up-cycling ugly ornaments

Once upon a time, I bought some really ugly ornaments. Let’s just say that my style and taste have changed in the past few years and so this year, it was time for a new look. However, I couldn’t fathom going out and spending a bunch of money on all new ornaments so I came up with a quick plan to up-cycle our old ornaments on a dime!

ornaments before
This is what I was working with. (I went through a phase where all of my ornaments were hot pink, purple and a bright blue!)

I had some yarn remnants on hand (tip:  ALWAYS keep any amount of leftover yarn that you have! It’s great for gift wrap instead of ribbon, tag ties, etc.) so I got them out and decided on a color scheme based on what I had. I decided to go for more natural, softer tones.

 

I plugged in my hot glue gun, and then just started wrapping, and adding little spots of glue every few times around to make sure that it was secure. There wasn’t much strategy to this because I wanted each ornament to look like a hanging ball of yarn on the tree so I just wrapped and wrapped!

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The finished product!

Each one came out so cute and was the perfect addition to our first ever real tree! The best part is that I didn’t spend a dime!

ornaments after

Another little diy, simple and cost friendly Christmas décor tip:  Use the branches that you cut off from the bottom of your tree to decorate the rest of your house! I got out all different vases and containers and filled them with the loose branches. It’s adds such warmth to your home and it’s FREE!

I hope that these tips and ideas were helpful! So as you put away your ornaments after Christmas this season, don’t throw away any of the old ones that you don’t like anymore…up-cycle them for a whole new look!

Merry Christmas!!

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defining “simple living”

For the past 2 years, the Lord has been whispering the word “simplify” in my ear, so much that I can’t ignore it. We de-cluttered, sold things, gave other things away, and then we went to Uganda. For 5 months, we lived off of the 14 items of clothing that we took with us, ate the same thing every week, and had few electronics, and we found it to be so freeing. Before we came home, we talked a lot about how we would want life to look back in the U.S. We knew that we wanted to live our day to day lives even more simply than before and talked about specific ways that we would do that.

I dreamed of an Anthropologie inspired home with white walls and neutral tones. Baskets, reclaimed wood, and live plants would take care of the décor in our little home and we would have space and room to breathe because there would be no clutter. Anything that would need to be added to our home would be either homemade or purchased second-hand.

To me, this picture that I had sketched in my head was a breath of fresh air.

But then, we moved into our little red house and started unpacking. It was like Christmas in June seeing all of our belongings that had been waiting for us for 6 months in storage while we were out of the country. Here is the thing that I quickly realized as I looked through everything we own… I like color! I love lime green, teal and mustard yellow. I’m drawn to the color mint and a deep magenta makes my heart smile. I love color.

So I had a choice. Get rid of all of our current, colorful textiles and décor in order to fit this natural motif that I had been dreaming of, or, just roll with what I’ve got! And friends, we are rolling! Now don’t get me wrong, I still am so inspired by people’s homes that are raw and muted but ours is just not turning out that way.

photo

My new path to simplicity is filled with much more grace and isn’t as rigid as where I was before. I’m learning. I’m learning that the simplicity that the Lord is calling me to isn’t defined by lack of color; in fact, He is the one who created me to love these bright colors! The simple life that He is leading me toward is more of a compilation of small, seemingly insignificant, daily decisions.

  • It is the decision to be content with what I have instead of buying new.
  • It is the laying the to-do list aside when there is an opportunity to connect with a friend.
  • It is the choice to get rid of things that are taking up space but aren’t being used.
  • It is trusting that He is going to take care of me, even if I don’t have 3 jobs!
  • It is taking a moment to breathe and process before responding.
  • It is letting things go.
  • It is living in gratitude.
  • It is living below my means.
  • It is taking a day of rest.
  • It is not grabbing everything that I love from a store.
  • It is inviting people into my home, no matter if it’s cleaned up or a mess.
  • It is taking the time to stop what I’m doing and giving Caleb long, drawn out hugs.
  • It is cleaning out my closet (someday!).
  • It is making time with Jesus my first priority every morning.
  • It is eating real, unprocessed food.
  • It is being ok with just enough, and not an abundance.
  • It is (much) less time on social media.
  • It is living on less to have more time.
  • It is relaxing at home instead of always needing to be entertained.
  • It is eating to live, not living to eat.
  • It is dropping perfection and accepting the real me.
  • It is forgiving.
  • It is knowing my limits and not trying to be superwoman.
  • It is choosing joy.

This is my list that has unfolded in front of me. It may be different for everyone, I’m not sure, but I’m learning more each day as the Lord reveals it to me. I fail….a lot, but there is grace…..grace and COLOR!