Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Copycat Crate & Barrel Ho Ho Ho Letters

I just love this time of year!  Everything is so festive and happy.  Of course there is the flip side of that too which means this time of year is exhausting, stressful, hectic, and more!  But mostly I love it.

I was perusing Crate & Barrel recently and saw these metal Ho Ho Ho letters and just loved them.  I am always looking for a project so I immediately thought about how I could remake them myself on the cheap.  I remembered I had a few paper mache letters at home and decided to try spray painting them to see if they would hold up.  It worked like a charm so I got more letters and sprayed them all with high gloss red paint and then did a final coat of red glitter spray paint over the letters.  Easy as can be right!?
 You will need:
H's and O's in wood or paper mache 
High Gloss red spray paint
Red Glitter spray paint
If you want your O tipped like mine then you will need E6000 adhesive
Sprig of berries or something similar 
  I sprayed all my letters on all sides letting them dry entirely before adding a coat of glitter spray paint in red.  I used a very light coat of the glitter just so it had a tiny bit of sparkle. 
 Once they were dry I angled the O in the direction I wanted it to be and added E6000 glue to the spot where the O touches the H and then added a piece of wire around the two letters to hold them together until they dried. 
 After the glue dried I then cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon and added a little sprig of berries and pine cones.  
I also remade this centerpiece from Target by adding quite a few pine cones and sprigs of pine and berries to spruce it up.  I got it on clearance last year but it looked sparse to me so it was an easy fix!
 I probably should have Ho Ho Ho out but I just used 2 sets on either side of my centerpiece and I'm very happy with them.
An easy and inexpensive craft to make which is my favorite kind!

Friday, November 20, 2015

DIY Christmas Ski Decoration

I know I'm not the only crafter that stalks the Dollar Spot at Target!  You will probably know all about these awesome skis they have right now in their bins and maybe even have some at your house. 
I actually passed these skis up numerous times because I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them even though I loved them.  I debated on painting them white and adding them to a pine wreath but I wasn't convinced that I loved that idea so I just kept walking by them.  Then I needed something to hang on my wall that wasn't too large but looked Christmasy so off I went back to the Dollar Spot to see what I could come up with.  The skis were added to my cart and I came right home to get a set made for my wall.  I loved them so much I made a second set and then made a bunch for gifts.  After getting about 12 extras done I'm all set for teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, family gifts etc.  You can never beat an inexpensive gift that looks like a million bucks!
 You will need:
Set of Skis from Target or anywhere you can find skis
Berry picks like above or just berry garland you can cut into small pieces
Floral wire or floral tape
 To make the skis a little dressier you will need to "clump" your berry pieces and pine pieces together and arrange them in the layout you want and wrap the "stems" with floral wire or tape so they stay together fairly well.  Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap around the center of the skis and lay your berry arrangement on top of the skis and then tie a pretty knot around the skis and berries with your ribbon.  I never cut my ribbon from the spool until after I've tied it off so I don't waste any but once you do one you'll know about how much you need.
When you cut your ribbon be sure to cut it with sharp scissors and cut at an angle so it doesn't fray at all.  I used 2 inch wide Grosgrain but you could use wired ribbon or satin ribbon or twine etc.  I chose to skip a bow but you could certainly do a bow instead of the knotted ribbon.

I want to mention how amazing these Berry Picks are that are available from Target in their Christmas Section.  They work so well for wreathes or other diy projects.  They come in a box and you get a bunch!

My mom is planning a set of these using a poinsettia and a few bells along with some ribbon.  You could use most any pretty arrangement in the center of the skis.
 These skis come ready to hang but since I didn't want to make holes in my wall for just the holiday season I used 3M picture hanging removable tabs to hang mine and they are staying put perfectly without ruining my walls.  
 Easy gift for just about everyone and it doesn't break the bank!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reupholstered Leopard Print Dining Room Chairs

So, things have been getting a little "wild" up in here recently!  I love love love leopard print in the right design and hate it in other designs so it has taken me a long time to find the fabric I really want.  I have known for awhile now that I wanted to add a leopard print to my dining room chairs but it has meant a lot of searching for the right print and the right price because darn, some of these upholstery fabrics are e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e!  Finally, my mom spotted this particular fabric at Hobby Lobby and the price was amazing so I jumped at the chance to buy yards and yards of it so I could have several things made out of it!  It was just $9.99 a yard and of course it was on sale so it came down to $7.00 a yard!  Oh be still my little leopard loving heart!
 I have reuhpolstered my dining room chairs before and it is so simple but does take time and patience to get them just right.  Don't let the task scare you because really it's simple!

You will need to measure your seat cushions allowing for the fabric to wrap around all edges.  The measuring is the most important part of the prep work because the wrong size will ruin your project and waste a lot of fabric.  I needed my cuts to be 24 inches by 27 inches and that still allowed me some extra fabric to cut off once I was finished stapling. 

You will need a heavy duty stapler and the right size staples.  I used 5/8 inch heavy duty staples and they were perfect.  I always go a little staple crazy when I reupholster something but I would say space the staples evenly around the entire perimeter of the chair not being afraid to keep them fairly close so the fabric stays in place with regular use. 
 You will need:
Plenty of fabric so it's important to measure and calculate how much you will need prior to purchasing
Heavy duty staple gun
Heavy duty staples
Dining room chairs or something of the like
Screw driver to remove the seat cushions
Possibly plyers to remove old upholstery
Believe it or not this seat cushion fabric used to be a bold sage green but after about 8 years it has faded to the point of looking grayish.  As you can see it was time to change them out!

I didn't do any pictures during the process which was a total "duh" moment on my part.  I really don't know what I was thinking because I usually try to post pictures of the process.  The only tricky part is the corners of each cushion if they aren't perfectly square.  You are golden if they are square but if they are rounded corners as mine are then you will just need to play with the corners until you are happy with the way they look.  I had to take out several staples as I was doing the corners so I had a little more wiggle room with the fabric and I wouldn't start with the corners but one of the flat sides.  You can do it!

And the AFTER....
 I am absolutely crazy about how these turned out!
A much needed update is done on the cheap!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Knock if you Dare Halloween Yarn Wreath

Finally the weather is feeling like fall here in North Carolina!  I wasn't sure it was ever going to happen but the leaves are changing colors and starting to fall and the temps are getting chilly!  We even had to turn our heat on just this morning!  Yay!  It's my favorite time of year.  I love decorating for Halloween and Fall but this year I didn't feel like using any of the wreathes I've made in the past so I wanted to do something different.  

This was a total last minute decision because I was cleaning up some old craft supplies and found a ton of Halloween colored yarn and figured I would whip up a quick Yarn Wreath.  I also remembered I had this cute Knock if you Dare sign I had picked up at Home Goods last year on clearance for 2 bucks.  A little ribbon and it's done.  I realize it's not a very exciting wreath but simple and colorful made it work for me.

 If you've followed along with my blog over the years you know I love making yarn wreathes.  The best part is you can make them look different every single time depending on the yarn you use and the embellishments you add.  If you want to see a few of the others I have shared you can click here or here or even search my sidebar for yarn wreath for more.
 You will need:
Wreath form in the size and shape you would like for your wreath
Yarn--the more colors and texture the better in my opinion but for this one I used yellow, green, orange and two shades of purple
Floral pins
Flowers, plaque, ribbon or any other embellishments you'd like to add
 These floral pins are the bomb diggity!  I use them for just about every wreath I make and find they come in handy for lots of other projects too.  I buy them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's and try to always keep them on hand.
 Start with all your yarn lined up the same length and use the floral pin to hold the starting point of your yarn in place.  Make sure you pin it to the back side of the wreath so you can't see it.  Then just start wrapping the yarns around the wreath form.  I try to lay my yarns out "flat" instead of a big clump so that you can actually see all the colors.  You also want to pull the yarn very tight and keep it close together so your wreath form doesn't show through.  

You can also use several strands of the same color of yarn if you want a more dominant color to show up.  I wished I had used a couple strands of purple instead of just one of each shade but that's ok.  

