Sunday, December 20, 2015

Evergreen Garland

I had some extra evergreen boughs left over from making my Christmas Wreath earlier this month. I really like how garland looks on a house or railings or fences… and it smells so good! I decided to give it a shot – and if it didn’t work out? Well, I’d be no worse for wear… and the scraps would just still be scraps.

Making this garland was a bit like making my flower crowns for my wedding. You just cut up a bunch of boughs into smaller sprigs. Then, all facing the same direction, tie them together with a wire, twisting it around and then add another piece to lengthen and wrap the wire around that piece and keep going. Spiral the wire around and up the sprigs as you add more and more until you reach your desired length. That was two long sentences. But that is how easy it is.


[try to ignore the hideous mums that I haven’t cut back yet haha]
I hope you feel inspired to make your own garland! It’s super easy! I know I don’t have many pictures so please post questions if you need more explanation!

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Wreath 2015

Every year I make a Christmas wreath. I guess it's becoming a tradition. I think once I started wanting one and took a look at how ghastly expensive they can be  I was much more motivated to make one myself. Turns out, it's wicked easy and wicked cheap to DIY.

Each year we cut down our own tree. Aside from it being a magical Christmas experience -- and judged to be the only 'proper' way to get a tree if you are a true Christmas celebrator (whatever) -- I think these tree farms are making out like bandits. I mean really, though... we do all the work. We pick and cut and drag the tree from the center of some field back to the car, hoping to only get sap on things that can be cleaned. But we do love spending some time outside in the fresh air before it gets too cold to enjoy anything. And the hubs enjoys feeling like a he-man by chopping down the tree. And I enjoy watching him. We get to wear our Flannel shirts and drink hot cider. It's a process, but it pumps us with some Christmas cheer to start the season... before all the craziness rolls in.

I digress. When we get our tree each year we save the bottom boughs that inevitably have to be chopped off so the tree fits in the stand. Sometimes I even grab other people's left-behind branches too. [Lord knows that the tree itself costs more than enough for me to feel within my right to take home extra scraps.] I buy a wire wreath frame for $2.50 and some floral wire for $2.00 and I make my own wreath. If I feel fancy, I add some berries and a bow. It takes me 20 minutes. Do it this way and you'll never again spend $50 or more for a pre-made wreath.

My tutorial from a few years ago is HERE. I think next year I’ll give it a revamp.


Wreath on, people – save some money for gifts, or charity, or one of the few “one for me, one for you” purchases that might inevitably come your way. Don’t you dare pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. ;)

Happy Holidays and Merry Crafting!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trick-or-Treat Tote

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Halloween as an adult is wonderful, but I miss rustling through the leaves in the dark from house to spooky house trick-or-treating. I remember feeling so mischievous, like we were up to no good as we rang doorbells and showed off our costumes. It was always cold, and I remember fighting the parents year after year when they would try to tuck my parka under my costume.
I don't have kids of my own yet, but I can't help but join in with my friends as they get their little ones psyched up for the holiday. This year I made my little friend Logan an awesome trick or treat bag to carry from house to house with his baby brother. He's the sweetest little man and he deserves lots of candy (so Mom can have some too).... so I didn't skimp on the size.



Trick or Treat Tote

Supplies you will need:
     Outer fabric 3/4 yard
     Inner lining fabric 3/4 yard
     Batting 3/4 yard
The Usual Suspects: sewing machine, scissors, thread, iron

1. Start by cutting all of your fabric pieces.

     4 pieces 18”L x 14”W (2 inner, 2 outer)
     4 pieces 15”L x 6”W (2 inner, 2 outer)
     2 pieces batting 18”L x 14”W
     2 pieces batting 15”L x 6”W
     1 strip inner fabric 40”L x 3”W (for handles)
     1 strip inner fabric 42”L x 3”W (for trim)

Put aside your strips. You’re going to start by making the four sides of the bag.

2. For each side, you are going to make a sandwich: inner fabric – batting – outer fabric. Make sure the fabrics are both facing outward. You will have two big sandwiches and two smaller sandwiches (these will be your sides). Press all of your sandwiches with the iron. Forgive me for talking in food terms, I feel like everyone is more comfortable with food terms when they're learning (or maybe that's just me).

Quilt your sandwiches any way you like -- I went with assorted horizontal lines. (PS. Cutest fabric ever… was definitely the inspiration for this project!)

