diy tassels {weather-proof!}

DIY TASSELS

 i know tassels are all the rage, and i’m super late to the game, but i have a fun little (ok i lied, super long) tutorial so you can make your own!  and i have found a trick to make them last much longer than fragile tissue paper tassels…

 so here’s the story morning glory: we were just a few days away from our spring stitch market and i wanted some quick, cheap decorations for our checkout table and our outdoor walkway.  i was walking through every aisle of target, of course, and i stumbled upon the most beautifully colored plastic table cloth in all the land.  first off, i don’t like plastic table cloths unless they are absolutely necessary.  otherwise, they tend to look as cheap as they are.  but this one was so pretty, and as it turned out, nice and thick.  after a couple days of staring at the table cloth, it hit me: tassels!  the best part:  the plastic doesn’t tear and these are weather-proof!

have you ever read one of my tutorials before?  if not, you’re in for a treat.  and by treat i mean a really long, detailed post with lots of pictures.  because when i’m doing something for the first time, i like to have every question answered before i can even ask it.  so thats what i set out to do!

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when you first open the package, the tablecloth is folded into a nice small rectangle.  the fold lines are super helpful for this project, so work with them.  see each of those lines?  cut along them.  yes, you’ll be cutting several layers of tablecloth at once.  it really cuts like butter – so easily!

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the cuts don’t have to be perfect at all (yay).  just slowly unroll the folded up tablecloth and keep cutting until you have a big stack of these rectangles. do not open them!

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next you cut the strips that will be used at the very end to tie the tassel knot.  its inevitable that one or 2 of the rectangles you’ve cut are going to be odd-sized.  usually the first and last rectangles are the smallest.

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first i fold the rectangle in half, top to bottom…

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then in half again top to bottom so its now in quarters.

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then cut it into small strips, maybe 1/2″ wide.

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just keep cutting :)

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and then you’re left with a pile of folded strips.

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line up all those strips with the factory folds together (not the quartered folds you just made).

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then chop the fold off!

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once you’ve chopped off the folds on both ends you’re left with a pile of strips.  be sure to separate them all.  they tend to be a bit sticky to each other due to the static electricity.

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now to start on the tassels!  take one of the original rectangles you cut.  it should have about 4 layers to it (may vary by manufacturer).  cut open the folds one one end…

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and then the other end.

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you’ll be left with a nice, neat stack of rectangles.  even though they are no longer attached to each other, don;t separate them yet.  it will make things much harder.

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fold in half lengthwise.

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then in half widthwise.  in this picture, the fold is on the left and the bottom.

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now cut your tassel “legs”.  i go up to about 1 1/2″ from the top fold.

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keep cutting legs until the whole piece is cut.  they width of the legs is up to you – 1/2″, 1/4″, whatever.

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now open up the cut tassel and it looks like this!  this is 4 layers of tassels all stacked together.

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separate the layers now.

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because this tablecloth (different from the mint target version) was so thin, i doubled up the layers of tassels.  the picture above is of 2 layers of tassels.

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now scrunch the uncut center section all together.

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so quick and easy, all scrunched!

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now start twisting.  i do this with 2 hands (hard to show with one hand needing to take pictures!).

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it helps to rest the twist against a table, or i like to do it on my thigh.  it doesn’t make sense in words, but when you’re twisting you’ll see what i mean.

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once you have the entire uncut section twisted nice and tight, it starts to make a loop on it own when you fold the twist in half.

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next grab one of those strips you made earlier and hold it in the middle against the base of the loop.

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holding the strip with one hand, take one leg of the strip and wrap it around and around until you have a couple inches left.

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then do the same with the other leg of the strip.

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you’ll be left with 2 short legs.  tie them in a couple knots to secure.

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and your tassel is done!  honestly, it probably took you longer to read this tutorial than it does to actually make one.  once they are cut (which doesn’t take long at all), the actual twisting and wrapping probably takes maybe 30 seconds.

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 i strung mine on yarn, but any sort of string will work.  sometimes i had to tie the yarn around the loop if the tassel was too “slippy”.

best part of these?  you can leave them up outside on your porch, in your yard, wherever and they won’t get ruined!  and when its time to put them away, you can just shove them in a bag or a box and the wrinkles don’t ruin these tassels.

have fun!

 

bring in spring

happy (day after) easter, friends!  we had a wonderful morning at church, then a little walk with the kids, then the beach for a few hours.  it was absolutely gorgeous there!  had it not been almost dinnertime, i could’ve stayed for a couple more hours, but as i type, i am feeling my skin getting a bit itchy from a little sunburn – darn!

i am so excited to finally share this fun project with you!  i partnered again with the folks at P&G and The Home Depot to bring you a fun spring project (and a giveaway)!

