Picture Makeover for Holidays

I am constantly looking for ideas that provide functionality and decor options as we continue to settle into our smaller home. 

I’ve wanted something to put over the buffet that had a Christmas theme but haven’t come across the print, size or dollar amount I wanted.   Plus I didn’t want another picture to store.  Then  I got the idea of covering the existing picture that hangs in this area with holiday gift wrap to provide a blank slate.  I’m pretty happy with how this project came out.


This is the picture I removed from the wall.


I used a good quality wrapping paper and blue painters tape to adhere.


My goal was to be able to use the bow and letters over each year and also not damage the picture  underneath.  Using a piece of jute in the corner (I glued with a bit of hot glue on each end) allowed me to tie the bow onto the jute instead of gluing the bow directly onto the paper.


I purchased 3 wood letters from Hobby Lobby and a $1.99 bottle of red chalk paint.  

Two coats of red, then a clear wax and finally a dark wax layer and they were ready to be adhered.  


I chose this product to adhere the letters to the paper.  They worked great.


Bow and letters attached.

Why I love this idea?

  • The roll of wrapping paper can be used for many years to come.
  • The only storage will be the bow and letters.
  • The motif can be easily changed up,
  • JOY – Jesus Only You is perfect to sit above the manger scene I’ve had since childhood.
  • It’s easy and fast.
  • Can be used for other holidays
  • It’s frugal.
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Noah’s Kindness Eggless Cookies – Decorator Kits

I decided to take the Noah’s Kindness Cookie Recipe and play.. I wanted to know the following:  1)  Could I substitute an egg replacement made from ground flax seed so my daughter Tamara (the workout mama) could enjoy them; 2) Would they bake well if they were shaped in balls 3)  Decorate with a cloud of buttercream frosting and different colors of sanding sugar mixed together to create the rainbow effect; 4) Create cookie decorating kits for my grandchildren

Please click here to learn about the special baby these cookies were created in honor of and access the recipe HERE

  1.  Yes – Tamara thought they were good using the 3 Tbsp of water to 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed.  Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes before adding into recipe where it calls for 1 egg.  Keep in mind that the flax seed will create a sprinkling of color in the dough.

2).  They did bake up well in the rounds and were faster than creating the log shape in the original recipe.  Bake for 3-4 minutes longer.

3).  This worked well.  Buttercream Recipe – 1/2 cup of softened butter, 2 1/2 cups of powered sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla and a Tbsp or two of milk, your choice.  Blend until desired consistency (too thin – add more sugar; too thick – add a little more milk).  I use almond milk.  I placed my frosting into a pastry bag with decorative tip.

4).  The Cookie Kits – I was happy how these turned out.  Using a plastic bowl with a lid, I placed 12 cookies in each (because you want to make sure each child is getting the same number), a small container of rainbow sprinkles with a lid (I put the combination of sugars together which works better than 7 different containers of sugar to deal with), and a small container of white yogurt chips with a lid.  I had a plastic portable file cabinet that used to hold my craft paper and I almost threw it away.  I’m so glad I didn’t – the bowls and frosting fit perfectly and I will use it to take over future projects for my grandchildren.  I took two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper with me so that they each had a workstation on the table to catch the majority of sprinkles.

I find that baking the cookies ahead of time works well with young children’s attention span.  I was so proud of  them both – they didn’t eat any of the frosting or sprinkles while they were decorating which was a first.

I can see these cookie kits being used for holidays, birthday parties, delivering a meal and if you are having little people over to your house as a project for them to do so they can contribute.  How cute to let them finish up the dessert to be served at a family or friend dinner.  I am already dreaming up something fun we can do with these cookies for Thanksgiving.

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Downsizing – Spare Bedroom 1: Library

The summer of 2017 was officially the start of Phase 2 of our fixer-upper.  This means we had saved enough money to conquer partial bathroom renovations, master closet makeover, a cooling vent and insulation for the garage (I didn’t really get this but Jeff thought it was a priority) and doing something with the two spare bedrooms.  After a year and a half everything had found a place but it wasn’t organized in a way that felt like home.  This was especially true in these two bedrooms which were filled with a hodge podge of what we had brought with us and most of it was oversized for this house which made the rooms seem smaller than they were.

It took me a little while but with some strategic thinking I began to list what I’d like to use each of these rooms for which helped me envision what would be needed to make that happen.

Bedroom 1 which measures 11′ x 9’10” was to have 3 purposes:  a place to hold books and read (aka – the library),  exercise and to sew. 

This is how the library portion of the room came about.  I love books and often read a favorite more than once.  There is something soothing in tangible pages to flip through, being able to mark the margins and turn down the corner when something touches my heart.  Yes – I have an iPad and think it is wonderful, especially for travel, but I don’t ever want to live in a house without my favorites:  A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg, Adventures in Prayer by Catherine Marshall, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, The 10 Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley, Live Carefully by Jerry Traylor, Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George and so many more.

We had brought two bookshelves with us – one was ours and the other had belonged to our daughter.  They were different woods and heights but when we first moved in they had the most important quality,  providing a place to remove books from moving boxes and store.

I began to dream about furnishing these rooms with a focus on function and price.  I didn’t need brand new and when my friend, Angie, introduced me to Facebook Marketplace, I found a resource that fit those goals.  As I found a few pieces for other parts of the house and learned how to use chalk paint, my confidence grew.  Soon I was ready to move the mismatched bookshelves out and begin my search for matching bookshelves.  Fortunately for me someone else was ready to say goodbye to two Broyhill units for $200.00. 

It is fun getting something new (well, new to me) but it also means some effort is required because the bookshelves that were there now needed to be emptied and moved to make room for the new.   In a very short time I went from organized to chaos.  This is often the point in a project where I ask myself “What was I thinking?”

One of our bookshelves we sold on Facebook Marketplace for $35.00.  The other bookshelf which was sturdy, well made and solid wood still had some life in it and soon I was placing two coats of white chalk paint and later distressing before a clear coat of wax was buffed in. As if I hadn’t created a mess already, I decide to add painting to the mix. There are times it is good that Jeff is at work.  

Here it is in its new home in the den waiting for the wax to dry before books are placed on shelves.  I am happy to say it now holds a variety of books, including my cookbooks.

I need to give a big shout out to my dad who is always available to pick me or my husband up in his truck as I procure another treasure.  My son-in-law, Josh, has also come over to move some of the heavier pieces.  It takes a village to make a house a home.

Finally, the bookshelves were picked up, dusted and vacuumed (let’s just say they came from a house with cats) and it was time to move the bookshelves in.  Not shown in this picture but new brushed nickel knobs replaced the bronze ones.  The shelves have lighting and are 19″ deep which allows for a nice display.

One of the last pieces for this room, has been the chair.  I wanted a comfortable chair for reading and hand sewing.  I found this one on Offered Up (another site to look for treasures) for $50.00.  It had recently been recovered in gray  and fit into the corner.  

I will be showing completed pictures of the room after I have shared the different sections.

What was Jeff doing while I tackled the room?  This guy is such a hard worker and is as committed to making this house our home as much as I am.  He replaced all our baseboards – so much work but what a difference this has made.

Coming up next – Spare Bedroom 1 – Exercise

Related Posts

Downsizing and Our Kitchen Makeover

What’s In My Library

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