Month: July 2015

Easy DIY Citronella Candles


DIY Citronella Candles
I am not sure about your backyard, but ours is FULL of mosquitoes as soon as the sun goes down.  It’s downright uncomfortable to be outside.  I’ve always used citronella candles, but I have never made them.  While these DIY citronella candles might not completely get rid of all of those pesky mosquitoes, they are a huge help!  You can use this same recipe to make other candles with any essential oil you have, it doesn’t need to be citronella!  I think lavender or orange might be the next DIY candles I make…

Citronella Oil

I just got this Citronella oil  last week…it has been out of stock for months!!  As soon as I got it, my wheels were turning on how I could use it, and this was the perfect way to try out Citronella with an EASY project!

Supplies Needed:

DIY Citronella Candle Supplies

 

  • Mason Jars – I like the fun colored ones from Joann’s
  • Floating wicks (I got mine on Amazon – see link.  I looked at Joann’s and Michael’s and was not able to find them there.)
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
  • Citronella Oil – Or any essential oil of your choice (learn more about the oils I use here)

Steps to make Easy DIY Citronella Candles

These candles are so easy, they literally take 5 minutes to make.

1.  Pour in water, but leave about 1.5 inches from the top of the jar

2.  Pour about 1/2 cup of oil in a separate container with 10 drops of Citronella Oil, stir it up good.

3.  Pour the oil on top of the water.  Don’t worry about it mixing with the water, it will naturally float to the top of the water in the jar.

4.  Put your floating wick on the top of the oil layer.

5.  Light your candle, and keep the bugs away! 🙂

Have you tried any other essential oils in candles?  I’d love to hear how you’ve used them with candles in the comments!

xoxo,
Jess

 

DIY Outdoor & Camping Spray with Essential Oils

I absolutely love spending time outdoors in the summer.  There is nothing better than a summer evening sitting by a campfire with family and friends.  Except for the pesky bugs that tend to interrupt an otherwise peaceful night outside.  I can’t stand using those other sprays with DEET and other harmful chemicals.  Not only do they not smell good at all, they are just not good for you!  I never thought that it was possible to have an outdoor spray that actually smelled good!  Lately, I’ve been asked what is that smell??  Everyone (including me) is very surprised at how good an outdoor spray can smell and actually work to keep the bugs away!

I highly recommend you try this out for your next outdoor adventure.  It will keep the pesky bugs away, and won’t break the bank.  I love finding new ways to use essential oils, and I can’t wait to share this recipe with you.  The best part is…all three oils come in the Premium Starter Kit!  If you haven’t started your oily journey yet and would like some more information on essential oils, check out how you can start on my team and get the Premium Starter Kit thru Young Living here!

Ingredients Needed to make DIY Camping Spray with Essential Oils:

DIY Outdoor Camping Spray

Mix together all the ingredients above and pour them into the glass bottles using a funnel.  That’s it!  You’re ready to enjoy the outdoors without being bothered by those pesky bugs! 🙂

xoxo,
Jess

 

Modern Square Burlap Wreath Tutorial

I have to be honest. I’ve never really loved or gotten into the “burlap craze.” When I was planning our wedding last year, it seemed liked the fad for the year was rustic weddings with burlap EVERYWHERE. While it is cute, it really just isn’t my style.  I have to admit, it has grown on me. Still, after seeing many different burlap wreath examples and tutorials, I felt as though I had to put a modern twist on it. Check out this simple tutorial for a modern square burlap wreath. It’s about a 90 minute project, and costs just about 15 dollars per wreath. Can’t beat that!  Remember Katie, from our old blog…Thursday Night Threads?  She and I made this together, and had a blast doing it! 🙂

Modern Square Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Supplies Needed:

  • 14 ” Square Floral Wire Wreath (got it at Michael’s for about $3 with my 25% off coupon)
  • Floral Wire – you don’t need a lot.  (under 5 feet)
  • Twine (about 4 feet)
  • Pins with the pearlized heads
  • 1/4 yard of purple burlap (or another color of your choice)
  • 1/4 yard of teal burlap (or another color of your choice)
  • 1/4 yard of white burlap (or another color of your choice)
  • A few scraps of felt (to glue the burlap on to make the flowers)
  • 2 rolls of 5″ wide burlap “ribbon” (about 15 meters per wreath is needed.  The needed amount depends on how loose or tight you want your burlap loops)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors

1. Attach Wire to Burlap “Ribbon”

Square Burlap wreath attach with wire

Weave the floral wire on the end of the burlap “ribbon” to have a method to attach the burlap to the metal floral wreath for the first time.

 

2. Attach the End of the Burlap to the Floral Wire Wreath

Attaching Burlap to Wire WreathI wove the wire around one of the crossbars on the wire wreath.  You want to make sure you secure this tightly so that it stays attached as this is really the only way your burlap is going to stay attached to the wreath while you are weaving the loops of burlap through the wreath frame.

 

3. Start your First Loop

Square Burlap Wreath burlap loopOkay, ask Katie…this part was FILLED with frustration.  Starting this wreath is frustrating for us perfectionists.  You just have to trust me when I say, start a few “rows” of loops and it will all turn out.  I got hung up on the first few loops for awhile, until I decided to move on and trust that it will turn out, even if the first couple of loops aren’t perfect.  When you thread your loop between the wire bars, twist it afterwards to ensure that it stays in place.

 

4.  Feed the Burlap Under the Wire Bar to Make Your Next Loop

Looping burlap on Square Burlap wreathOnce you loop it through the bars, be sure to twist your second loop so that it stays in place.  I kind of lightly held the loops as I progressed along.  I will be honest, it is really hard to show this in pictures.  The one thing that seems kind of weird as you start is that you’re not actually covering up the wires.  Trust me as long as you push the loops close together, they will “fill out” the space and cover all of the wire completely.

 

5.  Repeat the Looping Process Until Your Wreath is Complete

unnamed

unnamed (2)Completed Square Burlap Wreath

 

6.  Start Making the Burlap Flowers for the Wreath

I made 9 flowers for the wreath (3 of each color of burlap), but it’s really up to you how many you want to make (or have the patience to make! 🙂 ).  I cut strips of burlap 1.5″ wide and of varying lengths.  I wanted to create different sized flowers, which is why I did all different lengths.  I cut strips anywhere from 12″ long for the small flowers, to 30″ long for the larger flowers.

Start of burlap flower
Fold the burlap strip in half for the center of the flower.
burlap3
Roll the burlap a few times around
Center of Burlap Flower
Once you get the center of the flower how you want it, take the remaining burlap (unfolded now) and twist it around the center of the flower. There is no right or wrong to this
Burlap Wreath Flower
This is how the flower looks as you twist the burlap around the center.
Attaching the burlap flower to felt
Here is a finished flower glued to felt for stability.
Back of burlap flower for Square burlap wreath
Cut off the excess felt
Finished Flower for Burlap Wreath
Completed burlap flower

 

7. Make the Bow for the Wreath

I cut a strip of purple burlap out 3.5″ x 21″ for the bow.  You can really make it however big or small you would like it.

Top of Bow for Wreath
Glue the ends of the strip together to make the bow.
Bow for square burlap wreath
Gather the center of the bow
Tying the bow for the square burlap wreath
Tie the gathered center together with twine

 

8.  Make the “Ends” of the Bow

I cut out 2 strips about 10″ long and 3.5″ wide for each ribbon end.  I cut a “V” out at the end of each to dress up the ends.

 

9.  Glue on the Bow and Flowers

I used hot glue and some of the floral wire to attach the ribbon to the top left hand corner of the wreath.  I hot glued the flowers in a random pattern at the bottom right hand corner of the wreath.  This is where you can get creative and arrange things however you would like!  Once you have the flowers in place, put the pearlized pins in the center of the flowers to give them some added “sparkle” and character.

That’s it!!  You have made your very own Modern Square Burlap Wreath! 🙂  We hope you have fun making your own!

xoxo,
Jess & Katie

 

Modern Square Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Front Door Welcome Post Tutorial

Welcome Post TutorialMy husband, Joe and I bought a house last fall, and we are constantly working on projects here and there to decorate our new place.  I’ve always wanted a more welcoming entrance, which is why I’m always making some door decoration or another.  I decided it was time to expand beyond the door decoration, to this cute front door welcome post to hang seasonal signs!

Materials Needed: 

  • 4 x 4 (I got an 8 foot piece, so that it could make 3 posts)
  • 1 x 4 (I got an 8 foot piece as well, so that it could make 8 signs)
  • 1 x 6 (this is used to create the base and top of the post)
  • Oil rubbed bronze hook
  • Black spray paint
  • Off white spray paint
  • Screws
  • “Welcome” stencil
  • Foam paint brush
  • Outdoor black acrylic paint
  • Wire to hang the sign
  • Tools – drill & saw

 

1. Cut out the pieces for the welcome post

 

IMG_1550

As I mentioned in the materials list, I bought enough to make several posts.  Here I’ll let you know what you will need for just one post.  For the 4×4, I made it 32″ tall.  This can definitely be suited to your preference, but it was the height that I thought looked good at my front door.

