Gilded Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders

gold gilded pine cone ard holder

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.

pine cone

And drew up some festive cards to write the names on…

place cards

You can download them here and print them out if you like:

snowflake holiday place card printable

*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.

pine cone place card holders

Note: The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

gilded pine cone place card holder

Aren’t you jealous of my perfect handwriting? Secret, I cheated I wrote the names on the computer then printed them out.

place holder pine cone

Linking up to some of these great parties:
C.R.A.F.T., Crafts Keep Me Sane,  Craft 0 Matic, Todays Creative Blog, Hope StudiosCoastal CharmNot Just A Housewife, A Diamond In The StuffHomeworkDomestically Speaking,  Sew Much Ado, Restore Interiors,  Primp, My Repurposed LifeShabby Creek Cottage, Crafty Scrappy Happy,  The 36 Avenue, Beyond The Picket FenceCraft Junkie Too, Miss Mustard Seed, Chic On A Shoestring DecoratingFinding Fabulous,  At The Picket Fence,  Funky Junk Interiors, Young And Crafty, Too Much Time On My HandsHomemaker On  A Dime, I Heart Nap Time, Flamingo Toes, Nifty Thrifty Things, Under The Table And Dreaming,  My 1929 Charmer, Twigg Studios

Homemade Felt and Fabric Ornaments

handmade felt & fabric ornaments

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.

tn_Partridge finished

Cute little partridge ornament

Scrappy Fabric Ornaments

Use left over fabric strips to make Scrappy Fabric Ornaments

monogram felt ornaments


Felt Monogram Ornaments, so cute and felt is so cheap they’ll only take pennies to make.


 Felt Pinecone Christmas Ornament, very realistic!


paper/fabric ornaments, if you don’t have fabric scraps you could also make this using scrapbook paper.


 Pretty quilt-like Fabric Ornament Tutorial 

Christmas ornament

Fabric Scrap Ornaments

Snowflake-Design Ornament

Snowflake-Design Ornament

Felt Pinecones

Snowy Felt Pinecones

scallopped Felt Ornament

Felt Ornament love the scallop details.

Felt Ornament 7

 felt sphere ornament

felt dove ornament

felt dove ornament

More handmade ornaments:

Fun & Easy Paper Ornaments

Gold {Dipped} Gilded Pinecones

Gold Dipped Gilded Pinecones1

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.

pinecones in vase

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:

Gold {Dipped} Gilded Pinecones

What you’re gonna need:


Gold spray paint (Rust oleum)

Soft plastic bag


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 got some other uses for these, show ya soon!

Update. Here’s what I did with them:

Gilded Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


Linking up to some of these great parties:
C.R.A.F.T., Crafts Keep Me SaneCraft 0 Matic, Todays Creative Blog, Hope Studios, Coastal Charm, Not Just A Housewife, A Diamond In The StuffHomework, Domestically SpeakingSew Much Ado, Restore InteriorsPrimp, My Repurposed Life, Shabby Creek Cottage, Crafty Scrappy HappyThe 36 Avenue, Beyond The Picket Fence, Craft Junkie Too, Miss Mustard Seed, Chic On A Shoestring Decorating, Finding Fabulous, At The Picket FenceFunky Junk Interiors, Young And Crafty, Too Much Time On My Hands, Homemaker On  A Dime, I Heart Nap Time, Flamingo Toes, Nifty Thrifty Things, Under The Table And DreamingMy 1929 Charmer, Twigg Studios

Spotted: Getting More Sales On Etsy {Tips & Tricks}

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.


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.

Quantity Matters

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…

The Shoptimizer

Here’s a free app that’ll not only grade your shop’s seo but will also help you fix it. You’ll get an explanation and tips on how to fix your grade.

Here’s a screenshot of my shop’s Report Card. Feels like I’m back in high school, not really, ok maybe just a little.

etsy shop seo tips

You basically then go down the line and try to fix everything. By clicking on the TIP button, you get an explanation of what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.

Looks like my efforts have been mostly paying off.


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.

get better esty shop photos

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.

setting up an etsy mini shop on your blog

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.

Faux Bois Projects

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.

shade faux bois

Cardboard tube wall storage, what a great storage solution for a small entry or even in the kitchen or bedroom.

Hardware-Decor-wall-storage-faux bois

Give a boring tray a faux bois tray makeover.

faux bois tray

Make your own DIY Faux Bois Wood grain Rug, it’s really easier than you think.

faux bois rug

I totally heart this woodgrain glitter lampshade. I looks amazing!

Wood Grain Lampshade

Great idea creating a faux bois pattern on these vases. It’s timeless so you can use them year round.


This pretty nightstand looks like it came like that from the factory. It took a couple of tries, but it went from blah to faux bois fabulous.

white faux bois dresser

Ok, this floor is to die for! Not sure if I would have the patience to paint a woodgrain floor on a large area. But in a small space, I would totally go for it.

How To Paint Concrete faux bois

Four plain square mirrors were turned into Faux Bois Mirrors with a little imagination.


Leave it to Martha to carve out an incredibly elaborate faux bois pumpkin. Just beautiful.

faux bois pumpkin

Isn’t this just the cutest diy gift wrapping? Fall leaves and all…

faux bois gift wrap 1

Ok, why wasn’t I invited to this party?! This nature inspired rustic faux bois dessert bar looks yummy as well as pretty.

faux bois cupcake liners

What a fun and unique fall centerpiece, the studs add a little extra bling.


