Valentine’s Rag Wreath

When my husband and I moved into our home almost 5 years ago, one of the things I was most excited about (besides an attached garage of course) was having a front door to hang cute wreaths on.  Oh sure, we’d had front doors in our previous apartments, but all of them had been basement apartments and not very big so we didn’t have company over very often.  And in my opinion, part of the fun of having a wreath on your door is so people can see it.  Right?

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I love decorating in the lovely shades of pink, red, purple and white that accompany the holiday.  I didn’t have a Valentine’s wreath for my door so I decided to remedy that problem with a cute new rag wreath!  Rag wreaths are so easy and inexpensive.  They store well and fluff up easily when you pull them out of storage.

Haven’t made a rag wreath before?  Let me show you how!

Valentine’s Rag Wreath

Materials:

  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • cutting mat 
  • ruler
  • 12″ wire wreath form (I bought mine at the dollar store, but any craft store will have them)
  • 2 yards of fabric, split between 3-4 different patterns/colors (I bought mine at JoAnn’s)

Start by laying your fabric out in front of you.  Using your ruler, make snips in your fabric every 1″ to 1 1/2″.  Any smaller than that and your strips will be too narrow and you won’t be able to see the color/pattern.

After you’ve made all your snips, you have a couple options of how to proceed:

  1. Grab the fabric firmly and rip along the snips you made down the length of the fabric.  Continue ripping until the fabric is in strips.  *Doing it this way will create more frayed/ragged edges on each strip.
  2. Using your scissors/rotary cutter and ruler, cut down the length of the fabric until all the fabric is in strips.  *Doing it this way will create less frayed/ragged edges on each strip.

Either method works great, so it’s a matter of preference in terms of how frayed/ragged you want your strips to be.

Once you have all your fabric in strips, cut each strip down into 5-6 inch pieces.  Any shorter and you won’t be able to tie it and any longer will cause the strips to flop over when you tie them onto the wreath and you’ll lose out on fluffiness.

Then I laid my strips out in a pattern and started on the innermost ring of the wreath.  Just a simple double knot will do.  Go all the way around the inner ring, then start on the next ring.  Continue tying around each ring until you’ve completed all the rings.

When you’re finished, the back of your wreath should look like this:

You can hang it up like this if you want or add some embellishments.  I decided to add a little bunting across the front using some washi tape I had that matched the red/white polka dot fabric I used on the wreath.

I am totally in love with my new wreath (no pun intended)!  I like that it still has that Valentine look to it, but by using the mint green with the red and white, it’s not your typical red/white/pink decor.  It is also totally affordable costing less than $10 to make.  (I spent around $8 using coupons and promotions for my materials.)

Do you like decorating with wreaths?

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

When it comes to home decor, I have a hard time committing.  I can find colors that I like, but figuring out the details can be challenging.  Or I find a knick-knack that I love but I’m not sure it’s the right fit for my house.  (This is probably partially due to the fact that I am still trying to nail down my own personal style.)  However, I do have a few items that I consider classic pieces.  One of these is hurricane vases.  I love them because I can easily change out what I put inside to match whatever decor I have up, whether seasonal or part of my everyday home decor.  There are various sizes, shapes and even colors to fit any style.

The unfortunate thing about hurricane vases is that they can be so blasted expensive, with prices ranging from $15-$100 and up depending on the size and material it’s made of.  Yikes!  I don’t have that kind of money in my budget so I started looking around.  Something I noticed is that the name of an item can affect its price.  If you search for “hurricane vase” online, you get higher prices than searching for “glass flower vase”, even if they look like the exact same thing.  And it got me thinking, “Where can I find cheap glass cylinder vases?” The answer is: the dollar store!

So off I went to the dollar store and I found exactly what I was looking for–short and tall glass cylinder vases– and I picked up two of each.  I had decided I wanted them up on a small stand so I also grabbed some glass candlestick holders to glue to the bottom, also from the dollar store.  I brought my purchase home and did a little research on the best type of glue to use for glass.  I’ve used various brands of super glue before on other projects, but not glass and I wanted to make sure the candlestick didn’t come off.  I also wanted the glue to dry clear.  The best solution I found was to use Loctite GO2 Glue.  I bought it at Walmart for about $4.  Armed with glass and glue, I was ready to start.

