Category: FAMILY

DIY CHRISTMAS GARLAND FOR LITTLE TO NO EXPENSE

Welcome guests with a cozy garland in 5 simple steps! Learn how to easily take a basic, inexpensive garland and transform it into a beautiful Christmas garland for little to no expense.


This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


While decorating for Christmas, I unpacked this DIY garland I had made while living on base in Virginia and thought it would be a fun project to share with you!

A couple of years ago we had purchased an inexpensive and basic green garland from the Navy Exchange for our mantel in base housing. Bear in mind this mantel was huge – it was over six feet wide and at least a foot deep.

Not thinking too hard about the fact stated above, we brought the garland home and eagerly placed it on the mantel. Y’all it was bad. The garland appeared so scrawny up there on the expansive space. You know the saying,“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well… I was going to fix it!

Around this time I had previously gone on a wreath making binge and stocked up on supplies to make wreaths for every occasion… and only made one. Can anyone else relate? Remembering that I had more burlap than I knew what to do with, I decided to put it to good use on this garland.

The two ribbons of burlap immediately added lots of fullness to the garland which was the primary goal. In order to keep it simple but dress it up a bit, I chose to spare a few burlap flowers from our Christmas tree to adorn the garland.

I was pleasantly surprised with how this completely unplanned project turned out. The burlap flowers, colors, and overall style paired beautifully with our Christmas tree located only a few feet away. What once was a scarce garland with little green twigs is now a full statement piece that captures guests attention.

The best part is you can easily change up and customize the appearance of your garland since none of the items are permanently installed.

I chose to use natural burlap and red burlap ribbon to coordinate with our existing Christmas decor. For a neutral look, you could choose to use natural and ivory burlap.

The burlap flowers were previously purchased from the clearance rack at Kirkland’s.

Want to be resourceful? Use ribbons or ornaments you already have to avoid spending money on supplies. Have your little ones help and go foraging outside for pine cones and foliage to decorate with as well!


SUPPLIES

NOTE: If you have an outlet on the mantel and have plug in Christmas lights – go for it! Otherwise I recommend the battery route to avoid unsightly cords and kids messing with it. We all know kids are like bugs to a light with all things they are not supposed to play with.


DECORATE

  1. Lay your garland out on a work surface and fluff up the branches.
  2. If you do not have a pre-lit garland, place plug in or battery operated string lights on the garland. You can fasten occasionally with floral wire.
  3. Starting on one end, tie down one strand of burlap ribbon to the garland with floral wire. Work your way across the garland making puffy loops along the way by occasionally tying down the ribbon with the floral wire.
  4. Repeat Step 3 with the second strand of burlap ribbon. Alternate the locations of your loops by tying down the second ribbon in the middle of the first ribbons loop i.e. in the space between the first ribbons tie downs.
  5. Twist some floral wire onto the back of the flowers and fasten them in desired locations along the garland.

That’s it! In 5 very simple steps you now have a cozy garland to welcome guests into your home during the holidays.

There are so many ways you can get creative with the decor for your garland! Get inspired and let your creative mind have fun with it!

When you’re done, tag The Bluebonnet Farmhouse on social media to share your garland with us!


Thanks for following along! Merry Christmas!

Filed under: FAMILY, FAMILY, FAMILY + OFFICE

DIY CHALKBOARD WINE BOTTLES

Recycle your wine bottles into budget-friendly and versatile decor. All you need is a little bit of wine, cheese, … and chalk!

diy (how to make) chalkboard wine bottles

This post contains affiliate links to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


If you are like me, then you probably have a small stash of wine bottles and corks in hopes of doing something creative with them one day. These chalkboard wine bottles are a creative and versatile decor option that work great on a wall shelf or fireplace mantel!

I stumbled upon this cute project when searching for some wedding gift ideas. Between the expense of airline tickets, hotel stays, and a rental car, we honestly didn’t have much in the budget for a wedding gift. You can look at it as our main gift was getting to be there to celebrate with them!

After some Pinterest inspiration and some ideas of my own, I ended up pairing these chalkboard wine bottles with a chalkboard serving tray and wedding date pillows for some handmade wedding gifts!

The idea of using chalkboard paint on wine bottles creates tons of versatility in the project. With three bottles you can write initials for bedroom decor or baby showers, his and her initials for wedding showers, “JOY” for Christmas, etc.

In addition, you can swap out seasonal floral to give them a fresh new look all year long! Flowers, branches, dried floral, Christmas tree clippings, etc. Using the same decorative items year round, but simply changing it up a tad for every season, is such a great way to stay in budget with home decor.

Now, this tutorial is going to be rather straight forward, but here it is none-the-less!

how to make chalkboard wine bottles

SUPPLIES

  • 3 Glass Bottles (wine, champagne, cider, etc.)
  • Floral (live, dried, faux, etc.)
  • #28 3-Ply Natural Jute (Mine is from Hobby Lobby)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Chalkboard Paint (This is our favorite paint brand!)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Wax Paper
  • Chalk

PREP + PAINT

The first step is to determine which three glass bottles to use. I say three because of the rule of three; items arranged in odd number groupings is more aesthetically appealing. In addition, I chose to use varying sizes to add dimension; two of the same size wine bottles and one spiced cider bottle.

