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Archive for the ‘home decorating’ Category

November 19th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Holiday Tablescapes


The holiday season is upon us. It’s fun to bring your table to life and create a nice, festive place to gather as family.

Here are some tips for making your tablescape come to life:

  • Focus your decorating energy on the centerpiece. Fill a beautiful bowl with fruit, arrange some flowers, or use gourds, leaves, grapes, and other fall fruits and nuts. For a more wintery feel, use pinecones and evergreen branches to a bowl. Use ornaments, large colored light bulbs, and other Christmas items to fill in spaces.
  • Use cut burlap as a table runner, or for winter, use metallic or holiday-colored fabric.
  • Cover the table runner with gourds, leaves, mini pumpkins, and Indian corn for fall and Thanksgiving. Scatter different levels of candles among those things.
  • Use ribbon to tie napkins or silverware together.
  • Fill a mason jar with cranberries and water. Add a floating candle.
  • Be inventive when choosing place cards. I have a collection of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years themes.

The most important part is to make the table your own. Have it reflect your family, things you love, and other things that will make the event special.

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September 12th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Fall Burlap Wreath

The onset of fall weather and the smell of apples cooking makes me want to start bringing out my fall decorations. This year, I decided to make my own wreath out of burlap. It was really easy and very customizable, so it can be used year-round.  I love the way it turned out with a couple of fall additions.

wreath final

First you need a Metal Wreath Ring. It’s only a couple of dollars and is sold in many different sizes.  You also need a couple spools of wired burlap ribbon, which come in all kinds of patterns, colors, and textures. I used the 2.5 inch x 7 yard spools and went through 2 of them. At our local hobby store they sell 30 foot spools which probably would have been a better option in hindsight…it depends on how many wreaths you want to make. When I looped my burlap I did smaller, tighter loops, so if you like it more loopy then you will want more feet of ribbon.

The first step is to tie the ribbon onto the wreath frame. I looped it through the wire and then tied a knot to hold it. Every time I added a new spool of ribbon I repeated this step.


The next step is to pull the burlap up through the first space. Pull the burlap through to make a loop. Once you complete a loop, take the end, twist, and do it in the next slat. Once you have finished the first row, weave and loop in the other direction to make a second row. I used this video to help to demonstrate the process.


You keep this process up until you go all the way around the wreath. At the end, I tied another knot (just like I started), and concealed it under the loops.


Then I picked up some decorative pumpkins and fall berries on sticks to weave into the wreath, and made a bow with some fall ribbon that I had on hand. I didn’t want to glue anything on the wreath so I can change out the decor for different holidays, but feel free to make yours permanent. I am thinking about adding a painted “R” in the middle at some point for our last name initial.

Here are some other wreath inspirations for you to make one all your own!


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July 21st, 2014 at 10:44 am

Making Homemade Decorations for Your Home

Taking the time to add decor to your home can elevate it to a new level. The hard part is that decorations can be costly and decorating a room can become expensive fast. I like to take less expensive items and make them into something else! One of my favorite homemade items is my Elevated Glass Vase.


To make each of these it cost $2 plus the cost of a little glue. There are many different types of glue you can use, so pick out your favorite brand for this.

This project started with a tall straight vase. Get creative. Vary colors, styles, and heights of vases. Then you need two shorter candle holders as shown here.

vase needs

You simply glue the candle holder to the bottle of the vase. I like to put the vase upside down and apply the candle holder that way.  Let dry and fill. I have filled with shells, christmas ornaments, marbles and more. This is a great way to add color through decor.

finished vase

I have also taken candle holders and attached to plates to make a cake plate or an item to display or serve on.


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April 21st, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Simple Ways to Freshen Your Home for Spring


Now that you’ve started tackling your spring cleaning, it’s a great time to add some new touches to your home to freshen up the look!


Painting isn’t generally on top of peoples’ to-do lists, but a coat of fresh paint or even a change of paint color can make a huge difference in the feel of a room. Even just painting the same color over all the dirty handprints, scuffs and marks makes a room feel entirely new!


I love the look of pillows on a couch, but felt like they always got in the way. Recently I have embraced the use of pillows in my living room and have noticed what a nice touch they bring to the room. They accent the room with pops of color, texture, and print.

Window Coverings

Changing the color or look of your window coverings can completely change the look of a room.  Sometimes just cleaning them can do a lot also. To revive drab curtains, take them down, remove hooks, and run them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer with a damp towel (to attract the dust) for 15 minutes, and re-hang immediately.

