Category Archives: Decorations

JOY Marquee

As promised, here is another installment in my recent obsession with marquee decorations – this time a Christmas version.  I saw a JOY marquee at Pottery Barn back in the fall, and I knew it would be the perfect Christmas decoration for our movie themed family room.  Unfortunately, the price tag was not so perfect.  So I decided to make my own JOY marquee using Heidi Swapp Marquee Love letters I bought at Michael’s.  I got a J, a Y, and on a whim a star for the O.  I painted the edges a pewter color and filled the inside with red, silver, and green glitter paper.  And that was it!  Super quick and easy – the whole project took less time than it would have taken to drive to our local Pottery Barn and back!  And I actually like my cheaper DIY version better than the Pottery Barn inspiration because it’s more Christmas-y and the colors go better with our red and green Christmas decorations.  I hope your Christmas is full of JOY!

White Christmas Living Room

I’m exhausted right now, so I can only hope this post is coherent.  The last 3 days were spent decorating our new house for Christmas.  It’s done, it’s beautiful – a dream come true, but I’m pooped.  It was a lot of fun though to see how all of our old decorations fit into the new house.  It’s funny, but even though I loved them at the old house, it’s as if all of our Christmas stuff was just made for this new house all along!  When in fact the decorations in just one room are new for this house.

Our living room has a whole new “White Christmas” theme, and I absolutely love it even though ironically “White Christmas” is not my favorite movie.  (I much prefer “Love Actually,” but you can’t exactly decorate a room around it… Little Hugh Grant figurines dancing to “Jump?”  Christmas lobsters in the manger scene?  No thanks.)  It’s all all white and silver and pale green and sparkly with lots of snowflakes and little trees and houses covered in snow.

White Christmas Village

White Christmas Village

I looked all over to collect the decorations for our living room.

White Christmas Shelves

White Christmas Shelves

Some are from Crate and Barrel, some are from Pottery Barn this year, some are from Pottery Barn last year, some are from Target.

White Christmas Tree

White Christmas Tree

Some like the snowflake marquee and the signs on the long shelf are even homemade with supplies from Michael’s and the Silhouette Design Store.

White Christmas Snowflake Marquee and Jar

White Christmas Snowflake Marquee and Jar

It’s a room that’s totally different from anything else in the house, but I must admit it might be my favorite.

But I still don’t like the “White Christmas” movie.  I’ll stick with “Love Actually” for my viewing pleasure, thank you very much!

Grapevine Pumpkins

If you need a last minute Thanksgiving centerpiece or decoration, these grapevine pumpkins are the perfect thing.  I found a similar idea on Pinterest last summer.  I made these earlier in the fall, and I’ve enjoyed having them out all season.

They are incredibly easy to make.  Just get some grapevine balls (often found in vase fillers) and some artificial leaves.  Use wire to secure the leaves to the balls.  I was really lucky to find these leaves with wire already attached at Michaels which made the project even easier.  Put them in a cute bowl or basket or just scatter them on the table and that’s it!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Halloween Marquees

This week I want to take a moment to tell you about my new favorite decorating obsession – marquees.  They are really trendy right now and probably just a fad, but I love them – especially because our family room has movie themed decorations.  (This is a throwback to the olden days when I actually had time to see movies and could make intelligent, informed, and often accurate predictions about who would win the Oscars.  In contrast to my present reality in which the Lego Movie was the last movie I saw in the theater – and it was fantastic by the way!  I hope to see another movie someday… until that time I will happily settle for making movie related crafts and decorations.)  Obviously, the current marquee craze is perfectly timed for my decorating needs.  Thank you to whomever decided marquees were cool in the first place!  Better yet, I found a great line of “DIY” marquee letters and shapes at Michael’s.  They are called “Marquee Love” by Heidi Swapp.  I have also seen them on Amazon and Jo-Ann’s.  You can decorate them yourself.  I made a B and a star for our movie family room.

Marquees

Marquees

So I was super excited to find a ghost marquee at Michaels a few weeks before October.

Ghost Marquee

Ghost Marquee

I was then even more thrilled when I saw a pumpkin shape on Amazon.

Pumpkin Marquee

Pumpkin Marquee

Better yet – the ghost was already white, and the pumpkin was already sparkly orange, so I didn’t even need to do anything to decorate them (although you could if you wanted).

I love getting to keep the marquee look in our movie family room while still being able to update things for Halloween.  Stay tuned for more marquees coming up for future holidays…

Mum Pumpkins

It’s mum season!

I found this idea for mums in pumpkins a couple years ago on Pinterest and couldn’t wait to try it at our new house.

We got 4 plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins at Target.  Then we went and got 4 mum plants at Lowes.  When we got home, we found that the flower pots were bigger than the openings in the pumpkins, so my husband used a utility knife to cut the pumpkins and widen the holes.  He said they were really easy to cut.  He also drilled drainage holes in the bottoms of the pumpkins.  Then we just put the mums (still in their pots) in the pumpkins and set them out on the porch.  We wanted them to look nice for fall, not just Halloween, so we turned the jack-o-lantern faces toward the house (and now they are there smiling at us every time we open the front door!).  They would look just as cute with the faces showing in the front though.

I’m loving these mum pumpkins this year.  I’m hoping we will be able to save the plastic pumpkins and use them again next year.  However, if they get too faded or dirty to reuse it’s no great loss.  They only cost about $4 total and took only about 15 minutes to cut and drill, so if we have to redo them next year, that’s just fine!

Fall Leaf Wall Hanging

I found this idea on Pinterest for a wall hanging with a fall leaf made out of smaller fall leaves and fell in love with it.  Luckily, in our new house we just happened to have a spot in my office that needed it.  Even more luckily, it turned out to be really quick and easy (and fun) to make!

I got the supplies to make it at Michael’s.  Instead of a plain stained board as I had seen in the original, I opted for this neat round crate-like hanging.  I also found some cool artificial leaves – some even printed like the pages of a book and some made to look like calico fabric – that were perfect to go with my office.  I downloaded a maple leaf shape from the Silhouette Design Store, blew it up, and printed it out on my regular printer.  I cut it out by hand and traced it onto the crate hanging.  Then I place the smaller leaves on the traced leaf shape one by one and glued them on with the glue gun when I was happy with their positions.  It was kind of like doing a puzzle to make sure the leaves were following the outline of the big maple leaf shape, but overall it was much easier to make them fit than I had expected.  The whole project was done in about 15 minutes – I think it took longer to shop for the supplies at Michael’s than it did to make the finished product.  I love the way it looks hanging in my office.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It’s September!  My favorite month – back to school time, the start of fall, and my birthday!  I love having my birthday in September – perfect timing for one last cookout of the year and getting new fall clothes as presents.

This year my birthday party was especially great because it was planned entirely by our 3 year old!  She chose a Minnie Mouse theme and picked out Minnie plates, napkins, cups, a tablecloth, wrapping paper, and a balloon all on her own.  When my parents tried to persuade her to pick a different theme that might be more up my alley, she said, “No, I’ll stick with Minnie.”  (By the way, she’s already planning a Mickey party for her grandpa, a Daisy party for her grandma, and a Professor Von Drake party for her daddy.  If this doesn’t make sense to you, just google “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”)  She wrapped a package all by herself in Minnie paper, and she did a darn good job if you ask me!

Minnie Wrapping

Minnie Wrapping

She even picked a movie for the evening’s entertainment.  No, not “Minnie’s Bowtique” as you might have expected.  Instead we watched her current favorite movie: “Hello Dolly.”  Sure, I probably wouldn’t have picked Minnie decorations on my own, and I actually can’t stand “Hello Dolly.”  But the fact that she worked hard to plan a special celebration just for me full of things she loves made me feel very loved.  It was one of my best birthday parties ever!

 

Late Summer Decorations

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my new found love of August.  Yet another reason I have learned to love this time of year is getting to decorate our kitchen for the season I have named “late summer.”  Somehow the red and blue berries and white daisies I have out earlier in the summer just seem a little tired by the end of July, but it’s also still too early to put out apples and pumpkins for fall.  Even though late summer is a season I kind of made up on my own, the decorations I use for this time of year have become some of my favorites.  When I think of late summer, I think of bright colors like hot pink, purple, orange, yellow, and red.

Late Summer Decorations

Late Summer Decorations

So I gathered up artificial flowers in these fun colors, placed bright yellow artificial lemons in jars, and put them around the kitchen starting at the end of July.

