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DIY Christmas Card Holders

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  • December 18, 2014

Raise your hand if you skip to the mailbox this time of year in hopes of receiving some Christmas cards from your friends and family. I’ve got both my hands enthusiastically raised over here.

Every year, I try to find a creative new way to display our Christmas cards (you can check out some ways I’ve done it in the past here and here). So of course this year was no different!

DIY Christmas Card Holders | Lemon Drop Life

This one was really easy, guys. Just pick up some embroidery hoops and clothespins, add a little hot glue, and voila! Cute Christmas card holders to hang on your wall!

DIY Christmas Card Holders | Lemon Drop Life

One tip: flip a few of your clothespins so they face the inside of the hoop – you’ll fill more space that way!

I also picked up a few extra embroidery hoops and filled them with some fabric scraps I had on hand (you can iron yours before you use them, if you’d like – I’m a rebel). I love the extra color and festive-ness they add!

DIY Christmas Card Holders | Lemon Drop Life

 

This is one super simple DIY that takes almost no time or money at all, you guys, and it makes such a big impact when you combine a few of them! How do you guys display your Christmas cards?

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Simple Stocking Embellishments

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  • December 8, 2014

I’ve officially been putting up Christmas decor in our house for, like, three weeks now and I still have more I want to do. What can I say – I just can’t get enough of this holly jolly season! One of the first things I got up, though, were our stockings.

Growing up, stockings were always one of my favorite things. I loved the sight of all of our classic red and white stockings hung on our stair banister, and they were always the first thing we opened on Christmas morning. We’ve used the same stockings the last few years, but we only had three of them so I knew I needed to order new ones this year. I wanted something simple that would be stylish for years to come, and I actually ended up ordering them from Oriental Trading (unfortunately, I no longer see them on the website).

I knew I wanted to add a little something extra to personalize the stockings, so I picked up some wooden letters from the craft store along with some gift embellishments I picked up in the dollar section at Target.

Simple Stocking Embellishments | Lemon Drop Life

At first, I considered attaching the embellishments directly to the stocking, but realized I would be leaving them a lot more versatile if I didn’t do that. Considering how much I love to change things up, I figured it would be best to not actually alter the stockings themselves, that way I could change up the embellishments down the road if I want.

The first thing I did was add a little sparkle to the wooden letters – what’s Christmas without glitter?!

I coated each letter in some Mod Podge, and then sprinkled on some glitter. Don’t be afraid to go heavy on the glitter, a lot of it will shake off. And be sure to do the pouring over something that you can easily use to pour the excess glitter back into its’ original container.

Simple Stocking Embellishments | Lemon Drop Life

 

After I had each letter sufficiently coated, I did another layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it and prevent the glitter from constantly flaking off. So far, it’s worked pretty well.  Once the letters had dried, I affixed the extra embellishments with hot glue – burlap bows with a bell for the ladies and red felt Christmas trees for the gents. Then I simply hung them on the stocking hanger with each stocking.

Simple Stocking Embellishments | Lemon Drop Life

Simple Stocking Embellishments | Lemon Drop Life

 

It was so simple to do and it just adds just that extra touch that our stockings were in need of!

Simple Stocking Embellishments | Lemon Drop Life

 

I love seeing them all lined up in a row!

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DIY Star Tree Topper

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  • December 18, 2013

Tree toppers. I’ve always felt kind of ‘meh’ about them because I never really loved any of the options I saw available in stores. So I was determined to make something I love this year, and when I saw this tutorial from Lowe’s (you should peruse their idea gallery sometime because they have some seriously cool projects on there!!), I was a smitten kitten!

All I purchased for this project was a 300-ct. box of strike matched from Ace Hardware..I think it cost me like $2 or $3??

The tutorial on Lowe’s website is great, so I’ll just do a quick recap here.

I printed off the template for the star and traced it onto some cardboard, and then I cut it out with an exacto knife. You could probably use foam board, too. Or, ooh, how about corkboard? Then you could just paint or stencil a cute design right on it! Oooh, my wheels are turning!! But, back to what I actually did. Once I had my cardboard star cut, I drew a few guide lines on it.

DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

Then, I started striking matches! Obviously, you’ll want to do this in a well-ventilated area because of all the smoke. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was an absolutely lunatic standing on my back porch in 30 degree weather, striking up and blowing out 300 matches (and yes I ended up using all 300 for this project)! One tip: when you’re burning the matches, hold them a downward angle and kind of roll them back and forth to get even charring. I let them burn for 2-3 seconds and then huffed ‘em out.

DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

After the matches have cooled, you need to remove the burned tip. Just pinch the burned end of the match and it should pull right off. This will leave you with just the wooden stick, charred on one end of course.

IMG_5734DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

Once that’s done, it’s time to start gluing the matches onto the cardboard star. I used regular craft glue and it worked just fine. Start by laying your center matches. These will help you determine the pattern as you work your way around the star.

DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

From there, I just studied the picture with the tutorial to figure out how to lay the matches (which end points in/out, etc.). And there’s not a wrong way to do this..if you want your pattern to look different, you could always change things up!

DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

After I had everything glued down, I did a thin layer of Mod Podge over everything.

IMG_5740DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

Then I attached an empty toilet paper tube to the back with some hot glue and stuck it on top of the tree! You could also use PVC pipe, if you want it to be a bit more sturdy. Just make sure to try and put the tube in the center (or even a bit higher) because if you put it at the bottom, your star will probably lean away from the tree.

DIY Star Tree Topper | Lemon Drop Life

This picture doesn’t do it justice (stupid winter, with your getting dark at 5:00), but doesn’t it look so b-e-a-utiful?!?

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DIY Triangle Garland

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  • December 3, 2013

The holiday season is in full swing and I have about a thousand projects swirling around in my head! Today, I’m sharing the first one I completed this past weekend: a simple metallic triangle garland for your tree!

For our tree this year, I want to keep a very classic black/white/metallic palette, but I also don’t want to drop a hundred bucks on a bunch of new ornaments. So I’m trying to use mostly things that I already have, which equals getting a little creative (wahoo!). I have expressed many times before my love for foil tape, so it should come as no surprise that I would find a way to incorporate it into our tree! I decided to try a modern-geometric type garland. And, good news, it’s SO easy (and cheap!) to make.

DIY Triangle Garland

All you need is some string/ribbon/twine (I used twine), foil tape, and scissors. Then pop in a good ole’ Christmas movie (I happened to be watching The Story of Santa Claus) and get ready for some mindless work!

DIY Triangle Garland | Lemon Drop Life

I started by cutting a bunch of strips of the foil tape. I didn’t measure or anything, just pulled a small section and cut.

DIY Triangle Garland | Lemon Drop Life

Then I peeled the backing off of the first strip and attached it to the twine, such that you could fold it in half.

DIY Triangle Garland | Lemon Drop Life

I did a transverse fold, but if you wanted to do it longitudinally (or a hot dog fold..does anyone else know what I’m talking about when I say that?), you could.

DIY Triangle Garland | Lemon Drop Life

Then you snip the sides diagonally so that you’re left with a nice little triangle.

DIY Triangle Garland | Lemon Drop Life

I found that doing things in groups of five (i.e. attach 5 strips to the twine and then snip those 5 into triangles) seemed to be a nice rhythm for me. I also didn’t measure out how far apart I spaced them..just kind of eyeballed it. Measuring takes all the fun out projects.

I cut about 85 strips which was good for our tree, which is 7.5’ tall. Use more or less depending on your tree size.

DIY Triangle Garland | Lemon Drop Life

You can catch a glimpse of a couple other ornaments I used, also in the spirit of not spending a ton of money: I added a piece of twine to some jingle bells I already had and made some pipe cleaner snowflakes! I’m hoping to finish up a few more things for the tree and share the full monty with you later this week!

And just for funsies, here’s a recap of all the cool ways I’ve used foil tape in the past!

Fun Ways to Use Foil Tapefoil tape wall/wrapping paper/polka dot accent wall/embellished curtains

So how you are guys decorating your trees this year?

