DIY – Easy Festive Letter Ornaments

Eeek, it’s Christmas Eve! And normally I have a bit more of my sh*t together, but this year I was a bit behind in the craft ornament department. Ornaments are always my go to Christmas gift not only are they great year after year, they are sentimental and the perfect keepsake for moments or milestones in time.  Beyond a sentimental ornament, I always like to get letter ornaments, especially as a fun present topper.
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This year I went the custom letter route with a fun holiday twist on something so simple and partially already made.  I found wooden letter ornaments in the dollar bins at Target and thought it would be fun to dress them up with festive jingle bells and colored pom poms. This project was about $15 in materials and took maybe a half hour of my time to make everything — so easy, so cute and super cost friendly!

What You’ll Need:
– Letter Ornaments
16mm Jingle Bells – 2 packs
Colorful Craft Pom Poms from Target
White and Red Craft Pom Poms from Michaels
– Hot glue gun and glue sticks
DIY-LetterOrnament-beelifeblog(1)Step-by-Step:
1. After you have your supplies it’s really quite easy and fun! The goal is to cover your letter with your jingle bells or pom poms — I laid out the design and determined quantity before I started gluing to make sure I had enough to cover each ornament, while having a mini road map made.

2. A few of the letter ornaments I decided to color block with the jingle bells with all silver or all gold, I even had a little fun alternating red, blue and green on a third one! The fun part is they even jingle, it;s the perfect little bling and ring for the tree.

3. For the pom poms, I had a variety of sizes, I liked both size options and how it looked mixing and matching the two different sizes to fill in the letter. I went with reds, whites and greens and then some multi-color pom pom ornament for us.

4. Let dry and gift a fun custom ornament to your friends or family!
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I’m definitely trying to cram it all in today — including a workout to start the day, some volunteer dog walking, squeezing in a few more of these ornaments and wrapping all of my presents before church! I am very much looking forward to relaxing a littler later and the next few days. Merry Christmas, Eve!

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DIY – Holiday Snow Globe Place Settings

Spoiler! I love decorating and hosting get togethers and I especially love transforming our house into a Christmas wonderland.  Included in that Christmas wonderland is playing around with our dining room decor and making a statement with our tablescape. I love shopping on Pottery Barn, we registered for our wedding there and I always find a few gems, especially seasonal ones that I grab when they’re on sale or occasionally splurge on. So long story short, I saw these Village Snow Globe Place Card Holders and was about to splurge — until I was like, wait it would be super fun to make those!
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What You’ll Need:

Plastic ornaments
– Mini wire brush trees, animals or houses – shop Christmas Village decor at Michaels. I bought (2) mini white trees and (2) green tree set
12×12 Glitter scrapbook paper/card stock, silver glitter and glue
Craft sparkle pipe cleaners, same color as glitter/paper, I used silver
– Cotton balls
– Uline knife
– Hot glue and mod podge

Estimated total project cost: $25

Step-by-Step:
1. First things first, you’ll need to cut a opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully!  I used a sharp mini philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of place settings you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!
SnowGlobeDIY-beelife(1)2. Woo! We have our openings, so now it’s time to cut our our bases and start planning our wintry scene. I used thicker card stock, that I ended up painting and putting glitter on — I would highly recommend buying scrapbook 12×12 glitter paper. This would’ve saved time and a mess. *smiles*  So using your thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!

3. Working from the center of your circular base play around with your mini trees/houses or animals. Once you have your scene figured out it’s time to glue in place! I started with my larger wire brush tree in the center, and flanked either side with smaller ones. Pull a cotton ball apart and shape around the base of the trees and glue into place. Wah-la, snow! Repeat, or switch up to have different variations.

Pro-tip: Don’t go to far from the center, so that you’re ornament can fit around your wintry scene especially the cotton ball snow

4. Once you have your bases decorated, glued and secured — place ornaments overtop, making sure everything is fitting within the ornament.  Glue and secure the base of the ornament with hot glue!
SnowGlobeDIY-beelife(2)5. Now, depending on if you bought glitter paper or not, this step may not be needed.  Using mod podge glue I painted the top of the white paper bases and then covered in silver glitter over a paper plate to catch the excess. I had to touch up a few spots once the glue dried and I dumped the remaining glitter off to see emptier spots.  If you bought glitter paper, you are 10-steps ahead of me!

