Easy Paper Mache Deer Head Makeover

Learn how to update the look of a basic paper mache deer head using joint compound 
from the hardware store.

Hobby Lobby has large selection of paper mache products, and during a recent 50% off sale I found that this stag head had accompanied me home.  He wasn't anything I needed or even knew what to do with, but who could pass up 50% off, right?!?!

Rather than just paint over the paper mache, I used a thin coat of joint compound from the hardware store to create some texture over the paper.  Using this product gives the deer an almost stone like appearance.  (I've used it to update a thrift store lamp in the past, too.)  Also, it is a great way to "fix" the paper mache when it breaks in places like where the horns meet the deer's head.  The joint compound will hold it all together if you add a little more in these areas.

While it is a messy job using joint compound for a craft product, it is also easy and you can't mess up the project.  I just smear it on with my fingers, using more than I need to create a lot of texture.  (Just be sure that you don't put it on too thick or it will take forever to dry and may crack as it does.  A couple thin coats is better than one thick one.)

The compound will turn pure white when it is all dry.  And when it does, use a fine grit sandpaper to gently smooth out the surface.  Not enough that all that great texture disappears, but just enough so that the bumps and ridges of the compound even out.

After my deer was as smooth as I wanted, I painted him with one coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement.  It looked similar to one that I found in Target for more money, so I was pleased.

Until I saw one at Michaels that was painted dark gray with light gray dry brushing and fell in love with him as well.  Are a few more coats of paint in this little guy's future?

I really do love the contrast between the pure white deer and the vibrant green and red boxwood and berry wreath, though.  (Learn how to make your own boxwood wreath.)  While neutrals are always my go to, those beautiful pops of red and green at Christmas really add something special to the decor.

Thank you so much for visiting today and I hope that your Christmas season is continuing to be full of joy and that you are taking in all that the holiday has to offer.

Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This allows me to make a small commission if you purchase something, but your price will stay the same.  I only will share products I believe in and all opinions are my own.  You can view my disclosure policy here.  Thank you so much for helping to support this blog!

Artful Blogging Magazine Feature

 There are certain milestones that just about every blogger out there tries to strive for in their career.  One of them is get your first reader that isn't a relative or best friend.  Another is to to get a mention on a favorite website like Country Living or Better Homes and Gardens.  And still another is to find out that one of your own blogging idols follows your blog or social media accounts.

One of the biggest honors, though, is to receive an email in your inbox letting you know that a magazine wants to feature your work.  I was lucky enough a little over a year ago to have a feature of two of my DIY projects in Reloved Magazine.  And I was overjoyed.

Vintage Inspired Christmas Favor Ornament | Over 30 Free Christmas Printables

Create a unique favor for your Christmas table this year with a free printable of a vintage image.

A vintage inspired ornament decorates this table for Christmas.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

Even as a little kid, I enjoyed helping to set a festive table around the holidays.  My favorite task was creating place cards for whomever was coming to dinner.  Although we had the same guests year after year and they would sit in the same seats, I felt like these place cards were the most important thing on the table.

Setting a Simple Thanksgiving Table | Fall Tablescape Blog Hop

Having a thoughtfully set table is an important part of gathering together for Thanksgiving.  See how decorating simply can allow you to create a beautiful tablescape without spending a lot of time or money doing it.

A mix of pumpkins, berries, and pinecones create a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

Hello friends!  Thank you so much for stopping by today.

Thanksgiving and all that it entails is quickly approaching.  Thoughts of oven roasted turkey and homemade pumpkin pie have already started swirling through my brain.  Can you smell all that delicious food cooking in the oven?

Hot Mulled Apple Cider Recipe

Enhance the flavor of traditional apple cider by cooking it on the stove with all the flavors of fall and  then enjoy a mug of the warm beverage as the temperatures cool down this autumn.

Outdoor Fall Tablescape

Create a beautiful dining area outdoors to enjoy the rest of the cooler fall weather.  

Fall is the perfect season for enjoying a meal outdoors.  The weather is cooler than the humid summer months.  The backdrop of nature with it's changing leaves is awe inspiring.  And you might as well take full advantage of being able to be outdoors as much as possible before the snow starts falling, right?!?!  

