Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fabric Covered Box

Today's project: cover a sturdy box with fabric to turn it into a cute storage box!

To make this, I used a mix of hot glue gun and fabric glue. The hot glue gun leaves texture under the fabric, which I didn't love, but I didn't want to run out to the store for other glue. I may do the next box with rubber cement or super glue.

Cut out the fabric with a little excess to fold over to prevent fraying.

I decided not to cover the top of this box, since the plain white matches the fabric print anyway - saves time and fabric!

Now I have a pretty storage box for my extra fabric!

Note (added 1/6/15): I went looking for a better gluing solution and decided to try Elmer's Spray Adhesive (which I found at Target). It's a very, sticky mess if you get it on anything you don't want it on; otherwise it worked perfectly!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Candy & Ribbon Wreath

I love making these candy wreaths! They make quick, adorable gifts that also show you put a little thought and care into it. 

For the past few years, I've made one for my Dad to take to his school (he's a principal and teacher). I thought it would make a fun addition to his office during the holidays - other teachers could stop by and have a little treat and the students might feel a little more at ease in the principal's office with a piece of candy! 

Last year, I shared several photos of the candy wreaths I've made; without a pictorial. This year, I made the wreath an easier way and want to share it again - with step-by-step pictures.

To make this fun candy & ribbon wreath you'll need:

8"-9" round base
(you can buy it or make it with a wire hanger)

3-4 pounds of twist-wrapped candy

curling ribbon

To get started, cut several pieces of ribbon at 12-14 inches each.
Step 1 - tie the ribbon to one side of the candy piece
Step 2 - double-knot the ribbon and candy to the wreath's base
Step 3 - curl the ends of the ribbon using scissors
Step 4 - push the candy pieces together
Continue these steps, until you have a nice full wreath.

In my post last year (see it here for other wreath ideas), I said that I used floral wire to wrap the candy around the base, but that I had found a few other tutorials that I wanted to try. This is one of them and it's definitely faster and easier! The floral wire, after a while, would dig into my fingers and make them sore so that I couldn't make a whole wreath in one sitting. This method, using ribbon, took under three hours and no pain. It also uses less candy (making it lighter) because the ribbon curls make it look full faster.

To finish, I added a colorful bow and it's ready for gifting!

With all the fun ribbon curls, I'm thinking this could also make an excellent year-round wreath - summer parties with bright orange and yellow ribbons; birthday presents with his/her favorite colors and candies; or maybe a Halloween wreath with orange and black.

Whatever the occasion, a candy & ribbon wreath will brighten anyone's day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seashell Christmas Tree

I can't help but walk through every aisle when I go to a craft store - and when the holiday items come out, it's like I could never leave the store! I like to think I'm practicing self control when I pick up and an item, then put it back on the shelf. But really, it's my ever nagging bank account in the back of my head saying, "you don't need that" or, "you could make that for a lot less." While those statements may be true, sometimes it takes me a lot longer to make it myself.

I saw a beautiful seashell tree at Michael's last Christmas season and picked it up, thinking how perfectly it would go in my seashell/beach theme bathroom. Naturally, the price tag gave me second thoughts. This was something I could make for myself - I didn't even need to buy shells, since I knew I had some packed away in my craft room, somewhere.
Yet, I didn't get around to making it til now -

Here's what I used
  • styrofoam cones
  • small seashells
  • hot glue gun
  • glitter spray

I made two styles and different sized seashell trees. For the larger tree, I used all the same type of shell and glued them on from the bottom up so that they overlapped at each layer. The smaller tree was all different shells and I glued them down like puzzle pieces - wherever they fit best.

I even glued some pointy shells together to make a "star" for the top.

           Once I had glued on all the shells, the trees were ready to be glitter blasted - making them look like they were covered in a fresh, sparkly snow!

Let it dry according to the glitter spray directions and it's done. It's just that easy! 

This is a perfection addition to your holiday decorations, whether you spend Christmas in Florida or just like to bring a little bit of the beach into your home.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Jingle Pillow

Have you seen a "Jingle" pillow at any of your favorite stores? I saw one at Joann's and then found that they're all over the place.
Here's my 'knock off' of the "Jingle" pillow!

When I first started this pillow, I imagined just one "Jingle" on a long pillow; just like I'd seen in the store... However, after I got the lettering cut out, I didn't want to stop with just one. And besides, Santa Claus sings,
Jingle, jingle, jingle
You will hear my sleigh bells ring
I am ol' Kris Kringle
I'm the king of jing-a-ling
(If you haven't seen Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you and your kiddos are missing out!)
So clearly, I needed three "Jingles!"

