Plastic Easter Egg Wreath

Spring is here (well kinda, it’s March 31st and it was snowing this morning) but technically it is in fact Spring here in Connecticut.  Since the weather is still a bit too bitter to enjoy some outside activities,  I spent the weekend mostly indoors shopping, running errands and may have gotten a massage (oh the perks of being a media planner!)

My shopping ventures this weekend took me to Jo-Ann Fabrics (no surprise there) where I stumbled upon an egg wreath that I feel IN LOVE with (pictured below).  The only problem – it was 40 dollars!!  Yes, Jo-Ann’s offers great coupons (I highly recommend you download their store app here) but the price still seemed a bit steep for a mid-twenties girl living on her own.

Here are the directions to making the Egg Wreath on your own:

 Supplies you will need:

  •          Plastic Easter Eggs (I got mine for super cheap at the Christmas Tree Shop.  The wreath took about 48-60 Eggs but this will really depend on how full you want it to look)
  •          10in Straw Wreath (or any floral wreath)
  •          Spanish Moss
  •          Acrylic pastel paint
  •          Hot Glue Gun

How-To

  • Paint the plastic eggs the color of your choice.  I chose natural pastels and then speckled them with a brownish/red paint to really give them the realistic loo
  • Take the hot glue and glue the eggs around the wreath.
  • Fill in all the bare spots by hot gluing the Spanish moss onto the wreath. I used a skewer to really poke the moss into the open holes to make sure it all stayed to get a fuller look.
  • That’s it!  Pretty simple as long as you know how to hot glue!

Plastic Egg WreathEgg Wreath Inspiration

Egg Wreath Inspiration Price Tag

Floracraft Straw Wreath

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Spanish Moss

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Holiday Home Tour

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I’m a little late with the Holiday post here.  Does anyone else feel that the Holidays snuck up on us with Thanksgiving being so late this year?!

For decorating this year I wanted to keep things simple and inexpensive.  I did this by taking the extra tree trimmings from Home Depot for FREE when I got my tree.  I used pinecones that I have collected through the fall and dollar store snow flake ornaments.   Burlap and old book pages were also key in my vintage holiday decorating!

Hope you are enjoying the Holidays as well with your family and friends xo

Eat, Drink and Be Scary

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As I mentioned is previous posts before, I am a HUGE fan of Halloween.  Even as a type one diabetic there are many other aspects I love about the Holiday even though I can’t enjoy any of the candy.  Every year I always love to throw a Halloween get-together.  I love big dress up parties but I am more of a small intimate get-together with junk food, booze and fun.  This year I also used Halloween as a chance for my family and friends to see my new apartment.  My apartment is on the first floor so I kept the slider door open and utilized the back yard as a place to play corn hole and more seating (and also to keep the large cooler full of beer).  It was an open house, very causal and a ton of fun to see everyone I love.

PARTY DETAILS

For decorating, because I am a single girl living alone, budget was a key factor.  All my decorations came from something I already had and also shopping in my Grandparents basement.  All the old vintage candles and plates came from my “Gaga” and she was appalled that I didn’t dust off the dust.  I think it really gave that old, spooky vintage look I was trying to achieve.  I really wanted the table to look like a witch set up shop in my living room – I think I may have gone a little over board in that there wasn’t even that much room for food. (whoops)

FOOD AND DRINKS

I like to cook and bake but I certainly do not have time to do so being a full time workin’ gal.  HUGE shout out to my mom and my grandma for helping provide some of the food.  I did however make a few treats and drinks and of course used Pinterest to find all the recipes:

Stay Fancy!

-Jess

Hocus Pocus – How to Decorate For Halloween For Under 20 Dollars

Halloween.  My absolute FAVORITE time of year and favorite Holiday (Thanksgiving is a close second).  I think the reason why I love Halloween so much is my sad, sick obsession with my favorite movie ever – HOCUS POCUS.  Every time the movie is on TV, I get about 4 different text messages from people letting me know it is on.  Some people that I haven’t talked to in years, ex-boyfriends, best friends, co-workers, I without a doubt every time get a text.  It’s sad, of this I am aware.  Why do I love this movie so much? I couldn’t tell you, but I do…so that’s that.

This year I wanted to focus my decorating around my love for witches and Hocus Pocus while still keeping the vintage feel to my living room.  Below are a few pictures of my Vintage Witch Halloween décor.  Since I am a strict budget this year (living on your own ain’t cheap)  I had to make a lot of my decorations.  A lot of the stuff I used was old glass bottles, old books and book pages, candles and dollar store finds.  The only thing I did purchase was some ribbon and a lot of the stuff I had from previous years of Halloween’s past.

I will post some tutorials on how I made some of the decorations this week.

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The last picture is my favorite 🙂

Stay Fancy

-Jess

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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Penny Pincher Cinnamon Ornaments

I give a lot of thanks to my mom for all of my crafting inspirations. My mom has been a nursery school teacher for over 30 years and growing up I always had an art set and fun new ideas to explore. Whenever I needed anything crafty I knew my mom could go into her boxes of school supplies and lend a hand. She is amazing at what she does and I look up to her very much. One craft I can remember her making with the kids from school growing up are cinnamon ornaments. She of course made them with me and well and I can still remember the ornaments smelling year after year as we put them on the tree.

This year I really wanted all my decorating to be vintage chic. When I stumbled on the cinnamon ornaments on Pinterest I immediately thought of my mom and making them while growing up. The look of the ornament is also very rustic and went perfectly with my theme. The recipe I used was my mom’s but it SUPER simple. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4oz Ground Cinnamon (about 2 small bottles)
  • 3/4cup-1cup apple sauce
  • A Drinking Straw
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Twine and Burlap(optional)

Big shout out to my friend Jes on providing the wine and helping me make these, and a huge shout out to ABC Family Home Alone Weekend for providing the background entertainment, (it made for a fun Friday night)

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  2. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed.
  3. Roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap.
  4. Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  5. Using a standard drinking straw, make a hole at top of ornament
  6. Place ornaments on baking sheet and bake in oven for 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Cool ornaments over night on wire rack.
  8. String with twine or ribbon and enjoy.

Once my ornaments we done, I strung them with twine and burlap. I actually utilized them not only as tree ornaments but as decorations for some vases I made. For the vases I used old brandy containers and soaked them in hot soapy water to peel the labels off. I wrapped page from an old book I had around the vase using Mod Podge and then applied a small strip of burlap using the glue gun. The hung the ornament around the neck and stuck in tree trimmings.

**GREAT TIP – when you cut down your tree, or at any place that cuts fresh trees, you can pick up all the trimmings for FREE. I found this out when I went to ask the people who worked there how much it would cost to take them and they said, “NOTHING, take them!” It was a great feeling!! The old free book, each ornament cost me 4 cents, I re-used the bottles, free tree trimmings and old scraps of burlap and twine, the whole project cost me less that 5 cents. WHAT A STEAL!

This is just the start of my holiday decorating – my scrooge boyfriend is convinced we need to wait until December first, we’ll see.

 

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