Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments

For the last few years, I have had a different theme for Christmas decorating each year. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I need to change all my decorations! I’ve gotten creative about re-purposing and adapting our ornaments and other decor to fit each theme. When I did my white Christmas two years ago, I bought lovely white felt stockings from West Elm. They worked just as well for last year’s white and red Christmas. For this year’s nostalgic retro Christmas, all I had to do was change out the initials on the stockings.

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

I used felt in our Christmas colors of red, pink, and blue and added white felt monograms. I attached them to the stockings with safety pins, so it will be easy to change them again, when needed! It’s amazing how this small project completely transforms the look of our stockings and mantel!

Here’s a look at last year:

Simple white and red Christmas mantel | Jewels at Home

And this year:

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

While we’re enjoying this year’s cheerful nostalgic Christmas, I’m already thinking about themes for the future – Scandinavian Christmas or a metallic Christmas – and it’s good to know I’ll be able to re-use these stockings again!


Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments

Every year, I make personalized Christmas ornaments for our family and friends. This is usually a simple project with store-bought ornaments. This year, I’m doing a little DIY, because I didn’t find anything quite right for our retro mid-century Christmas.

I’m making some clear globe ornaments to give to our local friends. For those that live further away, I wanted something easy to mail, so I was excited to find this inspiration for ornaments covered in scrapbook paper. Besides being pretty, these ornaments are lightweight, flat, and sturdy, so they’re perfect for sending to friends!

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

Here’s how to do this cute project:

  • Paint the edges of the Unfinished Wood Ornaments with silver craft paint. The center will be covered in paper.
  • Print out names and the year on Clear Shipping Labels and then stick them in craft paper and cut them out. I cut matching circles for the back.
  • Use regular hole punch to cut the paper around the hole in the ornament.
  • Use Yes All-Purpose Stik Flat Glueto glue the paper to the ornaments
  • I used some very fine sandpaper to clean up the ornaments after the glue dried.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home To finish off, I added ribbons for hanging.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home  Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

What fun to be able to send a bit of holiday cheer!


Big Fleece Blankets for Little Superheroes

My little guy, L, just turned eight, and he’s been planning his first sleepover party for most of the past year! I like to make a special gift for our birthday boy and guests, and L requested a reprise of the fleece blankets I made for his big brother’s party a year and a half ago. He calls his “super,” and sleeps with it every night. I wanted to grant his birthday wish, but I didn’t want to make the exact same project, so here’s this year’s superhero version of our fleece blankets.

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Instead of fringed blankets, I trimmed the fleece in binding. L loves the superhero action words on his original blanket, and that’s no surprise, given he’s such a bundle of energy. I found the same print in a cotton fabric, so I used that for the binding. For each large blanket (60″x72″), you’ll need:

After prewashing the trim fabric, I ironed it and cut 8″ wide strips. I joined the strips and ironed it to make 2″ wide double-fold binding.  I then sewed this to the edges of the fleece blankets that were each 2 yards long.  L requested this longer blanket, since he sleeps with his, but you could use  1.5 yards of fleece for a throw blanket.

To add the monograms, I sketched each boy’s first initial and a large circle (I traced a plate) onto Heat’n Bond, ironed on to some other and bright and superhero-themed fabrics, cut them and appliqued onto the blankets (instructions in the post from our onesie decorating party).

Here are some more pictures of how they turned out.  The boys love them!

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Hope you are staying warm as winter warms into spring!


Quick and Cozy Fleece Blankets

Here’s the thing about the fog in San Francisco: you have to believe it is mystical and beautiful, or else you would just become horribly depressed. See that giant “cloud” at the base of Sutro Tower? Yes, that is fog. Brrrrrr.

Fog at the base of Sutro Tower, San Francisco.  Jewels at Home.

So, when we started planning an outdoor movie night for our oldest’s birthday party, I was a bit nervous, since the evenings are often chilly where we live. I decided to make fleece blankets for the boys to use during the movie, thinking they would also be great party favors. I mentioned in the post on alternative birthday gifts and favors that I like to give one or two larger items that can get some long-term use, rather than a lot of small disposable items.

There are a lot of ideas for fleece blanket projects out there. I was looking for something that would be substantial, easy to make, and still look great. That’s a tall order, and I was very happy to find this tutorial for an “Easy Peasy Fleece Blanket” from Polka Dot Chair. I made a few small changes when I did ours, and now everyone can stay toasty warm during our movie!


  • fleece – 1.5 yards of two fabrics (front and back) for each blanket. I found some fleece on sale or as remnants at the local fabric store and bought the rest from fabric.com. They had the best price I could find, when you take into account shipping costs and clearance items.
  • scrap fleece or felt for monogram letters
  • Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive
  • Computer and printer for making letter templates

Applique letters

I can do appliques in my sleep after all the recent appliqued clothes I’ve made for the kids! I decided to do first and last initials for our monograms, since we had a few kids at the party with the same first initial. I printed the initials in Century Schoolbook font in 430 pt bold. I then traced them in reverse onto the Heat ‘n Bond. I held them up to a window to trace.

Monogrammed cozy fleece blankets from Jewels at Home.

Print out the letter templates and trace them in reverse onto the Heat ‘n Bond.

I ironed the Heat ‘n Bond onto the fleece, cut out the letters, and ironed the letters on to one side the blankets, using a press cloth. Because the fabric is so thick, it helped to iron again from the back, to get the letters completely fused to the blanket fabric.

I wanted to apply the letters before sewing the blankets, so the stitching would not show through on the other side of the blanket. I had trimmed the fleece for each blanket already, so I knew the finished size. I then used rulers to mark off 5″ from each edge (3.5″ for the fringe and 1.5″ for spacing) and placed my letters in the corner (first picture below). I then sewed around each letter to secure it (second picture below).

Monogrammed cozy fleece blankets from Jewels at Home.

Iron your monogram in place in the corner. I measured 5″ from each edge, to allow for the fringe and some extra space.

Monogrammed cozy fleece blankets from Jewels at Home.

Sew around each letter to secure it to the blanket.


  • After choosing the fabric combinations, I laid out the top and bottom of each blanket and trimmed off the selvage and any other uneven areas. (top left picture below)
  • I then sewed the letters on one side of each blanket, as described above.
  • I pinned the two sides together (top right picture below).
  • Then, I sewed the sides together, with the seam 3.5″ from the edge. I found the easiest way to do this was to mark a 3.5″ seam allowance on the sewing machine using painter’s tape. (bottom left picture below)
Monogrammed cozy fleece blankets from Jewels at Home.

Lay out your fabrics, wrong sides together. Pin and trim. Sew with a 3.5″ seam allowance.

When I was done sewing, I cut strips about 1.25″ wide all around the blanket to make the fringe, stopping 0.5″ from the stitched line.

Here are the finished blankets. I love how each one is unique. The younger boys had fun prints on their blankets, and the older boys had solid fabrics or the graphic stars.

Monogrammed cozy fleece blankets from Jewels at Home.

So many ways to vary this simple fleece blanket design!

My younger boys were clamoring for me to finish their blankets, so they could use them right away!

Monogrammed cozy fleece blankets from Jewels at Home.

I like how Baby J’s firefighter blanket fits in with the rest of his nursery.

Colorful nursery from Jewels at Home.

Cozy fleece blanket tutorial from Jewels at Home.

And here they are one more time: cozy fleece blankets all ready for movie night! If I remember, I’ll take some pictures of the boys bundled up for the show.

Monogrammed cozy fleece blanket from Jewels at Home.

Yay! I wish I had the energy and fabric to make one of these for myself. I think I will have to wear a parka when we watch the movie…



DIY Decorative Trays – Ten Great Ideas

Ten Trays

The best decorating projects combine form and function – they add beauty to your space, serve a purpose, and when you make your own, they are one of a kind! A decorative serving tray is just this kind of project. You can use them to display or transport items on a coffee table, buffet, desk, kitchen counter, and more.

