Pinterest Christmas: DIY Window Wreaths {Linky Party}.

Welcome to the last week of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! {See week one, two, & three here!}

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This last week I wanted to share a quick & easy wreath display. We have two huge picture windows in our living room, one in the front of the house & the other on the side. The front window always showcases our Christmas tree (though this year & for the foreseeable short term our tree will sit off to the side of the room to keep Eloise’s play area in tact). I have always wanted to do something fun & festive on the side window that sits behind our dining room table. Enter wreaths. I think I have pinned every single hanging in a window wreath picture!

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{original Pinterest link – Winter Wreath Windows}

Red and Green Give a red room even more holiday style by hanging green wreaths on every window. These have the added embellishment of decorative plates hung inside each wreath circle. Wide red ribbon decorates each wreath and loops them up in varying heights.:

{original Pinterest link – 12 Styles of Christmas}

tiny garland wreaths in the window. a simple and pretty holiday decoration.:

{original Pinterest link – Easy Christmas Wreaths}

Supplies:

  • Wreaths – I had every intention of making boxwood wreaths using this tutorial, but then I stumbled onto these Smycka wreaths at Ikea & I couldn’t resist at that price point! (I couldn’t have DIY-ed wreaths for less than $9 a piece.)
  • Ribbon – I chose wide red satin!
  • Hangers – I used small finishing nails

So, this isn’t really a DIY tutorial, as much as it is showing you how I hung three pre-made wreaths in my window… wah wah.

I had Aaron help me hammer in the nails at an angle into the top of the window trim (actually it was his idea to hang them this way!) since I am WAY too short to reach the top of the window.

Then I looped the ribbon around the wreath, pulled some slack, & tied a bow at the top. And repeat for the other two wreaths, changing the amount of slack if you want them at different heights. My wreaths twist a little bit from side-to-side because they have a bit of weight to them, but I adore the way they look!

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Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

Thanks for joining us in our annual Pinterest Christmas series! We had SO much fun & we can’t wait until next year! The Linky Party will be up the entire month of December, so be sure to check out the other linked projects & link your own up too!

Did you DIY any of your Christmas decorations this year?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas: DIY Gold & Glitter Ornaments {Linky Party}.

Welcome to week three of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! {See week one & two here!}

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This week I wanted to share a few ornaments that I made for our Christmas tree. The tree is one of my favorite parts of our holiday décor, & I always manage to make a few new ornaments each year.

Gold Dipped Ornaments - these easy-to-make balls have great impact, and add a chic look to the tree! - Suburble.com:

{original Pinterest link – Gold Dipped Ornaments}

75 Ways to Fill Clear Glass Ornaments {Homemade Christmas Ornaments} - Refunk My JunkRefunk My Junk:

{original Pinterest link – Glitter Ornaments}

Supplies:

  • Clear, round ornaments – I used both plastic & glass
  • Gold spray paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Small Ziploc bag
  • Gold glitter
  • Egg carton (optional) – this helps to hold the ornaments up while painting
  • Drop cloth – I like the fabric ones with the plastic back because you can reuse them over & over for either craft projects or room painting
  • Ribbon – for hanging ornaments
  • Scissors

Even though I found tutorials to make (really similar) ornaments, I sort of just winged it since I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.

{Sidenote:the clear bulbs made it really hard to get in-focus pictures!}

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For the gold glitter ornament, I basically just took off the ornament top (be careful not to pull too hard because the metal is really soft!) & poured glitter inside, & swirled the glitter around the ornament. I found that the glitter stuck better to the sides of the plastic bulb; as soon as you started swirling the glass one, the glitter would slide off. Some similar tutorials on Pinterest use an adhesive to help the glitter stick to the sides. I think really chunky glitter would look cool too! To finish the ornaments, I cut a few inches of ribbon & tied a knot at the ends.

And for the gold painted ornament, I chose to just paint the bottoms of the bulbs & leave the top clear.

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I started by taping off a line around the middle of the bulb, but didn’t worry too much about it being perfect. The most important part was to get a really good seal, so I made sure to really rub the edge of the tape down so I could get the cleanest paint line possible. After taping my line completely around the bulb, I taped a small (sandwich) Ziploc bag over the top of the bulb to keep it from getting painted.

