Rustic Photo Display Frame

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A few weeks ago, I ordered a set of love – themed photographs from Marianne Hope, a Norwegian travel photographer living in the Netherlands and bringing beautiful imagery and inspiring places to my Instagram newsfeed on a regular basis. When they arrived, I set to work designing a special way to display them.

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Materials:

Wooden Picture Frame

6 ” Grapevine Wire Ribbon (I bought mine at Michael’s for around $6)

Burlap

Wire Cutters

Staple Gun

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Stretch the grapevine wire ribbon across the back of the frame and staple it into the sides. (It is only wired on the outside perimeter, so the inside rows of grapevine will just break as you bend it to fit to the frame).

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Use wire cutters to cut the excess wire – leaving an extra inch – and twist the wire around itself to secure it around the staple.

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Stretch your burlap across the back of the frame, cut it to size & staple it around the perimeter.

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I attached the prints by hanging them from the wire with a small piece of twine taped to the back of each photo.

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Then just display your new creation and enjoy!

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And if you just love these darling prints by Marianne as much as I do, go check out her Etsy shop!

Rustic Valentine’s Day Decor

I know, I know – Valentine’s day is still a month away. But this is not a very valentine-sy post. I just didn’t really know what else to title this post. Since it’s that awkward time of the winter, when Christmas decorations are gone, and it’s really too cold to break out all my yellow springtime stuff – I’ve put together a rustic, wintery/sorta valentinesy vignette above the buffet cabinet in our dining area.

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One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to buy less & create more – and so this scene is compiled entirely of things I had, plus a few newly crafted items.

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I’m still in love with burlap, in case you hadn’t noticed. I will show you how I made the burlap arrow art tomorrow. The second piece is a burlap wrapped canvas (how exciting is it that Michael’s is carrying these now?) with a red felt heart glued to its center. I am debating adding something to that one – but for now I enjoy it’s simplicity and contrast.

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The lantern is one of the pair I purchased on craigslist for our wedding (originally from Ikea, I believe). The large mason jar is rockin’ some feathers, the baby jar is filled with moss & a tea light candle, and I stuck one of my Print Studio photo squares of me & the hubs into a third jar for a fun twist on the traditional picture frame.

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Two of these books (Paper to Petals and Modern Rustic) were Christmas gifts that I am so in love with. Those birch candles are from our wedding reception centerpieces. Ahh…memories!

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I threw a simple burlap runner on our pedestal table, and my three Pottery Barn mercury glass vases (a wedding gift) are serving as a centerpiece for now.

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So there’s some of my decor for the winter months – and since I threw in a red heart, it should last me a good month or so!

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How about you? Have you packed away all your holiday decorations? Do you decorate for Valentine’s day, or just hold out for the cheery colors of Spring that we get to bring back in just a few months?

Have a wonderful week!

That’s a Wrap!

I’m back again with one last post before Christmas. I am looking forward to a few days filled with family, food & drinks! Christmas is most definitely my favorite time of year. As a child, I would be up all night on Christmas Eve filled with excitement about what gifts I might receive the next morning. Now, I get giddy with glee over the gifts I have wrapped and ready to give!

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Here are a few of the ways I’ve decorated my packages this year. I stuck with my rustic Christmas theme, which you saw this morning with my rubber stamped wood gift tags. I used lots of Kraft paper, twine & ribbon, and rubber stamped just about everything in sight.

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Some of the leftover artificial boxwood I used to make my mini boxwood wreaths made for pretty toppers.

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The gifts for my cute little niece and nephews got some fun touches, like this jingle bell topped package:

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And this one, topped with a blue dinosaur (a little preview of what’s inside…shh!)

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For those small & special gifts, I decorated gift boxes with ribbon & topped them with some mini bottle brush trees.

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And, sometimes, simple is the sweetest way to go…

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So there you have it, my simple & rustic gift wrap for this Christmas! How about you? Do you stick to a theme when wrapping holiday gifts, or do you go for mixed colors & patterns? Are you done wrapping, or will you be pulling an all-nighter on Christmas Eve? Make sure you listen for sleigh bells!

Wishing you and yours the merriest and happiest of Christmases!

Six Easy (and Practically Free) DIY Ideas for Holiday Artwork

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Hey guys! I had so much fun sharing my holiday decor in my Holiday Home Tour 2013 (which you can see here, here & here). Most of these ideas for easy (and super affordable) DIY holiday artwork were seen in the tour. I love simple little pieces that can be ‘subbed in’ for the non-seasonal art you may already have scattered throughout your home. Some of these pieces are just stuck on top of whatever print is typically displayed – which means you’ll save by not buying new frames, and you can pull out the holiday artwork and be back to ‘normal’ in a flash!

Here are six ways I updated my walls for the holidays this year. Since many of these pieces were created using supplies I already had on hand, my total ‘new’ costs for all of these pieces combined was probably somewhere around $10!

Burlap & Wood Reindeer Art

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To make this simple & rustic holiday art, I painted a wooden reindeer head cut out (found at Michael’s for under $2) with white craft paint (or whatever color you choose). Cover the glass with burlap (or whatever fabric you happen to have lying around), and glue the reindeer to the fabric. Stick it in your frame, and you’re done!

Stenciled Kraft Paper Art

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Stencil a festive animal, word, or other design onto a piece of kraft paper. Frame it. Go get a pedicure with all the time you have leftover after this project. (Don’t have a stencil? Make one by printing out clip art in the design you want & cutting it out!) Chances are, you already have everything you need to do this… which makes it technically free! But if not, you can probably get everything you’d need for less than $5.

Framed Chalkboard + Wreath

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If you don’t already have a framed chalkboard somewhere in your house, you can make one! I made mine without even opening a jar of paint – here’s how. Hang a wreath in front of your new chalkboard with some pretty ribbon, and add some inspirational text. But don’t thank me for this idea, I saw it here, here & here first. This one is ‘free’ to make too, if you already have a chalkboard, some ribbon, and a wreath!

 

Framed Holiday Card

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This really can’t count as a “DIY” project as it pretty much only requires the ability to put something into a frame. But I am obsessed with these holiday postcards from Rifle Paper Company, and am using them this year to send quick well wishes to friends and family. I love them so much, that I framed one in my kitchen, and one in my bathroom! Use holiday cards from your stash, or a pretty one that you received this year, and enjoy another free new piece of holiday artwork!

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Merry & Bright Typography

I just played with some fonts on my computer and printed out this little fella onto some recycled cardstock and framed it. Boom! Easy artwork!

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Burlap & Ribbon Tree Wall Hanging

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I shared this little project last week and again – I made it completely out of supplies I already had on hand. (Ok, maybe I am a burlap/ribbon/glue gun hoarder… but maybe you are too!?) You can probably guess how I made it (think hot glue gun), but you can see the original post here!

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So, what do you think? Any ideas you would try in your home? What are some other quick & inexpensive ways to deck your walls for the holidays? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Burlap + Ribbon Tree Wall Hanging

Yup, you guessed it… more burlap!

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I made this wall hanging from my large assortment of Christmas ribbon. It took about 15 minutes to determine the layout, cut my ribbons, and hot glue them onto a rectangle of burlap.

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I only burnt myself twice on the hot glue gun, so I’ll go ahead and chalk this one up as an epic success.

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Our Christmas tree, as you can see, is burlap, gold + red, plus a whole assortment of woodland creatures. It’s rustic and glittery all at once, like this ribbon tree, and that makes my heart happy.

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I glued a strip of cardboard to the top of the burlap, and then glued on a piece of jute twine to hang the art. Easy as they come, folks – and if you’ve got a bunch of ribbon & burlap, like me, it will be completely free!

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I’m off to enjoy a weekend in NYC with the hubby – there will be lots of eating, drinking, window shopping, and jostling through crowds! I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Handmade Burlap Stockings

You may or may not have noticed (depending on how loyally you follow my Instagram newsfeed…) that I am utterly obsessed with all things Burlap this Christmas season. A month or so ago, I was scouring Etsy with the hope of purchasing some burlap stockings to hang this year. I was about to purchase some, when I was struck with the brilliant idea of convincing my mother – who has legitimate sewing skills, unlike myself – to “help” me make my own handmade stockings.

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In the interest of full transparency, I should tell you that by ‘help’, I pretty much mean that she did ALL of the work. I supervised, which worked well for me as I quite like being in charge of things.

