It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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I (Jessica) shared tips on how to make a small space feel like home for Christmas on Real Simple, and not only was it a dream to write for Real Simple (pinch me), it was an added bonus to keep the holiday decor I bought and made for the post. I’ve been in the Christmas mode since October – I like to think of it as just extending the joyful season!

Part of this photo shoot was homemade, and the other half store-bought, just the way I like it. I always love a homemade touch, but life was simplified by buying the rest. One of my favorite parts of this shoot was the small businesses in the Vail Valley I got to work with, such as the Cole and Dainer (blanket) and the LA Antler Co antlers. Jenna made the cute Merry and Bright printable (available in our Etsy shop  here for $5, as well as two others).  I made the wreaths, color-blocked the white houses from Target with black paint, and I’m just mad for those plaid paper fans on top. The cozy fireplace from Home Depot has been keeping us warm, too.

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Thanks to all the amazing people and vendors whose products made it feel so festive! Check out their stuff below – they make excellent Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, housewarming gifts, etc.

Chestnut Hill 68” Electric Fireplace with Sliding Barn Door: Home Depot
Blanket: Cole & Dainer
Antlers: LA Antler Co
Artwork: Merry and Bright and Deer Print
Gnomes: Rubyjane | Valleygirl
Metallic Candles/: West Elm Deco Mercury Candleholders and Organic Shaped Mercury Candleholder
Plaid Paper Fans: Parties That Pop

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See more from the photo shoot, and all the holiday space-saving ideas here.

* This post contains affiliate links 

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DIY Chalkboard Planters For Summer Herbs

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It’s planting season again. Our favorite herbs to plant every year are Basil, Mint, Rosemary and Italian Parsley. We are not known for having a green thumb, but we always try and hope for the best each and every summer. Our luck (and planting skills) have better odds every year we try, right?!

This year, we made DIY chalkboard planters. Now, we’re not going to forget what we planted, and if the plant does happen to wilt and die (we are going to do our best to prevent that), we can easily change the name of the herb on the planter. It’s gonna be a good thing for us, and you, too. These planters are fantastic gifts for friends, teachers and neighbors, too!

Find the full tutorial at Momtastic.

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Find the complete tutorial at Momtastic.

DIY Rope Necklace

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We got a couple pleasant, but “WHAAAT?” looks when we told the employees at Home Depot what we were making with brass compression sleeves. It’s not everyday they get customers asking for compression sleeves and rope for DIY rope necklaces. Or, maybe they are used to it with all the bloggers around the country using hardware for everyday DIY’s?! We got a few laughs and made some Home Depot friends, and then we went home to make cute DIY rope necklaces.  If you’re looking for a new summer accessory, visit Momtastic for all the details.

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DIY Winter Snowflake Ornaments


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This week my children’s school held bake sales and homemade ornament sales to raise money for a school in Houston whose families have suffered tremendous loss from the hurricane. My kids were thrilled to participate, and wanted to make as many ornaments as they could to raise as they said, “a ton of money.” While they made DIY marbled clay snowflake ornaments of their own, I made a couple, too. It’s a super simple craft for kids and adults of all ages, which is why I’m sharing it with you today. Plus, this is a wonderful gift to encourage the kids to give their family and friends.

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Lay down parchment paper, and roll balls of clay with the various colors.

Step 2: Combine colors, and then twist and turn to blend the colors together for that marbled effect. With a rolling-pin, roll it out so it’s about 1/4 inch thick.

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Step 3: Press the cookie cutters into the clay, both the large snowflake and the small one. Remove excess clay around the cutter.

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Step 5: With a small straw (like the ones used in coffee shops), punch a small hole through the top of the ornament.

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Step 6: Bake on parchment paper according to clay package directions.

Step 7: Add a wallet size photo with glue dots on the back of the ornament, string and hang it.

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Cheers To A DIY Christmas Stocking With A Wine Spout

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‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gift-giving and all things merry and jolly! We pour more wine around the holidays with all the parties, dinners and let’s face it, stress. So, wine was on our minds when we crafted our next DIY Christmas gift idea.

For this DIY, we’re changing the classic line from the Twas the Night Before Christmas poem that reads, “…the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there,” to instead say, “…the stocking were hung by the bar with care, in hopes that friends and family soon would be there.” Yes, we’re hanging our families stockings in the living room like we always do for Santa, but we’re hanging a few extra in the bar this Christmas, and giving them to friends to spread good cheer. Christmas is all about making spirits bright, right?

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This DIY wine stocking makes for the perfect gift for friends, neighbors and family. Plus, it’s a really fun topic of conversation whether you’re at a party, or having a quiet night in with the girls.

Anyone and everyone can (and should) make these DIY Christmas stockings. Here’s how we made the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Materials:

  • Stockings, .98 cents at Wal-Mart, or other great options at big name retailers
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Boxed wine (we used Bota Box)
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun

Directions:

Step 1: First, we upgraded the stockings with about a $3 plaid fabric investment. We didn’t use a needle and thread – just scissors and a hot glue gun. Before the plaid, there was a thick strip of white felt.

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Step 2: Cut out letters for the fun quotes. We went with, Drink Up Grinches, Santa’s Helper, He Sees You When Your Drinking and Dreaming of a White Christmas. We had black letter stickers and just traced as we cut with the scissors. You can freehand the letters though, maybe even using good vinyl stickers to save yourself cutting time all together.

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Step 3: With a hot glue gun, glue the letters to the stocking.

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Step 4: Cut out a small hole in the front toe part of the stocking. If it’s too big, you can always hot glue the fabric tight around the wine pull tab.

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Step 5: Insert the wine bag in the stocking and pull the wine tab through the hole in the toe.

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Step 6: Hang and pour. Cheers!

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