If you’re anything like me, you start playing Christmas music the second that giant Thanksgiving meal has settled. (You might even start your holiday shopping in September…) So now that Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers are finding creative uses, I’m thinking about ways to make the next holiday super festive.
One of the ways I get into the holiday spirit is finding new and fun ways to decorate and wrap gifts. I’m excited to share a few holiday gift-wrapping techniques in the coming weeks, and today I’m kicking things off with these easy holiday gift tags.
We so carefully pick out papers and bows, but in my experience, the gift tag is an under-appreciated afterthought. It often doesn’t match the rest of the wrap job. This year I’m putting some more thought into it than usual. These tags one way I’ve drummed up to make gift tags more interesting, and they are super customizable, so the sky is the limit with what you can do with them!
Going in a slightly different direction with this new series, which I hope to add to a couple times a month: Home renovation!
As mentioned in one or two previous posts, I recently moved into a new space. A move was long overdue. The space is larger, it’s closer to a lively downtown area, and (important to me as a photographer), it has a lot of windows!
However, as with any new living situation, it needs work—a few repairs, and a lot of personalization!
Altogether there are 6 areas that need attention…
For the last five or six years, I’ve basically missed Halloween. I’m definitely someone who wants to Go Big or Go Home on this holiday, so when I’ve had too much going on, I’ve just, well, skipped it.
This year I realized that if I don’t find a median between “Go Big” and “Go Home,” I’m never going to get to be a part of the fun dress-up tradition again… and I LOVE Halloween and I hate to miss it! So this year, I am going simple. I’m dressing up… as SnapChat!
Now, this will really only work if I can find a few other people to dress up with me. SnapChat filters change every day, so if someone doesn’t happen to see the one I choose for my costume, it won’t make any sense. But if 3-5 of us come together as different filters, I think it will be hard not to see right away what our costume is!
Below are 3 SnapChat filters that I found were super easy to replicate (even at the last minute!), and if you and your friends want to trick-or-treat together, each of you can use a different disguise below and still go out in “group costume.” Ready?
Setting a table for a feast (or even just a large group) calls for some strategy. To keep the mood relaxed and enjoyable, you want to balance a variety of comforting cues with cleanliness and spaciousness—meaning, you want familiar aromas to fill the air and decorations to abound… and you also want to keep the table clear of dirty dishes and make sure each guest has enough elbow room.
Sounds simple enough—until you realize you want to put both a gorgeous centerpiece and your carefully prepared meal in the same spot on the table. Or that you’ve invited twelve, but only have enough china for ten. Then suddenly you find yourself saying something you never thought you’d say before: “The rules for a traditional table setting would come in really handy right about now!”
I’ve got you covered. Back in the day, I had to learn for a job which silverware was used for what—and in so learning, I actually learned the right way to set a table at the same time. As you plan to host holiday meals this year, consider these 5 handy tips for maintaining the energy of your party from appetizers to dessert.
I just moved into a new place, and I’d kind-of forgotten after living in the same place and making it my own for more than 6 years how much TLC a new home can require.
Matt has already set about making small repairs and painting, and I’m working on making the place festive for fall! We hit a fair in a nearby town last week and I have been feeling particularly inspired.
Our place has an inactive fireplace with a nice mantle for decorating. Here are 3 super easy projects that each take less than an hour to complete which you can use to make your own mantle a centerpiece in your home for autumn.
Project Time: Depends on how many cards you want to make! Could do a few dozen in an afternoon.
DIY level: Easy-Medium
These Save-the-Date cards were inspired the day I made these “wax” seals. I loved making these seals, but I also kind-of thought, what am I ever going to send that’s so fancy it would call for wax seals? Invitations to Buckingham Palace?
Then I decided any occasion can be fancy enough for wax seals if I make it so! And although I chose Save-the-Date cards for such a project, you could apply the embossing technique outlined here to invites for any event—a surprise party, a wedding shower, a baby shower, an anniversary, you name it! You could also use it for your annual holiday card or for Valentine’s Day.
Project time: 1 hour
DIY level: Easy-medium
I love Anthropologie. A couple times a year I splurge and get myself a sweater or dress out of their “Freshly Cut” section online. And when I get that rare treat of getting to visit one of their actual stores, you bet I’m going to walk out of there with something, even if it’s just ridiculously cute measuring spoons.
Sometimes, Anthropologie’s product turnover is just a little too fast, or the item I want is out of my price range. Fortunately, I’ve got some skills up my sleeve when such occasions arise—I can make certain items on my own, like this origami flower garden hat!
Project Time: 2 hours or less
DIY Level: Easy-Medium
Call me picky, but I have the hardest time finding decent rings. I always see rings I like on other people, but when I ask, “Hey, where did you get that?” the answer is always something impossible to replicate—“Oh, it’s an heirloom ring! It was my great aunt’s,” or, “I got it in a little thrift shop called Caroline’s,” or even, “I picked this up the last time I was in Italy.”
So I’ve been doing a little research into making my own rings. I’m not one for adjustable metal rings, so until I learn metal working, I’m going as far as I can with wood craft rings I bought off of Etsy. These ones I paired with two materials left over from previous projects: Sculpey left over from a project I’m still perfecting, and liquid gold gilding from this project over here. I’m pretty happy with how they came out!