One Gift, Five Ways

Hi Everyone! We apologize for the mini hiatus, life got a little busy the past few weeks with Thanksgiving and everything. That being said, can you believe it’s already December?! I feel like November flew by.

With all the Christmas shopping and gift buying out there, I decided to dedicate a post to gift wrapping. Normally I am a gift bag and tissue paper kinda gal (easy peasy), but when Christmas rolls around I like to spend time and wrap the gifts I give.

I decided to see what I could come up with for this year using one gift wrapped in brown packing paper, and using things I already had in my Christmas storage bin.

Here are the results:

I like simple, clean designs!

It was fun to get creative, and the best part is everything I used I already had so the money I saved on wrapping paper, ribbon, etc. can be put towards my gift budget! Win win!


DIY Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Sign 

Hi you all! So, my hubby and I made our first sign together. After searching online for similar signs in this size and finding out that most were around the $150-$200 range, we decided to try and make our own.

The first thing I did was text my friend and ask if she could make a decal (of this size) for us. Thankfully she said yes! So, then I searched online for a template online. I found an SVG file from Mountain Modern Life ($10.00), and emailed it to my friend to make the stencil for me. 

My husband bought trim and wood big enough to fit the 23”x27” decal and then made the cuts to fit. Sorry, not much detail here. I tend to pay more attention to just the things I need to do. 🙈 

After my husband made the cuts, I stained the wood board with General Finishes Antique Walnut Wood Stain (available here – $21). I find that working with a gel stain is so much easier to use the liquid ones.

Once I was done staining the back board, I started painting the trim. I am obsessed with the galvanized metal look, so that’s the look I wanted to achieve on our wood trim and decided to do faux galvanized metal with a little bit of faux rust (for character). Here are the products I used for staining and painting:

The Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints I bought from our local Ben Franklin Craft Store. Any brand of acrylic paint will work. You need black and a metallic silver (this one is named Platium). 

First, I painted all the wood pieces with the black acrylic paint:

Once all the pieces were painted black, I dabbed the metallic silver on top. You don’t want to “paint” the silver on. Dabbing it on will give it texture.

My favorite part is adding the “rust”. This, I did with cinnamon (I bought this cinnamon specifically for crafting). So what you do is take a little bit of the silver metallic paint and apply a light coat wherever you want the rust look. Then, you sprinkle the cinnamon there and brush off the excess. I applied “rust” in random areas to make it look more natural. 

My husband them glued and nailed the pieces into place. Don’t mind the lighting here, it was evening time when we reached this stage. 

Now it gets tricky. Applying the decal straight and centered. It took my husband and I about 20 minutes to do just this. It’s trickier than you think and not as easy as it looks (working with such a large decal). Once the decal was in place, I took the top clear layer off (another job that wasn’t as easy as it seems). It was definitely worth it in the end though! 

After the top layer was off the decal, all we did was paint over the decal with some more acrylic paint (2 coats).

As you can see, I originally painted the “Complimentry Cider and Hot Cocoa” line red. But my red acrylic paint was years old (and I thought it would be ok to work with – wrong)! Once the paint was dry and it was time to peel the decal off, the red paint was lifting and stretching. So, I put the decal back down and painted over the red with white to make it a little stronger and bond better to the wood. It worked, up close you can see the imperfections from this on the sign but from a far, it looks alright.

All in all, we are so happy with the sign! Here it is hung on our mantel (not done decorating):

And did I mention it’s HUGE?


DIY · Uncategorized

Halloween with the Joseph’s 

Halloween is my absolute least favorite holiday, but I like to make it fun for the kids and create memories. It also sparks my creativity which is a plus. Every year (like most families) we dress up and go trick or treating together.

I usually let Mason and Paige choose what we will be and this year they decided on characters from the Disney movie “Descendants 2”. We love that movie! Mason chose to be Harry Hook (son of Captain Hook) and Paige wanted to be Uma (daughter of Ursula). My husband was Gil (son of Gaston) and I was their rival for the night, Mal (Malificent’s daughter). 

Paige’s costume is the only costume we bought. We had so much fun making the rest of our outfits together. Mason’s vest and my vest were similar in the making. I took leather-like jackets, cut the sleeves off and the kids dry brushed and patted the paint on them to make it a more textured look like in the movie. We had to do two coats of paint because the leather kept soaking in the color. Once the paint was dry, I used my glue gun and glued studs on both of our vests. The vests are what took up the most work of our wearable costumes, but the kids loved being able to help with them! 

Here are the kids painting Mason’s undershirt:

And a photo of my vest in the making:

Here are photos of their final outfits:

The hardest part of our costume was the pirate ship for the wagon (and mini ship for Mason’s school costume contest – he won!). The pirate ship is made out of cardboard. I bought wood looking contact paper and covered the entire outside of the cardboard ship. Once I had the contact paper on, we used a black sharpie to draw on the planks and nails. We then painted circles and paper towel rolls black, and attached them on the sides of the ship to look like cannons. My husband made the flag pole out of scrap wood pieces and the flag the out of a paint drop cloth. Here is the final outcome (minus my hubby who was taking the picture):

The whole get-up was a hit. We’ve received so much compliments while out trick or treating, (and had our picture taken quite a few times too). There was also two older girls dressed as Uma (about 11 or 12) fighting over Mason. They kept saying “He’s MY Harry” “No, he’s MY Harry”. Too funny! 😂 A little effort makes all the difference though, and I’m so thankful that I’m able to stay home and have the time to do things like this. DIY costume or store bought, it doesn’t matter. What matters the most is creating those memories, being a part of those moments, and spending that quality time with our loved ones. 

I will say, one highlight of the night was Thomas Doherty, the actor who plays Harry Hook in the movie Descendants 2, commented on our Instagram photo! Mason was stoked! So neat, right?

A few photos from last night:

Paige wouldn’t go to any house without holding Mason’s hand.

I love spirited people who play along!

We hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween. Now, for the real holidays! I couldn’t be more excited! 🤗

DIY · Uncategorized

Mason’s Shark Cupcakes

Mason’s 7th Birthday is tomorrow (I can’t believe it) and he decided that he wanted shark themed cupcakes for his class. 

The first thing I did was order 24 vanilla cupcakes from Safeway with light blue frosting. I also requested that they used the round tip for a smoother look. Not going to lie, I don’t trust my baking skills to feed other people so ordering was the easiest thing for me and 24 cupcakes for $11 isn’t bad! 🙆🏽

I then searched for images of shark warning signs on Google. Once I found one that I liked, I saved the image, resized, copy, pasted and printed on card stock paper so I could make the first of the two toppers. I then cut the images out and to make it easier I cut them side by side (shown below) so I could just fold them over. The last step was to add some hot glue in the center and the toothpick and squeeze shut. 

The next step was making the fondant shark fins. The kids helped with this one and had so much fun! I used Wilton White Vanilla Fondant (there are homemade recipes for fondant too but again, I don’t trust myself baking for other people 🤣) and black food coloring to make gray. The fondant came out looking more of a purple-ish color than gray but we were fine with it. 

Once the food coloring was mixed well, I rolled it out. Fondant tends to get sticky, so when it does, you just want to sprinkle powdered sugar on it. After I rolled the fondant out, the kids got to cutting the shark fins with the shark fin cookie cutter that I got off Etsy. 

Once we had the fins all cut out, I inserted toothpicks in them so that they stand better on the cupcakes. The photo below is after I just inserted the toothpicks (the fins need dusting).

The last part was the crushing of the graham crackers to make sand. The kids enjoyed this too (though it was hard to get a picture because they were pounding the graham crackers so fast)!

With all that done, the last step was putting them together. Here is the final product! Mason is so excited to bring them to class tomorrow!