutting these tiles is to YouTube some guys doing it by hand. The tile scorer/cutter easily cuts lengthwise and horizontally, but it cuts all the way across. We only needed small corners cut out around the outlets, so I marked where the cuts needed to be and then scored them with the tile cutter. Then I used the handheld cutters to cut out little triangles until I had cut all of the bits I needed out. These are not perfect. BUT thankfully they're hidden behind the outlet covers, so it doesn't matter all that much. This took quite a while to figure out. I ruined some tiles (**read: lots**) cutting too much out, so remember that smaller is always better. Aside from those pieces, the rest was pretty much cake. On the sink wall, we wanted everything as symmetrical as possible, and of course the tiles didn't measure out perfectly, so I started from the right and left sides at the same time and worked my way in to the window. If you look closely, there's a piece in the center that's smaller than the rest just underneath the windowsill. I don't think it's too terribly noticeable, though. Once all the tiles are up, let them sit overnight just to be safe. That adhesive hardens really fast, but I didn't want them moving around when I grouted. Pulling out all the dividers was not the most fun part of this experience, but seeing all those crisp lines? Totally worth it. Here's the link to the bathroom grouting I did last year. It explains mostly how I grouted, and I used the same method on the backsplash. The key is going diagonally, not straight across. Once that was done, I let it dry and wiped the tile down with a damp sponge to remove any excess, then applied silicone caulk to the window edges and the two wall edges and let that dry. Sure, I might have a million other things I want to do in here, but this was a big impact project, and I love it! Have you tiled before? You totally can do it yourself! xoxo
Farmhouse Bathroom Shelves
You guys, it has been a hot minute since I've posted! Since I last met with you here, we have welcomed a new little life to our family. Ella Rayne was born on June 2nd and is the sweetest little nugget imaginable. Now that we're getting back into the swing of things and settling into something of a routine, I'm excited to be able to share these floating shelves that I added in our bathroom pre-baby along with a ton of other changes that have happened around the house! Does anyone else use maternity leave as an excuse to get projects done while the baby sleeps? Thankfully, my almost four-year-old is super into arts and crafts right now, so quiet time affords me the luxury of getting things done so I have time to snuggle with them during awake times. Y'all probably know that among the amazing accounts who inspired me to start building are the sisters over at Shanty-2-Chic. Their floating shelves are what inspired these and, while I didn't follow the plans to a T, I did use them as inspiration! That's the awesome things about all these DIY-ers and bloggers who are willing to share their tips and tricks. We all garner inspiration from each other and it makes this beautiful, creative community! {Here's the link to their floating shelves.} If you check out their tutorial, you'll notice they make a brace for the wall. After building the shelves {including the brace}, I realized that I wanted a little touch of black for contrast in the bathroom and stumbled on these brackets at Home Depot. They were perfect and a great price, so I snagged four of those and set off to build the boxes. Here's a supply list of what I purchased {with links}:

