Category Archives: Love

LOVE Picture Frame

Today I want to highlight a project that is an oldie but a goodie.

It’s the L-O-V-E picture frame that we gifted to my mom for Christmas. Here is the original post if you want to create your own.

This project has gotten a lot of….well love here on DIY Playbook. Many of you have recreated the project with your own families, and have even put your own twist on it.

The letters that I made for the project have actually gotten a lot of use! They’ve made their way around my mom’s circle of friends. Some have used them for their own family portraits, and one woman even used the letters for her religious education class picture! Great idea!

I promise it isn’t difficult to create your own letters. All you need is a few poster boards and some black paint.  Also, feel free to think outside of the “LOVE” box depending on how many people you want in the picture. Maybe a last name? Maybe the word SUMMER for a seasonal display? There are oh so many possibilities to make this project your own. Get creative people!

I wanted to bring this bad boy out of the “archives”, just in case you’re looking for a special gift for your own mom or grandma, for this Mother’s Day.

I hope you enjoy this fun project. Please send us a pic at diyplaybook@gmail.com if you create your own version with your family. We would love to see the cute pics!
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Team Compromise

Happy Birthday Matt! After Monday’s rant from the boys, I felt it was only fitting to set the record straight and let you all in on the real behind-the-scenes strategies we use to decorate our space in a way that makes us both happy. Ladies, if you’re currently sharing a space with a man, listen up… this one’s for you too!
 When it comes to decorating styles, Matt and I are complete opposites.
When I say complete, I mean absolutely, 100%, not even close, don’t even try, wow-you-like-that-thing-for-our-house? kind of opposites. I’m sure (well really, I hope) we’re not the only couple out there that doesn’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to decorating decisions. Ask us about our values, families, professional practices, religion, or even the keys to a successful relationship, and we are right on target, smack dab on the same team. Ask us about the important stuff like decorating, accessorizing, paint colors, or just plain house “stuff” and we’re not on the same team, not in the same ball park, not even in the same league…actually, sometimes I wonder if we’re even playing the same sport? These “creative differences” didn’t really come to the surface until we started talking houses and then out of nowhere… BOOM!!! These differences snuck up and hit us like a ton of bricks.   
Compromising Styles
He loves bassets, grizzly bears, and hints of the outdoors.
He loves brown.
He loves leather.
He loves furniture that came from Abe Lincoln’s Log Cabin.
He loves simple and dark.
He loves functional, lived in, very traditional.
Although it took me a little more time than I’d care to admit, I can now honestly say that his style is not wrong by any means, it’s just different… very, very, very different than mine.

His and Her Styles
I love coral, stripes and nautical with hints of preppy-ness.
I love white.
I love cotton.
I love furniture that came from the display case at Pottery Barn or West Elm.
I love bicycles, bows and bright colors.
I love vintage, unique and fashionable.
Soo… while he loves brown and dark, I love white and bright.
While he loves common, I love unique.
While he loves plain, I love stripes & polka dots wrapped in a bow.
Can you see the problem here? Matt is Team Dark, Brown, Traditional while Bridget is Team Bright, White, Unique.

After endless conversations and some insensitive sarcasm sprinkled throughout aisles and aisles of shopping, Matt and I had no other choice but to join the same team. As much as I wish I could have recruited Matt onto Team Bright White with splashes of vintage, I had to settle for a fair trade. We both traded our original jerseys and joined Team Compromise. This team was all about finding new items, new colors, new furniture that mixed both of our styles into a new sense of style that we could call “ours”. I ditched the bright, polka dotted bows, he ditched the dark, plaid, grizzly bears, and we adopted a style that was filled with hints of each of our personalities blended up into a big neutral.

Decorating with your man
Now instead of “he likes this but I love that”, it’s WE love this and WE love that.
We love lanterns, lighthouses, and the number 13.
We love neutral colors (a literal mixture of his brown & my white)
We love furniture that reminds us of the late nights we spent searching every store in the south-west suburbs of Chicago.
We love accessories and art that tell a story about our adventures.
We love simple, inviting and cozy.
We love that there are some hints of Matt and some other hints of Bridget that make the other laugh and then groan but accept nonetheless.
We love our style because it tells our story, and we built it together.

Compromise. Compromising can be scary and is especially frightening when it deals with decorating a house together. I am here to tell you there is hope, and with a little laughter and a lot of love… you can do it! If you and your teammate are willing to be a little flexible, I am confident that you can also meet in the middle and decorate a home that you both are proud to call home.

