How to Make Felt Ornaments

How to make felt ornaments

One of my favorite things to do over the holidays is make Christmas ornaments, especially felt ornaments. Crafting is one of my favorite pastimes, and one I want to start sharing a little more about on the blog. Ornaments seem like the perfect place to start, since homemade decorations look so pretty around the home and make special gifts.

How to make felt ornaments

Felt is such a fun crafting medium because you can make almost any shape you can imagine, and you can find it at any craft store for almost nothing. Over the years I have made snow cottages and mittens and polar bears and even the Epcot dome. Any level crafter can succeed with felt too, just be sure to start with a simpler pattern.

How to make felt ornaments

All you need is -a pattern; felt of various colors; embroidery floss of various colors; ribbon; sharp scissors; sewing needle; water soluble marker. Optional supplies include beads and sequins; stuffing (to make the shape more 3D) and glue.

Steps -

  1. Find a pattern. You can draw one yourself, or print out a picture online. Just make sure that whatever you use is not too detailed - for instance, you want to find the outline of a rabbit, not a detailed sketch of a rabbit. Once you have your image, print and cut it out.

  2. Lay the images on top of your felt and trace it with the water soluble marker.

  3. Cut the image out and rinse the felt in the sink to remove the marker; let the felt dry. Make sure you make two of everything, so that your ornament has a front and a back.

  4. Sew the different felt pieces together using a blanket stitch. You can glue the felt together before you sew it, it makes it a lot easier. Also, make sure you use embroidery floss that corresponds with the color of the felt.

  5. “Decorate” the felt images with different embroidery stitches, beads, or even sequins. For example, if you are making a rabbit embroider on its eyes and ears.

  6. Sew the two halves of the ornament together using a blanket stitch. Once you have sewn 3/4 of the ornament, add the stuffing and the ribbon, then sew it up.

  7. Hang it on the tree!

Here is a youtube video I found that’s helpful, and here is a tutorial for the blanket stitch.

What’s your favorite Christmas craft?

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Cute Fall Decor

Isn’t decorating for fall so enjoyable? We currently have candles and acorns and pumpkins scattered throughout our home and I love it. It adds a delicious aroma and a warm and cozy feeling to the home. I’ve seen so many cute fall decor items on the shelves for amazing prices, if you haven’t decorated yet then here are some of my favorites -

What’s your favorite season to decorate for?

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Tips for Organizing a Small Space

Now that we live in a big city, we have had to re-adjust our storage system. City living involves less square footage than suburban life, haha, especially since we will have winter gear for the first time! I've managed to find ways to store our belonging so that they look good and are easy to access. Here are my tricks for organizing a small space -

1. Utilize decorative baskets. They are a great way to store items in plain site. These are great because they have a lid so they can be stacked. 

2. Utilize wall space. We found this wall mounted towel rack and love it. It stores the towels without taking up space in the linen closet, and looks decorative. 

3. Repurpose old furniture. Instead of finding ways to store furniture that you aren't currently using, repurpose it with a fresh coat of paint. I recently painted our hallway table and a shelf we had in the bathroom and now they hold a lot of odds and ends and match our current decor. 

4. Don't forget to store things under the bed. It's a lot of empty square footage! I like that these bins can store linens, knick knacks, and even shoes!

5. Find decorative carts. Sometimes there isn't enough room to put away everything, so find a way to make your tools decorative. We bought this cart to store bathroom supplies, hand towels, bubble bath etc. and it really brightens the bathroom while keeping everything organized. 

6. Store things behind the door. I currently have this behind the door shoe rack and really like it because the closet door still closes. They also make these pocket ones, and you can store anything from shoes to hats and gloves to kitchen gadgets in them. 

7. Use food canisters. Food canisters are great because you can stack them. We have a few lazy susan's now, and the canisters work so much better at storing food than keeping it in its original packaging, since those boxes fall over or become duplicitous. 

8. Get stackable plastic bins. If you are storing anything in large plastic bins, like Christmas decorations, get ones that easily stack. I got these Hefty ones and I really like them. They come in a number of sizes, the lids are made to stack different sizes on top of each other, and the lid is a few inches high which means that if you over stuff the bin the lid still fits!

9. Good Old Space Bags. Nothing beats space bags for storing clothes, blankets and comforters. It's amazing how much smaller your stuff gets! 

What's your favorite storage tips? 

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Four Rules for Decorating Your Living Room

How To Decorate a Living Room

These four rules for decorating your living room will make it look cohesive and put together no matter how large your room is or what your decor style is. I used to find home decorating rather overwhelming. After learning these rules of thumb, however, I roam the aisles of Target and Home Goods and feel confident that my purchases will add to my home decor and not just look like random objects. It's made me really love putting our home together!

