Preparing for Holiday Houseguests

by Dinah Wulf

Holiday Guest Preparation (2)

Thank you to BISSELL for sponsoring today’s post, Cleaning and Preparing for Holiday Guests.

The holidays are approaching quickly! That means I have seven of my family members flying in to stay with us SOON! I admit; I have been prepping for a while. With decorating, cleaning, grocery shopping and preparing, it never seems to end.  I decorated the house more than I usually do as well.

Holiday Guest Preparation (1)

Since there will be ten of us staying at our house, I wanted to make sure everything was SUPER clean. I changed all the sheets, cleaned all the floors, and scrubbed our three bathrooms and toilets. You get the picture. My MAIN concern however was my daughter’s carpet in her bedroom because two of her cousins will have to sleep on the floor. I thoroughly vacuumed and swept, and cleaned the hardwood. There were some stains on the carpet, so I thought I would do a deep clean with my BISSELL Upright Deep Cleaning Machine and use the Scotchgard Protector Carpet Cleaning Solution for the first time.

Preparing for Holiday Houseguests

I started by vacuuming and getting the loose dirt and debris. Then, I used a pretreatment formula on some of the stains as well.

Cleaning and Preparing for Holiday Guests

Since it was my first time using the machine, I followed the quick step guide as I went along. I am no stranger to carpet steam cleaners, and I had to mention that the tank for this cleaner is the perfect size. It fits beautifully under our small bathroom sink. I’ve had issue before with other steam cleaners where you had to inconveniently and awkwardly fill the tank in the tub.

A Season for Scotchgard Protector (1)

Holy moly! I thought I was clean but this was ridiculous!

Apparently I need to a) learn how to vacuum better, or b) buy a new vacuum, because not only did the BISSELL Upright Deep Cleaning Machine and Scotchgard Protector Carpet Cleaning Solution clean my carpet brilliantly, but I picked up so much loose dirt and dog hair. I would show you a picture but it is too embarrassing!!! The machine was easy to clean after I used it as well.

Here are a couple after photos.

A Season for Scotchgard Protector (2)

A Season for Scotchgard Protector (3)

It looks brand new! I also did the large area rug in our Master bedroom as well.

A Season for Scotchgard Protector (4)

I highly recommend trying it out. I feel so much better about the kids playing and sleeping on this carpet now!

More About the BISSELL Deep Cleaning Formulas with Scotchgard Protector

I tried and recommend:

BISSELL ProHeat 2X® Premier 47A23 Upright Deep Cleaner

BISSELL Scotchgard ™ Protector solutions

Scotchgard Protector works by placing a barrier on the surface of fibers to protect against future stains.  Even if your carpets weren’t treated from the start, you can help build in some protection using BISSELL deep cleaning formulas with Scotchgard Protector.

BISSELL upright carpet cleaning formulas that include Scotchgard Protector have the substance formulated in, so as you clean your carpet you can also protect it from becoming stained in the future. This stain-protecting substance pushes liquids away from the base of carpet fibers. This means that when you have a spill, the liquid will stay at the surface longer so you have time to clean it up before the carpet is seriously damaged.

Here’s a coupon code to receive a discount off Scotchgard Protector formulas (expires 7/31/15).

BISSELL Coupon

Thank you to BISSELL for sponsoring today’s post!

DIY Elf on the Shelf Shoes

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Elf on the Shelf Shoes

Let me preface this by saying some of my friends think I’m nuts. Ha! This one may seem like I have a lot of time on my hands, but honestly it took me less than 15 minutes to do. It would have been less time if I didn’t have to wait for my glue gun to heat up. The other day Mia asked me why Josie didn’t have shoes… instant idea. So, one night after Mia went to sleep, Josie took it upon herself to make these no sew DIY Elf on the Shelf shoes.

I… I mean Josie… used what I already had, which worked out, but I thought they’d also be cute in green. Here’s what I… I mean Josie used.

Materials:

  • Black Felt
  • Lace Ribbon Trim
  • Red Craft Flowers
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Foam Paint Brushes (or pencils or pens or the like)

The first thing I did was cut two strips of black felt and folded them in half into rectangles. I free hand cut the boots. I’m not going to lie; it took a couple tries… but no huge loss for a .49 cent piece of felt that had been sitting in my craft room for months.

DIY Elf on the Shelf No Sew Shoes

I hot glued the shoes together, stuffing the feet with left over felt scraps (not sure why Elves don’t have feet). I glued it around the handle of a foam paint brush. It was the PERFECT size.

