Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh Christmas pole, oh Christmas pole

Since we're out of town for the holidays this year, we didn't get a Christmas tree. I absolutely love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in the house, it's just more fun when you're there on Christmas morning to enjoy it. So this year, in place of a Christmas tree we have a Christmas pole.

One night while the kids were sleeping, Patrick and I strung lights around the pillar in our entryway. Haley was so excited to see the lights when she woke up the next day. She ran out and yelled, "Mommy and Daddy, it's CHRISTMAS!"

My daughter is obsessed with everything Christmas related this year, probably because she's finally old enough to understand that this time of the year is special. She doesn't quite understand what "Christmas" is yet, she just thinks that anything having to do with lights or snowflakes or Santa is called "Christmas." We're working educating her about what Christmas is actually about, but for now it's just cute to see her get so excited about lights and decorations.

As for Connor, he keeps trying to eat the lights. At this age, everything is food.

Merry Christmas everyone! I will be MIA for the next 10 days or so while I enjoy some much-needed family time. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday and a happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gifts that can be made in an hour or less

It's crunch time! I can't believe Christmas is 4 days away. If you're like me, you've probably procrastinated a little bit.

Here's a roundup of some quick and easy tutorials that are mostly upcycled from things you probably already have on hand, and can be made in an hour or less.

Click on the pictures below to be taken to the full tutorial.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Easy DIY gifts for the holidays

Need some ideas for a few last minute (and inexpensive) handmade gifts that you can whip up this weekend? Here are a few of my favorites from around blogland:

 Flower hairpins at Craftstylish

Cute and easy headband (made from a sleeve!) at Maybe Matilda

Honey almond oatmeal soap bars from Just Deanna

Photo tile coasters from Oopsey Daisy

Ball jar sewing kit at Frugalicious Me

Bubble magnets at My Own Road

Magnetic paper dolls at Make it and Love it

For even more ideas, check out my board full of gift ideas and giftwrap on Pinterest. You can also see all of my boards and follow me HERE.

Happy (handmade) Holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Printable nativity

See the details for my Christmas mantel HERE

In the 3 1/2 years we've been married, my husband and I have yet to gather a large quantity of Christmas decorations. What we do have is a small box full of donated ornaments from our family members and a few small things I managed to find at after Christmas sales.

Lame, I know.

This year since we're going to be out of town for Christmas, I wanted to get a little more festive and that included wanting to put up a nativity. Problem: we have no nativity in our small box of ornaments. Solution: make a printable one!

Want to make the easiest nativity you've ever made?

I simply went to and did a search for "nativity fonts." I found the SL Christmas Silhouettes font that I absolutely loved, then downloaded and opened Photoshop (you can also use Word if you don't have Photoshop.) Typing in the letter C gave me my nativity scene, then the letter U gave me the star. From there, all I had to do was print it up and frame it.


There are other pictures you could use instead. The other great part about using a font like this one is if you have a Silhouette, you could download and cut this font to make cute pictures on canvases, cards, etc!

I included printable nativities below in silver, blue or red. Just right click on the image and save to your computer, then print out the size you want. (All printables are for personal use only!)

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

DIY hurricane vase

You can see details for my entire Christmas mantel HERE

Isn't the Dollar Store a wonderful place? It's full of tons of cheap goodies just waiting to be improved on.

Plus, I can walk in there and buy a whole basket of stuff without making a dent in my budget. You just have to get a little creative sometimes.

Take these vases and martini glasses for example. Pretty blah. But with a little glue and spray paint, they make a great addition to my holiday mantel!

  • Vase (found at the Dollar Store)
  • Martini glass (found at the Dollar Store)
  • Krylon metallic spray paint
  • E600 adhesive
  • Filler
Step 1: Spray paint your martini glasses.

In a well-ventilated area (outdoors preferably) apply several coats of metallic paint to your martini glasses.

Make sure you actually pay attention to directions and don't spray too close or turn your glass over before the paint is drying or you'll end up with some drippage like I did...oops.