As with most of my pillows, I used Heat-n-Bond to apply the lettering. I actually put the paper up to my laptop screen and traced the letters! (I just had to remember to reverse the lettering before tracing, since the Heat-n-Bond would be applied to the back of the material.)
I wanted the lettering to take up a lot of the pillow cover, and to show off the different materials I was going to use. First, I measuree the size of the pillow to determine how big I could make the lettering, then used my photo editing program to make duplicate layers of the word so that I could move them around to make the letters wider. If you like the fonts that I've used, let me know and I can give you the images I used to trace two of them!

I cut each letter out, to use a different fabric with every letter, but I think it would also look very pretty with just one fabric for the whole word. I'm actually thinking I'll have to make another one like that, because I really love the script font!

Once I had each letter ironed-on and cut out, I started playing with how I should place them on the front of the pillow case; then ironed-on the final layout.

Finishing touches were to sew the little jingle bells above each "i" and sew the pillow case together.

I've been making a lot of new pillow cases this year so that I can change out the pillow for the season/holiday. Most of them could be no-sew projects if you just get a pre-made pillow case or the whole pillow to iron-on the decorations.

So easy and so festive!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Tree Card Holder

Not sure how to show off all the pretty holiday cards you get at Christmas time? Here's a gorgeous way to display them without taking up a lot of space!

I love sending and receiving Christmas cards each year, but every year I feel like I'm trying to find enough surface space to display them with all my other holiday decor. Sure, there are lots of other ways to show them off - my Grandmother used to tape them all to the front of the coat closet, or I've seen others hole punch them and make garland - but this is seriously the prettiest way I've seen yet.

I found the original idea from Ellie at Moda Bake Shop. Ellie's version requires a bit more hardware and power tools than my copy does, but hers is larger and probably sturdier. I had asked my Dad if he'd be able to cut some plywood into the triangle Christmas tree shape, but even though he's more than happy to help, he usually doesn't have a lot of spare time. I figured a foam board would work nearly as well and I would save some money!

I bought a piece of 20x30 in. foam board for just $2.99 and drew out the shape I wanted; I could even use the excess board to make a second card holder.

After I cut the tree shape out of the foam board, I used it to cut batting to the same shape, then I pulled out all my Christmas fabrics...

Rather than doing the quilting squares, like Ellie, I cut my fabric into triangular strips and sewed them together so that it looked a little more whimsical, Dr. Suess-ish.

Once I had the fabrics to the right size, I laid it over the foam board with the batting in the middle. I pinned the top corner in place (the sewing pins worked well in the foam board) and used a hot glue gun to secure the fabric.
Adding glue a little at a time, I tightened the material around the edges. When I got to the base, I cut the fabric along either side of the 'trunk' so that I could glue the bottom over and then tuck the 'trunk' section under itself.
I didn't bother trimming the fabric until it was completely glued down. Then, after trimming, I used fabric glue along all the edges to prevent fraying.

Honestly, you could stop here because even this makes a beautiful holiday decoration!

I was actually a little afraid to add ribbon to hold cards, worried that it might ruin how pretty it already was. I spent about two hours at different craft stores looking for the perfect ribbon that would tie it all together.
I didn't want a solid red or green ribbon, for thinking the tree would be "too red" or "too green." But I also couldn't picture it with a solid gold or silver ribbon. And a patterned ribbon would look too busy...
Finally, I picked out this burlap ribbon with a touch of gold edging. Since I had used burlap for the trunk, I thought the burlap ribbon would match nicely. 

Starting at the bottom, on either side of the trunk, I laid the ribbon down at what looked like a good angle. Then cut it long enough to glue the ends to the back of the board. I made sure that the ribbon was taught enough that I wouldn't need to tack it down at each intersection. With the two lowest ribbons in place, I used them as guidelines for the rest.
Then, for something to hang it on the wall, I braided some string and glued it across the back; since the foam board is so light, it didn't need anything super-duty to hold it up.

Once it was finished, I knew I had picked the perfect ribbon to make this the loveliest card holder I've seen!

It's fun, elegant, and colorful; and would go with any holiday decorations! I'm even more excited, now, to receive pretty, little cards and show them off.

What do you think? Will you be making this card holder or are you already loving how you display your holiday cards? You could always use this to display your favorite holiday photos. If you have another great card display, I'd love it if you shared! 

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ribbon Christmas Tree Towels

Remember the Ribbon Egg Towels I made back in March? I had said that I planned on making some with Christmas trees, but didn't want to think about winter just then. Well, winter is here and Christmas is just around the corner! These beautiful towels make great decorations, or great gifts!

This picture shows them in order of how I made them - First, I started by using the same process as with the Egg Towels, but working with thinner ribbon made it harder to work with the fusing tape. For the last two towels I tried the following method and loved how they turned out.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Towels
  • Ribbons
  • Heat-n-bond
  • Iron
  • Wax Paper
  • Scissors/Rotor Cutter

First, pick out the ribbons and the order that you want them for your tree, then cut them to about 5 inches. If you want a larger tree, more than 12 or so ribbons, you'll need to cut them longer.

