How to display your Christmas nativity scene

christmas, decorating, DIY By October 28, 2019 3 Comments

Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season! I love to set up the tree with all its sparkling lights, hang stockings and burn cinnamon candles!

Every year we set up our Christmas nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the wise men and of course, the adorable animals. The nativity scene is a favorite part of our Christmas decor because it tells the story of Jesus’ birth!

My handmade Christmas nativity scene is absolutely adorable–with pewter figurines and a wooden stable. I love the texture and feel of it!

A savior is born! Let’s celebrate!

Adding a few simple touches to the Christmas nativity scene will take it from beautiful to absolutely breathtaking. You want your Christmas nativity to be eye catching–a perfect reminder of what Christmas is all about.

This year we introduced the adorable Angels On High to add to your Christmas nativity scene. Aren’t they sweet?

Okay, so let’s get down to business. I have four easy and adorable ways you can display your Christmas nativity scene.

Each of these ideas is easy to carry out and will make your Christmas nativity scene the centerpiece of your holiday decorations. The supplies are available at Target, Michaels or any craft store.

Idea 1. Display nativity with bottle brush trees and snow

The first idea for displaying your Christmas nativity scene is to use bottle brush trees and fake snow. I placed the nativity on a wooden tray to keep the snow contained.

So precious! I sprinkled some snow on the roof of the stable.

I’ve heard the animals breathed on baby Jesus to keep him warm. I’m not sure if it’s true but it’s a sweet thought.

Adding bottle brush trees and a little snow really gives the Christmas nativity scene a wintery feel.

And don’t forget your sweet Angels on High! They proclaimed the birth of Jesus!

Idea 2. Display nativity with cake stand, wood tree and natural garland

I kept the second display idea very natural and simple. This cotton ball garland is so sweet and very Joanna Gaines, don’t you think?

The angles are on the cake stand behind the nativity looking down. The wood tree completes the Christmas nativity scene!

These angels on high are so sweet. One has a star, one has a heart!

Idea 3. Display nativity with red cake stand and red berries.

Don’t the red give a beautiful POP to the Christmas nativity scene? It’s bright and cheery!

Add some red berries inside the stable and some around the outside. The whole Christmas nativity scene is placed on top of the red cake stand.

Idea 4. Display nativity with white berries and green wood trees.
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These white berries sprays are simple but add good impact to the Christmas nativity scene. The green wooden trees in the background are so simple!

The white and green are both Christmas neutrals but make the Christmas nativity scene eye-catching.

Which way is your idea for displaying your Christmas nativity scene?
1. white berries with green wood trees
2. bottle brush trees with snow
3. cotton ball garland and wood
4. red cake stand and red berries

Christmas is coming fast! It’s the perfect time to get your Christmas nativity scene! And don’t forget a set of Angels on High.

We have very limited supplies of the nativity and angels! Don’t wait!

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How to build a candy charcuterie board

DIY, food & goodies By October 25, 2019 No Comments

Hey friends! We’re hosting a Halloween party tonight at our house for a bunch of High School students. I firmly believe the number one rule of hosting a Halloween party is–have plenty of candy! I think we are doing okay with rule number one.

Here’s my DIY candy charcuterie board. Want to build your own?!

Building a candy charcuterie board isn’t hard but I did figure out a couple tips while I built mine.

  1. Find a huge board or tray. This one is from pottery barn and it’s beautiful!
Ins’t this charcuterie board gorgeous?

2. Add some kind of themed decor to the board first. I debated about using a couple pumpkins but since this is a high school party I figured spooky was better than cute!

You’re going to needs LOTS of candy!

3. Get A LOT of candy–more than you think you’ll need–in lots of different colors that tie in with your theme.

It’s okay if candy spills over the edges. Let it be messy and fun.

4. Place bigger candy on your charcuterie board first–surrounding the edges to hold everything together. Fill in with smaller, unwrapped candy at the end.

I have helped myself to a Twix while I was creating my candy charcuterie board!

5. Make sure to create your candy charcuterie board in the location where you plan to leave it. Once the candy is arranged it’s going to be hard to move!

Done! This candy charcuterie board is such a fun treat. And speaking of fun treats–did you see the gorgeous, best selling Cross My Heart necklace is 40% off today?

The cross my heart necklace is 40% off today!

Isn’t this necklace beautiful? Find it on sale here! The entire shop is on sale for Halloween! I think you might need one of these or a couple of these!

Are you ready to build your candy charcuterie board??

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DIY portrait makeover

decorating, DIY By April 29, 2019 3 Comments

I am loving the trend of hanging vintage painted portraits in your home. I think it adds warmth and personality. And I love to make up a bag story for the person captured–who were they? What were they passionate about? 

I stopped by a local thrift store the other day and found this watercolor portrait of a sailor. I liked the painting–it caught my eye, but the frame looked modern and didn’t match our decor. The painting was only $15 so I decided it was worth trying to do a DIY project and switch out the frame. 

He looks kind and wise, don’t you think? Like he’s lived a good life and has stories to tell. 

At the same thrift store I found this framed floral art {above} for $5. It’s not my style but I like the frame. Perhaps this could be a new home for our watercolor sailor?

I pulled dismantled the frame and took off the mat {the painting was taped to the mat} and I loved the painting even more once it was outside the frame with rough edges. 

I took the floral art out of the gold frame and laid it over the sailor. Yep, it would fit just fine.

I laid the glass from the gold frame over the sailor and drew around the perimeter with a pencil. Then cut the painting to size. I cleaned the glass well and reassembled the watercolor sailor in his new gold frame. 

He’s hanging out in our guest room with a plant, some books, a basket and thrifted vase. I love the way this project turned out. It would be so fun to hang more portraits on this wall. I’ll have to keep a look out as I browse thrift stores!

Thrifting and decorating friends, what are you on the hunt for these days? Would you hang a vintage portrait in your home?

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DIY sleeping tents

DIY By February 28, 2018 1 Comment

When our British family came for Christmas, we put all three girls in the loft upstairs {an open area between all the bedroom}. I wanted each of them to have their own little space–so we created these A-frame tents, placed a mattress inside, made up each bed with cozy sheets and blankets and finally strung lights across all three. It took a bit of planning and elbow grease but the results were adorable and the girls {especially the younger two, ages 5 and 10} loved them.

More details below…

I found A-frame tents in this adorable shop on Etsy, but right when I was about to place the order, she took a break from her shop. I ended up ordering these tents on Amazon. I prefer to shop small, but in this case I was running out of time.


I measured the space for the three tents, and it was going to be tight. Once the tents arrived and I went to set them up, I didn’t have enough room. I overlapped the poles a bit so I could fit all three tents in the space. But then I had a problem.


The tents I bought off Amazon had a stabilizing bar on the bottom. I couldn’t put the bar on the tents when I overlapped them, which meant I couldn’t use the cream canvas covers that came with each tent. Soooo…I ended up using these Turkish towels I had in the cupboard. I used my staple gun to attach each towel to the sides of the tent. It kind of ruined the towels in the long run, but they sure looked cute! And I was under a time crunch.
These are the mattresses we used in each tent. They are super comfortable. An adult could definitely sleep well on one of these.


We already had that giant chalkboard in the loft, so I drew kind of a forest scene, and of course the little white lights were the perfect final touch. We used flannel sheets, white cozy blankets and topped each bed with a vintage quilt and fuzzy throw.

Wouldn’t this be adorable for a summer party? I kinda of want a tent for myself.

Here are all the supplies–

Tent Etsy or Amazon
Mattress
Turkish Towel
Washable Fuzzy Throw

Even better, here’s a tutorial for making your own A-frame tent!

Can you think think of someone who would love their own A-frame tent?

 

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DIY painted baskets

decorating, DIY By January 25, 2017 4 Comments

I’ve been working really hard trying to build my basket wall {and by working really hard I mean going to thrift shops every now and then}. It’s EASY to find basic baskets at thrift stores but it’s hard to find super cool colorful baskets. I’ve splurged on a couple new african baskets because they are just so lovely.

I found a couple basic baskets at the thrift store the other day and I decided to paint them to add some more color and texture to the wall.
This is the wall after I did some painting and rearranging.

Supplies: painter’s tape, acrylic paint, small paint brushes, thrifted baskets.

Here are the two baskets I found at the thrift store. They both had a bit of staining and were about $1 each.

For the star shape I began by taping off a four-point star. I did it by sight and followed the lines of how the basket is woven. It’s not perfect but I didn’t mind.

