Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY Thanksgiving Tablescape

Ever since I was a little girl, it was my job to set the table for special occasions. My mom cooked and I set the table. We're a good team. In the second grade, I even gave a demonstration speech to my fellow second graders on how to properly set a table. As expected, they were mystified.

Things haven't changed. Even now, when we have fancy family dinners, my mom cooks and I set the table. I'm not complaining...I would much rather stick to my strengths. So, this year, I came up with a few DIY extras to make the table even more special.

Sources: Centerpiece (DIY), green garland and place card spools (Micheals), silver garland and feather tags (Target), lacey paper placemats (Anna Griffin), table runner, napkins, plates and silverware (West Elm).

I made a centerpiece, place cards and a card that guests can write down things they're grateful for during dinner.

Don't worry, you know I'll show you how I made it.

For the Centerpiece:

Measure your table, mantle, shelf or whatever surface you want to decorate. My table was 70" long.

Go to Home Depot and buy a 4x4 and one 1/4" poplar dowel. Have the 4x4 cut to your desired length - I had mine cut to 60" so it would run the length of my table.

Measure your chipboard letters and the distance you need between letters. Mark these measurements on your 4x4.

Drill your holes with a 1/4" drill bit to match your 1/4" dowels.

Paint the 4x4.

Cut your dowel into 6 inch tall sections (or however tall your letters are). Arrange the dowels in your drilled holes and hot glue the chipboard letters to them.

Remove the letters and dowels from the 4x4 and spray paint them.

For the I'm Thankful For cards:

I made the I'm Thankful For cards with my Cricut Explore. You can open and view the file HERE.

I used kraft paper for the brown envelope and plain, white cardstock for the tag. The writing is done with a Bic pen in the Explore's writing tool clamp.

For the Place Cards:

Gather covered floral wire, tiny spools (I found mine at Michaels), a marker and wire cutters.

Leave about a two inch tail of floral wire hanging off the marker and wrap it around twice.

Cut off the excess wire and stuff it down inside the spool. As easy as that!

I used tags for the place cards so that we could easily tie the tags onto leftover boxes for guests to take home.

And a few more beauty shots for the road:

I hope you all have an enjoyable Thanksgiving, full of gratitude, family and delicious food.


***A special thanks to West Elm at City Creek for letting me borrow the gorgeous table setting.***

Monday, November 10, 2014

Botanical Watercolor Prints and an Empty Wall

I love it when I stop at my favorite school surplus place and find buried treasure. Literally. I found two straight-from-the-80s botanical watercolor prints on foam core buried in a pile of posters under some forgotten shelves.

 And I fell in love.

They're a little banged up around the edges, but for being from the 80s, they have far less bumps and bruises than I do. They must have lived a better life than me.

I knew that I wanted to hang them, but I kept going back and forth about whether or not to put the prints in a frame. The problem is that they are not standard sizes and I would have to get a custom frame for each. And seeing as I spent a $1 for both of these prints, I didn't really want to drop more than $25 each for a frame.

Thank goodness for VELCRO® Brand removable hanging strips. You get 12 in a package - plenty to hang multiple items. And because they are removable picture hangers, you don't need to worry about  damaging your walls or ruining the pictures themselves.

Within a few minutes, the hook and loop fasteners were on the back of my botanical prints and my prints were hanging on the wall.

The pieces are easy enough to use - simply peel and stick.

I hung the prints in a little alcove in our master bedroom. Can you believe that even after almost two years of living in this house, I'm still working on decorating the master bedroom?

The alcove was a sad little area that housed my bracelets, rings and other baubles. It also acted as a charging station for our multiple electronic devices.

Isn't it amazing what art can do for a space? I love our little media center/jewelry holder/catch all now! 

VELCRO® Brand has several different products that are perfect for life transitions, whether that be a move to a new home, a gallery wall installation or an attempt to organize your home.

P.S. I may have some BIG news coming up soon, so keep your virtual ears open!


***Disclosure: Velcro Brand Companies provided me with VELCRO® Brand products. However,  I do not review products unless I truly enjoyed using them and would recommend them to others. All opinions are 100% mine.***

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Woodland Fairy Costume

If you haven't heard, Halloween is a pretty big deal at Cricut HQ. Don't believe me, check it out on Cricut's Facebook page. In fact, when I interviewed for my job, one of the questions was about my willingness to dress up for Halloween.

I think I passed.

But because things are so serious, we're sworn to secrecy concerning our costumes, theme, etc. So, I hope you won't hate me if I post Halloween costume pictures the first week of November!!

This year my team chose to do a Medieval/Fantasy theme, each creating our own character. I decided to be a woodland fairy...because...well, I look great in green.

