Craft Ideas for National Crafting Month + HM #225

It’s National Craft Month! Find fun and creative craft ideas. Plus, link up at Home Matters w/ DIY, recipes, crafts. #CraftIdeas #Crafting #HomeMattersParty

Craft Ideas for National Crafting Month + HM #225

Happy Spring! I’m sp excited for spring. All the beautiful flowers, the birds, the fun c rafts and  decor ideas. I love everything about it. And, since it is National Crafting Month, the gals of Home Matters have  a fantastic roundup of Spring Crafts Ideas. Enjoy!

 

12 Spring Crafts You Need To Make Right Now from Mary @ Life As Mama

 

Spring Umbrella Craft with Free Printable from Kim @ The Pinterested Parent

 

12 Beautiful Spring Dollar Store Crafts from Aimee @ The Crazy Craft Lady

 

18 Decorative String Lights Ideas DIY Crafts from Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

 

Craft Ideas for National Crafting Month Blog Hop

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A Home Matters Themed Roundup

Last Week’s Theme: Spring Decor Fresh and Beautiful

Next Week’s Theme: Noodles, Noodles, Noodles!



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DIY Sidewalk Chalk from Corinne @ Wondermom Wannabe

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Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini from Deanna @ Cooking the Recipe

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Key Lime Pie Pudding Shots from Ann @ Ann’s Entitled Life

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Peanut Butter Rice Krispies from Rae @ Rae’s Books and RecipesTips

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Spring Flower Crafts from Natasha @ Serenity You

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Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black, And Purple

I love this time of year — all the holidays inspire me. So, enjoy my Halloween Mantel Decor including a quick, easy, and spooky DIY project you’ll love! #Halloween #HalloweenDecor #HalloweenCraft

 

Halloween Mantel Decor

Plus a Quick, Easy, and Spooky DIY Project

 

It’s my favorite time of year! I absolutely love this season of holidays. From the rich colors to the heavenly aromas, to the yummy foods, and wonderful family memories in the making, I find it all heartwarming.

So, I’m kicking off the last quarter of the year by sharing my Halloween Mantel Decor. I have to tell you, I am in love with how this mantel turned out. Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing some of the decor items, and to Luke who made my dreams come true with the Mantel Makeover last year.

And, bonus, this little viewing comes with a spooktacular DIY project that is fun and creepy.

So, let’s get started…

 

Halloween Mantel Decor

Since Halloween is possibly my favorite holiday, I wanted to have something fun and festive with a simple elegance. And, I decided to stick with the traditional colors of orange and black with an added splash of purple.

The Black Metal Lanterns (above) are so pretty and how cute are they filled with candy corn? A variety of mini pumpkins on multi-level candle holders and lacy tin buckets in orange and black, and a glittery black cat to add some sparkle. Don’t you love the way the Halloween Mantel Decor turned out?

Black cats and pumpkins inspired me to make a printable for my mantel frame using a quote (source unknown) that I have loved for years.

“When Black Cats prowl and Pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.”

Now, check out this Spider Web Candelabra! Isn’t it adorable? With all the spiders crawling on the candelabra, I knew I wanted to have some spidery candles. So, I decided to makeover some old candles that I had stored away — you know those ones you’ve used but there is a lot of candle leftover, and you know you’ll use them again sometime but you never do. Here is your chance!

DIY Spider Candles for Halloween

What You’ll Need:

  • Grab your used candles (or new ones if you must — LOL)
  • A Permanent Marker ( I used black for the white candles and silver for the purple candles)

How To:

  1. Draw a spider web at the flame tip of the candle.
  2. Draw a squiggly line down the candle and draw a black dot at the end. The black dot is your spider body.
  3. Add eight legs to your spider body.
  4. Create the look you want by adding more webs and/or spiders.

NOTE – For Halloween, using the old, perhaps discolored, candles make for a perfect creepy look. I had one that had a lot of candle wax dripped down the side, awesome. Also, with Halloween, you do not need to have your candles standing perfectly straight. So, if they teeter a bit in the candle holder or have a little curve to them makes it all the more spooky and eerie.

I hung my Halloween wreath above the mantel. It’s a piece I’ve had for years and is always fun to unearth each year.

Then, tying all the decor together is the amazing black Gauze Garland String Lights with purple bulbs — love it!

I draped the lights over and under the fireplace mantel and hung my Happy Halloween sign from the hidden hook beneath my mantel. It provided the perfect spooky touch to finish off my Halloween Mantel Decor.

I hope you have enjoyed this peek into my Halloween Mantel Decor, and wish you a spooky and fun Halloween!

Be sure to check out Oriental Trading for all your Halloween shopping.

 

 

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5 Tips To Growing Gourds In Your Garden

Celebrate Fall in your garden! Here are 5 great tips to growing gourds in your garden, brought to us by regular contributor, Megan Wild.

 

Growing Gourds – Celebrate Fall In Your Garden

Get 5 Great Tips!

