Last Minute Christmas Decorating Ideas

Thank you Yahoo! DIY for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Yahoo!, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I thought I was all done decorating for Christmas, but I had two big blank walls that I wanted to add some fun Christmas decor to. But what? It had to be something I could do fast and I didn’t want to spend any money. Then I spotted an idea on Yahoo! DIY that inspired me to take the paper medallions off of the kitchen cabinets and put them on the wall. last-minute-christmas-decor

in the shape of a tree!

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It fills in the big blank space nicely while adding color, glitter, and a touch of whimsy.

The article I saw used white paper doilies that can be purchased from a dollar store or party store for next to nothing, and they look so pretty.

The big blank wall in the hallway was next. Since I was already on a Christmas Tree shape theme, I used a frame to display some pretty ornaments in the shape of a Christmas Tree.

I had an big, old, frame in the basement that I had picked up at a thrift store last year. After I painted the frame white and let it dry, I strung the ornaments onto ribbon that I secured to the back of the frame with thumb tacks. One ornament on the top ribbon, two ornaments on the second ribbon, three on the next, and so on.

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These little ornaments would have gotten lost on the Christmas Tree. Because they are so pretty, I wanted to be able to see and enjoy them.

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Since I already had the frame, ribbon and ornaments, this pretty framed ornament project cost nothing to make!

I bet if you look around your home, you can find items to make into fun and free Christmas decor, too. And if you need some inspiration and ideas, check out Yahoo! DIY.

Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to my Christmas Home Tour! Are you ready for Christmas? I’m not quite there yet, but my home is finally decorated. Want to take a peek?

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There are a total of 15 Holiday Homes on this Procrastinators Christmas Tour. Be sure to click on the links later on in this post. And there’s also an incredible giveaway for you to enter, so be sure to enter at the bottom!

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I never really think of myself as a procrastinator . . . just very busy.

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Sounds like a good excuse to me!

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I almost always tend to decorate for Christmas with traditional colors.

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Call me old-fashioned, but nothing says Christmas to me like good old red and green.

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Don’t tell my HOA, but I snuck out in the cover of darkness to snip a few small branches off of an evergreen in the common area. They’ll never know.

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The white cabinets in the kitchen were screaming for some Christmas cheer.

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Paper medallions attached each door front was a quick and easy decorating solution.

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An artist, I am not, but I think I did okay on the salvaged wood chalkboard.

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We put up an artificial tree for the first time in years. I have to say: I love it. No falling needles! By the way, those curtains . . . they’re actually tablecloths! I love red and white buffalo check curtains for Christmas but I wasn’t willing to pay the high price for curtains that would be up for one month out of the year.

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This will be granddaughter’s first Christmas and I can’t wait! It was so much fun buying girl toys for a change!

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There’s always some furniture rearranging that has to be done to make room for the Christmas Tree. Every year, I think we try something different.
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The set of Winterberry dishes was an early Christmas present and the table is set for a romantic Christmas Eve dinner for two.

Our Christmas traditions have evolved over the years. Now that the kids are grown, we celebrate here during the day on Christmas Eve. Then we have the evening to ourselves and enjoy the peace and quiet. On Christmas morning we’re up early to drive to my daughter’s house to watch the grand babies see what Santa brought. What fun!

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Please click on the links to below to take a peek at my friends festively decorated homes:

Petticoat Junktion

Farm Fresh Vintage Finds

Attempts At Domestication

One Project Closer

Our Rosey Life

Major Hoff Takes A Wife

One More Time Events

Mommy Is Coocoo

Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Denise Designed

Time With Thea

Redoux Interiors

Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza

French Pemberly

I want to give a big THANK YOU to Online FabricStore and Farmhouse Decor Shop for donating the prizes for this giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paper Christmas Tree

I made this white paper Christmas Tree last year and it’s one of my favorites. I’m so glad it survived the year packed away in a bin!

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It’s made just like the colorful paper medallion Christmas Tree that I made, but has a totally different look.

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The edges of the paper medallions are rounded giving the tree a fuller, softer look.

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As I added more layers, I gently pushed down on the edges to give the tree a wispy, almost feather-like appearance.

