Simple Patty’s Day Decorations

Alright all, letting the big secret out…I’m not Irish at all!  Not even a tiny bit.  But that’s ok, because I still like to celebrate St. Patty’s day!  I don’t usually go all out, considering the whole not Irish part, but decided to do something small this year.

Off to the Target $spot it was!  Look at the goodies I found:

I picked up two $1 tins, .50 cent ribbon, and two sets of hair barrettes for a buck each.  Not bad!

The hair barrettes had the clip seriously attached, so rather than destroy the back I decided to leave them on:

I took the pink and green ribbon off the spool, since they matched the barrettes perfectly.  Attached a dab of hot glue, and started attaching the ribbon:

I added a dot of glue at each corner to make sure the ribbon stayed secure.  When I got to the end, I was short by a couple inches.  Shucks!  Good thing I’m not a perfectionist!

I then attached the pink ribbon in the same fashion, and it was even shorter!  Darn!

I attached the barrette, clip and all, with hot glue…attempting to cover the gap in the ribbon.  That will be the backside, no biggie.

I flipped the tin over and attached the second barrette to the other side.  Ahhh, much better:

I repeated the process with the second tin:

Added some decorative yummy smelling potpourri (is that spelled right?) and spiced up my shelves a little bit!

I love the little touch it adds!  That’s about all the St. Patrick’s Day decorations you’ll be seeing around my neck of the woods.  But hey, everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s, right?

On to other news, my favorite part about working in the public school system is…school vacations!  This whole week is school vacation week, and it feels amazing!  I’m loving getting to sleep in, and get caught up on grad school.  I passed in a fairly large paper this afternoon, and filled my home hours for one student, which means for the rest of the week, I really am on vacation!  Woohoo!

I also finished filing my taxes last night.  Hello $2000 in returns!  Half will go straight to our moving savings, the other half will go straight to the credit card.  That’s enough to pay off the full balance!  Happy Dance!

In even more exciting news, B’s wrestling season is officially done-zo!  While we wish the team made if farther in the finals, I can’t say I’m disappointed to end my wrestling-widow months, and gain my man back!  Happy Happy!

To celebrate/cheer up the bummed coach, we went ice skating this weekend.  I haven’t been ice skating since I was a kid.  Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about wiping out the entire time.  But I only fell once!  And it was a result of trying to avoid running into a little kid…overall it was fun, and B had a blast!

Here’s a quick photo recap!

Can you tell that mountain man doesn’t shave/cut his hair all season!  Outta control!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week…check back later for some of the fun things I get to finish while I have some time off this week!

Faux Capiz Shell Chandelier

If you can recall from last weeks Stuff I like Sunday, I highlighted the gorgeous paper capiz shell chandelier that Brenna from Design Sponge made:

I decided that this looked easy enough, and would be the perfect addition to the mini-overhaul I’m working on in my bathroom.  This is what I had to work with:

Bare light bulb, yuck.

Cute huh?  Definitely in need of a makeover!

First thing I did was gather my supplies…wax paper, parchment paper, ironing board, and iron.  Ready, set…Go!

wax and parchment paper

The parchment paper is used so that when you iron your wax paper, the wax doesn’t melt all over the iron or board.  Nothing worse than going to use the iron the next time and having melted wax all over your clothes 🙁

You are going to need to iron together 3 sheets of wax paper, so tear off 3 equal squares of paper.  Then tear 2 sheets of equal sized parchment paper

Now you are going to make a paper sandwich.  First layer is a square of parchment paper, lay this down on the ironing board.  If you do not have an ironing board, lay a towel down to protect your surface and put the parchment paper on top of the towel.

Now lay down the 3 pieces of wax paper, on top of the original layer of the parchment paper.

Add the second piece of parchment paper on top of the layers of wax paper.  Mine wasn’t quite big enough so I ended up adding an additional piece of parchment paper to cover the edges.

paper sandwich

You should now have 5 layers…parchment paper, wax paper, wax paper, wax paper, parchment paper.  You are ready to iron!  Set your iron on a low setting, and iron over the top layer of parchment paper.

iron on top of the parchment paper

I then flipped the wax paper over and ironed again to make sure there were no bubbles.  Using the 3 sheets of wax paper help to give the appearance of the Capiz Shell.  Here are a couple examples of what your wax paper will look like once it is all ironed together:

Follow the above steps for multiple sheets of was paper.  You will need a bunch of them…trust me!  I went through over a roll of wax paper.

