Category Archives: Decorate

{DIY} Giant Ruler Growth Chart

My little man is growing up. Literally, I feel like he grows an inch every other day. He is constantly talking about “being big” and “growing tall,” so I wanted to make a little something for his room to help track the progress of these incredible growth spurts.

I’d seen a few different growth charts floating around the internet, the nicest being made from materials gotten at When putting together his train room (final pictures coming soon!), I looked up many options to buy a chart for his room, but they were all just a bit cost prohibitive for me. Enter the DIY revolution, get a head start by following the tips from Toolerant. I wanted to make something we could bring with us when we move to different houses and that would stand the test of time in both durability and in decor.

This giant ruler growth chart would be a great addition to any room. It is easy to make and takes a few hours of an afternoon (mostly time to let stain and paint dry).

{DIY} Giant Ruler Growth Chart

Giant Ruler Growth Chart

What you need:
Wood board, at least 6 1/2 ft in height
Sand paper
Saw horses
Old towel
Yard stick or tape measure
Large number stencils (plastic ones work best)
White paint
Gloss Spray Coating (if desired)
Nails or screws
Saw hooks

To make:

Measure your board and cut to size. You will likely not be starting your measurements on the ruler at 0, to leave room for the baseboards . We made our board 6 ft, but the measurements on the board actually go up to 6 and a half feet.

Sand board until smooth, if needed. Remove all saw dust from board with a slightly damp cloth. Allow to completely dry before staining.

Dip the tip of an old rag or towel in the stain. Lightly brush the stain, going with the grain. You may want to do two or three coats. Allow to dry in between coats.

Once dry, using a yard stick or tape measure, mark out each inch using a pencil at the right side of each board. I made my 6 inch and 1 foot marks a bit longer.

Using painters tape, tape your stencils to the left of each foot mark. Using your yard stick, make sure they measure up.

Take white paint and lightly brush over measurement marks. I did not care for mine to be perfect lines, so I gently placed the brush and used one stroke from the inside, to the outside. Fill the stencils with white paint. You may want to do two or three coats, depending on preference. Allow to dry between coats.

DIY growth chart

Remove stencils once dry. Touch up any necessary spots with tip of small paint brush. If you’d like a light sheen over the board, coat with clear acrylic spray paint. You will need to do this about three times. Allow to dry in between each spray.

DIY Growth ChartTo hang, nail a saw hook to the top and bottom of the back of the growth chart. Measure the spacing and place nail or screw in wall. Hang on wall.

Then go ahead and measure your little (or not so little) ones! Lincoln and Bobo are up to 4ft!

ruler growth chart




Filed under Decorate, DIY

DIY Valentine Chalkboard Decor

Valentine’s Day is not my favorite holiday. If not for my dislike for chocolate, my hatred for overpriced greeting cards and crowded restaurants, maybe I would enjoy it a bit more. But I am not a total curmudgeon. I still like to sprinkle my house with a few hearts and kisses and share an extra hug or two.

I am constantly seeing gorgeous pictures of holiday mantles. Unfortunately for me, I have no mantle. I use the space above my living room TV as a mantle, using shelves, pictures, wreaths and frames to break up the large wall. This Christmas I purchased a large, old frame for $2 from Goodwill and did a little chalkboard rehab on it (similar to this post). I hung it above my TV, tied a wreath on with some fabric and wrote “peace” at the bottom. I fell in love with it and decided I would use it all year long and switch it up of the different holidays and seasons.

DIY Valentine Chalkboard Decor

For Valentine’s Day, I used all items I have laying around the house. It took about 10 minutes and brings cheer and color to the room!

DIY Valentine Chalkboard Decor
What you need:
Red and pink patterned scrapbook paper
Flat pushpins
Mini wooden clothespins

Fold paper in half. Draw half-hearts and cut around with scissors. Make in slightly different sizes and shapes. I made four for each jute strand, eight in total.

Cut jute to desired lengths. Stick pushpin through the jute and affix to the back of the frame. Drape across the front and pin the other side to the opposite backside of the frame. Overlap for the second strand, following the same process.

Clip paper hearts to the strands. Write your favorite love phrase at the bottom with a few small hearts drawn with chalk and hang on the wall.

