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How to create pom pom garlands (like the ones on our porch swing)

We’ve been spending a lot of time out on the front porch this summer which means I’ve been showing more photos of it. And in nearly every one of those photos is the porch swing with pom pom garland draped above.

I mean, how adorable are those girls?! But the questions and comments I most receive when showing the porch swing is “where is the pom pom garland from?“.

And so, here I am today to tell you.

The garland was originally made for a Christmas decoration, but I ended up liking them so much, they’ve become a year-round decoration. They are super easy to make, the supplies are minimal and you can just flip on your favorite show and keep your hands busy creating.

Here is how to make a simple diy pom pom garland.

To start, gather your supplies:

pom-pom-supplies

chunky yarn (about 3 rolls) / pom pom makers (2 sizes) / embroidery thread / upholstery needle / scissors

HOW TO MAKE THE POM POMS

wrap-yarn-for-pom Open up the pom pom maker and wrap the yarn round and round the first side. The more your wrap, the fuller your pom pom will be.

Once the first side is full, string your yarn across to the other side and wrap.

cut-pom-maker

Fold the sides in together and trim through the center ‘trough’ to cut the yarn. Make sure you keep the pom pom maker closed so you don’t loose all that yarn!

Next, cut a piece of yarn just a little bit longer than the circumference of the pom pom maker. This will be used to wrap around the center to hold the pom together.

tie-pom-and-pull-apart

Tie the piece of yarn around the center of the pom maker, extra tight.

Now pull apart the pom maker and your pom pom is free.

trim-pom

Trim long pieces of yarn and fluff.

Continue this process a bunch of times until you have a big, gorgeous, fluffy pile of pom poms.

HOW TO MAKE SMALL POM POM GARLAND

cut-string-for-garland

Cut a piece of yarn to desired finished length of the garland.

needle-and-thread-through-pom

Thread needle with embroidery thread in a color that matches your yarn. You don’t necessarily want to see the thread. Knot one end a few times to make a thick knot.

Place the poms where you want them on the garland, poke the needle through the center of the pom (so it catches the knotted piece that holds it all together) and stitch into place.

stitch-through-pom

You can stitch a few times back and forth to make sure the pom is secure

stitch-through-yarn-garland

In between poms, run the needle through the center of the yarn, then stitch on the next pom. This just allows you to use one continuous piece of embroidery thread instead of tying off knots, trimming and starting again with each pom.

small-pom-garland

Then hang anywhere and everywhere!

small-pom-garland-hanging

TO MAKE THE LARGE POM POM GARLAND

how-to-make-a-pom-pom-garland

Start by making large poms using this pom maker (3 3/8″). The big pom poms take much more yarn to make, so grab an extra roll of yarn just to be sure.

braid-yarn-1

Cut three long pieces of yarn in desired finished length and tie knot in top. Tape to tabletop to hold in place.

braid-yarn

Loosely braid the yarn and knot the end. This will give you a more substantial garland to stitch the poms onto.

stitch-large-pom

Thread your needle with the same embroidery thread, knotting a few times at the end to catch. Now run the needle through the center of the pom (trying to grab onto the center string that ties it all up).

stitch-large-pom-to-garland

Stitch onto braided yarn (a few stitches to hold securely).

needle-through-braid

You can knot, cut the thread and start again with the next pom, or in between poms, run the needle through the center of the braid, then stitch on the next pom in desired spacing.

large-pom-garland

Isn’t it fantastic?

I went on a spree a few Christmases ago making a bunch of these garlands after seeing them hanging in my friend Erica’s house when I took photos for a Coastal Christmas house tour:

I made a bunch of my own and they’ve made their rounds, first at our old house, and now at the new.

The garland looked sweet hanging from the shelves in my old office (see lots more of that room here).

small-pom-garland-on-shelf Remember our old cottage kitchen? It was so light and pretty. The big bummer about it was that we looked out our kitchen window directly at the side of our neighbor’s house and so I put up the pom pom garlands to distract my eye from looking much beyond.

At Christmas, I made a few and hung them in the windows with beaded garland and a boxwood wreath in the center. It was so pretty and gave the window Christmas spirit without being bold and colorful.

I liked the garlands on the window so much that after christmas, I pulled off the beaded garlands and the wreath and left up the poms.

And then in February, I moved them over to the diy chalkboard as birthday decoration for our son.

chalkboard-birthday-pom-pom-banner And now, here they are on the porch swing. I don’t actually remember why I put them up outside? I must have done it when we were moving and I came across the pom pom garlands and didn’t know where else to put them so I tied them up to the chain. I didn’t intend to leave them there, but they add such a whimsical touch, so I guess I’ll just leave them.

Making a pom pom garland is just about as simple of a craft project as they come. I love how they add subtle texture to any space and look great year round. Go ahead, my crafty friends, and make a few pom pom garlands for your home!

pom-pom-garland-by-jones-design-company

(Pin it and save for later!)

Enjoy!

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How to make simple arrangements with grocery store flowers

Houseplants and fresh greenery are key to my neutral decorating style … but first came my love of flowers.

As a teenager, when other girls were covering their bedroom walls with cute boys and fashion tips, mine were filled with magazine tear outs of flowers. Martha Stewart Weddings was my first subscription and I couldn’t wait to pore over the pages looking at all the breathtaking bouquets, boutonnieres, arches and table arrangements. I noticed the color combinations, learn their names, and mostly, just admired the beauty and intricacy of each petal, each leaf, each bud.

This love of flowers grew deeper when I met my future mother-in-law.

Robyn has two sons and was more than thrilled to finally have a girl in the house for dinner and visits. She would show me her latest thrift store find or tell me her decorating plans and I would almost always leave with a gorgeous arrangement of freshly picked garden flowers that she threw together so effortlessly.

Robyn showed me that flowers are not only for weddings and fancy events – they are just as important in the every day.

If you spend any amount of time looking through home magazines, reading decorating blogs or following interior design instagrammers, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that flowers are always part of the equation. You can have a perfectly decorated space but until the flowers are in, the room feels somewhat lifeless.

So how do we incorporate flowers into our homes to bring life and make us happy, even if we don’t have an endless flower budget?

Here are a few of my best tips:

BRING IN HOUSEPLANTS

The main reason I have so many plants in our house is that they bring life to our otherwise pretty dark interior. If I could, I would fill the space with flowers, but that would be crazy expensive. So as an alternative, I use a few houseplants and then bring in a simple arrangement of flowers for color.

CUT FROM OUTDOORS

Now that spring is here, more trees and plants are blooming outdoors. It is the perfect time to clip branches or stems and bring them into our homes.

Perhaps I should not admit this, but I have been known to pull over on the side of the road and clip lilacs from an abandoned tree, peonies from a vacant lot and armfuls of hydrangea blooms from a neighbor’s yard for our wedding bouquets (don’t worry, we asked for permission). Keep an eye out for wildflowers, flowering shrubs, and branches.

BUY READILY-AVAILABLE FLOWERS FROM THE GROCERY STORE

Look no further than your grocery store floral department for reasonably priced blooms. Most carry a good selection of mixed bouquets and single variety bunches. With a bit of intention, you can bring flowers home, prolong their vase life by trimming and feeding them and arrange in a way that gives generic cut flowers the organically arranged look we all admire.

So how, exactly, do you arrange flowers?

The temptation is to bring them home from the store, remove the wrapping and pop them into a vase.

RESIST THE URGE!

Instead, take a few extra minutes to cut the stems, give your flowers a chance to hydrate, clip extra greenery from outside and build a simple arrangement that looks sweet and much more impactful than the original cut bouquet from the store. Not only will it look amazing, but it will actually last longer! Win and win.

If you want to learn how to arrange flowers for your home and to give as gifts (who doesn’t love a sweet bouquet from a friend?!), if you need help figuring out the best tricks, tools and techniques for caring and prolonging the vase life of cut flowers, and if you’d like to figure out how to make those grocery store mixed bouquets look fabulous, I’ve created a class just for you.

SIMPLIFIED FLOWERS

Beautiful flower arrangements made simple.

As much as I adore flowers, it is really my mother-in-law, Robyn, who knows what she’s doing. We filmed Robyn creating a handful of flower arrangements using flowers from the grocery store. Nothing super fancy or unattainable, just beautiful arrangements to bring life and joy to your home. With the addition of teaching lessons and a workbook, this Simplified Flowers class is applicable, informative and so enjoyable to watch.

The class takes place online where you can go at your own pace, moving from lesson to lesson as quickly or slowly as needed. You will have unlimited access to the class and can always refer back to it as needed.

AFTER TAKING THIS CLASS, YOU’LL KNOW HOW TO:

  • Identify common flower + greenery varieties
  • Pick the right flowers for your arrangement
  • Properly care for flowers to encourage growth and prolong cut life
  • Build shape, texture and contrast into your arrangements
  • Incorporate unexpected elements – like produce! – into your arrangements
  • Take generic mixed bouquets and make them stunning

 

For all of the details, a sneak peek at the welcome video, to register and claim your free gift: CLICK HERE.

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how to camouflage outlet covers with wallpaper

Up in the studio (and throughout the whole house, actually), the outlets, light switches and wall plates are almond colored. I’m assuming this almond color was the standard back in 1992 when the house was built. Not a huge deal except that they look pretty grimy next to all of the white walls.

So on our very lengthy list of house projects is the tedious task of switching out not just the plate covers, but changing the actual outlets and light switches to white throughout the house.

Up in the studio, the outlets/switches/plates are also the almond color and they really do stand out against the walls.

The light switch in the above photo is the goofiest of all because in order to trim the window, we had to notch it out to fit the plate. Since it is right at my eye-level while I’m working, it’s been one of those things that I felt motivated to find a solution to.

Replacing all of the outlets/switches/plates in the studio falls very, very low on the project-totem-pole so an in-between fix was in order.

My answer: decoupage.

I did this same project five years ago in our old house. The issue then was that I had just painted the walls a dark color and the white plates stood out too much. Covering the plates with a pretty scrapbook paper was the prefect solution.

In this case, my goal was to make the plates look meaningful (and hopefully camouflage the almond-toned outlets and switches in the meantime).

This project is truly simple, fairly fool-proof and requires only a few dollars worth of materials.

Here’s how to decoupage outlet and light switch covers:

SUPPLIES

wall plate | pretty paper | Mod Podge (in matte finish) | paintbrush | scissors

A few notes:

  • No need to buy new wall plates – just take them off your wall and reuse them.
  • I prefer matte Mod Podge for this project so that you don’t get a glossy finish.
  • As for paper, the possibilities are endless. In our last house I used thick scrapbook paper. For the studio, I’m using a sample of the most gorgeous wallpaperWhatever you choose, go for something on the thicker side to reduce the puckering that can happen with thin paper.
  • I am not decoupaging the front of the paper for these outlets, but I did in our old house. It just depends on how durable you’re wanting them to be.

Okay, let’s get to it.

STEP ONE

Cut out a piece of your selected paper approximately 1/2″ larger on all sides than your plate.

STEP TWO

Coat the front with Mod Podge, flip it over and press to the center of the paper.

STEP THREE

Cut a notch in each corner.

STEP FOUR

Brush on glue and fold around edges.

If your paper doesn’t hold down, use a small clip to keep it in place while it dries.

Once the Mod Podge is dry, remove the clips and continue on (this only takes a few minutes).

