Handmade Holiday: DIY Winter Wreath



The two of us have had so much fun decorating for the holidays this year! Here’s a secret for you: not even a week into November we drug out our decorations and hung them up, just to see how well everything went together.

It’s a very good thing we did because we were able to see the whole picture and determine if we needed any extra thingamabobs or doodads to complete our wintery scene.

Which, as it turns out, we did. And thus, we have embarked on numerous holiday projects and bring you the first part of our Handmade Holiday 2012 series: a winter wreath!

We knew that a wreath would help tie everything together, but we didn’t want to go out and buy a wreath from a craft store. Those tend to be rather expensive (not to mention contrary to our general style)  and we’re both on a budget.

So, we decided we had to make one and whipped up this lovely Winter Holiday Wreath. And good news: we spent around $25 for supplies. That means more Holiday Budget to go around (and around and around and around . . . so many gifts to make/buy/bake)!

Here are the directions for a simple wreath that you can tailor to fit your style and general trimmings and trappings this season.


one Styrofoam form

two bags of fluffy feathers

hot glue gun/sticks

material in a neutral color (we already had this on hand, so it’s not included in our Projected Project Price!)

accent branches or other baubles

coordinating wide ribbon


The first thing you’ll want to do is take your material and tear it into strips–set two strips aside  to use during later steps. Tearing cotton fabric is super easy–just make a snip where you want to start and rip away! It helps make things straight without being too tedious. Take your fabric strips and wrap them around the piece of Styrofoam, hot gluing as you go.



After the Styrofoam is wrapped, start gluing the feathers around the circle. We started on the inside of the circle, moved to the outside, and then finished with the front, leaving the backside feather free. To make this step easier, be sure to glue each feather over the bottom half of the one before it.


Next, take your accents and position them as you like. (Make a note of how you placed them because you”ll have to take them off for the next step!)


Take one of the strips of material you saved earlier and wrap it around the middle of the wreath and glue. We wrapped it around three times and then cut off the excess. This provides a base onto which your accents will be glued.



IMG_3052Place your accents onto the strip of material. Rearrange and trim off any extras if need be then attach them onto the wreath with glue. Take your second strip and wrap around the ‘ends’ of the accents to cover them, gluing in this step also. Next, take your ribbon and glue it directly over the strip.

Because of the delicacy of our wreath we thought it best to hang it inside our apartment using only two command strips, but if you want to show off your fabulous wreath to the outside world then a door hanger would work best!

Happy Holidays!

Love, Bea


mother’s day memories // part one

Oh how I wish I could spend this day with my mommy! I miss her ever so. Thankfully, we will be together again soon, because at the end of the month we’ll be road tripping it to Colorado to celebrate her mommy’s 90th birthday!

Today, I put together a little gift that I plan on giving her when I see her. This craft reminds me a lot of the humble trinkets my sister and I would present to our mom on this special day in years past. Growing up, it was just us Jones girls, so Bea and I rarely had someone to take us shopping for a surprise for mom. So, we got creative! One year, we made a doll out of gold pipe cleaners and bedecked her in a skirt of red fringe. Another year, we collected a handful of the prettiest rocks we could find on the playground during recess. We truly do love our mommy!

I set out to the flea markets to find a little something something that would inspire a craft. I came across the most adorable mini vase. So, I decided to whip up some homemade flowers with which to fill it!

What you need: wooden skewers or floral wire, some pretty buttons, hot glue, and a fun vase!

While my glue gun heated up, I cut my skewers to size. Kitchen scissors worked great for this!

Next, I paired up my buttons. Nestling a small button onto a larger one makes an adorable little flower!

Hot glue those babies together!

I paired the buttons with a skewer, taking the diameter of the buttons and height of the stems into consideration. Scale, scale, scale!

Hot glue a stem to the back of each flower.


I am just IN LOVE with BLUE right now! And it happens to be my mom’s favorite color, too. Orange + blue = complimentary colors!

Next up, Mother’s Day memories from Bea!

xoxo, catherine

DIY Blooming Light Fixture

If you liked the light fixture I made for my much needed closet make over, you should make one too! I’ve decided this is a fun spin on the paper lantern trend!

This paper pom pom is a very easy paper craft. On a smaller scale you could make a bouquet of paper flowers that look a lot like dahlias! In fact, I, along with an arsenal of bridesmaids and college friends, made dozens of these to imitate real flowers for my wedding centerpieces.

Speaking of my wedding, it just so happened that I had tons of paper table clothes left over, and it turned out to be the perfect medium for this project. Often, you’ll see this project done with tissue paper, but I wanted something weightier due to it’s proximity to the light. You can find tablecloths like these at hobby lobby–they’re about the weight and texture of a thick paper towel. I used the buffet size.

The first thing you’re going to do is cut the tablecloth into eight square-ish rectangles–mine were 23” x 25”. Then, stack them nicely.

Next, your going to accordion fold the stack. My folds ended up being about an inch and a half wide.

To hold it all together, use a piece of floral wire (a paperclip might even work!) to secure the center.

Now, trim the ends into points. This step is the trickiest. When you’re using tissue paper, your stack is nice and thin, so it’s easy to trim. But this stack of paper was rather unwieldy! I managed to do it by cutting one fold at a time. Make sure to do both ends of the paper!