After I finished wrapping the plain yarns I finished it off the same way I started it by pinning the yarn ends to the back side of the wreath with the floral pin.  I wasn't happy with the wreath because it didn't have any dimension so I took orange fluffy yarn and wrapped it around so it had a little extra oomph to it.  I didn't wrap it close together so it's spread out but you could either incorporate that fluffy yarn with the other yarns you used from the beginning or just add it after for a more subtle effect.
 I then took my sign and attached it with floral pins to the wreath.  You can barely see them so I didn't worry about hiding them but if you wanted to make them more concealed just cover them with a bit of yarn.
 I then took a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon and tied it to the sign to complete it. 
 Easy peasy and works perfectly for when the trick or treaters come around!
 Knock if you dare!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Black and White Stripe Painted Mason Jars

If you follow me on Instagram (and you should!) you will know I have an obsession with Black and White stripes right now.  I just got done painting bold stripes on my family room walls in black and white, buying candles in black and white stripes and now painting mason jars in black and white stripes.  I'd say my obsession is alive and well! 
 I have tons of jars in my house and always keep a collection of spray paint on hand so for me this project was as easy as digging into my stash in the garage and setting up my spray paint station and having at it.  If you don't keep these things around here is what you will need:
2 colors of Spray Paint in the colors of your choice
Mason Jars in the brand of your choice
Painter's Tape
First you will want to spray paint the entire jar white.  I did 3 thin coats on my jars to cover them well.  It doesn't have to be perfect since you will be distressing them after but make sure the jar is mostly covered and not see through anymore.  

Once your base coat has dried completely you will need to tape off your stripes.  I didn't do this by measuring because I didn't want them to be perfect but if you prefer perfection more power to you!  My tape measure and I are on the outs after the stripe wall project so I figured imperfection was right up my alley on this project.  

I taped off my stripes by starting right under the rim of the jar and then added a small piece of tape between the stripes to know how far down I wanted to go (just make sure you remove this piece of tape before you start painting your black).  I got three stripes out of my jar using the basic painter's tape.  I know I'm probably not explaining this step very clearly.

Once your lines are taped off go ahead and spray the entire jar black.  Make sure you really seal the tape all around the edges before you start this step.  The above photo is actually after I had already painted the black stripes but didn't seal the tape edges so the black got on my white paint a little.  To fix this I just taped off the black stripes once they were dry and repainted the entire jar white and it worked perfectly to fix the imperfections and bleeds of black.

You can decide if you want your mason jars with or without the "writing" on them.  I wanted mine to have the writing so it created a little more interest but I've painted plenty that do not have the writing and they still look great after they are distressed.  It just depends on your plans for them.
 When everything has dried remove the tape.  I found that letting my paint dry completely before removing the tape worked best.  It is hard for me to be that patient but I made myself do other things so I wouldn't be itching to remove the tape too soon.
 My Charley Girl had to oversee the painting project to make sure I was doing everything right.  She is quite the supervisor!
 Use a very fine grit sandpaper to sand the entire jar.  I went a little heavier over the raised writing but then went softer over the rest of the jar so I didn't actually remove the paint.
 As you can see the distressing masks all the imperfections anyway so don't worry about being perfect for this project.
 If there are areas that didn't get as distressed as you wanted just keep going over them with sandpaper.  I even had some actual chips in my jars but they just ended up adding to the look.  I was worried at first because I figured I'd have to repaint but it worked out in the end and I left the chips.
 I didn't paint lids for this project because I knew I was using my jars for flowers and I had black frog lids already.  If you don't have those or are using them for something else that requires a lid just spray paint it.  
*Frog lids are the wire lids that allow you to arrange flowers.  Sometimes they sell them just as Frog Lid Inserts but the ones I have are the whole lid and they are already black so it's a win win situation!
 I did three vases and added some flowers and a piece of ribbon to compliment the stripes.
Love an easy peasy spray paint project that actually turns out as well as I imagine it will!  
These would be great to fill with candy and give for Halloween Treats to someone special as well!  You could add a very cute Halloween tag and wrap the filled jar in clear cellophane and have fun and unique gift to give to teacher's or coworkers etc.  So many uses for Mason Jars!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kielbasa and Cabbage Dinner

Years ago I came across this recipe somewhere and have been making it ever since.  I was doing a low carb diet and basically only eating meat and veggies so this was the perfect meal when I found it.  It can't get any easier than this either which is always nice!  The best part is that the kiddo will eat this and doesn't even bat an eyelash that he is eating cabbage because it has such a good flavor.  It is always nice when he will eat a veggie without fighting me on it.  
You will need:
1 package Kielbasa Sausage
1 red onion
2 bags of cole slaw mix (no dressing!)
1/4 cup of water
Celery seeds (optional)

