Oyster Bead Necklace

Does anyone else ever buy items to make a project and then they just sit around for months before you finally finish it?  This necklace was exactly that, and might have even taken longer to complete than my live edge tables.

Back in June (yes, over 7 months ago) I bought some beads to make a Clemson game day necklace.  I’m not a big orange fan, so my thought was that I could make a necklace with some orange in that I could wear throughout the year, and with pair it with purple when we went to games.  With only the national championship game left in the season, I was down to the wire and finally finished it right before we left for Tampa.

Oyster Bead Necklace

What you’ll need:

  • Flat oyster shell
  • Drill
  • 9/64″ drill bit
  • Waxed cotton cording
  • Beads of your choice
  • Silver jewelry wire
  • Scissors

Outside of the oyster shell, I found everything I needed in the jewelry section of Michael’s.  I ended up with an assortment of turquoise, orange, wooden, blue & white and tan beads and figured that I’d just figure out a design as I went along (like most of my DIY projects).oyster-bead-necklace_01First, start putting the beads on the cording.  Knowing that the oyster shell would hang from the middle, I worked my way from the middle out.  This took me awhile since I was trying to figure out an order to the beads that looked okay.

Once I had half of the necklace done, I turned my attention to the oyster shell.  I drilled through the top of it like I did with the oyster shell ornaments.

Then I needed to use the wire to wrap through the hole  and around the shell a few times to secure it, and eventually create a loop on the top to hang on the cording.  This is not my best work, but it was literally hours before we were leaving for Florida and I was under a serious time crunch.  It was good enough to do the trick!oyster-bead-necklace_03

When the oyster was wrapped in wire with a loop, I put it on the cording, and then started adding the beads to the other side, in the same pattern as before.  I played around with the beads at the top until the length was right for me and then just tied the cording in a double knot.oyster-bead-necklace_04

The necklace was immediately packed up and off to Florida with us the next morning!


Of course I didn’t get any pictures of it on while tailgating before we bundled up for the game (it was unseasonably cold!), but I did snap one before the game started!

Yay for a Clemson “game day” necklace with orange I can wear!  Apparently it’s good luck too, so I guess I’ll be wearing it to any game we go to in the future 😉


Succulent Filled Pumpkin

I was talking to my friend Marianne about pumpkin crafts the other day, and got the idea for a project I wanted to make this year involving succulents.  Taylor put succulents & Spanish moss in a big Le Cruset pot for his Thanksgiving centerpiece last year and that inspired me to do a version with a pumpkin!

Succulent Filled Pumpkin

What you’ll need:

  • Craft pumpkin
  • Wood slice
  • 1/2″ screws (2)
  • 1″ washers (2)
  • Drill
  • Floral craft foam (depending on size of your pumpkin)
  • Fake succulents
  • Spanish moss

This is another example where I decided I wanted to make something that night, so ran to Michael’s for the craft pumpkins & foam, then Hobby Lobby for the fake succulents after work.

Do you have to use fake succulents? Nope! But I am in this rut where I keep killing any indoor plant (hence the paper philodendron), while keeping everything outside alive, so it was in my best interest to use faux plants, and these look pretty darn real!

I found my white craft pumpkins at Michael’s (yay for a sale!) and got the kind with a cut out on one side so I wouldn’t have to do that part myself.

I wanted the succulents coming out of the top, so the opening faces up.  Learn from my mistake and realize that with the opening facing up, the pumpkin doesn’t sit flat.  First, we’ll resolve that part.

Get a wood slice (can also be found from your local craft shop) and screw the pumpkin into the slice using washers and screws.  I have to give Hunter credit on the idea to do this, and he helped me screw it in – because I think he just wanted to use the drill.

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Now that your pumpkin will sit up straight, put the floral foam inside the pumpkin.  I had 2 blocks of foam for my large pumpkin, and had to cut one block in half so it’d fit.  There are 1.5 blocks on the bottom, and the remaining half block sitting on top like so:

Now you’re ready to add your succulents.  Put your succulents securely in the pumpkin by making sure you put the stems through the foam.  Arrange them however you like.  I think I ended up using 9 succulents in my big pumpkin.


Next add some faux Spanish moss around the succulents to cover the foam.


Viola – Your centerpiece is ready!  Sorry for all the finished pictures, but I was really happy with how it turned out, from every angle.

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I’m not gonna lie, this is totally my favorite pumpkin project to date – probably because I love succulents and it doesn’t scream fall with orange & brown.  It looks perfect as the centerpiece on our dining table, and will most likely stay there through Thanksgiving!  I’m debating making some smaller ones as gifts too…

After I made the pumpkin, I saw that it fits this month’s #SeptemberFauxFlorals challenge for the 12 months of DIY: Win-win.

Update: Since I had a smaller craft pumpkin and extra faux succulents I decided to make a smaller version.  This time I let the opening face outward and the pumpkin sit upright.  Because the front is a little heavier, I used an oyster shell underneath the pumpkin so it’s sit fully upright on our entry table.  Same great look, but slightly different version!


PS – You can find all my pumpkin projects here!


DIY Directional Sign

Our whole wedding was onsite at the Island House, so we needed a sign to let guests know where the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception were — Plus it was another opportunity to bring some of our wedding colors in.  This Wedding Wednesday, I’ll explain how you can make your own directional arrow sign for less than $15.

DIY Wedding Directional Sign

What you’ll need:

  • Wooden arrows
  • Blue & white acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Planter pot
  • Foam cube
  • Rocks
  • 1″ Dowel
  • Wood stain
  • Scrap fabric
  • 1 1/2″ wood screws
  • Drill
  • Piece of burlap

I found some plain, wooden signs at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars and painted them various shades of blue with acrylic paint I had on hand.  I wanted more of an ombre effect, so I started with the darkest blue, and then mixed a little white in to create a lighter blue for the 2nd arrow, and even more white for the third and lightest blue arrow.

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When the blue paint was dry, I sketched out the words ‘ceremony,’ ‘cocktail hour,’ and ‘reception’ on them in pencil, then painted over it in white paint.  I tried to do it in the same font as the save the dates & napkins too — gotta stay consistent!

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Now I had to figure out the post part.  I had a silver pot that I had planted basil in the year before, so I cleaned that out and decided to use it as the base, with some sort of wooden post in it.  I headed to Michael’s and got a foam cube, and wooden dowel to put inside.

The dowel was still raw wood, so I stained it using the pecan wood stain that we had in the garage with two coats.  Once that was dry, I brought it inside and started to assemble.  I put the foam cube in the planter pot, added some rocks & shells around the foam cube to add some weight to the bottom and prevent it from falling over, then pushed the dowel into the foam to create the hole that the dowel will sit in.

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After realizing that a hammer and nails was not the most efficient way to get the arrows attached, I switched up my gameplan and pulled out my drill.  I screwed the 3 arrow signs to the dowel using 1 1/2″ screws that were long enough to go through the wood, but short enough that they didn’t go through the other side of the dowel.  Also make sure the signs are in the order you want, and spaced evenly.

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Finally, put the dowel back into the hole you created in the foam, and cover that up with some burlap. You now have a directional sign!

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We put this on the property by the walkway so guests knew where they were going as they arrived.  The funny thing was we ended up not even needing the bottom — the ground was soft enough to just push the dowel straight into the ground.  At least we had a backup plan though!

WILDS WEDDING-WILDS WEDDING-0200View More: http://mintedphotography.pass.us/wilds-weddingYou could customize this for just about any party, or do different cities with arrows pointing to where they are.  The options are endless!

Mixed Greenery Wreath

Another season, another wreath!  I feel like I haven’t posted a craft in forever, and this was on my list of projects to do before May.  I finally found time to knock it out in-between busy weekends, and it didn’t take long (1.5 hours, aka 2 Law & Order SVU episodes).

Mixed Greenery Wreath

What you’ll need:

  • Monogram wreath form
  • Silver spray paint
  • Greenery of your choice
  • Wire cutters
  • Wreath wire

I saw these wreath forms at Michael’s a few months ago, and thought they’d be great to build a wreath on (and show off my new last initial). Spoiler alert: This wreath will be hung at our wedding in a few weeks.

