December 1, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
It’s about to get all sorts of merry and bright around here, friends! If I’m honest with you, I am so excited to share this project with you! This is one that has been floating around in my brain for the last couple of holiday seasons but somehow just made it to fruition this year. Enter the DIY marquee Christmas tree! AKA the cutest damn Christmas tree you ever did see. (Or something like that.) Believe it or not, this bad boy is made from super simple supplies (we’re talking foam core and hot glue) and isn’t overly complicated. So let’s do this, shall we? Giddy up!
- Large sheets of foam core
- Clear globe string lights
- X-Acto or utility knife
- Hot glue gun + glue sticks
- Spray paint
- Metal straight edge
To begin you’ll need a large sheet of foam core. You can decide on the specific size of foam core depending on the finished size tree you’d like to have. (A smaller one would be super cute, too!) I used one of the large presentation boards (the kind with the fold-in sides) and ended up with a tree roughly 32″ tall. You’ll start by penciling a tree onto the foam core and then carefully cutting out the tree using an X-Acto knife and a metal straight edge. I simply took my time and used a pencil and the grid pattern that appears on the backside of the presentation board to create a tree shape that I thought worked and then cut it out. Alternately, you could use a stencil of some kind or even just cut out a large triangle and make a simpler, modern tree shape. It’s your call!
Next up it’s time to create the side walls. First you’ll want to measure the size of the lights you’re using to make sure the walls extend out past the lightbulbs. I used large clear globe lights, but if you’re making a smaller size tree you might want to use a smaller light. Then it’s a simple process of measuring the length of each side of your tree shape, cutting it to length and using hot glue to fix it into place. This process can take a bit of time, but it’s really quite simple. Also, you don’t need things to be totally perfect. By the time you glue it down and paint everything, a lot of mistakes will be forgiven so no stressing about perfection!
After your shape is built, it’s time for paint! Spray paint works great on foam core as long as you use thin, light coats. I used a Christmas green in a glossy finish and did about five or six light coats with ample drying time in between. Then the final step is to place your lights! Use your X-Acto knife to cut out holes for the socket of each light bulb. I found it easiest and most effective to use the tip of my knife to drill a little hole, then to cut outward to create a larger hole for the socket to fit thought.
Remove the light bulbs from each socket and then push the socket up through from the back of your tree. You can get really precise with the measuring or just eyeball the placement of each light bulb, which is what I did. Then the final step is to screw in all of the lightbulbs. If you have excess cord, use painter’s tape or masking tape (or whatever tape you have handy) to tape everything down nice and flat on the back of your tree. Then you’re all set! Plug in your tree and your house is ready to go for the festivities.
Call me crazy but I am so in love with this little tree. I think it makes a great addition to your existing holiday decor or would make an amazing alternative to a Christmas tree if you live in a small space or will be traveling over the actual holidays but still want your house to feel all kinds of merry and bright. Don’t forget to share what you’re crafting, making and baking with me this holiday season over on Instagram using the hashtag #thesweetestholidays. I can’t wait to see what you’re working on!
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share a maximum of 1 – 2 images from this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo
November 30, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Hi, friends! I have never been happier nor more overwhelmed to make an announcement in my life. Please welcome our sweet baby girl, Emerson Gray! (Her middle name comes from a hybrid of my maternal grandparents’ names – Gary and Kay.) She arrived right on time a week ago today, November 23 at 8:21am weighing 7lbs 15oz and measuring 20-3/4″ long. She is seriously the definition of perfection. It’s sincerely an understatement to say that her daddy and I could not be more in love if we tried. We are all doing great although I’ll be honest and admit that a week out, those postpartum emotions are proving to be very very real. All of that said, I’m definitely going to be laying low for a while and enjoying all the baby snuggles I can. In the meantime, here’s hoping you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving! We, for sure, have never had more to be thankful for than we do this year. xoxo
November 24, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Alouette. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that
so generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep on keepin’ on!
With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, it’s officially time to chat about holiday parties! In particular, quick and easy holiday party appetizer ideas that will make your guests really really happy without making you go crazy in the process. Are you feeling me? You know you are! By now you’re well aware that beautiful, yet casual entertaining is my favorite way to go and that has never been truer than this year with a newborn joining our midst just in time for the holidays. Enter my new favorite Le Bon Dip flavors from Alouette! Paired with veggies, crackers, crusty bread or chips, they are seriously out of this world delicious.
