Any home can become farmhouse style with vintage accessories and easy DIY projects. Even a modern space can be warmed up with just a little tweaking. These farmhouse decorating ideas will inspire you to add some nostalgic charm to any type of space.
I’m not sure when I first became interested in rustic decorating but I do know that it’s been over a decade. The fact that my husband is an avid hunter may have something to do with it. Since I had to incorporate hunting trophies into our decor, I had to find ways to do this tastefully. I did limit the amount of rooms that could have hunting trophies displayed. However, the rustic decorating eventually spilled out to every room. Since I didn’t want to purchase a lot of expensive rustic accents, I became a rustic decor DIY buff.
Shopping for area rugs can be nerve racking. If you want a rug with any type of design, it can get complicated. A design with neutral colors is easier to match up, in a room, than a colorful one. The goal is to find area rugs that enhance instead of detract from the style of a room. Because shopping for rugs can be stressful, I came up with some visual inspiration to make it a little easier.
With a brand new baby granddaughter, I am inspired to do some future kid projects at our cabin. More specifically, I have the desire to build a rustic playhouse. Since our only granddaughter isn’t even a month old yet, we have plenty of time to get a project like this done. I found such a variety of plans for rustic playhouses and so many of them are just adorable. These ideas are some of my favorite contenders. Hopefully, you will see a style that you like too.
1. Western Style Rustic Playhouse
This playhouse is such a cute western design. The style is quite rustic and it definitely reminds me of some of the little homesteads I have seen out in Colorado. Not only does this project look fairly easy to put together, but it uses recycled materials to help save on the cost. All of the materials and the instructions are well laid out at The Owner Builder Network.
2. Shed Playhouse
For more of a feminine design, this shed makeover really fits the bill. I love the idea of making over an old shed into a fun playhouse like at Home Depot blog. It may even be worth purchasing a new shed and enhancing it from there. The added features like the chalkboard, light, windows and doors make this playhouse so incredibly cute. I also love the decking around the playhouse for an extended play area. The white paint and metal roof give this one more of a clean rustic chic look.
3. Rustic Pallet Playhouse
Can you believe that this adorable rustic playhouse was made from old pallets? Of course I would have to include a pallet project! I found this project at Instructables and the plans are very well laid out. I love the added touches of the scalloped roof, green paint and cute porch. Because of all of the little details, this playhouse looks extra special.
4. Recycled Door Playhouse
What kid doesn’t like a fun teepee hangout? This teepee style rustic playhouse is easy to construct using recycled doors. Depending on where you find the doors, this project can be done very inexpensively. I’m really wishing that we hadn’t donated all of the extra doors from our last home renovation! Find the plans for this fun design at Play-scapes.
The reason that I chose these particular rustic playhouses, was that all of them were made using recycled materials. I love it when I can reuse something I might already have for a fun project. Even if you didn’t have any of these materials, chances are that they could be found for a lot less money than using new materials.
Which playhouse style did you like best? Can you see yourself building one of these?
Our DIY Lamp And The Start Of A Craft Business
It all started with a forest of birch trees and an idea for lamps. Why not bring some of that beautiful nature indoors? When my husband and I started our craft business, diy lamps were our primary art/craft item. Each lamp would have its own unique look because no two trees look exactly the same. We would build birch floor lamps, table lamps and wall sconces and sell these at local craft shows and a few area rustic stores. Since the lamps were so unique, we couldn’t just put a plain shade on them so we also crafted shades to coordinate. Our favorite shades were simply made by weaving birch twigs through the top and bottom of a plain shade that we bought wholesale.
Where To Find Birch Logs
You can purchase birch logs, bark and twigs from people who grow and harvest birch just for this type of use. One place that I have found birch for sale is at Spirit Of The Woods. If you have access to a woods, check for fallen trees that you can use. Freshly fallen trees are the best for most lamp projects since they wouldn’t have had a chance to rot yet. The last suggestion for finding material for lamps is simply to cut the suckers that grow straight up from a large birch tree’s base. This is what we typically would use. These root suckers make great lamp material and they don’t harm the tree when you cut them off. The suckers can actually get out of control so it is a good idea to cut these anyway.
