Winter Wonderland: Kids’ Christmas Decor

The same night I was inspired to decorate my son’s room, I looked through the Restoration Hardware Baby & Child Christmas Catalog & was inspired to decorate my daughter’s room for Christmas.

I noticed several of the rooms had stars on the walls & thought I could do something similar in Eliana’s room.  For my own spin, I decided to use sticky tack to adhere snowflake ornaments (after cutting off the hanger) to her walls. 


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The catalog also had a lot of chalk-like drawings on the walls.  To bring this inspiration to life, I had Elie draw a wintery picture on her chalkboard!


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Elie noticed some “snowballs” in one of the rooms & wanted to incorporate those in her winter decorations as well.  To create the “snowball” look, I just wadded up some tissue paper into ball shapes & placed them under her Christmas tree!  (I used tape to insure they stay wadded into balls!)


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If you look closely in most of the pictures, you will see the snowflakes on the wall.  I just randomly placed about 24 of them on her walls.

Elie helped me create this festive artwork.  To make it, I traced a Christmas tree shape on to colored card stock, filled it in with glue, & let Elie cover it in white glitter.  If you attempt this project, make sure to erase the hard pencil lines.  I didn’t do that, & they show through…


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I also dressed up her floating shelf with a glittery deer, silver snowflake ornament, & a cluster of silver ball ornaments.


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To dress up a plain pillow for the holidays, I wrapped ribbon around it like a Christmas package.


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I added a few ornaments to Elie’s jewelry holder…


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Elie’s favorite accessory by far is the reindeer headband I stuck on her toy horse!  She was so excited when she noticed it that she had to drag it down the steps to show the rest of the family!


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So, have you been inspired by any catalogs lately?  Now that I have the kids rooms decorated, I guess I should start thinking about the rest of the house!


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Land of Nod Inspired Christmas Decor

Christmas in my kids’ rooms usually means quickly setting up their 4-foot pre-lit Christmas trees, slapping on some ornaments, & calling it a day.  This year, however, I found myself inspired by The Land of Nod’s Christmas Catalog.  After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I got to work crafting decorations for my son’s room.

First up was this “Merry Christmas” garland, which costs $12.95 from LoN.  I decided to make my own cheaper version by using four sheets of colorful cardstock.  I cut each 12x12 sheet into four squares, drew each letter by hand (making sure to stick with a color pattern), & cut them out.  Then, I used a hole punch to string yarn through the letters.  I hung them using a few thumb tacks.


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After seeing my colorful creation, the kids wanted in on the crafting action, so we spent some time twisting white & colored pipe cleaners together.  After cutting them in half, I shaped them into candy canes, inspired by these ornaments.


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While the kids were twisting away, I created a Christmas tree template by folding a sheet of paper in half & drawing on half a pine tree.  Then I cut out my template, unfolded it, & traced it onto a piece of green felt.  After cutting it out, I simply stuck it on one of my son’s fleece pillows.  (The felt kind of clings to the fleece.)


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After Zeke decorated his tree, I simply wrapped some leftover orange fleece around it to act as a tree skirt.

I pinned this adorable cardboard Rudolph from Good Housekeeping & knew it would be the perfect accessory above the floating shelf in Zeke’s room.  If you click on the link above, you can print the directions & template out.  Since I couldn’t print on a large piece of paper, I simply traced the template from my computer screen onto a piece of tissue paper.  Then I cut the tissue paper template out & used it to trace the design onto an old box.  After assembling it, I glued another piece of cardboard to the back & stuck thumb tacks through it to attach it to the wall.

Since I didn’t have any jingle bells for around Rudolph’s neck, I braided some red yarn & attached some small ornaments on it to mimic the look of bells!

After hanging Rudolph, I realized I needed to change up the accessories on the floating shelf too.  I made some standing paper Christmas trees using this method.  I did have to use some sticky tack to keep them standing upright.


