DIY Jute Bowl for $2

wpid-wp-1427387601614.jpgA few weeks ago Brooke from WhatsupMoms posted a DIY video showing little easter eggs made out of embroidery thread. How cute! (Side note: I will post the video at the end of this post so you can enjoy it as well). I was immediately inspired to create something of my own. So, using the tips Brooke shared in the video and additional tips commenters gave in the comments, I decided to try to make a bowl instead of eggs and I decided to make it out of some left over jute I had instead of string. I just love how it turned out! And even better it cost $2 to make.

To make this you will need:

Small bottle of modge podge. (Dollar tree and dollar section at target both sell these tiny bottles that are PERFECT!)

Roll of jute twine (again, dollar tree has this)

Saran wrap

Old newspaper

Bowl to use to shape your jute bowl

Bowl to mix your modge podge with

Water

To make this you will need to:

1. Mix the small bottle of modge podge with the same amount of water. I just emptied the bottle into a bowl, filled the bottle back up with water, added that to the bowl, and mixed well.

2. Add your jute twine to the modge podge mixture and let it soak for about 10 minutes. I unrolled my jute and added it layer by layer in a circle until about a third of the roll was in. I had to press on it to be sure it was all covered in the modge podge mix. using only a third of the roll ended up being plenty of jute for my bowl and kept me from getting tangles while trying to wrap my bowl.

wpid-20150324_124214.jpg3. While your jute soaks, cover the bowl you want to use to shape your jute thoroughly with saran wrap and flip it upside down on some newspaper. It’s about to get messy.

wpid-20150324_124642.jpg4. Now you can begin wrapping your bowl with the jute. Find the end piece of the jute and place it on the bottom of your bowl. Begin swirling the jute around the bowl in loop like motions being sure that the bowl is covered evenly on all sides. Just go with however the jute wants. It feels messy and at times seems like it wont work but it does. Perfection is not your friend here.

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wpid-wp-1427387662760.jpgHERE’S A TIP: you could wrap the jute around the bowl instead of swirling it to create a different look.

5. Once you have your desired coverage, snip the jute you used from the remainder and tuck the end piece away. This is totally up to your discretion and taste preference as to how much jute you want to use to make your bowl.

6. Wait, wait wait. It took mine over 24 hours to dry completely and I had my doubts at first if it would work but it did! I ended up putting mine outside on a warmer day and that helped.

7. Once your jute bowl is dried, remove it slowly and carefully. The saran wrap will still be attached to your jute bowl and that’s okay. I found sticking a butter knife between the bottom bowl and saran wrap helped loosen it up. You can remove the saran wrap once you have the jute bowl removed from the bottom bowl.

8. Clean off the excess modge podge. There will probably be some left over modge podge dried between the different strings. Just clean that excess, dried up modge podge off a bit to give it a cleaner look.

9. Add in your decor items and place your bowl wherever you like. I added in a random, old light bulb, some leftover decor balls I had, and pine cones. Free is best right?

wpid-20150326_102306.jpgwpid-wp-1427380139072.jpgThat is it. So simple right?

What do you think? Let me know how your bowl turns out and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

And, as promised, here is the video. Enjoy!

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DIY Burlap Frame for Under $4

wpid-20150326_102440.jpgY’all (you like that southern slang eh?), anyways, y’all, it is spring! I have been enjoying getting the house decor changed in celebration of spring and summer. Out with winter and in with spring! All the changing over in decor would be the reason for my 2 week absence, but I am back with some budget friendly ideas for getting your own home decor into the spring spirit.

Whenever changing decor up I always like to start with the mantle and let the rest of the room take its cues from there. For this spring I wanted to really brighten up the mantle by adding in some metallics along with soft pinks and peaches. I also wanted to add some rustic elements into the whimsy color pallette to ground it a bit with the rest of the neutrals in the room. To do that I added in some rough wood, burlap, and jute elements. From the need to add in these rustic elements came my super easy and cheap burlap frame and today I want to share that DIY burlap frame with you!

You will need:

1 yard of burlap (or less depending on the size of your frame)

1 foam board (dollar tree has them)

Glue gun

Bread knife

Scissors

To make it you need to:

1. First, take the picture you want to frame and lay it centered on the foam board as pictured below. My picture was a print out from staples that cost me $4. If you haven’t heard about these prints available at Staples then check out this blog post to get all the information.