Supplies

  • Everbuilt shelf brackets (4)
  • 1 x 12" whitewood board (cut to 18" lengths)
  • 1/2" x 4" hobby boards (for each shelf you'll need two 19" lengths and two 11 1/4" lengths)
  • Brad nailer
  • Wood glue
  • Compound miter saw (or have the good people at your hardware store cut everything for you)
  • Level
I'm going to apologize for not having pictures of the process, but I was really excited to get these shelves done. SO if you're looking for a great tutorial, head to the link above to see how they assembled their shelves. I used my Ryobi compound miter saw to cut all my boards to length (since they were going over the toilet, I just measured the depth and length of the tank and used that to get my shelf dimensions), then glued and brad nailed the boards together and let sit to dry. I also chose to stain the boards in Minwax Early American, probably my favorite stain right now and also the stain we chose to use on Ella's door {more on that in a subsequent post}. Here's the before. And here's the after! Granted we still have a little work to do in here. I'd like to frame out the mirror and add a new light fixture plus grout the tiles with a dark gray similar to the kitchen backsplash {also in an upcoming post}, but one thing at a time. This mama has a bit less time on her hands to DIY, so the projects will take a little longer I'm sure. It's all oh, so worth it, though! So what do you think of the new shelves? I might have added one in the other bathroom as well ... and by might, I mean I did. I just loved them so much! xoxo
Simple Spring Centerpiece + Jord Giveaway
It's officially March, and that seems to ring in the promise of spring in our house. If you've been following along with me on Instagram you know that I've had spring fever for quite a while. There's a whole line of spring signs up in the shop, and right now I'm offering an extra 10% off storewide using the code in my Insta bio! There are all kinds of goodies happening because at the end of this post, I'll be sharing all about how to get 10% off a Jord timepiece with a chance to $100 off!!! Fitting with the spring theme, I tried some fresh herbs in the dining room and, no shocker here, there's not enough natural light for them to stay alive. They've since been moved to the porch, and replaced by this simple centerpiece that I'm going to show you today. We're talking 10 minutes or so to DIY this, not including shopping time... but who really counts shopping time anyway, right? It's all fun. The first step in this DIY is to hit up your local thrift shop or Hobby Lobby. I used this wood box that I found for 50% off. Could I build this? Yes. Was it worth it considering I paid so little for the box? Absolutely. Next, I gathered some greens. Originally,  I had thought I'd use faux plants only, so I purchased a garland at Hobby Lobby for 50% off as well. Then, on a wood run at Lowes, I spotted this $4 clearance pot of succulents and decided they would make the perfect addition to the centerpiece. I went all plant lady that day, so don't mind the random array of plants on the table. To do this project, you'll also need some plastic grocery bags. Step 1 was to cut pieces of the garland up and decide which dividers I wanted those in. I chose every two boxes to add the garland as well as on each end. My daughter put half of these in, so please know there's no science to it. Just stuff each box until you're satisfied. Next, take the grocery bags and line each of the remaining dividers with them. I chose brown Kroger bags simply because they match the wood of this box, but you really won't see them so just grab what you have on hand. Add some soil to each of the bags and place a couple succulents or plants in each one. You can go crazy with this -- use flowers, herbs... whatever your heart desires! Finally, water those plants and stand back to enjoy your new centerpiece! I love succulents because they're easy to take care of, but I've had my fair share of daisies in the center of our table as well!

Springtime Timepiece Giveaway

Tying in to that natural wood look that I love so much, I'm really excited about to tell y'all about a giveaway that I've partnered with Jord Watches on! I don't know how much you know about these timepieces, but, friends, they are beautiful!!! I have so many friends with wedding bands that are made of wood or metal, taking a different route than the traditional silver or gold. Jord has done the same thing with wooden watches. Each one of their men's and women's watches are handcrafted from various types of natural wood {you pick your favorite} then set with various face colors -- rose gold and champagne being my personal favorites! If you want to check out all the options, head here. While I do love jewelry, I tend to love simpler pieces with less glam, for lack of a better term. So I mix my Frankie zebrawood and champagne watch with two gold bangles. It dresses down or up really well! If you want a chance to win your own watch from Jord at $100 off, head here to enter! Just for entering, you'll get 10% off, so what have you got to lose? Go enter, and then come back and tell me what your favorite is! It's really hard to pick just one. Good luck!!! xoxo         Wooden Wrist Watch
The Junq Drawer | January Additions
Hi, guys! We've had lots of snow and cold weather the past few weeks, and I'm going to admit right up front, it has not motivated me to get things done around the house {at least not things that are post-worthy}. I did manage to get my butt in gear and roll out some new signs, though! I haven't done a whole lot of sharing for the shop on the blog, but the thought occurred to me that unless you just happen to travel to Etsy on the regular {or over to Versailles to shop at The Amsden}, you guys are being robbed of the new sign designs that are coming out. I know I'm not an eCommerce site yet {plans are in the works, friends}, mostly because I have to have people way smarter than me to help me along -- can I get an amen? For now, I'll be sharing updates here to keep y'all in the loop! Last week, I restocked in Versailles -- something that was long overdue -- and realized I hadn't updated the online inventory either. So all of that has been done, and I'm really excited to share some new signs with you!

Be Our Guest

We don't actually have a guest room, but I just thought this would be adorable in one -- or in an entryway -- and couldn't help but make it. Yes. We've been watching lots of Disney movies lately! It's available here: Be Our Guest sign.

Home Is Wherever I'm With You

Yes. Just yes. I love the idea of this in a master bedroom! It also makes a great wedding gift -- just throwing that out there! Sign available here: Home Is Wherever I'm With You Sign

Love Is Patient

Inspired by one of my all time favorite verses and a stellar reminder to be continually patient and kind to others, this sign was a must to make! I'm also absolutely in love with the typewriter-esque font! Available here: Love Is Patient Sign.

