5 Days of Holiday DIY’s: Easy Tree Ornaments

Welcome to Day 2 of my 5 Days of Holiday DIY’s, where I’m sharing my quick and easy Christmas projects for all those last minute DIY’ers!

If you missed yesterday’s post, make sure to check out my branchlers tutorial and free printable downloads.

Today is all about the Christmas tree ornaments…

Like I’ve mentioned before, I was basically starting entirely from scratch this year so I needed to fill this tree up with decor that wouldn’t be a budget breaker.

For my base I started off with 20 yards of 6″ jute burlap ribbon purchased here for under $22 shipped. I’ll definitely reuse it again so I think it was a pretty good deal!

I also found this pom fringe trim for $1 yard on Ebay and bought 20 yards to drape around the tree. I love the touch of whimsy it adds.

Then it was on to the ornaments. The first thing I knew I wanted from the beginning was big bows.

This was super easy—I bought a few rolls of this ribbon on sale from Joann’s, divided them into equal pieces and tied them into bows. They bring the perfect amount of red and they’re my favorite part of the tree!

Another thing I knew I had to have was pinecones. I have a ton of these lying around so I chose the smallest/lightweight of the bunch, cut some ribbon, made some bows, and glued everything together:

Pinecones and bows go together like pb&j, don’t you think?

Next it was time to bring a personal element in. Right before Thanksgiving I got the idea to have our guests write out things they were thankful for onto these hang tags (purchased at Joanns):

I thought it would be neat if they had an aged look, so I dipped them in coffee, hot water and a bit of cinnamon to stain the paper:

Don’t make the water too hot or the paper will fall apart!

After preheating the oven to 200°, I removed the tags from the mixture so they weren’t soaking wet…

Then spread them onto a cookie sheet and placed them into the oven:

I babysat them for a while, checking often and removed them once they were dry (maybe 20-30 minutes?)

We used a variety of different pens and some of the ink bled in the drying process—I think the best results were had with the fine tip permanent markers.

To hang I simply used some wire ornament hangers from the dollar store.

For the final touches, I enlisted some inexpensive store bought ornaments to help fill in the gaps. During a trip to Ikea last month I picked up this set of 56 ornaments for just $10—what a steal!

However, I was going with a more neutral/rustic theme this year so decided not to use silver. Easy fix—I simply strung all the ornaments between a couple trees outside and spray painted them white. 
I also found a handful of white pom pom ornaments I had made a couple years ago so I threw those up as well.

The Ikea ornament set came with a tree topper, but I decided to make it a little more cozy and warm with yarn I found on sale at Joann’s (can you tell Joann’s is the only craft store within 50 miles of this town?)

It was an easy 10 minute project… just glue and wrap…

A good solution for my time constraints, I think!

And there you have it, my simple cozy traditional rustic DIY Christmas tree 🙂

See you back here tomorrow for more last minute holiday DIY’s!


5 Days of Holiday DIY’s: Branchlers + Free Printables

Today kicks off a full week of easy holiday DIY’s that can be done last minute on any budget!

When I started brainstorming our Christmas decor this year, I had so many ideas and dreams to fill every room in our home with beautifully crafted unique handmade masterpieces (ha).

Well, then we had family in town for Thanksgiving and work became crazy so I had to abandon my elaborate plans and come up with a handful of quick DIY’s to decorate and photograph our home in time for two Christmas blog tours.

It was quite the task, but after a few DIY marathon days and nights I pulled it off and now I can share the details!

And if I can do these in the constraints I was working with, I promise anyone can!

Each day this week I’ll be sharing a new project—starting with one of my favorite’s today: “Branchlers”.

I wish I could take credit for this idea but it was something I spotted a while ago on Pinterest:

I was obsessed with the plaid and had to copy it. Then I saw these and decided to put both ideas together:

Source

I’ve made a real antler plaque before so I figured this had to be just as easy.

First step: buy a plaque at Joann’s. These are super inexpensive, usually a few bucks each. I also picked up a small swatch of plaid fabric.

I brought out a staple gun just in case but it wasn’t needed—the hot glue gun worked fine.

Starting around the edges, I carefully secured my fabric to the front of the plaque using hot glue.

I worked my way all around the edges…

Then I wrapped it onto the back, secured with more hot glue and trimmed the excess.

Done! At this point you’ll want to attach a picture hanger on the back before you start on the branches.

Next it was time to find some branches. I found two from the yard that had a similar shape and size. Here’s one:

Then I used cutters to trim it down and simplify it a bit.

