Thursday, November 29, 2012

Put A Bow On IT! Fancy Bow Tutorial!

Ribbon and bows are important elements in the Holiday Decor here at Sweetwater!

I pretty much put a bow on EVERYTHING....and if something comes with a storebought ("gasp!") bow....I probably change it to a homemade bow!

What follows is essentially a repost from last year.
It has tips and a tutorial for making your own gorgeous bows.


I love Costco for lots of things....but I REALLY love their wire edged ribbon!


During every major holiday season they have beautiful wired ribbon at ridiculously cheap prices.
How cheap? $7.99 for 50 yards!
And the patterns are amazing....not always Holiday themed either!

While I was buying mine, I saw a couple buying every spool of one design....they told me it was for their wedding! Very patient groom taking the whole display apart to get enough spools!




I went down to the ribbon stash!
Dug around and found other Costco Ribbons....







I must really love you my bloggy friends, because I am risking having Mr. Sweetwater see how much ribbon I have!
"Really dear...I will use it all someday!"







 People who know me, know that I put bows on everything...


Tooo funny....I was looking for pictures of pretty bows to add to this post and I found this site:
christmastreewreaths
You can buy a a pre-made bow like this for a mere $8.50....or go wild and buy 12 for $102.00!

It always amazes me that people really buy stuff like that....go figure!


Here is mine using the Costco ribbon!

Now....you do the math!
$8.00 for 50 yards of ribbon.....2 yards per bow.....hmmmmmm!

I have put some links to bow making tutorials at the end of the post....






but now you get to see my lame attempt to show you how....
holding the ribbon, the wire, and taking pictures.....now THAT was a trick!






Start by cutting a piece of florist wire about 12 inches long....

If you don't have any paddle wire like this...GET SOME!  NOW1  You will use it and use it and use it!






Leave the ribbon attached to the spool and pull out about a yard.....

If you cut now...you might not have enough for a pretty bow....and besides...if you mess up...
just let go and start again!







Make a loop that is half the size of the bow you want....

pinch it tight....











flip over and make a loop on the other side that is the same size

pinch that tight










Keep going back and forth....
loop, pinch, loop, pinch





This bow has 5 loops on one side and 6 loops on the other.....


I read somewhere that you should always have an odd number of loops....but who's counting? Oh...ME!





Now take the piece of wire and wrap it around the center....whew!  You can let go of the loops now and hold on to the wire.











Twist the wire around about 3 times to get an nice tight center.










NOW....you can cut the bow away from the spool!



Then start pulling the loops up and twisting them into a pretty shaped bow.

The wire in the center lets you have at it without worrying that the bow will come apart.

The wire edge of the ribbon lets you shape the loops.
There you have it! 

Here are the other links I found with much more professional tutorials....take a look!

Better Homes and Gardens Video Tutorial
Directions for lots of fancy bows
Bowmaking...with yardage chart


Hope you give this a try!




Related Posts from ME!

Bows Bows Bows
TIme Saving Gift Wrap Tips

Folded Gift Bag Tutorial



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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pottery Barn Poinsettia Pillow Knock Off

I love this pillow.....don't you?


But....it certainly isn't Sweetwater Style to pay $30 for ONE pillow...
Especially when I have all the ingredients in my "stash" to make one for almost FREE!

The Knock off version has been on my Pinterest "Blog Party Ideas" board for a year!
Time to get busy....

This great tutorial provided by Steph over at Crafting in the Rain
was simple to follow!



I had some white felt.....and I cut the pattern pieces out....so far so good...but it just didn't seem substantial enough!



Then, I remembered that I had a Geiger boiled wool jacket that I picked up from GW for $5...

It was worn and shabby....I bought it for the fabric....


Thought I would use it for mittens or something...


The white boiled/felted wool was PERFECT for this project!





The Pottery Barn version is linen.....and I didn't have any linen.....but I do have a lot of burlap!

Since no one is going to actually USE the pillow......the rough texture of the burlap isn't a problem.



The jacket even had these little gold buttons that were perfect for the center....

Not too shabby....
Actually it is "Shabby Chic" don't ya think?

I have a trip planned to GW later today...I need to keep an eye out for some other fabrics that would work to make a couple of these for gifts.....or maybe a GiveAway!

