crafting · DIY · Seasonal

6 Easy D.I.Y Holiday Decor Ideas!

It is officially December which means it is time to start trimming our trees and spreading holiday cheer all around our homes.Whether you decorate before the Thanksgiving bird has even been served or later in December, I have a few ideas of how you can spice up your decorating this year!

1. Fill a vase with ornaments.

This idea is simple but makes a big impact. Pick your favorite vase and just fill it with beautiful ornaments to display in your home! Most of us have more ornaments than we have room for on the tree. This is a perfect way to display those ornaments you really love but can’t fit on the tree this year!

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2. Trim the tree with bold ribbon.

This might seem obvious, but instead of using the traditional garland like you do every year, head over to your local Micheals. They often have ribbon on sale. Grab yourself a few spools of big, bold ribbon that matches the theme you are going for with your tree this year. I chose a gold color since that is the general look we were giving the tree. The great thing about using ribbon is you can reuse it year after year. Pick a brown burlap type of ribbon for a great rustic look, or a glittery ribbon for more of a glam feel!

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3. Make easy but bold art pieces.

I love this idea. All you need is shadow boxes, mini ornaments, scrapbook paper of your choice and cheap but beautiful decals from Darling Decal Co. You can grab shadow boxes for a great price again, at Micheals, and be sure to always use a coupon when you shop there. While you’re there grab yourself some miniature ornaments (you can also get these at Amazon) and some glittery scrapbook paper! Cut the scrapbook paper to size to fit into the back of your shadow boxes and just tape or glue it in place. Fill your shadow boxes with mini ornaments in the color of your choice. Lastly, add the beautiful decals from Darling Decal Co. Feel free to ask for the exact decals that I ordered. They are super easy to apply and totally affordable!

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4. Use battery operated string lights to make a bold statement!

I love these battery operated string lights! I’m using them all over the house this year. A great way to use them is to take a pretty glass bowl, fill it with ornaments, pine cones, or whatever you want, and string the lights throughout to make the whole bowl shine!

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5. Make faux gifts!

This is another super easy idea that makes a big impact. Save all those shipping boxes that you’ll be getting from Amazon or wherever you shop online during the holidays, and wrap them in pretty wrapping paper! Pile them up in a corner or use them to hide the less than perfect aspects of your home, like an old outlet cover or wires!

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6. Wrap your artwork.

Have any photos or artwork hanging on your wall that isn’t quite in tune with the holiday spirit? An easy solution is to wrap them and make them look like gifts hanging on your walls! I used the artwork I made here. It was too autumnal and didn’t quite match the rest of my holiday decor, so I took some beautiful glittery wrapping paper that I got on sale at Target , and wrapped the canvases. Then I added the same gold ribbon I used on my tree to really tie it all together.

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I hope you enjoyed my Holiday decor ideas, and use them in your home this year! What D.I.Y decor do you use in your home this time of year?

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

For me, there is no Halloween without pumpkins! One of the core traditions of Halloween is to put a Jack-o-Lantern on your front walkway. But one of the most frustrating aspects of making Jack-o-Lanterns is the mess we make and the tools we need to carve them. Below are a few ideas of how you can decorate your pumpkins this year the no-carve way. Get the kids involved to make it a family affair! Learn more about Fall crafting here.

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  • You can use faux pumpkins for these ideas or real pumpkins, I used faux only because I got a great deal on them at Target!

Pro Tip- If you are using faux pumpkins, a great way to make them look more real is to cover them in a coat of brown paint and simply wipe off the excess with a paper towel. The paint will stick in all the pumpkins crevices and make it look much more realistic!

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Chalkboard Paint Pumpkin

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This one is super easy!

What You’ll Need:

  • A Pumpkin
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • A Chalk Pen or pens

Step One-

Paint your pumpkin with chalkboard paint! I prefer black paint because it sticks to the spooky theme but you can choose any color you want.

Step Two-

When your pumpkin is dry, pick a word or design and write it in chalk pen on your pumpkin.

Glitter Pumpkin(Slightly Messy)

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What You’ll Need

  • A Pumpkin
  • An Acrylic Paint Color of your choice
  • Glitter of your choice
  • Glue bottle with a narrow nozzle

Step One-

Paint your pumpkin with your chosen color, you may need to do a few coats to get the coverage you’re looking for.

