Custom Uturn Audio Turntable A Beautiful Mess x Kacey MusgravesOne of the most asked questions after I posted Kacey's Living Room Tour was how I customized the turntable, and IF it was DIY. I'm so happy to report that this is a DIY that is doable for pretty much anyone. It's easy, it's not crazy time consuming, and the results are really beautiful. 

I thought long and hard about how to customize Kacey's turntable. My friend, Krys, did a super cute decoupaged record player with fabric, but I couldn't bear the thought of covering up the surface that much.

I came really close to just going pink (just plain pink instead of white), but the room already had plenty of pink. I mean, there's never too much pink, but you know what I mean...

I also considered glitter. But the thing with glitter is that it has to be sealed A LOT (like this) to be smooth and not flake off. I was too scared it would turn out lumpy or look like a DIY (in a bad way), so I skipped the glitter. 

Then I remembered, GOLD gilding paint! 

How to customize a turntableThe paint I used is Martha Stewart gold gilding paint. It has the MOST incredible shine, better than spray paint or any other craft paint I have ever used. The only catch is that you'll want to use it in a WELL ventilated area, wear a mask or take breaks because it is SMELLY until dry. 

How to customize a turntable I decided on a very simplistic cactus pattern because A. I knew I could execute it by hand, and B. it's not too crazy time consuming. Even with the simple pattern, this still took me several hours because I would let it dry every few rows because I was TERRIFIED of accidentally bumping it with my sleeve and messing it up. This paint and method is not easy to fix if you mess up, so do everything you can to get it right the first time, which for me was mostly just choosing not to rush. 

The piece of tape you see there was just to help me keep my rows somewhat even. They're not perfect (and it's not necessary for them to be perfect), but moving that piece of tape down as I painted made it much easier to keep my cacti well spaced. 

How to customize a turntable  Once the top was totally dry, I also added cacti to the edges of the turntable. That was probably the section that required the most concentration. 

All in all, this was an afternoon project and pretty easy to do! 


Thanks for reading! xx -Elsie 

PS. Kacey's turntable and speakers are both from U-Turn Audio. It's basically the same set up I have in my home, and I love it so much that I recommended it to her. 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Elsie Larson and Collin DuPree. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

Miso Soup with Wild Rice and Edamame (via's been a few years since I first posted a Miso Soup recipe here on ABM. Time has passed, but nothing has changed, or at least my love of miso soup sure hasn't! I must admit that I probably order miso soup out a lot more often than I make it at home. This has mostly to do with the fact that Trey's favorite food is sushi. So if I'm angling to get a date night, I usually just mention sushi and it will happen. (I'm sneaky like that.) And we pretty much always get miso soup with our meal, especially during these cold winter months! 

Miso Soup with Wild Rice and Edamame (via Miso soup is incredibly easy to make, and it's the one soup that I always make my own stock for (called dashi). The ingredients for basic, made from scratch miso soup are few but can be a bit tricky to find depending on your grocery store situation. It's such a simple dish though that there really aren't any shortcuts to be found, and you won't want any for that matter because it's just such a comforting meal that is pretty healthy for you as well. 

This meal starts off with my basic miso soup recipe and then gets a few other ingredients added so that it can easily stand on its own as a filling meal. Yum! 

Miso soup ingredientsMiso Soup with Rice and Edamame, serves 2-3

1 cup wild or brown rice
1-2 strips kombu
2 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup bonito flakes
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 cup cooked edamame
1 tablespoon chopped chives or green onions
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped nori, optional

First, cook the rice according to the package directions. Or, if you're lazy like me, in a rice cooker. :)

In a medium size pot, combine the kombu and water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Use tongs to remove the kombu. Add in the bonito flakes and seep until they sink to the bottom (3-4 minutes). Strain out the bonito flakes. Now you have dash, and you're ready to make your miso soup.

Miso Soup with Wild Rice and Edamame (via    Once the rice is cooked, and still warm, stir the miso paste, rice, and edamame in to the dashi until everything is warmed through. Sprinkle on the chives and nori if using. Taste, and if you want, add some salt or soy sauce or any other seasoning you feel it needs. I like to keep this fairly simple myself as I really enjoy the taste of the miso paste in this soup. 

Miso Soup with Wild Rice and Edamame (via  Serve alongside some hot tea or maybe some hot sake if you're feeling it. :) Just a few notes here, and then I'll leave you to make some soup so you can warm those winter fingers up... or is it just me who has perpetually cold hands January through March? Hmm.


-I used a mix of brown and black (sometimes called forbidden) rice in the photos above because it's what I had on hand. You can use any rice here, but I do recommend sticking to something whole grain (brown, wild, black, or even quinoa could be good) just so this meal stays extra good for you.

-When I use nori in recipes like this, I tend to "chop" it by cutting it into small pieces with kitchen shears as I've found that to be much easier since it's such a brittle ingredient. You don't want big pieces of nori floating in your soup since it packs a lot of flavor. A little goes a long way. Save the big pieces for when you make sushi. :)

-I used frozen edamame here and just allowed it to thaw in my refrigerator the day I wanted to use it. The frozen kind that doesn't have a shell usually is already cooked, but if you can only find raw edamame, you may want to steam or cook it before adding to your soup like the directions state above. 

