Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy Wreath from Scraps

I love decorating for holidays. I'm sure it's because of my mother. She had at least one tote full of decorations for every holiday and season. I'm slowly building my collection of holiday decor. Fortunately, I have Pinterest to help me create my own decorations.

I've seen some cute wreath ideas on Pinterest.  I pin them, but because LIFE happens, I rarely make a list of the supplies I need to create a specific wreath. Fortunately, I know how to improvise. Today's tutorial is my version of several different wreaths. Let's just call it a craft mash-up. :) All I used was a wire hanger, fabric scraps and tulle.

First, I cut red, white and blue fabric into 1" x 6" strips. The size doesn't really matter. I used my rotary cutter, but you could cut individually using pinking shears too. I went for quick and easy and hoping they'd start to fray. Like any good quilter, I had quite an assortment of red, white and blue fabric scraps. Jumble your strips into one big pile so your wreath has a random look as you're creating it.

Take your wire hanger and bend it into a circle shape. I used the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket to help shape mine. It wasn't a perfect circle but it will do. Then tie each strip to the hanger. Make a simple square knot with the strip. As you tie, it will start to fray the fabric. Continue until the entire circle is covered in fabric. You'll want to scrunch the ties close together to cover the hanger and make the wreath more full.

When I finished, I thought it needed a little something more. I decided to add some tulle to the wreath too. I cut strips that were 8" long. I did the red first and cut them 3" wide but decided that I wanted them a little poofier, so the other colors were 6" wide. I simply tied the tulle strips on the hanger between the existing fabric strips.

I think it turned out very cute. The hanger part makes it easy to hang on a nail. You could get fancy and use wire cutters to snip the hanger part off and loop a large ribbon around the wreath if you wanted. Work with what you have. The fun part about this project is you can change the colors and make one for any holiday! Have fun!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Juice Popsicles

Summer has finally arrived! It seemed to take some time here in Montana to get the sun to come out every day this year. Having a couple kids of my own along with my day care kiddos, I'm always looking for snacks that are kid friendly. My kids LOVE Otter Pops (who doesn't?) but they're not exactly the healthiest popsicle option out there. I decided to make my own popsicles using what I had at home. Here's what I did:

Gather a bunch of paper dixie cups. These are the small bathroom sized cups. Fill the cups half way with apple juice. Use whatever kind of juice you have on hand. Mine was plain ol' 100% apple juice, no sugar added. Cut some little squares of aluminum foil to cover the tops of the dixie cups. Poke a wooden popsicle stick through the aluminum foil so it stands straight up. Why the aluminum foil? You can skip this step if you want to partially freeze the juice and then put the wooden sticks in them. I just get too busy to remember to put the sticks in and then they're frozen. The aluminum foil helps the sticks stand close to straight in the popsicle and you can recycle it when they're frozen.

I put the prepped popsicles onto a little pizza pan (use what you have) and popped them into the freezer. It's a good idea to let them freeze overnight to make sure they're good and solid. When you're ready, just take one out, tear off the dixie cup (that's why I suggest paper) and voila! you have a juice popsicle. My kids loved them.

You can use whatever you want for the juice. Be creative. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest for healthy popsicles. I simply chose to use the paper cup method because I don't have popsicle molds. My mom used to have these great molds when we were kids from Tupperware. How I wish those were still around. Enjoy the sunshine!!