25 Ideas to Decorate Your Walls

Colorful kitchen clock DIYWe thought it would be fun to give you some wall decorating ideas to try this week!  If you've been looking for something new to hang on your walls, or you just moved into a new place and are starting from scratch, we hope you find something fun to make from this list. Wanting to brighten up a room? This colorful kitchen clock DIY is super fun, and it can go anywhere in your house (we actually have it in our office right now.)

Simple painting with song lyricsWe love using our own handwriting to personalize projects! Use your favorite song lyrics (or quote) to make a simple song lyric painting.

Fast and easy wall hangingTransform a bare wall with this fast and easy large tapestry wall hanging.

Modern wall art with paint swatchesPick up some paint swatches from your local hardware store and make some colorful modern art.

Easy kitchen wall art DIYLooking for something fun for your kitchen? Try this string art DIY.

Vintage copper letters DIYVintage letters and numbers are always a great flea market find. These vintage copper letters are easy and inexpensive to make!

So fun! Colored mat gallery wallChoose your favorite prints and colored cardstock to create a colorful gallery wall.

Make your own quilted modern artWe love this take on quilted art that you can hang up in your living room or use as a headboard.

A bright bedroom update! via A Beautiful MessUse self-adhesive foam sheets and a circle punch to add a word or design to a bedroom wall.

Create this wooden mosaic wall artThis wooden block mosaic wall art has an earthy feel and is simple to make– no power tools required! 

Wall mounted jewelry box displayShow off your jewelry and create a pretty wall hanging at the same time with a wall-mounted jewelry box display.

How to marble with nail polishPrint your favorite photos and learn how to marble them with nail polish for a cool effect.

Hand stamped clementine wallHand stamp a wall! Elsie chose a clementine wall for her kitchen. So cute! 

Make this silver leaf moon phases wall artThis silver moon phases wall art would look so cool on a bedroom wall!

Easy weaving tutorialWe've always wanted to know how to make a weaving! Learn how to make this one. (See more of Rachel's weaving tutorials here and here.)

DIY personalized pet artHow cute is this personalized pet portrait art? We're all about showing off our pets.

Instagram picture heart displayPrint your Instagram photos and arrange them in any shape you want, like this heart display.

6a00d8358081ff69e2017c38999a64970b-800wiDo you have a collection of framed art or photos that you've been wanting to display in your living room? Create a gallery wall with these tips from Emma.

Make this fund DIY light-up cafe signLight-up signs are so neat, but they are normally expensive. Make this light-up café sign for less than $25!

DIY flower wallEmbellish a wall with DIY tissue pom poms.

White chalkboard wallPaint your walls with white chalkboard paint ( and use some fun, bright colored chalk!)

DIY transparency pop artWe love ice cream... anytime of the year! Make this colorful transparency sheet ice cream art.

Make your own typographic artYou can make typographic art to hang in your living room with some word clippings from magazines.

Geometric art headboard panels (click through for tutorial)Looking for something to put above your bed? These geometric art headboard panels are an awesome alternative to a traditional headboard.

Embellished photo artLast but not least, transform a photo with some artificial flowers. So cute!

Happy decorating! - The ABM Team

Super Easy Funnel Cakes!

Easy funnel cake (click through for recipe)I feel like there are so many little festivals and craft fairs that pop up this time of year. Cute events with names like "Apple Butter Makin' Days." Oh yes, my corner of the world (the Ozarks) is rad like that. :)

Anyway, it's gotten me in the mood for fair food. You know, everything fried and delicious. I am a massive fan of funnel cake. It's probably my favorite of all fair foods.

Least favorite? Fried guacamole. Tried that one time at the Texas state fair. It was... interesting. And that's about the nicest thing I have to say about it. 

Easiest ever homemade funnel cakes Making funnel cake from scratch is easy enough. It's very similar to pancake batter. Which got me thinking, I wonder if you could use store-bought pancake mix to make a decent funnel cake? So I did some testing.

How to make funnel cake at homeI tried three different store bought pancake mixes. The one that worked best was Bisquick. In the process of testing a few mixes, I learned that it's all about batter texture. If your batter is super runny, like so liquidy you could drink it through a straw (gross-I know! I'm just trying to help you understand the consistency I'm talking about), then it won't hold together well when you go to deep fry it.

What you want is a thick paste consistency. You want the batter to ooze but still be too thick to drink with a straw (I said it again-double gross!). 

Second, it works best if you pour the batter through a squeeze bottle (like the one pictured above) or through a funnel into the oil. I prefer the squeeze bottle as I feel it gives me a little more control as I work, and the more control the better when working around hot oil.

How to make funnel cakesYou want your oil (vegetable or canola work well) to be right around 350°F or a little less when you pour the batter in. Give it 20-30 seconds, flip, then remove to a bed of paper towels after another 15-20 seconds. 

I sort of like making smaller, two to three bite-sized funnel cakes as they are easier to maneuver in the oil. But I feel like at the fair they are usually giant. So if you want it to feel more authentic, then go for that.

