It’s time for another fall post! I spent part of my weekend getting the house all decorated for fall! I bought my mums, got out all of the fake pumpkins and leaves, and put together a cute fall display on the mantle and the console in our living room.
I really wanted to make sure we had some kind of statement piece on our mantle. We usually have two large bird paintings on the mantle – on either side of the television. But, I figured they were a little to spring-y/summer-y and wanted something more rustic for fall. I’ve had several barnstars for a long time and they’ve just been sitting in a box in the basement. I knew they were perfect for fall.
But, I took some work to get them to this point.
I started with the stars leaned against the brick – but they completely disappeared against the dark wall.
Then I put them against some plain pieces of pine 2X4′s, cut into 24 inch segments. It was super boring and plain. PS: They’ll do that cutting for you for free at most hardware stores – Home Depot had it done in just five minutes. Even if you have a saw at home, save your time and your fingers and let someone else fool with it.
So I knew I had to get creative. I decided to make it look like the stars had been attached to a collection of recovered barn wood. I got my paints, stains, hammer, lighter, and various sharp objects out and went to work!
The first step was burning some of the pieces – I just set up a lovely little candle and went to work. Now, it should probably go without saying but, be careful doing this. It would probably be best to do it outside and to have a bucket or cup of water nearby. Of course I completely disregarded those kinds of safety instructions…but you shouldn’t.
I took a palette knife and my hammer and went to work scraping, scratching, denting, and distressing the wood. It was lots of fun! I make sure to hammer down all of the edges and corners to make the wood look worn and soft. I made deep gashes across the surface of the boards. I did some of these before staining or painting and some after – to add different colors and textures.
For the stains I used a weathered gray and a special walnut. I did two board with the walnut, two with the gray, and one with a mix of the two. I let them dry for about 15 minutes then wiped them down. The gray needed more, so I added more stain and let it set for about an hour.
Meanwhile I painted a few boards bright blue and let them dry. I then went to town on those boards with the hammer and palette knife and the lighter. I used some of the gray stain to go over the blue paint to tone it down and also get into the gashes and cuts in the wood. I let the stain dry for about an hour before wiping it off.
And for a few other boards I used the Martha Stewart crackle finish. This one didn’t really work out like I wanted. You are supposed to prime the surface with the Martha Stewart primer and finisher – which I did, begrudgingly (that stuff cost $7) – then cover with the crackle paste with a palette knife. Apparently the thicker you apply it, the more it crackles. I really didn’t notice any significant crackling when I used it. BUT, I could have not waited long enough…I was a little impatient. I then painted over those boards with some green paint I watered down to turn it into more of a stain. And a coating of the gray stain went on top of that.
I put the boards together with fence staples – which was a pain in the ass, by the way – and then attached the star. And ta-da! There you have it! Here are some up close shots of the distressing on the boards and how they’re connected.
I put the stars on either side of our television and added in different pumpkins, orange and yellow books, a picture of leaves, and some fall-scented candles.
I also decorated our living room console – also known as a dresser that holds all of our DVDs – with some pumpkins, lanterns, a runner made of some fabric I had lying around, and a nice glass pitcher full of twigs from the yard.
The artwork over the console is a placemat I found on clearance at Target a while back – it’s just attached to a plain canvas with thumbtacks and hung on the wall.
The great thing for me when it comes to decorating for seasons is that you can usually use items from around the house – just relocate them and put them into a display that focuses the colors or theme for the season. That green apple in the bottom lefthand corner, for example, was a find Eric made at a little shop in Hendersonville several years ago; we usually have it sitting on some books on our shelf, but I moved it to the fall display and it fits in perfectly! The lanterns are out year round, but putting them with a display makes them look like they fit perfectly.
Oh! And I can’t forget our lovely fall wreath on the door! It’s our regular grapevine wreath with some leaf garland and a bunch of fake flowers from Dollar Tree. I think it’s cute enough.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is fall decorating at The 20 Somethings! How are you getting ready for fall?
Until Next Time,