It doesn't take much work at all to set up an enjoyable table to dine al fresco with friends and family tonight.  

Gingersnaps with Apple Cider Glaze | Fall Baking Week

Give a traditional gingersnap cookie a fall twist by adding a drizzle of apple cider glaze.

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti | Fall Baking Week

This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Biscotti is full of fall flavor and the traditional biscotti crunch. Made with a blend of toasted pecans, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, it is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee on an autumn morning.

Glazed Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Fall Baking Week

Need something quick for breakfast that is full of fall flavor?  This Pumpkin Coffee Cake that is packed with the spices of the fall season can be made the night before and enjoyed for days after!

Vanilla Walnut Crescent Cookies | Fall Baking Week

Tired of seeing pumpkin recipes this season?  Try these flaky and tender Vanilla Walnut Crescent Cookies that are a buttery dough rolled up with a pinch of fall flavor.  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Fall Baking Week

What says fall flavor more than pumpkin?  This recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies gives a fancy bakery touch to a traditional favorite cookie for the autumn season.

Tips for Decorating Your Fall Porch | 18 Fall Porch Tours

As the weather grows cooler, your front porch or patio can become the perfect 
place to enjoy the outdoors.  Learn what you need to do 
to create a space as cozy as the indoors of your home.

Happy Monday my friends!

Whether you are a regular reader or you are stopping by from Design, Dining, and Diapers, welcome to my fall porch tour!  All this week, 20 bloggers will be sharing their own fall decorated porches as part of our tour that starts with Taryn.  She is always able to make her home look cozy and welcoming.  I really enjoyed seeing how she updated her outdoors this year using metallic and white,  You know how I love neutrals!

The Beauty of Autumn Handmade Art | 30 Free Printables and Vignettes

Dress up your home this fall with a free printable and easy autumn vignette.

Download a free fall printable and be inspired to decorate your home for autumn by a simple vignette.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

I'm really honored for the opportunity to be able to join in on Ella Claire Inspired's fall printable tour this year with some amazing ladies.  We are each sharing a autumn vignette that includes a printable we've designed especially for you!  I love seeing how everyone comes up with such uniquely different ideas to share with our readers, don't you?


The fall season has always made me feel excited for the opportunity to once again start fresh.  Whether it was getting a new box of colored pencils to take with me on the first day of third grade or moving into a college apartment that needed decorated and organized, autumn meant that I could begin again.  Even now, many years later, I go into September with a renewed sense of anything being possible because I can start with a clean slate.

18 Fall Must Haves for Your Home and Wardrobe

The fall season is here and it is time to start filling your home and closet with 
the colors, textures and scents of autumn.  
See what fall must-haves are on my shopping list this year!

Welcome back after a long weekend!  It is almost unfathomable to believe that the fall season is officially here.  It seems like only a few weeks ago, kids were getting out of school and we were filled with plans and expectations for the summer break.  And with PA temperatures in the high 80s, the season still feels and looks like summer.  I'm not complaining.

I took a short three day vacation over the weekend for a little relaxation and retail therapy.  Strange as it sounds, my mom and I drove for close to two and a half hours to come home with a vehicle full of cornstalks, pumpkins, and fall essentials.

The Difference Between Wet and Dry Measuring Cups | Baking 101

Learn the difference between a wet and dry measuring cup 
and why it is important to use the correct one when baking in the kitchen.

Learn the difference between a wet and dry measuring cup and why it is so important to use the correct one when baking in the kitchen. #baking101 #bakingtips #recipes #howtobake #andersonandgrant

Baking is considered an exact science.  As often as you'll hear that old recipes call for a pinch of this and a dash of that, most of the measurements that go into what you're baking need to be accurate.  Being even a little off in ingredients like flour or baking soda can dramatically alter the texture and taste of a recipe.  It can mean the difference between a successful cake and one that doesn't rise.

