Chic Coastal Christmas Decor

Coastal Christmas decorations do not have to be expensive or cost a lot of money.  Let me show you how to use found objects, polymer clay and neutral colors to create simple decorations for your home.

DIY Chic Coastal Christmas Decor you can make on a budget cheap and easy crafts

This picture is of a starfish that I made.  We found the starfish on vacation and I made a mold of it before we broke it.  I knew on of the kids would eventually drop it or it would lose an arm in some fashion.  After I made the mold I made 7 starfish.  I am not sure why 7, when I only needed one as the topper.  So I also made a wreath and a few ornaments.

To compliment the color and the theme for the Coast Christmas I am using jute.  I like jute for its rustic appeal and worn look.  Not to mention it is an inexpensive material.

Seaside Christmas or Coastal Christmas is my home decor this coming holiday season. I share a sneak peak with you last month of the starfish topper.  Below are the companion piece and the real piece the topper is on.  I started on it back in June and I am finished with the main pieces.  My tree is on our second floor of the house so these will go on the first floor. To make the starfish I used a one pound block of Sculpey Premo.  The starfish I used to make the original mold was a vacation find.Chic Coastal Christmas Decor - DIY cheap and easy crafts you can make

I made a wreath with a Styrofoam ring, burlap and buttons from Buttons Galore and More and some jute.

I have a Coastal Christmas starfish garland in the making and I will share that later on. It goes across my mantel. The next piece I made is a topiary using all the same materials. I chose burlap and juts since they are very rustic feeling. There is something cozy about weathered and worn items.

Direction to make the starfish from polymer clay

Materials for a Chic Coastal Christmas Starfish:

Directions for Coastal Christmas Chic starfish.

  1. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
  2. Pinch of a Large piece of Mold Maker and roll into a ball. Flatten ball creating a piece of  large Mold Maker enough to accept starfish.
sculpey mold maker

3.  Dust starfish with cornstarch. Press starfish into mold and then remove. Bake the mold according to the directions above. Allow the piece to cool before handling.

4.  Condition the White clay according to the directions above. Dust the mold with cornstarch. Press the conditioned clay into the mold and remove. Trim off any excess clay with craft knife. Dust the mold and repeat again to make an additional piece. Repeat process to create as many starfish as you’d like. Bake according to directions above.

wood bird Christmas ornaments

wood bird Christmas ornaments – True to my fascination with everything avian, my Christmas tree has lots of bird ornaments.  The idea for this particular ornament came when I was out walking my dog.  I noticed the vast abundance of Georgia pinecones littering the ground. What could I do with these? If I used them inside, how was I to extract the little creatures living inside them?  I gathered up some of the little cones.  When I returned home I popped them on a tray in the oven at 150 for about 15 minutes to remove any friends.
I remembered I purchased some little pics after Christmas last year and they would be perfect for the wood bird Christmas ornaments I was planning too.  

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.Links below are affiliate links to Amazon where I earn a commission of sales.
I absolutely adore this “beautiful bird” applique die cut  by Sizzix.  I love this die cut so much that I have two or three ideas stewing in my head where I wan to show you how to create different ornaments with this die cut using unconventional materials to create stunning tree, mantle or package decorations.  

Supplies for wood bird Christmas ornaments:

Instructions for wood bird Christmas ornaments:

This version all starts with simple to find, good old foam board. Foam board can intimididate many of us because it usually requires using a craft knife to cut and that can take some practice. The best advice I can give you when cutting foam board (I prefer dElmer’s because it comes in many thicknesses, is high quality and can be purchased with grids on one side) is to utilize the “three cut rule.” That is, trace your shape, use one pass of your X Acto knife to score exactly (or as close as you can) on the traced line, make a deeper second pass and finally score deeper to cut completely through. Don’t try to cut all the way through with one cut, this doesn’t yield smooth-edged results.

As shown in the photo above, cut the foam board down to manageable pieces. Cut some to match the size of the bird image on the die and some to use for the wings.

The good news is that, if you choose to use the shape of wing I did, you only need to trace a large teardrop shape onto the foam board and cut them out with the X ACTO knife. Have handy a sanding block or nail file to smooth any jagged edges.

