Buffalo check print. Gingham print. Plaid. I absolutely love them all. So when I saw this holiday project I was on board immediately. It was easier than I originally thought and, once again, I will try to stretch this project out further than just Christmas by swapping out the ribbon and wreath.
I bought a two pack of 16×20 white canvases and Scott made a frame so I could just slide the finished canvas inside.
I painted the stark white canvas a softer antique white to warm it up a bit.
I bought this wallpaper brush on Amazon. To be honest, this was the most difficult part of the project. I couldn’t find wallpaper brushes anywhere – craft stores or hardware stores. People don’t old-school wallpaper much anymore.
Section off your brush with painters tape like so…
Then cut the other bristles shorter. It would be a lie to say that I didn’t find individual bristles in my bra all daylong after this. -ha!
The cut sections don’t need to be exact. The idea is that they need to be short enough to not pick up paint, leaving you with two ‘guides’ for your buffalo print.
Dip the brush in black paint and brush on…
I will not do it as heavy the next time I make a background canvas but there are no rules – you can make it as thick or light as you choose.
My canvas fit tightly so all I had to do is cut a length of ribbon to loop through the wreath, then hang the ends off the back of the canvas which slid right into the frame. The wreath is hanging freely, but securely. It’s not attached in any way to the canvas.
I can simply pop out the canvas and hang different ribbon and wreath to completely change the look. Maybe burlap and a grapevine wreath? Or spring-colored gingham and an Easter egg wreath? Many possibilities.
I can’t help it! I have loved using my new pom pom maker but you guys… there is a possibility I may never make a pom pom ever again in my whole entire life. Whew! This was a bigger job than I originally anticipated.
But I’m so happy with the result. It’s a ‘minimalistic’ winter wreath, that took a maximalist amount of effort. -ha.
Thankfully it is so much quicker to make pom poms now. This wreath took four skeins of white yarn (and 3 movies, 14 podcasts and 38 audio books…give or take… AND potentially a future shoulder surgery from all the yarn wrapping-around action!)
I had a green 14” foam wreath on hand, which was fine, but you should actually use a white wreath form. Of course a smaller wreath would require less yarn balls.
I bought these vintage-looking wire trees at Hobby Lobby (50% off) and then hot glued everything on.
I found it helpful to use two different size yarn balls, using the smaller size to fill gaps. It’s not absolutely necessary (all one size would work fine), but I like the variety.
(I ultimately hung it in our hallway, but wanted a picture by the Christmas tree first.)
This is one of those crafting-while-movie-watching activities. I love the end result – but prepare for some time investment with this one.
Sidenote: for any of you who read the Louise Penny series set in Three Pines, this wreath is my ode to that idyllic village.
Sometimes red and green can just be so…red and green. How about a little sparkle of color for your holiday decor? The upside? You can use it after the holidays are over too.
This might be a good craft to do while watching a schmaltzy holiday movie or maybe get your kids involved in creating one of their own. Color choice? Totally up to you!
This is an easy one, guys. I picked six felt sheets from my local craft store in six bright colors.
Most felt sheets come in about a 10″ width. Mine happen to be 9″ which is no big deal. You want each strip to be about 5″ x 1/2″. I cut my strips on my self-healing cutting mat, making the process go pretty quickly. I then cut each of the strips in half. Nothing has to be exact, but fairly uniform.
I don’t have a kid around to help, but I did have a doodle around who kept playing with my twine.
Cut a length of twine to your desired length. Mine was about 5 ft long. I made a slip knot at each end and started in the middle of the twine. Simply tie a knot. That’s it. Push them together pretty tightly and twist the knots so they are headed different directions – this gives the overall look a more wonky, haphazard feel.
I decided to hang mine in my developing craft room. If you’ve read my post about the sprinkle and drip paint ornaments, you’ll know the colors I chose go with that general theme. I also have a felt ball garland that paired nicely with it too.
Let me say a quick word about this cubicle unit. If you read about my little incident on social media, this is the shelf we were buying at IKEA that managed to punch me in the jaw. Long story short, I ended up in the ER with a concussion and have been recouping since Monday. So please show some deep respect and appreciation for this golden glove boxer of a shelf.
Things are just piled in the cubes for right now, but I think you can see the general theme emerging. Happy, bright colors! More to come on this.
I am anxiously awaiting the cutest mug that will go on this cake stand (which probably means I’ll have to buy a second one to use for my daily chai.) I bought it from the cutest Etsy shop, This Is Tisa, and can’t wait to show you the goodies when they arrive.
Hope you enjoy this quick little craft and design it to fit your (or your kiddos) space. And thanks for enduring a few emerging Craft Room pictures along the way.
Bing Crosby and the movie White Christmas is a family tradition with us. We used to wait until the first snowfall to watch it but now that we’re living in California, we have to break down and watch it without the wintery snowfall scene outside.
It’s also tradition to text the lyrics to my friend, Jenny, who grosses out over the idea of washing her face, hands and hair with snow. -ha!
So even though we don’t get to enjoy the bucolic look of snow falling outside our windows, we can enjoy some ‘faux snow’ throughout our house.
There are some things I seem to be drawn to in nature. I pick up and pocket a smoothly rounded rock that catches my attention. Or pieces of driftwood, worn over time. Perfectly imperfect pinecombs have been slowly collecting in a box now completely dedicated and labeled for their wonky goodness.
In an earlier craft I made a mountain range so for this craft I made a snowy forest with pinecombs collected over time.
You can buy faux snow at any craft store. I bought some for this project but it ended up not being quite what I wanted. So I made snow with what I had on hand: sawdust and white paint.
Start with some white paint, mixing in sawdust until you have a textured paint substance.
You aren’t going to paint like usual, but rather pat the mixture onto the surface.
If it glops and drips – all the better! That’s what snow does, right?
For an extra somethin-somethin, I hot glued on some dragees – silver covered balls used for decorating cupcakes and cakes. They added a little sparkle and reflect the lights of the nearby Christmas tree.
Since pinecombs are a little wobbly, I hot glued a round wooden ‘base’ to give a few of them the look of a miniature pinecomb Christmas tree.
As a table’s centerpiece or grouped together on top of a shelf, these snowy little pinecombs are sure to get you in the hot chocolate and plaid throw blanket mood.
I added one pinecomb tree that reminds me of the winters we spent in Nebraska. The winds are so strong that sometimes the snow sticks to just one side of the tree, making it very obvious which way is North!
Need a little something else added to your wintry, Christmas decor? These snow-covered pinecomb trees might add just the right amount of Christmas happiness without any wet, melting mess.
After years of buying gadgets, I have become a pretty much gadget-less gal. Another way to read that is: I have stored so many gadgets on shelves over the years that I have learned to do without them wherever possible.
Is this sounding somewhat sexual? Let me clear it up.
Raise your hand if you’ve made a yarn pom-pom in your lifetime. Yep – me too. You wrap and wrap and wrap yarn around a book, or a piece of hard plastic, etc. When I originally picked this red and white pom pom garland to do as one of my holiday craft projects, that was my intention – go old school. But thennnnnn…..then I got curious about this pom pom maker I kept seeing here and there. I took the plunge and ordered it and BOY!, do I love these little pieces of magic.
It is somewhat difficult to explain how to use them but the directions on the packaging is very clear and understandable. I don’t know what genius came up with this concept, but I’d like to meet her someday.
I used these Bernat skeins of yarn in White and Wine. For this project, I think the thicker the yarn the better. This size worked perfectly for me.
I used the second to largest size gadget. Now. Anyone who has ever made a pom pom knows that you must check your ADHD at the door. This pom pom maker made it very easy to form these luscious balls of goodness but you do have to do a little bit of trimming at the end. I’m pretty perfectionistic and was completely happy with the result. But just like a hair stylist, you could trim and trim and trim all day if you want. There has to be a time when you decide enough is good enough.
I left their tails on until I decided how I was going to attach them together. In the end, I didn’t need them and cut them off.
Using a yarn needle and a length of the red yarn, I stuck it through each pom pom and adjusted them in between to the width I wanted.
