Easter is just around the corner and it means spring is coming soon! I love spring, the pastel colors, the sunshine and the warming weather. I also enjoy decorating my little home with Easter/spring decorations. Especially if I can make them economically myself! My goal this year is to have my crafts be mostly made out of supplies I already have lying around the house. Using what I already have is always better.
The rustic carrots in today’s tutorial are popular in almost every store I have visited this March. These carrots are made out of twine, burlap, or bakers string. They come in a variety of sizes, usually three to a package, because we all know that you decorate in odd numbers, right? Each time I have see a package of these fun rustic carrots in all different shades of orange I have thought to myself . . . I can make that!
This post will chronicle my attempts at recreating these carrots, what worked and what did not. Yes, even I make attempts at craft projects that fail, but those failures just give me a chance to re-think and improve my process. That way when I bring it to you, I can show you what really works.
The first attempt was a carrot made out of a newspaper base, wrapped with orange and white bakers twine, glued together with hot glue. This gave the carrot a much more free-form look as we all know carrots are not ever perfectly shaped. At the beginning it looked like my carrot was shaping up very nicely and I was thinking to myself, “Wow this is simple and going so well.” But as I advanced to the end of the carrot where the green leaves are attached, I found that creating this carrot was not going to be as easy as it looked. Getting the twine to correctly wrap around that end of the newspaper proved to be harder than it looked and I was not satisfied with my attempts or my final product. (As pictured above.)
So, the next morning as I was driving to get my step-son & take him to his bus, my brain was swirling with thoughts of these rustic carrots. How can I improve this project? What base would work better than newspaper for wrapping the twine around? And it came to me! My next attempt will utilize an old pencil, a bamboo skewer or a piece of dowel. Whichever I can find at home. This will give for me a sturdier base and I believe it will allow me to wrap the twine more to my liking! Layering the twine or chosen material up and down the base until I like the shape of your carrot. So let’s get to the supplies you will need and the steps its takes!
Step one: To dye your twine orange if desired, mix orange food coloring, vinegar and warm water together until you have your desired color of orange. I used about 2 tablespoons vinegar, one cup of warm water and a few squeezes of orange food coloring. (This is not an exact science) Then I soaked my twine for about 4 hours. Remove from solution and layout on paper towels and paper bags to dry. (about 24 hours).
Step two: Cut your carrots base (pencil, dowel or bamboo skewer) to your desired length, mine were between 2 and 4 inches.
Step three: Cut a rectangle of green construction paper to desired length of greenery for the end of your carrot; cut little strips making sure to leave them attached at the bottom of your rectangle.
Step four: Hot glue your base to the greenery as shown. Roll the greenery around the base until its all wrapped around the base and glue the loose end as shown.
Step five: Tie a knot in the end of your twine, hot glue the knot to the opposite end of the base, let the glue set. When tying the knot in the bakers twine I tied three to four knots on top of one another to make sure I had a knot larger enough to cover the end of the skewer.
Step Six: Wrap the twine around the base holding any tail of twine against the base and wrapping the twine over the top of it to hold it in place. Wrap your twine the whole length of the base and up and over the bottom of your greenery.
Step seven: Wrap the whole length again from top to bottom, then continue wrapping up and down the length of the carrot layering more twine at the top and down the center until you have a carrot shape that you are pleased with.
Step eight: Hot glue the end of your twine in place and you are done.
Now you have a beautiful rustic twine carrot that you can use around your house or on a wreath to decorate for spring or Easter! You can make these fun carrots in any color that you wish!
Visit my Etsy store, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com if you would rather purchase this set of three rustic carrots.
Coming soon, Mason Jar Easter Baskets and watercolor Easter egg garland
Recently, my sister, my mom and myself went on a pre-Christmas outing to a local nursery that fills their gift shop with all kinds of holiday finds, from ornaments to poinsettias, holiday dishes and decorations galore! Of course anytime I visit a venue like this I look around and see many decorations I would love to have in my home, but can I afford them all? No way!
The result of not being able to afford everything that I see, is this mantra “I can make that!” I have said this to my sister so many times it’s become a joke between us. She often says to me before we head out for a day of shopping in a small town “Please don’t tell me that you can make everything I see!” But then of course I have to say it even more just to make her laugh!
Truth be told though, there are quite a few things you will see for sale this holiday season that you can make yourself. The question is, do you want to? Do you have the time to do so and do you know how to accomplish the task?
That’s what I am here for, the know-how! This garland was inspired by our recent outing. I saw some garland that was made out of wooden snowflakes, twine and rusty silver bells and said to myself, “This is truly something I can make at home very easily” and “why not share the steps with my faithful readers”.
The garland you see here can be modified to look however you feel would be best for your home, you can leave off any addition you see here that you feel doesn’t fit with your home or skill level.
Step One: Measure the area you want to hang your garland, then add 1 -2 feet depending on how much you want it to swoop when you hang it.
Step Two: Plan out the pattern and spacing of your garland. Layout your twine cut to the appropriate length. Then set your decorations (which ever you choose to use) out along the twine deciding on the spacing and pattern you think looks best.
Step Three: If using wood rounds you can paint them or draw on them. To produce what is seen above: Paint them with the chalk board paint, let dry and then decorate with the white gel pen. Drill holes in the wood rounds large enough to accommodate the twine.
Step Four: Starting at one end of the twine, following your pattern, tie your decorations onto the twine in the correct spacing as planned in step two.
Once you have done this for the length of your twine you are ready to hang it!
See how simple that was, all it took was a trip the craft store and some time at home planning the look of your garland. You have just created something that would sell for about forty-five dollars in a high end boutique. These supplies are much more affordable and you also get the satisfaction of knowing you created it yourself.
This is my favorite time of year! Thanksgiving and Christmas! Keep your eyes open for more holiday tips and tricks to come! I love decorating for these holidays and creating new decorations every year!
This week I thought it would be fun to give brides-to-be some ideas on how to coordinate the theme of their wedding all the way from save the dates, invitations, decorations, hair & make-up, to what to wear. Our theme for the purposes of this blog, will be a rustic wedding. Currently a very popular choice among brides, but sometimes hard to coordinate through-out the entire wedding, but I have some ideas on how to help with that. I am also very excited to introduce Molly of Lovely You By Molly, she will be contributing to the blog with the hair and make-up portion along with some wonderful hair tips for the day of the wedding!
A rustic wedding can be formal-rustic or casual-rustic. So, your first choice would be what direction do you want to take? After choosing your direction, it is then time to look for your save-the-dates and invitations, along with choosing your color combinations. Most people don't realize that your invitations and other printed items can help set the mood for your special day, along with decorations, clothing options, hair and make-up. Its a good idea to use your save-the-dates and invitations to give your guests a small taste of what the day will be like.
What things convey a rustic wedding theme? Well there are quite a few things that do this. Some ideas would be, wood backgrounds, mason jars, lanterns, chalkboards, brick walls, wood rounds, logs, stumps, wildflowers, cowboy boots, jeans and much more.
Here are a few examples of rustic save-the-dates and invitation sets. These are available for purchase at www.bethannerickson.etsy.com. As you will see below, these use lots of wood backgrounds and a mix of chalkboard fonts and formal script fonts. There are many more styles to choose from on Etsy and they can be created in any color combination you choose.
The next step would be choosing what your wedding party will wear on the special day and testing out possible hairstyles and make-up options. Some ideas for rustic attire range from, trendy jeans, dress shirts and cowboy boots for the guys to short/medium length dresses and cowboy boots for the girls if you are choosing the casual side of things. For my own wedding which was a purple and silver wedding with rustic tones, we chose more formal clothing, but wore Converse to bring in the casual side of things. The bride could wear a long or short dress, or a sundress with a choice of casual foot attire. Here are a few pictures to give you some ideas.
Now I will turn the blog over to Molly for the hair and make-up portion, picking back up when she is finished.
Hi Lovelies! My name is Molly and I was pleasantly surprised when Beth asked me share some tips for Brides on how they might incorporate a rustic style in their hair and makeup for their wedding day. Let me share a little bit about myself before we get to the details.
I am a licensed hair stylist and makeup artist for weddings and events. I own my own business called Lovely You by Molly. I have two sweet kids, a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. I own a cleaning business as well but the hair and makeup is definitely my favorite. It is a joy to be a part of someones special day whether it’s their wedding day or headed to prom. I love it when I see a huge smile on a client’s face after they look in the mirror, with the style they have always dreamed of.
Back to this rustic theme, What are some good looks if you are a bride planning this style of wedding? Words that come to my mind for hair are loose waves, braids, and an effortless look. For makeup, I think of natural, warm tones and a soft look. Here are some photos of some styles I have created to get you thinking. The last one is a combined hair and makeup look on myself:
Lastly, I wanted to share three tips for Brides as the plan their wedding day style:
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips helped you become inspired about a beautiful, rustic wedding theme. Come find me on instagram @lovelyyoubymolly as well as Facebook, www.facebook.com/lovelyyoubymolly. I would love to get in touch!
Thank you Molly for all those wonderful suggestions.
Next up, decorations! Decorations for a rustic themed wedding really are very simple. To complete this theme, use lots of wood, pallet boards, lanterns, mason jars, burlap, candles and lace. Popular right now are wood rounds for center pieces with mason jars or lanterns placed on top. Wrapping the mason jars with burlap, twine, vintage looking paper or lace adds an extra rustic feel and is fairly inexpensive to accomplish. Here are some photos of decoration ideas. If you have any questions on how to accomplish these looks feel free to ask me.
To wrap things up, once you choose your wedding theme, coordinating that theme throughout your wedding is really very simple. If you choose a floral theme, look for invitations with your favorite flowers on them, choose a long flowing dress, and bouquets of beautiful flowers. You could use flowers in your hair and have the pocket squares for the grooms be a fabric with an underlying flower texture. Use an arbor in the ceremony with flowers affixed to it and centerpieces with the same flowers arranged around candles or lanterns.
Some current trends in wedding themes are bohemian, floral, fantasy, fairy tale and rustic. If you search for these online you will find a many great ideas! But don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything you see, just pick and choose what you absolutely love. I really hope this helps you coordinate the wedding of your dreams. For ideas, suggestions or to hire me to help decorate your wedding, just contact me.
Coming Next Week: Wedding Memories: The art of creating a shadow box