New Years Decorations on a Dollar Store Budget

by Dinah Wulf

New Years Christmas Tree on a Budget

Let’s face it, after Christmas many of us don’t have a budget to spend on New Year’s decorations, especially if you are hosting a party. We started a tradition a few years ago, where a few families with kids get together to ring in the New Year. I wanted to make it a little special this year so I started with making a New Year’s Countdown Tree for the kids. I also went to the 99 cent store to see what I could drum up for decorations.  I only spent $8.00! Here are my New Years decorations on a dollar store budget!

Decorate your Christmas Tress for a New Year's Party

For $8.00 I bought 3 packs of metallic party hats, two packs of noise makers, two packs of New Year’s cut outs, and one pack of poppers. I took down all the decorations from my Christmas tree and put them away. The only thing I left up was the burlap ribbon and white feathers.

I decorated the tree with all my 99 cent store finds. Some hats…

After Christmas New Years Party Decor Idea

…some poppers and noise makers…

New Years Decorations on a Dollar Store Budget

…and some metallic cut outs.

Decorate your Christmas Tree for New Years

I also added some left over hats to the mantle.

After Christmas New Years Decor Ideas

Not bad for $7.00!

Decorate for New Years Christmas Tree

In case you missed it, check out the New Year’s countdown tree I did for the kiddos. I marked the time on several envelopes and the kids take turns opening up each one at the specified time. Inside are dares, activities, game ideas, tasty treats, and sweet gestures for them to complete until they open up the next envelope!

New Years Eve Countdown Idea for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

New Year Countdown Party Idea

Ever since my friends and I had kids, we have been staying in on New Year’s Eve and celebrating with our families at my house. This year, I thought it’d be fun to do a little countdown activity for kids. It’s simple and easy and hopefully, will keep the kids entertained and awake until the New Year. Here is my New Years Eve countdown idea for kids.


  • Small bags or envelopes
  • Felt Numbers
  • Cardstock
  • Tape or glue
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Circle punch

I had these felt numbers collecting dust in my craft closet. You don’t have to use these; in fact, it’s easier to just write the numbers on an envelope!

New Year Countdown Idea

I cut out circles with a circle pinch and then put the time in the middle. I started at 6:30 and made a bag for every half hour until midnight.

New Years Eve Countdown Idea for Kids

Then I brainstormed fun, dares/activities/instructions, for all the kids to follow when they take turns opening the bag at the designated time. Some things I wrote are:

  • Go outside and hula hoop.
  • Sing “Jingle Bells” as loud as possible.
  • Play a game of hide and seek.
  • Give your parents a big hug and kiss.
  • Take one piece of candy from the candy jar.
  • Share a pack of candy with the other kids.
  • Do your favorite dance.

New Year Countdown Party Idea for Kids

You get the idea. We will have about seven kids at our party and I’ll let them take turns opening them and the older kids can help the younger kids read them.

New Years Eve Countdown Party Idea

I took down the decorations from Christmas on one of my trees and added the envelopes on the tree.

New Years Countdown Idea

This would be fun to do at any party as well, or for the adults to do dares. I hope the kids enjoy it!


DIY Faux Mercury Glass Thrift Store Vases

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Faux Mercury Glass Thrift Store Vases

Every time I’m at the thrift store (which is a lot), I see these vases for about $2.00 apiece. You can do so many things with them with paint and other embellishments. This time, I decided on making mercury glass vases.  You can do this project two different ways, 1) with the paint inside, and 2) with the paint outside.  For this tutorial, I painted the outside so that I could use the vases for fresh flowers. Here is how I made my DIY Faux Mercury Glass Thrift Store Vases.


This project takes minutes…literally only a few minutes. Here are the vases I picked up at the thrift store.

DIY Mercury Glass Vases

Place the vase upside down on a hard surface. Using a spray water bottle, gently mist the vase and allow the water to bead.

DIY Faux Mercury Glass Tutorial

Lightly spray the vase with two light coats of Looking Glass Spray Paint. Allow it to dry for a few minutes.

