Category Archives: DIY Projects

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand

*This post was sponsored by OfferUp

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

I couldn’t be more excited to share the scoop behind that secondhand milking stool you see pictured above—especially because it doesn’t look much like a milking stool anymore, does it?! That’s because I was able to completely transform it into a plant stand with nothing but a bit of spontaneous inspiration and a few unlikely DIY materials.

Scroll on for the whole story (which might as well be a 1,300-word love story written specifically for all my fellow vintage lovers out there), plus an introduction to my new favorite “Thrift Store” scores resource: OfferUp.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

Let’s start with that introduction, shall we? If you’re just now hearing about OfferUp, it’s an app that allows you to scroll through secondhand offerings from people nearby, and (now with their shipping option) all over the nation, too. Our house is in a pretty small town here in Virginia, so I always have a lot of trouble finding high quality vintage pieces to purchase from local sellers. Because of that, I wanted to test out OfferUp’s shipping option to take advantage of cool secondhand items both near and far.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

That screenshot above shows exactly what I saw on my phone when I purchased my first item through the app: my new-to-me vintage milking stool. The item immediately updated with a thrilling “SOLD” banner after I submitted my offer and it was accepted, then I was able to keep track of the shipment a couple days later via a button that showed up right in the messages section of the app.

You’ll also notice in that screenshot that you can learn a little more about each item and also each seller. Kurt, by the way, was an awesome seller! His ratings were all perfect, and he shipped the stool super fast. Being able to see how many items and stars each seller has to his or her name through the app gave me, as a buyer, lots of peace of mind.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

So, now let’s talk more about that stool. The piece arrived within a week, and I was finally able to inspect it closely. The photos Kurt had posted in the app listing were a great depiction of the piece, but I could spot a few extra details once I could handle and hold it in person—good ones, like the quaint size (cute kitty above for scale!), and not-so-good ones like a spotty screw repair job. Of course, I knew it was going to be a restoration job from the moment I laid eyes on the stool, so it was nothing a little bit of elbow grease couldn’t fix.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

After unwrapping it and giving the stool a thorough inspection, I stepped back to consider those DIY possibilities. Should I try stripping the flaking paint away and give it a fresh paint color, or maybe stain it once I got it down to raw wood? Should I ditch the original seat and build a new one from fresh wood? I started thinking about the scale of the round seat and if I already had some wood that might work, and that’s when inspiration struck.

I remembered seeing a marble cutting board in our stash that might be the perfect size, and a quick test proved the theory. The round marble board was spot-on the exact size of the old wooden seat, making me feel like it was fate. The marble probably wouldn’t be strong enough to work as a seat, but I had actually been planning on using the vintage stool as a plant stand all along. Marble could definitely support the little potted plant that I had in mind!

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

After coming up with my plan, I quickly unscrewed and discarded the old wood seat, then gave the rusty frame a fresh coat of satin black spray paint. As for the marble, a couple of quick scrapes with a metal tool removed the old price tag and three rubber feet to leave me with a flat surface.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

Next, I covered the top side of the plain metal stand with lines of E6000 glue, and centered the marble board on top. Twenty-four hours later, the stool was finished and looking much more modern than its original rusted, beaten-up look.

With the stool-turned-plant-stand complete, I turned my attention to where I could put it in the house. I’m not sure that I mentioned it here on the blog yet, but we swapped the china hutch in the dining room with a long, low console that used to be in the living room. The scale of the extra long cabinet fit the dining room better, and actually offers a lot more storage than the china hutch did.

One corner, though, had been left blank after the swap because it was too small for the extra chair that used to sit beneath the clay wall bells I made (see the old set-up here). It might not have been a good fit for the chair, but that little corner was perfect for my newly refreshed plant stand.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

As you know, I’m rarely able to leave “well enough” alone, and with a brand new console tabletop available to fill, I popped right back on the OfferUp app to buy more vintage goodies to style alongside the plant stand. My collection of secondhand lamps, serving dishes, pottery, and a clock, too, were all on their way to our door within a couple of days, and you can keep scrolling to finally see the full reveal.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

I ordered a pair of mid-century wood and marble lamps to flank either side of the console, and I thought they also sort of play homage to the wood-turned-marble plant stand project. As for the striped Japanese vase you see above, I thought it was such a unique, cool piece when I spotted it while scrolling in the app. I now keep it out in the dining room all the time, and fill it weekly with fresh cut branches from the yard for an extra dose of greenery.