DIY Elf on the Shelf No Sew Boots

I also glued a little lace trim around her boot…

DIY Elf on the Shelf Shoes (1)

…and little red craft flowers on the side (I had these left over from some Rapunzel invitations I made).

DIY Elf on the Shelf Black Shoes

Slide them off the paint brush handle and there you have it! It was so easy! They slide right on Josie with ease.

DIY Elf on the Shelf Boots

DIY Elf on the Shelf Shoes

More Elf on the Shelf:

Elf on the Shelf First Day Idea – A cute poem and FREE printable for your elf’s arrival.

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem with Printable – Speaking of misbehaving, I ended up creating this FREE printable with a poem from your elf for the day after your child(ren) has been not so nice.

Unique Elf on the Shelf Ideas- Some creative ideas I did for Days 1-10, 2014.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour 2014

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour 2014

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I took a little longer than usual decorating the house this year. I wanted to keep it simple and not too cluttered. Since I’ve pretty much had the same decorations for many years, I did add some burlap to give it a more rustic feel.  I also incorporated a lot of fun DIY projects including some ornaments, a new wreath, and a Christmas card display that I LOVE. Included in this DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour 2014 you will see a lot of my projects. Before we get started, here’s a quick rundown of Christmas projects you will see in these photos. I’ll try to put them in order of appearance.

The tour starts at my front door into the living room, then dining room, kitchen dining area, to the family room and mantel, and lastly to the staircase. OK that’s it! Enjoy the tour!

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (3)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (2)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (1)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (4)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (5)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (7)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room (6)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Living Room

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Dining Room (1)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Dining Room (2)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Dining Room (3)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Dining Room (4)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Dining Room

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Family Room (4)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Family Room (3)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Family Room (2)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Family Room (1)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Family Room

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Staircase (2)

DIY Inspired Christmas Home Tour Staircase (1)

I hope you liked it! Nothing too flashy, but it makes me happy! Thanks for checking it out! In case you need those tutorials again, here they are!

 

Unique Elf on the Shelf Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Creative and Unique Elf on the Shelf Ideas

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am completely OBSESSED with this tradition. For one, my daughter’s excitement of finding her elf in the morning is priceless.  Her face, her reaction, her body language… it makes it all worth the time and effort. For me, I love the creative part of it. I thoroughly enjoy brainstorming unique elf on the shelf ideas that I haven’t seen before. I get a “high” from it… I know… it’s crazy.

Now that Christmas is about two weeks away, I wanted to share what I have done at our house so far this year for this fun family tradition.

Day 1: Mia found our Elf with a little “I’m Back” poem. I wrote and printed it up. You can print this out too if you’d like.

Elf on the Shelf Day 1

Day 2: Mia found Josie popping out of a cereal box on the kitchen table with a fresh mini bowl of strawberries (Mia ate them before I took the photo).

Elf on the Shelf Day 2

Day 3: On day two, Mia had a really bad day… lots of whining and crying, which was unusual. So, for day three, Josie showed up with a poem asking her to listen and behave. You can print this one out too.

Elf on the Shelf Day 3

Day 4: I had fun with this one. Josie stacked up Mia’s groceries so she could reach the stove and bake her some brownies.

Elf on the Shelf Day 4

Day 5: Mia found Josie packing up Santa’s sleigh with mini gold presents she took from our 12 Days of Christmas countdown tree.

Elf on the Shelf Day 5

Day 6: Josie wanted to be Santa for a day and tried to blend in with our Christmas decorations.

Elf on the Shelf Day 6

Elf on the Shelf Day 6a

Day 7: We had an early Christmas dinner with my parents that were visiting from out of town and Josie was kind enough to do all our dishes. Complete with mini sponge, a dish towel, and a plate, she was near the kitchen sink when Mia found her.

Elf on the Shelf Day 7

Elf on the Shelf Day 7a

Day 8: Josie had a sweet tooth. Mia caught her in the candy jar lollipop and empty candy wrapper in hand.

Elf on the Shelf Day 8

Elf on the Shelf Day 8a

Day 9: Josie decided to be adventurous and do a little repelling down the railing.

Elf on the Shelf Day 9

Elf on the Shelf Day 9 (1)

Day 10: Josie had a long night with Santa and the rest of the elves at the North Pole last night, so she decided to relax today. She even hung up her skirt in the closet.

Elf on the Shelf Day 10 (1)

Elf on the Shelf Day 10

That’s it for the first ten days at my house this year. Stay tuned for the next dozen!

More of my obsession with Elf on the Shelf:

Elf on the Shelf First Day Idea – A cute poem and free printable for your elf’s arrival.

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem with Printable – Speaking of misbehaving, I ended up creating this FREE printable with a poem from your elf for the day after your child(ren) has been not so nice.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

Winter Woodlands DIY Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

Winter Woodland Ornaments

This post, Winter Woodlands DIY Ornaments, is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for the #Makeitgiveit campaign. Read more to enter to win!

I don’t know about you, but I have had the same Christmas decorations for ten years probably. Each year, I try to change them up a little by decorating in different ways.  This year, I wanted a more rustic feel. I added burlap ribbon to my garland on my staircase and mantel as well as to my tree. I also decorated with some other natural elements like pine cones. I also made some new ornaments and wanted to share these adorable Winter Woodlands DIY Ornaments I made in a jiffy.

Materials:

  • Glass Ornaments with Front Opening
  • Craft Essentials Wood Slices
  • Decorative accents Bird’s Nest
  • Touch of Nature Bird’s Eggs and Butterflies
  • Moss
  • Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Twine

I purchased all the materials at Jo-Ann. Most of the materials can be found near the floral department.

Winter Woodland Ornament Materials

These are the glass ornaments I found. They have a fairly large opening that the wood slices and bird’s nest fit in perfectly.

Winter Woodland

Winter Woodland How To

Carefully using a hot glue gun, I glued the moss down first and then glued the wood slices in two of them and the bird’s nest in the third inside as well. I glued down the eggs in the nest, the single butterfly for the center ornament, and for the wired butterflies I put just a dab of hot glue at the end of the wire and it stuck to the wood slice perfectly.

Winter Woodlands DIY Ornaments

I removed the existing red ribbon and replaced it with twine. Here are a few photos.

Winter Woodland Butterflies Ornament

Winter Woodland Green Butterfly Ornament

Winter Woodland Bird's Nest Ornament

 

Jo-Ann #Makeitgiveit Instagram Sweepstakes

#Makeitgiveit is more than just an online sweepstakes; it is a partnership between Jo-Ann and the National Military Family Association this holiday season. To celebrate, we want to give you a $100 Jo-Ann gift card as part of our Holiday Make it – Give it Sweepstakes! Entering is easy, just share a picture on Instagram of a holiday project you are working on and tag it with #MakeItGiveIt and you’re entered! You have until December 25th, so start snapping pics! We’ll pick 5 winners and announce them on December 30th. We’ll also be donating 5 – $100 gift cards to the National Military Family Association to distribute to families. See official rules here. All entries will be featured on our Make Gifts Merrier Holiday Hub, so be sure to check it out!

Good luck!

DIY Winter Woodland Ornaments

Thank you to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for sponsoring this post!

Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas

I’m a big promoter of upcycling trash to treasure. This time of year (any time, really) is a great time to reduce, reuse, and upcycle trash into something new, useful, and beautiful. A simple way to do that this holiday season is through gift wrapping. I’m no stranger to doing this, so I have a lot of upcycled gift wrapping ideas to hopefully help inspire you!

All of the following examples were done with reusable items such as:

  • Brown paper bags
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Food containers and food boxes
  • Medicine boxes
  • Scrap paper
  • Coffee filters

Here we go!

Recycle Small Boxes for Gift Wrapping – Small medicine boxes and the like are perfect for small gift giving.

Recycle small boxes for gift wrapping

 

Washi Tape Gift Wrapping – Brown grocery bags or packing paper work nicely for gift wrapping. Just add pops of color with decorative tape.

Washi-tape-gift-wrapping-with brown bags

 

Recycled Food Containers & Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers – Cracker boxes and cereal boxes are the perfect size for many gifts.

Recycled gift wrap with food boxes and coffee filters

 

Brown Paper Bag with Neon Color Gift Wrapping – You can also use colorful paper to embellish small gifts wrapped in brown paper bags.

Paper bags as wrapping paper

 

DIY Repurposed Gift Card Holder – A regular sized brown shopping bags will make four gift card holders.

DIY-Gift-Card-Holder-Upcycling-Idea

 

Recycled Box Gift Bags – Cut the top off a food box and add a ribbon handle for an instant sturdy gift bag.

Recycled food box for gift bags

 

Border Punch Gift Wrapping Embellishments – As a Crafter, I keep a bin of scrap paper. Use a craft punch and glue them on gifts for embellishment.

Embellish gifts with paper scraps

 

Recycled Gift Wrapping Idea: Pop Top Cans – Thoroughly washed tuna cans make fun and unique gift wrapping for small gifts.

diy-pop-top-cans

 

Toilet Paper Roll Gift Wrapping – Wrap toilet paper rolls in pretty paper and slide a gift wrapped in tissue paper inside.

Toilet-Paper-Roll-Gift-Wrapping-Idea

 

Themed Recycled Food Box Gift Bags – Make your gift match the party theme, like this Hello Kitty gift bag made out of a food box.

Themed recycled gift wrapping

 

Pringle’s Can “Pull Me” Gift Kits – Pringles cans are a fun shape and size for anything from nail polish kits to t-shirts.

Recycled-can-gift-kit

DIY Repurposed Gift Card Holder

by Dinah Wulf

Brown Paper Bag Turned Chic Gift Card Holder (650x584)

Thank you to J. Jill for sponsoring this post and giveaway, DIY Repurposed Gift Card Holder. All opinions are 100% my own.

I am so excited to a) show you how to make a DIY gift card holder out of a brown paper bag, and b) give one lucky winner this DIY gift card holder along with a $100 J. Jill gift card! I was lucky enough to celebrate the J. Jill opening at the Shops at Mission Viejo the other day. It was a lovely event where I got to peruse the beautiful store, meet some amazing people, and try on the clothes! BUT! More on that and the giveaway in a minute… first, let me show you how to make this upcycled gift card holder.

Materials:

  • Brown Paper Bag
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter
  • Decorative Tape and Washi Tape

Any paper bag will do. The one pictured here will make four gift card holders.

Repurposed Brown Paper Bag Idea

First, I cut out a rectangle (approximately 4”X9”) and folded it into thirds as shown. The top flap should be shorter than the lower flap. Leave a small gap in between the flaps.

Repurposed Brown Paper Bag

Tape down the top flap with Washi tape, and trim the bottom edge. I used the tape I had left over from my Washi Tape Gift Wrapping idea.

Repurposed Brown Paper Bag Upcycle

Next, add two more strips of Washi tape all the way around the bottom half.

Repurposed Paper Bag

Insert the gift card.

DIY Repurposed Gift Card Holder

Wrap another two strips around the top flap all the way around the holder to close it.

DIY Gift Card Holder Idea

I added more sparkly decorative tape, left over from my 12 Days of Christmas mini tree, on the front as well.

DIY Gift Card Holder Upcycling Idea

 Sooooo, inside is a $100 gift card to J.Jill and one of you is going to win it!

Jill’s beautiful collections are designed for the women who lead rich, full lives. Additionally, to celebrate the opening, J. Jill made donations to their Orange County-based Compassion Fund Partner: Laura’s House. Laura’s House is committed to changing social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.

My visit was so much fun. The store was beautiful.

J. Jill

The clothes were just my style… comfy with a lot of neutral colors.

J. Jill  (1)

There was a great selection of scarves and other accessories.

J. Jill  (4)

I also loved the jewelry.

J. Jill  (3)

J. Jill  (2)

Now for the giveaway! Good luck! The winner will be chosen on Monday, December 15th at 12:00 AM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entryway Christmas Wreath DIY

by Dinah Wulf

Entryway Christmas Wreath

There’s something about a grand entrance…I think that’s what made me buy this giant wreath. Of course the first thing I thought of was, where the heck am I going to store this after Christmas but I purchased it anyway. I just couldn’t pass up the sale! And since there was such a great sale, I was able to purchase all the embellishments I wanted to make this entryway Christmas wreath DIY.

Here is the wreath. It’s fairly large, but I needed one this size to hang on the railing overlooking the front door and family room.

Christmas Wreath

This year, I added burlap to a lot of my Christmas decorations. It was an inexpensive and easy way to update the same décor I’ve had for many years. So, I started by wrapping this wreath with burlap ribbon.

Christmas Wreath with Burlap

My idea in the store was different than when I got home but it worked out.  I started adding my embellishments.  I used artificial succulents and pines, along with some pine cones. It actually turned out better than I pictured it in my head!

Christmas Wreath with Succlents and Burlap

I hung it up on the railing. It made a great addition to my entryway. Here are a few photos.

Large Christmas Wreath

Entryway Christmas Wreath DIY

Christmas Wreath for Entryway

Need some Christmas projects to inspire you?

Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem with Printable

by Dinah Wulf

Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem Free Printable

Oh my! Well, we had a rough day the other day. My daughter had an off day of crying and disobedience. I’m not sure what went wrong, because she’s a pretty good kid most of the time. I was so frustrated with her by the end of the day; I really wanted to take away her elf, Josie. Perhaps Josie would just spend the day at the North Pole instead because of Mia’s bad behavior. But because my daughter is only four, my husband and I weren’t sure if she would fully understand, so I decided to give her a warning and wrote this Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem instead.

 

Yesterday was tough, you had a bad day!

I should have left, but decided to stay.

Please listen to Mommy and Daddy as well.

Be a good kid and your ELF will not tell.

Santa expects the best from us all.

Spread good acts of kindness, none are too small.

Next time this happens, I will not appear.

Today’s a fresh start. Understand me, my dear?

 

Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem

You can download the printable for free here:  Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem

Elf on the Shelf Bad Day Poem Printable

 

More Elf on the Shelf:

Elf on the Shelf First Day Idea – A cute poem and free printable for your elf’s arrival.

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

Snowman Joy Wreath

by Dinah Wulf

Snowman Joy Wreath Tutorial

Do you want to build a snowman? Ha! I made this easy snowman joy wreath from three grapevine wreaths I found in the dollar bin at Target a couple years ago. It’s super easy to make and adds a little character to your holiday décor. Here is how I made it,

Materials:

  • Three Grapevine Wreaths
  • JOY MDF Letters
  • Paint & Paint Brush
  • Ribbon, Both Thick and Thin
  • Plastic Jewels
  • Black Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Craft Flowers
  • Glue
  • Scarf

These are the wreaths I found in the dollar bin. They are the perfect size for this project.

Snowman Wreath DIY

I found these letters made out of MDF at Michael’s and painted them green.

Snowman Joy Wreath Idea

Snowman Joy Wreath How To

Next, I added a little plastic gem to weigh them down a little and tied them to the wreaths

Snowman Joy Wreath DIY

Snowman Joy Wreath

I tied each wreath together with ribbon.

Snowman Wreath How To

I also made a top hat out of card stock and added some craft flowers.

Snowman Joy Wreath Top Hat

Lastly, I added a scarf.

Snowman Joy Wreath With Scarf

There you have it! Super easy snowman joy wreath!

Snowman Joy Wreath Tutorial

Need some Christmas projects to inspire you?

 

DIY Wreath Hanger Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

Repurposed Wire Hanger

I was decorating the house the other day and I needed a simple way to hang a wreath on the mirror over my mantel. I had a regular wreath hanger you can buy at the store, but it was too long. It hung too far down the mirror. Like a dork, I attempted to tape it up and they fell…duh! But you know, I was decorating all day and I wanted quick fix.  So, I sat and stared at it for a minute or two. I grabbed a wire hanger and made a quick DIY wreath hanger. I just thought I would share this super easy tip with you!

All you need is:

  • Wire hanger
  • Wire cutter

 

Step One:

Cut the top of the hanger as shown with a pair of wire cutters.

Repurposed Wire Hanger Idea

Step Two:

Straighten the hanger as best as possible into a straight line. It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Grab the middle and fold it in half.

Step three:

Make an “S” shape, squaring out the back so that the curved part is the hanger, and the ends of the hanger are the back.

Repurposed Wire Hanger (2)

Repurposed Wire Hanger (1)

Hang your wreath! That’s it! It was so quick and easy and I didn’t have to spend a dime.

DIY Wreath Hanger Tutorial

Need some Christmas projects to inspire you?

12 Days of Christmas Count Down Tree

by Dinah Wulf

12 Days of Christmas Count Down Tree

I know advent starts earlier, but this year, since I like to give little candies or small toys each day, I thought I’d limit the gifting to 12 days and made this cute little gold 12 Days of Christmas Count Down Tree.

As part of December’s Dollar Bin Challenge, a bunch of Bloggers and I got together and purchased mini trees from a retail store dollar bin. We all put our very own creative spin on them. Here’s the tree!

12 Days of Christmas Tree Dollar bin Challenge

Cute, right? It was only $3.00 at Target. Here is how I made mine.

Materials:

  • Mini Tree
  • Glittered Letters
  • Raffia Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tree Topper Embellishments of Choice
  • 12 Small Boxes and Bags
  • Gift Wrapping Embellishments of Choice (ribbon, stickers, decorative tape)

I wanted to put “Merry & Bright” on my mini garland, so I found these cute adhesive gold sparkly letters.