DIY Mercury Glass

Lastly, lightly pat the bubbles so that they pop with the alms of your hands or fingers. Don’t worry, the paint washes off of your hands very easily. Allow the paint to dry completely.

DIY Mercury Glass Vase How To

If you decide to paint the inside instead, the glass will glisten more and look more shiny, however the paint will flake if you decide to put something inside.

DIY Mercury Glass Vase Tutorial

These look great for fall, winter, and actually all year round.  They make great centerpieces for New Year’s or weddings as well.

Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece

by Dinah Wulf


You KNOW I love a good Mason jar craft.  I’ve even done a round-up of Mason Jar Crafts in the past. Most recently, I glittered some for to look like candy corn for Halloween and Fall. This time, I wanted to come up with something quick and easy.  Specifically, I wanted to make this Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece because it was a great décor piece to transition from Christmas to New Years. As an added bonus, it only take about 15 minutes to make!

Here’s what I used, but you can make any variation to fit your décor.


  • Mason jars or Recycled sauce jars
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Raffia and twine
  • Tea lights
  • Silver serving platter
  • Gold and silver ornaments
  • Tea light holders

My favorite jars to save are the Classico sauce jars (notice I don’t have any recipes on this blog… yes, I use sauce in a jar a lot of the time!) They come in a couple sizes and they are pretty without the label. Also, the label comes off SUPER easily. All you need is a little hot soapy water and the abrasive side of a sponge and you are good to go!

easy-metallic-mason-jar-centerpiece (1)

I sprayed the jars upside down in a well-ventilated area. I only needed one coat for these.

easy-metallic-mason-jar-centerpiece (2)

The jars look plain but I wanted to add a little raffia and twine to the top.

easy-metallic-mason-jar-centerpiece (3)

I found the platter and ornaments at the 99 cent store… SCORE! I thought it turned out quite nice for a 15 minute craft project!


Check out more of my Mason Jar Crafts!


Kids Craft Ideas New Year’s Noise Makers

by Dinah Wulf

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (2)

Ever since I had my little nugget, New Year’s Eve hasn’t been quite the same.  Since it is extremely difficult to find a baby sitter on this popular night out, we have had to fit our little one into our New Year’s Eve party plans.  My friends who also have young kids will likely get together to celebrate the New Year at one of our homes.  To keep the little ones busy, I decided to think of some kids craft ideas.  This year, I thought it’d be fun to make New Year’s noise makers out of recycled items from around the house to help ring in the New Year.

Step One:

Gather your recycled containers.  Any plastic or cardboard box will work.  Make sure it’s small enough for little hands to hold and shake.  Check the kitchen, bathroom, and pantry.  I used a cracker box, soup can, medicine box, and aspirin bottle.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (4)

Step Two:

Gather your embellishments.  Think vibrant, glittery, metallic, and bright…anything fun for the New Year!  I used glittered animal print scrapbook paper, neon paper, and glittered craft foam numbers.

Step Three:

Gather your noise making materials.  Look for anything around the house.  I used bottle caps, paper clips, elbow macaroni noodles, and coins.  The bottle caps make a nice chime sound in small cardboard boxes.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (1)

Step Four:

Gather some basic craft materials like glue, tape, scissors, rulers, pencils, and craft punches and let the kids have at it! My daughter loved helping me.  She is learning to count so she had a great time counting each macaroni noodle or bottle cap and putting them in the box.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (3)


New Year’s Specialty Cocktail Recipes

by Dinah Wulf

Recipes by David Edessa

I hope you had a Merry Christmas! Can you believe it’s already over?  It’s time to celebrate the New Year! What better way than with a great cocktail?

Here are some more delicious New Year’s Specialty cocktail recipes by David Edessa for your upcoming New Year’s party!  I hope you enjoyed his first post on Holiday Martinis.  I tried the Santa’s Cookies recipe and it was so good.

The first two use martini recipes use Monin Lavender Syrup.  It can be purchased online or in some coffee/tea shops. It’s about $6.00 for a 750ml bottle and adds a well worth refreshing hint to your party cocktails.  He ends this post with a yummy Egg Nog JELLO shot that is to die for!  Check them out!


Lavender Lemontini

  • 2 oz. Stoli Lemon Vodka
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Monin Lavender syrup
  • Lavender sprig for garnish

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a lavender sprig.

Blueberry Lavender Martini

  • 1.5 oz. Stoli Blueberry Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1 Tbsp. Monin Lavender syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass.  Finish your martini glass with a splash of Sparkling Moscato wine.  Use fresh blueberries as a garnish.

Pomegranate Persuasion Martini

  • 1.5 oz. Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass.  Finish your martini glass with a splash of Sparkling Moscato wine.  Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds.

Eggnog JELLO Shots

Servings: About ten


  • 1 cup Eggnog
  • 1 oz. Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • ¾ cup Spiced Rum
  • ¼ cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Directions: In a small saucepan, bring eggnog to a boil. Pour eggnog into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the eggnog and let it sit for a minute. Stir until gelatin is dissolved; allow the mixture to cool. Add rum, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; stir until well combined. Pour the mix into shot glasses and refrigerate until firm.

Helpful Tips:

  • Consider using plastic shot glasses available at most party supply stores.
  • Garnish Ideas- Whipped cream and holiday sprinkles, crushed candy canes or cinnamon sticks.
  • Use a few drops of green or red or blue food coloring for a festive look.



Photo Sources:,,


Etsy New Years

by Dinah Wulf

New Years Eve is just around the corner… that means 2012 is right around the corner.  What the heck? Where did the past year (or five) go?? I swear time flies as you get older…ew.

Making my usual rounds on Etsy, I found some amazing items from these very talented Etsy Sellers.  I perused some New Year’s ideas for party decorations if you are staying at home, or for inspiration if you are going out.  These were my top five. Check them out… very cool stuff for an Etsy New Years!

If you are throwing a party, these printables will help you get started.  Check out these New Year’s Vintage Glam Printable party invitations by Anders Ruff. I love the color and design.

This Stamped Letter Happy New Year Banner by Bekah Jennings is so simple and beautiful.  It’s perfect for across your mantel, or around the food table.

The perfect party favor and activity in one, these New Year’s Eve Props on a Stick by Little Retreats will keep your guests entertained and make great photo ops!

If you are going out for New Years, this Vintage Style Steam Punk Mini Hat Fascinator by Feather Light Designs will top off your outfit.  So adorable!

The second I saw these, I had to share them.  Come on now!  These Peacock Feather False Lashes by Oaktopia Designs are amazing!!!

Happy Almost New Year!


Holiday Martinis

by Dinah Wulf

One of my long time best friends, David Edessa is the best Mixologist I know! He can create a tasty libation like no other! Because I am such a lucky gal, David has agreed to share some of his cocktail recipes on DIY Inspired (I can’t contain myself!).  This post is his first, a collection of yummy holiday martinis perfect for your Holiday or New Year’s celebrations.

Ginger Snap Eggnog Martini

1oz Godiva White chocolate

1oz Vanilla Vodka

1/2oz Goldshlager

2oz Eggnog

Rim with crushed ginger snap cookies


Santa’s Cookies Martini

1oz Baileys

2oz Vanilla Vodka

1oz Godiva white chocolate

Splash cream(1oz)

Rim with crushed Oreo cookies


Peppermint Bark Martini

2oz Vanilla Vodka

1oz Peppermint Schnapps

1/2oz Clear Crème De Menthe

1/2oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur

1 tsp. Grenadine (for color… Not too much)

Rim with crushed peppermint bark

Trader Joes carries tasty ginger snaps and peppermint bark


Praline Eggnog Martini

1oz Vanilla Vodka

1oz Praline Pecan Liqueur

1oz Godiva Caramel

2oz Eggnog


Tip: When using goodies to rim a cocktail glass, make sure to crush the cookies as fine as possible.  To rim, use simple syrup (sugar water), grenadine, or other syrup to adhere to the glass. You can also consider using Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec as well.

You might want to consider having a hot beverage like cider, hot buttered rum or peppermint chocolate (spiked, of course)! I hope you enjoy these and try them out! If you do, come back and leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!