Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Holiday House Tour

Good Afternoon!

It's a beautiful day outside. There's a layer of frost on the trees, and the temperature is fairly bearable.
I figured it's time to share our Christmas decorating. I am pretty happy with the way everything turned out. I like traditional red and gold and rustic touches around the home. Last weekend I finally got the house put together after pulling out all the Christmas decorations, and no sooner was that done that I decided to destroy my kitchen by putting up backsplash. It's going pretty well. It's taking forever, but I'm pretty darn happy with the way it's turning out. {Check out my Instagram for updates and pictures!}

Please enjoy this sneak peek into our house this holiday season!

Our Tree

Pillow covers from Wal-Mart post holiday sale. (70% off!)

$11.00 wreaths from Lowes and new bows using this tutorial with burlap ribbon from Wal-Mart.

Stairway & Entry Decorations

Fresh greenery added. Click here for the tutorial.

Stockings from Shutterfly and photography by Amber Walder Photography.


Touches Around Our Home

I love this chain. It looks like a paper chain, but it's actually metal. I've added my Willow Tree Navity to the top of the hutch.

 Vintage ribbon from my grandmother's basement.

Get the tutorial for this ornament (or use it for cards!) tree here.

 Ignore the unfinished wall (which is being tiled right now!). A simple wreath is a nice touch here.

 This was a fun easy cheap project. Rustic wood scrapbook paper mod podged on cardboard letters. Cost was about $4.00 and it took only an hour to complete!

I had the yarn wrapped letters from a few years ago, but we painted a tree and reindeer as a family for some new decorations.

Another fun project! I got a precut board from Wal-Mart and free handed the lettering.

 Outside Decorations

Get the tutorial on how to add fresh greenery to your garland here.

Kinda obsessed with my garland if you can't tell!

Fresh greenery (free from the clipping box at Lowes!) with lights and pinecones in a vintage milk crate.

DIY Nativity scene. Click here for the tutorial.

Simple DIY Star made out of five yard sticks and white lights.

Mailbox decorations with some frost help from mother nature!

Simple wooden trees from the entrance to our property. Only a few dollars, a couple of cuts and they were done in an hour.

Little sneak peak of a different color from behind. I'm excited to see these weather and look more rustic over the years.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

DIY Sunday: Vintage Yard Stick Ornament {or Card} Tree

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season so far! My favorite part of the holidays is all the traditions I get to share with my children. I feel like Christmas has gotten so much more fun since we've had children. We spend the day after Thanksgiving listening to Christmas music and decorating. They have new advent calendars their Grandma made for them. (Our 2 year old son has the figured out...he points to it the first second he's awake!) We give a Christmas Eve gift of PJ's, popcorn and hot chocolate. Finally, they get an ornament every year from their Uncle (my brother).

When I was growing up, my aunt would send my brother and me a ornament every year. It was a metal one that had our names and the year engraved on it. We got them into our 20's. My aunt is no longer with us, but her memory lives on especially when we unpack our ornaments each year.

I had been avoiding putting my ornaments on the tree for the past couple of years. I didn't want one of my kids to take off with one and find it years later..or worse miss it forever when it ended up in the trash. Last year I decided that I needed to figure out some sort of solution to keep the ornaments out (after all, my aunt didn't buy them to sit in a box!) but keep them in one place. I decided I needed to make an ornament tree just for these special ornaments.

I spent a good chunk of the year coming back to what I would like to do. I have a collection of vintage yard sticks I have been hording for a couple of years. I always wanted to do some sort of cool  display of them, but I didn't know what. Finally this year, I went to put some presents in my craft closet (that's the secret Santa stash place!) and saw the sticks sitting there.

This project is very simple and only takes an evening to complete. Don't think just ornaments though! You could easily swap out the eye hooks for clips and display Christmas cards!

Vintage Yard Stick Ornament (or Card) Tree


4-5 Vintage Yard Sticks (Look at garage sales and antique shops)
Screws long enough to go through 2 yard sticks.
Wood Glue (optional)
Eye Hooks & Wire (or clips for Christmas Cards)
Saw (I used a jigsaw, but a hand saw or other cutting device would work)


1. Lay Out Design & Mark

You will want to lay out your yard sticks to determine how many "branches" you want and how you'd like them staggered. The great part of working with yardsticks is that it's VERY easy to measure everything out. I decided on how many branches I wanted (4) based on how many ornaments I had to display. Once I decided how many, I lined up the sticks on one side to see how I wanted them staggered. Then I simply used the measurements on the sticks to decide where I needed to cut on the opposite side. So, the top I had centered at the 6 inch mark, next was 9 and the next was 12. On the top, I just had to measure six inches over from center to know where to make my first cut.

Something I messed up and wished I had fixed is the yard stick in the middle (the "trunk" if you will) was upside down. I should have placed the pre-drilled hole in the yard stick at the top. Most yard sticks will have this hole since they are generally stored by hanging them. Put the hole at the top and you'll have the perfect place to attach the yard stick to the wall!

2. Cut

Pretty simple. Cut where you have marked. My bottom one didn't need a cut, so I only had to make 3 cuts. You may want to make different cut decisions if you want to incorporate a name or cool saying on the stick. I, for example, wanted to make sure the slogan on the top stick ("Where the Studs Are") was included so I cut the stick in two places to make sure I got the entire quote in.

3. Sand

Since vintage yard sticks probably are worn and rounded on the finished edge, take some sand paper and gently round the edge you just cut.

4. Attach

My screws were a bit on the shallow end (that's what you get when you don't measure and just hope you're buying the right size!), I also added some wood glue before screwing everything together.

5. Attach Eye Hooks or Clips

Now you just need to screw in your eye hooks or nail on your clips. Once again, it's pretty easy to center since you have the markings on the rulers as a guide. Screwing in the eye hooks sucks, but it doesn't last that long.

6. Attach Ornaments!

I grabbed some floral wire to attach my ornaments to the eye hooks. Now my ornaments are on display and not going anywhere!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Flashback Friday: Making Your Elf Positionable

Hello There!

Today's Flashback Friday features a post that has gotten a ton of attention over the past couple of weeks. It was recently featured on two different websites, so I thought it was worth reposting! Our Elf has held up beautifully, and is working hard away this holiday season.

Making Your Elf On The Shelf Positionable


Holidays came a bit early this year in our house due to some unusual circumstances with my husband being in vet school. We put the Christmas lights up outside last weekend when it was 50 degrees out (thankful we did it then, this weekend it's in the single digits!)

That means that when we pulled out the Christmas stuff, we also pulled out the Elf on the Shelf a bit early. Last year our daughter understood the "hide and seek" part but didn't really get the rest of the tradition. This year with a couple of days of reading the book, our daughter was pretty excited to see what her Elf would do.

I quickly found out, as many people have, that out of the box, your elf isn't going to be positionable. This is news to people new to the Elf that see all the crazy stuff that people have done with their elves.

You can make your elf positionable with just a dollar and a needle and thread. I also made some accessories with some material I had sitting around.


Wire (I found mine in the arts and craft section of Wal-Mart...think the section with paint, styrofoam balls, project kits) $1.00



Red Thread

Of course, a elf!


1. Cut a small slit right at the wrists, top of the back of the thighs (I also put one in the main body, but I don't think you notice that). Make sure you put it on the back of the limbs so they aren't as noticeable.

2. Measure the wire to be a bit smaller than the section you're putting the wire in and cut (any set of sharp scissors will cut this type of wire)

3. Slip the wire in. Take care to go around the paper stuffing. You can do this by pushing it right up against the side of the fabric. Make sure you don't push the wire through the fabric.

4. Sew up the slit by hand with some red thread.

So far, I have made a skirt with some felt fabric and thread, ear muffs (some spare fur from a stocking, spare wire and hot glue) and hand warmer (also spare fur and hot glue).
Our elf has only been around for a couple of days, but so far has left a letter for our daughter, gotten dressed up with our daughter's hair things, sat in the fridge, listened to music with ear buds, told secrets with Goofy and had a camping trip with Barbie.

Sometimes you need a little help with super clear tape.

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