Happy Birthday to my favorite teammate!

Do you and your roomie always agree on decorating styles? How do you make it work and still reach your big league decorating dreams? 

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5 thoughts on “Team Compromise

  1. Alissa

    I love this post! My husband and I are currently going through the same thing while we are setting up our new house. He is very modern with CRAZY bright colors, while I am more country/beach soft colors.

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Danielle! As much as I wish we could just go with my style…I’m happy we are able to compromise and create “our style.” Thanks for the comment!

    Reply
  3. Lisa Muhs

    Aw! This post was so cute (and touching)! However, I still think the Kramer picture should be part of the compromise. 😉

    Reply

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5 thoughts on “Team Compromise

  1. Alissa

    I love this post! My husband and I are currently going through the same thing while we are setting up our new house. He is very modern with CRAZY bright colors, while I am more country/beach soft colors.

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Danielle! As much as I wish we could just go with my style…I’m happy we are able to compromise and create “our style.” Thanks for the comment!

    Reply
  3. Lisa Muhs

    Aw! This post was so cute (and touching)! However, I still think the Kramer picture should be part of the compromise. 😉

    Reply

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Wall of Love

With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, I thought I might do something a bit romantic in our little love nest.

Our master bedroom has a nook with nothing on the wall, and I figured it would be the perfect spot to display some sentimental and personal “art.”

Here’s what I’m affectionately calling our “Wall of Love.”

Personal Wall Art Romantic

Let’s first take a look at the white special dates frame.

Special Dates Art
Those 4 dates are very special to Finn and I. They represent when we first started dating, when we moved in together, when he proposed, and our future wedding date!
I just created them in a word document on my computer, and printed it out on card stock.
I then got out my colored pencils, and drew some hearts after each number. I tried to do a bit of an ombre color scheme..with the green hearts subtly getting darker from top to bottom.

We all know I have a certain love for geography (like the vintage globe in this post). So, I thought the map would add some flair to the simple white frame mat.

I had a $4 wall map left over from a DIY project gone wrong (it happens…often!) With this project, I was finally able to put my map purchase to good use! I just took out the frame map, traced it, cut out the map, and glued it onto the frame. #DIYdoesntgeteasierthanthis

Map Frame Mat

Moving onto the other sections of the “Wall of Love.”

This love quote from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 was a gift for our engagement. #sosweet

How about this adorable chicken wire frame? My mom found it at the Kane County Flea Market (If you live in the Chicagoland area…go! You will love it)

Clothes pins hold some sentimental items from our engagement night.

Here is the key card from the hotel where we stayed the night we got engaged.

This is Finn’s hospital bracelet.

Funny story…my man was in the hospital for 3 days and got out just in time to keep the Christmas plans with our families. (More on that day here)  We kept his bracelet to remember that love can conquer all!

Here is a card from the restaurant where he popped the question.

Rounding out the “Wall of Love” is this large canvas photograph.

Canvas

Finn’s mom bought us a Groupon for a canvas print from Canvas on Demand (Thanks Kathy!) We decided to use a picture from our engagement night of our large group of family and friends. It is very special to have such a nice picture where we’re surrounded by everyone we love.

I heart this new little area of our bedroom.

So what about you…do you have an area in your love nest to display ooey-gooey sentimental stuff?
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Paint Swatch Garland

Here’s a short, sweet and super cheap way to add a hint of V-day into your love shack.
 Paint Swatch Art
Collect Paint Swatches. Use these swatches to cut as many hearts (any & all sizes) as you can. I drew different sized hearts onto the first swatch and used that one as my template for the rest. To get the most bang for your buck, make sure to cut more than one heart per swatch.
 Paint Swatch Garland Tutorial
1. I used a needle and kite string to thread these hearts together. Thread the heart from the bottom up
2. …and then about an inch over, thread the needle through the heart the other way.
3. Continue to thread each heart onto the kite string (hint: do NOT cut the kite string until you are done threading all of your hearts. This will ensure that you are guaranteed to fit each heart onto the string)
4. The best part of the thread is that you can adjust the space between each heart before, during, and after the craft. This is perfect so when you go to hang your heart garland, you arrange the hearts to fit perfectly into your space! And the best part is that you will be able to move your hearts along the line of garland, but they won’t move along the line without your help. #gottaloveit
5. Hang & admire!

Paint Swatch Garland

Here’s a look at all of my garland piled up. Holy tangles, combining several strands of garland at once was not a good idea at all.

Valentine's Day Garland
Easy Valentine's Day Crafts
Free Valentine's Day Craft
To think that this super simple (and practically FREE) project could be applied for ANY holiday is just too good to be true. Shamrocks for St Patty’s? Eggs for Easter? Stars & Stripes for the 4th? Thank goodness it’s only February!

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Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial

wreath

I find that many new DIY recruits don’t exactly know where to start when it comes to kicking off their DIY career. If this is you, I recommend starting with a DIY wreath. Wreaths aren’t too hard, they don’t demand a ton of supplies, they have loads of potential, once you get the hang of them you can create one for each season/holiday and feel really creative, and who doesn’t love a new wreath? Nothing says All-American Home like an inviting wreath on the front door. Here’s your chance…

Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial
Note: This same tutorial can be used to create a wreath for EVERY holiday this year!! It’s early in the year so you have plenty of time to perfect your wreath making skills and build your DIY confidence along the way. I made a similar wreath a couple of years back for fall and found great tutorials here, here and here!

Bubble Wreath

Materials:
Scissors
At least 175 Large Head Pins
At least 1.5 yards of Burlap (Red)
Some Ribbon (or fabric in my case) to cover the wreath form (Pink)
Wreath Form (any kind, mine was about 3.99 @ Hobby Lobby)
Optional: Embellishment to put on the wreath
Note: I completed this project on a drop cloth because burlap tends to shed. When you’re simply shaking out your drop cloth after the project and not having to lug out your vacuum, think of me. =)
Burlap Bubble Wreath

To get started, wrap your wreath form in fabric or ribbon. This step is not necessary but adds a pretty backing.

Easy Valentine's Day Wreath
Burlap Valentine's Wreath
Cut the burlap in approximately 4 inch squares. The square part is far more important than the actual size.
Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial
Create one bubble at a time. Add the pin and stick onto the wreath form.
How to make a Burlap Bubble Wreath
Burlap Bubble Wreath
Once you pin all of your “bubbles” close together you will start to see the bubble look. There’s really no right or wrong way to pin.
How to create a bubble wreath
I added this embellishment as eye candy, but I love it even more for eating up a lot of space that I don’t have to “bubble”.
Easy Valentine's Day Wreath
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat and before you know it (about an hour of bubbling later)…
Valentine's Day Wreath
…your Burlap Bubble Wreath is complete!
 Burlap Wreath
I added a fun Valentine’s Day ribbon to hang this lovely lady from our door and I wasn’t completely sold.
Valentine's Day Wreath Tutorial
After a few minor changes & some extra ribbons, I was in l.o.v.e. Talk about a new DIY project that will make your heart melt!

 

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4 thoughts on “Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial

  1. DIY Playbook

    Good question, Jennifer. I actually don’t have a storm door either and the pins were not a problem at all! Just sticking them inside of the wreath form was good enough to keep that snug and protected from the elements.

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4 thoughts on “Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial

  1. DIY Playbook

    Good question, Jennifer. I actually don’t have a storm door either and the pins were not a problem at all! Just sticking them inside of the wreath form was good enough to keep that snug and protected from the elements.

    Reply

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A Christmas Tradition

rp_02-CookieDay2012-001.JPG

The O’Halloran Family Cookie Day

1,000+ sprinkles on the floor.
 56 sticks of butter.
 30 batches of cookies.
 24 bakers and helpers.
 9 different kinds of cookies.

1 special tradition.
Ever since I can remember, we’ve held cookie day in my mom’s kitchen right before the holidays. When we were younger, that meant my brothers and I could each invite a friend or two over, and we would spend the day baking and decorating with my mom.  Sweet smells would fill the house and each friend would leave with a plate full of cookies piled high!  My brothers and I would make cookie plates for all of the neighbors, and take turns ringing the doorbells on our deliveries.

Some years, my grandma, Meme would come all the way from Missouri to help.
Some years we decorated gingerbread houses (that undoubtedly would fall within hours)



Some years we wore ugly sweaters, ugly aprons, and even one time a bunny pajama ensemble.
Bridge rockin’ the bunny pajamas from A Christmas Story
As the years passed…cookie day evolved into a big PARTY. Instead of 1 friend, we were each having 3-4 over for the big day!
 
Yes, cookies were baked. Cookies were decorated. and gosh darn it, cookies were eaten! But it transformed into a day focused more on friendship, laughter, and getting together around the holidays.
 
