Fall Decor Fast and Easy

Here’s a quick, easy, and cheap way to decorate for Fall. Use what you already have and make a few minor adjustments. Let me give you an idea.



The photo on the top is a metal flower that I bought this past spring. I wasn’t too crazy about the paint job at the time but I liked the overall look of it and knew I could easily repaint it any color that I wanted. Well you know how that goes, right? Life happens and I never did repaint that flower. Until now.

I took another look at it the other day and the light bulb went off! I can paint that to look like a fall flower. See….my procrastination paid off this time! Uh, that usually doesn’t happen.


With mustardy yellow petals and a brown center, I can make it look like a Fall flower. A sunflower. Sort of.



I added these two DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics to my sample pot of yellow paint to get a more fall-like mustard yellow and got to painting. No need to be neat and precise here. Just brush it on.


After two coats it’s looking better already.


What’s up with the basket of buttons? I was trying to figure out what to use for the center of the flower. Sun flower have brownish seeds in the center so I went looking for brown buttons.


And all I could find were these 11 little, brown buttons. Not enough. I went on a scavenger hunt through the house looking for anything that I could use. Dan later gave me a great idea. Where was he when I needed him?!?



Then I remembered seeing this! A brown, stretchy, wide, bead belt that was in a bag of I-don’t-know-what that I was saving for well… I don’t know. In case I needed it some day. I don’t know what some day I would ever wear that belt seeing as I have no waist – but that’s a different story. Anyway, it was just in a bag of junk that I hadn’t thrown out yet. See! Procrastination wins again!


I snipped the elastic cords of beads and knotted the ends and just hot-glued them into the center of the flower. (Don’t be jealous of my manicure)


Perfect. It works perfectly as Fall decor. It was fast, easy, and cheap. My kind of decoration.


To get rid of the hot glue strings, I blasted it with hot air from a blow dryer.


I bet if you look around your house you’ll find something that you can easily turn into Fall decor.

Oh, I almost forgot! Want to know what Dan’s idea for the center was? Beans. Dried beans. That would have worked, too!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

Making one of these growth chart rulers has been on my to-do list for a long time. When I received an email notification that my daughter sent me three Pinterest pins that were images of growth chart rulers, I got the hint ; )


At first I thought I’d make one for each of my grandchildren, but Dan thought it would be better to have a family keepsake with all the kid’s growth recorded on one ruler. Smart guy.

So without further ado, here is how to make a growth chart ruler – or at least how I made one.

You will need:

  • a long board
  • black sharpie
  • painter’s tape
  • measuring tape
  • a straight edge
  • sand paper
  • stain

For the wood: I happened to have a piece of 1 x 6 x 6. Ideally a 7′ length would be better. I felt safe with the 6′ length since no one in my family is over 6 feet. Watch, now my grandson will end up over six feet just because of Nanny’s 6′ board ; ) how-to-make-growth-chart-ruler-by-createandbabble

The first thing I did was place a strip of painter’s tape down the middle of the board. Then I marked off the 12″ mark lightly with a pencil


Then I drew a line against a straight edge from the painter’s tape to the edge of the board with a black Sharpie. (Quilting square are handy for so much more than quilting, you know!)


Next, I placed a second strip of painters tape down, covering about half of the length of the 12″ marks. Then I made Sharpie lines at 6″ intervals. I repeated that same step for the inch marks. I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of that!


Once all the lines were drawn, I took the board outside to finish it. Laying it across the railings on the deck made it easier to stain and stencil. (I need saw horses: in case Santa is reading this ;)



I just placed the paper stencil down on the board and traced inside the edge with a black Sharpie then filled it in using a thicker Sharpie.


Now for the stinky part. Yes, I mean stinky as in it smells bad. Really bad. It’s homemade stain that’s supposed to make wood look aged. I put some steel wool in a jar with vinegar and let it sit on my counter for a couple of days. And listened to it hiss and moan. I’m serious. It was making noises. I took off the lid because I was afraid it was going to explode or something. Anyway, after a day or so it makes this stinky solution.


So wearing two pairs of rubber gloves, I rubbed said stinky solution on the board and this is how it looks after one coat.


Two coats. And the stink does go away after it’s dry. Thank goodness.

Have you ever tried the stinky stain? I was hoping for more of a gray, weathered color. Maybe I let the steel wool in too long, But in any case, I like how the ruler turned out. And if my grandson grows to be over 6′ tall…well my daughter will have to add an addition to the ruler ; )

Pretty Organization with Sharpies

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Staples, but all my opinions are my own. #StaplesBTS #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

It’s no secret that back-to-school time is upon us. While my back-to-school shopping days are over (yippee!), this time of year inspires me to get my work supplies organized. And it has to be pretty organization ; )

pretty organization by createandbabble
Always the bargain hunter, I saw that Staples had some Sharpies on sale, so I picked up a pack (or three). Using Sharpies to decorate ho-hum, plain storage containers is fast and fun.

decorate with sharpies

These cute, little bucket thingies were found on a clearance shelf. I thought it would be perfect to hold small craft supplies, so I bought one. Okay I bought two. But they do need a little something to perk them up a bit.

pretty storage by createandbabble

All I did was add dots to the buckets with a black Sharpie. I also painted the wire handle with the black sharpie, too. I used a white Sharpie paint pen for the little, wooden handle. It doesn’t get much easier than that, and isn’t it cute? It’s the perfect little organizer for all the little things that I use almost daily.


Starting on August 10th all Sharpie fine and Ultra Fine markers and highlighters will be on sale at Staples “while supplies last”

I did say that I bought two of those hanging bucket thingies, right?

making pretty organization with sharpies

This one was sprayed with white spray paint first. Then I enlisted Dan to paint on the screws and nails because I can’t draw to save my life. He thinks the nails look like golf tees ; )

painting with sharpies

But, I can paint a bucket handle with a Sharpie paint pen.

There you go. Two clearance shelf storage items made pretty, functional and unique. And all it takes are a few Sharpie pens and a little imagination. And a Dan who can draw ; )

Oh, one more thing before you run off to Staples to get those Sharpies: you can paint on fabric with Sharpies! How cool! Check this out:

paint fabric with sharpies I printed out a design on fabric (using my home printer – see how here) and started coloring in the flowers. Isn’t that pretty! Think of all the things you could do with that: tote bag, pillow, wall art, etc.

DIY Paint Storage Shelf

Do you ever find yourself with a large collection of craft items and don’t know how to store them? I seem to have amassed a fairly large collection of craft paints. I had them in a basket but that just wasn’t working for me any longer. It was taking too long to find the color I was looking for plus it was a mess. I knew I could come up with something better. Here is my DIY Paint Storage Shelf.

DIY Paint Storage Shelf | createandbabble.com

This was a super-easy build and it didn’t cost much to make. Home Depot has craft boards in their lumber aisle. I love using those for small projects like this mostly because I can fit them in my car and don’t have to borrow someone’s truck to get them home.

Want to make one? Here’s how:

Materials used:

  • a piece of 1/4″ plywood (the size this will determine the size of your shelf. I had a scrap piece that measured about 18″ wide x 19 3.4″ high)
  • 3-1/2″ x 1/2″ boards
  • 1-1/2″ x 1.2″ boards
  • paint

Tools used*:

  • Ryobi miter saw
  • Ryobi AirStrike Stapler

*I am fortunate that I have these power tools (thanks to Santa and Ryobi!), but I would think you could cut this thin wood with a hand saw or better yet, have Home Depot cut it for you. And small wood nails could be used if you don’t have an Airstrike stapler….yet.


Make Paint Storage Shelf by createandbabble

  • Cut (or have cut) the 3-1/2 boards: 2 @ the height of the plywood piece and 2 @ the the width of plywood piece minus one inch.

paint storage shelf by createandbabble

  • Staple together to form a rectangle frame
  • Staple the plywood back onto the frame

Paint Storage Shelf by createandbabble

  • Cut (or have cut) the 1-1/2″ x 1/2″ boards to the inside width dimension of your shelf. I cut six of these for my shelf. Dry fit them into your shelf and tilt them before stapling. The tilted shelves keep the bottles of paint from falling out.

Now that the shelf is assembled it’s time to sand and paint.

Build Your Own Paint Storage Shelf

I used a gray craft paint that I had on hand. I plan on doing a little fun decorating to this piece. More on that in a week or two. But for now I love how all of my craft paint has a pretty, organized home!

DIY Paint Storage

It’s so nice to be able to see all of the colors at a glance. It beats dumping out a basket of paints looking for the one I thought I had!

DIY Paint Storage Shelf

And yes, that bottom area is empty. For now. I have plans for that! Stay tuned!

Tell me. How do you store your craft and DIY supplies? And if you make this shelf I’d love to hear about it!

Sharing at The Scoop, Project Inspired, Inspire Me Tuesday, Twirl & Take a Bow, Wow Us Wednesday, Link Party Palooza, The Party Bunch

DIY Onesie Dresses

Having a granddaughter is so much fun. Don’t get me wrong – I still spoil my grandson (my daughter can attest to that!), but having a little girl to shop and sew for after 6 years of boy stuff brings all sorts of new fun to being “Nanny”! Like these DIY onesie dresses. Apparently onesie dresses have made their rounds on Pinterest and blogs for a couple of years, but they’re new to me since I’ve been in “little boy world” for a while.

