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Pine Cone Christmas Wreath

As a child in the 70's, I remember my mom had this weird thing for pine cones.

When we’d go camping, she would fill paper grocery bags full. My sister and I just didn't get it. Mom would bring them home and make a few wreaths but mostly,  they would sit in her craft room for most of my childhood.  My dad has always been tolerant of her craft hoarding since he too is always on the hunt for anything he could re purpose.

This Christmas I decided to revisit 1975 and make my own wreath from nature. I live right next to this very lovely wooded area so it was easy to find pine cones and even easier to collect them with the help of my little neighbor friends who I convinced were on a mission to find the best pine cone.

It doesn't take much to make a pine cone wreath. Here are the basic materials.

1. Wire wreath base  $3 from Joann with a coupon
2. Floral wire  $2 from dollar store
3.Wire Cutter
4. Gloves  ( I did not and trust me you need them)
5. Paint and glitter optional
6. Bonus: gullible neighbor kids

Creating a wreath is pretty basic. You position the pine cones around the wreath and wrap the wire tightly around each one while attaching it to the base. I do not suggest trying to glue them to the base as you will have a big gooey, broken pine cone mess on your hands.

 I cut long pieces of wire and wrapped many together for stability. Be sure to hid the wire within the pine cone layers. I'm pretty sure a category 5 hurricane could come through here at this point and my wreath would remain intact lol . I used that much wire.

Oh and  I highly recommend wearing garden gloves for this project because I did not and my poor hands look like I fought a cat and lost. Once everything was held in place, paint or add glitter spray to liven it up and add Christmas balls or greens. I created dictionary page flowers since I like the natural minimal look. I've made many crafts from books which you can find under "paper crafts".

Thanks for stopping by and
Merry Christmas!

Fabric Scrap Wreath

This is the easiest wreath in the world to make. Well, yeah it does require some patience.. and cutting... but the end result is worth it. It cost me nothing since I had the materials in my garage. I used a wire base from a thrift store find I've been stashing and just started cutting up rectangular pieces of fabric. I have my fabric scraps sorted by colors in boxes in the garage to make projects like this easier. It took about two hours of cutting and tying scraps on the wire frame while I watched American Horror Story Coven. I whipped up a couple of cute pillows and added the rats by attaching  Dollar Store sticky hooks (6 for $1.00). I had to stab the little plastic rodents to make holes in their bellies to stay on the hooks. tee hee. I love the result. My house looks infested! 

Vintage Baby Gift

Check out the new gifts I'm adding over on my Etsy page. I love combining vintage, new and custom crafted items. This 1950's lamb planter would make the perfect gift for a retro loving mamma. I've created three new 24 month size Carter onsie flowers and a vintage fabric flower clip that can be worn anywhere or used as decoration in the nursery. Stay tuned for more unique gift creations!

Vintage Metal Art

Old ugly metal pieces from the 70's and 80's are everywhere in junk shops. If you can look past the dull paint or faded brass, you will see the true potential in their form and design. You can find more vintage decorative items in Hospice Shops and charity stores where older people donate their treasures. Tampa friends can find items like this at Last Chance Thrift on U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor. I find all kinds of treasures there.

VooDoo Witch Doctor Costume

Ok so this year I decided it was time to be scary for Halloween. My friends know I live for this season and start thinking about it well before October, but this was a bit of a last minute idea using stuff I already had around the house. This costume was fun and easy to make. I basically cut strips of fabric from old clothes and tied them to a ribbon to wear as a skirt. I took an old blonde wig and tied fabric strips throughout and added some dollar store skeleton parts.  The dollar store skull and a branch from my yard along with some raffia and a repurposed hat from last year's steampunk costume completed the look.

Thrifty Upcycles

1970's plastic dresser mirror rescued from the Youth Ranch thrift shop in Dunedin.  I loved the shape and the fact that it was only $11. The color was a puke yellow but with a bit of effort, it became a fabulous room expanding focal point on my dining room wall. The plastic makes it lightweight and easy to hang. These candle holders were also a fun thrift find at only $1.00 each. Made of plastic as well, their shape was perfect for some spray paint and a little aging with chalk paint for dimension.
When you thrift, look for the shape and design and get past that ugly hue.

I found this little table at a beach thrift shop for $5 and just sanded it a bit and painted the white but I wanted to keep it shabby and weathered. It is perfect by the window in my bedroom.

This table was a total score at my neighbor's driveway by the garbage. Yes I'm proud to say I took this from the curb. My dad would be so proud. All I used was some cream chalk paint from Joann's and brown wax, I turned the once ugly, obviously very loved,  pine colored and varnished set into a fabulous centerpiece for my front nook.  The hammered alluminum you see was all part of my grandmother's collection. I've added a few other pieces scored at junk shops to complete the set. I'll feature hammered alluminum in a future post because I'm a bit obsessed with it.
 My dad gave me a bunch of real antique skeleton keys and they are all over my house. The large one is my favorite. I've got them in glass jars all over the place. If you look closely you can see them in this photo. Some have been coated with Modpodge and glitter. I found this crate by the garbage at my old place and painted it red then waxed it with brown to age it. I made the flowers from sheet music and repainted the joy sign from an ugly set I found at the goodwill.
 This was an old frame I decided to change with twine and nails on the back. I used old family photos to give it that antique look. I'm the baby in that photo of my dad, his father and his father. The car on the bottom is my dad. You can see where I inherited my love for antiques.

This tray was found in a bin at the Goodwill in St. Pete one rainy day and I thought I'd died when I saw how old it was and was only $3.00. It has an older printer font on the handle and was just begging to be filled with stuff to hang on my wall. I found the metal letters in a boatyard and the numbers are from an old clock. Everything else I made from scrabble pieces, dominos and bottle caps I've been holding on to for projects just like this. I love how it turned out!

 Antiques from my family are incorporated all over my home. This 1940's red learning toy was my mom's in school. Today we have Ipads. Such a cool piece. The vintage Bingo game board was a thrift find but the old faucet handle and vintage glass bottles all came from my dad.
License plate from an old 1931 NJ car is my favorite family artifact!

Dad hooked me up with his antique keys. I'll never make fun of his antique hoarding again.

 Found this super old gothic frame at the Goodwill and painted it black. Love it.  Antique jars and glass are another favorite.

One of the coolest things to me is when you can use your actual family photos for vintage d├ęcor. These are of my grandfather and great grandparents with their oil company truck. My great grandfather looks a lot like my dad in that top photo. No wonder I'm so tall jeesh.
This framed wood was the fourth of the ugly set I found at the Goodwill. Some paint and crackly looking scrapbook paper with Modpodge created this cool wall art. I simply painted and distressed a cheap wood piece and attached them.

This old clipboard found new life with my vintage sheet music cover page. I love how it turned out.

1940's meat grinder makes a neat flower vase. 

Patio Chair Redo

Summer is finally here and that means two solid months of crafting happiness before back to teaching. Check out this piece of crap I found homeless and lonely. I could see it had potential. I'm still trying to figure out a way to create a better cushion but I worked with what I had and for a quick fixer upper...I'd say it turned out pretty cute! 

Spring Burlap Wreath

Vintage Aluminumware

My grandmother had the most lovely aluminum ware collection and I was fortunate to inherit it. I love mixing the pieces into decor for my shabby home. It's not easy to find pieces in pristine shape but occasionally I score something unique at a thrift shop.