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    Crap I've Made

    MERRY AND BRIGHT Marquee Sign

    This post was sponsored by WORX Tools. All opinions are my own.

    Christmas is right around the corner and my itch to start decorating my home is becoming more of a jolly, red, green and white rash. I can’t wait to deck the halls and make our spaces joyful. One of my most favorite parts of the entire Christmas season is all the lights. Houses, business and town gazebos lit up and sparkling, trees glowing in the night and icicle lights adorning front porches. Even though it’s cold and snowy, all the twinkling and shining just makes me feel warm and aglow. This Merry and Bright Marquee sign is perfect for any light-loving kindred spirit and will certainly put you in a wonderfully cheerful mood!

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    Step 1: Paint Plaque White

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    Spray paint the painter’s plaque white outside or in a well-ventilated space. 

    Step 2: Tape the Edges

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    After the paint has dried, you will need to use painters’ tape around the top edge to keep it clean for the next step.

    Step 3: Add Glue

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    Using a decoupage medium and a foam brush, apply a coat of glue along the side of the plaque. 

    Step 4: Glitter Up the Sides

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    Making sure the plaque is over a tray or plate, sprinkle the glitter onto the wet side. 

    Continue working around the plaque, brushing on the glue and shaking on the glitter one side at a time. 

    Set to the plaque off to the side to dry. 

    Don’t forget to dump your extra glue on the tray back into your bottle! 

    Step 5: Paint the Letters

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    With a gold sparkle spray paint, paint the front of each letter spelling out “MERRY & BRIGHT” outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. You could also use acrylic paint in place of the spray paint if you prefer. 

    Allow to fully dry. 

    Step 6: Mark the Letters

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    Turning the letters over, mark where the holes for each bulb will go on the back of the letter using a black marker. Make sure you know how many bulbs are on your battery-operated strand beforehand so that you make the correct number of holes in each letter. 

    When making your holes, keep in mind the letters are thin wood that may split easily and staying in the center of each letter will prevent this. 

    Step 6: Drill the Holes

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    Using the Maker X Rotary Tool with the 1/8” drill bit, drill through each black dot on the back of your letters.  

    Step 7: Mark the Lines

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    With a ruler and a pencil, lightly mark a line 2” down from the top (for MERRY) and ½” up from the bottom (for BRIGHT) to use as a template for applying the letters.  

    The line will help you keep your words straight.  

    Step 8: Hot Glue the Letters

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    Hot glue MERRY & BRIGHT onto the plaque, making sure not to cover up the holes. (If you do accidently cover the holes with glue, don’t panic! You will wind up drilling through it anyway in the next step.) 

    Step 9: Drill the Plaque

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    Now that your letters are glued in place, it’s time to use the Rotary Tool again to drill through to the back of the plaque.  

    Step 10: Erase

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    Erase any pencil lines you can see.

    Step 11: Velcro Battery Pack

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    With a 2” strip of sticky velcro, attach the battery pack to the back of the painter’s plaque in the opening of the frame. 

    Step 12: Insert Lights

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    Insert one miniature bulb through each hole, working slowly up and down the letters. 

    If you notice the lights pulling out of the holes in the back, a small piece of duct tape will help hold the pesky wires in place. 

    Step 13: Hot Glue Snowballs

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    For a finishing touch, take .5” white pom-pom balls and hot glue them randomly across the front of the marquee sign to give it a snowy look. 

    Crap I've Made

    Cinnamon & Spice Potpourri

    @perfectlydestressed
    This homemade Cinnamon & Spice Potpourri brings out all the bestest smelly smells of fall and winter celebrations. It’s simple to put together, requires very few ingredients & makes an awesome and easy gift idea!

    I don’t know about you, but I love the interior of my home to encompass what’s going on in the seasons outside and all around it. Especially when there’s a nip in the autumn air and the desire to be cozy comfy under a soft blanket in your flannel pj’s holding a mug of something sweet and warm is strong. And the best way to bring that feeling inside is with something that tantalizes the sniffer. Blusters the honker. Sings to the bugle. (AKA – is really pleasing to the nose!)

    Once you make this heavenly potpourri, you’ll be tempted to stay home all day and just sniff the aroma all around you. I promise.

    perfectlydestressed.com

    Cinnamon & Spice Potpourri

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 cup dried orange & apple slices You can purchase them packaged and pre-dried. You can also slice your own oranges and apples and dehydrate them in a dehydrator or straight on your oven rack set at the lowest setting (250°) until dried out (about 2-3 hours) turning them every half hour or so. They will stick to a tray, which is why they should be placed directly on the rack.
    • 1 cup dried anise stars
    • 1 cup dried rosehips
    • 1 cup whole cloves
    • 1 cup cinnamon sticks
    • homemade gingie kids from recipe above

    Instructions
     

    • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl or container. Take a few really good sniffs to let the amazing scent settle into the depths of your nostrils.
      Potpourri can be set out in a bowl dry or placed in a pot of boiling water to simmer over the stovetop.
      For gift-giving, separate potpourri mix into smaller boxes or bags tied with ribbon for a perfect housewarming gift, hostess gift, Christmas gift or simple "Just Because" gift.

    Notes

    For an adorable Christmas addition, mix in my Cinnamon Gingie Kids (below) to the potpourri!
    perfectlydestressed.com

    Cinnamon Gingie Kids

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 cup ground cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp ground cloves
    • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
    • ¾ cup applesauce
    • 2 tbsp white craft glue

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat oven to 200°. You can also omit the oven and let the ornaments air dry in a sunny spot for 4-5 days.
    • Stir together cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix in the applesauce and glue. Whip the mixture with your stand mixer or just your hands for a few minutes until a ball forms. If mix is too gooey, add more cinnamon. If it's too dry, add more applesauce.
    • Lightly dust your work surface with cinnamon. Roll out dough to approx. ¼ inch thickness. Using desired cookie cutter shapes, cut out dough and place on non-stick sprayed pans. Don't forget to punch a hole using a toothpick or skewer if you wish to hang them with ribbon or add a bow.
    • Bake for 3 hours.
    • Allow to cool completely.

    Homemade-ish

    The Best Frozen Butterbeer

    perfectlydestressed.com

    Watching Harry Potter is always a fun time. But, I’m tellin’ ya, watching Harry Potter with a Frozen Butterbeer is the absolute best!

    Being crazy ridiculously HUGE HP Fanatics, my family has tried many different Butterbeer recipes until we found THE one. The one recipe that makes us giddy excited to make a trip to our local grocer to pick up the few ingredients needed. The one recipe that everyone in this house loves and looks forward to.

    And now, I’m sharing the Harry Potter LOVE with you!

    All you need is: Vanilla Ice Cream, Ice, Cream Soda, Butterscotch Sauce and Whipped Cream. And of course, the entire Harry Potter movie series!

    perfectlydestressed.com

    Frozen Butterbeer

    Ingredients
      

    • 2 cups Vanilla Ice Cream
    • 2 cups Ice Cubes
    • 2 cups Cream Soda
    • 2-3 tbsp Butterscotch Sauce
    • Whipped Cream

    Instructions
     

    • Add ice cream, ice and soda in the blender.
    • Once blended, add 2 tbsp. butterscotch and mix again.
    • Pour into ice cold mug, add a dollop of whipped cream and a bit of drizzled butterscotch on top.
    • Must drink while watch Harry Potter!

    Crap I've Made

    Pegboard Bookshelf Doors

    perfectlydestressed.com

    One of our many stuck-at-home-going-stir-crazy Quarantine projects was this bookshelf. I wanted it to match the home library we already have in the dining room. You can see it here.

    I totally love having a space for my own personal books, but I wasn’t loving how cluttered it always looked. I tried a few different ways to style the shelves and none of them left me content with the result. Plus, our Stick Figure Art (you can see those here), were always wonky and crooked. But, of course, I didn’t want just plain doors – blah! And wouldn’t it be so fun if said “doors” displayed all of my children’s priceless artwork?!

    So, off to Home Depot I went. I picked up 2 pieces of pegboard, some pine furring strips, brass door handles and brass hinges.

    perfectlydestressed.com

    After measuring the length and width of my bookshelf and dividing that size in half (while also allowing the space the hinges would take), I knew how large each door needed to be. For this project, I only needed two 48″x24″ prefinished white pegboard panels and (2) 2″x4″ pine pieces.

    I attached the cut pine to the outside of the pegboard using wood glue and a few wood screws. The panel was too hard for our handheld staple gun to go through and we didn’t have the right size nails for the air stapler, and honestly, I was entirely too lazy to go back to the store, so glue and screws were our next best option (screwed in from the underside of the panel, of course).

    perfectlydestressed.com

    Once the panel doors were constructed, it was time to sand and paint. I used a brush and acrylic white paint to paint the interior side of the pegboard and white spray paint for the front.

    After the paint was dry, I attached the handles. I knew the shelf sat a bit higher (and I’m not the tallest of folk) so I placed the handles a bit lower than halfway down instead of centered.

    perfectlydestressed.com

    Next came the hinges. I measured and screwed them into the doors first and then into the sides of the bookshelf.

    I ordered a set of inexpensive gold frames in multiple sizes, miniature bulldog clips as well as the pegboard metal prong hooks and Pegitz Pegboard Peg Locks needed to hand the frames. Now I don’t have to worry about the frames falling off when I open the doors.

    GAH! I literally cannot stop staring at the finished product! I even switched out the individual Stick Figure Art frames for a sturdy set of long gold frames to match the ones on the doors and keep those guys from getting all out of whack!

    Ramblings of a Mother

    Academically Speaking…

    perfectlydestressed.com

    Like every other parent I know in the midst of this crazy Pandemic, I’m completely overwhelmed with all of the upcoming school decisions, what-if questions without answers and “possible” Plan B’s (& Plan C’s & D’s). It’s unnerving and I feel like I’m slowly losing my ever-lovin’, Covid-hatin’ mind. Being an avid planner and organizer by nature, all the ‘unknowns’ are driving me bonkers!


    Can I get an ‘Amen’?!

     
    For now, this big ol’ fam of mine is trying to just keep on trucking. Planning for upcoming events and appointments while remaining fully aware that things will change multiple times in the days ahead. All we can do is just keep on keepin’ on, right?!

    As parents, we are charged with the impossible task of planning a future of “normalcy” while juggling the knowledge that the next handful of months (or possibly more) will be nothing at all like we had hoped.

    No matter what this new school year throws at us, whether it be in the buildings or online, being organized and on top of our calendar game is going to be more important than ever! Which is where needing a good academic planner comes into play.

    And guys, I’m totally loving this  Order Out Of Chaos Academic Planner! It’s a clear-cut calendar system with plenty of space for notes, reminders and assignments. The Accessory Pack w/Page Marker, Monthly Tabs & Student Stickers make keeping on task that much easier! Plus, who doesn’t love cool stickers?!

    We may not have much control over how this new academic year’s going to look, but we can at least have control over getting our crap organized!


    Bonus! 

    My reader friends can use code MBC20 for 20% off your order!

I need friends – like, real friends. Follow me on Instagram to join the Cool Mom Club (okay, I totally just made that up. But, I think I’m pretty darn cool!)

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