The Stockings Were Hung

If you haven’t noticed already, my blog has got a slight face lift for 2013. After many comments and emails about how all my projects are inexpensive and where I bargain shop, I decided to dedicate my blog to focus more on how to make exactly what you want, for a fraction of the price. Pocket Of Pennies will reflect DIY projects, tips and where to bargain shop, flea market finds and cheap fashion finds. I will still keep in my diabetic twist on recipes as well 🙂

To start my first blog post under the new face lift – I decided you show you my stockings that I made for Christmas. Since it is the first time my boyfriend and I have been moved out and away from home on Christmas, we both needed some new stockings. I must say, to try to keep down the cost, I tried to sew my own burlap stocking = FAIL. This later lead to a Christmas gift of a sewing machine from Evan (Thank you!) However, since the sewing machine came after the stockings I decided to do the semi-homemade version. Here’s what you’ll need:

Stocking: $8.99
Since Pottery Barn is a HUGE inspiration for me, I decided to take a look in the store while Christmas shopping. To my surprise all the Christmas items were half off!! I got 2 of these White Channel Quilted Velvet Stockings for $8.99 each. They are so well made and will definitely last!

Burlap: You will only need two 14x3in strips however, you can buy 2 yards for $1.50 at Joann Fabrics (using the 40% off coupon) Tip: Download the Joann Fabric app on your phone for coupons you can use right in the store. You can also sign up for their email coupons here. I highly recommend the app, you can download it in your iTunes store right on your iPhone.

Wooden letters: 4 inches. You can pick these up at any craft store in the wood section. They range from 1-2 dollars and you can always use a coupon.

Twine: I got mine for free from my Dad but a whole role will last you a LONG time and only costs about 2 dollars.

Sparkle Snowflake Ornament: After Christmas is the time to buy these! However, I got mine for a buck at WalMart in the Holiday section.

Ribbon: 14 Inches – I got mine off of a gift package for free 🙂

Here’s how you make them:
I first wrapped the wooden letters with the twine to completely cover the wood.
Wooden Letters

I then took my stocking and the burlap and hot glued it on to the top of the stocking. You can also use iron on stitching for a now sew approach.
Pottery Barn Stocking
Burlap Strip

Next, I hot glued the ribbon all around the middle of the burlap.
Burlap Ribbon

Now it is time to embellish. I first hot glued the twine wrapped letter onto the snowflake. I then hot glued the snowflake onto the left side of the stocking. I also added a wooden button I had laying around on the right hand side because it looked a little bare. And there you have it – Personalized Stockings. Do you have any traditional items that you always get in your stockings?

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Cookie Party

It has been a dark few days over here in the state of Connecticut, and all around the Country. The complete devastation of the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown has shaken the nation and has made my heart truly ache. Living so close to Newtown, and actually seeing people who may have been directly affected is heart wrenching. Although my boyfriend was not directly involved with the tragedy, his services as a first responder were called upon to help in the town and for him I am forever grateful and proud. Hearing such devastation makes it remarkably hard to get into the holiday spirit but I have found strength through family and friends to help put a smile in my heart if even for a moment. We must never forget all those affected, the children who are now beautiful angels, the teachers who are all heroes and the first responders who risk their lives every single day to protect others.

In light of the devastation, I did attend a cookie party this weekend. I must say, I felt utter guilt in feeling happiness when I know so many families are grieving and hurting, but found comfort in talking with friends and family. For the cookie party I decided to make 2 different types of cookies. Although, these are NOT diabetic friendly AT ALL – they are yummy, creative and super easy to make. I decided to put snowman faces on the truffle because frankly, I lack the skills of making the perfect truffle, so if it ends up looking like it’s a melting snowman head, you might as well decorate it to look like you actually meant it to 🙂 The second are a knock off version of the Girl Scout Thin Mints – I will share those in a separate post!

Melted Snowman Oreo Truffles
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What You’ll Need:
1 (16 oz) package Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) package of Cream Cheese (Room temperature)
1 package of white melting Chocolate (I used Wilton that I got at a craft store with a coupon)
1 tsp shortening

Ingredients for snowman face
– Orange and Black tubes of gel icing
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Directions
1. Crush entire package of Oreo cookies. I put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin as I don’t have a food processor.
2. Mix entire package of cream cheese (room temperature) with Oreo crumbs.
3. Melt entire bag of chocolate with 1 tsp shortening. (The shortening keeps the chocolate smooth, shiny and easier to work with) NEVER EVER add water to the melted chocolate 🙂
4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and dip in the chocolate
**TIP I found it much much easier to refridgerate the dough while in balls for a half hour or so before dipping into the melted chocolate.
5. Let cool in refriderator for about 15 minutes and decorate with gel.
6. DEVOUR – enjoy with a cold milk or hot cocoa and make sure to share some with Santa!!

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The Elf On The Shelf

Elf On The Shelf, created for children to behave during the holiday season, has now become a staple in our adult household. If you haven’t heard of The Elf On The Shelf, here’s a quick summary: The Elf and book come together as a set. The book tells the story of how the elf gets its magic by naming him. (We named ours Stanley, we are so cool) Once everyone goes to bed, the elf “flies back to the North Pole” to report back to Santa about what activities, good and bad, took place throughout the day. The elf then flies back to your home and hides in a new spot each morning around the house. Basically an on-going game of hide-and-seek throughout the month of December.

As you can tell this tradition is designed for kids to behave or is for children, however, we are 25 and do it – what of it?? haha As adults we each take turns hiding it for the other person. Evan has the odd days in December and I have the even numbers. Here are some fun ways we hid Stanley..so far.. What are some fun ways you hide your elf?

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Elf On The Shelf Bath

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And Lastly, my favorite – Stanley in the bathroom. I got him to stand by covering a cookie drying rack with paper and poking holes in the paper. The “poo” is a Hershey kiss!
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Merry and Bright

Christmas season is here again and this is the first official year that I am able to decorate my own place. However, after purchasing a new car a few months ago, buying all new decorations for our new place just wasn’t in the budget this year.

I get a lot of my inspiration for home decor from Pottery Barn. Their Pottery Barn Holiday Pinterest Page is out of control AWESOME. Just by looking through I was able to imagine what I wanted my home to look like on my type of budget.

The majority of items I used was pine cones and tree trims – BOTH FREE. As I mentioned in a previous post, you can get all the tree trim for free when you cut down your tree or at any place that sells fresh trees. Just bring a bag and go crazy.

The pine cones I have collected throughout the year. I actually got mine while I was babysitting for a family I used to babysit for in college one weekend. I made the boys play a game “Who ever picks up the most pine cones in 30 seconds and puts them in this bad wins!” – Thanks guys, I’m good 🙂 I sprayed them with snow spray to give them the wintery look.

Vintage music sheets are also very in, but why waste money on buying actual vintage music sheets? I printed mine out using this template. TIP: To make this look extra vintage, take a spray bottle, damp the paper with water, gently crumple it up in a ball, open the crumpled paper and lay flat on the floor, cover with a hand towel and iron the paper to flatten – Let dry and you have vintage paper. I sprayed mine with glitter spray to give it an extra pop for the holidays.

For the most part I just reused jars, wrapped them with old book pages, the music sheets, tree trim and OF COURSE burlap. I hope you find these ideas inspiring, they are so easy and CHEAP to make.

We still need our tree and I need to making the stockings but…….. without further adieu, from our home to yours, love Jess and Evan (even though it’s mostly just me) haha

p.s – Can you find the “Hidden Mickey” I designed into our Holiday Card?

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