Category Archives: DIY Projects

Ashley & Nathan’s DIY wedding

Today, I am beyond honored to share the lovely DIY wedding of our good friends Nathan and Ashley. Now, if ever there was a soulmate couple to our own little twosome, this is “the one.” Made up of one part manly musician and outdoor enthusiast, and another part girly crafting extraordinaire, the newlywed Hilbish’s are the yin to our yang. I could sit and chat for hours with Ashley about this and that for the home. Her exceptional taste (no surprise, she works as an interior decorator for Curtains, Blinds and Bath locally) is one that I have come to rely on for bouncing ideas off of. And nothing showcases that taste better than her and her hubby’s wedding day.

Shot by the talented Colling Photography, this oh-so-special May event is just saturated in style and elegance. What I thought a lot of you would appreciate is that, while the wedding ceremony and reception look filled to the brim with exuberance, a large portion of it was created at the hands of Ashley and her family and friends.

Throughout the photos shown below, you’ll find thoughts and memories spoken straight from the bride herself. If you’re planning your own wedding this season, Ashley shares tons of valuable (and practical) advice for tackling the sometimes stressful planning stages. A full list of local event vendors is also included along with links at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy!



I never thought it would be so daunting to recollect a day that was literally just a month ago! Trying to remember your wedding day is like trying to remember your 5th birthday – You know it happened and lots of amazing people were there to share the experience with you, (and yes you have way better pictures from your wedding than your 5th birthday, unless your parents are photographers) but that’s about it! I’ve never been a “focus on me” type of girl, or so I think, so I was all about the details. I had so much fun planning my wedding with my maid-of-honor/sister and mother, it was like I wasn’t even doing it. Also, props to Pinterest because without it I would have been lost.









I really started planning everything like um … a month or two before! I’m a low to no stress type of person so I didn’t worry about stuff (but seriously, take Pilates it will help). I knew the wedding would happen no matter what and that it would be awesome because everyone I surrounded myself with was awesome. So what if I verified flowers a week before, or my caterer had something terribly tragic happen and we had to switch to someone brand new four weeks before. Just wait until you see the food. Yeah, it was awesome. You can be “that girl” who stresses over everything, but what’s the point? You make your vendors miserable AND yourself, along with everyone around you who wishes you were just eloping.










Nathan and I didn’t have any type of ideas to plan; well, frankly he didn’t care. We started out one way but as events fall into place, you can get a sense of direction on your true style. Don’t force it if it’s not meant to be, otherwise you’ll look back and you won’t even be reflected in it. Ours I think was relaxed, vintage-y, fun and personal. We had little details, from Nathan’s squirrel tie (yes, he loves squirrels and I thought why the heck not) and a group dance to break the ice prior to going down the aisle, to really cute things about us on the program to keep people entertained while they waited! It was fun to have fun doing everything, and I think it made it that much more special to the people involved because it made them know you really appreciated them as individuals. If you know your wedding party isn’t filled with “tux-loving” guys, don’t try to put them in one – They will just look super awkward in the pictures. Yes, my girls are girly in 3” designer heels and dresses from who knows where, and the guys were “the guys” with rolled up sleeves and Vans – It just worked together because we were all comfortable.





















The best advice I received that every bride should remember is that it’s your wedding! People are going to ooh and ahh over things they find, and  they will bring you magazine clippings from 1999 that make no sense to your scheme, and email you 1,000 photos of dresses you hate with hints on what they “wish” you’d do (but that you actually want to gag over), or tell you how they did it at their wedding; but what you actually decide to do is a different story. I learned to breathe deep, smile, tell them how great their ideas were, and thank them for thinking of me. I only had one huge meltdown before truly embracing that advice, and then it was all groovy! Have fun with it, it’s your day and your adventure, so surround yourself with people you love and who like to have fun, because in the end it’s so great to stand back and still have all of those people around you laughing at how ridiculous you look in a group jumping picture. 

Photography: Colling Photography
Venue: Afton Mountain Vineyards
Flowers: Doyle’s Forist (Bloom)
Dress: Celebration Bridal
Hair: Bliss Salon
Catering: Cater This!
Cake: Willie Payne (former owner of Magnolia Foods)
Coordination: R.S. Exclusive
Entertainment: DJ Mendez of Mendez Music Academy


All in the details…

Laundry Room


Our laundry room is one of the last spaces in the house largely untouched by my crafting neurosis. We’ve got some attractive organization, a DIY embellished curtain (please forgive my HORRIBLE photography skills way back when) and some lackluster artwork and dishwasher repair, but that’s it. Suffice it to say that it could use a little something more. Thankfully, this well styled laundry room could just be the inspiration that I need to GET. ON. IT.

