DIY – Stair Runner Upgrade

Our first project of the year is complete! After being sick most of January, we finally had enough energy to conquer this project which was a quick 3-hour project with a huge impact. After seeing Peony and Honey’s stair runner makeover, the wheels were spinning, but nothing started to move. It wasn’t until we put our removable stair treads back on our bare wooden steps that I was not loving the look anymore! So I did a little extra research, found some runner options, and pitched the idea to B.

We had a two-tiered staircase with a larger landing with bay windows going up to our second floor. So there was some debate about how to treat the landing – which may still be coming, but for now is going to be bare wood floors. Regardless, we needed to get two runners for our project to account for the two runs. We figured out our length needed by measuring the stair height and tread and then multiplying it by the number of steps to get our total length in feet. Oh! And this is definitely a two-person job if anything to help keep the carpet tight while the other staples in place.

DIY Shopping List:
– Runners according to your measure length – we ordered a 2x10ft and a 2x12ft rug
Electric Staple Gun
Staples
– Pliers
– Exacto Knife

I was honestly hoping this project would be a little more affordable, but we ended up picking out runners that were more expensive, which drove the majority of the budget. The runners are definitely more plush, which was good for hiding the staples. This one couple, which was part of my research did theirs for $100 – so it’s definitely possible to do this on the cheaper end with some more affordable rugs and different nailing tools. This DIY project was around $360 for us.

Before we got started, I vacuumed and washed the steps with Murphy’s Oil Soap to make sure they were super clean (& dry) before we put the runners on. After all of our construction, they definitely needed it! The smaller of the two stairs took us a little over an hour to get the runner on, and then larger steps, closer to 2-hours because it was a little bigger and these are the main stairs you see from the first floor.

Step-by-Step:
1. First you start at the top of your stair, with the flat end of the rug – make sure it’s centered within your stair with equal length on either side before stapling into place. Stapling along the sides of the rug and top is key to getting it secure!
2. Make sure it’s tight, as you work into both back of your stair to fold over top on the stair topper.
3. Once you get to the first ledge, it’s important to fold over and staple along the length to keep it in place and tight! Ours was tricky because it was very plush, so finding the sweet spot in between the plush was crucial to getting a tight and secure staple in.
4. Basically rinse and repeat down your stairs! You definitely get the hang of it after the first couple of stairs.
5. Once you get to the bottom, get an exacto knife to cut your leftover rug. We put a piece of wood underneath as to not damage our flooring and get a good straight cut across. Using heat along the cut edge will help from fraying – I suggest a heat gun. (We ended up cutting a little longer, and folding under to avoid the fraying).
6. Afterwards, I went back and replaced any staples that were super noticeable, or hid them by adjusting the rug with pliers ever so gently. I also went and reinforced any sides and areas that moved more than I liked.

B and I love how this turned out – and it is definitely an upgrade! As I mentioned, we may add a runner to the landing that matches or update the landing rug on the second floor to match this as well for a little more cohesion. I also feel like we need some new curtains for the bay windows… *immediately opens the Target app*.

Anthropologie Monogram Ornament Dupe

As soon as I saw Anthropologie’s Monogram Ornaments, I was instantly in love, instantly inspired to create my own twist. So here is my easy Anthro ornament dupe. (I mean, I’m not saying mine are cuter than Anthro’s but they’re still cute!)

Since this was pretty similar to a Pottery Barn place setting dupe I did a few Christmas’ ago, I had a pretty good game plan of recreating these monogram ornaments.

DIY Shopping List:
Plastic Large Ornaments
– Mini Trees (Gold or Silver)
Wooden Letters
– White Paint
– Cotton Balls
– Ribbon
– Hot Glue

Step-by-Step:
1. First things first, you’ll need to cut an opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully!  I used a sharp mini Philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of ornaments you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!

2. Before you get this started, you can start painting your letter. Make sure to paint both sides – pick fun colors that will coordinate with your metallic bottle brush trees. The bottle brush trees I recommend are also a bit too tall, so you’ll have to pull the bass off, cut about a half-inch off, and then reattach the base with some hot glue!

3. Using thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace, and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!

