DIY Fall Inspired Book Page Leaves

This is seriously one of the easiest DIY’s I’ve done to date as well as the least expensive! I purchased two books from the Salvation Army for $1 total. That’s it. A $1 DIY. Now that is a DIY that even my most frugal of friends can get on board with. Am I right?!? It definitely helped that I had all the other items on hand.

To make these budget friendly fall inspired book page leaves you’ll need the supplies listed below.

Supplies:

Old book(s)
Scissors
Acrylic paint in desired colors
Paint brush for each color
Bowl
Water
Freezer paper

Tip: I used crimson, gold, and orchid yellow paint.

Step 1: Tear out the book pages from the book(s).

Step 2: Line up several pages, then fold them in half, long ways.

Tip: Apply ample pressure when folding the pages to ensure the crease is well defined.

Step 3: Starting near the bottom of the side with the crease, cut upwards then out to make a leaf shape. I just eyed mine. Reference the picture below to give you an idea of how mine looks.

Step 4: Fill the bowl half way with water.

Step 5: Tear off about 2 feet of freezer paper and lay flat. Then Tear off a second smaller piece to cover the space you will be painting the paper leaves on. This makes the clean up easy.

Step 6: Dip your brush in the water, then dab it in the desired paint color and paint the leaf. Once your done, lay it flat on the freezer paper. Let the leaf dry for about 15 minutes, then flip it. This will prevent the leaf from sticking to the freezer paper.

Tip: For some of the leaves I dabbed the paintbrush in two or even all three colors to give them a more discolored authentic look. 

Step 7: Repeat step 6 until you have the desired amount of book page leaves.

Step 8: Let the leaves dry overnight then the sky is the limit!

I snapped a couple of photos to give you ideas on how to style them below, but the possibilities are endless.

A fall charger

Spruce up an olive bucket
 

You can also use them to make:

a wreath
name cards for a table setting
table runner
garland

I am using them to create a table runner for my fall tablescape post that will be on the blog next month and I can’t wait to show you all. Stay tuned!

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed my budget friendly DIY as well as inspired you to think outside the box when decorating your home for the upcoming fall season. This just goes to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something beautiful. If you decide to make these book page leaves, I would love for you to share it with me on Instagram! My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns You can also message me on Instagram or leave a comment below if you have any questions. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Until next time. Xoxo

Our Summer Soiree 2017

Our second annual summer party was a success! This year we did a tropical theme with flamingo sugar cookies, lots of pineapples, and a balloon garland, that was insanely simple to make!

We still haven’t purchased outdoor furniture, so we went with the good ol’ pallet table this year…again. The pallets we used this year are actually the same pallets we used last year. I just gave them a good cleaning and they were good to go.

Plus I like the rustic vibe the pallets give. The craziest part is we spent less than $25 on all the decor. That covered the balloons & flowers. Everything else we already had. Pretty and budget friendly.

I do want to give a shout out to my hubby for letting me do my thing and helping along the way. He always just goes with the flow when it comes to my party planning. Bless his heart. Instead of getting all wordy, ill let the pictures do the talking.

The decor

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decor, so I opted for a balloon garland and fresh flowers. Flowers are an inexpensive way to spruce up a table.

The balloon garland was so easy and it really made the drink station pop! I made this quick how-to video to show you how to make your own! Side note, I started a YouTube channel to start posting my DIY videos! Yay! I would love for you to follow along with me. I just started it, so my channel is not looking the best, but I am super excited to create how-to video’s. My channel is HERE. You can also subscribe from the balloon garland video link above.

The tablescape

I used scrapbook paper and cut out tropical leaves to add a pop of color to the place settings. Aren’t they cute?!?

I planned on doing so much more, but baby K got sick the day before the party and mommin’ took priority. As it should. The table decor was minimal, but I think the guests were more focused on the food anyway.

The drink

I made a berry beer punch. It was super simple and the guests loved it. For that extra touch I made raspberry ice cubes and topped the drinks with a cherry, slice of lime, and mint, then served with a gold paper straw. Easy peasy. I found this simple and delicious recipe on Pinterest HERE.

The food

Both years we have served beet & goat cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette that my hubby makes from scratch. It’s always a big hit and usually the first to be devoured. I honestly don’t know which one of us came up with the recipe, but it’s one of our favorites! Beets have always been one of my favorite vegetables. I even converted my hubby. He use to tell me that they tasted like dirt. 😂 But after years of serving them with dinner he gave in. The recipe for this crowd pleaser is at the bottom of this post.

We also served an assortment of cheese, of course. Cheese is my kryptonite. I could literally eat it on anything. Can’t most of us?!? The cheese we served included: Brie, Dutch Gouda, Aged Gouda, & Pesto Gouda. Do you see a theme?!? Give me ALL the Gouda!