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my dining room was looking a bit dreary from winter-time dullness.  at least my usually junk-filled buffet was somewhat cleared off, but not at all interesting to look at.

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the dining room table is great.  and HUGE!  which can pose a bit of a decorating dilemma:  it is so big that most centerpieces look diminutive on it!

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to welcome the change of seasons (hello spring!), i knew i wanted to bring the outdoors in.  that means greenery and flowers.  i typically lean towards bright colors and vintage finds, but this time i wanted to incorporate a more modern, mellow color scheme, and keep clean lines while still mixing in the usual vintage pieces.  kind of a little challenge to myself!  so i set off for the home depot to come up with a fresh new plan for a centerpiece.

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while wandering the aisles of home depot, looking for inspiration, i came across some copper piping.  i knew i wanted to incorporate it into my project, but it just wasn’t in my budget.

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so i substituted pvc pipe fittings with the intention of spray painting them!

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supplies for this fun little project:  pvc pipe fittings \\ copper spray paint \\ decorative pea gravel \\ succulents \\ tin foil \\  water heater drain pan

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i was originally planning on a long narrow box of sorts for a centerpiece for the table, but when i saw this huge hot water heater drip pan, i knew i found the solution!

i removed all plastic pieces from the drip pan.  there were a few little white plastic pieces wrapped over the top lip of the pan which i was able to pry off with my hands, and then i cut the off attached plug.  i also removed the sticker.

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i spray painted the pvc pipes with several thin coats of copper paint.  i may or may not have then sprayed several other items copper.  possibly.

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i  spread out the various sizes of pipe pieces on the tray, keeping them in a loose linear arrangement.

i put pea gravel in a kitchen strainer and hosed it off until the water ran clear (mine came a little muddy in the bag).  i shook out the excess water and spread gently in the pan.

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i kept washing and rinsing until the gravel was high enough in the pan.

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i added succulents to the copper painted pipes, with a small amount of gravel in first to help with drainage.

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i folded a small piece of tin foil to cover drain hole.  when i need to water the succulents, i just take the tray outside, water the plants, and allow the excess water to drain out, then replace the tin foil over the hole again, holding it in place with gravel.  or, i give just a little bit of water, not enough to go up to the hole – super easy!

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now let’s just take a minute to look at how pretty the succulents are with the copper pipes, i mean painted pvc pipes ;)

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so so pretty!

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just a little pop of soft springy color with a splash of shiny copper!

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this big ol’ centerpiece is so much more proportionate than my old one!   i slid a couple cloth hot pads under the pan to keep it from scratching the table when i slide it off and on.

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while i was adding some spring into my dining room with the new succulent tray centerpiece, i also wanted to dress up my buffet.  first it needed a good scrubbing. like i said, this area tends to be our drop zone – random school papers, where i dump out my purse contents, all the things i don;t know where to put… believe me, a scrubbing was necessary!  i took Mr. Clean with Febreze® and Bounty paper towels to the galvanized surface, and followed with a good spritz of Febreze®.

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nice and shiny again!

ps – people ask me details on this countertop all the time, so here’s the skinny:  we had it made by a local heating and plumbing company that specialized in metal ducting.  it cost us $100!  it is made from galvanized metal, but i don’t know the gauge or anything – sorry!  and we don’t use this surface for food prep, only for service, so i can’t tell you how well it would hold up in that situation.

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it was so fun shopping my house for accessories!  i did a mix of colors: black and white as a foundation, with accents of turquoise.  as for style, the black and white pushes towards the modern, and the vintage pieces tie in the buffet to the rest of my house.

i have learned that this buffet tends to be a great/horrible drop zone.  its right inside the back door (our most used door for entry), so its the most available surface for dropping things on.  but when i have it set up pretty, it stays that way and i find another place to make my piles ;)

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i needed to incorporate the items we use at meals: napkins, salt & pepper, and straws.  i shopped my house and came back with this vintage enamel container, which was the perfect size!

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i bought a few small houseplants a couple months ago and haven’t killed them yet, so i decided to try my hand at it again and add even more!  nothing says spring like fresh greenery and bird cages, right?  to add a pop of color, i cut a handful of roses from my yard and it did the trick!

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now our dining table has a proportionately-sized, low maintenance centerpiece, and my buffet is no longer the drop zone!

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now let’s see how long i can keep it like this!  

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i’m not the only one updating for spring!  for more ideas to Bring in Spring, visit www.finditathomedepot.com!

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