• Cut the sausage into small pieces and then cut them in half
• Place the cole slaw mix, onions and chopped sausage into a greased casserole dish.  I usually use a 9x13 inch pan but if you were making more or less you can use a different size pan.   
• Drizzle your water over the top of the mixture and then add your salt, pepper and celery seeds if you are using them.
• Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the sausage is browned and the cabbage is soft.
• Serve and enjoy!

When I make mine I do not use celery seeds but just the salt and pepper and sometimes a little garlic.
If you didn't want to use the cole slaw mix just buy a head or two of cabbage and chop it up finely and add that instead. 
 I usually mix mine up while it's baking so that it cooks evenly.
 Now that I'm no longer doing a low card diet I usually serve this with mashed potatoes but you could serve it just as it is and you have a whole meal!
Yummy in the tummy!  So easy and so good which is always a great combo.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

. . . BBQ Chicken Salad and Ramen Noodle Crunchies. . .

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog!  I got out of the habit of doing much of it this summer and haven't gotten back in the swing of things but this salad was good enough that I knew I had to blog about it!  

I get salads at restaurants all the time for my main meal but for some reason I tend to not make them at home that often and I don't know why because they are so simple and very filling!  I make them as a side dish but hardly ever for our main course.  This salad changed that and will for sure have it on repeat!

I know that it looks like there are a lot of ingredients but it's basically just salad toppings.  There is very little to prepare other than your chicken, corn on the cob and the ramen noodle crunchies.  All those things are very easy and can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready to use them. 
 You will need:
Chicken Breast or Chicken Tenders, frozen or fresh but make sure they are defrosted
BBQ Sauce
Raspberry Vinagarette
1 package Ramen Noodles Chicken Flavor
4 Tbls. Butter
Corn on the cob
Fresh Mushrooms
Frozen Peas
Bacon, chopped
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Cheese of your choice
Dressing of your choice
*I highly recommend Sweet Vidalia Onion, Ranch or Raspberry Vinagarette
 To make your Ramen Noodle "croutons":
Break up the dry ramen noodles into fine pieces.  Lay out on a baking dish and sprinkle the seasoning packet over them.  You can also add in some chopped pecans or almonds to this. Cut butter into small pieces and drop around the baking dish.  Bake on 350 for until they are golden brown and crunchy and the butter is all melted.  Stir them up so that all the noodles are coated in the seasoning.  Let cool so you can add them to your salad for a nice crunch and added flavor.  Yummy!
 To make the Chicken:
Mix BBQ Sauce and Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing together in a bowl.  Pour over your Chicken Breasts/Tenders and let it marinate overnight or all day.  If you don't have time to do that it's ok it will still flavor the chicken when you bake it or grill it.  I don't have exact measurements on the BBQ Sauce and Raspberry Vinaigrette because it would depend on the amount of chicken you are using.  You will want more BBQ Sauce than Vinaigrette.  The Raspberry flavor is just to add a zing so don't overwhelm it with a large amount of dressing.  

Put the chicken in a baking dish and cover with your sauce from the marinade.  Bake the chicken on 400 until it is cooked through.  You can also grill the chicken which adds to the flavor.  Brush the sauce on it as you grill to keep it moist and flavorful.

Prepare your corn on the cob as you normally would--microwave, grill or stovetop in boiling water.  Once it is cooked through let it cool so you can take the corn off the cob without burning yourself. 

Defrost your frozen peas in a bowl of cold water.  Chop all your other veggies to prepare for the salad.  Crumble your bacon.
 To make the salad:
Place the lettuce in bowls and then add all of your toppings.  For ours  I just put all the toppings in bowls and let everyone create their own salad.  Top with Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette.  You could also use Ranch or even Honey Mustard but I can only speak for the first two because that is what we have used on ours.  I buy the Ken's Brand for most of our dressings. 
Dig in and enjoy this delicious salad!  I was shocked that even our son gobbles this salad up and he says he doesn't like salad so that is saying something!


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