Pinecone Trees- Holiday Decor

I love to upcycle and use unusual materials, especially when it comes to holiday decor! (for an example, check my magazine trees from last year here). Here is another example of DIY holiday decor, using pretty much 90% upcycled materials! Bonus points for the cozy rustic feel 😉

First, you will need pinecones. Ideally, you would be able to collect these from nature if it is dry enough outside. If you get soggy pinecones, lay them out to dry in a warm spot, or pop them in the oven on a very low temperature (this also kills any creepy crawlies that may have tagged along!)

For the base, use a bottle cap! You can decorate it as you please- paint, stickers, gems, whatever you happen to have on hand! Or leave it plain, that works too! Use hot glue to attach the base to the bottom of the pinecone, and check to make sure it is standing up straight.

pinecone-tree-before

For the star at the top, and the ornaments, use beads, pom poms, even rolled up tin foil! You can also cut up a string of mardi-gras beads (you know you have a strand hiding in your junk drawer!) which makes the perfect metallic look ornaments.

pinecone-tree-after

You can stand these up on your mantel or along a window ledge as a little pinecone forest, or attach a loop of ribbon at the top to transform your pinecone tree into a festive ornament! It will look perfectly natural and rustic on your tree, or draped over a bottle of wine as a gift embellishment!

Feel free to make your tree your own- you can paint it, add glitter, or puff paint along the edges for a snowy look!

pinecone-pin

If you are trying this project with kids, a safe process is to encourage them to select the ornaments they like, and point to you where they would like each one placed, and you handle the hot gluing, to protect little fingers!

I hope you try this fun and quick holiday craft, these are great to make especially when it is cold and snowy outside! 🙂

3 easy ways to paint glass jars & bottles

jars-pin-1

It is so nice to finally ease back into the swing of things! I have several upcoming posts planned, sharing some of the (many!) DIY’s I did for my wedding. I promise these are not all wedding specific, and will work beautifully for any other event or party, or just as well for your home or room decor.

I have been seeing these beautiful painted jars everywhere on Instagram and Pinterest, with styles ranging from matte rustic, to glam metallic. They are an affordable way to add style to any space, and the ways you can use them are endless! As an added bonus, these fit perfectly with my preferred path of crafting, to reuse or upcycle existing supplies! There are so many different ways to paint glass containers like jars and bottles, here are some of the ways I’ve done it:

First, getting your jars and bottles ready:

You can save any glass container that you bring into your home, anything from jam jars, to syrup bottles and tomato sauce jars / bottles. You can also find these in thrift stores or garage sales, and they are normally very affordable- I picked up a whole bunch for $0.20 each! Make sure your container is clean and dry, and doesn’t have any glue residue from labels. One trick I learned from my sister to clean up sticky leftover glue is to use a dish detergent tablet and scrub with a bit of water- it dissolves the glue, and provides abrasion to scrape it away. If your container has a “best before” date stamp on it, use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a cotton pad to easily remove it.

glass-jars-painted-inside
Method # 1: Painting the inside

This is by far my favorite method, as far as the result it gives. You can use any kind of opaque paint, I have tried regular wall-type latex paint, as well as craft acrylic paint, and they have both worked well. There are 2 approaches, depending on the type of container:

Wide-mouth jars: Use a paint brush to paint the inside of the jar. Depending on your paint, multiple coats may be required to achieve desired level of opacity. Leave jars upright to dry between coats.

Narrow-mouth bottles: Pour a small amount of paint into the jar, and swirl and spin your bottle so that the paint evenly coats the inside. This works best with less viscous paints, so you may need to dilute if the paint you are using is too thick. Turn bottle upside down to drain out remaining paint. Leave bottle upside down on a newspaper to continue to drain as it dries, and move it to a clean spot every few minutes.

Pros: Glass exterior retains its durable and glossy finish, highlighting any design elements in your jar like raised decorative bumps. Minimal brush strokes are visible.

Cons: pretty time consuming, especially when multiple coats are needed. May not be waterproof, if you are planning to use your container for real flowers in water.


glass-jars-painted-outside
Method # 2: Painting the outside

Same kind of paints work well here, the more opaque the better! This method works regardless of the shape of your container. Simply use a paintbrush to cover the outside of your glass container with thin coats of paint, being mindful of the direction of your brush strokes. To minimize the look of brush strokes, alternate direction with each new coat of paint.

Pros: Super easy! Allows you to choose the finish, depending on the paint you use- matte, chalky, textured, glossy, even sparkly!

Cons: In most cases multiple coats are needed. Visible brush strokes. Depending on the type of paint, may rub off easily if not sealed with a top coat.

silver-spray-painted-jars
Method # 3: Spray paint

This was the first method that came to my mind when I thought about painting glass jars and bottles. Unfortunately, since we live in an apartment with no balcony, I had to find an alternative outdoor space to test out this method!

