header1 Colored sand is a versatile material that’s great for arts, crafts, or just playing around with. Easily available at hobby shops, colored sand can also be used in a myriad of ways to spruce up your home. In this edition of Treetopia Loves, we bring you seven easy-to-do colored sand crafts for you to try.

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From holiday ornaments to summer clothing, savvy shoppers know that purchasing seasonal items are best done off-season. Beautiful, durable, and available any time of year, artificial Christmas trees are excellent buys no matter the time of year. Here are three great reasons you should purchase your holiday tree way before the jingle bells start ringing.

Enjoy More Decorating Possibilities 

Treetopia's Some Like It Hot Christmas Tree decorated for summer and for Easter.

Photos courtesy of Jen Perkins

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With summer just around the corner, we scoured the internet for easy upcycled lighting projects to give you fun and stylish options for brightening up your backyard barbecues and outdoor parties. From DIY tiki torches to elegant glowing orbs, we list our favorite upcycled outdoor lighting ideas for you try.
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nonailcollage

Whether we’re redecorating our old apartment or moving into a new one, creating a permanent nail hole in a wall is something a lot of us frown upon. Luckily, there are many ways to spruce up your walls without using nails. From geometric wall art using paint pens to temporary wallpaper using floral fabric, we show you how our favorite bloggers create beautiful and practical no-nail wall decorations.

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Memorial Day marks the beginning of barbeque season and this holiday is the perfect opportunity to hone your grilling prowess. If you’re looking to step up your grill game, you’ll need to take a step back and master the fundamentals. Here are 5 basic grilling tips to barbeque like a boss.

Meat the Basics

One of the secrets to grilling a great steak is to start with high-grade meat. When buying at the supermarket or butcher shop, choose USDA Prime or Certified Black Angus steaks and avoid prepackaged cuts, if possible. Also, get steaks with good marbling. The white streaks of fat keep the meat juicy and flavorful.
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Chalkboard collage 2
Chalkboard paint has quickly become a favorite among crafters and DIYers because of its versatility and ease of use. Applied on a hard surface, it leaves a smooth, matte surface on which you can write or draw on with chalk. From covering up entire walls and furniture to embellishing small jars or Christmas tree ornaments, there are tons of ways you can use chalkboard paint. We’ll show you how some of our favorite bloggers used chalkboard paint to create simple craft projects that are as practical as they are pretty. (more…)

How to buy vintage holiday decorations.

Buying Christmas ornaments in spring may seem odd to some people, but not to me. If you collect vintage Christmas decor, the off-season is often the very best time to buy. Take it from a seasoned antique/flea market/thrift store shopper – I know what I am talking about. Through the years and 100 Christmas trees later, I have learned a few things about collecting vintage Christmas decorations. These are my top 10 tips!

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Crafting is not always about saving money. Making something on your own provides an enormous sense of satisfaction that retail shopping simply can’t match. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! In our new “Treetopia Loves” series, we showcase fabulous decorating projects by some of our favorite bloggers to inspire and guide you into the wonderful world of DIY. These projects are beautiful, easy, and best of all, actually doable.

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Put away those heart-shaped chocolates and bouquets of red roses and prepare to wow your loved ones with Valentine treats that will give the occasion an upbeat twist. February is the month of love, and it’s also the time to show your loved ones how creative you can be when it comes to gift-giving. This year, be more creative with your Valentine’s Day gift and avoid the clichés like the plague.

This post presents a few Valentine’s gift suggestions that will help you be a quirky Don Juan de Marco in this annual celebration of love.
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Receiving generic, duplicate, or generally unnecessary Christmas gifts is an unavoidable part of life. Throwing useless gifts away seems wasteful, but storing them eats up precious storage space. Donating them to charity is always a great option, but turning them into something better is a worthwhile task that can also be a lot of fun. Here are some easy ways to put your unwanted gifts to good use.

1. Return

For safety reasons, most charity shops are unable to accept electrical items, perfume, and perishable goods. If you know the store where that automatic hotdog maker or pop celebrity fragrance was purchased, try returning it even if you don’t have a gift receipt.

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