November 26, 2012

Two Ways to Reuse Vintage Christmas Lights

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Here's an easy repurposing Christmas decorating idea I thought of while my husband was stringing up lights outside. We like to put the big fat vintage looking lights out there. But one strand wasn't working. Instead of throwing the whole thing out, I unscrewed the lightbulbs and put all the blue, green and white ones inside of a hanging lantern in my dining room.  

Then I filled a mason jar with the warm colors, red and orange.

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I like it because it's fun, easy and unexpected. And I'm not piling lightbulbs into a landfill...
Next, I'll show you my fireplace facelift. Something about Christmas coming gave me the itch to finally paint the dark brick to transform the look completely. Stay tuned for the big reveal! 

Linking up with these parties

November 23, 2012

DIY Winter Snowflake Garland

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Today, on Black Friday, I didn't join all the crazies in lines at the stores and road rage on the road.  Instead, after a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving with my family, I decided to get to work on some DIY Christmas decorations like these beauties. 

I love browsing through catalogs for ideas I can make the cheaper copycat way. I got inspired to make this lacey garland after seeing Land of Nod's Winter Wondergraph Garland below:

 I was convinced I could make a thrifty version of this garland with materials I already had stashed at home. Land of Nod's description says they were made with "coated paper" so I decided to try using wax paper, using a technique I learned when I made my Faux Capiz Shell Chandelier.

Here's what you'll need to make this garland: 
  • wax paper
  • parchment paper
  • iron
  • circle cutter or scissors and circle to trace
  • white acrylic craft paint
  • string or thread
  • needle
  • round patterned adhesive stencil (I used Martha Stewart's craft line)
  • paint pouncer or craft paint brush
First,  iron three squares of wax paper together sandwiched in between two pieces of parchment paper. 

After paper is cool, use circle cutter to make circles a few inches wide ( or trace and cut out circles) I cut out twenty for my garland. 

Then, press your circle stencils to the center of paper circles and paint with pouncer or brush. 

I used two different sizes to create a lacey snowflake pattern. 

Finally, push thread in and out of top of each circle using a sewing needle until each circle is connected for your finished garland. 

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You can hang your finished garland in a Christmas tree, across a wall or in a window like I did. I love the delicate look of these in my kitchen window and plan on keeping them up all winter long! 
Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple! 

p.s. If you loved this idea, please check out the rest of my holiday tutorials here!

Linking up with these parties. 

November 17, 2012

Burlap and Pom Pom Christmas Wreath

Yes, Christmas decorating has started around here... At least for the outside of the house, since it's been perfect weather for stringing up the lights while the temperatures are still in the 50's. So, I decorated my door with this ruffly burlap wreath I made, inspired by this one. I made mine out of a burlap coffee bag I'd been saving for a while, and since it had red and green print, I thought it would look great as a Christmas wreath.

Here's what I used to make my wreath:

  • burlap, cut into three inch strips (or you could use burlap ribbon)
  • wire
  • wire cutters
  • wire wreath frame
  • small pom poms, in green and white
  • white yarn
  • green eyelash yarn
  • hot glue gun

To make the wreath, follow the tutorial at this blog.
Here are some of my personal helpful tips while making the wreath:

I didn't worry about using a single strip of fabric, it worked fine for me using several strips, and I like the frayed edges, shabby chic style. But if you want a neater look, you could use burlap ribbon on a roll. I also twisted circle of folded fabric around before securing with wire to the wreath frame.
To finish, I secured the loose ends of fabric to the wreath circle with wire so it wouldn't droop.

Then, I played around with some ribbon for a bow, but decided a bow was not what this wreath needed. No, it needed some whimsical touches-soft fuzzy white yarn, fringey green and blue eyelash yarn and green and white pom poms.

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Yes, I was happy with this Christmas wreath. I loved all the texture and playfulness. I joked that it reminded me of a cat toy. The nice thing about the way I decorated this wreath is that if I want to take off the yarn and pompoms and keep the burlap for a spring or fall wreath, it could be done easily. If you like this wreath, check out last year's Remade Winter Wreath or for more of my seasonal tutorials, click here.

Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple!

Linking up with these parties.

November 2, 2012

Simple Thanksgiving Felt Garland

So, the holiday season is here again. You might have noticed, I haven't been posting as much as when I started this blog a year ago. I have been on a crafting/project marathon this past year-so many projects completed, so many new ideas and techniques I got to try! It's been a lot of fun sharing my ideas and "meeting" all of you! I have been overwhelmed with your nice comments and thrilled with being featured on bigger sites.

But I have decided to take it slow for the next few months. Anyone who blogs knows how time consuming it and even competitive it can be, especially during this season. But I just want to enjoy time with my family and friends. Yes, I do have a few Christmas ideas up my sleeve and I hope you get a chance to check out last year's ideas. I hope you will still stay with me. In the spirit of recycling I am reposting this Thanksgiving idea from last year: Simple Thanksgiving Felt Garland.

I love Thanksgiving--it is such a simple season of gratitude--I think it's important to remember the ways we are blessed. I always think it's a shame that this holiday often gets overlooked by the rushed Christmas season ahead.

This year, I decided to celebrate a little early and decorate with a simple reminder to "be thankful". I have been loving all the machine sewn together felt garland I've seen around different blogs and on Pinterest.

Since I don't have a sewing machine yet,  I decided to put an old-fashioned spin on designing my own by hand stitching the garland.  I was excited to find some recycled felt made from Eco-Fi-made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles by the brand Creatology. Plastic bottles never felt so soft...

Here's what you'll need to make this project: 

  1. Yarn needle

  2. Felt in various colors

  3. Fabric scissors

  4. Yarn-I used two types of textures, but used the smooth kind for the lettering

  5. Glue gun or tacky glue

  6. Small circular containers in different sizes to trace-try a spice jar or medicine cup.

  7. Pen or pencil 

  8. First, I traced my circles around the containers-I alternated between two different sizes.

    Then, I cut out each circle until I had enough to spell out my words. I used 11 circles.

    Next, I threaded my yarn needle with the wavy yarn and stitched loosely through the center of the first circle.

    I repeated the process, leaving about an inch between circles, until I ended up with a long chain of circles, like this:

    To make the words, "be thankful" I cut small pieces of straight orange yarn and just looped and connected the pieces to form each letter. I then glued each letter to the center of the circle.

    (keep in mind that I formed the letters first before trying to glue them!)

    Are you ready to see the finished garland?  Here it is!

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    a shot from below, the garland is held in place by the gourds:

    I love my colorful reminder to "be thankful"...

    If you liked this idea, I hope you get inspired by checking out the rest of my holiday tutorials! And be blessed this season...

    Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple!

    Linking up with these parties: