Festive and Warm Holiday Mantle Decor

December 7, 2015
DIY, inspiration

Festive and Warm Holiday Mantle Decor - Joy of Mom


There is nothing more fun and wonderful than decorating for the holidays. The sparkle of the lights. Glow of the candles. Holiday songs filling the air. And, of course, the perfect tree displaying your favorite ornaments.

But we cannot forget that centerpiece of the room that just begs to be beautiful and festive this time of year: your mantle.

It’s no wonder that “holiday mantle” and “mantle decorations” are top searches on Pinterest this month. Everyone wants their mantle to be festive and merry, but also have a little something extra that makes it an emblem for their creativity and family.

Here are a few elements that could make your mantle absolutely stunning and personalized this Christmas:

Greenery. Using evergreen branches and boughs are the ultimate tradition in decorating for the holidays. The green is the promise that while winter freezes nearly everything, the green of spring is always just around the corner. Drape a fresh garland across your mantle to add a bit of life and a delicious scent for anyone who draws near. Or, brighten your mantle with two small evergreen trees on either side, wrapped with warm bright white lights. Tie the bottoms of the small trees in burlap to add a touch of farmhouse charm!

Wishes. One of our favorite mantle trends is the use of words in decoration. Everything from wooden letters spelling “Joy” on the mantle, to paper bunting strung across with “Merry Christmas!”

If you have a place above your mantle that is perfect for hanging décor, find an adorable sign on Etsy that declares “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” or “Peace, Love, Joy”. The words that you choose to celebrate the holidays will personalize your mantle like never before.

Candles. There’s nothing quite like cuddling up on the couch, bathed in just candle glow and Christmas lights, listening to your favorite holiday music. Candles are an absolute must in any holiday decoration. And, even if you have very small children, the candles will be safe from curious hands if they are high up on the mantle.

Instead of digging out the candles you use every year, find a stunning set of monochromatic candles of differing heights. When they are grouped together and lit, your room will instantly become a warm sanctuary of Christmas love.

Now it’s time to grab your cup of hot cocoa or tea, put on your favorite carols, and create a mantle that is truly the heart of your home this Christmas.

Elegant Thanksgiving Projects

November 23, 2015

Elegant Thanksgiving Projects - Joy of Mom


We love doing crafts – both on our own and with our kiddos! And we really love homemade projects that are beautiful and exquisite, especially around the holidays. Take some time to indulge or explore your creative side and sprinkle special (and made with love!) DIY around your home for the Thanksgiving season.

Here are some really elegant crafts for your Thanksgiving table!

One. This beautiful leaf bowl from Fab DIY is made using hard drying glue, a balloon, a wedge brush and a lot of beautiful fall leaves. We love the combination of all the fall colors, and bringing nature into the house for a gorgeous decoration!

Two. Another project using leaves is this turkey leaf lantern from Rhythms of Play. These are adorable and would look great on a fall mantle or tablescape!

Three. Wow, this DIY falling leaves garland from House of Jade is stunning! It’s pretty enough to use as a focal decoration, but easy enough that a child could make it!

Four. This DIY Washi Tape Pinecone Turkey from Craftaholics Anonymous would make an adorable place setting at a Thanksgiving table. Using pinecones as the body, and popsicle sticks for the feathers, this craft is such a fun project for your kiddos to do!

Five. With autumn comes a lot of acorns all over your yard! We have a cute solution for your acorn overload. By allowing your children to paint the acorns, you can allow for a lot of creative freedom! Adding these acorns to a basket will make for the perfect fall decoration.

Six. Another painting activities for your little ones! Find leaves in the yard, have your children paint one side of the leaf, and press it onto a notecard. This makes such a beautiful design, and such a thoughtful notecard to send out during the holiday season!

We hope you simply love making these gorgeous crafts either with your family or on your own!

Photo courtesy of Home Stories A to Z

Amazing Hostess Gifts

November 11, 2015

Amazing Hostess Gifts


Holiday time is upon us. Breaking bread and celebrating with dear friends and loved ones over all the festivities and parties sprinkled throughout the holiday season! As this time of year approaches (every year!), I think of what special hostess gifts I make. There’s something that feels extra special, extra from-the-heart when it’s homemade with love.

Here are some of our fave super cute and really creative hostess gifts! Take a look at this list to see what will meet your hostess’ tastes and show her your gratitude for her hospitality.

One. Potpourri is a lovely way to warm up your friend’s home with the beautiful scents of the season. This winter spice potpourri with cinnamon, cloves, star anise, oranges, and apples from Julie Blanner smells great and is easy to make!

Two. Masons jars filled with fresh herbs is an adorable, but practical, present! Anyone who spends time in their kitchen appreciates fresh herbs. Plus, if you give them herbs with the roots, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. (We love those!)

Three. Sugar scrub is a great way to say “thank you!” This is a way for your hostess to relax and enjoy herself by bringing a little spa time into her home. It’s easy to make sugar scrub: We love this coconut vanilla scrub and this rosemary mint scrub (it even includes free printables for the jars!)

