Wind and Fall Block Letters

It’s windy!!!  I mean W-I-N-D-Y!!!  As I was pulling up the internet to begin this post a strong wind gust came up that sounded like it was going to blow the glass right out of the window in my office.  Anyone with windows made in the last 10 maybe even 20 years probably won’t understand this, but our windows are old so while very vintage and cool looking (maybe just to me) they are not super quiet or shall we say energy efficient.  When it’s windy they rattle all night and then sound like they are going to fly out of the wall.  It’s perfect for getting a great night sleep (I say as I yawn and take another sip of my coffee).

Speaking of the weather (how’d you like that segway?). . .

I am behind on getting decorated for fall.  Very behind!  The problem for me this year was the weather.  It just did not feel like fall.  In fact, until this wind storm some of my trees still had green leaves!  It’s hard to be getting in a cozy fall mood when it still feels summery outside.  Not that I am complaining because I have definitely been enjoying the warm weather and getting a lot of pre-winter outdoor projects completed.

In between working outside in the nice warm weather, I did get some fall projects completed just in time to take them down and start decorating for Christmas.  I’m super excited to begin the Christmas festivities, but I will try and slow down and enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving Holiday for now.

Today I am going to share with you my wood fall block project.

Wood Fall Block Letters

Here is a brief description of how to make this project.  I will be doing a similar project with more of a Christmas theme next week, but in the meantime comment or email with any questions.

Wood Fall Block Letters

First, you will need (4) pieces of a 1×6 cut into 5.5″ pieces (so they are square).  Cut more or less pieces if you decide to do a different word other than fall.  I would measure the width of your 1×6 as it will depend on the type of board you get, but most will be about 5.5″.  Next, sand your pieces as needed.  Stain to the color that you would like.  I stained mine with Minwax Special Walnut stain.  Print out the letters that you would like in the font style you like or use stencils.  I use Power Point and make a box the size of my squares and insert the letters into the box so I know how large I can make them.  For this project however, I used stencils that I had from another project.  Either trace using your stencils or set a piece of carbon paper (found at Office Depot) under your printout and trace the letters onto the wood.  Once you have the letters traced onto your wood then you can paint the letters with acrylic paint or a paint pen.  Once the letters are dry cover with a poly top coat.  I used Rustoleum water based polyurethane.  Staple with a staple gun a looped piece of twine to hang your wood letter blocks.

Wood Fall Block Letters

They are a perfect rustic fall addition to my decor.

Wood Fall Block Letters

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember be creative, be inspired, and be authentic.

Lots of love,

Signature

 

 

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.  ~Coco Chanel

Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Shabby Chic Ornament Tutorial

This year I have felt very behind for Christmas.  For instance, it is now the 20th and I have not purchased a single Christmas present yet.  I guess that is one New Year’s Resolution that I dropped the ball on since I wanted to have all of my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. . . Oops.  Next year, right!?!  Oh well, instead of shopping, I’ve been sewing.

Our main Christmas tree every year is what I like to call the fun one.  It is the one with the colorful lights, colorful ribbon, and ALL the different ornaments that I have collected throughout my life.  My mom has and still gets me a new Christmas ornament every year, and I started the same tradition with my husband when we started dating almost 11 years ago.  Some years the ornaments represent a specific memory or event in our lives, and sometimes they are just fun.  This tree ends up being very eclectic, but it is always the favorite.

I have seen a lot of shabby chic fabric ornaments around, and this year I decided to make some for myself.  Yes, I made quite a few, so it will be difficult to decide which one is going to be the special ornament for this year.
Christmas Ornament

Let’s get started!  You will need:

  • Scrap Fabric of your choice (I had some small remnants of Christmas fabric that I used)
  • Paper print outs of the shapes you would like to make – I used Power Point and created the tree and star by using the insert shape function.  The gingerbread man and heart I had cookie cutters that I traced, but I’m sure you can find just a silhouette online. Please let me know if you are having trouble finding the shapes and I can upload them to the post.  My ornaments all measure about 4″-5″.
  • Polyester fill
  • Sewing supplies (sewing machine, pins, scissors, thread, etc)
  • Ribbon or Jute Twine
  • Embellishments – buttons, ribbon, lace, etc
  • Hot glue gun

Christmas Ornament

First, trace and cut out your paper shapes.  I cut them out on plain printer paper for time sake, but tissue paper is more pliable with the fabric when cutting out. Then pin your paper shapes to the fabric and cut out.  You will want two pieces for each ornament.  I folded the fabric over, and cut the two pieces out at one time.

Christmas Ornament

I left rough edges on my ornaments, so I placed the ornaments with the ugly sides facing in and the pretty sides facing out.
Christmas Ornament

Next, sew around the edge of your ornament leaving a small opening not sewn so that you can add the stuffing.  On the heart I left the opening on one of the straight sides, the gingerbread between his legs, the tree along one of the straight sides, and the star between two of the points of the star.  At the top of each ornament I added a loop of jute twine between the pieces of fabric as I was sewing for hanging on the tree.  You could also pin this in before you start sewing if it is easier.  I found on the tree shaped ornaments that sewing the loop to the back of one of the pieces of fabric before sewing it together was much easier than trying to get it even at the top of the tree.

Christmas Ornament

Next, stuff a small amount of polyester fill (or scrap fabric) in your opening.  I used a pen to get the fill into the smaller areas of the ornaments like the gingerbread man’s hands and feet.  You don’t need very much because if you overfill the ornaments the seams start to pucker.

Christmas Ornament

After you add the fill, sew the opening closed.
Christmas Ornament

Last, add embellishments to your ornaments like ribbon, buttons, twine, lace, etc.  I used my hot glue gun to add the embellishments.  Be creative, and have fun!

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

This is one of my favorites and is definitely at the top of my list for being the special ornament for this year!  I would love to hear some of your traditions, and of course see pics of your finished ornaments.

I would also love if you would pin and share this with your friends!

Thanks so much.

~Andrea~

Christmas Mantle Reveal

2014 Christmas Mantle RevealHello ~ I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Here is my completed Christmas Mantle.  I just made this HOME sign a few weeks ago, so I wanted to incorporate it into the Christmas mantle.  However, a Noel, Joy, or some other holiday themed sign would be cute as well.  Check out the photos below with links to some of the tutorials for completing this look.  Enjoy!

Christmas Mantle DecorationsCreate these adorable Shabby Chic stockings!  Stocking Tutorial!

Rustic Chic Decorations

Glitter Christmas OrnamentsI purchased these ornaments at the dollar store, but check out my tutorial for extending their life and decreasing the glitter mess.  Glitter Ornaments Tutorial!

Glitter Christmas Ornaments

Glitter Christmas Ornaments

Glitter Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Popcorn Tin MakeoverHave some of those old Christmas popcorn tins?  Turn them into adorable lined baskets.  Popcorn Tin Tutorial!

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

Shabby Chic Christmas Decorations

Rustic Chic Christmas

Rustic Chic Christmas

2014 Christmas Mantle RevealI hope you are enjoying your decorating!

I would love if you would pin and share this with your friends!

Thanks so much.

~Andrea~

Glitter Christmas Ornaments without the Mess

Complete 4 altI found these adorable Christmas ornaments at the dollar store, and I am incorporating them into my mantle display this year.  The glitter brought a little glam to my rustic chic mantle, however there is one problem with glitter decorations. . . the mess.  It never fails that you are constantly cleaning up glitter that has fallen off the ornaments throughout the season, plus after a year or two enough glitter has fallen off that the ornaments no longer look cute and glitzy but just plain shabby.  I had an idea to keep the mess down as well as extend the life of these adorable ornaments.

Complete 1You will need:

  • Glitter ornaments (or really any glitter covered decorations)
  • Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Durable Gloss Finish Decoupage (be sure you get gloss finish or your glitter will no longer be shiny)
  • Foam brush

Complete 2Sponge on the decoupage all over the first side of the ornaments.

Complete 3Wait 1-2 hours or until your first side is dry, and sponge the other side of your ornaments.  I found that sponging or dabbing worked better than brushing because the glitter stayed in place better.

Complete 4 altPresto!  You’re Done!  Now you are free to decorate with these adorable ornaments without worrying about the mess!  This also significantly increased the life of my ornaments as they were already losing enough glitter before I did this that they would have looked ugly before any time at all.

Complete 5In years past I have used glitter ornaments like these as present toppers as well.  Again, my complaint with them was the constant glitter mess, but now I think I will incorporate a few of these on top of gifts too.

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Complete 4I would love if you would pin and share this with your friends!

Thanks so much.

~Andrea~

Shabby Chic Ruffled Stockings

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As I was planning my mantle for this Christmas season, I knew I wanted to create some rustic shabby chic stockings to go with the other decorations I was planning.  So I started rummaging through my fabric and came up with a design for these.

