Landon’s “Wild One” Birthday

I thought I jump on here while Landon is napping to share what has been keeping me so busy this last week. Our little guy turned 1, so naturally, I had to throw a party. Granted, this was more of a party for the grown ups than for the kids as there were only 5 kids there…oops. But, after our first year as parents, I think all parents deserve a party 🙂

Like everything, I always turn to Pinterest for inspiration and found a few cute themes for a first birthday, but ended up going with Where The Wild Things Are or Wild One. I had actually planned on doing a few other things than what is pictured here but because I ALWAYS procrastinate, I ran out of time for a few projects.

Anyway, the party was so much fun, Landon was such a trooper and had fun the entire time. A huge thank you to all our friends and family who came to help us celebrate this little guy. It’s been one wild year and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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“Welcome to my party!” 🙂 This kid! His crown was a little floppy AND the fur trim came off because I used iron-on adhesive instead of sewing it…fail. So, we switched to a different crown later that I had order off Amazon. (You’ll see that in the cake smash photos). His onsie was just a plain white one that I added an iron-on transfer to. He also had a tail made from the same fur as the trim on the crown, sadly, we never really got a good photo of it.

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I set up this little area for the kids to play in. Teepee and rug are from Target. Chalkboard sign is from Michael’s and says “Let’s make mischief of one kind or another!”. Banners are both blank banners from Target. On the Wild One banner, I just used a black sharpie on the letters and in the same felt I used for Landon’s crown, I cut out little crowns and used wood glue to attach them to the wood banner pieces.

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This is probably why I didn’t get as many little projects done as I had planned on. I spent a few hours, at least 4, working on this guy. I love it though, it was a fun way to let everyone know a little more about the birthday boy. I already had the chalkboard door, this was a DIY I did a while ago. You can see that post here.

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 I have to give a HUGE shout out to my sister and my mom for getting all the food ready the day of the party, while I was running around doing other things. Food at parties always stresses me out and I always wind up wishing I’d had it catered. But, it turned out great thanks to my helpers!

I tried to keep the menu pretty simple because of the timing of the party, late afternoon to early evening and tried to come up with fun names for the food that went with the theme of the party. Some of the names were a stretch :). We served veggie sticks (Veggie Vines) with dip (Wild Thing Dip), fresh fruit (Speared Fruit), goat cheese rolled in chopped chives (Mossy Rocks), Party Mix w/Goldfish crackers (Fish Food) and Ham & Cheese Sliders (Wolf Biscuits). The Ham & Cheese Sliders are amazing, by the way, and I always use this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

The tree trunk plaques I used as serving platters are from Michaels and the chalkboard food signs are from Target.

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The desserts (and Landon’s cake smash) were probably my favorite part of the whole party. I did not make these! No way! I went searching for a custom cake shop in the area and came across Laurie Clarke Cakes in Wilsonville and you guys…AMAZING! I felt so silly when I messaged her because #1 – that party was 1 week away (me the procrastinator…remember?) and #2 – I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted, just had a photo of the smash cake and pretty much just said “here’s what I like, do what you can”. I know…who am I? But this is what she came up with!!!! So perfect and SO delicious! If you are in the Portland area and need cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, use Laurie…you won’t be sorry!

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Just a couple little touches…bubbles to keep the kids occupied. Just used little white craft bags from Michaels and printed labels on the computer that said “A trick to tame the wild things”. I also got Landon a copy of Where The Wild Things Are and had party guests write a little note to him. A fun reminder for him to look back on one day.

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We ended the evening by singing happy birthday and letting Landon go to town on his smash cake. It was pretty cute, he would get a hand full of frosting, put it in his mouth, and then look around as everyone laughed at him. Then, repeat 🙂

Such a fun evening. And I would do it all again. Just maybe not procrastinate so much next time 😉

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Sausage & Apple Stuffed Squash

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This dish just screams fall to me! The squash, the apples, the herbs. Made me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a glass of wine, which is exactly what I did right after eating this 🙂 For the presentation that you get with a stuffed squash, the prep and hands-on time is relatively easy. This makes a great dish on it’s own for dinner, or as a side dish for a dinner party. You could even use a roasted acorn squash to serve your Thanksgiving stuffing, if you really want to get crazy! The other great thing about this recipe, you can easily change up the ingredients that you put inside to tailor it to your own diet or tastes. Add some grains, like cooked rice or quinoa, remove the dairy, change the meat to chicken sausage or add beans for protein instead. The possibilities are endless. So get creative and let me know if you try any substitutions. I’d love to hear about it!!