Four. Homemade apple butter is a delicious gift, and is simple to make. Pairing the Harris Sisters’ crockpot apple butter with this “Thankful!” jar topper printable from The 36th Avenue is adorable!

Five. A shower basket is useful and thoughtful! This is also another way to give someone the spa experience, without having to send her to the spa. You can personalize the basket with your fave products. We love this shower kit idea from Design Love Fest.

Six. Who doesn’t love an amazing smelling house?! This simmer-in-a-jar idea is a wonderful alternative to a candle, and more personal. You could give an herb jar, a citrus jar, a spice jar – so many choices! You infuse the ingredients in a jar of water, and your hostess pours the contents into a saucepan and simmers it on low. It’ll make her whole house smell amazing! Here are some fabulous ideas for simmer jars from The Yummy Life.

We love to entertain, so we know all the hard work and love that is poured into hosting a holiday dinner. Show your hostess how much you appreciate her time and effort with these super special gifts. And don’t forget a great big hug!

Darling DIY: Bringing Fall Home

November 3, 2015

wool acorns


Fall is my favorite season—with Spring as a close second. There is always something magical about the change of seasons, the promise and hope each one brings, and the coziness of it all! As each one ushers in, I love decorating with little reminders that bring the season’s special feelings inside my home.

And I really love DIY! Combine a fresh, new season with DIY projects and I’m all set! There are sooo many ways to bring fall into the home—pumpkins, leaves, acorns, thankfulness. The DIY possibilities are endless. I’ve rounded up a list of some of my favorite autumn DIY projects:

One. This fall centerpiece is gorgeous! Worthing Court utilizes a galvanized tray and overflowing fall goodies. Arrange pumpkins, acorns, candles and other fave fall foliage on a tray.

Two. Decorated porches are so cozy in Fall – they add such warmth and welcome! We love the way that Anderson and Grant painted this rustic crate to express themselves. There are so many different ways to paint this crate that would fit autumn. Get your kiddos together and design a unique one just right for your family!

Three. These felted acorns from Celebrate Creativity are another fun activity for the family. You can use these acorns to decorate centerpieces, mantels, baskets, etc. We love how versatile they are!

Four. This DIY project is easy enough to do for anyone who’s not exceptionally craft savvy, but the results make it look like you’re an expert crafter! Simply Albany walks you through how to make adorable pumpkins from twine and old book pages.

Five. This stunning “Give Thanks” sign from Liz Marie Blog would make the perfect addition to a porch or a living room. Using a wooden board, wooden craft letters, paint and glue, you can create a sign that’s unique to your home.

Fall is such a warm, welcoming season and these projects can bring the spirit of autumn right into your home. Have fun with your family as you design your own style from these sweet and fantastic inspirations!

Photo courtesy of Celebrate Creativity

Eco-friendly Halloween Costumes

October 9, 2015
DIY, family, links i love

Eco-friendly Halloween Costumes - Joy of Mom


The costumes. The trick-or-treating. The classroom parties. They all speak ahhhh autumn! And this beautiful, festive, magical time of year!

The only thing I’ve never been a fan of are the pricey costumes and harmful materials associated with many of them – which can quickly turn a mom’s excitement into stress. What I have always been a fan of is homemade, DIY costumes! Especially when they’re eco-friendly. Costumes for your little ones can be just as cute (or cuter!) when they’re eco-friendly, safe for our little ones, and made with love!

Here are a few faves:

One: We love how the parent utilized a push car in this Back to the Future costume from Inhabitots! Including your child’s push car into the costume makes for an easier evening of trick-or-treating while keeping the look adorable. The rest of the costume is made out of recycled cardboard boxes. Love!

Two: This superhero costume, also from Inhabitots, is equal parts adorable and eco-friendly. The cape is made from leftover felt and embroidery thread, the skirt uses leftover tulle and ribbon, and the arm cuffs come from Starbucks coffee sleeves (brilliant!). Underneath her costume, she’s wearing a t-shirt, sweatpants, and winter boots. We love this look!

Three: Okay, there’s “cute,” and then there’s “really, really cute.” This DIY Fireman costume from POPSUGAR falls under the “really, really cute” category. This firetruck is made from a cardboard box, and the wheels are painted paper plates. We are in love with this idea!

Four: This precious sailor costume from The Honest Company is made from materials found inside the family’s home! The dress, tights and shoes were already in her wardrobe. The neck tie is made from a white flour sack dishtowel and the sailor hat is an easily-folded white sheet of paper. The telescope is a paper towel tube. So clever…

Five: Oh Happy Day has the most adorable snail we’ve ever seen! The items used in this costume are brown paper, glue, cardboard, a headband, Styrofoam balls, and ribbon!

Six: Okay, is this Harry Potter too sweet?! Courtesy of Love & Lion, this costume is made from khaki or blacks pants, a white button up shirt, and a knitted scarf and black glasses (click here for info on the knitting pattern). The mom used her eyeliner to draw Harry’s scar on the toddler’s head. Love!

We hope these costumes gave you some ideas to focus on saving money and the environment this Halloween! Just remember, anything you can re-use, recycle, or swap is considered eco-friendly! No need to break the bank for your child to look adorable, as you can clearly see above. Happy Halloween!

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