There is a wing shape included in the die cut that you can use if you wish but I have to admit I am partial to teardrop shaped wings.

The easier part of this project involves using the Sizzix BigShot pro to cut the bird shapes from the foam board. The BigShot Pro is a heavy-duty die cut machine that cuts thick materials such as foam board.

It makes cutting these foam board bird shapes so easy!

Now its time to cover the shapes with the real wood veneer comes in 12″ x 24″ Real Wood Thin Cherry.  It is ideal for card making,mixed media, veneering, paper crafting, custom embellishments, and wood modeling and it is compatible with most cutting dies.

You will need to use the wing template and an ink pen to trace the shape and a die cut machine to cut the real wood. For this smaller duty project, I went back to my lighter duty Big Shot machine and found that I could cut four sheets at once.

Once the sheets are cut, you can glue them to the foam core shapes to cover.

Use stamped sentiments for the wing and StazOn ink and I used chalk ink to smooth the edges of the foam.   I also used the brown ink to create the brown beak. 

And to coordinate with the pine cones I spray painted (which made those little creatures promptly vacate if they were not dead already) I added a small pine cone dusted with snow paint and a bit of holly spray.easy to make wood bird Christmas ornaments tutorial

These wood bird Christmas ornaments are the perfect addition to any nature themed tree.  They can be made fairly quickly and easily in multiples. I hope I inspired you to try to make your own ornaments from simple foam board. What other dies do you own you could use to create special creations? Don’t forget to check back here to see more unusual ideas using this wonderful die.

beach mat tote bag – an easy sew project

Get ready for the sand and the waves with this fast and fun sewing project.  Make yourself and your friends a beach mat tote bag with easy to find supplies.  The beach mat tote bag is an easy sew project that you can make in an hour or two depending on your sewing skills.
easy sew beach mat tote, a simple sewing project by mel bradly for niki meiners The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies for beach mat tote bag:

The links below are for the Amazon affiliate program where I earn a commission off of sales.

beach mat toteInstructions for Beach Mat to Tote Bag

1. Cut 3″x width of fabric strips of small print fabric. Cut enough strips to go around outer edge of towel. Press in 1/2″ seam allowance on long edges of strips; press strip in half lengthwise with right sides out. Pin in place around edging of towel on all four sides, mitering corners as needed. Sew in place.

2. For pillow, cut two 13″x17″ panels of floral fabric. Sew right sides together on three sides, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff with insert. Sew pillow bottom closed with whipstitch by hand or by machine. Machine straight stitch pillow edge to top end of towel “front” as shown.

3. For pockets, cut four 9-1/2″x11″ panels, two each of floral and small print fabrics. Pair panels as desired with right side out. Press 1/4″ seams in all four edges, machine sew, then repeat to hide raw edges. Repeat for second pocket.

4. On towel “back” on opposite end from pillow, pin first pocket in place, centered on short side of towel with pocket facing away from edge. Pin second pocket in place with pocket openings facing each other, 4-6″ away from first. Cut twill tape into two 18″ lengths; pin in place beneath pockets. Machine sew in place.

5. Roll towel to form tote and determine closure position. Hand-sew frog closure in place.

Santa pants Christmas craft using cardboard tubes

Santa pants Favors made with cardboard tubes that you can recycle from paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls or you can buy tubes from the craft section.  We are all about recycling them and giving them another use before they go into the trash.  If you want to keep this a cleaner craft you can use red cardstock instead of the paint.  You can decide how much you want to clean up, on top of the glitter mess that is.  But hey! we love glitter in all it forms.  If you don’t want to use loose glitter you can use glitter glue. santa pants kids craft

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.MATERIALS for SantaPants:


  • Rubber stamp: Merry Christmas
  • Black inkpad
  • Clay-dedicated rolling pin or acrylic brayer
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Oven
  • scissors, ruler, plastic knife, black marker, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern – Santa Pants Favors

1. Adults, help kids when baking clay in oven.

2. Print out pattern.

3. On clean work surface, remove clay from package. To condition, roll clay in hands until soft, bending and rolling until pliable. If clay cracks, keep conditioning. Roll 1″ Gold clay ball; flatten. Cut buckle from Gold clay. Position buckle on parchment-lined baking sheet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake buckle in oven. Let cool.

