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DIY Campaign-Style Frames

28 Mar

If you haven’t noticed, I dig inexpensive wall art (see free Prade Marfa printables here and $2 Marbled artwork here). While I would love to collect a few museum-worthy pieces, my financial priorities just don’t lie in art right now.

Ikea is my go-to for frames, but I’ve been wanting to “hack” my dining room frames lately. I opted to avoid the trendy campaign-style makeover for my nightstands, but still have a secret love affair with brass corner brackets.

In the spirit of inexpensive art, I give you upcycled campaign-style frames.

DIY Campaign Style Frames

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Free Printable Prada Marfa Watercolour Art

28 Feb

When you aren’t inspired enough to paint over every beige room in your home, cover them with art!

Well, that is what I am doing, since I have not committed to paint colors. I also don’t feel like dedicating months worth of weekends to painting all but three rooms in my abode right now.

Free Printable #PradaMarfa Watercolor Art

After hearing about the new app, Waterlogue, I quickly decided to purchase the app, which is currently only available for iPhones and iPads, and transform my favorite photo of Prada Marfa from our recent trip out west. Here is what I found: if you start with a high quality photo, you get good results. Lower quality photos don’t create desirable results.

Free Printable Watercolor Prada Marfa Print

I also waterlogued a photo of Big Tex from our engagement session.

Free Printable Watercolor Art

I put each 11×17 print in 20×28 RIBBA frames from Ikea, cut new mats from posterboard, and hung the prints in my dining room.

I love my new, inexpensive wall art and have decided to make the Prada Marfa print available to my faithful blog readers. When I took the files to FedEx Office, they said the image should print clearly as large as 18×20. Since the original Big Tex image was taken professionally, I thought it best if I not share that one. Who besides us wants a print of a creepy, giant cowboy anyway?

Click HERE to download the Prada Marfa print.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Good Day Austin | DIY Wedding Invitations

25 Feb



I had a great time with Good Day Austin’s Anchor, Lauren Petrowski, talking about DIYing wedding invitations for their Make It Monday segment. I was thrilled to have the opportunity and am excited about the possibility of being a guest on the morning show again within the next few months.
FOX 7 | Good Day Austin: Make it Monday | DIY Wedding Invitations


The image above may be deceiving, as you can’t actually press the play button. Unfortunately doesn’t support FOX 7 videos. You can watch the video by visiting Good Day Austin’s website here: DIY Invitations.

The three minute segment really flew by, so be sure to check out my  six tips for DIYing your wedding invitation suite.

Thanks for reading and, now, watching,

♥ Dominique

Ticket Stubs + Fillable Lamps

11 Feb

Last week I found out the lamps on our nightstands that had been bugging me also bothered my husband. That sounds like a justifiable excuse to go shopping for home goods if I ever heard one!

For me, it was that the scale was all wrong. As was the style. For him, they just didn’t function well enough. In his words the lampshades were too low (he would often accidentally bump them) and the lamps were wobbly. You can see our old scissor-arm lamps in our bedroom here.

I like the scissor-arms, but the lamps were a little puny. They didn’t draw the eye up to our tall ceilings, faux canopy, giant, bright blue P, or do anything to help our space feel put together. Even though they were smaller than our new lamps, they made the nightstands feel more cluttered.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve learned I like decor with stories. So, as the title suggests, I give you: Ticket Stub Filled Lamps!

Ticket Stub Filled Lamps

Anthony and I have ticket stubs from the first day we met at the State Fair of Texas. We continued to collect out ticket stubs and had stored them in a small glass shadow box, which was quickly getting filled. Transferring the tickets to the lamps was a joyful game of Remember When.

Ballgames, Presidential Libraries, museums, movies, and more, memories of the adventures we’ve had, our new lamps store.

I love seeing tokens of our happy memories before I go to sleep each night. Beyond adding tickets from yet-to-be-had adventures, I can change out the tickets for seasonal decor. During the fall I can fill them with gilded acorns, and at Christmastime, ornaments or old string-light bulbs.

Ticket Stubs + Fillable Lamps filled our lamps with 3D glasses from when we went to see the Rockettes at Radio City, with the number we took when waiting in line to get our marriage license, with tickets to Oz with Orchestra I bought to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and Fitz and the Tantrums tickets I won on the radio. Atop our nightstands are souvenirs like our ACL wristbands, and badges for our annual Oscar Movie Marathon. The lamps are filled with VIP lanyards from the Austin Ice Cream Festival I helped plan and SeaPasses from our honeymoon cruise. They house tickets to the Colosseum in Rome, Sagrada Familia in Spain, and hotel key cards from our trip to Toronto.

Each time I change out the contents of the lamps, I take another walk down memory

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Sources: Lamps

This post is linked at Tatertots & Jello.

Clay Conversation Hearts

31 Jan

I’m sure you remember those chalky conversation hearts you got for Valentine’s day back in elementary school. The sayings were sweet, but the taste was anything but. I made an equally inedible version for February fourteenth.

DIY Conversation Hearts

I made party picks out of mine, but these little clay hearts can take a thousand different forms. Forgo the toothpicks and you can use them for many Valentine’s projects.

DIY Conversation Hearts #valentines

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Put a handful in a small muslin bag to give to your Valentine
  • Poke holes in the sides of the hearts before baking them and add a small length of chain to make decanter tags for your bar cart
  • Make a Valentine’s day necklace
  • Poke a hole near the top-center, add an ornament hook and put them on a Valentine’s tree
  • String them together to make a garland
  • Use them as placecards for a dinner party
  • Make tags for wine glasses

Here’s the how-to:

DIY Conversation Hearts #valentines

You’ll need:

  • Polymer clay
  • A rolling pin
  • A small heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Small alphabet stamps (I used metal stamps I had, but the dollar section at Michaels has small letter rubber stamps)
  • An oven
  • Pastel paints
  • A paintbrush
  • A thin red Sharpie


Roll out your clay to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use your cookie cutter to cut as many hearts as you desire. Stamp them with lovey messages. I chose Be Mine, Wink Wink, Love You, Kiss Me, BFF, Me & You, XOXO and URAQT. Bake your hearts at 275°F for approximately 20 minutes. Once they cool, paint them, let dry, and retrace the messages with a red pen.

DIY Conversation Hearts #valentines

If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration, take a look at my February Pinterest board.

Thanks for reading,


DIY Nutcracker Stocking Holders

17 Dec

I hope you’re following along with the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, my online cookie swap. We’re halfway today and Lindsay at The Well-Styled Child is making Pizzelles!

When I saw these bare wooden nutcrackers at the craft store in October, an idea struck me. I’d come back for them, closer to Christmastime, and make stocking holders out of them.

Wooden NutcrackersWhat I envisioned was a more modern version of these:

Horchow Nutcracker Stocking HoldersWhen I went back to pick up my nutcrackers, they were out. I waited for a new shipment that never came. I ended up buying a couple of nutcrackers at the dollar store in hopes they’d work for my project. Here is what they looked like before.

Dollar Store Nutcrackers BeforeWith just a little bit of glue holding them in place, their hair and beards were easy to remove. I sanded them down just to rough them up so the paint would stick. I also purchased some basic stocking holders which one can find at places like Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, or Walmart, and sanded them too. Next, I used glue and stuck the nutcrackers to the sanded bases. I chose to give mine a couple of thin coats of silver spray paint, but you can choose whatever color best matches your Christmas decor.

DIY Nutcracker Stocking HoldersAt less than 10% of the cost of the gold nutcracker stocking holders pictured above, nothing would complete the look quite like our knit thrift store stockings!

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop: Corrugated Cardboard Garland

5 Nov

First things first, the winner of the KM Little Somethings Giveaway, chosen by is Katy!

Last month I went to a holiday display workshop at Anthropologie. I wanted to share the garland I made, but thought October was to early for too many Christmas posts. The garlands are simple to replicate. They have a pinecone quality.

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop Garland Tutorial

I love Anthropologie windows and displays. I especially love how most of them are handcrafted at each individual store making them all unique. Did you know they donate many of their displays to charity or auction them off and donate the proceeds? What they don’t donate, they try to reuse and re-purpose.

Now on with making or Christmas trees as chic as their stores!

DIY Anthropologie Christmas Garland

To make the cardboard festoons, start but cutting out corrugated cardboard into shapes like the ones seen below.

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop Garland 2013 www.gustoandgraceblog.comNext, hot glue two paperclips to the widest part of each piece of cardboard so a small metal loop hangs off each edge. Roll the cardboard tightly, hot gluing in the middle, and when you reach the end. Use Rub ‘n Buff  to give the bauble a golden glow. Apply a small amount of glue in one or two places on each piece of rolled cardboard. Cover the glue with gold or bronze  leafing. Use a small, dry paintbrush to form the leafing to the cardboard. I love the green and red tones you get from the bronze leafing.

Anthropologie Garland Tutorial  Bronze Leafing

Use paperclips to attach the baubles together, then trim the tree!

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop Garland Tutorial

See? So simple! Let me know if you try it!

DIY Gilded Cotton Boll Boutonnieres

1 Oct

Before even thought about my bouquet, I knew what I wanted to do for boutonnieres for the wedding. Anthony and I met at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, Dallas so I thought natural cotton bolls would be a sweet nod to where we met (like our engagement photos).

Rather than paying $135 on boutonnieres (9 x $15 is what I was quoted), I DIYed my boutonnieres for $17.

I made the bows with metallic velvet ribbon and hot glue, then adhered them to the stems of the natural cotton. I was going to keep the stems natural, but last minute I decided to gild the stems with supplies I had leftover from making my wooden menus. I love how they turned out. I made silver boutonnieres for the dads, groomsmen, ushers, and officiant, but I painted Anthony’s gold.  I think these are perfect for fall wedding and could be painted any color. They can be made months in advance, and and add great texture to the grooms(men) attire.


Originally I planned on hot-gluing pins behind the ribbons to attach the boutonnieres to the guys’ lapels to make it easy for them, but in the middle of making them, I found out the head of the cotton were just to heavy to stay upright. Typical straight pin application worked just fine.

DIY Gilded Cotton Boll Boutonniere

All photos were taken by Jeremy & Krisitin photography. 

Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Ornaments

24 Sep

Maybe it’s a little early for a Christmas post, but I have certainly been thinking about it. I’ve already started Christmas shopping and been scoping out Christmas decor. I’ve gotten Christmas catalogs in the mail, joined a Christmas Countdown group on Facebook, and been dreaming up what Anthony’s and my first married Christmas will look like.

Between Anthony and I, we have three Christmas trees (and I got rid of one). We have a 7 foot tree, a 4 foot tree, and a 1 foot tree. I think the 4 foot and 1 foot trees are small enough to be themed each year (at least one of them). This year, the 4 foot tree will be silver and white and very natural. It will hold the Anthropologie mercury glass P ornaments that I used down our wedding aisle, bottlebrush animals we picked up after Christmas last year, and the water-less snow globe ornaments I’m making.

The ornaments I’m making are inspired by this salt shaker I picked up at the end of the season last year.


With some clear glass bulbs, sandpaper, glue, bottlebrush trees, and faux snow, I put together a few of these.


The 7 foot tree will hold all European blown glass ornaments I have been collecting for years and the new one we used as our wedding cake topper. Last year, the 1 foot tree was in my office (see it on Instagram) and was styled after a tree in the White House Garden Room. This year, I may theme it around a tree Anthony and I saw at the American Museum of Natural History on our Thanksgiving trip to New York last year. More on that in a later post.

Have you done any Christmas activities yet?

Patio Furniture Restoration

20 Aug

Before I came into the picture, my husband bought some patio furniture that is the perfect scale for our small backyard patio.  Here’s what it looked like when he bought it from World Market.


Fast forward three years and the finish was extremely weathered.
Patio Furniture Restoration **
While I was busy working at the Austin Ice Cream Festival on Saturday, my husband and stepdad sanded down the furniture. The difference was so dramatic, we briefly considered sealing it without staining it. It looked so fresh. Patio Furniture Restoration **
Here are my husbands basic sanding tips:
  • If you can take apart of the furniture fairly easily, do it. We probably should have.
  • A power sander is a must.
  • Various sanding grit levels is helpful. We used 0220 for the most part, but used a much rougher one for the hard to reach areas where we couldn’t apply much pressure. If you use a rougher paper then you have to go back and use a lower grit afterward to smooth it out.
  • Use tack cloth to remove any remaining sawdust before staining.
Patio Furniture Restoration **
I wanted a dark stain, so I picked up a can of Rustoleum’s Black Cherry Wood Stain from Lowes. On Sunday, my husband and stepdad stained one of the chairs. I predict it will be about 3 weeks before Anthony and I will find time to stain the bench, table, and remaining chair, but look how well it turned out:
Refinished Patio Furniture **
A few tips for staining:
  • Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
  • Test out the stain by applying it to a small area on the back or underside of the wood first. Leave it on 1 minute and gently wipe it off with a cloth, then in another small area, leave it on 2 minutes and wipe, then 3 minutes to see which shade of stain you prefer. A cut up old t-shirt works perfectly works perfectly as a wiping cloth.
  • Make sure to watch for areas where the stain drips or runs down to another area. Wipe that off as soon as possible.
  • If you want a glossy finish, spray the stained furniture with polyurethane. Otherwise, seal it with a water sealer. If you choose to use a water sealer, you can brush on a thin coat each year to prevent weathering.
Now that our patio furniture is refreshed, I’m keeping my eyes open for cute outdoor pillows, a potted plant or two, and an inexpensive rug. Maybe black and white stripes?
After getting out there myself to finish staining the patio furniture, I’ve got a few tips of my own:
  • Check the weather!
After spending several hours finishing the furniture on a hot, sunny, Austin day, the evening brought heavy rainfall and wind. The storm was so strong that our power went out. How did I not see that one coming, at all? Thankfully, it seems the stain was set enough and no damage was done.
  • I also found that a natural bristle paint brush (like the goat hair ones I bought at a craft store rather than the home improvement store) prevents drips better than other brushes. So much so that I skipped the wiping step altogether.
The final product?
DIY Patio Furniture Restoration
I’m still in want of some accessories, but boy, do I love the transformation! I think the dark stain against the white stone looks great.
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