DIY Parking Garage

Baker's stocking was a huge hit this year! Santa was on a tight budget so he had to get a little creative. ;) We really love homemade gifts and toys anyways so we enjoy creating things for our home that are unique and special. We can't take credit for this idea at all. I actually found it here! But we did customize it a bit to fit our needs. Baker loved it so much and it was such an easy and inexpensive project. I thought I'd share the details in case anyone else has a car or truck lover like we do and wants to give this DIY a try!

All we used to make this was a crate, some scrap PVC pipe and a piece of scrap wood. The crate is from Michael's and was about $14. (We used a 50% off coupon.) Overall, we spent a whopping $9 on everything! I do like the look of natural unstained wood, but I wanted it to look a little more polished so we put one coat of light wood stain on the crate. And because our little boy has cars and trucks of all shapes and sizes we decided to incorporate two different size PVC tubes to accommodate them all. The tubes fit very tightly in the size crate we used so we didn't think it was necessary to glue them in. But, if you used a different size crate or PVC you could easily hot glue them in to secure them, as well.

I decided to distress and Mod Podge the little "Parking Garage" sign. I don't have a Cricut machine nor do I have the best hand lettering skills so this was the next best approach to getting a really precise look! I do have a few tips if you want to attempt this technique! Mod Podge is a really simple product to use. I have the liquid product in both the matte and glossy finish, as well as their all-in-one aerosol spray product. I actually used both the matte liquid and the spray on this project and I'll tell you why below!

The first thing I did was design and print my wording. I then cut it to my desired size and shape. After I painted and distressed my sign, I sealed the sign by spraying it with the aerosol Mod Podge product and letting it dry completely. This step is what kept my blue paint from smearing across the white paper once I was ready to attach my wording. 

Once the Mod Podge spray coat was dry I applied one layer of matte Mod Podge liquid to use as glue for my piece of paper. After I placed my wording where I wanted I just painted one last thick coat of matte Mod Podge all over the entire sign. The product goes on looking milky and thick, but dries completely clear providing a seamless and permanent finish. I chose to hot glue it to the top of the crate so there wouldn't be any visible nail or staple holes.

It turned out so darling! And it could be customized and used in so many different ways. An incredibly simple and inexpensive DIY product that our little boy absolutely loves! Happy DIY-ing!



A Country Christmas | 2015

Merry Christmas, everyone! Brett has to work at the fire station on Christmas day again this year so we're celebrating a little early at our house. Christmas time is so special to us. Especially now that we share the season with our little boy. There is nothing quite like experiencing Christmas magic through the eyes of a child. This morning we watched as Baker tip-toed down the stairs and turned the corner into our living room to find his surprises from Santa. My heart nearly burst! Pure joy!

I always like to look back on our holiday details from years past. To reminisce and reflect on each season and to see how our Christmas home has changed from year to year. The farmhouse is such a beautiful back drop for our traditional Christmas decor. We are so incredibly thankful to call Stillwater Farm home.

We didn't send out Christmas cards this year, but we want to wish every one of you the Merriest Christmas! May your New Year be blessed and full of joy. Big hugs and well wishes from our family to yours!

Getting Cozy Indoors

Festive Farmhouse Exteriors

Christmas Memories

We make homemade ornaments and gifts every year. This was my favorite this season!
A sweet surprise in the mail from a dear friend. Warmed our hearts!
Christmas Morning

"Mr. Tatah Head"
Baker's new "parking garage" for all his matchbox cars!





DIY Pinecone Garland

Every year I look forward to browsing all the holiday catalogs for decor inspiration. I just get lost in the beauty of the pages every time! Several years ago I spotted the most beautiful winter pinecone garland in a Ballard Designs magazine but it was a display only and not available for purchase. It was almost as if it was beckoning me to at least give it a DIY try. AND this DIY = free. (Or close to free!) So, thanks, Ballard! Challenge Accepted! ;)

I actually put this together last year and I don't have any step-by-step photos during the process, but I promise this is a really simple project! I will do my best to explain exactly how I got this look so you can make one, too!

What You'll Need:

• Pinecones - I gathered mine out of the woods in our backyard so these were free! You can also purchase them at your local floral supply or hardware store. I used about 30 for mine, but you could use up to 60-80 for a six-foot section depending on how full you want your garland to be.

• Craft Wire

• Ribbon or Moss Covered Heavy Twine

The first thing I did was choose my ribbon base and stretch it out a few feet longer than my desired garland length. (You can also use a heavy moss covered twine in place of ribbon!) Then I cut several long pieces of craft wire (about 1-2 feet long) and placed them along my ribbon at equal increments. My pinecone bundles are about 3 or 4 inches apart. I used this technique so I could visually plan out the placement of the pinecones on my garland. You can customize this to your own taste and string your pinecones as close together or as far apart as desired!

My next step was to twist my wire several times to my base ribbon. 

Then, to secure my pinecones I started wrapping one wire end around the base of each pinecone. (Working the wire up into the layer so it's hidden.) I bundled my pinecones in sets of three and worked my way across the garland from left-to-right. Once the first pinecone is wrapped by the wire a few times, I just started on the second and then the third one to complete the bundle. Since there are two pieces of wire at each increment, I used the same wrapping method with the second piece of wire, just working in the opposite direction to secure the entire bundle together.

This is what the bundles look like when complete! The wire is so thin it's barely visible when displayed. And the more pinecones you use, the more the wire will be hidden!

This is such an easy an inexpensive project and it can be customized in so many ways! You could use scented pinecones for a special twist or add cranberries or greenery for a more festive and colorful look. I enjoy the simplicity and beauty of the pinecones by themselves and I love that it's a beautiful piece of decor that can stand alone throughout many different seasons.

I hope this inspires you to give this project a try! I have so much fun gathering natural elements to use in our home. It's a great project to do with the kids, as well. And a great opportunity to get outside and go on a nature walk! 

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.. & Happy DIY-ing! -Lauren