A DIY Farmhouse Christmas

Well, the pecan pie isn’t even gone yet at my house, but we’ve already decorated for Christmas.  It’s a little tradition we have, decorating the house on the day after Thanksgiving.  Nothing like rushing into the holidays….but with good reason.  We LOVE Christmas, for obvious reasons {baby Jesus, duh}, but also love the look/feel/smell of it around our home.It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....This year has been really fun because all three of the kids are finally big enough to really help out and get into the decorating.  And this is the year {*sigh*}, that Dave has convinced me to let him Griswald the outside of the house.  Insert eye-roll here.

But on the inside, we are keeping it classy.  And for all of you poor folks who have not discovered the Pinterest rabbit hole yet, you are missing out.  Christmastime is my absolute favorite for perusing Pinterest.  I just love looking at all of the decorating ideas, house tours, recipes and crafts.  Want to see what’s on my Christmas board?  Be sure to follow me to see what else I’m into.  My absolute favorite is a Farmhouse Christmas.DIY ideas and tutorials to create a Farmhouse ChristmasIt’s all so pretty and simple.  And yet, most of it would be really easy to create.  I’d love to say I’ll have the time to do all of these things, but let’s be honest….I’ll spend half of that time “researching” on Pinterest!  {like I said before, it’s a complete rabbit hole!}.  So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Farmhouse Christmas decor ideas that I’ve stumbled across.  Some, you can buy.  But most of them would be easy enough to create yourself!

I’ve linked all the pictures to their sources, and have tried to link as many keywords as I can to sources to purchase the materials.  I am an Amazon associate, so anything I link to Amazon.com will help out this blog a teeny bit when you purchase {with no additional cost to you}.  Thanks in advance!DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse ChristmasSo, let’s talk containers.  I feel like its pretty easy to give any green plant a wintry feel with a red bow and a galvanized home to sit in.

DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Liz Marie Blog

DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Farmhouse 5540

DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Uncommon Designs

In case you don’t have a galvanized bucket or five, make your own!  Grab metal paint pail from Amazon and follow the directions on Uncommon Designs to make it look weather worn.DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Finding Home Farms

Even if you aren’t a fan of the galvanized look, there are other ways to incorporate Christmas into your containers easily.  Paint a mason jar, or just use white vases or pitchers to display greenery or flowers.  I have three different sizes of the Ikea White Sockerart Vase that I plan on doing this with.DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Love Grows WildDIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Back Porch Musings

Ok, moving on to tree trimmin’s…some of the easiest DIY  Farmhouse Christmas projects out there!DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse ChristmasWe have our big Christmas tree in the living room, with presents underneath, but also have several smaller trees throughout the house.  Every year I tell myself I’m gonna make the trees themed…one with the kids’ ornaments on it, one with a more rustic theme, one with the breakable stuff, one with just our family vacation ornaments….I could go on and on!

These little stars remind me of the canvas heart garland I made a couple of years ago….some simple sewing with felt and you wouldn’t even need to finish the seams off!DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Oi Soi Oi

We have no shortage of pine trees in our neighborhood, and the kids already collect pinecones on each walk….a little hot glue and burlap to make them festive for your tree!  Although…I’ve heard you should stick them in your oven for a bit to kill any bugs that might live in them.  Not sure if that is true or not, but it might be worth a try!
DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Pine Cone Shoppe

Everyone’s got those old metal cookie cutters that haven’t seen a cookie in decades and are now {kinda} used for playdough….except the kids are weirded out by their odd, ambiguous shapes and would rather make ice cream cones in the coveted “factory.” So snag those slightly rusty metallic shapes and slap some hot glue and twine on them too!
DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

The DIY Dreamer

We’ve replaced most of our solid glass ball ornaments with the “shatterproof” versions, which I highly recommend if you have kids, pets or husbands.  But I found a few of our old colored balls that had made it through the years.  Rather than risk putting them on the tree, I think I’m gonna try wrapping them in burlap and twine.  Not only will that protect the ball from exploding shards everywhere when it is inevitable dropped or squeezed, but will provide a little texture to the tree as well.

DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Hobby Lobby

And maybe it is my Type A personality, but I love the look of simple, cohesive presents under the tree.  I inherited a whole bag of Christmas wrapping paper that I’ve been spending the last 10 years trying to use up….one roll at a time.  So I pick a new design for each year!
DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Just Imagine

DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

These Four Walls

Finally, my favorite….the finishing touches on a creating a Farmhouse Christmas!
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse ChristmasI love the simplicity of this set of three paintings.  I wish I could say I had the artistic talent to replicate them!  Luckily, Cherry Tree Gallery sells them on Etsy!
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-Cherry Tree Gallery

Here’s another one you can get on Etsy from In Mind 4U.  It would be perfect for the mantle or on the console table in my hallway.
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-In Mind 4U