6. Time for finishing touches! Get that hot glue back out and glue the pipe cleaners around the base where your ornament meets the base. You’ll most likely need to trim for an even meet at the back.  I then used the left over scraps of the pipe cleaner to create a circle to loop into the top of the ornament to hold place cards for guests! I used old place cards that we didn’t use from our wedding, but you can cut and customize as you want or not include!

7. Once your mini snow globes are created, it’s time to set the table and get ready to host a delicious meal with close friends and family!

This was such a fun DIY and I love how they turned out. For $25 I created 8-mini place setting snow globes compared to spending nearly $60 at Pottery Barn — plus I made them! I must admit figuring out how I was going to cut and create this using ornaments had be puzzled for a while, and it took a few trial and errors before I figured out how to cut the hole in the bottom. And I really wanted to use ornaments vs. mason jars or other types of glass cylinders I saw online.  So once I figured it out and put it all together I was so excited! The best part is you can keep and use year after year or send home with guests as a little keepsake <3.

Happy Holiday Hosting!

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DIY – Wooden Couch Sleeve

Ever have those pins that you saved at the beginning of Pinterest-time and have always wanted to make? I’ve wanted to make a wooden couch sleeve for a long time — it seems like an easy, practical solution without having side tables everywhere.  But our main living room furniture has rounded arms and these wooden couch sleeves definitely seem better suited for a squared off arm.
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I knew I would be able to make this fairly inexpensively as long as we had some scrap wood laying around — and luckily we did! I was able to utilize tools that we already had, so this project cost me $0.  And with our basement makeover, our furniture downstairs had squared off arms with a lower side table that only serves part of the seating, I thought this would be a perfect addition to our ‘finished-unfinished’ space especially with the natural rustic wood piece.

What You’ll Need:
– Scrap wood
– Table saw
– Sandpaper
– Satin/Gloss Clear Coat Spray Paint
– Nail gun
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Step-by-Step:
1. Determine the length of your main top piece based on your furniture. I decided on 13″ long and kept the original width of the board. You’ll want your sides to be the same length, width of sides can be all equal or shorter.

2. Using a tape measure and straight edge, draw a straight line for your top piece, then cut with table saw. For the sides because my scrap wood was older, I cut the same length and it pretty much split down the middle to make two smaller pieces.  I liked the more unfinished, raw edges as I wanted to keep the integrity of the older wood.

3. I then sanded the pieces on both sides and all of the edges.  Again, I liked the color of the wood – I just needed to work out a few rough spots and clean it up. After sanding, be sure to wipe down the pieces with a cloth to get rid of extra dust.
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4. I then did a top coat with Satin finished spray paint — that I happened to have at the house already.  Spray top coats are a little trickier to see full coverage until dry – so for that reason you may need to do a few coats depending on the finish and coverage you want (above picture before spray, bottom after spray).  I did two coats on the main top and sides, and one on the underneath part.

5. Once I was content with the top coat it was putting everything into place with the nail gun.  I opted NOT to use wood glue for two reasons (1) being lazy (2) we don’t have clamps, so we would’ve nailed in place shortly after gluing like we did for our floating shelf. This was a two person job to ensure the nails went in securely.  We put the sides in a bit so they would be snug against the couch, since I opted to keep the top the original width of the wood, avoiding too many cuts.

Pro-tip: I made sure all my cut edges were in the back of my piece, so the original rough edges would be facing out. I also determined my top early on when measuring and cutting pieces.
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This is the perfect addition to the space, and it’s sturdy for an afternoon cup of coffee, the remote or a glass of beer watching the game! Although we have a super cute trunk side table in this space, it’s much lower than the couch and chair so it isn’t exactly convenient for ongoing sipping. This couch sleeve is also portable, so it can move around depending on which spot you’re in or who needs it. I love how it turned out and it’s imperfections!  Plus — this could also be a sweet Christmas gift for just about anyone.

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DIY – Painted Paper Mache Pumpkins

Looking for an affordable fall craft to kickoff your October?  You’re in luck, I have this super easy and affordable craft using Target’s $4.99 paper mache craft pumpkins and craft paint and a gold craft pen you can create colorful and custom pumpkins for your fall decor! For around $10 a pumpkin, you can craft and create a fun piece to add to your interior fall decor collection.
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What You’ll Need:
Paper Mache Pumpkins – $4.99 each
Craft Paint Colors of Your Choice – $0.79 each
Foam Brush – $0.49 each
– Optional: Gold Craft Pen – $3.79

Pro-tip: Stock up on all the colors for your acrylic craft paint, you’ll always use them and a nice selection is always great to have on hand for spur of the moment crafts. Same goes for foam brushes, just grab a handful or two!