Step 2: Apply your adhesive.

After you've been a good girl and followed the drying rules for the spray paint, apply some of your adhesive to the bottom of your vase and glue to the bottom of your martini glass, making the part of the martini glass where you would drink from the base of your hurricane vase. Hopefully I didn't confuse you too much there.

Let your glue dry, and how you have some adorable hurricane vases!

Fill with any filler you like (I chose a pack of assorted small Christmas ornaments) and decorate away! I also decided to tie some ribbon on mine to make them even more festive.

These make great decorations year-round.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Let it Snow" framed wall art

You can see details for my entire Christmas mantel HERE

I got a couple of pictures from a friend for free, but it wasn't the pictures I was interested in, it was the frames. (Though I'm sure you'll agree the pictures are just lovely ;) I had a vision for some cute framed wall art for Christmas, so I got to work dismantling them.

  • Frame
  • Spray paint
  • Contact paper
  • Foam snowflake
  • Ribbon
  • Tape or hot glue

First I removed the glass and backing and laid the frame out in the yard for several of coats of white spray paint. On a side note, if it's windy outside, just say no to spray painting. Just don't. Step away.

After the frame was painted, I used my Silhouette to cut out "let it snw" from white contact paper (and yes, I know I'm missing the 'o', you'll see where that went next!) If you don't have a craft cutter, just use Word to create your wording and then trace it onto the back of some contact paper (make sure you flip your letters!) and cut out. After cutting, I just peeled the backing off and stuck the letters to the wall.

For the O, I wanted to substitute a snowflake and hang it from ribbon, so I used a foam snowflake that I bought in a pack Wal-Mart and some red sparkly ribbon. I just cut the ribbon long enough to hang from the top of the frame down to the wording and used tape to attach it.

Then I put it all together!

It really makes a great focal point for my Christmas mantel. I can't wait to come up with some ideas to reuse my frame after Christmas is over!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY tree form and garland Christmas trees

You can see details for my entire Christmas mantel HERE

I wanted to decorate my mantel this year, but (as you have all figured out by now) I'm a cheap-o. As in, I won't pay the $2.50 for a styrofoam tree form kind of cheap-o. I mean, all my money is going toward Rapunzel and Disney princess merchandise, so I can't really afford styrofoam tree forms.

At least that's what I tell myself. It sounds way better than "cheap-o." (Husband if you're reading this, you can thank me later for saving us $2.50. You're welcome.)

So I decided to make my own tree form because I have lots of these:

Here's what you need to make your own cardboard garland trees and be a cheap-o too!

  • Cardboard cereal box (for the biggest tree template, you'll need a large cereal box (think Frosted Mini Wheats)
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • 9+ feet of gift wrap garland
  • Free downloadable tree forms with 3 sizes HERE
Step 1: Create your tree form.

First, cut out one side of your cereal box. If you're making the large tree form, make sure you don't cut the sides of your cereal box out (found that out the hard way :)

Next, print out and trace my tree form template onto the unprinted side of your cardboard and cut out.

To make the form, you'll need to gently ease your cardboard into a tree shape. Start on one side and gently roll your cardboard (don't fold or bend) until it's all curvy-like.

Pinch the tip of your tree form and secure with hot glue (make sure the tab portion of your tree form is on the inside.) Continue gluing along the tab until the tree is secure.

Ta-dah! Tree!

Now make a forest of them.

Now that you have your tree form, there are a ton of decorative Christmas trees that you could make with your tree form, but I included a tutorial for a simple garland tree below.

Step 2: Attach garland.

I found some cute garland used for wrapping gifts in the Christmas section and decided to make some festive garland trees with my new tree forms. First, put a dab of hot glue on the bottom of your tree form and attach the end of your gift wrap garland.

Continue twisting your garland around the tree, adding dabs of hot glue as you go to secure your garland.

When you reach the tip of your tree form, leave an extra 1/2 inch of garland and tuck the end into the hole of your tree form.

Merry Christmas, enjoy your $2.50 savings ;)

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