Home Decor

Handmade Animal Magnet Tutorial

I recently attended the wedding of my childhood neighbor (Congrats Kayla & Steve!).  I truly enjoy going to a wedding or event that has every little detail thought out and presented in a unique way and this couple did not disappoint.  The theme was whimsical woodlands meets fairytale love story.  They did an amazing job and their wedding was really a true representation of their personal style.

One of my favorite details of the wedding was the seat card holders for the guests.  Each seat card was displayed upright in between a mini animal toy figurine which was cut in half with a magnet attached on the inside of each end.  I guess my kids found these little figurines just as enjoyable as I did since I woke the following morning to a screaming match over whose new toy it was. Since I only had one to spare, the only solution was to make my weekly trip to Michael’s a little early and get the supplies needed to re-create these little woodland gems.

Here’s what you need:

  • Plastic mini animal toy figurines (I got mine at Michael’s)
  • Sharp knife
  • Fine sand paper
  • Non-toxic paint or spray paint
  • Magnets
  • Clear glue (I used gorilla glue as well as hot glue to really secure in place)

Picture 1

Step 1:

Picture 2Take the plastic animal of your choice and vertically cut the animal in half.  If you notice that the edges of your animal are a little rough after the cut, take a fine grain sand paper and sand the edges so that they are nice and smooth.

Animals with magnetsStep 2:

Connect 2 of your magnets together (its easier to work with them already connected first).  Take your gorilla glue and dab a little on one end of your magnet as well as a little on the flat side of the animal.  Hold the magnet in place on the animal until dry (30 seconds – 1 minute).  Repeat this step on the other half of your animal.

Step 3:

Start hand painting or spray painting both sides of your animal and let it dry completely before moving to the next step.

Step 4:

Animal Seat Card HoldersOnce the paint has dried on your animals, use a glue gun to seal around the edges of the magnet.  This adds some extra adhesive to make sure that your magnets stay in place.  Once the glue has dried, your magnets are ready to use.

This is a quick project that will add some whimsical fun to your home or next event.  The magnets are a unique idea for seat cards at your next dinner party, a perfect way to display photos or décor for a birthday and they also look great on the fridge (just in time for all the lovely artwork your kiddies will bring home from school).

Animal Magnet Card HoldersTry this project next time you are stuck in the house with your kids on a rainy day.  Complete steps 1 and 2 on your own and then let your kids use their creativity to paint the animals the colors of their choice.  It is a great way to educate your children on their animals or dinosaurs, they get to explore their creative minds with some crossbred species of animals and you will have some pretty cool magnets to hang all their beautiful artwork with.  Picture 8

Just one wedding guest who appreciates the little details that make a stylish wedding, Thia 

Share your kids creative animal masterpieces with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch

Handmade American Flag Lanterns Perfect for July 4th


With 4th of July rapidly approaching I wanted to create some red, white and blue party décor that I could use at our family celebration this weekend.   I headed over to Michaels Art & Crafts and after a little while cruising the aisles hoping to find some inspiration for my decor, I came across some jumbo sized mason jars.  This particular brand, Ball, is made in the USA and I thought they would make a great base for party lanterns.  I knew I needed an American flag displayed somewhere at our celebration, so I decided to paint the stars and stripes on the jars to create handmade American Flag lanterns.

This project was very simple to craft and the added bonus was the wallet friendly cost at the end!  Follow our easy steps to create your own American Flag inspired lanterns.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Mason Jars (any size will do)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paint for Glass (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint)
  • Circular Foam Brush
  • A Mini Star Lever Punch
  • Rope (a thin size for the base of the Mason Jar and a thicker size for the handle)
  • Clear Glue
  • 3 Candles (make sure these will fit into the nape of your jar)
  • Sand (optional)

Step 1:

Clean the outside of the mason jars with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt on the surface before you begin painting.  Let them dry completely.

