Backyard Event Lighting and Decor

Image from Martha Stewart Weddings

Summer is here and it’s that time of the year to open up the backyard and soak up some sun.  When the sun sets we’re left with some pretty amazing opportunities to make our backyards look like they could be on the cover of Better Homes or Southern Living Magazines.

Lately I have been inspired by mason jars. My boyfriend has been buying this amazing marinara sauce from our local market that comes in mason jars, so we are well stocked. This gives me a lot of leeway to get the inspirational juices flowing.

I love the idea of having a hodgepodge of different types of mason jars hung at different lengths all around the backyard. Martha Stewart hangs them from the backyard table umbrella. If you have a small backyard, this is a perfect way to add some character and intimate lighting for your party.

Image from Martha Stewart: Outdoor Living

 If you have a tree or several trees, I think the following idea works best. A chain or some sort of twine/string attached to the jar at different lengths can create a beautiful lighting effect in the backyard. When the sun has completely set it simulates a very southern style backyard feel—much like having fireflies to light everything up.

Image from The Berry

Image from Martha Stewart

Here the owner of the Etsy Shop: “Treasure Again” uses a vast array of different jars and hangs them with chains, hooks and wire.

Image from Etsy Shop: Treasure Again

To create the true orangey, fire-like lit backyard, I like to use tea-light candles or votive candles. Votives can vary in shape and size but are just a tiny bit larger than tea-lights and last much longer throughout the night.

If you are a worrywart – much like my boyfriend—you can also use battery operated flickering tea-lights.  Here you get the natural glow and flicker of the candle without the worry of burning your backyard to a crisp.

If you have an electrical outlet near, the Etsy Shop owner “LITdecor” sells an electric cord that is attached to the top of the mason jar.  Simply add in a light bulb, plug it in, and you have beautifully lit mason jars lamps around the yard.

Image from Etsy Shop: LIT Decor

Etsy Shop Treasure Again has a genius creation of solar-lit lids for mason jars. I personally love the orange glow from the mason jars—and the solar lights give off a dim white light — however this is definitely a no-hassle, energy saving idea.

Image from Etsy Shop: Treasure Again

If you are going to the go with the electric lighting, my favorite is Etsy Shop Sweet Tea Clothing Co.’s string of mason jars with a string of large round electric plug-in bulbs. Simply hang on a fence or wall, plug-in and you have a gorgeous set of lit mason jars for the backyard. Instant charm.

Image from Etsy Shop: Sweet Tea Clothing Co.

If you like this idea, you might also like a Do It Yourself (DIY) version.

Image from Etsy Shop: Treasure Again

What you’ll need: a long string, mason jars with wire wrapped around to hang, and a string of normal white lights. Simply hang the string from both ends somewhere in your backyard, hang the mason jars on the string and wrap the lights around the string. Don’t forget to stuff some of the lights carefully in the mason jars. Voila!  What a super easy, quick way to brighten up the backyard. You can also buy this set from Etsy Shop: Treasure Again.

There are also several ways to decorate the outsides of the mason jars to bring a different feel to the backyard.

Image from Etsy Shop: LIT Decor

Etsy Shop: LITDecor sells mason jars that are decorated to have a Moroccan look.  This shop has different colors from purple and green to yellow and orange – these jars are absolutely stunning.

Etsy Shop: Airth and Olsen Weddings creates mason jars with white lace. This gives a very classy look to the mason jars.

Image from Etsy Shop: Airth and Olson Weddings

If neither of these styles are your forte or you’re looking for a DIY, you can also tint or paint mason jars.  If you are going for a painted look, you won’t be able to light them around your backyard. However, you can add flowers to them and hang them amongst the lit mason jars or place on a table.

Image from Etsy Shop: Inside/Outside Painted

Image from Etsy Shop: Treasure Again

Image from Natty Nook

Many wedding and party planners are using mason jars for decorating. In addition, I have also seen chandeliers hanging over tables and from trees. I absolutely love this look.  Whether you are using an expensive chandelier or a very cheap Ikea version, this look adds a southern classic charm to your event.

If you don’t have a way to light the chandelier, there are plenty of candle lit chandeliers that are eye-catching and give your backyard and your event that dramatic look we all desire.

Image from The Parks

Image from Knock Off Decor

By icanhazcrafts

Hollywood Regency – Shabby Chic Syroco Mirrors

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Image from Etsy Shop: “Revived Vintage”

I have been a fan of the Hollywood Regency and shabby chic look for quite some time now. I particularly like the up-cycled bright, bold look of the vintage Syroco mirrors. If you are unfamiliar with Syroco mirrors, they were popular mirrors that were made by The Syracruse Ornamental Company in the 1940’s-1950’s and became popular again in the 1970’s. They were inexpensive mirrors at the time made out of a plastic like material placed into a stylized mold and finished with a metal that resembles gold. 