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

Before gluing the pieces together, I removed the stickers using Goo Gone, then wiped them clean of any residue and let them dry for a few minutes.

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

Then I opened the glue and gently squeezed it around the top part of the candlestick (see picture).  I was fairly generous without letting it get too goopy.  Then I turned the candlestick over and tried to get it as close to center as possible.  This particular glue has a repositionable time frame of 5 minutes so I didn’t stress out about getting it exactly in the right place the first time.  I basically just rotated the vase around and eyeballed it and moved it around until I thought it looked centered.  Then I repeated the steps on the other 3 vases/candlesticks.

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

The cure time for the glue I used is 24 hours, so after a few hours on the counter to let it set, I moved the vases to a more out of the way place to avoid getting them knocked over or touched by curious little hands.

*Note: If you use a glue other than the one I used, be sure to check the repositionable time, set time and cure time so you know how much time you are working with.

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

After the 24 hours were up, I turned the vases over and inspected my work and they looked awesome!  The glue dried clear and strong and they looked store bought rather than handmade.

Since I’ve got a Thanksgiving/fall theme going on at my house right now, I filled one small vase with popcorn kernels and a small votive candle.  The larger vase is filled with small pine cones.  I also tied some cute ribbon around my vases to add to the overall look and tie it into the theme.  When Christmas (or any other holiday/season) comes around, I will swap in something else.

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!
Want to make a burlap table runner?  Check out this tutorial!

Not sure what to put in your hurricane vase?  No problem!  I’ve compiled a list of ideas of items for both holidays and everyday decor.  They would also be great to use for parties and fill with treats or other items.  You can get a lot of these items from the dollar store!

Items to fill vases (Holiday)

  • Valentine’s Day: red cinnamon candy, conversation hearts
  • St. Patrick’s Day: plastic gold coins, rainbow candy (like Skittles)
  • Easter: Peeps, plastic eggs
  • Independence Day: flags, sparklers
  • Halloween: skulls, plastic rats, candy corn, anything you’d fill an apothecary jar with
  • Thanksgiving: popcorn kernels, acorns
  • Christmas: small ball ornaments, bells, cinnamon sticks, pine cones

Items to fill vases (Everyday)

  • Shells
  • Candle
  • Flowers
  • Potpourri
  • Plastic fruit, like lemons, limes or oranges
  • Sticks/Branches
  • Glass beads

Hurricane vases are so versatile and for a few dollars you can use them year round as part of your decor!

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Vases--Use dollar store glass vases and candlesticks to make these inexpensive hurricane vases!

What do you like to decorate with year round?  Do you have other suggestions for what to put in hurricane vases?

6 Simple Ways to "Halloween-ify" Your Home {plus a FREE printable}

So…Halloween is next week and you might be like me and realize that there’s not much Halloween-ish-ness going on at your house.  While I do like to decorate during the holidays, I generally just have a few places in the main living area that I put up decorations.  (I’ve also got littles in my house who like to play with the decor if it’s not out of reach.)  I’m not into creepy or spooky so my Halloween decor leans more towards pumpkins and witches, rather than skulls and zombies.  But whatever your Halloween decorating style is, there are a few staples that you can’t go wrong with.

Chalkboards:  Chalkboards are a great year-round decor piece because they are so easy to change.  I feel like chalkboards are especially fun in the fall.  Depending on the size of yours, you can put a simple “Happy Halloween” or something a little longer like “Something wicked this way comes…”.  I have a couple of chalkboards in different sizes and shapes that I change out.  I found a cute one at Hobby Lobby the other day for $4 and used my 40% off coupon.  Talk about inexpensive!

Pumpkins:  Maybe this one goes without saying, but I love to decorate with pumpkins in the fall.  Halloween is the obvious time of year with all the jack-o-lanterns popping up everywhere.  Real or fake, carved or not, putting a couple pumpkins on the front porch or on a table will instantly Halloween-ify your home.

