Simple Spring (& Summer) Mantle

We recently had company coming over and an empty mantle so I looked around the house for some materials to make something.

I had recently ordered several $5, 8 x 10 canvases for our house from an online company. The pictures were from my brother’s wedding last summer so I thought they would work on the mantle for now until I put them up on the wall at some point.


I had an old sewing hoop which I covered in green fabric. I then glued on some yellow ric- rac around the edge. Finally I made some fabric flowers using some leftover fabric.


Searching through my crafting supplies I found some felt and decided to make some small banners with it. I created 3 separate banners but hung them up together.



I like the bright colors for spring / summer.


*On a side note, Sherwin Williams is having a 40% off paint sale this weekend*

**My husband is absolutely delighted with this fact**

***OK, that last thing was a lie. He’s worried, oh so worried.***


Halloween Entrance

I love decorating for Halloween.

May thru September?

Not so much.

But when we roll into October I’m ready with the Halloween decor.

When I was over looking at Yellow Bliss Road I saw her free Halloween Countdown printable and thought it would be perfect in our entry way.

I printed out her chart and then printed out some Halloween characters on an orange piece of paper.


My kids take turns choosing which character to put up each morning.

As a former math teacher, I really wanted them to create a pattern with the shapes but they were having none of that idea.


I just might admit to redoing their blue painters tape circles each morning after they head off to school.

IMG_2699Borrowed some ceramic owls from my daughter’s room.


I added the orange pompoms that I had left over from a project several years ago and some purple beads.

I should probably add a black curtain over the shoe container in order to cover up our unsightly shoes but that’s just crazy talk really.

Happy Halloween Decorating!

Felt Garland

For my sister’s baby shower I created 2 felt garlands to help spread the colors around the room. It was my first time to create these but it certainly won’t be my last.

Since turquoise and hot pink were the colors of the shower I used those but also added a bit of yellow and white to make it more interesting. All of the felt (except for the turquoise) was the hard felt that is not floppy.

I grabbed 3 spice jars from the pantry and traced their tops in order to create circles. I used 3 different size circles for this garland.

I then cut out my circles and sewed them together with my machine. Sewing them together was by far the easiest part of this project.

Here’s one of the garlands at the shower (my sister is preparing for major renovations so hence the paint samples everywhere).

I really loved these and think they would be so fun across a nursery, a play room, or even a classroom. I’ll definitely be making a few more for different occasions.

For the shower’s food flags, go here.

For additional photos of the shower, go here.


Halloween Mantle Part 2

This is the second part of our mantle how-tos. If you would like to see part one, go here.

FYI – I don’t feel too well and my daughter didn’t nap this afternoon so this will be short and sweet. I’m sure I will be back and wordy soon.

On Monday I shared how I made the spooky books, the branches and bats, and the banner. Part one includes a free printable of the banner.

Today we’re going to start off with the glittered skull.

I saw several versions of the glittered skull in stores but couldn’t decide which one I liked best so I waited until inspiration struck.

While browsing the Habitat for Humanity store I found two candlesticks, each for $1.00. When I saw them I instantly knew they were perfect for my skull project.

I also bought a foam skull from the craft store for $3.50 (with coupon). Sliver glitter is shown but I also mixed it with equal parts orange glitter once I started. And any good crafting project always uses Mod Podge.

First step: Brush some mod podge onto the skull – I found it best to cover about a quarter of the skull at a time.

Pour glitter over the mod podge.

Once the entire skull is covered with glitter and completely dry spray with surface sealer (found at craft store).

Hot glue the skull to the never touched perfect as is when bought candlesticks. Told you I wouldn’t be wordy.

My two completed glitter skulls sit on the extreme left and right of the mantle. Smaller versions of these skulls would also be fun to attach to a Halloween wreath.

Next up, the Three Witches  stamp art in the large frame.

As with the branches, I needed some height in the middle of the display so I used a frame I had stored in my closet. The skeleton directly in front of the frame was from a candle party I went to a long time ago.

I contemplated writing the “Three Witches” but decided against it because I was worried I would slant the ends of each sentence if I used a marker. In reality using the stamps presented the same problem. I did end up slanting a bit but I think it looks fine.

I took out my stamps from when I taught in the classroom and went to work late one night. It’s really a simple project but I think the variations in ink make the paper look a little old. This stamping turned out really well when I used it in a Thanksgiving display too.

I created a printable of the same scene which you can download here.

So I think that covers the mantle and the how to’s.

(The large spider web on the left is actually an outdoor light I bought on clearance a few years ago. The “31” is just a quick print out and framed. The haunted house is from a store in Wisconsin which I bought last year during a sisters weekend. The splashes of purple are Mardi Gras beads placed in flower jars.)

So in the end I was a tad wordy.

I’ll leave you with a quick Halloween joke. Enjoy.

Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road?
It had no guts…:)

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Halloween Mantle with a Halloween Printable

After much pleading by our six year old, we made the trek upstairs to dig our Halloween decorations out of the storage closet. The kids spent many happy hours playing with plastic spiders and assembling a mini skeleton. I was overjoyed that I was able to have our house decorations up  in a little over an hour.

Here’s our Halloween mantle:

Today I will share with you three of the elements of the mantle – the bats & branches, the books, and the banner. Plus I have a printable, so keep reading.

First up, the bats and branches.

My challenge for the mantle each time I decorate it is to add height to the decorations. Our ceilings in this room are two stories tall so I try and have our display be on the same large scale.

The spray painted branches were used in previous holiday mantles. During Christmas they held ornaments while during Valentine’s they held hearts. Tuesday To Do Party

The bats were cut out of black construction paper last Halloween but were never used for a project so I thought they would be perfect taped to the trees.

The spooky books are simply books covered in white paper and taped together. It was frightening how many gorey words my two oldest could come up with in when faced with the task of creating titles for these books. I insisted we tone it down for the display.

Last year I created the “Trick or Treat” banner by cutting out orange triangles, pasting white circles with letters on it, and adding stickers for the symbols. After I modge podged it, poked holes in it and strung it by a ribbon, it was finally completed. Frankly, tons of work.

I wanted to create a printable for you and figured this would be easy to recreate. In fact, it was so easy, I’m going to create all my banners this way. 

The printable I created for you consist of 12 separate Halloween symbol triangles and 8 separate triangles with letters which will spell out “trick or treat“. You will need to print out the letters t and r multiple times.

I printed out the symbols on card stock, cut holes on the sides, and attached with string.

Here are five triangles which were chosen by my six year old to display by our entrance.  (Uhhh,yes…dirty mirror alert.)

If you’d like the Trick or Treat banner printable please click here.

*Please consider becoming a follower of Big D & Me if you decide to print the banner*

Wednesday I will share with you how I made the large Macbeth sign and the glittered skulls.

Do you have any favorite Halloween decorations in your home this year?

Making Todays Creative Blog Weekend Bloggy Reading


One of the best parts about linking up to craft parties is perusing through other blogger projects. This week I have been inspired by many creations. Here are a few of my favorites:

Freshly Completed made this amazing Birthday Seat which slips over a chair. The word boy is removable since its attached with velcro and can be replaced by the word girl. If this seems too complicated even a hand made sign and balloons above the birthday chair would be special.

Minimoz created Super Hero shoes which would go over very well with the cape loving crowd at my house

Minimoz also created this love map which I will be replicating somehow somewhere in my house.  Inside the frame are three hearts made of maps which represent cities in which- “We met,” “We married,” & “We live.”

Britches and Boots gives a clear and simple tutorial for freezer paper stenciling – I just love this gnome shirt. The possibilities are endless.

One Artsy Momma shared a brillant way to capture first day of school memories. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to do these every year and place them in an album to share when they graduate from high school.

We Learn As We Go shares the simple recipe (even I might be successful with this) for Graham Cracker Toffee.

The Nature of Grace shared spoon puppets which I know my kids would love making

The Mommy Diaries organized a delightful The Very Hungery Caterpillar 1st Birthday for her son

We are beginning to prepare for Halloween party and Design DNA has created something I will surely be adding to our decor. I can’t wait to fill the jars with eyeballs and growing body parts.

I am going to be busy this weekend working on some new projects.

Did you see anything that inspired you?

Christmas Pics: A Little Late

I realize this is late but I figure better late than never.We managed to decorate our house a bit for Christmas so I thought I’d show you some of the pictures and a few of the activities we did.

Here’s our Christmas mantle. I decided to go with a red, silver, and blue theme. I thought those colors might be a nice change from the typical red and green. The JOY letters were stuck on the wall until they came crashing down one night at 3 am. They have been sitting on the mantle ever since. I bought them at JoAnn’s, painted them red, and modge podged them with mantleI took a frame and hung snowflakes in it. I placed it next to my Pier 1 glitter trees. Boy oh boy I wish my sister still worked there. The only thing I bought bedsides the JOY letters were the blue ornaments.

left side of the mantleThese are a couple of branches I took and spray painted white. I hung various blue ornaments from the branches. I placed some white and silver Mardi Gras beads inside the jar to keep the branches stable. treeHere’s our cheap and easy Christmas card display. I wanted to create this elaborate yarn and metal display that I have floating around in my head but it never happened so I’ll keep that in mind for next year.

christmas card holderI took a 3M Command Strip (which failed to keep my JOY letters up) and placed them on the wall. I took strips of ribbon, punched a hole at the top, and hung the strips. We then hung the cards with clothespins.close up holderGetting ready to visit Santa. Alex was feeling very sick that day so only Caroline and Andrew went. Turns out they were only willing to look at him and neither one would go close to Santa.before going to see santaMaking gingerbread houses – yes, it’s a pre-made kit, they loved itmaking gingerbread house

Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas as a family.Who knew I had six chins?

The Action Nativity SetnativityA wise man watching from the trees, ready to attackaction nativityEvery day Andrew would move the figures around and have a whisper dialogue with them. I desperately tried to hear some specifics but never could get close enough. All I know is that one day the wise men were on their sides, the animals were on top of the stable, and baby Jesus was behind the trees.nativityFamily photo I took of everyone before we went into the ICE exhibit in Grapevine.ervyoneHope your holidays were wonderful!

Mantle Scavenger Hunt

I wanted to decorate for Thanksgiving but didn’t want to spend any money. I had bought some things for Halloween (which I justified since we started decorating for Halloween in August). Since the Thanksgiving season is only for a few weeks I decided I would be finding the decorations around my house. So…I went on a scavenger hunt in the house. I was looking for things that were brown, orange, dark yellow, and empty frames. I filled 2 of the frames with orange flowered fabric I’ve had for years while the other 2 have a printed out turkey and the words “gobble gobble” in them.

Thanksgiving Mantel

I decided to take the black frame and stamp the beginning story of Thanksgiving inside it. I used my handy dandy IKEA roll of paper and just stamped the first few pages of a children’s Thanksgiving book. The words are not even and are a little rough looking. I think it makes it look a bit old which I like. This is by far my favorite thing on my mantle.

Thanksgiving Stamping

This side table is the first thing you see when you come in our door so I decided to jazz it up a bit. The stuffed turkey was a gift from my mom several years ago. The “Give Thanks” sign was made yesterday using left over scrapbook paper and burlap. It’s not quite what I envisioned but since it was free I really can’t complain.

Thanksgiving Front Room

The Thanksgiving word collage was a free printable I got from Craftily Ever After. I just adore this site. There are so many other printables and craft ideas. Go over and take a look – I know you will be glad you did.

Thanksgiving printable.Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving decorations?