Now, all of the “kids” are adults. And instead of drinking hot chocolate…we’re drinking sangria and beer!
My mom, being the overachiever that she is, bakes 20 batches of cookies beforehand just to prep for the big day. Yep, you heard that right. Twenty! Starting after Thanksgiving, she starts whipping out a few batches each night and then freezes them.  Her freezer can’t hold all of the cookies…so she enlists the help of neighbors and friends and uses their freezer space too! Pretty crazy right?
 
Then the big day comes.  Everyone arrives around noon and we start getting to work! 
 
My mom delegates responsibilities. 
 
Rolling dough. 
Mixing up the batter.
And the best job of all…decorating!
Somehow there are always enough jobs for the 20+ “cooks” in the kitchen.
Without a doubt, something always goes wrong! Cookies burn, baking soda is forgotten in a recipe, or we run out of sprinkles!
 
But in the end it always works out.
It turns into a magical day that people of all ages enjoy!
That rolling pin is my great-grandmother’s! It is a part of cookie day every single year. Talk about tradition!
After the final cookie is decorated…it is then time to make the big cookie plates!
 
Personally, this is my favorite part. Everyone creates a big plate to bring home, and grabs a handful of each of the 9 different types of cookies.  You load up your favorites (For me, that means the coconut krispies and peanut butter Reese’s cookies), until all of the cookies are gone!
Think of all those calories! Thousands….yikes!
My mom says I will soon “inherit” cookie day and give her a much needed break.  No more late night baking and messy kitchens for her! She certainly has been a trooper all these years, and I admit it probably is time for her to pass the torch to me. 
 
That means I should probably start preparing now for Cookie Day 2013!
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your holiday is filled with plenty of love, laughter, and your own special Christmas tradition!
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…And a Happy New Year!

rp_1-CaseyandFinn_Prom2005.JPG

Can I tell you a secret?

I’m in love.

Yep. You heard me right. I’m in love with a boy and I want the whole world (and him) to know it!

See…Finn and I have been together for quite some time now. The better part of a decade. But, even though it has been oh so long…we’ve still got that spark. That little something inside that makes your heart go pitter-patter. You know the feeling? I still look at this crazy good lookin’ boy toy of mine, and I’m instantly transported back to my high school days when I first met him as a 16-year-old.

Senior Prom – Spring 2005

Sigh.

So why all the ooey-gooey love talk? Well, I’m here to share a secret gift that keeps that spark going between us.

It’s in this jar.

Yep, this unassuming little jar holds the secret to why I’m head over heels in love with the same guy.

Inside are 52 reasons why I appreciate that man of mine. 52 reasons why he is such a good best friend, fiancé, roomie. 52 reasons why I like to act like a kid with him – building forts, playing connect 4 for hours, dancing in our PJs in our kitchen. 52 reasons why I can’t wait to marry him.

Now, I’m no expert here (ain’t that the truth!) But, I think the key to a happy, healthy relationship is remembering all of those little reasons why you started to love that person in the first place. And not only just remembering those things, but repeating those things to yourself and the one you love.

That brings us back to the jar.

Last New Year’s Day (after all of the commotion of the Christmas season) I had one present left for my man.  It was this jar that read “52 Reasons Why I Love You My Dear, Let’s Have a Happy New Year!”

I spent months writing long paragraphs, trying to sum up all of the wonderful characteristics of my man. I then printed out 52 onto cute paper, cut them with fun scissors, and put them all into the jar. (Make sure you buy 2 jars…one to put all of the ones you’ve read into, and the other for unread notes)

I gave it to Finn on New Year’s Day, and told him that each week in 2012 he could read 1 slip of paper from inside the jar.

And we have done just that. Every Sunday morning, after a whirlwind weekend, we sit in bed in our PJs and he reads one out loud. It’s a time we both look forward to and savor together.

Now, Finn says I “cheated” with this gift of mine. He says I now get credit every week for my special gift…a gift that has lasted all year. But, I really think it’s a gift for me too. It definitely makes me appreciate the wonderful guy I have sitting next to me on those Sunday mornings.

With the number of Sundays left in the year dwindling…those slips of paper are going down and down.

Soon, the jar will be empty.

Good thing I’ll still have this guy…

Readers, I think this is a wonderful gift for anyone special in your life! Share the love with your mom, boyfriend, or best friend! I promise they’ll love a personalized gift that they can cherish all through 2013.
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