Tag Archives: holiday

free diy gift tag upcycle idea

Free diy gift tag upcycle idea.

And so easy it’s shameful.

And free, so it’s awesome.

Take last year’s holiday cards, minus any photo cards, sentimental cards you want to keep and inappropriate cards from your crazy uncle.  Just me?

Grab a pair of scissors, a single hole punch if you’ve got one (I saw them at our Dollar Store recently) and some twine or ribbon.

greeting card gift tags

Cut around the pretty images and words on each card.  Nasty old scissors are not a requirement.  I think that’s a bit of thinset from the bathroom tiling project mixed with some floor stain … I may have run out of cotton rags mid-stain and needed to cut up another t-shirt.  #AlwaysPrepared…Enough-ish  🙂

greeting card gift tags

Punch a hole in each tag and tie some twine or ribbon through the hole and onto the ribbon on your package.  Or tape the twine to the package.  Or tape the tag to the package.

You get the idea.  🙂

greeting card gift tags

How’s that for another “use what you have” idea.  So far we’ve made a pallet wood garland and a canvas table runner.  Everything has been simple and free, that’s my kind of holiday decor.  🙂

this is such a great idea for free gift tags every year

I’ve had so much fun making new things with stuff we had hanging around that I gathered a group of some of my favorite bloggers and I said “Hey, why don’t you do something awesome for the holidays with stuff you already have and we’ll share all the great ideas with our readers.”  So, if you haven’t been to Jessica’s yet you should get started over at Decor Adventures and from here be sure to visit Jaime at That’s My Letter.  She always makes great stuff and is a whiz with power tools. She’s one of those girls I would love to hang out with and build something.

That might sound weird.  But it shouldn’t.  Promise.

15 great last minute holiday ideas, so many fun ideas using what you probably already have in your stash

do you feel it too?

You guys!  I really can’t explain it.  But I am totally pumped for the holiday season this year.  I think it hits me different every year.  Does that happen to you? Some years the holidays just seem to come and go as pretty regular days, and then some years, like this year, I am just so into the spirit of the season I kind of don’t know what to do with myself.


Maybe it’s because the last two years we haven’t really been able to embrace it fully in our house.  Do you remember 2012?  That year we found out on December 15th that we would be moving, off a Caribbean island to somewhere we still didn’t know.  You can read a little about the unexpected here and walking away (in full darkness) from our experience living on Curacao here.

Buh bye quirky little island rental house.

kaya boyo

 And then last year, well, our house was barely even livable and when you’re working on creating actual, functioning living spaces its kind of hard to be all “fa la la la la”, if youknowwhatImean.  Looking back, we were just bringing the first bit of furniture into the living room on December 4th, and we really only got a tree because we had friends coming to visit and we didn’t want to seem like Grinches.  🙂


But this year, its real.  I’m into it.  I don’t even know what that means.  Maybe I’ll be overdosing on peppermint chocolate covered pretzels while crafting up a storm.  Or maybe I’ll just listen to holiday music marathons while finishing up the master bedroom and demo-ing the guest bath.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to come up with as many excuses as possible to walk into town because 1) the weather down here right now is perfection! and, 2) I need to see this lobster trap tree as much as possible.

lobster trap Christmas tree in Key West, FL

I’m already trying to do one random act of kindness per day.  Just little things, but things that seriously just make me feel good.  I’ve shared random acts of kindness ideas here, here and here.

random acts of kindness

And if you’re looking for a fun advent calendar idea, this advent tree with a new random act of kindness for each day is a great way to get into the spirit.

countdown to christmas

I just had to share.  I’m feeling it this year.  I had to get it out.  I shared 15+ crafty ways to give thanks over on Remodelaholic.com last week.

If that holiday spirit is starting to take you over, too, you might want to check out all of our holiday projects from years’ past here.  The very first blog post around here was about driftwood Christmas trees and one of my favorite crafts is this little seaglass tree from a couple of years ago.