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

The clock was a last-minute addition for a bit of graphic flair. It doesn’t work (which made it super affordable through the app—less than $10!), but you can still change the date every day using buttons on top that operate the flip numbers.

Another last-minute score was that rug you see below. I adore the super saturated color palette and have moved it from the dining room to the kitchen to the bedroom, and back again. It suits pretty much every room in our house and I wish I could have bought multiples, I love it so much!

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

Overall, my experience on the OfferUp app (specifically the shippable section) was great, and I love the items I was able to purchase. The best thing you can do when on the hunt for items through OfferUp is to be quick and open with seller communication. Don’t be afraid to ask them to specify right from the start just how far they’re willing to ship an item.

Because the app is used by mostly independent sellers, you might find yourself in an instance where the person isn’t quite sure about shipping a larger item all the way across the country. Be patient and understanding, and make sure you respond to seller questions or feedback quickly, too. Respect everyone’s time and resources, and you’ll undoubtedly end up with a collection of vintage treasures that you can be proud of—like we did!

How To Turn A Vintage Stool Into A Plant Stand | dreamgreendiy.com + #offerup #ad

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How To Style A Bedroom Dresser Tabletop

How To Style A Bedroom Dresser Tabletop | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading #ad

I know a lot of people complain about how difficult it is to style open shelving, but I always have the hardest time styling bedroom dressers myself. I obviously want to make sure the pieces I plop down on this type of surface are as functional as can be, but, of course, I’m also a stickler for making sure it looks nice, too.

So, I worked with Oriental Trading to put together a step-by-step formula that makes styling dressers a cinch. The best news? I made sure that the whole process takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish. Watch the video to see it all happen in real time, and then pop over to the Fun365 website for my styling advice and shopping list.

While I have you, a quick housekeeping note: I’m taking off tomorrow in order to spend time with family for Fourth of July, but will be back to a normal posting schedule come Thursday. Have a great holiday, everybody!

How To Style A Bedroom Dresser Tabletop | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading #ad

*Don’t forget to sign up for the Dream Green DIY newsletter! The next issue hits everyone’s inboxes tomorrow, and includes a list of seven last-minute Fourth of July appetizer recipes to try. You can sign up to get on the newsletter email list here—make sure to check the box for “email” to complete your registration.
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DIY Paper Leaf String Light Garland

*This post is sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Paper Leaf String Light Garland | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading #ad

I have a feeling that today’s crafty reveal is just the beginning of a new obsession with paper greenery and flowers. I used to think that paper plants needed to look as realistic as possible and pass for the real deal, so I never even attempted it. Although I know that I could never get to this kind of level, I’m absolutely infatuated with the work (really, it’s art!) of paper plant makers like Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell and Tiffanie Turner. Lately, though, I’ve shifted my perspective on this DIY because paper greenery can be just as simple and sweet as the casual crafts I actually can do.

Long story short long, that’s exactly how my DIY Paper Leaf String Light Garland project for Oriental Trading came to be. This couldn’t-be-simpler craft takes just an hour or so to put together (grab all of the craft supplies in one fell swoop here first), and lasts forever, so no more scrambling for fresh flowers or cut branches come party time.

DIY Paper Leaf String Light Garland | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading #ad

John and I are actually hosting his family for the Fourth of July holiday next week, and I think it’s the perfect occasion to pull out my dainty green garland. I might love the look of those hand-cut green leaves, but my favorite part might just be the battery-operated string lights. Did I mention that this one couldn’t be simpler?! See for yourself by perusing the step-by-step tutorial on OTC’s Fun365 website here.

