Are you ready for Christmas yet? I have to confess that all of my decor is up and my first craft is complete, a magnolia leaf garland that I made for our big kitchen window. 

How to make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for your home for the Christmas holiday.

This window is one of the reasons why I love our little cottage so much. It lets so much light in and the view of the woods next to the house is beautiful. There’s nothing like it. I think we appreciate it so much because we had 2 small windows in our Illinois kitchen. Not only did they face North but they also looked out onto our neighbors back door, that was about 25 feet from our house. They were nice enough neighbors but they could sit on their deck and see everything we were doing. Needless to say we always had the windows covered.  

Anyway, last year I wanted to do something special to decorate our big kitchen window and bought a beautiful live garland. I loved it but it was expensive and, of course, it didn’t last long. (you can check out last year’s holiday kitchen here)

This year I wanted to use a garland again but I wanted to try magnolia leaves. I’ve used them in my decor before and they always dry beautifully, so you can keep them a bit longer.

I looked online and the prices for a magnolia leaf garland were way more than I was willing to spend. Our window is 8 foot long so we need something that’s about 13 feet in length.  Eeek…that equals a lot of money.

Not giving up on my plan (because those words aren’t in my vocabulary), I started looking into making my own. I don’t have a magnolia tree in my yard, and I don’t know anyone who does, so I bought a box on Etsy (affiliate link).

How to make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for a kitchen window for the holidays.

Yup, you can even buy a box of fresh magnolia leaves. 350 to be exact for right around $50. I know…it would be better to get them for free. Maybe I need to plant a magnolia tree in our yard. 

I’ve never done this kind of craft before but figured out a plan and, as soon as they arrived, the hubs and I set to work wrapping 350 magnolia leaves.

Supplies for a DIY Magnolia Leaf Garland 

    • magnolia leaves (we used about 325 for a 13′ long garland)
    • floral wire
    • natural covered craft wire
    • wire cutters
    • work gloves


This was really easy to do but it did take some time. We ended up spending about 2 hours, over the course of 2 evenings, to make our garland.

How to make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland.

We started out by wrapping 3 leaves together using floral wire. Once we got a good pile going, hubs continued wrapping while I started attaching each trio to the covered craft wire. 

How to make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for a kitchen window for the Christmas holiday.

There was no measuring involved. I just started attaching them so that the stems all faced one way, about 1 1/2″ apart. The goal was to hide the stems and wire. You’ll notice too that this is a flat garland. Meaning that there is only one pretty side. I would have loved to do both sides but it would have been difficult to hang it in the window (and the hubs would have killed me šŸ˜‰ ).

Make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for a kitchen window for the holidays.

I didn’t wear gloves to do this but I recommend them, if you can. The floral wire really did a number on my fingers. 

A little tip about the natural covered craft wire I used. Hubs wanted me to use cotton string we already had but, with that big expanse and the weight of the leaves, it probably would have stretched and drooped. I thought it would be wiser to use the covered wire and I was really glad that we did. It was inexpensive and easy to use. There’s no worry about it drooping either. 

Make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for the holidays.

I would have liked it to be a bit fuller but I love how it turned out. Maybe next time I’ll put my trios closer together and experiment with using the top and underside of the leaves.  
 
They’ve already started to dry and turn color. That’s what I love most about magnolia leaves.
 
How to make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for a kitchen window for the Christmas holiday.
 
How to make an easy DIY magnolia leaf garland for a window for the Christmas holiday. 
 I don’t want to share too much of the Christmas kitchen just yet, although the window does take up most of the space. šŸ˜‰
 
I’ll be joining in with a group of bloggers next Friday, Dec. 1, to share the rest of the space. Next Tuesday, Nov. 28, I’m hosting a special 1 day tour with 4 of my blogging friends. I hope you’ll come back to check it out.
 
It’s going to be a busy week with Thanksgiving on Thursday, but I’ll be back on Wednesday to share some holiday shopping goodies.
 
