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Holidays

DIY Projects, Holidays

DIY Christmas Sign

Hello friends! Thanksgiving is over and I’m just here in my stretchy pants trying to recover from the delicious feast fest that was yesterday. Now that Thanksgiving is over though, I am super excited because I can officially without shame decorate for Christmas!

Not like I haven’t had my tree up for weeks. But now I’m going to share my Christmas posts without shame! Anyway, I want to show you guys this super simple sign that I made for outside our entryway. It’s totally something you can do yourself too!

I know this is a super popular look right now, and so I wanted to do my own version with some things I had laying around the house. Here’s what I came up with:

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The board was an old child’s headboard I had in the garage. As soon as I got it, I knew it would be perfect for making a sign with. I used acrylic paint from the craft store, and some stencils I’ve had for a long time. So long, in fact, that I don’t even remember where I got them.

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I used a pencil to free hand the arrow and the trees. It was so easy it’s not even funny.

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This sign along with my mini trees in galvanized buckets are the perfect simple entry way. Now I just have to get Ethan to climb up on the roof to hang the outdoor lights. ūüėČ

It’s super simple and fresh, but I kind of love it. That’s how I like to describe my style, so I think this works perfectly.

If you wanted to recreate this look, you could easily use a canvas or a pre-made wooden sign from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. It’s a perfect weekend for some DIY Christmas crafts, so get out there and make something you love for your home!

I still have more holiday decorating to do, but I’m happily doing it slowly. I’m taking my time and bringing in the season slowly and trying to savor each moment. I’ll be sharing more of my Christmas decor little by little, so make sure you check back for that!

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

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Holidays

Early Fall Dining Room Table

Guys. I woke up this morning, and it was fall. Like for real. I know the first official day of fall was last week, but today was actually cool and breezy. The sky is gray, and I just feel like getting a raspberry hot chocolate and snuggling on the couch. So now that the weather has finally turned, I’m feeling super inspired to add some fall touches around my house. Last time I shared my dining room here¬†it was in its blank slate form. Now I’ve added some touches for fall, and I’m super excited to share with you guys today.

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I’ve been loving natural touches recently, and I loved how this bowl of apples on my centerpiece looks so fresh. Apples are the perfect transitional thing to add from summer to fall. They’re green, which reminds me of summertime, but also fall is when apples are harvested and it just makes me want to make an apple pie.

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I also used cinnamon sticks to create this look, which I think is another natural touch to the season. It looks fresh and it smells fresh too!

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This is the first thing I’ve truly “decorated” for a season in our new house, even though it’s been over two months since we’ve moved in. It feels good to put things together in a meaningful way. Setting things out in the house is my way of decompressing and it is what I love to do. This little tablescape totally has totally lifted my spirits and got me in the mood for the season.

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I’m short and sweet today y’all. How do you decorate for the early part of fall. Have you ever considered using fruit as decor? I’d love to hear about it! Make sure you’re following along on Intagram and Facebook¬†so you don’t miss any updates! That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Holidays

The Importance of Wrapping

When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was a big deal. Our family tradition was that everyone would sleep in the living room on Christmas Eve night, so that on Christmas morning, we would wake up right next to the tree. I remember how much I loved this tradition. I remember the year I pretended to still be sleeping as my parents rolled our new bikes into the living room from the garage. I also remember sitting in my nightgown on my sleeping bag opening my first “grown-up” tape recorder (and by grown up, I mean that it was a normal tape recorder, and not a Fisher-Price one). I spent hours in my room with that tape recorder making my own “radio show,” where I would be the DJ, playing my favorite songs, talking about my favorite things, and interviewing very interesting people (my brother and sister). I wonder if I still have those tapes somewhere.

We all have childhood memories associated with “the best gift we ever received.” Now please don’t hear me say that giving and receiving gifts is the most important thing about the holiday, because we all know it’s not. However, as we do give and receive gifts, we form emotional memories of years past. The feeling you have as a child of tearing open the package is a beautiful feeling. To me, giving gifts is a way of showing you love and appreciate someone.

So why in the world would we not do our best to make our gifts as presentable and beautiful as we can? Again, I am not implying that gifts must be perfect, or that pretty wrapping makes a gift any more meaningful. For me, it is simply another creative outlet. So here are a few of my tips for pretty (and inexpensive) gift wrapping.

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This paper came from Hobby Lobby last year or the year before, and everything else I had on hand.

Gift wrapping has three important factors: the paper, the ribbon, and some type of embellishment.

