23. Free Printable Christmas Tags!

Christmas is a little over a week away! I’m just so excited about these gift tags I put together and even more thrilled to share them with you. I bought thick shimmering gold paper as well as burlap brown to contrast the white snowflake wrapping paper we’re using this year. Traditional brown twine was the perfect final touch. Have fun picking out your own colors or rummaging through some old scrapbooking papers to print these tags on, and grab a hole punch while you’re at it. Turn on a favorite Christmas movie (“White Christmas” is on Netflix!) and have jolly gift wrapping party!

Christmas Tag Image 1 - Complete

Download PDF: Christmas Tag Printable from Clay Bunny

Christmas Tag Image 2 - Complete

Download PDF: Small Christmas Tag Printable from Clay Bunny

Merry Christmas!

22. How to make Beautiful Christmas Bows

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

At least in the stores and in my living room anyways. There’s hardly a snowflake in sight here in Colorado, the weather has averaged 60 degrees! Normally I wouldn’t mind but I’m ready for snowfall now that it’s December.

As you’re planning gifts and wrapping presents, try making your own fancy bows out of Christmas ribbon! I buy a huge role of wired ribbon at Costco each year and wrap many presents with handmade bows. The personal touch looks elegant. And this little skill saves a lot of money compared to buying pre-made bows. It just takes a few practice runs and you’ll master it in no time. My Mom showed me the twist, pinch and fold method a long time ago and I’m so thankful she did.

Best of all, once you get the hang of it, you can add a gorgeous 6 or 8 fold-bow to your Christmas wreath. Just be sure to buy the ribbon with wire edges as it makes it much easier to shape the bow and curl the tails. Grab a few twist ties and you’ll be all set!

This Christmas peacock ribbon at Costco called to me from afar and I ran to it, snatched it up and threw it in my cart without hesitating. Besides wreaths and gift bags, I also wrapped my Christmas tree in its teal, emerald and gold beauty. I love peacock feathers.

Be patient with yourself as you practice. Each time I make one I start over at least three times before I like what I see. You’ve got this! Happy bow making!

21. DIY Patterned Pumpkins

​One more autumn craft just in time for Thanksgiving.  These patterned pumpkins are beautiful! The first time I tried it out, I invited two girl friends over to join me and we had a gooey, sticky, fun evening.

It’s the kind of messy craft that doesn’t require perfection. As much as I tried to smooth out bumps and wrinkles in the fabric, I found it didn’t matter! Once the matte glue is dry you can hardly spot imperfections. The final result is a classy little pumpkin for the counter, bookshelf or coffee table.

What You Need:

  • Pumpkin form – (highly discounted in craft stores after halloween! I got mine 70% off at Joanne’s Fabric). You can also use the large floral pics in the fall decor section at Hobby Lobby, just cut off the stems.
  • Patterned fabric of your choice! – The more detailed the pattern, the better this turns out. Plaids and large print fabrics are difficult to pull off since you must cut it up into thin strips and the large designs wont match up.
  • Matte Mod Podge Glue 8 oz – trust me, the 4 oz wont be enough, especially if you’re doing this with friends or little helpers.
  • Foam brush and paper plate
  • A knife to cut the stem out
  • Fabric scissors

Tip: don’t forget to protect your area with plastic sheeting or a drop cloth! It’s a bit messy.

The large pumpkins cost about $10 to make and the little one was more like $8! Of all the fall decor I’ve purchased and made in the past, these guys are my new favs. They will be carefully stored away for next year come November 26th when I devote an entire day to … CHRISTMAS DECORATING!!!!!!!

See you then!

20. My Teal Pumpkin

Decorating pumpkins for fall didn’t used to be my thing. It’s not that I thought they looked bad, I just hadn’t bothered with it. Mainly because I really like the color orange the way it is. I actually drenched my bedroom in orange and peach tones in junior high. My Mom nearly had a heart attack when I told her what I wanted to do to my room. I was on a huge HGTV kick (who wasn’t?). Fortunately it turned out alright. The room glowed yummy citrus tones. A few years later my decorating tastes evolved and I realized the room desperately needed a contrasting color, I had just discovered my (now eternal) love for aqua blue and teal. If I had known that aqua and peach would be a huge national trending color theme in department stores in 2016-2017, maybe I could have made serious money with the right connections. Let the records show, I came before the trend. Original idea. Anyways, that bedroom was epic. Everybody wanted to take naps in it because the colors were so lovely and inviting.

