Posted in Crafts

Valentines Wreath: 3 Wreath Styles for $3

Supplies:

  • 1 green heart shaped wreath ring
  • Ivory colored spray paint
  • 1 spool Red burlap ribbon from Dollar Tree
  • 1 spool Burlap (wire rimmed) Ribbon from Dollar Tree

Crafty girl did a video about spray painting this wire heart and leaving it as is. It is really cute, but I wanted a little color since most of my apartment is cream colored.

Simply wrap the Dollar Tree ribbon around the wire frame for a few different looks:

Heart Wreath
Red Burlap Heart Wreath

Use hot glue to hold the ribbon in place or with a bit of clever tucking and twisting keep it in place without glue so you can reuse the ribbon for other projects!

Brown and Red Burlap Wreath
Brown and Red Burlap Wreath

Just be careful with the red burlap because if it gets overworked it starts to look like this:

Which wreath do you like best? What should I do with this red burlap now that it’s coming apart?

Posted in Apartment Living

Three Minimalist Holiday Decoration Ideas

wreath
Valentines Wreath

Feeling any pressure to step onto the minimalist bandwagon? With Netflix shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and it’s documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Being the bargain hunter and crafter that I am, even I’m seeing the value in cutting down on clutter. Recovering from the stress and excess of the holiday season I’ve had minimalism on my mind.

The minimalism documentary was especially impactful. I saw it a few years ago and it changed the way I looked at things like souvenirs. It’s helped me let go of extra stuff I don’t need as I clean. It’s also helping me reconsider the crafts I choose to make.

I live in an apartment and space is valuable. I always seem to be de-junking looking for places to put my stuff. As someone who loves good deals, I’ve learn to be more organilized in order to fit more stuff into less space. As a “maximalist” I often try to get the maxium amount of stuff into my small space while maintaining some semblance of order. Merica!

However, I constantly seem to be reorganizing and decluttering, so I’m trying to be wiser about the crafts and deals I pursue. I look forward to the holidays and decorating for them, so I thought I’d make some crafts that take up less space and contain parts that can can stay up year round, minimalizing the storage aspect of holiday crafts. The crafts I have so far are:

Apothecary Jars
  1. Apothecary Jars- They may have come and gone in popularity, but they are fun to make, don’t take up a ton of space, and fit the bill for allowing me to get excited about each upcoming holiday. It’s fun to find something festive to put into the jars every month or two. Plus, they are inexpensive to fill and the small things I put in them don’t take up much room to store, or I can easily donate the items I used for someone else to enjoy, or give away or eat the candy I often use. Click below to make apothecary jars similar to the ones pictured to the right.
wreath

2. Wreath- They are classy, completely customizable, won’t require storage, (as they stay hanging up all year) and thanks to killer sales at Hobby Lobby, don’t cost too much. Target also carries similar wreaths. Check out CraftyGirl’s DIY on this valentines wreath to the right for instructions on how to make it.

3. If you enjoy decorating with lights, but don’t always want white or multi-colored lights consider using these LED lights that can be changed to multiple solid colors depending on the holiday or event.

LED Lights
Multi-colored LED images from Amazon.com 

I understand that to some crafting and minimalism seem to be at odds, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t find a way to embrace aspects of it. After all as an apartment-dweller extra space is always welcome.

Posted in Recipes

Apple, Ham, and Havarti Pita Pocket

This savory/sweet pita pocket is a take on a delicious panini I learned to make while working at a small sandwich shop in college. The ham and apple combo in the sandwich sounded so strange to me when my manager Linda, first taught me how to make it but one bite was enough to make it a fast favorite.

This easy pita sandwich delivers gourmet flavor for a small price and requires little time, effort and only a microwave to prepare. Best of all it
takes less than 10 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • Deli Ham
  • Thin slices of a apple (I prefer Pink Lady apples but any sweet red apple you enjoy will do)
  • 2 slices Havarti Cheese
    *Havarti cheese is now easier to find in local grocery stores so don’t let this ingredient scare you away from trying this delicious sandwich. This mild soft cheese is now sold in precut slices near other popular cheeses or sometimes near specialty cheese/dairy sections of the supermarket.
  • Mustard
  • Honey
  • Wheat pita pockets/pita bread/ kangaroo pockes

1. Lay out a single slice of Havarti and place 2-3 thin slices of deli ham along the inside of the cheese.

pita pocket
The makings of a sweet and savory pizza pocket with honey, mustard, havarti cheese, and deli ham on a wheat pita pocket

2. Add 2-3 thin slices of apple.

3. Drizzle honey accross your thin apple slices.

4. Squirt on an equal portion of mustard (as honey) or less if you’d like a sweeter sandwich.

5. Now fold your cheese slice like a taco letting the ham stick to the honey and mustard on the apple.

6. Open you pita pocket gently and then place the havarti slice stuffed with ham, apples, honey, and mustard inside of the wheat pocket.

7. Put the pita pocket in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or until the cheese is completely melted and all of the inside contents are warm.

Enjoy!

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: Electric Candles

Something that has really added to the fun of my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree has been electric candles. I origionally saw them in an ad with a high price tag and wondered if I could find something similar on Amazon. When I found them for around $15 for a box of 12 candles I was thrilled.

I ordered two boxes and ended up with one box of white and one of yellow lights. I prefer the white lights, but it may depend on the color scheme you choose for your tree. Mine was a Gryffindor color scheme of scarlet and gold, so white lights help break up a lot of the gold I have on my tree, but the yellow may be even better for trees with other color schemes. 

The lights also come with suction cups so that they can stick to glass, spikes that you could stick in plants or lawn, and clips so that they clip onto branches of a Christmas tree. They also come with a remote (battery included) to turn the entire set of lights on and off, control the brightness of the lights, and a set of controls for the flickering of the lights. 

The only down side to the lights is that each candle requires one triple-A battery not included with your order and needs to be added to each candle separately. However, the battery life has been good so far and the remote works really well. It would be even cooler if the candles would flicker at different rates and not all at the same time, but for the price I paid I can’t complain. 

I’m excited to have these fun electric candles around for all sorts of fun future Harry Potter occasions. 

electric candle accessory and battery
electric candle accessory and battery
yellow electric candle
yellow electric candle
white electric candle
white electric candle

Check out fun Harry Potter themed ornaments and a tree ribbon I made for my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree! 

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: Gryffindor House Points Ornament

I struck gold–or rather rubies at Dollar Tree. An entire pack of rubies at the Dollar Tree and a large ornament to put them in only cost me $2, and this ornament couldn’t be any simpler to make!

Just take the top off of the ornament and put the rubies into the ornament and you’re done! I may glue my top on if I have any trouble, but so far so good! 

I am more of a Hufflepuff myself, but the Gryffindor colors are so Christmasy and fun so this year I did more of a Gryffindor themed tree. One day I’ll have to do a Hufflepuff one. . . 

To see more of my Harry Potter Christmas tree posts check out my December 2018 posts

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: Hedwig Ornament

When I began thinking about doing a Harry Potter Tree I knew I wanted a snow owl ornament on the tree. I found the perfect ornament at the Craft Warehouse for about $7 on sale. I just added a letter (made from a paper bag) to the owls beak. It’s simple but it adds so much to the tree. 

I bought my owl at the Craft Warehouse in November of 2018, sadly I couldn’t find this gem on their website. 

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: Flying Key Ornaments

Materials:

  • Dragonfly decorations– found in the floral/craft section of Dollar Tree
  • Vintage keys antique gold- 6 piece found at Hobby Lobby 
  • Ornament hooks found at Dollar Tree or gold wire (Walmart craft section near ribbon)
  • Hot glue gun and at least 1 mini glue stick 
  1. Heat up your glue gun.
  2. Pull the wings off of your dragonflies.
  3. Hot glue the wings to your keys at a slight angle as shown in the pictures below.
  4. Twist an ornament wire around the key or hot glue your gold wire to your ornaments in a loop so that it will hang from your tree. 

Inspired by Becca Beach’s YouTube video tutorial on making flying keys

To see more Harry Potter Christmas Tree decorations check out my Harry Potter Gryffindor Scarf and Harry Potter ornaments from Dollar Tree

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: Gryffindor Scarf

Dollar Tree had a lot of great ornaments and craft materials to choose from. Of course where I live the Dollar Tree is the largest I’ve ever been too. I love it! So when I saw these two colors of ribbons I knew right away what I wanted to make with them . . . a huge gryffindor scarf for my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree! 

Gryffindor Tree Ribbon: for a 5-6 foot tall Christmas tree

Materials:

  • 3 spools of 9 foot wire edged ribbon- deep red/cranberry
  • 2 spools of  9 foot mesh ribbon (no wire)- gold
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • scissors

Directions:

  1. Let your glue gun heat up.
  2. Cut the gold ribbon into about 1.5 inch pieces (for a tree over 5 feet tall you’ll need at least two spools). 
  3. Make a rectangle of hot glue (about 1.5 inches) at the end of your red ribbon and glue a piece of gold ribbon to the rectangle, being sure the edges of the gold ribbon match up with the edges of the red ribbon. 
  4. Make another glue rectangle about 1.5 inches further down the ribbon and attach another gold rectangle of ribbon. Repeat this process until you come to the end of the red ribbon and then glue the end of another red ribbon to your first, using the gold ribbon piece to cover up where the two attach.
  5. I used four 9 foot red ribbons and about 2.5 gold ribbons for our wide 5 foot tree but for a skinnier tree you wouldn’t need as much ribbon. 
Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: 3 Ornaments from Dollar Tree

After seeing the new Fantastic Beasts movie and hearing about Harry Potter themed ornaments,  I thought I would give making a Harry Potter themed Christmas tree a go. I found great stuff to begin the project at the Dollar Tree.

I found some ornaments ready to put straight onto the tree and other craft items which inspired me to make some of my own ornaments. Here are a few ornaments which will adorn my Harry Potter Christmas tree this year!

  1. White/Silver Stag: Harry Potter’s patronus is a stag so this shimmery ornament has a magical look which makes it perfect for a Harry Potter themed tree.
  2. Lantern: Hagrid often guided Harry and his friends out into the Forbidden Forest with lanterns, so I felt it was only appropriate to adorn the tree with a few lanterns.
  3. Owl: Since owls deliver the post at Hogwarts, these ornaments are a fun and inexpensive ornament to put on the tree. You may want to remove a few of the Christmas extras on the owls or keep them festive in honor of Christmas, but you really can’t go wrong for only $1.
Stag ornament
1. Stag Ornament
Lantern Ornament
2. Lantern Ornament
Dollar Tree Owl Ornament
3. Owl Ornament

In my next post I’ll share the items I gathered to make custom Harry Potter Christmas tree ornaments using craft supplies from the Dollar Tree.