Winter wreath

The fall and winter holidays are coming up. Yes it is only November 9th. Christmas is slowly taking over all your favorite stores. The husband and I purchased a new home this year and we are trying very hard to keep costs down for a bit until we have the new house budget under our belts for a year. Our new house is bigger on the first floor and thus more space to decorate. It is very exciting because we love to decorate for the holidays. It can get very pricey. We did okay making a few of our own Halloween crafts ourselves. I did do a bit of spending before our small party.

Christmas will be different, we have 3 times the amount of decor filled tubs in the attic. And what hurts even less is when we purchased our Aunt and Uncles home they ended up giving us a bunch of Christmas decor and a huge box of lights that they didn’t want to take 8 hours south to the beach with them. But I am always looking for a good deal and always wanting to craft up a storm.

My husband and I like to window shop, we are both very craft oriented and get our ideas in stores, also its a great way to get in some steps of exercise. We saw a very beautiful Christmas wreath for over $50. But even with their 50% off sale it was still too much. And so shopping with my friend Donna paid off. We had a wreath form in the attic and I only needed a few things to make it look very similar.

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Wire Wreath Frame 16-Green

I used a 16 inch wide wreath form like the one above.
Pro crafting tip: when window shopping and you like something you see, take a photo of it with your smart phone. Photo to reference!

I am very allergic to pine trees so all fake all the time. Sad but everything can still look great.

We found the filler fake pine. It comes in a folded up length usually 9 foot. Which I have found to be perfect for wreathes.

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Christmas Decor – Christmas House Artificial Pine Garlands, 15 ft. (SET OF 2)

Right now the prices in craft stores are going up because of the holidays and people will pay the higher prices because they need it last minute.  The price on Amazon is super good definitely if you are making an extra large wreath or multiples.

Never Never Never pay full price for decor. Only purchase once shopping around to find the best price and using coupons. I also got a few sprays or picks.

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Close up photo for full appreciation of their cool winter feel.

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Just a little bit of sparkle, not too much. I also got two large white Poinsettias that have a nice clip on the back. These clips were 50% off but still the most expensive out of everything.

Here is a link to a very pretty red pick/spray that can be pulled apart, which can go great with many different styles of wreaths. Country, classic, or fun filled with kids and toys. Such as the following picks you might not even know exist.  You can put in some personal feeling picks to make it more your style instead of a simple white poinsettia.

Factory Direct Craft Package of 24 Glittery Red Artificial Berry Picks for Holiday Decorations or Floral Arranging

Factory Direct Craft Package of 36 Red and White Sparkling Candy Cane Picks for Holiday and Home Decor

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Close up of the clip.

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I only ended up using one of the Poinsettias in the end product. I also did not use all of the spray/picks once they were pulled apart.

Keep in mind: sometimes less is more.

First the husband and I pulled apart the purchased picks.

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They pull apart very easily, it is just a little bit of flower tape holding them together.  Sometimes they don’t come apart perfectly and I get one or two individual decor on a wire.  If you are doing a very large wreath then you may want to keep the picks as you purchase them, especially if the large wreath will be elevated where it may be difficult to see small fine details.

Next we attached the fake pine to the metal wreath form.  I have some thin craft wire that I got over six years ago and it works perfectly when putting together wreathes together.  If you don’t have craft wire, but everything else twist ties work great! You can leave the paper on them so you have a good hold on the wire, sometimes its slippy without the wire.

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I attach the garland around the outer edge first then the inner most edge next, if there is leftover I continue to attach it in the middle section. This allows me to fill in and fold over little branches to cover up holes as needed. It also allows me to move aside branches to secure my fancy decor so that it doesn’t fall off my wreath.

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As you can see I have twisted the base of the spray to the metal wreath form, then I take a branch or two and wrap it around the base of the spray in order to hold the spray of decor exactly where I want it to stay.

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If you want a very balanced look, do your math and place them evenly.  After I had the plain white in I filled in with the multi colored sprays.

Next is the ribbon which sometimes can be tricky.  I highly advise getting wired ribbon.  This means there is a small piece of ribbon on either side of the ribbon and you are able to mold it into a shape and it will keep that shape without too much support.

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Twist in the beginning and the end of the ribbon, wrap it loose so that you are able to move it around a bit if you have more to finish up your wreath.

I only put on one of my big flowers and it looks great. When placed right in the middle of the bottom or in the middle of the top are for those who need everything just so-so they can feel organized and calm.  The world is crazy out there, if this is you, Do it! It looks amazing!

My husband and I throw a little more caution to the wind and we put it near the bottom.

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Sweet and Simple!

Both of the Rickabaughs approve!

Scrap Blanket

When you are handed down yarn and have leftovers from projects, you make unique blankets wrapped in charm.

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Complimentary colors to start out.  Then rows of alternating colors until they are completely gone.

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When the blanket is square a border can but put on. A plain double crochet can finish it off nicely. I have added this as well as a shell border.

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Complete.

 

 

Halloween Apothecary Decorations

I have been so busy working on my costume and crafts I am just now getting to post my work. Start to finish on the projects instead of a few steps at a time.

I found some super cute D. I. Y. Apothecary bottles on Pinterest, I tried making them myself and I think I did ok. Below are how I made them with photos.

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This is the photo that I found and were my inspiration bottles. I knew if they turned out half as good as these they would look great in the kitchen.

First step was collecting bottles, this I did for about 6 months in advance of actually doing the project. Another quick way is to hit up your friends for two to three weeks prior to project day.

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Step Two- The removal of labels. This part is the least fun. I tried several different methods filling the sink with hot soapy water and letting the labels get soggy worked well. I then took a fingernail scrub brush I use after I gardening and scrubbed the softened labels.

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The bottles were still sticky where the labels were, but I was hoping it would help my hot glue words stick and stay in place as I was placing them on the bottles.

I have worked with hot glue before when I made some snow flakes for a costume and I used the same technique with this project. Hot glue is messy and is stringy. So I used wax paper and put my design on the wax paper, let it dry and then cut it out with small sharp scissors.  This way its not stringy and if there is a bit to much in one spot or another I trim it to how I want it.

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Next they go on the bottles. I used the hot glue gun to put tiny dabs of glue on the back of the cut out words to permanently adhere them to the bottles.

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I also purchased a small bag of 12 plastic eyeballs for a dollar and hot glued them to the top of the lids. I had wanted to find some small plastic animals for on the lids but I did not find any that I liked enough, or for a reasonable price.

You can see they are really starting to come together, the last and I think the most fun is painting. Just a quick tip, you might want to plan a few other tasks for in between drying times. For a well mottled look it takes 3-4 coats of different colored paint. Each layer of paint needs to dry before the next layer is placed on top of the last.

I have found that when layering colors going from darkest to lightest or lightest to darkest works the best. I went from dark to light because I wanted to make sure all of the white parts of the bottles were covered.

Charcoal and green mixed for the base coat, the whole bottle and lid.

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When the base coat is complete on all of the bottles ( dark green) you just add paint to your base color. This saves paint and time and you know that the colors will work well together because your next color created is a variation  the current base color (dark green).

I added a small amount of metallic gold to my dark green, to produce a slightly lighter and shimmering green.  This coat was not a complete covering coat like the dark green was. I splotched it on.

The next layer of paint I added even more metallic gold paint.

This makes three layers of color. I then used the gold paint with just a very little bit of my mixed lightest color for a slightly bronze or dirty gold look to paint on just the words to help them stand out.  Also on our blood bottle we used red paint to make it look like blood.

Finished products were not too shabby.

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We have gotten a great deal of positive feedback from our friends and family. I think this project was fun. I think it would be a great October or late September art project for kids home schooled or not. It teaches color mixing skills as well as patience and dexterity. Cutting out the hot glue words and painting the gold on the words helps with fine motor skills and the development of them and learning how to control the tools used in this project.

RickabaughReviews Approves!

 

 

 

D.I.Y. Halloween Decor

Halloween is a fun and silly time of year.  I especially love decorating.  But Halloween decorating can really add up! Every year I try to add just a few things to my stock pile of decor for each season, and I really try to keep a good tab on how much I am spending.  We moved into a new house this summer and the decorating spaces went from three rooms and a small porch to 6 rooms and a porch and front yard 5 times as large.  Lucky us when we purchased the home from relatives they left some items, Halloween and Christmas because they were downsizing.  I try to only purchase decor for special season’s after the holiday is over, when prices are slashed.  If we do purchase something before the season it either must be super cheep on clearance or there must be a coupon that is 20% or higher off the item.  I know this may sound really silly but I put a Halloween decor list on the fridge this year.  It lists a few items that I would not mind purchasing after the season which I think we could add to our home.  As an example we have more windows as well as more artwork on the walls as this new house so I think we can stand to add a few more sections of creepy cloth.  Also maybe some more spiders.  I would like to add more reusable, craft pumpkins that you can carve like a real pumpkin but they don’t ever rot.

D.I.Y. Decor is probably some of my favorite kind because most times its free, I have the items on hand. The “WOW” factor from friends and family also is really nice.  Are my D.I.Y. projects always perfect. Nope. But sometimes I find some good ones to try out.

I have seen in the store lots of fun ideas-I snap pictures of them and then go home and reproduce them. One such product was small black bats that you can tape to the inside of your lamp shades and they look like little flying bats at night.

Love the concept!

I headed off to work the other morning asking my husband, the artist, if he would draw me a few bats on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of white paper for when I get home.  When I got home he had 5 of the most adorable bats ever! He was not sure what I was going to use them for so he made different sizes for me.  Best Husband ever!

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I got out two sheets of black card stock paper. This type is my favorite, it is heavy duty and holds up well over the years with all sorts of projects including scrap booking.

I used a light colored pencil in order to trace the bats on.  I placed them all down, rearranging to get the most out of one sheet and have as little waste as possible. Then the tracing began, and what followed was a whole lot of cutting.

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Then I used double sided tape and popped the bats here and there on windows and in lamp shades.  I kept my patterns in a small baggy. With the amount of windows we have facing the street in the new house I think that I can make the whole pack of black paper of bats and have just enough.  But instead of focusing on just one craft this year I am doing a few.  So I am saving the patterns and can make one or two sheets of black paper of bats a year.

The end results you can see in the following photos are stellar!!!  I love them and the husband loves them, so that means Rickabaughreviews approves!

Fun easy and cheap!

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