how to make a glass jar candle

candle3

wax-candle

I was looking for an easy way to light up the deck and didn’t have the budget to buy new candles, but found tikki oil in a huge gallon bucket for under five dollars! We used a collection of glass jars on hand, cotton wicks, and a nail to make these glass jar candles. See the full tutorial right here. You could literally make them with any type of glass jar; mason jars and jelly jars are the perfect size, or baby food jars would be awesome to put at each seat.

Posted July 02, 2014 1 Comment
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5 sneaky summer party tips

5 sneaky tips for a summer party (Click through to see them all)

I am so happy that summer has made its grand entrance! Reno sometimes has a way of playing with our hearts and it’s been known to snow in June. But now – the warm weather is finally here to stay. Hooray. And what does that mean? More outdoor parties of course. Here are five sneaky tips I’ve learned to have a great (and stress free) summer party.

#1 Keep it shady

It’s always better in the shade for your guests from young to old. Look for those bigger trees, supply umbrellas or parasols to help the heat stay low. One trick we’ve used to shade a large area on the cheap, is to hang a few select larger pieces of fabric between two walls. Use thumbtacks, hot glue, or whatever you have on hand to get the faux canopy in place for the afternoon. The result is a temporarily shady deck – with a pretty touch whenever your guests look up.

5 sneaky tips for a summer party - how to create shade! (Click through to read them all)

#2 Agenda’s on the simpler side

Most people will want to just catch up and share their company with one another; so don’t stress over party games, or a karaoke station for the adults. However if kids will be attending, definitely put that energy into finding cool games (like giant surprise balls!) for them to enjoy. My favorite parties are those that I know my kids are enjoying – then I can relax as well.  

Posted July 01, 2014 4 Comments
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firecracker straws

Firecracker Straws

We are always looking for ways to make Fourth of July firecrackers something even the littlest kids can enjoy. These firework straws are a great way to bring the sparkle and fun safely into the afternoon. They are bright, shiny, and a festive way to sip celebratory drinks.

Firecracker Straws

Firecracker Straws

Firecracker Straws

To make the firecracker straws, start by cutting out the festive paper flags. Download and print our template right here.  

Posted June 30, 2014 3 Comments
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cactus stencil outdoor rug

Cactus Stenciled Outdoor Rug

Gussying up the deck was a big focus of our first week of summer. I was really excited about getting a big rug outside and had such a hard time finding one I loved. Instead of buying one I didn’t love – I bought a huge piece of AstroTurf from Costco and stencil painted cactus on it.

Cactus Stenciled Outdoor Rug

Make an outdoor rug with a stencil and spray paint!

The project was really simple and I just love how it looks! I’m sharing the details of how we did it and the template to create your own cactus inspired rug – right here.

Here are a few other amazing ideas to fix up your porch/deck/slab of concrete for summer.

Painted garden stools.

Planted succulents – great for stairs.

Outdoor shower.

This is just gorgeous!

Giant outdoor surprise balls.

Love this DIY outdoor table – you could make it in under an hour!

Miniature fabric covered lights for stringing.

And in case you missed it, our 3D paper stars for hanging outdoors.

Whatever outdoors you are enjoying this weekend, I hope it is great. We are off to the lake today! Living near Lake Tahoe has its advantages. Happy weekend!

Posted June 27, 2014 3 Comments
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summer stargazing party details

Summer stargazing party

We held our first party of summer last week – a night of stargazing. The party started in the evening, before the sun set. We grilled veggies and enjoyed a really great chocolate cake. When it was time to watch the stars, we laid out on our large canvas picnic cloth and looked up toward the sky. I was surprised at how little finding the actual constellations seemed to matter to anyone – it was just a fun night to be together in the gorgeous summer weather. The summer night sky is so pretty up here in the mountain dessert.

For the party details, I looked to include bright elements like a garland of festive 3D paper stars, along with a more traditional touches, and a few really great pieces purchased with my party shopping trick! The handmade table we enjoyed was definitly the centerpiece of the entire party – heavy, wooden and filled with succulents. It is my new favorite place to enjoy anything out of doors. The play list was great as well. Here are some of my favorite details from the night.  

Posted June 26, 2014 3 Comments
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painter’s canvas picnic blanket

Painted Canvas Picnic Blanket

Finding pretty picnic blankets is always a challenge for me. For whatever reason, picnic season tends to bring out the bright cheesy fabrics in many of my favorite brands. Instead of buying one I don’t love, I prefer to invest 30 minutes and make one I do love!

Last year’s no-sew version was fun to make. This season we made a pretty pink painted stripe version to use for our first party of summer and it worked splendid.

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

To make the painted canvas picnic blanket, we started with a simple canvas drop cloth. If you purchase the type with non-drip coating on the back, it will provide a water resistant barrier which is great for laying the canvas down on grass. You’ll also need fabric paint and a small house paint roller.

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

Before beginning to paint – bleach the canvas in the washer and dry thoroughly, for a surface that the paint will stick easily to.

Next measure out the stripe lines – I loved the look of three lines in differing hues, but you could stripe all the way down the canvas if desired. Big stripes! Little stripes! Use this tutorial to make a blanket that you will love getting out again and again this summer.

Gently measure out the paint lines with pencil.

Next begin painting. Squirt the fabric paint into a small paint tray and roll right on to the cloth. Paint multiple coats for a completed “perfect” line look, or allow the brush to run naturally to create interesting, abstract lines. Erase the pencil marks afterwards, or leave them for a sketched in paint look.

Painter's Painted Picnic Blanket

One thing I love about this picnic blanket is that it is big enough to fit an entire party! If you’re planning a summer party, the blankets are a fun way to seat guests – make them in a couple different shades and set them around the yard. Instant picnic party perfection.

Grab your friends and head out to enjoy a lazy afternoon under the trees, or roll this blanket up for a night of stargazing. More to come on our summer stargazing party tomorrow!

(Photography by Jocelyn Noel)

Posted June 25, 2014 7 Comments
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