The Interior Frugalista: November 2016

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Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas Using Scarves

I wrap gifts like I blog, with the intention of everything but the present being repurposed. Today I'm sharing some ideas and tips on how to wrap Christmas gifts so even the wrapping becomes another gift or can be reused for something else.

Christmas gift wrapping with scarves

Being a family of seven children, gifts from Mom and Dad alone would fill the space under the tree. Once gifts from grandparents, aunts & uncles and godparents were received, our tiny living room would have presents that spread far beyond the tree.

I remember Mom after all the gifts were opened, gathering mounds of wrapping paper and stuffing it into numerous garbage bags. It bothered me, even as a young child, how much money was wasted on all that paper only to end up in the landfill.

As an adult, my goal each year is to come up with creative Eco-friendly Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas that reduce waste and saves money.  In doing so, I often hear friends and family say, "oh this present must be from Martha".

Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

This year I decided rather than ribbon I would use scarves so the recipients receive two gifts in one.

Creative Eco-Friendly Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas Using Scarves 


Christmas Gift Wrapping Supplies

Wrapping Paper Alternatives

I've heard some people wrap gifts with newspaper or brown kraft paper but my favorite is using rolls of white postal paper. It's festive and reminds me of snow and the perfect backdrop for any embellishments to pop.

What I love most is that it can be reused in a number of ways like for children's art paper, or cut into sheets for shopping lists. It's great for lining compost bins or it's intended purpose - to wrap parcels throughout the year. 

Ribbon and Bows

Often I use wired ribbon because it can be reused but who couldn't use a scarf during the winter. It can be an inexpensive alternative if you buy them on sale. Tied in a bow at the top of the gift serves double duty as a ribbon & bow and the recipients will be thrilled to get a second gift.

I used a ladies scarf tied into a bow on the top of one gift...

Christmas Gift Wrapping with ladies scarf

...and a men's scarf on another.

Christmas Gift Wrapping with men's scarf

In keeping with the "winter cozy theme", I used the cutest Christmas Sweater Ribbon on the third...

Holiday Gift Wrapping with Christmas Sweater Ribbon

Embellishment Ideas

The possibilities are endless for adding a special touch on top of your gifts. Christmas ornaments become the third gift. I adore the wooden reindeer ornaments I found at the dollar store and the festive red & white bells from Wal-Mart.

Another option for my winter theme could have been wooden sleighs or ornaments with skis and poles.

Christmas Sweater Ribbon wrapped gift

Red burlap ribbon bows with faux holly berries are a nice touch. My friend Leanna from Faeries and Fauna Blog has a great video tutorial on how to make bows.

Christmas Gift Wrapping with sweaters and ornaments


Gift Tag Ideas

Depending on your budget, you could place a coffee house gift card inside a small mitten as an alternative to a gift tag. For children (depending on their age) place a small toy, movie pass or iTunes card into the mitten and don't forget to add a candy cane.

Christmas Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrapping Theme Ideas

Think of a theme you could create for your gifts like I did with my "Winter Cozy" theme.

Rustic Woodland Theme

Wrap the gifts with brown craft paper and use red and white bakers twine wrapped 2-3 times around the gift tied with a simple bow. To embellish the gift use pine cones or a wooden star ornament and add a sprig of faux greens and cluster of holly berries.

A wood slice ornament would make a great gift tag for this theme. For the wine lover on your list, see my tutorial on how to make Wood Slice Cocktail Hour Coasters that could easily be turned into ornaments using an eye hook and bakers twine.

Winter Wonderland Theme

Wrap the gift with white postal paper and use a white feather boa for the ribbon. A snowflake ornament or mini paper house would be a great embellishment. A mini wooden sleigh could be used for an alternative gift tag or your favorite warm beverage recipe.

Glitz & Glam Theme

Over white craft paper, add silver or gold metallic wired ribbon that could be reused again. Add a pretty mercury glass ornament to embellish or a clear glass ornament with their monogram written in metallic pen, serving double duty as a name tag. 

Children's Theme

Make a paper chain like we did when we were kids and wrap it around the gift. Embellish with a child-friendly ornament or small toy. As I suggested earlier, a great gift tag idea for this theme is an iTunes card or movie passes placed in a small mitten. Don't forget to add a candy cane.


If you like my Creative Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas, please share them with a friend and/or save them on Pinterest.

Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas using scarves



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$1000 Gift Card Giveaway from Rug Expedition

Hello friends, do you have plans to add a new area rug to your space in the coming year? If you do, then why not try to win that rug or a good portion of it anyway! 

Rug Expedition $1000 Rug Giveaway 

$1000 Rug Expedition Rug Giveaway November 27th - December 15th

I am so excited to announce an awesome giveaway today! I love my readers and I am super appreciative of all the support you've given me here on The Interior Frugalista, so today I am teaming up with some fabulous blogs to give away………

A $1000 Gift Card from Rug Expedition!


Brought to you by Rugs Expedition and the following amazing bloggers:


After the holidays, it's so fun to revamp a space or spruce up an area in your home. Adding a new, fresh rug would be a great way to update any space for the new year. We love the selection at Rug Expedition and all of the choices for different styles. 

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-2-53-56-pm 
You have 30 + ways to enter using the Rafflecopter Form below

The giveaway will end at 11:59pm on December 15, 2016 MST

The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond, a new winner will be chosen and receive the $1000 gift card from Rug Expedition.

Good Luck!
Where would you use it?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US and Canadian residents

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Rustic Handmade Wood Christmas Sign

Good Morning friends! We woke up yesterday to a beautiful winter wonderland. If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a picture. All this snow has me in the Christmas spirit and so today I'm sharing the Rustic Handmade Wood Christmas Signs that I made earlier this month.

After sharing my Countdown to Christmas post, several of you asked how I made the rustic wooden JOY signs and so today I'm sharing a very easy peasy tutorial.

Rustic Handmade Christmas Sign

Do you remember back in August I shared the centerpiece trivets that I made for my daughter's wedding? I didn't want them to be a one trick pony and go to waste and so while building them, I had every intention that they would be repurposed for the holidays.

To view my tutorial on how to build the rustic wood signs, see my Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Trivets post. Be sure to come back here to see how I repurposed them for the holidays.

If building the wooden base for these signs is not your forté, I have included a link to where you can purchase them further down in this post.

Rustic centerpiece trivets to be repurposed for the holidays

How Make Rustic Christmas JOY Signs

 Materials List

  • 6-inch Wooden Letters J-O-Y
  • 6-inch Grapevine Wreath
  • 1/2-inch wide holiday ribbon
  • Red chalk paint (or Holiday Red Acrylic Craft paint)
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Heavy Duty Sawtooth Picture Hanger 
  • Pallet or Pine Fence Boards

Materials to make Rustic JOY Christmas Signs

I resisted including this photo of me holding my handmade rustic Christmas sign but here it is anyway. This gives you an idea of how large the sign is (9" x 20"). 

Handmade Rustic Joy Sign

Step 1 Staining and whitewashing the wood base

  • Whether you build your own wooden sign or purchase one, to get the rustic look first apply a coat of Minwax Dark Walnut Stain with a rag and wipe off the excess.
  • After the stain is dry, dip the tip of your paintbrush into white chalk paint and using long and light brush strokes apply a thin layer of paint. The point is to apply a light wash of paint where the stained wood is visible underneath.
TIP: If the paint goes on too thick, dip the tips of your paintbrush into a bucket of water and brush over the paint to thin and move it across the boards. See photo above for inspiration.

Step 2 Painting the wood letters

Paint the letters red using either chalk paint or acrylic craft paint. I applied two coats to get full coverage.

Step 3 Attaching the grapevine wreath

While the red paint is drying, hot glue the grapevine wreath onto the center of the wood slats, adding the glue to the raised sections on the back of the wreath for good contact.

Step 4 Adding a bow to the wreath

Make a small bow with 1/2-inch wide festive ribbon and attach it to the top of the grapevine wreath with hot glue. Cut the tails to your preference.

Step 5 Attaching the wooden letters

Use construction adhesive to attach the J above the grapevine wreath and the Y below it, making sure they are centered with the grapevine O.

Step 6 Attach picture hanger

Attach a heavy duty sawtooth picture hanger onto the back of the sign, centered near the top of the first horizontal wood slat. That's it, I told you it was easy peasy!

I sold several of these signs at the recent holiday market. I realized I hadn't shared a photo on the blog of my booth space so here it is...

Curated Holiday Market Booth Space

I reserved some of these signs for hostess gifts this holiday season. If I'm on your guest list and you're reading this post, Surprise! They would make great teacher gifts too.

If you like my Rustic Handmade Christmas JOY Signs, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Handmade Rustic JOY Christmas Sign

If you're looking for more DIY holiday decorating ideas, I repurposed rustic wooden boxes from my daughter's wedding for the holidays. One of my most popular posts every Christmas is How To Fill Outdoor Planters For The Holidays.


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Hand-Carved Stacked Books Table Refresh

Today I'm sharing a furniture makeover on a piece that has been in my home for over two decades. I love this unique table and I've seen it advertised for up to $250.00, so it's definitely a keeper. Sadly, it has been collecting dust in our basement for a few years. I've been wanting to give it a refresh because I miss having it in our living room. It's the perfect compact table for our small space and a great conversation piece.

When I learned that the theme this month for Themed Furniture Makeover Day was WORDS, what doesn't say words more than a hand-carved Stacked Books Table.

Hand carved Stacking Books Tea Table

This is what the table used to look like...

Stacking Books Table Before

Hand-Carved Stacked Books Table


This was such a quick and easy makeover that took only an afternoon to complete but what a difference a can of white paint made! Don't get me wrong, I loved the original finish. It looked great in our formal living room but after we lightened and brightened the space with whites and lime green, this table became the elephant in the room.

Stacking Books Table by the fire

It took three coats of Dixie Belle chalk paint in the color Buttercream, which is a warm white with yellow undertones, to get complete coverage.

Painted Stacked Books Table

In order to give the table a time-worn look, I needed to bring back the layers of dust that used to accumulate in the ridges of the book pages (I can't believe I want to recreate the dirty I worked so hard each week to remove). To do that I brushed Dixie Belle Grunge Glaze using a chip brush and also added it to the ridges in the book spines.

Stacking Books Table Pages

To age the book covers, I brushed a light coat of Grunge Glaze and wiped off the excess. It was that easy!

To protect the paint, especially around the base, from those rambunctious hits with the vacuum, I applied a coat of Dixie Belle's Best Dang Wax and buffed to a matte finish.

I'm so happy to have my hand-carved stacked books table back in the living room and it fits right in with our more casual decorating theme now. If you like my table refresh, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Hand Carved Stacking Books Table Before and After

This is our last Themed Furniture Makeover Day challenge of 2016 and I'm looking forward to sharing more fun themes in the new year. For more Words inspired furniture, be sure to visit my talented friends in the Themed Furniture Makeover Girl group by pressing the links below.




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How to make Burlap Skating Silhouette Pillows

For a couple of years, I've been admiring the festive pillows that fill retailer shelves this time of year but I can't justify spending the big bucks they are asking. Buying them on clearance after the holidays hasn't been successful because the "good ones" are picked over.

That is when I decided to put my DIY savvy and novice sewing skills to work and make my own for a fraction of the cost. I love how they turned out and thought I would share How To Make Burlap Skating Silhouette Pillows, that I practically made in my sleep. More about that later...

DIY Burlap Skating Silhouette Pillows

I made mine with zippers on the bottom so my regular pillows simply slip inside during the holidays. In the step-by-step instructions below, I share how to make them without zippers.

Old Fashioned Skating Slhouette Pillows

Normally I like to provide photos to accompany each step of my tutorials but I made these in the middle of the night behind a closed door with only a task lamp to light my sewing table. I was worried enough about the constant hum of my sewing machine waking up my household, let alone adding the click click click sound of my camera. So I apologize for providing only a written tutorial below.

Vintage Girl Skating Silhouette Pillow

Why was I sewing in the middle of the night you ask?

Vintage Boy Skating Silhouette Pillow

I met a friend for "a" coffee at Starbucks in the late afternoon. We got to talking about life and solving the world's problems and two extra bold grande coffees later...

I forced myself to shut the sewing machine off 4:00 AM and went to bed only to stare at the ceiling counting sheep until daylight peered through the window.

In those sleepless hours, I made these festive pillows and thought I would share a tutorial on how I made them. If you can sew a straight line, then you too can make these pillows.

How To Make Burlap Skating Silhouette Pillows


Materials List

Burlap fabric
16-inch pillow forms
Tan all-purpose thread
Carbon Paper
Script Liner Art Brush
Holiday Red Craft Paint
--- OR ---
TAP Transfer Artist Paper


How To Sew Pillow Covers

  1. Fold the burlap in half so you can cut the front and back of each pillow at the same time.
  2. Cut the fabric the same size as your pillow form and for a nice snug fit, don't add a seam allowance. (don't add a seam allowance if you want a nice snug fit).
  3. With the good sides of the fabric facing each other, sew a straight stitch around the entire pillow, leaving a 6" opening on the bottom.
  4. Turn right side out.
  5. With the end of a wooden spoon, push out the corners.

NOTE: Use ready-made pillow covers

If sewing isn't your strong suit, purchase plain white or tan colored pillow covers and move onto the next step.

How To Add Skating Silhouette Graphics

  1. I found these adorable vintage skating silhouette graphics at The Graphics Fairy.
  2. In PicMonkey I created the graphic for each pillow and printed them onto regular bond paper.
  3. Insert a piece of cardboard into the pillow case.
  4. Using carbon paper simply trace the graphic onto the center of each pillow cover.
  5. Using a script liner paintbrush and craft paint in the color Holiday Red, paint over the trace marks.
  6. Once the paint is dry, remove the cardboard and insert the pillow forms into each cover.
  7. Hand-stitch the 6-inch opening on the bottom.

NOTE: Image Transfer Alternative

Print the graphic in color directly onto TAP Paper (Transfer Artist Paper) and iron the image directly onto the burlap pillow covers. A much easier alternative!

That's it!  

If you like my Vintage Skating Silhouette Pillows please share with a friend and/or save on Pinterest.

DIY Burlap Skating Silhouette Pillows

Does this seem like a project you could make?


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Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover with Dixie Belle

Friends, those of you who have been following me know that Mr. Frugalista is my lackey official furniture buyer. Several months ago he came across this Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Dresser at a local online auction site for...wait for it...$5. When he asked if I would be interested, he couldn't get it home fast enough.

Then life happened and it sat in the back of our shed all summer. Last month while organizing the shed to store our outdoor patio furniture for the winter I had Mr. Frugalista bring the dresser inside. Shortly thereafter Dixie Belle Paint Company contacted me and I instantly knew this would be the perfect piece to play with their products.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser After Makeover

*Thank you Dixie Belle Paint Company for providing the paint products for this project. All opinions are 100% that of my own. This post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I used. See my full disclosure policy.


Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover


Paint Products Used

These are the Dixie Belle products I used to complete this project. Now you'd think I would have taken a picture of the containers before I started using the product but I couldn't wait to get my hands dirty.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser using Dixie Belle products

This is what the dresser looked like before I got my hands on it. Judging by all the stickers, it probably spent several years in a boy's bedroom. Other than crayon strokes, stickers, and that lovely faux bois paint finish, it was in pretty good shape.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser before makeover

After removing all the stickers with a razor scraper, any deep gouges were filled and sanded. I left the drawers alone because they were getting decoupaged and I wanted a dark color behind the fabric.

Painting the dresser 

The carcass was painted with Dixie Belle chalk paint in the color Drop Cloth, which has tan undertones. I've used a lot of chalk paint brands since I've been refinishing furniture and I was shocked at how I almost got complete coverage with just one coat...over dark brown.

Waterfall Dresser painted with Dixie Belle Drop Cloth white

The paint dried so fast that by the time I finished the first coat, it was dry enough to start the second. To get complete coverage, I applied a thin coat of paint by dipping the tip of the bristles in water and then the paint.  In less than an hour, I had the carcass painted and ready to apply a French Postmark stencil onto the top.

Waterfall Dresser with French Postmark Stenciled Top

Applying Protective Finish

Once the black chalk paint was dry I distressed the graphic a little with a sanding block. Before starting the next step I watched tutorials on the Dixie Belle Paint Company website. I was surprised to learn that you don't have to apply a protective finish over their paint. Old habits die hard, and besides, I was dying to try their Best Dang Wax. I applied the wax onto just the tips of the wax brush and was impressed with how a little went a long way.

I decided I wanted an aged appearance and normally this is where I apply dark wax. Instead, I put the Dixie Belle Van Dyke Brown Glaze to the test by applying it over the wax. I quickly learned, like their wax, a little goes a long way. I also learned that it dries quickly so it's best to work in sections. I found I could move the glaze and wipe off the excess much easier if the wax was still wet.

White painted and glazed Waterfall Dresser

Painted Drawers

The sides of all six drawers both inside and out were chalk painted with Dixie Belle Barn Red.  Had I used extra care I could have gotten away with just one coat of RED...that's never happened! I did leave just one coat on the outsides because I knew the paint would wear with opening and closing the drawers. The insides got a second coat.

Waterfall dresser with Barn Red painted drawers

Instead of applying a second coat of paint, I used Dixie Belle Voodoo Gel Stain in the color Tobacco Road over the Barn Red chalk paint on the sides of each drawer. This should help protect the paint from rubbing off but also added depth to the color. Brush on - wipe off.

Gel Stain Wash on Waterfall Dresser drawers

I always like to line the drawers of my pieces and had this lovely striped wallpaper on hand that I picked up for a song at the Habitat ReStore. I use wallpaper paste to apply all types of paper because I get fewer air bubbles and wrinkles.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser with lined drawers

I bought Paris Burlap fabric a couple of years ago with the intention of upholstering a bench. Inspiration struck and I decided, considering the drawer fronts would have needed sanding back to the original wood, that I would save myself loads of time by decoupaging fabric onto the fronts instead.

Decoupaged Paris Burlap Fabric Drawer Fronts on Waterfall Dresser

How to decoupage fabric onto dresser drawers

How to decoupage fabric onto dresser drawer fronts

  1. Lay the dresser on it's back with all the drawers in place.
  2. Apply a generous amount of Mod Podge over each drawer front using a foam brush.
  3. Lay the fabric across all the drawers, straightening and flattening the fabric with your fingers as you work.
  4. Cut the excess fabric around the perimeter of the dresser and in between each drawer with a sharp pair of scissors or craft knife.
  5. Reapply Mod Podge wherever there isn't a tight bond around the edges.
  6. Let it dry.
  7. Using a sharp craft knife cut the extra fabric around each drawer.
  8. A sanding block will provide a nice crisp edge. 

I wanted the top drawer to have contrast and so I took the time to sand it smooth and chalk paint it black. The dresser skirt was also painted black to create balance. I contemplated adding new drawer pulls but decided to spray paint the originals black.

Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Dresser Makeover

The jewelry is in these gorgeous gold and clear glass drop pull knobs! I bought them around this time last year during this Canadian girl's maiden voyage to Hobby Lobby in Niagara Falls, New York.

Gold and clear glass drop pull knobs on Vintage Waterfall Dresser

Here is another look at the Paris Postmark stencil on the top of the dresser.

Paris Postmark Stencil on top of Vintage Waterfall Dresser

If you like my unique one-of-a-kind Vintage Waterfall Dresser, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Art Deco Waterfall Dresser before and after

Thank you Dixie Belle Paint Company for supplying the paint products for this project. I really mean it when I say that I love working with your products. The only negative feedback I have is that it is not readily available in Canada.

To see more furniture makeovers using Dixie Belle Paint Company products visit Antique French Tea Table and Embossed Metal Accent Tables.



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Rustic Wood Centerpiece Boxes repurposed for Christmas

Hey friends, do these rustic wooden boxes look familiar? You know how much I like to save everything and give it a new purpose. Back in August, I made these wooden centerpiece boxes for my daughter's wedding. Determined they wouldn't be destined for the fire pit wood pile, I came up with a way to repurpose them into Rustic Christmas decor!

Rustic Christmas Boxes with painted wood snowflakes

To refresh your memory, here is what the rustic wood centerpiece boxes looked like all dressed up for the wedding...

Rustic Wood Centerpiece Boxes before repurposed for the holidays

If you missed that post, you can catch it here at DIY Rustic Wooden Wedding Centerpiece Box.

Rustic Wood Christmas Centerpiece Boxes


The first thing I did after removing the florals was blow out the florist foam particles using the air nozzle on our compressor. Once clean I dabbed a cloth in mineral spirits to erase the ink transferred Carved Love Heart graphic from the boxes. Some were easier to remove than others. 

Rustic Wood Christmas Box Materials

To add that festive holiday touch, all I did was spray paint wooden snowflakes white and attached them to each box with E6000 glue. It was that simple!

Rustic DIY Wooden Snowflake Boxes

These small rustic wood crates make such lovely woodland Christmas decor. I used four snowflake patterns so they could be displayed as a set.

Rustic DIY Woodland Christmas Boxes

They make such pretty rustic candle holders too. Place festive red flameless pillar candles over a bed of glimmering snow (Epsom salts) inside each box and display them on a table top tray, window sill, or covered porch to welcome guests during the holidays.

Wooden Snowflake Pattern 1

Rustic Wood Snowflake Flameless Candle Holder

Wooden Snowflake Pattern 2

Rustic Wood Snowflake Flameless Candle Holder

Wooden Snowflake Pattern 3

Rustic Wood Snowflake Flameless Candle Holder

Other purposes for these rustic wood boxes are to have them filled with candy canes for guests to help themselves on their way out the door. They also make great rustic planter boxes for a small Poinsettia.

I decided to turn one into a rustic Christmas Tree Box for a small faux tree...

Wooden Snowflake Pattern 4


Rustic Wood Snowflake Christmas Tree Box

If you or someone you know is looking for rustic Christmas decorating ideas, please share my repurposed Rustic Wood Christmas Boxes with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest!

Rustic Wood Boxes Repurposed for Christmas
I sold some at the Curated Handmade Holiday Market and I will be listing some in my Etsy Shop soon. Others may end up wrapped in pretty bags and given as hostess gifts this holiday season.

For other rustic woodland Christmas decorating ideas check out my Wood Slice Holiday Coasters, Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece Box. Want to light up your front porch for the holidays, I share a tutorial on how to make Large Wooden Outdoor Lanterns. My most popular post each holiday season is my tutorial on How To Fill Outdoor Planters With Fresh Greens For The Holidays.   

*affiliate links included for your convenience so you can see what products I used or recommend to make this project. See my full disclosure policy HERE.



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