Thinking back, there is not a lot I remember learning in my high school home economics class.  Aside from sewing a patchwork pillow and mixing up a batch of pretzels,  the only thing that has stuck with me is that there are two types of measuring cups....one for liquids and one for dry measurements.

Easy Distressed Ampersand Letter Makeover

A basic craft store ampersand is given a farmhouse style makeover.

An MDF ampersand from Michael's Craft Store gets a farmhouse chic makeover. #DIY #farmhouse #farmhousedecor #farmhousediy #andersonandgrant

Does anyone else find that their days slip away while the Olympics are on?  Do you find yourself watching sports that you would normally have no interest in, and suddenly realizing water polo is the most fascinating sport you've ever seen?

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who was lured into doing little or no work the past two weeks while they were on.  Try as I might to sit down and type a post, Rio drew me back to a gold medal match.

With the opportunity to watch arising only once every four years, I decided to go with it and fill my days with a little volleyball, gymnastics, and swimming.  I'm trying to embrace a little more of life and the things I enjoy lately, rather than letting blogging and everything that it entails overfill my days.

Easy DIY Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial

One of the easiest sewing projects you can try is making a pillow.  
This tutorial teaches how to make an envelope pillow cover which requires just 
some simple cutting and a few straight stitches.  

One of the easiest sewing projects you can try is making a pillow.   This tutorial teaches how to make an envelope pillow cover which requires just  some simple cutting and a few straight stitches.   #DIY #sewingbasics #farmhousediy #pillow #tutorial

Adding a couple new pillows to your couch, bed, or accent chair can instantly change the feel and style of your room for very little money.  And if you make them yourself, the style possibilities are endless with the types of fabric you can choose and trim that can be added.  When you grow tired of what you've created, you can always reuse the pillow forms and create new covers.

Vintage Cane Back Chair Gets a Farmhouse Style Makeover

A pair of vintage cane backed chairs found at a garage sale are given a stunning farmhouse style makeover with Fusion Mineral Paint and a simple drop cloth.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

There are times when I see a piece of furniture or antique and must have it.  No questions asked.  Price is no object.  (Well, it is, but I'm not as thrifty with these things.)  It doesn't happen often and they aren't always things that I keep for myself.  But when my eyes lock on these types of finds, I know instantly that they must be mine.

Such is the case with the chairs in today's makeover.  About two months ago, I stopped a garage sale,  While it didn't have a lot for sale,  I wanted just about everything that was there.  My eyes locked on this pair of chairs the minute my feet stepped out of my car and I began picturing them being painted white long before knowing the price.  They were just what I was looking for to sell at my summer market.

How to Make a DIY Tobacco Basket

Learn how to make a reproduction tobacco basket that will fit in with your 
farmhouse or country style decor.

Learn how to make a reproduction tobacco basket that will fit in with your farmhouse or country style decor.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

There are times when I like to try and recreate the look of a popular home decor item, rather than to purchase the real thing.  Doing so seems to recharge my creative muscles and makes me think through how something is constructed.  I notice the small details and what makes that particular item special.

Projects like this often make a particular look more affordable, but the real satisfaction comes from being able to use your own two hands to create exactly what you would buy from the store.

Characteristics of a Modern Farmhouse Exterior

Learn the common elements that are making the modern farmhouse 
one of the most popular styles of house right now.

Characteristics of a Modern Farmhouse Exterior #farmhouse #modernfarmhouse #homedesign #andersonandgrant

The modern farmhouse.

Whether we're talking about inside or outside the home, this is one style that we can't seem to get enough of lately.  These houses aren't the typical farmhouses of the past that you'd find on an an actual working farm surrounded by cornfields and pastures, but they elicit the same feelings of comfort and safety. The style of those old homes were simple so that the structure could be put up quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively.  And today's modern version still draws on that simple, no fuss look.

Easy Recipe for Rustic Wood Stain

Do you hate the mess, smell, and work involved with using traditional wood stain?  Find out the secret ingredient for easily adding an aged and rustic look to your unfinished wood.

You've got to see this easy technique for giving bare wood an old, rustic stained finish.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

One of my least favorite do-it-yourself tasks is staining wood.  There is something in my genetic makeup that obviously is missing because I seem to lack the basic skill.  Give me a long straight board and I could stain it like a champ.  But to actually stain something built of wood with edges and joints?  I'll pass.  That is why you'll normally see me just adding a little hemp oil or polyurethane to the bare wood and enhancing the natural finish.

The Secret to Perfectly Washed Windows

Find out what tools you'll need and learn tips for getting the 
windows of your home perfectly clean.

Tips for Perfectly Washed Windows #cleaning #homekeeping #windows #andersonandgrant (Image via Muskoka Living)
Photo Credit:  Muskoka Living

As a person who craves natural light, having clean windows is a must for my home.

I find the sight of the sunlight streaming through the rooms beautiful.  It has a way of highlighting everything that is right in the house.....a sink full of dishes doesn't look nearly as bad in a sun drenched kitchen!   Clean windows allow a little bit of the outdoors to be brought into the home.  And most importantly, lots of light makes me happy and more productive at home.

Tips for Selling at a Vintage Market, Craft Show, or Yard Sale

Whether you are selling at a vintage market, craft show, antique store booth, or yard sale, there are simple things you can do to increase sales and draw customers into your space.

Whether you are selling at a vintage market, craft show, antique store booth, or yard sale, there are simple things you can do to increase sales and draw customers into your space.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

Awhile back, I mentioned that I was going to be participating in a market to sell some of my handmade items.  Then I had an idea to also hold a sale at my house the weekend before because I was not allowed to sell anything that wasn't handmade at the original market.  I had all these farmhouse style pieces I had picked up in addition to all my vintage finds that I wanted to sell, so this seemed like the perfect plan.  (I say that because I've since learned Fourth of July weekend in my town is not the time to do something like this.  And don't even get me started about how you end up with no customers because two neighbors decide to have yard sales the same time and people don't follow the fancy black signs that you've created to their destination and end up at the yard sales instead of your own sale.  I've accepted the setbacks and moved on!)

Dining Room Sideboard Made from Antique Dresser

See how a less than perfect antique dresser is transformed into a unique dining room buffet.

A broken antique dresser is given a makeover and repurposed as a dining room buffet.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

So.....It's been awhile.  You may remember that I mentioned awhile back that I was going to be participating in a market to sell my handcrafted decor.  Doing one market turned into doing two and my days became consumed with working on furniture and decorative items to sell.  I realized that there was no way to continue creating, photographing what I was doing, and writing well-planned posts in addition to going to work everyday so I focused my energy where I needed to at the time.

Thrift Store Cloche Makeover for Less than $1

If you've been following this blog for long, it should come as no surprise that I love to find strange things at second hand stores and turn them into something useful and decorative.  Being able to look at something that someone has no use for and transforming it into a stylish work of art is fun and challenging.  My mind has always been able to envision something better and see potential in cast-off items.

Rustic DIY Cake Stand

A lot of what I've been sharing lately has been giving makeovers to unique items like scales and lamps found at antique stores and thrift shops.  While it can be inspiring to see what someone does with something they purchased, it is more fun to be able to use that idea for something that you already have or can find.

Updating an Antique High Chair with Paint

A few weeks ago, I showed you an old high chair (or booster chair) that I found at an antique shop for just $10.  As much as I love painting furniture, I also love beautiful wood.  And that is what I saw on this chair.  This chair didn't need to be covered with layers of paint.

Making a New Dough Bowl Look Old

Welcome back, my friends!  I hope that you had a lovely weekend.  Thankfully the rain held off on Saturday for most of the day, and I went on another shopping trip with my mom.  While most of what I bought was stuff for myself for a change, I got a few more things to fix up for my sale over the summer.  You'll be seeing it all soon.

But today, I wanted to share a great technique for transforming anything that is natural, bare wood into something that looks like actual rustic, aged wood with patina.

Farmhouse Style Upholstered Stool Painted Gray

We are all taught as children to not judge a book by it's cover, which is a memorable way of saying to not make assumptions about people (or things) based on how they look.  It's a useful lesson.  The same obviously holds true for choosing paint.

For quite some time now, I've been using Fusion Mineral Paint on my projects.  (You can find all the projects here.)  But for every single one of them, I've gone with safe choices of white, gray, or charcoal.  What can I say?  I like neutrals.  (I guess you could also assume I might be afraid of color or making a statement.)

Rustic Farmhouse Lamp Makeover

See how a lamp can be stylishly updated using joint compound and paint.  

Transform a dated lamp with joint compound and paint to turn it into a stylish rustic farmhouse light.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

There was a moving sale in my town a couple weekends ago, and I quickly scooped up this lamp.  I'm participating in a handcrafted market in July, so I've been scouting out specific items that I'd like to see incorporated in my booth.  While I was looking for something a little bigger (and still am), I just couldn't pass up something with this uniquely shaped base and burlap shade.   Plus, it was new and I wouldn't have to rewire it to ensure that the lamp would be safe to sell.

Farmhouse Style Desk and Stool Makeover | 21+ Thrift Store Transformations

While I never would have believed it years ago, shopping for second hand finds is now one of my favorite things to do.  I find excitement in searching for unique items that someone else no longer saw a use for.  Being able to decorate on a limited budget is very important to me, and I don't mind having to do a little work to make the affordable finds more beautiful and functional.

Rustic Wood Toolbox Makeover

Learn how to achieve a rustic, layered paint finish on just about anything, new or old.

What normally draws me to old painted pieces is the chipping paint and patina developed over years of use.  Some people may look and see something that needs a fresh coat of paint or good cleaning.  But the ugly that is seen is beautiful in my eyes.  It shows that the item was used, not stored away for safe keeping and special occasions.  It had a purpose and was quite possibly loved, if for no other reason than that.

Rusty Vintage Scale Makeover with Paint

A little paint and distressing can update a vintage scale making it a perfect piece of farmhouse style decor.

Update a rusty antique kitchen scale with chalk paint for affordable and stylish farmhouse decor. #diy #farmhouse #farmhouseDIY #andersonandgrant

There are many antiques out there that are priceless.  Their condition is impeccable.  You can stand in awe looking at these treasures, marveling over the detail and craftsmanship of long ago.  Care has been taken over the years to preserve the beauty and value of the piece.  Those antiques shouldn't be touched or given a "makeover."

Friday Favorites #51

I hope you had a nice St. Patrick's Day yesterday filled with lots of Irish fun.  My celebrating goes about as far as wearing a pop of green and enjoying a bowl of my mom's homemade stew each year....but I'm sure many of you found a more exciting way to celebrate!  It is so hard to believe that Easter is just a few weeks away now.

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see this week's favorites.  Have fun browsing!

Friday Favorites #50

Good morning!  

Spring seems to have moved into my town this past week with temperatures in the 60s.  No complaints here, especially since there is no below average temperatures in sight.  Do you find that warmer, sunny weather puts you into a happier and more productive mood?  I love being able to open up the windows and allow the fresh air to flow into the house.  

I hope that you enjoy some sunshine this weekend wherever you are.  See you back here on Monday!

Friday Favorites #49

Happy Friday everyone!

Without trying, all of my favorites today seem to be tied together with a blue theme.....obviously this week I'm a little into the color.  Maybe it is in anticipation of the blue skies I hope to see next week as the spring weather approaches!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends.  I really appreciate you stopping by to share a piece of your Friday with me!

Friday Favorites #48

There is a bit of exciting news that I've been keeping for a little while now.....

I'm excited to say that I'm working with my first interior design client on her living room remodel.  It has been such a pleasure to be able to take what she and her husband are looking for and actually put it into a design.  Working in interior decorating has been a dream of mine since college, and I've been so grateful for the opportunity.  Sometime soon I will be sharing some of what I put together for you to see here.  

With all the fabulous products I've been finding, I've also been inspired me to do a little virtual decorating.  It is a lot of fun to take some favorite furniture and design styles and add them into a "room" just to see what it would look like together.  I can't wait to finish some designs up and share them with you!

And now onto the reason why you are here today......

