Category Archives: diy

Old Cards, New Tags!

At the end of each Christmas season, I go through my cards. I usually throw away all the cards without pictures and save the ones with. I am a picture person. This year when I opened the decor I found last year’s cards. Hmm, why did I save these? It took me a few days to remember, but it came back to me. I had a plan to repurpose old cards into gift tags!

To do this simply cut out apart of the card, without anyone’s hand-writing on it. Then use a whole punch to make a hole to attach to a ribbon. I most always use ribbons, but I suppose that you could just tape them on the package if you want that look.

Here is an example:

photoHere are some more. I didn’t use all of them, but they are ready for next year’s gifts, along with this year’s leftover cards that I have tucked away. Doug thought it would be funny to gift someone their own Christmas card, but that is too much work for me.
photo Here are a few finished gifts. I think they turned out pretty cute! Right?!

photo photo
photobanner.greeting card gift tags

Thank you Pinterest for another great idea. No money and very little time. That’s how I roll.

photo

My Shiny Angel Christmas Mantel (and more)!

I love the holidays and there is something that I’ve been looking forward to all month long… a decorated mantel! I blame Pinterest. I had hoped to DIY some things, but time got away from me. I ended up just winging it with what I already had in the house. So here is what I call – My Shiny Angel Christmas Mantel!

Below is what our mantel looks like normally. Simple and I admit kinda boring. Thus, my hopes to get some fun decor up on this bad boy. The mantel is one of the areas that my son cannot reach. So I can put pretty and delicate things up on my adult mantel and he cannot destroy it!  And that, my friend, it is a luxury that I should be taking more advantage of!!

BEFORE: 
photoSo, I started with a clean slate. This helps me focus on what could be as opposed to what was just there. I kinda had a little plan in my mind, similar to what I had up there last year.

photo I knew that the clock would go back up, we use it and would screw with our minds if it wasn’t there. Since I am lucky to have an outlet on top, I thought about laying lights the length of the mantel.  Unfortunately, the only lights I had were green wired icicle lights. I thought that would look just plain bad, but I wanted some evening ambiance. So I used the glass hurricanes that were on the mantel with candles in them. The lights fell down inside so I just used a few pieces of scotch tape to hold the lights up and the glass hurricane to make the lights a little higher inside. (This picture is pre-tape. Too clumpy and low, right?)

photoI like the stockings hung off the mantel. I used command hooks to hang them with ribbon. In years past, I took cues from off the deep red and hunter green colors for ideas for the rest of the mantel. I love my Nutcrackers. I danced in the Nutcracker Ballet for many years as a child and teen, so they are something that I love to pull out each year. The last few years they have been on the mantel, so that is where I started…. and got stuck. photoThen I found these gold branch and berries that I had picked up from Michael’s earlier in the week. I was not sure where they would end up in the house, but I think they were $1.30  per clump. I had the small green vases in the Living Room and just popped them up there. I really liked the glittery shimmer as the shine from the Christmas lights bounced off the gold glitter.  It needed some height, so I put the gold vases that are usually on the mantel back up there. Hmm, could I do something with the glass vases? I have tons of these in different shapes and sizes. Still a tad boring. I needed more gold or a theme…. thinking….

photo…That is when my son woke from his nap. I went in his room, changed his diaper, then saw this angel music box that sits in his room. I love it because it belonged to my grandmother; she passed away about 6 years ago and we were very close. This angel is very special to me. I loved the idea of bringing it out to the mantel. I had my theme! photoSo, I went digging in the Christmas decor for more gold and angels. I found this set of 4 angel ornaments given to me by a friend. Perfect!
photoThey are each unique, playing a different instrument. They added sweetness and individuality to the decor.photoI found another ceramic angel given to me by a girl I used to care for. She was 7 years old at the time and I am pretty sure that she bought it from her school Christmas sale. You know the kind… where you give a kid $10 and they come home with 10 gifts? It is special to me though, because she thought of me and wrapped it up. She is now 22 and probably has no idea that I still have it. I forgot to get a close up of it though, sorry!

I also found some simple gold ornament balls that I plopped into the glass vases.

photoSo here is the finished product. I really enjoyed how it turned out. Not only festive and free but angelic and sentimental. We also got rid of the baby gate and replaced it with a fire! We are living on the edge people.

AFTER:

mantle_banner
photo

Decorating this year was harder than is has been. Isaac is now 15 months and into everything. He is so curious and smart and we cannot be with him every second. Below, you can see him in his daily activity of investigating the tree lights.

photo

So, we limited the decor we put out and even skipped ornaments on the tree. Counters and tabletops were safe!

Here are a few other easy decorations…

Ornaments in  glass bowl and star tablecloth on our Dining Room table.

photo Some kid friendly objects on the bottom shelves of this bookshelf in our Dining Room…photo…and, the other gold branch and berries found a home in a vase on our kitchen table.
photo This gifted reindeer basket has been the card catcher for the last few years, though I’d love to make something clever to display them next year. Check out that cutie in the card in the front – - easily my favorite card this year! (That is one of Isaac’s girlfriends. Her mommy blogs over at hildagotrocks.)photo…and I am sure you are wondering where my Nutcrackers ended up. They are on the Living Room buffet. You also might recognize that red velvet box of from the angel ornaments? I used it to add color and height to my disply. Use what you got, right?  (The candy dish was swapped out later). The frame usually hangs on the wall with a family picture, so I just emptied the frame and hung the wreath with ribbon. Easy. photo

Well, that is all I got. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did! Now it’s time to enjoy that fire.

DIY Costume – Jack Jack Incredible

Yep, I did it! Made my first kid’s Halloween costume. My motivation was for Isaac would look different from the popular stuffed animal looking costumes. No offense to his buddies dressed as cows, pigs, chickens, and monkies.  I also wanted to spend little money, since going to Grandpa and Grandma’s house was the extent of our Halloween festivities. So here is what I did.

Step by Step: DIY Jack Jack Incredible Costume

1. FIND INSPIRATION
I looked at some pics online for inspiration. I didn’t find anything on Pinterest, so I searched images for “Jack Jack Incredible”. This was my favorite.

2. REPURPOSE
Looked to see what I already had to use: red pajama shirt, red pants, and black socks. Also had an old stretched out hair elastic to use for the mask.

3. SHOP
I took my inspiration picture and shopped at the local fabric/craft store for felt. The sheets of felt were $.34 and the black felt was $2.99 (I bought 1/2 yard of that, but you don’t need even half of that).

4. CREATE
Back at the ranch (we live in a ranch house, not on a ranch)… I simply cut the shapes and used spray adhesive for the logo.  I chose to roughly stitch the logo onto the pajama shirt so that I could re-use both the logo and the shirt once Halloween is over.

I even made him a Mask, even though I knew he would not keep that on for more than a second. Goal: one picture. Also cut a thin piece of felt to act as his belt.

THE FINISHED PROJECT…
I think it turned out pretty cute.

Both sets of grandparents didn’t really know who he was, but that is OK. I had my reason for no cape all ready to explain, but no one asked. This is my ONE picture of Isaac in his mask (excuse the poor lighting). I call that success.

Since Halloween was so chilly, Isaac and I took pictures the Friday after, too.