The Gathered Home _

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Handmade Christmas Blog Hop: DIY Miniature Woven Wall Hangings

Who doesn’t like presents? Especially adorable handmade gifts? Making, receiving – I’m all about pretty little packages tied up with string!

Today I’ve joined forces with a group of 14 other bloggers to bring you an inspiring roundup of DIY gift ideas and tutorials – perfect timing for getting a jump start on handmade holiday gifts!

(You know, if you aren’t a black belt procrastinator like I am… Personally, I feel like half of the so-called “holiday spirit” is generated by running around like a maniac four days before Christmas stitching and gluing and waiting for things to finish baking/drying/etc., but that might just be me.)

So here’s my contribution – a trio of adorable miniature woven wall hangings!

I picked up three laser cut wooden frames (with a 4.5x6.5” opening) at Michael’s. I bought mine in a clearance sale, but you can find similar styles for $3.99 each. You will also need a package of 18-gauge 5/8” wire brads.

miniature diy wall hanging supplies

We’re going to turn this little wooden frame into a loom by using the nails as pegs! Use a ruler and a pen to mark the placement for your nails – I placed a dot every quarter of an inch along the top and bottom of the frame.

mark placement for nails

Next, lightly tap in your nails. Do your best to keep them perfectly vertical, and hammer gently to avoid bending the nails.

hammer in nails

Once all your nails are in place, you are ready to string the warp (the vertical threads that form the foundation of the weaving)! I used thin cotton crochet thread.

Tie a knot on the first nail on top and then string the thread down around the corresponding nail on the bottom, then back up to the top, then back down, until you reach the end. Do your best to keep the thread taut as you are stringing the warp and then tie it off tightly on the last nail.

miniature diy wall hanging supplies2

string the warp

Now, you are ready to go crazy with some basic weaving techniques! Gather up your favorite colors of yarn and jump right in!

I’m guessing you probably understand the very first element of weaving – over one warp string, under the next, over, under, over under; when you reach the end, turn back around the other direction going over the thread you went under before, etc., etc. I used a large plastic needle threaded with my yarn.

over & under

Quite honestly, if I attempted to give you a detailed tutorial on basic hand weaving techniques, it wouldn’t be very helpful. I borrowed a book from my mom, who has had a love of weaving for many many years #beforeitwascool, and I basically just played around.

Some things worked, some things didn’t work. If I didn’t like the way something was looking, I pulled my yarn out and started that section over. In the spirit of a “sampler” – those lovely stitched pieces young women would work on to practice different stitches and show off their handiwork – I just tried different things and had fun.

I realize those are about the least helpful instructions ever, so I do want to point you to this very helpful tutorial by Honestly WTF full of close up action shots, tips and tricks, and some simple weaving techniques.

And you can actually pick up a whole lot by just studying a weaving, so here are some close-up shots of mine:

I went with three different color schemes – shades of blue/green, shades of red, and shades of cream, with some sparkly gold thrown in for good measure.

diy miniature woven wall hangings2

diy miniature woven wall hangings6

diy miniature woven wall hangings7

diy miniature woven wall hangings8

Use thick chunky yarn. Use thin silky yarn. Use fringy yarn. Skip over two warp strings. Use several strands at a time for a thick section. Pass the yarn through without pulling it taut and then use the needle to pull loops up for the fluffy looped effect you see below. Use rya knots for long shaggy sections.

diy miniature woven wall hangings3

diy miniature woven wall hangings10

diy miniature woven wall hangings9

diy miniature woven wall hangings11

I was able to complete each wall hanging in an afternoon/evening. I love having something like this to keep my hands busy while watching Netflix – I have a bit of a hard time sitting still, even when I’m “relaxing”!

What do you think? Would you try your own miniature weaving? It’s a nice starter-sized project, I promise!

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Here are the other AWESOME gift ideas you can find as part of this blog hop! I encourage you to visit, become inspired, and pin away!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall In Love: Living Room Plans

Hey guys! Last Monday I introduced you to the “Fall In Love” room makeover series I’m participating in with 17 other amazing bloggers and showed you the room in our house that I’ve had the hardest time loving: our living room.

An odd floor plan, poor lighting, and my furniture hoarding tendencies added up to a room that just never felt right and literally kept me up at nights. Which may have more to do with my obsessive nature and less to do with the actual living room, but I guess we’ll never know now that this series is giving me the kick in the pants I needed to actually DO something about it.