I’m seeing more and more decorating ideas for around the house.  In the past, we’ve only decorated our main living area, and the outside of the house.  Even our kitchen {which is in our main living area} has been neglected!  But I’d love to start incorporating some Farmhouse Christmas decor throughout the entire house.  I love the above print….I think I’d sneak it into some holiday decor in the kiddo’s bathroom… #subliminalmessages
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-Bonnie Lecat

Another idea for integrating the holidays throughout the house is to replace your wall pictures with seasonal prints.  Anderson and Grant has a great tutorial on making these four wall hangings…beautiful!
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-Anderson and Grant

And everyone knows that pillows and throws are an easy way to transform any space.  I’m loving the buffalo check flannel that seems to be popular this year.  Check out my post on how to make quick slip-cover pillowcases.
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-On Sutton Place

Channel your 14 year-old self, covering your biology book with a paper bag.  Easy enough to do with any books around your house…simple lettering of seasonal book titles on the spines and tied with a festive ribbon.
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas

Jones Design Company

I hope you enjoyed looking at all the beautiful ideas on this post, and maybe you can find some simple ways to instill a little Farmhouse Christmas into your decor!

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DIY Coasters

When my sister, Loo, got married, my entire extended family rented out an estate with a couple of houses and a pool for us all to stay in.  Then my mom and I set to the task of making it homey and festive…especially since we ended up hosting a couple of BBQ’s and pool parties for the rest of the wedding guests.

So we decorated with burlap bunting, paper lanterns, candles and flowers.  I decided to make some DIY coasters out of cork, using my Silhouette to have around the house.  I figured it would be functional decor that couple double as a wedding favor for the guests of the house.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorSo I bought a couple of packs of cork coasters, some white acrylic paint, a stippler {sponge on a stick} and some vinyl for my silhouette.  I also like to use transfer paper when I use my Silhouette, to make placement of the vinyl a little easier.  {At the end of this post, I’ll have a list of the exact products that I used or recommend}  Then, I found some pretty designs by searching pinterest for “circular cut files.”  I decided not to do a monogram or anything, but there were so many options, that it would be so easy to customize.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorJust about any image you find, you can convert to a cut file.  Save whatever file you want as a .jpeg.  Then open the file and under “File,” click on “Export” and save as a .PNG from the drop down list.  Then you are ready to open the file in Silhouette.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce you have your file open in Silhouette, use the corner arrows to adjust the size to what you are looking for.  From the menu along the top, find the image on the right hand side that looks like toast and click on it.  Then, in the right hand box, select “Select Trace Area” and draw a box around your image to highlight.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce you have your image highlighted in the box, go back to the right hand column and click on “Trace the Entire Image.”  Uncheck the High and Low Pass Filters, and your image should be completely solid yellow when you hit that trace button.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce you trace the image, you should be able to click on it and drag the image to separate it from the {red outlined} cut image.  At this point, either right click to delete your original image, or drag it out of the way, so you can focus on your red outlined cut image.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorThen, zoom in on your image, and then select the second arrow button on the left {looks like an arrow connecting the dots}.  Click on one of the red lines in your image, and you will see a bazillion dots show up.  In the right hand box, click on “Simplify” to cut down on the dots a little.  You can also click and drag the dots to alter lines, and highlight sections to delete.  Don’t feel like you have to though!  Just remember that every time there is a dot, there will be a cut…so you may want to zoom way in to make sure there are no imperfections in your image that you can’t see when you are zoomed out.  Delete what is not necessary.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorAt this point, your image is done!  Go ahead and duplicate it if needed, or add additional images.  And then you are ready to cut.  Make sure you chose the correct medium that you are cutting {in this case, vinyl} and make sure you cut all red lines, not just the outer edge.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorOnce your image is cut out, use your Silhouette tools or even Scotch tape to weed out all of the little pieces.  Some of my designs were actually able to be used twice….once with the inner image on the coaster, and once with the outer image on the coaster.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorCut out a piece of transfer paper that is slightly bigger than your vinyl cut-out, and apply.  Center it over your coaster and slowly position the transfer paper, using a debit card or scraper to make the image stick without bubbles.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorAs you peel back the transfer paper, use the scraper to smooth out your design and be sure that the vinyl is sticking.  I’ll be honest, my original plan for this project was just to stick the vinyl on the coaster and be done with it.  But then I realized that the vinyl doesn’t stick well to the cork, and may have gotten worse when a wet drink was placed on it.  So I decided to stick the vinyl on as best as I could, and use it as a sticker stencil instead.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorWhen using it as a stencil, put just a little bit of acrylic paint on the end of your stippler, and dab it on a plate a bit to distribute the paint.  Then dab it over the negative areas of your coaster, being sure to use a straight up and down motion.  DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorDIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecorLet it partially dry for a minute or so, and then peel the vinyl off to let the coaster dry completely.  Tweezers help with this process, as well as placement of small vinyl pieces.DIY Coasters made with Silhouette and paint #weddingfavors #DIY #coasters #DIYDecor

I love how these DIY Coasters turned out.  They were a beautiful, small addition to our wedding weekend, and I used a permanent marker to write the bride and groom’s name and wedding date on the back.  A simple project for a memorable weekend!

