August Favorites

Giant tiled photo artAugust was an awesome month at the ABM office, and it went by waaay too fast. Summer is almost over and we are all trying to get in a few more bbq's and weekend trips before it ends. :) We shared tons of awesome DIYs and recipes last month, and we made some exciting annoucements! Let's take a look at some of the highlights.  

Creamy pea & fresh herb fettuccineBacon cheddar pierogiesTomato toast with basil cream cheese(Easiest Ever) coconut lime pieWe shared some amazing recipes, including creamy pea and fresh herb fettuccine, bacon cheddar pierogies, vegan biscuits and gravytomato toast + basil cream cheese, (easiest ever) coconut lime pie, cornmeal churros, banana bread granola and more!

A beautiful mess products (coming soon)We announced our upcoming product line and the official A Beautiful Mess instagram account!

Herb garden coffe tableMake your own media cabinetJosh shared some of his awesome wood-working projects, including how to make an herb garden coffee table, media cabinet,  porch swingmodern pet bed, and more!  

Emma's 5 secrets to successEmma shared her 5 secrets to success, and we discussed the process we've undergone (and what we've learned along the way) when developing our apps.

Fast and easy large tapestry wall hangingVintage copper letter DIYDIY simple bed frameMake your own fabric beltsWe loved this vintage copper letter DIY, large tapestry wall hanging, simple bed frame, fabric belt DIY, giant tiled photo art, instagram picture heart display, DIY cake dome & cloche jars, and sister photo book

Happy handmade homeOur new book Happy Handmade Home was released, and we couldn't be more excited!

Bohemian festival knot braidWe love beauty posts! Katie showed us how to create this pretty bohemian festival knot braid, we learned how to fill your eyebrows in like a pro, and how to apply false lashes.

Peaches & whiskey ice cream floatStrawberry basil lemonade cocktailElsie shared some of her favorite cocktails like this amazing peaches & whiskey ice cream float, strawberry basil lemonade cocktail, and more! 

A new site design!Last but not least, we launched a brand new site design. We hope you love it as much as we do! 

Have a great weekend :) - The ABM team

ABM Headquarters Tour (Part 2)

A Beautiful Mess officesA Beautiful Mess offices ABM officesToday I'm excited to show the second part to our headquarters (you can see the first room here, in case you missed it).  As I mentioned yesterday when we shared the first of our two office rooms, we wanted a space that allowed us all to feel connected and be able to communicate with each other quickly, but that was also a little more spread out and less distracting. That was a big part of why we decided to move upstairs and disperse our team into a couple of different rooms. 

ABM office space     ABM office space    ABM office space        ABM office space   In this second room, you can usually find me (Emma!), Sarah, and Jacki. Jacki was on vacation the week we snapped these photos so that's why her desk looks abandoned. :)

Probably my favorite feature in this room is the striped ceiling. It's so fun!

ABM office space  ABM office plantsCook book libraryStrip ceilingABM office space We have quite the art collection going in this room too. On one wall we have our bulletin mood board, on another wall is a large vintage map, and above my desk area I used Mandi's tutorial to create some fun pop art prints of my three dogs. 

ABM office spaceI love our little office space. It's simple, colorful, and has everything our tiny team needs. Next up we'll be showing you Elsie's office. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Desks + chairs/Amazon, rug/Target, curtains/Target, file cabinet/Poppin, giant map + dress form/vintage, color wheel clock/DIY, book shelves/Target, and light fixture/West Elm

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate pumpkin bread (click through for recipe) September is here and we all know what that means: time for internet ladies to lose it over pumpkin spice everything!

I'm kidding.

Ok, half kidding. 

But you totally know it's true. I'm a total internet lady myself, so you can bet I hopped in line for my pumpkin spice latte first chance I got this week. :)

Chocolate pumpkin bread (click through for recipe)  So if you're feeling pumpkin crazy, I have a suggestion. Make this bread. I don't get anything if you do. I'm just saying, it's tasty and could easily find it's way on to a breakfast plate or beside your afternoon coffee. I mean, pumpkin AND chocolate? Yum!

