The Giving Basket

As someone who loves to decorate, changing seasons, and holidays, this time of year is my favorite. I call the time between late October and December the ‘Fallidays.’ Not only are there fun holiday traditions, but my home is typically decorated with beautiful Fall inspired textures and twinkly Christmas decor. However, another reason that I love this time of year is because gratitude and gifting are prevalent. By gifting, I don’t mean buying the latest and greatest gifts to give, but rather sharing of our God given gifts, talents and blessings.

For some, their gift may be that they are a great cook, or good listener and encourager. Others may have a heart to help the needy by serving a meal, or donating to a shelter. Whatever your gift, I encourage you to share it with others. I enjoy baking treats, hosting family and friends in my home, and decorating Christmas trees for others. While you may not think that your gift is a big deal, it may be the answer to someone’s prayer or simply the break that someone needed after a long, stressful day.

The Giving Basket

You have probably heard of a giving plate. However, let’s make it a giving basket because a basket can hold all kinds of baked goods that are perfect for sharing during the holidays. Think of all the fresh baked breads, cookies, muffins and pastries that you can share with friends, family, and neighbors.

This basket shall have no owner
for its journey never ends,
it travels in a circle 
of our family and friends.
It carries love from home to home 
For everyone to share,
The food that’s placed upon it 
was made with love and care.
So please enjoy what’s in the basket
Then fill it up again,
Then pass along the love it holds 
to your family and friends!

Shop vintage bread baskets, From: Susie. When using anything vintage for food service, I line the basket with parchment paper. Then, place a pretty napkin or tea towel inside before putting in baked goods. Lastly, I tied with a pretty ribbon and tuck in a few sprigs of seasonal stems.

Use code Cuter10 for 10% everything at From: Susie.

My mother in law found an amazing recipe that tastes better than the Starbucks Pumpkin Bread, here. So, she made these pumpkin bread muffins for our family. The batch didn’t last 24 hours in our home. Thank you, Martha! It was a nice surprise on Sunday morning to see you with a basket full of muffins and fresh fruit.

Read our Gift Gasket Guide for tips to put together a thoughtful gift for friends and family. Lastly, I hope your holiday season is filled with many blessings as you share your gifts with others.

How to Make A Potpourri Mix

Recently, I sliced and dried red pear and orange slices for simple holiday decorations. Soon after, I realized that the dried fruit would look pretty in a bowl of potpourri, too. It is so simple to make, y’all! Therefore, I decided to share how to make a potpourri mix with y’all.

Making potpourri is fairly easy and a great way to add a seasonal scent into a room. Plus, it is an inexpensive, eco-friendly gift idea for friends and family. Simply, place in sachets or jars and tie with ribbon.

Spritz. Store. Enjoy.

How to Make a Potpourri Mix

Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant materials displayed in a decorative bowl or basket. There are many different kinds. Therefore, you can choose from this list of suggested materials what goes into your potpourri. First, choose any greenery, spices, or herbs for natural scent. Then, add color with dried flowers and fruit. Woody materials are absorbent and will hold the scent well. Lastly, extra oils will elevate the scent.

What You Need:

  • Dried greenery – pine, eucalyptus, bay leaves
  • Dried fruit – sliced citrus, apples, pears
  • Dried spices or herbs- cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise
  • Dried flowers – rose buds or petals, lavender
  • Woody filler – pinecones, nutmeg, driftwood, sola wood flowers
  • Essential oils in spray bottle or oil based room spray
  • Airtight container or gallon ziplock bag

How to Dry Oranges

You can find more ways to use dried oranges and tips to drying fruit on my friend Susie’s blog. For example, click here to read “How to Dry Oranges” or this blog post for beautiful Natural Gift Wrap Ideas.

1. Preheat oven to 170°F. 

2. Cut oranges into 1/8 inch slices. 

3. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a baker’s mat. Then, pat orange slices with a paper towel to dry. Next, lay them on the cookie sheet in a single layer. 

4. Bake for approximately 4-6 hours or until dry. To ensure the slices dry evenly and not curl, turn them over every hour. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before using.

The rose buds are dried from Valentine’s Day years ago.

Essential Oils

You can use a combination of your favorite essential oil scents like citrus or cypress. I purchase essential oils from Doterra, because I know that they are pure and high quality. In addition, I love the Krumpet’s home sprays for the holidays. Find them, here. My favorite scents are the cinnamon, ‘Christmas’ (sweet berry) and shiplap (woodsy).

When working with oils, be aware that some may stain or can be irritable to skin and eyes. Therefore, it is a good idea to wear gloves when handling materials directly covered in oil. However, I wash my hands thoroughly after this project. In addition, I do not spray directly on my wood table or use containers that are used for food.

What You Do:

  1. Gather your materials and spread them out on newspaper or in a flat bowl. Spritz your materials with 15+ sprays of your choice of essential oil.
  2. Wait a few minutes to dry, and store mixture in an airtight container. For example, a lidded jar or ziplock bag works great. Leave this to ‘marinate’ for 48 hours.
  3. Then, pour mixture into a decorative basket or bowl to enjoy for weeks. Once scent begins to dissipate, simply respray.

You can use my code CUTER10 for 10% off everything in the shop, From: Susie. For instance, I display my potpourri in this vintage bread basket that Susie and I found in Round Top, Texas.

If you enjoyed this learning how to make a potpourri mix, save this to your Pinterest board for ‘Things to Make.’ Happy crafting, y’all!

12 DIYs of Christmas 2019: DIY Snow Globe Container for Treats

12 DIYs of Christmas 2019

DIY Snow Globe Container for Treats

Today, I am sharing the 6th DIY of the 12 DIYs of Christmas 2019, y’all! This easy Christmas dessert snow globe container is a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends or favors for kids Christmas parties. The best part is that you can fill them up with any kind of treat. My favorite is white chocolate popcorn, but store bought candies works great too.

DIY Snow Globe Container

The DIY snow globe container cost me about $5 to make with supplies from Dollar General. However, most craft stores like Joann’s or Hobby Lobby will have these items, too.  It only takes about 5 minutes to make! Here’s what you will need…

Supplies:

  • plastic mason jar style container
  • clear plastic round ornament
  • small Christmas figurines like mini trees, snowmen and deer
  • faux snow
  • hot glue/glue gun
  • ribbon

Directions:

Step 1. Take the clear plastic ornament apart (it comes in two halves) and snap off the small hanger.  You can see it pictured on the left.  You only need one half of the ornament per container.

Step 2. Remove the two parts of the lid.  Hot glue 2-3 small figurines onto the flat part of the lid. I like grouping a deer, Santa or snowman next to a tree.  Snip the top of the tree with scissors, if necessary to fit under globe.

Step 3. Next, hot glue the fuzzy faux snow onto the lid, around the figurines. If you can not find this exact lid, hot glue the figurines, then faux snow & the round ornament directly onto the lid.

Step 4. Lace ribbon through the holes of the circle lid.  Then, replace and hot glue the flat lid inside the circle lid. Lastly, hot glue the round ornament on top of the circle lid.

Step 5. Fill the container with any kind of treat.  Then, replace the lid and tie the ribbon on.

 

Easy Christmas Dessert

In addition, I filled these containers with my family’s favorite white chocolate popcorn treat. It happens to cost about $5 and 5-10 minutes to make 5 cups, too. Find the delicious recipe, here. Basically, you pour melted white chocolate over popcorn, stir, pour onto a cookie sheet, and add your favorite holiday sprinkles and small candies.

 

 

I hope you enjoy this 6th holiday inspired DIY in the 12 DIY’s of Christmas.  Here are the previous projects shared in the 12 DIYs of Christmas 2019,

  • Holiday berry napkin rings for $1, here
  • Christmas countdown calendar here
  • DIY snow globe lamp, here
  • Christmas candy Tray, here
  • Home for the Holidays wood ornament, here

Now, tap the red pin on the top left of the picture below to save this blog post to your ‘Christmas Crafts‘ Pinterest Board.  I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas 2019, y’all!

