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How To | No Carve Pumpkin Round Up

DIY, Round Up, HolidayLesley Pocklington3 Comments
  No carve pumpkin round up by Swell Made Co.

No carve pumpkin round up by Swell Made Co.

Whoah, what?! Halloween is next week. Cue the blood curdling screams because I need to get it together before October 31. Are you a procrastinator, or do you have everything ready to go? To keep things simple (because that’s kind of our thing), I have rounded up my favourite no carve pumpkins. They’re minimalist, so they might appeal more to the adult crowd; but that’s okay. They’re easy and who says big kids can’t have fun too?

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll remember the first pumpkin (shown above) was one we created back in 2015. If you like, head to that post to you’ll find everything you need to create a black and gold six letter sentiment pumpkin. Boo, boo! The following pumpkins come from a few of our favourite blogs and they can be found on Pinterest as well.

  DIY Cute Faced Mini Pumpkins by    HomeyOhMy

DIY Cute Faced Mini Pumpkins by HomeyOhMy

This sweet little DIY from HomeyOhMy is perfect for adding some cute Halloween (or fall, Thanksgiving) decor to your home. All you need is a Sharpie and some eucalyptus. You don’t even have to paint the pumpkins! Just buy white ones. Cute faces. Scary faces. You decide!

  DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin by    The Merry Thought

DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin by The Merry Thought

This stylish by The Merry Thought DIY just requires craft pumpkins (or real), and some acrylic paint. Start with a flat colour and then add brushstrokes in a contrasting colour. Voila! Simple and beautiful.

  DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by    HomeyOhMy

DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by HomeyOhMy

Another great DIY from HomeyOhMy and one that could be combined with the DIY above (similar steps and complementary styles) are the paint splattered pumpkins. Start with a base coat on craft (or real) pumpkins and then splatter with a contrasting colour. So chic and so simple.

  Terrazzo Pumpkin DIY by    JoJoTastic

Terrazzo Pumpkin DIY by JoJoTastic

Finally (any my favourite), is this terrazzo pumpkin by JoJoTastic. Okay! It’s not technically “no carve”, but it can be. If you skip the carving portion of this DIY, it would still be beautiful; but maybe just a less magical than the one shown above. Either way, this pumpkin play with one of our all-time favourite decor trends that’s still going strong.

That’s it! Now that you’re inspired, grab some wine (and candy) and start painting those pumpkins. Happy Halloween, swell friends.

How To | Curate Art with Heart

DIY, Decor, How To, Inspiration, TipsLesley PocklingtonComment
curate.jpg

A gallery wall is the perfect way to proudly display your story, and your style. Don't just hang anything though. Curate a collection of art with heart. Collect things that are meaningful, and you'll never grow tired of your gallery wall. It will be a conversation piece and a comforting mantle in your home

Swell Made Co. has partnered up with Becky Freeman, Interior Designer & Stylist, to guide you through curating an art collection. Becky knows how and where to find the perfect elements for any project. With a decade of professional interior design experience (including Gluckstein Design), Becky has refined the process of creating a successful space.

The first of our collaborative posts, we're excited to share these tips. Next, we'll share How To Create a Gallery Wall. Read on for simple, but thoughtful things to keep in mind while curating your own personal gallery wall or art collection.


   Days in Paris  by Jessica Cardelucci

Days in Paris by Jessica Cardelucci

1 - PERSONAL PHOTOS

An easy choice to make things personal is to crop and enlarge your favourite photos. They can be photos of your family (old or new) or from your travels and favourite places. Perhaps, you've dabbled with photography and you have some abstract pieces to showcase.

Art photography is available for purchase as well. Just check out minted.com for pieces like the one above. Paris anyone?

Creating a grid based gallery wall with simple Instagram photos is an easy way to create a meaningful collection. You can print a batch of photos quickly and reasonably using an app like Parabo Press.


   OUI OUI  by Swell Made Co.

OUI OUI by Swell Made Co.

2 - THE PRINTED WORD

Do you have a favourite song, book, quote, or poem? Frame the printed word. Letters are beautiful in the form of actual pages from a book, or typographical artwork featuring your lyrics or quotes.

Swell Made Co. is a great example of typographic artwork that elevates meaningful (and witty) words. Choose what "speaks" to you. Keeping with a subtle French theme for this example, we chose OUI OUI by Swell Made Co.


3 - UNEXPECTED THINGS

Your collection can have some unexpected dimensional elements as well. Perhaps a hat, a souvenir or something sculptural like the ones seen above by Umbra.

