DIY Note Writing Station

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DIY Note Writing Station


Meet my new “Note Writing Station” complete with everything needed to quickly and easily write a thank you card or note this holiday season. I rehabbed this old, antique bread box with a little paint and new hardware, turning it into a really cool desk accessory and conversation piece.  These old boxes can be located at antique stores, thrift shops and garage sales.  I bought mine for only a dollar!

This is what the bread box looked like BEFORE...


and this is what it looks like AFTER...


Here are the DIY steps to make a Note Writing Station...

<<<<< Step 1 >>>>>
Apply 2 coats of paint. 
I chose “Duck Egg” in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
I love to use chalk paint because there’s no prep work involved.  
I applied it directly to the finished wood.  It required only two coats.



<<<<< Step 2 >>>>>
Apply clear wax using a chip brush.
After applying an extremely thin layer of wax, I rubbed it in with an old t-shirt rag.




<<<<< Step 3 >>>>>
Distress using sand paper.
I distressed the sides and edges, areas that would naturally wear the most.





<<<<< Step 4 >>>>>
Apply a light layer of clear wax to the sanded areas.




<<<<< Step 5 >>>>>
Very lightly, brush on a small amount 
of dark wax over all distressed areas.
Use a chip brush for this application followed by a rub-in with an old t-shirt rag.
If you apply too much dark wax, simply use your sand paper to scuff it off.




<<<<< Step 6 >>>>>
After wax has dried, apply another clear coat of wax 
over the dark-waxed areas and rub it in.



Now it’s time to turn that adorable bread box into a Note Writing Station...

<<<<< Step 7 >>>>>
Gather note-writing supplies. 
I included fun colored pens, postage stamps, an address stamp, address stickers and various note cards in my box.  The thank you notes and address labels are from Tiny PrintsThey have a huge selection of personalized stationery, address stamps and much more.  Your personal stationery should make a statement about you so choose what you like for your Note Writing Station!



When was the last time you wrote a note, by hand, and mailed it to someone? 
A recent British survey revealed that the average time since an adult wrote anything at all by hand was 41 days!  In today's world, does it require too much of our time to sit down and jot a note to a friend when we can just as quickly text or email our regards and check it off of our to-do list?  


Handwritten notes are powerful.  They reveal so much about the person sending them.  Writing a note by hand immediately marks you as a thoughtful, detail-oriented, conscientious person.  They cost something, mean something, and become an item that can be saved or kept. A handwritten note carries more impact than ever before because it has become so rare.  Did you know that there are actual companies that specialize in handwriting notes FOR YOU? All you have to do is type or text the message to them and their promise is that your recipient will never know the difference. This new trend is a reminder to me of my sweet grandmother who wrote me a note each and every week during my 4 years of college.  Her simple cards always arrived at the end of each week.  I can still picture the ivory envelope with my address written in her precious handwriting and the simple note inside which she always ended with

"I love you, Sweetie Pie". 

I think that even after all these years, I could pick her handwriting out from 100 samples.  How precious that is to me!  



So, here's a challenge to you and to me… Be more thoughtful and thankful this holiday season. Keep the spirit of thankfulness beyond Thanksgiving and into the New Year.  Drop a note of gratitude for the many things that friends and family will do for you in the coming weeks.  A short note of thanks for a party invite, for a gift or treat lets others know you are a thankful and conscientious person.  Everyone loves receiving mail.  Just think of all the days you will brighten with your notes!

You’ve got mail.

Happy note writing!

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Apothecary Mints

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Easy, beautiful holiday decor is here.

Lucky me… my best friend got me this beautiful apothecary jar for my birthday.
I filled it with candy canes and mints and set it on the entry table.
The smaller candy dish is a reminder of my grandmother.
I found it at an antique store this year and it reminds me so much of the one she always had on her coffee table, filled with orange slice candy.


This preserved boxwood wreath is my new favorite find.  I'll be sharing details on that later this week!


I have a truck-load of great holiday decor pinned to my Pinterest holiday board "Merry & Bright".  Head over and check it out!


Happy holiday decorating!
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Burlap Holiday Pillows

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Here's another Easy Sewing Project.