I fancied the Brie up and added fig butter from Trader Joe’s, blueberries, and honey. Can you say yum! I am pretty sure I ate half of the wedge. I just couldn’t help myself.

The dessert

I made flamingo, ice cream cones, & watermelon sugar cookies.

And of course I made pie. Blueberry pie to be exact.

Well friends, that’s it for this post! I hope this inspired you in some way. Make sure to check out the balloon garland video to learn how easy it is to make. The recipe for the beet & goat cheese salad is directly below.

Until next time. XO

 

Shop This Post

 

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe

Salad ingredients:

4 – 6 fresh beets

4 oz block of goat cheese

1 1/2 cups of pecan halves

Spring mix

Rosemary (fresh or dry)

Olive oil

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Wash the fresh beets, then cut both ends off each one.

Tip: You do not need to remove the skin. Once the beets are done the skin will easily slide off.

Step 3: On a lipped baking sheet, place the beets two inches apart.

Step 4: Drizzle olive oil over each beet evenly, then coat each beet with fresh or dry rosemary.

Step 5: Bake the beets for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Until soft.

Step 6: Let the beets cool completely then slide the skin off the beets.

Tip: Beet juice will stain your hands. I recommend wearing gloves.

Step 7: Slice the beets and then set aside.

Step 8: Prepping the salad. Put the spring mix on the bottom of the dish, then crumble the goat cheese on top of the spring mix. I just used my hands. 😊

Step 9: Place the beet slices evenly on the salad, then pour the dressing over the salad.

Step 10: Top the salad with the pecan halves and serve immediately

 

Raspberry vinaigrette ingredients:

1 pint of raspberries

1/5 cup of champagne vinegar

1 1/2 cups of olive oil

1 tbsp of dijon mustard

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Step 1: Using a blender combine all the ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE OLIVE OIL, blend on high until smooth.

Step 2: Turn the blender to medium speed and slowly pour the olive oil into the blender until all combined.

Step 3: Once all the olive oil has been added blend on high for 5-10 seconds.

Step 4: Refrigerate or pour over the salad and serve immediately!

 

 

 

 

Lemon & Vanilla Bean Tart Recipe

My friends say I “stress bake”. It is true. I find peace in baking. With trying to juggle my career, working towards obtaining my black belt in lean six sigma, two kids, a hubby, an ever-shedding dog, my blog, and a house, sometimes I just need to go to my happy place. Baking. It also makes my coworkers and neighbors happy because I make so much that I have to give it away. 😂 So much that my coworkers said they were going to start a baking fund for me. Well I hope they come hungry Monday, because when life gives you lemons that are about to go bad and a vanilla bean you find in the pantry that you forgot you bought, you make a lemon & vanilla bean tart. Or in my case three.

The first time I made this lemon tart, I got so many messages asking for the recipe that I decided to share it. I found THIS RECIPE on good ol’ Pinterest. There is no need to recreate the wheel, right?!?

 Bonus, it is very easy to follow. But this time around I altered the recipe a little and I love how it turned out! So much that I could not stop licking the spoon. 😂 Look at that lemon vanilla bean goodness!

I used store bought pie dough, that I blind baked, instead of making the crust from scratch. I really want to make this with the crust recipe, but my lazy side kicks in and I always end up going with store bought. 😬

I still used THIS RECIPE (using 3 whole eggs) as the base, but made these alterations:

1. Omitted the heavy cream

2. Used the zest and lemon juice from two lemons instead of three

3. Mixed in one whole organic vanilla bean

I can’t tell you how much I love it with the vanilla bean addition. It is pure bliss.

The recipe takes about 5 minutes to put together and 15 minutes to make the curd. Any dessert is a winner in my book if it only takes 20 minutes to make!

After you pour the curd in the baked shell, put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours. I let mine chill overnight for extra firmness. Then I topped it with fresh berries and powdered sugar the next day.

Serve immediately or take to your coworkers & neighbors. 😊

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I truly love sharing my baking adventures and DIY’s. I hope you find inspiration in my posts. I pour a lot of love into them.

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if I wasn’t clear on the recipe above. If you decide to make my version, I would love to hear it! Feel free to leave a comment below or come say hi on Instagram! My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns You can also follow along with me on Pinterest. My username is acarriedaffair

Have a beautiful day. Until next time. Xo

Shop This Post

Master Bathroom Makeover

This makeover had been a long time coming. It wasn’t ugly. It just wasn’t our style, and definitely didn’t match the rest of the house. Below are some before pictures to show you what we were working with. Do you see a theme?!? Brown everywhere!! The walls, the cabinet, the vanity top, & even the floor.

The wall color reminded me of baby K’s poo. 😂 That’s when I knew it was time.