Sausage & Apple Stuffed Squash
3 Acorn squash
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lb ground pork sausage
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled & diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp thyme, chopped
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare squash by cutting 1 1/2″ off top and use a spoon to scrape out seeds. (If you want to keep the squash tops for decorative purposes, set them aside until step 5, otherwise, discard them.) Once the inside is clean, cut approximately 1/2″ off the bottom to create a flat surface, trying not to puncture through the bottom of squash into center opening, if possible. (If you do puncture, it will still work, you’ll just need to use a non-slotted spatula when moving the squash from baking sheet to plate to avoid losing the filling.)
2. Use a brush to coat inside of squash in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place squash on baking sheet and roast in oven for 1 hour.
3. While squash is roasting, prepare the filling. In a skillet or deep frying pan, brown the sausage over medium heat until no pink remains, approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once browned, remove sausage to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving grease in frying pan.
4. Add onion and celery to frying pan and cook until they begin to soften, approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple, cook an additional 3 minutes. Add cooked sausage, herbs, 1/2 cup cheese and salt & pepper to taste, stir to combine and remove from heat.
5. When squash is finished roasting, remove baking sheet from oven. Spoon the filling equally into the squash and sprinkle with remaining cheese. (If you are serving with squash tops, place tops on baking sheet at this point.) Place baking sheet back in oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes. When finished, remove from oven and serve.

Enjoy!

Fall Home Tour

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We officially have a walking baby!! Landon has been taking a few wobbly steps each day but last night he walked all the way across the living room! It was cute, exciting and terrifying all at the same time 🙂 With each new milestone comes a whole new stage of unexpectedness (I’m going to pretend that’s a word).

With this milestone has come the 12 month sleep regression. Landon has been waking up at 5:30 every morning for about a week now. Now that he’s walking, he should go back to his normal sleep pattern soon. This morning he woke up at 6:00 but then fell back asleep until 7:30. Hopefully, with a few days of practice walking under his belt, we’ll get back to normal.

I spent the weekend cleaning the house and shooting my fall décor so that I could put a little home tour together for you. It’s later than I wanted to have this post done but, better late than never?? I’m loving everything I added this season and I tried to keep things simple, not too busy. I stuck to a bit of a pumpkins and galvanized metal theme with all of my pumpkins being from Michaels and all of my greenery being from Ikea.

I hope you guys enjoy the inspiration! And I’m already thinking about what I want to do for Christmas and my hope is to get it done and posted EARLY so that you can have some inspo in time for your own decorating!

Happy decorating 🙂

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Home Bar

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Why is it that when the time comes around for family photos (or any type of photos for that matter) I immediately feel like I have no style sense, whatsoever? Anyone else? Ah, well…that’s what style bloggers and Pinterest are for, right?

I posted a few days ago about the paint transformation on this little piece of furniture and now I’m showing you how I dressed it up. (In case you missed it, click here for the transformation and product info) I wanted to downsize our bar area and put it in a less focal area of the dining room. This piece worked out great for that because it is about half the size of the buffet I was using for the bar area.

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I wanted to keep the décor really simple since it is such a small area. On the bar top, I stuck to a tray for alcohol and a simple arrangement. This wooden tray has moved throughout my entire house! I’ve used it to hold a candle surrounded by potpourri on the table in the breakfast nook, a small flower arrangement, candle and a framed photo on the coffee table and now alcohol on the bar. You can really get a lot of use out of a little tray like this. Those eucalyptus stems are one of my favorite fall finds this year, from Ikea. I should have grabbed so many more! The little watering can is also from Ikea and contains 3 stems.