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According to my mother, who did the sewing, this is a fairly simple sewing project – and the rustic & homey feel of burlap really takes the pressure off trying to create something “perfect”. The imperfections are the beauty of it, don’t you think?

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It was also very special to me to do this little mother-daughter project. My Mommom, who passed away this past winter, made beautiful hand-knitted stockings for her children, her children’s husbands, and her grandchildren over the years as her family grew. Even though these simple little burlap stockings will probably not become permanent fixtures in my family Christmases, I know that my mother and I both felt slightly closer to her as we worked together on this project. I am so grateful that the tradition of creating handmade items for our homes and family members is one that will continue in our family – in whatever form it takes.

Our process was not super technical, but if you’d like to create your own burlap stockings, here’s how:

First, collect your supplies:

Burlap (a few yards depending on how many you’ll be making)

Cotton or Muslin for the lining

Paper for creating a pattern

Fabric Scissors, straight pins & a sewing machine (or hand sew them w/ a needle and thread!)

To create our pattern, we just traced a random red stocking we had on hand onto a paper bag.

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We added a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. The pattern for the lining material had an extra 4 inches at the top, for the cuff fold over.

Using straight pins to secure the pattern, I cut two pieces at a time (you need two lining & two burlap shapes per stocking). I was really good at the cutting part, and that was pretty much all that I contributed to this project.

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Next, my mother sewed together the inner & outer pieces, including a small hem at the top of the liner that would fold over to create the cuff. Stanley, my parents’ Siamese cat, posed for a little photo shoot while my mother did the work.

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I chose not to attach the liner to the burlap stocking, since the cuff held both pieces together pretty well. This way I can always change the inner or outer material (in case I make myself completely sick of burlap sometime down the road… which is not likely!)

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I attached a jute twine loop with a safety pin (so it is also interchangeable), and pinned through both layers to add some extra security.

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I added some unpainted wooden letters with our initials (including Emma, of course – her stocking will be stuffed with bacon flavored treats and squeaky creatures).

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Then, I used my only-daughter-charm to convince my father to cut a branch off of one of the trees in my parent’s back yard. Since we do not have a mantle to hang our stockings from, I turned the donated branch into my stocking hanger!

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I’m totally smitten. And the best part is that I only spent around $10 on the white muslin and wooden letters, and had everything else that we needed on hand! (That cute felt garland, by the way, was an awesome Target grab a few weeks ago).

What kind of stockings did you hang this year? If you, like me, don’t have a mantle to hang them from, what creative ways do you find to display them in your house? Filling my husband’s stocking with goofy little things is one of my favorite Christmas activities, and I can’t wait to do it again this year!

Simple + Rustic Burlap Ornaments

Here’s another project included in last week’s Christmas Crafternoon – and I love this one because it is SUPER easy, and SUPER customizable. There are about a billion different kinds of ornaments you can make yourself, if you feel so inspired around the holidays. I love these ornaments because they are perfect for the rustic, burlap Christmas decor I am gravitating towards this year.

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And, if you’re like me and have an excessively obnoxious collection of craft supplies, you can probably make these without spending another dime, which is another big plus this time of year!

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Here’s what I used to make my hand stamped burlap ornaments:

3″ foam craft balls (like these)

Burlap scraps (I have about ten billion yards of burlap in my house. If you are a normal person, you may have to go grab some from a craft store or from here).

Tacky Glue

Straight pins

Jute twine

Rubber alphabet stamps & black ink

Cut your burlap up into little rectangular pieces of varying sizes. Put lots of tacky glue on the edges & corners of each piece, and attach them to the ball. (You’ll want to push/stretch the burlap out around the ball for a nice hold. You’ll get messy, which is cool, because peeling dried glue off of my fingers is a favorite hobby of mine).

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Once you’ve covered the ball, allow it to dry. You can attach any string/twine/ribbon of your choice in a loop on the top with a dab of glue & a straight pin stuck right into the foam ball. Then rubber stamp whatever words/initial/etc. your little heart desires!

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My ornaments currently adorn a little tabletop artificial tree. I am in love with them. If I did not have a day job/actual human responsibilities, I would stay home and play with glue & burlap all day and cover my tree in these. Maybe next year.

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Psst… the winner of my DIY Holiday Crafting Kit Giveaway was just announced on Twitter! Congrats, Julie! I can’t wait to get your box off in the mail to you!