1. Have chairs that are a different fabric from your large sofa. It is a great way to add interest to a room so it isn't too matchy matchy. 

2. Have an are rug large enough to fit under the legs of your coffee table, sofa and arm chairs. These brings all of the furniture together so it isn't floating in the room.

3.  Decorated coffee table. Having a coffee table with some decor items on it, such as coffee books, flowers and candles adds a lot of interest to your seating area. It's also a great place to put personal mementos, such as a book from your travels or a favorite flower. 

4. Throw pillows add color and texture to a room. Since they are so much cheaper than furniture they are a great way to add a trendy color or pattern. Layering different shapes, size and colors adds a lot of interest to your room as well. My favorite throw pillows have all come from Target, and I've found great ones from Home Goods too!

I've kept them in mind while decorating our home, and I'm so happy with how everything looks. Instead of a few pieces of furniture and some decor, it looks like a well decorated room. 

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My favorite Kitchen Accessories

We all know the major items that make up kitchen decor. The space is filled with cabinets and sinks and appliances that can cost a whole lot of money and take up a lot of space. There are, however, smaller kitchen accessories that can make a decorating statement. I'm currently on the hunt for some, so I thought I would share what I am looking for, and what I recently found that I love. 

copper accent pieces for the kitchen

1. Copper accent pieces. I wrote here about how I love the copper trend and that hasn't changed. We have a copper banana holder, canisters and paper towel holder and the color really brightens up our otherwise gray/white kitchen. I really love this fruit basket too, and it's on sale! 

2. Vase with flowers. We got this vase as a wedding present, and I keep it filled with hydrangeas (the flower at our wedding). It makes me smile every time I look at it, which is constantly since it's in the center of our kitchen island. It's also a great way to bring lots of different colors into the room.

gingham dish towels

3. Dish Towels - I love keeping different dish towels on the oven for the different seasons. Right now I'm on the hunt for something blue and white and gingham. These look perfect!

Anthropologie kitchen bowls

4. I'm on the hunt for some decorative bowls to add color to the room. I want ones that are large enough to fit keys and the other random items that end up speckling the counter by the front door. I really like the size of these, and the fact that they have a pattern on the outside and not just the inside. 

5. Finally, I think having a cute spoon rest, salt and pepper shakers, and trivet adds a lot of personality to a room. I have this spoon rest which I think is the cutest ever, my bunny salt and pepper shakers and am currently shopping for a fun summer trivet. So far this one is in the lead.

I love being able to switch out small items in the kitchen to match the season and my mood. Have you found anything special or fun recently for the kitchen? Please share! 

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4 Tips For Decorating Your Dining Room

Today I am excited to share 4 tips for decorating your dining room. Over the past few months I have been thoroughly enjoying decorating my new home. I’ve lived in other places (honestly, I’ve lived in LOTS of other places) but they were always transient homes, and they were decorated with the stuff I had on hand. This time around, it feels so different to find lovely pieces and decorate a home with my husband. It’s so exciting and I have learned so much! 

I’ve realized that well decorated homes adhere to a few decorating rules, no matter how different the ascetic of the room. Sticking to these rules of thumb will help any size and style of room look cohesive and well decorated. I plan to share my rules for every room, starting with the dining room.

Photos from Dimples and Tangles, Stephanie Kraus Designs, Home Decorating x, and Traditional Home 

Photos from Dimples and Tangles, Stephanie Kraus Designs, Home Decorating x, and Traditional Home 

These four rooms have a very different style, but all 4 have the following features:  

1. Fancy Light Fixture - Have a fancy light fixture hanging in the center of your dining room table. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should be dramatic and a nice focal point. Also make sure it is as centered as possible, the eye will immediately notice if it is not.

2. Large Area Rug - Find an Area Rug that is large enough to fit under the table and all of the chairs, with a good half a foot extra on every side. It makes the dining room set look like a cohesive unit, and is a nice place to add some color or texture to a room. There are wonderful rugs at Wayfair, and I’ve also seen some nice ones at Home Depot! 

3. Different Chairs - Use different chairs at the head of the table to add some interest and draw the eye. 

4. Dramatic Centerpiece - Place something in the center of the table under the light fixture. Make sure it has both height and volume so it really makes a statement. A few votive candle handlers will get lost in the middle of a large table, and look out of place. A dramatic centerpiece, however, adds color and texture and even a bit of whimsy depending on what you choose - like the pineapple centerpiece in the second picture.

Do you have any decorating rules of thumb? Let me know! 

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How to Decorate a Console Table

I recently learned how to decorate a console table. When properly decorated, it brings a lot of light and texture to a room, as well as awkward spaces that you aren’t sure what to do with. This is the first place I’ve lived where I’ve had the space for one, and love the way it looks. After some trial and error I come up with a few rules of thumb for how to decorate our console table in our home now and in future spaces. 

