Celebrating Dads – DIY gifts & Father’s Day Wreath Tutorial

Hello friends and Happy June! I can’t believe this year is almost half over already. Seems like I was just making my New Year’s resolutions. Time flies! I’m happy to report I have actually been embracing my resolutions this year. But enough about me, because June is a very big month. That’s right – it’s the end of the school year for the kiddos, it’s also graduation season, and
it’s the month we celebrate dads! So we’re busy, busy, busy!

In the spirit of celebrating dads, I have prepared some links to help you create a fabulous Father’s Day for all those special men in your lives! I have also put together a fun little tutorial for a festive wreath for your front door. It’s the perfect decoration to help remind your pops that he is loved every time he comes home. It’s super easy, and we’ll have some fun putting that together later on. But first let’s review some links to great Father’s Day gifts you can make yourself!

IMG_0364So we have some awesome options to choose from when honoring our dads and grandpas out there. We have some very creative ladies! For all of those first time dads with beautiful baby boys The Gaines Gang has take a baseball and placed a tiny baby hand print on the ball. So cute and really easy! A great keepsake. Amanda’s Parties To Go has prepared some great templates for creating a Tie-riffic Father’s Day. All you need is some Dad’s Rootbeer and some scrapbook paper and you’re set. Crafted Niche has a new take on the diaper cake for dear old dad. Holiday Snobs have a cute subway art printable for you to frame and display as a festive decoration. So check them out and let’s show those men just how special we think they are! And now that’s get crafting!

IMG_2262Father’s Day Wreath Tutorial

Materials:

-Large Styrofoam Wreath
-Yarn (any color)
-White Dress Shirt with pocket
-Wooden Letters (D – A – D
-Fabric Scrap 12″ x 12″ (any print or color)
-Hot Glue Gun
-Scissors

Directions:

We’re going to begin by covering your wreath with yarn. You will need the wreath, yarn, and hot glue gun. Place a small amount of glue on the backside of the wreath and attach the end of your yarn. Begin wrapping the yarn around e wreath tightly, so you can’t see any styrofoam beneath the yarn. Periodically, place a dab of hot glue on the backside of the wreath to secure the yarn in place. Continue until the wreath is completely covered in yarn.

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Next we are going to prepare our shirt collar…use the picture below for assistance.
1. Place your wreath on top of your dress shirt just below the collar.
2. Cut the excess shirt off 3″ below the wreath.
3. Now we’re going to trim the button strip down the front of the shirt. Trim along the shirt just outside the seam line, all the way up to the collar. Repeat this step on the other side of the strip, so it’s completely removed from the shirt.
4. Last, we’re going to remove the collar of the shirt. Continue trimming along the collar just below the seam line until the collar and button strip area completely removed.

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When your finished, you should have the shirt collar and button strip completely removed from the rest of the shirt.

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Next cut out the pocket of your shirt, trimming outside the seam.

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Now we’re going to make our bow tie. Take your fabric scrap and cut it into four pieces:
They don’t need to be perfect dimensions, we’re just going to glue them
-long narrow piece 12″ x 2″
– short narrow piece 3″ x 5″
-small rectangle piece 6″ x 10″
-small square piece 6″ x 6″

Using your hot glue gun, we’re going to hide all of your raw edges. Fold in each of the raw edges of your Short Narrow piece and the Small Rectangle piece. Next take your long your Long Narrow piece and fold the long sides inward and glue them down.

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To assemble the bow tie, place the long narrow strip beneath you small rectangle piece. Using your fingers, scrunch the rectangle piece together at the center. Next, using your glue gun, bind the two together by wrapping the short narrow piece around the center. Viola! You have your Bow Tie!

Now we’re going to attach the bow tie to your collar. Place a dollop of glue on the top button and attach the back of the bow tie to it.

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Then, using your glue gun, attach the strap of your bow tie around the shirt collar.

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Now that we have all our pieces, we’re going to assemble the wreath. Place a healthy amount of glue to the inside of shirt collar and attach it to the top of you wreath.

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Once the collar is secure, take your button strip and pull it taught over the bottom of the wreath. Use your glue gun to attach it to the wreath.