Easy DIY Onesie Dresses | createandbabble.com

It only takes about 1/3 yard of fabric to make these dresses for the 3-month size onesies. The amount of fabric you buy determines the length of the skirt section (minus an inch for the hem) that is sewn onto the onesie.


For the placement of the skirt on the onesie, I measured down one inch below each arm hole seam. Then I made two tiny, light dots with a pen and then used a straight edge to make more dots to ensure my skirt would be sewn on straight. These dots are covered with skirt so I didn’t worry about using a disappearing ink pen. Although I’m sure I have one somewhere.


One of the ways to gather the fabric is to sew on a length of elastic. You pull the elastic while sewing.


I prefer to just use the good old basting stitch and pull the bobbin thread. Then I sew on some coordinating bias tape.


After the bias tape is sewn on, I trim the edge close to the bias tape, fold over, and stitch onto the onesie.


Of course I had to add some extras, like ribbon and lace.


You know you have way too much ribbon when you have some that matches your fabric exactly! And you know you have enough headbands if one matches the fabric perfectly!


Oh that sweet, little face!

Hanging Curtain Rods – An Easy Way

I don’t know why I didn’t think of sharing this idea with you sooner. This idea came to me about 100 years ago when I got my first apartment that had about 100 windows.

I’m exaggerating. There were only about 9 windows. ; )

It was a cute, little apartment above a jewelry store in a cute, little, one-traffic-light town. My mom made all the curtains for me using sheets. I can still picture that fabric in my mind.  Funny how that works….I don’t remember what I was doing five minutes ago but I recall the pattern of those curtains.

Being young, naive and IMPATIENT, I wanted to get those curtains up in a hurry. And being young, naive and MEASURING TAPELESS, I came up with a way of marking each window so that each curtain rod was installed at the same distance from each side of the window.  I still use that method to this day and now I’m going to show you.

All you need is a piece of cardboard, chipboard, or even a thicker piece of scrapbook paper will do in a pinch. (Back in that apartment, I ripped a flap off a cardboard box)
The size of the cardboard will determine how far away from the window your curtain rod hardware will be:

  • the WIDTH of the cardboard will be the distance the curtain rod hardware will be away from the SIDE of the window
  • the HEIGHT of the cardboard will be the distance  the curtain rod hardware will be away from the TOP of the window

Now because I’m lazy OR always in a hurry (depends on how you look at it), I rarely measure when it comes to stuff like this. My curtain rods don’t have to be exactly 6.8778135″ above each window.  I eyeball it. BUT if measuring is your thing, I say do what makes you happy!

For the curtains rods that I installed last night, I cut an 8-1/2 x 11″ chip board in half. That meant my curtain rod hardware would be 5-1/2″ away from the sides and 8-1/2″ away from the tops of my windows. Works for me.

So once you have the correctly sized cardboard, tape it to the wall at the corner of your window: corner to corner. I just eyeball it to make sure it’s straight. You could also place a small level along the side if you don’t trust your eyeballing skills.
hanging curtain rods
Drill the screw (or in my case: hammer the tip of the drywall anchor) right through chipboard (or cardboard) into the wall just enough to mark the spot.

Remove the screw or drywall anchor and the chipboard. Put the screw or anchor back in the hole and finish tapping the anchor  into the wall.
hang curtain rods an easy way
Now take that same piece of chipboard (or cardboard) and flip it onto the opposite corner of the window and repeat using the hold that you made on the first side.
easy way to measure for curtain rods
Finish attaching the hardware and that’s it. Now you have perfectly symmetrical curtain rod hardware installed.

hanging-curtain-rods-6 Now after only six years, there are curtains hanging in my bedroom!

hanging-curtain-rods-7 And yes, my bedroom is still orange….but let’s call it Apricot! I’ve got big plans for this little nook….I just don’t know what they are yet. Maybe a window seat? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

My DIY Farmhouse Table

It’s done. I did it. I can’t believe I did it. But I did. I built a table. Built it from scratch. Do carpenters say that? Built from scratch? It’s sounds like I baked a cake. I built it from a pile of lumber. Yes, that sounds better. Here is my built from scratch, I mean my DIY farmhouse table.

