Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only do I love the pumpkin spice everything at Trader Joe’s but I love the finally cooler, crisp weather. Yet southern California is seriously lacking fall leaves. So instead of decorating my home with silk fall leaves, I opted to create this simple metal fall leaf garland.
This DIY garland looks fancy but it’s actually really easy to make. Once you make one leaf, the next few will work up so quickly. If you love all things metallic, I definitely recommend investing in some of the metal working tools. There are just so many things you can do with these malleable metallic sheets!
Place one of the cut out leaves on top of a metal sheet and use tape to hold it in place. Cut around the leave shape.
Optional (not shown in video): Place the leaf inside an embossing plate and roll the embossing roller all over the plate. Be sure to apply firm pressure so the plate makes a crisp print.
Remove the metal leaf from the embossing plate and place it on the embossing mat. Use a ruler and the plastic end of the metal working awl to create small lines, or veins, on each leaf. You can refer to the lines on each leaf template for the pattern.
Repeat steps 2-4 and create as many leaves and you live, alternating between leaves with embossed patterns and ones without. Use the sharp end of the metal working awl to create a small hole on the stem of each metal leaf. Then use a needle to carefully thread each leaf onto a long length of twine. Now hang your festive garland anywhere you like!
Head over to my fall page to find tons of DIY ways to get your home ready for Thanksgiving—because it will be here before we know it! And if you want to put fall leaves on everything, check out the free wallpaper download that inspired this project.
This week flew by and I kinda feel like I didn’t get nearly enough done (although I put in 4 very full days already)! Next week I’m traveling again but this time just around the golden state! I’ll be heading to Big Bear with some creative ladies for a little retreat of sorts. Be sure to follow my adventure on my Instagram Story and in the meantime I’ll have some fun new projects to share with you while I’m away.
My dear friend Melissa Bahen of Lulu the Baker just published her first book, Scandinavian Gatherings, and it’s absolutely stunning! I couldn’t have thought of a better person to write a book all about Scandinavian entertaining. Melissa can typically be found wearing a braid crown while whipping up something in her gorgeous farmhouse kitchen. The book is packed with tons of delicious recipes and beautiful DIY projects that are both very doable.
When I was flipping through the gorgeous pages I discovered the waffle cookie recipe and knew I had to give it a try. Both Kevin and I are big waffle fans (but let’s be real, who isn’t, right?) and I loved the idea of making cookies in the waffle maker. So I grabbed my mixer and plugged in my waffle maker and gave it a try.
These cookies are sweet and buttery and taste like a fresh waffle cone intertwined with a sugar cookie. They would be the perfect complement to an afternoon fika, or Swedish coffee break, or as dessert. Melissa also has other recipes you’ll totally drool over including braided cardamom bread, homemade strawberry ice cream, and nutella swirl crumb cake. There are also recipes for savory meals to, everything from finger foods to main courses.
The book also features doable DIYs for special occasions, like a birthday flag banner, to everyday items like no-sew inlaid felt coasters. And it’s loaded with gorgeous photos that will make you want to make (and eat) everything!
Melissa has graciously shared her delicious waffle cookie recipe below!
Preheat a heart-shaped or standard waffle iron on the medium setting. A Belgian waffle iron will not work for these cookies.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until blended.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt, and add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. With an electric mixer, beat on low until a smooth dough forms, 20 to 30 seconds.
Roll the dough in 1-inch balls, and set the balls on a baking sheet.
Place one ball of dough on each heart or square on the waffle iron, and close the lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the waffle cookies are golden. If the waffle cookies are cooking too fast or too slowly, feel free to adjust the temperature setting on your waffle iron was needed.
Gently remove the cookies from the waffle iron using two forks—one on the bottom to gently lift the cookies, and one on the top to help steady them. Place the hot cookies on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Working in batches, continue making cookies until all the batter is used up.
Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.
The book features gorgeous original illustrations by Andrea Smith on its end sheets and even has a template so you can crwate the pretty floral serving tray shown on the cover.
I’m excited to share some exciting news! I’m an Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Ambassador this fall and holiday season and will be sharing some fun (and festive) ways you can enjoy your favorite photos IRL!
This means each month I’ll be sharing a fun and easy DIY project that features a step by step video tutorial on how to make the project and directions on how to edit and create in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. If you’ve always heard about Adobe Photoshop but have been a little intimidated to learn it, Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 is the perfect way to dip your toes into photo editing. It’s super user friendly and even has built in Guided Edits that make otherwise complex editing tasks easy peezy.
