5 Minute Wreath


 

If you have been in the holiday section of any store, I’m sure you have seen some gold hoop wreaths that are beautiful. It seems to be a new trend this year, but before you go out and buy a $10-$20 wreath, check out this quick and easy DIY.

With just a macrame ring, a cheap bouquet of greens, and a little ribbon you can make this wreath. It is perfect for a door, wall, cabinet, etc.

 

 

I find that craft rings are incredibly easy to find at rummage and estate sales.  I bought a giant box of these gold rings in all different sizes (this one is 12″) and embroidery hoops for $5. It is the gift that keeps on giving, because they have been a big part of my crafting. The bouquet of greens I purchased a while ago on sale at Hobby Lobby and it was $3. I was able to make 3 wreaths with 1 bouquet. Since you will only need a little bit of ribbon to tie a bow, you can use some leftovers.

 

 

I literally only takes 5 minutes and some hot glue to put this together. You can make it as fancy as you would like, but I found that 4 little sprigs makes the perfect coverage for this open wreath. Some red berries would also look great, or add whatever embellishments suit you!

 

 

These made the perfect addition to our kitchen cabinets for the holidays. These wreaths would also look great on a window or door.

I also want to add, we refreshed our cabinets with some lemon oil about 6 months ago. It was such an easy job and the cabinets look brand new. I will do a full kitchen reveal some time in the future now that our new countertops and backsplash are complete, but for now, enjoy this sneak peek…

 

 

What holiday DIYs are you taking on this year? I would love to hear your ideas! As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

Playroom Christmas Decor and DIY Garland


 

Last week, Ryan was traveling for work. I quickly ran out of entertaining things for the kids to do, so we ended up pulling out some Christmas decorations, including a cute little tree from Target and some shatterproof ornaments. I recently saw an idea on Pinterest that involved gluing little pom poms to pine cones. A project that will entertain both kids and will keep the little in his highchair? Yes PLEASE!

 

 

I put the glue on Micah’s pine cone (leftover fall decorations from Hobby Lobby) and Harrison did his own. Each kid got a handful of mini pom poms. It was a very entertaining project and each of the boys made a few of them.

 

 

Now, what to do with these cute little pine cones? I love to stock up on clearance decor at the end of the season and last year I got some red bead garland from Hobby Lobby. With a little hot glue, we have a cute little garland perfect for the kid’s playroom!

 

 

 

The garland costs $2.99, but I was able to get it 75% off last year. I also had enough to make a cute garland for our fireplace, but I will share that another time. With just a tiny budget and a little bit of time (and help from the kids) you can make this garland too!

 

 

We recently finished the playroom in an extra room above our garage. This garland fits in with the woodland theme perfectly. It also adds a little bit of color and fun.

 

 

The kids also fell in love with a singing reindeer at Target, so he is hung up on the wall (where they can’t push the button every 20 seconds). He is another great addition to the playroom and the kids think he is so fun.

 

 

With that, I think the playroom Christmas decorating is complete for this year. We will have another fake tree (all white) in the loft and we will get a real tree for the living room after Thanksgiving. I typically try to wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmas decorations, but it has been so snowy and cold here that the winter decor just fits much better than fall decor right now. As a bonus, we’ve been able to keep the kids busy and helpful with all of these little projects.

COMING UP: Have you seen the new Hearth and Hand line at Target? They have a wreath that I just love. As it turns out, I had everything I needed to make my own without spending a penny! Later this week I will post a tutorial so you can make one too! Stay tuned.

October 2017 Instagram Recap


Ok, to be fair, it is half way through November. Ryan has been traveling for work and the upcoming holidays are making things CrAzY around here. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share the highlights of October though, so here it is. Better late than never!

 

 

We are lucky to live in a place where people travel to see the beautiful fall colors. This year was a little bit strange, as the colors didn’t change like they normally would. The warm autumn temperatures caused the color changes to be delayed and then a cold snap changed them all at once. While it was difficult for visitors and tourists to time it right to see, we are fortunate that it is just outside our door and we can enjoy it whenever it happens!

