DIY Advent Calendar

advetn.png

My kids love advent calendars! I can’t say I blame them. Waking up and getting chocolate first thing in the morning every day for 24 days is a pretty good deal.

There is just one problem. I can’t stand having them on the counter every day so I put them in a drawer. After a week or so the advent calendars are forgotten about and are usually not discovered again until mid January.

In an effort to keep the counter uncluttered and keep the kids plied with candy I decided to make my own advent pouches that can hang on the kid’s tree.

Yes the kids have their own tree. This way they can hang up all their ornaments in whatever crazy way they want and I won’t be wincing or developing chest pains watching them decorate the big tree. It’s a win/ win for all.

These pouches could not be any easier. All you need is some felt, scissors, hot glue, stencils, paint and some string.

I used pinking shears to cut strips of felt 2 inches wide by 4 inches in length.

Run a strip of hot glue on each side of the strip. Don’t go all the way to the top. You need to leave a bit of room for the string. Fold in half.

IMG_2734

The paint and stencils I used are from Martha Stewart and are available at Michaels.

I used gold paint for an extra festive look but you can use whatever colour you like.

Stencil on your numbers and let dry for a few minutes.

IMG_2732

Fold back the top of the pouch and hot glue your string in place. I used Jute twine because it is what I had on hand. I cut the string into 2 inch pieces.

IMG_2735.JPG

I filled the pouches with Hershey Kisses, tootsie rolls and caramels. The kids are already so excited to open them and I know they won’t get forgotten about after a few days.

IMG_2738.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Gold Antler & Spiked Sphere

 

In my last post I talked about staging the mantle. I gave you a few pieces from Chapters that I thought would be great for fall and winter and could easily be used during the holiday season.

As much as I love both of these I can not justify paying $49 for the antler and $39 for the sphere.

So I decided to make my own with the help of a tree branch, some clay, electrical tape and gold spray paint.

IMG_2568.JPG

Sounds like a weird combination I know but just trust me on this.

I started out with a thin tree branch to act as a guide for how I wanted the antlers to look and to also give it some structural integrity.

I cut the small shoots off the branch and taped them back on where I thought it would look the most “antlerish”.

IMG_2569.JPG

Looks good right???

Then I started to put the clay on. I just wrapped it around the branch and with damp hands I smoothed out the seams as best as I could.

IMG_2570

To make it even smoother I used one of my cake decorating tools.

IMG_2571

I let it dry over night. As you can see I propped it up in a few places just to make sure the weight wouldn’t cause the clay to split apart.

IMG_2575

After it was all dry I sanded it smooth with a fine grit sandpaper. Brush off the excess dust. There will be a lot of it!

IMG_2579.JPG

I used Krylon gold paint for two reasons 1. Because it gives more of a matte finish as opposed to a really shiny metallic finish and 2. I already had it at my house.

IMG_2589 (2)

After the paint was dry I smeared on some walnut stain that I had lying around the house. Wipe it off immediately because it starts to get sticky if you leave it on too long.

The sphere was made from small dowels and left over clay. It took about a minute to do. Just make a ball out of your clay and start putting the dowels in all over.

When it was dry I used the same Krylon paint.

Are they as perfect as the ones from Chapters? Oh my heavens no, but they do look nice and they add a certain rustic charm to the room.

Not bad for 30 minutes of work and $5!

How are you decorating your mantle during the fall/winter season?

 

 

 

 

 

Fall & Winter Staging

fall and winter

I have always found that it is really easy to stage your home in the summer. After you clean the house you can add in a few fun and colourful throw pillows, open the windows to let in the natural light and your home is ready to show.

Fall and winter are a bit different. Especially before and after the holidays.

How can you make your home look warm and inviting without breaking the bank?

With a few key pieces you can go from fall to winter without having to worry about things clashing with your holiday decorations or making the house seem cluttered.

My first piece of advice when staging is always get an area rug.

They help to define the space and makes the room look complete and put together.

Take a look at this space before staging.

It’s okay, but a bit bland and because of the length of the room the furniture looks awkward placed the way it is.

Here is the same room with an 8 x 11 area rug added

IMG_2619

The space is instantly defined. You can clearly see where the seating area is and the furniture no longer looks like it was randomly placed.

Anyone that has been in my home knows how much I love throw pillows. I change them all the time depending on the season.

Throw pillows and blankets are an inexpensive and easy way to add colour and coziness to a room.

I found these great pillow covers from Ikea

At $9.99 and $4.99 they are too cheap to pass up and they come in a multitude of colours.

This pillow cover and throw came from Indigo

I think they just scream fall and winter

I added in a grey throw, pillows I got at Ikea last year and a pillow I made out of a double sided place mat. I just split the seam on one end, threw in a pillow and sewed it back up. Not bad for a $2 place mat!

IMG_2694

IMG_2692

IMG_2612

IMG_2695

With a few accessories this room now looks cozy, defined and ready to show.

Of course we can’t forget about staging the mantle

I am a huge fan of gold right now and these pieces that I found at Indigo are perfect for fall and winter decorating.

In an upcoming post I will show you how I created my own version of these pieces.

If you have a fireplace in your home that is functional make sure that you turn it on before a showing. Nothing says warm and inviting quite like a glowing fireplace.

So there you have it. With a few quick and inexpensive pieces your home can go from bland and cold to warm and inviting in just a few minutes.

Much like jewelry can make an outfit, a few home accessories can make a room shine too.