Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days Of Christmas : : get your modge podge on...

I think this is day #4.  This one is going to be another quick and easy DIY ornament...and it will be even easier than yesterday.  Yay for easy, right?

Ok, so get out the same Dollar Tree ornaments, or honestly whatever flat surfaced ornament you have laying around.  I think this would be super cute done on cardboard letters for an initial ornament or even a shape like a star or an I said whatever floats your boat. ;)  Also grab any old books, music books, tissue paper or scrapbook paper and of course the modge podge.

Take whatever paper you have...I used some old sheet music and some brown tissue paper which made this a perfect gift for my kids' music teacher. :)   Rip the paper into 1-2 inch strips and modge podge both sides and put on the ornament.  If you want a blingy ornament you can add some glitter to this or if you want a more rustic look then tint the modge podge with some brown paint. 

Attach some ribbon and a gift tag {shown in yesterday's post} and you are good to go.  I'd say less than 10 minutes start to finish for this one...even less if you are making many which means this would be a good one to make in bulk for others or even for your own tree.  Let your creative juices flow on this one!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Christmas : : yarn and twine ornaments

Welcome back for another day of Christmas goodness! Today, I thought I'd show you another cheap and easy gift/decor that we've had a lot of fun with this year...yarn wrapped and twine wrapped ornaments.  The next few days I'm  going to feature some ornaments to make all based with an 8-pack of metallic ornament balls from the Dollar Tree.  A lot of these would look cute on or off a tree...or even done with the bigger size. 
All the supplies you need are a glue gun, yarn/ twine, and ornament balls (is that what they are called??).  You can do this two ways.  First ( and easiest!), just start at the top and glue small sections at a time to adhere the yarn to.  When you get to the bottom, it will be hard to keep it as close, so just wrap it evenly letting some of the metallic ball show through as seen with the ornament below.

The other way you can do it is to start at the top like before and then go to the middle and start from the bottom and meet the other strand in the middle.  It's ok if it gets "off", just fill in with yarn.

I attached ribbon to these, but you could even use some cute fabric scraps.  I also made gift tags with scrapbook paper.  I let my kids write on them ( because these are teacher gifts) and then modge podge'd both sides to make it a little sturdier and help the hole punch not to rip.

Super EASY and I bet you have most the supplies on hand already....who are you going to make yours for??

Sunday, December 11, 2011

12 Days of Christmas : : coffee filter magic

I know this isn't a totally new thing, but I thought I'd pass this idea along to those who maybe have never heard of it.  If you have a little time on your hands a just a couple bucks then coffee filters may be your go to item for gift-giving and holiday decor.  Just a couple quick ideas.

The white filters can be used to make Christmas trees...just hot glue them in the  middle of each filter in rows all the way up on a Styrofoam cone.  Then you can trim with scissors when you are done to shape them up more like a tree.  I kind liked the fluffiness so I didn't over-trim.  Easy-peasy but just takes a bit of time. These babies are hanging out on my piano...for now. ;)

 Then, I've also done a bit more involved, but still cheap and easy version of this project.  This is a food coloring and tea dyed wreath.  I took a whole package of filters, put them in water with a few tea bags and lots of green food coloring and let it sit for a few hours.  Then, I dried the filters in stacks ( of like 10-15) in the oven on 200 degrees.  This wreath has a completely different look.  The filters dry flat and look a little crispier.  It looks really pretty because some get more color than others and the edges tend to get the most color...someone even said it resembles rose petals.  Just an FYI though, if you try for red with this method, you'll probably be waiting until Valentine's Day to use it...even with a lot of dye, it still comes out quite pink.  It also looks great without the food coloring and just the tea...makes for more of a natural looking wreath.
 And here's the original...I use the larger filters on the second to largest straw wreath that Hobby Lobby has.  (I leave it packaged up too...less straw mess to deal with).
 And just to keep it real, because unfortunately making the bed did not make the top of the list today....
 If you try it on too small of a wreath, you'll have to improvise like I did. :)   This one I made from the brown filters.  I quartered them then glued them in a line going around the wreath.  Then, I sprayed it with water and wrapped twine around it to dry. 

Let me know if you have any questions...would love to hear how y'all have maybe taken this and put your creative spin on it....and hear stories like mine of how my fingertips no longer are affected by the heat of hot glue. : )

Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Days of Christmas : Day 1

I thought I'd do a little series called the 12 Days of Christmas to pass along some cheap and easy Christmas ideas for gifts and decorating.  Whether you are trying to spruce up your house a little or you are like me and need about a gazillion gifts to give to teachers and other special people, hopefully this series can at least inspire you to think outside the box a bit and maybe even save a buck or two.

DAY 1 : Moss ornaments 
This week I showed our Bible Study group a few Christmas-y ideas and this was one of them...probably the easiest too.  I love moss on just about anything.  Not sure if y'all remember the moss letter "o" I did earlier this year...but it has floated around my house and I still love it. 

