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Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

It is already December 15th and I am just now getting around to posting about advent calendars. Better late then never, right? If you, like me, didn’t get around to creating a 25 day advent calendar this post is written just for you.

Amy and I got together after our fabulous trip to Hobby Lobby (sorry Christy) and created the “12 Days of Christmas” advent countdown.  Amy, being the paper diva she is, had some adorable white boxes on hand that were the perfect size to hide an advent treat. We folded those up, printed off the numbers 1-12 in red ink and tied them all up with an adorable red gingham sash. Amy’s mom let us borrow this amazing red vintage sled which I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! We tacked the boxes up onto the sled using double sided tape and Amy used her magic in creating the perfect “12 Days of Christmas” sign. It has such an adorable vintage Christmas feel that I just had to share it (even though I am two day’s late).


Here are some other inspiring advent calendar’s. I hope it is all the inspiration you need to begin your count down to Christmas.

Enjoy!

Special thanks to all those who inspire me:

http://julieree.blogspot.com

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com

http://medicalprepster.blogspot.com

http://themcclenahans.blogspot.com

http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com

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Amy and Terry are off on a Hobby Lobby field trip without me (not that I’m bitter or anything) and so I get to do the post today!  In all seriousness, I don’t begrudge them their trip.  They are in Virginia, after all, and I’m in North Carolina, and they have been LIVING WITHOUT A HOBBY LOBBY this whole time!  Can you believe that?  They’ve been so deprived…I assume they took the trailer to carry everything home from the new Hobby Lobby that just opened near them.

I wanted to do another post on quick and easy gift ideas.  If the Christmas cheer in a bottle (a.k.a. homemade liquor) post wasn’t your style, here’s one on easy, homemade ginger and lavender bath salts.  These are great teacher gifts or stocking stuffers, and you can use them throughout the year as a simple birthday gift, too.  They’re inexpensive–always a plus–and easy to dress up with packaging ideas (more on that later).

Let’s get started: simply mix in large bowl 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of Epsom salts (buy these in the pharmacy section), and 2 tablespoons of ground ginger.  If you want lavender, then omit the ginger and add about 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil.  Mix thoroughly and package it up–that’s it!  Some people add colored dye, but I’m not into adding artificial coloring unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Of course, you could substitute any essential oil that you prefer.  The possibilities are endless!  This makes one batch, and of course you can double, triple, quadruple it, etc etc.

Presentation is everything, so have fun packaging it up.  Pour it into cellophane bags, like the Wilton treat bags that you buy in the cake decorating section of the hobby store, or put it in a mason jar.  Tie it off with some ribbon or raffia, and use these Ginger Soak Printables if you’d like.  I print them on white card stock or whole sheet sticker paper, and cut them with a 3″ circle or scalloped punch.  If you find any old silver spoons at a flea markets or a yard sale, tie one to the jar (or bag) with the ribbon and it’s even cuter!

When it’s time to soak, the lucky recipient can throw in a few spoonfuls or the whole bag (depending on how bad her day was) and wash her troubles away.  Come to think of it, why not keep some in a cute vintage jar by your tub?

This seemed like a great idea to share on The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday linky party…wow, there are some awesome ideas over there, so take a look!

 

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We are living in an awesome old house (built in 1915!) right now, and it just happens to have four fireplaces.  So, what that means is that at Christmastime, I have four mantels to decorate!  I am NOT complaining about having four mantels, because that would just be annoying, but I am stating for the record that it is a bit of a decorating challenge.  My husband will probably be dragging me, kicking and screaming, from this house over the summer, when it will be time to move again, so since this is my last Christmas here, I am trying to make our decorations extra-special.

The first mantel that I did was in our library/family room/den/whatever-you-want-to-call it.  It’s where the TV is, and my husband’s recliner (I took one for the team on that decorating horror!), so that’s where we put our tree and our stockings.  I already posted pictures here and I do like the way that it turned out.  I put it on Rate My Space, because I’m slightly masochistic, and it seems like the tough crowd there has liked it, too.