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As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

Halloween Wreath made out of Yarn

A couple of years back I made an adorable red and white yarn ball wreath for the winter months.  It’s extremely versatile….with a green bow, it’s very Christmas-y.   With a red bow, it’s great through Valentine’s Day.  So when I saw a similar wreath in the Better Homes and Garden’s Halloween Magazine, I decided to make another one….this time, a spooky Halloween wreath made out of yarn!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialAnd since I already had a bunch of Halloween-colored yarn from the Halloween Pumpkin Garland I made last week, it was a great project to use up some of those materials as well.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialMaterials:

wreath form {the lighter, the better}…I liked this one since it had holes in it already!
newspaper {you’ll need about 20 pages or so}
sturdy ribbon
four colors of yarn
hot glue and glue gun
scissors
little bit of white yarn {not a whole skein}
spider or other embellishments
Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialThis first step is easy, but takes awhile.  Perfect for an evening of binging on Halloween TV!  I love the “Ghost Hunters” and “Most Haunted” type shows…entertaining enough, but you don’t have to really focus on it.  You’ll cut each page of the news paper in half {for bigger balls}, or quarters {for the smaller balls}, and crumple it up into a ball.  Choose one color of yarn for your first ball.  With your finger, hold the end of the yarn against the wadded up ball, and start wrapping the yarn around the ball in opposite directions, securing the strands as you wrap.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialKeep wrapping until the paper is completely covered up, and the ball is the size that you desire.  Cut the yarn, and tuck the end under a strand to secure it.  And if you drop the yarn ball about 15 times, and have it unravel each time….well, then you are doing about as well as me!  {laugh it off…it’s just a wreath!}Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI tried to alternate the colors I made, so I ended up with about the same amount of each.  I think I made about 55 balls.  Although the picture above has a white one, I ended up just doing black, orange, purple and green.  I only used the white to make my spider web, although you could also use black for that.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialNext, secure your sturdy ribbon to the top of your wreath.  I wrapped it around a couple of times, then tied a knot.  Then I made a loop and doubled knotted it, so it could hang easily.  On top of the double knot, I made a bow for decoration.  Then I got ready to make my spider web.  I taped the end of my white yarn, to make it easier to weave through the holes in the wreath form, as well as small spaces in the web.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorial

Starting at the top hole in the wreath form, tie it around the outside of the form in a double knot to secure.  Then weave it through the hole and across the middle of the wreath form, to the opposite hole.  Weave it through, then loop it to the hole to the right.  Weave it through that hole and then across the middle of the form to the hole directly across.  Keep going until you have a “wagon wheel” with eight sections.  Tie it to the rim of the wreath form with another double knot, but do not cut the yarn!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialFrom the double knot, wrap the yarn around the “spoke” and then pull it toward the next “spoke” to the right.  Wrap it around the yarn once, and then move it to the next “spoke.”  Continuing around the circle, wrapping the end of the yarn around each stationary “spoke” before moving on.  By only wrapping around once each time, the yarn will pretty much stay put, but you’ll be able to slide the parts of the web up and down on the “spokes” to adjust.  It will end up going in a spiral, looking more and more like a web as you go!  Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI ended up weaving the end of my yarn through the loop for a little extra security, whenever I got all the way around back to that first “spoke”.  Poke it through the little twist and then move on the next layer of the web.  When you get to the middle, wrap the yarn around the crossed pieces of yarn and tie a knot.  Make sure the knot ends up being on the backside of the wreath form.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialBecause my spider was a little heavy, I ended up glueing him on after I finished with my yarn balls.  You can glue the yarn balls on anyway you like….I ended up kind of making a loose pattern of one larger one, followed by two smaller ones of opposing colors.  I placed three or four where I wanted them, then I hot-glued them down.  You also may want to save a couple of pieces of newspaper until the end…in case you need a specific color yarn ball toward the end, when it’s harder to rearrange.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI also tended to glue the balls to the wreath form, as well as to each other, for extra stability.  It’s amazing how heavy the Halloween wreath can get once it’s finished!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI’m so glad I ended up using the white yarn for the web, as the big ‘ole hairy spider stands out much better against the white web!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI’m so pleased with how it turned out.  It’s spooky, but still bright and colorful!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialDo you see my mums?  Aren’t they gorgeous?  I actually have two of them, the other is in a bucket in the front yard.  They are HUGE, and from a local farmer who sets up his market at the front of our neighborhood.  He always has delicious fruits and veggies, but I have never seen flowers like these.  Hopefully they will last all season!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorial

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DIY Halloween Garland

It’s Fall, which means I’m up to my ears in projects.  I’m not sure what it is about this time of year, but I just crave the craftiness.  Today I’m sharing the cute little DIY Halloween Garland that I made, after seeing this adorable one on Pinterest.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojects

Materials:
black, white and orange yarn
black and green pipe cleaners {you’ll need more black}
twine or string to hang your garland on and scissors

You’ll also need a little chair, or something to wind the yarn around.  I chose my child-sized rocking chair.  For each color, you’ll need to wrap the yarn around about 100 times, to make it thick enough.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsThen, slide the loops off, keeping them together.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojects To make the ghosts, tie a long piece of yarn around the ends of your white loop of yarn.  Then cut the yarn loop in half down the middle, creating two ghosts.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsKeep the yarn that you tied around the “head” long, so you can just attach that to twine or rope that you’ll be attaching everything to.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojects

That’s it for the ghosts!   Do the same wrapping around of the chair for the orange and black yarn as well.  You will use the same method to make both the spiders and the pumpkins.  Once you slide your loops of yarn off of the chair, cut four long pieces of yarn and tie them in tight knots around the entire group of looped yarn.  Space them evenly.  If you use a larger chair to wrap your yarn around, you may get need even more knots.  You want about 2 inches or so in between each knot, with the ends being about an inch away from the first knots.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsMake sure you keep your string tails long on the knotted ties.  You’ll use these to tie your spiders and pumpkins to your garland.  If you want, this may be a good time to slide your pipe cleaners under the knotted part as well. {Sorry, no picture of this step!}  The orange pumpkins will need a small piece of green pipe cleaner to be the stem.  Slide it until it’s centered under your knot, then twist it as needed to create a stem.

For the spiders, you’ll need black pipe cleaners that are a little longer.  Slide four under your knot and then slowly work them around until the are on the opposite side of where the knot is.  Then just bend them a little at the ends to be legs.  At this point, all of your knots {and yarn tails} should be at the “top” of your little poof.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsTime to start poofing out all of the yarn to make your spiders and pumpkins round.  Be sure NOT to cut your long tails!  Carefully move around the yarn to hide the tied part of the yarn.  You’ll quickly notice that some pieces of yarn are shorter and longer.  The more loops that you did, the thicker {and better} your pom pom will look.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojects Next, you want to kind of smoosh your pom pom flat and trim the excess.  You want to do this numerous times, moving your pom pom around to make it even all the way around.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsYou can see in my pictures that I didn’t add my stems or spider legs til later, and it was more difficult because I had already poofed and trimmed.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsI found that the shorter I trimmed my pom poms, the fluffier they seemed to be.  And the more yarn loops, the better!DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsThen, since you kept your tails long and didn’t accidentally cut them off {*ahem*}…you should be able to easily tie them to a long piece of twine and secure them to your mantle!DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsI love the way the pumpkin stems turned out!DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsThis was such an easy little project, and the perfect DIY Halloween garland to make while catching up on some spooky TV!  I love all of the Halloween specials {and “Most Haunted”} on the History and Travel channels.DIY Spooky Halloween Garland #yarn #DIY #spiders #pumpkins #Halloween #Halloweencrafts #pumpkinprojectsStay tuned this week for another yarn project…a new Halloween wreath!

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DIY {Almost} FAIL: Sidewalk Chalk Popsicles

I am the first to tell anyone that I am not a very creative person, but I’m an excellent copycat.  So today’s post on Sidewalk Chalk Popsicles totally has to send props to Grey House Harbor on Project Nursery for her original instructions that I found on Pinterest.  I was looking for simple DIY projects to do during Camp Rakuhn, either ‘with’ or ‘for’ the six kids under seven that would reside in my house for a week.  The stuff that would keep them entertained so that Betsy and I could catch up.

DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsSo I thought this recipe for Sidewalk Chalk Popsicles would be a simple project for us, and provide at least 10 minutes of independent play for the kiddos.  But it turned out to be WAY more dramatic than that.  And I may be a good copycat, but it turns out, I don’t follow directions very well.

For this project, please use the EXACT materials listed.  And for goodness sake, follow the instructions!DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #crafts{Affiliate links are provided if you prefer to purchase materials online at no extra cost, while also supporting my blog}

Materials: A deep silicone mold {I used a Wilton brownie pop mold to get the “popsicle” effect.}, Plaster of Paris {at least 2 lbs}, Tempera Paint {the liquid kind, but make sure it says Tempura on the label}, fat tongue depressors cut in half, 8 SOLO {aka throw-away-able} cups, and 8 plastic spoons.  You will also need measuring spoons and a measuring cup, and about 3c cold water {put it in the fridge for a half an hour before you start}.