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At this point, my kids had lost interest in my crafting madness, & my son was not interested when I asked him to draw some Christmas-y pictures for his clip boards.  After quickly drawing a snowman & Christmas tree, he talked his sister into coloring his work.  She also lost interest, which is why the Christmas tree was scribbled green!  Grrr!


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Here’s the view of the desk area:


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So, do you decorate your kids’ rooms for Christmas?  Friday, I’ll share how I was inspired to decorate my daughter’s room from Restoration Hardware’s Christmas catalog!

Little Living Room Changes

Little by little, I am getting things done in the living room.  One of my favorite accessories in the room right now is this brass swan I picked up for a couple of dollars at a thrift store.  I can’t help but look at it whenever I pass by the room! 


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We also hung some more Lenda curtains that I tweaked to eliminate the tabbed look.  (Someday I will get around to recovering those thrift store chairs…but for now I am procrastinating out of fear!)  Also ignore the table accessories.  Eventually, I'll find some brighter things to liven that area up.


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I also had Mark hang some frames above the couch for a small gallery wall.  The frames are 11x14, but I plan on using mats to fit an 8x10 picture & then printing some free images from the computer.


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I cannot figure out what to frame.  I really like the idea of birds.  Maybe herons, swans, & flamingoes.  I also like the idea of sea fans and coral or just pretty botanical prints.  The problem with these ideas is that I am having trouble finding six different, free, images of anything other than botanicals.  Would it look weird if I mixed & matched?

I’d love for you to weigh in & help me decide what should grace these frames.  My daughter seems to think the paper that came in them is beautiful, but I’d rather go with something less UPC code matchy-matchy!

We Are Thankful!

A few days ago I mentioned that I would show you the other chalkboard wall in our nook.  Originally I had told the kids this would be a place for them to create chalk drawings, but then I decided to do something special in this spot for the holidays.  Enter the “Thankful Wall”…


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As artfully as I could, I wrote the words, “We are thankful…”  Throughout this month, I have encouraged my husband & kids to write different things they are thankful for on the wall.  It is definitely encouraging to walk through the doors & see that someone is thankful for you! 

In addition to writing down things we are thankful for, we are also learning 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which says, “Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Give thanks no matter what happens.  God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”  (NIRV) 

We also have a We Are Thankful Jar, which we are trying to get through.  It is basically a jar of ways to show you are thankful.  Each day in the month of November, you pick something out of the jar & do it.

So far, this month has been incredibly busy, and we haven’t done the best job at reflecting on all we have to be thankful for.  Since this may be my last post before Thanksgiving, I want you to know how thankful I am for all of you who read this blog!  Just seeing that people are reading makes me happy, but I am especially grateful for those of you that leave encouraging comments!  It makes my day!

I hope you & your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Corralling Cords

I finally decided to tackle the mess in the computer cabinet. Honestly, it wasn't that messy, but the cords were so out of control the power strip didn't have a place to rest & the phone was covered with routers...


I did a quick clean up of the top shelf & then pulled out all the components on the bottom shelf.  I sorted all the cords & replaced them in a more organized manner.  Then I used a combination of cable ties and rubber bands to connect the cords & shorten them so they weren't taking up precious shelf space.


Below is what the shelves look like when my hour long cord de-tangling was over:


Sadly, it doesn't look much better than when I began!  It does work much better though.  You can see the phone, the power strip has it's own spot, & the routers are now sitting properly.  So, although the cords almost look worse, the cabinet is actually functioning better this way!

...and speaking of cable ties...ever since I did this, I have been noticing different ways people are using them.  My neighbor used them to attach corn stalks to lamp posts & her mailbox.  The couple hosting our small group used one to temporarily raise their dining room chandelier (they moved the table) so no one would hit their noggin walking under it.  I noticed someone else used them to hang their Christmas garland.  Until recently, I didn't realize how versatile these things were! 

So, do you know any creative uses for zip ties?  I'd love to hear some other uses!


Hanging Decorative Keys

About a month ago, I purchased these keys for $1 each at Michaels'.


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At the time, I thought I would probably frame them & hang them on our new gallery wall, but when I got the layout the way I wanted, I decided not to use them in frames. 


