Quick Early Fall to Halloween Display

Good morning friends!

Here’s a super quick post for you on how to easily transition from early fall to a spookier Halloween vibe in your decorating. I thought this would be fun and easy, and I’ve been looking for a few ways to sprinkle in some quick posts throughout the week.

Here’s my simple early fall display:

cute fall display

I kept things light and airy here, softening the transition from summer to fall with some fading florals, the white window, and these test tube vases that I got on clearance from Magnolia Market. I couldn’t find anything similar for sale online when I was writing this, but any clear vase or grouping of vases would work.

I put this wreath together myself, pulling bits and pieces of leftover stuff from last fall and some cotton bolls I had from a different project.

I love birch branches at any time of the year, but they are particularly pretty in the fall and winter. I have these layered in an old grocery cart, which brings them out from simply leaning against the wall and gives the look a little more dimension.

There are a few linen and buffalo pumpkin banners still hanging out in my Etsy shop if you want to snag yours. Buffalo check is one of the easiest ways to bring in a little more fall here without being super overwhelming just yet. I didn’t want to get rid of summer that quickly!!

And here’s my quick transition to a spookier October set-up:

Halloween Display

Swapping out the white window for a trio of heavier dark frames seemed like a natural choice for the backdrop–there’s something about these old, dark, empty frames that’s a little bit creepy to me–in a good way. These are from an estate sale that I found in an old-timey photography studio that had been closed for years–there were all these bottles of solution around, a real darkroom, and stacks and stacks of frames–more frames than anybody could ever want in their life, it seems like. It would have made a great themed haunted house except for the fact that they had the sale in the spring.

I kept my wheat vases because they don’t look as whimsical without the floral wreath–on their own they usher the fall in with a bit more force since there’s nothing “alive” about them and no green left for them to work with.

The skull fabric swatch came from the 1011 Fabrics booth at Shed 5 last year–they have the coolest stuff and do such amazing work. It’s a bit of a hike to Fenton, but it’s a super pretty place. I typically wouldn’t pick out something with skulls on it, but I’m glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone a little because I think it works here, and it was only $1! I liked the fact that it was a swatch because it was finished around the edges and it has some grommets in the top in case I wanted to string it onto a banner somehow.

And that’s my early fall to Halloween transition in a few easy steps! Thanks for reading–I’d love to see your Halloween setup in the comments or on Instagram (tag @itsjessforton to share!). Stay tuned next month for the transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving!

Talk soon,

Jessie

DIY Upcycled Bathroom Shelf

Good morning friends!

We were up north in Bellaire for the entire week of the fourth this year which was super fun. It’s really starting to become a tradition since Dan’s birthday is on the third and his company considers that one of his holidays. So two holiday days in a row, one vacation day, and two half days working remote meant that we could stay all week!

What did Charlotte and I do while he worked those two mornings, you ask? I think you know.

Shopping up north is extra fun because I don’t get to go to all of these places as regularly as I do the ones downstate, so I don’t usually mind if Dan has to work a little when we’re in Bellaire, because I love working, too, and if he’s working, I can work!

On Thursday morning, Charlotte and I were driving around looking for a garage sale that we never ultimately found, but I did spot these babies on the side of the road, and I picked them up! I love garbage day.

mid century desk drawers

 

They are super solid and heavy, plus dove tailed at both ends–perfect for an up-cycling project! Dan used to roll his eyes and ask crazy questions like “What are you ever going to do with those?” He knows better now.

I didn’t have a solid plan until I was browsing at my friend Shelly’s store (definitely head there and hang out for a bit while you’re waiting 2.5 hours for your table at Short’s the next time you’re in town) and picked up a little tub of chalk paint and some antique glaze. Then I started seeing shelves. Of course, drawers made into shelves isn’t an earth-shattering concept–I’ve done it a couple of times already–but I still thought it would be fun.

