Make an abstract curtaib panel to add some fun to any room. Get the fulltutorial on www.aBeautifulMess.comWith so many fun abstract patterns making the Internet rounds right now, I knew I needed to try my hand at it, too. I painted this curtain panel for my daughter's room, so I went with bright, cheerful colors in simple shapes. This window is rather narrow compared to the rest of her room, so I only needed one panel to cover it, but I'm considering making another set for my studio using pastels. It only took an afternoon and instantly lifted the excitement factor on this side of her room! 

Abstract Painted Curtain DIYWorking on a project where you need to fill so much blank space and do it evenly can feel a little daunting, but that's half the fun of an abstract style. It's not supposed to be precise. There's a little wiggle room for things being less than centered or slightly inconsistent. The big takeaway I got from this is to work in layers and not be afraid to add more color or more pattern if it's just not quite doing what you want it to.

Sometimes I'm halfway through a project and it's all feeling off. Then I just push through a little longer and suddenly it all comes together. This was one of those. If you're feeling really unsure, test out your pattern on a scrap of fabric first before committing to a curtain panel and make any adjustments necessary.

- 100% cotton curtain panel (or use cotton yardage and hem the sides and top like I did)
- inexpensive shower curtain liner to protect your work surface from paint bleeding through
- fabric paint in your favorite colors: These were Tulip brand, but I also added in a few other colors as I went that were regular acrylic paints. 
- paint brushes with varying widths and stiffnesses for more control over your brush strokes
- washi tape to keep your shower curtain attached cutely to your floor

StepOnePlace your plastic curtain liner on the ground or table and tape the corners and edges down to keep it from moving while you paint. Then lay your curtain or cotton yardage on top of it. I chose to work with one color at a time and did a base pattern all over before adding the next color and layer. I tried working in one square foot section at a time, but then it wasn't quite looking as uniform as I wanted, so I went back to the method of one layer at a time all over. 

Let it dry for 24 hours before moving itIf you want to layer two colors, be sure to let the bottom layer dry before painting over it. Then follow the directions for dry time before moving your panel as you don't want all of that hard work to get smeared! If you're sewing your own panel, hem your edges according to the length of your window. Then attach your panel to your rod. 

Abstract and Fun Curtain Panel DIYDetailMake an abstract curtaib panel to add some fun to any room. Get the fulltutorial on www.aBeautifulMess.comMake two at the same time for a larger window and to keep your pattern consistent. You could easily do something similar with only a few colors as well. It's such a fun way to get a custom look and add tons of color and pattern to your space! -Rachel

 Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)     I'm of the opinion that you can never have too many side tables. They can be put next to couches to hold flowers and coffee mugs, act as bedside tables or a nightstand, or even be used as plant stands to liven up a dull wall. We love incorporating copper pipe into projects here at the blog, and I thought it would be a fun challenge to come up with a side table DIY that would really show off the beautiful color of the pipes. Since I already figured out all the dimensions for you, all you have to do is grab an inexpensive pipe cutter and a ruler and get to cutting!

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-20 feet of 1/2" copper pipe
-1/2" pipe strap (x4)
-1/2" copper caps (x8)
-1/2" copper tee fittings (x14)
-pipe cutter
-12" wide wood board cut to 12" x 11.25" (x2)
-super glue or epoxy glue 

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial) If you haven't used a pipe cutter before, it's pretty simple, but you can check out this video for a step by step explanation.

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)          OK, so I basically made you a parts list of all the parts you'll need. Letters A-E are all the pipe sizes (and the quantity of those sizes) that you'll need, and F-H are the caps, tee fittings and pipe straps that you'll need as well (they are also linked in the supply list). I would grab your pipe cutter and pipes and sit down in front of a movie or TV show to make the tedious cutting a little more enjoyable. It's not hard, just a little boring. ;)

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)Now that you have all your pipes cut, you'll want to assemble the bottom of your stand. Just follow along with the diagram above and remember that everything on the left side is the same on the right. So, if you see a B part indicated on the right, it will also be a B part in that same spot on the left as well.

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)        Once you have the bottom together, build the top half of your plant stand in the same manner. The only part not listed in the parts list are four pieces of pipe that I ended up cutting to be 1" long so I could attach the finishing caps (H) into the tops of the four corner (G) pieces. Without the pipe pieces, H and G don't fit together since they are the exact same diameter. So the inch of pipe helps them connect.

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)   Now, you can either use a dab of super glue to secure the pipe pieces together each time you connect them, or you can assemble it all first and then go back and glue them together once you know they all are the right length (that's what I would suggest, just in case one of your cuts is off).

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)   Stain or paint your two wood pieces and use your H straps to secure the wood to the pipe on the underside of each board. Now you're ready to decorate with your new side table!

