Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Crafts and Decor

While taking down my Valentine's decorations, I started thinking about my plans for March.  Decorating on a Stopping Spree requires some planning.  Since I can't buy anything new, I have to take careful inventory of what I already own. 

One thing was certain:  I did NOT want to decorate for St. Patrick's Day. 

I can't explain my resistance.  I think I was just anxious to jump into know, flowers and bunnies and watering cans.  Perhaps I was feeling overwhelmed with another holiday.  Maybe it was an aversion to kelly green.

In any event, my boycott of St. Patrick's Day eventually changed...   
Welcome to March at our house.
It all started with this image on Pinterest (Surprised?!). 
Button Rainbow
It was love at first sight.  I haaaaaad to make it.  Lord knows I have buttons.  Oh, so many buttons.  I'm talking about A. Lot. Of. Buttons.  Plus, I even had a leftover canvas that I could use.
One thing was certain:  I was DEFINITELY decorating for St. Patrick's Day!!!! 
As usual, I neglected to read the directions ahead of time.  Instead, I dutifully went through my button stash, sorting the rainbow shades. 
It was my friend, Jenna, who pointed out that the Pinterest-inspired rainbow wasn't made with real buttons - it was basically a clip art.  Oh.  So that explained why my rainbow looked so wonky when I tried to arrange the buttons in a graceful arch.
Alrighty then, time for Plan B.  I tried running buttons across the entire canvas, but I didn't like the look.  I tried running them diagonally, but hated that even more.  Finally, Jenna suggested putting the buttons in a square shape.  And that, people, is what friends are for!

Jenna used her fancy-schmancy Silhouette die-cut machine to create the phrase "lucky" out of vinyl.

Although I liked the simplicity of just the buttons on canvas, I decided to run some green ribbon down both sides.  Ultimately, I wanted to display this with my other St. Pat's items (which are mostly green).   So I needed a way for the rainbow to play well with others.
I'm very pleased with the final product.  OK, that's an understatement.  I'm in L-O-V-E with the final product!  It's so cheery that I'm tempted to display it year-around!
This next project was also something found on Pinterest (shocking!).  It's from Rebecca Cooper's blog.  The simplicity behind her projects is refreshing.
The first part of this project required finding an old book.  As a former English major, I have quite the book collection.  There are books on my shelves that I haven't cracked open since circa 1998, so I wasn't about to shed a tear over ripping one apart.  For the background paper, I needed a book of good size with fairly thick pages. 
Behold, the perfect book:
It's even about Irish folktales!  Seriously lucky
To make the banner, I removed pages from the book with an X-Acto knife.  Then I made a template for the bottom edge of the banner flags. 
After cutting the edges, I folded over the top of each flag (about a half inch).  Then I strung each flag along some green gingham ribbon.
Finally, I stapled the edge over the ribbon and glued paper shamrocks to each flag.  Jenna precut the shamrocks for me using her Silhouette.  I am ever-grateful for this because cutting shamrocks by hand was not working out for me.  (Although, looking back, I could have probably just cut out hearts and overlapped them to make a shamrock.)
When I was done, I strung my new banner across my mantel. 
And then when my husband came home from skiing, I accosted him at the door saying, "Look at my cute banner!  Don't you love my cute banner?  Did you even notice my cute banner?!" until he put down his ski equipment and gave me the validation I was looking for.
Remember how I was wishing for an 8x10 frame in this post?  Well, it was for the St. Patrick's Day Subway art that I'd printed up.  Originally found on Pinterest.  Of course.

With my Stopping Spree in effect, I had to get creative about the frame.  I don't own an 8x10 frame, but I couldn't just plop a piece of paper on my mantel.  
Enter the humble clipboard.  I simply glued some shamrock-y paper to a clipboard, then glued the subway art on top.  I also ran a strip of rainbow paper across the top.  It's not my favorite feature (I think the subway print looks better without the stripe).  But I needed a few more colorful details to mesh with my rainbow button art.     
My completed St. Patrick's Day mantel looks like this. 
There's a lot going on here (visual editing is something that I struggle with), but I think it looks festive and fun!  I put my mini greenhouse from Crate and Barrel in the cubby.  Then I just added my new craft projects, some candles, and a few picture frames.
I also updated my photo carousel to reflect St. Patrick's Day.  I used miscellaneous scrapbooking embellishments, ribbons, and stickers to fit the theme (all of which I already owned).
When I was in high school/college, I was really interested in my family heritage – specifically our Irish ancestry.  I collected all sorts of books about Ireland.  My biggest dream was to travel to there and see those quaint, thatched roof houses of the countryside.

My dream came true in 2007.

Anyway, I went through my bookshelves and compiled all those old Ireland books. Then I just stacked them for a punch of Irish green.
I feel compelled to highlight my "Kathleen From Ireland" paper doll book.  She is my namesake, after all!
This is what my entry table looks like.
We have a big, green candle sitting on our coffee table.  I added some ribbon for flair.
In hindsight, I'm really glad that I decided to embrace St. Patrick's Day.  I ended up being able to utilize many of my general home accessories and repurpose them a bit for the upcoming holiday.  Although I worried that my decorations look be too sparse, I was surprised with how well everything came together.
Outdoors, things are mostly decorated for spring.
My only official nod to St. Paddy's is this tin heart/shamrock thing.
So there you have it!  Thanks for stopping by!  Readers, did any of you create a St. Patrick's Day project?  I'd love to see links to what you've done!


  1. I love these, Kate! The boys and I just did a few St. Patrick's Day art projects and I posted them to my blog yesterday. My favorite was using finger paint to make handprint shamrocks. =)

    1. @Kelly - Ooo! I'll have to check your blog!