Using small plastic Command Strips hooks on each side of the fireplace (which we never use), I wrapped the ends and boom – a cute red and white pom pom garland.
(The sun was intense the day I took these pictures so the glare is intense – yikes.)
My daughter is so lucky she is 29 years old or I would be adding these pom poms to every outfit she owned. I’m sure I’ll use this pom pom maker for numerous holidays and occasions. Who can resist a fancy cute pom pom?!
Craft number three and I think it might be my favorite one.
It all started with this set of pens I bought a few months ago. I adore this color scheme (craft room 2021 goal.) As someone who has a pretty neutral palette for the rest of my house, the flip side of my brain loves bright colors with a stark white background. So I took my pens to Michael’s with me as I was picking out my 2020’s 20 Holiday Crafts projects.
There are two projects here: ornaments with sprinkles and drip paint ornaments.
EEP! I love them both so much.
Here’s how I did them.
For the sprinkles: For assistance, cut the tops off a few water bottles so your clear glass ornament can rest inside (holiday stuff is 50% off right now so go grab a few containers of these.)
Carefully take the metal top off the ornaments. Using clear varnish of any kind, pour a few tablespoons inside your ornament. I used a piping bag but it would’ve been much easier had I had a funnel (which you can’t use for food afterwards, obviously.)
Roll the ornament around until the varnish is coating the whole inside of the ornament.
Then turn the ornament upside down on the water bottle. You could also use Dixie cups or something similar.
It’s important you make yourself wait 30 minutes. The varnish needs to dry somewhat but still have a sticky texture.
Using a different funnel, start filling the bottom of your ornament with sprinkles (below I will go through my trial and errors with different kinds.)
Keep adding sprinkles until you can move them all around the inside of the ornament. If the varnish is still too wet, the sprinkle’s colored coating will ‘melt off’ and it won’t stick to the ornament. I waited 30 minutes each time and it always worked. So there’s no pressure, take your time.
Replace the metal top of the ornament and voila! – you’re done!
I’m not saying this is a ‘neat and tidy’ craft. Our dog, Tilly, might be eating sprinkles off the floor for the next few months.
The drip paint ornament was a lot of fun. It goes against everything I’ve ever known about painting. Mixing paint colors together while still wet makes one big muddy mess of a color. But the flip side of the paint looks so pretty!
I again used some water bottles with the top cut off. Take the metal top off your ornament. I found it very helpful to keep my paint bottles well-shaken and turned upside down. The paint needs to be ready to squirt out when you need it.
And that’s all you do. Squirt one color, then turn the ornament and squirt out a little of the next color, etc.
As your ornament fills up, turn it around to find uncovered areas and squeeze a little more paint into those places.
You’ll go through a lot of excess paint. The paint overlaps and that’s completely okay.
Once the sides are covered then turn your ornament upside down to let it dry. I found the best way to let them dry is to leave them upside down overnight.
The color combinations for both projects are vast. Go with traditional red and white. Or maybe gold. The vibrancy of the drip paint inside the clear glass is magnified and beautiful. I plan on making more of these very soon.
Here are some thoughts on the various sprinkles I used…
The small dot confetti is the absolute best coverage, no doubt about it. In the below ornament I started with some star sprinkles but they are heavier and don’t fully cover the inside so I also poured in some small dots to fill in the gaps. I like the result, but it was a little anxiety-producing at first. -ha
Then I mixed some sprinkles together to see how they’d do (did I mention I really like sprinkles and have a variety of them at home!)
The type of sprinkles that did not work well at all are the ‘pearlized’ sprinkles. The texture doesn’t adhere as well as the other sprinkles. I was disappointed, thinking some white and clear would look magical too. Had these not been pearlized it would be a nice snowy look.
I love the way these turned out and will certainly make more this season. I have a tabletop white tree that I think these will go perfectly on. But then again, this bowl full of goodness is making me happy just the way they are.
Please give this one a try. You’ll love the outcome! (and so will your puppy.)
I’m not sure how many of my 2020’s 20 Holiday Crafts will involve stars, but I’m willing to bet there will be more than a couple. I am a sucker for stars at Christmastime.
I made these few projects with a fabulously -scented salt dough. Let me give you the recipe first:
SCENTED SALT DOUGH
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground clove
2 tsp nutmeg
10 drops orange essential oil (this is optional but it smells HEAVENLY!)
Mix the dry ingredients and the essential oil
Slowly add the water until you have a workable piece of dough. Not too wet and sticky. It should be about the consistency of Play-Dough.
Roll out the dough and cut out the desired shape that you want for your ornaments: snowflake, tree, star, etc.
Using a straw (I used one of our stainless steel straws), make a hole in the middle or at the top of the dough shape. Hint: It sounds like a small detail but after making a hole in an ornament, I then blew at the top of the straw to remove the dough from my straw. If you let them build up, they’re difficult to get out. A build-up inside the straw can make the hole punch less exact.
Place the dough shapes on a baking sheet. Essential oils can be difficult to digest sometimes. So if you’d like to keep your oils from getting onto your baking sheet, line with parchment paper so you can discard it later. I used some oooooold baking sheets that we no longer use for cooking.
Bake the shapes at 170 degrees for one hour then flip them over and bake another hour. Depending on the thickness of your shapes, you might want to go another half hour (I did for mine but they are pretty thick.)
Remove them from the oven and let them cool on cooling racks.
I used my shapes for a star wall hanging, using a piece of driftwood I’ve had stashed away…
a dual string star garland…
and some tree ornaments.
Other options: You can stamp a word on the shape before baking it or using a live pine section, impress it into the tree shape. One of my bigger stars could easily be a candle holder which would require making a larger hole in the center before baking. There are many different ways you can use these salt dough shapes.
The ongoing scent of this salt dough is amazing. It fills your house while they’re baking and they hold the scent really well. I can smell them when I walk into a room where they are. The salt is what dries them so you can use them year after year if carefully wrapped and stored.
I used some baker’s twine, jewelry cording and macrame string. You could use ribbon or thread – it’s whatever matches your aesthetic. Another hint: I bought a handful of this black and white baker’s twine at Target last year in their Christmas clearance at 80% off. Look for items that a store has earmarked for ‘Christmas’ but you could use all year long – like I do this twine.
As always, if you try this project please send me a picture. I love seeing your creativity in the process! ENJOY!!
In an attempt to entertain myself during the much-slower-than-normal 2020 holidays, I decided to clear out my burgeoning Pinterest boards. Many of the craft ideas have been hanging around for a number of years so why not choose 2020 for some anti-COVID creating.
I’m starting with this set of Swiss Alp mountains. They would be cute on a bookshelf or as a table winterscape. I’m not sure where these will land, but I had fun turning one 4 ft piece of 1×10 pine wood into something modern and wintery. It’s nice when ‘Christmas decorations’ can be spread out to include all of winter. And these Swedish babes fit that bill.
Here’s how we did it…
Scott bought one piece of pine wood and cut out the mountains to 4 different heights: 10.5″, 8.5″, 6.5″ and 4.5″ tall. He set his miter saw at 24 degrees and after cutting both sides of the mountain, the peak ends up at a 48 degree angle. Yeah, yeah…that’s a lot of math. The exact angle isn’t as important as the consistency for each mountain so that they each end up with the same angle but with different heights. All those mountains out of one board!
I then used some Provincial wood stain (that we had on hand) to stain a few of the mountains. You could use any stain color you desire. As I was painting the others I was imagining doing another set of mountains that were all stained with just painted tops. That would look great too.
All you need are those cheap little bottles of paint from your craft store. Again…trying to use a lot of what I already had on hand…I used some black and white wall paint. It was definitely overkill to use gallons of paint – but it’s what I had!
When I have a project that requires multiple layers of paint with drying in between, I cut off a bit of Saran Wrap, fold it in half and just tuck my wet brushes inside. It’s a temporary hold so they don’t dry out.
This is an optional step and, honestly, one I skipped after the first mountain. Drawing out the snowcap seemed like a good idea, but you don’t really stick to the lines anyway so I skipped this step for the rest.