Library Mantel

OK, so a few days ago I did the mantel in the formal living room.  This is where the piano is, and it’s painted a yellow-gold color.  The chandelier is gold, as are the frames around most of the artwork in the room, and so I had to go with gold decorations.  Plus, the focal point of the room is the old stained glass window from the church in which my parents got married.  My mom and dad had it on display for years in their house, and then I asked if it could be passed down to me.  If my house caught on fire, I’d make sure my family was safe (yes,  including the cat, even though he wouldn’t return the favor!), and then I’d wrestle this window down and rescue it.  So, it has pride of place in my house, and it’s smack dab over the mantel.  I just don’t think there’s any way to decorate this spot except simply, otherwise it detracts from the window.  So all I did was string a gold “Noel” banner across the mantel (yes, I know, the banner is a recurring theme in my decorations this year), put a crystal bowl of gold ornaments on top, and pop a white poinsettia on either side of the hearth.  That’s it.  The folks on Rate My Space were not overly enthusiastic (here),  and maybe something gets lost in translation with my camera, but I’m not sure if a bunch of greenery and lights would work much better.  I’ll post some pictures below–and I’d love to hear what you think!

Here’s the full-frontal snapshot!

 

This is what I’m dealing with in the rest of the room–see all of the gold accents?

Click below to check out some other AWESOME mantels at the Holiday Home Linky Party at the Lettered Cottage!

The Lettered Cottage

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We are living in an awesome old house (built in 1915!) right now, and it just happens to have four fireplaces.  So, what that means is that at Christmastime, I have four mantels to decorate!  I am NOT complaining about having four mantels, because that would just be annoying, but I am stating for the record that it is a bit of a decorating challenge.  My husband will probably be dragging me, kicking and screaming, from this house over the summer, when it will be time to move again, so since this is my last Christmas here, I am trying to make our decorations extra-special.

The first mantel that I did was in our library/family room/den/whatever-you-want-to-call it.  It’s where the TV is, and my husband’s recliner (I took one for the team on that decorating horror!), so that’s where we put our tree and our stockings.  I already posted pictures here and I do like the way that it turned out.  I put it on Rate My Space, because I’m slightly masochistic, and it seems like the tough crowd there has liked it, too.

Library Mantel

OK, so a few days ago I did the mantel in the formal living room.  This is where the piano is, and it’s painted a yellow-gold color.  The chandelier is gold, as are the frames around most of the artwork in the room, and so I had to go with gold decorations.  Plus, the focal point of the room is the old stained glass window from the church in which my parents got married.  My mom and dad had it on display for years in their house, and then I asked if it could be passed down to me.  If my house caught on fire, I’d make sure my family was safe (yes,  including the cat, even though he wouldn’t return the favor!), and then I’d wrestle this window down and rescue it.  So, it has pride of place in my house, and it’s smack dab over the mantel.  I just don’t think there’s any way to decorate this spot except simply, otherwise it detracts from the window.  So all I did was string a gold “Noel” banner across the mantel (yes, I know, the banner is a recurring theme in my decorations this year), put a crystal bowl of gold ornaments on top, and pop a white poinsettia on either side of the hearth.  That’s it.  The folks on Rate My Space were not overly enthusiastic (here),  and maybe something gets lost in translation with my camera, but I’m not sure if a bunch of greenery and lights would work much better.  I’ll post some pictures below–and I’d love to hear what you think!

Here’s the full-frontal snapshot!

 

This is what I’m dealing with in the rest of the room–see all of the gold accents?

Click below to check out some other AWESOME mantels at the Holiday Home Linky Party at the Lettered Cottage!

The Lettered Cottage

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In real life, I have a husband and kids and a very busy calendar (and a very messy kitchen), and so my Christmas decorations do not go up overnight.  Rather, it takes me about a week.  We were out of town for Thanksgiving, too, and so I feel like I came home already behind the eight ball.  So, room by room we are getting decked out for Christmas.

I had to start with my daughter’s room, mostly because she would have decorated herself if I hadn’t, and that would have been a mess!  We had a great time in there for a day, and then I moved on to the kitchen because I love my little kitchen tree the most of any of my trees.  I must admit here and now that the Ritz cracker can is an idea that I borrowed from my good friend Andrea.  All of the ornaments are kitchen/cooking related.