4. Once your letter is painted, and your tree is trimmed it’s time to hot glue your letter into your tree! You can try this out before committing with the glue, but just rest the letter in nicely. Then you can glue the tree to your base, pull apart a cotton ball and glue it down for your faux snow. Afterward, you can push this up into the ornament and glue it around the base at the seam.

5. With white paint, you can create a snow top, on your ornament – I needed to do about 3-4 coats of the white paint until it was thick and nice. You can then use pipe cleaner or ribbon to add a finishing touch around the base. Using ribbon and pom-poms you can dress your top however it works with your letter!

Gift to friends, family or trim your own tree with a fun keepsake ornament for the year! I may be making a few more of these – but for now, these are the finishing products.

Happy Holidaying!

House Tour: Basement Bar DIY

Ready for a fun reveal? As we’ve been in influx awaiting the official go ahead for our kitchen, we of course found another project to keep busy with. So why not build a wall in the basement and create a built in bar?

A few years ago, we created a ‘finished/unfinished’ space in our basement for an additional living space with a TV, $60 DIY shiplap wall and some deep couches. To help section this off from a storage area, we created a wall with a large drop cloth and piping, which worked great for an easy, temporary solution – but the plan was always to create an actual wall… eventually. Well, B had been itching to build the wall, and I told him I really wanted to add a built in bar and shared some inspiration, so together we worked to figure out the spacing and how we could pull it together – but not without a few disagreements of course.

To keep it somewhat simple, we bought prefab base kitchen cabinets from Lowe’s — we originally wanted to find something a bit more swallow, but everything was super expensive, so upon searching we found a taller wine fridge and compromised for deeper cabinets. From there we needed to figure out a counter top, all your typical counter tops at Lowe’s were either super basic and blah or a bit more than we wanted to spend, so upon doing some research B found this nicer plywood that we could stack, glue, stain and polyurethane to create our own counter top. It actually came out way better than expected.

Once we had our base all figured out, it was time for the fun part – decorating! We were able to utilize some left over gold handles from a previous project for our cabinets, that give it a modern and sleek look, pulling in the gold accents. I went with a simpler approach to two parallel photos vs. a gallery wall like I was initially thinking – it definitely keeps it cleaner with the two stacked shelves on the right side. We got the brackets off Amazon and then bought the shelves, that were a little more expensive but a nice sleek look that we were also able to stain and polyurethane. We also got the wine glass holder from Amazon, which fits perfectly and has ample counter space still underneath it.

A few other fun touches include the artwork, that B and I ended up hand painting ourselves – I did the fun Notorious B.I.G. quote and B did the champagne bottle! We also had to get oversized snack jars for some sweet and savory treats, although I can’t say they’ve been staying full. Moz also has her own filled with her favorite treats. Lastly, we finally have a place for the cocktail books we’ve received over the years – and the Fancy AF book inspired me to also make this an unofficial Bravo Books library – more to come as my collection grows! Some greenery and other fun bubble trinkets also helped finish off the space.

We are finishing up painting some french doors that will open and close also into our new basement space – which will make it perfect for any guests who may end up staying in the future. The space has seen a complete transformation – and we also now have an enclosed nice big storage closet on the opposite side of the wall too.

We can’t wait to host some friends, catch a football game and eat some snacks – because that counter is also big enough for plenty of food and we’re stocked with plenty of beverages!

Shop Our Look: Oversized Snack Jars | Gold Hand Pulls | Gold Shelf Brackets | Gold Wine Glass Rack | 4.6ft Artificial Palm Tree | Frigidaire 34-Bottle Wine Cooler | Larger Base Cabinet | Smaller Base Cabinet

Kitchen Reno – Demo & Mood Board

Welp! Demo has officially started on our kitchen reno, perhaps a little preemptively but after meeting with our contractor to talk him through the plan – we quickly realized there were a handful of hidden outliers that had B and I itching to uncover. So last Saturday, we just tried to rip up a few of the lament floor tiles to see if the hardwoods were wrecked or not… a few hours later – we had half the room ripped up and the floor was looking in pretty tip-top shape. Since then we’ve (mostly B) taken down the ceiling, layers of plaster walls to continue to uncover what we’re working with. I mean… we live in a 100+ year old home. So far, we’ve uncovered a ceiling leak (thanks rain) and a few other janky workings.