After repeating with the second branch, it was time to attach them. There’s several ways to do this, but since my branches were fairly light I thought finish nails would be sufficient.

First I sliced down the bottom using my saw just so that it would have a nice, flat surface area and mount the way I wanted it to…

Then I shot a couple nails into it—worked like a charm!

I chose neutral coloring for the fabric so that I could use it throughout the year instead of only during the holidays.

It’s one of my favorite things in the room, and you have to love that it didn’t take more than a couple hours and cost less than $5 to make.

That brings us to the free holiday printables! I wanted to bring some pops of red into our living room and kitchen area so I thought the perfect way was through art.

This “Making Spirits Bright” print is perfect for a bar setting but of course it can be used anywhere:

And then there’s the matching Joy print which I love:

It’s hard to see from the photos but they have a subtle woven/knit background detail:

http://statictab.com/gsg87h5 
http://statictab.com/gsg87h5

They’re both 8×10″ for easy framing. I really enjoyed creating them and hope they can bring some holiday cheer to your home!

The set is available as a free high resolution download from my Facebook page—you just need to make sure you’re signed up for the shop newsletter and then you’ll be prompted to start the download.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with Day 2 of this Holiday DIY week, so make sure to check in for more last minute handmade inspiration!


Christmas Home Tour Part 2

Hello again! Today is Day 2 of my Christmas Home tour and this time I have the honor of linking up with a fabulous group of talented bloggers organized by Chris at Just A Girl:

If you traveled here from 320 Sycamore, welcome! This stop takes place in a little mountain town in Northern California, in a home I like to call “cozy cottage cabin”…

If you missed Part 1, please make sure to visit yesterday’s tour of our living room and master bedroom!

 Today is all about the front porch, foyer, kitchen and dining area. Let’s start with the front porch, shall we?

Almost everything you see here is a DIY or flea market find. Like the planter boxes I built last month.

We have an amazing local flea market and I was lucky enough to score this vintage sled, lantern, bucket and scarf for almost nothing. The fresh cedar and berry clippings were from down the street.

I know you’ve probably seen plenty of these JOY signs lately, but I couldn’t help myself! It was made from materials I had so it was 100% free and it just fit so nicely next to the front door. I’ll share a tutorial next week.

These pine swags are my new favorite thing. So much easier to make than wreaths! These were made from cedar and pinecones from the yard, a scrap of fabric and bells on sale at Joann’s.

The chair and crate were also flea market finds, filled with more collected greenery and cut branches.

Simple and very inexpensive decorating—my kind of style!

Let’s head inside to the foyer.

I gave this space a makeover back in April and the white planks provide the perfect backdrop for all seasons.

Atop the DIY shelf are more fresh greenery from the yard, a DIY framed WiFi print for guests and a wire basket filled with our Christmas cards/incoming mail and candy canes for departing guests.

See that red plaid? Here’s an easy and inexpensive tip to carry a theme throughout your house: buy some fabric and some pinking shears!

I originally purchased a couple yards of this on sale (at Joann’s) for a holiday backdrop for my shop:

I loved it so much and wanted to incorporate it into my holiday decor this year, so I used pinking shears to cut it up and make it into boot linings (as shown above), ribbon/bows for all of my swags and wreaths:

Gift wrap:

And I still have some leftover for anything else that may come up. It’s such a great way to stretch your dollar and tie every room together!

Okay, onto the next room. I found this garland from a couple years back and tied it to the railing off our kitchen/dining room:

And here’s that space to the right:

I’m all about the bows this year.

Our kitchen and
dining area is one big room, and the red + white + natural greenery theme this year was carried into both spaces.

Just beyond the railing is our living room below so it’s a bit of an open concept.

I brought out our white china and set up the space for a cookies & hot cocoa spread. It was a hit last night with our guests so I think I’ll keep everything out for a while!

The red check fabric was on sale at Joann’s—I cut it in half with pinking shears and layered it with burlap and canvas fabric beneath.

The fresh cedar and holly leaves clipped from my parent’s yard are my favorite elements.

The bar wall is also set up for entertaining (and used very frequently!)

The “Making Spirits Bright” print was a DIY… I thought it was pretty clever 😉 It will also be available as a free download next week on the blog!

To the left of the bar on the back wall is our huge chalkboard with a new 24″ Stratford Spruce Wreath from Balsam Hill. Most of our greenery is real this year but I’m so happy to have at least one thing that won’t be wilted or dead in a few weeks!

It’s so realistic looking and I just love it all lit up at night.

The kitchen was kept simple with a few red dishes, greenery and berries.

