Make your own glitter barrettes for Valentines Day!I don't know if you're a gal like me, but I have QUITE the collection of hair accessories. The right barrette or headband can be the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. I've been looking to add some more flair to my tresses (seriously, give me all the flair), so I grabbed some crafty supplies and went for it! 

SuppliesSupplies:
-Sculpey oven bake clay
-e6000
-Mod Podge or craft glue
-fine glitter
-barrette blanks
-letter cookie cutters
-small rolling pin

Step 1Step One: To begin, roll out your clay onto a covered surface (I covered mine with wax paper). Begin cutting out your designs and baking the clay as the package suggests.

Step 2Step 2aStep Two: Once your clay has been fully baked and cooled, cover the surface in Mod Podge or craft glue. Sprinkle on your glitter and let dry.

Step 3 Step 4Step Three: When the glue has dried under the glitter, attach your clay letters and shapes to the barrette blanks with E6000. Once those are dry— VOILA! Pretty new barrettes to make your hair super fancy.

DIY Glitter Barrettes Love these DIY glitter barrettes for Valentines Day! DIY Glitter BarretteI love anything Valentine's Day themed, but these are especially great because I can wear them year-round! Now, excuse me while I go make a ton more of these cuties! Happy crafting! -Katie

Credits://Author and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

The Parker Palm SpringsAlternate title: I'm Dreaming of a White Bedroom 

Today I'm here to talk about the progress and plans going on in our master bedroom. You can see the BEFORE here. So far, I'm having the BEST time planning out our cozy, chill master bedroom. It's completely different from the other spaces in our home because I am placing more priority on coziness and less on how exciting the design is. I mean, I still hope it turns out cute, BUT I'm OK with it being a teeny bit boring if it elevates our quality of relaxation. 

Originally I was shopping for a platform bed. I had my heart set on that, but after seeing this photo from The Parker, I decided to keep our canopy bed and paint it white. 

Look how cute it turned out!!! 

I'm dreaming of a white bedroom(It's this bed frame, by the way.) It really lightens up the bed frame. I was feeling like it was too heavy for my decor in the past few years, but this changes everything. I love it SO much. 

I'm considering gold corners for the bed frame too. But I'm going to wait till the rest of the room is more complete to decide. 

We still have a lot to do in this space, but it's functional enough to move in to! #progress 

My current plans are too keep it very simple, light and airy. I want it to be a relaxing space. Our internet doesn't reach back to that bedroom and we decided not to get it fixed, and rather to try to never bring our computers back there. I'm really excited about this. Since we moved we've completely stopped watching television in bed and I think it's a really healthy change and we're both sleeping better. 

Here are some of my initial decor plans... 

Bedroom Inspirations1. I love this moon marquee.  2. Plant life is a huge priority. Since we want to keep it pretty simple, plants are one of the best ways to add color and make a room feel more fresh. 3. I love these juju hats. Such a pretty way to create texture! 4. Cozy blankets like this one are essential. 5. We chose this rug a while ago. It was one of the first things we chose for the space. I knew I wanted something with great texture that was neutral, and it fits perfectly!  6. Cute baskets. 7. Always room for a striped pillow. 8. Fun pillow cases

So as you can see, I'm still in the very beginning stages. Lots of options! 

We're considering wallpapering the ceiling, which would add a little texture and pattern. But I have to find a good neutral paper, and I haven't found the perfect one yet. Going to take my time deciding on the fixture. And for the dresser I am considering doing an Ikea hack! 

So far these plans are blending pretty seamlessly with the master bathroom. That's important to me because, although they're technically two different rooms, I want them to have the exact same vibe. 

We've made a LOT of progress on the house these past few weeks! I'll check back in with more progress reports soon! xx- Elsie 

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful MessValentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays! I mean, who doesn't love a day devoted to all things pink, red and chocolate? 

But going out on Valentine's Day... NOPE. It's a mess! Even if you make reservations, it's insanely busy at every restaurant with "special" (translation—smaller) menus and higher prices... I'm not into it. 

Early in our relationship, we started a tradition of staying in on Valentine's for a romantic, cozy dinner at home. We like to go crazy buying fun groceries and fancy cocktail supplies rather than gifts. It's more about the experience and the time spent together. One of my favorite homemade traditions. 

