Tag Archives: Christmas decorating

How to Make the Perfect Bow

I don’t know about you, but it takes me a long time to decorate my house for the Christmas season.  

I can’t just put everything in the same place as the year before.  Well, yes, I do put a few things in the same spots, but I always change things up a little. It’s what makes it fun to me!  Besides, who can remember each year where something went? Not me! 

This year I seem to be changing things up more than usual.  I’m fluffing and adjusting things trying to figure out how I want everything to look.

As a result, I am adding a lot of ribbon and making several bows.  I love how festive all the ribbon makes everything look.  It’s a simple way to add a little flair inexpensively.


Friends and readers often ask me how I make my bows so I thought today would be the perfect time to share a quick video tutorial with you: (more…)

Christmas Home Tour 2015 {Busy Girls Tour}

I hate to admit it, but this year I just didn’t feel very inspired to decorate for Christmas. 

I’m not sure if it was because we had hot weather for so long and it just didn’t feel like the holiday season, or if it was because the thought of dragging out all of the Christmas boxes was a little daunting. Or maybe it was because life has been so crazy busy lately!

Whatever the reason, I finally snapped got my holiday cheer on and started getting excited about decorating.

Christmas home tour

Today I’m thrilled to finally be sharing my Christmas home with you along with four of my friends — you might recognize them from the Share it One More Time Link party — they’re my co-hosts — and, like me, they’re BUSY!

To see every home on the tour, follow the links at the bottom of this post.  PLUS, we have a giveaway for you today so stay tuned! (more…)

DIY Wooden Joy Sign {Easy Image Transfer Method}

When you finish a renovation project, you are often left with some leftover pieces and parts that no longer have a home or a purpose.  Some of it gets trashed and others get donated.  For me, our leftover cabinet doors and drawer fronts from our kitchen renovation this summer are set aside in the garage so I can give them each a makeover/up-cycle one at a time.  

A few weeks ago, I made over two cabinet fronts and turned them in to chalk boards.  

Today, I up-cycled a small cabinet door and turned it in to a wooden Joy sign for this year’s holiday decor.

easy image transfer  

I love the pop of red and the vintage look of this little sign!

This was such a simple project and I used my easy image transfer method that I often use for my chalk boards to create the word “Joy” so it’s a project anyone can tackle.  More on the transfer method in a minute.  First, let me explain the overall project.

I began by painting the frame of the cabinet door using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor’s Silk.  The interior of the frame is painted with ASCP Old White.  I used green craft paint for the lettering and the square outline.  When it was all painted I lightly sanded with a fine grit sand paper to distress and antique the piece.  I didn’t go crazy with this step, just a light sanding was good enough for me.  Finally, I finished the sign with one coat of Annie Sloan clear wax and then a top coat of AS dark wax to give it an antiqued appearance.  

red and green joy sign


Now, here’s the part that makes many of us nervous — hand lettering.  Specifically, hand lettering using paint!

Easy Image Transfer Technique:

1.  I typed out the word “joy” in a font that I liked and printed it on my printer.  Here’s a printable version of the word,  Joy that I used.

2.  I turned over the sheet of paper and colored over the back of the letters using colored chalk (I used a color so when it is transferred on to the board it will be easier to see.)

chalk transfer method


3.  Turn the paper over and center the word on your board.  Then firmly outline the letters using pen or pencil so the chalk will transfer on to the board.

image transfer


4.  Using craft paint and a small tipped paint brush outline and fill in the letters with paint.

joy sign


That’s it!  It’s so easy.  Creating this with a distressed finish makes it so forgiving, so even if you don’t have a steady hand with a paint brush your finished piece looks old and authentic. 

I love how this turned out and I think it’s perfect for a pop of color in my kitchen this holiday.


Looking for more holiday projects?  Check out these past posts:

Christmas card wreath

Vintage spoon ornaments

How to make your own Christmas stockings


Happy crafting!




Christmas Tablescape & Dining Room Decor

Have you seen all the beautiful holiday home tours in blogland the past few days?  There is so much eye candy out there it’s been hard not to get caught up in it all and stay on the computer forever!

Today, I’m tearing myself away to show you my dining room all dressed up in it’s holiday best. 


I only set the table for four today, but on the actual day, the table will be extended to it’s full length and I’ll be setting it for 10 or more. 

I love all the festive red and green.  It makes me happy.  But, I can’t help but think I would like it even more if I had all of my non-holiday updates completed. (I blogged about my dining room plan awhile back, but I have since updated it and will share that with you soon.)  For example, my dining room chairs are just begging to be slipcovered or re-upholstered and I am dying to get a new chandelier.  Oh well…I’ll get there.

Nonetheless, my dining room feels very festive to me and now that I’ve set the table, I’m all ready for a holiday meal.

I love my Spode Christmas Tree china.  I started collecting it before I got married and I now have a full service for twelve and some serving pieces.  It’s so fun to pull it out each year and use it.

This year, I mixed it up with some galvanized buckets with boxwood cuttings.  And I found the cutest little chalkboard place cards that I printed out from here

My friendly little Pottery Barn reindeer place card holders are proudly holding them.  I found these shortly after I got married and I still love them.

This wreath came from Home Goods.  I just added a plaid ribbon and hung it from my chalkboard.

This bell jar is actually a hanging candle holder .  Even though the glass is a bit rippled, I decided to turn it upside down and use it as a cloche. I put it on a white plate, sprinkled some fake snow and added a few bottle-brush trees.

This little wreath that hangs to the side of my hutch is actually a candle ring.  I found it at Hobby Lobby a few years ago and thought it would make a nice little wreath.  I added the little Santa and the ribbon I found at Target a year or two ago.

You probably noticed that I have more than a few pine cones added to my decor this year.  I love them.  They’re pretty and natural and so rustic.

Oh…and I almost forgot about my Fitz and Floyd Christmas collection. 

I actually have more but haven’t found a home for all of it this year.  I think I need to do that!

And, there you have it — my Christmas tablescape and dining room.  If you’d like to see more of Christmas around my house, check out these posts:

Christmas Decor Around My House
Our Christmas Tree
My Christmas Mantel and Handmade Stockings
DIY Christmas Card Wreath

I hope you’re having fun decorating your home for the holidays!

Linking up to:
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Christmas Stocking Tutorial {& Winter Wonders & Holiday Happenings Linky Party}

Today is a big day around here.  I’m co-hosting my first linky party, ever!  Woo hoo!

Welcome to the

Winter Wonders and Holiday Happenings Link Party!

December is here and that means Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are right around the corner so it is the perfect time to share all your delicious holiday dishes and decor, along with your favorite Winter treats and projects.
Help get us inspired!
Claiming Our Space has joined up with Black Fox Homestead, Life with the Hawleys, Lilacs and Longhorns, Practically Functional, The Thrifty Rebel and Yellow Spool. Each of us will have our own project or recipe to share so make sure to stop by to check out what we have each created as well as to link up your own winter or holiday inspired posts.

Your opportunity to link-up will be at the bottom of this post, but first I’m going to show you how you can make your own Christmas stockings — and, did I mention budget-friendly?

Earlier this week, I posted about my new matching stockings here.  Today, I’m showing you how I made them.  You don’t really need super great sewing skills to make them.  And, honestly, you could even use fabric glue to do this project if you don’t plan on filling the stockings, so even if you don’t sew, you could still do this project!

First, I used my son’s Christmas stocking as my pattern. 

I placed it on the burlap and cut around it giving myself about a 1-inch seam allowance (for you non-sewers, that means I cut it about an inch wider than the stocking).

Then I cut long 3 1/2″-wide strips of the buffalo check fabric to make a cuff cutting them the correct width of the stocking.

By the way, if you do a lot of fabric projects I highly recommend a rolling scissors and a plastic quilting grid (shown above).  They are IDEAL tools for cutting straight lines and measuring perfectly.

Before I go any further in the tutorial, I should point something out about this project.  You’ll notice my stocking cuff has a frayed edge:

I did this for two reasons…laziness and I thought it was kind of cute!  lol

The frayed edge is actually the bound edge of the fabric bolt.  I thought it was kind of cute and using it as my cuff edge meant I didn’t have to sew a hem!  Ha!  If your fabric doesn’t have this edge you would have to hem the fabric to prevent fraying.

Okay…so back to the project. 
The trickiest part of making a stocking with a cuff is figuring out how to sew the pieces together so that your cuff folds over the correct way.  If you already sew, you know that you have to sew the right sides of the fabric together and then turn it right-side-out when you’re done so the seam is hidden inside the stocking.  When working with something like burlap — which has no obvious right or wrong side — you really have to pay attention to what you’re doing!  So, in this case, I needed to make sure that both sides of the stocking were pointing in the right direction when I pinned the right two sides together.  Make sense?  It’s a little confusing, I know.

So, first, find your “right” sides and then pin one piece of your cuff fabric to one piece of your burlap stocking fabric. 

Before you make the commitment of sewing the pieces together, pin your two sides as shown above and then put your two stocking sides right-sides together to make sure the correct sides will be facing out when done.  This is the most confusing part of the entire project!  Once you figure out how it all works together, the sewing goes super fast.

Okay…so now, you have sewn the piece together as shown above — the cuff and the burlap piece.

Then, press the inside seam as shown above. 

Just so you know, I detest ironing.  Hate it.  But, it is essential when sewing!  This makes all the difference as to how you’re project will turn out.  It is especially true with a heavily woven fabric like the upholstery burlap I’m working with.

Once you have pressed the seam open, fold the cuff over like so:

And then press it again at the seam so it lies nice and flat.

When both cuffs are sewn on, pin the right sides of your two stocking halves together and sew!

Before you turn it right-side-out, cut little notches around the curved edges to prevent the fabric from puckering.

Then press the seams as shown.

Then turn it right-side-out and press it again so all your seams lie flat.

Now that the stocking is made, it needs a little loop so it can hang from a stocking hook.  I made mine by creating one out of fabric.  I just folded a length of fabric over three times (like you fold a business letter in an envelope), pressing with each fold, and then sewed a zigzag seem in the center of the fabric. 

(Sorry for the blurry picture!)

You could also use a ribbon or a piece of cording or twine to save yourself from this additional work, but I didn’t have any so I made my loop from fabric.  Truthfully, the way I made my loop is a bit of a cheat…I didn’t finish the edge but I figured these won’t get heavy use and the seam won’t be that noticeable, so I took a short-cut!

After creating the fabric loop, I sewed it to the inside back of the stockingwith a zigzag stitch .


These went together very quickly and easily.  I had all four completed within about 2 hours or so. 

I love them!

Materials used:
Approx. 2 yards of burlap fabric
Approx. 1/3 yard of buffalo check fabric
Matching thread

Project cost:
Because I already had all the materials, mine didn’t cost me a thing!  However, if I were to buy all the fabric for the project it would have cost me around $26 – $30 (upholstery burlap $10/yd., buffalo check $20/yd.)

Totally custom and sooo much cheaper than buying 4 stockings at the store!  Love that!

Now, on to the linky party!

Please share your projects, crafts, recipes, whatever you have come up with that is Winter or Holiday-related via the linky tool below.  
Your project will show up on all the hosts blogs so you only need to link up once but, remember, all of us are sharing something different for the party. So make sure to visit Black Fox Homestead, Life with the Hawleys, Lilacs and Longhorns, Practically Functional, The Thrifty Rebel and Yellow Spool and Claiming Our Space to check them all out.
The party will be up until Thursday, December 20 and then on Friday, December 21, each host will pick their favorite two link ups. So mark your calendar to check back to see if you were featured. 
Just a few guidelines
1. If you aren’t already a follower, we would love it if you would follow each of the hosts.

2. Link-ups should be Winter or Holiday-related. (No shops or other link parties please)

3. Try to visit some of the other link-ups and leave a comment. Everyone loves visitors!

4. You don’t need to link back but we would appreciate it if you would display the button on your blog or in your post to let your own readers know about the party.

With that, it is time to party!!

Due to stolen content I cannot provide a full RSS feed. I work hard to provide fresh, original content and, unfortunately, there are sites that like to steal from honest, hard-working bloggers. Thanks for understanding!