Simple DIY Centerpiece

August is almost here and summer is somehow already slipping away. Soon, the kiddos will return to school and late night game night will turn back into early bedtimes and packing school lunches. But for now, there’s more than enough summer left to be able to appreciate a family meal outside. As the sun goes down, and the summer evening breeze rolls in, setting up a casual dinner doesn’t take much effort if you have the right tools and ideas.centerpiece2We wanted to share a simple centerpiece for you to create that can easily be adapted for your different summertime tablescapes.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 1 large terracotta pot or plant pot of choice (this one measures 8.25″)
– 1 smaller terracotta pot (this one measures 4″)
– Sand and gravel stones
– Potting soil
– Succulents or plant of choice
– Pillar candle (this one measures 4″)
– Hurricane vase (optional)

centerpiece3Step 1. Place a piece of scrap wood at the bottom of the larger pot to help elevate the smaller pot.
Step 2. As the scrap wood may seal the drainage hole at the bottom of the large pot, place a combination of sand and gravel stones in the pot to absorb some moisture.
Step 3. Fill the larger pot with potting soil.
Step 4. Dig a hole in the center of the larger pot deep enough that the smaller pot can sit flush (also ensure there is equal space around the circumference)

centerpiece4Step 5. Plant desired plants all around pot as desired.
Note: we choose succulents for this project as they do not require a lot of moisture and have smaller root balls, making them easier to plant.
Step 6: Rest candle inside smaller pot.

You can also use a citronella candle in place of the pillar candle if you’d like to keep the bugs away. Just ensure the smaller pot is not flush, but sits higher than the plants to avoid any fire hazards.

centerpiece6 Alternatively, you can follow the same steps and use a hurricane glass to hold your candle. These would look beautiful all lined up on a long table or in a grouping with various sizes to form a larger centerpiece. Don’t forget to keep an eye on lit candles and enjoy!


The Magnolia Silos Project Progress

It wasn’t all that long ago that Joanna dropped the kiddos off at school and passed by the iconic and abandoned downtown silos. Although she’d passed by countless times, she was inspired. She imagined what it would be like to bring new life to this old cotton mill, and she saw what it could be. She made the block again and parked out in front, just staring up and considering the possibilities.

You guys can probably guess the rest of the story, and the Silos Project, which is by far Chip and Jo’s largest Fixer Upper to-date, is due to open this fall.

If you’re a fan of Fixer Upper, this probably isn’t news to you, as some of the purchasing process was aired toward the end of season 2. We, like you, can’t wait to see the finished product, and we are more than “ready to see our Fixer Upper” – so we thought we’d share the Silos progress and some fun places inside the gates.

The photo below was taken standing in front of the silos facing the main building. This will be the new home of the Magnolia Market.
The photo below was taken from inside the courtyard. This spot will be home to a stage for live music, food trucks, picnic tables and a play area for the kids. The small white building in the middle of the silos and Market is an exciting addition we haven’t announced just yet.SILOS4
We’re still dreaming about what we’ll do with the actual silos. This will be “phase two” of construction. For now, we love that they’re ours and that you can see them from just about anywhere in downtown Waco.
This is a close up of the front doors to the Market – where we can’t wait to welcome you in only a few short months!

We’ve already started plans for our grand opening event, and it’ll be one you won’t want to miss. We’ll release the grand opening date very soon, so you can make plans to come be apart of it. We hope you feel, as we do, the excitement of what’s to come. We urge you to drive past the Silos on your next trip to Waco and take a look at the construction progress firsthand, and we hope you’ll come and visit when we open this fall.

Be sure to hashtag #magnoliamarket and #magnoliasilos on Instagram if you happen to snap a picture while you’re visiting! We’d love to see your photos.

Photo Credit: Rachel Whyte

*The Magnolia Silos Project is still a construction site. Please do not attempt to enter through any gates or restricted areas, as it is dangerous.


The Secret to Chalkboard Calligraphy

Chalkboards are a trendy and fun addition to your home or event; they can give direction, add a personal touch to your space, and label just about anything. There’s no doubt that they’re cute and helpful, but the real trick is writing on them. We weren’t all born with the calligraphy bug, so we’ve put this simple how-to for “faking chalkboard calligraphy” (and print!) together to ensure you’re prepared for the next event on your calendar.

diy7 (1)

Chalkboards are great for:
– Writing an inspirational quote to hang in your space
– Labeling food and drinks at a party
– Menus and place settings at a dinner
– Labeling herbs in your garden
– Seasonal signage in your home
– Labeling organizational bins
– And a million different things for big events like a wedding or baby shower

diy5Shop Dutch Tulip Crates here

diy3Shop Essential Wire Baskets here

diy1Shop our Galvanized Trivet (used in place setting as a charger) here

Finding the perfect size and shape chalkboard for your space is key. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites from the Market here.

So, now that you’ve picked out the occasion you’re writing for and the chalkboard you’ll be using, here’s what you’ll need:
diy4This is our favorite chalkboard! It’s the perfect size for quotes or a menu. Get it here

Either classic chalk or a chalk pen. We use the chalk pen brand “Chalk Ink” in this tutorial, but any craft store pen will do. If you’re having trouble deciding which to use for your project, know that classic chalk is great for temporary projects you’ll want to easily erase. It also has more of a classic chalk “look” to it than a pen. Pens tend to look slightly “cleaner” and last more permanently than chalk.
Scissors or a knife for sharpening if you opt to use classic chalk. (Proceed with extra care!)
A Magic Eraser. The Magic Eraser completely erases any marks, mistakes, or chalk residue.
A piece of scratch paper cut to the size of your chalkboard for spacing practice.

Whether you prefer to write on your chalkboard in print or in “calligraphy cursive” is completely up to you, but for those of you who’d like to try your hand at calligraphy, here are a few tips for beginners –

1. Calligraphy is not as fluid as classic cursive. Each letter you write should be an individual character, so don’t try to connect them fluidly like you would, say, your signature. Try to write one cursive letter, and then pick up your pen. Start the next letter by “connecting” it to the letter before it. Practice makes perfect.
2. After you’ve written and connected your letters, go back with your writing utensil and “darken” your downstrokes. So sketch over your word again, and anywhere your pen would’ve moved downward, thicken the line. Your upward strokes should remain thin.

diy-STRIP Lets get started with our chalkboard art –
1. Begin by grabbing your scratch paper and a regular pen or pencil to practice your spacing. This gives you the opportunity to practice the font you’ll be writing in and map out your spacing.
2. If using classic chalk, this is an opportune moment to take your knife or scissors and sharpen it. You’ll get the best result using chalk that has a pointy end rather tan a blunt or squared end.

diy2 2. After you have your spacing worked out and your chalk sharpened, pick up your chalkboard. Grab a piece of classic chalk to very lightly trace your letters onto your chalkboard, mimicking the spacing you just rehearsed. Remember, you can always erase if you don’t like the look of it.
3. Go over your traced wording with your pen or chalk until it has the thickness and “style” you prefer. If you are printing rather than using cursive make it funky and fun, or look up print fonts to replicate.
4. Add any flourishes, a laurel wreath, or flower branches you’d like. This can add character or fill extra space.

And that’s it! Easy as pie.

chalkboard calligraphy from Magnolia Market on Vimeo.

Don’t be intimidated by calligraphy or chalkboards in general. All it takes is a little patience and the realization that a chalkboard is completely erasable. That’s the beauty of them! You can’t mess up, so just keep trying until you get it right.

Remember to tag @magnoliamarket on Instagram if you try your hand at chalkboard calligraphy! We’d love to see your work!