Be Still My Soul

Another great reminder in a fun typewriter font is this design. I need this lesson, like, every day. How about y'all? Available here: Be Still My Soul Sign.

I Love Us

Great for best friends, significant others, spouses or families, this I Love Us sign just makes me happy to look at. As my own little family expanded first from two to three, and now from three to four, this simple sign represents the joy I'm feeling right about now. I just love us, simple as that. Available here: I Love Us Sign.

The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us And We Are Filled With Joy

A client of mine requested this as a custom order, but after seeing it finished and the significance it held for so many people, I decided to offer it as part of the inventory for the shop. It's such a humble statement! Available Here: Done Great Things Sign.

Happiness Is Homemade

This is easily my favorite of all of them! It reminds me of freshly baked goods, time with family in the kitchen, sleeping in on Saturday, giggles with my little one, date nights... it means so many things! Available here: Happiness Is Homemade Sign  

My Old Kentucky Home

This one is specific to Kentucky, I know, so if you're local -- grab ya one! These are the most intense signs I make because there are so many letters and so much weeding that goes into it. Small letters are also way more detailed, so it takes tons of time but the result is so worth it! I've had a few customs with small book print on them and have loved them, so if you're interested in one with this font but a different quote, head over to Etsy! I do custom orders as well. Available here: My Old Kentucky Home Sign - or - Custom Sign.

Let's Stay Home

During busy seasons, this is kind of my motto. I just want to stay home, relax and enjoy time without an agenda. Coming out of the holidays and into a much more relaxed January {especially with all the snow days we've had}, this phrase just spoke to me! Available here: Let's Stay Home Sign.

Get Cozy

Can I get an amen? It's cold out and my electric blanket is my respite! We don't actually have a working fireplace at present, so our prefab one in the bedroom stands in. I've been lighting all the candles and drinking all the warm coffee lately to reach cozy status! This is a cute little bedroom sign, too, so it's useful year round! Available here: Get Cozy Sign

Stay Awhile

The last new sign addition to the shop is this Stay Awhile design. We love having folks over, hosting friends and family, and really have a deep desire to be a home where our daughters will love to bring their friends when they're older. I see similar versions of this sign everywhere, it seems, but it rang far too true in our household to not offer to you guys. Available here: Stay Awhile Sign.

Other Designs

Of course, the most popular designs from last year are still available in the shop right now, and many of them are on sale! Can't beat that! Here are some snips of those. [etsy-shop shop_name="the-junq-drawer" section_id="19869990"] I'd love to know which are your favorites and what you don't see that you wish I offered! Let me know in the comments below, and if you're interested in being notified of new designs, follow along with me on Instagram! I'm always posting new designs and custom orders for y'all to see and vote on! xoxo      

