DIY Umbrella Stand Tutorial from Brooke at Spruce Your Nest.

Happy Thursday, everyone!  We have a guest today… it’s the lovely Brooke, from Spruce Your Nest. Brooke is a member of our little creative community here.  She is super sweet and super cute (seriously-look at her profile pic! Is she not gorgeous?)  I love seeing what she will link up with the Creative Me Linky Party. I’ve invited her to share a project with you today… please welcome Brooke, making her comeback from a two week vacation from blogging!

Hi everyone! I’m Brooke from Spruce Your Nest, where I share my trash to treasure makeovers, DIY projects on a budget and little bits of other things along the way…

I am so honored to be guest posting at The Southern Institute today! I just adore Jenny’s blog!

I love to spend time outside so I thought I would share a simple DIY outdoor project.  We recently just completed our backyard you can read more about that here and I have been on a mission to get it all spruced up with flowers and other odds and ends.  I really have a thing for outdoor umbrellas, but I wanted to do something a little different.  I knew exactly what I wanted…

DIY Umbrella Stand

I have been so frustrated with umbrella stands in the past.  They always seem to lose their ability to hold the umbrella firm after a period of time and a good one costs a pretty penny.

I have to give my husband credit on this job because my plan was to stick an old umbrella stand inside the wine barrel, install the umbrella, and then add the soil and flowers.  There is a real obvious downside to my way, if I ever wanted to change umbrellas I would have to empty all the soil and flowers included :(  My dear husband had a much better solution for me, I will take you through the process step by step…

These are all the tools you will need for your DIY Umbrella Stand (besides your pot and umbrella of course): 

 2″ IMC pipe (threaded)
2″ Hub

DIY Umbrella Stand

Screw the hub onto your pipe and screw it down into the center of the barrel.

DIY Umbrella Stand

Next we installed some screws into the side of the pipe so that the umbrella would fit in tightly.

Basically the same concept as a Christmas tree stand…

DIY Umbrella Stand

Stick your umbrella in and tighten the screws and you have a beautiful & secure umbrella stand!


You’ll be able to see your pipe for a little while, while it is new, but just wait till your flowers grow to be more mature, like this, and you’ll be golden!

Thanks so much for letting me share my DIY Umbrella Stand project with you all today!  I hope you’ll stop by and visit me over at Spruce Your Nest some time :-)

Creative Me Link Up and Giveaway; Sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop!

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The Southern Intitute

Hello, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by for this week’s Creative Me link up, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop!  Fat Quarter Shop has been a loyal sponsor of The Southern Institute and I’m so happy to have them as a partner.  This week they are hosting a giveaway!  Two lucky Southern Institute readers are going to win their choice of a fat quarter bundle from Ty Pennington’s new line, First Impressions.  You don’t have to link up to enter!  The winners will choose from these bundles:

Many thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for being so generous!  
Enter below… the winners will be contacted by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the link up.  This week’s featured blog is Making Pinterest My Reality where Kim showed us how she had fun making princess masks with her daughter.

I love the theme of this blog!  We all know how many times we’ve pinned things with the intent to try them… SHE DOES!  Thanks for linking up!

Okay, now it’s your turn!  Just a few guidelines for linking up.  Please:
  1. Follow The Southern Institute and display the Creative Me button somewhere in your post or on your blog.  The button html is at the top of the post.  Just copy and paste!
  2. Don’t have anything new?  Show us something from your archives…old to you is new to us!  
  3. You can link up as many things as you’d like, the more the better your chances of being the featured link next week!  
  4. Visit at least two other blogs and leave some comment love.  We are a community that supports one another, right? Right?
  5. You can link up your shops as long as you sell handmade goods.  (I also have advertising available here on the blog if you’re interested, and I just cut my rates.)
Don’t forget to grab and proudly display the “featured” button if you’re project has been featured at The Southern Institute.

The Southern Intitute

Bathroom “Before” and Renovation Inspiration.

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Tom and I bought our house several years ago with grand plans for many renovations.  Life happens, of course and just when we had put some money away for home improvements something would come up.  A broken water main, roof repair, new air ducts… you name it, we needed it.  All of these repairs were things that took priority, and rightfully so.

Today I am happy to tell you that we have jumped into the home renovation lifestyle and are FINALLY starting our bathroom redo!  YAY!!!  This is the worst room in the house, by far.  Thankfully it’s also the smallest room in the house.  A good place to start!  Here is the before…

It’s tiny, right?  So tiny!  Tom started taking things down before I thought to get a pic, so the medicine cabinet and shower curtain had already been removed, but you get the idea.  Gross.  Gross.  Again I say, gross.  I forgot to point out the incredibly lovely tile design, never mind the holes and cracks.

Small bathrooms can be really tough to design, but we did a lot of looking online and found some design inspiration that we really liked.  Here are a few of the bathrooms that I liked…

I love the quadrant shower.  These seem to be popular in the UK, but you can’t really find a cool one here in the USA.

This painted bead board is really pretty.  I love the light fixture too!
The white color scheme here is so calming to me, and I’m a big fan of subway tile.

All of these ideas are great, but we were looking for something that looked like it would work in our size and shape of bathroom.  The other day Tom texted me and said that he had found our bathroom.  When I saw it I had to agree.  It is perfect for our space and I love everything about it!


The dimensions are a little bit different, but the layout is exactly the same as our bathroom.  What do I love about this bathroom?  Where do I start?

  • The penny tile design on the floor is simple and adorable without being too busy.
  • The walk in shower is something that I have always wished we could do, but I thought our bathroom would be too small.  Guess what?  It’s not!  YAY!
  • I love the subway tile!
  • The curved lines on the front half-wall of the shower echo the curved line at the ceiling.  LOVE.
  • The tilted mirror is awesome.  
How will our bathroom differ?
  • The interior of the shower will not be marble, probably more subway tile.
  • We may extend the half-wall up by a little bit for a tiny bit more privacy.
  • Our bathroom door is actually to the left.  We have wall space on the right side of the door wall where we would like to put in recessed shelving in lieu of a medicine cabinet, that way we can have a mirror like this one.
  • We would like a sink like this…
… but at $800 we might have to settle on something else.  Maybe we can find something similar at a cheaper price?
I’m so excited about this renovation!  I just hope that we are able to incorporate as much of the inspiration bathroom as possible… and that no other emergencies pop up!  A family of five using one bathroom (which also happens to be tiny) is a bit too cozy for me.
Have you done a bathroom renovation?  
Do you have any tips or wisdom to share?  
I’d love to hear it.