DIY White Gourds

DIY white gourds

Wandering around my favorite local antique mall (The Depot in Concord, NC) last week I spotted a huge basket of gourds. All different shapes and sizes for $5 each, and they already had a hole for a planter or birdhouse! Naturally I bought three, and immediately thought to paint them.

Gourds naturally have a nice, rustic look and are beautiful as-is (my kids call them bee hives!) but our home style is a bit more modern. And white paint worked wonderfully on these! Read below for a full step-by-step tutorial for painting your own autumn gourds. They would go great near a front entryway with some pumpkins or hanging on a back porch.

birdhouse gourds (before)


Dried Birdhouse Gourds 

Sandpaper (coarse, under 200 grit)

Clean Damp Towel

White Spray Primer (I used Valspar Project Perfect Paint + Primer Flat)

White Spray Paint (I used Valspar Chalky Finish Paint in Ultra Matte)

Grass Cord

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Looking for gourds? Try your local farmers market, seasonally at grocery stores, or online.

Step 1:

Sand all rough patches on each gourd. You will still have some uneven texture on the gourd after sanding, that is part of its unique beauty! 

sand rough patches off gourds

Step 2:

Throughly wipe off each gourd with a damp towel.

wipe off gourds after sanding

Step 3:

Prime! Apply two light coats of primer to all sides of gourds in a well-ventilated area. Dry according to can directions.

prime the gourds

Step 4:

Apply two light coats of spray paint. I used a chalky finish style spray paint with a matte finish to give the gourds a more modern look (it helps hide imperfections too!) Dry according to can directions.

apply two coats of spray paint (after priming)

Step 5:

Tie grass cord in a knot to top of gourd and hang! 

tie grass cord in a knot to gourd and hang

This is a simple DIY that can be completed in an afternoon. The texture of the gourds is really fun and unpredictable, which I love. And the grass cord ads a nice bit of contrast too. Happy Making!

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DIY birdhouse gourds painted white
how to paint birdhouse gourds
add style to your autumn gourds with white paint + grass string

A Short Essay on Taking Breaks

Lately life has felt like, well, a lot. I could list out all the reasons why and they would be very similar to your life I'm sure! (school paperwork that exploded in my dining room, a sick kiddo, freelance work, preparing for a trip) nothing out of the ordinary really. But a wonderful cocktail for feeling overwhelmed.

I work from home, I live at home. My husband works at home. All wonderful things, but there are times like this when I look around my house all I see are unfinished projects. Laundry that needs to be done. Dishes. And oh gosh, this blog is due for a new recipe!  

So, I did something weird today.

Instead of checking things off my long to do list....I took a break.



I headed out in search of a piece of luggage for my trip next week. (And I found one, yay!) I drove down a new-to-me road going home where I saw quaint old farm houses and rolling hills.... And then, when I got home I sat outside with my dog Daisy. I didn't rush in to complete the next task. And you know what? I feel better! (the sweet tea I gulped down at lunch helped too....)

photo by Grain&Compass

photo by Grain&Compass

I was in a season of hard parenting a few years ago. I had both kids at home all day, and was still grasping how different our lives would look with autism in the picture. I felt like I was hanging on by a string all.the.time. On the weekends often I would walk down to the lake near our house and sit on a bench to regain some sanity and peace. 

And now our kids are in school. I am continually amazed at how well both of our kids are doing. God's grace is incredibly evident. 

And I find myself still needing to take breaks.

And that, my friends, is a good and healthy thing.

In short: go easy on yourself, especially when life feels overwhelming. Take a short break and you may just find a new more positive perspective on your day, or get a flicker of that next creative idea. Don't get so consumed with your checklist that you forget to spend quality time with your loved ones. The checklist can wait.

photo by Grain&Compass

photo by Grain&Compass

4 Master Bedroom Decorating Ideas

4 budget-friendly master bedroom decorating ideas

When we purchased our home 2 years ago the focus was on designing the "visible" rooms first, like our dining room. With a limited budget it made practical sense. But last year when we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary I decided it was time to makeover our dorm-like bedroom.

Now, months later, it is almost done! My husband Lee found the mid century bench at a dump in Minnesota and refinished it. I wanted a headboard so my husband built me one for Christmas last year. I would love to swap out our ceiling fan, add a bohemian rug, and an upcycled dresser (still on the hunt for that!) but one thing I've learned over the years is the importance of overcoming creative perfectionism. It will hold us back from so much in life when we give into it.

So back to the Master Bedroom. In honor of the room being "almost" finished I'm sharing 4 tips for styling a master bedroom. Scroll down for the full story!

4 tips for adding style to your master bedroom without breaking the bank!

1. Decide where to splurge and where to save

Paint is an affordable way to make a huge impact in a room. I spent less than $100 on paint and by doing it myself (and with a little family help) we saved a lot of money! On the flip side, I splurged on curtains. I wanted to add a pattern to the space, and the canvas diamond stripe panels from West Elm really help to brighten the dark walls and add a bit of color too. 

2. Add texture with accessories

Blankets and accent pillows are budget-friendly and add a lot of style to a bedroom. They give the bedroom a personality boost, and are easy to swap out when styles change. Check for sales at Target and clearance sections at your favorite stores. Vintage accessories and books can also add a lot of texture to a room. Check your local thrift store for brass accents and affordably priced antique books!

master bedroom makeover | tag&tibby

3. Repurpose furniture from other rooms

Shop around the house for pieces of furniture that might in the bedroom. Our white chair once lived in the office, and the slatted mid century bench was in the entryway. It doesn't cost you anything to move furniture in from another room, and seeing it in new space will make you fall in love with your furniture all over again! If you are just starting out, ask some family members if you can "shop" their homes.

4. Mix thrifted with new

I am very pro-thrifted furniture. The bookcase in our master bedroom was from Goodwill and painted a bright yellow to contrast the walls. But using ALL thrifted furniture can make a space look, well, a little thrifted. So mix in new with old! Throw a new blanket on an old chair, shop sales for new furniture, and know when to splurge and when to save (see point 1!)

budget-friendly master bedroom makeover

Do you have any budget-friendly bedroom decorating ideas? I would love to hear them! 

4 master bedroom decorating ideas

Its Friday! Family Pictures and an Artwork Question

Its Friday! Family Pictures and an Artwork Question

Happy Friday!! I hope you've had a great week at your house. We are still settling into the new school year, and overall it is going well (as long as we all go to bed early and get enough sleep!) It makes the slower weekend incredibly precious.

A few weeks ago friends Asharae and Tim Kroll of Grain & Compass took pictures of my family in our home. I was nervous about how our kids would do....and they did great! A little silly and hyper, but that was expected :) I am so happy with how they captured our family in little moments of laughter without looking too forced.

new family pictures and we need advice on how to display them!

Which leads me to a question! How do you display family pictures at home? Are they scattered throughout or on 1 dedicated wall? We aren't great about hanging up family photos around the house and I want to change that! We have school pictures on the fridge and lots of our children's artwork up around the house. But I haven't figured out how to display family photos. Thinking maybe a gallery wall in the entryway hallway?

How do you display family photos at your house? I need your design ideas!

Its Friday! Family Pictures and an Artwork Question
Its Friday! Family Pictures and an Artwork Question