DIY “Where the Wild Things Are” Tissue Paper Character Poms

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Okay, so I’m slowly but surely catching up on posts about Baby P’s “Where the Wild Things Are” first birthday bash (check out my last two posts on my DIY hand painted sign and DIY Pinata) so I’m going to follow those up with a DIY post creating a piece of party décor that seem to be all the rage on Pinterest – tissue poms! Let me start by saying that I love tissue poms, they are SO easy to create (despite the fact that they are sold on Etsy and at local craft stores for much more than they are worth) and are the perfect addition to any party theme, adding a sort of whimsical feel for just a few dollars. Needless to say anytime I host a party of any kind I can always be found floofing (is that a word? lol) and hanging tissue poms right before the event, haha.

When it came time for P’s party I was trolling Etsy for “Where the Wild Things Are” design ideas that I could possibly DIY and came across the most adorable set of character tissue poms that were listed for (hold on to your hats) $54.00!!! That’s right folks, five-four dollars, almost double what it costs me to fill the tank of my SUV (off topic but are you not loving gas prices right now? lol), for an item made up of mostly tissue paper – unreal. I didn’t do any further investigation to see if the item was actually a hot seller (I am to this day blown away by the price, haha) but I’m glad that I was able to use it as inspiration, after all it was as simple as creating a few basic tissue poms and gluing on some construction paper faces!

I don’t have step-by-step photos for this one because as long as you can figure out how to make the poms themselves using either YouTube or Pinterest tutorials then the rest will be pretty self explanatory, all I did was cut the various shapes for the “wild thing” faces out of construction paper and used magic markers to color in where needed. Once I assembled the faces I used Elmers glue to attach them to the front of each of the poms, allowed them to dry and that was that! This was a super easy and fun way to jazz up the party décor and I definitely see myself returning to this idea for future parties, as you can basically create a character from any pom.

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everyone loved these character poms!

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.. a few of the various other poms I used as décor over the food table.

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“Where the Wild Things Are” Hand Painted Sign

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So I predict that this will be the first of many posts about baby P’s “Where the Wild Things Are” themed first birthday party. This particular project was part of the DIY “snowball effect” that resulted as my mind raced with DIY inspiration with each party decor addition, lol. While I was already spread way too thin trying to get everything done with for the party, I couldn’t resist adding one more little decor detail in the form of a cute little “we love you so” sign – especially because it cost me nothing but time to create! I used the same piece of wood (taken from my neighbor’s trash) that I used to create my DIY coat rack and my DIY Mason Jar Organizer and the same homemade chalk paint (made using “Stone Mason Grey” by Valspar) that I used when making my first DIY Hand Painted Sign for our laundry room/command center. Since I really liked the font I used for his invitation (called “Hello Goodbye” which I downloaded for free here from dafont.com) I used the same one for the sign and as for the silhouette of “Max” I found that here via Google images. For a full tutorial refer to my DIY Hand Painted Sign post for detailed step by step instructions to create your own sign!

 

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The sign as we displayed it with P’s guest book and favors.

Interested in making a scrap fabric banner like the one pictured above? Check out my tutorial here!

DIY Pinata – “Where the Wild Things Are”

  As I dive back into blogland after my extended hiatus I figure I will get back into the mix by sharing a few posts about Baby P’s first birthday which although is now three months past (how is time … Continue reading

Life Lately – I’m back!

Wow, it sure has been a while! I know after P’s birthday I promised to be back at the blog with a vengeance but alas, life (and TONS of projects!) got in the way. Since October we have been enjoying an extremely mobile (but still squishy) baby who is just as sun-shiny as he’s always been only much more talkative and that much more fun as a result. Somewhere in there we also celebrated Halloween (DIY projects to come!), Thanksgiving, the 239th Marine Corps Birthday Ball and then kicked off the holiday season by participating in our officer community’s holiday Tour of Homes, so needless to say, we have been CRAZY busy! Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is calming down (I think? lol) I plan to get back to polluting the blogosphere with lots of posts highlighting what I’ve been up to craft-wise and prove that while life has been pretty crazy, some of that craziness was due to projects that had me so caught up that I didn’t have a free minute to sit down and share them with you guys. That being said I’m super excited to share all of my DIY and entertaining adventures from the past few months with you so get prepared to be seeing a lot me on here! 🙂

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Pumpkin picking!

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My little scuba diver fending off a shark on Halloween!

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USMC Ball #1

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.. & #2!

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Holiday greetings, everyone!

