Archive of ‘Crafts/Decorations’ category

Gold Leafed Pillows (or Puffed Paint Pillows)

gold-fold-pillowThis seems to happen to me all of the time. It especially occurs when I trying to make a gift for a friend. (When am I just going to learn to go buy all of the presents I give that the store!) OK, back to my story. One of my good friend’s birthday was coming up and we both really like fancy things. When I saw these gold leafed pillows on I knew that they would be a perfect gift. And being naïve and completely stupid I imagined that on my first try I would take them a step further then original pillows and stencil on words instead of a pattern. It looked so perfect in my head. I knew it couldn’t go wrong. Ha! (that’s all I can say)


gold-foil-1First of all, one thing that I read as I was in the middle of this process is that if you are a perfectionist, this project is probably not for you. Amen to that! The gold leafing tends to not come off in completely solid. There are always little flecks through out it that are missing. If you are a personality, like me, that this will bother you for all eternality, just back away now and don’t even consider it. You and your stress level will thank me, I promise. (This picture is an example of one of my practice tries.)

Another part of my, I know better then the person in the tutorial was that she bought drop cloth material and after applying the gold leafing pattern, made it into a pillow slip cover.
I thought this sounded like more effort then I wanted to do so I bought a pillow to work directly on. Let just say a flat hard surface would have worked better.

Now to my stenciling. I have another good friend, Carla, that cuts vinyl and she was kind enough to cut me two copies of the “Be You tiful” sign that I wanted so I could mess up one and still have an extra. Yeah, I still needed a third. The vinyl didn’t stick very well to the pillow and I ended up mounting it on cardboard and cutting it out with an x-acto knife.

In the end I also did not use any gold leafing and instead stenciled with gold puffy paint. Believe me, it’s the last thing that I expected to use, but Carla said that she and seen it done on fabric and it looked great. I have to agree with that. I used a stippling brush and after getting a small amount of paint on it, I gently dabbed it up and down on the stencil. Any awfulness of the stenciling is the fault of the creator, not of the paint.

To finish up my pillow from h-e-double hockey sticks, I used a thin liner paintbrush to outline the edges of the stencil and “make it look better.” It did look better when I got done, but it was so far from the vision I had in my head I wanted to cry.

The “artwork” that I had done was on the back so I ended up giving it to her anyway and just telling her that the back was a something to remind her how grateful I am for our friendship and that no one would ever know it was there but her. I also had chocolate to go with it, but that mysteriously disappeared before she ever go it. (sorry Becky)

Bottom line- try gold leafing on something other than fabric first, don’t attempt to do it if you’re a perfectionist, and never be afraid to let your friends know you’re not perfect. I guarantee that last one will make you better friends in the end.



Stars and Stripes Firecrackers

firecrackers I really wanted to have this post in time for Flag Day, but since that was Sunday and it’s now Wednesday…I guess I missed.  Luckily, I’m still in time for the 4th of July.  I saw these originally on My Talking Walls and I loved them.  I was a little bit nervous about getting everything together for them, but it was much easier than I thought and I love the results.  I did, of course, learn a few things along the way and hopefully my experience will help yours go super smooth.  Here is what you need to have to make the firecrackers and what you need  to know to make them in a snap.


  • 4×4 post
  • White Paint- Spray Paint or Acrylic (see my explanation below)
  • Blue Spray Paint ( I used Krylon Cover Maxx in Oxford Blue)
  • Red 2″ Duct Tape
  • 6 wooden stars
  • 3/4″ Rope for fuse (Mine are around 4″ long)
  • Painters tape
  • Glue Gun
  • 1″ wood boring or spade bit

1. For a set of 3 firecrackers,  cut your post to these lengths:

  • 30″ for the tallest
  • 22″ for the next one
  • 16″ for the last
  • I used the last piece of my 8 ft post to make a singular firecracker to give away.

2. Spray paint or use acrylic paint to paint all of the pieces white, including the wooden stars.

3. After the paint is dry, measure the desired blue area for each piece and place painters tape around the posts to mark it.  The measurements are:

  • 9″ for the tallest
  • 7″ for the next one
  • 5.5″ for the last

4.  Wrap the post area that will be left white with a newspaper or paper towel.  Spray paint the blue area.  Remove the painters tape and touch up any areas that need it.

