DIY

Halloween costume inspiration: New Orleans style!

Halloween is a HUGE holiday here in New Orleans and I have to say, we're some of the best when it comes to costumes.  From Mardi Gras to Halloween and all the events in between, the people of New Orleans know a thing or two about dressing up!

So, to offer up some inspiration, here are some of my favorite costume ideas from my family, friends and this crazy city we call home!

Slightly extravagant guest closet makeover

guest closet makeover

Yes, I fully comprehend that chandeliers in closets are completely unnecessary.  Some might say extravagant.  I don't care.

Our upstairs is one of the few places in our house that's almost completely renovated, save a few little details.  One of those details was the ugly yellow closet with an outdated 1970's light fixture, painted shelves, metal rod and broken bi-fold door.

I figured it would be an easy weekend project to replace the door and spruce it up.  As usual, I was wrong!  The entire project ended up taking about three weekends, but it was too much fun to quit with a new rod and door.

Hanging the solid wood door was a challenge and that was just the start.  I also painted the walls and trim, hung a small chandelier, had new shelves cut at Home Depot and covered them with spray glue and wallpaper, installed a new rod... and finally... added the cherry on top with an antique crystal doorknob from Ricca's.

The changes brighten up our tiny closet so much.  I hope it'll be a sparkling little treat for our guests for years to come!

Courtyard Oasis

There's a restaurant in New Orleans called Cafe Amelie that has the most...amazing...courtyard.  The first time I ate there, I knew that's what I wanted my own yard to feel like.  Years later, we're just about there! 

Our backyard was pretty hideous to begin, but we've slowly upgraded the permanent structures.  We removed ugly old trees, built a tall fence with modern horizontal lines and built a storage shed that seamlessly blends into the design. 

Next came the brick work.  Joey and I spent two long weekends expanding and redesigning the original brick patio.  We re-purposed old bricks for the new section, so it blends with the existing patio.  It's now centered in the yard and twice as big as it used to be!

The real show-stopper, however, were the brick planters!  I did the design and our incredible contractor Dragan executed the elaborate, overlapping brick work.  The design's soft curves contrast nicely with the geometric lines of the fence and the varying heights add another level of interest.

After practically buying out Perino's entire garden center and spending another weekend planting and installing the fountain and irrigation system, the makeover coming along nicely.  We still need to hardwire the fountain, add lighting, furniture and build a deck, but I think we have a great start!

DIY Hydrangea Wreath

DIY Silk Hydrangea Wreath  

I decided to do something a little different for my grandmother for Christmas.  She had commented on a photo of a beautiful hydrangea wreath on my blog and I thought it would be fun to make one for her.  While she was in town for the holidays, we picked out the flowers and ribbon at Hobby Lobby and then I got to work!  I couldn't be easier to put this wreath together.  You'll need 7-8 large silk hydrangeas, wired ribbon, a wreath base, hot glue, scissors, wire cutters and wire.

  1. Lay out your basic design on the wreath to determine placement.
  2. Cut the stems off of your flowers using scissors or wire cutters.  Make sure you save the leaves and don't cut so close to the bloom that it falls apart.
  3. Hot glue your leaves onto your wreath base in a sporadic, but balanced pattern
  4. Hot glue your hydrangea blooms over the leaves in whatever color pattern you'd like.  Make sure they've evenly spaced and you leave room for the bow.
  5. Create a bow with wire or purchase one that's pre-made.   Leave "tails" that are roughly 2 feet long
  6. Hot glue your bow to the empty space on your wreath.
  7. Wrap the ribbon around the hydrangea blooms and secure with dots of hot glue.
  8. Trim the ends of your ribbon.
  9. C'est fini!

 

Beau's "Hole in One" Birthday Bash

Beau's "Hole in One" Birthday Bash Every parent has dreams for their child.  Mine involve completely unrealistic expectations of Beau becoming a world-renown professional golfer.  You know, winning the Master's and all.

Okay, so that might not actually happen.  But a mom can dream, right?

So in the spirit of Beau's future on the links, we decked out his first birthday party with all sorts of golf-inspired crafts.  We had fun coming up with golf-themed cuisine including club sandwiches, "chip" shots, Arnold Palmers and John Dalys.

Below, you'll find pictures and instructions for a few of the projects.  I'd say the event was a hole in one!

Pennant Banners:

  1. Cut large triangles out of decorative scrap-booking paper
  2. Cut out letters or buy die-cut letters and glue onto triangles with glue stick
  3. Flip over triangles and fold top down 1/2"
  4. Fold the triangles over a long piece of twine and secure with hot glue
  5. Make sure your words are not backwards!

Golf Buckets:

  1. Put a large wooden dowel in a galvanized bucket
  2. Carefully pour gravel around dowel and fill rough 3/4 of way to top
  3. Cut out messages from decorative scrap-booking paper and glue to wooden skewers
  4. Insert skewers into gravel
  5. Cover the gravel with inexpensive, plastic or used golf balls
  6. Hang pennant banners from dowels (just tie onto top)

Cupcakes:

  1. Bake cupcakes
  2. Use green frosting and decorative tip to make "grass"
  3. Use back end of tip to cut circles from white fondant. (I found an embossed fondant at Walmart that looked just like a golf ball)
  4. To create flag, cut wooden skewer in half
  5. Cut long diamond shapes from scrap-booking paper
  6. Fold diamond in half over top of skewer and secure with glue stick
  7. Decorate grassy cupcake with fondant "golf ball" and flag

Table with Grass and Bows:

  1. Cover table with tablecloth
  2. Using straight edge and box cutter, cut astro-turf roughly 6 inches smaller than tabletop (all the way around)
  3. Tie large bows using matching decorative ribbon
  4. Hot glue golf tees onto front of bows
  5. Safety-pin bows onto tablecloth from under-side
  6. Hang pennant banner from bows, if desired