Tag Archives: diy

Homemade Ornaments 2013

It has become a little tradition that Isaac and I make ornaments as Christmas gifts for the grandparents. We also make one for our family and one for Isaac. I have mommy fantasies of giving him a box of ornaments that he has made or helped with as he’s grown…. to start his own tree. Not that I want to think about him ever leaving me :) He may not always want to make the ornaments, but why not while he is interested!?

It started when Isaac was only 3 months and I saw this Pinterest idea to press a painted baby hand on a glass ornament. Adorable in theory, not so perfect in reality. Still, I treasure it as his “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament.

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Last year, I saw this idea and since we had just had some black and white professional pics taken, I modge-podged an ornament. These were really easy and turned out super cute. (I guess I should make a little tutorial on that one at some point).

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So this year was the first year I knew Isaac could actually help in the process. I pinned a bunch of ideas, but landed on the felt Christmas trees with button ornaments. This has been one of his favorite things about Christmas… “the Kiss-mas tree!” He even sings “O Kissmas tee, oh Kissmas tee, …I love you branches.” Which, as you can imagine is pretty adorable.

So I bought the supplies: A few sheets of green felt, and 2 packs of buttons. I had the twine and glue from other projects. I prepped the trees for him, by drawing a tree as my stencil then cutting out 5 tree shapes. 
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Then I sat him down with bowls of buttons by colors. He decided one bowl was enough and dumped them all together. I would put a few glue dots and let him pick the colors and place them as he wished.orn 2 He took the whole process very seriously. See his “concentration-face”? orn 3 orn 4 I wasn’t sure how long he would last on this project but before I knew it we had all 5 trees done. You can see them here before the glue had dried (It did dry clear). Cute right? I love the imperfection that show them as his. orn 5The ornaments were done, but Isaac (and Rosie) were not. So I quickly cut out a triangle and let him do a “Big Tree”! He has discovered that bigger is better…big cheese, big cookie, etc.  I figure that I could trim and frame this one with some type of Christmas quote in the future, but as for now we added it to the kitchen memo board so Isaac can see his masterpiece.
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I added a loop of twine to each ornament. I like the rough texture and additional color. I took a needle to start a hole at the top of the tree. Because the twine was so thick, I had to expand the hole a bit bigger with a fork prong. I laced it through and tied a knot. I wrote his name, the year, and his age on the back with a black sharpie. Isaac was excited to hang ours on our tree. Below, you see the finished product in a gift box to be passed on to grandma and grandpa. Once they each opened the gift, Isaac insisted on taking the ornament to the tree in the room and hang it up. That meant that Great Grandpa and Great Grandma’s went onto Uncle Paul’s tree for a minute, since that was the house we were at. Made sense to Isaac!
orn  bannerI think next year I will end up doing two, as I want to make the “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament for the baby in a different color. We will see what Isaac is in to next year. From there on out, I see us just making the same ornaments.

It’s a fun little family tradition! I will be back this week with a few of our favorite holiday moments After all, this is my digital scrapbook.

DIY Gold-dipped Vases on the Cheap

Each year I host a celebration during National Nanny Recognition Week. The goal of the event is to celebrate our local nannies. I love for them to leave with something, but since anything extra comes out of pocket I try to come up with an inexpensive but thoughtful gift. This year, after seeing this on Pinterest, I thought a simple vase and rose would be nice. vase6 I picked up some frappuchinos (on sale with coupon) and emptied them into a pitcher.  I cleaned, peeled and scraped the labels and glue off. It was pretty easy after they soaked in the sink for an hour. vase1 I bought this Liquid Leaf from Micheal’s along with a foam brush. I thought it would be easier to just throw it away afterwards rather than use a good paintbrush. vase2 I had planned on actually dipping the glass into the  paint in a bowl, but I would have had to use (and waste) the whole jar of the Liquid Leaf. So, first I tried just painting it on to give the “dipped” look. It worked well and was super fast to paint and dry. vase4 I did put 2 coats on to make sure that it completely covered. One thin coat would leave the glass looking like this (below). Which is fine if that is the look that you are going for. vase3 Here sit all the vases after painting. I did the “dipping” at different heights. I thought that it would look nice on the table. They were each unique. vase5I am super happy with how they turned out!
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DIY Gold-dipped VasesI cannot wait to try the Leaf Liquid with some other projects. I have some Christmas present ideas up my sleeve! Stay tuned.

Pinterest Challenge – My Long Awaited Memo Board

winter-challengeIt’s Pinterest Challenge Time! I am joining with bloggers all over the country who are taking the challenge to actually DO WATCHA PIN! Welcome new friends and thanks for stopping by! And, don’t forget to give all of our hosts some love: Young House Love, Bower Power, The Modeled Life, &  Decor and the Dog.

org5For almost 4 years this wall behind our table in the kitchen has been blank, empty and just sad. The wall has a plug in the middle and a vent at the top, so I haven’t been able to decide what I wanted to put there. I almost hung a few small shelves but changed my mind.  I knew I wanted something artistic and functional, but not too busy for our small kitchen. It has stayed empty for far too long!!!

In true Pinterest-addict form, I had been pinning some DIY options for this space. I loved the idea of art that could be switched out depending on the season, or my mood. Here some pins that I had been contemplating:

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…… and at my last thrift shop outing, that I told you about here, I found this old framed picture for $6.25. I knew at first sight that the frame was a great size for the bare wall. It sat on the kitchen table for a few weeks waiting for it’s reincarnation…and my butt to find the other supplies I needed.

memo0Then, last Wednesday, Young House Love posted their Pinterest Challenge which was just the push I needed to get this project in gear. I had waited 4 years for this wall to find it’s destiny, and now I had one week to make it happen.

