DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration

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It feels like Halloween was yesterday and here we are in the middle of November already! I am one of the hold outs who waits until after Thanksgiving to decorate my entire home for Christmas but I have been doing some crafting! These adorable mason jars will be headed to my vendor booth as our Holiday Open House is this weekend. Aren’t they adorable? I’m sharing with you today how to make your own.

If you are a farmhouse decor lover like myself you probably have a collection of mason jars. As much as I love them plain, they are perfect to use for holiday decor.

First gather your supplies:

-Mason Jar (I used a Half Gallon size vintage Ball Jar since my bottle brush tree was large)

-Bottle Brush tree (I used a vintage one from a thrift store but you could purchase new ones from a craft store or online)

-Faux Snow Fluff

-Extra Fine Glitter (Mine is iridescent)

-Bells

-Ribbon

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

Next tear off a piece of the faux snow and stuff it into the bottom of your mason jar. Since my hand was too large to reach the bottom I used the end of a wooden spoon to stuff it down. Make sure it’s as flat and even as you can get it so your tree stands upright.

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

Then I sprinkled some glitter all over the snow. Next time I would use a piece of paper under the jar to catch my overage. Cleaning up tiny pieces of glitter is not a good time!

Then I sprinkled some glitter all over the snow.

After that insert your bottle brush tree into the mason jar and sprinkle a little extra glitter on the tree itself. You can never have too much sparkle!

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

After that tie your bow and add your bells. I had difficultly getting my burlap ribbon through the opening on top of the bell so I used twine. The ribbon is covering it up. Your project is complete!

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

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DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration

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How to: My best Christmas gift shopping tips to save you time and money

 

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It’s 10 days before Christmas and I will be completely done shopping tomorrow once I pick up some more gift cards for my parents. Everything I bought so far is also wrapped, sorted by recipient and ready to go for the big day. I am not trying to brag or say I am supermom (I’m far from it!) but it is worth it to me to be done early and not to have to fight the crowds. I also do not have to stress that I have so much left to do when my kids are on Winter Break. Friends always ask me to reveal my secrets so I am sharing them with you too! These tips are what works best for me and my family. Everyone is different but I hope you will learn something new!

-Open a note on your phone (I use the Notes app that came already installed on my iPhone) and make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for plus your budget. During the year put any ideas you may have for that person and what you have already purchased. This way you are not going over your budget or forgetting someone either! Otherwise you will end up like my mom and find gifts in July you forgot you bought for Christmas. She’s going to kill me for writing that. Sorry mom! This is a great tip for birthdays as well! They also make apps like Santa’s Bag that help to track your budget and purchases.

-Start early! Do you want to know when I bought my first Christmas present this year? January! When I find something on sale I buy it and store it. Be picky and buy something your loved one actually will want and use. Avoid buying junk just because it is a good deal.

-Buy holiday decorations and gift wrapping on clearance the week after Christmas. I wait until Target gets to 50% off and buy what I really really want. Anything else I like but don’t “need” I wait until at least 70% off. This is the time to stock up on items like wrapping paper and gift bags. Last year I found tons of gift wrap supplies for 90% off at Target. Guess who will not have to be buying any again for years? This girl! I was also able to donate 16 rolls of wrapping paper to our local mom’s group for their holiday toy drive.

-Shop the Target toy clearance sales in late January and late July. Years ago I did the bulk of my kid’s holiday shopping during this sale. The days of the sale are no longer the same as they used to be and the markdowns seem to take longer to get to 70% off. This sale is still worth stalking Target over. Also visit multiple stores if they have more than one in your area. Different stores will have different inventory. The discounts also vary. You may find a toy at 30% off at your regular store but the one across town has the same item marked at 70% off. This is also a great time to stock up on Toys For Tots gifts.

-Whenever you have extra time at any store browse by the clearance racks or sections. You never know what you will find.

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-Amazon Prime. If you do not already have it, sign up for a free trial. It is life changing!!! When a package takes longer than 2 days to arrive from another site I get annoyed. I have become totally spoiled. I also check Amazon prices before buying anything at the store. It is not always the lowest price but most of the time it will be the same or lower. Plus it involves me not having to leave my house. That’s important now that I live a hefty drive from stores and I have a 4 year old that is a beast to take shopping.

