Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday Decor

Hey there, Vamps!

Our December has been super busy!  We closed on the house, moved in and started our first remodeling projects and then our 10 days of travel between both of our families began.  Our decorations, while minimal, still allowed us to celebrate together and made it feel a bit more like home.

Hope you all are enjoying your holidays and ready to ring in 2012.  Yikes...2012!

Until next time,

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Revamp: Personalized Tap Handle

Hey there, Vamps!

Merry Christmas!!  My hubs loves beer (as do I).  And he especially loves brewing beer (as I do not. Just can't shake the mess or the stink.  But, like I said.  I love the outcome.)  So, what to get a beer brewer that has everything shy of a commercial brewery?  A custom tap handle, of course.  Luckily, I had the art ready to go. Back a couple years ago my graphic designer friend, Kat, helped me create some beer labels for mine and the hub's first wedding anniversary.  (My sappy self stuck with the traditional paper gift.)

There was no way that I was going to pay a buttload to have someone make one, so I scoured ebay to find a used tap handle with a round face, so that I could easily transplant the label.  I found so many oval and random shaped handles that I was afraid I wouldn't find what I needed and then I saw it.  In all it's perfect round face glory.  And only $10!  I jumped on it faster than you can say zwickle.

It's a Redhook Brewery Chinook Copper Ale tap handle.  (Redhook is our old hometown brewery, which made it even more perfect. Even with the impending defacement.)


Step 1:  Tape off anything you don't want painted like the metal connector at the bottom.  Spray a light coat to avoid running. Repeat. I ended up spraying 4 coats of the chalkboard paint to each side of the tap handle.  (The chalkboard paint allows us to write whatever beer is on tap and change it as the brew changes.)

Supplies #2:

Step 2:  Print label, cut out and apply to tap handle.  I used mod-podge to adhere it.

Step 3:  Remove tape.  Attach to keg, drink and Enjoy! 

Now all we need is a kegerator.  Next project?

What about you guys?  What did you get/make for your someone special?

Until next time,

Rhinestone Beagle

Friday, December 16, 2011

Copycat Holidays: West Elm Scalloped Trees

Hey there, Vamps!

You may have first seen this project at my guest post over at Type A Decorating!  I thought I'd share the tutorial here, as well.

Have you seen these West Elm Scalloped Trees?  Pretty awesome, if you ask me. They're constructed out of seagrass and styrofoam.  So, I thought popsicle sticks would be a great substitute and I picked up a couple styrofoam cones @ Joann Fabrics, which were surprisingly expensive for what they are.  And by expensive I mean $6 for the 15" cone.  Still less expensive than the West Elm version, but c'mon $6?

West Elm Scalloped Trees - $39-$79

  • styrofoam cones (15" and 12")
  • popsicle sticks
  • hot glue gun
 Total project cost for two cones:  $12

When I first started on this project I was like, Oh hells yeah!  This is easy as pie.  Well, my pie turned into a soufflĂ© or whatever that crazy beef thing that Julia Childs made.  Point is, well, actually that was the whole issue.  My tree just wouldn't come to a point.  The thickness of the popsicle sticks was hindering all of my attempts to make it more pointy & tree-like.  My mistake?  I started at the bottom and worked my way up to the top.  I pried off the layer at the top and tried again, only to end up with another blunt top and a lumpy looking tree.

So, for my 2nd attempt I started at the top and it came out much better, point-wise.  Here are the steps to make your own scalloped tree.

Step 1:  Heat up your glue gun.  Bring the sticks to a point about an inch above the styrofoam and then work your way down with the first layer, gluing one by one.

Step 2:  With the first layer in place, start back at the top and adhere the second layer, making sure to overlap and cover up any spots where you can see the styrofoam underneath.  (Don't worry about covering up all the spots.  The third layer will take care of any open spaces left over.)

Step 3:  After the second layer is in place, start breaking the sticks in half and cut the broken edge so that it is straight.  (Or you could purchase shorter sized sticks that have rounded edges on both sides.)

Step 4:  Start gluing the shorter sticks, overlapping as you go.  This process is a little more time consuming, but pretty're all done.  And you have a beautiful scalloped tree with a semi-pointy top!

I'm definitely more fond of the scalloped look of the blunt tree with the ends tucked underneath the next layer and of course the point of the taller tree, so I'm just going to have to buy a third cone (perhaps a bit shorter) and make a perfect little combination of the two.

So, there you have it.  Two scalloped trees, similar to West Elm's version, but at a fraction of the cost.  Now that's my kind of decoration.

Until next time,

This project was featured!

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Photobucket{nifty button}I was featured at My 1929 Charmer!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Copycat: West Elm Scalloped Trees

Hey there, Vamps!

Like what you see below? Well, check out my guest post over at Type A Decorating on Friday to see my tutorial for a copycat version at a fraction of the cost of the originals.  I'm super stoked about this project as it was my first totally original project.

I've been sitting on this since the beginning of December, so I could share something fresh and new at Type A.  You can understand how quickly my excitement turned to what I like to call, "Bitch You Stole My Idea" when I spotted this very project on Pinterest.  {Shakes fist at sky}  {And I say "bitch" in the friendliest blogger to blogger way.  Your pointy trees totally beat mine, Susan Phillips.}

West Elm Scalloped Trees - $39-$79

Thanks for stopping by and jumping on over to Type A Decorating on Friday to check it out!

Until next time,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Handmade Holidays: Felt Mistletoe

Hey there, Vamps!

In need of a reason to spread some holiday love?  Well, why don't you make yourself a felt mistletoe, camp out under it and get all the kisses your little heart desires?  Sounds like a good plan to me.

This project first caught my attention on Pinterest and for some reason I've put it off until now.  Silly, me.  For Green Wedding Shoes' tutorial click here.  Otherwise, just scroll down to see how I did it.

  • White felt
  • Thin Ribbon
  • Wide Ribbon
Step 1:  Cut out shapes from your felt like these below.  The number is up to you - I cut out about ten.

Step 2:  Cut the wide ribbon to your desired length, long enough to hang.  Cut your thin ribbon, long enough to tie around the felt mistletoe and tie in a bow.

Step 3:  Tie the thin ribbon around the felt.

Step 4:  Cut one end of the wide ribbon at an angle.

Step 5:  Glue mistletoe to wide ribbon.

Step 6:  Hang and revel in all those special holiday kisses.

Until next time,

Partying here and check out my running tally on my Link Party page.

Today's Creative

Sunday, December 11, 2011

(Hand)made Holidays: Handprint Christmas Tree

Hey there, Vamps!

Nothing gets more handmade than a HANDprint project.  Am I right?  And what could make this project even better?  The addition of friends & food!  (Thanks, ladies!)

I first spotted this project on Pinterest and have been so excited to make one for our little family.  I was able to finally track down the original posting at The Other White House after traveling through many a'blog (it is a very popular project!)  The Other White House has a great little tutorial and mad props go out to Heather for sharing the wonderful idea!

So, on to the project...

The Supplies:
  • Brown, Yellow, Green Paint (I used Tempera)
  • Canvas (Any size will do.  I used 12x16)
  • Foam applicator
  • Small craft paint brush
  • Hands (Hopefully still attached to the owner...gross.)

As for the steps, feel free to check out The Other White House's tutorial, but it went a little something like this...Mix paint to desired shades, paint hand, stamp, stamp, paint hand, stamp.  After you have your green tree shape, paint on a tree trunk with the brown paint.  Next, paint a star (feel free to use a template, we did!)  Finally, don't forget to sign/date your masterpiece.

Working with a rambunctious toddler was a little bit of a challenge, but it just gives it all that much more character, right?

So, what about you guys?  What handmade decor do you display?

Until next time,

This project was featured!

Partying it up here and check out my Link Party page.

Today's Creative

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deck the Halls: Stocking Hook Inserts

Happy Holidays, Vamps!

I've been itching to decorate for Christmas ever since I shoved the last bite of candied yams in my mouth, but with an impending move I've put it off.  Well, I just couldn't wait any longer so I made a trip out to the local nursery and purchased our potted dwarf evergreen.  If you're interested in greening up (pun intended) your holidays, a potted evergreen is definitely the way to go.  All you have to do is pot it or plant it once the New Year arrives, so there's no more messing with that toxic PVC tree or worrying about tossing that real one.

With the tree purchased, I rushed home to break out just a few of the decorations with three, in particular, in mind.  Awhile back I purchased a set of 4 Eddie Bauer photo stocking hooks for $1.99 each at Goodwill.  They were just what I had been searching for and luckily, it was the middle of May so I got them for a great price. (Half off!)

Instead of using photos, I decided I'd use a holiday word and with just three of us, I knew "joy" would be perfect. So, I made a template, got to cutting and was elated with the all I need to do is find our stockings! (and break out the vinegar to clean off the sticky tag residue!)

So, what about you?  What are you decking your halls with?

Until next time,

This project was Featured!