Tag Archives | seasonal decor

4th of July rag wreath

So…I made another wreath, but it wasn’t a magazine wreath this time! (Like this one or this one.) I wanted to make something quick that was 4th of July themed, but as usual, I wanted it to be free. Or at least very cheap. I already had red and navy fabric on hand as well as canvas from my radio cabinet redo and Christmas tree cones, so at least all the colors were there!

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I didn’t have a wire wreath frame (which would have been ideal for this project), so I reused a wire hanger from a previous wreath instead. It does make the wreath a little more floppy than a wreath frame would, but I don’t mind that look.

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If I were buying material for this, I definitely wouldn’t have bought canvas fabric since it frays so much, but again, I wanted to use stuff I had on hand.

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This was certainly one of the fastest wreaths I’ve ever made! I cut the fabric into strips that were about 1″ wide and 7 to 8″ long, and then tied them onto the wire circle. And that was it! It took less than 2 hours and I may have been a bit distracted by the show we were watching.

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The final touch was these star gift tags from the dollar section at Target. Got me again, Target! I just can’t resist!

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I took the jute strings off and attached them to the hanger with paper clips.

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The total cost was probably under $3. The stars came in packs of 2 for $1 each, so that’s $2…and the fabric was all super cheap when I bought it and I used hardly any of each (the navy was on clearance, the red was from a thrift store, and the canvas was a drop cloth from Lowes.)

I think it turned out great! When I first started tying the strips on the hanger, I was worried it was going to look really stupid, but I just kept squeezing more in until I couldn’t possibly find the hanger anymore.

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We don’t have a great place to hang a flag on our house, so this is our show of patriotism instead. 😉 Happy 4th!

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Another free magazine wreath

So, as expected Andrew gave me a very hard time for cutting up even more magazines and making yet another wreath!

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But this wreath was almost entirely free, and I think of all my homemade wreaths (like my spring magazine wreath, my fall paper wreath, or this quick twig wreath), it may have been the easiest!

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Materials:

  • Magazine pages (or other scrap paper)
  • Foam board/cardboard for the backing or a wreath form*
  • Scissors
  • Elmer’s glue or hot glue**
  • Double sided tape

*I made my wreath using a circle of foam board for the backing so that it would be flat enough to fit inside the storm door, but if you wanted a more dimensional wreath, a wreath form (and hot glue) might work better (for an indoor wreath, of course. Magazines don’t exactly hold up well to the elements!)

**I chose to use Elmer’s glue because the space in between our door and storm door has the effect of a greenhouse (even when it’s not that warm outside), sometimes causing the hot glue to re-melt. Since I was gluing paper to paper, I figured this might be a more permanent option.

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First, I went through tons of magazines and tore out any pages with fall colors. I tried to stick to red, orange, yellow, brown, gray, gold, etc. Then I cut a leaf shape out of a paint chip, traced the shape onto the magazine pages, and cut out all my little shapes. Definitely a bit time consuming, but turn on a movie and it’s not so bad!

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Once I had all my shapes cut out, I folded the leaves in half (in stacks of 10 or so at a time) so there would be a bit more dimension once they were on the wreath. I also opted to use some patterned pieces to give it a bit more interest.

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I had some pieces of foam board left from another project, otherwise I probably would have used cardboard so I didn’t have to buy anything. I didn’t have a circle big enough to trace, so I just measured out from a center point until I had enough dots to draw a circle. Man, I really need a compass. Then I cut the circles with an exacto knife, and ta-da!

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I used a lamp shade and a large bowl to draw different sizes of circles on the form so I would know where to line up my rows. You can see the faint pencil lines in the picture above. This was really helpful so I didn’t space my rows unevenly!

Then, starting from the outside of the form, I used thin layers of Elmer’s glue to place the leaves in rows. Only glue the bottom of each leaf, and let the first row hang way off the edge, so you won’t see the form once it’s hung. Also, on the first leaf of each row, be sure to leave half of it unglued so once you get back around to it, you can slip the edge of the last leaf underneath it!

