Holidays - DIYInspired.com
18th Dec2013

Preparing Your Home for Holiday Entertaining

by Dinah Wulf

I LOVE entertaining, especially for the holidays. Every year my best girlfriends and our families get together for an annual Christmas party. In fact, I plan weeks in advance for every detail to make my home warm and inviting for them every Christmas. There are always a few things I keep in mind while preparing my home for holiday entertaining.

Deck the Halls

Oh boy!  One of the reasons I love entertaining is because it’s a great excuse for decorating… I literally DECK the halls, the staircase, the mantel… EVERY room! Showing off my crafty touches excites me (I’m such a Geek).  I of course have to start with the front door. The hanging pinecone wreath was one of my favorite tutorials last Christmas.

This year I’m adding a small tree in addition to the big tree filled with homemade vintage inspired ornaments like these.

Last year I made this Holiday Joy Wreath that I put up to decorate the coat closet door.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I think soft music playing in the background is a must to help get your guests in a festive mood while you are entertaining and holiday music is my fave!  This past Friday at 3pm, a local radio station started playing non-stop Christmas music. Oh how I counted down the minutes! They will play it all day every day until Christmas. Guess which station all the radios in my house are tuned to?

Sweet Holiday Treat™

Every season Glade® comes out with fantastic seasonal scents.  This year, they have a special scent, Sweet Holiday Treat™. Talk about Indulging in the irresistible scent of rich cocoa, toasted nuts and creamy caramel! I love scented candles like this burning throughout the season.  I like to light them in the evening during my parties to not only make my home smell great, but to create a comfy ambiance through the candle light.

Additionally, Glade® has a product for every moment. Every Glade® product brings true-to-life fragrance into your home, while the wide variety of devices assures there’s one for all your life’s needs. Some additional scents are:

  • Glade® Apple Cinnamon CheerTM
  • Glade® Sparkling SpruceTM
  • Glade® Pure Vanilla Joy
  • Glade® Frosted Berry Kiss

Sweepstakes Alert!

Real Simple is running a Glade® sweepstakes from November 14th to December 16th {here}. One hundred winners will receive a $10 Target GiftCard to purchase a Glade® Winter Collection product, plus a copy of Real Simple Celebrations!

Christmas is right around the corner!  I hope these tips help with your next holiday party!

Get festive this holiday season with the Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection available exclusively at Target. Inspired by the best feelings of the season, the Glade® Sweet Holiday Treat™ scent lets you indulge in the irresistible scent of rich cocoa, toasted nuts, and creamy caramel. The 2013 Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection was inspired by the nostalgic, spontaneous, snowy, moments that build up to the holidays. Creating memories with loved ones defines the season and the holiday lineup from Glade® is just as memorable. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glade®. The opinions and text are all mine.

17th Dec2013

Mason Jar Teacher’s Survival Gift Kits

by Dinah Wulf

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My daughter is only three years old but she is in her first year of pre-school. So, this is the first time she’s really had teachers AND the first time I’ve gotten to make a teacher’s gift for the end of winter break. I decided to break out the good old recycled Mason jars and make Mason Jar Teacher’s Survival Gift Kits for her teachers, Mrs. Shelly and her assistant Mrs. G.

Materials:

  • Mason jar per gift
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Paper cutter
  • Double sided tape
  • Paint
  • Brush
  • Circle craft punch
  • Computer and printer (optional)
  • Felt ribbon
  • Gifts (see below)

I started off by using two spaghetti sauce jars.  I had to REALLY wash them because they smelled like sauce!

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I decided to buy some fun small things to fit inside like, candy, mints, gum, note pad, pen, lip balm, mini lint roller, hand sanitizer, lotion, and band aides. The possibilities are endless for this gift.  Gift cards and movie tickets are great too.

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Next I designed, printed, and cut out my scrapbook paper to cover the jars. Since they are pre-school teachers I picked little blue mittens and red stockings for my decorative paper.

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I stuffed the jars and everything fit nicely.

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I added them to the jar and painted the lid blue and used a circle craft punch to cover the top with corresponding paper. I love the combo of blue and red.

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Finally, I used felt ribbon to mimic a scarf for the ribbon around the lid. That’s it! I thought they turned out so cute.  I really hope Mrs. Shelly and Mrs. G love them!

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16th Dec2013

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

OK, so I warned you on my first Elf on the Shelf post that I may be posting 2-3 Elf on the Shelf posts! I SWEAR this one is my last one (for the year…hee hee).  If you missed my first two here they are:

Both of these posts I wrote as inspiration to myself as to ideas I could do for my first year of this awesome tradition with my three-year-old. This post is what I’ve actually done this year (some of the ones in the previous posts I ended up doing too). If you follow me on Instagram you already saw these. So here we go!

The first night Josie showed up, she came in on a sleigh and reindeer.

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That day, for some reason, my daughter was having the WORST day of crying, whining, and tantrums.  SO, the next day Josie showed up with this letter from Santa:

                Dear Mia,

                Josie was watching and said you were bad. She told Santa and it made him sad. You better shape up and all will be fine, if you want toys at Christmas time.

              -Santa

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She saw this and shaped up! She has been pretty good so far!

Here, Josie roasted mini marshmallows with a couple of Mia’s stuffed toys.

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The next day she took a “bubble” bath in mini marshmallows on our stove in a pot.

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She got creative this day and ate some candy and a made little mini toy car out of a mini candy bar, marshmallows, toothpicks, and a Starburst.

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Josie was kind enough to sweep up the pine needles from the Christmas tree. Too bad she couldn’t get the dog hair!

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Josie enjoyed the SoCal sun this day.  She laid on a kitchen towel and borrowed some toys (water bottle, blanket, Frisbee, and basket.)

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Josie played dress p and raided the jewelry, mirror, and comb in Mia’s purse (Yes, my daughter is SUPER girly).

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Josie played a trick in our guest bathroom and had some fun with the toilet paper.

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Lastly, Josie (the Elf UNDER the shelf) made a swing out of some left over ribbon and a toilet paper roll.

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I promise to save the ones that I do until Christmas for next year! 

Just in case, here are the previous two posts I wrote again:

12th Dec2013

Quick and Easy Holiday Gift Bag Party Favors

by Dinah Wulf

This post, Quick and Easy Holiday Gift Bag Party Favors, is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and DCWV for the PaperCrafted Christmas Campaign. All opinions are 100% my own.

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I am so excited for this year’s annual Christmas party at my house this year.  It’s not an extravagant party, by any means.  Rather, it’s quite intimate for my closest and dearest friends and their kids. As part of the Paper Crafted Christmas campaign with Jo-Ann Fabrics and DCWV, I couldn’t resist making these Quick and Easy Holiday Gift Bag Party Favors.

I bought these mini-recycled gift bags at Jo-Ann’s.  I found them in the dollar bins for two for $1.00. What a deal!

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I thought the paper in the DCWV Christmas Basics and Winter Basics stacks were perfect for these cute little bags.

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Using iPiccy.com, I made these tags that say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year love The Wulf Pack”… get it? My last name is Wulf? Ha!  Anyway, I picked some fun colors and fonts and printed and cut these tags using a paper cutter.

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I also cut out pieces of the DCWV cardstock to create a border and attached the tag with double-sided tape.

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I used a small hole punch and attached them to each bag with ribbon.  I filled each bag with lollipops, chocolate, and candy! That’s it!  Super easy! I can’t wait to give them away.  I may give a couple to some of Mia’s friends from school and her teachers and teacher gifts.

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Thank you so much to Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and DCWV for sponsoring this post!