STEP FIVE

Poke a hole in the center of the opening, then make several cuts around the circle.

STEP SIX

Brush on decoupage medium to paper, fold and press firmly to hold. Again, these little clips come in handy to hold it all in place as it dries.

After a few minutes, grab your cover, screw it in place, step back and admire your work.

Now I no longer cringe at the dingy looking outlets! The paper adds a subtle visual interest that looks purposeful.

The outlets are still clearly off-white, but look less out of place with the addition of the wallpaper.

And now I don’t mind looking at that goofy light switch anymore because it is covered in my favorite paper.

#itsthelittlethings

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get your free set of valentine note cards + envelopes

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to share a few freebie love note designs.

What’s not to LOVE about watercolor hearts, arrows, rain clouds raining down hearts?

My illustrations were scanned and formatted into sweet little note cards with matching diy envelopes. Keep reading for the how-to and to download the files!

To make the envelopes, here’s what you’ll need:

free-valentine-and-envelopes templates printed on thick white paper / scissors / adhesive (like this) / washi tape (here’s my favorite source)

STEP ONE / cut template on dashed lines

cut-envelope

cut-out-envelope-template STEP TWO / fold in sides, press firmly to crease

fold-in-sides STEP THREE / fold up bottom, press firmly to crease

fold-up-bottom-flap STEP FOUR / use glue dots (or other adhesive) to attach bottom flap to sides

glue-dots-on-envelope STEP FIVE / write a love note and slip it in

card-in-envelope STEP SIX / fold down top flap and seal with washi tape

plus-envelope-taped Add a name to the front and send to your valentine!

plus-envelope-front

heart-card-and-plus-envelope

plus-envelope There are four designs with matching note cards + envelopes, but feel free to mix & match!

These cards and envelopes can be found in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE

enjoy!

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When you can’t find the table lamp you want, you improvise

After all the back and forth and option-weighing, I decided the desk in the studio will stay as originally planned. We’ll adjust the chairs to raise them up a bit and call it good.

I actually feel very happy with the decision and can continue on with putting the studio together …

Next up is adding in more ambient light in the form of table lamps. The light of table lamps is nice to work by and will also anchor either side of the desk.

In my initial design board, I planned on using these white textured lamps from Target. I liked the simple shape, but when I went to order, there was only one available (what?!).

As a second option, I came across this handsome ceramic lamp from West Elm, which I also really liked. I just couldn’t justify spending $300 on lamps for my office.

While out shopping the other day, I saw a pair of these column table lamps on clearance in the kid section and snatched up both of them for $45.

The shape is great, I love the wood base, the color was definitely not right for my studio, but I had an idea of how to fix that.

Enter the good ole days of DIY-Emily.

(Side note: I have not done a DIY project in almost a year. Crazy for a crafty girl who loves a DIY project! I’m glad to be back, friends. Glad to be back).

By altering these lamps, I hoped to create a hybrid of the two inspiration lamps – combining the shape of the first with the chalky gray color of the second. And because I didn’t spend much, I figured it was worth the DIY risk.

After taping off the base and neck, I painted on two coats of basic black chalk paint.

As chalk paint does, it dried a nice matte gray-black.

I could have left the paint as is, but went with the next step of ‘seasoning’ the chalk surface.

Typically, you season a freshly painted chalkboard to cure the surface and allow for full erasing once you start writing on it. These lamps won’t function as writable chalk surfaces, but I still wanted that pretty mottled look that seasoning creates.

After rubbing chalk all over the lamp, I wiped it in with a dry cloth and blew off the remaining dust.

The finished color is just the chalky black I was hoping for.

The lamps are now flanking the desk and look so nice!

Even though I initially wanted a pair of white lamps, these lamps remind me that bringing a touch of black into a room is always a good idea.

This was about as simple of a DIY as could be and I’m happy to be back in the crafty game.

Have you created anything lately that you’re particularly proud of? I’d love to hear!

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