Depending on what it is, you can either hang it directly on the wall or frame it. Make the mundane extraordinary, simply by framing it. Do you have a sentimental plate or record? Frame it! Do you have a collection of shells from your family beach vacation? Mount a few in a simple grid layout and frame them. 

Unexpected things can also introduce colour or texture. Does your decor call for a pop of neon, sleek gold or natural wood? Go for it.


   Jon I Lit  by Almar Alfredsson

Jon I Lit by Almar Alfredsson

4 - FROM YOUR TRAVELS

Memories transport us back to places we have travelled. Keep those moments close with photos and unexpected things as mentioned in tips 1 and 3. This can also come in the form of original artwork from exotic or local places.

Been too many place to count? Frame a beautiful map to remind you of places you've been or lived over the years.

It's fun to pick up small pieces of artwork when visiting a new country. Large pieces are great too, but small pieces pack easily. More importantly, they are easier to integrate into an existing gallery wall or collection. Just like the medallion above, Jon I Lit from Iceland. 


   Rhythm  by Kelly Ventura

Rhythm by Kelly Ventura

5 - ORIGINAL ARTWORK

Original artwork by artists you admire, talented friends, or your own children is lovely to work into a space. Maybe you have some of your own. 

Keep it simple and basic. It doesn't have to be a renaissance masterpiece. Simple line drawings and abstract colour studies are perfect. Framing will only elevate these pieces. The beautiful artwork seen above can be purchased and framed at minted.com.


6 - FILL IN THE GAPS

Finally, fill in the gaps. If you're incorporating a theme (Feminine French) or colour scheme (Pink Hues), this is the perfect opportunity to round out the collection. Don't go overboard with themes and colours though - keep it simple.

Perhaps you have a lot of dark pieces. Lighten it up with something with a softer tone, or an object with a delicate structure. If you're seeing a consistent hue in your collection, add something subtle in that same or complementary hue. 

Now that you've collected your artwork the next step is to choose frames. I have a great guide on how to frame artwork, right here! Next, we'll be posting How To Create a Gallery Wall. Watch soon for great tips so you can get your collection on the wall. 

Enjoy and good luck curating your collection!
Lesley, Swell Made Co. + Becky, Interior Designer & Stylist

How To | Gold Painted Rocks

How To, DIYLesley PocklingtonComment
  How To | A Guide to Gold Painted Rocks by Swell Made Co.

How To | A Guide to Gold Painted Rocks by Swell Made Co.

What do you with all the rocks (and beach glass, and shells) that travel home with you from the beach? Paint them! My kids LOVE to paint rocks and there are countless things you can create with, and for kids with rocks to pass time in the summer. Just take a look on Pinterest and you'll find fun ideas like rock dominoes, story rocks, rock tic-tac-toe.

After our trip to the beach the other day, we came home with a pile or rocks, as always. I let my daughter go wild with her acrylic summer hues, while I tried out something more simple, and gold. It was easy as can be. The rocks will be put to good use throughout the year as paper weights (napkin weights for the patio), little accents on the table or plates for special occasions, home decor, garden decor etc. Again, the ideas are endless. Keep reading to see how you can make some too.

  Gold painted rocks by Swell Made Co.

Gold painted rocks by Swell Made Co.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • Rocks, of course. Collect a variety of rocks that you love. Smooth rocks work well for painting, but any rock is fine. 
  • Metallic gold acrylic paint. You can use any colour(s) you like though. I used Martha Stewart Crafts® Acrylic Craft Paint in Gold. You can find it at Michael's in Canada and the USA. 
  • 1 flat, soft brush. Size can depend on how on your surface area. Acrylic brushes are best.
  • Painter's tape. For masking areas. You can use varying widths for different effects. 
  • An Exacto knife to scratch off excess paint if necessary. 

    TIP - Buy good quality painter's tape. You'll notice a huge difference when peeling it away to reveal clean lines. The stuff from the dollar store just doesn't cut it. 

HOW TO PAINT YOUR ROCKS

  1. Prepare a clean work surface that can get messy. Acrylic paint can be tricky to remove once it's dry, so cover your work surface. Especially if the kids are joining in! 
  2. Clean your rocks and let dry if required. You don't want any sand or dirt on the rock's surface.
  3. Grab your painter's tape and start creating. You can block off areas, create lines, patterns, etc. It's entirely up to you! The painter's tape will give you a clean, crisp line. Press the tape firmly into place for the best effect. This can be tricky with rocks, but don't stress. It doesn't have to be perfect. 
  4. Paint your rocks! Rocks are naturally porous, so you'll likely need 2-3 coats to cover the surface entirely. Let dry to touch between coats. You can also try doing a primer coat of white paint, but extra coats do the trick. 
  5. Let paint dry for at least 1 hour or more. 
  6. Carefully (slowly) remove the painter's tape to reveal your clean lines. If there are areas where paint slipped under the tape, just gently scratch it off the surface with an Exacto knife. 
  7. Admire your rocks and display them as you please.

Thanks for reading and enjoy getting create with your summer rock collection!

How To | Frame an Art Print

How To, Tips, DIYLesley PocklingtonComment
 Framing an art print can be as easy as 1-2-3. A guide by Swell Made Co.

Framing an art print can be as easy as 1-2-3. A guide by Swell Made Co.

So, you've purchased an art print. It will become a meaningful part of your home or office. But first, you need to frame it. Why? To protect that investment you’ve just made and to display it proudly. If you’re so inclined, head to a custom frame shop and leave it to the pros (like Creartive Custom Framing in Toronto). If not, framing doesn’t have to cost fortune. Here’s a quick guide to doing it yourself (or with a little help). 

USING A READY-MADE FRAME

  1. Simple is Best - Choose a simple and neutral frame to allow your art print to be the focal point. Clean lines and finishes are best, and black or white are perfect neutrals. They are timeless, coordinate with any decor, and work well when creating a gallery wall or pairing art prints. 
  2. Size Up - Your frame should be larger than your art print to create visual impact and a focal point. This includes the mat.
  3. Use a Mat - Pre-made frames often come with pre-cut mats. If you’re using the pre-cut mat, make sure it is the proper size for your art print (the window should be the same size, or 1/4 in. smaller for a slight overlap). If the pre-cut mat doesn’t fit your art print, you can have one custom cut by a frame shop or art supply shop. Just give them the dimensions of your art print and frame, and they’ll be able to help. Use the guide below. Mats typically come with 2-4 in. around the art print with a little extra on the bottom to provide weight and composition. You can choose any size or orientation you like, just be sure your frame can accommodate the mat. The larger the mat, the more dramatic and larger the frame. 

Shop Around - Good quality, pre-made frames aren’t hard to find. Visit retailers like CB2West Elm, IKEA, art supply shops (Michael’s/DeSerres), Indigo, or HomeSense (in Canada). You can even do it all online with custom frame supplier Simply Framed

 Framing an art print. A guide by Swell Made Co.

Framing an art print. A guide by Swell Made Co.

SWELL MADE CO. MAT GUIDE

MINI ART PRINTS - 5 in x 7 in
SMALL ART PRINTS - 8 in x 10 in
LARGE ART PRINTS - 11 in x 14 in

  1. Determine the size of your art print. When in doubt, measure it.
  2. Choose a frame size. Remember to size up from your art print. 
  3. Determine the mat size. The window should be the same size or 1/4 in. smaller than your art print (no more, you just want a slight overlap). If the pre-made mat doesn’t fit, get one that is custom cut. 

Each Swell Made Co. art print will now come with a framing guide! That way, you can frame your art print with ease and get it up on the wall quickly. Click here to download the guide. Enjoy!

How To | Black + White Easter Eggs

How To, Holiday, DIYLesley PocklingtonComment

With Spring officially underway (as of March 20), it's time to think about Easter! Easter is a low-key holiday for us. We celebrate spring by having a family brunch, followed by attending our neighbourhood Easter parade with friends. Of course, the Easter Bunny makes an appearance at our house for the littles. "She" (as it has been determined by our 5 year-old) hides chocolate eggs around the house and yard, weather permitting. 

I love brunch. Whether it's dining out or hosting in, it's the perfect way to celebrate a new season with foods that have been missed over the winter months. Fresh vegetables, greens, breads, carrots, eggs, Mimosas. Coffee, of course. It's the best meal for a lazy day of celebrating. 

 Pattern, HOP HOP - a rift on the Six Letter Sentiments Collection, and dots.

Pattern, HOP HOP - a rift on the Six Letter Sentiments Collection, and dots.