Kitchen Tree

Next, I did the wet bar.  I took down my mint julep cups from the shelf and put up my grandmother’s Santa mugs and little Santa nut cups (I think they’re nut cups, at least).  Thank you to my cousin, Stephanie, for sharing some of the mugs with me–they were the best Christmas present ever!  I didn’t do much else here besides add some evergreens and holly (I cut both from the backyard) and light some candles.  I think the old leaded glass window is a decoration in and of itself.

Wet bar

Grammy's Santa Mugs

Vintage decanters from my grandmother and a thrift shop silver tray

JOY!

After the kitchen and the wet bar were done, I moved into the library, and did the mantel there.  Our house has four fireplaces, so I’m going to need a few more ideas.  Fortunately, Southern Hospitality and The Lettered Cottage are having a vignette party, so I can get lots of good mantel ideas there!

My goal for this Christmas was not to buy anything new, and to just use what I had, whether it was technically a Christmas decoration or not.  I did buy fresh poinsettias ($3.50 each at Wal-mart) and the letters to make the JOY banner ($5 at Hobby Lobby for the letters and the ribbon–I already had the spray paint and the glitter), but that’s it.  Everything else was already in the house and just got moved to the mantel.  I cut cypress greens from the backyard and magnolia leaves from the front.  I’m still tweaking it a bit, but here it is as of 8pm tonight!

Close up of mantel in library

All right, this means it’s time to move on to the next room tomorrow.  At this rate, I’ll just be getting done by Christmas!

More pictures of these rooms are available on Rate My Space.  Thanks for coming by!

The Lettered Cottage

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By Amy

One of my favorite blogs and fellow graphic designer, Emily at Jones Design Co. made the most beautiful holiday gift tags and she is giving them away for FREE! How lucky is that? I had to share them!

Just download them, and print them. Even her packages are perfection. I didn’t want to not share this great find. Check them out here at Jones Design Co.

Gift Tags from Jones Design Co.

Happy Wrapping!!!

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By Amy

 

DIY Believe Sign

DIY “Joyeux Noel” Sign

As a graphic designer, I love type and the simple messages words can convey. I began making these simple little signs as gifts and decorations and they are so easy.

All you need is:

Scrapbook paper in light color (s) with a simple pattern. I chose a light green with a white paisley so the text won’t compete with the pattern.

A color printer

Several small wood rectangles (I have bought them at both Hobby Lobby and Michael’s)

Corner rounder (mine is from Creative Memories years ago, this is only necessary if your wood has rounded corners)

Spray Mount Craft Adhesive

Ribbon

1) Print out the graphic on your scrapbook paper. (I cut down 12×12 scrapbook paper to fit my printer, BTW). Here is the file I used:

Holiday Sign Printable

2) Cut it down to size (I carefully line up the text in the center of the wood before I cut–which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, but perfection isn’t necessary in my world). I use a paper cutter but scissors are fine too. I also round the corners off with a little tool I got years ago from Creative Memories, but if your board has square corners obviously this isn’t necessary.

3) Then spray the back of the paper with spray adhesive and press on the wood board. Don’t worry if it shows through, it will dry. I usually put a heavy book over it for a few minutes just to make sure it adheres.

4) Then I raid my husband’s tools (he finds this very stressful, so I do it when he isn’t around…he really loves his drill) and anyway–get out his drill. I usually use the 3/16 bit to make a hole large enough for the ribbon to go through easily. Just drill a hole on either side from the front of the sign to the back, but don’t get too close to the edge or the wood could crack.

5) Now all I do is add some ribbon, I cut about 2 16″ pieces, knot one end then slide it through the hole, twisting it up makes it easier to get through the small hole. (If you are strugging to get it through the hole, use an opened paperclip to help).

6) Then tie a knot to hold the ribbon in place, then I tie a bow over top of it. (And, I am never able to create those magazine quality bows, so if anyone has any tips please post a comment and help!), but then I trim the ribbon ends neatly and hang. All done! I am going to make a few more signs, so check back for more printables.

DIY Believe Sign

I also made this one for my daughter’s room, its similar to the holiday ones but larger and I plan to do an entire post on it soon.  I was inspired by Jones Design Co.’s post entitled TWIRL (http://jonesdesigncompany.com/thoughts/twirl/), and I had to make this sign for my baby girl’s room. She embroidered hers, but I am all for a faster solution.

ENJOY!

Amy

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