Google+ House Revivals: December 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 of the Most Popular Posts of 2014

Wow, it's hard to believe we're bringing 2014 to a close!  Here are a few of the most popular decor and craft posts from House Revivals this year.

While my vintage book page projects, especially the woven stars and snowflakes, are my most popular posts from year to year, these are the most popular new posts from 2014:

17 Pretty Ways to Decorate With a Brown Sofa was the most popular new post of 2014.

Another hugely popular post was Super Amazing Ways to Up-cycle Filing Cabinets.

Painting Interior Doors Black is another post that has been popular this year.

Five Reasons to Shop at a Thrift Store Right Now has been a big hit -- if you've read my blog for long, you know I'm a fan of up-cycling, re-purposing, and living a creative lifestyle on a budget.

How to Make Gorgeous Pendants With Dollar Store Supplies was published in December, but it has already become one of the most read new posts on House Revivals this year!

I made a lot of paper beads in 2014, and got really sore hands and wrists, so I devised a way to make a Paper Bead Roller with supplies most of us already have on hand.  How to Make Your Own Paper Bead Roller is a reader favorite!  I still use my bead rollers all the time, and they have saved my wrists and my sanity!

Apparently I'm not the only one who must live with dated colored bath fixtures! When timing or finances or life situation is just not right for a remodel, sometimes you just need to work with what you have.  Decorating With Colored Bathroom Fixtures should help you through your bath decor dilemma!

You were all interested in How to Dress Up Those Plastic Nursery Pots!  I simply do not have the storage space to keep lots of decorative pots and vases, so I turned to one of my favorite materials for this five-minute fix-up!

The Barn Door Hardware Guide started out when I was researching hardware for one of my own projects, and has been a favorite with my readers.

Earlier this year, I found a leather recliner on Craigslist.  It was the wrong color, so I researched DIY leather furniture dyeing. Ultimately, my husband decided he didn't like sitting on leather -- it was too cold and slippery in winter, and too hot and sticky in summer, so that recliner is now headed for the Goodwill. This is why we opted not to spend the big bucks right away on a new leather recliner or on a professional dye job -- we needed to know if we liked lounging on leather. I shared my leather dye research in this post, How to Dye a Leather Sofa or Chair.

These were your favorite House Revivals posts from 2014. Thank you all for visiting this site this year! Your comments and emails are so important to me.  If you had a favorite post that wasn't on this list, let me know in the comments!

Thank you all for sharing links to my posts on your favorite social media platforms in 2014 -- you are the reason House Revivals exists.  If there is a design, art, craft, or decor topic you would like to see covered in 2015, let me know in the comments.

Here's wishing you all a safe and happy New Year, and a fabulous 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Make Vintage Style Shadowbox Ornaments From Recycled Materials!

Sometimes I like to sneak in one last Christmas craft before the big day. How about you? For some reason, when I'm stressed out and overwhelmed, sitting down and quieting my mind while busying my hands helps me to relax.

Here is a simple little project you can make with stuff from the recycling. These would make great little last minute gifts, too! I like to have several small handmade gift items ready, for "emergencies".

I made these little shadow box ornaments using a small toothpaste box from the recycling, and pages from an old book that was diverted from the landfill.

I used dyed "vintage" bottle brush trees from this tutorial, but you can put anything you want into your shadow box.

Begin by choosing a small box. I chose a toothpaste box. I first cut the box in half and taped the ends closed. Then, I cut it in half again.  For each ornament, I took two of the small halves, and stacked them together as shown below, then taped to secure.

Next, I covered the outside of each little shadow box with vintage book pages.

Then, I covered the inside. The paper was secured to the box with tacky glue.

Next, I glued a pipe cleaner around the box opening, and secured it with clips while the glue dried.

Next, I took an awl and made little holes in the tops of the boxes.

I added little ribbon scraps for hangers.

Because I wanted the page text to fade into the background a bit more, I dry-brushed the boxes just a tiny bit with white craft paint.

I folded a little star from a half-length of pipe cleaner and glued it to the top, then added a hand
-dyed bottle brush tree and some "snowballs". Use whatever you have on hand -- an old Christmas tree brooch would be lovely!

There you have it! This was such a simple project, and can be made with whatever supplies happen to be on hand. No pipe cleaners? Use glitter! No "snowballs"? Skip the snowballs. No Christmas trees? Scavenge a broken ornament, or make one out of recycled cardboard!

I hope this tutorial inspires you to sit a spell and quiet your mind this Christmas. Sometimes we get so caught up in gifting and hospitality at Christmas, that we forget to receive the Greatest Gift. It can be hard to imagine Peace on Earth, when we don't have peace of mind, but we really can have that peace that passes all understanding!

Christmas isn't really about ornaments and crafts and decorating-- these are just the things we do to add ceremony to the season, and to remind ourselves of the importance of Christmas.

Speaking of the holiday season, here is a favorite holiday post, where I share a Christmas tour of our rat and mold and rot infested beach house.

I wish you all a lovely Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Make Fancy Wire Ornament Hangers -- It's Easier Than You Think!

Are you looking for a less humdrum way to hang your special Christmas ornaments?  Those little wire ornament hangers you buy by the package are okay, but why not step things up a notch for your really special ornaments?

These fancy beaded wire ornament hangers are so quick and easy to make. You can literally make dozens in one evening!  You don't need a lot of special supplies, either.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Make Gorgeous Spun Cotton Icicles With Paper Towels!

Do you love vintage spun cotton ornaments? Me too! The problem with actual vintage ornaments, of course, is that they are difficult to find and they can be expensive.

I love the look of a Christmas tree that is just dripping with icicles, but I knew I would never be able to find dozens and dozens of spun cotton icicles -- and even if I did, it would be too expensive to buy so many vintage ornaments.

That's when I ran across Emi's vlog on making icicles from paper towels!  Basically, it's a paper mache process, using diluted white glue and towels. Brilliant! I loved the idea, and decided I could adapt the process to make them look like vintage spun cotton ornaments.

My technique is slightly different than Emi's.  I began by grabbing a "select-a-size" roll of towels, and pulled off towels in the smallest "half-sheet" size.  Then I grabbed some white glue and diluted it with water.  I diluted mine about half and half, but I would probably make it a bit thicker next time. You want your glue to be thin enough to easily soak into the towel fibers, but thick enough to harden well when dried.  I spread the glue mixture onto the sheet of toweling.

Next, I folded the sheet down about one-third of the way, to achieve the desired icicle length. Leave the extra material, because it will add bulk to the top of your icicle.

Because I wanted a nice taper on my icicles, I tore off some toweling from the lower corners to remove even more bulk, and added that material to the top and middle portion of the icicle, gluing everything as I went along.

Now, it's just a matter of rolling the towel to form the icicle.

After rolling them, twist them a bit and play with them, squeezing out excess glue as needed, and smoothing and coaxing them into the shape you like. I put mine in the oven at 180 degrees overnight to dry.

In the morning, I inserted wire hangers into the tops, and secured with just a bit of hot glue. If the icicle is too hard to insert wire into, you can ream it out with one of those tiny screw drivers (the kind you fix your eye-glasses with), and then your wire should slide right in. I'll share how to make these pretty wire hangers in a later post.

While you have the hot glue gun out, you may want to drip a little hot glue around the top -- it gives a pretty effect!

Your icicles will be pretty enough at this point to be done, as you can see in the picture above; or, you can gild the lily. I decided to paint mine slightly off-white, then applied glitter glue all over them, including on the hangers.

I could not be happier with how they turned out!  Even my husband (who is normally oblivious to this sort of thing) thought they looked striking hanging en masse on our tree.

This is a project that can easily be done using paper towels and glue and wire from the dollar store!