5.  Drill a hole in the center of each post, around 1″-1.25″ deep.  Place stripes in the center on each side.  Glue stars onto blue field.  Glue rope into hole.



I got my post at Home Depot and my rope at Lowe’s.  Both are really nice about doing cuts for free.  I told them the sizes that I needed and they happily accommodated.  I really appreciated having this done when I got home.

firecrackers2The original firecrackers I found on My Talking Walls had vinyl stripes and stars.  I ordered them and since I had them, I used them.  In the mean time I thought of making the stripes with duct tape and using wooden stars from Hobby Lobby.  This is a picture of how it turned out and I love it!  This is the way I would recommend making them.

I originally tried painting them white with a $1 can of spray paint.  I could tell that this was never going to go on thick enough so I bought a bottle of Krylon Maxx that had paint and primer in it.  This did a good job but I used the whole bottle and it still wasn’t as white as I wanted it.   It seemed like the wood was just absorbing the paint.  I ended up painting over it with Delta Ceramcoat white acrylic paint.  I loved how thick it went on and if I were to make another one I would skip the white spray paint and just use the acrylic.  You want to paint the entire thing white because then when you paint the blue field the paint will look even and not have lighter spots where you have white paint under it.

Make sure and cover the white area with a paper towel or a newspaper to keep the blue paint off of the white when you spray it.  Even with doing this don’t be surprised if you have to touch up the white.  I know I did.

So, do you feel like you can do this?  I hope so.  Let me know if you have any questions on how to do something.



Tie one on for Dad

happy-father's-day!Is June flying by incredibly quick for anyone else?  I feel like I’ve blinked and it’s already June 12.  One more blink and it will be June 21 and Father’s Day will be upon me.  Luckily I found 3 adorable bow tie ideas that I can use this year to make this holiday a breeze and me “Mom of the Year.”  (because THAT is what Father’s Day is about right?) 😉


mms-bow-tiesFirst I found this great idea for making bow tie M & M’s.  I used washi tape to pull in the middle and then printed off ” You’re “TIE”rific  Happy Father’s Day!” on cardstock, attached and voilà!  Perfect gift for the one or 100 dads that are special in you life. It also makes a great card to send to any dads (and grandpas) who aren’t close enough to celebrate with in person.  (I found the original idea on Crafty Morning.  Thanks for the inspiration!!)

bow-tie-napkins2I thought these bow tie napkins were perfect for our table on Father’s Day.  I again used washi tape and I loved how the kids could do it.  This idea I found on Be Different, Act Normal, was one that I think would work well for making Dad feel important at a small family dinner or would also be great for a large affair celebrating the many wonderful men in your life.


The last “bow tie” is found on this fun (and easy) Father’s Day Cake.  A cake mix, a can of frosting abow-tie-cakend a bag (or two) of M&M’s and you’re set!  I found when I made mine that a medium sized bag did not have enough of the the blue M&M’s for the suspenders so I had to get another bag.  Just buy a large bag to start and you should be safe.  This is another thing that the kids can do to show Dad their love.  Thanks to “We like to Learn as we Go” for making Father’s Day dessert a no brainer this year!!

I’m so excited to use these fun ideas for our dad this year!  He’s the best and we love getting the chance to celebrate how awesome he is!!



DIY Corkboard Placemats

placemats4Do you ever feel like you’re needing a change? An update?  I’ve been feeling that lately but I don’t have the time/energy/money to do anything too big.  I’ve found that even making a small change can make a room feel fresh again.  For my kitchen I decided that getting some new placemats would hopefully breath some new life into the room.  Looking around I found that the ones I could buy either were really pretty, but not practical for my messy bunch, OR they were plastic and cheesy, OR the cost more than I was willing to spend when buying a set of eight.

Lucky for me I spotted this tutorial on LollyJane for adorable corkboard placemats that you do yourself.  The post was a guest post from Janine at Happy Happy Nester.  Her placemats were unique and I loved how your could personalize them.  The execution took me longer than I was expecting.  Hopefully with my tips, you can make yours in no time.


The first thing that I had to do was to find the corkboard placemats.  The tutorial assumed that you would have some that you would want to repurpose. Since this was not the case for me, I first thought that I would just buy corkboard and cut it down.  After looking at several stores (fyi-home improvement stores do not carry corkboard) I found a roll of it at Hobby Lobby.  I unrolled it and left it laid out for several days to let it “uncurl.” That didn’t work and since it still wouldn’t lie flat, I started to look for a new solution.  The new solution proved to be much easier.  IKEA sells corkboard placemats.  Yeah!!  You can get a pack of 4 for $3.99 and they work perfect.

Next step, picking out a wrapping paper.  Janine turned me on to Papersource and I am so grateful.  I had such a hard time picking out which wrapping paper I wanted for my placemats.  I finally decided on four papers, which coordinated into pairs.

placemats3Garden Roses and Hydrangea

placemats1Donuts and Macarons

Squeal!!  Aren’t they the cutest?  I ended up ordering them off of their website and had them in less than a week.  Next I went to a local copy center to cut them down.

Now I just needed to laminate the paper and get the right glue.  Janine recommended Crafter’s Pick “The Ultimate.”  I used it and I am very happy with the results.  I found it at Hobby Lobby.  I know that you can also order it off of Amazon.  For the lamination I started to call around and I found that would cost me $5 a foot to get it done in my area.  I remembered a store from my college days in Provo, Utah called Stevenson’s Genealogy that had really cheap laminating.  Cheap enough to mail?  I’ll let you be the judge.  I did eight placemats and each was one foot of lamination.  Here that would have cost me $40.  Stevenson’s charges .69 cents a foot for a total for $5.60.  Yep, totally worth mailing it.  The staff is friendly and helpful if you want to call and ask any questions.

All that was left was to cut down the lamination all around the paper and then glue it onto the placemat.  I squeezed glue all around the edge of the placemat and used a popsicle stick to spread it thin.  I didn’t worry about doing this with the glue on the rest of the placemat.  Once I had the top of the placemat on where I wanted it I used the glue bottle to rub it down so that it was smooth and there were no bubbles.

placemats2I am so in love with the results.  These placemats would make a perfect present for Mother’s Day (thinking ahead!), teacher presents, and wedding presents.  They can easily be personalized for each individual.  They would also be perfect for a themed dinner party.  So many possibilities!

placemats-5Oh, and here’s one more picture I couldn’t resist including.  Boy 5 likes to stand by me when I’m shooting pictures and today he got a little bit anxious for me to get done.  Can you blame him?


DIY Spring (Spoon) Wreath

sppon-wreathI’ve been looking for a Spring wreath for my front door and when I saw this Spoon Wreath on Craftaholics Anonymous I decided I needed to try it.  The tutorial made it look simple enough to make and I thought it looked pretty.  I ended up making two, one on a 12 inch cardboard circle and one on a 9.5 inch circle.  Here’s how I though it went.


The tutorial on Craftaholics Anonymous was great.  I didn’t see any need to remake it, so if you want to make this wreath, go here to find out how.

This might look like it would take a long time, but it actually is a pretty quick craft to make.  I spent around 10 minutes breaking off the spoon handles, and another 15 hot gluing them on.  All it is from there is spray painting and gluing on the mirror.  Easy, peasy.

I found that I liked the wreath made on the 9.5 inch circle better. (it’s the one pictured)  The larger had one more row of petals and it was too much for me.

Linda recommends using clear spoons so that you don’t have to worry about painting the back of the spoon.  I thought this was a really good tip and I did that.  Unfortunately that meant that I had to pay just over $5 for 100 spoons, which is the amount that you’ll need to make this wreath.  That was more than I was expecting to pay for the spoons, but I’m sure that if you look around, you could probably find them cheaper.

I didn’t score my spoons with scissors.  I just broke off the handle with my hands.  This worked fine and I only ended up with a couple of spoons that I couldn’t use.

Make sure and get all of the long strings of hot glue off before you spray paint.

The small mirror was very easy to find at my local craft store.

I used Krylon Sea Glass spray paint and I love the color!  Perfect for spring.  The clerk at Wal Mart asked me what I was going to use it for when I bought it.  I guess it’s not a popular color in the spray paint world. 🙂

This really would be a great craft to make at a church craft day.  It also would be a great project for teenagers.  Hope you can bring some spring into your home with this wreath!




Calm Down Jar & Removing Labels on Plastic

IMG_1234For the last several years I have had to make dinners fairly quickly because dinnertime seems to be the “witching hour” for all of my children when they were toddlers and it seemed like everyday was guaranteed to have a meltdown between 5:00 and 7:00.  When I saw a link for a “Calm Down Jar” a couple of years ago I pinned it and had every intention of making one, but like so many other things in life, it just never happened.

My youngest is now 4 and he will still have meltdowns, partly from being the youngest and being used to getting his way, and from having a few issues when things are not done in the right way (according to him).  I decided that now was the time to give this a try.  I had read about it on Chasing Cheerios and made one a few weeks ago.  Here’s what I’ve decided about it.


The jar that Melissa used was a half pint mason jar.  I couldn’t imagine handing that to my child when they are happy, let alone upset.  I looked for a clear plastic jar that would work.  The thing that I decided would work best is a Talenti Gelato container.  I took one for the team and ate it all in two days (can’t imagine why I’m needing to lose weight). 😉  The only problem with the Talenti jar was that it had writing all over it.  After searching on the internet I discovered that the writing would come off simply by rubbing acetone nail polish remover on it.  I was amazed at how well (and easily) it worked!  I’m definitely going to keep that on file.

All that is needed to make this is a jar, water, and a small bottle of glitter glue.  You’ll use the entire bottle of glitter glue.  I warmed up the water to help the glue “melt” faster.  I’m not convinced that it was necessary.  My jar took 24-48 hours for the glue to all completely melt.  Before that happened it looked really weird with little red glitter tadpoles and a couple of huge glitter clumps swimming around in my jar.  It was a bit disturbing.  Eventually everything melted and it works great.

She has you add more clear school glue and glitter.  I don’t think that’s necessary and the extra glitter tends to just stick to the bottom.

In case you’re wondering why you can’t just put glitter in water, I tried that, and the glitter just sticks to the sides of the jar and doesn’t swirl.

As for “calming” my son down, that didn’t work.  All the boys have fun grabbing it and showing it too him when he’s upset  because they think it’s funny to see him push it away.

I think that this is a really great snow globe.  To put a character in it, glue it to the bottom with an epoxy glue, and wait until it dries completely, and then add the water and glitter glue.

If nothing else, it’s just relaxing to watch it.  You really should try the removing of writing off a plastic container with nail polish remover.  It was really cool.



DIY Valentine’s Wreath

diy-wreathI have to admit that one of my favorite things about writing this blog is that it is forcing me to do things that I’ve had on my “to try” list for a long time.  Crafts are something that has mostly been put on the back burner in my life right now.  I’ve always loved doing crafts but I think that having no one to do them with and the fact that no one around my house really seems to appreciate crafts, makes them something that never seems to float to the top of the list.  Case in point; as I made this wreath I was excited about how cool it was looking and so I held it up to show three of my sons how neat it was looking.  NO ONE was impressed; at all.  So I am depending on you to see how cool it looks and be impressed by it.

I found this wreath on Soccer Mom Style.  I liked it because it looked like it wouldn’t take much skill to do and it was super cheap to make.  Here is what my experience was really like making it.


valentines-wreathOn Soccer Mom Style she says that it was her goal to make this for free.  It’s made from a cardboard box, and coffee filters.  It was almost free for me.  We are not coffee drinkers in our house (hazard of being a Mormon) and so I did have to go buy the coffee filters.  I believe it was $2 for 300.  Very reasonable price considering I think that I’ll get 4 hearts out of it.

I used Delta Creamcoat acrylic paint.  It’s what I had on hand.  It worked great.  I would definitely use red paint in whatever kind you use.

For instructions on how to make this wreath go to Soccer Mom Style.  She has great photographs demonstrating each step.

A couple of things that I figured out as I did it.  Don’t leave the filters in the paint water for more than a few seconds.  The color will continue to “crawl” up the sides once it’s out.  I dried mine on a wire cooling rack and that worked great.  I didn’t have any paint drip on them or the counter.

Make sure that the red paint is a little bit thinned out when you go around the top edge.  If it’s not it will not bleed into the rest very well and will look clumpy on the top.

I didn’t measure my holes are exactly like she did.  I measured the first few and then just eyeballed it from there.  The box the I was cutting up had Styrofoam in it.  It was great for placing the heart on and poking the screwdriver into.