So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)        So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)        So cute! copper pipe side table DIY (click through for tutorial)        This is actually the first side table I've made/bought with two tiers and I really like the look of the double space. (It's also nice for styling purposes since it holds more things.) I think it came out pretty professional looking if you ask me, and I love DIYs that people will be shocked to hear you actually made. Think you'll give this one a try? xo. Laura

Credits// Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

ABM x DOMINO MagazineYou, guys. Emma and I are so happy to share that we're in the current issue of Domino sharing a few things that make us happy! Pick up a copy and find us there. We're so thrilled to be collaborating with one of our favorite magazines, and we'll be working with them more in the future too. #yay

ABM x DOMINO Magazine Thanks so much for your continual support and encouragement. With so many new home projects on our horizon, we're excited to dive deeper into the home decor category. We're basically dreaming of subway tile every night, let's just put it that way. This is so much fun! 

xx. Elsie + Em 

3 twists on the Moscow Mule via A Beautiful MessIt's no secret that one of our favorite cocktails is the Moscow Mule. With only three ingredients, it's super easy to make and has become our go-to party cocktail. 

Today we're teaming up with Hangar 1 Vodka on this post, which is kind of perfect because it's definitely a go-to vodka for me. Aside from being tasty, it's just a very, very pretty bottle. :) Anyway, here are three flavorful twists on the classic Moscow Mule recipe! (Spoiler—they're delicious!!) 

Smashed Cherry Mule recipeFirst up—the Smashed Cherry Mule. I'll take any excuse to buy fresh cherries this time of year. This drink is both flavored and colored with beautiful, bright red cherries. It's super refreshing! 

Smashed Cherry Mule recipe Smashed Cherry Mule, serves one. 

2 ounces Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
4 fresh cherries
ginger beer

In the bottom of your cup, muddle four cherries (cut in half, seeds removed) with the juice of half a lime. Add vodka, ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime slice and a fresh cherry. 

Smashed Cherry Mule recipe  SO good! I love eating the cherries when the drink is gone. 

Frozen Mule RecipeNext up, the Frozen Mule. His appearance is a little modest, but don't be fooled—this drink is legit! The blending step takes away the carbonation, making it a unique slushy consistency. You have to try it. 

Frozen Mule Recipe Frozen Mule, serves one. 

2 ounces Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
ginger beer

Blend together two ounces vodka, a can of ginger beer, juice of half a lime and a few handfuls of ice to make this super yummy treat! Garnish with a lime slice and a bit of fresh mint. 

Garden Mule recipeAnd last, but not least, the Garden Party Mule. I have talked before about the importance of scents with cocktails. The rosemary and cucumber do add a mild flavor to the drink, but even more so, they create an awesome fresh scent that captures all the senses as you enjoy your drink. Bonus points for edible flowers. It really looks like a garden party in there, right?! 

Garden Mule recipe Garden Party Mule, serves one. 

2 ounces Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
ginger beer
edible flowers (optional)

First, make a traditional Moscow Mule by combining two ounces vodka with ginger beer on ice. Squeeze juice of half a lime. Next, add fresh herbal elements for garnish, taste and scent! 

3 twists on the Moscow Mule via A Beautiful Mess There are infinite flavor combinations that you can try! If you love citrus, make a Blood Orange Mule. If you like berries, make a Mixed Berry Mule. Use whatever you have on hand to add fresh flavors to your simple cocktails this summer! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Things we learned during our Whole 30Hey, friends! Recently I completed two Whole 30 challenges in a row. My husband got interested during my first thirty days and decided to join me on the second 30. I learned so much during those two months. It was full of ups and downs, highs and lows. 

Today I'm here to share ten things I learned during my Whole 30. Jeremy helped me write these. So really, it's from both of us! 

1. Cooking at home is not that hard

Before we started Whole 30, we ate out almost every single night. We sometimes made lunch and occasional dinners at home, but for the most part we went out for dinner to one of our 3-4 spots that we rotate through. I was definitely one of those people who thought they didn't have time to cook because, after a busy day of work, all I wanted to do was unwind and talk with Jeremy...not run to the grocery store and make a meal. 

I learned very quickly that eating out is not fun while doing Whole 30 (at least it wasn't for me). Eating at home, on the other hand, was simple. Making dinner could be done in 15 minutes and I liked almost all the foods I made. So we very quickly switched to preferring to eat at home for almost every meal. And I love my new addiction to eating at home. Obviously, it saves money, which is great, but it's also WAY healthier. Now that I'm aware of all the hidden sugars in foods, I love cooking at home because I know for sure what's what. 

2. Sugar is in everything. 

When I first started the challenge, I remember I was at the grocery store with my sister trying to buy a package of bacon. I looked at the back of every single package shocked that they all had sugar. Deli meat is the same way (and often has gluten too). There are so many normal things that you probably eat every day (that don't taste sweet) that have sugar as a main ingredient. Things like soup, sauces and salad dressings are very hard to find without any sugar. This was eye opening to me. 

3. Traveling without cheating is possible. 

OK, so I already told you above how much I love eating at home now and really prefer it over a restaurant whenever possible. But travel is a big part of my life and I was never going to find a thirty day period that didn't involve any travel. So I chose one that at least didn't have any vacations (all work trips and some travel involving our move). In the past I have always used travel as a "free pass" for food, indulging in sugary foods at the airport and in all the new cities I visit. But for these two months I traveled four times without cheating at all! 

Here's how I did it—First of all, I was always honest with friends about my situation. I tried to always warn people that I was doing Whole 30 but that they shouldn't worry about me because I knew what to order anywhere we would go. Getting that social aspect out of the way is huge! I always kept a few Lara bars and some roasted almonds in my purse in case I got super hungry. My favorite places to eat on the road are any breakfast place and any place that serves guacamole (because that was my favorite salad dressing). One last tip—if you feel super sad to be missing a "food moment" that feels special (travel can be full of those), just promise yourself that you will indulge in that food next time. Putting it off always helps me, rather than feeling like I'll never eat a donut again (wahhh!). 

4. This is a chance to kick other bad habits. 

Giving up sugar was the number one habit I was trying to kick during my Whole 30, but given how much it shook up my normal life, I felt like it was a good time to look at all my habits. Spending too much money eating out was a big one. Every time we do our budget, we vow to eat out less (but it's SO hard!). So this was the perfect opportunity to switch eating out to a special occasion thing like we always wanted to. If you have a personal goal, I highly recommend using your Whole 30 to multitask it and conquer two goals at once. 

5. Snacking is a powerful habit. 

Whole 30 encourages you to stop eating after dinner. This was difficult for me at first because Jeremy and I love having a night snack while watching a TV show. When he would show up at night with his little snack that I couldn't share, it was a bummer at first. It made me realize how powerful habits and routines of food can be. Drinking is the same way. I didn't think I could go that long without being able to have drinks with my friends because it's a big part of our social life, but routines make things feel more impossible than they really are. (#youcandoit)

After a few weeks I didn't mind the no snacks after dinner rule, and now, after several months, I prefer it. When you're at the beginning, remember that it won't always be that hard. You just have to develop a new routine! 

6. Healthy food makes you feel full. 

This is one of the best, most important things I learned. I talked a little bit about this in my fitness story, but I think that the reason Lose It didn't work for me (even though it did work for my husband and a lot of our family members) is because I wasn't using my calories on the right foods. So I was always hungry and that's not something you can live with long term. 

The super cool thing about eating super healthy foods (protein and vegetables) is that you never really have an issue with overeating them. You just get full. So even though I was doing one of the most challenging things I've ever done, I was full after almost every meal, which I think is important. 

If you don't believe me, just try to eat as much kale and salmon as you want and you'll see! It's pretty drastically different than pizza, which I could keep eating...forever. 

7. Unsweetened soda is awesome. 

I know some of you are like, "no way", but I'm serious. The La Croix addiction is real. And once you make that transition, the idea of a Coke will no longer be appealing. And when I think now that a Coke has basically the same calories as a donut, I can't believe I was drinking them so casually. 

Jeremy was into diet sodas. For the last few years he lost a lot of weight and got into fitness (yay!), and diet sodas became his go-to (boooo). I kept bugging him to try to quit them because of the artificial stuff and chemicals. And let's just say he was not open to it. 

But when I did my first Whole 30, he started drinking La Croix with me, and once he got used to it, it's now the only soda he will drink. We drink one every night and it's been a good replacement for wine and cocktails (now we only drink alcohol on the weekends—yay!).

Main point—try it for long enough to get used to it before ruling it out. It OBVIOUSLY does not taste as good as real soda at first, but after you adjust it's still really good. 

8. You have to push to keep trying new things! 

As with anything, it's easy to get settled into a boring routine. Jeremy has a pretty high tolerance for eating the same foods every day, and I do too, but then we get SUPER burned out on that food and can't even look at it for while. 

If you're thinking of doing Whole 30, try to challenge yourself to try at least two new recipes every week. Getting new items into your menu is really important for not hating everything. :) I promise. 

9. Homemade lattes are a thing! 

If you love coffee, this next part is important. A lot of places have coconut milk and/or almond milk lattes on their menu, but they're usually sweetened milks, meaning they have added sugar (some of them a LOT). Maybe you'll find a local place that has unsweetened nut milk, but you're not going to find that at a chain (soy milk is the same way). This is kind of a bummer because basically the only things you can order at Starbucks while on Whole 30 are an unsweetened black coffee or an unsweetened tea. 

So making lattes at home is a really good option (we make them at work too). Try making a homemade latte or cold brew coffee and adding cashew milk and a little bit of cinnamon. That's my favorite. 

I've gotten to where I enjoy black coffee now too, but for a more special treat, lattes are really delicious. 

10. Some foods aren't special. 

Since completing my challenge I haven't gone back to a totally normal diet and I'm not planning to. I basically just reintroduced the foods that are really special to me, that make the weekends fun. But I haven't had any bread whatsoever and I'm not really missing it. Maybe yours will be different, but one of the best things I learned during Whole 30 was which foods are special to me. For example, we now have "cheese night" every weekend where we make a cheese plate and I look forward to it all week. And breakfast sandwiches—I can live without those. I'm so happy to have found this balance! 

Want to read more? Here's my fitness story. :) xo. Elsie (& Jeremy too) 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. 


Check out our new product line,
Photoshop Actions and E-Courses!

Back to Top