DIY Pom-Poms

I found this tutorial for a DIY jersey pom-pom posted on Pinterest a few months back. I just love the shabby chic feel and the colour is incredible….one of my favourites. Unfortunately, I don’t have anywhere to use a ball of this shade. I decided to make a few out of an old white t-shirt that was in the “to donate” tub. I figured that if I stuck with white, I could add them to my Christmas tree and it would flow nicely with the “theme” of the tree. The original post on Skip to My Lou is very thorough.

pom poms

Follow the link to visit Skip to My Lou and check-out the full tutorial.

DIY Pom-Poms:

Materials Needed

  •  old white t-shirt cut into 1/2 inch strips (I just tore mine)
  • needle
  • thread
  • wax linen thread (I just used embroidery thread because I had it on hand and it worked fine)
  • 3 X 5 cardboard
  • ribbon or fabric strips


  1. Run each strip of fabric through your fist to stretch the material. This will actually cause the strip to curl around itself and form a hollow string/tube.
  2. Wrap each string around the cardboard lengthwise. Keep layering one string on top of the other until you have used what you deem to be enough. I am not sure how to gauge this for you as it will depend on the size of your t-shirt and length of your strips. I used an XL t-shirt and ended up with 5 pom-poms. (Make sure to cut the strips horizontally across the body of the t-shirt – you need to cut off any seams as it will break the natural curl of the strip.)
  3. Slide the thread under the pile of strips and tie off one side, securing it as tightly as possible.
  4. Carefully remove the cardboard and then gather the side that is not tied and tie it together with the side you have already secured. You want the entire bunch to be tied as tightly as possible. The wax thread would make this easier as it wouldn’t slip, but I managed without it.
  5. You then begin to cut the loops in half at both ends.
  6. After each end is cut, fluff the material out to make a ball. Trim down any ends that seem too long, fluffing as you go and creating a nice spherical shape.
  7. Add a string to hang it from your tree and a ribbon to spruce it up a bit.  (You could add a safety-pin instead of a string and make pin to dress-up a scarf or add a hair-clip, so that it could be pinned on a pony tail. It would also look cute on a hat!)

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Gift Wrapping Tips: Post 2

I love all things pretty, but am also very frugal. Cellophane is one of my secret weapons when it comes to making gifts look great on a budget. Of course, you can pick-up a roll for a buck and get numerous bows out of one roll.


I purchase printed cellophane, solid colours and also love the look of the clear.

 Cellophane Bows:

    • Purchase dollar store cellophane and cut off 2 to 3 strips. I generally make my strips the about 4 inches wide and the length is equal to that of the width of the roll.  The size can be altered to fit the size of the gift you are decorating.

      cut cellophane strips

      This bow was made with only two strips of cellophane.

    • Stack the strips.
    • Scrunch up the strips in the center so that the entire strip is gathered together in the center. (You know, similar to the tissue flowers we made back in the 70’s!) The YouTube video gives a great tutorial for making the tissue flowers, but these are much easier. Less layers, no folding (just scrunch), no trimming the ends to form a petal shape and less to pull apart after.

      Scrunch up cellophane

      Scrunch up the cellophane in the center of the strip, until the entire length of the strip has been gathered up.

    • With the center pinched tightly, tie a string or ribbon around the cellophane to secure it in the middle . You can tie it onto the gift at this stage or after the flower has been pulled apart. Regardless, the final step is to pull the layers of cellophane apart to create a very full looking cellophane flower.

I always incorporate a few other things to finish off the gift. In this case, the final look was made with these three items:

The thing I like best about cellophane is that you can create any kind of look you want depending on the colours and patterns you use. The ribbon and other embellishments can make you gift look fun or elegant, depending on what kind of look you are going for. Get creative and see what you can add to your gifts to dress-up a simple cellophane bow!

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Balloon Ice Lanterns

ice lanternA few years ago, I received a mold for making an ice lantern. It is really nice because you can add cranberries or pine branches and create a really beautiful piece. I make a few for our yard each year and often make a couple to give away. It is the gift that keeps on giving ~ thanks Joan!! I really wanted to create a series of ice lanterns for our front entrance, but with only one mold and several hours for freezing each one, I knew that it would be difficult to make a large number. I have seen a few “pins” on creating your own ice sculptures using balloons. I picked up a bag of balloons at the dollar store and proceeded to try my hand at making my own. Thanks to Willow Day for the great tutorial.