DIY Paper Leaf String Light Garland | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading #ad

*For a full list of all the quick crafts I’ve produced for Oriental Trading, click here!
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How To Care For Indoor Succulents

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

When it came time to sit down and actually write this post (which has been on my editorial calendar since a brainstorming session earlier this year), I came to a pretty quick realization: I have no idea what I’m talking about! You guys know, probably better than anyone, that I don’t have a lot of luck with keeping plants alive. More than half of the greenery in our house is fake, with only two exceptions—our fiddle leaf fig, which continues to grow despite my track record, and these houseplants that I don’t think anyone can kill.

So I decided to enlist the help of a couple creative pals of mine to contribute their knowledge to this post. Ashley Palmer and Ashley Daly are the co-owners of Retro Den in Tulsa, and two of my favorite people to follow online. They are constant sources of mid-century inspiration between their vintage shop and home styling services, but they’re also my go-to pros when it comes to succulent care. Scroll on for five of their easiest-to-copy tips that will have your succulents looking healthy and (dare I say it?) green in no time.

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

Indoor Succulent Care Guide:

1. Succulents need sunlight. All succulents need sunlight within one foot of a window. Very colorful succulents need more sunshine (6+ hours), while greener ones need less (3-4 hours).

2. Succulents don’t like to stand in water. Make sure they have drainage in the form of a pot with holes. You can also put rocks in the bottom of your planter to help aid in drainage.

3. Water your indoor succulents twice a month in the summer. You really only need to water them once a month during the winter months. Try setting an alarm on your phone or hang up this agenda so you don’t forget!

4. Overwatering is a common cause of death for succulents, so resist the urge to water as often as you would other types of houseplants.

5. Succulents can live outside if the temperatures stays above 40 degrees at night. Try a few out on your patio and a few more inside to see which environment is more successful for your lifestyle and the area you live in. Just remember to bring them inside if it gets too cold.

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

For more tricks, grab the succulent care agenda and calendar that “the Ashleys” put together and have available on their site as an instant download. The calendar is a great way to become an expert on caring for these somewhat finicky types of plants thanks to monthly prompts and advice.

Big thanks to the Retro Den gals for helping save the lives of succulents everywhere—but maybe especially in our home right here in Virginia (wink, wink). Oh, and P.S. The healthy succulents you see pictured in today’s post are safely still in residence at our favorite plant resource in town, Ivy Nursery. Maybe we’ll feel confident enough to adopt a few of our own later this summer!

How To Care For Indoor Succulents

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DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools

*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

If you guys have learned anything about me over the years (or even just over the past few days if you’re new!) I can never, ever leave “well enough” alone. I’m always thinking about how I can improve something with a little paint, glue, rope, or greenery—which is almost exactly how today’s camping craft came to be.

Scroll on to find out how to make this couldn’t-be-easier DIY potato stamped campfire stool in partnership with Duraflame, a brand we have worked with time and time again because they’re that awesome. Seriously. Get the details in both photo and video format below!

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Here’s What You’ll Need:

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step One

Use a paring knife to lightly draw a shape onto one “face” of your halved potato. Simple is best for this type of stamp project, so I drew out two different kinds of squiggles. Once you have your general shape lightly cut into the surface of the potato, go ahead and cut about a 1/2-inch deep. Next, come in from the sides of the potato to cut away the excess from the edges. You should be left with a pronounced stamp on the face of your potato.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Two

Use a paper towel to dry off any moisture from the cut surface of the potato, and then squeeze a healthy dollop of paint onto a paper plate. I used acrylic paint because I had it on hand, and I find that it’s really good at adhering to fabric (i.e. I learned the hard way that it does not come out of your clothes once it’s dry). Fabric paint will work, though, if you’d prefer to use that. Dab each of your potato stamps into the paint to load it up with pigment, then lightly tap off the excess paint on a clean area of the paper plate.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Three

If you’re able to take your camping stool apart, do so now and lay the fabric on a flat work surface for stamping. If you’re not able to take the fabric off the frame (like our stool), you can press a piece of thick scrap cardboard under the fabric to give yourself a fairly even surface to work on. Press the paint-laden potato stamp onto the fabric, gently pressing into all sides for an evenly painted shape. Then, lift the stamp straight off. Reload the stamp with paint and repeat, rotating and switching out the stamps every now and then to get a random look.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Four

