Open Books Accent Wall

I wanted to share a small but pretty impactful update I made to the Ravenclaw bedroom in our modern Harry Potter-inspired Bnb. I added an open books accent wall above the bed, and I am completely in LOVE with how it turned out. It was also incredibly easy to install. Plus, you could even modify this DIY from the way I installed for a zero-damage version that would even be suitable for most renter situations.

I actually had a stash of random hardcover books that were left in our house after we purchased it. Most were things I wasn’t planning to read, so I decided to use them for this project in addition to 4-5 books I thrifted. I specially bought a few more books for this project because I wanted a few that had very yellowed pages, so there was a variety of page colors in the final design. This made the project VERY affordable as far as the supplies went toward making this open books accent wall.

Here’s everything I used:

Supplies:
-hardcover books
-command strips
-small nails + hammer
-scotch tape
-measuring tape

You could absolutely skip the nails and use all command strips, but you’ll have to use at least three times as many as I did, so that will add to the final cost. But if you’re worried about adding nail holes to your walls (like, if you cannot because of your rental agreement), I just want to put it out there that this project is still super possible.

Step One: Plan out your design. Measure your wall and lay out books and pages how you plan to have them on your wall space. One thing I planned for was how high off the bed to start my design, and keeping the bottom layer of books open flat so it wouldn’t be uncomfortable if you sit on the bed with your back to the wall. You may have to slightly adjust your design as you install, but starting off with a plan that is the size you want to cover is still super helpful.

Step Two: Add the books to the wall, starting in the middle of your design. I did this by adding one command strip to the spine of the book and sticking that to the wall. Then I added one nail on each side of the book, to hold it open. Sometimes I nailed down all the pages, and sometimes I left some open. I like the varied look this created.

Step Three: Add any loose pages, paper airplanes, or any other little accents you are adding in addition to the books. You can also fold or scrunch the pages of the books once they are hung to give them all a slightly different feeling. Or you can keep it more uniform! It’s totally up to you. I was hoping for my open book accent wall to feel almost like the books are coming alive and flying up to the ceiling as I wanted it to feel bookish but also whimsical. 🙂

This project took just under two hours once I had all my supplies. Super simple and easy for one person to do, even if you’re not super handy. And here’s one more more little detail I added to the Ravenclaw-inspired bedroom:

I bought this eagle figurine that I painted white and now he sits on the dresser in this room. It was pointed out to me that I didn’t have any eagles in the room, which is the Ravenclaw mascot. So now I’ve remedied this officially. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

P.S. I completed this a few weeks ago before we started to self-quarantine. Just wanted to make it super clear we’re not advocating anyone travel (especially on airlines) right now until the current health crisis changes. Elsie and I are actually planning to talk a little bit in the next podcast episode about how this is effecting our STR properties (short answer—very bad). Anyway, still proud to share projects from this home even though it’s not going to be a place for families to make memories in for a while.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Easy DIY Living Wall Art

If you have ever wanted to make your own DIY living wall art from artificial plants, then you are in luck because I am pretty sure this has to be one of the easiest projects, and I just LOVE how it turned out. I was inspired to create these because I recently took down my faux living wall and I wanted to reuse as many of the faux plants as I could. I love the look of artificial plants around our house as green is one of my favorite colors and I just think it adds so much interest to any room.

As you can see, I created four panels of artificial greenery above our piano, but you could easily create just one or any number/size that fit your space. This project is super customizable and the panels end up being lightweight, so you could even hang them with command strips if you wanted to make this project renter-friendly. Here’s how I made this DIY living wall art.

Supplies:
-artificial greenery (I bought all of mine from JOANN when it was on sale, and thrifts are a great place to look too)
-stretched canvas, any size
-small scissors or an X-Acto knife
-paint + brush
-pipe cleaners

You’ll want the paint and pipe cleaners to be a similar color to your artificial plants. I made four green panels and four autumn-colored panels, so I can switch these out with the seasons as I just love to decorate for fall! Plus, I already had lots of autumn-colored faux plants I wanted to reuse as well.

