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.

Welcome to the World Indie Girl πŸ–€

Our sweet girl is one whole week old and we are adjusting to less sleep and loving all the sweet baby snugs. πŸ₯° I already cannot imagine our lives without this little girl.

Indie Wilder Jolley came into the world after a VERY long induction process September 10th 2019 at 4:48 am. She was born 6lbs 15 oz and 19 3/4 in. Long.

So thankful that our girl is happy and healthy and that we are adjusting to all the changes so well. πŸ’•

Birth Story:

(Don’t read further if you don’t want to know the very real details. )

At my 39 week Drs appt I decided to schedule an induction because I was already on work leave and my first week of 8 was already up. Baby was content right where she was and my Dr. said she could stay that way for another week or two since I was not dilated at all. This was my first time having a baby and literally everyone had told me I should go on leave 1 week before due date ‘just in case’….. for us that’s not how things would work. And I didn’t want to waste anymore of my limited leave so without a ton of details of the process I would have to go through- I scheduled the induction for as soon as possible which was starting Sunday September 8th at 9pm.

That first night was spent trying to get my cervix to open by having medication placed every 4 hrs which was incredibly painful. We went through that process twice (8 hrs worth) and were not able to continue with it because my contractions started coming so hard and fast that it was dangerous to me and baby.

The results of my first IV attempt. πŸ‘

By mid day on September 9th (due date day) dilation was going so slowly with just the medication that they placed a catheter in my uterus that applied pressure to the inside and outside to open things up quicker. This intensified contractions so badly and I was already so exhausted having been up all night that I had to get a pain medicine in my IV that completely knocked me out for about 2 hrs. It was a tough choice for me to make because of the risks but I knew if I didn’t sleep at all there would be no way I could push when I needed to.

The good news is not long after I woke up when the meds wore off – the ballon in my uterus had opened my cervix halfway which meant that almost 24 hrs into labor I could FINALLY get my epidural. And that by far was the BEST part of my labor experience. 🀣 I could literally feel nothing. My legs were like rag doll legs. The nurses had to toss them around because I was officially useless.

At this point my nurses were telling me that we could have a baby by midnight on September 9th so we texted our parents and told them the countdown was on and that they could come to the hospital (5:30 pm ish)

This is when the story gets really ‘fun’. 😏

Apparently my induction was scheduled for one of the busiest nights this labor and delivery floor has ever seen. And everyone else that was there was ending up in emergency C-sections and with complications… so although I was ready after my epidural for my water to be broken – there was no available physician to deal with my delivery which was ‘lower priority’ than the others going on because I was healthy. So yeah, being punished for being healthy. πŸ€”

We literally heard the lullaby music announcing 4 births before they would come and break my water. Now it’s around 2 am on September 10th (36+ hrs into labor).

They broke my water and then they threw my legs over this crazy peanut ball that I ended up absolutely hating. The nurse put the bed up in all these crazy uncomfortable positions – so it was impossible to catch any sleep- even with my epidural still working. Plus I was extremely fatigued as it had been days since I had slept well. We finally get to the part where I’m supposed to push… and the nurse says we need to do some practice pushes to see if I can feel enough to push her out. I could not.

And this is when I was ready to strangle someone. πŸ₯΄ My nurse turned off my epidural because it needed to wear off ‘enough’ so I could push.

It wore off a lot and very quickly and the contractions were intense. So intense I threw up and aspirated half of it back down again because of the position of the bed. I choked for a good 15 minutes trying to get it all back out again. Did you know throwing up during labor is normal? Because I definitely didn’t. The nurse made me do ‘practice pushes’ until she saw her head! And THEN she called my Dr. at 3 am to tell her she could come because I was ready and she had to do a twenty min drive to get there… 😀

Each contraction came and was more intense then the last. The 20 minutes it took for my Dr. to arrive were straight torture because I wanted to push and my nurse told me to keep my legs shut till the Dr. got there. πŸ™„

My husband guesses 25 pushes once the Dr. came and Indie was finally here. 😭 (For me the number of pushes was just a painful blur.)

Never have I ever been more exhausted but happy. πŸ₯°

After that I know the placenta was delivered, I know my Dr. stitched me up, I know they had to soak up all the blood that was on the floor. But I know all this in the periphery of her face. I couldn’t look away from it. This is true love at first sight people. 😍 The only kind I believe in.