To paint, I spread my drop cloth out in our backyard, set out the egg cartons, & set the ornaments with the top (bag side) down. Then I sprayed a the bulbs to get a full first coat on. I am not the best spray-painter since I cannot control myself & always paint too thick, but I did my best to keep the coats thin & even. The paint I used was pretty quick drying, so I was able to get another coat or two within a couple of minutes (probably not recommended though). And then I left the bulbs to dry for 2 hours (as stated on the paint can) & went back out to check for coverage. I had to add another thin coat, & then waited for drying again. (Normally when I am painting walls with Painter’s tape, I pull the tape when the paint is still wet, but because of the plastic bag, I waited until the paint was dry on the ornaments to pull the tape). And, finally, I added a ribbon hanger (like above)!

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Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

Are you DIY-ing any ornaments for your tree this year?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas: Toddler Felt Christmas Tree {Linky Party}.

Welcome to week two of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! {See week one here!}

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This week I am sharing a felt Christmas tree I made for Eloise. Like most toddlers, Eloise is busy & curious, so a Christmas tree in the middle of the living room sort of seems like a disaster waiting to happen. The idea of not having a tree for these toddler years is out of the question (I LOVE having a tree!) so I thought I could make something to at least distract her a little bit. And who knows, maybe it will keep her from playing with our real tree? #wishfulthinking

{original Pinterest link – Felt Tree}

Supplies:

  • Felt (assorted, see details below)
    • 1 yard stiff felt (I bought dark green premium felt but it wasn’t stiff enough to completely hold the tree’s shape)
    • 1 yard fusible fabric stabilizer (to remedy my above problem; I used Pellon Pelted 71F Single-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer)
    • 1 yard green felt
    • white
    • red
    • light brown (for Santa’s face, reindeer, etc.)
    • dark brown
    • blue
    • yellow
    • red
  • Scissors – fabric scissors work best on felt!
  • Sewing machine
  • Buttons – 28 + 4 assorted red buttons (I bought a package of assorted buttons at JoAnn’s)
  • Ribbon – thin ribbon (1/8 in.) works best for attaching to the tops of the ornaments
  • Elastic – thin elastic for securing the ends together (to form the tree)
  • Ornament templates – see here
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Iron

For this project, I basically followed the original tutorial. I had to tweak it a bit since the measurements were in metric, but for the most part it worked!

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First, I cut the felt for the tree. I opted to sew the two big pieces of felt together right away. It is cleaner if you follow the original tutorial & wait until all of the stitching is done on the top of the tree, but oh well. I also didn’t have super stiff felt for the underside of my tree.* I didn’t satin stitch the lines on the tree mostly because I didn’t have a double needle for my sewing machine (nor have I ever used one!). I opted to try out one of the fun stitches I have on my machine – the leaves were a nice touch I think!

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Next, I sewed on the buttons, 24 of them, all over the tree. I tried to scatter them around the tree & looked to the original tutorial for guidance on placement & distance. I also discovered, during this step, that my sewing machine sews on buttons! Yep, you read that right, buttons! And it is the absolute coolest thing I have ever done! Sewing buttons on by hand isn’t hard, but it is time-intensive (at least for me), so this saved me SO much time! Then I added the four buttons along the edge that will button up the tree. And finally I added four elastic loops to the opposite edge.

The final step was to make all of the felt ornaments. Not an easy task, but the entire point, right? I first printed out the ornaments (three pages) & cut them out. Next I traced each cut-out on the coordinating felt color (I looked to the original tutorial); I just used a pen, but in hindsight I would have tried a vanishing marker (they are sold in the sewing section). Then I cut out each piece of felt in the color that I needed for each ornament. I eye-balled the smaller pieces & didn’t worry about making anything perfect. I tried to machine sew as much of the ornaments as I could since I find it faster than hand sewing. I also attached the ribbon loop for the top of each ornament with a sewing machine (using a forward & backward stitch, repeated) with the ribbon ends sandwiched in-between the front & the back of each ornament piece.

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Eloise seems to like this tree, but isn’t super interested in it. She is, however, leaving our real tree alone, so I call that a win (& SUCH a surprise!). She is mostly just pointing & staring at the tree. When she does play with this little felt tree though it is awesome that the ornaments stick to the tree without having to be hung by the loops, because it will be a few years before she has the fine motor skills to hang those ornaments from the loops on the buttons! Her favorite thing is to take the star off & put it back on, so definitely include that if you make this for your toddler!

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*Sidenote: As I had mentioned above, I didn’t get stiff felt (the Joann’s I went to didn’t have it, at least in an obvious place), so I added the stabilizer to the back. The tree originally stood up on its own without the poster board, but it was dented & not very sturdy. In hindsight, I should have realized I needed to make an adjustment with the felt before I sewed on ALL of the buttons… it wasn’t awful to iron the stabilizer at the end, but be really careful because if the iron is hot enough to adhere the stabilizer, it is also hot enough to start melting buttons. Uh oh. Also, be sure to have water in your iron so it can steam – that makes the biggest difference when trying to adhere the stabilizer!

Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

Are you DIY-ing anything for your kiddos this year?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas: Toddler Fingerprint Tree Cards {Linky Party}.

Welcome to week one of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! I am SO excited to share my projects with you this month!

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First up is a {pretty} simple project I did with Eloise. I like to include her in cards I send out, like her feet in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day last year, or her footprint on her birthday thank you notes. This was the first time we used paint on her fingers, & I am glad the paint was non-toxic…

Toddler Made Christmas Tree Cards:

{original Pinterest link – Toddler-Made Christmas Cards}

Supplies:

  • {white} cardstock – for the cards; I cut each one into quarters
  • Paint – I used acrylic craft paint in 5 colors
  • Sponges (optional) – I picked up some cheap ones at the grocery store
  • Green paper – for trees; I used one dark green & one light green sheet
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Marker – I used a fine point Sharpie which is my go-to!
  • Wet wipes – to clean up messy hands!

This project is pretty straightforward, albeit messy, & I would suggest doing it with your toddler right after mealtime, or when he or she is the happiest!

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First, I cut out all of the trees. I started by cutting my green paper into three strips (they were 12 x 12 sheets) & then eye-balled a good triangle shape. Then I cut out all of the trees. {In hindsight, I should have waited to cut the triangles out & let Eloise paint these longer strips. There may not have been as many “ornaments” on each tree, but she is little enough I think this would have been a better route.}

Then I cut my white cardstock into quarters. I was originally going to do a 4×6 or a 5×7 card, but it seemed so wasteful!

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Next, I opted for painting. I squeezed a small blob of paint onto the sponge – three on one & two on the other. I let Eloise dip her pointer fingers into the paint (with some help) & then helped her press her fingers onto the trees. I tried to get about three or four prints on each tree. She was super interested in the sponge (so I gave her a clean one to play with in an attempt to keep paint from getting everywhere!) & also wanted to eat the paint. Big surprise. It was difficult for me to see her eat that paint (well, lick her fingers) because it definitely wasn’t organic, edible paint, but oh well!

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Because there was paint, well, everywhere, I placed each completed tree on newspaper to dry. Once dried, I glued three trees on each card, alternating the light & dark green trees. Finally I added “Love, Eloise 2015” on the bottom of each card.

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I saved one of the cards for our fridge (& it will ultimately go into Eloise’s baby box for safe keeping!) but the entire point of these cards was to include them with our holiday cards. We don’t have a lot of family that lives close by, so I think it is fun to send a little something special in the mail when we can!

Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

What are you DIY-ing for the holidays? Do you include your kiddos?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas 2015 {Join our Linky Party}.

The Pinterest Christmas blog series (in its fifth year!) started as a motivation to actually do some of the DIY projects we pinned on Pinterest & a way to share them with friends & family. Over the years other bloggers have joined & we have spent the month of December DIYing & sharing our Christmas projects. Sometimes the posts are tutorials with step-by-step instructions & other times it is simply sharing a completed project! You can check out past Pinterest Christmas projects here!

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This year we’d love you to join in on the fun of Pinterest Christmas! Kendra {from The Gilbertson Family} & I will be hosting a Linky Party set up for the entire month of December where you can share your own Pinterest-inspired projects & discover what bloggers are sharing too. And, we’d love to see the Pinterest Christmas graphic included in your posts!
Here is what you can do now to get started:
(1) Get on Pinterest & pin those holiday projects! (See our Pinterest Christmas board here)
(2) Get your craft on! If you want to do a tutorial, make sure to take pictures during each step.
(3) Write up your Pinterest Christmas blog post.
(4) Join in on our Linky Party! Click on the blue button below to add your blog link beginning December 1st! Feel free to add as many links as you’d like.
(5) Come back and see what other bloggers are creating.
(6) Tag your projects on FB, Twitter, Instagram with the tag #PinterestChristmas2015

Happy crafting!

M

diy crib rail covers.

shortly after eloise got her four top teeth (this winter) I noticed a few gnaw marks on one end of her crib rail. it is something I had always heard about, but never really thought of. but lo & behold, pinterest was filled with crib rail covers! luckily, Amanda also did a short write-up/tutorial about making custom crib rail covers for her daughter some time ago.

as with my quilt post, I am not making this a “tutorial” post because I definitely shouldn’t be showing anyone how to make these covers! they turned out well in the end, but I spent A LOT of time (really too much time) going back & fixing mistakes that I had made. basically this is a pretty straight-forward project, but for whatever reason I had a little more trouble with it. (I am blaming it on the fact that I have been elbow-deep in three different sewing projects!)

