DIY Coffee Filter Wreath

livingtheswelllifecoffeefilterwreathtutorial03I can’t seem to stop making these little wreaths this year! Something about Christmastime kick starts my crafting. Each wreath I make seems to turn out better than the last. It seems crazy that something so lovely could be so simple and inexpensive to make.  These wreaths are the perfect gifts for all of the hostesses/teachers on my list!

1. Gather supplies: Coffee filters (ever notice how they come in little clumps of 40ish?, that’s because it is the perfect amount to make one wreath!) Ha! You’ll also need 2 bags of black tea, 1 paper plate, gold paint, gold spray glitter, low-temp hot glue gun, paintbrushes, scissors and a ribbon for hanging.DSC_0766

2. With your filters still in a stack, paint around the edges. No need to be a neat-freak here. The distressed look adds to the charm.


3. Steep 2 bags of tea in 2 cups of hot water.
4. While your tea is brewing (and cooling), cut out the center circle of your paper plate.


5. Grabbing 3-4 filters at a time, soak them in your tea, then wring out the excess.  Lay flat to dry for several hours or overnight. Note: I dipped mine in quickly, but I’m sure you could experiment with longer dye times to achieve a deeper color.DSC_0774

6. Once your coffee filters are completely dry, fold them into quarters.  Add a dab of hot glue to the bottom point of your folded filter and begin gluing/layering them around your plate.  I chose to glue mine approximately 3/4″ apart. You can experiment with gluing filters in a more dense /loose pattern to achieve a more full/thin-looking wreath.  Once you are done, your wreath will look like this, which is actually kind of a cool, modern look in and of itself. I’m all for the poofy vintage ruffled look, so I don’t stop here…DSC_0780

7. The next part is super simple, I swear, but it’s difficult to describe. Begin fluffing your coffee filters by pulling them apart, tucking some edges in toward the center and pulling others out toward the edges. It takes a little playing to figure out how to fluff it best, but I promise it goes quick!livingtheswelllifecoffeefilterwreathtutorial02

8. Take your wreath to a well-ventilated area and finish it off with a coat or two of gold glitter spray. Once it is dry, tie a simple ribbon through your wreath and find the perfect place to display it!
Note: I experimented a bit with different embellishments to finish it off, but the minimalist in me decided I love it best plain with the subtle gold edges and sparkle!  I think I might just leave her up year ’round.

Finch’s Warehouse Boutique 2014!

Hi friends! If you know me, you know I am all about making/shopping/giving handmade gifts when possible.  This holiday season, don’t forget to support a few handmade artisans, and if you are local (hey Minneapolis!) I’d like to invite you to stop by the Finch’s Warehouse Boutique sale this weekend!  The lovely On Solid Ground Vintage warehouse will be chock-filled with handmade pieces and unique gifts for sale from a team of talented local artists, all while benefiting the American Cancer Society.  I am so excited to be a part of this! I don’t have any official or regular craft business, but I always find time for extra crafting during the Christmas season and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my juices flowing.  Anyway, please see the sale details/location below! Thanks for your support. Here’s a little peek at some of the gifts I have for sale! (:Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Fabric-wrapped candy canes make lovely ornaments or gift toppersProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetColorful flower earrings on pretty papers make the sweetest stocking stuffersProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Quilted pot holders in vintage-inspired prints, paired with painted wooden spoonsProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Homemade laundry soap is scent-free, gentle, economical, and  packaged up as the perfect gift for the practical person in your life!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAnd last but not least, these simple, airy coffee filter wreaths for your holiday or year-round decorating

You can see many more sneak peeks here!


Friday 11/28 – Sneak Preview Night!PURCHASE TICKET HERE

Sat. 11/29: 10am – 4pm

Sun. 11/30: 12pm – 4pm

Sat. 12/6: 10am – 4pm


On Solid Ground Vintage

575 9th St. SE #55MPLS, MN 55414


diy baby leg warmers


This little girly of ours has two long, spindly legs that jut out from an over-sized cloth diaper butt, and so there always seems to be a sizable gap between where her pant legs end and her socks begin.  Over the summer we put leggings on her occasionally with onesies, but since this girl has always been a butt-scooter, there were no worries about rug-burned knees and so most of time time she did without. Now that the cold weather is officially upon us, I’ve been breaking out the baby leggings left and right. Love that they keep her a little extra warm while adding a pop of color/pattern/cuteness. These leggings are also the perfect way to up-cycle your favorite pair of socks…Simply cut off the worn-out heels/toes and create something cute and new.


Gather Supplies:
pair of women’s knee-high socks
lace trim (apx 13″)
sewing machine


1. Make a horizontal cut across each sock, approximately 10 inches from the top.  You will use this tube part for the baby leggings.
Note: the foot part of the sock can be discarded…but how cute would it be to lace trim yourself a pair of matching mama anklets!? (;

2. Cut the lace trim: Measure the diameter of the sock when unstretched.  Double this number and add approximately 1/2 an inch for the lace to overlap. Cut a second piece of trim at the same length. (For this particular pair, I used 6 1/2″ of lace for each legging.)

3. Pin the lace around the inside of the sock.

4. Using your sewing machine, topstitch the lace trim to the inside of the sock, guiding your presser foot approximately 1/2″ from the edge of the trim.  The unfinished fabric of the sock will naturally roll away from the seam, giving your leggings an effortlessly finished look.
Note: I had no trouble with the simple rolled edges fraying even after a few trips through the washing machine.  For a more polished look, you could also fold under your sock edges before pinning and sewing to the trim.

Fall-Winter-Kids-DIY-50Layer on your baby and enjoy with bare piggy toes or warm leather moccasins!


a lovely day at the orchard

orchard-01Life seems to be clipping along at light speed this fall. The boy started Kindergarten. Suddenly the baby is not such a baby, and we’ve hardly had a chance to stop and catch our breath.  We’ve been working in high-gear with so much (wonderful) work in our photography business, but realized it had been too long since we’d pulled out a roll of film for these two doves.  So on a warm Sunday afternoon in September, we scrapped our to-do list and went swinging in the apple trees.  We made some very happy memories playing in the sunshine, hopping on a hay ride, and licking our fingers after polishing off half a dozen (or so) cinnamon sugar rolled apple donuts.  This was such a sweet day and I know these photos will give me warm fuzzies for many years to come! xo.orchard-03orchard-04living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-02living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-04orchard-08living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-03living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-01