-Use free price tracking websites like Camel Camel Camel. This site tells you the lowest price an item you are interested in has sold for on Amazon and when. I check there to find out if an item is likely to go lower in price based on past trends.  http://camelcamelcamel.com

-Use websites like RetailMeNot or google for coupons before making online purchases. Many of my friends like Ebates to earn cashback. I am so guilty of forgetting to use this program!

-Try to only buy from stores that offer free shipping. Nothing is worse than paying shipping costs higher than the item that you have purchased. I have become so spoiled by Amazon Prime that it literally pains me to pay shipping.

-Make your own gifts. My sister bought a Cricut Explore Air and has been working like crazy to make personalized gifts. You do not need a fancy machine to make your own though. Are you good at baking? Cookies and cakes are always appreciated. Are you crafty? Pinterest is filled with ideas.

Check out my gift giving board here: https://www.pinterest.com/jerseygirlinthe/gift-giving

-Give the gift of your time. What hobbies or talents do you have that can be shared? What can you do to help someone out? I am sure your nieces and nephews would love for you to babysit them or your relatives would appreciate having you paint a room for them. My inlaws gifted that to us the Christmas we moved to our last house (closing was Dec 15th) and it really helped out. We did not have the time to paint ourselves and as I have mentioned before I am not the best painter.

-Use Social Media to find deals. Small shops often post discount codes on their Instagram feeds. Facebook is an awesome resource too. Many pages have already found fabulous deals for you. Because of the changes on Facebook it is best to go directly to their pages as all of their posts will not show up on your news feed. My favorite bargain pages are:

Passionate Penny Pincher https://www.facebook.com/PassionatePennyPincher/

Thrify Momma Ramblings https://www.facebook.com/thriftymommaramblings/

Hip2Save https://www.facebook.com/hip2save/

How Does She https://www.facebook.com/HowDoesShe/?fref=ts

-My biggest tip? Try not to stress!!! Slow down, take it day by day and enjoy the holidays.

Do you have any shopping tips to share?

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Christmas Home Tour 2016

Farmhouse style Christmas home tour

Farmhouse style Christmas home tour

How did it get to be December 7th already? I swear it was just Halloween last week! Everyone is full of excitement in this house for Santa to arrive. Christmas morning is my favorite day of the year. Watching the kids open their gifts makes my heart happy. I do a lot of my Christmas shopping ahead of time so I am not feeling pressured or unprepared right before the big day. Mainly it’s because I can not stand the crowds in the stores. I will even skip my weekly (who am I kidding twice a week) Target shopping trip to escape the madness! Instead we get to spend our time driving around looking at Christmas lights, watching holiday movies and enjoying treats. I am always looking for new ideas and traditions. What do you do in your household?

Most years the house is fully decked out by the weekend after Thanksgiving. For some reason this year I am behind. I decided to concentrate on my dining room and family room mainly this year so I will be giving you a tour of those two rooms. My plan for next year is Christmas in every room!

I purchased this refillable Advent calendar last year from Target. The boys have been looking forward to opening it every morning. My oldest went ahead and peeked (I’m on to you kid and I know you’ve been hunting for gifts too!!) so he knows what is coming up but the two younger ones are still surprised. I love it! I wanted to hang it from my old chippy window. While daydreaming I imagined it crashing to the ground as one of the numbers was being opened. Quickly I changed my mind. I think it looks cute (and safer) sitting on the buffet. Instead I hung this card garland I found at Target from the window.

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See my adorable flocked tree? They are a hit on Instagram. You can find them at Walmart for the super low price of $12!!! I could not believe it! Word has gotten out and they are hard to find. They have gorgeous flocked wreaths too. Now run to Walmart before they are all gone!!

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This adorable Merry sign is from the Target bargain area, which is also another hot spot this season. I plan to paint it red but I have been too lazy to do it yet. My little red ceramic truck on the buffet was purchased there too. It was hard to resist the urge to buy all the things.

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On my front door is a cute little snowman I found at Christmas Tree Shops last year for $8. If you have one of their locations near you check it out! It is not only Christmas decor. Yes there is a lot of junk but you will also find some treasures and cheap K cups.  Mr. Happy Holidays is now sitting in the corner next to the door. My suction cup will not stop falling off and I was sick of putting it back up.

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I kept the dresser top simple and just put a faux wreath over my antique grain scoop. I filled it with leftover Christmas balls from the tree.