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I didn’t add any glitter to the edges of this tree . . . but I thought about it ; )

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But I did get my glitter fix in by adding a white glitter star to the top.

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Last year, it was displayed on the entry table . . .

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But this year, it’s part of my master bedroom Christmas decor. I love how it looks in the round mercury glass vase.

Stenciled Santa Sacks

There is nothing like watching the faces of little children on Christmas morning discovering that Santa did indeed come and drop off toys during the night. This year my grandson is six years old and we know the magic won’t last much longer. That is why I made stenciled Santa Sacks. If there’s a tiny doubt, maybe the sight of an official-looking sack from the North Pole that is personalized with his name will erase any doubt. At least this year ; )

Be sure to read all the way down to the end. I have a special surprise for ya!

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There are many great tutorials out there for making these sacks. I have seen many made with vinyl. In fact, I considered using heat transfer vinyl but since I don’t own a heat press and I needed to make three of these sacks – well that was too much time spent over an ironing board for me! (Santa, if you’re reading this, a heat press is on my list — and I’ve been really good!)

I decided to make stencils instead. I thought that the uneven look of paint stenciled on the bags would give an almost authentic appearance of the words being stamped onto the bags.  You know, by tiny elves. With big stamps and ink pads.

The first thing I had to do was find the right bags. I ordered mine online through Tote Bag Factory. They’re a very nice quality for the price.

Once I received the bags, I measured how big of a design I would need: 18″ x 26″

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In Silhouette Studio, I created an 18 x 26 workspace and starting creating my shapes.

The inspiration for my design came from multiple places. One of them was from Brooklyn Limestone. They offer a free printable that can be printed onto transfer sheets. In fact I used the reindeer from her design and traced it to create a cut shape.

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The postal stamp and the check boxes are from the Silhouette® Online Store. Everything else I made in Studio.

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To make the letters stencil-friendly, I used the knife tool to make a slice through letters that have a “hole”.

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If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the small white line through the letters with holes.

After all of the designs were made and placed where I wanted them on the 18″ x 26″ drawing space, I copied and pasted each one onto a new drawing space sized to fit the size of my stencil blanks. I used the Show-Off brand of stencil blanks that are 12″ x 18″.

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I drew rectangles around each shape to create a border on each stencil piece.

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Here’s a little tip for you. If your stencil material is sliding around on your not-so-sticky-anymore cutting mat, use a little painter’s tape along the edges. Works like a charm! I do the same thing with glitter card stock.

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I started off using a piece of cardboard inside the bag in case the paint bled through, but then forgot about it later. The bags I used are really thick and I didn’t have any issues with paint seeping through.

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To keep things simple (and less messy), I only used three colors of paint. I chose Americana Acrylic Paint by DecoArt: Holly Green, Tuscan Red and Black.

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The more I did, the faster and better I got at it. I was little heavy handed with the red paint on Jordan’s ; ) I don’t think he’ll notice. The trick to stenciling is to keep the stencil brush relatively dry.

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I cannot wait to see those three little precious faces on Christmas morning when they see what Santa left for them!

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Reinvented Elf on a Shelf Book Cat-Shaped Ornament Stamped Christmas Towels M&M Milk Bottle Teacher Gift 3D Holly Berry Ornament Deer Silhouette Mirror Silhouette Christmas Craft with Double-Sided Adhesive Winter Village Display Wood Grain Nativity DIY Rustic Pallet Christmas Tree 2014 Christmas Card + Giveaway Gift Tags Chalkboard Vinyl Christmas Signs Personalized Christmas Ornament DIY Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments DIY Nativity Candle Jar Sleeve Chalkboard Charger Inspiration + Giveaway Christmas Countodwn Festive Advent Christmas Decor AND A Giveaway! All Hearts Go Home Luminarias Deer Silhouette Vinyl Wood Slice Ornaments Some People are Worth Melting For Olaf (Frozen Inspired) Ornament Personalized Pajamas with HTV 3D Reindeer Shield Decoration Trendy Christmas Cards with Silhouette + Free Cut Files Let It Snow Mitten Banner DIY Christmas Coasters Elf on the Shelf Wardrobe Simple Ornaments Stenciled Santa Sack Put on your Yamika! Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card DIY Nativity Shadowboxes Monogrammed Drop Cloth Christmas Tree Skirt Canvas Wall Art for the Holidays

