Burlap American Flag Centerpiece

Let me tell you a little something.

There’s only so much “settling in” a person can do in a new home before a break is needed.

I’d normally take a break on a comfy couch with a cold drink in hand. Maybe kick my feet up on a cute ottoman.

Alas, I don’t have a couch yet. Or a cute ottoman.

I do have a cold drink though.

Priorities!

In lieu of time on the couch, I decided I’d recharge with a cold drink and a crafting session.

I might not have a place to sit, but I do have paintbrushes.

Go figure.

I also have a random burlap bag that I keep reusing for crafts like this one for St. Patrick’s Day.

That’s why, when I saw Burlap Flag Silverware Holders made by Kierste of Simple Kierste Design Co., I had a lightbulb moment!

I love it when I’m inspired by someone’s creativity and can use that idea as a jumping off point to make something for my home.

Silverware holders were out because I don’t know anyone here yet should probably have furniture before I decide to host a party.

But! I can decorate for 4th of July! It’s one of my favorite holidays – especially after being out of the country for a couple of years.

The items I used for this Burlap American Flag Centerpiece were flowers, a vase, burlap/burlap bag (similar), tape, craft paint and a paintbrush. I also used a piece of cardboard under my project and between the layers of burlap so that the paint wouldn’t bleed through to the back side of the sack.

This is the type of project that doesn’t need to be ‘perfect,’ but I did use painter’s tape as a general guide for the stripes. I should have used a narrower tape if I wanted to fit all 13 stripes of a real American flag on there. I did paint on 50 wonky circles stars though!

The longest part of this project was waiting for the paint to dry. That’s often the case with my projects! If you use regular craft paint instead of fabric paint like I did, just know that it will make your burlap sack a little stiff.

I used a tall mason jar for the vase. A rubber band is cinching the bag around the top of the jar to hold the sack up. I just noticed you can see the rubber band from this angle on the below picture! Hahaha! Clearly, I’m a professional.

The flowers are from Trader Joe’s. If you are a lucky duck that has red, white or blue flowers growing in your yard, you can save yourself a few bucks on this flag centerpiece.

My table is feeling festive and now I’m ready to celebrate the 4th of July!

I’m happy I took a break from organizing the kitchen to make this Burlap American Flag Centerpiece. Crafting is a good creative outlet for me and one of the activities that helps me feel settled and at home. Funny how that works.

And I swear I’m working on getting furniture. I’m currently in the “overthinking it” phase of making a decision.


If you like patriotic crafts, let’s be friends! Here are a few from the archives.

Junky American Flag Wreath

Patriotic Table

Free Patriotic Printable

Patriotic Fingernails and Toes

 

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Leather Wrapped Rock Paperweight

Editor’s Note: Late last week hackers redirected all my website traffic to spammy sites. It’s a horrible feeling and a mess to fix! I apologize if you tried to visit this site and weren’t able to do so. Huge thanks to Handy Husband for tackling the problem and kicking them off my happy place! I’d be lost without him!


I have a crush. A style crush.

Lately, thanks to Instagram, I have found inspiration in the spaces created by Studio McGee.

If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you might recognize the fantasy kitchen they designed for HGTV.

No biggie, right?

(image: Studio McGee)

Studio McGee is a small company started in 2014 by what seems like the nicest couple, Syd and Shea McGee. At least, I hope they are as sweet in person as they appear online. Don’t disappoint me now, folks!

As I was shopping their online store, I saw leather wrapped rocks for sale for $12.

 

Not sparkly rocks.

Regular rocks. Wrapped in leather.

Guys. I have oodles of rocks. I collect them everywhere I go!

Remember my memory rocks?

I also have some larger rocks that I use as doorstops.

They work fine – just don’t stub your toe on one.

Lord have mercy.

I also have leather.

Remember my old boots I turned into this map?

All that to say, I HAD to try and recreate this paperweight. It wouldn’t cost me anything besides me sanity to see if I could make something similar.

I assumed from looking at the picture that the original paperweight was made with flat leather cording. I do have some of that, but it’s thick and I thought it would make the weaving detail look too bumpy.

Instead, I cut thin strips out of a piece of leather from my old boots. It might be faux leather, I’m not sure. Let’s not get bogged down with these details.

I only used 5 strips due to the size of my rock. The downside of cutting of my own strips of leather is that the edges weren’t as clean as if I had used cording.

Let’s just pretend that ‘downside’ means ‘added character.’

95% of the time when I think something is going to be easy, I will sit staring at the project wondering if I’m actually doing it the hard way.

I won’t tell you how many times I figure out I actually AM doing it the hard way.

In all of that wondering I decided the best way to affix the leather strips to each other and to the rock was with glue. I used my go-to Elmer’s ProBond Advanced Glue because the label says it works on stone. And that’s just what I needed.