Speaking of lazy, this post is about how to create black + white easter eggs. It's so easy, it's not even really a how to. These sweet and simple eggs are an easy project to give your modern decor a fresh Easter look. Plus, the kids can easily join in with no fuss and minimal mess. So, here it goes:

How To - Black + White Easter Eggs:

  1. Boil a dozen, or more, eggs. If you need tips on how to boil the perfect egg, click here.
  2. Let eggs cool completely. Room temperature is best. Tip: Cold eggs from the fridge will sweat, causing smudges.
  3. Grab a variety of black Sharpie pens with varying tip sizes and styles. If you're up for colour or metallics, go for it.  
  4. Start decorating! Try handwriting, simple dots, straight or wavy lines, abstract patterns, precise patterns. This is glorified doodling and there are no limits. Get creative!
  5. Sharpie ink dries quickly, but be careful to let areas of ink dry before handling to avoid smudging. 
  6. Display your eggs in a simple bowl for an Easter centrepiece. Or, create a modern rope basket like the one seen here by Chelsea Foy.
 Get doodling on those eggs!

Get doodling on those eggs!

I bet you were expecting to see gold foil eggs, right? Maybe next year! With the combination of two littles on March Break, plus the Easter holiday... I just didn't have the time to go for gold. I love neutral palettes just as well. Just like the pieces you'll find in the shop. Many gold, but not all! Here are a few other DIYs that I've collected for Easter on Pinterest. Happy Spring!

Love It - Agate

Love It, Inspiration, Gifts, DIY, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
swellmadeco-agate-loveit.jpg

Another edition of LOVE IT is ready to go and this time, we have an affection for all things agate. Mesmerizing slices of agate are the perfect way to bring the outdoors in. Timeless and classic. Neutral or bright. We've rounded the best items for your home and even a lovely pendant for you.

  1. Agate Art Print by Swell Made Co. 
  2. Agate wallpaper by Robert Crowder found at Harbinger
  3. Agate throw pillow found on Society 6
  4. Agate jewelry box at West Elm
  5. Agate pendant in teal blue found at Leif Shop
  6. Gilded agate coaster set by Jacob & Lana on Etsy
  7. Agate bookends found at Bliss Home & Design

And to finish off this inspirational list for home, we have some some agate projects if you're up for some DIY. Frame agate inspired wallpaper, or gilded agate slices to create an impact. Or, simply display coasters in your home. They're all simple ways to get the look (click images for direct links).

Enjoy!

How To | Create a Gold + Black Pumpkin

Holiday, DIY, How ToLesley PocklingtonComment
  How to create a gold and black pumpkin by Swell Made Co.

How to create a gold and black pumpkin by Swell Made Co.

BOO! BOO. Halloween is 11 days away and my little pumpkins are starting to get excited. Simple decorating and costume making (and buying) has commenced. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we picked our pumpkins and I created a no-carve one for you! The rest of our pumpkins will get an old fashioned carving.

This is my "fancy" version inspired by Swell Made Co.'s very own Six Letter Sentiments collection. Here's how to create it yourself, or to create any design you like. It's simple, I swear. So, don't sweat it. Plus, I have included a printable template to help you out.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • A medium to large pumpkin

  • Black acrylic paint

  • Large, soft paint brush + small, soft paint brush

  • Sharp pencil

  • Gold acrylic paint (or gold spray paint)


HOW TO CREATE A BLACK + GOLD PUMPKIN:

  1. Clean your pumpkin with water and let dry.

  2. Using your larger paint brush, paint the pumpkin using long brush strokes with the grain (up and down) of the pumpkin. Let dry overnight.

  3. Print the BOO BOO template by Swell Made Co. or any other design you'd like to use. If you want to freehand, skip the next step.

  4. Put the printed design in place on the smoothest part of your pumpkin. Using a sharp pencil, trace the design on your paper. Press firmly to make an impression on the pumpkin's surface.

  5. Use your small brush to paint in your design with gold paint. You'll likely need to do a few coats. Let dry for at least an 1 hour.

  6. That's it! You may also use a sealant to protect your painted pumpkin. This is advisable in cooler climates where the pumpkin may expand or contract during cold nights if left outdoors.

Alternatively, you could create a stencil of your design and use gold spray paint to apply your design. I like to free-hand, but the spray paint would provide a much cleaner and crisp look. Just mask the areas you don't want painted and head outside for ventilation. 

Thanks for following this HOW TO. I hope you and your pumpkins (big and small) have a safe and happy Halloween!

  BOO BOO gold painted pumpkin. A DIY by Swell Made Co.

BOO BOO gold painted pumpkin. A DIY by Swell Made Co.