Chocolate pumpkin bread recipeChocolate Pumpkin Bread, makes one loaf.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons greek yogurt

We're going to be mixing things, and then dividing them so we can get that pretty marbled look. Don't fret, it'll all work out in the end. 

Chocolate pumpkin bread recipe In a bowl, combine the sugars and softened butter. Mix well. Stir in each egg and then the vanilla extract until just combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Remove half of the mixture to another bowl (yes, a third bowl), and to this add the cocoa. Now divide the butter mixture in half between these two bowls. Add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and a tablespoon of greek yogurt to each. Stir until just combined. 

Add the batter to a buttered loaf pan in large spoonfuls, dispersing the two colors throughout. Then use a knife to swirl the batter around. 

Bake at 325°F for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Chocolate pumpkin bread (click through for recipe)    Serve warm with a tall glass of milk and a side of autumn vibes.

No? That got a little goofy at the end? Yeah, ok. I can see that now. 

xo. Emma

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

Book Tour Dates!

Happy Handmade HomeElsie and I are super excited to share a couple of book signing opportunities we'll be hosting this month. If you are in either of these areas and would like to get your copy of Happy Handmade Home signed, please come by!

September 20th- Springfield, MO

We are super excited to be hosting a book signing at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. Since this book is all about homes and home decor, we thought they would be a fantastic organization to partner with. You can bring your own copy or you can purchase a copy when you arrive. We will have 100 copies for sale ($13 each), and ALL the revenue will be donated to Habitat for Humanity!

We'll announce even more details the week before the event, including a map of all our favorite Springfield spots in case you're from out of town.

Habitat for Humanity Restore
2410 South Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807
4pm to 6pm

September 27th- Nashville, TN

We feel so grateful Urban Outfitters is carrying our book, and we are stoked to host a book signing at their Nashville store! You can bring your own copy or purchase one there. We'll be bringing a DIY photobooth, so get ready to see our cheesy smiles. :) 

Urban Outfitters
405 12th Ave. South
Nashville, TN 37203
5pm to 7pm

We are hoping to host a West Coast event as well, but we're waiting to hear back from our publishers. We will let you know the details as soon as we can. 

If you are in the area or a short (or long) drive away, we hope you'll come by and say hi. Honestly, it is SOOOO fun when we get to meet many of you in person. It's the best. So please come by if you can.

Let us know if you have any questions or if you plan to stop by one of these dates. xo. Emma + Elsie

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photo edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

Modern Peg Rail & Shelf DIY

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Peg rails are handy little fellas to have around the house. They're great for hanging hats, jackets, towels, and well, pretty much anything you can hang or drape on a peg! There's a small wall between the doorway and window in our kitchen, and while I had considered hanging art there, the pragmatic colonial-girl-wanna-be (Felicity Merriman forever!) inside me said, "A shaker peg rail would be perfect!" I checked out a few places online where I could buy a peg rail, but I couldn't find one that fit my exact specifications and style. So I did what any gal with a power drill should do, and that is— I made my own!

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!The peg rail I was looking for needed to be something minimal in style, have a shelf, be painted white, and measure just under 24" to fit the space on my wall. I thought about buying this Crate and Barrel peg rail because I loved the style of the minimal pegs, and I could always trim down the sides with a chop saw.... But penny pincher that I am, I wanted to see if I could make one for less money*. Check out the details below to see how you can make your own custom peg rail and shelf!

*If you don't have the tools required, this project will probably cost more than a peg rail you can buy in stores. I have accumulated these tools over time and find them to be very useful for little projects around the house or for the many DIY projects I share here.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Materials:
-1" x 3" piece of lumber* to your length requirement / 1" x 3" x 2' $3
-1" x 4" piece of lumber* to your length requirement / 1" x 4" x 2' $4
-dowel rod to your diameter requirement* / $2.50
-circular pieces of wood or wood plugs a bit larger than the dowel diameter— buy one for each peg / $1
-Kreg screws for joining the rail to the shelf / $4 for a pack— you will only need a few
-screws for mounting the rail— I only used two / $1.50 for a pack
-drywall anchors if you aren't drilling into a stud / $2 for a pack
-button plugs (size depends on your countersink bit) / $2.50 for a pack
-180 grit sandpaper (not shown) / $3
-stain, primer, and paint as desired / $8 at most
-wood glue / $4

