DIY Paper Bow

It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts. Right?

It’s cliche, but I tend to think that the answer is yes. Some of the things that mean the most to me are gifts given from the heart.

It’s probably because I enjoy RECEIVING those thoughtful gifts so much, that I also like to GIVE and PACKAGE them too.

One way to really personalize a package is with special handmade wrap. Today I am going to share a super-easy tutorial for creating a DIY paper bow. You can use any paper to make these bows, so really the possibilities for customization are completely endless…

DIY Paper Bow Tutorial 1

Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project:

  • 12×12 patterned scrapbook paper any weight (I used heavy weight, double-sided paper from Studio Calico)
  • paper trimmer
  • brads
  • mini hole punch
  • adhesive or double sided tape (optional)

DIY Paper Bow Supplies

Start this project by trimming the 12×12 scrapbook paper into 3/4 inch strips.

DIY Paper Bow

You should end up with 15-16 different strips (depending on how carefully you trim).

DIY Paper Bow 2

Next, trim about four of strips of paper to 11 inches, four strips of paper to 10 inches and one strip of paper to five inches.

DIY Paper Bow 3

Crease all but the five inch strip in the middle to mark your center point.

DIY Paper Bow 4

With your mini punch, or a substitute (I have even used a tack), punch a hole through all but the five inch paper strip in the middle at the crease at toward each end. Each papers trip should have three holes.

DIY Paper Bow 5

Slip a brad through the center of one of the longest strips of paper. An alternate would be to use tape, but I don’t find that it works as well for me.

DIY Paper Bow 6

Twist the end of the paper to the brad and secure. You should see the same side of the paper facing up in both the middle and on the end.

DIY Paper Bow 7

Repeat on the other end.

DIY Paper Bow 8

Allow your loops to be fairly loose, if they are to tight the bow just wont work.

Repeat, layering the paper loops on the brad.

I find that every time I create a bow, I use a different number of paper strips. I just sort of play with it until it looks right. In the case of this bow, I only ended up using three of the 12 inch paper strips before moving on.

DIY Paper Bow 9

Don’t worry about perfection. As you can see in the photo above I even had a tiny tear in this bow, but it will not show in the end…

Layer until you feel the bow has just the right amount of fluffy.

DIY Paper Bow 11

Once you have filled the bow with loops, take your five inch paper strip and loop it into a circle. Push it through the brad and then secure the brad flat.

DIY Paper Bow 10That’s it. It’s ready to go!

DIY paper Bow tutorial 3

 

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup Recipe

About a month ago, my sweet friend Janine let me know that she was on a quest to discover the best of the best Crock Pot recipes and I was fortunate enough to share a favorite slow cooker recipe on her site a couple of weeks ago. Maybe you caught it?

Just in case you missed it, I thought I would share that recipe with you today.

This time of year warm, comfort food calls to me. I frequently pull out the slow cooker and it sits on the counter cooking up a storm for weeks. It’s perfect for busy holiday evenings too.

I have a few absolute favorite recipes that I cannot live without, like Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup.

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup Recipe

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup RecipeIt’s a mouthful of creamy-delicious heaven folks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (4 c.) chicken broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 block cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 lb. sausage
  • 1 bag frozen tortellini
  • Fresh spinach

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup RecipeDirections:

Writing the word “directions” when it comes to slow cooker recipes always makes me giggle just a little bit. I mean, really? Aren’t most slow cooker recipes pretty much dump and serve?!

Well, maybe not the complex sort you make, but the ones I make? They are EEEEEASY!

So here we go…

  • Brown sausage on stove top.
  • Turn slow cooker to high heat.
  • Pour chicken broth and diced tomatoes into slow cooker. I like to use spiced tomatoes. In the case of this recipe, I usually grab an Italian blend or something with rosemary and oregano in it.
  • Cube cream cheese and add to chicken broth and tomato mixture.
  • Add sausage.
  • Chop spinach into smaller pieces and add to soup mixture.
  • Cook for four hours.
  • About 20 minutes prior to serving the soup, add the bag of tortellini to the mix.

