Home for the Holidays DIY Wood Ornament

Home for the Holidays DIY Wood Ornament

For the 5th DIY of the 12 DIYs of Christmas, I am making a Home for the Holidays ornament.  This DIY wood ornament will look great on a Christmas tree or personalized to tie on gifts. Plus, these are easy to make using a few power tools, wood, stain and string.

Recently, I received several cordless power tools from HART tools, available at Walmart.  I love that the power tools share the same rechargeable battery, so it is easy to work quickly with several power tools and swap the battery, if necessary.  If it sounds simple, it is! Lets get to work!

Instructions for the DIY Wood Ornament

Step 1. Use a ruler to draw the outline of a simple house onto a piece of pine. Print a template, if necessary.

Step 2. Cut out the shape of the house onto wood using a reciprocating or jig saw.

 

Step 3. Use the drill to insert a hole through the top of the house for a hanger.

Step 4: Sand and smooth the edges of the wood with the sanding attachment on the HART multitool power tool.

 

 

Step 5. Using the HART rotary tool’s cutting attachment, add details to mimic a home. For example, draw windows, a door and a wreath, as desired. If you prefer, you can use a ruler and pencil to draw prior to cutting.

Draw door, wreath and windows onto wood using the HART rotary tool.

 

Step 6. Apply your favorite wood stain to both sides of the ornament and allow to dry.  When dry, hang ornament with string or jute.

Apply stain with brush or cloth.

 

The HART tool collection is only available at Walmart. You can visit HART Tools to find out more about the cordless power tools! Tomorrow, I am making ornaments from bead board, so check back for the rest of the 12 DIYs of Christmas. But first, save this to your Pinterest board.  Happy DIYing, y’all!

12 DIYs of Christmas: Easy Christmas Candy Tray

12 DIYs of Christmas: Christmas Candy Tray

Today, I am sharing how I styled an easy Christmas candy tray using a few of our family’s favorite treats and pieces from the Lenox holiday collection. This may be the sweetest DIY that you do this holiday season. By the way, this is the 4th DIY of the 12 DIYs of Christmas.

 

How to Make a Christmas Candy Tray

First, set out your favorite Christmas tray. I am using a beautiful silver metal platter from the Lenox holiday collection.  The pinecones and holly leaf design is perfect for holiday gatherings all season long.

Next, make or buy an assortment of your favorite holiday candies and treats!  Include a variety of chocolates, peppermints, gummy candies, cookies and white chocolate covered popcorn and pretzels.

 

Its as easy as 1, 2, 3

Step 1.  Use decorative bowls to hold small candies like gummy bears, m&m’s, cherry sours or Red Hots. If necessary, use small pedestals to add height. Begin by placing the largest bowl on the tray, maybe off center. Then, add smaller bowls around it on the tray.

Step 2. Next, place larger individual treats like cookies, peppermint sticks, licorice and chocolate reindeer onto the tray.

Step 3. Last, fill in with bite size treats like mints or white chocolate popcorn (my recipe is here).

Dessert for Dinner

As my kids get older and outgrow certain traditions with sneaky elves and stories of Santa Claus, it has been hard to keep the excitement of Christmas alive.  Therefore, I thought it would be fun, and really unexpected to initiate a new a new Christmas tradition… ‘dessert for dinner!’  Of course, we had a meal afterwards, but it was still fun to enjoy dessert first!

So, I set a fancy table with beautiful Lenox mercury glass trees as the centerpiece, gold rimmed glasses, and  snowflake carved dinner plates. Then, I served dessert on a silver platter! Plus, Lenox ornaments, holiday decor and entertaining pieces are great gifts which can grow into a beautiful collection year after year.

 

Paper accents for the table are from Hester and Cook, including the paper Santa placemats and Christmas tree place cards. They are so fun and festive for holiday tablescapes.

 

Old and new traditions are what bring families together! This was a wonderful feast, y’all!

The 12 DIYs of Christmas

I hope you enjoy this 4th holiday inspired DIY in the 12 DIY’s of Christmas.  If you missed the first days of the 12 DIYs of Christmas, you can see how I made a set of berry garland napkin rings for $1, here, a countdown calendar here, and a DIY snow globe lamp, here.

Save this to your Christmas Dessert Pinterest Board by tapping the red pin in the top left of this pic!

How to Make No Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

Recently, I bought new linen bedding which inspired me to change out my curtains! Then, the rug, lol!  Since I have always loved the natural look of cotton canvas, I wanted to try DIY drop cloth curtains.  They are so easy to hang, and budget friendly. Today, I am sharing my best advice so you can make no sew drop cloth curtains, too!

