I've been wanting to get a nice Christmas floral arrangement for the kitchen table, but have you ever shopped for them? Whoa! Waaayyyyy to pricey for this cheap chick! So when I saw a sad, outdated arrangement at a local thrift store, I decided to bring it home and see if I could transform it:
I chose it because it had a sturdy metal base and lots of pine garland. And it was $2. Awesome!
First step was to rip out the broken presents, those weird gold rope loops, and the outdated ball/pine cone/berry picks. Oh... and the blue "$1.99" price tag. Then I was left with a pretty great base. The perfect starting point!
I dug through my box of silk flowers and found red velvet flowers, poinsettias, a few holly berries and some green sparkly leaf thingies (that's the technical term, you know.) I shoved them into the existing foam and wha-la! Transformation!
But when I stuck it on my table, the proportion seemed off. So.... I added a dollar store glass vase to the center and did a little more rearranging...
...and now it can hold a candle!
I love the extra height and drama that the glass adds. And it will be so pretty when the candle is lit.
$2 for the greenery and $1 for the glass? Not bad, not bad! Even if you had to buy a few flowers, it would still be much cheaper than the centerpieces I've seen in stores.
Now it's time for you to run to your local thrift store and make one for yourself!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
I made another one this year to give as a gift. I decided to make a more luxe, blinged-out version. It started with these little resin mini-ornaments from Michael's:
Yeah. Not so cute or luxe as-is. They were sloppily painted and a weird mix of colors. So I spray painted them white, then hand-painted parts with pearlescent paint. And I switched out the gold hangers for sparkly thread instead. Much prettier!
I used metallic white/silver fabric for the tree and the pockets (so shiny and pretty in person!) with a white cotton background and a touch of aqua in the border. My favorite part is the fur trim around the edges!
The shiny buttons make the tree look pretty even when there are no ornaments hanging on it yet.
I added felt tabs across the back so that it can hang from a dowel. I quilted around the edge of the tree and around the border. And after struggling to get the fur on, I ended up using hot glue to attach it. Awesome, I know.
Doesn't it look cute with all the ornaments hanging on it?! If you look closely, you'll see there is one button up above the tree so that the snowflake lines up to hit right on the top point of the tree. That's the last ornament to be put on.
I made the pockets by sewing two pieces of fabric together and flipping them right sides out, ironing them, then sewing the strips to the background fabric. That way the pockets are lined and the edges are all finished and nice looking. The numbers are hand-cut and ironed on using double-sided fusible webbing.
It was super fun to make a more glammed-up version of the advent calendar. And it was much quicker to make because I didn't have to sew any ornaments. If I ever make another calendar, I would definitely use the mini-ornaments again!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, is officially pie making day! So of course I have to share my very most favorite pie recipe. This is the pie that is always the first one gone, the one I dream of all year long. It is THE BEST pie. Period!
Imagine a graham cracker crust topped with gooey caramel, then a layer of fluffy, decadent chocolate mousse and shaved chocolate crumbles to top it off. It is pure pie heaven! And today is your lucky day because here's the recipe and you still have time to make it before the big feast!
Chocolate Caramel Pie
1 prepared graham cracker crust (store-bought or homemade)
7 oz. caramel candies, unwrapped
1/4 cup evaporated milk (I subbed regular milk this time and it still worked)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
20 large marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (no substitutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8 oz. container whipped topping, thawed
Melt caramels and evaporated milk over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate. Melt butter to coat pan. Add milk and marshmallows. Stir until smooth. Add chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Cool to room temperature (1 to 2 hours). Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into pie shell and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with chocolate curls. I just grated some chocolate chips using my cheese grater. If you want actual curls, use a vegetable peeler along the edges of a chocolate bar that's slightly warm. Works like a charm!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Guess what I did last night? My mom brought over the advent calendar she made years ago (here's a link to that post) and I traced all the pieces to make a pattern for all of you who have asked for it! Yay! Are you excited?! Here's what the calendar looks like:
I love it. I love that it tells the story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem to be taxed. I love pulling out the little plastic baby Jesus on Christmas morning. I love the handmade charm. And now you can make one for your family too!
- Pattern pieces (found below)
- One 19"x46" piece of cream-colored felt for the background
- One long piece of camel-colored felt for the numbered path
- Scraps of felt in a variety of colors
- Fabric glue (or hot glue would work okay...it will just be stiffer)
- Iron-on, one-sided heavy fusible webbing
- Two pieces of velcro (the scratchy side only)
- One tiny plastic baby wrapped in a small scrap of fabric (I have seen them at Hobby Lobby before)
- One dowel spray painted gold
- Decorative ribbon for the top and bottom edges (optional)
-Twine or ribbon for hanging
1. Print out the pattern pieces so they fit on a normal piece of paper. Just right click on the images at the bottom of this post to save them to your computer.
2. Cut out all the small felt pieces using the photo above for a color guide. One of the palm trees needs to be flipped over so it leans the opposite direction. Look at the photo and that will make sense.
3. Freehand cut the numbered felt path. If you don't have a long piece of felt, you could cut it from several smaller pieces and just glue them close together so that the seams aren't noticeable.
4. Glue Mary, Joseph and the donkey together and line the back side with the fusible webbing. This is the piece that moves along the path each day, so the webbing helps it be stiffer and sturdier. Add a strip of Velcro to the back. Make sure it's the scratchy side so it can grab the felt.
5. Cut out letters and numbers. Type up the words and numbers on the computer, print them out, then use them as pattern pieces.
6. Place all your pieces on to the background piece and get them the way you want. Then glue 'em all down.
7. Fold the top of the felt over to form a pocket for the dowel. Or use a long strip of extra felt or fabric. Carefully glue just the edge down. Make sure you don't glue in too far or the dowel won't slide through!
8. Glue ribbon to the top and bottom edges. (Or leave them plain. That works too!)
9. When all the glue is dry, slide the dowel through the pocket on the back and tie the twine onto the edges that stick out.
10. Add a piece of Velcro (the scratchy side) to the little baby.
And that's it. You are done! This project comes together pretty quickly. Just watch your favorite show while you cut out all the felt and you'll be done in no time!
Here are the pattern pieces: