D.I.Y Branch Valentine’s Day Advent Calendar

When December rolled into town, so did the fun traditions like the advent calendar. Each morning, my kids would rush to their designated calendars and want to see what awaited for them. Most of the time, it was chocolate, or maybe a small toy. But it was enough to make waking up before school a little bit more special. I got to thinking, why do we only do this during December and not any other time, counting down to a fun holiday? I stopped into my local Target, and in their Bullseye section were advent calendars that counted down to Valentine’s Day! What a clever and innovative idea! They only had two designs, and both were super cute! I felt like I could create something a bit better…and incorporate nature in a fun and festive way!

These D.I.Y branch advent calendars were super easy to create! I found the branch outside of my home and utilized the ribbons and trim I had leftover from Christmas. Since I’m a huge fan of using pink and red during Christmas, I had plenty left over for the craft. The bags were a great Amazon find, that I’ll link at the bottom of this post. The treats and trinkets I filled the bags with we’re small Valentine’s Day themed gifts from the Dollar Tree and Target. You can avoid the stores completely and order for a Target drive-up or order small things online to be delivered to your doorstep. Once I had my items together, I wrapped star tinsel around the branch for extra sparkle. I then cut 14 pieces of ribbon and tied them to the branch, leaving a bit of space in between each. For extra security, I hot glued the ribbon to the branch, but you don’t have to. After they all assembled onto the branch, tie your goodie bags to the bottom of each ribbon. Fill your bags up with an item per day, or a few if you have siblings sharing the advent. Once assembled, Hang on your wall by balancing the branch with a nail about midway down the branch. For added decor, tape a decorative balloon, like this “Love” balloon I got at the 99 Cents Store. That’s it! Starting February 1st, open one bag a day to countdown to the most loving day of the year!

Materials Needed:
  • Long and sturdy tree branch
  • Ribbon and trim of choice
  • 14 goodie bags
  • Various treats and trinkets for filling
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Love balloon (optional)
Link For Bags:

Winter Gnome D.I.Y Garland

Call me Judy, because I may have gone a bit garland crazy as of late. I absolutely love how a garland can transform a space and create some whimsy anywhere it lays! I wanted to create a holiday themed option, but the ideas I found just weren’t my favorite.. until I stumbled on this gem of an idea! I decided to give it a try, because it seemed so simple, and it was! I love how you can keep this up, honestly all year long if you want! There isn’t a specific holiday feel to it, so it’s very subtle in the festive department, Best of all, it was super cheap to create!

Materials Needed:

  • White yarn
  • Medium sized book
  • Scissors
  • Yarn color of choice for beanies
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Cotton Balls
  • Large sewing needle
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Small wooden beads
  • Optional: pom pom maker

How to Create:

To start, we are going to create the beanie for your gnome. Take your beanie yarn color of choice and wrap the yarn around the book about thirty times. Take your scissors and cut the yarn off of the book. Take your toilet paper roll and cut off a small section, about an inch thick. Take your yarn pieces and begin to attach the yarn to the paper ring. To attach, take your yarn piece and fold in half. Place behind the roll and create a hoop with the top part of the yarn, and loop the ends through to attach. See the photos below for more of a refernece. Once attached, repeat this process until all of the yarn has covered the paper circle. If you need to cut more yarn to cover, feel free to do so. After the ring is covered, take the yarn ends and tuck into the paper ring, so that the yarn is facing up. Take another piece of yarn and tie the yarn pieces together about 3/4 of the way up. Take two cotton balls and shove it up into the beanie to add some shape. Cut the top of the yarn down , so that you have a fluffy little beanie topper. Repeat this process until you have made your desired amount of beanies for your gnomes.

To make the gnome beard pom, I used a Clover brand pom pom maker and created perfect poms in minutes! Don’t have a pom maker? That’s totally okay! I’ve attached a link to a video below that shows how to make a perfect pom without any extra materials. After you have created your desired amount of poms for your gnome, it’s time to assemble the garland. Take your beanies and hot glue the base of the beanie to the pom. Then, take your wooden bead and hot glue it to where the base of the hat and the beginning of the pom meet. Once you have assembled all of the gnomes, it’s time to string them together. Due to the thickness of the cotton ball, and the thickness of the yarn, you will need a needle with a larger hoop. Take your yarn and string the gnomes together through the beanie. To add a little extra whimsy, I put wooden beads between to break them up a bit, but you don’t have to. Once they are all strung together, you’re ready to hang and enjoy your hard work! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and for a more detailed look on how I created this D.I.Y, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @OCfitmommy where i break down this project with video in my story highlights! Happy Holidays!

D.I.Y Pom Pom Tutorial (without pom maker)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daJyhdIEJ1s

Ombre Pumpkin Pie Paint Swatch Garland

At a loss for festive decor for Thanksgiving? Look no further! This garland literally took less than ten minutes to make, and was under $5 to create! If you cant tell by my past D.I.Y entries, I’m big on finding cute decor ideas that cost next to nothing. Im a firm believer that you don’t have to sacrifice cost or class to create a great home decor piece, and this garland just proves it. I love that this activity is also kid friendly to create, so if you want to involve them in the process, go right ahead! Here’s what you’ll need to make this project:

  • seven to eight orange paint swatches (free from your local Home Depot)
  • glue gun
  • yarn
  • scissors
  • burlap ribbon
  • cotton balls

To start, heat up your glue gun. As its heating up, you can cut out triangles with your paint swatches. I would make it go at least 3-4 colors long, to create the ombre effect. To make the “crust,” take your burlap ribbon and make sure its thin enough to just cover the top. glue the burlap ribbon onto the paint swatch and let dry. To create the “whip cream dollop” take your cotton ball and glue in the center with your hot glue gun. Once all your pie pieces are created, glue them onto a piece of yarn with your glue gun. Once dried, hang and enjoy! Such a simple and inexpensive D.I.Y! Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!

Easy Ghost Garland Tutorial

Wow, have I gone ghost crazy this season! I just can’t get enough of these little spirits, and the home decor is no exception! This year, I constructed these garlands for my friends as a way to “boo” them in a way that they would enjoy! I made a custom color scheme for each recipient and mailed them as a surprise! Absolutely made my day seeing their reactions online as they opened them, so I highly recommend making one for a loved one as a gift! This D.I.Y is so simple to do, anyone can do it! For this craft, you will need the following:

  • white yarn, along with three other complimentary colors
  • a book
  • scissors
  • black felt
  • glue gun and glue
  • painter’s tape
  • option: sparkle yarn for bows

To begin, you will take a piece of yarn the length of the book spine and tape it to the book spine using painter’s tape. I found that painter’s tape comes off the easiest and is easy to reuse, as you will reuse the tape for multiple ghosts. Once you have the yarn taped on the book spine, start to wrap the yarn around the book horizontally. The more times you wrap the book, the thicker your tassel will become. I chose to go to thirty and stop, as about thirty times gave a good amount of thickness. Once you have wrapped it to your desired thickness, take the taped piece of yarn and tie a knot to gather together and secure the yarn. Once tied at the top, cut the yarn wrapped around the bottom. Take another piece of yarn and about a third of the way down, tie a knot to create a tassel. Trim the bottom to even out the yarn pieces and you’re done! Repeat this process for each color, until you have six completed tassels for each yarn color.

For the white tassels, we will now be creating the ghost faces. Take your glue gun and start to heat that baby up! While it’s heating, you can start to create your ghost face pieces. This is where you can be completely creative…make them look anyway you like! I like to make each of the faces look different to give the garland a unique personality. To create the eyes, cut out very small circles. To create a smiling mouth, cut out a half moon shape by using the edges and a circular cutting shape. Once you have your pieces cut, glue them onto the white tassel. If you want to add some extra sparkle, take some glistening yarn and make a double knotted bow around the ghost’s neck area. After your ghosts are decorated, you can now start to string them together!

To string them together, take a piece of yarn and hang on two sides of your fireplace or mantel. If you don’t have one, take a long piece of yarn and tie down to something. Find the middle of the yarn string and tie your first ghost on. Once you have that one tied on, tie another ghost next to it. Start to repeat this process outward with the complimentary colors, so they match on each side. I tend to double knot each ghost onto the garland for extra hold. Once you have all of your tassels attached to the string, cut the extra string pieces off and you’re done! You can add knots on each end to give it a place to attach, or leave as is! Seriously, how simple was that?! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and have a ghostly good time creating!

D.I.Y Spiderweb Embroidery Hoop Wreath

Hi friends! Back at it again with some fun D.I.Y action for you! This time…it’s Halloween themed! We’ll be making this fun spiderweb wreath, but don’t worry, its super simple, and the total cost is under $10! With this time of year leading up to the holiday season, cost effective ideas are a must for me. So i like to upgrade cheap options rather than drop serious money on decorations. I don’t know about you, but my taste in decor often changes and evolves. That’s why I like to change it up every year, but by integrating things that are cost effective and can be edited easily. Now, about that spiderweb wreath…this baby is simple to create, but you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Glue Gun
  • Bag of Spiderwebs
  • Bag of Fake Spiders
  • Black Acrylic or Spray Paint
  • Thin Ribbon of Choice

To begin, take apart your embroidery hoop and separate the outer and inner circles. You will need both hoops for this project. The first steo would be to paint the hoops black, Depending on your time frame and preference, you can either hand paint the hoops with acrylic paint, or spray paint the hoops. I made a few wreaths and I strongly recommend the spray paint option, haha! Once the hoops are dried, take your spiderweb and start to assemble on the inner hoop. The wood acts as a natural glue, so the web is easy to assemble. Once you get the web look you desire, take the outer hoop and layer on top of the webbed inner hoop. Screw together with the screw on top and trim the edges of the extra webbing. The hoops layered together will hold the spiderweb in place, but for added hold, you can glue edges with a glue gun. Start to heat up your glue gun, and edit once heated, if you think extra hold is necessary.

While the glue gun is hot, take your black spiders and glue around one edge of the hoop. For a more dramatic effect, try to snag a few bags of spiders that are different sizes. I had a hard time finding different ones, so along with my original bag of spiders shown above, i bought some spider rings and cut the ring part off and spray painted them. Once you have achieved the look you want, it’s time to add the ribbon. Take your ribbon and create a bow around the metal screw of the embroidery hoop. For added hold, glue the bow with hot glue onto the metal screw. Once you have done that, take a second piece of ribbon that is about two feet long and wrap around the center of the bow. Glue the second ribbon onto the bow center and use the extra ribbon for hanging. That’s it! You’re all done!

I snagged the embroidery hoop at Jo Anne’s Fabrics, but you can locate them on Amazon as well. The total cost of a hoop was under $3. The spiderwebs, spiders, acrylic paint, and ribbon i got at The Dollar Tree, bringing the cost of this D.I.Y before tax to be $7! If you don’t have access to the stores listed above, you can snag all of these items online through Amazon, by clicking the links below:

Embroidery Hoop:

Spiderweb:

Black Plastic Spiders:

Black Acrylic Paint:

Ribbon:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=thin+halloween+ribbon&crid=2NJYY3UYOYFH2&sprefix=thin+halloween+r%2Caps%2C279&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_16

Purchasing everything in store does lower the cost of the wreath by a ton, but I wanted to give options in case going out is not an option. I hope you enjoy making this slightly spooky decoration just as much as i did!

Easy To Make Leprechaun Play dough

It’s officially March! Time to get festive with this homemade play dough recipe that your kids can help make too! Most of these steps are completely kid friendly, but they do require some adult supervision. To begin, you will need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 2-4 drops of green food coloring
  • 1 cup of water
  • green glitter
  • gold glitter
  • festive cookie cutters

Once you have your supplies, combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and water, and oil and mix well with a whisk. Once mixed, add a few drops of food coloring and continue to mix well. If you prefer a more vibrant colored play dough, add a few more drops of food coloring. These steps are easy and fun ways to get the kids involved. Depending on their age and abilities, have them help pour the ingredients into the bowl, or help stir together! Not only will it be a great bonding experience for you, they will learn just what goes into making play dough!

Once you have mixed the ingredients together, scoop up the dough mixture and drop it into a cooking pan or bowl. Cook on low to medium heat, stirring constantly. The play dough will begin to thicken and form a ball. Remove the ball of dough from the stove top and let it sit out to cool.

Once the play dough has cooled, it’s time to add the sparkle! Grab your kiddo and have him or her knead the dough until the cracks and bumps start to disappear. Once it starts to resemble the store bought thing, slowly add gold and green glitter to the center of the play dough. Have your child start to knead in the glitter until it has spread to all the parts of the dough. After that, it’s time to play! I found the cutest set of St. Patrick’s Day themed cookie cutters on Amazon, and I’ll be sure to link it at the end of this post.

I had a blast making home made play dough with Emma! It completely took me back to my childhood during the Summer, where we would make it all the time! The smell of home made play dough is just something of pure magic, don’t you agree? Plus, this activity is a really fun way to get your kids involved in something crafty, with minimal mess involved. I hope you have a blast making this shamrock colored creation! Happy March!

St. Patrick’s Day cookie cutters:

https://www.amazon.com/Pekaqose-Cutters-Patricks-Shamrock-Leprechaun/dp/B083572Q93/ref=sxin_3_ac_d_rm?ac_md=0-0-c3QgcGF0cmlja3MgZGF5IGNvb2tpZSBjdXR0ZXJz-ac_d_rm&crid=2T90TB21CNESC&cv_ct_cx=st+patricks+day+cookie+cutters&keywords=st+patricks+day+cookie+cutters&pd_rd_i=B083572Q93&pd_rd_r=5c029769-2005-4e5d-a064-42a0cd2615f4&pd_rd_w=cpVVK&pd_rd_wg=T3AAd&pf_rd_p=de19e82a-2d83-4ae8-9f5c-212586b8b9a0&pf_rd_r=R9C79EHZKWA5B90RA3WE&psc=1&qid=1583114990&sprefix=st+patricks+day+coo%2Caps%2C218