String Art Valentines for Kids (and Adults too!)

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Connor and I had such fun making these string art hearts which look so cute on our front door! I cut out the hearts and he punched the holes around the border. Then I let him use my huge (not sharp) quilting needle to pull the strings through. Great fine motor activity and precious time spent with my true love. 🙂 Looking forward to spoiling my family this weekend for Valentines Day!

DIY Pine Bough, Ribbon & Jingle Bell Swags

Real Pine Bough Swags for Front Porch with Silver Ribbon and Rustic Jingle Bells. Country cottage style Christmas & holiday outdoor decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

What do you do when a big storm leaves a pile of fallen pine branches in your front yard? Make festive holiday swags for your front porch of course! After clipping off some smaller segments, I bound them together with yarn & tied them to my railings. Sparkly silver ribbon and a rustic jingle bell on each add just the right touch of Christmas curb appeal.

DIY Christmas Star Stained Glass Ornament Craft For Kids

Kids Christmas diy paper star ornament craft uses crayons & wax paper for a faux stained glass hanging that will look amazing in any window. Preschool art project. Make a fun & easy suncatcher for the holidays. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

What a fun weekend project this was & the perfect way to spend some extra time with my little helper! First we used pencil sharpeners to spread crayon shavings over a piece of wax paper I’d taped to the counter (with card stock underneath), then we placed another piece of wax paper (topped with more card stock) on top & mommy ran an iron over it on a ‘low’ setting to melt the colors together, giving them that lovely stained glass look. After the paper had cooled, we traced star shapes with a cookie cutter & I cut them out with my exacto knife (which I found produced cleaner edges than scissors). They are truly show-stopping when the sunlight is streaming through the window! And we even have enough left over to decorate his teachers’ Christmas gifts.

Wood Block Nativity Advent Calendar

DIY Nativity scene advent calendar. Black graphics on weathered wood blocks, individually wrapped to count down the days til Christmas. Country cottage style rustic holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

Day 4 of December and all 3 wise men are now on their way to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus! This is the first year I’ve done an advent calendar with my 4-yr old son, Connor and I wanted it to be a fun way to teach him about our faith, so I decided to make a 25-piece nativity set and wrap each one individually (Connor LOVES having a little present to open each day!). My husband kindly cut the wood blocks for me out of old garden fencing and then I designed the images (pasted on with Elmer’s glue) to look like they had been printed on weathered wood. The whole set will be centered under an antique wood frame I keep on the mantel, over which I have hung a rustic wood star. Stay tuned for more pics, as we get closer to Christmas!

DIY Mason Jar Lid + Chalk Snowflake Ornaments

DIY Mason Jar Lid Snowflake Christmas Tree Chalk Ornament by Shalom Schultz Designs

New additions for my tree this year. Mason jar lid ornaments with hand drawn chalk snowflakes! I just replaced the black paper on the lid tags I’d previously made for my husband’s graduation party back in May (used glue dots to adhere the paper to the lids & a scrapbooking punch to make the holes) & then spent an hour or so on the new drawings. They turned out so cute and add a fun, rustic element to my tree (more pics to come!).

P.S. I’ve been getting a lot of question about how to get fine detail with chalk & the trick is to use a chalk pencil, rather than a regular stick of chalk. You can find them in the chalkboard aisle at your local arts & crafts store or a white charcoal pencil from the drawing supplies aisle will work too. Then, if desired, you can seal your chalk drawings with a light coat of hairspray.

DIY Christmas Sweater Ball Wreath

Handmade Sweater Ball Christmas Wreath by Shalom Schultz Designs. Recycled holiday decorating.

I made this sweater ball wreath over the weekend as a donation for Quad City Arts Festival of Trees auction fundraiser. All proceeds support the arts in my community & I’m excited to be a part of the festivities again this year. A little sad to say goodbye to something that looks so nice on my own front door, but I hope it finds a lovely new home to adorn this holiday season.

Rustic Fall Front Porch

Fall front porch planter. Antique metal wash tub filled with pumpkins, autumn flowers & wheat stalks, and a vintage style harvest sign. Diy pumpkins studded with upholstery tacks add a touch of rustic glam to the steps bordered by lush Colius leaves. Country, cottage decor. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

I can’t believe it’s the 2nd week of November here in IL & I still have flowers! Not many, but I sure have been enjoying the nice weather & soaking up as much of the outdoors as I still can (what allergies?). Last weekend, after raking the yard, I cut down the spent blooms on my front porch planters, gathered pumpkins I had sitting around elsewhere & tucked dried leaves into the spots where dirt was showing to make the full fall transition. The pumpkins, studded with decorative upholstery tacks were decorated a couple weeks ago after family trip to the pumpkin patch. All the pretty leaves are now blowing away & it’s definitely getting colder, but it’s been a wonderful autumn season & I’m very much looking forward to the Thanksgiving finale!

Easy DIY Paper Leaf Garland Craft To Do With Your Kids

Easy DIY Fall Paper Leaf Garland Craft for Kids and Adults. Autumn decorating with unique modern art you make yourself.

