September 21, 2014

Cute DIY Fall Placemat Pumpkin Craft

Katie Femia is back with a really easy and frugal fall craft! This would make a great project to do with the kids and it’s a cute and inexpensive fall decoration!

Here's a easy family friendly, DIY fall craft that's cute and frugal! A placemat pumpkin!

If you want to create a fall pumpkin without all of the mess of dealing with a real one, take a peek below at what you can do with a simple placemat. This round orange placemat comes from my local dollar store, and in just minutes turned into the cutest pumpkin around.

Want to make your own placemat pumpkin? Here is what you will need!


1 orange, round placemat
Black scrap paper
Brown ribbon
Assorted faux leaves
Craft glue

supplies needed for placemat pumpkin

I used supplies I already had on hand, such as scrap paper and the fake leaves from another project. This is a great way to cut down your costs and use items that may otherwise be headed for the trash.


1. Begin by cutting the face of your pumpkin out of the scrap paper. Choose whichever shapes you wish. For this one, I did triangle eyes, a square nose, and semi circle mouth.

shapes cut out for placemat pumpkin
2. Apply some glue to the back of the shapes and press them to the placemat. You will see the face of your pumpkin take shape!
3. You now want to create a stem, which will also act as the hanger for the pumpkin. Make a bow out of brown ribbon and glue it to the top of our pumpkin placemat. The knot of the bow is also perfect for running a pin through for hanging.
4. Embellish the pumpkin further by gluing on a few leaves. Just add a generous amount of glue and press the leaves to the front or back of the placemat.

Once your glue is dry, your pumpkin placemat is ready to be hung. You can simply slip the knot over a hook or nail or add another piece of long ribbon to back and hang it from that.

A fun and frugal fall craft - placemat pumpkin

This is a cute and family friendly project that brings the fun of fall into your home! Gather your supplies and give this placemat pumpkin a try!

Katie Femia took a leap of faith several years ago and left her career as an elementary school teacher to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She now enjoys the day-to-day musings of writing for a variety of websites as a regular contributor. She covers topics such as frugal living, craft projects, DIY projects, money saving strategies, and everything in between!

15 Dollar Store Pumpkin Crafts

Foam pumpkins from the dollar store are the perfect fall accessory to makeover on a budget! Here are 15 dollar store pumpkin crafts to get you inspired.

15 Dollar Store Pumpkin Crafts

15 Dollar Store Pumpkin Makeovers

1. Studded Dollar Store Pumpkin – Lucy Designs

2. Blue Crackled Pumpkins – Home Stories A to Z

3. Mod Podged Pumpkins – The 36th Avenue

4. White Trick Or Treat Pumpkin Topiaries – The Kim Six Fix

5. Tissue Paper Pumpkins – Poofy Cheeks

6. Make Your Own Burlap Pumpkin – Country Chic Cottage

7. Glam Pumpkin Topiary – Tiaras and Bowties

8. Dollar Store “Thanks” Pumpkin – A Diamond in the Stuff

9. Sharpie Pumpkins - The Happy Housie

10. Vintage Style Dollar Tree Pumpkins – Fox Hollow Cottage

11. Funny Mummy Pumpkin – Consumer Queen

12.  Corn Husk Wrapped Dollar Store Pumpkin - Craftiments

13. Chalkboard Dollar Store Pumpkin – Home Hinges

14. Spooky Spray Painted Pumpkins – Clever Pink Pirate

15.Welcome Sign Dollar Store Pumpkins – Sister See Sister Do


Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

Some Different Things That I Collect

I  wanted to share some photos of different things that I collect that are part of my decor before I pack them up. I have 4 bookcases in the living room from Ikea that have extenders on the top where I house some of my collectibles.

Decorating with collections

Fortunately I’ll be able to take the bookcases with me. I’m just not sure I’m actually going to be putting some of these collections back though (not sure I’ll use the extenders). Quite a bit will be sold in the garage sale we’ll be having before we move.

vintage rooster collection

This is my collection of roosters. A few are vintage. The big ones were all found at thrift stores and I think I’m going to sell those.

teapot collection

This is my collection of tea pots.  I’m only keeping 3.

Vintage Mackenzie Childs Courtly  Checks teapot

I’m keeping this blue and white transferware teapot, the Mackenzie-Childs teapot (which is over 20 years old and I can’t remember the pattern – Courtly Check?) and the cherry pot-for-one in the first photo.

white pitcher collection

I’m only going to take  2 or 3 white pitchers. I do use a couple of them frequently. Although,  I rarely use the big wide one or the small one. So those and a few others are destined for the garage sale for sure.

mercury glass collection

Lastly some of my mercury glass collection (I have more in the garage).  I like to use mercury glass in the winter so I’ll keep my favorite pieces. But the ones that I’m not so attached to, like the mercury glass decanter in the back of the shelf, will be sold.  Not sure about the globes just yet. 3 are vintage – I may keep those.

I’m packing up the easy stuff first since we’re still waiting on underwriting to approve the buyers loan (don’t want to have to unpack a ton if their loan doesn’t go through). We should know by the end of the week if everything is ok on that front :)

25 Festive DIY Fall Wreaths!

Are you all ready for fall? I know I’m looking forward to cooler weather! One of the easiest ways to welcome fall into our homes is to display a fall wreath at our front door or entryway. I’ve gathered some great DIY ideas for fall wreaths that will hopefully get your creative juices flowing!

25 Festive DIY Fall Wreaths that anyone can make!

One thing I love about this season besides the food, colors (well everything really) is fall decor! Here are 25 fall wreaths that you can make!

1. My Fall Wreath - A Cultivated Nest

2. Frugal Fall Wreath - The Frugal Homemaker

3.  Pottery Barn Knock Off Faux Antler Fall Wreath - The Country Chic Cottage

4. Pretty Recycled Paper Bag Fall Wreath - Pop Sugar

5. Wrapped Burlap Fall Wreath – Making Home Base

6. Fabric Scrap Fall Wreath – Chase the Star

7. Apples & Pinecone Fall Wreath - Better Homes & Gardens

8. DIY Fall Monogram Wreath – Practically Functional

9. DIY Versatile Fall Wreath – Simply {Darr}ling

10. Burlap Monogrammed Fall Wreath – Second Chance to Dream

11. Easy Autumn Floral Wreath (under $6) – Songbirds and Buttons

12. Felt Flower Wreath - The Thinking Closet

13. Fall Yarn Wreath – Crafts n’ Coffee

14. Autumn Popcorn Wreath – Cherished Bliss

15. Welcome Fall Wreath (plus printable) – Fleece Fun

16. Flannel and Denim Fall Wreath – The 36th Avenue

17. Fall Mesh Wreath – The Nerd’s Wife

18. Painted Burlap Flower Fall Wreath – Busy Being Jennifer

19. Fall Rag Wreath - A Beautiful Mess

20. Shabby Burlap & Buttons Fall Wreath - Crafts n’ Coffee

21. Fabric & Felt Fall Wreath – Uncommon Designs

22. 5 Minute, $5 Fall Wreath – Organize & Decorate Everything

23.Who’s There Owl Wreath - About Family Crafts

24. Wood & Burlap Natural Fall Wreath – Finding Home

25. Rustic Acorn Fall Wreath – Crafts Unleashed

Hope you found some inspiration! You can find more fall inspiration on my Pinterest Board.

Easy Frugal Fall Wreath

I have a cute idea for an easy to make fall wreath today from Katie Femia who is going to be doing some guest posting for me while I pack up my house. She came up with this clever idea to use a burlap charger ($2) as the basis for a fall wreath!

Super easy to make frugal fall wreath!

Invite the warmth of fall into your home when you craft this festive and frugal fall wreath. Made from just a few dollar store materials, this pretty wreath is a fresh spin on the traditional idea of a wreath. Here’s how to make it.


1 burlap covered charger ($2 at local craft store)
Assorted fall foliage and flowers (dollar store)
Mini pumpkins (dollar store)
Fall ribbon of your choice. You will need wide ribbon for hanging and thin ribbon for an accent. (dollar store)
Hot glue, glue gun

materials for frugal fall wreath

1. Begin by cutting your fall foliage and flowers up into individual stems. This will make them easier to work with. If any of the flowers are large (such as the orange sunflowers we used) you can remove the bloom at the head.
2. Before you apply your flowers, lay out a design. Once your happy with how it looks, apply some hot glue generously to the back of your flower heads. Press them to the charger and hold them in place until secure.
3. Add some embellishment around the flower heads. I used smaller fall mums as well as some mini pumpkins. Apply a generous amount of glue to these items and press them in place creating a cluster. As you can see I created two dominate clusters, but you can arrange as you wish.
4. Finish the front by adding a few small bows, created from your thin ribbon if you like.
5. Cut a length of the thick ribbon to use for hanging. Apply some hot glue to the ends and press it to the back of the charger until secure.