I’m joining in with some of my blogging friends for fun link party. Make sure you check out all of the creative Christmas decorating ideas at the bottom of the post.
 
Hope you have a great day!
 magnolia leaf garlandHow to make this easy DIY magnolia leaf garland to decorate a kitchen window for the Christmas holiday.
 
 
creative christmas link party
 
The Creative Christmas Link Party is hosted by Janet of Shabbyfufu and the the bloggers of Blogging 50. Please visit all of the talented bloggers below! 
 


 
 
 
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I’m so happy to be able to finally show and talk about our new front door. Actually it’s an old door but it’s a new door in place of the old door. Does that make sense? šŸ˜‰

Using a $20 thrifted door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, by adding new hardware and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

Last year when we looked at this house you could barely open the front door. The key was impossible to turn and it would stick, the result of poor maintenance. The door is original and had obviously been painted..a lot. There were bare spots and chipping paint and it was just plain ugly. 

Using an old thrifted door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

How to use an old thrifted door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

We started using the back door but my fall down the stairs 2 days after we closed, resulting in a broken foot, was enough to get the hubs to get the front door in working order. He worked his magic but the uglies couldn’t be overlooked. As soon as I was able to get around, I started looking at new front doors. It didn’t take long to realize that a new door wasn’t in the budget. Nice wood doors are expensive, ya’ll!!!

So the search for a new old door began. There’s plenty out there, at decent prices, but the size we needed is pretty popular. I probably searched every shop around for months and finally found “the one” at a local ReStore. It was a close enough match to the size we needed, and a steal at $20. 

Actually, we found 2 doors (the white one and the black one). I was going to use the white one for the front and the black one for the back but decided that the white one just didn’t fit the style of the house. The green door loveliness is the storm door that will replace the old storm front door. I found that before we even moved into the cottage, and it was only $12. I can’t wait to get that baby up.

Using an old thrifted door to make a new front door for a stone cottage, and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

Once we decided on a door, we took the old one down and cut the black door to size. We took a little bit off each side and were careful to leave space for a new lock and door knob. We also cut a hole for the mail slot. The old door hardware wasn’t salvageable but we were able to reuse the old brass mail slot.

Using an old thrifted door to make a new front door for a cottage, and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

We had to fill a few holes and then gave it a good sanding and cleaning. 

How to use an old thrifted door to make a new front door for a stone cottage, and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

The install was pretty easy but picking out a door knob and lock that actually fit was difficult. We bought 5 knobs and locks on our first trip but, every time we tried a set, the lock would hit the door knob. Our third store, and sixth or seventh try, we found a winner. It’s not what I originally wanted but it works and looks good. 

How to use an old thrifted door to make a new front door, adding new hardware and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

Paint color was the next step.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you might remember our front door in our Illinois house. I loved that color and wanted something similar, but softer. It didn’t take me long to settle on Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue, Regal Select, Eggshell. 

Oh my…I love this color. It’s a pretty green/gray with a hint of blue. 

Using an old thrifted door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, adding new hardware and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

Yes, I am mixing the metal finishes but I’m ok with it. I really wanted to use what I could from the old door. 

Using a thrifted door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, adding new hardware and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

How to use a thrifted door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, by adding new hardware and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

I love the way it turned out, even if it wasn’t in the original plan.  The light it let’s into this once dark space is awesome. Now I’m really itching to get the new, old storm door up. Oh, and replacing the back door is also on the long to-do list.

I’m happy to get another biggie crossed off the list. 

Happy weekend friends!

New Front Door Sources

 

shut the new front doorUsing an old thrifted farmhouse door to make a new front door for a 1946 stone cottage, and painting it a beautiful color, Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.

You can also check out another update in the living room/entry, here.

DIY Custom Curtain Rods

And how I updated an old door with new glass knobs, here.

