From everyone (including our three new peeps), at Farmhouse38!
Category Archives: Holidays
I always have to have an ‘Easter’ wreath. But this year, since I completely lagged on getting one made, I decided I wanted to make one that I could leave up long after the holiday had come and gone. Additionally, I wanted to make one using the neutral color scheme that I went with for this Easter’s celebration (I just really love the colors of naked eggs!). And of course, I wanted to make it using the plethora of eggs that I have just sitting around, courtesy of the Farmhouse poultry.
I started with a wire hanger. Leaving the top of the hanger twisted like it comes, shape the thing into a nice circle. Once it is shaped, then use pliers to ‘untwist’ the top, shape it a bit, and make a small loop at the top.
You’ll need about 15 or so blown, dry eggs. The blow-out process is pretty easy (unless you are doing 50 at a time, which I do not recommend! Lol). I used a Dremel tool with a tiny drill attachment to poke a hole in each end of the egg shell, then I inserted a toothpick and sort of scrambled it around to break up the interior membranes. I used a small cocktail straw to actually blow the guts out, and once it was empty, I filled the egg with water, shook it around, and blew it out again. I then set the egg on end on a paper towel to drain. You can cook the eggshells in an oven to make sure they are good and dry (in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, or the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F), but I just left mine to air dry for a few days before using them (ie, I lagged on getting this project done).
Select your specimens, and, one by one, string them over the loose end of the wire form until you have about one egg’s length left of the wire. Now for the tricky part. Place the egg wreath on a padded surface (to cushion the eggs), and, using pliers, carefully bend the loose end into a small hook that can be hooked around the opposite end of the wreath form. It’s not easy. That wire is not super pliable. Don’t jostle the eggs while you do this–it’s a huge bummer to break even one egg because you’ll have to slide them all off and start all over. Fortunately, it was easy enough that I didn’t break any in my attempt.
Now that your wreath is all formed, decide which side you want to be the front, and which the back. Flip it so that the back side is up, and then go along and anchor the eggs to each other with a drop of hot glue.
Next: place a blob of hot glue on the highest area of the back of each egg.
Once that is all dry, flip it back over. Here, I decided I wanted to draw a cute little heart on the random white egg with a paint pen. I also tied a bow out of raffia, and then hot glued that to the top of the wreath.
And, of course, one could absolutely make this wreath with brightly dyed Easter eggs–how cute would that be?!
Ever since attending the Terrarium Class at The Nest Reno a few weeks back, I’ve had terrariums on the brain. I figured that St. Patrick’s Day was a good excuse to get it out of my system.
I started with a nice big glass jar (the kind that comes with a lid, but we’re leaving that out this time around), and filled it about two inches or so with some green recycled glass fragments (obtained at a gardening store).
The third layer is a bit of sheet moss (from the nursery or craft store):
Now, it’s time for potting soil. Put enough in to accommodate the size of the plants you want to use.
Time for the fun part: planting. I chose several tiny plants from the nursery, including a couple of shamrocks (oxalis) and a couple of seloginella ferns.
But I also just happen to have some wild oxalis growing in my yard, whose leaves are much tinier and more ‘fairy garden-ish’–so I wanted to transplant a few of them, also.
Now it was time to make my tiny pot of gold. I started with some broken mirror glass gravel (found at the craft store). It was kind of a cool yellow glass, but I spread it thin and sprayed it with gold spray paint, let it dry, shook it up a bit, sprayed it, let it dry, etc., until it was well-coated with gold. Any type of small gravel would work for this, I just really liked the size, shape, and reflective quality of this stuff.
Now to create the pot: I went with the most wee terracotta pot (also from the craft store) I could find:
I then sprayed it black with chalkboard paint. When it had thoroughly dried, I ‘seasoned’ it a bit with chalk to make it look a little aged (giving the whole thing a coat of hairspray to help make the chalk stick). I then hot glued a craft stick into the bottom of the pot (sticking out the drain hole). Next I layered hot glue, then gold gravel, then hot glue, then gold gravel, etc, building the gravel up until it looked like a nice, full pot of Leprechaun gold.
Now…for the rainbow. I began with an empty plastic bottle:
This left me with a curlycue strip, like so:
Next, I took some fine gauge sand paper and sanded both sides of the plastic (this removes any printing or label remnants, and gives the surface some ‘tooth’ for the paint to hold on to).
Tape or weigh down both ends of the plastic so that it is laying flat. Choose your rainbow colors (I used basic craft acrylic paint), and thinly paint your stripes of colors (thin the paint with clear gloss if you have to so that the final result is a bit transparent). Once that has dried, hot glue one end of the rainbow to the back edge of the pot of gold, and place your pot in the terrarium.
The final step is to apply your cloud to the top edge of the jar. I swiped a handful of fiber-fill stuffing from a pillow, ran a bead of hot glue along the back edge of the jar, and stuck the fluff on. I then ran a bead of hot glue along the loose end of the rainbow and lodged that in the cloud.
And there you have it! A pot o’gold at the end of the rainbow, cloud and all:
Making flowers out of coffee filters or tissue is nothing new, but I’ve been meaning to try my hand at it for quite sometime. And when I say ‘try my hand’, I mean ‘try my hand’:
Of all the hundreds of tutorials out there on this, I landed on the one from Rebecca at The Crafted Sparrow. I liked this one. So I did it. :-) Honestly, she does a really bang-up job of laying out the tutorial, so I highly recommend you head over and follow her instructions–but I will muddle through mine just the same! Because I am a professional muddler.
I began with pretty simple supplies: scissors, large white coffee filters, thin craft wire, floral tape, hot glue, and whatever color food coloring you are looking to do. I wanted RED. Super-saturated red. We’ll get to that later.
Now settle in for some busywork…depending on how many flowers you want to make, there is quite a bit of coffee-filter cutting to be done. I obviously wanted a lot of flowers, so I kind of hunkered down a few nights in a row and cut filters while watching a lot of reality TV. It helps. I promise.
You’ll want to fold a single coffee filter in half, then in fourths, then again into eighths and cut the top of it into an arch (in order to make a scalloped edge). I even folded some to just fourths, and some as much as into sixteenths, because I wanted the ruffles of the flowers to be inconsistent (which feels more real to me).
For the center of every flower, I wanted some fringe, so I folded the coffee filters into eighths and then instead of just scalloping the top, I actually cut them down in length by about a quarter, and scalloped the edge. Then I cut the edge so that it had fringe.
A typical flower is going to be assembled from various pieces of these different-shaped filters–you can use any combination or repetition of any of the scalloped-edged pieces, with one fringe piece in the center.
Now, take a small length of wire for your stem. Rebecca at The Crafted Sparrow suggested taking a pencil or a paintbrush or something of the sort and wrapping one end of the wire around this a few times to make a small circle as a sort of catch for the wire to not pull all the way through the coffee filters. I did this. Great idea. So once you have your wire loop, slide a fringed coffee filter piece on up the wire and mush it into a flower shape (again, look at the Rebecca’s tutorial, she did a better job of documenting this with the camera). I adhered it with a dot of hot glue. Then slide a scalloped coffee filter of your choosing up next. Mold it into a flower shape and adhere it with hot glue. Keep building until your flower makes you happy. If you want, at the end, you can wrap floral tape around the bottom to give it a finished look.
Now for the fun part…dyeing them! To get your desired color, you’re gonna have to mess around a little bit with your food coloring. Mix a few drops of food coloring with water in a bowl and test it out on your extra coffee filters. I wanted my flowers to be all varying shades of red, and so, to be honest, I hardly had any water mixed with mine at all–nearly straight food coloring. For some of them, I even added black food coloring to get that black-red color.
I recommend making several bowls full of varying shades of the same color, as this gives you a really realistic color scheme (flowers are gonna vary in color slightly from one to the next, right??). So play around with it! And…again…wear gloves.
I dipped my blooms fully into the mixture, making sure that every bit was soaked up with liquid. Then I set them, face down, on a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet to dry. Once dry, I went through and fluffed them up into the proper shape.
I went around and around with what I actually wanted to use these for–my intention was to make a Valentine’s Day centerpiece using up-cycled tin cans as vases. Long story short, I wasn’t super pleased with how it turned out:
It was at this point that I realized what I really wanted out of these things was a big, lush centerpiece arrangement. So I dug out my big silver basin, and taped the top off into a grid (this is a great florist’s trick that helps support a mass of flowers-live or paper- in a wide-mouthed vessel. I used Scotch tape, which works fine, but clear floral tape works even better if you can get it because it is narrower, clearer, and has a stronger bond).