Fill any uneven shapes in with extra paint using an angled detail paint brush. NOTE: if you’re able to remove the fabric on your stool and stamp over a truly even work surface, you probably won’t need to worry as much about doing this step.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Five

Let the paint on the stools dry for 24 hours before handling or folding, then you’re done and ready to pack the DIY-decorated seats up for your next camping or bonfire adventure. Click ‘Play’ on the video below to see the whole process in action!

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Again, the stools were perfectly fine right out of the box, but I love the patterned seat so much more than the original plain fabric. Now that we customized them, there’s no chance that they’ll be mistaken for anything other than ours.

Another thing I’m smitten with is how easy these stools are to fold and pack away for travel. In fact, we’ve since tucked them and a box of Firelogs into the flat space under the back seats in my car so they’re handy for any spontaneous bonfire with friends this summer.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Big thanks to Duraflame for helping inspire this fun seasonal craft, and now I’m dying to know: what pattern would you use for your stamp? Would you do simple polka dots or triangles? Maybe something a little more complicated, like hearts or even letters to spell something out? Do tell in the comments below, and allow me to be the first to wish you a happy start to summer today!

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

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How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée

*This post was sponsored by Devils Backbone Brewing Company

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Did you know that the first official day of summer is tomorrow? We’re so excited to dive into our seasonal to-do list and spend as much time as possible outside with friends and family. This year John and I are feeling extra motivated to step out of our box and try new things, and one thing we’ve got our sights set on is the idea of more gatherings. They don’t have to be big or complicated—even if it’s just the two of us plus our parents and sisters, it’ll be a blast. We have visions of all of us gathered around the fire pit in the backyard, beer bottles in hand, and summery tunes playing in the background…can you picture it?!

To help motivate me to bring this idea to life, I teamed up with Devils Backbone Brewing Company, which just so happens to be right down the mountain from us here in Waynesboro (and also happens to be one of Virginia’s largest craft breweries). After chatting with the DB Family, I found out that they specialize in crisp, refreshing lagers, and that lagers are actually pretty complex to make despite their seemingly simple flavor.

So, inspired by DB’s Gold Leaf LagerI’m sharing summer party-planning tips that follow that same concept: a great get-together takes time and persistence to pull off, but a little pre-planning makes all the difference. Scroll on to find out how we managed to make our idea for a ‘Logs & Lager’ soirée around a bonfire feel simple and sweet.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Make A Plan Several Weeks Ahead:

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but it always bears repeating: any good get-together has to start with a plan. As soon as we made the decision to host everyone for a fire pit party, we started gathering pieces for the event (think: indoor/outdoor plates and platters, cases of beer, a few little decorative details). You can even plan your menu ahead of time by printing or emailing recipes to yourself that catch your eye. Having these things stacked in one place takes a little time, but all of that work will be so appreciated come party time when the whole event comes together with seemingly little effort.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Choose Your Beer Wisely:

This is one of those things that you don’t want to leave until the last minute. As you probably already know, beer is often made and released based on the season, so stick to a summery beer that features light, crisp tasting notes to complement a warm weather barbecue.

Devils Backbone’s Gold Leaf Lager is our family’s go-to beer this time of year, and it’s one that pretty much everyone at your backyard gathering will like. It’s pale gold, light- to medium-bodied with subtle fresh bready notes, and a clean, crisp finish. Bready, clean, crisp—can you think of anything more appropriate for summer? Yeah, we couldn’t either, so DB’s Gold Leaf lager was a no-brainer for our ‘Logs & Lager’ event.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

DIY Decorated Ice Bucket:

We had our beer, yes, but how should we actually serve it? I’m not a huge fan of guests having to dig into our fridge to grab their own craft brews, so I whipped up a quick “Grab a ‘Gold’ One!” sign in Photoshop (inspired by our case of Gold Leaf Lager, of course!), then I printed it out, and used washi tape to stick it to the side of a plastic ice bucket that we kept outside.

