Brown paper bags turned into holiday decorations

My sister-in-law is an amazing artist, one of those people who can do everything. She paints. She draws. She throws clay. She crafts. She crochets. She takes inspiring photographs. Even her name screams creative genius – Piper LaRue. Nice, right? So today I’m sharing a few of Piper’s masterpieces with you, specifically her hand-drawn gift bags. Yep, these all started as plain brown paper bags. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away after last Christmas so I trimmed, laminated, and framed them. Voila – handmade holiday decorations.

Santa Elvis

Santa fish

flying Santa

Santa puppet

If you don’t have access to an amazing young artist, you can find fabric and scrapbooking paper these days that’s frame-worthy. I’ve even seen some wrapping papers here that I would gladly hang on my wall. Do you have any “repurposed” holiday decorations? Send me a link, I’d love to see it.

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Last minute Thanksgiving decoarations

I don’t know if you’re aware but Thanksgiving is only EIGHT DAYS AWAY. This time next week people will be arriving at your house. Putting their feet on your furniture. Their heads on your pillows. Their bums on your toilets. It’s crunch time and while I’m no meal-planning or entertaining expert, I can offer some simple, last minute decorating ideas.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

1. Dry erase markers on dishes: I can’t take credit for this idea but I also can’t remember where I saw it. It was an easy update to my Halloween plate wall but if you don’t want to hang plates on your wall you could have all your guests sign or write what they’re thankful for on a large serving platter. Snap a picture of the finished platter at the end of the night for a lasting holiday memory. (NOTE: I tested my dry erase marker on the back of the plate first just to be sure it would erase.)

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

2. Seasonal fabric stretched in a large quilters hoop: I bought this hoop and fabric at JoAnn’s. There are no rules. Just find something you like, stretch it in the hoop, and pop it on the wall for a splash of seasonal color and pattern.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

3. Photographs: Scroll through your family photos and pick four or five faves that scream “FALL”. I’ve used several shots of my kids in the leaf pile, and this one of my baby girl holding an acorn sits on the mantle. Even photos that have an orange or yellow color theme would work. If you have digital images upload them to a one-hour processing center (I use Walgreens.com) and all you have to do is go pick them up.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

4. Candles: Candles are one of the quickest ways to set a mood. Mine are actually the fake, battery operated kind. I added a strip of golden scrapbooking paper along with some alphabet stickers to make them Thanksgivingy. You could use the same idea with different sized candles and place them down the center of the dining table. Just remember if you’re planning to light them, wrap the paper around a clear glass holder instead of directly around the candle so you don’t burn the house down – not a fun holiday idea.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving “quicky”?

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

It’s Movember. Time to put a spotlight on men’s health issues and, of course, have a little fun doing it. In addition to letting my mustache grow for the whole month I made these new Mustache and Lip Pillow Shams.

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

You can find them for sale over in my Etsy shop. While they were inspired by the Movember movement they would be the perfect gift any month of the year.

– Christmas/holidays
– traditional wedding
– gay wedding (2 staches or 2 lips)
– house warming
– kid’s/teen rooms

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Hope you love them as much as I do. I’m trying to figure out how I can make a donation for each Etsy purchase. Will let you know when I do.

Easy fall decorations

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the smells, the cool air, and of course, the decorations. I like to keep it simple and incorporate little bits of family. This bookshelf features a photo of my girls in this year’s leaf pile and one of the leaves, too.

easy fall decorations

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Outdoor Halloween decorations – Part 2

I thought I was done. After this post I really thought there was nothing else I could “Halloweenify” in my yard. I was wrong. While the hubs and I were outside last weekend he casually moved a bench from the patio to the yard to rake some leaves. I looked up, saw the old, leaning thing (the bench, not the hubs) surrounded by fall color and knew what I had to do.

We have a big circle of trees in our front yard that’s been screaming for a sculpture or some sort of center focal point for years. What’s more perfect than an old, wooden bench sitting under the trees on a blanket of fallen leaves? Here’s how it came out. Totally my favorite decoration of the entire season.

outdoor Halloween decorations

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Halloween porch and DIY outdoor Halloween decorations.

I’ve spent the last couple weeks sharing all the Halloween goodies in my home – a black and white themed Halloween plate wall, my first chevron stripe on the Halloween mantle, an entry decked out with witch’s potions, and some very happy martini drinking witches. Now it’s time to take a look at what I’ve got going on outside. As usual, most of it is DIY. Some say I’m creative. I’m really just cheap.

outdoor Halloween decorations

A hand-painted monogram & witch’s hat add a little character to this pumpkin topiary.

outdoor Halloween decorations

This DIY witch’s brew is made of spray foam insulation then painted green.

outdoor Halloween decorations

My front porch.

outdoor Halloween decorations

Inexpensive foam tombstones from Michael’s get a little extra paint
and fresh dirt to make a small cemetery in my empty flower bed.

outdoor Halloween decorations

My youngest daughter named this crow Freddy. No idea.

outdoor Halloween decorations

Dead branches, black spray paint, orange lights, and Dollar Store birds.

outdoor Halloween decorations

outdoor Halloween decorations

I had to share this little flag just because I love it.

What’s your favorite outdoor Halloween decoration? Do you go spooky or sweet?

Halloween plate wall

One of my many addictions is collecting cocktail plates and cocktail shakers. I created a rotating display space on my dining room wall so I can pick my favorites and admire them every day. I love to switch them out with the seasons or when I’m burning to change something up but have no dinero to spend – which is all the time. Sadly, when Halloween rolled around I realized I only had three measly plates to hang, zero shakers, and zero dollars. Time to get creative. Take a look at what I did.

Halloween plate wall

Halloween plate wall

Halloween plate wall

Halloween plate wall cocktail shakers

Halloween plate wall

The best part is, I only spent $9! Here’s how it breaks down.

Two plain black plastic plates from Target: $4.
Package of eyeball stickers from Michael’s: $1.
Black & white fabric from Jo-Anne’s: approximately $4.

Everything else came from somewhere in my house.
– The cool scenery plates are the three I mentioned earlier.
– The white plates are from my kitchen cabinet with free silhouette clip art added.
– The black square plate is one I bought at Target with eyeball stickers added.
– The skeleton plate is another Target buy with more free clip art.
– Most of the shakers are wearing free clip art.
– The crow is – what else? – a free clip art silhouette.
– Lastly, the large quilting hoop was already hanging where you see it, I just replaced the fabric to match the new black and white scheme.

If you like this you should check out what Jen did over at Tatertots & Jello. Cool chiz.      http://tatertotsandjello.com/2012/09/its-pumpkin-week-diy-halloween-plate-wall.html

Are you done decorating for Halloween? Or for fall? Send me a link so I can see what you’re up to.

My chevron Halloween mantle.

I decided the Halloween mantle would be perfect for my first DIY chevron stripe. If it sucked I could just call it “spooky”. Here’s how it turned out. Totally not sucking, btw.

chevron Halloween mantle 1

chevron Halloween mantle 3

chevron Halloween mantle 6

chevron Halloween mantle 2

chevron Halloween mantle 5

As always, I did it on the cheap. Here’s a quick run down of my “sources”.

1. Large frame: this frame is actually part of a print that hangs over our fireplace year-round. I simply painted my chevron stripes on a roll of craft paper, trimmed it to fit, and stuck it on with non-permanent scrapbook adhesive.
COST: FREE

chevron frame before

2. Small frame: I shopped the little frame from another room in the house. The “31” is printed on more craft paper and stuck on with more scrapbook adhesive.
COST: FREE

3. Candles: I already had these little votives and the holder. I picked them up at a garage sale a few years ago.
COST: FREE

4. Birds and pumpkin: Dollar Store (Paint and embellishments from my craft stash.)
COST: $3

5. Branches: my backyard
COST: FREE

6. Spider & embroidery floss: craft stash
COST: FREE

7. Brown jar: barn sale, purchased specifically for this project.
COST: $1

8. Wood stump: This is actually a votive holder that I turned upside-down.
COST: FREE

My total cost was only $4. And I learned to make chevron stripes. Happy-happy, joy-joy.

Since I’m celebrating my first chevron victory I thought I would try another first – a bloggy link-up. All that means is if you click on the cool little “Halloween Ideas” logo down there it will take you to a mazillion other amazing DIY projects for the season. Do it. Do it now.