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Review: Cardstore

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  • November 22, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Cardstore and offered a chance for some free cards in exchange for a review. And with the holidays coming up, I decided to make a little Thanksgiving themed card to send out to all the grandparents. So, if you’re one of Roarke’s grandparents, stop reading now. Your card is in the mail 🙂

There were tons of cute designs to choose from, but I landed on this super on trend aztec-ish/feather-y (that term is going to catch on, I feel it) Thanksgiving one.

Review: Cardstore | Lemon Drop Life

 

As you can see, their user interface is adorable and simple to use. It took me all of two minutes to design my card.

Review: Cardstore | Lemon Drop Life

Ta-da! Of course, you’ll need to provide your own cutie patootie to fill the picture slots 😉

And because I love picking out holiday cards, I put together a few of my other favorites for you!

Review: Cardstore | Lemon Drop Life

 

So check them out and get your Christmas cards checked off your to-do list early this year!

 

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Washi Talkin’ About Willis?

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  • December 17, 2012

One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting Christmas cards. It’s the one time of the year that I skip excitedly to the mailbox to see if we got anything. So, naturally I don’t just read them and throw them away (blasphemy!)…no, I like to display them all season long!

This year, I hopped on board the washi tape train and created this little beauty!

It took me all of 10 minutes to tape up the outline of the tree (I didn’t even measure things exactly..just eyeballed it) and I topped it off with a big, festive red bow. Then I just waited for the cards to come in, and taped them up!

All my washi tape came from Target…it’s in with the office supplies and I got 4 coordinating green rolls for $4!

I’m totally in love with this simple and easy display!

Wanna see how I displayed my Christmas cards last year? Check it out here!

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DIY Festive Christmas Light Garland

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  • December 12, 2012

Do you ever have those moments when you’re looking at something and all of the sudden, BAM!…you get inspired and know exactly how you can repurpose it? Yeah, I love those moments.

I know it’s going to seem like I’m jumping around, but stick with me. There’s nothing I love more than a house that smells warm and inviting.  And I love a good candle. My only problem is that I usually don’t burn them because I’m afraid of forgetting them and burning our house down (a healthy fear I inherited from my father). So, I prefer to use Wallflowers from Bath & Body Works.  Which brings me back to my original thought.

A while back, I was unscrewing one of the empty bulbs to replace it and a moment of inspiration stuck. They’re shaped exactly like those vintage-y Christmas bulbs! So I’ve been saving them up for this little DIY.

Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll need:

  • empty Wallflower bulbs (or other bulb shaped items)
  • yarn
  • hot glue
  • pipe cleaners
  • ribbon or twine

The first step is to wrap the bulbs in yarn, hot gluing every so often.

I ended up trying two different methods: gluing from the top down and from the bottom up. I found going from the bottom up was a bit easier. However it was still tricky when I got to the top where it rounded out, so I would wrap until I got to that part, and then start a second strand of yarn wrapping from the top and have the two strands meet in the middle, if that makes sense.

Here’s what it looks like when you finish wrapping with yarn:

After the bulb was all wrapped up, I took a pipe cleaner and wrapped it around the top. I used a dot of hot glue every so often to keep the pipe cleaner in place.

I ended up using two pipe cleaners for this part. One to wrap around the larger cap portion, and another to wrap around the smaller cap portion. Then I simply made a little loop with the second pipe cleaner to use for hanging.

Now repeat until you’ve got as many as you want (or until you use all your empty Wallflower bulbs, whichever comes first). I made 7 total. Then I simply strung them on a piece of twine (it’s my favorite go-to..I think I’ve used it for every garland I’ve ever made) and hung them up!

I tied the twine around two nails and hung out just outside of the mirror. The garland actually ended up being kind of heavy since the bulbs are glass, so I was a little leery of actually hanging it on the mirror and having them both come crashing down.

I love it! I also think a bunch of these would look totally adorable just sitting in a bowl or a glass vase. I can think of so many uses for them; you can bet I’ll keep saving them for next year!

I’m sharing this at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the DogMaybe MatildaNewly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!

