Hemp Ball Hanging Mobile

Remember the hemp balls I made for my sister-in-law, Dr. T’s bridal shower? I had quite a few of them (15 to be exact) around the house because I got an idea after making our headboard a few years ago that I’d like some sort of statement piece above the headboard…maybe a large horizontal mirror, artwork, two of these cb2 turquoise “weeds wall art” candle holders…something.  Then I found a tutorial for making hemp lampshades. I thought a few of them grouped together would be tasteful but playful, like an adult mobile, if you will.  Well, after making a ton in different sizes using different hemp and yarns, giving a few away, making more, using them for the “lovebirds” themed bridal shower then putting them on the shelf and tucking some away for later in the closet, I somehow got a spark of “this has to happen right now!” (only over a year later). And, fortunate for me, Mumbles was a great sport despite having just arrived home from a long business trip. What a guy!

A lot of tutorials to make these hanging pendants involve a balloon but I chose to use bouncy balls of various sizes, leaving a large hole opening while wrapping the hemp so I could deflate the ball once the shell had dried, then pull the deflated ball out of the hole to blow up and use again. The only thing I’ll say about that is you can only do as many balls as you have, whereas with balloons you’d likely be able to do a lot more in one day (unless you buy a lot of bouncy balls!). Also, if you don’t want to leave a hole opening and you want the ball to be completely covered, using a balloon that you can pop will be the best way to go. Just remember to leave an opening at least large enough to use tweezers to pull out balloon pieces.  Also, remember to wash off the dried glue from the bouncy balls in between uses so it doesn’t clump up and show between the strands of hemp like stained glass (this will happen if, like me, you loosely weave the hemp to see through the ball).

I you leave a hole opening, I think these would make really great decorative bowls in the living room for candles or even for storing corks or bottle caps since it holds a similar shape to one of my favorite Crate and Barrel glass bowls which I use for that exact function.

So back to my adult mobile: Instead of hanging each ball individually from the ceiling (and creating tons of holes in the ceiling), I used a 3ft. dowel rod and tied each at various lengths and angles laid out on the floor before hanging the whole rod up by two hooks (only two holes!). Once it was up, I put a few battery-operated tea lights in balls where the hole would allow a candle to rest comfortably without falling out (some holes were angled downward on mine). I found a a great, affordable set of tealights and votives at Costco that even came with 30 extra batteries! I can’t recall exactly how much it was but I remember thinking it was a ridiculously good deal, especially because places like C&B charge $12 for a set of six or something crazy like that.

So here it is, in all it’s fabulous my-room-now-looks-complete/DIY glory!…

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finished hemp ball hanging mobile
above our master bedroom headboard (also a DIY!)

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the finished hemp ball hanging mobile
with battery-operated candles.

I think putting something other than candles inside would be cute but I can’t quite think of what…dried (or fake) florals perhaps? Airplants? If it wasn’t dangling above our heads whilst we sleep, the options would probably be endless, keeping in mind you don’t want it to get too heavy. Maybe to house cotton balls, q-tips, and hair ties in the bathroom?

before & after: hemp-wrapped $6 mirror

I also made a hemp-wrapped mirror using one of those cheap mirrors you can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot for about $6…I contemplated hanging two horizontally above the bed but I only did one and the hemp ball mobile really wouldn’t have looked as fabulous anywhere else in our master bedroom (and, as I had to explain to Mumbles: I don’t want hemp decor in every room of our home. Ha!). Sometimes when I get stuck on a craft or a certain medium I get carried away.

Here are some more shots — we had houseguests over so our bed was unusually tidy which led me to take as many photos as possible!

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Have you done any DIY projects with hemp? 

What’s hanging above your headboard?

Vintage Circus Baby Shower

I am so excited to share this post with you. My fabulous friend Sarah and I threw a vintage circus themed baby shower for my beloved BFOTB (and henceforth I shall be known as BFOTBM: Best Friend of the Baby Mama – talk about a title promotion!). Sarah is probably the best co-hostess you could ever wish for because she is extremely thoughtful, resourceful and crafty (plus she comes with a handy carpenter husband too! be sure to check out her Pinterest page to see the impressive bean bag toss they made…themselves…from scratch. it was wonderful!) so this was a super fun celebration from brainstorming, buying, pinning, and setting up all the darling details. Here are some notes, sources, inspirations, and lessons learned.  As you can see, we had plenty of pinspiration on this one!