Now, begin separating the layers. Alternate left and right, top and bottom. Pull the outside layers towards the center, while keeping the central layers towards the middle. Soon its 3D shape will appear! (Tip: once your pom starts taking shape on all sides, you might crush it if you set it down. To be able to continue using two hands, you might enlist the help of a partner!)

Once you have your layers pulled up and out and arranged (for the most part), tie some string to a paperclip.

And hook the paperclip onto the wire.

Now, hang up your light! There was a little knob at the end of my real light fixture that I tied my string to. With the bloom suspended, you can use both of your hands to fluff, tug, and rearrange layers to your liking!

I let my pom hang a considerable distance from the light, because I didn’t want it getting too hot.

I hope this DIY project inspires you to add some beauty to a space!

a peek into my apartment // a much needed closet makeover

I absolutely adore weekends that are spent {successfully} fulfilling a to-do list. This weekend, my goals included deep cleaning as much of the house as possible, spending some time at the salon (I had terrible split-ends), cooking a hoard of food for the week, and finally getting my closet organized. We have been in our new apartment for a about four months now, and the closet was ridiculously messy. A big pile of who-knows-what dominated one corner of the floor, while my clothes were haphazardly arranged on one side of the closet. Wes’ side wasn’t too bad, but you have to consider that he only owns like, three t-shirts and a pair of pants.

So, I dug deep and got in touch with my inner Carrie Bradshaw, and what you’ll find here is the before and after for my (for now) dream closet!



What I did . . .

Clothes off the floor! Organized by type: formal, winter wear, jackets & cardigans, dresses and blouses. Shoes are stacked in plastic totes up top!

Kitty has reign over our second bathroom so I used an extra set of shower hangers to hang belts and handbags!

All in a row! Belts, swimwear, scarves, and handbags. I tied bikini bottoms to the corresponding top before hanging--no more searching for your suit separates!

I wanted a boutique look for my closet, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I used what I had--those vintage suitcases I snagged for $32 a while ago, and two Liberty of London boxes I already had. I placed two pairs of boots in the boxes and Wes' rarely worn ties and business socks in the train case! I used our old coffee table to create more storage space.

Instead of just setting them on the floor, I anchored my rain boots on a cute Daher tray.

I stored small clutches and coin purses on the right and hats and tights on the left. A fun Topshop catalog hides all the bungle underneath! Winter accessories are stored in the small suitcases that sits to the right of this one.

Pillows and Blankies

Instead of storing extra blankets and sheets in a cardboard box, I pulled them out and displayed them! Theres about six blankets rolled and stacked, and I stored our extra pillows and sheets in a cute box, ready to go for when we have a house guest.

Extra hangers find a home in a Topshop shopping bag. Keeps my organizational necessities nearby while reminding me about my fun shopping excursion in downtown Chicago!

Wes' side. I added some manly touches--like a vintage globe--to balance my sparkly and shiny accessories!

I really like this his/hers signs!

A pretty light fixture will tie it all together!

If spending a lot of money is holding you back from organizing a space in your house, don’t fret–get creative! Everything I used for this project I had somewhere else in the house, except for the shoe totes, which I bought at Target for a couple of bucks a piece. I even made the light fixture! Check out the DIY Blooming Light Fixture post here.

xoxo cat

fancy knives need a fancy knife rack DIY

Wes and I recently moved to a new apartment with a super tiny kitchen. Our previous apartment had a kitchen replete with storage space–we even had a built in pantry that was so tall I couldn’t reach the top and so deep I couldn’t see the back! Our new kitchen has four drawers and four cabinets. And we arrived with a lot of Newlywed kitchen goodies that we no longer have space for!

So, as you can imagine, I try to find creative storage solutions that are also fun and pretty. Thus, I give you our fancy new magnetic knife rack!

*Note: If you are a parent of young children, owner of rambunctious, curious pets, etc., please use your discretion with this project. Having knives magnetized to the side of the fridge  could pose a danger to young children/elderly people/curious cats. Please use your own judgement, and know that ceeceeandthebea.wordpress.com is not responsible for any mishaps!

1. Find a piece of steel at your local hardware store that is large enough to hold your knife set (word to the wise: aluminum is not magnetic!)

2. Line one side of the steel with magnetic strips.

3. Select a pretty printed piece of fabric–make sure it’s big enough to fold over the sides to be secured on the back!

5. Using ceramic magnets, begin affixing the material to the back. These magnets will also be what hold your mechanism to the fridge, so they must be ceramic (i.e.: supah-strong!)

4. Make nice, neat folds when securing the corners.

6. Magnet to the fridge

7. Adorn with some cute buttons that have magnets glued to the back…

8. And add your knives!

I wish I could tell you how much this project cost, but we ran the gamut with magnets, as far as supplies go. At first, I tried to use magnetic strips on both sides, but it wasn’t nearly strong enough. So then Wes said he would get what we needed but ended up with something else (hey, the price was right). Finally we sucked it up and made our third magnet purchase (ceramic) and used them in combination with the strips. So we spent a ton of scratch on this project (probably like $35 to $40 dollars!). But for the materials we actually used, I’d say the project totals about $20.

Anyway, it’s in the ballpark of what these cost, and yet so so so so so so (a million times so!) much cuter . . .

Hopefully this helps you solve an itsie bitsie kitschy kitchen problem0!

xoxo cat