White Tulip Designs » Inspiration, Design, and DIY for all of life's events.

Masthead header

Perfectly Simple Birthday

I’m coming up for air after a super-busy weekend. Spent, elebrating G’s birthday with a simple and perfect small family party. Not big planning or production, just casual and fun.

A while back I asked G what sort of party he might want. He’s a pretty quiet kid and generally prefers smaller groups. All he wanted was a small family cookout (with cake, of course). He’s a teenager now, so not wanting anything too theme-y isn’t much of a surprise. He did want homemade, vanilla cake with “real chocolate” icing. His words exactly. FYI - “real chocolate” means the sinfully-sweet canned icing from the grocery store, lol! Easy-peasy!!


G bday 4


I did try to get a little creative with the cake decorating and there was a bit of an icing mishap. Well, really more of an explosion.


So, I figured we might as well have fun with it . . .


G bday 2

I know, I know, but you only live once. Right?


For dinner, I put together a “Build-Your-Own Burger” bar (with bacon, fried onion strings, etc.) and it was a hit! (I’ll be sharing more details on the components and ingredients in a later post!) And basically spent the day making the cake and knocking out different dishes for the burger bar and barely broke a sweat. The cake was a Vanilla Cake by Rosie Alyea on Sweetapolita and it was divine. I didn’t use the icing recipe, of course but it looks yummy too.

I sort of felt bad about not having things more planned and perfected but the boys played basketball outside and later we all played “heads up” which was so much fun for everybody.


G bday 3

We had a wonderful time spent with family, eating burgers and cake, playing games and generally enjoying ourselves. But there was no perfectly executed “Pinterest Party” here.  Trust me, if you’re fed up with the Pinterest party pressure, this is the perfect antidote.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too! See you soon!

Jenna - 04/27/2015 - 5:20 pm

A build your own burger bar sounds perfect for a summer party, I’m going to remember this idea~what a great way to entertain we ease and I know everyone would love it! I agree about the extent people are going for kids parties, just ridiculous!!!

Book Page Art

Watercolor Book Page Art by White Tulip Designs

Holy Wow, this week flew by! I’ve been planning a mini-party for G’s birthday party Saturday and my head is spinning a bit. It’s just a small family gathering but I really want it to be special. Hopefully it will come together as planned. (I may be sharing bloopers on Instagram, if not! LOL!)

Book Page

I put this project together to have something unique but personal to hang in our living room. I’ve been trying to pull together as much artwork that’s fun and interesting as possible while I’ve been updating the walls. It pulls together different watercolor techniques and funky tricks to get a neat result. I promise it’s not difficult and it’s really forgiving but it is a bit time consuming.

To start with, I paid $2 for this Volume of Encyclopedia Britannica from 1967 that I found at my favorite junk/estate store, Shinola (read: treasure chest!) So, with that in mind, don’t be surprised if you see many more book page projects in the future!

Ready!? Here we go . . .


  • Watercolors - you’ll want to use tubes (I use Reeves)
  • Brushes - 1 flat and wide and 1 round (whatever size you’re comfortable with)
                        *  Don’t use your better brushes here and don’t use your regular watercolor palette, if you have one.
  • Cooking Oil - 2 tablespoons (approximately)
  • Water - 1/3 cup (approximately)
  • Cookie sheet
  • Drying rack (anything that will allow air to pass underneath without leaving an impression)
  • Book page (I would not use a super delicate, older, book as it may not stand up to the process)


  1. Carefully cut page from your book using an Exacto knife.  (See tips for creating your outline below.)
  2. Print an outlined letter (or shape) onto your book page.
  3. Using a white crayon, trace and color in your letter. (It’s tough to see so take your time and use good lighting for this part.)           

  4. Place your colored book page in a shallow pan. I used a 1/4 size cookie sheet.
  5. Start by dripping watercolors with more pigment than color.  (Be sure to use colors that mix well or you’ll end up with dirty water.) Then drip small drops of oil (cooking) over the page.
  6. Using a flat, wide brush tipped with small dabs of undiluted watercolors pull stripes evenly from top to bottom. This will make sure you get color disbursed all over your page. I poured a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of water over the page after that to help keep a random look.      

    Process 2
    Process 3
  7. Place paper towels or newspaper under a drying rack to keep from staining your work surface. Holding the top two corners of your page, carefully slide your page out of the pan and carefully lay it onto your drying rack.
  8. Using a paper towel, carefully dab to pull excess water and oil from the page. At this point, I went back over the edges with a brush loaded with undiluted watercolors to highlight the edges of my letter.      
         Process 4
  9. Let dry for about 2 hours.
  10. I used cotton swabs to rub over the letter. This wipes away any watercolor or oil residue and cleans up the lines. Then I went back over the outside with regular watercolors to help make the letter pop.    

    Process 5
  11. Let your letter finish drying for about 2-3 more hours and you’re ready to frame!


Watercolor Book Page Art by White Tulip Designs

Tips to create your printable:

  • Open Word and select the “Page Layout” tab at the top.
  • Select the “Size” option and choose the size of your book page (or the next size smaller). Then, select the “Margins” option and choose a 1″ margin for all four sides.
  • Go back to the “Home” tab and scroll through until you find the font you’d like to use. I’m using DecoCaps. The size only goes up to 72 but you can highlight that box and type in the size you’d like to use. I suggest increasing the size in increments of 100 until you find the size you like. (Mine is 400).
  • Highlight the letter and go the “Font” box at the top. Select the “Text Effects” option then scroll down to the Outline option and slide over to the color bar to choose a medium gray option.
  • Go back to the “Font” box at the top and select the “Font Color” option. Choose white for your fill color. (Be sure to keep your letter highlighted through the entire process.) You may want to tweak your margins a bit before you print so do a test print on plain paper first.
  • Now you have a highlighted letter!

Printed Book Page


Whew, Fun, right? Now, go forth and paint my friends. Have a lovely weekend! See you next week.

Linking up at The Scoop, Metamorphosis Monday, & Wow Us Wednesday

Jennifer (White Tulip Designs) - 10/08/2015 - 10:24 pm

Oh, you’re a girl after my own heart! You’d love the “Geek Chic” sign I made for my hubby!

Jennifer (White Tulip Designs) - 10/08/2015 - 3:36 pm

Thank you Julie, I’m glad you stopped by!I’m so happy you liked it!

Mary-In the boondocks - 10/08/2015 - 2:36 pm

That is so pretty… no beautiful. It looks as if it belongs in an elve’s house in Middle Earth.

Julie - 10/07/2015 - 6:26 pm

I remember doing watercolour resist painting like this at primary school, well, when I say like this I mean technique only! Your results are so sophisticated. I think this is a beautiful effect and an interesting new way to make book art. Lovely!

Lou Lou Girls - 06/15/2015 - 1:32 pm

Wow! That looks incredible. I’m so impressed. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you stopping by to party with us. We hope to see you, tonight at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

Jennifer (White Tulip Designs) - 05/12/2015 - 7:45 am

Hi Christine, Thanks for stopping by!

Chrsitine - 05/11/2015 - 6:35 pm

This is absolutely beautiful, Jennifer! Thank you for the tutorial! Pinning!

Jennifer (White Tulip Designs) - 05/06/2015 - 7:24 pm

Thank you! I’m so glad you like it!

the cape on the corner - 05/06/2015 - 2:52 pm

beautiful. wow.

Vicki and Jennifer 2 Bees in a Pod - 04/28/2015 - 5:03 pm

Jennifer - you are so very creative. We too love book page art but you have taken yours to the next level! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Something To Talk About Link Party!

Karen - 04/27/2015 - 8:10 pm

Love it! So pretty and unique!
Thanks so much for sharing on Something to Talk About! Pinning!

Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Where flowers bloom, so does hope.  -Ladybird Johnson

Earth Day 2

In honor of Earth Day and going green I thought I’d share some pics of our ride home from school.  When we decided to move out of town I was a bit wary but the schools here are wonderful so that made the decision for me. We live in an area that is quickly growing and developing. I can’t help but think about what we might be losing in the process. So, I try to subtly point out the animals and beautiful country around us every day on our way home. Believe me that’s a tough job with a teen. But, hopefully, one day he will see how important preserving all of this is.

Earth Day 1

Going green can be an overwhelming prospect. In our family, we’re trying to go green as we work on home renovations and as other things come up. If we can all make an effort to preserve the world immediately around us, just think how much we can accomplish. Start with small, simple things and work your way forward.

Earth Day 4

Slowly Going Green - One Small Step at a Time

  • Recycle/Up-cycle - This seems fairly obvious but for some it takes more effort than you might imagine. But it can also be more than paper and plastics. Up-cycling can be more of a fun challenge by remaking your “trash” into new and wonderful treasures. You’ll want to check into your areas options for proper recycling of hazardous waste (construction materials, chemicals, computer components, etc.)
  • Reduce Energy Consumption - This is a great way to save green as much as go green. A simple way to start would be to begin using a programmable thermostat and be sure you have it programmed properly. Living just a degree or two cooler in the winter and a degree or two warmer in the summer can make a huge difference to your power bill. You might also check into the tax credits your state offers and then look into adding things such as solar panels.
  • Support Your Local Farmers - You can even farm your own. Full-disclosure, I’ve always felt like I had a fairly green thumb but two summer ago I learned that did not extend to a vegetable garden. However, I highly recommend at least trying your hand on the smallest scale. Buying from our local farmer’s market not only supports local families but I also feel like I learn so much about what I’m eating from the farmer that owns it. Not to mention reducing the energy used to transport food from across the country and around the world.

These are just a few small ways to get started this year. Start now and see how much you save!