Let’s talk details…

1…First and foremost, the metallic pattern on the back wall makes a major difference. It distracts from the utilitarian washing machine and dryer, and adds just the right touch of feminine character. I hate to sound so traditional, but I feel like a laundry room is OFTEN a lady’s domain, so why not play that up with distinctly girly colors, patterns and accents?

2…Sure, this particular homeowner got a little help from the big guys when it came to styling, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Who wouldn’t want their detergent powder stored in oversized glass gars and their rags tucked neatly away in wicker baskets? I know I would.

3…The floor here is another great DIY project that we could all try tackling at home. A simple painted navy and white stripe takes it, again, from utilitarian to stylish in a single afternoon of hands-and-knees labor. I’m jotting all of this down on my to-do list as we speak.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

A DIY Paper Pinwheel Tutorial

Paper Pinwheel Tutorial

Paper pinwheels probably take the prize for simplest DIY craft with the most brilliant final product. Truly, once you get the hang of the process, you can whip these babies up in less than 10 minutes each. So with an hour or two on your hands (or, better yet, a couple of PAIRS of hands helping you out), you could have a pretty big  pile ready to hang – and, as we saw during last week’s studio reveal, hanging them en masse makes quite a statement. Want to learn how to do it? Read on!



  • Stapler (although I would suggest a full size over our mini – I just couldn’t find the big one)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Thin wooden dowel rod (about 1/4″ in diameter) cut to about 1ft in length
  • Two pieces of scrapbook paper in the same print
  • An oversized button in your color of choice
  • A pair of scissors


1. Start by folding each piece of scrapbook paper in half. This will help you cut the two pieces in perfect halves since you can easily follow the bend mark with your scissors.



2. Once you have all four halves cut, begin to fold them accordion style. I make my first bend about 1 inch in width and then allow that to dictate the rest of my folds so that they stay even. If you fold your piece of paper all the way through but notice that you have a bit of a wide piece at the end (see below photo for representation of this), just trim it to match the rest of your folds – It won’t make any difference at the end of the project.



3. With all 4 pieces of paper folded accordingly, match them up end to end to create one super long trail. To do this, take the end of one piece and drop it over the beginning of another.



3. (continued) Here’s where things can sort of be a crapshoot. You’ll either get pieces that match perfectly (like above) – one edge angles up, while the other angles down – or you’ll get ends that DON’T mesh well, with both ends angled up or down (like below). Although this might seem alarming, it’s a simple fix – Just trim the last angle off of one of the pieces of accordion paper. See two photos down for an example of this quick fix.



4. Once you have your ends matched up creating that long piece of accordion paper, take your stapler and connect them together – one staple at the top of the connecting edges, and another at the bottom. If you use a nice and busy pattern like I did, your staples will be very difficult to see. But if you’d like it to be more seamless, feel free to use glue to attach the papers together.



5. This is the moment that everything starts to take shape. Grab the two ends of your paper accordion and bring them together to create your pinwheel’s final rounded silhouette, and staple together like you did before. Although I made sure to demonstrate how it would look nicely just below, your pinwheel will probably look more like the shot 2 photos down.




6. Once stapled together, the darn thing will NOT want to stay down – Instead, it will try to sit up like some kind of weird pyramid or cylinder. To fix it, grab the end sticking up into the air and clasp together in the middle, then gently push down, forcing the bottom edge to fan out. Now you’ll have the blank underside exposed.

7. To keep the pinwheel sitting flat, squeeze a generous line of hot glue down the middle section of the folds (it doesn’t matter which sections you choose) and put the wooden dowel rod in place while the glue is still hot.



8. Finally, flip the pinwheel over and squeeze another generous amount, this time JUST in the center of the pinwheel, and push your button into the glue while it’s still hot.


And that’s it! In about 5-10 minutes, you’ll have your very own pinwheel to show off. Pretty simple right? If you have any troubleshooting questions, just leave a comment below or email me anytime. Once you get the hang of it though, you’ll be a pro and ready to impress your friends with your new craft talent. Host a fun pinwheel making party, if you like!

That’s actually exactly what we did right before the wedding – My mom and I invited a large group of family friends to the house, and we made a big pile of paper pinwheels, factory style, to be hung at our wedding reception. Click here for the final look.



My favorite thing to do with pinwheels is to combine unlikely colors and patterns. There is absolutely no hot pink in the pattern of scrapbook paper that I chose for this tutorial, but the contrast between the muted pattern in the paper and the neon in the button is what makes it so eye-catching – At least in my opinion!



And, although you see that I did a collection of full size pinwheels below, you can do half sized pinwheels too – Just keep cutting your scrapbook paper in half until you get the size you’d like. I’ve even seen them made into a mini size perfect for cupcake toppers before.


