Easter Mantle

I consider Ash Wednesday to be the beginning of the Easter season. As such, I decorate the first chance I get immediately following Ash Wednesday. Today was that day.

I love having a mantle to decorate and our mantle is located in the family room so I get to see it every day!

Last year my mother-in-law found an old window for me to use. And as many Pinterest projects there are, I’ve chosen to leave it alone. It’s such a beautiful piece of architecture and makes me love my mantle decor even more than I did last year!

There is a cable hook up and a square hole above the fire place where one could hang a TV, so I always have a piece of art over it. (Detour – hanging TVs scares me. Like, seriously, makes me nervous. And also, hanging TVs puts them at an awkward angle so you always have to look up to watch a show.) The size of the window meant I had to take down the art which also meant I’d be stuck looking at the hole in the wall. (I’m always afraid there’s going to be bugs coming out of it.) I was about to be disappointed and then I saw in my box of decorations a light blue gingham piece of fabric that lines an Easter basket. I hung that from the bolts in the wall and laid the window against it. I thought it’d look strange, but I am loving it!

When Stuart was little his parents gave them tiny rabbit figurines over the years and I now have them to add a little bit of sentiment to the decorations.

I have filled glass jars with Easter straw and plastic eggs and transformed a spring candle holder by using it to hold more eggs.

Easter Mantle

Snowman Door Hanger

For The Year of the Snowman 2013 my mother-in-law and I made burlap snowman door hangers for the girls in the family. We found an example on Pinterest, but it led only to a photograph.

Luckily my mother-in-law is a genius when it comes to crafts! I have created for you a simple tutorial.

How-to make a Burlap Snowman Door Hanger

Start first with a template of your snowman (or whatever else you want to create!) and trace it onto folded burlap. Pin the two piece of burlap together.

Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial

Using a zig-zag stitch follow the outline of the snowman. (We used grey thread so it would show up in these photos. Make sure to use a thread that will easily be covered up with whatever paint you use.) At the bottom of the door hanger leave a 3″ gap, like you do with pillowcases.

Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial

Using pinking shears, cut just outside the seam. Lay out your door hanger on a trash bag or newspaper. It’s time to paint!

Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial

With the help from my father-in-law, holes were created at the top of the door hanger. A straw, cut to the width of the space between the holes was used to keep the door hanger sturdy. Thread your string/twine/jute through the holes and straw.

Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial

Stuff your door hanger with paper or plastic bags.

Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial

Using a thread to blend in with the paint, zig-zag stitch the door hanger closed. Garnish with a store bought accessory!

Burlap Snowman Door Hanger Tutorial

Christmas Time is Here

Thanksgiving weekend brings with it not only family and food but it also starts the Christmas season.

I have always grown up decorating for Christmas on Black Friday, and I’ve continued doing so in my own home. I put the family to work – the boys put the lights up outside, the girls do the Christmas village and the mantle, and as a group we put the ornaments on the tree.

2013 is the “Year of the Snowman”. My mother-in-law always puts a theme to her gifts. Our first Christmas she made stockings for everyone, the year after that aprons for the girls, last year gifts were made with buttons – ornaments and Toomer’s Tree art. This year we agreed to do the “Year of the Snowman” and spent the year planning on gifts. (I’ll share my gift tutorial later this season!)

That long story was told because my family surprised me with a second Christmas tree! In my craft room there is now a beautiful tree decked out in snowman and snowman-related ornaments and topped with a top hat!

My Christmas Tree
My Christmas Tree
My Christmas Mantle
My Christmas Mantle
Charles Dickens Village
Charles Dickens Village
My surprise snowman tree!
My surprise snowman tree!
Outdoor Christmas Lights
Outdoor Christmas Lights

Candy Corn Pillow

So You Think You Can Cook will be taking on the Candy Corn theme leading up to Halloween this Thursday. I have been very excited about this theme and the week is finally here where I can show you what I’ve been up to.

I’m starting off with a sewing post. A pillow. This craft is incredibly simple, you only need 3 different fabrics. (I was able to find everything I needed out of my stash.) And you only need to sew 5 seams!

Candy Corn Pillow

Here’s the How-To for a Candy Corn Pillow:

Note: My pillow form is 14×14″.

Cut fabric. You will need 2 3 1/2 x 15″ rectangles of white fabric, 2 7 1/2 x 15″ rectangles of orange fabric, and 2 5 1/2 x 15″ rectangles of yellow fabric.

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Your finished squares should be 15×15″, sew on a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Attach white to orange and orange to yellow. When you press each square, iron the seams in opposite directions.

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Put right sides together. Pin. Leave a 4″ gap on the yellow edge of the pillow. Sew all around the pillow, keeping that gap, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Pull pillow inside out. Poke out the corners. Iron the unsewn 1/4″ flat on each side of the gap.

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Stuff your new pillow case with your pillow form.

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Close up the gap with your preferred method: hand sewing, buttons, Velcro, machine sewing, etc.

Happy Halloween

I love decorating for the holidays, and Halloween is no exception. Pinterest has fueled my decorating passion and this year I spent a lot of time with my hand in the scissors.

Last year was my first Pinterest Halloween and I did a Mummy front door. It was a great hit so I did it again! The original creators of the Mummy Door used white streamers. Living in a very humid climate I opted to use white ribbon. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s reusable year-to-year! I used a solid white and had a little bit of see-thru white ribbon to put over the bottom layer in diagonals. I secured the ribbon with double sided tape on the threshold sides of the door. I gave the mummy a sunken-eye look by excluding whites – he’s all pupil! I also decided to leave ribbon hanging at the door knob to give it that unraveling texture.

Mummy Door

I put spider webs with spider rings in the windows next to the front door – making the Mummy creepier rather than cute!

I’ve always used orange Christmas lights in my windows but this year I added even more decoration to the window panes. Silhouettes! I purchased a Martha Stewart window cling for the upstairs window (it claims to be reusable) and cut my own figures for the porch window. I printed templates from the internet, cut them, traced them onto black poster board, and cut that. Double stick tape secured them to the glass.

Halloween Windows

Halloween Windows

For the spider web I followed this tutorial.

I also brought the Halloween decor outside with 4 black foam bats hanging from the porch eaves. I printed out a template, cut it, traced it onto the black foam, and cut that. I then used a hole punch at the top of each bat’s head. Fishing line gives the bats their flying through the air illusion.

Bats

Fall Mantle

September is here! And even though it’s not officially Fall yet, football season has started, pumpkin-flavored everything is hitting the stores, and the days are getting shorter. For me and my house, that’s close enough!

Growing up in South Florida, we didn’t have fireplaces. But apparently Northern Florida thinks they’re North enough to demand fireplaces. I am completely baffled by this architectural choice – we don’t use ours, ever.

My absolute favorite thing about the fireplace is the mantle. Why? Because it gives me a surface to decorate! I am completely in love with my fall motif. I opted to go with the scarecrow/straw theme. (The Tommy Tuberville signed Auburn Football made the cut this year — War Eagle!) On October 1st I’ll add a Jack-O-Lantern scarecrow and on November 1st I have a totally adorable stuffed turkey that says “Gobble til you Wobble”. I also plan on trying a Pinterest-inspired pine cone garland. If I get around to it (and it’s successful), I’ll do a how-to.

Fall Mantle | Sew You Think You Can Cook

I found my decorations at Michael’s. The bird painting is one that I did at The Emerald Cork, a BYOB painting studio. Disclaimer: I have not been paid or sponsored by Michael’s or The Emerald Cork.