Although I’m sad to say that both of my summer vacations are now behind me even before summer officially kicks off (first, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and second, Miami and Key West, Florida), I’m so glad to be home. May has been more than a little chaotic, what with two trips nearly back to back, but it’s time to buckle down and get back to work. Happily, I soaked up more than just sun while wondering around the East Coast, and can’t wait to put all of my newfound inspiration to work.
Case in point, my DIY Painted Citrus Slice Keychains. These little cuties couldn’t have been easier to recreate, and are just perfect for the summer season ahead. Want to learn how to make your own? All of the do-it-yourself details are below.
Start by drilling a hole in the tops of each of your wooden disks, about a 1/4-inch from the edge. You’ll want to use a drill bit that’s a little larger than the width of your particular binder rings. Sand down any rough edges on the wooden disks if needed after drilling.
Next, squeeze citrus colored acrylic paint onto a plastic paint tray, and paint your wooden disks one color each. This first layer of paint will need to be very light for the proper two-toned look when complete, so you may need to add some white paint to the pigment to properly wash it out. Wait 20 minutes, and add a second coat if needed to cover the wood finish beneath. Allow the paint to dry for one hour before handling.
After that, download my Citrus Slice template from the Cricut design center, and then load up a StandardGrip Mat with any color of Vinyl. Follow the prompts on your screen to send it off to your Cricut Air Machine, and then use a Weeder Tool to remove the vinyl templates from the mat. Lay the sticky templates in the center of your painted wooden disks and press firmly with your fingertips to ensure a tight seal.
NOTE: If you don’t own a Cricut, feel free to use a store-bought stencil instead!
Squeeze more acrylic paint onto your cleaned plastic paint tray. This time, you’ll want dark, saturated versions of your previously used colors so that the layered effect of the template design on top of the light colored background really pops.
Paint the color on top of the vinyl templates on the wooden disks using a foam paintbrush, and allow to dry for 20 minutes before adding a second and third coat if necessary. Immediately remove the templates using the Weeder Tool again, and allow the keychains to dry for 1 hour before handling.
For the backsides of the disks, you can either paint them a solid color or repeat the same steps to make the keychains two-sided.
To finish, use a clean foam paintbrush to brush two coats of clear Mod Podge on both sides of each of the keychains to seal the color in. Allow the keychains to dry for another hour, and then clip the binder rings on. You’re all done!
I love that I can easily loop my citrusy keychains onto any beach bag, purse, or suitcase I might cart around with me this summer, and have already started handing out the extras to my best buds as gifts. Can’t you just picture them tucked inside favor boxes at your next summer soirée? I’m hooked on this craft, and hope you love it, too.
And in case you’re looking for even more summer inspiration, my latest post for Better Homes and Gardens went live yesterday! Click through here to learn how to refresh your art collection this season. Cheers!
Despite the fact that I am currently away on another coastal adventure to Key West, Florida (speaking of which, see what we’re up to via Instagram and Snapchat!), I’m back with just one more recap of sorts from my first beach trip earlier this month. As you know if you’ve been following along, we rebooked an excursion to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and enjoyed many of the same activities, sights, and sounds that we’ve been loving since my sister and I were kids.
In case you’re heading to Hilton Head Island, too, I wanted to share five of the family-friendly activities that we love to do while visiting the beach. These are, of course, specific to Hilton Head and the Sea Pines Resort that we have been coming back to for years, but the advice can really suit any vacation destination, so feel free to take my suggestions with a grain of salt (oceanic pun intended!). Linked information—plus lots of photos from our trip to the petting zoo at Lawton stables—are below.
5 Family-Friendly Things To Do On Hilton Head Island
- Ride bikes: There are practically more places to rent bikes on Hilton Head Island then there are people, so your options are pretty wide open here. Our family has rented from Bike Doctor for the past few years, and have been nothing but pleased. You can get all kinds of bikes, from adult bikes and youth bikes, to adult bikes with child seats and a Trail-A-Bike. Bicycles are a great way to see more of the island without having to deal with car traffic.
