elegant and rustic diy ornaments


Each holiday season we try to come up with a few fun and easy diy ornaments to do with our kids, but this year we decided to make a few just for ourselves. Each of this year’s ornaments were inspired by a few of our client’s rustic holiday decor from last year, which is so classic that it translates perfectly from one year to the next. What we love most about these ornaments is their elegant simplicity and that they could not have been easier to make!

Rustic White Tree

Even though we focused on colorful holiday decor this year, we just couldn’t resist these monochromatic tree ornaments. We were able to whip these up with a few left over cones from our diy advent calendar and some sticks we found in the back yard.




Wool Roving is what is used for felting crafts. We decided to use wool roving because we couldn’t find the chunky wool yarn we wanted and found that wool roving was the next best thing, as well as being a lot less expensive! Wool roving comes in rolls, so you will want to start by unrolling the wool and cutting it into long strips that are about 2-3″ wide. There’s no need to be precise when you’re cutting, slightly messy edges looks best.


Once the wool is cut, hot glue the end to the tip of the kraft paper cone. Then begin twisting the wool and wrapping it around the cone. Stop every inch or so to add a drop of hot glue to the kraft paper cone to make sure that the wool stays in place. Continue twisting and wrapping the wool all the way down the cone until you have reached the bottom. Then add a dot of hot glue to the inside base of the cone and fold the end of the wool to that it covers the glue. Trim any remaining wool from the end of the strip of wool inside the cone.


We decided to add a touch of sparkle to our tree by wrapping it with thin gold thread. Start by placing a small dot of hot glue to the inside base of the cone and placing the end of the gold thread in the glue. Once the glue cools, begin wrapping the thread around the outside of the cone in a haphazard way until you reach the tip of the cone. Then wrap the thread back down to the base of the cone. Trim the thread so that the end is one inch longer than the base of the cone. Place another dot of hot glue on the inside base of the cone and lay the end of the thread in the glue, releasing the thread once the glue has cooled.


Break your stick so that it is about an inch longer than the cone. Then place a large dollop of hot glue on one end of the stick and insert it into the cone so that the stick fits right up into the tip of the cone. Let the glue cool slightly before letting go of the stick.


To make the star on top of the tree, start by cutting a 4 inch piece of twine and then fold it in half. Place a dot of hot glue on one if the wood stars and lay the ends of the twine in the hot glue. Cover the same wood star with a thin layer of hot glue and place the second star over the first to sandwich the twine loop in between them. Last, place a large dot of hot glue on the bottom of the star, on the opposite end of the twine, and then attach the star to the tip of the cone. Hold the star in place until the glue cools.

See Through Ornaments

Of all the ornaments that we’ve ever made, these have to be the easiest. And even though we made these ornaments for us, our kids loved helping fill them with feathers and leaves.


We started with several clear plastic ornaments, white and gold paint pens, our favorite greenery and a few white feathers. First we had our kids place a sprig of boxwood or a feather in each ornament. While our kids were having fun placing goodies inside the ornaments, we wrote festive words such as “joy,” “noel” and “peace” on the outside of the ornaments with white or gold paint pens.



These ornaments were so quick and easy that we churned our several in a matter of minutes. But the best part was how fun they were for all of us to make!


Ashley + Hallman

colorful christmas decor


Decorating our homes is always one of our favorite parts of Christmas.  Every year we like to mix it up and try something new. We have done traditional red and green decor and black and white decor, so this year we decided to decorate with lots of color!  Charlie, who is 4 years old, informed us that pink and blue are not Christmas colors, but we loved the way they looked with red and green. We made tassels, painted ornaments, used felt balls, and bottle brush Christmas trees to create our colorful Christmas decor.


To make the ornaments for this year’s theme, we bought plastic ornaments at Michael’s and filled them with craft paint in the colors of our choice. To make these ornaments, follow the instructions from last year’s colorful DIY ornament post. We wired the ornaments to a boxwood wreath and finished it off with a pale pink ribbon.



We added color to Hallman’s neutral stockings by making a collection of tassels for each stocking. We decorated the mantel with our DIY painted ornaments, a collection of green bottle brush Christmas trees that we found at Michaels and Target, and a felt ball garland from Paper Source.


To make the tassels, we started with a few skeins of yarn in the colors of our choice. To make the large tassels, we wrapped one color of yarn around 4 fingers 40-50 times depending on how thick the yarn was. Then we cut the  yarn and carefully removed the looped yarn form our fingers. We then cut a 12 inch piece of yarn from the same skein, folded it in half, thread it through the middle of the looped yarn and tied it in a double knot very tightly. This became the top of the tassel. Next, we cut another 12 inch piece of yarn in the same color and tied it tightly in a double knot around the looped yarn, about 1 inch down from first knot we tied. Finally, we cut the looped ends at the bottom of the tassel so that they were even. To make the smaller tassels, we wrapped the yarn around 3 of our fingers 20-30 times, depending on the thickness of the yarn. Then we followed the same steps we used for the large tassels in order to finish the small tassels.


