Tag Archives: decor

Touch of Red {poinsettia}

Throughout my home are Christmas vignettes.  I tend to never have the same things twice from year to year.  Above the kitchen cupboards always seem to throw me for a loop.  It’s such a large space, but so high that things need to be just the right size and right height to be seen.  This year I opted for little vignettes with poinsettia as my accent pieces.  Simple and pretty?!?

How do you deal with the space above your cupboards?  Does it really need to be this challenging each year/season!

We’re on the home stretch, now if I could convince mother nature to drop about 2 feet of snow, our Christmas preparations would be complete 🙂  Stay tuned!



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Homemade Christmas Series

Stay tuned…Fostering a Creative Life will be hosting a homemade Christmas Series from November 26- December 23.

The Countdown to Christmas series will feature tons of gift ideas, decor, creative package displays, table pieces and more….all homemade and thrifty!

Hope you’ll stop back soon 🙂

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Chalk one up! {Repurposed Picture Frames}

Before I begin let me just say that I realize this idea has been around the block, but I’m still in love with old-fashioned chalkboards.    Over the past year I have probably made about 20 more chalkboards of all shapes and sizes to add something simple to my seasonal decor.  In case you haven’t noticed, nearly all of my seasonal decor include chalkboards.  I’ve even used them for Photography props in children’s and family shoots. The possibilities are endless.  At less $5 a chalkboard, how can you resist the temptation to fill every crevice?!?!

To begin a few supplies you’ll want to scrounge up:
-picture Frames of various shapes and sizes (thrift stores and garage sales are great hotspots for these)
-Assortment of Acrylic paints
-Can of Chalkboard paint
-Foam brush or roller
– Small sheet of hardboard (available at most hardware stores)
– saw (the husband used a skilsaw)
-studly husband: optional

1.  I started by taking the glass and any artwork out of the frame so just the frame skeleton was exposed. Paint the frame with desired acrylic colors.

Note: my first attempt I thought I could just paint the glass with the chalkboard paint- hence the glass and artwork still in frame.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  The chalkboard paint doesn’t adhere as well to the glass. I had challenges with smudged, inconsistent coverage, and chipping once it was dry.  It’s worth the small investment in the hardboard.

2.  Measure frame opening then cut hardboard to fit.

3. Using foam roller or brush (roller preferred) paint hardboard piece or pieces with chalkboard paint.  Takes 2-3 coats with sufficient dry time in between.

4.  Place hardboard in painted picture frame.  In some cases you may need to add picture frame hardware to the back of your newly created chalkboard.

5.  Add messages and or other accents to add some spunk to your decor.

Best part is these babies are versatile.  You can change the sayings for each season

For this one, I added a vinyl flourish and placed in our kitchen.  Initially it served as our menu planner for the week, but now it just shares a personal message 🙂

And with many families doing holiday photos, I added a few chalkboards for props

Chalkboards are fun and versatile and Oh So SIMPLE to make.

Wishing you the very best this Thanksgiving.  I’ll be returning on Sunday with the Countdown to Christmas homemade series


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Infamous TP pumpkins {no sew Fabric Pumpkin}

I’m sure you’ve seen these a hundred times.  Cheap toilet paper (which is scarce at homecoming), tissue paper, adorable fabric,and sticks to create a simple and easy fall decor item.

I decided to create these the past few years as a versatile way to add color to my fall decor.  While I love pumpkins, gourds, and all the other festive crops, the colors get a little monotonous for me.  In order to appreciate this post you’ll need to know that I am a bargain whore.  I am consistently scouring thrift stores, rummage sales,  and trash piles to find something that I can create with.  Much of the fabric used for this project was acquired from old bed spreads or fancy shams; fabric remnants that were 90% off at a local crafts stores, or re-purposed clothing that was practically given to me. Trust me there are many more project like this in my realm of creativity.

Cut fabric into approximately 13″ x 13″ squares.  Place a few pieces of tissue paper on top of the fabric and place the cheap roll of toilet paper in the middle.  I tend to squash the toilet paper roll to give it a little more character, by placing both of my hands on the top of the roll and applying all my body weight to my hands.  Then grab the corners of the fabric (and tissue paper) and tuck into the center of the toilet paper roll.

Once all edge are tucked in nicely add your “stick” stem.  I say stick, because I literally found a about a 1″ diameter stick about 2′ long on the side of the road during a walk with little man and dog one afternoon.  I had the husband cut into 3″ piece and thus I have pumpkin stems.  I really like the rustic look to them over some other crafted stems I have seen.

I have also created mini-TP-Pumkins by cutting the roll of toilet paper in half with a serrated knife.  Follow the same process, but use less of your supplies! Nice compliment for a pumpkin patch.

That’s it.  I don’t use glue or any fancy leaves or anything.  Just a little love of thrift and cheap toilet paper.  I like to see it as a way to save everyone’s behind from ever having to use that brutal stuff on your behind, or a pretty back up to the emergency realization that there is no toilet paper in the house!


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Mini festive signs {Eek}

I’m a scrap hog, anytime I see left over scraps in the garbage it pains me.  My husband is well aware that I will dumpster dive if he doesn’t check with me before throwing away any scraps.  Such is the case of the mini festive signs.  These were created with scraps of 1 x 4 lumber that my husband was throwing away.  I rescued a few pieces and had him trim them to block size and the result is a variety of fun little signs.

Supplies for this Project:
scrap lumber (I used 1″x 4″ scraps)
variety of scrapbook printed papers for the desired holiday or season
acrylic paint- colors to coordinate with scrapbook paper
foam brush or paint brush
adhesive (I used Modge Podge)
Stickers or Chipboard for message
scissors or paper cutter
(Might need a few drops of E-6000 or other strong adhesive depending on your sticker/chipboard selection)

The first step is to lay your block over the scrapbook paper and mark the dimensions.  I tend to trim it just a hair (hows that for measurement) smaller than the block so that the painted edge show better.

The paint the edges of your block and let dry. I also paint a little on the front just to make sure when my paper is attached no wood is showing.

Once that is dry, use a clean brush to paint on the adhesive to the block.  Just apply a light coat and spread out smoothly with your brush.  I find that the adhesive tends to spread more evenly when I use a foam brush.  Place the paper on top of the adhesive while wet and brush on a layer of adhesive.  Make sure to get the edges of the paper.  This may take a few coats, but make sure you allow time for the coats to dry in between applications.  You don’t want to have too much adhesive or your paper will bubble.

Optional: take a small dab of paint and “dry brush” the edge of the block to give it a weathered look.  I have also torn the edges of the paper for a similar look.

Depending on the print on the paper, and color of your chipboard or stickers, I sometimes add a few strokes of paint where the message will go so it’s a little more bold.  Make sure to do this after the adhesive is completely dry.

Arrange stickers/chipboard into a message to fit on your block.  I have found that I sometimes need to add a few drops of E-600 (or another strong adhesive) to get the stickers to stay on.

These fun little signs are so simple to make, and the possibilities are endless.  The entire project maybe lasts 30 minutes with drying time.  What I really love is these signs can be placed anywhere to add a little touch of flare for the holiday season, or in bathroom, bedroom, in an odd space in your hallway or kitchen!  Making one for every season and every room is as simple as finding the paper you want.  I easily made 20 of these for less than $5.

Hope you enjoy your festive mini sign project 🙂

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Boo {Ghost Lanterns}

Hope I didn’t scare you with a post, things have been pretty desolate on this blog lately, but that is changing this week.

Fall is my FAVORITE time of year.  With the close of summer and amazingly gorgeous weather we were having we were out enjoying every last minute.  This week the frost advisories are upon us and I can gear up my craft game.  THis post kicks of a week of fall decor posts.

I came across the inspiration for this Halloween decor several years ago at a local craft store.  After a few visits to Habitat ReStore I was reminded of the opportunity for a thrifty, cute project using Glass globes from old lighting.

Supplies needed for this project: A variety of glass globes (can be found at many thrift stores for $.50 to $1.00 each), foam or paint brush, white acrylic paint OR an adhesive that dries cloudy, Black vinyl OR a Black Paint Pen.  Optional is iridescent fine white glitter.

You might notice from my first picture that not all ghosts were created equal.  The steps to achieve the ghostly lanterns are the same, it’s just a matter of what materials you use. For the solid-looking white ghosts I used pearlized white acrylic paint, for the glittery ghost (middle) I used Modge Podge and iridescent white glitter.

The first step is the most difficult.  Liberally coat the inside of the globes with paint.  If you are using the adhesive, apply glitter after the adhesive is brushed on, then let dry.  I let them dry overnight and often applied a second or third coat for adequate coverage.

Note: to make Life easier I tried to paint he outside of a globe as a test, and the paint scratches off much easier.  Maybe if you apply a finishing clear coat this would be an easier alternative to painting the inside of the globe.

Adding the ghost face can be done by cutting ovals or circles from a sheet of black vinyl using a die-cut machine, or painting on ovals and circles with a paint pen.  I tried both, and both worked just fine.  I guess it just depends on the resources you have at your disposal 🙂  Every ghost requires 2 eyes and a mouth.  I played around with ovals and circles and tend to like ALL ovals for eyes and mouth. Add the facial features as desired.

The last step is to lift the globe and place a tea light to make the ghost glow.  I found that when lit, the Glittered ghost shimmer and is a little more blingy. These are awesome lanterns for fun festive Halloween evenings.

(sorry for the image quality, I haven’t perfected my low-light photography abilities)

This is a super fun project that you can do with young kids.  I turned these Boo Lanterns into a craft day with my 3 nieces (2,5,7) and all turned out really cute.  Hope you enjoy this fun and thrifty Halloween project!

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“Back” to School Vintage Decor {Back to School Blog Bash Day 1}

To kick things off for the Back to school Blog Bash, I thought showcase a little vintage school inspiration.

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I’d I’ve been on a vintage kick lately and thought that a little “Back” to school Vignette would get me in the groove as we prepare over the next 2 weeks (in Wisconsin school starts Sept. 1).  Here is a collection of “stuff” that I have displayed to get me into the idea of school starting.  I tried to reflect on when I liked going to school most…what elementary kid doesn’t like going to school?!

I started with a old kids chair painted cherry red and 2 soda crates, filled in with some old books…

I compiled all the random school supplies that I had around the house (Pencils, chalk, glue, used crayons, paint brushes)

Luckily I’ve been on a DIY chalkboard binge, which seemed appropriate for when I was in elementary school. (We don’t need to discuss how vintage that was!)

I found a collection of blocks and was able to pull off “Learn” (almost, a sideways “Z” works as an “N,” don’t you think?) then filled in areas that needed a little more something.  I also placed the random school supplies in various glass or metal jars to help create the vintage mood.  All atop a remnant of burlap, because why not?!

When I though everything was done I realized I needed just a little something more.  Can you figure out what it is by looking at this picture?

Any guesses?!

This is the first day of the Back to School Blog Bash.  Make sure to come back each day and follow many guest bloggers through 2 weeks of tips, tricks and creative ideas to make this back to school transition a little less painful on us!
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Have your own project to showcase- make sure to link it us to the “Back to School Blog Bash” Linky Party and check out even more amazing ideas!

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