A girl and her sharpie – aka how I brought Cole & Son wallpaper into my budget :)

Hi again! ¬†See, I told you I’d be back ūüôā

So, when we last met, I introduced you to my Larry, my DIY fail.  I also mentioned that I had already redone the accent wall in the craft studio, so today is a reveal post/mini-tutorial.  If you guys want something more in-depth, let me know and I will elaborate with a full-blown tutorial for you.

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I have a rather long-standing tradition of falling in love with design elements that are WAAAAAYYYY out of my budget. ¬†As much as I love those design elements, I also kinda love a roof over my head, food on my table, and, um, my marriage. ¬†All this means that I can’t blow my budget no matter how much I love a given table, rug, lamp, etc. ¬†But ask anyone who knows me, and they will probably tell you I am stubborn¬†determined (and resourceful). ¬†Luckily, I am also not afraid to take risks with paint. ¬†Here’s why:

cole and sons


Oh, Cole & Son, your wallpaper is so pretty, so my style, so…FRIGGIN’ SPENDY! ¬†I first saw this wallpaper on Anthropologie (a website I only browse when my wallet is safely in the other room where I will be too lazy to fetch it), but at almost $200.00 a roll, it just wasn’t going to happen. ¬†So, I decided to DIY it. ¬†After looking on the internet, I found a bunch of birch tree stencils, but nixed these immediately since they didn’t really nail the original wallpaper. Plus, I thought it might hurt Larry’s feelings if I tossed him aside, only to do another stencil. ¬†Y’all know I couldn’t risk that, haha. ¬†Further searching led me to this post on Apartment Therapy, though, and I knew instantly that I was close to a solution.

marker tree


Finally, looking over my Pinterest boards, I found this pin of Vintage Revival’s gold sharpie wallpaper.

DIY Sharpie Wallpaper Tutorial @ Vintage Revivals[7]


Cue the lightbulb moment:  gold sharpie + hand drawn trees = the perfect solution to my craving for Cole & Son wallpaper.

And here it is!! ¬†Pardon the less than ideal nighttime photos and the “storage unit chic” look this room is still rocking – it’s coming along, but it’s not done yet.


Here’s a quick description of how I did it:

First, I pulled up a picture of the original wallpaper on my tablet so I could refer to it as I went. ¬†This was super helpful in keeping the look uniform and preventing me from getting distracted and just doodling on my walls (not that that was EVER a concern…at all).

Next, I sketched out the tree and branch outlines very roughly in white chalk.  I also added in some knotholes.  I used the standard schoolhouse stuff that you can get at the dollar store and was perfect Рnot only did it show up really clearly on the navy walls, but it also came right off the with a damp sponge when I was done.

I then took the thinner of my two sharpie pens (I used both the medium and fine tip oil-based paint sharpies in the gold color), and drew roughly horizontal lines across the trunk of all my trees to fill them in. ¬†I spaced these about 1/3″ apart on the main trees in the foreground, and wider on the skinny trees in the background.

Next, I took the heavier point sharpie (medium) and filled in between the lines with a combination of lines and dashes.  I tried to keep the pattern fairly regular between adjacent lines, but vary it overall so that nothing looked TOO uniform.

Finally, I used the fine point sharpie to add extra dashes on the one side of the tree trunks, to make them look more shaded and dimensional. ¬†I also added some fine branches and leaves at this point, and added the Doctor’s and my initials in one of the knotholes for a personal touch.

All in all, I think I went through about 4 fine tip sharpies, and 3 medium tips. ¬†I got all of them at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and used 40% off coupons, so all in all I spent around $15.00 for the whole wall, not including the navy paint. ¬†If you add that in it’s probably more like $30.00. ¬†Regardless, my DIY job was MUCH more in my budget that the $200.00 original. As an added bonus, I got to do it in my chosen color combo, and I kept the Doctor happy ūüôā

So there you have it Рthe basic breakdown of what I did to create my own personal golden forest.  Feel free to comment with any questions you might have, and if enough people ask, I will do a full tutorial with pictures of each step and such.

Till next time,



Meet Larry, a DIY fail

Hey there! ¬†Remember me, the girl who hasn’t posted in, oh, forever? ¬†Sorry about that, y’all. ¬†Yes, life had been crazy. ¬†No, that’s not really a good excuse. ¬†I really am sorry for all three of you who have missed me (ha).

Moving on,¬†let’s talk walls. The craft studio walls, specifically. Apparently, I’m on an accent wall kick at the moment (see here), so I couldn’t possibly just paint the craft room walls a single color and leave it (oh, the horror of making my life simple, right?) ¬†No, I knew – I just KNEW – I wanted the far wall of the craft room to be an accent wall. ¬†So, I decided to paint it navy. ¬†This of course meant taping off trim, since such a dark color shows every friggin’ wavy line. ¬†Have I mentioned how much I LOATHE taping? ¬†If not, it’s alot – as in “I’d rather be cleaning my toilet – with a toothbrush” alot. ¬†Yeah.

