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handknit christmas garland

Eee!  Do you ever have one of those projects that you just love to death?  I made this gorgeous fluffy fingerknit garland this week and adore the way it turned out. I got the idea because I have some yarn ball garland I’d used on my Christmas tree in previous years, but it didn’t match my black and white color scheme… So, I had to think of something else to use.  

kilim upholstered dining bench

You know the feeling when you have something big coming up and you’re against the clock trying to get everything done?  We’re having Friendsgiving at our house this weekend, so I’m in a big push to get a lot of the half done projects complete.  This feeling to complete everything is less because my friends care what my house looks like and more because all of the half done projects are living in the dining room, in the exact spot where people are going to need to eat!

One of the smaller projects was this bench that I’ve been working on since August.  Yes, over three months ago.

If you’ll remember, I was near complete with this bench, when I hit an unfortunate snag.  The snag being that the entire thing fell apart. I had used pine wood not thinking about how soft the wood was and how easily it splinters. As soon as I put the weight of the top on the bench, the entire thing collapsed. 

christmas tree forest advent calendar

Eek! Christmas prep is in full swing over here at EHC and I have been SO excited to share this advent calendar with you!  Can you believe that this is the FIRST advent calendar I have done on this blog?  That’s five years of blogging and not-a-one. Until now…

I got this idea because it’s easy to do and is such a pretty mantle arrangement as well, so it pulls double duty.  Keep on reading and get the easy tutorial for this Christmas forest advent calendar DIY! 

painted tea tins

The holiday season is really in full swing now!  I’m spending this morning doing a little grocery shopping for the big day and I’m excited to dress my table with these really beautiful tea tins that I made this weekend.

They’re so easy and just a little bit of strategically applied paint makes them look so artsy and upscale!  Don’t they look like something you’d buy from a high end gourmet store? Well, I’ll assure you, I made them.  Not ONLY do I have the full how-to for these beautiful diy tea tins, but I have a pretty exciting giveaway for you too! Let’s go! 

5 minute modern candlestick diy

Sometimes things just click, right?  I was at the craft store last week buying the wood for our Thanksgiving table centerpieces, and I saw these random ‘legs’.  The tags on them said they were supposed to be stool legs, but I immediately saw a matte black modern candlestick.

Just an aisle over were the other two necessities I needed to quickly (seriously, in five minutes) create these beautiful, simple, and modern diy candlesticks.

painted faux marble countertops

Guys….. I almost named this post, “the best DIY I’ve done to-date ever”, but then I came back to my senses and named it something that google could easily find should anyone else in the world want to do this project. And I hope everyone does, because it’s amazing. So amazing, in fact, that the $30 faux marble countertops fooled my (very style discerning) Mother-in-law, who said, “I didn’t know you guys were buying marble for the kitchen!”.  That, my friends, is a win.

But let’s back up to just two days ago when I was *this close* to throwing the whole project into the trash and forgetting about it completely. 

faux wood box centerpiece

Ok, so sometimes I totally cheat when it comes to decorating for parties.  Why?  Well, usually a gathering is a short-lived event and I don’t NEED to go buy expensive stuff to make it a stunning presentation.  That is why today, I’m sharing a trick for creating a total fake out that I’ve employed several times.  Not only is this long wooden box not really a box, but it costs about $3 to make (far less than than what it would cost to buy a 32″ long wooden vase) and it always surprises people when they see how it was done. To the naked eye, this dinner party centerpiece is a floral masterpiece, but just under the façade, however, it’s a truly remarkable fake out. 

gold octagon placecard napkin rings

So many of the times, the projects that end up being my absolute favorite are also the absolute easiest.  There is just something magical about a really simple project hitting all the right chords.  This napkin ring/name card holder is no joke the most simple and the most beautiful thing that will be gracing my table this Thanksgiving.

It’s made of… paper.  Yep.  Just gold paper from the craft store which cost $2. I made sixteen napkin rings out of the one piece of paper meaning that each ring cost just $0.12 to make. If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is.

Folding them into geometric octagons gives a modern look to my more rustic table.  They’re simple and cheap, so what are you waiting for?  Let’s make some!

diy fail

Well, I can’t tell you that broken pieces of a bench I’ve been trying to make for the last two months was top on my list of things to blog about today, but here we are.

I was really proud of myself with this bench.  I had used the miter saw without aide, made it as solid as I could, and was thrilled when the high gloss black finish turned out so smooth.  I even used primer under the paint – a step I usually just shortcut around because… who has time for primer? 

pinhole pumpkin carving

I love the idea of carving pumpkins, but usually 0.2 seconds into the affair, I’m wishing I’d done something simpler.  I’m the kind of person who is gung-ho about a super intricate design, but is irritated when it takes me longer than 20 minutes. Last year I used my pumpkin dremel to make some character from star wars for my nephew, but he fell asleep like 10 minutes into the affair and I spent the next three hours finishing the monstrosity.

Typically, I don’t decorate pumpkins at all… I know, it’s a total blogger faux pas, but the aforementioned scenario plays through my mind, then I just set whole pumpkins around and call it done.

This year, however, I got to looking at one of my pinhole Moroccan style lanterns and thoughts of easy pumpkin carving ideas swirled through my head.  I thought I’d try my hand at creating a design similar to my pinhole lanterns because potentially, I could just use my power drill and make it easy on myself. And sure enough it worked out pretty well. 

creepy twig halloween wreath diy

I’ll start off by saying this… I am not usually one for knocking off exact designs from stores, but sometimes, there is really just no reason to spend money on something that can so easily be made.

In this instance, I saw this creepy twig wreath at Crate and Barrel and I loved it, but wondered why it was $50… I mean… it’s sticks.  So I put my designer/shop owner hat on and thought that certainly it had to be pricy because it was actually much more difficult to make than it seemed, and warranted the additional costs due to labor or materials.  Nope.  That wasn’t it.  This thing took me all of 30 minutes and that was with me taking periodic breaks to go outside and hunt for sticks.

Of course, their sticks are a bit different, but I’m still a pretty big fan of how this turned out.  It’s perfect for halloween, but isn’t goofy looking.  (you know how I feel about tacky halloween decor).

Since I already have a pretty gorgeous eucalyptus wreath on my front door, this one is going to adorn the inside of my house and I can’t wait to share the easy how-to with you. 

easy diy witch broom

I think there is nothing more eerie than a minimal, understated nod to halloween.  Why?  Because if you’re not going overboard, and decorations are a little more hard to spot, then it seems like part of everyday life, which is super creepy.  Like how last year, I placed simple painted bones in the cloches throughout my house.  It would take people a while to figure out what when going on, but once they did, it was like, “wait… are those bones?”.

The same thing was on my mind this year when I decided to make this really easy and rustic diy witch broom.  It looks pretty authentic and I love how simply spooky it looks just lying across the mantle.