I didn’t want these covers to stand out a lot in eloise’s nursery & since everything in that room is pretty neutral, I followed suit when fabric shopping. I figured out white fabric would be best since her crib is white. then I used some left-over fabric from her balloon mobile to add to the ends, & a little red ribbon to give a small pop of color (& one that is already present in the space). I am really happy with how these turned out; they aren’t too matchy-coordinated, & don’t stand out too much.

I didn’t see any more teeth marks on the crib railings before these covers went on, & haven’t noticed eloise gnawing on the covers lately, but it gives me some piece of mind that she won’t completely destroy the crib. I have a mama friend who has teeth marks all over her daughter’s crib from another baby (& the ironic part is that, at the time, her daughter didn’t have any teeth!) – so there’s that! {UPDATE: so before this blog post is even going to go live, I noticed teeth marks on one of the side rails… guess I am making two more covers. thanks eloise!}

maybe someday I will get around to sewing some cute crib sheets! (also, you can see that we dropped the mattress enough that I no longer need a crib skirt! maybe for a future nursery.)

M

diy triangle quilt for eloise.

we decided not to go overboard with presents for eloise when she turned one which is pretty much our gift-giving philosophy for our kids. we did the same at Christmastime – just a few small stocking stuffers and one bigger gift. this helps because not only do we not have the space for lots & lots of toys, but we like the idea of toy minimalism, other people are very generous at birthday time, & eloise is too young to really know about new toys (& we are taking advantage of that for as long as possible!). maybe we will change our mind in later years, but for now this is pretty awesome. {we did get her this cute little IKEA cart & this first mobile phone.}

but, I did want to do something special for eloise, & by “do something” I mean “make something.” & what I ended up making her was a quilt. it was my first one (well, other than this quilted playmat that I made her in the spring, but I really don’t consider that a quilt, especially after making this one!).

the idea of a quilt has been around for quite a while & it started when I picked out my wedding dress. yep. my dress had this tremendously long & gorgeous train. I knew that some day I wanted to have quilts made out of it for our future children, so I kept the train but not the dress. I honestly thought I would have to find someone to make a quilt for me since the fabric of the train is silky, but I challenged myself to give it a try first, especially since there is so. much. fabric.

I scoured Pinterest to find a simple quilt pattern & quickly found this triangle one. it was perfect! the pattern was simple & I loved the ombre. (I realized that I had my choice to do ombre or not, but I really liked the look of this original quilt). when I was buying fabric (at Jo Ann since I have trouble buying fabric online – I like to see it, feel it, & look at it along with other fabrics) I was less than excited about the color choices in solid cotton. I was really wanting to do a coral ombre & grey, & ended up having to go way pinker than originally intended. that said, in the end, I really like the pinks with the cream color of my train. instead of white fabric I used my dress train along with dark pink, pink, light pink, grey, small grey dots, & larger grey dots (for the back).

while I normally add a tutorial with my DIY posts, there is no way I qualify to write a tutorial for making a quilt. I learned SO much on this project, but spent SO much time re-doing a lot of the aspects of this quilt. the sewing of the triangles went pretty well & I used a basting adhesive spray to help keep the train material from slipping in my machine. it worked well keeping fabric together but was really sticky on the fabric; I had to wash the front of the quilt twice to get the adhesive off. {a sewing friend told me later to use tracing paper on top of the fabric to keep it from slipping & then rip it off once the stitches are in place – this is an awesome trick!} once I started quilting the triangles (the white dots & the grey), I realized that the batting I was using was WAY too thick (I used the same thick batting as the quilted playmat) but kept on quilting. & then I got 90% done & decided I didn’t like it, so I ripped all of the quilting out! I asked Amanda about what quilt batting she uses (see her quilts for us here & here) & ended up taking her advice, using this batting at her recommendation. quilting went so much better & looked so great! then I got to the binding & it was a lot more ripping of seams. I used pre-made binding (rather than making my own) but I had no idea what I was doing & ended up buying binding that was too thick. after binding one side, I ripped it out & trimmed the binding down by half. it went much better the second time around, though I wish I would have hand-stitched the second set of stitching on the back of the quilt (the idea of hand-stitching sounded so awful & tedious at that point!) but oh well. I am still really happy with the quilt. & there is SO MUCH fabric left fo future children’s quilts!

eloise was pretty pleased with the quilt when I first showed her & she pointed out the colorful triangles – it melted my mama heart!

have you made a quilt before? any tips you want to share?

M

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