December 10, 2013

Nature-Inspired Christmas

I love to change up my Christmas decorations every year, and usually make most of them myself. This year I've had a lot of fun playing around with my sewing machine, and I made some paper circle garland that I sewed together in greens, whites and painted some paper in metallics. I draped them on my mantel and piano for bright pops of color. I took a walk in a local park to collect the large sticks to make the star that I put above my mantel. I simply wired each connecting point together and I was done. The pine cone door decorations were a Pinspiration. They were incredibly easy to make too. I just used ribbon with drop of hot glue on the end to tie on the pine cones. The green one was made by cutting strips of burlap, gluing and tying in the same way.

Seems like we always get the itch to paint something this time of year, so this year it was the bay window wall. We painted it a dramatic charcoal called "Evening Hush" by Behr. I love how dramatic it looks, especially with light curtains and wall art. I drew the "Mistletoe" sign with chalk on my framed chalkboard on the same wall. This year we cut down a huge tree as tall as our 8 1/2 foot ceilings and placed it in a galvanized tub like last year. Merry Christmas!

October 25, 2013

Land of Nod Knock Off Winter Wondergraph Garland

I love making garlands! I pretty much have them up all year according to the seasons. This week, I made some soft and colorful fall leaves garland and it was a fun surprise to see one of my favorite projects from last holiday season getting featured on Copycat Crafts this week! I love this site and their amazing knock-off ideas!  I'm sure it's not too early to post a Christmas-ey project, especially since some people are having snowflakes falling this week! This garland is a knock-off from the Land of Nod, made by stenciling wax paper circles. Here's the featured link: Winter Wondergraph Garland
 And here's my tutorial "recycled" from last season, but still just as pretty!

Pin It

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. 

    Pin It

    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.

    October 22, 2013

    Fall Leaves Garland

    I am finally getting around to posting my fall decorations-and this year I actually have a sewing machine to piece together this colorful garland. I love garlands of all types all through the year.  It was so easy to trace leaves from my backyard and cut them out of the felt. I chose four different types of leaves and four bright colors.

    I simply stitched a straight line through each leaf and before I got to the end I overlapped the edges  just enough to attach it to the next one. I attached ribbon to each end by sewing the ribbon through the backside of the end leaf. I added a few embellishments on some of the leaves using the decorative stitch setting in zig zag shapes. It took only one afternoon to make this pretty fall garland!

    Sharing at some of these link parties!

    September 13, 2013


     This spring, I finally bought myself a sewing machine to rekindle those skills I learned long ago from home ec class and from my grandmother. I had been intimidated by the thought of all their is to learn, but after I saw the adorable and affordable IKEA machine, I decided it's now or never. I learned that you don't have sew completely perfect lines for your project to turn out!

    My first big project was this pouf idea I had pinned long ago, with the tempting free pattern from Better Homes and Gardens. My feet longed to be propped up in my reading corner slouching in my leather chair, but being big on thrift, I refused to pay the $100 price tags I had seen in stores for foot poufs. I am so proud of my results-the best part is that it only cost me about $15 to make!

    Here's how I made my foot pouf: 

    I followed this tutorial from BHG

    I scored some sturdy cotton upholstery fabric for only $2 in a cream color that I decided to PAINT, yes PAINT with yellow latex paint. I just rolled it on each panel before sewing with a paint roller and let dry. It actually makes the fabric feel more like suede than just cotton, but if I ever did it again, I'd paint the fabric AFTER sewing because it was quite thick to sew through (but still doable).

    The project is so affordable because it says to use an old clean bedsheet as the second lining for the panels, and to stuff the pouf with old towels, blankets, etc. It saved me a trip to donating old things to the thrift store! Get this, I actually repurposed some 2 liter plastic bottles in there to fill up space. No one would ever know!

    To finish, you just fill in the outermost parts with soft fiberfill for evening out the appearance of the pouf.  The hardest part about this project was the embroidery part-I guess I could have done without it, but it makes it look so tailored that way. You just have to measure between stitches and practice the stitch. Using a curved upholstery needle helped too!

    As you can see, the pouf is great for tickling little toddlers on...and propping up the feet! My corner is so much more cozy and bright. So glad I tackled this big project and refreshed my sewing skills!  I am excited to try some of these fun projects from my Pinterest page: Sewing Skills

    Linking up with some of these parties! 

    August 23, 2013

    Houzz Tours!

    This spring, my husband and I got the amazing ongoing opportunity to photograph and write for, "the largest collecion of interior design and decorating ideas on the Internet".  

    Our jobs are to scout out uniquely designed and decorated homes in the Midwest that offer fresh and inspiring ideas for the Houzz community. Jeff does a great job photographing the spaces, and I interview the people who live there and write all about what they love most and what inspires them. Here are a few links to the ones we've done so far:

    Architects, interior designers, and more ∨

    Ideas for your lamp, lamps and lighting fixtures design.
    Browse inspiring bedroom design, then outfit your own bed furniture, convertible sleeper sofa ordaybed with designer bedding sets and a decorative pillow.

