Antiquing Christmas Bells with Rub N Buff

Learn how I gave these inexpensive Christmas bells, found at any dollar store, a makeover. By adding realistic greenery, velvet ribbon, and the secret sauce to getting an antique finish, ‘Rub N Buff,‘ these bells went from cheap to antique.

Rub N Buff is available in antique gold, gold or silver leaf, spanish copper, European gold, Grecian gold, Autumn gold, ebony and pewter. Typically, I use the antique gold finish. Initially, the Christmas bells were a yellow gold and aged tin finish. However, I believe the warm, antique gold adds more character.

Rub N Buff is a wax based metallic finish that easily glides onto a variety of different surfaces, predominantly, but not limited to metal. Therefore, use it to update old light fixtures or furniture hardware. In addition, it works on glass, wood, and even some plastics. So, add an antique or metallic finish to furniture and home decor like wooden frames, mirrors or painted furniture.

What you Do to Antique Christmas Bells:

It’s demo day! To prep the Christmas bells, cut and remove the jute, tinsel like greenery, bow and unwind the burlap from the plastic ring. However, if your bells look different than these, just remove any unwanted or cheap looking parts.

  1. First, hot glue a life like sprig of faux greenery to the ring.
  2. Second, tie a velvet ribbon into a bow and hot glue the bow onto the greenery. Next, cut and glue 3 additional strands of velvet ribbon behind the greenery.
  3. Third, using a paper towel or finger, wipe ‘Rub N Buff’ onto the bells and ring. Then, buff to create a lustrous finish. When dry, hot glue bells to the bottom of the ribbon at varying lengths.

Tip of the Day: If you craft or DIY often, rubber finger cots will protect your fingers from paint, stain, inks, caulking, etc… Typically, I use my fingers to directly rub the stain on, and it takes a day to wear off. However, if you keep your nails manicured, these are handy and disposable.

Thank you for stopping by the blog to see how I transformed these Christmas bells in 3 easy steps with Rub n Buff. If you love antique finishes, be sure to read how I use vintage Christmas decorations in my home. Lastly, follow me on Instagram, Tik Tok or Pinterest for more holiday crafts and DIYS.

12 DIYs of Christmas: Snow Globe Lamp

12 DIYs of Christmas: Snow Globe Lamp

I love snow globes, y’all! There is something magical about looking into a snow filled scene!  If you love them too, check out last year’s DIY Snow Globe blog post.  I created snow globes with everything from ornaments to lanterns. This year, I am creating snow globes in lamps!

What you need for DIY Snow Globe Lamp:

Fillable glass lamp, hot glue gun, glue sticks

Faux Snow

There are so many different types of faux snow available online like Amazon.com and at craft stores, like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.  For example, there is fluffy  ‘buffalo snow,’ styrofoam bead snow, and glitter faux snow.  Any of these work!

Figurines

Bottle brush trees are my favorite.  However, deer, Santa, and snowmen figurines are cute, too.  Group items in three, like two trees and a Santa.

Directions:

  1. First, remove the lamp shade from the base.
  2. After choosing an arrangement for the figurines and trees, hot glue the bottom of the figurines to the inside base of the lamp.  Often, the lamp bases are curved upward. so this will secure them in place.  If the base is flat, there is no need to glue.
  3. Add any kind of faux snow to cover the bottom of the lamp base.
  4. Lastly, replace the lamp shade.  Enjoy your snowy scene during the holidays.

So easy, right??? Before long, you will want to make every glass container into a DIY snow globe.

Be sure to follow along all month as I share the 12 DIYs of Christmas! Plus, more decorating ideas and holiday tours of my home decorated for Christmas on the blog this December.

12 DIYs of Christmas

Day 1 – Beaded Napkin Rings for $1

Day 2 – Advent Calendar Banner

Day 3 – DIY Snow Globe Lamp

 

Tips to Style a Labor Day Tablescape

Labor Day Tablescape Inspiration

As we are approaching the last few days of August, we cannot ignore the fact that Summer is closing in on us!  If you live in the south, you know that we can not base the seasons on temperatures alone.  Otherwise, summer may never end!  We have to use events like ‘Back to School,’ the release of Starbuck’s  ‘pumpkin spice latte’ and Labor Day to tell us that Fall is on its way! Yes, the PSL is currently available at Starbucks!  I think I will hold off on that till Texas actually goes from ‘sweat weather’ to ‘sweater weather.’

Consequently, I want to share one more red, white and blue tablescape idea with y’all to honor the American workers for Labor Day.  It will be a great way to celebrate the end of summer with a backyard barbecue with friends and family. This American holiday tablescape is actually styled by my mother in law, Martha, using ideas from one of our previous July 4th tablescapes. Martha’s screened-in back porch looks amazing, so I had to share it with y’all!  I hope it inspires your next Labor Day tablescape too!

 

Collect what you love!  Then, use what you have! 

If you find something that you absolutely love, buy it! A good set of white dishes goes a long way. However, don’t be afraid to layer additional patterns and colors of plates or linens! If you want to mix your fine china and everyday dishes, or even paper plates, do it. If you want to mix your vintage transfer ware with new, outdoor melamine dishes, do it. If you want to mix polka dots, checkered patterns with floral prints, do it!  First, read these tips to learn how we mixed patterns for the table setting here!

Sources: Pottery Barn chargers, Ikea white dinner plates, Pier 1 red melamine plates & checkered napkins, vintage transferware, and HEB star plates.

 

Create a focal point.  Then, go over the top!

First, create a fun centerpiece as the focal point on your Labor Day tablescape.  A footed wooden riser adds height and sets the rest of the table apart.  However, a long cutting board or tray would work well, too.  A collection of blue and white vases, pitchers and candlesticks pulls the eye through out the table.  Think of items that you have in multiples of that you could group together to make a statement. For example, this could a collection of white milk glass vases or brass candlesticks.  In addition, mini flags, floral stems and metallic foil decorations are an inexpensive touch to decorate for patriotic and American holidays.

Next, go over the top with your decorations.  For example, a large glass vase on the buffet table is filled with lots of red and white faux florals to create a ‘wow factor’ when guests arrive.  The size of this display is impressive, but you could accomplish that will contrasting color or pattern, too.

Set the mood.  Then, have fun!

You can set the mood of a room by using a similar color theme and decor throughout the space!  By incorporating a bucket of red, white and blue pillows, and styling the buffet table, this screened in porch screams summer time!  The entire room is not only festive but welcoming, too.  Therefore, don’t forget to add a few holiday or seasonal touches throughout the entire room. Life isn’t about having a Pinterest perfect home; it is about using what you have to create a welcoming atmosphere for family and friends!

 

Thank you for stopping by the Cuter Tudor Blog! Please save this blog post to your summer tablescape Pinterest board, or share on Facebook!  You never know who you may help inspire to ‘set the table!’ Most importantly, I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend!

The Best Hot Cocoa Recipe for Christmas

The Best Hot Cocoa Recipe for Christmas 

Today I’m partnering with a group of bloggers, along with Olive and Linen to share some of our favorite holiday recipes with you. From tasty appetizers to sweet desserts and even homemade dog treats, you will find something wonderful to make for your holiday Christmas parties!  My daughter and I are sharing two of our holiday favorites, hot cocoa and hot cocoa candy sticks! At the end of the post, be sure to check out the rest of the amazing recipes on the blog hop.  Most importantly, I will share a code to get 30% off your next order of Turkish towels at Olive and Linen.  Plus, details to win a $100 gift card from Olive and Linen just by commenting on this post!

 

hot cocoa recipe

 

Olive and Linen Turkish Towels and Throws

First, let me tell you about Olive and Linen, because I think you will love the products as much as I do!  They carry an assortment of beautiful, super soft bath and kitchen towels and throw blankets.  I like that the linens are handmade with traditional weaving techniques and made from high quality materials sourced in Turkey.  Each linen is lightweight, yet surprisingly so absorbent.   Therefore, they not only look great in my home, but work well to clean up spills.

 

The striped throw blanket is my favorite because I love how soft the fabric feels, without being heavy.  My daughter Callie is already trying to claim it as hers.  The hand tied tassels are a nice detail too! You can find it here!

 

One of my family’s favorite Christmas Eve traditions is looking at Christmas lights after dinner.  First, we pack some homemade treats and hot cocoa in a thermos.  Then, we grab a cozy blanket, hop in the car, play Christmas tunes while driving around looking at Christmas lights.  There are quite a few extravagant displays in our town.  Now, let me share the sweetest hot cocoa recipe with y’all!

Hot Cocoa Recipe

Hot Cocoa Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups  milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla or peppermint oil
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Hot Cocoa Recipe Directions

  1. Pour all ingredients except chocolate in a large pot on the stove top on medium heat.  
  2. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until mixture is well blended.  Turn heat to low.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir occasionally until melted.

Serve immediately or keep warm in a crock pot on low heat.  Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, peppermints, or red hots as you like!  I like to add a red hot to the top of my whip cream swirl when hot cocoa is served in my Santa mugs!

Hot Cocoa Candy Sticks Recipe

Hot Cocoa Candy Sticks Recipe Ingredients

  • Candy canes
  • Simply Melt chocolate melting chips
  • Large marshmallows
  • Assortment of sprinkles, small candies like peppermint crunch, red hots, or chopped nuts.

 

hot cocoa recipe

 

Hot Cocoa Candy Sticks Recipe Directions

  1. Insert unwrapped candy canes into marshmallows.
  2. Melt Simply Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  Start with a minute in the microwave, stirring in 30 second increments thereafter until melted.
  3. Dip the marshmallow in melted chocolate. using a spreading knife to cover in chocolate if necessary.
  4. Dip the chocolate covered marshmallows in sprinkles, nuts or small candies.
  5. Place on parchment paper to harden, then immediately place in air tight container.  These can be individually wrapped in plastic treat bags.