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Next, take your wooden letters and arrange them to the left of your button strip. Once you have them in your desired place, glue them down to secure them.

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Last part. Take your remaining piece of fabric and puff it up like a suit handkerchief. And place it inside your pocket. Next, place glue along the backside of your pocket and secure it to the right side of your wreath in the middle.

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Congratulations! You are finished. Now display your awesome wreath with pride, because I know dad is going to love it!

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ENJOY!

Easter Egg Tree

IMG_2044Happy Wednesday everyone! Spring is finally here and March is well underway. St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday, and believe it our not – Easter is only two weeks after that. It’s a busy month. Especially since all your kiddos will be home during spring break. Keeping them occupied and preparing for your family’s Easter Extravaganza will be no small feat. So I urge you all, in the name of maintaining sanity, plan ahead. Don’t be like me and wait till the last minute. I have prepared a few links for all of you to help get started.

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IMG_0330Break out a pen and paper and take some notes. Little Fish Studios has made some cutesy little felt bunny finger puppets. Babyccino Kids prepared a fun little tutorial for some Bunny Masks to make with your little kiddos. And if you’re looking for another activity, Hostess with the Mostess has made some cute little bunny and chick treat cups. Craft Jr. has prepared some adorable pipe cleaner finger puppets. Now that we’ve got your little kiddos squared away, I’ve prepared a project for all of you. Today we are going to make some cute Easter Egg Trees for your mantle. So let’s get started!

Easter Egg Tree Tutorial

Materials:

Styrofoam cone
4 bags of mini plastic Easter Eggs
Easter basket raffia
Tin Can (empty)
Hot glue gun
Pastel colored scrapbook paper
Ribbon

Instructions:

Using your hot glue gun, apply a healthy amount of glue to your styrofoam cone. With careful hands, apply a thick layer of raffia. Try not to burn yourself like I did. Continue until your cone is covered with raffia.

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Now we’re going to cover our cones in Easter Eggs. Apply a healthy amount of glue to the back of each egg and apply them to your cone in a slanted pattern. To keep them secure, apply glue to the points where your eggs connect with each other.

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Once you’ve completed your first ring, start on your second ring. This time add glue till the points the eggs connect to your new row. Continue this until your entire cone is covered in eggs.

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Next, cover your tin can with scrapbook paper. Attach it with a few dabs of glue.  Once the glue has dried, we’re going to attach the tin can to your cone. Apply a very healthy amount of glue to the bottom of the tin can and the rim. Then quickly attach the can to the base of your cone.

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Lastly, we’re going to finish it off by tying a cute little ribbon around the can. The finishing touch. We’re finished! Now display it with pride.

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I hope you all are feeling a little more prepared for Easter. For more cuddly fun, check out my Adventures in Motherhood blog.

ENJOY!

St. Patty’s Day tutorial

Good morning everyone! February is already drawing to a close, and I still feel like I’m falling behind. I have always been a juggler, but I am new to this balancing act we call motherhood. March is just around the corner one of my family’s favorite holidays is just around the corner. My husband’s birthday is a few days before and he’s a huge Notre Dame fan. So every year I try to dream up new ways to celebrate. I’m especially excited about this year, because Aaliyah is old enough to celebrate with us. So it’s time to start creating scavenger hunts and make Leprechaun traps. Why, do you ask? Because it’s so much fun! So mark March 17th on your calendar, because we are going to have some fun with this.

I have found some great links from some of my fellow crafty moms to help you dream up some good old Irish mischief for your little ones. The Crafting Chicks can help you put together a cute little Leprechaun Trap with your little ones. It’s a great after school project for the whole family. Oopsie Daisy has some free printables for you to create a Scavenger Hunt to keep your kiddos busy. It’s a fun way to create some childhood memories. One of my favorites, turn your house upside down to make it look like some mischievous Leprechauns paid you a visit before your family woke up. Tutus and Tantrums can show you how to leave Leprechaun footprints as evidence of your little visitors.

And in the spirit of getting crafty, I have put together a tutorial for a St. Patrick’s Day plaque and an Irish banner. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, I’m sharing my recipe for Shamrock Popcorn. It’s a delicious treat that is great for St. Patty’s Day parties or just a family treat.

Shamrock Popcorn

Ingredients:
1 cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
1 brown paper bag
12 oz. white chocolate
2 Tbsp. shortening
Green food coloring
2 cups Pretzel sticks
1 1/2 cups green M & Ms
Wax paper

Directions:
1. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.

2. Place popcorn kernels in a paper bag. Cook them in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes. Separate popcorn from the unpopped kernels (we don’t want anyone breaking any teeth). Pour popcorn in a large bowl and add your popcorn and M & Ms. Then set it aside.

3. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine white chocolate and shortening. Microwave it for 30 seconds. Then mix chocolate with a spatula and place it back in the microwave. Heat it for another 30 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave and stir melted chocolate with your spatula until smooth. Add green food coloring to your melted chocolate and stir it to combine.

4. Pour your now green chocolate over the popcorn mixture. Stir mixture until it is all lightly coated with chocolate. Then spread mixture onto your prepared cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, so chocolate can harden.

5. Remove popcorn from refrigerator and put it in a bowl for all to enjoy!

Now that you have satisfied your sweet tooth, let’s get crafty! It’s time to bring a little Irish into your lives for the month of March! We’re going to put together a little plaque for your mantle or coffee table.

St. Patrick’s Day Plaque

Materials:
1/3 yard Burlap
Scissors
Green Paint
Paint Brush
Black Sharpie
Shamrock Stencil, optional
Letter Stencils, optional
Picture Frame for 8 x 10 picture

Directions:

We’ll begin by cutting your piece of burlap. Place the cardboard or backing of your picture frame on top of your burlap. you’ll use this to determine what dimensions to cut your burlap. At the place you where you want to make your cut, pull the frayed strand of burlap. Pull it tight so your burlap becomes cinched, until the strand is pulled free. You should be left with what looks like a snag in your burlap that runs the length. Using your scissors, cut along the snag. Repeat this process to cut the other side of your burlap.

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Now it’s time to paint! First place your burlap on a piece for cardboard or newspaper, to protect your surface. You may do one of two things; draw freehand or paint using stencils. I like to do my lettering freehand, but I used a stencil for my shamrocks. If you’re using stencils, use small amounts of paint and dab the burlap with your brush. That way the paint won’t bleed underneath the stencil. Once you’ve finished painting, set it aside to dry.

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Once your paint has dried, use your sharpie to outline your lettering. It will give your plaque a little more depth.

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When you’re done, place your burlap inside your picture frame and display it for all to see!

Don’t forget, March 17th is the magical day when mischievous Leprechauns emerge and play practical jokes. So set a trap or schedule a hunt for those energetic and playful kids of yours. You never know, you might have a little fun. You’ll definitely create some great memories for the whole family. So enjoy, because it’s an excuse to be silly and have a good time!

Valentine’s Topiary Tutorial

Happy Wednesday everyone! There’s only one day left in January and February is already upon us. 2013 is officially underway! Which means, we are just a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day. So it’s time to start putting together school Valentines and adding a little pink to your lives. I’m sure some of you are dreading the idea of having to come up with an idea and preparing thirty plus valentines for your child’s class. But don’t fret! I have done a little legwork for you. There are lots of super cute ideas floating around and the best part is – they don’t require a whole lot of effort! So let’s make your son or daughter the talk of the class…

IMG_0312Your child can generate a little buzz in their class with these super cute Bee Mine valentines from Pizzazzerie. Or you can mix up some yummy holiday trail mix for all the cuties in their class from A Spicy Perspective. The Fry Family created some great valentines to help dig up some fun for the whole class. The Brassy Apple created some photo valentines that a sure to trick your senses. You’re sure to surprise the class with these dyn-o-mite valentines from Make It Do . Finally, you’re little super hero might want to spread some love with the super suckers created by Zakka Life .