Step 2:

Once the jars are dry to the touch, you can begin placing your painters tape.  Since I had blue and red paint, I placed the tape where I wanted the white sections to be.  I took the lever punch and started punching little stars into the painters tape and placed each star on the jar one at a time so they were evenly spread out all around the surface.  I then started placing the stripes down on the other 2 jars making sure they lined up but also eyeballing it as I went.  Rub your finger over all the tape to ensure it is securely in place.

Step 3:

Start painting the blue paint onto the jar with the stars and the red paint onto the jars with the stripes.

**Note** – I ended up using a circular foam brush to apply the paint because on my first try with a brush all you could see where the brush strokes when I was finished.  I switched to the circular foam brush and applied the paint in a dabbing motion and this presented a more smooth finish when the paint dried.

Let the first coat of paint dry completely.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint dries really quickly, so that was ideal for me to complete this project in an hour and a half.

Step 4:

Once your first coat of paint is completely dry, you can then apply your second coat.  Let your second coat of paint dry completely.

Step 5:

Once the paint is dry, remove the painters tape.  You may need to clean up the edges of your lines a bit in case any paint bled under the tape.  I used a cotton swab for this process.

Step 6:

Use a sealer to place over your jars so that the paint that you applied will stand the test of time.  Let the sealer dry completely.

Step 7:

Now that your sealer is dry, you can start adding the rope to the nape of your jars.  I used a hot glue gun with clear glue to secure the rope in place.  Begin with one layer of the thinner sized rope for the bottom of the jar neck to the top stopping along the way to secure with glue.  Next cut a small handle (or large depending on your preference) out of the thicker sized rope and glue each side of the handle to the mason jar.  Finish with one more layer of the thinner sized rope over the handles.  Repeat this step for the rest of the mason jars.

This American inspired party décor is an inexpensive way to put a unique twist on your celebration and it will last for many years to come.

– Just one proud American whose heart beats true for the red, white and blue, Thia

Share your July 4th party decor with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch

Repurpose Old Picture Frames with Nautical Burlap Art

Quickly Create a Cool, Coastal Look Inspired by the Waters of Maine Without the Hefty Cost

For under $15 (if you have frames on hand to reuse) you can make your own wall-art using easy to find items like: burlap, paint and stencils.  Without old frames on hand, I purchased new ones by cruising the sales and clearance sections of Home Goods and Kohl’s.  For $25, I found 4 frames that would work great for my project.  Less than an hour after starting these mini masterpieces (including drying time), I had an entire wall of art ready to hang.

Here’s what you need for your wall décor refresh:

  • Burlap Material
  • Stencils of your choice (Martha Stewart has some great templates)
  • Acrylic Paint color of your choice
  • Assorted sized paint brushes
  • Frames (if you do not already have them)

Step 1:

Take out the picture filler from the frame and use that as a template to cut your burlap to fit nicely into your frame.

Step 2:

Take your stencil of choice and place it on top of the burlap piece.  Grab a few heavier objects such as a paper weight, thick book or even a rock to hold the stencil in place while you are painting.

Step 3:

Grab your smallest paint brush, dip the tip into your paint color and then begin painting in your stencil.  I like to use a dabbing motion when painting on burlap because of the different directions of the material, I find that you have more control dabbing as opposing to regular brush strokes.

Step 4:

Once your stencil has been painted onto the burlap, remove the stencil and touch up any areas that you would like.  When you have finished, allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5:

When the paint is dry, take your burlap piece and insert into your frame.  This will look great with or without the glass in the frame.

This burlap art is a great way to create unique art on a budget.  Perfect for party, seasonal or holiday decor, try this project at home and transform your living space without making a dent in your wallet.

– Sharing design inspiration from my home to yours, Thia

Try this project for your home revamp and share your final product with us! Via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch. 

Vibrant Fruit & Flower Centerpiece In Under Five Minutes

Whenever we host a dinner party or get together, I always look for new ways to leave a unique impression on our friends and family.  As most women would probably put their time and energy into planning an unforgettable meal, I tend to spend my time on creating an experience with the mood and atmosphere (one reason Jess and I make a great team, the chef and the event planner).

