Easy and Cheap DIY Chalkboard

Hey friends!! I hope you enjoyed your extra-long weekend! My daughter was home from college so that made my weekend awesome!! I don’t know about you, but I have been in a bit of a funk watching all of the news from Houston. The devastation is truly unreal. If you are from that area or have people you know from there, know that our prayers are with you as you process this and work through the rebuilding. Much love to you Texas. I also put my oldest on a plane last week to head back to Boston for his SENIOR year of college. Honestly, it seems like yesterday that we were moving him in for the first time. I’m so proud of him, and thankful for all the opportunities God has blessed him with over the last three years, but it’s never easy to say goodbye. I needed a distraction, so when I got home from the airport I dove into a craft.
Easy and Cheap DIY Chalkboard
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Craft Closet New and Improved

Hey friends! Happy Monday! My kids are back in school (all but the big one who’s here for two more weeks¬† ūüėČ ). That means more time for projects and blogging! Have you missed me? I’ve missed you!
I shared my craft closet with you a little while back, and¬†my plans to improve it and organize it in a way that would not require a regularly scheduled clean-out.¬† ūüė≥ Here is the condition of the closet after the last operation organization.
Craft closet
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Burlap Wreath {Spring Craftiness}

Well, it’s March and I finally took down my Valentine’s decor this weekend :). ¬†I have several projects that I have pinned that I wanted to craft for the spring. ¬†I’m pretty sure these were there last year and I never got to them, so I was determined to at least get to one or two. ¬†One of my favs are those cute burlap wreaths I have seen out in blog-land thanks to pinterest. ¬†(I’m a pinterest addict – at least I can admit it.) ¬†So I went to Hobby Lobby and bought my supplies. ¬†Thankfully the ribbon was on sale 50% off. ¬†As I’ve said before, I try not to buy many things at HL at full price because if you wait a week it will be on sale!
burlap wreath supplies
Then I checked out several of my pins to see how they went about making this cute.  There are two or three methods that I found and I tried a couple but this one was by far my favorite and pretty easy really.  Follow the link to Top This Top That and check out her tutorial.  
burlap wreath tutorial from top this top that
source: Top This Top That
All that is involved is weaving the burlap ribbon in and out of the metal frame. ¬†Easy peasy – yes!! ¬†The best thing is it doesn’t have to be perfect, because it is simple to fluff and adjust as you work with it and even when it’s done. ¬†
burlap wreath tutorial
I wanted to add a little color and something for spring/Easter. ¬†I found this fabulous CORAL ribbon at HL. (I had to take a picture with my orange scissors because the color just wasn’t coming through otherwise.)
coral grosgrain ribbon
I found some cute polka-dot ribbon too. ¬†I also bought a wooden cross and some paint to match the ribbon, not exactly sure what I was going to do with all of it. ¬†I started by trying to make a bow with the ribbon….I stink at making bows with ribbon that isn’t wired so I scratched that idea. ¬†That’s when I came up with this.
ribbon cross
I decided I wanted the coral ribbon to shine because it’s awesome, so I painted the cross with the blue paint and then began layering the ribbon on the cross, simply hot-gluing it to the back. ¬†{As a side note – I finally bought myself a big-girl glue gun! ¬†ūüôā ¬†I have been using one of those mini low temp jobbies for years, and I was tired of the glue drying before I got things in place. ¬†Sooo loving my new one!!} ¬†I added a bow to the front just for cuteness. ¬†
ribbon covered cross tutorial
I knew I didn’t want this accessory to be permanent on my wreath because I knew I would want to use it at other times, so I simply made a big pile of glue on the back of the cross and stuck a pipe cleaner in the center. ¬†I then used the pipe cleaner to attach the cross to the wreath.
how to attach an object to a burlap wreath
burlap wreath
The plan was to hang this above my mantle as part of my spring decor.  After hanging it up there I realized that it blended in with the brick.  A.  Lot.  
burlap wreath
So, I am thinking of ways to make it stand out.  A mirror?  A board behind it like this?  
source: MadeByGirl
Really love the chevron on this.  What do you think?  Ideas?  

Jump on over here to see what I came up with :)!!

Blessings and happy spring!!
 
