Because of my adoration for February 14th, I try to add a few festive touches that help bring that love into the forefront of my house. I gave you a peek into my home last week and as you can probably tell, I am a seasonal decorator and enjoy diving headfirst into holiday decorations and festive garnishes. You can bet that my home in the fall is decked out in pumpkins, gourds, and leaves, so why not sparkly hearts, conversation hearts, and red, pink and white chocolates in February?
The handmade fireplace garland I have been seeing all over Pinterest and Etsy has caught my eye lately. This ‘Be Mine’ decoration really stuck out, so I decided to run with the theme and attempt to make something similar of my very own.
When I started this project, I only had an idea in my head from a picture, not an exact plan. I am no craft professional, but I do enjoy working on projects and trying to create one thing by combining multiple components together. It really reminds me of recipe creating and cooking, don’t you think? When I first started cooking, I remember feeling nervous and confused, but as time went on I have felt more and more comfortable. Here’s to hoping this same notion eventually comes into fruition for my craft skills as well!
Like I was saying, I am not the craftiest girl there is, but you best believe I learned a few things during my attempt!
Lesson #1 – Never enter Hobby Lobby without a shopping list…it could get dangerous and feel a tad bit overwhelming!
I walked around for over an hour, slowly moseying up and down each lane until I spied an item that caught my attention. I knew I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money so I always made sure to look around for a similar purchase for less money before placing my find in the cart.
Lesson #2 – Finding a deal is great, but don’t sacrifice quality when it comes to the most important things!
If you asked me what I would have changed if anything, my response would for sure be the type of paper I used. I definitely would have picked a thicker cardboard material, but nothing too heavy because I still needed the mantle to be able to sustain the weight. I went with a lighter material because:
- It was cheaper.
- I would also have had to purchase a stronger pair of scissors or an exacto knife so that I could have cut through the material without frayed edges and tough cuts. Moral of the story: More money.
- With that being said…it was cheaper!!
I think it is a personal decision and just depends on how much money you want to spend. Considering I could buy the banner from Etsy for $15, I knew I wanted to try and stay below this price. I may have spent more than $15 buying the products, (like whole paint bottles, new brushes, etc.), but I also have most of these products that I can use again on a different project. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my banner and plan on putting it away carefully at the end of the holiday so I can re-use it again next year, but I think it would have turned out even better if it was made with a thicker material. Make sense?
When I arrived home, I laid out all of my materials on the floor to assess what all I just bought! I didn’t end up using everything I purchased, (The $0.99 lace hearts or the thick burlap ribbon), but the majority of the items were put to good use.
You will need:
- Jute Yarn – About 1 – 1/2 yards (depending on the size of your mantle)
- 4.5” x 6.5” cardstock (or thick cardboard/paper cut to this size) – I used the cream color
- Optional-Printed out word templates
- Optional-Red felt-tip thin Sharpie
- 1 piece decorative paper, cut to 4.5” x 6.5”
- 1 tiny paint brush
- 1 medium paint brush
- Red acrylic paint
- Pink acrylic paint
- Water/Paint Cups (I just used disposable Solo cups)
- Hole Punch/Ribbon Punch (Make sure your ribbon punch holes are thick enough for the jute to go through)
The first thing I did was hand-write all of the letters with a fine-tip red sharpie marker. If you don’t feel comfortable free-handing the letters, I would suggest printing a letter template from the computer, cutting it out, and tracing around the outside.
When I finished this, I put about a ¼ cup of red paint in one cup, and in a second cup added about 1 cup of water. I gently dipped my thicker brush in water, pushed against the edge of the cup to remove too much excess water, placed the brush in the paint cup, and then slowly began to make thin strokes on the inside of the outlined letter. Around the edges, I used the skinnier brush.
I did this until all of the letters were finished. I then let the letters dry for about an hour and I added pink paint to a second cup and replaced the old water with a fresh cup. I also washed both of the brushes.
I took the skinny brush and dipped in water, removed the excess water, and then added to the pink paint cup. I then shadowed the edges of each letter, and then set the letters aside to let dry.
When the letters were dry, I hole-punched each top corner of the letter and strung the jute through the holes, tying a tiny knot behind the hole to keep it from sliding.
I did the same through all of the letters and tied a bow on each end to finish off the banner.
Lesson #3: The finished product may not look exactly like the store-bought version, but I promise it will be made with more love and heart!
Next, I hung up the finished project on my mantle and I am happy to say that I really like the result! It may not look just like the Etsy banner, but it was fun to make and maybe even saved me few dollars. Besides, holiday decorations should be meaningful and I mean what could possibly be more heartfelt than a homemade ‘Be Mine’ banner for Valentine’s Day?
- Do you consider yourself crafty? What are your favorite items to make?
- Have you ever purchased anything from Etsy? (I have bought a lot! Embroidered towels and cosmetic bags for my bridesmaids, a personalized cutting board as a wedding gift, embroidered handkerchiefs with personal messages as gifts for my parents on my wedding day).
- What is a hobby you have always wanted to begin, but have never tried? (Sewing is on my to-do list)!
- Are you a ‘seasonal’ decorator?