Living Room Makeover | Floating Shelves
Hi, y'all! Happy New Year!!! I don't even know where to start, I'm so excited for 2018! There are so many exciting and fun things that I want to share with you guys, but today I'm sticking with one -- our living room shelves. You may recall that I built some desks a couple of years ago for our living room since my husband was working from home at the time. Then we added some shiplap to the wall to give it an accent. The past few weeks, we've been talking about lining the desks up along the shiplap wall instead of having them stick out into the room, not to mention we've added a new rug and some new bar chairs to the desks. Oh, and I brought the coffee table back in since we had some extra room. BUT all that is for another post! Today, I want to share these awesome open shelves we put up with you! I'm hoping to add some sconces as the final touch and, of course, the wood still needs to be stained, but me and the hubby both love how they turned out! They're the perfect mix of industrial and farmhouse for this living room. They were also a quick and painless DIY! I found the brackets on Etsy from a fellow shop owner -- Csonka Custom Rustics. Chris makes brackets in all sizes, so if you're interested in these, head over to check out his shop here! We went with a 7 1/4" depth wood (technically a 2" x 8" if you buy these at the lumber yard or hardware store) so the shelves weren't too bulky. The brackets come with holes pre-drilled, so all we had to do was cut down our wood to the desired length, mount the brackets and set the wood inside. That's my kind of project!     If you have any questions, holler! Do you love the open shelving look as much as I do? xoxo
Holiday Coffee + Cocoa Bar
Hi, friends! Today, I'm really excited to be sharing one of my favorite areas of the house: my dining room -- specifically, my coffee and cocoa bar. I love hospitality so very much. Having a full house of people just makes my extroverted heart happy, and one of the main ways I know to welcome folks in is to offer a drink. When it's as cold outside as it is today, a warm drink is the way to go, and y'all know how much I love coffee! My little one loves hot cocoa, especially the little marshmallows, so naturally I had to include it in my hot bar for this year's holiday festivities! I like to keep it simple, friends. I don't go the whole peppermint, whipped cream, chocolate spoon route. Give me some Pirouette french vanilla sticks and little marshmallows, and I'm a happy girl! So this hot cocoa bar isn't terribly difficult to pull off. Yay! It's also really easy to break down and change out once the holidays are over (but let's not talk about that right now because I am still well into the holiday spirit!). I also have to brag on the Target dollar spot because of all the goodies I snagged there last year that have come so in handy this year! After Christmas, if you don't know this already, all of the Christmas items in the dollar spot (which are like $1 to $5) get marked down a ridiculous amount! The garland for my tree, the red pillow, the tiny pumpkins, the table runner and the merry cutout are all from the dollar spot. Yes, please! Our house, you probably know if you're familiar to SLB, is a constant work in progress and absolutely full of DIYs. Rarely do I purchase something outright. I'm a Craigslist, thrift store, antique shop, yard sale kind of girl. Also, I run on a super tight budget when it comes to home stuff, so... maybe I'm forced to be that kind of girl. At any rate, it's the truth, so I'll do my best to share where things are from/how I made them 🙂 The good news is if I DIY-ed it, there's probably a tutorial! Looking particularly at the bar, the cabinet the entire coffee bar is on was a piece of furniture from Kroger that I upgraded with some new legs and a coat of paint plus some distressing. You can find the full tutorial here! While we're at it, I recently went crazy with some white paint to upgrade the dining and living rooms (and the hallway and eventually basically the whole house probably). Here's how that all looked before and after. If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of greens at Christmastime. A few pops of red complete the Christmas look, but neutrals are my jam with the dark contrast of black. A modern farmhouse meets industrial sort of look. I found these little bottle brush trees at Hobby Lobby this year along with a few greenery picks from Walmart with some holly berries. That and a blanket scarf and handmade "Joy" sign are all I used to change my coffee bar from everyday to holiday! So simple! My sweet mother-in-law gave us the tree in the corner. I have no idea where it came from, but the lights still work on it and that makes me happy! Last year, we did a workshop where we made wood slice ornaments, so the only decor on this tree is some "snow" which is actually batting and those ornaments plus some gifts under the tree. Like I said, simple! On top of the bar, I have an array of things I've either made or purchased on sale. The berry bowl holding the hot cocoa packets is from Kroger. They had them on clearance last summer, and I couldn't resist one! The clay pot holding the Pirouette sticks is a DIY, and an easy one at that! A clay pot, a paper towel and some white chalk paint are all it take to make this yourself. Just dab on the paint with the paper towel until you've covered all you want and voila! I found the little canister with gold hardware at Walmart this year. I didn't get a good photo, but Merry & Bright is written in gold foil on the front. Who can say no to that!?! Of course, I made the coffee bar sign hanging on the chalkboard. Something similar is available my booth inside The Amsden and will be available online after Christmas. The chalkboard is a Hobby Lobby find that I spray painted, and the wreath is also from Hobby Lobby. The pretty little trench bowl inside the cabinet is one of my favorite finds from The Faded Farmhouse in Columbia, TN. If you're ever in the area, go check them out! Oh, and you can shop online!!! There you have it, friends! My holiday coffee + cocoa bar. I can't wait to host our next get together so friends and family can enjoy this bar as much as we do! What's your preference? Coffee or cocoa? If you're looking for some design help for your own space, please give the folks at Havenly a look! Their online interior designers are super talented and would be more than happy to help you design the space of your dreams. Have a great week, friends! xoxo    
Holiday Sign Making Workshop
Friends, I’m so excited to announce a holiday sign-making workshop I’ll be teaching at The Amsden on December 18th at 7:00 pm!!! I love sign making, you guys, and I’m so excited to share this DIY with you! I’ll be taking you step by step through the process of painting, stenciling, framing and sealing your signs and offering some customization of colors and backgrounds for y’all. You can find out more information over on Miss Molly Vintage’s website and sign up there as well. The last few workshops have filled up quickly, so hurry on over! I can’t wait to meet you!!! xoxo    
Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree
Hi, friends! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! I wanted to jump on here and show you some sneaks of how our home is coming along for Christmas {yes, we decorate early, and I love it!}. One of the things I've struggled with for years is how to decorate my tree without it looking basic and like every other tree out there. Much like you, I'm sure, my taste has changed over the years, so my Christmas tree is an ever evolving game of musical decor. You've probably figured out by now that farmhouse style is my thing. I love it. I love the mixture of woods and whites, of old and new. Along with that has come a love of knitted stockings, all things Hearth and Hand {let's be honest}, flocked trees and garland, fresh pine and cedar and, of course, wood signs {hello... sign maker}. I've moved more toward garland on my tree and further from typical ornaments -- I don't use a tree topper anymore. Instead, I've experimented with ribbon, floral picks and most recently cotton stems. With all of that rearranging and tried {and sometimes failed} attempts, I finally feel like I've mastered the art of decorating a tree so that it looks full and beautiful, intentional and somewhat professional. Of course, I wanted to share what I've learned with all of you, so here are my best tips for getting that beautiful tree every time.