IMG_0322Now that you have some inspiration for those class valentines, it’s time to make a little something to spruce up your life! I have already started unpacking my Valentine’s decorations. After all this rain, I needed a little color added to my world. So let’s bring on the pink, red, and lace! This week we are going to create a beautiful Pink Topiary for your mantle. I love these, because they are so simple and clean. I think they are great, because unlike the garden topiaries, there’s no water required. I do not have a green thumb, so I have managed to kill every live topiary I have ever gotten. So let’s get started!

Valentines Rosette Topiary

Materials:

-6″ styrofoam ball
– terra cotta pot
– small piece of floral styrofoam
– 1 yard of Valentine’s print fabric
– 1/3 yard of solid colored fabric (pink, red, or white)
– wooden dowel
– pink ribbon
– 1 piece of tissue paper (pink, red, or white)
– acrylic paint (pink, red, or white)
– paint brush
– hot glue gun

We will begin by painting our pots and the wooden dowel. Then we can set them aside to dry while we work on our topiary. You will probably have to apply several coats to your terra cotta pot, because that hideous orange is pretty dark. When you have painted both your pot and your dowel to your desired shade, set them aside to dry. Now onto the fun part! We are going to create your topiary.

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Next, cut your fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips that are 45 inches long. Then cut your strips in half, so they are each 22 inches long. Heat up your glue gun and get your styrofoam ball.

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Now I am going to teach you how to make fabric rosettes.

Take a strip of fabric. At one end, fold the corner down to create a point. Then fold the tip inward towards the raw edge. Next, fold the topside of the fabric in toward the triangle you’ve just created to form a small bud. Finally, begin twisting your fabric into a ringlet around the bud you’ve just formed. Keep twisting until you’ve reached the other end of your strip.

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Apply a healthy amount of glue to the surface of your styrofoam ball, where you want to stick your rosette. Tuck the end of your fabric underneath the edge of your rosette. Press it down and hold for a few seconds to help it stay in place.

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Now is the time to determine what type of pattern you’d like to make. I chose to surround my solid pink rosettes with printed ones. But do what you like, because it’s your project. Continue making rosettes until you have completely covered the entire surface of your styrofoam ball.

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Next we’re going to cut our floral styrofoam and insert it into our pots. I like to apply a little hot glue to help hold it in place. But it’s not necessary.

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Decide how high you would like your topiary to stand, and cut your wooden dowel. Make sure you account for the parts of the dowel that will be inserted into both your pot and your ball. First push one end of the dowel into the bottom of your styrofoam ball. Then insert the other end into the center of your pot. Slide the dowel all the way to the bottom of the pot, so it’s more stable.

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Next fold up your tissue paper like an accordion. Then cut it into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. When you’re finished, ruffle them up so they look like raffia. Cover the top of your floral styrofoam with a healthy amount of hot glue. Cover the styrofoam with the strips of tissue paper. Press them down firmly, so they will stay in place. Trim any crazy fly aways, so it looks neat.

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Finally, take your ribbon and tie a bow around the wooden dowel. Cut off the excess ribbon.

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And we are finished! Clear a place for your beautiful new Valentine’s Topiary, because it should be on display for all to see. I hope you have enjoyed this project. It’s one of my favorites!

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Check back in a couple of weeks for a whole new project. And in the meantime, I will have many more Valentine’s Day projects for you on my Adventures in Motherhood Blog. So check them out!

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Happy Crafting!

Valentine’s Cupcakes

IMG_1901It’s February and 2013 is officially underway! So now it’s time to gear up for our first big holiday of the year – Valentine’s Day. And I am so excited! After all of this rain we’ve been having, I’m ready to add a little color to my life. We’re starting the month off easy with a very easy super sweet project. We’re making Valentine’s cupcakes. Yummy! I’ve been on a diet for the past month, so I’m looking forward to baking some sweet treats.

I will begin by saying that I prefer to use store bought cake mix, rather than baking cakes from scratch. It’s just my personal preference. I like my cakes and cupcakes to be light and airy, rather than dense. It’s your decision, you can bake your cupcakes from scratch or you can use a cake mix. So let’s get started!