Step One: Paint the canvas. This does NOT have to be perfect. The goal is just to make the canvas mostly covered, so if your plants allow a few peeks through it won’t show the canvas.

Step Two: Once the paint is completely dry, add the plants. I did this by poking small holes in the canvas and using pipe cleaners to attach the stems/vines. It made me think of when you open a package (like a children’s toy) and the item is twist-tied onto a piece of cardboard or plastic. That’s essentially what you are doing with the artificial plants.

That’s it! It’s seriously that simple. These did take a little while to complete. I started listening to the podcast Dolly Parton’s America while making these and it’s such an interesting series—highly recommend. Thanks for letting me share and happy crafting! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Project assistance: Ethan Randolph. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Easy DIY Holiday Card Holder

I love receiving holiday cards this time of year. For many of our family and friends who we don’t get to see often, this is one of the main ways I get a little update from them—so I look forward to it every year. Although, I must admit I generally would just let the cards pile up on our kitchen countertop, and eventually throw them away sometime after the new year. Sentimental clutter. 🙂

I finally decided to make a little festive looking bulletin board to display our cards on. My plan is to store this little bulletin board on top of the holiday decoration boxes I store in our guest room closet so I can pull it out every year to display our cards on. I also like that while I’m still waiting to get cards in the mail the display just looks like a neutral colored Christmas tree, so it’s cute all on its own too.

This was VERY easy to make; you can probably figure it out just by looking at it. But I’ll leave its supplies and a quick little tutorial here for you anyway.

Supplies:
foam board
bulletin board roll
super glue
ribbon/trim
thumbtacks
pom poms
hot glue gun
mail holder
Command strips to hang

Step One: Cut the foam board as well as the bulletin board roll into the shape you desire. I did a Christmas tree with the idea being the pom pom thumbtacks would be “ornaments” on the tree. But you could totally do a number of different shapes like a wreath or a star if you wanted a different look. Use the super glue to glue these two pieces together along the edge.

Step Two: Use a hot glue gun to add ribbon or trim to the edges. This will cover the foam, making the bulletin board look more finished, but it’s also just adding a little color or sparkle to the edge. While you have the hot glue gun out, glue the pom poms to the thumbtacks.

Step Three: Add the mail holder to the bulletin board. This is optional but I wanted to add something that could hold oversized cards or just in case I got too many to fit the board so I couldn’t see them all. But this is not necessary, just an option. I attached my mail holder by simply poking a few holes in the bulletin board and using wire to hold it in place.

Once complete, I hung the board with Command strips so there’s no damage to my wall or the board, making it easy to reuse for years to come. How do you store/display holiday cards? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Pampas Grass Wreath DIY

Have you jumped on board the dried grasses trend yet? I’m 100% here for it and couldn’t wait to make my own pampas grass wreath for this fall season. It’s as easy as you’d imagine to put one together and there are just as many ways to customize your own according to your minimalist, maximalist, bohemian, or farmhouse needs.

I first got to work on a 12″ hoop before realizing my finished piece would fan out to a size no longer conducive to opening and closing a standard-sized front door. Ha! So, use a 10″ hoop for a large wreath that will still work on a single door and a larger hoop if you’re wanting to use it on a wall and have a bit more space to fill. I love the texture and simplicity of pampas grass and it’s perfect for the fall and harvest season home decor.

Supplies
-15 or more pampas grass stalk heads of similar size (similar to these)
10″ metal hoop
-floral wire or 24″ gauge wire
-wire cutters
-scissors
-aerosol hair spray (to keep it from shedding)
-silk or cotton ribbon

Note: There are many varieties of pampas grass available for purchase online. Some are fluffier than others so keep that in mind when ordering. The pampas grass I used was about 3″-4″ wide at the widest point and about 14″ of plume each. If you’re lucky enough to know someone that has a pampas grass bush growing on their property, see if they’ll let you prune it. Win-win!

Step One: Before getting started on your wreath, you’ll want to generously spray your pampas grass plumes with aerosol hair spray to keep them from shedding bits of seed all over your floors. Do so in a well ventilated place and let them dry before handling them.

Next, trim your pampas grass stem so that you have a 3″-4″ stalk. Cut 2′ or so of wire and wrap it around the first stalk several times close to the bottom of the plume. Then wrap it around both the stalk and the hoop several times to secure it.

Step Two: Cut the second stalk and lay it over the first stalk. If you tuck the bottom of the second stalk just under the hoop, it will stay in place much better than just laying it on the top of the hoop. Wrap your wire a few times around the stalk and hoop together.

Step Three: Continue placing your next stalk over the previous stalk so that the stalks are covered up by the plumes. Once you run out of wire, cut another 2′ length (for ease of use) and twist it together with the end of your previous wire before continuing on.

Step Four: Continue adding so that there is no gap left in the wreath. You may have to lift up the first plume to attach the last plume to the hoop. Then gently fluff the sprayed plumes on the areas around the inner part of the hoop to ensure they cover the stalks and wire. Attach a 4″ length of wire around the hoop and twist the ends together to make a loop. This will be your hanger.

You can announce it finished or you can add another layer of dried grasses, flowers, ribbons, etc., to add a little more flair or you can enjoy it in its simplicity. I added a folded length of ochre colored cotton cord to mine. The perfect shade of golden yellow, I think!

It’s a perfectly delicious wreath for the kitchen, dining room, or front door. It satisfies my attraction to natural, organic materials, but will save well for next year, too.

Umm … did you know that pink pampas grass is a thing? I used to think it was all just spray painted or dyed somehow, but it grows that way! Soft pink and orange and white pumpkins would be really pretty together, wouldn’t they? Enjoy! -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Large-Scale Braided Wall Hanging DIY

I’ve been wanting a new all-white wall tapestry in our living room for a while now. I knew that for the scale I wanted (it’s huge!) that it would be pretty time consuming.

Today, I’m partnering with JOANN to teach you to make this large, but totally doable wall hanging for your home. It’s easier than it looks! If you can braid, you can make this! And what I love most is that there are endless ways to customize it to make it your own!

Supplies needed: I want to teach you how to make exactly what I made, but also leave room for you to customize it. Feel free to add colors and make it your own, or copy mine exactly (that’s what it’s there for!).

Lots of yarn! I purchased nine new bundles and used five of them completely. I also used a bit of yarn I had left over from a previous project. For a very large wall hanging, I would say you need at least five skeins of yarn. You can, of course, choose any yarn that fits the look you are going for, but here’s what I used. Premiere Yarn Couture Jazz Multis Yarn, Bernat Roving, Lion-Brand Wool-Ease Yarn and Big Twist Natural Blend Yarn. There’s also one piece of fringe trim in there that I stole from my stash of old supplies (there are tons of options for trim at JOANN that you can mix and match into your project!).

My wood rod is 54 inches across (just over 4 feet). We purchased it at a hardware store. This is very large, but if you are making a smaller one, you’ll be able to find what you need at JOANN as well!

Step 1: First, I mocked up how large I wanted the longest braid to be. Remember to make the pieces longer since braiding will shorten each piece.

Step 2: Here’s my hack for braiding really long pieces of yarn. I tie the ends into bundles so they don’t get tangled.

Step 3: Braid, braid, braid. Then keep braiding.

Step 4: Lay out your progress as you go. This photo was taken after just one podcast (like 45 minutes), so the first part went pretty quickly.

Keep adding until you are happy!

Step 5: I wanted more than just braids, so I added some wrapped sections. I didn’t have anything bulky to wrap, so I folded up some scrap felt to add bunk under my wrapped braids. This part was considerably more time consuming than the braids, but I love the variety it adds!

Step 6: Once you have plenty of pieces, secure them to the top of the rod. The first side is easier because you don’t have to measure. Just wrap the ends around the back and tie them up with a long piece of bulky yarn.

For the second side, you’ll want to measure each piece to make sure it’s falling like an upside down rainbow. Having it laid out of a big table or floor is easiest.

I thought I was done at this point, but when I hung it up, I wasn’t happy with the scale of the piece. I had two options: Add way more braids hanging lower (which could make the top feel squished) or add a fringe section.

