DIY, House & Home, Pictures, Tutorials

Fall In Love With Autumn: A DIY Wreath Tutorial

Crisp air and falling leaves…don’t you just love Autumn?!

Autumn Wreath DIY

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to stop by the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri’s annual fundraiser Holiday Mart with a good friend of mine (hi, D!). We had a blast walking around enjoying the Christmas music, sampling the incredible treats, and shopping with some of the wonderful vendors that Holiday Mart brings in each year. I had one mission over the weekend: find the perfect Autumn wreath. I’m embarrassed to admit that I failed.  I searched high and low to find my ideal wreath and, even though I found some cute ones along the way, I couldn’t seem to find “the one”. And then that little lightbulb went off in my head: why not make one?! Challenge accepted! Creating your own seasonal wreath is the perfect opportunity to leave your mark on the season, design something that is uniquely your own, and save a little bit of money in the process. Curious to see how I did it?! Take a look:

Holiday Wreath Supply List

Thanks to my local Hobby Lobby, I was able to score some great deals on all of the items I needed to design my new wreath. If you’re looking to replicate my idea, you’ll need to purchase about 45 feet of burlap ribbon (about three packages worth), a wire circle for making wreaths (located in the floral department), and seasonal decorations (I used pumpkins, flowers, and berries). This project takes about 45 minutes from start to finish and is a whole lot of fun so grab a glass of wine, put on some Jack Johnson, and have a little fun.

DIY Autumn Wreath Tutorial

DIY Wreath

This project can be done in three easy steps (yes, I’m serious). To get started, you’ll want to weave the burlap ribbon loosely through the wire circle. Stop periodically to gently puff up the ribbon that you’ve done so far, making sure that it doesn’t flatten (which will happen if you pull too hard). When you start to run out of burlap ribbon, don’t panic. Simply tuck the end into the back of your wreath and start again. Keep going until the entire wreath has been covered.

Make Your Own Wreath

Design Your Own Wreath

The second step to your new custom wreath is adding in personalized decorations. Similar to decorating, try to group decorations in odd numbers (3, 5, 7). I found some great mini pumpkins, berries, and some yellow colored burlap that I used on both of my wreaths and am very happy with the results.

DIY Fall Wreath

Cute Fall Crafts at Hobby Lobby

Inexpensive Holiday Decorations

If you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, be sure to look out for their sale items. I was able to score most of my items for either 40% or 50% off of retail price.

Small Wreath Decorations

When you’re done, the third and final step is to find a spot to hang your new wreath!

Autumn Wreath

Make Your Own Fall Wreath

For my second wreath, I used a pre-existing plain “twig” wreath that was on sale at Hobby Lobby for $4.99 (I used a 40% off mobile coupon which brought the price down to just over $2.00) I simply added a few decorations and hung it up. I still can’t believe how easy it is to do yourself- I wonder why I ever purchased pre-made wreaths to begin with…take a look:

Indoor Wreath DIY

Make It Yourself Wreath

Cheap Fall Wreaths

Fall Wreath

I spent just under $50 to complete both projects, have some extra burlap ribbon to spare, and am already plotting my Christmas wreath. Be on the lookout for more Autumn projects headed your way in the next couple of weeks!

Daily Life, DIY, House & Home, Pictures

The Little Change That Made A Huge Difference

Changing A Kitchen Faucet

 

Since moving into our home in 2009, my husband and I have put a lot of work into little projects that have transformed our house into a home. We completed a small, low-cost kitchen makeover, made changes to the guest bathroom, and most recently got around to decorating the entryway to our home. A few months ago when I turned the kitchen sink on to do dishes I was met with a nasty surprise…a shot of water right in the kisser. And then a leak. A leak that extended into the basement we’re working on. Awesome. Fantastic. (Not awesome or fantastic.)

To put it lightly, my husband and I are more on the creative/nerdy/not handy side of the spectrum so trying to figure out how to fix things is effing horrible a bit of a challenge. We’re learning. In the meantime, we’re so thankful to have some friends who enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together again. Once we figured out that the problem was with the sprayer, a friend of ours was able to help us work on it. We temporarily replaced it (knowing the goal was to eventually find a new faucet for a more permanent fix).

The problem was that I’m cheap and the kind of faucet I wanted wasn’t seeming to fall within the budget I was willing to set aside for the project. I knew I wanted a pull out faucet in brushed nickel with a dual spray/stream option and a soap dispenser (where the old sprayer used to be). I looked at Lowes. I looked at Home Depot. I looked online and I just couldn’t find the one. Replacing the faucet became somewhat of an empty idea in the back of my head. Until last weekend when we were at a birthday party for a friend of ours. I was in the kitchen and mentioned how much I liked their faucet (because, you know, I’m weird) when our friend told me about one he had seen at Costco on sale.

Costco?! Sale?! You can imagine my excitement when I saw my ideal kitchen faucet for only $59.99 (including the $20 instant rebate). SOLD! I couldn’t wait to put it in. We have never replaced a kitchen faucet before but the prospect of completing the project was thrilling. It took us a little over an hour from start to finish (don’t judge me, people who think it only should have taken a half hour) and completely transforms the look of the space. I love it. I looked online to see how much the retail value of the faucet we got was and it sells elsewhere for well over a hundred dollars. Needless to say, I’m feeling really good about the cost of this improvement. Here are some pictures of the process from start to finish:

Kitchen Faucet Before

Kitchen Faucet makeover

Mini kitchen transformation

replacing the kitchen faucet

kitchen faucet transformation

Kitchen Faucet

Mini Kitchen Transformation

Sometimes, it’s the little things that give a room a new look and feel.