I say we preemptively started demo, because once we start something – we can’t stop (especially B) and also because, we don’t actually have any contractor confirmed for when work is going to get started. We have gotten a few different cabinet quotes and think we have that nailed down at least the company and general direction we want to move forward with. But now that demo has started – there is no way this kitchen isn’t happening this year. We’re hoping to get a few follow-ups from our slow contractor and then go from there. So until then, I’m working to finalize some of the design and details as we work through the demo — it’s funny, now that we’ve disrupted our currently living room and are starting to get a blank canvas, the design and finishing inspiration is finally coming to life for me.

So now what? We’re going to continue to move forward and get our kitchen cabinets and counter tops finalized – the company we’re most likely going to move forward with the in home field measurement and design consultation to make sure we’re optimizing the most out of our space. Yes, this is getting us more kitchen, but it’s still going to be relatively cozy (that’s the nice way of saying small) — compared to what we’d really want in a dream kitchen — and sadly that still includes moving walls to extend our footprint.

Having a design consultation will be exciting and then we’ll be able to make sure we’re closer to exact as we’ve learned a few hard ways how important accurate measurements are. For example, our first cabinet quote was through Home Depot, super fast, great way to get an initial price for cabinets — but we ended up having more space in one area than we actually do (we had guestimates of our measurements when we went to this apt.) — the reality is those couple inches significantly impacted the potential sink size (like 33″ down to 27″) and the corner cabinet solution, i.e. lazy susan or something a bit unconventional. Luckily, with this new company – it sounds like they have some fun solutions to get us space to have a larger sink while being able to best utilize that corner spot.

Now, with the demo and our kitchen footprint pretty open, we have been able to put a few pieces to “mock up” the spacing to get a better idea of our kitchen nook area and what we can fit comfortably in the space while still letting it feel big and open. I even sat and browsed for products while we had the nook set-up and it was perfect – I can’t wait to hang out and blog while B cooks dinner. I was even finally able to decide on a few design pieces. I might even be as far as to having an idea of the backsplash that will go counter to ceiling on either side of the kitchen above the stove and sink area. Here is a look at a few of the potential final picks, a bit of mood board for our kitchen – I’m still trying to find an affordable faucet!

Since I want to incorporate brass/gold – it’s going to be crucial to make sure the shades of everything match up closely. That is why I was excited to find the light fixtures as that look pretty similar in the brass color that they are. Our appliances – as of right now – are white and gold, so as long as the back order doesn’t lead us to cancelling, we’ll be having pops of white and gold! Here’s to making some actual progress towards getting this kitchen done!

Fall Dining Room + Easy Pumpkin Centerpiece

With these cooler temps, it has definitely been feeling like fall, which has been more than welcomed at our house now that it’s October! And one of my favorite rooms to transition through the seasons besides our front door, is our dining room — this year I wanted to keep it simple, but of course create a statement! And I love the options this centerpiece has for this year and years to come.

This project cost a little more than I would’ve liked, but I was relying on the interwebs and getting things shipped to my door – so I was OK to pay a little more. I would’ve been curious to see what could’ve been found at the Dollar Tree or in an actual craft store. But I stuck to shopping on Amazon. I also got two different pumpkin varieties, because I wasn’t sure about the quality and tried to save a few bucks — I also ordered about 36-pumpkins, unsure of how many I would actually need and I used about 30, so it worked out perfectly!

DIY Shopping List:
– (2) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Green Stems
– (1) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Brown Stems (these were my favorite – price also went up)
Floral Dry Foam 2-pack
Bamboo Skewer Sticks
– Greenery/Fall florals
– Optional; paint with colors of your choice
– Wooden box: Whitewashed Planter or Wood Tray Centerpiece

Estimated Project Cost: $60

To create this centerpiece, it’s super easy! I broke/cut the skewers in various lengths to give depth and fill in and stuck them into the foam pumpkins. I filled them in mixing the larger pumpkins and smaller pumpkins, with a majority of the larger pumpkins alternated across the top. The best part if you mess up, or need to move a pumpkin placement it’s super easy to create a new hole/space with your skewer! Once I had all my pumpkins and the top filled, I took some left over greenery from a previous project and filled in larger gaps where you could see the green floral foam.