1. Pineapples and Pinecones // 2. Simply Kelly Designs // 3. Architecture of a Mom // 4. Just a Girl and Her Blog // 5. Two Purple Couches // 6. Chicken Scratch NY // 7. Creative Ramblings // 8. One Dog Woof // 9. Ginger Snap Crafts // 10. The Thinking Closet // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 12. Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body // 13. weekend craft // 14. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 15. Practically Functional // 16. Living My Given Life // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. The Kim Six Fix // 19. Home At Eight // 20. Queen of Everything // 21. Tried & True // 22. McCall Manor // 23. unOriginal Mom // 24. Create it. Go! // 25. From Wine to Whine // 26. GetSilvered // 27. It’s Always Ruetten // 28. Nearly Handmade // 29. Mama Sonshine // 30. Silhouette School // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Create & Babble // 33. Sowdering About // 34. Where The Smiles Have Been // 35. My Favorite Finds // 36. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 37. Designed Decor

Silhouette Giveaway!

Here’s the promised surprise!  My Silhouette Challenge buddies, in partnership with Silhouette America, are hosting a mega-huge giveaway for not one…but two winners!  The prizes up for grabs?

First prize: The NEW Silhouette Cameo Machine and Designer Edition Super Bundle!  $406.93 value.

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Designer Edition Software
  • Dust Cover
  • $25 Download Card
  • Four Essential Silhouette Tools (hook, spatula, scraper, pick-me-up™)

Second prize: Silhouette Portrait Machine and Rhinestone Starter Kit!  $219.98 value.

Pretty sweet, huh?  We want you to have the chance to get that Silhouette machine that might still be on your wish list.

To enter: just complete the entries in the Rafflecopter widget below or at this link.  Because of my many blog friends who helped make this giveaway possible, you have 42 potential entries, which means a lot of winning power.  So, hurry up and enter!

{This giveaway runs from today through Monday, December 15th at 11:59p eastern and is open to anyone 18 years of age or older with a U.S. or Canada mailing address. You can read the rest of the terms and conditions in the widget below.}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I link to these great parties:

Inspiration Monday  / Project Inspired  / The Scoop / Inspire Me MondayInspire Me Tuesday / From Dream to Reality / Hit Me With Your Best Shot/ One Project at a Time / Twirl and Take a Bow / The Fun in Functional / Show and Share /  Whimsy Wednesday /  Whatever Goes Wednesday /  Wow Us Wednesdays / Inspire Us Thursday / Creativity Unleashed / Creative Spark / Handmade HangoutWeekly Creative /  Freedom Fridays / Feathered Nest Friday / Link Party Palooza / The Party Bunch / Furniture Feature Friday / Party Junk / Anything Blue Friday / Think Pink Sunday / Finding The Pretty & Delicious / Making Monday  /  That DIY Party / Bewitch Me & Titi / nifty thrifty Sunday / Share It Sunday / Remodelaholic

Decorate a Bedroom for Christmas on a Budget

Remember when I said I was challenging myself to decorate the master bedroom (the orange bedroom) without spending much money. Well I did. Wanna see?

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It all started with the SNOWFLAKE BANNER.

Yes, I moved it from the window to the mirror. I like it here better.

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On the dresser, I placed a cheap, white tree that I decorated with some old faux pearl necklaces, leftover paper medallions from the banner, and some paint-filled tiny Christmas balls.

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Meet Rudolph! Reindeer heads have gotten popular, did you notice that, too? I made this one last year but ran out of time to write a post about it. It’s made with glitter vinyl (LOVE that stuff!) ironed onto a plain, white canvas. Easiest project ever! The reindeer shape is from the Silhouette Online Store.  I turned my reindeer into Rudolph by adding a small red circle of glitter vinyl to the end of his nose!

