A Colorful Christmas Home Tour

'Twas two weeks before Christmas, and all through our house
Not a surface was normal, not even the couch

A wreath was hung on our new front door with care
Homemade with old ornaments, glue gun burns everywhere

Don't have a tutorial for this specific wreath, but I followed the exact steps as my pumpkin wreath .
More ornaments were nestled into bowls and on shelves
Despite daily disarray (caused by twin toddler elves)

The biggest orbs wore bows of velvet, so lush
When it comes to Christmas, there's no such thing as too much

Steps away was our tree, branches fluffed to look plump
Paper chains to add color, softest ornaments near the stump

The presents were wrapped, affixed with bright bows
Laid carefully to cover a dirty rug down below

Nearby on the hutch, served up on a platter
A sweet nativity to remind us what matters

And two Santa pillows, stuffed with cotton and love
One on each side, with two wreaths up above

A vase laced with velvet, a sconce draped with twigs
A wreath made of ornaments and the cutest elf twins!

If one house is good, then 25 houses are great
I'll use it for advent, mark each December date

You see those small trees? Of course I have more
An entire room filled with them; I bought out the store!

Behold our mantel forest, filled with stair-stepper trees
The cheeriest display, despite the stiffest of leaves

The roofline, how it twinkles with lights straight and bright
It cost us a small fortune but it lights up the night

Some say it's clutter; some say it's festive
I can't resist if it's shiny and decorative

So our halls have been decked, and decked to the max
Only two weeks until Christmas, no turning back!

Now I'll hang up my glue gun and close up the attic
Go back to my days as a Christmas Crack addict

I'm here to exclaim, filled with sugar and delight
Merry Christmas to all, may your holiday shine bright.


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DIY Colorful Ombré Pumpkin Wreath

We recently installed a huge new front door (I'll write a separate blog about that project soon), and I suddenly found myself in need of a much bigger wreath to mark the start of the autumn months. I searched online for quite some time, hoping to find the perfect 30" wreath that didn't cost a small fortune, but I couldn't find anything that was worth the cost. I had an idea of what I wanted and couldn't seem to find it anywhere, so I finally decided to just make it myself!

I wanted something colorful that exuded the happiness I feel during the fall season. When the temperatures start to dip and we start marching toward Halloween, Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I just feel so happy! I wanted this wreath to make us smile every time we walk in the front door, so I focused on incorporating joyful colors into the normal autumnal scheme to give our wreath a unique touch. 

I already had a bunch of tiny faux pumpkins that I'd collected over the years, so I started with those. Then I found several more boxes of decorative pumpkins at Target that really got the color scheme going in the right direction. I bought a box of these harvest metallic pumpkins, a box of little white pumpkins and then this awesome mix (that I can't for the life of me find on the Target website) that included white and green pumpkins and some faux succulents. 

I knew I wanted to paint some of the pumpkins to be colors not found in nature, so I grabbed some acrylic craft paint and played around with the color schemes on my dining table before I got started. 

This photo shows all the faux pumpkins we had to start with, plus the craft paints thrown in for good measure. This is when I decided the ombré effect was going to work, even with the brighter colors thrown in. At this point I was super jazzed about the project and couldn't wait to get started putting the actual wreath together!

I picked up a 30" grapevine wreath and some bright green spanish moss (both from Hobby Lobby) to serve as the base for the wreath. Both of those things are really affordable, especially if you catch them on sale or use the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby always offers on one regular price item.

A couple things to note regarding the moss: 

  1. A little goes a long way; I bought the big bag at the store and only used about 25% of the bag.
  2. Our local Hobby Lobby had two options for the color, and I went with the brighter green color because I knew it would set off my colorful pumpkins better than the more muted, grey-green color. Totally a personal preference!
The moss attached to the grapevine wreath really easily. It naturally just sort of grabs on to the sticks of the wreath, but I added some hot glue just to make sure the moss was secure.

Then it was time to paint my pumpkins! 

This is a quick snapshot I took of the pumpkins before I painted any with my craft paints, just to see the way the colors worked before I incorporated more of my own fantasy colors. I chose to paint some of the pumpkins beige, grey/blue, rose gold, pink and purple.

I was stealing time to do this project late at night and during naps, but the kids had an absolute ball playing with the pumpkin wreath pieces before I put it together. It was worth letting them play with it because now they get so excited each time they see the wreath; they feel like they helped me make it and that makes them so proud of it.

Once those painted pumpkins were dry, it was time to start glueing the pumpkins on the wreath. I started with the white side of the wreath and gradually worked my way around, arranging the pumpkin puzzle pieces to be just right. I hot-glued the pumpkins both to the moss base and the other pumpkins for extra stability.

Once I was done with my pumpkin puzzle, I couldn't wait to hang it on the door. It's just the right size to set off our new door!

I don't get to create as many projects these days, but it feels SO GOOD when you have an idea in your head and you actually get to bring it to fruition. 

PS. I'll be back soon with a mega blog post about replacing our regular front door with this huge, beautiful door that we found for $100 at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. It was quite a process but it was so worth it! I can't wait to tell you about it. 

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DIY Colorful Growth Chart

Are you in the market for a easy project? This might be the one for you. All you need is a wooden board, a paint sponge (ideally a roller), some craft paint and this growth chart stencil from Stencil Revolution. It only takes a couple hours to create (accounting for drying time) and you get the satisfaction of a professional looking, custom growth chart.

For my growth chart, I used a cedar plank we had in the garage and the same acrylic craft paints we used to paint the drawers on our colorful dresser in the nursery. I wanted the colors to be cohesive with the room and I just can't resist a bright, happy color scheme for our twins. 

I started off working on this project during nap time, but I was soon joined by a tiny helper.

I should preface this post by saying that I did not follow any of the best practices for using a stencil, so my results are not as precise as they could be. The Stencil Revolution website gives tips for getting a clean line that include using a small roller to put on the paint in thin coats. Instead, I used a random sponge brush I had laying around and let my toddler "boop boop" the wood with me. I still liked my results just fine!

I started my board at 6 inches, knowing we would hang it exactly 6 inches off the ground to make the measurement precise. We hung it in the nursery using velcro.

I have the hardest time photographing this room, but it's actually a bright white wall instead of this weird yellow that always shows up in my photos. The growth chart really pops off the wall.

The kids immediately started "measuring" each other. It was too cute.

But soon enough, they were climbing into the windows and wrecking shop and had forgotten all about their measurements. Ha! Toddler life. 

If you don't have kids at this age, I was thinking this would be an adorable and thoughtful gift for a baby shower or a first birthday. I'd be so touched if someone gave me a gift like this that they made themselves, especially if they went through the effort to personalize it to our nursery colors or our kids' names.

I am excited to watch the kids grow up with this chart, even though the thought of them growing up so fast makes me cry! I'm planning to keep it and give it to them when they have their own kids. Won't that be neat?

I'm not crying, you're crying!

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