No-Cost DIY Decor


Hey-o! Hope you’re having a fabulous, fall Saturday!

I woke up to the persistent, uber-annoying ringing of the doorbell at 8am this morning. Who, whaa, huuuh?? It was the chimney sweep company! Whoops, definitely forgot they were coming today. ;)


Despite living in our house for 3 1/2 years, Ben and I have never lit a fire in our fireplace (tragic, no?!) The previous owners used it a lot – the roaring fire they had going during their open house is actually what sucked us in – but we’ve been hesitant to set one ablaze not knowing if/when they’d last cleaned it.

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Well the build-up was sucked out lickity split this morning, so tonight Ben and I are going to have ourselves a nice little fire. I am PUMPED!


Ben had to work a bit this afternoon and has been sending me pictures of roaring fires. I think he’s excited too. ;) (PS can you all please be horrified with me over the fact that he was splitting firewood in his mandals??? There is no reasoning with this man when it comes to those shoes!)


In other news, yesterday I got bit by the crafting bug, and whipped up the decorative twig vase I featured in a Friday Favorite’s post a few weeks ago. BONUS: It didn’t cost me a DIME! :D


Ugh I love it so much. Here’s how you can make one too!


Step One: Gather your supplies:

  • Clear vase
  • Paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Twigs
  • Sharp gardening shears
  • Glue gun & glue sticks
  • Raffia (or twine/rustic-looking ribbon)


Step Two: Cut a panel from the paper bag that’s just under the height of the vase. This is so you can’t see through any gaps or spaces in the twigs to whatever you put inside. Curl and place inside the vase.

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Step Three: Using very sharp gardening shears, cut a bunch of twigs that are roughly the same width, to about 1″ taller than the vase. Trim off small branches, etc, that are growing off the side of the twig.


Tip: Try and find straight twigs, rather than curved ones, otherwise it gets hard to line everything up on the vase later.


Step Four: Heat up a glue gun and run a line of glue down the length of the vase. Attach the twig and hold until glue is set, about 30 seconds or so.


Continue gluing sticks to the vase until you’ve come around the entire thing. Fill in any gaps with smaller, thinner twigs.


Step Five: Wrap the vase with raffia or other decorative ribbon/string.


I already had the glue gun, random vase and decorative flowers at home, so all I needed to do was borrow some shears, raffia and twigs from my parents. Huzzah for DIY on the cheap! :D


Well our Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Northwestern Wildcats tonight at 6. My parents are coming over to watch the game, and I’m making some delectable treats for the occasion – sweet & spicy Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies (OMG) and cheesy, savory Fiesta Dip. My stomach is already growling!!!

Have a great night! :D

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  1. Emily H. 10.15.2011

    Lurker coming out of the woodwork :) Your mandals comment made me laugh. My husband has a pair that seriously look like those prison sandals (think black, ugly, athletic looking…like an adidas knock-off). He does EVERYTHING in them…painting, changing the oil, and even mow the lawn. AND he wore them for our entire Hawaii vacation. Yeesh.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.16.2011

      Hahaha totally feel you! He’d wear them to church if he could. They seriously NEVER come off his feet!

  2. Sam 10.15.2011

    Ahhh – LOVE the twig simple & frugal, yet so pretty! <3

  3. Em 10.15.2011

    Fun idea!
    I’m on vacation next week and I am definitely making this adorable DIY project. :) I have had a glue gun for 2 years but this will be my first use!

  4. sarah 10.15.2011

    what a cute vase! good job :)

  5. Adorable vase! Super cute. Enjoy the game tonight!! 30 mins and counting…

  6. colleen 10.15.2011

    love the vase! we need to clean out our fireplace and get some wood. our youngest son wants a fire.

  7. Karlat 10.15.2011

    Is your husband chopping wood in flip flops? Luckily you aren’t roasting toes in the fire tonight! :0). Anyway, cute project and sweet fire!

  8. Jane 10.15.2011

    My husband has mandels he wears around the house too! He has a germ issue, and always wears them when he goes into the bathroom! Even after it’s freshly swept and mopped! I know, he has a problem :D

  9. Nicole G 10.15.2011

    LOL about Ben’s mandals!

    Your vase looks awesome! I am heading out of town for a few days but you can better believe I am going to be making one of those vases when I get back! Hmmm….wonder if there is a winter version too? I am off to Google it!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.15.2011

      Candy canes would look pretty, I think!