Got an empty jar laying around? Turn it into a cute little wood grain vase with some contact paper.

jar-faux bois lined

What a darling little woodgrain candle. So simple yet stunning.

faux bois candles

Last but not least, a somewhat easier pumpkin project; black and white painted pumpkin. Very glam, love the owl too.

black and white faux-bois-pumpkins-5

Still no closer to figuring out what I’m going to make. So many ideas, so little time. At least I got a big roll of contact paper.

Candy Corn Crafts

candy corn crafts

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.

hurricane vase candy corn


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.

candy corn painted frame

I love the face on this little faux candy corn memo holder, it’s too cute.


Need to give any Halloween gifts this year? Well here’s an easy and cute candy corn pot, that just screams Halloween.


This is my kinda project candy corn vases using recycled bottles and paint. I’ve been eyeing that orange spray paint at HD, I might just try this.

candy corn vases

It’s raining candy corn, yipee! Paper candy corn garland, too cute!

candy corn paper garland

Here’s another really cute candy corn garland. I love their faces!

candy corn garland

A whole mantle dedicated to candy corn crafts, who knew it was possible.

candy corn mantle decor

These Candy Corn Fall Cone Topiaries are just so timeless. I think if you change out the candy corn in the pot for moss, you could use these all year-long.

candy corn fall cone tree

Don’t know what looks more scrumptuous, the candy corn cupcake stand or the cupcake.

candy corn cake stand

I think my cat would become catatonic if I put a sweater on her. And never speak meow to me again. But this Crochet a Candy Corn Pet Sweater is just so cute I had to include it.

crochet candy corn cat sweater

No candy corn list would be complete without the iconic candy corn wreath. And this one looks good enough to eat.

candy corn wreath

Aren’t these DIY Apothecary Candy Jars just beautiful? Use them year round by changing out the candy inside.



White Plate Wall

plate wall

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.

white plates for plate wall

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.

glueing hangers to plates

It looks a bit messy when dry, but no one’s gonna see it. So it’ll be our little secret.

plates with hangers

plate with wall hanger

Here’s where the plan veered of track.

dining room plate wall

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.

plate wall

Call it lucky or lazy but my wall o plates was done…

wall of white plates

dining room plate wall

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.

Linking up to some of these great parties:
C.R.A.F.T., Crafts Keep Me SaneTodays Creative Blog, Hope Studios, Coastal Charm, Not Just A Housewife, A Diamond In The StuffHomework, Domestically SpeakingSew Much Ado, Restore InteriorsPrimp, My Repurposed Life, Shabby Creek Cottage, Crafty Scrappy HappyThe 36 Avenue, Beyond The Picket Fence, Craft Junkie Too, Miss Mustard Seed, Chic On A Shoestring Decorating, Finding Fabulous, At The Picket FenceFunky Junk Interiors, Young And Crafty, Too Much Time On My Hands, Homemaker On  A Dime, I Heart Nap Time, Flamingo Toes, Nifty Thrifty Things, Under The Table And DreamingMy 1929 Charmer, Twigg Studios

Upcycled Bottle Festive Fall Vases

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.

white vase with fall leaf decor

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

2 flowers

white spray paint

fabric, ribbon or burlap

glue gun

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!!

upcycled glass bottles and flowers

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.

upcycle bottles painted white

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.

fall 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.

closeup upcycled white vases with fall flowers

upcycled white vases with fall flowers

upcycled white vases with red and green faux flowers

Linking up to some of these great parties:
Making Monday Marvelous, Motivate Me MondayGet Your Craft On, Teach Me Stuff, Tip Me Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Show Me What Ya Got, Time To Shine, DIY By Design, The Inspiration BoardWe Did It Wednesday, Restored It Tuesday, From Dream To RealityPrimp Your Stuff, Catch As Catch Can, Transformation Thursdays, Crafty, Scrappy, Happy MeAir Your Laundry, Show Me, Under $100 Party, T.G.I.F., Furniture Feature Friday, Flaunt It FridayInspiration Friday, Feathered Nest Fridays, Addicts (Not So) anonymous, Saturday Nite Special, Get Schooled, Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop, Sundae Scoop, Think Pink Sundays, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Sunday’s Best, Sunday Show Off

DIY Squirrel Feeders

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!

squirrel on bird feeder

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?

corn and hook diy squirrel feeder


Ashley made this yummy diy squirrel feeder which looks pretty easy to make and good enough to eat. Not sure if the M&M’s are good for them, but I’m sure they’ll like them as much as we do.

DIY peanut squirrel feeder

This branch squirrel feeder has an ulterior motive, which is so cool. Hint it was made by Chris the Photog.

twig bird feeder

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.

earl's squirrel house

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.

diy squirrel_feeder_cafe

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.

see through bottle squirrel feeder

A Peek Inside: Cool Grays & Warm Woods

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….

gray and wood lounge

eclectic wood living room

wood and white mdern kitchen

white modern kitchen

gray and white bedroom

yellow and white bedroom

small house outdoor patio

Isn’t it just beautiful? Get any ideas for your home?