Monday, January 28, 2013

Feather Heart Wreath: a Tutorial

Okay, if you follow me on Instagram you have already seen this one. I first saw this boa heart idea last year when a friend of mine made one for a secret gift exchange we had at work. At the time I had never seen anything like it. It is so fun and fluffy and girly, just perfect for Valentine's Day. I asked her how she made it and it seemed pretty easy so a few weeks ago I thought I would finally give it a try. Seriously people, this will take no more than 30 minutes!

Utility knife
Feather boa - use a coopin if you can, this was way more expensive then I thought it would be.
Hot glue gun - with plenty of glue sticks

1. Draw a heart on your cardboard and then draw another one about 1 1/2 inches bigger around the first one. I used a shoe box I had from a pair of boots I bought a couple months back but you can really use anything.
2. Cut out the heart shape. The thinner the cardboard is, like my shoe box or a cereal box, the easier it will be to cut out.
3. Glue the feather boa down to the cardboard heart using your hot glue gun. My heart was small enough for my boa to go around twice so it's nice and full. Depending on the size of your heart you may need more then one boa. I purchased 2 just in case.
4. Cut ribbon to length & hang. You can hot glue the ribbon to the back but because I wasn't hanging my wreath on a door hanger I wrapped my ribbon around the top of the heart, tied a knot at the end and taped it to my back door.
So what do you think? Do you want to make a Big Bird heart too? I giggle every time I see it.
Leave a comment if you do!
Happy Valentine's Day!!

Home Stories A2Z

Valentine's Day Wreath: a Tutorial

I love Valentine's decorations they are so pretty! I have 2 heart wreaths and I love them both, they make me happy and my home looks so much more cheerful for Valentine's Day!
The first wreath I will show you how to make is a beautiful felt heart wreath, I absolutely LOVE it! I would keep it up all year round I love it so much! I had wanted to make this ever sense I saw it on eighteen25 in 2011. I tried to make one then but I couldn't for the life of me get a hold of a heart wreath form, they had been sold out the entire month of January and February at my local craft store and online. So I put it on the back burner until the summer when I knew there would be plenty of heart wreath forms to purchase. The Idea Room has a great tutorial that I followed to make my wreath. So I will just give you a quick run down of how I made mine.

Styrofoam heart wreath form
1 yard red felt
2 inch paper circle pattern
Fabric scissors - to cut felt
Package of straight pins
Ribbon - for hanging

1. Cut out a 2 inch circle. I traced a mason jar lid onto a piece of scrap paper and cut it out to use as my pattern. I figured it would be about the correct size I needed.
2. Then cut out a bajillion circles from the red felt using the pattern you just made. Do whatever is easiest for you. I traced a bunch of circles with a pen on the felt and then cut them all out, it went pretty fast after they were all traced. We called these pizza squares at my house.
3. Fold a pizza square in half and then in half again to create a point an the end.
4. Insert pin into the point of the folded pizza square and push into wreath form.
Repeat steps 3 & 4 until your entire heart is covered in pizza squares on 3 sides. Leave the back empty so it will hang flat.
5. Cut ribbon to length and pin to the back. You could also hot glue it if you wish.
6. Hang and admire your beautiful work!! I love how velvety and rich it is.
If you make this or have made a wreath like this I would love to see it,  post a link in the comments!

I'll be back a little later today to show you how I made my feather heart wreath! It's super easy and can be done in less then a 1/2 hour. I hope you join me!