Let’s hope it works on leather too.

So far, so good!

So what do you think?

Did I get close to the spirit of the original?

The only thing left to decide is where to put this paperweight.

Handy Husband has us on a fantastic paperless filing system, so there’s very little paper that needs to be weighted down around here.

If you’ve ever met Handy Husband, this little tidbit probably won’t surprise you.

And it also won’t surprise you that I’m perfectly happy moving my leather wrapped rock paperweight around the house until I find just the right spot.

Or maybe it will go back to its life as a doorstop.


Thanks for hanging out with me today! I love a good theme, so if you want to keep reading try one of these:

Leather Wrapped Basket Handle

Wrapped Wheat 

Tourist Maps Make Great Wrapping Paper

 

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Egg Painting

On the list of superficial worst nightmares, kids throwing paint ranks pretty high for me.

Twenty kids ages 4 to 11 filling eggshells with paint and throwing the eggs (hopefully) at a canvas?

What could possibly go wrong?!?!

Oh, I could think of one or a million things!

Especially when I saw there was a bottle of glitter paint.

Now there’s paint AND glitter?

I am not ashamed to say it was one of those ‘back slowly away and let the other moms handle it’ kind of moments.

As you can tell, egg painting was not my idea.

This is why I am thankful for braver, more creative, more patient moms than me. They deserve all the kudos in the world.

My kids agree.

Here’s how the egg painting situation came about and what I learned from the activity.

A mom in my children’s school saved eggshells for a year in order to do this project. A YEAR! This involved carefully cracking the eggs, washing the shells out, drying the shells and saving them in egg cartons. Did I mention FOR A YEAR? Holy cow chickens.

It might have been easier to ask other families to save eggs for a week, but she was dedicated to this idea. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever been dedicated to such a crafty cause and I’m coming up blank.

She also bought a large canvas and a whole bunch of paint for the kids to use for this activity.

Not only is she dedicated and good at advance planning, but she’s also generous and quite possibly a saint.

I asked the mom where she found this idea and she said “online, of course!”

Of course.

I don’t know which tutorial she used, but this one in particular at Growing a Jeweled Rose suggests pre-filling the eggs with paint (you can use acrylic or children’s washable paint) and covering the hole in the eggshell with glued-down tissue paper.

The moms at my children’s school fully embrace sensory activities and letting kids help out wherever possible. So, in this instance, the kids filled the eggs with paint themselves. If you refer back to one of the above photos, the kids made the executive decision to put more than one color of paint in some of the eggs. I love that.

After all, you want to make the paint splatter count.

Filling the eggs was half the fun and made the activity last longer than 17 seconds. We did skip the tissue paper part. When all the eggs were filled, I took another step backward the kids formed a semi-circle around the canvas and let those eggs fly!

This egg painting activity was done in a public park before an Easter egg hunt. That dads were hiding chocolate eggs while the kids threw paint-filled eggs.

If you decide to do egg painting, you’re going to need a place to put your canvas. Our canvas was propped against a metal railing because it happened to be there and convenient.

The moms put a drop cloth or old sheet underneath and behind the canvas. Do not skip this step – whatever you do.

They were really trying to be good park patrons since this wasn’t a sanctioned activity. However, putting down the sheets was a happy accident because it made cleaning up the eggs so much easier. They just picked up the sheet and dumped it all in the garbage.

The sheet behind the canvas was also a happy accident because some of the kids don’t have the best aim and you can see that the sheet caught a lot of the foul balls runaway eggs.

The eggs don’t always break upon impact, so the little kids just kept picking up the eggs and throwing them again. Sometimes they added more paint. Sometimes not!

The painting is going to be donated to the school to decorate one of the hallways.

As is usually the case, my inner freak out was all for nothing. The kids were so good. There was a little paint on the hands, but of course, 15 moms whipped out baby wipes and cleaned everyone up.

When it came down to it, this activity seemed very therapeutic! No joke. I really wanted to throw an egg. But I didn’t. I should have. But I didn’t. It looked fun though.

Do you ever have those moments where you are just SO THANKFUL for your tribe? Your village? The people who add dimension to your life experiences? The people who graciously do the stuff that you aren’t good at, but they are?

This was one of those moments.

I am so thankful for these people and happy my kids could share this experience with them.

See? Told you I learned a lot. About life.

And egg painting.


If your inner self freaks out from time to time, you might like one of these posts! 

Cooking With Kids. Did I Survive?

Tips for All Those Paper-Mache School Projects

Moving to Ireland. Human Kindness is Overflowing 

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Sheet Music Easter Eggs

Confession time.

Things don’t feel very Easter-y around here.

It’s not a holiday I typically decorate for and with our recent snowstorms, it hasn’t quite felt like spring around these parts.

So I decided I would craft myself into a spring mood.

Nothing says spring rebirth like styrofoam eggs, so that’s what I started with.

My first attempt at decorating my fake eggs was a major flop.

It’s also a reminder of why I try to avoid Pinterest.

My second attempt was much more successful.

I made Sheet Music Easter Eggs, which I’m not sure are actually spring-looking, but they are more my style.

Making Sheet Music Easter Eggs is easy and inexpensive, but a wee bit time consuming. In other words, the perfect craft to make during a Netflix binge session.

All you do is print out a free page (or more) of sheet music. A quick internet search will lead to hundreds of free options. I suppose you could use sheet music you already own, but I couldn’t bear to cut up any of my babies actual sheet music.

Then cut the sheet music into small strips. You’ll have to determine what length and width to the cut the strips depending on the size of your styrofoam eggs.

Use a paint brush and Mod Podge to adhere the strips to the egg. You’ll end up overlapping the strips to guarantee full coverage. Make sure you apply the Mod Podge on top of the strips too. That’s going to be the sealant on your work. I used the one with a matte finish.

I found out the hard way it was easiest to work in sections. That way, I could let one side of the egg dry before working on the next section.

I had originally intended to put the eggs in a bowl and call it good.

Then I realized a few of the eggs – due to how the strips of sheet music overlapped – could actually stand up vertically.

That’s when the lightbulb came on. It happens occasionally.

These Sheet Music Easter Eggs could also double as place cards for Easter Dinner! And even if they are lying on their side, it still looks fine for this purpose!

(My name is written on a sticky-backed mailing label which is cut to size, wrapped around a toothpick and shoved in the egg. Super sophisticated.)

If sheet music isn’t your thing, this craft would be super cute with book pages too.

All in all, this was the most productive Netflix crafting session I’ve had in awhile.

It felt good. And I’m happy to report it is feeling much more spring-like around this place now!


Thanks for reading! Here are some other crafty posts you might enjoy!

Easy DIY Necklace for Mother’s Day – Kid Craft

Personalized Wood Hangers

Paper Rainbow Butterfly Art

DIY Felt Spring Wreath

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

I’ve been so wrapped up in snowstorms that I forgot spring is on its way.

Or, rather, spring is SUPPOSED to be on its way.

She sure is taking her sweet time!

I’m ready for warmer temperatures and pretty flowers, but as it turns out, Mother Nature cares nothing about my opinion.

How rude!

Father Time, on the other hand, keeps marching forward so in 10 days it will be St. Patrick’s Day! There is no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than in Ireland, but if you can’t be here with me, perhaps these ideas will get you in a festive mood.


Irish Flag Centerpiece

It doesn’t get easier than this centerpiece! Stick an Irish flag in a vase with rice and lentils and call it good!

UNcooked rice and lentils…in case there were any questions about that.

I used green mung beans, white rice and orange lentils poured into the vase in the order of the colors on the Irish flag.

If you can’t find dried lentils in an orange or green color, you can dye uncooked rice with food coloring. Put the dried rice in a sandwich bag. Add some drops of food coloring and mush it around. Mush…it’s a technical term.

Fair warning – if you cook that rice later it will be colorful!


Leprechaun Punch

I like to serve my kids as many green foods on St. Patrick’s Day as possible. It’s an easy way to make the day fun and they love it!

Of course, there’s only so many actual green foods my kids will eat, so that’s where the green food coloring comes in to save the day!

Leprechaun Punch is just my way of making a clear soda fancy. Clear soda, green food coloring and a dollop of lime sherbet on top. Sprinkles optional, but totally fun.

If you can’t find lime sherbet, vanilla ice cream works too.

Enjoy!


Easy St. Patrick’s Day Wreath

All you need for this craft is a wreath form, felt, hot glue and scissors.

Here are the directions for how I made it.


Burlap Pot O’ Gold

Yellow tulips are the star of this show, but the cute burlap bag I embellished with felt and pom poms is pretty snazzy too.

Directions for this quick craft can be found here.

This was one of the happiest crafts I’ve ever made and it still makes me smile! It would make a great gift.


Do you like St. Patrick’s Day? Do you celebrate it?

Last year was our first year celebrating the holiday in Ireland. We attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin and it was a WILD display. I loved it! This year we might try a smaller parade and see how that goes. That’s about as crazy as it will get for us!


Speaking of parades and Ireland, here are some other posts you might enjoy!

10 Tips for Surviving a Parade with Kids (Dublin parade pictures included)

Travel: Belfast With Kids

Visiting Ireland: The Cliffs of Moher and Aran Island With Kids

Visiting Ireland: Galway With Kids

Visiting Ireland: Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle

Our Favorite Irish Castle Tour with Kids

Dublin: Talking Statues

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