Step Two-

Once your pumpkin is completely dry use your glue to draw a pattern of your choosing, such as a cobweb or a spooky face. I suggest putting down some cardboard or old newspapers on a surface you can work on. Take your pumpkin to your work space, we will be using glitter so expect a little mess to be made. Lightly pour your glitter over the glue. Don’t worry about getting glitter on areas without glue, it will come right off! When you have completely covered your glue with glitter, shake off the excess and you are done!

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What You’ll Need:

  • A Pumpkin
  • A Black Paint Pen
  • Orange Rhinestones
  • 3 different kinds of ribbon of your choosing
  • Mod Podge
  • A Hot Glue Gun

Step One-

Print out the letters below for your stencil. You can use any other words/phrases that you’d like, but I recommend the one below for this tutorial.

Boo!

Once you’ve printed out the letters for your pumpkin, cut them out and tape them to the front of your pumpkin. Trace around the edges of the stencils with a pencil.

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Step Two-

After removing the stencil use a black paint pen and go over your tracings. Allow time to dry. Use Mod Podge to glue your rhinestones to the outlines of the letters to give them definition. You can use bigger rhinestones than I did. Using tweezers to apply them really helps speed up the process. Coat the whole decal in a layer of Mod Podge when your done to really seal it in.

Step Three

Using your hot glue gun, take three different kinds of ribbon, overlap them, and glue together. Now glue your ribbon strand to the side of your pumpkin for a classy look. You can add a bow to the top for a finishing touch.

 

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

5 Halloween Kid’s Crafts

We all love this spooky time of year, especially kids. What better way to celebrate than with a good craft. Crafting is an important part of childhood. According to this article by PBS.org, crafting with kids grows their fine motor skills, provides opportunities for language development, strengthens problem solving, and develops visual learning. So, take advantage of this and try out some of the crafts below with your little one this Halloween.

Popsicle Stick Witch Hat

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What You’ll Need:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue
  • Black Paint
  • Paper of your choice
  • Ribbon and Button to decorate (Optional)

Step One-

Glue the popsicle sticks in the shape of a witch hat, as pictured below. Allow to dry.

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Step Two-

Once dry, paint the popsicle sticks black. Allow to dry

Step Three-

Pick paper that you would like to be the back of your witch hat. Trace the inside of the popsicle stick triangle with pencil on the paper and cut about an inch away from the pencil lines. Erase the lines and glue the triangle on the back of your with hat.

Step Four-

Decorate! You can use ribbon, buttons, feathers, rhinestones or whatever you have!

Pine Cone Bat

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What You’ll Need:

  • Pine cones
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Construction Paper
  • Twine or Ribbon
  • Googly Eyes
  • Wire

Step One-

First you must paint your pine cones! Wrap the tops or stems of the pine cones in wire and create what looks like a ornament hook. Water down a cup of black acrylic paint. Be sure to use a cup your okay with throwing away. Find a place you can make a bit of a mess and easily clean it up. I put down some cardboard on my back patio and hung a tension rod between two saw horses to hang my pine cones on so they could drip dry. Dip the pine cones in the paint, let as much excess paint as you can drip off into the cup then hand your pine cones up to drip dry. Allow to dry for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the paint has completely dried to the pine cones.

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Step Two-

Once your pine cones are completely dry lay them down on construction paper and trace some bat wings for your new bats!

Styrofoam Spider

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Popsicle Stick Friends

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Doily Pumpkin

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Bonus: Free Printable (Spider Hand print Art)

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

Prepping Acorns for Crafts

Seasonal crafting is one of my favorite pastimes. I love collecting things I find in nature on my hikes and including them in arts and crafts. I always keep an eye out for beautiful things to pick up when I’m out in nature. Fall is one of the best times for that. With all of the colorful falling leaves and the abundance of acorns and pinecones to collect, you can grown quite the collection quickly for crafting. However, if you are going to use something from nature in your crafts, which I highly recommend, you absolutely need to preserve it. I already wrote about how you can preserve Fall leaves here, but pinecones and acorns need to be baked if you are going to bring them into your house. This prevents mold from growing and kills any unwanted guests that might be hiding inside. Below I’ll explain the process for preserving acorns for crafting, which can also be applied to pinecones.

Step One:

First of all, collect some acorns! Make sure you aren’t picking up acorns with cracks or holes, these aren’t good for crafting and holes in an acorn are a sign of bugs! Also be sure not to pick up green acorns, those aren’t ripe yet and are more likely to mold because they carry more moisture in them. You can collect just acorn caps, there are some great crafts out there for them!

