Beautiful Boxwood Wreaths

Every year, Mary hosts a Wreath-Making Brunch.  She invites friends over for a fun morning of chatting, eating, and wreath-making.  For a lot of us, this day has come to signify the start of the holiday season.  After all, once you make your wreath you have to hang it up…let the decorating begin!  Our wreath of choice is the boxwood wreath, as our yards are full of the plentiful greenery.  For as much as you see these wreaths sold for, you would think that they are difficult to make.  Not true!  Even a novice can tackle this project, and the product looks amazing!

Materials:

  • straw wreath (any size, but we like 18-20 inches for the front door)
  • plenty of boxwood branches (simply break off full clusters from existing boxwood bushes you or a friend may have in your yard)
  • greening pins (u-shaped wire floral pins)
  • chenille
  • magnolia leaves,
  • heavy-duty scissors or snips
  • decorative ribbon

Directions:

First, be sure to leave the plastic wrapping on your straw wreath form.  This will make it much easier to work with.  Make a loop with your chenille and secure it to your wreath with a greening pin or two.  This will be your wreath hanger.  Using your greening pins, secure magnolia leaves to the same side that your hanger is on.  This will be the back of your wreath.  Work backwards so that you are covering up the pins as you go.  The magnolia leaves will protect your door and make a pretty backside if you are hanging the wreath on a glass door or window.Now turn your wreath over.  Begin affixing the bunches of boxwood to the wreath with the greening pins.  Again, you will want to work backwards to cover the pins as you go.  Cover the entire front of your wreath and then you can use the same method for the inside and outside surfaces until you don’t see any of the straw.  Fill in as needed.You may need to give your wreath a “haircut” to tame any stray sprigs of boxwood.  Once you have evened things out, you are ready to add a bow and display your beautiful project.

Ribbon Wreath

This cute fall wreath was a cinch to make and can be adapted for any décor or occasion. Fall Ribbon Wreath done I was lucky enough to hit the bargain bin and score tons of ribbon for $1 or $2 per spool.  I spent $40 total on 2 wreath forms, a premade burlap flower embellishment, and enough ribbon to make at least 2 wreaths.  Wreaths like these are selling on Etsy for upwards of $65 dollars each!Fall Ribbon Wreath supplies

Materials:

  • wire wreath form (mine was 14.5 inches)
  • approximately 26 yards of assorted ribbon (depending on ribbon and wreath width)

To Make:

I cut my assorted ribbon into 12 inch lengths.  I used 76 12-inch strips to cover my wreath.  I simply tied the ribbon around the wreath form, alternating colors, widths, etc.  Fall Ribbon Wreath processI affixed the premade burlap flower and used additional ribbon to hang the wreath.  Fall Ribbon Wreath Close upIt really was that easy!  And it took no more than 1 hour.Fall Ribbon Wreath outside

 

Cookbook Makeover

We know that like us, you have recipes of all shapes and sizes floating around your kitchen.  And, like us, you sometimes have trouble finding a certain recipe when you want it.  Here is an easy and inexpensive way to organize your favorites so they will always be right at your fingertips.

Materials:

  • 3-ring binder (preferably with a clear plastic sleeve on the front)
  • clear page protectors
  • dividers
  • a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper
  • some pretty adhesive letters  First, decide on the sections that you want to have in your cookbook.  We think “Appetizers”, “Side Dishes”, “Main Courses”, “Desserts”, and “Miscellaneous” are all pretty mainstream.  But you may also want to add “Breakfast”, “Cocktails”, “Casseroles”, or a host of other options, depending on what kind of recipes you have.  Sort your recipes into the desired categories.

The recipes that are full page are easy to slip in.  For your recipes on smaller cards, you can put 3-4 in a sleeve. Now for the fun part.  Cut your scrapbook paper to fit into the clear sleeve on the front of your binder.  Apply the adhesive letters to the paper for your title.  “Good Eats”, “Family Faves”, and “The Cook’s Book” are some cute ideas.  Of course, “Recipes” also does the trick!  Get creative or go classic, as long as your recipes are now safely stored in one place.

 

Easy Girl Scout Sit Upons

My girls are attending camp this summer with their Girl Scout troop.  So, I rustled up a few available Brownies and Juniors to make easy sit upons.  These little gems were pennies to make since I found the tablecloths at the Family Dollar and used ribbon and duck tape from our craft stash.Sit Upons 2Supplies:Sit upon materials

  • Vinyl Tablecloths (the kind with the felt backing)
  • Duck Tape
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or Seamstress’ Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Needle and Thread (OPTIONAL)

I had the girls do their own measuring as to not miss out on a learning opportunity.  They made 15×15″ square sit upons.  Some chose to have the same print on both the back and the front, while other girls mixed and matched.  All were adorable!Sit Upon measuringLine up the squares back to back.  Using the duck tape, seal the edges.Sit Upon taping 1Sit Upon taping 2We added a ribbon so the sit upons could be bundled or wrapped.

