DIY Autumn Banner

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While browsing fall wreath ideas on Pinterest, I saw a picture of a black and white fall banner with gold sparkly letters on this blog.
I thought the banner was so cute and decided that it wouldn’t be that difficult to recreate it. Here are the supplies/tools you will need to complete the project:
  • Card Stock (or scrapbook paper) in a variety of patterns
  • Construction paper in coordinating colour (unless you use card stock to begin with)
  • Block letters (I used wood ones from Michaels. Cardboard would work too.)
  • Spray Paint
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Glue (spray adhesive and regular glue)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue Gun
  • X-acto knife or hole punch
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The Letters
Choose the message for your banner. I went with “Thankful.” I also made one for my mom and she chose “Give Thanks.” Tip: I would go with a shorter message because it’s less work!
Spray paint your letters outside or in well ventilated area in your desired colour of choice. I placed an old sheet underneath the letters and painted in my garage with the door open. I sprayed two coats and waited about 15 minutes between the coats (*read the directions on your can of spray paint to see what it recommends about multiple coats). Wait 15 minutes after the last coat of spray paint.

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Spray the painted letters with an adhesive spray. I used Elmer’s Adhesive Spray. Pour a generous amount of glitter over each letter. I chose glitter the same colour of my spray paint. You do what you want though. I did this over looseleaf paper so that I could roll up the paper and pour the leftover glitter back into the container. I poured A LOT of glitter on each letter to make sure they were adequately covered.  Let the glitter dry for at least 15 minutes. I also did this step out in my garage so I didn’t have a glittery mess in my house.

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The Banner
While the glitter is drying, begin your banner. Draw your banner shape on the construction paper or cardstock using a ruler and cut out to the shape to create the banner template.
Using your template, trace the shape onto your patterned paper and cut it out. Draw and cut out enough “flags” for each letter of your message, taking care to alternate the patterned paper. I also had to cut out a flag for each letter onto the construction paper. My patterned paper was scrapbook and it was too flimsy to support the wooden letters. If you are using cardstock or a sturdier paper, you probably don’t need to do this. I then glued the construction paper to the patterned paper using a few dollops of Mod Podge.
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Cut two slits in the top corners of each flag. For my first banner, I used an X-acto knife and, I’m not gonna lie, it was painful. This was the most tedious part of the project. For my mom’s banner, I bought a rectangular hole punch which made the job marginally easier. The easiet thing would be to use a regular hole punch with a thinner ribbon or twine. BUT, I liked the asthetic of the slits with thicker ribbon better.
Putting It All Together
Bring your letters in on a paper plate until they are ready to be used because they will shed glitter….everywhere!
Using a glue gun, glue each letter to a flag.
Thread the ribbon through each slit of the flags. I used black grosgrain ribbon – 5/8″ for my banner and cream satin ribbon – 5/8″ for my mom’s.

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To hang, I kept the ends of the ribbon really long and stuck them under heavy items I had on my mantle. You could loop and tie the ends of the ribbon and hang them over 3M hooks as well.
That’s it. That’s all. The whole project will take you about 3 hours. I am also a perfectionist and was watching Californication the whole time so it might only take you 2!
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Thanks for reading and happy fall y’all!

Christmas Outdoors

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I do Christmas planters each year to make my front entrance a little more festive. They are easy to put together and everything in them is artificial so they can be used year after year. Here’s a breakdown of what’s in them and where I got it from:
  • The long silver sticks, glittery branches, and glittery silver balls (lol – I don’t know what else to call them!) are from Homesense.
  • The silk amaryllis flowers are from Pier 1.
  • The green branches/pinecones are from Michaels (I use three per pot).
I just stick everything in the soil that’s leftover from my summer pots from tallest to shortest – easy peasy! I might “branch” out and do something new next year. We’ll see if inspiration hits!

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The last couple years I’ve also ordered a fresh balsam fir wreath (all the way from Nova Scotia!) which is the closest thing to a real Christmas tree in my house. It smells amazing! I added some silver ribbon and attached some leftover Christmas ornaments with wire to match the planters.
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Thanks for reading!

DIY Christmas Card Holder

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For this project, you will need:
  • Small wooden letters that spell out the holiday greeting of your choice (I got mine from Michaels and they spell out “JOYEUX NOEL”).
  • Acrylic glue (optional)
  • Mini clothespins
  • Mod Podge glue (matte)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Jute Cord (I used 3 ply)
  • 3M Utensil Hooks
Directions:
  • If you plan on painting your letters, paint each letter with the desired number of coats and colour(s).
  • Once the paint is dry, brush the back of each clothespin with the Mod Podge and place a pin (or two) on the back of each letter.

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  • While the glue is drying, cut your jute cord to the desired length.
  • Once the glue is dry, clip the letters to the cord.
  • Hang the holder. My suggestions for hanging are: Across a window by tying the ends of the cord to the curtain rod, across the fireplace by attaching the 3M hooks to the mantel (tie a loop at each end of the cord and hang the loop on the hook) , or across a bannister by again attaching the hooks to the bannister/wall.
  • Pin your cards to the letters as you receive them.

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The first set of pictures showed the holder I made for my sister. This is the one I made for my house last year (her letters are not painted and mine are painted blue, white, and silver).  Here is mine: 
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This is a quick and easy project and should only take you about 30 to 45 minutes once you have the supplies.
Thanks for reading!

Oh Christmas Tree(s)

I went a little crazy this year and put up three trees in my house. Two of them are only little four footers though so it’s really only like two, right?

The “main” tree goes up in the living room every year. It’s a pre-lit fake tree, but I add another few strands of lights because I like a really bright tree. The decorations actually coordinate perfectly with the colour scheme in the living room. That was a bit of fluke as the first Christmas in the house, we had no furniture in the living room yet. What can I say? I am predictable. This was the first tree in our home in 2010 (it was our one and only real tree before we went fake):

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The second tree I put up is a little tree dating back to my university days that my mom bought my sister and me from Michael’s when we were roomies. She was dubbed the “Ice Princess” because of the ice blue decorations we used to deck her out in. She has undergone many makeovers over the years and is currently rocking a peacock blue and gold theme. In fact, I think I will even add some peacock feathers this year.

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This year, I got a bee in my bonnet that I needed a white Christmas tree.  I feel like they are making a comeback (yes? no? maybe?). There was a fantastic 7 foot one at Canadian Tire, but by the time I went to purchase it, they were sold out! I had to settle for a cheap four foot one from Wal-mart which is still pretty cute. I put it in my makeup room and made it super girly.  I think it might be the new Ice Princess.

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The rest of the house is decked out too and I will share more with you as we get closer to Christmas!

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone is getting in the Christmas spirit as much as I am (it’s hard not to with 25 cm of freshly fallen snow on the ground)!

A Gourdgeous Project

I am continuing with my fall themed posts with a super cheesy pun (for which I do not apologize!)

I did another simple decor project using plastic gourds and paint. I chose a colour theme of autumn metallics – coppers, bronzes, golds instead of the typical red, orange, and yellow.

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I used:

  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Gold spray paint
  • Stencils
  • Plastic gourds (from Michaels and Target)
  • Sponge brushes

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Ta Da!
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Thanks for reading!

Pumpkin Pie (or something like it!)

I enjoy cooking in general, but for some reason, I always end up being in charge of dessert (it can’t be my massive sweet tooth, can it?). This past Thanksgiving weekend, I was in charge of dessert for two different dinners and I thought it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin in the mix! Here’s what went down:

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

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This a recipe that I got from my mother-in-law – she has been making this recipe at Thanksgiving for years. I have never been a big fan of pumpkin pie but the fluffiness of this recipe converted me! I added my own touch by making a gingersnap crust (using homemade gluten-free ginger snaps to boot) and I garnished the pie with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped pistachios. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 envelope of gelatin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

In a medium saucepan, mix gelatin with milk over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Separate the egg yolks, whisk and add to pumpkin mixture and heat until thickened. In a separate bowl, whip the eggs with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until fluffy. Refrigerate the pumpkin mixture until cool. Meanwhile, whip the cream with 1/4 cup of icing sugar. Prior to serving, add the egg whites and half the cream to the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the crust, top with whipped cream, and garnish with cinnamon and pistachios.

Here’s the recipe for the gingersnap crust and the gluten-free cookies if you so desire.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Chocolate Tart

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This was my first time making this dessert and it was delicious. The combination of chocolate and pumpkin was spot on. This is an Anna Olson recipe and the recipe can be found here.

For the crust, I had to substitute g-free flour for the all purpose flour and it messed up the crust quite a bit, but it still turned out really tasty!

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I hope all my Canadian friends had a lovely Thanksgiving and that you feel as blessed as I do. Thanks for reading!!