So a couple of weeks ago I finally did something with the pine cones I had lying around for almost a year. I painted the bottom half with gold spray paint giving them a gilded gold dipped look and placed them on display in a bowl on the bookshelf. I had a few extra so I decided to create some gilded pine cone holiday place card holders. It was very simple and didn’t cost me a penny.
In order to hold the cards I hot glued a small paper clip to the top.
And drew up some festive cards to write the names on…
You can download them here and print them out if you like:
*Although they look gold on the screen (at least on my screen) they print out kinda yellow. It’s the closest I could get to gold.
I wanted to have them sit on little gold pedestals, so I spray painted some bottle caps I’ve been collecting (yes, I hoard bottle caps too – don’t be surprised if you see me on Hoarding Buried Alive one day).
Then hot glued the pine cones to the bottle caps. The trick to get the pine cones to stand up straight is to remove a few of the scales at the bottom to make them flatter. It’s pretty much trial and error until you get them straight.
And voila, here they are.
Note: The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Aren’t you jealous of my perfect handwriting? Secret, I cheated I wrote the names on the computer then printed them out.
Making your own felt and fabric ornaments can be so much fun, especially if you get the whole family involved. They make your tree more unique instead of using all store-bought ornaments. They’re cheaper than buying new ornaments and best of all it’s something you can use for years to come.
I’ve been itching to do something with some pinecones that have been sitting in a vase in the corner of the guest bedroom since last Christmas. Every time I walk in there, I think what the hell can I do with those pinecones! Nothing ever comes to mind, so I keep on walking.
But today, was different. For some reason, I looked over at them and got about four ideas all at once (which I’ll be showing you later). I stopped everything I was doing, took them out of the vase and began crafting. First on the list of pine cone projects:
The best things about this project was that I didn’t have to go to the store to get supplies and that it was free. I had everything I need right there in my craft hoarding wonderland.
Take the plastic (supermarket produce bags work great for this) and insert it around the midle of the pine cone, trying to get it as deep as possible in between the scales. I used a toothpick to push it into the tight spots. Tape the plastic and you’re ready t spray away.
The best way to paint this is by holding it in your hand. You’ll have better control that way. I recommend wearing a glove though, so you don’t get your hand all full of paint.
Spray in two directions; first downward, then upwards, to get both sides of the pine cone scales.
Lay your gilded pine cone in the spray paint cap to let dry.
Once dry place in a pretty bowl and admire your work.
I haven’t done a ‘Spotted’ post in a really long time. Honestly, cause I really haven’t found anything cool to share. That is until now…
I opened up my ETSY shop Two White Owls, in early August. I can’t complain, I have had a few sales so far but definitely not as many as I would like. So I have been looking up Etsy selling tips and ways to get more traffic to my shop.
Here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve found so far:
Etsy Selling Tips
Join A Team
Joining teams is definitely a must if you have the time. You’ll get support from fellow shop owners, you can ask questions and some teams even help promote each other’s listings. Plus you’ll feel more connected, less isolated and not like you’re selling all by yourself.
SEO, SEO & More SEO
As I’ve been finding out SEO is just as important on your shop as it is on your blog. It’s the difference between getting found and floating out there in oblivion. No traffic=no sales. Using keywords is very important. A great way to find keywords (ie; what and how people are searching) is by typing your item name (example: for me it would be coaster or switch plate) into the Etsy search box. A drop down list of recently searched for terms will appear giving you ideas and keywords which you can then use in your listings titles and descriptions. Of course, you to want to choose keywords that actually go with or describe your item. Etsy Guide To SEO
Use Those Apps
There are a bunch apps you can find by going to ‘Your Account’ and then clicking on ‘Apps’. They’ve got apps from everything from help sending out newsletters to integrating your shop into your FB page.
Photos Are The Star Of The Show
Let’s face it, even if you have an amazing product, if your photos suck then no one’s gonna even look at it. Another plus is that you’ll have a greater possibility of getting treasured and even featured on the front page. Some of the tips they give on Etsy are to use natural light, take shots that convey texture size and how the item will be used. Basically make the customer feel like they are holding the item in their hands. Etsy Success: Product Photography for Beginners
It’s also not enough to have good-looking photos (most listings have decent photos). You want to stand out from the crowd in your category in search. An easy way to see if your items stand out is by doing a search yourself. Look at all the results surrounding your item; does your item just blend in with everything else? Then maybe try a taking your photos at a different (but still flattering) angle than the other listings. Or include props to make your item look more pleasing and welcoming.
Use Etsy’s resources
Etsy has a million and one posts, videos, forums, online labs and info on everything you could possibly ever want to know about selling on their site. The seller Handbook is a great place to start.
Finding info on the site about a particular question you might have is not that easy though. What I do is type in my question adding the word Etsy at the end into the Google search tab. This will give you lots of options: etsy articles, etsy forums and posts on blogs. I’ve been able to get most of my questions answered that way.
