Thursday, September 19, 2019

Grace at Home No. 350


Hello, friends! Take a quick look at the title of today's post: "Grace at Home. No. 350." Can you believe that? I'm amazed to think that I've hosted 350 of these link parties over the years. I'm grateful, though, because I've made so many friends here. And I hope the party has been a blessing to you!

Grace at Home is a party for celebrating all the ways we make our homes places of grace. So much of what gets highlighted these days are all the ways our homes are torn apart. The news is full of fighting, bickering, disagreements large and small. But I know that there are thousands of us who are doing our best, day in and day out, to make our own homes places where grace abounds. And I'm happy to highlight those things!

Here are some highlights from last week's party.

Need some Fall decor inspiration? You'll enjoy this Fall Home Tour from Marty at A Stroll Thru Life.


Need a quick and easy Fall craft? Try making these darling succulent pumpkins, shared here by Libbie at A Life Unfolding.


Looking for an inexpensive way to add to your Fall decor? Penny from Penny's Vintage Home created these darling wire pumpkins from Dollar Tree supplies.


Want to make every day special this Fall? Chas from Chas' Crazy Creations shared a great idea (and a free printable) for making a reusable Fall To-Do List. I love this!


And if you're looking for a dedicated Bible teacher, you'll be glad to meet Donna Reidland. See her post here about the importance of good doctrine.



Thank you to everyone who joined last week's party! Now for this week's link-up. Here at the Grace at Home party, I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter




Thursday, September 12, 2019

Grace at Home No. 349


Hello, friends! I hope you're having a wonderful day. I'm here in the South where Summer is lingering, lingering, lingering. . . it's supposed to be 96 degrees today! Oh, please, Lord, let Autumn come soon!

I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace. Here are some highlights from last week's party I think you'll enjoy.

Despite the lingering hot weather, I'm trying to get my house ready for Fall. If you need inspiration for decorating your front entry for the season, I think you'll love this post from Ashley at Simply Designing--including a free printable.


If you like using pumpkins in your Autumn decor, you've probably swooned over some of the velvet pumpkins for sale--and you might have found them to be prohibitively expensive. Julie from My Wee Abode to the rescue--she wrote a detailed tutorial for making your own velvet pumpkins. As you can see, it's possible to make these in any color you choose. Aren't these gorgeous?


If the leaves are starting to turn in your neck of the woods and you'd like to preserve some of them, you should check out this post from Justyna at Falling 4 Fall--she explains nine different methods for preserving these beauties.


If you just want to dream about beautiful Autumn spaces, you'll love this post from Pam at Everyday Living. Gorgeous!

If you're looking for a fun craft project, you should check out this gorgeous tray created by Lisa from Fresh Vintage. Just look at the handles! Wouldn't this make a stunning gift?


Even if the weather here is still hot, I'm ready for pumpkin treats. If you're like me, you'll be glad to get this recipe for pumpkin cookies with caramel frosting from Andrea at Living on Cloud Nine.


The older I get, the more I realize that what people are all craving is connection. Would you agree? This post from Carri at Down Aspen Lane offers some fresh insight about creating connection with others.


As for me, I shared some ways to create a beautiful bedroom on a small budget. I'd love for you to check it out!


Thank you to everyone who joined last week's party! Now for this week's link-up. Here at the Grace at Home party, I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Monday, September 9, 2019

Creating a beautiful bedroom on a small budget


When I needed to furnish the guest room at our mountain condo, my budget wasn't so much "small" as it was non-existent. I chose to purchase a new mattress and box springs, and that purchase meant that there was very little left over for other furniture and accessories. But I'm really pleased with how the room turned out.


The key to the room was a serendipitous find at my local fabric store: a beautiful, upholstery weight decorator fabric on sale for $5.00 per yard. I'm a sucker for houndstooth and I liked the colors, so I scooped up five yards.


Making a simple upholstered headboard is a really easy DIY project. For my queen-sized bed, I bought a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood (less than $20) at my local Home Depot store. Since a queen-size bed is 60" wide, I had a kind employee cut the 8' side of the plywood down to 61 inches. That way the headboard would be just slightly wider than the bed.

When I got home, I used a dinner plate as a pattern to mark off a curve in the top two corners of the plywood.



Then I hot-glued an old mattress topper to the plywood to form a padded back. As you can see, my piece of foam didn't cover the entire piece of plywood, but that doesn't matter; the unpadded part will be at the bottom of the headboard. I cut the sides of the foam topper to fit the plywood using an electric knife.


Then I laid a piece of my fabric down on the ground, placed the foam side of the plywood on top, and pulled the fabric taut around all sides, using a staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the plywood. See this post for detailed instructions. The cording around the perimeter of the headboard is made from an inexpensive fabric that I bought to coordinate with the houndstooth.

The headboard isn't attached to anything. The weight of the bed holds it in place against the wall. Since the plywood goes all the way to the floor, you could certainly screw the bedframe to the headboard if you like.


After making the headboard, I still had a good bit of fabric left over, so I made a few other accessories for the room.

I found a spray paint to match the houndstooth fabric (Secluded Garden by Valspar). I spray painted an old chair I had stashed in my attic, then recovered the seat. Since I already had the chair and the fabric, all I had to buy was a couple of cans of spray paint.


I found matching nightstands for just a few dollars at a local consignment store. They were nice cherry tables, but their tops were damaged (hence the small price tag), so I spray-painted them with Restoleum's Heirloom White and then lightly distressed them.

I found two matching metal lamps at TJMaxx for about $20 each. I didn't like the metal, but I liked the price, so I spray painted them with the Valspar Secluded Garden as well.