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup RecipeTotal cook time is about five hours. Five hours that you were able to spend running around doing a little Christmas shopping, enjoying the fall weather and who knows, maybe even reading a good book!

If you’re in the mood for a few more great recipes, hop over to Janine’s site and check out some of the other great Crock Pot meals that have been shared:

Zuppa ToscanaCrock Pot Zuppa Toscana

Crockpot-Mashed-Potatoes-via-thegrantlife.com_.-These-would-be-perfect-for-Thanksgivng-or-a-dinner-party.-Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Crock Pot Taco SoupCrock Pot Taco Soup

Interview: Stitched by Crystal

I’ve aged. It’s sad, but true. Though I like to pretend like I am a 20-something, I am a 30-something. What does that have to do with today’s interview? Lately I have met some very young bloggers who are so impressive that I just sit back and wish I had been as put together as they are. Today’s featured blogger Crystal, from Stitched by Crystal, is just that kind of girl…

Stitched by Crystal Quote

I feel a little silly “introducing” you to Crystal. She won so many of the challenges this season, I think you all know exactly who she is!

Here are a few of the projects Crystal has shared with us this season.

STITCHED BY CRYSTAL PROJECTS.jpg

DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray | Rainbow Baby Quilt Reversible Fall Leaf Pillow Case

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial - 11

And yesterday she shared her AMAZING upcycled kids art station.

Anyway….Let’s get on with the interview!

Interview: Stitched by Crystal

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.

I am mom to a two year old boy and one year old girl and wife to an awesome and supportive husband.  I work part time as an occupational therapist in a large acute care hospital and in my free time I like to craft.  I started my blog in 2011 to document the things I make, it is mostly sewing, quilting, and crafts for my kids.

How and why did you start crafting?

I have been crafting since I was a little girl.  Both of my parents are creative, my mom paints and sews and my dad does wood working.  My mom taught me to sew when I was young and I have loved it ever since.

How often do you craft?

I craft pretty much every day.  I am and early bird and my kids like to sleep in, you can usually find me at my sewing machine early in the mornings before they wake.  I think crafting keeps me sane, it is how I like to spend my free time and helps me distress.

Where do you get inspiration? How do you stay creative?

I draw inspiration from everywhere. Often times I will see something I like in a store and think “I could make that!”  I am always looking at clothing in the stores to see how it was constructed and then recreating something similar at home.  I also like to take things I already have or things I find in thrift stores and use them to make something new.

What is your favorite medium to work with?

Fabric!  I love sewing and I LOVE fabric. I have a huge collection of fabric in my craft space and am always buying new stuff.  My husband just rolls his eyes when I come home with another bag from the fabric store or a new shipment of fabric shows up on our doorstep.

What’s the one craft/DIY skill you’d love to master?

I would like to learn more about graphic design.  My computer skills are pretty basic and that is one area I would really like to grow.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I would have to say eating sugary snacks.  I try to limit my kids sugar intake but I am always sneaking Twizzlers and Skittles when they aren’t around!  I also enjoy some trash TV every now and then.

What makes you smile?

My kids.  It is so fun to watch them grow and develop their own little personalities.  They keep me giggling and smiling all day.

What is your favorite thing to do (other than crafting of course)?

I love spending time with my family. My favorite times are just lazy days at home with no agenda and nothing we need to get done. I also enjoy swimming, I swam competitively when I was younger and now I enjoy taking my kids to the pool in the afternoons.

How do you stay organized?

Being organized has never really been a strong suit of mine.  I usually have a huge mess in my craft room and 4 or 5 crafts going at once.  I try my best to keep organized with a calendar and to do list on my phone so things done on time, but mostly I just fly by the seat of my pants.

What blogger do you look up to?

