Mantel Love- Paper Bag Garland

I know I am not the only one out there that just loves decorating her mantel. Seriously, I can’t get enough of it. The months after Christmas are the best for mantel decorating because it gets a makeover monthly. It’s a whirlwind, but like Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn from Wedding Crashers, I welcome this frenzy with open arms.

Ladies and Gents: It’s Mantel Season!

February (well, actually, January 10th, when I sadly deconstructed Christmas) marks my first mantel of the New Year. And best yet… it cost me next to nothing.Wait until you get a load of my Easy Paper Bag Garland.

I’m kind of pumped about February’s mantel-scape because I did not spend a cent to create this little no budget beaut!

Let’s have a look at her…

February Mantel


The lamps are old—a gift with purchase from Ulta in 2004. The shades, however, are newish. Newish in the sense that I recovered them, but that fabric on the shades… not so much. That fabric happens to be from a pair of my husband’s flannel boxers (they were clean!!).  There is not really a how-to about this one because I just grabbed my glue gun, cut some of the fabric, and wrapped it around the shade. In fact, because I am sometimes impulsive, there is a gap at the back of one of the shades. It faces the wall, so no big deal.February Mantel

I used one of my husband’s beer growlers, shoved some white lights in there, and stuck in some glittery hearts on sticks that I bought at The Dollar Tree a year or two ago.

February Mantel

The HUGE matted frame usually remains on my mantel year round. For this mantel-scape I found a picture I gave to E for Father’s Day, which I thought encompassed the feeling of love (it’s a picture of the boys wearing the sweatshirts he wore when they were born, and pictures of E holding the boys when they were born), threaded some burlap ribbon through it, and voila! Layers are in, people!

February Mantel

To add height and interest on the other side, I took a mason jar, shoved (apparently there was a whole lotta shoving going on for this mantel) some pinecones in there, cut some branches off a tree outside, and decorated them with hearts. The hearts were super easy to slap together. In fact, I had my little guys help. They used the heart punch to cut the hearts and made heart sandwiches (two hearts, baker’s twine, and glue in the middle).

February Mantel

And then there’s the brown paper bag garland. Easiest thing ever.


February Mantel


Here’s what you’ll need for the Paper Bag Garland:

-          Brown paper bags (as many or as few as you’d like)

-          Items to decorate bags (I used some craft paint, but washi tape could look lovely…)

-          Twine

-          Tape (I used clear packing tape)

 Here’s what you’ll do to make the Paper Bag Garland:

Step1: Cut a V out of the open/top of each bag. I just stacked them up and cut the V out of the entire stack.

Step 2: Paint/washi those bad boys.

Step 3: Measure out some twine or ribbon to the length  you would like for your space.

Step 4: Tape the twine to the back of each flag and space appropriately. (note: you could probably punch a hole and thread the twine, but I was being lazy and wanted the easiest route possible)

Took me all of six minutes.

Paper Bag Garland

And there she is. My free-loving Valentine’s Day Mantle.

Paper Bag Garland

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

As Valentine’s Day rapidly approaches, I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I want to decorate our home for the holiday, but alas I have no suitable decor. Yes, you read that right– there’s nary a heart shaped, love-related decoration around.

I struggle with Valentine’s decor because often the things I see, although cute, just do not go with the style of our house. I’m not a huge fan of the bold red/hot pink color scheme nor the glitter that frequently accompanies many of the tutorials I’ve seen (perhaps this will change when we’ve got some rugrats running around). I’m quite persnickety, and thus the one to blame for my void of Valentine’s decorations.

With that said, I was over the moon when I saw this craft at findingHome. I love the simplicity of it and its overall natural look. I viewed the tutorial but tweaked my product (I used a thicker jute because I wanted it chunkier) & process (I couldn’t find a paper punch or stamping plate).

Here’s my finished product:

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

Here’s what you need:   

  • One canvas (I got my 9 x12 canvas at Hobby Lobby)
  • Jute (or twine as the original tutorial suggests)
  • Print out of the word of your choice
  • A few pieces of tape
  • Sharp tool to poke through the canvas
  • Yarn needle

Step 1:

Decide where you want your word to go on the canvas. I placed mine just above the exact middle of the canvas. Tape your print out to the canvas– make sure the paper is taut.

