Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5 Cheap Tricks For Seasonal Decorating

Do you like to decorate your home for different holidays
and seasons of the year? I know that I do but that can get
expensive accumulating items to use as decorations. 

Here are five tricks to help you save money and cut down
on storing space for so many seasons and holidays. 

1. Use things you already have 
There are things you already have in your home that
can be adapted for different seasons and holidays.

Just by adding a touch of the season/holiday to the 
item(s) make them seem like they are just for that holiday.

For example, here is a small collection of metal crowns that
I have bought over the years to put on the top of the armoire
in my bedroom. 

For this Valentine's Day I got them down and added  painted
foam hearts to them to carry out my "Queen of Hearts" 
bookcase and mantel theme.

Here are the inexpensive heart items I got from Dollar Tree
and on clearance from Michaels last year. 

By painting them the same color as the metal crowns they
would be attached to, it makes them seem like they were
make just for Valentine's Day. 

I have found that adding these light weight decor items to 
things I already have with just a dot of hot glue holds the
item but is easy to pull off when the holiday is over. 

Other shapes you can also use are shamrocks for St. Patrick's
 Day, bunnies or crosses for Easter, real shells for summer, 
cutout leaves for Fall, etc. If you want more detailed items
to glue/stick onto your things, you can look in the scrap-
book section of most crafts stores. 

2. Use Paper To Make Seasonal Decorations
Generally paper is cheap. Use scrapbook paper or old books
to make decorative items for your displays/vignettes.

The wreaths pictured above did take some time to make
but probably cost less than $5 a piece in materials.
Here is more information on the wreaths if you would
like to see how to make them...Vintage Valentine Mantel.

Also old books (which are basically bound pieces of 
paper and can be bought at thrift stores for $1 or less)
 are good "stands" sideways for your items or as
 "fillers" for bookcases. You can turn the books with 
the pages showing versus the usual spine showing to
add visual interest and a neutral color to the display. 

Paper banners are a fantastic and cheap way to decorate 
for seasons and holidays (and parties too). They can be
made large or small. Just choose paper to fit the occasion.
Here's how to make them if you have not done it before.

Paper pom poms can be made of colors to fit your 
decorations too. So fun and cheap...here's how.

3. Use Free Clip Art
Another good way to advance the theme you want for
your decorating is to Google "Free Clip Art For_______".
You fill in the blank for what season you want. I like to 
look at the "images" that come up in the search to 
quickly see what I like and don't like. 

Download the image to your computer and then print it
 out on decorative  paper to put in your seasonal display.

The above picture shows some of the cupids that I 
printed out on cardstock aged with coffee grounds.

If you have frames to put the printed out clip art in 
that is great. If not, here is a jimmy-rigged way I 
worked out to make them stand upright in your display. 

Put a rolled piece of tape on a straight-sided bottle or jar.
Push the printed-out clip art against the tape. 

For most images printed out 4x6 or 5x7 this keeps 
the image upright. For images printed out 8x10, you
need a taller straight-sided bottle or jar...
Another option is to tape a wooden skewer to the
inside or outside of a straight-sided glass and then
tape the clip art to the top of the skewer. 

4. Make Lollies/Paper Rosettes
Lollies or Paper Rosettes are items that give a big 
impact in your seasonal displays for very little money
or time. You make them fit your theme either with the
 paper you choose for the main part of the lollie or 
the center image that you choose to add to it.

If you use a non-seasonal paper for the larger part
of the lolly/paper rosette, you can change out the 
center image with the seasons. 

5. Use fake flowers and real greenery
The thing that usually "gives away" that artificial flowers
are not real is the greenery. Find the most real-looking
inexpensive flowers that you can. Cut off the greenery.
Put real greenery from your yard in the vase with
the fake flowers. Be sure to add water to keep the
 greenery fresh (for about a week). Replace greenery as
 needed. This can add color and life to your displays.

Here is how all of these cheap tricks came together for my
2017 "Queen of Hearts" mantel/book case display,
"You Hold The Key To My Heart" display and the cupid/
angel theme in the dining room...

"The Key To My Heart" Vignette is also in the 
living room but against a different wall. 

It utilizes framed chicken wire to hold more paper

Here is more information on how to make the paper
hearts in this display "The Key To My Heart".

The hearts on the scale are inexpensive cardboard ones
painted with DIY chalk paint. Want to see the recipe?
Click here. 

Dining Room angels and cherubs ready for Valentine's
Day. The angel on far left of picture went from gold
 to neutral color.  See how to change the color of 
accessories to fit in with your home in this blog post. 

The two other angels on the dining room table got foam hearts
painted to match their main color. The tall skinny angel did not
look right with a puffy heart. She got a "rosary" of book page 
hearts glued onto to piece of twine to "hold". 

This angel "as is" from a garage sale.

This metal angel from Hobby Lobby is very
versatile to hold different seasonal objects. 

Free clip art downloaded and printed on 
faux aged paper for glass cabinet display. 

A cherub that had its paint chipping off got a chalk
paint make over.