For more green information:

What sort of green, up-cycling projects have you done? (Don’t forget pallet projects count!)

Have a lovely day! See you soon!

Lavender Hand Scrub

Today’s post is for a recipe and tutorial with an added printable bonus!
And, it make for a lovely Mother’s Day or Teacher Appreciation day gift!

Hand Scrub - cover

In a former life, (while in design school) I spent some a few years working in a beautiful day spa. And one of the most popular manicure perks was our in-house hand scrub. The recipe is for a simplified version using much more budget friendly ingredients but mainly, I wanted to share a tutorial on the proper way to use your scrub.

I know, you’re thinking that a hand scrub seems pretty self explanatory but, trust me, it’s not. But, for now, here’s the recipe:

Hand Scrub - White Tulip Designs

Lavender Hand Scrub Recipe:

  • 1 cup olive oil (almond oil also works well and has a lovely scent)
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender

Hand Scrub - White Tulip Designs


I start by adding the oil first and then stir in the salt a little bit at a time. Then finish by adding in the lavender. Kosher salt gives a nice, coarse, scrub but you can use table salt as a substitute. I prefer not to use sugar as it can cause residue build-up in your drains. For the jar, I recycled a salsa jar by cleaning off the label and painting the lid!

As an added bonus, I’ve added a label printable (with original watercolor artwork).


White Tulip Designs Lavender Hand Scrub with Printable Label


Hand Scrub Process:

  1. Wash hands with warm water and soap as you normally would then lightly dry them. You’ll want to leave them slightly moist.
  2. Put a small amount of scrub (about the teaspoon or less) in the palm of your hand. (Notice my adorable “scoop” I picked up from a mis-matched silver box in an antique shop for a $1!)
  3. Scrub your hands together over the sink being sure to concentrate on any particularly dry spots as well as your cuticles and nail.
  4. Using warm (not hot) water, rinse your hands thoroughly and them dry them completely. Super soft, right?
  5. Hold on, you’re not done yet. Your hands feel nice and soft because you’ve scrubbed all of the dead skin off but now you need to protect them. Use a heavy, moisture rich lotion immediately after scrubbing and again in the evening to cover your fresh “new skin”.
  6. Whatever you do, do NOT use a hand scrub more than once a week. I know it makes them feel great but soon they will get really tender and can even become drier than when you started.


Hand Scrub Tutorial - White Tulip Designs


Don’t forget, adding the lotion as the end is the key!
Here are some great choices, they vary in price and I use all of them.

Nail Tek Advanced Hydrating Creme (my absolute favorite!)

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Creme


Printable Hand Scrub Label - click here

Lavender scrub labels

As you know, I like to use regular paper and large tape rather than label paper and this project is no different. However, this time, I affixed tape to the back before taping to the front of the jar to seal out any oil or water drips!




*This post contains affiliate links but all views regarding product recommendations are my own! For more info refer to my policies page, thank you for stopping by!

Linking up over at Met Monday, The Scoop,

TV wall inspiration

Over the last several weeks I’ve been working on a project to add shelves to our TV wall. And, if this blasted rain can hold off for just a day or so I can finally get it finished. In the meantime, here’s my inspiration board (complete with tutorials!) for the wall. Keep in mind, I’m starting with a bold, Peacock blue, blank slate . . . (see my Gallery Wall to get an idea)

And, here’s my inspiration board . . .               Oh, I’m so ready to have this done! Fingers crossed for a clear few days.

TV wall inspiration board


Left to right and top to bottom (links to items are highlighted)

 1.  Shelves from Ballard design
(These are $499 each. My DIY shelves are much more budget minded)

    2.  Blanket Ladder with tutorial from Love Grows Wild.
(I can’t wait for you to see my version!)

 3.  Wide dresser from Pottery Barn
(Cost: $1899 - Mine is an upcycled version = free plus handle upgrade!)

 4.  Gold framed art from Heather Hess at Home
(Her fabulous tutorial even includes the artwork.)

 5.  Wine Crates for “drawer” storage.
(I got mine for free from a store but you can buy them in a pinch.)

6.  The shelves will be home to my favorite design books!
Here’s a great article on styling those shelves from Turn Style Vogue.

7.  Flowers will never grow along this wall so I’m making my own
bright bouquet using this great tutorial from Our Lake Life!


Looking for more inspiration and ideas to update your TV storage or Living Room?
Come see what I’m pinning:


Follow White Tulip Designs’s board Living Room on Pinterest.


[…] Here’s the inspiration post I started with: TV wall inspiration post! […]

DIY Shelves » White Tulip Designs - 05/22/2015 - 5:55 pm

[…] Don’t you love it when you’ve been thinking about finishing a final project for so long and you FINALLY get to show it to someone? I’m so excited to share an update on my TV Wall. I’ve finally gotten the shelves finished and in place. Here are the inspiration shelves from the original post: […]

D I Y   S h o p