Step 2:

Using your sharp tool, begin to poke holes along the shape of your word. I placed my left hand under the canvas and pushed slightly upwards as I used my right hand to poke the tool through. Having my left hand under the canvas ensured that the canvas did not stretch or tear as I poked through.

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

You can see that I didn’t make my holes perfectly even. I left bigger gaps between the holes in which I knew the jute was going to be on top of the canvas, and made smaller gaps for holes in which the jute would be on the back side of the canvas. Doing this ensured less ‘white space’ between my jute.

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

Step 3:

Take the print out off of the canvas. Depending on the size of your jute (twine, yarn, whatever you choose), you may need to go back with your sharp tool and stretch the holes a teeny bit bigger. Make sure your holes are big enough for your needle to fit through! I went for a snug fit.

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

Step 4:

Thread your jute through the needle. Start behind the canvas and come up through the first hole. I decided to start at the top of the L. Thread your jute above/below the canvas. Be sure to always have your fingers/hand pushing in the opposite direction of the needle. (When you are pushing the needle down through the canvas, have your left hand behind the canvas pushing up ever so slightly) Again, this was my precaution to keep the canvas from tearing.

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

Step 5:

Continue your embroidery for each letter. When finished, you can knot it on the back. My string was tight in the holes, so I didn’t even need to make knots to hold it in place. I’m very pleased with how this turned out, now I just need to find a home for it!

Jute Embroidered Love Canvas

Easy Burlap Bubble Wreath


burlap bubble wreath

I probably should have bought stock in burlap because just my consumption of it alone is ridiculous. I just love burlap. The texture, the possibilities, and even the smell (I know, I know, I’m weird. My mom loathes it, but I like it).

But, I digress.

This here wreath is impossibly easy. Seriously. If I had to create a scale of difficulty, I’m talking a bunny slope craft.

A Burlap Bubble Wreath is all over Pinterest. Read about them here, here, and here. Here’s my Easy Bubble Burlap Wreath.


What you’ll need to make an Easy Burlap Bubble Wreath:

-          Glue Gun (or if you can tie a knot that works, too)

-          Roll of Burlap (I used 1.5 rolls with an 18” wreath form)—Find rolls of burlap in the wreath making aisles at JoAnn’s— there are several shades of burlap from which to choose!Easy Burlap Wreath

-          Wire Wreath Frame (Most tutorials use a 12” frame, but I like a bigger wreath, so I used an 18” puppy)

-          Some Wire Ribbon (Optional for a bow)

-          Seasonal Sprigs (optional)

IMG_3911Burlap Bubble Wreath


What you will do to make an Easy Burlap Bubble Wreath…

Start with an end of the burlap and either tie a knot or hot glue a loop on the outer rung of the wreath frame.

Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial

Then you will do the following for the entire wreath. You will pinch a section of burlap and push it through the wire. You can twist it slightly, but I found it bubbled on its own. You will go through the outer, middle, and inner ring with your burlap bubbles, and then work back out the outer ring.

Helpful tip: Don’t over think it! And… you are feeding the burlap from the backside of the wreath– this isn’t a weave, you are just pinching a piece of the burlap through the rung, and then moving onto the next rung..Are you a visual learner? Look at the pictures and labels below!

Burlap Bubble Wreath Easy Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial

Easy Burlap Bubble WreathBurlap Bubble Wreath

You will continue this pattern of working in, and then working out. I occasionally fluffed as I went.

When you come to the end of your first roll (if you are making a 16” or larger wreath), repeat the steps from the beginning by securing the burlap with hot glue or a knot.

Once your wreath is full, just tuck the tail of the burlap into a ring.

Because I was updating this wreath for Valentine’s day, I used some heart picks from The Dollar Tree and a sprig of glittery birds from JoAnn’s.Burlap Bubble Wreath

 Burlap Bubble Wreath

As for the bow, here are my sources…

Source One, Martha!!

This little lady is ready to hang! Bonus: This is a wreath that can be updated and changed per season or month!
burlap bubble wreath

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