Remove the labels and any residue from the glass until the surface is free of any gunk. Wash and dry the bottles.

painted chalkboard wine bottles

There are two ways you could go about painting the bottles: liquid paint or spray paint. I had some liquid chalkboard paint on hand from my chalkboard serving tray and decided to use that.

When working with either liquid paint or spray paint make certain to work with THIN coats; otherwise, you will end up with paint drips running down the sides of the bottle – thanks a lot gravity.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate drying time between each coat.

I chose to not paint the bottom of the bottles; therefore, I was able dry them upright on wax paper. The wax paper works great by preventing any sticking to the bottles surface when dry.

DECORATE

Let your creative side shine and start decorating your bottles! I kept mine simple and only used jute to remain versatile for everyday decor, holidays, and other occasions.

Use a hot glue gun when adhering the jute and periodically apply beads of glue while wrapping the jute around the bottleneck.

decorated chalkboard wine bottles

After the decorating is done, grab some chalk and test out your new chalkboard surface! Finish them off with dried or faux floral.

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Thanks for following along!

Filed under: DINING, FAMILY, FAMILY, FAMILY + OFFICE, KITCHEN, KITCHEN, KITCHEN + LAUNDRY, UncategorizedTagged with: , , , ,

DIY WOOD PALLET SHELF

diy wood pallet shelf

Learn how to build this easy farmhouse wall shelf on a budget! Display your favorite coffee mugs, chili bowls, dog leashes, etc. All you need is a little scrap wood, some chain, and a tiny bit of time.

diy wood pallet and chain wall shelf, chili bowl shelf, coffee mug shelf

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


When I was in college, I found these adorable chili bowls for only $1 each (a dollar!!) at my local grocery store. Am I the only one that was love-struck by that price? The price was perfect for a tight budget college student like myself!

I loved the antique, western flair of the bowls and wanted to use them as decor in my apartment. For starters, I did not have a wall shelf at the time – keep in mind a broke college student – but I did have a pallet and my dad’s tools.

I chose to do a basic construction, but added the chains for a unique feature and enhanced stability. By keeping the construction of the shelf simple, it accentuates the rustic aesthetics of both the shelf and the chili bowls.

The shelf ended up being an ideal size – not too big, not too small – because no matter where the Navy sent us, we have easily been able to find a wall to accommodate it!

This beautiful hunk of wood has moved with us between two apartments plus one home, and has been used in the kitchen, dining room, and entryway. You can see how we used it in our dining room here.

This cute little shelf is a quick and easy project to add some rustic flair into your home. Are you ready to start making your own rustic shelf? Check out our tutorial below!

how to build a wood pallet and chain wall shelf

MATERIALS

  • 1×8 Board
  • 2×4 Board
  • 2’ #14 Black Jack Chain
  • (4) #8 Steel Eye Screws
  • (4) 1” Steel Cup Hooks
  • (3) 2” Black Screws
  • (2) 4” Black Screws
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Long Nose Pliers
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • 2 Bar Clamps (optional)

NOTE: I was able to get my hands on a very unique and gorgeous wood pallet that was used to deliver some furniture. I have no clue what kind of wood the pallet was made of, but I do know that it did not require staining – yay!

I have since not seen another pallet made of these quality 1×8 planks instead of the typical 1×4 pine. Therefore, you may have to use and stain scrap wood or purchase new boards.

Three 2″ black screws used to attach the 1×8 to the 2×4.

PREPARATION

Cut the wood to size. You will need a 1×8 board cut to 32” and a 2×4 board cut to 30”.

Use pliers to detach the links of the jack chain and create two 9½” long strands.

Paint the steel eye screws and cup hooks with black paint.

Two 4″ screws used to attach the shelf to the wall.

ASSEMBLY

Lay the 1×8 board with the top facing up. Drill pilot holes ¾” x ¾” away from the two front corners where two of the steel eye screws will be and hand screw the eyes into the holes.

Use pliers to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye. Be careful to not chip the black coating of the chain, otherwise simply touch it up with the black paint previously used.

Use clamps – or your husband – to hold the back of the 1×8 to the top off the 2×4. Evenly space the three 2” screws along the back of the 1×8, drill pilot holes, and drill in the screws to attach the two boards.

Remove the clamps and lay the shelf with the topside facing down. Evenly space the four cup hooks across the underside of the 1×8. Drill pilot holes and hand screw the cup hooks into the holes.

You’re shelf is done and all that’s left to do is to hang it up!

Account for the size of the eye screw when hanging the chain.

INSTALLATION

Hold the finished shelf against the wall and make sure it is level. Drill two pilot holes through the 2×4 and into the wall. Next, drill the two 4” screws into the pilot holes to attach the shelf to the wall.

You can choose to add more screws depending on the anticipated weight of décor.

Lastly, take the chain and extend it towards the wall until taut. To ensure a tight tension, leave a small space between the wall and the end of the chain to allow for the eye screws to fit in between.

Mark the location for the two steel eye screws, drill small pilot holes, and hand screw the eyes into the wall. Use the pliers once more to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye.

chili bowl shelf, coffee mug shelf

Time to decorate! Hang your favorite chili bowls or coffee cups and enjoy your new pallet and chain shelf!

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Comment below or tag us on social media to share your finished shelf! Thanks for following along!

Filed under: FAMILY, FAMILY, FAMILY + OFFICE, KITCHEN + LAUNDRY, UncategorizedTagged with: , , , ,