Sunday, December 9

$5 Christmas Stocking Hack

Our mantle decor got a major upgrade this Christmas with a beautiful new set of stockings! (we also updated the actual mantle earlier this year when we wrapped it with wood and added shiplap) But this big upgrade didn't have a big price tag. Believe it or not, these beautiful, classic stockings started with a set of plain red Amazon stockings that were only $5 each. They just needed a little MLH farmhouse flair!

I like to think I know a thing or two about stockings. I've spent a good amount of time looking at them over the last ten years, because every. single. year. I search again for our perfect fit.

I've found plenty of beautiful stockings over the years, but all the ones I loved failed to fit one important requirement. Budget. As much as I dreamed of perfect stockings, I just didn't feel like I found the right ones for a price I was willing (or able) to pay. I began my stocking saga after baby #2 joined the family. Our budget was strapped pretty tight, so I made handmade stockings with leftover flannel (you can see how I made them here). They were totally free, but I didn't love the fabric (I wont' totally knock that idea, though. I seriously considered making a matching plaid set this year before I found these red ones, and I think that would feel wonderfully cozy!).

A couple years later when we needed to add a fifth stocking, I decided to scrap those guys and start fresh. But wouldn't you know it, I was pregnant and tired and just needed something before the baby got here... so I just got the best Hobby Lobby had to offer for $5 each (you can see them in this post). It did feel like an improvement, but it also felt like a wasted opportunity because deep down I knew I didn't love those moosey stockings. They weren't my style, and for the next couple Christmases I cringed with regret every time I pulled them out. But I couldn't justify replacing them - they were brand new!

Then, earlier this year, we added baby #4. Even last Christmas before he was born I knew - we would need a sixth stocking. I knew this was my chance to get a new set, and this time I was ready. This time I knew what I wanted, and this time I was ready to hunt. it. down.

Sunday, December 2

DIY Wooden Stocking Tags

Christmas decorating is in full swing at the big blue house, and today I wanted to share one of my favorite projects for adding a cute and personal touch to any stockings. And the best part? It's sooo easy and super cheap!

I love DIY Christmas decor, and a project that's just as useful as it is beautiful? Well that just takes the Christmas cake! These little wooden stocking tags are a perfect way to differentiate matching stockings, add a personal touch without springing for embroidery, or just add a cute wooden accent to your Christmas decor.

Ever since we bought these off-the-shelf stockings a few years ago, I've been craving a personal touch. A way for all the little fellas to know which one is theirs and run right to it Christmas morning. Something to make them unique and ours. And these simple little tags have been the perfect touch!

Here's all you need to make your own:

Wednesday, November 21

Reversible Farmer's Market/Christmas Sign

I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but have no fear. This Christmas project has a secret identity that can be used all year! You may know by now that wooden signs are some of my favorite Christmas decor (my DIY Christmas tree farm sign, hand painted signs, and Christmas photo signs are just the tip of the iceberg!) but every year I encounter two problems with my sign collections:
  1. finding wall space to hang them that doesn't feel awkward or like an afterthought (and that doesn't put holes where I don't usually them)
  2. storage space when I take them back down
Well today we're solving both of those problems with handy reversible sign!

Most of the year it's just chilling in the kitchen as an unassuming Farmer's Market sign. Adding a little rustic charm and perfectly filling the space above my sink.

But come Christmas time, I just flip it around and BOOM. Instant Christmas cheer. No hunting for a spot,and no digging it out of storage.

Monday, November 5

Updating Second-Hand Chairs with Spray Paint

I finally did it. I finally picked a color and painted our dining chairs.

There's nothing like impending winter to kick me into gear, and this was one project I knew I needed to get done before the cold! So this is the story of how I painted them, and the silly, indecisive journey that made the process take so long. But after 30 years, I know indecisive is the way I work so I'm just rolling with the (very slow) punches over here.

Whether you're indecisive or not, painting is always a great way to freshen things up on a low budget, and dining chairs are no exception! This is a perfect project for spray paint because you don't have to worry about streaks, drips, or getting a brush around all those spindles and nooks. 

But before can paint, you need some chairs. Obviously *said in my best Prof. Snape voice*. For me, that meant starting with a hunt for a new set of chairs. We had a set of DIY industrial chairs from our last house, but they just weren't fitting my style any more. Ever since we moved in and built our extra-wide farmhouse table, I'd been dreaming of a set that better fit the style of our new table and new house.

I did a little poking around sites like wayfair and overstock, but deep down I knew that my thrifty roots couldn't abide new chairs when there were so many second-hand options out there for a fraction of the price. You know what they say: "Buy used and save the difference!" So I put most of my efforts into Craigslist and fb marketplace. I knew I wanted something simple, not too formal, with a classic style. And I didn't want to spend a fortune. During my long search for chairs, I also looked at tons of dining room inspirations on pinterest (part of the reason my search was so long was because I couldn't lock down quite exactly what I wanted) and, at long last, I started to hope for a classic Windsor-style chair. The one day, these guys popped up: