springtime paper flower garland. easy and inexpensive.

(Spring has been in full swing here this week here in the Midwest – my apologies for the rainy day photos.)

Not sure I’ll ever outgrow paper flowers or paper anything for that matter!  When sprucing up for Spring and cleaning out my workroom in the basement I found one of these tissue paper garlands that I’d used to decorate for Tate’s first birthday party.  I was at first just going to hang it as bunting (it’s original design), but thought what better way to say “Spring” (and detract a little from 70’s wall-consuming mirrors) than with flowers.  Plus, they make every day feel a bit more festive!

Supplies needed:

  • Green cover or cardstock  (you could even paint or color some white pieces green if that is all you happen to have on hand)
  • Adhesive  (Double or Single-sided tape will work)
  • 1 Ivory (or whichever color you prefer) tissue paper bunting or garland (linked above) or you could also purchase a set of these and hang them up seperately

 

Instructions:

So simple, but just in case . . .

1 – Fold.  Spread the garland out and lay it on the floor or on a hard flat surface.  Then, fold the left side over on top of the right side.  Line up the centers of the top portion with the centers of the bottom portion.

2 – Adhere. Use tape to adhere the bottom most top pieces with the top most bottom pieces.  Making sure they are flat and very secure. 

3- Hang your flowers.  I already had command hooks fastened to my wall (mirrors) so I just used the distance and height that they were at, but place them enough distance apart that you get a sag (so that they middle flower hangs lower than the outer flowers).

4 – Cut your leaves/ foliage.  I didn’t even use a template for this.  Just cut some leave-like pieces from your cardstock and then fold them in half so that it gives them a little dimension.  Place adhesive on them and hang wherever you choose.

And one with Tate in the frame . . .

So simple!  So inexpensive!  And can carry my not-so-pretty mirrors through Spring and even Summer! 

Happy March and almost Spring to you!

 

 

 

 

marshmallows. this year’s homemade valentine treat.

Last Valentine’s Day I made these simple name chocolates for my littlest valentines. So this year, I thought I might make a tradition of it and attempt another homemade treat. And really what better excuse than perhaps the “sweetest” day of the year to finally try my hand at making marshmallows (and use a candy thermometer for the very first time 😊) . . .

I used this recipe included in Susan Branch’s book Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.

The taste, the look and the feel of them are so dreamy! Eating them or drizzling them with chocolate = the perfect pair.

Making them was definitely much simpler than I’d assumed. Even the clean up wasn’t so bad. Once warm water hits the mess, it simply melts away.

My favorite thing about Valentine’s Day is that it’s a great excuse to be a little extravagant and do the unnecessary. Now go make some marshmallows!

~xoxo-~

diy valentine carrier. using an empty oatmeal container.

Many years ago (when I was young), making your Valentine’s Day box and seeing what others created was always one of the highlights of the school year for me. I was always truly amazed at the creativity others had. In not only what their end product was but even more so at the materials they used to create it. Remember this was not only pre-Pinterest but pre-internet days!

With my littles, not as much emphasis has been placed on creating or even needing a Valentine’s Day box. And I’m definitely ok with that – we’ve been doing good some years just to get the cards made and signed! With that being said, if your little one DOES need an easy and inexpensive idea for carrying and/ or receiving their cards this year, decorating an empty oatmeal container works perfect for this. Mine are definitely not contest worthy and I’ve kept them rather simple but you can do as much or little as you please. Just a little color makes everything cuter – especially if you add hearts!

In addition to the oatmeal containers, the only supplies I used were paint, glue, scissors, paper, mod podge, a paint or foam brush, a heart punch, and some scrap fabric and ribbon.

We made the red gingham container from two pieces of scrapbook paper and a little mod podge (watered down Elmer’s glue will work). And as for the pink one, we simply painted it and added some heart confetti that I had punched out of some scrap paper. Place holes on two sides of the container at the top with a scissors or a hole puncher, thread some fabric or ribbon through them and then knot it on the inside of each to create your handle.

And one with baby legs in the background . . .

It’s really so simple! Just use what you have around the house. Add a cute little tag with their name on it or have them write it across the front. If you need to, you can even add a slit in the lid or don’t use the lid at all.

I hope you are feeling loved this week!

~xoxo~

“always cheering for you” pennant valentine. free printable.

Hello there!

