Saturday, July 14

Stars and Stripes Banner / Patriotic Mantel


Hello Friends…

Word of the day...  Belated 
Occurring after the appropriate or expected time, 
especially too late to be effective or useful 

I know the 4th of July holiday is long gone and we have all moved on to fun summer projects, but I’ve decided to go ahead and share this post anyway. I wasn’t able to publish my Patriotic Mantel on-time or share a few of the projects I made, due to some overwhelming family obligations and a bit of technical difficulties (I’m still always  having a run of hard luck).

I was so disappointed and I wasn't even going to re-write the darn post but I got to thinking… “What the heck, it’s never too late to share a project!” 

So, if you can tolerate just one more patriotic post, then I would love it if you would just keep on reading (Big smile). As  you know, it’s impossible for me to keep things short and sweet, but I will try… K! 

I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th!

Stars and Stripes Banner Mantel Full View Main

While looking for a little inspiration for my Patriotic Mantel, I came across a great banner at Super Mom Moments. It had the simplicity and patriotic feel I was looking for and was a snap to make. The best part was the “free” PDF printable of the banner she (Aimee) was sharing (Here).  When you finish up here, you should  pop over and check out her banner and “Pin” it for next year!

Now, I only needed to print the U-S-A part of the banner because I had the perfect scrapbooking cardstock for the stars and stripes pendants. With my squeaky wheels turning, I adapted part of her banner into something that fit my colors and patriotic theme.

Banner Closeup
From start to finish this banner took less than an hour to put together. Here how I made my banner…

Paper Supplies Outline w text
Next…
Washi Clothespins Collage

Ready to hang…

Banner pieces

Full View…

Banner Full View
I wanted a simple clean look that still made a statement and I think it came together perfectly.  My little 2 yr. old  Grandson actually cheered when I hung the banner. That sweet little boy made my day!

Let me give you a tour of the various projects that make up our Patriotic Mantel.


First up…

My D-in-L bought me these little tin buckets and pinwheels that she found in the $1 bins at Target. I knew right away, I could build my mantel around these cute little pieces. 

Patriotic Pinwheel Collage
Don’t they look so fun and patriotic? 


Next up…

I saw this 4th of July Printable at Tattered and Inked and knew I wanted to use it for my holiday artwork. BTW… Tattered and Inked is one of my favorite blogs and Kelsey is a mad talented DIY crafter. Totally recommend visiting!

Frame Page1

1. Painted old frame with bright White Acrylic Paint (matte finish). Let dry overnight then lightly distress frame with sanding block.
2. Artwork is printed on 8x10 Photo Paper then trimmed to size.
3. Painted Star with Metallic Blue Craft Paint then add light layer of fine glitter while paint was still damp.
4. Attached Star to Frame with glue dot to allow for easy removal.


Wooden Firecrackers…
firecrackercollage2

You might remember these Wooden Firecrackers that I bought last year from Pick Your Plum (my favorite daily deal site). 

My original post from last year is Here if you would like to take a peek!

Here’s how I dressed mine up:

Firecracker Collage final w frame

Firecracker Supplies


All – American Birdhouse

This sweet little Birdhouse is perched up on our mantel and is looking mighty fine!  I had fun creating this project and it felt good to pull out my brushes for a change.  In case you missed my post last week  - All - American Birdhouse.

All American Birdhouse Collage 4 frame
My sweet little 2 yr. old Grandson saw this picture and told me… “ I lub the wittle tweet tweet houwse”. He’s so adorable!

BTW...  A summer themed Birdhouse is on the drawing board!

Red Dash Line

Thanks for being a trooper and hanging in there till the bitter end! You’re the best! (XOXO) 

Seriously, I wished I could have published this Patriotic tribute before the holiday but, as I am learning, family and obligations must come first and blogging second.  

I have several great projects to share this month so I hope you will stop back by again soon.  If you want to stay in the loop when something new is published then sign up for email updates or RSS updates over on my sidebar. 

Until next time…
Simpy AJ Signature w flower

Wednesday, July 4

All–American Birdhouse


All-American Birdhouse Front View Distressed w text
Say “Hello” to the newest addition to my Patriotic Mantel. This patriotic paint scheme is so fitting for this sweet little birdhouse. Don't you agree? 

You see, I have a soft spot for little wooden birdhouses so when I came across this fantastic Pin on Pinterest, I had to find out more! 

Screen Shot Pinterest Birdhouse
Laura at House of Joyful Noise created this beautiful little Birdhouse. She captured the patriotic spirit of the holiday so perfectly and inspired me to pick up my paintbrush and create one of my own.