I decided to add fringe to the bottom. This little sketch made me feel good about how long the fringe needed to be. I used two whole packages of Bernat Roving to make the fringe. It took several hours, but it was worth it.

Step 7-8: I found it easiest to cut a bunch of pieces, then add a bunch in sections. It took me quite a white to get it as full as I wanted. Each piece is secured with a simple knot.

In all, I spent around 5-6 hours making this piece. It’s very large though, and to do almost any other kind of wall hanging on this scale would take much longer. So overall I was very happy with the time spent and I am SO happy with the outcome. It’s exactly what this room was needing!

I’d love to see you recreate this for your home! If you make one, be sure to tag us on Instagram so we can take a look!

Thank you so much to JOANN for sponsoring this post! xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Large-Scale Braided Wall Hanging DIY

I’ve been wanting a new all-white wall tapestry in our living room for a while now. I knew that for the scale I wanted (it’s huge!) that it would be pretty time consuming.

Today, I’m partnering with JOANN to teach you to make this large, but totally doable wall hanging for your home. It’s easier than it looks! If you can braid, you can make this! And what I love most is that there are endless ways to customize it to make it your own!

Supplies needed: I want to teach you how to make exactly what I made, but also leave room for you to customize it. Feel free to add colors and make it your own, or copy mine exactly (that’s what it’s there for!).

Lots of yarn! I purchased nine new bundles and used five of them completely. I also used a bit of yarn I had left over from a previous project. For a very large wall hanging, I would say you need at least five skeins of yarn. You can, of course, choose any yarn that fits the look you are going for, but here’s what I used. Premiere Yarn Couture Jazz Multis Yarn, Bernat Roving, Lion-Brand Wool-Ease Yarn and Big Twist Natural Blend Yarn. There’s also one piece of fringe trim in there that I stole from my stash of old supplies (there are tons of options for trim at JOANN that you can mix and match into your project!).

My wood rod is 54 inches across (just over 4 feet). We purchased it at a hardware store. This is very large, but if you are making a smaller one, you’ll be able to find what you need at JOANN as well!

Step 1: First, I mocked up how large I wanted the longest braid to be. Remember to make the pieces longer since braiding will shorten each piece.

Step 2: Here’s my hack for braiding really long pieces of yarn. I tie the ends into bundles so they don’t get tangled.

Step 3: Braid, braid, braid. Then keep braiding.

Step 4: Lay out your progress as you go. This photo was taken after just one podcast (like 45 minutes), so the first part went pretty quickly.

Keep adding until you are happy!

Step 5: I wanted more than just braids, so I added some wrapped sections. I didn’t have anything bulky to wrap, so I folded up some scrap felt to add bunk under my wrapped braids. This part was considerably more time consuming than the braids, but I love the variety it adds!

Step 6: Once you have plenty of pieces, secure them to the top of the rod. The first side is easier because you don’t have to measure. Just wrap the ends around the back and tie them up with a long piece of bulky yarn.

For the second side, you’ll want to measure each piece to make sure it’s falling like an upside down rainbow. Having it laid out of a big table or floor is easiest.

I thought I was done at this point, but when I hung it up, I wasn’t happy with the scale of the piece. I had two options: Add way more braids hanging lower (which could make the top feel squished) or add a fringe section.

I decided to add fringe to the bottom. This little sketch made me feel good about how long the fringe needed to be. I used two whole packages of Bernat Roving to make the fringe. It took several hours, but it was worth it.

Step 7-8: I found it easiest to cut a bunch of pieces, then add a bunch in sections. It took me quite a white to get it as full as I wanted. Each piece is secured with a simple knot.

In all, I spent around 5-6 hours making this piece. It’s very large though, and to do almost any other kind of wall hanging on this scale would take much longer. So overall I was very happy with the time spent and I am SO happy with the outcome. It’s exactly what this room was needing!

I’d love to see you recreate this for your home! If you make one, be sure to tag us on Instagram so we can take a look!

Thank you so much to JOANN for sponsoring this post! xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.