This project definitely needs some serious power tools (ie. a table saw).  I supposed you could use a circular saw or something more portable, but the table saw was nice for cutting the squares.  I had my dad do the cutting on the table saw. 🙂  Each post has 4 squares for the base and the top of the post.  2 are 5.5″ x 5.5″, and 2 are 4.5″ x 4.5″.

The sign itself was made out of the 1″ x 4″ and I made it 12″ long.  I bought a 8 foot board, as I plan to make signs for every season (yes, that means more tutorials to come!! 🙂 ).

 

2.  Attach the squares on the top and bottom with a couple of screws

Here is a close up of the base of the post with the squares attached.  The base and the top of the post are identical.

 

IMG_1552

IMG_36063. Paint the welcome post and sign

 

I just used spray paint to paint the sign and the post.  I used Krylon Paint + Primer to make sure that it will be able to withstand the oh so variable Minnesota weather.

IMG_3610

4.  Attach the hook to the welcome post

 

5.  Make the sign – this is where you can get creative!!

I used my Cricut to make the “Welcome” stencil with cardstock.  I took a sponge paintbrush and “dobbed” the black welcome on the off white sign.  I drilled 2 holes near the top left and right corners of the sign and attached the wire to hang the sign.

FullSizeRender

I just LOVE this welcome post project.  I love decorating for holidays, and this will allow me to have many different signs for the seasons of the year…I think it’s time to start thinking about fall and Halloween signs!  Stay tuned!!

 

Chalk Paint Restores Your Old Furniture!

Okay…have you heard of chalk paint?!  This is one of my most exciting crafty discoveries in the past few months.  It can completely transform your old furniture into something new and spiffy.  It’s so easy than ANYONE can do it (and I mean anyone 🙂 )!  Have I caught your attention yet?!

Late last year, my parents bought a cabin and we have been working on all kinds of projects to renovate it.  One project that we just started thinking about was the vanity in the bathroom.  This is what it looked like to start with.  It had an equally hideous mirror to match the vanity.  Clearly we HAD to do something to jazz it up.  The oak looked very grimy and the knobs were corroding.  We decided to transform the vanity with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Before the chalk paint transformation

Supplies Needed:

  • A paint brush with natural bristles (We used a Purdy brush from Menards
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – we used Paris Grey (check out all the awesome colors available)
  • Soap and water and a rag to clean up the existing wood (you may not need this if your furniture is already clean)
  • Wipe on polyurethane (we used this kind) or the Annie Sloan wax
  • That’s IT!  NO SANDPAPER NEEDED!! 🙂

Steps to complete your chalk paint transformation:

1. Use soap and water to wipe down the furniture piece.  All you are doing here is making sure that it is clean.

2.  Take off the doors, hardware and hinges to make it easier to paint.

3. Start painting with your chalk paint!  It really is that easy.  This is where I was not a believer to start.  I truly did not think that there would be a way to refinish furniture without sanding off the layer of poly on the top.  You really do not have to sand the furniture first.  Why did I not know this 6 months ago when I sanded down over 15 cabinets and doors to revamp my craft room?!!  The best part is, you don’t have to be very particular or paint it any certain way. Just cover up the old finish!

4.  Once you have painted a coat, let it dry and paint a second coat.

5.  Once the 2nd coat of chalk paint has dried you have a couple of choices.  You can use the Annie Sloan Wax to “seal” the chalk paint, or you can use wipe on polyurethane.  We went with the wipe on poly.  Mostly because it’s cheap and we already had it from previous projects.

6.  Attach the hardware and put the furniture piece back together. (For our project, we still need to attach the drawer pulls at the bottom, but then it’s done!)

After chalk paint

 

WOW! I am truly amazed at how easy it was to completely transform a furniture piece that we wanted to throw away before.  It really looks great now!  I can’t wait to start tackling some other furniture.  Perhaps a headboard for our guest bedroom?  🙂

You have to check out chalk paint for your own project!  It will completely amaze you how you can take an old furniture piece from trash to treasure.  I would love to see and hear what you transform with chalk paint!

Jess