Glam Up Mother Nature for a Naturally Beautiful Holiday

savedbylove1_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholidayA foraging trip outdoors starts the holidays off right. It’s a sure-fire way to pick some holiday spirit, and an even better way to save your money for gifts for your loved ones rather than spending it on decor.   Combine your store-bought sparkle with nature’s bounty for beautiful decorations that don’t break the bank. Low- to no-cost natural elements are the perfect addition to your decoration collection for decorating the mantle, tabletop and tree.   Turn collecting natural goodies into a scavenger hunt with the kids. Gather various sizes of pinecones, acorns, bare branches, evergreens and berries. If you don’t have any evergreens outside, you can stop anywhere fresh Christmas trees are sold and get the discarded lower branches for a low cost, or possibly for free. These work just fine to cut up for decorations. Finally, add in goodies from the grocery store like apples, popcorn, cranberries or citrus fruits. Now you’ve got the recipe for a pretty holiday home. It’s time to start decorating! diy-holiday-decor-using-nature Nature on Display   savedbylove2_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholiday   Start with what you already own. Clear vases or jars, cake stands, baskets and plates turn into decorations with a bit of creativity.   Create an ornament display that is sure to become a focal point. Collect bare branches and dig into your ornament collection. Tying the baubles on bare limbs makes them stand out and really come to life. Do something as simple as these red balls on one branch, or collect several branches to place in a row of jars. You could even get a large multi-limbed branch to stand in a large floor vase.   You can also fill glass containers with pinecones and acorns. Add a bit of glam by dusting them with glitter or fake snow. Try tucking a few tiny ornaments in the glass container, too—look for a really interesting one to highlight, such as a tiny pair of ice skates or a darling little Santa.   Holiday Arrangement   savedbylove3_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholiday   Create a floral-shop worthy display with a combination of your natural found items and produce. This wonderfully scented decoration is easy to make. Gather up apples, oranges, whole cloves, pinecones and greenery. Select a container—a basket or bowl will work.   Begin by pushing the cloves into the oranges in any pattern you like. If your basket or bowl is very deep, stuff the bottom of it with some balls of paper. First, set in your oranges, toward the center. Arrange pinecones and apples around the oranges. Cut small pieces of greenery and tuck them in between the fruit to hide gaps or any paper that shows. Finish by accenting here and there with a bit of something bright. You can add a few tiny ornaments, colorful cranberries, sprigs of holly or a dusting of fake snow.   Tabletop Centerpiece   savedbylove4_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholiday   A low centerpiece is just the ticket for holiday dinners because you want to be able to see over it and enjoy conversations with family and friends. You can make a beautiful, simple one with your natural collection and some shiny ornament balls.   Collect pinecones, fall leaves, greenery, ornaments and a bit of paint. Check your paint stash for holiday shades of gold, silver, white, copper or red. Choose one you think compliments your ornaments. Paint the fall leaves and a few pinecones and allow the paint to dry. Leave some of the pinecones natural.   Use a flat plate or tray to hold your centerpiece. Snip evergreens in small pieces and arrange flat to cover the plate or tray. Arrange large pinecones in the center and then add the ornaments to the plate. Tuck tiny pinecones and the painted leaves around the large cones and balls.   Let It Shine   savedbylove5_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholiday   Holiday parties and family gatherings are a celebration and celebrations call for candles. Natural elements can come into play with candles. Here are a few ideas:  
  • Place a few cranberries and snips of greenery in a jar. Add water and drop a floating candle in the top. Add glamour by nestling them in some shiny bead garland or silvery icicles.
  • Place fresh cranberries in a tall vase. Nestle a candle into the berries. Tie a pretty ribbon around the vase.
  • Arrange three to five tiny votive candles on a plate with a rim. Surround them with fresh cranberries, whole nuts and acorns.
  Strings of Fun   savedbylove6_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholiday   Generations of families have enjoyed stringing popcorn on thread to decorate their tree. While you can certainly do just popcorn, it’s fun to give it a glamourous touch, like adding shiny gold jingle bells or a small ornament every so often. Don’t stop with just popcorn - you can string cranberries and even gummy candies!   After the holidays are over, don’t toss out the strings of popcorn and berries. Hang them on bushes in the yard and enjoy watching the birds have a winter feast.   As an organizational expert, Lea Schneider helps homeowners get organized, but also dabbles in decorating. She provides some great tips on using nature to decorate for the holidays. Visit the Home Depot to find a great selection of Christmas decorations.  

100 Mason Jar Projects to Make

Mason Jar Craft Roundup @savedbyloves The creative mason jar projects keep rolling in, so we have updated our orignal round-up of jar crafts to include our new favorites. Enjoy!!

 
Mason Jar Crafts fb  

Easy Budget Christmas Decor Ideas

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It is already December! Are you ready for holiday entertaining? I have to admit, we are not. We just got the keys to our new Colorado home on Tuesday. We've spent the last 6 months in corporate housing, which was basically like a hotel. Bring your clothes and toiletries and get comfy. Moving from Indiana, we got rid of 80% of our belongings, so we are starting fresh! There is a lot to be done in the way of home furnishings and decor around here, which is why I am so grateful to have discovered At Home Christmas Decor and more. Today I am focusing on holiday decor specifically, but that store has it all, and the prices are unbeatable. 

When we first looked at this house before landing on a decision, this little nook caught my eye as a place I knew I'd have fun decorating! Think of the potential. It will be my go to spot for showcasing each season and holiday with a themed vignette. 

My only complaint about At Home is that I seriously have a hard time narrowing things down with the 15 decorative themes of Christmas Decor. 

Snowcapped Scene is my favorite. That is the reindeer I chose for my winter vignette, as well as the candle holder. I love the owls and St. Nicholas figures too. They are a matte, chalky distressed finish with metallic underneath. So pretty!

I couldn't resist these aged gold bells either. You will find them in the Heaven on Earth themed section, along with other beautiful, gilded gold decor.

Now we get to talk about my favorite finds from this At Home trip! This wreath is so beautiful, and you won't believe the price! I found mercury glass monogram ornaments for under $3 and displayed one in the center of the wreath, as you can see. The wood background is also from At Home, in their ridiculously huge and wonderful wall decor section. The barrel display table, you ask? Got it there too! I found a small one, seen here, and a larger one which I bought for a side table in our new living room. So cool! I love the combo of wood and rusty, galvanized metal.

I also found the distressed white medallion pictured here, knowing it would complete the scene perfectly!

My next stop? The Tree for Me area, where there are Christmas Trees to fit every style! We are entertaining here soon, and what holiday party is worthwhile absent a Christmas tree? We will be all decorated for the holidays, indoors and out, with the help of At Home. We may not have shower curtains or a coffee table before that happens, but we can get those there too!

Thanks for visiting. Be sure to stop by At Home's inspiration gallery and let us know your favorite style or piece!

Visit Sponsors Site

Christmas Dining Room Table Scape with At Home

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I recently shared with you At Home Christmas Decor, the one-stop-shop for you to decorate you whole house this Christmas– every single room! At Home offers a total holiday solution for every home, with their unmatched assortment of both indoor and outdoor décor items for Christmas. As I shared previously, the Christmas and holiday decor is featured in fifteen decorative themes, to fit every style and taste. In addition, At Home offers 101 Varieties of artificial Christmas Trees in the Tree for Me section! We decided to snatch up their everyday low priced decor to create a Christmas wonderland table scape!  Using a combination of the Crystal Chateau and Snowcapped Scene decor themes, as well as candles and candle holders from At Home, we created a lovely, wintery holiday vignette for a super low price! We can't wait to have company for the holidays this year! With all the money we saved on decor, dinner will be quite the spread. Not only that, but we are in a new space, which will be hitting up At Home to decorate in general. The great prices and stylish decor are not just for the holidays at this store. If you haven't been there, you are in for a treat! Visit the At Home inspiration page and check out the decorative themes, which include Seas & Greetings, Holiday Hoedown, Lavish and Luxe, Peppermint Jazz, Berry Platinum, Forest Fairy Tales, Crystal Chateau, Cherished Memories, Heaven and Earth, Midnight Plume, Regal Renaissance, Snowcapped Scene, Handcrafted from Around the World, Dem Darlings and Handcrafted. Which is your favorite? We love our combo of Snowcapped Scene and Lavish and Luxe! Visit Sponsors Site

Easy DIY Graphic Christmas Ornaments

 

Make Gorgeous Holiday Ornaments with @plaidcrafts @savedbyloves

This post is brought to you by Plaid and Blueprint Social. All opinions are my own.

It is the most wonderful time of the year, and that means hands everywhere are covered in glitter and Mod Podge. Mine are no different. Yours shouldn't be either. I am here to help you out with that by sharing how to make these beautiful graphic holiday ornaments in just a few simple steps. Personalize them as great gifts and keepsake ornaments for your friends and loved ones that will be cherished for years to come. But wait, there is more...other awesome things about this project are the fact that it is super inexpensive to create, and features Plaid's new Mod Podge Pearl formula!

DIY Vintage Christmas Ornament

SUPPLIES

Plaid Holiday Ornament Challenge Supplies

Mod Podge Pearl

Folk Art Multi-Surface Paint in your favorite holiday colors

Foam Brushes

White Christmas Ball Ornaments to decorate

White Tissue Paper

Alphabet or word stamps of your choice &/0r rub-on transfer letters

Empty bottle with small mouth to hold ball while drying

Masking Tape

Staz-On Black Ink Pad

TUTORIAL

Dip ornament in paintClean ornament with rubbing alcohol and lint free cloth and let dry. Tape off ornament top third or so and dip in multi-surface paint.

Color Block OrnamentsShake and tape ornament to move paint around to cover entire surface of untaped portion of ball.

Is it just me, or does this look like dijon mustard?

Dry Ornament on Bottle

Place ball as shown in empty bottle and let dry overnight or for several hours.

How to Apply Rub on Transfer

Apply rub-on transfer with craft stick. It is helpful to cut out the letter or word before applying so you aren't trying to maneuver a bulky sheet.

Easy DIY Christmas Decor

That is that for the color block ornaments. Now for the pearlized monogram ball...

Stamp on White Tissue Paper

Stamp desired letter onto white tissue with StazOn ink or other solvent based ink.

Stamped image transferTear letter out by hand to leave feathered borders (as opposed to cutting with scissors).

How to Image TransferPaint entire ornament with a layer of pearl Mod Podge, place letter, then paint a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the tissue paper. Take care not to rip the monogram.Mod Podge Pearl Christmas Ornament TutorialHang ornament to air dry. Add another coat of pearl finish Mod Podge and let dry. DIY handmade Christmas Ornaments

That's it! Do you love the pearl finish? Of course you do. It is elegant with an aged feel. It looks great with the glittery gold and silver metallic finishes too.

DIY Christmas Ornaments

 Find more ideas and inspiration by visiting Plaid:

Pinterest

Facebook

Instagram

Plaid Website

50 Plus Awesome Yarn Crafts to Make

50 Best Yarn Crafts to make from @savedbylovesDon't let the title scare you. For this collection, no crochet or knit skills are needed. This week's crafty round-up is all about things to make with yarn. You will find all kinds of kids crafts, home decor, paper crafts and more. Enjoy!

Laduree Hot Chocolate Recipe Knock Off

Laduree Hot Chocolate Recipe Knock Off @savedbyloves

If you read anything about traveling to Paris, Ladurée hot chocolate and macarons are bound to be mentioned. We heard about the place first on Rick Steve's audio Paris app, in one of his many interviews with Parisians.  Then pretty much everyone we talked to about "must see places" in Paris recommended we go there for chocolat chaud (hot chocolate).

Laduree Paris

Well we went there, and I must say, the hot chocolate was smooth and divine.

chocolat chaud paris Recipe

I came home, and much like with the french onion soup recipe I shared yesterday, I had to try to recreate the experience here in Indiana! After some time with Google, I found this Parisian Hot Chocolate Recipe. I followed it to the letter, using Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips from the local Wal Mart. To grind them, I used my blender on "grind". I also blended the mixture after adding the chocolate in the same blender on "Liquefy" for 1 minute.

Best Hot Chocolate Recipe

It was so much like the real thing! The next 10 minutes consisted of "mmmm...." and that's about it. I have made it twice more since then, and it is a huge hit in our house. I won't make hot chocolate any other way now.  If you can't make it to Laduree, this is the next best option! Enjoy.

Upcycled Sweater Christmas Ornaments

I am so happy to be here today sharing a tutorial for these Cozy Christmas Ornaments made from old sweaters. That ugly Christmas sweater you have? I bet it would make beautiful ornaments! This is an easy ornament to DIY, and you can make quite a few ornaments from one sweater, so let’s get started.

Upcycled Sweater Ornaments DIY from @savedbyloves @craftsncoffee

Fair-Isle-Sweater-Orn

You are going to need 3” balls of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam (you could go larger or smaller, too); an old sweater or two; scissors; a sharp pencil; needle & thread; thick, white craft glue; and ribbon for hanging the ornaments.

Sweater-Ornament-Supplies

To start, mark the center top and bottom of your foam ball with a pencil. Then insert your pencil at each point to make a 5/8” hole.

Insert-Pencil

Cut a piece of sweater fabric, measuring about 4” - 5” high and 8” long. If you’re using a patterned sweater, be sure to plan where you cut to best highlight the pattern. Test fit your fabric piece around the ball to be sure it fits – the size of the fabric you’ll need may vary depending on the stretchiness of your sweater.

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch a ¼” seam. Turn right side out. Slip the ball into the center of your tube.

Upcycled Sweater Christmas Handmade Ornaments

Place a dab of white craft glue in the hole at the top and using a sharp tool such as a pencil, firmly push the cut edges of the fabric tube into the hole. Try to space the fabric folds evenly around the ball. Repeat at the bottom of the ball.

Tuck-in-sweater

Knot together the ends of a 6” – 8” length of ribbon, and push the knot down into the hole at the top. If you like, add a bow and jingle bell, or any other decorations, to the top of the ball. Let the glue dry before you hang your ornaments.

Red-Orns-on-Tree

Red-Argyle-Orn

I want to give a shout out to designer Kathleen George for helping out with these Sweater Ornaments. I have a few more ideas for repurposing old shirts to make ornaments in the Christmas Ornament series “Mad for Plaid & Paisley” over on Crafts ‘n Coffee. Please come by and check them out!

Repurpose-shirts-for-orname

Thank you so much for having me today, Johnnie. It’s a thrill to guest post here! I wish you, your family, and all of your readers a wonderful Christmas season!

Want more Repurposed Sweater Ideas? Check out our 50+ Ways to Upcycle Sweaters!

Happy crafting.

Sharon

DIY Upcycled Cookie Sheet Memo Board

Easy Upcycle Cookie into Copper Patina Magnet Board @savedbyloves @petscribbles

Hi everyone! I'm Laura from Pet Scribbles, and I'm thrilled to be guest posting for Johnnie today!

I've got a fun DIY project to share: a copper patina magnet board from an upcycled cookie sheet!

