November 23, 2014

Sweet & Simple Projects: Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree Ornament

Are you in the mood for some easy holiday crafting? If so, give this cute and inexpensive to make pipe cleaner Christmas tree ornament a try. This is #2 of my Sweet & Simple DIY Projects series.

Easy to make pipe cleaner Christmas tree ornament. So cute and a great kids activity!

You can make your own pipe cleaner tree ornament using a just a few simple materials, and the end result is a sweet little tree ready to hang on your real Christmas tree. This is a great craft to do with kids!

Here is how you can get started crafting your own ornament!

Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree Ornament

Supplies needed:

Stick (about 6 inches in length is ideal)
Assorted green pipe cleaners
Craft glue
Ribbon for hanging

holiday pipe cleaner craft

Choose the type of pipe cleaners that appeal to you for your tree. For this one, I used sparkly green one found at  my craft store. You can use plain green, neon green, sparkly, or a variety of all if you like!


1. Begin by laying the stick flat on your work surface.
2. Cut your pipe cleaners in half. Begin twisting them around the stick evenly so there is an equal amount of pipe cleaner on each side of the stick.
3. Repeat the process until ¾ of the stick is covered with pipe cleaners. Leave the bottom bare so it looks like a tree trunk.
4. Take your scissors and start trimming the pipe cleaners so they taper and form a tree shape. Start at the bottom, trimming off a little more as you work your way upward.
5. Once the tree is the shape of your liking, you can add the ribbon for hanging. Just add a dab of glue to your ribbon and attach it to the backside of the tree. Just place it directly on the stick, press, and hold until secure.

how to make a pipe cleaner Christmas tree ornament

Your pipe cleaner tree is now ready to be enjoyed. Hang it on your Christmas tree or anywhere you can use a little festive holiday décor.

You may like this other Sweet & Simple Project:

DIY Burlap, Gingham, Wheat Napkin Ring

This is an original post from A Cultivated Nest.  If you are reading this anywhere other than A Cultivated Nest, this content has been stolen.

My First Garden Project At The New House

One of my neighbors said that I can expect about 100 kids on Halloween! In our last neighborhood no one went trick or treating so this will be a (hopefully) fun experience. Anyway, I was going to change out one of the planters in the front of the house to fall flowers but I thought I’d do a little something special for the trick or treaters!

How to make a transitional Fall/Halloween Planter

So I made a Halloween planter but it’ll be easy to transition it to just a fall planter by removing a few things and I can even dress it up for Christmas. Here’s how I did it.

DIY Transitional Fall & Halloween Planter

Before photo of planter with penunias
This planter came with the house and it’s filled with some petunias which are at the end of their season here (Atlanta).

How to make a transitional fall/Halloween planter. Step 2

I had done some tree and bush trimming (this yard is a major mess btw) and saved this branch just for this idea. I refreshed the planter with a small bag of dirt and “planted” this branch as deep as it would go. Then I watered the dirt and made sure the branch was in there nice and secure (you could insert some rebar or a stake and tie the branch to it if you’re in a windy area).

How to make a transitional fall/Halloween planter for your front porch area

I chose a mix of ornamental cabbage and mums to plant around the base. I’ll remove the mums and plant those spaces with pansies or more ornamental cabbage for winter. I’ll probably plant the mums in the yard (in my other yard they came back year after year). I added the faux jack o’ lantern (which I’ve had for years) for the some Halloween fun as well as the black netting around the pot.

Halloween planter idea - wire black birds to branches that are planted into a fall planter

I wanted to hang some little pumpkins off the branches but it’s next to impossible to find any fall stuff right now. Every store I went to had Christmas up and very little fall/Halloween stuff. Then my daughter had the brilliant idea to go to Party City. We found tons of fall and Halloween items there! I got 5 of these black birds and wired them to the branches.

DIY Halloween Outdoor Decoration Idea

I would have spray painted the branches (black probably) if I could get to my spray paint. Unfortunately all my spray paint is behind a bunch of boxes!

Front door with mice silhouettes for Halloween in the front door sidelights

The only other Halloween decorations I added was a doormat and some mice cutouts (that I also got at Party City) in the windows.

It was so much fun to do a little outdoor decorating for Halloween! It’s literally been like over 8 years since we’ve done anything for this day and we’re looking forward to having some trick or treaters!

Did you do any special decorating for Halloween this year?

Sweet & Simple Projects: DIY Burlap Gingham & Wheat Napkin Ring

I’m going to be doing a new series for the rest of the year featuring projects/crafts that are really easy to do called Sweet & Simple Projects. The first project is a DIY napkin ring that’s perfect for fall! It’ll add a beautiful touch to your table for the simplest of dinners or an elaborate Thanksgiving meal!

DIY burlap gingham & wheat napkin ring. Perfect for your Thanksgiving table!

