DIY Christmas craft: Wall Decoration!

I’ve seen people making little Christmas trees out of driftwood sticks.  When I found some driftwood at a cool little crafty store in Portland, I knew I wanted to try something!

What you need:

  • Empty frame (I got mine for 50 cents from a thrift store)
  • Driftwood
  • Christmas ornaments (I got all 16 mini balls in the $1 section of Target)
  • Wire (available at any craft store)
  • S-hooks (available at any hardware store)
  • paint

What to do:

  • Put your s-hooks in the centers of the driftwood pieces and at the center top (I used a very small bit and a power drill to make little holes to screw them into)
  • Paint the frame and the hooks whatever color you want! I started with a light blue base coat and added some cream texture on top.
  • Using the wire attach the boards to each other and to the frame
  • Using wire create lines of ornaments in between the drift wood. (Or you could loop threat around each piece of wood to hang the ornaments from.
  • I ran out of wire and actually used a hot glue gun to attach the top two ornaments, but wire would have worked.
  • Hang up and enjoy! 

Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is something that is just so classic and yummy you can’t help loving it. I use the slow cooker for apple sauce so that I can toss all the ingredients in before work, and come home to an apartment that smells like a fall candle has been burning all day!

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1-2 TB brown sugar
  • 2 TB homemade vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or you can just use cinnamon and nutmeg)

Directions:

  • Mix ingredients together, place in a slow cooker on Low for 6 hours.  My slow cooker automatically switches to “Warm” for another 4 hours after the timer has finished. I smash the apples up with a potato masher while they are still in the slow cooker and let them meld together for another 30 min to 1 hour on “warm.”

This recipe is so simple, and it makes a great healthy all natural apple sauce that is sure to please.

Fall 1: Give Thanks banner and Decor!

Decorating doesn’t have to be super expensive!  Use pumpkins and squashes that you can also use in cooking, like a pumpkin pie pumpkin and a butternut squash.  Add some flare with smaller pumpkins that are pretty and cheaper.  I also prefer to buy smaller candles that will just last one season, so that I can pick out a fun new scent the next year without having a huge candle graveyard! 

I’ve been seeing lots of DIY banners and decided to make my own out of fabric and recycled brown paper grocery bags!

What you need:

  • 2 brown paper grocery bags
  • Printer paper
  • A computer & printer (or alphabet stencil)
  • Several different colors of fabric (I used quilting fabric)
  • Scissors
  • String
  • A stick (or a fireplace mantle)
  • Thread

Step 1: print out or trace letters onto printer paper, cut out and pin onto fabric, cut out fabric into letter shapes, pin onto fabric rectangles.Step 2: gather some leaves from outside, trace them onto printer paper, pin the paper to fabric, cut out leaf shapes.Step 3: Sew the letters to their rectangle pieces. Cut out brown paper bags so that they are the same shape as your letter rectangles and leaves. Sew your leaves to the brown paper where they would naturally have a stem, and sew the letter rectangles to the brown paper on the top and bottom.

Step 4: Hang! Use string and thread to hang your banner and leaves in a fun creative way!  I used an old stick to support mine! 

Falling hard into fall

I love Fall!  Growing up on the east coast it not only symbolized the time of year when the leaves started changing and falling, but also my birthday.  I think as a kid I heavily associated red, orange, and yellow leaves with me getting attention and presents.  Now, that I’m “grown up” and living in the Pacific NW, I think my associations with fall are changing.  Here I’m surrounded by pumpkin, apple and corn farms, beautiful mountains peaked with snow, and some really wonderful coffee shops.  Fall has become about fall decorations, picking out which scarf to wear, pumpkin spice lattes and fall crafts! I’m convinced that fall and winter are the best time to craft.  For one, it gets cold outside and so staying inside warm and creative is great, and for two, you can convince yourself that even if you don’t need whatever you are making, “it would make a great Christmas gift.” In honor of my revelation that fall and winter are the best time to craft I’m going to do a short series on fall cooking and crafts.  Consider this your warning that some amazing ground breaking creative ideas are coming your way!!!

Brightening up our Everything room

Confession: I’ve never made full length curtains before.  I’ve made a valance(short curtain used to frame the top of a window).  Full length curtains are a whole other beast.  It is just so much more fabric!  I literally had to rearrange the furniture in our little apartment to accommodate the massive cut of fabric I bought from IKEA a few weeks ago. 

Our apartment has white walls with beige carpet, originally we also had some nice beige curtains hanging over the window, so I really wanted to brighten up our “everything” room. An everything room (incase you don’t live in a tiny apartment) is the room that isn’t the bedroom or bathroom.  It is our movie theater, dinning room, library, office, game room, and coffee shop all in one!

Here are some easy steps to brighten up your everything room with curtains:  

  1. Choose Fabric: I went with IKEA fabric because you can get some really substantial fabric with a fun bright print for a very low price per yard.  I bought 4.5 yards.
  2. Decide what kind of curtains you want.  I made tab curtains.  An even simpler curtain is a sleeve curtain, where you simply make a sleeve at the top of the curtain by folding your fabric over itself, you put your curtain rod through it and hang them up! Tab curtains take more effort, you have to carefully measure each tab so that they are the same length and width so your curtain will hang evenly.
  3. Measure Twice: 4.5 yards of fabric is 270″ the fabric was 60″ wide.  I made 14 tabs 12″ long and 4″ wide to allow for seams.  I also cut 2 30″ long and 4″ wide pieces to serve as ties.  After cutting the fabric for the tabs and ties off one end, I folded my remaining fabric in half length wise and cut it in half, leaving me with 2 cuts of fabric 127″x60″ those are my curtain bodies.
  4. Fold, Iron, Pin, Repeat: I finished the side edges of the curtains first, fold over an inch on each side, iron smooth, and fold again, iron smooth and pin in place. Sew down and iron again to get a nice smooth edge, repeat this for both side edges of each curtain.  Then move on to the top and bottom of the curtains. Fold over about 1.5″, iron, fold again, iron and pin in place, sew down, and iron smooth.
  5. Make your tabs: The tabs are what took me the longest. Take your 4″x12″ pieces of fabric and fold in half. Pin in place, sew along the edge.  Then turn inside out, put the seam in the middle and iron flat.  Make your ties the same way, just finish the ends.
  6. Attach the tabs: Carefully measure and attach the tabs at even intervals to the top of your curtains with pins, start with one tab in the middle and work your way out to the edges. Sew them on securely. I made a shape like an hour glass with my thread.
  7. Hang and fell like a sewing goddess! 

I love our new curtains!  they really brighten up our everything room!

DIY: Yarn Chandeliers

I found this idea at the Hostess with the Mostess, you will need yarn or string, balloons, cornstarch, glue, scissors, vaseline, a bowl, time, and space to dry the chandeliers.  If you have a garage, you should make it there, because this craft can get a little messy.
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