My point . . . where did I put it? See, this is what happens when I start talking about colors and decorating! I’ll ramble on for way too long with “oh squirrel!” rabbit tails, spider-webbing on for ages.

Pumpkins! That’s right. Because orange. Ok, I’m back. So look, never bothered with the Pinterest inspired pumpkin craze. But this year I did it. I started off easy and went classic. Here it is. My teal pumpkin. Isn’t she a beauty? The color seemed like an obvious choice for me. Plus, teal pumpkins now have a significant meaning!Do you know what the Teal Pumpkin Project is? If you put a teal pumpkin on your doorstep, trick-or-treater’s know that you have non-candy goodies for children who have any sort of severe food allergies. That way, they don’t have to miss out on the fun of trick-or-treating! If you’d like to learn more about it, click here for their website. They provide a handful of free and helpful printable to use in your community to educate others and spread the word. I’m so thankful I know about this, the idea of a tiny Spiderman and little Moana not being able to enjoy trick-or-treating just slays my heart. Click here for another awesome blogger’s inexpensive ideas for non-candy goodies.And if you’re ever wondering which pumpkins are the best for pie, the knobbiest and ugliest is the answer!

18. Powder Room Remodel Before and After

It’s done! It is literally the only room in the house that is finished. This tiny powder room makes me feel so happy! Sometimes I go in there just to shut the door, sit on the lid and enjoy the completeness. I bet I’m not the only one who does this, haha.

I wish I had more “before” photos. However, the space is so small, there really wasn’t much to look at. There was almond paint from floor to ceiling. Extremely outdated. We literally gutted the entire space. Laminate tile and trim were ripped out. Toilet, sink, towel rack, switch and plug plate covers and the hideous, four bulb, wall light as well. We continued the same Pergo flooring from the main floor into the little bathroom. I painted over the almond ceiling with a fresh white and covered the walls in Sherwin Williams Navy Blue. It was a little scary but I was adamant on bold navy for a small powder room. I freaking love it!! My second favorite thing about the room is the window mirror from Hobby Lobby. It replaced the huge, trim-less mirror that was screwed into the wall before. It was so basic I couldn’t stand it.

I found the wall sconce online but it was ridiculously over priced at $250. Kent did more research and found the exact same ones on Build.com for about $90. WIN!

I love the nautical navy and white theme. I could go nuts with it but I don’t want to crowd the space with too many decorations. If I add another item it will have to just scream at me that it was meant for the tiny room. And I highly recommend the Waterlogue app, it’s worth the $4. I took one of the pictures from our anniversary photo shoot and made it look like a water-color with a few taps, then had it printed at Walgreens.

With the pristine pedestal sink increasing the space in the room, I still needed storage. I found the wall cabinet on Amazon for $58. I originally saw it on Wayfair for much more. I personalized it by swapping out the basic faux glass knobs with distressed iron knobs from Hobby Lobby. A simple upgrade for less than $10.

I couldn’t be happier with the results of this one!

17. Easy Oil Recipes for Beauty and Bugs

Oily recipes are back for this weeks post! Our powder room is almost done, I’ll be giving that silly chandelier from my last post another try soon but today I’m happy to share essential oil recipes I’m tickled with.

The first recipe was prompted by a spur of the moment adventure. Which are always the best. We took an amazing trip over Labor Day weekend through Utah and added 3 stamps to our National Park Passport book. Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and Arches National Park all in 3 days! It was rather crazy. Actually WE are rather crazy. We love road tripping together. I still cannot believe I took these photos with the new little Canon camera that Kent gave me for my birthday! No filters!


I spent two nights packing as efficiently as possible for camping. For instance I was so pleased with myself when I sprayed my body mist from Bath and Body Works into a small roller bottle in order to avoid packing the whole 8 oz bottle. I’ll definitely be doing this in the future to pack light on plane trips!