Anyway, I painted the wall, and it looked like this:

please pardon the mess...just keepin' it real people

please pardon the mess…just keepin’ it real people

Oooohhh….AAAhhhh….shiny, pristine, gorgeous navy wall – Bra-VO, past Sarah. ¬†We’re done right?

Darn that past Sarah, she’s never content. ¬†Apparently I drank the crazy Kool-aid that day, because I decided it needed more. ¬†I wanted something with movement, something quirky, something modern, something GOLD, dangit! ¬†So I turned where we all turn for inspiration, the internet. ¬†That’s where I found this:

"Origami Crane" by DIYstencils

“Origami Crane” by DIYstencils


It was quirky, it had movement, it was modern, it (could be) ¬†gold, and…it was cranes. ¬†Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with cranes, I just have no real desire to put them all over my walls. ¬†So I decided to design my own stencil (no problem, past Sarah said), cut out said stencil with my Silhouette Cameo (easy peasy, she said), and stencil it – perfectly aligned – on my very old, very cattywampus walls (I am beginning to lose faith in past Sarah’s judgment at this point). ¬†Did I mention that there’s a window on this wall? ¬†And that it isn’t completely level? ¬†Yeah – sometimes I amaze myself with how brilliant I am. ¬†Ugh.

Here’s the thing, though. ¬†Once I get an idea in my head, I’m kinda like a dog with a bone. ¬†I just can’t let it go. ¬†So I decided to try. ¬†Now, I have a particular love of elephants, so I decided to sub that in for the crane. ¬†I found an origami line drawing of an elephant online, and used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to turn it into something my Silhouette could cut. ¬†Here is the finished stencil (I used quilter’s plastic from Jo-Ann fabrics to cut it from). ¬†Y’all, at this point I was SO EXCITED. ¬†I couldn’t wait to try it on the wall. ¬†Like this. ¬†Ta-da!!!

DCF 1.0

And a close-up, because I’m nice that way…

elephants on parade!

elephants on parade!

It was right about this moment that I realized four important things:

1) it was going to take a LOT of math to make everything line up visually given the crooked walls and window – I am NOT a math person.
2) almost every remaining elephant on the wall was somehow going to be cut off by either the walls, ceiling, floor, or window frame.
3) My stencil didn’t want to bend around corners.
4) I didn’t want to cry.

So I decided to admit defeat, and go with something I can freehand (which is actually already done, so look for another post sometime around Tuesday – really, I promise).

So why am I even posting this? ¬†Why put my failure out on the internet for all to see? ¬†Well, ¬†to demonstrate¬†that we all make mistakes, and sometimes DIY fails happen. ¬†But you know what? ¬†That’s okay because we learn from it. ¬†Plus, now I have a super cute elephant stencil that I already have great plans for. ¬†I think I’ll name him “Larry.”

Till next time,


A corner to dream…

Have I mentioned that I am lucky? ¬†Like – WHOA kinda lucky y’all. ¬†Despite all the tough stuff that life throws my way, I have a roof over my head, a family that loves me, an AMAZING mister – it’s a pretty sweet deal.

And under that roof is a tiny little room (emphasis on tiny) that is all mine – my very own corner to dream in. ¬†When we moved into the house, the mister and I decided that we would each get a room of our own – one that we could use however we wanted, and decorate to our own tastes – no spousal vetoes allowed. ¬†Unsurprisingly, the mister converted his into a gym (soon to be decorated as a shrine¬†tribute to his favorite college sports team). ¬†I decided to make mine a craft room/art studio. ¬†So I loaded all my crafty stuff in there, and there it sat – for a YEAR. ¬†To be honest, I just didn’t feel inspired in the space. ¬†It just felt small…and cramped…and, well, boring.

*As a sidenote, I also don’t feel inspired in the mister’s room, but hey, it’s a GYM, so that’s to be expected, lol.

So, I decided to change that. ¬†I am overhauling that space, and it is gonna be beautiful, inspiring, and girly-as-all-get-out. ¬†Think pink…and gold…and glitter. ¬†It should go without saying that I am totally rocking that “no spousal vetoes” thing. There is, however, a catch. ¬†Money. ¬†#guessishouldnixtheliveinunicorn #no24ktgolddeskforme

My budget for this entire room is – are you ready – $100 bucks. ¬†For everything. ¬†New furniture, paint, accessories – it’s all fine as long as the total doesn’t top the century mark. ¬†Gulp.

So the theme of this room will be re-purpose, re-use, re-cycle, and re-think. ¬†Which is fine by me, because it’s a challenge – and I love me a good challenge. ¬†Plus, it’s sure to yield a bunch of DIY projects for you guys. ¬†Win-win, right?

I have been working on floor plans, as well as a mood board and a DIY light fixture which I am pretty darn excited about. ¬†I can’t wait to share (so here’s a sneak peek of said light fixture in-progress because I am a child and have zero willpower, lol)

DCF 1.0

Till next time,


P.S. – That’s the thoroughly boring (and messy!) craft room in the background – you can see the need for an intervention, lol!