2. After you have your picture centered on the foam board, you want to trace the border of the picture onto the foam board as pictured below.

wpid-20150326_110155.jpg3. This line you just traced will be the line you use to create your frame size. Measure on inch below the line all the way around and one inch above the line all the way around and viola, you have a 2 inch thick frame shape to cut out as pictured below. (Note: The picture below wasn’t measured exactly. I went back, measured, and adjusted lines needing it)

wpid-20150326_110326.jpg4. Cut out your frame shape. I like to use a bread knife to do this. Gently cut. You don’t want to bend your frame.

5. Lay out your burlap. Take your cut foam board and lay it on top of your burlap. Then cut approximately 2 inches above and below the frame shape all the way around so it looks similar to the picture below.

wpid-20150324_144504.jpg6. Cut a slit in every corner like the picture below.

wpid-20150324_144552.jpg7. Then begin gluing your burlap to the back of your frame like the pictures below.

wpid-20150324_145330.jpgwpid-20150324_145407.jpg8. Fold your corners like you are gift wrapping and add a dab of glue to hold the corners in place. You want sharp corners.

9. Finally, tape or glue your picture to the back of the frame and voila, you are done.

wpid-20150326_102456.jpgI added my picture and frame to my mantle to give it a bit of a rustic feel without being too rustic. What do you think? What pictures are you re-framing this season? Don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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How to get 4x more out of your non-toxic liquid soaps

wpid-20150310_131502.jpgI love knowing that the products I am using for my family are non-toxic. I somehow get a weird sense of satisfaction when I see a non-toxic product being used by my husband or baby. Are you tracking with me or am I completely in left field here? Well, either way, in order for our family to use non-toxic products I have to find ways to make using them affordable. We have a set budget. Those numbers don’t change based on what an item costs or what is good for us. So, I have to find ways to make what I want most fit in the budget. This is why I am so excited to share this super easy tip with you today.

I know most of us have probably seen how to refill old, empty, foam soap dispensers so this idea is not my own, original idea. Although I have seen the idea a few times, I originally saw the idea on this blog. But I have not seen this tip being used by anyone to make non-toxic, liquid soaps more affordable and therefore useable by more people. By using this tip I was able to get my non-toxic, more expensive soaps down to a reasonable cost that fit within our already existing budget and hopefully this tip can help you do the same!

Here is what you will need:

1. Your liquid soap of choice

2. A foaming soap dispenser. You can recycle an old one or find some really cute options here.

3. Water

Once you have all your supplies, you need to:

1. Fill up your foaming soap dispenser 1/4 of the way with your preferred soap.

2. Fill the remainder of the dispenser with water.

3. Shake well.

4. Start using it!

It really is that simple! Here are few examples of soaps I have been able to make last 4x longer on average and the recycled foaming dispenser I use to keep the soap coming.

Using Babyganics bubble bath as a shampoo/body wash in an old babyganics shampoo + body wash foaming dispenser

wpid-20150310_113921.jpgUsing Seventh Generation hand wash in an old Target foaming hand soap dispenser.

wpid-20150310_114040.jpgUsing J.R. Watkins dish soap in an old Babyganics dish soap dispenser.

wpid-20150310_114236.jpgIt really is that simple. If you aren’t doing this yet this can be life changing for your monthly budget.

HERE’S A TIP: In some cases I will label the bottom of the dispenser so I can remember which one is hand soap and which one is baby body wash depending on how clear the actual dispenser is. This prevents you from using harsh dish soap on your baby and risking getting it into baby’s eyes.

What do you think? What liquid soaps have you been able to stretch using this method? Don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

DIY Faux Bird’s Nest…perfect for your home decor or next party theme.

wpid-wp-1424986403666.jpgI am in the process of helping create some “woodsy” decor for an upcoming baby shower. One of the projects on my “to do” list was create a bird’s nest out of some supplies supplied to me by my MIL. I managed to come up with a rather quick and easy way to create a bird’s nest on a budget and wanted to share that DIY with you today.

To get started you will need:

1. A foam wreath 7.8in wide x 1.9in.

2. Spanish Moss

3. Natural Moss or preserved moss and/or leaves

4. Hot glue gun with glue

5. Small paper plate (big enough to cover the hole in your foam wreath but not bigger than your foam wreath).

6. Decor for your nest. I used a bird, eggs, and burlap flower.

To make your wreath, you will need to:

1. Cut your foam wreath down the middle. You want it to be about 1 inch tall when laying flat. Cutting the foam was a slow process for me. The foam is very delicate and breaks easily. The key is go slow and apply as little pressure as possible.

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wpid-wp-1424986425700.jpg2. Next, you want to carefully stretch out your Spanish moss to make a moderately thick rope about the length it would take to go around your wreath. You can make one long rope or two or three shorter ropes. I made three shorter ropes like the one pictured. I found that easier to glue on that one big rope.

wpid-wp-1424986468222.jpg3. Glue your moss rope(s) directly onto the smooth side of your wreath (so the cut side  becomes the bottom of your nest). Generously drizzle glue on the top of the wreath and push and hold your moss rope onto the wreath over the glue. Don’t get stuck trying to make it perfect. As long as it sticks that’s all that matters. Once glue has dried, pull at your moss to get it to fold over the outer edges and attach around the outer edges with a dallop of glue as well. don’t worry about the inside just yet. We will get to that.

Here’s a picture of the moss glued to the top:

wpid-wp-1424986501777.jpgHere’s a picture of the moss being stretched and glued to the outer sides:

wpid-wp-1424986535495.jpg4. Now fill in those areas needing more coverage using your filler moss which can be anything from the left over spanish moss scraps to natural moss, preserved moss, and/or preserved leaves. I mixed a few of these together to get my filler moss. Just dallop some glue on the bare area on the wreath and push on a pinch of the filler moss. Using different moss in different colors adds texture and interest to your nest and really gives it a real life look. Here’s a picture of my spanish moss scraps mixed with my greener preserved moss.

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wpid-20150226_124122.jpg5. Now we finish off the inside of the nest. Glue the bottom of your paper plate to the bottom of the nest. This allows you to apply a bit more of the spanish moss, natural moss, preserved moss/leaves to the center of the wreath, fill it in, and complete that real nest look.

Here’s a picture of the plate attached to the bottom of the nest:

wpid-20150226_124103.jpgAnd here’s a picture of me filling in the center of the top of the nest after the plate had been attached to the bottom:

wpid-wp-1424987290217.jpg6. Now it is time to add your wreath decor. For mine, I attached a bird, eggs, and a little burlap flower, but your options are endless. You could put some simple robin blue eggs for a country chic look or even use foil covered eggs to hold your candy during the Easter season. Let your imagination run wild and personal preferences play into this.

wpid-20150226_123744.jpgWhat do you think? Don’t forget to share what ideas you come up with to decorate your own DIY nest. Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

And here are a few pics of how the nests were used at the recent baby shower. It’s a girl!

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DIY Gold Magnolia Leaf Centerpieces

10991117_10152828422202912_5980700450068655316_nThis post is part two continuing on from the previous blog post regarding easy, trendy, and budget friendly centerpieces. If you missed the first post check it out here. That first post discussed the first of two different centerpieces used to decorate for a Valentine’s Day banquet. The second centerpiece is the one pictured above. It is so easy and budget friendly I had to share. All this centerpiece is is a bouquet of magnolia leaves spray painted gold and displayed in a tall, slender vase.

To make this you will need the following supplies:

1. Four or five stems with 6-8 Magnolia leaves on each stem

2. Gold Spray paint

3. Vase of your choosing

To make this you will need to:

1. Spray paint your Magnolia leaves gold. This will take a few coats of paint to get all the different angles but you may find, as did I, that the gold spray paint dries incredibly quickly so it doesn’t take long.

2. Once paint is dry, make your bouquet by bunching your Magnolia stems together.

3. Secure your bunched stems together with a rubber band or twisty tie.

4. Place your secured stem base into the vase and fidget with the leaves until you have the desired shape and fullness. It really is that simple.

Also, If you want to make the vase that I used then simply buy two vases at the Dollar like this these:

20150122_103510And glue the bottoms together like so:

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imageVoila, you have a budget friendly tall and slender vase!