In fact it started with the color green, a green dress. And then slowly, over a month or so, I glued leaves up the dress is a spiral-like pattern. I cut most of the leaves from felt, leather and paper with my Cricut Explore (of course) and filled in the missing places with fake leaves. I also added the leaves to a pair of boots I found at Savers.

Then, I found an XXL green lace dress at Savers (of course), cut it up and sewed it together into a long cape.

Finally, for added effect, I cut wings from old Cricut mats of the 12" x 24" variety.

And the Woodland Fairy costume was born.

I am happy to report that my team won the costume contest and that we're already in talks about next year's theme. Suggestions are welcome!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Party with Cricut

Halloween is almost here and I'm over on the Cricut Blog talking about how easy it is to create a DIY Halloween Party!

Complete with invitations.

And party favors!

Head over to Cricut's blog and check out the step-by-step tutorials!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Outdoor Party Signs with 3M DIY

After a year and a half, our new home is finally reaching the point where we like having people over for dinner. Having a finished basement helps, but our yard and other renovations are really coming along nicely. The yard is becoming particularly lovely. Especially at night.

We love to sit out on our deck and look over the lake near our home. One night as we were relaxing on the deck, the hubby and I started talking about how much fun it would be to throw an outdoor party. You know, invite friends over, eat outside, and talk until it was good and dark. So we did. We invited friends, set up a table outside and had a wonderful evening. But you know me, I can’t just have people over…it needs to be an event with party favors and beautiful signage.

With the help of 3M DIY, I was able to safely build two signs – one for our future fire pit and one that I used as a table centerpiece.

Roasting Marshmallows Around a Campfire is My Favorite Summertime Tradition
Every Party Needs a Good Centerpiece
First things first, I needed perfectly aged wood for the fire pit sign. I wanted it to be a worn gray color and rustic looking – but I didn’t want to buy it or ask a farmer for a piece of his fence. I ended up scavenging around town, looking for discarded wood that I could reuse, and stumbled upon a dumpster full of old pallets. It was meant to be.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a sneak peek.

I headed home, gathered my supplies from 3M and got right to work. When working on projects like these, it is essential to use the RIGHT products for the job. I always turn to 3M for 3M™ Advanced Abrasives, ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape, 3M™ Wood Filler and 3M™ Safety Products.

I ripped the pallet apart, using only the pieces that were roughly the same size.

For safety reasons, I then removed all of the rusty nails from the pallet pieces.

Hammer the nails back out of the wood and then use a hammer to pull them the rest of the way out. Be sure to discard immediately. You do NOT want one of those in your car tire!

To connect the slats, I used small pieces of scrap wood, clamps and wood glue, and let dry overnight. In the morning, I screwed a few wood screws to the back of the slats, secure the scrap wood in place.

Once everything was nice and secure, I started sanding.

I used 3M™ Advanced Abrasives and my trusty leather gloves to sand those boards until I felt like they were safe to touch. I attached a skinny piece of wood to the back of the sign to allow it to stand up before I added the finishing touches.

With my Cricut®, I cut vinyl lettering and transferred the vinyl to my wood sign with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape.

Yes, you heard me right! What, you didn’t know ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape is a fantastic way to transfer vinyl? The light tack makes it just sticky enough to transfer the vinyl to your project but it easily peels off, leaving the vinyl behind. It is pretty amazing stuff.

I chose to do vinyl on my sign instead of painting because I wanted to be able to use the sign over and over again for different events.

The finished sign is everything I envisioned – the perfect addition to our outdoor party.

No sweat, right? Super easy.

If you can believe it, the party’s centerpiece was even easier to make.

I found a small-ish log with a flat bottom and sanded the edges and sides with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to make sure it was nice and smooth. I filled a few cracks in the log with 3M™ Wood Filler to give it a more finished look.

Then, I measured the log and divided its length into 6 even sections, marking each section with a pencil.

With my drill, I made holes at each pencil mark about ¾ of an inch deep with a 1/4 inch drill bit. I lightly sanded the holes with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to smooth them out.

At Lowe’s, I found ¼” poplar dowels that I cut into 8 inch sections. I topped the dowels with the letters: C H E E R S and stuck them snuggly into the log centerpiece. By drilling six holes, I will be able to use the centerpiece over and over again for future parties, spelling out different words.

To accompany the centerpiece, I made tiny favor boxes filled with chocolates for everyone to take home.

The night really was perfect. The food was good and company was entertaining – the ideal combination for a fantastic night. For your next outdoor party, make a fancy sign and centerpiece and wow your guests.


I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

You can get inspiration from other 3M bloggers like myself via any of 3M DIY's social media outlets: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
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