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The Elmer’s glue does make the magazine pieces a little wrinkly, so I used a very thin layer only on the very bottom of each leaf, and then covered up the bottom of each row with the next row of leaves.

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Because of this, I decided to use double-sided tape on the last row so the wrinkles wouldn’t be visible. I placed a small strip for each leaf, being sure to overlap the leaf before.

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Then I placed each leaf one at a time, leaving enough excess to wrap them around the inside edge.

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Once I had taped a few, I wrapped them under and continued around the circle.

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After taping the entire last row, I turned it over and taped the leaves down to the back of the wreath.

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This created a really nice clean edge for the inside circle. I didn’t want to see the rough edges of the cut foam board!

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And it’s as simple as that! I really love this wreath! It might even be my favorite. The colors look so cute with the front door and the brick, and I think it looks very fall-esque from outside.

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Hopefully it’s cute enough to distract from our poor, dead alberta spruce? Died from the summer heat, and yet it’s still there. Hmmm…

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Still can’t figure out to do there that won’t die, so maybe I’ll just keep making wreaths in the hope that they’ll be enough of a distraction!

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So there you have it. Yet another free magazine wreath that, in my not so humble opinion, is adorable and totally worth the work! Happy fall (and wreath-making)!

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20 Affordable Fall Crafts

I LOVE seasonal decor, but my dear husband isn’t too keen on spending lots of money for something temporary, so I’m always on the hunt for ways to make my own decor for free or really cheap using stuff I have on hand, like scrap wood, extra paint, scrap paper or fabric, sticks from my backyard, etc.

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Here are 20 of my favorite fall decor/craft ideas this year! Happy decorating!

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Give Thanks burlap wreath from Paper Source

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Stacked wood pumpkins from DIY Swank

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 Brown paper wreath from Simple House Expressions

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Antique rake door decor from Better Homes and Gardens

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Twig votive holders from Bayside Bride

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Giant wood “Give thanks” tags from That’s My Letter

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 Pom pom wreath from Two Shades of Pink

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4×4 Wooden pumpkins from Simply Kierste

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Twig table runner from HGTV.com

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Thanksgiving subway art printable from Eighteen25

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Square Fall twig wreath from Design Dining + Diapers

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Give Thanks blocks from Raising Memories

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 Reclaimed wood welcome sign from Fox Hollow Cottage

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Coffee filter wreath from Lovely Crafty Home

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Fall candle holder centerpiece from Home Talk

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 Starburst twig wreath from The Painted Hive

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Candy corn wreath from The House of Smiths

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Chalkboard Thanksgiving printable from Pretty Organized

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Twig and pennant Thanksgiving wreath from Simple House Expressions

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 Wooden block cats from Our Clover House

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Christmas tree cones

Lately, I’ve been seeing Christmas tree cones everywhere, but I can’t bring myself to spend upwards of $15 per tree, especially when I’d really like to have at least 3 of them to group together. Why buy them when I can make my own?

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Last year, actually, I bought poster board at the dollar store to do this project and just never got around to it, so I really had no excuse this year! The only item I bought this year for the project was a 4×6 canvas drop cloth from Lowe’s for about $5. I wanted to create my own version of this tree I saw at Lowe’s.

To begin, cut your poster board into cones. I found the easiest way to do this was to use a makeshift compass using a long strip of poster board. Make the strip about as long as the height you want for your tree (after drawing each one you can cut it shorter to do the next). Attach it to the corner of a piece of poster board using a thumb tack, poke a hole in the other end, and draw a line keeping the strip tight without lifting the corner of the poster board.

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Cut along the line and then roll and secure with tape or hot glue. I stapled the bottom of mine, too,  just to be sure it wouldn’t unroll. Out of 2 pieces of poster board, I got 5 trees that are about 19″, 17″, 13″, 12″, and 9″ tall.

Then it’s time to decorate! This was the time-consuming part…I’m sure there are ways of decorating them that aren’t as time-intensive, like coffee filters, one big piece of fabric, etc., but I already had some ideas in mind.