Also signing up for their email list helps keep you informed on the latest happenings and tips.
As I research more and more on getting found on etsy, the more I realize it’s a number’s game. Basically the more items you have listed the better chance you’ll have of getting found in search and on Google. Since more items equals more keywords in the titles and descriptions, there’s more opportunity to get found. The magic number (from what I’ve read on forums) seems to be 100. In order to get decent traffic you’ll need to have around 100 listings in your shop. Which is a lot easier said than done!
Listing Names Matter
One tip that I found (that of course I sometimes ignore) was to not name all your listings the same, try to use different keywords in each listing. For example, if you’ve got two similar items (two knitted hats) one listing could be ‘Hand Knit Hat With…’ and the other ‘Women’s Knit Hat With…’. That way you’ll have the opportunity to be found if someone is searching for either term.
Promote Your Shop
This is the hard part for me, I want to get people to come to my shop but don’t want to be pushy about it. I think the trick to this is to think about and treat your shop like a business (which it is) and do what other business owners do. Meaning getting some business cards, advertising (if you can) and talking about all the fabulous new stuff you just listed with your family, friends and co-workers. A great way to get the word out is by posting about it on your blog (or getting a blog if you don’t have one) and connecting to social media. I read a book a while back called Guerilla Marketing (aka creative and cheapo marketing tips) which helps with the advertising if you are on a budget. They also have a site by the same name (Guerilla Marketing) with lots of free articles.
Etsy Selling Tricks
Just to clarify, when I say tricks I don’t mean it in a bad way. These are not ways to game the system, they are just ways to make your shop look more appealing and to get more customers through the virtual door. So let’s begin, I found some really juicy stuff this week I’m dying to share…
Ever wonder how some people achieve those amazing photos with the crisp bright white background? So did I!
I built a light box, made the cheapo version of studio lights (Home Depot metal work lights with daylight bulbs), lightened my photos until the image was almost unrecognizable… But no matter what I did my backgrounds still ended up muddy looking and still too dark.
Then Foto Fuze entered the picture. It’s really easy to use, but watch the intro video for tips. It pulls up all your listing photos so you can edit them one by one, then inserts them back into your shop. I took all my shop photos from drab to fab in one sitting. I think it’s only for Etsy photos, but I’m thinking I might try to see if I can use it for some of the blog photos too. Shh, don’t tell them.
Setting Up An Etsy Mini Shop On Your Blog
Having your etsy shop visible on your blog is a great way to promote your items and your shop. And what’s even better is that people can shop right from your blog. Here’s a great video I found on how to add it.
The etsy navigation menu has changed a bit since this video was shot. So in order to find the etsy mini click on ‘Your shop’ (top right hand corner) then towards the bottom of the left side of the screen you’ll find etsy mini under the ‘Promote” section.
Well, hope you found these tips useful and hopefully they’ll equate to more traffic and sales. I’ll keep you posted on my results after implementing all this stuff and if I find more useful info along the way. Looks like I’ve got a lot of work to do.
I recently bought some faux bois contact paper at The Family Dollar store and originally intended to use it on our white IKEA bookcase. It was going to wrap around just the shelves, basically the horizontal parts. All the vertical parts would stay white. But I wasn’t convinced it would look, just wasn’t seeing the vision, if you know what I mean. Plus it might be way too busy for the ton of stuff on those shelves already.
The roll has been lying there for a few weeks now just begging to be used. But nothing was coming to mind. And before I committed to doing whatever with the paper to use it up, I decided to do a little research and find some inspiration. I went a little nuts and most of this stuff doesn’t really apply to my contact paper. But there were so many cool faux bois projects out there, that I ended up doing this round-up post to share with you.
What a gorgeous organizer storage box. Makes you want to get organized, doesn’t it? Also doubles as a gift box. Although, I think it’s too pretty to give away.
Got a ho-hum white vinyl shade in need of sprucing up? How about adding an organic faux bois pattern to them by making your own vinyl shade decal.
Even though I don’t particularly like the taste of candy corn, I do love the colors. They are so pretty and just scream fall. So it’s just fitting that I find some ways to use candy corn and their colors instead of eating them.
Super simple yet effective use of candy corns. Good thing is if you actually like them, you can eat them too.
Create a Candy Corn Painted Frame with a spooky message inside. The tutorial includes this store-bought yellow and orange frame. If you can’t find it just paint a simple white frame. Then sand it to give it a distressed look.
I’ve been wanting an all white plate wall forever and had been collecting plates every time we went to a thrift store. By the way, I get the impression that Salvation Army buys and sells plates. cause every single store I went to had the same plates. Coincidence or conspiracy? You be the judge.
Anyway, I finally got to the point that I had quite an arsenal of plates building up on the dining room table. Enough to cover the entire wall as I originally intended, but like most other things, the plan changed.