I do feel that my spray painting skills (or lack thereof) affected the outcome here, so I would definitely recommend having a “practice” piece first, before painting the rest of your jars or bottles.

Follow the steps on your can of spray paint- they are not joking when they say to use multiple thin even coats! Otherwise you get drips and bumps- not good!

Pros: By far the quickest method. Huge variety of colors and finishes available.

Cons: Skill dependent. Need outdoor space. May rub off easily if not sealed.

jars-pin-2

I hope you try these techniques with any jar or bottle you may have laying around! If you do, make sure to share and tag me on Instagarm @throneandthimble so that I can see!

Do you have a different way to paint glass containers like jars and bottles? Any tips or recommended products? Please let me know in the comments below! I always love reading your experiences and learning new crafty secrets! 🙂

Paint Chips Wall Art DIY

paint chips pin 1

If you are like me, you may try to avoid going to craft stores when you are on a budget. The endless aisles of temptations, and those prices! But rest assured, you can still craft with a minimal to non-existent budget, and still create beautiful projects!

Inspiration strikes anywhere- even at the hardware store! I love looking at all the different paint chips on display, especially ones with ridiculous names- “blooming persimmon”?! I’m guessing that’s a shade of orange?

paint chips 1

Even better is that you can usually sneak away with a handful of paint chip samples without anyone giving you a dirty look- yay! Free crafting supplies! These are a lot of fun for any kind of paper crafting- you can cut them up and use them in cards, scrapbooks, journals, basically any kind of paper project!

I grabbed my handful of paint chips and cut them all out into a rough leaf shape using a made up template. You can use any shape you like, working around any writing on the sample cards. If you have a shape punch or a small die-cut available this would come together very quickly! But scissors and a few minutes of concentration work just as well!

paint chips 2

After all your shapes are cut out, you can play around with creating a pattern that you like. You can go with a more geometric and structured look, or a more organic flowing one- your call.  Once I figured out a pattern that I liked, I backed my leaves with double sided tape. You can also use foam tape for a more dimensional look.

paint chips 5

You have a few options on how to turn this into a wall art / décor piece:
– An empty picture frame
– A blank canvas
– Painted wood plank
– Foam core / craft board

I went with the last option, I remember using lots of foam core board in my days in design school, and to be honest the material is very finicky to work with, but at $1.25 I figured it would be worth the trouble!

Glue your pieces down according to your pattern, and proudly display it anywhere in your home! This fun and thrifty craft project is very budget friendly- the paint chips were free, and the board was just over $1 and I have leftovers for future projects!

paint chip pin 2

I hope you try this affordable craft, to inject some fun summer color into your space! ❤

Paper Trees- Free DIY

Our local library hosts monthly craft classes, teaching how to make different projects out of discarded books. Since I love books, and also love crafts, I have been really enjoying these! The most recent one was holiday themed, making trees out of paperback books. Unfortunately, I could not attend it, so instead I set out to figure out how to make it myself! Now, I didn’t have discarded books, so instead I used old magazines, which resulted in a colorful, though not as dense, result.

magazine paper tree

Here is the YouTube tutorial I relied on for the detailed steps on how to fold these:

 

Materials:

Old magazines (FREE!)
Glitter + Glue (optional, I left mine plain)

Steps:

For each page of the magazine, you will fold the top corner of the page down towards the magazine’s spine, then fold again, creating a narrow triangle. Fold the bottom point that is hanging down so that it lines up flat with the edge of the magazine.

Warning:

Although this craft is extremely simple and completely free, it is not quick! Depending on the thickness of the magazine / book you choose, this can take a long time! My recommendation is to do this while watching your favorite TV show, or listening to music or a podcast, and taking breaks! The 3 trees I made were done over a few days, a bit at a time.

20151125_222958

I am currently displaying these trees on our entry way console (see how I painted it here.) I was debating if I should leave it as is, or add glitter and decorations, but I think I’m going to leave it as is for now. What do you think? Will you try this free craft for the holiday season? 🙂

Easy and FREE Pennant Bunting DIY

bunting 2

If you are like me, you have probably been pinning and coveting all these awesome bunting ideas that are so popular for parties or room decor. I wanted to make something like that, but didn’t have a budget for materials. So I decided to make one for free!

I used:

– Cereal/ cardboard-y food box

– Washi tape

– Ribbon / yarn / string / twine, etc.

– (I’m assuming you already have scissors, a pen, and hole punch)

bunting 3

I decided to do a notched shape, but the traditional triangular shape will work perfectly. Cut out your shapes, and decorate them to your liking. String them up and you’re done!

letters

I like bunting with lettering, so I decided to go with “HOME” for the entrance to our apartment. I used a regular black pen, and doodled / zen-tangled the insides of the letters, which by the way is a very calming process!

Lesson: If you are craving a craft but have no budget, there is always a way! Use things you already have, and make something out of nothing 🙂

bunting project