More Wishing Tree Ideas - From Bed Bath & Beyond

I recently wrote a blog post about finding a wishing tree for showers, parties, weddings, etc. Well, today I stumbled upon some trees from Bed Bath & Beyond that I think will work perfectly as wishing trees- just had to share!

For $29.99 you can get this beauty:

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/led-22-inch-lighted-blossom-tree/1040510804   
Plus, Bed Bath and Beyond offers 20% off in-store coupons to customer's that sign up on their email list. Which means you can get an even better deal and I am all about a really good deal!!

Here is another one, perfect for a Fall themed shower or party:

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/22-inch-brown-wrapped-amber-leaf-led-lighted-tree/1041162392
Don't forget to check out my handmade wishing tree tags at my etsy shop :) Thanks for reading, as always and happy party planning! Felecia

Finding Your Wishing Tree

   The wishing tree tags I sell on Etsy are flying off the shelves! Let me start this post out with some definitions. A wishing tree is a fun item to add to baby showers, bridal showers, and other parties. At the event the tree will be decorated with little tags that guests write wishes on and then hang on the wishing tree. It's a thoughtful party activity that doubles as a sincere keepsake.
   With the increase of my wishing tree tag sales, I have been getting lots of questions about where to find a wishing tree- So I decided to write up a post in hopes of helping all you party planners in need. The following are some great ideas for finding a wishing tree.

I'll start out with this great site to check out, it's www.save-on-crafts.com. They have a nice selection of trees and branches at reasonable prices. Here are some of my favorite finds at Save On Crafts:

What is 30" tall, black, and glittery? My first wishing tree pick. It's only $42.00, plus it has a nice metal base for sturdiness.
http://www.save-on-crafts.com/blacktree.html




Here is another option from www.save-on-crafts.com.  Manzanita branches are great for wishing trees because there branches are so wild allowing lots of places to hang the tags! At Save On Crafts you can get 3 branches for $15. Each one is about 18" in height which is perfect for a wishing tree.

http://www.save-on-crafts.com/manzanita.html
 Along with your manzanita branches, find a vase and add some filler and voila, you have your very own wishing tree. Vases can be found anywhere from $1 at your local dollar store to $10.00 at a craft store or department store. You can use many things as vase fillers - I personally love the rustic and natural look of river rocks. But, you have endless options from marbles, to rocks, to colored gems. You can get vase fillers are your local craft stores, or department stores such as Wal-Mart for around $1-$3 per bag.


Three manzanita branches, one vase, and filler of your choice will set you back about $25-$35, not too shabby.
Another great idea for a wishing tree is a decorative photo tree. These are meant to be home decorations, but would also make a really nice wishing tree for your next event. You can find these on Amazon for around $25 plus shipping. I love these trees because you can add photos to the frames for a creative touch... fill the photos with maternity photos (for baby showers) or engagement photos (for bridal showers), graduation photos, etc.

http://www.amazon.com

My next idea is unique and classy, I'm super excited to share this find. It would make a perfect wishing tree for a bridal shower or a wine-themed event. It's a wine stopper! Is that cool or what?! 

With these wine stoppers, you can only hang about 1 dozen wishing tree tags per wine stopper. Therefore, I would purchase 3 of them, but at $10 each that's still not too bad. Check it out here.


Lastly, here is a DIY wishing tree kit you can purchase. This option isn't as creative as some of the other trees, but it is a quick and easy option that works great. 

http://www.beau-coup.com/wedding/wedding-diy-wishing-tree
This tree is sold by Beau-coup, although there are a few other sites that sell it as well. I have purchased from Beau-coup myself and they are a great company to work with. Also, don't forget to check out coupons, Beau-coup offers coupon deals all the time.

That will sum up my wishing tree suggestions, I sure hope this post will be helpful to some of you party planners. You can also check out my post on how to make your own wishing tree and don't forget to check out my wishing tree tags up for sale on my Etsy account.

Thanks so much for reading and keep on crafting! XOXO, Felecia


DIY Baby Blocks

My sister is expecting her first child- it's a boy!! She is naming him Atlas and has decided to decorate the room in a world/map theme. Aside from the gift I purchased for her shower, I also wanted to make something special for her and Atlas. After many crafty online searches and brainstorm sessions I decided to make handmade baby blocks decorated with maps from around the World. This is a fun and easy project that anyone can do.

My husband helped me out by cutting down some wood and then nicely rounding off the corners. Although, this turned out to be quite the project for him (mainly because he is a perfectionist). He said next time he would just purchase the blocks online to save some major time. If you take his advice and choose to buy online, you can get each block for about .50 each, check out this site: www.craftparts.com.