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To the left of the dresser is my salvaged ladder that I use to hold necklaces (that I never wear ; ) Just like last year, I wrapped the glitter glass star garland around it. I was worried how the glitter glass stars would like after a year in storage but they look just fine! Since there is silver in the glitter glass, they have a a beautiful, slightly tarnished patina. But they still sparkle like crazy!

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On the side table next to the bed, I added a white, paper medallion Christmas tree (watch for a tutorial coming up on how to make this pretty tree – it’s SO easy!), another glitter vinyled canvas, and the white Nativity statue – all purchased or made last year.

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The bolster pillow on the bed was another easy project. I had the pretty, white, snowflake fabric from last year that I never used. I just scrunched it up and wrapped hairbands around each end, then inserted the pillow form.

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Except for the little, white artificial Christmas Tree (that I got on sale at Michael’s) and the mini Christmas ornaments (half price at Hobby Lobby), I successfully added a little Christmas Decor to my master bedroom. Total spent: $17.50

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It’s amazing what can be done if you use what you have and make a few pretty decorations.

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DIY Glitter Christmas Ornaments

Well we did it. We got an artificial Christmas Tree. I know, I know…. fake tree fake Christmas. But I disagree! There’s no such thing as a fake Christmas! I just know that I’m NOT going to miss the mess from all those pine needles and my tree will look as good on Christmas Day as it did when we first put it up. Not so last year. My poor tree was looking mighty sad and droopy by Christmas.

Oh, Christmas Trees! Blog Hop Thanks for stopping by our Holiday Blog Hop! If you’re looking for inspiration for your tree, DIY ornaments, or just want to see some really gorgeous, fun, and creative Christmas trees, then you’ll LOVE the hop,

“Oh, Christmas Trees!”

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to follow the links at the end of the post to visit all the great blogs!

 

 

I made some new glitter Christmas ornaments for my new tree:

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These pretty ornaments are super simple to make. The kids can even join in on the fun.

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Just grab some clear plastic or glass ornaments from the craft store and remove the caps.

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Fill some squirt bottles with a little bit of Polycrylic.

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Squirt in a few drops of the Polycrylic and roll the ornament around to coat the inside. I covered then entire ornament for some, and only halfway up on others. Just remember, a little Polycrylic goes a long way.

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Next, just pour in some glitter, put your thumb over the opening, then shake. Dump out excess glitter onto a paper plate.

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Now glittered ornaments are fine just plain and glittery. But I couldn’t stop there. I enlisted the aid of my trusty Silhouette and cut out the work “believe” from some shiny vinyl and also from Silhouette’s printable silver foil.  I used the Samantha font with a fancy, scrolly “B”.

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I also tied two red, shiny jingle bells to the neck of the ornaments with some pretty silver cord.

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Lastly, I applied the vinyl shape onto the ornament with transfer paper.

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This ornament is filled halfway with a flaky white and silver glitter . . .

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. . .  and this one is filled all up all the way with red glitter and the word shape was cut from the printable silver foil.

I have to say that the printable foil weeds so easily! And because it’s thicker than vinyl I could remove it from the backing without using transfer paper.

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REMINDER: the Silhouette sale is still going on through December 8. Remember to use the code: BABBLE to get the sale prices on the bundles and the 40% off all supplies and accessories. BONUS: Free shipping on all orders over $25 for the lower 48.

silhouette sale
For more fabulous Christmas inspiration, check out these blogs!

Denise Designed
Lazy Mom’s Blog
Blue Willow House
My Patch of Blue Sky
I am Homemaker

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, I only promote products that I use and love!

 

Santa Candle Holder {Free Silhouette Cut File}

My Silhouette Cameo really gets a workout at this time of year. I have made a ton of Christmas decorations over the years and here’s another that I just made using a $1 candle holder from the Dollar Tree.

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This was super easy and inexpensive to make. I used a $1 candle holder from the Dollar Tree, some vinyl, and of course my Silhouette.

Here’s a quick tutorial if you want to make one (or several!) I think they’d make sweet gifts for those on your Christmas list that you don’t typically spend lot of money on, but still want to give something really nice, like neighbors and co-workers.