How to Make No Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

cottage style bedroom with drop cloth curtains

 

Materials to Make No Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

  • Canvas Drop Cloth (1 6×9 panel per single window or 2 per large window)
  • Curtain Rod Kit with Brackets
  • Hanging Clips (7 per panel)
  • Household Tools – electric drill, measuring tape, iron or steamer

 

1. Measure the Windows. 

First, measure your windows before you go shopping for materials to make these ‘no sew drop cloth curtains.’ This will help you determine how many drop cloth curtains are needed and which size to purchase. Keep in mind that drop cloth typically comes in 6×9 feet or 5×8 feet increments.

Consider the height of the window and preference on curtain length from floor to rod.  Do you like the curtains to puddle a few inches near the floor or kiss the floor. Do you like the curtains rod to hang a few inches or a foot above the window trim?

Next, measure the width of the window.  Typically, you want the curtain panel to be at least twice the width of the window. For example, my window is 3 feet wide.  Therefore, I chose drop cloth that is 6 feet wide.

I suggest one 6×9 drop cloth for a single window (approximately 3 feet wide) and two panels for double windows.  However, you may like a fuller look or the ability to separate two curtain panels on both sides of the windows.  Therefore you could opt for two panels on a single window.

For myself, I like the coverage of one panel on the single window on either side of my bed.  Specifically, I like to push the right side curtain to the right to open it, and the left window curtain to the left so it frames out the bed.

2. Steam or Iron the Drop Cloth Curtains.

Next, iron or steam the drop cloth curtains to reduce the folds in the fabric from packaging. Actually, if you choose to steam, you can do it after you hang the curtains!  It’s all good!

 3. Hang the hardware.

Using your drill, hang the curtain rod brackets according to your height preference.  Typically, you hang curtains 2 – 6 inches above the window trim.  However, I prefer to hang curtains halfway between the window and the ceiling to bring the eye up.

The top of my window trim is 7 feet.  However, I hung the rod about a foot higher than the trim.

4. Attach the curtain rings to the Drop Cloth Curtains.

First, lay the drop cloth on the floor. Next, using your measurements, determine how much to fold the top of drop cloth curtains. For example, I hung the hardware 8 feet from the floor.  Knowing the curtain panel is 9 feet tall allowed me to determine that I needed a 12 inch fold.  You can decide if you want the fold to show in the front or back.

using the measurements fold the top of the drop cloth curtain accordingly

I used about 7 curtain rings per panel.  Consequently, most packages of clips come in sets of 7 or 14.  For a six foot wide panel, I laid the measuring tape across the folded drop cloth curtain.  Then, I placed a curtain ring on the folded panel at both ends and every 12 inches.

If you like to use more curtain rings, just divide the width of the panel with how many rings that you want to use. For example, for a 6 foot or 72 inch panel divide by 10 rings. So place curtain rings every 7.2 inches.

measuring tape over drop cloth marked in 1 foot incremements

 

5. Hang the Drop Cloth Curtains.

First, hold the outside ring in one hand.  Then, allow the fabric to fall into 6 inches folds before grabbing the next ring.  This will create a pleated look.

Lastly, slide the rings clipped to the drop cloth curtain onto the rod before placing onto the curtain brackets.

 

So Many Options with Drop Cloth Curtains:

  • Wash??? It is up to you if you want to wash your curtains before ironing.  Washing will remove the smell and soften the material. However, I opted to only steam mine prior to hanging.
  • Hem??? Instead of leaving a fold over the curtain, you could hem the tops or bottoms with hot glue to adjust the length according to the height of your windows. The fold worked great for my style.
  • Bleach??? You can bleach some drop cloths to lighten in your washing machine or a large plastic tub outdoors. However, check packaging for details. I love the natural color because it matches my linen bedding.
  • Cut???  For narrow windows, you can cut the 6×9 panels in half (down the middle of 6 feet width to make two curtain panels).  I liked the fullness of one 6 feet wide panel for 3 feet wide windows.
  • Blackout???  Most drop cloth is opaque, so there is no need to add blackout panels.  I love that they allow the sun to shine through, but prevent anyone from seeing in at night.  However, that’s up to you.
  • Where to Buy???  You can buy them everywhere from Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s or most local hardware stores. Options from color and texture vary in each store.  I prefer the drop cloth that is the same material on both sides, like these at Lowe’s, here.  I say this because I saw some that had vinyl coating on one side.

 

Thank you for stopping by the Cuter Tudor Blog. Hopefully, you find these tips for DIY no sew drop cloth curtains to be helpful!  Subscribe to the blog here for more home decor DIYS and inspiration!

How to Make Soy Based Candles

How to Make Soy Based Candles 

 I have wanted to learn how to make soy based candles for years. Recently, I tried it and am surprised how easy and affordable it is to ‘do it yourself.’  You can easily make soy based candles with a few supplies and these simple directions. Candle making is a great way to create your own gifts for family and friends this holiday season.  I know that once you try this DIY, you will want to make different scented candles for each season.

