Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Tablescape {and Toilet Paper Snowflake tutorial}

I'm really excited to share my winter tablescape with you guys, and over at Centsational Girl's party and HomeGoods contest.... I hope you like it.

When Kate announced this contest last month, I really wanted to come up with a unique idea. With sick kids, a week long vacation & Thanksgiving, I just ran out of time! I was telling a friend about the contest on Tuesday {was that only yesterday??} and I told her that I wanted to do it but I don't have any nice dishes, so what could I build my tablescape around? Too bad I couldn't use paper plates like we do every day :)

But wait, could I? Why not? I could use what I have and make it beautiful. Only 36 hours until the contest closes and I get a brilliant idea. Figures :)

So here is my take on an upclycled, "paper-or-plastic" meets winter wonderland tablescape...

Everything I used to create this tablescape is made from Paper or Plastic :) And I did it all for less than $15. Seriously. Just keep reading...

Do you like this shabby chic Snowflake?

I made it with something EVERYONE has at their house. I promise you won't be going to the store to do this project.... {Toilet Paper!} Tutorial is coming later in this post :)

And the ruffled "ribbon" I used to hang the snowflakes and wreath?

It's a white plastic tablecloth :)

It gets better! Those adorable trees are made from plain white cardstock.... see, you haven't even left your house yet and you have everything you need to recreate this look!

And do you spy some snowy looking tea light holders? Those are the leftovers from my toilet paper project!!

One of my favorite parts of this transformation was my "paper tablecloth".... I made a layered look with sheets of paper {plain white paper, vintage Christmas music printed from various websites, and that cheap grayish paper that we used to have in elementary school :)

Before we get to the tutorials, here are some more shots of the finished tablescape:

 Yes, those are paper plates and paper napkins! {Do you like how I camoflauged the plastic utensils?}

Simple placecards add a personal touch {plastic glitter snowflakes from Big Lots - six for $4)

This plastic white cedar garland was my "splurge"! I picked it up at Michaels for $7.49 (50% off)

I hope you love my "Paper or Plastic" table as much as I do! It is definitely beauty on a budget, and anyone can create this look for a more relaxed, kid-friendly dinner party this holiday season.

Now, for how I did it :)

I started with my table covering of layered paper... I really just used what I had at home, plus a roll of double-stick tape. I laid out my center design, taped it into place, and then created a tablecloth "edge" with folded white computer paper. 

Now, granted, this isn't a practical part of my design... there is no way this is usable beyond one dinner {especially if you have kids} but it is whimsical & fun!

Here's another one of my favorite projects... making ruffled ribbon/banners from a plastic tablecloth. I found the idea on Pinterest and it led me to this creative lady. Seriously genious idea! Her tutorial is great too, so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. The only thing I did a little different was I used a double layer of plastic tablecloth for each strip, and I periodically cinched it up and hot glued it to make it look a little more like bunting. It was so much fun to do, and cost me $1. Love.

Next Pinterest project... the white paper trees. If it's possible, this project was even easier and faster than the ruffled ribbon. Check out the tutorial from Lindy at Cottage Hill. She includes step-by-step instructions and a printable pattern to trace for your trees! The whole project took me 15 minutes and cost me nothing {cuz who doesn't keep some white cardstock lying around their craft room?}

OK, and finally here is my own original idea :) The toilet paper decor!!

All you will need for this project is a roll of TP and a cheap, serrated knife that you don't want to use in the kitchen anymore :) It is really easy to make these, but I took a ton of pictures so don't be scared away until you see how simple it is!
Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

1. Steal some TP out of your kids bathroom
2. Grab the crappiest serrated knife in your kitchen drawer
3. Start cutting/sawing the TP slightly less than half the width of the roll
4. Just keep sawing, just keep sawing.... you will start creating your own "snow" {added bonus for your winter table, haha!} When you are done cutting it through completely, the side you cut will look mangled, but that is perfect for the look we're going for :)
5. Take the middle out of the roll (cardboard tube plus about 1/4 the thickness of your circle)
6. Save the center for later {that's how we got the sweet little tealight holders}
7. Now you have your snowflake/flower thing
8. Bunch the center up and fill it in by separating the TP layers and fluffing it out
9. More fluffing :)
10. Now, take about 1/3 of the thickness you have left on the outer rim and separate it from the center part
11. You are left with 2 pieces now, center flower thing and a circle of TP
12. Cut the circle. This makes one long strip of TP layers.
13. Divide in half, then cut the two strips into four. {At this point, I tore the ends of the strips that had been cut with scissors because I like the messy texture it creates instead of a clean cut.}
14. These 4 sections will make your little snowflake arms... OK, I know that is a lame term but I don't know what else to call them :) Take a white twist tie, fold one section in half and twist in the center.
15. Here comes more fluffing! Separate the layers a little add more volume. Repeat for all 4 sections.
16. Attach each section to the outside of your snowflake center with hot glue.

And voila!

See how I am pinching these two ends together? Hot glue them together to create a place to tie your ribbon.

And now you can hang them anywhere! I used mine to add a little flair to the chairs :)

Remember the extra piece you have lying around somewhere? Add a tealight candle to the center and you have some cute snowy lights for your table:

Thanks for checking out my winter tablescape... now go create something fabulous with the stuff you have at home. Merry Christmas everyone! {It's officially December now, right?}
Linking up to:

Photobucket Photobucket Momma Hens Coop shabby creek cottage Holiday Chic on a Shoestring Decorating The Lettered Cottage Cherished Bliss Home Stories A2Z DIY Club It's Overflowing

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

It's time to announce all the winers of our Homemade for the Holidays giveaways! Thank you to all who entered and followed along for the past few weeks. We had a ton of fun putting it together, and we hope you enjoyed our ideas :) Without further adieu....

{Boys necktie pattern} Winner: Brooke

Brooke said:
I liked you on fb. Your son is adorable!

{Girls pattern from Cosette's Closet} Winner: Jean Marie

Jean Marie said:
Just became a new follower!

{Christmas Pillow Kit} Winner: Brooke

Brooke said:
and I liked you on fb!

{$25 HomeGoods gift card} Winner: Kelly

Kelly said:
Such cute ideas! I'm a new follower. :)

{For the Ladies - Necklace} Winner: Amy

Amy said:

Love the necklace! I'm a new follower. And I'd love for you to share this here:

{Car T-shirt kit} Winner: Enrique and Lindsay

I'm a follower!

{Grandparents frames & earrings} Winner: Patty C

Patty C said:
I like Pick Your Plum on facebook!

{25 homemade gift tags} Winner: Shanny

Shanny said:
I like you on FB!

{Grand Prize: $50 in Craft Supplies from Pick Your Plum} Winner: Sissypoo

Loopy Ribbon Christmas Trees by Sissypoo
We will also be picking our favorite traditions ideas to receive a little gift from each of us.

*Winners will be notified via email within 24 hours. Please respond asap to get your prize!

Thanks again to everyone who entered and followed our series! We'll be back soon sharing more Christmas ideas :) Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just a Reminder...

Today is the last day to enter our Homemade for the Holidays giveaways! Entries will close at 11:59 PM, MST tonight :) Here are some of the items we are giving away: {you have pretty good odds of winning, so go ahead and enter!}

* $25 HomeGoods gift card
* Christmas Pillow Kit
* Dad's Car T-shirt Kit {fabric markers & cars}
* 25 homemade gift tags
* $50 in Craft Supplies from Pick Your Plum (2 other winners will also be selected for a gift package from Adrienne and Nat & me!) *this linky party is open until Sunday, so you have more time to enter!
{Just click on the links to go to each giveaway post} There are more items up for grabs at Free Time Frolics too!

We hope you are enjoying your weekend.... I had a nice quiet Thanksgiving with just my hubs and kiddos for the first time, then got my Black Friday on at Walmart & Target :) That is a tradtion Nat and I have always shared, so this year we checked in with each other on our phones as we battled the crazy crowds! Today, we are getting our tree up, hanging lights, and watching Christmas movies. I love this time of year :) We'll be back Monday to announce all the winners. Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Homemade for the Holidays: Day 12 {Christmas Traditions & Link Party}

Well, it's here! The last day of our Homemade for the Holidays series... thanks for following and leaving us so many sweet comments. We're wrapping things up with a few of our favorite Christmas traditions. I'm really excited to see what you guys do in your families too, it is always fun to get new ideas :)

At the end of the post, we'd love it if you would link up one of your own traditions. If you don't have a blog, you can just link a picture or idea from a photo sharing website like Photobucket. For every link you share, you'll get one entry for our Grand Prize giveaway -- $50 in craft supplies from Pick Your Plum! Adrienne, Nat and I will also be picking our favorite links... the winners will receive a package with a few of our favorite projects from the series.

So, on to Christmas Traditions. These are the things we remember from our childhood -- the memories we are creating now with our own children. For me, it is the traditions we do together as a family that make this season meaningful, and a little magical :)

We have several traditions in our family... some of them I'm sure you do in your family as well. I'll just share a few....

* Chris Mouse {This special mouse works for Santa, and comes to our house on Dec. 1st and stays until Christmas. He watches every day to make sure we are being "nice" and not "naughty" :) Every night Chris Mouse moves to a different spot in our house, and the kids love finding him in the morning as soon as they wake up! On Christmas morning, he is gone back to the North Pole until next year :)

* Christmas caroling to a local care center {This is something I did with my family growing up.... many times we actually went on Christmas Day and were the only visitors that some of the residents had that day. I loved the feeling I had after we sang to these sweet people, and I want my children to have that experience too.}

* Sleeping under the tree {This is a tradition that my husband did each year when he was a kid, and now our kids love it! We pick a night close to Christmas, usually about a week before, and we all get our sleeping bags and blankets out and sleep under the Christmas tree. There is something about dozing off under the twinkling lights that is magical. We also watch "Polar Express" in our jammies and drink hot chocolate before going to sleep :) This is definitely a favorite of my boys. {Oh, and Dad is the designated sleeper-under-the-tree-for-the-night, so I can usually slip back to my bed once the kids are snoozing away!}

* Secret Santa {Another favorite of my kids is our Secret Santa tradition. We choose a family in our neighborhood or local area who is in need of help, and go shopping for presents together. We usually get pajamas and a toy for each of the kids in the family, sometimes we get something extra for the parents too. Then we wrap the presents together, and deliver them at night. They love to leave the wrapped gifts, ring the doorbell, and run away :) It is one of our favorite parts of Christmas.}

* Christmas Craft {Something I just started this year is making a Christmas craft with my kids, something that we can add to our collection and bring out each year to display/play with/etc. This year, it was our Christmas Pillows. I found a really cool idea from Stacie at JAME that I'd like to do as well. My kids are the perfect age for this....

These blocks are adorable, and perfect for teaching your little ones about the Christmas story. Toddlers can't even destroy them :) It is great for learning letters, and reading words too. And there are even matching scripture references! I can't say enough good things about this idea... you must go check out the tutorial. I think I am going to make these this weekend with my kids.

Stacie is SO talented, and right now she is in the middle of her own series... 50 Christmas Ideas! {Nov. 1-Dec. 20} There are some really cool projects and ideas so far, so make sure to take a look :)

Now that I've shared some of my favorite Christmas Traditions... what are yours? Link up any holiday project or tradition you enjoy with your family, and each link will be entered in our Grand Prize giveaway!
The party will be open until Sunday, and winners will be announced Monday morning. Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking to:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade for the Holiday: Day 11 {Gift Wrapping}

We're back! Nat and I got to spend two days together this weekend at the Happiest Place on Earth :) We both traveled home yesterday and now it's back to the real world. It was so amazingly wonderful to see her and spend time together in one of our favorite places. I'd never been to Disneyland when all the Christmas decorations are up... it is beautiful and so cozy :) I am in a festive mood now, and I'm excited to share some ideas with you on one of my favorite holiday topics.... gift wrapping!

There are so many ways you can put a special handmade touch to your gifts, without spending a lot of money. Here are some of my favorite ideas, gathered up from various sources and some great blogs :) One of my best finds was a gift wrapping series from Sarah at For The Love.

She is a professed obsessive-compulsive gift wrapper {a kindred spirit}.... here are some of her packages from last year. I love how she used lace, ribbon, ric rac, paper doilies and other misc. trimmings to plain brown kraft paper to dress it up! Also the scrabble tiles are too cute :)

One of my favorite posts in her series comes from Carrie at the Roudy Stroudy's. She created these handmade gift bows from burlap, canvas, and a sheer cotton fabric:

One of the trends I've noticed is using plain paper (white or brown), and adding pops of color with ribbon, fabric or my FAVORITE.... tape! There are about a million ways people are using tape now... with the simplicity and elegance of a decorative tape, you don't even need anything else:

With all the washi tapes, and other colored tape available, you can do some pretty cute stuff:

How about using a lace patterend tape, or making your own? {I might try this with some lace and clear packing tape...}

Here's a fun DIY "tape" you could make with the kids... construction paper + hole punch = cool looking present :)

Here are a few other ideas I'm going to try this year....

*Adding a fresh flower(s) to the top of a gift

Wouldn't a few poinsettia blooms be beautiful? What a unique hostess gift topper for Christmas Dinner at your in-laws :)

*Using a map of someone's favorite place to customize their gift

{or} make a custom bow with a street map of their hometown, or dream destination? Here is a bow made from a Chicago city map :)

And finally, to "wrap" things up, I am taking a vow NOT to wait until the last minute and buy those store-bought sticky gift tags that are $1.99 for a sheet of 500 tags :) Homemade tags are so easy to make, I really have no excuse! You can print out a set of cute free tags like these lovelies from Eat Drink Chic:

Or use those stamps you have sitting in your craft closet collecting dust:

Sometimes the most cherished part of a gift is a simple, handwritten tag...

I hope this has given you a few new ideas for your gifts this year.... Please leave a comment with your favorite gift wrapping idea for a chance to win today's giveaway: A set of 25 handmade gift tags!

1st Entry: Tell us your favorite gift wrapping idea
Additional Entries: (1 additional entry each)
(1) Become a follower!
(1) Grab our button and stick it on your own blog!

(1) Link up to this post/giveaway on your Facebook page

*Don't forget to come back tomorrow for our Christmas Traditions Link Party! Come and share your family's favorite Christmas tradition with us! {If you don't have a blog, you can link a picture from an online photo sharing account, i.e. photobucket.} Everyone who links up to the party will be entered into our Homemade for the Holidays Grand Prize giveaway. The grand prize is a $50 secret box of craft supplies from Pick Your Plum. Each link up will count as one entry, and the grand prize winner will be selected using For some extra fun, we will each be choosing our favorite links to receive a package from us with a few of our favorite homemade gifts from our series. Tell your friends to come link up too!

You can enter all the giveaways throughout our Homemade for the Holidays Series. Winners will be selected using and will be chosen the Monday following Thanksgiving. Winners will be posted and notified via e-mail. US addresses only, please.