 

 

We finished harvesting the garden, which included several pumpkins. Harrison planted these as seeds in April (indoors) and was so excited to watch them grow and eventually cut the vine to free his pumpkins. We will definitely try again next year, because these were really fun to watch and grow.

 

 

Around here, fall = cranberries. We have a big celebration called Cranberry Fest and it is a fall tradition. The festival includes Cranberry foods, drinks, cranberry bog tours, and craft vendors. This year it rained (a lot!) on Saturday, so we enjoyed the festival on Sunday after it dried out a bit. I took this picture of Harrison and I just can’t believe he looks so grown up. I know every parent feels this way, but sometimes it just hits you.

 

 

We celebrated my brother and his soon-to-be wife at a bridal shower this month too! I made these end tables from Ana White’s free plans, and you should definitely take a look. They were a labor of love, but you can make them too with just a few tools and a bit of time.

 

 

Ryan was able to fix the in floor heat for the rooms above the garage this fall. That meant we gained about 500 square feet of space! We added a bedroom for Micah and a woodland themed playroom for the boys. It was worth every bit of hard work, because the kids use it every day, it has moved the mess out of the living room, and it is the best looking room in the house. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and how much the kids use it.

 

 

We finished out the month with Halloween. Complete with carving pumpkins, trick or treating, and some fall crafts, we really enjoyed Halloween this year. Micah’s costume was bought from Target, with a last minute hat addition because it was only 36 degrees F! I made Harrison’s spider costume with a black shirt, Ryan’s socks, and fishing line! He also got a last minute hat. We went to a local church for Trunk or Treat, which was nice considering the weather was so cold.

I hope you had a great October too! Remember to follow along on Instagram, including the story feature. I post a little every day about our adventures and would love to share with you too! We have a lot of projects in the works, so I hope you will stay tuned. Thanks for reading!

Easy DIY Barn Quilt Square


 

I recently saw some metal barn quilt squares for sale and would have brought them straight home, but the price tag made me pause. When driving through farm country, looking at the barns, each with their own square, always makes me smile. I would love to add some to our chicken coops, but first I had to try it out on a small scale. It turns out, this classic pattern is very easy to make with just a few materials and an hour or two.

The pattern is just lines and angles split into 4. By making a grid of 4×4 you can easily draw this pattern out. I have made a handy little reference for you in just 4 steps:

For my square, I used a piece of 3/4″ lumber 12″x12″. This makes it easy to draw out the pattern using markings horizontally and vertically at 3″, 6″, and 9″.

The frame is just 4 pieces of 2×2 (2 of each cut to 12″ and 15″). You don’t need to add a frame, but if you have a finish nailer or pocket hole jig, it is very simple. Once you have your square and frame, add pocket holes to the square with one on each side (but don’t screw together yet).

 

 

This will allow you to easily attach the frame one you are finished painting. Remove the square from the frame and paint or stain the frame as you would like. Next, you can paint the square the lightest of the colors you have chosen. In this case, I chose yellow. Allow to dry.

Next, begin marking the square with the pattern you prefer. I used a pencil to show the pattern, but chalk may work better so that it doesn’t show on the completed project. If you chose to use pencil, make sure the darker paint covers the lines.

 

 

Begin painting with your second color choice. I began by using painters tape, but it was actually easier to use a straight edged foam brush. This way, you don’t have to worry about paint leaking under tape and you don’t have to wait for wet spots to dry before moving on.

Once the paint is dry, you can simply attach the frame using your pocket hole screws. If you don’t have a pocket hole jig, you can attach the frame using finishing nails. Just fill the nail holes and touch up the paint. It is as simple as that!

 

 

I chose to display it on our new DIY coat rackEventually though, I think this will get a twin (maybe with a different pattern) and get hung up in Micah’s nursery. We are planning on adding a bit of a farm theme to his room and this would fit in perfectly.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the kid’s new playroom! After a weekend of hard work, we are so excited to see the final project. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

Woodland Playroom Reveal


 

We are lucky to have an abundance of space in this house. Between living in a low cost of living area and getting our house at a great discount (it was a foreclosure) we have the budget to slowly make the house exactly how we’d like it. We have a good amount of living room space downstairs, but the toys always seem to be the center of it. We have added some toy storage and try to keep up with the messiness, but it was really time for a separate play space.

We have 2 rooms above the garage that are just used for storage and weren’t even counted in our square footage with our listing. It has a bit of a strange set up. Both rooms are connected in-line and you have to go through part of the upstairs bath to get to them. When we toured the house we had no idea what we were going to do with the space and it slowly became storage. The rooms have drywall and flooring, but were never cared for the way the rest of the house was. One of these rooms has become Micah’s nursery and the room on the end has become the playroom.

 

 

On Saturday morning we started to tackle this project. We emptied out the brown and green room and Ryan worked on removing the baseboard trim and pulling up the carpet. We took a trip to town and purchased new laminate flooring and a few accessories. Believe it or not, this makeover only cost about $450 and we will be getting $75 back in rebates. That’s a great deal for gaining about 300 square feet. That square footage adds a little bit for everyone. The room includes a seating area, a toy area, a teepee, an art spot, play kitchen, and music stage.

 

 

 

We love our laminate flooring in the living room. We originally wanted to put that in the playroom, but the price tag was just too much. The laminate flooring we chose for this room was only $.89 per square foot (Maple Leaf Lamisol, Northland Collection). While it may not be the toughest and most durable flooring choice available, the floor in this room is going to take a beating and will likely need to be replaced when the kids are grown anyways. The flooring seems to be more durable than some cheap laminate and the color will likely hide scratches well. We hope that area rugs will protect most of it and we will replace if necessary years down the road. We could not justify spending $2+ a foot just to have the kids scratch it over the next few years. The store we bought the flooring from had a promotion for free foam underlayment with a laminate flooring purchase, so we will be getting that amount refunded. We also purchased an area rug, paint and accessories, wall decals, and some other decor items.

 

 

Let’s talk paint. It is beautiful. I want to paint my entire house this color (Dutch Boy Frosted Silver)! It is a great grey color with just a hint of blue. The white trim makes the color pop and the room looks fresh and clean. I love painting and the change that comes with just a little bit of work. It is an easy DIY job that can change the entire look of a room.

 

 

We decorated the room in a woodland theme. The pillows were already covered from our lumberjack brunch and the rest of the decor came from Hobby Lobby. The table and chair set came from a garage sale for $20. With just a little bit of paint it has become a whimsical toadstool table. It fits right in with the decor and was such a fun project. I will definitely share more details of these projects soon, so stay tuned!

 

 

Meanwhile, we will be relaxing and enjoying our new playroom! The best part is that there is a space for everyone, including the adults. Micah and Harrison are already loving on it. Make sure you are following along on Instagram, where you can get a sneak peek of projects in our stories! More to come soon!

 

 

 

2017 Halloween Pumpkins


 

Anybody else have kids acting a little demonic lately? No, just Micah? Hmmm, ok…

 

Anyways, we carved pumpkins tonight and it was an adventure for all of us. Micah was just so excited someone gave him a marker to draw on his pumpkin and Harrison was completely grossed out that we wanted him to scoop out the seeds. Eventually, I managed to clean out and carve both pumpkins without too much of a mess, and some help from my wonderful husband. Carving pumpkins is such a classic family event, and I’m happy the kids were excited about it.

 

 

 

Of course, Micah wore his Halloween costume to match his pumpkin. I always free hand carvings, we don’t do fancy stuff around here. Micah wanted a bat, and he had bat wings to match. (Target had this shirt with removable bat wings for under $8!) Having an 18 month old is a handful. I don’t remember Harrison being quite this adventurous.  Micah is a sweet but energetic kid. He is almost always smiling and having fun.