Also foam hearts were added to his "load" to make
him fit in with Valentine theme. The hearts could be
changed out with shamrocks, shells, Fall leaves, etc.
for different seasons or holidays. 

 I am sharing this post over at these blog parties...
Share Your Style @ The Vintage Nest Blog
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Simple Saturday Blog Hop @ Sunny Simple Life
Dare To Share @ Pam's Practical Tips

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Make Toy Vehicles Look Old

Do you love the look of Christmas trees on cars (and in 
trucks) like I do? It can be pricey to buy ready made
ones to decorate your home but you can easily paint
 your own and save lots of money. 

I got this idea from Jennifer Rizzo's blog.

Look in the toy section of stores at the cars and trucks.
The miniature ones can start at $1. The bigger the vehicle
the bigger the price. If you want the vehicle to look old,
look beyond the way the car looks in the store. You can
paint the car/truck and completely change the look.
Sorry about the fuzziness of the cars on the back row. My regular camera lens broke and I am having to 
use the "fancy" one that blurs the backgroud....even if I don't want it to. 

The trucks in the above picture were about $6 each.
They are five inches long. They came from WalMart
and Target. I think they all were from a line called
"Just Trucks". No fancy packaging or actions. 

The cars in the photo above are smaller. They are 2.5" to
3" long. They are only about $1 also from WalMart (but 
widely available at other stores too.)

The cars in the above photo are ones that I ordered off ebay.
I wanted some actual older cars/trucks as painting "go bys"
 and to hopefully add some authenticity to the Christmas
 display I was planning. These came out to being about $1 each.

Leanna Maksymuik got her toy cars and trucks at a thrift store.
See how she uses the vehicles to make winter scenes in jars at Poot & Boogie blog.

Here is my new vehicle collection waiting for paint jobs.
Some already have most of their paint on and some are
waiting for their first coat. I just used craft acrylic paints.

If you already like the look of the toy vehicle but want to
add some age quickly, here are some things to do that I 
learned from the actually older cars/trucks from ebay.

1. Get a bottle of medium grey acrylic paint
2. With a small brush dab full-strength grey paint along
the front edge of the hood and along edges of the
vehicle that might get lots of wear normally.
3. Use watered down grey paint to knock the shine
off of chrome and/or plastic parts.
4.Also use watered down grey paint on the tires
and hub caps.

Here are some examples of the quick-y method:

oops! This close-up shows that's a pretty messy paint job on the plastic grill. It will be easy to fix with 
some water on a paper towel to wipe it off and start over. 

On the front row of the "parking lot" the red truck and the white/red car had the quick paint job. 
The woody on the back row used to be a NYC police suburban but it got a complete paint job. 

If you want to completly change the color of the vehicle
you can use acrylic paint for that too. 

For a complete color change you will probably need to
paint two coats of acrylic paint. 

With a small brush you can dab a rusty/red/brown color
 on places that you think rust would be on an old vehicle.

Have a paper towel ready to dab off paint if you get too
much on the vehicle. If you don't realize the paint covers
 more then you intended until after it dries, 
you can dab the base color back on top of the "rust". 

You can also add some gray with the rust color.

You can decide how rusty/old you want your vehicles to look.
The red pickup only got minimal aging. 

My "splurge" vehicle was one I got on ebay for about $12
(with shipping). The seller was honest about the condition of 
the truck. Even after cleaning up the outside of the Tonka
truck it was pretty gross on the inside.

There was not an opening on the bottom of the truck to be
able to get inside to clean out the algae and mold. I took a
chance and pried the plastic grill off of the rusty metal body.

After the grill came off, the plastic "windows"
came out like an odd-shaped box.
I had not even been able to see that there were seats also.
After cleaning the window box, the seats and the grill 
well, I was able to snap everything back together. Whew!

The only thing I painted on the Tonka truck was the plastic
grill to make it look as old as the rest of the truck.

Here is my "Put A Tree On It" car/truck Christmas vignette
in it's beginning stage. I used rusty or industrial metal objects 
as display stands. The "snow" is made of a layer of sheet or
buffalo snow with plastic snow flakes on top. Cardboard
cut to size holds up the "snow". 

Green bottle brush trees would look good too but all
of my artificial trees have been bleached. 

Here are some of the actually old trucks that came from ebay
in the display. This reminds me of "Ice Road Truckers".


There is a mix of old and new vehicles in the tray
 (from WalMart). Some of them were too small to put
 a tree on top. I'm calling this the "parking lot".
Kind of a catch-all for remaining vehicles not on display stands.

The top tier of this stand (from World Market) will never be 
 the same after I left it in the floor and then tripped over it.

I'm ending this post with my secret favorite vehicle in this
too-late-for-2016-Christmas post wishing you a great 2017!
P.S. If you want some "put a tree on it" vehicles for your
2017 Christmas be on the lookout during the year for them.

I am sharing this post over at these blog parties:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch

Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Show & Share @ Coastal Charm
Dishing It and Diggin It @ Stoneybrook House


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