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Gettin' Scrappy

in a previous post, I shared some simple ways to change the look of a room for fall.
here are a few more photos and ideas from that 'tattered & torn' room...

sofas are just more comfy filled with pillows, don't you think?
i love pillows that add texture and interest to a room,
so i usually make my own covers from scraps of miscellaneous fabrics i have on hand.
the ones shown here are made from .... oh, come on, you know this... old sweaters. o yeah. i did.
i had some really soft, comfy old sweaters in creamy colors that i loved -
but they had stretched out a bit and i couldn't wear them anymore.
[i had streched out a bit, too, but let's not go there....]

i thought that i could still enjoy the softness of the sweaters if they were covering pillows, so...

The How-To:
*cut the arms off of the sweaters and flip the sweater body inside-out 
*sew a line up both sides and across the neck hole
*turn the cover right-side out, and pop a throw pillow form inside
[you can get cheap pillows at Ross, Marshalls, or the thrift store.]
*hand-stitch the bottom edge closed

*when you want to wash them, cut the threads and the pillow comes out -
and because it is the bottom hem of the original sweater, it doesn't unravel in the wash.
*put the pillow form back into the cover, and re-stitch it closed.

i didn't make these as 'envelope'-style covers because sweaters SAG,
and when i am cuddled up on the sofa on a rainy fall day,
i don't want the sweater cover sagging and falling off the pillow under my head.

another of the pillows is covered in a muslin fabric, and i DID sew that one with an envelope closure.
[i had some remant scraps in a box, but you could just as easily buy the fabric -
muslin is about $3 a yard.] then i tied a thick piece of string around it for interest.
another thing you can do with fabric scraps is change the look of your lampshades!
it's simple, really - wrap a bit of fabric around the shade, and pin it to help it keep its shape.
no glue, no fuss, no muss.
the two lamps shown above have two types of fabric on each shade,
just layered over one another and then pinned together.
[the fabric is pinned in smaller at the top, so it doesn't fall off the shade]
a simple string tied around adds interest and keeps the fabric in place, as well.
you could also use removable tape to secure the fabric.

mine is loose and unstructured - yours might be cut to size and crisp.
or maybe you will use strips and tie them vertically around a wire lampshade frame...
[i actually have another post planned to share ideas like that!]
just match your own style!

and i have to say, the ivory fabric over the white shades made the light in these rooms GOLDEN.
[i looked ten years younger in those rooms! man, i miss those lamps.....]


Tutorial: Vintage Sheet Music Fall Leaves!

my last post had a photo of my Sweet Sweater Pumpkins  to announce my giveaway
but there was more to the photograph than i used - as you can see above.
i wanted to show the details of the pumpkins and the little crown pin that i found at the flea market
[which fits oh-so-perfectly on the pumpkin]

today, I'm going to focus on another part... the leaves
i just had to do something CRAFTY to the setting when I was working on it.
going out and getting real leaves off the tree wasn't working for me
[mostly because the leaves here in SoCal are still green....]
so i decided to make some leaves.

this was a fast project, and is one of my
'Fast, Cheap, & Easy' TM tips that know you love,
so I thought I'd share the how-to with you today!

vintage paper (sheet music, dictionary pages, book pages, sewing patterns)
sharp scissors
a real or fabric leaf (any size or variety) to trace
pencil or pen
thin ruler - metal is best, if possible
a real branch (any kind, any size) with lots of small branches attached
tacky glue or hot glue
a container to hold the real branch
some kind of filler for the container to stabilize the branch
(popcorn kernels, rocks, sand, candy corn, etc.)
1. lay vintage paper flat, and use pen/pencil to trace around the real/fabric leaf.
fit as many on each page as you can, 
and try to place the real leaf in different directions as you go - 
this will keep all of your leaves from having the writing on the paper
going in the same direction.

2. carefully cut out each leaf using scissors.

3. fold each leaf over thin ruler edge, 
creating a sharp crease down the center of every leaf.

4. using the pencil/pen, curl the leaf edges either up or down.
(don't curl them both ways on the same leaf)
this makes the leaves look a little more natural. 

oh, and if a leaf tears while you are doing this?
no worries. real leaves tear and it will just look more realistic ;0)  

5. fill container with filler, then place branch into position.
6. using hot glue or tacky glue, 
place a drop of glue on either side of the center of each leaf - 
but JUST at the BASE of the leaf. 
the glue dots should be the size of the eraser of your pencil.