Re-Invent Your Wall Decor

Have you had the same things hanging on your wall? Rearrange them. Take everything down and move them around the room or even to a different room. Add a couple new things to change out colors.

New Furniture

This is an expensive change, but makes a drastic difference. You don’t need to change everything, just change out one key piece and see how new everything looks!

Change Lighting

Buy a new lamp or lamp shade. Transform your old lamp by painting it to bring that key color into the room.

Change Throw Rugs and Hand Towels

Tired of seeing the same throw rugs in the bathroom or by the front door? Use rugs to bring some color to a room.

Change Out Your Bedding

Liven up your bedroom by changing your bedding. You can buy a completely new set, or just add some throw pillows. Make the bedroom a relaxing place that you enjoy spending time in!

Your home should be filled with things you love that relax and energize you. Take some time this spring to make your home somewhere you LOVE to be!


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March 3rd, 2014 at 9:28 am

Storing all your Children’s Books

Do you struggle with where to put all your kids books? We have bookshelves filled and then another paper book order comes and we struggle with where to fit them once the order comes in. I want to share some of my favorite ways to store our kids books.


Cereal Box Holder

I love all the inexpensive paperback books that we get from the order forms at school, but they are so hard to store. Make a holder out of a cereal box to keep them contained. Just cut diagonally once you remove the top and decorate however you want. This is an extremely cheap way to tackle the book clutter.


Picture Shelf or Rain Gutter Shelving

We use a ledge type of shelf for frames to display books for my sons top bunk. You could also use several vertically to make a wall of easy to grab bookshelves. This can also be done using rain gutters from your local home improvement store.



Use all kinds of baskets and containers to hold books. I love to pick up inexpensive baskets to use on shelves to organize a little better. I also keep a basket by my sons bed so he can put his favorites there each night.



Storage Bins

Use regular totes and decorate to hold books or even use crates that you have decorated like these.

I believe you can never have enough books, but containing them is the key! How do you organize your books?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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December 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

DIY Ornaments for Kids


Christmastime is the perfect time to craft, and kids want to get in on the fun! A great way to involve them in decorating the house is by helping them make their own ornaments. They’ll love seeing their creations hanging on the tree with the twinkling lights. Here are some ideas for cute ornaments they can make themselves! Just click the links for details on materials and instructions. Have any holiday crafts/projects you’d like to share? Post pictures on our Facebook wall!

Bottle Cap Snowman from Views From The Ville


Twinkle PomPom Ornament from Zakka Life

christmas ornament 6

Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments from Better Homes and Gardens

(P.S. You can do this with ANY cookie cutter shapes…trees, stockings, reindeer, stars, etc.)


Pinecone Christmas Trees from Dig This Chick


Rudolph The Reindeer Glass Bulb from Dixieland Blessings


Button Christmas Tree from UK Lass in the US


Popsicle Stick Snowman from How To Have It All


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November 18th, 2013 at 10:04 am

Tissue Paper Suncatchers

suncatcherOne of my favorite crafts involves only a couple materials and brightens any window. A tissue paper suncatcher is an easy craft for very young children and yet older children can make it their own also.


  • Tissue paper in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Clear Contact Paper
  • Double-sided tape

1. Cut various colors of tissue paper into small pieces. Use colors that would go along with what your final project will be. Typically the pieces are cut into squares, but you can also use other shapes of tissue.

2. Cut 2 pieces of clear contact paper that are the same size.

3. Remove the backing from one pieces and put it sticky side up on a table. Tape the corners down so the contact paper lays flat.

4. Stick overlapping pieces of tissue onto the contact paper.

5. Continue sticking pieces of tissue paper until the entire piece of contact paper is filled.

6. Position the sticky side of the second piece of contact paper onto the  tissue paper collage. Press it down firmly to seal in the tissue paper pieces.

7. Cut out the shape you would like the sun catcher to be. You can pre-draw the shapes onto the contact paper prior to cutting.

8. Tape these onto glass windows or doors or punch a hold near the top and hang with a ribbon or string.

Here are some great examples:



Snow in the windows








Christmas Tree

Stained glass trees


Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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November 7th, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Thanksgiving Tablescapes


thanksgiving tablescape

One thing I always noticed growing up was how beautiful the dining table looked on holidays. Every year, to this day, my mother slaves away cooking a delicious holiday meal for our large immediate family of 22 people, and every detail is perfection. The picture above is from last Thanksgiving (sorry it’s a little blurry, I was in a rush to get to the food!)… simple, classic, and decorated with care. Here are a few elements to consider if you’re entertaining this Thanksgiving and want to impress your guests with a beautiful tablescape. You can find these great ideas and more on our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board.