And tell me, is it just me?  Or is this feeling something that’s in the air this year?

this year’s out of the blue pumpkin craft {from a toy we all know and love}

Well, somehow I did it again this year.

A random idea for an easy pumpkin craft popped into my brain and just like that I made a pumpkin.

Out of a slinky.


easy pumpkin craft made out of a slinky

It was one of those random out-of-the-blue ideas that just appeared after I saw a picture of a wire pumpkin.

Super easy really.

Just steal a slinky from your kids, or your neighbor’s kids or your friend’s kids … or buy one for $.99 from Kmart like I did.

easy pumpkin craft made out of a slinkyHot glue the ends together.

easy pumpkin craft made out of a slinkyPrime and paint the slinky, you could probably skip the primer.

Use a twig for a stem and raffia for some squiggly and a leaf for, well … a leaf.

easy pumpkin craft made out of a slinky

Yeah, that’s a real leaf I just grabbed from the yard.

I can honestly say that before last year’s palm frond pumpkin I had never made a pumpkin craft of any kind.

fall craft pumpkin

Now I’m two for two.

And, I have to admit, sometimes I really enjoy taking some time to make a silly little craft that serves no purpose at all.

easy pumpkin craft made out of a slinky

But, we’ll be back to the home improvement and DIY project programming next week.

We are in a little bit of a holding pattern with the front of the house project while we await inspections, roofing details, window installation and electrical upgrades.

We have learned that we need additional permits for each part of the project, which at this point just means “the city would like another check”.*

*And if you happen to work for the Key West Building Department and are reading this please know, we are more than happy to oblige.  My checks already have your name on them, you’re like a match made in heaven … your department and my checkbook.  It might be easier if I just drop my whole checkbook off, let me know.  😉

But, I may have just finished a little furniture build for our guest bedroom before we ripped off the roof.  A new DIY wood bed frame!!  Yes.  I did it.  I made a bed, yo!

diy wood bed frame and marleyI can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Let’s just say it wasn’t the smoothest build of all time. <— that right there might be the understatement in the history of life.  🙂

I guess it’s no wonder I sometimes like a simple little craft project.  You can read all about last year’s out of the blue palm frond pumpkin here, and for more silly holiday craft ideas I’ve got a whole gallery of projects here.

This short week has felt like just that, short!  We’ll be busy prepping all of the window openings for the new window install happening next week and who knows what other mess we’ll get ourselves into … but you know I’ll let you know all about it.

And thank you all so much for all of the great encouragement with the new look of the roof and living room.  We just hope we can do her justice.  🙂  Right now I’m just trying to hold myself back from jumping and clapping and screeching like a little girl every time I see it.  If you’ve missed it, the skinny on our little curb appeal/roof raising/old porch demolition project is right here.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

French Country Cottage

The 36th AvenueThe Lettered Cottage

105 fourth of july celebration ideas

This is going to be our first Fourth of July in the US since 2009.  I’m not sure we’ll do anything particularly exciting (unless you’re like us and consider a little DIY home improvement project exciting), but I’d love to put together a little somethin’ somethin’ for our front porch.

Not that we’re at the decorating stage or anything.  But a girl can dream. And whilst this girl was dreaming I remembered that I posted this great collection of ideas for whatever your fourth of July has in store last year.

On July 5th.

Which can either be looked at as a day late to be useful for poor old July 4, 2012 … or better yet, as the perfect day to kick off the countdown to July 4, 2013.

You can decide for yourself.  🙂

105 Fourth of July Celebration Ideas

21 Last Minute Fourth of July ideas put together by Tatertots and Jello.

22 Great ways to decorate using the American Flag by Home Stories A to Z.
I love this bandana table runner idea from Martha Stewart.  Rustic and thrifty, two of my favorite things.

How about this, watermelon and crumbled blue cheese makes an easy side dish with all of the right colors.  Well, it’s called ‘blue’ cheese, from Good Housekeeping.

Love these sparklers in cool bottles as a centerpiece by Southern Living.

