Jack-O-Lantern Jars

I finally got all my Halloween decor up including these cute little jack-o-lantern jars my daughter and I made years ago! So I decided to do a post on how to make your own! This would be a fun craft to do with your kids! I mean what kid doesn’t like to tear paper, play with glue and create something that they can bring out year after year!

The supplies you will need:

A glass jar of some sort (I used ball jars)

Orange and black tissue paper

Mod Podge (see below for a homemade ModPodge recipe)

Paint brush


Your imagination!

First step is to rip up the orange tissue paper into pieces

Cut out the face shapes from the black tissue paper. (This can be tricky so this may be better suited for older kids. You can always have the younger ones draw the face on another piece of paper for you to use as a pattern so they can be involved in the design! )

I worked in sections painting the jar with the glue mixture and applying the orange paper pieces.

It’s ok to overlap pieces just make sure there is glue under the overlapping section to hold it down. I use my paint brush to apply the glue on the edges of each piece as I apply them.

Once the whole jar is covered with the orange paper and the glue mixture

you can add the face making sure to paint the area with the glue mixture before applying.

After you have the face on you will want to gently paint the whole jar with the glue mixture to seal it, then set it aside to dry.

Once it’s dry you can use it for candles or tea lights to add a little Halloween fun to a shelf or table! πŸŽƒ


Homemade ModPodge


White Glue



In a jar mix the white glue and water on a 2 to 1 ratio. So if you use 1/2c of glue you would add 1/4c of water.

Keep in a jar with lid

**Note: I used 2 tablespoons of glue to 1 tablespoon of water and would be enough to do probably 2 quart sized jars!

Pillow power…

To say I’m obsessed with pillows may be an understatement! I just love how they can completely change the way a space looks for not a big investment! Since I’m a DIY’er I am constantly making new pillow covers out of all sorts of materials! I’ve used cloth napkins, curtain panels, tablecloths, sweaters, placemats and now rag rugs! I was looking for new pillows for my front porch and since it was late summer most of the outdoor pillows were well picked over and not really what I was looking for.. So one day while I was at the dollar store I found these rag rugs that had all the colors I was looking for the fall season! 

I have seen pillows at Homegoods with this type of cover on it so I decided to try it! The first pillow I made the envelope back out of leftover drop cloth material. It worked out ok but was about all my good old sewing machine could handle…So I decided to make lumbar type pillows for my adirondack chairs. Each rug is approximately 20″x30″ so I overlapped the back a couple inches so the final size is 12″x 20″ and a travel pillow form fits perfectly! 

Instead of challenging my sewing machine with the thick layers I used some jute twine and whip stitched the sides together! 

I ran the twine between the loops and progressed down the sides with a stitch every couple loops of the rug weave.  When I got to the end I just tied off the the twine and fed it back down through a few stitches and tied it off again to make it extra secure! 

After putting the pillow form in I ran some jute twine through the weave to keep the  envelope back closed.

Here’s how they look on my porch! They will definitely make my chairs more comfy to sit in and enjoy the view! 😊

Let there be light….DIY Lampshade…

Unique DIY grapevine lamp shade instructions

This spring when we were cleaning out some wild grapevines from out landscape I made a wreath. While I was making that wreath, I had a brainstorm, to make a grapevine lampshade. So I went to Goodwill to get a cheap lampshade. I found just what I was looking for! Only $2.99😬

You need to make sure it has vertical supports.

Cut off all old covering and remove the covering off the top and bottom rings. The one I bought was a plastic material.

Once the old covering is gone now it’s time to weave the grapevine around the shade frame. Make sure you alternate front and behind the vertical supports as you go around. When you come to the end of a vine just tuck the end of the new one and continue weaving.

Keep weaving in and out until you fill the frame.

