Tin Can Luminaries

I’ve had my eye on these tin can luminaries for a while. I love an upcycling project that doesn’t look like it would have been better off left in the recycling bin 🙂

I started off by collecting some cans, washing them, and filling them with water to freeze. This helps the can keep its shape while you punch the design. I found a lot of patterns online and printed my favorites. I then used rubber bands to hold the pattern in place while I made the pattern with hammer and nail.

I finished them off with some spray paint and put some LED candles inside. I made mine for Christmas, but the designs are neutral enough for any occasion (well, maybe not the snowflake…)

I love creating things from stuff around the house. I can’t look at my pantry the same way anymore.

“Jewels”

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Father’s Day Portrait Gifts

It’s so fun to get the boys involved in a creative project for Father’s Day. Remember when we made the mugs and aprons? Or even these simple cards?

This year, the boys and I created these portraits for Steve and their grandfathers. You know by now that I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper, which I used to create the letters. The boys were really good sports (they aren’t always!) with taking the pictures, and I love the final products.

I printed individual pictures and put them in a frame with three openings and a matte that the boys signed.

And you couldn’t take pictures of three boys and a rascally pup without some outtakes!

Wishing the best to all the hard-working and loving fathers out there!

“Jewels”

 

DIY Ribbon Leis

It’s graduation season! Somehow (well, I guess we know how), I ended up with boys graduating from middle school, elementary school, and Kindergarten all in one year. This calls for some crafting. I decided to make graduation leis for the boys and their friends using ribbon.

I researched a ton of ideas, which you can browse on my Pinterest page.  Some of those ideas are definitely for the expert level lei-maker, and I am a humble beginner. However, I did find inspiration for something that is both easy and pretty over at Sakacon.com.  These spiral ribbon leis don’t require advanced skills, but they do take some time. I modified the method a little, and I love how you can mix and match so many ribbons for infinite ideas!

Materials:

  • wide ribbon 7/8″ to 1.5″ (8-10 yards). This is the ruffle-edge ribbon I used.
  • narrower accent ribbon(s) 3/16″ to 1/2″ (same yardage). This is the picot ribbon I used.
  • embroidery floss to match the accent ribbon
  • clear nail polish to finish the ends of the ribbon
  • needle, scissors

Instructions:

First, go to your local craft store and go crazy! I actually feel like I have accomplished a project just by getting supplies (…but I realize this isn’t quite true). Since the design of the leis is simple, you can add a lot of detail by picking interesting ribbons. You can see i found some ribbons with ruffled edges and picot ribbon (apparently this is what you call the ribbon with the little loops in the side) that really make your “flowers” look more realistic. For fun, I bought some rainbow stripe ribbon, and the possibilities are really endless.

To make the lei, thread three strands of embroidery floss onto your needle. I used about 18″ of floss at a time. Tie a secure knot at the end of your floss.

The Sakacon version has a long tail you can use to tie the lei on with a bow. I decided to make a continuous round lei, because I thought it would be more comfortable for the boys. I still staggered the length of the wide and narrow ribbons – ie left a long tail of the wide ribbon before starting my lei – so there would not be an obvious join in the lei.

I lined up the narrow ribbon to one side of the wide ribbon, folding under the edge to avoid fraying, and sewed a few stitches in place to secure it. I then started doing a long running stitch, with stitches every centimeter (3/8″) or so.

Once you have sewn a few stitches, pull the thread to make the ruffles and guide them into a spiral shape to look like a chain of flowers. This really feels like magic!

You basically continue this for a long, long time. To make the lei a continuous loop, I cut off the wide ribbon first, and picked up the section of wide ribbon I had left as a “tail” at the beginning, continuing I until I reached the start of the narrow ribbon.

I bought spools of craft ribbon, which comes in 3-6 yard sections, so there are several joins in the lei. These aren’t visible, because the ribbons are staggered, and there are so many ruffles. At the ends of the ribbon, I used clear nail polish on the wide ribbon and just folded under the ends of the narrow ribbon. I also changed embroidery floss a few times, being sure to tie secure knots and hide the ends.

Behold! Here are the finished leis. I’m still making more and will add the pictures when they are done, to give you more ideas for ribbon combinations. I can’t wait to share them with my boys and their friends in a few more weeks!

Aloha!

“Jewels”

Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Remember when I made felt Christmas trees and yarn Christmas trees? Way back then I meant to make one with the pine cone scales, inspired by Shauna Mailloux.

Well, I finally made mine!

The new pine cone tree fits right in with his felt and feather cousins!

I might paint it another time, but for this year’s Scandinavian-inspired theme, the natural finish seems perfect! It took a while to put together, and Steve took the opportunity to make about two zillion conifer-inspired puns, so I have multiple reasons to be glad that project is over:)… but I’m really happy with the results!