Happy soup making! xo. Emma

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

Geometric Wool Felt PillowDuring the winter months, we say the more DIY projects the merrier! Since there are so many cute pillows on the blog, we thought we'd share our favorites, like this one that Elsie made using colorful wool felt

Vibrant Floral Photo PillowsGive your space a little sunshine with these floral photo pillows.

Paint By Numbers Pillow DIYIf paint-by-number art is your jam (we love them!), make this pillow version

Gold Foil Pillow DIYAdd a shimmery gold foil pillow to the mix!

Decorative Document Plush Pillow DIYPreserve special memories like your marriage certificate, movie stubs, and more with this DIY.

Hand Printed Pillow DIYWe're still loving these hand printed pillows. So many fun options!

Heat Transfer Glitter Pillow DIYWhat's not to love about a sparkly smiley face

Boho Modern Patchwork PillowThis orange patchwork pillow with tassels is a cute option.

Felt Palm Leaf Pillow DIYIf you only get to see palm trees while you're on vacation (we feel you), a palm leaf pillow is the perfect fix!

Abstract Face PillowThere's no sewing required to make this abstract face pillow. So mod!

Woven Pillow DIY
Get your weave on with this tutorial by Rachel Denbow. 

Textured Leather Pillow DIYThis leather pillow has it all—color and plenty of texture. 

Makers Gonna Make PillowAdd any phrase to an existing pillow. We're kinda partial to this one though!

 Palm Springs Pillow DIYAnd, it just wouldn't be right if we didn't include a Palm Springs version. :)  Happy pillow making! -The ABM team 

The Curated ClosetThis past month I read The Curated Closet, and I got SO much out of it that I wanted to share a quick book review with you! 

Forever ago I posted about The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (my post is here). And while I got a lot of inspiration from that book about how to clean out my closet, I didn't learn much about how to shop better. So for the past couple years I've stayed in a cycle of buying, cleaning out, then selling or donating... aaannd repeat.

I was no longer hoarding, but I didn't feel any closer to having a closet full of clothing that fit my style either. 

One of the things I really love about this book is that it is INSANELY detailed. There is so much information and homework. If you do complete the steps (I did everything she said to do), you will learn so much about yourself, your style and your goals before you spend another dollar. It took me a few weeks to do all the homework, back in November, and I had so much fun with it all. 

When I was done, I finally felt like I had a clear picture of how I want to dress, what my go-to "uniforms" are and how to shop smarter in the future. It made me such a pickier shopper, which is what I really needed. And I finally feel like I am building up a closet full of things that I not only love, but that are flattering and useful for my everyday life. 


I LOVE that the book doesn't recommend a bunch of basics for everyone, like a trench coat or black heels. I always hate when magazines and blogs do that because there are no basics that work for everyone. I seriously never wear white button up shirts, but every list will always say you need one. Meh. 

I love that this book helps you spend the time to develop a completely customized plan for your wardrobe. To me, that's the key because no two people are the same! 

The Curated Closet I am super grateful I found this book when I did. If you struggle at all with building up a closet full of clothes that are useful and that you love, this would probably be a good read for you! 

xx -Elsie 

Photo docoupageIt's been too long since we updated you guys with another edition of "how'd it hold up?" In case you missed the last two (here and here), the idea is I'm going to go through some past DIY projects and talk about how well they held up over time. A common question we've gotten over the years is something along the lines of, "Did that last?" "Did that wear out quickly?" "Did you end up loving that for long?" Etc. Some of the answers might just surprise you. :) 

First up, the above pictured DIY Photo Decoupage Dresser. This dresser is currently in our bedroom, and we not only still love it, it's held up really well. We moved last year, and I was a bit concerned that the edges of the photo might wear off or begin to peel with the move (or just from regular use), and so far they have not. It's been almost two years and the photo, sealer, and dresser look basically the same as the day I added the decoupage—pretty good! I have thought about painting the white edges of the drawers black instead, just because I think it might go better with the current style of our bedroom, but I may not too. We'll see. 

Easy diy wooden coffee tableTrey and I built this DIY Wooden Coffee Table two years ago, and it's still in our living room and looking pretty good. You might have seen it in my living room progress report post. I painted it a kind of reddish, orange-ish color. I regret painting it as I think I liked the raw wood color a little better. Oops. But structurally and the overall style of this coffee table has held up really well. So I would totally still recommend the DIY... just not the paint job I added later. ;)

Storage coffee tableThe very talented Josh Rhodes built this acrylic top storage coffee table for the studio house back in late 2014. I can't believe it's been that long because it still looks just as good as the day he made it! It's currently in the ABM offices in downtown Springfield, MO. 

And one quick side note: Josh (and Sarah) Rhodes recently started flipping houses and currently have a BEAUTIFUL one on the market in Phoenix, AZ. So if anyone is looking to buy a home in that area this year, check it out! Sarah posts about it on her IG from time to time, and you can see her blog here

Circle framesThese DIY circle frames were the first photos we hung in our home when we moved in late 2015. At the time I think I might have been a bit overwhelmed by all the change and busyness in my life then because I remember thinking something along the lines of: no one is going to like these, they are too simple, you should just quit blogging. 

I know, right. Stressed out Emma can be harsh. ;)

But these are hanging in our entryway, and I walk past them pretty much every day, and I've got to say, I think I like these even more now than when I made them. Yes, they are simple. But I guess I like the simplicity, and the shape is a bit different than any other framed picture we have in our home, and I like them. They are holding up well too, which probably isn't too surprising as it's one of those projects that doesn't get much "wear" of any kind. So it's likely to last as long as I still love them. 

Marble utensil holderLaura created this stylish Marble Utensil Holder for the studio house kitchen back in 2014. As our offices moved and half the team headed to Nashville, I ended up inheriting this little guy, and he's currently on my kitchen counter holding all my utensils. I'm happy to report it's holding up great, and I'm just praying that marble never goes out of style (that's not possible right?) because I love it. 

Knife holderI created this marbled knife holder to match the utensil holder I inherited. It's holding up really well too. It's been over a year, so maybe I should replace the rice inside? Nothing seems to be sticky or smell or anything, but that would probably be good to do now and again anyway. When I posted this, it was a touch controversial as some readers thought that storing knives in rice like this is bad for the knives. And I've gotta say, that could be true? I'm not sure. I haven't noticed any major additional wear on my knives outside the ordinary. So, although I guess I'm not sure if this is "correct", it is something I would recommend to a friend since it works well for me. So... I'll let you decide where you stand on the controversy for yourself. :)

Diamond bookshelvesHere you can see my DIY diamond shaped bookshelves that we installed in our living room last year. I'd have to put these in the "didn't go over that well" category for two reasons. First, I did end up needing an additional bracket than what I originally used as the longest (middle) shelf began to bow under the weight of the books after about a month. So, I'm gonna go update that post with that info for anyone who might be making these in the future. But the second thing is, I just didn't end up keeping these for that long. Mainly, I have too many books to fit on the shelves, and it started to feel too full too quickly (I am an AVID cookbook collector). And I just ended up wanting something a bit more substantial feeling and a little more polished. So we ended up getting some large, black bookshelves from IKEA that I ended up liking more. Live and learn. 

Dining room tableOK, so I actually wrote about this DIY dining table in the last volume of this series. BUT, I thought I'd update you again just because I painted it black some months ago (which you can see in my dining room progress report), and I still LOVE it. Plus it's still looking really good since it was built in April 2014. Building your own dining room table is one of the easiest and most impactful DIY furniture projects because it can really save a pretty penny, and they LAST. 

Diy deskAnd here's my easy, DIY sewing desk. This lasted just fine, but I ended up changing up my office space with a long desk similar to this DIY standing desk (but it's chair height, not standing), so I didn't keep it. I did take the legs off and save those though as you should never waste perfectly good hairpin legs! So those are just sitting in my garage waiting for a new project idea to strike. 

Diy lap deskI've been a little surprised by how well these DIY lap desks have held up (it's been almost two years since I made them). After we moved to our new house, we have so much more space that neither of us really uses our computer in bed anymore (I have a home office and Trey has his own room for music, and we just have more counter and table space than our last home did). So, that could be part of the reason. But I was afraid they might fray or just start to come apart too quickly, and they have not. They are currently sitting on our bedroom floor, leaning against the wall. I still think these are really cute even though we don't use them much anymore—would make a cute DIY present too since you could do any color or any fabric you like. 

Diy tree stump side tablesI truly can't believe I made these tree stump side tables back in May 2013—it just doesn't feel like that long ago! These still look really good, but I've been considering taking the wheels off the bottom and possibly adding some kind of small legs (like mini hairpin legs), or just leaving them without any legs as sometimes the wheels make them less stable. Other than that, these are probably one of my all-time favorite projects I've ever shared on ABM. :)

Document pillowI created these document plush pillows a few years ago and still think this project is too cute. If I were making them again, I would probably make the cases either an envelope style or with a zipper so I could wash them. We let our dogs on our couch and chairs, so things tend to get a little dirty over time. So being able to wash these would be better for our household. 

How to install a tiled backsplashTrey and I decided to install our kitchen tile backsplash ourselves last year. That was probably one of the most physically demanding DIY home projects I've ever tackled, but it's looking good, and we are still very much in love with the overall look—plus we did save some money installing ourselves. So, I would recommend it if it's what's needed for your budget. But it just might test your DIY patience, and it's a doozy depending on how big your backsplash area is (also beveled edges make it tough!). Check the post though if you are thinking of doing it as I do have some tips that might help!

Diy key throw tableAnd last but not least is another project from Josh, this key throw entryway table. This table is super sturdy! This is another piece that I inherited from the studio house, and it's currently what we have our TV sitting on in our living room. He's still holding up like a champ, so that DIY is doing well. :) 

Thanks for letting me share another edition of this fun feature with you guys! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography credits appear in original posts which are linked throughout. 


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