My DIY Harvest Table | createandbabble.com I’ve been wanting to build something ever since my Ryobi Christmas. Yes, I had a Ryobi Christmas. Two years ago. Santa (aka Dan) left a huge bag of Ryobi power tools under the tree. (I must have been pretty good.)
Ryobi Miter Saw
I just had to have a miter saw. Dan of course questioned this desire. The conversation went something like this:
Dan: Why do you need a miter saw?
Me: So I can build something.
Dan: Like what?
Me: I don’t know yet, but I want to build it. Think of all the wonderful things I can build.

(Now keep in mind I’ve never built anything with wood and power tools in my life.)
So for Christmas I got the miter saw, a reciprocating saw, a drill, a circular saw and EVERY piece of safety equipment known to man.
I read every single manual for every tool. Cover to cover. I visited some of my favorite DIY blogs and read up on how to safely use power tools. I spent a lot of time on the Ryobi website, reading and learning. Only after all of that did I muster up the courage to actually take the tools out the boxes and insert the batteries. I wanted to get a feel for them. Find out how they felt in my hands. I wanted to get used to the sound and sight of spinning blades. I had some wood that I had bought at the Restore to practice on. I picked up the circular saw first. And quickly handed it off to Dan and said: “you do it”.
My DIY Farmhouse Table|createandbabble.com But I eventually gave it a try and now I am comfortably using my power tools with a healthy respect for them. And yes, that’s a sewing square on the wood in the photo above. It works. ; )
Farmhouse Table DIY | createandbabble.com There is an incredibly talented woman by the name of Ana White. All DIY bloggers know about Ana. I have never had the pleasure of meeting her, but I hope to some day. The plans for this narrow farmhouse table are from Ana’s website.
DIY Narrow Farmhouse Table | createandbabble.com Is my table perfect? Heck no. I made plenty of mistakes.
DIY table But I learned a lot. For example: I now know how to countersink a screw and that it hurts a lot to miss the nail and hit your thumb with a hammer.
diy-farmhouse-table I wanted my farmhouse table to work as a desk in my office. Once I put the legs together it became apparent that this table/desk was going to be huge and difficult to carry up a flight of stairs so I decided to assemble the rest of it in my office. I wanted this table to look old. Old and worn. I stained it first and let that dry.

farmhouse table DIY Then two coats of MMS Milk Paint in Ironstone followed by sanding and a lot of distressing. I figured the old and worn look would cover my mistakes, too.


Lastly, I used MMS White Wax to finish it off.


 I love how the white wax settles into the grooves and evens out the contrast giving the table a worn and loved feel and appearance.

Farmhouse Table DIY | createandbabble.com

DIY farmhouse table | createandbabble.com

I wanted a long table to serve as a desk and a workspace. With room for all my stuff.

Farmhouse Table DIY by createandbabble.com

A space big enough where I can cut fabric and paper…..

…and room for my favorite crafting tool, of course!
DIY farmhouse table | createandbabble.com

And a television so the “Housewives” can keep me company while I’m crafting. ; )

DIY Farmhouse Table | createandbabble.com

Overall I gotta say I’m pretty proud of this table. It’s not perfect by any means, but I love it and learned so much. I can’t wait to make something else! It’s time to break out the table saw that I got for my birthday!

Sharing at: Project Inspired, Tutorials & Tips, Met MondayInspire Me Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays

4th of July Star Canvas & Silhouette Promotion

The 4th of July is right around the corner so I made this cute, little 4th of July Star Canvas to add a little patriotic sparkle to my office.

4th-of-July-Star-Canvas | Createandbabble.com

It was made using:

  • Silhouette Stencil Material (I fell in love with this stencil material after using it to makeover a favorite chair of mine)
  • 8×8 canvas
  • blue acrylic craft paint
  • white spray paint
  • small paint brush

The shape that I used is the Star Inverted Rhinestone Design ID #6443 from the Silhouette Online Store. This shape has a message on it instructing you not to alter the size, but since we’re not using this for rhinestones, go ahead and resize for the size of your canvas. I resized mine to 8×8 to fit my canvas.

4th of July Star Canvas by createandbabble.com

First I painted the canvas with blue craft paint and let it dry. Since the stencil material is adhesive, I just stuck it down on the canvas and sprayed the white spray paint over the whole thing.

4th of July Star Canvas by createandbabble.com

Since I didn’t pay attention to how well the stencil was sticking to the canvas around the edges, I ended up with this sort of bokeh affect! That’s one happy accident! Trust me, it’s rare when my mistakes actually look good.

4th of July Star Canvas by createandbabble

I like how it looks like there are lights shining through the canvas.

Oh, and one more thing about the stencil material: the stencils that you create using it are reusable! Yep, reusable.

silhouette stencil material

I used the same stencil on a T-shirt.


We will be at the beach over the 4th and now I’ll have a cute t-shirt to wear to the boardwalk to watch the fireworks.

