Catching Katy

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AR Workshop

I like to be crafty and I like the idea of DIY but I am also a slight perfectionist (though not nearly as bad as I used to be). I also have trouble decorating. I have trouble visualizing decor and making decisions. So all around some issues! Luckily for me there are lovely little shops and activities that can solve many of these problems.

I’ve tried the sip and paint places and painting is definitely not my gift. I’ve done a couple and have never painted anything I would actually hang on the wall. Then last year my friend discovered AR Workshop. There are a number of them around Atlanta (and around the country) and we have now been to two different locations. They have mostly wood projects – signs, frames, display boxes, clocks, trays. You pick your date and project (some can be customized) ahead of time to reserve your spot then just show up! At the locations here you can also bring your own wine.

This is also not the cheapest activity you will do but think about it. You end up with a piece of decor that you made (or at least put together and painted) that you can actually use in your house. I love it!

Last year the shop in Lawrenceville had a Christmas in July sale so we made Christmas decor. I made a plank sign that I did actually hang on the wall, though I wish I had done a couple things differently. This time we hit up the Smyrna location since it was a little closer for two of us. Since we are moving to our new house soon and we got married last year, I wanted to do something cute with our last name.

When you get there, everything is set up for you! Your wood pieces, the stencil of your design, and any materials might need. You’ll have a pro or two (depending on how many people are doing projects) who will walk you through every step. Everyone mostly has the same steps, depending on how fancy you want to get. You’ll pick out whatever stain, method, and/or paint you need, and they have lots of examples to looks at as well expert advice to offer.

The first step is always sanding the wood, getting rid of rough edges. Then you stain any wood that needs staining. Mine was the frame that needed staining. You can also use different methods of staining to give it different looks, but since mine is just the frame I kept it to a simple dark stain.

The next step for mine was painting the main board. You could also stain this if you wanted to. I picked a nice gray since that is a main color in our new house.


Next, you take your stencil and tape all over the cut-out space with little pieces of tape. Then you peel off the backing from the blue stencil and stick it to your wood. Then you peel off all the little pieces of tape. I’m going to be honest – I have no idea why you do these steps. I didn’t ask, I just did as I was told. I’m sure there’s some science around it and if I sat and thought about it for a minute I could probably figure it out. But I don’t really care how it works, just that it does!

Once your stencil is placed and tape-free, you paint! You dab the paint into the stencil (as opposed to painting strokes). This keeps the paint from getting under the stencil.

Then you peel off the stencil and voila! You have a lovely painted wood project! You may need to do some touch ups, which the expert can you do. And not pictured is the putting it all together. In my case it was using a nail gun to put the frame on. I know, I know – how could I not get photographic evidence of the nail gun. It’s obviously the coolest part. Next time.


I loved my project and will definitely go back, even it’s once a year when there is a specific project I have in mind or holiday I want something for. I highly recommend getting a group together and checking it out. Find one near you!


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Christmas Card Wreath

I always feel crafty around the holidays but I like to make things that I’ll actually use or display for at least a few years. I’ve been in need of a way to display holiday cards and had seen these all over Pinterest the past few years. It seemed easy enough so I hit up Michaels and Amazon (because as much as I love Michaels, they just don’t always have everything; and because Amazon Prime….) and put it together over two evenings (maybe 2 hours total? 2.5 max). It honestly was SO easy that I wasn’t planning on posting it, but then I thought better. So sorry for process shots – but I think you can get it.



Christmas Card Wreath

What you need:

  • 1 wire wreath frame – I think I got the 18 inch but you can get whatever size works for you
  • clothespins – I ordered green and red from Amazon; they were different sizes and the larger red ones (3 5/16″) worked best; you could also buy regular clothespins and spray paint them
  • ribbon – I used 4 different 3/8″ Christmasy ribbon and a wider one to hang it with

What to do:

Paint the wreath and/or clothes pins if you want. I didn’t – the wreath is already green and I bought colored clothes pins.

Clip on clothes pins so that it opens toward the outside. I alternated colors leaving 2-3 fingers-width in between each.

Cut ribbons into pieces and tie onto middle two rings of the wreath. I started with one ribbon in between each clothespin. Then filled in with a second ribbon in between some clothes pins. I would have done 2 in between every clothes pin but the ribbon didn’t quit make it that far.

Hang it! I used a wider Christmasy ribbon to hang it with.



Spoon Bunnies

I have finished #19 on my 30 before 30 list! I promise I made a Christmas wreath, but somehow never posted it. Maybe when I move I can pull it out and write it up! I already had a spring/Easter-y wreath, so I needed to find another crafty thing to make. Pinterest to the rescue! I took what Crafts by Amanda made and modified it – I don’t need place holders (though I have hosted Easter dinner before). So it’s just a little decor for the holiday!

Here are the steps, full directions below! I ended up not using the pink foam. This is an easy craft to modify to make it your own! The bunnies don’t look exactly happy….not really sure how to make a bunny look happy. But it’s still kind of cute!


Get your materials

Paint the pots – I used a q-tip to paint the dots.

Lightly sand then paint the spoons


Make bunny ears; glue on eyes, tail and ears; paint on nose; draw on face.


Use floral foam in the pot to hold the spoon.


Fill with paper!


Easter Bunny Spoons

What you need:

  • small clay pots
  • acrylic paint – whatever colors you want
  • foam paint brushes
  • floral foam
  • sheet of white foam
  • googly eyes (or black paint to paint on eyes)
  • small pom-poms (tails)
  • black sharpie (or black paint)

Paint the pots white – probably will need a couple coats. Once that dries, paint the rims whatever colors you want. Paint dots of the same color on the sides of the pot (I used a Q-Tip). Let dry.

Lightly sand the spoons and paint them white. Stick them in some floral foam to dry. You wouldn’t necessarily have to paint them if you’re doing a white bunny – but I didn’t want to shine of the spoon. You could also do a different color than white! Let dry.

Make your ears while the spoons dry. I used white foam and cut out ears, then painted in the pink. You could also use pink foam (which was my original plan).

Do the face on the back of the spoon. I used the pink paint to do a nose. I had googly eyes already so I used those and glued on with hot glue, but you can also do a black paint dot for the eyes. Glue on the ears. Use a sharpie or black paint to do the mouth and whiskers.

Glue on the pom-pom for the tail.

Cut some floral foam to fit into the bottom of the pot – doesn’t have to fit perfectly. Stick a dried spoon bunny into the floral foam in each pot.

Fill the pot with Easter grass or paper or whatever you have!

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Lucky Wreath

Confession – I took the easy road on this last wreath. It’s pretty much the same as my Valentines wreath, but it was all there at once at the store. And it’s cute – so why complicate things? Some day I will attempt to make a more involved wreath that will be even more cute, but for now I just want the holidays covered. Getting close to them all for #19 on my list – just Easter left and I already have a wreath, so I’ll have to actually get creative. (side note: I realized I did make a Christmas wreath but never posted it and can’t find a picture…will have to investigate that one).

Simply wrap the foam wreath with ribbon – this time I used non-wired ribbon which was a little easier to wrap – and hot glue the ends to the back of the wreath. Then start gluing! I already had some green rafia ribbon so I used that as the hanger. Voile! I wonder what my neighbors think about all my wreaths….maybe I’m the crazy wreath lady…..:)

the stuff

the stuff

the wrap

the wrap




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Heart Wreath

Continuing to be crafty for each holiday for my 30 before 30 list! Here’s my problem – I have an idea of what I want to do, then wait until it’s too close to the holiday, then can’t find the exact materials I wanted. It always turns out perfectly fine, but my shopping trip takes a little longer as I have to get creative on my feet with whatever is available in the store. I think this one especially worked out well – I wanted to do a wreath of red/pink/white balls/ornaments, but alas could find none. So I just raided the Valentine’s section. I should get more creative, as I make a wreath for most holidays, but other people get to enjoy the wreath in my hallway, whereas if I made a different decor item I may be the only one who gets to enjoy it.

Instead of balls I found some felt hearts (which you could make yourself) and some pink and red sparkly foam hearts (kind of what I was looking for). I just bought it all and would return anything I ended up not using!

the stuff (+ hot glue gun)

the stuff (+ hot glue gun)

Wrap the wreath in whatever ribbon you bought. I used a white silky wired ribbon. I don’t think it really matters. Note: I used a 12-inch wreath and 1 spool of ribbon exactly covered it (barely).


Then just glue everything on – no rhyme or reason needed! I glued all the felt hearts on first, then filled in the little spaces with the glitter hearts. Then I already had some red burlap ribbon so I tied that on as the hanger (I actually tied & glued that on first before gluing the hearts down so I could glue some over it).



Happy Valentines week! 

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Thanksgiving Centerpiece

This was my last chance to make a Thanksgiving decor item for my 30 before 30 list (my time will be up before next Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, I did not think of this before leaving on my recent trip. We returned after Halloween, and word to the wise, if you need any kind of fall decor get it before Halloween. Because as soon as we hit Halloween the stores pack in the Christmas. I literally could not find anything fall-related at any stores. Luckily, I had some stuff at home, some of what I needed is not necessarily seasonal, and luckily I have free 2-day shipping on Amazon to get what other items I needed. I didn’t want to do anything complicated and I kind of made up this candle center piece. I twas very simple and only took about 30 minutes to make! It works best on a small table – or you can make a larger one for a larger table!

Simple Thanksgiving Centerpiece What you need:

  • candle – whatever size/color you want
  • glass jar or vase – size depends on the candle
  • burlap ribbon (I had the wired kind already)
  • indian corn nibblers (or full size if needed)
  • raffia ribbon (I used this because I already had it, but liked the look)
  • hot glue gun
  1. Glue the burlap ribbon to the glass. This size of the burlap perfectly matched the size of the jar luckily. I just glued the end together and to the glass. Let cool a couple minutes.
  2. Glue each corn piece to the burlap. Hold each one on a couple minutes until glue has cooled.
  3. Tie raffia ribbon around the top of the jar above the corn.
  4. Place candle in jar!

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Halloween Decor

#19 on my 30 before 30 list is to make a decorative item for every holiday. Looks like I’ll have to step it up here in the last year of my list! I do already have a lot of Halloween decor, so I took to Pinterest to find something I didn’t have. Lately I tend to lean towards wreaths because it makes it a lot easier for people to find my apartment when they visit. And it just makes for a nicer welcome home every day!

I already have a fall-type wreath, so I wanted to do something more Halloween-y. I got this idea from Pinterest but tweaked it a little bit. It only took a few hours and I think it’s super cute! And you could do this same concept a million different ways for various holidays, events, etc.

Halloween Door Hanger

What you need: wooden letters, acrylic paint (at least 2 colors), paint brush, q-tip, burlap ribbon (with wire), raffia (thin twine-looking ribbon)

1. Paint the letters a solid color with acrylic paint. I use a small sponge paintbrush – it goes on nice and even. Let dry.


2. Use the q-tip and the second acrylic paint color to put polka dots on the letters. This is obviously optional. You could leave them solid, put glitter on them, paint stripes – whatever you want!


3. With the burlap ribbon, tie a large bow. I just googled ‘how to tie a burlap ribbon’ and found a very simple how-to.

4. Use some of the raffia (or another ribbon) to secure and decorate the middle of the burlap bow. Then use more raffia to tie each letter together and to the bow.

Pretty simple!