First, I wanted to try wrapping them in strips of fabric. I had a large piece of red canvas-type fabric that I got from a thrift store for $2 that was just waiting for a good craft project! I cut long strips of the fabric, generally around 1″ thick. Then I just started wrapping and hot gluing the fabric onto the tree.DSC_0023

On the large one I placed the strips in every direction, but on the small one I thought it might go quicker to do them vertically. I really love how they turned out!  And I still have tons of fabric left for future projects…

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I wanted to have at least 1 green tree, so I chose 3 fairly similar green paint chip colors and cut out random (though mostly 4-sided) shapes from each color. And in the name of full disclosure, Andrew actually cut them out while I glued. Cause he’s awesome.

Starting from the bottom, I glued the paint chip pieces in layers until the whole tree was covered. I used smaller and smaller pieces as I got closer to the top so they wouldn’t stick out too far. For the very tip, I curled the small pieces around a pencil before gluing them on.

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I really like this one, too! It’s so abstract and perfectly random!

If you’re looking for a really quick way to make a tree, this is it! For my next one, I used caulking. Plain, white, interior, no frills, caulking (a.k.a. the cheapest kind), which, of course, we had on hand.  Check out this tutorial and video from Lowe’s.

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First, I covered the entire cone with large beads of caulk.

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Then I smoothed it out using the back of a plastic knife (non-serrated edge).

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Then I textured it using the back of a spoon, like she does in the video.

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After it was textured, I sprinkled gold glitter over the entire thing, with a little help from my very manly husband! And that’s it! This one was really easy! It only took 10 or 15 minutes to do. You know how a lot of tutorials are like 2 minutes long, make every step look super easy and short, but then when you try it, everything is a complete mess? Yeah, not this one! It really was as easy as it looks in the video.

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I had a lot of fun arranging my trees, as you can see.

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But I saved my favorite tree for last. Remember the Lowe’s fabric tree? I wanted to make one similar, so first I cut out a leaf template (using a paint chip cause it’s thick and sturdy!), and then cut out at least 200 leaves from my canvas drop cloth.

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Again, starting from the bottom, I hot glued each leaf into place. The rows were probably about an inch apart…maybe a little less. I tried to vary where I started each new row, just in case it would be obvious.

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For the very top, I made a tiny little canvas cone and glued it on, so that it wouldn’t be the only tree with a flat top. I couldn’t decide if i should glue the edges of the leaves on the bottom row under so that it wouldn’t look funny sitting on the table…

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But then I remembered I had this candlestick (that I got from my grandmother’s house. Thanks, Grandma!) that would allow me to preserve the cute scalloped edge.

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Need I say it again? I’m really happy with how they turned out! I think they look just as good as any “store bought” trees. And personally, I like my fabric leaf tree much better than the one at Lowe’s.

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As for my cute, stripey table runner, well, it’s just a piece of fabric!

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I bought a grey runner with a sequin border from Target, but upon getting it home realized that not only was it already missing sequins, it was exactly the same length as my table. Um, awkward.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think a runner should be either obviously shorter or longer than the table. So it went right back to Target, and I pulled this out of my small fabric stash, ironed the edges under, and laid it on the table.

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Call me cheap, but I love making things myself! Instead of spending $12.99 on a runner and $12 to $20 per tree, I spent well under $10 for this entire set-up.

  • “Runner” – $2 out of a scrap fabric bin over a year ago (and I didn’t cut it at all so it can still be used for other things)
  • Red fabric – $2 at a thrift store a long time ago (and I probably only used 5 inches off one end)
  • Canvas – $5, but I bought it to use for some other projects, too (and have plenty left for them)
  • Poster board – $1
  • Hot glue sticks – had on hand (maybe $2 worth of sticks?)
  • Caulk – $2 but had on hand, only used about half or less.

So I would say the cost of materials used was probably about $5? I’m calling that a win.

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And they’re just so cute!! I lurve them! I’m not sure this is the final arrangement, but who knows what will be. I’ll probably move them around every day until it’s time to put them away! What a sad day that will be…

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