That is a hard question, there are so many great bloggers out there!  I really admire Lindsay from The Cottage Mama. She has great style. I love her blog and clothing patterns and she is incredibly sweet. I am also always blown away by Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional, she makes the most adorable clothes for her girls, her cookie decorating is out of this world and she throws amazing parties!

Wow. Thanks Crystal!

Don’t leave yet! I am sharing a few of my favorite Stitched by Crystal projects.

 Stitched by Crystal Projects

Old Skirt to Beach Bag | Embroidered Pencil Case | Bunny Treat Bags | Floor Poof

 Kids Baking Busy Book | Dino Hat

 

Classic Holiday Movie Giveaway

“Someone” around here enforces a strict no Christmas before Thanksgiving rule, but I am already singing about Jingle Bells and Rudolph in my head.

Give me one more week and I will be pulling out the tree, whipping up a little peppermint hot chocolate and curling up under a blanket to relax with some of my favorite holiday movies. It’s a tradition around here to run through them all, from White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, to Rudolph, Frosty and the gang.

This year, I am sharing the fun. Today, I am joining up with an awesome group of bloggers and contributing a classic holiday movie to the ULTIMATE MOVIE GIVEAWAY!

Holiday Movie Classic 2

My share is the 1964 classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Since snacks are absolutely integral to my movie watching, I’m also throwing in the goodies you need to have a fun family celebration at home.

The coolest thing about today’s giveaway? You’re not just entering to win my classic holiday movie gift pack, one lucky person will receive over 20 favorite movies and loads of goodies from popcorn and hot chocolate to blankets, toys and gift cards.

Check it all out below and enter to win…

Ultimate Movie giveaway

First row: Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer–So you think you’re crafty || meet the Robinsons– Sugar bee crafts ||It’s a wonderful life & Pride and Prejudice– lil’ luna || A Series of Unfortunate Events– Simple Simon and Co

Second Row: Elf– the Idea Room || the Princess Bride & Remember the Titans —a girl and a glue gun ||Newsies–Simply Sadie Jane || Singing in the Rain–Flamingo Toes

Third Row: White Christmas —My sister’s suitcase|| Labyrinth–733 blog || While you were sleeping —Delia Creates || the Christmas Story —Lolly Jane

Fourth Row: Sweet Home Alabama–Simply Kierste || Christmas vacation, the Santa Clause, and Home Alone–Eighteen 25 || Horton hears a who–Girl loves Glam || Jumanji–Today’s Creative Blog

Fifth Row: Stardust–Craftiness is not optional || Runaway Bride–Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke

You can enter to win all these here….but check out each blog to get more details about their favorite movie!!!

enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us back or a new winner will be picked. Only open to U.S. residents.

Upcycled Kids Art Station

Each season, we have at least one contestant that consistently produces great work, places in the top three each week and wins a number of challenged along the way. This season Crystal, from Stitched by Crystal, definitely earned that spot.

Stitched by Crystal Quote

 

Today, Crystal is sharing a tutorial for the project she entered in our final round – an upcycled kids art station.

Upcycled Kids Art Station

I want to say a huge thanks to Tauni for hosting SYTYC! It has been so fun competing in this season and congratulations to Lynda on her big win!

This little art station was so fun to make!  It took me a pretty solid 2 weeks to finish it with all the painting and painting and painting, but it was worth all the effort.  My kids have really been enjoying it and it is so fun to watch them create!

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial Upcycled Art Station Tutorial - 5

To make this art station I used an old end table that I have had for years but don’t use anymore, a large frame I picked up at the thrift store, and some chairs I bought on craigslist.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I tried to pick a fun kid friendly color palate, but wanted colors with a bit of a vintage feel to them.  All these colors came from Lowes.  They turned out just like I pictured them in my head and I think they look perfect with the green walls in my dining room!