Step-by-Step:
1. Determine your colors! I opted for a paler orange and a lighter green for my pumpkins.  I mixed my colors with white to lighten them up a bit.
2. Paint your pumpkins completely using the foam brush and your paint color – leave stem unpainted, unless you want a more simplistic look.
3. Allow to dry before adding a second coat – you can determine the number of coats of paint based on how much the paper mache shows through.
4. Once your pumpkin base is painted, now it’s time to paint your pumpkin stem.  I opted for gold, I used metallic craft paint for this. You could also cover you stem with gold glitter!
5. Add detail with paint or gold craft pen – I kept this simple and added some flair around the stem. You could also do gold polka dots, stripes or writing a fun message or sentiment like “hello fall” or “I’m here for the boos.”
6. Style and decorate with other pumpkins around your house!
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I am still getting all my fall decor out, so I am sure these guys will be moved around a bit more — but this was an easy and perfect DIY to get all those fall decor juices flowing! How would you paint your paper mache pumpkins? Would you keep them simple like mine, or punch them up with patterns or words?

Happy Crafting!

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DIY – $25 Floral Letter

This is a DIY I have had my eyes on for a long time and I finally got around to grabbing the supplies and giving it a try!  A floral letter can be perfect for hanging on your door in the spring with you’re families last name initial, hanging in a living space, bedroom or for nursery decor.  My initial inspiration for baby shower decor, with it doubling as nursery decor after the shower! The theme of the baby shower was Woodland glam, so I went with a bit more muted colors for my floral color palette.
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What You’ll Need:
– Hot Glue Gun & Glue // Mod Podge would probably work well too
– Letter of Your Choice – I grabbed this 13″ B from Michael’s for $4.99
– A mix of florals – grab smaller filler flowers & larger florals
– Shop my Florals: Hydrangea & Rose Bundle ($6) | Green Wild Mum Stem ($5) | Toast Strawflower Bush ($6) 
– Ribbon for hanging or clip
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Step-by-Step:
1. When shopping for your florals, grab a good mix of size, color accents and potential filler pieces, you’ll definitely want more than not enough! I bought 5-different stems/bunches.
2. Start by de-heading your faux flowers from their stems and start playing around with placement on your letter.
3. I put larger/heavier flowers in the bottom corner to help anchor the piece and also did this in the top of the B to help add some equal weight.
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4. From there I filled in with smaller flowers and use my smallest flowers to really fill in smaller spots and make it feel lush and full – while still holding to the shape of the B.
5. As you work in sections and get areas figured out, cut underneath of flower stems as low to the flower as you can in order to keep it somewhat flush to the letter. Then, begin gluing your determined sections into place – I was very generous with the hot glue around the stem area, and even onto the underneath of the leaves to help secure in place.
6. Continue adding florals until the top part of your letter is completely filled! Let dry a bit to ensure florals are completely secure. Then you’re ready for decorating/hanging!

Don’t forget to have fun, get creative and use other pieces of your flowers like some of the leaves to help fill in the space – I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough flowers to fill the space and this helped even everything out.

Since I was making this as a gift, I’ll definitely be making one for us next to keep and use on the front door.  I can see this being a new go-to gift for a people this upcoming holiday season or would be an awesome housewarming present! A few other ideas for your floral letters would be spelling out smaller words like MOM for Mother’s Day or just using the same flower and color to really create a bold statement – this could also be done with numbers for a milestone birthday.  I also love how this completed a centerpiece statement at shower and can’t wait to see if in the finished nursery!

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DIY – French Barn Door

Our bathroom makeover was a complete revamp, and figuring out what we were going to do with the door was all over the place.  Since we had limited room we were initially planning to do a pocket door. But then we switched to something more modern with frosted windows – but the doors I found and liked were well over $300, way more than we wanted to spend, so we went back to the drawing board and tried to figure out a door we might be able to make.

We got the idea to check out our local Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if they had any doors that might fit the bill, or even something we could turn into our own.  We really wanted something that had windows in it, like a french door, but wanted to frost the windows since it’s for a bathroom… we just needed to find an affordable french door.  And we did! It was a little skinner than we needed, but we were confident we could extend it and make it our own and DIY-ing our own barn door using black pipe.
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Cost Breakdown:
– French Door – $55
– Frosted Spray Paint – $5
– White Paint – $18
– (2) 2x4x8′ – $8
– Wood Glue – $15
– (2) Wheels – $7
– (2) Hooks – $6
– (1) Bar w/ base and corners – $30
Barn Door Handle – $21
Total Cost: $165

What We Did:

  1. First we sanded down the door and removed some of the extra pieces/frame that was on the door.
  2. Through trial and error we finally figured out the proper piece of wood to use to extend the width of the door which was two 2x4x8′ – this definitely took a bit longer to figure out, including securing it to the door and then using wood filler to make it look like one piece.  Again, this was the toughest part, but we finally got it into a good spot with the wood filler.
  3. Next up was painting the door, white! After a few coats on each side, we were almost in business and then sprayed the windows on the outside of the door with the frosted glass look.
  4. We then drilled in our larger circular hooks at the top, added the wheels (which we had to switch with different ones that worked better), and then put together the pipe bar for placement!
  5. With some tweaking and DW-40 we got this door sliding easily and working great in the space! Once we had the door working, we added the handle while it was standing for more accurate placement.

DIY door 4 - thebeelifeThe frosted windows definitely help the bathroom space feel private, while from the outside it feels welcoming and open.  Since there are two windows in the room, we wanted the light to still be able to come through.  From the bathroom side of the door, you can see a slight difference in the additional side pieces – only because the door width with the wood pieces wasn’t an exact match – but from the outside it’s nearly perfect! 

Although this was a little extra work and challenged our problem solving skills, the end price was still WAY more affordable for the look and type of door we wanted to purchase – it was a savings of over half the price of the doors I wanted – plus we both love the way it came out!  And it’s completely custom to our space, don’t worry the full bathroom reveal is coming soon – in the meantime check out this $15 Floating Shelf, How to Install Vinyl Flooring and What We Wish We Knew before Tiling Our Shower.

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House Tour: Basement Makeover Reveal

Last August we were game planning and getting ready to give our drab basement a little makeover to be more functional from a storage perspective, while also creating additional living space with a unfinished-finished room.  Our game plan for our basement (and some gross before pictures) started relatively simple and functional – I also had some ulterior motives to have the extra space prepped for B’s surprise party.  So from that perspective, I was trying to keep it simple and low budget – but that didn’t stick!
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How To: Install Vinyl Flooring

As we were getting ready for our bathroom project and pricing out various materials and finishes, we quickly saw the dollar signs as we wanted a completely tiled shower stall and initially wanted a tiled floor.  In addition to the dollar signs, time, effort and labor came into account and as I found slightly more affordable vinyl adhesive flooring options – that also had great patterns – it quickly rose to the top as a realistic option for this space.
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In addition to being more affordable than ceramic tile, vinyl flooring has other benefits like it’s highly resistant, it’s easy to install and low maintenance. Which is exactly the perfect mix of things we needed for this bathroom floor space! It really ended up being a no brainer – so let’s breakdown what you’ll need and how to install your own vinyl floor!

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4 Things I Wish We Knew Before Tiling Our Shower

With our bathroom project coming to a close – I wanted to share a few of our trials and tribulations, specifically from tiling our entire shower from floor to ceiling.  Tiling the shower was never something we didn’t feel confident doing – we had successfully accomplished a smaller tiling project a few years prior, so how hard could this be? *smiles*
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To preface, we did extensive research and YouTube how-to video watching and there were definitely a few steps that these DIYers seemed to leave out of their tiling videos that sort of killed us, from a timing and extra work perspective. Also – a lot of DIYers were using individual tiles vs. the sheets, so I couldn’t gauge if we needed to do anything special or not!

What I Wish We Would’ve Known

(1) Over Estimating Tile Purchase by 10%  Soooo this was something I’d seen on the inter webs, but not something we accounted for – this involved us having to run out and buy a couple more boxes of tile, while we were mid-way in the tiling game. This meant extra money we weren’t planning on spending. Not to mention a few of the boxes we’d purchased included broken tile sheets – so we were able to exchange/return others we worked with. We also hadn’t accounted for ceiling tile – so this was something we also had to pick out and purchase while we were prepping for this project.

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