I added in a few vases filled with berries and floating candles as well as berry details around the table, more candles, and more gold magnolia leaves. This whole setting it centered around a gold charger used as the base. All glass was purchased at the Dollar Tree. The Magnolia centerpiece costs around $3 to make. The total table decor (centerpiece, charger, glass candle holders, and candles) costs just under $12 total. Seriously, you can get this same decor for less than $12 a table.

Another thing that I love about these centerpieces and that must be said if you plan to use these for a big event like a wedding is that you can make these Magnolia centerpieces ahead of time. I made mine two weeks before the event and it was still standing tall the night of the banquet. Such a great way to add drama and height to any table for about $3 a piece!

What do you think? And don’t forget to please share what arrangements you come up with! Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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DIY Floral Ball Centerpiece…$5 and 30 minutes

10649857_10152828422522912_7943226731867637439_nThis centerpiece is so easy and budget friendly I had to share it with you all. I am in the process of working with some talented ladies to decorate for a Valentine’s Day comedy and dinner. This is just one of the great ideas we have come up with so be on the look out for some more blogs regarding DIY centerpieces…all on a budget of course.

This centerpiece is perfect for weddings, baby showers, birthdays. The list goes on and on. Simply change up the color or the flower for a whole new look!

For this rose centerpiece you will need the following:

1. Three bunches of the flower of your choice (I chose red roses since it is for a Valentine’s Day theme and the roses I chose were from Dollar Tree with 5 flowers on each bunch).

HERE’S A TIP: Use pink roses for a baby girl shower or white roses for a wedding aisle or reception table or even your own home or office.

2. Foam in a globe shape (I used a foam apple from the Dollar Tree since actual foam globes can be pricey)

3. Hot glue gun

4. Vase to hold your arrangement (All the different options I show are from Dollar Tree)

To make this arrangement you need to:

1. Remove the head of all your flowers from the stem.

image2. Find the exact middle of the bottom of your foam globe and poke a hole there using the stem from the bottom of one of your rose bunches like so:

image3. Apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of one of your rose heads and place said rose bottom into the hole you just made like so:

image4. This is the center of your rose globe. The rest is simple. Simply make a circle of rose heads around the rose you just inserted using the same process you used to attach the rose you just inserted like so:

imageimageimageimage5. Continue this process until your foam globe is covered to your liking. For mine, I had a center and two rows around the center before I had the fullness I was looking for. I added in a few leaves to add some green but that is totally up to you.

image6. Place your arrangement in a vase for display. Here are a couple of different ideas I had for how to display your arrangement.

This first vase is made by simply gluing the bottoms of two vases together and adding a sprig of holly berries into the bottom vase.

imageThis second vase is simply a round glass vase with water and a few holly berries added in. I love this one for a home or office use.

imageThis vase is made by gluing the bottom of the round vase used in the second example to the bottom of one of the vases used in the first example.

imageI also added in some candle holders, a gold charger, gold magnolia leaves, and more holly berries to get the total look. I plan to blog about the extras in the coming week along with another DIY and budget friendly centerpiece.

And that is it! Depending on what vase you like, this floral arrangement costs between $5 and $6 to make. You could use this to spruce up the dinner table for Valentine’s Day, decorate a party or baby shower, or even as wedding centerpieces or aisle decor. Perfect for the girl on a budget. The total looks shown here (flowers, vase, candles, candle holders, charger, and gold painted magnolia leaves) costs just under $16 total. Less than $16 a table!

What do you think? As always, please share with us what arrangements you come up with! And check back soon for more centerpiece ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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Lilly Pulitzer Party Theme…on a budget

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nBaby C is 1! What an exciting time it was to celebrate with friends and family. But, oh man, what an exhausting month December was. Between Christmas and Birthday party planning, I think my husband, baby, and I were ready for a relaxing and non-eventful January. Now that everyone is rested up and recovered from December I wanted to take some time to share Baby C’s party details, DIY ideas, and budget break down.

First off, what do you do for a baby’s first birthday? I had no idea. I had never thrown one before. I decided to go with a floating birthday party all decked out in traditional party decor but with a Lilly Pulitzer twist.

Why a floating party? I decided on a floating party to give everyone freedom to come and go as they pleased. The constant change up in the party guests made for a fun time. I also decided on a floating party for budget reasons. We had invited about 50 people by the time it was all said and done. 50 people! A floating party allows snacks instead of a whole meal. Snack foods such as donuts, popcorn, fruit, veggies, pimento cheese dip, crackers, cupcakes, and punch are acceptable forms of “nutrition”. Grazing food if you will. Plus, they are all budget friendly and quite tasty.