To make one 18 inch pillow you'll need…
One piece of fabric measuring 18.5" x 18.5"
One piece of burlap fabric (printed with holiday phrase), measuring 18.5" x 18.5"
18 inch pillow form
Silhouette Cameo Machine
Self Adhesive Vinyl - any color
Acrylic Craft Paint
Thread, Scissors and Sewing Machine.
(Below:  see example of the coordinating fabric on back of pillow)


You can find the instructions for painting burlap using Silhouette Cameo here.
After the paint has completely dried, place fabric with right sides facing each other.
Using 1/4" seam allowance, sew around three sides, leaving one side open.
Turn the fabric right side out.  
Pull over the pillow form.
Scrunch up the pillow into the end opposite of opening.  
Use straight pins to pin the bottom closed, turning it under 1/4" as if it is hemmed.  
Then sew the bottom closed, using your sewing machine or hand-sew.  
You might want to top stitch around the entire pillow if you used your machine to sew the bottom.  
This creates a finished look.  
The only difficult part is keeping the pillow form pushed out of the way of your seam.


 Happy Holidays and Happy Sewing!





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Preserved Boxwood Wreath Deal

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I just bought this beautiful 21.5" preserved boxwood wreath for my entry way table.
I found it at TARGET and wanted to share with you because it's on sale this week.  
Regular price is $44.99.
The sale goes through 11/22 for 15% off, if you use your CARTWHEEL coupon.  
This wreath is made by Smith & Hawken Decor.  
I just love it.
I added a pre-made bow that I found at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.


Happy Thrift Shopping for your Holiday Decor!

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Fabric Covered Baskets

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This is what the baskets looked like originally.

I measured each basket and cut fabric 3/4 of an inch wider, tall and longer than each measurement.
The long pieces is the measurement of the basket from the top side, around the base and back up the other side.  The small squares are the two ends of the basket.

I found the center of each piece and then pinned them and sewed them together.
Then, with right sides facing each other, I sewed the corner seams together.
The last step was to turn down the top and hem the edge.

These covers fit snugly around the baskets.
I used fabric hot glue to keep the inside edges in place.

I think they look so much better than before!

You can view the details of this furniture transformation here.

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Painted Tin

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I used Annie Sloan "Old White" Chalk Paint on this metal tin.  
I think the transformation makes it look like wood.

This is what the panels looked like before I painted them.

Then, I lightly sanded them to accentuate the detail.  

The hardest part of this project was getting the four tins on the wall, 
level and evenly spaced.
Yes, I am standing on the furniture, in my boots.








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DIY Canvas Photo

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I took lots of door photos while I was in Europe this summer.  
I loved how colorful and beautiful they were.
With this latest project, I was able to incorporate those beautiful doors 
into my decor for very little money.


Supplies for one canvas 8 x 10 photo:

Matte Finish Modge Podge
Paint Brush
(2) 8" x 10" Art Canvases
8 x 10" Photo (Costco Photo has the BEST quality)
Exacto knife

This is super easy and the effect is amazing! It looks like an expensive, professional photo canvas.



First, paint a coat of Modge Podge on one of the blank canvases.
Also, paint a thin coat of Modge Podge on the back of photograph.


Then, attach the photo to the canvas and allow Modge Podge to dry, about 20 minutes.After the attached photo is dry, paint a thin layer of Modge Podge on top of the photo.

Then, immediately press the other unused canvas, face down, onto the wet Modge Podge photo.
You may want to lift and repress a few times and in different areas.
You'll see the canvas imprinted into the Modge Podge.

Allow to dry for an hour.
Use the exacto knife to trim away any overlapping edges.

If you are using a thicker canvas, paint the sides black, for a professional look (as shown above). 
This canvas hides my thermostat, it's on hinges.  Read the tutorial here.


 I loved this door knocker - isn't it cool?

I took this photo on a beach in the French Riviera.  
The beach was made of these smooth, beautiful stones rather than sand.
Yep, that was taken with my iPhone. Impressive, huh?

We made these frames with leftover beadboard and I used them to frame three of my favorite doors.
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