Here’s what I have in mind…

Wall Color: Sage Grey by Behr. I searched high and low for a medium gray with the perfect amount of warmth and the perfect amount of green to it. This color changes constantly between gray, green and blue tints and I’m loving it. Spoiler alert: it’s already up on the walls but I’m not ready to share pictures yet!
Sofa: If you recall suffering through my sofa drama with me last week, I finally made a decision… I sold the curved vintage leather chesterfield and am planning on passing on the dragon couch to someone who will love it (if that’s you: I’m serious – send me a message). The one that will stay is this gorgeous high-back tufted leather sofa, shown above with the turned legs* I’m planning to add. (*denotes affiliate link – shop from the couch AND send a few pennies my way!)
Sideboard: Sneak peek – I found this gorgeous antique French oak sideboard on Craigslist for a steal (albeit still more than I normally spend on a piece of furniture for myself). I promise I’ll be sharing it soon; it’s definitely the most beautiful and beautifully made piece of furniture I own!
Malachite Curtains: These babies aren’t going anywhere. 
Accent Fabric: This fabric is “Hamilton Wonderland in Opium” and I’ve hoarded a yard of it for several years because it’s my favorite fabric ever (or at least tied with the floral fabric I used to make my dining room curtains). It has all my favorite colors in it! 
Agate Slice: Oh baby. I’m not ready to reveal how a pair of gorgeous pink agate slices are going to come into play, but let me tell you: it’s gonna be good. 
Yellow Lamps: Does anyone remember this #thriftscorethursday pair of lamps? They are going to help solve the living room lighting shortage and save us from darkness! Maybe they will have crazy shades… Who knows. 
Fight Club Art:  I did it. After whipping up this fun Fight Club quote graphic for last week’s post and joking that I might get it printed, I went ahead and ordered it as a canvas print! I used Canvas People (they were having a 70% off sale) but I’ve used Printcopia in the past as well – I usually just see who has the best prices at the moment. I’m signed up for both email lists so I get notified when there’s a really good deal going on. This hasn’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait to see it and I hope I configured everything correctly for printing! 
Karl Springer Coffee Table: Another #thriftscorethursday find I shared a few weeks ago. Obviously staying. 
Leopard Rug: A piece of bound Starck leopard carpet, scored in a shady Craigslist situation involving the seller’s friend being called to saw through the lock on a storage unit… Not going anywhere. And after four years, Bryan has finally stopped telling me how much he hates it. Point: Brynne. Leopard is a neutral.
As you can tell, I’m definitely hitting it hard with the color in this room. I tried playing it safe for over a year with the “white walls and pops of color mantra” that works oh-so-well for Emily Henderson and oh-so-badly in my house-without-fabulous-architectural-elements. And I’m mixing furniture styles with reckless abandon and na├»ve delight.

In short, I may be making a Skittle milkshake (taste the rainbow!) that breaks rules and burns retinas (*The Gathered Home accepts no responsibility for any eye-damage received on our domain*) and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but like I said before - I’m going bolder, funner, more-tongue in cheek and more ME with this room and I’m FINALLY LOVING it!

And, you know…  I’ve got that sofa problem handled. So there’s that.

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P.S. We aren’t posting on any specific schedule for this Fall In Love series, but here are the other lovely ladies participating so you can check for updates (and enjoy their wonderful blogs)!

Linking up to Project Inspired{d}, Outside [The Box].

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thrift Score Thursday 34

Welcome to #thriftscorethursday!

Joining us this week as our lovely guest host is Stephanie from Sandpaper & Glue! Stephanie is a #thriftscorethursday veteran and has a soft spot for animal statuary like me - you might remember her awesome (and huge) moose statue or this incredible panther planter she shared. She’s also been instagramming some amazing vintage cameras lately, so I can’t wait to pop over and visit her post today!

Are you new to #thriftscorethursday? It’s easy to join the fun!

thrift score thursday8

Just share a picture of any recent thrifty find on Instagram or Twitter (or both!) using #thriftscorethursday, so we can all be jealous of your scores!

The Facts:

- You can share any thrifty finds with us – whether they hail from a thrift store, Craigslist, estate sale, garage sale, side of the road, or apartment dumpster! The fun, the funny, the awesome, the odd - this hashtag party is open to all!
- Feel free to use #thriftscorethursday any day of the week! We'll be keeping up with the hashtag all week long to find our favorites for the following Thursday.
- Each week, Trisha from Black and White Obsession and I will pick a favorite thrift score or two to feature! So please note that by linking up with #thriftscorethursday, you are giving us permission to share your finds via social media or on our blogs.

The Features:

Gretchen from Boxy Colonial (Instagram: boxycolonial) found not one but two incredible oil painting seascapes. I’m incredibly jealous of the first one – I love how thick and textural those waves are! I can’t wait to see how she uses them in her home!

thriftscorethursday boxycolonial ocean oil painting2

thriftscorethursday boxycolonial ocean oil painting

I’m quite a fan of this stately lion artwork that Jenn from Two Butterflies (Instagram: jennbrasher) found. It looks incredible against that black wall!

thriftscorethursday jennbrasher lion art

Speaking of lions… Shannon (Instagram: shannonlat) posted this awesome brass lion that I’m pretty sure needs to become bffs with the buffalo I shared last week… Lions and buffalos and brass animals, oh my! I’m going to start a checklist of all the different kinds of brass animals that are out there – I mean, are there badgers? Flamingos? Anteaters? What fabulous specimens do I need to seek out and add to my menagerie next?!

thriftscorethursday shannonlat brass lion

My Find:

Well, first of all, the photos of my #thriftscorethursday find this week were shot inside of another find that I revealed to my Instagram followers… (Ahem: go follow me there if you haven’t already.)
The chippy metal barrister case made a fun backdrop for this fall-themed cake stand I found at Goodwill last week.

I don’t think the stand is anything particularly special, but I thought the acorn motif was perfect for the season and it just might inspire me to whip up an autumnal cake and/or tablescape…

thriftscorethursday acorn cake stand

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thriftscorethursday acorn cake stand6

So first of all – what should I bake? And second, what have you found recently? Share with the class!

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Be sure to check out the finds and features from Trisha and Stephanie!

Thrift Score Thursday Trisha color

TST Guest Host Stephanie

P.S. Are you a blogger who also loves thrifty finds and would like to guest host of a week of Thrift Score Thursday? Send me a message!

Thrift Score Thursday Guest Host Call



Hi, I'm Brynne! Welcome to my little home on the world wide web in celebration of finding and making!

I'm an admitted Craigslist addict, cheapskate, and dyed-in-the-wool DIYer with a weakness for anything brass and a penchant for hyperbole. Read more...