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Our quiet Christmas morning ❤

DIY Hand Painted Coat Rack

Ever since I successfully created the hand-painted sign for our laundry room/command center I felt as though I’ve opened a Pandora’s box of DIY decor options, lol. The second I finished my sign my imagination ran wild with endless possibilities for … Continue reading

DIY Fall Wine Bottle Decor – Perfect for any season!

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So before I get too ahead of myself with incessant posts about baby P’s first birthday and DIY Halloween decor I just wanted to share this little tid bit of my fall decor that I whipped up using things I always have on hand – wine bottles and scrap fabric 🙂 Now as I do on at least one day most weeks, I found myself in the fabric store buying the fall themed burlap for my DIY Autumn Pennant Banner and happened to walk past their display of little seasonal over-priced chochkies (is that how you spell that word? lol) and saw a cute little decorated wine bottle. As I do with most of the fabric store ready-made decor I passed since I was not about to pay $12.99 for a bottle (a small one at that, if it had actually contained wine at any point I feel bad for the person who emptied it – they got jipped! lol) wrapped in twine, however I did snap a picture and make a mental must-DIY-that note.

Before I get to the tutorial I think it’s worth mentioning that as I fulfill my holiday decorating goal of keeping my home decor themed with each holiday, I’m realizing the fact that Halloween falls right in the middle of the start of fall and Thanksgiving really messes with decor in that I came up with a whole bunch of autumn-y type ideas for our home only to remember that I would have to put up Halloween pieces and then pull the fall stuff out again for the whole harvest/autumn theme that goes along with Thanksgiving. Super complicated stuff this decorating business is, lol! Anyway, before I figured out that I would wind up in a decorating pickle, I decided to re-create the little wine bottle craft that I saw in the fabric store the week before only I would go a step further and create a set of four! Two things I love about this project: first, it is super easy and cheap to create and while I know wine isn’t free but lets be real, wine bottles are plentiful at the Schulze home, lol. Second, since there are four bottles and the embellishments are interchangeable I can easily swap out the wording for any holiday for instance, “noel” for Christmas, “love” for Valentine’s Day, “booo” for Halloween and so on. This can be made with any scrap fabric if you have a particular color scheme in mind or want it to fit the theme of a particular room instead of a holiday that would work too!

my inspiration!

my inspiration!

my version :)

my version 🙂

SUPPLIES

*this supply list is for my specific creation, any scrap fabric combinations can be used!

  • 4 wine bottles, labels removed
  • scrap burlap (plain and printed)
  • scrap lace
  • scrap fall print fabric
  • twine
  • gold ribbon
  • faux fall leaves
  • crafting letters or stencils
  • orange acrylic paint
  • hot glue/glue gun

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: I began by removing the labels from my wine bottles by soaking them in some warm soapy water then scrubbing off with a sponge. Since I drink relatively cheap wine the labels remove pretty easily but if yours are a little more stubborn Goo-Gone will take them right off.

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Step 2: I then cut my strips of plain burlap and lace and secured them around each of the wine bottles using a few dots of hot glue.

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my lace was actually cut from a pair of curtains that I found at a thrift store for $0.50!

my lace was actually cut from a pair of curtains that I found at a thrift store for $0.50!

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Step 3: Next I prepared my “fall” portion of the decor by cutting four small squares of fall themed fabric and then four smaller squares of printed burlap to be glued atop the first squares. Next took my faux fall leaves (purchased at Walmart for $0.98 for a package of about 12!) and used a dot of hot glue to attach two to each fabric square.

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98 cent Walmart leaves!

98 cent Walmart leaves!

Step 4: At this point I took my craft letters left over from another project and painted them orange (they were originally brown but I felt that the orange stuck out better, at this point you can also stencil the wording directly onto your fabric squares using acrylic paint). Once they had dried I glued each to the front of my fabric squares. To attach the square to the bottles I cut two small holes in the top of each of the fabric piece and ran a piece of twine through each and tied them around the body of the wine bottles. Finally I tied a decorative ribbon bow atop each of the bottle necks – done!

finished product :)

finished product 🙂

Documenting Baby P’s First Year – Month 12

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Oh my goodness! It sure has been a while, I think this is the longest I’ve gone with posting since I started the blog. I’ve mostly been MIA due to the planning of sweet baby P’s “Where the Wild Things Are” first birthday party (which I can’t wait to share!), so although my posts have been lacking for the last few weeks my crafting has not so be on the look out for lots of new posts in the next few days and weeks 🙂