I always like my favorites each Friday (hence the name), but this week I really feel as though I love the six ideas that I've chosen.  It is such a great feeling when you can be truly inspired while browsing through the internet, reading a book or magazine, or watching the newest "Fixer Upper."  Any of these images something you favorite as well?

DIY Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Did you know that you can make your own microwave popcorn and avoid the artificial butters and flavoring found in what you buy at the store?  Believe it or not, but it can be made in an ordinary paper lunch bag and seasoned with real butter and as much salt as you'd like.

Friday Favorites #47

Happy Friday everyone!  Thank you so much for stopping by to visit today.  Will anyone agree with me that the week has just flown by?  It was quite snowy here in PA for a few days and that always makes me feel like I need to rush through the day to get home from work and snuggle under a cozy throw.  The snuggling doesn't get much work done, though, does it?  Oddly enough, tomorrow is supposed to get up to 50 degrees before dropping back to another snowstorm mid-week.  The joy of El Nino!

Now that we've got the weather out of the way, let's have a look at my favorite pictures and links from the week, shall we?

Easy Tip for Storing Wet Rags and Towels Until Laundry Day

Do you need a place to keep all your damp towels and rags until laundry day? A wet bag normally used for diapers is the perfect solution.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

I really wish that I could claim the credit for today's idea, but it belongs completely to I Heart Organizing.  Last year, Jen wrote a post about what she does to keep her wet and dirty rags cleaned up and it was one of those ideas that make you instantly wonder....

A |   Why you hadn't thought of this yourself?  and

B |   How quickly can you start implementing this idea in your own home?  (In my case, it took a year.)

How to Create a Unique DIY Picture Frame to Display Photos

A basic thrift store wood frame is repurposed into an industrial farmhouse style place to display your treasured family photos.

An old wood frame has been turned into a unique way to display photos with a little hardware cloth and clothespins.

One of the most meaningful things to decorate your home with is family photos.  Whether they are current photos of your husband and children or decades old pictures of ancestors, they showcase people who are important to you.  You can keep those loved ones close by even if they are no longer with you or live thousands of miles away.  A single photograph can transport you back to a time filled with joy, happiness, and fond memories.  All things we should treasure.

Friday Favorites #46

Happy Friday my friends.  It is always my favorite (week)day and today is extra special because it is my birthday.  I'm turning 33, but really don't feel that old.....not sure whether that is a good thing or not.  It doesn't seem like that long ago since it was exciting to finally reach 21!

It has been quite awhile since I put together a Friday favorites post and I'm very excited to have it make it's return.  So, here are some of my favorite images and links from the week.  Have a great one!

4 Accounts You Should Be Following on Instagram

I fought it for quite awhile, but over the past few months I've become quite enamored with Instagram. I'm a very visual person and Instagram is really a platform for an instant piece of visual inspiration.  While bloggers everywhere are trying to create picture perfect images for their blog posts, Instagram is a place that can often provide a snapshot of everyday life.  It gives a little glimpse into people's lives and habits at any given moment.  Even posting a single "perfect" image from a blog post can seem more special uploaded by itself.

Since the beginning of the year, one of my goals has been to limit my time wasted  spent on social media, mainly Pinterest and Instagram.  Time is so easily lost in a sea of images.  Anything that is done and seen too much begins to loose it's appeal.....the fun is gone.

IMAGE CREDIT:  Lark & Linen

DIY Pizza Board Kitchen Decor

When creating any DIY project, it is important to keep an open mind.  
Finding a unique way to replicate an idea or using an out of the box supply 
makes it completely your own!

Create a unique piece of kitchen decor using an old pizza board.  ||  www.andersonandgrant.com

A little over a year ago, I published one of my most popular DIY projects, a set of three cutting boards that spelled the word EAT.  The post has been viewed a large number of times, I've sold the sets in my online store, and it was even published in a magazine.  But obviously all of the cutting boards in the western half of Pennsylvania have been purchased now because I cannot find a single board anymore that isn't more than $9 apiece.  I still receive requests for orders but have a few that I've been unable to fill due to the cost of the old boards.

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