4. Sew the bottom edge of your two big panels (sandwiches) together, outsides together.


5. Open up your sandwich on the fold like above. Starting at the top of one of your big panels, pin on your side panel with outsides together. Sew. Repeat with opposite side. Your bag should look like a T so far.

6. Lay your “T” down with outside fabric facing up, take the remaining long side and turn up, pin side panels and long panel sides together outside to outside and sew edges together. Make sure you start at the top corner.
**I know this step sounds confusing, but all you are really doing is sewing the sides to the other big panel, same as with step 5.**

7. Once side edges are together, sew along two bottom edges to complete sides and close up bottom of tote. Turn bag right side out.

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8. Pinch and sew 1/4 inch seam along all four side edges of bag, enclosing open seam in a spine. This gives the bag structure and allows it to stand on it's own.
The basic bag is done. Now for finishing touches.


Cut long strip of liner fabric, press in half the long way. Open. Now fold edges into middle crease and press again. Fold long strip in half the long way and press one final time.

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2. Pin along top edge of bag and sew.
In retrospect I would have like to edge my four pieces first, eliminating this process. But this is how I did it and it still came out great!

Repeat step 1 as above in Edging. Sew fold closed length-wise. Pin to inside or outside of bag (per preference), folding raw end under itself. Sew down to secure.


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Done! Definitely an intermediate level project, but still do-able. I had a ton of fun putting this together and I can’t wait to see little Logan trick-or-treating with it!


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Happy Trick-Or-Treating!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Bridget, XOXO

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Beer Collage


This project was a fun start to seasonal crafting. As a typical New England girl, as soon as it was cool enough to put jeans on I headed to Starbucks and got myself a pumpkin latte (though I'm a DD's girl  at heart) on my way to the liquor store to get some pumpkin beer to drink while watching reruns of Hocus Pocus. Basic. My husband is cringing as he reads this. I just pulled out my riding boots and flannel shirts. FALL IS HERE!!!

Anyways, this easy little project sprung from a need for seasonal decorations for our new-ish house and a large blank spot on our wall. I noticed some cute, overpriced pillows in the Fall Pottery Barn magazine with a pretty watercolor pumpkin on them and thought of painting a similar pumpkin... psh. Not likely to go well. But I did have some pumpkin beer cartons lying around that I'd been saving (cause that's what crafters do) waiting for a cause. Hence a collage was born... and an awesome, just-as-fun-as-when-you-were-little, but-actually-good-enough-to-put-on-the-wall one at that.


What you will Need:
- poster board (whatever color you want)
- pumpkin beer cartons - at least one per pumpkin wedge
- glue stick
- scissors

1. Drink lots of beer. I started nice and early, avoiding eye contact with the judging glares I got at the start of September when I was already buying the first batches of pumpkin beer. Lucky for you, it’s well into pumpkin beer season now. So stock up and get your husband to help and you can have a great weekend kicking off Fall.

2. Sketch a pumpkin on your poster board with pencil. It doesn't have to be perfect. Pumpkins are not perfect. They are lumping and asymmetrical. I looked at a picture of a basic pumpkin drawing on my phone while I sketched it out. Make sure to include some fat wedges. I like a plump pumpkin :)


3. Cut up some boxes. Leave as many whole pictures and words and phrases that you can. Cut the sides off the insides and put the insides aside (woah). You won't need them.


4. Collage your pumpkin. I chose to collage each wedge, but feel free to do whatever your heart desires. You can collage the whole thing together or even make a jack-o-lantern if you want!


5. Make a stem out of your scraps -- I flipped mine over and made it out if plain cardboard.


6. Hang it up! I used command strips because I'd like to use it again next year and didn't want to put a nail in the wall.


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Happy Fall, my pumpkin loving friends!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wedding DIY: Flowerless Centerpieces

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Our wedding had a strict budget. And we blew it out of the water. Even with all of the stuff we did ourselves and the items we omitted. Honestly, it was our own fault because we didn’t know what we were in for --- it is VERY hard to plan a budget for something you have never planned and when most people you will be referencing had budgets that span tens of thousands of dollars with varying results. That being said, we knew we needed to pinch pennies where we wouldn’t miss them. And that included flowers for our centerpieces. I went all out for our bridal party florals with the amazing Earth Blossoms and still kept my floral budget under $1000. My centerpieces cost me between about $25 each. And for the tables that my bridesmaids said at, their bouquets became the centerpiece.

My centerpieces were simple – I want guests to be able to talk across their tables. But I also wanted some interest and to keep with our garden and rustic themes. Lanterns with faux candles, cardboard letters, and ball jars filled with moss, eucalyptus and grape vine sprigs. The lanterns I found at various craft stores and Homegoods, all $15-$20 and all different. I collected them over our two year engagement. The letters I found at Hobby Lobby and spray painted gold. The Ball jars took the most time to get just right, but even still, we very simple. My Maid of Honor and I spray painted some of the grape vine sprigs gold, combined them with the natural sprigs and some eucalyptus and dried moss at the base of the jar. I used quart Ball jars. All of the supplies for the Ball jars were easily found at crafts stores.

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I love how they came out and I didn’t miss the flowers at all!

I hope these Wedding DIY posts have inspired you to do some of your own wedding personalization. It made our day so much more special knowing we had put our hand into making the day a reflection of us. We enjoyed the process of creating the vision we had of our wedding – thanks for joining me along the way!

Bridget XOXO

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wedding DIY: Flower Crowns

Bridget & Joe-12
Our wedding was primarily garden themed and since it was in August we wanted a few seasonal accents…. in-season flowers, light suits for the guys, airy dresses for the girls… and flower crowns. Who needs a good excuse to wear a flower crown? nobody. They’re awesome. But I also thought they might be a fun addition for pictures and partying, adding to the boho flair in our wedding.

I found this very simple tutorial at Green Wedding Shoes. I did not use live flowers, but silk, and they came out beautiful! I raided the craft store for on-sale small flowers and went to work. My Sister-In-Law Julia got the hang of this way faster than I did – it takes a good amount of hand-eye coordination. Be creative, have fun with them, and don’t worry about messing up – you can always pull some flowers out and add others.

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We also ended up making some big fun flower crowns for the photobooth and they were a huge hit!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Wedding DIY: Cake/Pie Bunting

I was surprised at how difficult it was to find cake or pie bunting for our wedding pie… yeah, there are some on Etsy for a pretty penny, but nothing that would get here in a reasonable amount of time before our wedding. So I spent an hour (literally) figuring out how to make this bunting and putting it together.
Note – we had a wedding pie. No, it’s not the popular thing to do (yet) but we aren’t huge cake people. So we chose some yummy pie from a local farm: Lyman Orchards! This is also why we chose bunting… because, well, a cake topper would have just sunk. And that would not be good symbolism for a wedding.

Bridget & Joe-555 

What you will need:
Fat burlap ribbon (wired)
Black paint pen (white did not stand out enough)
Two chopsticks or sticks for photobooth props
Craft glue
The Usual Suspects: scissors, sewing machine, thread

1. Start by cutting approximately 2inch wide triangles from your ribbon, with the wire at the base of the triangle. Cut enough triangles to spell out your desired phrase… mine was “Just Married”.
2. Cut 2x 3ft pieces of twine – we’re being generous here, you can always trim off the excess later. If you only have one line, you only need on piece of twine.
3. Pin your triangles in a row on the twine. Using the serger or zigzag setting on your sewing machine, sew down your triangles to your twine. Repeat for your second line.

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4. Draw on your letters with your paint pen, making sure to do this over a newpaper or something you don’t care about ruining. Don’t use a sharpie – it will bleed!
5. Tie your bunting onto your chopsticks or other sticks (sticks from the backyard would be CUTE… but might not be food safe.). Add a dab of glue to your stick where you are tying your bunting… this will keep it from untying or moving.

6. Tidy up—straighten everything and bend your triangles to where you want them (remember—they have wire at the top!).
7. Stick at an angle into your pie or cake.Admittedly, bunting works best in cake because it is dense, but ours held up ok in our pie too. Totally recommend testing in some pie first (also a great excuse to buy and eat some pie).

Also, our bunting was kinda big for our pie… use chopsticks instead – we used sticks that you could make photo props with and they were not the best.

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PPS. Big shout-out to For Such a Time Designs for the amazing vintage silver server… find her here on Etsy!

I hope you’re enjoying these wedding DIY posts!
Thanks for joining me!