Be sure to run a length of tape around the circumference of the vessel to pin down the grid tape edges:
I started by inserting a bunch of branches:
Next, I realized that the flimsy wire I made my peonies with was too flimsy, so I hot-glued each blossom to a piece of stiff, raffia-covered craft wire. Then I proceeded to shove them in amongst the branches.
I even hot-glued a couple of smaller blossoms to some of the branches for a little more drama:
So as much as this was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day project, I bumbled it enough that it didn’t quite turn out to be that. But that’s just between you and me.
Happy Valentine’s Day next year!!!
I’ve still got a few more Valentine’s Day projects and goodies to try to squeeze in before it’s here! This one is a natural companion for the Cupid’s Arrow Garland. Same little arrows (see how to make them here), all clustered together on a DIY wire heart wreath.
Once you’ve taken a look at the other post and learned how to make the arrows, all you need is some raffia-covered wire from the floral section at the craft store, and a hot glue gun.
I cut three lengths of the raffia wire, approximately 70 inches in length (the finished wreath is about 18 x 18″). I then twisted these three pieces into one. At the middle of the length of twisted wire, make a bend, this will be the point of the heart. Now neatly twist together the loose ends and proceed to shape the wire into a heart form.
Now, glue your arrows into place. It’s as simple as that (once you’ve handmade about forty arrows–no biggie!).
If this wreath is going outside, hit the whole thing with a good coat of poly just to help ensure it holds up.
That is all for now-carry on!
This cute little garland is definitely largely to blame.
So I started by collecting a bunch of twigs from my cedar trees in the backyard. I chose sticks that were roughly an eighth of an inch in diameter, more or less. When I had found enough of these, I washed them (sticks are DIRTY, it turns out), and then cut them down into 2-1/2 to 3 inch lengths. I cut approximately 45 little pieces. And then I laid them out to dry and get a tan.
While they dried, I went to work making my little hearts. Now, I know there are lots of crafty options for making these little guys easily(hole punches, scrapbooking bits and bobs), but I never do things the easy way, it seems. And I just wanted to make these from stuff I had sitting around at home–so that meant I traced and cut out each little heart by hand. Using a random notecard, I drew my first heart and cut it out to my liking, and then used that to trace 44 more. A little labor intensive, yes. But worth it because I didn’t have to drag my butt to the craft store.
After I had cut them all out, I spaced them out on a piece of tinfoil and slapped some red paint on them.
While those dried, I gave the tiny sticks each a rough coat of white paint–not quite a solid coat so that they had a white-washy kinda vibe to them.
Next I needed feathers…where to get some feathers…?
I then cut each feather down into a sort of chevron shape (each feather yielded me two little arrow tufts), and then laid them out on tinfoil and slathered varying hues of acrylic paint across them. Again, it’s a lot easier to just go and buy colored feathers from the craft store, but what else was I going to do with all these darned chicken feathers? (Don’t worry, more crafts!)
When that had set, it was time to assemble the arrows. Hello, hot glue gun! I simply hot-glued a heart and a feather to each little painted stick.
It was at this juncture that I decided my little arrows were in serious need of some glitter. So I gave each heart another coat of paint and a healthy dusting of red glitter and then let them set.
To assemble the garland, I used thin, galvanized, craft wire, which I wrapped around the center of the first arrow shaft a few times (you can super-secure this by hitting the wrapped wire with a dot of hot glue, but I didn’t need to do that). Approximately five or so inches down the wire, I did this with the next arrow, and so on.
The spacing and quantity of materials I used yielded me about 14 feet of festiveness.
Oh, I am just getting started on the Valentine’s Day fun…never you worry. :-)
Shocking, but true… I’m a little late to post this. A lot. A lot late. Even so, I wanted to share the festive tablescape from our little New Year’s Eve celebration. As an added bonus, I’ll also share the amazing cocktail we shouldn’t have been drinking alongside all of that champagne.
I started (as one does with any party decor concept) by swiping toys from my nephew. He’s long since outgrown these particular little plastic farm animals, but I may find myself replacing them sheepishly (see what I did there?!) anyway. When the inspiration hit, I had to run with it. Sorry, P-nut.
One coat of spray primer, and one coat of paprika spray paint later:
Once they all dried, they got glitzed up with a festive gold pipe-cleaner lei and a glittery sticker monogram. Perfect placecards.
