Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Crafting with Christmas Leftovers


     It's challenge time at Decorate to Celebrate again!  Check out their blog for great crafting ideas and the chance to win prizes.  (Decorate To Celebrate Blog).  Now that the holidays are officially over, I wanted to share some ideas on reusing cards and bits of wrapping paper.  I know my friends and family spend a lot of time and money in picking out greeting cards that speak to them and I just hate throwing them all in the trash once the holidays are over.  So here are a couple of ways I incorporate recycling these into next year's crafts.


     As you begin your holiday un-decorating, keep aside those cards that you particularly enjoyed.

 Here are some ideas:


    I just loved this card -- the motif, the colors just spoke to me.  And I had coordinating paper that I thought complemented it well as a background paper.  Just taking an inexpensive blank canvas, adhere the paper to the canvas and then the card on top.  The card felt like it already had a frame around it and that's it.  You can add some ribbon on the back and use as a wall hanging.  This would be fun to create for your own home or give as a gift, maybe to a young family that are just starting to create their own Holiday decorating.

 Gift Tags:

    It seems simple, but buying gift tags can get pricey year after year.  Take some of your cards and either cut freehand, or use an existing card as a template, you can easily accumulate a stash to use for next year's gifts.  Either a bold design, bold wording or an overall design work best.  Just don't be like me and forget where you put them when the holidays roll around again!

Gift Bags:

     I had picked up some inexpensive gift bags and by adding a cute card on the front makes a special bag for that special gift.


   There were a few cards that I just loved.  I'm keeping those aside for inspiration when the time comes around to do my homemade cards next season.  If you want to cut back on the amount of stuff you are saving, scan these into your computer for future reference.

Ornaments/Package Toppers:

   After all my decorating and gift wrapping, I had lots of little things left over.  I took some plain wood ornament shapes and covered with my bits and pieces.  This is a great way to use up some of your smaller items.  I strung them together to make a fun garland, but these can also be used individually as cute package toppers.

Santa Hats:

   There were a few of those inexpensive Santa hats that have seen better days.  Some of the white wool was dirty, basically beat up.  When I looked at the hats upside down, I thought hey there's a banner in there.  I cut off the worst part of the hats and was left with a fun pennant shape.  For the wool that is not as bad, it makes an easy way to add "snow" to displays or other decorations.

    Look around and think.....many things have more than one life and it is fun to come up with some fun recycling ideas....especially around the holidays.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hanger Wreath - Decorate To Celebrate

     Happy 2015!!  I know we all keep saying it, but really where does the time go?

     I am honored to have been invited back as a Design Team member for 2015 for the Decorate To Celebrate blog.  You need to follow if you don't already.  Filled with great creative ideas for celebrations as well as the opportunity to upload your project with a chance to win a fun prize!
Click for Decorate To Celebrate Blog
     Here is my first project for the 2015 team.  Enjoy and get crafting!


     The holidays are an amazing time of year to spend with family and friends.  But, to be honest, one of my favorite holiday traditions is post holiday shopping.  My family knows this about me so, armed with gift cards, I head out to my favorite crafting and paper stores for supplies, ideas and inspiration.

     During the holidays, I found a YouTube video demonstrating how to create a quick and easy wreath out of a dry cleaners wire hanger.  I thought, I have to try this.  So, armed with my gift cards and my handy notebook with musings about future crafting ideas, I created a wreath and just love it.


     You will will need:
       - dry cleaner wire hanger
       -shatterproof Christmas ornaments - approx 50 of med sized ornaments

     I scored this TUBE of Christmas ornaments at Michaels.  With post Christmas clearance AND my coupons, this little beauty came to about $8.99.

    Take your hanger and manipulate it into a circular shape.  Doesn't have to be perfect, as my example clearly demonstrates!

    Now, this part takes a little muscle.  Start unwrapping the wire from the "hook" of the hanger.  A pair of pliers helped me get going and once you get started, it deconstructs fairly easily.

   Once you have it unwrapped, start threading the ornaments onto the hanger.

   For medium sized ornaments, you will need about 50.  Keep adding ornaments until you are left with a small section of the wire remaining.

