Thrifty Thursday

Welcome to Thrifty Thursday, where I bring you design ideas, mom-ing ideas, and more!

DIY cheap magnolia wreath

Hey friends! Today I want to talk about home decorating on a minimalist journey! Did I just confuse you? Yeah, me too! That sentence sounds like an oxymoron! Many people associate minimalism with clean, white walls and very little decor. But really what living minimalist means to me is getting rid of the excess and living with what makes you happy!

This is a journey I embarked on just about a year ago, and let me tell you, it has been a roller coaster ride! I have researched minimalism ideals, read books, listened to podcasts, and seen thousands of Pinterest ideas! But the number one thing I have learned is that excess means something different to every individual. The reason I began decluttering was primarily for my sanity! I was so stressed out by the amount of work my house was creating for me. There was always something to be done. And I don’t mean every day dishes and laundry, we have to eat and wear clothes on a daily basis, right?! What I mean is the constant clutter. The constant cleaning, organizing, picking up. I was exhausted. And unhappy. I was yelling at my tiny human and not spending quality time with my family. I simply could never just relax.

This was partly due to the fact that we had moved into our new house, gaining square feet, but losing an extra bedroom. That extra room in our old house served as storage! So, six months after the move, I found that instead of unpacking the remaining boxes and finding homes for those items, I was just moving boxes from place to place. From the porch, to the hallway, to the dining room table, these boxes were always in the way. And while I don’t necessarily like my son running in the house, I wanted to have the option to play hide and seek on a rainy day and not have to worry about tripping over boxes! Stop here for a moment. One day, Chisum tripped and fell on Daddy’s drill and cut his knee. Not enough to warrant stitches, but just ugly enough to leave a scar. This broke my heart. And renewed my determination to create a safe, clean environment.

Deep down I knew there had to be a better way to live our daily lives, and get out of survival mode. I just didn’t know where to start. Let’s be honest, I’m a natural procrastinator! So I began to research! Somewhere in that process, I heard these words that would forever change my way of thinking: Make your house work for you, and stop working for it. Whoa! I literally stopped what I was doing and looked around my house. I got up and went to the kitchen and opened that first cabinet and emptied it. When all my cabinets were bare, I chose what I wanted to keep and donated the rest. I would say, I got rid of 40% of my kitchen dishes, gadgets, etc. and it felt soooo good! Seeing empty space, every item having a designated spot, and knowing I loved every item I had kept and that I would ultimately have less dishes to wash, was a relief I can’t begin to explain.

Let me say that again. Make your house work for you, and stop working for it.

This process would go on for the next year, minimizing many areas of my home. I lost count of how many loads we donated to our favorite thrift store! I do know that my initial purge when I began was something like 4-6 car loads in my SUV! It was definitely an up and down process, with easy days, hard days, and good ol’ lazy days! With that said, if you find yourself feeling the way I was a year ago and don’t know where to begin, girl call me! I have been where you are and I can help you find your starting place!

Now, home decor This is my biggest struggle with basic minimalism ideas. I love decorating my home and coming up with new ideas. I love family photos displayed for all to see. I love art and history, and Wade and I both love antiques. My walls are far from bare. As a matter of fact, there is very little blank wall space left! So for me, getting rid of the excess almost completely excluded home decor! I would say I might have gotten rid of 10% in this category, and those were the things that had been boxed away for so long, I had forgotten about them! Knowing that I was at my limit and couldn’t part with anything else, I decided to stop buying and bringing decorative items home without a specific, designated purpose. I knew this would cut down my spending, no doubt! I would make a true effort to re-purpose what I already have and either keep or sell it. (This is where the idea for the Thrifty Thursday blog came to fruition.)

One of my favorite things about our home is the four exterior doors. You may remember the front door project from last March, Front Door Reveal seen here,

I want the front door to be the first welcome to our visitors. I want it to be a happy, inviting door! One way to add life to an entrance is to put a wreath on it! Cuz if you like it, then you shoulda put a [wreath] on it! Okay, moving on! If you don’t already have a boring wreath lying around, go down to your nearest Dollar Tree and get one! I personally love branch and grapevine wreaths, they’re more natural, if you plan to leave some of the wreath showing. But I have used foam, board and wire wreaths for projects in the past. Another option is to create your own! An easy way to do this is to cut a ring from carboard! You could hot glue a coke tab for a hanger if your wreath is not hanging on a door!

I happen to already have lots of florals and “spare parts” in the craft closet, but if you don’t, just hit up the Dollar Tree, it’s my favorite place to pick up fake flora, ribbon and craft supplies! Get what speaks to you or go with a seasonal theme. Make paper or foam flowers-the ideas are endless! Today, I’m going to show you two wreaths I recently made for my home: one for the front door and one as wall decor. The idea here was to not have to spend a single dollar!

Front Door Wreath

First, I went through my box of florals and chose some greenery. (Mental note: I am running low on basic greens and know I’ll have to purchase for the next go round!) I wanted a sunny, Summertime wreath for our “first welcome”, so I chose bright yellows and oranges, balanced with a little brown. I chose items in my box of goods that spoke “Summer” to me, like a random cattail and wooden lotus pod I had leftover from projects years past! I had one blessed sunflower in the box, and used her as my main focus. Then I just started placing the rest and rearranging until I got what I was going for! I sent my mom a few pictures for opinions and just kept going until I found the balance this wreath needed. Here are some pics of the process.

Initially, I was just going to put flowers on the bottom of this wreath, but it just seemed too bare!
I added a piece of leftover cardboard pre-cut from a banner and saved in the “spare parts” box!

I am truly terrible at beautiful, luscious bows and always have my mom make them for me, and I was running low on time, so I avoided bows for this particular wreath! We took a family vote on what to write here; It was a tough call between “Hello sunshine” and “Hey sunny”! But I’m very happy with the final result and smile every day when I get home from work!

This is my handwriting painted with a thin brush, fancy huh!
Isn’t she bright and welcoming?!

Wall Decor Magnolia Wreath

Now this was a bit more challenging! These magnolia leaves are real, dried leaves I stole from my mother-in-law’s tree! I just hung these branches out to dry for a few weeks and then cut the leaves off with some snippers. This cardboard wreath is actually the backing of a photo frame that wasn’t being used! So it has the hanging tab attached!!

I then organized the leaves by size, and began laying them on the ring, starting with the largest, laying the smaller on top and flipping some for color. Just be gentle! They are dry and stiff and will crack or break easily. A little hot glue and Voila!

I knew I didn’t want to make my magnolia leaf wreath like everyone else’s, because you know I just HAVE to be different! Instead of laying the leaves all going one way, this is what I call an infinity circle, I laid my leaves all pointing outward, stems inside the ring as seen below. The infinity type wreath retails for $59.99 at Hobby Lobby! Thank you Joanna Gaines for putting magnolias back in the spotlight! LOL, just kidding, I love your style, that’s just not in my budget!

Here’s where I did have to spend a little money. I did have my sweet hubby pluck a magnolia flower from the tree, but these flowers just can’t be dried and saved for decor. (They would be great for pressing!) And they do smell amazing! To add a magnolia bloom that would stand the test of time, I would have to visit Hobby Lobby. I did scour the city for these babies, but had no such luck! I waited for a floral sale at HobLob and got this true touch beauty for $5! The petals look and feel velvety real!

And the result is just lovely!

Now go steal some magnolia leaves from a loved one and make your own! Just ask for forgiveness later!

Share pics of your favorite wreaths or ideas here! I would love to recreate one for someone!

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