A Stately Rug Project

4 Feb

The hubs and I are working on converting our spare bedroom into a home office and we have sad carpet. In an effort to try to cover some of the carpet and spruce up the room, we upcycled an old jute rug into a new awesome rug. This rug was an old one from Pier One that had collected some stains and was stored away in the attic. It’s amazing what you can do with paint.

Here are the steps to how we created this special rug.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern

Step 1: Place masking paper under the edge of the rug to protect your under surface from paint and tape the outer edge of the rug with painter’s tape if you wish to leave the edge its original color. (Lines on the rug are light reflections from blinds). We also put down a plastic drop cloth under the rug.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern

Step 2: Start your first coat of paint with a foam roller. I used Olympic brand flat latex paint from Lowe’s in a deep gray color. I’ll warn you, fabric soaks up a lot of paint. It took several coats and about a gallon of paint to achieve the final look. Don’t get discouraged if it looks really strange drying.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern

Step 3: Paint until desired color is achieved when dry. See how strange it was looking in between coats! I painted at least two coats the first day, let it dry over night, painted another, let it dry and the painted one final coat and let it dry over night. This wasn’t a quick and easy DIY project. It took me two weekends to complete.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern
Step 4, 5 and 6: Google search the image you want to stencil on your rug. I wanted the outline of NC, so Grady found an image of the map. It needed to be big since this was an 8×6 ft. rug so we uploaded it to Block Posters to resize the image. Download and print the newly sized image. It will print on 8×10 sheets and you may need to trim out edges according to how the image prints. Once you have trimmed the edges, piece and tape the sheets together to form the whole image again.

photo 3

Step 7: After you tape the image together with Scotch tape, I would go back over the edges of the outline with packing tape. This makes the next step a little easier.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern

Step 8: Convince your husband, friend, parent or anyone else to cut out a very big stencil using the outline of the image and an xacto knife or box cutter, while you go to the gym because you are kind of over this project. If those options are not available, you will have to cut out the stencil yourself. This is where the packing tape over the edges comes in handy. It makes the xacto knife glide smoothly as you cut.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern

Step 9: Lay out your stencil and tape down the edges. You can use masking paper again under the edges of the stencil to protect your already painted rug surfaces. Make sure you use a measuring tape or ruler so the stencil will be centered.

Painted Rug Project - The Lovely Lantern

Step 10: Using a paintbrush of your choice (I started with smaller one and moved to a larger brush after the first coat) paint inward toward the center of the stencil so your edges will stay neat. I painted two coats, let the paint dry over night and painted another coat the next day.

State Stencil Rug - The Lovely Lantern

Step 11: Remove stencil and reveal exciting new office rug!
The lovely state of North Carolina.


A Godfather Themed Event

1 Feb

Event design is a passion of mine and working for a non-profit has taught me a lot about designing on a dime. So when the occasion arises that I am able to style an event, I get really into it!

My most recent opportunity to style an event is one that really stretched me creatively because it was the complete opposite of what I tend towards naturally in personal style. I’m the girl who loves the vintage vibe, lace, all things girly and does not often stray from neutrals (something I’m working on). But, I have to say, I LOVED exploring the dark side!

This event was to be an elegant breakfast and the theme was the to be the Godfather. Random? Yes. It’s hard to explain, but every two years we do this high energy Membership Event that involves themes and teams and crazy antics! So, yes, the Godfather! Just go with it.

When I really started to think about the film a few elements started to emerge in my mind: a red rose, family style food, sharply dressed people and Italian music.

The Lovely Lantern - Spray Painted WIne Bottles

For the dark, mafia vibe, I spray painted wine bottles a matte black. Originally I thought I would spray paint twine and wrap cylinder vases. Well, that was just about the worst idea ever! Plan B. went into effect and hello cheap vase! I flipped the bottles upside down and spray painted them with a fast dry, flat paint and was so pleasantly surprised with their turnout. Imagine them in colors you like, they could be so fun!

The Lovely Lantern - Spray Painted Wine Bottlles

I picked up flowers from Harris Teeter. Red roses were on sale, a dozen for $10! I grabbed some white roses and a few carnations as well. The bud vases I brought from home, but I scored these little guys one day at the Dollar Store! Three for $1 – can’t beat that!

Long Table

My boss let us borrow her personal China and serving ware for the event which made the table look stellar! But even just real plates and utensils can really class up an event. If you are going for elegant: pre-set the table. Even if you are having a buffet, a pre-set tables makes a world of difference!

Folder Detail
Each participant’s packet was placed in a black folder. I customized a label using the Godfather font I downloaded and used a rubber ink stamp for some added fanciness! Each participant was a “Family” to stay in step with the Godfather theme.

Godfather Frames 2

And for one final detail, I printed off pictures of scenes from the movie and added them to the mantle in our conference room and extra tables. I used some vintage frames from my personal collection and snagged a few off coworker’s desks. The Godfather soundtrack was playing throughout the room and our staff and board members were dressed in black tie, 70’s style suits and fur coats to add to the experience. I work with an awesome group of people who all pitched in to make this table setting happen!

The Lovely Lantern - Godfather Event

And here is the final product! I hope you find some ways to challenge yourself creatively this week!

Weekend Wrap-Up

27 Jan

The Lovely LanternThis weekend was supposed to be spent in Virginia with my dear friend Rebecca, but 1. happened. That is NC had a bit of ice and snow and Virginia had a good bit of ice and snow, so sadly we had to reschedule. In the Nichols home there was much DIY activity as we are working on converting a spare bedroom into an office. For the new office, Grady is building a desk (he’s very crafty) and he wanted to add a little  inspiration for when he is working. Grady is a huge fan of Walt Disney and is currently reading his biography. 2. is everyone’s favorite mouse, Mickey. Grady added him by cutting out a stencil in the shape of Mickey and painting an area of the desk with wood glue using the stencil. When he added the stain, the area where he had stenciled the wood glue did not hold the stain while the rest of the desk did. Voila, Mickey appeared! 3. Poinsettia’s are my new favorite drink. Champagne and cranberry juice! Yum! These went with 5. Lemon Poppyseed waffles we whipped up Sunday, also delicious and another thank you to Southern Living for the recipe. 4. is my DIY baby for the week, a painted rug project. Can’t wait to show you the finished project. Any guesses on the design? And this weekend is a wrap!

Lemon Poppyseed Waffles . Poinsettia

Bedtime Stories

25 Jan

The Lovely LanternThe Lovely LanternThe Lovely Lantner
My husband and I had the honor of hanging out with our nephew Jay this week while his mom and dad went out for date night! His little brothers had already gone to sleep and so it was the perfect opportunity for us to spend some quality time with him.

Jay is such an amazing kid. Not in the proud aunt way, but in the truly amazing way. He has a very special kindness in his heart that is so evident in his actions towards others and he inspires me to find a greater kindness within myself every time I see him.

I snapped a few pictures of Grady reading to him before bed. It was kind of melting my heart.

Lemon Souffles

21 Jan

Lemon Souffle: The Lovely Lantern Blog - www.thelovelylantern.com

I’d been craving something Lemony so when Southern Living appeared in my mailbox with the title: Dreamy Lemon Desserts, I got right to work with a glass of blueberry champagne!

I decided on lemon souffles and prepped the lemon curd on Friday night. It will stay good in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Lemon Zest: The Lovely Lantern Blog - www.thelovelylantern.com

Click here for the quick and easy lemon curd recipe.

Lemon Souffle: The Lovely Lantern - www.thelovelylantern.com

These little ramekins were the perfect size for souffles.

Lemon Souffle: The Lovely Lantern Blog - www.thelovelylantern.comA few blueberries on top for some additional color. Really tasty and really easy if you prep the lemon curd in advance. It only takes 30 minutes to whip these up. Find the full recipe here!

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