My Pine Cone Garland

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I just love my simple pine cone garland that I “knocked off” from vechernie-posidelki.

feltedheartspineconegarland@CommeUnAirDeFeteI love this simple “felt hearts and pine cone” from Vechernie-posidelki.blogspot.com. The combination of natural elements and handmade ones elicits a simple and effortless elegance. So, I wanted to create something similar for my home that would capture this same essence (a natural and effortless elegance). But my garland has a little bit of a different twist.

First, I made my own star ornaments using the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1.5 cups of warm water

Add the water slowly as you mix the ingredients. You should end up with a bread dough-like ball.

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I rolled the dough out flat. Using a cookie cutter star, I then made as many stars as I could.

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Then, using a nail, the end of a pen or a skewer, make holes at the top of each star.

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Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees. Then, using a basic acrylic art paint, I painted each star red. Make sure to paint both sides.

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Then, using white acrylic paint, I made a stitch-like border.

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I then sprayed each star (both sides) with a clear gloss acrylic finish. Then I tied a piece of twine to each star.

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My kids and I collected a bunch of pine cones in our neighborhood. We are fortunate enough to have tons of pine trees. I tied twine to each pine cone making a loop at the top of each.

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Then, I laid out all the stars and pine cones and ran one piece of twine through each.

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Using a glue gun, I put a small dab of glue at the point where twine met twin to insure that everything would hang evenly.

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And there you have it. My pine cone garland. I just love it! You can use the dough recipe to create all kinds of unique Christmas tree ornaments as well.

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From Ordinary Log to Living Room Art

Because of the many storms and infamous hurricanes here on the east coast, our neighborhood has ended up with quite a few downed trees. As a result, various tree companies and ambitious chain-saw toting neighbors deposited an unending supply of firewood on our curbs. You can only chop so much wood and make so many patio end tables! With the assistance of my daughter, I decided to take one ordinary log and transform it into a work of living room art.

We began by stripping the log’s bark and sanding it down.

Log 1

We went through quite a bit of sandpaper. The hand-held electric sanders are wonderful for small jobs as ours.

Then, with acrylic paints in hand, my daughter painted only the top end with a contemporary abstract design dictated by the natural rings and grains. We made sure that the colors used would complement the already existing color scheme of our living room.

log 2

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Once the paint was allowed to dry for 24 hours, we then covered the entire log with a coat of clear high gloss polyurethane protective finish.

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After applying two coats of the finish and waiting approximately two days, we then turned the log over and installed the wheels. We used an electric drill first to drill holes where the screws would go and then switched to the screwdriver mode to finish the job. Having the right tools is a must to making a project easy!

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I installed wheels that could lock to keep the end table in place if need be.

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Our ordinary log has been transformed into living room art! It is both functional and beautiful and reflects our family’s creative individuality.

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Every time I walk through our living room, I am reminded of the enjoyable quality time I spent with my daughter making this masterpiece. It is a treasured item and work of art that is totally unique to our family. It gives a rustic and artful touch while reflecting our home’s exterior natural landscape.

 

Hurricane Sandy End Tables…

Hurricane Sandy hit us pretty hard here in Princeton, NJ. As a result, we had lots of downed trees. What to do with leftover cut tree stumps? Upcycle!! I’ve always wanted to have a natural look on our outside deck. So I decided to make end tables from the stumps. It was a bit more involved than I had anticipated. With three kids, I could only get to the project on the weekends. But after several months of procrastination and a step by step process, we now have beautiful, natural end tables on our deck just in time for summer!

stripping log

Once the logs were completely stripped of their bark, it was time to sand them. I bought an inexpensive hand sander at Lowe’s for about $30.00.

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It took awhile to sand the sides completely, but with the help of my kids, we got the job done!

Then we applied a clear gloss exterior stain. I only bought a quart and it was more than enough. We applied two coats to the top, sides and bottom.

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Because the logs are so heavy, I wanted to be able to move them around for convenience. I bought wheels to attach to the bottoms. First, I drilled holes to make installing the screws easier.

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Then I screwed each wheel in with “wood” screws (metal screws that are meant to screw into wood).

Screwing each wheel

Once I was done, I turned the log upright to make sure it was balanced.

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I now have two beautiful natural looking end tables for my deck! And the best thing is that they were upcycled from a natural disaster with the help of my kids!

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Hurricane Sandy end table

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