My first project is a DIY photo transfer tray that’s the perfect functional fall decor for your home. I’ve dressed up a plain acrylic serving tray by transferring a printed image onto the bottom side. All you need to do is take one of your favorite photo and open it in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 and follow along!
I photographed a bunch of mini pumpkins that I painted in my favorite colors. The colors in the photo were a bit dull so I did a little editing to spruce it up. You can use my photo or any one on your camera roll or computer. This tray would also make a great personalized gift for family and friends. You can print out a photo of a friend’s dog or even your kids. The possibilities are endless!
Open your photo in Photoshop Elements 15. I painted several mini pumpkins with craft paint and snapped a photo with my iPhone.
Correct the white balance. Guided Edit > Color > Remove Color Cast
Enhance the colors. Guided Edit > Color > Enhance Color
Adjust the brightness and contrast. Guided Edit > Brightness Contrast
Enter Quick Edit mode by selecting ‘Quick’ from the center menu towards the top of your screen. If your image is vertical, you’ll need to rotate the image by clicking on Image > Rotate > 90 degrees right (or whatever direction you want to rotate the image)
Make the image the size of the bottom of the tray. Select the Crop tool (in the tool bar on the left hand side) > and crop to 14” x 6.25″. Adjust the size by entering it in the panel towards the bottom.
Touch up any blemishes in the photo. If you have specs of dirt, paint, or other small things you want to remove from the photo you can do that easily with the Spot Healing Brush tool. Select it from the tool bar (on the left hand side) and simply click once over a blemish in the photo and it will magically disappear. If you want to make the brush smaller press [ on the keyboard. If you want to make it larger press ].
Add text on top of the photo. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the tool bar. Click and drag across the width of the image to create a text box. Then type in your word of phrase. I used the font Brandon Grotesque in all caps but you can use any font you like. Adjust the font size so that it takes up most of the width. If you want your text to be transparent once transferred, make it white.
Enter Expert mode by selecting ‘Expert’ from the center menu towards the top of your screen.
Create dots around your text. Select the Shape tool from the Draw section of tool bar on the left. Select the Ellipse from the options panel on the bottom and change the color to white. Hold down the shift key and click and drag to draw a circle.
Duplicate circles around text. Select the Move tool from the Select section of the tool bar. Hold down the Option key (alt on a PC) and click and drag from the center of one circle onto another part of the image. Repeat this adding as many dots as you like.
Save as a PDF and get it printed. When you’re done, go to File > Save As… > and select Photoshop PDF. Save this file and then take it to your local copy shop to get it printed on 11″ x 17″ copy paper. These prints are usually around a $1 or less each and most shops allow you to even upload the files from home. If you can’t do this, you can always put the file on a USB flash drive or email it to the shop. Ask them to print the image at 100% so that it will print true to the size you cropped it at.
How to Transfer the Image onto the Tray
Use scissors to cut out the printed image. Use a paint brush to apply a thin, even coat of matte medium all over the entire front side of the image. Also apply a thin coat of matte medium all over the bottom of the tray. Allow both to dry completely, about 30 minutes.
With the tray upside down, apply a generous but even coat of matte medium all over the bottom. Immediately after place the printed photo with the image side down onto the tray. Use a squeegee, brayer (a fancy artist term for a roller used for applying ink), or even a credit card to smooth out any bubbles. Allow the paper to dry completely; at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once dry, wet a sponge with water and rub it all over back of the printed page. Use a circular motion to remove the paper, rewetting the sponge as needed. This might take some time so turn on Netflix while you do this.
After the paper is completely removed, allow the tray to dry completely and then paint all over the image with a coat of gloss varnish. This will prevent the image getting scratched. Once that’s dry it’s ready to be used!
It’s almost the weekend! Anyone else think this week felt extra long? This weekend might feel long too as I work on some exciting upcoming collaborations and prep for my workshop at The Hello Sessions (which is next week already!). Be sure to follow my Instagram story for sneak peeks of my projects. I’ll be in Portland next week for only my second time ever. Any recommendations on where to eat or cute shops to check out?
If you’re taking the weekend off from work, try one of these pretty pastel home or fashion projects. I think this sherbet inspired palette is so unexpected for fall but works so well. Happy Friday, friends!