Quick and Easy Rosh Hashanah Decor and a Free Shana Tova Printable!

Free Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted…day to day life has just been way too busy!  But, I’m back and have a little Rosh Hashanah treat for you!  Can you believe Rosh Hashanah starts Sunday night?!   I can’t!  I have cards to send (pics coming soon I promise!) and challah to bake and then some!

Have you done anything to decorate for it?  What?  No luck, finding the latest RH designs at Target or Pottery Barn 😉  Well, I’ve got you covered.  I’ve created a couple really simple printables that say Shana Tova (literally A Good Year, essentially Happy New Year) in Hebrew and English in 5×7 and 4×6 so you can print and stick in a fun frame (mine is from my TJ Maxx wanderings).  I went for an ombre effect in blues and pomegranate (traditional holiday colors).  Stick it on your mantel or buffet table and there ya go, cute and easy and can be recycled when the holiday is over.  I printed mine on some shimmery blue paper for a little sparkle effect.  Click the links below to print or download the one that suits you best!

Free Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah printable

4×6 Blue Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

5×7 Blue Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

4×6 Pomegranate Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

5×7 Pomegranate Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable
A very simple and sweet way to add some decor to your home for your new year celebration or just because.  Shana Tova!

A Jewish Wedding in Brown and Green: Part 2

Wedding seating card displayHere are the seating cards and display I did for the brown and green Jewish wedding featured last week.  I was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

Source: ruffledblog.com via Gaby on Pinterest

My first thought was to create a traditional-style tag so I bought a tag shape to cut with my Silhouette at the Silhouette Store.  Then I used the print and cut feature in Silhouette Studio to print the guests’ names and cut them out on chartreuse cover paper from Paper Source.  It looked pretty good at this point, but when I saw the full sheet of paper bag label paper, I couldn’t resist making my own hole reinforcement to give it the look of truly old-fashioned tags.

DIY kraft hole reinforcements

I loved the clothesline with the mini clothespins and I wanted to incorporate that into the tree theme from the invitations.  I started with some willow branches from Michael’s – though any branch would do, you just need something sturdy enough to hold the twine fully laden with seating cards.  The branches were secured together at the bottom with floral foam then the foam was wrapped with a piece of burlap ribbon leftover from the centerpieces. The branches were then tied with twine and placed in large vases (that were available for use at the synagogue). Then river rocks were arranged inside the vases to weigh them down.  I only bought 4 bags of river rocks which was sufficient but I also think it might have looked better with more.  {The vases could be further customized to match any decor by using flowers, etc.}  The cards were then attached one by one to the lines in alphabetical order.

Seating cards attached with mini clothespins

Months ago, I ordered some unfinished hamsas in a couple of sizes (and some unfinished mezuzahs too – future project alert!) from Benny’s Educational Toys, the only place I’ve found unfinished wood Judaica.  I really wanted to put my own Jewish twist on the clothesline seating card display  so I decided to personalize the small hamsas for the couple and decorate the willow branches.  First, I painted the hamsas in the same Martha Stewart Vanilla Bean paint I used for the wedding centerpieces.  While the paint was drying, I cut out some shapes and sayings on the chartreuse cardstock using my Silhouette.  I decided to make 7 of them since 7 has special significance in Jewish weddings and Judaism in general. For example, there are 7 hakafot (circles) as well as 7 wedding blessings.  Finally, I used Mod Podge to glue and seal the cut outs onto the hamsas.  I LOVE the result!

Finally, you might note the large calendar below the seating cards – another Pinterest inspired idea of a calendar guest book  where guests signed on their birthday with either a date suggestion or words of wisdom for the couple.  So fun!  The brown owl vase was a Target find in the dollar section with classic Crayolas for that elementary school feel!

Wedding guest book calendar

Have you seen any other Jewish twists incorporated in wedding decor?

A Jewish Wedding in Brown and Green: Part 1!

Living Centerpieces in Burlap Covered Buckets with Table No.

I had the honor of decorating for the wedding of a fabulous couple of friends this past weekend.  Their vision was simple: incorporate their chosen colors green and brown (their invites had an owl and a tree so this was a sub-theme) and have centerpieces that served some function beyond just the wedding. And of course keep within budget.  Other than that, I was free to exercise my creative muscles.

After discussing centerpieces, we decided to do something living so that people could take them home to enjoy after the wedding.  After considering all of the possible vessels for a living centerpiece (terra-cotta pots, etc), I saw these burlap-covered buckets at the local City People’s Mercantile and was inspired to incorporate table numbers into the centerpieces themselves and give it a sort of french country flare so that when put to use later, they just look like cool vintage numbered pots and not table numbers.

In order to achieve my own version of these, I started with plain  5 1/2″ tall galvanized buckets from SaveOnCrafts.  I should note that I looked everywhere to find some that were just the right height for centerpieces at a good price since I needed to make 13 of them and this was the best I found.  Ikea does have some buckets that would work but the size was off.  I also searched high and low for wide burlap ribbon and managed to find some 4″ burlap ribbon at SaveOnCrafts as well.

My first attempt to attach the ribbon to the buckets using adhesive dots was a no go, in part because of the angle of the buckets and in part because of the weight of the burlap.  So, I decided to break out the Mod Podge!

Galvanized Bucket Covered in Burlap Ribbon

First I figured out what length of ribbon I needed and measured out 20″ strips for each centerpiece.  Then, working on one bucket at a time, I painted on the Mod Podge starting at the seam of the bucket.  I carefully placed the ribbon down,  aligning it with bottom rim of the bucket as a guide.  Then, I slowly worked my way around, painting on more Mod Podge as I went.  I didn’t worry about the Mod Podge flowing over the the ribbon at all since it dries clear!