Hot cocoa candy sticks are one of my daughter’s favorite things to make at Christmas.  These are great to make when serving hot cocoa to use as stir sticks, or they can be eaten individually.  Certainly, they are easy enough for older kids to make at a holiday party, too!  Just leave melting chocolate in a small crock pot on low.  Then, have a variety of candies and sprinkles available in small bowls.  Kids will love dipping chocolate covered marshmallows in their favorite candies. Therefore, these hot cocoa candy sticks make a great addition to your hot cocoa bar whether you make them ahead of time or set up a station for guests to make their own.  If you missed my holiday tablescape with a hot cocoa bar, read it here.

Favorite Christmas Recipe Blog Hop

The Christmas season is a great time to say ‘thank you’ and give back to our loyal readers.  Not only is Olive and Linen offering you 30% off any purchase using the code MERRY30, but they are giving you a chance to win one of three $100 gift cards to their shop.   All you have to do is comment what you favorite recipe is in this comment section to enter.  The winner will be chosen randomly on Dec 22nd, 2018.  You can follow along at @oliveandlinen on Instagram to see if you win.  Don’t forget to pin this post to your Christmas Recipe board on Pinterest.  Enjoy all of my friends’ delicious recipes below.

Tx Sized Home – Holiday Fudge

Simple Cozy Charm – Christmas Tree Charchuterie

CG Home Interiors – Coconut Lemon Cheesecake Fat Bombs

Turquoise Lifestyle – Homemade Puppy Chow

Designs by Karan – Cherry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Gathered Grace – Puff Pastries and Cream Tarts

My 100 Year Old Home – Honey Brie with Pomegranates

The Pickled Rose –  Homemade Dog Treats

 

I hope these recipes sound tasty enough for you to make!  My kids tell me that the hot cocoa recipe is like drinking melted chocolate!  Similarly, I am pretty sure that Santa would approve!  Thank you again to Olive and Linen for sponsoring this post!  However, all opinions are my own. I am really impressed with the quality of these Turkish towels and linens, and think they will make a wonderful gift to friends, family or even yourself.  Most importantly, happy holidays, y’all!

Vintage Christmas Decor to DIY with Architectural Finds

Vintage Christmas Decor to DIY with Architectural Finds

A few months ago, I found three architectural pieces at the junk store for $3 each. I knew that the chippy paint and wood character would look great grouped together in a gallery wall, so I brought them home.  Later, I remembered these mini wreaths with greenery that I had used as napkin rings for a tablescape.  I thought that they would look cute hung on the architectural finds.  Within a few minutes, I was able to create this DIY vintage Christmas decor using items that I already had.  Next time that you are out thriftin’, keep your eyes open for chippy architectural finds that you can add into your decor.  I used these vintage wood moldings, but you can also cut wood planks from an old fence or dismantle the sides of an old crate.  I just love the charm and character of old wood, especially finds from old homes. 

 

architectural finds, mini wreath

 

What you need to make your Vintage Christmas Decor: 

  • faux greenery twine or fresh sprigs of greenery
  • mini grapevine wreaths 
  • holiday figurines like bottle brush trees, deer
  • vintage architectural pieces – cut planks of wood work too
  • hot glue gun and sticks

 

Make the Mini Wreaths

The mini grapevine wreaths are from Hobby Lobby and the boxwood greenery twine is from the Target Dollar Spot.  First, I took my greenery and looped it through the grapevine wreath.  If necessary, you can add a dot of hot glue to hold in place.  Next, I took my craft bag of mini Christmas figurines and chose a few that worked well together.  You can find figurines in the craft stores like Michael’s or Joann’s.  I love the look of the vintage christmas looking ones, like the white bottle brush trees.  Using hot glue, I glued the bottom of figurines onto the center of the grapevine wreaths. For a grouping or set, make sure your figurines work individually and together.  

 

Assemble the Wreath on the Architectural Find

Lastly, hot glue the mini wreath onto your architectural find. To add a hanger, you can nail a saw tooth hook to the back.  However, I was in the craft room and made a quick hook by twisting a 3 inch piece of pipe cleaner into a loop. Then, I hot glued the loop to the back with a lot of hot glue.  These are hung using 3m hooks, since I didn’t want to add a nail into my wall for seasonal decor.  

 

Hang and enjoy!

I love the little reindeer and bottle brush trees. They have a nostalgic feel of Christmas time at your grandparents’ home that I am always drawn towards.  Paired with the chippy architectural finds, it is vintage Christmas decor that I could totally keep hanging around year round!  Maybe for the Spring, I can replace the deer and trees with flowers.  Hmmmm, my wheels are always turning!  

 

Thank you for stopping by the Cuter Tudor!  If you love Christmas DIYs as much as I do, check out the my DIY snow globes on the previous post, Christmas DIY Blog Hop.  Most importantly, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! When things get really busy during this time of year, I tend to retreat and stay home.  I will always be a homebody, especially when it is cold outside and I just want to be cozy.  However, I think it is important to be intentional with our time.  Do some baking, make some crafts and enjoy the little things this holiday season. It is the traditions that always bring us home, even if home is just a feeling!