DIY Christmas Gift – Mistletoe and Mrs. Meyer’s Pine Dish Soap

dish soap

Have any of you tried Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap? If you haven’t you need to give it a whirl. A few months ago I was in Santa Barbara, California on a business trip with my husband and I popped into a Whole Foods Market (one of my most favorite stores). I always check to see if they have any of Mrs. Meyer’s products on sale.  They did, and there was a new pine scent, IOWA PINE. I couldn’t resist.

They only had one bottle left, so I got it. I could see a cute red ribbon around the lid with a fun Christmas note. So when I got home, I got online and ordered a bunch for Christmas gifts. They had a great deal going with free shipping. I got some dish soaps and hand soaps in this scent. I know I may be a little strange giving “dish soap” to the neighbors, but I like giving something that is useful and simple. So here you have it, a sprig of mistletoe and a bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap AND a cheesy note to go with it. That is the best I could come up with.


dish soap

There is still a little time left to get out your felted green sweater scraps or felt pieces and whip you up a few sprigs of mistletoe to go with your gifts.

Where do you get the pattern and tutorial?

The mistletoe tutorial can be found here and the pine scented soap is available here.

dish soap sprig of mistletoe

Non Traditional Christmas Trees

Non traditional Christmas Trees

Who said your Christmas tree has to be a fir, spruce or pine tree?  I think I can count on one hand the years we have had a “normal” tree.

I am not sure if it is the crazy or cheap side of me that drives this creative craze.  I remember going to one of my friends houses when I was a teenager and they had the coolest Christmas tree. It was a big ceder branch they had put lights on and was lightly decorated with ornaments. It was misshaped and looked like they had a tree growing in their house. I loved it! I connected with that tree. How refreshing it was to see something “out of the box” and different. I am so glad I was able to see that tree and have my eyes opened and to know that you don’t have to do things like everyone else.

I thought it might be fun to share some photos of the Non Traditional Christmas Trees we have had over the years. A lot of the pictures are just scans of photos, but you will get the idea. This was before the digital times.

Non traditional Christmas Trees 1994


Non traditional Christmas Trees 1995

1995 topiary tree

As you can see, I had a little one crawling around the floor this year, so we cut off the lower branches and made a topiary tree.

Non traditional Christmas Trees 1998

1998 Cherry Tree

This was one of my most favorite trees of all. We had a cherry tree growing along the fence line that needed to come out. I could picture it with twinkle lights on and the branches spreading out over my living room. So my dear husband cut it down and made a stand for it and we brought a cherry tree into my house. I left that tree in my house for a year. In the spring, I made cute pink cherry blossoms. In the summer I put green leaves and cherries on it, and in the fall the autumn leaves went on.

Non traditional Christmas Trees 1999

1999 My Autumn Cherry Tree

Non traditional Christmas Trees

Cedar Tree

There is a funny story behind this tree.  I was contemplating what to do for a tree this particular year. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a tree and I was out of creative ideas. We had a huge wind storm in our area and a big branch from an old cedar tree in the back yard broke and fell to the ground.  I went out back and knew right then what we were going to do with it. We kid around and say our Christmas tree that year fell from heaven. I wish I had a better camera. The pictures just don’t do them justice.

Non traditional Christmas Trees
Non traditional Christmas Trees
Non traditional Christmas Trees

2013 Curly Willow Tree

We have a curly willow tree, which always comes in handy for home decor projects and Christmas trees.

Non traditional Christmas Trees

Curly Willow Christmas

I just searched interest for Non traditional Christmas trees, and it was fun to see how many ideas there are out there. I guess I am not the only one out there brave enough to do things a little outside the box.

Here are a few links to some of the ones I thought were clever and fun.

Non traditional Christmas Trees
Non traditional Christmas Trees
Non traditional Christmas Trees
Non traditional Christmas Trees
Non traditional Christmas Trees

So, if money is tight and you don’t want to spend $45 on a tree, you don’t have the space, or you just want to do something whimsy and fun, here are a few ideas for you.

Holiday decorating can be inexpensive, simple, lighthearted and outside the box. Have fun and enjoy the holiday season.

Upcycled Sweater Mistletoe Tutorial

Upcycled sweater mistletoe

I love having greenery in my house in the winter and a cute little sprig of mistletoe with its contrasting white berries and a red ribbon hung above the door is a breath of fresh air to me, and a great way to get a few more of those heart felt kissaroos. Who couldn’t use a little more loven in your home? I am going to guide you through a quick and fun upcycled sweater mistletoe tutorial.

So how did this plant’s association with Christmas and kissing come to be? It is an interesting story, and I will let you read about it here if you are interested.

As you know, I have a thing for upcycled felted wool sweaters, and my favorite color of sweaters is GREEN. Whenever I go to the second hand store and find a sweater that is a good shade of green, I buy it and consider my day a success. Well, I have found another fun project to use my sweaters.

This is all you will need:

  • Green felted wool sweaters, or regular green felt can work too.
  • Floral wire (green)
  • Green floral tape
  • Scissors
  • Fake white floral berries, or you could use white felted wool balls, or anything that is white that would look like a berry.
  • Red ribbon
  • Sewing machine
  • PDF pattern  (download here)

Get out your sweater scraps and find all the green pieces.


Cut out 5-7 leaves using different shades of green sweaters.

Cut out different lengths of leaves.

To apply floral wire to the leaf: set the wire in the middle of the leaf and straight down the center.

Using green thread, set you machine setting to a small zigzag stitch, and short length stitch. Sew from the tip of the wire down to the end of the leaf.

This is what it will look like.

Make about 5-7 leaves.

Using the floral tape, begin to wrap at the bottom of the leaf, catching a little of the fabric. Continue to wrap about 1/2 inch.

Add another leaf and wrap around both wires.

Add a spring of berries and wrap.

Continue to add leaves and berries spacing the way you want them to be. Then wrap down the stem a little further.

Cut most of the wires, but leave two

Make a little loop with the two wires. This is what you will use to hang your sprig.

Twist the wire and cut off the excess.

Wrap the ends well with the floral tape.

There you have it. Bend and shape the leaves to your liking.

Add a red ribbon and you are set.

Look how cute it looks hung above the doorway.

So, get out your green wool scraps and whip up a few sprigs for your home, or share some kissing attracting love with your friends and family.

These upcycled sweater mistletoe sprigs do make a great gift and a gift wrapping embellishment.

Here is a fun neighborhood gift idea that I did one year. I bought a bunch of yummy smelling Mrs Meyers dish soaps. The pine and the peppermint really do smell wonderful.

You can download the FREE PDF HERE.

Have fun creating!


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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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