Once your satisfied with the look tuck in the last end and make sure any loose ends on the inside are tucked in tight so they won’t get too close to your light bulb. Now just let it dry out and fade to brown! (It only takes a couple days to turn brownπŸ˜‰)

Now I know not everyone lives in a woods like I do with wild grapevine all over. But you could use the same process with rope, twine, ribbon or fabric strips to customize your lampshade to your decor!  I’m thrilled with the way it turned out!!😊

The envelope sham please…

I have been on the hunt for new euro shams since I redid my bedroom this spring. First of all they aren’t the easiest thing to find for a reasonable price. I have a really hard time paying $30-40 for something I know I can make. So I decided to make my own. I bought a 54″x84″ curtain panel at Target for the material (it only cost $16).

That is one of my biggest helpful hints when looking for fabric for your home dec projects. Curtain panels and tablecloths come in a wide variety of patterns and sizes. They are very affordable when you think about how much fabric you get for your money! 

One curtain panel has enough fabric to make three envelope style shams. This is just what I needed! I have a queen size bed and two euros looked too skimpy to me…

I think Krimley agrees we need 3 euro shams.

Here’s how I made the shams: 

1. cut off the rod pocket and the hem.

(You can throw the pieces you cut off away or keep for another project??)

2. measure out and mark the fabric in 26″ increments from the top to bottom of the panel. (Raw edge to raw edge)

3. cut the 26″ panels. Each panel will have two raw edges and the two finished edges that were the side seams of the panel.  

4. Now fold right sides together with an overlap in the middle (the overlap will be the finished edges) Each sham should measure 25″ wide so adjust accordingly. 

5. Secure edges with pins and sew each raw edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance. 

6. I normally backstich over the overlapped edges to keeps the stiches from breaking when stuffing the sham. 

Now all there is to do is turn the sham  right side out, press and stuff it with the form  (if these were going to be on a sofa or used for more than decoration I would recommend adding Velcro to the overlap to keep it closed) 

So for $16 and about an hour of my time I got three custom euro shams!

For the love of ironstone…

Since junking season is in full force I wanted to share a way to clean up ironstone pieces that have those brown stains.  Recently I picked up an ironstone cake stand for $5 it was severely stained on top and had a little on the side. I knew I had cleaned a bowl, years ago so I wanted to try it again! The cake stand was in perfect condition other than the stains.

The secret to getting rid of the stains is hydrogen peroxide! You will need enough to cover your piece in a bucket or pan that your piece fits into. 

There’s nothing special about the peroxide, I got mine at the dollar store! Pour enough to completely submerge the piece then put a cover on the bucket or pan and let it soak for a couple days. After it has soaked set the piece in the sun for a few hours to completely dry out. You will be amazed at how well this works! I will say the stains aren’t completely gone but they are so faint no one would ever notice especially if there’s a cake sitting on itπŸ˜‰  

Can you believe the transformation πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ So, now when your out at a flea market or tag sale and see that ironstone piece with stains snatch it up and give this a try I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! 

DIY Two Tiered Tray…

I have been loving the look of these trays for some time, but to buy one they are rather expensive…I think! A few days ago my new IG friend Jennifer of @downshilohroad posted a tiered tray she had DIY’d. 

She inspired me to make one of my own!….

I bought my wood chargers and finial at Hobby Lobby using my 40% off coupon (I was too impatient to wait on them to go on sale) I bought the spindle and the feet at Menards. The home improvement stores have a few different options for parts, porch spindles, furniture legs, dowel rods, stairway ballisters. So let your imagination run wild and think outside the box!

I chose to screw my pieces together. (Partly because DH always wants things built like a tank…) so I used 1/4″ x 2″ plain dowel screw (that is a screw with threads on both ends) between the finial, top charger and top of the spindle. Then a 1/4″ lag screw between the bottom charger and the bottom end of the spindle … 

I did however use gorilla super glue for the feet and they seem to be attached securely. So if you don’t want to get the drill out and buy the special screws try some super glue! 

We drilled pilot holes in all the pieces before screwing the pieces together for a ‘dry fit’ . 