12 Days of Christmas Tree Decor

I removed the paper backing and carefully hot glued each letter onto some raffia ribbon.

12 Days of Christmas Tree Garland

For the tree topper, I found these to pieces in the Christmas bins at Jo-Ann’s and intertwined them together.

12 Days of Christmas Tree Topper

I also wrapped 12 small toys, candies, and chocolates in different boxes and mini gift bags.  I used any small boxes I could find around the house. I embellished them in gold stickers and ribbon to match the tree.

12 Days of Christmas Tree Advent

We will start our countdown on December 13th this year through the 24th. Mia’s three cousins will be here on the 19th, so I made sure to put a little extra in the boxes for her to share.

12 Days of Christmas Tree

Be sure to stop by and see what the other talented participants of the December Dollar Bin Challenge did with their mini trees!

Dollar Bin Challenge (577x650)

Tina from Zoo Cutie Printables

Robin from Crafting Mommy of Two

Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box

Jenny from Simply Creative Ways

Monika from Life With Love Bugs

Also, in case you missed them, here are a few other easy Christmas crafts I have done over the years!

 

Elf on the Shelf First Day Idea

by Dinah Wulf

Elf on the Shelf First day Idea

Hi. I’m Dinah…and I am obsessed. I know. I don’t normally write on Saturday afternoons, but I just wanted to post this idea before Monday and I got carried away with the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving. Monday, the 1st is when I start the Elf on the Shelf tradition with my family. This year, I made an “I’m back” printable with a little poem and treat, so I wanted to share my Elf on the Shelf first day idea ASAP!

First I made this quick little snowman marshmallow treat. The printable I made will work with any treat, but I made this snowman in seconds.

Marshmallow Snowman (1)

Here is what you need.

  • Three marshmallows
  • Skewer
  • Black and orange food marker
  • Fruit roll up
  • Scissors

Simply stack the marshmallows on the skewer and draw the face and add the fruit roll up scarf. I fringed the scarf ends with scissors.

Marshmallow Snowman

I also made this little printable so that you can make it any size you wish. I layed it with green card stock and added some little pompoms to make it a little more festive.

Elf on the Shelf First Day Printable

It says:

I’m Back!

Oh how I missed you;

It’s great to be back!

I made you some treats,

A sweet little snack.

I hope you like it

It’s one of my faves.

You better be good!

You better behave!

You can download the FREE printable HERE: Elf on the Shelf First Day Printable

Here’s what Mia will find on Monday morning when she wakes up!

Elf on the Shelf First day Idea (1)

More Elf on the Shelf (I told you I was obsessed):

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

by Dinah Wulf

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

I can’t believe this is my 4th Thanksgiving with DIY Inspired and I’m feeling really sappy right now, so I just wanted to take a minute to reflect on the year and write down what I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day…

My supportive and loving husband and daughter

Warm creamy coffee in the mornings

Rituals

Doing what I love and am passionate about for a living

My computer and camera

Photo editors and spell check

Google

The internet, books, and magazines

Dance party Fridays (and sometimes Saturdays & Sundays) in our living room with my little family of 3

Music, all kinds

Seeing the perfect blend of our personalities in our daughter

Watching my husband and daughter be silly from afar

Taking funny videos of them when they aren’t paying attention

Our home, our city, our state, and our country

SoCal weather

My best friends

My incredible authentic relationships with those friends

Girl’s nights

Girl’s weekends

My Dad, Mom, stepmom, and in-laws

Cousins, Aunts, and Uncles

Phone calls, text messages, and social media, especially to keep contact with my friends and family

Smart phones and apps

Digital cameras and filters

My brother and everything about him

Flea markets, swap meets, thrift stores, and antique malls

Garage sales and yard sales

Walking my husband to the door in the mornings with Mia and sending him off to work with hugs, kisses, and dramatic waves

Going to Disneyland with my daughter, just the two of us

Watching movies and reality TV with my husband

Creamer, Cheetos, and Oreo cookies

Walking my daughter to school and packing her lunch

Seeing that my daughter is excited to do homework with me

My daughter’s innocence, curiosity, and honesty

Reading her books every night, helping her get ready for bed, and tucking her in

Being creative, writing, and working with my hands almost everyday

My pups, Pablo (Pab Dillers, Pabs) & Harley (Har-diculous, Har-dog)

Working with brands that I would have never imagined partnering with

Glue guns, spray paint, scrapbook paper, scissors, hardware stores, and craft stores

Loyal readers, social media followers, their daily comments, “likes”, questions, interaction, and support

DIYInspired.com and InheritingOurPlanet.com

I’m SURE there is much MUCH more.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and your friends!

Dinah

Washi Tape Gift Wrapping

by Dinah Wulf

As a one-stop “Holiday Workshop,” Office Depot and OfficeMax offer everything with the lowest prices ever on the Black Friday deals like high-performing laptops to the hottest gift cards so shoppers can find the right gifts for everyone on their holiday lists. Whether you need a gift for someone in the office or a client, a family member or a friend, or an impulse buy for yourself, Office Depot and OfficeMax have all the business and home office essentials, technology products and accessories you need.

Today I thought I’d share some holiday Washi tape gift wrapping ideas. Office Depot and OfficeMax have an AWESOME selection of Washi tape and duct tape in several colors and patterns to choose from. It took me a while to decide on the colors and patterns I wanted, and ended up getting a mixture of black and white, gold, pink, and blue.

I knew I wanted to use brown wrapping paper to wrap my gifts. I thought the Washi tape would be a great contrast to the brown paper for small gifts I am giving to my family this year. Here are a few tips to Washi tape gift wrapping.

  1. When choosing colors and patterns, place all of them together in a row, and change the orders of the colors and patterns until it’s pleasing to the eye.
  2. I chose to limit each gift to one pattern and two or three solid colors. For some reason I’m not confident in my mixed patterned choices! Ha!
  3. Place the Washi tape in a weave pattern. For example, lay one horizontal, the next vertical, and keep alternating.

Here are a few pictures.

I love this type of gift wrapping because it’s simple, inexpensive, and gives your gift an extra special DIY touch.

Office Depot and OfficeMax are offering great Holiday savings (the lowest prices ever) even earlier this year with Black Friday sales starting on Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m. and online deals beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. They are offering web-only offers including Black Friday ad deals valid on Wednesday at midnight, and Cyber Monday begins on Sunday at midnight.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Office Depot and OfficeMax. The opinions and text are all mine.

Off

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home

by Dinah Wulf

This post, Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home, is sponsored by Bona, All opinions are 100% my own.

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home (1)

I am so excited to have my parents coming to visit us from Maryland the first week of December, and my in-laws coming to visit us from Illinois over Christmas this year! I’m crossing my fingers that this will be a new holiday tradition. With that comes a lot of cleaning and preparation, so I thought that I’d share some holiday tips for a beautiful home, especially to help prepare for guests.

This year, we redid our floors.  We removed the carpet and put in cement floors downstairs, and hardwood floors on the staircase and the entire upstairs. Here is our entryway to show the cement floors and hardwood floors on the steps.

Holiday Cleaning Tips (2)

These two photos are our upstairs hallway with the new hardwood floors.

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home (4)

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home (1)

Since the completion of the floors, I think I’ve tried every cleaning product available! I’ve tried both residential and commercial products and all were just OK. Not completely satisfied I kept looking. FINALLY! I found one. Bona is the perfect addition to your pre-holiday decorating routine.  I bought this Bona hardwood floor mop to try it out.

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home

OK, warning… this is gross… BUT my two pups had sneezing spells!! I had the windows open on a windy, but sunny day here in SoCal, and the dust blew in. Both my dogs went crazy on the sneezing! Here is what happened to our floors!

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home (3)

I used the Bona hardwood floor mop and voila! In less than a minute (the dogs didn’t even budge!), the floors looked brand new again.

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home (2)

Since I want our home to be sparking and festive when our guests arrive, I went to town cleaning and doing a little early holiday decorating. I wanted to pay special attention to the guest room, so I washed all the sheets, cleaned the windows and hardwood floors. I also put fresh towels and toiletries like razors, shampoo and conditioner, soap, and Q-tips in the guest bathroom. This photo is the entrance into the guest bedroom with clean floors!

Holiday Tips for a Beautiful Home (5)

I added a simple, but not overwhelming holiday wreath in the guest room to welcome my family as well.

Holiday Cleaning Tips

I also started decorating the railings of the stairs, now that they are clean and shiny.

Holiday Cleaning Tips (1)

Let Bona help you get your floors shining this holiday season! Sign up for the BonaFide Fanatics mailing list and download the $3.00 off coupon! Bona Hardwood Floor cleaners are non-toxic and GREENGUARD certified and won’t leave any residue behind. It is also third-party certified to be safe and effective. Try it put!

Thank you so Bona for sponsoring this post! I LOVE my new mop!

