I was privileged to be asked to do a special feature at BTG’s recent Words Matter Conference (audio files here!) earlier this month. I named it “Restorative Decorating” and had fun sharing different ideas for how to infuse your home with life. During the session, women were able to text in their questions and I promised to write an article or two (or more) touching on the questions that we were not able to get to! So, here I am, beginning the DIY deco conversation again. There were enough questions for a couple of articles, so be on the lookout for more!

I have no idea how to glue or Mod Podge hymnal sheets to walls. What do you suggest? Ooh! Great idea! As I had shared in my session, I love copying old hymnal pages and using them in various decorative ways! This is a fun and possibly a more permanent decorative idea. If you don’t want a forever look or the work of someday removing said papers from the wall, I would suggest using a large piece of cardboard, poster board, or canvas, then hanging a few sheets together in a group. Another idea would be to find a large frame at a thrift store, remove the glass and glue the pages to the cardboard behind the picture. You could then paint the frame a fun color if you don’t appreciate its raw form. If, however, your heart is set on gluing directly to the wall (which could be really cool looking!) I would consider a wallpaper glue. If you want to try making your own, here are some recipes I haven’t tried but could possibly be awesome: wallpaper paste or removable wall paper paste. Goodness! Looking at that last link, I want to cover a wall in hymns! I have heard that cornstarch (part of the second recipe) and water work well for hanging fabric on the wall, but it is something I haven’t tried. I’ll put it on my list of “want to try,” although it’s getting longer and longer!

How can we follow you on Pinterest? I am on Pinterest; just look for Melinda Nelson. I “like” almost twice as much as I “pin,” so be warned…you should peek at my likes! I’m not sure why that it is, unless it’s faster than deciding which board to put it on, or maybe it speaks to my commitment phobia.

Did you repurpose the leather off the bad dog couch? This question made me laugh! Our dog, Jed, was quite irritated with us one day (of course this is my assumption, he did not tell me) and tore up an old couch we had on our back porch. I had my husband pull out all the old springs and “skin” the old leather off of the thing before he threw it in the dumpster. To answer your question, no, I have yet to repurpose the leather. I would love to try making a handmade journal or two. It could also be fun to find a way to write on it (Sharpie?) and then upholster something smaller. When I do, I will try to write to all of you and show you what I did!

Have you ever made a headband holder by using Gorilla Glue to attach an empty oatmeal canister to a candle stick? I have not! Great idea, girl! You could easily Mod Podge the canister with fun, colorful papers or old book pages. Let me know if you try it, as I may have to fight the kids for the next oatmeal container.

Do you do clocks? I have painted a clock or two but I have not made a clock. I have, however, priced clock parts at the craft store for some ideas I have wanted to try. I would like to paint numbers on the wall in a circular clock formation and then add in the hands and motor mechanism for a fun look. It might also be cool to purchase the vinyl numbers instead of painting them for a look that can be moved around the house. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, it would be fun to find something to paint numbers on, like thin blocks of wood, old coasters, mugs, antique tea plates, or jars filled with goodies. Hang said tschotske on the wall in the same numerical formation, add the clock mechanism and….BAM! You have a clock!

I lost my 19-year-old only son. Can you recommend a creative type memorial we could do? First of all, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Hugs to you! I think creating something to remember him would be a lovely thing. First off, you want to think about what he loved. What were his passions and hobbies? If he loved music, maybe use some sheet music Mod Podged to a board you can frame, then layer his photos or other mementoes on top. Or use old keys from a piano, similar to the way I did at the conference. If he was into sports, find things from his favorite team or sport and use those. The idea is to combine his things with things he loved. If he had shirts he loved to wear, you could cut them up and sew them together like a quilt. Even if you aren’t a seamstress, it could be quite cathartic to piece them together and reminisce about your time with him. Or, if he had a sweater you loved, you could make it into a scarf like I showed you at conference; it could feel like a hug every time you wear it. You aren’t looking for perfection in something like this, but rather to make it a labor of love and a chance to heal. I would be willing to help you brainstorm ideas if this didn’t help inspire ideas; just look me up on Facebook or email BTG and it will get to me. I am praying for divine inspiration in what you could create to warm you and your family’s heart every time you look at it. Hugs, dear one.