We got some better pictures after I was allowed to take a shower and eat and sleep an hour or two.

We got to come home from the hospital on September 12th 2019- Our 10th wedding anniversary. Couldn’t have been more perfect and we couldn’t wait to get her home.

Here’s my advice. If you only get a limited leave from work start your leave when your baby is literally hanging out and ready to come. I never would have felt the kind of pressure I was feeling to do an induction if I would have not started leave till she arrived. And if we have any more children that is 100% how I will do it. My leave will start when baby comes NATURALLY. 😬

Something else worth mentioning about giving birth is your hormones are so crazy and irrational. Luckily so far one week in the ‘baby blues’ haven’t hit me yet. Partially I think it’s because my husband has taken 3 weeks paternity leave with me and I have appreciated his help so much even though with breast feeding he can’t really help me with those all night feedings.

Even though I’m the only one who can feed her he watches her so I can shower in peace or he gives me a 3 hr sleep chunk between those feedings. He picked up our groceries today and changes so many diapers and today I gave him a hug and cried about him going back to work even though we have 2 weeks left before he does. 😭

Another example of irrational behavior that I KNOW is irrational is when a family member of mine simply said “She looks like her Dad.” That comment made me bawl in the hospital- and not because I didn’t want her to look like her dad. I love her dad and I think he’s very attractive and I know if she 100% looks like him she will be very attractive too. But there’s something about having just been in labor for 36+ hrs with no sleep and being told that child looks nothing like you that gets under your skin. No matter how much you love your partner- you feel like you did all the work- because you did. You carried her for 9 months, you puked every night for the first 3, you were the one who had to deal with all the discomfort and body morphing changes, you labored for days and then you’re told you had nothing to do with the way she looks at all?!

I know, I know- you think I’m crazy now but I think any mom secretly feels this way- especially when they’re sitting in the hospital with adult diapers and cooling packs in their crotch. πŸ˜‚

Anyways, if you read all this you’re the bees knees 🐝 πŸ‘πŸ‘.

Baby Girl room part 2

So I wrote a post a few months back with our girl nursery reveal. I decided that I’ve added to and changed it enough and tweaked things for practicality purposes that new ‘final photos’ were in order.

I added some cute things to the walls mostly from hobby lobby. So we officially have no more wall space for anything! But we also added this ‘don’t worry, be happy’ sign from @theshedinteriors over the closet. 😍 Plus the closet is way more full now than it was a few months ago because #babyshowers and #imbroke πŸ˜‚.

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My practical side meant the diaper changing area needed to be finalized. We got our keekaroo I had to have because you can wipe it down. πŸ™Œ

This ubbi diaper pail was what I chose because it doesn’t require special bags like a diaper genie does.

I also added this blue ikea cart we already had with all the wipes, diapers, bath supplies, thermometer, nose frida, nail clippers, cradle cap comb, diaper rash cream and this nifty tool I found on amazon for applying diaper cream without getting it stuck under your fingernails.

Seems kindof stupid when I’m perfectly aware that I will have way worse things under my finger nails soon like poop but the reviews won me over. And we’ve got a good stash of wipes and diapers started too!

On the advice of the internet I also set up a nursing/ pumping station in the room. I have a basket hid next to the rocker filled with all the ‘essentials’: Pump, water bottle, lanolin cream, boppy, small hand sanitizer, pacifier, wipes, burp cloths, breast pads/ shield, chap stick, hair ties etc. Just trying to make my life as smooth as possible after our girl gets here because literally EVERYONE has told me ‘nursing is the hardest thing you will EVER do.’ It made me worry enough about it that I bought a book and did some reading up and there was definitely a lot I didn’t know. I chose this book Latch by Robin Kaplan because it was one of the few options I could find out there that was written within the last couple years and it wasn’t one million pages long. Even though I know it will be hard and an adjustment I’m hoping everything I learned will come in handy. I know a lot of people take breast feeding classes but at my hospital they were expensive and only offered during my work hours on Tuesday nights.

I’ve got our hospital bag packed and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. It will be nice to not be hot and pregnant anymore. I’m looking forward to the day when the temperatures are a little cooler and I can hang with my girl and fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans again. πŸ˜…

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!