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If you remember the post of my home bar from a few years ago, you’ll recognize those shelves. Originally, I had stained the shelf with dark walnut stain but wanted a lighter look this time so I just painted over it with 2 coats of white chalk paint. Click here to see the last home bar I set up. I loved it at the time, but definitely a bit darker and heavier than what I’m going for these days. In the post that I linked above, I talked about how I made the shelves, I put these together with some items from Lowe’s. Really basic. However, if you aren’t into that and want something that’s ready to go, I’ll link a few shelves below that I like. The rope handle jar is a few years old from Pottery Barn but I linked something similar below. I love using something like this to fill a space because you can put anything in it to match your décor and easily switch it out for the next season or holiday if need be. Plus, it’s a good way to add some height and color to a shelf or table.

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I’d love to hear what you guys think of the new look! And I’ve linked sources below, or similar items if it’s no longer available, so you can create a similar look in your home.

Click the items below to shop the look!

Enjoy!!

 

DIY Toy Box

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I think I officially have a toddler. I mean, when I spend the entire day either chasing the little munchkin or saying “No, Landon…no, no, no….Landon, that’s not to play with” that equals toddler, right?!?! When he first learned what the word “no” meant, he would usually stop whatever behavior I was saying no to. Now, he is testing the limits and repeating the behavior, over and over and over. The latest, picking food up off his high chair tray, holding his food-filled fist for me to see and dropping it while I tell him not to drop the food. Big heavy sigh.

Once Landon turned 4 months, we started accumulating toys at rapid pace so I needed a place to store them. I started searching for toy boxes and toy storage. There were some cute options out there but not a lot that really went with his nursery or my décor style. Baskets would have been the best option if I had a big shelving unit to store them on, but, space in the nursery was becoming limited.

I came across this unfinished wood toy box on Wayfair and decided to customize it to fit the style of the room.

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I painted the toy box white with Heirloom Traditions A La Mode chalk paint, 3 coats total, and then used DIY Big Top Aftershow top coat. I followed it up with a light sanding on the edges with 180 grit sandpaper.

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Next, I decided to add a padded seat to the top of the toy box. I added the hinges to the lid so that I could cut and attach the padding and fabric around them. Lay out your fabric on the ground (design side down), making sure that if you are using fabric with a pattern, you pay attention to the placement and angle of the pattern. Next, lay out a piece of 1″ foam on top of the fabric followed by the lid placed upside down on top of the foam. At this point, you can cut the foam and the fabric to the appropriate dimensions. Leave a 1″ border of foam around the toy box lid. Leave a 2″ border between the fabric and foam to allow for folding the edges over and attaching with staples.

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To attach the padding and fabric, I folded the edge of the fabric over on itself, the folded the remaining edge of the fabric over the foam and toy box lid, securing it with staples and my electric staple gun. When you are securing the fabric, work on one side at a time and secure only to within 2″ of each corner so that the fabric at the corners is loose. You are going to make some cuts and folds in order to tuck the corner fabric in. Also, when securing the fabric on the hinge side, staple everywhere except at the hinges, leaving the fabric loose there as well.

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To secure corners, you want to cut away the extra layers of fabric that were folded under, leaving only 1 layer of fabric. Take the tip of fabric at the corner, fold it over the lid and secure with a staple. You should now have loose fabric on either side of the corner. On each side, you will fold and roll the fabric under itself at an angle so that when you bring the two sides together they will meet at the corner. Secure with staples.

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To secure fabric around hinges, again, cut away some of the layers so you have just 1 layer of fabric, refold the fabric so that it fits around the hinge and secure with staples.

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Once I attached the lid to the toy box, I wanted to add a little more detail so I picked up some metal T strap and L strap angles , spray painted them black and attached them at each corner for a little industrial touch.

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That’s it! Totally customizable to your color and design! Just change paint color, fabric, spray paint and done 🙂

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Apple Chips

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It finally feels like fall! Like everyday fall, not just a day here and there. I’m going to revel in this for a while because I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m cursing all the rain. Not happy in, not happy out, ya know?

We spent the morning at a cute little pumpkin patch farm, complete with hay rides, pony rides, tractors, slides and fresh made pumpkin spice doughnuts! I mean, sign me up! Especially the donut part 🙂

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Landon is so intrigued by everything these days, this fall and holiday season is going to be so fun exploring with him.

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He seemed to like the cows the most and it was pretty cute to hear him say “mmmm” when I asked what sound does a cow make 🙂

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Ok, apple chips. So easy! They take a little time but the hands-on time is nothing and they make such a great fall snack. I literally can not stop eating them.

Apple Chips
1 apple
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Slice apple very thin, approximately 1/8″ thick. I used a mandoline slicer and put it on the middle setting, not paper thin but 1 setting past that.
2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, lay apple slices on parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon on both sides.
3. Bake apples for 2 1/2 hours, turning once halfway through baking time.

See?!?! So easy! The more baking sheets have, the more you can bake at a time. I was able to fit 1 apple on each XL baking sheet.

Enjoy!

Small Buffet Upcycle

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Hi everyone!!! Wow, it feels like I’ve been gone for SO LONG! I mean, 2 months isn’t forever but still, I missed posting for you and I’m glad to be back at it. Thank you for hanging in there while I took a little break. I was able to accomplish quite a few things around the house, get myself organized and reprioritize what I want and need to do with this blog going forward. I’m so excited to get back to sharing things with you and have so many fun projects in store, so I hope you love them as much as I do!

How about a little life update first 🙂 Not a ton has changed, just the usual day-in and day-out of stay-at-home motherhood. We have been taking more weekend trips as a family and I’ve been getting Landon out into some play groups each week, which he loves! So, we’ve been more social in the last couple of months I guess. The little one is seriously on the move! He is crawling and cruising SO fast! Walking is just around the corner…(heavy sigh). And no, mom, I still don’t have the baby gate up. :/ Landon is also adding to his vocabulary. He now says mama, dada, nana, & Ella (except Ella sounds more like Elwa, but so cute!) Speaking of Ella, I think she may have kennel cough. Ugh! Have any of you dealt with kennel cough in your dog? She is current on vaccinations, we did board both dogs about 2 1/2 weeks ago and she started this awful cough/choking sound just over a day ago. I’m hoping it’s not something more serious but we’re going to the vet today, so I’ll keep you posted.

So, this mini buffet. What do you think?!?! I’ve had this piece of furniture for years, 7 years to be exact, as it was a wedding gift from my little sisters. I honestly never had a true home for this piece but recently, have not been liking our bar area. It was a bit too big and in a very focal point of our home so I want to make it smaller and de-emphasize it a bit. This mini buffet seemed like the perfect size. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it before painting…this is why I needed to get organized about my projects, I start projects on a whim, only get them halfway done, never feel like I’m getting anywhere with this house! Before, it was a cream/yellow tone with bronze hardware and chalkboard doors. It was super cute but the yellow tone just didn’t go with the rest of the house anymore.

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I did want some of the black to show through when I distressed this piece, so to start, I painted 1 coat of Heirloom Traditions Black Bean on any area that wasn’t already black. Once that was dry, I added 2 coats of A La Mode (White). Most of the time, when I distress furniture, I just go over the edges with sandpaper. This time, however, I used a technique called Wet Distressing. You distress right away after the paint dries, don’t give it any time to cure because you want the paint to come off easily. Using a sponge or rag, and a bowl of water, you get the sponge wet, ring out the excess water, and lightly rub the area you want to distress. This will essentially peel off the paint giving you more of a “chippy paint” effect.  I actually found this method of distressing much easier than sanding and WAY less messy.

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For the knobs, I went with this simple matte black round ceramic knob from Home Depot.

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 And that’s it! Just a simple upcycle that made a world of difference to our bar area. If you have followed for a while, you’ll remember when I originally put the bar area together. It turned out like this…

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I did like it but have since taken our décor in a different direction so I thought this area needed an update. I also moved it to the opposite side of the room so that it is tucked away in the corner instead of front and center when you walk into our kitchen/dining room.

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I’d love to hear what you think of the new version! I also have a fall décor post coming later this week where you will be able to find sources for all the décor pieces you see here.

Happy Wednesday everyone! And it feels great to be back, I missed you friends!! 🙂

Frosé (Frozen Rosé)

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Happy Friday friends! What better way to celebrate the weekend than with summer’s hottest (or coolest ;)) drink trend, Frosé! Let me be clear from the start though, this Frosé recipe is a tad different than the rest. Let’s call it skinny Frosé 🙂 As I was checking out multiple recipes for this post, I noticed every single one had simple syrup or sugar in it. Sorry…not for this girl. I can barely handle alcohol these days, let alone sugary alcohol, so there was no way I was adding sugar to my Rosé. Besides, isn’t Rosé plenty sweet as it is? And, personally, I don’t want to mask the taste of my Rosé with a bunch of sugar. To sweeten this drink I used agave nectar and if it’s not sweet enough for you, you can easily add a bit more agave to it.

Keep in mind that the ingredients listed below will make 6 glasses, however, if you just want 1 or 2 glasses, you can easily use 1 tray of cubes, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup ice and 2 Tbsp agave and save the rest of the cubes for later.

Frosé
Makes 6 servings
1 bottle (250 mL) Rosé
3 ice cube trays
3 cups sliced strawberries, divided, plus more for garnish if desired
3 cups ice, divided
6 Tbsp agave nectar, divided

1. Pour all of Rosé into the ice cube trays, distributing evenly. Should fill 3 to 3 1/2 trays. Freeze for at least 6 hours to overnight. Because of the alcohol, the cubes won’t freeze completely but should be solid enough to crack the trays and remove the cubes when ready as you would with regular ice cubes.
2. In a blender, place 12 cubes frozen Rosé (1 tray worth), 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1 cup ice & 2 Tbsp agave and blend until you have a slushy consistency. Mine was pretty thick but I also have a pretty old blender. Honey, if you are reading this…a Vitamix would be a phenomenal gift at some point 😉 If you want to thin it out, you can add 1 Tbsp of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. However, I spooned mine out of the blender and it melted to a great consistency within a couple minutes.
3. Divide between 2 wine glasses, garnish with a whole strawberry and serve. Repeat twice with remaining ingredients if desired.

Enjoy!

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Poblano Corn Quesadillas

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We officially have a crawling baby! Which means, my life is about to get a little more hectic. As of yesterday, Landon is on the move and ever since then he does not want to be confined in any way, not in the bouncer, not in the playpen. Just wants to be able to move freely. No more setting him down on the play mat to run to the restroom, or turning my back to do dishes while he sits in one spot playing. Nope.
How do moms of toddlers get anything done? Serious question. Already today I feel like I haven’t been able to accomplish a single thing until he went down for a nap. I think this is just a phase as he gets used to his new skills but hopefully he will go back to liking the playpen and bouncer, at least for small amounts of time.

Here is a little update to your plain old cheese quesadilla, with sweet corn, onion and Poblano peppers, these take a basic dish and turn things up a notch. I made these for dinner and they were plenty filling, but if you wanted a bit more substance, you can easily add some cooked chicken as well.

Poblano Corn Quesadillas
1 tsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
2 fresh Poblano peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 corn on the cob, kernels removed
1 lime, halved
salt and black pepper
3 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
4 6-in tortillas

To garnish (your choice):
Salsa, Guacamole, Cilantro, Sour Cream

1. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Poblano and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and add the corn. Stir to combine, remove from heat and squeeze half a lime over the mixture.
2. Transfer to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.
3. Heat 1/2 tsp of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add one tortilla and scatter over it a quarter of the cheese, and a quarter of the Poblano mixture. When the tortilla turns just golden brown in spots, in about 2 minutes, fold it in half, pressing it with a spatula to flatten. Transfer to a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make three more quesadillas. Serve with garnish of your choice.

* Original recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

DIY Chalkboard Sign

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Confession…I love chalkboards. Or, I love creating cute little works of art on chalkboards. Weird, I know. I have created some fun chalkboard signs for my mom’s business and thought it was time I have one in my home. I created a new photo gallery wall in our living room and took down the old gallery wall which was hanging in this space. It’s kind of an awkward spot. You enter our home into a foyer with a vaulted ceiling with the living room, dining room and kitchen to the left but you don’t really see those rooms until you round the corner. As you turn the corner, you step up 4 stairs into the living area and this wall is right in front of you.

