how to paint a picnic basket

how to paint a preppy picnic basket

Spring is in the air! And while my family does not enjoy the pollen (and allergies) it brings, I find myself thinking of DIY projects and recipes I want to make while we enjoy the outdoors. 

The idea for this picnic basket came about while walking up and down the halls of a huge antique mall. I spotted a vintage green basket for $10 and right away knew I would make it over. After searching around the internet there were a lot of rustic/country style painted baskets, but I did not discover any with a modern preppy look.

painting a picnic basket how-to

How to Paint a Modern Picnic Basket

Level: easy. Time: 3-4 hours (for paint to dry)


Vintage Basket (found at thrift stores, antique malls, or online via Etsy + Ebay)

White all in one Spray Paint

Gold Metallic Spray Paint

ScotchBlue Painter's Tape (affiliate link)

blue tape before spray painting a picnic basket

Cover areas of basket you want to leave unpainted with painter's tape. I covered the bottom edge, top edge, and lid. I tape handles up for the initial coat of white spray paint. 

how to paint a picnic basket

Spray basket with long straight coats of paint, starting a bit from the edge and going across. Turn basket until entire basket is covered. Wait at least 3 hours to dry (varies based on humidity).

how to paint a gold picnic basket!

After white paint is completely dry, take fresh blue tape and before applying to basket touch it to your shirt or pants to reduce its tackiness (this will prevent the white paint from peeling). Create the design of your choice with painter's tape. I chose stripes, the lines of the basket make it very easy to tape off straight lines. 

Immediately after spraying the gold paint, carefully remove all painter's tape. Let dry at least 1 hour. 

spray painted picnic basket tutorial

The result is fun and cheerful. There were definitely a few spots of imperfection, and it adds to the charm of a vintage basket. You could easily try this in different colors and styles. I am already thinking a  polka dot basket would be a nice companion! 

how to create a preppy picnic basket

10 Homemade Doughnut Recipes

10 delicious doughnut recipes

When we moved back to the South from Minnesota last summer one of my highest summer priorities was to take our two kids to Krispy Kreme. They watched doughnuts being produced on a large scale and they were fascinated (I have succeeded in making them Krispy Kreme loyalists!)

Sometimes (more often than not!) homemade is simply better. Homemade is affordable, you can tweak the flavors, and if you are lucky there are leftovers! A few of these recipes use prepackaged dough and a few are more advanced. Take your pick: they are all delicious!  

1. Meyer Lemon Doughnuts

Filled with meyer lemon curd, fried, and topped with sugar. These look heavenly. 

meyer lemon doughnuts

2. Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

This is really a cross between a doughnut and waffle, and I love the concept! The maple glaze ingredients sound just about perfect. 

Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

3. Sour Cream Doughnuts

A yummy old fashioned cake doughnut recipe. 

old fashioned sour cream doughnuts

4. Applesauce Donuts 

A spiced donut with nutmeg, cloves, and applesauce and tossed with cinnamon and sugar. 

applesauce donuts

5. Glazed Apple Fritters

This recipe is a bit advanced, and I am quite sure completely worth it! 

glazed apple fritters

6. Blackberry Jam & Custard Donuts

 Made with smooth blackberry jam. These look completely delectable!

blackberry jam & custard donuts

7. Easy Homemade Cronuts

Have you heard of cronuts? Well these are made from crescent roll dough (read: easy). I am a fan!

easy homemade cronuts

8. Chocolate Glazed Donuts 

This recipe uses a frozen bread dough. And my kids love chocolate. Pretty sure this one is a winner!

chocolate glazed donuts

9. Blackberry Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze

This recipe uses whole wheat, blackberries, vanilla bean and maple syrup. Baked, not fried. 

blackberry doughnuts with vanilla glaze

10. Sprinkled Chocolate Cake Donut Holes

Had to include this one for the kids. And kids are heart! 

Sprinkled Chocolate Cake Donut Holes

5 iphone photography tips

After several years of using my iPhone to document family and life photos, I thought it would be fun to share a few tips. Quick facts: for years I used an iPhone4, I recently upgraded to a 5. I am not a professional photographer. I take my pictures for fun and thus my tips are not overly technical! 