And wah-la! It’s a mini pumpkin statement and easy to move since it’s all contained. As you can see, the stem colors were different — originally I had the idea to paint them gold, but after getting them in place with the filler, the colors don’t bother me as much. I was planning to paint the white pumpkins in some dull, fall colors, but I ended up liking the all white look with the subtle pops of color with the table runner and faux florals. What do you think?

DIY – Modern Wooden Fence

As we were working through our backyard makeover, one of the curveballs B threw at me was wanting to hide the paint chipping white garage, in addition to adding the raised planter boxes for extra greenery. I instantly jumped on Pinterest searching for inspiration for a decorative solution that we would be able to customize. I searched ‘modern decorate fences’ and found some inspiration that we could easily recreate and pitched the idea to B.
DecoartiveFence(6)The pitch was a success and the project was a go! The advantage of this project and any DIY project is being able to create a completely custom fence that fits your space and dimensions. We ended up throwing in two other fences to place around our ‘property,’ one in front of our garbage cans along the side of our driveway, and then another on the North side of the house in front of our air conditioner. The thing to remember with these fences is they weren’t going to be complete privacy, but help off-set and distract from the ugly things.
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Project Supply List:
– (13) 1ft x 3ft x 8ft
– (6) 1ft x 2ft x 8ft (post supports for smaller fences)
– (5) 1ft x 6ft x 12ft
– (1) 1ft x 6ft x 6ft
– (2) 2ft x 4ft x 10ft (post supports for large fence)
Thompson’s WaterSeal Stain & Foam Brush
– Post Hole Digger
– Quick Time Concrete
– Nail Gun / Screw Driver + Screws (large fence)
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Figuring out the number of pieces of wood and sizes to get and make all three of our fences, was a headache and quite the math equation that B successfully conquered — even though it took us awhile to get there. As I knew I wanted 6″ wide pieces and 3″ wide pieces, I just didn’t have the complete layout and patterned figured out based on the height variations. There has also been a wood shortage this summer, so B had to do some home improvement store hopping to get all the sized pieces we needed — luckily we were able to get everything!

Our Fence Dimensions:
– Back Fence: 7-feet tall* by 4.5-feet wide aka (16) 3″ pieces, (5) 6″ pieces and (2) 1″ pieces
– Garbage Fence: 5-feet tall* by 3-feet wide aka (12) 3″ pieces and (4) 6″ pieces
– Air Conditioner Fence: 3-feet tall* by 3-feet wide aka (8) 3″ pieces and (2) 6″ pieces

*This is the height above ground, we accounted for 1-2ft in the ground depending on the overall height. 

Once we secured our wood, based on our estimations, B cut away to get the estimated pieces per board. Once we had everything cut, I was able to play around with the pattern and get the pieces figured out — it was definitely a move around, take a step back and see what looked and felt right. Once we had our pattern in place it was go time. For the two smaller fences we used a nail gun and getting these put together was relatively quick, as we also just eyed the spacing between each pieces, made sure things were level and fired away.
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The large fence was a bit different and took some adjustments after we created the two smaller pieces. One adjustment was switching up the support pieces to 2ft x 4ft x 10ft — due to the size and slatted wood pieces, this fence was not only heavy but also pretty big (see me standing with it above), especially accounting for 2-feet to put in the group, it was a bit guy to navigate. We also ended up screwing the large fence together (instead of a nail gun) and did the screwing from the back, so that you wouldn’t see any holes from the front.