The best part of candle making is that you can control what goes into your candle. Specifically, soy or beeswax are the best options for a clean burning candle. Depending on your preferences and sensitivities, you can use more or less fragrance. Using all natural fragrances and wicks is recommended, so check the packaging before purchase.  Once you have learned how to make soy based candles, you can reuse empty candle containers or ceramic pottery to make more.

 

The candle making DIY was photographed in the kitchen at The Morrow House in Waco, Texas.

Candle Making at the Morrow House in Waco, Texas

How to Make Soy Based Candles: Materials

  • Soy Wax Flakes
  • Natural Wicks
  • Containers
  • Centering Device
  • Pouring Pot
  • Fragrance or Essential Oils – try Essentially Elevated

All of the above items can be purchased from Amazon.  You can find therapeutic grade essential oils at Essentially Elevated.  Furthermore, additional items from your kitchen that are needed include a stove top and an old pot to melt the wax.  Also, grab a measuring cup, wooden spoon, cooking thermometer, and scissors.

 

Materials for candle making include wax melts, wicks, essential oils, thermometer, glass jars and the centering device.

 

How to Make Soy Based Candles: Instructions

Prepare the containers. We used 8 oz lidded glass jars for containers, but any size will work. First, place the bottom of the wick on the inside of the jar. For instance, you may need to use a spoon to press the base of the wick in place. However, a dot of hot glue or drop of melted wax will secure the wick in place, too.  With a metal centering device, place the top of the wick in the center of the device to hold it into place.  This will make your candle making easier.

 

Measure the wax. You will use approximately twice the amount of wax flakes for the size of candle that you are making. We used about 2.4 cups of wax flakes to make an eight ounce candle.  The first time that I made candles, I made two at a time to test times, temperatures, scents, etc…

Melt the wax. You can use a double boiler or simply place the metal pouring pot into a larger pot of shallow boiling water. Pour wax flakes into the pouring pot. Use a wooden spoon to stir frequently. The wax will take about 10 minutes to completely melt. With the thermometer, ensure the melted wax reaches a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Add fragrance.  Pour the fragrance oils into the wax and stir frequently for a couple of minutes. Use about ½-1 ounce of oil for an eight ounce candle. Then, remove from heat and allow the wax to rest for a few minutes.

 

Pour the wax. Allow the wax to cool to 140 degrees before pouring. Carefully pour the hot wax into the prepared container. Ensure the wick stays centered in the candle.

Pour the melted wax into the prepared jars.

Pour the melted wax into the prepared jars.

 

Trim the wick. Allow the candle to cool completely which may take up to an hour. Lastly, trim the wick down to size, approximately ½ an inch or less.

Trim the wick with scissors.

Trim the wick with scissors.

 

Enjoy!  The candle will need to cure for a week before burning.  Consequently, this will allow the candle to develop the best scent. Most importantly, never leave a candle unattended!

 

How to Make Soy Based Candles with Essential Oils

This easy candle making DIY is so easy and fun to do!  Some of my favorite scents that I have made are lemon lavender and almond coconut. In addition, it is interesting to research (if you don’t already know) how essential oils can be used to treat a variety of ailments and help the human body….use this knowledge to create candles that not only smell good, but also promote calm emotions, enliven the senses, and support good health.  For example, I use this site for more information and to order my oils!

 

Special ‘thanks’ to The Morrow House for allowing me to photograph this candle making DIY process in their home.  It is a beautiful Air BnB ‘fixer upper’ that you can stay at in Waco, Texas.  Check it out, here!  Furthermore, this DIY appeared in the July/August issue of Modern Texas Living magazine.  I hope you check out both!  Lastly, thank you for stopping by the blog to learn how to make soy based candles.

 

Here is a soy based candle burning in bathroom.

Soy based candle with essential oils create a relaxing environment in the bathroom.

How to Press Plants, Flowers or Herbs in the Microwave

DIY Pressed Plants: How to Press Plants, Flowers or Herbs

  Since I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do in the Spring time is to press plants in between stacks of old books. Growing up in the country, there was always an abundance of wildflowers in the pasture and along the county road where I lived. Pressing plants and flowers became a favorite past time in the spring and summer months.  For instance, I remember collecting wild flowers for a middle school science project.  In addition, my neighbor gifted me a couple of flower identification books that helped me learn the names of many plants native to Texas.  With this easy pressed plant DIY, you can learn how to press plants, flowers or herbs and capture the essence of Spring for months to come. pressed herbs   This year, instead of wildflowers, I decided to press herbs into beautiful wall art. I featured this easy pressed plant DIY in the current issue of Modern Texas Living magazine.  Certainly, check out the article and more in the online magazine at ModernTexasLiving.com.   With a magazine deadline fast approaching, I did not have weeks to wait for the herbs to flatten, so I found a way to press plants in a matter of minutes!  The key is the microwave oven! Whether you intend to press leaves, flowers or herbs, I believe that this pressed plant DIY will become your next favorite spring time activity with kids. You can press most plants with items from your kitchen, vintage books and the microwave oven.  Therefore, it is fun to experiment with a variety of techniques, but just ensure you are being safe and only using microwaveable items in the microwave oven.  To get started, gather your materials.   DIY pressed plants 2  

Here is what you will need for DIY Pressed Plants.