Invest in a full tree.

Does it have to be live? No {although, it's a tradition I've fallen in love with over the years}. Regardless of whether you go artificial or live, spend your money wisely on one that is lush and full. Ideally, it will stand almost as tall as your ceiling minus an inch or two. The worst thing when decorating a tree is trying to fill in holes with ornaments and garland. Already have one that's a little more bare? Go pick up some pine picks from your local tree farm and mix them in with the artificial branches.

Start with the lights.

I like to use two sets of lights, one large and one small. I've never been a fan of colored lights, but that's not to say they can't be just as pretty as the white ones when done correctly! So if you love color, don't shy away from them! Embrace it and keep the rest of your tree to one or two additional colors. Start with the small lights. Wrap them all the way up the tree, then go back up the tree with larger lights in the same color(s).

Add garland.

Ribbon is probably my favorite garland to use. Get the ribbon with wire so you can pinch it every 8-12" and weave it in and out of the tree. Always start at the bottom and work your way up. I like to wrap up diagonally to give the tree a bit more interest. You can also put ribbon on vertically, but still pinch and weave on your way up. After adding ribbon, I'll add another garland -- sometimes a faux cranberry garland and sometimes a pennant banner. Feel free to try a few different things until you find the combination you like. The best tip I've heard lately is to buy buffalo check socks, fill with old ornaments and tie them off with floral wire. It makes a beautiful buffalo check "garland" at a fraction of the cost. A friend of mine told me about this, and now I'm going to have to try it out. I'll be sure to post once I do.

Hang larger ornaments and picks.

I found these soft mini stockings at Target last year, and they've really helped tie the whites and creams on my tree together. They, along with some cranberry picks, some Hobby Lobby metal pieces are the larger pieces I've added to the tree.  You can get really creative with these -- wood slice ornaments, even Christmas signs can make great statement pieces for your tree. Spread these out on all sides of your tree before adding in smaller ornaments to add to the overall symmetry and fullness of your tree.

Add the smaller ornaments.

This is where those older ornaments, the family heirlooms, the first home/first Christmas/first baby ornaments come into play. Try to stick with a color scheme as best you can for a more professional look. If your ornaments run the gamut of colors, choose your favorites and add in some solid colored ornaments to help balance it out. My favorite trick is to use solid white ornaments to as base pieces, my grandmother's mercury glass ornaments to add some glam, a few rustic ornaments that I've picked up recently and our family ornaments to make sure all the pieces honor the color scheme.

Pick your topper.

The possibilities are endless here. From premade ribbons to traditional stars to floral picks and everything in between, as long as it has some body to it, it will work as a topper! Have a small decorative sled laying around? Hang it at the top of the tree and add some holly or cranberry picks. All I did this year was take a few bunches of cotton stems and tuck them down on either side of the top branch of the tree. It was simple and effective. Those are my best tips and steps for getting that professional looking tree every time! If you try these tips, I'd love to know about it in the comments below! Happy decorating, friends! Click here to see last year's decor! xoxo
Fall Mantle Decor

Based on my Instagram feed, I’m a bit late to posting on fall decor. I’m still working on getting all of the fall line up in the shop {here’s what’s available so far} and prepping for The Amsden's grand opening, and I just finished adding pumpkins to our front porch a few weeks ago. Even though our porch is really basic while we wait to install railing and columns, I’m happy with the pretty turn its taken.

