Gallery Wall of Mirrors

There's a hallway in our house that has the lowest ceiling you could possibly imagine and not a ton of natural light. Actually, there's like, no natural light. It's a dark, squatty hallway. The playroom is at one end, our bedroom is at the other and the guest bathroom and the laundry room are in between. So, you know, it's a high-traffic space and I wanted it to be a little less of an eye sore.

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Mirrors are a great way to brighten up any space. It really is like adding a window! In my case, I wanted to add about 10 little windows...

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I have a ton of art hanging around in the hall and in the guest bath, so besides the added light factor, mirrors felt like a good way to find balance with the rest of the art on the nearby walls.

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I've collected most of these mirrors over the years from thrift stores and flea markets. It's not all that easy to find a good place to hang an individual small-sized mirror, but I love the way they all look hanging together!

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And I really like the way the gold tones mix with the silver/nickel and the wood. I've mixed metals all over our house, and this little hallway sort of brings all that together for me.

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Remember this pretty mirror from the garden level entry of the brownstone? The square mirror to the left was a more recent find, on sale at Anthropologie.

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The Mexican mirror was another more recent find at a cool junk store near here called Turtle's Treasures. Only $5!

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The Louis Phillipe style mirror is really old - the glass is foggy and super warped. I love it!

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It's always a good idea to hang art at eye level. I hung these as if there was a chalk line at my eye level and then I centered the mirror(s) on that line.

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It's sort of a dark day here, so you'll have to trust me when I say the mirrors are really brightening up this hallway! :) I'm so happy I was able to find a place to hang all these little treasure of mine, and that they look all the more special hanging together.

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Now I just need to work on finding some new wall sconces! :/

DIY: Gold Leaf Brush Strokes Vase

I was stocking up on some gold leaf at the craft store last week and saw this variegated rose gold leaf next to my regular yellow gold stand by. The wheels in my brain starting turning and I knew I had to use it for today's vase project!

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I worked with a great online florist called The Bouqs on this post. I used their company to send one of my friends a bouquet recently (they have a promotion right now where you get a free bouquet with your first order!) and she was super impressed and begged to find out where I could find such pretty ranunculus at this time of year. The Bouqs ships their flowers directly from their sustainable, eco-friendly farms on the side of active volcanos (!) in Equador right to your door, so the buds are always fresh and so beautiful! 

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There's no silly teddy bears or weird upselling, just beautiful flowers at great prices and always free shipping. It's a perfect solution for when you want to send thinking-of-you flowers to your friends, but you don't really want to spend a ton of money on a dumb arrangment. These flowers are from the Marshmallow bouquet (one of my favorites on their site). I love how the bright white buds pair with the pretty purple larkspurs and the coral color of the DIY vase. 

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To do the quick and easy leafing project, I picked up a couple of clear glass vases at the craft store, cleaned them well, and taped the entire outside of the vase with painters tape before spray painting the insides. 

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I used Rustoleum's French Lilac (can't get enough of that one!) and Design Master's Coral. I sprayed on a couple of very, very thick coats and let the paint dry for at least 12 hours.

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When the paint is dry and the tape is removed, the paint looks like milk glass! It's such a pretty effect - I did a similar project here to get a blue opaline look for my jewelry trays.

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I wanted to go a step further on this project though and give the outside of the vase some metallic love using the variegated rose gold leaf. Any leafing project can get a little messy (but it will be the most beautiful mess you've ever laid your eyes on!). I like to lay down a sheet of thick brown kraft paper before starting, which makes clean up a breeze.

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I poured a small amount of leafing size on the top of the vase and used a 1" brush to very loosely paint the size on the bottom half of my vase. I went really easy with the size - being careful to not overly smooth out the brush strokes and to leave little gaps here and there too. As you let the sizing glue dry, watch for drips and either brush them off or lightly dab them up with a paper towel. You want the coat to be thin and even.

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The size will be completely clear and tacky to the touch when it is ready for the leaf. I applied the sheets with a soft bristled brush, but it's fine to just use your (clean) hands too! You want to really flatten the leaf sheets against the vase, making sure there are no air bubbles or wrinkles.

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The leaf will magically stick to where ever the size was painted on, but will brush right off the rest of the vase.

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If there are any cracks or gaps, I just use some of the extra leaf bits on the table and rub them onto the size with my fingers. It's really so easy to get a smooth finish!

