Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Days of Holiday DIY's: JOY Chalkboard

Happy Friday! It's the last day of my 5 Days of holiday DIY's...

Here's a recap of this week if you missed anything:

Day 1: Branchlers + free printables
Day 2: Quick + easy tree ornaments
Day 3: No sew sweater stocking
Day 4: 1 minute mini wreath and DIY garland

Today I'm sharing how I made this JOY chalkboard for $0 using materials I had on hand:

I had a few of these wood panels lying around in the garage (not entirely sure what their purpose was but I knew I could make it into something fun).

Aiming for a shabby look, I gave it a quick sanding expose some of the wood underneath with my Mouse (one of my favorite things from 2014):

Instead of painting the inside, I thought it would be neat to turn it into a chalkboard so I could switch it up if needed. I found a simple chalkboard paint recipe online—2 tbsp of unsanded grout (mixed with water) and 1 cup of paint (I used leftover Valspar paint in eggshell). I actually just eyeballed the measurements—I only needed a tiny bit.

Because there's grout in it, this stuff takes a very long time to dry. Around an hour for a thick coat—I gave it three coats since I had a lot of extra paint.

For the "O", I made another 1 minute mini wreath and secured it with a small clear command hook, then freehanded the J and Y in chalk. And that's it—such an easy project!

You could use any board you have lying around for this, or add trim around the edges for a framed look. A very inexpensive project even if you're starting from scratch, and it really livens up any space.

And that's a wrap for my 5 Days of Holiday DIY's! I hope you were able to take away some new ideas and inspiration to use in your own home this year or in seasons to come. Next year I'll definitely get started earlier so I don't have to cram it all into one weekend :)

We'll be spending the next week enjoying time with family, but I'll be back before the new year to reveal plans for our next renovation—I can't wait to share what's in store! In the meantime, let's keep in touch on Facebook and Instagram!

Happy holidays to you and your family from Brad, Jenna, Susie & Biscuit,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 Days of Holiday DIY's: 1 minute mini-wreath and DIY pine garland

Welcome to Day 4 of my 5 Days of Holiday DIY's!

If you missed anything this week, make sure to get caught up now:

Day 1: Branchlers + free printables
Day 2: Quick + easy tree ornaments
Day 3: No sew sweater stocking

Today I'm excited to share how I added lots of fresh greenery to our home (for free!) and a new mini-wreath DIY I discovered that might be my favorite holiday trick yet.

First, we have the garland.

A large banister and staircase calls for a massive garland, and a ton of evergreen clippings. Luckily, our front yard is covered in evergreen bushes so I spent about an hour gathering clippings one day...

Larger peices make this easier and faster, so I'd recommend cutting at least 1 foot sections.

I read somewhere that you should hammer the ends of the stalks so they absorb more water and soak them overnight before assembling so they'll last longer. It has been over three weeks and they're still green, so I'm glad I followed that advice!

My supplies were simply floral wire and a spool of twine.

I had two different species of evergreen so I ended up alternating them both for a more organic/layered look.

Starting with my first piece, I wrapped the stem around the twine a couple times then wrapped that with the floral wire near the base. About halfway down my stalk I added another branch and did the same.

If your branches aren't very full, you may need to add more.

The twine just helped to keep everything in line while the floral wire actually secured them so they wouldn't fall off.

Keep in mind you don't need to cut the twine or floral wire until the very end—just keep wrapping. It went by faster than I thought!

To keep it fuller looking, be careful to wrap the wire under the smaller branches instead of gathering it all underneath the wire—try to keep it as close to the stalk as possible so the pine needles can hang freely.

I only attached most of them about halfway to let the tops hang loose.

I think this photo was taken after only 30 minutes or so—I thought it was going to be a pain but it was actually enjoyable and went by fast!

I had to make over 30 feet though, so it still ended up taking at least a couple hours.

Once I was happy with the length, I found this sticky-back plastic apparatus in the garage and sec it to the end of my banister, along with some floral wire to secure the garland.

That was all I needed—the weight of the garland wrapped around the banister held the rest of it in place.

