November 29, 2011

A Colorful DIY Holiday Garland

A big thank you to Vanessa from for the great write up and feature of this post on 30 Beautifully Inventive DIY Christmas Decorations
Don't these cheerful pom poms make you smile just looking at them? I got inspired after looking at the adorable Land of Nod Christmas catalog where the rooms were decorated with this fun pom pom garland. (The same catalog I made my whimsy trees out of.) 
I told you my theme this year for decorating is "childlike and whimsical". My whole family is loving  the bright, cheerful colors. 
And if you have little kids (like I do) they can't break them or really cause much damage. (I have a whole kid-friendly tree up in my house! ) 
And they are so, so simple to make you can do it relaxing in front of your favorite Christmas movie. Or if you have an older child, they could help, too, since yarn needles aren't sharp.
All you need are pom poms in whatever color you like, yarn, and a yarn needle. 
I made a couple of sets-these with fun, bright green eyelash yarn, and another all white strand that looks like puffy little snowballs. My youngest son only managed to yank them off the tree once (so far...)

  • Here's what you do: 
  • Thread your yarn needle with yarn. 
  • Push the needle through one pom pom at a time, spacing them until you have a strand in the length you want. 
  • Knot the end. 
  • You're done! (See I told you it was so easy-- you barely needed this tutorial! )

So much fun! 

 Next, I'm excited to show you some handmade, cheap,  unbreakable, kid-friendly ornaments I've been making! 
Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple! 

Linking up with these parties and this party.

November 28, 2011

Remade Winter Wreath

Here is an easy, elegant wreath idea I came up with combining two of my favorite things: repurposing and nature. I used a white thrift store scarf and some tiny pinecones attached to branches. 

I brushed the pinecones with some pale aqua paint to add some color. I hung the wreath with sheer ribbon also in pale aqua. I think this wreath is versatile enough to display for Christmas and all winter long. 

A wreath too pretty to just hang on my outside door--it is hanging on my closet door in my living room so I can admire it inside. 

Next, I'll be showing you some colorful, handmade Christmas garland and ornaments. 

Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple! 

Linking up with these parties, and this party!

November 27, 2011

Mini Rosette Christmas Tree

If you've been following along, you'll probably know I've been doing a "mini series" of three types of miniature Christmas trees I've been making. If you are just now tuning in and missed all the fun of the first two, you can click here and here to view them! 

Here is the final of the three trees made with cloth rosettes and beads. This was the most time consuming tree of all to make, but I am really happy with how it turned out. 

In keeping with the recycled theme of most of my projects, I'm proud to say the cloth I used to make the rosettes was repurposed from a dress and cotton tote of mine that were wearing out, but could still be used for craft purposes. 

If you've been browsing through blogland, you'll  know that rosettes are all the rage and that there are tons of tutorials out there for them. But if you don't know how to make them and would like a good tutorial, click here to view a cool blog called Craftaholics Anonymous (she has lots of other great tutorials on there with great pictures-go check it out! )

To make these, I used a floral foam cone and just made a ton of rosettes and glue gunned them to the cone. Because there were little gaps where you could see the foam, I glued in some metallic beads to fill in the spaces. I attached tulle bows to the top for the "star" along with a few silver  jingle bells.

Then I glued three wine corks to the bottom as my "trunk". This finishes my mini tree collection!  I hope you enjoyed the "mini series" of little trees! I will be having fun this week decorating for Christmas and finding places to display them in my house. 

Stay tuned these next couple of weeks for more original, homemade Christmas decorations including garland, ornaments and wreaths by ReMadeSimple. 

Thanks for reading! 


Linking up with these parties and this party.

November 22, 2011

Upcycled MIni Christmas Trees

Ok, drumroll is number two of my "mini series" of Christmas tree to display in your home!   I am going to have a mini forest!

If you missed my first whimsical paper tree made from a Land of Nod catalog, click here to view. I'm proud to say these trees were made using mostly upcycled and natural materials-Izze bottle caps, wine corks and reindeer moss.

My inspiration for these all started with my collection of Izze bottle caps. If you've never had an Izze, you are missing out on the most perfectly refreshing bubbly fruit juice with the cutest little bottles and caps I can't throw away (and no, they are not paying me to write this! )

I love collecting the caps because of the pretty flower shape on them. I have used them on frames and chalkboards I thought they would be fun as ornaments on my tree.

