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Bean Arts and Crafts Transformed

Detail of bean gluing process.

Have you had children? Were you a child? Then you should probably have made bean or macaroni art at one point and you are probably a homosapien. Have been recently gifted with some lovely artwork from my son I wondered if you could transform the homely bean art into something adult and sophisticated. Why yes, yes you can. Enter the Chevron Bean Table Runner.

Create a Textured Table Runner from bean crafting
Bean Craft At It’s Finest

Thank this is easy? Add a small child to the mix…


Beans (various colors, split peas, rice, macaroni, whatever works)

Thick Craft Paper (this is the kind you can put down to catch paint splatters)

Pencil/Pen (to draw design)

White PVA Glue (thin lightly with water or you’ll be using a ton)


For the Chevron


A way to mark 45 degree angles (I used a Triangle)


Step 1: Design

Supplies for textured bean runner


Decide on your design and cut out the length of paper you needed. I went with a straight forward chevron and penciled the pattern onto the paper.

Step 2: Distract Your Children

Sooo… If you have kids and there are tiny objects and glue they will want to help… Stop what you are doing cut them off some paper, add glue, beans, then begin your craft project again.

Child doing bean crafts
Don’t ask about the Mardi Gras beads. Its a ‘thing’ in my house.

Then give up and let the kids/cats/dogs/parakeets/slow loris help in the end. Tell me you don’t want a slow loris?

Child helping with bean art
McClain says he is my “Little Helper”. He is my “Best Helper”.

Step 3: Glue beans, and glue beans, and glue beans

The technique matters, because after you put a lot of beans on the project you aren’t going to want to pick it up and shake it like when you are applying glitter. I found putting a thick layer of glue for one color of bean and pressing a single layer of beans into the project worked well. I watered the glue down until it was easy to brush (using an old brush) onto the paper, but not so much that it soaked into the paper. Don’t fill to much space with glue or it will dry before you can get it all filled in.

Allot way more time than you think this will take. Well if you are anal like me and apt to go back and fill in empty spots. Which is my final suggestion. If an area looks bare just dab a bit of glue and press in a few more beans.

Detail of bean gluing process.



Uh this is pretty straightforward. If it isn’t then feel free to comment or email me for clarification.

Check out my fall table decor to see this bean craft runner in action… Well as actiony as a table runner gets.

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See other great DIY’s, Crafts, & Decor at these link parties: Lambert’s Lately, 52 Mantels, Live Laugh Rowe, Shabby Creek Cottage, The Pin Junkie, DIY Vintage Chic, Today’s Creative BlogC.R.A.F.T, Craft-o-Maniac, Home Coming

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Fall Table Decor

fall table decor featuring a chevron bean table runner

Autumn seems like a time for relaxation. The cooler weather forces an end to the constant outdoor activity but it is before the bustle of Christmas. Fall is a time to just let it go. Therefore my table is simple, clean, and easy.

The main show piece is a chevron table runner made from beans (click here for the tutorial).

See I can have a serious craft post from time to time.
See I can have a serious craft post from time to time.

The centerpiece is an assortment of carved wooden fruit. My grandparents lived for a time in Thailand, and brought back and assortment of hand carved furnishings and decor. I managed to snag a double set of the fruit. So much cooler than old-school wax ones.

Wooden fruit hand carved in Thailand

Simple wooden bowls and green accents match the runners. Perfect from the green transition of summer to the ruddy browns of fall.

Fall table decor details featuring pea green and ruddy browns

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Enjoy other great DIY, Crafts, & Decor at these link parties: By Stephanie Lynn,  The Pin JunkieCraftberry Bush, Craftionary, The Jenny Evolution, Peek into My Paradise, Tidy Mom, My Romantic Home, Simply Sweet Home, The Stitchin’ Mommy, DIY Vintage Chic, Twigg Studios, I Should Be Mopping The Floor

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Vases from Butternut Squash

Autumn vases created from butternut squash

If you haven’t read Monday’s post this is going to seem like a rather odd tutorial. I have a few of those from time to time. But I’ll shall forge ahead showing you one of my favorite ways to use vegetables and fruit: As decorative containers.

Autumn vases created from butternut squash
See? This does look cooler than the title implies.

Supplies (not shown because… well you read the list)

Butternut Squash (or similar gourd-like vegetable)


Long Handled Spoon

Floral Foam/Oasis or Test Tube

Step 1: Get an adult who can actually use a knife properly

DIY squash containers step 1, cutting the lid

‘Knife Skills’ are not my specialty but I found using a sharp steak knife to saw at the squash allowed for a straighter, cleaner cut that could be completed while the squash was standing upright. This is important because no squash sits perfectly level. You have to actually sit them on a flat surface then cut parallel to the surface of you want a nice flat vase-like top.

