Friday Fluff Up: (Easiest) Spring Update Thanks To Michael’s Coupon

 

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You guys know I was more than a little excited about the fun deals I scored yesterday at Michael’s. 

 

Seriously. So much fun!

 

While I was there, I peeked around since I’d been dreaming of the right centerpiece to put on our new kitchen table I did a quick search on Houzz (I love Pinterest, but goodness there are just some beautiful home ideas on Houzz!), and found a few simple arrangements that I figured I could easily copy.

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So I bought these.

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And did this.

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And it cost a whopping $12, thanks to my coupon.

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Success!

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Now if I can just hunt down a deal on the right light fixture (something not so silver-ey?) we’ll be good to go. (I’m kind of in love with this one right now . . .)

 

If you’re looking for an easy way to bring some Spring into your home, this is for you. I’d love to hear what other ideas you have too!
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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Big Spring Cleanout Week #3 + My Challenge For Next Week

Okie dokie folks . . . anyone else been cleaning closets out this month along with me? 

 

This week I tackled my son Jackson’s closet, and thank goodness this was an easy one (because next week’s closet is a doozie!)

 

Before

He did most of the work himself, and in about 30 minutes we had it cleaned out. It’s not perfect, but it’s better, and we were able to donate quite a few items as well as take several items to sell at our local Plato’s Closet.

 

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After – it’s hard to tell but I promise we did get rid of quite a few things!

 

I’m heading to Plato’s Closet today to see how much we earned from the clothes in both his and Caroline’s closet (remember I earned $70 from Reagan’s closet, so I’m curious how their’s will do!Either way just having the amount of clothing in our house limited has been amazing, so I’ll be thrilled with whatever we earn.

 

And now . . . to keep it real around here (yikes!!), this week I’m finally (very unwillingly . . . ) tackling our own closet. When we moved in last May everything extra kind of got shoved in there, so clearly this closet could use a health dose of TLC.

 

I’m completely inspired by this post, and am hoping to really see what I can do in our closet. It’s a great space, but obviously just a disaster right now so I’ll update you on how it goes!

 

(My own closet has never been my strong suit, but I finally got it under control in Alabama. Surely I can do it here too, right?) 

 

If you have a few minutes ahem, an hour or two, um, maybe a weekend? to tackle your closet this week, I’d love for you to join me.  (Misery loves company, right?) :) And if you have other tips on how to earn money re-selling your child’s clothing I’d love to hear those suggestions too!

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The Friday Fluff Up: Our (Almost) Completed Breakfast Room

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I’ve been itching to update you all as we’ve been working on some projects in our home, but know that things aren’t quite perfect in this room yet so I’ve been hesitant to share! But, I’m thinking waiting for really-quite-perfect might just never come, so I’m sharing a peek at our almost-perfect room today.

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Remember the breakfast nook I showed you after we moved in to our new home last Spring?

 

Well, we updated it with just a rug and a painted lamp last summer, and it definitely  helped.
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But that poor table ~ the one that I’ve always just adored ~ has been in pitiful shape for years. I bought it for a steal at a Lane clearance sale about nine years ago (it was sold “as is”, meaning the gate leg on it never really worked. . . ), so we’ve spent countless meals at the dinner table hoping the table wouldn’t fall down on us while we ate.

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My husband had finally had enough (he’s pretty handy, but there was nothing really to do for it ~ it was in just rough shape to start with!), so we decided after Christmas to purchase a new table for the room. The table headed down to the basement (it’s perfect for our kids to use down there for projects), and we found this table I’m just in love with.

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The room is fairly big (15’x12′, which seems huge to me?), and after shopping several furniture stores my mom mentioned to me the Paula Deen line that she loved. No stores up here in Ohio sell Paula Deen furniture (too far North of the Mason Dixon line I s’pose . . . ) so I spent hours watching YouTube videos and searching pictures of this new set that I really thought I would love.

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(all set up on Easter Sunday) 

We finally decided to order it ~ we’ve purchased before online using Furnitureland South, and actually ended up working with another company who beat their price. Folks, if you’re looking for quality furniture, I definitely recommend shopping around online – I saved almost $1000 by taking a few minutes to contact competing stores (after checking them out through the Better Business Bureau), and see who was willing to offer me the best deal!

before before extra trim & curtains

My (amazing) husband also added extra trim work around the ceiling (goodness, pretty molding makes such a difference – I’m guessing we have about $100 in trim work throughout the room), and we hung curtains that I found at World Market. 

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after trim & curtains

This isn’t really all that penny-pinched a project (although we did save a few pennies here and there . . . I think?) but this is one of the reasons that I’m willing to save on my groceries. If I can choose to spend money on paying full price for groceries, or having extra money to fluff up a room in our home, I’ll pick a pretty room any day! :)

 

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I’d still love to find a new lighting fixture, but figure I can wait on that a while until I find hopefully a penny pinched option that I really  just love. (I’m hoping to find a deal at the Ballard Designs Outlet like I found on these? We’ll see . . . )
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We’re also not quite sure about how to handle curtains for the sliding door on the right side of the room (I didn’t get a good picture to show, but my husband is almost open to considering something like this on a smaller scale. It looks like a bit of a huge project, but a girl can dream, right?) :)

 

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So, there you have it! I would love to hear your suggestions on things if you have them (I could sure use some ideas on an inexpensive way to update that light fixture, so let me know what you think!)

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If you’d like to see more pictures of our home as we’ve been updating it, here you go . . .

 

(And, in case you’d like to see some of my favorites from our Sweet Home in Alabama, here you go . . . )

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Spring Closet Cleanout Week #2 + How I Made $70 In 2 Hours From My Home

 

 

 

Need some motivation to clean our your child’s closet?

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This is for you.

 

Remember last week how I cleaned out my daughter Reagan’s closet? Well I took everything to our local Once Upon a Child, and for just 2 hours of work I made $70 selling her used clothing. 

 

WOOHOOOO!!! :)

 

(Needless to say, I was pretty excited.)

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So, last night I asked my 12 year old to start cleaning out her closet.

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It was in pretty bad shape, but she worked on it for a solid hour (cleaned out her drawers too), and sure enough now we have several boxes to sell, donate, or pass down to Reagan.

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(I was tickled that she folded her clothes relatively neatly ~ after doing most of the work myself in Reagan’s room, it was so nice to see Caroline handle so much of the work herself!

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I’m hoping to have Jackson work on his closet this weekend so that I can take a large load again next week to re-sell (most of their clothes will go to Plato’s Closet, a consignment store for teenage/adult clothing), and was so pleased with how simple it was to sell items. 

 

The best part about working on their closets? It makes managing laundry so much easier because there’s room for the actual clothes they wear, and I save so much simply by knowing what they really have. (It’s so easy with a crowded closet to forget a long lost sweater, but a good de-cluttering lets you know what’s really there!)

 

If you have a few minutes ahem, an hour or two to tackle your child’s closet this week, I soooo recommend it ~ you’ll feel amazing to have that project marked off your list, and might just earn a few dollars too! And if you have other tips on how to earn money re-selling your child’s clothing I’d love to hear those suggestions too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fruit of the Spirit Jar

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A few years ago, I shared my friend Melody’s idea for a “Fruit of the Spirit” jar that we used over the summer to help teach our children a small lesson in the fruits of the Sprit each day.  At that time all three of my kids (then ages 11, 8 & 4) worked on learning Galatians 5:22:

 

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Even though my kids have grown quite a bit since then, we still (of course!) have moments where we struggle with discipline.  I happened to remember the Fruit Of The Spirit jar again (somewhere it had been stuffed back in a cabinet. . .) so I’m pulling it out again to encourage a little positive behavior in our home.

 

It (obviously!) is pretty simple to make.  I used a mason jar (an empty spaghetti jar would work too), some clearance Easter jelly beans (I really liked the idea of using Runts since they’re shaped in fruit shapes – you can pick those up at the Dollar Tree!) and labeled the jar with the verse.


 

I try to keep my ears alert for moments when they model the fruit of the spirit.  If Jackson does something sweet for one of his sisters, I’ll ask which fruit he’s displaying and he picks a candy from the jar. (Folks, even at just-turned-15-yesterday, candy is highly motivating.) :) If Caroline manages to show patience when she really just wants to hurry, she’ll choose a treat.  And, when Reagan manages to make it down the stairs for school without any griping or complaining, she might get a treat too.   I also ask them to share again what the fruits of the spirit are before they get their treat.

 

I am simply amazed at how much more effective positive motivators work in our home, compared to all my efforts at hollering, griping, and whining-to-the-point-of-exhaustion to encourage my children.  Yesterday my daughter was so pleased with herself when she earned a fruit of the Spirit for helping make my bed without being asked. . . because that one definitely exemplified some goodness on her part, and made me much kinder to boot!

 

If you’ve been looking for a way to positively encourage your kids as well as teach them the values of the Fruits of the Spirit, take a peek at how we set up our Fruit of the Spirit Jar to work in our home.  I’d love to hear what other tips you have on teaching biblical principals as well as encouraging good behavior in your kiddos, as summer is just a few weeks away and I have a feeling I’m going to have to be on top of this one again this year!

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Big Spring Closet Cleanout Week #1 + How I Earn Money When I Organize

Guys, I absolutely love sharing fun little crafty Friday Fluff Up projects here on PPP (even though I’m not all that crafty . . . I sure do love trying!) But, this month I’m determined to tackle all four bedroom closets in our home, so this week I started with my daughter Reagan’s room.

Yesterday morning, as soon as she and I woke up (and before I sat down to the computer!) I forced myself into her closet (BLECK.) We turned on some music, and determined to really, really work on a good clean out. After moving last year I learned just how important it is to constantly pare down your stuff, so I spent a solid 3 hours doing a complete re-organizing of of her room, switching her winter clothes out, and deciding what she really needed to hang onto this year.

Y’all, it was bad.

But every single time I organize, I earn a little moo-lah as I go.

 

First I separate items into trash bags, Goodwill donations, and clothes that I’m going to sell at our local kids consignment store. My husband and son are begging for a riding lawn mower, so I’m challenging myself to see how much I can sell this month to earn some money towards their new fun toy . . . I’ll update you on how it goes! :)

 

The other way that I save every time I tidy things up around our home? 

 

It never fails that I after cleaning things out I realize my kids have plenty of clothes (clearly.) While I might pick her up an outfit or two if I see something super cute, we really don’t need to spend a single penny on new summer duds for her. That’s like making (at least!) $100 by actually being able to find the clothes she already has, rather than heading to the store for new more clothes (when she has way too much here already!)

 


As you can see this after picture she still has more than enough. (Although the clothing on the far hanger are dress up clothes, jackets to grow into, and special items that my kids have worn through the years that no longer fit, but I simply can’t part with. Anyone else relate?)

 

Folks, I’m amazed at how much more content I am with what I have simply by taking care to make my home the very best space it can be. As a girl who’s spent years thinking if only I had . . . “, I’ve been reminded that just taking care of what I already own can make even the tiniest space just enough.

 
If you’re in a place today where you feel like your home isn’t big enough, your closets will never be large enough, or there’s just no way you can manage without a bit larger kitchen, bathroom, garage (or whatever), I encourage you to choose to do the very best you can to make the space you already have just perfect for you.

 

I promise from experience that our family has lived in a tiny home and one that’s plenty big, and there is always (always!) someone who has something bigger, better, fancier, and way more impressive than what I’ll have in my own home (and I really do love my  home!)  But, taking care to clean, organize, and “fluff” the space that you’re in (no matter the size), can make what you already have just perfect for you.

 

Take pride in what you have right now – whether it be your home, your car, or even something as trivial as the purse you carry, to make it the very best space you can have with the money you can afford. I promise it’s worth it, and choosing not to sacrifice what you really want for what you want right now will change your family’s future.
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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The Greatest Coupon

This is a guest post that I’ve shared before from a friend of mine (who knows the value of a coupon!)  May you know the love and peace of Our Manufacturer all year long. :)

 

No deal is perfect. Everything has a cost. Many things come at a high price, yet thankfully most can be discounted. Some things can even be free with a great coupon!

 

The greatest coupons still have problems. Most will eventually expire. They are “void where prohibited.” There is a limit on how many people can use.

 

Some people don’t take advantage of great coupons though. Why? Maybe some don’t even know about them. Even if they do, they might defiantly refuse to use them. Some people don’t believe they are really worth anything. But every coupon has worth in our eyes, right? Maybe non-couponers would cash in on the offers if they were just taught how. We couponers should share the good news!

 

So here’s the gist of how to reap the benefits: 1) Seek out something you love. 2) Find a coupon, maybe from the manufacturer. 3) Pay the price for the item. 4) Once the coupon has been redeemed, celebrate how much you saved! 5) Tell everyone you know about your great deal. Happy shopping!

 

 

 

No one is perfect. Our sins have a cost. Many sins come at a high price, yet thankfully they can be discounted. We can even be free with the “Greatest Coupon.”

 

The Greatest Coupon has no problems. It will never expire. It is never void or prohibited. There is no limit on how many people can use it.

 

Some people don’t take advantage of the Greatest Coupon though. Why? Maybe some don’t even know about it. Even if they do, they might defiantly refuse to use it. Some people don’t believe they are really worth anything, but every person has worth in God’s eyes. Maybe non-Christians would cash in on the offer if they were just taught how. We have the opportunity to share the Good News!

 

So here’s the gist of how to reap the benefits: 1) God sought out someone he loves—you. 2) We have a coupon from our Manufacturer. 3) Jesus paid the price for our sins. 4) Since our sins have been redeemed, we can celebrate as we have new life. 5) Tell everyone you know about the Greatest Coupon. Happy Easter!

 

 

My prayer for you this Easter is that you mayt know salvation from the One who values you so greatly that He willingly gave His life for you. It truly is the greatest gift we’ll each receive, and allows us freedom that comes only from Him. As my son reminds me each Easter morning, “Christ is risen!” He is risen indeed.

 

Photo courtesy of billaday on Flickr.

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Goodwill Lamp Makeover

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I’m going to keep it short and sweet today, but here’s the most fun little Friday fun I was able to make using just a few Goodwill lamps! I realized after painting them that the lighting in one didn’t work (I think it worked when I first started the project?) but one lamp for under $20 works for me. Here’s what I did . . .

Bought 2 Goodwill lamps, each $4 (if I do this again, I’ll only purchase ones without any decoration on them – the decoration somewhat bled through the paint of the blue lamp.)

Cleaned them really thoroughly with Dawn dish soap.

Used Krylon Looking Glass spray paint to paint them (it did take several coats spraying very carefully so that the paint didn’t run.) I bought the paint using a coupon at JoAnn’s, but this price on Amazon is the lowest it’s been priced at. (One can would have been more than enough to do the lamps, but I didn’t want to run out so I grabbed two.)

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Added a $10 shade I’d found at Ballard Designs Outlet (love that store!)

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Set it next to my Dollar Tree jelly beans jars. ;)

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Considering this lamp costs $179 at One King’s Lane (yikes!), I’m pretty pleased with my little Goodwill fun!

 

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Looking for more Goodwill ideas? Here are a few of my favorite updates:

 
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

 

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No Spend Challenge: Final Update

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Okie dokie, we survived one more weekend of our No Spend Challenge, which brings us right up to Spring Break starting next week! While we didn’t stick to our plan perfectly, we did stay pretty close on things, and goodness, it was so eye opening to see where our money really goes each week.

 

Friday night Caroline had friends over to spend the night (kind of as a very belated birthday – I promised her we’d do something eventually, but we kept pushing it back!) We ordered pizzas with a coupon code, and thankfully had plenty of 2-liters in the pantry (since our kids aren’t allowed to drink them normally but I’d gotten them for just a few pennies several months ago when they were on sale.)  I picked up extra water bottles and some Wyler lemonade mixes at the Dollar Tree . . . those lemonade mixes were a huge hit. (Who knew?)

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We debated a cake since it really wasn’t a birthday party, but she’d been eyeing this one on Pinterest for months. I used frosting and a cake mix from our pantry as well, and picked up mini M&Ms and Kitkat bars at Kroger. The cake was so simple to make, and the kids (of course) devoured it. :)

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For breakfast we had Fresh Thyme strawberries and a triple batch of homemade cinnamon rolls (Caroline’s favorite), and once every one left our family ate leftover pizza for lunch. We grilled out for supper (so thankful grilling season is just about here!), and ended up saving by just choosing to eat home all day. (Weekends are when we tend to go over budget eating out, so eating at home is always a tiny success for our bunch!)

 

After church we had Chipotle (thanks to a gift card!), and ended up splurging on drinks too. (I know, I know – but I was so ready for a diet coke, and since we had the gift card we decided it was okay to enjoy them!) I really don’t know that we’ll stick to water only while we’re eating out in the future, but seeing how much soda is costing our family at restaurants was pretty shocking, so we’ll at the very least choose water more frequently. (I’m really thinking I’ll pick up some of those Wyler’s lemonade packets to keep in my purse – I’ve seen a friend do that and it might just make restaurant water more appealing!)

 

Our total spent for the weekend was $14 at Chipotle and $40 on pizza, + $10 in candy for Caroline’s cake. While it wasn’t perfect, I was thrilled that we were able to stay within our budget and get everything we needed for Caroline’s get together. If you’ve been struggling to get your budget in check, I highly (HIGHLY) recommend you try challenging your family to really reign things in for a few weeks. Deciding as a family to really look at where your money goes can really transform your spending habits.

 

Here’s a breakdown of how our (modified) No Spend Challenge looked these last few weeks:

  • We determined to spend no more than $50 each week at the grocery, primarily for fresh fruit, veggies, and dairy products.
  • We drank only water when eating out (at least until yesterday!) :) My daughter Reagan used the money we saved to go towards missions.
  • We limited ourselves to two meals out per week, using coupons and choosing less expensive restaurants when we did eat out.
  • We cleared our pantry, fridge and freezer by menu planning based on what we already had at home. This was huge, and really helped us save so much (plus forced us to eat up some food that would otherwise go to waste.)

 

I’m heading to Kroger tonight to re-stock on cereal and granola bars while they’re at such a good price in their Mega Sale, but other than that shouldn’t be shopping the rest of this week. So, we just about made it ~ woohooo! ;)

 

 

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And on a completely random side note, a friend brought over dry ice for the kids to play with Friday night, which was a huge success. She’s a science teacher and had some left over from school, so her daughter showed the kids a few experiments using  the dry ice. I couldn’t get over how long they played with it, and my 14-year-old and his friend were just as interested in checking it out! If you have a birthday party with tweenage kids anytime soon, this is a great way to (literally) break the ice. :) (Find dry ice experiment ideas over HERE.) 

 

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Dollar Tree Easter Craft

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Did you know today’s the first day of Spring? Woohooooo!!! 
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(Yes, that’s coming after a long, cold winter up here in Ohio . . . I can’t wait to get out and start planting around here!)

 

In the meantime though I am so excited to get ready for Easter, and found this super cute easy Dollar Tree craft that’s just a fun little happy for your Easter table. You could give these away as teacher gifts or treat your kids to them as a little surprise – nothing fancy but just a little fun.

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Here’s what you’ll need . . .

 

  • mason jars – $1 at Dollar Tree (may be able to find those less if you purchase them in a larger box at Walmart)
  • small ceramic or even plastic Easter shapes – $1 at Dollar Tree (I was looking for something smaller but the ceramic ornaments were all I could find – my kids have already used the extra paint to paint a few pictures, so the paint didn’t go to waste!)
  • spray paint
  • glue gun
  • candy to fill jars with

 

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Here’s how to make these in less than 20 minutes . . . 

  • hot glue the mason jar inner lid to the ring to hold it in place

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  • hot glue Easter shape onto mason jar (I had to remove the hooks from the ornaments using needle nosed pliers, however if you can find a plastic Easter shape you can skip that step)
  • spray paint the lid and let dry
  • fill jar with candy ~ that’s it!
Note – mine were all a little crooked because my seven-year-old Reagan was absolutely determined to help. Hopefully next time we’ll get them on a wee bit straighter! :)

 

 

 

Are you making any special crafts this year for Easter? I’d love to hear what you’re up to! You can also join the PPP Easter Pinterest board, and be sure to see how I made these centerpieces at the Dollar Tree last year as well. Here are a few other ideas to get you thinking . . .

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Thanks for the inspiration, Hearts Desires at Home! I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

 

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