Note: This is a messy project.  Do it outside or cover your workspace.  Kids can help stir the liquid under supervision, but please make sure they don’t ingest the liquid or solid chalk.  And finally.  DO NOT POUR plaster of paris down your drain.  Just throw away the Solo cups when you are done.

1. Pour 1/3 cup of cold water {from your fridge} into each cup.DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #crafts2. Put 2 Tbsp of each color Tempura Paint in each cup, and stir well with plastic spoon. {Feel free to mix colors to create new ones!}  Yes, the amount matters.  The original post that I found this “recipe” for called for Neon Tempera Paint…which I couldn’t find.  So I bought Neon Liquid Paint that was located next to the Tempera Paint at Walmart.  But, it did not specifically say Tempera Paint.  My first mistake.  I later found some purple Tempera Paint in my craft closet at home, and tried this recipe with that and it worked just fine.  So….Tempera Paint is important.DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #crafts3. Stir in 1/3cup of Plaster of Paris into each cup. I’m not sure where we went wrong here, but the original recipe called for 2/3cup…and it ended up being too thick.  But then again, we were also using the wrong {not Tempera} paint.  After doing 2/3c on the first two colors, we halved the amount of Plaster of Paris, and the result was much smoother.  The consistency needs to be similar to thin yogurt or melted ice cream.  Depending on the brand of Tempera Paint, you may need to tweak your amount as well….but start at 1/3cup and add a little more at a time if needed.  You’ll see in the following pictures that we still went ahead and made one chalk popsicle out of this “chunky” mix…can you tell the difference?DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsThe above picture {purple} is with 1/3c Plaster of Paris and 2 Tbsp of purple tempera paint.  I was most pleased with the color and consistency of these pops in the end.  Bright colors on the sidewalk and pretty to look at on the stick too!

The picture below has 1/3c Plaster of Paris and 2 Tbsp of the neon liquid paint.  It had an OK consistency, but took longer to dry and the color was not as vivid.  However, you can really see the consistency that you need in the mold.DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #crafts4. Pour each color into the silicon mold.  Tap the sides a little with your finger to remove any bubbles. It should look smooth.

DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #crafts

The one with the stick is the one with the 2/3c Plaster of Paris. It was literally like cement…took a long time to dry and wasn’t very good as chalk. The Purple Tempera Paint was the best!

5. Let it harden for about 5 minutes, then add a popsicle stick.  It should stick straight up without any help.  If it doesn’t, let it harden for a few more minutes.  Let it harden completely over night.  You’ll see that the water evaporates and the sides  of the chalk separate from the sides of the mold.  It will be hard for the kiddos to wait, but will be completely dry {not crumbly} when you pop each Sidewalk Chalk Popsicle out of the mold, and be easier to draw with.DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsLike I said before, although I only had purple, I really think they turned out the best.  The neon chalk popsicles that had the 1/3c Plaster of Paris were OK, but crumbly when used and did not show up on the sidewalk as vividly.DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsDIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsDIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsDIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsAs you can see in the second photo above…it was really difficult to draw with the chalk popsicle that was made with 2/3c Plaster of Paris.  The others were much easier.DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsAnd I lucked out making numerous purple chalk popsicles….that seemed to be the favorite color too!DIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsDIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #craftsDIY Chalk Popsicles #tutorial #CampRakuhn #kidprojects #crafts

And just like that, I had 4 happy girls and a beautiful driveway!

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Freezer Paper Stencil Tee-Shirts Using Silhouette

I may be a little obsessed with my newfound Silhouette skill.  This may be an old trick to you Silhouette veterans out there, but I’m just now discovering the beauty of using a Freezer Paper Stencil.  And once I figured out how to turn just about any image into a cut file in my Silhouette, all the sudden I can churn out graphic tees and cheeky quote shirts with the best of ’em.  And all by using the freezer paper stencil method!

Good news!  You don’t have to have a Silhouette machine…just use scissors or an exacto knife to cut out your image from the freezer paper…then skip to the end of this post to see how to paint!