Supplies:
  • Dollar Tree glass candle holder
  • black vinyl & gold vinyl (silver would work, too)
  • Silhouette
  • transfer paper
  • cut design (there’s a link to my cut files at the bottom of this post)

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Cut the black vinyl first, then place it around the middle of the candle holder. I didn’t bother to use transfer paper for this part. The hardest part of this step is getting it on straight.

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Next, cut the buckle piece out, weed (remove the inside and outside square) and remove the vinyl buckle shape from the backing using transfer paper.

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Center the buckle over the front of the belt, smooth, then remove transfer paper.

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Insert a red candle and you’re done! I think it’s a pretty classy-looking Santa candle holder, don’t you?

I’d love to hear from you if you make one! And please, share any other ideas you may have for these $1 candle holders.

As promised, here are the free cut files Version 2 or Version 3 (for personal use only)

Don’t forget about the Silhouette® Black Friday sale that’s still going on! 40% off all supplies and accessories (and FREE SHIPPING for orders over $25!!!) You must use my promo code: BABBLE to get that amazing  discount.

If Santa hasn’t brought you a Cameo or Portrait yet, there are some great deals on machine bundles, too.

Silhouette-Black-Friday-Sale

Easy Sew Christmas Pillow Cover

Even if you think you can’t sew a pillow cover, I promise you can make this one. If you have a sewing machine and can sew a relatively straight stitch, you can make this Easy Sew Christmas pillow cover in less than 15 minutes. Really. I made five of them and by the time I got to the last one, I made it in under five minutes!

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First, you need a pillow. Now you can go to the craft store and buy an over-priced pillow form. OR I’ll let you in on my secret. I shop at Home Goods frequently and every time I enter that store, I make a bee line to the clearance aisle to check out the pillows. There are almost ALWAYS pillows marked down to $8 or less. I don’t care what the cover looks like. I’m just interested in the pillow form inside. The clerks must be wondering what the heck my home decor is like since I’ve come out of there with some interesting covers! Another tip for the more experienced sewists: if the pillow cover has a zipper, I take it out with a seam ripper to use for future pillow covers that I sew in a zipper.

Here is what you will need to make these Christmas pillows:

  1. 18″ square pillow form
  2. 45″ wide fabric
  3. scissors
  4. sewing machine

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Here’s my pillow. Yep, a Home Goods clearance shelf find.

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Next, you will need fabric. I was in JoAnn’s looking for exactly this fabric. Red with white polka dots. And it was on sale! $1.99/yard. I bought 3 yards and had enough to cover 5 pillows.

Here are step-by-step instructions with photos to make your own pillow cover:

Center the pillow on one end of the still-folded fabric, leaving about 1-1/2″ of fabric extending beyond the edge of the pillow. (see photo above)

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The excess fabric will be to the left of the pillow. (see photo above)

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Make a small cut into the fabric about 1-1/2″ away from the right edge of the pillow.

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At this point you can rip the fabric from the salvage edge to salvage edge to achieve a straight line. If you’re uncomfortable ripping the fabric, go ahead and cut with scissors instead.

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Unfold the fabric and and then refold into thirds with the right sides of the fabric facing in. Adjust the folds until the width measures 18″.

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Pin the raw edges together on both sides and sew a half-inch seam on both sides.

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Turn pillow right-side out . . .

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. . . insert your pillow and you’re done!

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I love how they look on the green sofa with the pom-pom throw.

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And they coordinate nicely with my tablecloth curtains!

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It’s looking like another red and white Christmas at Create & Babble! The Holly Jolly sign fits right in.

 

Elite Blog Academy – My Experience

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

A few months ago I decided to take a chance and enroll in the first-ever Elite Blog Academy course.  I wasn’t sure I would learn anything new, but I was willing to take the chance.

The reason I decided to take the chance was simple. I love blogging. It is my passion. I have never felt so passionate about anything like I do about my blog. I get to do what I love: create and write. I love it so much that my goal is to be able to earn enough from blogging so that I can resign from my full-time “day”  job.

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The photo above was taken at my desk at my “day” job. (I wonder if my co-workers think I’m talking about THAT job, ha!) Truth is: I don’t really like my day job. It’s an unfulfilling, unrewarding, paper-pushing, uncreative desk job that pays the bills. I want more than that. Like the quote above, I want to love what I do.

But in order to do that my blog has to grow. Gain loyal readers. I needed to learn how to do this. To learn from someone who could guide me through the process of a successful blog and show me step-by- step, exactly how to grow my traffic and generate a sustainable income.

Most bloggers know all too well how overwhelming it can feel to juggle the day-to-day demands of writing a blog with the big-picture strategy of creating a profitable business. That is exactly what Elite Blog Academy was designed to do.

Elite Blog Academy

I am so glad I did!  In the two months since I started Elite Blog Academy, my blog traffic has more than doubled! And I’m only about halfway through the course! I would love to talk to anyone considering taking this course who has questions or wants more specifics on my experience with the course. Please send an email to createandbabble@gmail.com.

Through a powerful combination of effective videos, practical and insightful handouts, purposeful assignments, and interactive live webinars, Elite Blog Academy will empower, enable, and inspire you to take the specific steps necessary to refine your message, grow your audience, monetize your platform, and transform your blog into a successful and profitable business.

Over the course of 12 lessons, you will learn how to:

  • Eliminate blog confusion by creating an organized framework that sets the stage for everything you do.
  • Discover the secret to harnessing Pinterest, the most powerful free marketing tool in the world.
  • Understand what is not working in your current monetization model and instead develop concrete goals and a solid plan for achieving them.
  • Dramatically increase your site’s passive income by mastering the four key strategies of optimizing ad network revenue.
  • Take advantage of the critical—but often ignored—connection between SEO and ad revenue.
  • Overcome your fear of private advertising and instead learn to approach brands with confidence.
  • Learn what it really takes to earn a six-figure income from your blog, then develop your own product along with a successful marketing plan to sell it.
  • Create a solid working business plan to take your blogging business to the next level.

While so much of the information currently available about Internet marketing is written only by those whose audience consists of other bloggers and marketers, Elite Blog Academy is different. It shares proven, field-tested strategies for building a successful, profitable blog, regardless of the niche and no matter the target audience.

It is possible to create a successful business from a blog, and Elite Blog Academy shares exactly how it’s done, step-by-step.

Course Materials

Here is what the course includes:

  • 12 Comprehensive Unit Videos
  • 12 Detailed Unit Workbooks with Video Outlines
  • 16 Powerful Handouts
  • 30 Purposeful Assignments
  • 4 Live Webinars
  • Accountability & Community within a Private Community Forum

Elite Blog Academy is designed to be self-paced, but should not be completed in less than 12 weeks. Blogging is not for the faint of heart, and this course requires a willingness to buckle down and get to work. That said, for those who are willing to do the work, it also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

If you have a blog, you can’t afford not to take this course, and for one week only, starting today, you can enroll for just $299.  This is the last time this course will ever offered at this price, and believe me, it is worth SO much more!

Anyone who completes the course and has not seen measurable results in both traffic and income growth will get your money back, no questions asked. That’s a pretty incredible promise, but it means that you’ve literally got nothing to lose. Enrollment for Elite Blog Academy is extremely limited, and will only be open for two weeks. If you are ready to finally take your blog to the next level, sign up now to secure your spot!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase the course, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. As always, I only promote and recommend products and services that I use and love. This has been, by far, one of the best investments I have made in my blog.

Silhouette Black Friday Sale

It’s here, it’s here! The day we’ve been waiting for: The Silhouette® Black Friday Sale! Let’s not waste any time and get right to to it, shall we! First, the bundles:

silhouette black friday sale

The first bundle:

  • CAMEO machine
  • Designer Edition software upgrade
  • Dust Cover
  • 4 Tools
  • $25 Download card to the Silhouette Design Store

silhouette black friday sale

silhouette black friday sale

 

Already a Silhouette owner?
Silhouette-Black-Friday-Sale
It’s a great time to stock up on all your Silhouette supplies and accessories while they’re 40% off using my code: BABBLE

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