Total Cost (if none of these materials are already in your possession): $35
My Cost (I only needed to buy the wood and mounting screws): $13

Tools:
-power drill
-Kreg Jig for joining the rail to the shelf (This kit is perfect.)
-hole saw, Forstner bit, regular drill, or spade bit to the exact size of your dowel rod
-regular drill bit for mounting screws
-countersink drill bit (not shown)
-clamps
-hammer
-ruler or t-square
-pencil

*Lumber Selection: I used 24" long pieces of poplar. Don't buy softwood for this project or your pegs may loosen over time. I chose poplar because it's denser than the cheap whitewoods you find at Lowes or Home Depot, and while it usually doesn't stain nicely (unless you find a piece without yellowy grain throughout), it takes paint very well.

*Dowel & Cap Selection: I chose a 5/8" diameter dowel and capped it with a 1" wood circle, but this size isn't narrow enough for many of my mugs. Think about what you will be hanging on the peg before you select the diameter of the dowel and wood circle. Your pegs may need to be narrower than mine.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Begin this project with the rail and shelf lumber cut to your desired size. If you don't have a saw at home, the lumber yard should be happy to do this for you. My boards were cut to 23".

Step One: Mark the points where you want your pegs to be. I started my outermost pegs at 2.5" from the edge of my rail.

Step Two: Drill holes at the marked points. I used a spade bit here because it's the only thing I had access to when I was working on this project. But it didn't make clean cuts, so I had to fill the chipped areas with wood filler. No biggie, but a Forstner bit or self feeding hole saw would be ideal for this.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Step Three: Sand the entire rail with 180 grit sandpaper.

Step Four: Using a Kreg Jig and a clamp, drill a few pocket holes where you will connect the rail to the shelf. Make sure you do this on the bad side of your wood, if you have a bad side. I made four pilot holes for my 23" rail.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Step Five: Clamp together the shelf and rail. Then connect them by driving Kreg screws through the pocket holes you made in step four.

Step Six: Cut your dowels all to the same length. Then sand them down. I cut mine to 2.75" long, but your desired measurement may differ. If you don't have a saw, the lumber yard should be able to make a few cuts for you.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Step Seven: Apply wood glue to the inside of the peg holes.

Step Eight: The pegs should fit tightly into the holes, so you will probably need to use a hammer to tap the pegs into place. Make sure the pegs don't go through the back of the rail, and be sure they are all the same length from the rail before letting the glue dry.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Step Nine: After you have made sure all of the pegs are the same length from the rail, wipe away the excess glue on the backside of the rail.

Step Ten: Apply wood glue to the end of the pegs and attach the wooden discs, applying a bit of pressure. Be sure to wipe away any glue that seeps out before it dries.

At this point, the rail is ready to be stained or painted. I used the same brush-on primer and paint I used for refinishing my kitchen cabinets. After a thick coat of primer, I wet sanded the shelf with 400 grit wet/dry sanding paper to make it silky smooth. Then I finished with a coat of paint.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Step Eleven: Drill pilot holes where you will be mounting the rail, and use a countersink drill bit to carve out a space for the button plugs to go in. Make sure the plugs fit before continuing.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Step Twelve: Screw the shelf into place on the wall, making sure it's level. If you aren't drilling into studs, you will need to use drywall anchors that, when added up, meet the package's listed requirements to carry the approximate weight you plan to put on the shelf.

Step Thirteen: Cover the screws with button plugs. If your countersink bit was the same size as the plugs, then the fit should be tight enough to make glue unnecessary.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!I love the modern look that the wooden discs lend to this DIY rail, but if you're having trouble finding a dowel and disc combo that fits your mugs, you may decide to use a traditional Shaker peg instead.

Make your own peg rail- perfect for accessorizing in the kitchen!If you plan on styling your shelf with plain canisters, mugs, or utensils, it would be really fun to paint the peg caps with bright colors or even a dramatic black. I love that this project can be completely customizable to fit the needs of your space. I'm thinking about making one for my bathroom next! -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection and Pearl and Eleanor of the Fresh Collection.

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