Anyway, all this ornament takes is a ball shaped ornament. I used a big one I picked up at the Dollar Tree, but I'm sure the little version of this would be so cute too!  The moss is on sale this week at Hobby Lobby, so it was only $2.50 for a big bag (you can find it in the dried floral department).  This moss has less of a green tint than the one I used for the letter...I like it's neutrality.  Just hot glue the ball and press the moss on it.  You don't want it too thick, but definitely thick enough to cover what is under it.  This makes a HUGE mess, so either have the hand vac ready or do it outside.  This would look so cute on a foam tree or even a wreath too. 

Attach a Starbucks gift card on the ribbon or even your teacher's initial on it and there you have a quick and cheap gift that looks a whole lot more than the $1.50 that you spent on it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fabric thief

I've been on the search of the perfect fabric to meld the orange and blue in my living room.  In an ideal world my favorite fabric wouldn't cost between $130-$200, but it does.  So it's not in my living room. : )  Doesn't Schumacher make such pretty fabrics??  Chiang Mai Dragon may just be my very fave right now...

So, I've been somewhat patiently looking for something a little more in my budget.  I couple of weeks ago I hit up Garden Ridge, of all places, with a friend who's kitchen I've been helping her with.  I don't exactly love Garden Ridge, but I'd heard you can get some great fabrics there if you are lucky.  Everything is $5.99 and comes in about 2-3 yard remnants.  So with 2- 3 year olds in tow, we hit it up.  There is a lot of gnarly stuff there.  I mean really maybe it's been there for a good decade or so.  Anyway, after lots and lots of looking we came across this....

This pic makes it look a little darker than it really is.  We originally got it for her, but after she took it home, she decided she wanted to go a little different direction.  So...I happily took it off her hands. ; )  It is a P Kaufman Fabric for upholstery and it retails for about $26/yard....and we got 3 yards for $5.99!! 

I think I'd like to do maybe a big ottoman with it, but today I had a few minutes while the kids were eating a snack and decided to make a pillow cover for glue gun style.  I pulled a nice pillow out of the garage sale pile.  Still liked the pillow, but I'm so over red in the house and couldn't wait to get it out of here.  

This pillow has great shape and was in perfect condition...just ready to hide the red!

I simply folded in the raw edges and glue it up.  Maybe some day when I have more than 5 minutes, I can sew it up, but this is where I'm at and I'm trying to embrace it! ; )

 I'm loving the finished result!!  It accomplished exactly what I needed it to, at the perfect price point! I almost feel like I stole it...ha!  Have you had any "steals" recently??

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nutella goodness

I've been in a baking mood lately, and what is there better to bake with than anything with Nutella?  Oh my goodness, I could eat that stuff by the spoonful {and chances are I do!}.  I wanted to make some cookies for my volleyball team and when I went to look for a recipe, I never really found what I was looking I made one up and not to pat myself on the back, BUT these are stinkin' amazing.

Nutella Cake Mix Cookies
1 package of yellow cake mix {I think Pillsbury works best by far!}
3/4 cup of Nutella
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
1 cup of chocolate chips

Mix first 5 ingredients till well mixed.  Then, stir in chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until the top is just starting to crinkle.  They kinda stick to the pan, but if you use a spatula to take them off when they are still warm, you can get them off pretty easily. 

This is just one of my happy customers....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Decorating ADD

I took a quiz in a magazine a few weeks ago and was somewhat surprised by the results...don't worry it had nothing to do with romance or finding my soul mate {I've already got all that : ) }.  This quiz had to do with adult ADD and I think maybe I've just diagnosed myself with a mild case of it.  I've also contributed my constant home-decorating to it....well, that and I just enjoy it. : )  Anyway, I said all that to say I've changed up the Living Room a bit....tried my hand at a little art {using that word very loosely}, put some signs of fall up, and just did some simple rearranging.  Check it biggie, but for a busy mom, I'm loving the little refreshers...

Ok, I spent $6 of my birthday money on this gorgeous orange fabric {found it on the bolt at a thrift store with my sister-in-law}.  That's basically free, right?  I originally planned on using it for reupholstery, but I am loving the color it bring to the neutral walls.  I'm thinking about adding a stencil to it....any thoughts???

Just a change to the TV stand....I'm thinking that pumpkin needs a black bow.  Don't you love balance?

Here's my little artwork.  I whipped this up one morning this week and I think I'm really liking the pattern in this room.  Especially with the dark leather couch, it really brightens up the space and makes it more interesting.  No one better look too close though...a perfectionist is one thing I am not!  Best part about it...I had all the material so this project was FREE! I'm thinking it will look great with a wreath hanging over it in a couple months.
What are you doing around your home?  Any fall spruce-ups or just a little decorating ADD like me?  Either way, it just always amazes me how one little quick change can make the biggest difference.
Penny Lane Designs