Burlap and Lace Garland

IMG_E7454My daughter and son-in -law recently moved out of their first apartment and because of the timing of everything, I was in charge of turning in their keys. I decided to take the opportunity to make an imprint of the key on a homemade Christmas ornament; this is what inspired the garland project.

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For those curious about the ornaments; The one one the left is salt dough, The one on the right is a cornstarch dough.

I had most of the supplies already on hand but I did pick up the jingle bells for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  I think I paid $3.50 and I have some of the red ones left. The burlap is left over party decor from about five years ago, the lace I picked up on clearance a few years back (Because I knew eventually it would be perfect for something!), the red and white twine I found at Target last year (I absolutely love it!)  and the regular twine I used for the garland base is something I always keep on hand. Oh and I almost forgot, I had the white fabric on hand too. I try to live a somewhat minimalist life, but this paragraph makes me sound a little bit like a pack rat!

I made the stars and trees. I had a lot of cornstarch dough left over and I wanted to use it up; that’s when the garland idea hit me. I made as many stars and trees as I could, so I would be sure to have enough. It’s similar making cookies, I rolled out the dough and used my cookie cutters to cut the shapes. Once they were cut out, I poked holes in them for the string and then baked them according to the directions. Here’s a link to the recipe I used: http://the-pickled-herring.blogspot.com/2012/12/scandinavian-christmas-day-1.html

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While the ornaments were baking, I gathered my other supplies and got to work. I cut the fabric and burlap into 1/2 X 12 inch strips and I cut the ribbon into 12 inch lengths. I don’t know how many I used, I just made a bunch and then cut a few more when I ran out. I cut an 8 foot piece of brown twine to make sure it would be long enough for the project. Once I had that done, I started adding them to the twine. To attach them I folded each strip in half and the threaded the ends through the loop and around the twine. (see picture below)  Initially, I started with just the burlap and lace (that’s why the fabric isn’t in the picture) but I decided it needed another texture and color. Also, next time I think I’ll try to find a narrow burlap ribbon, because the thin strips of burlap proved a bit challenging  to work with.

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After all of the strips were attached I started adding the jingle bells, trees and stars. I used the red and white twine to tie them to the garland. I tied a knot around the twine and then finished it off with a bow. To string the ornaments, I had to thread the twine on a needle to get it through the holes. ( I wish I would have made the holes a little bigger because threading the twine on that needle made me act a little ugly a couple of times!)

This was a learning experience and I would do a few things differently next time, but overall I am really happy with the end result. I hope my daughter is too because the garland is going to her new house along with those ornaments that started this whole thing.

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Outdoor Christmas Wreaths

I thought I’d take a few moments on this snowy Monday to share my most recent Christmas decor project. I live in an old farmhouse and I have always loved the pictures of houses where there is a wreath in every window. However, I do not like the idea of spending money on all those wreaths; so I came up with a plan. I went to my local Walmart and picked up five of their cheapest evergreen garlands. The were $2.38 apiece. I then went to Menard’s and found a big roll of sparkly red ribbon for $4.99. ( I just love things that sparkle!)

I did this project in my kitchen…that wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had; my kitchen was COATED in sparkly goodness. I’m pretty sure my family is still eating red glitter.

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The tools I used for this project were wire cutters and a ruler. I cut all of the garlands in half and cut pieces of ribbon to hang my wreaths. I cut the ribbon at about 33 inches to get them to hang where I liked them in my windows.  I twisted each of the lengths of garland into a circle, flattened the back and fluffed up the front. I didn’t quite loop it around twice; I left the top quarter a single layer so I could make the wreaths a little larger. Once I had the ribbon tied on, it wasn’t noticeable. I used some of the garland greenery like twist ties to hold the loops firmly together. Once the wreaths were made, I tied a piece of the ribbon in a loop around each one.

To hang them I simply opened the top sash of my windows and shut the ribbon in them, leaving the knot on the inside. At this point I thought I was done, I was so very wrong. That night it was a bit breezy and those adorable little wreaths made an absolutely awful noise rubbing against the window glass. At 1:30 am the bedroom windows were aggressively stripped of their noise makers! In the morning, I got out my husband’s fishing line (shh….) and cut pieces to loop around the bottom of the wreaths. I secured the lines by tying them around a piece of dowel and shutting the fishing line in the window with the dowel on the inside. It works well, but it isn’t very pretty, so I just decorated the window sills!

I very happy with how these wreaths are working out. I only put them in the windows on the two story section of our house but I think next year I’ll make a few more (okay, like 10 more) for the rest of the windows.

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How they look wearing today’s snow.

I’d love to see what other people are doing to bring a festive feel to their homes. So show me what you are up to! Happy Holiday Decorating!

 

Christmas Tree Farm Sign

I am very fond of the current farmhouse decor trend, especially all the Christmas stuff. (I mean I do live in a farmhouse, so…) I have seen vintage inspired tree farm signs EVERYWHERE and I decided I wanted to make one of my own so I could personalize it. And, as we all know, I am a cheapskate so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project.

I scored a big time find at Goodwill recently and I decided it would be perfect for my sign. It’s a fairly large oval embroidery hoop that I picked up for $3.99. I also found a large round one and I bought that one too. I had a canvas drop cloth that I purchased last year but never used, so I cut pieces out of that to stretch in the hoops.

 

Once I had the fabric nice and tight, I broke out my handy dandy overhead projector. (another awesome Goodwill find) and lightly traced on my designs with a pencil. after that I set up shop at the dining room table with my craft paints and brushes.

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It was a bit of a time consuming project, and it’s not my prettiest work, but overall I am pleased with the rustic charm of the end result.

 

On to the next project!