The Ugly Duckling House

We have a special guest today!
Hi there, C.R.A.F.T. lovers!  I’m Sarah from The Ugly Duckling House.  Jamie and I met earlier this summer at the Haven blog conference and thought it might be fun to swap blogs for today.  She’s amazingly sweet in person and such a creative, fun crafter, so I’m thrilled that she had me stop by to say hi to her readers!

I work full time, just finished my first year of grad school (one more to go!), and am in the middle of remodeling my home – which sometimes gets a little hectic.  It’s not always easy, and my home is far from HGTV ready.  But I am loving every minute of it, and really enjoy sharing the randomly funny stories that occur when learning how to DIY as a woman on my own.  Like the time my sliding glass door sprang a leak, and I had to turn into Lady MacGyver.  Or the time my Dad accidentally ripped out the wrong bathroom while I was in class.  Yeah – that’s how it goes in this house!  Right now, I’m right in the middle of this particular project:

Which is, as usual at the “Ugg Duck”, complete chaos.  As you can probably guess from the photo, Christmas projects are taking a back burner this year to finishing off my dining room.  So for today, I thought it might be fun to revisit my favorite inexpensive Christmas crafts of years past.

At the very top of the list is the nearly-free Christmas mantel from last year.  Most of the things you see in the photo were purchased the prior year in an after Christmas sale at Target, combined with red felt snowflakes from the Dollar Tree.  The JOY chip letters were covered in glitter and briefly taped to a mirror I reused from the bedroom…

Holiday mantel from The Ugly Duckling House

…but perhaps it was later trying to tell me something.

I also spray painted some plastic pears from the dollar store and added them to my dining room table for an easy (and shimmery) table centerpiece (along with some sparkly dollar store ornaments and some candle holders on sale from Michael’s).

Easy holiday table centerpiece from The Ugly Duckling House
Easy holiday table centerpiece from The Ugly Duckling House

Finally, I found a quick way to create a berry wreath… without ever even leaving my couch.

Berry easy wreath

This year, I’m planning on taking it easy for the holidays and focusing on my favorite family traditions.  I haven’t even put up the tree yet (and there’s an inside joke for why it is dubbed “Uncle Knick-Knack”)!  I doubt I’ll even be baking holiday cookies (though I would be happy to eat yours if you offer!).  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season too, and would love it if you stopped by The Ugly Duckling House from time to time to see how the DIY makeover is coming along.

merry christmas

Thanks so much, Jamie, for letting me swap blogs with you today!  Looking forward to seeing you at Haven 2013!


  1. So beautiful! I love it all!

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