This is a relatively easy project, the hardest part was having the patience to wait for the glue to fully dry overnight.
All you’ll need is:
Some thrift store plates
Gorilla glue (or some other strong adhesive)
Metal plate hangers
They have these nifty hanging discs available in stores but they’re kinda pricey, especially if you’re hanging a whole lot of plates. The metal hangers, If I remember correctly will only cost you $5 for the box.
I didn’t use mod podge in this project, well I did, but just as a weight to hold down the hanger while the gorilla glue dried. You’re supposed to clamp it down for a maximum bond, but my clamps weren’t long enough to reach the hanger. So the next best thing is to use a heavy object to weigh it down. Of course, this method didn’t work as well and some of the hangers pulled right off the plate. So make sure to tug on them once dry to make sure your plates don’t fall off the wall.
It looks a bit messy when dry, but no one’s gonna see it. So it’ll be our little secret.
Here’s where the plan veered of track.
I didn’t want to end up with some crazy chaotic pattern on the wall. So I started in the center with the largest plate, working my way out in a symmetrical pattern. When I was halfway through I realized I had created a diamond pattern which I was really happy with. And I decided to stop right there. Well actually, by that time I had also run out of plates. I hadn’t glued the hangers to all the plates yet.
Call it lucky or lazy but my wall o plates was done…
Update: Forgot to mention how I put them up on the wall. I just used regular nails that had a big flat head and hammered them at an angle. Both things will prevent the plates from falling off the wall. Especially since they’re in an area where people are going to be passing them to get to their chairs.
If you recall, last week I showed you a potential project idea from my latest (mangled) issue of BH&G. I so loved the burst of fall color from fall leaves against the crisp white of the vases. But since a) I don’t own any cool white vases like those pictured and b) I live in Miami with not a fall leaf in site. I had to take a different route.
I’ve been in love with Aimee’s from It’s overflowing white and yellow flower vase ever since I first saw it. And now I can finally made my own version, with a fall twist.
Upcycled Bottle Festive Fall Vases
2 Empty glass bottles
white spray paint
fabric, ribbon or burlap
As I’m trying to work through my stockpile of glass bottles, I knew they would be perfect for this project. Can you tell we love cheese and pasta? This is the second project I make with this type of bottle. Check out the other one here. As for the syrup, I actually made waffles to finish of the bottle.
I went to two dollar stores looking for pretty fall leaves and the ones I found we hideous, some even had glitter. So I ended up using a couple of flowers off the pomander I made for our wedding. Which I’m working my way thru until all I have left is the floral foam in the middle, which of course I’ll use for another project. I so thrifty!!
Go ahead and give your bottles a couple of coats of white spray paint and let dry. I used the spray paint cap as a little pedestal so I could easily paint the bottom of the bottles. Oh btw, remove the labels first.
Remove the stem and plastic thingy that holds your flower together. Cut away as much of the little nub that remains. So your flower doesn’t just fall apart on the vase add a drop of hot glue to hold what’s left of the stem to the flower.
Then just hot glue the flower to the center of each bottle. To cover up the rings at the top, which are an obvious giveaway that you used a bottle, glue a strip of ribbon or fabric to it. I used burlap cause I had it and I like the texture and natural look.
There you go, now you’ll have a couple of upcycled festive fall vases.
Poor squirrels, I think they get a bad rap. They make all these squirrel proof bird feeders and some people even consider them pests. They like treats too!
I think they’re adorable, even though they do eat all the bird food we put out and dig holes in our plants to bury their food. They are always welcome in our garden, in fact we tend to get more visits from squirrels than we do from birds.
I caught this guy red-handed a while back. Yes, I’m talking to you buddy!
Here are a few diy squirrel feeders I found that might be fun to make. Perfect timing too! They can fill up and save the leftovers for winter.
This one’s ingenious, one of those wish I would have thought of that things! One question. Are you supposed to cook the corn first?
Ok, now we’re talking. Here are some for all you woodworkers out there.
Not only did Jamie make this adorable squirrel house for ‘Earl the Squirrel’ but she even remodelled it. You gotta check out the before and after.
If you’ve got more sophisticated squirrels, who like to sit while they dine, maybe you need something like this. I can see it now, a squirrel sitting down to eat with a napkin bib and a fork and knife. Too cute! Get the tutorial here.
This one freaks me out a little. I feel like the squirrel could get stuck in there. But I guess if he can fit through that tiny hole on the side, he can fit in the bottle. And he can sit inside this bottle squirrel feeder for endless amounts of time and eating.
There is nothing not to like about this house. To me it seems like it’s perfect from inside and out. The Goodrich Residence by Chioco Design is a mix of cool tones of white and gray with rich warm natural woods. The use of color is kept to a minimum. Just a splash here and there in every room is sufficient to keep it from feeling cold and sterile.
Enjoy the tour….
Isn’t it just beautiful? Get any ideas for your home?
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