Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Floral Mason Jar Wall Vases

I never really hung up all of our photos and artwork in our bedroom since I painted it, oh, a year or two ago. I love our wedding pictures, but I wanted more color on the walls. And it’s basically taken me forever to do so.

This is what our bedroom looked like in February of 2015.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

We slapped some brighter paint on the walls and got a new bed frame…

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

Redid the hardwoods and moved around furniture….

Bedroom_final2

And that’s where it’s been since March of this year.

I’ve moved photos around to different walls and our floral painting that used to live in our room now hangs beautifully above our new sideboard.

It was time to make something to fill the empty walls on either side of the window behind our bed. I have wanted to make my own version of these glass bottle wall vases for quite some time, but I didn’t want them white, I didn’t want to use plumbing hardware and I don’t drink Starbucks bottled drinks…. 

So I made up my own. I started with scrap wood that I cut to similar sizes on my mitre saw. I eye-balled the sizes because perfection is overrated.

masonjarflorals_scraps

Once I had the pieces cut, I drilled two different sets of holes in each piece: Two at the top for the hanger and two toward the middle to secure my jars.

masonjarflorals_holes

Then I smoothed each piece down with some sandpaper before throwing a quick coat of stain on them.

masonjarflorals_stain

I let these dry for a hot sec, then started adding hangers to each mason jar floral.

masonjarflorals_twinehanger

Once all six had hangers attached (just some knotted twine), I threaded twine through an upholstery needle and stared attaching the mason jars.

masonjarflorals_twineloops

To do so, I looped the twine through the pre-drilled holes so I ended up with four loops.

masonjarflorals_twinejar

Then I stuck my jelly jar into the loops and started tightening the twine. I am only planning on using these for faux florals, so they don’t have to be able to hold anything heavy. The twine keeps them taught to the wood and they don’t seem to have much risk of coming loose. I’ll let you know if they come crashing out in the middle of the night (that would suck!).

masonjarflorals_twine

Once I got the jar settled, I tightened and knotted the heck out of the twine on the back side.

masonjarflorals_knot

The first one I did wasn’t tight enough, so when it hung I could wobble the jar. I got all of them tight enough so when I wiggle the board, no jars move around. If you have a curved upholstery needle, I think you’d be able to actually do this easier because you could tighten the twine as you loop through the drilled holes. But I wasn’t able to do that with my straight needle.

Once I had all six of these made, I took a bunch of leftover florals and cut them down to make six jar fillers. I made three sets of matching florals for my set of 6 wall vases. I found it was helpful to tie each floral bunch with twine at the base to keep things together since mason jars aren’t really vases.

masonjarflorals_2

Then B and I hung them up on either side of our bed!

masonjarflorals_3

I think they are adorable! Brian had the idea of putting tea lights in them instead, but I don’t think we’d light them often enough to make it worth it. Plus, I like the pop of color.

masonjarflorals_4

Since I had all of these supplies on hand, these didn’t cost me a penny. It took me about 2 hours to make all six, including staining them and making the florals. Not bad!

masonjarflorals_5

Now I just need to find a few more spots in our room to add in some extra color! These little wall vases were a great place to start for sure.

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Grad School

One semester down…

Yesterday evening was my last class of my first semester of grad school — woohoo! Six credits down, 30 more to go. Next semester I am taking a 6-credit class that is a prereq for pretty much everything else in the program, and then I’m able to take a whole slew of awesome classes (Magazine design, Creative concepts, Book design, Typography II). I’m pretty excited about it.

I really enjoyed both of my classes this semester. Typography I was fascinating to me. Our final project was to typeset the Constitution, which was a fun challenge. And my photography class taught me the ins and out of my camera, how to use Lightroom, shoot in camera RAW, and all sorts of other super useful things.

For our final projects, we had to shoot a series of photos that all fit together. I opted to drive all over the area taking photos of water towers. Yes, water towers. Odd, I know. But I’ve always had a strange fascination with water towers, so it worked well for the project. The final product was six creepy photos showcasing water towers in Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-4ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-5ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-3ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-6ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-2

I’m quite proud of how they turned out. Plus, now I know the location of about 12 different water towers…. that’s useful, right?

Anyway… one semester down, at least five more to go! Now I just need to make it through a bit more work, then it’s CHRISTMASTIME.

Furniture, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating

These are a few of my favorite things

I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of some sort in my living room for months now. I am not one of those people who is naturally talented at gallery walls. In fact, I almost always hate them when I’m finished with them.

We’d hung a gallery wall in our bedroom that we left up for no time at all because B and I both ended up not liking the way it looked:

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This one was just so blah and symmetrical…

Even though I’ve been a gallery wall failure, I always admire them. I decided to try again in our living room and boy was it a process.

This is the wall I started with:

Child's Desk shelves

OK, so that’s an awful photo. But basically it had one large canvas piece on it I got from Home Goods. I love the painting, but it doesn’t look nice above our mint couch, which is now on the wall in our living room. Plus, it didn’t fill the space on the wall enough.

new couch

Here’s the first iteration of a gallery wall I did:

Gallery-Wall_photosA few things to note:

  1. Look how far this room has come! Holy smokes, I still can’t believe it. (Better photos at the end of the post, I swear)
  2. I was trying to decide if I wanted to abandon my mint curtains for white curtains, hence why they are the wrong way on the window. I got a lot of questions about that from guests 🙂

I bought all of those frames from Home Goods and really liked the mixture of wood, metals, rustic and glam. But I just never loved it. I think part of me is sick of seeing the same photos over and over again. We’ve been married for 3+ years and engaged for 5+ years, so the fancy engagement and wedding pictures are old news at this point. But they are still the most frame-worthy photos we have and they are always what I resort to.

gallery-wall_photos_close

To get this arrangement, I laid all of the frames out on the floor and put a lot of thought into which frame went where. This ended with a mostly symmetrical arrangement.

Here was my beef with this wall:

  1. Too symmetrical
  2. Too photo-centric
  3. Old photos

Really, it just seemed like I was trying too hard. At least to me it did. I left it like this for months until I could figure out what I wanted to do differently. If you notice the horizontal photo that was displayed vertically — yes, this was left this way for months, too.

I started to think I wanted to redo some of the gallery wall after B’s birthday. I gave him an amazing print of our pup, Remmy. It’s basically the best gift I’ve ever given anyone. 

Birthday Portrait

We hung it immediately in place of one of our real photos, because how could we not?

It wasn’t until after Christmas that I had the idea to completely redo the gallery wall with art only. You see, B gave me two amazing maps of Maryland. The big kahuna was a map from 1880 — holy old! We had the map custom framed and needed a spot to hang it. B wanted to hang it over our console table, but I’ve got my heart set on finding the perfect mirror to reflect all of the natural light from our bay window. The map has mint and pink in the outlines of counties and cities, so I thought it would look marvelous over our couch.

I started messing around with the wall little by little, pulling down artwork from other spots in the house.

Gallery wall_adding in art

Finally, I just decided to go for it. All of the photos came down and the nails came out of the wall.

gallery wall_map is up

I started my placing everything on the floor, but again I made the design so symmetrical. So I hung up the map (my anchor piece) and two other pieces of art and left it alone. It looked like this for a week before I decided to do what I do best and just wing it.

At this point the wall was already riddled with nail holes that needed to be touched up, so I just went for it. Everything was added one by one. The spacing isn’t even, the whole wall isn’t symmetrical… and I LOVE IT. It just fills the large wall so nicely without feeling too huge.

Gallery Wall_Complete

You’ll see a lot of things I’ve shared before on the blog:

  1. Sentimental Map Art
  2. Love Pallet Sign
  3. Do What You Love Print
  4. Remmy Print

Gallery Wall_zoomed in

You’ll also see a bunch of other art I’ve collected over the years:

  1. Golden Pond canvas print (Home Goods)
  2. Shadow box full of roses B has given me
  3. My two new Maryland maps
  4. A graphic print of dogs my coworker gave me
  5. Two bird paintings from one of my favorite artists

Basically, it is a wall of my favorite things: dogs, birds, Maryland and love 🙂 I seriously couldn’t be happier with how this turned out.

Funny enough, I’m sure it isn’t 100 percent complete. As you can see, I left room around the edges for small additions. I’d like to do a more colorful print, replacing the Do What You Love print. And I am always checking out Pratt Creek Art for more bird paintings.

Plus, I really need to patch the holes you can still see and hang everything (in the exact same spot) maybe a tad bit straighter ;p

On the whole, It really does so much for this room. I love my gray walls, but with nothing on them they can be quite dreary. This art wall adds much-needed color and pizzaz to my favorite room in the house — a room that really has come a long way.

It just goes to show you that rushing into designing a room doesn’t always end with the best result. We’ve been in our house for three years now and this room is now just starting to feel like it is almost finished. All it needs is a mirror, and I am one happy home owner!

Gallry Wall_Living Room

Next week I’ll share the redo of our master bedroom. It’s not complete yet, but it looks a lot better than it did a month ago.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!