Once the star was dry, I pulled up the tape and free-handed a gold outline.

Then I painted the sunburst in the middle free hand. You can use a stencil if you prefer {I’m just lazy!} Or you can sketch out the sunburst {or other design} with a pencil.

For the diamond, I taped the shape, again following the lines of how the basket is woven.

Then with a small brush I painted a blue line around the edge. It was easy to free hand.

I love the simplicity and the pop of color with the diamond.

The star shape is more subtle. I love a sunburst–for me it symbolizes hope. Read more about it here.

And there you have it! Painted baskets mixed with other thrifted baskets and some beautiful african baskets. Love.

What do you think? Would you try painting some baskets?

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hello DIY fiberglass planter

DIY, hello monday By October 3, 2016 2 Comments

Another planter? Yes. I can’t be stopped apparently!

Lately I’ve been finding lots of interesting “planters” at thrift stores, like this mid century DIY, this macrame hanging planter and this terrarium. It’s fun to see what interesting objects can be turned into a beautiful container.

This fiberglass planter is intended to be a plant holder {unlike some of the things I turn into planters}. I liked it because it was big and simple–and often large planters are expensive. I kept it plain for a while, but last week I decided to make it prettier with a little gold paint.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos?

diy-fiberglass-planter-lisa-leonard-01 Hello plain planter for $10. Not bad!

diy-fiberglass-planter-lisa-leonard-02 Hello using painter’s tape and about four coats of acrylic gold paint. {The paint was $2 at Michael’s}.

diy-fiberglass-planter-lisa-leonard-03 Hello ready for the big reveal!

diy-fiberglass-planter-lisa-leonard-04 Hello a little streaky but I didn’t mind. The tape kept the lines fairly clean. I’m pleased.

diy-fiberglass-planter-lisa-leonard-05Hello pups. Oh, you’re taking pictures? We are here to help!

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Hello pretty planter making our family room a little happier.

Hello split leaf philodendron. One of my very favorite plants! I only water it about once a week.

Hello future planning. Do you think about 3-5 year goals?

Hello washing all the sheets and towels. I love fresh!

Hello dreaming of fall. Did you hear it’s October now? I’m waiting for cooler weather to follow. I’m ready for cardigans and boots.

Hello adding cinnamon to my coffee.

Hello finding time to visit the pumpkin patch.

Hello reading this book. Stop what you’re doing and order it {or download it}. It’s so good.

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new month, a brand new week, a brand new day. What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello DIY mid century planter

DIY, hello monday By September 12, 2016 4 Comments

Hello friends!

I have been eyeing the gorgeous mid century planters at West Elm for a few weeks. Aren’t they amazing? Friday when I was at the thrift store I saw this yellow pot and thought the shaped looked a lot like the planter I’ve had my eye on. I felt inspired to I started looking around for some kind of a stand–and came across the black tea light holder. The bowl and the tea light holder were each $1.70–so I decided to give it a shot! scroll down for details.

It’s Monday–a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
diy-mid-century-planter-lisa-leonard-05Hello inspiration. I love it when things jump out at me and make my heart happy.

diy-mid-century-planter-lisa-leonard-03Hello finding treasures at a thrift shop. It’s kind of the best feeling!

diy-mid-century-planter-lisa-leonard-04Hello oil based sharpies that are much easier to use than paint!

diy-mid-century-planter-lisa-leonard-02Hello using command strips to hold the pot and the tea light holder together.

diy-mid-century-planter-lisa-leonard-01
Hello bright happy pot in our entry way. I still love the West Elm version, but while I save my pennies this one is fun!

Hello snake plant. It’s one of my favorites and so easy to care for.

Hello Toto! We saw them in concert last night with friends and it was amazing!

Hello tired. Can we have one more weekend day?

Hello hiking with a friend today–time to soak up the sun and share our hearts.

Hello listening to this podcast and loving it!

Hello thinking and writing. My head is spinning lately with ideas.

Hello busy week. Ready or not, here we go!

Where are you saying hello to this week?

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hello entryway refresh

decorating, DIY, hello monday By September 5, 2016 1 Comment

Hello friends! It’s wonderful to begin the week with a holiday. We are taking it slow and enjoying the long weekend.