Cut a 15″ length of ribbon and using a needle and thread, attach the ribbon to the center of the sit upon.  For a no-sew version, use duck tape to secure the ribbon.Sit Upon ribbonI chose not to have the girls fill them with padding such as newspaper so that they would fold better.  They fold to a tiny 5″ x 2 1/2″. Sit Upons 5Sit Upons 6Sit Upons in pocketSit Upons girls 3Now, just “sit upon” it!!

 

Rope Vases

This is the perfect time of year to deck out your table in a nautical theme.  These rope vases were a cinch to make and turned out great.  I originally made them for a nautical-themed bridal shower, and now I can use them for my own home.Rope vases 2

Supplies:

  • cans of various sizes (rinsed with labels removed)
  • rope (I picked mine up at the local hardware store)
  • hot glue gun
  • sharp scissorsRope vases prep 1

To Do:

I started gluing at the top of the can.  I simply squirted some glue and attached the rope until the entire can was wrapped.  Yup, it’s that easy!

Rope vases prep 3

Rope vases 1

Buoy Wreath

I was helping out with a nautical-themed bridal shower and wanted the perfect thing to hang on the door to set the mood.  Voila!  The buoy wreath was born.Nautical Wreath finished 2Supplies:

  • Styrofoam wreath (I used the flat kind)
  • crisp white and navy blue fabric
  • pins
  • wooden letter
  • paint brush or foam brush
  • paint of your choice
  • sandpaper
  • paste waxNautical Wreath suppliesDirections:

To give this wreath a shabby touch, I tore the fabric into inch wide strips instead of cutting it.Nautical Wreath prepThen I wrapped the wreath in the fabric to get the desired buoy effect, using pins to secure.  For the wooden letter, I painted it in this fun raspberry (in keeping with the color scheme of the bridal shower).  When it was dry, I used the sandpaper to distress the edges.  When I was happy with the antiquing effect, I applied paste wax then buffed it off.  See other projects done with this technique here and here.Nautical Wreath finished 1

Revive a Planter

After planting all we could in my standard pots (I always have two on my front porch and 3 on the back patio) I found myself with a few scraggly plants leftover.  Not wanting to throw them out, the kids and I went fishing around the back of the shed.  Emily spotted a few old pots looking more like candidates for the recycling bin than vessels suitable for a centerpiece.  TOTAL COST OF THE PROJECT – $0.00!!Revive a Planter 1I grabbed the bowl-shaped one and using some old spray paint that I had in the basement,  I breathed at least one more year of life into an old planter.  And, I didn’t let any flowers go to waste.Revive a Planter 2First I cleaned the pot with soap and water and let in dry in the sun.  Then, I sprayed 3 very light coats of spray paint onto the pot. Revive a Planter 3Once the paint was dry, I filled it with some potting soil and the last remaining plants I had and voila!Revive a Planter 4 - beautifulLet nothing go to waste if you can give it a little TLC!

Check out the frame I sprayed a couple of years ago with the same can of spray paint, turning it from drab to fab!

T-shirt Tote

Okay, this is “sew” easy.  If you have an old t-shirt, a pair of scissors and can stitch a straight line, you can make this!!

Step 1 – Select a t-shirt you want to convert into a bag.  I used a few that the moths had helped themselves to.

Step 2 – Cut along the front of the collar’s edge.  Then cut along each arm hole on the inside (the shirt side) of the original seam.

Step 3 – Turn the tee inside out and run a straight hem across the bottom leaving about an inch or so.  If you need to trim along the bottom of the shirt before sewing the bottom of the bag you can do so.

Step 4 – Turn right side out and embellish as desired.  You could really go all out at this stage of the project.  I made these for my girls.  I added an asymmetric foam flower to Emily’s and a contrasting bow using grosgrain ribbon to add a little pizazz to one of the handles of Elaina’s t-shirt tote.

 

Cute Clothespins

My kiddos gave these cute giant clothespins to their teachers for Teacher Appreciation Day, but they would make a great gift for anyone any time of the year.  Depending on how you decorate them, they can be used as recipe card holders, picture holders, note holders, etc.  My kids’ held thank-notes for their teachers.cute closepins finished 2

Supplies:

  • giant clothespins (found at a craft store)
  • decorative paper
  • embellishments (buttons, scrapbooking supplies, ribbon, etc.)
  • paper cutter or scissors
  • hot glue gunCute closepin supples

To Make:

I cut paper to fit the flat side of the clothespin.  I did the same paper on each side, but you could switch it up.  I then hot glued the paper to the clothespin.  Decorate with embellishments, and voila!  Ready to gift!Cute closepin step 1

 Cute closepins finished 1

 

 

Lantern Makeover

Lantern makeover before

I found these great lanterns on sale at the end of the summer season.  I paid around $50 for the trio.  I liked the looks of them, but the colors weren’t really my style.  Don’t get me wrong, they would have looked perfect on some fun and funky front porch.  However, my house is not really fun and funky…more like very traditional.  But with a can of spray paint, I got what I wanted! Lantern makeover 2