 

 

 

Harrison drew his pumpkin face all by himself and I cut it out for him. He thinks it is the greatest thing ever. Of course, he won’t touch it, because it’s yucky. Maybe next year?

 

 

Overall, tonight was another classic, fun adventure. We put the pumpkins on the porch with candles, but before long they will be chicken food. We have some other fun Halloween plans coming up that we are all excited for. It has been a fun, but short fall. We have already seen our first snowflakes and should have some snow on the ground tonight. Bring on November and all of the fun winter weather!

 

Farmhouse End Tables


This weekend we celebrated my brother’s beautiful wife-to-be at her bridal shower. The couple had registered online for a set of end tables similar to a coffee table I built a couple of weeks ago. I knew there was a matching end table plan and decided it would be extra special to have solid wood tables built by hand. The plan came from Ana White and is called Rustic X End Table.

 

 

 

After looking over the plans, I decided to make the table just a tad smaller. By making the tables 27″x24″ the materials can be cut with less scraps. I recommend checking out the plan on Ana-White.com, but for reference the plan requires the following lumber for 2 tables at the smaller dimensions:

4 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 3 feet long
4 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
3 – 2×6 @ 8 feet long

You will also need 2 1/2″ and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws, wood glue, and corner bracket hardware if desired. In our area the lumber cost $60.

The cut list for each table:

8 – 2X4 @ 22 1/2″
4 – 2X2 @ 13″
2 – 1X12 @ 13″
2 – 2X2 @ 26 1/2″ at 50 degrees, Long point to short point
4 – 2×2 @ 13 1/4″ Long point to short point with 50 degree and 10 degree angles
5 – 2×6 @ 24″

In order to keep the X feature without changing the angles and measurements, I only changed the width of the table. The overall result is a rectangular table, rather than a square. The X is the hardest part, but I found it easier to hold the 2×2 up to the table and mark the measurements instead of measuring point to point. They all fit perfectly that way. All of the directions and diagrams can be found at www.ana-white.com/2012/08/plans/rustic-x-end-table 

 

 

After purchasing the lumber, I wondered if there was a way I could monogram the tables for the couple to make it more personalized. I have a wood burner from when I was younger and decided to give it a try (on a spare piece of wood of course). It has been a while, but it was easier than I remember. Both tables have the monogram on the front corner, on opposite sides.

 

 

I am so happy that the engraving turned out well! With the stain I put on the top (Minwax Red Mahogany 225) it turns out to be subtle, but the subtle details are what makes these tables so beautiful.

The corner bracket hardware were a last minute addition. I purchased some 4 packs of L brackets and some spray paint. Totaling less than $15, it was worth every penny.

 

If you poke the screws into a piece of cardboard, you can paint everything all at once. Then the screw heads will match the brackets perfectly.

 

 

Of course, I had a helper for priming and painting. I used a fast dry primer and Dutch Boy paint in Antique White. It is the same color of the dresser I just refinished and our farmhouse bed.

 

 

Overall, I could not be happier with the results. Now I think I have to make myself a set, because I am in love. The tables themselves only took about 3 hours each to build. The primer, paint, stain, and poly are what take the most time. Between the lumber, hardware, and pocket hole screws I purchased, the project only cost $100, but would be more if you also needed to purchase primer, paint, stain, and other painting supplies. We keep those on hand in bulk, so it is hard to predict how much extra you should budget, but I would guess about $25-$30 in supplies. If you have a miter saw and a kreg jig, you can make these too!

 

 

September 2017 Instagram Recap


Time is just flying by! We are nearly half way into October already, but I wanted to share the highlights of September 2017. If you don’t already follow Scott Family Homestead on Facebook and Instagram, you are missing out! The Instagram stories feature is my favorite place to post day to day happenings. You can check it out at Instagram.com/scottfamilyhomestead.

