Have a crafty holiday!

With the holidays fast approaching, I wanted to wish all of my readers a very happy and relaxing holiday season! I hope you are all cozy and warm, and enjoying all of the season’s festivities! If you are still looking for some last minute holiday crafts, or if you are starting to feel a bit of cabin fever, maybe some of these past tutorials will fit the bill!

bunting project

Upcycled bunting using cereal boxes do your own lettering to spell out festive words like “NOEL” , “MERRY” , or “JOLLY”, or go all out to spell longer holiday phrases! Or, use sparkly washi tape as your accent, and write “2017” for your New Years’ Eve party!

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Magazine Christmas trees I made these last year, and they did not survive in storage all too well, however they are so easy and did I mention FREE to make, that I may as well make new ones this year! Add glitter or glue on beads or small ornaments for an extra festive holiday look!

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Felt stocking gift card holders These tiny stockings are so fuzzy and cute, and such a thoughtful way to customize a simple gift. Tuck in a candy cane for an extra treat! Plus, the lucky recipient can keep their personalized stocking as an ornament for years to come.

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DIY string ornaments the name says it all- if you have some cardboard and string, you can make these! These are easy to customize as well, from ribbon bows to jingly bells and googly eyes!

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Pinecone Christmas tree the perfect combo of using natural materials and upcycled found items. Sprinkle some glitter on these cuties for the perfect “snowy tree” look!

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Pompom garland This fun and colourful project is also perfectly kid-safe, and adds such a playful and whimsical look to any space! Use any colors that match your theme for a cute look even after the holidays are gone 🙂

Wishing you all a safe and warm holiday season ❤ see you in 2017!

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Sneak peek- upcycled and thrifty DIY’s coming up!

If you are following me on Instagram (@throneandthimble) you may have already seen some of the sneak peeks I have been sharing over the past few weeks, pictures like these for example:

ribbon flower 1 bunch of flowers 1 3 bouquetsrose petals

 

These are little previews of some of the fun DIY’s I have planned for the next couple of weeks! I will be sharing with you all different techniques to make beautiful and realistic flowers out of upcycled and thrifty materials, like coffee filters and ribbon. These are perfect little project for spring, and bring light and color into any room they are in. If you have an event like a wedding coming up (like I do!) these are also great budget-friendly alternatives to expensive floral centerpieces and bouquets, and are a great solution for those of us with allergies too. I will be sharing one flower per week, focusing on the different techniques and different results you can get with very humble supplies- think dollar store and thrift store, rather than big-box craft supply stores! I hope you come on this floral journey with me, and stay tuned for all the fun projects to come!

❤ Shay

 

Crafting Disasters -or- The Reject Pile

We have all been there: excitedly take on a project and dive in head first, only to get frustrated that it does not turn out the way we wanted or imagined it, and end up feeling defeated and deflated. Nobody’s perfect! And despite what Pinterest or Instagram would have you believe, not all craft projects turn out perfectly picture worthy the first time, or at all!

scraps1Being a life-long crafter, I have known my fair share of disappointing crafts, and have had a good portion of what I make end up in the garbage. Here are some examples:

Topiary Tragedy: A few years ago I took a floral arranging class, and as it was around the holiday season, we made mini Christmas tree topiaries. Sounds cute, right? Mine was coming together nicely, having a rustic vibe going with red ribbons and gold bell ornaments. That was when I discovered a can of gold spray paint in a forgotten corner of the craft room, and decided to mist my topiary for a “golden glow”. I got carried away. Like, AWAY away. My cute little topiary ended up completely gilded, looking more like a trophy, or award for “worst Christmas topiary ever”. I was crushed, after so much work to have completely ruined it. Everyone else seemed to really like it though, and kept complimenting it, but in my mind it was all out of pity. Needless to say, the evidence has since been destroyed! 😛

Coaster Calamity: My brother is an engineer, and has a mind built for figuring out how things work, and understanding materials. We sometimes bounce ideas for projects off each other, as we both love making things. He was over for dinner and saw a box of a puzzle we had under our coffee table, alongside magazines and board games. He said: ” Wouldn’t it be cool to build the puzzle, and then cut it into squares to use as coasters? You will have to back it with some cork or felt, and coat it with some kind of lacquer to water proof and heat proof it…”. We discussed this concept in depth for a while, going over different options. After he left I decided to attempt it, and spent the next 2 weeks putting together this 1500 piece puzzle. I coated it with lacquer, and got to cutting. It turned out choppy and messy, and there was no way I could make the ragged edges look polished. After a lot of hot gluing, some felt, and ribbon to cover the edges, it looked like a miserable children’s craft gone wrong. I stopped after the first coaster and threw the rest of the puzzle in the garbage.

Bracelet Bonanza: We all had that one childhood friend who would spend recess and lunch time hunched in a quiet corner cranking out incredibly intricate colorful friendship bracelets, for those lucky chosen ones. I have mastered the braided, and wrapped style, but not much more. I was persuaded by a Pinterest project to attempt this craft again, this time adding beads and metallic bits to glam it up. In my head, I pictured it as a cool boho chic festival-style accessory. In reality, it turned out looking childish and gaudy, and none of the new knot and braid styles I was attempting to learn turned out like the picture. I was so convinced this would turn out great, that I forgot I don’t even like wearing bracelets! Needless to say, another waste of materials and time.

So how do you overcome these crafting disasters? Do you throw in the towel and exclaim “I give up!” or do you try again? Personally, I have a certain threshold for failure, and after a while I just need to step away and take a break to re-assess the situation. We can get so caught up in the idea of something turning out a certain way, or a beautifully photoshopped picture of a perfect looking craft, that we forget our own abilities and limitations. It doesn’t always turn out right! And that’s OK! you learn and you move on, but don’t let those little disasters deter you from continuing your craft journey! Just maybe in a different direction… 🙂

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What a crafty year!

