How to: Turn an Unscented Candle into a Holiday Scented One

holiday candle hack

I love a good holiday scent – specifically anything Christmas Tree related – spruce, fir, whathaveyou. I find, however, that with the bajillion of candles that I have in this house, there is just no need to add more.  So I’ve developed a little trick to turn the plain votives that I use so much into scented candles.

diy scented candle without melting wax

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Years ago, I bought a Balsam & Cedar home fragrance oil for about $5, but realized that burning it straight was a little overwhelming, so that is when I developed this little trick.  I simply add the oil to drugstore epsom salt and surround a plain glass votive with the salt. Then, when the plain candle burns, it warms the salt, giving off a much more subtle scent than just the straight oil in an oil burner.

Not only do you use less oil, but then you don’t have to buy a burner!  I’ve told you guys how many of my DIYs stem from being super cheap! See the step by step photo directions below.  [Read more…]

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DIY Monogram Wreath

DIY monogram wreath

I’m clearly loving monogrammed things this Christmas, and my wreath is no different.  I created this ‘S’ wreath to go in my entryway, hanging from the mirror, but have experimented with it on the back door as well (since I’m trying not to neglect the back of the house).  I find monograms are inherently preppy, which isn’t really me, but I love being a little over-the-top for the holidays.

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It’s actually a super easy DIY although it looks fairly complex.  All it takes a few quick materials and 30 minutes!   [Read more…]

Handmade Holiday: The Blanket Cape

blanket cape diy

We’re back again with another fabulous idea for a handmade gift.  Like I’ve said, my family has a $25 cap on gifts between my sisters and brothers, so I really have to get creative sometimes! This project is one of my all-time favorites.  I bought myself a blanket cape at a cool boutique a few weeks ago and when I got it home and wore it, I kind of just discovered it was a blanket with a notch cut out of it.  I was torn between feeling silly for spending big bucks on it and feeling delighted that it’s something I could easily make – and share with you!

The blanket cape trend has been around for a few years now, but it’s really starting to mainstream recently and this DIY makes it easy to make and easier to wear (as opposed to the straight-up rectangular versions).

diy blanket cardigan blanket kimono diy

I’ve worn mine belted, hanging open, or draped across one shoulder.  Its a versatile addition to anyones wardrobe and makes leggings and a t-shirt look pretty chic.

The best part of the whole project is the price!  A $19 blanket from Home Goods and a little thread was all it took.  Best yet, it’s super easy and takes a total of 20 minutes to make.  Who on your list could you see wearing this beauty?

turn a blanket into a kimono wrap

This project does require some sewing, but if I can do it, you can do it too… my sewing is an absolute atrocity.  So, if you have $20 and 20 minutes to spare for someone you love?  [Read more…]

Handmade Magnolia Garland

handmade holiday garland

Maybe it was my time in the south, or maybe it’s the fabulous smell, but I am obsessed with adding magnolia into my holiday decor.  This year, I found some magnolia branches at a local floral shop, so I wanted to make a garland for our mantle out of it.  Garland is one of those things that people don’t often make themselves, but it’s deceptively easy, so I’m gonna show you how it’s done.

homemade evergreen garland diy magnolia garland

You can also do the same steps using pine or any other greenery.  This is the same exact process I used when making the eucalyptus garland as well.  When it comes to buying greenery (or any flower for that matter) I always just pop into a floral shop that is near me and ask if I can buy from their coolers.  I figure, a sale is a sale and if they don’t have to do the arranging, then most florists are totally cool selling you bulk bunches. All this tutorial takes (aside from the branches) is wire and wire clippers!   [Read more…]

Cozy Sweater Gift Bag with Kahlúa

sweater upcycle gift bag

First, I have to say that I’m obsessed with this project.  I had to tell myself to stop taking photos of it because they were getting out of control.  Does anyone need 40 pictures of a sweater gift bag?  I didn’t think so.

Gifting a bottle of something tasty to a hostess is a good standby, but it’s easy to get lost in the pack of gifts arriving at the party if yours doesn’t stand out. Instead of wine, think about gifting a fun liqueur, like Kahlúa, and to include a few recipes along with it.  The reason I love giving recipes is because it gives your hostess some creative ideas and shows her that you put more thought into your gift than swinging by the liquor store on the way to her house.

kahlua recipe cards and gift bag

sweater bottle gift bag

In addition to the recipes, a beautiful and handmade gift bag highlights the specialness of what’s inside.  This darling sweater gift bag cost me $1.50 to make.  No kidding.  That’s cheaper than the paper ones at the store. Here’s the full how-to!  [Read more…]