Call it a compilation of all the crazy projects I've come up with over the years. Call it a how-to for things around the house. Call it whatever you like :) It's what I do everyday. My blog is really just a way for me to share what I've learned over the years about home improvement, interior design, organization, diy, crafting and home repair. And most importantly it comes from always working on a budget and forever wanting to fend for myself when it comes to anything. I hope you enjoy (and learn a few things along the way :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas apothecary jars

Here are my latest holiday apothecary jars for Christmas. I used the red confetti filler from Dollar Tree and green bow ornaments tied with red and white ribbon. Decided not to spell a word this time, because I set my noel sign right in front of them. Looked like too many words :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Great gingerbread house party game

We just had a gingerbread house decorating contest at our bunco group Christmas fun!!!! My friend Laurie and I by far made the best one. Total cake wars!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Children's Christmas Crafts as family gifts...over the years

Christmas is on its way, and we are all looking for gift ideas for our family.  I have always had my children make a Christmas craft for our family as an "exchange" for all the gifts they receive.  Something personal that they make (with me of course) to show their relatives that they appreciate what they receive and have something to give in return.  Even though they can't afford to buy anything, they can make something that matters.

I've always been a fan of handprint/footprint crafts because they capture a snapshot in our children's lives.  They love comparing the hand/foot size and we enjoy the memory of how little they once were. 

Since my youngest daughter was born, I have created different Christmas themes with their prints and placed them on different items as time goes on.  The most important part is including their names/ages and the year : )  As they grow, they are able to contribute with the craft more and more independently. They are so excited to make them each year.

Year One - Snowmen with light blue footprints on a balsa wood rounded-corner tray.

Year Two - Christmas tree with green handprints on a sleigh.  This time I used darker green paint for my older daughter and light green for my younger daughter. so the prints could be differentiated in the pile : )
Year Three - Angels made with white handprints on a raised-side tray.
Year Four - Santas with handprints on a scalloped tray.  This one is a little more involved, as I painted their hands with all three colors then pressed them down (added the white dots for the fur hat trim after).
Year Five - Reindeer with brown footprints and black handprints on a curved side-tray.  Chose Rudolph and Clarice as the subjects : )
Year Six - Holly with green handprints on a curved-side tray.
Year Seven - Elves with green and apricot handprints on a raised-side tray.  Hat trim is added after again. 
This is the year I started making one tray for us and making ornaments for the family. I figured the trays were a little large, and the ornaments could simply be hung on a tree.  Not to mention their hands and feet were getting a little too big for the trays : )  I make them two-sided so each child has their own side.  This issimply scrap luan I cut into rectangles.
Year Eight - Snowmen with light blue handprints on a raised-side tray.  Snow landscape was added after.
For the ornaments this year, we used popsicle sticks glued "raft-style" and only their fingers show on the oraments (vs. their whole  hand).  My girls were able to build these on their own which is nice.

Year Nine - Reindeer done with brown fingerprints.  The ornament is one-sided, as ten fingerprints fit just fine on one side (the year is written on the back).  This is the year we dropped the tray all together (even I was running out of display space : )
Year Ten - Penguins done with black handprints.  The white bellies were added after.

So that's it.  My ten examples of handprint/footprint/fingerprint Christmas crafts for the kiddos to give as gifts.  I'll post each year's craft, as we make them, to keep you updated on the latest idea we have come up with : )

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas tree craft made with molding and Popsicle sticks.

Last year on my Christmas crafting bender I decided to make a Christmas tree out of Popsicle sticks. Don't ask me why :)

I started with a pile of plain popsicle sticks and a hot glue gun. As I stacked and glued, the shape started to come together...I realized this was going to be cute and needed to be more thought out.

Once I had a shape I was happy with, I dug through my spray paint collection and found a forest green from who knows when (early 90's?)....I told you I keep everything! I spray painted the whole thing green.

I decided it needed a trunk, so I used a large tongue depressor and colored it brown with a sharpie and glued it to the back.

Then I needed something to put it on. I dug through my scrap pile and decided on the same molding I used for my Noel sign. This time I needed two pieces wide to make it big enough. I cut the two pieces to the same length and glued them together bottom to bottom.

To add detail I painted a green and red polka-dotted border (using a pencil eraser to apply symmetrical dots). I also painted the same dots on the tree as ornaments at random locations.

To top it all off I glued a foam yellow star from my daughters' craft buckets on top.

Voila! Free "scrap" Christmas craft :)

More christmas movie quotes...

If you read my previous post, I am on a movie quote kick this year. I've displayed them in my bar, my half bath and even in my hall. The Elf quotes previously mentioned replaced art I had hanging, but in my hall I decided to hang the pictures on top of the art. In this case they are hanging on top of tin tiles.

First I found a great Grinch quote on Pinterest and printed it:

"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

Then I used the template to create a second so I had a pair. This time using a line from A Christmas Story:

"Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved."

I framed them in the same dollar store frames. To hang them over the tin tiles, I hot glued ribbon to each top corner, then hooked the ribbon on the nail used to hang the tile on the back.

Fast, inexpensive and simple.

Displaying your favorite Christmas Movie quotes.

One of my family's favorite activities during Christmas is watching all of the great Christmas movies that come on every channel. Classics like A Christmas Story, The Grinch and Elf are definitely my favorite. This year, after seeing all the great printables on Pinterest I decided to make a few.

I first started with Elf. There were three posted on Pinterest in a cute pink, blue, green and red theme that I printed first. Some of my favorite lines, too.

"I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite."
"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup"
"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."

Unfortunately this set was missing my VERY favorite Elf quote:

First we'll make snow angels for two hours, and then we'll go ice skating, and then we'll eat a whole roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle."

So had to make my own...

I put the set original set of three in my bar on the glass shelf.

The single I hung in my half bath.

Most importantly, they are all displayed in dollar tree frames!

DIY Christmas signs

One of my many Christmas crafts last year included this cute Noel sign. Just about as simple as it gets. Four letter gingerbread ornaments (purchased the previous year on Christmas 90% off clearance at Kohls), an old left over piece of crown molding, a small piece of PVC pipe.

I started with the four ornaments and took the screw eye hangers off that came on them. The molding scrap was ready to go. It was already this length and was already primed, giving it this whitewash look. It was left over from my living room molding project in my old house. The PVC pipe remnant was just that size in my remnant bin as well. It was left over from a recycle bin rack project.

I hot glued the letters to the molding, then hot glued the PVC pipe piece to the back so it would stand up on its own. And done. Just that simple.

This year I found the green star in our ornament bin and decided to add it to the corner to give it a little sparkle.

Super easy DIY sign that couldn't be a quicker or cheaper craft!

Christmas chandeliers

One of my favorite things to decorate at the holidays is my chandeliers! Every year I try to mix it up a little, but I'm such a fan of crystal ornaments that I have to include those on each.

The chandelier over my stove is the simplest with a crystal ornament hanging from each of the 5 arms and a simple knot bow tied onto each.

The chandelier over my kitchen table gets one crystal ornament on each of the 10 arms, but I alternate hanging them high and low to give it a little more depth. These crystal ornaments get the same knot bow, but I added garland around the middle this year to beef it up.

My formal dining chandelier is a lot larger, so it gets 12 crystals with knot bows hanging on the two levels. This chandelier also has a ring at the bottom on the center, so I hang a new ornament there each year. This year it's a large lime green jingle bell.

Hope these inspire you to dress up your dining rooms even more for the holidays.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Adorable scrabble wall art

Created by my sister. Cardboard, wood contact paper, and a big fat sharpie...its big too, board is 22" x 27"