I also took some time to look around her site and Oh My Goodness did I find a new place for inspiration! You must stop over and see where her American Birdhouse found its home and check out some of her DIY projects, Furniture Refinishing projects and Recipes. Make sure to tell Laura "Hi" while your there and tell her I sent ya (wink)!


I have quite a collection of unfinished wooden Birdhouses (I actually have the same one Laura used for her project) and always end up picking up a few new ones (usually at Michael’s in the $1 bin) even though I probably don’t need anymore! I usually Mod Podge my Birdhouses with either fabric or paper and haven’t painted one in a long time. I guess that’s why this project was so much fun.

All-American Birdhouse w instant frame color text
Doesn't she just make you want to sing a Patriotic Song!!


All-American Birdhouse Back View Final

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I made my Birdhouse… 

All-American Supply Collage2

1.) I painted the wooden birdhouse with White Acrylic Craft Paint. It took a couple of coats to cover completely. Let paint dry overnight.

2.) The next day, I used my Cricut and some scrap vinyl to cut out the stars and stripes (only had white scrap pieces handy so it’s hard to see them in the pictures against white paint). If you don’t have a cutting machine you can use a stencil and cut out by hand.

3.) I placed the vinyl where I wanted it and painted each side (Acrylic Red and Blue Paint was leftover from my Uncle Sam project and the White Acrylic Craft Paint I had in my stash).

4. ) Once paint has dried completely (let mine dry overnight), I removed vinyl and touched up a few spots. Then lightly sanded edges for a distressed look (optional).

Note: Since my Birdhouse will stay inside I didn’t seal with any type of wax or sealant. If placed outside I would recommend sealing to protect against the weather.  

What do you think?? Isn’t this a fun and patriotic project??

All-American Birdhouse 3 View Collage

Okay, humor me with just one more picture…

All-American Birdhouse

This sweet little Birdhouse is perch up on our Patriotic Mantle and she is looking good!

Pictures of our Patriotic Mantel should be posted tomorrow so make sure to come back by and take a look. I can’t wait to show you the super simple Stars and Stripes Banner I made.

Thanks for stopping by my Nest….

Simpy AJ Signature w flower







I’m linking up to several parties listed on my sidebar…. Stop by and check out the fun!

Made-by-you-Monday @ Skip to my Lou
Made with Love Monday @Sew Chatty
Make the Scene Monday @Alderberry Hill
Get Your Craft On @Today’s Creative Blog
Tuesday Confessional @Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy
Trick or Treat Tuesday @Inside BruCrew Life
Uncommonly Yours Link Party @Uncommonly Yours...
Linkin' with Lil' Luna @Lil Luna
Whimsy Wednesdays @The NY Melrose Family

Home Stories A2Z

Tuesday, July 3

Patriotic Porch Re-Run


Today, I wanted to share with you our Patriotic Front Porch. The porch is being labeled “re-run” because it’s the same Rag Wreath and Uncle Sam that I made last year. I just loved both projects and since I was unable to make anything new for the porch I figured why not!

Patriotic Projects 2011 Collage
I really wasn’t planning on sharing my front porch this year (because it was a re-run), but this morning while working on my new Patriotic Mantle post, I realized that my blog friends have quadrupled since last July (thank you to each and everyone of you - I love my readers!) which means many of you probably haven’t seen these projects.

I think they are two of my all-time favorites and were the projects that jump started my confidence to blog about my crafting adventures. It is a hoot to look back at these old post and see how awful my pictures are and read my silly posts.

You can find my original post, instructions and inspiration HERE.

 Patriotic Rag Wreath w text header
You can find my original post, instructions and inspiration HERE.

Patriotic Porch
Unfortunately, I was unable to take any new pictures of the porch so I ‘m just using last years picture. What’s new from last year?? Well, my front door has since been refinished in a gorgeous dark espresso and I have beautiful red geraniums hanging in the flower bed.

Don’t you just love Uncle Sam?? I have a vision to make Pilgrims and a Mr.and Mrs.Claus using this same technique, I just have to find the time to play around with my templates. Who knows, maybe I will get my act together and make me some more holiday statues.


Tell me about your favorite 4th of July project….


Stay tuned tomorrow for my Patriotic Mantel Reveal and the cutest little Birdhouse!! 


Until Next Time…



Simpy AJ Signature w flower


Yellow Line
I’m linking both Uncle Sam and Patriotic Wreath to several parties listed on my sidebar…