Easiest ever homemade funnel cakes  And you absolutely must sprinkle the tops with copious amounts of powdered sugar. That makes all the difference! 

If you feel like you don't want any guess work with your batter, then I recommend you go ahead and make your batter from scratch. I can't really decide which one I like better. Might need to do more testing. :) xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the Complete Collection

Decorative Clay Bell DIY

Clay Bell DIYI've been crushing on the ceramic bells I've seen pop up in a few of my favorite stores all summer, so it was high time I tried to make something similar myself. These are purely for decor and don't actually make that lovely sound that hand-thrown clay bells make, but they sure look fancy on my wall. These have a bit of a summer vibe but would also be easy to gild with some metallic paint for the upcoming holidays. 

Easy Clay Bell DIY by Rachel Denbow for ABMSupplies

Supplies:
-oven bake clay (I find the Sculpey brand is much softer than FIMO and easier to shape without crumbling. There are a variety of colors to choose from, or you can just use white and paint them.)
-acrylic paint and paintbrushes in various sizes
-gloss paint for oven bake clay 
-leather cord
-1/4" copper pipe length (They come in 2' lengths and are sold separately or in packs at Lowe's.)

Tools:
-copper pipe cutter
-pliers
-scissors
-something flat and long to cut through your clay such as a popsicle stick, ruler, etc.
-a smooth roller such as a glass or rolling pin
-baking tray
-oven

IMG_1372Step One: One block of clay (shown above) can make a larger bell or two smaller bells. Roll your clay until smooth.

IMG_1373Step Two: I split each of the two balls of clay so that I had a smaller piece and a larger piece. The smaller piece will be the top of the bell and the larger piece will be the tube. They should look like the two pieces on top. Then I stretched my large piece into a long, rectangular shape and flattened my small piece into a circle, like in the bottom two shapes. 

IMG_1374Step Three: Roll your rectangular piece flat. Use your popsicle stick to help flatten the top and bottom edges. Also use it to cut the rounded ends off as shown above. You want your clay to be about 1/4" thick. Keep your excess and use it to make the circular top thicker.

IMG_1377
Step Four: Roll your rectangle into a tube shape so that your edges overlap about 1/4" and press them together. If you press them together against the table, it'll keep a smooth outer edge. 

IMG_1378Step Five: Gently rub over the seam on the outside and smooth it out. 

IMG_1381Step Six: Round the edges of your top as shown. 

StepStep Seven: Place it down into your tube. It should fit snugly. If there is a gap, take it out and try again. 

Step2Step Eight: Press the edges of your tube around your circular shape. Then gently smooth the seam out. This takes a little practice, but clay is forgiving. You can just start all over if you aren't happy with it before you bake it.

IMG_1395Step Nine: Smooth out the seams on the inside of the bell as well. Then place a popsicle stick down into it to make the hole in the clay. I used leather cord so this was the perfect shape. If you use yarn or twine, you can use something with a similar shape to make your hole.

IMG_1401Step Ten: Cut your copper pipe according to manufacturer directions. I trimmed mine down to 2" and 3" pieces. 

IMG_1402Step Eleven: This is the cord I found at my large local craft store. It comes in a few colors. You could also use paracord, thick twine, yarn, etc.

IMG_1403Step Twelve: Cut about 15" of cord and tie a knot about 2" from one end. 

IMG_1404Step Thirteen: Place your copper pipe over the short end of the cord and press flat with pliers to secure it to your cord. Set aside.

IMG_1406Step Fourteen: Before you paint your bells, stick them onto a cookie sheet or baking tray of some sort and follow manufacturer's directions for baking. Mine needed 15-20 minutes at 275°.

Wait until they've cooled, and then feel free to paint them. I taped off one section of the bell for a smoothly painted edge on one, and then just free handed stripes on the other. I also used a pen to illustrate x's on another. Once your acrylic paint has dried, you can add gloss over your bell for a ceramic look.

IMG_1409Step Fifteen: String your leather cord up through the bell. Then tie another knot gently on top of the bell so it stays put. I then tied a loop knot on each bell, but you can also tie all of the cords in one large knot together.

Simple BellsPainted BellsYou can tie them all together at the top after making them different lengths or bundle them three at a time on a decorative hook or a door handle that isn't in use. They aren't terribly fragile if bumped around gently, but I wouldn't advise using them on doors that are used regularly.

You Need These On Your WallThese would be a lovely gift for a friend or a beautiful way to decorate for the holiday. Don't you think? -Rachel 

Credits // Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. 

3 Easy Party Appetizer Ideas

Easy party appetizersMy philosophy when it comes to planning a menu for a party is pretty much this: what will taste delicious and be really easy to throw together. I don't like spending a whole party in the kitchen by myself. No thank you.

If I'm preparing for a dinner party with multiple courses, then I do anticipate more prep work. But for our housewarming party, I had decided to just serve small, bite-sized items. And if folks ended up staying later, we could always order pizza. :)

Anyway, I thought I'd share three appetizers I served in case any of you have a party coming up that you'd want some ideas for.