5 iphone photography tips!

1. Use Natural Light

I take the majority of my photos during the day, outside or with the windows open (blinds up!). The quality is much, much higher and the likelihood of capturing our children in movement without blur is improved. Morning light and late afternoon light can also be a really beautiful time to capture in the background.

2. Take several photos 

Especially if you are taking photos of children, chances are there will be blinks and blur. I take at least 5 photos of any given moment (good example here), and then go back later in the day to pick my favorite (and delete the rest). The lighting often varies in each iPhone photo. It is nice to have options to pick from. 

tips for capturing life with iPhones

3. Capture your environment

This is my preference, but I love to look back on previous seasons. Where we stayed on vacation, how our room was decorated. People pictures are wonderful, and so are still-life. Also letting you in on a secret--objects are SO much easier to photograph! They don't move! 

capturing family moments with your iPhone

4. Capture the moment

I am a big fan of documenting family in their moment. I try not to make them pose. A lot of that is due to their personality: they are sometimes shy in front of the camera. But I also think it makes for a more natural capture. Its like sneaking in on a precious moment. I try to kneel and get on our children's level when I take pictures of them.

5. Document on paper

If you are at all like me, I have SO many pictures on my iPhone. I have over 1,000 on Instagram. And up until now, no physical photo albums. Last week I ordered a small album from Artifact Uprising. I uploaded directly from Instagram and finished the layouts in an afternoon. I will definitely be creating more albums, likely 1 for each season. I was very pleased with the quality!


What tips do you have for iPhone photography? 

succulents & milk glass

milkglass and succulents

Do you go through reflective moods? I certainly do. For me they are usually triggered by a season change, birthday, or vacation. I used to be frustrated by my introspective nature, but lately I am doing a better job of embracing who I am and who God created me to be.

With blogging it is tricky to find the balance of producing popular content (being completely honest here!) and sharing my heart. I have lost a little of that the last few months. So today I am letting go and sharing what is on my heart about busyness and thriving in it. 

the depot concord, nc

I just read through the first chapter of the Fringe Hours. And Overwhelmed is on my list too. As women we generally seek peace in the midst of a really crazy world. Our lives are busy. Everyday after school my kids pile their backpacks, new books, papers, things to sign right by the front door. The spot that I just cleaned up. I find out about more events to add to the schedule, more birthday parties, a new article deadline...The noise of life can be overwhelming, especially for those of us with sensitive personalities

reflections on family and a life well lived

So my encouragement to you, whatever stage you are in. Is to take a few quiet moments to reflect. If your home is too busy, head to a coffee shop or a walk around the local lake. We are getting away for a few days and I am so looking forward to a break from normal life. Changing scenery does so much for my soul. 

cotton in a blue mason jar

Another thing that helps me is knowing when to work and when to relax. Personally I have the most drive and motivation in the morning. By 3pm I am done and want to sit. So I do. I ignore the piles of papers for a few hours and enjoy time with my kids. Everyone wins.


Read a good magazine or book. Magazines are great because they are quick to read and skim. Especially if you expect interruptions! And I always have a mix of nonfiction and fiction on my Kindle so I can choose based on my mood. Lately I've been downloading samples first for free. It helps me decide if the book is going to be a good fit. 

how to enjoy quiet

And make time for your hobbies. For me, I really enjoy thrift shopping. It has been a challenge starting over in a new city and finding the good thrift stores. But I have found a few and I love the hunt. Yes, those are blankets in an ice chest. Isn't it awesome?

thrift store blankets in a freezer chest
whatever is lovely

Embrace change. This was a big year for me. Our kids went to school for the first time all day. And I admittedly was in a maxed out overwhelmed spot at the time, but I went from full time momma-part time blogger. To room-mom, full time blogger. I recently received more gray hair, thank you 32. And have come to realize just how good it is to take time for myself. 

I don't mean that selfishly. And I hope it doesn't come across that way. I have extrovert friends that THRIVE on being busy. I admire that, I do. But for me I find great joy in margins. In scheduling my day and allowing for rest. I just finished a book study with my Bible study group called So Long Insecurity. I was skeptical the first few chapters, but really what I got out of it is that I need to be rooted in Christ. Trusting him with my daily fears. It was a refreshing read. 