Once your glue is dry, your frugal fall wreath is ready for hanging!

dollar store fall wreath

This  easy fall wreath is perfect for hanging on  a door, mirror or over a buffet. Anywhere you need a touch of fall in your home.  It is sure to make your space look great without spending tons of money!

Katie Femia took a leap of faith several years ago and left her career as an elementary school teacher to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She now enjoys the day-to-day musings of writing for a variety of websites as a regular contributor. She covers topics such as frugal living, craft projects, DIY projects, money saving strategies, and everything in between!

Sharing Some Recent Thrifty Finds!

I haven’t done a thrifty finds post in a long time! I’ve been mostly taking things to Goodwill and trying not to go in!  But sometimes the drop off line is long so I let my husband wait while I pop in.

zinnias in a milkglass vase from the thrift store

So this is what I’ve found in the past month or so – not everything though. We’ve found some really great cooking gadgety things that I’ll post about when we try them out!

thrift store milkglass vase

I found a pretty milkglass vase (filled with flowers and apple tree suckers from my garden). I  need more milkglass like I need a hole in my head but most of the vases that I have are the bud vases (which I think I’m going to go through and donate half of them).

organizing bins from the thriftstore

I have found some amazing items to use in organizing! I never thought about getting bins and such at the thriftstore. I’ve always been more interested in furniture and decorative items. But I have scored some really amazing organizing containers lately. Some of which I’ve already put to use. The spice rack pictured had two in the package and I used one on the inside of my kitchen sink door here.

thriftstore wall art

This print is a bit scuffed on the sides but doesn’t look bad. It’s originally from  Big Lots.  My thriftstore gets lots of TJX, Ikea, Target and Big Lots stuff! I probably won’t hang it until we move.

candlesticks found at Goodwill

Lastly, I LOVE these candlesticks I found at Goodwill. They’re not brass – they’re very light weight.  I think they’ll look great painted!

So those are some of my recent thriftstore finds. Definitely check out your local thriftstore for things you can use in organizing your home!

Dining Room China Cabinet Makeover

I tweaked a lot of rooms in my home for an agent’s open house so I thought I’d share what I did with my dining room china cabinet.

Dining room hutch makeover - soup tureen collection on top of hutch

I have a collection of soup tureens which I keep on the top of my kitchen cabinets. I took a few and placed them on top of this china cabinet. The little soup tureens used to be in my little black china cabient in the dining room (which I sold). So they’ve found a new home for the time being.

Colorful gingham straws in a blue canning jar {china hutch makeover}

Aren’t these colorful gingham paper straws fun!

Mainstays home rooster cups {china cabinet makeover}

The dishes are an old Mainstays  Home pattern which I found at a thrift store many years ago.

aqua vintage look drinking glasses

These vintage looking  aqua glasses and pitcher came from Hobby Lobby (sort of looks like depression glass). I got them on clearance back in April I think. Each glass was originally $7.99 (which I think is a crazy price). I got them for 80% off, the pitcher too. They are food safe so we’ve used them a few times this summer. I really would have liked 6 glasses but they only had 4 blue ones left (the others were clear).

vintage cow print

This vintage cow print used to be in my kitchen.

Colorful cottage style china cabinet

This china cabinet was a present from my husband and it’s one of my favorite pieces!

Dining room hutch makeover - soup tureen collection on top of hutch

My Entryway Makeover

Our house will be on the market next week (I’m exhuasted!) so I can start to show you some of the changes we made and I’ll begin with my small foyer.

Enryway mirror with galvanized tin "Welcome" banner - Entryway makeover

Below is a before photo of my entryway. I tried to make the best of a small space to give it some personality.  Among the many things I sold is my red hall tree (which originally came from Goodwill).

Cute entry way with gallery wall and red hall tree

We packed away all the vintage dog prints and the dog plates except one. We took everything off the walls (opposite the halltree I had a set of three Katie Daisy prints). We had to paint the whole foyer because I had so many nail holes that needed patching!

Entryway makeover - white cabinet from Target

We bought a little cabinet from Target because it fits the space well but I gotta tell you….we’ve had this cabinet for several weeks now and it’s still off gassing. I’m very sensitive to those types of things so I’m glad it’s not in a room I spend a lot of time in!

Spode Woodland Hunting Dogs plate - Golden Retriever

This is one of the Spode Hunting Dog plates we had hanging on the wall around the door. I chose the Golden Retriever one in memory of our Golden Maxie.

mercury glass candlestick and topiary vignette

A topiary that I used to have in my bathroom , mercury glass candlestick (I have a bunch of those) and some candles.

large silver lantern in the entryway

I don’t have an outlet in the foyer so I couldn’t put a lamp on the cabinet, but I found this huge shiny lantern on clearance from TJMaxx! Love it!!

Entryway cabinet decor

I don’t really have anything to put inside the cabinet so I just used the two toile boxes that store my candles in it for the time being. The mirror we had in another room ( TJMaxx or Garden Ridge) and I don’t remember where I got the galvanized tin banner (it was in my stash of banners and worked perfectly here)! You can write on it with chalk!

Of course, the whole thing looks terribly empty and neutral to me but apparently that’s what it’s supposed to look like when you’re selling! I’m sure most people will like the after, I like the before!   :)

More to come….


Cute Things You Can Make From Placemats

Not only are placemats inexpensive but often they are made from beautiful materials. They are really a great resource for any budget decorator and you’ll be amazed at all the ways you can repurpose placemats!

Placemats are a great resource for the budget decorator. You'll be amazed at the cute things you can make with placemats!

Here are a few things you can do with placemats.

pillow from a placemat

This is such an easy way to make a decorative throw pillow and a great way to use those single placemats that you can always find on clearance See the tutorial at Something Like That Designs

placemat wall art from BHG

Here’s a great idea for some wall art from Better Homes & Gardens

Dollar store placemat made into an outdoor flag by Pretty Handy Girl

You can even make seasonal outdoor flags using placemats like this one from Pretty Handy Girl (she has winter and Valentines Day flags as well)

backsplash made from placemats

I think this idea is amazing! A backsplash made from plastic placemats! It looks really good and I imagine is easy to clean. Perfect for a temporary fix. See the tutorial at Ashley Rowhome

Kids apron made from placemats

This would make a cute gift! Kids aprons made from placemats – from At Home In the Northwest

placemats used as photo frames via BHG

Another great idea from Better Homes & Gardens is to use placemats as photo frames

various clutches made from placemats

Another cute gift idea is to make a clutch from a placemat – from Happy Together

placemat used as a frame

You can use a placemat as a frame like this from The Thrifty Rebel

Coasters made from placemats via Craftionary

These coasters are made from placemats – see the tutorial at  Craftionary

framed placemat art via Thrifty Decor Chick

If you find a pretty placemat you can frame it for some easy DIY art like this one from Thrifty Decor Chick

bedside caddy made from placemats

Here’s a bedside caddy you can make from 2 placemats via Instructables

bamboo placemat vases

You can take some bamboo placemats and make these vases from In This Life

pillow made from a table runner

I’m including this pillow even though it’s not made from a placemat. Instead I used a tablerunner!  You can see more photos here A Cultivated Nest Making My Kitchen More Summery

Hope you found some inspiration!

Happy Yellow Living Room Decor

Most of you know that I love decorating with yellow ! So I wanted to share with you some yellow pillows that I’ve been using this summer in the living room (which is a light shade of yellow) and a cute wreath that I made.

Happy yellow living room decor

Below is a book page cone wreath I made a while a go and spray painted yellow. Love it!

yellow book page cone wreath

You can still see some of the print of the book pages. I tried to spray the center more yellow than the outside part (I thought it would be sort of flower like) but it didn’t really work :) It actually looks more like I tried to ombre it! Either way it works for me!

Yellow and white "Happy Home" typography pillow

Isn’t the “happy home” pillow cute! I love typography so I was really happy to find this pillow because I strive to have a happy home (as I’m sure you all do). I believe I got that at TJMaxx but it was back in April or May so I doubt they would still have it.  I know the two geometric  pillows are from Target since I saw them there last week.  They come in a set of two and they’re reversible. The back is solid yellow.  I think they have them in a couple of color ways.

Yellow and red cottage style living room decor

The square mirrored tray is also from Target and after eyeing it for months I finally was able to get it on clearance!

Cheerful cottage style living room

Hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of my cheery cottage style living room and thanks for stopping by!

Linking to: Wow Us Wednesday

My Chalkboard Kitchen Wall & Some Kitchen Organization

I wanted to show you guys my new chalkboard kitchen wall and a few little changes in the kitchen! My kitchen has been in a crazy state lately because I’m clearing my counters off, re-organizing cabinets and purging lots of stuff.

What a cute idea! A chalkboard wall with a  kitchen measurement conversion chart on it!

So this chalkboard project started because I  had lots of stuff sitting on this part of my kitchen counter (next to my cook top) that I moved to other places and then, since this area looked so nice, I just wanted a new look. :)  So I painted that wall with some chalkboard paint that I already had and for now I have a sort of kitchen measurement conversion chart on it.

DIY Toile Art

This is the before. I made these pictures I think about 10 years ago. They’re just pieces of toile fabric that I glued onto some cardboard and framed. This wall is a little strange in that the wall oven is behind it. This wall is actually covered in white with gold fleck formica! I’ve painted over it many many times because this kitchen has been about 7 different colors!

Cooking measurements chalkboard wall

This is the after. I thought cooking measurements would be cute for now.  I can always change it to something else like dinner menus or a saying later on. That’s the beauty of chalkboard – it’s definitely for those who like to change things up!

organize your cooking oils on a lazy susan

Some changes I made to this little counter top area -I used a Lazy Susan that I was using in my refrigerator to organize my most used oils (not sure I like it in the fridge – I think it took up too much space). I would have liked to have put the oils in the cabinet with the spices but those shelves don’t move so these bottles don’t fit. That’s my fancy Davis & Waddell pepper mill that I got at the thrift store in May!

Target Threshold white utensil holder

I don’t have a lot of drawers so I like to keep my larger utensils out since it makes them easy to grab when I’m cooking. I cook a lot! I sometimes cook 3 meals a day – most days at least 2. So whatever makes things easier for me!  I just got this cute utensil holder at Target – it’s part of the Threshold line.

black and white marble checkerboard floor and chalkboard wall

So this little counter space used to be filled with all kinds of things that have found new homes! Now I have a little more room to the left of my cook top and I was really shocked at what a difference this little change makes in my enjoyment of cooking!

Chalkboard wall in the kitchen with cooking measurements

My favorite thing though is the chalkboard wall!

I also re-organized my broom closet turned pantry and a few other things in the kitchen – so look for those future posts!

Have a great weekend!

New Seating Area In The Veggie Garden

Hi everyone! We’re still plugging away at projects here. But I wanted to share with you a new seating area in my vegetable garden. Some of you may remember that my daughter and I built a paver patio in the veggie garden a few years ago (link here).

A pretty seating in a vegetable garden

Anyway, we moved my potting bench into the garden onto that patio when we re-did our back door area (link here). Plus I took out my strawberry bed and my reclaimed door garden shed. So I had a big open space that I felt needed to be filled with something. So I decided to stage it as a little seating area. I used furniture I already had. I only bought some new seat cushions from Target and solar light/plant hanger from Big Lots.

Let me show you around. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Entrance into the vegetable garden

As you walk into the vegetable garden you go past our blueberry bushes to your right (we took down the blueberry hut as well link here if you want to see what it looked like).

garden display of coleus, old shutter, old bench and plate flower

This little bench is from a picnic table set we first had when we moved to this house. The shutter I’ve had for a while. I have two- one I actually finished re-painting and it hangs in my screened in porch. Don’t remember where I got the wire basket from but I painted Home Sweet Home on the front.  It’s filled with some coleus (which I really like because they are super easy to propagate). The dish flower is from Cracker Barrel.

old french door repurposed in a garden

This is the door from my garden shed which I’m repurposing as garden art. I was going to hang a window box on it but decided that I didn’t want to damage it since I’d like to reuse it at some point.  The blue pots in iron hangers I’ve had forever. They’re planted with some potato vine. Love their chartreuse color!

blue transferware in an old iron planter

I used to keep some garden tools in this iron planter. Now it’s filled with some blue transferware that I don’t use any more. The blackberry vine is from blackberry bushes I have growing on the outside of the fence.

a concrete chicken in the vegetable garden

The only chicken I have :)

seating area in the vegetable garden

The view is pretty nice from this seating area and it’s a great place to take a break from weeding!

looking out onto the vegetable garden

Tour of the garden coming soon!

zinnias growing in the vegetable garden

My Fourth of July Chalkboard

4th of July chalkboard art

I only did a little decorating for the 4th of July since we won’t be home for most the day anyway. I re-did the chalkboard in my dining room with a 4th of July theme.

Fourth of July Chalkboard Art

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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