Balloon Ice Lanterns:

  1. Purchase balloons
  2. Slip the neck over a faucet or hose end and carefully fill to desired size.
  3. Knot the end.
  4. Set outside (or in the freezer) to freeze.
  5. The tutorial said to allow 4 to 6 hours for freezing time. I checked mine after 4 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours, 18 hours and then finally felt they were frozen to the desired stage after about 27 hours. (Another tutorial did suggest about 24 hours, so I was expecting it would take longer.)  You are wanting to freeze the outer layer only, but want it to be thick enough that it will not break too easily. The key is to “catch it” before the entire sphere freezes, as you will want to pour the water out of the center cavity because this will become the area in which you set your tea light candle.

Completed Balloon Ice Lanterns:

The outdoor temperature has been hovering around -17 degrees. Brrrr.  I think that the 27 hours was great, but another hour or two would have still been fine as there was still plenty of water in the center. I have lined them on my front porch and set out by the door. I will probably make a few more and of course, add one or two from the mold. I love how the balloon lanterns all freeze differently and thus each one is unique.  I had a really hard time capturing them in a photo. It is really cold and a bit snowy, and the wind keeps blowing my candles out. None of these shots do them any justice, but at least you get the idea. I think they’ll work beautifully on a calm clear evening. We’ll wish for that on Christmas Eve!

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Quick and Simple Christmas Decor

I saw this idea at church on the weekend and the jars looked so pretty. I loved the simplicity and thought it would be easy to replicate. No word of a lie, once I had the supplies home this project took me less than 5 minutes to put together.  At church they had many of these lining the tables in the lounges. It looks beautiful. I just made one for now, but may end up making more. They would make a cute little gift as well.

Christmas Mason Jar Materials:

  • old mason jar
  • wire (Dollar Store)
  • “snowflakes” (Dollar Store)
  • battery operated mini lights
  • optional embellishments (The ones at the church were plain, but I bought a pack of bells, some Snowflake ornaments and some Christmas ornament hooks to add some embellishments.)
  • Fur mat (optional) ~ the jars at church were sitting on a white fur mat and I loved the look.  I picked up some faux fur with my trusty Fabricland membership discount card (I love that card.)

*I love the dollar store. It’s true, you do get what you pay for and must be mindful that the quality will generally be poor, but it is much like thrift store shopping. You are looking for items with “good bones” or structure. I buy most of my Christmas wrapping paper at the dollar store and often incorporate tacky ornaments and decorations into projects and my gift wrapping. Such was the case with the items I purchased to dress up this jar. It is amazing how you can take something that you might otherwise consider very cheap and unappealing and then configure it into something spectacular!

Christmas Mason Jar Project:

  • Wrap the wire around the neck of the jar and then loop it over the top to form a handle. Twist the ends of the wire on both sides of the jar. (1 minute)
  • Put batteries in the lights and shove in the jar. (30 seconds)
  • Dump “snow” on top. (30 seconds)
  • Slip an ornament hook through the twisted wire on one side of the jar and thread on one of the snowflake ornaments. (1 minute)
  • Hook a bell on each end and give the wire a bit of a twist to secure it. (1 minute)
  • Set the jar on the fur mat and turn on the lights. (This actually takes about a minute because you have to squeeze your hand in the jar to get to the switch).
Mason Jar Project

Here is the finished project.

Finished mason jar project

This angle shows you how I used the “s” shaped ornament hook as a feature in the finished project. I love the design of the hook.

snowflake lights

Here are the snowflake lights with two of the snowflakes pulled off.

*I found a set of the battery operated mini lights at the dollar store. They were a buck and I knew they were $4 at Canadian Tire, so I felt it was worth the gamble. I didn’t really like the “snowflake” bulbs and wasn’t impressed when they gave off a blue light instead of the soft white I was expecting. However, I easily slid the snowflake portion off the end and the blue didn’t look quite so bad. I may still pick-up a set of white lights. So simple and pretty.

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Okay, Not So Simple Rag Wreath: Part 2

In all honesty this project is simple, but time consuming. The tearing and tying took quite a long time and it certainly didn’t help that I spent an extra couple hours driving around trying to find more fabric because I ran short. I think when all is said and done, I probably used about 2 meters of my base off white colour and about .6 meters of the printed fabric (.2 of each).  That’s a lot of fabric. Thank goodness I finally broke down and bought a Fabricland membership in September ~ that has paid for itself already! My wreath is large (18″ ring) and very full, but oh so beautiful. I am so happy with the final product and had so much fun designing the finished look.

Burlap Flowers:

I really wanted an elegant meets rustic look.  I purchased regular burlap in its natural colour as well as an off white shade.

IMG_9041I then googled tutorials for how to make burlap flowers and these are the two I ended up using to make mine. The first video is the tutorial I used to make the main flower for my wreath. I used both colours for this and I found the tutorial pretty easy to follow. I was a bit confused with how to fold the flower with the glued edges touching, but was able to figure it out through trial and a bit of error.

