DIY Wall Decorations

These wall decorations use the same method as the picture frames I made several months ago. These are in our baby’s room and I made similar ones for our fou-year-old’s room.

What you’ll need:

Three wooden plaques from the craft store Three sheets of matching or complimentary craft paper Decoupage glue Acrylic paint in a complimentary color Ribbon and hooks, if desired, along with craft glue Sandpaper (fine), scissors, sponge applicators

What to do:

Lightly sand the wood, making sure to thoroughly clean off the dust. Trace the surface to be covered with paper onto a piece of scratch paper, then cut out the shape and trace it onto the craft paper. (This method helps reduce mistakes 😉 ) Cut out the craft paper and set it aside. Paint the border of the wood (I did three coats, just to make sure it’s evenly covered). Spread a […]

DIY Herbal Fire Starters

The girls and I had such a blast perfecting these! So, here’s the deal. I told you last week about my favorite herbs to grow and my guest post on Modern Alternative Mama was all about how we created our awesome raised bed herb garden. Did you look at those pictures?! That’s a whole lot of herbs to use! Even when I do find some wonderful uses for my herbs, like my herbal bath salts, there’s still all of those dried stems that were going to waste. No longer!

Here’s the perks of making my herbal fire starters: Waste not, want not, right?? These are very frugal and they leave you with a “look at this totally cool thing I made” feeling! There’s no petroleum jelly or wax or other funky chemicals that you really shouldn’t be breathing. Herbal smoke purifies the air if you’re inside– during […]

Pretty Jar Labels

These are the jars from Wednesday’s post that I used for organizing the pantry. They are plain ol’ wide-mouth quart-sized canning jars with plastic lids. They are frugal and very effective for organization, but once I got them in the pantry, it was hard to tell what was in each jar without pulling them out. Not helpful! So….

I made labels! How cute is this?!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Wide mouth quart jars with lids (I used plastic, but you could use the metal ones. Plastic just seems easier to open and close.) Paper with a pretty color and/or pattern (I used scrapbooking paper) Contact laminate sheets (be sure you don’t get the “heat” laminate!!!) A circle cutter (you may also use a compass and scissors)

What to do:

Open up a Word document and type in the names of each item […]

Dried Flower Picture

This was my mother’s birthday present. Pumpkin and I picked the wildflowers and leaves from my parents property last summer, which makes it even more special! Here’s how to make your own.


What you’ll need:

a picture frame a piece of paper Mod Podge a small, cheap paintbrush tweezers flowers and leaves paper towels


Pick or purchase the flowers and leaves (note that pink and red flowers tend to brown some when dried). Remove petals from thick flowers and press petals, flatter flowers and leaves between paper towels. Use books or magazines to weigh them down. Check after a few weeks and replace paper towels if there is still moisture. Once the flowers and leaves are dry, arrange them on the paper (use the tweezers to make it easier) and take a picture of your design for reference. If you’re not happy with it, rearrange […]

Homemade Picture Books

This is an inexpensive project that doubles as an excellent home school resource! Who needs crazy-expensive curriculum when you can do this!

My hubby and I stumbled upon dozens of old National Geographic magazines for sale at our local library. When I say “for sale”, I mean “they were giving them away for a couple cents each”! We bought them all and brought them home. I put them in the bottom of our bookshelf and there they sat for months. Our original thought had been that we wanted to buy them for the pictures of people and places all over the world. Great educational tools, right? Well, when I finally started to flip through them, I realized that the political propaganda wasn’t something I wanted our children exposed to. I decided to cut the good pictures out and just toss the rest, but what to do with […]

Tin Foil Snowflakes

This is a family decorating tradition passed down from my Dad’s mom. It’s a fun project that the whole family can do and your house will look stunning if you fill every window!




To start, lay out a square piece of tin foil and place a tissue (if it’s two-ply, separate it and use half for each flake) from the center to one side.







Fold the left side over to the right










Fold the bottom half up








Start at the lower left corner and fold the left third of the square towards the middle







Again starting at the lower left corner, fold the right third towards the center





Real Foods Christmas Gifts

I love to give and receive homemade gifts! There is just something so precious about the time, thought and effort that goes into them. We’re keeping things very simple this year due to a new baby in the house. Below are some ideas that we have done in the past and some that we are planning for the future (so, if you’re family, pretend you’re surprised on Christmas, okay?).

Also, be sure to check out the links to the other Modern Alternative Mama bloggers at the bottom of the post for more homemade gift ideas in the

Home-grown Herbal Teas: We did this last year with our chocolate peppermint. Yes, CHOCOLATE peppermint. It’s a variety that is actually a bit difficult to find at the nursery, but it is soooo worth the effort. Once dried, it makes a naturally sweet tea that is perfect for Christmas […]

Stained-Glass Leaves

Today all of the bloggers on Modern Alternative Mama are kicking off the…

Every Monday during the month of November, we will all be linking up to share fun holiday projects. This week features natural and/or safe decorating.

Stained-Glass Leaves



This is a project that I came up with last year and it was a big hit! I wanted to display all of the beautiful leaves my daughter and I had collected without having them deteriorate and fade before the Thanksgiving. It worked so well, in fact, that the pictures you see are of last year’s leaves… and I just took them! The colors are still vibrant and festive with no signs of deterioration.The only thing to buy is some clear contact paper.

Here’s how to do it…

Gather as many shapes and colors of leaves as you can find, making sure that they […]

DIY Fabric-covered Magnetic Board

I decided to do something non-baby related this week, much to my three-year-old’s approval!

In an effort to declutter the kitchen, I made Pumpkin her very own magnetic board for her room. She can put up pictures, paintings, drawings… whatever she wants. I will be able to remove all of the papers from the front of the fridge, which I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while! So, here we go!


a magnetic board (ours is about 1 1/2 feet squared) enough thin material to cover the front of the board (make sure you have a few extra inches all the way around!) a hot glue gun a couple yards of ribbon (about the thickness of the edge of the magnetic board- ours was 5/8 inches) one or two pretty hooks to hang the board from


Lay the material right-side-down and center the magnetic […]

DIY Rice and Lavender Heating Pads

This is another of my fun baby projects! In preparation for labor (and the aches and pains of being a new mommy) I am making rice-filled heating pads. Some are just rice, but some have dried lavender, which gives a soothing scent when warmed.


Soft cotton flannel (you can use coordinating fabrics or just one) Contrasting thread White rice (brown rice can smell rancid due to the fat content) Dried lavender, or any other herb that you find soothing (mint, lemon balm, rosebuds, etc.)

I didn’t include sizes of material or amounts of rice and herbs because it is completely up to you! It’s a very forgiving project. 🙂

Decide how large and what shape you want your finished heating pad to be. I want a fairly large rectangle to cover all of my lower back, but you may want something smaller or perfectly square… have […]