      • Nicole G 10.16.2011

        Candy canes! Brilliant! I can’t wait to head to the craft store this week!

  10. Meagan 10.15.2011

    You’re such an inspiration, Kristin! :)

  11. Dang it! I was just at my parent’s farm today – could have picked up a bunch of awesome twigs for this craft! :) Don’t think my little trees can take the beating. This would be such a cute centerpiece on a Thanksgiving table! LOVE!

  12. Amanda 10.15.2011

    I <3 this decorative twig vase – so lovely! And heck yes to roaring fires! Jealous!

  13. Such a cute, crafty project. I love the rustic look of it!

  14. Love the twig vase! I cannot believe you have never built a fire and you are faced with incredibly cold winter weather. I live in Houston and yes I have our fireplace crackling during our (cough) 40 degree (cough) “winter” weather. Ha!

  15. Anja 10.15.2011

    enjoy the fire! the heat feels way better and more cosy than the one that is produced by heaters!

  16. i love it! :D

    btw, i was wondering if you had suggestions for good appetizer/snack foods to have at a pumpkin carving party or fall theme dinner party?

  17. such a great little project! i’m collecting DIY’s to decorate our home for thanksgiving… our first time hosting!

  18. That is SO pretty! I feel like the craft bug always seems to be attacking me when the weather gets colder!! I’m definitely making one of these soon! It will be perfect for the Thanksgiving table!! (:

  19. anna 10.16.2011

    Aw, that’s adorable! Not many twigs in the desert, though. I like the candy cane idea for winter!

  20. I love this! Definitely going to make this when I move into my new apartment, may play around with different-colored ribbons as the seasons and holidays change :) Quick question, do you leave the brown bag insert in the vase after it’s finished, or is that just for the crafting process? Great DIY project!!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.16.2011

      Yep, leave it in. It’s so you can’t see through any gaps or spaces in the twigs to the stuff you put inside the vase!

  21. Wow what a great job! It looks like something straight out of a home store. Very pretty!

  22. Looks super cute! Nice Job!
    xoxo from Trinidad

  23. I love this! What a wonderful idea for fall.

  24. Dawn Marie 10.16.2011

    So cute!!

  25. Valerie 10.17.2011

    love the vase! so neat :)

    i wish i could have a fire in my living room. but i have no fireplace, and it’s still 80-90+ degrees here. fall hasn’t hit texas yet!

  26. Mandy 10.17.2011

    Is that a Bowling Green (as in Ohio?) sweatshirt? Several of my neices go there.

  27. Mimi 10.17.2011

    Inspired by you, I made this today! Except, I went the lazy route and used hard, natural grasses from Hobby Lobby rather than wood. I don’t have a backyard, so that’s a good excuse, right?

    It still turned out super cute!

  28. Dana42 10.17.2011

    I’m a 39 year old chicka and have had several pair of sandals that I can’t seem to not wear. I live in AZ so I guess I have an excuse, but I am with your fellas!! I clean horse stalls with horses in them, I help dismantle tin roofs, shop, whatever. I have to wear them. I even work a sort of regular job in them. I went for a job interview, spiffed up, wore a pretty skirt, something I hate to do unless it’s all hippie and funtional, and totally got busted wearing my shower skips by the guys dog. I had forgotten to change into the most uncomfortable shoes i own to go with the skirt. OMG the horror!! These are the worlds ugliest shoes and then they were falling apart. More comforatble than comfortable.
    I did not get the job.
    Wear your mandals with pride, but gawd watch your toes!!! Horses, axes and rusty nails don’t pay attention. K Fellas?
    Love your vase. So cute and will go well with your warm fires. Happy coolness!

  29. Sara 10.17.2011

    Cute Ideas! Go BGSU!!

  30. […] First up was a cute, easy idea for a natural-themed vase that I saw on Kristin’s blog. […]

  31. […] project – a fave cooking blog (and local Des Moines girl!) Read her postto see how she made a similar version – but as a vase rather than a candle […]

  32. Erin 01.23.2012

    Love the blog and lovin’ the BG hoodie! So funny to know that even reading a random blog can hit closer to home than you’d ever imagine :)Keep up the great recipes!

  33. […] #5: Twig Vase […]

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