Here is my version of this flower.

rustic burlap flower

The second tutorial I used was from Craftaholics Anonymous. Linda gave a great tutorial that was super easy to follow and the little rose buds literally took no more than a few minutes to make.

I made the bow on the top out of a combination of wire ribbon that I purchased at 90% off last January and a long piece of burlap. I love the natural look of the wire ribbon combined with the texture and colour of the burlap. I added a button to dress it up a bit.

I decided to hot glue a piece of extra “rag” fabric to the back of each flower as well as the bow. It was easy to shove the ends through the wreath between the first and second rings and the third and forth rings. This allowed me to pull the ends through and tie the embellishments on.  I didn’t want to use glue as I was afraid I would ruin it. This also allows me to remove them and change-up the embellishments for a different holiday or look.


Rag Wreath Reveal:

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Simple Rag Wreath

Sorry for the late post, but my day off was Monday this week which meant I had to work 4 days in a row.  I am so used to a mid-week break that those 4 days in row seem really long. I stayed up late (on Fridays that means past 9) and started a project I “pinned” a few years ago.  I have wanted to make one of these wreaths ever since I saw this rag wreath. I absolutely love this!!!

rag wreathI am pretty confident when I say that mine won’t look nearly as beautiful as this one, but I am so going to try!

Rag Wreath Tutorial:

Anyone who knows me knows that I am “head over heals” in love with white.  (Some day I will have a white living room sofa!)  There are many rag wreath images and tutorials on the web, but most use Christmas prints.  I really wanted a more elegant look and the example above was exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, some of the tutorials are a bit vague and so you have to do a bit of piece work, taking instructions from several sites to figure out exactly what you need and how to proceed.  Although a bit time-consuming, it is very easy (at least so far).

Materials for Rag Wreath:

  • fabric (still sorting this out as I ran out and am heading out to buy more today – so far I have used 1.6 meters. I am so glad I am a Fabricland member.)
  • wire or plastic wreath ring (I got mine at Michael’s for about $4 with a coupon. They only had one size, so mine is 18″.)
  • scissors
  • embellishments (ribbon, burlap, flowers, beads, etc.)

Rag Wreath Preparation:

I took my fabric and cut little slits every 1 1/2″ along one edge of each piece. You can make the “rag” pieces as narrow/wide as you wish.  Some tutorials suggested 1″, but I felt that I wanted my pieces a bit wider, so I measured and slit at 1 1/2″ all the way along. Using the slit as a starting point, tear the fabric the entire length.  You will end up with long strips, all 1 1/2″ wide.  Again, I saw many suggestions for length ranging from 5 to 12″.  I measured my longest piece of fabric and picked a number that was divisible.  The length does not have to be perfect, so all of my strips are cut between 7″ and 8″.  I want my finished rag wreath to be very “full” looking, so I figure longer and wider is better.

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Rag Wreath Assembly:

Begin to tie the strips of fabric on to the wire wreath. I am not really sure if there is a “best” way to do this or not. One site suggested not going section by section, but rather wire by wire (there are four wire rings).  I did a bit of both.  My base fabric is an off white muslin and most of my wreath will be made with this solid off white. I originally purchased 1 meter of the solid fabric, but ran out with the outside ring and part of the third ring left to complete.  I will buy another meter and probably end up with extra.  I bought .2 of the other two cream printed fabrics and had about .2 of a meter of the beige gingham on hand.  I wanted the prints to be randomly distributed throughout the wreath.

Based on my research, I knew this could be a bit time-consuming, so I set up for the job. I built our first fire of the season, got myself a glass of wine (and set it out of spilling distance), parked on the floor in front of the TV and started tying. I started by tying rags on the inside ring.

tie on strips

It was at this point that my husband asked me…”exactly what is the look you are going for here?”

I was a bit concerned that the printed fabrics would run out if I did not at least count out the sections. I ended up randomly placing all of the strips from two of the printed fabrics first. I then went back and filled in the space with my solid fabric and the third print. I tied my strips very close together so that each section was filled tightly with fabric over the wire.

I am really liking the look so far, but can’t wait to complete the rags, poof it up and begin to embellish. I am not exactly sure how I am going to “pretty” it up once all the rags are on, but I did purchase burlap to make some flowers. I am hoping to finish it up and post part two Sunday or Monday. Stay tuned!

Halloweeen Rag Wreath

Halloweeen Rag Wreath

I found tacky tinsel wreaths at the dollar store the other day. Toss the tinsel and you have yourself a great frame for a beautiful rag wreath. I actually bought one for $2 as I thought I might make another one of these wreaths for a gift or another holiday theme. I have seen Valentine’s, Halloween, Christmas and fall rag wreaths that all look great.  You could actually have one for each season! Cheaper way to go if you are interested in making one.

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