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.

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Home Decor Lover

Shop from this list of thoughtful and affordable Valentine’s Day gifts for your wife, girlfriend, or significant other that loves home decor! 

 

As a self proclaimed ‘homebody,’ I can think of no better Valentine’s Day gift than breakfast in bed! So, I am sharing some of my favorite small shops to decorate my master bedroom for Valentine’s Day. You can drop a hint to your sweetie, and send him this link.  Wink, wink!  Maybe you will get breakfast in bed, or a box of my favorite Valentine’s Day decor finds while supporting small business!

 

valentines day gift ideas

 

Made with Love

Recently, my bedding had become worn out.  I opted for a quick update to my master bedroom with a new white down comforter and striped duvet set from Blue Bird Linens.   Slipping on a duvet cover can quickly refresh a space, and hide an old, but comfy comforter.  The crisp white comforter is so soft, lightweight and keeps me warm.  I chose the striped duvet so that I can add some fun pops of color throughout the changing seasons!  First, I am adding some fiery red for Valentine’s Day!

If you use code, “CUTER,” you can get 30% off all purchases of down comforters, duvet and sheet sets.  These are the only ones I have been using for the past 2 years.  They are great quality and very affordable.  My husband even commented on how soft they sheets are. And y’all know men don’t notice anything except what’s between the sheets!

valentines day gifts for her

 

Pillow Love

Seasonal and holiday themed pillows are my favorite.  They are a quick way to add a pop of color and change up the mood of a room.  I love that the pillows from Krumpet’s Home Decor are double sided.  In addition, the burlap pillow from Panel Pillows comes with 6 interchangeable themed panels that store nicely in the back via a zippered pocket. Plus, you can buy additional themed panels individually to suit any occasion. Both of these would make a great Valentine’s Day gift for anyone that loves to decorate for the holidays.

Signs of Love

I may be slightly obsessed with this collection of Valentine’s Day signs from Krumpet’s Home Decor.  They come in an assortment of sizes, so you can mix and match them into a fun gallery wall or use them individually in a vignette. You can get 10% off Krumpet’s Home Decor with code CUTERTUDOR!

valentine's day decor

Valentine’s Day Styled Trays

Whether I use a tray to style some of my holiday finds or serve breakfast in bed, trays are one of my favorite things to decorate my home with.  This beautiful wooden tray is great, because it folds up for easy storage.  Both trays are available at CurtisCreation.com.  To decorate trays, I tend to use some kind of faux flowers, mini signs, a stack of white bowls, wooden beads, and some kind of fun holiday themed decoration.  If you love home decor, you can find lots of ideas for Valentine’s Day gift ideas at Curtis Creation!

P.S.  This striped throw with tassels is from Olive and Linen.  They are another favorite place to shop for beautiful Turkish towels and throws.

Valentine’s Day Gift of Love

Be still my heart.  My husband’s grandmother had a hand painted pendant with a portrait of her two children that she wore often.  I always admired that piece of jewelry because I knew how special it must have been to always keep her kids close to her heart.  Consequently when I saw this silhouette jewelry, I knew I had to have one.  These are more than pieces of jewelry, they are family keepsakes.   Perfect Valentine’s Day gift, y’all!

This silver pendant displaying my family’s portrait is the best gift a mom can get!  No kids?  Then, you can capture any family member, spouse or even your pet in a silhouette!  I ordered mine from Von Jet Silhouettes which takes just a few seconds to upload a pic and order.  These are handmade, so orders take a few weeks to process.  Therefore, be sure to order early!  You can choose from a variety of jewelry like necklaces, charms for bracelets, or wood silhouettes for your family gallery wall.

 

Thank you for stopping by the Cuter Tudor! I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!  Most importantly, remember the best gift that you can give yourself is SELF LOVE.  The best gift you can receive is GOD’S LOVE.

 

valentines day gifts

valentines day decor

Pin this to your Pinterest board, y’all!