Window Makeover on a Budget

Hey there everyone! Our home decor contributor, Siri, is back this month to share an awesome Window Makeover on a Budget! I am really enjoying all of her fun tips and tricks…
 
Hi Friends!
It’s Siri from Of Pumpkin Thieves and Buffalo Wings again!

 

Photo by Rennai of Ten22 Studio

Today I’m sharing about another DIY home decor trick to make fixing up the little details in your home easier! I love to take photos in my home, whether they be of my daughter, my dogs, projects, or for blogging, I need good lighting for them. 

One hint to getting great lighting for indoor photos is to have clean white colors within a room so that they tint the photo to be brighter. I’m always looking for that natural light that comes through my windows.

All of the windows in our home have these standard old blinds. You know, the kind that are awful to try to clean.

I wanted to find a way to beautify my windows on a budget, but also do it in such a way that my natural light would still come into the rooms.

Here’s the window in the playroom/ my office.
 I had a vision for just a simple, clean, gentle look to cover up those blinds.

I hunted around and finally found EXACTLY what I needed!
At IKEA I purchased two sets of mesh, lace curtains for $3.99 a pair. I also got the bars to hang them and the hardware for under $5.
 I then layered the curtains so that there were two layers, tying the front layer as pictured!

So my window got a makeover for $9 and now it still lets in all that glorious light for me to photograph my baby girl, but it also looks pretty and almost ethereal.
 You could also easily customize this idea by hanging a banner across the top or draping strings of needle felted balls or something similar from the top to add color that matches the room.

That natural light in my home makes all the difference!
See?

Thanks for having me Kara and thanks for reading everyone!
I hope you enjoyed this month’s easy DIY home decor trick!
Come by and visit my blog next month for the full reveal of my office and Svea’s playroom!
 
Follow Siri on Instagram too!

Easy Bandana Pillows

Hello there! I have a simple and fun tutorial to show you today that I think  you are doing to LOVE. Only a few supplies and several spare minutes and you can dress up your front porch for summer in no time at all! And on a tight budget too!

Check out these Easy Bandana Pillows I made for my front porch bench!

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Are those not the cutest, happiest looking pillows?? Did y’all know that Hobby Lobby has really fun and really trendy bandana prints available? Did you also know they are only 99 cents each? HOLLA!

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Do you want to make some of your own? Here’s what you’ll need…

  • bandanas
  • polyfill
  • thread
  • pins
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • *For a no-sew pillow, you can always try using fabric glue.

How-to:

  • Fold the bandana in half and pin edges together all the way around. 
  • Sew all the way around the perimeter of the bandana, leaving a small opening a the end.
  • Stuff full with polyfill.
  • Pin the opening shut.
  • Sew closed.
  • Don’t forget to back stitch at all the places you start and stop your sewing!

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I just love this print! The color and the pattern… makes my porch look happy!

Let’s take a look what two 99 cent bandanas can do to transform your front porch…

bandana pillows beforeafter

Bandanas to pillows…

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Sad bench to happy bench! What do you think? This is definitely a beginner sewing project. VERY easy. 

Notice the cute little pillow in the middle with the vintage fabric hearts? I’ll be sharing more about that soon!

Thanks for stopping by today, friends! Don’t forget to connect with me on social media. You can find the links in my sidebar or at the tip top of this page. 

If you liked this project, you might like some of my other pillow projects!

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Pottery Barn Inspired Flag Pillow (super old tutorial, but still a favorite)

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Flag Placemat Pillows (another oldie but a goodie)

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Kitchen Towels to Pillows 

Mommy Tell All Monday: Energy and Water Saving Tips for Mom and Kids

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Hello there! Welcome to Mommy Tell All Monday, a place where we share all things related to *motherhood.* 

  Mommy Tell All Monday button (300x300)

It’s Monday and I’ll tell you what, I’m ready to hit the ground running this week! Not literally (I’m so not a runner), but I have a ton on my to do list and I’m super motivated. One of the things I am focusing on this week is preparing for summer temperatures. I live in Arizona and our summer temps are killer. And when I say killer, I mean on my bank account too, due to higher electric bills. So today I am going to share some Energy and Water Saving Tips for Moms and Kids, including adding in some LED power! I think you are going to find that these little adjustments are not only simple, but they will save you money in the long run as well. 