And that concludes the tour! Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by—I hope you enjoyed your stay and perhaps took away some inspiration for your own home.

Next up is my girl Roeshel at DIY Showoff—she’s always got something amazing up her sleeve so make sure to head over and check it out! And if you’ve missed any of the stops on the tour, head back over to Just A Girl’s Holiday Home Tour Page to get caught up.

I’ll be back next week sharing five days of my easy DIY holiday crafts that can all be done for about $5 or less! Can’t wait to share.

In the meantime… Merry Christmas to all…

….and to all a good night.


Christmas Home Tour Part 1

Welcome, friends old and new! I’m so excited that the Christmas season is upon us and I have the opportunity to let you into our home to see how we celebrate the holiday.
It’s the busiest time of year for me—hence the lack of posting since before Thanksgiving! It has honestly been the most hectic couple weeks of my life and it feels amazing to finally be done with the house and able to enjoy it.
This past weekend I managed to shop for supplies/decor, DIY and decorate the entire house in two nights. All while making and shipping out a record number of art prints! It’s truly a Christmas miracle that I pulled it off in time.
If you’re visiting for the first time, hello! My name is Jenna and I live in a quiet little town in the foothills of Northern California with my husband and our two cats. We just moved here in February and have been renovating our 1970’s home non-stop—you can see the progress so far on my home tour page.
Without further ado, let’s get this tour started!
I have 75 photos (!) to share so this tour will be split up into two posts. Today I’m sharing our living room and master bedroom, and tomorrow will be our front porch, foyer and kitchen/dining area.
Let’s head down into the living room, shall we?
When choosing a style this year, I had a blank slate to work with. No stash of old Christmas decorations (well, just a few from our Florida home but they were turquoise and I’m on hiatus from that color).
Since relocating from the beach to the rural mountains last year, my decor style has evolved and I’m all about cozy cabin decor with a dose of cottage and farmhouse mixed in.
With vaulted ceilings and large picture windows overlooking the countryside, our home lends itself to that style so this year I was craving a traditional red, white and green storybook type setting.
I’ve actually never decorated with red in my life. I never even purchased any red decor until this season.
It has absolutely won me over.
In my home you’ll find mostly flea market scores, DIY projects and budget buys.
If there’s a way to do it myself, I’m there. Like this cabinet I built a few months ago (my favorite build ever)…
And also the DIY matted photo frames. Everything on the shelf was a flea market/thrift find.
I didn’t have any large plant pots so I wrapped all my potted trees in old collected scarves this year. I love how easy (and free) it is!

The one thing we did splurge on though was this quartz stone fireplace….

Worth every penny.
I relocated my Roman Numerals print from the mantel to this side table. I can’t get enough of classic black and white in any season.
The black and gray sweater pillows are Pottery Barn finds I picked up new on Ebay for a steal.
I love mixing in and repurposing vintage pieces, like this flea market trunk which serves as extra storage + a side table.
I’m a bit obsessed with textiles lately and have been collecting blankets, like this $1 flea market find on Saturday…
And these cable knit stockings (one of which was a no-sew DIY from a sweater, tutorial next week…)

Bows were also heavily incorporated this year. I used a roll of fabric ribbon and tied one onto every banister (the garland was made from evergreen from our front yard, another DIY for next week).
And this “branchler” plaque? Another DIY, of course…
I had a lot of fun decorating my antique cabinet.

This print was another DIY that will be offered as a freebie next week:
Love these cute gift sacks (this one was found at TJ Maxx):
Speaking of gifts, let’s make our way back to the tree…
Every ornament was a DIY in some form. Pinecones, ribbons, and hang tags make for inexpensive and easy decor.
The gift wrapping was all made from kraft paper and leftover scraps of fabric and twine. Almost free!
I found a couple yards of fur fabric in the remnant pile at a huge discount and cut it into the shape of a rug. Perfect present opening area!
Hot cocoa, anyone?
Now that we’re all warmed by the fire, let’s head back upstairs to the coziest spot in the house… our master bedroom:
I recently gave our flat white doors a makeover and I’m just loving the drama of the black. Perfect backdrop for a fresh mini wreath (tutorial on that next week!)
I can’t get enough plaid this year. There’s just something about red plaid, black and white, and pops of green
that make me melt.
All this room needed was some fresh greenery and a few subtle pops of red.
We like to keep it extra cozy in here year round.
I toned down the red for a calmer, softer vibe for the bedroom. 
More scarf-wrapped mini trees. My new favorite thing.
Well, I’d say 51 photos is enough for today! Thank you so much for stopping by and make sure to come back tomorrow for the rest of the tour! And don’t forget to check out the rest of these amazingly talented bloggers in the lineup today:

House by Hoff | Jenna Sue Design | Love Grows Wild | Craftberry Bush | All Things G&D | DIY on the Cheap

And here’s the entire tour in case you’ve missed any so far—huge thanks to Jen Migonis for organizing it!