How to Decorate a Console Table

First, you need a thin table. Ours is 7 inches wide. If you have the room, feel free to go wider but make sure it is still on the narrow side. It shouldn’t take up too much space, and make sure it doesn’t make the area in your home awkward to walk by. If you have a shorter wall I really like this table, and this glass one is lovely and so unique.

Next, the decorations. They should add color and texture, and brighten up the space.

1 - Lamp. A lamp adds some height to the table, as well as more light. I suggest a lamp with lighter coloring that isn’t too short. I ordered this one, and I also love this blue and white one and this one from Target.

2. Stack of books - A short stack of a few books is a great way to add extra color and texture. Pick books that you like the ascetic of, and that aren’t wider than the table. I also suggest books that you like looking at since they will be the focal point of the room.

3. Knick knack - I like having places to put interesting knick knacks, especially ones with good memories attached to them. For instance, we have a conch shell we got on one of our first vacations that looks perfect stacked on top of the books. Other great options are small air plant terrariums (on sale!), an urchin statue, or a small picture frame. Depending on how large your table is, a small orchid would like pretty next to a larger vase as well. 

4. Vases - Add a few vases to add extra color and texture. The number of vases that will fit depends on the width of your table. If yours is wide enough, I think a clear glass vase (or this one) with some palm fronds or fake branches sticking out the top looks really pretty. Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics are great places for fake flowers and branches since you can use a 40% off coupon. If your table isn’t wide enough, so I have put together an few vases of different widths and colors. I have these and really like the style. I also ordered this one, I love the added texture! 

5. Wall art - Whatever you place above the console table is going to be a focal point of the room, and needs to be large enough to not be dwarfed by the table. I suggest hanging a mirror. It will make the space seem a lot larger. In addition, a large mirror is a lot less expensive than a large piece or art (or a large framed print).  

6. Below the console table - Placing a few larger objects ompletes the look. I think a large ginger jar would look beautiful! A large basket like this one is a good option as well; it adds even more texture and can also double as storage. Also, if you table is wide enough, some small stools like this could look very cool as well. 

Do you have any good decorating tips for console tables, or for small and awkward spaces? I’d love to hear your thoughts!  

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Easter Table Decor Ideas

I love Easter, it has always been one of my favorite holidays. While I LOVE Christmas decorations, the adorable bunnies and chicks, and feathers and pastel glitter...it speaks to me. I have been searching the internet for decorating inspiration for a few weeks, and have found a number of Easter tab,e decor ideas that I love. Most of them can be re-created with items you likely have (or can get on sale at Target). Plus, they cane be left up for a few weeks to celebrate Spring! 

Easter table decorations

If you are dying Easter eggs, put the eggs in a serving bowl with Easter basket grass and use it as a centerpiece! A a couple small vases of flowers and you're all done. 

Easter table decorations

A giant vase of tulips will brighten up your Easter table. You can find them reasonably priced at Trader Joes. Also, try paper plates on tope of a pretty table cloth, and I found some bamboo silverware can be found Target that would look lovely! Add a vase of flowers and you are good to go.

Easter table decorations

You can put a small chocolate bunny at everyone's seat as a fun treat and pretty decoration. A simple vase of flowers adds some color. If you want to write out name cards, use different colored markers for extra color.

Easter table decorations

To create a unique centerpiece, collect some thing branches, or pussy willow stems, and arrange them in a vase. Next, hang some small Easter egg ornaments off the end of the branches (these are on sale at Pier 1). Finally, arrange some small flower arrangements in short vases and line them down the remainder of the table. 

Easter table decorations

This idea is my favorite! Arrange carrots and flowers in a large round glass vase and use it as a centerpiece. The carrot bottoms add such a fun Easter touch, and after the holiday they can be removed and you are left with a lovely spring bouquet! 

Easter table decorations

Putting the carrot cake in a martini glass, and tying it off with a bow, adds a fun and unexpected twist to a classic dessert! Plus, you can get 4 martini glasses for under $15 at Macy's. 

Finally, don't forget that you can find lovely fake flowers at Michaels and JoAnnes. With a coupon they are a great price, and your bouquet will last throughout the Spring! 

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How to Style Bar Cart

We are currently decorating our new living room, and one of the pieces I am most excited about putting together is our bar cart. A well styled bar cart add a lot of character to a room and over the years I have finally figured out how to style a bar cart so that it’s a statement piece. We have started to decorate our living space before, I always find a few items I like and then get distracted and the project is indefinitely halted. Not this time! I very excited to continue decorating (which is a key difference this time around) and putting together our bart cart. Here is how I’m styling it so it stands out in the best way -

How to Style a Bar Cart

First, you need to find an inspiration picture. I think it works best if you find one that reflects your personal style, and that also reflects the ratio between beverage items and non-beverage items that you are looking for.