After seeing so many cookie sheet makeovers on Pinterest, I began collecting some of our older ones. I also bought this new round one at the dollar store:

Copper Patina Magnet Board

As regular readers of my blog know, I love the look of copper and patina. I've made over quite a few pieces using this technique, from glass vases made to look like copper pipes to large wooden planter boxes made to look like metal. In each DIY, the steps are the same but the patina effect is always different - just like real patina on aging copper.

Step One: Apply one coat of Modern Masters Copper Reactive Metallic Paint to both sides of the cookie sheet. Let dry.

For many surfaces, I use the Metal Effects Primer (also by Modern Masters) as the first coat. On metal, it isn't necessary as the first step. However, as you'll see in the image below, the first coat of paint did go on a bit more streaky than I would have liked. (Using a primer always provides some tooth for any subsequent coats of paint to adhere to.)

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Step Two: Apply a second coat of the copper paint to the back side of the cookie sheet only. Let dry.

Isn't the paint gorgeous? There's real metallic particles in the paint, which is what reacts with the patina solution that will be added in the next steps.

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Step Three: Apply a new coat of the copper metallic paint to the front of the cookie sheet, then immediately spray the patina solution onto the cookie sheet right over the wet paint. The patina solution comes in blue and green. I used the green shade:

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Using a sea sponge, I then played around pouncing the solution on the cookie sheet, just making random patterns. It isn't necessary to do this, but it sure is fun!

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Step Four: Add a bit more of the copper paint, if desired. After everything dried overnight, I used the same sea sponge and pounced a bit more copper paint here and there onto the front of the cookie sheet. There's no right or wrong way to do this, just play with the look until you love it.

Here's a close-up of the gorgeous patina finish:

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Step Five: Drill two holes into the cookie sheet. These holes will be where you thread your ribbon through, to make the hanger for your magnet board.

Copper Patina Magnet Board Step Six: Cut two pieces of thin velvet ribbon (or a ribbon of your choice), which will become small bows on the front of the magnet board. Cut two longer pieces of the same ribbon, which will be used to create the hanger. (I didn't measure my pieces, instead I just eyeballed it.) Copper Patina Magnet Board

Step Seven: Create the velvet ribbon hanger. Make a loop with the smaller piece of ribbon (A), then thread it (B) through the drilled hole, with both ends coming through to the front. (C) Turn the tray over and slide one end of the longer ribbon through the loop of the smaller piece. (D) Tie the longer piece onto that loop with a simple knot.

Repeat this step for the other drilled hole.

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Step Eight: Pull the ends of the smaller pieces of ribbon all the way through the drilled holes. (They will be stopped by the knots underneath that you made in Step Seven.

Step Nine: Tie the ends of each ribbon together with a simple knot, then trim the edges to a length you like. I trimmed mine so each looks like a very basic bow shape and covers the holes completely. (See image below.)

Step Ten: Tie the long ends together and make a large, floppy bow. Hang up on the wall and enjoy!

Copper Patina Magnet Board

Since it's Christmas time, I decorated my magnet board with some of my favorite vintage Christmas postcards. (I also made the glitter marble magnets, and you can find that tutorial here.)

Copper Patina Magnet Board

I added a sprig of a faux pine branch too.

upcycled-cookie-sheet-memo-board

And when the Christmas season is over, my magnet board will be ready to take on the new year and hopefully keep us more organized! (Unless I decide to decorate it with more vintage postcards!)

Copper Patina Magnet Board

I've been a long-time admirer of Johnnie. Whether she's crafting bracelets or building furniture, her creativity knows no bounds!

Thanks Johnnie for having me guest post today, and thank you Saved By Love readers too!

Happy crafting!

~Laura

60 Plus Christmas Cookie Recipes to Make

60-Plus-Easy-Christmas-Cookie-Recipes from @savedbyloves

We have moved things around a bit, and are now sharing with you our 60+ Christmas Cookies to Make from Taste Every Season. These will be great neighbor gifts and party treats this holiday season! Enjoy.