 

Tips for Growing Gourds

You’ve probably started seeing them in fall décor, and in the spring you might have seen them put out for birds to nest in. You don’t need to shell out money for these decorative staples: Did you know you can grow your own ornamental gourds as a fun project with your children, or just to have a surplus for decorating next season? While they have a long growing period before the gourds can be harvested, they are very easy to start from seeds.

Here’s how you can grow your own gourds and enjoy them from season to season.

Getting to Know Your Gourds

Gourds are a vining fruit that actually includes watermelons, pumpkins, squash, melons and cucumbers. There are three basic types of gourds that are grown for decoration or for crafts and utensils.

  1. Vegetable sponge gourds (luffa) have an exterior shell that is removed after they are harvested. It is the center of the gourd that is used as a sponge. Once dried, the luffa sponge can be used as an exfoliating scrub when bathing. If you make your own soap, you can also slice a luffa and pour your homemade soap over it in a mold to make an exfoliating bar.
  1. Ornamental gourds are typically the ones used in decorating. They can be unusually shaped and brightly colored. Small ornamental gourds can be dried and preserved, but large ornamental gourds will not be suitable for drying.
  1. Utilitarian gourds will be green while they grow, but will dry to a brown color with a tough shell. These can be used for bird houses, crafts and if left to grow on the ground with a flat side, can also be cut in half to use for bowls.

Constructing Your Garden

Since gourds are big sun lovers, you should select an area in your yard that gets full sun with well-drained soil. You may also want to enrich the soil with compost or organic material. If you intend to use your gourds for decoration, you should construct a trellis that will support your growing gourds, unless you are planning to grow utilitarian gourds for bowls.

Preparing the Seeds

Gourd seeds can have a hard outer shell, which can cause them to take an extra-long time to germinate. To help speed up the process, you can scarify them by roughing up the surface with sandpaper or a nail file. You will need to gently rough up both sides of the seed. After you have done that, soak them in a bowl of lukewarm water for 24 hours, and then let them completely dry so they won’t rot before they sprout.

Caring for Your Plants

If you have a long winter, you can start your seeds indoors. Be sure to wait until all danger of frost is gone before planting them in your garden. Since gourds are a vine, they will need plenty of room in the garden if you will be letting them grow on the ground. If you will be using a trellis, make sure it will support the weight of your growing crop.

While they can be resistant to pests and disease, they don’t like weeds, so be sure to weed your garden regularly. If you are growing in a climate that tends to be extremely hot and dry, you will want to make sure your gourds get plenty of TLC and water.

Gathering Your Harvest

If you plan on drying, or curing, your gourds, you should start by leaving them on the vine as long as possible. Check them every few days to make sure they haven’t started to rot or have become a snack for wildlife. A good indication that your gourd is ready to cut is when the vine has turned brown. Curing gourds can take a while, so be patient and don’t try to rush them. You may want to plan on using your dried gourds the year following the harvest to give them sufficient time to dry.

If you are growing gourds for decoration, don’t seal them with any kind of varnish or shellac, since that will seal in moisture and cause them to rot. If you want them to appear polished, you can use a liquid floor wax instead.

Growing gourds for decoration and crafting can become a fun hobby for novice gardeners, bird lovers and children. It can also become a lucrative business depending on your creative skills and imagination. With so many different uses for gourds, as well as their various colors and sizes, the only limit to what you can make with them is what you don’t think of.

 

See what Lorelai does with her pumpkins. Click HERE!

 

~Megan

Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!

 

 

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5 DIY Projects For First-Timers

I truly enjoy the challenge of creating new things for my home. I love the entire project, from idea, to planning, to building, and the finished product. It brings a sense of pride and accomplishment. That is why I am so excited to have Debbie Lewis sharing these 5 DIY projects for first-timers.

 

5 DIY Projects For First-Timers

 

With sites like Pinterest, Etsy, and Youtube, people are finding it easier to master DIY projects instead of buying an item or paying someone else to do it. If you’re new to DIY projects, these projects can ease you in and help you realize how fun and rewarding these projects can be.

Make a Jewelry Hanger

Image via Flickr by Charles & Hudson

If you have a lot of necklaces and bracelets getting tangled in a drawer, consider this simple DIY project to proudly display your jewelry. For the simplest version, buy screw-in wall hooks and a small two-by-four piece of wood. While that would suffice to hang your necklaces, you can inject some creativity by using a piece of drift wood or by painting the two-by-four. Instead of using basic wall hooks, you could also use an eclectic assortment of furniture knobs.

Reupholster your Furniture

If you have dining room chairs, a rocking chair, or — if you’re feeling particularly ambitious — a sofa that needs some TLC, consider reupholstering the furniture yourself. Head to a craft store and pick out the fabric you like. If it’s high-traffic furniture, make sure you buy a sturdy fabric. Using pliers, remove the staples holding the current fabric in place. Cut the fabric so it’s the right size and place it tightly around the frame. Staple the new fabric into place, and voilà, you have up-cycled your chairs.

Chalkboard Wall

A chalkboard is great for your kitchen or a child’s play area, but chalkboard paint gets expensive. Luckily, it’s easy to make your own chalkboard paint with latex paint and non-sanded grout. You may need a little trial and error to find the exact mix, but a good starting point is one part grout to eight parts paint. Just mix the two together, and you have your own chalkboard paint.

Upgrade a Dresser

Dressers are typically pricey, so consider refurbishing one you already own. If you want to start small, replace the hardware on an older dresser for an updated look. If you already own a dresser, sand it down and paint it, stain it, or white-wash it for a modern touch. You can also buy inexpensive dressers that are ready to be painted or stained to your desired color. Find hardware you like, and you have a modern and affordable dresser.

Build a Rolling Bar Cart

This project is manageable even for the novice handyman, but probably shouldn’t be your first DIY project. Once you’ve mastered smaller projects, it’s time to try this rolling bar cart. A rolling bar cart is the perfect accessory for any kitchen, and allows you to free up counter space while adding an attractive piece of furniture. For this project, you’ll need lumber, wheels, washers, screws, nails, and paint. You could also stain the wood. While this project certainly takes some time, the finished project is well worth it.

Start with small DIY projects. Once you’ve mastered them, you will feel more confidant to tackle bigger projects. Just be careful, because DIY projects get addicting, and soon you will have your whole home remodeled.

 

 

 

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Holiday Foil Pillow Cover DIY

Looking for that something special to add to your holiday decor? Regular Contributor, Michelle James has just the thing–A DIY Holiday Pillow Cover!

 

Holiday Foil Pillow Cover

A Fun DIY Project To Add To Your Holidays

I am so happy to be back at Life with Lorelai today with a fun holiday tutorial. In the scrapbooking/stamping world, one of the hot trends right now is foil. It is used with heat and bonds to paper, fabric, and other surfaces. I had never used it before, but thought it was about time I got with the program.

I wanted to create some home décor; so, I made an envelope pillow cover and used the foil to create a holiday design.

 

 

Holiday Foil Pillow Cover Tutorial

Supplies needed:

Drop cloth – pre-washed

Pillow form

Envelope case tutorial from A Curiously Chic Life – she has a great tutorial on creating the actual pillow cover envelope case

Deco foil in red and green

Fusible Adhesive

Iron

Scrap paper

Some sort of tape (washi or scotch)

Holiday stencil

Sewing machine

Scissors for fabric and for paper

(There are different kinds of foil that work with different tools. This is the one that works with the iron and the fabric. It’s always good to try a scrap piece with a scrap piece of fabric first.)

Are you ready to get started?

First, we are going to cut the fabric for the envelope pillow cover. Follow the tutorial and measure accordingly for the size of your pillow form. This is the same tutorial I used for my Guest Room Welcome Pillow Cover, and it was easy to follow.

Then decide where you would like your design to be on the pillow cover (as if it were sewn together). Remember that it is “poofier” when the form is in the case. If you have your design too low when it is laying flat, it may be underneath the pillow when you add the form. So, just be aware of these things.

Before you sew your pillow cover, you want to get the foil design ironed on to the fabric. (I did the design after I had sewn, and you can see where I had a slight mishap. The bottom of the lower, red snowflake did not adhere like the rest of the design. This will be avoided if you get the design on before you stitch it up. Also, the green foil on the snowflake was a little wrinkled. I think this happened because it was between the two edge seams, and it didn’t get the proper pressure needed. Lesson learned!)

Lay your fabric down, and place your stencil on top. Tape it down, so it doesn’t move. I made my stencil using the Cricut Machine and the Doodlecharms template. I used the snowflake design. All three snowflakes cut out together, so it makes a great stencil. I also cut mine out on a scrap of Cricut vinyl. Since it has the sticky back it helps to keep it in place on the fabric.

 

I did not photograph this part, but I taped scrap pieces of printer paper on all four sides of the stencil to avoid over-spray onto the rest of the fabric. I covered all of it.

Then, shake up the spray adhesive. Keeping it fairly close to the fabric, spray it over the stencil. I went over it about 4 or 5 times. It looks like snow. Remove the stencil and the extra paper scraps.

Grab a piece of red foil and a piece of green foil. Cut pieces of the foil just big enough to cover different areas of the design, and place them pretty side up onto the adhesive. Be sure there are no bumps or seams under your fabric.

I set my iron to the cotton/linen setting, then placed the iron on top of the foil. I stayed in one place about 10-seconds, then moved the iron to a different spot for another 10-ish-seconds. I kept going until I knew I had ironed and heated the entire design.

This next part is the hardest part of all. Walk away from the project for at least an hour maybe two. It has to be COMPLETELY cool before you peel the foil.

When it is cool, you can peel off the foil off the pillow cover. Start slowly with one piece. If you start to see a lot of it is not sticking, then go over the whole design again with the iron. Then, walk away again!

Hopefully, this won’t happen, but it did to me. And, when I finally got to peel away the foil, it looked good. (Except for that one spot, Grrrr!)

After you have your pretty design ironed onto the fabric, you can finish sewing the envelope cover. Then, insert your pillow form into the pillow cover and …voila! You have a beautiful piece of décor that will last through the holiday season and for years to come.

Have a great day!

 

Visit Michelle at her blog, Michelle James Designs!

 


 

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