Balloon spiders:  My kids love the balloon spider we have up in our front room!  It’s so easy to make and inexpensive too.  You could put multiple ones around the house or on your front porch.  Just pick up a bag of balloons and some crepe paper at the dollar store next time you go.  Unless you’re planning on using black balloons and crepe paper at some other time during the year, you’ll have supplies left over for next year which is that much less that you have to spend on decor.

Spider webs:  There are two different kinds of spider webs you can do: the white polyester kind or black yarn webs.  I usually do the polyester kind but this year I did the black yarn webs and they look so fun around the house!  If you’d like to do some too, check out this tutorial.  Either type of web would look awesome with the balloon spiders (or any spiders).  You can put these webs almost anywhere, including outside on your porch.  Plus, neither one cost much to buy.

image via design.wash.rinse.repeat

Apothecary Jars:  These jars come in all different shapes and sizes, so feel free to mix and match to create interest.  I bought a couple at Hobby Lobby last year when they were running a sale on their glass items and they only cost me $3-$4.  To make it more Halloween-ish, you just fill them with water and food coloring and finish them off with a label.  I used a chalkboard label and chalk pencils to label my “contents”.  If you don’t want to deal with chalkboard labels, there are lots of free printables available.  I like these labels from Lia Griffith.  If you like the labels from the above picture, click on the link in the caption.

Printables: Speaking of printables, they are easily one of the least expensive ways to change up your decor any time of the year and there are endless possibilities and styles to fit everyone’s preferences.  I have a couple of frames that I cycle through depending on the color scheme I’m using.  And if you like printables, or just need a new one, I’ve created a fun FREE 5×7 printable for you to print out and pop in a frame of your choice.  Put a couple pumpkins next to it and voila!  Instant Halloween-ification!

*Note: Due to differences in monitor colors and printer profiles, there may be some variation with the printed product.

I hope you found some fun ideas to Halloween-ify your home!  What other easy ways do you decorate for Halloween?

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

With the changing of seasons, I’ve been swapping out my summer decor for more fall themed decor.  I was looking around the house today and noticed that the credenza (fancy word for table) in the front room was looking a little bare and I had two words pop into my head: burlap and runner.  I ran downstairs and grabbed some burlap remnant I’d bought who knows how long ago thinking it would be nice to have on hand.  (I have a hard time resisting the remnants bin.  It’s a problem…)  Turns out that I had the perfect amount to make a cute and easy table runner.

Have you ever used burlap?  Let me tell you some things about it: Burlap is awesome because it gives a little bit of texture, it’s durable, easy to work with and creates a slightly rustic and imperfect bit of decor.  It also feels very fall to me so using it as a table runner for a couple of months out of the year just made sense.

The first thing I noticed when I unrolled my burlap was how curled up and creased it was.  The easiest fix I know of for wrinkles is to iron it.  So I grabbed a squirt bottle and my iron and turned it up to the highest steam setting (which for me was cotton/linen).  I used a fair amount of water on each crease, but not so much that it was soaked.  Then I ran my iron along the creases and wrinkles until it was nice and flat.  Make sure you keep the iron moving across the burlap and don’t let it rest in any one place too long.

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required! 
DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

Next, I figured out how long and wide I wanted to make my runner.  I had approximately 1/2 yard x 1 yard of burlap, which happened to fit my table perfectly, but it wasn’t cut straight so I evened up the edges really easily by cutting right next to one of the strands all the way down.

Once I had the length and width figured out, I decided to wanted to pull out a few strands on the long sides to give it a little less of a defined edge.

To do the tassels, I pulled about 2 inches of the strands off the ends.  I set those pieces aside to use to tie up the tassels.  It’s really just a preference how long you want the tassels so just keep pulling strands out until you are happy with the length.  (If you pull out too many, you can always just trim the ends to get it back to a length you like.)  Then, gather about 10 strands together and use the pieces you pulled out to tie a nice little knot.  Cut the ends fairly close to the knot so they don’t poke out at a funny angle.

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

And there you have it!  A cute, incredibly easy, no-sew burlap table runner!

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

What are some of your favorite ways to use burlap?