Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas on the Homefront - DIY Holiday Wreath

Homefront Team Member Camelot's Treasures is sharing a special DIY tutorial on making a special Holiday Wreath for your family!  Be sure to check out her lovely handmade doll clothes at her shop on your next visit to Etsy.

DIY Holiday Wreath Tutorial from Camelot's Treasures
After so many moves the past few years, our family Christmas wreath wasn't able to stand up to all the packing and unpacking.  So this year, the kids and I decided we were going to try our hand at making our own wreath.  After several hours scouring over inspirational ideas on Pinterest and getting overwhelmed with all the different ways, we decided the best way to go about it was to just jump in and get our hands dirty.  Maybe we can even inspire you a little for your very own wreath - and we only spent about $5!

Our choices abounded!
So first off, I went through several of boxes that were actually "donated" to me from my parents last year (I tend to be the "hand-me-down" of everything, I think mainly because they don't want it cluttering up their house anymore).  We had satin balls, lots or garland, plenty of plastic balls, etc; so a lot to choose from.  OH, and I bribed my son to bring me all the pine cones from the yard all year long - it was 10 cents a pine cone, and I think we ended up with about 30.
The day before I pulled out the decorations, I purchased a Styrofoam wreath from Walmart that cost us about $5.  It's the 12 or 14 inch one.  (That was the only thing I actually payed for for this entire project.)
After we went through all of our stuff, we came up with several feet of green garland and several little decorations.
We hot glued the end of the garland to one spot and just started wrapping until we felt that our wreath was at a satisfactory plushness.  This is definitely an opinion - you can do more or less, just make sure you cover all of the wreath so you can't see the white (or whatever color your wreath is).  I think we used about 3 yards of garland.

He's having fun wrapping the wreath, can't you tell?

Here's the fullness we achieved on our wreath.

Next, we did a dry run on the placement of our chosen decorations.  Be sure that you get it to look the way you want before you attach them with hot glue or twist ties.  We used a glue gun, partly because I <3 my glue gun, partly because my 6 year old thinks it's the coolest craft tool I own, but mostly because it was readily available.

We "debated" strategic placement of all the decorations.

After about an hour and a half of creating, we had made our self this pretty wreath. We were pretty satisfied!  I even added a little dangle that hung in the middle of the wreath, using 3 ornaments and a little string knotted around the top of the wreath.  The "hanger" is just a pretty ribbon we found at the Dollar Tree, tied around the top of the wreath, and tied in a bow at the top.

Viola!  A Wreath Creation!

Here are some easy tips on how to plan your OWN Holiday Wreath:
1.  Get wreath form (you can get these at any craft or hobby department or store)
2.  Check out your stash of decorations - you never know what you can use up!
3.  Use natural accents - pine cones, twigs, acorns, etc are all around you; take advantage of these cheap decorations!
4.  Enlist your whole family to help make your creation.
5.  Set aside a couple of hours to plan and create your project.
6.  Have fun - this wreath may only cost a few bucks, but it will be a priceless addition to your holiday decorations!

A close-up of our wreath on our front door

Be sure to keep checking back to this blog all month long for other great recipes and holiday tutorials from our Homefront Team members!  And remember to search "homefrontetsy" on Etsy to see all the great handmade items offered by our shops.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas on the Homefront - Glen's World Famous Fudge

What is the holiday's without a little food?!

As military families around the world, sometimes we have trouble being with our families and friends during the holidays.  However, a lot of people find that celebrating familial traditions helps bring our loved ones closer, with a grocery store trip just around the corner!

This month, some of our Homefront Team members, will share with you special recipes that they share with their loved ones during this festive time of year!  We hope that you enjoy testing them out, and maybe adding them to your own box of traditions.

Our first recipe this month is from Glen of Glen's Workshop.  Glen offer's handcrafted bullet pens and fine wood crafts.

Glen is sharing is "World Famous Fudge" recipe - "This is an easy, fool proof, quick recipe which produces the best tasting fudge I know.  I have made this recipe for more than 20 years and have never had a failed batch.  The key to this fudge is the final ingredient."

Share Glen's world Famous fudge.pdf - 380 KB

Be sure to keep checking back to this blog all month long for other great recipes and holiday tutorials from our Homefront Team members!  And remember to search "homefrontetsy" on Etsy to see all the great handmade items offered by our shops.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shop Talk Wednesday - Tips for a Successful Etsy Business

Whether your Etsy shop is a hobby or your "full-time" job, we all want it to succeed and make profits.

Check out one of our previous blog posts for some helpful tips on how to have a successful Etsy Shop.

There are also some fabulous tools to be found on Pinterest!  This is one of my favorites, and I try to utilize it in my own business every day.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pin This Saturday - Opposites Attract

We are featuring Black and White items on the Homefront Team Pinterest Board.  Check out all the awesome items here:

Be sure to find all the great handmade items from Homefront Team members by searching "homefrontetsy"!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thank A Teacher Giveaway - FINAL DAY TO ENTER!

Less than 12 hours before the "Thank a Teacher" Giveaway will be over!  Be sure to get your entry in time, so you can have a chance to win a prize basket filled with 15 awesome handmade items!  Enter on the link below:

  At one time or another, someone had to TEACH us something.  Teachers surround us, from our parents, our educators, our spiritual leaders, our employers, and our peers.  And we have all been influenced positively by the teachers in our lives.

With the Academic year coming to a close, the Homefront Team figured it would be a GREAT time to host this special giveaway to honor the "teachers" in our lives.  Here's some stories from some of our gracious donors, about who their favorite teacher was in their life.

"My favorite teacher was probably my father. He gave me many of the values I still use today: work hard, tell the truth, move with a purpose, community service and anything worth doing is worth doing well." - Glen from Glen's Workshop

"My favorite teacher was Dr Keller. He was one of my professors at Kent State University back in the mid '90s. I majored in Elementary Education and he taught Teacher classes like teaching Math and Science for Elementary Students. What I loved about this teacher was that he made each lesson fun and combined thought provoking activities to start out different lessons. These lessons made you excited to learn and when you left the class you had a new lesson and corresponding activity that you could use for your own students. He made it fun to learn and showed how to spark curiosity and a desire to learn that not all educators grasp."  - Jenny from Jenny Clark Stamp Art

"That's easy. My fourth grade math teacher Mr. Felts. He made learning math fun and easy to understand. Through him, I developed a fuller understanding of mathematical concepts and a love of math that followed me through my entire educational experience and adult life. Now, my kids also love and enjoy math too!" - Jennifer from BrankletsNBling

"I'm not sure I had a single favorite teacher. What I had was a deep respect and appreciation for teachers who held me to high standards, challenged me, held me accountable for my responsibilities, wouldn't accept sloppiness or laziness, and most of all, taught from their hearts. I am forever grateful for those teachers!" - Shelly from Marks on My Heart

"My favorite teacher was my high school music teacher, Mrs. Jacobs. She was very energetic, bubbly, and encouraging. She helped me to come out of my shell a bit so I was able to participate in musicals, the orchestra, and select choir. She was fun!" - Shawna from Gramma Vedora Soap Company

"My favorite teacher was one of my college professors, Dr. Rochelle. It was my Senior year and I needed one more writing class to fulfill the "Writing Intensive" requirement. I signed up for his "Creative Writing" class, and had no idea what to expect. He was the best- so casual and relaxed, but a fantastic teacher. He made us all feel like amazing authors, even though we were not! He was just one of those professors that would do whatever he could to help. If I had taken one of his classes earlier, I might have been an English major!" - Shanna from Quite Crafty

 "Mrs. Shumate is my favorite teacher. She's my fifth grade teacher. I'm in fifth grade now." - Devon from Paper Capers

"My favorite teacher would have to be Mr. Royer from 4th grade.  I was always ahead of the rest of the class with assignments, and didn't always do my homework because I already knew and understand the lessons.  Most of the time teachers let me slide, but Mr. Royer actually failed me in one of the subjects, even though he knew that I knew the material.  He felt it was important to teach me that doing my homework was just as important as the classwork because it taught me responsibility and completing everything that was assigned.  And he took the time to explain it to me.  After that, I always completed my homework and never failed a subject again." - Guin from Camelot's Accessories 

"My favorite teacher is Mrs. Rogers because she always make reading and writing fun.  I will miss her when I go into the 6th grade!" Mallory from Mallory Alisabeth 

You still have time to win some { AWESOME } prizes?  Be sure to enter the contest on this blog post:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thank a Teacher Giveaway - Prize Descriptions - Don't forget to ENTER!