Updating old doors with modern, new glass door knobs.Updating Old Doors With New Glass Door Knobs

 

You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing CourtSavvy Southern StyleFrench Country Cottage

 

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It doesn’t happen often, but I think my husband loved how this project turned out way more than I did. I even got him to pose for a picture with my cool thrift store faux fur stool on his head, but I have been forbidden to share it on the blog. I would like to stay married so I will honor his request. Actually I put it on my IG stories the other day (before he forbid it) but he doesn’t know. Shhhh…don’t tell him. šŸ˜‰

Anyway, it’s that time of month where the Thrifty Style Team gets together to share their thrifty finds. Make sure you check them out at the end of the post. 

A few weeks back I was browsing through one of my favorite thrift stores when I found this little old wood stool.

A $2 thrift store find turned into a faux fur stool for the sunroom.

Was I looking for a stool? Umm…no.

Did I need another stool in my life? Not exactly, but it was only $2 and I loved it. Nobody was with me to talk me out of it (yes, the hubs would have talked me down), so it came home to live with me. 

A $2 thrift store find turns into a cool faux fur stool.

It went right into the sunroom, where it sat while I tried to figure out what to do with it. At first I was going to leave it. Then I decided that I wanted to paint it. In the end though, a spare piece of faux fur completely changed my mind.

I had the stool and the fur. All I needed was a piece of foam to add a bit of a cushion. 

Supplies to make a cool faux fur stool

  • stool
  • piece of faux fur
  • foam
  • utility knife – to cut foam
  • staple gun
  • a vacuum (it’s a messy project!)

This is such an easy project. I think it took me 10-15 minutes to do the whole thing. 

To start, I drew a template of the stool seat on the foam and cut it out.

Turning a thrift store find into a cool faux fur stool for any room.

After I cut out the template, I turned the stool over and positioned my fur so that it would cover the seat and foam.

A $2 thrift store find turns into a cool faux fur stool with just a few supplies.

Then I started stapling the fur to the underside of the stool seat. There was no fancy formula to this step. I just pulled the fur tight, without moving the stool, and stapled all the way around. 

Ten minutes and the stool had a cool new head of hair.

A $2 thrift store find turns into a cool faux fur stool for any room in your home with this easy DIY tutorial.

I think the faux fur was definitely the way to go. I thought about painting the legs but decided to leave them for now.

I’m loving it in the newly redone sunroom. It’s such a fun addition. I even sit in there petting it.

First the hubs posing with it, now me petting it. What is it about faux fur? šŸ˜‰

How to turn a thrift store find into a cool faux fur stool for any room with this easy DIY tutorial.


Don’t forget to check out what my friends on the Thrifty Style Team are up to this month. They never disappoint. 

cool faux fur stool


 

faux fur stoolA thrift store find turns into a cool faux fur stool for any room with this easy DIY tutorial.

 

You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing CourtSavvy Southern StyleFrench Country Cottage

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It’s been a while since you’ve seen the new powder room and closet but we’ve finally made enough progress to share with you. I’ll get to the powder room progress another day (lots going on there). Today is all about the new closet and hanging wallpaper. 

Tips we picked up hanging wallpaper in a bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly add color and transform a space.

If you remember, way back in July I shared the new bedroom closet build (you can see it here). We built it in an empty corner of the guest bedroom to replace the closet that was turned into a powder room. Remember, we have a small home so we needed to add a closet back for extra storage (not to mention resale).

Taking an empty corner in a bedroom and building a closet.

Building the walls for a small bedroom closet.

We’ve had a ton of challenges with this space from the get-go. First challenge is working in such a tight space. It makes every project more difficult, and time consuming. The next challenge is that the walls are plaster and nothing is square or level. It may be small, but building the closet was not easy. It’s just the way it is with older homes. 

Building the walls for a small bedroom closet

Once we finished building the closet, I filled all the holes and painted the walls. After painting the walls I started throwing around the idea of wallpaper. I’ve never been particularly fond of wallpaper, and we’ve never actually hung it in any of the homes we’ve lived in, but I wanted to try something different in this tiny space.