Step 2: Scoops Away!

DIY Autumn vase from butternut squash, step 2 hollowing it out.
So much less yuck than cleaning out pumpkins!


Use the same knife to begin hollowing out the squash. Follow up with a long handled spoon to get way down in the neck.

Step 3: Hold your Water

Butternut Vases Step 3: Options to hold water

Depending on how long you want to keep your arrangements you can use one of the two methods. The first way I insert a vial to hold water. You can get them in floral supply sections, however, I use leftover plastic ones from my husbands home-brewing hobby. They started their life holding yeast cultures. This method works well for longer periods. The squash can dry a bit and that keeps it from molding and deteriorating as fast.

The second method just jams pre-soaked floral foam into the vase. I have found the butternut squash will hold the wet foam without leaking. However, because the squash is constantly in contact with moisture it will mold much quicker. This method is a great option if you want them for a dinner party or just for a couple of days. And much easier since you won’t have to hollow out the squash as far to accommodate the vial.

So am I crazy? Or does anyone else use fruits and vegetables in decorating? If you do I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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Autumn Decoration

Autumn decorations made from butternut squash

The cool air at night just gets me all excited for Fall! It is my absolute favorite season (though followed closely by spring).  To celebrate the foreseen end to the humidity and heat of summer I added some autumn decor to the side table.

Autumn table decor made from butternut squash


Why yes, I am so glad you asked, those ARE butternut squash vases.  I have had a glut of butternut and self seeded calendula.  Since it really isn’t time to bring out the ‘full on fall’ (though I really want to)  items I tried to keep the arrangement summery by using yellow calendula (I had orange and cream too), carrot blossoms (since I was lazy and let some go to seed), feverfew, and parsley.

Autumn decorations made from butternut squash


The trio looked a little lonely so I got a scrap of white burlap to ground the arrangement.  I pulled out some strands in the burlap to mimic a pulled linen look and add a little visual interest.  I kind of want to make place mats from burlap since it was so easy to create.

I love using vegetables and fruit in decorating!  At my wedding in the early 2000’s my Uncle flew in from Washington State (we live in NC) and proceeded to core an ungodly number of apples and mini pumpkins to use as candle holders on my tables while we rehearsed the wedding.  They looked amazing and I have been hooked on fruit and vegetables ever sense.

If you would like some tips on making them into water tight vases see Thursday’s Tutorial by clicking here. (available 8/29)

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See more great decorations, decor, and DIY at these link parties: My Snippets of Inspiration, Yellow Bliss Road

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DIY Halloween Costume: Toddler Braveheart

Instead of DIY Wednesday we are doing it a day early. The reason? A simple costume for Halloween that I simply must show off! William Wallace aka Braveheart toddler style:

It got very cold, so, yes he does have pants under that kilt… and an extra shirt under his shirt. This costume also included a buckler and sword, but being almost two years old he quickly figured out throwing the sword and shield was super fun. This was our followup to last year’s viking costume.

How to Create A Toddler Friendly Version of Braveheart aka William Wallace

Materials: Plaid, Brown T-shirt, Brown Duct tape

Optional Materials: Faux Leather, Brass buttons, Sewing Skills

Steps 1

Create a kilt. If you have sewing skills then go ahead pleat and add elastic. Otherwise simply cut a strip, wrap it around the toddlers waist and secure with a safety pin. In either case don’t worry about hemming. I even unravelled a bit of the edge to give it a worn appearance.

Step 2

Before putting the t-shirt on the toddler take an extra piece of plaid and either sew or safety pin it to the shoulder and waist of the t-shirt so this it drapes across the front. Do this BEFORE putting the shirt on. (Are you sensing the ‘before’ theme?) This will keep the toddler from getting obsessed with the plaid on the shirt.

Step 3

Paint face blue. Use a little cream makeup and put it on lightly. If it isn’t thick they can’t smear it much and McClain got a hoot out of watching me put it on in the mirror. If your toddler refuses then no big deal, just have them go as a Highland Scot.

Step 4

If you can sew: I added brass buttons to look like fancy pins at the shoulders, braided a leather belt to hang over, also sewn to the shirt. You can use strips of brown duct tape to mimic leather as well. Everything was attached so he wouldn’t have to fiddle with the costume.

I like to keep it simple and comfortable for a toddler. Certainly, I could have added more armor etc, but this gives the idea and he was free to run around and Trick or Treat in comfort.

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