What? It Fell Out of the Tree that Way!

Mr. Pea & I bought our Christmas tree on Sunday and ended up with a few extra branches.  The man cutting the fresh ring on the tree had to clip off a few of the low hanging limbs and he was about to throw them into the pile of other discarded branches when I stopped him.  We just paid for those limbs why discard them!  Christmas is the best time of year for a DIY project and those extra branches could make lots of nice decor for your home.

Here’s what “fell” out of my tree:

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Bough Decor

Christmas Bough

In total I ended up with four of the lowest (and biggest) branches to play with.  Here is all you need to transform your extra branches into beautiful decor: 2 Wire Hangers, Pruning Sheers, Wire Cutters, and Green Wire.  That’s it!

Wreath Making Tools

2 Wire Hangers, Green Wire, Wire Cutters, & Pruning Sheers

The green wire I have shown is 20 gauge and easy to manipulate, floral or other easily bendable wire will also work.  If you have a wire wreath form floating around, omit the wire hangers.  Now, shape the hangers into a rough circle, line up the hooks, and using the green wire secure at the top, bottom, & sides of the circle.  I found it hard to even see the hangers anymore once the wreath was done, but if you’d like wrap the hangers with green floral tape.  Now clip one branch at a time into 10″-12″ lengths and secure to the wreath form you just created with the wire, overlapping the ends of each length.  Continue doing this until the wreath is as full as you’d like.

Now it’s time to decorate!  I had these clip on decorations from my usual grapevine wreath.  I got them at Michaels.  You could spice yours up using ornaments, bows, pine cones, or lights.  Whatever you have around the house or find in the yard even.

Here are a few inspirational ideas:

  Wreath Ideas

I really love the use of different plants for varying texture in all of these wreaths.  For more tips and how to add live plants to a wreath check out this article on Apartment Therapy.

My wreath took less than an hour to put together and I had enough branches left over to put together the bough on my front step.  I couldn’t believe how easy (and cheap) this was to put together!  Literally, this was free!  Now go make something beautiful!

Homemade Fir Wreath



DIY Paper Star Garland

To me Thanksgiving is such a nice primer to usher in the Holiday Season.  Right away you get to start off your Christmas decorating with a clean house (if you hosted), and all the leftover pumpkin pie is yours to nibble on while you dig through your box of goodies.

I like to add at least one new decoration to my holiday collection every year.  It is too expensive to buy it all at once!  This year I made a Paper Star Garland and I’d love to share this cute little DIY decoration with you today.

First you’ll need the template!  I cut these out with my Silhouette, but they could easily be cut out by hand.

Grab this template and scale it to the size you want.  I used a 4″ star and a 2″ star.  Cut along the solid lines and score along the dotted lines.  Cut out 2 for each finished star and glue them together with the tabs.  Once they’re glued you can push them together to get the 3-d shape.  You should end up with a pile of stars like this.

I made 8 large stars and 4 smaller stars for a 6′ length of garland.  Next measure the length of intended span and add a few inches for slack.  For instance, my window is approximately 5′-6″ so I added another 6″ to allow for a bit of slack in my garland.  Now cut out double that length for the rope or twine, I cut 12′ of twine.  Tie the two loose ends together so you end up with a doubled over 6′ length of twine with a loop on each end.  I hang mine by looping each end over a thumbtack, preferably the same color as your molding or clear to not draw attention to them.

Hang up your twine at this stage to make sure the length is right and make any adjustments necessary.  Trust me you want to do this now before the stars are added.  Now back to the stars!  I cut out 6″ of twine for the larger stars and 18″ for the smaller ones, but make this your own, keeping 6″ as a minimum.



Once you have them all stung through (broaden the hole on the little stars if need be), tie them off where you would like them to meet the rope.  Don’t tie them too close to the star because you want it to dangle.  For the larger stars I tied them off roughly in the middle and for the smaller stars I tied them off closer to the loose ends so they would hang farther down.

Now take your long length of twine down and lay it out on a table or the floor.  Take your stars and space them out along your twine.

Now keep an eye on your helper.  They might steal one of your cute stars or try to run off with the string entirely.  SO very helpful!

Now once your helper is wrangled, and your stars are arranged as you like them it’s time to tie them off!

Finish with a little bow or just a knot, it’s up to you!  Once you’re done tying them all to the twine you can hang and enjoy your beautiful work!

And I’m back!

Happy Monday everyone.  I apologize for disappearing last week, the last two weeks have been crazy for me.  Painting the bedroom turned out to be a much bigger task then I allotted time for, especially while starting a new job.  We finally finished on Wednesday night, only to scramble to get the our room and the guest room pulled back together for our guests, my step-mother & sister, Friday night.  My father’s heart procedure was Friday and everything went well this time around!

Finally I have photos to share of the room!



Paint Close-up, El Camino & Desert View

Mr. Pea Paints too!

I couldn’t resist adding a little note under the primer. 😉

I hate to say it but after all that work, the paint colors aren’t quiet what I was expecting.  In full sun they appear to be purple and pink, in the shade and artificial light they read as the intended taupe and gray.  The purple and pink aspect is going to take some getting use too, otherwise in the evenings it looks lovely.  I am certainly NOT repainting! I think adding more sophisticated curtains in a gray will really enhance the room and pull it together for me.  Right now I am loving these from Crate & Barrel!  They are on the expensive side, but serve as good inspiration.

It feels so good to have this part of the room’s make-over behind me.  I gave this project my all and even hurt my right hand in the process.  Today is the first day I have been able to use it without pain.  That feels good too, I was about to call the doctor!  Next up for the room addition is getting a light on that ceiling already!


Online Marketing for Blogs to Blogs

I discovered some very interesting tips on how to submit your work to the big blogs today and want to share my resources with you.  This post goes beyond Etsy sellers and is relevant to other bloggers, or even professionals wanting to get their work published.  The big secret is found in this article from Design Sponge:  Advise from Design Bloggers!  Those Biz Ladies articles offer such a wealth of information.

In a nutshell here are the main points I took away from the article:

  • Email the bloggers directly in a friendly, personal way with great photos under 1MB attached.
  • Do not mass email all of them, pick one blog at a time to go after.  They want the exclusive after all!
  • Do your research, so you can tell them where you think you fit into their blog or why you are relevant to them.

That’s it, the big mystery revealed!  There are other points like don’t approach them if you only have two items in your shop, or only two posts into your blog, but the bullets above capture the essentials.

There are also sites where you can self submit your work, take note they don’t accept Etsy links, so having a blog or other online presence is essential.

Craft Gawker (for the crafty, DIY blogs out there)

Food Gawker (for the food blogs out there)

NOTCOT (covers just about every blogging realm: design, art, fashion, food, travel, cocktails)

Now for you Etsy sellers looking for success tips, READ this post and download the full, expanded 13 page article.  It is a little outdated but worth your time.

Happy Marketing!