- Visit Lawton Stables: Ever since I can remember, my family has been stopping in to see the goats, horses, chickens, livestock, and ponies at Lawton Stables. The pictures in this post give you a pretty good tour of the space, which features a fun (and free!) petting zoo, plus paid pony rides and trail rides. It’s an easy place to bike to as well if you’re staying in Sea Pines!
- Play Putt-Putt: Another of our family traditions in years past has been mini golf. It’s a fun way to pass the time when the sun is too hot for the beach since the courses are mostly hidden beneath thick trees (particularly at Pirate’s Island Golf), and it’s a good way to stay active and work off inevitable beachy junk food.
- Kill time at the outlets: Not a year has gone by that we didn’t pop in to do a little bit of shopping at the Tanger Outlets. It’s the perfect solution if the weather isn’t quite good enough for tanning or swimming, plus you are almost guaranteed to find a store for each member in your family, so everyone will be entertained for at least a few hours.
- Go to the top of the lighthouse: You can’t leave Hilton Head without visiting the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum. This is yet another one of those traditions that we’ve been doing ever since we were kids, and I still get a thrill from climbing all of those stairs. The view just can’t be beat—we’re talking an aerial view of the harbor, the ocean, and the famous Harbour Town Golf Links PGA Tour golf course. When you’re finished with the sights, don’t forget to grab a cup of ice cream from the shop just outside the entrance to the lighthouse.
Even though my family has been going to Hilton Head for 30 years now, the island has never gotten old to us. We love to indulge in the traditions we established from the get-go when my sister and I were kids, but have also managed to make new ones in years past now that she and I are adults. Between the local restaurants and coastal attractions—not to mention the general splendor of this gorgeous island—there’s so much to do and see. I couldn’t possibly recommend it more, whether you have small children or a brood of grown adults.
What types of beach activities do you like to do when you’re on vacation? Are you all about the beach, to the point that nothing else really matters? Or maybe you’re more of a stay-in-and-vedge-all-week vacationer! Whatever the case, I hope that you have an epic summertime adventure planned for this season ahead, and that you’re ready to make some epic memories to go along with it.
Sun, sand, big floppy straw hats, fruity cocktails, and palm trees. These are just a few of the things I’m indulging in this week as my friends, Rachel and Sarah, and I enjoy some quality girl time down south here in Key West, Florida. I can’t wait to share all of the details about where we stayed, what we saw, and (most importantly) what we ate, but until then, here are seven crafty links to get your maker motivation amped up ahead of the weekend.
7 DIY Links To Boost Your Maker Motivation
- DIY Pom Pom Sandals, via Damask Love
- DIY Coloring Book Tote + Free Printable, via The Crafted Life
- DIY Typography Vase, via A Kailo Chic Life
- Faux Flower Gift Topper Stickers, via Sugar & Cloth
- DIY Floral And Wire Words + Free Download, via Lovely Indeed
- Scalloped Ikea Cork Placemats, via Sarah Hearts
- Fringed Flower Bouquet Wrap, via Squirrelly Minds
And in case you missed some of the fun content that went live right here on DGD, click back to see my review of the coffee table book Coastal Living, a quick tutorial for DIY hand-painted wooden bead necklaces, and my big Floridian trip announcement. Got a fun link of your own to share? Drop it in the comments! And in the meantime, follow along with us on our coastal excursion over on Snapchat and Instagram.
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Well, folks—I’m currently flying up, up, up in the air towards Florida for the very first time in my 30-year-old life! I’m so thrilled to be making this trip down south with my pals Rachel and Sarah, and can’t wait to share lots and lots of details with you through Snapchat and Instagram while I’m gone. I’ll also, of course, be giving you a full breakdown of the things we did and all that we saw once we get home next week, so stay tuned for that.
