Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just Because

I'm the first to admit, we have some wonderful friends. Each year for Christmas I want to do something for them, and to be honest, most years I don't get to it. This year I was bound and determined to do SOMETHING. A few weeks ago, when we had our first hard freeze, my Mom pulled the last of her tomatoes from the vine to keep them from dying in the cold. Most of them were very green, but all ripened up nicely - leaving us with hundreds of tomatoes - literally... My husband is of Hispanic background, and makes a mean salsa. Seriously - the best. We've had friends come over to have him teach them how to make it. :) So we decided to put all those tomatoes to good use and make homemade salsa for our friends - something pretty unique, low cost, but meaningful. I dressed up the mason jars a bit with some twine , fun clip magnets, and homemade cards (if you read my teacher gift post - these cards and magnets will look very familiar :) ). Here's the final result - I think they turned out great! Can't wait to hear what our friends think of them (and hope they don't read this!).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A DIY: Teacher Gifts (Oh my)

It seems like these always sneak up on me, even though I KNOW I have to do gifts for Christmas and the end of the year... But with two boys, at two different schools this year, that means a LOT of gifts. Ugh. My fear is always that I give them something they hate, or won't use, so I try to give them something practical, while making it fun at the same time... No small feat, and I have no doubt there have been years where I failed miserably. This year, I decided gift cards would be the best way to go, but I wanted to add something to them... I love the idea of these fun clip magnets (see Ashley Ann's blog here for a darling DIY she did on them), and decided I could use these to hold their gift cards, and add a little something else to the gift. Super easy, fun, and hopefully a little different.

I started with plain wooden clothespins and adhesive scrapbook paper. If you don't have adhesive, you can just modge podge the paper onto the clips - This just saved me a step. I measured the size of the clip and cut a bunch of little strips, then attached them to each clip using the adhesive strip.

Next, I applied a thin layer of modge podge over the top of each clip to just secure the paper and finish them a bit.

I applied magnets to the back of each clip using a strong adhesive (note: I tried the adhesive magnets, and trust me, they don't work. :) The adhesive just wasn't strong enough, and I ended up have to glue them anyway).

I added some fun scrapbook paper, distressed the edges with ink and added a "Merry Christmas" stamp to each and voila! Add the gift card and you are good to go, or just give as is.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Card Frame - A DIY from Poofy Boutique!

Yesterday I was so thrilled to be a "guest" of Kelsey's Poofy Boutique blog - she has a super fun blog full of crafty ideas, and a great Etsy shop to go along with it. Today I've asked Kelsey if I could share one of her Christmas crafts on my blog... She is posting one a day and I LOVE all the ideas she's come up with so far! (It was hard to choose just one!)

Her 'how-to' on a Christmas Card frame was just the motivation I needed (yep, my Christmas cards I've received are currently in a stack - I'll be making this frame this weekend to display them!). Here is her DIY:

Remember my craft room redo? Well I no longer have the craft room. We let one of Mike’s friends stay with us for a few months after he lost his job, and after he moved out we decided to give both of the boys their own rooms. So, all of the blue furniture – matches NOTHING.

I took the blue magnetic frame from the craft room and gave it a coat of spray paint.

I tied some butchers twine in a zig-zag around the frame.

and now it is ready for Christmas cards!


And here's just a few of my favorite items from her shop - she has something for EVERYONE on your list!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A DIY Feature - PoofyCheeks!

Today I'm featured on a fabulous blog I love reading! Not only does Kelsey do giveaways from time to time (she has a super cute Etsy store, more on that tomorrow), but she's also really good about posting fun crafts that are easy to do and great ways to add to your home decor. I was so honored when she asked if she could post my tutorial on Shabby Christmas Letters! So head on over and check it out! And be sure to read some of her other crafty ideas for Christmas - she's posting one a day! I'll be back tomorrow with more from Kelsey and the Poofy Boutique!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Christmas Mantle

Our mantle has been a work in progress for years. I've never been quite happy with it - and each year I play with it a bit more trying to get it just the way I want... This year, I think I'm finally there, or at least close.

Last year, I got the crazy idea that I needed a vintage sled as my mantle centerpiece. I love antiques, and my house is an eclectic mix of fun antiques and new pieces, but I'm not one that just has the "eye" for vintage. However, one of my good friends who is the owner of a very popular Etsy Vintage Shop is an expert (see her fantastic shop - BellaLulu - here). Last year, she let me tag along to a market with her on the hunt for a sled. I got lucky and we found one at almost the first area we went in. It truly is exactly what I had pictured in my head, and I love the look of it! You might wonder why the stockings are on the hearth and not hanging like they should from the mantle... Well, that would be for the safety of my sweet 2 1/2 year old little man (Leyton), who thinks things that hang are for pulling on. :) Until he's a bit older, we'll keep them down low so he can't knock himself out with a heavy stocking hanger falling on his head. :) And while the stockings are not super fancy or trendy, they are VERY close to my heart. My mom has made one for each member of my family, and I love them! They will forever be a part of my decor.

I added some cheap pine garland that I brightened up with some sparkly tinsel from Hobby Lobby (50% off of course!) and a few other pieces. One of my favorite Christmas decorating ideas is one I use in multiple places around my house (including on the far right of the mantle). I love the look of brightly colored glass ornaments in different vases, bowls, etc. It's an easy way to add color to any room without much cost or effort.

So what does your Holiday Mantle look like? I'd love to see it(and share for you on my blog)! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Shabby Christmas Letters - On the cheap! A DIY!

A few weeks back, I saw some darling letters spelling out "JOY" for Christmas Decor. I saw them from far away, so I didn't get to inspect them closely for details on making them, but I decided to wing it. I started out buying chipboard letters at our local Arts & Crafts store. I also bought different Christmas scrapbook paper (each piece big enough to trace a letter on), and a tiny tube of silver glitter, and that was it (just because I'm a sucker for all things shiny at Christmas). You'll also need modge podge, or something similar, which I already had.

I started tracing each letter on the paper and cutting them out. I then used modge podge to glue the cutouts to the letters. Be careful here to use a VERY thin layer of glue, or the paper will bubble. Mine bubbled a bit, but I have them up high and no one will ever notice. :)

The modge podge dries very quickly, so as soon as it was dry, I used scrapbook ink (I used brown) to distress all of the edges. You can do this as heavy as you like - I went heavy since I wanted to be see it from far away.

Once the ink dried (again, super quick), I modge podged over the top of the letters to seal it and give it a nice finish. Yeah, I know. Bubbles. Pretend you don't see them. :)

Last, I painted a little more modge podge on each of the letter edges and dipped them in the glitter. You really can't see much of this where they are displayed, but it gives them a finished look and a little extra sparkle. :)

Total cost -
Letters - $4 for 4
Scrapbook paper - $2.50 for 4 sheets
Glitter - $1.50
$8 total

And the finished product - I love it!