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Non-Candy Valentines: Free Printable Valentine's Day Cards

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

My boys' school has a wellness policy that requires that no candy be handed out at class parties, but since the kids enjoy giving and receiving little gifts, I designed these cute non-candy Valentine's last year. My son loved handing out these wiggle eye rings to his kindergarten class, and they were a huge hit with his friends. 

This year, I'm sharing these free printable Valentine cards with you!  You can download them at the end of the post. 

Under Bathroom Sink Organization Ideas

Monday, January 7, 2019



The challenge is the same in every cabinet under every sink ... so much stuff, so little space! Figuring out how to organize under the bathroom sink is made exponentially more challenging my those darn pipes and hoses that cut through the middle of the space. But I’m finally claiming victory and sharing some under bathroom sink organization ideas and smart space saving tips to help you do the same!

Divided Lazy Susans Under Bathroom Sink

The Most Popular Organizing and Decorating Ideas

Friday, January 4, 2019

You've probably heard the saying that you have to look back to move forward. I think this is true on many levels, and it's how I always like to start the year.

When it comes to the blog, I find it really helpful to look back at the most popular posts from the prior year to see which projects resonate with you - the readers - so that I can create more of the types of content you want. And on the personal side, as I plan my project priorities for the coming year, I like to reflect on the spaces in our home that I love, as well as those that aren't working. 

In today's post, I'm rounding up the most popular organizing and decorating posts of they year, and I'm sharing some of my major plans for 2019.

Inexpensive Wreath Storage Idea {Five Minute Friday}

Friday, December 28, 2018

Hanging a pretty wreath on the front door is one of the easiest ways to add some seasonal cheer to your front porch, but storing all those holiday wreaths can become a challenge. This is especially true when you have double doors, resulting in two of every wreath. 

I speak from experience! I used to just have two Christmas wreaths, but over time, I've added to my collection and now also have sets of front door wreaths for spring, fall, Halloween, and more. I used to use wreath storage bags in the garage, but I recently came up with a clever organizing hack that is saving space while keeping my wreaths in great shape.

Modern Gallery Wall Idea: Photos with Rounded Corners

Thursday, December 20, 2018

When you have a large space to fill, scale is key! We have a lot of high, skinny windows throughout our house, and figuring out how to fill the space below them has been one of my biggest design challenges. In the kitchen dining area, I left the wall blank for ten years because all the art I tried just looked dwarfed by the scale of the wall. Finally, I came across an inspiration photo of an office where an entire wall was filled with three rows of oversized, black and white photos and it occurred to me that I could create a similar look with two rows of large framed photos below the window in our dining area.

Dining Room Gallery Wall

DIY Map Ornaments

Monday, December 10, 2018

I love to travel and I have a bit of an obsession with maps! Years ago I came across a set of gold landmark ornaments that I just couldn't pass up, and I decided then and there that one day I would have a travel-themed Christmas tree. I began looking for a Christmas ornament to bring home as a souvenir from each country we visit. And I also thought it would be really fun idea make a set of DIY map ornaments to commemorate each of our travel destinations.

Glam White DIY Christmas Trees

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A while back, my mom bought me a variety of unfinished paper mache and wood cutout Christmas trees from Hobby Lobby knowing that I would have fun figuring out a creative way to decorate them. I stalled and stalled and didn't do anything with these Christmas tree crafts for a couple of years - not because I didn't have any ideas, but because I had too many ideas and couldn't make a decision. Does anyone else have this same problem?  I call it craft indecisiveness!

Finally I realized that I could use my indecisiveness to my advantage by creating six distinctly different DIY Christmas Trees - three cones, and three flat wood Christmas trees.  Today I want to share three simple tutorials for decorating paper mache cones from Hobby Lobby to create glam Christmas decorations on a major budget


I started my DIY Christmas Tree project the same way most craft projects start in my house - by pulling together paints, scrapbook papers, ribbons, and various other supplies from around my house and piling them all in the center of the kitchen table. After staring at the supplies for a while, I decided to start with the paper mache cone-shaped Christmas trees.


DIY Fur Christmas Tree.  Let's begin with the Christmas tree that I covered in white fur ribbon, which I purchased at Michael's. Since the base of the tree would remain exposed, I started by giving the tree a coat of white acrylic paint. I unrolled all nine yards of the fur ribbon and cut strips the right length, then used my hot glue gun to begin attaching the fur strips to the tree.


I was concerned about maintaining the narrow, pointed shape of the top of the tree, so I knew I couldn't have six strip of thick fur overlapping at the very top of the tree. Instead I started by affixing three strips of fur that were only about three quarters of the height of the tree.  I spaced these strips evenly around the tree, leaving room between each to affix three more full length strips of fur ribbon.


With the final three strips of fur glued to the lower part of the tree, I used a scissors to cut the top of each strip into a point.  I then finished gluing these three fur strips to the top of the tree. The tree initially looked odd because of the different layers of the overlapping strips of fur, but as soon as I fluffed up the fur with the fingers, the tree really took shape and looked perfect.


