DIY: FREE Halloween Art

A few weeks ago when I was looking for my Halloween decorations, I happened upon an image that inspired me to DIY a little Halloween art. You can look back at that post and see my inspiration here. As promised, I’m going to share how I made it so you can do the same!

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - ONE

I looked at Wikimedia Commons and found a bunch of options. This one was my favorite. It looked aged and hand sketched like it actually had a scientific or medical purpose instead of just a picture of a skull. Intentional Art – I love that!

Skull aged WikimediaCommons

Here are a couple of my other favorites. I ended up searching both skulls and full skeletons.

Skull Wikimedia Options

The first option looked aged already but I wasn’t sure if it would look the same after I printed it, and the others were bright white. I decided they all needed a little doctoring {wait, I seriously didn’t say that to be funny}. Do you remember in grade school when you soaked paper in tea after you crumpled it up and smoothed it back out? Well that’s exactly what I did. I printed the image on a regular printer, soaked it in tea, crumpled it up, let it dry, and then framed it and hung it on the wall. Take a look:

What you need:

1. An image printed on regular white printer paper

2. A 9″x13″ pyrex baking dish, or other container that is at least the size of your paper and can hold hot liquid

3. Three to Four tea bags {any variety you have on hand is fine}

4. Hot water

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 2

First things first – get your water hot. I used my tea kettle on the stove but you could just as easily heat some water in the microwave. It needs to be hot enough to release that beautiful color from the tea leaves in your tea bags, and the warmth of the water will also help the paper absorb the color.

Once your water is hot {but not boiling} pour it into your dish so that you have about an inch of liquid. The amount of water will vary depending on the size of your dish {and the size of your paper} but I used between 2.5 and 3 cups of water. Add your tea bags and dip them repeatedly so the tea leaves inside are fully saturated and plenty of the color is released. Then place your piece of paper in the water and use a utensil to make sure it is fully submerged – you don’t want it to just sit on top of the water. When I did this I used my finger but the water was pretty hot. Please make sure you don’t burn yourself!

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 3

CitySouthern DIYHalloweenArt 5

CitySouthern DIYHalloweenArt - 4

Now that the paper is fully covered in brown water, you can leave it alone or you can place the tea bags directly on top of the water. This will create a few spots of darker color when you remove the paper from the water – it’s completely optional but I like the effect because I want the end result to be imperfect and uneven.

DSC_0298

Let your paper soak in the water for a while. 30 minutes is probably long enough. The time will vary depending on what type of paper you use, how saturated the tea is, and how dark you want the result to be. I would suggest not leaving the paper in the tea for longer than an hour so the paper doesn’t get too soft.

When it’s time to remove your paper from the tea, use caution because the paper is delicate and will rip easily. Carefully transfer the paper to a flat surface for drying. I used a cookie sheet with two layers of paper towel on top. This helped to prevent a big mess and also absorbed some of the excess tea.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 6

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 7

If you want to take the aged look one step further, there’s one final optional step to this process. Take that piece of paper that I just told you to be super careful with, and crumble it up into a ball! Of course, you have to be even more careful when you open the paper back up.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 9

See how much more authentic that looks? Instant age!

Once your paper is completely dry, the only thing left to do is frame it and hang it on the wall. I used a simple black frame that I happened to have on hand. You can get the same one here. I figured a black frame would help the image stand out now that I made it all a bit darker. Plus it’s for Halloween and black is the obvious choice for the theme.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 10

So there you have it, friends. A fun little Halloween DIY that will cost you nothing but your time and a few items you probably have on hand already. This is also a fun project to do with kids! If you try it for yourself, be sure to come back and let us all know how it turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Halloween

The end of September is near and I’m getting ready for Halloween. Avery was just a little lump of a tiger {she was Aubie} last year for Halloween at 3 months old. But this year she can walk around and is a little more aware of what’s going on which means I’m excited to see her reaction to it all! When it comes to holidays, there’s something about having a kid that gives me back the kind of excitement I had when I was a kid. We have plans for a trip to the Pumpkin Patch and I’m researching costume ideas. I also decided to locate our Halloween decorations…and had no luck! I was in a slight panic last week thinking that the tub of Halloween stuff was donated with the last trip to Salvation Army. If the plastic skeletons that hang from our front tree didn’t make it, then I’ll be okay. But the actual home decor that’s a little more chic {and expensive} is what I’m worried about. Not to mention I’ve been collecting it since before Chris and I ever started dating so it would take me a long time to build back up to what I had before!