While I’m up to my ears in Halloween decor projects I want to take a quick second to get a post up about my sweet baby P and the fact that he TURNED ONE LAST WEEK!!! I still can’t believe it, I know everyone tells you how the early years will fly but there is nothing that could have prepared me for how fast this year actually went. As for my sweet one year old he is saying several words, walking, eating everything in sight (with the exception of milk, we’re still working on that one lol) and has the funniest little personality. He is learning something new each and every day and it is just amazing to have been able to watch our little boy grow and change right before our eyes over the past year. Looking back on my very first chalkboards while documenting my pregnancy it’s so fascinating to see how our little baby has grown into the little energetic and funny frog that we have the pleasure of spending the rest of our lives with. I will continue to document baby P’s growth using my go-to method of chalk boards but will probably reduce my updates to every three months or so. I hope checking out my other posts on documenting baby P’s growth (month one – six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven) will inspire you to document your baby as such, I am so excited to one day be able to share these pictures with him and glad that I will get to look back and remember all the small details of his development 🙂

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Just so everyone know, I do know the correct spelling of “avocado” lol it was late and my brain was a mush of birthday party planning and chalkboard art 😛

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Skinny Italian Wedding Soup

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Could it be!? After a brutal summer of 90+ temps daily, we are finally experiencing our first bits of fall here on the NC coast, woo-hoo! Yesterday was cool and rainy, just the kind of day that calls for a good bowl of soup. I am a huge soup fan and although the hot summer didn’t have me bringing out my soup pot very often, now that fall has arrived I will be on a mission to try out a new soup each week. This week I decided to come up with my own version of Italian Wedding Soup, which I’ve never really been a fan of because mystery meatballs out of a Progresso can kind of creep me out (lol) and the canned version is really the only version I’ve known of this soup until I spotted a Pinterest recipe for it that sparked my interest. While the recipe I found looked delicious I wanted to create my own lightened up version using lean turkey instead of sausage to form the little meatballs, both because J and I try our hardest to maintain a clean diet during the week and because now that baby P is pretty much eating what we eat I try to be more mindful of the sodium content and level of process to our foods. Another reason I love my new original recipe (and soups in general, for that matter) is that it is a great way to sneak in some leafy greens and veggies and lets be honest, who doesn’t love the clean-up (or lack-there-of) that comes along with a one pot meal!? Give this a try on your next rainy day or freeze up some mini-meatballs for a quick-fix meal down the road, either way – happy soup weather to you! 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parmeasan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 oz. frozen chopped spinach, prepared
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds (optional, this will just give it a more “sausage-like” taste without using the sausage)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 cups chicken stock + 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini or great white northern beans
  • 1 large bunch kale (or other dark leafy green, swiss chard would be great in this too!), stems removed and chopped (about 4 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Start by making your meatballs. Combine first 10 ingredients (turkey-salt and pepper) and mix by hand until just combined (don’t over mix!). Roll into small 1-inch meatballs (makes about 50!) and place on a tray or sheet pan and refrigerate until ready for use. SHORTCUT ALERT: You can prep these tiny meatballs ahead of time and freeze individually on a baking sheet lined with wax paper then transfer to a zip-lock bag once they are frozen and store for whenever you’d like to make this (or any!) soup!

Step 2: In a LARGE (emphasis on large because you will need it to fit 50 mini meatballs without overflowing, lol) dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil and add diced carrots and onion, season with salt and pepper and saute until just soft. Add the chicken stock and water to the pot and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Once soup is boiling add your mini meatballs one at a time, allow liquid to return to a boil the reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes then add your orzo pasta to the pot. Cook until pasta is done (about 5-10 more minutes) and meatballs are cooked through, then check for seasoning and add your beans and chopped kale to the pot, cook for about 5 additional minutes until the kale has wilted. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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I’ve finally been playing around with my new DSLR camera! Super excited to get more practice on yummy recipes 🙂

Baby Rocking Chair Re-Do – My first re-upholstery project!

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One of my biggest (and smallest, lol) inspirations for so many of my DIY projects has been none other than my own baby P! Whether it be items for is nursery or coming up with ways to work all of his adorable photos into our decor (check out my DIY Rustic Picture Display!) I am thoroughly amazed by the creativity that this little guy has prompted in me. One of my latest projects was upcycling an old rocking chair that I found at a used furniture store (at the same time I picked up my old shutters that turned into my DIY shutter shelf!) for $8, actually funny story: it was actually $15 but jokingly as I was checking out I said “how about $8.00?” and the guy said “Ya know what, sure. That’s what my wife gets for making me work today instead of fishing!”, haha. Honestly, although the chair is good quality wood, in the state it was in at the time of purchase it wasn’t worth more than $8.00, haha, the seat was covered in a raggy, dirty old cowboy print cloth and smelled like old people (don’t even pretend you don’t know the smell I’m talking about, lol) but despite all of these factors I saw potential!

As soon as I got the chair home I got super motivated and removed the upholstered part of the chair as well as all of the staples that were holding it in place. I even went as far as to borrow a staple gun from a friend for the re-upholstery part of the project, but that was as far as I got before getting swept up in another project and forgetting all about the little rocker. Flash forward to last week, I had used the same paint that I was intending to use on the chair for my DIY Owl Themed Coat Rack/Hooked Sign and knew that this would be a good opportunity to get cracking on the chair.  For the fabric I chose a beautiful grey/brown chevron print decor fabric that I happened to find in the remnants bin at my local fabric store for only $7.00, making the grand total of this project just about $20.00! Now I know that a random $8 cowboy-themed rocking chair probably isn’t an option at your local thrift shop BUT lucky for you this project can be duplicated with any kid-sized chair (or an size for that matter) that you happen to find, even if it doesn’t already come with a piece to reupholster (I was able to salvage the original seat from my piece) you can absolutely fashion your own using a small piece of plywood and simply attach it to the existing seat! You will not believe how easy this project is, especially for how amazing the result. If re-upholstery seems daunting to you don’t let it deter you, I was extremely skeptical about this project as it was my first time working with upholstery but now that I know how easy it is I can’t wait to try my hand at it again! Happy stapling, watch those fingies 😉

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SUPPLIES: 

*For this project I used chalk paint (find out how I mix my own here), feel free to refer to my re-finishing wooden furniture with gel stain or latex paint posts for alternative painting methods. If you want to add a cushion to a chair that did not have one to begin with simply follow my steps below but use a piece of plywood (something cheap but sturdy), you can even have your local home improvement store cut it for you for free!

  • Kid-sized rocking chair
  • Chalk Paint – I mixed my own (refer to this tutorial to find out how I made it using a sample sized latex paint), the color is “Opera Glasses” by Valspar which is now one of my favorite paint colors as I’m always looking for a good “greige” which is oh-so popular right now.
  • Minwax Finishing Paste Wax in “Special Dark”
  • Sanding blocks or sand paper
  • Black foam paint brush
  • Manual staple gun (if you’re super hardcore and have a power stapler you can use that as well, I’m too clumsy to be around things that shoot out metal, lol)
  • Foam or fiber cushion – I used this one that I purchased at my local fabric store (with a coupon, yay!) but it is also available online via Amazon and most other retailers of fabric.
  • Fabric of your choice – the amount you will need depends on the size of your seat (you won’t need much though, I used about 1/4 of a yard!)
  • Heavy Duty All-Purpose adhesive – anything that says it will bond to most all surfaces, you can’t go wrong with E-6000 or any of those “E” adhesives or Gorilla glue)
  • Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by ripping all of the original fabric and batting from the chair to reveal the frame. I kept the board that made up the seat as it was in good condition and I wanted to reuse it. I then removed all staples that remained in the wood using needle-nosed pliers.

Dirty and torn, but still promising!

Dirty and torn, but still promising!

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Step 2: I sanded down the chair by hand using a sanding block (150-grit), while I do have an electric sander I feel some projects move quicker when they’re done by hand, especially ones with a lot of nooks and crannies like this chair. Once I had finished sanding I wiped the chair down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust particles.

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chair post-sanding

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Step 3: Using a black foam brush (I prefer these to regular paint brushes because they don’t leave streaks) I evenly painted the top half of the chair with an even coat of my chalk paint, I then waited about 2 hours before returning to my chair, flipping it upside down and applying the first coat to the bottom. I continued in this fashion for two more coats (three total). I found this was the easiest way to paint the chair on all sides and on the bottom of rocking part.

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Step 4: Once my final coat had dried I waxed the chair by applying a thin coat of paste wax using an old rag, waiting the appropriate amount of time (15 minutes I think?) then buffing it out using another rag. At that point the re-painting part of the project was complete – yay!

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After the chair was waxed. I like that the wax gives it an antiqued look. You can also get a natural or clear wax for protection and sheen without color!

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Step 5:  I began my reupholstering part of the project by cutting a piece of fabric that was about 4-5 inches wider than the piece of wood that would make up my seat. NOTE: If you are using a thinner fabric that you think may be prone to ripping use a sander to dull down the corners of your wood or cut the tips of your corners off so that they are flat, this won’t make a difference in the look of the chair but will prevent the corners from protruding through the fabric over time. After cutting my fabric, I cut my foam piece to be just big enough to reach over the edges of my board.

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Baby P playing peek-a-boo with the fabric, lol!

Baby P playing peek-a-boo with the fabric, lol!

Step 6: Once all of my components were ready I laid my fabric face down, my foam piece atop it in the center and then my wooden seat atop the foam. This step is best done using two people but if you’re all by your lonesome just use your knees to secure the board in place while you tighten and staple – but be careful! Pull one edge of the fabric taught over the edge of the wood and make sure that the foam will wrap nicely around the edge of the wood, if you are happy with the way it looks staple along the edge of the wood, about 2- 3 inches in, I used about six staples per side for good measure! NOTE: The corners will be a little trickier so do your edges first and then your corners last because you may need to manipulate and fold them a bit to get them right.

Step 7: After I made my cushion I trimmed any excess fabric from the bottom that was sticking out too much. Then I was ready to bond my seat to the base of the chair. I did so by applying a generous amount of adhesive to the bottom of the cushion (not too close to the edges, you do not want it oozing out!) and to the base of the chair where the cushion was to be attached, then pressed down firmly to secure it. You may want to place a book or something else flat and heavy on top the seat to hold it in place as it dries (this would be a great job for a kid in time-out! Just kidding, haha). Voila! Finished and beautiful and ready for baby P’s adorable squishy butt to sit on it 🙂

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Finished product!

NOTE: An optional Step 8 would be to add decorative upholstery nails or trim along the edge where your seat meets your chair. My hubby was opposed to this idea so I left the chair as is (and it looks just adorable without them so it is not necessary to do this by any means). However, this is a great way to add a little extra flare or elegance to your chair and to hide the area where the seat meets the chair.

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The most rewarding part of this project was seeing how much baby P loved the rocker, which completely took me by surprise because I was sure he wouldn’t want anything to do with it because it’s just a chair, however he loves rocking it and sitting in it and when he sees it he gets so excited, points and says “this! this!”. What a warm feeling to have my crafts appreciated by even the tiniest of people 🙂

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Rustic Burlap “Autumn” Pennant Banner

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So as I’ve mentioned, last year I made a commitment to myself to keep up with my holiday and seasonal decor. As a kid my Mom always put a lot of time (that she didn’t have) and effort into decorating my childhood home for the holidays and I’d like to do the same for baby P and any other future children I may have. Since in my opinion it’s a tad early for Halloween decor (it still feels like summer!) I thought I’d get my decorating started with a few easy fall themed pieces that compliment our regular home decor. This pennant banner is super easy to create and is both fun and elegant and most importantly – cheap! Mine cost about $3.00 to create. Happy fall, now go make a cute pennant banner to celebrate 🙂

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This project was inspired by my DIY Rustic Pennant Banners that I use for party decor, follow this link to see how you can jazz up your next event!

My fall version!

My fall version!

SUPPLIES:

  • Burlap – the amount you need depends on what you would like your banner to say and how many letters it will contain, but you will likely need less than 1/4 of yard which will cost you about $1.00-$2.00.
  • Twine
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Large stencils – I used my reusable stencils that I used to create my DIY Rustic Burlap Pennant Banners, they are available at Staples.
  • scrap fabric (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Begin by creating a pattern out of scrap paper (I just used a piece of computer paper out of my recycling bin) in whatever shape you would like your pennants to be. I chose a square shape with an inverted triangle at the bottom which measured about 7″ wide by 10″ long.

I made sure that my letter fit atop the pattern.

I made sure that my letter fit atop the pattern.

Step 2: Once you have your pattern, use it as a guide and use a marker to trace as many as you need onto the back of your burlap then cut them out.

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Step 3: After all of your pieces have been cut. Use your stencils and acrylic paint to apply your letters to the tops of the burlap using your small paint brush. Use a generous amount of paint. Set aside to dry.

Step 4: Once your letters have dried use your scissors to poke a small hole in either end of each of the tops of the pennants through which you will thread a piece of twine. At this point if you wish you can dab some mod podge on the ends of your pennants to keep them from fraying but since mine was going to be up high out of tiny finger reach (lol) I didn’t bother.

Step 5 (optional): If you want to add little fabric tassels to the ends to jazz it up use the same method I used in creating my Scrap Fabric Banner but instead with a few pieces knotted together.

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