The autumn wind has been doing a very thorough job of blowing away all the gorgeous leaves from the trees on my street, but my 4 yr old son Connor & I found a way to keep the vibrant fall colors around a bit longer. Using simple clip art images from the internet, I traced the shapes on to colored paper & he made them pretty! When we had all we wanted, I cut them out & he helped me punch holes and string them together.

Easy DIY Fall Paper Leaf Garland Craft for Kids and Adults. Autumn decorating with unique modern art you make yourself.

When we were finished, I hung the garland up in his window. We make a great team & I love the unique, organic appearance of each leaf. If you’re looking for a way to spend some quality time with your little ones – whether you have just a few minutes, or a whole afternoon – you might want to give this a try. Happy Fall Crafting!

Not So Spooky Halloween Mantel

Fall mantel decor with country cottage style vibe, featuring autumn leaves in a mason jar, wicker and handmade fabric pumpkins, mercury glass votives and an antique frame. A black raven bird and dark brown candlesticks with black taper candles add a touch of Halloween fun to this warm & cozy decorating scheme. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

For some reason it is REALLY hard to find decorative black birds, so I had to make my own by getting creative with a paper mache egg, masking tape & fabric (Who knew I could sculpt…sort of?). While I’m not into super spooky/gross Halloween decorating with spiders & such (I have enough of the real kind, thank you very much), I do enjoy incorporating a subtle nod to horror into my fall decor. So for me, the little black ‘raven’ and matching taper candles give my fall mantel just the right touch of spine-chilling fun while not taking away from the warm and inviting scene that I look forward to creating each year.

DIY Fabric Acorns – Tutorial

Easy DIY Recycled Fabric Acorns Tutorial by Shalom Schultz Designs. Fall and autumn craft using plastic eggs and old sweaters.

Just in time for fall, these adorable fabric acorns are so simple to make, you can whip up a whole batch in just one afternoon! And by playing with different colors, patterns and textures, you can create one-of-a-kind pieces that complement the rest of your
home decor perfectly. You can even make them ‘green’ by upcycling clothing
you no longer wear into cool, new 3-D art. Happy crafting!

(TUTORIAL)
Follow the steps below that correspond to the number on the picture
or click here: Acorns Tutorial – Printable PDF
Easy DIY Recycled Fabric Acorns Tutorial by Shalom Schultz Designs. Fall and autumn craft using plastic eggs and old sweaters.

1) Cut a square of fabric approximately 6” x 6” for the bottom of your acorn. For a smoother appearance, use a ‘stretchy’ material (such as a sweater).

Place the bottom half of a plastic Easter egg in the center of the square.
**Optional: Cover the egg with masking tape to avoid the color showing through thin or loose-knit material.

2) Turn the egg bottom hollow-side up and gather the fabric over it. Secure the fabric with a small rubber band. Adjust the stretched fabric as needed until it looks as smooth as possible (some creasing is to be expected).

3) Cut the excess loose fabric off the top, leaving approximately 1 inch.
Save the trimmed fabric for later.

4) Tuck the loose, gathered fabric down inside the egg bottom until it is a
mostly flat surface.

5) Cut a square of fabric approximately 7” x 7” for the top of the acorn. Place the previously trimmed fabric into the center to use as stuffing. Add more, if needed.
**Optional: Use polyfill for the stuffing, if preferred.

6) Gather the fabric evenly around the filling and secure with a small rubber band.

7) Compare the top half of the acorn to the bottom half and adjust the top half as need until there is an even overlap all around.

8) Tie a length of yarn or thick string tightly around the gathered fabric, just under the rubber band. Leave the ends long enough to add beads later. Remove the rubber band.

9) Cut the excess loose fabric off the top, leaving approximately 1/2 inch.
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NO-SEW OPTION: Skip steps 10-15 and use a glue gun to secure the top and bottom acorn halves together. Start from the inside and work your way out to avoid, excess glue showing. Return to step 16 of the tutorial.
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10) The top of the gathered fabric should resemble a flower. Trim any loose threads or uneven sections as needed to achieve a smooth appearance.

11) To achieve a more ‘flattened’ appearance resembling an acorn cap, insert a threaded needle through the center of the gathered fabric and bring it out through the bottom of the acorn top. Use a thimble if necessary.

12) Reinsert the needle through the bottom of the acorn top and bring it out through
the center of the gathered fabric. Repeat the process 4-5 times, then tie a knot and
trim the thread.

13) Place the bottom and top acorn halves together and secure with safety pins.

14) Insert a threaded needle into underside of the acorn top and bring it back out at a
point where the top half meets the bottom half. Begin sewing the top and bottom halves together, using a whip stitch.

15) Continue all the way around the acorn until both halves are completely stitched together. Tie a knot and bring the needle back through the top one more time before trimming the thread to hide the loose end.

16) String a bead onto each of the loose yarn ends on the acorn top.

17) Knot the yarn under the beads and trim. All done!

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