DIY Christmas Putz houses

I have always admired vintage putz houses so it was only a matter of time before I would realize that people actually sell these cardboard house kits that you can decorate yourself. 😬 I decided to give it a go after gathering some inspiration on Instagram. If you have no interest in crafting your own- you can purchase some beautiful putz houses from stores… Cody Foster makes some big beautiful ones (with a big price tag! $35- $100 each!). This Christmas you can find moderately priced ‘putz houses’ at Kohl’s (Lauren Conrad), And Pier 1. They’re all beautiful and I think gradually adding to your collection over the years would make it really fun and unique even if you never make your own!

So after looking at all the inspiration I started gathering my own supplies. First stop for me was amazon. This is where I found my little set of cardboard houses and also varying colors of mini bottle brush trees. I also purchased my snow and glitter from amazon.

Here is a picture of all the different glues and the ‘snow’ I used. I also used a hot glue gun!

I bought mini Christmas village embellishments at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Some of what I got came out of the scrapbook section- including some sheets of velum paper for the windows. Velum is slightly transparent so if you decided to light up your putz houses – you can see the light through the little windows. ☺️ Some of what I purchased ended up being the wrong scale for these little houses but I had so much fun making these that I’m going to make some larger houses so I can use the bigger pieces I have.

So here is the process….

Paint your houses white first if you want your colors you choose to really pop. Think of this as your primer. I used the little cheap acrylic paints that are at all craft stores for all of the painting on these.

Then you get to pick your colors. 🀩

I painted mine like the next picture at first then after they dried I toned down a few of the colors by painting a new more muted color on top… I wanted mine to have a vintage and more mature look.

Okay here’s where the magic starts to happen- the SNOW. ❄️ I put the glitter snow stuff wherever I imagined snow would accumulate on the roofs of the houses – then on top of that once it hardened- I added a layer of modpodge and then the loose diamond dust glitter.

This particular house set came with the window trim and a small piece of velum paper that looked like stain glass. Not enough velum for all the windows so that’s why not all of the window colors match- because I had to buy my own… but I’m actually glad I did. It gave my houses a little more variety. The windows are slightly tedious but you just Elmer’s glue them on the velum. Then after that dries trim excess velum from around the frame with scissors.

I hot glued the windows on and burned the crap out of my fingers. πŸ₯΅ Then I hot glued the houses on the cardboard base that I had also painted white, modge podged, and poured diamond dust on. At this point I was already in love but I went ahead and added some other embellishments with hot glue. The finished product was way better than I thought I could do. I would have paid so much for these in a store and not been able to say I made them. Plus picking the colors and embellishments is so fun to do yourself!

Halloween bottle brush/ Moon face tutorials

I’ve been asked to do tutorials on two of my more recent Halloween crafts by several Instagram followers on @helloJolley so here ya go!

I’m going to start out with the bottle brush tree tutorial because it’s the easiest one. And I should mention first that I actually got the idea and tutorial to do this from the book Glitterville’s Handmade Christmas. Just an FYI for you crafty people- this is a great read. And there is also a Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween book too! πŸ˜‰

The awesome thing about this is you can do these in any color combinations you can think up – if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for out in stores you can make it yourself!

The tutorial in the book starts out with green trees so the first step is to bleach your trees. I have done this before to do dip-dye trees using Rit dye… but the great thing is hobby lobby makes these beige/ white bottle brush trees already. They’re huge and really inexpensive when the Christmas goes 40% off. So I didn’t have to bleach my trees.

After you have your trees picked out- you need to pick out your acrylic craft paint. This is the really cheap stuff that comes in hundreds of colors for less than $1 each at every craft store. I got mine at Michaels.

Also at Michaels I got a few Martha Stewart metallic and glitter paints which cost a little more but add that ‘extra’ to your trees in my opinion.

Before I started painting I bent the top of the trees into a more whimsical shape and trimmed the bristles at the top to exaggerate that bend a bit.

The second step is to add white paint to your tree. Doing the first coat in White helps whatever colors you choose to pop a little more than they would on the beige. Think of it as your primer. I just used a craft paint brush and went crazy painting both the base and bristles white. I also think you could do a light spray paint coat instead- it would be faster and have better coverage for sure.