Now is when you would get out your handy dandy circular hole punch.  But, if you are a super cheapo like me, and don’t have a circular hole punch….there are some extra steps to follow.  This was probably the most tedious part of the whole process…

I went off in search of a circular object, approximately 2″ across, that I could trace.  I found my “grown-up” piggy bank, and the cork in the top was the perfect size:

I took one sheet of the pre-ironed wax paper, the cork, and a pencil and got to work tracing…

Here is what you should end up with:

hard to see, but it is a bunch of traced circles!

In order to save cutting time, I stapled together 3 sheets of wax paper:

Then it’s time to start cutting.  You will need a whole bunch of circles, so follow the above steps numerous times:

 Now it was time to start forming my strings of circles.  I found some white string to use.  Make sure the measure a couple extra inches on the end, because you will be tying the strings onto your basket.  I left about four inches hanging off the end.  I laid everything out on paper, so that my hot glue wouldn’t drip onto the top of my table.

 I decided to make my strings about 8 circles long.  Here I lined them up to make sure everything looked ok:

Begin attaching the circles to the string with a small dot of hot glue.  I attached each circle directly to the string, rather than to each other, in order to allow more movement.  Get ready, because this process takes forever!

 Here is what a string of the circles looks like completed:

Now I went off in search of a basket to use for my light fixture.  I found an old wooden one, and spray painted it white, to help it blend in.

Later on, I did end up cutting out some of the base of the basket in order to allow more light to shine through.  I will show you this further down in the tutorial.

It is now time to begin tying on strings of circles.  I started at the bottom and tied on each string at every third intersection on the basket:

Each time that I moved up a row on the basket, I used one less circle, in order to create a layered look.  For example, all of the bottom strings have 8 circles.  The next layer has 7 circles on each string, the next level has 6 circles on each string, etc.  By the time I reached the top my strings only had 3 circles attached to each string.

Here is what my basket looks like with the first few strings of circles attached:

I attached my basket to the light by attaching 3 white paperclips, and stringing them from the basket to lip of the previous light fixture that was installed.  I evenly spaced the strings of paperclips so that the basket was hanging evenly:

Now you just continue to tie on strings of circles:

Once I got to the very top of my basket, I used the glue gun to glue the circle directly to the basket.  This helped to eliminate the wood showing at the top.  Here is what it looks like completely covered:

 Here is what it looks like from underneath where you can see how I removed the center of the basket to allow for more light flow:

And a couple more finished product shots.

 What do you think?  It’s certainly not perfect, but I think it has come a long way from the lonely light bulb that was there to begin with!

Overall I was pretty resourceful and was able to complete this project almost entirely with materials I already had at home.  The only thing I had to purchase was the wax paper and parchment paper.  Overall, I spent less than $5.  Love it!

If this is a project that you are considering doing yourself, please be forewarned that it takes FOREVER!  This was certainly not a one day project.  Things would have gone a lot faster without the need to cut out each individual circle, a hole punch would be a wise investment.  However, it certainly isn’t impossible without one!

Happy crafting!

Simply Living

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Bathroom Topiary

As promised, here is a tutorial for the cute little bathroom topiary you got a sneak peek of over in my Finished Wall Art post.

I originally got the idea from Greenbean’s Crafterole (her’s are way cuter than mine!), and decided it was time to put my own spin on the cute decoration for my mini-bathroom overhaul.

First stop was good old Target.  I was able to pick up 50% of my supplies there…the rest I had lying around the house.  Here’s what you need:

All of the supplies I purchased came from the $ spot at Target, woohoo!  Bucket, ribbon, and Loofah (2/$1).  I actually purchased the ribbon for another project, but it fit right in.  Now for the supplies I had lying around – Chopsticks (which I used for a dowel, you can use anything.  If you remember from my last topiary project, I used an unsharpened pencil), glue gun, tissue paper, and colored gems.

First step, cover the dowel in ribbon.

Cover dowel (chopstick in my case) with ribbon

I added a small dot of hot glue, attached the ribbon and started wrapping.  I only covered about 3/4 of the way down the chop stick because the bottom half will be covered inside of the bucket.  Once you get down as far as you need to go, end with another dot of hot glue to secure everything.

Now, make a rather large glob of hot glue on the uncovered end of your dowel (chopstick in my case) and attach to the center of your bucket.  Hold in place for at least 30 seconds while the glue cools down and firms up.