Linking up at Shanty 2 Chic

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A Merry & Bright Christmas

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  • December 10, 2012

I’m not one to completely change out all my Christmas decor on a yearly basis. Mostly because I don’t yet have a money tree in my backyard (crossing my fingers one pops up next spring), but also because my Christmas stuff usually isn’t out long enough for me to get so tired of it that I don’t want it the next year. For example, our main Christmas tree has sported the same green, silver, and gold scheme the last 3 years. And I still love it.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to try something new and fresh. So I decided to buy a smaller tree that I’ll allow myself to totally deck out each year in whatever theme or scheme I happen to be feeling. Ya know, just to spice things up a bit. And this year, that spice is neon. Neon has made a big comeback in the last year, and I was excited to try and incorporate a small dose of it in our Christmas decor this year. And luckily, it didn’t cost me a whole lot to do it!

I headed to Wal-Mart and picked up a few different colors of acrylic paint, along with a package of wooden stars.

In order to keep this from looking like a tree that the 80’s threw up on, I decided to try and keep a lot of the natural wood of the stars exposed, and go for more of a ‘dipped’ effect with the paint.

For some of the stars, I just dipped the points in paint.

For others, I taped part of the star off and painted it for an asymmetrical look.

When they were dry, I hot glued a piece of twine to each one and put it on the tree. I also added some small pink and green ornaments that I already had.

I love the bright neon ornaments against the white tree. It’s just so darn jolly.

In the end, it cost me about $7 (about $3 in craft paint and $4 for the stars) to make 16 ornaments, which works out to about $0.43/each. And here’s my attempt to get a shot with it all lit up.

What about you? Do you like to change things up every year or do you just stick with what you already have?

I’m sharing this at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the DogMaybe MatildaNewly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!

Linking up at The Nester, Shanty 2 Chic

Psst – Have you liked Lemon Drop Life on Facebook yet? Do it here!

 

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DIY Jingle Bell Wreath

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  • November 28, 2012

I thought about entitling this post, “Your Dog’s Least Favorite Project. Ever.”, but I thought that probably wouldn’t get too many Google searches. Or would it?

When I was out at Target recently, I saw this wreath and instantly thought, “I could make that for less.” So that’s what I did.

It’s pretty simple. All you need is a wreath form (I used a styrofoam one that I got from Hobby Lobby for $2), jingle bells (also picked up at Hobby Lobby for $3), cotton balls (which I already had), and a glue gun.

I glued my jingle bells in place first, and then just started filling in the cotton balls around them. Lucy (who’s pretty neurotic to begin with) was absolutely horrified at the jingling sound. Every time I moved the wreath, it sent her scrambling in the other direction. So, yeah, it’s safe to say this may be her least favorite craft project I’ve ever done.

I used about 200 cotton balls in total…you don’t want to be skimpy or else your wreath will look pretty sparse. For as scared as Lucy was of the jingle bells, she LOVED the cotton balls. I would take handfuls at a time out of the bag just to make it easier for me to grab them, and she kept sneaking over to the pile and eating them. She’s nuts, I tell you. ‘My Strange Addiction’ is probably on their way to my house right now to film my cotton ball-eating pooch.

After I had it pretty well covered with cotton balls, I went back and placed a few more jingle bells until I was happy with the look. And voila!

So, there you have it. If you can keep your dog from a.) peeing at the sound of jingle bells and b.) eating all of your materials then this is a pretty easy peasy project. And you’ll save yourself some moolah!

I suppose I should also say that I don’t imagine this particular wreath would fare very well outdoors against the winter elements, so this one will be permanently living inside 🙂

Linking up at Design, Dining + Diapers, Tatertots & Jello, Hyphen Interiors, Hi! Sugarplum

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Christmas Highlights

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  • December 28, 2011

Hello, lemon-droppers! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed your time with loved ones. It’s always a little sad when the Christmas season is over..I so enjoy this time of year and being with our families is the icing on the cake.

So here are some of the highlights from our Christmas celebrations!

Our precious niece was so much fun to be around..she is SUCH a pleasant baby!


My mother-in-law got us new bedding for our guest room. It’s just the kick start I need to finally get going on that room!


Check out the WW2 inspired sign I made for my sister. I followed the same steps I used to make our subway sign.

My mom made us a sweet little pillow with one of our wedding pictures..love it!


Yesterday, my family came up to our house and we were able to grab a family pic (with all of us, which is rare) before they left.

What were some of the highlights from your Christmas celebrations?

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