4. On covered work surface, paint cardboard tubes (pants) Bright Red. Let dry. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue pants legs together. Paint wooden tags Apple Green. Let dry.

5. Measure and cut 2-1/2″x9″ red cardstock rectangle. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue red rectangle around top of pants legs. Measure and cut two 2-1/2″ red card stock circles. Use scissors to fringe edges of circles. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue circles on bottom of pants legs.

6. Measure and cut 1″x9″ black cardstock strip (belt). Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue belt around red rectangle. Apply Continuous Glue Lines strip onto center of belt; sprinkle with Gold or Silver glitter. Use Craft Glue Dots to glue buckle on center of belt.

7. Measure and cut two 1″x7″ red cardstock strips (suspenders). Use Craft Glue Dots to glue suspenders onto inside of pants legs.

8. Measure and cut two 3/4″x4″ white felt rectangles. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue felt rectangles around bottom of pants legs.

9. Use black inkpad and Merry Christmas stamp to stamp saying on wooden tag. Use hole punch to punch hole on pants leg; insert metal brad through hole on tag and pants leg. Bend ends on inside.


easy sew mixed media christmas ornaments

The colorful mixed media Christmas ornaments  are a a little bit of painting, free motion sewing, polymer and stash busting combined into a pair of awesome ornaments you can give as a gift, decorate a package or gift bag, or to decorate your own tree. The mixed media ornaments can be made by beginners too.  There really is not a right or a wrong way to make them and no two are going to look alike and that is the beauty of doing things with mixed media and free style sewing. mixed media christmas ornaments

How do you get yourself in the Christmas spirit when its beginning to look a lot like Christmas but its still 75 degrees outside here in South Georgia? By making some “cool” canvas ornaments! Painted and sewn canvas has tons of possibilities.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.The Canvas Corp items are no longer made and I have linked other items form amazon that work just as well and are at a better price.  I cold not let the items in my stash go to waste.

Supplies for the mixed media Christmas ornaments:

Instructions for the mixed media christmas ornaments:

  1. I started with a canvas fabric sheet and burlap circles by Canvas Corp and cut two 3″ circles and two 1 1/2″ circles from the canvas sheet. Using acrylic paint, I painted swatches of color on both large circles, letting colors dry in between.
  2. The smaller circles were painted white to resemble the head of a snowman. Once the paint was dry, I layered the snowman on top of the burlap circle and sewn the edges with a straight stitch. I layered this piece on top of one of the larger painted circles and sewed in place.
  3. To create a stuffed ornament, layer circles together and sew, leaving a small opening to insert stuffing. Then sew together by machine or by hand.
  4. I used polymer clay to create a nose and  I used fluted 12 x 12 paper to create the tag.

I used polymer clay to create a nose and  I used fluted 12 x 12 paper to create the tag.

Experiment with different themes, like I did with this heart themed canvas ornament.

mixed media christmas ornaments




Underwater party decorations

Underwater party decorations
Make underwater party decorations that are fun and colorful.  You can turn a blank wall into an underwater party with a few decorations like colorful pompom fish, seagrass and jellyfish.  To create the underwater party decorations I covered a wall with fabric from a bolt of spa blue and sandy tan fabric.  These were bolts purchased for a project that I had not started.  If you wanted to you could use Olyfun on the bolt, sheets, colored paper on the roll from the teachers supply store, plastic table clothes or really anything you want.  The wall of underwater decorations set the tone for the party room.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Materials for underwater party decorations:

     Pompom fish

     Jellyfish lanterns


Instruction for Underwater party decorations:

  1. To make the fish I used Olyfun 12×12 sheets.  The 12×12 sheets of Olyfun a 6-8 are layered together and the sheets were folded in accordion fashion.
  2. Zip ties are added to the center and the edges were scalloped with scissors.  Once the edges are cut the layers are separated and fluffed up to make a half of a ball a semicircle a dome or what ever you want to call it… LOL.
  3. Place two halves together and add a dollop of glue to adhere them together.
  4. Add google eyes in the largest size you can find.
  5. The fins were freehanded with utility scissors.
  6. The seagrass is Olyfun cut into strips ad twisted with glue dots placed at the top and the bottom of each strip.