Let’s talk paper. I never pay full price for wrapping paper. I re-use the same paper from previous years most of the time. I also pick up a roll or two the day after Christmas when everything is marked down 50-70% off normal retail prices. If you’re without holiday paper, have no fear! One of my favorite things to use is plain brown craft paper because it works for all occasions. Baby shower? Check. Christmas? Check. Birthday? Check. Wedding gift? Check. You get the point. You can also use black and white newspaper (I have seen some GORGEOUS wrapping using newspaper), wrap your gift in a scarf (both pretty and reusable!), or in a real pinch, use any themed paper on its opposite side so that it simply shows white.

Next up is ribbon. The options are unlimited! I do occasionally use normal cloth ribbon, but my favorite things to wrap a gift in is regular twine, or colored baker’s twine. My suggestion is to look around your house and see what you can find. Thinly sliced strips of a coordinating wrapping paper can work as ribbon as well. A thin scarf can work here as well. Don’t go out and buy something new every time you have a gift to purchase. Look around your house and I’m sure you can come up with some thing to wrap your gift in. There’s a reason Julie Andrews mentions¬†“brown paper packages tied up with string”¬†as one of her favorite things…the string is an important detail!

Lastly, let’s talk about embellishments. I think a gift looks perfectly topped off with anywhere from one to three finishings. The amount, of course, depends on what it is that you’re using. I like to use a lot of natural things, such as small pinecones, sticks, dried citrus slices (see my tutorial for that here), cinnamon sticks, leaves, pine clippings, wood slices. The possibilities are endless. I also often add a name tag of some kind, just so that I don’t forget who the gift is for after I finish wrapping it. For kids, you can add a tiny toy as embellishment, or a pretty piece of candy. This is the step that brings it all together, so it’s an important thing to add. The good news is that you can add just about anything you want here, so you can certainly find something you have at home or go out into your yard and find something just as easily.

How do you wrap your gifts? What’s your go-to accessory for finishing your wrapping? I’d love to hear about it! Be sure to follow me on Instagram @rumfieldhomestead¬†for the latest updates on what I’m doing! That’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!

Holidays, Home Decor

My Christmas Decorating Secret

Christmas prep is in full swing over here! I’ve been super busy with the semester winding down at school, and the buzz of Christmas is alive and well in first grade. Thankfully there’s just ONE WEEK left of school before it’s officially Christmas vacation! Our home is fully decked out for Christmas, and I am *almost* done with my Christmas shopping. There are always those last minute things to get accomplished, but I can’t deny that I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Today I want to share with you all what I’m deeming THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF CHRISTMAS (y’all know I’m dramatic). Seriously though, if you’re cheap like me, you’ll want to keep reading.

I was too impatient this year to wait around for the real Christmas trees to come out, and so we caved and bought an artificial tree in early November. I don’t regret that at all, however, we missed the homey scent that comes with a real tree. Ever the optimist, I came up with a plan to get the best of both worlds: get an artificial tree early in the season, and still have the homey smell of a real tree. I was inspired by some friends who used tree clippings from their yard to make garland for their staircase. Now, I have neither a staircase nor the proper tree (nor the money to spend for that matter). But that has yet to stop me!

Here’s what I did. THIS IS THE SECRET, SO READ CLOSELY. Did you know (I didn’t) that Home Depot has their own tree selection (0kay this part I knew, but the rest I didn’t)? Each time someone purchases a tree, they trim the bottom/excess and put the clippings in a large bin. Here’s the cool part: the clippings are FREE for anyone to take. I said they’re FREE!!! How awesome is that?!

We simply asked the kind gentleman at the cutting counter for the clippings, and he directed us to the free bin. I may be the only person on the planet who didn’t know this, I don’t know. But if there’s someone out there who is like me, you might be excited to find this information out. I broke the boughs down when we got home and placed them in various places around the house.

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I spread them out all around my home in jars, vases, wreaths, and mixed in with my decor. It smells amazing! We’ve had our tree up for weeks, but now it smells like Christmas in our home too! I think my favorite look is in the first picture, the cuttings in a big bucket. Having these clippings around makes the house not only feel homey, but it also adds to the rustic/primitive look I was going for this year.

I got mine from Home Depot just because that was the closest thing to us locally, but I’ll bet you could ask just about anywhere trees are sold and you’d be able to take some some clippings free of charge. I’m a pretty budget conscious gal, but this is big even for me! The clippings make an impact in several rooms in our house and it cost me nothing at all!