Can’t believe 2015 is over so soon, and at the same time sooo looking forward to all the great things 2016 has in store! In bullet form, here are some of the personal highlights for me this year:

  • Started this blog! duhhhh!!
  • Moved to a new apartment and got to decorate it!
  • Bought an apartment, and got to renovate it! Phew… enough moving for one year!
  • Started planning our wedding for next year- stay tuned for details!

And here, at a glance, are all of the crafty projects I have posted about in the past year, as a quick reference if you are feeling crafty during these cold winter night:

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Toilet paper roll wall art

 

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Melted vinyl record bowls

 

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Beer bottle vase

 

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Recycled pennant bunting

 

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Thrifted cake plate / cake stand

 

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Painting laminate furniture

 

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Felt succulents

 

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Crisco candle

 

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Magazine paper trees

 

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Felt stockings (ornament / gift card holder)

 

I hope you find some inspiration and give at least one of these projects a try! And here’s to a crafty, inspired, thrifty, and colorful 2016! 🙂

Smash your Stash

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As I was putting away all my craft supplies after our move, I got to thinking- I have A LOT of craft supplies! I have already briefly addressed my habit of accumulating an unnecessary amount of crafting supplies in my previous post, so I got to thinking. What if… for a whole year I didn’t buy any more crafting supplies, and only used what I had? Crazy and extreme, I know! But I think it would be a good idea for a couple of reasons:

1) It will make space for more…. Just kidding! But it would help if it took up less space. So if I use it up without replenishing = more space!

2) It will challenge me to create within restrictions. From my experience, that is usually when I come up with the best and most creative ideas.

3) It will reinforce my “consume less” attitude that I already apply to other aspects of my life.

So- will it be difficult? You bet! But I am willing to give it a try. I know 1 year is a long time, but I figured with the size of my stash it will definitely last me that long. Also, a caveat- gifts don’t count! (Haha you knew there had to be a loop hole!).

Feel free to tag along with me on this challenge, or share your experiences of working from your stash!

Collecting vs. Hoarding- is your treasure really trash?

We moved! Which makes 4 moves in the past 5 years, yet I still don’t feel like an expert 😛

One of the aspects of moving I always dread is decluttering, and taking a critical look at the mountains of STUFF, and think if this is really ALL worth hauling along.
Let me be the first to admit- I am guilty of hanging on to ridiculous things with the thought that “This would be perfect in some abstract future situation”! But I think overall I keep this habit under control, restricting it mostly to craft supplies, and don’t get too attached to material possessions. This has been extremely important for me to do personally, as we mostly lived in small urban spaces with minimal storage.

This, however, is not the case for Mrs. B, my mother-in-law. She takes pride in her treasure trove of useless things that are filling up her closet, garage, and crawl-space. As an example, she has amassed a collection of 5 baby gates.  There is no current baby in her life, nor will there be any time soon, however on she goes to collect, like a squirrel at the first signs of fall.
This problem is escalated by her inability to refuse “free stuff”. By this I mean whenever a neighbor, a friend, a relative, or a total stranger says to her- “I’m getting rid of this, do you want it?” her answer will always be a resounding YES. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t actually NEED it right now, it doesn’t matter that its too big or heavy for her to carry home, it doesn’t matter that she has no use for it and even no space for it, she WILL take it.

As we were moving, we were getting rid of some things, and as always asked her first “do you need it?” and yes, we know this is making it worse, but we really needed to get rid of stuff fast and we know she would say yes, so we did it anyways. As she was loading up her car full with our STUFF, she said: “you guys know all this stuff would end up back in your hands eventually? But I know what you would do with all my treasures, donate it all straight to the thrift store”. The absurdity of the situation still strikes me, she knows we would inherit her junk and have to deal with it again, yet she collects anyways. We jokingly refer to her as a “borderline-hoarder”, but choose to ignore the facts that we are not only contributing to the problem, but that it would come back to bite us in the end, and it would again be our turn to deal with the all the STUFF. She looks at it as treasure, and chooses to surround herself with it and enjoy each piece, yet appreciates the fact that it would be dumped as soon as it is in our hands again.

Do you know a “borderline-hoarder” in your life? Do you collect “treasures” yourself? Where is the line drawn between collecting and hoarding? Leave a comment and let me know!

When your decor budget = $0

Starting from scratch. That’s a daunting thought, right? But what if that was the case: empty space, zero budget, go. How would you make it comfortable, stylish, YOU?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Up-cycle and reuse: when your pockets are empty, work with what you’ve got! Anything you can get your hands on that can be re-purposed using existing materials will work. A few examples of this are my toilet paper roll wall decor, beer bottle up-cycle, and bunting.

Hand me downs: there is NO shame in accepting previously loved pieces from friends or relatives. They may not be ideal, but they can definitely get you started! Stuck with an ugly hand me down sofa? Here are some ideas.

Learn to love simplicity: I know it can be tempting to want to fill all those shelves, hang something on every wall, and have cushions in every color and pattern. These are the things that make your space YOURS. However, restrain yourself from over-stuffing your space, as it can quickly become cluttered, fussy looking, and dust collecting! I don’t mean go totally zen and minimalist, but leaving your space relatively empty has a calming effect, makes your space feel larger and cleaner, and is great on a budget! Don’t believe me? Check out these spaces:

dorm1     bedroom

living room     dorm2


What would you do if you had to start from scratch with a $0 budget? Leave your tips in the comments! 🙂