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Archive for the ‘Great Gatherings’ Category

Amazing Weddings at Goodwill

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I had a great time at Goodwill’s Amazing Wedding Event. There were so many bargain bridal gowns (brand-new, never-worn samples). Where can you get a $1000 dress for $149? I created 8 table setting ideas and themes using only items I found at Goodwill. Amazing!!



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A special thanks to all who attended our Amazing Weddings event on Saturday, April 26th at our Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Wauwatosa! The event was a smashing success and we hope to have more like it to come. Below is a peek at some of the fabulous brides and dresses that made this day extra special.

We’d also like to give added thanks to our very own Home Interior Expert, Merri Cvetan for offering her tips on how to create the perfect wedding on a “thrifty” budget.

Click here for more information on this event and see more tips and videos from Merri Cvetan.

“Dressing” Easter Eggs

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Have fun dressing Easter eggs with your kids this year. I’m not sure why, but fake mustaches are very popular. Personalize your eggs with markers, hats, rhinestones and mustaches!

Ombré paint style is also very popular in interior design and fashion. I’ve even seen the look on fabric, wedding cakes, even fingernails. It’s a gradual change in color from light to dark (or vice versa). Or a graduated change from one color to another.

These eggs are easy to do, although a little messy. Mix dye according to package directions (I used food coloring), but fill cups with less water. It easier to hold the egg in the dye solution at the halfway mark. Gradually lift it out until you get layers of color. (The egg will be darker at the bottom). Repeat on the other end.

Or try a complimentary color.

Make funny faces on your colored eggs, one for each member of the family. Use a permanent marker to draw mustaches and lips. Personalize each with giggly eyes, rhinestones and hats.

For the ladies, draw in eyelashes; add feathers and a mini Easter basket. Be sure to make place cards so Grandma knows which one is hers!


Easy Valentine Day Gifts from Sweaters!

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but it’s not too late to make personalized gifts for the loved ones in your life. These simple projects are made from sweaters I found at Goodwill.


The easiest idea are wine bottle covers. Just cut off a sleeve to fit, sew up the bottom and embellish!

No need for a card this year. The pink wine “cozie” sports a traditional VD greeting. Glue Scrabble tiles to a sturdy ribbon and add a vintage pearl necklace (two gifts in one!).


Or give someone special the key to your heart. For this one, I tied on a leather “chain” with vintage key and added a bracelet.  Personalize your gift with little charms or pieces of jewelry.

Don’t forget Mom on Valentine’s Day.  Every woman loves flowers. Send her a bouquet in a custom designed vase. Using the front of an animal print sweater, I wrapped it around a rectangle shape jar (the perfect style for tulips). Hem the raw edges so it doesn’t ravel or if you don’t sew, use glue.

If your Mom is anything like me, her coffee gets cold before she finishes a cup. Keep her coffee warm with a mug cozie made from the cuff. Make sure you use the finished edge at the top. Then sew up the bottom with a running stitch and cut a slit on the side for the handle. I embroidered a simple heart, but you could add more charms or pins. Something just for Mom.

There is no end to the gifts you can make for the special people in your life from sweaters.

I would love to hear your DIY ideas for Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

Lacy Wedding Candles

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Wedding season may be months away, but it’s never too soon to start designing table settings and party favors, especially if you plan to make them yourself.  Table center pieces for the reception or bridal shower can be personalized to match your colors or theme.

I found everything for this elegant table decoration at Goodwill.

Instead of buying fabric by the yard, look for lace blouses in colors to coordinate with your theme. Choose tops with a bit of spandex. A little stretch makes the project easier to do.

Start collecting wine and water glasses. They don’t need to match, just pick ones that have a similar look in a variety of sizes. I liked the look of stemware with straight sides and they’re easier to work with than curved glasses.

Coat the glass with a thin layer of Mod Podge (or make your own with equal parts white glue and water). Cut the lace to fit and attach to glass. You might have to hold it in place while it dries. Trim the top edge even with the rim.


Arrange the trio on a charger and scatter baubles or ornaments. The result is a high-end centerpiece, but you did it yourself!


  • Remember to work with odd numbers
  • Look for coordinating chargers, plates or trays
  • Fill in with “jewels” or marbles, confetti, beads, pearls, whatever goes with your style.

Winter Wonderland Table Setting

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I host several parties every December, some casual, some formal and some just “family comfortable”. I use a set of Christmas dishes I bought at Goodwill (for a bargain). They’re very festive with red poinsettias around the rim. Since I use them a lot, I like to change up the accessories. This year, I’m opting for ”family casual”.

For a homespun family meal, I used an old quilt instead of a traditional table cloth.

Fold the napkin to look like a bow (pinch it in the middle) and place it between two dishes.


I like to make sure every guest leaves with a party favor. This year, I found felt snowflake ornaments and added a crystal snowflake to the center with glue. They not only add a layer to each place setting, but are great little gifts (no wrapping needed!).

Nothing is cuter than little snowmen. Group them around a white feather tree for a charming centerpiece. Use red jingle bells instead of the usual confetti.

Now if I only knew what to make for dinner!

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy New Year!

I would love to hear from you!




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