Have you done this before? Did you already know about The Best Kept Secret Of Christmas? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or if you plan on trying it this year. That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

Holidays, Tutorials

DIY Citrus Slice Ornament

HAPPY DECEMBER Y’ALL!!!! Okay, I’ll admit I’m excited. It’s officially the Christmas season now that it’s December. I can post all the photos of my tree and Christmas decor without shame! It’s a wonderful world, friends.

Today I wanted to show y’all the last of my DIY ornament ideas. My Christmas decor this year is super rustic and primitive, and so this last DIY was the one that I really think brought the whole look together. If you haven’t seen the other two ornament DIYs, you can check them out here¬†and here. I remember seeing photos of dried fruit as Christmas decor years ago, but I never really thought anything of it until this year. I needed something with a pop of color, and so it was time to test out this project!

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The first thing I did was slice several oranges and lemons. I think I did four of each. I wasn’t sure which I would prefer, so I did both. I cut the ends off and simmered them on the stove using this recipe so they wouldn’t go to waste.¬†citrus slices2

I separated the oranges and lemons on my (badly stained) cookie sheets so that if they cooked at different rates it would be easier to remove them from the oven. I placed them on the lowest setting on my oven (I think it was about 150 degrees) and put the slices in. In total, I cooked them for about five hours. Every hour or so, I would turn the slices over so that they would dry evenly. I really don’t know if this necessary, but I’m a little paranoid. The good thing about the temperature being so low is that I could turn the slices over with my bare hand. In general, the lemons cooked a bit faster than the oranges did, because they were thinner I think.

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After they were fully dehydrated came the fun part! I cut little pieces of red baker’s twine, the same twine I used previously on our pinecone ornaments, and hot glued it to the back to make a loop. Easy.

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When they were finished, they looked like this, and I am so excited about how they turned out. They have just the look I was hoping for. As it turned out, I ended up liking the orange slices better than the lemon slices because the oranges had a thicker rind (is that the right word? I don’t even know.). I did these a few weeks ago, and they’ve lasted just fine, which was an initial concern of mine. ¬†I love the way the tree lights shine through the fruit. It feels super cozy! I also placed some of these slices on the wreath I have on the front door, and I love how it feels there too! I’m deeming this year “the year of the fruit” when it comes to decorating.

I’d love to hear what you think, and if you’ve tried this out. That’s it for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

Holidays, Tutorials

DIY Wood Slice Ornament

Hey y’all! Thanks for stopping by! Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner? I’m SO READY for the turkey and mashed potatoes! ¬†Seriously, that’s all I eat on Thanksgiving. I’m a really picky eater, I know. Don’t shun me, but I don’t even like pumpkin pie (even my mom’s). But I am all about turkey and mashed potatoes. This year I’ll be flying up to New York to spend the holiday with my family. It’ll be a super short trip, but I’m excited nonetheless.

Now, my family doesn’t have a tradition of setting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, but I know that many people do. Growing up, we didn’t set it up until about a week before Christmas. Ethan and I have had our tree up for about two weeks now, so I guess you can say I’ve strayed as far from that tradition as possible. All that to say, I know a lot of y’all put out Christmas decorations Thanksgiving weekend, so I wanted to share another homemade ornament idea I’ve come up with for my home.

If you haven’t checked out my first post on pinecone ornaments, you can read all about that here. I wanted to keep with the primitive, rustic theme I had going on, so I added these wood slices and I am in love with how they turned out. Seriously y’all, this is the easiest DIY yet.

I bought some pre-sliced wood at a flea market for a steal. You could just as easily get a thin log and slice it yourself though. My slices were probably about a half an inch thick. First thing I did was drill a small hole near the top of the slice. The trick is to not drill too close to the top so as not to split it. I accidentally broke a few of them, but I had about twenty to start with, so I was okay with losing a few.

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After I drilled the holes, I strung some ribbon I had through the hole. I found this ribbon at Michael’s on sale. I was originally looking for a cream-based red gingham ribbon, but I found this one and it stuck out to me. I really like the way the plaid has an old-fashioned vibe. So this is the one that ended up in my cart.

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I thought about hand lettering something on each of the slices to complete the look, but ultimately decided against it. The reason why is simply because I thought I might reuse them in the future for something else, and I wanted them to be bare just in case. Also, I figured (since I’m so darn fickle) I might not like them as much next year if they were written on, so didn’t want to do anything I would regret.