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Not only is it an awkward spot, but the wall itself is a bit awkward as well. It is essentially a square in the center of our upstairs area. On the left of it is our living room and on the right is our dining room and kitchen. And because of the light switches and thermostat, the placement of anything you put on the wall either has to be really high or really low. Which is the reason I wanted to move the gallery wall, because the photos were up so high, you never really saw them very well. Once I completed this sign, I loved it in this space but still felt like the wall needed something on the lower half too. I think a thin sofa table up against the wall could possibly look good. However, very shortly there will be a DIY baby gate at the top of those stairs…hint hint at a future post…that will visually cover that space as you walk up toward the wall so I will most likely leave it as is until after the gate is up.

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The great thing about this sign is that the size is completely customizable for your space if you use the same project boards that I used from Lowe’s. They come in multiple sizes, thicknesses and made from different types of wood. For my space, I used a stain grade pine panel that is 3/4″ thick x 24″ tall x 36″ wide. Unfortunately, I can’t find these pine panels on their website anymore but they are usually kept in the lumber area, near the wood trim section.

Supplies
stain grade pine panel 3/4″ x 24″ x 36″
1″ x 2″ x 4′ pine board (for trim)
table saw or miter box (for cutting trim)
wood glue
1 1/2″ brad nails and nail gun
wood filler
220-grit sandpaper
chalkboard paint
stain or chalk paint for trim (I used Minwax stain in Dark Walnut)
chalk

Step 1: Cut your trim

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Lay your project board down and cut a piece of trim for each side. Now, you can just do straight edge cuts on your trim instead of angled miter cuts. If you have a table saw and can do miter cuts easily, then I say go for it. If you are trying to do it with a miter box and hand saw, probably not worth all the effort. At least not with the wood that I used for the trim, because it is not soft and would not be easy to cut through with a hand saw. So, if you are doing a straight edge, 90° cut with a jigsaw, simply cut the top and bottom pieces first, attach them with the wood glue and nails, as shown in step 3, and then measure and cut the side pieces. If you are doing a mitered angle cut, I measured one side at a time and as I measured the next side, I held the previous side in place to make sure I had a proper measurement and snug fit at each corner.

Step 2: Paint

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I know it might seem a little backwards to paint first and then assemble, and you don’t have to do it this way, especially because if you use wood filer to seal the corners on the trim, you’ll have to touch that up anyway. However, I didn’t want to deal with having to be super careful to not get the chalkboard paint on the trim once it was assembled so it just seemed easy and must faster to paint the pieces beforehand. Like I mentioned above, I used this chalkboard paint for the main board (2 coats) and Minwax stain in Dark Walnut for the trim (1 coat wiped on with a cloth).

Step 3: Attach trim to chalkboard

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Lay a piece of trim down on it’s thicker edge, add a thin line of wood glue to the edge that will attach to the chalkboard. Make sure the edges of your trim are flush with the chalkboard or the corner on each end and attach the trim using 1 1/2″ brad nails and a nail gun

Step 4: Finish corners with wood filler

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Use a little wood filler at each corner to fill in any gap between the trim boards. Once it is dry, use 220-grit sandpaper to buff the wood filler smooth and touch up with whichever stain or paint you used.

Step 5: Chalk art fun!

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Now you get to change up your wall décor as often as you want, and the great thing about chalk…if you don’t like it, you can wipe it off and do it again! I get a lot of my chalkboard inspo from Pinterest. Just type in chalkboard art and there you go. Some are way more intricate than others so just start with something simple and each time you can get a little more brave 🙂 I also added this little faux fern garland to the top for a little something extra because I felt like the wall was still a little naked.

Tips for creating chalkboard art
1. Use your chalk to divide you board into 4 equal sections, lightly draw a faint line down the middle of the board both vertically and horizontally. Whatever picture you are using as your inspiration, visualize it in 4 sections just like your board. This will help you with placement of each word or picture in relation to everything else.
2. Start from the center and work your way out. I started this board with “hello” and the sun, and then followed with each line and did the arrows last. It was easy to figure out the placement for the most central word and then look at how each word or object is placed in relation to that central word.
3. Sketch it out first. I do a very rough, very light-handed sketch of each word to make sure I like the placement and the size before coloring it in darker or finalizing it. Keep a wet rag on hand to wipe away sketch marks that don’t blend in or are outside the lines of your final word. This works especially well for cursive words because, for reals….my cursive ain’t pretty! Unless I go VERY slowly and sketch it first.
Have fun!!