11th Dec2013

Gift Card Pairing Ideas for the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

Gift Card Pairing Ideas is sponsored by Ralph’s.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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I’ve often heard people say “gift cards are so impersonal”.  On the contrary, gift cards allow the recipient to buy what their hearts desire without the hassles and hurts of playing the return and exchange game. I’ve put together a fun list of creative gift card pairing ideas to make the “impersonal” a thoughtful and stand out holiday gift. Oh! And of course I had to throw in my own upcycled DIY tutorial!

My husband and I went to Ralph’s and were inspired by so many ideas.  We searched the aisles to look for creative gift card pairing ideas… and I must say we were EASILY inspired! We came up with several ideas to fit many different types of people like, co-workers, picky family members, and fellow Moms. More on this later… I want to share with you what I ended up buying my in-laws along with a gift card from Ralph’s.

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My in-laws are coffee drinkers like me, so we bought two recycled eco-friendly Aladdin coffee travel mugs, a bag of their favorite Starbucks coffee, and some Private Selection Carmel Sea Salt hot cocoa.

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I decided to make my own gift box out of a recycled food box. I cut it to size leaving the top open.

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To cover it, I used:

  • Recycled burlap coffee bean sack
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paper (optional)

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The burlap I used was a little see-through, so I covered the box with paper to hide the writing.  I had this burlap coffee sack left over from when I made my recycled coffee bean sack pillows. I used a glue gun to secure the burlap in place.

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I stuffed the inside with some extra burlap scraps and placed my items gift card inside.  It turned out quite sturdy and cute!

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Here are some other gift card pairing ideas we came up with while inspired by walking up and down the aisles of Ralph’s:

  1. Dessert theme:  ice cream cones, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauce, and cherries
  2. Baby theme: any baby products along with your gift card
  3. Nail theme: nail clippers, nail file, nail polish, cotton balls
  4. Spa theme: face mask, wash glove, loofa, sponge, lotion
  5. Mixed drink theme: any of the Bonny shakers, corckscrew, jigger, or cocktail strainers, and a bottle of liquor
  6. Wine theme: bottle of wine, wine charms, wine bag, and corkscrew

The list goes on and on but those are our favorites.  We wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Ralph’s for sponsoring this post and inspiring us!

10th Dec2013

Christmas Tree Centerpiece #FabulouslyFestive

by Dinah Wulf

Christmas Tree Centerpiece in sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Stores for the Celebrate the Seasons Campaign.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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I’m having three parties in the next few weeks and I wanted to make a pretty centerpiece for our eight foot dining table.  I went to Jo-Ann’s and found some great things.  For this Christmas Tree Centerpiece I bought these items at Jo-Ann’s:

  • Three mini Holiday Inspiration trees
  • Three strands of Holiday Inspiration silver garland
  • Three wooden craft star ornaments
  • Silver and Gold Glitter
  • Gold craft paint
  • A paintbrush
  • Glue

I absolutely fell in love with threes trees when I saw them.  I love the burlap wrapped around the base.

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I knew I wanted to make the centerpiece silver and gold so I bought these pretty strands of ribbon and bead garland.

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I wrapped it around each tree and they fit perfectly.

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My daughter picked out these three wooden stars.  She wanted to help me glitter them.

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We painted the edges gold and them glittered the back gold.

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I used a paintbrush to paint the edge of the front with glue and glittered it gold as well.

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We glittered the center silver.

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My daughter helped and placed the stars on top.  I put the trees on silver and gold serving platters and scattered silver and gold ornaments around each tray.  I didn’t have a table runner so I folded a table cloth that I had handy.

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This project was fun to do with my daughter.  It’s simple and easy yet fabulously festive!!  Thank you to Jo-Ann’s for sponsoring this post!

09th Dec2013

Kids Christmas Table Setting #PaperCraftedChristmas

by Dinah Wulf

This post, Kids Christmas Table Setting, is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and DCWV for the PaperCrafted Christmas Campaign. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Every year, my four best friends and I get together for a Christmas party. We have great memories each year of the kids making ornaments and decorating cookies.  This year, I wanted to make a special table for the kids.  With the help of Die Cuts With a View (DCWV), I was able to make a colorful and whimsical Kids Christmas Table Setting out of mostly paper!