You should then be able to let go and your dowel will be securely in place.  Because I didn’t have any empty ribbon rolls hanging around, I just rolled up tissue paper to use as space fillers.  Again, this step is so that you need less of the gems to fill the bucket.

I then attached the Loofah.  Cut off the excess loop of rope. (this is so you can hang a loofah in the shower, but you don’t want it hanging down from your topiary.  Just be careful not to cut it too close, because this is also what holds to Loofah together!)  I then found the center, added a generous amount of hot glue, and stuck on top of the dowel (chopstick).  Hold in place for at least 30 seconds to make sure the glue has cooled down and firmed up.

If necessary, add more glue to make sure everything stays in place securely.  Once everything seems fairly solid, it is now time to add the decorative filler to the bucket in order to cover up the tissue paper.  I happened to have gems lying around that were the perfect complimentary color to my bucket.

Excuse the blurriness!

Now, your topiary is complete!

 Don’t you think its a whimsical but cute accessory for the bathroom?  I love how they turned out, and I think the added pop of color brighten up the room immensely!  And the best part?  This project cost my $2.50!  I did end up making two, which came out to $4 (buckets – $1/each, Loofah – 2 for $1, ribbon – $1, everything else I already had at home) talk about a bargain!   Here they are in place:

 Stay tuned for another bathroom spruce up project later this weekend…and the full bathroom reveal next week.  Thanks for stopping by!

Simply Living

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Organized Work Space

Speaking of school (check out my post here), I decided it was high time to get an organized space going.  Since moving back in the with the folks last spring, my space is somewhat limited.  But with Sister #2 off at college, I decided to commandeer her desk area, and give it a little inexpensive face lift.

Here’s what I started with:

Gotta love the outdated calendar and the Gandhi Poster!

A little messy, since it is full of things she didn’t need at school with her.  I did a little shopping at my go-to spot, Ikea!  I picked up a plain white magnetic board, some fabric – I needed less than a yard, but have plans for the left over fabric! (I loved the blue and white pattern with the small hints of orange – this was my color scheme), magnets in orange and white (they matched my fabric so perfectly, it was unbelievable!),  small magnetic boxes, matching orange and white magazine holders, and a couple paper boxes in the same shade of orange.  Overall I spent just around $50, which I was more than ok with.

Home I went, happy as could be with my organization goodies.  First thing I did was iron the fabric to make sure there were no wrinkles.

Next up, it I plugged in the trusty old glue gun, and let it heat up.

Then, I measured my fabric and cut a piece big enough to cover the magnetic board.  Then I spread out the fabric, put the magnetic board on top and glued around the edges.  Once I got to the corners, I trimmed the sides and wrapped like a present, gluing as I went.

Wrap the corner like a present

 I had decided to prop the board against the wall, rather than hang it, but I took the time to trim off the fabric where the nail holes were incase I decide to hang it on a wall in the future.

If you plan to hang your board, steer clear of the nail holes

Here it is all wrapped and finished.

And the front view, propped against the wall.

Sorry for ALL the crooked pictures…it’s my lack of picture taking abilities, the room is straight!

And now with the matching magnets…I love it!

See the subtle hints of orange in the fabric?

Here is my finished board, covered in the essentials.

Again with the crooked picture taking…ahhh

I added a magnetic box on each side, one to hold things like a ruler, scissors, tape and the other to hold extra magnets.

Because my board is propped against the wall, the boxes are resting on the table, but they have hefty magnets and would stick to the board if it was hanging on a wall.

Then I have a couple pictures, coupons, and a weekly meal planner.

And of course a monthly pad of paper to jot down quick notes and make lists.  Pretty soon I need to go find my February list…yikes!

On each side of the board I added my magazine holders.  I love that the orange and white help tie everything together.  One side holds cooking magazines, like the Food Network and Everyday with Rachel Ray goodies.

The other side holds decorating and household magazines, like Veranda, and Good Housekeeping.

Then I put together and added the cute paper boxes on top of the wooden filing cabinet (sister #2 painted that herself!).  One box holds craft supplies, the other holds school papers.  I still need to label them, but I like the nice and organized way to hide some of my mess.

Here’s an overview of what my small area of the desk looks like.  Much better huh?

And we can’t forget the Easy Embroidery Project I made here.  And the Even easier Yarn Wreath I made here.

Now I just need to get started on some more crafts and school work…yippee!

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Yet another Wreath!

I decided to keep my Valentine’s related creative juices flowing today.  As I’m sure many of you know, I gain a lot of my inspiration from reading other people’s blogs and seeing what kinds of projects are out there.  One trend that I have been seeing lately are yarn wreaths and felt flowers.  We all know what a sucker I am for wreaths, and after making some festive yarn balls yesterday, I knew I just had to give this one a whirl.  Take a look at what I came up with:

There are very few materials involved: wreath form, yarn, glue stick, felt, ribbon.  That’s it!  I was lucky and only had to purchase a wreath form, so once again my project cost less than a few dollars.  I love when that happens!

Wreath form, glue gun, glue sticks, yarn, and felt

Making the Wreath
Step 1: Tie the end of your yarn onto the styrofoam wreath.  I chose to start at the seam, but anywhere would be fine.

Tie on your yarn

Step 2:  Begin to wrap your yarn around the wreath.  This was an extremely time consuming process, because with each wrap you need to pass the ball of yarn through the middle.  For the first layer I chose to make mine pretty even and organized.

Keep wrapping…having Pandora running in the background doesn’t hurt either!

Step 3:  Continue wrapping the yarn all the way around the wreath.  This process will take a while, but is so rewarding in the end!  Here I am at the end of the first layer.

One layer of yarn

Step 4:  By the time you have successfully made it around your entire wreath form you can decide whether or not to do a second layer.  Because there were some gaps where I could still see green I decided that a second layer of yarn was pretty important.  For this layer I did however decide to go for a “messier” look, and did not try to keep all of my rows straight.

Second “messier” layer of yarn

Step 5: Once you have completed all of the wrapping that you want, tie off the yarn the same way you started.  I then took the extra minute to weave in the end so that it wasn’t sticking out, but since this will most likely be the back of your wreath it isn’t necessary.

Making the Flowers
Step 1Cut a circle out of your felt.  The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower.  I chose to make a straight circle, if you want your flower to have a more petal effect, then make the edges wavy.

The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower

Step 2:  Cut into your circle.  I cut in about half an inch and was pretty happy with how the flower turned out.

Begin to cut into your circle

Step 3:  Continue to cut in a spiral motion.  Do this until you reach the center of the circle.

Continue cutting in a spiral motion

Your end result should be one long strip

Step 4:  At this point start at an end, and begin to wrap the felt in a circle.  In order to keep the bottom flat, I found it helpful to have it on the table and rotate the felt.

Start at the end and begin to roll your felt into a circle, try to keep the bottom flat.

Step 5:  Continue to roll until you reach the end of your strip.

End of the strip…I used the pink bowl as a background color since my flower was blending in to the table top

Step 6:  Flip the flower over, add a small dot of hot glue, and attach the loose end.

Step 7:  Cut out a circle of felt, just a little bit smaller than the bottom of the flower.

After attaching the loose end, cut out a circle just smaller than the bottom of the flower

Step 8: Using the hot glue gun, attach the circle to the bottom of the flower.  This will help to keep each layer in place and your flower in a firm shape.

Attach the circle to the bottom of the flower.

Step 9:  Continue this process with as many colors and sizes as you like!

Attaching the Flowers
For my wreath, I decided that I would primarily stick to Valentine themed colors (pink and white) but at the last minute I decided to throw a blue flower in there for a little extra oomph.

The 4 flowers I picked out for my wreath

Step 1:  I arranged the flowers on my wreath so I had an idea of placement.  Then I attached the first flower with hot glue.  I held down for about 12 seconds, so that I knew the glue was not going to slide around anywhere.

After attaching the first flower

Step 2:  Attach the second flower in the same manner.

After attaching flower #2

Step 3:  Repeat step 1 and 2 for as many flowers as you decide you would like to attach

3 flowers later…


Step 4:  Once I had all of my flowers attached I took some green felt and cut out a couple small leaves.  I attached these with the glue gun as well.

I chose to add a couple green leaves

Step 5:  The last step is to decide how you would like to hang your wreath.  I decided to attach a small piece of ribbon and hang it from a hook.  I cut a small piece of ribbon and attached it to the back of the wreath with a couple thumb tacks.  Because the back of my wreath will be facing the wall, the tacks aren’t even visible, but you can always use glue.

Here is a final far away and up close look at my pretty little wreath:

I love how it looks up against the lime green walls of Sister #2’s bedroom.  I now have yet another wreath to add to my ever growing wreath repertoire…oh boy!

**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!**