20 DIY ideas as collected by I heart Naptime.  Including this awesome pallet flag by Mom 4 Real.

18 Recipes, Decor, Printables and more from Domestically Speaking.

22 Fourth of July Wreath ideas collected by Brightness.  Including this felt masterpiece by Capital B.

fourth-of-july-wreath21 fabulous fourth recipes compiled by none other than The Food Network.  And you know this Mainah loves a Lobstah Roll.

Now we’re equipped with enough ideas to get this party started!

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unique Valentines Day ideas

cheap valentines day ideas

Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go being cheap and easy this Valentines Day, or any other day for that matter.  But I love a cheap, easy and unique Valentine’s Day idea.

I am aiming for cheap and easy always this year.  (Oh, the things I say that make my parents so proud.)  😉 And I could, pretty legitimately even, use the “we just moved” and “we’re living out of a hotel” and “I’m stockpiling money under the hotel mattress for the purchase of a house” excuses for justification.  But, the truth is, I’m just all about the cheap and easy.  (As my mother shakes her head in shame.)

Post-It Notes Heart from the Dating Divas

The Game of Love from East Coast Creative

Date night Q&A by hopes and dreams – 30 interesting, thought-provoking and funny questions to ask your significant other, even if you’ve been together forever.

Nerf Gun War a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Life Design Craft – Hey, it worked for Brad and Angelina!

A closet full of hearts from Oh Happy Day – or an office, kitchen, bathroom … that room that you can get into last the day before that your man will be in first thing in the morning.Watch the sunrise from The Nest – Ummmm, this would take some effort on my part, but Joel is totally a morning person so it might be fun to enjoy those peaceful first moments of the day together.

Date night in a jar by Life in the Green House – This one might take some time to get together … if you’re just hanging in this Valentines Day it might be fun to write the list of date ideas to put in the jar with your spouse over a glass of wine … then you can craft up the actual jar on your own time. Or craft a date night box using my friend Stephanie’s tutorial at The Silly Pearl.

The First Word game from Simply Modern Mom – this one sounds like a great conversation starter.

Flashback Date from Everyday Mom Ideas

And a few things Joel might find himself roped into here soon …

Go for a tandem bike ride – Bikers are everywhere in Key West … I’m not sure exactly how well the whole tandem thing would go, but it sure would be fun to give it a try.

Have a grocery store dinner – We’re still living out of a hotel here people.  So all thrifty food options are on my mind.  But, how fun would it be to go to the grocery store, give each other a limit, say $5-$10, and buy whatever you want and call it dinner. Maybe we get a roasted chicken and carrot sticks or maybe we get chips and cake … who knows.  Fancy pants Valentines dinners are sooo last year.

Play tourist in your own town – I’m still somewhere between tourist and “I live here” so this one is pretty much what I do everyday … but use the day as an excuse to do those local things you wouldn’t normally do.

Happy Hour Hop – We just did this the other day with a few of Joel’s co-workers.  It was a fun way to check out new places and everything was a bargain.  🙂

Have a board game night show down – you know you want to!

Organize your digital photos – OK, I know this one sounds like work, but I read the idea somewhere and truth is, we have so many photos that need to be organized from years of life and vacations.  I have a feeling this one would lead to reminiscing and turn into a fun trip down memory lane.  “Hey, remember when we did that!?!?”

Visit a local winery – My BFF and her husband are regulars at theirs and they took me along as a third wheel when I was visiting in December because I am awesome they like to have me on their dates I wouldn’t let them go alone.  And it was fun, inexpensive and felt like we were somewhere exotic even though we were about 15 minutes from their house in Maryland … not really the heart of wine country.

And, of course, while you’re doing any of the above you could whip up your favorite drink and drop in a raspberry puree heart shaped ice cube … except with the tandem biking … you might want to try to master the bike before you add a martini into the mix.  😉
cheap and easy valentines day ideas

Happy dating!!  Other than the usuals (dinner, movie rental, go for a walk, skydive, etc) do you have any fun, out of the ordinary, yet very cheap and easy Valentines Day ideas?  Or are you more of the go big or go home type?

sea glass and driftwood Christmas craft

Is everyone all linked up to our crafty Christmas party already?  Don’t forget to link up your favorite Christmas craft from this year here … the party is open until Friday right here!

