New Christmas Tradition

I’ve been browsing Pinterest recently (well actually I often do) and fallen in love with the crazy different advent calendars that show up.

Now that my eldest is getting to age where he understands the holidays a bit more I have been wondering what sorts of traditions I want to make in our household with our children.

I mostly like the idea of doing activities with them as opposed to buying them any certain item or taking them shopping. So this year I decided to try the Advent Calendar and to include an activity for each day in December to make the season more memorable for him.

He was so excited each “pocket” I sewed on and will be even more excited once we start on the daily activities. I found a blog on Pinterest, which you can find here to print off activity cards if you don’t have an interest in making a list and creating the cards yourself.

The outer piece of the calendar is made from duck cloth. I happened to pick it up on a remnant sale from Joanne’s for around $10 and maybe used about half of the piece. The fabric I used for the pockets I had on hand. They are a mix of cotton (black and white checker, cream), linen (green) and wool (grey). The fabric I used for the numbers was a canvas material. I used a stencil and craft paint for the numbers.

I didn’t follow a pattern, just liked the look of many different size pockets all places together, so I cut differing sizes and then pieces them out before sewing on the numbers.

Do you have an advent calendar? If so, did you buy it or make it?

Tin Can Makeover

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I’ve been driving my husband a little nuts lately, in a good way. (Is there a good way, kidding!). I will save nearly every container, glass jar, bag, tie or anything that comes because what if there is another use for it?

Sometimes I’m really good at getting to these things in a few days but other times the items line our counters for two weeks at a time! But, I LOVE being able to make/create new stuff using the item you already have, or items in your house laying around. I LOVE thrifting but I think my problem (if it can be called that) is that I see TOO MUCH potential in things. I buy things thinking about the potential in them, not usually to keep them the same.

Anyways, these metal/tin cans sat on my counter for some time. And so I finally got going and set up to give these tin cans a makeover. I envisioned them to be black and white, with a sort of tribal/aztec print on them.

Here is what I used:

So I used tin cans from tomato sauce,a sponge brush, modge-podge, Waverly chalk paint, a scrap of suede, sandpaper (not pictured) and a permanent marker. I had all of these supplies at home, which is my favorite way to do a DIY project, using what you have. However, lets talk about this chalk paint for a minute. I bought mine at walmart but you can grab some at Amazon using the link below. This paint is high quality and thick and it goes a long way. I have used it for many projects and if you are redoing furniture or even painting picture frames or small decor pieces it gives a really nice finish. Check it out below.

Waverly Inspirations Matte Chalk Finish Acrylic Paint, 16 oz ( White )

So first off I sanded down some remaining paper left on the can and then painted the can. I waited for the first coat to dry and painted on a second coat.If you wanted to leave it a little distressed you could just do the one coat.


Next, I took the sharpie and drew up the pattern. I had a look in mind but I did freehand it. I’m sure there is a stencil out there if you would want to try that.

Next I measured out the suede straps. You could also use leather or a stronger material such as upholstery or others if you prefer. I’ve gotten a leather jacket thrifting for as cheap as $5. I measured them to be 2″x0.5″ but you could make them longer or thinner, what ever you fancy!I used Modge Podge to secure them to the can.


So a little story behind this Modge-Podge. It was probably at least 5 years ago that I saw this huge tub at Walmart for clearance price of $21. At first I just couldn’t get past the price. Fast forward 5 years and I haven’t made a DENT in it, it is still significantly full! A few times I have been tempted to get rid of it, but then I remember the handful of occasions I have used it and it is nice to have it around. So although I cannot package it into tiny little containers and send to all of you I will share that you can get a 16oz bottle in the link before for just under $7.

Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish (16-Ounce), CS11302 Matte Finish

This is how my final can turned out, perfect for a pencil holder or plant holder. It would be a perfect gift for someone with the addition of a plant. You know what else it would be perfect for? To decorate your wedding! Inexpensive and fun DIY project.

Posted in DIY

DIY Coffee Paint

We have been moved in and are semi-settled for about a month now. Currently we still have 4 foot high snowbanks, so we are mostly keeping an inside prescence and going a little stir crazy trying to find activities to do.

Here’s what helps, coffee, chocolate muffins, coffee and the occasional bout of sunshine.  


So, I just happen to buy the Great Value Donut Shop ground coffee and it was horrible. Over the years I’ve become a coffee snob. However, I didn’t want to just throw the coffee away, because I hate throwing things away that could be used for something else.

I’m always looking for activities to do with my 2.5 year old son. He LOVES painting, not big into coloring but loves paint. Since we recently moved I have yet to unpack the box which has our paint, so I decided to make some.

I mixed about 1/4 cup of coffee with a 1/3 cup of water and stirred it, then let it sit for a while. You could add more or less coffee to make a lighter or darker paint. I also did not have paintbrushes so I used q-tips. 

After painting, the paint fades after some hours, but it has a slight coffee smell. So, the next time you buy coffee grounds you don’t like, make some paint. 

Now excuse me while I head to the store to buy some REAL coffee grounds to make a nice hot cup of joe. 

Posted in DIY