Collage

The body of the stocking is made from a canvas paint cloth, and the ruffles are scrap fabric that I had leftover from other projects.

 

Complete 1You will need:

  • Canvas paint cloth or burlap (or any other fabric that you would like to use) – The stocking measures 19″ X 11″ and you will need to cut it out twice for one stocking.
  • Fabric of your choice for the ruffle – I started with a strip of fabric about 4-5″ in height and about 58″ in length.
  • String, ribbon, or fabric for the hanging loop
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins

Complete 2You can print out the pattern I created (StockingPattern), or if you have a stocking that you like the size and shape of you can trace that.  Sorry for the very rough pattern, this is my original hand drawn pattern.  I will work on getting it updated, but I wanted to give you something today.

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Double the fabric and pin your pattern or trace your stocking and cut out the fabric so you have two pieces of the same stocking shape.

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Hem the top of each piece of your stocking.  I prefer to do this before I sew the two pieces of the stocking together, but you could do it after the next step as well.  Be sure if you hem them before you sew them together that your hems go the opposite direction.  I found it was easiest to lay them together and have the hems coming out towards me on each side.

Complete 5

Pin and sew your two sides of your stocking together with the right/pretty sides facing in and wrong sides facing out.  If you hemmed before this step you want your hems facing out.  If you waited to hem after this step, then you can hem the top now.

Complete 6

Flip your stocking right side out.  I find it easiest to run my finger or a closed pen along the seam to get it pushed out.

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Now cut out your ruffle fabric to be about 4-5″ in height and about 58″ in length.  I just cut as straight as possible down the side of my fabric.  If you fabric isn’t quite long enough you can cut out two pieces and sew them together.

Complete 8

Hem each side of your ruffle fabric (all four sides).  I left the ends of my ruffle fabric rough on one of my stockings, but I felt like the ones that I hemmed looked better.  I did not sew the two ends of the ruffle fabric together to make a circle because I wanted to have some flexibility with the length if it was a little long.

Ruffle Complete

Next is ruffling.  There are several ways to ruffle fabric.  You can use a ruffler foot on your sewing machine, you can set your sewing machine on a long step length and then pull the thread on each end of your fabric to ruffle, you can hand ruffle with a needle and thread, or you can hand ruffle with your sewing machine.  I like the last option the best.  As I sew I bunch/fold the fabric just before it goes under my sewing machine foot.  This worked perfect for this project because I wanted to have some fabric ruffled above the top of my stocking and I wanted to have a ruffle skirt below the top of my stocking.  I decided how much I wanted to have on each side (about an inch on top and the rest on the bottom) and then placed the fabric at that point as it went under my sewing machine foot.  Then I just used my hands to bunch from both sides just as it was going under the foot.  It is a little slow going, but this is my preferred way of ruffling.

Before I did these stockings, I measured the length around the top of my stockings which was 18″.  I laid out my sewing tape to 18″ so I had a visual of how long I needed it to be and I adjusted my ruffle as I went (ruffle more if it was looking too long, ruffle less if it was looking too short).  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but too long is way better than too short. If it comes out a little long you can overlap the ruffle or ruffle a little more as you are attaching it to the stocking.  In fact, I felt it looked better to have 1/2″ to 1″ of overlap.  I have been ruffling like this for years, so I am not saying this is the easiest way, but it is the easiest way for me.  No changing of the sewing machine foot, no cursing when your thread breaks if you are trying to pull the ruffle, and no stabbing myself  with a needle when I hand sew (one of the many reasons I don’t like to hand sew).

Complete 9

This is what you will end up with once ruffled.

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Then pin your ruffle to the top of your stocking and carefully sew along your already sewn ruffle line.  As I was pinning I lined my sewn ruffle line up just below my hemline on the top of the stocking.

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Last, sew your ribbon, twine, or fabric to the top edge of your stocking at the desired length you would like it.  Be careful because with all that ruffle it is easy to get it folded over when sewing this piece on.

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Another option with these stockings would be to paint/write names or holiday words on them to further personalize them.  I decided to leave them simple, but there are always options to spruce them up some more in the future.

Complete 14 Complete 15 Complete 16Complete 18

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I love how these stockings turned out, and I can’t wait to see all your stocking creations!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

I would love if you would pin and share this with your friends!

Thanks so much.

~Andrea~