Why traditional decor with a Lilly Pulitzer twist? I decided on traditional, old school decor for simplicity and budget reasons but wanted to spice it up. Plain wasn’t what I wanted for Baby C’s first birthday. Happy, colorful, and girly were my brainstorm ideas. What encapsulates those ideas better than Lilly??? Still, Lilly can be very pricey so I was hesitant. After a bit of looking around, I was able to find some free Lilly Pulitzer binder cover downloads for free in various well known Lilly patterns from this website. Free! That decided it for me. A trendy, chic, happy, girly yet age appropriate birthday party on a budget? Yes please!

I used the free printouts to make DIY invitations, banners, letter “C” cutouts, a number “1”, and framed pictures. Here are a few pictures of the Lilly details I was able to add…for FREE!

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Lots of fun using the paper designs everywhere I could think of. The letters are cut out of foam and the Lilly design modge podged on. The number 1 is a painted wood cut out with a Lilly design modge podged onto the front. Easy and simple yet such a fun detail. The banner was so easy. I just cut out a bunch of triangles and glued them onto ribbon. The picture “mattes” are simply cut out out to frame the picture inside. That simple. And, let’s not forget these Lilly additions were free!

Let me take you on a tour of all the stations we had at Baby C’s party. Because it was floating I wanted to have different stations to keep our guests entertained and moving around mingling. After some brainstorming, I came up with 5 stations that would help keep our guests flowing and entertained.

Our first station was the coloring station.

20141219_125549At this station guests young and old were invited to color a picture for themselves, Baby C, and/or someone they loved. This station was by far the most popular amongst the little ones. The coloring station included construction paper, crayons, polka dot can to hold the crayons, stamps, ink pads, stickers, bubble gum, a Lilly memory board filled with pictures of Baby C over the past year, an engineer print of one of my favorite pics of Baby C, farmed picture of Baby C, and a photo album to hold all of the pictures made for baby C. I simply covered my coffee table with a plastic table cloth and arranged all the supplies on the table. Most everything was purchased at the Dollar Tree except for the following: Stamps are from Target’s $3 section, Bubble gum was on sale at Target ($2), polka dot can is from Target’s $1 section, ink pads are from a local art store ($1 each), picture album from same art store ($1), engineer print is from Staples ($3),  memory board from ebay ($11). This station also included a DIY Lilly banner made for less than $1. Total for this station was $29. The memory board was a birthday gift for Baby C that I wanted to display since it matched the decor, the stamps and ink pads were already purchased for myself (I use them a ton!), and the polka dot can was from Baby C’s room. Total I spent just for decor not already owned and not a birthday gift for Baby C…$12.

Next was the sign in station.

20141219_125556At this station I used a foam board from dollar tree and modge podged one of my favorite pics of Baby C onto the center. I also purchased some trendy pens in complimenting colors from Target’s $1 section.  I had everyone write a note of well wishes or a prayer for Baby C. This way she has not just a documentation of who was at her first birthday but also a heart felt note from each guest. Total cost for this station was $3 (+ modge podge I already had).

Next was the gift station.

20141214_180531A Lilly Pulitzer banner and letter “C” above a bench already in our living room made the perfect gift station. To save a little money, I cut the letter “C” out of Dollar Tree foam board and modge podged one of the FREE Lilly Pulitzer binder covers onto it. Viola. Total Cost for the gift station was $2.

Next was the picture station.

20141219_09380720141219_093857You all, this was so fun. Whenever there was a lull in the party, I would just send the guests over to the picture station to make some fun memories. Easy. All I did was use a plastic table cloth, taped it to the ceiling in a bare corner, and taped tissue cut outs onto the plastic table cloth for decor. I added some fun props and boom, picture station complete! Table cloth, tissue paper cut outs, and props are all from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $9.

The picture station also doubled as the background for Baby C’s cake eating. She didn’t really eat any cake but I loved the cute background and pictures we got anyways.

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nAfter taking pictures, the guests ended their party journey at the food station.