Now, as you read this I am up in the stone cold north, working on projects that have absolutely nothing to do with the holidays, but I wanted to give you the rundown of this little sea glass and driftwood Christmas craft that you saw on my mantel.

A great project for the kids big enough to use the glue gun, too. Continue reading sea glass and driftwood Christmas craft

countdown to Christmas {random acts of kindness advent tree}

Too soon?

Did my post on Friday, the little recap of all of the Christmas crafts we did last year, not imply that I had already started the countdown to Christmas?

It was supposed to.  😉

And, by countdown to Christmas I actually mean countdown to Christmas crafting.

And that countdown to Christmas crafting actually came to zero about a week ago. Would that make it T plus 7 days?  I don’t know. 🙂

I’m actually teaming up with a few other incredible bloggers and we’re banding together to bring you 4 creative ways to countdown to Christmas.  We’re talkin’ about advent calendars and in my case, an advent tree!
countdown to christmas

My idea actually came to me in July.  And I blame it on Joel.  He was cat sitting for a friend and asked me to go over one day he got stuck at work.  And I just so happened to see the perfect branch just laying there on the side of the road begging me to take her.

See, if Joel hadn’t needed my cat sitting help I would not have been on that road that day, and I would not have seen this branch and I would never have had this idea. (There’s really no way to prove that last part, but I’m sticking with it.  He’s used to it … and should be thankful I didn’t make the advent tree in July.  You’re welcome, Joel.)
countdown to christmas*the photo shoot in front of the shed didn’t really work out other than this pic of a cute pup.

Anyway, 4 months later, a dusting of white spray paint, green craft paper cut in random shapes and glittered in random patterns, a plant pot painted with metallic gold paint and filled with driftwood covered in my wedding veil …

… because veils aren’t just for weddings and driftwood isn’t just for trees anymore.  🙂

And we have my take on an advent tree.
countdown to christmas

And you know what we’re doing to count down the days?

We’re doing random acts of kindness.

That’s right people!  We’re passing it on to random people we don’t know and who will probably give a sideways glance as I try to explain in a language not native to them what the heck I’m up to.  🙂

You might remember that we had 12 Days of Kindness last year.

This year we’re stepping it up a notch and we’re doing 25 random acts. BAM!
countdown to christmas

In all truth, I mixed in a few random acts of kindness for myself, and my husband, and some people I know.  In the vein of spreading the holiday cheer I didn’t want to leave the ones I love out.

countdown to christmas

And here’s how I put it all together.  I wrote my 25 acts of choice on the white side of the craft paper and then I separated them into piles.

Pile #1 – the acts I would actually want and be able to do on Christmas Day.  I flipped them over, shuffled them around a bit, picked one and used a sharpie to hand write a 25.

Pile #2 – (add the cards not chosen from pile #1) the acts that made more sense to do on a weekend.  You know the ones, pretty much anything that required a store to be open was out … bank tellers are not getting cookies on a weekend here.  Flip ’em over, shuffle ’em around, pick 8 because there are 8 weekend days in December before Christmas, number accordingly.

Pile #3 – all remaining cards flipped, shuffled and numbered.

And then I used a single hole punch and jute twine to hang them.  And done.
countdown to christmas

I like that there is still some surprise to it even though I personally picked all of the acts.

I think this would be really fun and rewarding for older kids, who are old enough to understand it and benefit from the experience.  Knowing there are a few in there that are just for me (spend a few hours on the roof, go for a long run, set up a candle light dinner for me and my love) is pretty sweet to look forward to, too!

Now, this is just one of 4 advent ideas coming your way today!  Be sure to click on my friends’ blog names to check out their blogs or the pictures of their projects below to go directly to their super creative advent ideas!  These are some seriously talented ladies.  🙂

Taryn from Design, Dining and Diapers, Carmel from Our Fifth House and Carrie from Making Lemonade.

countdown to christmas countdown to christmas countdown to christmas

And if you missed Friday’s recap, here you’ll find 11 DIY Ornaments that we made last year.  That link will also answer the question that you might be asking “what does she mean driftwood isn’t just for trees anymore?”.

And if you don’t know why I would think it’s fun to hang out on my roof, you can get the story on that here.

And tell me, is it too early to countdown to Christmas?  Are you into the whole advent calendar/tree thing?  Do you think some of those tags look like green and glittered ghosts?

Update:  Get the complete list of the random acts of kindness here.

11 homemade Christmas ornament ideas

‘Tis the season.  The season to get ready for the holiday season.  The one where we start to think about how we decorated for the holidays last year … and how we’ll do it this year.

I actually started this blog on November 1st last year and pretty quickly joined a crafting competition at Mega Crafty.  The challenge was to decorate a tree for under $20.  I came up with some pretty fun homemade Christmas ornament ideas that hardly cost me anything.

Since there were about 3 of you reading last holiday season, I’ve rounded up what we made  to show off our 11 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas.  
homemade christmas ornaments

Continue reading 11 homemade Christmas ornament ideas

fall craft {pumpkin}

Do you live on a Caribbean island where real pumpkins rot in about .2 seconds from the time you leave the grocery store?


Maybe you’re just looking for a new take on the old Halloween craft project? Or, maybe you’re like me and just love to take something natural and make it into something unique.
fall craft pumpkin

Continue reading fall craft {pumpkin}

fourth of july {105 ideas for your celebration}

Newsflash:  We don’t live in the US.  🙂  If this is news to you,  Welcome!  You’ve probably never been here before.  🙂

We haven’t been privy to a 4th of July celebration for a few years now but, I have seen some seriously fun 4th of July party decorations, recipes and ideas all around.  And, yes, I know I am a day late, and usually a dollar short.  But, I thought it would be fun to put these great ideas together as a resource for next year or next weekend.  For whenever you need a little red, white and blue in your celebration, really.  A round-up of round-ups, of sorts.

But, before we get started I am thrilled, and pretty giddy, to be guest posting over at Primitive & Proper today, divulging a little secret about my feelings.  So, stop over and check it out … but you may want to pin this page first.  🙂

105 Fourth of July Celebration Ideas

Continue reading fourth of july {105 ideas for your celebration}

rosette book page heart wreath {Valentine’s Day craft}

Good morning, good morning!

Man do I wish the Patriots had won yesterday.  🙁

Today, for a potentially slow moving Monday for all of us football fans…and those who just love the Sunday that is the Superbowl party…I have an easy little Valentine’s Day project, a Valentine’s Day book page heart wreath.

Did I mention she’s FREE?  I always have that exact change in my wallet.  😉

See her snuck in the new gallery wall there?  You may recall the faux zinc letter B was there for the reveal, or maybe not, whatever. 🙂

I thought a little pop of holiday, and color, would be fun to switch in that spot throughout the year.

For all of the deets on how to make this beauty you have to head over to A Content Housewife where I’m guest posting today, while Lianne is busy moving to Charleston. Hope it’s going well Lianne!

If you missed the nitty gritty details on how this whole wall is hanging from one screw please click here.

To hang the heart, I just hot glued a length of ribbon scrap to the back and duct taped it behind the framed stencils.

To me she’s just the right amount of Valentine’s Day in our otherwise neutral colored wall.
The whole deal took about 3 hours…perfect for a lazy evening.

I happened to be watching the collapse of Kyle Stanley at Torrey Pines.  The poor guy had a 4 stroke lead on the tee at 18…and then nothing went right and he lost the tournament in a playoff.

I would gander to say my afternoon went better than his.  Sorry Kyle!

Now, don’t forget to drop in on Lianne to see some more pics and how I made the rosettes.

And then, have a fabulous Monday.

Oh, and I’ll be back tomorrow with the announcement of the giveaway winner and my features from the Imagine the Impossibilities Link Party…I am having a seriously hard time narrowing it down…