Step 1
- lay the ribbons backside up on a piece of wax paper on your ironing surface. The Heat-n-Bond then gets applied. The wax paper allows the Heat-n-Bond to stick to something other than your ironing board or iron and is easy to peel off.

Step 2 - now you'll have a square of ribbons and you want to cut out the tree shape  
Step 3 - peel off the backing of the Heat-n-Bond. You should have a single piece with all the ribbons on it.
Step 4 - lay the ribbon piece right-side up on the towel where you want it adhered. Place a new sheet of wax paper over the top and iron-on. The wax paper this time, will lift off the extra Heat-n-Bond so that the towel is just lined with beautiful ribbons.

Lastly, I added a quick stitching of trim to the bottom of the towel to give it a little more holiday color.

So, what do you think - do you have some extra ribbon around to make your own?
These would make great gifts too!

Did you have a favorite style - 
the more boxed look of the first towel? no trim at the bottom of the second towel?

However you decide to make one, it will be beautiful!
Let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment or photo below!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Picture Frame Makeover #2

Here's a great before and after project! 

First, a little background -
I love Kohl's; everything about it. I have a Kohl's credit card; and with my statements I often get coupons. One of these coupons was for a free 16x20 print through Shutterfly (score!). Picking out one of my photos proved to be the hard part, but I settled on a close up of a poppy from my dad's backyard and placed my order.

I thought if I could find a thick, purple frame that it would match nicely with the center color of the poppy and make the orange petals pop. However, I had no luck finding what I was hoping for in stores. After scouring the internet, I found exactly what I wanted... for upwards of $50, plus more to ship it. That was a bit more than I was willing to pay, but it got me thinking, maybe I could make my own.

I found this frame at a thrift store, complete with an Anne Geddes poster (that I won't be keeping), for just $2.99! It had a plastic pane that had a crack, but I knew it could be exactly what I wanted once I dressed it up. I found another 16x20 frame with a glass pane that could replace the ugly plastic, for another $2.99. (So now I'm at $5.98 total.)

I was set on having a purple frame; so, immediately following this purchase, I headed over to Lowe's and picked out several purple paint samples. 

Upon arriving home (I'm not sure I even took my coat off, I was so excited), I proceeded to match up the colors with the photo, viewing them under different lighting to make sure the final choice was perfect. I settled on "Royal Plum" by Olympic.
I had to wait til the next day to get the $2.98, 7 oz. sampler of paint. (Total cost now at $8.96 and I'll have a bit of extra paint for other projects.)

With two coats of paint and a little sanding to create a weathered look, I had pretty much the exact frame I had wanted with a whole lot of savings!

Isn't it perfect? I think so! 

I love a great makeover craft; are there any gems you've found at a thrift store and made your own? I'd love to see your story!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Patchwork Pumpkin Pillow

It seems that after Halloween, retailers jump right to Christmas. Anything fall related - leaves, pumpkins, etc. - goes on clearance and the ornaments and lights come out. Thanksgiving tends to get a little passed over; and yet it's probably my favorite holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas decorations too, but the fall leaves aren't completely gone yet.

So hold off on your Christmas decorating, here's another project for fall.

I got the inspiration for my pillow from Knock Off Decor - a great place to find ways of making your own, less expensive version of name/store brand decor.
In this post, they are showing off Angie's pillow that was inspired by a pillow she had seen at Pottery Barn. If you would like to see the pictorial for Angie's no-sew version, just follow the links above or via the photo on the right.

While I absolutely love both of these pillows, I decided that I wanted some color in mine. I got additional inspiration I needed from Etsy when I found this patchwork pumpkin clip art from CherriesArtsnCrafts -

I just thought this patchwork look was too cute to pass up; and I already had some great prints to work with for my fabric pumpkin. I couldn't wait to get started!

I probably could have hand drawn a pumpkin shape faster than it took me to print this one, but I really liked the shape of the one I found at

First, I cut out the whole pumpkin shape in the solid orange material; then I cut out the sections of the pumpkin to use on the patterned prints.

I'm a huge fan of Heat-n-Bond for crafts like these, so I applied it to the material and then cut out the shapes and ironed them in place on the orange base.

I also cut out a green print stem and ironed it onto the front of the pillow case. Rather than using the Heat-n-Bond to attach the whole pumpkin to the pillow case, I did a quick stitch around the edge. If you want to keep it a no-sew project then the Heat-n-Bond would work just as well.

Finally, I was ready to apply the twine - my favorite part of the pillow I'd found at Knock Off Decor!
Using fabric glue, I slowly positioned the twine a little at a time and added glued it down. This part got very messy and I had to keep getting up to wash the glue off my fingers.

The end results were definitely worth the mess and time spent - I even decided to add some leaves on the vines with the same green print I had used for the stem.

A perfect patchwork pumpkin pillow!

As they say at Knock Off Decor, I hope this inspires you - and if you make your own, I'd love to see it!