Ricotta and blueberry toastsFirst up, I "made" these blueberry ricotta toasts. They are topped with honey and a little salt + pepper. I like to serve them with a fragrant herb on the serving board since they don't have a strong aroma. I used basil (because I already had some), but rosemary or sage would be a good option as well.

Super easy appetizer ideasI toasted the bread the day before the party and stored it in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Then about forty-five minutes before guests arrived, I spread on the ricotta and topped with blueberries and honey. Easy.

If I had been ambitious, I could have made my own ricotta. But... I was not that week. :)

Watermelon and feta skewersSecond, I made watermelon and feta skewers. I can't remember where I first had this combination together. I feel like it was at someone's wedding reception. Hmm. I don't remember. But the juicy, sweet watermelon goes great with sharp feta. I don't have a photo of the table, but I served this along side a balsamic vinegar reduction guests could drizzle or dip with. But these are great without that too.

Watermelon and feta skewers The only trick to preparing these is to cut the watermelon into cubes about the same size as your feta cubes. This makes for a pretty presentation. Also, remember to buy a seedless watermelon to save your guests some trouble. :)

Cheesy tomato tartsThese mini cheddar tomato tarts were the most difficult item on the menu, but they were also my favorite. They sort of taste like pizza, so of course I loved them. :)

You simply cut out small circles (or hearts) of puff pastry with a cookie cutter. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle on a little white cheddar cheese (shredded), then top with a tomato slice. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and look crispy. Top with a little basil leaf (or just chopped basil) just before serving. 

Easy tomato basil tartsI made my tarts earlier in the day and just rewarmed them in the oven before guests arrived. 

Now I want pizza. 

Thanks for letting me share! If you have any easy party recipes you're known for making, tell us. xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. 

Gold Leaf Brooches for Fall

DIY Gold Leaf Brooches I love a good pun, but not as much as I love a beautiful brooch! They're such a simple way to add personality to an outfit and look especially nice pinned onto a jacket lapel. I didn't have anything autumnal in my brooch collection though, so I thought I'd make some gold leaves to celebrate fall's arrival. These little guys are so easy to make, that you could easily make a bunch to string on a garland, to use as necklace pendants, or to create magnets! You can make your brooches any color, but I love the look of gold leaf, and like I said— I can't resist a good pun. Gold leaves!

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesSupplies:
-polymer clay in color of your choice (I used white because I already had some, but you could save yourself a step by getting clay in a color you want to show through the gold.)
-gold leaf sheets, sizing, and a sealant (only use water-based sizing and sealant)
-brooch pins
-permanent adhesive
-paint for background color (optional)

Tools:
-silicone mold (I used this one.)
-paint brush
-oven

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesStep One: Warm the clay in your hands for a couple of minutes to make it easier to work with. Then pack it into the sections of the mold. You can use less clay for thinner brooches.

Step Two: Push the brooch pins into the clay to make indents. Then bake for the recommended time on the clay packaging. I baked mine at 270°F for 30 minutes (15 minutes for every 1/4" thickness of clay). Allow to cool before removing from the mold. Pull off the pins and set aside for later.

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesStep Three: If you aren't using colored clay, you'll probably want to paint the leaves with the color you would like to show through the gold leaf finish. It took 2-3 coats to cover my clay.

Step Four: Brush a light coat of sizing onto the painted leaves to prepare for the gold leaf sheets. If you have a gold leaf kit, it will come with sizing. I've seen people use Mod Podge for this too. Gold leaf sizing takes about 20 minutes to set up.

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesStep Five: Apply little pieces of the gold leaf sheets to the prepared leaves. It can be a bit tricky to get the paper into the crevices of the leaves, so I used a little paint brush to help push the gold leaf into those tight spots.

Step Six: Use a soft cloth to rub and burnish the gold leaf, making it nice and smooth. Rub a bit harder at the corners to remove the gold leaf and expose the color underneath. If you need to add more gold leaf in some spots, just repeat steps 4-6 on those areas.

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesStep Seven: Seal the leaves with a water-based varnish. You could use the sealant that comes with a gold leaf kit, but I've discovered it doesn't hold up well to water like a good varnish does. So I used this Minwax brand water-based Polycrylic spray.

Step Eight: Use a permanent glue to affix the brooch pins in the indents you made before baking.

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesImportant Tip: Be sure to only use polymer-safe paint, sizing, and sealer on your leaves, or the polymer will degrade over time and turn into a gooey mess. I've learned that spray paint, nail polish, and oil-based paints are a no-no. Now I use water-based paints and a durable water-based varnish to seal my polymer creations.

DIY Gold Leaf BroochesDIY Gold Leaf BroochesDon't they look pretty? I think I might make some more using a light-weight polymer clay to create a cute little garland for my dining room. But for now I'm loving the little nod to fall on my vintage sweater cape.

Need a fun idea for displaying your brooches when they're not pinned to your lapel? Check out this quick and easy jewelry display idea! -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella and Valentine of the Signature Collection.

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