LED bulbs5

What can us moms do to help minimize those electric and water bills this summer? Here are 5 simple Energy and Water Saving tips that anyone can do:

  1.  Switch out your regular ol’ light bulbs to LED power! I suggest using GE LED Energy Smart light bulbs. One LED bulb lasts as long as 15 traditional incandescent bulbs and uses 80% less energy! You can also check your annual savings using the energy saving calculator.   
  2. Turn off anything that’s plugged in that you are not using…electronics, appliances, etc. An easy way to do this is to use power strips! Then just go around and turn off the strips. 
  3. Close the curtains or blinds during the hottest parts of the day. If you have Venetian blinds, angel them up to reflect the light up. 
  4. Set your air conditioner to 75* F when you are home and 82-85* F when you are gone from home. Be sure to change those air filter regularly too!
  5. Replace old shower heads with water efficient shower heads. 

Not too bad right? Easy adjustments = energy, water, and money saved!  I bought 4 GE LED Energy Smart light bulbs and put them in the rooms we have lights on the most- the bathrooms, living room, hallway, and the playroom/school room. I plan on buying a couple of LED bulbs every week until all of our bulbs are switched over. Is it funny that I’m actually really excited about this? LOL!

You’ll  notice that I only put one light bulb in the bathroom. Only putting in one bulb rather than 3 saves on energy also!

LED bulbs3

Now if you know me, you know that I can turn almost any situation into a learning experience. I love to include my daughter in on things that I am doing, such as conserving water and energy and, in turn, saving our family money. I think it’s an important life lesson. And let’s be honest moms, it’s nice to have our kids help out too!  Here are a few simple things that the kids can do to help out…

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  1. Turn off  lights in rooms you walk out of.
  2. Don’t let the water run too long. Turn off the water. 
  3. When you are done using an electronic device (TV, gaming system, computer, etc.), turn it off.

Save Energy & Water print

I made a checklist to put up around the house to help my daughter remember these 3 simple tasks she can do to help out with conserving energy and water. And I’ll be honest and tell you it’s a nice reminder for my husband and I as well. 

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You can print out a kid’s checklist HERE. Please remember all free printables are for Mine for the Making readers personal use only. 

Are you ready for something super awesome? How about a coupon for those GE LED Energy Smart light bulbs? It’s live until May 1st, so grab it while you can. Head to Sam’s Club to stock up on LED bulbs so you can start saving money now!

LED bulbs1

You can see more awesome lighting ideas and energy saving tips by checking out the hashtags #LEDSavings and #CollectiveBias. 

Connect more with GE Lighting here: 

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Simple St. Patrick’s Day Decor

Hello there friends and Happy Monday!

No new Mommy Tell All Monday today. Instead I decided to share my Simple St. Patrick’s Day Decor with you. This is the first year I have ever decorated for this holiday…my almost 6 year old insisted. So I used what I had on hand in my craft stash to make some fun decor for my entry way table. I spent absolutely NO money on anything. Which makes decorating even more fun in my book. Ready to check it out?

  St. Patrick's Day Decor1

Hints of green, gold, and the rainbow… so whimsical and happy. 

  St. Patricks Day Decor2

I saw a stuffed shamrock on display at JoAnn Craft and Fabric Store and I really loved it. So I cut out two shamrocks on canvas, glued the edges together and stuffed it. Then I sponge painted it green and added a glittery, golden ribbon bunting to it. SO cute.

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The wooden Shamrock Block was out of scrap wood I had. Just sanded it, painted it, and added some Mod Podge and green glitter. I created the shamrock vinyl stencil using my Silhouette. I made the small glittery shamrock block at the same time. 

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The ‘Somewhere over the RAINBOW’ sign was created the same way. I designed a vinyl stencil using my Silhouette, applied it to my painted wood, and painted it with gold, rainbow colors, and of course… GLITTER. 