After you let your white paint dry completely then it’s time to pick your colors and design. I wanted Halloween trees that were striped. I knew I wanted a black and white striped tree and I also wanted to try one that was a nod to candy corn but in non-traditional colors. To make them go together better I tied in the same colors on opposite bases.

For painting the bristles you can use a folded piece of card-stock paper to stick in the tree and divide them up where you want. It’s easy to get going with the paint brush and accidentally get the wrong color where you don’t want it so the card-stock helps protect from oops moments.

For painting the base I used a small detail paint brush to do careful narrow stripes. That’s pretty easy to eye ball and you don’t want these to be perfect – it just adds to the whimsy, right! 😜

After I let all the colored paint dry I decided to do a coat of glitter paint over the bristles and the block on the base. It just added that extra fun and finished touch for me. And the glitter paint is pretty cool because if I try to use loose glitter it just gets everywhere. This stuff is easier to control. But that’s all! Super simple and fun. I might do some more for Christmas this year. πŸŽ„

The moon face was a bit more tedious and complicated – but still doable for sure! I should start by saying I was inspired by @houseoflotsofpink on Instagram for this project. I have no idea how she made hers – she is probably much more talented than me and maybe she even freehanded hers but I’m not that patient so I did an acetone ink transfer for this. You can YouTube many ways to do a printer ink transfer but I used acetone because it’s what I had on hand at home. (Acetone = nail polish remover.)

First I googled ‘vintage moon face clip art’. I had my husband Bill blow up the image and print it for me- it took up 4 sheets of printer paper. He had to do that because me and technology are not usually friends. 😜 We lined up the image and taped it together.

I bought this wood circle on amazon and painted it with white chalk paint.

We did some test runs with the acetone and realized really quick that our printer ink wasn’t going to transfer well enough onto the wood alone so I needed to fill in the image with a black sharpie.

I flipped the sharpie image facedown on my painted circle and taped it on so it wouldn’t slide around when I used the nail polish remover. Then I used paper towels soaked in acetone on the back side of the image. I carefully lifted the paper periodically to see if I was getting enough of a transfer- as you can see from the next picture some areas did better than others. Some spots didn’t transfer at all and some bled too much.

Even though the transfer wasn’t perfect it was good enough for me to use a fine detail paint brush and fill in these areas with black paint. I did that first then I went back with white to clean up the bleeding areas.

I loved how it turned out so well on the first side that I decided I wanted to do a man in the moon face on the back side of my circle.

These are both fun projects. I’m sure I’ll make more trees and would use the acetone ink transfer technique again. If you do either of these projects tag me @helloJolley I’d love to see your spin on it!

Basement Bathroom Remodel

I am so happy to be FINALLY writing this one you guys. This basement bathroom has been years in the making at our house and I am SO happy with how it turned out!

So let me just show you what we started out with….

This room was pretty awful- it had a bathtub, and brown outdoor carpet on the floor originally. The flow didn’t work – we had to close up a wall. Basically it was a continuation of some bad remodeling that had been done in the rest of the basement – And this was the last area we needed to give a major makeover in the basement.

After: it’s still a basement bathroom meaning we have opted at least for now to leave the ceiling open and unfinished. We decided to do a shower down here instead of a tub and I LOVE the shiplap walls. Now I really want to do shiplap every where. 😬

This bathroom is officially our nicest and largest bathroom in our house now. I’m still looking for a cool chippy storage cabinet and the trim work needs finished but its usable! We did already do our half bathroom/laundry room shortly after we moved in. It looks like this…

But now that this basement bathroom is functional we can think about tackling our main final bathroom upstairs. This will involve saving up so we can hire out the whole thing. I may have already bought a super ugly old claw foot tub that needs a serious makeover for $50 for the space. πŸ˜‚

This is Halloween πŸ‘»

This is the first year I’ve went all-out with the Halloween decor and now I wonder why I waited so long. It’s so fun. And some of the best basic decorations are super cheap: stretchy webs, paper bats, and floating witch hats.

Halloween is never complete without Harry Potter and this year we have an adorable new addition to our family- these pictures turned out so cute I can’t even stand it.