After I was happy with the configuration I took it apart to make it easier to paint. I just used some old white flat paint we had leftover and did a couple thin coats.

After the paint dried overnight I distressed the edges on all the pieces. 

After they were all distressed I topcoated it with a walnut stain making sure to really rub it in on the distressed areas. 

After the stain dried I put it back together, then had some fun styling it!I really am happy with the way it turned out. I think it has a Restoration Hardware kinda feel to it!  Plus I have less than $20 in mine!!! So don’t be afraid to make yourself a tiered tray and you can paint or stain it any way you want to fit into your home! 

Would love to see your tiered trays if you decide to make one of your own! Post a picture in the comments or you can find me on Instagram @karen.says

Urban Barn Pop Up Sale…

This past weekend I finally got to go to a pop up sale at place called Urban Barn. She has a sale two or three times a year and until this past Saturday I’ve not been able to get there. I went with a couple girlfriends from work and we started our day with Bloody Mary’s!

The sale wasn’t very big but there were several booths set up outside the barn offering all sorts of rusty, chippy, shabulous goodies! 

I couldn’t even get passed the first gentleman’s booth without grabbing up several pieces including feed sacks, metal gears and a cool blue pulley! The next booth had a lot of shabby chic pieces but had the perfect piece for a spot on my gallery wall. An old rusty scale! I’d been looking for something just like this!!

Doesn’t it look great on my wall?? πŸ˜€

We finally made it into the barn and it was filled with vignettes and tons of great pieces!

I could have spent a fortune in there but I kept my senses, despite they were offering sangria…

I only bought this sign in the barn. It hasn’t found a home yet, but I’m sure it will very soon! 

Like I said it wasn’t a huge sale but it was a nice morning to have a little girls outing close to home! Plus we got to bring home a few treasures to work into our homes! 

Mirror mirror…

I have been admiring in stores, on Pinterest and Instagram driftwood mirrors for some time. But to buy one of these mirrors it would have been well over $100 and I knew I could put one together myself for much less! Not to mention it would be more meaningful to use driftwood I collected myself while on vacation.  So a couple years ago I started collecting driftwood during our summer beach vacations on Lake Michigan. Every time I would bring a piece back from a walk my husband would say we don’t need another piece of driftwood. Part of the reason he grumbled so much was the fact that our beach is 222 steps down the bluff, which means it’s 222 steps to carry the driftwood back up to the house on the bluff…:O

Beach stairs

So I finally decided to put together my driftwood mirror a few days ago and I love the way it turned out! Here are the steps of how I put my mirror together:

 Here’s all the driftwood…looks like a lot but I used most of it.. 

I bought a 12″ mirror at the craft store


 I laid it out first to see if I had enough driftwood and to decide how I wanted it to look.


I had my husband cut a board just slightly bigger than the mirror. We left it square since the driftwood would cover it up anyway. I painted it to mimick the color of the wood. I used a light and dark gray along with tan and applied with a dry brush technique


I attached the mirror in the center of the board with liquid nails. This takes  a few minutes to set up so you can re-position it if needed.


After the mirror is attached I began to layout the driftwood with the longest pieces first. I also used a paper plate to help me keep my placement even around the outside of the mirror.  I used my hot glue gun to attach the driftwood to the wood backer board.


I kept gluing pieces until I had the whole board covered then began layering smaller pieces in between to hide any open spots. 



 After I finished I attached a saw tooth hanger to the back and hung it up in my family room where I get to look at it every day and remember our family trips to the beach! 



Hidden Gem…

Last weekend we finally got to go to a new local winery. We had planned on going on Valenitnes Day but Mother Nature changed our plans with a winter storm that evening…ugh! Anyway we finally made a visit with our friends Clare and Earl, our daughter Molly and her boyfriend Chris last Saurday. It was fun to be able to take Clare and Earl to a winery because they are from northern Indiana and have quick access to a lot of the Michigan wineries.  

The winery is called The Belgian Horse Winery and is located outside Middletown, Indiana on a farm that has been in the same family for six generations.  

