Category Archives: DIY

Five More Fall Decor Ideas

I hope you had a chance to read my piece in Sunday’s paper featuring ideas on how to display the natural beauty of fall’s bounty indoors. As usual, I had too many ideas to include, and not enough time to get them all done. I’d like to share what I wasn’t able to fit in, to keep the fall decor DIY vibe going.

A natural fall wreath. I had hoped to make a grapevine wreath and add some bits of fall color. Use a plain grapevine wreath from JoAnn Fabrics and add cuttings from your yard for fall color and greenery. You could even attach a little decorative gourd.

12" Grapevine Wreath,, $3.99.
12″ Grapevine Wreath,, $3.99.

Metallic painted votive holders add ambiance and subtle glamour, especially when nestled close to a pumpkin. I’ve got some plain glass votive holders that could stand a little sparkle. Use Target’s Hand Made Modern multi-surface craft paint and painter’s tape to mask the votive holder with straight or intersecting lines.  The paint comes in all shades of metallic from Rose Gold to Steel.

Hand Made Modern Paint,, $2.49.
Hand Made Modern Paint,, $2.49.


A welcoming burlap banner. Cut triangles or squares of burlap and stencil a seasonal message on them. String them onto a pretty fall colored ribbon and hang in your entry way over the mirror or in the dining room window. Staples has just the type of letter stencils I like.

higgins stencils
Higgins Letter Stencils at Staples, $18.94.

Pumpkin centerpieces oozing with fall flowers. I have done these in the past, with great results. You could use a craft pumpkin for something everlasting, or just pick up a small- or medium-sized pumpkin from the grocery store. Scoop out the seeds and place a vase or jar inside for your floral arrangement. Dahlias and Salal, with cuttings of textural grasses or other bushes would look brilliant.

9" Craft Pumpkin at Michael's, $8.49.
9″ Craft Pumpkin at Michael’s, $8.49.


Glittering taper candles in simple candlesticks. Coat plain white taper candles with two layers of Mod Podge to ensure even coverage. Pour glitter into a shirt-box top, place the candle in and shake to coat. Do just one candle at a time. Let them dry on a piece of parchment paper. Martha Stewart has some absolutely beautiful glitters, found at Michael’s craft store.

martha glitter

Since fall is well underway, I may just have to save these decor ideas for the winter season, but instead of pumpkins and copper paint, I’ll swap in evergreen branches and vintage glass glitter. Stay tuned…




Natural Fall Decor in Sunday’s Paper

See this and other ideas for adding natural elements to your fall decor.
See this and other ideas for adding natural elements to your fall decor in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun.

Hello friends! Just a quick post to remind you to check the Life section of the Kitsap Sun this Sunday for my column. This month, I’ll give you fresh ideas for bringing the natural elements of fall into your seasonal decor. Most of these ideas will work using things you already have laying around the house or possibly your backyard!

Succulents: An Extension of Summer



It’s so hard to let summer go. In an attempt to extend the season, I’m bringing a bit of the outdoors in. Succulents are beautiful, and they can thrive indoors, given the right conditions. They also add a natural, textural design element to any room. I gathered some small containers at home and purchased several little succulents at one of my favorite garden shops, Bremerton City Nursery.

Your succulents need to have good drainage and a spot near a window, so they get about 6 hours of sunlight a day. I placed a layer of small stones at the bottom of each container, removed the plant from its pot, loosening the soil and exposing some of the roots. Then I tucked them into their new homes. I watered them just enough to soak the soil. Do not over-water your succulents! When they are inside during fall and winter, they require even less water than when outdoors. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering them again.

I chose to group my succulents together on a tray for maximum impact, but they would also look nice sprinkled throughout a bookcase display, on a kitchen window sill, on the bathroom vanity or even as a centerpiece at your next dinner party.


DIY: Easy Lamp Makeover

Have a lamp that needs a refresh? So did I. A while back, I bought a pair of ceramic ginger jar lamp bases at the magnificent, annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction.  I knew they had potential, and at $2.50 each, it was hardly a gamble. The pale yellow finish was cracked and drab, so I covered them  with Krylon’s high gloss white spray paint. While they didn’t turn out quite as  glossy as I thought they would, it was still a vast improvement over their previous color.

Next, I bought two basic white drum shades at Target and covered them with burlap. On the inside of the shades, I used burlap ribbon from Paper Source, to cover the uneven glued edges. Covering a lampshade with fabric is an inexpensive and simple way to add another layer of texture or pattern to a room, and I’m a big fan.

How much material you’ll need for the project depends on the size of your shade, but take into consideration whether the shade is straight or angled. Angled shades will use more fabric. Here is a basic step by step.

  1. Lay your shade down on top of the fabric piece, lining up the seam on the shade with the edge of the fabric. Then move it in about two or so inches, giving yourself an extra two inches or so, to fold under and make a nice seam at the end.
  2. Use a pencil or fabric marker to trace the bottom edge of the shade as you roll it across the fabric, so that you’ve made a complete turn from the start of the shade, all the way to the other side of it.  Line the shade back up at the start and repeat the tracing with the top edge of the shade.
  3. Make a line connecting the top and bottom lines. Now, add about two inches of height to each the top and bottom lines. This is your pattern. Cut on the outside lines.
  4. To adhere the fabric to the shade you can use fabric glue or hot glue.  Starting at the vertical seam on the shade, glue down the first edge of the fabric. Wrap the fabric around the shade, pulling it taught as you go. Fold under the last couple of inches, to create a clean looking seam and glue.  The trick here is to keep that fabric tight while wrapping and gluing, so the completed product doesn’t look baggy.
  5. Fold the top edges of fabric toward the inside of the shade, and glue as you go. Repeat with the bottom edge.  You can either try to make the folds look nice or use a complementary ribbon, like I did, to cover any jagged edges.

If  you want to further embellish the shade, you can glue a decorative trim or ribbon on the outside bottom and top edges. Here is a before and after of my project!