*Please keep in mind that I am not selling anything that I make.  It is for my own personal use.  Be sure to check copyright details on images that you use!*Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteRecently, my best friend from Maryland and her three kids came to visit.  After a happy accident where we happened to mash our two last names together, we realized that it sounded just like a southerner’s version of “raccoon.”  So we decided to call our yearly get-togethers Camp RaKuhn {we’re such dorks, I know!}.  And as a former camp counselor, there is no camp without a camp tee shirt!Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSince I had recently figured out how to change almost any image on the internet into a cut file, it was just a matter of finding an image of a raccoon that was what we were looking for.  We needed a simple image with block colors.  I Googled “raccoon+silhouette+vector” to get the widest spread of simple images I was looking for.  The images below are perfect for this project.  You don’t want anything too detailed {like the ones X’ed out}, but keep in mind you will be painting, so any simple/high contrast color images are fine too.  There are a bunch of cartoon raccoons out there as well, one of which we ended up choosing.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteWhen I found the perfect one, I saved it as a .JPEG.  Then, I opened it as a new file and re-saved {“Export”} it as a .PNG file.  Then, it was ready to be opened up in the Silhouette program.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteWhen you open your file in the program, you will need to trace it.  Highlight the image and then click on the icon that looks like toast on the tool bar that goes across the top of your screen.  You’ll want to adjust your settings, including the High Pass Filter to make sure all of the different areas of your image are highlighted to be cut out.  You can test this by looking at the areas that turn yellow.  Click on TRACE on the right side bar, and the areas that are yellow will turn red.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteI’ve zoomed in here so you can see…if you drag the original image away from your traced image, you can see the red “cut lines.”  On simple, plain black silhouette images, there will only be one cut line around the entire image, so you will have minimal editing to do.  But as you can see, I have “double” cut lines on mine.  Zoom in further….
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteNow you can really see the double cut lines.  You’ll need to clean your image up a little, since it wasn’t originally made to be cut out by a computer!  Take a look at your image and get a good idea of which lines you need to get rid of….they are messy and squiggly and will have a TON of dots in the next picture.  You also want to get rid of any random little dots, or else they will be cut out by your machine too!
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSo in the left side bar, click on the icon with the arrow and the connected dots.  Then click on any part of a red line.  A gazillion little dots will show up.  They are all tiny little angles.  Let’s make it a little simpler, shall we?  Click on SIMPLIFY (#1) and some of the dots should go away.  Then, click on dots and lines that you want to get rid of {the messier ones} by clicking on DELETE POINT (#2).  You’ll need to click this each time to delete….it gets a little tedious…you might as well binge on some Netflix while you work.

Keep in mind that most of the points are connected at some point {no pun intended}, so you will mess up and delete something you didn’t mean to.  Just use the UNDO arrow icon on your top toolbar.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteLike I said, some of the lines will be connected in weird places.  And some of those places you need to get rid of!  So highlight the line you want to break off, and click on BREAK PATH.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteThe two lines that used to be connected will turn into a solid and open red circle.  Drag them away from each other and put the red circle on any other dot to which you want to connect that line.  They will automatically fuse together.  Then you can delete the other line if needed.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteKeep deleting, moving and adding points as necessary to clean up your image.  Make sure all of your areas connect, so it will be a clean-cut and easy to weed.  Then you are ready to cut out onto your medium.  You can use vinyl to create a stencil, but I’ve found that freezer paper actually cuts AND paints cleaner.  I use the same settings for freezer paper as I do for regular paper.  Once you weed out all of the little pieces, place them carefully on your tee shirt and iron them down.  You are ready to paint!
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteUse fabric paint and a small paint brush or sponge.  Get creative with your colors and layering.  Just be sure to use an up-and-down motion while painting to prevent bleeding.

In order to make our tail, we painted the entire thing gray {using the cut out of the entire body of the raccoon}.  Then, after it was dry, we placed the cut outs of the tail stripes over the gray paint and ironed them down to protect them…then painted over the gray with a darker gray to create the two-tone effect of the tail.  When you are done with the stencils, just use tweezers to pull them off, and let dry!Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteAfter it dries for 4-6 hours, iron it one more time to set the paint.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSuper easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSuper easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteNow, you are all set for camp!

Follow me on Instagram {@palmsandpigs} to see some of the other Freezer Paper Stencil projects I’ve made….with and without the Silhouette!

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Upcycled Sock Donuts

When my best friend Betsy came to visit for a week with her three little girls….we realized that our last names meshed together sounded like the word “raccoon.”  So, being the cheesy, crafty mamas that we are…we decided to call our little yearly get-togethers “Camp Rakuhn.”  And every year, we do a couple of  crafts late at night {just us mamas}, and a couple of crafts with the kids.

So this year, one of the crafts we did with the kids was Upcycled Sock Donuts.  Sounds a little gross, but it ended up being an adorable little project that got rid of some lonely socks and kept the kids entertained for hours!Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksAnd it was literally the easiest project I’ve ever done.  All you need is a sock, a little felt, and some puffy paint.  Cut the toe off of the sock, and start rolling outward toward the top of the sock.Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksUpcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksWhen you get to the top, fold the elastic part over the top of your donut, then flip it over.  This is important, because when you glue the felt icing on, it will secure the sock into the donut shape, so the kids can’t unroll it.Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksI let the older kids cut up their felt squares into icing for the donuts.  You can’t really mess it up, since the icing is supposed to be dripping off the donut.  They did need a little help cutting the hole in the middle though.Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksThen comes the fun part….Puffy Paint!  After creating my entire 4th grade wardrobe out of oversized sweatshirts and puffy paint, I can honestly say I never thought I’d buy another tube of neon orange…Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksBut puffy paint sprinkles are perfect for 6 kids under seven to do…all. by. themselves.  Because the globbier, the better.  The puffier, the prettier.  Not to mention it makes the sprinkles much more lifelike!Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksObviously, an adult needs to do the hot-gluing of the felt “icing” onto the sock “donut.”  If you can, glue the felt over the edge of the sock, so it doesn’t come unrolled.Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksThen, you are done!  The kids will play “bakery” for hours!