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Heart Day Mantel

The rain here today has been refreshing to my soul. ¬†It is such a glorious sight and sound!! ¬†We were under a tornado watch when I woke up this morning which is always fun, but hey. ¬†So, instead of doing the painting I had planned on doing today. ¬†I decided to work on some Valentine decor. ¬†I don’t usually decorate for Valentine’s Day but I have to confess my mantel has been bare since Christmas came down and I was finally tired of looking at the emptiness. ¬†Sometimes for me emptiness is good for a while – cleansing maybe. ¬†Anywho….I have seen so many cute things floating around the blog world so I decided “why not”. ¬†Here is the big picture. ¬†

 

I spent around $5 a couple of weeks ago on some cute variegated yarn and started making some hearts – following instructions that I found here. ¬†If you can crochet, these are very simple and quick. ¬†(And, by the way, if you start to crochet something and forget how to do a stitch because you haven’t done it in a long time – youtube is your friend.)

 

Aren’t they cute?? ¬†When I had all the hearts I wanted I decided I wanted to make a garland so I made a chain using a large hook and double strand of yarn. ¬†Then I very carefully (not) tied the hearts to the chain in a somewhat symmetrical pattern.
 
I also purchased some felt pieces in pink, red, purple, and white of course. ¬†I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them until I started putting things together today. ¬†And this is what I came up with. ¬†You may have seen something similar with paper doily¬†hearts, but I didn’t have any of those and today was all about using things I already had. ¬†

 

 

I have been scared to try the whole chalkboard writing thing. ¬†Because I don’t think my handwriting is that good. ¬†I tried several tricks that I found here and there and none of them worked – probably because I was doing them wrong. ¬†So, I just decided to take the leap. ¬†I started with this¬†

 

 

and ended with this.  

 

 

Not too bad I think. ¬†I added some ribbon to the frame to dress it up a bit. ¬†I have had this chalkboard hanging in my kitchen forever. ¬†Sometimes with a verse, sometimes with a list, sometimes with a schedule, sometimes with a menu. ¬†It has served many purposes, and all the while with that plain store-bought frame. ¬†ūüôā
 
The last piece of the puzzle was another pinterest find.  I have seen several different versions of these with all different sorts of words.  I am in love!!  I had the frames and the paper in my craft closet РI just picked and font and sent the paper through my printer.  

 

 

Here is a side tip that maybe you already know.  How to remove sticker residue.  These frames had been sitting in the closet for over a year with the price stickers still on them.  So, when I got ready to take them off, of course they did not come off easy.  So, baby oil and a cotton ball (and some elbow grease) to the rescue.  Tear off as much as you can by hand and then rub over the spot with the cotton ball coated in baby oil.  
 
In just a minute or two it will all be gone!!  Way better than killing your fingernails trying to scrape it off!!
 
I love the finished mantel and that it was cheap.  
 
Things have been crazy busy around here lately and I don’t see any signs of it letting up anytime soon, so I was happy for the rain as an excuse to stay in and do some crafting!!

Linking up at Our Fifth House today. ¬†Lots of fun Valentine’s day projects over there to check out!
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Lots O Gifts

Do you have a large group of people you need to get gifts for?¬† Employees, neighbors, teachers, co-workers, friends.¬† How do you keep it fair?¬† How do you do it without breaking the bank?¬† How do you make it personal?¬† I may have told you that I am the director of our church’s mother’s day out.¬† I have 27 employees that I buy gifts for.¬† This is quite overwhelming for me.¬† So, how do I do it?
My first tip would be set a budget, an overall max budget and a per person budget.  This makes it easy to narrow the gift down, and keeps you from breaking the bank.
My second tip Рtaken from directors past Рis to buy everyone the same thing.  This eliminates a lot of stress of trying to find 27 individual gift that fit the person and that stay within your budget.
Third – find a way to make it personal.
Fourth – pay attention to the presentation.
The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but the last two take a little more thought.  Here is what I came up with this year {and yes, we had our Christmas party a couple of days ago so they have all already received their gifts}.

 

I started with a stack of CD’s {check out the title *JOY*!!}
And some silver ornaments + some sparkle
The ornaments are the unbreakable kind for crafting, and the sparkle came from the scrapbooking section – stickers.
So, the first step was to apply the stickers Рlovely, blingy, initials.  This was my way of making the gift personal this year.
Second, I tied some bows.¬† I have used this sheer ribbon for years – no wire but it looks pretty no matter what you do with it and it’s inexpensive.¬† I then hot glued the bows to the neck of the ornament.¬† I used more of the sheer ribbon to make a loop to hang the ornament with.
Next came the packaging.  Because of the colors on the CD {and a little bit of my laziness} I opted not to wrap them.  I found more sheer ribbon in the gift wrap section of HL, this time red.  Sticking with the red and white/silver color scheme, I added some candy canes.

Time to start layering.¬† CD on bottom, then a candy cane, then the blingy initial ornament, and…..

VOILA!! 

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