Preparing The Birch For Use In A Lamp
Before using any of the cut or found birch in a diy lamp project, it is important to prepare it for use. Purchased birch should already be cleaned and dried. Birch for table and floor lamps is too big to dry in an oven so it is best to stack loosely in a dry area after cleaning. I use a solution of two parts bleach to one part water to disinfect and help dry out the wood. Don’t worry about rubbing off that first layer of dirty bark. It flakes off real easy and the next layer will be just as nice! You will be left with a smooth, non-flaky surface of birch to work with. The final step of the lamp building will be to spray the birch with polyurethane which will seal and protect the birch.
Deciding What Type Of Lamp To Build
Once you get your birch, you can decide what type of lamp you would like to build. Birch floor lamps are probably the most time consuming to do because of their size. The long and thin suckers are great to use for floor lamps. We almost always grouped several suckers together for a floor lamp and sometimes the birch pieces would even wrap around each other for a very artistic look. Wider birch trunks are great for table lamps. However, the thinner trunks or suckers also can be grouped together for a nice creative table lamp. Any scrap pieces are great for making into a wall sconce! The DIY lamp making procedure is basically the same for all of them.
These wall sconces are fairly quick and easy to make. We have them all over are cabin! They are great for a little accent lighting or reading light.
DIY Lamp Supplies
You basically just need to purchase a diy lamp wiring kit and fit the parts into your wood by drilling holes where appropriate. We also used oak bases for our floor lamps. You can make a base from any type of wood that you want and finish it with paint or stain. Just use wood large enough to make the lamp stable! Here is a diagram of the basic lamp parts in a kit:
DIY Lamp Instructions:
1. Drill a hole through the birch where you want to run the wire and rod or threaded post through. Use wood glue to secure the posts in place. We used posts at the top and bottom of the floor lamps to also aid in securing the main log to the wood base.
2. Attach the rubber stopper into the top rod or post end.
3. Add the optional harp, depending on the type of shade.
4. Screw on the socket cap.
5. Strip the wires and wrap around the coordinating screws.
6. Place the socket shell over the bulb socket.
We used clip on shades for the sconces so we didn’t need the harp. Also instead of having a cord hanging down the wall for our wall sconces, my husband hard wired these right into the wall switch. This is something I would recommend doing only if you are familiar with working with electricity. If not, consult an electrician!
A floor lamp is a little more tricky but uses the same exact procedure. You just need about an 8 inch drill bit to drill a hole from the top of the log down the center of the log. Drill another 8 inch hole starting from the bottom going up the center. We then just cut a slit in the middle of the tree log to join the two holes in an area at the back of the lamp. It’s easiest to use an electric saw. The cord then gets tucked in and fed through the holes at the top and bottom.
This floor lamp is my favorite and is one of the lamps that we kept for ourselves. You can see how the birch suckers wrap around each other for an artistic look.
Another great look for a lamp is to use pine and peel the bark off. If the wood underneath is still sappy, a good way to clean it is with a mixture of bleach and water. It cleans it up perfectly and it stays sap free. Any tree can work for this art, either with bark on or bark off.
The designs can be so versatile, especially with how you coordinate the lampshade, that the lamp can fit in with almost any kind of decor. Your decor doesn’t have to be just rustic. I have put birch lamps with peaberry lampshades in with a traditional decor and they looked whimsically natural and made a fun accent piece. Another area I tried was in our study which again was a warm traditional style with brown leather arm chairs. The lamps looked perfectly natural and warm behind the chairs and in front of the fireplace.
I wanted a rustic chic table lamp for my home office so I added a little bling to the branches on the shade. For a little bit of whimsy, I also wood burned a heart into the birch trunk with my husband and my initials – very girly and fun!
For complete instructions on making your own rustic lampshade see my post on DIY lamp shades.