Easy Yarn Twig Décor

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Maybe you have this conundrum too. You have a bunch of vases you love, but keeping them filled with fresh flowers just isn’t in the budget.

Vases are all over my house. I kinda didn’t realize just how many until I started writing this post. I have skinny mini milk glass vases. Pottery. Mason jars. Glass vases. Bottles. They’re everywhere!

I like the height they add to vignettes and displays. And, a unique vase just seems to complement any room.

Because I like to keep so many vases out and about, I’m always searching for creative solutions for what to put in them. I’m not a huge fan of fake flowers, although some do work. I tend to go for more natural (and typically free) items to fill my vases, like feathers, pinecones, and cedar sticks. Maybe that sounds weird, but these items last, well, forever, and they add visual interest.

While trying to come up with something new to fill a vase in my living room, I thought of twigs. I’ve used them before in vases just as is. Straight from the backyard to the vase. (Like farm-to-table, but twig-to-vase.)

But this time, I wanted something different. Painting them was an option, (twigs spray painted white or a bright color would look really neat!), but I wanted something with more texture. Then, I thought of wrapping twine or yarn around the twig to change the look. And that’s what I did.

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All you need for this project is yarn or twine, hot glue and some twigs. There’s really not a lot to it. Just start wrapping and gluing. Make sure you don’t have any gaps, and have patience. It takes a little while.

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Make sure to also wrap all of the little knobs and mini branches that stick out from the main twig. These extra bits really add to the look.

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I mixed it up and wrapped twigs in two different types of neutral-themed yarn, and I also wrapped a few in twine. The twine was a little harder to work with because it’s thinner, which led to a couple of burnt fingertips when I tried to press the twine down over the glue. But I really like the “earthy” look of the twine, especially alongside the twigs wrapped in the softer yarn. It was worth the pain. (Some people say beauty is pain, but for me, it’s decorating that’s worth it!)

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I really love how these yarn-wrapped twigs turned out. And if you already have yarn and a hot glue gun, this project is practically free!



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DIY Embroidery Hoop Sun Catcher

DIY Embroidery Hoop Sun Catcher

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Embroidery hoops are more than just needlecraft tools. With a little help, they can make a statement in their own right. From mobiles to light fixtures to picture frames, you can complete crafty projects galore with these versatile circular devices.

A fun embroidery hoop project you can easily make to dress up a window or door is an embroidery hoop sun catcher. Made from just an embroidery hoop, wax paper and pressed flowers, it’s a no-skills required project.

This project is simple, sweet and inexpensive. It’s the perfect way to save farmer’s market flowers or summer blooms from your garden to enjoy all year. And at the end, you’ll have something pretty to hang in your window to catch the light. Here’s how to make your own sun catcher.

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1. Press your flowers
You need something pretty to go inside your sun catcher, right? What better than the delicate petals of some pretty flowers?

This part of the project is a little more time-intensive, but only because you have to wait a couple of weeks for your blooms to dry. It’s really hard not to peek, I know, but if you don’t give your flowers ample time to dry out they’ll turn brown and wilt. Pressing them dries them out so they last…pretty much forever.

Drying flowers is easy, especially using this pressing method. Simply take a variety of flowers and their leaves and lay them flat between the pages of a few books. You’ll need to line the pages of the book with tissue paper before pressing your blooms to prevent the flowers from sticking. (I found this out the hard way.)

You won’t be able to fit as many flowers in a book as you think. It gets thick fast. So, it’s completely fine to use multiple books. Once you’ve finished placing your flowers in your books, slide the books back on the shelf, so they’re squeezed between other books. You’ll need the pressure in order to flatten your flowers. After about two weeks, they’ll be dried out and ready to go.

It’s really fun to open the books at the end of the two weeks and find your perfectly preserved flowers. It makes all of the waiting worth it. I promise!

2. Assemble your sun catcher
Now, you’re ready to assemble your sun catcher. First, disassemble your embroidery hoop. Then, tear off a piece of wax paper that’s slightly larger than your embroidery hoop. Place the flexible portion of the embroidery hoop (the one with the screw) on top of the sheet of wax paper.

Now, for the fun part. Arrange your blooms on top of the wax paper and in the middle of your hoop in a pretty pattern. At this point, I found that it’s a good idea to add a few very small dollops of glue to the wax paper to secure the flowers.

3. Put it all together
Once you have your flowers arranged how you like, tear off another sheet of wax paper and place it on top of your hoop. Then, take the other portion of your embroidery hoop (the one without the screw) and press it down snug in the middle of the other part of the hoop, just like you would with fabric.

Secure the hoop by turning the screw until it’s tight. Then, trim off the excess wax paper, and you’re done!

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This embroidery hoop sun catcher project was featured in the Summer 2015 issue of VintageKC magazine. See it and a bunch of other super fun embroidery hoop projects from other Kansas City bloggers here.

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Want to try more easy crafty projects? Here are some craft ideas.



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Missouri Travel Series: The Start

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While I’m no stranger to traveling to far-off places, I also don’t think you need to travel long distances to explore something new—and worthwhile.

On a whim, I recently bought “Missouri’s Natural Wonders Guidebook” by Don Kurz. For months now I’ve been aching to get in nature, find new spots, hike, go camping and just roam. This random purchase was my push to get moving, even if just in my own backyard.

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The book discusses the best natural wonders of Missouri. It features 100 scenic areas in the show-me state including prairies, wildlife areas, springs, waterfalls, swamps, geologic features, caves, trails, woodlands and streams. I live in Missouri, but I hadn’t heard of most of the areas mentioned in this book.

I’m ready to grab my boyfriend, grab my dog and get out there.

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A note on guidebooks
So, why did I buy this old-fashioned kinda hokey guidebook? There’s just something about holding a book in your hands, you know? Flipping through the pages with the pad of your thumb. Making notes in the margins and referencing them later. Opening the book, letting the pages fall and reading whatever page fate decides to land on. You can’t get that with a computer.

I’ve been carrying the guidebook around with me. I even take it to work. It makes me happy when I spot it in my bag and can just escape for a few minutes by reading about a spot I should trek to.

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Explore, wander, roam
This summer, I’m determined to travel my state and search out the small wonders and sites I haven’t seen.

It’s unlikely I’ll visit all of the areas in this book this year, but some of the spots I want to hit include:

• Big Spring
• Big Sugar Creek State Park
• Devil’s Well
• Elephant Rocks State Park
• Grand Gulf State Park
• Painted Rock Conservation Area
• Prairie Hollow Gorge Natural Area
• Roaring River State Park
• Rocky Falls
• Round Spring
• Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
• Vilander Bluff Natural Area
• Virgin Pine Forest
• Welch Spring

If you have the travel bug too, follow along with me. I hope to show off some of the best nature spots in Missouri, and maybe inspire you to explore your own home state.

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As I make my way through the guidebook and explore new spots, I’ll update here on the blog. I can’t wait to share what I discover!


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