Project Restyle: Photo Decoupage

How to Decoupage Furniture (via photo furnitureWe haven't shared a Project Restyle in quite some time. The basic idea is you take something (furniture, clothing, etc.) and refresh it into something you love even more. This could mean repairing a broken or neglected item, or it might just mean changing something up because you want to. I'd say this project falls into that second idea. Lately I've been a little obsessed with making small updates to our home. I've just been in the mood to change things up a bit, and I've mainly been focused on our bedroom this month. 

Before and after decoupage furnitureHere you can see a before and after of our bedroom drawers. The "before" photo you see is actually from our book Happy Handmade Home. And I haven't changed up our bedroom too much since around the time we were writing that book. I decided I wanted to cover the front of the drawers with a giant (blue print) photo. This is a similar project to one you can find in our first book, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book

Do you like how I casually mentioned both our books in that last paragraph... subtle, no? :)

In case you're thinking of doing a similar project anytime soon, here's how I did mine.

Make a pattern from the furnitureSupplies:
-blue print copy of a photo you love*
-scrap paper
-Royal Coat Decoupage Finish (similar to Mod Podge)
-foam brushes
-X-Acto knife

(In case you're curious, this project cost about $14 to complete as I already had the scrap paper and X-Acto knife needed.)

*Note on what photos work well: If you are covering a piece of furniture that has drawer handles or pulls, you'll want to be mindful of their placement on your photo. If I had used a photo that had people as the subject, the drawers may have hit right in the subjects' head or body in a way that ended up looking kind of weird. In my opinion, the best photos to use for this type of project are either something more abstract (like a grouping of succulents or flowers) or a landscape photo.

First, create a pattern for your furniture piece onto scrap paper. Use this pattern to cut your blue print photo. Remove any hardware from the drawers beforehand.

How to decoupage photos to wood furnitureNext, lay your photo onto the surface of the drawer and use a few pieces of painter's tape to secure the photo in place. Use a foam board or cardboard to divide the paper in the center and fold half of your photo onto the board. Paint a thin layer of the decoupage finish onto the back side of the photo. 

How to decoupage photos to wood furniture Starting from the center, gently lay the photo into place, smoothing as you go. Try to avoid getting air bubbles or wrinkles in the paper as you work and smooth either out towards the side or towards the top or bottom as needed. Repeat on the other side and continue the process on all the drawers.

Tips for decoupageIf you find that your pattern wasn't perfect, use an X-Acto knife to trim the edges once the finish has completely dried. 

Decoupage finishAdd a coat or two of the decoupage finish to the outside of the photos and allow to fully dry before putting the hardware back on. I noticed that while adding the outside coat of finish, the photo looked bubbled (when wet) but this will go away as it dries, so don't freak out (I almost did!). 

Decoupage furnitureI've simplified our bedroom decor (more on that soon), so the pop from this now graphic set of drawers makes the room feel that much more intentional. I love it! Thanks for letting me share. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Rosemary Roasted AlmondsRecently I was telling Emma about my bar snack turned homemade snack obsession, Rosemary Almonds. She suggested I share the recipe on the blog, but I was scared to because it's a simple recipe and I didn't want you guys to make fun of me. (So please don't. K? Thanks!) With that said, this IS my favorite snack recipe at the moment, so I'm excited to share it with you! If you like Rosemary as much as I do, I know you'll love it. I ordered these four times from a local bar, and I kept bugging Jeremy to go there for more until he was like, "Make them at home!" and I was like, "Ohhhh yeah. That sounds easy." Why didn't I think of that?

Almonds are, well, super boring, but these few ingredients are a complete game changer. It's like a makeover show where you're pretty sure they made the person look way worse in the "before" segment just so the reveal could be super dramatic. Yep, that's these almonds! From eww to wooooo in 15 minutes. 

Rosemary Roasted Almonds Rosemary Roasted Almonds 

2 cups raw almonds (skin on) 
1 tablespoon coconut oil (*or olive oil) 
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 sprinkle garlic powder 
1 teaspoon sea salt 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Then place in a large, flat baking dish (I usually use a casserole dish). Make sure that your almonds are in a single layer for baking. Bake 15 minutes at 350°. I usually take them out and give them a stir about halfway through (because coconut oil is hard at first, stirring helps the oil to be evenly distributed). Let your almonds cool completely before enjoying them. They will be weird and chewy until they are cool. 

*Note: I am using coconut oil because I'm doing Whole 30 at the moment. I don't really notice the flavor of coconut oil, but I've heard people say they don't like it. You can totally use olive oil instead. 

Rosemary Roasted Almonds  Thanks for letting me share my super simple recipe. I have made them about five times recently and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. 

If you make our recipes, please share photos with us on Instagram with #mybeautifulmess. We LOVE seeing what you guys make! 

Rosemary Roasted Almonds    Cheers! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with Imogen of The Folk Collection

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Easy Black Bean Soup

Easy Black Bean Soup via A Beautiful Mess Whoever invented or came up with the idea to can cooked beans is totally my hero! I don't mind cooking dry beans, it just takes so much longer. But armed with a can of ranch style black beans, I can make myself some soup in as little as twenty minutes. It's amazing!

On a related note, I might be easily amazed. 

Easy Black Bean Soup via A Beautiful Mess  One thing that's a little bit different about this soup is the addition of carrots. Carrots and black beans? Yes. Do it. It's delicious. In truth, I've been putting carrots in most soups lately. I just love how they soften and take on the flavor of the soup during cooking. Makes them a perfect soup veggie if you ask me. 

Black bean soup recipeEasy Black Bean Soup, serves 2-3.

1 15 oz can ranch style black beans
3 oz carrots, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
sour cream, cheese and cilantro for garnish

First chop up the carrots, garlic and onion. In a medium sized pot, cook the vegetables in the olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. While they are cooking, season with cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. You'll note I didn't add any amounts to these and that's because it's a very small amount you're going for here. Keep in mind you can add more of any of these to the soup later.

How to make black bean soupAdd the stock and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the carrots begin to soften. Then stir in the beans. Cook until everything is nice and hot. Taste and add more spices or salt as needed. 

Easy Black Bean Soup via A Beautiful MessGarnish with sour cream, cheese and cilantro. Eat under a cozy blanket and watch TV. Oh yes, I know what happens at your house during dinner time, and that's because that's exactly what happens at our house. :) Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair

Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair-Yes Please! (click through for tutorial)         Everybody has their style icons that they look up to for fashion, hair, or just overall swagger tips, and I'm no exception. Being a blonde that also loves mod style, thick lashes, and a nude lip, it's no surprise that the bombshell Brigitte Bardot is at the top of my muse list. Since both time travel and body switching are still new sciences that haven't been perfected yet, I'll have to settle for the occasional nod in her direction with a few clothing details or hairstyle choices. One of Brigitte's greatest attributes is that she can style so many "easy going" traits into a classic and sexy look. I love how she makes even a simple headband seem like a glamorous choice, and it's one of her looks that I like to recreate the most. Here's how you can do it too!

Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair-Yes Please! (click through for tutorial)
-teasing brush
-medium hold hair spray (I like this one)
-Bumpits in your hair color (I use the medium size)
-black cloth headband (almost every store that sells a hairbrush will also sell these)
-curling iron or hair straightener

First you'll want to put your headband on over your head, but keep it around your neck until it's time to pull it into place.  Lightly hairspray and tease the bottom half of your hair to the roots at the very back of the top of your head (this is where the Bumpit will sit). Place the Bumpit on top of your teased roots and wiggle it into place. The Bumpit has little teeth that will grab onto your hair, so wiggling it will help the teeth grab hold. Once the Bumpit feels secure, continue to hairspray and tease the rest of the hair in front of the Bumpit in small 2" sections. Pull your headband up into place and smooth out the top layer of your teased hair. Spray the top of your hair in place. Use a large barrel curling iron or a straightener to create some curls on the bottom half of your hair. Repeat with another light misting of hairspray or use some spray wax to add some texture to the ends.

I use the Bumpit because my hair doesn't hold volume very well and it helps me keep that shape for the duration of the hairdo, but if you don't have a problem with volume, you may not even need to use it. If you normally part your hair in the middle like I do, I would also suggest blow drying your hair straight back after you wash it so it won't fall back into a middle part once you put it in the headband.

Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair-Yes Please! (click through for tutorial) Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair-Yes Please! (click through for tutorial) Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair-Yes Please! (click through for tutorial) Brigitte Bardot Headband Hair-Yes Please! (click through for tutorial)     Aren't those chair photos so cool? We did a throwback pose to recreate a classic Bardot snap. Don't feel like you have to brush all the visible teased parts completely flat either. Leaving a bit of that texture is what helps give your hair that bedhead look you're going for. This is a pretty quick look to achieve as far as hair tutorials go, and you could skip the curl part or put your hair in a ponytail for a different variation. Hope you decide to add a little Bardot to your day, you won't regret it! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Janae Hardy Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Work Wears: Playing Catch Up

Work Wears on A Beautiful MessHey, friends! I feel like I've been playing the world's longest game of catch up. Ever feel that way? I'm working through it, and I'm optimistic that by next week I'll be feeling normal again. Thumbs up! 

So, Emma had the idea to switch up our Work Wears feature for the new year and share three outfits at a time. Way more fun, right? Emma's full of good ideas. 

Casual outfits are my everything. I do wear heels to work sometimes, but a lot of days I keep it way casual. There's a fine line when you're a business owner because I can wear yoga pants to work if I want to (and I have, a lot), but I also feel totally normal when I dress up. And since we do so many different things with our days, I kinda just let my to-do list dress me. So when I'm shooting a video, I dress up more, and when I'm working on my computer, I dress down. Duh. OK. Moving on... 

Work Wears on A Beautiful Mess Work Wears on A Beautiful Mess  My grandmother has an awesome ritual of taking me out birthday shopping and to lunch every year. We've been doing it ever since I was a little girl (I'm the oldest grandchild). This year I picked these yellow converse, and I think of her every time I wear them. 

Outfit: Glasses/Bonlook (I think this style is out of stock at the moment, but they'll be back), Earrings/Vintage (from Jeremy's grandmother), Top/Anthropologie, Jeans/Jessica Simpson, Shoes/Converse. 

Work Wears on A Beautiful Mess   Got double awkward poses for you here! Couldn't choose between tight-rope-walker and flamingo leg. Niiiiccce. 

Outfit: Scarf/Vintage, Top/ Half of Half, Cardigan c/o ModCloth (old), Jeans/Jessica Simpson (again—I have three pairs of these. I wear them so much in the winter.), Boots/Urban Outfitters, Bracelets/Vintage & Madewell, Bag/Gift Shop Brooklyn

Work Wears on A Beautiful Mess    Work Wears on A Beautiful Mess    It's challenging for me to break out of the jeans routine in the winter time. Tights work, but not with all my shoes. Leggings are great, but I don't have very many long tops. I'm still working on this, but at least I didn't wear black jeans in every photo. Good enough! 

Outfit: Dress/Jessica Simpson, Necklace/LaMalconttenta on Etsy, Glasses/Bonlook (I call these our "Clark Kent glasses"), Shoes/Swedish Hasbeens (c/o ModCloth forever ago). 

Thanks so much for reading! Love you guys. Happy weekend! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Emma Chapman and Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

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