I was super impressed with how easy and quickly these wreaths came together.  If you’re looking for a fun, quick and inexpensive craft to try, I would definitely make this one.


DIY Burlap Garland

Looking for something simple to spruce up your house?  You should really consider making a burlap garland like I found on lifeinhighcotton.


I liked this garland because it can be easily transformed for each holiday.
This was super easy to make and you really can’t do it wrong.  Just follow the instructions on lifeinhighcotton.
I used a brown string.  I would recommend it because I think a white string would be seen.
I used a 30 foot of burlap and 5 foot of string.
It’s perfect for a mantel, make a longer one for a doorframe, or decorate with it at a wedding.  The brown burlap leaves so many possibilities!


Colorful Melted Bead Ornaments- Pinterest Fail?

Melted Bead Christmas Ornament Yeah, I’m going to let the cat out of the bag pretty quickly on this one.  This was a complete fail for me.  I really wanted this to work.  I found this a couple of weeks ago on Carrie this Home.  I was so excited to have my boys make these ornaments and give them to their friends as Christmas presents.  I was excited to be able to share with you a Christmas craft that was easy, little mess, and fun for the kiddos.  Well, maybe I’ll find one that will fit the bill next year.

This photo is from Carrie this Home.


I really feel like I gave this a good chance.  I tried making them two different times.  As you can see I used beads that were not all the same shape.  I don’t think that made a difference.  In fact, you can see that the flower shape beads actually melted together quite well.
I had to leave mine in the oven for 30 minutes.  They weren’t very melted after 20 minutes.
You can see that I was placing a nut in the top of the ornament for the string to go through.  I thought that this would be cute and work well.  I really think that it would have too if the plastic had molded around it.
The second time I tried it I made sure that the spaces were filled in, but it didn’t turn out any better.  In fact, it was worse because some of the beads melted with pointed edges sticking out.
This may work for someone else, but I think as a “children’s craft” this is a fail.  You would have to be very precise to get this to work.
If you do decide to try it, here is the link.  Let me know how it works for you!


Magical Christmas Hall Lights

Best thing I did last Christmas!  Add twinkle lights to your hallway
Is there anything more magical than Christmas lights?  The soft glow makes you feel all cozy and safe.  I know that feeling is what attracted me and 2200 other people to pin this picture from Nest of Posies last year.  It looks simple, easy, inexpensive and full of Christmas magic.  I had to try it this year.  Would I do it again next year?  Here’s my experience.


A big problem is that the only hallway I have extends over my stairs.  This meant that this project would require help from my husband and he was less than thrilled about climbing on a ladder over the stairs to hang Christmas lights.  We used a straight ladder and propped it between the base of the hall wall and the top of the wall by the stairs.  I really don’t know that I can recommend doing this.  It was dangerous in our house and I doubt I’ll get my husband to do it again next year.  We’ll just have to really enjoy it this year! at Nest of Posies used icicle lights.  I used regular white lights for two reasons.  1. I’ve tried doing something indoors with icicle lights before and the way that they look in the day bugs me and since it’s light for most of the time that I’m wake, that matters to me.  2. About 10 years ago I was at Target in January and they had clear Christmas lights on clearance for 30 cents a box.  I bought a lot of them and so I wasn’t going to go buy lights when I already had some.
I used the Command hooks that Kellie recommended and they worked fabulously.  I used 6 strings of lights, but I think that I had a bigger area to cover than a normal hallway.  If you’re doing a regular hall 3-4, at most, would be needed.
After getting done I felt like it needed something else.  Like I said, I see them mostly during the day and I didn’t like the wires just hanging there.  I decided to drape tulle under the lights.  I used clear push pins to attach it.  I went with red because I was afraid that white would look to much like a wedding. I used 3 yards of tulle.  I really like the effect the tulle has on it.  It really softened the light that is given off and it makes the wires not feel so “raw” hanging across the ceiling.
My overall assessment is: I would do this again if I had a normal hallway.  I would use regular white lights, with white wires and I would hang the tulle under it.
Over the stairs, we won’t be doing it again.  I can’t do it by myself and there is no way I’m getting my hubby out on that ladder again.  Than again, it might still be up next year. :0)

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