When it came to staining, we used the same stain we had from our planter boxes, we had plenty left over to create a cohesive look. I ended up staining the fences two different ways, one with the fences built and one as individual pieces — I’m not sure which I liked better, the individual pieces was definitely a bit more tedious. But, I do know overall I would pick staining any day to painting — it’s so easy and workable to make it blend the way you want. Luckily we were staining in the heat, so they dry time was quick if we wanted to apply two coats.
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We ended up angling most of these fences for final placement so that more space was covered and we were blocking the ugly things just right. This of course, took a bit of time and tapping to get just right! We also made sure to strategically place the larger back fence in front of the garage, so that form a farther distance you couldn’t see the end of the fence! I think my favorite fence beside the big one, is the one in front of the garbage cans, when you walk into our backyard it’s just such a welcomed look and as we’ve worked on adding flowers along the side it definitely makes it feel more complete!

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DIY – Painted Cork Board Makeover

Whenever we travel back to visit my parents, I always try and snag some of my childhood things to bring back or get rid of! So when I saw my old high school half and half white-cork board, I initially thought I didn’t want or need this — but I still grabbed it and brought it back home. With my new semi-permanent home office, I realized I could definitely use a space to post inspiration, write important to-do’s and hang a calendar, so as the wheels kept turning, I decided this could use a little face lift!
DIYCork(4)The best part was I was able to cover up my high school doodles that have lived on for over a decade *cringes a little* and give the dated wood grain a fresh and affordable update with the craft and paint supplies we already had. It just required a few coats of paint and a little patiences.

Craft Supply List:
– Old Bulletin Board
– Craft Paint, Colors of your Choice
– Foam Painter
– All Purpose Cleaner
– Goo-Gone
3M Hangers Strips
DIYCork(1)Step-by-Step:
1. Once you’ve figured out your colors, it’s time to prep the space. I chose to go with a pretty pink and white!
2. Before I started painting, I had to do some cleaning to remove old dry erase phrases that have been sitting on here for over a decade, so upon doing some research I found that an all purpose cleaner would do the trick – and it did. I left the cleaner sit on the dry erase writings for a little bit and then wiped off, I repeated this a few times until it was all clean!
3. I also had some sticky residue on the wood frame, so goo-gone helped clean that up before it was time to paint. It cleaned off well with a little elbow grease and a few scrubs.
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4. I wasn’t entirely sure how the craft paint would go on the bulletin board part — but it went on relatively easy and surprisingly helped cover up some of the missing chunks and the written phrases, initials and numbers I had scattered throughout. It just took a few coats, especially where I had writing. I did sadly cover up ‘The O.C.” — RIP.
5. Next, it came time to work on the wooden boarder. I used some white wall paint for this, that had a bit of a gloss. This went on slow, since it did require about 4-5 coats – but it really helped make the pink pop and refreshed to something that would work better in my office space!
6. Once it was all painted, it was time to hang it up! I hung this with 3M strips and it has stayed up well! It’s the perfect space for my monthly calendar and a few other fun reminders. Although — I have not been great about getting my to-do’s crossed off!DIYCork(3)
Since I updated this old cork-white board, we’ve given the office space a bit of an update too — I’m excited to share next week as I’m just waiting for a few pieces to arrive in the main to finish up the gallery wall! The 3M Strips also worked great for already moving the placement already. It’s been great having a monthly overview calendar at a quick glance that has made this update so worth it, on top of having a fun pop of pink!

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DIY – Painted Front Doormat

This weekend was pretty great, and Saturday was pretty perfect. The sun was shining all day long and the temp was ideal to catch some rays. Meaning we were outside pretty much the entire day. B touched up the paint on the front porch, we got our patio furniture out, got a run in and I even got this fun DIY project done. This painted DIY doormat is an affordable and fun way to add a custom finishing touch to your front door decor.
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Project Supply List:
Plain Coco Coir Doormat
Outdoor Acrylic Paint
Foam Brush Variety Pack
Satin Polyurethane

Estimated Project Total: $30

Step-by-Step:
– Once you have your supplies secure – which pro-tip you can still order from Michael’s and they’ll bring it out to your car and throw it in the trunk, no human contact.
– Your rugs will most likely come rolled, so make sure you get them flattened out before you craft, I placed some heavy photo albums on the ends for a couple days.