This is a very easy, very quick project. If you were more ambitious, you could sew some small fabric hearts to attach to the jute strands.

DIY Valentine Decor

Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day from Haute Apple Pie! Check out the links below for other Valentine projects and recipes:
Free Valentine’s Day Typography Download
Sew Sweet Valentines
Picture Perfect Valentines
Orange Scented French Toast with Nutella
Cinnamon French Toast with Cranberry Orange Chutney
Valentine’s Date Night In
Velvety Hot Fudge Sauce
Berry Mousse Pie


1 Comment

Filed under Decorate, DIY, Valentine's Day

Train Room Inspiration

To mark his entrance into “big boy-hood,” Lincoln’s once soft and adorable nursery is getting one big choo choo overhaul. The little man is train-obsessed and we want to give him a room to match his toddler-sized passion. We’ve been to plenty of train museums, shows, exhibits and watched enough Thomas and other train shows to have a fairly good grip on what a super cool train room might involve. The room is a work in progress. I put this inspiration board together to help the decorating and accents along the way.


1. Red Train Lantern 2. KidKraft Train Table 3. TheStickerHut Train decal 4. Aluminum Railroad Crossing Sign 5. Pottery Barn Ryder Train Bedding 6. Chicago Subway Art 7. DIY Ruler Growth Chart 8. Overall Curtains via BHG

The room is close to completion, with the help of this inspiration board and Lincoln is bouncing off his big boy bed about it. I’ll post the room when all the projects are complete!


Leave a comment

Filed under Decorate

Rudolph the Reindeer Treat Bags

We are Rudolph obsessed in our house this year, therefore, this project was inspired by my little guy. If you are looking for a last minute way to wrap up some of those delicious Christmas cookies or homemade goodies for your friends and neighbors, or looking for a cute and simple way to wrap a gift for a little one, call on the most favorite reindeer of all – Rudolph! I recently made these goodie bags for a kid’s Christmas party and filled them with bags of homemade hot chocolate mix, hot chocolate spoons and Christmas cookies. They are easy to make and fun for your little elves to help with as well.

Rudolph Treat Bags via Haute Apple Pie

What you need:
Brown paper lunch bags
Large google eyes
Red pom poms
Brown cardstock
Scissors or circle punch
Black permanent marker
Brown pipe cleaners
Scissors or wire cutter
Glue (Elmers or Tacky)
Clear tape

Using a circle punch or scissors. Cut one-inch circles from brown cardstock.

Lay the paper bag flat. Glue on eyes. Make sure to leave at least 3-4 inches of space at the top to fold over. Glue brown paper circle to bag. Glue red pom on top of brown circle. Using a marker, draw a mouth. I had fun with this and made them all different. Some with buck teeth, some sticking their tongue out, etc. Allow to dry.

Fill bag with goodies or gift. Fold over firmly. Slide one pipe clear tightly to the crease of the bag. Tape the bag in place. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner upward. With a scissors or wire cutter, cut a pipe cleaner in half. Twist one on each side to create antlers.

Rudolph the Reindeer Treat Bags via Haute Apple Pie

I’m sure everyone will love these so much, they will shout out with glee. Too far?

Happy holidays to you and yours.



Filed under Christmas, DIY

DIY Fabric Scrap Wreath

For Mother’s Day this year I told my mom I would create a new wreath to hang on her front door for the summer. While our most favorite of baseball teams may resemble more of the Bad News Bears than the Cubs this year, Cubbie love never fades. It took me an embarrassingly long time to get to this project completed, but we are both very happy with the way it turned out.

You can use fabric scraps from around the house, scrounge the clearance bin or pick specific patterns for the occasion for which you would like to create this door adorner. My hand got a bit sore (and thumb blistered) from cutting up so much material, but once everything is cut, it is a great in front of the TV project to put together. It took me about 2-3 hours to cut and assemble the entire fabric wreath.

I know there are various other versions of these across the web, but I had a hard time finding one that gave me specific fabric amounts and other directions, so I decided to share it here with you!

What you need:
2 1/2 yards of fabric
Pinking shears
12″ wire wreath frame
Ribbon for hanging

Start by cutting strips of fabric. Each strip should be about 6-8 inches long and 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. Do not be too precise. The wreath looks a bit more rustic if each piece isn’t exactly the same.

Once your fabric is cut (or alternate if your hand gets tired), begin tying your fabric stripes onto the wire frame. I just used a cross over double knot to secure the fabric on the wire. For shorter pieces, I often knotted once. Alternate fabric choices along each piece, tying them on, then sliding them down and bunching them together. The more fabric you put on the frame, the fuller the wreath will turn out, so try not to leave any wire showing.

Just as with the cutting, the same goes for the tying. It doesn’t need to be precise. The fabrics do not need to be precisely alternated, just hold the wreath back and make sure it doesn’t look lopsided with one fabric over the other (unless that is the design you are trying to attain).

Cut the ribbon to desired length, depending on your door or wreath hook. Tie a simple knot to secure. Slid the knot around and hang the wreath.

It is as simple as that! I plan to make a fall one of these for my door, perhaps Chicago Bears??

The Cubs motto sadly seems to be, “There is always next year” which is why this wreath will always have its place.


Filed under DIY

{DIY} Curtain Rod Gallery Wall

With an ever growing family, my mom was looking for a good way to display photos and swap them out or add to them whenever she wanted. A traditional gallery wall includes a lot of nails and holes, so that was not an option. My mom came up with this great curtain rod gallery that is perfect for the person who wants to spare their wall from dozens of puncture wounds. It is simple, interchangeable and is a great place to add holiday accents as well!

What you need:

Sturdy curtain rod and hanging accessories
Shower curtain hooks
Picture frames
Triangle or rounded picture hooks and small screws
Cord or ribbon

Measure out and center your curtain rod. Drill holes and hang according to directions. Make sure to use a sturdy curtain rod and reinforce the screws so the rod can hold the weight of the pictures.

On the back of the picture frames, drill proper sized hole in the back of each frame. Screw down the picture hooks to each side.

Cut ribbon or cord to desired length and string through the hooks. Tie in a knot or bow at the back.

Add shower curtain hooks to the curtain rod. Loop the top around shower hook to hang up each picture frame.

Stand back and admire your work!

When the pictures hang at different lengths it gives a great visual effect and helps to fill a large wall. You can turn the frames vertical and horizontal as you switch them out. During the holidays, this curtain rod is a great way to display a festive wreath, or string some ornaments or garland.


Filed under Decorate, DIY

DIY Succulent Terrarium

A few months back my mom came to visit with this large glass apothecary-esque jar in tow.

“I figured you could use it for something,” she said. “Maybe a terrarium?” Brilliant. It was perfect for a terrarium to bring a little green to my new office at work, which happens to have a large, sunny (and empty) window ledge.

Last weekend when picking up a few extra vegetables and plants for my actual garden, I finally got around to getting the goods for my terrarium. Instead of the moisture-loving plants found in many terrariums, I went with charming succulents to create a quirky, low maintenance cactus terrarium.

This is a pretty foolproof project even if you’re not the gardening type. The hardest part of the whole project was editing my plant selection! I ended up with two neon colored cactus, an aloe plant, a mini jade, two sempervivum and a frilly ground cover succulent – which I’m happy to report are thriving so far.

What You’ll Need:
glass jar, apothecary jar or similar transparent container
variety of mini succulent plants, such as cactus, aloe, jade, sempervivum
cactus soil (quantity will depend on size of your container)
small river rocks
gardening charcoal (found at your local garden store)
a spoon

*NOTE: These are rough instructions. Depending on the size and shape of your terrarium container, you may not need all three “soil” items or you may need to adjust things to fit in a smaller container.

1. Line the bottom of the container with a thin layer of charcoal. This helps with drainage and with preventing potential odors in your terrarium.

2. Next, line with a thin layer of river rocks. In a smaller container you could reverse the layers of soil and rocks for a more “zen garden” look.

3. Depending on the size and shape of your container you may be able to put the cactus soil in first or the succulents, filling in the soil around them. I had to put the plants in and use a spoon to fill soil around the plants in order to fit them. Place plants as desired to mix up shapes and colors.
4. Finish off with soil or with additional rocks to achieve the look you want.

Care: Your succulent terrarium needs lots of sunlight but only needs to be lightly watered about once a week. If you choose to keep a lid on it, water less frequently as the plants will generate moisture.


Filed under Decorate, DIY, Garden