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I think the dimension of the finished vase is so pretty with the bright color inside the glass and the rose gold on the outside!

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After the leafing is done, you'll want to paint on a layer of sealer to help protect the gold leaf. 

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When the sealer is all dry, you're ready to start arranging your bouquet! I know it's tempting to do a blunt cut at the bottom of your flower bunch and just toss them in a vase, but I'm learning it makes for such a more beautiful bouquet if you cut and arrange the flowers one by one. The Bouqs is also a great place to get tips on floral arrangement and care (here's the page on ranunculus).

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I tried to keep the arrangement organic and swoopy (the tall larkspur stems helped there!).

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This arrangement was a gift for my friend, who needed a little extra love this week, and I love how it turned out. The Bouqs suggests that if the water is changed every few days, the flowers will last an additional 1-3 weeks. They suggest adding a little sugar or Sprite to the fresh water once you've run out of the flower food that comes in the packets.

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A big thanks to The Bouqs for sponsoring this post! Check out all their amazing bouquets here, and get a FREE bouquet with your first purchase!  I think this one would be perfect for a holiday gift to a far-away loved one.  :)

Why Don't You... Gold Leaf All The Things.

I am as crazy as ever over gold leaf! I know it can feel like an intimidating project, but metallic leaf is actually a breeze to use! I've got a good little stockpile of different colors and kinds put aside and I'm itching to tackle a couple of the projects I've seen floating around the web (elaborate list below!).

There area some pretty cool gift ideas in the mix here. Or if you're like me and you get a little bored/stir crazy during the week between Christmas and New Years, there are some fun home project ideas here too. Most of these use leaf (which I think always ends up giving the best result), but there's also a little spray paint, leaf pen and Rub N Buff thrown in the mix here.

1) These gilded gift boxes from You Are My Fave are beautiful! She bought the wooden boxes at Michaels for only a dollar! Cheap and chic.

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2) Dying over how expensive and legit this abstract gold stripey faux wallpaper looks from Patchwork and Co.

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3) Jordan and her team always share the coolest project ideas, including this iPhone case DIY (from Oh Happy Day).

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DIY Yarn-Wrapped Hangers

Christmas is just around the corner. I love (LOVE) giving handmade gifts to my friends and family, but I just haven't had the bandwidth this year to go all-out. So, rather than making everything, I'm cheating the system a bit by adding just a little handmade twist to each of my gifts. Really just enough effort to get handmade credit. :)

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I got my sister, Heather, who knows not to read today's post (!), a Golden Tote for her Christmas present this year. It's a service that surprises you with fun clothes and accessories. It's $49 for 2-3 pieces and $149 for 5-7.  I have friends that use Golden Tote because they care about looking cute, but don't really love to shop. They're too busy or just don't really want to deal with it. It's super easy to give as gifts too - I made a style profile for Heather (which was basically just choosing her size and favorite stores - easy) and then picked two of the six or seven items I wanted to see come in her tote. The other items were surprises.

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It was fun to see what they sent for her - they totally nailed her style. And of course everything came in an adorable golden tote.  :)

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My favorites were this bomber jacket with the brass zippers and a pretty blouse with black lace trim around the neck. I know she'll look so great in these! And when I am not rocking a giant baby belly, I'll for sure be borrowing that cute gray sweater. It has sweet little buttons that run up the back. Love it.

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So to make her gift a little more special, I picked up enough wooden hangers at IKEA to hang all her new Golden Tote clothes on and stopped by Michaels to get a few different colors of yarn, whatever colors were pretty and on sale! :)

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I am not a glue gun fanatic (I usually prefer Fabritac), but for projects like this, where it's helpful for the glue to dry really quickly, I love a glue gun. You only need a little bit of glue on the hanger anyway, so likely your fingers will escape this project unburned! :) I used just enough glue to hold the start of the yarn at the middle of the hanger, and then a little bit more every 5 or 6 wrap-arounds to keep everything in place.

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You can do any pattern you'd like, obviously, (black and white uniform stripes would be so cute!) but I did random colors in random sized stripes.

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I love how the hangers turned out! And I think they help make this fun gift more personal and extra special!

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A big thanks to Golden Tote for sponsoring this DIY. Every first Monday of the month they launch a new tote - check out December's here! The last day to order in time for Christmas is December 17, so get on that! :)

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