Here is a photo of his lovely wooden blocks:


For this project you will need:
  • Qty 10 2" wooden blocks
  • Maps, or other photos/pictures (to decorate the blocks)
  • Mod Podge 
  • Photo paper
  • Craft essentials such as- printer, scissors, glue, paint brush...
Step 1: FIND THE MAPS OR PHOTOS YOU WILL BE DECORATING THE BLOCKS WITH & PRINT- I decided each side of these blocks was going to be a map puzzle, which means these blocks will double as puzzles and playing blocks, pretty cool right? Six sides to a block = six puzzles total. I had 10 blocks (I chose 10 so they would stack in a perfect triangle), but could only use 9 for the puzzles so it was square. Therefore, I turned block #10 into the map-key. I found 6 maps and printed them out on glossy photo paper. Hint- make sure to let the photo dry for at least 1/2 hour.


Step 2: CUTTING & GLUING- Next, I cut the maps into 9 pieces each . Each piece was cut 1 5/8" x 1 5/8" to leave some extra room to compensate for the rounded edges and corners on the block. After the pieces were cut, I simply glued each one to the blocks.

Here are some of the puzzles put together:
Wisconsin Map - Notice the map-key block at the top :)

World Map
Step 4: SEAL THE BLOCKS- I chose to go with mod podge as my sealer. I used 2 coats on each side. This part is a little time consuming, but don't worry it will be done before you know it. Make sure to allow each side to dry fully, which can take a few hours.


I chose to use Mod Podge because these blocks will be used as decorations, but I would recommend using a baby safe sealant for playing blocks. Check out this site http://sealitgreen.com/.

At last, the final product! 


Don't you just love them?! I sure hope Atlas loves these blocks as much as I do, just a few more months before his arrival and we will see :) Thanks for reading and enjoy crafting!!!

XOXO, Felecia

Make Your Own Bridal Shower Advice Board

   Once I found out my best friend Megan was getting married, I could not have been more ecstatic- literally, when she called to tell me the news my response was a very excited "AHHHHH!" Not long after the engagement we were knee deep in wedding planning and I could not have been more happy to help out and enjoy this amazing time with her. When it came to the Bridal Shower, Megan's Mom took on the majority of the planning, but I was able to help contribute a few DIY projects as well. The shower was an absolutely beautiful, vintage style couples shower (boys and girls invited).
   Megan helped plan my bridal shower along with my sister, Angelica. One of the things they did for my shower was hand out little cards to the guests to write advice on. I got to keep all of the cards and I LOVED reading them with my husband-to-be (at the time, now husband). So, I decided to repay Megan the favor and do something similar for her shower. When event planning, I like to include personal touches when possible and this is a great way to do just that. Here is a tutorial on how to make your very own low-cost framed advice board.


You will need:

- (Qty 2, 8') 1/2" x 2 1/2" base-board trim, about $3.00 ea.
- (Qty 2,  8') 1" x 2" piece of lumber, about $1.50 ea.
- wood glue
- 8" x 11" frame (for the instruction sign)
- box of cards, about $3.00 on sale or with coupon
- ribbon
- clothes pins
- pens/pencils

*the ribbon, clothes pins, pens, and frame are all items that you can most likely find laying around to save money, always work with what you have before purchasing new ;)

Total Cost: Less than $15.00!

~ASSEMBLY~

My husband, Ben, helped with the construction of this. We purchased some pre-finished white baseboard/trim from our local home improvement store along with 2 8' pieces of 1"x2" lumber. Ben cut 4 pieces of the the baseboard trim into approximately 36" each. Then he cut them diagonally on the edges to give it nice frame flush look. After that, he glued the pieces together with strong wood glue, clapped, and let sit. Here is a diagram on how to assemble.





 Here's a photo of the corner, you can see how nicely it came together at the edges.


 ASSEMBLY CONTINUED: After the baseboard trim was fully dry, repeat the same thing on the back side with the 1"x2" wood. This will make your frame stronger and keep it from bowing. 

 

 Lastly, you will need to choose some sort of ribbon to hang the cards on. Because Megan's shower was a vintage theme, I went with a white lace ribbon. I simply cut the lace to size and stapled on the back of the frame with a heavy duty stapler.


~MAKING THE INSTRUCTION SIGN~

I chose to go with a free font called Riesling. You can find this font on a bunch of different font sites, I downloaded mine from Font Squirrel.  It was perfect for the vintage theme.

You can make your own sign in the font of your choice, or you can use the free template that I have provided below. Just click on this template, copy and paste it, then print for your own use.


After printing your sign, frame it in a 8"x11" photo frame to set in front of your advice board. The final items you will need to complete this project is: a box of cards, clothespins to hang the cards with, and some pens/pencils for guests to write on. For the cards, I chose a box of blank folding cards at Joann Fabrics. Click here.

One last thing- I decided to hang a few photos of Megan and her fiance on the advice board, this added an additional personal touch to the board. I took about 6 photos of them, edited them at picmonkey.com to make them look vintage and hung them on board with clothespins.

So there you have it, for about $15 you can have a lovely and personal decoration for a bridal shower. This advice board will also work great for other parties- graduations, engagement, even weddings. I hope this tutorial was helpful. Enjoy your party planning!