“Jewels”

Mod Metallic Christmas Mantel

This year’s Christmas is pared-down and pretty (if I don’t say so myself!). Most of our decorations are white, with touches of gold and silver.

I love how our simple white felt stockings from West Elm have fit into all of our Christmas themes, just by changing the ornaments. Here are the links to the past years’ mantels:

And this year, I used scrapbook paper and gold contact paper to make these ornaments that add a bit of gold and glam to our mantel. The stripes and dots make me think of a beautiful Kate Spade look.

And a few more looks at our mantel this year. Like the simple Christmas branch, it came together so quickly, which is a relief this busy season!


Have a cheerful and glamorous weekend!

“Jewels”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Christmas Branch

Last year, we celebrated a fabulous and fun retro mid-century Christmas with lots of over-the-top colors and decorations. This year, I’m going in a different direction with a pared-down Christmas.

I was inspired by pictures of simple branches hung with ornaments. I was going to do this in addition to our Christmas tree, but I’ve decided to do it instead of a tree, and it feels very liberating! This idea is great for people who live in small spaces or just want to simplify.

Our overall look this season is Scandinavian-inspired with touches of gold and glam, and our centerpiece here fits tight in.

Enjoy!



Hope you’re feeling cheerful and warm this season!

“Jewels”

DIY Gold Feather Table Runner for Fall

Thanksgiving at our house has been pretty small the last few years. Most of our family is not in town, so we enjoy a quiet long weekend with just me, Steve, and the kids. Sometimes, however, I crave the hustle bustle madness of a big Thanksgiving celebration. I’m excited this year because we get to host one of my new coworkers!

To help make our Thanksgiving dinner this year extra festive, I have some new decorations planned. One of them is this simple linen table runner.

I sewed the runner and used gold craft paint to add this feather design inspired by a rubber stamp Creatiate on Etsy.

Up next, a “stenciled” runner for our dining table. Red wine included 🙂

Happy Turkey Day! May your hearts be full of thanks!

“Jewels”

Metallic Geometric Garlands

For our Mod Metallic Christmas, I wanted to make garlands for the tree and beyond. I love how these turned out, and I love that they are neutral enough to use for any occasion!


To make the garlands, I used beautiful metallic contact papers and simple twine to create a variety of garlands. You can find twine and white contact paper at a lot of local hardware stores, and here are the links buy the metallic contact paper:

I made three different garlands – squares, triangles, and circles – by cutting out shapes from the contact paper and sticking two sides together with twine sandwiched in between.

For the circle garland, you could also buy pre-cut circle stickers which would make the project even faster!

Here are the finished garlands, ready for when we put up our Christmas tree and for many celebrations to come!

Cheers,

“Jewels”

 

 

Recipe for a Mod Metallic Christmas 

You know decorating for Christmas is a serious thing in our house, and to keep my sanity, I usually try to start planning early. This fall, though, every spare moment outside of work and basic survival has been consumed with stuff for the boys’ school and birthdays! Now, I’m starting to feel a bit of breathing room – or I’m forcing myself to maintain some sanity.

I honestly had so much fun with last year’s retro Christmas that I thought about recreating it. I’ve decided, however, to try a new variation I’m going to call a “Mod Metallic Christmas.”

Here is an inspiration photo (source):

Three years ago, I did simple white and grey Christmas theme, and I’m excited to add some glitter and glam this time around!

Taking inspiration from The Design Cookbook, I created a “recipe” to help me focus my vision for this project and keep it on track:

  • Color scheme: white, grey, black, gold, silver
  • Natural elements like branches
  • Glam/ mod touches, such as clean lines, geometric shapes, and faux fur

Some projects I’d like to work on include:

Metallic garland (source):

diy-gold-triangle-garland

Tin can luminaries (source):

Dip-painted wooden ornaments (source):

Painted pine cones (source):

Felt garland (source):

And here are some more inspiration photos (source):

img_5929

What do you have in mind for holiday decorating?

Cheers,

“Jewels”

 

Bridal Shower Photo Booth

I mentioned that Nicola recently hosted a bridal shower for one of our friends from work, and I helped out with some decorations. Over the past few years, I have gathered the elements for a DIY photo booth, including props, a tripod, and a Canon SELPHY Photo Printer.

In the past, I’ve adapted the backdrops and props for Christmas, a retirement party, and a Star Wars birthday party. This latest theme would be great for a wedding as well as a bridal shower. Want to do this yourself, here’s what you will need:

  1. Backdrop. I hung a graphic striped shower curtain and then added these giant paper flowers.

2. Seating. I used a piano bench

3. Display. It is so fun to display and enjoy the photos during the party, before everyone takes theirs home. I hung some pom-pom trim on the fence and added some paper rosettes and clothespins covered in scrapbook paper to make a pretty gallery.

Here we are, smiling at the end of a beautiful afternoon with friends!

Say cheese!

“Jewels”