   Rewrap the open end of the wire -- you don't have to be neat or perfect as you will be covering it up with a bow.

   And that's it, the curved end of the hanger gives you an easy way to hang up your completed wreath.

   Think of getting pastel ornaments for an Easter wreath, red/white/blue for July 4th, etc.  Would love to see what you come up with!

   Best wishes for a wonderful and crafty 2015.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bling for your little Princess


     My friend called me in a panic.  Her 7 year old's birthday party was in the planning stages and, much to her mother's surprise, she announced she did not want a Frozen party, but she wanted to be a "Sparkly Princess".  

     With the great products from The Buckle Boutique, I knew I could start helping her out with the little princess's accessories.

     The Buckle Boutique has beautiful self-adhesive sheets of rhinestones in a wide array or colors and sizes.

     In addition, sparkly embellishments that will get your bling on in no time.  They are easy to cut and they stick on almost any surface I've tried.  If you are looking for bling, look no further.
Click for The Buckle Boutique website


    Our little princess was very clear for her choice of decor -- sparkly, sparkly and some more sparkles.  I knew her party dress was pink and gold, so this was my jumping off point in terms of colors.


    Our little princess needs to keep her hair neat while having fun at the party.  I found an inexpensive, lightweight headband at my favorite local dollar store.  In measuring the width, I determined it was about 2 stones in the width and just cut a piece out of the pink stones.  I left the bottom empty so it wouldn't irritate her little ears.

    Now you can't have just a plain headband, so I added a little flourish.  While working on some promotions for a couple of rock bands I work with, I had found this little machine that cuts guitar picks out of anything.  And they look like perfect little petals.  The machine works basically like a hole punch, so just like that, you have petals to add to your headband.  And in about five minutes, you are done!


     The Mom was planning on giving out little treat bags, and I had a bunch of these burlap mini totes left over.  I also like the combo of rustic with bling.  Using the guitar pick petals again, it was just that easy to add to the front of the tote.


     A little princess can't go to any party without her lip gloss, so keeping the rustic with bling motif going, I added rhinestones to a burlap makeup bag I had in my stash.  Cut out some strips for the "stems" and then add the petals and random shapes to form flowers.

    The Princess was delighted with her sparkly items and I think I now will have to add to her collection for the party.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Retail Inspiration


     Nothing starts my new year off in the right way then a little retail therapy.  I'm a big after-holiday shopper and I have been on the search for a print for our newly renovated bathroom.  While perusing the aisles of my local Bed Bath & Beyond, not only did I find the perfect bathroom print, I was inspired by their wall decor department.  For both clearance and regular priced items, I was impressed by their collection and quality.  I was inspired by so many items, I had to share.

     But first of all, our beautiful Parisian print for our new bathroom:

Photography/"Negative" printing / pops of color:

Coordinated Canvas:

I loved these sets - 7 pieces of coordinated wall art that you can either use separately or as a grouping.  Great opportunity to play with color and patterns.

Marquee Lights:

There was a huge selection of marquee lights at Bed Bath & Beyond.  Great items and reasonable pricing.  I'm still a big fan of this trend and created a faux marquee sign that sits along with some of my son's childhood artwork.  Might have to add to my collection after seeing these signs.

Dimensional Canvas:

What a great way to showcase found objects and the dimensional bike on the photograph is brilliant.

Local Maps/Vintage:

As a born and raised Long Islander, I was drawn to this print and it has made me go on the hunt for more of this style.

Also thought this has some great ideas for taking existing maps and giving them a vintage vibe.

Wood/Pallet Projects:

The use of color and placement of these items was just gorgeous...I definitely think I'm going back for one of these!

Mixed Media Color/Canvas:

The use of color was so beautiful and inspirational.  As a big music fan, the guitars really struck a "chord" with me!


The simplicity of the monochromatic flowers was so pretty and makes me think of wedding gifts.  And the second shadowbox had several different examples with motivational savings on the glass itself, so many ideas come to mind for this one.

Don't forget to support your local big & small retailers ....they need your business and you never know what will inspire you.