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

My favorite part of the whole project is the desk!  It was too low for the chair I found so I made it some new legs.  The old legs were used as a template to taper the new legs so they looked a bit fancier.  Then some more scrap wood was used to add the drawing paper to the side.  The table ended up being the perfect width for my 18” roll of paper so the wood just got bolted on the sides.  There is a hole drilled part way through the front piece and all the way through the back piece so a large wooden dowel can be inserted to hold the paper.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

After the wood working was done, the table got a few coats of paint.  Then the top was taped off for the chalkboard paint to be added.  Finally I added some new hardware for the drawer and a little handle to the side to hold the chalk.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I cut some peg board t fit the frame and painted both the frame and the board.  Painted peg board is a bit of a pain to paint, all those little holes plug up with paint.  After paint I used a screwdriver to clear the paint out of any plugged holes.  I bought some assorted peg board hooks at the hardware store and played around with hanging everything until I got a layout I liked. 

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

The spice rack at the top is from IKEA, it got screwed on through the peg board holes.  I used some old baby food jars and screwed the lids to the bottom, I learned the hard way that you really need you used 2 screws for that!  To hang the sketch pad I strung a rope through the holes and tied it at the back, the pad can be hung over the rope and easily taken down for drawing.  I also used some old tin cans for markers and pencils.  I cut paper to fit the outside and stuck it on the cans with Mod Podge.  Then I drilled a hole near the top of the can and they hang on hooks.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I cut a piece of wood to about the same length as the frame.  Added some hooks and hung the board from the bottom of the frame.  The hooks hold some buckets I picked up for $1 at Target to keep crayons,play-doh, and stamps.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

I wanted to create a little art gallery for my kids work so I painted three clip boards yellow.  Then I taped off the clips and spray painted them black.  I used some Command Strip picture hangers to hang them on the wall.

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial

Finally, I sanded, primed, and painted the chairs and my little art station was done!

Upcycled Art Station Tutorial - 11What a great project! Thanks Crystal!

Interview: Oh So Shabby

My goodness. I feel a little bit like today’s interviewee needs no introduction…

Lynda Oh So Shabby

With five wins this season, Lynda, from Oh So Shabby, has won half of the weekly challenges hosted on the site. Incredible!

I thought we’d recap Lynda’s Season 17 wins really quickly.

Oh So Shabby ProjectsOrganization Station | First Birthday Highchair | Themed Trick-or-Treat Bags

Rapunzel Pumpkin | Upcycled Girl’s Vanity

Seriously. This girl is amazing.

Interview: Oh So Shabby

Tell as a little bit about yourself and your blog.

I am a very proud mother of three girls, 10, 9 and 7 and a wife of an amazing man named Ryan.

I have run my own business for the last 18 years, but my true passion is designing, crafting, sewing, and anything creative I can get my hands on.  y favorite is repurposing. My passion reared its head late in life, actually only about 2 years ago and I am completely obsessed. I am looking forward to many more years of creating ahead of me.

How and why did you start crafting?

A friend of mine introduced me to her handmade jewelry. I had never done ANYTHING creative in my life, but for some reason a little voice inside my head said, “I can do that.” I am not sure why, but it did…

I went on YouTube and learned how to make jewelry. That was the beginning of my obsession of all things creative.

How often do you craft?

At least 3-4 times per week.

Where do you get inspiration? How do you stay creative?

I do get some inspiration on Pinterest but I really try to sit quietly and come up with my own ideas.

What is your favorite medium to work with?

I love painting and repurposing old furniture with Chalk Paint, Glazes and waxes.  Paint can make anything look pretty.

What’s the one craft/DIY skill you’d love to master?

I’d love to be a better sewer. I can basically sew a straight line but that is about it.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I love roller coasters and anything thrilling.  I have also gone sky diving several times.

What makes you smile?

Spending time with my hubby and three little angels.  And a fully finished redecorated room done with my own hands.

What is your favorite thing to do (other than crafting of course)?

I have started a women’s social group in my neighborhood.  I love connecting with people and there is nothing more enjoyable that a bond with a true friend.

How do you stay organized?

I called the way I organize, organized chaos. I am not either very organized or a total disaster.  If you walk through my house it looks pretty neat, but do NOT look in the closets!!