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This little corner is probably my favorite. I love the look of the rainbow stack of books. I found these babies at my library on the FREE shelf. SCORE! I made pom pom flowers using rainbow yarn and wooden skewers and stuck them in a mason jar. Simple and happy.

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My garland is made using scrap felt hearts that I quickly sewed together. Doesn’t it look cute with the pom pom garland?

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One more look at the whole she-bang…

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Very simple, very affordable, very happy. And my daughter approves *wink.*

I’ll share my LUCKY banner with you this week too, so stay tuned for that. 

Thanks for stopping by today! Let’s have a sun-shiny week! 

Drop Cloth Candy Corn Bunting

HAPPY FRIDAY!

It’s been a busy week around these parts, so I am really excited today is Friday. I have another fun and inexpensive Halloween craft to show you today. This is the third project we made during MFTM Craft Class, too. What do you think of this Drop Cloth Candy Corn Bunting?

drop cloth candy corn bunting1

 

LOVE the way this cute bunting turned out!

You might be asking, “What do you mean ‘drop cloth’ candy corn bunting?” That’s right…I used a drop cloth from Lowe’s to create my Halloween bunting. Would you like to make your own?

Supplies:

Drop cloth (Lowe’s)

Triangle template (to trace)

Black Sharpie

Craft paint (orange, yellow, white)

Sponge brushes

Scissors

Ribbon 

50 inches of twine 

Hot glue gun and glue sticks 

*optional: iron

drop cloth candy corn bunting3

 

How To:

Trace your triangle template on the drop cloth. My triangle template was about 4-5 inches from the top point the base of the triangle. I traced 5 of them on the drop cloth, but you can do as many as you’d like. Just be sure to make your twine longer.

After your triangles are traced, use a sponge brush to paint the triangles *before cutting them out.* That way, you don’t have to be too careful painting. Paint them to resemble candy corn, yellow base, orange middle, and white point. 

After the triangles dry, cut them out with your scissors. 

Using your hot glut gun, put a bead of hot glue on the back of the triangles, along the base of the triangle. Attach them to the twine. I like to leave 1-2 finger spaces in between my triangles. 

Once you finish gluing  your triangles, you can cut 3 inch pieces of ribbon to tie at the ends of the bunting and in between each triangle. I used a yellow and white plaid ribbon and a thin orange ribbon. 

And not it’s ready to hang! 

drop cloth candy corn bunting2

 

Easy peasy, right? And you’ll have a ton of drop cloth material left to make buntings for friends or buntings for other holidays! I even use drop cloth material to make cute pillows or curtains!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, friends! I have more fun Halloween projects to share with you soon!

Be sure you check out the cute printables from the photo above HERE. And if you love this Drop Cloth Candy Corn Bunting, you will also love the Reclaimed Wood Candy Corn too! Check them out HERE

Have a great weekend! I know we will, with my daughter’s first soccer game and General Conference! Enjoy!

Furnishing on a Budget

Hi friends!

We have a guest today sharing her tips for Furnishing on a Budget! Let’s welcome Jennifer!

How to Restore and Recycle Old Furniture

Furnishing your home on a budget can be very tricky, especially if you are just starting out and have nothing. Getting everything that you need can easily add up to several thousand dollars before you know it. Not everyone has this kind of money, but there is no reason that you should not have great furniture just because you don’t have a few thousand dollars to spare.

Furniture can be very expensive to buy new so it is a good idea to look around for used furniture. There are many places that you can look for furniture including garage sales, online or print ads, and even asking friends if they have anything that they may want to sell. While this is a great way to find used furniture, if you are not careful you could end up with something that will not last very long.

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{image found HERE}

It can be a bit tricky to get furniture that will go with everything else in your house when you are buying used, however there are a few things that you can do to help with that problem. The best thing that you can do is to try and purchase as much as you can from one seller. This is not only give you matching pieces, but also could be a better deal if they will offer a discount for buying more. If this is not a possibility then try to get colors that are common or that will go well with other colors.

Two of the main problems with used furniture are stains and broken parts. Stains may not be a huge issue because sometimes they can be cleaned but that is not always the case so be careful. On the other hand broken parts on used furniture are not easily fixed. A common issue with couches and chairs are broken springs. To avoid buying something with bad springs that will not last long, make sure that you lift the cushions and test out the springs.

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{image found HERE}

When you are on a very limited budget and need everything than it is a good idea to start with the most important items first. Tables and chairs are something that can wait because you will need somewhere to sit first. When you do start shopping for tables and chairs, remember that with just a little bit of work a table that is all scratched can be beautiful again and a little bit of wood glue can work miracles. Even someone who is not all that handy can resurface a table or fix a broken leg with limited tools and experience.

No matter what you decide to purchase used it is always a good idea to shop around as much as possible. There will always be that item that you really have to have but for everything else it is usually best to look for the best deals. This can be a bit of a problem though, if it’s a really good deal it may not be there when you go back so don’t let a good deal slip through your fingers!

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{image found HERE}

About the Author: Jennifer Parker has a passion for all things DIY, home decor, and interior design. She is the owner and writer of Handyman for the Home and also writes for Floor and Decor. Jennifer’s work can be found on her Google Plus profile and various interior design and remodeling blogs around the web.

How many of my friends love buying old furniture? I know I do! I have used pallets to make wall decor and shelves and I LOVE looking on Craigslist for old, cheap furniture I can remake into something beautiful. Thanks for your thoughts and tips, Jennifer!

5 {Money Saving} Summer Fun Activities

Hello and happy Hump Day!

Today I thought it would be fun to share 5 of my favorite money saving summer fun activities with you! Now that it’s summer break and the kids are out of school (or taking a break from homeschool), it’s time to plan fun summer activities for your kiddos. As you know, the more kiddos you have, the more expensive your activities cost is. We do lots of fun things at home during the summer, but it’s fun to get out to of the house once in a while too.

I have found 5 fun things you can do with your kids this summer without having to break your bank …or sell your kidney.

5 summer activities

 

 

1) Harkins Summer Movie Pass

summer movie pass

This is one of our FAVORITE things to do in the summer. For under $10 a person, you can see one movie a week for 10 weeks. I know! Now they are not brand spanking new movies, but they are newer movies. And it’s fun to beat the heat in the movie theater with some popcorn and friends. We even bring in our own snacks. We also buy the Harkins shirt and cups every year to help keep the cost of movie theater goodies down. More info about the summer movie passes HERE.

2) Splash Pads or Community Pools

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We visit splash pads on a weekly (sometimes more) basis in the summer. Not only is it completely free, but the water provides hours of entertainment for the kids. We bring cups, buckets, squirt guns, and squirt bottles with us. We often bring snacks or pack a lunch so we can stay a while. It’s also fun to visit different splash pads to switch it up a bit. Community pools are also fun to visit and some even have fun water slides.

3) The Library

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The library offers TONS of free entertainment. Not only can you check out books and movies, but most libraries also provide Culture Passes. You check them out just like a library book but it gives you 2 free admissions to different museums and zoos around your area. Check with your local library for specific details. We’ve been to the zoo and 2 museums for no cost at all using the Culture Pass. My daughter LOVES playing on the computers at the library too. They have lots of fun learning games for kids. The library also provides a fun summer reading program with incentives and prizes to encourage your kids to read. The library also provides a monthly calendar with free activities such as story times, movies, speakers, concerts, game nights, Lego club, etc.

4) Home Depot and Lowe’s Kids Workshops

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Once a month, both Home Depot and Lowe’s offers a free kid workshop on a Saturday morning. They provide you with an apron, the materials and instructions needed to build or construct the project, a certificate of completion, and a pin or patch for the apron. All for NO cost to you. Check out your local Home Depot and Lowe’s for their schedules. Find Home Depot’s  kid workshops HERE and Lowe’s HERE.

5) Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

This is a FUN one and we will be doing it for the first time this summer. Basically, your kids read 8 books, record them in a PDF journal (provided by Barnes & Noble), and turn it in for a FREE book! Pretty cool right? Find more info HERE.

 

So awesome, right?! Now get out there and utilize these awesome activities so that they stick around!

If you have other {Money Saving} Summer Fun Activities, leave them in the comments! I’d love to add to my personal list :)

Thanks for stopping by friends! I’ll see you Friday for a yummy recipe.

 

Linking to to Tatertots and Jello and A Night Owl Blog and I Heart Nap Time

Fresh Front Patio using HGTV Fabrics

Hi friends!

I’m so excited to share the easy freshen-up I did on our front patio today! I used some of the new vibrant HGTV HOME line of home decor fabrics that’s being sold exclusively at JoAnn, in-store and online! In-store, you can find an assortment of 30 fresh, colorful prints and patters. Online at JoAnn.com, you can find the expanded assortment of 74 exclusive designs. Indoor and outdoor home decor fabrics and trims are all available now, in-store and online.

Are you ready to see when I did with some of HGTV’s beautiful fabrics?

I made some pretty pillows to freshen up our bench on the front patio…

Aren’t the colors perfect for spring/summer time?

I also used some of the material to make a bright new wreath and I used the trim to hang it from my front door.

Here’s the BEFORE and AFTER…

One more close up of the cute pillows and wreath…

Now I just need to add some pretty potted flowers and maybe a hand painted sign or two from my shop…

I think you will LOVE the HGTV HOME line of fabrics!

Hurry into JoAnn to pick out some today!

And here’s a special coupon just for you to use on your next trip to JoAnn…

Thanks for stopping by today friends!!

See you next week.

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Reveal

Oh.My.Gosh.

Friends!

I had a BLAST planning, prepping and throwing my daughter’s 5th birthday party. We have been working on this for a few months and it was AWESOME to see it all come together. I love planning in advance for many reasons… to be prepared, to not have to stress at the last minute, to save money, just to name a few.

Are you ready to see this Minnie Mouse Birthday Party?

I’m thrilled to share it all with you…beware there are MANY photos.

I will break some of the decor down into tutorials later on this week or next.

As the guests walked out into the backyard, they passed by this table…

I made Minnie and Mickey ears for all of the kiddos (tutorial soon). I designed the print and spray painted a cheap frame red. The metal frame is from JoAnn and I threaded ribbon through the holes and added photos of my daughter throughout the years.

Here’s a closer look at the print…

The food table was so fun to decorate!

I used a dollar store table cloth and streamers as well as some burlap (that I already had on hand) to decorate the table. Then I added a little Minnie and Mickey, a print with all of my daughter’s favorite things, banners and bunting and that adorable Minnie wreath (tutorial coming). I also hand punched a bunch of Mickey faces out of black paper to spread out on the table top.

Menu:

Chips

Pretzels

Minnie sugar cookies

Veggie platter

Minnie fruit display

Dipped Oreos

S’mores Pops

Hot Diggity Dogs (and fixings)

Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets

Water bottles

Red Squeeze-its

The Minnie fruit display was made by my awesome sister-in-law (owner/chef of Children’s Culinary Institute). Isn’t it adorable?!!

And here’s a closer look at the print I designed for my daughter’s favorites…

I also set up a photo booth complete with the cutest props (thanks to my bloggy bestie Delicate Construction for the props!). I hung a dollar store red table cloth and adorned it with bunting and Minnie faces. Did you notice our cute Minnie Mouse look-alike? That’s my sweet niece. And the adorable shirt my birthday girl is wearing was customized and made by the fabulous Hautala Couture (run and check out her shop!).

Our sweet Minnie Mouse face painted all of the kiddos…they loved it! I found the coolest face paint crayons at JoAnn and they worked great!

We played {Pin the Bow on Minnie} and everyone won with a homemade Mickey yogurt pop! I found the Mickey pop mold on Amazon and just filled them with strawberry yogurt, froze them, and wrapped them up. They were perfect for the kids.

I used poster board to make the Minnie and red paper and my awesome Silhouette machine to cut out the bows. I painted white polka dots on a red bandana for the blindfold and we were all set!

I absolutely LOVE the way our Minnie pinata came out. The hubs and I constructed it and filled it the night before the party and the kids really enjoyed whacking at it. You can find a tutorial to make your own here.

I made the goodie bags using white gift bags from the dollar store and cut out Minnie faces and ribbon. Super easy and inexpensive. The kids used the bags to pile in their treats from the pinata as well as their ears, a handmade puppet, drink insert, Minnie tattoos, a free pass to a children’s cooking class, and a homemade Minnie sugar cookie made by my other very talented sister-in-law.

I’d say that the biggest hit of the party was the bounce house! One of my daughter’s gifts from my husband and I was the bounce house…and she even got to pick out which one she wanted. So fun!

And of course…cupcake time! Luci was SO excited for everyone to sing her “Happy Birthday” and to blow out her “5” candle. The cupcakes were a HUGE hit. I baked them, the hubs frosted them, and I decorated them. We make a great team : ) The mini Oreos worked perfectly for the “ears” and I found the polka dotted cupcake liners at Michael’s for a dollar.

We had a great day…and my birthday girl had the BEST day. It was worth all of the work and preparation to see her smile and excitement all day long. So many of her little friends told me how much fun they had and how they just LOVED the games and food.

Be.still.my.heart.

And my husband…well, let’s just say that he really is my partner in all I do. Not only did he work his butt off on our home and yard to make it look so nice for the party day, but he was up until all hours the night before helping me with all the last minute “stuff.” I sure love my guy.

Look at that face! I die.

LOVE my big 5 year old so very much!

Okay so there you have it! Our Minnie Birthday Party reveal.

Be ready for a few tutorials from the party later in the week or next week.

Thanks again to

Hautala Couture for the adorable birthday shirt

Children’s Culinary Institute for the Minnie fruit display

Delicate Construction for the photo props

Katie Cakes Bake Shoppe / To Entertain for the homemade Minnie sugar cookies

Thanks for stopping by friends!

I would LOVE for you to leave a comment and let me know what you think of our Minnie party!

Have a great week!

Scrappy Spring Wreath {tutorial}

Hi there friends and Happy Weekend!
I’m stopping by to share my Scrappy Spring Wreath with you today. It’s probably my favorite spring wreath I’ve made. 
The fun part about this wreath is that scraps of fabric, felt, and yarn were used to make it. Hence the name Scrappy : ) 
You will need…
2 in. strips of fabric
2 in. strips of felt
yarn
butterflies
felt bird/owl/bunny etc.
grape vine wreath (Dollar Tree)
ribbon
lace applique (from wholeport.com)
hot glue gun and sticks
scissors
fork (to make yarn pom-poms)
Tips:
*Go through your craft stash! Check your fabric, felt, and ribbon scraps as well as your scrapbooking supplies. That cute butterfly on my wreath is actually from the scrapbook section of the craft store.
*Purchase your grape vine wreath from Dollar Tree.
How-To:
First, you are going to make rolled rose fabric flowers, pom-pom felt flowers, and yarn pop-poms. 
Check these great blogs for tutorials on each:
Randomly hot glue your flowers and pom-poms to your wreath.
Wrap yarn around the wreath. This can be “messy” with no rhyme or reason.
Glue on any other additions (felt bird, butterflies, etc.)
Display for spring! 
We made this wreath for my spring Craft Class and though each wreath turned out a little different, they were all beautiful! I love the pastels and the “scrappy” look it has. 
Perfect wreath for spring and for Easter! 
Any big plans for Easter weekend?
We will be attending church, coloring and hunting for eggs, playing with new Easter basket toys, and enjoying a big ham dinner, and watching the short video below.
Thanks for stopping by today friends!
Have a beautiful Easter with your family. We are so blessed!
Thanks to WholePort.com for the pretty lace appliques that I added to my wreath. I was not compensated for this post, but did use this product, supplied by WholePort.