I actually starting painting the walls in the master bathroom about 6 months ago. I initially painted the walls Argos Gray from Sherwin Williams. Then I decided I didn’t want gray because most of the walls in our house are gray and it just didn’t feel right. Then I started painting over the gray with the leftover white paint from the laundry room makeover. You can see that makeover HERE. But the paint didn’t cover very well, and it was stark white, too white. So I decided I wanted a warmer white. I know, crazy right?!? Even I was questioning my sanity.

See what I mean?!? I went home decor crazy for just a minute. 😂

I ended up going with Snowbound White from Sherwin Williams. I LOVE it!! It was exactly what I wanted. I’m glad it only took me painting the walls two times with two  different colors to figure it out. 😏

After painting the walls, I bought the round mirror. I wasn’t 100% sure on the styling at this time, but I was 100% sure on the mirror. I knew I wanted that mirror, so I used that as my inspiration.

It took me a very long time to figure out how I wanted to style the bathroom. I initially wanted marble countertops and all white everything. But then I realized we aren’t rich and couldn’t afford marble countertops. Then I wanted to cover the walls in honeycomb tile, but after tiling the laundry room I decided, no.

This updated space is an extra special DIY because I just went with things I loved instead of scrolling through Pinterest. Sometimes Pinterest can be overwhelming and sway your thinking. Am I right?!? So I went on a Pinterest strike while figuring out what I wanted. All I can say is thank god for Amazon! Instead of Pinterest, I looked up random items like “brass light fixture” and just scrolled until I found one I wanted. I basically did this with everything. Most of the items are actually from Amazon and at a fraction of the price from what you would pay at a big box store. 🙌🏼

While I was waiting for all the items from Amazon to come in, I put up the wall decor & of course added greenery. I used the same shelving brackets from our laundry room makeover HERE. They are so sturdy, but look clean and modern. Exactly what I wanted.

You can buy the brackets HERE. If you buy these brackets make sure you read the dimensions carefully! There were several bad reviews because the width of the shelf the brackets hold is misleading. I purchased the 8″ brackets, which translates to 7.25 or 7 1/4 inches wide for the actual shelf. The brackets are the sizes as advertised, but the shelf itself needs to be .75 inches smaller in width for the shelf to fit. Meaning, if you buy the 10 inch brackets you’ll want to buy a piece of wood 9.25 inches wide not 10″. Other than that, they are perfect!

I bought the wall hooks from Target in brass originally, but they were more gold when I got them home, so I spray painted them matte black with paint I already had on hand.

The next thing I tackled was the cabinet. Initially I wanted a mid-century dresser that I planned on turning into a vanity. My friend had even found one for me! But on the day I was going to pick it up from the seller, she text me and told me it had been water damaged from the last rain fall. Boo! I was disappointed. Then I went to plan B and decided to paint the cabinet.

I used matte black chalkboard paint from Lowe’s then did a top coat with Annie Sloan soft wax for protection.

I bought the hardware from Amazon. They were crazy inexpensive! I bought a 10 pack of the t-bar drawer pulls, and a 5 pack of the t-bar knobs all for $25! Bonus, I plan to use the leftover t-bar pulls for the shelf doors in the loft. Two birds, one stone!

After I painted the cabinet, I focused on the floor. I went back and forth about the floor for over a week. One day I wanted to do a stencil, then the next day I wanted to rip it out and put new down, but I ended up painting it a solid color. I used Rust-oleum chalk paint in Charcoal. I was hesitant at first with the cabinet painted black, but I actually really like it. I think the runner gives it enough contrast.

I read a lot of tutorials about painting the floor. I had never painted a floor before so I needed all the help I could get! I used my sweet friend April’s tutorial HERE to guide me through the process and it worked like a charm! Plus I love her floor and basically everything she does. ❤️

After the floors were dry, it was time to put in the light fixture. Isn’t she a beaut?!?

I have always been afraid of messing with electrical, so I usually have my amazing FIL do them when he comes to visit. However, he told me it would be a couple weeks until he got the chance to come over, and I am super impatient and didn’t want to wait that long. So I put my big girl pants on and decided I would conquer my fear.

Still afraid I was going to electrocute myself, I shut the power off to the entire upstairs. 😂 I didn’t think about our wifi that resides upstairs until my oldest son yelled, “Mom, the tv stopped working!” Oops! 😬

After I was 100% sure that all the switches were flipped off, hooking the light up was a breeze. Definitely a lot easier than I thought and took me less than 30 minutes to get it done. My favorite thing about the light fixture, is the simplicity of it and the fact it shows the vintage light bulbs. 😍

After the light fixture was in, it was time to take out the vanity. I searched everywhere for a single wood plank that was big enough for the countertop, but couldn’t find one in our price range. So I ended up buying 3 oak planks to make the countertop.

When I asked the older gentleman associate at Lowe’s for assistance with the wood selection, he told me to go with oak instead of pine or poplar because oak is a hardwood and the other two options are softwood. To be honest, I didn’t know that there was a difference. I just knew the other options were less expensive. But after the associate told me that the oak would be better with water exposure over time, I went with the oak as he suggested.

Materials for vanity countertop:

Wood:

3 – 7 x 61.5 x .75

1 – 5 x 61.5 x .75 (backsplash)

Tools & Materials:

Tape measure

Pencil

Dremel

Sander with 220 grit sandpaper

Electric drill

Wood glue

2 clamps

Liquid Nails

Kreg Jig

1 1/4 inch Kreg screws

1.5 inch hole saw (faucet holes)

2 3/4 inch hole saw (vessel sink holes)

Wood conditioner

Early American Minwax wood finish

One coat polyurethane

3 foam brushes

Damp cloth

All the materials to make the vanity cost me around $130. Not the least expensive, but a lot less than buying one. 😬 The wood by itself was around $88. The additional cost was for tool accessories to make the holes for the faucets and sinks. I had everything else.

The first thing I did was mark where I wanted the faucets and sinks to go using a tape measure & pencil.

THIS WAS KEY as I did not want to put screws (using the Kreg Jig) where I would need to drill the holes for the faucets and sinks.

Once I had everything measured I used the Kreg Jig to make holes in the wood to connect the three pieces. I might of gotten over zealous, but I wanted to make sure they were secured to each other. My goal was to make the three pieces look like one piece.

Next I used wood gorilla glue and glued the sides together.

After I applied all the glue, I used two clamps to hold them together until I had put all the screws in. Because the wood was only .75 inches thick, I used a 1 1/4 inch fine thread Kreg screw. I would recommend using fine thread over coarse thread screws if you go with hardwood. I used a damp towel to wipe off any visible glue and then let it dry overnight.

Next I used the electric sander (220 grit) to smooth the surface. One of the boards was a little raised on one side so I used my handy dandy Dremel with the sander attachment to level everything. Worked like a charm! After I was done leveling the wood, I went back over it with the sander, then wiped it clean before I started the painting process.

First, I applied 2 coats of wood conditioner.

Usually I don’t go to this extreme while staining. Actually, I never have used wood conditioner until now, but with the chance of excessive exposure to water I didn’t take any shortcuts.

I let the wood conditioner dry for about 8 hours then stained it with Early American wood finish from Minwax.

I applied one thin coat, let the stain sit for about 1 minute, then wiped it off using a damp towel. If you want a darker look, let the stain sit for a few minutes before wiping it down. I let the stain dry overnight then applied the polyurethane the next morning.

Minus the sanding and Dremel steps, I did the same process for the backsplash piece.

Once the polyurethane was dry it was time to drill the holes for the faucets and sinks.

I had to use two different saw hole sizes. For the faucets I used a 1.5 inch saw hole and for the sinks I used a 2 3/4 inch saw hole.

After the holes were drilled, I used liquid nails to secure the wood to the cabinet and the backslash to the countertop, then put the sinks and faucets in.

I went back and forth about the color of the faucets. At first I wanted black, but with the floor and cabinet both black/charcoal I opted for the brass. I bought two faucets for $49 each through Amazon. That is a steal if you have shopped for faucets at big box stores. They were between $100 – $200 at other places I looked. In the end I am so happy I went with brass faucets. I LOVE THEM and the quality is amazing!

After the faucets and sinks were in place, my hubby hooked the water up. Good thing, because I assembled the faucets incorrectly. 😬 The vessel sinks are also from Amazon and the popup drains were included. Both sinks together cost $98 total! Also a steal! Amazon might be the best of EVER.

After the water was hooked up we were in business!

I had never been so happy to see streaming water from a faucet!

Funny story, when my hubby was having me check if the hoses were hooked up right (hot on left, cold on right), I turned the faucet on full blast and the water shot out all over him. 😂 He turned the water pressure down after that and so that doesn’t happen again, but his face was priceless! 😂😂

Total this project cost roughly $700 for everything. I’m talking decor, fixtures, tools, everything. It may sound like a lot, but it was far less expensive then what we would have paid to have a contractor do it. 😊

I still plan on changing the shower head, but for now, I am over the moon with how this space came together.

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you found it inspiring and helpful if you are thinking about doing a bathroom makeover. Just know, it takes time.  Lot of time. This was 6+ months in the making. Obviously we didn’t buy everything at once. I would pick up an item here and there as our budget would allow. So if you are in the middle of a project that seems like it is taking forever, be patient with yourself and enjoy the adventure of building a space you love.

If you have any questions please leave a comment or message me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns I would love to know what you think about this makeover!

Until next time. Happy DIY’ing! Xo

Shop This Post