Buffalo? Check.

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 day long 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.

Step awaaaaaay from the Pom Pom maker……

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.

Snow, ohhhh…to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

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.

You get some sprinkles! And you get some sprinkles! And YOU get some sprinkles!

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.)

2020’s 20 Holiday Crafts: Sucker for Stars (2/20)

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

Ingredients:

  • 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!)

Directions:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients and the essential oil
  2. 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.
  3. Roll out the dough and cut out the desired shape that you want for your ornaments: snowflake, tree, star, etc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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!!