Anyway! 

Today we're teaming up with Balloon Time! We thought it would be fun to teach you how to make a fancy balloon arch. It's easier than it looks and packs a lot of visual wow factor! I'm definitely going to do this next time I host a shower as well. I love that you can swap out the colors and do this for nearly any occasion. 

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess Supplies:
-Balloon Time Helium Tank
-balloon decorating strip
-mini balloons (I used one pack of 30)
-various pink balloons (40-45 regular sized ones)
-greenery
-glue dots or tape
-balloon string

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  First, use your Balloon Time tank to blow up your balloons and tie the bottom closed. For a project like this, having your own helium tank seems like the only way to go so you can fill up balloons to various sizes. And the Balloon Time tank is so, so easy to use! If you want to blow up all your balloons at once before attaching them, put them into large garbage bags as you blow them up so they don't float away, or do it in a room with a low ceiling so you can reach up and grab them as you need one.

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  Next, slip the knot of a regular sized balloon through one of the holes in the decorating strip. Skip a few holes and place another balloon into the strip facing the opposite direction. Keep alternating balloon colors and sides until you have a balloon strip as long as you want your arch to be. You can add a few more balloons if needed into some of the holes you skipped if it feels too skimpy, but make sure to leave some room to add the small balloons in later.

Once you have your main balloons attached to the strip, cut the balloon decorating strip just past where the balloons end on either side. Tie a piece of balloon string or twine onto each end, and tie those strings onto the piece of furniture you want the arch to go over (or have the strings go to the floor and use balloon weights at the bottom of each).

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  Use your glue dots to stick the mini balloons into the gaps and crevices until you have an arch that is completely filled in. 

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  We also made a fancy scalloped border for our table out of folded sheets of tissue paper and fringed each layer with scissors to give it more texture. So cute and not at all difficult to whip up! 

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  If you want to add a little greenery to your arch, you can either stick sprigs of greenery right into dense areas of the arch, or tape the stem in a hidden spot if it won't stay on its own.

How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  How to make a fancy balloon arch via A Beautiful Mess  There you have it! An extra special party table idea for your next fancy occasion. 

Now that I've shared our Valentine's tradition, I want to hear about yours! xx- Elsie 

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

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)        I feel that most great DIYs stem from not being able to get what you want. You know how it is, you are on the hunt for that perfect coffee table, or pillow, or outfit, and you finally find just what you've been dreaming of and...you can't afford it. I was searching for blush dresses to wear as a bridesmaids dress in my brother's upcoming wedding (the bride, Sarah, is letting us pick our own dresses because she's cool like that and not the control freak bride that I was. Sorry again to all my friends...), and I found the most amazing blush dress with feathers at the bottom. O. M. G. As amazing as it it, I really wasn't willing (or able!) to spend over $300 on it. So I sulked about it for almost two weeks before the lightbulb came on of, "Hey Dummy! DIY that dress!" Oh yeah! Good idea! 

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-shift dress in a solid color (I bought this one)
-feather trim in the same color as your dress (I used 3 of these in blush)
-sewing machine
-straight pins

Once you get your dress, measure how wide the bottom of the dress is and think about how many layers of feather you want on the bottom. Those choices will let you know how much feather trim you'll need to buy (like if your dress is 20" across and you want two layers you'll need 80" of trim). Usually they sell feather trim that is either attached to a ribbon or to a very thin cord like the one I linked. I think the ribbon finished trim is probably easier to sew onto the dress, but how it's attached looks a little more obvious. So I opted for the thin cord instead.

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)  Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)  Determine where you want your lowest feather layer to hang in relation to the bottom of the dress (I suggest the feathers covering about 1" below the hem) and make a line of straight pins just above where you want your feathers to be attached. I used a ruler to make sure all my pins were an equal distance from the hem.

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)   Once you have a pinned line, start on the back side of your dress and begin attaching the feather trim to the material just below the pinned line. For any layers that are not the top layer, use a zigzag stitch to secure the top edge of the trim in place (the stitching will be covered by the next layer of feathers). Go all the way around the dress until it meets back on the other side. I used a little bit of fray check glue to keep the trim cord from unraveling when I cut the trim.

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)
Repeat the process by measuring up from the hem for the next row and making a line of pins just above where the trim should be placed. The best placement will depend on how long your feathers are and how thick your trim is. So just overlap the two layers until you find the placement you like. Repeat the process of sewing the next layer of trim onto the dress.

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)     For your last layer of feathers, do everything just like you did for the other layers, but do a straight stitch alongside the trim cord (on the side that has the feathers) instead of a zigzag over the cord for a less obvious stitch. I noticed that with just the straight stitch, the feathers tended to slip upwards in spots and create a wavy line. So I also hand-sewed the trim cord in place with a hidden stitch. If you are fine with how the zigzag stitch looks on the lower layer, you can save a little time and do that on the top layer as well. I just wanted the minimal amount of stitching visible.

Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)      Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)         Love this dress! Feather Blocked Dress DIY (click through for tutorial)      How great are those feathers!! Of course you can do this idea in any color scheme you want or choose contrasting colors for a more dramatic effect (like black feathers on a white dress). I would definitely dry clean this puppy since the feathers are so delicate, but in a pinch you could hand wash just the top of the dress in a sink. Instead of costing over $300, this dress ended up being around $100 instead! Not bad for a special occasion dress if you ask me (and a special dress it is!). Maybe with all that savings I could get some new shoes to go with it?? xo. Laura

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

Rum Glazed Crullers (via abeautifulmess.com)  It's been too long since I've made donuts! Last week I decided to remedy this situation and make a classic donut that I've been wanting to try out for some time: French crullers! I love the twisted ridges on these fancy little treats. That coupled with the airy insides and, of course, the fact that SUGAR AND BUTTER MAKE ME HAPPY has kept this on my "to try" list for a while. 

Plus, I just love making donuts at home. I really do! I don't fry food all that often these days. So it's fun to spend the effort making something truly treat-worthy. 

Rum Glazed Crullers (via abeautifulmess.com)Oh, and did I mention that the glaze I made for these has booze in it? 

Yeah. I know. 

:)

How to make french crullersRum Glazed Crullers, makes 15-18.
Donut recipe (barely) adapted from A Baker's Field Guide to Doughnuts (This book rocks—buy it.), glaze is my own. 

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
oil for frying

For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rum
2-3 teaspoons milk or water

In a large pot combine the first five ingredients listed. Cook over high heat while stirring to melt the butter and to make sure the sugar and salt don't stick to the bottom. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add the flour and cinnamon and stir until a very thick paste / dough forms. A rubber spatula works well here. Place the pot back on the heat, but turn it down to low. Continue to stir and allow the dough to cook for an additional minute. It should easily pull away from the sides. 

French cruller recipePlace the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn on low. Add the eggs one at a time, until they are combined. Turn the mixer off and use the rubber spatula again here to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is well mixed. 

Move the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a big star tip. Pipe the dough into circles onto squares of parchment paper that have been sprayed with nonstick spray, or are lightly buttered. 

Heat your oil to around 350°F. Move the parchment paper over the oil and quickly flip the dough into the hot oil. Be careful not to burn yourself (don't get so close you touch the oil and watch out for splatter). It takes a few tries to get the hang of it, but if you end up with a few that are curled on themselves don't worry—my research shows they still taste just as good. :) Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, and then remove to a bed of paper towels to remove excess oil. If you find your donuts are cooking too quickly in this time frame, turn the heat down as your oil may be too hot.

Rum glaze cruller recipeFor the glaze, simply whisk together powdered sugar, one teaspoon rum, and two teaspoons milk. If you find your glaze is still too thick, add another teaspoon of milk. 

I know it's not a lot of rum, but I promise the flavor will come through. I made a couple different glazes with varying amounts of rum, and I thought this version with just one teaspoon was the best. 

Also be sure to use a rum that you enjoy sipping and not one that you feel you have to mix in order to enjoy. Like I said, the flavor will really come through in the glaze, so you don't want to use a rum that you don't like the taste of.

And if this forces you to go buy a bottle of rum only to use this one teaspoon, well, YOU'RE WELCOME. :)

Rum Glazed Crullers (via abeautifulmess.com) Once the donuts have cooled just enough to touch, dip them in the glaze and place on a cooling rack so excess glaze can drip off. These are best enjoyed warmed, but you can always pop them in the microwave for a few seconds if you don't consume them all just after cooking. Happy donut making! xo. Emma

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

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