A completed small bedroom closet build and hanging wallpaper to add color and pattern to the small space.

Deciding I wanted to use wallpaper was easy. Actually finding one that I loved was a whole other ball game. I looked at a ton of samples, and it took me weeks to decide, but I finally settled on one I loved (this one from Spoonflower).

I went into this project like I always do, with a clear picture of what I wanted and a husband who is always on board. (Ok, maybe not always but he usually comes around). This time was different though. He didn’t want me to use wallpaper, actually he hated the idea, and he poo-pooed every sample I showed him. Obviously he was no help, so I picked this out without his blessing and ordered it.

Tips for hanging wallpaper in a bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly add color and transform a space.

Hanging Wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper is a two person job so I had to employ a bit of groveling to get the hubs to help me out. Of course he did it, he has never refused, but he hated every minute. Ask him, he will tell you so himself. 

I won’t go through a step-by-step but I will tell you a few things that we did that made the job easier.

Like I said, we have never hung wallpaper before so we had no experience to look back on. We just read the instructions that came with the wallpaper and did it, with a few modifications.

The very first thing we did was to work with a small sample piece of our prepasted paper. The instructions said to use a roller or sponge but we didn’t like how it spread out so we used a squirt bottle. We sprayed down our small sample piece and booked it for the time instructed. It came out perfectly. 

Hanging wallpaper tip by testing a sample first

Once our test was done and we were ready to start the process, we grabbed a big piece of wood from the basement. This gave us enough space to spread each sheet out so we could wet it down thoroughly.

Wetting down and hanging wallpaper in a small bedroom closet for added color and pattern.

After we thoroughly wet the sheet of wallpaper, we booked it for 10 minutes and then hung it on the wall.

Hanging wallpaper in a small bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly transform a space.

Hanging wallpaper in a small bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly add color and transform a space.

You want to make sure your walls are smooth, every bump will show. Also, if you paint your walls first, make sure you’ve given them plenty of time to dry. 

We used 4 strips of wallpaper and it took us 90 minutes from start to finish. Compared to the other projects we’ve done in this space, it was pretty easy. The change is dramatic, too.

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Tips we picked up hanging wallpaper in a small bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly add color and transform a space.

It’s just the pop I was hoping for. Of course there will be a door on the closet so you won’t see it unless you open it. 

We also added electric in this space for a light (you can find the one I bought, here). Older homes don’t have lights in the closets so I wanted to be sure we added one in here. It probably isn’t totally necessary, since it’s such a small space, but it wasn’t a big deal to add it while we were building.

Little tips we picked up hanging wallpaper in a bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly add color and transform a space.

This weekend we’ll finish the quarter round, add shelving and a rod.

It’s a small space, for sure, but I should be able to store some of my shoes and hanging clothes. It’s certainly better than hanging them in a bag in the basement, where they’ve been ever since we started.

My final thoughts on wallpaper(?)

I love it in this space but I won’t be doing anymore rooms in the near future. I change my mind about my decor often and if I had wallpaper in a space that I had to look at every day, I would tire of it. 

Wallpaper is expensive, ya’ll! That was part of my issue with picking the right one out. I would find one I loved and it would be way out of my price range. As it was, I paid $240 for this small space. What???? I know, I know…

As for the hubs…he still doesn’t like it and I’ve stopped trying to convince him. You can’t win ’em all. hanging wallpaper in a closetLittle tips we picked up hanging wallpaper in a small bedroom closet. An easy DIY that can instantly add color and transform a space.

What about you…would you hang wallpaper in your home?

You can catch up on the powder room addition here.

Turning a bedroom closet into a much needed but small powder room.A New Addition to the Cottage: A Small Powder Room

And the DIY vanity we built here.

A simple DIY vanity for a small powder room addition. Building a DIY Vanity

 

You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing CourtSavvy Southern StyleFrench Country Cottage

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