Thank A Teacher Giveaway is NOW OPEN and taking ENTRIES!  Be sure to enter on the following blog post:

Here's some detailed descriptions of what { ONE } lucky winner will be receiving in their prize basket!  These are all valued OVER $100!

Apples and Pears Crocheted Top Kitchen Towel

This towel is a perfect addition to your kitchen decor.  Never worry about your towels falling on the ground again!  Just hang it up on your oven handle or refrigerator door. Throw it in the washer with your other towels when it gets dirty.

Pink Crystal Earrings "Pink Essence"

Earrings that will add that delicate sparkle to your outfit.  They go from day to night - from home to formal events. They measure 1 1/2 inches in length and feature: vintage pink moonglow lucite beads, clear Swarovski crystals, silver plated daisy spacers, and silver plated ear hooks.

Handmade Coventry Ballpoint Pen in Chrome and Cherry

Handcrafted yet petite and lightweight, the Coventry Pen is easy to carry in pocket books, planners, purses, and more!  With a charming pattern, smooth twist operation, and jewelry-grade plating, the Coventry Ballpoint Pen is sure to be an addition to your pen collection you will love.
Cherry is a beautiful wood which only gets better with age.  This wood darkens with time and exposure to the sun.

ABC & Polka Dot Handmade Bookmark

Vintage Schoolhouse Handmade Bookmark - ABC's and Polka Dots.  Backed with Nautral Kraft Paper.  Made with archival quality, acid-free cardstock in rustic tones, conjuring a timeless love for learning.

Schoolhouse Apples Note Card Set

Set of  4 hand stamped cards with an apple theme.  It is in an upcycled box covered in designer paper.  Great for a note home or a thank you card.

Sweet Bird Bracelet

Sweetly simple and fun, this bracelet features an antuqued brass bird and flower connector with a tiny dangling Swarovski cyrstal in a dainty purple.

Tootle Recycled Notebook with Mini Envelopes

Made by Devon of Paper Capers, this fun set is made from recycled materials.  It includes a notebook made from a Little Golden Book, Tootle, with 60 blank sheets and 10 matching mini envelopes from the reclaimed pages of the book.  Each envelope has 2 sheets of notepaper.
This is the perfect gift set for a teacher!

Handmade Matchbook Notepads - 4 Pack

Perfect little notepads for tiny notes!
These little notepads are made with pretty acid-free cardstock and feature a matchbook style design.  There are over 20 sheets of post-consumer recycled white paper, which amounts to 40 pages to write on!
Ideas for use: purses, stocking stuffers, party favors, grab bag gifts, appreciation gifts, prizes, and more!

Schoolhouse Fabric Basket

This fun basket is perfect for holding things that don't have a home on your desk, or a carry-all for taking things back to where they belong!  Looks can be decieving - this little basket measures approximately 3 1/2" x 6" and is 4" deep, so it can hold more than you think!

Handmade Chocolate Bars with Candy and Cookies - (3) 1 oz bars

Yum...chocolate lovers' delight!  In this pack you will get a sampling of 3 different bars - one plain milk chocolate, one milk chocolate covered crushed chocolate sandwhich cookies, and one milk chocolate covered chocolate candies.  Each bar 1 oz bar is made up of 4 squares, that are easily shared (or not!).  Have we made you hungry yet? (NOTE: These chocolate bars were made in a kitchen that uses nuts, wheat, and dairy.)

Yuzu Handcrafted Hot Process Soap

Delicious, sweet, fruity citrus!  A yummy scented soap created in the hot process style.  This soap was created using natural vegetable oils and nut oils such as shea butter for a skin pampering experience!  Bright pink and sunny yellow colorants help this soap to be eye-catching and bright!