07/24/14

Small sitting nook with colorful artwork

You may already know this about me, because I’ve mentioned it more than a few times, but I’m a huge fan of art. It’s what I went to school for, it’s what I taught for almost three years, and it’s still a big part of my life today. Even though I rarely pick up a paint brush these days, unless it’s for a DIY project.

But when it comes to my workspace, there is nothing hanging on the walls. I may have a piece or two that hangs for a few days, while I take photos or work on a wall art DIY, but once that’s done, the art comes down. Which has been fine. But I’m finally at a point where it’s getting to me a little bit. We have art in every other room of the house and I spend so much time in this one room in particular. Sooooo, I thought I better step it up, and add something that I can keep up all the time.

So, I got to thinking about the thousands of photos that I’ve taken, that are just sitting on my computer. Lightbulb. ‘Hey. I could totally blow up a few photos from our recent trip to USVI as artwork.’

So, I partnered with InstaThis, a site that allows you to print your photos, from Instagram or your own photo library, onto wood, metal, and custom coasters, to make it happen. Have you heard about them yet? It’s a pretty awesome site.

They do prints as small as 6×6 and as large as 24×36! And coasters too, which I also have a set of. See all available print sizes and pricing here.

Make wall art with your own photos

Summer Staples: Dotted Clutch + Rachel Comey Sandals

Seating area in a studio / workspace

These are the three photos I had printed for the far wall in my workspace: one was printed on wood (bottom left) and the other two on aluminum (top left and right)…

Now, if I’m being honest, I’m always a little nervous about what the quality will be for prints, especially in larger sizes. So, I was super excited when I received my package in the mail and was able to see how well they turned out. The quality is top notch! FYI: I used hi-res images (not Instagram photos) when ordering, since I wanted larger prints (16×24 / 12×18 / 8×12). So just keep that in mind.

Anyway… I took a bunch of photos of my updated little workspace nook, now that the new pieces have been hung. I swear our Nelson bench gets moved around so much, but it looks good with everything, so I can’t help it. 

After adding a couple of colorful pillows, I’m liking how this area is coming together. It’s a good spot to sit down for a little while with my laptop if I want to get away from my desk. Or as a little seating area when people come over to help with projects (or just say hi).

What do you think?

Travel Photos from USVI

Make your own photo coasters

Wood beach print

Summer photo coasters

A workspace mini makeover

Styling and Photography by Brittni Mehlhoff

Bonus! Receive 35% off your entire purchase at InstaThis with promo code SUMMER35 from now until the end of July.

Visit InstaThis to start making prints from your own photos anytime. And let me know in the comments below what you think of my new (mini) seating area.

This post is in partnership with InstaThis. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

07/23/14

DIY // Typographic Leaf Place Cards

So…I keep buying fiddle fig trees. And I keep accidentally killing them. I mean well, but I’m just not sure I’m a good plant caretaker. As hard as I try. BUT the good news there is that my apparent lack of plant know-how led to today’s DIY.

I used some of the dying leaves to create these gold leaf letter leaves for place settings, inspired by these little car cut outs I’ve had bookmarked for months. My goodness these are so easy!

They’d be a great last minute touch for a dinner party and I’m willing to bet you already have everything you need to make them…Well, almost everything. You may not have the gold leaf (which you can totally skip if need be).

DIY Typographic Leaf Place Cards

Supplies:

Leaves (these could be dying leaves or fresh ones, picked from indoors plants, trees outside, etc) // Scissors // Gold Leaf // Gold Leaf Adhesive // Paint Brush

How To:

1. Start by collecting your leaves.

2. Then, cut letters from the leaves, with a pair of scissors.

3. Add adhesive to the areas you want the gold leaf to stick. Then, place the gold leaf on top and gently rub away excess. Done.

How to Make DIY Leaf Letters for Entertaining

I decided to just use the first letter in each (mock) guest’s first name, to keep things casual. But if you have more than one guest with the same first letter in their name, you can easily make this a traditional monogram and include the three leaves at each place setting – to represent the first, middle, and last name of each guest.

These would be really fun to try in the fall as well, with the leaves changing color and everything. Or even Thanksgiving.

DIY Monogrammed Place Cards Made from Leaves

DIY Leaf Typography

Bowl Full of Figs

Leaf Typography DIY

DIY Typographic Place Cards Made of Leaves

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

What do you think? Would you give these a try at a dinner party?

07/22/14

Summer DIY // Clay Drink Stirrers Tutorial

Today, I’m excited to be partnering with CreativeLive one more time (see the first set of DIYs here) to put together the last set of summer entertaining DIYs.

The first of the two is this clay drink stirrers DIY. I really love these…They’re easy, look cool, and have some practicality to them as well for stirring drinks (or does everyone just use drink stirrers as decoration?).

And the second project can be found over on CreativeLive –, for a colorful DIY summer tray. Peek at that project in the image below, in all of it’s green glory.

Make Clay Drink Stirrers for Summer Parties

Clay Drink Stirrers Tutorial

I was inspired by one of my favorite necklaces that I bought from Poketo a while back, by Emily Green. She creates these crazy awesome necklaces with big, colorful clay beads. They’re super fun.

So, I thought, why not translate that playful vibe into summer drink stirrers. I love playing around with clay anyway, and it gave me an excuse to buy this clay sampler pack (it has 30 different colors of clay) too. Win-win!

Want to make your own clay drink stirrers? Here’s how…

Supplies:

oven bake clay in various colors (I bought mine from Amazon)// drinks stirrers (these are the ones I used) // bamboo skewer // glue

How to make colorful clay drink stirrers

How-To:

1. Break off small chunks of clay (anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch in size) and form round balls in the palms of your hands.

2. Next, create a hole large enough to fit onto the drink stirrer (the ones I used are a little bit thick) through the center of each ball. You can do this by poking a bamboo skewer through each ball and then wiggling it around to make the hole larger. Or you can use a leftover drink stirrer to poke through the clay balls instead. Either way, it’s super easy.

3. Once the balls have been formed and the center holes have been created, you can change the form of these beads to something more oval or square shaped if you prefer. Squish the clay together more for a squatty oval shape. Or press a round bead against a hard service and rotate to create a more squared-off shape.

4. Next, it’s time to add designs to the clay beads. Using a bamboo skewer you can create all the designs that you see in the photos – small stipples, larger indented polka dots, small hash marks, etc.

5. Once the designs are done, bake the clay pieces in the oven according to the instructions on the clay packaging.

6. Once the clay has baked and cooled, attach the beads to drink stirrers with glue. Let them dry completely and enjoy.

Colorful DIY Drink Stirrers

Summer Entertaining DIY // Clay Drink Stirrers

Summer Party Snack // Cherries

DIY Serving Tray + DIY Drink Stirrers

I was thinking about creating a new set of these for each season. Each in a different season-specific color scheme, since they’re so easy. One set for summer, one for fall, one for winter, one for spring. What do you think?

And if drink stirrers aren’t your thing, you could easily modify this tutorial and make cool wine markers instead…or reusable cupcake toppers.

Summer Entertaining DIYs // Serving Tray + Drink Stirrers Tutorial

DIY Drink Stirrers for Summer Parties

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

How do you celebrate summer? Any tips, tricks, or DIY ideas you want to share? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to visit CreativeLive for the corresponding DIY tutorial to today’s post: how to transform a store bought serving tray.

P.S. You may recognize those DIY watercolor in the photos from this tutorial I shared a couple of weeks ago.