The trick comes when you get to the end as you will see your ribbon ends at a funny angle (see #1 below).  Just cut the ends to be somewhat even with the band of ribbon and then just slather on the Mod Podge.  It’ll look messy (pic #3) but as you can see from the last picture below, it’ll dry and have a nice stiff finish and look like the bucket came that way (plus the ends won’t fray).

Mod Podged Burlap Bucket

Once all of the buckets were dry, it was time to stencil!  I chose to create stencils using my Silhouette.  I initially considered making them out of vinyl but then decided that was a bit silly (ie. wasteful) given how many I had to make so opted for cardstock instead since then I could easily use each stencil twice (each bucket had the number stenciled on each side so 2/bucket).  The trick with cardstock is keeping the centers of “o”s and things together so I used the knife tool in Silhouette Studio to create a true stencil.  Then, I fit as many numbers (in the same font as the invites: Champagne and Limousines) on a 12×12 sheet and cut them out.  Again, working one bucket at a time, I just used tape on each side of the stencil, stenciled on some Martha Stewart Crafts Paint in Vanilla Bean using a stencil brush.  I didn’t worry if the paint bled outside the stencil a little since it just added to the rustic nature of the design.

Stenciled Burlap Bucket Wedding Centerpieces

Then came the herbs!  Our hope had been to have them all be mint since it’s such a summery herb but alas the first weekend in August, there wasn’t much mint left at the nursery so I decided to go with an assortment of fresh herbs instead (none too pungent of course).  After they were all planted in the buckets, I wanted to make sure folks knew what they were taking home at the end of the night and didn’t want to leave the silly little plastic sticks that came with them so I broke out my chalkboard vinyl and cut little flags that I wrapped around short skewers (the vinyl sticks to itself so it was perfect) and then labeled them using a chalkboard pen.

Fresh Herb Centerpieces

I love how they turned out!  Totally what the couple wanted – brown, green and reusable – and very summer in Seattle!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of the wedding – seating cards and a sweet little Jewish accent!

A SUPER SIZE NOSH!

Large Faux Metal Nosh

I am so excited about my latest project, I’m not even sure where to begin!  If you’re like me, you’ve now become totally addicted to Pinterest.  It’s total eye-candy and inspiration for all of my crafty kindred spirits out there.  The trick to it though is actually following through on some of the ideas it generates.

On my ever-growing idea list, I re-pinned a fabulous pin for an awesome tutorial on how to make faux industrial/metal letters from the blog Retropolitan and I knew I needed to make some for myself.  The only thing was I wasn’t sure what I needed them for or where I’d even put them.  At the same time, I had also been trying forever to come up with some art for our breakfast nook…I could do the word “EAT” but that was too boring and then in a moment of sheer genius Yiddishism, it came to me, “NOSH.”

super-size paper mache letters

I had seen these super size 23″ paper mache letters at Joann that would be perfect for the faux metal finish.  I won’t go into how to get the finish, you can check out Retropolitan’s tutorial here – her technique is simple and brilliant and I totally agree with all of her suggestions, especially the brad detail!

I will give you a few hints for working with these super-sized letters:

  • Be sure to check them carefully at the store – some are really weak at the seams.  I had to go to two different stores to find letters that were fully intact. The best “H” still had minor damage that I patched with blue painter’s tape which worked just fine and was hidden by the paint.
  • I think because of their size, these letters are actually a bit more fragile than the ones in the tutorial so you need to take a little extra care when piercing them (I used a paper piercing tool) for the brads or you will be back to my first hint.
  • To hang the letters, I highly recommend the 3M Picture Hanging Strips.

Here is the final result, fun and inexpensive art for our breakfast nook with a Yiddish twist:

I LOVE the result!  Wonder what other Yiddish words I can turn into art…

Happy Spring!

The sun is finally out in Seattle and it’s feeling like spring.  I generally change the welcome sign by our front door with the change of seasons/holidays but the only one I have a with a Jewish flare is a “Happy Hanukkah” one.  So, I decided I wanted to do a simple Shalom (shalom is Hebrew for peace and also a greeting of hello).  I started with an 8×24″ canvas and a can of chalkboard spray paint.  Then, using my Silhouette Cameo cutting tool, I designed the word “Shalom” in the “Sholom” font in Silhouette Studio to fit the dimensions of the canvas.  Next, I cut out the word in vinyl to use as a reverse stencil on the canvas.

Adhering the vinyl directly to the canvas proved a bit tricky so I ended up spraying a coat of primer first just to give it a bit more to grip to.  Even then, it took a lot of patience to stick the vinyl letters to the canvas.  Once you have them in place, you just have to make sure they are really pressed down in order to minimize paint seepage.  Then it was time to spray the chalkboard paint.  You need two coats to get a good chalkboard surface.

After the paint dried, the next step was to carefully remove the vinyl letters.  The edges were a little uneven and I could have left it for a rustic look but decided that I’d be happier painting over the letters with white paint to clean them up a bit.  I also attached some hanging hardware to the back so that I could attach a ribbon for hanging.  And if I ever wanted to move this indoors and put it on the mantel, you could do that too because the hardware is hidden in back. The beauty of this is that I can now change out the ribbon to fit my mood the season(can’t wait to use my matzoh ribbon for Passover!).

For the lovely spring day we’re having, I went with a nice rainbow ribbon, then added a little message with my chalk pen (also customizable to the occasion) and ta-da, our new welcome sign:

Hope you are out enjoying some sunshine!