DIY Christmas Card Display

by Dinah Wulf

 

Christmas Card Display with Chicken Wire (1)

This article, DIY Christmas Card Display, is sponsored by Pear Tree Greetings. All opinions are 100% my own.

Lucky for me, this year I was able to design my custom Christmas cards with Pear Tree Greetings. There were SO many choices for holiday photo cards I couldn’t decide. Their personalization process made it so easy though to save the photos I wanted to use so that I could come back to them later. I FINALLY decided on the Golden Greeting Trifold Christmas Cards. I love them because they are made from 100% recycled matte card stock.

Then, I started to think about all the lovely cards that my friends and family will be sending me. I have never had a nice photo display so I decided to make one. Here is how I made my DIY Christmas Card Display.

Materials:

  • Old Frame (check thrift stores!)
  • Paint, Paint Brush, Painter’s Tape (optional)
  • Poultry Netting
  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Wire Cutter
  • Pliers
  • Ornaments and Ribbon (optional)
  • Clothespins

Can you believe I found this painting for free in the trash? Yep… I took it and was REALLY excited about it.

Before-Old Painting

Because I am upcycling an existing painting, I had a couple extra steps.  You can see here, I had to disassemble the painting and remove some nails.

Old Painting Preparation (650x215)

I also decided to paint the frame white. So, I taped off the burlap trim and primed and painted the frame.

Old Painting Prep (650x515)

Next, I measured and cut the poultry netting to fit inside the frame. Be sure to staple down all four sides.

DIY Christmas Card Display

DIY Christmas Card Display with Chicken Wire

Here is what it looks like with the netting. You can leave it like this and use it as an organization board in an office or craft room as well.

DIY Christmas Card Display with Poultry Netting

Christmas Card Display

But, since I’m using this for Christmas cards, I added some ornaments and ribbon.

DIY Christmas Card Display (4)

Here are some close ups of the cards I ordered from Pear Tree Greetings. This is the front.

DIY Christmas Card Display Repurposed

When you unfold it, this is the front of the card.

DIY Christmas Card Display (5)

This is the back.

DIY Christmas Card Display (6)

I absolutely love them and I’m sure my friends and family will love them too.

DIY Christmas Card Display Pear Tree Greetings

DIY Christmas Card Display Upcycled

Christmas Card Display with Chicken Wire

Thank you so much to Pear Tree Greetings for sponsoring this post!

In case you missed it, check out the wall decals I got from them to make some DIY Wall Art for my daughter’s play area!

Easy Mini Winter Scene in a Cloche

by Dinah Wulf

Mini Winter Scene Cloche (2)

I think I have an obsession with all things mini and pretty things inside glass cloches. For example, I recently made these DIY Snow Globe Ornaments and these Mini Winter Forest in Vintage Tea Cups. I also made a few centerpieces like my Easy Gold, Black, and White Pumpkins DIY and for a bridal shower I made these Mad Hatter Tea Party Centerpieces & Ideas. Today for Craft Lightening, I wanted to share a simple fifteen minute Easy Mini Winter Scene in a Cloche for your Christmas decorations.

Here’s what I used:

  • Mini Trees
  • Mini Clock
  • Unfinished Wooden Bench
  • Paint Brush
  • Black Craft Paint
  • Printed Scrapbook Paper
  • Scissors
  • Fake snow

First I painted the little bench. I used what I had and painted it black. You can also stain it a darker wood tone as well (I had some stain but it dried out! Whoops!).

Mini Winter Scene Cloche

I found some scrapbook paper that I had that looked like newspaper. I cut out a small rectangle and then folded and rolled it to look like a mini newspaper to lay on top of the park bench.

Mini Winter Scene Cloche (1)

Desn’t it look cute? I thought it was a nice extra touch.

Easy Winter Scene in a Cloche

I put some fake snow on the base of my stand and made the little arrangements with three sparkling green mono trees I got last year to use for my winter forest display.

Mini Winter Scene Cloche (2)

Here it is! Super easy and took minutes. I realized the clock isn’t to the exact scale, but I thought it still looked cute. It was on sale anyway!

Easy Mini Winter Scene in a Cloche

Mini Winter Scene Cloche (3)

Be sure to visit the other blogs participating in Craft Lightening this week and head on over to our hosts, Country Chic Cottage and 30 Minute Crafts for more 15 minute Christmas ideas!

If you want to see some of my other 15 minute Craft Lightening crafts you might like:

Pin Me!

Easy Winter Scene

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