wooden letter | acrylic paint | paint brush | sandpaper | faux fall leaves or other floral | fall pick | burlap ribbon | grosgrain ribbon | tacky glue | wire | wire cutters | hot glue | scissors
While my mom was here the other week we (of course) ended up at the craft store several, several times. And what do you know, fall décor was already on sale! Sometimes you don’t even have to wait until the season is over to scoop up some awesome clearance deals. By mid-October, most stores are already putting out their Christmas wares, and the more room they have the better. That means you can find fall goodies like pumpkins, leaves, garlands, wreaths, and spooky Halloween décor on sale at some pretty great prices – before the season even passes.
One Friday evening, my mom and I found ourselves at Michaels where most of their fall décor was already between 60-70% off. Uh oh. Danger. You know we simply could not pass that up. So we scooped up a bunch of fun fall finds and took them home to see what we could make with a little bit of glitter and glue…
First, my mom and I found this little guy, who was on clearance for $2.99.
I’ve always wanted a spooky bird in my house! We quickly claimed him as ours, named him Edgar (after Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” even though he is supposed to be a crow), and took him home to nest. He’s now living above the bookcase in our family room where he can watch over the reading nook and creep out guests who step through our front door. Now that Halloween is over, it’s probably time to put him away, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe one more week?
Next, we found these three adorable acorns, on sale for $1.59 each.
We knew we wanted to make something crafty with them, but weren’t quite sure what. So we grabbed a bunch of fall glittery leaves on clearance for $1.79 (for the whole bunch!) and a couple of fall picks for $1.19 each.
I knew I had some extra fall ribbon and my raffia reserves at home, but I thought I better add some burlap just in case. I didn’t find anything I loved at Michaels, so we switched over to Beverly’s, which is our local craft store here in Seaside, and found this gorgeous role on sale.
It was a bit pricey for my liking (originally $12.99 on sale for $7.97), but I figured since everything else was such a steal I could allow myself this one ridiculously overpriced roll of ribbon. While at Beverley’s I also saw a beautiful wooden letter “A” hanging around, which quickly got snapped off the shelf and taken home with the rest of our loot ($1.79 with a coupon).
Back at home, Mom and I pulled out the essentials: ribbon, tacky glue, glue gun, wire, wire cutters, scissors, paintbrushes and paint. Oh, and some sandpaper too. And we were off.
1. First, I painted the letter “A” with Craft Smart’s acrylic paint in Vanilla (a creamy off-white color) from my paint reserves. I gave it a somewhat sloppy coat of paint, not caring that certain parts were painted thicker or thinner than others.
2. I did two coats like this, and then let it fully dry before attacking it with sandpaper. At first, I thought I had ruined my paint job when the sandpaper started etching sharp scratch lines into the paint. Deciding it was too late to stop and I was already in too deep, I just kept going. Eventually the scratches sanded down to a smooth antique-y look that felt just right.
3. Next, we snapped some of the leaves off our clearance bunch and bundled them together with one of the fall picks using wire.
Tip: Make sure to use wire cutters when dealing with any kind of faux floral. I have ruined multiple pairs of fancy scissors attempting to cut through faux flower stems and picks (including a pair of kitchen scissors meant for cutting through meat). This stuff means business.
If you’re going to pick up a set of wire cutters, you might as well pick up some wire too. Most craft stores keep this stocked in the floral department right next to the offending stems. I bought this gold bundle a couple of seasons ago and it seems as if it is lasting me forever. I’ve used it on wreaths, holiday décor, gift wrapping, and more. Tip: If you don’t have wire, a simple twist tie works just fine.
To pull it all together, my mom and I started playing around with the burlap ribbon. It felt like something was missing though, so we went digging through my craft boxes until we came across some dark brown grosgrain ribbon with white stitching. This is actually Pottery Barn’s standard gift wrap ribbon. It was so beautiful when it came on some of our wedding gifts that I just couldn’t bear to throw it away. So I saved it, knowing that one day it would come in handy.
4. We used a little bit of tacky glue to secure the brown grosgrain ribbon on top of the burlap ribbon. Just to be safe, we let it dry for about an hour before tying it into a big beautiful bow.
5. After the glue dried, we cut a loop of the ribbon to use as a hanger, which we secured to the back of the “A” with hot glue.
6. Next, we ran the stem of our leaf/fall pick wire contraption through the loop, and hot glued it inside. I put hot glue on all sides of the stem (360 degrees) that was within the parameter of the ribbon and wrapped the ribbon tight around it to make sure it was secure.
7. Lastly, we strategically positioned the bow we made on top of the loop so that it covered the remaining stem that was sticking out the right side of the “A”. A little bit more hot glue and we were done. And I was in love.
My mom and I had a few leaves and picks leftover from the project, so we ended up bundling some more of the fall goodies together with wire and then popping the whole arrangement into one of my displays of decorative glass. Then we tucked the remainder of the leaves up into our dining room chandelier.
I have since been moving my “A” all over the house, trying to see where it goes best. I loved it in our dining room window, especially highlighted by all these gorgeous California sunsets.
But then I moved it to our reading nook and it just looked so festive nestled among all those good reads.
I just can’t decide! What do you think? I know I made a hanger and didn’t hang it anywhere, but quite honestly I’ve run out of space!
P.S. It’s November 2nd, which means it is the perfect time to scoop up Halloween décor and stash it away for next year at low low low prices. I received an email yesterday morning from Michaels stating that all Halloween and Fall décor is now 80% off! What are you waiting for?!
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