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Tag: Seasonal

JOYful Christmas Mantel

The hustle and bustle of the Holidays are in full swing, but I was able to step back from the craziness of it all this past weekend to revamp my mantel and deck it out for Christmas.

As a Blogger, I feel so lucky to have a platform to share my new creations.  When the time comes to create a new mantel composition, I push myself to always try something new and different, and raise the bar from the previous year.  Thus the result of my new JOYful Christmas Mantel…

Like with every mantel, I cleared off all the decor from my Fall mantel so I could see the space free and clear!  This always helps start the ball-rolling for my latest montage.  I’ll tell you, I don’t usually go into decorating my mantels (or many areas of my home) with a plan.  Once I see a blank slate, somehow it all starts coming together.

I will say though, I’ve had the idea to create this JOY sign for a while.  I thought it would look beautiful leaning against the new ebony stained wood board backdrop. Thankfully all came together and I’m so pleased with the result – I’ll be sharing a quick and easy tutorial on how I created the sign very soon.

Going for an asymmetrical look,  I added a gorgeous boxwood wreath next to the JOYful sign.  I scored this totally faux, but looks totally real, wreath at Lowe’s – I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love.  I love decorating with boxwood and cedar branches, and when I saw this, I grabbed it.  Well actually I thought about making it at first, but after figuring out the cost, this was a better deal.

In creating the mantel, I mixed in a few Christmas elements with a few non-Holiday pieces.  I couldn’t dare put away my fabulous white ginger jar that I enjoy looking at everyday, so of course there it is… (along with my easy-peasy presto-chango-with-spray-paint candle stick).  And I think they look great amongst everything else.

Some of the fun, festive decor that I added around it are the:  three sparkly mod Christmas trees, two brushed nickel Christmas stocking holders (which I got forever ago from Target), and one piece of birch log.

My burnt orange wall is a show-stopper in itself, but I always like to add a burst of color in another way.  With this mantel, I brought in a pop of yellow with a few sprigs of forsythia (totally wrong flower for the season, but I love the yellow with the red in the JOY sign).  In the same vase, I added some faux red berries.  Yellow + Red = Perfect Compliment!

The mantel is simple, elegant, and festive.  O, I truly wish you could see it in person!

The drop cloth and felt stockings are still a favorite of mine.  I made them last year and added metallic gold ornaments to give a little accent.

And here’s the overall space…

O, how I love thee!

Thanks for taking a tour of my Christmas Mantel 2012.  Similar to my recent tablescape creation, I mixed in items from around my home with dollar store deals and DIY projects.

Have you decorated your mantel for Christmas yet?  If so, please share the link below so I can visit. 

Looking for tips on how to decorate a mantel? {click here}

I link my projects to some of these parties: Skip to My Lou, Dittle Dattle, Between Naps on the Porch, Today’s Creative Blog, Stories of A to Z, All Things Heart & Home, House of Hepworths, Finding Fabulous, The Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tip Junkie

Ombre Halloween Pillow with RIT Dye

Halloween is just a few short weeks away and even though I’ve already decorated for Fall, I wanted to spice it up with some Halloween accents.  My favorite, inexpensive way to do that is with pillows.

I recently was lucky enough to get my hands on RIT Dye and thought an ombre design with a few spooky elements would fit the bill just perfectly.

Let me start by saying I have NEVER used liquid dye before and was a little apprehensive, but honestly it was really easy and fun to add a bit of color to a plain ole’ piece of fabric.

Here are all the colors I received for the project and since it was a Halloween pillow that I set out to create, I chose orange and black to work with.

I started off by making a simple white envelope pillow using a heavy cotton, which were scraps from another project.  If you want to save time when making something similar, you can also buy a plain white pillow, but make sure the insert can be removed so the cover can be dyed. (Need a tutorial for an envelope pillow?  Click here)

Once the pillow was complete, it was DYE TIME!

How you use the dye really depends on your fabric, plus how intense you want the color. For my project, I used a half bottle of dye + 2 gallons of warm tap water.  I first put the dye into an old bucket, then added the water + …

… 1 cup of salt.

The magical formula was now ready!

Because there are so many uses for this liquid dye, there are many different techniques and ways to dye materials, so my advice is to do a test for whatever you plan on creating before venturing into the actual project.  Never using dye before and wanting to create an ombre look (multiple, graduating depths of color) I had no idea if I was supposed to leave it in the dye for 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or 5 hours. So here’s my tester, and hopefully it’ll give you a guide when using the RIT products.

This swatch test really helped me to know how much I needed to dip the fabric for my real project.  Again, this was my fabric, and I’m sure if you try this out, your fabric type and weight will be different, so do a test before starting your actual project.

Here’s how the dipping process went.

It was fairly easy and while the darkest area of the pillow was soaking up the dye, I worked on a few other projects (like my Travel Subway Sign).  Once I was happy with the color, it was time to add the black. I didn’t really want an ombre look for the black and instead wanted it as intense and dark as possible, so I left this section of the pillow in the black dye for about 30 minutes.

When it was done, I hung it on my beautiful drying rack.  NOT!  The lawnmower handle was just the right size and only feet away from the dying area.  Be sure to put a rag underneath because it will stain (the mister was wondering what all the drips were on the garage floor when he came home that evening, hehe).

Once the pillow was good and dry (I waited till the next day about 24 hours later), I ironed it before starting the next step… Stenciling!

Using some fun, festive stencils that I got last year, I started adding them randomly on the orange ombre section of the pillow.  Using the bat and spider design, I dabbed black fabric paint onto the stencil.  Then on some of them I even added a little sparkly glitter.

These stencils have a sticky back so they stay nicely in place while painting. Then you can easily peel them off…

…and voila, it’s complete!

Have you ever used RIT liquid dye?  If so, what projects have you created?  I’ll admit, I was alittle weary to try it out, but I am thrilled that I did because it was really easy to use and I’m gushing over the result.  I’ve got alot more dying projects on my to-do list now!

Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary product from RIT dye and was compensated for my time to use the product, but no one told me what to create, how to use it, or what to write.  All opinions are 100% mine!

I link my projects to some of these parties: Skip to My Lou, Dittle Dattle, Between Naps on the Porch, Today’s Creative Blog, Stories of A to Z, All Things Heart & Home, House of Hepworths, Finding Fabulous, The Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tip Junkie