New House to Home: November 2012            

Friday, November 30, 2012

Easy Stenciled Burlap Christmas Pillows

Well, I'm slowly but surely making progress decorating the house for Christmas.  I'm not ready to show you everything yet, but I do want to share an easy holiday craft I did today.  If you have even the most basic sewing skills, you too can make a set of stenciled burlap pillows.

Here's a look at the supplies you'll need.
Supply List for Two Pillows:  Letter stencils (I got mine from Hobby Lobby), acrylic paint, tape, scissors, thread, paint pouncers, and 1 yard of fabric.  Not pictured, spray adhesive (I used Elmer's) and a pillow form.

You probably can't tell from the above photo, but my burlap has metallic gold threads running through it!
It cost waaaay more than the basic burlap at JoAnn's, but I figure I'm saving a lot by making my own pillows, so I can justify spending more on the fabric.  It's only one yard.

After gathering your supplies, you'll need to measure and cut your fabric.  Measure the length and width of your pillow form, and add one inch to each measurement for your seam allowance.  This is the size of the piece of fabric you'll cut.  You'll need two pieces (a front and a back) for each pillow you are making.  My pillow form measured 13.5 inches buy 20 inches, so I cut 14.5" x 21" pieces.  I was making two pillows, so I cut four pieces.  Click here to see how to cut burlap in a straight line.

Next is the fun part - stenciling.  In order to keep your design centered, you should find and mark the center of your fabric.  A water soluble marking pen would be ideal for this, but I couldn't find one, so I used tape and a pen.

In a well ventilated area, spray the back side of your stencils with the adhesive.  Follow the directions on the can to achieve a repositionable hold.

Figure out what will be the center of your word or design, and position that area over the center mark you made.  I chose to stencil the word "JOLLY," so my center was the first letter L. 

Once your stencil is securely in place, remove your tape.  Dip your pouncer lightly in the paint, and begin to gently tap it onto the fabric.  When you have your first letter filled in, move on to the next, and so on.

When you're finished stenciling, it's time to sew the pillow together.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the sewing process, but it's very basic.  You just put the front and back of your fabric together, with the right sides of the fabric facing one another.  In other words, the stencil will be on the inside and you shouldn't see it.

Then, sew the top and two sides together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  When you are ready to sew the bottom edge, leave about 10 inches  (depending on how wide your pillow is) along the center of the bottom edge unsewn so that you can insert your pillow form. 
Insert your pillow form and sew the bottom edge shut by hand and you're finished.  You've got yourself a unique holiday pillow that looks like it was purchased from a high end catalog store.

To complement my green "JOLLY" pillow, I made a red "HOLLY" pillow.
I really wish the pictures showed the metallic detail of the burlap.  It really makes the pillows special.

I just love my new Holly Jolly Pillows, but that's not all I've been doing around here to prepare for Christmas.  I hope you'll check back over the next week to see my family room and mantel, dining room, and exterior.  I can't wait to share everything else with you!

Linking to:


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Home Stories A2Z



Today's Creative Blog
holiday home link parties

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Family (Christmas) Tree

I am really amazed at the energy that so many bloggers have. It seems that some went straight from elaborate Thanksgiving décor to homes that are completely decked out for Christmas, with no mess in between. Rest assured, not everyone is that motivated or organized. I am living in the midst of chaos right now. I have laundry up to my ears (literally) and Christmas decorations littering every floor in my house. I did manage to get a few decorations in place, and today I want to share one of my favorites with you.

A few years back I picked up an artificial tree in an urn for next to nothing at a Target after Christmas sale.  Then, months and months later when I was at Hobby Lobby, I spotted some little gold frames on clearance for between 33 and 50 cents each.

I knew immediately that I had to somehow merge my two bargain finds to make a "family tree."

It was really quite easy. I just pulled the stands off the backs of the frames and then hot glued a loop of ribbon onto the backs. I proceeded to fill the frames with wallet sized photos. Most of mine were from school and sport picture packages, although I pulled a few out of the archives.

I hung them all on the tree, along with some small coordinating bulbs.

I added some ting ting for whimsy.

My "family tree" (or Flashback Friday tree, as my teenager refers to it) is one of my favorite things to pull out year after year. Seeing how the kids have grown over the years is a bit bittersweet, but the sweet part usually wins out over the bitter.

I bought extra frames so we can continue to add to it as the kids continue to grow.

So, now you've seen one of the very few things I've done for Christmas so far this year. I hope you'll keep checking back, because there's lots more to come.

Linking To:

Home Stories A2Z

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


shabby creek cottage

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Fun Last Minute Thanksgiving Project

It's no secret that I like to sleep in.  Alright, love.  I LOVE to sleep in.  Whenever the kids have a day off of school, I always take advantage of the extra snooze time.  Thanksgiving Day is no exception.  I know there's a turkey that needs to be put into the oven, but that's not enough to lure me out of bed.  I'm able to get away with sleeping in by preparing as much as I can in advance, and I always make a hearty (but easy) breakfast when I get up so Thanksgiving dinner can be served later in the day.   We usually have eggs, bacon, fruit, and muffins.  Obviously we don't eat breakfast in the dining room, which is already set up for the big feast.  Instead we eat breakfast at the kitchen table.  For the past several years, my youngest daughter has created a one of a kind centerpiece for the breakfast table. 

Yes, it's exactly what it looks like - a turkey made out of a pineapple!  It's a little bit silly, but we like to have fun around here.

In case you'd like a pineapple turkey of your own, this is how she did it.

First she drew and cut out a body and two wings on a piece of brown craft foam, and two feet from yellow craft foam.  Next, she drew and cut out a beak and waddle from construction paper, and then glued them to the head portion of the body.

Then she drew a pair of eyes on her turkey.

Finally she attached the body, wings, and feet to the appropriate location on the pineapple using pins.
Now we have a fun little centerpiece for our breakfast table. 

Later in the evening, when we start coming out of our carb-induced comas, we can carve this turkey for a healthy snack.

Does your family have any silly holiday traditions?  I'd love to hear about them. shabby creek cottage

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Table

The countdown to Turkey Day is on! In less than 48 hours, I'll be sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my family, and I hope you'll be doing the same. In preparation for the meal-to-end-all-meals, I've set my dining room table with some festive accents I've gathered from around the house.

I'm not a super-formal person, and I don't have good china like most people. Thanksgiving is the one day each year that I wish I did.  I know it's ironic that I feel that way when I'm supposed to be giving thanks for everything I have - I'm only human.  However, I'm always happy that I have simple dishware after the turkey and stuffing have been consumed because I get to throw my dishes into the dishwasher while the rest of the country is hand washing theirs. I think I did a pretty good job making my WalMart plates look festive.

I like to keep the table setting fairly simple so I don't have to rearrange too many things when it's time to eat. This year my tablescape is centered around real gourds treated with Rub 'n Buff and placed on a cake plate. 

I got my inspiration from this image I posted a few weeks back.

I also used glass hurricanes borrowed from the mantle and filled with pine cones, acorns and candles.  A few amber glass votives fill in some empty spaces.

The printable menus and place cards are courtesy of How to Nest for Less. Thanks, Erin!

The acorn place card holders were a bargain Home Goods find, as were the napkins and place mats.

In case you're wondering what we will be eating on Thanksgiving, it's probably not much different than what you'll be eating.

I'm looking forward to so many things about Thanksgiving, including great food, an after dinner walk, and cozying up on the couch to watch my first Christmas movie of the season (always Elf, my favorite). The thing I look forward to most is spending some quiet time with my family reflecting upon how blessed we are.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

Linking To:


shabby creek cottage