D I Y Monogram Wreath

I enjoy hanging a pretty wreath on my front door, but I just can’t make myself spend a lot of money on a wreath. Most get faded way too soon, and have to be replaced. Because of this, and a small budget, I usually end up making my own.

The biggest dilemma is what to do in between the holidays and seasons. I just removed my Valentines Day wreath (which I paid $1 for), and want to replace it with something till spring arrives. I started searching for ideas on Pintrest. This is my favorite source for new, budget friendly ideas. I saw a lot of holiday and seasonal ideas, but one type of wreath just kept popping up – a monogram wreath. Monograms are so popular right now, and all the craft stores carry various monogram letters in different fonts. I already had a large letter “P” for our last name, and never did anything with it. I also have several grapevine wreaths that I save and change out for this type of project. I can ususally find one at Good Will for a couple of dollars or less.  Artificial flowers are available at the dollar store, so I always have plenty left over from projects. I search through my stash and found some that I thought would work for my new wreath.

I found a picture on Pintrest of a design that I liked, and used it for my pattern. This wreath had tulips, but since I didn’t have any of those, I just used what I had. This design is from the blog Sugar Bee Crafts, called the Spring Tulip Wreath.

I liked the burlap bow, but I’m not very good at making bows. I recently found a used wreath with a straw base. It was wrapped in a ribbon with an attached bow. I decided to reuse this bow on my wreath. This saved me a little time and stress because I didn’t have to make a bow from scratch.

I began by gathering all my supplies, a grapevine wreath, flowers, bow, glue gun, monogram letter, spray paint and twine.The stems of the flowers have to be cut to separate them from the bunch. Just separate each stem and cut at the bottom with wire cutters. Next, start arranging your flowers. I just tuck them in the twigs of the grapevine wreath. Most of the time I can get them in tight, but if they won’t stay, glue them with a glue gun. I tried to lay out my flowers on one side like the tulip wreath above.

I left room in the center to place my bow.

The bow that I had was already wired, but the wire was really thick and hard to manipulate, so I cut off the access, and decided to attach my bow by tying it to the wreath with some twine. The twine will blend in with the twigs.

 

You can see how I attached the bow in this picture. I added a little glue to secure the twine, and tied it in a double knot.

If I decide to rework this wreath at some point, it will be easy to remove all the flowers and the bow. That’s why I really like using grapevine wreaths. They are really easy to clean off and reuse again. I feel like I’m getting my moneys worth because I can use it again and again.

Here is what the wreath looks like after I attached to bow to the front. I think it looks pretty just like it is, but I wanted to add my monogram. I have had my letter for a while. It has been hanging in my dinning area. Kind of reminiscent of Mary Tyler Moore and her “M” on her wall. My letter was black, so I knew that I would have to paint it to use it in my wreath. I thought about color, and decided on white. If I take the wreath apart, I can use my letter again, and I thought that white would work best for that purpose. Plus, white will show up really well in my wreath.

It took about three coats of white spray paint to ensure a solid coverage. Since my wreath will be hanging outside in the elements, I knew that I needed to spray it with a top coat of clear enamel to protect it from water damage.

I attached the letter with some glue, but found it hard to get the glue to hold on the twigs of the wreath. I finally got it to hold, but just for security, I took some twine and tied the letter to the wreath. At least I know that it won’t fall off and break if the glue comes lose.

Well, here is the completed project. I am really pleased with how it turned out. I really like the fact that this wreath was completely free. I already had all the supplies. That’s the best kind of project, right?

This was an easy wreath to make, and it looks really nice on my front door.  It looks kind of like spring because of the flowers that I used, but you could make this with just greenery. I plan to leave this up until I make an Easter wreath, and after the holiday I will probably hang this one back out again.

Give this project a try. It would make a great gift for a friend.

Homemade Goodness

Hey everyone, just thought I would do a quick post on some homemade goodness.

I went to the store on Valentines Day to purchase some cute holiday cupcakes. I was just in the mood for sweetness. I didn’t ask for any chocolates this year, but wanted a little something sweet. Do you know that there wasn’t one package of Valentine cupcakes. All that was left were cookies. I guess that I wasn’t the only one in the mood for a holiday cupcake!

Well, I thought, “I’ll just get a pack of regular cupcakes.” There were several flavors, but I just couldn’t get over the price. I kept telling myself, “I can make them much cheaper that this.” I wasn’t really in the mood to go home and bake, but I thought that me and my youngest could do it together for Valentines Day. I already had a chocolate cake mix at home, and decided to make some yummy homemade icing.

If you have never made homemade icing, you should try it. It is soooooo easy, only takes a few ingredients that you probably have already, and doesn’t cost a lot to make. It really makes a cake mix cupcake taste special.