Late Summer Kitchen

Late Summer Kitchen

I will leave them out until mid September when I switch to fall decorations.  My late summer theme is so bright and cheerful, and I just love it!  My husband even told me the other day that it’s also one of his favorite times of the year because he loves having the bright late summer colors out in the house too.

Late Summer Table

Late Summer Table

It’s a nice way to wrap up summer and look forward to fall!

Monthly Themes for the Classroom

Doing seasonal activities in schools is frowned upon these days.  However it was always my experience that whenever I would change my bulletin boards at the beginning of each month, the kids would rush in the next morning and crowd around the new decorations in the room.  I never once pointed them out – the kids always found the monthly decorations on their own and got excited about them.  Even if it wasn’t purely academic, it made the students excited to come in the classroom, and in my unscientific, not researched based opinion, enthusiasm definitely boosts learning.

To make it easy on myself, I collected 2 complete sets of monthly decorations. (Since we looped and I had the same kids for 2 years, 1 set wasn’t enough.)  I got 1 big bulletin board set, packs of small accents, and 1 medium sized wall hanging for each month – mostly Carson Dellosa, but I supplemented with homemade stuff when I couldn’t find what I needed from the store.  I would put the various decorations up on a wall by themselves or add them in with the calendar or other year round bulletin boards.

August Suns

August Suns

November Turkeys

November Turkeys

I found that the following monthly themes worked well – although as I look at current teacher catalogs it’s harder and harder to find seasonal decorations anymore.  It’s worth it if you can find them though!

Year A:

August – Suns

September – Apples

October – Pumpkins

November – Turkeys

December – Snowmen

January – Snowflakes

February – Hearts

March – Shamrocks

April – Butterflies

May – Racecars (we are in Indiana, after all!)

December Snowmen

December Snowmen

Year B:

August – Sunflowers

September – School Supplies

October – Scarecrows

November – Fall Leaves

December – Mittens

January – Penguins

February – American Flags

March – Rainbows

April – Flowers

May – Bees

April Butterflies

April Butterflies

New and Improved Art Room!

Now that we are finally (almost) totally settled in after our big move(s), I get a chance to show off my new art room which hopefully will be the source of countless seasonal craft projects to come.  It’s still a work in progress – I have future plans for a matching valance and table skirt made out of fabric scraps in various colors for the window and art table (which is actually our current dining room table and won’t be available for art use until we manage to get a new dining room table).  I also plan to put a Picasso quote that I love up on the wall, “Every child is an artist.”  But at least the room is finally unpacked and organized (which was no small task!!!) and ready for crafting in all seasons.

Most of it is the same as our art room in the old house – Elfa shelves and drawers from the Container Store, the paper cutter and paper cabinet my dad made years ago… but there are a few upgrades that I’ve been dreaming about for years!  First of all, I love the light blue (Sherwin Williams “Watery”) as a background for all the other bright colors and the white furniture.  It feels fresh and energizing and makes me want to do crafts as soon as I walk in the room.  Another new feature is a closet exclusively dedicated to teacher supplies – mainly the monthly units I currently use.  All the rest of my teacher stuff still lives in the garage, but it’s so nice to have a spot to store the units I use throughout the year in a convenient spot that is still out of sight.  Stay tuned – I’m hatching a plan of an ingenious way to store bulletin board materials and borders in this closet as well.  Fingers crossed it works and comes together like I’m planning.  I will be sure to share it if it works!  We also added 3 new Elfa drawers, so now I have drawers for fall, Christmas, winter, and spring crafts (plus 2 more drawers for miscellaneous supplies).  It’s so handy!

Art Room Storage

Art Room Storage

We also have a much easier way to display our daughter’s artwork – which is really the main point of an art room in the first place, isn’t it?  (See the Picasso quote above.)  The best part of our new art room though is space!  There is actually room in our art room to make things – a novel idea, and something we totally lacked at our old house.

I can’t wait to get in there and create – as soon as I finish recovering from the mental and physical exhaustion of moving, which I will admit is taking longer than I anticipated it would.  Perhaps it has something to do with the night owl toddler at our house… Hmmm….  One of these days though, I’m sure the art room will become one of my favorite spots all year round!