What blogger do you look up to?

Mandi, from Vintage Revivals, rocks my world and I love the optimistic positive nature of Lauren, from The Thinking Closet.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Lynda! Now, a chance for me to share a few of my favorite Oh So Shabby posts…

First, you cannot miss the princess bedroom Lynda created for her daughter. It’s not just a pretty room, it’s chock full of amazing furniture upcycle projects. Go, go, go!

Princess Room

One of the stunning items in the room is this amazing chaise lounge

Upcycled Chaise LoungeShe’s also created a fun how-to for this cute ruffle valance

Ruffle ValanceOh my gosh. Tell me these little guys aren’t the cutest? Squash birds.

Squash birdsAnd maybe just go and check out her before and after page. It’s AMAZING!

Upcycled Girl’s Vanity

Were you as excited about this season’s amazing projects as I was? Seriously. The competition was stiff!

Lynda Oh So ShabbyToday Lynda, from Oh So Shabby, is here to share her final project. This upcycled girl’s vanity is the project that won the competition for her!

Upcycled Girl’s Vanity Tutorial

Super excited and a bit shocked that I made it all the way to the end!  There were so many great crafters I was honored to have competed with all of them and glad to have made some new friends along the way!

If you have been following along this season, you’ve probably noticed that most of my projects were some sort of furniture repurpose. It’s my true passion!! I have dabbled in many creative projects, but working with furniture is what makes my heart go pitter patter. The feeling of accomplishment when I see the before and after is like no other.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this little gem on Craig’s List for $25. This cute little old couple was moving and I almost felt bad only paying $25.

Here she is before….

Upcycled Girls VanityAnd, here she is after….

Upcycled Girls VanityThis last project wasn’t one of those, “Ok, I think I am going to do this and that” type projects. I stared at her (I always call my furniture pieces HER) forever. I knew I wanted her to be really pretty.

I stared and stared, but it just wasn’t coming to me. I knew I wanted the piece to have some sort of metallic – either gold or silver – finish,  but I wasn’t sold on one over the other.

So, off to Hobby Lobby to walk the isles in search of some inspiration! While in the fabric isles, I came across a fabric I have ALWAYS wanted to use but never had that “right” project for it. There is was staring at me. My inspiration!

I didn’t take a before pic of the fabric, but here it is…

Upcycled Girl's Desk

Once I had my inspiration set, I cleaned the vanity and chair completely then I primed the entire piece with Kilz primer.

After that I painted it with a combo of American Accents Heirloom White and Blossom White.

I painted all the accents with gold metallic paint. This was the first time I had used this type of metallic paint – it was so awesome to use. It went on like butter

GOLD1The top of the vanity looked so lonely and needed some jazzing up! I taped a stencil on the top of the vanity and with a Sharpie marker colored on pink polka dots. Voila! Personality!

Upcycled Girl's DeskAnd, with that she was done and the finale project was finally finished. Bitter Sweet for sure!!!

Upcycled Girl's Desk

Thanks again to everyone that voted for me this entire 10 weeks, I had so much fun!

Hopefully you’ll come visit me sometime at Oh So Shabby!

Season 17 Final Results

After two months of amazing projects, late nights and a ton of hard work, it’s time to “crown the winner” of our competition.

Drumroll please…

The winner is…

SYTYC Final WinnerCongratulations to Lynda, from Oh So Shabby, who’s our Season 17 winner.

Lynda Oh So ShabbyTune in next week for Lynda’s awesome upcycled girl’s vanity tutorial.

Upcycled Girl's Desk

You’ll also be able to catch Lynda’s interview next week!

Our runner up…

I also want to take a moment to congratulate Crystal, from Stitched by Crystal. Crystal has been a fierce competitor in our competition this season and man, oh man, is she good.

Stitched by Crystal QuotePlease come back next week to see Crystal’s tutorial and to learn more about her in her crafter interview!