  • Flowers, herbs, any small plants
  • Vintage books with glued spines (no staples)
  • Microwave and microwavable Glass Bowls
  • Paper Towels or Parchment Paper
  • Masking Tape, Pencil
  • White Cardstock or Matteboard
  • Picture Frames

First, gather and cut your plants.  This can mean that you cut herbs from your garden, take a walk to collect wild flowers or pick up a bouquet of flowers from the florist. Plants can be pressed with or without the roots.  Remove any unwanted blemishes, leaves and or the roots with garden scissors.  If you use the roots, shake any excess dirt off and rinse thoroughly.

 

How to Press Plants, Flowers or Herbs

Next, arrange plants face up in the pages of an old book.  You want to place the plant the way that you want it dried. Therefore, pay attention to the way the stems, leaves or petals face and lay.  Then, close the book. NOTE: Ensure that the book is adhered with glue and not staples or any kind of metal before placing a book into the microwave oven.

 

After that, place the book in the microwave oven in 30 second increments. Meanwhile, you can place microwave safe bowls on top of the book to weigh it down.  Each plant is different, so you may have to work with timing.  Some herbs were flattened in 30 seconds and some took 1.5 minutes.  However, I do not recommend leaving the book in the microwave for longer than a minute at a time.  I did not try that, so I only want to recommend techniques that safely worked for me. OPTIONAL: You can sandwich the plant between two pieces of parchment paper or a folded paper towel to draw out moisture.  However, it is not necessary. Old book pages will draw out the moisture either way.  Laying the plant between parchment paper or a paper towel between two plates also works.  I actually misted the paper towel with water prior to microwaving it so that there was some moisture.  To clarify, I just wanted to be on the safe side and ensure the paper towel didn’t burn by applying heat repeatedly. After heating, wait a few seconds for the plant to cool before opening the book and trying to remove it.  The plant will be very delicate. Therefore, sliding it on paper to keep it well supported works best. Masking tape or spray adhesive works to hold the plants onto cardstock.  Lastly, label the flower or plant with its common and or scientific name.   Use a plant identification book or google to identify any unknown plants. In addition, I wrote the names of the plants on the card stock with pencil, but you could use a thin tip sharpie, or label maker depending on the style that you prefer.

 

Ready to Display your DIY Pressed Plants!

You can display pressed plants into a collection of picture frames. For example, I chose to frame these pressed plants in a variety of reclaimed wood frames.  Similarly, DIY pressed plants look great in floating clear glass frames.  For this technique, you do not have to mount the plants onto card stock.  Simply, insert pressed plants into the double sided glass frames.  I think these pressed herbs will look great hanging in a kitchen.  However, pressed flowers will look great in any room where you would hang botanical prints.  Another suggestion is to keep your pressed flowers in a blank journal or vintage book.   frame DIY pressed plants

Take the Spring DIY Blog Hop!

If you loved this Spring DIY, check out the rest of the Spring DIY Blog Hop! For instance, there are lots more creative ideas to help you decorate your home this Spring.  The blog hop is hosted by one of my favorite home decor bloggers, Jen at NotingGrace.com.  Be sure to check out her spring DIY! Most importantly, special ‘thanks’ to The Findery in downtown Waco for letting me borrow the wood tray, galvanized cups, chippy picture frames and vintage books for this project.  Consequently, these items and the pressed herbs are currently on display at The Findery!

I DIY-ed That Spring Blog Hop

MONDAY

Repurpose & Upcycle | Thrify and Chic | A Blue Nest | Noting Grace

TUESDAY

My 100 Year Old Home | The Tattered Pew The Homemaking Momma | She Holds Dearly | Seeking Lavender Lane

WEDNESDAY

Worthing Court Blog | Joy In Our Home | White Arrows Home Uniquely Taylor Made | Making It In The Mountains

THURSDAY

Beauty For Ashes Home | Cuter Tudor | The Red Painted Cottage The Honeycomb Home | Designs By Karan

FRIDAY

Deeply Southern Home | Rocky Hedge Farm Twelve on Main | Life On Summerhill