First, we’re headed to Miami to see all of those iconic colorful walls, and then we’ll be hitting the road bound for Key West in a set of rented wheels. We don’t really have any set plans aside from those two destinations, so if you have any suggestions for where to eat, drink, and lounge, do tell! I’ll be back next Wednesday, but I have a handful of posts set up to keep you and your inspiration going while I’m gone. In the meantime, keep up with our adventures right here, and I’ll be seeing you, Florida, very, very soon!
If you were to ask me which takes priority in my life, my home or my wardrobe/personal style, the answer is an easy one: my home! I obsess and obsess over every single piece in our house, whether it’s the placement of a tiny vase of flowers or a big floor lamp. But when it comes to my outfits? Yeah, I pretty much couldn’t care less.
That said, I do try to wear more than just my go-to pair of yoga pants everyday. Instead of overanalyzing the merits of pairing these patterned shorts with that flowy tank top and cashmere cardigan, I often just pull on basics like a solid T-shirt and simple denim textures. In order to dress things up though, I like to grab from my collection of colorful jewelry. Enter: my brand new DIY Painted Wood Bead Necklaces, crafted in partnership with Oriental Trading.
These dainty and delicate, color-packed necklaces really couldn’t be easier to recreate, so snag the tutorial over on Oriental Trading by clicking here. Happily, they can be customized to suit your favorite color combination, and cost next to nothing to recreate in bulk! I am currently reaching over and over again for the mint and pink one, but have a feeling that the other two will soon be worked into my standard summertime outfit rotation. Which one is your favorite?
(Find out how to make your own white and gold jewelry holder by clicking that link!)
With Memorial Day just a couple of weeks away (not to mention my recent trip to the coast earlier this month), I can’t help but harbor daily musing about the beach. So when I had the chance to crack open the new book Coastal Living: A celebration of living by the ocean by
WHO SHOULD READ IT
This is an easy one: if you love the ocean (or, really, any water-filled region on the planet), then you’re going to love this book. The homes featured in its pages run the gamete in terms of style—all the way from rustic country to my favorite minimalist modern aesthetic—but the underlying factor that laces them all together is the show-stopping view of water through their windows. If you crave waterside lounging, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to swoon over every chapter in this book.
That said, the main thing I took away from Coastal Living was the fact that you don’t necessarily need to actually live by the water to incorporate coastal interior design into your home. As I flipped through the pages, I was simultaneously jotting down ideas for our own spaces here in the mountains of Virginia. I have a feeling that, whether you live in sunny California or the snowy recesses of Alaska, this coffee table book will have you dreaming about adding wicker texture and lots of blue color to your home.
FAVORITE SECTIONS IN THE BOOK
Recipes! As a newly converted pescetarian, I’m always on the hunt for tasty new seafood recipes. I wasn’t expecting to find just that in this interior design tome, but low and behold, there there were. The inclusion of seafood features amongst the beachy cottages and retreats in this book was a welcome surprise, and I personally have my eye on the Tuna Carpaccio With Capers on page 100, or the Seafood Salad With Avocado Dressing on page 89.
If you’ve read (or plan to read) the book, be sure to leave your own review in the comments! And don’t forget to tag us in your social shares and use the hashtag #DGDonmycoffeetable for a chance to be featured.
Woa. What a week! It’s always a whirlwind to come back from vacation, but this week is two-fold topsy-turvy because I’m actually headed out on another big trip early next week. More details on where I’m headed and why on Wednesday, but for now, I wanted to offer up a few links that caught my eye before I left for the beach.
Despite the fact that I plan to keep things low key and project-free this weekend so that I can gather my energy for next week’s chaos, I have a feeling that these DIYs and crafts will be serving as inspiration for me all summer long. Which is your favorite?
7 DIY Links To Boost Your Maker Motivation
- DIY Fiesta Party Garland, via Tell Love and Party
- Floral Cake Topper, via The House That Lars Built
- Rainbow DIY Taper Candle Holder, via Sugar & Cloth
- DIY Printable Pineapple Party Hats, via Make and Tell
- DIY Fiesta Wreath With Honeycomb Balls, via Design Improvised
- DIY “Sail Away” Travel Pouch, via Lovely Indeed
- How To Dye Wooden Beads, via The Crafted Life
And in case you missed some of the fun content that went live right here on DGD, click back to see my review of the new book Sewing Happiness (including a giveaway that’s still accepting entries!), a quick DIY $10 Painted Palm Frond Print Crossbody Bag, a recap of our trip to Hilton Head Island, and my recipe for Homemade Cheese Fondue and retro party planning tips in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens. Got a fun link of your own to share? Drop it in the comments!
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When it comes to guilty pleasures, I can name a few right off the bat: carbs, cheese, and all things mid-century modern. Happily, I managed to find a way to combine all three in a retro inspired fête that is just brimming with festivity and flavor. Scroll on for all of the details behind my mid-mod cheese fondue soirée in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens!
The inspiration behind this party was my brand spankin’ new copy of Get Together!, a special interest publication from the team at Better Homes. The first-ever issue of the magazine is filled with (you guessed it!) everything you need to pull off the perfect get together. Whether you’re looking to host a 1960s inspired event like I did, or a rustic and cozy backyard movie night, this mag has got all the inspiration and recipes you’ll need to put those dream plans in motion. Did I mention that there’s an entire feature on a Puppy Picnic? Yeah, we’re totally doing that.
I chose to pull my own motivation from the throwback ‘Party Like It’s 1965’ spread, because you know I can’t say no to vintage glassware, shimmery cocktail dresses, and brass accented dishes and bar cart accessories.
The star of this affair is, of course, a pot full of smokey, melty cheese. I picked up our new-to-us yellow fondue pot from my favorite local antiques store, Circa Inc. in Charlottesville, Virginia. Clocking in at just $15 for the set (including multicolored wood and metal skewers!), it was an easy choice for the focal point of our celebration. Find my go-to cheddar cheese fondue recipe just a hop and scroll down below!
*4-6 servings; adapted from The Book of Fondues by
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1 1/4 cups beer
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
Rub the inside of your fondue pot with the halved garlic clove so that the aroma starts to release. Pour in the beer and heat it through until it’s bubbly. In a large mixing bowl, toss the mild and sharp cheeses together with the flour and dry mustard. Add the coated cheeses to the beer in the pot, and heat on low. Season with pepper and continue to heat the mixture, stirring constantly until smooth. Serve with bread cubes, carrots, and green apples.
A few quick tips for throwing a throwback party of your own? It all starts with the accessories, so scour your local antiques mall or thrift stores for secondhand mid-century accessories—things like vintage glasses (mismatched is totally okay!), a retro fondue pot, cool 1960s plates and serving dishes. Bonus points if you can find an inexpensive record player and set of fun 1950s and ’60s albums! Nothing sets a mid-century mod mood faster than jazzy piano music and crooning—am I right, or am I right?
Snag your copy of Get Together! by clicking here, and hop through to Better Homes and Gardens here to download a set of free printable recipe cards. What will you make at your throwback celebration this season?
I’ve been home from the beach now for three days, and I’m still feeling pangs of withdrawal. In case you didn’t know, my family has been going to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, ever since my parents went there on their honeymoon 30 years ago, so it truly feels like home. We practically consider ourselves locals, and can personally attest to nearly every neighborhood, every shop, and every single restaurant on the island. Suffice it to say that pulling onto the plantation every year just feels right.
Although it was nothing short of excruciating to go through my photos from the trip now that I’m back in the office, I couldn’t let one more day go by without paying homage to the beach house we rented this year. Scroll on for lots of photos of the house—including the seaside view and pool—and stay tuned later this month for a breakdown of five family-friendly things to do while visiting Hilton Head.
This was our first time staying in Sound Villas through Beach Properties, but it’s just steps from our favorite shops and restaurants in the Sea Pines’ South Beach area, so we were familiar with what the neighborhood offered activities-wise. The four bedroom, five bath, 2,958 square feet home featured more room then our four-person family could ever fully utilize, but it was the perfect treat for one week. Needless to say, we were all more than able to spread out as needed, but my mom, dad, sister, and I hadn’t been together in one house in what feels like forever, so we enjoyed lots of voluntary family time.