Should the old stuff be truly gone forever, I need a backup plan. So I started thinking ahead to how I can quickly and cheaply add some new decorations this year and I came up with a few ideas. I was inspired by this picture I found on Houzz.

CitySouthern Halloween Decor Ideas

See the skeleton picture reflected in the mirror? I saw that and thought – that would be great to hang on the wall for Halloween! I began searching Etsy for a skull print and there are tons of options. This one seems to have similar qualities to the inspiration photo with it’s sketched look and antiqued paper.

Skull Artkurka Etsy

It’s a really reasonably priced little print which makes me happy. And I’m sure I have an empty frame I could use. But I’ve got the DIY bug and I don’t want to just buy an aged-looking crisp piece of art. I want something that looks and feels like a page from an antique book, or was hanging on the wall of creepy haunted mansion. Maybe it was salvaged from an abandoned asylum? It’s Halloween afterall! So…I decided I’m going to DIY it. For FREE! I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out but at least I know I’ve got etsy as a backup plan!

And because I love a good happy ending, I found the box of missing decorations when I cleaned out the entire garage this past weekend. {There was definitely an embarrassing happy dance in the driveway for all the neighbors to see.} I can’t wait to start putting them up!

So when do you put up your Halloween decorations? Comment below, and stay tuned to see how my creepy skull print turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy

 

 

UPDATE: My artwork is complete! To see the tutorial for my DIY Project, click here!

I Can’t Decide on Fabric

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen this picture. It’s an ottoman that I reupholstered once upon a time in a far away land where I had free time that I took for granted didn’t have a kid yet.

Ottoman Instagram

The light blue chevron doesn’t go with anything anymore. I should take that back. It goes with the one blue accent wall in our living room. {That I did not paint. That I do not like. That I have finally decided to paint over.}

Since the wall is getting painted, it’s time to RE-reupholster the ottoman. And to reupholster it’s twin that I never got around to. Or maybe I just knew that the chevron wasn’t quite right and wouldn’t last so I was saving myself the future trouble of removing all those staples?? I’m not really in love with the curves of the x-base on these ottomans anymore either but using them is cheaper than replacing them so I will gladly spend a few dollars on the fabric. Especially when the retail price for just ONE of the ottomans I fell in love with on One Kings Lane is about 5 times the price I paid for BOTH of the ones I already have!

Ottoman - X base inspiration

{Ottoman, currently unavailable}

Back to the dilemma: I can’t decide on the fabric to use to reupholster my ottomans! We are still rearranging the furniture in our house so I’m not even sure if they will stay on the main floor or move upstairs to our bedroom, but the colors in both areas are the same {and neutral…shocker} so whatever fabric I choose will go with the rest of the room either way. I’m very into geometric prints right now and I’ve always had a thing for ikat prints. {haha, i-kat…I just noticed that. yes, I’m weird and my nickname starts with a “k” even though my full name starts with a “c”. complain all you want but The Dutchess Kate does the same thing and I don’t hear everyone complaining about her!}

I couldn’t find any upholstery grade fabrics at local craft stores or cheap online fabric retailers so I started looking at Spoonflower because I can find the pattern I like and then order the type of fabric that I need. If you haven’t ever looked at Spoonflower you should – it’s kind of like Society6 in a way. All these artists submit their designs and Spoonflower will print that design on a range of fabrics for you! Each artist will tell you if you are allowed to sell products using their design or not so it would be a great resource for an etsy shop owner too.

I’ve been loving a few fabrics with triangles ever since I saw this Nate Berkus fabric at Calico Corners. So I searched for triangles and came up with these that are similar:

Fabric - grey and cream triangles

{ one | two | three }

I also found some prints while searching for triangles that had a more Southwestern vibe. I certainly don’t think my house currently has an overwhelming “Southwestern” vibe to it but I keep finding myself drawn to the patterns and textures.