As a centerpiece, I pulled together a collection of my finest re-purposed glass jars, slapped some modgepodge on the bottoms in various thicknesses and then covered them in gold glitter (for that dip-dyed look). Scattered amongst straw and gold confetti, they made a pretty fun focal point.
As for my homemade 2014 numbers? I swiped this idea from the impossibly talented Aunt Peaches. I’ll let you visit her for the how-to so you can fully appreciate the crafty awesomeness that goes on over there.
I decided to make some fun swizzle sticks for our cocktails and our champagne (seeing as how we were going to add tasty ingredients to the champagne to make interesting champagne-y cocktails but never managed to make it that far). A glittery pom-pom hot-glued to the end of a generic swizzle straw looks pretty festive, if you ask me. And the glasses got a boost with a gold pipe cleaner spiraled around the stem.
Fortunately, the swizzle sticks came in handy for our Rosemary and Grapefruit Bourbon Fizzzz Cocktail.
To make one Rosemary and Grapefruit Bourbon Fizzzz:
(recipe adapted a tad from The Artful Desperado’s Bourbon Rosemary Fizz)
Gather your weapons:
-one small sprig of fresh rosemary
-1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit
-1 oz bourbon
-sprig of rosemary and grapefruit rind peel for garnish
-oh, and a low-ball or old-fashioned glass of some sort to drink it out of. If you want. Don’t let me pressure you.
To make it:
Drop your sprig of rosemary into the bottom of your shaker, and add your 1/4 cup grapefruit juice. Muddle until you can really smell the rosemary fragrance. Add a few cubes of ice and your ounce of bourbon. Shake it like you mean it.
Drop a few more ice cubes into your glass, and strain your cocktail into the glass. Top with the ginger ale, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and grapefruit peel…oh, and a fancy swizzle stick. Cheers!
I have been scheming to do create some sort of chandelier something-or-other to hang above the farmhouse table on our deck, and a New Year’s party was just the ticket to light a fire under my rear. So I strung up a little ladder (which is actually the salvaged back of an old red bench we had forever that finally gave in to gravity and the elements). From this, I hung several strands of Restoration Hardware’s battery-operated Starry Lights that I had just taken down from Christmas. If you’ve never seen these things before, they really are quite fantastic: tiny little lights strung on bendable wire so that you can shape them and hang them really easily. I molded them to spiral down (and added a few strands of glitter-star wire from the craft store to augment), and created this sort of downside-up centerpiece topped with fresh grapefruit branches.
With the help of a few of our favorite neighbors we rang the new year in with some style. And by ‘style’ I mean we were all in bed by 10:30.
It’s been a little quiet around here, I realize. Lots of holiday posts were supposed to happen. Then puppy. Then the Christmas Ick. So between the flu and the tiny terror, I have been a champion underachiever.
But I wanted to wish everyone a happy Christmas and New Year’s, and I will see you all on the flip side. Big things in 2014. Big things.
With that–I’ll leave you with a quick view of the farmhouse all twinkled up:
I truly feel that the paper straw is a highly underrated crafting material. As a functional straw, I kind of think they suck (see what I did there?!). There’s just something that I don’t like about drinking through paper. Kind of right up there with disposable wooden ice cream spoons. Blech. It might just be me. Nonetheless, they are cute as heck, am I right?
Quite some time ago I got this 20″ tall wooden R. I wish I could tell you why.
I just decided I needed it. And clearly I did, because it has been sitting around collecting cobwebs for a very long time. Until a couple of days ago when I decided to glue straws all over it.
Obviously, there are a plethora of fairly inexpensive craft store letters that could be used here (see here for an example). In fact, one could even cut a letter out of flat cardboard and achieve this same look without paying a dime. But I had a big wooden R that was calling my name. I can’t quite remember, but I think I got it from here. My paper straws came from Amazon.
I simply measured and cut the straws to fit, lining their patterns up and hot-gluing them one at a time. I decided that I wanted to have wide, alternating stripes of two differently-laid patterns, so I measured out five, four inch tall sections.
The sections would contrast between having the stripe pattern line up, and having it not line up (incidentally, I learned that the patterns on these straws are not uniform, therefore, it was nearly impossible to have them line up properly. Duly noted).
When every straw had been singularly glued in place, I then simply glued ribbon around the perimeter of the letter to hide the bare edges (as well as the open, not-so-pretty ends of the straws).
The kitchen is starting to look rather Christmassy. I heart it.