You can make one napkin ring in under 4 minutes so this is a pretty fast craft as well!

DIY Burlap, Gingham & Wheat Napkin Ring

Supplies Needed:

wired gingham ribbon (I used red cause that’s my favorite but black or any other color would work as well)
wheat (had some from a bunch I used several years ago but easy to find at any craft store)
hot glue
sewing machine/thread


1.Cut burlap into 2 ½ “ by 5” strips.

cut burlap into strips for napkin rings
2. Sew a ¼” seam all the way around to keep it from unraveling and to give it some structure.
3. Roll burlap strip overlapping ½” and sew together by hand or use a little bit of hot glue.

DIY napkin ring tutorial
4. Cut 2 or 3 wheat pieces from a bunch 3 ½” inches long.
5. Cut wired ribbon 5” long and wrap around wheat, tie off.

DIY Fall Napkin Ring Tutorial - making the wheat topper

6. Hot glue your wheat bundle securely to the burlap.

DIY fall napkin ring tutorial
Slip ring over fabric napkins gently.

Homemade napkin rings are not only frugal but also a great way to personalize your table!

Have you ever made your own napkin rings before?


This is an original post from A Cultivated Nest.  If you are reading this anywhere other than A Cultivated Nest, this content has been stolen.

Scrapbook Paper Fall Wreath & Moving Update

Hi everyone! I wanted to show you a scrapbook paper wreath I made for a little neighbor get together before I pack it up!

DIY scrapbook paper wreath

Michael’s had scrapbook paper on sale for 7 for $1.00! I always stock up when the price is low! Buying at the lowest possible price for future use works with not just food! :)

fall decor

We had a few neighbors over to say goodbye before my house got piled high with boxes. So I broke out a bin of fall stuff since it’s easy to put back.

Fall scrapbook paper wreath

This wreath cost me less than $2 to make since the scrapbook paper was on sale and I had the other materials!

Moving Update

color coded packing boxes

Our lease at our new house starts October 15th and our closing on this house is the 22nd. So we’ll start to take a few things over every day (it’s in another town about 20-30 minutes from here). But the mover’s aren’t coming until the day before closing.

Yes, we will be renting! The last time we rented was over 20 years ago. So I’m sure it will be an interesting adjustment (especially since I’m not allowed to paint) :) . But we are looking forward to having a smaller house and yard and paying waaay less than our mortgage here. Plus if something stops working – it’s not us that has to fix it. Did I tell you that our water heater gave out Labor Day Weekend and our inspection was Labor Day! Let’s just say I will be very happy when everything is over!

We signed a one year lease so we’ve got the next year to decide what we want to do and where we want to go!

Any moving tips you’d like to share?  I am color coding the boxes so I hopefully won’t have to tell the movers where to place the boxes when they unload.

Colorful DIY Wooden Porch Pumpkins

Today I have a fun fall DIY project contributed by Jody Smith

Fun DIY Wooden Porch Pumpkins

4×4’s make a lovely rustic decoration for your porch, or inside on a table! You can leave them plain but a little bit of color really makes them pop and adds interest. Simply use painters tape and spray paint to create stripes for a pretty pattern, I varied the stripes on all 3 for a just a little bit more funky style. If you happen to have 4×4’s laying around and spray paint in the garage this project will be totally free!

Otherwise you can still get it done for under $10, not bad for porch decor that can be used year after year and customized to match your indoor or outdoor style.

Supplies Needed:

orange spray paint
teal spray paint
painters tape
1-2” diameter limbs
sisal rope
saw (or ask Home Depot to cut for you)
hot glue gun/glue sticks


1. Cut 4×4’s to desired size, a good scale is 4”, 6”, and 8” or have Home Depot do it for you if you don’t have a saw.

2.Tape off your pattern- simple stripes or criss cross your tape all for a checker board pattern. Be sure to press the painters tape firmly into wood to get a crisp paint line.

3. Spray paint a light tack coat on wood with your accent color choice, top and sides. Allow to dry 5 minutes, add 1-2 more coats until your desired shade is reached. Dry paint for 1 hour.

4. Cover painted areas with painters tape again, pressing down firmly and paint primary color- using 2-3 coats until you are happy with coverage.

5. After final coat let paint dry for 3-4 hours before adding accents.

6. For a more rustic touch break limbs by hand into pieces approximately 3” long.

7. Hot glue “stems” to the top center of wood. hold in place for a minute until glue is hardened.

8. Wrap sisal string around stem and let it coil down the side, trim to desired length or add your favorite fall ribbon and faux leaves.

9. To make your pumpkins last longer, you can spray them with an additional 2 coats of clear polyurethane spray.

Rustic & fun painted wooden pumpkins

These are easy to make and easy to dress up for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving!

Jody Smith blogs at Moms With A Blog.  She loves to garden, scrapbook and scour thrift stores for projects she can upcycle. 

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!

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