 

Daily Life, DIY, Parenting, Pictures, Tutorials

A Minnie Mouse Themed Birthday Weekend

As you know, my sweet girl turned two years old  a week ago today and we celebrated all weekend Minnie Mouse style. I have been so excited to share this with all of you. We are so fortunate to be blessed with such an incredible group of family and friends. So much so that we decided it would be less overwhelming to break up the birthday celebrations into two days. On Friday evening, we had invited 21 people over for a hot doggity dog birthday dinner and did our family (along with a couple of our ‘basically family’ friends) on Saturday for a celebration at a place in a nearby town (closer to where my family is). The sad news is that it snowed so much on Thursday that many of our guests were stuck in their homes and unable to make it on Friday night so it ended up being a play date birthday celebration for C and her friend who lives just a few houses down. Having just gotten back into town from my friend’s baby shower, I found myself more pressed for time than I would have liked but, overall, I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

For both events I wanted to be sure to give guests a small takeaway as a thank you for spending time with us and so I hand dipped marshmallows and Oreo cookies in white chocolate, covered them with red sprinkles, and wrapped them in clear bags with a red Mouse head and white ribbon. I was really happy with them.

Chocolate Covered Oreos                 White Chocolate Covered Marshmellows

Mickey Mouse Party Favors

I dressed our dining room table with a red table-cloth, Mouse Head “placements”, white plates, and color coordinating decorations. On the light above the table I hung red, white, and black tissue paper pom-pom balls (which I posted a tutorial for on Tuesday).

Minnie Mouse Themed Dinner Party

Minnie Mouse Theme Table Top

Saturday presented a bit of a challenge. The location where C’s event was held required me to drop off the party decorations at least 24 hours in advance but, since it’s almost 45 minutes away and we had a massive snowstorm, I wasn’t able to meet that deadline. I called them and asked if there was any way I could get into the room earlier so that I would have some time to decorate. They told me it was no big deal if I wanted to show up at 1:45 (the party was at 2:30). What they meant by “no big deal” was “we’re not being honest”.

I showed up at 1:45 only to discover that they had booked our room back to back and the other party was not slated to be out of the room until 2:00. They really tested my resolve with this one. I got into the room around 2:10 or so and had just over 15 minutes to get it decorated, have the food out, and somehow manage to not look like I just threw it all together. “Challenge Accepted!” I’m not really sure how I got it all done but, somehow, it worked:

Minnie Mouse Theme Birthday Party Table

Minnie Mouse Theme Birthday Party

Red, Black, and White Table Top Decorations

Minnie Mouse Decorations

A few of the decorations I used for both parties:

Mickey Mouse Themed Party

Minnine Mouse Themed Party Decorations

Mickey Mouse Themed Party Invitations

The big Mouse ear (pictured above) was actually the invitation for the birthday party. What I did was slip a small white card with the party details between the red and black on the invitation. This was far better than anything I could have purchased from a store. Speaking of…I had made everything but the plates, cups, and napkins for this party. I wouldn’t consider myself the most crafty person so if I can do it, so can you! 🙂

DIY, Pictures, Tutorials

Tissue Paper Puff Tutorial (With Pictures!)

Tissue paper pom-pom balls are, by and far, one of the easiest ways to add some incredible decorations to your special event.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you along the way…

Tissue Paper Pom Pom

Tissue Paper Puff Tutorial Needed Supplies

You will need:

-Ribbon (or clear fishing wire if you’re looking for that ‘floating in thin air’ look)

-Tissue Paper

-Scissors

-2″ Floral Wire

How to make a tissue paper pom pom ball

Begin by folding the tissue paper accordion style (back and forth, back and forth). The larger you make the folds, the bigger your puff will be.

Tissue Paper Pom Pom Ball Steps

Tissue Paper Puff Ball Steps

When you’re done, fold the tissue paper in half (and crease as much as you can).

Tissue paper pom pom tutorial

Cut enough floral wire to safely secure around the center of the tissue paper (where you made the crease when you folded it in half).

Tissue paper flower tutorial

tissue pom pom tutorial

Begin to pull the tissue paper apart, one layer at a time. Be gentle with it because it tends to rip fairly easily.

tissue paper puff flower tutorial

Continue pulling the tissue paper apart until it creates a flowery look on each side.

tissue paper puff ball

When you’re done, it should look a little something like what I’ve got pictured above.

It really is that easy!

DIY, House & Home, Pictures

The Kitchen: Part 1

I’ve been working on a lot of small DIY projects  around the house and wanted to share some of the work I’ve done on the kitchen. I’m planning to make this into a three-part post so today I want to focus on the beginning of the project. We purchased our home when it was in the beginning stages of construction in 2009 and so we had a lot of say in terms of appliances, light fixtures, carpet and other flooring, and the exterior color. I’ve always really loved our house but we’re finally getting around to turning it into a “home”. Here are a couple of “before” pictures of the kitchen (The only ones I could find were from C’s 1st birthday party so you’ll have to excuse the decorations):

We were lucky that we didn’t have to do anything with our kitchen but we really wanted to bring some color and some sort of backsplash into the room. What I wanted, and would still really like to have whenever it happens to fall within our budget, is this:

Due to budget restraints we had to go in a different, more cost efficient, route and so I thought it might be fun to do a chalkboard backsplash. We’re a young family and we have a toddler in the house…why not?! We went with a beautiful shade of dark purple on two of the walls and are really happy with the results:

The chalkboard paint is something that can be purchased for less than $15 dollars at any hardware store (I purchased mine from Home Depot). Including paint and materials, I spent under $50 for this portion of the kitchen makeover. Tomorrow, in Part II, we’ll talk about our kitchen table (because it did not look that adorable when we bought it). Until then…

What’s the one room in your house you most want to give a facelift?