7. quickly take the leaf and bend it around one of the smaller branches.
hold it there until it sets (just a few seconds)

continue gluing all leaves to the smaller branches.

8. after all leaves have been glued to the branch, and the glue has dried,
go back and GENTLY GENTLY
[is it just me, or does anyone else hear Westley the Farm Boy from 'The Princess Bride' saying that?!]
bend the leaves a bit.  
just 'nudge' them to make their shapes look more individual.

you know me, i love the whole 'pale neutral palette'.
but leaves can be made from any paper at all:
wrapping paper, comic books, old book illustrations, magazine pages...
be creative and if you love color, get some!

what else can you do with paper leaves?
*hang them on monofilament line from a chandelier or curtain rod
so they dance with every little breeze
*sew them into garlands and use to drape windows
*make a 'flower' out of them to adorn a wrapped package or a corsage
*sprinkle them all over a table centerpiece of fall fruits and veggies
and of course...
*use them to enhance a display of Sweet Sweater Pumpkins!


Deb's Glass Globe Pumpkins

In fall, 2011, I was playing with some 'junk' that I had around the house. 
these white glass LIGHT COVER GLOBES
(you know, the old 'porch and hall light' kind?)
presented themselves as a great material to be turned into something else.
I washed them, and was turning them over in my hands as I dried them when I thought,
'I could put a battery operated votive candle inside....'
and suddenly they weren't light globes anymore. they became Glass Globe PUMPKINS! 

you may have seen my photos of these on Pinterest,
because I shared them on my (old) Hummadeedledee blog after making them
and then here on HOMEWARDfound in 2012.... and they sorta' went crazy online ;0)
these are SO simple to make for your own fall decor - they are one of my original 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM ideas!

all you have to do is find some white glass globes.
try to find different sizes and textures: hobnail, ribbed, smooth, crackled,
or, if you are lucky, a scalloped one like i found  [they generally cost under $5 each at thrift shops]

new ones can be found at places like Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware stores...
but please do not steal them from your neighbors' porch lights!!!
carefully wash the globes in soapy water, and let them dry.
then add a 'stem' on the end of the globe that has a small hole (or no hole). 
the end of the globe with the large opening will be the base that it sits on.

here's how I created the stems shown in my images here:
 1. twist a bit of aluminum foil into a 'stem' shape - long or short, up to you.
push one end of the foil stem into the small hole at the top of a glass globe.
starting at the base of the stem (nearest the glass globe), 
wrap cotton string, hemp twine, yarn, ribbon, fabric strips, 
or any other material around the foil to hide it. 
use hot glue to adhere the material to the foil stem as you work from base to tip.
then bend the stem into a pleasing curve, and you're done!

2. hot glue a wooden thread spool to the top of a glass globe without a small hole.
wrap some string, twine, burlap, muslin, or ribbon remnant around it and tie a knot.
you can display these pumpkins indoors or out!
by adding a strand of mini-lights, a battery-operated votive candle,  or a glow stick inside the large opening,
they will light up a room or porch with a soft glow. please do not use a flame to illuminate them.
My Pumpkin Story....
I've been collecting pumpkins my whole life, and I love to decorate with them in fall.
my grandpa used to call me, his first-born red-headed granddaughter, his 'Little Pumpkin Eater'.
his nickname for me started a collection that my mom and I have been adding to for decades.
that's what seasonal decorating is to me: meaningful.

every time I come up with a new pumpkin creation of my own to add, I smile
and imagine how grandpa would smile if he could see them.
I hope these make you smile, too!

shared online:

Funky Junk Interiors 'Party Junk' | DIY Pumpkins

 Off the Vine Pumpkin Crafts | Eclectically Vintage

C.R.A.F.T.com | Monday Funday #34

Jennifer Rizzo | Fabulously Creative Friday 

Debbie Doo's | Primp Your Pumpkin 

 Yesterday on Tuesday | A Crafty Soiree

Want MORE great pumpkin ideas from Deb?

Check out my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkin Tutorial

Sing a Song of Seasons...

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson

i have always loved this poem.
if allowed, i would add a few of my own lines to the last stanza
and make it appropriate for use all year:

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all:
Flowers in the summer,

Harvest in the fall

Snowflakes in the winter,
Raindrops in the spring...
 Nature offers such delights
that only she can bring.

[fast, cheap & easy] seasonal changes

here's the thing.... your rooms should reflect the way you want to feel
me? i adore the comfy, cozy feeling of being wrapped up in a soft ivory cashmere sweater...
and i want my rooms to make me feel that way in fall!
so i focused on using warm neutral colors, brown golden woods and leathers,
lots of texture, natural elements, and an aged look
i called the result 'tattered n' torn'

some of the 'fast cheap & easy'TM things i did in this room:

is covered with a thick but soft woven cloth remnant 
that feels like a cross between linen and burlap. 
[i think it's called 'osnaburg', actually....]
i had this remnant for years and did NOT want to cut it up.
so I literally just threw it over the ottoman.  to keep it on there, 
i grabbed a bunch of leather belts from the closets (his, mine) and laced them all together.
wrapped it around the sides of the ottoman and cinched it tight. DONE. 
[find old leather belts at thrift shops for about a buck each]

a SIDE TABLE by the sofa is made from stacked suitcases.
[you can find these pretty leather ones at vintage shows, 
BUT you can always get UGLY blue and green vinyl ones cheeeeep at thrift stores,
and PAINT them brown or cream, then swipe some antique stain on them 
to make them look like leather!]
the MANTEL and several tabletops are populated by  an assortment of clear glass bottles and vases 
[i get mine at thrift stores for about $2 each. when i need a big one, Ross or TJ Maxx have reasonable prices and selection]

i filled those jars with all kinds of things in my pale neutral palette:
game pieces: scrabble tiles and letter holders, jenga tiles, bingo cards, dice, dominoes
natural elements: rocks, seeds, acorns, faux white pumpkins, bleached leaves, small pine cones

the EASIEST thing about this look?
it's just a meandering collection of 'finds' that are given importance.
nothing is made to 'go together'
it's just similarly-toned EVERYDAY MATERIALS, gathered and displayed.
i simply pulled it all together in a way that was fresh and inspired for fall.

are you with me? 
is it looking totally DO-able now? YOU CAN DO THIS!

[simple solutions] spray it!

Here's a simple solution for your old seasonal decor items...

a few years ago, I found jack, a charming orange ceramic pumpkin, at a thrift store.
I jumped up and down with excitement when I saw him, ran over, grabbed him off the shelf,
and wouldn't even put him in the cart - I just carried him through the store!

You see, my mom had one JUST LIKE HIM when I was a kid 
and I used it as a nightlight in my tiny little hall closet 'art studio'. 
Somehow, somewhere along the way, that pumpkin got lost.
And I've been looking for over 40 years to replace him.

I was honestly prepared to fork over any amount of money for him.
He was mine, and he wasn't going anywhere but home with me.

FAB FIND alert:  jack was just $5.99!
 but then when i brought jack home, he didn't fit in with the other 'kids':
[you can see a little discrepancy in the photo above...
'one of these things is not like the other', right?!]

well, it took me all of five minutes to fix that.
grabbed a spray can of Krylon gloss white appliance paint and jack orange became jack white:
now he looks for all the world like he came from some chic shop or pottery barn
but he's from goodwill. i love that! [and he ROCKS, so i guess the name fits!]

white ceramic accents are really  hot in decorating, 
and can add a very current, stylish look to your home no matter what your style is
for just the cost of a can of spray paint [and that Krylon stuff is MAGIC, I tell you...]

simply white-out your own ceramic pumpkins,
and you've got the makings of some swanky-chic fall decor!
[and yes, BLACK works, too!]

welcome fall!

FALL is just around the corner!
it's already august, and while we are all enjoying lazy summer days poolside, 
 the stores are putting up Halloween displays and Pinterest is rampant with inspiration for fall decorating! 
(check out my 'september decor: fall harvest' Pinterest board here)

so get ready for a lineup of inspiring FALL content that will help you create some AMAZING fall decor...
no matter what your style is, you'll find ideas to make your OWN!