How to Style a Bar Cart

Now you need to put together your favorite glasses. We received these as a wedding gift, and I love leaving them out on the cart because they have such a special memory. 

How to Style a Bar Cart

Next, collect your bar tools. We love copper accents and have a copper mixing set, along with bottle opener. Personally, I think it looks best if your bar tools all match, and at least are made up of the same metal so they look like a cohesive set.

How to Style a Bar Cart

You also want to find a tray to place these items on. It adds a lot of cohesion so the top of the bar looks arranged, and not like you’ve just placed a lot of copper items on top. Also, if your bar tools are a different color than your cart it really makes them pop. I love this marble and wood one (and it’s from Target!)

How to Style a Bar Cart

Fourth and fifth, I love the look of “live” items. Peonies in a small vase look beautiful, and a bowl of lemons (they sell fake ones) adds a pop of color. If you opt for live ones, it is nice to have them on hand as a garnish. On that note, a bowl of limes works great too.

How to Style a Bar Cart

A stack of coffee table books is a great way to add some personality. Place the lemon bowl on top. I like to collect books that say something about what we are interested in, such as a collection of photos of the Cape, an anthology of Audrey Hepburn, or a Kate Spade style book.

How to Style a Bar Cart

Another way to add personality is through a knick knack or two, such as a pineapple or other statue. I love pineapples since they also mean welcome.

How to Style a Bar Cart
How to Style a Bar Cart

Last but not least, add your favorite drinks and mixers. It doesn’t hurt if the labels aesthetically appealing. You could also add tea or coffee, or wine if that's more your style.

Do you have a bar cart? What have you done to personalize it? I’d love to hear!  

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Ten Spring Decor Ideas

With spring almost here I am so excited to spruce up the apartment with lighter colors and airier textures. I love how a small item, like a table runner or throw pillow, can transform the look of the entire home. We recently switched units within our building, so our home seems in need of a decorating touch up then before. We got rid of so much "stuff" that had piled up, so I'm looking forward to picking up some decor pieces we really like, as opposed to all the things that we had somehow accumulated since college (and moved across the country...).

I'm definitely going shopping this weekend (along with a closet cleanup, nothing makes you realize how much stuff you have like moving does), and here are a few of the pieces I hope to pick up. 

10 Spring Decor Ideas

wreath / kitchen essentials / bunny salt & pepper / picture / vase / table runner

pink pillow / blue and white pillow / orange tree / trinket dish

I'm also trying to get better at growing flowers, so far I've succeeded with my orchid. It's blooming again and I am so excited! I used to have the opposite of a green thumb (I've killed cactuses) but it's getting greener! What are your favorite ways to decorate for spring? 

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Eight Great Table Lamps

I have been on the hunt for new lamps for our nightstands. I am looking for someone that will make the room seem lighter (haha) and brighter, but that isn’t too feminine or masculine for that matter. It would also be ideal if they had a USB outlet in them. I’ve been on the hunt for a while now, and thought it might be helpful to some of you who might also be searching for new lamps if I grouped together my favorites. 

Eight Great Table Lamps

1. I love the marble base on this Cupcakes and Cashmere lamp. It feels modern and elegant without being fancy. 

2. I like the height of this avenue lamp, and the face that the glass middle opens the piece up so it doesn’t feel so heavy like a lot of desk lamps do. Plus it has a USB outlet!  

3. I think the acrylic stacked orbs on this lamp base are very in right now, but they are still generic enough to match any decor. It is a great price point too. 

4. I love the unique geometric cut outs on this cote table lamp. It almost has the vibe of the brand new Cult Gaia bags that are coming out for spring. Plus, I love the white color. It would definitely add some lightness to our dark bedroom furniture.  

5. This stirrup brushed nickel lamp is my favorite. I think chrome brightens up a room, and the literal hole in the middle keeps the lamp feeling light and airy instead of heavy.  

6. This ocean glass accent lamp feels a little nautical to me, which I love! It’s not nautical enough to clash with any decor, and the blue color is a fun touch. Since it’s a relatively transculent color it wouldn’t clash with any existing decor either.

7. I think this division marble table lamp is so unique. The brash rectangle is unexpected, and the marble base adds a refined touch to the whimsy brass. Generally I’d find the triple rectangles somewhat boring, but the mix of materials makes it unexpected and fun.

8. Two lamps for one! I love the height of these lilly table lamps, they will definitely lift the eye up and make the room feel lighter and brighter. Plus, the majority of the lamp seems like it’s floating on the glass orb, which also keeps them from looking too heavy and austere.  

Which one is your favorite? Have you found any great decor pieces lately? Do tell! I’m currently doing some minor re-decorating and am always looking for great finds!  

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