DIY Holiday Wreath!

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My idea of the perfect wreath is one that is beautiful and is neutral enough to be hung throughout the holidays and well into the cold, holidayless months of winter. Of course, the wreath could be tweaked to be more holiday-specific if that suits your fancy!

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I had a few materials lying around (as usual), so I used the leaves and feathers left over from my dreamcatcher, and I gave the berries from the baby shower a little makeover using white paint and gold glitter.

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I made the bow from some burlap ribbon, but you could also buy one while you’re at the store gathering other supplies (although I think it’s usually cheaper to make your own, and it’s not that difficult if you cheat and use glue to make the ribbon look perfect!).

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The flowers I made are a little strange since they are made out of pistachio shells, but clearly I am not the only person who looks at a pile of shells and thinks they should be refurbished into craft supplies.

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Alright, time to start gluing! I knew I wanted my wreath to be free form and asymmetrical, but to give myself a little guidance I started by placing the berries around the wreath and attaching the bow.

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Pause to yell and curse when I burn my finger on the glue gun. Crafting is dangerous business.

And we’re back. I glued the largest items first, eying where they looked best to me. No rhyme or reason, just going with the flow.

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Here you can see the mess I was making of my work area. Crafting is also messy business 🙂

Once I had the big pieces attached I went back in and stuck leaves and feathers wherever there were holes, working my way along the left side and tapering off at the top to achieve the asymmetry I was looking for.

Done!

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The finished wreath, ready to hang on the door!

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I hope you are inspired to create your own wreath to brighten up your door for months and years to come. Happy holidays!

DIY Dreamcatcher

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When I was a wee child I had a dreamcatcher over my bed. It was purple and turquoise, brought to me from New Mexico and I loved it. Sadly, as the years have passed neither my mother nor I can remember what happened to it. As I was browsing Pinterest recently, I came across this beauty and was inspired to remake my childhood keepsake. So here, folks, is what I did.

If you check out that link, you’ll see that they made the clever decision to use a doily as the center of the dreamcatcher. Of course, I have never been someone who makes things easy for herself, so I decided to learn and execute the traditional woven style, as explained in wonderful detail in this post.

Michael’s was having a huge sale, and I had a stash of beads and an embroidery hoop at my disposal, so I’d say this project cost me about $10, but could get up to $20 if you had to buy all the supplies at once.

Here’s what I used (or, what I planned to use. I did not end up using everything, as you’ll see at the end).

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My color palette was cream and soft dusty pink and tan. The packages of feathers and leaves included really pretty dark browns and reds, though, so I might need to make another dreamcatcher with those soon…

I started by wrapping my hoop with the lace. I didn’t need to glue it all the way around, just at the beginning/end of the hoop.

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Once that was all set I braided a few pieces of twine to make the loop that the dreamcatcher hangs from.

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Then came the intimidating part, the weaving. I am not a sewer/crocheter/knitter and it took me a while to get the hang of it. And, to be honest, took a LOT longer than I thought it would. That doily idea seemed better and better as an hour turned into two (embarrassing, but true). However, I did manage it and I was really glad I went with the weave because it reminds me so much of the little dreamcatcher of my youth.

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Can you see where I messed up right at the end? Bless you if you say no, but that wonky gap next to the center opening was NOT intentional. So, I did what any good crafter does, and I glued something pretty over it.

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All better!

Time for the creative part- all the dangly bits of ribbon, beads and feathers that give dreamcatchers their character!

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To hang everything I used my twine and a little superglue in some places to make sure everything stayed where I wanted it to. I didn’t end up using all my beads, but they will stick around for another project on another day.

Here she is, my new dreamcatcher all gussied up!

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I’m really happy with how it turned out, and it is now happily hanging over my bed. I anticipate only good dreams tonight 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Next up, a Harry Potter themed Halloween party!

Rustic Baby Shower for a Little Lady

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I recently made decorations for a party that I could not attend, as I did with Erin’s Graduation. This time, it was for a baby shower being held at the home of the grandparents-to-be. The parents, Becky and Zack, would both be attending, so although they are having a little girl I knew I didn’t want to make the decorations overly feminine. I chose a rustic floral theme for the couple, who I know love nature and the outdoors.

Because all the decorations needed to be portable and easily set up, I went with a lot of light-weight items that would make a big impact.

(Note- Pictures courtesy of my friend CC)

Congratulations banner made from burlap and painted letters.

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(My favorite item!) A mobile wrapped with juniper berries and hung with origami paper leaves.

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Wishes for Baby cards made with card stock and ribbon. The little leaf photo album is great to hold the cards once the guests write their messages!

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I made these bottle wraps using burlap, ribbon and the juniper berries from the mobile. They are tied to the bottle with ribbon!

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And, finally, some cheerful tassel garland made with tissue paper. (I spy a picture of little Luna love!)

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Congratulations to the parents-to-be!

French Bistro Themed 25th Birthday Party

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It was an honor and a privilege to decorate a French Bistro themed 25th birthday party for my lovely roommate, Jill. She studied abroad in France and misses it terribly, so we decided that this year we’d bring a little bit of Paris to our apartment in Boston. Allons-y!

First and foremost, we needed to invite people to the soirée. I decided to take the traditional chalkboard signs that are iconic to French bistros and use them throughout the party, starting with the invitations.

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(Address and email have been removed)

I’ll try to let the pictures do most of the talking, since there are a bunch!

I didn’t have any actual chalkboards, so I made my own lookalikes by painting canvases black and using a chalkboard paint pen to decorate them.

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I propped up my homemade wine charm favors and picture frame guest book on a wine crate.

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I made a Happy Birthday banner (in French!) using card stock and the chalkboard paint pen.

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If you haven’t had a kir, you really should! We had trouble finding crème de cassis, but we made do.

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Oh, and did I mention I made some custom wine labels? This is a great way to make inexpensive wine look special!

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The last thing I want to do the day after a party is wash 30 wine glasses, so I got these plastic party glasses and put labels on them.

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Wine, bread, cheese, dessert. All you need for a great French themed party.

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Empty wine bottles make excellent vases/candle holders!

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Close-up of Jill’s favorite French cookies, Le Petit Ecolier!

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It was a great party for a great girl. Here’s to many more!

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