This holiday season, I am loving the idea of putting together a super simple but seriously scrumptious dip station that takes your basic cruité to the next level! All you have to do is pick up a few flavors of Le Bon Dip (the Fire Roasted Vegetables variety is my personal favorite, but the Basil, Zucchini & Parmesan takes a close second) and serve them up with a big pile of fresh veggies and your favorite crunchy snacks. Toasted crostini, pita chips, tomatoes and scallions make my favorite dippers, but this stuff is also delicious spread thick on a big hunk of crusty French bread. Trust me! Just set out a stack of plates and let guests serve themselves while you pour drinks. We’re talking a major win-win all the way around here, friends!
The best part about a dip station is just how quickly it all comes together! Even if you decide to have guests drop over last minute, you can run to the store and be ready to go in no time flat. Or if you keep your favorite Le Bon Dip stashed in the fridge throughout the season, all you have to do is pull it out and serve it up when friends stop over unexpectedly. Crack a beer or pour a glass of wine and you’re good to go! (But seriously, try the Fire Roasted Vegatables, it’s one of the tastiest things I’ve tried in a long, long time!)
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
This post was sponsored by Alouette. Read more about our editorial policies.
November 23, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Ever a sucker for a great set of printables, today we’re talking about Thanksgiving! More to the point, we’re breaking it down with these super cute printables designed exclusively for you by the super talented Jamie of A Pair of Pears. Thank you cards decked out in turkeys? Yup, we got those. Labels perfect for sending guests home with leftovers? Yup, we got those, too! Or you could use them to label desserts or dishes on the buffet. Totally acceptable!
Clearly I’m biased, but these are quite easily the cutest Thanksgiving printables that I ever did see, wouldn’t you agree? Click below to download, then just print and trim! Hint: The thank you card pairs perfectly with a bottle of a wine as a super cute hostess gift! (Because nobody likes to show up to dinner empty handed, am I right?)
[Design + illustration by A Pair of Pears | Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
The fine print: As with all of our printables, these designs are provided for personal non-commercial use only and may not be distributed, copied or sold in any fashion. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share them, please link to this post directly and do NOT host the file yourself. Thanks so much! xoxo
November 20, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
You’ve probably noticed I’ve been MIA this week, but I swear I have a good excuse! A good excuse in the form of a little baby on the way and a ton of stuff I’m trying to check off my list so I can take full advantage of all her cuteness when the time comes without worrying about work for a little bit. This is officially the part where I share that we are scheduled for our c-section bright and early Monday morning! (Actually, it will be dark for hours yet when we arrive at the hospital.) In the meantime, I’m sharing my last official pregnancy update! Next week while I’m busy cuddling, I have posts already pre-scheduled to help inspire your Thanksgiving celebrations and this year’s edition of The Gift Guide will kick off, too. Guys, there is so much happening all at once! Ahhh! I’ll be sure to share (most likely on Instagram) once our little girl is here, but in the meantime here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend and a truly beautiful Thanksgiving filled with lots of love and more than your fair share of pumpkin pie! xoxo
Once upon a time I found out we were having a baby and then woke up the next day at 39 weeks pregnant and about to have a baby! Or, so it seems. I can’t believe I am writing my final pregnancy update post! The last several months have been such a whirlwind. Some days I still wake up shocked that I’m even pregnant and now we’re just a few days out from welcoming our sweet little babe.
Pretty much everything has been about the same for the last week or so! I do think the baby has continued to drop because I’m feeling more and more low pressure every day. I’m also absolutely exhausted this week! (Which in part explains the far fewer posts than usual.) I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve run myself a bit ragged over the last couple of months (or really even this week as I frantically finished things up around the house to be photographed for a nursery reveal and mini house tour) or if it’s my body’s way of knowing I need to slow down and rest. Either way, I took three naps yesterday. Not even exaggerating. Otherwise I’m still dealing with a bit of swelling, but nothing major. It has pretty much been smooth sailing!
This week I have been a bag of emotions, running the gamut from anxious to excited and literally every shade of emotion in between. To think that by this time three days from now we’ll have a baby?! Mind boggling. On so many levels it still hasn’t sunk in and I imagine this is one of those deals where it won’t even for a long time after she’s here. One of my good friends (who happens to be married to my cousin) was due a week ahead of me and had her little guy on Monday and that made everything feel really real and overwhelming. I actually spent much of Monday kind of freaking out, but since then I’ve calmed down and gotten more peaceful about things. I’m sure by Sunday I’ll be pretty nerved up again, but I also can’t wait to meet this tiny human.
If you’re not already, be sure to follow me on Instagram! I anticipate this is where I’ll be sharing quicker little updates here and there over the next few weeks as we’re juggling the newest addition to our family with the craziness that is the holiday season. You’ll find all of my baby-related updates and posts there using the hashtag #thesweetestbebe. Guys, this is really happening. We’re having a baby!
[DIY Shibori Onesies | Photo by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]