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Cross Stitch Painting

Last week I was chatting with my friend who pointed out that cross-stitch is kind of a dying art. These are the important things we contemplate.

“Maybe older women do cross-stitch a bunch?” I suggested as a feeble attempt to defend our beloved cross-stitch hobby.

“There’s lots of ‘hip’ cross-stitch art you can buy online I think?” she piped in.

The truth is, cross-stitch may not be our craft of choice when we think “hip”, “modern” or even relevant interior design. I refuse, however, to believe that cross-stitch doesn’t have something to offer when it comes to home decor.

I saw our little chat about cross-stitch as a challenge to be accepted! Here is what I came up with — (drumroll now) — A cross-stitch painting using a cross-stitch pattern! This tutorial will teach you how to take your old cross-stitch patterns and turn them into artwork for your home!

Cross-Stitch Painting
Let’s Get Started

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As a crafty person, the holidays are like my Olympics. By the time everything is done, my workspace looks like I hosted some kind of very wholesome rave. Glitter, bits of paper, and other supplies are strewn about and I can’t find a dang thing. Clearly I’m in need of some organizational help, but if you know me you know it still has to be pretty. So today I spruced up some boring black office supplies with a little paint and colorful embroidery thread. Check out the video below:

With office supplies like these I almost look forward to tidying up! Do you have any organizing projects on deck for the new year?

Office Supply Spruce Up

In the mood for more projects like this one? Catch up with Marianne on the HGTV Crafternoon page.

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With less than a week left till Christmas, I’m betting that you —  like me – are spending a fair amount of time wrapping gifts. Which, to be honest, I don’t mind. Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays; I like to come up with new ways to package them each year.

Here are a few of my gift wrap ideas from 2012 with links to instructions below:
Wrapped Holiday Gift Ideas
* Left and bottom right: Easy doily gift wrap plus how to make a yarn pom-pom
and upper right: Menswear-inspired ribbon rose plus how to make a chalkboard gift tag

This year, I decided to shake things up a bit and use fabric trim instead of traditional ribbon for smaller gifts: Fabric Trim Instead of Ribbon as Christmas Gift Wrap

And cover reusible containers, like this mailing tube, in fabric for pretty packages that can be reused by the recipient as year-round decorative storage:
Easy Fabric Gift Wrap*The fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise – available at your local JoAnn store.

Here’s another view, I just added a wired bow to one of the mailing tube’s plastic caps to finish off the wrap:
Easy Fabric Gift Wrap

Ready to make your own no-sew fabric gift wrap? It’s easy and your friends and family will thank you for the cute container they can use again and again. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

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Okay, first, I should come clean and confess that while I love all things crafty, sewing has never been my forte. My mom is a whiz and has tried to instruct me in the ways of the force many times (I even took Home Ec in high school and made an almost wearable drawstring-waist skirt) but all the math and measuring — ugh — too hard!

But, recently our friends at HGTV Home offered up their on-trend fabric from JoAnn if we wanted to do some holiday crafts and, of course, we jumped at the chance even though some of us, like me, are decidedly sewing challenged. 

So, now I had yards of beautiful fabric and no way to magic it into a viable project. Enter fusible web, which is seriously one of the greatest inventions of all time. All you need is a hot iron to permanently join 2 pieces of fabric — no sewing machine required. It’s fabric magic which helps you create easy ornaments as cute as this:

No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornament as a Gift Topper *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

I’m in full-on handmade-gift-fabrication mode right now so I decided to use my ornaments as colorful gift toppers. The recipients can then hang them on their trees:Handmade Fabric Ornament on White Christmas Tree *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Jigsaw” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

 Or use them to top another gift:No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornament as a Gift Topper*This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Turtle Shell” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

Ready to make your own no-sew fabric ornaments? Our free printable templates make it a snap. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

Fabric Ornaments and Printable Templates

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Contest is now closed, congratulations Wendy!

Have you finished your holiday decorating yet? Or are you just getting started? Me, I fall somewhere in the middle. The tree is up and trimmed, the mantel is mostly done (I think it just needs some greenery), and I have a few finishing touches to add to the rest of the house. One thing I can’t wait to hang is this Light-Up Holiday Star. It’s kind of amazing. Watch the video below to see how to make this project for yourself, and then read on to win some Pottery Barn stockings!