I also have this wine cork collection I've been using in different projects. I thought they would be perfect for the bases of the trees. I used three together to help keep the trees steady. Do you want to get started on your Christmas forest like mine? Here's what you'll need:

  1. floral foam cone
  2. glue gun
  3. reindeer moss (I used two different colors)
  4. bottle caps (I used Izze)
  5. wine corks (three for each tree)
  6. ribbon
  7. tulle
  8. small jingle bells (I used three)
  9. scissors

Pull out small pieces of the moss at a time and glue, covering the cone completely. 

Apply glue around edge of one bottle cap at a time, press firmly into the cone.

Cut several pieces of ribbon and tulle a few inches long. 
Knot together and glue to top of tree. Glue three jingle bells to top.

Glue three corks together. Glue them to base of tree. 

I love how these turned out-- they go along with my childlike, whimsical theme this year and I can't wait to decorate for Christmas! Are you excited to see tree number three? Stay tuned later this week! Thanks for reading and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up with these parties and this party.

November 20, 2011

Whimsical Paper Christmas Trees

I'm excited to start this first post of three about the mini Christmas trees I've been making!

 As much as I don't like to rush through fall and Thanksgiving into Christmas, I realize as a crafty girl I needed to work on these decorations early before live gets too busy, and, of course, to show all of you who might want to make them!

I realize a theme is starting for my Christmas decorating-everything I've been making is colorful, whimsical, childlike with a bit of Dr. Suess style thrown in--these trees remind me of something out his "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" movie/book.

And they were practically free to make! I got inspired by the Land of Nod catalog that mysteriously arrived in my mail-with all their adorable, overpriced toys. The catalog was so colorful I wanted to use it for something besides the recycling bin.

I am proud to say I came up with idea all by myself! The result was a set of playful, colorful whimsical mini paper Christmas trees for a mantle, centerpiece or table. I made a set of 3 in different heights. I love them!

Are you ready to try some yourself?

Here's what you'll need:
1. colorful catalog/magazine 
2. scissors
3.  glue stick or glue gun
4. t.p. roll for base or cork + dowel pushed into center
5. jingle bell
6. optional-foam floral cone to help support the glued paper cone

I used a foam cone to help shape the paper and press down the applied glue. Then, I cut little slits all around the base of the cone about an inch long. This will be the top of the tree.

Repeat these four steps again for the second and third layer, except instead of 
forming it into a cone, you will form the strips of paper into a cylinder shape. 

For the trunk base, I used a toilet paper roll to hold up the tree. Another option I used was a cork with a dowel pressed into the center-also holds up the tree well.

 I love how I can see the little catalog toys on these cheerful little trees and that the base makes them sit at a slight angle, Dr. Suess style. Stay tuned this week for more adorable mini Christmas trees!

Linking up with these parties! and this one 
Free Printable Here

November 18, 2011

Simple Centerpiece

Would you like to see another simple, thrifty elegant centerpiece idea for a wedding or a party? 

I  saw this idea at a wedding this summer and thought it looked so pretty-simple, vintage and elegant all at the same time. I decorated my table like this for a gathering we had at our house recently (the kids were gone so I could actually have candles and breakables within reach! )

I bought my tea lights at IKEA-the nice wide kind that burn a little longer than the standard ones, and I used two different sizes of Ball jars-arranging them in a set of three on a nice antique cake plate a friend gave me.

I love how the candles glow and sparkle in the jars! 

Wouldn't these be pretty hanging from a tree on a nice summer night? 

Linking up with these parties. and this one

November 15, 2011

Pretty Repurposed Tea Light Holders

Last year when my youngest was a baby I had so many baby food jars I didn't know what to do with them. They are the perfect size for so many uses and I hated to just throw them in the recycling bin, so I decided to grab some Mod Podge and transform a few of into these elegant little tea light holders! 

Here's what you need to make them:
  1. Baby food jars
  2. Mod Podge (I used the glossy kind)
  3. colorful tissue paper (I used a glittery paisley print)
  4. wide paint brush or sponge brush
  5. wire
  6. wire cutters
  7. tea light candles
I started with clean, dry jars. 

Then I brushed a thin layer of Mod Podge onto each jar with the brush. (It will look cloudy when wet.)

Next I carefully wrapped a sheet of tissue paper forming it to the jar and smoothing it. 

I then sealed the paper with a final layer of Mod Podge, covering all of the paper and smoothing out the bubbles with the brush onto the glass.  

After the Mod Podge was dry (it will look clear), I wrapped some silver wire around the top to finish and clipped with a wire cutter. I was finished!
 I love how the tissue paper glows when lit with the tea light candles. Would be perfect displayed in a group for the holiday season or a wedding!

Linking up with these parties!

Coming Soon to ReMadeSimple 3 days of Miniature Christmas Trees for your Home 11-20-11

November 13, 2011

Bleach Pen Fabric Art

Have any plain T-shirts laying around that you're bored with? I first saw this fun idea on Pinterest by a blog called Show Tell Share and I couldn't wait to try it.

I think it made me reminisce to my '90's childhood days of designing shirts and canvas shoes with puffy fabric paint. (I thought I was so cool! )

I love that this technique looks a little like batik (and not so '90's).  Here's what I saw:

bleached T-Shirt designs from Show Tell Share

After seeing this idea, I went through some of my kids' clothes and some of my own to see if there were any with little stains on them that I could disguise this way. I also went to the grocery store and picked up my Clorox bleach pen-around $2-3.

I decided on a green shirt for my son that had a bleach mark already on it. This was so simple and fun to do!

Here's what you'll need: 
1. Clorox gel bleach pen 
2. Cotton shirt or fabric of your choice
3. Plastic to line the back of fabric (plastic bag, wax paper, or cereal box liner). 

First, lay the fabric out flat on table. Place plastic liner in between front and back of fabric so bleach doesn't bleed through. Then, draw whatever design you want-I did freestyle numbers for my son's shirt.

It's fun to watch the bleach slowly lighten up the fabric until you see your design. Be prepared for a bleachy smell in your house. Opening up windows might help!

The nice thing about the bleach pen is that it comes out as a gel, with two different ends for flow options.

Allow the gel to dry completely onto fabric for a few hours. Then throw in the wash and dry!

my son happily holding up his shirt
I'm glad my son liked his shirt! (I know my time is limited with them willing to wear what I make for them...) I'm excited to try this technique on some of my shirts, and maybe some pillows, curtains or a table runner. Does this inspire you to go color with bleach like it did for me?

Linking up with these parties!

The Amazing Peanut Butter-Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment

I'm excited to bring to you today the first recipe post on ReMadeSimple. (Mmmm... it is a good one!)  Since I also love to cook and bake I thought it would be fun to post some favorite recipes here and there. So, just in time for your holiday baking,  here is what I think is the best cookie recipe I've ever tried, courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker.

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I decided it would be nice to start baking a little more than I used to, and I was determined to find the best recipe I could for chocolate chip cookies -and not just use the recipe off the back of the chocolate chips bag anymore.

Since I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate (think Reese's), I wondered if the two could be combined into a great cookie. I found this great cooking blog called "Brown Eyed Baker" who had a recipe for peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies so I decided to give it a try.

I modified the recipe slightly only because I ran out of regular oatmeal (I used only about half regular rolled oats called for in the recipe) and also only had salted butter. So, I used Gerber baby oatmeal for the rest, (yes, with a 9 month old in the house at the time, there is an abundance of that.) and salted butter and since I doubled the recipe, used only 1/2 the salt called for. I also used whole white wheat flour instead of regular white for more fiber.

I was a little nervous I'd ruin the cookies, but I guess I thought it would be fun to experiment. Believe it or not they turned out amazing! Jeff said the baby oatmeal made the texture smoother than regular oatmeal in cookies. It was a success! These are the best cookies I've ever made.

I also used a couple techniques mentioned on the blog to get a "bakery perfect" result. One technique to get the nice crinkly top to the cookies and not have flat ones was to form the ball (I used a 2 Tbsp. scoop) then pull it apart, turn about 90 degrees and put back together again, then place on the cookie sheet. The other technique was to take the cookies out of the oven after 10 minutes and let them finish cooking on the cookie sheet until they are cool-(not removing  right away or cooling on a baking rack).

I didn't even have to use parchment paper (well, I actually didn't have any left) just a regular cookie sheet, and I used a pizza stone for some of them, which worked well, too.  I used to get annoyed making cookies before because the batter would get too sticky to work with and would stick to everything, but this mixture was almost fluffy, not sticky, very easy to clean up--and irresistable to eat, too. After the cookies cooled down, I stored them in an airtight container at room temperature. This will be my favorite cookie recipe from now on!

two tablespoon measurements
breaking in half, twisting

reconnecting cookie to make "bakery perfect" crinkles

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 16 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole white wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.
4. Use a large cookie scoop (I used 2 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Click here to view BrownEyedBaker

     Are you drooling yet? Now go try this recipe!

Linking up with these parties.