All you need is:

1 box (1 lb.) of confectioners sugar, 1 stick of margarine, 4 Tbsp. cocoa, 1 tsp. vanilla, milk as needed to thin.

I started by softening the margarine in the microwave. Next, I added the sugar and cocoa, then the vanilla. I used my mixer to blend the ingredients together, and just add the milk as needed. This recipe was enough to cover a dozen cupcakes with a little to spare, but we piped the icing in a pastry bag so it took a little more icing than just spreading it. We had some sprinkles, and added them to the top.  I would double this recipe to cover 24 cupcakes, but one batch is enough for a sheet cake. Homemade icing taste so much better than store bought, and it saves money as well.

Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think.

Valentines Day 2017

Valentines Day is a small holiday that we celebrate to acknowledge our love for those special to our hearts. In my home, we don’t really make a big deal out of this day. Normally my husband and I will go out to eat, exchange cards, and maybe a little gift. I try to get my children a little something, nothing big. I do like the holiday because it is a nice day to remember those dear to our hearts.

This special day centers around L-O-V-E. Four little letters, place together to form a word that means so much to us all. We all want to feel loved, appreciated and special to someone. Love is vital to our joy and contentment. The Bible reassures us that  God’s true love will never fail. What is true love? The type of love that we find in God’s Word. When I say true love, I mean love built on the truth of God’s Word. This kind of love NEVER fails.

God’s Word has a lot to say about love. We are given a good description of what love is and is not in 1 Corinthians 13. Based on the Bible, “Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”

God’s love is a selfless love that “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” God’s love is kind and patient, long suffering. His love gives to others, seeking nothing in return. This type of love will never leave you alone, heartbroken, or lonely. Doesn’t that sound wonderful. God has made it possible for everyone to know His love.

John 3:16 is the easiest way to describe how much He loves us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Now that’s giving love and expecting nothing in return! God’s love sets the example for us as believers.

True love is a giving love. True love seeks to encourage others. True love puts others before self. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) The verb “lay” is the present tense which means a continual action (dying daily) for others. He tells us here that we are to daily surrender ourselves for the needs of others. We all know that we can’t do this alone, but only through the help of the Holy Spirit. When we allow God to lead us in our loving, then love will never fail.

I hope that you have a wonderful Valentines Day with those you love. Take time to remember our Lord, and His great love for us. He reminds us in John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”

       

Easy DIY Project

Do you like old plates and dishes? I absolutely love finding beautiful old vintage plates when I go out thrifting. I just can’t resist them. Usually they are very inexpensive. Good Will is one of the best places to find old stuff dirt cheap. I love to look through all the house goods, and find little inexpensive treasures.

I have been collecting old plates for a while, and knew that I wanted to use them for a plate wall. If you have never heard of a plate wall, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  Just choose your wall, and hang your favorite plates. A plate wall can be designed by color scheme or themes, or just a random assortment of great looking plates.

The one problem that I had in creating my plate wall was buying the wire plate hangers. If you are hanging a lot of plates, this can get a little pricey. My plates have just been sitting in a drawer waiting on me. Well, I found a really great blog post on a cheap way to hang plates. This tip came from the blog, The Frugal Homemaker. She has great ideas for decorating, and of course frugal tips. You can find this DIY on her projects page.

Here are a few of my collected plates:

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As you can see, I love floral prints, and the bird plate was a favorite find. I think I paid about a dollar for it. I tried to group my plates with various sizes, but similar content. All of these plates have gold trim, and three of the five have gold accents in the design.

The first step is to find your wall, and figure out how to hang your plates. I laid my plates on my dining room table, and started arranging.

Next comes the frugal tip that I discovered. You can make your own DIY plate hangers. All you need is some felt (white), glue gun and paper clips. You  simply uncurl the paper clip to make a hook.

   

Cut your felt in a small circle. Next, add glue to the hook on the back of the plate. Make sure that you are putting the hook in the right place before adding the glue. I wouldn’t want to hang my bird plate upside down. When you are sure about the location of the hook, add glue to the hook, and put glue on the felt. Press the felt on top of the paper clip hook and hold to secure.

        

This will not come off, so be sure that your placement is correct. When I purchased my plates, I knew that I would be hanging these and not using them for dining. If you would like to use your plates for dining at some point, then I would recommend purchasing the wire plate hangers. This solution worked perfect for me. My beautiful plates are now being displayed instead of sitting in a drawer. I have plans to make another plate wall, so I guess I will just have to go shopping for more plates!

               

Sorry about the quality of these photos, but you can get an idea of how nice the plates look displayed on the wall. I started with five plates, as you can see in the first picture. It just didn’t seem to fill in enough, so I added another plate to the top. The top plate has the sweetest Lilac print, (I love Lilacs)!

Have fun making your own plate wall.