September was an amazing month for our garden. We harvested over 20 lbs of tomatoes, 2 dozen cucumbers, and many carrots, zucchini, and green beans. We also collected about 15 cups of blackberries, which made 8 delicious jars of jam. This year was my first “real” garden, and I am so proud of our harvests.

 

 

Ryan was successful in getting the Little Blue Truck running with minor repairs and breaks. It is now road ready, with insurance and registration. We received our “Collectors” licence plates and are ready to go. Ryan likes to use it to run errands and I hope to learn how to drive it soon. I’ve never driven a manual, so I’m a little bit nervous.

 

 

We traveled quite a bit in September. We started the month out with a camping trip and visit to the Twin Cities for the Minnesota Renaissance Art Festival. We had a good time at the festival and we able to visit family too. It turned out to be a great trip. The boys shared a lemonade at one of the food stands and it is a favorite picture of mine.

 

 

We also spent several days during the week at a waterpark resort in Wisconsin Dells. The kids are at a great age to enjoy the water as well as the playgrounds and arcades. For more details of the trip, I wrote a detailed post. We had a blast, and most of it was chronicled on Instagram stories, including a trip to a lumberjack breakfast and Harrison’s first mini golfing adventure.

 

 

We ended the month with a beautiful wedding in the Madison, WI area. My cousin and his beautiful wife were married in a small little chapel on a gorgeous day. The boys loved dancing the night away and meeting some of their cousins for the first time. We stayed in our camper at Governor Dodge State Park, which was so convenient and fun.

 

 

September ended with beautiful but warm fall weather. We captured some great pictures of the boys in the same place as last year. You can read the details and see more pictures on the blog. I put together a collage of 2016 and 2017 to show the difference in these handsome boys. They have changed so much and have really developed their personalities.

 

 

September 2017 was quite an adventure and we have enjoyed settling in for the first bit of October. We like to be busy, but time as a family is what we love the most. Stay tuned for more updates, as I have been trying to make a better effort to keep everyone updated on our adventures!

 

 

 

Easy DIY Coat Rack


 

I have a great, easy, and cheap project to share with you today! We desperately needed a coat rack by our front door, and if I knew it would be this easy, I would have built it a long time ago. With just $12 of hardware and some scrap wood, this project can be put together in less than an hour. Even if you need to purchase the wood, you are still saving in comparison to the pre-assembled coat racks you can purchase at the store. Most of the coat racks wide enough for this space that we saw ranged from $30-$50.

Our front door opens right into our dining and living room. While I love walking into a nice open floor plan, we don’t have an entry closet. This results in a mess of coats and bags hanging on the dining room chairs. We don’t have much room for coat or shoe storage, but a simple coat rack behind the door was just what we needed.

The materials for this project are simple.

  • 36″ 1×4
  • 36″ 1×6
  • Coat Hooks
  • Small Metal Brackets
  • Hanging Hardware
  • 1 1/4″ Screws

 

 

I am a big fan of using a Kreg Jig for these types of projects. The secure and sturdy bond created with a pocket hole gives me confidence that the shelf can hold a good deal of weight. The down side to this approach is the small holes on the top of the shelf if you put the 1×4 in front of the 1×6. In our case, you won’t see them once the rack is hung on the wall, but if it bothers you a few screws will do just fine.

 

 

Once assembled (our brackets fit best with the 1×6 behind the 1×4) it really only needs a light sanding and a coat of stain or paint. I used a fast dry primer first to hide the knot holes, but depending on how distressed you want it to look, you could settle with just a coat or 2 of paint. Then attach the brackets and hooks. With 5 hooks, they should be centered every 6 inches.

 

 

 

Ryan helped measure for the location of the studs in the wall and attached keyhole hangers. If you don’t know where your studs are, I highly recommend using drywall anchors. There’s really no reason to have a coat rack and shelf if you can’t put some weight on it!

 

 

With a little bit of seasonal decor, this is my new favorite part of the house. It is beautiful, functional, and affordable. That checks everything off of my must-have list. It fits in our small entry perfectly.

