Christmas Cards and a Cozy Cottage in the Woods

Cottage style Christmas mantel decor with a green tinsel tree in a white pot, mini lighted paper house , a red & black fabric bird, and a wood snowflake ornament. Rustic country style holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

The magic is in the details! I love how cozy my little cardboard cottage in the ‘woods’ looks at night when I flip the switch on the led tea light inside. Overhead, my collection of Christmas cards is steadily growing. Holiday cheer is in the air!

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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.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
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!

© Shalom Schultz. All Rights Reserved. For individual and small group use only.
This document may not be altered, sold or redistributed as a download. Links back
to original download page on http://www.shalomschultzdesigns.wordpress.com
are permitted with proper credit given to author.
Please send inquiries to shalomschultzdesigns@gmail.com

Another Lazy Sunday

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Stumbled across this little gem today while sipping coffee & browsing Instagram for artistic inspiration (best thing to do on a chilly Sunday). @liz.sofield.designs hand-carves her stamps with beautiful simplicity that emphasize just the right details. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of her work! http://goo.gl/QRMKyX