    Architects, interior designers, and more ∨

    Ideas for your lamp, lamps and lighting fixtures design.
    Select outdoor furniture to match your style, a designer garden shed or even greenhouses to personalize your landscape.

    I have been amazed by each and every home so far and have been inspired by each one. Stay tuned for more Houzz tours!


    Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ∨

    Whether granite countertops, a custom kitchen island, or a built-in wine rack are new kitchen musts, discover thousands of kitchen designs to help make your dream come true.
    Find curtain panels and plantation shutters for french doors, or kitchen curtains and a curtain rod for your kitchen windows.

    July 18, 2013

    Bedroom Revamp: Reclaimed Wood Headboard and Wax Paper Chandelier

     Our bedroom has been a work in progress. It actually started about two summers ago.(You can see what I worked on back then by clicking here and here.)

    I had been wanting a cool headboard for a while, and a search through Pinterest led me to love the idea of nailing reclaimed wood into the walls. So, this spring, my husband found a pile of free untreated (chemical-free) wood planks. It doesn't get any better than free!

    So, my husband measured and cut them to size, then drilled them into our wall panel in this cool pattern. I love it against the pale yellow walls! It reminds me of a barn door-so rustic and unrefined. And, the feminine part was added by me. I made the faux capiz shell chandelier-also seen all over Pinterest. It was the fifth one I've made-so I'm pretty much an expert by now! (for pictures of the other chandeliers and the tutorial-click here

    Pin it 

    May 10, 2013

    Nursery Reveal

    I am so excited to finally reveal my baby's nursery today! As soon as we knew this baby was going to be a permanent part of our family, I got busy working on the room remodel and some crafty accents to go with it.  I had been creating a Pinterest board of all my ideas and color schemes in the months leading up to the adoption.

    I wanted to rip out the cheap tan carpet and paint the floors white. I wanted to paint the boring tan walls a paler color with bright accent colors. I also wanted an eclectic look with a gallery wall full of whimsical and vintage art.

    Here are a few shots of what the room looked like before: 

    I am a fan of nice hardwood floors, but these floors were in bad shape after 90 years!  The cheaper way to go was to paint the floors. My husband helped with that part and already had some practice from painting the floors for our older Boys' Bedroom Makeover  the summer before.

    After painting the walls Whetstone Gray by Martha Stewart, I wanted to add some bright stripes to the entry wall. I used Frog Tape and this technique, since my walls are textured, for perfectly straight lines. 

    I love how the bright orange and green stripes add pops of color to the room-I chose stripes because I think it's a look that will blend into big boy decor when he's older.

    I painted the doors and table in the room the same green as the stripes-Lily Pad, also by Martha Stewart. I painted chalkboard paint on the crib panel so I can write fun messages on it for him-and in his toddler years I'm sure he'll have fun scribbling with chalk.  The tree art is was made for me by a local artist friend, Dani Herrera, who makes amazing things with reclaimed denim, zippers and more.

    Pin It

    I've had this table for a while and this is now the third color it's been. After painting it, I distressed it with a sanding sponge to reveal hints of white and added new knobs for a brand new look. The thrift store magazine rack is where books are held, next to the comfy chair for bedtime stories.

    I made this artwork with a printout given to me by a friend. I traced the elephant onto dictionary paper, cut it out and Mod Podged the whole thing to pallet planks. The curtains and fabric shades are both from IKEA. We have been replacing all of the wooden blinds in the house with ones without cords for safety.

    I made this mobile by stenciling airplanes and clouds onto cardstock, cutting out, hole punching and attaching twine. I used an embroidery hoop for the top of the mobile.

    Pin It

    I moved this IKEA shelving into the baby's room for clothing and the boys' got a bigger dresser to share. The accordian style wall hook fixture was a thrift store find. It also makes a fun display for finger puppets.

    Here's the gallery wall-a combination of baby and family photos and some crafty things I made. I loved the idea of hot air balloons combined with Dr. Seuss' "Oh, The Places You'll Go" phrase, so I made this artwork by painting and stenciling a canvas, then cutting out a 3-D hot air balloon out of card stock and gluing to the canvas. I  repurposed an IKEA night light  by cutting out cloud shapes onto navy blue paper and attaching to the light fixture. I Mod Podged an old frame with sheet music, adding a photo of baby's newborn toes.

     It was so much fun redoing this room and I think baby boy loves it too. He squeals with delight when he gets to play there. It was created on a budget and most accessories were either handmade, thrift store finds or things I already had in the house that I repurposed and used for his room. There's so much for him to look at and play with and it was a really great way to celebrate him becoming "finally forever". We love having him be a part of our family!

    Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple!

     I link up at these and this parties.