Using sturdy decorative cardstock is perfect for a kids table setting because it’s thick enough to avoid rips, unbreakable, and easily disposable. DCWV has so many fun and festive winter and holiday supplies.

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Here is a shopping list of supplies you may need for this table setting:

  • DCWV The Holiday Cheer Stack
  • DCWV Christmas & Winter Embellishments pack
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Paper Cutter
  • Circle Edge Punch
  • Ruler

I started off by simply covering recycled Mason jars with coordinating paper. 

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For the napkin rings I picked two different colors and patterns and topped it off with a charm from the DCWV Christmas & Winter embellishment pack.

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I also covered some red and green favor bags filled with candy for each guest.

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For the placemats, I layered one 12X12 sheet of DCWV underneath a paper doily I made using a circle edge punch at 11” in diameter.  Here is a tutorial for how to make a paper doily.  I also made a paper doily for the center of the table.

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I purchased the adorable gingerbread boy and girl plates and napkins from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores. 

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There you have it! I hope you enjoyed my version of a Paper Crafted Christmas! Here is a 50% coupon good until December 31st, 2013 for your next purchase at Jo-Ann’s!  Enjoy!

06th Dec2013

DIY Inspired Christmas Decorations 2013

by Dinah Wulf

Yay! We finally reached the politically correct time of decorating our home for Christmas… Thanksgiving weekend.  I was lucky enough to have my Dad, step mother, and brother in town from the east coast.  It was a really special time for me. This was also the first year in a very long time that I had family in town to help decorate (my parents are on the East coast and my husband’s parents live in the Midwest). So, I just wanted to share the Christmas decorations we put up together this year.

Starting with the outside, I hung these wreaths with the bathroom Command Brand hooks. They work really well!

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Since we remodeled our balcony, of course I had to spruce it up with some garland and a wreath.

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I kept our entryway simple with a hanging pinecone decoration I made last year, and the door anchored by two decorated mini trees.

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When you walk into our front room, there is a mini tree decorated with the vintage handkerchief ornaments I made and the vintage style ornaments I made a few weeks ago. I used some extra vintage handkerchiefs as a tree skirt.

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On the coat closet I hung the green holiday JOY wreath I made.

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On top of our bar is the collection of Santas I started and stopped shortly after (I don’t know what happened!).

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Pass the front room and into the family room we put up our tree.  Here is my husband and brother putting it up.

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We let it settle overnight and decorated it the next morning.  My daughter has the bottom covered ;)

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In past years BHBD (before husband and before daughter), I would decorate my tree with two-three types of ribbon, flowers, and color coordinating ornaments.  But now, the tree is more meaningful with collections of ornaments accumulated over the years since we were kids.  It’s much better I must say!

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Lastly, here is our mantel.  I placed my winter forest in apothecary jars on top.

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That’s it so far!  I’m bound to add more before Christmas!

05th Dec2013

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

So I realized that when I wrote the post Elf on a Shelf Ideas last week, I was making this whole thing WAY harder than it had to be.  I guess because of Pinterest, and other fabulous and creative Bloggers, AND it was my daughter’s first year doing it, I felt pressure to find unique and different elf on a shelf ideas that no one has ever seen before.  Fah-get about it! SOOOO, here are a few more EASY elf on a shelf ideas I came up with.  I decided to make two dozen (this includes the seven elf on a shelf ideas I posted last week) more. Here we go!

I started in the kitchen.  There were so many simple things you can do in there, from placing the elf in your refrigerator to hiding him or her in a pantry.  Make sure it’s a place at eye level or close to it if you have a really little one like I do.

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Next I looked at our Christmas decorations since we just put them up.  I hid her in between the Santa collection and among candy jars. I even put her in our small tree and hiding in the “o” in our JOY wreath I made.

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Then I walked around the rest of the house. All of which were very simple and easy and didn’t require much thought. I love the one with the elf hiding in a plant with a straw hat on her head… again…SUPER  easy but still cute and creative.

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So, my advice for those of you that love this tradition or hate this tradition and do it for the kids, don’t let it stress you out.  Keep it simple, and make it fun for your whole family including YOU!

Update! Check out these new Elf on the Shelf Ideas I did!

04th Dec2013

Holiday Shopping with Home Depot

by Dinah Wulf

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I am honored to be sponsored by Home Depot for this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

My family and I shop at Home Depot often.  By “often” I mean the other day I asked my three year old daughter what she would like for lunch and she replied, “A hot dog from Home Depot.” We went this past weekend and had a shopping list in mind. In particular, we were looking for these items for my brother. If you don’t know my brother, I can best describe him as a cross between Martha Stewart and MacGyver.  He can construct, bake, sew, cook, you name it.  He’s a creative genius and Home Depot is the perfect place to find him a gift or three.

Our Shopping List:

Home Depot was extremely busy two days after Thanksgiving but we DID get some special help from Richard and Ray.

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Richard personally took us around the store and guided us in the right direction and quickly among the hustle and bustle. Many of the gifts on our list could be found in the gift center.

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This is my daughter who was VERY happy riding in the car shopping cart collecting all our items.

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My husband and I looked over the five items on our shopping list and decided on three of them. Here is another photo of my daughter once again overjoyed to find the right gift items for her Tito (uncle).

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We decided on the Ryobi One Plus Cordless Brad Nailer, the Husky Rolling Tool Tote, and the Husky Mechanics Tool Set . My brother is most deserving of all these things and I can’t wait to give it to him.

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I had difficulty deciding how to wrap such large items, so I wrapped the Brad Nailer and the Tool Set in wrapping paper and they both happen to fit PERFECTLY inside the Rolling Tool Tote. I then thought that I should make my own bow for the top in a few easy steps.

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Here are the full step by step instructions on how to make a large bow out of ribbon. It turned out quite nice!

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I wrapped some ribbon around the rolling tool tote and placed my homemade ribbon on top.

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I absolutely CANNOT wait to give this to my brother!! Santa may come a little early this year because I’m so excited!

Thank you to Home Depot for sponsoring this post! I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this holiday gift giving project. As part of the project, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash and gift cards, for the purpose of promoting the holiday gift giving project and The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

28th Nov2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

by Dinah Wulf

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

27th Nov2013

Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets

by Dinah Wulf

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I love Christmas family cards because it showcases my friends and their families as they grow over the years.  The whole family is dressed up and looking their best.  The only problem is that the cards sit in a drawer, get tucked away in a box, or even get tossed in the trash.  Looking at these photos, I wanted to recycle them into something that I can look at daily, so I made these Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets and literally turn trash to treasure.

This project takes some time; days in fact. It takes a while because I, of course, took the cheap route! I chose to use decoupage medium because it was already in my craft closet.  For quicker results, you can use resin.

Here are the materials you need:

  • Bottle Caps
  • Decoupage medium like Mod Podge
  • Old pictures
  • A half inch circle craft punch
  • Magnets
  • Strong adhesive, like E 6000
  • Time

First, fill each bottle cap ¾ of the way with decoupage medium. Gently lift and tap the cap on your counter to even and smooth out the glue.  This also helps eliminate small air bubbles.  Set them aside (I waited 24 hours).  Meanwhile, use the craft punch to punch out pictures that you would like to use.  You don’t have to use pictures for this.  I have also tried patterned scrapbook paper and small stickers.  You can even use magazine photos as well.