I recently hosted an event at our house and with limited time as well as 2 kids in tow the day of, I could only make one stop and it had to be the grocery store.  Along with the food and drink, I wanted to buy fresh flowers so I could create an accent piece to put on the bar that evening.  Aiming for something to compliment the fresh spring air that day, and wanting to avoid breaking the bank, I let my yearning for something colorful and effervescent lead the way for the perfect budget purchase: fruit and flowers.

Here’s what you need to re-create this fruity arrangement:

  • Colorful Fruit (lemons, limes, clementines or a mixture of both)
  • Glass Vase
  • White Flower Arrangement


Try to stick with flowers that have a lush and billowy blossom.  Some great examples are hydrangeas, peonies, english roses and dahlias.

Lime Vase
Step 1

Fill your vase of choice almost to the top with your fruit.  I left 2-4 inches between the fruit line and top of the vase so the flowers would sit nicely.  Note – the fruit must be placed in the vase  first, if you fill the vase up with water and then add the fruit, you’ll have to start over because your fruit will float.


If you have some time on your hands, try cutting the fruit into narrow slices rather than using the whole fruit.  I have also tried this option and it looks fabulous as well.

Step 2:

Fill your vase with water about an inch above your fruit.

Sliced Fruit - Lemon & Orange Close upStep 3:

Trim the stems on your flowers and add them to the vase.  You might need to play around with the length of stem as it tends to get crowded when using a narrow vase.

With one stop to the grocery store and 5 minutes to create, this centerpiece is a no-brainer for your next spring or summer fete.

– Just one social butterfly helping to set the mood for your next dinner or event, Thia

We want to hear from you!  Try creating this centerpiece for your next gathering and share your experience with us. Find Amazing Matriarch on Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  #amazingmatriarch. 

Land of Nod Inspired: DIY Letter Garland

Give your indoors a customized touch of spring with this inexpensive, Land of Nod knock-off, letter garland. Fed up with the wintery weather still lingering in New England, I was inspired by Land of Nod to brighten up my mantel with some spring décor. If spring won’t grace the outdoors, I might as well transform my home into a budding paradise. KJ sign

The total cost of my indoor spring fling: $2.50.

Total effort: minimal.

What you need:

  • Scrapbook paper
  • String or Ribbon for hanging (Land of Nod uses a shoelace)
  • Letter Template
  • Pen (For tracing the letters onto your scrapbook paper)
  • Scissors
  • Handheld Hole Punch
  • Vase
  • Twine (to wrap around the vase)
  • Clear Glue
  • Dried flowers

**Tip** – If you are unsure about what paper colors go well together, purchase a scrapbook012d698b9a4243458dd0d31cb4683831b56c375905 paper pad.  These include a collection of prints and patterns that pair very well together.

Step 1: Print out the enclosed letter template that I created and cut out the letters that you want to use for your project.  Click here to download the letter template.

Step 2: Trace the letter templates onto the scrapbook paper of your choice.  Once complete, you can begin cutting out your letters.

Step 3: Place your hole punch tool on each letter in the location where you want your holes to go.  Carefully squeeze the tool and release, you should see your hole immediately after you remove the tool from the paper.  Note – for the bigger letters, I used 2 holes in order to balance the weight of the letter. Flower Image

The small flower vases were $1/each at the craft store. To recreate this look, take a bit of twine and wrap it around the neck of the vase; secure it with clear glue.

Using dried flowers  (mine were saved from the bouquet my husband got me for Valentine ’s Day), adorn the vase with one or two buds. Use the vase to anchor the letter garland in place on your mantel, dresser or shelf.

And you have a touch of spring color in a saying that suits your decorating theme of the day (name garland, birthday greeting, party banner, etc.). Now recreate for all your special occasions and be the envy of all your friends.

– Just one knockoff  creator delivering a fresh take on spring decor, Thia 

We want to hear from you; share your letter garland creations with us on Social Media- Facebook: Amazing Matriarch; Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter:@AMatriarch  using #amazingmatriarch.


Crayon DIY Wall Art for Kids and Adults

If you’re looking for an easy project that takes less than an hour (for young attention spans) that kids will love, try crayon wall art. Use your imagination and for under $10, you’ll create a masterpiece with melted crayons on a canvas.


  • Crayons
  • Glue & Glue Gun (you can use any type of glue)
  • Painters Canvas (12×12 or 11×14 canvas is a great size)
  • Embossing Heating Gun (you can find one for under $20 at your local craft store)
  • Cardboard box

Step 1:

Gather up the crayon color combinations that you want to use in this project.

Step 2:

Begin gluing each crayon side by side in whatever formation you want them to go.  I prefer to glue my crayons at the top of the canvas to give it a more uniform look but this is art, there is no right way to do it.  Use your creativity.

Step 3:

Once your crayons are glued onto the canvas, you can begin the heating process.  To get the look that I produced, I recommend putting your canvas in an open cardboard box so that it leans against one side of the box at an angle (plus having it in a box will prevent a mess).

An Epic Rainbow, One Student Commented
An Epic Rainbow, One Student Commented

Step 4:

Power on your heating tool and point it at an angle about 3-4 inches away from the tips of the crayons (pointing the heating tool too close to the crayons will cause it to splatter rather than drip downward).  It may take up to 30-45 seconds to heat up the crayons and you will have to do this in sections as the heat won’t reach all the crayons at once.  I like to point it at the tips only to prevent the heating tool from burning the crayon paper (it is much prettier to look at when the paper doesn’t burn).  I usually heat the crayons until the tips  melt away.  **TIP – If you notice a little smoke coming from your project don’t worry, just pull the heating tool away for a few seconds or move on to another section of crayons to give the area a break before completing the melting process.

Take the show on the road and be the hero of your kid’s preschool class.  Since this is an interdisciplinary project that taps into art and science and appeases curious, young minds, my son’s pre-k teacher let me lead his class in creating Crayon Wall Art.

I knew this would be fun, and the finished project pretty cool, but what I did not anticipate were the varying interpretations that the kids had of the art they created:

  • An epic rainbow
  • A melting rainbow a.k.a. Melty
  • A dripping rainbow
  • Melting colors

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

– Adding a little color to brighten your day, Thia

Chic, Whimsical, DIY Décor That’s Quick, Easy and Wallet Friendly

Whenever I throw a party or get together, tissue paper pom-pom’s are always my go-to decoration.  They are easy to create, you can find the materials anywhere and they are really chic and beautiful.  When hung from a clear string, these pom-pom’s give the illusion that they are floating midair.

These easy breezy tissue paper pom-pom’s added a beautiful pop of color to my daughter’s room; instantly brightening the space.

Follow these simple steps and you too can create these cheery pom-pom’s for your home or next get together.

Materials you need:

  • A package of tissue paper (you can get this wherever gift wrap and greeting cards are sold)
  • Floral wire (preferably silver or white cloth)
  • Scissors
  • Clear monofilament string (i.e. fishing string)


Accordion Fold

Step 1:

Take your tissue paper and start making 1-1.5 inch accordion folds, making sure to crease each section as you go.



Accordion fold with tie

Step 2:

Take the floral wire and slide it around the center of your now tissue paper strip then twist together to hold in place.



Rounded Trim Corner

Step 3:

Take the scissors and trim the ends of the tissue paper in a rounded or pointed shape.




The final stepStep 4:

Take one layer and separate it by pulling toward the center.  Repeat this step for each layer of tissue paper on each side.  Adjust the layers so that it forms a pom-pom.



Finished productStep 5:

Take the clear monofilament string (a.k.a fishing string) and attach to the end of the floral wire.  Once completed, your pom-pom is ready to be hung.





– Adding a little warm spring cheer to melt away the winter snow, Thia


Create a Kitchen Measurement Cheat Sheet in a Flash

I don’t know about you but whenever I cook a new recipe, I am constantly reaching for my smartphone to Google  measurement conversions.  No matter how often I cook, my mommy brain gets the best of me and I can’t remember common kitchen measurements.

The other day, when I was out for my bi-weekly trip to the craft store, I came across a display of chalkboard painted plaques.  I thought, this would be a perfect piece to create a kitchen measurement chart. What I didn’t realize was how quickly this draft would come together. In less than 20 minutes my measurement conversion chart was complete.

You too can create a sweet little chart of your own in under 20 minutes for $5.00 or less, here’s how…

List of items you will need:

  • Chalkboard painted plaque (or a wooden plaque, primer and chalkboard paint to create your own)
  • Chalk or a chalk marker (I chose the marker because it has a finer tip)
  • Ribbon of your choice
  • No Damage Hanging Strips (for pictures or frames)

Step 1:

If you are painting your own wooden plaque, paint it with one coat of primer and once dry apply the chalkboard paint.  I would do 2 coats waiting in between until fully dry (this adds to the overall competition time).

If you purchased the pre-painted version of a plaque, bypass this step.

Step 2: 

KC Chart with textFind a good conversion chart online and use your writing utensil to copy this onto your plaque.  If you mess up, no worries.  Take a wet paper towel or cloth and wipe it off (I had a bit of trouble once the chalkboard marker had dried but I grabbed a magic eraser, scrubbed really hard and that did the trick).



Step 3:

Adding RibbonTake your ribbon of choice and insert each end into the pre-drilled holes (back to front) of plaque.  Pull the ribbon through the holes and tie the ribbon into a bow.  I like to use wired ribbon because it is easier to arrange the bow in place.

If there are no pre-drilled holes in your plaque, you can either drill 2 holes yourself or you can make your bow first and then glue it on your plaque (glue dots also work great).

Step 4:

Command StripsRemove the wax paper backing and place 4 pieces of damage free hanging strips (adhesive side down) onto the back of the plaque.  Press the other 4 strips (adhesive side up) against the already situated ones and press down until you hear a snap.  Decide where you want to place your plaque.  I was going to put mine on the inside door of the cabinet where I prepare the meals; instead I chose the wall below my cabinet, it was too pretty to hide.





And there you have it.  A kitchen measurement cheat sheet in under 20 minutes!

final chart

Just one home cook helping to make your time more efficient in the kitchen, Thia

Mom found NOT GUILTY of hoarding her kids artwork!


Who actually has the room for the hundreds of arts and crafts projects that your children bring home from school  every year?  If you are as sentimental as I am and can’t part with these precious gems, but also don’t have room to store them,  then you can follow these easy steps and put these art treasures to practical use as…placemats.

You will need:

 a pile of artwork

clear contact paper or a laminating pouch (if you have a laminating machine)


scissors (if you need to trim the artwork to fit into the designated mat area)

Step 1:

Preschool ArtworkGather up all of the artwork that you want to preserve.  I suggest getting your children involved in this project, have them decide what artwork to keep and what to get rid of.  It makes it a lot easier for you to stomach and they will be super excited to have the decision making power!



Step 2:

Cutting Contact PaperIf you are using contact paper, decide what size you want your placemats to be and then cut 2 pieces accordingly.  Take the wax paper backing off the 1st piece and lay (adhesive side up) on a flat surface.  Arrange the art work to your liking within the contact paper.  Once completed, take about 1/4 inch of wax paper off the 2nd piece of contact paper and carefully lay the adhesive side down (lining up appropriately on top of the 1st piece), using a ruler to smooth out the bubbles and creases as you go.  Continue taking off the wax paper backing in 1/4 inch sections (smoothing with the ruler as you go) until the whole piece has been covered.

For the laminating machine, I chose 12×12 laminating pouches (mainly because that is all that was left in stock when I went to the craft store).  Put the artwork inside the pouch, smooth out all of the creases and bubbles and then feed it into the machine.

Step 3:

Take the scissors and trim off any overlapping sides or edges of the contact paper or laminated pouch.

Not crafty?  No problem!  Gather up all the artwork you want to preserve and head to your nearest Staples , Officedepot, FedEx office or local printing shop.  They provide same day laminating services for a small fee.

That’s it!  You are done!

Finished placemat 2a                              Finished placemat 1a

In a short amount of time you can complete this simple project; guaranteed to be a great conversation piece at your next dinner party!

Just one mom saving the artwork and the day, Thia



DIY Superhero Dressers That Pack a Punch

Dresser Finished with ChalkWhat does a DIY decorator do when her  super hero fanatic four year old suggests a Pottery Barn catalog page as the theme for his new room? Saves some money and makes it for much less, that’s how!

Let’s face it, kids change their mind as often as some folks change their underwear so investing boku bucks on high end decor is almost like burning your hard earned cash. A quick trip to IKEA and the local Home Depot and I was in business for hundreds less.

Follow a few simple steps and you can easily replicate this look.

Step 1: Purchase Dressers

I chose:

But any unfinished, or reclaimed dresser  you choose will work for this project.

Supplies needed for Steps 2-4:

  • Paint primer/sealer (I really like Kilz premium because it is low odor, dries fast and is a great stain blocker)
  • Sand paper
  • Black Chalkboard paint
  • Mini Roller Frame and Cover that is lint free and leaves a smooth finish (I use Purdy White Dove Jumbo Mini Rollers and they come in a 2 pack)
  • Plastic or metal tray for the paint

Step 2:

Assemble the IKEA dresser according to the manual with the exception of the knobs.  Paint Dresser Wetthose separately and then attach to the dresser once everything is dry.  If you already have an assembled dresser, skip this step.

Step 3:

Once your furniture is assembled, run your hand over the bureau and take a piece of sandpaper to sand down any areas that feels rough to the touch.  This will ensure a smooth surface that will be much easier to paint on.

Step 4:

Use the paint primer to apply 1 coat to the dresser frame.  I primed the outside of the dresser frame, skipping the inside.  With the drawers out of the dresser, I primed each drawer’s exterior as well as the knobs.

Waiting 1 hour between coats, I repeated the primer application for a total of 2 coats to guarantee it will withstand the inevitable bumps and scrapes when my kids transform into their favorite superhero.

***Penny Pincher Tip***Drawer

When I am finished using a roller, I always wrap it in a big Ziploc bag or depending on the size of the roller, a small garbage bag so that it is airtight and stays moist so it won’t dry out.  This is great when you need to do some touch ups with the same color.

Step 5:

Once  the paint has fully dried, apply  the chalkboard paint to the outside dresser frame, drawers and knobs.  Again,  wait an hour in between coats to ensure that it is dry. Then, apply a second and maybe a third (as I did) coat to cover any areas that you may have missed to guarantee a uniform look for your finished product.

Once you complete this step, wait at least 3 days until writing on it with chalk.  This will allow the time needed to fully adhere to the wood surface of the bureau.

List of supplies for Step 6 (these can be purchased at any craft store):

  • Acrylic paint
  • Matte acrylic sealer/finish (aerosol)

Step 6:

Now for the best part- incorporating a little Superhero into the dresser. Utilizing the quick changing knobs of the dresser (simply unscrew and voila you can create a whole new look when their interests shift) I gave my son the Superhero look he wanted.Painted knobs remix

A simple Google search led me to the emblems for the superheros that my son loves, which I then painted by hand with acrylic paint.  I used Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain American and Spiderman.  Once they were completed, I waited  two days to ensure they were dry, sealed the knobs with a matte acrylic sealer/finish, allowed that to dry another 2 days then screwed the knobs onto the dresser in a mix & match pattern. I labeled his drawers with what’s inside and left some chalk in his room so he can get crafty on the sides.

***Safety Tip***

Always make sure you spray the matte acrylic sealer/finish in a well ventilated place, I usually do this step outside and then I wait about a minute and take it into my garage to dry.

Total cost to do this project = approximately $275

Ear to ear smile on my son’s face when I revealed the finished product = Amazing Matriarchs 1, Villains 0.


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