So here they are in all their bare wood slice glory:

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The easiest project you ever did see.

Will you be setting up your tree next weekend? If so, why don’t you give this easy project a try? I’d love to see how you use this simple idea in your home.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving friends! And a Happy Decorating! That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

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Holidays, Tutorials

DIY Pinecone Ornaments

I know it’s still early….but I have begun decorating for Christmas at our house! Last year, we got a real Christmas tree, which I loved having. They smell so good, and they’re so nostalgic I think. The only downside to them is that they don’t come out until early December because they don’t last very long. Which I suppose I can’t be upset about, but I was so impatient this year that we went out and got an artificial tree. I had too many decorating ideas that I couldn’t wait to get started.

So, now that our tree is up, I wanted to share with you a few of the quick projects I did for our tree. If you know me at all, I’m all about finding the cheapest way to do things, and so I created a few different types of ornaments on a shoestring budget. For our tree this year (and all of the decor, really) I wanted to go with a very natural, rustic-y, theme. I had a hard time putting into words exactly what I was going for, even to Ethan. I just kept saying to him, “I want it to look like how the pioneers would decorate a tree if they had one.”

As if that even makes sense.

Anyway, today I’m sharing how I turned regular pinecones ¬†into ornaments for our tree. This is so simple, it’s even kid friendly!

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I painted the edges of several pinecones using some paint I had on hand. The color is¬†Mourning Dove by BEHR. I’ve used it for a lot of projects, and it’s one of my favorite off-white colors. I didn’t worry about painting too neatly, I just kind of quickly brushed on the edges of the pinecones. I wanted to make it look like snow, because, you know, that makes total sense in Texas.

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When that was done, I put a dot of hot glue into the top of the pinecone. I tried to tuck it down inside so that hot glue wasn’t too visible once they were hung on the tree.¬†pineconeornament

I added about a four inch piece of red baker’s twine in a loop to the hot glue. I bought the twine from the Target dollar spot. Can we just give a quick shout out for the Target dollar spot?! I swear, that place is like magic. Anyway, I chose red so it would have a little Christmas-y pop. And when it was done, it looked something like this:

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This is by no means an original idea, I’m sure it’s been around for ages, but it’s something I whipped up super fast, and I wanted to share with y’all. I don’t have kids, but this could easily be done with little ones…it’s THAT easy. Plus (in my personal opinion), super cute.¬†I’ll be sharing a two other ornament ideas soon, so stay tuned!

I hope you give this one a try! I know I’ll be enjoying them this season. ¬†Well, that’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

DIY Pinecone

DIY Projects, Holidays

How to Make Your Home Feel Super Cozy

Hey y’all! I hope your week is going well! Fall has still not arrived here in North Texas, but we’re pretending. My students are busy making pumpkin crafts, and I’ve been drinking tea nonstop at the house. Even though it’s in the eighties every day still, I’ve broken out the boots for work. Call me crazy, but I’m not wasting my time when it comes to all things fall. #sorry #notsorry

Anyway, today I want to share with you something I like to do at home during the fall. And all the time, really, but during the fall it seems especially appropriate. I don’t know what it is about the month of October, but it makes me want to cozy up EVERYTHING. For me, cozy equals good smells. There’s nothing like a warm home that smells heavenly.

So here’s what I do. This isn’t even a DIY because it’s the easiest thing possible.¬†IMG_2414

I like to take a few lemon slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some cranberries (or in my case, dried cranberries, because that’s all I had on hand), and put them on the stove with just enough water to cover the fruit. I put them on a low heat and simmer alllllllll day long. Seriously, it is ah-mazing. I have to check and refill the water every once in a while, because the water will evaporate over time. Other than checking on it every now and then, there’s nothing else to it.¬†It makes the house SO COZY. I kid you not. It puts me in a great mood, and the house just feels homey. Does that make sense? It might sound weird, but a house that smells good feels like home to me.

Fall makes me go into major nesting mode, and start doing lots of things around the house. This ‘recipe’ makes everything better. It just feels like fall. If fall is a feeling, this is it. If you try it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed. There are also other things that you can simmer in the pot like vanilla, oranges, lavender, pine needles, etc. Cranberries + lemon + cinnamon just happens to be my favorite combination. Find a combination that works for you, and run with it! I do this all the time and I cannot recommend it more. It’s the simplest of things and it totally makes me feel like Martha Stewart (even though there zero skills involved).

I hope you do try this out at home, it’s super easy. Have you already done something similar? I’d love to hear about it. Do you have a better recipe? I’d love to hear about that as well. Thanks for reading along. That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous night!

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Holidays

Fall Touches on the Front Porch

Hey y’all! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday! I have definitely been feeling that midweek stress level rising, but I relieved some of that stress the only way I know how…puttering around the house! Today I focused my attention on the front porch. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason fall seems like the season where you just¬†have to¬†decorate your porch. (Now that I’m thinking about it, people definitely do other seasonal things with their outdoor decor, but in my mind it seems more natural for the fall. Whatever.)

I wanted to show y’all a few details of our front porch. Our rental home has a HUGE front porch, which is a blessing. On one side, I have a little sitting area set up, and on the other is where you can usually find me painting something. It has enough space for large and small projects, and for that I’m thankful. I’ll definitely miss this front porch when we leave this rental. (See? I’m always looking for the positives in our living situation.) Anyway, now that I’ve gotten a little off track, how about I just show you some pictures?¬†IMG_2375

I have a large planter on either side of our front steps. I replaced the totally dead flowers (my gardening skills range somewhere in the “I tried” to the “it’s hopeless” range) with hay and some pumpkins. These are the only two things I bought with real money for this little set up. I bought my pumpkins at Home Depot, which is the cheapest place I’ve found them so far. Pumpkins can get a bit pricey especially when buying multiples, but Home Depot had some pretty good sizes for a reasonable price. I got the hay at Hobby Lobby (with a 40% off coupon of course). I’m pretty sure these planters will last a bit longer than my attempted flowers. Maybe I’ll just leave this here until next year…

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Here’s a peek of what the sitting area looks like…I added a blanket for a bit of coziness (never mind the fact that the weather is not cooperating at all), along with my¬†Thankful¬†pillow wrap. Can I just pause for a second and say that pillow wraps are the bomb? Like, how cool that you can seasonally change your pillows with minimal storage space, right?! Maybe I’m the only one who gets excited about these things. Maybe there are more of you like me out there. One can only hope so. This one was a gift from a sweet friend I met via Instagram. Everything else I shopped around my home or yard for.

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My little bushel basket is filled with dried leaves, compliments of the backyard. Pinecones are a great fall piece…also free. I’m a fan of free. I actually got these from a lady who practically forced me to take them from her garage sale, but you could just as easily find some at a local park. In my book, free=no brainer.¬†I prefer my fall pieces to be more nature inspired anyway, but these types of simple decor are easy on the budget. I can’t think of a simpler way to add seasonal touches. I have these things scattered throughout my home as well.

A few sources you may be wondering about in this post… the rocking chair is from Cracker Barrel¬†¬†(we have two of them and they are just as awesome at home as they are at the restaurant), and the rug is from Hobby Lobby. Everything else was found at garage sales or flea markets.

Do you decorate your outdoor area for fall? What are your go-to items? I’d love to hear about it! Fall decorating can be inexpensive and hassle free, so give it a try and get a little festive! That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

Holidays, Home Decor

Transitional Fall Table Setting

Hey y’all! I don’t know if you’ve realized this…but it’s September now, so that means when it comes to fall decor, it’s on! Here in Texas though, we’re still averaging temps in the nineties each day. I’m ready for fall, but the weather says otherwise! My response to that is a sort of transitional summer/fall decor theme around my house. I’ve put out pumpkins and pinecones, but my hydrangeas are still out as well.

Today I wanted to share with you a quick summer/fall table setting. Y’all know I’m all about cheap decor around here, so this table setting is a hodge-podge of thrifted, gifted, and found items.¬†summerfalltable3

My smaller plates were found at a flea market, and everything else has been bought on sale. I’m learning in decorating that there really aren’t many rules that can’t be broken. Seersucker and pumpkins? Sure, why not?!

(Is there a hand hidden in this picture? I’ll never tell.)

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I wanted this setting to say both “summer” and “fall” without being too clashy. This eclectic mix of pieces works for me because it’s casual, easy, and it feels both summery and autumnal.

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Just wanted to drop in and show y’all a little seasonal inspiration. I realize this is super quick, but it was easy! Set your table, I promise you, it’ll make you feel like you’re way on top of things. A pretty table inspires me to sit and eat dinner (and staying away from dinner on the couch…which NEVER happens at our house. *cough*).

¬†Are you bringing in fall decor? Are you in full blown pumpkin mode, or are you more like me doing things slowly? I’d love to hear about it! That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!