For the dotted mountain I used an old pencil I keep around for this reason. It has a few coats of paint on it already so the tip is even rounder.
I took a quick video showing the differently sized dots. The more paint on your pencil, obviously, the bigger the dot. The longer you hold the pencil down, the bigger the dot…
This was a pretty simple project at a low cost. Always a good thing! The colors and size are completely up to you. I realize it might be a little frustrating for some of you reading this if you don’t have access to a miter saw. If you’re really interested in completing this project, let’s talk. We can cut some wood for you and ship it at a fairly low price, I’m sure. Let’s talk.
I added some faux snow (that’s just a really enjoyable phrase to say!). The faux snow will make an appearance in a different project that’s coming up soon.
So what do you think??? Project 1 of 20 complete. Not sure I’ll get through them all between Thanksgiving week and Christmas week but I plan on having fun while trying!
Thanks for reading this far! If you decide to complete this project, please please please tag me on social media or send me a picture. I want to enjoy it with you!
Now… I need a cup of Swiss hot chocolate. How about you?
Since Scott works next week, we decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner together on Friday. When your family is sitting down to turkey next Thursday we will be in the oh-no-not-turkey-again stage of leftovers.
This was supposed to be a table set for five. Our children were going to be here all at one time and I could imagine the talking and laughing and plates being passed. But then Corona took over and cancelled all our plans. Flights that had been booked for months were re-adjusted to a later (unknown) time in 2021. This was so disappointing at first, but I find myself, today, deeply grateful for cancelled plans. From the time we decided to eliminate plans for Thanksgiving (and Christmas) until now, the COVID rates have skyrocketed. It would worry me far too much to think of my children getting on planes with other holiday travelers and either getting the virus themselves or bringing it to our home. We have all worked so hard for six months to avoid this horrible virus. A vaccine is on the horizon so why not hang on just a bit longer. We can do it. Our decision was one of love for each other and respect for the fight we have been putting up so far to keep COVID at bay.
So instead, it was just me and Scott. We started listening to Christmas music this week and began putting up our trees and holiday decorations. It is, by far, the earliest we have ever done this but this year, I think we are all wanting a change of pace. We need the joy and promise of Christmas.
6, 893 attempts at one little picture. In the end, we are just going to have to settle on the best we can get with a 9-month-old puppy. We didn’t even attempt to include our cat, Haddie, imagining the cat and dog chase down the center of the table.
Scott played all the cooking hits. Lots of carbs and calories, but oh-so-many memories. He worked on the meal (with Tilly’s help, sampling the food) while I worked on the house. Before long things were looking and smelling like the holidays.
We included a family favorite: Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Mom used to make this salad/dessert and we all looked forward to it every year. It is, actually, a big pain to make. Maybe that’s why it’s a once-a-year favorite. It includes my favorite food group: salty and sweet.
Instead of people pouring through our front door, it was a much smaller gathering than expected. But we had fun and enjoyed every minute of our Thanksgiving meal from prep, eating and much-deserved nap to follow.
I’m quite sure the gnomes are enjoying having a puppy in the house this year. There’s no telling what goes on when we go to bed each night. I am sure they are up to no good!
You hope your children have tender and gracious memories of their childhood holidays. But just recently my son brought up the insane reindeer we had (as I am sure many of you did as well) that would CONSTANTLY topple over. It had a bum leg so it teetered off balance at all times. Just looking at it for longer than a mere glance was usually enough to bring it to a pile of wood in the middle of the living room. The expletives he now includes in the reindeer’s descriptions do not bring forth merriment and fondness. -ha!
That rickety reindeer has long been gone but a few years ago I found this smaller version and snatched it up. The funny memories it brings to mind was worth it. This one, luckily, is much smaller and much more balanced!
Last year I was gifted this Willow Tree nativity scene. I had momentarily forgotten about it until I started unpacking the Christmas boxes this year and was pleasantly surprised all over again. I have never been more grateful for a humble baby and His saving grace. I marvel at the resolute dedication of a young teenage mother and a faithful fiance’. So many families have seen death and suffering this year – all around the world. Jesus walks before us. The path may not be easy or end as we desire, but His hand is there to offer comfort. He can lighten the load we bear, whether it be the heaviness of worry or the tragedy of loss. May we be as faithful as the holy trio as well as those who took up the faith and followed the Star.
NOEL. An exclamation of joy at Jesus’ birth. My personal prayer is to loosen the grip on the burden of fear this holiday and concentrate on the joy of a guiding Father. The joy of birth.
We wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving. I understand the disappointment and discouragement attached to plans being cancelled or minimized. It is a difficult year. But it is also a forced-opportunity to spend less time maximizing on the unimportant details and further appreciate the simple blessings of breath and connection and irreplaceable memories.
The deepest love and gratitude, from our house to yours –
I always enjoy the week between Christmas and the new year. I love the way it helps us let go slowly and say a proper good-bye.
My mother was a 7th grade English teacher. If you remember 7th grade English, it was saturated with grammatical work. Proper use of commas, dangling participles and conjugating verbs. She was the one we all called when we were stuck with a sentence while writing a college essay. “Mom – tell me again the difference between ‘lay’ and ‘lie’. Was it people lie and objects lay – or the other way around?” She always knew. And if not, she’d go straight to her textbook bibles to double-check. (But she always knew.)
The best advice she gave me, when I struggled through a particular phrase, was to simply change the sentence around.
When you can’t figure out if it’s ‘me and him went to the market’ or ‘he and I went to the market’ – stop trying so hard to figure out the correct grammatical rule and just rearrange the sentence! ‘I went to the market with Scott.’ It’s as simple as that. I’ve used that advice over and over when writing something out and getting stuck mid-way. Take a second. Back up. And rearrange the sentence. There’s always a different way out of the glitch you’ve worked yourself into.
It occured to me this morning that Mom gave me a much deeper piece of advice. The frustration surrounding this unmoored Week-In-Between which is filled with the pressure to make new year’s resolutions, is that too often we can become bogged down in the mire of Making It Important Enough. Looking back over the past year – or in this case, the past decade – we can tend to feel the weight of all the should’ves we shoulda done. This week is not unlike any of the other 51 weeks, but we all fall into the collective trap of Doing Better and Wish I Had… type feelings.
I’m going to take my mother’s advice and try seeing the simple solution: just rearrange the sentence. Can’t figure out how to cultivate a more grateful heart? Stop looking at all the gratitude journals and blessings systems, and simply say to yourself, ‘I am grateful for the sun’s rays this morning.’ Maybe that’s the last moment of recognized gratitude I’ll have all week. I hope not. But I don’t need to be weighed down with all the logistics. I just need to feel and recognize the gratitude and move on. Same with healthy choices and marital relationships and friendships and financial goals. Don’t get pushed under the current of what’s right, what’s acceptable, and what’s expected. Rearrange the sentence…the trajectory…of your life and then you’ll be able to move forward. One sentence after another until the paragraph, the story, the year, the decade begins to take shape.
We all have 24 hours, 52 weeks, and untold years in which to live out our uniquely chosen life. My mind often reels with questions about what is the right way to go about this task? What is the correct thing to do in this situation? Should I have… Could I have… And yet an unfinished sentence is a task not yet completed. An unfinished sentence serves no purpose. No solution.
Sometimes the most grammatically correct thing one can do is the simplest thing.
Simply change the sentence.
Here’s to a new year. A new decade! Sure, we have goals in mind and that’s great because that’s what keeps us moving forward and growing stronger. This is just a friendly reminder from a 7th grade English teacher: Don’t drown under the logistics of it all. Go to the gym – even if it’s not the right gym. Have the difficult conversation even though it might entail ugly crying. Reach out, even when you think you’ve done nothing wrong. Save the extra dollar instead of increasing your spending. Don’t get bogged down in the HOW. Live out the WHY.
I’m ready for you 2020. Let’s finish up this sentence so we can go kiss that cute boy waiting for me at my locker (which was always more fun than modifying a clause!) Still is!