I have one more fun and enthusiastic 😊 valentine for you! The “always cheering for you!” pennant valentine.

They require a little time but if you have a tween that likes to craft, these are a fun idea for a class valentine.

Supplies Needed:

  • Felt (or felt and canvas if you’d like to use this as your pennant instead of felt)
  • Pennant templates-valentinepennanttemplate.pdf
  • Embroidery floss or thread
  • Craft or Tacky Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Card Stock
  • Pennant Valentine – pennantvalentine.pdf

Directions:

There are so many pennant diy’s out there that I almost feel it unnecessary to provide you with step by step instructions but I’ll give you a summarized version just in case. It is similar to this one – Crate & Kids Blog Pennant DIY.

Step 1 – Cut out your templates, trace them onto your felt and then cut out your two felt triangles/ pennants (one is larger than the other). The felt I used for my pennant (the larger triangle) is a little thicker felt than the felt I used for my letters and trim (the smaller triangle). Also, cut your piece of trim for the edge of your pennant. I cut mine 1 to 1.5 inches thick and then the length of the wide edge of your pennant.

*Note: You can also use canvas for your pennant but you may need to sew your edges to prevent it from fraying.

Step 2 – Cut your letters. Divide and cut the smaller pennant (the felt that you cut for your letters) into the number of letters that are in the name you will be spelling out. Or feel free to make each letter in the name a different color! Use each piece to make your letters so that they correspond with that portion of the pennant where they will be placed. Have fun with this and don’t worry about your letters being perfect – unique is perfect for this. Especially if your tween or little one is helping out.

Step 3 – Glue your letters and trim onto your pennant. I used tacky glue. With the trim, fold it in half so that it wraps around the wide end of the pennant. After gluing it, I placed a book on it to hold it down until the glue dried. Once dry I trimmed the open ends so that they were flush with the angled edges of the pennant.

Step 4 – Stitch or sew. This step is optional. I used some embroidery floss and stitched only along the trim, but if you would like to add a little more detail (and have the time – depending on how many you are making) sew or stitch the letters as well. I would normally do this, but “no sew” pennants may be more feasible if you are doing these for a class valentine.

Step 5 – Print out or make your cards. I have formatted my cards so that you can print two per one sheet of 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of card stock. Fasten your pennants onto your cards by using a few small pieces of double sided tape.

Step 6 – “Yay your done! Give to your valentine(s) and cheer on.

These are perfect to hang on a locker, in a cubby or on door or wall at home.

Happy (almost) February!

~xoxo~

“so happy to gnome you” valentine. diy and printable.

I “heart” Valentine’s Day for one main reason. Pretty paper and cute cards! Almost always a staple of the simple yet sweet holiday.

My ten year old little lady is the only one that will need class valentines this year. Her only request was nothing too “mushy”.

Out of several random ideas, gnomes (“especially their cute noses”) made the cut . . .

We made our gnomes into magnets that are conveniently a clip. If you can’t find the large clips (I’ve linked them below), really anything solid yet lightweight can be used as the base to make your gnome magnet. The clip is just an added bonus.

To make your gnome magnet valentines. . .

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hole Puncher
  • Cardstock
  • String
  • Faux Fur
  • Felt
  • Small Buttons *optional
  • Large clips / clothespins or wood rectangles
  • Craft glue or hot glue
  • Magnets
  • Round wood balls or small felt balls would work too
  • Printer and Valentine card pdf *optional

gnomevalentine

Directions:

Step 1 – Cut out a small piece of felt and fur. I cut and used a 3.25 x 3.25 inch piece of felt (for the hat) and then a piece of fur a little longer and just a tad wider than my clip. So if you are using something other than the clips that I used, cut your felt and fur accordingly. *Cut your fur a little longer than your clip or base so that you are able to trim and shape (your beard) later on.

Step 2 – Glue the fur onto your clip or base. Then fold about a quarter of an inch or so of the felt upward onto itself and glue down. Wrap your felt around the front portion of the clip only, and then overlap and glue onto the clip and then together in the back. (My hat went about a half to three quarters of an inch down onto the clip over the fur/ beard). Glue your overlapping felt together all of the way up the backside of your hat. Roll the top down once and glue and then once more and glue it again. I used hot glue for all of this (for fast drying purposes).

Step 3 – More Glue. Embellish your hat with a small button or felt heart (that you have cut from your scraps). Glue them onto the hat with either hot glue or craft glue. Lastly, glue your cute little wooden nose just underneath the hat. I used craft/ tacky glue for this so that I didn’t end up with hot glue in my beard. Once your glue has dried and everything has set, turn your gnome over and glue a small magnet onto the back of your clip or base.

Step 4 – Give your beard a trim. Ours ended up being all shapes and sizes.

Step 5 – Print and Attach. Print out the cards and sign (I have formatted the pdf so that you can print four cards onto a letter size piece of cardstock). Or simply use small blank pieces of card stock and write your own message to include with your gnomes. I have used a small hole puncher and attached mine with some string, but do as you wish here. Put the card and gnome in a small bag or simply clip the gnome onto the card.

The End!

In other news, we’ve had plenty of winter weather here as of late. School has been cancelled the past two days. Two kids have been at home with me watching the rain, snow and ice fall (while the other ventured to D.C. for a planned school field trip). It’s been all things cozy – especially potato soup and blueberry muffins + warm coffee. I’ve been enjoying it so (maybe a little too much) but I’ve also been missing some routine. High hopes that we keep some of the “cozy” while some shadow of a routine returns next week.

P.S. – Wander by next week for one more Valentine idea! 💌

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week four – “common goods” for the kitchen.

Hi there! This week is the last week of our “thrifted and made” series. How fun it’s been! The theme for this week’s gift is “common goods” for the kitchen. The possibilities are really endless.

Thrifted goods:

(basket, glass juicer/ reamer, and pretty cutting board)

Handmade goods (except for the felted ornament):

(stitched linen towel, recipe cards, a sweet treat, and countertop cleaner)

When it comes to both the thrifted and made there really are endless possibilities when it comes to common kitchen goods.

For the thrifted portion of the gift, a basket or something to hold all other parts was a must. A wood crate would be beautiful as well, but baskets are so easy to come by when thrifting. However, seek one out that is quality made, that has a unique shape or weave pattern and/ or one that can easily be used for storage or decoration.

The cutting board was simply too pretty to pass up. My thoughts were even though your giftee might not prefer to use it as an actual cutting board, it would be beautiful hanging on a wall or used on the table to set a candle on or for holding an appetizer.

The glass juicer is something that even when it’s not being used is so lovely as a display piece. If a juicer is hard to come by, a pitcher or canister would work wonderfully as well. You could then fill it with a favorite seasonal goodie.

As for the made goods, I used this tutorial for the linen towel and modified (simplified) it a bit by doing minimal stitching. If you didn’t want to add any decorative stitching, a towel made of beautiful fabric is lovely left alone.

My other common made goods included a countertop cleaner made of one part distilled water, one part white vinegar and several drops of tea tree oil (thieves is also a favorite for this). If you don’t have any amber bottles, reuse any empty glass container or spray bottle and label it with a small tag or sticker. Use what you have – most likely you can make an all purpose cleaner out of things you already have in your pantry.

Lastly, I included some recipe cards. Find the template here – recipecard.pdf

Filling the cards out with some of your favorite seasonal recipes (sweet treats, cookies, your favorite holiday casserole dish, an appetizer, etc) would be a lovely idea. And then you could also include some blank extras.

I also included a simple sweet treat – orange cranberry pistachio fudge. I mean, “common goods for the kitchen” had to involve at least some bit of food.

The one “new” item I included was the felted swan ornament. She was the perfect fit!

All of the goods mentioned above can be gifted or keep it simple by pairing just a couple of the items together. For example, a lovely handmade towel and a pretty board or platter with a sweet treat on top would be just as wonderful.

Such a joy this “thrifted and made” series has been. Hoping your blessings are many in the weeks to come and that your holiday season has been bright thus far!

-xoxo

P.S. – The format of the recipe card is four by six inches.

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week three – thrifted shirt bunting and a few homemaking pretties.

Happy Tuesday and Merry December!

My thrifted and made gift idea for week three of this series is a handmade bunting made out of a thrifted shirt (or shirts you were about to take to the thrift 😉 ). I went with traditional seasonal colors but feel free to go with colors that don’t necessarily speak winter or Christmas. Think Spring – pinks, greens, yellows. Or muted tones that would easily match any decor or time of year. Also, if you have scrap fabric lying around, feel free to use it as well. Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of having to sew something, you can also do a no-sew bunting by simply using fabric glue to attach the flags.

The bunting is such a sweet gift given alone or pair it with one or two other thrifted goods. Depending on how well you know the person you are gifting, you can pair it with a pretty platter, pitcher, a small art piece or print, a tea kettle or pot, a small indoor planter, a wool blanket or afghan, etc. With a just a little effort, these are all easy to find pieces at your local thrift store or estate sale. A few things to keep in mind – vintage tends to be more unique, quality over quantity, and purchase items that have multiple use potential. For example the old bread pan below makes for a great candle or trinket holder, the pitcher can be used not only to hold cream or milk but pencils or other goodies, and the platter is beautiful for serving treats or simply as an accent piece on a coffee table.

Thrifted goods:

Handmade goods:

Supplies:

  • thrifted shirt (made of quality shirt fabric)
  • a couple yards of ribbon, lace, binding or small width rope
  • scissors
  • pencil, pen or marker
  • sewing machine or fabric glue or sewing needle
  • thread
  • measuring tape
  • bunting flag template – buntingtemplate.pdf

Instructions:

1 Print and cut out bunting flag template.

2 – Trace and cut. Lay shirt out as flat as possible and trace around the template onto the shirt with a sharpie, pencil, etc. Repeat. I used a larger boy’s shirt and was able to get at least 12 flags out of it.

3 – Fold and Iron. Fold the flags in half doing your best to get the back and front edges as even with each other as possible. Then Iron each flag.

4 – Measure and Place Flags. Lay out your lace, ribbon or binding on a large table or floor. Place flags evenly along it. I ended up using 10 flags. I left about 20 inches on each end and around 3 inches between each flag. You could pin your flags or I just placed small pencil marks along my lace where each flag would begin. (If you are using glue instead of sewing, you can go ahead and just fold each flag over your ribbon at this point, place glue along the edges of the flags, press down so that the front and back edges are even and then repeat for each flag.)

5 – Sew. Fold the flag over your ribbon or lace. Starting at the top of one edge of the flag, sew down one side of the flag and then up the other edge or side. I just kept the foot of my machine even with the edge of the fabric – so I got somewhat of a straight line. I used a zig zag stitch but a straight stitch would be perfect as well. Keep it simple. (If you are hand sewing, I would use an embroidery floss and just do long stitches.) Continue doing this with each flag.

6 – Done! Now gift or hang.

So sweet of you to follow along! Whether you are budgeting this Holiday season or simply enjoy the idea of giving handmade gifts, I hope my ideas are providing your with a little inspiration.

-xoxo-

Thrifted and Made gift idea – week two.

Thrifted and Made gift ideas – week one.

a “homey” and cozy advent.

With the beginning of advent less than a week away, I have found myself thinking more about the moments and memories of this year, the things I want to accomplish during this next month and in particularly this sweet season – such a beautiful time to reflect and prepare. While as a family we try to focus together on the weeks of advent with extra prayer and intent, I find this “countdown” to Christmas also a fun time to do something special for the kids in hopes it will encourage them to do something special for others. Especially as the bigger two have gotten older, during advent, the daily small gifts or bits of candy have gotten less and the things we can do together to perhaps make other’s seasons more memorable and meaningful have increased. Examples of some of the things we did last year included baking cookies for the neighbors, being extra kind to someone at school, helping Mom or Dad with a task around the house, do something nice for your brother/ sister, etc.

This year, our countdown consists of colorful and cozy house tags that make for a colorful and cozy corner. 🙂 Please feel free to download for your own use or to gift to someone special. You can get them here – houseadvent.pdf. Just cut them down to size and hang as you wish. I obviously went for wonky and haphazard this year. Well, every year. 🙂

Last year’s Advent: Advent 2018

And if you wish for something a little more simple (yet still sweet), I have used these (tagsadvent.pdf) in years past. Pair them with some linen, muslin or even parchment or paper bags. I also love using these as gift tags.

Next week, I will continue with week three of the “gifting- thrifted and made” series.

Week One : https://plaidpocketsandpinkshoes.com/2019/11/12/thrifted-and-made-holiday-gifts-week-one-the-smell-of-christmas/

Week Two: https://plaidpocketsandpinkshoes.com/2019/11/20/thrifted-and-made-holiday-gifts-week-two-a-blessing-book-and-a-little-brass-and-cloth/

I hope you have much to be grateful for this week!

~xoxo~

P.S. – Let me know if you have any trouble with the downloads. My apologies for the house numbers being a little out of order.

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week two – a blessing book and a little brass and cloth.

Week two’s thrifted and handmade holiday gift idea combines a simple yet lovely pair of slim brass candlesticks (perfect for this time of year), an old linen calendar/ decorative towel, and a handmade 2020 blessing book. I also included a pair of candles that I had, but some handmade beeswax ones would be the perfect addition (if you’re a candle maker).

Thrifted goods:

Handmade goods (excluding the candles):

If you should have a hard time locating some pretty candlesticks, a pair of mugs with a bag of coffee/ tea or some pretty plates for hanging or filled with goodies are also a lovely idea. These are both easy thrift finds! And as for the towel/ cloth, think something vintage, perhaps embroidered, quilted or simply the colors of the season (somewhat why I chose the one I included). Below are examples of the mug and plate ideas.

As for the “Blessing Book”, inspired somewhat by Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, it’s a handmade booklet where one can write down a few words to describe a blessing or gift from that particular day. It’s straightforward and simple enough for them to stick to and it’s small enough for them to throw into their purse, briefcase or bag and later to hold onto as a keepsake. Such a beautiful idea to look back on “blessings” from year to year and to see how they might change based on age and time!

Supplies:

  • paper – one piece of lightweight card stock (6.25 by 8.25 inches) and six pieces of regular printer paper or something like the weight of a resume paper (6 by 8 inches)
  • twine or string
  • pdf’s – inner pages and cover page (find them at bottom of post
  • printer
  • paper cutter (or you could use a rotary cutter or scissors to cut paper if no paper cutter is available)
  • long arm stapler or hole puncher
  • scissors

Instructions:

1 Cut all of your papers down to size. For inner pages, cut down to 6 x 8 inches and for the one cover page 6.25 x 8.25 inches. Remember the cover or piece of lightweight card stock needs to be slightly larger than the inner pages. I say lightweight because if you use papers that are too heavy in weight they will not fold as easily. However, because you are printing front and back, you may want something just a smidge better than regular printer paper for your inner pages (so that you can’t see the other side through the paper).

2 Print pages. Open the pdf for the inner pages. Once open, it looks a little tricky and confusing, but they are ordered in front, back page order. For example, pages one and two are the front and back of your page 1, pages three and four are the front and back of your page 2 and so on. If you’d like to print all pages at once, print all of the odd pages, place pages back in printer and print all even pages onto the backs of the printed odd pages. How you place them back in your printer (which side is up, etc), is determined somewhat by your printer settings. Once all of your inner pages are printed, print your cover page.

3 Fold all pages in half separately and then place them together like a book and continue to fold. Keep working the fold until you have a really good crease.

4 Stapling or securing book. Make sure that all of your folds are lined up nicely. Line up your long arm stapler with the crease or fold. Then place two staples along the crease or fold of the booklet. To further adorn or secure your booklet, tie some string or twine around the stapled fold. *If you don’t have a long arm stapler, you can simply use the twine to secure your book, use a heavy duty small size hole punch and thread the twine through the holes, or you can even sew the book together with a machine or by hand (this is a nice touch if you have the capability to do so).

5 The End. Enjoy gifting!

Now, hopefully you have a pretty little book(s) for gifting and to pair with your thrift store goodies! I hope you’re having a beautiful November! And please, let me know if you have any questions about the making of your blessing books.

-xoxo- and many blessings to you!

blessingbook2020innerpages.pdf

blessingbook2020cover.pdf

Find week one’s handmade and thrifted gift here.

P.S. – Speaking of thrifted, I found the cutest set of Christmas glasses last week. That little yellow house- swoon. If you are in need of glasses of any kind, secondhand stores always have a great selection.

wreaths. for the season.

same wreath,

from summer/ autumn to autumn/ winter,

with just a few things from around the house (and backyard).

But if I were to have made or purchased a new one, these are all such beauties . . .

top row (l to r): dried orange wreath // star wreath // thread wreath

middle row (l to r): grapevine with bells wreath // pampas grass wreath // felted wreath

bottom row (l to r): white wool wreath // festive wreath // this one was handmade by me a few holidays ago