Where would you hang or display your paper pinwheel collection?

Pinspiration Monday: Gold+Neon Bookends

DIY Gold Bookends

Searching for projects to recreate in my “Pinspiration Monday” feature is always a crapshoot. I’m either feeling super adventurous, tackling something large-scale with an entire tabletop full of materials, or I’m feeling like a quick ten minute project using a maximum of 2 supplies. This past weekend I was feeling somewhere in between. The project in question? This time I went with a fun office-inspired DIY first discovered on one of my favorite blogs, designlovefest. It was simple, inexpensive and you really can’t go wrong with hot pink and gold.


via designlovefest

For this project, you need two medium-sized rocks (I envisioned something about the size of my hand) a can of gold spray paint and a can of hot pink spray paint. In the midst of a to-do list about three miles long this past Saturday, I made a point to pick up some hot pink spray paint – I already had the gold on hand at home, so that wasn’t a concern. But on my way home, I remembered that I still needed my rocks…No more than 15 seconds after realizing this, I happened to come around the bend in the road and noticed a construction site with a pile of, you guessed it, hand-sized rocks. My split decision made, I eased the car to the side of the road, hopped out and, in a silk sundress and sandals, proceeded to choose two appropriately sized rocks. Gotta love free supplies.



With my rocks brought home in the passenger seat of the car (and feeling a little scrappier than usual) I turned my attention to the paint. Like I said, I already owned the gold – Valspar metallic gold in a gloss finish – but the Krylon was a new one for me. Keeping in line with my inspiration image, I chose a neon hot pink (“Mambo Pink,” to be specific) and was overall pretty impressed with the coverage and nozzle design. I’m hardly picky when it comes to spray paint, but I will definitely make a conscious decision in the future to use this brand (and heck no, I’m not being paid to say that in case you were wondering).


I was actually in the midst of a different project around the time that this one needed to begin, so John graciously spritzed the gold layer on for me – Didn’t he do a good job? The jubilant expression on his face when he came up from the garage was enough to get me pumped for the second half of the project, and when I finally saw the metallic beauties for myself, I was all but psyched.



And we hadn’t even GOTTEN to the fun part yet – The hot pink.

Before sending John down to spray the gold layer, we decided on the orientation and wrote a big red “B” on the bottom of each rock just to make sure we sprayed the right end. So once the gold paint was dry (I waited 24 hours) and I flipped the rocks over exposing the “B,” I proceeded to cover it with pink paint.


Unlike with the gold paint, the pink was sprayed ever so lightly in order to achieve the misted effect of Bri’s own bookends. There’s something about the tone on tone effect these two colors make that really captures my attention, and when I stepped back from the completed (albeit wet and upside down) bookends I had officially reached “psyched” territory.


We were having an exceptionally stormy day when I styled the new natural-meets-contrived bookends so they’re a little more brilliant in person than they look here, but I’m sure you can see just how funky and unique they are.



The subtle transition from pink at the bottom to gold at the top is the winning factor for me. It’s hard for me to even picture what they looked like before, in their once muddled gray color. Now, they are fit for my color splashed studio.

What kinds of natural materials do you use in your DIY projects at home?

The Options: Gallery Wall or Gallery Ledge

Gallery Wall or Gallery Ledge

Option 1: The Everygirl | Option 2: Pinterest (source uncredited)

I adore art. Have WAY too much of it, in fact. At one point, it had piled so high in my studio closet that I literally gave up and hung everything gallery wall style in our upstairs hallway just to get it up off the floor! So it should come as no surprise that I would be particularly enamored with different exhibition methods. The age old question (at least it’s “age old” to me…) – Gallery wall or gallery ledge?

Option 1: Gallery walls can typically withstand a larger VOLUME of framed prints, so that’s score #1 for this particular methodology. The options are nearly limitless too when it comes to shape – Hang your prints randomly like the first inspiration image above, or hang them to mimic a round shape. You could even take the time to painstakingly line up your frame edges (think a rectangular puzzle with perfect 90 degree corners). No matter your arrangement, you can’t deny the impact of this first option.

Option 2: And yet, for the more calculated art connoisseur, there’s the gallery ledge. A sturdy thin shelf mounted securely to the wall allows your favorite framed prints to “float” in a more contained manner on the wall. The layered effect of larger frames behind smaller ones in the front is my favorite part of this set up. Plus, you have much more freedom to move the frames around or switch out the art when it suits your fancy.

Those are my thoughts, but I’m dying to know your opinion – Cast your vote!

Pinspiration Monday: Travel Keepsake Box

Well, we are back safe and sound from the beach! “Safe and sound” but also more than a little depressed to have traded in our shorts and sandals for work appropriate slacks and flats…There is very little worse than driving back over the bridge towards home when it feels like we were just driving OVER it towards our island oasis. Yet, on a happy note, I’ve been reunited with my lovable hubby and our three furry kiddos so life ain’t all that bad.

I’ll be recapping our trip throughout the week, including a full tour of the house we rented and a review of one fun, HANDY new product I tested out, but today I’m sharing a little project I managed to whip up yesterday afternoon after everything was unpacked and I was ready to do a little reminiscing…


Source: Martha Stewart

The inspiration image above (snagged from Pinterest, of course) caught my eye right away. I’m definitely the sentimental sort, saving everything from receipts and candy wrappers, to ticket stubs and those little cardboard restaurant coasters – Anything to encourage a little walk down memory lane. As I’m sure you can imagine, I came home with quite a few new pieces of memorabilia to commemorate our latest trip to South Carolina.


Although this is something like the 12th time we’ve visited Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, a quaint southern plantation my parents discovered on their honeymoon almost 30 years ago, we’re always discovering new places and picking up new treasures. Instead of tossing it all, I loved the idea of filing it all away in a special labeled box. Luckily, I was able to pick up all of my supplies pre-vacation and just had to set aside 15 minutes of my Sunday afternoon to put it all together.




As to those supplies, I bought two hinged wooden boxes for less than $5 apiece at my local craft store, one for this recent trip to Hilton Head and another for our honeymoon to Punta Cana last May. The stencil I also picked up cost next to nothing and helped my confidence to stay on point as I drew out the letters on my first travel keepsake box.



To label my box with “HHI” (for “Hilton Head Island”), I simply held the stencil in place and traced the shape with a pencil. Now here’s where I know a lot of you will think I’m crazy, but really I’m just impatient…I knew that black paint would have given me a cleaner look, but I had just finished cleaning up from a spontaneous closet purge and didn’t have the energy to paint my letters. So instead I grabbed a Sharpie pen and merely colored inside my traced lines.



Sure it bled a little bit but, since it only took me .5 seconds to complete whereas it would have taken me at least 20 minutes to paint it on, the uneven lines were worth it. I can always go back over with black paint to clean up the edges if I feel like it, but frankly, I don’t mind the drawn on look. This is one of those projects that’s just for me and my desire to remember a wonderful family vacation – Perfection was never my goal.


That said, my ultimate goal of creating a special sanctuary for all of my collected paper memories was easily met, and I can’t wait to move on to my second box reserved for Punta Cana memories!




How do you make the most of YOUR vacation memories?

All in the details…

Home Depot Patio


I’ve recently become an avid fan of the Home Depot blog, The Apron – Specifically obsessing over their outdoor Style Challenge series. I think the series has come to a close, but feel free to click that link to see all of the posts in one place. Essentially, the idea is that The Home Depot contacted a number of bloggers throughout the community and asked them to review different collections from their outdoor furniture lines. While I really enjoyed the reviews (and am now hard core coveting new patio furniture), My favorite part was getting to know some new voices in the blogging industry. There is so much talent out there – I wish I had 8 hours in the day JUST to read blogs.

But anyway, let’s talk details about this particular outdoor Style Challenge space

1…As I’ve mentioned before, I have quite a black thumb when it comes to gardening. Flowers almost NEVER take up residence at our house, at least not for long. Plain greenery is far more likely to stick around just because of its hardy nature in general, but there’s nothing very fun about greenery. And yet…One tip I’ve snagged from this space is the idea of color blocked gardening containers. I can have my color AND my live plants too by parking them in pretty neon striped pots like the ones shown here. Adding this to my (growing) list of things to do this season!

2…I recently wrote an article for Central Virginia Home Magazine (for the summer issue, out soon) all about indoor/outdoor fabrics, and ever since finishing up my research I’ve been obsessed with the idea. Modern weather resistant fabrics and rugs have come SUCH a long way, featuring tons of gorgeous, vibrant color and pattern. You can hardly tell the difference between patio pillows and living room pillows anymore – Sort of like these colorful beauties shown under the sunshine. Makes me wish, yet again, that we had a patio to speak of…

3…5 years ago, you would totally think that this punchy pink rug was pulled from the living room just for styling the photograph, only to be pulled to safety as soon as they got the shot – But that’s not the case anymore. This beautiful rug is likely one of the new polypropelene blends. UV resistant, bleach resistant and water resistant, these accessories can survive a hurricane – And look GREAT doing it.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

P.S. In case you missed it, I wanted to shout out to a DIY I published over on the Le Papier Studio blog. It’s a tutorial for watercolored DIY Silhouette Mother’s Day cards – If you’re running low on time and ideas, this could be the perfect solution!