By the way, right now is a great time to stock up on all types of Silhouette materials (including my favorite: the stencil material) and accessories and save 30%! Buy as much or as little as you’d like.


30% OFF all materials and accessories!

Just remember to use the code: BABBLE during checkout.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase using these links, I will earn a small commission. As always, I only recommend products that I use and love and you know I love my Silhouette! I was not compensated for this post, but did receive product. All opinions are 100% my own.

Tie-Dyed T-shirts

Happy Summer! I cannot tell you how happy I am that summer is here. I’ll take hot and humid over cold and snow any day! Summer to me means fun. And this year we’re going to tie-dye our summer, starting with the tie-dyed t-shirts.


As most of you probably know, Dan and I love to ride our bikes. Riding bikes is our favorite summer activity and we are planning another long bike ride at the end of this summer. This time we’re going to have two more riders (my brother and sister-in-law) take the trip from Pittsburgh to DC with us. And I thought it would be fun to make some tie-dye t-shirts for us all to wear on one of the days. I love how bright they are and they were fun to make.


Tulip has One-Step Tie-Dye Kits in various sizes. One-Step means just that – you just add water to the bottle. The powdered dye is already in it. No measuring, no adding other ingredients. It couldn’t be easier. Wow, tie-dying has come a long way. I remember the tie-dying sessions at the neighborhood playground many, many years ago where we would go from bucket to bucket of different colored dyes dipping in sections of our t-shirts. This is so much better (and less messy)!

Tie-dye Your Summer

Even the grandbabies got in on the fun! Melanie looks like she’s supervising!

Tulip Tie-Dye Your Summer

Here’s how we made our tie-dyed T-shirts.

  • The first thing I did was wash the new T-shirts.
  • Then you fold and tie them up with the rubber bands that are provided in the kit. Tulip’s website has lots of instructions and ideas for creating various patterns. For a spiral pattern, I grabbed the middle of the t-shirt and twisted and rubber banded until it looked like the photo above.


  • Next is the fun part: squirting on the different colors of dye.

Tulip Tie-dye Your Summer

  • Once you’re done applying the dye, wrap the t-shirt in plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag for at least eight hours.
  • Then rinse the t-shirt until the water runs clear.
  • Next, wash separately with a little detergent. The instructions also recommend to wash your tie-dyed items separately for the first few washings.


Tie-dying is a fun, summer activity that even the kiddos will enjoy (outside, with supervision of course!) I think it would be fun to make them for a family reunion. Now wouldn’t that make for a colorful family photo!

Please visit ILovetoCreate on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more creative and fun creating ideas.

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Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Blue Print Social and ILovetoCreate for Tulip Tie-Dye. As always, the thoughts and experience expressed here are entirely my own.

Easy to Make Patriotic Bunting

Hi Friends! Today, I am joining in on a week-long 4th of July Tour with fifteen of my blogging friends. We are each sharing a craft, recipe, decor idea, etc. to help give you some red, white and blue inspiration for the Fourth of July! I’m excited to show you my easy to make patriotic bunting.
When I was trying to decide what I wanted to make for this tour, I knew I didn’t want to spend much money, but instead, challenge myself to come up with some Fourth of July decor using what I already had. So I shopped my home first to see what red, white, and blue items I could find. I found a couple of framed prints, two baskets with red trim, the ribbon garland that I made last year, and some miniature flags.
ribbon garland_createandbabble.com
In other words: not much.
I have always admired fabric patriotic buntings. Hmmm, maybe I can make one. So I made a quick trip to JoAnn’s for fabric and only spent around $7. I kinda had an idea of how to make one, but I did a quick web search anyway to make sure I knew what I was doing. I found this tutorial online and when I found out it was written by Miss Mustard Seed herself, well, I knew it would be a good one!
I pretty much followed those instructions, but made a few adjustments. Instead of pleating and pinning, I gathered my strips by pulling the bobbin thread of a straight, loose stitch I had sewn down the edge of each strip.
And I skipped the whole adding the grommets part. I’ve attached grommets before – they’re not hard at all. I just didn’t have any, so I attached my bunting with my favorite hangers: Command Strips!
I’ll probably add grommets later since I’ll be using this bunting outside.

I love how it looks on my neighbor’s deck. Why is it on my neighbor’s deck?

Because look at those flowers! She has the greenest thumb! (and my deck is surrounded by weeds : (


What are your plans for the Fourth of July? I’ll be pulling weeds ; )


I’d love for you to visit my friends’ blogs and see their amazing creations. Just click on the photos below. Enjoy!

An InLinkz Link-up

I link  up here.
Linking here:
Savvy Southern Style