I learned my lesson from other projects, and remembered to paint the wreath form before I built the wreath out.  I grabbed some basic silver paint and painted the W part, but left the rest natural since it’d get covered with greenery.

wedding_wreath 01

While that was drying, I headed to Hobby Lobby to see what greenery options they had.  I ended up buying 3 different varieties.  One was more grassy, and it would be the foundation, so I bought more of it.  I got some faux eucalyptus, and a sprig of another fun greenery to add to the grass for some character.

Use the wire cutters and cut the greenery off the sprig or bunch so they are individual pieces that are easy to attach to the wreath.
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Cleo was really digging the eucalyptus, and sat on it or chewed it every time I sat down to work on the wreath.  At least she’s cute, because she’s not a great assistant.wedding_wreath 02

Okay – time to build the wreath!  Using the wire cutters, cut some wreath wire, ~5″ long.  Attach the grassy pieces to the wreath using the wreath wire, wrapping it around, then twisting close on the back.  Each piece of the grassy greenery took 2-3 pieces of wreath wire to attach it securely to the wreath form.

Slowly work your way around the wreath, then go back around again and fill in the bare places until the wreath feels full. The picture below is just one time around, I did ~ 2 more until it looked “right.”

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Once the grassy pieces are attached, layer the faux eucalyptus on top.  You don’t want to completely cover the grassy pieces, but instead leave it so you can see both, and it’s mixed in well.
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After one layer of light eucalyptus, I was ready for the last part: Adding the smallest pieces of greenery.  These looks like small green berries (?) and were another shade of green, so it added some pops of bright green in.

I added 5 pieces of this greenery on top, attached with wreath wire, and spaced out even more so it wasn’t everywhere.  Voila — you have a faux mixed greenery wreath with your monogram in the middle!

wedding_wreath 08 The wine cork wreath stayed on our front door until after the wedding when my last time officially started with a W!  Here’s what the wreath looked like on the front door of the Island House at the wedding.

View More: http://mintedphotography.pass.us/wilds-wedding


Iron On Pillows

I’ve made iron on pillows once before, to spruce up our place for the holidays, but I wanted to try it again using the Cricut to make the cutting process WAY easier and give me more design options.  I found some basic black iron on transfer at Michael’s, pillow cases at Hobby Lobby, and was off!

Iron On Pillows

What you’ll need:

  • Iron on transfer paper
  • Pillow cover
  • Cricut
  • Weeding tool
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Dish towel

First, decide on a design.  After way too much thought, I went the simple route and wrote out a phrase in Design Space.  When you’re ready to cut it out, make sure to click the box to reverse the design for iron on.  Extremely important step…  Also, put the iron on transfer paper on the mat shiny side down.  Then let the Cricut go to work!

beach pillow 01

Once your design is cut on the iron on transfer, you’ll need to “weed out” the extra around the letters.  I have a tool specifically for this that came with the Cricut.   It kinda reminds me of a dental tool, but makes the process a lot easier.

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When you have weeded all the excess away, you’ll be left with a reversed view of your design.

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Ready for a fail?  The first time I tried this, I wanted to iron the design on this cute chevron burlap pillow case I got at Hobby Lobby.  I should have known that iron + burlap = disaster… but didn’t, so I was pretty surprised to lift up the dish towel and see a terribly crinkly mess.  So what did I learn? Burlap based pillow cases are a no go with iron on.

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Round two, this time with a cotton pillow case 🙂  Preheat the pillow where the design will go with your iron for a few seconds.  Then lay down the design, sticky side down so the design isn’t reversed, where you want it on the pillow.

Place a thin dish towel on top and iron.  Hold the iron for about 30 seconds, then lift and place on another part of the design.  When you’ve ironed the design, remove the dish towel and start to lift the clear backing of the iron on transfer away from the design.  If it’s still attached, iron it for a few more seconds until done.

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Voila!  Your pillow is done and ready for an insert.

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Not bad for my first second attempt at iron on pillows using the Cricut!  Since it does the cutting and has the backing to keep the design in place, this time around was much easier and more professional looking.  Using an exacto knife was way more time consuming and had more room for errors.

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After making the love one, I put an anchor on a fun blue chevron fabric. This just got addicting..

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What other phrases or designs should I put on pillows?  I’m thinking a fun Charleston one next… PS – You can find all my pillows in my Etsy shop!