Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine DIY

I love a good DIY project. It seems like nothing quite compares to the satisfaction you get from creating something lovely with your own two hands. After I unplugged from cyberspace on Friday I worked on a project I have been planning for the past couple of weeks. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw the sneak peak and teaser about it that I sent out when it was finished.
Over Christmas 2010 one of my oldest blog friends Pamela over at Ginger Girl posted a DIY holiday decoration from one she saw at JCrew. After reading her post and picking my jaw up off the desk from my complete adoration of her craftiness, I rushed into JCrew to get a glimpse in real life. They had taken birch branches and suspended them with ribbon and hung gorgeous ornaments from them. I simply had to do it myself.
I have a large picture window nestled in a wall of built in bookshelves in my family room that made a perfect backdrop. I have always used it to create seasonal displays but had never thought of suspending something there! I purchased a birch branch at Michael's Arts & Crafts ($14.99), a roll of ribbon and used my own collection of oversize mercury glass kugels. Success! It created a striking display that received "oohs" and "ahhs" the entire holiday season.
Last autumn I decided to install small white hooks into the bookcase to create a more permanent place to utilize the branch as decor. When not in use, the small white hooks virtually disappear. For fall I used jute twine to suspend it and wrapped a autumnal leaf garland around it. You may remember from Halloween how I hung some creepy Spanish moss to add a delightfully devilish flair to my Mad Scientist's Library theme.

Over Christmas I wrapped an evergreen garland around it and hung a crystal star ornament from it to hang over my village. It looks like the Christmas star doesn't it?

I left the evergreen up until Friday when I set into motion my big plan. I am on a budget now that I am not working, and for a mere $5.00 I gathered my supplies at the dollar store.
1. pad of construction paper
2. a roll of cotton twine (jute is too curly)
3. 3 packs of plastic hearts
I originally wanted to use candy, but decorating with confections can get a bit pricey as they are so small and you need a larger quantity. Finding these plastic hearts was the perfect cost effective solution! Plus, I will have them to reinvent into something else next Valentine's Day!

I removed all the red and pink paper from the pad, folded each piece in half and fashioned hearts in all different sizes. It may be cheating, but I am NO artist and to freehand a heart would have been disastrously ugly! Using a hole puncher, I popped a hole into the center of each heart and strung them with the twine in an array of sizes. *note: I used invisible tape over each side to hold twine upright so they hung straight

I used an old wooden tray and filled my cloches (also used here and here) with the hearts. I purchased the red roses in the julep cup from Marshall's many, many years ago. I've joked about how my walk in attic is lined with metal shelving units and looks like a massive prop closet, but over the years I have collected odd pieces of decor, and tons of entertaining tools that I reuse and reinvent again and again. Look around your house. I bet you have some incredible things laying around waiting for a reinvention too!

Using what I already own and spending just a few dollars created a fun display that adds a freshness to our family room and puts a smile on my face every time I pull in the driveway and see them hanging there.
And St.Patrick's Day is just around the corner....


  1. i absolutely love this idea. it's simple yet so beautiful! thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Wow!! Your very creative!! I love what you did, especially the paper hearts hanging from the branch is just adorable!!

  3. It looks beautiful Eleanor! Have a lovely week:)

  4. I LOOVE it!! Totally going to steal it...tomorrow. I'll post a pic and show you :)

  5. It looks so good!! Dang it, I should have left my branch hanging and decorated throughout the year.
    My attic has enough decor for another house, so I know what you mean about being able to reinvent things you've stored away. What do you think you'll do for St.Patricks? Shamrocks maybe?!

  6. I remember seeing similar displays, they look so lovely and I like your train of thought for using similar versions for different holidays!

  7. I love your Valentine display, especially the hearts hanging from a birch branch. This is my favorite kind of decorating for holidays...using old familiar things. Very pretty.

  8. I wish I can be creative but just don't have the time. Your display is awesome.

  9. Such a lovely idea!!!!
    Your display is adorable!


  10. love your blog!!if you want follow me on google friends and i will be happy to follow you back <3
    a_c'est moi


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