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Archive for the ‘Holiday’s’ Category

I can’t believe June has passed and it’s already July, yet here it is!  And I’m busy getting ready for this years 4th of July camping trip!

I just can’t let this month take off without posting a fun little fourth of july themed post!

To start I don’t think I ever shared our yummy little patriotic s’mores bar from last years 4th of July camping trip (I looked back in posts and couldn’t find anything.), so I thought I’d share a few photos of it!

We had patriotic themed marshmallows on skewers…

…and in a bowl!

I also dipped graham crackers in chocolate and sprinkled them with patriotic sprinkles, beside them for s’more fun (catch that pun;-p) is short bread and mint girl scout cookies!  YUMMY!!!

 And just so that we had a slightly healthy treat, I dipped some strawberries in cool-whip and sprinkled them with blue sprinkles!!!  My kids LOVE cool-whip dipped strawberries!

In anticipation for this years camping trip, and to start preparing, the kids and I spent most of yesterday baking and decorating our annual 4th of July sugar cookies.  We made over 200 sugar cookies!  Don’t worry we don’t plan on eating all of them ourselves.  We are camping with 3 other families and we’re attending a resort picnic so we needed plenty to share:-)

I’m sure you’ve all seen the adorable patriotic snacks floating around Pinterest, I thought I’d show you what pinteresting things I plan on making to celebrate the 4th this year, that is besides the 200 sugar cookies!

I couldn’t find patriotic themed m&m’s so my three year old is currently sorting through a giant bag of m&m’s so we can make these up this afternoon!

I have licorice and whatever blue and red m&m’s we don’t use we’ll set in cute little dishes also!

My son has been asking for chocolate cake with strawberries so I thought I’d make a version of this and replace the raspberries with strawberries!

Of course there will be fireworks, sparklers, and much, much more patriotic fun!

What do you plan on doing to celebrate this Independence Day?  Whatever it is we hope you have a very…

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

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Easter is my favorite holiday, next to Christmas!  It’ s celebrating our savior’s sacrifice to give new life to all of us!  What a blessing.  How appropriate that we celebrate his resurrection and gift of life to us in spring since spring is all about new life and new beginnings.

I don’t have a lot of time to post because I want to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather with my kiddos on this wonderful Good Friday but I just wanted to pop by and wish you all a Happy Good Friday & Happy Easter and show you a couple of cute crafts my kiddos have made for Easter.  Maybe your kiddos will enjoy them too!

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The adorable little egg bunting that my youngest daughter made was her very first sewing project which she had a lot of fun doing…

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It hangs in our big dinning room window as shown above, but we also used it in a little mini Easter photo session…

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Besides the Easter egg bunting, my girls made these cute little toilet paper roll bunnies with my mom last weekend and it sounds like they really had fun doing this.

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Not sure where my mom got the idea probably Pinterest since I was able to find it on there.  The image I found didn’t link to a  tutorial but there is an image here, if you’d like to check it out.

Yesterday the girls and I (my son still wasn’t feeling up to par) made these super easy and cute scrapbook paper eggs…

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They are so sweet and you adorable and super easy!  You will find the tutorial here at Craft And Creativity one of my new favorite blogs for finding crafts to do with my kids!  Be sure to check it out, they have lots of brightly colored Easter crafts!

Okay, time to get outdoors with my kids.  Wishing you all a very Happy Good Friday, A Blessed Easter and lots of sweet treats!

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Hope you all had a great St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Quite honestly, I am not true to the 2% of Irish blood that courses through my veins (not sure if it’s even that much, though it could be more).  I do not go all out for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not sure you could say I even go a little out.  I don’t wear green every year on this lucky day.  Nor remember to put my kids in green.  I do usually give my kids Lucky Charms for breakfast on St. Patrick’s day and make them a shamrock shaped sandwich…that counts for something, right?

This year was no different…none of us wore green yesterday.  Except that I happened to wear this mint green necklace…not purposefully.

The rest of my family may have been pinched but luckily I had this baby on:-)

In my defense one of the reasons I didn’t do anything special yesterday was because I had made up some special things for my kids to have for lunch…but we didn’t have lunch at home yesterday.  I was at a friends baby sprinkling (A baby shower but less extravagant since it’s her second baby…thus a sprinkling!) and my husband and kids ate at my brother-in-laws since my sister was with me at the sprinkling.