You are at complete liberty to make the fish any shaper color or size you would like and we had a few fish that did not make it to the party.  I should have thought to share a picture of them because they are a definite craft fail.  Your kids will love them no matter what so dont really worry about it.

These decorations are a part of the Mermaid Party click the links below the pictures to find more ideas on your underwter party and beach bash for your mermaid. 

If you would like to see other parts of the Mermaid party :

flamingo party favors – flamingo party invitation -DIY

Flamingo party favors and a flamingo party invitation DIY.  I’m getting ready for my daughter’s birthday pool party and we decided to go with a pink flamingo party theme.  Yes, I am one of those moms, not really I am not one of those moms.  I just happen to be a mom who gives not quite lavish and not quite over the top birthday parties but they are still more than a basic party.  We don’t give big gifts for any holiday or birthdays but we do throw parties.  Because parties are all about friends and fun and not the gifts.  Our kids know that the party really is their gift and they are cool with it.  So this year when I was talking to my friend Jen about the party she let me know she had just finished a fun flamingo printable. 

The printable will be used throughout the party in various ways and I am really excited to share my creative process with you and show you how a few simple printables can make the party look much more lavish and expensive than it really is. In my head, I am planning to make cupcake topper, food labels, invitations, a banner, a directional sign and if I have time flamingo bingo.  The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies for the Flamingo party favors:

Instructions for the flamingo party favors:

  1. Assemble the clear boxes.  We are going to have 6-8 girls attend so I will make 10 just incase there are extras who show up.
  2. Print the free printable.  Cut a pink strip off the bottom of one of the printables. Wrap the paper strip around the clear box and adhere with a dot of glue.
  3. Use a scallop paper punch to punch out a flamingo. Add a dot of glue to the back and hold in place for a moment.
  4. Fill the box with candy.  I used colored Sixlets.
  5. Add Stickles to the flamingo, around the edges and let dry.

To make the flamingo card:

  1. Fold the precut card in half using the score mark as your guide.
  2. Cut a piece of pink cardstock to create card front and adhere to the card front.
  3. Cut a teal strip off of the printable and adhere to the card front.
  4. Use a paper punch to punch a scallop piece of cardstock and adhere to the card front.
  5. Punch out a pink flamingo with a smaller scallop punch and adhere to the card stock scallop.
  6. Add Stickles to the flamingo and let dry.

Stay tuned for the other pink flamingo party ideas.



Make an easy unicorn costume from leggings and a hoodie

unicorn costume DIY
Make an easy unicorn costume from leggings and a hoodie and fulfill your child’s fantastical dream of being a unicorn.  A unicorn is a fun and magical costume that’s perfect for dress up, birthday parties, Halloween or even every day because the hoodie can be worn without the rest of the costume.  The tail and cuffs are removable so the leggings can go back into the drawer and be worn as usual.  When the jacket is worn on regular day be ready to get lots of compliments and questions on how you made it.  We are stopped almost every time she wears the hoodie part of the unicorn costume.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies for the diy unicorn costume:

* OlyFun can also be found at HobbyLobby and Joann’s in the fabric section. 

Instructions for DIY unicorn costume:

  1. Fold a piece of Olyfun in half and glue with almost any glue.  Don’t get it on the metallic side as it might remove the coloring. 
  2. Cut the fabric into one in strips and sew the pieces of fabric on the top of the hood.  
  3. Cut the strips into smaller strips using a pair of strong scissors.  I use my utility scissors because of the thick material and because there is a layer of glue in it.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for several layers of the Bubble Gum Pink OlyFun.  The more layers the fluffier it will be.  My daughter likes everything super fluffy so I am always adding more layers than really needed.
  5. To make the cuffs fold layers of the Olyfun over a string or a strip of Olyfun.  Sew along the edge. Then cut strips  to make it look like fringe.  I tied these on her ankles and wrists so that the jacket and leggings could be worn again.
  6. To make the unicorn horn print this unicorn horn pattern.  I made a horn on a headband for her  Rainbow Unicorn birthday party last year.
  7. Cut and sew the horn then stuff with Polyfil.  Leave a little space so you can attach it to the hoodie.  I hot glued it on, then hand stitched to make sure it was extra secure.