 

 

The hardware on this is from Hobby Lobby. It is so elegant and the hooks come in many different colors. I will link all of the Hobby Lobby goodies below, including that metal tree, because I know you want it (and it’s on sale!):

 

Coat Hooks

Brackets

Wood and Galvanized Metal Letter

Lantern Candle Holder

Metal Tree Wall Decor

Little Helpers


 

5 years ago when I started to blog, it was just Ryan and I. We purchased a fixer upper and wanted to share the projects we were working on. Now, we have 2 little helpers that seem to want to be involved with everything. At first, I was resistant to letting the kids get involved in my projects. It took me a long time to decide that I could keep doing what I love with littles under foot. Having kids takes patience I never knew I could have. Letting them help with things I want or need to get done takes even more patience. When it really comes down to it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

Let’s be honest. Little hands aren’t always that helpful. They are more likely to spill paint than to get the job done quicker. They are more likely to crawl on your new table than to help assemble it. They are more likely to eat the vegetables right from the garden before you can get them inside. They are more likely to drop the fresh eggs than to crack them neatly into a bowl. Sometimes, it really is just a mess.

 

 

It’s important to remember though, for every bit of spilled paint, Harrison has seen how his mom can paint neatly and clean up a mess. Even if he isn’t as careful as I would like, he is more likely to be careful next time. He knows how to make a mess and he knows how to clean one. If my boys help with a project, they have to follow through with the clean up. Sometimes it is easier to give them their own project or a pretend one, but they still get the experience.

 

 

This week, not only do they have a table sturdy enough to climb on (against my wishes), the boys watched their Momma build one from scratch. They know that anyone can build something if they put their mind to it, and women are no exception. Watching their mom and dad work hard is just their “normal”.

 

 

As far as eating from the garden, well, my boys like vegetables. I credit a lot of that to the fact that they grew them from tiny little seeds and watched them grow every step of the way. I may never see a full sized carrot at the rate the boys pull them out of the garden, but they will both tell you that is their favorite food.

 

 

Harrison cracked his first egg when he was just under 2. When I would cook he wanted to be involved. I bought him a cute little apron and we started to keep an extra chair in the kitchen for him to stand on. I always crack eggs into a bowl before adding them to the recipe just in case of egg shells. Harrison gets his own egg and bowl. Now at just 3 years old, he can crack an egg into the bowl perfectly and he is so proud. If the kids prefer to play with their toys nearby while I cook, that is alright with me. I don’t want to force my hobbies on them, but while they are interested I will teach them everything I can.

 

 

These are just a few examples, but let them spill the paint, check out your work, eat the food they grow, and help you cook. It isn’t always convenient, and it isn’t always fun, but their little minds always learn something. I won’t lie, they almost always make the job more difficult. I like to give the boys an easy job, like using a sanding square on furniture I am planning to paint. When I am cooking, the boys are great at stirring, or I measure the ingredients and they pour it in the bowl. The job doesn’t have to be big, they love it all the same. I am easily overwhelmed and stressed, but letting Harrison and Micah help with things has gotten easier over time and my patience has grown. Obviously, there are some things that kids need to stay away from. The boys aren’t allowed anywhere near a saw or the hot oven. They know that, and Harrison will tell you exactly how excited he is to grow up and use a chainsaw. Not today little man, not today. (It is important to make time for hobbies that aren’t kid friendly too, but that is a topic for a different day.)

 

 

As a stay at home parent, it is especially important for me to let the kids help me. Without my little helpers, I would never get anything done. For a while, I stopped building and crafting. Now, it does take longer when the kids get involved, but I still get to do the things I love while teaching them what hard work looks like. I really do believe our boys have found appreciation in what we do and how much work it takes. They also take pride in the things they have worked on. If appreciation, hard work, and pride come at the price of slowing down what I am working on, I think it is worth it. So, get back to doing what you love or start something new together. Now is as good a time as any!


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