How do you recharge? Do you go through reflective moments? 

You may also enjoy 5 ways to encourage creative ideas, when plans change, and work/life balance.

10 DIY outdoor playsets

10 awesome DIY playset ideas!

We have two elementary age children at I will be honest: spending extended time outside is not their first choice. At our house I sometimes have to set a timer to motivate them to be outdoors (we have a mini trampoline, lots of balls, checkers, bubbles, bikes, ect) but they run back on the porch at the sight of a bee.

Naturally I do not believe a playground will change their opinions of bees, but I think it will be a platform for imaginary play and a little exercise. After searching around online for play structures I was shocked to find them starting at $600 and going upwards of $3000. Dropping a thousand dollars on a pre-designed playground is not our style. So I have collected today 10 DIY playsets that I find awesomely creative. Enjoy!!

1. A Handmade Hideaway

We’re hoping that anything from a pirate ship to a secret ninja hideaway, the kids will let their imaginations run wild." This project was not the cheapest (just over $1000) but is adorably custom and it includes a complete how to. 

handmade hideaway

2. Outdoor Summer Reading Nook

A mix of thrifted treasures and family heirlooms, this one is adorably campy. Using a wood platform and drop cloth I like its simplicity. 

outdoor summer reading nook

3. Playhouse with a Slide

This one does not include the tutorial but it does include a bit of the process. I like the slide and enclosed play area! 

playhouse with a slide

4. Modern Pallet Playhouse

This  tutorial shows how to make a one-story pallet playhouse with PVC panel roof. So fun!

modern pallet playhouse!

5. Blue and White Playhouse

This cheerful house was our son's pick (he even started a pinterest board!) And they made it for around $300, budget friendly too! 

blue and white playhouse for $300

6. Swing Set Playhouse

This playset is appealing with its swings and open air playhouse. It was made with home improvement basics for just under $500. 

open air swing set playhouse

7. A-Frame Tents

Tents would be a fun outdoor piece to add to a simple playground. And depending on their strength they could easily be brought indoors or on the porch in a storm. 

outdoor play tents

8. Modern Cedar Playhouse

The cedar shakes and corrugated metal are nice details on this playground. (The interior is adorable too!)

modern cedar playhouse

9. Deck Play Structure 

This structure started with a  main deck and was designed around their tree. 

deck play structure

10. Salvaged Treehouse

This play structure was built for around $300. The lumber was purchased new, but the metal roof and siding were repurposed scrap. 

salvaged treehouse

Fabric Scrap Easter Eggs DIY

how to make fabric-scrap easter eggs! tag&tibby

My favorite thrift store is about 30 minutes away, takes cash only, and is open Monday thru Friday (sometimes). It is hard to visit but treasures abound. It is not fancy or clean. Quite the contrary, it is musty and dark. I came across vintage floral pillow cases in the back corner for .50 each, and promptly purchased for a future project.

The thrifted pillow cases inspired today's post. This was my first try at decoupaging eggs with fabric. The result is fun and colorful and all together unique!

fabric scrap easter eggs DIY


Fabric scraps and/or thin pillow cases


Mod Podge (affiliate link)

Eggs (I used boiled eggs, it was just what I had on hand! If you plan to display the eggs for weeks I suggest using plastic or paper mache eggs)

supplies for fabric scrap easter eggs


Cut strips of fabric. Do not worry about rough edges or keeping pieces square. Smaller pieces tend to lay more easily. Brush glue on backside of fabric and lay over egg. Brush additional glue over top of fabric to seal. Layer the fabric with glue piece by piece, covering all parts of the egg. 

gluing fabric on easter eggs
gluing small pieces of fabric on easter eggs

I love the finished result! I already owned the glue and pink fabric, so this project cost $1 to make. 

They would look beautiful displayed in a bowl or on a cake stand. And this would definitely be a family friendly project (keeping in mind that glue is messy!) Happy Crafting!

how to make easter eggs with leftover fabric and glue!
Fabric Scrap Easter Eggs by Tag&Tibby