Invitations with a whimsical vintage font were ordered from Tiny Prints.  I should digress to say in a mortifyingly bonehead move, I forgot to include the time of the event on the invitation (gah!) but on a positive note, I’ve never received RSVP responses so quickly as guests needed to find out the time! Ha! Clever little trick, I’d say!  To add some layers of glam to the white invites, we ordered blush pink cardstock (on clearance!) from Paper Source and regal burgundy envelopes, each dusted with a gold stamp ink pad along the edges for some gilded charm.

BFOTB’s main request for the theme was centered around a pin she saw of cotton candy in martini glasses.  Sarah and I had a marvelous time perusing the aisles of local Goodwill stores where we found a three-tier cake stand for $9.95 (!) and I later scored a pristine set of 12 martini glasses for $10. (note: Sarah cleverly used this trick to get a dreamy pink seaglass look on the clear glass cake stands to fit with our theme). Here’s the kicker: cotton candy looks playful in martini glasses for all of 18 minutes on a hot day.  Minute 19 and they are a melted, small, sad looking glob of pink sugar.  Bust!  I’m not even including a photo because it just looks like a pink, sticky mess. So, take it from us, folks, leave the cotton candy indoors or, at the very least, get photos of it while it’s all cute and fluffy and fabulous before it melts the happy grin right of your aren’t-we-so-awesome-for-pulling-this-off-face.

In the battle of crepe paper v. ribbon, ribbon wins.  We had grand ambitions for a circus tent-like canopy of crepe paper, which would have been lovely indoors, however, the breeze (thankfully present on this hot day) was a little too swift for the crepe paper to sit still and look pretty. The ribbon, however, rose to the occasion, fluttering like a lovely dream above.

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Tickets are an easy, creative prop and would even make a great backdrop if you had a bunch of lines hanging down or draped haphazardly behind a dessert table (dang, wish I would have thought of that before!). I found large yellow and pink rolls at Smart & Final and Dollar Tree.

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I adored this impressive elephant Sarah bought at Toys R Us… it was on the pricey side, so we let him preside over the food. The gold bookends holding the nakins together were another fun find from Goodwill.

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Boxed white wine sangria from Target (it’s delish, promise) with frozen fruit slices to keep it cool, organic strawberry lemonade from Trader Joe’s, and the classy lady party staple: chillled water with fruit. The bottles of berry lemonade didn’t get opened but I thought they were cute enough to contribute to the decor.

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a parade of animal figurines from Party City freshly painted gold (spray paint would have been quicker but I had a great Martha Stewart gold paint left over from other projects). I also used a sponge brush to water down the gold paint and washed it over vintage looking old bottles to use as decor.

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The centerpiece consisted of a “Guess How Many?” game with tickets for guests to jot down their guesses, paper pinwheels and starbursts, terracotta pots Sarah brilliantly painted to look like a circus stage filled with peanuts and our animals on bamboo sticks, all on top of stripes of ribbon laid across the table.

The gold animal figurines were inspired by this pin.

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organic lollipops, saltwater taffy, circus cookies and animal crackers in matching round boxes were laid out for guests to snack and sample.

In our circle of friends, desserts sometimes constitute full meals so we didn’t skimp here. Our dessert spread included itty personal sized bundtinis in White Chocolate Raspberry, Red Velvet and Pecan Prailine from Nothing Bundt Cakes, homemade (by my Mama) cake balls, and Sarah used her Pinterest prowess to find this divine baked mini cannoli recipe (I’d recommend them to a friend).

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Sarah’s superhero husband made this amazing trellis for their wedding (I know, go ahead, take a moment to gush about that) and she created this super cute set up for an easy DIY photo booth, complete with props to make everyone smile!

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While it’s a darling way to present fruit, these sugar cones can’t fit much in the way of fruit.  But, that wasn’t a problem at our party, seeing as we had waaaayy too much food. (pinspiration found here)

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Another ingenius idea: individual veggie cups with dipping dressing at the bottom, made even more enticing by displaying them in a cupcake holder.  Too much goodness, I tell ya!

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The pennant flag banner was made from a stack of vintage pink scrapbooking paper, hot glued onto twine – quick and easy! – and even found a home in my work office for festive decor following the event.

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Check out the stunning view from Sarah’s in-law’s house (where she and her husband wed). It was such a fun and gorgeous setting for the shower!

