Quick Christmas decorating project and poinsettia ornaments

Need a quick way to decorate your home for the holidays? If you have leftover wrapping paper and a few frames, you can put together fun Christmas decorations to set around your home.

Remember the wrapping paper frames that are sitting on our kitchen island?

With a quick change of the wrapping paper, we have Christmas frames sitting on our island.

You can change the paper throughout the year for different holiday decorations. If you receive a gift wrapped in beautiful paper and you can’t bring yourself to throw it away, why not use it in a picture frame?These frames are great to put in bathrooms and guests rooms. They are a nice holiday touch without taking the time to decorate every room in your house.

I love this project because it took me around 15 minutes this morning to switch out the wrapping paper in the frames. If you would like to read more about my wrapping paper frame project, visit my earlier blog post here. 

And if you’re looking for a few inexpensive Christmas ornaments, you can make Christmas poinsettia ornaments.

First, cut a paper towel or toilet paper roll into 3/4 inch strips.

Next, take each strip and use your fingers to pinch the ends. Holding each end, push toward the center of the strip to create the poinsettia petals. If not, they will look more like daisies as seen above.

Next, lay out four strips and put them together in a star pattern and then take another four strips and cut slits on each side of the strip. With the four slit strips, hook the strips together until you have a finished flowers that look like this:

There should be four petals on the bottom and four on the top.

If you would like to add the centers to the poinsettia, you can use Q-tips cut in half, or you can leave the flowers as is. Finally, spray paint your flowers in your choice of color. I chose a deep red because I love red poinsettia.

Once your poinsettia are dry, you can hang them on your tree with string! I used the flowers above to make a recycled wreath for an office competition. It’s a great way to repurpose paper towel rolls.

Happy Decorating!

Pinterest and reorganizing my office

I’ve been hearing more about more about the Web site Pinterest, so I decided to try it out and link it to my blog! Here is my Pinterest site where you can find my inspirations and favorites.

http://pinterest.com/frmbyfrmstyle/

It’s still a work in progress, so keep checking back and I will continue to add more content. I’m also going to come up with better names for my boards, but as for right now, I’m having writer’s block when it comes to great names. It will come to me, somewhere random, I’m sure. I always find myself jotting things down on post-its or running to find my iPhone to jot down an idea. This is probably another good reason for me to join Pinterest. I found this article on Real Simple’s Web site that talks about using Pinterest for decorating ideas.

http://simplystated.realsimple.com/2011/07/11/pinterest-may-help-your-decorating-add/

Aside from joining Pinterest today, I also reorganized my office. I usually find myself doing this when papers and office supplies start stacking up and all of the clutter starts getting to my OCD. Because I spent about an hour yesterday shredding the junk mail that stacked up by the paper shredder, I focused my energy today on sorting through the random boxes sitting on my bookshelves. I have a habit of storing things in boxes and forgetting where I put them. About a year later, I go through the box and it’s like finding buried treasure. Although sometimes, the buried treasure would’ve been more useful a few months prior. When I was actually looking for it.

So after rummaging through boxes and throwing away trash and other useless items, I organized what was left and placed the items in their new LABELED homes! I also reorganized my books and added a few more that were laying around the house from my last visit to Borders.


The brightly colored boxes came from my sister-in-law. She used them for my bridal shower to organize and display different games and such and then after the shower, she gave them to me. The black and white box came from my best friend. She used it to wrap my Christmas present last year! How clever! Most of the boxes and baskets in my office were once given to me as part of a gift or to wrap my gift. I love giving (and receiving) presents in boxes and baskets that they can reuse again.

I rearranged some of the boxes and supplies on my other bookshelf for a less cluttered look. The bright green basket also came from my sister-in-law. She gave my bridal shower gifts to me in a green basket and a pink basket! They came in handy while I was planning my wedding and I used them to transport some of the wedding decorations. The gray and white box is from the Container Store and I used it to carry wedding papers and labels for our favors. Now the boxes have a home in my office storing supplies and other items.

For me, it’s always easier to work in a decluttered, organized office. It’s calming. Not to mention now that I’ve labeled the boxes with my handy-dandy label maker, I can easily find what I put away.

If you’re in the market for a label maker, I really like my Dymo Letratag.

The kitchen island and a home for my wrapping paper photo frames

After we moved into our house and began unpacking all of our existing kitchen dishes and appliances and then added all of our wedding gifts on top of that, we quickly filled up every existing storage space in our kitchen. We had things crammed in our cabinets and we were constantly digging around and stuffing to get everything to fit. Most people would consider getting rid of some of their items, but not us. Our solution: build more storage so our appliances and dishes could be spread out around the kitchen. The result: our fabulous kitchen island, built by us! Well, all of the pieces are from Ikea and we designed and assembled the whole thing.

Our goal with the island was to not only increase our existing storage space, built also to have a big workspace for preparing meals and a place to entertain guests in our kitchen while we prepare meals. We also wanted a place where we could eat dinner in our kitchen, but we weren’t interested in the traditional dinette table. The unit is also freestanding which will allow us to take it with us if or when we move out (some disassembly required).

The color choice of the island, which is different from our existing cherry kitchen cabinets was to create a contrast between the dark wood and the white cabinets. We also wanted to brighten up the kitchen. The dark cabinet and dark floor needed something that would pop against them! We chose the butcher block counters for a couple of reasons. First, they look really nice with the white cabinets and second, they were much more cost effective then the granite countertops we originally picked out. Because the bar and the work surface were two different pieces, the cost of granite skyrocketed.

Here’s our progress as we put the island together:


Zoey was also very helpful during the assembly. She supervised the entire project.

Some of the other fun features of the island include, the hidden trash can…
The book shelve for cookbooks and decorations…
And the cabinets to display our drink ware (with lights installed!):
So lastly, you might have noticed the new home for my Beating the Heat DIY project. I was originally planning to hang the frames in the kitchen on the backsplash, but I changed my mind after tapping the frames up to see how they would look. I’m happy to report that they still look great in the kitchen. I placed them on a few of the counters and I really like how they look. I think they’ve found their new home… for awhile at least!
They really brighten up the kitchen!