Since our St. Patrick’s Day was full with church and other activities I decided to save our celebrating for today and this is our way of celebrating the luck of the irish, four leaf clovers, rainbows and leprechauns (Yes, I know that’s not the real meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day, but to my kids it is, haha)…

Along with a little note, their little hearts will be surprised as they open their lunches to find a gold and rainbow treat (Inspired by Pinterest, though admittedly my ziplock bags aren’t nearly as cool as there’s.  I’m not winning coolest mom on this one.)  they also have the usual shamrock sandwich, some “gold” fish crackers, green apple juice (the color is green, not the flavor), and rainbow jello.

We also had the usual breakfast of sugar loaded Lucky Charms!!!  I think I like this stuff just as much as my kids if not more!  This year I filled my old milk bottle up with green milk!  (Also inspired by Pinterest.)  I think I got a best mom award for the green milk.  My son found it especially awesome!

What special things did you do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Did you where green or are you full of bruises from all the pinches you received yesterday?

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I am officially in the mood for spring and our 30° weather isn’t helping my desire out at all. Not to mention that there are large fluffy flakes currently falling from the sky to add to the 12″ of snow that is feeling the need to remind me that it isn’t opened toed heel and sandal weather yet.  Nope instead of revealing my toes, I’m layered up in long sleeves, a cardi-sweater and a scarf:-(  The enthusiasm I had for warm layered clothes is fading away and has been replaced by the need for bright colors and the ability to wear heels without getting frostbit.

Luckily Easter is on its way so I have an excuse to brighten up the inside of my home a bit even if it’s gray and cold outside.

Like Valentine’s Day, I have never really decorated for Easter before.  I will put a hydrangea wreath up and maybe a few springy looking things but since I’m not really a floral person my passion for Easter decor ends there.  However, I love Easter and the fact that I’m celebrating my salvation with Christ, so I set out to make some prim/country Easter decor during our media/electronic free week.  Here’s what I came up with…

My Mantel

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My mantel has been set with a long baby blue paned window set with my homemade hydrangea wreath.  I have never used the baby blue side of this window (the other side is brown) but knew it would be perfect with the “Spring, Spring, Spring” banner I made (Tutorial for this banner coming Friday!).  Does anyone else think of the Spring Song from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers when looking at this banner?  I confess I sing it every time I look at my mantel banner!

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My daughter’s named this sweet little bunny, Bonnie Bunny.  She was a very white bunny until I gave her a long bath in a pot of coffee, to giver her an aged look.  I sewed up a little dress for her from some fabric I had sitting around and added some grungy little fabric flowers to the neckline.  Along side her is a frame filled with a photo that I got off of Pinterest and a jar filled with jelly beans and a tea candle.

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On the opposite side of the mantle is an old enamel coffee pot I found in a junk pile in our woods several years ago.  I decided it would look nice with the other blue things on my mantle and added some dried hydrangeas to it.  To the left of it is an old family bible and a rustic cross, a cluster of speckled eggs rest in front and another jar filled with jelly beans and a tea candle stands on the right.

Easter Table Scape…

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Sitting on a table runner made from an old, very warn, antique quilt are a few other ways I choose to brighten our home for spring and Easter.

P1240933Center stage is this pillar candle holder that I filled with silk tulips. Inside the pillar holder is a hymn print off of “The Old Rugged Cross” that I aged and cut a cross in the center of then glued burlap to the back of.  I would prefer real tulips to adorn my table but really wanted this hymn to decorate the pillar with and I couldn’t do that if they were real.  The paper wouldn’t hold up to well against the water;-)

A better glance at the hymn.  I LOVE this hymn and it means so much more to me at Easter time!

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On the right side of the tulips sits a paper mache bunny that I grunged up a bit by wiping some moist instant coffee grounds on than smoothed over with a dry paper towel.  Nestled at her feet are a few speckled eggs and beside her sits a jar of jelly beans, with a label on front that features a little sheep.  I should have put cheap, gross jelly beans in this jar because these delicious Starburst ones will be gone long before Easter…especially the pink ones:-)

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This prim little bunny holding tight to his carrots is probably my favorite thing I made for Easter (Although the spring banner is really close!)  He’s just so cute nestled in his nest of dried grasses and watching over his Easter eggs!  A sprig of bright green hydrangeas helps brighten this display up a bit more.

I think the next place to brighten up will be my bedroom.  But I’m trying to wait until the snow melts.  I’ve been really enjoying my Spring/Easter decor this past week and half and hope you enjoyed seeing them to0.  Maybe they’ll inspire a little spring/easter creativity in you!

I was hoping to find time to make these before Easter…

…but am not sure if I’ll have a chance, since it’s coming up so fast and I have my daughter’s birthday to get ready for this week and then my son has tonsil/adenoidectomy surgery next week, but maybe yet I’ll get them made yet.

Happy Easter decorating to those of you who’ve been inspired and to all of you…

Remember to come back on Friday for the tutorial on the Spring Banner!!!

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In this post I mentioned that this is the first year I’ve decorated for Valentine’s Day, but that isn’t entirely true.  I have done a bit of Valentine’s decorating for a tradition that’s now eleven years in the running…

When our youngest daughter was born, we found it wasn’t exactly easy going out on a romantic date on Valentine’s night.  So our first Valentine’s Day as parents I set to work making a nice dinner for the two of us to enjoy in our home and set the table for a candle light dinner.  From that day on it has been a family tradition to stay at home and have a fancy, candle lit Valentine’s dinner!

This year is no different from any other year, besides that we celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early.  My daughter has jazz dance tonight so we wouldn’t have time to fit in a nice meal, thus we opted to have our dinner a night early.  Which means…I spent yesterday baking, cooking and decorating.

I set my table with a runner I made from an old antique quilt and, like every year, I put a beautiful bouquet of Valentine’s flowers right in the center!  My kids always get to choose a rose from our bouquet after dinner, to keep in their room in a small vase.
P1240004On the table runner, is also a few candle sticks in red, at the base of the vase is one of my chunky feux pearl necklaces set about with pink christmas balls, one of my girls pink flower hair clips and my burlap “love” hearts.  Feux red rose petals are scattered randomly on top of the runner.

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Close up of the bouquet and arrangement at it’s base.

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This was my first attempt at tissue paper pom poms and I’ll admit there is definitely room for improvement, but my kids loved them!

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Every family member, from the tall to the small, gets to use our nice dinner wear, complete with a wine glass of their own.  Usually my youngest three kiddos use plastic kids plates and cups, but on this special night they get to use our nice dinner wear.

P1240009I had to get an evening shot right before we ate so you could get a better feel of the ambiance.  Candle light dinner’s really are beautiful!  I really need to do this more frequently than once a year.

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Not only do we set the table with our finest but we take the opportunity to dress up also.  Yes, we’re just in our home but it’s fun to dress up even for an evening in.   Here’s my youngest girlie and I just before dinner…

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All my kiddos waiting patiently as I capture this exquisite moment.

I love that when I told my kids to go pick out the clothes they want to dress up in for our dinner my son came down stairs dressed as the hulk!!!  He even had the mask on but of course had to take it off to eat:-)  So here is the Hulk and three pretty princesses!

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Our main course was a penne pasta bake and garlic bread.  I made a basic garlic bread with mozzarella on it for my kids and my husband and I had this artichoke bread, minus the artichokes. I’m not an artichoke fan.  It was so good and I will definitely make it again.

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Desert was a recipe I found on Pinterest called Raspberry Whip.  However, because raspberries were quite expensive and strawberries were on sale we replaced the raspberries with strawberries.  It was very, very, good!  And I’m looking forward to having some of the leftovers tomorrow:-)

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My kids always enjoy getting to use the little wine glasses, filled with sparkling white grape juice.  My youngest daughter enjoyed toasting and I taught her how to hook arms and drink.  She got quite a kick out of this!

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I also wanted to share this sweet little Valentine our middle daughter gave to us during dinner.  I LOVE that girl so much!

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You see, we have celebrated Valentine’s Day every year, and I do decorate somewhat, but normally it’s only my dinning room table for the one special day of Valentine’s!

So that was last night’s festivities, but I certainly don’t want the actual Valentine’s Day to go by with no festivites. My middle daughter and son will have class parties today, but my oldest daughter is a big middle schooler now and there are no Valentine’s parties when your a big kid…bummer.  And my youngest daughter isn’t in school yet so she has nothing going on to celebrate Valentine’s Day either.

 That’s why I made them all these cute little rolo dynamite sticks that say “You’re The Bomb!”.   I found this idea on Pinterest.

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 I put the dynamite rolos in the little Valentine’s Bin that Elizabeth made for them and they found them when enjoying their breakfast of red heart shaped pancakes, with strawberries, cool whip and chocolate syrup!

Normally my kids help make their lunches but sometimes I like to do something special for them so give them a day off and make it for them.   Today they have a special Valentine lunch of…

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…heart shaped PB&J’s, strawberry fruit roll-ups, strawberry yogurt, a chocolate peanut butter M&M cookie and a CapriSun that has a little Valentine note on it that reads, “Valentine, You Are My Sunshine!!!”  They have no idea what’s in their lunch boxes and I’m hoping they will be delightfully surprised when they open it today!

(This was not a Pinterest idea, it was all my own!  I was creative before Pinterest and still can be:-))

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With That I wish you a…

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I’ve been wanting to do this craft with my youngest daughter since I saw it on Pinterest. So simple but so cute! Plus kids just love any craft involving paint!

With her sister and brother making Valentine boxes for school…

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She has been wanting to make one also. So I thought why not turn the Pinterest art into one?! Thus this was pinspired (photo tutorial to follow:-))…

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1. Protect your child’s workspace if you don’t want any paint splatters on the surface being used. I taped down an unused trash bag.
2. Gather assorted paints, something to pour them on to (I used an ice cream container lid.), enough toilet paper cardboard for each color paint (be sure to shape them into hearts) and paper (we used card stock). Pour all the paints onto your lid and place a TP cardboard in each paint color.
3. Allow your child to be creative and have fun as they stamp away!
4. My daughter also used some clear glittery and pink puff paint that I had on hand. She loved squeezing this onto the paper!
5. When your little Picaso is done allow them to dry completely.
6. When they are thoroughly dry fold the card stock in half.
7. Let your child help you punch holes along the side of their folded artwork.
8. Teach them how to sew as they string yarn through the holes! Be sure to tie off each end. Also make sure you leave enough extra yarn on each side to tie it to the back of a chair, as we did, or wherever your child’s lite heart desires:-)
9. Your preschoolers bin is ready for some Valentine’s treats and some love notes from Dad, mom and siblings! Feel free to embellish with a big bow like we did, or whatever else you can think of.

My 3 year old truly had a blast as we worked on this together. She enjoyed the stamping part so much that each member of our family has a Valentine’s bin tied to the back of our dinning room chairs! I’m going to encourage our kids to leave little notes for each other, that say why they love them. I also plan on doing this and am excited for when they discover the notes I’ve already left in their bins!

*My apologies to you who viewed this post right after it was posted.  It’s my first job posting to my blog from iphone and there were a few hiccups to work out.  Hopefully it wont happen again:-)  

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Valentine’s Day is on Thursday and since my oldest daughter has been asking me the last couple of years to decorate for it, I made a last minute decision last week to do some Valentine’s crafts!

Yes, this is the first time I’ve ever decorated for the Valentine’s holiday.  It’s not that I don’t like Valentine’s, we celebrate it every year with a fancy candle lit dinner and fun family time at home.  I just never thought all that bright red and pink fit into my county, primitive decor.  But I found some ways to make it work and make my daughter happy!

One of the reasons I don’t decorate for Valentine’s is because I don’t want to spend money on a bunch of decorations that don’t really go with the country/primitive decor of my home, so I set to work finding things around my house I could use to grunge up and sort of fit in with the rest of my home.  (Sort of, I’m not much of a pink girl, when it comes to my living spaces, which may be another reason I’ve never decorated for Valentine’s Day before.)  The only thing I bought was the M&M’s to fill two of the candle jars on our mantel Lucky for me I already had the gum balls and red hots!.

My mantle is rarely without an old window, I have 4 of them that I circulate and redecorate for the current season.  I came up with the idea of putting the word “Love” in my four pained window and my oldest daughter asked if she could make it

P1230558It was really hard on my OCDness to not offer any advice, because I knew her artsy side wanted to just create on its own so I fought off the urge to suggest how to do it and let her work on it.  She did a pretty good job, didn’t she?!

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My youngest daughter helped me make the jars.  Basically she filled them with the candy while I set to work on decorating the outside of the jars.  But it was a great job for her because it worked with her on her colors while she had to sort through multi colored gum balls for only the pink, white and reds!

I set the jars amidst and on old books, one being a Jane Austin (Romance at its best!) and a very old family bible (The ultimate LOVE story!) with red beads draping without.  Although the bible is typically on my mantel, using books to set the jars on was inspired by this Pleated Poppy post.

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I decorated the jars with scrapbook tags and paper, buttons I had around from past projects.  The first jar holds red, white and pink gum balls and a scrapbook tag with hearts and a big button, tied with jute rope.  The second jar holds red hots and a newspaper flower, with a tiny pink button center that is glued in the center of a pink ribbon bow.  The third jar is filled with Valentine’s M&M’s and wrapped in a cream crocheted band with jute rope flowers that have pink button centers.

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I had just enough of this script fabric (purchased from The Scarlet Poppe a couple of years ago) left over in my fabric scraps to make these romantic hearts.  I wrote the word “Love” on the largest heart with red and pink magic markers then coffee stained all of them, along with some torn strips of scrap pink fabric I had, before filling them with batting and sewing them shut.  I then wrote on the stained pink strips with a black magic marker the words “Be Mine”, “I♥U” and “XOX” on the three smaller hearts and pinned the strips on with rusted safety pins.

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I felt the need to give credit where credit was due and add a couple of pictures of my daughter working on the window.  She even let her little sister help a bit and they had a lot of fun together!

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I also made a few decorations for our dinning room table.  Unfortunately these pictures aren’t the best quality because of the sunshine streaming through my dinning room windows but you’ll get the gist.  Set upon my red woven runner are two bed spring candles and a small primitive white drawer box set with some Valentine fillers.


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I put some red pipberries in the drawer of this primitive box and set the top with an old rusted heart, some cookie cutters and a few burlap “love” hearts I made last week.  As I promised when I posted a picture of these hearts on Facebook last week a tutorial on these will be given at the bottom of this post!

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I was fortunate to find a whole twin size mattress of springs when walking through our woods one day this fall.  I have lots of plans for those springs!!!  So far all I’ve done with them is make these bed spring candles at Christmas time.  Of course I didn’t put them away at Christmas because they can be easily altered for every season or holiday.  For Valentine’s I tied pink ribbon on them and used my Scrabble letters to spell “LOVE” vertically on the middle strand.  I love the game Scrabble so LOVE all the Scrabble crafts and art I see on Pinterest and was super pleased to be able to do one myself!

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I just couldn’t resist adding my sons Valentine’s box we made together last night for him to bring to school today!  I knew he wouldn’t really want something covered in pink and hearts and when I saw this picture on Pinterest…

I was inspired to make this…

My son was THRILLED with his boyish Valentine’s box and was so excited to bring it to school today and show it off!

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And now as promised…

First I pinned a piece of burlap onto a cardboard box.  A pin board would work also, but mine are used for organizing our families schedules, school things, etc, so I used a cardboard box.  Make sure to pull the burlap tight.  If you don’t the burlap will bunch up making it difficult to write on or causing the words you’ll write to look funny and distorted.

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Next I used a black magic marker to write “love” in a few different places on the burlap.  Be sure to space these apart quite a bit so that you don’t cut into the space of each heart.

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After you are done writing on the burlap, remove the pins and take the burlap off the box or pin board.  Set your box/pin board aside, you will not need it again.  Fold a large piece of coffee stained fabric in half and pin this and the burlap together, with your words face up.  (If you don’t know how to coffee stain fabric there is a good tutorial here.)  When I pinned my fabrics together I just put three pins around the three points of the word where I would cut my heart shape from.

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Next I cut different sized hearts around my “love” words.  I didn’t draw a heart on the fabric to follow, I just free handed it, but you can if you are more comfortable with that.

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In these next pictures, close ups of my hands, pay no attention to how badly my nail polish needed to be redone, yikes!

Now unpin your hearts and take the burlap heart and without turning it…

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…simply just place it on the back side of the coffee stained hearts, with the word love facing the backside of the middle heart.

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Pin your three hearts together, with at least three pins, one at each point of the heart.

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Sew a 1/4 inch hem around the outside of your heart…

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…making sure you leave room to turn the heart right side out and for putting batting inside.  You’ll see I left mine pretty small but yet big enough to do this.  The less hand sewing the better!

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Turn your heart right side out by holding the two muslin pieces in one hand and the burlap in the other hand and push the heart through the opening.  This will make sure the word “love” is out.  Be careful to do this correctly so that you don’t end up with the muslin as your two outside pieces and the “love” word on the inside.

noname (6) copyThis is what it will look like when you turned it out correctly…

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Next you will fill your burlap hearts with batting and sew it shut.  Heads up burlap is a bit tricky to hand sew because of how it likes to pull apart.  Last…enjoy your burlap hearts!!!

I hope you enjoyed this post and all of my new Valentine’s decor.  I know my kids certainly are and I’m glad that I finally did this for them!

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