I found a cute little table at the same consignment store for $50. I thought it would make a good dressing table, and I found a stool on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond that was just the right height to slide under the table. The taupe upholstery on the stool wasn't very pretty, but it was a good match for my houndstooth fabric, so I just hot-glued a strip of my houndstooth fabric around the base of the stool. I folded and pressed the fabric to be the right size, hot glued it in place at the top, used a staple gun to fasten the fabric securely underneath, then stapled on a bit of cording I had left over from the headboard project. I also sprayed the legs with the Valspar Secluded Garden. Now it's a sassy little perch, I think.


And I like the way it looks with the table:


The mirror shows the artwork I found for the room: six vintage-looking bird prints I ordered from Decor Steals. Have you ever ordered from DecorSteals.com? If you register for an account, they'll send daily emails with decor items for sale. I like the fact that shipping is always $5.00. (No affiliation; I just like the service!) You could achieve the same look with free printables or pages from a vintage book. But I was glad to find this set, since the prints were already framed and ready to go. And I used my own picture-hanging tip to hang these so they never get knocked askew.


The last two touches are the most expensive and cheapest parts of the decor. I had enough fabric left over to make a custom dust ruffle to match the headboard, but I knew that this project was beyond my meager sewing skills. So I had a local shop make it for me, using a wide band of the same fabric that the cording around the headboard is made from.


I paid over $100 for the bedskirt, but I think it was worth the cost for the level of detail it adds.

And the decorative pillows cost me nothing, so that helps to make up for the cost of the bedskirt.


I used some fabric from my stash to make the simple knife-edge pillows for the bed (tutorial here), then I used the last of the teal fabric to make a new-sew bolster pillow (tutorial here). The bedspread, by the way, was once a king-size coverlet. It had shrunk so badly that it could never again be used on a king-sized bed, but I liked the coverlet so much I kept it. I washed it in hot water and dried in on high heat to get it to shrink a bit more, and now it's a great size for this queen-size bed!

I'm tickled with the way this room turned out, and all the guests who have stayed in it have commented on what a lovely retreat it is. Isn't it nice that with some ingenuity and a few hours' time, you can create a beautiful space on a small budget?

I'm joining these parties:


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Grace at Home on a special day


Y'all. Hello. It's Thursday, so it's time for the weekly Grace at Home party. . . but this is not just any Thursday, at least not for me.

Today is Thursday, September 5, just like September 5 was on a Thursday in 1963. Which means that today is my 56th birthday.

56! A few years ago that sounded so old to me! Not gonna lie, it still sounds a little bit old. But since my mom died when she was 58, I am grateful for every day I get. Needless to say, I hope I live well past my mom's age!

Anyway, while 56 may seem kind of old, here I am:


And I sure am grateful you're here for the Grace at Home party!

Here are some links from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

Looking for some early Fall decorating ideas? Look no further than this post from Paula at Sweet Pea. Paula is a master of mixing vintage items and DIY projects--you'll be so glad you checked her out!

Want to know a decorating secret from a seasoned pro? Marty from A Stroll Thru Life shares her #1 must-have accessory. Can you guess what it is?


Even though it's still late summer, getting past Labor Day signals that Fall is around the corner, right? If you're longing for a pumpkin spice fix, you might want to check out this pumpkin spice sugar scrub from Kelly at Live Love Texas.


Need a new dinner idea? Check out this sheet pan fajita recipe from The Lou Lou Girls.


This time of year is full of transitions, which can bring their fair share of anxiety. If you're struggling with anxious thoughts, you'll appreciate this post from Dr. Michelle Bengtson.


As for me, I posted a simple tip for hanging pictures so that they'll stay straight. Check it out here!


Thank you to everyone who joined last week's party! Now for this week's link-up. Here at the Grace at Home party, I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter



Wednesday, September 4, 2019

How to hang pictures so they don't move


Are you a picture straightener? Does it drive you crazy when a piece of art you've carefully hung on the wall tilts out of alignment? (Please tell me I'm not the only one!)

Simple tip for hanging wall art so that it will not move

I've figured out a way to get my pictures to stay firmly in place when I hang them, which is especially valuable if I'm hanging more than one piece. Here's how I do it.

First, you need two pieces of hanging hardware on the back of the picture frame. When I have things framed, my frame shop always attaches two D-rings on the back of the frame and then strings hanging wire between those two rings.


As soon as I bring the pictures home, I remove the hanging wire so that I'm left with just the two D-rings.


Next, I measure the space between the two D-rings. The easiest way I've found to do this is to use a level. I place the level on the picture frame and use a Sharpie to mark the location of the D-rings.


Then I simply place the level on the wall and use a pencil to mark the position of the two Sharpie marks. Since the marks are on the level, it's easy to be sure that the two marks are level on the wall. Then I hammer in two nails or two picture hooks right on those marks.


For large pieces or for mirrors, I like to use Ook picture hangers. (affiliate link) They are easy to nail in, they hold lots of weight, and they don't leave big holes in the wall.


Once those two nails or picture hangers are in place, it's a cinch to place the two D-rings onto the hangers and voila! You have a picture that's not only perfectly straight, it'll never need to be straightened.

This is especially helpful when hanging a group of pictures in a high-traffic area, such as the dining area of our condo. Naturally, wall art is going to get bumped sometimes, but if a picture is hanging on two nails, it doesn't budge.


No more picture-straightening!

Have you ever used this trick for hanging wall art? Or do you have another way to do it? I love getting new tips!

(Note: This post includes an affiliate link so that you can quickly see the item at Amazon. But you can also find these at big box stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot or at your local hardware store. I've even seen them at my grocery store.)