Beautiful baby Harper Grace arrived a few days fashionably late (already fitting in with our crowd!) on August 26!  It was such a blessing to have a day to celebrate friendship and family, and shower our dear friend with love and joy before she arrived.

Goodwill good finds for wedding

Now that I’m back from some travels I have some great finds I want to share with you that were used for Dr. Merrett’s beautiful wedding.  [note: must find new name for Dr. Merrett…] On another recent trip to Goodwill I found this awesome retro set of 70’s green frames and thought I’d spruce them up with a modern bright white glossy look. And since I had the spray paint out, I remembered that a while ago I bought this big gold frame thinking it would work well for BFOTB[M]’s baby shower with a vintage circus theme (coming up this weekend!) but seeing the other frames with such crisp newness in white, well, I couldn’t stop myself. I love the idea of bringing a bunch of found items together and unifying them with the same color. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take photos of them once they were finished – but you know what bright white gloss looks like. Imagine that. It really made the frames look modern.

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I was delighted at another fabulous Goodwill find: this awesome metal scroll birdcage! It has a short chain at the top so it can hang from a ceiling (maybe with candles in it for a romantic room accent?) and the top folds back staying open with a chain, making it perfect to hold cards on the gift table at Dr. Merrett’s wedding. I love it the way it is but I think it would also look fabulous spray painted just about any color. I’m going to hold off, though, to avoid going top crazy on the bright white gloss (do you also find spray painting items to be particularly addictive? Nothing in my house is safe!)

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And lastly, I’d been eying this scroll room divider from Urban Outfitters for months and months but couldn’t justify the purchase until Dr. Merrett showed me a photo of an idea she wanted to use for her wedding – it was a fence with frames hung on it to tell guests their table numbers.  Genius! Luckily I scooped it up on sale for almost half price!  It folds down to half the height so it can easily store away when not in use but I can think of plenty of places and spaces it works in: as a really cute headboard propped up against the wall, standing in the craft room to hang ribbons or as an inspiration board to pin fabric or photos, and even in the garden to maybe let a wandering vine find its way through the scrolls.  Just lovely!

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Have you found anything good lately?

Love Birds Bridal Shower

Dr. Merrett is officially getting her doctorate this weekend and so I thought it would be timely to share some of the special details from her darling “love birds” bridal shower that the Merrett women hosted in her honor.  I had such a blast making the decor and will soon be featuring some of it for sale in my Etsy shop so stay tuned or feel free to shoot me a message with any requests for orders.

I think maybe my favorite part of the shower was Pin the Bow Tie on the Groom. Usually I hate shower games but this was so much fun!   (tip: I didn’t know this but a lot of copy places will make pretty cheap engineer prints in black and white, so something to think about if your large photo doesn’t need to be too high in quality or resolution.)

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The Bride-to-Be pinning the bow tie on her dapper groom!

Even Baxter got in on the bow tie action! I definitely need to find him a darling little bow tie to wear on his collar. Too cute.

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Decor included:

  • Yarn wrapped monogram “T” from a craft wood letter found at Michael’s, along with fabric flowers that were leftover scraps from my DIY Wave Wall Art project.

  • “Love” sign made of corks cut in thirds, mounted on cardboard.

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  • The ethereal Initial mug from anthropologie was a perfect compliment in red floral on the dessert table.
  • T zinc letter from anthropologie on the gifts table, to be used as home decor in the newlyweds’ new nest! I love these because they are so industrial chic and go with everything! I think buying letters to spell out something would be stunning at any party.
  • Jute wrapped coffee cans (up-cycled) from Trader Joe’s, painted turquoise, along with fabric-covered tea tins.
  • Hemp balls and bowls to resemble nests
  • Mason jars
  • Red ranunculus and gerber daisies from Trader Joe’s (I could not get over how gorgeous the ranunculus were! What a find!)

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  • Cake topper made with bamboo skewers, burlap, cotton tape and rubber stamps.

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  • A pair of hot air balloons found at Goodwill (Deputy Tejeda proposed to Dr. Merrett in a hot air balloon – swoon!).
  • Scrumptuous fresh strawberry-filled cake from Lindmair Bakery in Riverside.

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  • My mama made delicious goodies including cookies, macaroons, butterscotch bird nests (that’s my mother, so appropriate!), turquoise cake balls, almond butterballs, brownies, bon bons (and I grabbed some meringues from Trader Joe’s because they’re just so pretty) for guests to take home in little favor boxes stamped with a thank you and a darling little bird.