I wanted to share a quick tutorial featuring my drawer shelf, Shelly’s Shabby Chic Paint in Refresh, and her Old Town Paints Antique Glaze.

shabby chic paint in refresh

The first thing I did was add some hardware to the back for hanging. I use these mini D-rings for most of my shelves because they are easy and pretty sturdy.

hardware for bathroom shelfhardware on bathroom shelf

I just wiped this one down with some warm water and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I don’t usually do a deep clean or any kind of prep work if I’m going for a vintage look or using glaze, since if a stain or spot shows through the paint, it only adds to the look. This particular piece didn’t seem like it was going to be a problem anyway–it’s usually the more cherry looking woods and stains that start to come through the paint in places, and since most of this piece was still the natural wood, I wasn’t too concerned.

coverage for Shabby Chic Paint in Refresh

Again, because I was doing the glaze and going for a more rustic and imperfect look, I didn’t go crazy with coverage or perfect brush strokes, and I only did one coat. You can see from this photo that there is some opacity in places. This was my first time using the Shabby Chic Paint, and while I loved the color, the paint went on more like latex than typical chalk paint, and it definitely felt shinier and more like latex to the touch once it was dry. I haven’t used the Old Town brand in a few years, but from what I remembered, I felt that way about their paint as well.

I’m used to working with Annie Sloan’s paints more than anything, and I’ve gotten used to the way that they dry, so for me, working with this paint would have been more challenging on a bigger piece (on something this small it hardly matters what you use, which makes a project like this the perfect experiment for a first time DIY’er). I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but this paint almost seemed to slide if you tried to go back to a section and add more paint or take some away. If I had been doing a second coat, this wouldn’t have mattered, but since I wasn’t, it was a little frustrating not to have the ability to play with it just a bit more.

Because I hadn’t used it before and it seemed like the drying time was a lot slower than I’m used to with Annie Sloan, I just let it dry overnight before trying the glaze.

old town paints antique glazeold town paints glaze applicationold town paints glaze application 2

Shelly warned me that the glaze dried super fast, but I was still not prepared for just how fast it dried! I used an old sock of Dan’s that was inexplicably already in the garage anyway, since that was what she suggested (instead of using a brush). You can see how just in the time that it took me to do one side, the very first application dried before I could get enough on the sock to blend it in to the second one fully. It definitely took some time to get used to it, and it made me curious to try another glaze that was maybe a little easier to work with. Once again, I’m really glad that I didn’t try to use it on anything bigger the first time.

I think it’s so fun that there are all these different products to experiment with–I am always excited to try new techniques, and I love the way that the upcycled Refresh drawer shelf turned out!

finished product bathroom shelfclose up bathroom shelf

I put the two blue shelves in my Etsy shop, along with the rest of the plain drawers that I picked up. I had been thinking about switching up a few things in my bathroom, and for a bit I added one of the au natural shelves to the wall above my towel bar (as pretty as the blue is, it doesn’t really go in there color-wise).

bathroom drawer shelfbathroom drawer shelf 2bathroom drawer shelf 1

For awhile I was picking up these insulators super cheap at garage sales. I thought they were interesting and fun, but I didn’t really know what to do with them–kind of like my obsession with apothecary bottles. Mostly they just ended up in my basement, but I figured I would pull them out for awhile and stick them on  my new (old) shelf. I picked up a succulent from the Rochester Farmer’s Market mid-July, and a little antique Hall dish to put it in from the July Utica Antiques Market. I’m thinking about layering in some white and wood frames behind the other pieces to give it a little depth. Really, the last thing I should be thinking about right now is a tiny space in my bathroom, since the mattress is still on the floor of the bedroom and the TV is sitting on an ugly unpainted side table since I sold the buffet that I did have it on…


What projects are you working on and what did you think of my little shelf? Is it something that you’d have fun doing, too?

I’d love to see your projects! Tag me on Instagram @itsjessforton or comment below. Have a great week!

Jessie