20141219_125531I wanted this area to be bright, fun, and inviting so everyone would naturally gather here. Above the table were paper lanterns and streamers. On the table was a white table cloth covered by a pink one. For decor I used framed pictures of Baby C with those free Lilly print outs framing each picture, a Lilly number “1” modged podged with another free Lilly print out, a DIY Lilly banner, and a Happy Birthday banner. After this picture was taken I also added pink letters spelling out Baby C’s name to back of the table. In all the excitement I forgot to snap a picture of the completed table. My apologies. Lilly banner was a DIY, the Happy Birthday banner was a sale find at Target ($2), Paper Lanterns were also a Target sale find (under $1 each), straws, again, were a Target sale find ($2 a pack), the number is from wal mart ($1.49), frames (I spray painted them), streamers, cups, napkins, plates, silverware, and tablecloths were all Dollar Tree buys, and serving platters were all already items I had. Decorations and eating and drinking items, total, cost me $32.

Food: I purchased one bag of mini, powdered sugar donuts ($2), one box of popcorn bags ($3), cupcake supplies (I made my own from this website) ($10), punch (one 2 liter of lemon lime soda, one pint of pineapple sorbet, one can pineapple chunks) ($5), water (free). The remaining food (pimento cheese, cheese ball, crackers, fruit, and veggies) were all brought by family. So food cost me $15 with the remainder items being brought by family.

Total cost of the party for 50 people would be $90. For me, since I had some of the supplies already and some “supplies” doubled as gifts, it was $73 total for a party serving 50 people.

What do you think? As always, please share with us any budget friendly ideas and fun themes you have for your own DIY party. Check back soon for some fun Valentine’s Day decor ideas to spice up your home on a budget.

And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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Trendy Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Girl on a Budget

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Y’all, I am determined to be on top of it this year. Last year I literally had a box of Christmas decorations in the middle of my living room that sat there until Christmas Eve. I wrapped my gifts we were opening Christmas Eve ON CHRISTMAS EVE. It was a hot mess. This year I was determined to get ahead so I could actually enjoy the celebrations. Decorations are up, gifts are purchased, AND gifts are wrapped.

Since I actually got the wrapping done ahead of time I wanted to share some trendy yet easy and budget friendly ways to wrap your gifts this Christmas.

This year my inspiration was the Target dollar section. Wrapping Paper and chalkboard labels were a dollar each at Target. I picked up a huge roll of red ribbon on clearance for $4 from Wal Mart and a bag of bows from the Dollar Tree. I also picked up some cute, wooden ornaments from AC Moore at 50% off for a total of $1 each. You will notice I used the ornaments on some gifts and not on others. I gathered my supplies and set to work.

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I added on bows and chalkboard labels to all the gifts and embellished some of them with the wooden ornaments. I also just used initials instead of names on the labels. I think it makes a fun detail.

What do you think? Worth the effort or pay someone else to wrap it all next year? Let me know what ideas you come up with for your gift wrapping in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check back next week for Baby C’s party details and al the fun party DIYs  I have been working on!

If you enjoy what you are reading, feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

I leave you with this awesome video from the WhatsUpMoms YouTube channel for additional fun DIY wrapping ideas. Check it out!

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Baby C’s First Birthday…A Sneak Peek!

Y’all, please forgive my absence. I have been working on baby C’s first birthday party coming up in a week. That being said, there are plenty of fun DIY tutorials coming out of this party to share with you all so the absence is worth it! In the meantime  want to give you a sneak peek into the theme and see if you can guess what the theme is.

I am just loving all the DIY details. I can’t wait to share them all with you! So without further ado, here is a sneak peek into some of the décor I have been working on. Can you guess the theme?

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Christmas Season is Here…Let the Decorating Begin!

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It’s Christmas time! Pull out the decor, turn on the music, and let the smell of brewing apple cider fill the house! It’s time to turn our attention to celebrating Christmas!

If I’m honest, I decorated our fireplace the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I know. I know. All the “anti-Christmas before Thanksgiving” people are hissing but don’t stone me. Not yet. I have good reason. I promise. Primarily, Thanksgiving is not at our house this year and we have a first birthday for Baby C to plan. Hopefully you can look past my transgression and enjoy this post anyway.

This year’s theme for Christmas decor is “Christmas on a budget.” I enjoy giving myself a budget and seeing what I can do with it. This year I limited myself to $50 for interior decorations. It’s not a huge amount but it is workable. With that budget, I knew a few things: 1. I would need to repurpose existing decor items; 2. I would need to make some things (DIY projects); 3. Most everything I bought new would need to be at least half off; and 4. In order to get big bang for my buck I would need to cluster the majority of my seasonal decor in one area.

I want to focus on the clustering point for just a moment. Clustering your decor in one main area gives you that wow factor and a focal point. You get a big christmas feel for less money. Perfect for the girl on a budget. For me, I chose the fireplace and set out to dress it up.

Most everything I used was bought on sale, a DIY, or from a past after Christmas sale.  I will go through the decor in smaller, workable groups so you can get ideas for your own decor!

First, we have garland and scented pine cones bought after last Christmas for 50% off at Big Lots. I added that along the fireplace mantle first.

I also made some of those cool mason jar snow globes for the mantle as well. If you haven’t seen what I am talking about check out this tutorial. What did I do differently? Well, I used a glue gun instead of glue dots and some faux snow instead of epsom salt but that’s about it. I love using the fake snow rather than salt because the faux snow sticks to the sides of the jars and gives it more of a “snowy” feel rather than using the salt. Best of all about this entire mason jar project, NO WATER NEEDED. I love that. Means they will last so much longer. A seriously easy and affordable DIY project.

The chalkboard was a DIY from long ago. I use this year round and LOVE it. Interested in making your own? Check out that post here.

imageMoving along, we have a wreath purchased at AC Moore at a 3 for $10 deal. A chalkboard purchased at AC Moore for $1. (Yes, only ONE DOLLAR). I also added a wooden JOY sign purchased from target’s dollar section for $3.00. I added some color to the wreath by using some left over poinsettia’s I picked up from the Dollar Tree for another project. I also added in some candle sticks, 2 for $1, purchased from the Dollar Tree last season as well and also added in more of those scented pine cones.

imageThese wood cut outs may be my favorite part. I LOVE the funky wood cut out shape of these trees. LOVE. Got them for half off at AC Moore, totaling $5.00 each. Again, I also added in a few of those cute mason jar snow globes and topped it all off with an adorable red lantern I picked up at AC Moore for $2.00 and more of those scented pine cones.

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I also made my own stocking holders by purchasing cheap stocking holder bases from the Dollar tree and gluing on one of those mason jar snow globes onto each. Pretty much love these.

imageMoving on to below the mantle. I added in some yard sale finds from last summer and also re-purposed my basket and blanket that were already by the fireplace by adding in my “Joy” and “Ho Ho Ho” burlap pillows picked up at Target last year for $0.90 each. The pillows were originally $3.00 and were 70% off after Christmas.

imageimageAnd lastly, the tree! This tree was a $10 after Christmas purchase from two years ago. It looks pretty sad just standing alone but when you add in the ornaments, lights, pine cones, holly, and red bows it really looks awesome for a $10 tree! For this year’s tree I wanted to go along with the woodsy theme so I used white, black and silver ornaments. I got all these ornaments for 70% off at Wal Mart’s after Christmas sale two year’s ago. They are plastic and I LOVE that. No mess when one falls. No mess when my puppy nabs one and runs with it. I added in holly leaves left over from my poinsettia flowers from the Dollar Tree to help the tree look fuller. I also helped fill in gaps with my left over, scented pine cones. Lastly, I added in the bows to give the tree a pop of color and topped it all off with my star, purchased at Wal Mart for 70% off two season’s ago. I also added another $1 chalkboard from AC Moore to write the year on it and put it on the tree. This way every Christmas picture in front of the tree has the year on it.

imageI actually just added lights to it yesterday and used two strands of 100 white lights picked up from Lowes for $1.99 each, regularly $2.99 each.

Stockings were after Christmas finds as well with the exception of Baby C’s. Her’s was picked up at Dollar Tree and I thought it so fit the woodsy theme.

imageLastly, I added in some Christmas cheer with left over items all over the book shelves. Here are some ideas on how to spice up what you already have.

imageimageimageimageUsing what I already had, I spent about $35 additional dollars to get this look. What do you think? Worth the money saved or go all out for Christmas next year? Let me know what ideas you come up with for your decor in the comments below.

Working on my porch this week and I can’t wait to share with you all my budget friendly ideas. Don’t forget to check back next week! If you enjoy what you are reading, feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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