Pro-Tip: If you’re painting the whole back drop of your rug, make sure to grab two of  your background color – I barely had enough pink! Also grab 3-4 bottles of the Polyurethane. Also the assorted foam brush packet had the perfect variety of sizes for the detail of my design, not the best quality but got the job done.
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– Now for the fun! Figure out your design. I found my inspiration from Gradin Road and thought it was totally perfect and a fun pop of spring to add to our front porch! If you’re opting for a phrase with letters you’ll want to get a stencil cut out – a Cricket would be perfect to help customize (I don’t have one of those yet!)

– I hand drew and cut out the body of my bee to help get me started and then free handed the rest of my bee with paint and brushes. But feel free to create stencils and paint as you feel comfortable. I did a lot of dabbing with my foam brushes to make sure the paint covered the mat properly.
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– Once you have your design painted, go over spots with painted to make sure it’s covered and pops as much as you’d like. From there I picked my background color and filled in the rest of the doormat it was a tough decision between pink or green. As I said above, make sure to grab at least two tubes of your background paint, I barely had enough with one of my pink and just barely enough to cover my 30″ x 18″ rug.

– Once you’re happy with your paint coverage and design, it’s time for the final step! Paint your polyurethane over top the entire piece to help seal in the paint. I used two full tubes, but could’ve definitely used at least one or two more – it dries clear so it doesn’t impact your design at all!

There is still time to see how this holds up in the weather — luckily it is on a covered front porch, but definitely gets full sun in the morning. I love how it turned out and layered with a colorful underlay rug to make sure it really pops on the front porch!  I still have another plain rug to paint and create a fun design — I can’t decide if I’ll safe it for the holidays or a funny saying, time will tell!

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Valentine Floral Letter Door Decor

With the last few days of January, I’m starting to get the house ready for the holiday and love! And our front door is always my starting point. Over the summer I finally made a floral letter craft that I’ve had on my list for year’s (and was a gift) and was inspired to create my own floral letter’s only for some new Valentine door decor. I was pumped when I snagged some seriously discounted pink and white florals over the holidays along with an oversized wooden X and O, this was just what I needed for some pretty and festive Valentine decor!
Valentines_Floral_Final(4)Ok! Here is what you’ll need to get started, in addition to a step-by-step guide to filling in your letters with florals and then securing for a stunning statement piece for your front door!

What You’ll Need:
13″ Wooden Letters from Michaels for $5.49 each
– Florals of your choice (7-9 stems)
– Hot glue
– Pink ribbon or color of your choice, make sure it’s at least 3-feet long if you’re working with 13″ letters

Pro-tip: Keep an eye out for discounted seasonal florals in the off season to stock up for future projects or gift ideas!

Step-by-Step:
1. Floral buying tip — always buy a few more bunches than you think! I used about 4-stems of the pink poppy flowers and 3 stems of the white flowers, and I was running short! My initial plan was to do all pink, but did not have enough… which leads me to an important step #2.
2. Once you’ve dead-headed all your faux flowers (removing flower from the stem) — it’s crucial to map out your placement before any gluing! This can help you determine if you need more fillers or need to switch up the design.
3. Now that you have your florals mapped out on your letters, it’s time to start gluing your flowers on! It’s important to be generous with hot glue on the base stem of the flower in addition to the petals if needed to help with coverage. Cut off any additional stem that might make your flowers stick out more than you want! Repeat, until letters are filled in.
4. Allow for plenty of hot glue dry time for your X and O flower filled letters before flipping over to add the handing ribbon. This ribbon will connect the two letters in order for them to hang. Make sure the length of the ribbon is long enough to span the X and O with some extra, to be able to tie a loop/knot for hanging — stretch out over the back of your letters before gluing to make sure you have length. Again, be very generous with your hot glue with this since your floral letters will be hanging from the ribbon. Allow this proper time to dry before trying to hang. Valentines_Floral_Final(1)
Once you have your letters filled in and the ribbon attached, tie a loop to hang on your front door — it’s time to hang! This would even make fun wall decor that could hang inside your dining room or in place of a photo.  I added extra ribbon at the top to have a bow for a nice finishing touch on the door – and love how the pink and white pops on our blue door! Our front door is now ready for the Valentine holiday and spreading love to anyone who passes by.

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Looking for more Floral Letter Inspiration? Check out my $25 Floral Letter for Baby Shower decor.