Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway from the Birthday Girl!

October is birthday month around here.  I count 6 people in our family that have birthdays in October, and 3 of them are in my immediate household – my hubby, my girlie, and me.  Now that’s cause for celebration and you’re included!

Happy Birthday Starbucks Giveaway from UsefulBeautifulHome.com

In honor of my birthday, which I celebrated yesterday (Oct. 23rd), I’m giving away a Starbucks gift card to one UBH reader.  This is my gift to you, no sponsorship or promotional strings attached.  I decided on a Starbucks card because it’s my personal fave to receive and I am the birthday girl for at least another week. ;)

Joking aside, it’s just a little way to say thank you for supporting me by following along, commenting, pinning, linking back, and love!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Everyone is welcome to enter the random drawing below, it’s really easy to follow the directions but let me know if you have trouble.  Be sure to include as many options as you can for the best odds of winning!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering… I’m turning 28… for the eighth time. ;)

 

Dollar Store Decor – $2 Leaf “Wreath”

It’s Fall, y’all!  Yessir, my calendar says that today marks the official beginning of Autumn!

I have the decorating bug but have one small problem… our garage contains the last remains of moving boxes that have yet to be unpacked, most of which is my seasonal decor.  Somewhere in that mini mountain awaits my front door Fall wreath but I have no desire to tackle outdoor boxes in 90 degree Florida heat.  So, I decided to make a replacement; a new front door Leaf “Wreath” that only cost me 2 bucks yet adds the perfect welcoming touch.  Small problem fixed in a festive way!

Dollar Store Decor - $2 Door Leaf Wreath

I picked up an orange felt leaf from The Dollar Tree and a roll of their wire-edged leaf patterned ribbon.  I forgot to snap a “before picture, so I’m using these below that I took with my cell phone in the store (enter apology for terrible quality photos but I had to have a visual for ya).  You can see the felt leaf-shaped placemat thingy on the left and the ribbon I used for this project on the right.

Use these $1 items to create a welcoming front door Leaf Wreath

First, let’s talk about the bow.  Keeping the print facing out, I did a simple loop back and forth a few times with one long piece until it looked about right, nothing overly technical.  It took a couple attempts until I found the right length that seemed size-appropriate to the leaf.  Again, more apologies for the photo quality, this was done at night when my Little was asleep (after bedtime is the best DIY time, am I right?).  I promise better pictures are coming, keep reading! ;)

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-1

Here’s where things get even easier, I cut the excess ribbon and cinched my bow together with masking tape.  I know, it’s not Etsy quality, but it works just fine. ;)

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-3

I ended up using the entire roll of ribbon, because I looped another piece around the center to hide the masking tape and give my bow tails.  This takes a little extra manipulation to get the knot hidden on the backside of the bow while keeping the pattern side on the tails facing forward, but it is possible.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-4

I trimmed the bottom of my ribbon by folding it in half (print side facing out).

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-5

And then cut on a diagonal up towards the bow, like this…

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-6

So that the ends looked a little more like this…

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-7

Before I attached the bow to the leaf, I slid a piece of yarn (but any ribbon/thread/string would work) through the knot on the back, see pic below.  This will ultimately create a “hook” for hanging your Leaf Wreath on the door.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-8

Now, grab your felt leaf and slide both ends of the yarn through one of the top slits in the leaf pattern as shown below.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-9

Stick with me here; next, you will bring the yarn back to the front side by going over the stem and letting the yarn rest closely on either side of the stem (below shows how I did this, but is pictured from the front side).  You can see my yarn threads through the top slit to the backside of the leaf then comes up over the stem again to the frontside.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-10

Now, taking both pieces together, push them right through the middle of what you did in the first yarn step.  Below I pulled my bow back to better show a visual, but you’ll want to keep this nice and tight after threading through to the back.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-11

Okay, so we just made a secure loop starting with the bow and looping around the leaf top.  Now all you do is knot the two yarn pieces together being careful to leave yourself enough room as a “hook” for wherever you plan to hang this.  I knotted it several times and then trimmed the excess.  As long as the tied yarn pieces remain shorter than the stem, it doesn’t matter what your knot looks like because it should stay hidden.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-13

My leaf wreath is for the front door, so the bow needed more support than a piece of yarn.  I didn’t really want the bow flopping every time we open & close the front door.  So, I used a glue gun to adhere the bow’s center right onto the felt leaf.

It’s not necessary to glue all the loops of the bow to the leaf, just the center knotted piece is good enough, assuming you use a good sized glob of hot glue.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-12

You could stop here and have a welcoming piece of fall decor to hang wherever you want.  It should look like this…

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-14

BUT, I thought it seemed a little too plain.  So, I grabbed regular glue from my daughter’s art stash, a mini paintbrush, and burnt-orange glitter used on my last project (CLICK HERE for that tutorial).

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-15

Using the glue, outline around the edge of the leaf.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-16

Then, use the paintbrush to flatted the glue down because I didn’t like the raised “puffy paint” style (or don’t, it’s your style preference and your leaf).

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-17

Cover with glitter and let dry!

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-19

Don’t forget to bling the stem.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-18

And just like that, our original plain felt leaf is transformed to a welcoming Leaf Wreath.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-24

Some glitter ended up clinging to the felt even without glue, but I left it because it looks purposeful, a happy accident so to speak.  If you don’t like it, you can always shake it off once the glued spots are completely dry.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-23

I can’t show it hanging on my front door yet, because I’m scheduled in October to show my front porch.  However, this gives you a sneak peak and shows how simple and inexpensive Fall decorating can be.

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-21

Sometimes I have trouble separating myself from the commercialism of social media and all the pricy ways to decorate for each season.  BUT, when I can add something this cheerful and eye-catching for only TWO DOLLARS; well then, that’s a bargain I can handle and a creative outlet for my DIY side.

So, whether you want a fresh update from last year’s decorations or you can’t find your seasonal items buried in moving boxes (haha) this Leaf “Wreath” is sure to get you in the mood for Fall!

$2 Front Door Leaf Wreath-22

Oh, and below is a Pin-able reminder for coming back later to this DIY project because I know how busy everyone gets this time of year!

Dollar Store Decor - DIY $2 Leaf Wreath

 

 

 

Homework/Homeschool Caddy Organization

This past Saturday, I wrote about homeschool organization, thinking no one would be interested.

Use a caddy and things around the house to organize your homeschool table

However, I was surprised to read a fairly good amount of comments from those wanting more on the subject.  I was also happy to get feedback from a few readers who do not homeschool, yet they still found this post inspiring to create a homework caddy for their kiddos.

Jelly jar crayons, so simple and easy for kids to use during homeschool!

If you’re looking for a simple homeschool (or homework) organization tid-bit, then click HERE to read what I shared on Saturday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Be sure to let your voice be heard if you do (or don’t) want to read more in the future by writing in the “comments” section below the post.  I love your written feedback, it’s the only way for me to gauge what you’re thinking.  Otherwise, I’m just talking to myself… nothing new there, haha!

Organized homeschool caddy, use what you already have!

I’m off to edit pictures for tomorrow’s UBH post.  I have a cheap & easy fall DIY “wreath” to share that I think you’ll love!

Happy start-the-week-off-new Monday! :)

 

Organized Art Cart

My little girl officially started her first year of school.  Entering Kindergarten means I don’t anticipate she’ll bring home algebra equations in her backpack anytime soon.  So you can imagine, we don’t need a homework station… yet.  However, we do need an Art Cart designed to keep all her favorite crafting & art supplies organized and accessible.

Art Cart - The perfect way to organize ALL art supplies in ONE place!

I created our original Art Cart a couple years ago because my daughter has always been interested in crafting and coloring (read about it HERE).  Recently, I upgraded it to a more inclusive cart for her growing skills and growing collections of supplies.

Art Cart Organization 101

Not only does she love to create art on a daily basis, but I will also be “hybrid homeschooling” her this year.  That means she attends a “traditional” school setting for part of the week and the other days she’ll stay home to learn with me.  Learning - especially at her age - should be fun, creative, and colorful.  So, it’s important to have all our early learning art supplies in one easily accessible location to enhance our homeschool days.

The best Art Cart for little children's art supplies

I did a very thorough review of several carts and finally landed on THIS one.  Experience tells me we need a cart with wheels so it could travel from storage to the desk or kitchen table and back again with ease.  The wheels on this cart swivel every direction VERY EASILY, which is helpful considering the way children “drive” rolling devices. ;)  Even better, I can lock the front two wheels in place if I want to keep it stationary.

Swivel wheels make this art cart user friendly for small children

Aside from the obvious aspect of organizing all the glue, paper, & crayons; we also needed a place to stash unfinished art projects.  The top of this cart has plenty of room to use for that purpose.  Often times she likes to make masterpieces at the kitchen table while I’m cooking a meal.  Undoubtedly, she’ll have to stop the project so we can clear the table to eat.  This designated “holding space” keeps my little Picaso satisfied knowing she can come back later to finish.

Use the top for keep unfinished art projects for later

One last thing about the exterior of this cart, I reused an old gift bag to act as a mini garbage receptacle.  Throwing away scraps and trash pieces along the way helps to shorten clean-up time afterwards.

Washitape a trash container on the side for easy clean-up during art projects

Other than a few containers I purchased from a dollar store, I used what I had around the house if items within the drawers needed to be separated.  For example, a small muffin tin keeps all those tiny embellishment pieces from scattering whenever the wind blows.  Of course, if the tin gets removed from the drawer and dropped… well, you know how that goes. ;)

A $1 muffin tin organizes kids craft embellishments inside the art cart

Speaking of things inside the drawers, here’s how I organize our art supplies…

The first drawer contains crayons, crayons, and only crayons – which is very intentional.  If we don’t want to use the whole ‘kit and caboodle’, it’s easy for me to pull out one single drawer and put it wherever little hands are coloring.

Removable drawers are perfect for organizing young kids' art supplies

The second drawer holds other coloring utensils like markers, colored pencils, etc.  I separated those items with plastic bins from a dollar store.

Drawer 2a

The third drawer contains stamps and stickers, excellent means for building dexterity.

Drawer 3

The fourth drawer confines glue, embellishments, and tape.   Art isn’t art in our household without sticky goo and tiny flecks of sparkle.  Glue and scissors get their own dedicated bins and all those itty-bitty embellishments find their way into the previously mentioned muffin tin.

Drawer 4

Fifth in line, a drawer full of paper, all shapes and sizes.  From colorful construction paper to paper plates, we keep it together in this drawer.

Drawer 7

The sixth drawer keeps coloring books together, because nothing passes time better than a good ol’ fashion coloring book!

Drawer 6

The seventh drawer holds activity books (the kind that are more focused on education and learning).

Drawer 8

In the last drawer, I keep Do-a-Dot art.  We love this form of painting and skill building!

Drawer 9

As for the finished artwork that she considers “keepers”, I wrote about how I organize them HERE and offer a free printable too!  It’s my relief system when I’m overrun by colored pages and glittery glue drawings.

Create an Art Book to organize your child's take-home papers

Finally, I labeled each drawer with a small piece of washitape.  My daughter can’t read yet; in fact, she has the drawer contents memorized by now anyways.  So the labels aren’t for her, more for friends and babysitters with whom we share our art supplies.  The way I see it, a good label never hurts when trying to keeping things tidy. :)

Washitape labels are quick, easy, and able to be rearranged as necessary

That’s the way we “roll” (hee hee) when it comes to organizing our arts & crafts.  I hope all of you with budding artists find this useful!

Organize your children's art supplies in this cheerful Art Cart!

 

 

Dollar Store Decor – EASY Glitter Dipped Fall Vase

Last year I wrote a few posts about decorating for less (read the recap HERE) and the response is crazy on Pinterest this year.  I started to think that many of you must love to decorate for the season but don’t want to invest loads of cash in the process.  I hear ya!  I’m in the same boat, so I whipped up a few more Dollar Store Decor ideas for your creative pleasure. I’ll start this season by showing you a super EASY glitter-dipped fall vase.  This is great for your own home, a retreat, or fall fundraiser tables you may have on the horizon because it’s inexpensive & simple!

DollarStoreDecor Easy Glitter Dipped Fall Vase

Below you will see the original vase; pretty, but could use a little help since I was planning to put faux cattails inside.  FYI, everything I used for this quick project (except for the wire cutter thingy) was purchased at The Dollar Tree.  Oh, and that container of glitter below was from Walmart but I know The Dollar Tree sells glitter too.  So, basically you can get all the goods in one location, making this project even more convenient!

Create a trendy vase for Fall using all Dollar Store items!

The see-through effect with these tinted jars makes it impossible to hide faux flower/plant stems (see below), which was my main reason for glitter dipping the bottom.

Dollar Store vase looks plain and needs help

I ended up clipping off the extra stem with a pair of wire cutters but that’s not entirely necessary since the bottom gets covered with glitter.

Cut stems

First, use basic masking tape to create a design.  I know you can get really creative with patterns and such but I wanted to keep it simple for time sake.  It’s helpful to know these are tapered vessels, so make sure the line you want to create is pressed on straight and let the rest of the masking tape bubble or bunch however it wants.

So smart!  Just use cheap dollar store masking tape to glitter embellish a cheap vase!

Grab a glue stick from your kid’s Art Cart

How simple!  Glue stick and glitter for an awesome upgrade!

And cover the area you want glitterized…

Simple vase, glue stick, and glitter make a WOW impression!

I used a paper plate to catch the falling extra glitter as I sprinkled.

Use glitter over a paper plate for easy clean up!

The glue stick gave great coverage for this flat-sided vase but some corners were missed like the one shown below.  After the glue dried, I went back and touched up the empty spots with more glue & glitter.

Fix missed spots after the glue dries.

Glitter will cling to rest of the glass even though it’s not covered with glue, but don’t fret, it wipes away. :)

Such an easy project with big wow factor!

Peel off the tape while the glue is still fresh to help create a crisp edge line.

Pull the tape away while glue is still wet.

You may notice, my glitter was a burnt orange color to match the burnt orange colored vase.  I also used an “extra fine” glitter.  It was a good combination without looking cheesy… know what I mean? :)

This makes all the difference... use tinted glitter on tinted glass for big glam!

When I finished the bottom, I decided to embellish the top too but this step certainly isn’t necessary.  The glue stick did not give good coverage in all the crevices here.  Instead, I used a glue pen (also found at The Dollar Tree) to help get in the tight spots around the square shape and I just used my finger to smear it around evenly.

How to get in the tight spots when decorating with glitter.

Oh, and I used the masking tape to create a crisp bottom line here too.

Even the top looks pretty all glittered up.

Trends have been showing many versions of paint-dipped clear vases but the glitter looks a little more glam in my opinion, especially with the matching color of the orange tint.

Make a $1 vase glamorous for your next Fall fling or your mantel shelf!

Well, whacha think?  Stuff a sprig of fake cattails (or real if ya have ‘em!) and maybe a fall colored flower or two inside to complete the project.

This is what I need!  Dollar store items turned up a notch... super easy though!

Please help me out by sharing or pinning on Pinterest if you love these ideas!  Doing so helps prevent others from “stealing” my content (yes, sadly that has been happening!).  I greatly appreciate your loyalty and willingness to credit my content so I can continue producing!!!  If you’re a blogger and considering this idea for yourself, please give credit and link back here at Useful Beautiful Home.  Thanks! :)

She has great ideas for turning cheap-o items in to beautiful home and party decor!

You may also enjoy these Fall decor posts…

Dollar Store Decor – Fall Decorating for Less!

Make a Felt Leaf Garland for ONE Dollar!

Easy Pumpkin Topiary

DollarStoreDecor Easy Glitter Dipped Fall Vase - she has great ideas for turning cheap-o items into beautiful home and party decor!