 

Step Two:

Now that you’ve collected your fair share of acorns, it is time to clean and rinse them! Put all of your acorns in a colander and rinse them under lukewarm water. After you’ve rinsed all of the dirt off of your acorns, place them in a bowl filled with water and let them soak for an hour to remove any remaining dirt.

Pro-Tip: If you do not bake your acorns soon after collecting them, you risk the possibility of worms hatching. Don’t risk it!

 

Step Three:

Now that you’ve soaked your acorns, it is time to dry them. Remove your acorns from the water and place them on a towel and allow them to dry for an hour or so.

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Step Four:

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Arrange the acorns on a cookie sheet and place in the oven.

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Step Five:

Turn your acorns every 30 minutes and bake until they turn a deep brown, about 2 hours.

Step Six:

Remove acorns from the oven and allow them to cool completely before using them. Once they are cool, go ahead and start crafting!

 

For Pinecones:

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  • Collect some pinecones!
  •  Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place pinecones on a cookie sheet.
  •  Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow a day to cool before crafting!

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Examples of crafts with Acorns and Pinecones!

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

Fall Leaves Canvas Art!

The most characteristic part of Fall for me is the changing of the leaves! The falling leaves are the embodiment of Autumn. So, for my first craft, I thought the perfect project would be to show everyone how to preserve the beautiful colors and shapes of the leaves, and display them in your home. For this project we’ll collect leaves and make a unique wall art display for your home!

What You’ll Need:

  • Iron
  • Wax paper
  • Leaves
  • Canvases
  • Paint/Color of your choice
  • Mod Podge
  • Brushes
  • Paper Towels

Step One:

Get outside and collect some leaves! Pick ones that have vibrant colors and that aren’t dried out yet. Collect as many that catch your eye as you can, since you’ll need a lot for this project (at least 30 decent sized leaves).

Step Two:

If your leaves are wet from rain or dew, sandwich them between paper towels to dry them off for about an hour.

Once you have enough dry leaves, place them in between two sheets of wax paper. Place paper towels on either side of the wax paper to protect your iron and your surface from the melting wax. Coating your leaves in wax and heating them lightly with an iron helps eliminate moisture in the leaf and seal in the color.

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Set your iron to the satin setting and delicately iron the leaves till they have a thin coating of wax on both sides.

Remove the leaves from in between the wax paper. Let cool for 30 minutes.

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Step Three:

Now that you have sealed your leaves in wax, it’s time to coat them in Mod Podge!

Brush the top side of your leaves with one coat of Mod Podge, don’t worry if it looks like your glue isn’t adhering, its just having trouble sticking to the wax, but its still doing its job.

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Example of the first coat of Mod Podge.

Once the top sides of your leaves are dry, flip, and repeat with the backsides of your leaves. This layer of Mod Podge will keep the leaves from deteriorating.

Pro-Tip: If you want your leaves extra flat, press them in between some heavy books for a few hours after following all the above steps. You can add a full tea kettle on top for some extra weight!

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Your leaves should look like this when your all done!

Step Four:

Purchase canvases at your local art supplier Micheals. Choose sizes that go well together and remember to always find the best deals. I happen to prefer Micheals as I can use coupons. Try to go when they are having a sale.

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Some Wall Art Ideas!

Once you have purchased your canvases, pick a base color to paint them! It can be anything you want, I chose brown to match my existing decor and to bring out the colors in the leaves. However, you can pick a statement color like teal or yellow!

 

After deciding on a base color, paint your canvasses. It may take a few coats as my canvases took 3 coats to get the deep brown I was looking for.

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Step Five:

Now that your canvases are painted and your leaves are prepped, its time to put them together.

Plan out your pattern with your leaves before you start gluing. When you’ve found a design you like, paint the backs of your leaves with Mod Podge and glue them down to your canvases. Allow them to dry for an hour or two. If your leaves aren’t flat against the surface, wait for the the Mod Podge to dry, lay down something plastic like Ziploc bags or saran wrap, and then place some heavy books on top.

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Once the leaves have glued to your canvases, paint an even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface, even the sides. This will give everything a nice finished look and keep the leaves pressed down.

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Don’t worry if your leaves hang off the edge, you can trim off the excess when everything is dry.

You can even add extra layers of Mod Podge if you feel like you need to, just allow them to fully dry before adding the next layer.

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 Pro-Tip:  If you want to get extra fancy and make your project really last you can add a layer of Acrylic Paint Sealer over the whole project. Be sure your entire work surface is covered (I use empty trash bags as work mats) and that you ventilate the area after using the spray.

Once your Mod Podge is dry you can hang your new art work and admire it all season long!

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