Home Stories A2Z

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Planner

 Last year I made a goal to be more organized. Typically before when there was something scheduled or something I wanted to remember I just made an appointment in my phone for it and set a reminder to go off. But there is something wonderful about using a planner and I am loving it! It's very convenient to write things down and see everything on one page in one glance. Smart phones are very helpful and I still use my phone for appointments that I need to remember so the alarm will go off and remind me that I need to be someplace in a half hour. But things like birthdays or other things that I want to remember or need to plan for, I love having my planner and looking ahead and constantly see that so and so's birthday is coming up and I need to get something for them.
I purchased this notebook last year and glued my calendar and to-blog lists inside. I was planning on posting pictures of it last year and I am actually so glad that I never got around to it. :) Really!
It worked so well for me last year and I'm happy that now I can share with you what I love and what I would change.
First of all, I cut out the calendars and lists and glued them into the notebook. I started with the month on the first page and on the next page added the to-do list. I decided to glue the calendar over on the left side so I would have plenty of room to write notes and things on the 2nd half. This has been extremely helpful! I'm so glad that I did this and also love all the space on the 2nd page next to the to-do list.
I would suggest for anyone that does the same thing is to use Rubber Cement. I didn't even think of this last year. Do not use a glue stick, I thought it would be easier and smoother then regular glue, which it is, but it also pealed up all the time and I would have to keep re-gluing every. single. page. So annoying! So don't forget about your old elementary school friend and go with Rubber Cement, you will be so happy you did!
Reinforce your binding on the outside. I just used electrical tape because it's what I had on hand and it is black, I didn't want it to stick out. I've never used washi tape but if you have cute washi tape try it, I'm sure it will work just fine. I was planning on covering the front with decorative scrapbook paper but I never got around to that ether. The plain cover has grown on me and I like it so I probably wont change it anytime soon. 
Don't tear paper out. It is nice to have the notebook paper and write a note to pass to someone or to spit your gum in or whatever else you might use it for but this type of notebook looses it's integrity when paper is removed. The pages are bound together with string and when paper is ripped out it can put stress on that string and when several pages are ripped out it will loosen all the others and your book can fall apart. If you must tear a page out do so without ripping it from the center of the page, it may not be perfectly straight but if you try ripping on that little pink line it will keep your book intact and your binding safe.
(I wanted to show you the same pages I took pictures of last year so you can see how much use I got out of this planner. It got a little worn, a lot thicker and rough around the edges throughout the year.)

During the year you pick up little trinkets or papers and you may just throw them out because you don't have a place for them. I'm sort of a pack-rat in that regard and I hold on to a lot of things because "maybe one day I'll want to look back on that day and having this will be fun to remember it." I love pictures and they are an awesome way to remember days and to reminisce about fun times but still having that concert or movie ticket is special for me. Sometimes I forget when I'm in the moment to take a picture but it's pretty cool to hold that original ticket. I have an entire jar filled with movie and concert tickets but if you're not quite as crazy as I am you could staple or tape them into your planner. My favorite things I taped into my book last year were the Valentines I received from my niece and nephew and our wrist bands from the Kids Day Carnival. I love looking back at those things!
(I'll explain all about Kids Day and what we did last year, this July when we are closer to Kids Day 2013 - 07/06/13!)
One thing I didn't think about last year when I started this project is that this notebook is huge! Way more then 24 pages :) so it will last me longer then one year. I didn't use too many extra pages, if I wrote anything down in here I mostly stayed to the month I was in. So because of that the first part of the book is very well used but the entire back two thirds of my notebook are pretty much untouched. I have dedicated the middle 3rd to this year and I have added the calendars and lists for 2013, this time using rubber cement.
The great thing about this planner is that it's not a full size notebook so it fits in whatever purse I may be using. The tabs and flags stay at home or at the office but the planner is very handy to have with me all the time, so I rarely leave it at home and I always keep a pen and pencil in my purse.  I just toss it in my purse every morning and take it to work with me and carry it with me all day.
I love that I can still go back and see what we did last year and I am excited to fill this baby up with things I accumulate this year! I love that this keeps me on track and I can have a schedule. And speaking of schedules, I've already added blog posts to my calendar! It is one of my goals this year to post on this ol bloggy every other week. (February is an exception, that month will be 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off. I gotta get all my V-day stuff in before V-day ya know!) But things are pretty well planned out and I'm going to try to stick to that plan. So stay with me and look for a lot more fun ideas/crafts/recipes/projects from me this year!

I hope this was helpful for anyone that is trying to be organized. How do you stay organized? Do you use a planner too? I'd love to hear about what you do!

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