Home Decor

Buffalo Plaid Sweater Pillow Tutorial

I’m going to make a confession: my house isn’t decorated for Christmas yet. Usually I’m way ahead of the game, but with a little baby, it just hasn’t happened yet. And I love decorating for Christmas! I may have to leave things up a couple extra weeks to make up for it. ;) This year I made a fun and  holiday pillow – it’s one of the few things I have out right now. This buffalo plaid sweater pillow is cozy, easy to make, and would be a great gift or addition to you own holiday decor. Christmas decorations are so fun to make, like this vintage-style Christmas light garland, and this one has a touch of whimsy that is sure to add to your festivities!

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Supplies:

  • old sweater
  • polyfill or pillow form
  • pom pom trim
  • buffalo plaid fabric scraps
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • thread

1. Grab an old sweater in the color of your choice. I’m a huge fan of upycling, and sweater pillows are one of my go-to decor options.

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2. Cut the sweater to your desired size – cut apart the seams so you have two separate pieces.

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3. Cut out your letters from your buffalo plaid fabric. The fabric I had on hand was a french terry (which is stretchy), but you can easily do this with a woven non-stretchy fabric. Pin the letters in place onto the front piece.

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4. Zig-zag stitch around the letters to appliqué them onto the front of the pillow.

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5. Sandwich your pom pom trim in between the front and the back, with the right sides together. The pom moms should be pointed toward the middle of the pillow. You can pin or clip the two pillow pieces together, but I found it easier to just tuck the trim in as I was sewing.

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6. If you are using a pillow form, you will want to sew only three sides of your pillow and then insert your pillow form. If you are using polyfill like I used, then you’ll want to leave a small opening at the bottom of your pillow, with your pom pom trim unattached as shown.

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7. Turn the pillow right side out, stuff the pillow, and then close up your opening (or your entire side of the pillow if you are using a pillow form). Use a small zig-zag stitch to close up your opening, as this will hold your trim in place a little better than a straight stitch.

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The trim and the buffalo plaid are so fun, they are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face this holiday season!

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I’m loving the red and teal combo – it’s a little out of the box for typical Christmas decor, but breaking from tradition is good sometimes! :)

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If the pom pom trim is a little too crazy for you, try some piping instead! The process is the same and still gives a fun touch to your sweater pillow.

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Buffalo plaid is everywhere right now, and I can’t get enough of it! This cozy sweater pillow is the perfect way to add some to your holiday decor!

Have you started decorating for Christmas? What are your favorite DIY decorations?

This post originally appeared on Skip to My Lou on 11-17

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Wrap Around Gallery Wall {a how-to}

We moved a few months ago, and with moving comes the much-anticipated decorating. A house doesn’t really have that homey feel until you have pictures on the walls, but sometimes that can be the hardest part! Deciding where everything should go in a new space can be an exciting challenge. In our previous home, I made a gallery wall in our living room that I absolutely loved. In our new home, however, there isn’t a wall large enough to re-create a similar wall. So I wrapped it around the corner to create this wrap around gallery wall – it’s perfect for the space!
Wrap Around Gallery Wall

The goal of my gallery wall is to fill the space with photos and art that reflect our family and the creative spirit of our home.

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Some people like to cut pieces of paper the same size as the frames, tape them on the walls, and see how it works. That’s a little too Type A for my personality. ;) Instead, I lay everything out on the floor and rearrange it until it has a good feel.

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I take a picture of the layout on my phone so that I can reference it as I’m hanging everything up on the walls.

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I don’t measure, though that might work best for you. I just hang them up one by one and move if necessary. Don’t be afraid of nail holes! As Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) says in her book The Nesting Place, “Is there anything in life less risky than creating a one-millimeter hole in a wall that can be filled with your finger and some putty in two seconds?” I ended up with extra nail holes in the wall due to a few minor adjustments, but no one knows they’re there but me.

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My wall has a mixture of fabric, art, Scripture, and photos. That’s a pretty clear representation of our home and our family. You can find the tutorial for the bunting here.

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Not everything has to match or be the same color! Over the years, I’ve collected about 14,000 picture frames of various sizes and colors, and when thrown together in a gallery wall, they create a great eclectic vibe.

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Have an extra space to fill in your wall? Grab a small embroidery hoop and a scrap of fabric to add some texture and color.

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I love how this wrap around gallery wall turned out! Decorating isn’t about following rules or spending lots of money on coordinating items, but taking risks and having fun with what you have.

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Have you made a gallery wall? I’d love to see it!

Happy decorating!

Easy Vintage-style Christmas Light Garland Tutorial

Christmas is only a couple days away, but if you’re feeling like your house isn’t Christmassy enough, or you need an easy gift idea, this idea will really help you out! This adorable vintage-style Christmas light garland is simple to make, but adds a great pop to your decor. I love those big vintage bulbs, and with this garland, you can bring them into your house and put them just about anywhere – no electricity required!
Make a vintage Christmas light garland with this easy tutorial

Supplies:

  • fabric that doesn’t fray (fleece or felt are great choices)
  • rope, ribbon, or twine
  • embroidery thread
  • hand sewing needle
  • scissors
  • polyfill
  • a chopstick (or something similar to stuff the bulbs)
  • sewing machine (though you can get away with just hand sewing if you prefer!)

1.Cut out your Christmas light shapes. You will need two for every bulb. The number you need will depend how long you want your garland to be. I only made six, because I knew I wanted to hang it on the piano.

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2. Place two bulbs together, wrong sides together. Stitch around the bulbs with a blanket stitch.

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3. After you’ve gotten all around the bulb (except for the top part), stuff a small amount of polyfill into your bulb. You don’t want to use too much! Use the chopstick to get the stuffing all the way to the bottom of the bulb.

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4. Now sew the bulb onto your rope, twine, or ribbon. I used a thick jute rope, but make sure you use something that your sewing machine can handle! You can also hand sew the bulbs on, making this a completely hand sewn project – perfect for car trips or sewing by the Christmas tree!

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Now repeat these steps until all your bulbs are on your garland!christmas light garland

The thick jute I used gives this garland a little bit of a rustic feel, but you can change that up by choosing a different material. A shimmery ribbon would have a completely different look!

christmas light garland tutorial

This is such a simple decoration, but it brings such a festive look to your holiday decor. It’s easy enough that you could get your kiddos involved in making it too!

vintage christmas light garland tutorial

Happy holiday sewing!

Need some other last minute gift ideas?

make-your-own-boxy-zipper-pouch

boxy zipper pouch

15 minute infinity scarf

infinity scarf

lego-minifig-carrier-tutorial1

lego minifig carrier

DIYLeatherNotebookCoverIfOnlyTheyWouldNap_zpsb01abb93

leather notebook cover

This post was originally posted at Skip to My Lou on 11/29/15.

Handmade Gifts for Boys day 4: Floor Cushion Tutorial with hidden storage!

I don’t know about your house, but my boys’ toys need constant corralling. And what’s better than storage that doubles as a place to cozy up and read! This floor cushion has a hidden zipper so that you can fill it with stuffed animals, blankets, or the sweatshirts you can’t fit in the dresser. ;)
floor cushion tutorial with hidden storage

Supplies:

  • 1 yard of fabric – I used a thicker double sided knit, but it doesn’t have much stretch
  • 1 package piping
  • 1 zipper around 22in. (if you make your cushion smaller, you can use a smaller zipper, but you want to make sure you have enough space to open it and put stuff in!)

1. Cut two circles (or ovals… I cut mine as ovals that were 25.5 x 22.5)

2. Measure around your circles and cut your rectangle of fabric to go around the outside (remember to allow for seam allowance!)

3. Sandwich your piping in between one of the circles and the middle rectangle (the raw edge of the piping should be facing the outside). Pin all around the circle and fold the ends of the piping in toward the seam allowance. Then sew all around close to the piping, using a zipper foot.

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4. Repeat with the other circle and other side of the middle rectangle. This side you’ll be adding in the zipper, so pin that in place first. You want the zipper to be open halfway. At the ends of the zipper, you’re going to pin in the piping. This is a little tricky, so do it carefully. Fold the ends of the zipper and the piping toward the seam allowance. (I used a separating zipper, because this is what I had. But if you have a non-separating zipper, this part would be a little bit easier)

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5. Around the zipper, you’ll be sewing one line of stitching on each side of the zipper. Where there’s piping, you’re just sewing all three layers together, as before.

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6. When sewing the open end of the zipper, you may have to go over it several times. If you used a separating zipper like I did, make sure your ends line up and that your piping meets up with the end of the zipper and sew the end above the zipper stop together.

floor cushion step 4Then use the zipper opening to turn it right side out!

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Then fill it with something soft – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, even a large pillow form – and you have a great new place to sit!

comfy floor cushion tutorial

And then tell your kiddos that there’s a fun surprise…

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…which could quite possibly blow their minds ;)

Floor cushion tutorial

Tame the stuffed animal madness and create a cozy place to snuggle up with a great book!
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Now you’ve got to go check out Stacey’s awesome Lego Minifig doll!

Mini-figure Teaser

Happy sewing!

Sewing an attitude change

With all the beautiful home magazines and blogs out there, it’s so easy to fall into the comparison game. My house isn’t big enough, it’s not the right color, my couch isn’t the right color, blah blah blah. I do it. You probably do too.
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It’s even harder when you aren’t living in your dream home. We’ve been in our house years longer than we expected to be, and some days it’s really hard to focus on what I love about it, instead of what I wish were different.

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But a house is just a house. All of my babies were brought home to this house. I’ve watched them take their first steps, speak their first words, and grow and change everyday. This house full of memories and stories, and sometimes those are physically reflected in the floors or the walls! As the Nester says, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

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When I feel myself getting into a funk about my house, sometimes a simple change is all I need to get a new perspective. New pillows are my go-to attitude changer.

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I’ve been hoarding this Anna Maria Horner print for awhile, and these pillows make me happy every time I look at them. I tucked away the summer pillows, and these feel so perfect for fall.

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I used this method for making the pillows and backed them with a dark blue sweatshirt fleece (cozy + kid friendly). In just 15 minutes, I felt a little lift in my spirits.

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I know that pillows won’t change the world, but I do think they can change your attitude!

Happy sewing, friends!

Sewing in a small, shared space [Sewing room tour!]

We live in a pretty small house. Not tiny house movement small, but still small, especially when it’s shared by six people. As our family has grown, my sewing room has moved around – the basement, the office… currently, I’m sewing in part of our bedroom. Sewing in a small space can be a challenge, but it’s still possible to have an inspiring place to create. Sit back and take a little tour of my sewing room!

Sewing in a small, shared space

When you sew in a shared space, you probably don’t have a lot of room to spread out. You need to be efficient with your storage and your usable space. It also means keeping your space a lot cleaner than you would if you could just close the door at the end of the night. But when you sew right next to your bed, you’ve got to keep things at least a little bit organized!

*This post contains affiliate links*

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I have enough room for two tables. I have a low table where I keep my serger, coverstitch, and sewing machine. I also have a counter-height cutting table.

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Since I’m not a quilter, I find that I usually have plenty of space on the table, even with all three machines. I can easily shift one over a bit if I need to. I can also quickly switch from serger to coverstitch when sewing with knits, which I find super convenient.

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I keep my thread spools close by, but I will fully admit they are NOT rainbow-tized. Seriously, I do not have time for that, friends! I’m just happy they make it back on their little rack. ;)

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Small spaces don’t have to lack personality. Since this one little corner of the house is just mine, I wanted to feel good every time I’m here. These sweet hoops are from my friend Alyson, and the print is from Mandy England (whose shop appears to be closed now).

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On the table, I keep things I don’t like to get up to find when I’m sewing: seam ripper, bobbins, scissors, tweezers, button-hole foot, tube turner, etc.

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I recently found these divided containers in the Target Dollar Spot, and they’re perfect for organizing my needles. I keep them in the basket, too.

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I picked up a handmade, magnetic pin holder at a local quilt museum, and it’s become one of my absolute favorite tools. I keep my zipper foot on here too, so that I can grab it easily.

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Behind the table is my big fabric shelf. I keep my knits in the baskets. This is new since reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and so far I really like this system! I can’t see all the fabric at once – I have to pull the baskets off the shelf to see everything inside – but it has definitely kept me from throwing everything on the floor in search of the perfect fabric. ;) I keep vintage sheets and bottom weights on the bottom shelf, and the bin underneath has clothing to upcycle. (I also have a bin with some jeans and sweatshirts in the closet… since I’m telling all!)

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When it comes to why I organize the way I do in this space, many decisions are kid-driven. For example, when you have a two-year-old who loves to turn on and off the printer all the time, moving it to the top shelf just makes sense. I try to keep most of my sharp things up high, as well as markers and paint. Because toddlers.

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I also have a small cabinet where I keep the rest of my woven fabrics. I recently went through all my fabric and took out a lot of things that I just didn’t love anymore. It gave me a lot more space for the fabric that I do love, and I can find what I need much more easily now. I also keep some more not-kid-friendly craft or office supplies in this cabinet. Like fabric markers. Because seriously… toddlers.

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On top I have a basket of knit scraps. I got rid of a ridiculous amount of scraps, because they just kept piling up. These are all good sized scraps, and most of them could make a toddler tee or baby pants.

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On the wall across from the bed, we have these built-ins. I keep most of my other supplies here. Bias tape, piping, hardware, extra scissors, cone thread spools, elastic, zippers, snaps, etc.

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I’ve been storing things in these Clementine boxes for years, and I have found a way to incorporate them in every sewing space I’ve had. The contents of the boxes change occasionally, but I’m not sure I’ll ever give them up.

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Across from my sewing machines, I have my cutting table. This is a recent purchase, and I l.o.v.e. it. My three-year-old pretty much built it on his own (seriously), so it’s incredibly easy to put together. It’s sturdy and has all these great cubbies. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I really do love this table!!

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Usually this table is pretty well covered with a project of some sort. Or something I’m hiding from the kids. Just out of the picture are the tools I use: rotary cutters, Gingher shears, rulers, pens, tape, etc.

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Because of the limited space in our house, we don’t have an office. So the computer sits on the end of the cutting table. It actually works really well, because if I need to look at pattern instructions or if I just want to watch something on Netflix, I can pull it right up. But it’s also easy enough to move, should I need the extra space. You can find a tutorial for the wall art here.

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Behind the table is where I keep my patterns and blogging/pattern shop papers. I also keep a lot of homeschool papers and books in this corner, because… I have no where else to put them. :)

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My sweet sister-in-law gave me these hoops that were used as decorations at her wedding. I love them just as they are, so they were an easy addition to my space! The fabulous prints are from Mercy Ink (top right) and Pen and Paint.

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Having my sewing space in the bedroom can sometimes be a challenge – if I relaxing in our room, I do have moments where I get distracted by all the projects I could be working on. It also makes late night sewing tricky, if my husband wants to go to sleep. No, it’s not perfect, and while I certainly would love to have my own sewing room again, I’m so happy with the space I’ve created!

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It’s easy to assume that everyone else has a gorgeous sewing studio, or to see beautiful sewing rooms on Pinterest and get frustrated with your limited space. But wherever you sew – on your kitchen table, in a corner of the basement, or anywhere in between – that space becomes yours once you sit down at that machine.

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In this season of my life, in my house that often feels too small, I’m choosing to be grateful for the space that I do have. For a husband who doesn’t mind that I set up shop in our bedroom. For kids who are thankful and excited for handmade clothes. For a fabric stash that certainly isn’t wanting.

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What do you love about your sewing space? Share a picture of it on my Facebook page! I would love to see it :)

Happy sewing, friends!

Sewing or Craft Room Wall Art

Whether you have your own studio or a corner of your bedroom for your crafting, decor is an easy way to personalize your creative space. This wall art is perfect for seamstresses, and you can change up the words to fit the kind of sewing or crafting that you love to do.

Craft Room Wall Art

Materials:

  • burlap
  • wooden frame/staples or glue
  • jute twine
  • hot glue gun
  • embroidery floss/needle
  • paint
    *This post contains affiliate links*

DSC_51191. Stretch your burlap over a wooden frame and staple or glue it to the back. You can also purchase pre-stretched burlap frames like this one. I’ve also seen them in local craft stores.

DSC_51212. Using chalk, sketch out the shape of a thread spool.

DSC_51283. Paint the top and the bottom of the spool. Since this is wall art and won’t be washed, fabric paint isn’t necessary.

DSC_51364. Cut pieces of jute twine the width of the spool. Use your glue gun to adhere them to the burlap. I recommend doing this one or two pieces at a time, starting with a small portion of each strip, so the glue doesn’t harden before you put the twine down.

DSC_51525. Sketch out with chalk the words you want on your art. Mine reads “cut/pin/sew/wear” but yours can say anything! Stitch over the words with embroidery floss – I doubled mine up to make the letters stand out more. To create a slightly different look, use fabric paint or vinyl transfers in place of the embroidery floss.

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Use a damp cloth to wipe away the chalk, and you’re ready to hang your art.DSC_5181

Then add it to your little corner of crafting paradise! I just love how this turned out, and it really makes me smile every time I see it.
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Wall art is such a fun and easy way to add flair and style to your crafting or sewing space!

Make Your Own Craft Room Wall Art

Painted Planter Tutorial and FREE teacher appreciation printable!

You can smell it in the air… summer is coming! If your little ones are still finishing out their school year, chances are you’ll need a teacher gift or two. As a former elementary school teacher, I can tell you how wonderful it is to feel so appreciated at the end of a long school year! This easy DIY is something that teachers can enjoy year-round, and if you don’t have a teacher to buy for, make one for yourself!

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Supplies:

  • succulent planter (I found these fabulous ceramic hanging planters at Target. Here is a similar one and a glass one.)
  • paint {or a Sharpie marker!}
  • paintbrush
  • Free Thank You Printable

1. Choose the color and find a paint that is appropriate for the material of your planter.

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2. Begin to paint your design! I began with polka dots:DSC_5999

3. Continue to paint all around the planter until you’ve covered it as much or as little as you want. Experiment with fun designs, like these plus signs:

DSC_60244. Fill with succulents and the appropriate dirt/rocks.

DSC_60585. Then, if you’re giving these to a teacher, print off these easy thank you cards that say “Thank You for helping me grow” – I love a good punny thank you note!

Download the Free Teacher Appreciation Printable Thank You for Helping me Grow cards now

Each page has four cards, so you can print them out on card stock and have ready made cards for each teacher in your child’s life or print them onto regular paper and glue to the front of a card that your child colors. I found that they print perfectly on these postcards, which are perforated to it super easy if you have multiple teachers!DSC_6073

And if you aren’t in need of a teacher gift, just hang them up and enjoy them yourself!DSC_6098

Or maybe do both? Because let’s be honest, you just can’t have too many succulents around! So fresh and bright – great for a gift or great for your own home.DSC_6093

This is really one of my absolute favorite non-sewing crafts I’ve made lately, and I just couldn’t part with these two. So I had to make a different one to send with my oldest for his last day of his homeschool group. And hopefully my black thumb will be able to keep these lovelies alive. :)

Painted Planter