In addition to the condensing body spray, I made my first essential oil, chemical free bug spray! It smells splendid (perhaps I didn’t need to bring perfume at all, haha) and it works! Kent liked it too which is a bonus, he always disliked the generic store brand bug sprays. Pin this post to your Pinterest board and try the recipe out bellow for yourself.

Next up, I’ve been collecting essential oil recipes for hair care and growth. My hair is fine, the ends tend to split and it’s always been a slow process whenever I want to grow it out longer.

These two recipes smell lovely and are restoring my hair. I’m more apt to use the spray daily because my hair already gets oily quickly on its own. I’ll be using the serum bellow less frequently, mostly before bed on specific places on my hairline where I have weak little baby-hairs that are struggling to commit.

The recommended 2 applications a day is ideal if you’re truly trying to stimulate hair follicles and grow new hair.

Lastly, I’ve probably mentioned I’m a nail biter. It’s a stress habit I’ve been battling since middle school. Part of my issue is that my nails are thin and brittle. Any growth quickly gets snagged, and my perfectionism wants to tear, bite or trim them all down to the same length. More than one round of plastic nails and glue result in my nail beds crinkling at the base which is ugly and takes weeks to grow out. So I’m turning to oils again and applying this roller bottle solution!

Enjoy!

16. #FAIL

I had before pictures of my lovely chandelier make-over, edited and uploaded, including all the stages of progression. With the new fancy light bulbs purchased yesterday, all there was left to do was apply the final top coat of spray paint before assembling and installing it in our dining area. Then I would experience thrills of delight as I photographed it to share.

Sounds perfect, right? What could go wrong? Crafting and general DIY shenanigans never fail! Hahahaha. Ha. Fluffy nope.

I’m sipping on disappointment while I type from my couch. Eeyore’s raincloud growling above my head so to speak. I told you at the start of this blog that I’m not the King Midas of crafting, gold, the perfect touch and what not. I’m just bummed it had to be true this time around. What went wrong you might ask? Trying to be thrifty is what went wrong. Note to self: always be willing to splurge on brand new spray paint. What I mean is, don’t cut corners or pinch the pennies on the final touches that will seal your masterpiece for ages. “Treat Yo Self” with a little extra insurance by going and buying the right stuff now and then.

Basically, when I needed the top coat to seal the beautifully repainted chandelier, my husband, being the helpful man he is, reminded me we definitely have a can of sealer in an unpacked box downstairs. Don’t worry about going out and buying more, he said. Kent dug through boxes for me and pulled out a set of Rust-Oleum “Never Wet” Sealing Top Coat that I had used on an outdoor bird feeder a while back. Hesitantly, I asked if it would really work for my indoor chandelier and he reassured me it would look just like any other top coat. It would be fine, he said. I shrugged and went with it. It would be fine, I thought. Maybe another lesson here is that I’m too trusting.

After applying the Step One layer of the top coat duo, I let it dry. All good so far. My days had been a smidge crammed. I had been working on the project here and there over the course of the past few days when I got a chance. I couldn’t wait to finally get this baby up on the ceiling and see the result! Not to mention, finally hiding the taped up electrical cords that have been hanging out of my kitchen ceiling like old spaghetti, while guests have come and gone. I digress. The point is, I applied the final Step Two of the top coat. As I began spraying I quickly noticed a frosty sheen like you might see on something freeze-dried or on the edge of an object that you applied too much super glue to. I held my breath hoping it was just the drying process. Nope. No amount of shaking the can would make a difference or spraying from a greater distance. It was still leaving a white sheen with inconsistent splotches of dried top coat on each branch of the chandelier.

I’m an optimist. Or I just hang on to denial by my finger nails until there’s no point. With an uneasy feeling in my gut I thought, “maybe this will be one of those happy accidents and it will give it an aged effect.” Fluffy fat nope. Twenty minutes later, I poked simmering chicken around in a pan for dinner and accepted defeat. I wanted to cry. It’s a little silly, really. It’s just a chandelier I got for free from a friend. But on the other hand it was a home decor project that I had been squeezing in time for in order to make our home more lovely. You get me. It was a crappy few minutes.

When my husband got home he felt terrible that he had steered me wrong and tried offering all the helpful solutions he could think of. Which included scrolling through my Pinterest boards pointing at anything that looked like it could be made in 10 minutes which I could try to make into a blog post before bed. He instructed me not to listen to his craft advice again. It’s not 100% his fault. I just needed to stew in my moody thoughts for a bit, pretending it was the end of the world and grieving the waisted time. Kent offered to take the chandelier to work and sand blast the layers off so I can try again later. Crossing fingers that doesn’t end in disaster. Ha. I’ll let you know.

And then he said I should just blog about the truth. Yay! No, that’s not really what I thought at first. Let’s be real. #%$&@! or some sarcastic thought ran through my mind briefly and then I realized he was right. The internet does not need more false perfection. Nothing else leads us to unrealistic expectations like comparing ourselves to other’s polished and seemingly flawless achievements. I don’t want to be that person. We all have a skeleton in the closet at one time or another. Or at least loads of unfolded laundry which we shove in the nearest closet and piles of mail we cram in random drawers when last-minute guests come by. No one is Barbie. Actually even Barbie has her own problems too and we all know what they are. Haha.

I admit, I tried first to hastily finish another half finished project. It would not have turned out the way I want it to. A late night just in an effort to meet a personal New Years blogging resolution just isn’t worth it. I’m a finisher. I hate not completing what I set out to do. It’s also perfectionism. In reality it gets in my way more than it helps me in life. I’m working on that. And one of the steps to making my weakness work as my strength is by putting it in it’s place and knowing when to roll with the punches. The real resolution is to be real about it. 

19. Refinished Chandelier … Finally

About a month ago I was almost ready to post my upcycled chandelier project. But sadly, failure struck when it was ruined by using the wrong finishing spray. See previous post titled #FAIL. It’s done! *deep sigh of relief*

Luckily, my husband was able to sand blast it all off so I could start from scratch again. He says that sand blasting the spray paint and the original layer down to the true bones of the light actually made the final results even better with fewer imperfections and bumps. Perhaps he’s right. I’m just so happy to have this over with and a light in my dining area that I don’t want to think about the hiccup in the process anymore. Ya feel me?

Here is the specimen before. I got it from a friend when she was redecorating a new house. I saved it for a long time because I just knew it could have a second life someday! Updating outdated pieces of furniture and decor is my favorite type of project.

Step one: take the entire chandelier apart. Save the install hardware and use painter’s tape to protect all cords, wires and plugs. I also wrapped the white candle light covers and covered the tops with tape so the light bulb sockets would be protected. Ditched the old lamp shades and reused one of them for a previous upcycle craft.

Step two: sand and clean. Because we had our mishap and had to sand blast all the layers off, I didn’t take a picture of that part. If you’re doing a similar project at home, hopefully you will avoid that and do what I intended first. Which is to use a fine to medium sand paper to roughen up the original surface paint of the chandelier. Then use a damp clothe to wipe down the dust before spraying starts.

Step three: protect your work space! Be sure to cover your area with plastic, newspaper or a drop cloth. I wish I had a better set up to hang the chandelier while spraying. If you can hang it and keep your surroundings protected while spraying, do it! It will be much easier since the light must be sprayed from all angles.

Also choose a day when there isn’t wind. I got stubborn (ok, maybe impatient too) and did it when there was a slight breeze. I was finding spray paint on my person for a day or two!

Step four: I’m really happy with the color I chose at Home Depot, Midnight Blue Spray Paint + Primer by Rust-Oleum. Check all angles for full coverage and touch up missing spots. Read the instructions on the can and be sure each coat dries before continuing.

Step five: Choose a basic clear coat of Rust-Oleum varnish. I picked matte over gloss. I cannot stress this enough: do not use old cans of spray paint from previous projects whose purpose you are not 100% sure of. Again, see previous post, #FAIL.

Step six: once top coat is dry, carefully remove all painters tape, free the wires and put your chandelier back together.

Step seven: hang that beauty up and screw the light bulbs in place!

Note: in the photos below I had not properly threaded the cord through the chain in my hasty excitement to get the light up. It has to be re-hung, shortened and centered anyways when we get our dining table soon which was passed down to me from my Grama Arlene.

You get the idea. I’m relieved it’s finally done. And relieved my choice of navy blue turned out so well.

Shout out to my husband who hung the chandelier late at night! I was too excited to get it up and the timing was its own mini #FAIL. He had to alter the hardware unexpectedly in order to get it up and in the process, the drill majorly ripped into the skin on his finger at the joint. So. much. blood. Naturally, I felt terrible even though I didn’t cause it. I felt responsible. I cried. It was a whole ordeal. I bought him the Christmas Beer Advent Calendar at Costco as a present the very next day. It was like the man version of buying him flowers.

I can’t say any other project has been such a hassle. Fortunately, it looks like it was worth it!

15. Popular DIY’s on Pinterest

A handful of large craft projects are lined up for our new home that I can’t wait to share with you. Carving out the time to do them is the biggest challenge. From furniture distressing, cozy couch blankets and chandelier make overs, each takes extra planning. Stay tuned next month!

In the middle of hectic summer fun, BBQ’s, hosting and soaking up as much sun as possible; I squeezed in a little quiet time to craft. Usually late at night, which means I drag myself out of bed for work in the morning. Oh well, as I said, crafting is my air.

Each of these crafts on their own didn’t seem entirely blog worthy. But together these simple crafts accomplished some needed quiet space that I’ve been missing. I spent a little time doing a few silly projects that have been crowding my social media accounts over 2017. Slime and painted rocks! You’re probably thinking “Slime? Really? That’s so over done.” You’re right. I saw glitter glue at Target in the back to school sales and I can’t resist glitter. So I gave it a shot. It took 3 minutes. I probably won’t do it again until I have kids but it was kinda fun! I added jasmine essential oil to make it smell good for a little added therapy and because … well, why the heck not?

I’ll be honest though, as I promised at when I started this blog… I messed up the goo the first time around. Embarrassing, right? It’s three ingredient slime! Six year olds make these how-to’s on Darby Smart, lol. Look, I got the ratios wrong and added too much baking soda and contact solution. I just want you to know everybody messes up. Hahaha. Moving on. It was therapeutic!

By now, everybody knows how to make slime in their sleep from watching the homemade clips on Facebook, Pinterest, Darby and Instagram. I admit, I watch them all because there’s something satisfying about it. Here’s mine:

 

​Then there’s my new favorite. I swear my Pinterest is over run with painted rock inspirations. Primarily Mandala dot style. Click here for the exact pin I used to follow along for my first try. I want to make a bunch more like these ones here by Elspeth McLean. I plan to scatter them outside our front stoop mixed in with all the regular rocks along the walkway.

This was the perfect summer evening activity. It reminded me painting sea shells for the garden as a child. I have a distinct memory of sitting at our family dining table as a kid, painting sea shells we collected at Grama and Papa’s beach house. Warm summer breezes came in through the patio door and my brothers and I were eating banana popsicles like nobody’s business.

I have a soft spot for crafts that remind me of sweet memories.

14. Living Room Makeover 

Here are the first before and after photos from our townhouse renovation! We still have ongoing projects but our living room is the first place that feels complete. It’s my cool, blue and white oasis. I wanted a calm, spa like environment and I’m tickled pink with the results!

The bland brown covering the walls blended in with the fireplace in a most unattractive way. The color Sky High by Sherwin Williams contrasts so well against the stone, I was surprised how much I actually like the fireplace now. It’s amazing what paint color can change.


We also scraped the popcorn ceiling clean and re-textured it. The messiest job in renovating but 110% worth it! The laminate was also removed and we put in new Pergo flooring from Home Depot.

There isn’t a coat closet by the front door or anywhere on the main floor. I searched for a solution and found this coat and shoe organizer on Overstock.com. The rest of our winter things are in the guest room closet and can be traded out as needed.

I love the lighting in this room.

Meeko seems to approve.