This show stopper of a star looks great indoors but since it’s made of foam and LED lights you can use it outdoors as well! It would look great next to your front door, don’t you think?

Hanging Light-Up Holiday Star

Faux Fur Stockings courtesy of Pottery Barn

Now on to our giveaway! Here is your chance to deck your halls in style, thanks to our friends at Pottery Barn. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win two Faux Fur Stockings and two Faux Sheepskin Stockings, each trimmed in gorgeous ivory velvet.

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 11:00 a.m. ET on December 3, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 9, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $98.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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So, as you’ve probably heard by now, we’re throwing a holiday party — and not just any holiday party — a crafty holiday party where we’ll make the decorations, drinks and nibbles then show you guys how we pulled it off.

Our event space has a massive stone fireplace flanked by shelves so I decided to finally tackle a project I’d been planning for a while and cover a few of my coffee table books in leather. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m *all* about antiques and naturally wanted my leather books to look like they’d been around for a few decades so I originally planned on covering them in leather from an old bomber jacket. After unsuccessfully scouring thrift stores for the perfect piece of vintage leather, I decided to just purchase new leather then age it myself using the same tricks I use for distressing furniture.

And, voila, they turned out great — and the process was actually easier than I thought it would be. So easy, in fact, that I may have to make a few of these expensive-looking antique tomes to hand out as handmade holiday gifts: Leather-Wrapped Books

Want to make your own antique look-alike leather books to add a timeworn touch to your home or as a cool handmade gift? Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>


We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s
Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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I love a party, so when I heard about the Design Happens/Made + Remade holiday party, I jumped at the chance to contribute. And I must say, the projects I made for this party are among some of the favorite things I’ve ever made, ever. To kick things off, my sights were set on the food table. I dusted off a wood burning tool and made this rustic modern cheese board — I don’t think I’ve used one of these tools since summer camp!

This cheese board is a simple afternoon project that you will use for Thanksgiving straight through to New Years Eve, and did I mention it also makes a lovely hostess gift?

Wood-Burned Cheese Board

Stick around, in the coming weeks I’ll show you how to top that board with the perfect cheeses, as well as gift wrap, entertaining, and holiday decorating ideas. It’s gonna be fun, y’all.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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Let’s see, where did I leave off? Last week I confessed that I’m scared of my sewing machine and all about the no-sew Halloween costumes for my kids. Hugo is all set to blast off in his rocket costume, so this week I’m turning my four-year-old Lulu into a giant pink frosted doughnut. It’s pretty sweet, check it out:

I have to say, I never thought a neon pink pool float and some giant pipe cleaners could turn into something quite so adorable. What do you think? Would you dress your kid (or yourself) up as a giant pastry?

Kids Doughnut Costume

Missed an episode of Weekday Crafternoon? You can catch them all on Design Happens.

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When you are a crafty person, people have…expectations. They expect you to be able to whip up a centerpiece out of nothing but pinecones and a glue gun, and if you have kids, they expect you to make them spectacular Halloween costumes. Which is all well and good, except I am terrified of my sewing machine. Suddenly this feels like an episode of Marianne’s Crafting Confessions!

The good news is, I am a wiz at coming up with no-sew costumes, and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be bringing you my two favorites. This week baby Hugo is helping out, modeling this easy, inexpensive, sewing-free baby rocket costume inspired by my friend Emily at Smarty Parties. Check it out:

Pretty cute, right? The best part is you don’t have to grapple with convincing a baby to wear a hat or anything other than some snuggly pajamas.

Baby Rocket Costume

Be sure to check back next week, when I’ll show you a delicious no-sew costume for a toddler or big kid. Until then, you can take a trip down memory lane and watch the very first Weekday Crafternoon ever, Three Easy Pumpkin Projects.

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A few weeks ago, I found a lone horseshoe in my parents’ barn. It was incredibly dirty and rusty and definitely old. My parents don’t even have horses, so I know it’s old (though the looks alone were enough to tell me that). I almost left it to lie there for another 25 years or so, but I decided to pick it up. I had no concrete plans, but as an avid upcycler, I’m always thinking of new uses for old things.

horseshoe before
Weeks later, I remembered a cool piece of weathered barn wood I had been saving for a special project. And now, after some extensive cleaning, sanding, painting and nailing, I finally have a unique piece of art that I can be proud of.

horseshoe after

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