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Ever my son, Baxter guarded the desserts for most of the day.

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  • The table settings were repurposed from our wedding two years ago – we got the turquoise and robin’s egg blue plates at Dollar Tree, the silverware at Smart & Final, and the polka dot napkins at Ikea.
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Table with a view featuring StickGirlJAM’s handmade decor

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Love Birds Bridal Shower with turquoise, red, and hemp, burlap and jute decor

We are so excited for the wedding which is just a few weeks away, and I’m busy at work on some of the decor which I’ll be sure to share as well.  Cheers to love!

DIY: Sweater Waves Wall Art

I’ve had this sweater that I’ve worn far beyond its glory days (perhaps it didn’t used to be so thin?), and well, it’s tissue paper thin now, which means it’s uber soft and faded in certain areas (read: not presentable enough to even take a before photo) but somehow still the perfect shade of light turquoise/teal that I just love no matter what. I didn’t have the heart to give it to Goodwill despite the fact that I knew I couldn’t wear it anymore without facing public ridicule and serious eyebrow raising so I kept it in my scrap fabric pile for a few months with the idea that I’d likely turn it into some little poms or something.  While inspired during a craft session for Dr. Merrett’s bridal shower (more on that soon!) I decided to whip out the good ol’ Elmer’s glue and get creative. I didn’t really have a plan in mind but I’m quite pleased with the result, which to me really highlights the shades of color that I love and pairs it with softly rippled ruffles that remind me of ocean waves. If I had been starting with white fabric, I think this would be absolutely stunning as an ombre piece or even with multiple fabrics and textures depending on the look you’re going for.  Please forgive my photos as I started crafting in the early afternoon and by the time I got around to this one, it was totally dark and I was already sprawled out on my living room floor.

The items you’ll need are: foam poster board, Elmer’s glue, scissors, and strips of fabric long enough to cover the size of your poster board. Plus, if you need to cut down your poster board (I cut mine in half so my fabric would wrap all the way across): a yard stick, pencil, and exacto knife.

To cut the foam posterboard to your desired size, use your yardstick and trace a faint pencil line to mark where you’ll need to cut with your exacto knife. Be sure to lay out your fabric to make sure you’ll be able to get it all the way across.  Use your exacto knife to press into the foam along the line. Once you’ve made the line through one side of the foam, you can easily prop your posterboard up and use your exacto knife to cut down the other side.

Using scissors I cut the arms, back and front of my sweater into long, thin strips, pretty much cutting vertically the whole way around. I found it easier to cut up the seam of the arms and on the sides to give myself rectangles of fabric to work with.  (also, if there are buttons like my sweater/cardigan had, be sure to snip those off and save for later crafting use!) If you’re using fabric, it’ll be a bit easier – just cut long thin lines of varied widths.  They needn’t be perfectly straight by any means, in fact a little curve will add to the wavy, ruffle effect later on!

Start at the bottom of the poster board and work your way up.  Pick a piece of fabric and on the back, add a thin line of glue to the top, then lay it glue-side down onto the poster board (in the photo below, the glue appears at the bottom, but that’s just because it was easier for me to flip it up to place – do what works for you).  If it bunches a bit there’s no need to straighten it out, as this will create some dimension for ruffles when layered.  Wrap the strip to the back side and secure with more glue if needed. It doesn’t have to be pretty on the back – no one will see it.

Keep doing this for every strip, making your way up the board.  Don’t worry too much about glue showing, as your next layer should cover it up.  Also, don’t be afraid to vary how much room you put between strips. Here is a closeup of mine from an angle looking down so you can see all the imperfections:

And here’s what it ended up looking like (bad lighting, I know):

I’m not exactly sure what to do with it. Any grand suggestions?  I am thinking of keeping an eye out at thrift stores/Goodwill/garage sales for an ornate, large frame that I can spray paint white then mount this inside the empty frame.  Or, someone suggested I use it as a pinboard. Would even be a lovely backdrop piece on a styled table. I haven’t decided but I do adore it and I’m happy my sad little sweater has a new life. 

Also, I had a few strips left over and some that weren’t long enough to cover the width of the board, so I loosely twisted and spiraled them to create a few messy fabric flowers using some dots of hot glue to keep the shape.  I used them on the tables at Dr. Merrett’s bridal shower. Here’s a sneak peek of how those turned out, along with a yarn-wrapped letter for her soon-to-be last name: