Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Favorite Homemade Ornaments

DIY Ornaments
Clockwise starting at the top. Christmas Word Ornaments, Felt Owl, Wooden Stockings, and Felt Polar Bear
When I first started collecting my own Christmas ornaments, I knew I wanted many of them to be homemade. Making my own ornaments sounded fun and personal, cheery and bright. My husband agreed and our very first Christmas together was trimmed with dollar store trappings and our homemade creations.

felt squirrelTimes haven't changed too much around here. I still shop at the dollar store and I still like to make a lot of our Christmas decorations. I thought I would share some of my favorites:

The embroidery hoops I did last year are a lovely reminder of the reason behind the celebration. I love the typography and color and size they add to the tree. It can be difficult to find an economical way to add oversized ornaments to a tree, but I feel like every tree needs a few. You can read all about how I made the embroidery hoops here.

The felt bear and owl were also made last year. I didn't really appreciate the awesomeness of felt until last year, otherwise I would have been making these all along! I plan to make a few every year. I hope to have a menagerie eventually. You can find a ideas for making felt ornaments like this here.

The oldest ornaments here are the wooden stockings. I made those when my oldest was a newborn. I purchased wood stocking cutouts at the craft store, painted them white, and then mode podged some gorgeous tissue paper onto each side. I still love them.

My very favorite homemade trimming though is the metallic, circle garland you see throughout the photos. That was a serious labor of love. It was a simple process, but making 30 feet of garland takes time.

metallic circle garlandI circle punched metallic card stock then sewed the circles together on the sewing machine. Each circle you see is actually two circles. I wanted the garland to be double sided, but the paper wasn't, so I placed two circles back-to-back.

This is a great way to save money if you're pinching pennies because garland is expensive. However, if money isn't too tight and you find garland you love at the store, just buy it! You can always wait for the after Christmas sales or use a coupon, but I wouldn't recommend making garland unless you really enjoy a good crafty project or want something unique. I wanted to try this and I love the result. I also love that since I didn't use traditional Christmas colors, this garland can be used for lots of occasions.

Well, those are my favorites and here's how they look on my fabulous White Fir tree. I love me a live Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Procrastinator's Advent Calendar (15 Minutes or Less)

easy advent calendar
True to form, I have been delaying projects until the very last moment. I plan and imagine ahead of time a lot, but the actual execution of a project…*sigh* I admit: I am a procrastinator.

Last december I intended to make an activity advent calendar. I was still contemplating it right up until about December 15th at which point I said, "Forget it." This year, I determined to prevail. I still procrastinated (since I did it on December 1st), but not by as much!

The beauty of this advent calendar is anybody can slap it up in 15 minutes or less.

All you need is:
25 paper treat bags, or envelopes, like here Martha Stewart
Sharpie marker
Masking tape
Paper straws for a star (optional)

The process is simple. Lay out your paper treat bags in any configuration you choose. Number them. Then tape the to the wall with masking tape. I added a star and contrasting bag for the tree stump. Fill with notes or stickers. Ours has notes with activities to do and scriptures to read, because it helps us remember the true reason for CHRISTmas.

God bless us everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Four Handmade Jewelry Gift Ideas

Over the span of my crafty existence, I have made quite a few projects that make great little gifts. Since Christmas is approaching, I thought I would gather some of my favorites together to inspire your holiday gift giving. As it happens, all of these projects are Jewelry related and of course, they are all simple!
homemade jewelry gifts
First up is the fastest and easiest project: some fabric rosette earrings. A pair of these earrings can be made in 15 minutes or less. There is little to no sewing involved and all you need is scrap fabric, felt, and earring findings. As a side note, clip-on earrings can make awesome handmade gifts because trying to find cute ones to purchase is difficult. Trust me. I know.
fabric earrings
Fabric Rosette Earrings
Next up, a lovely clay bowl to catch all your loved ones trinkets. This project is so simple. It uses air dry clay and a very basic potter's technique so older kids could do it all by themselves! What mom or grandma wouldn't love a handmade masterpiece? A word to the wise: the clay takes up to 4 days to completely dry before you can paint it, so plan ahead.
DIY trinket catcher
Trinket Catcher
Now, we cannot forget the gorgeous and ever versatile flower pin. Fabric flowers are used for all sorts of projects, but for me, the fabric flower pin tops them all for versatility. The giver can choose from a wide variety of flowers and fabrics. The recipient can pin it on anything from a lapel, to a scarf, to a bag. The possibilities are endless.
fabric flowers
Various Fabric Flowers
Last of all, making paper jewelry is inexpensive and easy.  Earrings, pendants, pins--you can make almost anything out of paper. Paper jewelry can make especially appropriate gifts for book lovers. Using book pages from favorite novels or quotes from favorite author's makes your gift even more meaningful.
paper jewelry gifts
Paper Jewelry
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