This would be a fun "cookie alternative" project to make and share with friends and neighbors. It's easy to make several dozen in a couple of evenings, and you can get your kids involved.  Wouldn't it be lovely to receive a set of handmade vintage inspired icicles as a gift?

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe to House Revivals, so you won't miss any of the fun tutorials we have planned. Please feel free to share this post on social media. Check out the sidebar to see other popular posts.  If you enjoy dollar store crafts, you might really enjoy this project, or this project.  Go check them out -- you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Page Ornament With Dollar Store Supplies!

This is my new favorite ornament! It's so pretty, you would never guess how quick and easy it is to make -- and it can be made with supplies from the dollar store!

I love dollar store projects for two reasons. One, I live in a very urban environment, and big craft stores tend to live in the suburbs, so for me it's often much easier to hit up a dollar store, or a dollar section of a market. Two, I love that dollar stores make crafting affordable.

To make your own vintage book page ornaments you will need a package of plastic balls.

I picked these up at Easter -- they are actually baseball shaped plastic eggs that you can put candy inside of.  I have also used ping pong balls and wiffle balls and styrofoam type craft balls.

While you're at the dollar store, grab a roll of masking tape. You will need to wrap the plastic ball with the tape to create a good gluing surface.

Next, you will need to rescue an old book. Cut some book pages into narrow strips, and glue or Mod Podge the strips to the ball. Did you know Dollar Tree has been carrying Mod Podge lately?

After the ball is completely covered, add a little glitter, if desired. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while probably know that my husband outlawed the application of glitter in our house. That was a sad sad day, but I have since discovered that glitter glue is pretty awesome! I know, glitter glue is probably a "gray" area, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Add some leaves and ribbons and pipe cleaners -- you can get all these things from a dollar store, or you can raid your stash. Glue on a ribbon hanger, and bam! You have a pretty ornament for your tree!

This Christmas, for me, is all about making things that are easy and pretty. These little ornaments are so quick to make, you can easily make a few dozen in one evening! Wouldn't they make great teacher gifts, or tie-ons for gifts?

Do you have a favorite DIY ornament project? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to subscribe to House Revivals, so you won't miss a thing. Also, please feel free to use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post to share with your friends!

For more vintage book page projects, check out my sidebar for links to popular posts.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Make a Pretty Snowflake With Book Pages and Vintage Buttons!

I love vintage buttons, Christmas, and vintage book pages, so of course those loves often intersect at this time of year!

Here is a simple way to use old book pages and buttons from your stash to create pretty snowflake ornaments.

These ornaments are simple to make, using the humblest supplies. They would look pretty hanging on your Christmas tree, or they would make a special gift for an ornament exchange.

Because so many people are on a sugar overload at this time of year, or have health issues that don't allow for sweets, I often make a "batch" of ornaments for Christmas gifting. Who wouldn't want to receive one of these sweet little vintage book page snowflakes?

To make your own snowflake ornaments, you will need to rescue an old book. I used an old Reader's Digest diverted from the landfill. Since snowflakes have six sides, you will need to put together six sections. Each of my snowflake sections consisted of three loops of strips. The strips were the length of the book page and one-half inch wide. Each loop consisted of three strips of paper stacked together, for a total of 54 strips to make one snowflake.

Glue your stacks together to form loops, then bend two of the loops, as shown, and glue the three pieces together. Create six sections, then glue the sections together.

After all the sections are glued together, go back and secure any wobbly sections with more glue.

I glued a small piece of scrap paper to the center of my snowflake, to make it extra strong (a glob of hot glue would also work). I also added glitter glue to the edges of the strips.

To add a special touch, I went through my tin of vintage buttons, to decorate the center of the snowflake.

The buttons were secured with hot glue. I stacked two or three buttons together and glued them to both sides of the ornament.

The ornaments turned out really pretty!

To see another ornament idea using vintage book pages, click here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to subscribe to House Revivals so you won't miss any of the projects we have planned! Also, feel free to use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post to share!