Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Acorn Wreath! DIY

We have tons of acorns and pine cones in our front yard.  I LOVE Fall so I was jonesing to find a cute craft to use them.  I did use some of them on our Autumn themed mantel this year, but I needed a way to use the rest!  Last year Cady and I did a Fall themed ribbon wreath, but I was sort of tired of it so I decided "hey!  I could make an acorn wreath!"  There are tons of them on sale online and even other tutorials, but I figured it would be super easy and I was right.  It also cost me less than 10 bucks so that is the real win!

First things first... You gotta find a super cute 1 year old to help gather acorns!

Fortunately I have one of these (if you don't, gather them yourself or grab any size kid, hubby, aunt, uncle, etc)!  Cady isn't as interested in doing crafts me with anymore (she's 13 and can't seem to get her face out of her phone...), but Milo loves hanging out and picking up dirty acorns, sticks, pine cones and anything else his chubby little hands can find.  I think one of my favorite parts of the holidays is doing crafting with the kids.  I've got a few pinned that will interest Cady and even a few that Milo can participate in.

Cleaning & Baking (don't skip this - you don't want outside critters infesting your house!):
Bring your Fall goodies inside and rinse them in the sink.  I use our plastic colander so that I can really shake, bounce and sift all of the dirt off - you may have to do this a couple of times depending on how big your colander is and how many acorns you collect!  I run the colander through the dishwasher afterwards to make sure it gets sanitized.  Put your acorns on a few papertowels to get the excess water off and then line a cookie sheet (or 2) with aluminum foil.  Dump your acorns (and pine cones if you have them) on the sheets and make sure they are single layer.

Once they are finished baking, let them cool.  You can leave them in longer, but I've found that 20 - 30 minutes at 200 degrees works perfect.  One time (yes, I've baked quite a few batches of acorns!) I cranked the heat up because I was going to multitask and preheat my oven for something else and the acorns started popping!  Like they seriously EXPLODED!  Another tip, before I put them in the oven I sprinkle them with cinnamon.  It makes them smell nice.

You'll need a Styrofoam wreath - whatever size you want, I used a 12 inch because that's what I had.  I wouldn't go much bigger because you'll need a TON of acorns and it could get too heavy.  I saw some really cute mini ones for sale online that looked like they were about 5 inches.  You'll also need ribbon, straight pins and a glue gun.

The ribbon was (obviously) 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  You KNOW you should never buy anything that is not on sale at Hobby Lobby...  And you probably won't use the whole roll.

Wrap the ribbon around the wreath, securing it with straight pins (see pic below).

Next I sorted thru the acorns.  I used plain ones for the first layer to cover the wreath.  I mainly covered the front of the wreath and the bottom inside.  There is no need to cover every square inch but if you want to, go for it!  I saved some of the "prettier" acorns to glue on as a partial second layer.  I also glued the tops of the prettier ones onto the acorn so it wouldn't fall off later.

Like I said, the second layer is just a partial one.  I mostly used it to pretty up the wreath with the capped acorns and fill in any gaps.

Lastly I bought a roll of thick burlap ribbon to use for a hanger (again 50% off at Hobby Lobby and you won't use nearly all of it).  I folded it lengthwise and then made a bow at the top (folding it lengthwise make it extra sturdy and also gives the bow extra volume once you fluff it out).  You can use the leftover burlap on other fall or even Christmas decor!

Voila!  I love it!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Autumnal Decorations

For real, autumnal is one of my favorite words.  I like to say it and then people always ask, "what does that mean?" and I say "it means autumn-like or fallish".  I was just saying it to Cady the other day and when I told her what it meant she said "I'm totally going to start saying that.. autumnal..."  Ha!  Anyway, I know I RARELY blog anymore, but I decided to take on the Fall Decoration blog it challenge.  I'm only going to share our fall decorations that are on our mantel because, well, those are the only ones I put up.  First things first, I'll share a big pic of our fireplace - and you might notice something...

Our fireplace is now white "ish".  Post about that HERE.  Most... actually ALL of our fall decorations are old.  I didn't but one thing except the bag of mixed mini pumpkins that I picked up at Walmart for $4 when we were grocery shopping over the weekend.

1. sticks from an old arrangement that I had to dig out of the attic.  They are in an apothecary jar that I picked up from Hobby Lobby last year.  I also put acorns from our side yard in that jar.
2. another apothecary jar I picked up from Hobby Lobby last year. I filled it with pine cones from the yard (hoping to get more as the season progresses).  It's topped with a fall garland that I got at Micheals at least 5 years ago.
3. Hobby Lobby harvest swags that I've had for several years.  They still have similar ones.  NEVER pay full price for anything at Hobby Lobby by the way.  We don't buy it unless it's 50% off (all the fall stuff is already 50% off now) or we have a 40% off coupon - found online).
4. My "Give Thanks" framed art I made last year - you can see some of last year's stuff in this POST... I literally bought a piece of scrapbook paper that looked like linen and then played around with different fonts on Microsoft word and printed it out.  I framed it in an old frame (we have tons of these art frames around - I've learned they are perfect for re-purposing).
5. My homemade boxwood wreath!  I love it.  I added a couple of burgundy eucalyptus sprigs to make it a little more autumnal <-- there I go again.

The lantern (don't you love it?!) that hangs from below the mantel is also a 50% off find from Hobby Lobby.  The candle is one of those battery operated ones that you can turn on or set a timer.  The flickers give the whole fireplace an extra homey look.

P.S. Sorry for all the crappy phone pics... I honestly don't have the time or energy to actually get a real camera out and take pics anymore.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Little Sherlock Costume

Quick and easy and cost us about 10 bucks!  We already had some of the crafting supplies so you may have a lot of this laying around the house as well.  First thing I did was sit down and plan the absolute most easiest pattern I could think of.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the contemporary Sherlock movies/shows out there (here, here and here) but I was going for the classic Sherlock Holmes look.  I drew inspiration from these pics I found on Google:

I knew there was no way I could make a trench coat with my rudimentary sewing skills so I decided on a long "vest" and short "cape".  The effect is the same and it was easy peasy. (Please excuse these horrible drawings, but it's what I used).



Here are the supplies you'll need:

1. Measure your kiddo for the length you want the vest to be (top of shoulders to the knees).  Remember to allow for hems/seams.
2. Cut your material to the shape in the first pattern pic above.
3. Fold on the fold lines and then sew those tabs together at the top.  The top doesn't have to be "pretty" - it's covered by the cape.
4. Finish all the rough edges with a hem (you could use fabric glue as well).
5. I added pieces of velcro to use as closures in the front.  I then glued on 2 buttons so that it looked more finished (pic below)  FYI - I had to snip the back of the buttons off so they would be flat once I glued them on.

1. Measure your kiddo to find out where you want the edges of the cape to hit on his/her arm.  I measured from Milo's elbow to the center of his neck and then to the other elbow and then added a few inches to allow for a hem.
2. My measurement was 22 inches (then I added 2) so I cut a 24" diameter circle. 2nd pattern pic above.
3. Next I cut a slit all the way to the center.
4. I finished by hemming all the rough edges (I folded the edges in about a half inch then ironed it so I would know where to sew).  Again, you could totally use fabric glue.  (see pic below).
5.  Lastly, I put the cape on him and marked where it should close.  Glue or sew a 10 inch piece of ribbon on each side where you marked it so that you can tie the cape closed at the neck.  You could also just use the velcro/button method from the vest on the cape, but I liked the look of a ribbon.

MAGNIFYING GLASS: Martha Stewart has a similar one online (you could probably google it - she uses a foam brush stick instead of a dowel).  We already had a dowel from another project and we have plenty of mason jar tops around here.  (You could purchase a cheap plastic magnifying glass if you don't want to make one.)

1. You can glue the mason jar lid to the top of your dowel, but I had hubby use a screw. Our toddler can tear stuff up so I figured it would last longer if it was secured better!
2. Give it a few coats of black spay paint and that's it!

HAT AND PIPE:  There are also a few tutorials on how to make a "detective hat" out there as well.  However, I found a Hat that came with a plastic toy pipe for less than 5 bucks on Amazon so I went with it.  Our shipping is free (hello Amazon Prime!!!) so it was worth it!  The tutorials require you to buy 2 caps then add material on the sides with ribbon at the top.  It would still be inexpensive if you decide to go that route as well.


Milo wore a pair of khakis and a long sleeve white shirt underneath.  I think it's adorable!

plaid material - 50% off at Hobby Lobby 1.99 a yard. (you'll need 2 yards)
black ribbon - 50% off at Hobby Lobby .99 for 15 feet.  I used less than 2 feet so you can have this for future projects if you don't already have some at home.
Classic coat buttons - 50% off at Hobby Lobby - .99 for 3.  I used 2.
velcro - we already had some.  You only need a couple of inches.  You could also actually USE the buttons but I'm no good at sewing button holes!
needle/thread - we already had some.  Pick up fabric glue if you don't want to sew.
Magnifying glass - I had all supplies already
Hat & Pipe - 4.49 from Amazon

You can EASILY do this costume for less than $15... It would cost you more to buy one and it's more special if it's homemade, right?

Milo also wore his to a cosplay convention here in Dallas (Fan Days) and it held up perfectly!  Here's a pic of him during the costume contest on stage:

People were stopping us right and left to take his picture!

Thanks for stopping by - enjoy your little Sherlock if you decide to make one!