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How to Turn a Necktie into a Bowtie Tutorial

Last weekend, we took off to Atlanta for the weekend to spend some time with Dave’s family and watch one of his cousins get married.  We had a fantastic time watching all of the kiddos play together, and the wedding itself was magical {more on that later!}.

We don’t get to dress up as a family very often, so I ordered some stuff online so that our family would be nice and coordinated, like any southern family should be.  I got Millie a coral dress with arrows, and the boys matching coral neckties.  Jayna and I already had navy dresses that went with Mille’s dress too.  The only problem was, when Lincoln’s tie arrived, it was waaay too long.  Obviously meant for a real boy, not a toddler.

Luckily, I happen to be a problem solver.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternHere’s how my “how to turn a necktie into a bowtie” tutorial.

The first thing I did was to rip out the stitches that held the velcro neck piece onto the tie, since it wasn’t tied traditionally {which I prefer for a child, anyway}.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen, I ripped the seams that went along the entire length of the tie, and opened it up.  I left the seam that made the tie pointed at the end.   I stuck my finger into the point and folded it the opposite way, so you could see the seam, and the tie folded lengthwise in half.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternSorry for the bad picture above, but I measure and cut four inches off the bottom of the tie, making it 3″X4″.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen I turned it right-side out and ironed it flat.  Turning the raw edges under a little bit, I glued around the open area, so it was sealed all the way around.  I forgot to take a picture, but I used more of the fabric to cut a 4″x4.5″ piece of fabric, and a 3″X2″ piece.  I folded both of them length-wise and sewed them together, right sides together.  For the 4″X4.5″ piece, I did the same thing as the piece above and folded the two raw ends inside and then glued them together.  You could use fabric glue in a tube, or do what I did, and use fabric hot glue so it won’t wash out.  The small piece will be the middle of your bow tie, so the ends can stay raw.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternSo I ended up with four separate pieces of double-sided rectangles.  The one on the top with the velcro was the original neck-piece from the tie that I bought. I stacked the middle-sized rectangle on top of the large rectangle and scrunched together in the middle.  How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternI threaded a needed and wrapped it tightly around the middle of the bow tie a couple of times before sewing through the fabric too.  Made it nice and secure, so the bow will never fall apart.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen, sew the raw end of the smallest piece of fabric to the middle of the back of the bow tie.  I made sure to line it up…so that way when I wrapped it around the front, the other raw side ended up in the back, hidden.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen I centered the bow tie onto the neck strap.  I put a couple of stitches down to secure the bow tie onto the strap and make sure it was on there straight.  Then I wrapped the smallest piece of fabric around both the bow tie and the neck strap,  and put a dab of hot fabric glue down to secure it.  How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternAnd to finish it off,  I top-stitched it to keep it secure.  The great thing about it is that because most of it is hidden, you don’t really need to worry about your stitches being perfectly straight.  You can even see where I messed up with the glue gun on the left part of the bow.  But it’s all on the bottom and the back, so it’s totally not noticeable once it’s on the kid!How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternAnd considering I had no idea what I was doing when I started this project, it still only took me about an hour, including taking the pictures for this bowtie tutorial.

How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternShe altered a too-big necktie to create this adorable bow-tie! Step by step tutorialShe altered a too-big necktie to create this adorable bow-tie! Step by step tutorialAnd as cute as this guy is in them…there will be many more bowties in our future!

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Upcycled Easter Eggs

I recently updated our spring decor with a fruitful trip to Goodwill.  I was pleasantly surprised by both their home decor selection, as well as their Easter basket stocking table.  I picked up some new Easter eggs to stock and hide for Easter morning, but there ended up being a lot more than I anticipated.  How to up cycle your Easter Eggs for use all Spring long!And last year, I was able to score a couple of cute little round wicker baskets from Pick Your Plum.  After adding a little bit of florist’s moss from Michael’s, I decided they looked like little bird nests.

But I don’t know of any birds that lay neon green and pink eggs, so I decided to make these tacky Easter eggs look a little more realistic.How to up cycle your Easter Eggs for use all Spring long!Materials:

cardboard box with sides {the eggs will roll!}
plastic eggs
Valspar Spray Primer for Plastic
Valspar Textured Spray Paint in Stone {what I ended up preferring}
or
Rust-Oleum Multicolored Textured Spray Paint
How to up cycle your Easter Eggs for use all Spring long!
First, I put the eggs in the cardboard box and spray painted them with the plastic primer.  This is a little easier said than done, as the eggs roll all over the place and it takes a little effort to get them covered.  But it doesn’t matter what it looks like, because the primer will get covered with the paint.  Be sure to let it dry completely….I waited 24 hours before moving on.

Then do the same thing with the textured spray paint.  Again, due to the shape, you’ll need to cover the eggs in a couple of steps, letting the paint dry in-between.  Be sure to cover the seams and the holes well, so they don’t show.

After they dry completely, they look just like eggs!  I’ve seen a couple of other people use a little bit of brown/gray/blue paint to splatter some speckles on too, but I opted to stay white.

How to up cycle your Easter Eggs for use all Spring long!And they were the perfect addition to my Spring mantle!How to up cycle your Easter Eggs for use all Spring long!

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Invisible Zipper Tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Pillowcase

I splurged at Christmas time and bought a couple of new pillows from Decor Steals.  I love them, but they are so fluffy, storing them is going to be annoying.  So I decided to make a couple of pillow cases for them instead.  After perusing the web and pinterest.  I found a couple of DIY pillowcases with hearts that are perfect for Valentine’s Day and spring.

So the first one I decided to try to make was a knockoff of this Anthropologie Heart Pillow.  Seemed simple!  And thanks to my friend Amelia, who gave me a ton of fabric last week, I had a couple of red cloth napkins that were perfect {and half finished!} for the project.  For the hearts, I cut out various sizes from a canvas drop cloth that I used for a couple of other projects.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowI used a fabric marker to draw a heart about a quarter inch from the edge to sew along.  I kept the edges raw, and with time they will get more raggy and unraveled.  Then I pinned them on one of the red cloth napkins, keeping them away from the edges {which would be sewn into seams}.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowThen I carefully sewed along the blue fabric marked line.  And just that quick, the front of the pillowcase was finished.  Now to add the back of the case and the zipper.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowI looked up an invisible zipper tutorial, and was completely shocked at how easy it was!  I found this fantastic tutorial on Stop Staring and Start Sewing, so check out that blog for even better pictures and another version of this step-by-step invisible zipper tutorial.

The stuff {other than fabric and thread and pins and such} that you’ll need are:

-an invisible zipper {labeled as such at the fabric store} that is about 6-8 inches longer than the length of fabric that you are going to put the zipper on
-an Elmer’s glue stick {the one that starts purple but dries clear}
-a zipper foot for your sewing machine.

You’ll start off by ironing the fabric right next to the zipper as close to the zipper as you can…this will let you sew right next to the zipper.  Here is an awesome before and after picture of the zipper from the site I mentioned above.

Once your zipper is all ironed out, center it on the fabric where you are going to put it, and mark off where the end of the fabric is, and then about an inch and a half from the end of the fabric.  Keep in mind that I was using finished cloth napkins, so my seams are nice and finished….if you are just using fabric, your seams will be raw.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowThen, you will use the glue stick to glue on the zipper {with the Right side of the fabric facing up, turn the zipper upside down to glue it to the fabric}. An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart Pillow Once you have the zipper “glued” on, set it with the hot iron {no steam}….amazing how that glue stick will stay!An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowDo the same to the second piece of fabric, making sure that all of your edges and corners line up for easy sewing.  Set the glued on zipper on this side as well, and you are ready to sew your zipper on!This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine, and shift the needle accordingly so that it will sew as close to the zipper coils as possible.  Start on the zipper fabric where you marked the first line {the one that was about an inch and a half from the edge}, and be sure the back stitch a bit {but not all the way to the end of the fabric}.This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!Stitch across the length of the zipper fabric until just past the next line, then backstitch.  Put your two pieces of fabric together, right sides together and zip up the zipper about 2/3 of the way.  Make sure your fabric corners line up.  Move the “tail” of the zipper out of the way and then glue or pin the corners of the fabric together.  Starting at the end of the fabric, sew the two pieces of fabric together, stopping just past the place that you originally backstitched on the zipper.  Backstitch.  Do the same on the other end of the zipper as well.  An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowWith crappy scissors, cut the “tails” of your zipper off, and then close the zipper all the way.  Flip your fabric Right side up and iron over the zipper to make it “disappear.”  Open your zipper again about half way.  Then put the two pieces Right sides together again and pin/glue together.  Sew your pieces together all the way around, be sure to backstitch, and maybe even double stitch for durability.This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!Turn your pillowcase right sides out {aren’t you glad you opened your zipper on that last step!?!?}, and you are done!  Slide your case over your favorite seasonal and/or dingy pillow for an instant living room update!This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!

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