  • Centerpiece(s)

Last year it was a pair of pilgrims, the year before it was a plentiful cornucopia…the possibilities are endless. Decorate with pumpkins, gourds, leaves, bittersweet, acorns, pinecones, mums and more. The centerpiece is the main focus of the table, so this is where you really want to get creative and make a statement.

  • Color

Play up the beautiful fall colors any way you can: yellow, orange, red, and brown are nicely accented by pops of metallic gold. Even simple china and silverware can be dressed up with a colorful tablecloth, napkins and chargers.

  • Place Cards

These are optional, but can be a nice touch of decoration. My favorite idea is the mini pumpkins with name tags attached to the stems. Real leaves in vibrant colors are also another great option. You can even get your kids involved by having them help you make these from construction paper…just give them pre-cut pieces in the shape of whatever you like (pumpkin, leaf, turkey, etc.) and have them color them or write people’s names if they are old enough.

  • Small Details

The little details count! Napkin rings, candles, salt and pepper shakers…these are just some additional pieces that help bring your theme together.


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October 21st, 2013 at 5:00 am

Pumpkin Carving

pumpkin-carvingWell, it is a little over a week to Halloween and one of the things left on my to-do list is to get our pumpkins carved. If you are new to carving, here is a quick how to:

  1. Cover your work space and wipe down the outside of the pumpkin. I usually use old newspaper to cover our table.
  2. Cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin to access the inside with your knife at an angle so the top can be replaced without falling through.
  3. Start scooping. If you plan on baking the seeds, seperate from the guts. There is a great seed roasting tutorial here.
  4. Clean up the inside by scraping to smooth it out.
  5. Pick out a design and either drawn or tape onto the pumpkin
  6. Make a dot to dot pattern to transfer the design onto the pumpkin and then use a knife to cut along the dots.
  7. Light it up! It’s so great that there are battery operated lights for pumpkins instead of worrying about candles.

Need a design idea?

Some people like to use the traditional Jack O’Lantern face, but others are more adventurous. If you are a carving expert, check out these Disney carving templates. This Cookie Monster pumpkin is adorable too and doesn’t involve much carving. Or you can use this amazing site and the 305 stencil links it contains. With everything from Star Wars to a kid’s collection you have to find one you love!

Want your pumpkins to last?

To keep your carved pumpkins from rotting give them a simple bath. Use a large plastic tub and add one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Soak the pumpkin for 4-6 hours. Make sure to turn the pumpkin several times so all sides are immerse. This will make it last for several days. You can also spritz the pumpkins inside and out every couple days with the bleach water solution to ensure your pumpkins last as long as possible.

How do you like to carve your pumpkins?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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October 18th, 2013 at 8:05 am

Sprucing Up Your Home for Fall

inspirationI always get in the mood to spruce up my home around this time of year. It’s kind of like Spring Cleaning, but means getting ready for the long winter we experience here in Wisconsin. Being a mom who spends most of her time at home, this place starts to get stale and I need to change things up to inspire myself!

My first act of business is some fall cleaning. One of my favorite fall cleaning checklists can be found here. It takes care of decluttering, outside tasks, and other items that are appropriate to take care of during this time of year. During the Fall, I already start to prepare for the holiday season. I think about what needs to be done and purchased  and start to make the kids wish lists. I also think about the holidays while I am decluttering. Should we just get rid of the ratty old sofa in our office  that gets moved into the playroom to make room for the tree? What does our freezer look like and what foods can we use to make the holiday season easy for dinner time? That’s what fall cleaning is all about, getting ready to survive the holidays. That reminds me, be sure to organize and declutter the playroom and leave a little extra room for all those gifts that are coming your kids way……

This year, I’ve decide to change up some home decor in my house. With the help of Pinterest and trips to local stores with the camera on my phone, I have come up with an inspiration board. Slowly I am purchasing items to spruce up some rooms. It may be a whole new color scheme, or new curtains, or even just some new photos framed on the walls that are needed to make my home a place that inspires and rejuvenates me.  I’ve slowly started painting and hanging items up and already I am falling back in love with my house. Being somewhere I enjoy helps to get through those long winter months.

How are you sprucing up during the season of Fall?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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