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DIY HOME | Staining My Dining Room Table

DIY PROJECT, Home DIY

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If you all have been following along on ISPYDIY Instagram, you’ve seen that I have been putting some finishing touches on my dining room and kitchen, and giving it a bit of a Fall makeover. I was going to waiting till I had everything done to show you all photos, but I a bunch of you DMed me questions about my kitchen table while I was staining it, and I wanted to give you the details right away! A little backstory, when we were gutting the house, and vaulting the ceilings, I had the demo guys keep a bunch of the original 125-year-old 2x4s. I knew I wanted a big kitchen table for entertaining, and thought using them would be a fun homage to the house and it’s history. My carpenter pulled out the one million nails from each piece of wood, and ran them though a plainer a bunch of times, then glued and clamped the 2x4s together to create the top. I stretched up a base idea for him, and he welded it to match the vision I had in my head perfectly!

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The table has been sitting unfinished for about a  year and a half, because I was not sure what direction I wanted to go with it. I honestly love the unfinished wood look, but it left the room looking a bit undone. I went stain shopping an found a color I had not seen before called Minwax® Early American, and I thought it would be perfect to give the wood a richer tone and really show the character. It did exactly that! I love the color variation from one piece of wood to the next. ispydiy_diningtable9
Next, was deciding on a top coat…gloss or matte. I tend to always go for matte satin, but I thought for a dining table that would have to withstand a lot of spills, a gloss would be better…so I ended up somewhere in the middle with a semi-gloss Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane specially formulated to use on surfaces exposed to water. No coasters for me! I was nervous because it looks SUPER glossy when it goes on, but it dried with just the right amount of sheen.
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Steps and Supplies after the break!  (more…)


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DIY THANKSGIVING | Printed Ribbon Placeholders

DIY PROJECT, Holiday DIY, Home DIY

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I have to admit, I have never been too excited to decorate for Thanksgiving because I never loved the color palette…orange, bleh! But mixing a little orange with pale pinks and greens…yes! But mixing a little orange with pale pinks and greens…yes! I partnered up with Brother™ to create a tablescape inspired buy these new Fall hues! Finding decorations that fit my color scheme was so much easier than I thought: the craft store has plastic pumpkins in blush and mint, the grocery store had a bunch of decorative gourds, giant pale green squash, and I spray painted little pumpkins with a matte cream color.

I started by laying down this gorgeous pink runner – I LOVE how light it is, and the movement it brings to the table. I played around a bit with the pumpkins and gourds, originally adding candle stick holders, then a floral arrangement…but ended up scaling back to just the pumpkins and gourds, with a simple table setting.
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Next, my favorite part! I finally got to play with my  P-touch Embellish Ribbon & Tape Printer. That’s right, you can print your personalized messages on a selection of satin ribbons! Honestly, I have not even scratched the surface of the insane amount of different fonts, symbols, patterns, borders this little machine has. Since there is so much happening on the table I wanted to keep it simple with a lower case font on a white ribbon with gold text (complete with a heart). Very clean, very classic.

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I started with my guest’s names, and pinned each ribbon to a little pumpkin on their plate for placeholders. Then I was having so much fun, I decided to  include a message for passing the bread…I had to stop myself before tying a little ribbon on to everything! It’s just such an elegant (not to mention quick) way to add an extra little touch. Brilliant! (more…)


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DIY Tiny Party | Fern + Floor Pillow Friendsgiving

Home DIY

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Remember when I was out in LA last month? Well, we had a super fun design challenge: Evite asked me to create a tiny Friendsgiving dinner party in a 10×10 room on a $500 budget for their first-ever Tiny Party Challenge. Fun, right?! This was right up my ally, considering most my 20’s were spent stuffing all my friends into the smallest NYC apartments for the holidays! We always had to create makeshift dining tables, so I knew immediately that I wanted to gather around a coffee table, with a ton of pillows for seating, to create a super cozy setup. Next up, I wanted to bring a bunch of greenery into the space, so we created this backdrop by cloth-pinning ferns and palm leaves to thin rope (we used push pins to hold the rope, but if you don’t want holes in the wall try Command hooks.) You can get bundles of greens for cheap, so you don’t have to blow the budget on flowers!

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Sidenote: I experienced the LA flower market for the first time ever and almost lost my mind with happiness. We “splurged” on some flowers because everything was wholesale price and that huge bushel of silver dollar eucalyptus…only $10! I have not found a place like this in Wisconsin yet, but if you ask your local florist ahead of time, they can order greenery in bulk for you.

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Since space was tight, the tablescape was compact. I love using clear plates and letting the greenery peek through. The combination of these beautifully dyed napkins and gorgeous silverware make my heart so happy. And I’ll be honest, I brought more budget friendly silverware, but switched it out for these white and gold showstoppers from my kitchen…because I knew you all would love them #worthit

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Now it was time to figure out how to fit all the table settings and food since we were short on space on the coffee table. A good tip is to use ottomans, poufs, and a bar cart to set extra dishes on…a small table is no reason to skimp on food! To squeeze everyone around the coffee table and make the dinner super comfy, we pulled all the pillows from around my house (also doubles as a great way to nap while still hanging out post-turkey.)
The hanging Thank You cards were a sweet touch. I love the idea of giving each of your guests a card so they can write thankful notes and pin them to the wall. Then everyone can pick one to read during dessert! And to tie the dinner together, Evite custom created this invite based on my room design!
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What do you all think?! Who wants to join me for Friendsgiving?! Hope we gave you all some good tips to create your own dinner party, and to help you out, Evite is giving you the chance to win $500 to make the most of your space and create your own dinner party! Just head this way to vote for my Tiny Party, and you will be entered to win!

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