We tied varying colors and sizes of the tassels together, and then tied each tassel group to the loop on each stocking.



We continued our theme to the table using the same ornaments, bottle brush trees and felt balls to create a centerpiece. On each place setting we tied the napkins with a set of three handmade tassels. to add a pop of color to our neutral linen napkins.


Happy Decorating!


Hallman + Ashley



counting down the days until christmas


The Christmas countdown has official begun, and our kids favorite way to tick off the days is with their Advent calendars. Each year we come up with a few fun new DIY advent calendars, and this year was no exception. This year we were inspired by one of our kids’ other favorite holiday traditions…Elf on the Shelf, so we decided to come up with our own little Christmas elf advent calendar.




Start by placing a small red circle sticker at the base of each cone for the elf’s nose. Then, using the 3/8″ paper punch, cut 48 circles out of the white sticker sheet to create the eyes. Place a small blue circle sticker on the bottom of each white sticker eye. Place two sticker eyes just above the red nose on each cone.


Cut 8 circles out of the assorted red and white paper so that each circle is 6.5″ in diameter. We used a circle cutter, but you can also use a compass and pair of scissors. To make the circle 6.4″ in diameter, you will want to set the circle cutter or the compass to 3.25″.


Using the scissors, cut each paper circle into three equal parts so that you have 24 wedges.


Using the tape runner, place tape on the back side of a wedge of red and white paper. You will want to make sure that you place tape right along the edges of the paper so that it adheres to the paper cone. Then, with the tip of the wedge at the same side as the tip of the cone, wrap the paper wedge around the paper cone so that the base of the wedge sits over the elf’s eyes just a bit. Once the paper is wrapped around the cone, press down on the edge of the paper to make sure the tape is in place.


Thread the yarn needle with a 2 foot length of white yarn and tie a knot at the end of the yarn. Run the needle through the cone from the base out though the tip. You will need to place the thimble on your finger in order to push the needle through the inside tip of the cone. Once the needle is through the tip, pull the needle so the yarn runs all the way through the cone until the knot stops the yarn from moving any further.


Now thread the white pom pom onto the needle and pull the pom pom along the yarn until it stops at the top of the cone. Next, place the black number stickers, 1 through 24, onto the front of each elf hat.


Print our advent calendar activities template and cut out each activity. Fold the activities in half and place one in each cone. Cut a stack of white tissue paper in half. Crumple a sheet of tissue paper and firmly press it into the base of the cone to hold the activity in place. If you’d like you can add a small treat, such as a Hershey’s kiss or small chocolate coin to the cone before you seal the cone with the tissue paper.


Now your little elves are ready for the Christmas countdown! You can tie each elf to a long piece of yarn and hang them from your mantle like a garland, or tie them to a 12 inch embroidery hoop and hang the hoop from the ceiling like a mobile!


Ashley + Hallman

all dressed up

Even though Holiday decorations have been out for weeks we always feel like Black Friday is the first official day we can start to shop for festive Holiday attire. We all have a few parties in the books, whether it’s a casual gift exchange with friends, a family Hannukah dinner or a fancy New Years Eve party! What better way to kick off the shopping extravaganza with some Holiday outfit inspiration.




Velvet is very versatile and pairs well with everything from denim to a cocktail dress, so we can see why everyone is sporting this luxurious fabric. We are seeing it in statement tops, classic blazers, skirts, dresses and even pants.  Velvet pants however, can often be difficult to pull off so we like to stick with tops, jackets and shoes which look great on everyone!


Mia Mia Mine


Sandra Semburg


My Style Pill


Viva Luxury

Pleated Skirts

Pleated skirts are everywhere this season, especially in midi length flowy silhouettes. Whether it’s in jewel tones or classic black, we love how they look paired with a statement pump or a high heeled bootie. If you aren’t ready to commit to the full length skirt, this shorter pleated skirt from Banana Republic is a great way to test the waters.


They All Hate Us

Longer pleated skirts can create a lot of volume so we like to keep the top simple and fitted. A classic slim-fitting crew neck sweater, a slinky tank, a tailored long sleeve blouse or a slim leather jacket work perfectly.


Closet Full of Clothes

Statement Tops

Statement tops are a great way to elevate a favorite pair of jeans or ground elegant stovepipe slacks. Depending on what you’re looking for, there is something for everyone! Bell sleeve and full sleeve silhouettes like this One by Stylekeepers can easily go from the office to cocktails. More tailored silhouettes like this off-the-shoulder Petersen blouse always look great on everyone.




Shop Style


Adding a little sparkle is such a fun way to update classic pieces we wear every day. Sequins is a Holiday staple that looks great in small doses and works best when it’s worn on one statement piece such as a jacket, clutch, shoes or tank top. We also love to pair a sequin pencil skirt with our favorite denim!







Happy Shopping!


Ashley + Hallman

thanksgiving kids’ table inspiration

The kids’ table is a Thanksgiving day institution. We love to come up with decorations, crafts and activities for the kids’ table each year, to keep the kids entertained and making Thanksgiving fun for everyone. This year, we picked a few of our favorite ideas for kids’ tables that are simple and will make everyone smile.

Be Thankful


Cool Mom Picks

 Kids Table Decor


Studio Life.Style. for  The LA Times


The Celebration Shoppe

Legos, Crayons and More!


Fresh Mommy Blog


Paging Super Mom


Project Nursery

Making a thankful tree, a gratitude wreath, thankful jar or a thankful garland are all great ways to focus the kids and the adults on the meaning of the day.

Gobble! Gobble!


Hallman + Ashley

simple rustic thanksgiving place settings


We love nothing more than making our families and friends feel special when we host a party, and creating unique place cards or place settings is just one way we like to do this. Every year we come up with a few place setting ideas for our Thanksgiving table and this year we were inspired by our rustic Thanksgiving table scape. With only a few simple items, we were able to come up with several ways create rustic place settings that anyone can make!


Twine is a very easy and inexpensive way to make any ordinary napkin look more chic. With a few sprigs of greenery, a bit of twine and a place card the options are limitless, but we paired ours down to three simple variations.


Expressing gratitude at the Thanksgiving table is a wonderful tradition we like to practice in our families. Each year we come up with a few ways to share our gratitude, but a simple card at each place setting, which guests can write on is a great way to incorporate the tradition. We started by printing our thankful-place-cards template onto card stock from Paper Source in Paper Bag. We cut out each card and inserted them into the pocket of a folded napkin. Then we tied a piece of twine around the napkin into a bow and placed a small sprig of eucalyptus under the twine. We used a pocket fold for many of our napkins this year, and Real Simple has a great video tutorial! The key is to make sure that you are folding your napkin to the width of your place card.


Paper Source sells printable place cards in a whole variety of shades. Using their place card in Gravel, we printed our guests’ names on the front of each card. After using the pocket fold technique on our napkins we inserted the back side of the place card into the pocket of our napkin. To secure the place card, we wrapped twine around the napkin twice and tied the ends together in back.


Another way we incorporated an expression of gratitude into a place setting is with our script-thankful-place-card template. After printing the script-thankful-place-card onto Paper Source card stock in Gravel, we cut out each card and placed them on top of our folded napkins. We secured them to the napkin by wrapping them with twine three times. To finish the look we placed two sprigs of rosemary under the twine.


Using ordinary items in an unexpected way is just one of the tricks we use to up or table setting game, and clothespins are a simple way to turn any place setting into something a little less ordinary.


This place setting could not have been easier to make! Using a brown Sharpie marker, we wrote our guests’ names onto the clothespins. Then we clipped a couple sprigs of rosemary to the napkin with the clothespin. This little trick would work well with just about any piece of greenery, but we love to use herbs at Thanksgiving because of all the wonderful herbs we use when preparing our Thanksgiving dinner.

Sprigs of Greenery

You don’t need to go crazy to make a big impact! A sprig of greenery such as eucalyptus, fall leaves, or herbs placed on each plate along with a simple place card is an easy and chic way to set a table. To make our last place setting, we printed our guests names onto Paper Source card stock in soft white, cut out each name and placed them directly on the plate. We topped each card with a small sprig of eucalyptus and called it a day!


For more ideas on setting a Thanksgiving table, check out our DIY place cards from last year and the year before.

Happy decorating!


Ashley + Hallman

setting a rustic Thanksgiving table


It is hard to believe that Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is around the corner. One of our favorite parts about Thanksgiving is setting the table. Last year, we went to the homes of six L.A. ladies and helped them create tablescapes for Thanksgiving. This year we wanted to create a simple and rustic table using beautiful driftwood, succulents and white pumpkins.


To create this centerpiece, you need succulents of varying sizes and colors, and white pumpkins in various sizes. We found our sticks at Rolling Greens in West L.A., but we also loved these birch sticks and these natural ghostwood branches. First, we created a base by overlapping 6 long sticks. Next, we placed the pumpkins on top of and next to the stick base. Once our pumpkins were in place we added succulents. To prepare the succulents we removed all of the dirt, leaving only the root, and then submerged them in water to clean them. Once they were dry we added them to the arrangement.




We kept the place setting simple.  We used small pieces of manzanita branches on each napkin and tied them with a soft beige ribbon. To make the place cards, we printed our guests’ names onto tent cards from Paper Source. Paper Source offers printing templates for their place cards on their website, which makes printing very easy!



thanksgiving-decor-3 thanksgiving-decor-2

We loved the simple, rustic elegance of this table and the fact that it will last for weeks! For more Thanksgiving decor ideas see our table settingplace settings and our place cards ideas from years past.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hallman + Ashley