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Once the glue has hardened (it doesn’t have to be COMPLETELY hardened), put another small dab of glue on top and insert your photo.  Add another layer of glue.  Again, gently tap the bottle cap to a hard surface to even and smooth out the glue.

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Allow the second layer to dry.  This time, I waited 48 hours.  This photo shows the 24 hour mark.  Next, attach the magnets to the back of the bottle cap using a strong adhesive.  The glue will dry completely clear over time (approximately 48-72 hours).

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Consider packaging these cute magnets in a small treat bag with a personalized label and give as homemade gifts!

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26th Nov2013

Ribbon Christmas Tree Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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Hi everyone! I am very excited to share a craft with you all and so appreciative to Dinah for letting me share it here. I’m all about simple crafts because I’ve been known to start a project & leave it half finished (we won’t talk about how many I have going right now!). This Ribbon Christmas Tree was the perfect craft to do while watching TV and one I could set down, make dinner and come back to it without missing a beat. I also like that I didn’t need to buy a bunch of supplies that I will never use again!

Supply list:

  • Green Styrofoam Cone from the Floral section (I chose the 6″ one but you can choose any size)
  • Push Pins
  • Ribbon, I cut each of my ribbons into 3.5″ sections (I needed about 1 1/2 rolls of each of these colors for this project)
  • A star for the top of the tree

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I started out by cutting all my ribbon into 3 1/2″ sections. Using a straight pin, I pinned the first loop of polka dot ribbon onto the bottom of the Styrofoam tree. Following the tree all the way around, I lined up each ribbon, side by side to complete my first row.

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Once I had the first row done, it was easy to start the next row & pin those as well. I started the red ribbon loops so that each one laid right on top of where two polka dot ribbons came together. This way, it would help to make sure none of the green Styrofoam was peeking through. I also made sure that each of the stick pins was covered as much as possible.

After finishing all of my rows, I took three strips of the green ribbon and pinned them around the top to finish off the tree. With my hot glue gun (how wonderful is that thing? Man, I love it!) I glued the yellow star to the green ribbon strips on the front of my tree. I really wanted a smaller star when I was shopping for my supplies but this was the only one I could find and I’m actually really happy with the size now that it’s all finished.

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What’s really great about this, aside from the fact that it’s super easy to do, is that you can make it match any Holiday decor you are planning on doing. You could do an all green tree, just using ribbons with different patterns & textures on it. Or, you could make a really pretty blue and silver tree for a classier look. These trees would make a great hostess or neighbor gift, as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my fun craft! I can’t wait to make more trees and use them around my house this Christmas. If you stop by A Spectacled Owl, please let me know that you came over from DIY Inspired. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google+.

25th Nov2013

Elf on a Shelf Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Now that my daughter is three and a half, I decided to start the Elf on a Shelf tradition this year.  I am so excited about it… I just think she’ll love it. Being the planner that I am, I decided try out a few ideas while she was at school the other day.  Not sure I will do these, but I took pictures to share them all with you.  Be forewarned!  I may be posting one or two more posts about Elf on a Shelf Ideas soon!  I would love to hear any ideas that you may have too, so feel free to make a comment below

Here is what I came up with in the two free hours I had…

So, the first thing I thought of was to raid her toys. I found a little oven so, I placed it on our kitchen counter top with a little pie inside.

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Then I found this little potty training toilet for her baby dolls…this one speaks for itself!

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What elf doesn’t want to have a tea party???

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For this one, I brought out one of her favorite books and set up the elf to read a bedtime story to her fairies.

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I ventured into our garage and found this checkers board. So far it’s tied… ;)

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Then I went upstairs to the craft room. Our elf OF COURSE is very crafty!

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For the last one, our elf sent her a little message on her chalkboard.

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Do you have any ideas for me?  I’m excited about the whole thing, but I need to think of about 2 dozen more! Help!

Update! Here’s 17 more EASY Elf on the Shelf Ideas I did.

Update #2! Check out these new Elf on the Shelf Ideas I did!

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