Although I’m never really one to care too much about the décor of our rented beach houses (I expend every ounce of my interior design over-analyzing on our own house), it turns out that it’s the one detail that my mom and sister care most about. Happily, they couldn’t find a single thing to complain about with this gorgeous house, and they’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that there might be a repeat stay in our future.
My sister and I chose to bunk together in the queen bedroom so that we could binge Netflix well into the night, but we did manage to log a few hours each on the top bunks in the kids’ room pictured below. We enjoyed mostly good weather, but one chilly day forced us to relax indoors and read our books on the bunk beds rather than the lounge chairs by the pool. Tough life, right?
The view from the back deck was pretty hard to beat, and we spent every morning and evening drinking our coffee and/or wine on the lounge chairs, all of us staring straight out over the water. Between the dolphins, pelicans, and sail boat sightings, we were four happy campers.
You might gasp to hear it, but we actually aren’t all that interested in spending much time at the beach itself. Instead, my sister, mom, and I prefer sunning by the pool where things tend to be a little less crowded and where a quick dip in the clear water cools us off in an instant. The pool at Sound Villas was almost always empty, so I managed to finish a book or two while also getting a tan. I’ll take that kind of multi-tasking over juggling office to-do’s any day.
And just in case you were wondering, none of this post or our stay was sponsored or perked in any way through the blog. These family vacations to Hilton Head are pretty much sacred in my book, and I try my hardest to shut down from work completely. There’s nothing better than giving my mind a week’s worth of complete rest and relaxation, and I’m so lucky that I had this time away from work and obligations with my family. Here’s to next year!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win the $45 Japanese fabric giveaway going on now! And for more Hilton Head stories, click back to past recaps by clicking these links: 2015, 2014 (Part 1 and Part 2), 2013, and 2011. Funny to see how my photography skills get progressively worse and worse with each recap. Practice makes perfect! Or in my case today, mediocre.
I’m still slooooooowly but surely getting back into the swing of things here in my studio post-vacation, which means that my photos from the trip are still in the editing phase. But in the meantime, I have a quick little project that I eked out right before leaving for the beach that I’ve been just desperate to share. Read on for the quick and easy, anybody-can-do-it tutorial for a DIY $10 Painted Palm Frond Print Crossbody Bag.
Start by squeezing a dollop of white acrylic paint onto your paint tray. Acrylic paint often comes right out of the tube a little thick, but this is easily fixed by adding water to the paint. Just dump a teaspoon of water at a time over the paint and stir to combine. You’ll want a slightly runny texture, sort of like yogurt. It shouldn’t be strong enough to hold a peak, but you won’t want it to slip all over the place when you tilt the paint tray either. Shoot for somewhere in the middle.
Next, freehand a simple palm frond design right on the side of your crossbody bag using a detail paintbrush. I saw the best results by using medium and small sized detail paintbrushes in tandem with each other. Use the small detail paintbrush to first paint on a loose and wavy “stem,” and then use the medium paintbrush to add thicker wavy “leaves” off of the stem. I used this illustrated design by Elizabeth Atlas for designlovefest as my inspiration, and you can, too, in case it’s easier for you to have something to go off of when freehanding.
Like with most of my paint projects, this isn’t so much about perfection as it is about a fun, beachy abstract pattern. Allow the first coat of paint on the palm fronds to dry for about 30 minutes and then paint on a second coat so that you no longer see the colored surface of the crossbody bag underneath the white paint.
The final touch is to go back and add a sharp point to all of the “leaves” using the small paintbrush. Do two coats of this if needed. Allow the bag to dry for two hours, and then you’re ready to hit the boardwalk (or just your local coffee shop!) in style with a DIY Palm Frond Print Bag that cost next to nothing in both time and materials.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win the $45 Japanese fabric giveaway going on now!