Christmas Home Tour Graphic
Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:

My free 2015 Monthly Planner is back!

By popular demand, I’ve prepared next year’s monthly planner and I’m offering it up again as a free PDF download! Merry early Christmas to you all.

The design/layout is identical to previous years as it has been working for me quite well and I love the fun colors.

For full step by step instructions on how to print/arrange the PDF and get it assembled very inexpensively, see my 2013 and 2014 planner posts.

Here’s a look at the monthly spread:

And the backside notes/monthly cover pages:

 Can’t wait to start marking it up… nothing like a fresh blank slate to start the year off!

Click here to download your free PDF from my Facebook page. You’ll just need to enter your name & email to subscribe to my shop newsletter (don’t worry, you’ll only receive a handful of emails per year). You definitely want to be on this list anyway to stay up to date on the latest releases/sales!

Speaking of which… we’re coming up on my largest sale of the year. It’s going to be huge, 24 hours only, and if you’ve been eyeing any prints in my shop, trust me… now is the time to snag them!

I can’t give away any more details yet, but if you’re on my list you’ll see an email this weekend with a coupon code for early access! Keep your eyes peeled.

Wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings and I hope it’s overflowing with turkey and cider and pumpkin pie and family. I’m getting a head start on some holiday decorating before our guests arrive so hopefully I’ll have some fun DIY’s lined up for you guys next week!


Our Thanksgiving Tablescape

Exactly one week from this moment I’ll be chopping apples, basting a turkey, stirring cider and preparing stuffing for a room full of some of my favorite people. This is exactly what I envisioned for our dining room—the reason we built a massive 9 foot table that can easily fit our party of 10 on Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on our table setting and now we’re ready for the big day. I’m going to call this style “simple cozy country casual meets refined rustic”… so many adjectives, I can’t choose.

Since I plan to spend a lot of time and effort on Christmas decorating this year, I decided to keep it simple for Thanksgiving and use mostly what I had. I think I spent around just $30 for everything.

The jumping off point was this table runner—2 yards of $3 fabric from fabric.com (looks like it’s not available on their website anymore, bummer!). No sewing involved, just cut it in half, folded and ironed the edges and plopped it down. Easy peasy.

Then I layered a super inexpensive (I think it was $5 or $10?) runner I found at Walmart in the candle/home/wedding section…

I had all but two of the woven Ikea placemats, so I picked those up last weekend. I already had the dishes (scored them at our flea market—$30 for a full set!)

The wood box centerpiece was a DIY project from this past spring, and I filled it with pine clippings, berries and pinecones from the yard, along with pillar candles and candlesticks.

A few mini pumpkins were added to keep things festive, along with some branch wood coasters I purchased for a steal on Ebay earlier this year.

I didn’t want another pattern to compete with the plaid runner so I found these brown cloth napkins at a wedding supply store for just 53 cents each! I’ll definitely be using them again in the future.

I was gifted my Grandma’s silverware set so this was the perfect occasion to break it out—a simple twine bow holds them together.

The name tags were printed on card stock, cut and hole punched, and wrapped around more pine clippings from the yard.

Instead of wine charms, I bought a package of gold alphabet stickers for a couple bucks on Ebay and added each guests’ intials.

And in lieu of a thankful tree, guests will write what they’re thankful for on blank tags. Then I’ll age them and hang them on our Christmas tree as ornaments to enjoy until next year (I’ll make sure to post that later!)

Neutral pillows and blankets line the bench seat for added coziness.

 
I set the table for 8 for these photos, but we’ll be adding one person to each end of the table on the big day.

You may also notice the lack of slipcovers on our chairs. We’ve actually been living without them for months now (per Brad’s request) and I kind of like it this way, so they’ll stay for now.

Can’t forget the chalkboard DIY

And that’s that! My very first Thanksgiving table and first time ever hosting Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed we don’t burn the turkey 🙂

I have a special treat for you all next week… something that has been in high demand—my free printable planner for 2015! I’ll be working on it this weekend and should have it up early next week. I’ll also be getting a head start on my Christmas crafting, so keep an eye on instagram for sneak peeks!