You can download the free printable sign here to use at your own party, and just in case you’d prefer a more generalized sign, you can download the alternative “Grab a ‘Cold’ One!” version of the printable here. I may be biased, but I’m of the mind that these little details make a party feel really special.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Thoughtful Decorative Details:

Speaking of decorative details, I also came up with a simple way to manipulate multicolored wine glass charms so that folks who preferred to drink their lagers sans glass could keep track of their beer bottles. Just grab a set of traditional metal wine charms (ours came from Target), open them up, and snap them over the necks of all those beer bottles before nestling them into the ice bucket outside. Then, each guest can take note of his or her personal charm as they grab a beer from the bucket so they don’t accidentally pick up someone else’s bottle later on.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Plan A Menu Centered Outside:

The whole point of this type of backyard party is to keep people outside to enjoy the summery weather, so make it natural for your guests to wander under the sun. Base your menu around things that can be grilled—like seasonal veggies and beer-marinated chicken (stay tuned for the recipe next week!)—that way your family and friends will hang out around the grill and bonfire rather than inside the house in the kitchen. Oh, and don’t forget to stock up on shatter-proof melamine plates and platters while you’re at it to reduce the risk of broken glass on your patio.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

When you go to a party, don’t you always appreciate when the host and hostess are laid back and at ease? And when you’re the ones actually hosting said gathering, don’t you love being able to enjoy time with your guests rather than scrambling last-minute?

I feel like the only way to pull off that simple, casual vibe is by having a plan in place, and making sure you leave no detail unconsidered. The good news is that the more you do it, the easier it gets (another thing I learned from Devils Backbone and their deceptively simple brewing process), so I think that sentiment is the perfect excuse to plan as many summery soirees as possible this season—who’s with me?!

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

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DIY Waterproofed Wood Bath Tray

*This post was sponsored by Hunker

DIY Waterproofed Wood Bath Tray

Whenever I’m feeling stressed or sad, I almost always look to the water to help bring me a little peace. That could mean a walk by the river, sitting on the side porch during a big summer rain storm, or (my go-to activity of choice) a bubble bath.

Not wanting to be left out of the bath tray trend that seems to have overtaken my Instagram and Pinterest feeds as of late, I pitched the idea for a modern DIY-able version of this portable wood surface to my editor at Hunker. Happily, she was all for it, and I’m debuting the step-by-step tutorial with you guys this morning.

DIY Waterproofed Wood Bath Tray

The only problem with seeing DIY bath trays all over the Internet already is that I needed to think really hard about how I could set my particular version of the project apart. My first idea was to give this tray a sleek modern edge. It’s a super basic shape that, I think, makes it feel a little more contemporary than a lot of the rustic-inspired trays I’ve seen so often. The simple shape of my tray means that it’s (you guessed it!) simple to put together, too.

DIY Waterproofed Wood Bath Tray

DIY Waterproofed Wood Bath Tray

Another thing that I made sure to add to my tray and tutorial is a book stand. Two small blocks of wood glued to the surface of the tray instantly gave the plain surface a boost of functionality. You can prop an open book between the blocks for hands-free reading, or you can do the same with a tablet or even your phone.

Visit Hunker for all of the DIY details, and trust me when I say that you can make this without having any kind of wood-working experience to your name. Want more bubble bath inspiration? Revisit my stress-relieving bath time playlist here!

DIY Waterproofed Wood Bath Tray

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What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

Yup, I did it again! I signed up for yet another wheel-throwing pottery class at Make Waynesboro Clay Studio with Sherri Raffaele, and today I’m debuting photos of my new ceramics collection. You can see pieces from my very first collection here, and those from my second batch by clicking this link. Then, of course, you’re invited to scroll on to see all 14 pieces in the latest bunch.

Suffice to say I feel like I’ve gotten a little more adventurous with my techniques with this most recent collection of plates, bowls, cups, and mugs. My eyes have pretty much been glued to pottery videos and inspiration photos since I first started this (very random) adventure into pottery back in February, and this was the first class where I feel like I was finally able to put those design ideas to the test. Before, I was so focused on just learning how to create forms, but now I’m finding myself refocusing on the decorative aspects—things like etching, carving, glaze color combinations, and even painterly details.

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

Instead of explaining my thought process behind each piece in the collection, I thought it might be fun to chat through a few of those broader design elements I mentioned before. Below, I’m sharing close-ups of all 14 pieces broken up into categories based on the techniques I used. If you don’t care to know about these details, feel free to scroll through quickly or just look at the photos!

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

Etched and carved

First up, the carved pieces. If you’re just tuning in, my college degree is in art with a focus on drawing, so it’s probably not all that surprising to see at least a few pieces with designs drawn into them.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been busy gathering inspiration images of pretty pottery online, so I kept a lot of those images on hand in the studio to inspire the shapes and designs I translated into clay—things like the leafy mug, dashed vase, and bowl covered with vines. I think my favorite one from this category is the bowl you see just above.

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

Brush strokes

Another design idea that really caught my eye while looking at other potters’ work is the concept of visible strokes. The pieces you see above were all first glazed in white, and then I chose a few accent glaze colors to lightly brush on top. The most successful one based on the vision I had in my head is the rimmed bowl. I was really hoping to see where the paint bristles left the surface of the bowl, and it worked!

The funny thing is that I actually threw that bowl away after I finished making it on the wheel but saved it from the trash just in the nick of time. I’m glad I decided to use it as an experiment because it worked out in the end.

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

All “black”

Those two above were supposed to be all black, but they came out more brown. I must not have mixed the glaze for long enough before dipping my pots in, or maybe I need to do more than one coat. At any rate, I still like how they turned out, especially the smaller, rounder vase. I actually love how the glaze only “took” to half of the form, leaving one side matte and the other glossy. If I ever get around to opening an Etsy shop for my pottery, that one might just be the hardest to let go of.

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

Glaze drawing

The trio you see above is the result of some ideas I gathered for drawing on the pottery with glaze instead of a carving tool. I saw someone with a cool face mug on Instagram, so I took a screenshot of it to use later on in the pottery studio for inspiration. The other two—the dashed double belly vase, and the polka dot tea cup—are two more of my favorites from the entire collection.

It was really fun to play around with color and learn more about how different shades of glaze react with each other. Black over white, for example, comes out almost green after firing, but I love the final shade even more than my initial vision of true black over white.

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

Spots and specks

To wrap things up, here are two cups I made with a spotted vibe. If you remember from my first collection, I used a bristle paint brush to splatter dots on the pieces, but the spots were pretty hard to control that way. This time around, I used a detail paint brush to literally place my specks. I don’t hate the final look of those pictured above, but I think I actually like the random splatters from collection one a little more. Which do you prefer?

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

If you can’t tell, I’m positively smitten with making pottery, which is saying something because I came home practically in tears after my first class. John still tells me how surprised he is that I even went back after that first day, but now I’m onto my fourth class and have plans to become a studio member so I can go whenever I want.

Are you enjoying these roundups, or have they lost their appeal? I totally get it if you’re not interested since it’s not exactly a DIY craft, but I think my main goal in sharing my results after each class is to encourage all of you to consider taking a local creative class. Learning a new skill is so empowering and really pushes a person to come up with new ideas. I also think creative classes or workshops help a person appreciate the artisans who make these things day in and day out. At least I know I’ll never look at professional pottery the same ever again. What type of skill would you like to learn this summer?

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

What I Made In My Third Pottery Class

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Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Back in 2011 when I started this blog I figured most of my time would be spent dreaming up projects and bringing DIYs to life. Seven years later, that’s still a major part of the work I do, but I didn’t anticipate just how much of my day would be taken up with teaching myself how to use a camera to document it all.

I’ve talked about photography here on Dream Green DIY before, but I’ve lately been getting lots of reader questions about the equipment I use and requests for tips on how to take good interior shots. To be honest, I still feel like a newbie (especially since most of my friends are professional wedding photographers), but I figured it was worth me sharing the things I’ve picked up over the years in case you’re looking to take better photos for your own blogs—or even Instagram!