Hanging Decorative Keys 


I knew I didn’t want to hang them with ribbon, & I didn’t want to have to put two nails in the wall to hold them up.  First I experimented with sticky tack, but they kept falling off the wall after a couple of hours.

Finally, I decided to hammer nails into the wall where I wanted them.  Then, I wiggled the nail out of the wall & glued the nail head to the back of the key, like so:


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I kept some sticky tack on the keys & then carefully pushed the nail back into the hole.
So far, it has worked perfectly at holding up the key without the nail being visible!


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Seems like the perfect solution to my problem!

DIY Wall Clock

Today, I thought I would share with you how I made the chalkboard wall clock that is part of our new gallery wall.  Before attempting this project, I tried “googling” directions, but came up empty handed.  Hopefully, this quick tutorial will be helpful for anyone creating their own wall clock.


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First, I purchased a small clock making kit from Hobby Lobby for $6.99.  The clock kit is made to be used with a face (the part of the clock with numbers on it) & they have different ones depending on the thickness of the face you are using.  I purchased one meant to be used with a 1/4 inch thick face, although I wasn’t planning on using a clock face for this project.  I also purchased a package of 4 1/2 inch gold spade hands, since the hands that came with the clock kit I bought were a little smaller than I wanted.  I didn’t take a picture of the actual products before starting this project, but the picture below is a good representation of the clock components that came in the kit:



Source: amazon.com via Wendy on Pinterest


Next, I needed something to cover the clock motor.  I ended up finding a 3 1/2 inch wooden circle from the wooden decoration section of Hobby Lobby.  It was actually painted like a globe.  Again, I failed to take a before picture, so you’ll just have to use your imagination!

When I got home, I asked my husband to drill a hole in the wooden circle.  Then, I painted it black.  Once it was dry, I assembled the clock parts following the directions on the back of the packaging.  Instead of the clock face, I used my wooden circle.


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I should mention that I also painted the “hanger” (#1 in the picture) black to blend in with the wall, but I am now seeing that I could have removed it & hung the clock differently (Command strips maybe?).

The next step was to hang the clock on the wall & draw in roman numerals for 12, 3, 6, & 9 with chalk. 


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I think it turned out really cool, & the process was actually pretty simple!


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Black & Gold Chalkboard Gallery Wall

In my last post, I showed you the small nook that connects our laundry room with our kitchen & family room.  I felt this small space could make a big statement by painting it a bold color & adding some fun accents.


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I started the transformation with a couple of coats of  Rustoleum’s Chalkboard Paint.  Then, I waited forever three days before “setting” the chalkboard by holding a piece of chalk sideways & rubbing it all over the walls.


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Then, I erased the walls completely & cleaned up a ton of dust!

While I waited patiently for the paint to dry, I scoured thrift stores & our basement hoard for goldish/ brassy things to hang.  I taped off a section of the floor that was the same size as the wall & played around with the arrangement until I found something I liked.  It took me a while to get the layout right, but once I did, I was ready to hang everything.

So, here’s how it turned out:


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Sorry about all the “Where’s Waldo” pictures!  As much as I tried to stay out of the reflections, I think parts of me ended up in all of them!

I really wanted to make this wall a meaningful reflection of our family, so I was immediately drawn to the angel’s wings when I saw them in Hobby Lobby.  They reminded me of a tattoo worn by a Harley riding motorcyclist, which made them very cool, but I also thought they would be the perfect item to represent the baby I miscarried a few years ago.  With a coat of gold spray paint & a spot high on the wall, they are a happy reminder of the little angel that awaits us in Heaven someday.


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Below the angel wings, I framed some words from “Your Song” by Elton John.  I thought it was a great reminder to my family how much better their presence makes the world!  Obviously, I didn’t spend much time playing with the typography on the lyrics.  I might change the way they look later, but right now, I’m okay with it!

The frame on the right holds one of my favorite paintings from my daughter Eliana.  My original thought was that I could change out the kids’ artwork every once in a while, but I love this piece so much, I’m not sure I’ll be able to replace it!


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On the next section of wall, I centered a very cheap mirror from Wal-Mart.  (I think it cost less than $5.)  Then, I flanked it with a couple of frames I spray painted gold.  The frame on the left holds my kids’ hand print tracings & a wedding picture fills the opposite frame.

Below that, we hung the letter E to represent our last name, some keys, a DIY heart (from craft paper), & a DIY wall clock.  I’ll post a quick tutorial on the wall clock in a couple of days.


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The bottom section of the gallery wall holds three silhouettes of my kids, an empty frame, small mirror from a thrift store, & a framed drawing of an armadillo by my son!  For now, the empty frame says, “Give Thanks” but I plan on changing it for different holidays.  I can picture, “I’ll be HOME for Christmas”, “Home is where the heart is”, “I Love You”, & lots of other words & sayings filling this space in the future.


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So, there you have it.  I love the bold color, meaningful artwork, contrast between the gold & black, and the practicality of the mirror & clock (to help us get out the door looking good & on time!).

Are you feeling daring in your d├ęcor, or do you prefer a safer attitude towards decorating?

I'll be back on Friday to show you how I DIYed the clock & some other details on the wall.  Then, next week, I'll show you what we did with the perpendicular wall!

Sharing here:
Working With What You Have link up at emilyaclark.com


A Look at our Nook

We have a small nook that leads into our laundry room from the kitchen/great room area:


Lately I've had the urge to paint it a dramatic color & fill it with a floor to ceiling gallery wall.  Something like these, (not the colors, just the gallery):







I plan to fill the space with sillhouettes of the kids, their artwork, the letter "E" for our last name, a mirror, some song lyrics, & anything else I can find!  Right now I'm thinking the frames will probably be linked in color... I'm really liking brassy/gold colors right now.

After playing around with some pinkish/red & dark blue color swatches, I think I'm probably just going to paint the area with black chalk paint.  I already have some on hand, & what's more dramatic than black?

I'm always welcome to other ideas though!  Do you have a dramatic color suggestion for this area?


Small Changes, Big Impact

I mentioned in my summer plans that I wanted to make some changes to the laundry room.  A few weekends ago we made some minor adjustments in the room, that are really helping the flow.

First, I decided to paint the dingy white door to the garage black.  I’m so glad it’s a dark color & will hide the dirty handprints & drips that are usually covering it!  (I painted the other side black too.)  I’m begging you not to pay any attention to the ginormous dust bunnies hanging from my broom!


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Next, we tried to solve this problem:

Awkward Doorways

The shoes were on the back of the laundry room door, so whenever we would come in from the garage, someone was usually putting their shoes away & causing a traffic jam.  We decided to remove the door to the laundry room & will eventually add built-in shoe storage on the wall next to the sink.


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I still need to paint the frame, but it makes the space feel so much bigger & solves the traffic jam problem.

Most of our out-of-season shoes are stored on the floor of the coat closet (in the entry way) along with the steam cleaner, steam mop, & vacuum.  The space above the laundry room door seemed to be a great place for seasonal shoes:


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Mark quickly built a shelf, which will someday become floated, get painted, & hold our shoes!  I’m not really feeling the whole painting bare wood vibe right now, so it will probably stay this way until we can paint the whole room.

Storage Above Door


Well, that’s it!  Have you made any small changes that made a big impact?

We Got Boo'ed!

A week ago, we came home late to find a bag sitting on our driveway, blocking the garage door.  The kids grabbed the bag to find that someone had secretly boo'ed us!  The kids got a kick out of it & couldn't wait to find the perfect treat for some unsuspecting neighbors!

After a quick Pinterest search, we decided to give our neighbors a jar of Halloween Oreos & some orange soda tricked out for the holiday.  (You should really click on the links.  The originals are way cuter than mine!)

Here are the results:


You can print out directions & the printable above here.

Have you ever boo'ed anyone?  What did you give them?  I'll probably need more ideas for next year!



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