The building that the tasting room is in, is a nicely refinished barn with several tables to sit and enjoy a glass or bottle of wine and visit with friends. (We were there during the NCAA men’s basketball games and they are equipped with big screen TVs, Mike was happy about that!) 

They have a gift shop with a variety of offerings from hats and jewelry to wine related items and pottery.


The building also has an upstairs where they have entertainment on Wednesday evenings and on Sunday’s they have ‘wine and yoga’ classes! (What’s not to love about a yoga class that ends with a calming glass of wine!)

They have a nice selection of wines from sweet fruit wines to more dry Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc. The fruit wines are named after family members and each one’s label has a picture of its namesake. 

We all decided to do a tasting since it was our first time experiencing their wines. 

We did our tasting and then had a glass of our favorites. Chris, Mike and I chose the Cabernet Franc for our glass, Molly had the Concord, Clare chose the Pino Gris and Earl was the DD! 

As usual at any winery if you buy a case of wine you get a discount, so we decided to split a case! 

The atmosphere at Belgian Horse Winery is very laid back and friendly, just what you would expect in the country. The building is beautifully done with a rustic wine country feel. We will definitely be going back! It’s nice that it’s only about 5 miles from our house so we can run over whenever the mood strikes us. I look forward to going this summer and enjoying a glass of wine and some music outside under the stars!  

Make sure to check them out on Facebook or online at belgianhorsewinery.com and if your in the neighborhood stop by and enjoy!

It’s a New Year and a New Life for an Old Chair!

Here’s another post I submitted to everythinghomemagazine.com!

I found this old chair on a local FB garage sale site and I knew I could make it look good again!

I loved the detail it had, but it was in bad need of a refresh! I decided to re-do it and give it to my daughter for Chistmas. I knew exactly what I was going to recover it with! She had made a comment several times how much she liked this Waverly Ikat fabric.

I was lucky enough to find a couple remnants at Hobby Lobby that was more than enough to makeover this chair! I had my husband help me with tightening all the screws and gluing a couple spots to make sure it would be sturdy for her. The next step was to remove the seat and to paint the frame.

 I decided I wanted it to be black, I used Rustoluem 2X Satin Canyon Black.

After wiping down the whole chair to make sure there was no dust I gave it two coats to make sure I got good coverage.

After the paint was dry I decided to distress it in the spots where it would have shown wear if this was the original finish.

While the paint was drying I went back inside to re-upholster the seat cushion. Usually I would use the old fabric as a guide for cutting the new cover but the old cover was vinyl and it was pretty brittle. The old cushion had seen its better days too, so it all went right to the trash. I used the wooden seat bottom as a pattern to cut new foam. I used an old mattress pad we had, that we no longer used. (**hint** mattress pads are an inexpensive way to get large pieces of foam and a lot cheaper than foam from the fabric store) I decided to use a double layer of foam to make the seat nice and cushy.

Then I measured out batting wide enough to wrap the foam and secure to the seat bottom.

Next I began stapling the batting to the under side of the seat working opposite sides back and forth and pulling the batting tight and even, leaving a few inches from each corner free to work the corner.

Once all four sides were secured, I started to work the corners. I usually fold mine like wrapping a present. There are many ways to do this but just work it until it looks nice and lays neatly, then staple.

After all the corners were finished I trimmed off the excess fabric.

After the batting was trimmed I repeated the above steps with the fabric covering. My fabric had a large pattern so I made sure it was centered nicely before I cut out the piece I was using.

Here is the under side once the fabric was secure and trimmed.


This is the top side before attaching it to the chair.

Now all that was left to do was to attach it back to the frame of the chair.
I also had enough fabric to make a little pillow to match.
I think it turned out so cute and she loved it! 😍  


I hope this gives you inspiration to upcycle an old ‘ugly’ piece to make it new, fresh and to give it a new life! Make sure to check out my blog at Karensays.net 
                                                      Happy New Year! πŸŽ‰