How to Make a Halloween Scarecrow

Get your front porch ready for fall with an easy-to-make Halloween scarecrow. I spotted this cute scarecrow lady at my favorite local coffeeshop, City Market Coffee House. The collection of restaurants, shops and bakeries in the area were having a scarecrow-making contest and this one won second place! I asked the owner, Nikole Ammer, how she made her scarecrow. It doesn’t take a lot of effort—or supplies—to put together a similar scarecrow for your front porch. Here’s what she did, adapted for you. Pumpkin face Choose a pumpkin with a nice long stem for a quirky nose. Use craft paint to create a face around the stem. Scarecrow style Grab a shirt, pants, boots, hat and gloves from a local thrift store. (Nikole made this cute scarecrow lady’s pants out of coffee bean bags. She sewed them herself. So clever!) Body build Stuff the clothes with straw. You can also cheat a little and use newspaper if you don’t want to buy straw. Safety pin the shirt and pants together for extra support. That’s it! Sit your scarecrow on your front porch swing or up against a wall. Add a few pumpkins and maybe even some straw bales for an

How to Love Your Home’s Imperfections

You and I probably look at the picture above differently. You know why? I see the imperfections. Because it’s my home. The things you might not notice, irk me all the time. Like those dog bowls off to the left. They don’t do my dining room any decorating favors, but I can’t have my doggie going hungry either! And, you can’t see it but I know that those curtains are hanging from an ugly white curtain rod that came with the rental house. You also can’t see the hideous cobalt blue ceiling fan light fixture hanging overhead. I have no words for the imperfections of that. And those seemingly put together built-in bookshelves? The cabinet doors are hiding what’s essentially my pantry at the moment. My kitchen is too tiny to store food, so beneath those books and knickknacks are pasta, canned goods and baking supplies. My home is definitely imperfect. But on the Sunday morning when I took this picture, the light was just so perfect. It made the room look cozy, light and happy. And you know what? Right then all of those imperfections didn’t matter. It made me think that maybe those imperfections should matter a little less all

Today’s Mantle Display is…Rustic

As you can see from my mantle display today, I’m in the rustic kind of mood. Springtime makes me dream about country cottages, gardens with hedge mazes and weathered statues, and lazy outdoor dinners with  fresh food. My reality (an urban apartment) is thousands of acres away from that dream. Still, I can at least make my mantle look all “rustic garden”. That’s something, right? I’m digging the combination of flowers, mason jars, wooden elements and potted plants in terracotta containers on my mantle display. What do you think? Let me know in the comments… Keep Up With Red Leaf Style! Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

Colorful Mantle Display

If you’ve read my blog before, you might have been wondering why I never show pictures of my mantle. When I do include pictures of my fireplace, they’re always of the hearth, not the mantle. (See…) Well, I’ve been hiding it from you, but the reason for that is because up until now the T.V. sat on the mantle. It was not cute. I loathed it. Serious loathing. I hated all of the awful cords hanging down the sides of the fireplace that I tried to cover up (impossible). I hated that I finally had a home with a built-in vintage fireplace and it couldn’t even look cute because an electronic monstrosity was taking over the focal point of the living room. I tried to convince my twin sister (and roommate) that we didn’t need a T.V.  I tried to convince myself. (I currently have an addiction to Netflix that needs to stop.) I tried to think of other places to put the T.V. At the time it seemed like there were no other options. The cable line was right by the fireplace. How would I move it? Every wall in my living room either has a door or a window

3 Tips to Accessorize Your Home

Choosing items to decorate your home seems easy enough. Pick furniture, lamps and accessories you like. Aaannnd…done. While it’s true that you should pick items you like, you also don’t want your home to be filled with stuff just for the sake of having stuff either. So, how do you know what stuff to choose and what to pass on? With these three accessorizing tips, you can never go wrong. Choose comfort When it comes to accessorizing your home, don’t overlook comfort. (This is one I have to remind myself of a lot when shopping.) The prettiest pillows will just annoy you if they’re not snuggle-able when watching a movie. And, who wants a couch that you can’t lounge on? Or, a scratchy blanket? Pick comfortable accessories and you’ll be happy every time. Also, don’t forget about good light. Light affects your mood, and therefore your comfort! If you don’t get a lot of natural light in your home, use sheer curtains on your windows and keep your color scheme light and bright. I also can’t talk enough about the greatness of lamps. Lamplight is far better than overhead light. Fill your home with lamps to create cozy light at

5 Best Vintage Thrift Store Finds Ever

Whether you’re a regular thrift store shopper, like me, or just a once-in-a-while browser, anyone who loves vintage can appreciate a great thrift store find. Many times I go into a thrift store or a secondhand shop and come out empty-handed. That’s just part of it.  Sometimes, though…sometimes the planets align and you go in at the exact right day at the exact right moment and you find something amazing. Be still my thrifty heart. Can you tell I’m a thrift store junkie? I even have an odd habit of looking around my house and mentally listing off all of the items I’ve found at thrift stores—for cheap. It gives me a little frugal thrill! (Is it just me?) Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite thrift store finds with you. It’s always nice to get a little thrift store inspiration for those times when you haven’t been able to find what you’re looking for or when you haven’t come across anything exciting in a while. Some of these items I’ve had for years. Some are new finds. All are awesome. Check out my five current thrift store find favorites! Vintage cart I scored this little beauty

How to Wrap Gifts Without Buying Wrapping Paper

Buying new wrapping paper, bows, ribbon and tissue paper every Christmas can get expensive—and wasteful. With a little creative thinking and a bit of scavenging around the house, you can find everything you need to wrap gifts with recycled or reused materials. Here are some ideas that I used this year. Newspaper This versatile classic never gets old. Newspaper makes the perfect reuse wrapping paper. It even has the same fun ripping sound and sensation as traditional wrapping paper. And, you can even wrap the gift in the section of the newspaper that best fits the recipient. Funnies for the kiddos. Home and Garden for mom. Sports for dad. Style for sis. I’m being stereotypical here. Please be more creative than I am. Greenery Head out to the backyard and trim some pieces off that pine tree and whatever those other trees are called that are green all winter (Are they just evergreens?). Whatever they’re called, snip off a few boughs and incorporate them into your gift wrapping. A simple twig or two tucked into some ribbon or string will make a package look rustic. For the package above, I made a mini wreath out of snippets of greenery. The middle

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