Fabric - Southwestern

{ four | five | six }

And there were a few that had a burlap look but I’m not sure how they would look and feel in person.

Fabric - burlaps

{ seven | eight }

Swiss Cross designs have been a bit of an obsession lately. {Did you see my new bedding? You can buy it here.} These are some of the options I found for swiss cross.

Fabric - Swiss Cross Natural

{ nine | ten | eleven | twelve }

And of course, this black and white one is the opposite of my bedding so that would be pretty cool in the master bedroom.

Fabric - Spoonflower - kleababy crosses white on black

{ thirteen }

I have to keep in mind that the legs of the ottomans are a very dark wood so I’m not sure that a black background is the way to go. But I might still drape a sheepskin over top like you see in the first picture. With the new fabric the sheepskin would be there to break up the dark colors and to add a layer of texture where as it is currently there purely to cover up as much of the blue as possible.

So if those were your options, which fabric would you choose? Alternate suggestions are more than welcome! Thanks in advance for voting and I will be sure to do a full reveal when I’m done!

Catherine Calligraphy

 

FALLing for Nate Berkus

I am at Target a lot. No really, a LOT. I often end up with lots of things in my cart that weren’t on my list. I often walk around the store and think it over while I get the necessities, then put some of the other things back because I don’t need them. More often than not, the things that I can’t live without are part of the Nate Berkus for Target collection. The new items for Fall are no exception. It seems there are many pieces that I just cannot live without. My design asthetic has always  been all about the neutrals and right now I’m loving black, white, gold, and mixed wood tones, with lots of textures. I think Nate must have read my mind because that pretty much describes the line. Take a look for yourself and see if you don’t just FALL in love with it yourself! {And snag up some of last season’s Nate items on clearance before they are all gone!}

Nate Berkus for Target Fall Collection on City Southern

 

Lamp | Faux Fur Stool | Gold Vase | White Vase | Wood Bowl | Baskets | Mirror | Table

Design Daydreams

I’m designing an entire room around these pillows from Whitlock & Co on Etsy. It all started with the floral one in the middle. People tend to have a hard time mixing pillows and patterns. The easiest thing you can do is find one with multiple colors in a large pattern, then pick one or two colors from that design and pick different size patterns in those colors. I adore this Etsy shop because the listings are visually organized this way. It’s fool-proof! Don’t you just LOVE how these three look together?! I do.

 

Pillows WhitlockCo BlackWhite1

{ Pillows: 1 | 2 | 3 }

The Pillows will look fantastic on one of these sofas. I just can’t decide which one!

CrateandBarrel Willow Sofa

CrateandBarrel Lounge93 Sofa

Willow Sofa | Lounge Sofa

I am thinking of all kinds of ways to style this coffee table.

CrateandBarrel DixonCoffeeTable

Coffee Table

I think this buffet on One Kings Lane is gorgeous and I need to have it in the room too. Try to think outside the box on this one a bit. Just because it’s made to be a buffet doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a console! I love how you can see the wood grain and it’s not painted solid white.

OKL Esplanada Buffet

{ Buffet }

I’m getting very excited about this room! Hopefully I can bring it to life instead of just daydreaming about it.

And speaking of decorating a room…today is REVEAL DAY if anyone has been following along with the “One Room Challenge” in blog land. {Quick Backstory: Linda from Calling It Home started this challenge where she lines up 20 PRO bloggers and they have 6 weeks to design a room in their home and post on their progress! So much fun and SO much design eye-candy! I would so LOVE to be included in this someday. It would seriously kick my butt into gear!} Anywhoo – You should check out all the rooms on this tour because there are some truly beautiful and inspiring spaces!

One Room Challenge

It was really hard to pick but I think my favorites are the bathroom on Copy Cat Chic and the dining room on Design Indulgence. Definitely going to borrow a few of their ideas for my own!

Do you have a room in your home that’s screaming for a makeover?

Catherine Calligraphy