Valentine’s Cupcakes

Materials:

– Chocolate Cake mix (plus necessary ingredients)
– Buttercream Frosting
– Cupcake Liners
– Bread Knife
– Heart-shaped Cookie Cutter
– Pink or Red food coloring
– Spatula
– Ziplock Bag

Begin by mixing up the ingredients for your cupcakes and baking them according to the directions. Let cupcakes cool for thirty minutes. Then place cupcakes in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

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Remove cupcakes from the refrigerator. Using your bread knife, cut the tops off each of the cupcakes just above the liners.

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Place the cupcakes and their tops back in the refrigerator for another thirty minutes. In the meantime, mix up your butter cream frosting.

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Once your frosting in mixed, remove 1 cup of it and place it in a ziplock bag. Set it aside for later.

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Remove the tops of your cupcakes from the refrigerator. Set them on a clean surface. Insert your heart-shaped cookie cutter into the center of your cupcake tops. Remove the cookie cutter and the cake inside of it. You should be left with a hole in the tops of your cupcakes in the shape of a heart.

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Add your pink or red food coloring to the remaining frosting in your bowl. Remove the bottom of your cupcakes from the refrigerator. Using a spatula, apply a healthy amount of your colored buttercream frosting to the top of your cupcake bases.

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Place the tops back onto your cupcakes. Apply a little pressure, so the frosting oozes into the heart-shaped hole. Now for the finishing touches. Grab your ziplock baggy with the white frosting in it. Force the frosting down into one corner and twist the top to create a pastry bag. Cut the tip off, leaving a very small hole in the end.

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Using your make-shift pastry bag to decorate your cupcakes. I made arrows shooting through my hearts. Silly, but fun.

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Now you’re finished! Time to try one out. I assure you they will be delicious!

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ENJOY!

DIY – Valentine’s Candy Dish

IMG_1915Good morning everyone! I was feeling inspired this weekend. We had a lot of rainy cold weather, so I spent my time at my mom’s house making chili, watching movies, and crafting! So it was a fabulous weekend! I made my first two Valentine’s Day projects. You all know I love to decorate the house for the holidays. Today’s project combines my love of holiday decorating and my obsession with candy! Such a glorious combination. We’re going to be creating a Valentine’s candy dish. Let’s get started!

IMG_1913Valentine’s Day Candy Dish

Materials

– Terra Cotta Pot
– Terra Cotta Pot Base
– 5″ Glass Fish Bowl Vase
– 1″ Wooden Ball
– Pink Acrylic Paint
– White Acrylic Paint
– Foam Paint Brushes
– Small Paint Brush
– Hot Glue Gun
– Valentine’s Stickers

We’re going to begin by painting the Wooden Ball, Terra Cotta Pot, and Base. Depending on the colors of paint you choose, you might need to apply several coats of paint to cover the hideous orange. When you are finished, set the pot, base and wooden ball aside to dry.

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While your paint is drying, plug in your glue gun so it has time to heat up. Pull out your stickers and decide where you would like to place them on your pot. When the paint is dry, turn your pot upside down on your work space. You should be staring at the bottom of the pot. Apply glue to the backs of your stickers and place them on the designated spots on your pot.

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Once you have assembled your stickers, you may paint a phrase or something cutesy on the front. I chose to stick with my Owl ThemeOwl Love You. Cheese-ball, I know, but fun.

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Now that you have decorated your candy dish base the way you want it, it’s time to assemble. We’re almost finished. Apply a healthy amount of glue to the top of your pot. You want to cover the entire surface of the pot. Place your fish bowl vase on top of your pot. Hold it in place for about a minute, so the glue can begin to set up.

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In the meantime, we are going to assemble the lid for your candy dish. take the base for your pot, and turn it upside down. The wide mouth of the base should be face down on your surface. Put some hot glue on the flat side of your wooden ball. Place the wooden ball in the center of your base and hold in place for a minute.

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Once the glue has dried, place your lid on top of the fish bowl. Voila! You have made an adorable new candy dish. Now you just have to decide what delicious candy you want to put out on display!

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ENJOY!

