Christmas Tree House on a Dime

Christmas Trees

If you didn’t already know, Christmas is my favorite time of year. Well before having my website, I used to create all kinds of fun things for the holidays like fancy cookies, specialty painted signs for our front door (our former home’s front door is shown below), and even handmade gifts for friends and family. However, now that I am chronicling my family adventures, I get to share the behind-the-scenes part of the creativity, which is very exciting to me.

I painted this Peace and Joy sign for our former house but was only able to bring the small Joy sign with us. (I also painted the Christmas Tree at a painting party with my sister one year.)

As I mentioned in a prior post, we scaled down our Christmas decorations quite a lot this year due to moving. We couldn’t take every item we collected over the past 20+ years or we wouldn’t have had enough room for the necessities like clothes, pots and pans, and furniture. This gave me a goal though. I decided I would create a fabulous Christmas house on a dime. I knew I could do it. After all, I had packed some ribbon, a ruler, red poly mesh, an X-acto knife and had plenty of imagination and heavy cardboard boxes. What more does a lady need?

Even though my husband and I both work, things cost a lot more in Alaska. Thus, if you are like most people, every penny adds up. I didn’t want to sacrifice the Christmas house my family is used to just because I wanted to save a little money. Since I had some boxes and a little time, I sat in the carport brainstorming. The first thing I knew I needed to do was spray paint the boxes green. This was the start of my idea for the Christmas tree theme. You will find the list of items needed below, how to order some of those items, and a photo diary giving the progress from beginning to completion. I hope you enjoy and consider doing for yourself if you need to save some money on decorations this Christmas season!

The total cost of this project was around $5.00 because I had to purchase spray paint and some white poster board for behind the tree box.

Items needed:
Heavy Duty Cardboard Boxes
X-acto knife
Green Spray Paint
Red Poly Mesh Ribbon
White Poster Board
Christmas Lights (optional for lighted tree box)

Empty boxes and time in the carport was the beginning of this Christmas project
Green Gloss Spray Paint is needed
McKinley and I spent some time outside. I sprayed more boxes than I needed. (This was before the first snow day!)
I used a ruler to make my first tree and then used it as a template.
Then, just cut, cut, and cut until you have all of your trees cut out.  (The empty box will be used too!)
It is starting to come together!
You need poster board unless you leave the tree open and add lights.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted lights in the box at first.  In the end, I went with a white background.
I ended up going with the white tree look.
Wrap the red mesh ribbon around the tree… it will cover any imperfections. Wrap twice.



The Christmas trees are my favorite
The entire look for the fireplace makes me happy.
Side view
Walking from the kitchen to the living room, we have another Christmas “side table.”

Items below if desired:

I sure enjoyed completing this project! I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Joy and Love,

How do I add a Pinterest “Follow Me” button to WordPress?

Follow Mel 1

If you have read my bio on this website, you know I like technology. I know I may not have been born in the most technology savvy times. After all, I was a 1970s baby. My exposure to computer technology started in 6th grade when I had to take home a paper copied keyboard to practice typing on the kitchen table (It worked, I am fast typist!) However, I would have to say another effective tool by our preacher/teacher, Mr. Agner, was to hit you on the shoulder with a ruler if he caught you looking down while doing typing tests at school. He fully believed in “spare the rod, spoil the child.” (That would be considered abuse today, I’m sure.) Now, don’t get lost just yet, I have saved the best for last and I KNOW this is going to dazzle you. (Smile.) I was nominated to be a computer helper which means me and my best friend Teresa were lucky enough to leave a boring class and go into the computer lab early to boot up all the computers. Those were such fun, innocent, care-free times.

So, I have definitely moved way beyond paper keyboards and booting up computers. I build classes as a strict subject-matter expert in Sociology now. I teach too. However, I have worked in a ton of LMS (Learning Management Systems) like Angel, Blackboard, D2L, eCollege, Moodle, and Canvas and build courses in an Instructional Designer role too. LMS probably means very little to most people and is what makes online courses/hybrid courses possible. It is the platform you log in to in order to access your class materials and is an important part of today’s higher education community.

Most recently, I am learning more about blogging by producing this website, creating my own graphics, learning a little about HTML, and learning how to make my website better (this is never-ending.) I know I am still learning, but I welcome this learning process. After all, I am an educator.

Now, on to the “meat and potatoes” of this article. I am happy to say I have discovered how to add a Pinterest “Follow Me” button to your WordPress website! I know, I know… Some of you are probably like, “You just figured that out?!” I guess my research avenues for this request weren’t the right ones for a while because I kept getting the wrong information. One thing led to another, to another, and then the process revealed itself. It isn’t as easy as choosing a button, but I promise it isn’t hard either. So, here are my directions for making this happen. If you have any questions, please send me a message. And, please, add me on Pinterest!

Step 1: First, go to your “pins” homepage on Pinterest. Copy the address in the website address bar of your browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, or Chrome, etc.).

Step 2: Click help on right, top, corner of your Pinterest Page and Scroll to the bottom.

Step 3: Here, you will see Tools. Click on it.


Step 4: Here, you will see a “Save” Button first and then a “Follow” Button. Click on the “Follow” Button


Step 5: Then, paste your Pinterest URL in the bar under those buttons

Step 6: For “full name”, you can simply say “Follow Me” or “Follow –Insert Name Here-.” I used “Follow Mel.”

Last Image.jpg
This is not the screen you’ll see at this step.  This is simply showing how “Follow Mel” looks.

Step 7: You will see a code underneath in two different lines. Copy the first one.

Step 8: Next, go to the WordPress Dashboard and go to the Widget section. (To get here on my chosen WordPress design, I click on “My Site” on the top left. Go down to “Settings.” Click on it. Go to Themes, click “customize.” Click Widgets.) You can choose any area you want to add but I went to the Widget Header to add mine. Use CUSTOM HTML and add your code here. Then, paste the first code you copied. Go back to Pinterest and copy the second code under the first one you already copied. Then, paste in immediately under the first one. Don’t forget to save it! Now, you should see this on your WordPress page.

Step 9: You did it! I knew you could do it. (Birthday horn blows!)

Follow Mel 2

Happy Day,