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

It’s Always Better To Over-Shoot

On average, I shoot 300-500 images for each project or room I photograph. This allows me to schedule just one shoot to get all of the images I need. I remember back in the day when I used to take just a handful of images (during the right time of day to get the best light) only to realize that I missed out on photographing key elements when I actually got down to editing. Do yourself a favor and shoot way more than you actually need so you can get all the angles and details needed for final image selections.

Speaking of selections, I usually edit those collections of 300-500 photos down to about 25-50—those are the only ones I actually edit. I don’t use all of the images from each collection for the final blog posts, so that allows me to have lots of extras that I can use later on for my Instagram feed or even for future blog posts about a similar-but-different topic.

For example, the photos just above and below came from the updated family room tour I photographed for the blog in February. Because I had overshot the space, I was able to use extra photos that didn’t appear in the first post in a second post in April all about my three favorite corners in our home. Again, I repeat: it’s always better to over-shoot!

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Try Composing Your Shots Straight-On

One thing I’ve learned from flipping through shelter magazines and interior design books is that a lot of professional photographers shoot rooms straight-on. In other words, the photographer literally crouches down right smack in front of a piece of furniture or doorway to shoot it. This gives the photo a really crisp, clean look because all of the straight lines sort of sync up within the rectangle of the image.

Take a quick look at the photo of our family room couch above. This was shot straight-on with the back of the couch lined up perfectly with the hanging rug and the ceiling, and then, finally, with the top of the photograph itself. Now scroll down to the photo just below of the same set-up shot at an angle. It’s a pretty different look and feel, right?

As I mentioned in the point before this one, I always try to get a few straight-on and angled images of each vignette, but I tend to use straight shots for the main photos in each blog post I use them in. While it’s certainly personal preference, I still recommend trying to shoot straight-on if you want to mimic the look of the photos you see in magazines and design books.

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Don’t Forget Soft Details

One thing I didn’t mention before about those pulled-back, straight-on photos is that I usually shoot those with a smaller aperture (like f/8, f/11) in order to maximize the depth of field. This allows me to get most of the photo in focus. For detail shots, on the other hand, I like to set my camera to a larger aperture (like f/1.4 or f/2.8) for a smaller, softer depth of field.

If you’re not shooting manual then those numbers probably don’t mean all that much to you (and look backwards, haha), but the basic idea is to make sure you photograph a bunch of soft details in any room you’re documenting. I always try to snap a few soft close-ups of things like greenery, light fixtures, book spines, and other little decorative details that help give a room tour a bit of intimacy and interest. Let me know if you want a full blog post about how to shoot in manual!

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Make The Most Of Bright Natural Daylight

Thinking back again to my early days of blogging, I used to shoot projects and rooms any time—day or night. I turned on overhead lighting to brighten whatever it was that I was photographing, which often led to lots of shadows and over-saturated colors that felt unnatural. It took me a couple of years, but I eventually discovered that there’s so much truth to what they say about photographing only when there’s lots of natural light to be had.

I could go into detail about how to make a room look bright with manual camera settings, even on dark, dreary days, but that would probably need to be an entirely different blog post. The best thing you can do for yourself when starting out is to wait for the brightest time of the day to photograph your room. This will make the colors look more realistic and you won’t have to fight high contrast shadows.

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Invest In Good Equipment

…but do it over time! I have gone through three cameras thus far in my blogging journey, which has helped me budget incrementally for each upgrade. To be entirely candid, my current set-up cost me exactly $4,787.39. This includes my main camera body, a 35mm wide angle lens, a 50mm lens for closer shots, and a PowerShot G7 X that I use mostly for videos but occasionally break out for blog photos, too. Everything I purchased came from authorized used sellers on Amazon.

When I first started blogging in 2011, I used a Canon Rebel camera (that John already had) and an inexpensive 50mm lens. I eventually upgraded to a Canon EOS 7D, and then sold that a couple of years later to invest in my current Canon 5D Mark III. My more expensive L-series lenses were also purchased over time as my budget allowed.

By upgrading slowly, I never felt overwhelmed by the equipment I had. It would have been silly for me to invest over $4,000 in equipment when I first launched the blog because (1) I didn’t have any clue how to use a camera, and (2) I wasn’t even sure that blogging was right for me. Now that it’s my full-time job, though, the investment is definitely worth it. Moral of the story? Don’t rush into major camera purchases until you’ve had a chance to really decide that it’s the right thing for you.

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

I feel like that was a ton of information, but I still only just barely scratched the surface! Is there anything else you’d like me to talk about where interior and lifestyle photography is concerned? Any takers for a full post about how I edit photos, or how to use a manual camera? I’m an open book, so feel free to make any requests or ask questions in the comments below.

Interior & Lifestyle Photography 101

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5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

A year and a half ago I decided to take a drastic turn with the style and aesthetic of both our home and this blog. Instead of designing around bright colors, I went a little looser with my palette, introducing things like earth tones and a huge variety of wood grains. It might have seemed a little sudden, and, frankly, it was, but I just hated the idea of being pigeon-holed within a poppy color palette for the sake of Instagram likes and repins on Pinterest. I’m a pretty independent person by nature, so I instinctively resist the concept of being controlled—even by my own home décor aesthetic!

Since then, I’ve had a blast playing around with new design concepts, and have found myself really drawn to a minimalist look. If you’ve been following along for any length of time, this is all super old news to you, and you also already know that I’ll never really be a “true” minimalist. That said, I’ve picked up a handful of minimalist tricks over the past couple of years that you might find helpful if you’ve been considering a shift toward a parred-back home yourself. Scroll on for a list of my top five tips for nailing a minimalist look when you’re just starting out.

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try:

1. Go back to color basics: It probably goes without saying, but stick to neutral tones—things like white, black, cream, brown, and gray. Try this: choose just one room in your house and remove all of the colorful pieces, leaving only neutral accents and furniture behind. See if you even like the minimalist look, then you can be more intentional about layering in neutral-colored replacement pieces over time.

2. Consign, sell, or donate what you don’t need: One of the fundamental keys to minimalism is having less stuff out on display. Because I’m something of a recovering hoarder (see our last house as proof of my low point), I’ll probably never be able to consider myself a real minimalist, but I’ve gotten so much better about getting rid of all the clothes, art, furniture, and little odds and ends that we don’t use regularly. Consigning or donating a lot of your extra stuff will make your home feel much more minimalist and simplified, and it doesn’t cost you a thing!

3. Limit your pattern mixing: Before moving toward a minimalist look at home, I had a massive collection of patterned textiles in each room. The combined affect of all that pattern mixing was pretty dramatic. Now I try to limit things like my throw pillows to one set color palette (white, cream, and soft blue or green) and our bedding is all solid-colored. You can add back just a hint of drama by choosing pillows and throw blankets in a variety of textures (think: woven, knitted, fringed, etc.).

4. Paint the walls white: I think white walls have started to go out of style in terms of “trends,” but I still love our white-painted rooms. It’s the fastest way to simplify a room, so maybe start here if you think that minimalism might be right for you.

5. Leave white wall space: Speaking of that fresh coat of paint, resist the urge to cover it all up with lots of art. White space is your very best friend when it comes to minimalism, so you could try choosing just two or three favorite pieces of wall art to hang in your newly whitened and brightened space.

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

I definitely don’t think that minimalism is for everyone. Truth be told, I actually lost a lot of readers when I made the shift over to a different type of look with my décor and DIY projects, but one thing I will never, ever compromise on is a person’s right to be themselves.

If you love the idea of going minimalist at home, then these tips should help give you a good foundation, but if you’re head over heels for saturated colors and bold patterns, by all means, celebrate that! Our homes are practically the only places in the world where we get to do exactly what we want to do, so design your space around all the things that make you happy. Tell me about your own design aesthetic in the comments below.

5 Minimalist Design Ideas To Try At Home

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