Fast patriotic home decor

Fast patriotic home decor is perfect for me. If it is cheap even better. Decorating for each and every holiday feels overwhelming and quite frankly my budget is not that huge. I try to make my decorations things I can use for a long time or reuse year after year.  Some things I find helpful to keep on hand is a trio of vases, pretty kitchen towel, hand towel and maybe a little decorative piece.  I have a golden yellow star that I use for Christmas and 4th of  July and a trio of vases that I use for anything and everything and kitchen towels that hang on my wall ovens. americana inspired patriotic home decor using beans that can easily be recycled.

This is the trio of vases I used and you have probably seen in my projects before. I ordered the glass jars from Oriental Trading Company.  They are called the milk jug vase and I originally bought them because they had a neck I could wrap ribbon around for a party.

To make the american flag out of beans you will need:

  • a bag of red pinto beans
  • white navy beans
  • black beans 9 they sort of look blue
  • 3/4 cup measuring cup
  • jute cording

Instructions for fast patriotic home decor:

  1. Measure out 3/4 cup of beans for each stripe and layer them into two jars as shown in the photo.
  2. Fill the remaining jar with black beans.
  3. Wrap jute cording around the necks of the jars and tie a knot to secure into place.

When you are finished with the decorations you can put them back in your pantry until you are ready to cook with beans.  It is a super simple project that is fast, cheap and easy and for me that is the trifecta of crafting.

I also made super fast hand towels for the kitchen to go with the Americana style decorations.

Mod Podge serving tray

Mod Podge Serving Tray DIY in bold colors using wrapping paper, Mod Podge and paint.  May 19th is National Mod Podge Day and the 50th Anniversary celebration and I’m pretty sure everyone has used it at some point in a childhood art project.  I fondly remember the giant jug always out on the counter in art class.  One of my favorite ways to use Mod Podge is the traditional way – to decopage paper to wood. In honor of this creative occasion I have partnered with Plaid, the makers of Mod Podge to bring you this bold bright Mod Podge serving tray and a giveaway. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to enter my giveaway.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.To celebrate Plaid is giving away prize packages on their social media channels, live streams, and projects and I am giving away a $50 prize package. (scroll to bottom)  In Celebration of National Mod Podge day I made a bold bright serving tray that is perfect for breakfast in bed or as a gift all by itself. I used two of my favorite products to create the tray.  Basic Mod Podge  to adhere the wrapping paper and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to create a glossy finish that is easy to wipe off.

On National Mod Podge Day they will be giving away a BIG Mod Podge Prize pack! The prize is valued around $250 in Mod Podge and Plaid products. Just post your Mod Podge craft on Facebook (at this post) or on Instagram with hash tag #nationalmodpodgeday to enter to win! A winner will be chosen during the Plaid livestream at 2 PM on May 19th.

Supplies for the Mod Podge Serving tray:

To make the Mod Podge Serving tray:

  1. Sand any rough spots and remove dust with tack cloth.
  2. Paint the wood tray in your favorite color combinations.  I used a pearl on the inside and matte on the sides.  Sand if needed and apply a second coat of paint if you need more coverage.
  3. Trim the gift wrap to fit in the center of the tray. You can try to get it exact or use the craft knife to remove the excess once it is adhered to the bottom.
  4. Apply a layer of Mod Podge evenly along the bottom and place the gift wrap on top.  Gently smooth out any bubbles.  Allow to dry before adding the next layer.
  5. Pour contents of two bottles of Dimensional Magic to center of the tray covering the entire surface.  Allow to dry thoroughly .

I covered mine with a loose piece of foil to keep out dust. Once it is dry and cured until firm you can use it and I let mine sit for 24 hours to give it plenty of time to cure.

mod podge serving tray

The contents of the $50 prize package:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

mod lodge serving tray