I stopped at Lowe’s on my way home from work, THAT day. I knew that I needed spray paint and chicken wire. The paint was easy, but I wasn’t sure of the measurements of my frame. The chicken wire ranged in price from: $8 to $41! I was nervous that the 24 inch wasn’t going to be wide enough and the 48 inch way too wide. I had not actually measured the frame, so I thought I would wait to do that before purchasing. I snapped some pictures for reference. I also hoped that maybe Doug, my construction-carpenter husband had some laying around. Fingers crossed.

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The frame turned out to me 28in X 36in. So bad news was Doug did not have any, AND I needed at least 26 inches to make it across the width. Ugh. I couldn’t to spend $41 on a huge roll of chicken wire that I wouldn’t need. My blogging friend, Lindsey (hildagotrocks) suggested posting an ask on Facebook. She is genius! A crafting friend said come on over and pick it up. Yes! Free! She was familiar with chicken wire and said that her 24 inch width would stretch just enough to fit my frame; it would actually be good to have it stretched tight. Total score on the free chicken wire and the tip! Woo to the hoo!

Later that night it was time to get started, finally. I was super giddy about it. First, I removed the backing and the picture with mat. I was thinking about trying to leave the wire across the back, because it was so old it had frayed pretty badly. But, the glass was too hard to get out with it still attached, so I removed that. I ever so carefully pulled the glass out. Picture me with oven mits shimmy-ing this thing back and forth. The glass was really thin and I was super scared I was going to shatter it. Whew, that was the hardest part of the project. memo1Next, I laid out some newspaper in our garage (with the door open and light on). Isn’t this what all my neighbors are doing at 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night? Hey, I gotta project when I can (Can project be a verb?). Husband was at a hockey game and my baby was snoozing, so it was the perfect opportunity to spread some paint fumes into the winter air.

memo2I used Rustoleum Universal (for any surface) in flat black. I have to say that I have a new affection for spray paint. It provides such a fast transformation, it really is exhilarating (and I am only kinda exaggerating). I am not yet as daring as my friends at Young House Love, but maybe one day I will spray something bright red.

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After an hour, my first coat was dry to the touch. I was able to move the frame before Doug came home. Can’t you just see him backing over this beauty? I often set the oven timer to remind myself of these kinda things. The next day, I applied a second coat, making sure I got the inside lip of the frame.

Once the frame was dry and I had to make a decision on whether I would hang it horizontal or vertical. The air vent could not be covered, but frame would fit both directions. It is just a matter pf preference.  I decided horizontal was the way to go. Of course it would be hung, not just leaning.
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Evening number two with my project…time for chicken wire! This time I had the Oscars, my husband’s tools, and an extra hand to help me out.
memo6Doug helped me pull the chicken wire tight as we could and I used a staple gun to staple each of the sides to the frame. His hands were a little stronger than mine, so he did the last side. It was pretty easy, just had to watch out for the sharp edges of the wire. I only had one minor flesh wound.

Here is a close up of the back of the frame, you can see that we folded the edges of the cut wire so that it wouldn’t poke out and scratch the walls or my hands.
memo8I did have to get 2 more things. These mini clothes pins were $2.99 at Michaels but with a 50% off coupon they were only $1.50. I may spray paint these black like the frame sometime in the future… maybe not.  I used Sawtooth Hangers ($1.89) attached to the back of the frame, to hang it.

bought clipsNext it was time to hang this baby. Usually Doug does the hammering in this house, but I was anxious to get this baby up for some styling. So, I used my measure with newspaper method. I simply laid the newspaper on top of the frame and taped it together, then measured and drew a large dot with a sharpie where the nail would go.

I hung it up the template doing just a little measuring to make sure that it was centered. Then I hammered the nails into my markings. And, I didn’t even wake the baby!
paper upAnd after a little styling, here we have it…
close upClipped to the board are a few inspirational quotes, some pictures, our meal list, a Charley Harper art piece called “Lovey Dovey”, and a 4 year olds art piece. Just a few things that I love and make me smile. I know that I will be changing these out and updating this often! Another spot to put a hints of holidays.

done 2I am so happy with how it turned out! No more blank wall.

If you are stopping by from Young House Love, you may be interested in the first challenge I participated in – The Macklemore Thriftshop Challenge. Speaking of that, my little pokey pineapple that sits on the tray on the kitchen table has found his purpose. He is secretly holding the mini clothes pins for the memo board! Perfect correlation.

clips homeOnly 2 days until the official launch of this Project Momma Blog! 

GIVEAWAY:
Stop back on Friday when I’ll be giving away FIVE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!

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Quick Tip: DIY Thank You Notes

After Isaac’s first birthday party, I needed to write thank you notes. I was going to print something up with a photo program online, but ended up feeling rushed to get them out.  So I ordered some Walmart prints from Isaac’s one-year photoshoot. I created my own card, using 4 X 6 white notecards with a lined back. These notecards are a great mulit-use item so I just had laying around… ahem, free!  I used tape to attach the picture to the card, so that family could keep the picture and put in a frame if they choose.

thank youOn the back I wrote a short note about how Isaac was enjoying his gift, and I wrote it as if he was talking. I used a few sharpies to add some color to the notes. I slipped the cards in some large envelopes and mailed them out the next day. Cute. Personal. Easy. Done.

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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:

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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.

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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.