My Favorite Resources for Home Decor/ Design

Favorite Stores:

  • Target is my favorite for many things but holiday decor- specifically their Halloween and Christmas releases are highly anticipated times for me. πŸ˜‚ Since I already have a lot of seasonal decor the things I purchase and add in are always very selective. Here is last Christmas’ haul of decor mostly from target. Christmas Decor Guide
  • Hobby Lobby has great seasonal decor as well but I also love them for every day items. You can’t beat their wooden signs when they’re all 40% off which is basically every other week. Those two stores are my main squeeze because they’re super affordable and always put things on sale too.
  • Anthropologie when I can get things on sale.
  • IKEA for big furniture pieces at a great price.
  • World Market and small businesses/ boutiques for unique details.
  • I also have never minded buying second hand. Some of my most unique and favorite items have come from flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales over the years. It takes more time to collect things this way but it ensures that your house doesn’t just look like a department store threw up in it. Here are some of my most favorite second hand items in my house….

Vintage hanging school map πŸ—Ί

Love to add to this for Christmas with my Joy to the World metal letter garland. 🌎

That teal door is a favorite flea market find. The color was perfect already and I didn’t actually know what to do with it when I bought it. When we did our basement remodel it became the perfect cover for some ugly pipes in the corner. πŸ™Œ

That floral TV tray is part of a set of 4 on a stand that I scored at my local thrift. We use these ALL the time. Pretty and functional. πŸ’

Our brown leather couch is actually a Craig’s list find! It was in great shape when we got it and has held up for us and two dogs. I know we will continue to use this for years and we got it for a steal! Plus when we got there he threw in that ottoman and a matching chair. πŸ‘

That mid century cabinet is amazing storage and I like to change the decor up with the seasons. It came with glass doors on the top but I removed them because they’re always smudgy. It changed up the look in exactly the right way. I scored this guy at an online auction.

Our teal buffet was picked up by my dad at a yard sale in his neighborhood. It was in decent shape and hadn’t been painted so I painted it my favorite color and changed out the knobs to something more me – and it’s still one of my favorite things in our little house!

 

Inspiration:

 

  • Instagram– 12 favorite accounts I follow that inspire me…

@houseofwondersdesignco Probably my favorite instagram account to stalk. Her home is to die for and you can definitely see her influence in my home decor choices. If you think my house is cool you will love hers.

@heatherholden I just think she is a lovely person and obviously I’m a little obsessed with her plaid wallpaper entry. She’s the lady that gave me my pink paint recommendation I used on my front door and kitchen cabinets.

@sherrielarkins and @amandarydell pretty bright and colorful need I say more?

@shelbygoodman simple thrifted and perfectly styled. Also don’t you just die over her river rock fireplace?

@love.and.grey Beachy, boho, whites, pinks and peaches. She is so artistic and makes the prettiest signs and she seems like a lovely person too.

@saraparsons her bathroom is the stuff my dreams are made of.

@the_simple_farmhouse Pretty black and white simplicity.

@nestingwithgrace love their cozy small home- she knows how to create an ambience inside and out and her family of 5 makes it work in their small foot print of a home.

@raven.vasquez and @jlgarvin love looking in at their girl gang families and the way they make birthdays and holidays so special is goals for sure.

@amylouhawthorne another sweet little girl gang I love to follow along with. She inspired me to do a book wall in our girl’s room that I can change out with the holidays. She’s literally adorable and gives the best shopping tips.

Pinterest– Here is the link to my dream home board. https://pin.it/znsbx2g7qvcvfn I love scrolling on here when I’m looking to change something up in my house and get a direction to my design.

  • Movie and TV set styling

Have you ever watched a movie and fell in love with it because of the vibe of a character – their personal style or apartment? The first movie that comes to mind is the amazing set styling of 500 Days of Summer. If you haven’t watched it in awhile here are some screen stills of Summer’s apartment. Tom’s apartment was pretty awesome too with that whole chalkboard wall where he really got inspired to pursue his architecture career.

Did anyone watch the show supergirl? I watched like 3 episodes πŸ˜‚ but the main reason I made it to 3 was her apartment. 😍

You can really find inspiration anywhere for your home. I hope you found some good ones to follow on social media from this post!