DIY Bead Garland Christmas Tree.  Next I decided to wrap one of the Christmas trees in a silver bead garland that I purchased from Michael's (also on the ribbon aisle).  I started by painting the tree white, and, to achieve a glossy finish, I combined my white acrylic paint with some Liquitex Gloss Gel that I had in with my painting supplies.



Once the paint was dry, I began wrapping the tree with the silver bead garland, using hot glue to affix the end of the first string of beads. The spot where I glued the initial strand of beads became the "back" of the tree. As I added additional strands of beads, I ensured that each started and stopped at the back of the tree so that, when placed on my mantel, none of the hot glue will be visible. In total, I used about eight and a half yards of bead garland to wrap the tree from top to bottom.


DIY Paper Heart Christmas Tree.  I wanted to cover the third Christmas tree in some music note scrapbook paper that I already owned, though I wasn't sure the best way to go about this. I thought about attaching strips of paper around the tree and then fringing the paper, but I was concerned that the music notes wouldn't read if the paper was fringed. Instead, I decided to get my Cricut Christmas craft on. I pulled out my Cricut machine (this was a few years ago when I was still using the original Cricut before updating to the Cricut Explor) and cut hundreds of elongated hearts. 


After cutting all of the music note hearts, I decided that the tree would be more interesting if I mixed in some fancy papers that would add a little sparkle to the tree.  I sifted through my scrapbook papers and cut more hearts from silver metallic paper, as well as from paper that had stripes of beige, white, black and silver glitter.


Since I knew that the paper mache base of the tree would most likely show through between the scrapbook paper hearts, I started by painting the tree with two coats of silver metallic acrylic paint. Then, before attaching the hearts to the tree, I curled each around a pencil. Rather than curing them one by one, I found that it worked well to stack up three to four hearts and curl them all at once. Then I would glue those hearts to the tree before curling three or four more.


I started at the bottom of tree, and used a dot of hot glue at the point of each heart and a dot of hot glue in the center of each heart. I worked my way around the tree, one row at a time.  On each row, I overlapped the edges of the hearts, and each row also overlapped the row below.


It was a time consuming process to glue nearly 400 hearts to the tree - about five re-runs of Friends to be specific. Once I finally reached the very top of the tree, I used the pencil to curl the final three hearts in around themselves, rather than curling them so that the rounded ends flipped up. This made the final hearts easier to glue in place and maintained the shape of the point of the tree top.


I am so excited about how these tree DIY Christmas trees turned out! Each one is so unique, but I think they look especially great when grouped together.


It's amazing what happens when you stop procrastinating, spread out all your craft supplies, and just get to work!

DIY White Christmas Tree Decorations

My painted, chipboard Chirstmas trees also turned out beautifully. It's amazing how a few paper mache cones from Hobby Lobby and a few chipboard Christmas trees turned into a chic white Christmas mantel display with these DIY Christmas Tree crafts! I'm just over here singing, "I'm dreaming of an orange and white Christmas..."

Glam and Modern White Christmas Mantel Display Orange Wall

Be sure to pin the image below so you can find your way back to these simple DIY tutorials for decorating paper mache cones from Hobby Lobby to create glam Christmas decorations on a major budget! And then click over to see how I painted my wood Christmas trees cutouts for more DIY white Christmas decorations!

Glam White DIY Christmas Decorations

Gift Ideas for Musicians + Star Maker Song Contest

Monday, November 26, 2018

We usually wait until Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas, but Christmas music season starts in our house way before Halloween. That's what happens when you're married to a professional Christmas caroler and his rehearsals start in early October. Did you even know there was such a thing?! If you've been reading the blog awhile then you may have heard me mention that one of Scott's two careers is as a musical theater performer, but during the holiday season he also sings with a Christmas caroling company that gets hired out for private parties as well as public gigs at events throughout the city.

I love having a singer in the family to serenade us with Christmas tunes and help put us all in the holiday spirit! When Cost Plus World Market asked me to partner with them to help spread the word about their Christmas partnership with Jessie J. and the Star Maker Song Contest, and to share some gift ideas for music lovers, I was excited to get Scott involved as well! 

Gift Guide: Educational & Creative Gifts for Kids Who Love Cars

Sunday, November 25, 2018

My five year old son is a typical little boy who loves cars, trucks, and pretty much all things transportation. But you can only buy so many hot wheels and toy cars before the law of diminishing returns kicks in. I prefer to buy gifts for my kids that have some kind of educational value, or that stretch their imagination and creativity, and I've managed to find lots of unique gift ideas for boys who love cars.

Gift Ideas for Boys Who Love Cars and Trucks

I've compile a list of 40 of the best educational and creative toys, games, and art projects that make great gifts for kids that love cars. The majority of these gift ideas for kids who love cars have already been tested and approved by my own little car enthusiast, and the other items are on his wish list! 

Modern Dining Room Makeover {One Room Challenge Reveal}

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I couldn't be more excited to share our dining room makeover with you! This has been my eighth One Room Challenge, and as always it was a race to the finish line... but we made it and the space turned out better than I had imagined. It also remains one of the hardest spaces in our house to photograph, so I hope my pictures do it justice.

Modern Dining Room Makeover