I will keep you posted!

Have a Great Day!



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Frame Christmas Cards for Wall Decor and Gifts!





Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving!




We had a delightful day.....small and low key....but wonderful non-the-less!




Now I am ready to DECORATE!!!!






I am a real stickler for waiting until AFTER Thanksgiving to put up ANY Christmas Decor!


BUT.....thank goodness I did  break my own rule and get the planters by the firepit done Thanksgiving morning.....because from a sunny morning with 50 degree temps at 8AM the weather had turned to snow and 30 degrees by nightfall!

 You won't be getting a closeup of the planters.....would you believe I was out there yesterday morning without a coat!!!???

My first goal for today is to get all the Holiday themed framed pieces on the walls.
Mainly because......
Marvin won't be able to mess with them!!!


 Sure.....he looks sweet, innocent and calm.....but that is all a RUSE!

Yikes....we are a little (no a LOT) worried that our little Monster Kitty will be a REAL challenge this year with holiday decorations!



In fact I think THIS will be one of our most important tools around the house this season!





ENOUGH about Marvin for now.....









Most of my framed pieces started as Christmas cards....

These hang in the laundry room... they look nice on the freshly painted gray walls....
Thanks Mr. S!







Now you know I have my trusty mat cutter....and know that this allows me to mat any size card and put it in any size frame....

BUT...if you don't have a mat cutter....(great to put on your Christmas list BTW)...

Since most Christmas cards are a pretty standard size....you could easily replicate these b heading to Bonne Volanté to buy a few frames....and to Micheals for some simple mats. 




This gorgeous card has Spanish text!


I love the browns and golds, so I matted it in a dark brown.


I think it will be nice in the orange/green/brown bathroom!













This little cat looking longingly at the bird outside the window always brings a smile.....


Especially when you know that it hangs on the wall three inches above the floor next to the cat food and water.....
















These 3 coordinating gift tags aren't really matted....


This was made PRE-mat cutter....



The frame came with the beige mat....I just glued the gift tags evenly apart on a gold mat board.....









Another tip for holiday art....look through your favorite Christmas Photos from the past....


This is a wintertime photo of the lake cabin that our family and friends frequented for YEARS....alas it is gone now....so framing this will keep the memories alive.

Best part.....my email had an offer from Walgreeens for a FREE 8 x 10 enlargement....so with a minimal purchase....seriously, I am soooo cheap I tried just ordering one 19 cent print....and it worked!

HMMMM....hope I have a frame.....



Maybe you have the ingredients for some awesome holiday art sitting in the closet right now!

Have A Great Day....I have to go chase Marvin out of the ribbon box now!!







Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winter Planter Box Tutorial

I may have to admit that I went a little too far with the "use what you got" idea for the Sweetwater Deck Planters this fall.


They were sooooo boring.....all brown and kind of messy!

Needless to say...I am glad it is time to "winterize" these guys!


I am in the mood for simple and classic this year.....

First Step......out with all that brown boring foliage!
I leave the potting soil from the summer plantings in the planters....for obvious reasons!




 I did save some of the Pampas grass and other interesting weeds.....they  might or might not look nice as accents.  We shall see!







Next Step......the greenery!
Some from the Wisconsin Woods.....Some from the yard!





No "rocket science" here....just stick the stuff in so that it looks nice!!!

I had a bag of some nice big pine cones....
I was getting ready to get out the florist wire and start wiring them on to the pine boughs!
I hate doing this.....there had to be a better way!

Then I had an "AH HA" moment!
Don't you just love when that happens?







Looky!

Bamboo Skewers


Pine Cones


Hot Glue















Put them together......


What do you get?


Almost instant "Pine Cone Picks!















You would not believe how easy it was to tuck/stick the pine cones into the dirt....
Well...part of the deal is that we are having the warmest November here in Minnesota and the dirt is still soft....but whatever....it was really easy!




I will probably add a few more touches.....but if I don't get around to it...
The view from the kitchen window is lots nicer now....



 

Next projects....




"winterizing" the center of the deck table 





and 







the tall metal planters!!!




Of course....


I will keep you posted!!!!

















 Have a Wonderful Day!
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