New Years Project – Monogrammed Wreath

IMG_6615Happy New Year one and all! It’s officially 2013 and the new year brings us endless possibilities. My new beginning – writing a DIY for all of you and I am truly excited! Week two is drawing to a close, and I am still trying to recover from all of my family’s Christmas shenanigans. My guess is you all are too! I like to think that just means we all had a fabulous holiday season. At this rate, if I’m not careful, it will be February before I get my act together.

One of the things I like least about the beginning of the year is taking down all of our Christmas decorations. Not for the obvious reasons either. My husband would tell you that it is just me procrastinating like usual, but really I’m just not ready to come home to an empty house again. I love to go all out at the end of the year cover our house for the holidays. It makes me feel so lively and Joyous. It’s almost infectious. But once the decorations all come down in January, our house looks so vanilla and bland. And it really bums me out. I feel like I don’t have anything to look forward to each day.

IMG_6616 This year I am being proactive, to avoid my typical new year slump. It’s been so cold here lately, so I have needed an excuse to be productive. All I really want to do is stay home and cuddle with my baby girl. Instead of just taking down our Christmas decorations, I’m replacing them with some new ones. Trouble was, I didn’t have any. No sweat – time to get creative. My new favorite material to work with is burlap, so I came up with some fun things using burlap and some soft winter tones. Time to get inspired!

IMG_6620Here’s how I transformed the Garcia House. It was super easy, so take a chance and spruce up your life. I scanned the Internet, and found this great piece of subway art on How to Nest for Less. I printed it and put it in a cute frame and placed it out on our mantle. Then I made some twine wrapped tin cans to use as vases for some pretty cream hydrangeas. To keep a little sparkle in our lives, I made a burlap garland lined with white Christmas lights. Simple, but so beautiful at night when they’re lit up. Finally, I made a monogrammed burlap wreath for our front door. I thought I’d share some of our sparkle with our neighbors. So much better than having a naked front door!

Are you feeling inspired yet? Good, because I have put together a tutorial so you can make a wreath for your own front door. If you’d like to also make my burlap garland or the twine wrapped vases, you can check out my blog Adventures in Motherhood. Now let’s get creative!

Winter Burlap Wreath Tutorial

DSCN0023Materials:
-Wire Wreath Frame
-2 packages of Burlap
-Wooden Letter (your monogram)
-Fake Flowers (any combination/color you’d like)
-Scissors
-Hot Glue Gun

We will begin with one roll of burlap and your wire wreath. Start with the end of your burlap piece and make a 3″ loop. Push the loop through the backside of the inside section of your wreath. The end of the burlap will stick out of the back. Make another loop with your burlap and push it through the backside of the center section of your wire wreath. Then make a third loop and push it through the outside section of your wreath. When you finish, you should have three burlap bubbles popping out of the front of your wreath.

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Weave along the backside of your wreath, pushing the burlap through the wire sections. The pattern should go like this – outside, middle, inside, middle, outside, middle, inside, etc. This is what your wreath should look like when you have finished one section.

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Continue weaving until your roll of burlap runs out. Then continue weaving with your second roll of burlap until you have completely covered your entire wreath.

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Once your wreath is covered with burlap, it’s time to use the hot glue gun. I sporadically add globs of glue in between the bubbles along the front side of the wreath. You don’t have to do it to each bubble. I just like to secure it a little better.

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Now for the fun part! It’s time to decorate your wreath. Cut the stems off all your flowers so you can place them on your wreath easier. Lay your wreath flat and arrange your flowers and your wooden letter how you’d like them. I like to have my letter on the bottom right side of my wreath.

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When you have everything just how you like them, it’s time to glue them in place. Apply a healthy amount of hot glue to the bottom of your flowers and affix them in place on your wreath. You can always add more glue to the sides if necessary. You will do the same with your letter as well. Hold it down and apply pressure to secure it.

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Now we are finished! And you have a beautiful wreath to hand inside or outside of your home.

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I hung mine on our front door, because I feel like everyone should see it. Plus, it makes me smile every time I come home and see it on my front door. It’s so uplifting!

Check back in a couple of weeks, because I am working on some extra special projects for Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be lots of fun. So stay tuned…

Enjoy!