On my pumpkin hunt, I came across a bundle of white pie pumpkins and these giant bunches of eucalyptus and decided the mantle needed some decorating. So naturally I bought a ton of these cute little pumpkins, three batches of eucalyptus and brought it all home to see what I could do with it. I also had a couple of gourds and acorn squash from the store that I decided to use, ended up not having enough room for and decided to put in a wire basket to use on the kitchen table.

Before I jump into the incredibly simple three-step process to recreate this mantle, let me start with a couple of things that I’ve learned about decorating mantles any time of year.

Get some things in varying weights. By weight, I don’t mean actual poundage, but thickness, aesthetic heaviness and a mixture of small and large pieces. The goal is symmetry, even if both sides aren’t exactly the same {I actually discourage this. It looks too perfect.} I love mixing candlesticks, artwork, books, plants and some wood pieces together, but you can also use baskets, glass jars, antiques, a clock… you name it!

Start with the large pieces. I did a tutorial on decorating shelves earlier this year, and a lot of the concepts are the same. {You can check that out here.} Start with your big pieces. These will be your anchors that everything else is placed around. In the case of this mantle, mine are the framed canvas {tutorial here}, the lantern and wood letter. Decide where you want these to go. You can always adjust, but this will help you balance both sides out.

Add in tiers and layers. I love using books as layers, and since I had this candlestick I wanted to use, I needed some way to even out the height on both sides. Books are the perfect accessory. If you don’t have books of the same color, just turn them around so the pages face outward! They don’t have to just lay flat either. Stack them, put one at an angle, set them up vertically — there are tons of possibilities to add some depth to your mantle. In this case, my layers are the candlestick and books. I ended up raising the wood letter and the lantern on books to add some height, which just goes to show that you can easily adjust your large pieces.

Finish with details. Greens are a pretty standard go-to for me, but there are all kinds of options. These are usually smaller items that can fit in the spaces left by your anchor pieces and layers. Here’s where my fall idea came in.

The pumpkins were really pretty, but by themselves, they looked really open and spacious. So I removed everything except the side decor from my mantle.

Then I took the eucalyptus branches and laid them out flat with the stems always pointing to the center. Then I made sure some of the leaves draped over the mantle front. I have two fake pumpkins and the rest were real, so I placed the two fake pumpkins first for symmetry then used the pie pumpkins around those, laying some on their sides and some upright. Finally, I cut some smaller eucalyptus branches and filled those in around the tops of the pumpkins and on the ends of the mantle.

As a finishing touch, I lit the pumpkin bread scented candle I found at HomeGoods and just sat back to enjoy the cozy fall touches. As an added bonus, the eucalyptus smells incredibly fresh. Eventually it will dry, but still look just as beautiful.

For a cost breakdown, this mantle cost around $15. Trader Joe’s easily has the best selection of inexpensive eucalyptus I’ve ever seen. $2.99 for a large bunch! I used two to create this mantle, plus the pumpkins which I found at a local grow shop. For those of you allergic to eucalyptus, any green sprigs will look just as beautiful. Pine, cedar… you name it! Cedar is one of my favorite greens to decorate with at Christmastime, so why not get a head start, right?

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!!!

xoxo

Quick Game Day Chili Recipe
I may lose a lot of you here, but I'm not a huge football fanatic. I follow our home team, of course, but other than that, I don't really sit down to watch or follow along with other teams. I'm more of a basketball girl. That said, one of the things I do love about getting together to watch a game, aside from the community, is the food! Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite fall recipes, perfect for game day and really quick and easy: chili. This is the same chili my mom used to make when we were kids and it was freezing outside {yes, it's nostalgic} with just a few modifications, so know that it's been tested over the years and perfected. My little one decided to pose next to this chili, mostly because she wanted to eat it so badly {that's a good sign when your kids love it}. She's becoming really camera happy, and I know that's not recipe related but it makes me smile! I know, I'm bragging. Okay, so here's the recipe, friends. I hope it warms you up on those cooler days, and makes game day a breeze! Amanda and I posted a lot about fall recipes last year, so if you're looking for some delicious cider, for example, check out our recipes here and here! If you follow along with me on Pinterest {if you don't, please do! It's such a great inspiration board!}, you've seen my recent pins on chalk painted pumpkins, centerpieces and dollar store hacks. I'm excited to try those out on my mantle, and I'll be posting all the details soon! As always, I'll be updating Instastories along the way. I'd love to connect with you on either {or both} of those platforms! xoxo