I’ve been working on refreshing the house a bit–moving things around, cleaning out the clutter and adding a few plants. It feels so good! Our entryway seems to collect things–the jogging stroller, boxes, backpacks and all kinds of things. But right now it’s clean and open. I hope we can keep it that way–but who am I kidding?! It will continue to cycle through messy and clean. It’s a never-ending process.

How about some hellos for a Monday?

hello entryway refresh-01

Hello painted legs. I originally painted them aqua but I didn’t like it at all. This looks much better.

hello entryway refresh-03

Hello air plants and natural light.

hello entryway refresh-04 hello entryway refresh-05

Hello sweet pups who are such good models. And I’m pretty sure Beasley is smiling. They crack me up!

hello entryway refresh-07

Hello holiday. It’s so nice to have an extra day.

Hello favorite new kid’s book. David and I have been reading this one together a lot lately.

Hello writing. I’ve been spending some time writing over the last few weeks. It’s so hard but also therapeutic.

Hello new-to-me Jane Austen story. This movie was so good.

Hello adjusting to middle school, not just Matthias but me as well. Its’s a big transition.

Hello cleaning out my car. And vacuuming!

Hello wanting to try this recipe. I think I’ll use my new instant pot though. Fingers crossed its a good one.

Hello inspired by this amazing woman. I’ve been searching her on Pinterest and she doesn’t disappoint!

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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diy cacti photo holder

decorating, DIY, pinterest By May 3, 2016 1 Comment

As you know I LOVE succulents. And I love a DIY. So today is a happy day! This project combines the two–awesome. It’s spring–the sun is shining and things are green. We thought it would be fun to bring some of that green inside and give our desks a bit of a color in a creative way! I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was adorable!  So we decided to create something similar. 

rockcacti_006

You’ll need: small terra-cotta pots, pebbles, small sized stones, shades of green paint, white paint, paint for the pots {whatever color you like!}, paintbrush, and photos.

rockcacti_001

Using a few items found around the house, we were able to put something together!

We used this awesome Instax printer that prints fun polaroid photos from a smartphone! (Found here) Such a great idea! If you don’t have an Instax printer, get some photos printed at Costco or put a fun postcard in your arrangement.

rockcacti_004

Simply add a little mess, a little paint, a little creativity! Smaller sized stones worked best for these min terra-cotta pots. Different shades of green make these little cacti more lifelike while still being whimsical!

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After letting them dry for a little while, we painted some little details in white paint, they don’t have to be realistic, that’s half the fun! We also found some smaller pebbles to fill the pots with, rather than using dirt, these also help for later when placing the photos!

rockcacti_005

When everything’s all dry, simply assemble your little cacti! Have fun with trying different combinations of your ‘cacti’ and images! The fun thing is you can always add new images, or change the placement!

rockcacti_008

Such a fun and easy little DIY, but I love the splash of color it gives to my desk! This is a great little gift idea as well, especially with Mothers Day around the corner! And wouldn’t these make a perfect place setting when hosting a dinner?

cacti_-01

Get the kids involved with simple little DIY. The whole project (excluding drying time) only took about 20-30mins!

Have fun!

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DIY lamp to terrarium

decorating, DIY By March 9, 2016 15 Comments

I found this old hanging lamp for $2 at a thrift store. I thought about cleaning it up and hanging it–I love the geometric shape. But then the idea of a terrarium came to mind and I got inspired! I’ve seen some beautiful terrariums around town–like these and this one.

DIY lamp to terrarium2We have a Goodwill Outlet in town and where all donations go before the hit the other Goodwill Stores. They open it to the public and if you’re willing to dig through bins, you can find some pretty amazing things for very low prices.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-02-2This is how the lamp looked when I carried it out to my car. It was dusty and definitely has a nineties vibe.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-01-2I removed all the hardware {I cut through the electrical cord}. It came apart easily. I threw away all the other parts and kept the glass shade.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-03After a good bath in hot soapy water, I dried the shade well and then cleaned the glass with glass cleaner.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-04I put some rocks on the bottom, then succulent soil and took a few clippings from other succulents I have.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-05I also added an aqua stone. I seriously can’t believe how pretty it looks. And it was only $2!

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-02I gave the terrarium to a dear friend. Now I’m on the hunt to find similar hanging lamps so I can create more. How fun is this? The whole project took about an hour. I think terrariums might be my new obsession.

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