To finish it off, I bought a few spools of wired burlap ribbon and made a large bow for each post (four in total).

Can't get enough of bows this year!

Okay, ready for the easiest wreath you'll ever make in your life? All you need is just one evergreen clipping, some floral wire and ribbon (optional).

Step 1: Cut the branches off the main stalk of your clipping.

Step 2: Take your floral wire and make a circle (then cut the wire and wrap the two ends to secure). It doesn't have to be perfect.

Step 3: Place your first branchlet along the hoop and tightly wrap it (in the center) a couple times with your wire.

Step 4: Take the middle of your second piece and join it with the stalk end of your first, and wrap it a couple times around your hoop (don't cut the wire when you're done wrapping, just keep going!)

Step 5: Repeat until you make your way back to the first piece, being careful to wrap only stem so the pine needles hang free.

How easy is that? It literally takes just one minute.

Of course I had to put a bow on it.

I hung them to the front and back of our bedroom door using small clear command hooks. I love it against the black and think it's the cutest thing ever—one day after all of my doors have been remodeled they'll each get two for Christmas :)

You could put them on anything though—kitchen cabinets, coat hooks, backs of chairs, mirrors—you name it. Find an evergreen near you and go crazy.

Check back tomorrow for the final installment of my last minute DIY holiday projects! Next up is another one that cost me $0 to make... stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 Days of Holiday DIY's: No Sew Sweater Stocking

It's Day 3 and we're halfway through my 5 Days of holiday DIY's!

If you missed the first two posts, learn how to make Branchlers and grab some free holiday printables here, and find out how I made all of my tree ornaments here.

Today's project is one that I wasn't even sure I could pull off. It was a bit of a last minute idea, after only finding two different store bought sweater stockings I liked and wanting a third... because three just seemed better than two.

Can you tell which one was DIY'd?

If you guessed the one on the left, you win a free tutorial on how to make it!

It all started with this $5 thrift store sweater vest...

Not the cheapest thrift store find admittedly, but the buttons were just perfect and it was basically an exact color match to the other two.

Step 1: Trace and cut. I used one of the other stockings as a template and loosely traced it onto the back of my sweater in two different areas (I wanted this one to be a bit different so I made it longer and skinner). This is where I remind you that you're supposed to trace one backwards unless you want one side of your stocking fabric to be inside out.

Whoops. Good thing you only see one side of it when it's hanging, right?  I was rushing through this project and didn't really think about it.

Next, grab your stitch witchery. I've used this stuff plenty of times on other fabric and had no idea if it would work or not on sweater material (Spoiler alert: it did).

After setting the iron on the highest setting, I lined up both sides of my stocking with the stitching tape along the edge in between, set a wet cloth on top and ironed them together (the tape uses heat and moisture to bond the fabric together).

I proceeded to do this all along the edge of the stocking, leaving the top open.

This part will be the inside so it doesn't have to look pretty! I think the key here, especially with this material, is to let it cool completely before handling it too much as the seam can easily come undone it you pull on the fabric while it's still bonding.

I loved the buttons that came with my sweater and wanted to incorporate it onto the stocking, so I cut a strip of fabric where the button slits were to attach around the top of my stocking.

With the stocking turned inside out, I carefully folded back the top edge and lined it up with the edge of my top piece. I had to fold it back so that you wouldn't see the seam once everything was turned inside out.

It's a little tricky applying the stitching tape here, but it worked well enough. Here it is attached to the top:

At this point you're basically done! Here it is turned inside out:

The final step was to cut my strip off with the buttons. Then I simply buttoned it onto the stocking, folded down the top part and tucked the material inside.

There was an open edge where the two ends met so to keep it together I threaded some twine between both ends and tied a bow (which also doubled as a hanger).

I might actually like it more than the store bought stockings.

What do you think?

Another $5 + one hour project checked off the list! Anyone else make their own stockings this year? I kept finding these great tutorials but they all required sewing machines. I hope one day I'll learn/have time to figure out this sewing thing... until then, stitch witchery forever!

 Don't miss Day 4's project, coming tomorrow!