My friend Ari got me excited about decorating our own trays when we were at the flea market this past weekend. I picked up an older wooden tray there for just $5, and I know I have a couple of my own lying around the house. I want to use some for display in the living and dining room, and one for the desk in my craft room. There are so many great ideas, and here are some I would love to try or adapt for myself.

Silhouette and Silver

Silver leaf tray

The botanical silhouette and silver leaf on this tray are beautiful.

Brenna at Design Sponge has a tutorial for how she made this tray from a thrift store find! You could simplify it for a similar look with silver spray paint, though the silver leaf looks amazing, and the glass makes the tray useable for serving.


monogram tray

Lots of options to personalize a monogram tray from A Modern Style on Etsy.

This one is by A Modern Style on Etsy. I love the bright colors and graphic design contrasted against the wood.

Wallpaper and Lacquer

Lacquer wallpaper trays

Gorgeous lacquered trays with wallpaper inserts and bold colors from iomoi.

This is from iomoi and hand lacquered, so it would be very durable and stand up to washing and heavy use. The coordinating colors on the body of the tray and the gold trim are gorgeous! I could use some more of the Imperial Trellis wallpaper I have left over from our powder room and lining our bookcases.

Painter’s Tape and Paint

painter's tape tray

Use painter’s tape to mask a design on a plain tray (or paint the tray a background color first). Follow with spray paint – looks great in metallic for a striking graphic design.

Courtney Kaye of Courtney on the Brink made these trays for holding jewelry. They look bold and elegant! I’ve been using metallic spray paint for a lot of projects recently, and I love it!

Tile Mosaic

tiled tray

A tile mosaic looks beautiful inside this tray.

This beautiful example, as well as instructions for tiling the inside of a tray, are from the Martha Stewart.

Frame and Fabric

This is an idea to make a tray from a frame and cabinet handles. You can put fabric or pretty paper under the glass.

Patrice from Lemon Tree Creations had this creative idea for making a tray from a frame and cabinet handles. The glass protects the decorative fabric or paper.


Stenciled Tray

This stenciled tray is so elegant. I love the painted grey exterior with the white and grey graphic design.

The instructions for stenciling this tray are from HGTV.  Of course, it looks so much like my Imperial Trellis wallpaper, that I could use that for the same look, but there are other great stencil ideas out there, including stenciling words.

Paper Mache

Paper Mache Tray

A sweet little tray made from paper mache and painted different colors inside and out.

Start from scratch! The instructions for making this paper mache tray are at Everything LEB. I love how she used metallic paint inside and the sweet green-blue on the outside.

Decoupage Circles

decoupaged tray

These cute circles have text from old books on them. You could do the same with all sorts of fabrics, papers, and shapes.

A fun and unique example of decoupage from iHanna. There are so many great ways to build on this idea!


photo tray

This photo in sepia tones looks beautiful mounted inside a tray.

You could print a single large photograph or several small ones and decoupage them to the inside of a tray and/or mount under glass. This lovely example is from Merle Hillary Interiors.

All these projects would be a perfect way to re-use a tray you already have or give new life to a thrift store or garage sale find. There are also new trays that would work well for makeovers. Here are two very different examples:

Glam Base

west elm trays

These lacquered trays from West Elm are already gorgeous. You could dress them up in so many ways!

If you want a tray that is already beautiful on its own, these trays from West Elm are a great option. With a simple design and so many colors to choose from, they would also be easy to customize. Only trick I foresee is that it might be a little tricky to get things to adhere well to the lacquer.

Simple Base

For a simple unfinished wood base, try this  Walnut Hollow Unfinished Wood Serving Tray, 15-inch x 11-inch.

Well, that’s my roundup of inspirations for trays to make yourself. I hope Ari and I can find some time soon to work on ours!