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Do you like my faux fur and knit stockings? They are another Christmas Tree Shops find for $8 each. I had some Pottery Barn Kids stockings in my online shopping cart but I didn’t pull the trigger. On a shopping trip I decided to check CTS and I am glad that I did. I got the instant gratification of not waiting for them to be delivered. Plus I saved myself a lot of money!

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Snow globes always scream Christmas joy to me. Bonus points because it lights up! The sign is another Target bargain spot find as is my blanket scarf being used as a throw. The pillow cover is from Amazon. They take a very long time to ship but for the price they are worth it. Did you know Rae Dunn makes adorable Christmas mugs too?

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On the opposite corner of the family room is our big buck Harold sporting a magnolia wreath from Hobby Lobby. And the truck pillow? You guessed it. Target again.

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On the end table next to my couch I have displayed a cloche with bottle brush trees and an awesome free printable from The Turquoise Home blog. You can download your own at http://theturquoisehome.com/o-holy-night-free-printable/

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Moving on to the other side of the family room. My nativity set is usually displayed in my dining room but I wanted to try something new this year. I am loving how the colors pop against the green dresser. This set belonged to my grandmother and when I moved out on my own in college my parents handed it down to me. I treasure it and look forward to setting it up each year.

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Last but certainly not least is my Christmas tree.  My shatterproof ball ornaments are one of my best bargain finds ever! Do you want to hear the story? Good. I was sifting through the wasteland that is the 90% off Christmas clearance at Target. It’s mostly broken pieces, wrapping paper and gift bags. I am there all.the.time and the employees recognize me. Sad, I know. One of the stockers came up to me and said we forgot to put these boxes of ornaments out and just found them in the back. They are ringing up $2 each for a huge container. Do you want to buy them? Ummm YES PLEASE! I did leave some for another person because I am not greedy. Only spending $10 I was able to get a whole tree full of ornaments and still had extras to spare! Talk about a major bargain high!

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The boys put the ornaments on and for once I left them that way. As a result there may be two on the same branch or colors that are way too close together but that is how they wanted it. Soon enough I will be doing the tree alone to my liking and missing my boys decorating it with me. It can look a little haphazard for now.

From our family to yours we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

 

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DIY project: Upcycled wall art

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Normally I am the donater/thrower outer type but something told me to hold on to this piece. I love a good DIY project. I knew I could transform it into something new even though it took me 6 months to figure out what it would become… This framed W came with two other picture frames that were used in my gallery wall upstairs. The grand total for all 3 pieces was $4! They were on clearance from Kirklands during one of their green tag sales. If you have never been to their green tag sale they mark things down to 75% off the original cost. I always check the clearance section when I stop in. I have found several great pieces over the years for a fraction of the original cost. (For my NJ friends Kirlands is not related to Costco. It’s a separate company. Check out their website!)

Anyway, since our last name starts with an S  the W wasn’t going to work for us. I was going to find a W last named family to give it to but since I’m a fan of burlap and liked the wood look frame I changed my mind. I am glad that I did! In addition to being cute and easy to do this was a quick project to complete. This entire DIY project took me a grand total of 5 minutes which is important for those of us with little ones. It took me longer to write this post!

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The W was easily removed using a flat head screwdriver. Luckily it did not tear the burlap underneath. It did pull it out in a few spots so I tucked it back under using the tip of the screwdriver. No big deal. I could have recovered it using holiday themed scrapbook paper if I was not able to salvage the burlap.

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This cute rustic Christmas tree ornament was on sale at JoAnn’s for $5. Here is the link if you want to purchase one. http://www.joann.com/makers-holiday-wood-tree-ornament/15039118.html#pmax=10&prefn1=collection&prefn2=type&pmin=5&prefv1=Natural&prefv2=Ornaments&start=1

Using scissors I just snipped off the hanger part. A little hot glue secured it to the frame and it’s done! Normally I dread using my glue gun. This is the first hot glue project in a long time that I completed without missing any fingerprints!

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I think it turned out great and I’m very pleased. This year I changed over to a more rustic Christmas decor in the family room. The ornament goes perfectly with that style. You could use any kind or style of ornament in this project as long as you have a flat spot to attach it to the frame. Anything round or heavy would be extremely difficult to attach with hot glue. Stronger adhesives like E-6000 would probably work.

The next time you are out shopping look for inexpensive or ugly wall art to upcycle. Places like Goodwill and yard sales have plenty that need to be rescued and given a makeover!

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I will be posting a tour of our house decorated for Christmas soon! Be on the lookout!

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