The Happy Couple :)


Thanks for reading! XOXO, Felecia

DIY Valentine Cards

   I'll never forget celebrating Valentine's Day at school. It was an awkward yet pleasant day for me in which I brought my home made Valentine's box to school along with my Valentine cards- each one addressed to a member in my class. This is the first time as a child that I experienced "puppy love." There was always one or two Valentine's that I would make extra special. Whether that meant using my best penmanship, or adding an additional heart here and there, maybe even an XOXO if the person was particularly special.
  My Valentine cards generally consisted of popular cartoon characters; Care Bears, Rainbow Bright, Disney princesses, etc. But, when I have my own little ones running around I am sure to turn this event into a crafty labor of love. Here are a few great DIY ideas I can't wait to try out!


These adorable Valentine cards replace chocolate with pencils, healthier and useful. You can download the free printable template from Sweet Muffin Suite.

This is free download from Blue Skies Ahead. The tutorial is actually for a 8"x10" framed picture, but you can easily turn this into a Valentine's Day card. I personally like the "Call Me Maybe" part.



Lastly, Valentine's Mad Libs! I wouldn't recommend this one for children, but it's great for a secret admirer, or significant other. You can download the template at My Sister's Suitcase.

Valentine's Day will be here in no time and I can't wait! I have been a hopeless romantic since my first Valentine's Day in elementary school :) Love is in the air. Thanks for reading, Felecia.

A Tree for the Birds - An Alternative to Your Traditional Christmas Tree


   My Grandma recently got a new kitten, exhibit A. Her name is Lexie, and although she is absolutely adorable, she is the naughtiest little kitty around. She gets into EVERYTHING!

Exhibit A


   Because of Lexie, my Grandma was unable to set up a Christmas tree inside. Instead she opted for setting it out on her patio, exhibit B. This way she could still enjoy having a tree as well as not worry about Lexie getting into it or knocking it down.

Exhibit B


With a beautiful backyard, full of lots of birds, rabbits, and squirrels, we decided to turn the tree into a "Tree for the Birds." The animals deserve a little Christmas cheer too, right?! We killed two birds with one stone by giving my Grandma a beautiful Christmas tree and feeding the birds and other animals in her neighborhood.

Lets get started, here's how you can make your very own tree for the birds-

Pine Cone Treat Ornaments:

You will need:

-Pine Cones: we got ours outside in the backyard, free!
-2 cups corn meal
-3 cups peanut butter, nutty or smooth
-2 cups bird seed
-String/yarn


Directions: Simply combine corn meal, bird seed, peanut butter (warmed) and mix together well. Then roll your pine cones in the mixture.



Lastly, tie a string around the top of the pine cones so you can hang them on the tree. We were worried about the possibility of an animal getting injured from the string so we chose yarn because they can bite through that fairly easily. If you are worried you can just set the pine cones in the tree, or around the tree. The birds will love them either way.


 Note: We had some of the mixture left over, with that we filled a few orange peels. We were able to stick the orange treats onto the strong branches at the top of out tree. It was our orange star.


Bread Ornaments:

You will need:
-Bread
-String/yarn
  
These ornaments are super easy. Simply cut up a bunch of pieces of bread- one piece of bread can make 4 ornaments. Poke a little hole in each piece of bread. This is where you will be stringing them. If you don't do this then it is really difficult to get the string in them after the bread has hardened (think about trying to poke a whole through a crouton- not so easy). Let the bread pieces sit out over night. The next day they will be ready to string and hang on your tree.

My Grandma had a few mini donuts that we decided to give the birds as well.



Ok, you are now all set to decorate your "Tree for the Birds." Bundle up and head outside with the goodies. Here are some photos of me decorating the tree, and then the finished product.


The Finished Product:




 The animals came shortly afterwords. It was great being able to see them enjoy the ornaments! I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season! Thanks for reading :)




I'm in Business!! Watch out Etsy!

   Working a full time office job, being a part-time book keeper, and helping out with lots of side projects- I have been a busy bee! But in between all of it I have finally got enough stock to put a few things up on Etsy. My Etsy shop is called Free Spirit Crafting, and I couldn't be more proud to introduce this portion of my life and creativity to the World.
   I only have a few things up for sale, but when I get a free moment I love to lock myself away in my craft room and make new creations. My husband and I are lucky enough to have a spare room that I can dedicate to my crafting. It is on the end our house with two windows, small and cozy, and most of the time looks like a tornado of crafts went through it- but, to me it is an amazing little retreat full of all kinds of fabric, ribbon, paper, buttons, embellishments, and so much more. Hopefully I can craft out a few new items to add to my Etsy shop each week.

You can view my Etsy shop here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/FreeSpiritCrafting

  Thank you to all my believers who have complimented my crafts and projects, and essentially pushed me to start this. It is only a baby business now, but I hope for it to bloom into something amazing.