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The look of the original gold Syroco mirror doesn’t really fit in with today’s style (at least not my style). In fact, the Hollywood Regency style can sometimes be a bit over the top for my taste. However, I do enjoy the up-cycled looks of the Syroco mirrors. I particularly like the bold, electric, highlighter colors such as cobalt blue or hot pink. 
 
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The mirrors come in many different styles — from super over the top with curly cues and flowers galore. They come in square shapes, oval shapes, large and small. My favorite style is the large, oval whimsical looking mirror. 
 
 
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The details and the textures are by far some of the best I have seen on any of the Syroco mirrors. It isn’t too gaudy — and yet — it stands out in a gorgeous, substantial way.
 
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Many of these mirrors can be found already up-cycled on Etsy.com or Ebay.com. Many sellers will even customize the color and varnish for you. The above white frame is actually a chalkboard, which many people use for weddings. It is also possible to find chalkboard/mirror combinations which I find extremely attractive. They can be useful for home parties, for restaurant menus, or just for a warm, inspirational saying now and then. 
 
Whether you’re going for the shabby chic or Hollywood regency look or not, these mirrors will add color and style to any room. 
 
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Image from Apartment Therapy
 
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Image from Design to Inspire
 
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 Image from 346 Living
 
By icanhazcrafts

Up-cycling Wooden Mirrors

Wanting to maintain the Tiffany’s teal theme and feeling super creative I decided to paint some wooden mirrors. Once again, the space above the dresser is super boring and has a plain, white wall. 

There’s that Tiffany’s box! This is obviously the girliest part of the room.

Here is the look after once everything was finished:

Quite a difference, right?!

I wanted to have four mirrors that were similar and yet different. I created two black mirrors and two teal mirrors with black stripes. Then I added in transparent pieces inside of the teal mirrors that were also used in the photo collage above the bed to maintain consistency. 

I started by using packaging tape and placing it over the mirror itself to keep from getting paint on it. Then I used a sealer to help the paint adhere to the wood.

I decided that I wanted to create black and teal stripes. So in order to create straight lines, I used packaging tape. If you have painters tape– believe me — that is much easier. So use it!! My packaging tape was clear, which made it super difficult, but it still worked all the same.

Here is first finished mirror:

As you can see I created slightly smaller black lines than teal lines to emphasize the teal. I also added the white transparent lace over the mirror (this is the same lace used in the collage above the bed).


For the second teal mirror I created the exact replica of the first mirror. Once that dried, I added additional lines in the opposite direction. 

This mirror actually had a mistake on it and yet turned out to be my favorite. I suppose what artists say is true. If you make a mistake, it can always be fixed. Actually I’m not sure if artists say this, my mom is an artist and would always say this to me. She always said it would make it better, and in this case, she was right. 

The first teal mirror has a very slick, crisp, almost perfect look to it. Since the second teal mirror had a mistake, the line was crooked (damn that clear tape), I decided to mess with it even more. Thinking this would create an intentional messy, non-perfect look. My plan was to smudge the paint and use a sponge to antique it a bit. If it didn’t work, I could always paint it over. 

Once I was happy with the smudging and antiquing, I used a satin varnish over the top. Satin, apparently, is the middle ground between glossy and matte. I didn’t want it to be flat or super glossy, so satin worked out perfectly. It just gives it a polished finished look while also protecting the paint.

This was super easy and so fun to do. It did take a few days since between each coat it takes about an hour or so to dry. Plus adding the tape, smudging and antiquing racks up in time as well. So don’t go into this lightly if you aren’t patient or just don’t care for this type of thing. If you are anything like my boyfriend– hates doing anything crafty– but want to make your girlfriend happy with some color on the walls, I am selling these in my Etsy Shop. Completely customized with your own colors and your selection of varnish: matte, satin or glossy. However, if you are like me, this will be your meditation. Either way, the end result is incredibly attractive, unique and brings the whole room together. 
 
 
By icanhazcrafts

Adding Color to the Bedroom – Revamp Part II

My color inspiration came from Apartment Therapy. A super white background (just like my apartment) with vibrant splashes of color. At the time of seeing this, the idea of adding electric colors to decor was foreign to me– and yet– I loved it. More recently, highlighter 80’s colors are all over the place. It’s super trendy in fashion right now. I have to admit: I was adverse to it at first, but it has grown on me. I have always been a black and white, super classic look. But who doesn’t love having a little fun with color? It really does brighten things up.

Picture from Apartment Therapy

At first I was definitely going to go with the electric blue. I went to Michael’s and bought a bunch of paint and different colored swatches. I just couldn’t decide on what color I wanted to go with. Ultimately, I decided to get multiple colors. The thought at the time was that if I get bored with one color, I have options to repaint and switch out swatches.

Oh, I suppose I haven’t mentioned the whole idea behind the paint yet. I’ll get to that in the next post. For now, please bear with me.

Having a slight obsession for teal and all jewelery that is turquoise, I decided to go with a Tiffany’s colored teal. Super elegant, not too bright and yet very classy. I thought it would nicely complement the white and black in the photo clutter.

I decided to take pieces of textured teal and add transparent white lace over the top. I used these a few times throughout the collage to give a theme and some color to the black and white.

Here I used these swatches together twice on opposite sides of a three pictured frame. In the center I cut a part of one large fabric swatch with clocks. I used this twice throughout the theme but used different parts of the swatch to create (again a theme) and yet to create diversity. I think the overall feel has a very Alice and Wonderland look to it. It created a bit of playful and lightness to the collage.

Then I added a spiral teal paper over one of the swatches:

Last I added a similar black spiral piece over the textured teal paper. Then I placed it under the octopus to create dimension.

Here is the finished piece before and after.

The overall addition of color in the collage creates texture and dimension in the room. More importantly, the color adds a bit of cheer.

My next post, I will be painting wooden mirrors to create an art piece over the dresser bringing in the same Tiffany’s teal to brighten the room.

By icanhazcrafts

Revamping the Boring Bedroom

My boyfriend doesn’t exactly care much for decorating. Well, what guy does really? Actually, I’m pretty thankful that he doesn’t care– It gives me free rein!! Muahaha! To tell the truth, if he had his way, the entire house would be filled with movie posters, comic book characters and toys. And although I appreciate these things as well–I have a love for decorating– and toys and comic books don’t exactly rank high on my chain of tasteful interior design. 

Being very tired of the boring — very, bachelor themed bedroom — I decided to spruce it up with some decorations. Something that would bring in both of our personalities, while trying to stay away from it being too feminine or too boyish. In my opinion paint instantly gives life to a room, unfortunately, as a renter who may be leaving for bigger and better in the future- I decided to add personality in other ways.

Being inspired by many free Ikea catalogues that seem to be frequenting my mailbox, I decided to go with a clutter frame collage. Something much like this:

Photo taken from Ikea

I decided to take as many old frames as possible and up-cycle them by putting in unique, quirky items that brought some originality to the room. I came across an amazing print of an octopus printed onto an old page from a dictionary on Etsy.  

I came across a photo of yellow wallpaper and a matching swatch of the same wallpaper in a frame on a plain white wall. This got me thinking — if I can’t paint my wall or add wallpaper to bring in color and personality — why not take fabrics and swatches of prints and put them in frames to the give the wall some life.

Picture from Mail Online

So I made a trip to Michael’s scrap-booking section. Pages and pages of colorful (and cheap) sheets of paper to insert into my up-cycled frames. There are a ton of transparent pages that you can place over colored paper or textured paper. This helps to keep a theme throughout the collage while creating different textures and images. 

My last two editions before I started going crazy with the swatches was a compromise between the boyfriend and I. His dad made him a small drawing of the comic book character: Galactus. For those that don’t know, he eats planets. Awesome, right?! Anyway, his dad made it in a few minutes with just a sharpie and it came out amazing. 

The boyfriend also found a super cheap canvas of the very poplar UK WWII saying: “Keep Calm and Carry On”. 

Next I bought a few new frames, cut up some paper and hung up the frames without trying to over think where they should be placed on the wall. (Admittedly, this meant I rearranged and added a few more holes into the wall).

Now for the before and after. Prepare yourself. It is quite the difference.

Without being completely finished (color still needs to be added) the room has been completely transformed. Add a cute throw or complementing comforter on the end of the bed to tie the room together and you have a whole new room. 

The unfiltered, almost finished result. Super simple, cheap and yet adds so much charm. Truthfully, if there was some color on the walls (if you are someone who can paint your room) this would be completely finished with so much appeal. 

However, if you are like me and sadly cannot paint, stay tuned for my next post. I will be showing how I added some color to the walls/room.

By icanhazcrafts

The Making of: The Spring Flower Wreath

I started with a large basic wreath with wooden twigs. I had originally wanted an all purple very basic wreath with twigs and bushels of small purple flowers. However, after walking into Joann Fabric and Crafts store, I got a little carried away to say the least. I envisioned the blossoming of spring with small white and purple flowers and long flowy and almost whimsical, wispy dark purple sprigs with green leaves on the ends. 

I started by taking the flowers that are now on the ends and breaking off the tops. I secured them in the center in a spiral fashion. Then a pulled apart the larger purple flowers and secured them so that they were spiraling out from the center. 

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Once I had the purple flowers in place, I began fastening the white flowers. I started by placing them around the wreath before fastening. This way I didn’t have to create extra work for myself by refastening pieces that just didn’t look right. Once I was happy with how everything looked, I began securing them to the wreath.

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I took the long purple sprigs and haphazardly place them around the edge of the wreath. Once I liked how they were placed, I began securing them in place.

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And Voila! The finished product!

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I finished this once I was ready to part with my winter wreaths. Now that spring has been around for some time, I thought it was a necessity to bring in some color into the house. I think it does just that! It’s bright and cheery and makes me smile every time I walk by.

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If you are interested in purchasing this wreath, please take a look at my Etsy Shop. I make all of my own crafts for home decor. This wreath in particular is made to order and therefore can be customized to your liking. 

By icanhazcrafts